Sunday, June 24, 2007

I Rock!

So says Jenny from Absolutely Bananas. And you know what...I so do! Jenny's obviously a great judge of character!

Now it is my turn to pass this award on to other deserving Rockin' Girl Bloggers. Since I read so many girl bloggers who rock, I am going to list all the Rockin' Girl Bloggers I read whether they have or have not already received this most prestigious of awards...'cause even if they've already received the award, they at least deserve another mention! (please pick up your bloggity bling at the bottom of this post...)

Here goes!

Absolutely Bananas. Obviously this girl rocks 'cause she recognized that I rock! I love reading her, she gets me laughing! And this girl's got mad Photoshop skillz!

Families are like fudge... This mom, who has the same name as one of my fave aunts, is honest and funny....and has a small addiction to baby carriers! ;-)

In the Trenches of Mommyhood... I love reading about her and her boys. She's a real mom!

Pass The Chocolate. I love Shauna and her blog. Her SIL stories are a hoot, and she's one of the friendliest bloggers I know!

Plain Jane Mom I love this girl! I don't know where she gets the time to do all of her GRITs, but I love them! I don't comment as much as I would like...I don't have time after reading it all!

Playgroups Are No Place for Children I can't say enough about this girl. She's funny, she's smart, she's honest...she rocks!

Suburban Oblivion Sara's blog is one of the first I started reading on a daily basis, and I loved it from the start. She's funny, brutally honest and pulls no punches. And funny doesn't begin to describe her! This girl's got "balls"!

Temporary? Insanity
I just started to read this blog recently, but I feel like I've known her forever. Really cool mom!

The Queen of Shake-Shake Yet another brutally honest blogger...this girl lets it all hang out. Fantastic! The Queen is a strong woman, a real mom, and makes me laugh till I pee! I love this blog!

Tumble Dry One of the most eloquent writers I know. I love her stories. And her, they're gorgeous! Smart and funny. I've loved her blog for a long time. In fact, she's the second blog I started to read on a daily basis.

'Twas Brillig A recent find, but one of the best. I love this blog. Her story-telling skillz rock!

Untangling Knots Karla...what can I say. She's the first blogger I ever followed daily...well before I started blogging myself. She is one of the strongest people I know. This girl is funny! She's an amazing person and, though I've never met her in person, I definitely think of her as a friend.

Velveteen Mind I haven't been reading Megan's blog for long, but I was hooked instantly!

And now for the bling. You can choose from the original Rockin' Girl Blogger bling

or you can drop the "Girl", and get some Rockin' Blogger bling thanks to Oh, The Joys (she has a couple more than the ones here)

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Print, Damn Blogger...Print!

In the words of Jenny of Absolutely Bananas fame, DOWN with Blogger! Up with Wordpress!

My mother wanted to print my tribute to my dad on our birthday so that he could read it. Such a simple request. But would Blogger oblige? Of course not. It prints the first page fine, but the next few pages are nothing but my avatar. WTF?

So I imported the post to my Wordpress trial blog and guess what. It prints fine from there.

It seems my exodus from Blogger will be sooner than planned. Stay tuned...

DOWN with Blogger! Up with Wordpress!
DOWN with Blogger! Up with Wordpress!
DOWN with Blogger! Up with Wordpress!

Feel free to chant with me....

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Two Pees In A Potty

Make that three pees....three pees in a potty.

After rethinking our potty choice
(upon closer inspection, the potty bench had some "features" that weren't suitable for our boys), we decided upon this plain ol' potty which was the one I had originally wanted anyway.

Introducing the BABYBJĂ–RN Potty Chair

It's a great little potty chair. Colourful for the kids, lightweight, nothing to distract the boys from the task at hand....and best of all, it's sooo easy to clean.

Yesterday was the first day we tried Zander on the potty. At first he was a little uncomfortable. Imagine sitting on what is basically a hole for the first time. Now imagine Zander squirming from side to side, backwards and forwards, trying to get his bum on "solid ground". It was all I could do to not laugh out loud!

Once he got in a comfy position, I distracted him by turning the TV on, reading a couple of books to him, and talking to him about the potty. And suddenly he looked down and said "pee". Never has "pee" sounded so sweet!

The best part for him was helping mommy flush the pee down the toilet...that was a big moment. After washing his hands and returning to the toy-filled wonderland living room, he saw the potty and said "a pee i' poddy". So proud, he was.

