Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A night without heat . . .

. . . and an unexpected expense right after Christmas, could it get any worse? Yes, it could have been A LOT worse! We are very lucky!

I had an appointment scheduled for this morning to have our furnace cleaned. Yesterday afternoon, much to my surprise, they called to see if they could come over right away. Half an hour later, I showed the guy to the furnace room in the basement and went back to listening to my new Sirius satellite radio and assembling and putting away Liam's Christmas gifts. Until furnace guy came looking for me. He needed to show me something. It was not good news. The bottom of the chimney was COMPLETELY plugged with crud - much of which were pieces of the chimney tiles. He told us that we were lucky that we weren't sick from the carbon monoxide and that he could not turn the heat back on.

So, there we were at 4:30pm, with the help and support of my mother-in-law (thank god!) looking for some chimney people to come see what they could do with the mess. It only took a couple of calls, to find someone, but we would have to wait 2-4 hours as they were at another emergency call. So we scrounged up some space heaters and anxiously waited.

Finally chimney guys arrived. At first they were optimistic. "Yeah, we can get that cleaned out to turn the heat on tonight. But you do need a new liner." Wonderful, I thought as I went back to my living room filled with space heaters.

But soon the optimism was gone as the inside of the chimney collapsed on one of their cleaning brushes and they had to call in their boss for assistance. "You need a whole new chimney," they informed us. "And no heat tonight."

That's when the panic set in. Not so much about the lack of heat, we figured we would be fine with space heaters, but about the $3000 for a new chimney.

However, but 10:30pm when the chimney guys were finally ready to leave, things were looking a little better. We don't need a whole new chimney after all, just a liner, which will cost about $1600. Not something we were at all prepared for but we are all alive and you have no idea how thankful I am for that. Things could have been worse, so very much worse. I can't even imagine what might have happened if I hadn't scheduled that furnace cleaning . . .


Putting away the Christmas haul . . .

All I have to say is wow!! Putting away all of the new Christmas gifts is always a bit of a job. Unpackaging, finding places to put all the new stuff, possibly getting rid of old stuff that has been replaced takes a bit of time and energy. However, when you throw a baby having their first real Christmas AND birthday into the mix, it becomes something that takes days to complete!!

First, what is with the packaging on kids toys? So much cardboard and plastic, not to mention all the twist ties that are holding the toys into their packages and some of them are even held in with screws! WTF is with that? Hello people, I don't have time to go find a screw driver to get the toy out of the box while baby is screaming for his new fire truck! Packaging is obviously not designed by people with children!! I think that next year, we will request that Santa take all new toys out of their packages before wrapping them!

And clothes! Wow, this child of mine is spoiled! I swear, he got a whole new wardrobe for Christmas! Which is awesome as many of the clothes that he has been wearing are getting a little too small, but I just haven't been able to put them away because they are just so darn cute. But now that he has so much new cute stuff, it should be a little easier to part with some of the old stuff. I see a trip to the consignment store in my very near future with a car full of stuff!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas and a Birthday . . .






. . . makes for a busy and exhausting day . . . but I guess that we better get used to it, as I am sure that it will only get busier and more exhausting as Liam gets older! The day was filled with lots of unwrapping of presents . . . and then playing with said present. I don't think that Liam unwrapped anything without playing with it before he unwrapped the next one. And there are still presents under the tree waiting for him to get to them! Finally, he thought it was all over and decided that it was time for an afternoon nap. But to his surprise, when he woke, Grandma and his Aunties were here and it was time to start all over again with the presents and playing with new things!

We had a wonderful Christmas dinner, although the turkey wasn't really to Liam's liking, it resulted in a lot of tasting and then spitting. Turnips however were quite yummy! And then came birthday cake! At first he wasn't sure what to do with his piece of cake. Breaking off little pieces and throwing them on the floor seemed like a wonderful idea until Grandma stuck a little piece of cake in his mouth. Then he realized that cake is the best food that he has ever eaten! I am sure that if he could talk he would be telling me that he never wants to eat anything ever again, except cake!

Today was a bit of a disappointment, we were supposed to go see my family today and have Boxing Day dinner with everyone at my sister's house, but it has been freezing rain here ALL day. And all I can say about that is MISERABLE! Needless to say, we decided that it wasn't worth the risk of a two hour drive in freezing rain. If the weather is better, we will go tomorrow, otherwise, we will wait until next weekend. Aside from the disappointment of not getting to see my family and of missing Christmas with them again this year (last year I was in the hospital having a baby!) it was a nice quiet, relaxing day at home. I napped when Liam napped and other than doing some dishes, I was completely lazy! I wish that I could have more days like that!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

No Matter What I Choose, I Feel Like A Bad Mom . . .


**Note** Liam was born with a club foot and has been dealing with treatments since he was 6 days old. First was a series of six casts over six weeks, then a tendon elongation followed by a final cast for 3 weeks. Then came the really fun stuff . . . Denis Brown boots and bar . . . Liam had to wear these shoes 23 hours a day for 3 months and now continues to wear them at night until he is four
.

Now that you have the back story, here is the problem. Just before Liam got sick the last time (ear infection) he started having difficulty sleeping at night. He would wake up and nothing I could think of would settle him. I wondered if it was the shoes, but then he got sick with a fever a few days later, so I assumed that it was just that he wasn't feeling well. When he is sick or otherwise bothered by something, he has absolutely no patients for the boots and bar, so it came as no surprise that during his illness, he had difficulty sleeping with them on. Knowing that sleep is very important for a sick baby, I would leave the boots on for as long as I could each night, but if he really wasn't sleeping, they came off.

I expected things to go back to normal as soon as he was feeling better. I was wrong. So, the next logical thing to do was to make an appointment with the orthopedics place for new shoes and an adjustment to the bar. Because of the open toe design of the shoes, he was still wearing the same ones he'd stared with in March and his feet are much bigger, and were sticking out the ends. Last Thursday, Liam and Daddy went and got brand new bigger shoes and had the bar adjusted for his current size.

Again, I expected things to be better that night. Again, I was wrong. Maybe, I thought he just needed some time to "break in" the stiff leather of the new shoes, but here we are a week later and things are no better. Liam goes to bed like an angel, going to sleep without any fuss for about 2 or 3 hours and then he starts fussing, crying, tossing, turning and waking up. No matter what I do, he won't settle for more than an hour at a time after that until I give up and take off the boots.

