Week three and we’re still standing

Yuppers, that’s right folks, three weeks into this whole “stay at home mom” (or SAHM) stuff and all three of us are still standing (four if you count the husband).

I’m very proud to announce that I haven’t been dipping into the vino before supper time. Despite a few days when I felt like it would really help me. So Hooray for me! Pour me drink! (erm. maybe not).

We are starting to get over some adjustments of being used to different routines and schedules, and I think most of us are getting used to the new routine. It’s a wonderful thing. The best part being that I don’t have to deal with a minimum of 150 work-related emails in a day (I wish I were exaggerating). I LOVE not being tied to my computer, but instead being able to sit down and do a bit of work, and a bit of corn-holing whenever I have a free moment.

Like right now. The glorious time of the day known as Nap Time. Typically, Brendan doesn’t nap but he had an early morning play date at the park, so is pooped. He fell asleep while watching How to Train Your Dragon for the 10th time. He just discovered it a couple of weeks ago and is now hooked on dragons (and Spider-Man, and Iron Man, and Superman.)

I’m currently ignoring the big pile of laundry staring me in the face, and decided that I’d share a couple photos from the past week. Part of me is hoping that gnomes will come by and fold my clothes for me while I’m on the laptop. Weirder things have happened.

Speaking of weird things, if I give Nathan two mini sandwiches, he will eat a few bites from each, but never eat all of a sandwich. He loves carrots, though. I submit into evidence exhibit A:

Nate had the yellow plate; carrots gone, evidence of bites from two sandwiches. Brendan insisted that he wanted to eat a banana, but abandoned it after one bite. Also notice that he didn’t touch his carrots.

And, as promised, adorable photos of my children. Because I know that is the real reason why you are reading this. 

Yes, it’s blurry, but this is standard of half the photos I take of them. Because I’m too busy to go running to find my real camera everytime they are doing something cute. Yum, cake batter.
A sprinkler is the most amazing thing. Look Mommy, look. I’m getting wet.

Round 1 was a draw

This was a short week – the lovely “Civic Holiday” long weekend the first Monday in August. But, I can’t stress how much this week did NOT feel short. It was my first week as stay-at-home mom, not counting the (two) times I spent an entire year at home with my boys when they were newborn. Now it’s just official and everything. I have no EI cheques coming in the mail every week, and my final pay cheque from my job was deposited yesterday. It was a bit difficult to accept, knowing that the predictable influx of cash would be gone. Of course, also gone is the predictable (and painful) cheque that I pay to the daycare centre every month. I could have a house that is much nicer than my current house for the monthly amount I was paying those people. I never doubted it before, but this week proved that those splendid ladies (and man) at the Centre deserved every penny we were paying them.

I want to state, for the record, that I LOVE spending time with my boys. They are funny, and fun, and smart and silly and active. Very very active. Days one and two were good – we spent time at parks, went “swimming” in the wading pools, played in the backyard. We even had a play date with one of B’s friend’s. I was exhausted by the end of each day, but I felt like we were going to be just fine. I think I even tweeted about it, that’s how confident I felt. Then the universe decided to laugh at me a bit and see how I could handle two days in a row with lots of rain. Rain that keeps you in the house, because even trying to get to the car would leave all of soaked through, even with umbrellas.

oh, and did I mention that I get killer migraines every time it rains? Unfortunately, my kids don’t feel a whole lot of sympathy for me when I tell them “mommy has a headache”, so I powered through and somehow we made it through both days all in one piece. I’m not going to sugar coat it, it was hard. Last night I felt the same level of exhaustion that I did in the early days, with brand new babies; it’s the non-stop demands for attention, feeling like I never have a moment to myself. Breaking up so many disputes between the boys. Just like when they were new, I will find a routine that works for us, and we will all get used to being together all the time. I just hope it doesn’t take that long.

I did discover one wonderful way to entertain and occupy the boys – my new laptop. As they all do, this one has a built in webcam, so we spent about 40 minutes yesterday taking pictures and videos of ourselves, using the various video enhancements. It`s really fun when you can pretend that your hair is on fire, apparently.

the orange stars do not exist on my table. They are evidence of the spectacular tricks you can add to images and videos on my webcam application. yay technology!
Brendan had wandered off by the time this one was taken. He was probably playing with one of his many Iron Man action figures.

ok, I’m back.

