Tuesday, July 29, 2008

45 out of the last 56 months!

Madigan at 2 months old breast feeding just a few hours after her surgery.
Anywhere and everywhere - on a boat/bus tour in August 2007.

Madigan is introduced to solids...she loved it!

Yummy first birthday cake times two!

July 2008 - sitting at the table eating macaroni

You can do it Madie...look at you... you're a big girl!
Eating food with a spoon all by yourself...no need for boobie my Darling...no need for boobie...please, for Mommy, for Mommy who for 45 months out of the last 56 months has had a baby or a machine gnawing on her boobies...please...no more boobie....only big girl food and drink from now on...and no boobie. OK????

I vowed that I would breast feed as long as possible. With DJ we had tons of issues, so I pumped. I pumped for 9 months and DJ had breast milk for the first 15 months of his life. Anderson breast fed like a champ, right form the beginning. At a year, he slowly started weaning himself and at about 15 months was practically done. Madigan is almost 18 months and she still loves to snuggle and breast feed - mainly before her nap or when she is upset.

I have always stated that I would not breast feed when the child could verbally ask to be breast fed. Well, for about a month now my baby-girl has been coming up to me and saying, "boobie peeze". But I keep letting her. My mother says it is because I do not want my baby to grow up and that I am encouraging it. She also says that it is more me than Madigan who wants to breast feed - especially since Madigan is our last child.

While I see nothing wrong about breast feeding as long as possible and I applaud mothers who continue into the toddler years...but my boobies are ready to become mine now...after 56 months, I want them back! No more boobie, peeze!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Votes and Vacations!

Reality shows are getting more and more popular. It is unbelievable what the common-Joe will do on TV for money or 10 seconds of fame. You can vote for housemates, dancers, singers, performers - just about any type of person. I have to admit, there are a few reality shows I really enjoy: Dancing with the Stars, Amazing Race, and (sadly) America's Got Talent. I will even watch the first few episodes of Idol to see the crazy people.

Over the last 6 weeks I have been glued to a Canadian-based reality show. Every Sunday, even though I have to get up at 3AM for work, I race to the TV at 8PM, humming, well, honestly, belting out, the theme song to "What to do with a Problem Like Maria".

Yep. That is the name of this reality show. "What to do with a Problem Like Maria".

All die-hard fans will know right away the concept of this reality show.

For about an hour BEFORE the show I can be heard belting out songs like "The hills are alive with the sound of music" and "These are a few of my favorite things" and "Doe, a Deer". Then, after the show, I am humming the tunes for hours, even days.

Yep. It is a reality show to help cast the next Maria for the theatre production of The Sound of Music.

I LOVE the Sound of Music movie starring Julie Andrews. And I cannot wait for the stage production in Toronto, Ontario, Canada this Fall.

This reality show, while a bit corny and Canadian-quirky has been very enjoyable. They started out with 200 contestants and over the weeks it has been narrowed down to two. Click HERE to read more about the show. Andrew Lloyd Webber is even involved in the show. Too cool!

The competition has been amazing. These gals can sing, dance and act. The race has been very tight. All of the top 10, let alone the top 3 could be leading ladies in almost any musical. I can only imagine what this exposure will do for their careers on stage.

Two of my top three made it to the final. I have been cheering for Janna, but have liked Elicia since "Maria School". Yep. Maria School...go, click on the link above and learn more about it!!!

Anyways...last night, for the first time EVER, I voted for a reality show contestant. After the last performance I ran down to the computer and logged my vote. I also made hubby vote for my favorite contestant too!

Tonight, at 8PM the voting results will be in...I am on the edge of my seat!! I cannot wait! Funny, I can now understand how people, who do routinely vote for their favorite reality stars, really feel connected to the show once they cast a vote, take a stand and invest in the outcome of the show.

How do you solve a problem like Maria? -- One of my favorite things, for sure!!!!!

Now onto vacation news...I am officially on vacation this week. Oh, do not get me wrong, I am still getting up at 3AM and going to work for 4AM. I am still coming home and being a stay-at-home mom through the day - but, to only one kiddie! Yep, the boys are off to full-day camp - so, it is just Madigan and I....can you say VACATION?!??!?!?!? I am so excited to only have one little person in my charge. For those of you with more than one child, you know exactly what I am talking about!!! It is so rare to get one-on-one time when you have more than one child - so, I am hoping to make the most of this week - in terms of play and attention, but also in terms of getting household duties that are near impossible to complete with a 4 year old, 3 year old and at 17 month old under foot! Ya! VACATION!!!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

A post full of resentment

This post is just full of resentment...I have come up with a list of five things I hate:

1) I hate coming into work for 3AM. It sucks!

2) I hate covering off for a co-worker on vacation, who is very self-centred and arrogant. This idiot does not appreciate what we all do for him, especially in terms of coming in at 3-frigging AM so he can take time off!

