Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

Things I have learned so far this Halloween:
  • Costumes that don't require significant makeup are smart.

prep-time: Julia - 2 minutes, Hunter - at least half an hour

  • When your child is pale they don't really need white face makeup (especially when you colour their hair black).

Trial run

Ready for party

  • Trying a new cookie recipe the day before you plan to take cookies to class is not the best idea. This is particularly true when you start baking around 10pm (you know after pumpkins, bed times, and the gym).

Julia in her Halloween-Eve outfit

  • Halloween is infinitely more fun with kids. Late night baking, 7am makeup struggles, and mad dashes to assemble the remainder of costumes at school is one hundred per cent worth it when you see them run to their classroom party exploding with excitement.

Hunter's Pumpkin

  • I also noted that all of the other parents looked to be in about the same state of chaos-recovery. Even those whose kids weren't wearing make-up. And the ones that didn't make cookies. Which brings me to the most valuable thing I learned today, relax and enjoy. The trick is to remember this one next year.

More pictures to come tonight (or tomorrow) on the Picture Blog.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Numerically Obsessed

Lately, Hunter has been fascinated with numbers: counting, adding, subtracting, seeing them appear on a clock ("it's seven zero two, mom, can we get up now??"). Tonight at supper he counted how many bite-sized pieces of chicken he had on his plate, how many kernels of corn in each forkful, and how many forkfuls he was ingesting. Not only that, he started by announcing he had eight pieces of chicken, ate one, then announced he had seven pieces, and so on. Part way through supper he did a demonstration of his amazing adding and subtracting abilities with his hands (I have ten fingers, one, two, three ... ten, if I put two down I have eight, one, two, three ... eight). It's kind of like what I would imagine living with Rainman would be like (I'm guessing since I'm probably one of the only people who has never seen that movie). Maybe I should take him to Vegas?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Long and Winding Road (to Blissful Sibling Parenthood)

When I was little, I always knew I wanted to have two children: a boy and a girl, just like my family. Jason always knew he wanted to have children too.

When I was in University, I started to think having children might not be such a good idea after all. At least not my own, adoption might be okay though. You know, more socially responsible because having kids in this world just because I want mine to look like me is just selfish.

A couple years after graduating we once again started talking about having a child. The whole concept was scary - would we be good parents? What would happen to the life that we were enjoying? What about my career? Could we afford it?

When we lost our first pregnancy, I knew with every ounce of me that I really, really wanted a child. That was the gift of that loss: it erased any doubts in my mind.

When Hunter was born, I couldn't believe how wonderful he was, how wonderful being a mom was, how great a Dad Jason was, how much we loved him instantly (and really, how basically every cliche about having a child was true). I began to wonder how people responsibly stopped having children because there wasn't anything in the world more wonderful than being a mom (and if being a mom to one was good, well being a mom must get even better as you add more children, right?).

After returning to work, a part of me started thinking that one child was probably a good number because that way we could give him a great life and we wouldn't be spread too thin (and really could I love another child as much as I loved Hunter?). Besides, getting one child ready every morning for day care and balancing work/home/school pressures was challenging enough for a family of three.

As life began to normalize (as much as it ever normalizes), I once again knew that I wanted at least two children. While I obsessed about these things endlessly, Jason always knew, he just quietly waited for me to figure it out. When pregnant with Julia, I worried a lot about how I would balance the needs of two children. I worried about how Hunter would handle the adjustment from being an only child to a big brother. I worried about how Jason and I would handle the adjustment. Even though the three of us instantly fell in love with Julia the moment she was born, I continued to worry about how Hunter was adjusting (though in hindsight, I think he transitioned with greater ease than either Jason or I).

Seeing the two of them play together these last couple months, and these last few weeks in particular, has erased any shred of worry I might have had. There is nothing better than watching Julia crawl down the hallway to join Hunter at play, except maybe peeking into their messy room and seeing the two of them playing together.


Okay, here's the update (I'm only grudgingly providing it because clearly this accountability thing is not working for me): seven more pounds down for a grand total of 42 since baby. A ways to go. I have decided I'm going to start going by measurements too. I took 'em the other day because working out four hours a week has got to be paying off somewhere, right? Actually, despite the lack of significant scale movements, working out is paying off because I'm feeling great. Will update next month.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Worth Reading

Very much so. Her Bad Mother: Me and Britney.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

We Have Waving!!

The three of us were sitting down for lunch this afternoon and when I looked over to Julia she was intent on getting Hunter's attention, opening and closing her hand and making that sound she makes for Hunter. I was so excited I started waving at her and saying "Hi Julia" this was followed by big grins, more waves and "I". Hunter then started waving like mad and she really got into it. Will have to figure out and inundate blog with videos soon.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Eight Month Old Mungry

Julia, if I had to sum up month eight in a word, that word would be perfecting. This month, you've perfected crawling; sitting; picking up tiny bits of cereal (and other miscellaneous goodies) and popping them in your mouth; and, of course, wrapping Mum, Dad, and Hunter around your little finger (especially Mum).

You're trying a few new things, like pulling yourself up on chairs, dancing (er, kind of), and playing with Hunter's toys (you're figuring out cause and effect - "If I turn this handle, the cow pops up"), but for the most part you're content to perfect your recently acquired skills.

I'm happy to report that this month your relationship with the camera has improved and we are even able to occasionally snap a photo where you're smiling. Clearly, you are starting to realize that crying isn't your only weapon: when you just look cute and smile, good things happen too. I can hardly wait until you figure out the full power of your noggin.

I am more and more amazed all the time at the relationship you and Hunter are developing - I can't imagine two closer siblings. Your face lights up when he is in the room and nobody can make you laugh quite like he can (even though he often does it by sticking his face as close to yours as he possibly can).

Recently, I've noticed that the random comments from strangers about how tiny you are are becoming more and more infrequent. While I'm happy you're growing and thriving, the absence of those comments makes me sad because it hits home that you are not my tiny baby anymore and this time is just moving way too fast. I know, you're probably tired of reading how quickly this time is getting away from us, but it is the one constant month after month. That, and how much I love you (more than words can express and farther than you can dream).

Love you Jules,

Love Mum


Q: How can I tell that Hunter was just visiting with Grandma and Grandpa?
A: This afternoon he was watching the Rider Game. While watching the Rider game he exclaimed "Ugh, another flag?!? Those darn zebras are ruining the game" and, of course, "Touchdown Saskatchewan!!".

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Happy Birthday Grandpa

Happy Birthday Grandpa. We love you, you big doofus.

Love Hunter and Julia