And that's my where my dilemma comes in. If I take off the shoes every night, we risk a recurrence of the club foot (which looks completely normal right now) but we all get to sleep. If I leave the shoes on, the boots do their job and keep the foot straight but nobody sleeps. It is a no win situation. No matter what I do, Liam isn't getting something that he needs. All I can do for now is put the shoes on every night and keep them on for as long as I can stand it. Once we are on Christmas holidays (no daycare for Liam and I from December 25 to January 4th) I am going to have to throw some tough love at him and let him cry it out a bit more during the night and hopefully get used to the new shoes. If that doesn't work, it will be off to CHEO in the new year to beg the orthopedist for help . . .


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Two days off work . . .


So, I realized last week that I had two vacation days that I needed to use before the end of the year, so I took a four day weekend! My plan was to spend Monday morning finishing my Christmas shopping and spend the rest of Monday and today cleaning and baking.

As much as it made me feel a like a horrible mommy, I sent Liam to daycare on Monday. I had a limited amount of time to do my shopping and many stores that I wanted to get to and I knew that having him along would just slow me down. I really wanted to finish shopping! And I did!! Given that I started my shopping excursion before 8:00 am, the stores were quiet and without a baby in tow, things went quickly! I actually found most of the things I was looking for without much difficulty! WooHoo! To celebrate, I went home to sweep and mop my floors!

All in all, Monday was a much more productive day than I'd expected. I wanted Tuesday to be the same, but at the same time, I wanted to keep Liam home. So, that's what I did. I did end up getting some of my baking done and a couple of other things crossed off my to do list, but in that sense, it wasn't as productive as Monday. But I did have some quality time with my Little Bear.

After his nap this morning, we got dressed up and went out to play in the snow. It is the first time I've had time to take him out try and play in the snow. We have been so busy lately that I haven't had much time at all to play uninterrupted with him and just enjoy being with him. Liam's feelings about the snow were mixed . . . it started out fine, until he got some on his mitts and then wiped his face with his hand . . . that was not good! And a sleigh ride around the yard was fun until mommy tipped his sleigh over with him in it.


After lunch, we embarked on another new and fun activity . . . FINGER PAINTING!!! We had so much fun! And we didn't even try to eat the paint! Yeah, my kid is a genius! hahaha! And now Daddy has a nice painting to put up on his wall at work.


Unfortunately, it is back to work tomorrow. I could use a few more days to catch up on my ever growing to do list and to have some more fun filled days with my Little Bear, but there are bills to be paid and I think that in the long run, both Liam and I would get bored with being home all day every day. He loves daycare and well, so do I, I wouldn't have lasted for almost 9 years if I didn't!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas . . .


. . . my house is a mess, there are piles of gifts for people (still in shopping bags) all over the place, another pile of wrapping paper and gift tags, and a table covered in half written Christmas cards. And there are to do lists here, there and everywhere, each one longer than the last . . . I really need to gather them up and put them all together into one list, but it would be so long that it would scare me into hibernation! Oh, and I have an undecorated Christmas tree in the corner of the living room . . . aside from that, all of the decorations are still in the crawl space.

However, I have the next two days off work!! And tomorrow, Liam is going to daycare! My plan is to go out first thing in the morning and finish my shopping and then I will spend the rest of tomorrow and Tuesday (with Liam's help!) cleaning, decorating, baking and wrapping. Hopefully by the end of the day Tuesday, I will feel a little more organized and ready for Christmas . . .

And then I have a birthday to think about . . . seriously, what was that kid thinking, being born on Christmas day?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Yikes!!!

Only 19 days until Christmas and Liam's birthday . . . how the heck did that happen??? What happened to November? Where did the first week of December go? Did I sleep through it all? Because it seems like I missed at least a month!

I won't lie to you, thinking about my to do list for the next 19 days has scared me! I am only half done my shopping, Christmas cards aren't written yet, I haven't started wrapping, baking or decorating and Christmas dinner is something that I know has to happen, but that's as far as I've gotten with planning that! The house is a disaster . . . I think that the dust bunnies are going to take over soon . . . and I have no motivation to do anything!

Here's to hoping that Rhonda (my boss) can pull through and find a supply teacher for a couple of days so that I can use my last two vacation days for the year to get my butt in gear and get ready for Christmas. If I get two days off (or even just one) and Daddy takes Liam to daycare for the day, I might actually get things accomplished! Because, well, Liam just doesn't help anywhere near as much as he thinks that he does!

And aside from a birthday cake to go with Christmas dinner, I'm not even thinking about Liam's birthday until January. Right now, he is too young to understand any of this craziness we call Christmas and Birthday, so it can wait until we aren't so busy for a party. We haven't decided on a date yet, but it will be towards the end of January. I know that as he gets older and understands more, we will have to have some birthday presents on his actual birthday, but for now, I am going to enjoy the fact that I can put at least one thing off for a few more weeks.

Visiting Santa . . .

While at the mall doing some Christmas shopping, we took our little man to see Santa. Waiting in line for our turn was lots of fun . . . there were people walking by to look at, other kids in line to watch and a 4 month old baby behind us to talk to.


When it got to be our turn, we weren't so sure about that funny looking man dressed in red and there was nothing we could do to get a smile out the kid who never stops smiling. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining . . . I know that it could have been A LOT worse. I know that some babies would have started screaming the moment they saw the Big Guy and not stopped until they were miles away. And the photographer got a pretty good shot . . . this one is from Daddy's iPhone, as we didn't have time to wait for the picture to be ready, we'll have to go back and get it this week.

Santa did however give us a Snowman pillow, which Liam absolutely adores. In his exercauser last night, he was reaching for it sitting across the room on his toy box. Once I gave it to him, it got a huge smile and a cuddle . . . this is from the kid who never cuddles, because it means he would to stay still! And every time it fell on the floor, he would lean over, stare at it sadly and complain until we picked it up for him.

All in all, I think our first visit to Santa was a success! :)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I think the never ending sickness is over . . .

We have been fever free since Friday afternoon!! And Liam has been in a wonderful mood. He is still congested and has a cough, but over all he is much better. I think that he will be happy to be back at daycare tomorrow.

