Crazy-ass family

You just can't make this stuff up

Saturday, December 31, 2005

...and a Happy New Year!

The kids are watching A Christmas Story as I type. Remember that one? Caleb is a bit perplexed by it. He didn't understand why the kid covets the rifle. Jeff explained that it's the Playstation of the 40's. Caleb gets it now. He also didn't understand Ralphie's reference to his father's prized, glowing leg lamp as "electric sex". I am ashamed to say that Jim and I dodged his questions about that reference by saying it"complicated". We've all enjoyed Caleb's comments about Ralph's "imaginating". Ah, the holidays. So fun.
So have I mentioned that we are vegetarians now? Yes. Perhaps I haven't, as the whole project has been balanced rather perilously on the tightrope of my husband's doubt. Happily, it is several weeks later, and all is going well! We've adjusted our diets and made certain that we're not endangering our health (easier than we thought), and that the missing meat protein is being adequately replaced by other, less dead-animal type protein (also much easier than we thought). Oh! And the kids! They love the veggie dogs. I honestly think that's what sealed it for Jim: Caleb declaring, "Hey! These are better than the other hot dogs!" Aidan thought so, too, until we told him they were made of vegetables.
Of course, we ate turkey on Christmas.
Just a few tips for burgeoning vegetarians in the making:
-The tuscan chicken pizza from Pizza Pizza that is SO awesome that it's made you actually like going to Pizza Pizza? NOT so good without the chicken.
-Beans ARE the magical fruit. My family is particularly magical lately.
-Tim Horton's veggie sandwiches are exemplary when compared with other fast food veggie sandwiches. Slap 'em on a croissant and add some swiss cheese, and they're downright satisfying.
I feel better, both physically and mentally. I feel...lighter! And I am lighter, too! My aunt called me "skinny" the other day! Imagine!
Well, I guess it's time for New Year's Resolutions again. Crap. I have a tough one this year. I resolve, resolutely and resignedly, to answer the phone when it rings. Most of the time. Yes! This means I'll have to re-train myself to hear the ring. It also means that I'll have to convince myself that answering the phone is possible when I'm doing something else. See, right now, the phone is dead last on my priority list. If I'm doing something else, it is harshly ignored. Oh, and I'm ALWAYS doing something else. Baby's hungry? Wants to be held? Dinner's cooking? I'm sitting on the couch staring into space? The ring goes unheard. In my defence, I must tell you that I regularly check the display to see if anyone's called, and I delight at listening to messages. I will most likely not return them, though. Because the only thing more difficult than picking up the phone to answer it is picking up the phone to actually CALL somebody. A daunting task. One which is most definitely not included in this year's resolution. If this whole phone-answering business goes well, I may resolve to return messages next year. But, just to be clear, the whole realm of actually calling someone without provocation...just to (ack!) chat (ew!) may be several years off.
While my progress may seem insignificant (and perhaps incredibly odd) to some, I feel quite good about my intentions.
That said, I would like to say Happy New Year to you all. May it be filled with laughter and light. And may you not feel it necessary to call me, especially if you are just testing my new resolve to answer the phone. Because that would just be cruel, people!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Crazy Days

Despite the quiet here on my blog, life in our house is pretty busy right now. The boys are home, so we spend a lot of the day trying to keep them busy. A daunting task. Oh! And today I just happened to glance at Caleb's school calendar, and much to our surprise, he has ALL OF NEXT WEEK off too.
Ok so it's confession time. We did something bad. Very, very bad. But simultaneously very, very fun:

Yes, that is a new, rather large TV. Do you see the crazed look in my husband's eyes? All of his dreams have finally come true. I still can't believe we got it. And the stereo. It was all on sale! $800 off! We've wanted one for so long and couldn't resist. But now our future shop cards are hurting. Lots. But we don't have to pay for a year!
Notice how defensive I have gotten? Growing up in poverty can do that to a person. You learn to do without and be ok with it. Somehow, though, now that I've gotten to a point where I can afford to have a little fun, I feel guilty about it! What's up with that?
In other, less interesting news, I've dyed my hair. It's dark brown and rather boring, but at least all that orangey crap is gone now.
Holy cow I am all hungry and stuff and therefore my brain has shut down several centers imperative to writing well. Therefore I will go start supper.
Have I said "Bah!" yet?

