Friday, April 29, 2011

The First Taste of Parenting...Babysitting?

My first job as a tween was babysitting.  I absolutely loved it and I'd like to think that it set me up for becoming a fairly decent Mom.

The first babysitting job I had was sitting for 2 boys ages 6 and 8 during the summer months.  It was a full time job from 8 until 4 and the days flew by.  It helped that they had a pool too.  I spent those summers riding bikes with them, doing cannonballs into the pool with them, having swimming races, serving well cooked grilled cheese sandwiches and Campbell's tomato soup (well cooked meaning...maybe a bit burnt).  We'd go to the variety store and stock up on candy.  I'd buy my weekly supply of Tiger Beat and Bop magazines (of which I scoured for pictures of River Phoenix after watching Stand By Me...oh what a hunk he was with his pack of cigarettes rolled up into the shoulder of white t-shirt sleeve) We'd watch movies on the rainy days or play board games and I'd make them laugh like crazy by doing really obnoxious loud burps. I believe babysitting these 2 boys made me long to have 2 boys of my own someday.  They were really, really great kids.

Occasionally I'd babysit for my Mom's friends who had young ones.  I remember babysitting this one family in particular.  She had 3 kids. 2 boys and a girl.  The girl was the middle child and I figured out quickly that she was pretty much the spawn of the devil.  She was sneaky, violent and just plain mean to her brothers.  I recall having to stop her from pinging marbles off her 1 year old brother's head and bonking him on the head with random objects.  I would turn away and the poor baby boy would start yelping again....to turn back and see her sitting there like she had no idea why he was upset.  

She was the reason I never wanted any girls.

I babysat for another family that lived in my neighborhood at the time.  I don't remember how many kids there were...I think 3 but all I remember was the baby.  The baby that would NOT STOP CRYING.  I remember cooking them all dinner, Kraft mac and cheese, I do remember that, and I had to carry the baby the whole time.  Every time I put her down she would scream so loud and so hard her face turned purple.  I had put the other kids to bed and still this baby would not. stop. crying.  The mom even called to "check in" around dinner time and heard the relentless, pitiful cries in the background.  Her reaction was pretty much....meh.  Maybe I know now why they left the house at 4 pm and didn't come back until after midnight.  (I'm surprised they came back at all if that's what they had to deal with day to day...which by the Mom's reaction of her baby's cries am sure that was exactly true.) They found me listening to the only music (on repeat) that I was familiar with from their strange cd collection (Melissa Etheridge - who I'd barely heard of at that time) reclined in their lazy boy with their baby (finally) asleep on my chest.  I had literally danced that baby and myself to sleep.  

This experience taught me patience, that I could handle cooking with a screaming baby on my hip and that dancing with a baby in your arms works wonders.

And that I still wanted boys.

Another memorable babysitting experience was looking after 2 toddlers.  A boy and a girl.  They were twins...ginger babies.  Super adorable.  The mother warned me that her son didn't take to strangers at all but her little girl loved everyone.  

Really?  Because her little boy upon meeting me for the first time gave me the sweetest smile and cuddled right up to me.  The little girl...cried so hard when her Mom left that she puked.  All over the front steps.

And it didn't end there.  Oh no it didn't.  

The 'mother' forgot to tell me her little girl was allergic to MILK.  So I unknowingly gave her bottle of milk before bed (as per the Mom's notes) then I changed her into her pj's, laid her down in her crib and left her room.  I walked in a half an hour later to check on her and she was bathed in vomit.  

Oh my lord.

I can't handle cleaning up barf.  Yes, the puke on the front steps I did handle...by simply pouring pitcher after pitcher of water on it until it was gone.  This.  THIS.  Was my worst nightmare.  To this day I cannot clean up my own kid's vomit, nor my dog's without gagging profusely.  So you can imagine how difficult this was for me....still, when I think of her my heart aches.  I know it was totally not my fault but I felt absolutely terrible.

Lesson learned from this:  that I COULD suck it up and clean up a child's vomit when push came to shove.  

And that I still wanted boys.

One of my last babysitting experiences was when I lived in a 3 story walk up condo when I was in high school (this is also where a dog pissed on my head from the balcony above me while I was unlocking my bike to go to school one early morning...just the tip of the iceberg in the follies of me)  Anyway, there was a single mother of 3 kids that lived on the floor above us.  She had 2 girls and a boy ages about 10, 8 and 6.  I was 17 or 18 at the time and she had to go out of town for one reason or another.  Probably work related.  She didn't have any family that could help her and since she knew me and my mom she asked if I could take care of her 3 kids for 3 nights.  

That's right.  3 kids for 3 nights.  This meant that I slept there, fed them, got them ready for school....I was basically a mom of 3 for 3 days at the age of 18.  And you know what?  I don't remember a single negative thing about it.  They were great kids.  I loved it.  I read to them every night.  I cooked dinner for them, made their lunches.  Got them to school in one piece...although I think my Mom may have done that...I can't remember how they actually GOT to school...or back home for that matter.  Hmmm.  

This experience set me up for the 'real' world of having kids.  Of-course it's always easy when they aren't yours.

And they aren't toddlers or pre-schoolers.

And it's temporary.

And there's no major emotional attachment.

And no pressures involved about raising them to be decent, well mannered, high moralled, contributing members of society.

But it was a great starting point.

Then I got my two boys.

And found out it's a million, billion, trillion times harder than babysitting ever was.

Actually, there is no comparison.

But the love you have for your own kids?

Well, nothing can compare to that.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Perfectly Imperfect

If someone were to seriously ask me the question "What kind of Mother are you?" I don't think I could answer it simply.  Then again, could any of us?

I was reading an article about 11 Mom Stereotypes.  I quickly read through them and couldn't really identify with ANY of them.  This was clearly meant to be a tongue in cheek article but it made me think...

WHAT kind of Mother am I???......


I am the type of Mother that might not wash my 3 year old's hair for 4 days but whatever.  It looks clean.  And if you had to listen to the way he completely LOSES HIS MIND when water gets even near his eyes (you'd think he was being stabbed by a million needles) you wouldn't want to wash it either.  Believe me.

I am the type of Mother that although I believe in restricting the sugar intake in my house I will on occasion feed my boys Nutella sandwiches for dinner (or 'chocolate sandwiches' as my son calls them) when my husband has been away for a week or two.  I'll spread it on whole wheat bread.  That's not completely unhealthy right?

I am the type of Mother that is not above using 'toilet humour' to make my kids laugh.  It doesn't offend anyone and frankly saying the words 'stinky poop' makes me giggle too.

I am the type of Mother that is not keen on letting my kids watch too much television....but movies?  You bet your bottom dollar!  There's nothing I love more than curling up with my family in our huge bed watching Toy Story for the 50 millionth time.  That week.

I am the type of Mother that breast fed but looked forward to the day when I would be done.  I wanted my boobs back.  And I wanted to be able to go away with my husband for a night or 2 (sans kids) without my breasts exploding.  Pumping didn't work well for me.  Besides it being terribly uncomfortable I never got more than 4 ounces after a half hour of being bored to tears sitting doing nothing but listening to the loud humming of the pump and watching my nipple getting pulled longer than I would have ever imagined possible.

