Monthly Archives: June 2009

Potato (PoTAto)

potato-blog

Potato. Sometimes I hate you.

I really love you. Mashed. Fried. Hashed. Deep-fried. Really however you are served. Boiled too.

This evening I arrived home from work to find dinner preparations in full swing. Things were being boiled and stirred in the kitchen. Pans were being rattled around. The tap was being turned on and off. Repeatedly. And V was wailing away in his high-chair, clutching his bottle, naked (except for a diaper) with his damp hair sticking up…

Apparently he had just had a bath. And M thought it would be a good idea to stick him in his high-chair diaper-clad.

And then make him mashed potatoes.

Now I know more women than men are reading this. Well, I am pretty sure anyways….. But lets follow the logic on this one….. fresh from the tub, squeaky-clean, that lovely baby smooth skin…

I am sure that the first thing that you are thinking about is how feeding your child mashed potatoes without a bib is maybe the best idea ever!

I returned from my run (luckily) just post-potato fest.

V. Was. Covered.

Hair. Toes. Diaper. High chair. Diaper. Nose (up). Face. Ears. etc etc.

I carried him to the bathroom at arms length, and stripped him down on the bath mat. A trail of mashed potato followed us, quickly eaten by Chewie. A little got rubbed into the bathmat I bought from Ikea a few weeks ago. Potato plus lime green equals poor colour management. Anyways, happily the tub was still full.

Oh wait. I mean unhappily it was still full of dirty, brown cold water. Awesome. So a naked V happily played with cold mashed potatoes that were flaking off his body on our bathroom floor, while Mummy refilled the tub. I might have cursed M just a little. I might have ended up with potato in my hair. And somehow in my armpit…. not sure how it got there, but I am not surprised. Things seem to turn up unexpectedly these days. Zucchini in diaper, potato in armpit. That’s how it goes….

We are still running in full-on teething mode. 4 coming in. Drool. Tantrums ahoy! And the most awesome crying, flailing back-bends you have ever seen in your life!!

Good times over here in Orlando… I think it might take a while until I love potato again…

2 Comments

Filed under bed-time, busy, Daddy, family, Florida, holy mother, potatoes, random, Summer of Dad, Uncategorized

Home Depot of Dads

dad-blog

Monday night, M and I reclining in the living room.

We have survived. 4 whole days of teething. 4 new teeth coming in. An interesting new habit I like to call ‘Tantrum”. An unfortunate lack of regular naps (he is very stubborn). Oh, and the end of the Cheezie stash in our apartment. It’s been a tough couple of days….

Regardless, we both finished a lovely dish of homemade Pad Thai, a few glasses of red wine and are watching some Burn Notice (which is our latest non-thinking evening entertainment. We watch it while I blog and M plays around on his DS…. fights Ogres, Dragons and Orcs and other things like that.

So tonight I dedicate to my darling M.

Mr Mum, as he is known this summer. Mr Mum is awesome. Every morning V and Mr Mum walk to the park to play. Every morning they meet their new dog friends, Jake and Pretty, on their way to the park. I know they have fun as the stroller comes home covered in some kind of new substance which I think is a combination of grapes, cheese and sand. It is sort of like cement (I noticed it was as I was trying to scrub it off the stroller this evening).

Breakfast and lunch are duly (and lovingly made). Outfits are hastily and poorly put together, but in a wonderful sort of way. Tops and bottoms are the opposite of matching. He would be the Dad that the other Mums in the park oooh and aah over. And bring extra snacks for. And dote on. Man, this could be trouble….. He is rather lost looking and adorable…. that’s M I mean, not V…..

He is such a good Dad. All Dads are good dads, but it is an amazing thing to watch a new Dad at work. M is unlocking abilities that I never knew exsisted in him. He is mastering new levels. His skill level is rising.

And I am playing too much  Mob Wars on FB.

Regardless, M is total Major Dad this summer. He is all schedules,  parameters and other technical terms I can’t think of right now. Everything is organized. Listed. Super organized. M is the Home Depot of organized. And the Lowes of Dads.

