Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tiny hands make great gifts

Look at this... does this just not melt your heart?  This is what Christmas is all about. Children and their tiny hands, and homemade gifts.

This apparently is the "secret gift" Rory has been working on for Peter and I.  I don't know what is in the bag, I will save that to open on Christmas morning with Peter.

 We also picked up Rory's first class photo! Well I don't have his class photo yet, but I do have his individual photo. How cute is this? How they ever got a 17 month old to sit still and smirk/half smile for the camera is beyond me.

One more day and I am home to the Valley for the holidays! HOORAY!

Monday, December 19, 2011

It was a Silent Night

Peter and Rory are tucked safely into the Ottawa Valley to begin the Christmas Holidays, and I am going to join them later this week. They left yesterday afternoon and from the sounds of it, Rory is already having a great time with his cousins and his gram and grumps. I am here until Thursday doing a mad dash to the end at work, and finishing up/starting most of our Christmas prep and shopping.

Am I a bad mother if I tell you that this is the best Christmas present my own mother could have given me?

Because I am going to be frank here... after being alone in the city with Rory for two weeks (with the exception of weekends);  That’s 10 mornings and 10 nights of getting Rory and myself dressed and out the door to work/daycare, and home again in one piece, only to start the race to get dinner on the table before the ‘melt down witching hour’ hits.  That is 10 days of bath-time and bed-time on my own, one morning of projectile vomit from a daycare mishap, and 48 hours of vomit and a whole lot of other not-pretty stuff from a flu.  Let’s throw in prepping to host two different parties on one of the weekends in between, and baking for a Christmas cookie exchange in there too. Oh and two obstetrician visits (one planned, one not) just because they are so awesome. So all to say, I need this.

And I won’t even tell you what work has been like. Because frankly, at this point, who cares. You get the point.

Honestly, If only you could drink while pregnant.  Judge if you will. I am a good mom, I can take it. And, I am not talking about the one glass of wine they say doesn’t matter either. Because who cares about the first glass. It’s the second and the third that really relieves the stress.  If I wasn’t pregnant, two weeks of hard work wouldn’t even PHASE me.  But lugging around a huge belly, emotional as all hell from hormones, insanely over scheduled  at work, and with a kid very much missing the “fun” parent...  A bottle of my favourite red wine really may have helped. Oh well.

Anyway, by Friday of last week I was done. So done that I can’t even begin to explain the depths of my done. I was ready to cancel Christmas, cancel work, cancel moving, cancel everything.  I was officially Scrooge and I really didn’t think anything was going to change my mood.

Then my husband arrived on Friday night, and slowly brought me back from my ledge and helped our somewhat under the weather little family have a quiet and cozy weekend together.  Rory napped his weekend away as he slept off his flu bug, and know what Peter and I did? We napped right along with him.  I NEVER have done the whole sleep when the baby sleeps stuff. My brain just doesn’t turn off that easily... Too much to do, always.

So after a super restful weekend... If you can picture a sanity meter, mine was registering again by Sunday morning.  What an incredible man I have. Patient, kind, funny, handsome, patient, patient, and super patient.

So how am I going to spend 4 nights on my own?  Let me count the ways. :)  I am still figuring that out, but I WILL make the most of them. I feel like I deserve this time.  And after not even 24 hours and the first solid sleep I have had in 6 1/2 months,  I already feel like I am going to arrive home to my family smiling and merry and completely excited to smother their faces in Christmas love.  In truth, I miss them already.

A girl at work today even compliment how I looked. No one has done that in months. Several months.  That has got to say something?

Until then,  I am ok admitting that every mom, whether she admits it or not, needs/can benefit from time to herself.  Time to recharge, time to take a shower that’s longer than 5 minutes and  time to drink a full cup of uninterrupted coffee.  It doesn’t mean that I love my family any less than you love yours,  in fact, it makes me feel like I love them even more.

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas, I know we will !!

Rory taking it all in at my sister's place last night.
Dancing with his cousin Jenna via her Karaoke machine (Jenna apparently danced out of frame)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Merry Christmas Baby

Over the weekend we had a small get together with some of my mat leave mamma's and Rory's little girlfriends. It has been so fun to get together with these women every several weeks. It's funny to see how much these little ones have changed.  Even since we all got together at the distillery for Halloween they have changed. That day, collectively their favourite word was "NO!" and Sunday their collective favourite word definitely was "MINE!".   Too cute. Happily we successfully got them through our little holiday party without a fight and with minimal melt downs. What will Rory and I do without these girls?

