Monday, June 30, 2008

Not sure which is more yummy . . .

While obviously there is sugar in this scrumptious strawberry cake, it is entirely made from scratch with delicious, organic ingredients. I'm in love with our fresh, local strawberries and they're in season such a short period of time here, that I make sure we eat tons every day.

We had a fun barbecue last night with Granny, topped off with our yummy cake for desert.

And check out Thing 3 sporting a new headband and looking girly and gorgeous. I eventually caved in and got one of these bands, they are very cute and very soft for a little baby's head. I had gotten the "is it a GIRL or a BOY?" comment one too many times from strangers. This should fix that problem, I'd say!

We've got a busy week of visiting, barbecues and entertaining. Tomorrow is Canada Day here so we'll be off to a local fair and then heading to see the fireworks!!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Ultimate I Buy Canadian Blog Party!

Although I'm a little late, I'm joining the Ultimate I Buy Canadian Blog Party hosted by Apples 'n' Oranges, a great Canadian company I just found offering Made in Canada children's clothing for ages 0-5. Well, that suits me perfectly since I have THREE Things, age four and under!! Although I'm very late, and very tired (the contest closes tonight at midnight and it's after 11:00 pm!), here's my bit:

I buy Canadian products whenever possible. It is important to my family and I to support our country's economy, to keep things local and support business in our area. We buy local and organic food as much as we can (see my next post, lol), made-in-Canada clothing, cloth diapers, and as much else as we possibly can. Last fall we purchased a beautiful bunk bed for the boys, handcrafted across the river from us in Aylmer, Quebec! Because of many Canadian government policies and regulations, a large number of the Canadian products we choose to purchase are environmentally friendly, safe, and non-toxic . . . a huge plus for us and our little family.

It's also important to us to buy from smaller, local businesses when possible, because in large part we are then avoiding large corporations who are possibly purchasing clothing, toys and other items made by men and women in other countries working under deplorable circumstances, for very little pay. Keeping things Canadian works for us!!!

Seeking health and happiness

I've had food on my mind a lot lately. Many of the blogs I read have been talking about food, eating healthy, cleansing diets, eliminating sugar and processed foods, and a host of other yummy and delicious topics lately. It really got me thinking.

As a loyal Dooce addict, I was following her recent cleanse. It was interesting to see the effects it had on her, and how many toxins she must have eliminated from her body. And how much better she felt (well, mentally . . . she didn't feel so great physically if you've read it) and how her anxiety decreased tenfold. Now, clearly I'm not able to do a cleanse of any type because I'm nursing a five month old baby right now. But I can certainly cut back on a lot of the crap in my diet.

I wouldn't say I eat horribly. I make many healthy choices throughout the day, and I eat three well-rounded meals on a regular basis. But I certainly crave sugar and feel pretty ripped off if I don't get my jolt of something sweet each evening. It's hard for me to go to bed without a cookie, bowl of ice cream, or other yumilicious goody these days. I've always been a sugar-lover, but I never really took the time to contemplate what a lot of sugar was doing to my body, and my health.

(I realize some of you must be rolling your eyes and saying, "duh", how could she not know sugar wasn't good for you . . . of course I knew, but I hadn't felt the need to do anything about it until now).

I had a long chat with a friend this week who recently eliminated sugar and processed foods from her diet. She spoke to me about a list of symptoms she had that were leading her to investigate her diet - weight gain, moodiness, anxiety, lethargy, etc. I felt like maybe she'd just let me in on some spectacular secret or something . . . I mean, I have certainly fallen victim to some of those nasty symptoms! I often just chalk my moodiness up to "I'm tired", or "I have a new baby", or "the world is out to get me". I listened to her eagerly while she told me some of the steps she had taken.

She mentioned that her son (Thing 1's age) was also following a sugar and processed food-free diet, and that it really drastically affected him if he ever ate a lot of sugar. It changed his mood completely and he was very hyper and out of control. Kind of like . . . my children . . . every . . . single . . . day!!! OK, I'm just kidding but you see my point, right?

Thing 1 has been a poor eater since birth. He is picky beyond belief and has a list of about 10 foods he will eat. We have tried everything with him. He is a tad underweight, so we are always conscious of making sure he gets enough calories, whether they are all completely healthy or not. So I've decided over the past little while that the food he *does* eat is going to be nutritious and good. We're taking baby steps, but each day I'm cutting out more and more processed foods and snacks that the children used to eat. I'm making more and more things from scratch at home, and using healthy and organic ingredients.

Speaking of which . . .

My sister-in-law in Vancouver (the land of all things green, organic, and crunchy) has fresh organic produce delivered to her home each week. For the longest time I really thought that was very cool, and eventually learned that we now have a similar service here. So, yes, I signed up for a basket of organic fruits and veggies to be delivered to my door. The company, Life Organic, arrived yesterday with my first order!!! I'm really pleased with it. I got quite a good assortment of goodies, for $35. Some may believe it seems a bit extravagent to have food delivered to your door, but getting out shopping for decent food (especially organic) with three small children is a monumental endeavour. This may be exactly what we need in the short term. The food selection is very reasonable so it's very easy to adjust/plan my weekly meals around what I get. I also have the ability to change my order and substitute out things the family doesn't eat.

