Monday, March 31, 2008

Old & new

Just as if I'd been on some wonderful vacation... poof!... all thought of it is out the window after my first morning back at work. It's funny just how much this place sucks you in again. (Notice that I did not end that sentence after just saying, "It's funny just how much this place sucks." !!)

The good news is that I have had a more seamless transition back into the office this time around. Meaning, I am glad I took my important files and things home with me this time. I did not spend my morning searching for the thief who stole my garbage can and my stapler, either; both were still here. I did spend my morning packing up my stuff and moving to a new office, though, and as I am a 'party of one' - the only person doing what I do in my new area - it's so quiet over here. I wasn't crazy about working in a big communal workspace in the old setup, but it was nice to have someone to yell over the wall to when you needed something. Now, I keep shooting emails to Chad - how do I get myself off this distribution list? How do I update my profile? - things he isn't even really able to help me with.

The dropoff at daycare this morning went fine. We were out the door in good time and when we got to Cindy's, Liam made a beeline for the toyroom and Mallory followed. No tears from either one of us. The true test for Mallory will be how she is doing by Friday - I am sure she will be wondering if she will ever get to spend a morning at home with me again. And the true test for me will be sometime after lunch today, because that's when I sit down with the big boss man to find out exactly what I am supposed to be doing here, and how fast I am supposed to be doing it - and I think the answers are going to be (a) a lot and (b) fast.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The end of an era

Today is my last day as a SAHM. Possibly - likely - forever. But there is time enough to ponder and cry over that next week, once I'm back at work. Today is not for that. Today is for wrapping up all the things I'd hoped to accomplish by the time this day came; I just never counted on it coming so fast. I'm trying to get the house back in some semblance of order, because our list date has been set and is now just two weeks away. I am trying to get some birthday party details taken care of, because I start back to work and then spend the next two weekends in Party Central. I'm trying to get Photoshop Elements installed on the Mac so we can finally ditch the PC. Yesterday I spent two hours wrestling with my sewing machine, and now I'm trying to find someone to service it (yeah - that didn't go so well). And I'm trying to savour the last little bit of life like this: a fun trip to the OEYC this morning, a batch of Rice Krispie squares, and a couple of bedtime stories, with all three of us crammed into Liam's bed, before naps. These are the things I will miss the most.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

It seems that you can mail just about anything from Hawaii

Thanks for the message in a bottle, Gramma and Grampa! (Shaking like mad - trying to get the palm tree out!)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Feeling like my life is complete, now that I've had the chance to do this to her

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Please tell me I'm not nuts

15 years ago, it was 1993 and I was graduating from high school and starting university. At that time, my vision for the future entailed me working at some plum job and living the high life. There were the requisite 2.0 kids in my vision too, but they didn't factor in in a major way. I figured there were babysitters and daycare centres to take care of them, you know? I would be responsible for spitting them out but after that, it was back to being All About Me.

It's funny how perspective changes with time, because then I had Liam and things changed in an instant. Suddenly I would do whatever it took to limit my use of babysitters and daycare centres to an absolute minimum, and I found that I would rather have an OK job that didn't take me away from home too much than a plum job that demanded all of my time. I decided that I would spend my early years of parenthood devoted to home first and work second, and I also thought I would stay in the job I held for some time to come - not wanting to stir the pot too much by taking on anything new.

And then, with just a couple of months left before this maternity leave ran out, a job was posted back at the office that essentially was looking for someone who had spent the past 11 years doing exactly what I have done. It was wanting that person to use those skills to go on and do something that I had once, a couple of years ago, described as my ideal next job in a very cherry-picking way - take part of this person's role, part of that person's role, modify the business a little bit this way and voila - that's what I'd like to do.

So I applied for it. And I interviewed for it. And last week I got it. And I accepted it. And I start it on Monday.

And while my family still comes first and my job comes second, I'm excited. I sort of think this IS a plum job. There will be a huge learning curve, I'm sure, and I will do what I can to manage that - but only during working hours and naptimes and at night. In my interview I made it clear that travel, on-call hours etc. were not going to work for me at this stage in my life, and I was relieved that the hiring manager was fine with that, saying he didn't expect those things to be requirements of the role. If they should one day become requirements? Well, he knows where I stand on the issue.

