Sunday, December 31, 2006

See it

John and I just finished watching Little Miss Sunshine. It was great. Hilarious, dark, sweet, very quirky. Everything I love in a good movie.

See it. You won't be sorry.

Happy New Year!

I've been pretty delinquent in posting the last few days. I blame it entirely on getting to know my new geek toy. I'm slowly (very slowly) learning how to edit my digital video and turn it into a rather swank movie. I'm still learning iPhoto (some frustration is developing). And I'm also diving into iWeb. iWeb is really fun and I will have a full website soon with video and photos but I plan to leave this blog as is instead of moving it over.

Anyway, I hope you all have a happy New Year. We're about to settle in for a movie now that the two kiddies are in bed. We spent the late afternoon and dinner out in Chelsea, Quebec at our good friends' house (Ron and Meredith). Two other friends and their daughter were there (Todd and Christy) who I became friends with at work and who happen to live one street over from Ron and Meredith. We all had a great time tobogganing with the kids (Hope decided to wait until she is a bit older) and playing in the snow. Then we had take-away Indian food - very, very, very good. It was really nice.

Tomorrow we are having New Year's dinner with other friends - Pam and Jim and their two kids. Lots of socializing lately. But right now, all is quiet and John and I can enjoy some time on our own.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas in Ottawa

Emily wore her new purple dress to church on Sunday. She was so pleased with herself. She did look cute, but also looked like she could use a little tomato sauce and parmesan.

On Christmas Day, Hope went for the tiny elf look:

It was a nice Christmas. It wasn't quiet - Emily made sure of that - but it wasn't wild either. Emily kept her composure really well and in fact it was beautiful to watch her take everything in, see the wonder in her face when she realized that the one thing she asked Santa for was actually delivered... she was a little freaked out about it actually. I'll never forget the look on her face when she walked in the living room and saw the Winnie-the-Pooh chair sitting there. You could actually see her little brain computing that Santa actually did it! He really brought me the chair. She was scared and excited at the same time and it was unforgettable.

We had put out cookies and milk for Santa the night before and their disappearance added to the magic for Emily. Watching her and creating some of that magic for her absolutely made my Christmas.

The opening of gifts was a bit of controlled chaos. Emily, at first, wanted to open everything herself but after a few reminders she stopped trying to do that and instead helped everyone else open their gifts. This worked well in keeping her and everyone else happy.

We had a great meal - leg of lamb done on the barbecue. Yes, we live in Ottawa and we barbecued on Christmas Day. Totally unusual but I loved it! I inserted sliced garlic cloves into the the fat side of the leg, rubbed on dried rosemary and then laid lemon slices on top. I 'cued it over indirect heat until it reached 145 F. We also had mashed carrots and parsnip, scalloped potatoes, broccoli and brussels sprouts. For dessert, I made English Trifle. Oh so good, the whole thing.

We didn't go for a walk on Parliament Hill this year, but there is still time to do that later this week.

My dad and his wife, Donna, were here for the shenanigans and left on Christmas night to avoid the snow we finally got.

Emily is still enraptured by the Pooh chair, but the way. She lounges in it and watches her new Wiggles DVDs over and over and over (when allowed). Thanks Beth.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Santa remembered me....

This will be a very quick post (much more Christmasy details to come later, complete with eggplant pictures etc) to show you what Santa (ie. John) left for me under the tree:


Friday, December 22, 2006

Blearly eyed but boring

Hope has become a bad sleeper the last two nights. In fact last night went like this: to bed at 8:00, up at 12:00, 2:00, 3:00 and 5:00. Up again at 7:00. Up for good at 8:00. Am I tired? Oh God, yes. Am I grumpy about it? Surprisingly not. But, if I relive it tonight, you won't want to be anywhere near me tomorrow.

I have no idea what the issue is: could be (1) coming down with a cold - who knows? (2) developmental stage of learning to grab and move more is affecting her sleep (3) too hot (4) too cold (5) doesn't like her bed - her bed is a small mattress on the floor beside our bed. Can't imagine why she doesn't like it (6) just trying to get back at me for letting Emily get too close to her on a daily basis.

Of course, when awake she is generally her happy self - only just a bit fussier, which is definitely not as fussy as lots of babies.

I should be mopping, baking, cleaning (all of the above actually) but instead I'm writing this inane post where I complain about the things that thousands of mommy-bloggers are complaining about. Worthwhile, eh?

I bought Emily a very tacky dress today (used) for Christmas. She said she wanted a purple dress and lo and behold, there was a purple dress. Unfortunately it is fake velvet with a satiny bow across the middle. She'll look like a walking eggplant at church on Sunday. But she'll be damn happy.