I am the type of Mother that has a fairly clean and tidy house but I'm not a germaphobe nor a neat freak.  I will allow my children to play in dirt, and they might even (gasp) lick a grocery cart once in a while.  I don't clean up their toys every night nor do I remember the last time I disinfected them.  I'd rather them take in a few germs and get the viruses out of their systems than ingest too many cancer causing chemicals.

I am the type of Mother that is not as organized as I'd like to be.  Example: my child is in pre-school right now and doesn't have an extra pair of pants in case he has an accident.  Because the last time he had an accident I forgot to replace them.  Fingers crossed it's a no accident kind of day!

I am the type of Mother that doesn't believe in the family bed in it's organic form but loves it when her 3 year old climbs into bed with her and her husband at midnight.  And yes, I let him stay there.

I am the type of Mother that has utmost patient somedays.  And no patience at all on others.

I am the type of Mother that really enjoys a delicious, cold glass of white wine.  Or red if we're out of white. Especially after a rough day.  'Nuff said.

I am the type of Mother that joined a gym not only to stay fit but to get a break from my boys.  Even if it is only an hour and a half...it's me time...and it matters.

I am the type of Mother that reads to her kids every night.  But if I'm tired and the book they choose has more than 8 pages and small print I will kindly ask them to choose another and cross my fingers this doesn't cause world war III.

I am the type of Mother that hopes and prays when her 3 year old son says he's going to be a doctor (his latest career of choice) that he actually does become a doctor.  And if he wants to be an actor, a banker or a hair stylist I will support him 110 % too...especially the hair stylist...imagine how much money I'd save?!

I am the type of Mother that before my kids were born I did their numerology chart based on their names.  I'm totally into astrology too.  I was terrified I was having a girl when I found out my second was going to be a Scorpio.  Teen girls are moody enough.  I didn't want to have to deal with a moody, female Scorpio on top of it.  {sorry if you're a female Scorpio, I do enjoy you but I'm glad I didn't parent you  ;)  }

I am the type of Mother that buys second hand clothing for my kids but will never buy used or inexpensive shoes for them.  You don't want to mess with your feet.

I am the type of Mother that forgot to take her 3 year old to his last soccer game.  See?  Again, not as 'on the ball' as I'd like to be.  (I know.  Bad joke)

I am the type of Mother that might bite and squinch (squish and pinch) her kid's bum's a little too much sometimes.  I find it very difficult to resist the baby chub.
*chomp, chomp, chomp* *squinch, squinch, squinch*

I am the type of Mother that rarely brushes her hair.  And at times I even forget if I've brushed my teeth until 2 pm when I wonder why I can't stand the taste of my own mouth.  I also go without a shower for a day sometimes.  But I do love getting made up and dressed up and going out on a date with my husband!

I am the type of Mother that hugs and kisses her boys about a million times a day.  I am idealistic enough to believe that love and affection can cure (almost) all.

I am the type of Mother that clearly is no type in particular.  I am not Tiger, nor helicopter, not neglectful, nor overbearing, not perfect nor do I even try to be.

I am a perfectly imperfect Mother.

That's the kind of Mother I am.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sharing, A Part of Me



Postpartum depression....the disorder that Tom Cruise famously cured by telling those suffering Mother's to go have a jog on a treadmill.  A MAN, who's NOT a doctor shall of no opinion of the sort.  How do you diagnose from pure ignorance? You just don't.  I use to love Tom Cruise back in the day of Cocktail and a Few Good Men.  Not so much of a fan now let me tell you.  I wasn't even pregnant at the time these ridiculous interviews came out but I was astounded by his gall and self righteousness.

Enough about him.  More about me.

Some of you now reading this might be a little surprised or maybe uncomfortable reading the first paragraph, possibly assuming I too, went through this awful, dark period of time.

I don't believe I did, although I would never want to trivialize this very real disorder.   I definitely did go through a stage of serious blues after both boys were born that lasted longer than the usual estimated 3 weeks of baby blues that we all hear about.  I never told my doctor because I didn't think my "symptoms" were dire enough to warrant it.  Although I would encourage other Mom's out there going through depression to talk to someone.  My husband was amazing through my "down times".  He was supportive, loving and literally my shoulder to cry on.

Following each of my boy's births I went through many a stage of emotional ups and downs.  After the birth of Adrian it had a lot to do with bringing him home on pretty much zero sleep.  The labour for him was difficult, to put it mildly.  From start of induction to his time of birth it was 38 hours.   With no sleep.  Zip, zero, nada...for about 48 hours.  Not a good way to start off Motherhood.  I didn't have the feeling of euphoria when he was born.  I was too exhausted to even know what was going on.  I was in terrible agony, physically, for about 3 weeks after.  3 hours of pushing out a 9.6 lb baby shifted far to many "things" and I could literally feel it all coming back to together, minute by minute, hour by hour.  The constant throbbing aches were about as painful as the birth itself.

Once we got home and were situated as a new family, it was .... fine.  Fine in the "you look fine" type of way.  Not amazing, not horrible.  I dealt with the days....the very, interminably long days.  It certainly didn't help that it was a very dreary, damp summer and my husband travelled a lot.  But, I did fall in love with Adrian more and more everyday, he was an incredible little guy that clearly had an abundance of energy  (a daughter of one of our elder neighbours could "read" energy and she said he had the most amazing energy she had ever encountered - I wasn't sure what to take from this as she didn't seem as kooky as this sounds - but it's cool to think about)

I felt pretty lonesome most days.  I didn't have any family where we were living (in a new city...that I despised) and only 1 close friend who wasn't married and didn't have any children.  There was a sweet Danish family that we became friends with.  They lived across the hall.  They also had a newborn but I never wanted to "intrude".  Looking back I know they would never have felt that way as they didn't have any family around them either.

Adrian cried.  A lot.  Like A LOT a lot.  I wouldn't classify him as colicky but he definitely cried too much for me.  There were days that I would call John desperate for him to come home for lunch just so I could go for a walk to get away from the crying and fussing.

It was really, really hard not having a built in support system.  I think this did a number on me.  I'm sure there are many new Mom's that haven't been lucky enough to have their Mother's or immediate family members in the same city and I can relate.  It's TOUGH.  If I could change anything in my life it would be to have my family in the same city as us...of-course life isn't always that easy.

In hindsight (isn't it always 20/20) it would have been an ideal time to blog.  Therapeutic if you will.  I don't think I knew that I had the blues as bad as I did and maybe it would've helped me realize what I was going through emotionally.

After about 10 months, things got much better.  We were in a new home, in a new city with lovely neighbours who also had kids and I was back to work.  Not at a job that I loved, or even liked much some days but I was relieved of being home 24/7.  I was ready to go back to work.  Then a month after I returned to the "real world" I was on my way to becoming a mother of TWO.

It scared the living shit out of me.