So here I go again, back-pedalling on something I swore I wouldn't do. But the opportunity is something I can't pass up, and I really do think our family will be better for it. Wish me luck.

(These pictures are all from a foray into homemade playdough - something we did a couple of weeks ago that is currently a big hit. Take 4 cups of flour, 4 cups of water, 4 tbsp vegetable oil, half a cup of cream of tartar and one cup of salt. Dump it into a pot and cook it. It will look like slop and you'll think there's no way it will turn into playdough, but it does. Cook until it turns into a big ball, let it cool a bit and then knead in some food colouring. Keeps for up to 6 months, I'm told. You can even add a packet of Kool Aid to make it smell nice and fruity, but Mallory really doesn't need any more encouragement in the eating non-food items department, you know?)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter recap

A year ago at this time, on Easter Monday, my water had just broken and I was scrambling to finish packing before heading to the hospital. (Funny how I left so much packing to the last minute despite being TWO WEEKS OVERDUE). I am happy to say that this year is different!

Last night I had this conversation with Liam:
Me: Did you have a good day today?
Liam: Yeah!
Me: What was your favourite part of the day?
Liam: When we had Easter!
Me: What part of Easter did you like best?
Liam: When me got my M&Ms!

He said a couple of weeks ago that he wanted M&Ms for Easter, and he specified that he wanted red and blue and green ones. The Easter Bunny gave him one of those little eggs filled with M&Ms in shades of pastel pink, purple, green and blue. Liam was very quick to point out that the Easter Bunny got the colours wrong, but he was pretty happy with them nonetheless!

Friday, March 21, 2008

In need of EGG-ing on

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wishing I hadn't found this out

Natural Born Killers ranks right up there in my all-time most hated movies. HOW did I not know that Juliette Lewis's character in that movie is named Mallory?

Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

Had I known that, we could have had a little Addison or Esme or Bronwyn on our hands instead...

How did I get here?

My baby started daycare today. My baby started daycare!

She was fine, of course, and I am mighty proud of myself for not crying, too. (You might recall that I was a bit of a mess the last time I did this.) The nice things about being here again are: I know how much Liam loves being at Cindy's. I know Cindy (when I first left Liam with her, I had only met her a couple of times). Mallory knows Cindy, too, having been through her door twice each Tuesday for the past year. And, I love that Mallory has Liam and Liam has Mallory - he was quite excited for her to stay with him today.

Mal did not bat an eye when I left, though she gave me a super-big cheesy grin when I came back two hours later to get her. She spent the majority of her morning pushing a doll around the room in a stroller, which cracked me right up because we don't have a toy stroller at home; and yet she knew exactly what to do with it, rummaging through all of Cindy's toys for a doll, plunking her in and setting about being a little mama.

Next week, Mallory goes back for a half day, and then full time starting March 31st. I am leaving the option of a full day next Friday open, just in case she needs more time to acclimate, but I don't think we'll need it. She is more than ready for this next phase of her life.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Poor lil' Miss Misery

For the first time in about six months, Mallory is cutting some teeth. She's got one through on the top left and another on the brink on the top right, and Lord help you if you get in her way today, because she is likely to chew on you and man, her existing teeth are sharp as all get out.

The teeth are giving her little red cheeks and a nose that runs so much, she ought to be dehydrated by now. I took the kids to the Early Years Centre today for the second time in as many days, because it is crap outside and I did not want us staring at the walls all morning, and I was a bit too slow this morning to get out to the pool. I think I detected some dirty looks from the other moms, like How dare you bring your sick kiddo down here to mingle with my healthy one? - a pox on you! At least if we'd been swimming, she just would have looked wet. I lobbed the Poor girl, she's teething line out as often as I could in our defense, and also thought, screw it - one more week of this and then I am back behind a desk at work, unlikely to see most of these people again until the kids start school!

I am busy catching up on some stuff and will get to some more posting when I can... the tempo is starting to pick up around here, and I am still busy bracing myself for the ride.