I’m going to keep this as brief as possible. Firstly, and perhaps the most important reason for my desire to post right.this.second is this: I’m in a coffee shop (I’ll get back to this) and the man at the table beside me is wearing sandals that I just can’t accept as acceptable in this setting. I don’t even know if sandals is the right word. But I don’t want to call them shoes. They are like those kids socks where there is a hole for each toe. And they are leather. I just can’t. I wish I had chosen another table, but it’s too late now. The other place I thought of sitting for optimal comfort is now taken. I might even be able to ignore them, but he’s swinging his leg back and forth to the music that’s coming from the coffee shop’s sound system. It’s like he’s begging me to stare at him.

What am I supposed to do? Oh Internet, even though I have neglected to write at you for a couple of months, please advise me. Why do these things even exist? I’m sure they weren’t designed to be worn for a leisurely stroll to the local independent coffee shop, and they certainly weren’t meant to be paired with 20-year-old black jean shorts and a too-small t-shirt.

[EDITED TO ADD: So I got home tonight and couldn’t stop thinking about these shoes. They looked like something that one would wear when doing something active – not while sipping a cappuccino and click-clacking away on a laptop. Call me obsessed. I looked them up. If you are interested, here is what they look like. I’m sure they are comfortable and perfect for running or some other physical activity, but they really shouldn’t replace regular old shoes. Is it wrong that they creeped me out?]

OK. Enough about the clothes of strangers. I have news, Internet. Are you ready?

I have quit my job to be a stay-at-home mom to the boys. I may need to invest in a vineyard, with all the wine I’ll be drinking. (After 4pm, of course). Along with that, I’ll be attempting to work as a freelance editor. It’s been a while since my primary work was editing – I’ve been managing editors for the past four years – so this should be interesting. I’m starting out slow – I just have to edit an entire book in about three weeks. No problem.

That’s why I’m at the coffee shop – I needed to get out of the house to try to concentrate on the work at hand. Tomorrow will be my first day in my new role. I’m excited and nervous. I can’t wait to get to know my kids again. I am looking forward to seeing in person all the fun things that I’m told they do while they were at the day care.

ImageAnd who can blame me, really. Take a look at these two – they are pretty adorable. When they aren’t fighting, that is. OK, I should really get to work. That’s why I’m here, after all. Oh, and to eat the cookies. I just had one that was chocolate chip with dried cherries and I think I would marry it, if I weren’t already married. yum.

Belated Easter post

Happy Friday the 13th everyone. I am with cold at the moment, and the overall congestion and achiness has me a bit miserable. Surprisingly, despite the two germy kids I live with, I haven’t had a cold in a long time. I guess my luck was up.

I’m writing this as I wait for a dental appointment. Like most people, I approach these visits with dread – even though I brush and floss regularly, I always worry that I’m going to be scolded for not doing it right. It’s like I’m waiting to see the principal to discuss truancy, or poor grades. I wonder if dental hygenists are trained on proper scolding technique as part of their curriculum.

Let’s move on…to why I started this post. Mostly, it was to share the delightful pic of Brendan collecting chocolate-filled plastic eggs in my sister’s back yard. He had so much fun, and was so focused. He barely lifted his eyes from the ground.
As for Nathan, he lost the thread about a minute after we went outside – he was far more interested in collecting the decorative white rocks from the garden. But they both enjoyed themselves, so that’s what really matters.
The weekend was lovely – we got to spend time with my sister and her kids, and I also had brunch with my sister-in-law and her sister and her nephew.
Brendan proved that he invites injury wherever he goes (a trait he inherited from his mother, for those who are curious). The poor kid ended up with scratches, a huge scrape on his knee, a huge sliver in his hand, and various other bruises. All in a span of 24 hours. It’s a gift.

Oh, and have I mentioned that I have a cold?


New bikes, raccoons and work

Before I begin, I need to state that this is being written ( with two thumbs) on my iPhone. In the car. I’m not the one driving. So, please excuse typos and strange iPhone autocorrected words.
We are headed south to visit my sister for Easter. This will be my first visit home in a year. I do see my sister, but usually she heads to visit me in Toronto.

Anyway, on to the main event. Those of you who have been paying attention may have noticed that I’ve been neglectful of my blog for the past couple of weeks. Believe me, it’s not that there hasn’t been stuff for me to talk about. I have no excuse other than wanting to disconnect from the interweb and just read my book. Alice Hoffman, The Dovekeepers. I am obsessed with this book (that I’m reading on my Kobo). So good. Here’s a link to the book.