Just over the past week I have started to cut way back on sugar, particularly on processed snacks or cookies that I used to, well, inhale. I truly am seeing and feeling a major difference. I still crave sugar but the biggest difference seems to be that for the first time in my life I am consciously thinking about my choices before I reach for something and stick it in my mouth.

I know, I know, not rocket science.

You'd think I was born yesterday, yet this is all just sort of playing out for me right now. Maybe for a reason? We'll see how it goes. I'm thinking it will be an interesting path to take and am thoroughly enjoying my travels as I seek out a healthier life for my family.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Real Life Thursday

Another Thursday, another glimpse into my real (fairly boring) life. Be sure to check out Jessica's blog if you'd like to peek into other's real lives! Today's list of real life photos included the following:
- curb appeal (yep, a picture of your home from the outside)
- junk drawer
- from whence you blog
- favourite jewelry
- your best feature

So hang on to your hats . . . and off we go!

Curb Appeal - here is part of the front of our house (we don't post pictures of the whole house on the internet), where my garden is starting to get a little out of control. So much rain has really caused it to grow!

Our junk drawer in our kitchen . . . ah . . . a little something for everyone in here! I organize it every few weeks and it instantaneously looks like this again.

I often blog upstairs at the kitchen table on our laptop (thanks mom!!!), otherwise I use the desktop computer downstairs. There's Thing 3's nursing pillow, I usually blog while nursing her. I am nothing if not a multi-tasker.

My favourite piece of jewelry (and I AM a jewelry girl, big time) is my recent mother's day gift from Paul and the kids . . . it was hand-crafted at Amos Pewter in Nova Scotia and I just love it, and the fact that it represents my three children.

I am mildly addicted to hand-crafted jewelry, and even make some basic pieces myself. Most of the pieces I own are one-of-a-kind, hand made by artists on the East Coast of Canada. I was thrilled to find this jewelry organizer a couple years ago (again, thanks mom) to organize and highlight all my pieces. It's so easy to pick something in the morning to match what I'm wearing . . . I'd be lost without this, and my jewelry!!

I wasn't sure if my best feature was supposed to be physical, or other. So I would say my best feature is my sense of humour, but if if I had to go with physical I would pick my legs . . . they are pretty big and strong and I've been running lately and they are finally getting back into shape. They help me sprint after Thing 1 and Thing 2 nicely :-)

That's it for another week of Real Life!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The 3 Things Have a Day Out

A big day was had here in the land of Things 1,2 and 3. My friend J convinced me to meet she and some friends at a local beach (she had the day off work and was spending it with her son). After having mild anxiety for a day or two, I was persuaded (by my dear husband, my two sons and the original friend who extended the invitation) to suck it up and take my three kids to the beach. On my own.

So off we went this morning in our little van. Four happy campers. Listening to alternative rock. Driving into . . . very dark clouds and rain. Thankfully, as we headed further north the rain stopped so when we arrived at our destination it was completely dry. But still remained cloudy. And windy. And cold. Things 1 and 2 had shorts on and hoodies - I threw them on at the last minute and was glad I did. It was FREEZING cold out there. The boys were still cold though, and would often come to my side, shivering and looking a delicate shade of icy blue, begging, "mommy, could we go home please?".

Well, seriously, it wasn't that bad and we stayed a short time and mostly played in the park area with all the play structures. The boys had fun and Leah was warm and comfy in the world's best baby carrier - that's right, you remember, the Beco!!! That sturdy piece of fabric remains the *best* money I've spent in months (maybe since my Paige jeans in 2006???).

After an hour or so we were so cold we had to throw in the towel and call it a day. Because we were all cold I figured a cup of coffee would be a great way to warm up - but realized a coffee shop wasn't somewhere I could conceivably take my three Things. Coffee shops are places for intelligent, cheeky, well-dressed grown ups. Not toddlers and babies. J worked her magic and convinced me to join her at a trendy, fair-trade coffee shop in Westboro (where cool, liberal-minded, young people live in highly overpriced homes that we cannot afford) for a latte or something. And suddenly, I had that feeling again. That feeling I had the day I took the boys to see Kung Fu Panda, the same feeling that creeps up on me on the days I take all three things to the grocery store, or to Costco. The "I can't possibly make it out of this alive" feeling, deep in the pit of my stomach.

But a latte called. And I don't get them very often. And I really wanted one. So off we went.

Thing 3 sat nicely and happily in her car seat carrier, while her brothers sat in seats with J and A. I went up to the counter and got each boy a cookie and a glass of milk and myself a yummy coffee and a sticky bun. J soon picked Leah up and held her for me (after the wedding on Saturday I am falling more and more in love with these kind and gentle baby-holders). We sat and ate and drank, and for a short time all was right in the world. Until we went to the bathroom to change Leah's dipe and the first two Things started getting antsy. Then David didn't want to leave the washroom and started to . . . yell . . . a little bit. No worries, we were out of that shop faster than a helium balloon with a hole in it. We barely left a scar on the relaxed, trendy-person atmosphere inside.