Couldn't have said it better myself

Have you seen this? Thank you, Mr. Feschuk, for putting into words what so many of us feel right now!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

How to make St. Patrick's Day fun

Those green pancakes from last year? They really weren't all that much fun. This was much better.

Step 1: Apply a fake shamrock tattoo to your face.
Step 2: Put on something green.
Step 3: Go grocery shopping. Pick up ingredients for St. Patrick's Day Treat at the store. Bask in the glory of all the comments about how cute you are.
Step 4: Come home and assemble St. Patrick's Day Treat.
Step 5: Eat St. Patrick's Day Treat.

Seriously, having a Holiday Treat has become a big thing in our house, and it doesn't so much matter what the Treat is, just as long as we call it a Treat. Yesterday, it was End-of-the-Rainbow Parfaits. Layer a rainbow of fruit in a tall glass, top with vanilla yogurt and a sprinkling of golden raisins (i.e. the gold at the end of the rainbow). I was even able to sneak some fruit into Mallory with this one! I tried giving Liam a very vague explanation of what St. Patrick's Day is about, and got into the shamrocks and leprechauns, but he didn't entirely get it, or so I thought. When I presented him with his finished parfait, he asked, "Where is the leprechaun that lives at the rainbow?" Maybe next year I'll give him more than just the Cliffs Notes version. :P

Friday, March 14, 2008

Some days my kids drive me so nuts, I think it's a wonder that people keep having them and the human race endures...

...and then they get so stinkin' cute again that it's really no wonder at all.

I don't often have days like that, when I feel like the kids are out to get me, but yesterday was just such a day. To be fair, they weren't being terrible kids... I think we are all just a bit wrangy right now. 24/7 for 4 days straight had caught up to us. Plus, it's that time of year, when everyone starts to go a bit stir crazy; I am SO SICK of winter right now...

On Thursday, I pulled Mallory off the stairs no fewer than two dozen times. (Note to self: must invest in another childproofing gate!!) I settled disputes between her and Liam all-the-livelong-day. Most of these involved Liam starting a movie in the DVD player and Mallory turning it off partway through, requiring me to go back and sync it up to the same spot for him again. We duked it out over dinner; for about 2 weeks now, Mallory has refused to eat nearly all fruits and vegetables, even the ones she used to love. All she's eating these days is meat and dairy and bread and I am completely flummoxed by it. I am also sick of her flinging food around the kitchen the way she has taken to doing. I asked Liam to pee on the toilet before his bath and he insisted he did not have to go, and then he peed all over Mallory and himself once in the tub. And then he got all melodramatic and difficult at bedtime, when I was promising him a fun trip today and wanting him to get to bed so we could be sure to be on time for it.

But then today, the kidlets turned on the charm and the woes of yesterday were instantly forgotten. We hit the road bright and early (the first time I have set an alarm clock in, um, 53 weeks) and went to Adventures on Wonderland. The concept: indoor playground. Jenn met up with us for the morning and after the kids exhausted themselves on the play equipment, we went for a yummy lunch at East Side Mario's before leaving. The kiddos slept most of the way, graciously allowed me to poke into an antiques shop before coming home, and then we went out for a nice walk and enjoyed the warmest day of the year thus far before dinner. Liam wore his rain boots and carried his stuffed bunny with him the entire way as he splashed his way through every puddle on our route. Motorists passing by got a chuckle out of him. It was all just great-great-great.

Then at dinner, something else happened that put a damper on things... but, well, that's parenthood, right? Ups and downs, ups and downs. I'll save that one for blog fodder for another time.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

One more thing...

...who do we think the 'someone we thought we'd never see again' on board the freighter in Lost is? My guess is Michael.

11 months

Dear Mallory,

You are 11 months old now, and I’m sure that means nothing to you (what with the lack of an ability to grasp the concept of time), but me? I have to keep pinching myself to make sure it’s true. I don’t know where the time has gone, and yes, I realize that makes me sound like an old fart to say, but just you wait. You swear you’ll never say things like that now, but your time will come, too.

