Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What IS a Crafty Mom Eating?

Wanna see what A Crafty Mom and her family are eating?

No? That's cool, move along and get on with your day!

Yes? Then check out my new blog, where I will highlight our weekly menu plans and delicious and easy recipes, at A Crafty Mom Eats. It is very new and not formatted or visually-pleasing, yet, but I'll be working on it in the next couple weeks.

Thanks for checkin' us out!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Thing 3

One of my goals in initiating this blog was to keep family far away up-to-date and in tune with our growing family. I wanted a place where I could freely write about each of my three Things, which would enable me to take some time out of my hectic life to just enjoy and experience the blossoming lives of each one of them.

Except that sometimes I get busy and I forget to do this. And while I am never too busy to think about what I'd like to write, I don't often enough afford myself the time to do justice to the incredible little people you three are becoming.

So, for this moment, I'll start with Thing 3.

My dear, little Leah. Time must be truly escaping me, because I cannot fathom how it is you turned seven months old on Friday. What this means is that seven months ago I gave birth (quickly) to your sweet 7lbs-and-10-ounces-self; and I held your adorable little body for the first time. I nuzzled in the warmth of your tender skin next to mine as I nursed you for the first of what would become countless feedings. My heart skipped a beat as I caught you doing the unimaginable . . . opening those stunning blue eyes to try to get a glimpse of this crazy world you just entered. This life-long adventure for which you just earned a round-the-world ticket.

Just as it was with Thing 1 and Thing 2, I find myself completely amazed at your growth and development at this tender, young age. You are embarking on that path that leads away from infancy and into a “big baby” world. You are a little person now, with a distinctively unique personality, one that envelopes the world around you and captivates your friends and family.

You can sit up on your own. On occasion, you will lean to one side to pick up a toy, or grasp for a piece of the rug or some other fascinating texture, and suddenly tip over. You're well cushioned and so you don't cry as you tumble over. You're a big girl, and are likely 19 pounds by now (weight check at your six month check-up was 18 lbs 7 oz). You resemble a soft, plush teddy. Like those yummy, squeazable ones you would urge your boyfriend to win for you at the fair. I could hug you and kiss you all day long, if there were just enough hours in a day for me to live out that kind of blissful fantasy.

You rolled over for the first time months ago, and lately you like to gain enough momentum to just, well, keep on rollin'. As in - right across the room - or right down the hall. You're fascinated with our hardwood floors, you seem to delight in knocking your soft little knuckles on the sturdy surface. You're not crawling yet, but I fear this milestone is not far out of reach. You easily extend yourself up in a full push-up position, even raising your body up onto hands and knees. You can slide and push yourself backward several feet, and that is simply all the baby mobility that this mama of three Things can handle right now. I have two other monkeys on the move I need to keep my eye on. So, yes, this is my plea: no crawling before kindergarten!

You have taken recent interest in all your surroundings, especially your toys. And we have many of them. Being a toy-testing family with a young baby, a toddler, and a preschooler, our home is inundated with toys, with at least half a dozen just in the 6-12 month range. Your latest fascination is with Jessie, that crazy cowgirl from Toy Story 2. You love when your brothers pull her cord and she barks, “howdy cowpokes!”, or “yeeeeee-hawwwww”. You laugh and giggle and shake all over. And then sometimes you try to eat Jessie. But I don't let you, because you just never know if her adorable painted little face and puckered lips might have possibly been painted in China.

You love your exersaucer and you really revel in sitting in the middle of the room taking in all the hustle and bustle that has become our little home. From your safe vantage point, you can watch your brothers, keep an eye on Rudy, and make sure mommy stays in line. You love going for walks in your single stroller, and in your Beco, but nothing beats an evening stroll in the hefty double stroller, allowing you to tilt your head to one side to peek at your big brother, Thing 2. He acts all tough sometimes, but really his heart melts when he looks at you and catches you smiling at him, and he loves hangin' witcha in da 'hood.