J and I commented that the clothing shop next door to the coffee shop was one of our favourites. Really living on the edge, we stepped inside. We convinced Peter (4), A (3) and David (2) to all hold hands and stay together in the store. It went remarkably well for a short time. I then grabbed a couple fab items from the new Lole summer collection (my very favourite clothing line in the entire world, and Canadian at that) and even managed to purchase them before snatching the three munchkins just before things would have gone awry and bolted from the store.

It is then only 12:30 pm - haven't I accomplished a lot? Chatting with adults at the beach, coffee AND two clothing items (cute and adorable at that, although not necessarily totally on budget). More than I had ever hoped for in my wildest dreams. The boys were having such fun that J asked us to come over and play at her house for the afternoon. Feeling an extra hint of mommy craziness come over me, I said yes. It was fun and relaxing and the kids all had a blast playing in the sprinkler and checking out A's funky Playmobil biker set. We drove home and arrived at our humble abode just before supper.

Total success. Do the three Things have a pulse? Check! We all made it!

Well . . . almost. We put Leah in her exersaucer while we dined on spaghetti for supper and in less than five minutes we noticed she had dozed off on the little fabric book she was reading. Too pooped to party anymore . . .

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I do

You know those really annoying people who bring BABIES to weddings? Have you ever sat next to one of them? Aren't they completely and utterly irritating? Even when the baby is quiet, it's never real actual silence, because babies make noises just being alive . . . gurgling, burping, cooing. Many of these noises can even be pleasant, but are still,well, noise.

My worst fear came true yesterday and I had to bring the won't-drink-from-a-bottle-to-save-my-life baby with me to a wedding. The boys' granny was babysitting them, and I had dinner all planned and figured life would go on as scheduled without me there. They are more independent lately, and with Thing 2 potty trained that means no diapers to change. Basically you just help Thing 2 with his pjs (Thing 1 has been getting dressed on his own for months now, thank goodness) and they're off to sleep without a hitch. Thing 3 is just another story. She requires a lot more care and loving and prefers her milk straight from the tap. Demands it this way, actually.

So at the risk of actually missing the wedding, and after taking a poll among my friends who would be attending the wedding, we decided to bring the little bambino with us. We expected her to sleep through the ceremony (which was at 4:00) because she hadn't yet had her afternoon nap.

Not the case.

She was awake for the entire ceremony, and while she never once cried or was what I would constitute as *loud*, I still took her outside for most of the vows. The doors were open at the back so it was easy for us to stand almost out of sight (and earshot), still see most of the event, but be able to sneak out if things got out of hand. They never did, she was quite good and happy the entire time.

After the ceremony a cocktail hour was held, so I snuck to the ladies washroom (which was not air conditioned) to nurse Leah.

On a toilet seat.

In a gross little stall.

That was not for the handicapped, so it was incredibly tiny.

She drifted off to sleep and before I became too ecstatic about heading back to the wedding with a sleeping babe, I realized there was no way for me to slip my dress back on and tie it while holding Thing 3. I wore a halter dress thinking that it would be easy to feed her in . . . I think I missed the boat on that one. I had to practically undress completely to enable her access to the milk factory.

But we figured it out. She was pretty well behaved. No one seemed to mind that she was there. And for several short intervals she slept.

Five minutes on mommy.
(Notice my near-balding head from so much post-partum hair loss? I think I have 75 per cent fewer strands than I used to.)
A good seven or eight minutes on daddy.

And even crashed out on my friend C halfway through dinner. C insisted I eat my desert and have coffee sans baby. It was heaven. Thanks buddy!

So all in all not too shabby. It was a lovely ceremony, the groom (C) wrote and sang a beautiful song to his new wife N, and it was amazing. And the bride was stunning, she just looked gorgeous.

And while I love a great wedding as much as the next guy, PLEASE people, no more weddings until my Things are older!!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Let's take some time out here

We just survived a very long week with no preschool, no scheduled activities, and rain every. single. day. Thing 2 had one of his last two-year molars break through his poor, sore, red gums. The pain *must* have been unbearable because he was whiny, cranky, uncooperative, miserable and downright unhappy. He threw several temper tantrums . . . per hour (characteristically unlike him). And yes, I mean the kicking, screaming, BITING kind.

Thing 1 was his excruciatingly "spirited" self, over-reacting and melting down far more frequently than normal. There was much fighting, many tears, some loud words, and one permanent scar left on Pete's arm where David bit him. Even precious, happy, and smiley Thing 3 was not herself the past few days, crying and fussing to a degree we did not think was possible for her - ok, yes, it was mild, but add all these three Things together and what do you get?

Total mommy breakdown.

Well, not yet, but I'm already focusing on a brighter, sunnier, more positive weekend. I trust things will only go up from here.

I also learned I am inadvertently imparting Supernanny's discipline techniques on my own kin already . . . I came around the corner yesterday to see this:

and to hear David saying "you're in a time-out Jesse**, because you were NOT listening to mommy again".

