Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Q: What do you do to entertain the kids when it's colder than hell outside?

A: Cut up oranges, make cucumber sandwiches, dress for the beach and have an indoor beach picnic.

This afternoon we're going to make moon sand castles.

All of Your Friends That Live in Western Canada are Cold

One way to differentiate where my facebook friends live is by their status updates these past couple days. Anyone living west of Manitoba has some variation of I'm f#$cking freezing as a status update. Yesterday we had a blizzard and today it's clear but -50 with the windchill. This isn't particularly abnormal for January or February in Regina (we usually get about five days of this - the year Hunter was born Regina was the coldest place on earth the day before he arrived). I'm spending the day being thankful that I took a one month extension on my maternity leave so the kids and I can be inside with no plans to go anywhere. Now if February can just be unseasonably warm everything will be good.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Mum, Mum, Mum - Come Watch My Play

When I was little my cousin used to come over fairly frequently. There was a bit of a ritual to the visits. When she arrived we would sing her nickname to the tune of Batman. We'd maybe play a game or two of hide and seek then my brother would ditch us and we'd play dolls or the Game of Life. Without fail, we would inevitably decide that the best possible thing we could do to entertain ourselves and the adults (or insects as we called them at the time) would be to perform a play. I remember sensing that the novelty had worn off rather quickly as our disinterested audience would sigh and look on (I'm sure this wasn't the case the first time we came up with this brilliant idea) but that didn't stop us from performing again and again.

I have to admit, though, that I never really appreciated the tedium until today when I sat through two dozen plays. The first one was adorable, the second one was pretty cute too, even the third one was decent, but by the time I watched a fourth plot-less play I understood. I understood exactly why those plays were the cue every time for "oh dear, look at the time we really should get going." This, of course, would be followed by another ritual on our part - the hiding of the cousin. Thankfully Hunter has been performing his plays solo - they're puppet shows really and there really isn't much need to hide the puppets because that would be too much like cleaning his room.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


When I first started this blog one out of five entries was basically about how I couldn't think of anything to say or anything worth reading. Lately, I've been feeling the same way. I'll have ideas pop into my head about what I could write and then I think they're not particularly interesting anyway. I seem to have fallen out of the groove. For a while I was thinking in blog: "ooh two parents pushing their kids on the swings one with a cellphone attached to her ear the other with a wireless headset, this will be great for a rant on my blog." I don't know if this is an extended or temporarly lull. I'd like to blame facebook but I really haven't been using it much lately either (something about all the applications clogging it up, I think - besides, I think I've caught up with just about everyone by now).

What I have been doing lately is cleaning, cooking, and baking like mad in preparation for my return to work. I don't know why because Jason will have six or seven months off and is perfectly capable of doing those very things, but I feel compelled. The cooking and baking I enjoy, but the cleaning is getting me down. I had this plan to do a thorough cleaning and organizing on one room per couple days but before I had a chance to move on to the third room the first one already needed redone *deep sigh.* Maybe I shouldn't have started with the kids room?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

11 Months plus 1

Wow, less than one month until you hit the big one year mark. I think I've captured most of your milestones this month in some other entries so I won't spend too much time on that. I'm still obsessing over your foot and walking but you are such a proficient crawler I can kind of see why you are happy to get around that way. Turns out you are trying to get a total of six teeth in the span of a month instead of just four so you've been suffering a bit but overall have still been remarkably happy.

Our days of getting up at 6:30 with Hunter, having breakfast and then sneaking back to bed for a power nap while he watches Sesame Street are coming to an end (we've got a little over three weeks left). I will miss our time together but I am happy that you and Hunter and your Dad will get a few months together. He's nervous about it so be good to him. You'll all do great and I will enjoy watching your face light up when I come home from work (so make sure it lights up enough to cover the bit of crying I'm sure to hear in the mornings).

Love Mum

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Trouble With Underwear Continues

Late this morning after Hunter had shown no interest at all in getting dressed I pulled together a pair of jeans, a shirt, socks, and underwear and asked that he get dressed. The underwear had bats on them. He took one look at them and said "Mum, these are not winter underwear, these are Halloween underwear". To which I replied "Hunter, it doesn't matter because nobody is going to see them anyway." He sighed, "I'll see them every time I go to the bathroom." And louder sigh, "I'll go get a pair that I can wear." He proceeded to grab the underwear and with another sigh headed to his dresser. He pulled out a red pair with trains on them and said "These are winter underwear." Like, duh, Mum.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

One to Four Baby

Julia has sprouted three more teeth! I also broke down and bought a pair of the killer baby shoes to see if they would help her with her walking. So far, they don't seem to be much better than bare feet as the one foot will still bend the wrong way but the laces sure are fun to untie (for Julia anyway).

Saturday, January 5, 2008


In other years Jason and I have sat down and written a list of things we would like to accomplish the next year. Usually the list gets put somewhere and all but forgotten. The last couple of years we ignored resolutions all together. This year, I've decided that part of my procrastinating problem is that I tend to not break things into small achievable tasks instead overwhelming myself with a daunting list. As such, rather than a list of yearly resolutions, I'm going to try to make a small list of things I would like to accomplish each month. My hope is that the sum of these will be an improvement over the year (in my procrastination if nothing else).

Here's January:
  • 1-2 blog entries per week
  • Start Catch 22
  • I haven't seen my syllabus for my latest class but in expectation of a paper - start the research in January instead of waiting until a week or two before the thing is due
  • Ensure the kids get outside at least for a walk each nice day this month (by nice I mean minus 10 and warmer)
  • Yoga three days a week, swimming at least two
  • Call Service Canada
  • Book Hunter's Birthday Party space
  • Enjoy my last month at home with the kids

Will let you know how I make out. I'm thinking getting the head start on the research will prove the most challenging.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Holiday Highlights

The blog has suffered due to... well, December. In lieu of a number of well thought-out posts (has this blog had any well thought-out posts lately?), what follows are strung-together words attempting to capture the moments that made my holidays.

