Monday, August 30, 2010

What? It's Monday?

It can't be Monday, I didn't have to go to work . . . wait, it is Monday and I am on VACATION!!!!!  

And I think that maybe Mother Nature read my blog post about the trees changing colour and how it is far too soon for fall, because we are getting some GORGEOUS summer weather!  Dare I say that it was even almost too hot this afternoon?

Nonetheless, we took advantage of the fact that we are on vacation and the beautiful weather and went for a nice picnic today.  We found a nice little park, took the little bbq, Henry cooked up some hot dogs for us and we fed the ducks!

Liam's amazement when he saw a real live duck was adorable.  He knows what a duck is when he sees a picture in a book.  He knows that the yellow squeeky things in his bath are ducks.  When he saw the first one, he did was he always does when he something interesting that he's never seen before.  He pointed and asked "whsat?"  When Daddy said it was a duck, he got this look of pure astonishment on his face.  He looked at the duck, looked at daddy and looked at the duck again.  "uck?"  And then looked to me for confirmation.  Then he got excited and said "uck" about a hundred times.

The excitement grew when Daddy got out a hot dog bun and showed him how to feed the "ucks".  Liam did a great job throwing the bread to the ducks.  And loved watching them.  He didn't want to stop for lunch and as soon as lunch was over, we where back to feeding the ducks and probably would have been there all day if we hadn't run out of bread!

"Daddy, can I help cook hot dogs yet?"

"Duck?  Is it really a duck?"

"I can throw the bread to the ducks?"

One of about six ducks that came over for a snack of hot dog bun!

"Feeding ducks is hard work.  I need to energize."

"Dad, can we feed the ducks again?"

"Come on Mom, let's go feed the ducks."

Hungry duck!

"Am I big enough to climb trees yet?"

Feeding the ducks with Mom.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Memo: The Maple Tree In My Yard

Dear Mr. Maple Tree:

Somewhere along the way, you seem to have become confused.  It is only August.  It is still summer.  You are not supposed to change colour in the summer, you are supposed to change colour in the FALL. Fall does not begin until September 22nd, 2010.  There is no need for your leaves to be orange yet.  

I know that you feel that you are your most attractive when your leaves turn red and orange however, you need to be more patient and wait until the appropriate time to put on your bright colours.   Summer is short enough as it is, no one wants you changing colours early to give the illusion that fall is here.

I urge you to do the right thing for everyone.  Stay green for a little while longer.  We will all enjoy your bright colours when the time is right, but for now, you are only going to be badmouthed, yelled at and complained about if you continue to push us closer and closer to fall.

Please share this request with any other trees in the area who, like you are trying to rush into fall a month early.  We need to work together to keep summer around for as long as possible.

Thank you for your cooperation,
Property Manager

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

20 Months

Twenty months . . . that's how long I have been a mom.
Twenty months ago today, my baby boy came into the world, a month early and on Christmas Day. 

Twenty months ago I was freaking out not only because I was worried about the fact that he was a month premature but because I wasn't ready for him to be here.  We didn't even have a crib.  The nursery wasn't painted.  He was so tiny and I didn't have any really tiny clothes!

Twenty months ago, this is what my little boy looked like . . . and he didn't even have a name!

Twenty months . . . sometimes it feels like it has gone by in the blink of an eye, other times it feels like Liam has been around forever.

A lot has changed in twenty months.  

My little tiny newborn baby has grown into a walking, talking, silly, busy toddler.

He makes us smile everyday.  We are so happy and thankful to have him.

He is learning new things every day.  He says new words every day.  These are things that have always amazed me with toddlers and a big part of the reason that I have spent most of the past 12 years working with toddlers.  But it all changes when it is your own child!  Just today, he learned to say his daycare teacher, Ashley's name and he's been saying "Ashee" every since.  

I love how proud he is of himself when he learns something new.  
I love how much he adores his Daddy.
I love when he randomly give me hugs and kisses.