**Jesse is the fun-loving cowgirl from Toy Story 2. Jesse, nor Woody, her close friend and confidante, were harmed in this discipline scenario.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Our Real Life

It is becoming quite apparent that I've gone a little "bloggy" this week. I decided to participate in yet one more fun blog festival . . . today's theme is REAL LIFE and we were instructed to take real life pictures of a list of things. So being a good blog instruction follower, that's exactly what I did! The festival hostess is Jessica at Farm Fresh - she's a mommy of two girls with another babe on the way. Anyone as crazy as I am to embark on raising a trio of munchkins surely has a blog worth visiting, right???

If you think you're ready, grab a cup of coffee and step in to my REAL LIFE.

Have a look inside my fridge . . . I do groceries usually on Saturday morning (early, before anyone else gets there!) so we're getting a little on the bare side.

Next, we have a closet - I chose Leah's because I so adore staring into it and gazing at her precious little baby dresses and outfits!!

Ready to peer into my kitchen sink? Usually pretty clean because I'm anal about stuff like that.

Feel free to skip this next one - one of our toilets! This is in the bathroom of our bedroom, usually cleaner than our main bathroom because little toddlers are rarely peeing in (I mean all over) this one.
Now is where I get a little embarrassed. These are my favourite shoes. Yes, they are ugly Birkenstocks but they are so delightfully comfortable and better than flip flops for my plantar fasciitis. I've been addicted to them since I was a wee young thing in my early 20s.

The living room is my favourite room in my house. We can sit, relax, play, read or have a cup of coffee. It is the main area in our home and often we are in there spending time together. The dog is a permanent fixture on that couch. He never moves and stares out the window ALL DAY LONG.

Here are what my kids were doing when I took these last night. Thing 1 and Thing 2 decided to go to bed early (well, more like I decided that for them) . . . they were exhausted. Pete just recently started climbing down from the top bunk and sliding in to sleep with David - this was way too cute a photo for me to pass up so I clicked away. To think six months ago I was fearful the boys would not want to share a room.

Thing 3 didn't go to bed as early, she had a supper time nap so she was still up at 8:30, just hangin' out with mom and dad (and Wii).

I almost forgot a shot for laundry, so I took this last night as I was about to fold my last load of the day (at 10:00 at night). This red basket is very dear to me, it used to be my grandmother's and is the sturdiest thing around!

And what a bad day for a self portrait. I did not do my hair, or make up or anything remotely related to self-care yesterday. It rained and we were in the house all day. But here it is anyway . . . yes, that is spit up on my left shoulder.

Whew, all done. Hope you you enjoyed your glimpse into my real life.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

WWWAT - Vintage

So . . . I'm trying this out for the first time . . . I'm participating in a Wordless Wednesday Blog Fotofest (with a twist) from American Mum. Her blog is terrific, so go have a look if you have time. She's an American living in the United Kingdom with her adorable family, and blogging her way around Europe!

This week's WWWAT theme is VINTAGE . . . I really had no idea what kind of photos I could possibly share and I wasn't feeling terribly inspired, but I did my best.

Here's a glimpse into a 1960s VINTAGE basement - yes, this is where we live. We are hoping to renovate the basement later this year, but for now, we remain firmly implanted in past decades.
Here is wood paneling gone crazy - the stairs that lead down to our basement:

The bar that was built by the original home-owner. Can't you just smell that vinyl?

Mmm, I'll take a gin and tonic on the rocks please!

And the previous owners also left us this little gem, a GE vinyl beer fridge. It really does scream vintage, doesn't it? We used it for a short time when we bought our house (five years ago) but soon realized little Things could crawl into it. So we turned it off and tied a cord around it to truly keep it out of commission.

That's about it from my vintage basement . . . until next time!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

One expressive little face

I really love the "deer caught in headlights" look . . . it suits her completely.

Weeds be gone!

I found a great review of an organic weed killer on Crunchy Domestic Goddess' site. It's really interesting, so take a look if you're like me and are interested in safe, organic weed killers that won't harm the environment, pets, or little Things. You can win a bottle of Nature’s Avenger if you leave a comment on her blog, and a link on your own. I'm finding I have less and less time to yank weeds out - and they seem to be everywhere this season - they're creeping through our patio stones and all along our front driveway and walkway. Not to mention all over our front lawn.

We've had grubs on our lawn since we bought this house five years ago. Each summer we end up ripping up the front lawn, trying to dig out all the grubs and then re-sodding the entire area. It's been expensive and time consuming. Not to mention ridiculously annoying. So this year we bought some nematodes and put them all over the lawn, and apparently they eat up and kill all the grubs. We then filled the area with topsoil and grass seed, and it's slowly filling in. We've thankfully had oodles of rain so watering has been kept to a minimum (because no good environmentalist wants to waste water!). The downside is we won't really know if the grubs have been eliminated until later in the summer, because it's after the really hot weather that the grubs come to the surface and the grass starts to die . . . not to mention get torn apart by birds and skunks and other animals. So we're keeping our fingers crossed that we kicked our grub problem this season. I'm fairly tired of looking like the "white trash" of the neighbourhood with a completely ripped apart and hideous lawn.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Kung Fu Panda

Since the end of the day has arrived, and I have a few minutes on my hands (and my husband is still playing the Wii) I thought I would prepare the kind of post that people tell me they want to read.

