Thursday, March 31, 2011

The End of an Era

...that never really began.
After less then a month of "try-out" classes, Marlee has decided that she is too busy to continue with karate. She doesn't like being "rushed". I don't blame her. Although I have to admit I am surprised. She raved and raved about wanting to take karate since a classmate of hers has been for a few years now. We were able to try out the class for a month before committing. Thank goodness.

We thought she was really enjoying it.

She was encouraged to attend 2 of the 3 classes offered each week.

She tried out her "hayy ahh's on everyone and showed off her 'kee'.

She managed the sore muscles and a sore foot but decided in the end that it was not to be. Better to know now then after the commitment. I still feel a little bad though. She really wasn't always rushed there but any after school commitment does involve cutting something else out and in our household yes, being hurried along.

I think she might have felt it was affecting her love of UNO this month.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Mitchell!!!

Happy Birthday Bubs!

...the days are long, but the years are short. Oh how true. Where oh where has this year gone? Our bibiti is one year old already. A year ago at this time I was recuperating from the C-section, somewhat from the shock of having a boy (I was sure it was a girl for some reason), and that we had in fact had another baby and all was well. We named him Mitchell, which for the first few hours I was totally second guessing. Now? It is so him. And what a boy. My tears well up just thinking of this past year. Not a day goes by that I don't thank God for this precious gift. We all do. Marlee routinely "loves him" and tells him how cute he is. Matthew wants to carry him around and have him participate in just about everything he does (not technology but that is another story). Cierra loves to ask him "where's your mommy?" and gives him tickles or entertain him while I get ready for school. He is indeed a precious boy.

We gathered as a family on Sunday to celebrate the birth of our number one Chi Chee. He had his first taste of icing and a little bite of cake, received some great gifts and basked in the celebration of himself.

On his birthday we continued the balloon tradition and he awoke to an assortment of balloons and banners celebrating his birthday. He loved it!

On Friday (his birthday) I took his final [25] on the 25th. It was never really 25 but I goofed up in the beginning and forgot which animal I took pictures of so I started doing the three main ones he got as birth gifts. This is one of my faves this month.

Now for a trip down memory lane, starting with moments after he was born... a wee young thing!
...changing to a cool dude! (We'll have to see if these glasses stay on better this summer!)

We moved then to the more "alert" stage - watching and waiting and taking EVERYTHING in...

Then we had the INTERACTIVE stage where he "chatted with everyone we meet...

And then a NOISY and continuous EXPLORATORY stage...

And even more Exploring... and some Moving...

And here we are at one year of age...

  • He last weighed in at 21 lbs 10 oz (just about time to switch car seats!)

  • Physically he is still doing the commando crawl with one leg underneath - hey why mess with what works? He pulls himself up to furniture easily and is walking around it. We haven't done much finger walking at this point. He loves couch and pillow diving but this is much better on the carpet then on the hardwood. He knows how to crawl up the stairs but not down and gets frustrated on the one step landing where he gets stuck.

  • He has 8 teeth.

  • He is just starting to wear his 12 month clothing.

  • He is eating mostly what we eat (I avoid out and out sweets and junk food). His favourites are carrots (raw and cooked), muffins, bread, applesauce, some meats and some cereals. We are still nursing on demand. Lately he has taken to pulling though and I'm not sure what to do about that. We are working on giving him a little cup of water but he doesn't quite have the hang of it. I haven't tried a bottle since a month or so ago as there hasn't been a need. Baby led weaning is going well although I admit there is more waste then was let on. But lets just say that when he tastes it and immediately spits it out well....

  • He is still one of the most easy-going kids around. He rarely cries - only for needing something and protesting but is easily distracted or persuaded. He has an amazing laugh and an infectious smile.

  • He is on a similar sleep routine as last month. He is getting up (or woken up) between 6 and 7am and goes back down for a nap around 9am. He sleeps for a good 3-4 hours daily. When we go to school at 3pm he routinely falls asleep at some point and will have a 1-1/2 hour nap then too. He goes down to bed by 9 or 9:30pm and has another feeding around midnight and sometime during the night (in bed with me). I should be working on this but in all honesty don't really care until those nights when he is rolling around from 4-6 not really eating but not really sleeping. (I had a few this past week). I may be enlisting in Drew's help soon.