I just love everything about my little boy.
(Except maybe his temper and stubbornness and the fact that he has learned the word NO . . . but we'll save that for a different post for now, I love everything about him!)

Here are some photos of my not so little anymore little boy! 
These photos, taken tonight when he decided to eat a green tomato that he picked (all by himself) from the garden yesterday, give a little glimpse into the larger than life personality of this boy!

"Did you know that I picked this ALL BY MYSELF?"

"Mom, you are embarrassing me."

"This is the most important thing I have ever seen!"

"Yep, I know I am cute.  You really don't need to keep telling me that.  On second thought, do keep telling me, I like hearing it!"

"Just chillaxing."

Twenty months . . . a lot of things have changed, but not everything . . . the nursery still hasn't been painted!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Organizational Skills? Who Me?

You know when you have a job interview how they always ask what your greatest strengths are?  Well, I always say my organizational skills, which is true.  I can organize anything at work.  A week in the office while my supervisor is on holidays and I have reorganized half the files and the desk drawers.  

Then I come home.  But apparently the organizational skills don't ever come home with me.  I can't seem to organize my way out of a box at home.  And it is a very small box!  My craft supplies are a jumbled mess.  My kitchen cupboards are a disaster.  And we won't even talk about my closet.  I just don't understand it.  Why can I do it at work?  Every one of my co-workers knows that I have great organizational skills.  My husband on the other hand doesn't believe that I have any.  And I don't blame him.

Right now, my issue is the charity event that I am involved in.  I am the Volunteer and Bake Sale coordinator for New Moon Rabbit Rescue and we are in the final stage of planning for the 2010 Bunny Hop For Hope.  The event is this weekend.  And this is what my notes look like:

Yes, a scribble of names here and there on a couple of yellow post-its.  Now, I think that post-it notes are  one of the greatest inventions on the face of the planet and I really hope that the person who invented them has made a few million dollars, because they deserve it!  I could not function with out post-its.

However, with only fours days of prep time left for this event, I should be well beyond preliminary post-it notes.  I should be into well organized lists of volunteers with job assignments and bakers with what they are baking and when they are delivering their baked goods.  

But the reality is that my notes are woefully inadequate.  Again, this wouldn't be such a bad thing is I had a memory.  But I think my memory is in even worse shape than my notes.  I would take a photo to show you the status of my memory, but you can't take a photo of nothing.  

I have four days to get myself organized before I have to be at this event, telling the volunteers what I need them to do.  I have my fingers crossed that I get organized before my head explodes.  

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Work . . .

Work is crazy busy!
Work is stressful!
Work is exhausting!
I want work to be fun again.

I still do enjoy my job.  
The kids are great.
There has just been so much other "stuff" to deal with lately.

We are on our 4th cook since Christmas.
We've had two staff (in our building) quit since May.
We've had another staff go on Maternity leave two months early - and we are still looking for a replacement.
We have another staff going on Maternity leave this week.
We had two staff transfers and another one next week.
We have had countless supply teachers . . . sometimes 3 in one day.
We have kids transferring to Preschool.
We have new kids starting.
We have staff on vacation.
We have had problems with the dishwasher, air conditioner and security system.
And the list goes on and on and on . . . 

Why has there been a never ending list of things to cause stress and low moral lately?
When does it get to be just about taking care of the kids?
When will things return to some semblance of normal?

This week, I am "playing boss" again - working in the office while my supervisor is on holidays.  I am really looking forward to the change of pace and break from potty training!  But at the same time I am cringing in anticipation of what might come up for me to deal with.  

The week hasn't even started yet and plans and staffing has changed due to staff illness and a fractured foot!  Let's hope that's all the excitement for the week!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Who Needs A Play Structure When You Have A Couch and Daddy?

So, last night, I am in the kitchen, doing dishes and tidying up dinner, thinking, "Wow, there is an awful lot of noise coming from the living room.  I wonder what they are doing."