I remember vividly taking the pregnancy test.  John was away and I just thought I take the test to assure myself I wasn't actually pregnant.  Does anyone know how hard it is to take a pregnancy test when your 1 year old is in the bathroom with you, unwinding the toilet paper at 100 km/hour while simultaneously grabbing for the toilet bowl scrubber?

I put the peed upon stick on the corner of the sink (what a pretty visual that is) and picked up my son to leave the bathroom, at the last minute grabbing the test to go throw it out.  I was that convinced I couldn't be pregnant.  Just before I put it in the garbage I saw it...   +

I immediately started having a panic attack and called my best friend.  She assured me (as she always does) that everything would be great, that I was an amazing Mommy and I could handle it.  She also laughed at my dramatics.  Best friends are good like that.

I then went to the computer to video skype with my husband.  He answered the call to the shocking + sign filling up his computer screen.  "Is that what I think that is?"  He asks with a huge smile in his voice.  I had to admit, after my 'pep' talk with my BF and having it sink in a little bit,  I was very excited too.

Almost 10 months later Finley Alexander was born.  Best labour and delivery ever.  I went into labour normally (although 5 days late), was at the hospital at 8 am, my doctor said my contractions were so perfect she wanted to frame them, received my beautiful epidural (happidural the nurses called it) at 10:30 am and at 1:28 pm I pushed 3 times and within 8 minutes there was my second son!  I was elated.  It was the birth that I dreamed of that I didn't get the first time.  I even cried this time.  I was very emotional....which I seriously lacked after my first delivery.

Physically and mentally after Fin was born I felt great.  Being that he was born in the afternoon I had a decent amount of sleep that night (between nursing and staring in wonder at my newborn) and I actually showered at the hospital before going home.  This was a total 180 compared to when Adrian was born.  I couldn't walk easily for weeks afterward (and it was a natural birth) let alone stand in a shower less than 24 hours after his birth.

It was a few weeks afterwards that I felt my world spinning out of control.  I had good days, but there were some when I'd wake up dreading the day ahead....the very long, very chaotic, exceedingly tiring day ahead.  After a bit of a mental breakdown just before Christmas, John suggested I ask my Dad for some temporary assistance.  I've never asked my family for much of anything.  I figured now was the time I needed it the most.  My dad lives over an hour away but he's retired and adores his grandsons to no end.  He, of-course, jumped at the chance and during the seemingly never ending winter months he would take the long drive (weather permitting) once a week to keep me from sliding over the edge.  I don't think he'll ever realize how much that meant to me.  Once the good weather broke life became much easier.  Although, having 2 kids close in age is no breeze I will admit.

As a side note:  Whoever said that going from 1 to 2 children is WAY easier than going from 0 to 1 needs to button it.  I heard that saying over and over again.  Maybe these people thought they were trying to make me feel better (as I was very nervous about having another what with already having a hurricane of a child) because they knew the craziness I would endure and didn't have the heart to tell me the truth?  Well, I'm here to break it to you Mom's that are on the way to having another....those people are liars.

Then again, it could possibly depend on the age of your first born and the difference of age between the two.  My boys are 21 months apart and it is HARD.  Even now.  It's been all different stages of chaos.  I wouldn't change it for the world of-course.  I think it'll be great (I hope!) when they're older and will be able to really play together, become good friends.  But as of right now...I wish I had 5 more sets of hands or even better, a duplicate of me.  Except my kids would love the "real me" way more of-course.  Seeing that having a duplicate "mommy me" will never happen (I'm sure my husband is relieved about that, and as awesome as it would be for me it might freak my kids out and confuse them a bit) I will do my best to enjoy the beautiful mothery moments.  Like the rare times my children play nicely together, staring at their angelic chubby cheeked innocence, reveling in their occasional moments of sweet, young brotherhood and simply do my best to celebrate being a Mommy of two beautiful boys...for whom without them, I would not be....me.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Little bit of Sunshine on a Cloudy Day


It was a dismal cold, grey day but I decided to take the boys into the backyard to play on the swings  before dinner.

As I'm pushing them on the swings Finley looks up and says "Ahga ba dada!" around his soother, pointing excitedly to the flock of birds flying over us and landing on my neighbours roof.

Me "Yes, Fin!  Birds!"

Adrian "Why are the birds up on the roof?"

Me "Well, birds like to be up high I guess"  Sometimes, I just make up 'facts' as I go...it might not be the most intelligent sentences that fall out of my mouth but I gotta think fast as a parent and after having 2 kids my brain cells seem to have quickly deteriorated.

Adrian "Why?"

Me "It's fun to be up high.  You can see lots of things from up high." Again, although this might be true, it doesn't come off as the most intelligent thing I've ever said.

Adrian "Yeah!  Like POOP!"  breaking up into uncontrollable laughter.

Me *sighing on the inside* "Yes, honey, like poop." and I couldn't help but crack up along with him.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter Craftery from an Uncrafty Mumma

So I never thought I would ever be the "crafty" type Mother.

Turns out I was right.

However, I TRY.  I don't think I'm a particularly creative person although according to my numerology number (I'm a 9, for anyone that cares) I actually am supposed to be quite creative...apparently it's just latent.

Moving on.

So, being that it's Easter and being that I have 2 boys that are of the age they enjoy doing crafts, however short-lived that joy may be (for us all), I took it upon myself to make bunny ears for them.

Now, listen.  If I can make these ears ANYONE can.  Give me a craft that involves glue, construction paper and some kid friendly scissors and I'm all over it.  Give me a craft that involves....well, anything else and you'll see me look at you like a deer in headlights, sheer fear very apparent in my odd multi-coloured eyes...
MY EYES.  Blue, brown and all that's in between.
Okay, so ANYWAY, basically your kid doesn't really get to DO a whole lot of anything unless you allow them to use scissors and glue (which, because this is part of my helicopter tendencies, I try not to {the glue I'm okay with, depending on what they're glueing} - I am also a free range parent and all kinds of crazy in between too, it simply depends on the situation).  

Take a black or brown large piece of construction paper and cut an inch or so wide strip....you might need to cut and glue on another small strip to make it big enough to fit your child's head.  In my case, my children have massive ones so this was essential.  

Glue it together like so...

You can see what I mean about the extra strip.
Yes my1 year old son's head is that big.

What you do NOT want to do is purchase glue from the dollar store because although it does the job it has a very disturbing texture.  Not quite the runny white glue from public school that you used to let dry on your hand and then peel off (don't lie, you all did it) and not quite the texture of the glue paste the weird kid ate in your kindergarten class.  

Do not buy this glue.

See what I mean...very strange and rubbery like.
Maybe it was just really, really, really old?



Then what you do is let your child pick the colour of bunny ears they would like.  Adrian chose orange for his.  Fine.  We all know that there are no such thing as orange rabbits but who am I to crush his sweet soul.  Since my 17 month old doesn't talk and is pretty easy going I thought I'd pick his colour for him.  His ears are what I'm using as the example....black.  

Cut out bunny shaped ears like so:

Clearly I am no perfectionist when it comes to the art of crafts...no stencils or tracing here.
 I am go with the flow kinda crafter.


