Sunday, September 30, 2007

One more

For Dawn! And yes, I know (now) that there is a typo in this one... oh well!

Saturday, September 29, 2007


I love making scrapbook pages for the kids, but I especially love having my printed (digital) pages in hand. I use to print, and when a shipment shows up at my door... I am all giddy. They look even better in person than they do on-screen. These are a few from the latest batch I got back (I save them up until I have 10-15 at a time to print, and then there's a few weeks' turnaround time to get them in the mail.)
And, lucky for me, I now have someone to share the joy with me. Lately, Liam has taken a huge interest in his former life - i.e. any time earlier than about a week ago. He loves looking at his baby pictures, and every time we drag out a piece of equipment for Mallory to use, he wants to see himself using it as a baby, too. And now that he knows about his scrapbook - my book, as he calls it, and we also have Mal's book - he likes to take it out to look at from time to time, and he's always interested when more pages are added. Lucky for me he's a little bit egocentric... because my ego gets a boost, too, every time I see him enjoying his book.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Both fostering a love of Curious George

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Zonked by contraband

Chad comes home today, and not a moment too soon... because I'm feeling stupid tired again. Tired enough that someone made a joke yesterday about the gas company, and I didn't get it. (Um, where do I work again?) Tired enough that when I just reread what I wrote here yesterday, I realized that it didn't make nearly as much sense written down as it did in my head - too many unrelated thoughts strung together without enough explanation. Chalk it up to exhaustion. The problem is not just kiddos who go to bed late and get up early; it's also that I tend to stay up really late when Chad is away - I'm not so good at sleeping when I'm alone in the house. Even if 'alone' now means that there are 3 of us.

Another reason why I'm feeling tired - a reason I will have to get used to - is that Mallory is on the move. I mean, she is really and truly on the move. Not just shimmying and rolling now, she has a full-on army crawl that gets her from A to B in no time flat. Consequently, she is into EVERYTHING. Upending laundry baskets, chewing on bags of disposable diapers, going after my magazines... the works. To make matters worse, we introduced the walker the other day - the device that was outlawed here years ago on account of too many of them being pitched down staircases. (Luckily we live in and old house with a narrow basement staircase that requires a dogleg turn to get down; even if the gate weren't closed, I don't think there's any way she could manoeuvre through it.) The first day, she just rocked the walker back and forth. Now, 48 hours later, she is an old pro with it, zipping around the house with lightning speed, pulling cookbooks off shelves and opening kitchen drawers that are at her eye level - and the fingerprints! Oh, the fingerprints all over the stainless appliances and glass sidelights at the front door... now there are little sets of hers here, there and everywhere, to match the ones Liam also leaves behind, and the noseprints that come courtesy of Captain.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Equal, but different

I am starting to get the whole idea of what people mean when they say they love their kids equally but differently. Although it seems like we've only seen a teeny tiny fraction of Mallory's personality, there are a few things we do know about her, and she sometimes seems to be Liam's polar opposite. And the funny thing is, I love certain things about her, like how outgoing she can be, just as much as I love the opposite thing about Liam (his social hermit tendencies can be frustrating at times, but overall I find them hilarious and not far off from how I often feel, though I think I do a bit better job of covering it up!) And whenever one of them is bothering the other, I get so defensive on their behalf. Yesterday Liam was jumping on the bed and crashed into Mallory; tears ensued, and man, was I ticked at him for hurting her. Likewise, I can get really frustrated with her when I'm doing something with Liam and she starts grumbling for seemingly no reason.

(I am super mindful, when I do these posts, of how many of the previous week's posts have been devoted to one kiddo or the other. Don't think the guilt isn't mounting as I've posted photo after photo of Mallory this week. In my defense, there is just much more that is new with her, since she seems to be hitting milestones daily (her first bowl of cereal or his 429th: which would you rather see??)There's also the fact that Liam gets out more, spending one day a week with Cindy and, for much of the summer, time with Gramma and Grampa, too; so he is around the camera less. He is also generally more camera shy (unless I can bribe him with a Twirl Pop...))