It’s shaping up to be an awesome hardware store-filled summer  for the boys…

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Filed under boys, busy, Daddy, family, happy, Home Depot, Mad skills, parenting, patience, random, sanity, tired, Uncategorized

Toys

toys-blog

As I look over at my exhausted Chihuahua as he sleeps in his cat-bed, I notice a plastic cow in front of his little bed. My house has suddenly become over-run with toys and I am not sure how this happened.

And when did our dog get so tired? Perhaps when V started following him around waving his dog toys in front of his little dog face? Maybe then….

There was a time, I think it was when V didn’t wiggle around as much. But, regardless, there was a time when we had about 4 toys. And they didn’t make any noise. Then my bf gifted us with a few extra things from her house, which we thought was great!After all, we thought, we have NO toys. We NEED toys.

And then a little while later, Target opened a Super-Target about 1 block from my office. Once or twice a week I would head over there with the pretense of buying ‘groceries’, that really means formula, diapers, clearance items and little toys. I think I ‘little toy’-ed us to death.

Oh, and then it was Christmas, and then it was Easter, and then some family visited. And then V turned one. And then I went to Ross every week for 4 months and bought him books (as he didn’t have any books). Now he has a lot of books. And pj’s.

And this last week, when V unveiled his new talent of A) removing all items from any shelf within reach (oh how great that I decided to put  half of his books on a shelf in our living room!) and 2) removing any toys one by one from any storage container that they are placed in and C) screaming when you return them to said storage location….. that is when I decided that we have too many toys. And things. And need a separate room for all of these things.

And so we are buying a house.

Not that we have found a house to buy, but we are looking seriously and buying seriously too…. (we do everything very seriously. We are frighteningly serious people. And also frighteningly sarcastic as well) before the end of the year. And it’s all because of V. And his toys. Not really.

It is because of me. Well, the book situation is anyways…. I can’t resist. I still think books are the best toys ever. For anyone really. I think it is the nicest present to give someone, well, only if you know them fairly well….. and they have time to read. So maybe don’t work full-time and have 2 kids under 5…..

So little toys are everywhere over here. Plastic cows, Elmo books, wagons, numerous plastic hammers (w/sound effects), over-sized cars, many things with sound effects etc etc etc….

We are on our way to drowning over here…… Help!

For help, click here

4 Comments

Filed under bed-time, books, clean, Daddy, family, Mummy, parenting, toys

You give me fever….

tooth-blog

and by you, I mean 1 year old shots…

V had his birthday visit to the Dr on Monday and got a few shots. One of which was the dreaded MMR shot. Now I trust his doctor, a lot. She is very open and doesn’t hesitate stating what she has done/used on her children (the latest 2 of which were born about 1 month after V). I realize there is a lot of conjecture about this particular series of shots…. and we went with yes. Yes means he can go to school. Yes means he can go to daycare. Yes means I have read enough online and in magazines and books to feel like it is appropriate for my child.

He cried for 2 seconds during the series of shots and, as always, stopped abruptly when M made faces at him. He is such a Daddy-slash-Mummy’s boy…

Anyways, last night I picked him up from Pop-Pop and he felt a little warm. I thought it was because they had been out walking in the sun. But after we got home and half way through dinner he was still just as warm. So I took his temperature.

99.9

Hmmm.

Well, that concerns me, just a little.

So in we went to a cool bath, and I dosed him with some Tylenol.

And just to preface this next series of sentences, my little man is not the snuggliest of boys. He loves me, cries for me when I leave the room and clings to my skin with his needle -like nails. But is not an active snuggler. I love and pray and wish for any moment when he does lay his sweet little head on my shoulder and sigh deeply into my neck. It makes my mummy-heart melt. It doesn’t happen as often as I would like.

So as I was reading him his evening “5 Little Monkeys” and “Good Night Moon”, and a quarter of the way through the first book we struggled with some screaming and flailing and finally settled with a sad little head resting on Mummy’s shoulder…. thats when I knew that things weren’t ok.

