Thursday, July 29, 2010

Story Time With Daddy

While I was cooking supper tonight, Liam was hanging out with Daddy in the living room.  The often spend this time watching Star Trek and MythBusters because Liam tends to be a little on the hungry and cranky side when we get home and TV distracts him from being under my feet in the kitchen.

Tonight, however, Liam got out some books, went over to the couch and climbed up beside Daddy to read stories.  I love watching Liam with his Daddy.  He is such a Daddy's boy and wants to do EVERYTHING that Daddy does!  It was so cute seeing them read stories together that I had to get a couple of photos.  

Listening to Liam try to repeat words that Daddy was saying as he pointed at pictures was adorable.  Liam isn't much for playing the "What's this?" game or even repeating words after you most of the time even when it is something that he can say.  But tonight he was repeating "duck" and "bear" and doing a whole lot of "talking" to Daddy.  He is so cute when he is "talking" it is very apparent from his facial expression and tone that he really does think he is saying something that we can understand.  

I am predicting that there will be a lot of stories coming out of my little bear once he really learns to talk!

I even got them to BOTH look at the camera and SMILE at the same time!!!!  

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Liam is a Toddler . . .

If there was any doubt in my mind, after today it is gone!  Liam is a toddler.  He had a full out, the world is coming to an end temper tantrum of epic proportions at the pediatrician's office this afternoon.

For the most part, he is still my sweet, cooperative, adorable baby boy, but then, out of now where comes the stubborn, testy, independent toddler.  Don't get me wrong, there are lots of things I love about toddlers. I love listening to him learn to say new things, his favorite thing to say lately is "E I E I O".  I love watching him learn to do things for himself and most of the time that he wants to do things by himself.  I love watching him socialize and interact with other people.  

However, he is already one of the most stubborn toddlers that I know!  And he remembers EVERYTHING!  Which is a good thing much of the time but also a bad thing.  If you let him do something once, you can be sure that he will remember and do it again.  Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next week, but he will do it again!  

This afternoon, Liam was playing very nicely with two little cars in the waiting room at the pediatrician's office.  Everything was great, he was his usual happy, friendly self until they called his name and I told him to put the cars down.  He looked at me and started to follow Daddy, cars still in hand.  Being the horrible mean mother that I am, I made him put the cars away.  (I knew that a melt down would ensue but I also know what happens when parents give into their child's every whim!  And I am not going to be one of those parents!)  Once the cars were pried from his death grip, he dropped to the floor and started to scream.  He refused to walk into the examining room.  He didn't want to be carried.  It was not a pretty sight.

I was sure that a change of scenery and his own cars from the diaper bag once we got into the room would fix the problem.  Boy, was I wrong!  The screaming and crying continued while the nurse weighed and measured him.  Again, I thought that once she was done bugging him, he would play happily with his cars until the doctor came in.  Wrong, again.  He threw his cars, he kicked and continued to complain.  It continued through the whole appointment.  

And then came the needles (18 month booster and MMR shot), well as you can well imagine, that just made everything worse!  Once we left the office and were out in the hall, he was still going, hitting me and pushing me away from him.  When I finally put him down he took off down the hall away from me. However, let him walk to the elevator and out of the building by himself seemed to help the situation.  And a sippy cup of milk in the truck fixed it all!  My happy boy was back!

The appointment went very well.  Liam is a healthy growing boy.  He is 25 lbs 5 oz and 31.5" tall.  Hard to believe that 19 months ago he was 5 lbs, 5 oz and so sick that he was hospitalized twice in the first few weeks.  I am so glad that we are past those days!  I just hope that temper tantrums like today are few and far between!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Club Foot Update

**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.

I took the day off work to take Liam to an appointment with Dr. Jarvis, his orthopedist at CHEO.  And I am thrilled that everything is progressing as planned.  Dr. Jarvis was very pleased with the range of motion of Liam's foot and his walking.  And Liam was very eager to show Dr. Jarvis his cars!

