Sunday, December 18, 2005
This is a little insano, wouldn't you say? I guess I've just made up for my lack of blogging recently.
As we are now a week away from Christmas, I would like to remind you about this post. I'm going to re-read it myself right now.
Now let us all eat cake! Cheers! And Merry Christmas!
9) Be a Sleuth! Are there things that you've always wondered about butI've been wondering what Trackbacks are. Have you seen that word at the bottom of people's blogs? It's on mine and I don't even know what it means! But I've done some research now and I think I've got the hang of it.
never found the opportunity to get the facts? You might have asked yourself one
or more of the following questions at one time or another: "How do you build an
igloo?" "What are the different species of spiders?" or "Who is the richest
woman in the world?" Well, now might be a good time to get your detective or
research skills in to action. Check search engines, almanacs, and other sources
of information. Then, start blogging your findings!
Basically, it's simply a way of letting a person know that you've added a link to their blog in your own.
I was going to test using trackbacks, but after some further research, I found out that Blogger doesn't support them! What the...???
Oh well. At least this exercise helped me find something to write about!
I've just recently started getting Miles to sit on his potty again. He's taller now and more steady on his feet, and I think that makes him more comfortable sitting on the potty. He was quite content to sit and look at his book on this day... he even left me a little piddle puddle too. I know they say that children aren't physically able to use the potty until they are at least 18 months old, but do any of you parents have stories about good things happening before that age?
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
It's true what they say - they grow up too fast.
Miles' birthday has come and gone. The party went quite well I thought. There wasn't exactly any ripping into presents. Miles didn't seem to understand that. He didn't really get what was going on, period. But how could he? So I helped him unwrap his gifts, and read his cards aloud. We enjoyed watching Miles and Jonah giving the new toys a workout. What did he get? A dump truck, a book, some interlocking beads and roly-poly "blocks", a fuzzy covered foam chair, a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey, a stuffed ducky and a little Christmas moose, a couple of outfits, a sled....oh, and Alexis brought over a play keyboard. We had quite a laugh watching the boys go crazy with that! I made Miles' cake out of Rice Krispies Squares made into two rounds, sandwiched with jam, and covered in icing. It worked out way batter than I thought it would. I had visions of it sliding apart while trying to cut it. Super sweet!
Today, his actual Birth Day, I took my little man out on a date. We went to a Japanese restaurant for lunch, then we went to see the butterflies. My lunch was very late being served, but that gave me lots of time to give Miles my full attention while I was giving him his lunch. Oh man, was it worth the wait though. Mmmm mmmmm good! :) Our server was sweet and brought us a single scoop of ice cream with a birthday candle in it when I mentioned that it was Miles' birthday. I took a chance and let Miles have a few tastes of the ice cream, even though he's had reactions to dairy products in the past. Thankfully there was no extreme itchiness or red blotches on his face. We really enjoyed the butterflies too. I got a little concerned at first when I saw a sign near the greenhouse entrance which said that butterflies prefer the sun, so you may not see as many on a cloudy day. The weather today was very dreary, dark, and dismal. But we saw lots of butterflies, and not just the little brown ones! Large, papery white ones, and darker ones with red and blue and white and yellow markings. I spied a colourful beetle or weevil, and we even found a turtle! On our second pass through the greenhouse, I noticed these massive moths. The girl that works there told me their name, which I forget, and said they're the largest moth species known to mankind. They were huge! I was very pleased with our third visit to the butterfly sanctuary, and already can't wait for our next visit! I want to go in maybe January or February when it's freezing cold outside and so warm and moist in the greenhouse. Ahhhhh!
I have spent the last couple of days remembering the events leading up to Miles' birth. Precious memories. I look forward to making many more wonderful memories with my son.
Happy Birthday my wonderful boy! I love you!
Thursday, November 24, 2005
We're gearing up for the big first birthday party this coming Saturday (his birthday is in the middle of the week, so we're going to party on the weekend instead). I think it's going to be a lot of fun for all of us, watching both of the boys tearing into presents. You HAVE to know that Jonah's going to want to help Miles open his presents. What great preparation for Christmas Day!
A few weeks ago we were looking through pictures and Grandma pulled out one of me and my cousin that was on the front page of the local newspaper. She holds it up so we can all see it and says, "Who does this look like?" I was surprised and amazed. Miles looks so much like me! I've always thought that he looks so much like his Daddy, but he really, really does look a lot like me too. Let me show you what I mean.
That's my aunt on the left, me in the middle, and my cousin on the right - my cousin and I are 4 months apart. I'm really not sure anymore about what he's doing with my diaper in this picture.
Now let me show you one of Miles.
Can you see the similarities? If I only had a picture of baby Courtney to compare him to....
More updates later, after the birthday party!
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Over the phone, his mother told him, "Mr.Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday."
Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.
"Jack, did you hear me?"
"Oh sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It's been so long since I thought of him. I'm sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago,"Jack said.
"Well, he didn't forget you. Every time I saw him he'd ask how you were doing. He'd reminisce about the many days you spent over 'his side of the fence' as he put it," Mom told him.
"I loved that old house he lived in," Jack said.
"You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man's influence in your life," she said.
"He's the one who taught me carpentry," he said. "I wouldn't be in this business if it weren't for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important. Mom, I'll be there for the funeral," Jack said.
As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser's funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.
The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time.
Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time. The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture....Jack stopped suddenly.
"What's wrong, Jack?" his Mom asked.
"The box is gone," he said.
"What box?" Mom asked.
"There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he'd ever tell me was 'the thing I value most'" Jack said.
It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it.
"Now I'll never know what was so valuable to him," Jack said . "I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom."