So the first potty day yielded three pees...three pees in a potty. Not too bad. Hopefully his interest in going on the big-boy potty will not wane.

Who am I kidding...of course it will....

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Happy Birthday To Me (and my dad)!

Happy Birthday to me (and my dad)!
Happy Birthday to me (and my dad)!
Happy Birthday dear Ca-ate (and Cate's dad)!
Happy Birthday to me (and my dad)!'s my birthday today. But it's also my dad's birthday. Rather than bore you with yet another story about me (although I know you all l-o-v-e them...don't deny it!), I would rather tell you about my dad.

My dad was born in Denmark a couple of months after the Nazi occupation began in 1940. He was 5 years old when the Nazis finally retreated from Denmark...I have heard many stories from both my dad and my grandmother about that day. It gives me chills.

He and his family moved to a farm in Canada in 1955. Since he was the oldest and his help was needed on the farm, he stayed home and worked while his younger brother and sisters went to school. Dad and his family learned English just by being around English-speaking people. That amazes me.

Dad met my mom, who is also Danish, through a mutual friend. And the rest, as they say, is history.

I was born on my dad's 34th birthday. I love that. There is no one I would rather share my birthday with...even though he sometimes pretends to forget when my birthday is. Nice try, dad!

my dad and a freshly new me

my dad adored me...who wouldn't?

me and my dad...hangin' out

my dad's 35th birthday, my 1st

I have so much love, respect and adoration for my dad. He is one of the most generous and caring people I have ever known. He'll give you the shirt off his back if you need it.

He is also one of the most intelligent people I've ever know. I am continually amazed by how smart he is. He knows more history and world geography than I could ever hope to know. He can take a tractor completely apart to fix it, and put it back together just by common sense. I've seen it! There were piles of nuts, bolts, washers, thing-a-ma-gigies, what-ya-ma-call-its and everywhere, and he still managed to reassemble it. Incredible.

He once helped my brother with his University-level mechanical engineering class. Andrew had been struggling with a stepped in and just....did it. Amazing.

All of this with no formal education or training. He's either learned through reading, life experience, or he....he just knows. He's that smart.

He's the guy we ask advice from for anything home reno or car related. He's also our most trusted weather man. He watches the weather on all the local channels, and the Weather Network. He's fascinated by weather, and knows all there is to know. If you're wondering what the weather is gonna be like on the West Coast of Canada on Tuesday, in New England next week, or pretty much anywhere in the my dad....he'll know.

His nickname is MacGyver. This man can build anything out of anything. Seriously....I kid you not.

My dad has an awesome sense of humour....he's a silly silly man! And because of that he's the perfect grandfather for my boys. Really, he's just a big kid at heart.

my dad gives the best hugs

my dad's a cool cat

my dad kept me from totally breaking down right before walking down the aisle

I am so very lucky that my dad and I are so close, and I will always be grateful for that

my dad can always make me smile

Every June 22nd, my dad and I get to call each other and say "Happy Birthday!" and "Happy Birthday to you too!". How many people get to do that?

My dad turned 67 today...and he has more fun than most people half his age. He's incredible.

Happy Birthday're truly the best, and I love you so much!

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Yet Another Birthday Boy

It's been a busy couple of months for birthdays, with Zander turning 2 in May and Logan turning 1 a couple of weeks ago. But today there is another Birthday little brother.

Yes, today is my brother Andrew's 32nd birthday. I thought this would be the perfect day to tell my bloggy friends about my amazing bro.

He was born the day before my first birthday....that's right...I turn 33 tomorrow. He is the reason I never had a proper 1st birthday party, since my mother was in the hospital having him...and I've never forgiven him! Just kidding!

my parents proudly show off their newborn son the day he came home from the
hospital, while I plot my revenge on this stealer of my attention/adoring audience

my first attempt on his life...
actually, I was giving him a kiss...I couldn't get enough of him from day one

Andrew and I grew up being extremely close. We were so close in age, and we grew up in the middle of farmland Ontario....which translates to the middle of nowhere. There were a few cousins in the same age group who lived close enough that we played with on a regular basis. But mostly it was just us. And that was great. In fact, our closeness in both age and friendship is the reason I chose to have my little boys so close together.

reading a story to my little propped-up-by-pillows bro
if you ask my mother, she'll tell you how I taught him to read when he was three & I was four

man, we were cute....not sure what happened ;-)

the quintessential grew-up-on-a-farm tractor shot

As kids, we didn't fight much. At worst there would be a couple of minutes of name-calling...perhaps a little smack or two on an arm...and then it would be over, never to be thought of again.