3) I hate that my kids do not fall asleep until after 8PM. And that they insist on barging into my bedroom when I am trying to get to sleep!

4) I hate that unsettled weather or pressure systems cause me to have massive headaches and migraines. Making it almost impossible to get a restful night of sleep when a thunder shower is moving into the area.

5) I hate that my hubby is so wonderful, cute, intelligent, witty, caring and S-E-X-Y. Oh, why did he come into the bedroom at 9:10 PM to tell me to get to sleep.... Wink. Wink. Nudge. Nudge. Say no more! Say no more! Y-A-W-N. Grin.

I hate coming into work for 3AM!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Choosing your Battles

A key to limiting the stress of parenting is to choose your battles carefully. At times I let my kids get away with things only because I have decided that the issue at hand is not worth the battle.

As a parent, you need to choose your battles carefully.

Last night I threw a pizza in the oven while I changed into my soccer uniform. As I was putting on my socks, Madigan (17 months old) emptied a grocery bag that hubby had left at the stairs.

Mags was hungry, she rummaged through the bag and found something to her liking and brought it to me.

When she presented the item to me I laughed, it was heavy and my little princess had lugged it over to me hoping I would give her a before-dinner snack. I told her no. She protested. I laughed and told her that she does not want the item in the bag, instead, she should wait for the yummy pizza. She protested a little louder and a bit more forceful. Again, I told her dinner was coming and that she would not like what was in the bag. I pointed to the picture on the bag and told her the contents were yucky-yucky.

She clutched the 1.3 kg bag and screeched like a healthy, frustrated, stubborn 17 month old. I tried to take the bag away from her, but she swatted my hand and pointed at it and yelled, "EAT". I told her no, pizza was coming.

Madigan then tried to pick open the seal of the bag. I reached over and took away the bag, placing it high on the counter. Madigan threw a temper tantrum that would make any 2 year old proud!

I laughed and reminded her that the bag she had chosen was not for her: pizza was for her. I let her look into the oven where the pizza was cooking. Madigan pulled away and stood near the treat she wanted. Crying, screeching, yelling and pointing at the now highly prized treat.

I decided that this battle was not worth the fight.

I walked over and took the bag, opened it up and gave her one little piece.

I told her, "Yucky, not good for Madigan, give it to Cleo". Madigan protested and then put the piece into her mouth.

When I asked her if it was good and if it is what she wanted, she nodded yes, with a big smile. She had won!

Then she pointed to the bag and asked for more. She grunted and yelped when I walked away to turn off the oven as the pizza was now done.

I confirmed she wanted more and then took a small plastic bowl and placed 4 little pieces into the bowl.

I took out the pizza out of the oven, informed my hubby that I was leaving for soccer and that the pizza was ready and that Madigan was sitting quietly in the kitchen eating her snack of cat food.

And then left.

Yep. I let my daughter eat cat food for dinner.

Some battles are just not worth it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sammy Slowdown Set for the Slammer?

I would like you to meet Sammy Slowdown.

Sammy has became a much loved member of our family. Whenever we go out to play in the yard the boys race to get Sammy. I feel a bit safer with Sammy protecting us - standing on guard for us.

We live on a corner lot and have a pool in the back yard, so, we have built a nice little play area on the side yard. The kids spend hours playing there. It is relatively a quiet neighbourhood, but the through cars seem to ignore the 40KM an hour and speed past our house. There are no sidewalks and as all parents know, the road seems to draw kids close!

Then Sammy came to live with us. We place him on the edge of the road. He does one heck of a great job. Drivers seem to slow down - many even wave at the kids and a few even give the thumb up sign. When Sammy is on duty I can honestly say most of the traffic slows down and drives a bit more cautiously. Before Sammy, many drives would come to a rolling stop at the stop sign by my house, now most see Sammy and stop. I was constantly worried about the safety of my kids. Sammy now makes me feel a bit more safe, and he is a reminder for both the drivers and for our kids. They know that only Sammy can stand on the road and that they need to keep away. A double win!

One day Sammy took one for the family. He was standing guard on the edge of the street - taking up 1/3 of the width a parked car takes up and a driver hit him. The kids were devastated that Sammy got hit, and glad that he did not get hurt...my heart was pounding, that could have been one of the kids. That day I was even more happy than ever for Sammy.

Since we first welcomed Sammy into our home, at least 5 other families have adopted their own Sammys. Everyone has seen the good Sammy does in detouring speeding and reckless driving in our quiet neighbourhoods.

I love Sammy.

But apparently, Sammy is a wanted fugitive and he may end up in the slammer.

The city of Ottawa has a bylaw against placing such signs and one Ottawa family was recently handed a notice of violation. A neighbour complained about the sign and according to Bylaw 2003-520 3(a), which states: "No person shall place a sign on a highway that is on the roadway." The family could be fined.

