Crazy-ass family

You just can't make this stuff up

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Good Things Can Happen Even When You're Sick

Last night, Aidan came downstairs, as he does every night, and said he had to pee. He is constantly trying to come up with new ways to stay up longer, and he's figured out that we won't risk saying no to him when pee may be involved. He peed (more like dribbled, but whatever. The kid had peed 20 minutes earlier) and I wobbled my sickly way to the bathroom to help him wash his hands. When he was done, I scooped him up, trembling with the effort, and told him to look out the window at the Christmas lights. He gazed at me, and I felt his happiness, his sheer joy at this little moment he had somehow stolen with me. I smiled at him and whispered that there were red candy canes across the road, and Santa, too. He studied the lights and whispered, "Lookit all the colors over there, Mom. Me love those." "Those are my favorites, too," I whispered back, and kissed his chubby cheek. He giggled spontaneously, and hugged me, pressing his sweet face into my neck.

I put him down and shooed him off to bed, feeling warm, almost forgetting I was sick.

Liam, that beautiful boy, has decided that he wants to put himself to sleep at nap time and bed time. When I try to snuggle him in my arms, he yells and rolls, waving his fists in the air. Then he stares up at me, wide-eyed, saying "why don't you put me to bed?" And when I do, he stuffs his thumb in his mouth and closes his eyes, sighing. Funny. I've worked so hard to get him to be able to fall asleep on his own, and now that he that he insists on's painful. I'm so proud of him. I'm so amazed. And I miss him falling asleep in my arms...his body getting heavier, his breathing deeper.

Wasn't it just yesterday that I discovered (quite unexpectedly) that I was pregnant with him? Just a short time ago that I rejoiced after being taken off of bedrest, after four months of trying to keep Liam in? How is it that he is sitting on his own now? And two days ago, I put him on his play mat so I could get a drink for Caleb, and look:

How'd he do that?

That same day, Caleb got down on the floor to play with his brother:

How can being a mother be so painful and so utterly beautiful at the same time?

Coming To You Today From The Dark Pit of Hell

Ok it's not that bad but I do feel like crap. I spent much of yesterday morning on the bathroom floor, and then slept until 4pm. If it weren't for my severe and irrational fear of vomiting (emetophobia), I would have been doing that, too. Instead I just...uh...did another not-so-pleasant, toilet-involving deed. Lots.
This morning I've managed to take a shower and I'm working up to eating a piece of toast. I managed two pieces last night! Four pieces of toast in two days is not the greatest diet, I'll admit, but I've lost 5lbs! I don't recommend it. Oh, just to convince you not to do it, I'll remind you that the diet includes...uh...lots of sitting on the toilet.
That's enough of that.
I'm feeling rather fatigued so I'll leave you now. I thought of leaving you with a poem about my experiences over the past couple of days, but that would be gross. So I'll leave you with a haiku instead:

Bathroom Haiku

The cool touch of your
laminated floor relieves
my feverish skin

Have a good one; I'm out.

Monday, November 28, 2005

My Boy Likes The Games

Caleb is home from school today because of a strike. I've lost count of the days this has happened at his school this year. Anyway, it's cool to be able to spend more time with my oldest boy. And most interesting to watch him play - to see what his interests are and compare my own memories of being that age to his present day reality. Although we're very similar, personality-wise, Caleb and I differ greatly, at least as far as our six year-old lives are concerned.

At six, I was all about reading. I would read anything I could get my hands on. This love was nourished by my father's example...probably the most precious gift he ever gave to me. My Mother taught me the fundamentals of reading - the letters, their sounds, how they magically joined to form words, then sentences, then paragraphs. How incredible to me it was that a being could put their thoughts, their feelings, their dreams and imaginings all down on paper for others to see and experience.

My Dad is a manic-depressive. When I was very young, living in PMQs in PEI, my Dad was very sick and hadn't yet been diagnosed. So, when he was home, he was doing one of two things: running or reading. He would run around the block when he was manic...circling and circling to my friends' (and my own!) delight around the block. We would sit on the cement steps and watch him. When he was depressed, he would read. He would sit in a chair, beer in hand, and read for hours and hours. In many ways, my Dad was unreachable, and to a three year-old child, that's painful. So I would sit beside him as he read. I'd watch his face...I'd study his hands, keeping the beat to the music he listened to constantly over his headphones. I'd feel like someone handed me the moon when he'd place the headphones over my ears and praise me as I kept rhythm with my hands, or head, like him. But the most cherished moments were when he'd tell me about what he was reading.

I could read children's books by three, and begged my parents for books, books and more books.
Caleb does not beg for books. Though he easily comprehends the mechanics of reading in not just one, but TWO languages (he's got me trumped there!), his interests lie in more modern accoutrements, namely, games. Not the Snakes and Ladders or checkers of my youth, but video games: Ratchet and Clank, Pokemon, Katamari, Mario Sunshine, Super Smash Brothers, Zelda, and Megaman of Gamecube or Playstation fame.

This morning, I suggested he draw instead of play games, and he obliged. I was ecstatic when he spent a half-hour at the table, deeply involved in his project. Guess what it was? It was a maze of sorts, fraught with various "enemies," "bonuses," "bosses," "warp-zones" and "prizes." He calls it, "The Monster Traps in the Maze:"

He insisted that I play, and after all the thought and effort he had put into it, how could I not? After all, the prize, as you can see, was a million bucks!!! The way you play is you let Caleb hold your finger and lead it through the intricate tunnels and obstacles. I was entertained by a constant dialogue that involved such exclamations as, "Oh! Ghosts! Use your ghost-refrigeration power!" And, "You got the secret key!" Oh, and, "You have to get the squishing power so you can go past the lines! Oh! You got it!" In true interactive fashion, he squeezed my finger (aka: my "guy") as he led me down the long, lined tunnel which was NOT a ladder, although it looked very much like one (see above). The final descent down this tunnel led me to my prize and I was declared "THE WINNERRRRRRR!" All in all, it took about 15 minutes and I didn't get to make a single decision. Really, I just let him guide my finger around the paper as he animatedly described the action:

Maybe next time we can sit down with a book.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

I'm Gonna Make a Million!