The kind of split-your-seams laughing type of story that makes people come back and keep reading/feeling sorry for me.

On Saturday my wonderful husband built some shelving to go inside our garage - we need the organization badly. If you have kids, you know what I mean. The *stuff* is unending. Bikes, hoops, balls, trucks, scooters . . .

In order for him to do anything power tool related, Thing 1 and Thing 2 have to be removed from the premises. Otherwise they want to "help", in their own special ways.

So I decided to make the whole day run smoother by taking the Things (minus the third) to the theater to see Kung Fu Panda. Pete had seen the trailers a few times and was very excited to see it. Being an avid Ninja Turtles fan, he was oozing with excitement to see something martial arts related . . . on the big screen no less.

I checked online to see what time the movie started. Website says 2:00. Fine, we better leave at 1:30. As I'm running out the door with the boys, I realize David is potty training so I head back in to grab TWO fresh pairs of underwear and TWO fresh pairs of shorts. And our travel potty seat. It doesn't fit in my purse, so Paul shoves it in a bag for me. Classy.

We get in the van and start driving. David is asleep before the back wheels have reversed out of the driveway. I immediately know I am in big trouble.

We arrive at the theater around 1:45. Pete says, "mommy, are you going to leave David in the car?". I quickly decide this would be frowned upon, so I pick him up and carry him inside. He does wake up, thankfully, and starts moaning and yelling once we get inside. Nice. I pull my hair in my face to avoid the glares from onlooking movie go-ers. I look up to see a big sign that says BOX OFFICE CLOSED and I realize I have to purchase my tickets from those stupid debit machines. With a 4 year old and a 2 1/2 year old starting to race around the lobby. I use the first machine. I look over to see David hugging another woman's leg, thinking it is me. I look away and pretend he is not related to me.

I select Kung Fu Panda as my movie and an incredibly large warning comes up on the screen declaring "this movie is not suitable for children". WHAT?

Isn't it a children's movie? I see dozens of other young children there so I decide to bite the bullet and go for it. The next screen asks me to choose the time. I frantically try to choose 2:00, but it's not an option. But 2:30 is. That is 45 minutes from the point I am at now. That is a long, long, long time to wait for a movie in toddler time.

I wasn't expecting what happened next. The machine starts glowing angrily and up pop the words "there is a problem with your card" or whatever jargon they use for NO TICKETS FOR YOU, LOSER. I quickly check to make sure my children both have a pulse, and I move ahead to the next line. Ironically, the same issue occurs. I reach a third machine, which also refuses my card, and then another card, and then my credit card. We are really not going to get tickets. I again check for my kids and see them trying to inch into the drivers seat of those little race car game things they always place in the lobbies of movie theaters. You know, to drive mothers crazy and entice their children into becoming Formula One drivers.

David decided he needs to pee. There are no washrooms in the lobby, however, they save those special rooms for those with tickets - yes, bathrooms at the movie theater are restricted. I beg the ticket guy to let us through, tell him we are "potty training" and I show him my potty seat. He lets us in.

Pete and David insist on using the same stall, so the three of us are in there. I get David up on the seat, he starts clapping (we have trained him to do this to celebrate the release of any bodily function into the toilet), but I see nothing has come out. False alarm. Back to the lobby.

I ask the ticket rep how I might be able to purchase tickets, for the movie that is not suitable for my children. He explains I can get tickets at the concession counter. Fabulous. I head over there.

There are now ten people ahead of me in line. The boys start their laps of the lobby once again. People begin staring as I urge Pete and David to just give up their hopes of exploring and just stand quietly next to mommy. While we wait. Forever. For the people ahead of us who can't make up their minds. They eventually open up another cashier and specifically wave us over - fantastic!!! As I move to the new line, I can see David laying on the carpeted floor, eating dried, stepped-on popcorn off the ground. My stomach turns a little bit.

We do manage to get our popcorn (obviously in overrated and overpriced Kung Fu Panda buckets) and drinks and movie tickets. We make our way to theater number five, and David has to go to the potty, again. We rush in with our popcorn in tow and sit on the potty. Nothing. We wash our hands again and go to find our seats.

We managed to get pretty good seats close to the front. I get two boosters and the boys sit happily with their popcorn and drinks for about 20 minutes. Happily, not quietly. I answer 567 questions - 565 of them are "when will the movie start mommy?". I'm slightly exhausted by this point and can only mutter a weak "soon". The previews begin and all is good in the world. There is some loud yelling and excitement during the Pixar's WALL-E preview as Pete tells the entire audience he is going to see that in Nova Scotia with his Nana.