Time for tea and square before I tackle a job that I have to get done before the big guy squeezes his way down our chimney.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Emily is somewhat fascinated with the male anatomy. It could just be that when she (often) talks about penises, we respond by laughing - not due to the subject matter necessarily, but her pronunciation and anunciation of the word. So, it often goes like this: "Hi Daddy. Daddy penis. Penis. Daddy peeeenissssssss. Hahahahaha."

Sometimes, instead of a bath, Emily will take a shower with John. John tells me that she is overly fascinated lately with his penis. She even sometimes makes a grab for it. He's quick though so no injuries so far.

Other important information before we get into the story is that lately Emily "loves" everything. Emily loves Dora. Emily loves pasta. Emily loves car. Emily loves milk. You get the picture.

I was putting Hope to bed tonight when I overheard this conversation, post-shower, between Emily and John in the bathroom:

Emily: "Daddy penis."
John: "Yes."
Emily: "Emily loves penis."
John: silence.
John: "I honestly don't know how to respond to that."

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

That stinky sound

When Emily hears a noise she doesn't recognize, or seems out of place, she always says: "What's this sound?" which actually comes out like this: "what sis sound?" She asks this question a lot, whenever she hears a truck or bus outside, or some construction machinery at the development site near our house.

She's also started to notice nasty smells. Her observation is usually short: "Stinky." Sometimes she'll credit it to someone: "Stinky, Daddy. Stinky." Okay, okay. She often credits it to me.

The other day we were driving somewhere and there was a nasty stench of sulfur. I figured she'd say something. She didn't disappoint.

"What sis stinky sound?"

Monday, December 18, 2006

We're barfing up Christmas all over

You know when you reach that point where if you hear one more Christmas carol, eat one more Christmas cutout cookie, see one more Christmas tree, you're going to kick the next Santa you see right in the shins? I think today was that day for me.

I do love Christmas, but this year, I'm just not feeling it. I think it is because Christmas was so special for me when my mum was alive and now, two years after her death, it just isn't the same anymore. Hopefully I'll get that magic feeling back in the next few years as we build our own traditions and I see how much the kids love it. But this year, I'm looking for a Santa with some dead nerve endings in his shins.

However.... I did have a lot of fun making this with Emily today:

Yah, she's naked. Again.

If you come to my house and I offer you a piece of gingerbread house, you may want to pass.


Last night was kind of crappy. The first pseudo-bad night that Hope has had in a while. "Bad" for Hope means an extra wake-up or being extra "grunty" while she sleeps. Last night had both of those bad boys. It continues today during her nap. It seems that she isn't willing to soothe herself back to sleep, last night or today. Instead, she wants boob. This could be a passing fancy, I'm hoping, or it could be a new realization on her part that if she fusses, I'll give boob. It's a bad habit for babies to develop because they tend to lose the ability then to put themselves back to sleep. I'm really hoping that it is a passing fancy and nothing more sinister than that.

I've also realized that t.v. + Emily = evil child. So, no more t.v. in the mornings. After one episode of (evil) Dora this morning, I had to put up with the whining, annoying, insane Emily that I am always thrilled to see go on her merry way. With the lack of t.v. lately, I haven't had to tame that beast too often. So, after it showed its ugly face this morning, I decided that t.v. is only going to be given as an option after her nap (which thankfully is indeed taking place right now).

Emily is announcing recently: "Emily tired." At least there's no guess work. Also, notice she still talks in the third person. I love it. My own private Jimmy.

Our neighbour, Kumar, just brought over a huge load of lebanese flat breads from his brother-in-law's bakery. Kumar is in the habit of bringing us the day-0lds once a week or so. Today is a new high in sheer volume. There has to be 30 or so pies there. Love that Kumar. I'll be reciprocating with some Christmas baking. Since we've eaten a lot of it, I better get back to that today. The biscotti still isn't made.

Some guys in Ottawa played a round of golf yesterday. In Ottawa. In December. Golf.

Maybe I'll take Emily to the beach later today.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

O Tannenbaum

Emily had her first experience decorating the tree. All the decorations she put on ended up in the middle bottom, as expected. Every day since (we put the tree up Friday) she has asked if we could take the decorations off and put them on again.

The nap happened the last two days when John put her down. Now it is me again and yet again she is up and resisting sleep. We made sure that she was outside this morning burning off energy but this clearly isn't the issue. Hmm, maybe a way to get out of being responsible for putting her down for naps over Christmas?

Last week, during our baking frenzy (which still continues - yesterday was Nanaimo Bars, today will be chocolate orange biscotti), I gave Emily a Christmas present a little early. I had decided months ago to make this for her when she started to help bake. Horrible picture of her, but a good one of the apron:

And finally, a new picture of Emily attempting to quietly get rid of the competition:

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Three months on

After four full days without a nap, Emily finally relented and slept a good two hours today, giving me time to finish some Christmas baking.