Of course, we are still dealing with the Denis Brown Boots and Bar every night, however the doctor did say today that protocol for this is to continue for 3 years.  I am not going to get too excited about the duration being shortened by a year yet.  Since we started the process we have been told 2 years, then 4 years and now 3 years.  As far as I am concerned, we'll wear then until the doctor tells us to stop wearing them.  Fortunately since my last club foot post, he has gotten much better about wearing the shoes.  We still have the occasional night that is a struggle, but most nights, he sits nicely while I put them on, sometimes even giving them to me so that I will put them on.

Things have come a long way since the nurse in the special care nursery told us that our tiny little premature baby had something wrong with his foot and that he would probably need surgery.  I am glad that she really didn't know what she was talking about!  

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Playing Boss

This past week I worked in the office for the week as my supervisor was on vacation.  It was the first time since my promotion in October that I've had the opportunity to work in the office for more than a day or two at a time.

And I got to do a little bit of everything - work out coverage for staff coming in late and leaving early for appointments, organize appropriate coverage for staff lunch breaks, attempt to fill daycare spaces with new children, try to organize the waiting list, send sick children home, book supply staff, deal with repair people, organize the training of a new cook, inform a staff that she is being transfered to another program, inform staff of shift changes, make photocopies, fill in the paysheets, do paperwork and filing . . . and I'm sure there are other things that I missed.  And that's not to mention the countless phone calls to the supervisor at the other center and the director.

I know that it is all part of the job that Rhonda does on a daily basis and I've had a taste of it all on my others days in the office, but for my first full week, it was a bit overwhelming.  Despite being somewhat overwhelmed, I did throughly enjoy the week and I am looking forward to another week of playing boss in August.  Normally, I am not one for change but this is a very comfortable change and every time I have a day or even part of a day to work in the office it becomes more comfortable.

Unfortunately, going back into the program after even a day in the office is more difficult than I expected.  It always seems like I have missed out on much more than a day with my kids and it takes both them and me a little while to get back into the swing of things.  And life in the toddler room is just so much busier and louder than life in the office!  

Despite my enjoyment of my office time and the difficulty that I have getting back into my routines in the program, I'm not sure that I would want to be a full time supervisor right now.  It is a place that I do hope to get at some point in my career and if the opportunity presented itself, I would not turn it down but right now, I like my toddlers too much!  Some days they drive me mad, some days I feel like I never want to change another diaper or potty change another child, sometimes I want to scream, sometimes I want to run away and never come back, but then one of them randomly runs over and give me a big hug and reminds me how important my job is and that despite all the little things that drive me batty, I really do love toddlers.  And I am happy and content with where I am in my career.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I want to be MOMMY!!

Well, it would be if I ever got called Mommy!  

I walked into the toddler room today and was greeted by a toddler, running to me, with his arms up, yelling excitedly, "Nicki, Nicki, Nicki".  

Normally, this would thrill me, especially with it being a child who hadn't said my name before.

But not this time.  
Because it was MY child.  
My child who has been saying some version of "Daddy" for six months.
My child who is perfectly capable of saying "mom" but when he says it, really means "mine".

Yes, my child now calls me Nicki.

I expected this.  He hears the other teachers call me Nicki a hundred times a day.
I predicted this.  He hears the kids call me Nicki a million times a day.
I knew this was coming.  He even hears me refer to myself as Nicki countless times a day.
But that doesn't mean that I have to like it!

I want to be MOMMY!
I want him to tell everyone he sees in the grocery store that I am his Mommy like he does with Daddy.
I want the world to know that I am this adorable, smart little boy's mommy.
But for now, I am his Nicki.
I guess it is better than not being anything!
I know that it will past and that in time I will be Mommy.
But for now, I will be sad about it.

It is rather ironic that I am upset by this.
Normally when my toddlers learn to say my name, it is exciting!
I have never been disappointed when a child said my name for the first time before, even when they pronounce it in some unflattering way, like "Titty".
But not this toddler!
All I want him to say is "MOMMY"!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I Forgot To Buy Diapers . . .

Are there any moms out there who remember what it's like to have a memory?  Because I sure don't.  Before I became a mother, I heard people talk about "Mommy Brain" and honestly thought that it was a joke!  Wow, I couldn't have been more wrong!  I can get up from the computer, walk to the kitchen (which is literally about 10 steps) and have already forgotten why I got up.