Then to ensure the ears are super realistic you must cut a smaller bunny ear shape in the colour pink to glue onto the black ears.  You then glue the bunny ears on the inside of the head band...like this:




Now you get to place them on your little ones heads and hope they don't destroy your amazing work of craftery (I realize this is not a real word...but I like the way it sounds)


Don't let this picture fool you.  30 seconds after this was taken Finley
knocked over Adrian's tower than ripped off his own bunny ears and destroyed them.
So I made another pair.  Because they are THAT easy...and because they both looked so
cutely festive painting Easter eggs with them on...
These are boiled eggs that I allowed my children to decorate with tempera paint.
Dyeing eggs with food colouring?  Um no. 

My husband had the fabulous idea of letting them smother their hands in the paint when they were done painting the eggs.  I was shocked that he even suggested this idea because he's more freaked out about mess than I am.  And my 3 year old was not crazy about the idea as he really,really dislikes  having dirty, messy hands (yes, I realize that we might be the cause of my child's future therapy due to OCD)  LOOK!  Two crafts in one!!!

Finley's hands 17 months
Adrian's hands 3 years
LOVE!

I hope you enjoyed my first craftery post.  Although I hope not too much.  It could very well be my last.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Motherhood. The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.

Motherhood is all about the good, the bad and the ugly.  To use the stupid yet all encompassing phrase "It is what it is".  Some days are good...there are minimal tantrums (minimal as in only a couple in the morning...and a couple in the afternoon), minimal fighting between siblings (meaning that you can keep it down to a minimum when you threaten time outs, count to 3 and they actually listen), minimal complaints about meals (they don't completely freak out when you cut their sandwich in half rather than in 4 squares, or they're okay when you give them 4 baby carrots and not 5 AND they actually eat most of what you put in front of them) You might get a bit of housework done (like a load of laundry and a few dishes...if you're really lucky the floor might get swept) And then of-course the adorable random hugs, sweet kisses and heart melting I love yous.  Those are the good days.

The bad days are when it starts of with your child waking you from a dead sleep by crying/whining loudly in your ear for no apparent good reason.  They just want to go DOWNSTAIRS....NOW.  Downstairs you find a toy chewed beyond recognition thanks to the damn dog.  Your baby is teething, clingy and miserable and your 3 year old asks...no,no DEMANDS...chocolate cookies for breakfast.  Your little guy won't stop crying and the oldest wants...no,no DEMANDS...to go outside even though it's 6:30 a.m. and -10 degrees outside...besides that...WHO goes outside before 9 am unless you have a job outside the house or have kids that go to school????  Of-course then it all comes to a head when you're fed up, beyond low voiced reasoning and you state loudly as you noisily put the dishes in the dishwasher with one hand with your youngest squirming on your hip "No, for the millionth time you cannot eat chocolate cookies for breakfast and we are NOT going outside right now!" your 3 year yells "I don't LIKE you Mommy.  You're a BAD BAD Mommy!" and defiantly throws his toast on the floor, the crying of your baby goes up about 100 decibels as he continues to cling to you for dear life and it all goes to hell from there.  No matter what you do you feel frazzled, easily stressed, you raise your voice too many times and the grey cloud of guilt that every mother carries gets darker, and heavier....as the day feels like it'll never come to an end.

The ugly days are reserved just for me.  Those are the days when I wake up feeling like a wretched old hag....then I look in the mirror and wonder when I started looking like a wretched old hag and no amount of concealer or make up can disguise the furrowed horizontal wrinkles between my brows that desperately need to be plucked or brighten my eyes that are dulled with a serious lack of sleep or cover up the sun spots that seems to multiply year after year even though I DO wear sunscreen even in the winter.  God forbid going out in public without make up on.  My hair is a tangled mess of wretchedness too.  I used to be able to wake up and spritz a bit of water in it, scrunch it up and go.  Now, now no amount of product can make it look how I want it too.  Forget my luscious beautiful curls that once were.  I now have to blow dry my hair straight if I want it to look any kind of decent.   I am going prematurely grey,  therefore dyeing it regularly is essential if I don't want to look like Cruella Deville.  And what's up with grey hair and how fast it grows?  I wake up some mornings and a wiry inch long grey one is pokin' up right in the middle of my part.  I'm pretty sure that was NOT there when I went to bed the night before!  The only thing sorta still holding its own (thanks to good genes) these days is my body.  I mean, it looks good for having had 2 kids (besides the fact that my belly button looks totally foreign to me now, my boobs are smaller and my butt is bigger).  But I just want it to look good.  I realize I'll never have my hot 20 year old body back....I've resigned myself to that fact.  But forget the "for having 2 kids" part.  Like when someone tells you "You look great, for your age".  How about just..."You look great!".  Leave it at that people!

I usually like to end things on a positive note  but then it wouldn't be simpatico with the title.

That's it.  That's all.  My version of the good, the bad and the ugly...no cowboys here (how unfortunate).

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Fun Filled Friday

How to tire out 2 busy boys in one morning....

1)  After breakfast surrender to your 3 year old's request to play superheroes for the 50 millionth time that week (even though you begged off twice already because you've barely taken a sip of your coffee (you desperately require) but he looks at you with big blue eyes and tells you "Mumma, I'm really, really sad.  I want you to play with me."  Seriously.  Mommy Manipulation 101.  Just tell give her puppy dog eyes and tell her you're sad.  Works every time.  

We fly/run around the main floor about a hundred times at warp speed - me:  Superwoman (as directed by Adrian - but wait a minute...I thought I already was Superwoman!?) Adrian: Superman then Ironman then Spiderman then Ironman again - whatever you do just don't call him Adrian.

2)  Allow them to watch Tangled (for the trillionth time in a week) on your bed....okay so this doesn't really tire them out but it gives this Mumma time to a)  Clean the upstairs bathroom  (and alternatively anxiously peek into the bedroom to ensure they haven't destroyed anything or each other)  b)  to operate on Froggy Doggy 2 and Lilly Bear with needle and thread as they have some serious seam issues that need to be dealt with before stuffing and beads are ingested.

*Truth be told I am HORRIBLE at sewing (I actually cheated on my 8 grade home economics "test" that involved a sewing machine and a piece of paper with a design of dots on it that I had to follow - I sneakily had one of the BOYS in the class do it for me...imagine) So sewing for me is just randomly stabbing the needle in a very zig zaggy like line, making a thousand knots when it's done and praying that it never comes apart again.

Operation successful!!!


3)  Dress the boys and self and adventure out to the park in 2 degree weather.  Make them run up and down a very large hill nearby FIRST then continue the venture to the park...

Adrian has a head start on Fin...

Look at Adrian goooo.....
Fin....still truckin' up that hill!

"Keep going Finley...you're almost there bud!"

Adrian on his second run down, Finley on his first....

And he's still going!

Weeee!




We eventually reach our final destination


Play at the park for as long as you can stand it because even though it's SUPPOSED to be spring and the weather network said it was SUPPOSED to be a balmy 9 degrees, with the winds whipping around 70 km/hr it feels like -10 and I was freezing my a$$ off.