This month… you walked! Really and truly. We caught you taking a step here or there, and within a few days you were going 10 or 12 steps at a time. Just today you crossed the entire playroom-soon-to-be-dining-room. You still walk terribly though, listing to one side like a ship going down, and you usually don’t cover very much ground. You still prefer to crawl when you need to motor, and I still prefer it when you do; I will miss having a little crawler in the house when you are a full-time walker. Plus, there are fewer head injuries to worry about this way.

You have become addicted to climbing the stairs, something you will often do ten times in a row if we don’t run interference and bar you from them. At least you somehow also know that you are supposed to go down the stairs backwards, on your belly, instead of plunging over the precipice head-first. You are also still game for some high chair acrobatics at any time (though we have decided to get your old high chair back – it’s getting ridiculous!)

One thing I do love and encourage you to do is dance! You have suddenly turned into a dancing fool. There are a few songs in particular that will set you off, like the theme to Fifi and the Flowertots (a new Treehouse TV show) and also the Jonas Brothers – which makes you very on trend, since they are all the ‘tween rage these days! The first time I saw you dancing to the Jonas Brothers video on the Jungle Book DVD, I laughed so hard I cried. You were rocking right out. Good thing we caught your performance on video – you can probably expect to see that clip at your wedding.

You are down to nursing just once a day, at bedtime. You wear a size 4 diaper during the day and have just graduated to a size 5 at night after wetting through consistently. You are 20 pounds 12 ounces and 29.5 inches tall. You generally are wearing size 12 month clothes now, but your round little Buddha belly sometimes has me buying 18 month tops for you to ensure they fit. Your favourite food appears to be pizza, and although you loved fruit just a couple of weeks ago, I haven’t seen you eating any of it lately – and I’m totally mystified as to why.

Now that you are 11 months old, I am in the thick of planning your first birthday party. It will be small – immediate family only – but my goodness, I just can’t help myself. Experience with Liam tells me that I only have a couple of years to do it up my way, before you start insisting that you want a Wonder Woman party or some such nonsense (how on earth did he ever latch onto Spider Man so strongly? – but I digress). As I design invitations and browse iTunes for a playlist I get all weepy, but that’s OK – I hope to get it out of my system before the big day arrives.

The countdown is on now, not only to your birthday, but to my return to work as well; it’s now only three weeks away. (Actually, it should have been this week – but I’m currently ‘on vacation’, trying to soak up some more time with you.) We have your first trips to Cindy’s house planned for next week. I both dread the day that I hand you over to someone else – I will miss you terribly – and I also look forward to this next phase of your life. It means that we’ll have had a wonderful first year together and that you will have graduated out of babyhood and into toddlerhood. And I would find myself wishing I could go back and do it with you all over again… if only I weren’t so excited to see what comes next.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Keeping busy

When Chad is out of town, something inside of me gets all ambitious and makes Big Plans. I have a project list a mile long and I'm sure I won't get through half of it this week, but I am darn well going to try. I don't just mean the mediocre, keep-the-house-running things, like making the kids dinner (though I did, last night - the aforementioned salmon, to make up for McDonalds on Monday) and bathing them and then spending the evening after they are in bed scooping the litter box for garbage day. No, I mean the projects that have gone undone for months if not years, that suddenly seem to need to be done y.e.s.t.e.r.d.a.y. Over the past few days, I have overheated my paper shredder twice as I have purged years worth of documents from the filing cabinet (goodbye, 1997 tax return and warranty on the TV we gave to the Salvation Army two years ago). I also went through the tote bins full of toiletries that have been clogging up our linen closet and tossed, tossed, tossed. Out went the industrial-strength bug spray we took to Peru in 2002: it didn't stop me from getting chiggers then, and I'm sure it wouldn't now (not that I even have such an exotic trip to look forward to anytime soon...) We went to the fabric store to pick up a remnant for a little project I saw on Martha and want to try. I made a couple of gifts and some cards. And I've been enjoying my new environmentally-conscious Shaklee cleaning products just a little too much, getting rid of marks on the walls that have been there so long, we don't even notice them anymore...It's a good thing I got on top of my list so early in the week, because this morning I took Liam to the doctor's for a follow-up on his ear infection. I almost didn't even keep the appointment, thinking we had better things to be doing, and that Liam is fine now. Unfortunately, the verdict from the doc is that there is still fluid behind Liam's eardrum and that the likelihood of recurrence is quite high. This is NOT what I want to hear when I am alone with the kiddos this week; I can just imagine Liam waking up with a raging earache at 3 a.m. and me having to make the trip to the ER with both him AND Mallory in tow. Not so fun. I have a supply of Children's Motrin on hand and if that happens, I think the best thing to do would be to give him the painkiller and then wait for a morning appointment at the doctor's office... assuming this happens either today or tomorrow, when they are open. Ugh. Let's just hope it doesn't come to that.