My poor boo…

It was a rough night for me…. he slept like a baby (which I guess he still is),and I woke at every little sound.

This morning when he woke up, it was the same thing. Little Man wanted Mummy. Really just Mummy’s shoulder to lay his slightly sweaty little head on and my arm to lightly clench with those needle-like fingernails of his.

Broke. My. Heart.

Broke. My. Heart. is also called “I have Mummy wrapped around my fingers”. Which he does.

This evening as we were getting Little Man ready for bed, I totally did a ‘BNE’ into that mouth of his. M was making him laugh so much, that mouth was open open open. It used to be easy to see if he was getting teeth, there was nothing else in there. Now there are 8 sharp teeth in there and I can no longer see. Well, I can, but I risk getting my finger bit off while I look.

This mouth-mission required a forcible entrance. Which meant crying. V is anti-everything to do with his mouth….

5 minutes later I learned that 3 teeth had just broken the surface. And had a very upset child in my arms.

And suddenly I understood everything.

Fever-check. Red cheeks-check. Irritability-check. Plus shots on Monday equals Motherhood.

Yay Motherhood!!

For a toothfairy pillow of your own, click here

2 Comments

Filed under family, Florida, health, holy mother, late night, MMR, Mummy, parenting, patience, sanity, shots, teething, Uncategorized

Yogic thoughts

lotus-blog

Things I was pondering during class yesterday evening…..

During Dandayamana Bibhaktpada Janushirasana, or ‘Standing separate leg head to knee pose’, while I was staring down the front of my tank-top, I thought about a few things.

1) I need a new sports bra

2) I definitely have a bigger ‘rack’ since V came along, which is probably why I need a new sports bra…

During Dandayamana Bibhaktpada Pashimottanasana or ‘standing separate leg stretching pose’ I thought about a few others.

Primarily about how I missed Spandex-Man. And also why that girl behind me thought it would be a good idea to wear light green spandexy pants with black panties. I mean really….. sweat+light colour pants= see-through

While I was trying to not fall over during Dandayamana Dhanurasana or ‘Standing bow pulling pose’, I thought that I might just hate the two girls on the other side of the room who did the pose effortlessly. And didn’t fall over even once. And then gracefully lowered their legs in unison….. *sigh* one day… Then I thought that hate was probably not something one should be dwelling on during yoga…. Probably I should be focusing on my pose. Which makes me fall over. And then I curse under my breath. Also not good during yoga class….

While I struggled to get my leg into a proper 45 degree angle during Trikanasana or ‘triangle pose’, I mentally cursed my instructor for singling out my friend and I and making us examples. As we finally got our legs in a position that he was pleased with, I felt my foot slowly loosing its grip on the carpet and slowly sliding backwards…. which brought my leg, knee and groin waaaaaay closer to the floor than I would have liked. I didn’t really want to re-learn how to do the splits in one evening. Damn that instructor! Damn him!

It had been 2 and a half weeks since I made it to a class, what with being on holiday in Canada and all. And I really felt it. While I only go once a week (as its all the time I can carve out), that once a week keeps me a sane, flexible person. I didn’t realize that it had made that much of an impact on my life until I took a wee hiatus…

Thank goodness it’s back in my life….

4 Comments

Filed under awkward, Bikram, happy, health, holy mother, standing, Uncategorized, yoga

Girl Guides (and thunder storms)

camp-blog

This morning we woke up to a crazy light show outside our apartment. Florida sure has some dramatic storms and this one was throwing a full-on temper-tantrum on our lawn.

Heavy thunder, freak lightening (a la strobe lights at a Britney Spears concert…. or so I imagine anyways) and torrential downpour aimed primarily at our bedroom window. This was around 5 am or so. V slept through the whole thing, to my surprise. M woke up briefly, uttered “Man, that’s loud…zzz..” and went back to sleep.

I lay awake until my alarm went off at 6:30, thinking that I am so not prepared for Hurricane season. I have no bottled water (except for the dead soliders around my side of the bed). I have no back-up baby anything. I have a few cans of Minestrone soup in the cupboard.