It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. "Signature required on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days," the note read.
Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention.
"Mr. Harold Belser" it read.
Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package There inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack's hands shook as he read the note inside.
"Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett. It's the thing I valued most in my life." A small key was taped to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch. Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover. Inside he found these words engraved: "Jack, Thanks for your time! -Harold Belser." "The thing he valued most...was...my time." Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days.
"Why?" Janet, his assistant asked.
"I need some time to spend with my son," he said. "Oh, by the way, Janet...thanks for your time!"
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away ."
Think about this; You may not realize it, but it's 100% true.
- At least 2 people in this world love you so much they would die for you.
- At least 15 people in this world love you in some way.
- A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don't know you.
- Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep.
- You mean the world to someone.
- If not for you, someone may not be living.
- You are special and unique.
- When you think you have no chance of getting what you want, you probably won't get it, but if you trust God to do what's best, and wait on His time, sooner or later, you will get it or something better.
- When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good can still come from it.
- When you think the world has turned its back on you, take a look: you most likely turned your back on the world.
- Always remember the compliments you received. Forget about the rude remarks.
- Always tell someone how you feel about them; you will feel much better when they know and you'll both be happy.
- If you have a great friend, take the time to let them know that they are great.
You may have read this before - I know I have at least twice - but a friend emailed it to me today. It's such a wonderful reminder, I wanted to share it with you. ~~TML
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Monday, October 31, 2005
Isn't Halloween fun? We've been having a great time this weekend.
Kathy invited us over for a Halloween party on Saturday, so we all got dressed up for the occasion. We did a scavenger hunt, drank ghostly milkshakes and ate chocolatey spiders, decorated Rice Krispies Squares cutouts Halloween style, and watched all the kiddies having fun in their costumes. They were all so well behaved; they loved the Halloween festivities too! Kathy, thanks so much for putting that together and giving the kids a chance to enjoy some wonderful Halloween fun (and for sending Miles' toy home with Grandpa - I totally lost track of it!)
On Sunday, we went to a baby shower for my cousin Shelley who had twins in September. It's always cool to get together with family and eat and chat and laugh. All of the kids there had a great time playing together too.
Today, Sherri and I brought the boys into my workplace to show off their costumes. Of course everyone fussed over both of the boys and marvelled over how cute they looked.
Before returning home, I brought Miles in for a special Halloween photo shoot. I'll post that picture later in the week.
Lots of cool experiences for Miles.
I think we had a record turnout at our house tonight - 18 trick-or-treaters!!! We often have less than 10, if not less than 5!
Happy Halloween everyone, I hope you had tons of fun!
Thursday, October 13, 2005
The instructions are:
1. Go into your archives.
2. Find your 23rd post
3. Find your fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of your sentence
5. Tag 5 others to do the same.
For a moment, I wasn't sure I even had 23 posts yet! But I do, and here is the fifth sentence from that post:
"2 in my right ear, and 5 in my left." (Too Holey?)
No, I wasn't talking about Q-tips! Go on and read it, if you're curious.
Now, who shall I tag? Let's see....how about Krista, Sue, Glenn, Sherri, and Tee (easy for you Tee, just cut and paste! I know you've done this at least once before already). No biggie to me guys if you don't have the time or don't feel like doing it. It's all in fun!
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
When I had to give up my apartment and move back in with my parents 3 1/2 years ago, most of what I own went into a storage unit. (Man, I can't believe it's been that long!) Today, I went to visit my stuff. I brought my nephew, Jonah, along with me. He was a good distraction. I think the last time I visited I became rather depressed afterwards. I miss having my own space, even though I'm blessed to be able to live with the best family ever. It's weird to think that I have this little room packed full of stuff that I haven't even touched in 3 1/2 years! The day we packed that room up was so hard. I'm sure my mom still remembers me finally arriving at the house crying my heart out. Yes, okay, I admit it - I'm crying now too.
Anyway...when I first thought of writing this post, the title I had in mind was something along the lines of, "This stuff is my life". Thankfully, I've put some thought into it since then. That stuff is not my life. It's not all I have. I have so much more than that, and I know it. I've got wonderful parents who provide me with a place to sleep and food to eat and unconditional love; super cool siblings who can be deep and funny at the same time; great in-laws who I love more and more the longer I know them; a man who loves me no matter how badly I behave or make us both crazy; and now I have a son who lights me up from the inside out. Even without all of my possessions at hand or a home to call my very own, my life is full of all of the best "stuff" already.
Do you ever forget and lay too much importance on your worldly stuff? I know I can't be the only one to slip up every now and then.
Monday, October 03, 2005
For some reason, it's difficult to coordinate naps, the weather, and mothers' moods, but we finally got the boys out and into the sandbox again. Perhaps for one of the last times this year. However, with the very warm weather we're expecting this week, there may be a few more times yet!
By the way, does anyone know what you're supposed to do with a sandbox like this (plastic) over the winter? And do we save the sand, or dump it and get new sand next year?
Heck, looking at this picture, I think we'll need another sandbox - there won't be enough room for two growing boys and play space by next summer!
Saturday, September 24, 2005
You Are A Christmas Cake
1 cup of butter of faith – to make life run smoothly.
1 cup of sugar – life needs its sweetness.
5 eggs to make it light – this is prayer, which uplifts.
½ pound of nuts – humour. Nuts to crack like good humour – be sure they are clean!
¼ pound of cherries – colour the cake like music on a dull morning.
1 pound of raisins are old friends, always a delight.
1 pound of currants are new friends, always interesting.
¼ teaspoon of allspice puts tang in it like initiative.
¼ teaspoon of cinnamon is ambition.