4)  When oldest son declares he's cold take a cue and make a break for it!  On the way home....enjoy some nature....

Mmmmmm, wood tastes gooood!

Adrian's "sword".  Anything and everything
becomes a weapon in the hands of a young boy
(or maybe just mine?)

5)  Return home to see my dear neighbour and her little ones trekking out somewhere.  Adrian finds out they're going to see 'Archie' at the local pet store...so we must go too, but not before a quick trip to Tim Horton's as we were feeling a bit peckish after all the park activity....

*the following 2 pics were taken the day before (forgot to take pics on Fri) but actual events happened*

No idea.

This is right after he let out a huge fart (note the sheepish look on his face) I was completely mortified...
surely a sound like that couldn't come out of a little body like this!  I'm sure the people surrounding me really believed me when after the enormous eruption I exclaimed "Finley!".
They were probably a shaking their heads thinking...well, we all know what they were thinking.
But it wasn't me! I swear!


6)  Off to the pet store to see birdies, fishies and kitties, OH MY.


This is Archie....beware....and they actually LET this bird out of its cage!
(see below)

Clearly, not a friendly Macaw and he was feeling especially temperamental today.
The damn bird wouldn't even say hello to me...and we all know that Macaw's can talk.

My boys love kitty cats and thankfully no warning sign on this cage.



7)  Return home and get them fed before all hell breaks loose.

Tuck them in their beds for sweet, sweet me nap time.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I can picture it all now...

Do you ever catch a moment in time of your children doing something (or nothing...see pic below) and your mind fast fowards years ahead in seconds?

Hang out in our basement family room on a rainy Saturday morning and this is what you'll see...
(This was taken with my bb phone that has no flash...wish it was a little brighter, but you get the idea)



Fast forward 15 years, add a few feet and 120 lbs, substitute the pear and animal crackers
with a bag of chips and a Coke, change the channel from Treehouse to TSN.....
and there's my big boy, all grown up.
OH. MY. GOD.

Friday, April 15, 2011

My First Blog Award!!! Woooohoooo!!!

There is more than one reason for me to celebrate today, other than the fact it's FRIDAY!  Holla!
I got my very first blog award!!!  That's right folks.  I am REALLY, ACTUALLY, out there in the blogesphere and after less than 3 months of blogging!!!  The last time I got an award was when I was in grade three.  It was the Citizen of the Month Award that my teacher nominated me for.  I am as proud of myself now as I was then.



I am told there are rules pertaining to accepting the Versatile Blogger Award:

• First thank and link to the blogger who gave you the award.

• Share 7 things about yourself.

• Share this Award with 15 other bloggers.

• Contact these bloggers to let them know that they got the award. 


Because I am very much a rule follower I shall obey!  HUMONGO thank you to the lovely ladies at
18 Years to Life for reading my humble little blog and liking it.

The next thing I have to do to comply is to share 7 things about myself...so, here goes!
  1. Yes, my name is January and I was named after a character in the novel "Once is Not Enough" by Jacqueline Susann.
  2. I prefer to be called January...being called Jan reminds me of the character Jan from the Brady Bunch and she had some serious issues with her sister "Marsha, Marsha, Marsha"   Very.  Annoying.
  3. I used to despise my name and now I wouldn't change it for the world.
  4. I am living my dream.  Honest to God.  I don't know what I did to deserve the life I have but I am grateful for it everyday.  Although some days are really challenging and I feel like my head might just start spinning exorcist style...it's all worth it........no, really.  
  5. I am so not athletically inclined, the only sports you'll find me playing are street hockey (with my 1 and 3 year old so that doesn't really count) and ... well, that's about it.
  6. I didn't even know I could write (well) until I started this blog.   
  7. I've sky dived (dove? diven?)  It was AWESOME.
And now is my most favourite part!  I get to share 15 other amazing blogs with all of you and I hope you check them out!!!  

  1. Parenting Ad Absurdum  Peryl is a Mom of 2 young boys like me!  I love reading her blogs as I can totally relate...and she cracks me up.
  2. Four Plus an Angel I actually just found this blog today and LOVE it.  Jessica is a sweet and strong soul who seems like an AMAZING mother
  3. The Momalog  LOVE Ado!  She's witty and takes very beautiful pictures!  I think this may be her second or third Versatile Blogger Award...good on you lady!
  4. Attack of the Redneck Mommy  Tanis's blog was the very first blog that I fell in love with.  I actually sent her an email letting her know how her blog touched me and she wrote me back.  She's awesome.
  5. The Bitchy Waiter Okay, so he's not a "Mommy Blogger" and his humour is acerbic as hell (he KILLS me) however, if you've ever been a server (in a restaurant - serving your family doesn't count here) you'll know just where he's coming from
  6. momosyllabic Her posts are usually quite short though contemplative...I always enjoy reading them
  7. Things I Can't Say Shell has about a billion followers....there's a reason for that
  8. An Uncommon Family  Laura is honest, funny, inspiring and I LOVE her writing style. 
  9. Small Fries with that  Michelle's humour makes me pee in my pants (plus she's got some great recipes on her blog)
  10. Flux Capacitor Maggie May's writing is so raw and beautiful...her poetry haunting.  LOVE.
  11. Perfecting Parenthood  Alex's writing is very intelligent and introspective. He's also a very loyal and supportive fellow blogger
  12. The TRUTH About Motherhood Debi is about as honest as they come with a killer sense of humour
  13. The Ginger Cook She has some AH-MAY-ZING recipes.  So if you like to cook or even if you don't, check her out!
  14. Amanda Photography She's one of my great friends and a fabulous photographer...she has a special gift of capturing the wonderful moments of children 
  15. On My Way to that Little Black Dress Another one of my great friends...join with her on her very honest journey of weight loss.  I'm very proud of her!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Out Damn'd Soother!

I am a soother enabler.

Whew.  I said it.  I feel so much better now.

I cannot believe I was at one time so against soothers.  Of-course this was before I had children.  Isn't everyone the best parent before they actually have kids?

When someone actually had the nerve, the nerve to give me a soother (among other beautiful things) as a baby shower present I was aghast.

'A SOOTHER?! OVER MY DEAD BODY WILL MY CHILD BE SUCKING ON ONE OF THOSE HEINOUS THINGS!'  I thought to myself.

Fast forward 10 days after my first son was born and I was screaming on the inside "Just be quiet!  Please!  SHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP!  I can't take it anymore. Stop crying!  What is wrong!??? (as if he could speak in full sentences at 10 days old)....shhhshhshhh! (patpatpat, bouncebouncebounce, rockrockrock) HELP ME!"

And I hunted down that freaking soother and plugged that hideous thing in his mouth.  

Ahhhh.  Silence.  

For a few minutes and then the wailing began again.  

Okay, I thought after a few minutes of beautiful silence (my previous hatred for pacifiers flung far, far out the window) maybe he'll like a different kind.  


And off I ran went to the local drug store.