But last night takes the cake - I forgot to buy diapers!  Seriously, how does the mother of an 18 month old forget to buy diapers?  And it's not like we are just moderately low.  We were almost out two days ago, so I brought home some of the stash Liam has at daycare to get us through until grocery day.

Somehow, in my infinite wisdom I neglected to put diapers on the grocery list, so I didn't even think of it until last night at bedtime as I reach for a diaper off the shelf.  It's a good thing Liam's not at the "repeat everything he hears" stage because if he was, "shit" would be the word of the day!

So, this morning, I began scrounging to see how many diapers I had in the house . . . 2 on the shelf in the bedroom, 3 in the basket in the living room, 4 in the diaper bag and 1 emergency diaper in the truck . . . phew, unless the boy develops explosive diarrhea we should be OK until tomorrow when we have to go into town anyway . . . but that's not the point . . . 

Or maybe it is . . . I can't remember . . . 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Guest Blogger on The Colors Magazine

I am a featured as a Guest Blogger at The Colors Magazine, with an article about "Mommy Guilt".  Please hop on over and give it a read and leave a comment!

While you are there, do take some time to check out some of Lena's own writing, some of the other Guest Blogger posts or even some of the Monthly Blog Contest posts.  There really is something for everyone at The Colors Magazine.


If you are here because you saw my "Mommy Guilt" post at The Colors Magazine, welcome to my little world!  Hope you stick around and read a little but, leave some comments and follow me to read more in the future!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Part Boy, Part Monkey, or Maybe Part Mountain Goat

I predicting many trips to CHEO for x-rays and stitches for this child of mine!  We've hit the climbing stage like you would not believe!  And he LOVES it!  

He climbs on the couch . . . 

He climbs onto rubbermaid tubs . . . 

He stands on the footstool . . . 

He even turns the metal dog food dishes upside down and tries to stand on them - one foot on each dish, just to make it more challenging.  It doesn't matter is something is two inches high or two feet high, he will try to climb it!

His latest game involves putting his foam chair on the couch . . . 

Climbing onto the couch . . . 

Then climbing into the chair . . . 

He sometimes sits quietly on the chair for about 10 seconds . . . 

Before he slides off it onto the floor like a slide . . . 

Sometimes he reaches for Daddy's help . . . 

But mostly he just does it on his own . . . 

Life as we knew it has ceased to exist!  I am now constantly looking at everything in every room to see if there is any way that Liam will be able to climb on it!  I am dreading the day he realizes that he can climb trees!  

What happened to the little baby who didn't move when I put him on a blanket on the floor?  Oh yeah, he grew into a toddler who doesn't sit still EVER!!!

Maybe it's just a climbing phase that he will grow out of . . . I can hope, can't I??

Phew . . . We survived the heat wave!

Last week was a LONG drawn out week that felt like it was never going to end!  The temperature was over 30 degrees celsius ever day with humidex readings over 40 degrees celcius.  A friend said that metal expands when exposed to extreme heat so, maybe the same applies to time . . . I think he's right!  

Blogging was the furthest thing from my mind most of the week.  I was more focused on the simple things, like remembering my own name!

There were many times last week when I didn't think I was going to make it to the weekend without melting into a pile of goo!  And my sanity wasn't much better.  The heat itself was crazy, but it was the humidity that was unbearable.

For the most part, work was tolerable temperature wise -  the daycare is air conditioned and although I don't really think that it works as well as it should, it is definitely better than no air conditioning.  At work it was my sanity that was taking a beating!  Humidex temperatures over 30 celsius even in the early morning all week, meant that we had to stay indoors ALL week!  

Now, think for a moment about what it's like being stuck in the house with your own young children, not even being able to step outside for an entire day.  Now, take away the TV and multiply the noise, the whining, the running, and the complaining by 20 (that's how many toddlers we have) AND then multiply that by FIVE for each day that we were stuck inside.  Imagine what that would do to your sanity and you'll know about where I was at last week!

Has anyone set to work on reopening that insane asylum for me yet?  I really think that I am almost there!