2 teaspoons of baking powder to make it rise. This is the Holy Spirit.
½ cup of pure fresh whole milk – the perfect food which is the Word of God.
½ teaspoon of salt called Wisdom.
3 cups of four sifted finely to fold the whole cake together – Love blends all life into one.
Method: Mix all well together and bake in the slow oven of experience. When well done, allow to cool. Add frosting to surround it with beauty. Add red candles to light for all to see; then slice the cake and share it with others.
There is a note from the publishers at the end which says, “We thought the recipe itself was quite delightfully phrased, and it produces a very nice cake indeed.” Sally West.
Sunday, September 04, 2005
I have a few piercings. Okay, strictly in my ears. 7 to be exact. 2 in my right ear, and 5 in my left. Why the lack of balance? I'm not sure whether there's a reason or not. Hey, it was the thing to do! The thing I did, anyhow.
So I found a bunch of these nice, thicker guaged, sterling silver, sleeper hoops at Shoppers Drug Mart. I was having trouble with regular, thinner earrings making my holes (how else am I supposed to say that?) get infected - these thicker earrings worked like a charm. However, while I was pregnant, most of them became badly tarnished to the point where the finish was gone. Nothing I had would clean them up. So I went out and bought more. Yes, 7 more. Within a short period of time, they became badly tarnished as well.
I asked a couple of people what they thought about it. My hairdresser felt that the earrings in my left ear were placed in such a way that they touched the skin just behind my ear (the ones on the right weren't as bad as those on the left). She said there's a gland behind there and perhaps the pregnancy hormones were killing my silver. She suggested trying stainless steel. I found a store that sold stainless steel, but they were way too heavy a guage, more meant for funky piercings, not so much ears. It was suggested I try another jewellery store. I found and spoke to the manager of this jewellery store (more of a costume jewellery type shop, not the real good stuff). I told her about the problem I've been having and she proceeded to tell me about a relative of hers. This relative could not wear either silver or gold without it tarnishing. She figured I was in the same boat.
I decided to do a little experiment of my own. Mom had a couple of gold studs around that she let me borrow. They've been in my ears for weeks now and not a problem to be had. That got me thinking....I'd rather stick with the silver colour.....what about WHITE GOLD!!!!
I splurged. I bought myself a REALLY nice pair of white gold hoop earrings. Yes, they were expensive.
Okay, I tell you all of this as an introduction to something else.
I just turned 35 and I've got all of these holes in my ears and my skin is tarnishing all of the cheap stuff I get. Should I spend some bucks and replace all of my silver with white gold? Or should I bite the bullet and let them all go except my very first 2 original holes (well, and the one through the cartilege at the top of my left ear). Does it look stupid in this day and age for a regular Jane like me to have 7 holes in her ears??? Will I lose my youth, my cool, forever if I let them grow over?
Has anyone else been there and done that? I'd love to hear some opinions, thoughts, ideas and stories. What did you do?
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Who has read this book? Was it helpful? I’ve seen the video and it was good, but not quite enough to make a connection for me. (I want to dig in a little deeper)
If you have it, please let me know if you’re willing to give it up for a little while.
If you’ve read it, please tell me your thoughts.
I’ve got four books waiting for me to read them – and quite the array; Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller, The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling, and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Drawing - so if everyone thinks Make the Connection is utter crap, I’d rather just move on and forget about it.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
The breeder’s husband and vet both thought Toro should be put down. They thought he’d never survive. But Jane, the breeder, must have seen Toro’s spunk early on. He managed to find a way to eat and drink, despite the harelip. He held his own at playtime too. The first time I held him he just snuggled into my arms and took a nap. He was so sweet. When I brought him home he weighed barely 2 lbs. and fit into the palm of my hand. He was my baby. I even took time off work to stay at home with him while he got used to being in a new place. I carried him around a lot because he was so small I was afraid he would get stepped on. He still loves to be carried around. Mister, the family Schnauzer, taught Toro how to bark, and did he ever teach him well. Mister also taught him how to howl, a surprising trait in a Shih-tzu.
Toro has put up with a lot of ridicule over the years, mostly due to his harelip. It makes me sad when I have to defend him on this. He’s a quirky little guy, but that’s what makes him extra-special. Jane taught him to drink from a water bottle, the kind rabbits and guinea pigs use – it keeps their furry little faces dry! He attacks his bowl of food like it’s waiting to be killed, growling at it, slamming it against the wall, and pushing out all of the food onto the floor. I think he’s artistic. He picks up a piece of food, walks away and places it down, just there. Then he gets another piece and carefully places it in the vicinity of the first one and this continues for several more pieces. Sometimes he’ll pick one of the pieces up and move it just slightly. He does it so deliberately; I swear he’s creating art. He goes crazy over his squeaky toys. You should have seen his reaction to the new toy he got from Auntie Krista last Christmas! WOW! Look out! He loves to play fetch. He sleeps on pillows, whether it’s his head, his whole body, or just one rear paw, there’s almost always a pillow involved. Toro loves fruits and veggies and popcorn, and waits so quietly and patiently for a piece of Sunday roast beef to fall his way. Toro knows I’m boss, and still follows me around like a puppy. Sometimes (if I’m lucky), I just have to give him a look to get him to behave. But other times nothing works.
He was my only child for 8 years, until Miles came along. Toro has done so well with two little boys taking over the house. He’s a little freaked out when Jonah follows him around, but you can see that he wants to play with the boys – he already drops his toys in front of them hoping they will throw it for him to fetch. I’m proud of him for having patience.