In high school we seemed to get even closer, which some people found odd. We travelled within some of the same circles, so we ended up hanging out together a lot. Which was always fun.

how many people not only go to the same Prom as their brother, but sit at the same table as their brother?
that's me in all my locks-of-blonde glory with my date...
Andrew is at the right edge of the photo in his schnazzy bow-tie...handsome, no?

When it was time for University, we both moved to Ottawa to attend U of O. We moved into an apartment together. And we lived together, surprisingly harmoniously, for 5 years. Jaws still drop when I tell people that my brother and I loved living together for that long. Not sure why...isn't it normal to get along with your sibling?

I am so grateful that he came to Ottawa with me, because those were some of my toughest years. Less than two years after moving here, I lost my hair. The following year was when my sun allergy cropped up. I remember that first face so swollen I couldn't open my much pain...the burning was incredible...the fear...what the hell was going on? He borrowed a friend's car and took me to the emergency room...and waited with me for hours. He never left my side. He was always there for me. I have thanked him many times, but I don't think I will ever have thanked him enough. I honestly don't think I could have made it through all of it without him. He was by my side through it all.

left-right: my sexy man Carlos, baldie me, Andrew, Chris-Anne
this photo was taken at my parents' house

He and his girlfriend (at the time) had to be part of my wedding party, and when he married her Carlos and I were right there by his side. The four of us have become so close, and that makes me so very happy.

Andrew and I with our better halves
I'm so glad that we're all friends!

Andrew was the most handsome groomsman at the wedding
sexy double chin on the bride, wouldn't ya say?

I'm so glad that they let us be a part of their day
left-right: Carlos, my big bad bald chubby post-Zander (who was 4 months old) self,
Chris-Anne (who was 6 months pregnant at the time...and somehow she had the energy to dance the night away!), my bro Andrew, my beautiful mother in her homemade gown, and my dapper dad!

Even though his work as a Mechanical Engineer at a paper mill keeps him so busy that he rarely gets time off and is on-call most weekends, he made sure he was here right after Zander was born. That was so important to me. I'm not sure he knows how much.

Andrew holding an oh-so-tiny 4-day-old Zander for the first time

As we've grown and started our own families, we have ended up in different parts of Ontario. There are almost 300km of highway driving between us. But we still manage to keep in touch as often as possible. Thank God for email and digital cameras! It's so important to me that our kids growing up knowing each other. It's harder to travel now that we have kids, but we try to visit as often as possible. I want the cousins to be close.

Andrew with Georgina (his baby girl, my beautiful niece) - 6 months old,
Carlos with Zander - 12 months old

All of us and the kids at Christmas
Andrew and Chris-Anne are expecting their second child in July...I'm so excited!

After 32 years of ups and downs, he is still one of the best friends I have ever had.

Happy Birthday Andrew...I love you so much!

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Getting-House-Ready-For-Sale To Do List

  1. purge/sort/organize every room in the house
  2. marvel at all the crap we have jammed into this tiny house
  3. pack all non-essentials
  4. marvel at all the crap we keep that we never use or didn't even know we had
  5. install new carpet on stairs -- CHECK
  6. install new vanity and counter top in main floor half-bath -- CHECK
  7. paint main floor half-bath -- CHECK
  8. sod front yard -- CHECK
  9. build large planter under tree in front yard -- CHECK
  10. find homes for our three adorable cats, since it appears that all of use have become allergic to them (hubby with hives and itching watering eyes, me with my asthma, and the boys' eczema seems to get worse when the have touched them)
  11. cry, and come to terms with losing our furry little friends...our first babies
  12. paint all ceilings
  13. go to chiropractor to get back/neck fixed from painting ceilings
  14. install new exterior light fixtures
  15. repair and seal driveway
  16. pack-up/organize and clean garage
  17. paint upstairs hallway and stairways
  18. paint cabinets in both upstairs bathrooms
  19. drop dead from exhaustion
  20. install tub wall surround over hideous 80's tile in both upstairs bathrooms
  21. "come down" off of fumes from wall surround adhesive
  22. paint master bathroom
  23. install new towel bars in upstairs bathrooms
  24. paint all interior doors
  25. paint all window trim
  26. paint kitchen cabinets
  27. paint hideous kitchen backsplash tiles
  28. drop dead from exhaustion again
  29. dig up weeds "lawn" in backyard
  30. lay patio stones in backyard
  31. paint fences in backyard
  32. take a week to recover from excruciatingly painful sun blisters
  33. wait to regain feeling and use of arms and legs
  34. clean constantly in order to be ready for showings at the drop of a hat
  35. pray that someone wants to buy this house
My mother is coming on Monday and staying for another week to look after the boys while we work our way through the to-do list. If you don't here from me for a while, call an ambulance check the local hospitals I'm probably in a coma recovering from a near-death experience just resting...