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Aidan: Mom! Invisible Bad Guy took my money!
Me: He did?
Aidan: Yeah! He took it right out of my pocket!
Me: Hmm. I didn't think you had any money...
Aidan: Oh. Will you give me some?


Jim: Aidan, why did you turn on the fan in the bathroom?
Aidan: Because I'm hot in my hair.


Me: Caleb, see that movie on the floor? That's Legend; it's awesome.
Caleb: Which one?
Me: The one with the devil on the front.
Caleb: (Points at the Titanic cover) This one?

Don't tell Kate.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Merry Christmas, Family

Dear crazy-ass family,

I love you! Christmas was wonderful. Jen, Ryan and Gage, spending yesterday with you was great, as usual. Awesome sweet potatoes, Ryan! And I had some of the apple pie last night before bed. YUM!

Mom, I didn't get to talk to you (thought that flute-playing in the background while you talked to Jeff was me!) but Jeff relayed your conversation to me. I'm so glad you enjoyed your day with Gram and Granddad.

Dad and Heather, it was nice to talk to you! I'm glad you liked your gift, Heather. I'm sorry you didn't get yours yet, Dad. It's eBay's fault!

In-laws, your thoughtfulness and generosity this year was amazing. We love the books...the ship kite is AMAZING. We missed spending Christmas day with you very much.

Merry Christmas to all! And, in the spirit of giving, may I present the following:

Top Five Holiday Conversation Killers

5) Mention, while conversing with your brother, that you feel like you're on your period, but it's hard to tell for sure since there is an absence of blood due to breastfeeding. This anguished statement will be met with a blank stare. For information's sake, I will say that going on to tell your brother that having this conversation with your sister is much different than having it with him will not elicit further response. More blank stares are to be had.

4) Directly upon being praised by your wife for excellent gift selection and subsequent procurement, suggest immediate retirement to the bedroom for the purposes of physical satisfaction. While this may be a possible, and even exciting, suggestion for a young couple who does not have three children (one of whom was, at that moment, sleeping in said bedroom), you must be on crack to think it plausible today.

3) Call your son to inform him that yet another gift for his wife (the third, in fact) has been discovered unsent, and will be mailed with the others. And then hang up before your son has a chance to respond. Jim decided to voice his complaint that I receive more gifts from his parents than he does. How silly! He seems to be a tad upset that I have even more on the way. I just want to state quite firmly that I, on the other hand, believe that my in-laws are EXCELLENT and thoughtful gift givers. And may I delicately suggest that Jim's concerns do not affect next year's gift giving? To upset the present distribution of gifts would be akin to upsetting the balance of the universe! Ok, maybe not the universe, but ours for sure. In-laws, just one more thing: I LOVE YOU!

2) Suddenly interrupt pleasant conversation during Christmas dinner to yell, "Why won't you have sex with me?!" at your husband. Waving your hands in the air and masking your face in desperation bolsters the effect of this statement dramatically. I would like to state that, while this little tidbit did indeed kill the conversation at the table, it was also an excellent way to make your sister (me) nearly pee her pants. My brother in-law's obviously embarrassed reaction nearly sealed the deal on my involuntary bladder evacuation, but I managed to hold it together. I don't remember the last time I laughed that hard.

1) Say, "I don't want to talk to anybody", with stress on the "anybody" while you're having the first phone conversation with your daughter in two years. I took no offence to this, of course. But conversation did take a sharp decline after this statement was made. No worries, Dad; your earlier compliments on my writing skills prevented any hard feelings. Incidentally, I am very much looking forward to your blog. Have you thought of a title yet? How about, "The Hare Who Lost His Spectacles"? Or, if you're in the market for something less abstract, may I suggest, "The Ponderings of Perry"? I like the alliteration.