I hesitate to even put this into words, but I really hope he stays with us long enough for Miles to grow up a bit more and become Toro’s boy, and best friend too.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
There is some kind of bond going on here that I didn't even see coming.
Tonight, I was sitting on the couch, watching TV when my dog, Toro, started barking.
"Toro, no!" "Toro, no barking!" "Toro, quit it!" "Toro, that's
enough!" "Toro, SHUT IT!!!"
It gets quiet for a moment, then I hear it....Miles is crying. I run up the stairs telling Toro to keep it quiet, and tend to Miles. A bit of a tummy problem tonight it seems. I return to the couch and TV. Glenn and Sherri soon join me on the couch. I tell them about how Toro told me that Miles was crying. Before I even finished telling the story, Toro starts barking again. This time I get up and turn on the baby monitor. Sure enough, Miles is crying again! This time I climb the stairs thanking Toro for letting me know.
Now I know that dogs and children can be the best of friends, but I honestly didn't believe that Toro had it in him. Nor have I seen him show any kind of concern when Miles is crying. He's really been quite good with both the boys so far. It's got to be tough on an old pooch when the youngsters start chasing him around the house, poking around his food, and trying to play with his toys! We keep a pretty close eye on Toro when he's around the boys, because even though he's smaller than both of them, and has crappy teeth (there will be a post dedicated entirely to Toro in the near future), he is an animal and a potential threat. Albeit a compassionate one - he always shows up at my side when I'm crying! I'll stop there and save the rest for Toro's post.
I know there are thousands upon thousands of amazing pets out there. What has yours surprised you with? (and I'm not talking about puppy or kitty "treats" left on the front door mat...)
Saturday, July 16, 2005
SLOW MOVING THUNDERSTORMS WITH VERY HEAVY DOWNPOURS...
CLUSTERS OF SLOW MOVING THUNDERSTORMS IN THE GODERICH AND KITCHENER AREAS HAVE ALREADY DUMPED LOCALLY NEAR 50 MILLIMETRES OF RAIN TODAY. THESE THUNDERSTORMS AND OTHERS WHICH ARE EXPECTED TO FORM ACROSS THE REMAINDER OF THE DISTRICT WILL CONTINUE TO BRING LOCALLY VERY HEAVY DOWNPOURS FROM TIME TO TIME THIS AFTERNOON INTO THIS EVENING. AS A RESULT RAINFALL AMOUNTS LOCALLY WILL REACH 50 TO 100 MILLIMETRES BY THIS EVENING. IN ADDITION FREQUENT LIGHTNING AND WIND GUSTS TO 60 KM/H ARE ALSO QUITE POSSIBLE.
According to the TV version of The Weather Network, there was also a possibility of tornadoes. Actually, I was told one was spotted near Cambridge. We're in a nice little pocket of a valley and don't usually get the really severe weather. But the rain this afternoon was quite impressive. Enough so that I had to pull my camera out and take some pictures to prove it.
When I started seeing lightning that seemed really close, I turned off the TV and went upstairs to turn off computers. After that I watched the rain out my bedroom window. That's when I saw it. The rain was coming down the hill so hard and so fast, it was spouting out of the manhole cover in the middle of the street! I've never seen it do this before. I had a heck of a time trying to get a picture of it, and when I did, it came out so dark that you couldn't see anything. Luckily, I was able to lighten it up. See the area that I circled? That's the water spouting out of the manhole cover. I managed to get a video clip of it that is much easier to see, but I can't figure out how to pull a single frame out of the clip.
They're continuing to forcast rain right up until Wednesday now. I guess we'll have to settle for indoor activities until then. Hey, at least we're not living through hurricane after hurricane! I'll take thunderstorms any day of the week.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
In our family we follow some basic rules while at the table.
However, we'd probably still be considered complete heathens by some.
Let's look at one of our more formal meals - The Sunday Roast Beef Dinner complete with silverware, fine china, and guests.
- Complete places are set for every meal. Everyone gets a knife, spoon and fork whether there is a need to use every utensil or not.
- We wait until everyone is seated at the table before we make a move. The food is not touched at this point.
- Grace is said.
- We start helping ourselves to the food placed before us, then pass to the left. That's right, the left, not the right. Got it?
- If a dish lands in front of you that you are not interested in, you continue to pass it to the left. You do not leave said dish stranded in front of you.
- You only stop passing once you ensure that everyone at the table has partaken of the particular dish you are holding.
- You can start eating at any time, but continue to pass dishes as requested (and salt and pepper are always passed together, not separately. Right Grandma?)
- Nothing is cleared from the table until everyone has finished eating...unless Grandma is on her own agenda. :)
- Dessert is served, guests first. We do not start our desserts until the server, usually Grandma, has returned to their seat and started their own dessert.
- All dishes are washed, whether they were used or not.
From here on out there aren't any fast rules that we follow for this type of meal.
Now then, there's the regular, every day family meal. Let's say supper on a Tuesday night. Let's see if things change.
- How the table is set depends on who sets it. Grandpa and I usually lay a full setting. Sherri will skip spoons, for example, if she knows neither she nor Glenn will use one at this meal. Sometimes serviettes are forgotten (that's napkins for any American readers), at least until Grandma gets home and puts them out.
- We wait until everyone is seated before lifting any food, but we do make exceptions from time to time.
- Grace is said.
- We help ourselves to the nearest dish then pass to the left, unless say, Sherri or I are having trouble with one of the boys, in which case the others may take their food first and we'll get ours when we're ready. (this can happen during a Sunday Roast Beef Dinner as well).
- Pass food even if you aren't interested in it. Sometimes a dish gets stranded, but some hungry person will eventually ask for it.