And so the movie begins!!! It's cute and funny, in the first few minutes. I love Jack Black so I can already tell I'm going to thoroughly enjoy the movie. About ten minutes in, David starts to fidget. I tell him to keep eating popcorn and watch the movie. "I have to pee, mommy."

So I drag he and Pete back to the bathroom for a third time, in which the child still does not pee or poop or fart or anything. Back to our seats. By this time he really cannot sit still and gets up to walk around. (The theater is packed, the movie is actually sold out). I grab him a couple times and bring him back to our assigned seats (assigned by me!!). And although I should have seen it coming . . . I really didn't. David starts screaming, a high pitched, shrill type of scream that sort of causes one to be thwarted from his/her seat. Followed by a couple good "I WANT TO GO HOMEs". I felt defeated and really didn't know what to do. Pete was so totally engrossed in the movie he didn't even hear David screaming. I duck down - because I had been standing - and whisper to Pete "we have to leave, honey". He looks at me in disbelief. I can see his thoughts in his eyes - "we just got here, why would we possibly be leaving?". It causes me great pain to have to drag Pete out of there, but I had to do it. Nothing I could do would calm David down at this point. As we get outside I quickly tell Pete we will allow him to come back to see the movie at some other time.

"But it will be over, mommy." I tell him no, they run the movie over and over again several times a day so they will make money. He was pretty good about the whole thing, for which I was truly grateful. If he had melted down to the degree David did, I likely would have crawled in a garbage bin and curled up in the fetal position.

And so there you have it. This was the tale of the day we left Kung Fu Panda after seeing less than 30 minutes of the actual movie. After spending $43.50 on tickets, popcorn, and drinks. As we approached the lobby and started to leave the building, David once again started to disintegrate and began begging to go back into the movie. I took the boys home and learned a valuable lesson that day.

Children are more unpredictable than I will ever grasp.

Note: Yes, the boys have been to live movies before. David (at age 2 1/2) saw Horton Hears a Who and sat in his seat for the entire movie. He used kind words on that day like "thank you" and "I like the movie, mommy".

A Wii late in my Father's Day wishes

With my computer crashing non-stop for the past couple days (due to thunderstorms) I'm a day late with my Father's Day wishes! Lots of love to both my own wonderful father, and the one to whom I am married. You're both outstanding men!

We had a great Father's Day yesterday. The Things' Daddy earned himself a Wii for a hard year's work of challenging parenting. I was hesitant to buy it - and nearly didn't for they are very hard to come by, even now 18+ after its release - because I feared maybe my family would suffer the side effects of video game playing. Too much time spent alone in isolation, too much time spent not interacting with other family members (or any humans), too much inactivity leading to a non-healthy lifestyle. But I was assured by a number of Wii-owning friends that it is indeed a fun activity for the entire family and a good way to spend time *together*, while being somewhat active.

So, heck yeah. It's pretty fun. We haven't done a lot more than boxing and tennis, but it is basically as cool as they say it is. I only purchased two games - Lego Star Wars for Thing 1 and Diego for Thing 2. I was sadly mistaken in my beliefs that Thing 2 would be able to play the Wii, let alone have any interest in it. Pete can definitely play, and he loves it, but gets frustrated because he's still learning how to use the controllers. I'm sure he'll get the hang of it, and I'm sure I will too. In my search of a dozen stores in the Ottawa area to purchase the elusive Wii, I was unable to find myself a Wii Fit, which I also hear is pretty spectacular.

Did I just use the word spectacular to describe a video game?? Hmmm, somewhere pigs have grown wings.

I wanted to toss in the boys' new favourite pastime in the backyard. "Painting" our fence with "paint" . . . it is just water but they'll do it for HOURS!!!

And Thing 3 sporting a new outfit for the ladies who lunch. This sweet little linen number was a baby gift from Aunti Steph . . . dontcha thing the headband just pulls the whole look together??

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A crafty mom's crafts are dwindling

It seems like forever since I've updated on any of my projects. Scrapbooking has been put on hold for the time being - too much organization needed for that right now. By the time I organize, plan and do lay-outs, well, I just wouldn't get around to any actual cutting and pasting. Scrapbooking takes longer spurts of time than I'm able to snatch these days. I have a baby book completed for Thing 1 (running from birth to 18 months), and I'm nearly finished Thing 2's. I haven't decided whether I should do a real book for Thing 3, or if I should do a digital scrapbook for her. It seem ironic (or just wrong) that a self-proclaimed "natural" and "environmental" mom is working so hard at a pastime so paper intensive and bad for the environment. So it's very likely I'll be bidding my paper books adieu and foraying into the world of digital scrapping one crafty day in the very near future.

I'm very new to digital scrapbooking and just learning it . . . although I really do love it and can see myself becoming completely engrossed in it when I have more time. What I've been working with is the Creative Memories StoryBook CreatorPlus - it's fairly easy to learn and user friendly. Tricia at "One Stop Shop for All Things Mom" did some great pooling of information and resources on digital scrapping, especially some freebies and sites where you can get great downloadable templates and other elements. Check it out if you're interested, it's well worth it!