Hunter's Christmas Concert - I posted a video on that other blog but it just touches the surface. There was lots of practicing of the poem ("Rudolph's Colourful Noses") and the song ("The Itsy Bitsy Snowflake"). There was a handmade invitation brought home from pre-school. There was Hunter's excitement and nerves after the dress rehearsal and leading up to the concert (he was up at 4:30 that day). There was an audience full of parents filming and photographing. There were tears of pride in our eyes, not only because our big guy was on the stage making our hearts swell but also because our girl was sitting with us clapping and trying to sing along. I had no idea I could feel the way I did when watching a Christmas concert but I'm glad I got to experience it (and will get to experience it again and again).

Christmas Crafting - We made hand and thumbprint tree paintings, candy cane reindeer, glitter snowflakes, picture frames, "a wall" painting, sugar cookies for gifting, and a snow globe. Hunter made jingle bells and door hangings with friends. He brought home a reindeer pot and a candle holder from school. The feeling I got when seeing Hunter beam with pride over what he had created is hard to describe but undoubtedly fulfilling.

Christmas Countdowns - When my niece was around six, my parents started a Christmas countdown tradition that saw them give 24 tiny(ish) wrapped gifts to be opened each day in lead up to Christmas. Hearing about her breaking into the countdown box (after the pockets of the first year were destroyed) and nagging to open the next present was rewarding enough that four grandchildren later, the tradition continues (and grows). Last year, Hunter got so accustomed to the daily ritual of gift opening that he was surprised when on Boxing Day there wasn't a countdown present to open. This year, he caught on to the concept (this may have been aided by the countdown he brought home from school and his Polar Express countdown). Each morning, Hunter would stumble out to the living room, retrieve and unwrap a present, then run into our room to excitedly announce what he received ("I can't believe they got me a ... I always wanted a ...", "Wow, craft supplies!!! Now we won't have to run to the craft store!!"). After breakfast a new magnet would be added to the Polar Express countdown. Next, a day would be marked off the calendar he brought home from school and he would count how many days were left until Christmas.

Wrapping Presents - I'm not particularly crafty. I think I'm a bit of an anomaly in my family that way. One of the things I do enjoy, though, is wrapping presents. I like to pick out the perfect paper, bow, bag, basket, tin, box, etc. and ensure that the present is packaged just right. My interest in this has been declining over the years but was reinvigorated this year by Hunter's keen interest in helping wrap the presents. He picked all the packaging this year and, aside from the presents he received from us, helped wrap every single one. They may not have looked perfect, but they were beautiful to me.

The Rise of the Menace - I can not stress enough how different my two monsters are. I don't really remember Hunter playing much before he was a year and a half. I don't remember having to keep things stapled to the ceiling much before he was walking. Julia, on the other hand, is in to everything and anything she can reach and everything is a toy (or at least has the potential to be one). Christmas was particularly fun for her. From unwrapping presents way before Christmas to chewing on shephards from the manger, extra decorations and clutter meant non-stop destruction (which of course means fun).

Christmas Morning - When I see the sea of wrapped gifts under the Christmas tree I always feel a bit sick. Aren't we trying to ensure our kids are not too materialistic or greedy? But we're guilty of contributing to it too. The last two years, my favourite sound on Christmas morning has been the gasp from Hunter when he spied his gifts from Santa. That sound, I figured, captured all the excitement of Christmas. This year, the best action and sounds from Hunter on Christmas morning was when he stopped mid-way through opening his stocking to run to the tree and grab all the gifts from him for everyone. He was as excited about seeing everyone open what he had picked out, made, and wrapped as he was about digging into his own loot. Maybe the stuff we're trying to teach the kids the rest of the year sticks even through the holidays that break all the rules.

December Hunterisms - What would the holidays be without a few odd phrases heard from Hunter? Here are some of my favourites this month: "crazy" (this is said about basically anything - in excitement, about himself, etc.), "some certain Dad" (as if there might be a plethora of Dads around), "Nobody is ever going to believe this story" (while riding on the quad with Grandma and ~gasp~ Julia).

All I Want For Christmas is a tooth, a tooth, a tooth!! - Somewhere between Christmas and Boxing Day without much fuss or complaint a perfect, beautiful tooth emerged at last. Merry Christmas, toothy grins are not far behind!

A sliding, skiing, snowshoeing Christmas vacation - I've been stubborn about travelling at Christmas since Hunter was born. I figure it is just safer to stay home and host Christmas. This year, we rented a van and drove to my parent's place for the holidays. There is talk of making this an every couple of years event. I can't imagine a much better gift for Hunter because once we got there there was virtually no shopping and plenty of time spent outside (sliding at least once a day, skiing and snowshoeing for the adults, and of course the hot tub which Hunter views as his own personal place to demonstrate all he has learned in swimming lessons no matter how much water is lost). I'll take this opportunity to note that the daily exercise did little to prevent the inevitable (I think) Christmas pounds.

First steps on New Years day! - This one isn't a December but it is definitely noteworthy so I'm squeezing it in here anyway. This evening, Julia took her first independent steps (three times). Hunter was dancing and she was sitting on the floor - she stood up (I think to dance) and surprised herself by taking a step forward. She tried it two more times right away. I'm starting to think she has a thing for holidays... born on Valentine's Day, first tooth on Christmas, first steps on New Years (and we're thinking she probably did something wonderful on all the other holidays and we just didn't catch on).