- Stop passing once you ensure everyone's had a helping, or when you're overcome with hunger and HAVE to dig in immediately.
- You can start eating at any time, but continue to pass dishes as requested (S&P together, same diff).
- The table starts getting cleared when somebody feels like doing it.
- If there is dessert to be had (usually left over from Sunday Roast Beef Dinner), we usually wait until everyone is served before eating it. Sometimes Grandpa will bring dessert out to the table and start eating it even before everyone has finished their supper! Say it isn't so!
- All dishes are washed, whether they were used or not (unless they can be snuck back away into their respective cupboard or drawer without Grandma seeing).
- Burping and farting happens. Sorry to have to tell you that.
- I personally like to cut into anything I can with my fork. Why? I'm too lazy to use a knife unless I have to. I believe there are those who would find that incredibly disgusting.
- There is often lots of hollering and crying by the youngest members of the family.
- There is lots of getting up from the table and returning throughout a meal.
- Phones are often answered during meals, but not always.
- There is often too much barking by my dog, who gets yelled at until somebody sprays him with some water, or lets him out.
- We all try to help clean up whenever we can and as much as we can.
- Us kids are very thankful that Grandpa makes most of our suppers for us, and Grandma does the bulk of the cleaning up. Are we fortunate or what?
Unlike many families in this day and age, we are often able to spend 3 meals a day together around the table, and we wouldn't have it any different. Incredible. I think most of these "rules" came from my paternal grandmother, and to me, they're all about being considerate. It is so important to be considerate of others when you live with 6 other people, and when there are so many people in the world that we need to interact with each and every day.
I'd love to hear about your family meals. Do you have any rules while at the table?
Sunday, July 03, 2005
I could see how Miles has changed since our last visit there. I could tell that he could more easily see the butterflies flying around him, that between the heat and the missed nap that he can really look bored sometimes (LOL), and that he really likes gazing at pretty, young girls. Oh well!
This was a special event put on by a local real estate agent that Grandma deals with a lot at work, so the conservatory employees made a special point to bring around different insects for patrons to see. One girl brought around some kind of horned caterpillar (sorry, I can't recall it's proper name). I asked her if she could hold it close to Miles so that he could see it and possibly touch it. Yeah, he touched it alright. In fact, he grabbed it with his whole fist. Tried to sqeeze its head off, I think. Who can blame him? Look how big and juicy that thing is! Silly Mommy to think he'd just gingerly reach out a little baby finger to touch it gently. Doh!
Grandma thought it was pretty funny how Miles seemed to be more interested in tasting his shoes than in seeing all of the different butterflies flying around. He'll enjoy the butterflies more when he's older and less interested in shoving everything he can find into his mouth.
We have many more visits to the butterfly conservatory ahead of us. Heck, I've got a whole sheet full of butterfly stickers to use up on calendars and journals and such! I'm really looking forward to taking him there in the winter when it's freezing cold outside and tropical warm in the greenhouse. Mmm, that will feel good!
If you haven't been to Wings of Paradise yet, you should go. I recommend it!
(Of course now that I've figured out how to add pictures to my blog messages, they finally get "Blogger Images" working...now it's super easy!)
Saturday, July 02, 2005
I think everyone had a great time. The weather was great - hot in the sun and cool in the shade. The boys did really well during the parade, even though it was obvious they were getting tired.
Cambridge Canada Day Parade
The Proud Flag Waver
Thanks Jen and Lori for inviting us over and letting us have such great seats for the parade!
(Look Sherri, I did it all by myself! But still, not without your help.)
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Man, I should have talked Grandma and Grandpa into getting Jonah a bigger sandbox for his birthday so that I could have played in it too! :)
Saturday, June 18, 2005
I've been living with my parents for 3 years now. I honestly thought I'd be out of their hair by now. Instead, I've added another person to the household. (sigh) I'm here because I lost my apartment and couldn't find anywhere else affordable enough to live. Practically at the last minute I gave in and called my Mom and asked if I could move back home. After putting most of my belongings into storage and fitting what I could into my little bedroom at my parents' house, I cleaned up my apartment and handed in the keys and said goodbye to the neighbors. I was crying my heart out by the time I got back "home" to Mom and Dad's. Mom understood - it was hard to move back home again. It makes me cry again just thinking about it...moving back makes me feel like a bit of a failure, like a real loser. Living with my parents isn't the problem so much as losing my freedom, my own space, the responsibility of having one's own place, and taking away my parents' privacy, space and freedom when they've just regained it, again. I've learned to just go to my room and close the door when I feel like being on my own. But Mom and Dad are great - you couldn't ask for better parents.
Since I've been here, I've been socking money away for downpayment on a house, and working to reduce my debt. So far it's going well. All I own money on now is the car. And even while on maternity leave I've been able to shuffle things around so that I'm still putting some money away for the house - a little less than half as much, but that's better than nothing! Here's the kicker though:
Back before Miles was born (and it was obvious that I was pregnant), I went to the bank just to see what kind of mortgage they'd give me, if at all. Yeah, they'd give me something, but t'aint gonna finance much more than a shed! A single girl with a good salary has no easy way of affording a house, it seems. I told Mom she better make sure Dad stays healthy, otherwise it will be her and I trying to make ends meet because I know she wouldn't be able to make it on her own with her salary either. Then just a few weeks ago I sat down with Mom and Dad to do some calculations again - Dad had a new program that would tell you what kind of mortgage you can handle, or something like that. NIL NADA NOTHING. I'm surprised smoke didn't start coming out of the computer's ears! :) When you calculate the numbers with a financial institution, the venture appears impossible. But we all know that we can work those numbers when and how we need to make it work. However, I'm realistic enough to know that at this point that I still can't afford it. You need to have some kind of quality of life! You can't put everything you have into a house.