I couldn't get over how many different kinds of soothers there were as I perused the baby aisle in Shoppers Drug Mart.

Oh the choices!  I was like a kid in a candy store.  

I bought about 5 different kinds and plopped those babies in his precious little mouth until I found "the one".  

It worked beautifully.

So I bought 6 more of the same.  Placing them strategically in diaper bags, the crib, the pac 'n play and different rooms so there was always one around.


Juuust in case!  

At 9 months Adrian simply turned his head and stuck out his tongue when I tried to give him the soother at bed time.  That was it.  The 'soosoo' was kaput.

Panic.

Long car rides were tortuous...and then they weren't anymore.

And I was all smug about it when I'd see other kids, 2 years old with their 'soosoo' still plugged in their mouths.  I'd say flippantly to the Mom's "Oh, my son just gave it up at 9 months...just didn't want it anymore"

Karma's a bitch.

Fast forward to ... now.

I have a 17 month old that may have a soother addiction.  

Example: he'll be sucking furiously on one toddling around with 2 others in his hand.  

I'm not exaggerating.  At all.

He'll get tired of the one in his mouth and switch it up.  He's not even picky.  ANY soother will do.  

If you hold one out 6 feet in front of him he will come running at you with his mouth wide open...just can't wait to get that thing in his mouth.  And if you hold it juuuust in front of his mouth, far enough away that he can't quite get it in his mouth he'll sit there with his mouth opened up wide, waiting, waiting, waiting for that soother to be plunked in like a baby bird waiting to be fed by it's Mother.  

And what is with soothers?  When you desperately need one at 3 am as child is wailing away they're nowhere to be found.

Then the next week you find all 10 of them...even more than you had before.  What the hell? Seriously, the soothers are copulating.  I'm completely convinced of it.

I find them in the toy box, stuffed behind the crib, in coat pockets, dresser drawers, between couch cushions, in the truck under the car seats...amongst other scary things like stale goldfish crackers and crumbs of whoknowswhat

This might not be a huge deal, the whole soother thing.  I realize there are other more important things to be concerned about....like the fact he doesn't say "Mama" yet...or really anything else for that matter.   I suppose I have it in my mind that I MUST get this soother addiction solved before he's 4 and walking around like Gwen Stefani's son Kingston:

Note soother...he's FOUR...not cute.

You see it's all cute now but not when he's FOUR.  Do they even make soothers for 4 year olds?  This picture is plain wrong...and where are his shoes for goodness sakes?  I love you Gwen but ... really?


My son, the soother addict...hey, it looks the same as Kingston's!  
Yes, he's in cereal cupboard...he thought he was pretty smart hiding there...
I can't BELIEVE I FOUND him!
(he's ALSO a cereal addict and this is his
 favourite place to hang out)


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

You win some, you lose some

This morning at the breakfast table Adrian was alternating between taking bites of his waffles and syrup and playing with his absurd new toy...a bulldog with fruit on it's head (that actually smells like fruit? weird) from the dreaded "Old McMcDonald's  (that's what he calls McDonald's)

When it fell to the floor and rolled under the table he whined, "Mumma...get that."

Me eyebrows all raised (you know - giving "the look")  "Excuse me?"

Whinging continues "Mumma, can you get that...pleeeeease?"

Me "What's wrong with your legs?"

Adrian "They're broken"

Me "Oh, well I guess we have to take you to the hospital then and you won't be able to play outside or ride your bike for a very, very, loooong time"

Adrian....thinking.

Me "Are you're legs still broken?"

Adrian "No" as he slides under the table and retrieves his toy.

HA.  I win.

_____________________________________________________

Finley munching away on his cheerios abruptly decides he's done.  He starts to squeal and squirm in his booster seat.

Me "Finley, are you all done?" making the hand sign for all done.

I'm wondering if this child of mine will ever learn to say something....anything (that is actually a word and not nonsensical babble) or do a simple sign for that matter.

Finley continues to squirm and squeal even louder.

Me doing the hand sign for all done again, "All done?"

More squealing, higher pitched and louder.

"All done Fin?" still doing the freakin' hand sign

He's ticked now!

BAH.

I give up.

He wins.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

We're All Building Cathedrals


I recently received a forward from a great friend of mine.  Usually (don't hate me friends) I simply delete forwards. But this one was about Mothers and since I am one (surprise) I took a keen interest in it and read it.  It unexpectedly brought a tear to my eye and got me thinking (imagine) about what I hoped to be the "cathedral" I am currently "building".  I hope my sons grow up to be fine men.  My wish for them is to have a good sense of who they are, to challenge themselves and to appreciate the loved ones that surround them by showing unconditional love, support, empathy, respect (not necessarily in that order) but most of all to continue to build upon this cathedral with their future families....

Enjoy.

The Invisible Mother

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the
way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and
ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm
on the phone?'

Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or
sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because
no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I
am only a pair of hands, nothing more! Can you fix this? Can you tie
this? Can you open this??

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a
clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What
number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30,
please.'

Some days I'm a crystal ball; 'Where's my other sock?, Where's my
phone?, What's for dinner?'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the
eyes that studied history, music and literature -but now, they have
disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's
going, she's going, she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of
a friend from England . She had just gotten back from a fabulous trip,
and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was
sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well.
It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling
pretty pathetic, when she turned to me with a beautifully wrapped
package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great
cathedrals of Europe . I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me
until I read her inscription: 'With admiration for the greatness of
what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would
discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after
which I could pattern my work: 1) No one can say who built the great
cathedrals - we have no record of their names. 2) These builders gave
their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. 3) They
made great sacrifices and expected no credit. 4) The passion of their
building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A story of legend in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the
cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny
bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why
are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will
be covered by the roof, No one will ever see it And the workman
replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was
almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you. I see the
sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does.

No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake
you've baked, no Cub Scout meeting, no last minute errand is too small
for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral,
but you can't see right now what it will become.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As
one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see
finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The
writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever
be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to
sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend
he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4
in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a
turkey for 3 hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That
would mean I'd built a monument to myself. I just want him to want to
come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend,
he'd say, 'You're gonna love it there...'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if
we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world
will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has
been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible mothers.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bumps and Bruises, Kisses and Cuddles

I suppose it's a universally known fact that boys tend to be more "rough and tumble" than girls.  It make sense of-course but I can't make an educated comparison because I'm raising two quite rough and tumble boys.

It seems as though I'm always finding bumps, bruises and scratches on their legs, faces, head and arms with no clue on how they got there.

Do I sound like a neglectful mother or what?...I assure you I am not and any other Mom of boys totally knows where I'm coming from.

Day to day in my house there's a constant stampede of running, jumping off furniture and body slamming walls.  Who knew 2 small boys of 65 lbs combined could sound like 65 thousand elephants.  It's no wonder they acquire so many minor injuries.

What I never counted on was being on the receiving end of such rowdiness.

Daily I get pinged off the head with random flying toys, climbed on, jumped on and kicked at (thanks to Kung Fu Panda).  Even the innocent act of playing Ring around the Rosey tonight somehow resulted in me doubled over with I'm pretty sure a bruised pelvis.