Last night, the evidence of their equally-adorable-but-definitely-different personalities culminated in a perfect example. Chad is out of town this week on business, and we spent the day in London yesterday, doing some shopping and taking advantage of his hotel's pool before meeting him for dinner. On the drive home, both kiddos fell asleep. When we got home, already after dark, I hefted Liam upstairs, changed his diaper, put his PJs on and dumped him into bed - and all the while, he was still sawing logs, and didn't wake up until this morning. On the other hand, Mallory woke up as soon as the car engine was turned off, and she treated the rest she'd just had as a second wind. She was up and raring to go for several more hours before finally settling into bed very late last night. Equal... but different!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Couldn't make it up, even if I tried

On account of Mallory's sleep issues, I have tried just about every method of putting her to bed that you can imagine:
  • Drowsy, wide awake and already out cold
  • Wrapped up tight and half naked
  • Cold bedroom and warm bedroom
  • Music-and-lightshow and complete darkness and quiet
  • etc.

None of these factors seem to matter to her all that much, except for one: she will not willingly go to bed until (a) Liam is already in bed and (b) Chad has kissed her goodnight.

I know this sounds crazy, and Chad didn't believe me when I told him about her conditions, either. I can understand her not wanting to be in her room while Liam is still running around having fun. But needing to say goodnight to Chad? I find that hilarious. And yet, it's true: put her to bed myself, and she starts howling within seconds. Retrieve her from her crib, take her to Chad, let him kiss her and say goodnight, return her to her crib, and all is peaceful.

Well. This week Chad is out of town on business again. Meaning no kiss goodnight... meaning sheer madness ensues. Monday night, she was extremely fussy and was more than an hour late going to bed. Our funny little discovery is not so funny when daddy's not home. Chad is back on Thursday - and it can't come quick enough.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Are you a princess? I said. And she said, I’m much more than a princess, but you don’t have a name for it yet here on earth.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Bye-bye, sippy cup!

So glad I didn't throw this in the pile for Goodwill


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Just because she's so stinkin' cute

Friday, September 21, 2007

Explains why we're doing so much laundry these days

When Mallory started on solids, it took her a few days to really warm up to the idea. After she warmed up, though, we noticed that she would start each meal in good spirits, but fall apart from there, usually ending each bowl of cereal screaming. At first I attributed this to the fact that she's cutting teeth and maybe the spoon was irritating her gums, but I think I have figured out the real problem now. The fact is, she is ticked that we keep taking the spoon out of her mouth. Mmmm, here's this yummy mouthful of cereal and then - hey, wait a minute! Get that spoon back here! It has not yet clicked for her that the spoon needs to be refilled and that it is indeed coming back. This morning she screamed so much during breakfast that Chad said "Mal, you are making me want to go to work!"... and I had to agree with him - mealtimes definitely are not fun like this. Please tell me it is just a passing phase!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

For Amy!

Super pooper

(You know what I always say... you can't read a baby blog and not expect talk of poop from time to time, can you?)

Mallory has always had what I can only describe as a lazy bowel. Her record is nine days without pooping. She's not backed up, mind you; just infrequent. But it doesn't bother her, and as for us, well, we're not about to complain about only having to change a dirty diaper once a week. At least, not back in the good old days...

You'd think, having started her on solids two weeks ago, that this would have changed. Not so. She pooped once, just a few days after the solids started; and then nothing. If she was still exclusively breastfed, this wouldn't worry me, but as we've been pumping cereal into her day after day, I was starting to worry that maybe her small intestine is really not connected properly and maybe her legs are filling up with, well, crap.
Ah, but no need to worry. On this week's trip to the grocery store, some butternut squash caught my eye, and last night I steamed it up and threw it in the blender and fed it to her (freezing the rest for later in the week). Within half an hour she needed a diaper change. I imagined that the squash had done the job, but wasn't really aware of the extent to which it was working until this morning, when she woke up early, and I went into her room and peeked into her crib only to find... a god-awful mess. Enough said, right? Anyway, methinks I won't be so cavalier about leaving the house without the diaper bag anymore...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What we've been up to

We're still here, to be sure, only we're recovering from almost a week straight of being up 4 times every single night. In the beginning this wasn't so bad, but now that I have been doing it for nearly six months, it's beginning to wear. I don't know if it's the teething that's making Mallory even more wakeful than normal - did I mention that she got another tooth last week? - but mornings around here have just been stupid tired. Luckily, last night she was only up twice, and today I feel like a million bucks. Still stupid tired compared to most people, but better than I've been for some time.