Family, our life together is not perfect. We sometimes lack sensitivity and tact. Occasionally, we fart in each other's presence. Very, very often, we burp in each other's presence. In fact, we often answer the phone that way. We make crude jokes and delight in taking pictures of each other looking mentally altered. But there is one thing we are never at a loss for. One thing I am enormously thankful for: our humour. We are always laughing. It gets us through hard times and makes good times so much better.
I love you all so much! You can change your personalities, your life direction, your looks...but never change your humour.

Merry Christmas, and here's to another year together, laughing.



Friday, December 23, 2005

Busy Day

Today was the children's Christmas party at Jim's work. When we all woke up we immediately began the hectic business of readying ourselves and the three boys for the day. We were in the midst of this chaos, the tension already palpable, when Aidan asked quietly from the table, "Daddy, what do you want for Christmas?" My heart automatically softened at his sweetness, and the tone of the day was set. Somehow, everything after that was cake - hectic or not.

Liam was enthralled with the crowd of people, especially the kids. Santa made an appearance and handed out gifts to the kids:

Observe the rapt anticipation on Jim and Liam's faces as they await Liam's name to be called for his gift:

After the party, walked around the mall because we are insane. Actually, it wasn't as bad as I'd feared, and we were able to get baby food and other necessities without incident. AND Caleb insisted on standing in line to see Santa. Guess what? There were only two other people in line. After Santa took a shockingly long time with the three teenage girls on his knee, the wait was very short, and Liam, that sweet baby, woke up to be in the picture! I'll post it once we get it; hopefully tomorrow.
While we were waiting, Aidan spotted the teenagers' bookbags on the floor, and immediately commenced with an odd shuffling motion that involved much shoulder shrugging. He saw my confused look and said, with a roll of his eyes, "I have to take of my Pokemon bookbag, Mom!" Ah, he is so responsible. It matters not that he wasn't wearing a bookbag. It was still practical to remove it before he sat on Santa's lap. When the pictures were taken and Santa was satisfyingly assaulted by our children who fired their Christmas lists at him at warp speed, we were off. Aidan tugged on my coat and said, "Mom! Santa didn't give me any pokemon!" Then, as an afterthought, "OH NO! I FORGOT MY POKEMON BOOKBAG!" I glanced toward the Santa line, which was amazingly long now. "Um, can't you use your imagination and say you've got it?" I asked. He looked at me like I was on crack. Jim saved the day with, "Aidan, I see it on those boxes up ahead!" The child rocketed off and retrieved the imaginary bag, relieved.

Incidentally, here's what I brought to the party:

Thanks to Krista for the Chocolate shortbread pinwheels recipe.
Oh! And we picked up the pictures of Liam we got taken at Sears (sorry for the quality; they're pictures of pictures, ya dig?):

Couldn't you just consume him? Any of our parents, in-laws or grandparents reading this can rest assured that they will receive some pictures post-haste.

All in all, it was quite a day. I am going to drink tea now. And perhaps consume several cookies.
Merry Christmas Eve Eve!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Some Disturbing News

Caleb, home from school with a fever today, has informed me that Liam did not, as we had formerly believed, come out of my vagina; he came out of Caleb's.
I think Caleb needs some more tylenol.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I Love You, Jen