She is not ready to give up her naps. The evidence was clear last night when she threw the mother of all tantrums. It included her pulling out some of her own hair and punching herself in the head. Extremely traumatic for John who was trying to give her a bath at the time. It all started because John was putting her to bed instead of me. Enough said on that ugly episode....

today, much better. Today, she stayed in her room, she slept, she woke up happy, she got to watch t.v., which made her even happier. More than I expected though, I loved that she hadn't watched t.v. in two full days.

This blog was intended to be about what life is like with two kids. I realize it is heavily Emily-centric. This is because Hope is, so far, a total breeze... the perfect baby in most ways. As time goes on there will be more Hope stories, I know.

She turned three months old on December 7 (not mentioned at the time because I was heavily involved in cyst drainage). I can't believe it is three months already. And today I looked at her and she just looked big and older and understanding things around her and lo and behold there she went and grabbed something with her hands for the first time. She giggles when I make certain noises or nuzzle her face. When awake, she is constantly smiling - big, face-consuming smiles. She is drooling a lot and has started to wear the drool bibs. It is all going too fast but at the same time it's hard to remember what it was like before her.

Like Emily as a baby, Hope looks like John. Apparently she's just as photogenic as well:

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Emily and her nap

Emily is refusing naps as of three days ago. This throws a real wrench in things for me. It is the only time during the day, besides the evening that I have to myself. Now I'm faced with the dilemma of trying to force it on her (my current strategy) or letting it go and hope it comes back. I know that she still needs a nap. She's definitely tired after lunch and when she has missed the nap the last three days, she's a real bear by supper. I also don't want to just let it go and then lose the routine of offering her a nap because it will be that much harder to get her back to doing it when she stops fighting me over it.

John wonders if it is caused by sugar in her diet. She is eating more sweets lately, with the Smartie incentives of toilet training and the Christmas baking around. Before I give into her not napping, I'm going to try the sugar removal. I'll just keep at her for a few more days.

I told her today that if she keeps climbing out of bed and fighting me over her nap, she won't be able to watch any t.v. until she takes a good nap. That definitely put the fear of God into her but I'm not sure if it translates into change.

I'd welcome any advice!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Emily's magical kiss

During the pain of the cyst, John was pretty glum for a few days. Emily noticed and John's pain was starting to affect her - she was crying more, seeming to be scared of things that normally didn't bother her, that kind of thing. So, John started asking her to giving him a kiss to make his back feel better. Right after the kiss, he'd say "Oh, I feel so much better!" She loved this, of course.

Today I was supposed to take Emily to Kindermusik but the old 'roids are acting up again so I told her that John would take her instead because "Mummy's bum is sore." Emily said "Kiss, Mummy?" I took the kiss and then she said: "Mummy's bum all better! Kindermusik now!"

I want her to continue to think that her kisses are that magical. Because to me they are.

Friday, December 08, 2006

A no-go for the cyst removal

John went to the lump and bump clinic yesterday only to be told by the surgeon that if the cyst was removed now there would a hole the size of a fist in John's back. The surgeon said he wouldn't do it until it shrunk more. So, John is still draining, in some pain, but will see the surgeon again on December 18 at which point a removal will be booked for sometime in January probably. The guy was rather surprised at the size of it. Even more surprised when John told him that it was a bigger a few days ago. It always makes you feel kind of good when you can surprise a veteran surgeon with the size of your cyst.

It is a lot smaller already compared the photo I posted. Still gooey but clearly that's a good thing if it is making the cyst smaller.

On happier notes, I took Emily and Hope to the Children's Museum this morning. Emily was totally in her element. Running from one thing to another non-stop. Hope tried to sleep. Later, Hope ate. Now, she's sleeping again.

Yesterday we looked at some of the video I shot over the last few months. I'm so glad I bought that video camera. It is amazing to see Emily only a few months ago and notice the changes in her language, walk, size etc. I'm so glad I got on camera her former version of "yes" - "ah do". I miss that.

Hope is stirring and probably hungry again. Time to go.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Too tired for much

I'm too tired to write much but here is what we're dealing with:

It was bigger than that two days ago. It is smaller today. Tomorrow morning at 9:00 it gets unceremoniously cut out by some guy at a "lump and bump" clinic. Thank God.

This thing, large enough at one point to have its own gravitational pull, has wreaked havoc in this house. Not only has it been excruciating for John, but it has reduced me to a single parent. John was, for a couple of days anyway, unable to stand due to the pain (I think it may have been pushing inward onto inner, crucial skeletal things), so I have, for the last 5 days, done all the cooking, cleaning (not so much of that has gone on, but dishes anyway), bathing of kids, putting to bed of kids, playing with kids, shopping, changing dressings on planet, etc. Plus about 3 breast feedings a night.