Your smile, little Leah, could brighten a thousand cities. It could light a million torches. It might outshine an entire fireworks display. And it certainly melts the hearts of those fortunate enough to be caught in its path. It is even precious enough to stop your brothers in their tracks, and to halt strangers at the grocery store. Those two tiny chicklets jutting from your bottom gums lend character to that enchanting grin.

You are always happy and content. You have barely cried in your entire seven months. You nurse well. You eat well. You sleep well. In my best Renee Zellweger voice . . . You Complete Me. You are the perfect completion to our family, the last Thing to take membership in our clan. You fill an emptiness I didn't even know my heart held. You have made going from two Things to three easier to adjust to than when we went from one Thing to two. You are the sand to our beach, the ketchup to our fries, and the sunshine to our blue sky.

I love you.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I Fried my Face

I am so stupid. I am THAT stupid.

I have been ridden with a mild case of acne since Thing 3 was born, in January. It has been far worse than it was after I had Things 1 and 2. I've had enough little bumps covering my entire forehead to warrant a road sign declaring "Bumpy Road Ahead". I expected it to go away eventually, because I am very self-conscious about it. I have not had acne of any severity at any point in my life, so the greasiness was all new to me.

Eventually I succumbed to my blossoming vanity. It was starting to consume me.

I ordered the Proactiv solution that I had seen on TV. I know of a few people who use/d it and raved about it. It promised to give me blemish-free skin. It said "
get the clear skin you deserve". I'm a super-stressed, overwhelmed mom of 3 Things lately . . . don't I deserve clear skin?

Apparently not.

I started the Proactiv treatments on Monday.

By yesterday morning, I was burning, my whole face was red and blotchy (like a bad sunburn, only worse, picture your face being scalded, or dipped into a dripping hot deep fryer), my pores have opened up to the size of saucers, AND . . . my face is swollen!!!! If I smile hard enough, my eyes will actually close completely, with no effort.

Can you hear me screaming?

Yes, I stopped using it by Wednesday, but I don't know what else to do. My face is totally dried out, itchy, sore, burning, it's killing me. It feels like 20 year old, dried leather. That has been stepped on for years, on dry, cracked pavement.

I have tried putting some moisturizer on it because the skin is SO dried out, but it's not working.

I think they have a 30-day money back guarantee. Uh, yup, need my money back. And a new face.

My vanity has been humbled and is now back in check. Clearly, the acne was far better than the circus freak side-show I now exhibit.

Any skincare experts out there have any tips? Anyone been in a similar situation??

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Three Things Head East - Part 2

We spent the second part of our trip on the south shore of Nova Scotia. We stayed in the cutest little cottage, right across from the beach I grew up on. We regrettably didn't have the best weather that week, but it didn't really phase the boys. They were resilient and welcomed the cool ocean waves with open arms.

Sand. And salt water. It doesn't get any better than this for a four year old.

Even their cousin R dipped her feet in.

Mommy helped the boys cope with some of the bigger waves. Although they acted scared, they loved every minute of it. It must be the faint bit of Maritime in their blood. Mommy later dove in and went for a swim . . . in order to earn herself five dollars.

The babies braved the beaches in their Becos. We actually had sun this day, although you can't really see it in this picture. We found a little pocket of sunshine that afternoon, in the midst of a sea of fog.
We went hiking through a provincial park, following a trail that led right along the ocean's shore. It was rocky terrain, but we all made it. The scenery was breath-taking. Well worth carrying around a nearly-20-pound baby on my back to see.

Of course, the best part of the trip was spending time with family.

Nana with four of her grandkids (little H was sleeping).

We went out for dinner with my parents one night, to the resort where we were married eight years ago. The food was amazing. The boys loved it because they could play on the beach or at the playground right after supper.

Thing 3 and Grandad, bonding over a glass of wine.

And here is Granny, who came down to spend a few days with us in Nova Scotia, relaxing at our cottage with Thing 1 and Thing 3. Thing 2 was eating breakfast at this point. He is very serious about his meals, and was not to be disturbed, even for a photo opp.