Oooooh I am sick. My throat has been transported to the fiery pits of Hell. And my nose…oooooh my nose. Happily, the long hours of lying awake last night have resulted in a business idea that I’m confident will be a hit (note: the brain fog could be hindering my judgement a bit). What do you think?


Do you have a cold? The flu? Are you using copious amounts of the earth’s precious forest products (ex: toilet or tissue paper) just to keep the viscous flow of snot at bay? Have I got a product for you!

The Snot-Catcher!

Simply install the Snot-Catcher beneath the offending orifice and relax! Not only will you forget you have a runny nose; you will prevent yourself from further contributing to the depletion of the earth’s forest-resources!

Observe the comfort pad (available in deluxe faux-leather and regular vinyl), installed with the consumer in mind to prevent skin irritation and provide for a snug, comfortable fit. You’ll hardly know the Snot-Catcher is there!

Available in “I feel pretty” and “Office-savvy”, the Snot-Catcher is practical and fashionable, too! Be the trend-setter in your office, school, or group of friends!

With a convenient drain discreetly installed in the bottom of the Snot-Catcher, easy emptying is a breeze (or a well-placed blow!).

Order yours today!


Have an important meeting, appointment or public appearance? Don’t want to be weighed-down by the conventional Snot-Catcher? Try the *new* Nose-tampons and Dual-Nostril Discretion Buckets combination!
Note: Not intended for prolonged use. Contact your local distribution center for more information.

Manufacturer’s warning: The Snot-Catcher is not intended for use while lying down. It is inadvisable to eat, drink, inhale deeply, tilt your head back or dance around like a monkey while using this product. Not for use during inclement weather, especially rain. Please be advised that prolonged use of the Snot-Catcher may result in a diminished sense of smell, unemployment, and general loneliness.


So? It’ll be a huge hit, right? Shazam! I didn’t major in marketing for nothing!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Kids, eh?

Aidan: Mom, I want to watch you play that game.
Me: Ok. Have a seat.
Aidan: Ok!
Me: Oh, I lost again!
Aidan: Mom! Why do you keep lossing and lossing?


Aidan: (As he grabs his toes and moves his foot around in circles). Mom, look what I'm doing with my foot!
Me: Oooh, it's going in circles!
Aidan: No! I'm making popcorn!! See? (He spins his foot faster).
Me: Aaah. Popcorn with your foot, huh?
Aidan: There! (He eats imaginary popcorn off his foot, and opens his mouth to show me). See? I'm eating it!
Me: You shouldn't talk with your mouth full.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Many Pictures for You to Enjoy Whilst I Mourn the Loss of Our Front Bumper But That's Better Than Jim Being Hurt, Right?

This morning I am shaken up because Jim got in a car accident. So, I will post some pictures and try to avoid the subject so I do not cry. Jim is ok, incidentally. On with the pictures.

Today it is snowing and it is windy. And there is ice on the road. Ice that is slippery and accident-inducing. Regardez-vous le neige:

Jim is not home yet. He is still there, waiting for the cops.


I looked deep into the aquarium yesterday and saw that one of the guppies is having some tail issues. Jen, if you're reading this, WHAT THE???

This is our black moor who is presently healing from other fin problems and doing very well. I won't show you a picture of our goldfish whose entire top fin was eaten by fungus. Your welcome.

Here's what Liam does when I'm on the computer too long:

So I'm ready to talk about it now. I knew it was going to happen. I looked outside this morning and immediately knew. I got that feeling in my gut. And I couldn't breathe. I thought it was because of this cold I have but now I know it was because I knew. I kept saying that I didn't want him to drive and why the heck couldn't I breathe?

I called him a few minutes after he left and told him that I'd seen on tv that 10 inches of snow was going to fall and that I wanted him to come home. He said he was already on the highway and things were fine.

I called him 10 minutes later and said it again. Oh, and corrected my 10 inches statement. It was 10 centimeters. He laughed at me. I said I was worried he'd get into an accident.

"Nick and Jessica broke up," he said.

"That's been on the rocks for a while, now," I said.

"Love you," he said.

I hung up with a sick feeling in my stomach. That's going to be the last thing he says to me before the accident. That Nick and Jessica broke up.

When the phone rang minutes later my heart started racing.

"I'm ok," was the first thing he said.

So he's not home yet. He rear-ended someone after sliding on 20 feet of ice. He's ok. The van is not.

I'm waiting.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Three Things About Me to Make You Wonder

I've been thinking. We really can't get to know each other until we reveal some things about ourselves that we aren't necessarily proud of. Am I right? So after much thinking (that's a lie; I had a huge list in minutes and had to cut a whole bunch out) I have come up with three things about myself that are...questionable. Things I'm a little ashamed of. Things that help to make me, me.

Deep breath. Here goes!

1. I am a recovering South Park lover.
When South Park was newer, I was in University and Jim and I were huge fans. Yes, I said huge fans. Of South Park. At Christmas time that year, I used my creative genius and some construction paper to make South Park Christmas tree ornaments. I made Kenny, Stan, Cartman, Kyle, Ike, Kitty and Pig. I made the South Park school bus to keep the ornaments in. I have always regretted not making Chef. For you, dear readers, I will endeavour to find my South Park Christmas tree ornaments (I'm not throwing those out! All the work! All the construction paper! The glue, people, the glue! And the cutting!) and I will take a picture of them and post it. For you.

