Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Want to come over for a fall lunch date?

So we're putting away the highchair...

Since our transition to daycare, meal time has been fraught with discontent.  To be blunt, my child is super unhappy in his highchair and often extremely hard to convince to stay for long in the chair, and eat a proper meal. This has been going on for a month or so now, and it all culminated this weekend with a glorious (read - super super scary)  FALL out of a highchair onto his face/head at a friends cottage.

When we arrived home, I told my husband... "this thing has got to go".   Once the fall happened, I knew our highchair days were close to being over.

Rory's daycare seats the babies/toddlers at tables in little chairs that aren't too high off the ground and pull into a table of a similar height. They look sort of like this...

Recently I visited the daycare during meal time and I was pleasantly shocked at how well they all sit contentedly and eat for the ENTIRE meal.  The ECE (early childhood educator) told me that children (especially toddlers), like the independence of the chair/table and it makes it easy for them to push away from the table when they have had enough. They are in control.

How much control does a 14 month old need?  Apparently just enough.  On Sunday we assembled Rory's very own dining bistro (from IKEA).  It is a major success.

Happy meal times are here again.

We're accepting lunch dates.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Would you do it?

So, when I was in Vegas last weekend with my sister (awesome), I was actually quite shocked at how many people bring children, very small children to Vegas.  We stayed at the MGM and strollers were a common sight.  In a place where you can smoke and drink 24 hours a day, anywhere you want... I will be honest, I totally judged what I deemed to be ridiculously neglectful parents.   Vegas is no place for children.  And then I wondered... What do they do with their kids at night?  Do they stay in the hotel with them? Or do they take them out into the smoky casinos hoping that they will catch some sleep in their buggies?

Unfortunately we saw a lot of the latter.

On Saturday morning, when I was flipping through the hotel guide in our room, I saw an ad for something I have never heard of before.  An in room nanny service offered/arranged by the hotel.  Nannies & Housekeepers USA - properly licensed, bonded and fully insured.

  • All nannies are at least 20 years old with a minimum of two years of experience with verifiable references.
  • Every nanny is meticulously screened (Social Security check, drug test, criminal check).
  • All nannies must have current CPR and First Aid certification.
  • Nannies must successfully complete Nannies & Housekeepers U.S.A. training.
I kind of scoffed at the idea because it was Vegas and then something interesting happened...

On my way home, I was actually on the same flight as my old friend Rob from Molson.  He was married at around the same time as Peter and I, and they have a 16 month old daughter. He told me about their plans to go to Montreal on vacation, and that they had arranged an in-room nanny so that him and his wife could go out after their daughter had gone to sleep to some nice restaurants.  Hmmm.  Not so crazy when the idea is coming from a friend that I respect. From other good parents that I know.

So... We’re thinking of taking a family trip to New York before Christmas. New York before the holidays is supposed to be incredible and something I have always wanted to do.  Given this is the first Christmas Rory will really understand, or we will be able to see him get excited about... How much fun would it be to take him skating at the Rockefeller Center, see his face light up at the trees and lights in Central Park, to take him shopping for a toy at FAO Schwarz? Alright, let’s be honest, this is stuff that we really want to do, but we think he would like it too.

So my point is... I never really have considered being able to go out at night if we brought Rory with us. Which we would... But now that I know about this nanny idea, we’re considering it.

Would you do it?


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fourteen Months

Yesterday we celebrated Rory's 14 month birthday with an earthquake! Coincidentally, there was also an earthquake the day he was born. Given I was jacked up on all kinds of those good epidural meds, and in full crazy labour, I didn't even notice. Yesterday I noticed. I thought I was having a stroke and was extremely happy to find out that the building was swaying for more than just me.

It's crazy how many more pictures I took of Rory when I was off. Now he gets the odd snap like this when daddy happens to have his iphone out. I'll do better on the weekend baby.

14 months is a ton of fun. Rory is really starting to talk up a storm and tries hard to repeat the things we say. He said banana the other day... which for no one but me, was just the most exciting thing EVER.