I've also not done oodles of stamping and card-making lately. I do try to create all my own cards for birthdays and other holidays though, because I just feel someone who owns such an insane amount of craft supplies really and truly should not be putting any more money into the Hallmark empire. So I trudge down to my craft room (which is half of our laundry room) and piece together whatever creative juices I can to make a card for X person on X day. I used to get pretty motivated when I was taking classes regularly, but since I so rarely leave the house these days, I haven't been able to do that in a while. I'll get back in the saddle yet, you wait and see!!

So, one would assume that I haven't been doing a lot of beading lately either - that's quite true! I was busily putting together mommy bracelets last year, and was even branching out to start making baby bracelets. I had sold quite a few but just basically didn't keep up. They're very cute though and I'd love to make more for anyone interested . . .

One thing I admittedly have had time to work on lately are my baby blankets. I'm no expert knitter, by any means, but I enjoy knitting and find it is something that calms me. Some of my readers know my mom, The Nova Knitter, who is arguably one of the best knitters in the world. (She would never admit that but her crafts are absolutely stunning and beautiful and her skill level is superb.) Well, I'm no Nova Knitter but I really love me some baby blankets. I find them fun to make, and even more fun to give as gifts. I've made at least twenty in the past couple years! I'm currently working on one for one of my best bud's, K, who had her baby H back in April - I swear it's coming and he will have it before he goes to college!!!! I said I could knit, I didn't say I was very fast!

That's about it for my exciting craft update. Tune in next time . . . when I may have more to share.

p.s. Leah did not drink from the jam jar today :-( She was having nothing to do with that baby-bottle-look-alike marmalade jar with a nipple on top of it.

Not in a jam anymore

Like many other health-conscious moms out there, I jumped on the BPA-free wagon over the past year. We got rid of our plastic sippy cups and plastic bottles. We switched the boys drinks to Kleen Kanteens and found they though they were *cool* and really loved them. We only own two, however, which has created problems when pint-sized friends come over looking for a non-spilling drink. But since they're pricier than their plastic cousins, we haven't purchased any more yet ($17 here in Canada).

This week I raised my hopes once again that Leah, indeed, will someday take a bottle and give mommy a few hours break from milk production duty. I read on a message board that supposedly the Avent nipples (which remain BPA-free) fit on top of a Smuckers jam jar!!! I didn't think much about it until this week when I used up my very favourite marmalade in the fridge - yes, it was Smuckers.

You can likely see where this is going . . .

For fun, I grabbed one of the only Avent nipples I had left from the boys' bottles (which I had returned to Zellers for a refund when the Canadian government took a stand against BPA) and screwed it on my empty marmalade jar. Well, colour me EXCITED because that lil' puppy fit right on the jar!!! Thank you Mr. Smuckers!!!! I now have in my possession two BPA-free glass bottles with which to feed Thing 3 some expressed milk. One of the bottles I purchased before I had heard this fabulous news about the jam jars. Clearly it will be months before I earn another bottle, since most of the jam we eat comes from my mother-in-law (far better than Smuckers I'm afraid) and even when I purchase the marmalade, I am the only one in the house who eats it and it takes me a long time to empty an entire jar.

So I'm off to eat my weight in whole wheat toast and marmalade now . . . and to remain hopeful that our little princess will greet the jam jar with the same excitement her mother did.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A full plate and the postpartum body

I have had way more on my plate this week than any one individual should have . . . on one's plate, that is. I feel I am coming to an end of it and this weekend should mark the beginning of summer and a slightly more relaxed lifestyle. (Don't even begin to feel pangs of sympathy for me - I signed up to be a toy tester and thus it was explained to me in advance that I needed to complete lengthy reports and submit them to the manufacturers - I chose to leave that until the night before - am I in university again or something? And it was my very own noggin nodding up and down "yes yes" when the preschool committee asked me to take on the job of vice president next fall - except that that really means NOW because I seemed to have been hauled onto fifty million task forces just this week alone - HELLO, these are THREE and FOUR year olds, what tasks should they have outside of finger painting?????)

So I've only the time/energy/thought process for a couple things this evening.

Is it really necessary to have months of post-partum hormones wreaking havoc on my body? I carried this (wonderful, loving and adorable) baby for nine months, and then I had false labour for three weeks, followed by a very intense and painful (yet amazing and exhilarating) birth. It hurt like heck! Then I nurse round the clock for weeks, managing somehow to keep my household afloat and be a mommy to a 2 1/2 and 4 year old as well. Why, oh, why do I still have acne all over my NON-TEENAGE face now? I have little red bumps all over my forehead that look like a rash, except that they ARE NOT, they are pimples!!!! Make up doesn't cover it up, and frankly I don't usually have time for make up.

And the hair loss . . . I'm clogging sinks around the house. I'm clogging drains I didn't even know I had. It's coming out of my head in clumps, mitt-fuls of it. I would fear I'd be bald soon if I hadn't been through this before and know that it will eventually stop falling out and will someday grow back. In the meantime, I'm arming myself with both a pony tail and a vacuum cleaner to get me through the remainder of this HLE (hair loss episode).