We took his 11 month pictures today, a few days late, but with him being sick, I didn't want to make him sit through my need to get monthly pics with some of his stuffed animals. Although this seemed like a wonderful idea when he was a month old and I could just prop him up in the corner of the love seat with a stuffed animal, it is now becoming increasingly difficult each month as Liam really doesn't enjoy sitting still for more than 2 seconds!
















He likes to flail around like a goof and throw his toys at me . . . and when all else fails, he tries to crawl away!




















But eventually we get a couple of good ones!! And that will make it all worth while in the years to come when we look back at how fast he grew as a baby!






Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I am not Green with envy anymore . . .



. . . because my new Green Bin arrived today! When I first learned that Ottawa was finally putting a Green Bin program in place, I was thrilled. Until I learned that rural residents wouldn't be a part of the program, living in what I thought was classified as a rural part of the city, I didn't expect to be getting one. So, when I got home today and found one in my driveway, I did a happy dance. Well, not really, but I was excited. I am looking forward to January when I can start to toss stuff into my bin instead of the garbage bag. I do have a composter and try hard to compost what I can, however, my composter fills up much faster than the stuff in it composts. So, while I wait for the big black box hidden away behind my shed to do it's magic on my potato peels and vegetable scraps, I end up tossing stuff into the garbage.

Now, when my composter is full, I will be filling my green bin. And I was happy to see that there are a lot of things that can go into the green bin that can't go into my compost . . . meat waste, kitty litter, and paper plates, among other things can now be composted instead of filling up the landfill.

I am happy that I can do one more small thing to help environment!


The Never-ending Saga Of My Sick Baby


It all began last Monday morning when Rhonda, my boss came to tell me that Liam had a fever of 101.6 F. After what felt like a million phone calls, we arranged for Auntie Margaret and Auntie Regan to come get the sick little boy for the afternoon. I quickly made arrangements to take Tuesday off work so that I could take Liam to the pediatrician. Those plans were quickly flushed down the toilet when I finally actually spoke to the Dr's office. They wouldn't see Liam unless he'd had the fever for 3 or 4 days or had other symptoms. In hindsight, I should have embellished some other symptoms, but I didn't expect them to say that they didn't want to see my 10 month old infant with the 102 F fever.

Tuesday, I stayed home with my little man. In the morning, there was no fever, I thought that we were in the clear! (The first of many times I have had that thought during the past week and a half.) However, I was wrong, after lunch, the fever was up to 102 F. I decided that I wasn't letting my baby suffer with a fever for 3 or 4 days and off we went to the walk in clinic. I expected a long wait in a crowded waiting room of sick people, so I was very pleasantly surprised when we were seen right away. And, I left the clinic again thinking that we were in the clear . . . just a virus, the nice, although very young looking Dr said.

Again, I was wrong. The high (101-102 F range) continued for Wednesday and Thursday. Not sure what I would have done without Auntie Margaret and Auntie Regan looking after the munchkin for me as there is no way I could have missed that much work. Thursday, we were at day 4 of the fever, so I was back on the phone with the pediatrician's answering machine (however, that is a gripe for another post on another day!). Finally after two messages, I was able to schedule an appointment for Friday afternoon, which meant another day off for me.

Through all of this, Liam was an amazing little guy, always happy, eating well and loving his time with his Aunties (and Grandma when she was home from work). Friday morning, he was in a great mood and didn't have a fever! He even let me sleep in a little bit! We went off to the Dr in the afternoon . . . our 1:30pm appointment turned into being seen at 2:30pm, but I was just happy that they had been able to fit us in. And finally, we had an answer - ear infection in both ears - and a prescription! Thank you Dr. McConville!

Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday were all good! Liam takes his medicine like a pro. No fever since Friday. He was in a great mood and thrilled to be back at daycare after missing a week. We were in the clear . . . WRONG again!!

Tuesday night, he was up THREE times! The last time, at 3:30am, he was screaming in pain, so out came the infant tylenol (at this rate, I think that I should be buying it by the case,) and we got a little more sleep. I knew that something was up, I just didn't know what. There was no fever this morning and he seemed OK, so off we went to daycare. I was not the slightest bit surprised when I was informed at 10:30m that he had a fever again . . . I was not at all impressed, but not surprised. So, off we went to the pediatrician again.

I was sure that we would be getting new antibiotics because the old ones were working, but the Dr said that his ears are looking better and that this fever is mostly likely a new virus on top of the infection. So, tomorrow, Liam is off to spend the day with his Grandma and Aunties again and I've got my fingers crossed that he will be better by Friday!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

AGH! He's crawling!!!!

Now, it really shouldn't be a surprise, he's 10 months after all, Liam has started crawling! He just started on really being able to move on Thursday evening, and already his favorite thing to do is crawl to the bookshelf that houses all of our DVDs and start pulling them off the shelves. And in the kitchen he has discovered the metal ice bucket on the bottom of the baker's rack. He hasn't figured out how to get it off the shelf yet, but he has figured out that it makes a cool noise if you bang it with something! And when you are 10 months old, noise it good!

Now comes the task of baby proofing . . . I really don't know why I haven't already done it. I knew this day was coming and it would have made so much more sense to do it in anticipation of this day. But no, that's not how I work. I have procrastinated yet again and now I have to spend my spare time this week moving things, putting latches on cupboard doors and crawling around the house on my hands and knees looking for things that might not see walking around like a normal person.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

H1N1

To get vaccinated or not to get vaccinated . . . that is the question . . .

Honestly, for me, it wasn't much of a question. Liam's pediatrician recommended the shot, so that's what I planned to do from the beginning. It seemed to make sense to me as Liam is in daycare with 10 other babies, all of whom are in the "if I can put it in my mouth I will" stage and that makes for A LOT of germ sharing. (Ironically, that is about the only thing that infants and toddlers share!) It is inevitable that H1N1 will rear it's ugly head in the daycare and when it does, it will spread like wildfire. I feel that as a parent it is my job to do whatever I can to protect Liam (and myself as I am in the daycare too!) from getting it. And that means to get the shot.