Having made such progress on the mediocre part of the to-do list, there are some more enjoyable things planned for later in the week. We picked up a DVD on our walk this morning (for me - I don't think the kiddos want to watch Once, though I did get them Disney's Tarzan at the library on Tuesday), we are going on a road trip on Friday and I have something planned for tomorrow, too, though I had hoped to find a child-sized rolling pin prior to starting it. Where the heck do they sell those things, anyway?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Absentee dad indulgence

So we went out for groceries after the kids' naps yesterday afternoon (and no, the world did not implode as a result). I was planning to make salmon and broccoli for dinner, a meal that Liam actually quite likes, when suddenly something overcame me and I pulled into the McDonald's drive thru on the way home. Liam was more than happy to order up a Happy Meal, and I am always good with a Filet-o-Fish. We got Mallory the most wholesome item on the menu, a regular hamburger, and then I was possessed again and ordered a Shamrock Shake. I can't remember the last time I had one of those, and wasn't even sure if I liked them, but what can I say? I guess I was hooked by the 'limited time only' spiel.

Anyway, once home, I set the kids up with their food while I unpacked the groceries. All was well until I sat down to eat too, and I offered Liam some of the Shamrock Shake. Let's just say he didn't come up for air again for several minutes, and when I got back to the shake myself, there were but a few dregs left in the bottom of the cup. (I was a bit grumpy after that, because I found that I looooooove me a Shamrock Shake. I think another trip to McDonalds may be in order before they stop serving them next week.) Liam only ate another bite or two of hamburger, and with a belly full of milkshake, his fries went untouched. Mallory is always up for a french fry but she did not take to the hamburger at all (smart girl, Mal, don't let McDonald's rope you in!) Her new thing now is to very purposefully chuck her food on the floor once she is done eating, and it wasn't even a minute after I gave her the burger that the bun, patty and pickles were all ceremoniously dropped. She finished dinner off with a bowlful of strawberries, blueberries and yogurt, which she scarfed down no problem.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Waking up on the wrong side of the bed

It's one of those days, and I hope it's not starting one of those weeks. Chad left first thing this morning for a week out west, and wouldn't you know that he forgot to set his alarm FORWARD one hour before leaving? (Yes, he did catch the plane). Liam has been fighting a snotty nose for several days now and Mallory - my goodness, Mallory. She went to bed just fine, but woke up this morning caked in ick from her eyebrows down to her neck, and her crib sheet, which was just changed yesterday, is FILTHY. Where is all this stuff coming from??

I spent two hours in the lawyer's office this morning, reviewing our house contract, which as it happens requires some revision. (I would have preferred not to be there alone with Chad away, but it was the only time they could slot us in; so I took copious notes, and thank goodness Aunt Di was available to babysit!)

As such we did not make it out for our now-traditional Monday Morning Grocery Shopping Excursion. It's as if the universe has disintegrated into anarchy, we all feel so out of sorts by it. I keep telling Liam we will go when he wakes up from his nap, and he is still pretty confused.

We have a busy week planned, but we will have to take it day by day - I am already feeling behind and I am only 5 hours into my swinging-it-alone stint. A normal week may have been OK, but the sick kids are really throwing me off. Still, it could have been worse. Thank goodness that big storm came through before Chad left and gave him enough time to dig us out. The snow is up over Liam's head in places now. It's insane!Assuming I can keep my head above water this week, there will be more to come... starting with Mallory's 11-month review (which I am going to wrap up just as soon as I'm done here). I can't believe that when I write the next one, that's it. Sniff sniff. Although... that'll be one less thing to worry about, and simplifying? That's always a good thing.