Can you believe it's almost September?  Me neither. But I love the fall. Bring on the cozy sweaters!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The first annual sister-cation

Forgive me Stephy. I know it’s taken me a while to write about this...but in my own defense I will tell you that my anticipation of the impending ‘sister-cation’ has been lost somewhere between daycare transitions, a brutal flu, planning a new house renovation, endless weekend plans and house visitors, my 32nd birthday, two VERY big launches at work, and a little search for family sanity in the down moments.

But it’s Tuesday. And we’re leaving Thursday... SO LET’S DO THIS!   


My sister and I are tight. Very tight.  We’re 22 months apart and have shared just about everything together.  And sometimes even by choice.

It hasn’t always been so buddy buddy. But hey, all kids fight (Stephanie was VERY bossy as a child - *wink*), and in the moments that have mattered, we have always had each others back.  We were each other's maids of honour, we are our children’s god mothers, we talk daily (yes, DAILY), she is my confidant with a conscience and the girl can call me out on anything, in a split second.  She has inspired me to be a good mom, to be calm in moments I never used to be, and to let go of things I can’t control.  And I even bake now. And believe me when I tell you that I bake purely out of competitiveness.  She got the Martha gene. I did not.

So as great as all that sounds... History has proven that there are two very big things we don’t do well together.

(1) We don’t keep secrets from our mom well.  “Don’t tell mom” basically means mom is getting a call within a New York minute of your conversation ending. Unless of course, we’re both implicated in said secret. Then we tell her together when we’ve had too many glasses of wine thinking it’s funny.


(2) We don’t travel well together.

The last point isn’t probably that fair, but if our trip to Barbados in 2000 is my only point of reference... We have some making up to do.  Hopefully the eleven years between trips and now actually being moms, will make compromise a bit easier for us. :)

How we ended up choosing Vegas for this weekend away (my first away from my husband AND child, and a long overdue mom-cation for her), escapes us both.  It is going to be a bazillion degrees in Vegas, and I am quite sure we could have gone to spas and a show in a closer city.  And it seems more “relaxing” is on the agenda than “partying”. Anyway, the point is we’re going away TOGETHER, JUST THE TWO OF US, and it’s going to be FUN!!!!    We’ve been emailing each other numerous times a day since April about this trip.  I think we have a “to do” list long enough to spend a month in Vegas, let alone a couple of days.

My mom things we should make this getaway annual. Let’s see what the reaction is when we get back. :)

Stay tuned for more details.  I can already hear the pillow top bed calling my name. 


Monday, August 15, 2011

Daycare Schmaycare

We're all over it.  Sort of.  But really, thanks for all the emails and advice, we're doing MUCH better (read - Mommy is getting the hang of things).

So where are we at?  Well, Rory cries for about 30 seconds when we drop him off in the morning. You know, just enough to rip my heart right out before I head off to work.  Then the routine is that I call when I get to my desk, to make sure he's all right (read - calm my nerves). And he's typically running around laughing his head off. 

So, life's good.  And I am blessed to have been given such an easy and happy baby.  Because as I am sure you will agree, it's become glaringly obvious that I likely couldn't have handled anything else.

So dramatic eh?  Would it really by my life without self created drama? Obviously not. :)

Here are some recent shots that daycare has sent to Peter and I.  They're good people.

Who wouldn't love a daycare that gives kids freezies?  He's not getting that stuff from mom, that's for sure.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Miracles do happen

and they call them housekeepers.

For my 32nd birthday, I bought myself a clean home. Not just a clean home... but a sparkling home. A home that doesn't even look like mine it is so clean. And I couldn't be more happy with my own choice of birthday gifts. Birthdays are meant to be indulgent right?

And I so wish someone had captured my face today when I opened my gift.  As I walked in our front door at 530pm, in the usual post work/daycare pick up race to feed my child... my own home stopped me dead in my tracks and took my breath away.  Every mom deserves that feeling. At least once. The feeling of pure unadulterated cleanliness JOY.  Like little cleaning angels came down from heaven and bestowed on me the cleanest home on the block. I almost cried. I am serious.