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Pondering The Potty Purchase

Thanks to all of your wonderful advice, we have a plan of attack for this whole potty training thing. I'm actually quite excited about it...although I'm sure that excitement will soon turn to exasperation. So I'm holding on to this feeling for dear life.

After searching through the myriad of potty solutions available, we believe we have made a decision. The Boon Potty Bench.

It's as bare-bones and sans-bells-and-whistles ( bells, no whistles, no flushing sounds, no songs...this is a silent potty) as you can get and still be loaded with features. Since we are living in a tiny minuscule walls-are-closing-in-on-me small townhouse, the fact that this thing has storage and can be used as a step stool is great. It is also one of the only potties we saw that is actually big enough for Logan's chubby, wider-than-most little bottom...we're thinking to the future here. Don't get me wrong...I love my chubby boy wildly, but let's be honest...kid's got junk in the trunk.

Now, if anyone has reason for us not to go with this potty, my ears and eyes are open to reviews/comments....both good and bad. I hold mom-bloggy opinions in very high esteem.

So barring any horrifically bad comments about the potty bench, we will probably be getting it soon so that we can familiarize Zander with it before the training begins. And then....well...expect many a poop story in the future.

Let the poop fly!

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Nothing To Complain About

Sometimes my life gets too overwhelming. I have my fair share of challenges.

I'm a bald woman. I'm allergic to sun. I'm allergic to cold. I have an easily-injured back due to instability caused by an extra vertabrae in my lumbar spine. My oldest son doesn't like to eat. My youngest son has GERD. [sob] [sob] [sob]

This amazing Kate's story is yet another reason I have nothing to complain about. Nothing.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Did You Know That Goldfish Crackers Play Peek-a-Boo?

Neither did I. I guess it's just one of those little-known facts...but Zander discovered it today.

Let me preface this story by telling you a little bit about peek-a-boo in our house. Long ago, when Zander was only a few months old, hubby and I shortened the name of the game from peek-a-boo to peek...not sure why. I think we got more of a reaction from Zander when we yelled a quick "Peek!", versus the full name. Anyway, since Zander's speech has taken off he has started to play peek-a-boo with Logan....but he has a different name for the game. For some reason he has decided, since mommy and daddy say "peek", that he would use the long-forgotten end of the name....he says "a-boo", with his little voice lilting upwards at the end of the word as if he's asking a question. Cute doesn't even describe it!

So the story goes like this. I was feeding Logan lunch, and Zander had found the jar of pears that was to be Logan's dessert. He started playing with it, even though I warned him not to. Well, as if to prove that mommies are always right, he dropped the jar on his foot....and started to scream.

Mommy: Zander, what happened? Did you hurt your foot?
Zander: Ma toe hur'!
Mommy: Do you want mommy to kiss your toe better for you?
Zander: (nodding) be'er.

Zander climbed onto my lap, and I kissed his toes better (what a mother will do for her children!)

Mommy: How's that?
Zander: All be'er!
Mommy: Do you want to help mommy feed Logan his lunch? Or do you want a snack?
Zander: Cracka!

Mommy: You want a Goldfish cracker?
Zander: (nodding with excitement) Cracka!
Mommy: What do you say?
Zander: Pwease!

I handed him the foil-lined paper bag of Goldfish crackers. He took the bag, unrolled the top and opened it. And instead of reaching into the bag for a cracker, do you know what my beautiful, funny little boy did?

Zander: (peering down into the bag of Goldfish crackers) A-Boo?

Priceless, no?