I suddenly had this vision of running out of fresh water and having to make formula with toilet water. No child of mine was going to drink a toilet bottle. I lay in bed muttering things to M like “We NEED supplies. Seriously M, we NEED them.” and “toilet water, no way!”.

When M called me later that day and announced that he and V were heading off to BJ’s (which is like Costco) and I practically yelled “GET WATER!!!!!!!” into the phone. Except I was at work, so I just said “Could you please pick up some water” in a well-modulated voice instead.

And then I had a flash-back to Girl Guide camp which, for my American readers out there, is the same as Girl Scouts except with less-gourmet cookies. Just plain vanilla and chocolate for us folks up North.

Anyways, we were given a wilderness survival kit at the beginning of camp. We were supposed to take it with us on all nature walks. I was fascinated. I vividly remember it containing a rain-slicker made out of a garbage-bag (with holes cut for arms and heads) and a package of raisins, which we were to regard as ‘sugar’ incase we got hypothermia from being out overnight in the cold, rainy, windy, spooky West Coast forest.

Again, I was fascinated by the idea of getting lost in the forest. Fascinated and scared at the same time.

One night after all of our Girl Guide campfire building and firewood collecting, all curled up in our bunkbeds, under the cover of my sleeping bag and using my flashlight, I emptied my survival kit and took a proper look at it all.

What it contained other than that garbage bag and those raisins, I couldn’t say…. I do know, however, that stale, illicit raisins eaten under a sleeping bag, on the top bunk in the dull glow of  a flashlight are delicious…. And that I am now the proud owner of a lot of emergency bottled water…… and that I will seriously try to not drink illicitly under the cover of my duvet…

For Girl Guides of Canada, click here

For Girl Scouts of America, click here

For raisins, click here

3 Comments

Filed under bed-time, camping, drama, Florida, Girl Guides, late night, Morning, parenting, Uncategorized

Banana (genius!)

banana-blog

I thought a lot about flying with V before our actual trip. A lot.

I MIGHT have over-thought everything, just a bit. I was really trying to think about things to do with him on the plane, but with a one year old that is a little tricky. Things that would work on older and younger children I didn’t think would work with him.

He doesn’t sit still ever.

And hates being held quietly and rocked like a younger child possibly would. Oh, and screams when falls asleep.

So a lot of thought went into what to take in that diaper bag of mine.

Snacks, toys, bottles and juice. That is pretty much what I had. Oh, and a banana.

The Banana, or  the herbaceous plants of the genus Musa, is cultivated primarily for its fruit.

Bananas are grown in at least 107 countries. In  popular culture and commerce, “banana” usually refers to soft, sweet “dessert” bananas. The bananas from a group of cultivars with firmer, starchier fruit are called plantains. Bananas may also be cut and dried and eaten as a type of chip. Dried bananas are also ground into banana flour.

Although the wild species have fruits with numerous large, hard seeds, virtually all culinary bananas have seedless. Bananas are classified either as dessert bananas (meaning they are yellow and fully ripe when eaten) or as green cooking bananas.

V loves them, which was why I brought one. And spur of the moment, I decided to give the whole thing to him, skin and all to eat.

Holy burst of motherhood genius!!

That banana kept him occupied for about 25 minutes. I peeled the the skin back and let him hold the whole fruit, the skin draping down over those plump little fingers.

He was enchanted.

That little mouth didn’t know exactly what to do with it though. He tried to bite it with those 8 little teeth, but didn’t have much of an effect on the banana. He tried again, and managed to get some of the fruit in his mouth. With each bite he grew braver and braver, finally managing to take a whole mouthful of the fruit in one bite.

Banana was everywhere. How nice that I decided to save this moment for his first airplane ride, eh? It was on the airplane phone, the window, me, the seat in front of us, me again, him, all over him and his seatbelt and also my hands. I actually had a collection of banana pieces in my hand, the ones he didn’t feel like keeping in his mouth and spat out. Now normally I would just drop them on the floor and shout “Chewie!!! What’s this!!!” and our dog would come running and eat it.