I'm completely baked. I have absolutely new sympathy for anyone who is taking care of kids alone. It is utterly exhausting. I luckily have not resorted to the t.v. as a surrogate parent. But, I can see why people reach that point.

Anyway, goodbye, dear planet. It sucked knowing you.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Warning: you may not want to tune in here tomorrow

If you have a weak constitution, seriously don't read the blog tomorrow. John has a monster cyst on his back that we have been nursing along the last few days and he has given me permission to post the ugly details. This sounds gross, I know, but being that this has consumed us the last week or so (particularly the last 3 or 4 days) and essentially turned this house on its head in some ways, I have to talk about it. I have completely kept silent so far assuming that John didn't want it discussed but he has given me full permission.

So, as I said, weak constitution? Don't read tomorrow. Sick interest or medical profession (Erika? Marlene? Jannie? I'm looking at you), then this is the place to be!

There may be photos.

Monday, December 04, 2006

A sad commentary on my cooking

Emily loves going to restaurants lately. She gets all excited if we even suggest that it might be in the cards. And then of course she doesn't let it go. We don't mention it now unless it is a sure thing.

This morning I cut through the parking lot of our local big box store mall on my way somewhere else. We drove past an Outback Steakhouse. From the back seat I heard Emily say: "Restaurant. Miss you."

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Christmas has arrived at our house

Christmas exploded at our house today. I pulled out the decorations (non-tree related) and Emily "helped" me put them around. She was really excited about it. I can't wait until she sees the tree and everything that goes up on it. I'm debating about whether I should let her help decorate it this year. I think I could potentially lose my mind if I do. I am considering instead, decorating it while she is asleep and then have her see it in its glory when she wakes up. It will save several broken decorations anyway. I'll have to think about that one.

We took Emily and Hope to see Santa today - for real. I wanted to get a picture of the big event but fully expected Emily to say no to sitting on the big guy's knee. I called it right. She would have none of it. Several people - Santa, Meredith, the elf - tried to coax her up there but she kept resisting. I kept saying to everyone that if she didn't want to go up there, just let her be. My feeling is that we shouldn't try and force kids into something that they're uncomfortable with (as long as the "something" isn't really necessary - I am all for forcing Emily to sit on the toilet even when she says "no"). So, Hope had her picture taken with Santa but not Emily. Emily did get a candy cane though and did walk up and look at Santa but that was enough for her. I figure she is on the right track if she doesn't want to sit on a big, fat hairy stranger's knee.

Tomorrow will hopefully be Chariot-buying day. I've sold off the bike trailer already to my good friends, Greg and Tamara, and I have the double stroller listed on Craig's List and on Hopefully I'll get some bites. So, tomorrow is errand day unless we don't get moving early enough. We'll see how it plays out.

Hope is ultra sweet and cute right now. And very sleepy. The last two days she has slept the afternoon away. Today I woke her up after 4 hours because my boobs were starting to ache. Don't know what is up with that. I think she's a bit congested - maybe a cold? She's really happy while she's awake though so I figure she's fine. It's funny - after one baby I thought I would worry less about the next one when things don't follow the usual routine but I worry just as much. It's what we do because they're our kids - it doesn't matter where they fall in the line-up. And Hope is my heart, just as much as Emily.

Well, off to burn more Christmas music onto the iPod....

Friday, December 01, 2006

It shall be mine

I'm going to (try to) sell three of our strollers/bike trailer and buy this:
The Chariot Cougar 2. Can be a jogger and bike trailer (not to mention that you can also buy skis for it for x-country skiing trails). Hopefully will have it by the end of the weekend. Yeehah... just in time for the snow/ice that arrived this morning. Blech.

Yes, we have three strollers to sell. In actual fact, we currently own five stroller type things: a pram, a double Peg Perego, a Burley bike trailer, an Evenflo "mall" stroller, a BOB jogging stroller. Yikes. I always said we wouldn't be people who acquired a lot of baby equipment. So, we're getting rid of three strollers and replacing with this one. I'll keep the pram (of course, it was used for Beth and I when we were babies and will go to Beth should she need/want it someday), and the "mall" stroller for use in, well, malls while Hope is in her existing car seat (it clips onto this particular stroller). So, each has had its own use but I really wish I had just got the Chariot at the beginning of this whole kid thing and avoided the BOB, the Burley and the double Peg Perego. Anyway, lesson for anyone else out there - think carefully at the beginning about what you will want to do through the year (outdoors) and how many kids you think you will have. And then shell out the big money for something that will keep your number of strollers to a minimum.