A big milestone was reached in Brendan’s life over the past couple of weeks. As soon as the weather started to turn nice, we brought out the tricycle. It took one short ride to see that I’ve the winter Brendan outgrew it. So off we went to Canadian Tire to get a two-wheeler (with training wheels). He loves it and rides his bike with no fear. Nathan inherited (gladly) the trike, but only pedals if one of us is holding on to him or the bike.

As for the raccoons. I just don’t have he energy for he full story now, but to summarize: four raccoons were evicted from our chimney. Three were about the size of my hand. It cost $300, and (until they were gone) many sleepless nights. Damn raccoons.

Oh..and work is exhausting me lately. Anyone have tips on how I can become independently wealthy?



Skywalker to the rescue

It’s hard to see the extent of the damage from this angle, but this week both railway and highway service was disrupted when a giant dinosaur rampaged the city. Cars and buses were overturned, trains were derailed and general chaos took over the city. Luckily, Luke Skywalker was nearby to take down the dinosaur, and stop the beast before he could cause further damage.

Luke Skywalker surveys the wreckage from his Landspeeder







Reasons why my bed is taken over

This will be a quick one.
I am envious of parents whose children sleep in their own beds every.single.night., with no wake ups. Either they are blessed, or they are liars. Or a bit of both.
My older son started sleeping through the night long before his first birthday. I classify this as not waking up and needing me before 5am. After 5am, I am willing to concede.

As an arrogant and naive first time mother, I was certain Brendan’s stellar sleeping skills were a result of my impressive sleep training. It was gradual, and we never had to leave him to cry-it-out for more than a couple of minutes.

Baby number two proved that it was a fluke. We tried many techniques, and none of them have worked to get Nate to consistently sleep (in his bed) through the night. He teases us once in a while, lulling me into a false sense of security that I can reclaim my bed. For three days in a row he stayed in bed until 4:30 or later.

Then last night happened. So much crying, waking up every 20 minutes starting at 10:30. He didn’t calm down until (in a groggy barely-able-to-stand state) I brought him into my bed. Around midnight.
Here he is, sleeping in. Much cuter now than when he was kicking me in the face at 4am.


Happy birthday to you

Time passes by quickly. It’s a recurring theme in life. It slips passed us while we buy milk, drive to work, make supper. I try to enjoy the small moments with my kids and my husband, but it’s often something I have to remind myself to do, in the midst of the frantic rushing that has become my life since returning to work from my second maternity leave.

With all the rushing around, I sometimes forget to think about anything else. Like the passage of time, and all the things (and people) that I’ve lost.

Nineteen years ago we celebrated your final birthday, and for the life of me I can’t remember a single detail of it. Because at the time, we had not even an inkling that it would be your last. If I had known it would be your last birthday, I’d like to think that I would have locked it away in my memory banks. I would have tried to remember if we went out for supper or stayed home, what kind of cake we had, whether or not we ended the evening with a visit to Grandma’s house.

In the past 19 years, I’ve had a full life, filled with happiness and sorrow; the positive outweighing the bad. But for every moment of pure joy, it’s tainted with the faintest of shadows of your absence.  There are days when the loss feels like a fresh wound, others a distant memory. It’s not linear. There is no clear ending and beginning to grief.

Today I do not grieve a life lost; I celebrate a life lived; a person who taught me the importance of valuing each person you meet, helping others when you have the means. My little munchkins may never have had the chance to meet you, but they will know you. Your photo will always be prominently displayed on my bookshelf, and your story will be told.

The steady march of time is kicking my butt

It is official. My little guy, who insists that he is a “big kid” is enrolled in school. I tried not to think too much about it, because I do not want to get all weepy, but I still remember the days when school was a distant event not even worth thinking too much about. I have time to get used to the idea, of course. It’s only the end of February, and he won’t be starting school until September, but it just seems like it’s all happened far.too.quickly.

When did this little guy grow up? He recognizes letters and numbers (although he’s only really solid at knowing the letter B); he has an amazing imagination and tells me the funniest stories, some of which are likely partly true. Maybe. It’s hard to verify facts with a 3(and a half )-year-old.

I’d like time to just pause for a few days once in a while so that I can stop and just enjoy the best parts of him…his giggles and hugs, and watching him run sprints up and down the upstairs hallway, usually in nothing but a pair of tiny briefs.

how could that be over three years ago?