But Daddy wasn't sure that he wanted Liam to get the vaccination. He was concerned by the fact that the vaccine wasn't very throughly tested and that no one knows the long term effects. And that there are many doctors out there that are saying to stay away from the shot. Unfortunately all of his reasons for not wanting Liam to get the shot are just as valid as my reasons for wanting him to get it.

So we debated the pros and cons and asked everyone we knew what they thought and what they were doing for themselves and their kids. We want what's best for our baby but it is so hard to know what that is in this situation.

In the end, we decided that Liam and I would get the shot. There was a clinic in North Gower today, so I got up this morning and headed over to the Alfred Taylor RA to line up for a wrist band which would guarantee us a shot today. We arrived at 7:00 and began to wait. The atmosphere around our spot in line was a little tense and concerned as it was immediately apparent that we were not going to be in the 300 wristbands that were guaranteed to be handed out at 7:30am. Many rumors circulated as we waited . . . they didn't have enough vaccine, they had to wait for more to come from other clinics, they didn't have enough people to administer the vaccine, there would be more wristbands, there wouldn't be anymore wrist bands . . . as the minutes ticked by, the rumors continued to grow . . . finally we got the official word that they would be giving out 300 more wristbands. Still, I wasn't sure we were going to get one, there were still many people ahead of us. But at 10:30, after 3 and a half hours of waiting, Liam and I had wristbands. We were to return at 1:00pm for our shots. I felt relieved . . . it would be smooth sailing from there.

I couldn't have been more wrong. We arrived back just before 1:00 and was told that we would have at least an hour wait before we got into the building and another hour and a half once we were inside. I could have cried! So back in line we went. Eventually someone from Ottawa Public Health came out and explained the situation . . . in order to get as many people as possible through the clinic today, they had double booked return times. They assured us that we would all get the shot, but that it would take time. As much as I understand their desire to get as many people as possible vaccinated, I wish that they had given later return times as opposed to double booking. However, at that point, I had two choices . . . wait or give up and do it all over again next weekend. I waited. At around 4pm, we finally got into the building and then things moved fairly quickly. We got our shots and were finished and ready to leave by 5pm.

It was a LONG, EXHAUSTING day and I am glad that it is over. However, we have to do it all again in three weeks. Young child need to get two shots of this vaccine, at least 21 days apart. So, on November 26th, when Ottawa Public Health again invades the Alfred Taylor RA in North Gower, I will be there again. Hopefully by then they lines will have dwindled, but given that these are the only two clinics scheduled for North Gower, I am going to guess that it will be much of the same.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I don't want to "Fall Back"

Tonight is the night that Daylight Saving Time ends and we put our clocks back an hour. I always dread the time change. Not only does it mess with my schedule and cause me a week (at least!) of trying to figure out what time it is and get my sleeping back on track, but it totally screws up the kids at daycare. Again, for at least a week they are cranky and tired because their sleep schedules are messed up. What was nap time last week (12:00 pm) will now be lunch time (11:00 am) which means some of the kids will be too tired to eat, they will end up going to nap without having much if any lunch and wake up even more miserable because they are starving.

And on top of the time change, it is also a full moon this week. I know that a lot of people out there think that the full moon doesn't effect people in any way, but when you have worked with kids for as long as I have, you KNOW that there is a change in the way they act and behave for about a week around a full moon. They are louder, busier and overall more difficult to deal with.

So, I am bracing myself for a LONG, BUSY and EXHAUSTING week. I think that I will just go hibernate for the winter. Would someone please come wake me up when it is time to "Spring Forward"?


Happy Halloween from the cutest little bumble bee ever!
Liam wore his adorable bumble bee costume (Thanks Aunty Danny) to daycare yesterday and of course everyone thought he was adorable! Of course he is too young to understand or even care about Halloween . . . all that matters to him is that everyone is gushing over him! Tonight, we didn't do the trick or treating thing, we did however take some pictures with the pumpkin and go to Grandma's house.

At home, it was just another night. We live on a country road with six houses and no other kids, so just like every other year, we had no trick or treaters. In some ways it is nice, because we don't have to spend the money on candy and listen to the dogs bark like idiots every time someone comes to the door, but it takes the fun out Halloween. We don't even carve a pumpkin anymore. However I am sure that will change next year when Liam is a little older. Maybe next year I will actually get my halloween decorations out of the box that they have been hidden away in for years . . . if I can find the box . . . I should start looking now . . .

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Where did my "Me Time" go?

Time for work . . .
Time for bed . . .
Bath time . . .
Time to . . .
Not enough time . . .
Need to find time . . .
Someday when I have time . . .
I don't have time . . .

My life suddenly seems to revolve around time. It is always time to do something. There is always a list of things to do when there is time. What happened to spare time? free time? me time? It has vanished, probably forever. Although I am not quite sure that it has been missing for long enough to be declared legally dead, I am grieving the loss of my precious "me time". I am hoping that someday it will be found, possibly hidden in the back of closet that is waiting for me to find the time to clean it out or under a pile of dust bunnies that is quickly growing into a mountain while waiting for me to find the time to vacuum, but until them, I will survive on memories. Memories of uninterrupted reading or hours of scrap booking while sipping wine. I hope that my "me time" comes back before my precious memories fade away.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sick baby update . . .

Well, Tuesday, Liam had a right fine time with Grandma, Aunty Margaret and Aunty Regan, and his Grandma's house best friend, Kelly (Aunty Margaret's cocker spaniel). He didn't have a fever all day, so we thought that we were good to go. Off to daycare went my happy little bear. But things went down hill at lunch time on Thursday. First he vomited up all his lunch, which wasn't a huge concern to me as he has been coughing and vomiting the odd time since he's had this cold, but then they discovered that he had a fever . . . 101.4 F. And that meant that he needed to be sent home.

The ironic thing was that Thursday afternoon was the first time since my promotion that I was covering in the office. And the first thing that I had to do was send my own kid home with a fever! After numerous phone calls between Dad, Grandma and myself, we finally came up with a plan! (What made everything even more difficult to figure out was the fact that Aunty Margaret was in the hospital recovering from an emergency appendectomy. Why is it that everything has to happen at the same time?) I rushed out on my lunch break and got some baby tylenol for my poor little fever boy . . . and it's a good thing that I did, by the time I got back with it, his fever was 102.2 F.