  • Pottying as to be expected. He has a regular pee upon waking (wet) and then depending on our morning a few catches or misses before school. He has been waking up wet again but goes pee again for me on the potty. Until we go to school at 3 we will have a 3-4 pees and usually a BM - some caught some not. He usually wakes form school dry and has another pee and Drew will usually put a diaper on him for some carpet time until dinner. He is often dry until bath time and then again until bed. I try to change him at his midnight feeding and put a doubler on him for the remainder of the night. I rarely have a poopy diaper (we did on holidays and yuck - so glad how this is working out!). I am still using the diaper service but I admit that I am itching to try the whole cloth diapering completely on my own. I just hesitate as i really like to support small business. I still need to think about this.

  • He is a good communicator. He is coming up to Drew a lot more now. It is so sweet to see him burying his head in his legs or shoulder. He is really enjoying dad. He is using a few signs interchangeably but we are just encouraged that he is using them. I'm sure more progress will follow. He is doing some exaggerated nodding of yes and no as well - too cute.

  • He loves to watch the boys play hockey and if he is upstairs while they are doing it he will stand there shaking the gate - it's quite a sight! He loves to chase the hockey ball with his mini stick. He follows balls or plastic eggs or anything that moves around the house. He loves the phone and the ipods or pounding the computer whenever he gets a chance. He loves the pots and pans drawer as well as the plastic dishes drawers. Dishes are routinely all over the floor.

So Mitchell... We love you and are so thankful that we have had this year with you. You are a total blessing and you bring so much joy into our lives. We can't wait to see what this year brings but we are anticipating lots of movement, lots of sand play and lots of infectious giggles. Keep 'em coming bud! WE LOVE YOU!!! We are sooooo glad you are a part of our family!

Memory Monday - wall pictures

I finally got around to changing these photos the other day. (I know the clarity isn't that great but "technically" they are copyrighted...right?).

When Sarah and John and Macy were here at Christmas we decided to update our family portraits. They turned out really well and I love them. It just means that they replace the old ones. And it is a daily reminder of how things change and times moves on.

Oh how our our family has changed! Everyone is a little older. Grandma and Grandpa are no longer with us. Mitchell and Macy have joined us. When you change out the old with the new it feels like a part of us is missing. I know that is not true as those that have gone on will always be with us.

But not seeing them there at their spot on the wall reminds me more clearly of their absence.

It is also a reminder of how much I am enjoying photos as decoration - so that we can see the people in our lives and remember the times we shared with them.

Soooo what am I trying to say?

Missing you guys today!

But glad of the additions!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Kingston - Monday

Monday was a pretty lazy day. I got to sleep in a little while the other folks made their way to an early water park experience (Mitchell included - bonus!). I took our friends' kids down to check on everyone (they quite enjoyed the hot tub).

I then came back up to try to get Mitchell down for a nap. K and I and Mitchell ended up hanging out for a bit since he wouldn't go down. We had Timmy's for brunch and then played some family games in the lounge area. It was a really great idea there that would be neat for church too. They had a giant snakes and ladders. big connect four, bean bag toss, twister, a large tic tac toe and a few others we didn't try. Just as we were heading out Silly Sally the clown came in, made some funky balloon hats and we were outa' there. The H's were going to explore Kingston a bit and since we weren't that organized we just drove around a bit, saw the penitentiary (and the wind turbines across the border) and then drove on to the highway.

Not too exciting. We did stop at Denny's for "linner", a favourite and then IKEA where Drew got the EXPEDIT shelving he was wanting for his closet and I got Mitchell a new potty. Bright red. He likes it! The kids also got the splurge of a lifetime - new puppies. Low and behold the very dogs that they played with all weekend were from IKEA. So Drew caved and got them each $16 dogs. I guess if your wife won't let you get the real thing....

So all in all a great time away. I would definitely do it again although my preference is to try new places. I hope that we haven't worn out our welcome with our friends and that we can look forward to doing this again next year!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sunday Travel

On Sunday....

we slept in (forgot about daylight savings) and packed up. We left around 11:30 and decided to cross the border into Vermont. Man what a change in scenery AND road conditions! We passed one fairly bad accident which really didn't surprise me. There were pot holes everywhere! We headed to Burlington, Vermont where we passed lots of sorority and frat houses for the University of Vermont. I was sad that we couldn't stop at Michael's. American Michael's are so much better than ours! We visited the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center for a good part of the morning. It was really neat. It had lots of animal exhibits and interactive things that would interest the kids. Mitchell does not appear to be disturbed by snakes as evidenced by his lack of fear. ME? As long as it is behind the glass...

And so many turtles and frogs! Did I mention I used to have some fire-bellied toads? I can't wait until we can have something like that around here.

Marlee did a weather channel update for us all complete with props...

She also tried out the hands-on structures exhibit - triangles anyone? And who knew that our magnetix were educational?