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Wordpress vs. Blogger

So....I've officially been sent on a Wordpress reconnaissance mission by Brillig the Great....and no one says "No" to Brillig the Great ( twisted my arm!). I created a Wordpress account for myself, and started getting my hands dirty with Wordpress themes and widgets.

Since I am just starting to dabble in the world of Wordpress, there isn't much to report yet. I will post when I have garnered enough Wordpressy knowledge to give a detailed and informative review....'cause it sounds like some of you might be interested in what I find out!

Wish me luck!

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

F*ckin' Blogger!

Blogger is pissing me off....

I've read in the past that Blogger users, like Jennifer, Brillig and Jenny, have been having bloggy problems such as disappearing posts and the like. It seems Blogger snatched them away and banished them to the Blogospheric black hole never to be seen again. I have been hoping that wouldn't happen to me. hasn't....yet. But I fear that it won't be long. Blogger seems to be in a state of cluster-fuckness, and I'm growing weary of it.

Blogger recently added an autosave glitch bug feature. Now it seems that I have problems saving. When I click the little blue "Save Now" button, I get a message telling me that my request to save cannot be processed. It happens with ever. single. post. This is a problem. You the mom of 1 and 2 year old walking crawling bringers of disaster little boys, it is rare that I can finish writing a post in one shot. I find it easier to write it a bit at a time over a couple of hours, saving as a draft in between.

But if Blogger doesn't save, Cate doesn't have a draft of her post to continue writing later. This makes for a cranky Cate.

I also had a rather strange thing happen to my blog the other day. After posting Seeing Red, I thought I would show my hubby. Upon loading the page, we noticed something odd. All of the Blogger text (for example, the names of the months in the Blog Archive widget) appeared to be in Italian rather than English. Umm.....what the fuck? Last time I checked, I didn't speak Italian...

The ever-so talented Jennifer of Playgroups are No Place for Children fame was thinking of moving to Wordpress, but found it too complicated, so I had given up on that idea. I'm wondering if I should reconsider. I mean, what's worse....lost posts, or the complexity of using Wordpress? I'm not sure. According to a post I read on yesterday, the new version of Wordpress allows you to import from the new Blogger.

Is this a sign that now is the time to move? I'm not sure. All I know is that the next straw might just be the last one.

So....Wordpress users....Blogger users....what are your thoughts?

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I'm Gonna Miss The Potato Chip Burps

Before Logan was diagnosed with GERD, he was diagnosed with a suspected cow's milk allergy. Because of this, he has been on soy formula since he was 3.5 weeks old (I was unable to breastfeed).

It was difficult to bond with him for the first few months. The GERD made him scream non-stop...even when he was on medication. It wasn't until he was prescribed Prevacid in addition to the Zantac he was already on that he started to get better.

But in that difficult pre-Prevacid time, there was one thing about Logan that I found so strangely and oddly endearing...the soy formula made his burps smell like potato chips. And I loved this. No matter how much he screamed, bucked and thrashed, I always had the potato chip burps. Odd...isn't it...what us moms love about our babies? Those special little things....

Apparently milk allergy/intolerance is common in GERD babies, but is not always permanent. Often they grow out of it by 1 year of age.

At 10 months old, his doctor gave us the go-ahead to start adding cow's milk into his diet. At first we started making his bottles with 2 scoops of soy and 1 scoop of cow's milk formula. He did fine with that....there was hope! A week ago we started with 2 scoops cow's milk and 1 scoop soy formula. So far so good! Yay!

But one thing is making me strangely and oddly endearing thing...Logan's potato chip burps are gone.

Hello to an easier time for Logan and the rest of us....goodbye potato chip burps. You will be strangely and oddly missed.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Seeing Red

I'm seeing red this morning. Not because I'm angry. Because my 1 year old got his pudgy little hands on one of his big brother's red markers. So perhaps "Caught Red Handed" would have been a wittier title...?

I was just getting ready to feed Logan his cereal, when he crawled into the room....looking like this. Hint: the red looks so much more vibrant if you click on the photos to get an enlarged view!

And his brand spanking new birthday shorts were looking like this.

After frantically searching for the source of the red stains, we found the culprit hiding amongst the mess of toys currently on our floor(don't was a busy weekend!).

We are usually very good at making sure that all of Zander's crayons and markers are well out of Logan's reach. It seems with all of the birthday madness this weekend, a single red marker managed to elude us. You would think I would have heeded the warning of Queen Heather's carpet incident. Well...the lesson is definitely learned now.