Read this article that appeared in The National Post. It states that Ottawa is regarded as "the most over regulated, uptight city in Canada". It sites this by-law along with 4 other trite bylaws.

This is CRAZY! The neighbour who called must be crazy...or at least have no kids.

It is our duty to protect our children. Sammy Slowdown has proven to work and does not interfere with traffic flow...unless you count the fact that he slows traffic to a more acceptable speed that is more in line with the posted speed limits.

Please, leave your comment and help me generate world-wide support against this bylaw craziness. HELP SAVE SAMMY. HELP SAVE OUR KIDS.

If you would really like to take a stand, please visit Eye on Ottawa and leave a comment there too. This non-profit organization seeks opportunities to make an impact on municipal administration and political process in our fine city.

Help save Sammy Slowdown from the slammer - help keep our children safe. Comment now!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Suck it up!

I have only been more excited about a new appliance once before!

When DJ was still in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit we bought a dishwasher. I was so ecstatic! Yep. A dishwasher.

DJ was recovering from major surgery and he had been very unstable, but he was starting to improve. We were told that yes, soon, he would be able to go home. Soon. No real date was given, but we were optimistic.

Then one night our dishwasher broke down. It was making all kinds clunking noises. It was old. It had seen it's day. The suds were in the water. Time for a new one.

I am not a spender. I hate parting with my money and am terrible at making major purchases since I investigate, compare, research. All in all, not a bad thing, but I take too long to make certain purchases. My hubby started joking that by the time DJ is a teenager, we may have a new dishwasher.

That was not the case at all!

The very next evening we were invited out to dinner with friends. They knew we spent our days at the hospital and suggested a restaurant close by. The restaurant was in a mall. We arrived early and decided run over to Sears and check out dishwashers.

I listened to the sales person. Not really hearing all the features he was listing off. Instead, I was thinking about how the unit had to be quiet, we would soon have a baby back in the house. And, since DJ was not going to breast, it would need a sanitize cycle. My baby would be coming home soon. Coming home. Soon.

I think David was ready for me to give the salesman the "thanks a lot, we will think about it" line, but I shocked him by saying, " So, this is a good one, eh? I guess we will take it, when can you deliver?"

Just like that.

That buying decision marked the first time since DJ went back into the hospital that we were planning for his return home. Alive. Thriving. Healthy.

Well, that excitement was almost equalled on Friday. David and I were messaging during the day on Friday. Canadian Tire was having a sale and the "Dyson Knock-Off" was on sale. Yippee.

You see, I HATE our old vacuum. It sucks...well, actually, it does not suck very well at all - that was the problem. It was bulky and I simply hated it. When I was pregnant with Anderson I slipped down the stairs while vacuuming and my hate skyrocketed! My children seem to equate four-letter swear words with vacuuming! Not a good thing when you want them to eventually inherit that household chore!

Friday, David came home with this.


It sucks...in a very, very, very good way!

Friday, July 11, 2008

A matter of perception

"Oh, it is probably easier to get out and do things with three kids, as compared to one kid. It is a bit more challenging to get one going...that is just my perception of things."

Ummmmm....WTF??????? This comment was said to me, a mother of a 4 year old, a 3 year old and a 17 month old, by a stay-at-home father of ONE five year old. Ummmmm....NOPE!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Formula Fore Par!

I love golf. I only started to play after my hubby introduced me to the game. I just love to play golf with David - it is fun, a bit of exercise and something we both enjoy. This past weekend I played twice as many games of golf as I have in the last two years!

After I calculated our scores I informed David he had a decent game, ...I on the other hand, I got my money's worth....who ever heard of paying lots of $$ and trying to play as least as possible??!?!?!?

I was a bit rusty, but slowly found my old swing and rhythm. My scores were no where near what they were when I took an hiatus for birth'n some babies. In the past I would aim to break 100, but would usually hit a 102 - 104.

On Saturday I scored a 117...but then I decided to take my handicap into play and calculated my score using my own creative method.

Score for 18 = 117

Minus 2 for not playing in 2 years = 115

Minus 2 for each kid I have had = 109

Minus 2 for the sore SI joint I have had sine giving birth = 107

Minus 2 for the fact my once comfortable golf shoes do not fit my post-pregnancy feet = 105

Minus 2 for the number of nursing feeds I had missed, and because my boobies were hurting = 103

Minus 2 for as a bonus for being a Mom that took the time away from kids do do something she enjoys and deserves = 101

Minus 2 for the one stroke every hole, that well, basically sucked = 99

YIPPPPPEEEEE! All things considered, I did break 100!

It is all on how you do the math!!!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Lost and Found

When my father saw what David gave me for our first Christmas he teased David by telling him that he had set expectations too high. That since the first-ever present contained gold and diamonds, then every Christmas hence would need those elements.