I reluctantly finished what I was doing before going to investigate the noise being created by my son (diabolical laughter) and my husband (laughter, interrupted by moans, groans and ouches).  This is what I saw when I went into the living room.

There is a great view from up here!

Let's see how high I can go!

I can't remember the last time I had this much fun!

Please note that Daddy was not doing anything to discourage this activity, therefore is not allowed to complain about the aftermath!  And I figured that seeing as how he wasn't discouraging the climbing and jumping, I would take photos!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Camping According to Liam

First I had to help Dad put up the tent.  It's hard work, but would have been easier if Mom had put the camera away and helped.

Then I just wanted to sit in my chair, relax and have a drink, but they would only give me an empty bottle.  Where is the fun in that?

I was very social all weekend, saying "HI" to all the people, dogs, cars and trucks that went bye!  Dogs and trucks were the most exciting!

When it started to get dark, I got my jammies, my tiger flashlight and my bedtime milk.
When I got up Saturday morning, I was cold and cranky!  Dad thought a fire might help, but I really just needed a nap!

We went to a fair, I rode in my wagon and saw lots of animals.  I like watching the horses chase the cows.  (Team Penning Competition) 

I got to have some french fries with ketchup, my favorite!

And then I drank Mom's lemonade.
Then we went for ice cream!!  

Then it was nap time, I didn't really want to have a nap, I tried to convince mom and dad that I could stay up and play, but they didn't listen.  And I really was pretty sleepy!

Dad cooked steak on a fire for him and mom for supper.

Personally, I prefer grilled cheese sandwich, yummy and easy to eat!

After supper, I did some playing, but I was nice enough to take some time to sit down and read stories to mom and dad.  They really like story time, but they laugh at me a lot.

 I had some cheesies.  They didn't stay in the container very well and I had to pick them up off the ground a few times.  Mom didn't want me to keep eating them because they were dirty.  But the dirt didn't bother me!

I finally gave in and got my jammies and bedtime milk and went to bed.

After I went to bed, mom and dad had another fire and roasted something called marshmallows.  I have no idea what those are, but I wish they'd let me put stuff in the fire.  Maybe I could blow up something like they do on MythBusters!

Sunday morning, I was up early and raring to go!  I played with my toys and ran around.

Then I decided that it would be fun to climb something.  Mom thought this was high enough . . . 

She was wrong!  I kept going!

I said that I would cook breakfast or make coffee for Dad, but wouldn't let me.  She said that the stove gets too hot for me to use.

Can you believe that mom had the nerve to tell me that I was dirty??  

This funny cat came and ate some of the cheerios that I left on the ground.  But he wouldn't come play with me.  I was very sad when he left.

I think that we should go camping every weekend!  I like playing outside and getting dirty!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Calm & Rational Or Explosive Temper

Calm and rational?  No, that would be too easy.  I am more of a bottle it up, stick a cork in it and heat it until it explodes kind of person.

I don't want to be this way.  I know that I shouldn't be but it always seems like a good idea at the time.  Why deal with something that can be ignored?  Getting it out in the open and dealing with it could prevent future hurt and upset.  But I can't see into the future, so maybe it will never come up again.  

It doesn't matter how many times the same thing happens or how much it hurts or upsets me, I always think that if I just ignore it, it will never happen again.

It doesn't matter how many times I ignore it, it always comes up again!

Eventually, the inevitable happens, I shove too many ignored situations into that bottle, put the cork in way too tight and leave it in the sun for far too long until . . . 


It explodes everywhere.  Everyone ends up hurt and upset.  Nothing gets accomplished.  Nothing gets fixed.  Nothing changes.

It will happen again.  Probably over the same thing.  Probably exactly the same way.  

But will I learn?  Will I change?  Probably not.  I try, I want to be different, but change is hard.  I just hope that the people I hurt will forgive me and continue to be the friends that I need them to be.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sleep Is Overrated Or Is It?