Due to the fact that we were so crammed into our little van, we didn't bring our stroller (we did throw in an umbrella stroller but didn't end up using it once - what a waste of precious space!) and Paul or I carried Leah in the Beco all the time. It worked out incredibly well.

And really, the true sign of a successful day out. We were fortunate enough to turn around and see this in the back of our van a number of times after long afternoons out having fun.

See you next year Eastern Canada!!!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Three Things Head East

I think I'm stuck in a post-vacation* depression. You know, that overwhelming feeling of "I can't believe it's all over and we are back to reality again" that creeps up on you as you drive in your own driveway. It kind of hits hard, smacks you in the face, really. Its like when you were driving down your street you were still ON vacation, but the minute you turned INTO the driveway, it was all over.

Over two weeks with daddy every single day did the Three Things a world of good. They were brought to tears yesterday morning as he left for work.

(In our van, and not his VW, because once again, the famous little VW is not drive-able).

They played and hung out and had fun with him like never before. Time is so much more important to children than anything else. If I learned anything on this trip, it's that. And it's certainly not that I didn't know it before, but kids want to spend time with you. It enriches them. It makes them happy. It makes them feel safe and secure. And loved. They don't need toys or fancy gizmos or expensive sports lessons or anything else. They just need you.

To lay around in bed with them for a while and giggle, while a crafty mom makes pancakes in the shapes of Star Wars characters. Thing 1 always eats Luke. Thing 2 always eats Han Solo. Thing 2 is not even three years old yet and yet knows the names of every single Star Wars character. He even knows what a Jedi knight is. And he knows his big brother is one.

Our first vacation destination was just outside of Saint John, New Brunswick, to visit my sister and her husband and their two little cuties. It was wonderful to see the Things spend time with their cousin R. She and Thing 2 are only about 9 months apart in age, so they played well together and liked to follow each other around. I'm told there is a little girl in New Brunswick still calling out, "DEH-VID, where are you?".

The 3 Things met their new cousin, H, who was only 10 weeks old when we first arrived.

He loved spending time with Thing 3 at the beach.

Aw shucks, here are the two kewl sistahs and Thing 3. She is so heavy now, it took two of us to hold her.

Thing 1 was very fond of the water this summer. He loved hangin' out by the river and going for a dip.

Thing 2 was more cautious at first, but by the end of our trip he was diving into the ocean waves!

Thing 3 took every opportunity she could to look extremely cute, to be extremely happy, and to generally make the world around her a better place simply by *being*.

We ate some ice cream.

And marshmallows.

And rice cereal.

And lots of yummy seafood and other delicious things that did not technically fall under my new "healthy eating" regime. But it was all so yummy and I truly couldn't drive through three provinces with three young children and NOT eat fried clams and chips, right? I have to deserve a reward for that. And, yes, I had a glass of wine with it too! (OK, it was more than one glass . . . since my sister so kindly informed me that alcohol leaves your system in roughly two hours, so you may have MORE than one glass of wine after you have nursed your baby to sleep.)

The second part of our trip will be chronicled tomorrow, when I am less tired and need fewer toothpicks to keep my eyelids open.

* Please note that use of the term VACATION is used loosely. When you go away for an extended period with Thing 1, 2, and 3, you are going on a TRIP. There is no vacation. From anything. You will still work very hard all day long. As hard, if not harder, than you do at home.

Safe and Sound

Yes, we are home!

We are, indeed, alive and well.

A Crafty Mom is just very tired and bogged down with real life issues such as never-ending unpacking, laundry, cleaning, bum-wiping, and a kitchen overrun with ants.

It was lovely to be greeted by a *crowd* when we arrived home, it's just that these little #$!%#! were not exactly the homecoming I had anticipated.

I hope to be able to post an update in the next day or two. I did add a flickr badge, as well as a slideshow, to my sidebar. Enjoy!

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