2. Dr. Dirty makes me sing nasty songs.
Ok this one is hard to write. In my defence, I was a teenager, ok? Jim (I'm detecting a theme here...I have noticed that the vast majority of my embarrassing revelations include my husband. Hmmmmm...) made me listen to Dr. Dirty and the Pixies. If you have never heard, do yourself a favor. Don't do it. The Christmas album has always stuck with me, and I am most ashamed to say that, as Christmas draws nigh each year, one particular song rears its ugly head and I am forced to sing it. Repeatedly. And in public. Because it is catchy and because it makes me laugh! I cannot help it! It is an affliction most hideous. In the interest of full disclosure, I will write the lyrics here for you. Silent Night is beautiful. But Silent Fart is dirty, and I sadly seem stuck on the dirty:

Silent fart
Holy fart
Remain calm
Release your bomb

'Round the kitchen
Out from your chair
Little atoms of poop
In the air
Feel it silently creep
Watch as your friends breath in deep

Appalling! But just try not to sing that aloud wherever you go! It gets stuck in your head!
I'm so, so sorry.

3. I flipped the bird.
Last week, as Jim (there he is again!) was backing out of a parking spot, this chick decided to try and speed behind us, nearly causing a collision. She couldn't fit behind us, of course, and had to slam on her brakes. If the windows of our doors had not been between us, I could have reached out and slapped her, that's how close she was. Ok, so I have my three kids in the van, it's a relatively new vehicle, AND I was a touch bitchy because the new Quizno's we had joyfully spotted from the road wasn't open yet. So I mouthed, "Be patient!" She commenced to yell (I can only assume she was yelling. The windows, remember?) very animatedly, gesturing wildly at our van. Well that made me mad. SHE was the offending individual here! So I did the only plausible thing: I waved at her. Backwards. And with only one finger.
The look on her face was delicious. And I must say that, although I abhor violence, if this person had approached my van, I was ready to throw down.

There. I am cleansed! Now you.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Let's Sing Together

My son was awake between 10 and 2 last night. Then he got up at 6. Do you know how I got him to sleep finally? After rocking him, singing to him, holding him (for hours), Jim holding him (also for more than an hour), laying him down, putting him in the swing, etc. etc., I let him cry. I don't usually do that. It worked. It was painful (although by that time it was more annoying as it was preventing me from sleeping) and it worked. I think I'll write more about that later, as I'm still rather conflicted about it. And right now I'm a little foggy, as I'm sure you can understand.

Something good has come from this! At 1:30am, I was inspired to compose a song! We can all sing it together. Ready? And one and two and...

(to the tune of Brahm's Lullaby)

What is wrong?
What is wrong?
What is wrong, little baby?
Go to sleep
Please let me sleep
If I don't sleep soon, I'll die

Oh my God
I'm so tired
I could pass out right now
Oh my God
Please go to sleep
Or I fear I'll spontaneously combustlalalathatdoesn'trhymeIdon'tcareI'msofuckingtired

Excellent! I lost some of you at the end, there. It's a complicated word, so I expected that...practice, practice, practice people! In no time people around the world will be singing this sweet lullaby to their children and I will be famous!

Monday, November 21, 2005

A Conversation

Aidan: Mom! Look what happened to my little toe!
Me: What happened?
Aidan: My tiny little toe!
Me: Yeah? What happened to your toe?
Aidan: My tiiiiiiiny little baby toe!
Me: (tiring) Yeah?
Aidan: Mom! It's a baby toe because it's smaller than the other toes!
Me: That's right. So, what happened to it?
Aidan: Huh?

Sunday, November 20, 2005

My Boobs are Cool. And, Jim Dropped the Baby

I have overactive milk letdown. Without going into a lot of boring details about the condition, I'll just say that it results in really quick breastfeeding sessions. Like, four minutes and the kid is FULL. However, it can also complicate such conditions such as...oh, say reflux for example, should your child be afflicted with such an ailment. Which all of my children are/were. In short, the child slams back a full feed in four minutes, and I hold my breath. Will projectile vomiting ensue? We are always on our toes around here!

Happily, the upside of this condition means that when we go out, feeding the baby doesn't really need to distract from the activities at hand. Today, we went to Orleans to eat, and then to visit our friends (love you Christine and Reagan! That Reagan can play piano, man!). The two times Liam fed were barely noticed. I couldn't even call them an interruption. For someone like myself who is modest and dislikes whipping out a boob in public, the quick feeds are a blessing.

Now, as one can imagine, the velocity with which the milk evacuates the breast is quite impressive. Those who have been unfortunate enough to witness this are both amused and in awe of this freakish super power. Last weekend, I was feeding Liam in a family room at a mall. There were two other women in the room, chatting and taking care of thier kids. Every time they'd laugh too loud, or the hand dryer would go off in the bathroom next door, Liam would pull of and look around curiously. This would result, unfailingly, in a spectacular disply of fountaining milk. Pretty! Messy! Liam's face would get soaked, as would all surrounding items.
The women in the room thought it was hilarious.

In other news, Jim dropped the baby. Let me explain. We got home from our visit (see above), and I was getting Caleb and Aidan from the car while Jim got the baby, who was sleeping like an angel or a dove or some other innocent, beautiful creature in his carseat. I heard something drop to the ground...something which sounded very much like a carseat with my baby in it. Being me, I dropped everything, screamed, and ran around the car. Jim was examining the poor kid guiltily. Liam was stuck in one of those silent know the kind. His face was a mask of shock and anger; his mouth stretched into a large "O", his eyes squeezed shut. That lasted about 5 seconds, and then he got his breath and the piteous wailing started. I unlocked his straps and pulled him from the seat, shushing him and holding him tightly against me. He cried, hard, for a while - hiccoughing and gasping for enough air to sustain his efforts.