I really have to wonder why our bodies are designed to need so much sleep.  If you believe in creationism, you can just put it off to the fact that there wasn't as much to do when the world was created, so Adam and Eve could sleep as much as they wanted to, when they weren't too busy stealing forbidden fruit.  However, if you believe in evolution, there is no reason for us to need so much sleep, we should have evolved into non sleeping creatures by now.

I have had a lot of time to wonder about that and many other things when I'm NOT sleeping at night.

No matter how I look at it, how much I think about it or how much I try, I don't get anywhere near enough sleep.  If I am REALLY lucky, I am in bed by 10:00 pm.  And given that I am up at 5:00 am for work everyday, that's a grand total of seven hours.  But that much sleep is a rarity.  For starters, most nights it is closer to 11:00 pm before I manage to get myself into bed, bringing it down to  six hours.  

Six hours if I fall asleep instantly and sleep continuously until the alarm goes off.

And what are the chances of that, you wonder?  NIL!  Lately, falling asleep is an almost impossible task.  I have no idea why because I am constant ALL the time.  Most of the time, I feel like I could lay down on the floor and be asleep in moments, but not at night when I go to bed.  As soon as the lights go out and my head hits the pillow, my brain comes alive.  I can't stop thinking about things - sometimes important things, but mostly about trivial things.  Things that don't matter, things that I wouldn't waste a second of time thinking about during the day, things that really shouldn't be keeping me up at night.  But no matter what I do or how hard I try, the thoughts won't go away.  It is just one random piece of nonsense after another until I am ready to scream.  

I toss and turn and toss some more and curse to myself as I stare at the dark ceiling begging sleep to come.

Amongst the random thoughts I always (literally every night) have the urge to write when I should be sleeping.  I can sit and stare at a blank WORD document on my computer screen for hours without being able to compose a coherent paragraph.  Yet, when I should be sleeping, give me a notebook and a pencil because I NEED to write!  I actually have ideas and concise thoughts that seem to be missing when I am actually trying to write.  I don't understand why my brain works like this and I really don't like it.  I am beginning to think that the "writer" part of my brain hates me.  Or maybe it is just trying to tell me that my writing sucks and I should just give up on it.  Whatever it is, I need it to stop!

I need to find a way to make the thoughts stop so that I can sleep before I go completely insane.*  it is times like this when I really wish I had a sleep option, just like my computer, so that with a click of a mouse, I could be in dreamland.  

* see, another reason to get those insane asylums up and running again!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Domestic Skills . . . I do still have some!

Believe it or not, I still do have some of the domestic skills that my mother spent years instilling in me!  I came home from visiting my family on Saturday with two baskets full of fresh picked blackberries from my grandparents garden.  So, I decided it was time to try out a skill that I hadn't used in years, since I lived at home - jam making.  

Fresh Blackberries - YUMMY!

I searched the grocery store for pectin and then I searched the internet for a recipe.  Once I had both, I set to work - found the jars in the basement, cleaned the jars, found the lids in the back of the pantry, found a big enough pot and all the pieces to the blender . . . ready to go!

At my mom's suggestion, I used the blender and pureed the blackberries as just mashing them tends to leave them to chunky.

Pureed Blackberries, ready to be made into jam!
Blackberries, pectin and sugar being cooked into jam!

As I remembered, jam making isn't all that hard and it really didn't take that much time.  Mostly the reason that I have avoided making it all these years is the amount of fruit needed and the cost of said fruit, but I think that I will try to splurge on enough fruit to make a couple of batches of jam every year.

The finished product, 8 jars of yummy, fresh, homemade Blackberry Jam!

Here is the recipe if anyone wants to try it!

4 cups of crushed blackberries
1 box of pectin
2 tbsp of lemon juice
6 cups of sugar

Combine berries, pectin and lemon juice in large pot.
Bring to a boil and add sugar.
Bring back to a boil and continue to boil for one minute.
Skim off foam.
Put in sealer jars.
Put on lids.
Process jars in boiling water for 10 minutes.