That doesn’t quite fly on an airplane (harhar). So I just collected those little soggy bits in the palm of my hand and waited patiently for M to finish his diet soda so I could deposit them.

So word to the mothers out there. Bananas are genius for domestic flights!

Don’t, however, try and take one through customs entering the USA without declaring it, or you will be subjected to the excitement that we were (bag searches, flagged for the ‘short’ customs lineup (aka longest line ever with super strict scanning people) and having your bag swabbed for bomb residue). If you do bring any fruit through from Canada to the USA, make sure that it has the sticker on it. Apparently Canada imports from some countries that the USA doesn’t, and this is a huge issue.

Apart from that whole kerfuffle, I am a wellspring of motherhood genius! Banana! Genius!

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Filed under banana, Canada, flying with children, genious, holy mother, Mad skills, Mummy, parenting, patience, sanity, traveling, Uncategorized, Vancouver, West Coast

Pox

kitty-blog

M is allergic to cats.

When he first told me this years ago, I thought he was lying. I really thought that he didn’t want to get a kitten/cat, anything of the feline persuasion as a pet. His family is more of a ‘dog’ family. And so years ago when he visited me in Canada and stayed at my parent’s house and started sneezing and rubbing his eyes repeatedly, I finally got the point. He was, in fact, not lying. Surprise!

My dear kitty that I had during University moved in with my parents when I moved to Japan. And when I moved back she continued to stay with them. They love her (as do I, she really is so sweet). On our recent trip to Canada, we slept in their bedroom with V, while my parents stayed in the guest house. There was much talk about making sure to keep the bedroom door closed as Molly-cat loves to sneak in there. Not only is M allergic, but my Step-dad is too so this was doubly important.

Despite all of these precautions (and leaving the bedroom window open all day and night), M still had bouts of sneezing and watery eyes…. it just couldn’t be helped.

One night we were all out on the patio. We had just finished a lovely visit with some family and friends, and were finishing off a quickly put-together smorgasbord of savory treats. There was a nice chill in the air, wine on the table and my sister and I got up to get hoodies and slippers so we could stay cozy while we all chatted on the deck.

I guess M and C must have looked a little cold, as my mum dashed back in and came out carrying 2 woolen blankets which she proceeded to toss on both of them. Satisfied that everyone was cosy and warm, we all continued laughing and joking for another hour or so before heading off to bed.

…….hours later…….. early morning…….

M woke up with his eyes practically stuck shut, sneezing like a mother-f’er, tears running down his face from how itchy his eyes are and totally congested.

“Don’t tell your mother, but I think that blanket has the pox,” he said, “It is my Kryptonite.” Apparently it was covered in cat hair.

I started laughing and thinking of course that I will have to write about this in my blog. M looked at me and I knew he was reading my mind. As soon as he started to say “Jame…..” I said “I will really try to not mention this….really. For real.” I am pretty sure he didn’t believe me. It might have been a little lie on my part…

Downstairs we trudged with V (M trying to hide his sneezes and red eyes). The pox blankets lay on an end table and V was reaching for them. “No honey,” I said, “Don’t touch the cat blankets.” (M evil eyed me in the background for uttering this outloud).

“Cat blanket?” someone piped up…

And then the story unfolded from my Stepdad.

“Ah, yes,” he said, “The cat used to sleep on it. I think we’ve had them for about 30 years and they’ve never been washed. Missy used to sleep on them too.” (Missy was a cat we had when I was in middle/high school)

This history of the pox blanket is revealed! I struggled to not look at M, for fear that the giggle in me would erupt and run totally out-of-control.

I just saved it all up for here instead….

5 Comments

Filed under awkward, Canada, cold, Kitty, random, Uncategorized, West Coast, what the?

Flirt

Flower V-blog

Traveling with anyone gives you a great sense of how you relate to them…

When M and I traveled together for the first time, I knew immediately we were destined for marriage…

(ha! Just kidding!! I think I was all annoyed at him for something. So nothing has really changed since then. However, we travel really well together)

When Mum and I went to Kyoto for a wee trip (and actually the whole time she stayed with me in Japan, it was the same deal. We had no problems that we couldn’t resolve) We travel well together too.