Friday, Liam spent the day with Grandma. Although he was in a great mood most of the day, the fever never really went away. Baby tylenol would keep it down, but when ever it wore off, the fever went right back up. But, with everything else going on, there was just no way to get him to the doctor, Daddy had been off sick two days this week and couldn't take anymore time and we were insanely busy at work so there was no way I could leave either.

So, this morning we got up and headed off to the walk-in clinic. Thankfully we got there just after it opened and there was only one person ahead of us! The Dr was very nice and efficient. And my poor little bear has a sinus infection. :( Ten days of amoxicillin and my baby should be as good as new!

I have to say I can't believe what a little trooper he is . . . through all of this, he has been pretty much his usual happy self. I know what sinus infections are like. I am NOT happy or even tolerable when I have one! I am downright miserable! I have a pretty incredible little boy!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sick baby

My little bear is sick. He's had a runny nose for about a week and a half, a cough for a few days and finally today, he hardly ate anything and has a fever. :( Now, I am not complaining, I know first hand how much kids can get sick when they are in daycare and know that many babies get sick within their first week or two of daycare because their little immune systems are just about non-existent (Liam has made it just over a month) but I feel bad for my poor little guy. However, aside from the lack of appetite, (which was better for Mommy at supper time than it was at daycare today) he doesn't seem to be too bothered by anything. He is his usual happy self . . . until you wipe his nose, then he lets you know that you are pissing him off royally and then goes right back to being happy!

Tomorrow, because of the fever, he can't go to daycare. And I have to go to work, so does Dad. So, we are packing little bear up and taking him to spend the day with Grandma and Aunty Margaret. I know that he will be fine with them and that they will take good care of him, but I feel bad that I can't be with him when he isn't feeling well. I know that I don't have a choice, there is absolutely no way that I can get the day off work, but I can't help but feel like I am letting him down and that I am a bad mommy. I know that I'm not, I know that he will probably have a fun day at Grandma's house, but it doesn't change the fact that I feel like a horrible mom. :(

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Nine months . . .















Where does time go?? My little bear hit the big 9 month mark last Friday (Sept. 25) . . . how is it possible that it has been 9 months since he was born?? And how did I get a kid that is so frigging cute?? And so amazingly good? I just don't know! However, I do know how lucky I am!! I know that kids aren't all cute and that they certainly aren't all good! My supervisor at work, Rhonda, told me the other day that in 22 years of working in daycare she has never seen a baby who has adjusted to daycare so well and who has is as good and as happy as Liam! :)

I finally today took his 9 month pictures. I have been doing a monthly photo shoot with him and a few of his stuffed animals every months since he was one month old so that we will have something to look back on to compare what he looked like and how much he grew month to month! It is amazing to see the change! Someday, when his first year is over (and I get the time to start his scrapbook) I will do a page of 1 month to 12 month pictures with the same stuffed animal. If I ever get it done, it will make a great page!


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Promotion

Maybe going back to work early was a good idea after all! Yesterday, I was promoted to Head Teacher of the Toddler Program. It is a position that I never expected to be available to me, because the former Head Teacher had held the position for many years and wasn't expected to be going anywhere! However, she decided that it was time for a change and transfered to the preschool program.

When the position was announced, I let them know that I was interested, think that it would be easy, there weren't many people who were qualified for the position (5 years ECE experience), they would make a decision and it would all be done with quickly. However, I was wrong! First, all I had to do was tell my boss (reply to the e-mail she sent informing me of the position) that I was interested. Then we had to apply to our supervisor in writing, and the changed the qualifications (5 years became 1-2 years) so that more people were able to apply. That worried me a little, because it made me wonder if they had someone else in mind for the promotion. Regardless, I submitted my letter waited to see what was going to happen.

A few days later, they decided that they needed updated resumes. That was when I started to really panic! I hadn't updated or even looked at my resume since I'd been hired at the daycare in 2001! I didn't even know where it was! AND they asked for it on a Friday, and wanted it by Monday! However, I found a copy of my seriously outdated resume and was able to revise it and add to it and have it in good shape in only a couple of hours. Crisis averted!!

Then came the next surprise . . . INTERVIEWS! They had said in the beginning, they were not doing interviews, but they also said they didn't want updated resumes. Much like my resume, I haven't had a job interview since 2001! And this was going to be quite the interview . . . two supervisors, the director and the owner all staring at me as I fumbled for my answers! Not to mention the fact that they had no idea when they were going to do said interviews, so it was a waiting game!

We finally found out on Tuesday (two weeks after submitting resumes) that Wednesday was the day. Finally, an end to the worry and the gossip, because you know that EVERYONE was talking about who was going to get the promotion and what would happen when they did. Interviews were scheduled between 1pm and 3pm. After 3pm, we (there were three of us in the toddler program who applied and had to spend the afternoon together, waiting for news!) were on pins and needles hoping that a decision would be made by the end of the day and wondering who the lucky person was!

When my shift was over, we still hadn't heard anything and were convinced that we weren't going to get an answer until today. We were sure that we would be stressing and speculating for another night. But much to my surprise, my supervisor was waiting for me as I went to leave to give me the news . . . I was the new Head Teacher!

Now that the stress of waiting and wondering is over, it is time for me to begin to learn the specifics of my new position! Tomorrow I am to meet with my supervisor to go over all of my responsibilities and everything. And Monday it is official, I am will be the Head Teacher! I am very happy and excited with this new position!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

So much to do, so little time . . .

I can't believe that it is the end of September already! Although I enjoy the weather, this time of year with the warm sunny days and beautiful fall colours, there are many things that I dread - digging potatoes and carrots from the garden, picking all the tomatoes, peppers and other things that are left in the garden and figuring out what to do with them and finding the time to do it before they spoil and then pulling out all the garden plants before winter. Because pulling out the dead, rotten, slimy plants in the spring is even worse! (And yes, I know this from experience!)

In what's left of this weekend (because I didn't accomplish a darn thing today!) that's what I'll be doing while my little man bounces in his exersaucer and laughs at me. Hopefully, I will get tomatoes and peppers (along with a bunch of other ingredients) made into some spaghetti sauce and lasagna for the freezer. And I NEED to make some baby food, or else the bottomless put that I call Liam won't have anything to eat this week! There are many other things that I hope to get accomplished, however I know that it isn't realistic, so I consider it a productive weekend if I get that much done!