He's fine. Jim feels awful. And I held him, cooing and kissing his sweet little head, for waaaay longer than he needed me to. I knew something like this would have to always it horrible that I'm glad that Jim committed the act and not myself?

Friday, November 18, 2005

In The Bathroom

Aidan: (referring to Jim's deodorant) I need some of that!

Me: No, honey, that's for big people. You smell great!

Aidan: No! (he rolls up his sleeve and inhales deeply at the crook of his arm, about 5 full inches away from his armpit) Ugh! That smells BAD! I need some of that!

Me: (laughing) You're too little, sweetie.

Aidan: Smell it!

Me: (sniffing his arm) You're elbow-pit smells great, dear.

Aidan: Well, someday it won't.

I wonder if pre-emptive deodorizing works?

The Following is Intended for Mature Audiences Only

After reading two awesome birth stories, I have become inspired to share my own with you, lucky readers! Well, one of them. All three of my birth stories are, of course, interesting and inspirational and amazing. But I will share with you the one that is most fresh in my mind: the birth of Liam.

I'm going to skip over a lot. I went in to be induced (amazing considering I had spent 4 months on bedrest trying to retain the child in my womb) and all were impressed that I needed only to have my water broken to get things moving. Pitocen was not required. I sailed along, quite smug and proud of myself, and impressed that my body was so smart. It knew just what to do! No drugs required! Therein lies the root of the strange idea that I wouldn't need drugs AT ALL. I had had an epidural with Caleb and with Aidan. I had planned on having one with Liam. But I was doing so well! It wasn't bad! It hurt, yeah, but it was manageable! And my body was amazing! It was doing what it needed to do. All by itself.

The nurse checked me and discovered that I was 6cm. All present (Jim, my sister Jen, another nurse) appeared impressed at my courage and my great resolve to do this without an epidural. Simultaneously, my nurse broke my water again, having discovered a small pocket remaining.
A contraction hit. Hit like a freight train, and a small seed of fear germinated within me.
Oh my God, I said.

My onlookers were unconcerned.

Another contraction, and I was writhing on the bed and screaming.


Some concern was registering on the faces of my onlookers.

The nurse said maybe she should check me again. 8cm. In two contractions, I had dialated two centimeters, and I was sure I was going to die. That small seed of fear grew to something of Jack and the Beanstalk proportions.

My nurse called the doctor, and I writhed and screamed as another contraction ripped through me. My eyes rolled back in my head with the pain of it, and I knew only one thing: the pain. And that I had to get this painby (a.k.a. wondrous fruit of my womb) out of my paingina painmmediately or else I was going to pain from the utter pain of it all and who decided that pain should be such a huge part of this whole paincreation business anyway ok I get the whole Adam and Eve thing but I didn't pick the painple!

The doctor arrived post-haste (I was the only woman on the ward, or so I thought) and examined me as I thrashed and screamed, and declared that the baby was in a weird position (I can only assume it was the same position he'd been in for two months, hence the plagiocephaly) and he would not be born that way. My brain chose to retain "he will not be born" and I became convinced that I would be in this pain for the remainder of my life. Which wouldn't be that long, anyway, considering the pain. I started to cry. Now I was screaming and crying, and the nurse was urging me onto all fours, and shoving an oxygen mask onto my face.

I rocked side to side at the insistance of my nurse, trying to turn the baby into a more birth-able position, crying and screaming the whole time. At some point, I screamed "I have to PUUUUUUUSH" without really intending to. I flipped over and the sensation worsened. Let me tell you, having not have had the actual sensation of a baby crowning before, I was shocked and quite positive that the baby was not going to fit.

I looked at my nurse.
"He's not going to fit!!!" I exclaimed.

The doctor and the other nurse in the room chuckled. Apparently they were not sympathetic to my plight.

"No, really! He's not going to fitohholyshiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!" And then my body took over. I was pushing, pushing with my whole self and with every muscle I owned without thinking.

It subsided and I gazed at Jim in disbelief. I had no control. And Jim was crying. And Jen was crying. Oh, I feel sad about that oh my God another another "aaaaaaaAAAAAAHHHHH!"
At this point I remember thinking that I have a nice set of lungs on me. And wasn't it interesting that I couldn't stop my eyes from rolling back into my head? That must be disturbing to onlookers.

"Look down, Theresa! Look, your baby is coming!" shouted the nurse, and I tried to look, I really did, but my eyeballs were so far back in my head that all I could see was my brain.
Then, in one amazing moment, he was gone from my body and laying on my belly, warm and wriggling, and looking into my eyes with such deep emotion and understanding that I was overwhelmed with love and awe at his existance.

"Oh, he's beautiful! He's beautiful, isn't he?" I looked at Jim, who had obviously been crying quite a lot. He nodded and apologized for getting snot on my shirt while he had been trying to comfort me.

I looked at Jen, who looked simultaneously like she had been slapped and like she had just won a trillion dollars. I remembered that the doctor had had to ask her to be quiet and stop stressing me out while I was pushing.

"How do you feel?" asked my nurse, and I remembered her leaning in so that her mouth was right next to my ear and saying, with barely contained control, "you are digging your fingernails into my hand and I need you to stop right now."

I remembered throwing the oxygen mask, with chutzpah, as far away from me as it would fly, as it was useless.

I said, "Wow, I'm sorry about all the screaming! Good thing I'm the only woman on the ward!" The nurse replied softly that another woman had come in just before I started to push. Eek.