Fortunately for us and Logan's new shorts, it was a washable marker. The boy has been washed off, the shorts have been scrubbed, and I am happy to tell you that the only reminder of this marker fiasco is the unnaturally pink palm of Logan's right hand. Other than that, all traces of red are gone.

If only the red on Logan's face was washable too....unfortunately eczema doesn't wipe off so easily.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Chicken Little

My boy ate chicken for dinner tonight. A lot of chicken. Like, most of a breast of chicken. And he didn't gag or vomit all over himself. I'm so blown away....I think I'm in shock.

It was the usual dinner....pureed vegetables (otherwise he would normal not eat anything!), and some of what mommy and daddy are having for dinner. We always try to entice him by making mmmm...yummy sounds and raving about how good our dinner tastes...but he normal doesn't bite (pardon the unintentional pun!).

Tonight we were having the Grilled Herb Chicken from Supperworks. He decided that he was going to feed his chicken to mommy, since she seemed to like it so much. As he was feeding mommy her 4th piece of his chicken, with a huge open-mouthed smile on his face, daddy took the opportunity to quickly shove a bit into Zander's mouth.

At first we thought we were in for a second day in a row of puke. But then he started chewing, and the look of disgust on his face quickly disappeared and was replaced by a surprised look of delight. We waited to see what would happen when he was done with his first piece of chicken....and to our bewilderment he asked for more...and more...and more....and more...

I've never seen this kid eat like that. Never. Ever. It was amazing. I was giddy with pride, and I think I caught a glimpse of the light that everyone keeps telling me is at the end of the Zander-feeding tunnel.

I'm sure I've jinxed myself by writing this post, but I couldn't help myself. I just had to tell someone. And if it was a one-time deal, at least is was recorded for posterity.

I would love to post pics of my little boy eating something that isn't pureed....but I was afraid if I pulled out the camera, it would break the chicken-lovin' spell!

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Saturday, June 9, 2007

Why Must There Always Be Puke?

We had a small birthday party for Logan at Carlos' parents' house this afternoon. My parents are in town too, so it was just the grandparents and aunt Sonia and uncle Vince (Carlos' sister and her husband). It's been so busy trying to get the house ready for sale that we're putting off a larger party until when he was supposed to be born...mid July.

I was very excited about the whole birthday cake thing. Zander, with all of his eating issues, has never been able to have any of his birthday cakes...he has either outright refused it, or gagged and puked all over the place. And that, my bloggy friends, does not make for a happy birthday. But Logan has been a completely different experience in that department. He has eaten pretty much anything and everything that we've put in front of him.

Because of his prematurity, he is behind in some the pincer grasp thing. He tries and tries to pick up his cheerios between his fingers, but after a while he gives up and just grabs them in is fist. More cheerios land on the floor or get stuck to his face than make it to his mouth. But we figured he would have fun playing in it with his hands, and he would eventually eat some. My mother-in-law had a Backyardigans birthday cake made, and I was sure that he would enjoy that!

When cake time came, I figured I would put a tiny crumb of cake in his mouth to start things off. Instead of the expected confused grimace which is always followed by a smile when he tries something new, a stream of pureed green beans and applesauce spewed from my birthday boy's mouth. Puke was everywhere. I would have expected this from Zander, but not Logan.

After he was cleaned up, he returned to his happy self and went about entertaining aunts, uncle and grandparents alike from the comfort of his booster seat. With my birthday-cake-hopes dashed and , I retreated to the living room...and started to sob.

I'm not sure why this whole birthday cake thing was so important to me. Perhaps I've seen too many pictures of happy 1 year olds, 2 year olds, and so on, happily playing with and eating their own birthday cakes. My niece had no problem eating hers. Neither have any of my friends' or cousins' babies.

So what gives? Am I doomed to a life of puke-filled birthdays? How much longer will I have to wait for a picture of one of my own sons enjoying a piece of their birthday cakes?

I'm sure I will get over it. I'm sure one day it will all seem like distant memories that don't matter anymore. But on this day, it was just too overwhelming...and too much to deal with.

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Friday, June 8, 2007

One Year

That's how long it has been since I first held my tiny, 5-weeks-early baby boy in my arms. Today is Logan's first birthday.