Eve has inspired me to write about Jen, my sister.
Jen's two years younger than me and is my bestest friend. Growing up, our sole purpose in life was to make each other laugh. And to torment my brother (and later to make him laugh, too). Jen gets me like nobody else does, even though we're very different in some very fundamental ways. It's always her I call when I'm upset or when I'm happy. When nobody else makes me feel like I'm understood (Jim does try very hard!), I can always go to her.
When we were little, we loved to dance. We made up dance routines to Michael Jackson's Beat It (um, does that title make anyone else cringe? Or laugh? Or both?), and frequently entertained neighbours and passers-by by waltzing across the front yard, often falling down, a heap of giggles. One time we spent hours doing headstands on Jen's bed against the wall. I threw up seven times the next day. Interestingly, it was the last time I threw up for 17 years.
We've been through so much together - a mentally ill father, divorce, an eating disorder...we've shared some problems and helped each other through others. When she made some decisions as a teenager that scared me, I lost it. We didn't talk for two years.
Now, I've learned to appreciate our differences. We don't fight anymore. Sometimes we shake our heads at each other, but we always respect each other. It's not worth it to fight.
Our similarities are worth noting, too. Physically, we are eerily similar. We both have scoliosis, hiatus hernias, severe reflux, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and various mental dysfunctions, like anxiety and panic disorder, and the always entertaining obsessive compulsive disorder. We're both emetophobes, too. And we both have a totally goofy sense of humour. Jen can make me nearly pee my pants just by pulling a face. Or cry just by telling me I'm a good mother.
I'm so thankful for you, sister. You drive me crazy. You make me laugh. You touch my heart with your generosity and baffle me with your all-or-nothing attitude. I feel lucky to be loved by you. And you know what? If, someday, you decide you don't love me anymore...or you make some decision I can't agree with? If you move far away? If you get a sex change or become a nun? If you lose your sense of humour...your drive...your self? I will still love you. You will have that, always. That is my promise to you.

I've Been Reading

Lately I've been letting my anxiety get to me. I have anxiety and panic disorder, which is a fancy way to say that I'm a bit freaked out about things all the time. No big deal; I think everyone in my family has it. But sometimes it gets the best of me. The past month or so, full of typical winter blahs and viruses, has taken it's toll. I worry all the time. About what? About the kids being sick. About me being sick. About dying. About never feeling the sun on my face again. About throwing up (major one for me), or having a fever, or not being able to take care of my baby. I worry a lot. It honestly takes up way too much of my time and sanity. And YES, I know it's ridiculous. But it's not something I have control over.
Then, I read this family's story, and my heart just hurts for them. My problems aren't problems; they're obsessions. I am so, so very blessed in my life. Maybe you can go visit and read Annika's story, too. They could use some kind words and thoughts this Christmas season.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Oh, the weather outside is...well, it's kind of nice, actually!

My crazy husband decided it would be fun to go to the Byward Market today, so we bundled up the three boys and set out. That sentence is so misleading. If I were to be very honest, it would have included a couple of bathroom trips, feeding the baby, arguing with the boys a LOT, an excruciating discussion with Caleb about what toys he could bring in the car, and at least three exclamations from me that went something like, "Why in the name of God do you think it would be fun to go out seven days before Christmas with these three???"
But I digress.
We got out the door, actually found a parking space in the market, and had sandwiches and salads at the Byward Cafe. Liam entertained all present by making comical faces over his squash. Apparently, it's much better with cereal. Jim took Aidan to the bathroom as we were finishing up, and he sang to the patrons of the restaurant as he returned. I noticed then that he had been running around the wet, filthy floor without his boots on, the stinker.
We spent way too much money on chocolate and treats at the candy store. We got chocolate-covered marshmallows and blueberries, chocolate caramels, oreo chocolate bombs, and orange creams. Mmmmmm. We then wandered the Rideau Center in search of our last few gifts. It went pretty well, considering the potential for disaster that shopping with three kids entails. Sears was our last stop, and where Caleb and Aidan decided to sit down on the floor, fatigued, and Liam decided to pee all over his sleeper and snowsuit as I was changing him in the nursing room. Caleb's claims that his legs didn't want to walk anymore found sympathy with me; mine didn't either! Jim came to Liam's rescue with a newly-purchased sleeper and we were off. Besides discovering that Liam's soother was missing (egads!), and Caleb's complaints that he was bored, our trip back to the car was fine.
Now home, the boys are fed and full of chocolate desserts, and in the bath upstairs, and I'm winding down. Amazing how an outing that would be uneventful without kids becomes so...challenging...with kids!
But so much more fun, too! Liam, of course, was smiled at and whispered over. Aidan charmed guests at the restaurant by playing peekaboo with whoever would look his way. We enjoyed cookies and pretzels and got some of our favorite popcorn. And the weather was crisp and bright.
I hear Liam crying now. We're having breastfeeding issues. Meaning he doesn't want 'em. Well, he does, but smiling up at me with milk running down the sides of his face is more fun. As is looking at the ceiling fan, or whipping his head around to try and place that noise he just heard. The distracted stage...ah, how I remember it with Caleb and Aidan. Caleb was particularly fun, as he enjoyed clamping down hard with those gums of his before whipping his head around. Oh, the pain. I cringe at the memory.
Must (attempt to) feed baby...happy Sunday night to all.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Wish You Were Here