That's right.  Ouch.

Then a game of tag ended when 2 chunks of skin were "accidentally" gouged from my face.

I really love playing with my boys but sometimes, sometimes, I get very, very nervous around them.  Especially when they're overtired and I'm trying to get them to calm down, have some quiet time in their rooms but instead they both decide to "gang up" on Mummy and I end up with one child trying to climb on my head with a fistful of my hair while the other one is bouncing as hard as he can on my stomach laughing maniacally like a crazy fool as I "OMPH! OH! OW!" attempting to roll over, struggling to detangle my tresses from the clutch of a very small but very mighty hand.

Honestly, I would not have it any other way.  Because as much as I get "beaten up" on a daily basis they give more of their affection than I could have ever imagined.

They give me a hundred hugs a day.  Fin will walk over to me and lay his sweet head on my shoulder,  Adrian, will nestle his curly head into the crook of my neck.  Their delicious kisses light up my world.  Finley, prompted by the question "Kiss?" will plant a wet one (usually open mouth and all) right on mine.  Adrian randomly will give kisses on the arm, hand or cheek, sitting beside me eating his lunch or watching a movie.

And there's truly nothing more special than cuddles (however rare...or short lived) with your little ones.

So, I'll take the wild and rambunctious side because just as quickly they'll turn around and give me the most beautiful part of them all.

Pure child to mother love.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

"No, YOU'RE a Stinky Poo Head!"

Sometimes having children makes me revert to childish, immature behaviour.

Okay, so it won't win me Mother of the Year award but...it's all in good fun.

Example: when my eldest boy gets mad at me for the thousandth time that week and tells me to "GO AWAY!" I will wittily come back with "No, you go away."  to which he will reply "NO YOU!" and then I'll retort, "You!"....see what I'm saying here?

If he steps on his toys in a fit of destruction I'll warn him dangerously "Stop stepping on your toys or I'll step on you".  Of-course I would never, ever do such a thing.  And obviously he doesn't take me seriously.

On occasion he'll make up a really "mean" name and when he gets angry with me he'll yell "You're a SHNOOPOO!"

Me "No, you are."

And I'm so not above toilet humour...last night I called him a "stinky poo head" when I was trying to get him into his bed.  To which he giggled uncontrollably for 5 minutes.

Then I did it again.

And again.

And again.

Just to hear his awesome laugh.

Sunday Morning

I feel like my last post should've had some sort of disclaimer attached to it advising people that this was not an average week in my life (especially for those seeing my blog for the first time)...and that I am actually not usually such a miser.

With that being said...it got worse before it got better.

Saturday morning came (too early - 6:12 to be exact) and with that a fresh new wave of tears.

This time, mostly mine.

Both my sons awoke within minutes of each other and Adrian (after awaking me sweetly with kisses all over my face) decided to let "Hyde" out in full force...due to the fact I descended the stairs with JUST Finley in my arms (and gasp! carrying another 40 lbs on top of 28 was just not feasible without Mummy tumbling head over feet down the stairs)

I broke.

I was done.

I started crying.

And then I was okay...after my husband came to my much needed rescue.

Sunday morning came and with it a better start.

I was told at breakfast by Adrian "I love you Mummy"

Me "I love you too honey"

Adrian  "To the moon and back forever and ever and always"

*heart melt*

Then Finley let me know with a sign language only our family understands that he wanted the rest of his brother's sweet, syrupy cheerio milk...so I fed it to him with a spoon.

I don't know why that made me so happy.

But it did.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Broody, Moody Me

It's been a nerve fraying, head aching, "I'm going to effing lose my mind" kind of week.

My little guy is not only just sick but teething (of which he handles terribly) and is clinging to me like a fifth limb, damp eyes, drooly mouth, runny nose.  Oozing from every orifice on his adorable yet gooey face. Trails of mucous swiped across every piece of clothing I wear.  I cannot even put him down for a moment before he's hysterical.  Oh the squeals!  I can't blame him - poor little guy - and I know I should have more sympathy but it's hard when I'm feeling more sorry for myself.

Jesus.  What kind of Mother am I?

My three year old SOMEHOW is becoming more challenging by the day with his whys (honestly, how many whys can a Mom answer before she wants to scream "BECAUSE!  JUST BECAUSE OKAY!???") I haven't...but it's there...right on the tip of my dangerously sharp tongue.  His persnickety ways about how he wants his food cut, which is different everyday (and God forbid two different foods touch), and his whining!  Oh, the whining!!!  It's like nails on a chalkboard.  I simply cannot handle it.

I feel like a horrible parent because all I've been doing is nagging, yelling or getting frustrated with everyone including my innocent sweet old dog.

My children are like 2 mini hurricanes destroying my house moment to moment, I have piles of laundry and bathrooms to clean (and only have an hour to do all while the boys nap) but I simply have no energy to do ANY of it.  Instead I'll just sit here and pound away on my laptop venting at my silly blog.

The only thing giving me a tiny bit of bliss is stuffing my face with far too many homemade peanut butter cookies.  Of which I'll feel sick to stomach and repulsed by myself after I consume them because I haven't been to the gym in 4 months and already feel like a massive protuberance of goo without ingesting five million calories.

And since when did I become an emotional eater?

This is not good.

Not good at all.

help.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Shhhhhhhhh....

I have a confession.  I let my 3 year old climb into bed with us.  And stay there.  And it happens almost every.  single.  night.

Okay so that's not the real confession.  Because I'm pretty sure this happens to most parents on quite a regular basis.

The real confession is that I.....like it.  Shhhhhhh.

I was the type of Mum before this started happening that could be a bit judgmental about the whole "allowing your kid to sleep in your bed" debate (I know! shame on me!).  I was against it.  How could you maintain the intimacy with your spouse if a child is sleeping in your bed??

Well, first of all, intimacy with your spouse is gone once you purchase a king sized bed.  Because you're all like miles away from each other.  It's like you're two ships floating in a vast ocean.

It's awesome.

Don't get me wrong.  I love my husband and I love being affectionate with him and of-course the intimacy.  We still cuddle together while watching movies or American Idol together (sorry honey, your secret is OUT) but that ends when I want some shut eye.   Besides that, how much intimacy happens between the hours of 2  am (the usual time when Adrian meanders into our room and I have to break my back lifting him into our bed) and 7 am?

I will tell you, in our house...that would be none. zilch. zero. nada.  We're too busy getting some much required z's...or tending to a screaming toddler.

I do, I love having my little guy all snuggly and warm beside me.  I've always had the soundest sleeps when my babies have been next to me...and I think if it's that way for me, surely it must be that way with them.  (except when he's hacking his lungs out in my face...then it's all about his own bed)

My Mother-In-Law asked me once "When do you not allow it anymore?"

Fair question.  I don't know.  I imagine when you're not comfortable with it anymore.  I'm sure my son won't be climbing into our bed when he's 12.

Oh geez.  I sure hope not.

Awkward.

So, that's my Mumma confession of the day.

Besides how can you kick this angelic little face out of bed?