Home was a completely different story.  We do not have air conditioning at home.  The temperature in the house was over 30 celsius all week.  And that makes for a GRUMPY little bear!  And of course, what do little kids want to do when they are grumpy?  They want to cuddle.  And when you cuddle in that kind of heat, you just get hotter and grumpier!

Seriously, I did feel bad for the little guy.  He doesn't understand why it is so hot or why we don't want to cuddle or play with him.  And the poor kid sweats like crazy so he is always dripping wet!  But I must say that I am very impressed with how well he ate most of the week and even more impressed with how well he slept!

I had a difficult time sleeping and a miserable time getting out of bed EVERY morning.  But, we all made it to the weekend, and although it was still hot, it was bearable.  This week is still supposed to be pretty hot, but the humidex is predicted to be in the 32-35 celsius range which is much better than 45 celsius range.  And even 45 celsius is better then snow!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Potty Training Hell - Part 3

Believe it or not, since my last update, Potty Training Hell - Part 2, we have made some progress!!!!  

"H" started at preschool last Friday and I am happy to say that although he still doesn't pee very much during the day, he doesn't wear a diaper at all during the day and he tells us when he has to pee!  I can happily say that the child I thought would be wearing a diaper to his senior prom is 

"K" has had a sudden and incredible break through . . . I am still having issues with getting his parents to provide me with an adequate supply of underwear and extra clothes, but, contrary to my personal belief that pull ups are useless, we have been having good luck with them!  He started asking to go to the potty and actually peeing when he was there last week.  And this week has been great.  He has been staying dry, regardless of what he's got on (pull up, diaper or underwear).  He is telling me when he has to pee and poop!  He is even waking up from nap dry and asking to go potty right away!  Unfortunately, his progress has not followed him home.  According to his mother, "he pees and poops on the floor like a six week old puppy at home".  But, that's mom's Potty Training Hell issue, not mine!  As far as daycare is concerned, I think (assuming that I don't jinx myself by saying this) that "K" will be potty trained by the time he goes to preschool in the fall!

Then there is "J" despite the fact that he was doing better than "K" for a while, we seem to have stalled.  But as long as we don't start regressing, I'll be content.  Some days are better than others.  Today was a good day . . . no accidents and he did a HUGE poop on the potty but other days, everything that comes out of him goes into his pants!  

And believe me, poop in underwear in not a fun thing to deal with.  No matter how much practice I've had with changing poopy underwear over the years, it is always a ROYAL mess - all over the child, the floor, the toilet and sometimes even me.  It is just plain nasty!  Someone really should make training pants with snaps or velcro sides to get them off easily in these awkward situations.  It seems as though no matter how you want the child to stand or move in order to minimize the mess while removing the soiled underwear, they do the opposite and maximize the mess.  Sometimes, I think that they do it on purpose.  And there is always an audience.  I am really not sure what it is about poop that fascinates two year old, but they always want to see.  But I don't suppose anyone really wants to be reading about bowel movements, so I'll leave the rest to your imagination!

I will just end by saying that I HATE potty training, but I will be getting a bit of a break.  The new kids in my group are younger and not at the potty training stage yet!  Thank goodness!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Camping . . . The full Story

As promised, here is the full story of our first camping adventure with Liam, complete with pictures.  Because this was Liam's first ever camping experience and our first camping first camping trip in about three years, we decided that we would go for one night, just to see how it went.  It really is amazing how much stuff you need for just one night.  But as Henry pointed out, with camping, you need the same amount of stuff for one night as you do for a week.  And when you add a toddler to the equation, you need A LOT of extra stuff . . . wagon, playpen, portable booster seat, toys, lots of clothes, diapers . . . his stuff took up as much space in the truck as the actual camping gear!

We arrive at the campsite at Fitzroy Provincial Park at around noon on Saturday.  We quickly unloaded the booster seat and I threw together a peanut butter sandwich for our hungry little bear.  Fortunately, he was happy to munch on his sandwich and watch supervise as we unloaded the rest of the truck, set up the tent and had a quick bite to eat.  By then, he was ready to play!  And play he did.  

