Friday, March 30, 2007

Evil Genius at Work?

To the untrained eye this may just look like a pile of junk that could be in anyone's basement.

This is actually a morning's work for my little Emmett. He found the monitor and hooked it up to the digital cable box, a broken CD player, Richard's childhood Atari game and the keyboard using various cables he also found laying around the basement. He also found the power bar but thankfully he did not find an outlet to plug it into.

What's next? Launch codes? World domination?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

My Baby Likes Jazz.

Richard and I went to a piano concert last night. The musicians were all very talented and I really enjoyed myself. I forgot how much I love live performances.

On the program was an eclectic selection ranging from 1940s Jazz Standards, Dvorak for four hands (very cool), a soloist singing German opera, Rachmaninoff (be still my heart!) and a little Beethoven for piano and violincello to top it off.

The baby would not stop kicking me during the Jazz performance. He/she was doing gymnastics! I didn't even get a flutter for the Strauss and Baby slept through the Rachmaninoff.

I'll have to work on the Rachmaninoff....

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Name Game

I am a couple weeks away from the halfway point of my pregnancy (whoa, time flies!) I just got my super-awesome baby name book back from Manitoba Farm Girl (Hiya, Hon!).

Here are the rules:
  • The Name must be easily yelled across a playground.
  • If naming a girl the name must easily grow up with the girl, being neither too stogy and dusty nor too juvenile sounding. Sorry, Tiffany, Brittany and Judith
  • If naming a girl the name must not end in a vowel sound, so says the father of the baby. (He thinks that makes the name sound weak) Bye bye Haylie, Nora and Samantha. Samantha also gets demoted because it can easily be identified as a character on Sex and the City. (Don't tell Richard that Charlotte was my favourite character on that show, please--he'll get all cranky.)
  • Preferably, the Name should not be on any "Most Popular Name" list for the past few years. (See Rule #1.)
  • The middle Name must be a family name.
  • If the middle Name begins with a vowel, the initials of the name should not spell a word that could be used as a playground taunt. (Juliet Elizabeth, you were in the top running until we figured that rule out.)
  • The name gets bonus points if it was once the name of a King or Queen (so says the father of the baby, a history major in University.)
  • Obviously, names of exes, cranky co-workers, clients or patients are off the table.
Let the discussion begin.

Oh, Grandma, if you are reading this, email me with a list of the middle names of you, Grandpa, and Grandma and Grandpa C, please!! (If you figure out the comments section you could just leave them there too!)

Monday, March 19, 2007

It could have been a bad night.

Last night could have been an awful night. Char has the sniffles and was grumpy and clingy at bedtime. She would not go to sleep in her crib. Richard held her until it was time for him to go to bed around 0100AM, then just decided that she should sleep with me in our bed and he would take the couch. There was no pouting, no guilt trip. Just "Here, we will all sleep better if she stays with you. Good night." He scored major points last night.

Char is a terrible bed partner--she slept horizontally across Richard's side and kicked me hard most of the night. At least I got to stay in bed all night. She actually managed to kick herself right out of the bed by 0630AM. Thank goodness Richard doesn't pick up his laundry often enough--she had a soft landing. We are not well practiced in the art of co-sleeping, I guess. She is fine today. She still has a runny nose, but she is full of energy. We actually slept in over an hour and would have slept longer except Emmett came in and woke us up. He redeemed himself by serving himself breakfast and getting some for Char too.

I did something I thought I would never do this morning. I put a book in the recycle bin. I have owned The Nanny Diaries for quite a long time. I remember it being quite funny. I wanted an easy to read book to page through this weekend so I picked it up again. Big mistake. The book is about a nanny who cares for the child of a very wealthy and messed-up family in Manhattan. The mother of the child depends on the nanny to rear her precious little boy and won't even hug him in the book. The child is a little boy who is just a bit older than Emmett. I keep forgetting that mama bears who are full of pregnancy hormones should never read books about bad mommies and the nannies who get stuck in bad situations because they worry about the welfare of the children of the bad mommies. The book made me tense and sad, and it is fiction! I needed it off my bookshelf. I need to find something more uplifting to read now. Any suggestions?