So much for a quiet, relaxing weekend . . . I guess that they just don't exist anymore!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Does anyone remember . . .

. . . what it feels like to be well rested?? Because I sure don't! As my exhausted brain tries to think back to a time when I wasn't perpetually tired, I remember struggling to stay awake as I put the babies at work to sleep during my pregnancy, I remember waking up every two hours to feed Liam as a newborn, I remember getting up with him much earlier than I would have like during much of my mat leave, but I don't have any recollection of what it feels like to be well rested.

I can also remember countless nights of partying and bar hopping in college that left me with very limited amounts of sleep before getting up to go to an early class or to do it all over again . . . I was never this tired then . . . it is amazing what 10 years can do to a person!

I know that I should go to bed earlier, but by the time Liam goes to bed and I do even a very few chores, I feel like I need some "me time" before I go to sleep, so I fiddle around on Facebook for a little while, knowing full well that the time would be better spent sleeping. But instead, I sit here at the computer thinking about all the things that I should be doing, all the things that I need to do, all the things that I barely have the energy to think about let alone accomplish. Sometimes, I sit here even longer because I don't have the energy to get up and get ready for bed . . . now seriously, how sad is that?

Now, I will drag myself off to bed and hope that I will wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day that will come . . . however, I am not optimistic. I fear that I will be dragging myself out of bed much the way I am dragging myself to bed. Please, if anyone does remember what it feels like to be well rested, I would like to know. It has been so long since I have felt it, I may not recognize the feeling if it slapped me across the side of the head!




Saturday, September 19, 2009

Surviving . . .

Well, it has been two weeks since I started back to work . . . how has it been you ask? Don't ask! Seriously, thought, it hasn't been that bad. I am completely and utterly exhausted! And feel like I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off most of the time, but it is slowly getting better.

We are starting to get into a good morning routine. I am up at 5am (yuck!), Liam is up at 5:30am and Daddy is up sometime around then as well. We are all ready and out the door by 6am . . . unless Liam decides to have a poop, which he seems to do most days about 5 minutes before we are supposed to leave. And it is always the huge explosive type . . . fortunately, as long as we are gone by 6:15, we are good!

Work starts for me at 7:20, with Liam, a later shift would be much easier, but we only have one car and Henry works at 7, so we don't have a choice. Getting into a good routine at work is proving to be more difficult than getting into a routine of getting out of the house. I am working with Toddlers again and even though I have many years of toddler experience, I have been away from them for 3 years. In a lot of ways, it is like starting a brand new job! I forget how much these kids can do for themselves (compared to the babies that I worked with before my maternity leave) and am constantly stressing myself by trying to do things for them that I should be letting them do for themselves. I hate having to ask questions that someone who has work at the daycare for as long as I have (eight years) should know, but having been away for 8 months, so many things have changed!

One nice thing about being with the toddlers is that many of the kids that were babies with me when I was pregnant are "my kids" again in the toddler program. They have changed so much but it is amazing to see how they have grown up.

I do love working with toddlers and I know that once I get used to the noise that is created by a room full of 20 toddlers and get back into the toddler educator frame of mind, everything will be fine! Until then, I am going to muddle my way through it and hope for the best!

I am still undecided on what is busier, work or after work! Once we get home, Liam wants attention, usually a bottle and then his supper, I have to cook our supper, eat supper, give Liam a bath and get him ready for bed. There is little or not time to sit and relax until Liam is in bed for the night. Even then, there is always so much to do . . . make formula and lunches for the next day, clean up the kitchen . . . and the list goes on and on!

Eventually I will get used to it all . . . but for now, I am just surviving! (And wishing for that money tree to appear in my back yard.)

Friday, September 4, 2009

First Week . . . Last Week . . .

So, we find ourselves at the end of Liam's first week of daycare and my last week of mat leave.

I am thrilled that he is doing so well. He had a bit of difficulty with nap time a couple of days, but over all, he is doing amazing. Rhonda, the supervisor and my immediate boss, said to me yesterday that she thinks that he is one of the best babies she's ever seen as far as how well he adjusted! And Rhonda has been working at ABC for over 20 years, so she's seen A LOT of kids come and go!

I am not so thrilled about the prospect of getting up Tuesday morning and heading back to work. Early morning drives into the city, brown bag lunches, rushing around to get things done after work, it just doesn't appeal to me. But there has been no winning lottery ticket with my name on it, no money trees have magically appeared in my back yard, nor has hubby acquired a sudden increase in pay, so come Tuesday morning, I will be dragging my butt out of bed to go look after other people's kids, while someone else looks after mine. It just doesn't seem right some how, but I guess there are lots of things in life that just don't work out the way we want them to!

So, I am going to try and enjoy the last long weekend of the summer and my last long weekend of freedom from the real world!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

First Day of Daycare




















Yesterday, was Liam's first day of daycare. Sunday night, I bustled around to make sure that everything was gathered up and ready to go. Monday morning, we were up bright and early and ready to go.

I arrived at daycare with my little man at about 7:30am. I put him down on the floor with the toys and went to put all his stuff away. He didn't even seem to notice that I wasn't right beside him. He played happily while I chatted with the staff and organized all his belongings into the proper places. He just continued to play as if everything was normal until he was ready for his breakfast. He complained just enough to let us know that he was ready to eat. After his breakfast and a dry diaper, it was nap time. Into his crib he went with his blankie, and in minutes he was asleep! Can you believe what a perfect baby I have? He went for his nap and ate his lunch like a pro! He smiled, laughed and talked to everyone who would listen!

I was a little concerned that today would be more difficult, as it often is for kids as it is generally the first time they are left alone. (Monday, I stay at the daycare, although I was in and out of the room and not always with him.)

We arrived at daycare at about 11am today. I stayed for about an hour, watching Liam play and have lunch. When it was time for me to leave, I gave him a kiss and said good bye. He looked at me and smile before turning back to his toys. As I was leaving the room, I called his name and said good bye again. He looked at me and laughed!

After I left, he continued to play until nap time, and was still sleeping when Daddy arrived to pick him up. He's been asleep for over two hours!