Shortly after we arrived on our site, a woman came over to us with two tonka trucks, they were packing up to leave and they weren't going to fit in their vehicle to go home, she wanted to know if we wanted them for Liam.  They are older ones and well used, but I still thought that it was very generous and Liam was beyond thrilled with his new acquisitions!

Once we were sufficiently set up, Henry wanted to go fishing and I wanted to take Liam to the beach.  First we hit the boat launch area so that Henry could do some fishing and Liam was quite happy to do some exploring and playing.

Taking in the sights . . . 

Anywhere with rocks and stones is a great place to play!

Water . . . he didn't want to go in, just wanted to splash in the edge.

Deep concentration . . . 

Finally getting to fish . . . and he's got one!

Liam was very eager to run over and see what Daddy had . . . he touched and that was enough of that!  

Liam was pretty interested in the beach.  There were lots of people to watch and it was like a GIANT sandbox!  But it was kind of hard to walk in!!  He played with his pail and shovel, dump truck and of course some sticks!  We didn't stay at the beach very long because it was hot and sunny and a certain little someone needed a nap! 
Liam couldn't decide if he should play in the sand or watch the people!

There was a stone in the sand and he was determined to pick it up with his two sticks . . . needless to say, he didn't have the co-ordination to do it . . . even Daddy had a hard time doing it!

Back at the camp site, Liam was more than ready for a nap and didn't even complain about being put in the playpen in the hot tent.  And I was ready to pull up a chair and relax!  Chasing him around while Henry fished was exhausting!  So, into a chair I went while Henry started a fire to cook supper.  Aside from that we really did relax until Liam woke up.
The view from my camp chair at nap time!

Henry cooked some delicious steaks for dinner (hot dog for little bear!) and after dinner, we just hung out at the campsite and let Liam play.  
Big boy insisting on drinking water from Mommy's cup . . . refused to drink it from a sippy cup, but quite enjoyed it from my cup . . . although I think more of it ended up on him and the chair than in him!

If you don't bring blocks for the boy, he will improvise!  He probably spent 20 minutes building with the dishes and taking them in and out of the bin!

"So, is this our new house?"

Bedtime didn't come until about 8:40, which is pretty late for Liam, but he was having so much fun playing that we just let him go until he was tired!  Unfortunately bedtime didn't go as smoothly as I had hoped.  Henry went fishing again and left me with Liam.  I pulled out my phone and plopped myself in a chair waiting for him to sleep.  Everything would have gone fine I think, except that he could see me from the play pen.  As soon as I realized that he was screaming at me because he could see me, I moved and he went back to his usual babbling and singing that he always does before he goes to sleep.  By 9:20, he was sound asleep and we didn't hear a sound out of him until about 8:15 the next morning!
Sleeping boy . . . 

When Henry came back from fishing, we had a nice camp fire, some grown up drinks and even a bedtime snack of hot dogs roasted over the fire.  We stayed up later than we should have, but it has been a long time since we've done this!

Campfire . . . 

Sunday morning, we didn't really do much except have breakfast, pack up and head for home.  Although it was a lot of work and somewhat exhausting, I think that it was a successful trip and Liam seemed to really enjoy himself.  We will definitely do it again this year.  And next time, we will tempt fate and try for two nights!

You can only eat Cheerios with a stick when you are camping!!

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Camping with a toddler is a BUSY experience!  But we are having fun. Liam is in bed (although I'm not sure if he's asleep yet, I had to move my chair to a spot where he couldn't see me) and Henry is gone fishing.  I am enjoying some much needed alone time and blogging!!  

Who would have thought that technology would come to the point where you could surf the Internet while camping. When hubby and I first started camping together about 12 years ago, you couldn't even get a cell phone signal in a camp ground!  

Back to our camping, we had a wonderful day, playing at the beach, playing at our camp site, Henry cooked steak on a fire for dinner, wonderful family time. The park is a little busier than I would have liked, but it is still nice. This is the first time Liam has been camping, and Henry and I haven't been camping in at least three years. We really have to this more often!!

Now, it is getting dark and I need to find some bug spray!!  Be back with pictures when I get home to my computer. 

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