I particularly liked the exhibit about implosions. There were videos and interviews with the people that tear down large buildings. It was fascinating how they can make these huge hotels fall down and stay within their own area and not affect the building next to them.

We heralded the kids out of there and back on the road realizing we hadn't had lunch yet. Believe me, they let us know but held on wonderfully.

We made another stop at Target where we looked around for about an hour.

I got our cheerios and fishie crackers that we can't get here as well as some diapers since I was afraid we were going to run out (yes, they were cloth and we were on our last regular diaper when we got home).

We finally made a pit stop at Pinero Breads for some great sandwiches on the go. Expensive but great - and nutritious too. We crossed the border into New York via the ferry which was exciting for the kids. It was a little unnerving seeing all that ice though. I knew we were in no danger at all but I couldn't help but think of the Titanic.

Once we crossed over the driving was a little easier and I was surprised by all of the wind turbines. There must have been hundreds. I'd love to look into these a little more. There has been discussion about the use of them in our area as a viable power source. We enjoyed the scenery and crossed over to Canada through Cornwall. A few hours later we arrived at the Ambassador Hotel in Kingston where we were spending the night. We made it just in time to enjoy 1/2 hour of the water park before it closed (and our guys were quite ready for bed). It was lights out for all of us. And I have to say - these beds were just a TAD better (and it was nice to have Internet too).

Stay tuned for Monday's details...

Happy St Patty's Day!

Did everyone have a good St Patty's Day? I can't say that I have thought too much of this holiday a lot in the past (Other than going out for a green beer at the local Irish pub downtown)but it is certainly more fun with the kids around. When they are around. It seems that it always falls on March Break and this time they were at a sleepover and then a movie with family. But I celebrated quietly by myself until everyone got together for dinner.

We've been green for about a week
- using subway art from here,
and some self made photo creations to liven up the place.
We aren't much on "luck" - we prefer to think of ourselves as blessed so I re-worked a few ideas for display. I created a beatitudes display but ran out of printer ink so it will have to wait for next year. I was going to print it at the church but the fonts got all mucked up. I need to learn how to make it a pdf or something.

Dinner was quite festive though I must say. The table was all decked out in green,
I wore my green wig and clothes and we had green food. The menu included:
  • green mashed potatoes
  • green broccoli
  • green peas
  • ham (couldn't make it green but I have an idea for ground beef next year)
  • chocolate mint chipit ice cream
  • lime jello with whipped cream

I did a quick reading on the history of St Patrick and why it is celebrated today. I love that we can celebrate a simple holiday with a simple Christian message.

The kids also got a goody bag with tattoos, St Patrick's Day buttons, green shoestring licorice, green mini marshmallows, green jelly bellys and mint Aero chocolate bars. They were a big hit. Simple and sweet!

Go Green!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Owl's Head

We had a great time in Owl's Head over the weekend. We met up with our friend's the H's at Tim Horton's and got on the road by 8:30am. Mitchell did awesome and our first stop was near Port Hope on the 401.

Matt helped keep Mitchell entertained here and there with the ipod.

We arrived late afternoon and settled in. The accommodations were great for us.

It was a multi-suite chalet where our suite had three rooms and a common area with a kitchen.
We were able to sign out the hot tub for 1/2 hour increments each day for our family. They were definitely dated and the carpet was icky. There also wasn't any Internet connection (for 3 days!!!) But the best part?

You walk out the front door, cross the street and the hill was there.
Right there. Skis on, zip down a few feet and get on the chair lift and you're off. On Saturday Marlee wanted to finish off her run and I convinced her to do 2 more runs before she had to go to the bathroom. Best thing? I just called Drew and he came to the door and picked her up. I then went on to do 2 more runs - zip - zip and the chair lift closed and I walked back in the door. Very cool.

So we spent Friday and Saturday skiing. And making meals. And conversing with our friends. We learned to play UNO spin. We watched some old movies on TV. We laughed at Mitchell. We played with the H's 'dogs'. We made numerous trips to the local grocery store (if you can call it that). We had a blast.

Stay tuned for Sunday's timeline...


So I'm supposed to be posting about our trip away but instead I'm chillin' with my man watchin' Parenthood. Laughing. Laughing. Gasps of shock. More laughter. Enjoying. Good acting. Good times. We're really enjoying the quality of this show.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March Good Food Box

I almost missed this one! I realized at 5:10 that this was the 3rd Tuesday of the month and I hadn't checked the dates. Sure enough, it was today - and it figures I was already out and could have picked it up. We quickly got bundled up and got there with just minutes to spare.