Friday, March 07, 2008

A handy excuse to have

One of Liam's favourite things these days is his collection of DVDs. He has 5 of them: Jungle Book, Winnie the Pooh, There Goes a Rescue Hero, Dumbo, and for Valentine's Day, we gave him a copy of Finding Nemo. I like Finding Nemo quite a bit (for a cartoon) and was disappointed when Liam didn't take to this movie the way he has the others. He rarely wants to put it in and when I put it in, he will change it when I'm not looking. I think I found the root of the problem the other day though. There is a scene where Nemo's dad and Dory encounter a group of sharks who are trying to reform and no longer eat fish, but they're having a hard time with it. It was when that part came on that Liam ran over to the DVD player and pressed 'stop' and told me he didn't think Mallory liked that part of the movie. I suppose it could be pretty scary, even for a 3 year old; the shark has multiple rows of sharp teeth and is pretty mean-looking. I guess that's why Liam is not crazy about Finding Nemo. I was reminded of when I was a kid - that scene from Sleeping Beauty with Malificent scared me for ages, and stuck with me long after seeing the movie. Anyway, we will save Nemo for the future and probably watch it more when Liam is a bit older, and for now maybe we will stick to some friendlier Disney movies. We got the kids a DVD each for their Easter baskets. Liam is getting Peter Pan and Mallory is getting Cinderella. Cinderella should be OK, but we might need to watch out for any adverse reactions to Captain Hook.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Liam's first first in a long long time

It's hard on a kid to keep up with a little sister, even more so when that little sister is such a cutie pie. ;) When you are the baby in the family, everything is monumental. There's such a need to document everything. And as if there aren't already enough milestones - smiling, rolling over, sitting up, walking - there are also the ones that mom feels the need to create:

Look! It's my first time wearing this new shirt!Look! It's my first spaghetti face!Sometimes it's hard to get any face time with the camera for yourself. Sure, there was that first two years when you were the one and only, but since then... not so much. Maybe you used to shy away from the camera, but maybe you miss all the fuss, even just a little. And so when you have a monumental event of your own... you can't blame mom for breaking out the big guns. Even if it does have all the dental hygienists looking at you funny.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Oh no he didn't

Last year, the Easter Bunny made a stop at Gramma and Grampa Cook's house, and left something there for the kiddos (nevermind that Mallory wasn't even born yet, but we've been over how ticked I am at her for being two weeks late before, right?) In his basket, Liam found his first pair of Crocs. The shoes were a hit and when we talked to Gramma on the phone last week, she mentioned that the Easter Bunny would be willing to supply this year's Crocs as well, if Liam would like to pick out a colour.

So when Liam was at Cindy's this week, I took a trip out to The Glasshouse to see what they had in stock. I thought I would probably make a return trip with him to let him see what was available, and I spent most of my time there finding a pair for Mallory. And luckily, Crocs do come small enough to fit her. I thought about getting her a few different kinds but in the end, the standard Kids Caymans won out, and there is now the cutest little pair of pink (of course) Crocs with a big Jibbitz flower waiting for her.

When Liam came home we casually asked him what kind of shoes he might want this summer. (At the end of last summer, he was saying he wanted purple Crocs). We asked without even mentioning the word 'Croc' - to see what he would say. His response?

"I want some Spiderman shoes."

And the horrible part of it is, there are licenced Spiderman Crocs out there. They're awful. See? I put up with the Diego boots but I do NOT want Spiderman Crocs. The good news is that Liam didn't realize they were really available; he was just being hypothetical. Later that night I took him on the Croc website and let him browse through all the colours, being careful not to let him see the Spiderman style, and he chose orange. I can live with that. So next time he is at Cindy's, I will go pick up a pair of plain orange Crocs and wait for the Easter Bunny to give them to him at Easter, and I will do my best to shield him from any other kid we encounter wearing the Spiderman Crocs this summer.