So I sit here in cramped (borrowed) quarters and continue to wait. The stir crazies happen every now and then and I get a little depressed, but I always know I'll get past it. Hey, at least I'm not living in my parents basement! *wink wink nudge nudge* hee hee!
The greatest thing about living here has been getting to know my brother again, and getting to know my sister-in-law better. And I get to see my nephew EVERY DAY! And Miles, who unfortunately is missing out on one of the most important people in his life, gets so much love every day from his Grandma and Grandpa, his auntie and his cousin, and his uncle when he's home, as well as his other auntie and uncle when they visit. So you see I really can't complain.
The question still remains...HOW LONG??? Yeesh! I want my little house with the fenced in yard and clothesline so that I can invite my family over for dinner and Miles can show off his room and toys and maybe have sleepovers with his cousin and friends and we can make as much of a mess as we're willing to clean up, and I can wash up my dishes when I want to, and I can leave my laundry in sorted piles until I'm ready to do it, and I can have my own little garden where I can show Miles how to make flowers and vegetables grow...
Sunday, June 12, 2005
My boyfriend might be American, and my son might be half American, but I'm proud to be a Canadian. I love the fact that we have land, lots of green, open land. I like our easy-going, calm, polite and friendly nature. I think this place suits me well. :)
Every year there's a parade in Cambridge on July 1st. I think I really want to try to see it this year. I've missed it for a few years now. I hope Miles will like it. I'll have to see if I can find us both a patriotic T-shirt, and flags or something else to wave around from the dollar store. Awww, I can picture it now - little Miles wearing a big maple leaf and waving his flag with that big smile of his just beaming! I remember watching the parade at Queen's Square when I was little. I remember it being brutally hot too! LOL I'm having second thoughts now! :)
Saturday, June 04, 2005
One Christmas I was just dreading the thought of hitting the malls. So I started surfing. That led me to an experience I cannot forget. I ended up buying gifts for all the girls on my list from a place called Lush. If you love great-smelling soaps, shampoos, bubble baths, powder, massage bars, moisturizers, and perfume, made with lots of natural and organic ingredients, you've got to check this place out. So I ordered a bunch of stuff for gifts (as well as a couple of things for myself), and when the box arrived, I could smell its Lushness well before I got to it. I couldn't wait to get inside and tear open the box. It was just divine. The smell was so wonderful I felt giddy! Later, I learned that there's a Lush store on Queen St. W. in Toronto. My sister and I would leave early on a Saturday morning to make our Lush run - it's the only store we visited while in Toronto! - then get back in the car and Krista would go through both our bags of goodies and we'd smell everything all over again and Krista would read the descriptions of all our items from the catalogue. We loved it! Due to cost and time and blah blah blah, we haven't done that in quite a while. Maybe it's time again, eh Kris? Pay Jimmie a visit? Anyhow, there are a few items I would recommend: Lip Service Lip Balm, Butterball Bath Bomb, and Angels on Bare Skin Facial Scrub. Great names, huh?
Lately I've been surfing around eBay trying to find a great deal on some Robeez for Miles. These shoes are in crazy demand! The prices they go for are unbelievable. I think so at least. Even used shoes go for over $20. I thought maybe I'd be able to find a cute lightly used pair for Miles to get his walking feet in. Shopping on eBay is tricky though. You have to be careful not to get sucked into a bidding war - it's so like gambling. I'll just have to keep on checking. Does anyone ever get a real deal on eBay? I don't think it's in the cards for me. :)
With those thoughts laid to rest, I'm going to lay myself down for a rest.
Happy shopping everyone!
Friday, June 03, 2005
Miles and I had a great time. We're really glad we went. Thanks for encouraging us to go, aunts and uncles!
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
But I had thought that by now I'd have it all together. Instead I still feel disorganized and not quite confident enough to take baby out for much more than an afternoon-long shopping trip. Is this normal? Have I been expecting too much of myself? Have I been taking it too easy? Or should I be stepping up the effort somewhat and get life back on the track I was used to? Is that even possible now that I have a child? Right now I can't imagine getting up in the morning and getting myself and baby ready so that I can go to work for the day, then getting home and seeing him just long enough to give him a bath and get him to bed. It's only another short 5 1/2 months before that happens!
The question is, will I ever feel like I've got it all together again, or should I expect to always feel slightly out of control from here on out?
Mamas (and non-mamas) out there in blogland, please give me some insight. I would really appreciate it.
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
I haven't done it much lately, but in the past when I had trouble falling asleep, I would repeat these affirmations over and over in my head. It got so that I couldn't even get through them two or three times before falling asleep. At first glance they didn't make any sense to me, but after I paid attention to the words, I realized they were right on target.
Here are my affirmations for Virgo:
I accept that I am doing exactly what I need to be doing at all
times. I find peace in knowing that this is so.
I know that I am a good and decent person who is getting better all the
time. I allow myself to relax into this knowledge.
There is unlimited love for me which is unconditional and perfect. I
accept its presence and know that it is now revealed to me.
Follow the link to find your own affirmations. Try it for a week. It can't hurt!
Saturday, May 21, 2005
Growing up, my feelings were hurt fairly often. I may not have always let it show, but I spent a lot of time feeling hurt and small. Because of that, I try to not hurt other peoples' feelings. I may not always suceed, but I try. Then again, when someone does hurt me now, I really lash out.