I looked at my baby. My baby. And I knew that, although I had been sure I would die...although I felt as though my body had torn in half...although as I looked at him I realized that a rather sizeable piece of my heart would henceforth be living outside my body...I knew that I would do it again. I would do it a million times over for him.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Poor Baby

Yesterday, I took Liam to the doctor to get his four-month shots. Yes, he's five months old. Long story.
I dread these visits for obvious reasons...and when the doc started going over the possible side-effects of the shot, images of the next two days filled my mind: fevers, screaming, my arms sore from holding the baby. And you know what happened? Some quiet, strong little part of me said how wonderful it is that I get the priviledge of being a mother, and of taking care of this beautiful little boy. How lucky I am that I get to soothe the hurts of my own flesh and blood. And I felt very, very calm.
Liam was wickedly charming. As soon as the doctor walked into the room, he began to wave his arms at her and laugh. He smiled and cooed and bounced on my lap. He reached for her as she listened to his heart and lungs, gazed at her through his eyelashes as she looked into his eyes, endured critical observations of his poor little head (more on that later), and uttered not a peep of discontent, though he was wearing only his diaper in a rather chilly room. I don't know about the doctor, but I fell deeply in love with this amazing little creature all over again. Then, just as Liam was laughing and reaching for her, she jabbed him with that 1.5" needle. I believe that if we could translate "baby", Liam's screams would roughly mean, "WHAT THE HOLY HELL?"
It only lasted a few seconds, though, and then, although he wasn't back to his exuberant self, he was fine. He even grinned at me as I dressed him, but his eyes were a bit more cloudy. A bit confused. "What just happened here?" they said.
And he has more appointments to come. That brief comment about his head, above, was actually a discussion that culminated in a referral to a pediatric neurologist. Looks like the kid's got a touch of plagiocephaly, most likely from those last two months of being lodged in the exact same spot in my womb. Yeesh. Have a baby early, they have problems. Have a baby at term, and thier heads come out funny. I can't win, people.
Anywho, the doc was clear that ultimately, if it were recommended that he wear a helmet (23 hours a day, mind you), the decision would be up to us, and it is really an esthetics thing. I don't know what we'd do. I know that I noticed the shape of his head, if not only because it is so drastically different from the other boys'...but will it be severe enough to be noticed as he grows up? The treatment is expensive (over $1200!) and not covered by that will factor into the decision as well.
So, how is the wee boy since yesterday? With regular doses of tylenol, Liam is faring as well as I could have expected. He's got a low-grade fever, and yeah, my arms a sore, but he slept well last night, and his crankiness can usually be quelled with a toy. Or a boob. Typical male.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Heard From the Bathroom...

Aidan: You stink!
Me: What? You stink, Aidan?
Aidan: No! I'm talking to my poop!

Then, in response to my laughter:

Aidan: It's not funny! It's stinky!

Oh, I am such a bad mother for posting that.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I Think It's Time To Admit It's Not Summer Anymore

The sky is grey today, and the wind is blowing the snow into swirls and eddies. Neighbors are having to clear off their windshields before they drive. The last leaves are making thier final departure and descent to the ground, where they'll disintigrate and dissolve into nothing - just memories of sweet summer.
It'll be months before the sun warms my bare skin again. Months before a warm breeze will dance with my hair and play in the trees. Too long before the kids can run in the grass, carefree.
Now is the time for sleep.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Devil With an Angel's Face

Looks angelic, doesn't he?

Do not be deceived!

I was helping Caleb dry himself after his bath tonight. I was almost finished when he exclaimed, "You did my butt crack, Mom!"

"Well, that gets wet, too," I explained, trying not to react too strongly. Trying not to encourage him.

"But there's still water in there!" he yelled.


He grinned wickedly.

"But there is, Mom! LOOK!"

My son turned his back to me, bent over as far as he could, and pulled his...uh...cheeks apart with his hands.

What else could I do but burst into a fit of laughter?

I'll tell you one thing, though: that kid's drying himself from now on.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

My Sister Has Birds

Jen never does things. Jen DOES things. She goes for it. Several years ago, she decided to breed persians. This innocent little seed of an idea culminated in chaos: a house full of 20+ cats including one who had a penchant for spraying (or, for those of you unfamiliar with feline terminology, peeing all over the place) and thusly being responsible for the rather unpleasant smell eminating from my sister's abode. Elly is my own pleasent reminder of this period in my sister's life:

Imagine, if you will, that this talent for doing things BIG has extended into many areas of my sister's life. When she does things she does things right. She doesn't have cats anymore, though.

She has birds.

She was breeding finches, but is now specializing in cockatiels. And she hand-feeds them! I have become fascinated, through listening to my sister's tales, with the breeding rituals of birds.

Jen had one lovebird named Pippin - a male, who, lacking a suitable mate, was lonely. The extent of his loneliness became apparant upon the introduction of:


Jen decided it would be cute to give Pippin a special bird tent to hide in or sleep in or whatever. She did not expect him to fall in love. She began to notice that he seemed rather fond of his tent. Now, when a bird is interested in being more than friends with another bird (or tent), they perform certain rituals - one of which is to feed the object of thier affection. Do you know, dear friends, how birds feed one another? To put it delicately, they regurgitate. Vomit. Barf. Hurl. Etcetera. As the object of affection in question had not a mouth (or a pulse, for that matter), it quickly became covered in bird-barf. Jen would observe in horror as Pippin would lovingly regurgitate it's food for the tent. When he decided it was time to take the relationship to another, more intimate level, Jen decided it was time to get him a female friend. That poor tent had had enough.

Jen reports that in her search for an appropriate mate, she purchased two females and a male. She does things big, remember? Sadly, at the time of last report, Pippin is completely ignoring it's new intended mates, the tent replacements.

Kinda makes you feel badly for the tent, huh?

Jim Makes Me Laugh

Jim: You writing in your blog?
Me: Yeah.
Jim: You should change the name to "Boring-ass family".

Apparently my complaints about not doing anything today have been heard.

I Have So Much to Write About!