Honestly, sometimes happiness is THAT simple. Even if my kid threw his dinner all over my gleaming hardwood floors in less than 5 minutes of us being through the door (which did happen)... My clean home, regardless of how temporary, makes me the happiest mom on the block. Is that sad?

Jo Anna, you're an angel. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A guest post - from daddy (post paddy days)

hello.  it's pete here. yes, hubby of kim, and the da to mr. little rorykins (his new official name as of today).

for the past 9 weeks i've wanted to write here.  somehow, amid the diapers, meal planning and cooking, walks, laundry, classes, cleaning, bike rides,......and plenty of playing...i couldn't find the time.  i'm sure many of you reading know what it's like.  maybe it's odd that i find time after my first day back to work, a day where rory was sick and couldn't go to his first full day of daycare, but here we are.

these last weeks have been the wonder of a lifetime.  i wouldn't change much about them.  after my first day with the boyo, i told kim I was ready to become a stay-at-home da. the second day, well, i was ready to head back to work early.  it did not go so well. 

day four i also remember being difficult, but i started to learn  from rory....it was late in the day and i was stressed, trying to get something done in the kitchen while rory played in the adjoining room. i stopped whatever i was doing and listened for the slap slapping of rory's crawling hands.  i heard nothing.  nervously i leaned back and looked through the doorway to make sure he wasn't climbing the stairs.  he wasn't. phew.  but where was he????  I took another couple of steps back to look down the length of the house. what could he be doing so quietly???   there he was, one hand on the bench seat, dancing away to the music.  i think I heard him say everything's ok da, just calm the flip down.  lesson learned.

or what about the time where i gave rory a bag of j-cloths to hold on to at the grocery store? he kept dropping them, and on one drop the bag landed right at my feet. I kicked it lightly before i could avoid it....and then it entered the loblaw's triangle.  no, really. it wasn't under the cart, ahead of us, behind us.  i even got down and started looking underneath the shelves.  nowhere.  by the bye, i highly recommend that you never look under the shelves at your grocery store. eez no nice.  anyway, we were forced to turn back to the j-cloth aisle, where lucky for us there was *one* bag left. it was good that it was during the day, and quiet....i don't think that anyone saw my comical search efforts.

there were so many hilarious, lovely, inspiring moments that i think of on my leave. rory taking his first couple of steps; playing with the kids next door, and rory being fascinated with our other neighbours' hanging flower pot; his first ride on the bike; hearing him slapping his hand on his thigh to the music in the car; how he would always lean on the tree in the front yard and smile at strangers passing by; going through the car wash and hoping he wouldn't wake up and think it was a nightmare; and most of all....how overjoyed rory would be to see his ma come through the door every day.  and hey, who could blame him?  she did such a magnificent job with him for all those months, it's no wonder he was delighted.  she really did set me up for success with the oul' paddy daddy leave. ;)

here are a few picks from the 1200+ photos i took over the last 2 months. (my annual photo average over the past 15 years is probably about 8).

thank you rory and kim for the most wonderful journey, and for all those to come. i love you two. xoxoxo


Monday, August 1, 2011

So many candles

Such a wonderful weekend celebrating my birthday with our loved ones.  A dinner party with friends, a visit from my mom and dad, a date night out with my husband, a wonderful gourmet brunch chez Don (on location at our house) and a family trip to Toronto Island today... definitely a weekend full of birthday love.  And I was spoiled. Very spoiled. :)

Some birthday highlights...

Beautiful tri-colour cake from Melissa, so amazing! 
Delicious key lime pie and cafe con leche on a birthday date night with my husband
(Thanks mom & dad)
 Sunset at the beach! So rare moments like this. 
Rory loving his time with his gram in the park!
Yumm! Lemon Squares from my mom & dad. My favourite!
Ok... so all this feting may have meant a VERY indulgent weekend.

First ferry trip to Toronto island for a holiday Monday picnic!
 Playtime with daddy

Let's play ball!