Tomorrow, Daddy is dropping him off in the morning and picking him up in the afternoon . . . I will have the day to myself!!! Whatever will I do??? I should clean my house and work in my garden . . . but I might just spend the day scrapbooking or something fun like that!!


Listen to Lena . . .
















I recently (using the "Next Blog" button) stumbled upon a blog entitled "Listen to Lena" http://www.listentolena.com/ Lena is a stay at home mom who's love for shopping prompted her to start looking for deals! Now, she strives to find the best quality for the best price and she shares the deals she finds on her blog every day! And she also manages to get donations for business so that she can have contests for her readers!

The first thing that caught my attention about this blog was a contest to win a Pudgie. What is a Pudgie you ask? Well, that was my question too! Simply put, Pudgies are big, cubby, round, hilariously adorable stuffed animals! You have to see them for yourself to understand! http://www.thepudgies.com/index.html

Once I looked at the Pudgies website, and saw these creatures, I knew that I had to enter this contest. I knew I wouldn't win, I never win stuff like that, but I had decided that Liam NEEDED a Pudgie, so, I would enter, and when I didn't win, I would start saving my pennies to order one for him for Christmas! So, needless to say, when Lena posted the winner a few days later, I was shocked to see that I had won!!!! I was getting a Pudgie frog!!!

Well, Pudgie the frog arrived today! And well, I know already said it, but you need to see these things to see for yourself how frigging cute they are! http://www.thepudgies.com/index.html And they are even cuter in person! Liam was instantly taken with his new friend! They played together for a good long time this afternoon. Liam quite enjoyed showing Pudgie his toys!

Thank you Lena and Pudgies for this awesome contest! And I recommend that you all check out Lena's blog!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Family Vacation . . .

We survived out first ever family vacation! Sure, it was only two nights away from home, but I feel that it was an accomplishment!

We hit the road Thursday morning, and with only one stop along the way, arrived at the hotel in Syracuse at around 12:30pm. We checked into the hotel, fed Liam the dreaded jarred infant food (which he ate eagerly, given that lunch was an hour later than usual, but as the vacation wore on, so did his patience for jarred food!) and then hit the NY State Fair.

Thursday was a great day, weather wise, and we all had fun wandering around the fair. Liam loved watching all the people!
He smiled at everyone and talked to anyone who would listen!

Thursday evening, we took in the FREE Sara Evans show. This was Liam's first ever concert! He looked adorable in his little ear protectors! But, an 8pm show was just a little too late for my little bear! He fell asleep before the show started.
He woke up for a little while in the middle to enjoy the show with his dad!

Liam slept amazingly well in his playpen in the hotel room. I was worried that he would have difficulty sleeping in a stange place, but I worried for nothing!

Friday was another day at the fair . . . Liam visited with a police horse, a K-9 blood hound, saw lots of bunnies and chickens, and just about every other kind of farm animal you can think of! We spent the entire day walking around, at the fair. Unfortunately, just before the Kenny Chesney show, it started to rain. And it rained for the rest of the evening. Jake Owen and Kenny Chesney both put on a great show, but the rain put a bit of a damper on it. Liam slept in my Moby wrap through most of it, which was probably a good thing, because was able to him wrapped in my coat. But even that wasn't enough . . . by the time we got to the car at the end of the night, EVERYTHING was soaked! Once we were back to the hotel and in dry clothes, everyone fell into bed and slept soundly until morning.

Saturday, we packed up and headed for home. We took our time coming home, stopping a few times to eat and shop. As much as it was a successful and fun vacation, I was glad to be home and able to sleep in my own bed last night!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Travelling

Packing for two days with an infant is a job in itself! I have spent just about the entire day packing for our two day trip to Syracuse for the New York State Fair. And I haven’t packed a thing for myself.

Liam needs to take just about everything he owns with him! Playpen to sleep in (we are staying in a cheap hotel that doesn’t have cribs), stroller for at the fair, food, bottles, sippy cups, clothes, toys . . . the list is really endless. Liam just smiles as he watches me run around grabbing this and that as I think of it and drop it in a pile of things to be packed. What he doesn’t know is that he won’t be smiling if Mommy forgets something important like formula or diapers!

Mommy, who should be relaxing and excited for a couple of days away (the only trip we are taking this year) is stressed and worried that something will go wrong. Maybe she will forget something important, like Liam’s bottles. Or what if he doesn’t sleep in the hotel room. Or what if he won’t eat the jarred infant food that he will be fed during the trip. (This will be Liam’s first taste of jarred infant food, as I have been making all of his baby food.)

So, after a day of running around like a chicken without a head, I think that Liam is packed and ready to go . . . except for the last minute things like his bedtime blankie and buddy. I however, have not packed a thing for myself! So, now, I am exhausted and headed off to bed, hoping that the packing fairy will come along while I am sleeping and pack my things for me. And then when she is done that, she will load everything into the car for me. I know, it’s highly unlikely, but I can hope!

If all goes according to plan, we will be leaving around 9am tomorrow, the plan is to put Liam in the car seat just in time for his morning nap, so that he will sleep most of the way there. Wish me luck! And if we all survive this trip, I will be back on Saturday!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Kenny Chesney's Sun City Carnival Tour hits Ottawa!

Today, I feel the need to stay from my chosen blog topic (as I am sure I will do often!) to share my thoughts on last night's concert.

Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lamber and Kenny Chesney - I knew from the moment it was announced that it would be a show not to be missed! And apparently many others agreed . . .

Lady antebellum took the stage first. Every time I hear their song, "Love Don't Live Hear Anymore," I am taken back to a hot, sunny day at Riverfront Park in Nashville during the 2007 CMA Music Fest when a group of unknowns rocked the stage in front of a moderately interested crowd. I loved the song from that moment, and was thrilled that they have grown into a well known group. Last night, they rocked the stage in front of a roaring crowd at Scotiabank Place. They have a ways to go before they are the in the league of Kenny Chesney or other big names, but they have come a long way in two years! And what better way to learn than to tour with Kenny!