A year ago I had already been in the hospital for a water broke at 34 weeks. Everyday I sat in that hospital bed, I prayed that the doctors could stall labour for just one more day. At 34 weeks gestation every day in the womb comes with huge leaps in development, readying the baby for the outside world. We staved off labour for 7 days.

When labour finally started, I couldn't help but worry about what issues the baby might be facing being 5 weeks premature. Turns out GERD was the only thing he had to deal with and, as difficult as it has been, I have to remind myself that it could have been much worse.

Logan - 1 day old
the NICU was his first home

Now it's a year later, and he's growing like a weed. He just started cruising along the furniture a couple of days ago. I'm sure it will be no time before he is a walking, talking, busy, curious troublemaker leaving behind him a path of destruction and chaos...just like his big brother. The daily changes are absolutely amazing to watch.

But I'm finding myself a little weepy today. After all, I've reached a transition in my life as a mom. I suddenly seem to be the mother of a toddler, and a soon-to-be toddler. Logan isn't a baby anymore, my one year old little man. We've had the two children that we wanted and planned for. The baby era is coming to a close.

And even though he's getting older by the day, I hope he will never grow out of his love for mommy-cuddles.

Happy Birthday, my beautiful Logan. I love you more each and every day!

Logan - 1 year old
my little pool shark

Logan - 1 year old
with his birthday balloon...this kid l-o-v-e-s him some balloons!

Logan - 1 year old
This smiling face always makes me melt!

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Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Calling All Moms Who Have Successfully Potty Trained Their Little Boy(s): H-E-L-P!!!

Seriously...I need help...I'm completely lost as to how I should start this whole potty-training gig! What I do know is that Zander is really close to being, if not completely, ready.

Last night was our first poop-on-the-floor experience. I'm not so naive to believe there won't be countless floor-poop moments in our's a milestone none the less.

It was bath time, and both boys had stinky nasty suffocating toxic-waste-filled poopy diapers. Carlos, being the wonderful husband that he is (or maybe he was just trying to get some), offered to do diaper-duty while I got the bath ready. So off I went up the stairs to start filling the tub while hubby started changing Logan.

As I was gathering towels and wash cloths I heard Carlos yell "Zander...NO!". I ran to see what was going on. When I got to the bottom of the staircase Zander was waiting for me sans-diaper....and he ever-so-proudly proceeded to lead me to the scene of the poop-crime.

There it was on the floor...Zander's poop. He pointed to it, loudly proclaiming "poo", and then showed me the now-empty diaper that he had just removed from his bottom. It was all I could do not to burst into fits of laughter (I'm sure someday soon floor-poop will no longer be funny). Carlos didn't find the humour in the whole thing....but he had had a really long day. is my quandary. Zander is starting to be very aware of his bodily functions. He tends to hold the front of his diaper when he pees, and likes to hide (usually under the dining room table) when he goes #2. When I'm changing him, he tells me he's pooped before I even open his diaper. I do believe we have reached the point when we have to at least start looking into potties and potty-training paraphernalia. And this, my dear bloggy friends, is where I need your expertise.

What do you think is a must-have feature in a potty? Is a bare-bones potty perfectly sufficient? Are the bells-&-whistles potty chairs really worth the money? Do potty chairs with musical rewards, etc. really work/help?

What about Pull-Ups? Is this something that we should start with before trying to put him on the potty? And there are so many kinds...some with disappearing images, some feel cool when wet.....

I'm drowning in potty-perplexity. H-E-L-P!

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Tuesday, June 5, 2007


I crept quietly up the stairs on my way to bed last night, cringing at every creak and moan of the steps underfoot. When I reached the door to the bedroom, I grabbed the door knob and turned it ever so slowly. As I pushed the door open, I could see the silhouettes of the bed and Logan's crib in the glow of the nightlight. I tip-toed over to the crib, peering down into the darkness, and listened for his breath. I strained to hear it, and when I finally did I went about getting ready for bed. This is my nightly routine.

After slipping into my night gown I slid under cool, crisp sheets on our large king-sized bed. I moved around to get comfortable, doing my best not to make too much of a rustling. Then I laid there in my bed and listened. Listened to the sound of Logan's breathing coming from his crib on my left, and the sound of Zander's breathing coming from the monitor on my right. Surrounded by the sounds of my little boys, all of the screams, temper tantrums, stresses and strains of the day melted away and I drifted off to a peaceful slumber.