We had never traveled seriously with Little Man before and, as we were soon to discover, traveling with children is interesting.

Our flight to Vancouver was a 2-parter, Orlando to Chicago/Chicago to Vancouver.

Part One: Disaster

Involving screaming, screaming, screaming. Break. (Involving eating). Screaming, screaming, screaming. Deplane.

It. Was. AWFUL.

Part Two: Tsunami

Waves and waves of screaming/quiet, screaming/quiet. AWFUL. This went on for 3 hours.

In the Customs lineup, someone from our flight leaned over the railing in front of us and said “He didn’t really sleep that much, did he?”. Um, no. No he didn’t. Thanks for pointing that out. I hadn’t noticed at all.

In between the bouts of screaming and sleep were these rather interesting moments, where V was assessing the cabin. He likes to make eyecontact with everyone and when he does he breaks out into the hugest, most flirtatious smile you have ever seen. Those big brown eyes of his are so engaging…

So full of charm, in fact, that one Flight Attendant declared that we might be related as V apparently looked just like her brother, and she doted on him the entire flight. Her co-worker declared him to be “The Cutest Baby I have Ever Seen” (and, she also said, ‘I have seen a lot’). Of course M and I soaked this all up… (and might have preened a little as well).

And it went on and on… People…. well, women really, peering around corners and stating that he was gorgeous. That he was flirting with them. And just giggling inanely and waving like idiots….

And this is when I got the first inkling that I might have given birth to a future heart-throb…..

Right now it is adorable. Charming. Makes my heart burst… 15 years from now? It will probably make my heart break.

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Filed under busy, Canada, family, happy, Love, parenting, patience, Uncategorized, West Coast

Pomp and Circumstance

party-blog

A first birthday party is a big deal, as I was soon to discover. To be honest, its something that has been on my mind  for the past 6 months. This party has gone through many any reincarnations. It started out as an 80’s themed party (and in retrospect, what on earth was I planning), moved onto a ‘Star’ themed party and then just moved into a ‘party’ themed party.

I was even going to make mix-cd’s as party favours until Mike and I listened to what I had so far and we realized that I have crappy taste in music. I mean, we already knew that (seriously, who buys the Aqua cd and enjoys the other songs on it apart from “Barbie Girl”).

Regardless, I finally worked out what I wanted to do, bought everything (frequent trips to Target, BJ’s and Costco), had frequent chats with my mother-in-law re: invitations and organization.

Every question I asked M was answered like this “Whatever you think is best” or like this “That sound’s like a great idea honey!”, but no actual input. That’s fine. We all know how much I like lists and planning 🙂

Lets just say that I stayed up way too late the night before (cousin love, really, ain’t such a bad thing) and got up way too early. And then baked things all morning. And decorated. And fought some nasty woman in the party store for balloons. AND won. And walked victoriously out to the parking lot where I fought to get those balloons in my small car. Where approx 1/5th of them popped. Awesome.

Anyways, I am pretty sure I worked myself up into a right and proper state. Surprising? No. Not really.

It’s genetic.

This is a cautionary tale to those parents who have yet to experience the first birthday party.

Examples:

Do not make a commemorative cd.

Do not invite 30 people.

Do not expect your child to think cake is awesome.

Also do not expect your child to enjoy having 30 people clapping and staring at him in unison.

Forget to drink water. And forget to eat as you are fussing over everything so much.

And finally, expect to be totally exhausted, so thoroughly exhausted that perhaps you need to take a nap. And take one. For real.

I did.

And I felt much better.

I still need a few days to recover though. It’s almost the equvalent of hitting up the bars Saturday night when you are about 23. Think headache, exhaustion and inability to eat anything (except that nasty nacho cheese you can get at 7-11).

So ladies (and gentlemen) plan these parties carefully. And post-first party, think ahead carefully to next year. Now you have experience…. you can survive…

5 Comments

Filed under busy, cousin, family, fancy, happy, late night, Mummy, parenting, V