I never really thought so much about honesty until I got divorced. I got so sick and tired of people asking how me and my husband were doing, and lying to them, telling them what I thought they wanted to hear. It just felt so wrong. I was sad and angry and lonely and frustrated, and I felt like I couldn't let anyone in on that. Instead I comforted myself with food, to the point where I became concerned about my health. That's when I stopped the lies and let the truth come out. The best move I've ever made.
Now it's more a matter of every day relationships. We must all know people who we feel like we have to tiptoe around. We stretch the truth to keep from breaking them. Some people are so fragile (or seem to be) that we tell lies to prevent the scales from tipping. Meanwhile, they're making us crazy! The sound of their voice makes us cringe. Being in their company is so annoying it gives you a headache, and you avoid going places to stay away from them. You don't answer the phone so that you don't have to talk to them. You do what you can to prevent them from getting your email address so you don't even have to see their name. You try to pretend they don't exist. And yet they seem to be so generous and thankful to know you - but is that just their way of seeking acceptance?
Is this right?
Why can't we just say, "I don't feel comfortable with you, and I wish you'd stop trying to be my friend. I don't want to be your friend." We do have the right to pick our friends, don't we? I can't say that I am aware of knowing anyone who has done this.
In my teen years I had a few "friends" that I dropped because the relationship became too weird, or uncomfortable, and even stifling. Back then, I just cut off communications with these people, and eventually, they went away.
Should I have told them the truth straight up?
Why do you have to be so competitive? I'm tired of competing. I
just want to be your friend. I don't enjoy hanging out with the
competitive you anymore.
I find you to be weird and wacked, and honestly, I think you need some
serious, professional help. I'm outta here!
Okay, showing up at my house uninvited is one thing, but following me
around town to see who I'm hanging out with instead of you? What kind of
friend is that? I'm moving on sister!
Remember, I was a teenager, and EVERYTHING'S difficult in the teen years.
Now as an adult, and a parent, I want to know the correct way to deal with these kinds of relationships. I want my son to see and learn the correct way right from the start.
Is it being polite to coddle people at the risk of your own personal well-being, or just plain stupid?
Friday, May 20, 2005
I remember Barbara and Gerry talking about the birth of their first child. It was so beautiful I wanted to cry. I knew then that if I ever had the chance, I wanted my baby to be caught by a midwife, not delivered by a doctor.
The first time I became pregnant, in 2001, I called Barbara. And I called her again when I started miscarrying. Barbara came over and stayed with me, informed me, comforted me. That day was horrible enough, it would have been unbearable without Barbara and my sister there to support me. The care and concern Barbara showered on me through my miscarriage proved to me that midwifery is the way to go. Now I was 100% convinced.
A year ago, when I learned I was pregnant again, I called Barbara first. She, of course, understood my fear of another miscarriage and started my visits with her early. We even did my first ultrasound a little early so that I could see my little baby living inside of me, to reassure me. Barbara always made sure I was fully informed, always told me the truth. She asked how I was feeling emotionally, how my family was handling it, how Courtney was feeling about it. A doctor wouldn't have asked those questions, so I would have kept those feelings to myself - it was nice to be able to release that. Not being married made my pregnancy a little harder to accept by some of my family, but Barbara's excitement always raised my spirits.
I was fortunate to have mostly home visits from Barbara, up until the last few weeks. Things got a little more stressful then, but I always felt that I was in loving care. Barbara was on her vacation during most of my last month of pregnancy, so my backup midwife took care of my visits. Unfortunately for me, she was so busy that my now weekly visits had to take place in the clinic. Now whether it was the normal progression of my pregnancy, or having someone new look after me, or having to be at the clinic, or the stress of the drive there, my blood pressure started to rise. When Barbara visited me at home on her own time to check my blood pressure, it was fine. At the clinic, it was not so much. As we approached my due date and my blood pressure continued to look bad in the clinic, an OB at McMaster was consulted. Oh yeah, there was a matter of dealing with a "bacteria problem" and needing to give me an IV during childbirth, which I had hoped to have at home. I almost ended up being induced on this OB's suggestion, but thanks to women being women and their love of discussion, Barbara called me the night before and said that after discussing the situation with some other midwives, I really wasn't in a position to need to be induced at this point. I decided, after consultation with Barbara, Courtney, and my parents, to allow the pregnancy to continue naturally and wait for labour to start on its own, with lots of attention given to my blood pressure and the baby's condition.