Every night I do this, and each and every night I am reminded of what a truly beautiful life I lead. A beautiful life indeed.

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Monday, June 4, 2007

Just Another Meme Monday

Lene at Families are like fudge tagged me for this fun meme.

Instructions: Remove the blog from the top, move all blogs up one, add yourself to the bottom.

An Island Life
Whee! All The Way Home
The Middling Monettes
Families are like fudge
A Beautiful Life

Five people to tag: Karla, Amanda, Sara, Sarah, Jenny

What were you doing 10 years ago?
Enjoying my summer off between College last sun-loving summer before I developed my stupid frackin' pain-in-the-ass allergy to UVA and UVB rays.

What were you doing 1 year ago?
I was in the hospital awaiting the birth of my premature baby. My water broke 6 weeks early, and I was on bed rest in the hospital while we did our best to delay labour. Logan will be one year old on Friday.

Five Snacks You Enjoy:
a.) Farm Boy tortilla chips with Farm Boy fresh restaurant style salsa (mmm...need to go to Farm Boy!)
b.) Plain potato chips (Lay's Original Wavy are my fave) with ranch dip
c.) Kernel's Whalin' White Cheese popcorn
d.) Fuzzy Peaches candy
e.) Mandarin orange slices, ruby red grapefruit (had to put something healthy in there!)

Five Songs That You Know All The Lyrics To:

a.) Every Backyardigan's song ever written
b.) Every Blue's Clues song ever written
c.) Most 80's's weird....even if I haven't heard the song is 20-some years, I automatically know all the words....and I didn't think I knew the words to some of these songs!
d.) Most Christmas carols....big family tradition to sing at it!
e.) Every song I've ever like.....if I like a song, I tend to listen to it over and over and over and over....

Five Things You Would Do If You Were a Millionaire:
a.) Payoff all of our debt, my family's debts and hubby's family's debts
b.) Build the house our dreams
c.) Finally take a honeymoon!!!
d.) Open a paper crafting store
e.) Hire cleaning staff

Five bad habits:
a.) I'm addicted to blogging, Facebook, eBay....anything Internet
b.) I bite my fingernails when I'm stressed out.
c.) I'm the worst procrastinator ever to walk to Earth!
d.) I have a potty mouth....I swear like a....someone that swears a lot.
e.) I watch too much TV.

Five Things You Like To Do:
a.) Spend time with my little boys...they're my world!
b.) Spend alone time with my hubby....wink wink
c.) Blog, read blogs, read my comments (which I L-O-V-E to get!)
d.) Paper craft....I'm addicted to making cards...
e.) Take bubble baths.

Five Things You Would Never Wear Again:
a.) A ponytail.....a braid....barettes...bangs....okay okay...that was a bad bald joke....sorry!
b.) A one needs to see that!
c.) Maternity clothes....two hyper high-needs boys is enough...phew...
d.) Acid wash jeans....what was that all about???
e.) Short short shorts......yikes....

Five Favorite Toys
a.) My sanity-break-facilitator laptop
b.) My TiVo...mmmm....Season Pass-y goodness....
c.) My husband....ooops....I've said too much!
d.) ALL of my paper crafting tools.
e.) Any toy that makes my boys laugh and play.

Now it’s your turn. When and if you do it, leave me a comment so I can go and check it out.

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Friday, June 1, 2007

What A Difference A Day Makes

Okay...let me rephrase that. What a difference two days, 25 rolls of sod, 20 bags of topsoil, 46 retaining wall stones, 38 pavers, umteen gallons of water and a veritable cornucopia of yard toolage makes.

Gone are the bald spots in the lawn, exposed tree roots, invading weeds and blurred transition between driveway and lawn. Now there is only a field of lush green grass, a walled garden in the shadow of our beautiful, mature Norway Maple that awaits many a shade-loving plant, and a driveway edged by a line of "expertly" laid brick pavers.

So....what do ya think...have we met our curb appeal goal?

Before: Aren't tree roots supposed to be under the ground?

Before: Where does the lawn end and the driveway begin? Better yet...where's the grass?

After: We will start planting under the tree once we figure out what we want there.

After: Lookin' pretty good from the street...almost done.

Next up: Planting, repairing and resealing the driveway embarrassing....taking down the Christmas lights!

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