My sleeping angel

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Play dough, Puzzles and other Problems

I had a dream when I was pregnant with Adrian (don't worry, this isn't another Hungry, hungry Hippo dream).  In the dream I was in a garage, there was some kind of get together going on and I looked down at two of the most beautiful boys I had ever seen.  The 2 things I remember the most were their big blue eyes and the feeling of love that completely constricted my heart.  It was so real to me even as I awoke in the morning.  What I didn't understand was why I was in a garage (we lived on the 3rd floor of a 3 story walk up at the time) and why there seemed to be a party going on.

Fast forward 3 years and here I am, living in a house with a garage surrounded with amazing neighbours that we've become very good friends with and hang out with outside (as the kids run amok), and sometimes in each other's garages.  I also happen to have two adorable boys with big beautiful blue eyes.

My dream came true.  I love my life with my family but sometimes I find having 2 boys 21 months apart quite the challenge at this stage.

Stating the obvious.  I know.

Putting aside the tantrums that they both have (sometimes simultaneously), and the constant demand for my affection and attention...having 2 boys ages 3 and 17 months and trying to find activities that they'll both enjoy (or won't make me bonkers) is, well, pretty much impossible.

My three year old finally has passed the stage of having the attention span of a gnat and actually can (sort-of) sit still for an hour and watch a movie.  My 17 month old on the other hand, will watch about 10 minutes and then will hunt down the converter or start pressing random buttons on the receiver.  This never bodes well with Adrian.  I end up with a very distraught 3 year old who screams at his little brother "NO THANK YOU FINLEY!" and orders me to fix the movie like he's never seen Toy Story 2 five hundred thousand times before and has no idea that Zurg is actually the "fake" Buzz's father.

And puzzles...oh how much fun a parent and a child can have with puzzles.  I don't know why it says ages 3 and up on these puzzles.  It always ends up in frustration yet he still insists on doing them.  Besides that, all Finley wants to do is destroy the puzzle "Adrian" is putting together or eat the pieces.  Which again results in not only a frustrated 3 year old but an angry one, yelling at his brother "NO THANK YOU FINLEY!" while attempting to wrangle the sopping, mangled cardboard piece out of his little brother's mouth and hands.

Play dough.  I love the smell of play dough.  Totally brings back fond childhood memories of kindergarten and the strange boy who always ate it (and licked the popsicle sticks containing the goopy paste...there was at least one in every class)  Play dough is great in theory.  Kids love to squish, mash, poke, prod.  They love bright colours and making fun shapes with those cookie cutter things. Adrian is now passed the "Mmm play dough tastes so yummy" stage but Finley, unfortunately is not.  So, play dough right now, is a no go.

Colouring.  My little guy is obsessed with crayons and drawing.  Unfortunately he's also obsessed with drawing on things other than paper.  Like the walls....and the tables...and other kinds of furniture.

And Adrian...

Well, he also likes to make our walls his work of art.

So unless I'm hovering over their shoulders ensuring that all crayons stay on paper (which defeats the whole purpose of the activity of keeping them busy while this Mumma can get the dishes done) colouring is out too.

See what I mean?  Good times.

The one thing they do play well together is superheroes.  Except when they both want to be the headless Spider Man (I have no idea where the head went...the dog probably ate it.....and why do they make a Spider Man with a headless option in the first place?!  Probably for the same reason they make an Iron Man with removable hands?)

So, yes, right now it's a bit of a challenge finding things both boys can and are interested in doing together (especially since winter is bullying spring right now) but I am excited for the days when they'll be riding their bikes together, climbing trees together, play what I'm sure will be too many video games together...I'm realistic enough to know that they won't get along all the time.  But I'm optimistic enough to hope that they get along for the MOST part.  I look forward to seeing them grow up together and look out for one another, play sports together and most of all be good brothers to each other.

However, at this moment in time, in this sweet, beautiful and challenging age I will enjoy who they are right now.  Because how can you not love a moment like this...

A big brother's love and protection

This was taken at our neighbour's son's 3rd b-day party that took place at a fire station.  John sat them up on the fire truck and Adrian protectively put his arms around his Finley to keep him "safe" completely unprompted by Mumma or Dad.  Awww.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Hungry, hungry Hippo!

I am going to stray far, far away from the everyday norm of what I usually blog about although in a roundabout way it'll come back to my family.

It always does.

Are you ready for this one?  Somehow, I think NOBODY is.

Here goes!....

Last night I had a dream that a hippo ate my husband.

I know.  Really bizarro.  But it gets even stranger friends.

After my husband was consumed by the very large (like it was about 10 times the size of a normal hippo) I was all distraught (well hello?  wouldn't you be if your husband got eaten by a ginormous hippo??) so I asked one of the little people (and by little people it gets kinda fuzzy here if they were actually midgets or simply just little people) that worked at this very odd zoo (which also contained vicious seals and crazy otters) what I could do to get my husband BACK!

The little person told me "Don't worry, hippos only have 4 teeth so your husband wasn't actually chewed ...and besides...he'll just come out the other end"  The little person was pointing to the huge piles of manure behind the hippo.

Back to present...now I'm wondering...DO hippos only have 4 teeth???  I must google about hippos now.

This is what I found:


A hippo has 40 teeth.


When you see a hippopotamus opening its mouth, it seems as though they have only four! But they actually have 40 teeth. 
The incisors that you noticed, and the canines, get to be 18 inches long. Those are used primarily for defending their young and establishing a territory. The reason we can see them so well is that a hippo can open his mouth 180 degrees, in comparison to a human that can only open 45 degrees.


And now we all know a little more about hippos.  You're so welcome.  This explains to me a little bit about the 4 teeth and how my husband could get eaten by a hippo in the first place...who knew a hippo could open their mouth THAT wide!?  


In case you were wondering, I was not watching the National Geographic channel  before I dozed off last night.  This was a completely and utterly random dream.


Back to my crazy husband eating hippo dream...


There I went!  I dove right into that hippos mouth.  I remember exactly what it was like.  Slimy, dark brown and pink, even the feeling of some serious butterflies in my stomach as I made the descent into the belly of the hippo, on the search for my husband.


It all gets kinda Inception like here.  I did find John but then we were a in building with elevators that had windows on all sides....I can't remember what happened thereafter.


What in the world could this dream mean?.....


You guessed it....I totally googled what it means to dream of a hippo....here's what it says:


To see a hippopotamus in your dream, symbolizes your aggressive nature and your hidden strengths. You have more influence and power than you realize. Alternatively, it indicates that you are being territorial. Perhaps someone is overstepping their boundaries.




I'd like to think my dream meant the first part...except I would never consider myself to be aggressive whatsoever....although clearly hopping down a hippopotamus's throat to find my husband so that we could be crapped out the arse together might contain a bit of aggression.


I'd like to interpret the dream to mean that I would do ANYTHING for my family.  


And, of-course I would.


So be warned all you hungry hippos...don't you ever try to eat my family!  I'll be all up in yo' face and all over your ass!  


Figuratively and literally!


Peace.