Colouring with Ameila

Kissing Alexis. Rory is a tad aggresive with the kissing these days (gets it from his dad).  :)
Fire and cleaning patrol. Clearly it's love.

 Bonding over a mutal love of Elmo.
Holiday cookie monsters

Rory entertains the crowd on guitar.
Couldn't you just eat them?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


and just barely keeping my shit together.  I miss my husband, and Rory's misses his daddy.  I think he is still having fun with his mom though? I selfishly edited pictures I've taken this week to convince you, and me.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It's hard to say what is best when dealing with other children

Yesterday I requested that Rory and another little boy in the daycare be permanently separated and the daycare has granted my wish. Today Rory is in the "other" toddler room and I have had this great sense of relief since drop off, but it hasn't come without a lot of doubt.

The decision to make the request has been coming for a couple of weeks and truthfully we have been torn about it.  The short version of the story is there are two children in Rory's daycare with behavioural issues.  One of the children has a severe biting issue. He bites multiple children a day (which Rory now has been on the receiving end 5 separate times), unless he is shadowed by one of the education assistants all day long.  If they take their eyes off him, he bites. The other is a child who is also violent but more in a hitting, punching, and throwing type way. He is hyper active, and quite frankly in my opinion anyway, out of control.

Two weeks ago I had a meeting with the daycare about the concerns I had over what was happening in Rory's room.  There was another biting "incident" report for me to sign at pick up time and while in the room discussing the bite, the other boy (the non-biter), started throwing chairs across the room. Those were followed by buckets of toys and a high pitched yell. It was total chaos in there. Chalk it up to pregnancy hormones but I started to cry. I started to cry hard, right there on the spot. Thank God Peter was with me.  I just couldn't deal with it, you know? Is this seriously where I was leaving my child all day?  Is this really what one of Toronto's best day cares looks like at 5pm?

So Peter left with Rory and I calmed myself down. I then went to the office to express my concerns about a situation that I felt had escalated to an unacceptable level of care for my child.   We discussed at length my concerns, the things they were already doing to help the two "situations" that they too were aware of, and what else they could do to alleviate some of my specific concerns about Rory's safety and development.  And they also made aware of some more private details of one of the children's background that could be contributing to his outbursts and violent behaviour.  And, at that point I was asked if I wanted Rory to be moved into a different room? And I said no. I said no for a number of reasons... I didn't want more change for Rory, I wanted them to work on the issues in the room to benefit ALL of the children in there, and I also didn't want to pull my child out of the first situation where a "different" child was making me uncomfortable. I want Rory to learn that not everyone is like him. That's important.

Peter and I talked about the meeting for a long time that night and also some of the details that were shared about the child (the non-biter, but extremely violent one).  It definitely pulled on our heart strings and we wondered what we would do if it was our child? Before I go further, the child is not developmentally delayed, or autistic. These are behavioural problems probably created by his infant environment and stimulus.

So, Rory stayed in the room.  Things didn't get better over night. Or the next day, or the day after that. And I am not entirely sure if they are better today either. But what I do know is that there is now an extra education assistant in the Toddler  2 room, and that makes me feel more comfortable about the safety of all of the children in there. 

So fast forward to Monday morning.  Yesterday.  It was our first evening/morning alone and things we're going great. We arrived at the daycare and Rory was excited to be there with big waves and hellos for everyone. I had just finished putting Rory's shoes on, and he walked over to a table where there were four toys sitting out.  What I witnessed was shocking. As Rory began to play with a toy, the little boy (the non-biter violent one) stood up from the chair he was sitting in, and hit Rory in the face. He wound up to do it.   Rory isn't a cry baby. He has to be pretty hurt to really wail, and he wailed. He cried so hard that he eventually made himself puke all over himself and all over me.  He puked so much that I actually thought he was sick. He wasn't sick, he was scared and shocked and hurt. Shit, if you arrived to work and someone punched you in the face you would probably cry until you puked too.

That was it for me. I am done. I have removed the guilt of knowing anything about this other child's background, took my child home for the day, and then formally requested in writing that Rory be permanently be separated from him.  They will be in separate rooms from now on.  It isn't this other child's fault. I know that. But he needs more than a stern voice from a daycare assistant to help his behaviour at this point, and maybe the silver lining will be that my request will be some sort of positive catalyst. Hopefully they will speak with this child's parents about getting him some professional help that he desperately needs.