It's been a lovely weekend so far. Jim had Remembrance Day off, so we took Aidan and Liam shopping and spent way too much money. Liam got a snowsuit at Baby Gap after a long and tiring search. Do you know how expensive those things are? DO YOU? Unvelievably, the Gap one was the least expensive - it is a bonus, then, that we liked it best.
Saturday was great. Our good friends Kelly and Bobby came over for dinner and to finally meet Liam.

Kelly and I are very much alike. It's great for me to have someone to relate to about those things in my life that some just don't get. She studies and does energy work and is a virtual library of information on anything related to the subject! I think we learn a lot from each other.
Aside from that connection, Kelly is just a great person. And her husband is too. We have fun together. Even more exciting is that Kelly has just learned that she's excitement over this news has reached new levels of heart-pounding insanity. My friend is pregnant! Our kids can be pals! The joy of it is indiscribable.
In other news, I was disheartened to learn (from Jim) that Jeff wasn't altogether pleased with the entry I wrote about him. I mentally went through the details and puzzled over which part he was upset about. Was it that I said he was on medication? The part where I said that his eventual better half may be a whiff more frustrated? No, my friends. No. I finally talked to my brother, and he revealed that, indeed, it was the picture that I posted that was bothering him. No, no...not the ridiculous looking one. The nice one. The one where he's smiling invitingly. THAT is what bothered him. As my husband says, Jeff is wack. Anyway, in order to soothe his bruised self-esteem, I have vowed to post the following, more accurate pictures of Jeff. They have better captured his true, inner self. Enjoy.

Upon reviewing the above, Jeff had the following to say: "I look sharp. Sometimes I forget that, but I'm a pretty sharp guy".

Sharp indeed, brother o' mine.

I will leave you today with a conversation had with my middle boy:

Me: Uh, oh! What happened, Aidan?

Aidan: I dunno!

Me: Did you drop that on the floor?

Aidan: No; Invisible Bad Guy did that!

Me: Really? It looked like you did it...

Aidan: No, it was Invisible Bad Guy. Are you mad at him? He's bad!

Me: He's only being bad if he did it on purpose. If it was an accident, I'm not mad!

Aidan: Oh. Mom?

Me: Yeah?

Aidan: I did it.

Me: Oh?

Aidan: Yeah. But it was an accident!

Then, as an afterthought:

Aidan: Invisible Bad Guy made me do that!

You can't help but love the kid.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Très Bien, Caleb!

My pregnancy with Caleb was difficult. I was 24 and in University full-time (Acadia University). I also worked both as a Teacher's Assistant and as Manager of the Student Union Building (the SUB). I thought I could handle it! We planned it perfectly: I would be due just after I graduated. Being one who possesses super-powers, I would, of course, be able to secure a permanent full-time position to begin after maternity leave.
When I started bleeding in the first trimester, a tiny seed of doubt entered my mind. Perhaps this would not be all sunshine and roses as planned. When the bleeding continued and my shifts at the SUB stretched further and further into the night (4am was a common time to be heading home), I was forced to quit my job as Building Manager. First trimester exhaustion and continued spotting resulted in my dropping one of my courses...the one that had required that I work in a local office once a week. Another course followed.
I won't say my hopes were dashed, but they were...sceptical at this point.
I remember feeling tightenings in my belly from very early on. Having had no experience, I chalked it up to normal pregnancy happenings. It continued and worsened until my 20th week, at which point I realized the tightenings were most likely Braxton-Hicks contractions. Nonplussed, I continued going to classes. Trudging up the hill to my marketing class was the hardest on me, and one day, at 29 weeks and 6 days along, I found it hard to concentrate in class.
The contractions were bothering me.
When I got home, I told Jim that I was worried. He wasn't. After all, I had been talking about premature birth; this was probably a psychological thing (um, hello? Psychic over here!). When I timed the contractions, they were less than 15 minutes apart. We went to the hospital. Nothing showed on the monitor, so we were sent home, only to return the next morning.
This time, the contractions were more obvious, and by that evening, I was being taken by Ambulance to the Grace Maternity Hospital in Halifax.
We were terrified. By the time I reached the hospital, the contractions were 1 minute apart, and the Ambulance had put the siren on. I was immediately given a drug to slow labour, and things, amazingly, calmed down. The contractions didn't stop. I stayed in the hospital for three weeks exactly, and the contractions never stopped. I shared a room with a woman pregnant with twins and whose water had broken early. She was 21 weeks along when she left the hospital.
She was 22 weeks along when she returned, and lost her babies. I still think about her.
I went into labour three more times, and the third time was unstoppable. Caleb was born exactly 7 weeks early, at 33 weeks gestation.
He was so beautiful, and he did so well. He was only in the hospital for 11 days, and besides having jaundice, had relatively few complications. He never needed help breathing, and while it was challenging, he caught on to breastfeeding quickly.
Caleb's biggest preemie-related complication was reflux. It was awful! He suffered from the pain of it until he was 6 months because the doctor didn't even know kids could get reflux. He threw up everything I gave him, and his appetite suffered because of prematurity-related iron deficiency. Feeding the child was like torture - for him and me!
Despite having medications, he threw up until he was two. Even today, he has food issues.
Caleb is six years old now. He is fluent in english and french (more than we can say for ourselves!) and goes to an all-french school. He's sensitive and compassionate, and has brought joy into my life every day since he was born.
Last week, Caleb brought home the first report card of the year, which, to our delight, reported the highest grade you can get, straight across the board. "Très Bien" in everything. I know this may not seem important to some, but to me, it's monumental.
My boy, who I agonized with worry over for years. My boy, my first-born child. The one I sacrificed so much for. The one who inspired me to make my life better...who pushed me, if only by existing, to move, to get a better job, to keep reaching instead of just accepting what life and the cycle of poverty had handed me.
My Caleb, I love you. I'm so proud of you.
A new PSP game is in the mail.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I found my pee-pee! or The Mystery of the Soaked Shirt