Friday, March 16, 2007

Random Thoughts and a Shameless Plug.

I have a crafty itch to scratch. You see, I cannot knit anymore due to the fact that pregnancy has unleashed my Carpal Tunnel Syndrome with a vengeance. I am wearing splints as I type this.

I have been turning my thoughts back to sewing. I came across what I think is an old Victorian idea: the pillowcase dress. So simple, so comfortable for summer, and will be so adorable on Char. I even have an old Laura Ashley pillowcase in my linen closet with ruffled eyelet lace and pastel flowers (does Laura Ashley do anything but??) that will be the first one for my girl. I will be using the instructions I found here. See how easy it is? I am also going to try my hand at tie-dyeing a pillowcase dress for Char as well. At this blog is also instructions for a dress that involves sewing a pleated (or gathered) rectangle of fabric to an existing t-shirt. I can do these things!!! Stop me when I take a set of sheets to make a pillowcase dress for myself--at least don't let me out of the house while wearing it!

Last night our lovely respite worker came over for her usual Thursday evening. I met Richard at his office and we ordered Chinese and watched Casino Royale. What a fantastic movie! It had me riveted from the moment it started. My flannel-wearing inner Grunge Girl loved the opening song done by Chris Cornell (lead singer of Soundgarden) and the special effects and stunts were amazing. I don't care what anyone else says about Daniel Craig, but I think he was a great Bond. Yes, he is a little rougher around the edges, but it really sets him apart from the others that came before him. He fills out the Bond tux extremely well!! I found this movie didn't objectify women as much as previous Bond movies have. A lot of the gratuitous cheesecake shots were of a glistening Craig coming out of the ocean in a small bathing suit, not of a Bond girl. Quite refreshing. The various locations the film was set in were breathtaking--I want to visit Italy more than ever now.

Yesterday was a big day for Emmett as well. We have started making plans to add more therapy to our routine in the form of Developmental Therapy. Since we are not entirely sure where all of Emmett's delays lie I am open to taking all the help I can get. A therapist will be coming to our house starting next month for play-based sessions that will focus on motor, social, and speech skills. She is starting out by meeting us at speech therapy so she can see how our Speech Pathologist interacts with Emmett and carries out her sessions. Therapy will also continue at his preschool in the fall. Wow, therapy twice a week and school twice a week. We are going to be very, very busy this fall. (I am trying not to hyperventilate.)

Ok, shameless plug time. Remember last summer when I stood up in my dear friend's wedding? Well, a couple of blog posts about that came to the attention of one Siri Agrell, a journalist who works at a national newspaper and was writing columns about wedding culture and bridesmaids. She emailed me to ask if she could use a couple of my stories in a book she was writing. Well, one phone interview and several months later, the book is in stores. Names were changed in the stories to protect the innocent, but my real name is in the acknowledgements . I got quite a thrill from seeing my name in an actual book that is available everywhere. It is quite an amusing read. My career as a bridesmaid is over, but I still found it interesting. In addition to funny/scary stories from bridesmaids all over North America, Siri writes about the origins of the wedding party and how it has evolved over the centuries. Did you know that bridesmaids originally wore white and were expected to fight off potential kidnappers and dowery thieves?? How things have changed!!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

For Sarah, and all of my other Mom friends.

If You Give a Mom a Muffin

If you give a mom a muffin, she'll want a cup of coffee to go with it. She'll pour herself some. Her three-year-old will spill the coffee. She'll wipe it up. Wiping the floor, she will find dirty socks. She'll remember she has to do laundry. When she puts the laundry in the washer, she'll trip over boots and bump into the freezer. Bumping into the freezer will remind her she has to plan supper. She will get out a pound of hamburger. She'll look for her cookbook. (101 Things To Make With A Pound Of Hamburger.) The cookbook is sitting under a pile of mail. She will see the phone bill, which is due tomorrow. She will look for her checkbook. The checkbook is in her purse that is being dumped out by her two-year-old. She'll smell something funny. She'll change the two-year-old. While she is changing the two-year-old the phone will ring. Her five-year-old will answer and hang up. She'll remember that she wants to phone a friend to come for coffee. Thinking of coffee will remind her that she was going to have a cup. She will pour herself some. And chances are, if she has a cup of coffee, her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it.

by Kathy Fictorie
based on "If you Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Banana Monkey.