Around 8:00 a.m. on Monday, November 29, 2004, I got a call from Brantford General Hospital saying they had me booked for an ultrasound that morning. Okay then! I gulped down my breakfast, told Courtney, got myself cleaned up and dressed, roused Courtney out of bed, and off we went to Brantford. I had the ultrasound and the baby was fine. Brantford General requires you to have a stress test to check on the baby when you're there for an ultrasound. So Barbara met us there and was able to set me up for the testing and obtain the results herself. While she was finishing up her paperwork to discharge me, I took a bathroom break. I wiped and wiped and wiped but I just couldn't seem to end up without a soaked wad of toilet paper. When I got back into the room I asked Barbara how one would know if their water broke while they were on the toilet. She just looked at me and asked what happened. So I sat on the bed and told her and we discussed possibilities. When I got up to leave, I just stood still for a moment to let it register that my jeans were now quite wet and I could feel the water running down my legs. Barbara was surprised and said this was a first - she's never had a client who's water broke in a public place. Gosh, and I thought it would never happen to me! So then she had to check me out and assess the situation before letting me go home. She sent me packing with instructions to take castor oil (again), and some homeopathic herbs, and I can't remember what else. Because of how the castor oil works, I'm not really sure when the contractions began, but I know I was having them at dinner time, 5:00 or 5:30 p.m. After dinner I laid in my bed and started keeping track of the contractions. After a while I called Barbara to let her know the contractions had started and were now 10 to 12 minutes apart. She asked me a few questions and we decided I'd call her again when they got closer together. I got a little restless lying there, so I went down to the family room where my mother and sister-in-law were with my nephew. While there (not a really long space of time) I realized my contractions were happening a lot more often. I went back to my room to count. I found my mom again and told her they seem to be coming every couple of minutes now. We contemplated for a few minutes, then mom decided to call Barbara herself - Mom had inconsistent contractions herself, and she was concerned things were going to happen quicker than we had anticipated. Barbara came over after she talked to me, checked me out again, and we decided to head to the hospital before the ride there would become unbearable (approx. a 45 minute drive). Courtney and I piled into my car, Barbara followed us, and Mom & Dad weren't too far behind us. I believe it was around 10:30 p.m. when we got to the hospital. Barbara got right down to business, but, along with our student midwife Michelle, they always made sure I was doing alright. When the contractions started getting pretty painful, Barbara suggested trying a shower. She had Courtney spray nice, hot water on my back to ease the pain a little. Ease it a little it did, a very little, but that hot water did feel good. From there I think we decided to try the bath. I was nervous about getting in and out of the bath, but knew we'd find a way to do it. The urge to push happened shortly after getting into the bath, and that made it feel a little awkward. They scented the water with lavender essential oil, and Mom even came in and helped pour water over me to help with the pain. When we got back into the room after the bath, things seemed to happen pretty quick. I was zoned out by this time, totally focused on having the baby, so I probably don't have all of the events sequenced properly. I know at some point Barbara suggested to Courtney to squeeze my hips when I was having a contraction, and I remember that helping immensely. Oh, and I remember pushing while sitting on the toilet too. Having contractions earlier on the toilet were quite painful, so I remember Barbara prefacing this request by saying, "I know you're going to hate me for saying this, but I think you should try it" I think it was a trick to try to prevent too much tearing or something. Anyhow, I don't remember much of the final moments, just suddenly there was release and then a beautiful baby boy lying on my tummy. Barbara told me just recently that Michelle should have been the one to catch the baby, as part of her training I think, but that Michelle had pulled her aside before the birth and told Barbara that she wanted her to do it, us being related and all. Wasn't that so sweet of Michelle?!?! There's a picture of Barbara shortly after Miles was born where she looks just about as radiant and over the moon as I was. About 10 minutes after Miles was born, I delivered the placenta. Barbara had placed the metal pan between my legs in anticipation, looked away for a minute, and BLOP! the placenta landed squarely in the pan all by itself! Another first for her, she said. I think we all had a good chuckle about that move. After a nice, long, hot shower and completing paperwork etc., we left the hospital and were back home around 8:00 a.m. I remember my brother saying something like, "We were just going to bed when you left last night, now we're just getting up and here you are with the baby!" I have to say I was feeling pretty good and happy to be able to recover at home.
We saw Barbara twice more that day, and had regular visits after that for 6 weeks. She was great emotional support when it was time for Courtney to go back home, and endlessly helpful when I was having trouble breastfeeding. How would I have coped with that on my own?
I knew that having an experience this wonderful with a doctor were not so good. First off, I wouldn't have been in control - white coat syndrome, I'd have been too intimidated to take control! And then there's not knowing who's going to end up delivering your baby when the time comes. And the multitude of nurses and doctors in and out of the room. Then the stay in the hospital afterwards, and differing opinions of nurses there. Just TOO MUCH! I like things to be simple and straightforward.
I know I made the right decision for me.
Barbara is still working her tail off, bringing babies into the world, and even more so now that she's about to open up her own practice up north. Exciting times, but we'll miss her when she's gone.
So Barbara, again, thank you thank you thank you for becoming part of our family, and guiding us all through this wonderful birth experience!
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
This year for Mother's Day, we tried to come up with a meal we could put together without Mom having to do any work. My sister introduced us to a vegan potato salad recipe a year or two ago. I knew Mom had it here somewhere, but I couldn't find it. Mom couldn't come up with it either. When I asked my sister for it, she dropped off a cookbook with a different potato salad recipe bookmarked. She said it was really good. What the heck - I tried it! I thought it was great! Those vegetarians are so sneaky and inventive with their use of tofu!
The cookbook remained in the house after Mother's Day - my sister didn't remember to take it home with her. I perused the recipes on several occasions and only found one that didn't appeal to me. In fact, when I was asked to provide a salad for our Relay for Life team meeting this past Saturday, I ended up making two from this cookbook! I was slightly concerned about how they would be accepted by the group, but as Nanny often said, "What odds!" If they like it, they like it. If they don't, they don't! Guess what . . . they loved it! There was only a serving or two left to bring home! He he he That always makes me chuckle.
Now note that I didn't bring to anyone's attention that the salads were vegan.
Do you think it would have made a difference if I had?
The rice and bean salad was so good...it looked beautiful, smelled awesome, and tasted fabulous. I just couldn't get over it (and couldn't believe that I hadn't realized it was one that my sister had made and brought over to the house before!)
The cookbook is How it all Vegan! by Tanya Barnard & Sarah Kramer. Check out the website www.govegan.net
Friday, May 13, 2005
I hadn't even heard of a blog a couple of months ago. Then my brother started talking about it. Then I read his. Then my sister-in-law's. Then blogs their friends have. I'm thinking to myself, they're so smart, so worldly, so much more interesting than me. What on earth would I say if I had a blog?
So it's MY blog. It can be as smart or as stupid as I make it. You know what I'm going to say next - chances are it will be more stupid than smart.
Bear with me as I learn the ropes.