First off, let us clear the air: yes, we call it a pee-pee. Yes, the boys know it's actually a penis. But "penis" is just too...stodgy*, or something. Besides, both my Mom and Jim's Mom called it a pee-pee. So there you go.
So between the age of about 18 months until Aidan was potty trained (which was around 2.5 years), a perplexing event would occur most frequently. We would settle the young tyke into the bottom bunk after a story. He would be warm and sleepy-eyed, usually clutching a random toy or animal, and smiling up at us...darling and innocent. The heart would warm. "Oh, what wondrous force has brought this joy upon us, husband?" I would ask emphatically. We would smile at each other and leave the boys to thier sleep and dreams, our arms draped around each other in love and solidarity.
Then, sometime during the night, a whimper. Soft - almost too soft to hear. But there. And again! Yes, one of the young ones was in distress. We (or one of us) would stumble into the kid's room, and discover Aidan, soaked from navel to neck in pee.
"How?" we would exclaim!
The diaper seemed relatively dry...and it wasn't like Aidan was lying on his stomach and thusly putting pressure on the diaper, which would, theoretically, force the pee up and out. Nope, he was on his back, just as we left him.
So we started to check him before bed, and discovered something that was not shocking; Aidan would be sound asleep, his hand buried up to mid-forearm in his pants. Totally normal, right? At first, in our innocence, we did not connect this to the mystery of the soaked shirt. Jim finally clued in one night when he realized that, upon being found, Aidan's pee-pee may have become...*ahem*...excited, and consequently would point north.
In the direction of the shirt.
Mystery solved. Each night, we would remove the hand, face the offending pee-pee south once again, and retire without worry.
Caleb was much the same, although not as enthusiastic as Aidan in the pee-pee discovery department. At around 6 months, both boys discovered this fun toy and would be delighted during bath times and diaper changes. Even now, "it's not pee-pee playing time" is a phrase that leaves my lips more often than I will admit.
Liam, at nearly 5 months is an exceptional child. Yesterday, he sat by himself. He knows how to get my attention my waving his arms and beaming a gummy grin in my direction. Or yelling. He recognizes the word, "boobie". Perhaps he is a touch higher on the evolutionary scale than the rest of us!
He found his pee-pee weeks ago.

*hehehe! Stodgy! Ah, I love the word.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

And He's Single, Ladies!

Don't let this opportunity pass you by! This 26 year-old single white male is looking for love!

This highly dependant and yet simultaneously introverted specimen is a walking contradiction. His IQ tests at the genius level. Like talking physics? Philosophy? This is the man for you! Jeff is best at extended conversations with lots of big words which lead nowhere but are nonetheless soul-enriching. Don't expect his mind-boggling intelligence to carry over into other areas of life, though, ladies! While he is exceptionally gifted in the fine art of thought, daily tasks seem to distort and befuddle him. Need your garbage bag tied? Don't ask Jeff, ok? Is that your orange juice in the fridge? Don't mention it to Jeff - somehow the conversation will morph in his large brain and he will come out believing it is his.

While he is slightly - uh - eccentric? - Jeff is mild-mannered, sweet, and would shift the universal alignment for you, if you asked. And if it was possible. And if it weren't possible, he'd talk about why for a long time!

Jeff is adored by his four nephews, and admired by his peers. He is appreciated, loved and well tolerated by his relatives. He adores long walks to the video stores and back, and his interests include a virtual cornucopia of music and movies. He is a gaming master, a writer and a poet. Yes, he is on a couple of medications so he won't go crazy...remember that whole saying about the fine line? Between genius, heck, the boy is a GEM!

Interested? Simply drop by and find your way to my basement! It's so simple! The lucky woman who snatches this dude will lead an enriched, full life (if not a whiff more frustrating). Beware, though, ladies...this fine young man has a penchant for the ridiculous:

Serious applicants only, please.


*Note: Jeff is an awesome guy! He appreciates my humour. Oh, and he's not really looking for a girlfriend. Not that he'd turn an opportunity down. But he's not, you know, actively searching. I just wanted to introduce him, see? *

More Hats

Aidan wants to be on the computer, too. Here is the famed ladybug hat.

And here's Caleb in his beaver hat.

More later.

Monday, November 07, 2005


On Friday I finally received a flute that I'd won on eBay. I played flute in school band for years, and have missed it since I sold it (bad decision...teenager...wanted a car...lacking judgement...). So, I've been playing since. I was impressed that I remembered Pachelbel's Canon after 14 years, and I've taught myself Silent Night, the theme from Totoro, Brahm's Lullaby, and a few other tunes since. It's been fun.
Well, except for Liam. He wails when I play. So I wait 'til he sleeps, and then play softly downstairs. He wakes up. He dislikes my playing.
I'm going to keep trying though. Hopefully, he'll get used to it.
Our weekend was fine...Saturday was relaxed and spent mostly at home. Yesterday we went to the market in Ottawa and I was so happy to see the hat girl there. She makes these amazing fleece hats that cost too much but are too adorable not to buy. Aidan got a ladybug hat, and Liam got a mouse.

Do you see the tiny little pink parts of the ears and the nose? We asked for matching mittens and the girl handed me these pink things, to which I exclaimed, "but he's a boy!" She looked at me like I was retarded (and in hindsight, perhaps I was a touch mentally challenged) and said that a lot of mothers got the pink ones for their boys because they match the hat. I asked for brown. Hence the brown mitten you can see in the picture.