On the outside, Miranda Lambert's blond hair, blue eyes and silver tank top give people the impression of a sweet girl next door type. Then, you look a little closer and see the crisscrossed handguns on her stage backdrops and the mic stand, designed to look like a shot gun (or maybe a rifle, guns aren't my thing!) and you raise an eyebrow and wonder what's up with this girl. But when she rips into songs like Kerosene, Crazy Ex-girlfriend, and Gun Powder & Lead, the women in the audience are on their feet, clapping, cheering and singing along while the men in the crowd are peeing their pants in dear. Fortunately, she also shows us her humorous side when she let's us know how it feels to be stuck in a "Dry Town" and to be "Famous in a Small Town." Miranda is a force to be reckoned with in the country music game. And God help Blake Shelton if he ever pisses her off!

And finally, the moment that everyone had been waiting for. The curtains around the stage are raised for the one and only Kenny Chesney. All eyes are on the stage, waiting for the first look at the super star - all that is except the diehard Kenny fans. Our eyes are on the back of the floor area because we know that he will come in on a chair suspended over the crowd, sining "Live Those Songs Again."
Critics have complained about this, saying that it's been done before - but here, we don't care if he's done it every tour for 16 years, because, well, that's how long we've been waiting for Kenny to come to Ottawa. Yes, that's right, Kenny Chesney has been touring for 16 years and this was his first trip to Ottawa. When he mentioned this during the show, the crowd went wild. Kenny laughed and said, "I can tell that we waited 16 years too long to come to this town. We will be back!"

Kenny puts on an incredibly high energy show. By the time he a few songs in, you can already see that parts of his shirt are a few shades darker as he is dripping in sweat! But he never stops smiling. And even when he stops singing to have a drink of water, he never stops moving. My only complaint, is that it is hard to get good pictures, cause he is moving so much!

Everything about this show is larger than life! The band, the stage, the lights, the screens, the 20 trucks that bring it all from place to place are all as impressive as the show itself! Kenny does a perfect mix of fast ("Living In Fast Forward", "When The Sun Goes Down") and slow ("Me & You", "There Goes My Life"); old ("I Go Back", "How Forever Feels") and new ("Out Last Night"). And of course, as us die hard fans knew, the ever popular encore, "She Thinks My Tractors Sexy."


To top it all off, after Tractor, he spent probably 15 minutes singing autographs for fans in the Sandbar and around the rest of the stage. I thought that was a pretty decent thing for him to . . . just wish I had been down there!


All in all - best concert that I've ever been to! Let's hope that he doesn't wait another 16 years to come back!


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Not enough time . . .

As I look around this mess I call a house, I wonder how in the world am I going to have time for everything once I get back to work full time? Seriously, I am home all day long, and sure, I am taking care of Liam, but some days I can hardly find the time to have a shower and do the dishes amongst changing diapers, making baby food, preparing bottles and the ever important playtime.

So, you know full well what is going to get over looked once I am back to work . . . the house cleaning. My house will become more and more cluttered and unorganized.

Does that bother me? Yes.

Does it motivate me enough to do a clean sweep before I go back to work, so that it will at least take a little while for the clutter to engulf our lives? NO!

Everyday, I wake up with good intentions of getting some housework or yard work done. Every day, I manage to do a couple of little things; today I cooked, pureed and froze a pot full of sweet potatoes for Liam, cleaned some unidentifiable leftovers out of the fridge, loaded and unloaded the dishwasher, and make a card for a friend. But the list of things to do always seriously out numbers the list of things accomplished.

So, I have come to the conclusion that I will do what I can do and learn to live with the clutter and dust bunnies until someone figures out how to create more hours in the day. Or until someone figures out a way for humans to survive without sleep. Unless someone out there wants to volunteer to be my maid!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Daycare Visit

Daycare Visit . . .

We made a quick visit to the daycare on Tuesday so that I could pick up enrollment forms for Liam. Of course, everybody ohhed and ahhed over how adorable he is. And my friendly little man went happily into the arms of anyone who reached out for him. A part of me is happy that he is content to go to anyone. It should make the transition into daycare much easier for him. But at the same time, there is a part of me that feels disappointed that he's not at least a little bit sad when I hand him off to a complete stranger. But, we'll just have to wait and see what happens the first time I drop him off and leave. I can guarantee that there will be tears . . . even if he doesn't cry, I am sure that I will. I am sure that this whole back to work, starting daycare thing will be a lot more difficult for me than it will be for him.

So, as I sit here typing this, I am avoiding the envelope of enrollment forms because somehow the thought of filling them out will just make this all so much more real. I am still hoping for a miracle - you know the kind - hubby will suddenly get an enormous raise, we'll win a lottery or money will start falling from the sky, anything that would allow me to be the stay at home mom that I wish I could be. But time is running out and the chances of a miracle are very unlikely.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A month to go . . .

I sit here, trying to prepare, mostly mentally at this point to go back to work. I have been off since Christmas on maternity leave with my first child. Liam was born on Christmas day, he is my pride and joy and I adore every minute that I spend with him. But our lazy, but fun filled days at home are quickly coming to an end. On August 31st, Liam will start daycare and on September 8th, I will go back to work. This isn't what I want. I want to be able to take the full year of maternity leave. I want to be a stay at home mom. My husband wants me to be able to stay home with our little boy. But we don't always get what we want from life. Financially, there is no way that I can stay home any longer. So, we prepare for the day when we have to start getting up and getting ready early in the morning, instead of sitting around in our pajamas for half the day.

The daycare space is secured, and although Liam will be attending the daycare that I have worked at for the past 10 years, it is amazing the amount of thought I have to put into preparing for him to be there. I am already making lists of all the things I will have to take for him on the first day . . . diapers, wipes, diaper cream, extra clothes, sunscreen, food, bottles . . . the list seems to be never ending. Maybe now I will understand a little better when parents of the children forget something that their child needs!

And then there is the mental aspect . . . I have to leave my baby with other people. Yes, I know them, I have been working with them for years, but still, he won’t be with me. In some ways, it is probably easier knowing the daycare as well as I do, but in other ways, I think it is harder. I know that there are times when my baby won’t get the attention he needs right away, because there are 10 other screaming babies, and that breaks my heart, even though I know there is no way around it. And even though I will be in the same building, I am saddened by the things that I will miss. I hope he will accomplish his first steps and first words when he is home with me, but the reality is that I know I will mostly likely miss at least some of these things.

But, life will go on. Not the life that I have come to know and love, but a new crazy, busy life.