We also asked Liam what kind of shoes Mallory might want, and he said she would like some pink Crocs. This conversation occurred after the purchase was already made, so I'm glad I got it right.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Soaking up some culture

Last night we had tickets to see The Backyardigans: Quest for the Extra Ordinary Aliens at the local Cultural Centre. We bought these tickets many months ago, and only got 3, thinking we'd leave Mallory with a sitter for the night. Little did we know that Mallory would watch The Backyardigans on Treehouse more than Liam does, and there was also that whole finding a sitter issue to contend with, and really, we just couldn't be bothered. So we took Mallory along as a lap baby. Luckily they let us in (after a wee bit of hassle). Their lap baby policy is 12 months and under, and I think they suspected us of pushing it.

Anyway, the show was pretty dismal, as far as Chad and I were concerned - really amateurish. But of course the kids loved it. Liam knows all the characters and enjoyed the songs he was familiar with, though by the end of the hour-long show he was in my lap and twirling my hair - ready to go home. Mallory paid attention for a good 40 minutes and was happy to scamper around on the floor after that (our seats were front row balcony, next to an aisle, so we had some legroom). We also wound up sitting across the aisle from some friends, and she invited herself to join them for part of the show. At least she wasn't screaming, which is what I worried would happen, but in the end I suppose it wouldn't have mattered if she did. It's not like there weren't already a thousand toddlers in the room yelling HI PABLO! and I NEED TO PEE! throughout the show.

We have two tickets to see Go Diego Go! Live in London in May, and Chad is planning to take Liam to the show while Mallory and I go shopping. The Backyardigans tickets were only $20 and the show was right down the road from us, so we figured it wouldn't matter if Mallory kicked up a fuss and we had to leave partway through. The Diego tickets, on the other hand, set us back more than $50 each and it's a long drive to get there. We're not taking chances, and we're expecting a much flashier performance this time around.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Almost enough to make me want another. I said ALMOST.

My friend Deanna's twins arrived, and after we got back from Toronto I made a trip up to the hospital to see them. The boy, on his own, weighed in heavier than Liam did as a newborn - and then there was his sister in there right alongside him! No wonder Deanna was so uncomfortable. Anyway, I know I've mentioned their impending arrival here before... so I thought I would share a peek. Who doesn't love some sweet new baby goodness?

The worst parenting decision I've made (thus far)

This weekend, I took the kids to Toronto to visit their cousin, Henry. It was a more self-serving trip than that though, because all three of my sisters were also in Toronto for a brief spell and I wanted to see them. When we woke up to a snow storm on Friday morning, I wavered on going, but it was supposed to clear by early afternoon and really, it wasn't THAT bad. So when the kids were ready for their afternoon naps, I buckled them into their car seats and we left.

My original ETA for the trip was about 4:00 p.m. The first leg wasn't bad; we got to London about 10 or 15 minutes later than we usually would, since I was driving slow. So I figured we should be there by 5:00. All was (relatively) well - traffic continued to slow as I drove further into the storm - but it wasn't until I was only 20 minutes (on a normal day) away from my destination that all hell broke loose. The highway essentially turned into a parking lot and there was no way out.

I am not completely new to this parenting thing and I was pretty well-prepared for the trip, having brought a whole shopping bag full of new library books, squeaky toys, sippy cups and dry snacks, but man. The whole trip, from start to finish, went from 3 hours to 6.5 hours, and I didn't blame the kids for screaming in the back seat one bit. I felt like screaming, too. I kept vowing that I was getting off the highway and taking them to the closest McDonalds, but we were parked at a standstill between exits. Thank God I had a tank full of gas.

At least we enjoyed the rest of our weekend. Liam and Henry did their now-ritual chase around the house, and Liam and Mallory both loved having a whole house full of new-to-them toys to play with. Liam and I slept in Henry's new bunk bed next to Mallory in a playpen, and she was thrilled to wake up and see us right next to her. We took a trip to Yorkdale and I found the pants I wanted, and my crowning achievement was scoring a pair of drapes for Mallory's new room from Pottery Barn Kids for $19.99 per panel (regularly $89.99) - the exact pattern I had already chosen for her. I think it was the universe's way of making up with me.