I also got a Sisa Piquari cd. They're from Equador and have really flute-intensive music with good beats. They were playing in the Market and I've passed up way too many opportunities to get a cd.
We roamed around the Rideau Center for a while. Caleb and I had a pretzel from the new PretzelMaker. We're so happy they've got a local store now...we missed them from when we lived in NS. We went to Sears and spent way too much time looking for a gift for my Dad (and finally leaving frustrated), and got a couple of sleepers for Liam, who seems to be growing out of everything now. I'm regretting all the money we spent on baby clothes!
Liam was a great baby all day...I fed him in a big changing room in Sears, and he was happy. I write this next part with some regret: the only time he cried was after I was trying hats on him. The sharp side of the velcro was against his precious little skull, and the hat was a bit snug. Unaware of the velcro, I forced the hat down. Poor kid was not impressed. It's no wonder that when I put it on him again later (velcro safely away from his scalp), he displayed his displeasure quite loudly.
Wow what a boring entry.
Boring but true!

Friday, November 04, 2005

I'm sick

It's just a crappy cold. But I just feel gross. The four hours of sleep I had last night didn't seem to help much, either. Hmmm.
So why is it that when I'm sick, I'm required to do everything I would regularly do if I were not sick? Hmmmm? And why is it that there seems to be a double standard when, for example, the male counterpart (ie: the husband) is sick?
Ah, who am I kidding? It's the guilt that makes the woman behave differently when she is sick than a man. If I were to lie down and nap or rest or inhale menthol rub or do other appropriate sickness-curing things, the guilt would tear at me and rule my thoughts. Women come by this naturally. It must be induced in a man. By a woman.
Let's talk about something different.
Just now, I was making cookies with Aidan. His three year-old little self was excited about the experience, so I let him do nearly everything. When he was stirring the batter, I instructed, "try not to let it spill!" "I'm not!" he retorted hotly. Indeed, he was not. I let him dump the flour in, and began to mix it myself, knowing that the young lad had not the strength nor the dexterity to wield the spatula in the thickening goo. In a spectacular display of hipocricy, I proceeded to spill flour upon both the table and my being. Aidan laughed and announced, "you got flour on your boooobies!!!" I couldn't help but laugh. Aidan studied the mess for a moment and then stated, "you have big boobies, huh?" This is not true, but I simply said, "Mommy has boobs, yep!" He reached forward, saying, "I want to touch those boobies!" A man truely made from his father's DNA.
He didn't understand when I deftly contorted my flour-covered self away from his little hands and told him that we don't touch other people's boobies because they are private parts. "I just want to touch them!" he declared. I laughed and once again tried to explaing the whole private parts thing.
"Oh" he said.
I spent a couple of really long, really introspective moments. Was I handling this right? Is there something else I should be doing to smooth the situation? Was I making him feel sad? Embarrassed? Confused?
"Let's eat the cookies now!" Aidan shouted with glee.
I was flooded with relief.
Geez, if I feel this way now, how am I going to handle the teenage years???

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Picture Test

Cute kid.


That's my Liam.

On my mind

There is so much monotony to life, isn't there? As I'm doing the third load of laundry, loading the dishwasher again, trying to catch a nap...I think, "this all seems so familiar..." Sometimes I get caught in the monotony of things. Especially in the mundane tasks of the day. And I start to ask all those age-old universal questions to do with the purpose of life, etc. etc.
Then my Liam, in his 4.5 month-old way, folds his little body into mine when I pick him up. Then he pulls away and looks into my eyes, smiling, saying "I love you" in such a clear way that my heart fills and my chest feels like it's going to explode.
That's why we do it all. For love.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

In the beginning...

So here I am again...try number two. I've proven to be underwhelmingly good at this blogging business. But I'm going to try again.
Let's see...where to begin? I'll tell you who I am first, I guess.
My name is Theresa. I'm 30 years old. I work for the government. Yep. Um....
I have a husband, Jim, and three kids: Caleb, 6, Aidan, 3, and Liam, 4.5 months. My brother lives with us in our little house. Life is busy.
I have various interesting talents including singing, burping very often due to reflux, and being able to communicate with the dead.
It's true, though. Just something that's hard to...bring up. Reveal. Explain.
So I guess I'll be writing about all of the above and then some. :)

Today is much like any other day. I'm on maternity leave so I stay home and take care of little Liam. Aidan goes to daycare most of the week (he stays home with us at least one day of each week) and Caleb is in school. Aidan loves daycare and because it's a french daycare, he is fluent in both languages now. A lot of people ask me why I have him in daycare while I'm at home, and the guilt of it plagues me a little (ah, there's nothing like the guilt of a mother). But it's true, he does love daycare. He has freinds there, and they do a ton of fun things. Also, it's a subsidized spot that took two years to get him into, so there's no way we're giving that up! And the french. It's good. And taking care of a baby and trying to keep a three year-old entertained is challenging to say the least. Aidan is happy! I'm happy!

So how come the guilt, huh? Why?



Halloween was fun. I'd have to say it was the most fun we've had on Halloween, actually. The kids were enthusiastic and polite, and looked so cute. Caleb was a tiger, and Aidan wore his new Batman pyjamas (complete with cape!). It was so funny to watch them...Caleb is and always has been shy. He needs a little push in most social situations to take part. He's a boy who takes after his Mama. Aidan, on the other hand, is Jim's son all the way. He's bold and charming and easy-going. He flew in and out of the stores, yelling, "tick or cheat!" and "tank-you!!!", charming the store clerks into giving him extra treats and whatnot. The kid is cute. Caleb did, I must say, manage to negotiate with a couple of the treat-givers, and was able to procure higher-quality treats than originally offered. He's smart, that one.
Liam was a good baby and was pleasant and smiley all night. Until we got in the car to go home. But that screamfest is another story...

I have a request for a psychic reading that I should pay attention to, since Liam is sleeping, and his customary 40 minutes is just about up. This one's giving me a bit of trouble...there's a block when I try to answer one of her questions. Just can't quite connect.

Ok off I go! I'm so proud of the long first post! Now watch me forget about this thing for weeks!