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.