Not much new to report, really. We've been to the Early Years Centre:
We've been continuing with Apple Week - finally got that pie made:We've been letting Liam dress himself (good thing this is only for bedtime!):All is well... and is about to get better: I'm off to take a nap.

Monday, September 17, 2007


Saturday, September 15, 2007

6 years

Friday, September 14, 2007


Parking - $7
Admission - $10
Midway ride tickets - $20
Hot dog, fries and lemonade - $10
Fudge to take home to Daddy - $4.75
A day at the Western Fair... priceless! (Thanks for the invitation, Deanna!)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Little Miss Shrimp

Earlier this week, I took Mallory to a weigh in clinic to record her five-month-old weight for posterity. She clocked in at 13 lbs 15 oz. This came as quite a surprise, because last month, she was 13 lbs 13 oz and the month before that, 12 lbs 12 oz... that is to say, she had been gaining a pound a month, more or less, and then this month - nothing.

That timing lines up awfully coincidentally with her terrible nighttime wakeups - i.e. it was about a month ago that she went from waking up once a night to three or four times. She doesn't appear to be starving, and she only nurses for a few minutes (maybe 10) before falling back asleep, but still... hmmm.

I don't really think there's anything to worry about, since she seems happy and thriving and all that good stuff, but this definitely makes me glad that we have started her on solids. Although I haven't really had any more rest than normal this week, I'm hoping that filling that tummy of hers up will help her to make it through the night one of these days. Last night she did not eat much at dinnertime and I would have given her another go with the cereal at bedtime, if only we hadn't just given her a bath; it's the whole cart-before-the-horse thing. Eating desposits food into every nook and cranny on her body.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Apple week

Earlier this week, we met some friends at the apple orchard to partake in that autumn rite of passage: The Apple Pick, thereby completing our fruit-picking trifecta for the year. This is a great thing for little kids to do. Liam was a bit perturbed that he couldn't stuff his face with fruit right there in the field (a la strawberry pick and blueberry pick), but you can pick ten pounds of apples much faster than ten pounds of blueberries... so the task is over before boredom sets in.

On the way out to the orchard, Liam peppered me with questions about who our friends were that we would be meeting there. That little boy, what's his name? And his baby sister, what's her name? And Colin's mom, is she your friend, mom? Conveniently enough, Colin is Liam's age, and Meghan is Mallory's age. Then we got to the orchard, and given the chance to actually play with Colin, Liam ignored him the entire time. It figures. That part I expected, but then I was treated to a lengthy discussion on the way home about how Meghan didn't pick any apples, mom, she didn't get out of the stroller. And then, after thinking about it a while, he made the same observation about Mallory.

Anyway, we are now in the thick of apple week. I have been collecting apple recipes for several weeks now, and it's a good thing, because we came home with 17 pounds of fruit. On Monday night we started out with apple fritters - I am not normally a deep-frying kind of girl, but these, I like. Yesterday I tried Yvonne's Done to Death Apple Bread, from a message board I have been frequenting since 2003 where I see this recipe get posted and raved about every autumn. It's good, but maybe I was expecting something more. Today I was going to make applesauce, to balance out the grease and sugar we've been smothering our fruit in thus far; but every time I mention applesauce, Liam says, "Pie mom, I want some pie." The healthy stuff has been overruled, at least for today.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

It must be all the yoga I did while pregnant

Over the past couple of days, Mallory has learned how to inchworm her way across a room to get to what she wants. This opens up a whole new world of hurt for Liam when his stuff is attacked... but that's another story. Anyway, the days of leaving her for a nap on our bed are over... and the babyproofing may begin in earnest one day soon. If the tooth wasn't already making her seem older than she really is, the newfound mobility certainly is. Liam was 8 months when he got his first tooth and 10 months when he started crawling, so you see what my frame of reference is!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Five months

Dear Mallory,

Blink! – and another month is gone. You are five months old now, and this has been a big month – lots going on and many milestones reached. I really love this age of babyhood; you are so sweet and cute, your personality is starting to emerge, but we’re not yet into any of the grief that comes with separation anxiety or the growing assertion of your independence. I could almost keep you five months old forever, if I weren’t so excited to see what comes next.