Here is what we got for $10:
  • 10 lb bag of red potatoes
  • 1 large cabbage (yikes - I still haven't used mine from last month [yes it is still good], I put some in the butternut squash soup which worked well but I'm scrambling for ideas that my family will eat - there is only so much freezer room!)
  • 1 2lb bag onions
  • 2 small oranges
  • 3 delicious apples
  • 1 small bag snap peas
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 2 turnip (real turnip not the rutabaga one)

Again, the great part of the Good Food Box is that you purchase it in advance (when you have cash) and you pick it up on the third Tuesday of each month (when your cash may be getting low). This is located in a downtown location on the bus route and is aimed to help those may have financial difficulty towards the end of the month and gives good nutritious, fresh food. The more who buy into it, the more spending power they have and the more variety or quantity is provided. All in all a win-win situation. It is definitely worth $10 (small version).

Monday, March 14, 2011

We're back!

It is 11:00pm and this is what I am facing.

We got back at 8:20pm after a whirlwind long weekend away to Owl's Head, the US and Kingston. I already have most of the van emptied, one load of laundry done, another load just about to go. The kids are asleep (Mitchell got up twice since), I've checked in with mom and now that I've caught up on my favourite blogs (no Internet access for 4 days!!!) I am about ready to get tidied up. Oh yes, and Drew was called out to work at 9pm. Did I mention that I like to come home to a tidy house? It makes coming home such a welcome sight. It also makes the dreaded activity of putting away our travel gear that much more encouraging. I want to keep the house tidy and welcome for the morning.
So here I go.

It is now 11:47 and short of putting the kids bags straight into the laundry, we are unpacked and ready to go in the morning. And then I can discuss our trip away. Til then!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

February 2011 Recap

So why do I do this? First of all my memory is terrible and often find myself wondering when such and such happened. Second of all I love lists and information. Third of all I believe I am a type A personality. Enough said.

Here's a look at our month:
Books, Magazines, Blogs read: Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Ann Krauss Rosenthal. It was a good read. It wasn’t exactly as I thought it would be. I had heard about this through the scrapbooking world and Cathy Zielske has put together a class called ME: The Abridged Version following a similar format of writing about yourself through the alphabet. I plan on creating my own album – The Alphabet of Me and this gave me a lot good ideas.

I am reading The Happiness Project; Creating Keepsakes; Us; my top 10 blogs I read

TV, Movies, Live Entertainment: The Office (Rogers on Demand); Parenthood (internet); Modern Family (internet); Justified (Netflix); High School Musical 3; Nanny Diaries; King Corn (interlibrary loan); Astronaut’s Wife (Netflix); Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (DVD); Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (live at Gryphon Theatre)(19th);

Special Events: Barrilicious – Herb ‘n Sage (2nd); Fud Grill* (4th); Painter’s Hall* (10th)
Ladies Banquet (5th)
Cierra – assessment (7th)
Surprise 40th Bday party for BV (12th)
Helped friend who had to go to hospital in early am (15th)
Dinner with R&BV at at the Five (17th)
Lost Brian C (church) due to a heart attack (19th)
Walked across the lake (21st) *
Funeral for BC (23rd)
ipad replaced as the battery died (24th)
Safe church training (24th)
Lunch with Kristy at Radio Café (25th)*
Dad and Son Hockey game (26th)

Travel: went to see Samantha play hockey in Keswick

Financial/ changes to the house etc.: n/a

Health/ Exercise: skiing as a family weekly; skating as a familyDrew: running, basketball, hockey game
Alison: some running and indoor exercise; still working on my wart =(
Cierra: some coughing; other; snowshoeing with school
Matt: power skating; hockey
Marlee: eye doctor appointment (7th); chicken pox (10th-14th)! She missed 3 days of school and had about 40 pox? She had very little itching and did amazing.
Mitchell: got his 8th tooth; 11 months old

Accomplishments/ Disappointments (Goals): completed LOAD211 (28 layouts in 28 days); some of OLW; some of Yesterday & Today; *’d items - Gotta Do’s and Wanna Do’s list

All Around Us/ Other (News, Trends Etc): “Oiy" ( a Marlee-ism)

LOAD recap

I think this was my best LOAD yet! I think I followed more prompts than ever and did more on my TO DO list than ever too! Win-win-win!

Here is my summary:
28 layouts
12 dbl page payouts/ 16 single page layouts
23 12x12 layouts
1 8x8 layout
4 8.5x11 layouts
3 digital layouts

2 for Yesterday & Today class
1 for Halloween Album
2 for camp album
2 for prof'l photo album
2 for Christmas card album
1 for birthday album
1 for cottage album

Tonnes of inspiration and
too many photos to count!

Job well done and I can't wait until May to get scrappin' again!