Richard told Emmett that monkeys eat bananas. Now, when Emmett asks for a banana he signs "banana monkey".

Does it look like him??

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Four Things Meme

For Shari.

A) Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Short order cook at Co-op Cafeteria

2. Cashier at a giant grocery store
3. Hospital staff nurse
4. Camp nurse

B) Four movies I would watch over and over:
1. Mona Lisa Smile
2. School of Rock
3. Shakespeare in Love
4. Say Anything

C) 4 Four places I have been on vacation:
New Brunswick
4. Los Angeles

D) Four TV shows I love to watch:
1. Heroes

2. Las Vegas (shut up!)
3. Desperate Housewives
4. Big Love (hurry up, Season 2)

E) Four places I have lived:
1. Up North
2. Just South of Up North
3. A Little Farther South and East of Up North
4. One Block from Where I Live Now

F) Four of my favourite drinks:
1. Beer and Clamato
2. Mochaccino with a shot of Cinnamon
3. Diet Pepsi
4. water

G) Which friends will respond: no pressure :)
1. You
2. You
3. Probably You
4. Maybe You Too

Monday, March 5, 2007

I'm Scared.

I have entered my second trimester relatively unscathed. I don't blog about this baby much if only because I can't imagine a catalogue of my every symptom, ache, and pain to be even remotely interesting.

I have discovered that the maternity retailers of the world would have you believe that your wardrobe is not complete without an expensive belly band. I have also discovered that my cheap tube tops are doing the exact same job and my wallet is none the lighter. (That little tidbit was for you, ManitobaFarmGirl!--I am always trying to look out for you.)

I am scared. I have still not fully come to grips with the reality of my situation. I just cannot face it. I get panicked and scared when I think about bringing this child home from the hospital. For the past few nights I have been dreaming of running away with my family. In the first one I was being chased by an unseen bad guy. In the second one I was trying to make my family at home in a strange new house that was uncomfortable and shabby and all wrong for us. I am not visibly pregnant in these dreams. I wake up exhausted and my head hurts. I am impatient and snap at Emm and Char. When people act happy and excited for this baby around me I politely smile and then change the subject.

We always thought we would have more than two kids. Char is just so busy and demanding that I wanted more time for her to grow up a bit before we got started on the next one. I also wanted to enjoy my brand-new size eight jeans a bit longer. (Yep, I am shallow and vain, but I worked hard for those jeans!!!) We always talked about having four children. Now I am thinking I will not leave the hospital until I have had my tubes tied on the way out. I have been pregnant every second year for almost 4 years. That thought boggles my mind.

I am trying very hard to figure out a way to process my situation and move on--I just don't know how.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Snow Day

The weather man predicts 17 cm of snow will fall on my city today. Highways and schools are closed. Snow is falling steadily. We are hunkering down for a day by ourselves. Thankfully we are well-stocked with diapers and food. Baking is on the agenda.

Today is also the perfect day to catch up on neglected chores. I am going to help you, faithful reader with your neglected chores today too. If you live with one or more dirt magnets like I do, you need to know the secret I learned on a message board that is too good to keep.

Step 1: Go through your closets and drawers to find the stained clothes you thought were ruined forever.

Step 2: Find a large container. A bin, a bucket, anything that you can put those clothes in without packing too tightly.

Step 3: Pour a small box of baking soda in the container and add hot water. Mix to dissolve.
Pour in a 400 ml bottle of hydrogen peroxide.
Add water to fill container half way and add clothes. Mix well and add more water to cover.

Step 4: Set the container in a safe place, away from kids and pets. Leave that container for at least a day, overnight or longer--check the clothes periodically and stir them.

Step 5: Launder clothes normally and be amazed that you saved clothes you thought were destined for the playclothes drawer or rag pile!

Happy Snow Day!