Ah, but wait. If you stay five months old forever, I shall never again get to sleep through the night. Every month when I write you this letter, I think, surely by this time next month, she’ll be sleeping through the night. And every month, I’m wrong. I don’t quite understand what happened, because before our camping trip last month, you were only up once each night, and ever since that trip you have been up three or four times a night, and it feels like it’s never going to get better. I would love to know what happened on that trip to change things. Another change in your sleeping habits is that you and Liam are starting to move off of the synchronized afternoon nap. Sometimes you nap around the same time, but sometimes you stay awake after lunch while he rests, and then you drift off right when he’s getting up. This means that, number one, I no longer get a break during the day! And number two, we are housebound for the afternoon. It gives me that much more incentive to get us out of the house to do something each morning, that’s for sure. When you are old enough to read this, you are probably going to think I am crazy for harping on your sleeping habits so much. But after five months of multiple wake-ups every single night, all I can say is that I totally understand how sleep deprivation can be used to torture prisoners of war. It really is that effective!!

So do I have anything good to say about your sleeping habits? Well, yes. Right after I wrote my exam and finished my summer course (on August 17th, to be precise), I started being merciless and letting you cry it out at night. That first night, you cried for almost an hour, on and off, before finally settling down to sleep. I sat beside you the entire time. The good news is that you weren’t inconsolable; you were just plain ticked. The next night, I put you down awake, and you rolled right over and went to sleep. And that was the end of it – ever since then, you’ve gone to bed (a) much earlier (like around 8 – 8:30 instead of 10 – 10:30) and (b) without any fuss.

Well, we did have one setback. A few weeks ago, you got your first tooth! At 4 months old! I couldn’t believe it – this is so early, it never even crossed my mind that you could be teething. But you are, and as a result you had a couple of fussy days during which I coddled you and rocked you to sleep again. Not to worry – you are back to bedding down on your own again, so all is well. That tooth doesn’t seem to be giving you any more grief, and there are no signs of other teeth yet. I can’t wait until it grows in a bit and you have an adorable little pearly white sticking up when you crack a smile – it’s going to be so, so cute.

You are still the smiliest little thing ever, so I expect to be seeing that tooth a lot. Right now you smile for all of us for a million silly little reasons, but there is something about Liam that makes you laugh hysterically. I really hope this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship between you two. Right about now I am super thankful that your dad gave me a video camera for my birthday this year, because catching the two of you interacting like this for posterity – it’s priceless. Him doing something positively ridiculous, and you cackling like it’s the best thing ever. I hope he continues to be a good role model for you because if he jumped off a bridge, I am positive that you would follow. Another huge thing that has happened this month – yes, there’s more! – is that you have become mobile! I totally attribute this to how much you enjoy being on your tummy. You started out just stretching to reach things, and now you can roll, pivot, and shimmy to get where, and what, you want. You can hoist your entire torso up off the floor, and we’re starting to see you get your bum up now, too. A few times I have set you down on the floor with your legs tucked up under you like a frog, and you have stayed like that for several minutes, swaying a little, but surprisingly sturdy. I sure don’t think it will be long before you are off and crawling.

Your amazing baby brawn (you now weigh xx pounds xx ounces and are xx inches long) has also helped you to become an early sitter-upper. You are still known to take the occasional nosedive, but for the most part you are pretty good at playing while sitting up (with some protection against the occasional spill).
And, just yesterday, we fed you the good stuff for the first time. Runny rice cereal… and you slopped it up like there’s no tomorrow, grabbing for the spoon and shovelling it into your mouth. Yes, this is a little earlier than the six month age we so often see recommended; but when I told Dr. Bailey at your 4-month checkup that you seemed interested in food, she looked at me like I was crazy and said, “Well then, feed her already!” And, I keep going back to the fact that you were born late… so really, you are developmentally a few weeks ahead of schedule. And hey – if there is any way that this helps you to sleep more soundly at night – so much the better! This month, you took your first swim and went for your first trick-or-treat (two months early by most standards, but it was that time of year at The Summer Place). We went up to Stratford a couple of times, and I took you to Listowel to meet GG Robinson. We had several playdates, went to some special programs at the library, and you officially joined Baby Group. The days are flying by because we’re having so much fun… and I can’t wait for our next adventure together.


It's done!

Well, almost. Still need legs on the spider. But otherwise... just goes to show that having more time than money, and more ambition than common sense, sometimes does work out!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Gettin' the good stuff