David had given me a beautiful gold cross with diamonds on a delicate chain. It is simply beautiful. One of my most cherished pieces of jewellery.

I wore that wonderful Christmas gift every day for months. I simply loved it.

Then one day it went missing.

I was devastated. I looked everywhere.

In my jewelry box. Under my jewelry box. On the dresser. Behind the dresser. In the dresser.

No necklace.

I tore the apartment apart looking for it. I was in tears more than once when looking for this beautiful necklace.

Then one day, I saw it tucked in the side of the padding of my jewelry box. I squealed with delights and ran to David. I was so very happy! Estatic!

Then a few days later... while reorganizing my undie-drawer, I noticed a gold chain caught between the back and the bottom of the drawer. I gently pulled. There was my beautiful necklace. It had fallen between the drawers.

But wait...

I slowly placed my hand on my neck. There was my beautiful necklace.

There, on my neck was my beautiful necklace. There in my drawer, was my beautiful necklace.

Tears swelled in my eyes. My throat got all tight. My heart swelled.

I ran out to David who was sitting watching TV. I showed him the two necklaces.

He smiled and confessed.

When he saw my heartbreak over loosing the first necklace, he had secretly bought a replacement and staged it all to look like I found my beloved necklace.

I could not believe it! No, actually, I could. It all made sense.

David loves me. He loves me so much. I am so very lucky. I am so very blessed.

This is something David would do. He is this type of wonderful person.

At first I wanted him to return the second necklace. But he refused. He insisted I keep both - you know, in case I lost one. ( sadly, this is the type of person I am...)

David is the most wonderful, caring, loving husband. He means the world to me.

Happy Birthday David. BEAR!


Ummmm, yep, I am a few days late in my birthday wishes. But I have a great reason...David and I had the best weekend ever! My wonderful parents took the kids and David and I got lots of "us time". It was so wonderful, that I did not take the time to blog - I just spent time with the man of my dreams!

I hope that one day my daughter Madigan and I will both wear the necklaces at her wedding.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Artisitc Inspiration

Artistic inspiration is all around us.

Vincent van Gogh was inspired by a simple vase housing twelve sunflowers.

Leonardo da Vinci captured the beauty and intrigue present in the now-famous smile of Mona Lisa.

Michelangelo saw the beauty of the human form and masterfully sculpted The Statue of David.

Group of Seven were inspired by the pure beauty of the Canadian landscape.

Edvard Munch eerily captured total fear in his painting The Scream.

My son Anderson, well, he was breast fed...

(His new digital camera allows for clip art to be added...not sure if this is what he meant to do or not...but like all good artwork, it could generate much discussion)

Summer Recipe Round-Up

Yummy fun courtesy of Barrie Summary. Go check out all the yummy summer recipes - perfect to bring to picnics, family gatherings and BBQs.

I thought I would share a dessert that has become my signature dish!

One evening while visiting my in-laws we had the most yummy dessert. When I inquired about it, my mother-in-law asked, " You have never had sex in a pan?" I turned red and a bit embarrassed and replied, "Ummmmm, well, um, nope, cannot say that I have."

Well, that is when I was introduced to this wonderful recipe from my mother-in-law. It has become a party favorite. It is easy and delicious!

Now, that I am well experienced with sex in a pan, I add a little "variation" at times depending on my audience are participants...sounds so naughty...but ohhhhh so good!


3/4 cup finely chopped almonds
1 cup flour
1/2 cup margarine
1-8oz pkg cream cheese
1 cup icing sugar
1 pkg vanilla instant pudding
1 1/2 cup milk
1 pkg chocolate instant pudding
1 1/2 cup milk
1 large container Cool Whip

Combine almonds, flour and margarine. Press into 9x13 inch pan. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes.

Cool. Mix cream cheese and icing sugar together until creamy, then spread on cooled base.

Beat together vanilla pudding with milk. Let stand 2 minutes, then spread on top of cream cheese layer.

Beat together chocolate pudding and milk. Let stand 2 minutes, spread over vanilla layer. Let stand 15 minutes.

Top with Cool Whip

OK...now for those who like a little variety or variation here are a few that I have done!

I have used graham cracker for the crust or Oreo cookie instead of the almonds. This is great if you are dealing with nut allergies.

I have also substituted different pudding combinations. Anderson like butterscotch and vanilla pudding and DJ like chocolate and strawberry pudding.

Sometimes I throw caution to the wind and add a layer of skor chocolate pieces.

Just this past weekend I made this for our Canada Day party. I substituted the plain cream cheese with strawberry cream cheese and then used cut up strawberries to decorate the top. It was a hit!

Now go check out all the other recipes listed at Barrie Summary - they all sound so good!