Every parent needs to draw a line between development opportunities and your own child's well-being and safety.  I am at peace with my decision. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Ode to single moms

There have been some recent articles/surveys discussing single mom-ness lately, and those discussions have talked about partnered moms who feel like single moms because they carry the burden or the majority of the child rearing duties/details.  As you can imagine, the discussion has gotten kind of heated.  If you're a single mom or a partnered mom feeling like a single mom... whatever your case may be, I am just here to say that parenting alone is HARD.  Pure and simple. And with that I should also say that I do have an awesome partner and he is a fantastic dad.  We truly parent together, in every way. In 17 months of parenting the guy has never challenged a decision I have made about our child once.  We just talk it out. We may come to a different conclusion after some discussion, but I definitely feel supported, appreciated, and that we share the role of "parent".

Until today.

Peter is gone for the WHOLE week, and I am here alone with Rory. Really alone. Not a Gramma or a Grumpa in sight. I don't know how single moms do this. And you know, I am OK admitting that right now I am a overwhelmed mom. I have a lot on my plate. And yeah sure, I put it all there... this shouldn't surprise anyone. I apparently enjoy drinking of a fire hose. It's just my style. If I am not busy, I go crazy. And I go crazy when I am busy.  So what's a girl to do but find the right level of busy? Or crazy? Am I right?

Anyway, It all started off so well... we had a great night, we had a great morning, and drop off at daycare looked like it was going to be great as well, until Rory started projectile vomiting all over me. Fast forward through a day of trying to entertain a 17 month old who wants to do nothing more than to go outside (but it poured rain all day) and who has recently taught himself to climb over/up/on top of practically everything in our house. Pepper the day with a few conference calls that I couldn't get out of, a failed attempt at making sugar cookies together, and oh maybe the fact I am 6 months pregnant with a terribly sore back.

And a partridge in a pear tree.

We will get through this week. We WILL get through this week. We will. We will. Of course we will. And Peter will arrive home on Friday night just in the nick of time to save my sanity.

Just in the nick of time.

We did enjoy a fun weekend before Peter left for O-town including my work kid's xmas party. Check these shots out... we even all survived the big orange slide. Barely.
This photo proves I have over invested in striped pregnancy shirts. 
The legend that is Grip's Big Orange Slide
This was right before I yelled up "you're not seriously going to let him go by himself are you?"
This slide was NOT designed for kids. In fact, it was barely designed for humans.
Here WEEEEE go!

Mesmerized by balloon dogs.
Not so keen on Santa this year. 

Especially when nap time has been delayed for two full hours.
Just give me the gift already Santa, not another HO HO from you.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Picture Round Up!

So, since I don't post pictures on facebook anymore, I thought I would do a wee picture round up for lack of anything else to write about.

My mom is here this weekend...which means Peter and I have a long overdue and awaited evening on the town Saturday.  And afternoon massages. CAN. NOT. WAIT.!!  Which means I will probably be home in bed by 10pm. Oh,  and we're off to a bunch of Christmas parties including one for the kids at my office. The very dangerous big orange slide should prove to be a very interesting obstacle to keep my child off of I am sure.

Watching YouTube videos before daycare

Sleeping in the car before daycare, 
proving he in fact does not want to go, or care about mommy's early meeting.
 Modeling new winter boots with daddy.  
Once these are on his feet (which he can put on by himself), 
it's a FIGHT to get them off.
 You know, just laying around throwing a temper tantrum. 
Yes indeed, the "two's" are JUST around the corner.

Playing around while daddy test drives his new car.
This ball cost us 4.00 and he carries it EVERYWHERE!
He can pick out most of the animals and their sounds too.