And that giant spider-vein thing on my right thigh? There are no words to express the disgust with which I look at that thing. I hear there is laser removal or something you can do to get rid of it . . . sign me up for that please!!! It is shorts season and mommy really needs to bare her legs again.

Although I can't complain too much about the weight loss aspect, I do have four lingering pounds I'm itching to shake. I'm not thinking the impending ice cream season is going to be helping me further that cause. I set my end goal as September so I still have three months left!!

Have I mentioned Thing 2 is potty trained??? I'll take a gold star for that one!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Brain cells fried - check!

I officially had one of those days that just fries your brain cells. One of those days that I assume people are referring to when they make comments like "oh, you must really have your hands full with three little ones", or "are they ALL yours?", or even, "have you lost your mind?".

I have lost my mind. Thing 1 is in some bizarre four year old alter universe in which he thinks he is king and he runs everything. We are all his servants, we do as he asks (or screams) and all is fine. If we choose to remain level-headed and realistic and do things differently than he has suggested, well then, all hell breaks loose.

And it's loose. He's been uncontrollably hyper for over a week. Running, yelling, not listening. One ridiculous, unending meltdown after another. He would give a competent drama queen a run for her money. To be completely honest, I'd guess he's after her crown. I think it's back to reading "Raising Your Spirited Child" for me. I need to regroup and reclaim my zen place so I can take on Thing 1 head on tomorrow. I assure you Mommy will win round two. I don't give up that easily.

Thing 2 has made spending the past few days with Thing 1 totally bearable. He's really grasping this potty training thing and it has my spirits completely uplifted and,well, soaring. While I commented that I felt he was far more stubborn than Thing 1 (this comment still remains accurate), he is falling into a potty training routine very much like our little friend Pete. After the first three days, he really started to "get it". He starts to whine a bit when he has to go, paces around a bit and then I chime in "do you have to go to the potty, David?", and off we go. Monday he only had two accidents (slightly my fault for nursing Leah when his little bladder was about to burst and not ripping Leah from my nipple fast enough to sprint to the bathroom with David before the little yellow liquid came), and today NONE. That's right, he peed and pooped on the potty ALL DAY TODAY. I'm ecstatic. Sad, really, how times have changed and bodily functions can make or break your entire mood. But if my dear, quirky husband says "UR-INE trouble" one more time, I think I'm going to lose it.

Thing 3 is also a ray of sunshine in my life and keeps me going when Thing 1 and 2 exhaust me. She is so uber-happy all of the time, I can hardly believe I am *this* lucky. But I also for the first time fear the answer to the very question I posed to myself when I got pregnant - can I handle three kids? Leah is so happy all day long, I end up ignoring her at times to discipline Thing 1 or rush Thing 2 to the potty. When I get back? She is *still* happy. Giggling, smiling, laughing, wherever she is and whatever she is doing. She melts my mushy mommy heart. Every minute of every. single. day. Dear daughter, I promise to make it up to you when you are older and we can hang out together and do all sorts of fun mom and daughter things, while the boys go off and play in the dirt and do other male-related activities.

In an effort to raise my spirits this evening, Paul came up with this:

I hope no permanent damage has been done to her little nostrils.

Thing 1 off on his last morning of preschool. I explained the glasses were four sizes too big, but alas, my words of wisdom are meaningless to a four year old.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Ramblings from a potty training mommy

I haven't kept up my resolution to blog every day lately. We've had a couple of interesting days around here and I'm afraid "blogging" got bumped down below "potty training" on my To Do list.

Yes, that's right, after commenting for the past 7 months (since Thing 2 turned two) that he "really is ready to potty train" and "he has a dry diaper in the morning", I was forced to give in. I feared committing to putting him in underwear full time because I am realistic enough to realize I will not be as lucky in potty training David as I was with Pete. He was an anomaly. It seemed too easy, because it was too easy.

Thing 2 is far more stubborn. But the good news is he doesn't want to wear a diaper now, and loves his underwear, so there's really no throwing the towel in at this point. Diapers are behind us. He doesn't *want* to use the potty, however, so we're stuck looking for those telltale signs and then rushing him to the bathroom. He gets very antsy and upset when he has to pee, and I can really tell he needs to go. Which is better than three days ago when he was still just peeing everywhere. So wish me luck, I'm in that "can't really leave the house to go anywhere or do anything" stage. It's super fun. (Yes, that is sarcastic).

Along with potty training in the past three days has come some beautiful, dripping hot weather. What better time to bust out our kiddie pool and brand new swimsuits?

Thing 3 looks all ready to hit the pool or cottage with her closest bffs . . . and a little bling on her suit to show she's all diva.

Thing 2 takes a moment to rehydrate after some heavy duty running around and water fighting.

Thing 1 sports his "surfer dude" look complete with hair to match.

"I'm gorgeous and glowing and I KNOW it."

The boys had more fun than ever just pouring buckets of water over daddy . . . over and over and over and over and over . . .

And cleaned up post-pool party and ready for a few cocktails with her friends!

And I'm off . . . to the potty of course!

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