Christmas Tree is up!! 
Rory is learning to be "gentle" with the branches, ornaments, and presents underneath.
Definitely a work in progress, sorry if your gift looks mangled this year.
And also learning all about Santa and when he is coming to town. 
In this particular case, he's introducing Santa to Thomas.
There is a lot going on in this picture. 
Including evidence of a much needed hair cut.
Learning about the advent calendar. 
And wondering where the heck the chocolate is.
Four stockings hung with care this year!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Me and my second trimester are fighting

You know if my kids ever do actually read this blog I am sure my second born is going to wonder why I have written so little about being pregnant. It's a fair question. And while there is a lot of truth to the statement 'it's different with your second',  I actually really hate that women default to saying stuff like that.  Yes, this pregnancy is totally different, but for what it's worth  it's actually different (aside from the almost 6 months of puking I have endured) in a lot of great ways. For instance, I actually feel MORE excitement and LESS anxiety this time around. I think I just know what to expect. I know how to be a mom, I am excited about holding our newborn vs. worried I am going to break it.  And you just get on with it you know? The world stops less often for you when you're pregnant with your second, if you can understand that.  :) And you get way less massages from your husband. For the record.

So here's what IS the same though. For whatever reason I do not get along with my second trimester. I remembering counting down the DAYS with Rory until my second trimester started with a child like excitement built from promises of "your second trimester is like the honeymoon of being pregnant".  Those days didn't show their happy little face until my 3rd trimester.  I am definitely on the same train with baby #2.  Pregnancy bliss awaits in the new year. I just know it.

Until then, here is an update.  We've decided NOT to find out/tell you what we're having.  I know, aren't you shocked?   So here's why, the day of our anatomy exam was hectic. I went into emergency with bad stomach pain in the morning and ended up learning I had a cyst that had burst.  Which if you're curious, feels just like you're having a baby or passing a kidney stone.  Without drugs.  So I had been up all night and by the time our ultra-sound actually happened, I had already spent 4 hours in the emergency room at Mount Sinai with some freak running around with tuberculosis that they couldn't quarantine.  You can just imagine the mood I was in by the time I met Peter for our exam.   So let's just say our exam was less than I/we had hoped. The sonographer had a bedside manner that left A LOT to be desired and for a number of other reasons we just decided we would let the world know who we're adding to our family, when they arrive. There we have it.

I am off today. The flu is going around our office and I think I caught it.  You see - second trimester = fighting. The baby is kicking. I think they're telling me to cheer the heck up or to eat a cupcake. Probably a cupcake. :)

Seventeen Months

And such a little man! 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Simple Things

After what seems like a long stretch of ridiculous busy-ness, we finally had a quiet weekend to ourselves.  Long overdue and much needed. You know... I seem at some point to have forgotten I am pregnant. Twenty two weeks pregnant actually. I would be lying if I wasn't honest about the toll the last month has taken on my body.  Selling a house is WAY more work than I bargained for. I am exhausted. Actually, I need a new word for exhausted because I am so bloody exhausted.

On Friday at my doctor's appointment I actually told my doctor that I don't think I have the energy to make it through the next 18 weeks.  Dead-panned, she asked what I thought I should do about that, and I told her that I really could only think of one way. "Well, I think I should keep being angry at the world and sleep straight through xmas and hope the new year looks brighter."   Kidding, Kidding.  For a moment she did think I was serious. I then told her that I need to hit the gym in a big bad way to get some more energy, and she of course was very supportive.  In fact, if I want to avoid another round of pre-eclampsia and other pregnancy complications I am already feeling, it's probably actually the only answer.   Me and my big mouth.

So far so good... And what, it has been like a whole two days. ha. So wish me luck getting there tomorrow morning ok?

We had a great weekend with Rory.  This kid has been SUPER patient with the lack of undivided attention lately. But you know... he's pretty easy to please these days. He teaches us every day that life really is all about the simple things, and he doesn't need anything too complicated to make him happy.

For instance, sometimes a large package of toilet paper makes the best seat to read for a while.

That contrary to popular belief sometimes the package IS just as good as the inside. This is one of Rory's xmas gifts. He sits and stares at the pictures on the side of the box everyday and then climbs on top as if he is riding the real tricycle inside.  Sometimes your imagination is way better than the real thing anyway.
That in a room full of toys, a guitar is still always better.

That a $3.00 broom can make a kid THIS happy.
And a sunny November day in the park can make a whole family smile like this.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Wall of Same & Cousin Love

I found this picture on Friday tucked inside Rory's cubby at daycare.  We think this might be his daytime persona after we drop him off? Who is this kid?

And then I find this old photo of Peter (taken before our time) and realize he comes by it naturally. His Da is all attitude as well. :)

We had a delicious dinner with Peter's sister and family tonight. Rory seems to be coming down with something, but stalked up on a whole lotta cousin love to make him feel better.