There's a bit of snow outside. Just a dusting, really. Confetti from the heavens.

Hmmm. As you can see, it is still falling.

Light and frozen,

White and pure

Snow-covered ground shall live no more

Sleep 'neath your blanket

Heavy, still,

Regenerate, regain your will

In spring, awake! Reach t'ward the sun

Renew your life,

Your slumber done

Until then, dream in icy soil,

While up above, we freeze and toil

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


So, we got Dance, Dance Revolution and WOW it's a workout. I mean, I am truly out of shape. I feel like I'm going to die before one song is even over. Oh, and if you're thinking about getting it, I have two things to tell you: 1) It's a great workout, and 2) YOU WILL LOOK LIKE A COMPLETE IDIOT PLAYING THIS GAME. You tense up and flail about, limbs akimbo. Akimbo! But you won't care.

It's especially fun watching Aidan try and play. He's got no clue what he's doing, so he jumps and runs and occasionally takes a break to turn up the volume. He rarely hits the right arrow at the right time, so when he does, we cheer really loud and he gets all puffed up and proud and forgets to look at the TV.

Jim's Great

Me: (in reference to the hologram Christmas tree on Bones) Look, Jim! The tree is all glittery! It glitters! It has all that glitter and whatnot!
Jim: Glitter, huh Tree?
Me: Yeah. "Glitter" is one of those words you always want to use, but there's rarely an appropriate occasion, you know?
Jim: Sorta like "fart-knocker?"
Me: Yeah, Jim. Just like "fart-knocker."

This and That

First, is it sick that I am thrilled to be visited by so many people searching for the lyrics to "Silent Fart"? To all of you googlers out there who are visiting me for that very reason, I am pleased to be of assistance. Oh, and you ROCK!

Also, my sister is very talented in the graphics arena. This morning I decided to be all creative and take cute pictures of Liam for the Christmas season. I sent the best off to Jim, who remarked that they were awesome except for the glaringly obvious scratch marks all over the poor kid's head. The boy likes to scratch. So, off went the pics to Jen, and voila! No scratch marks, and nice effects to boot. Jen, you ROCK too!

That one reminds me of one I took of Aidan in the summer (ah, sweet summer...why have you forsaken me?) with real bubbles:

Do you see? Do you see that there is no snow in that picture? It's freaking cold outside right now, people, and I have a touch of cabin fever. I'm making Jim leave me the van tomorrow so Liam and I can go shopping. Woo! And I may have his pictures taken at Sears. I've resisted so far, but he's 6 months now and I did it long before this with Caleb and Aidan.

Eek...I wonder if they'll be able to touch up the scratches?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

...and Here's One of Caleb

Caleb felt left out, so I did one of him: Sorry; it looks pretty light on here. And if it looks odd, it's because it's Caleb looking serious, and that is a rare event indeed. So I forced him to look solomn while holding his picture to prove that he CAN look like that:

This was a gargantuan effort for him; you can see a smile just bursting to get out!

Ok on with my motherly duties.


Sometimes I draw:

That's supposed to be Aidan. Caleb says it doesn't look like him at all. Ah well.

Caleb sent a letter off to Santa:

I particularly like his fine attempt at bribery: I love you. I am leaving cookies for you with milk. Are you going to give me presents?

I have taught him well.

And I'll leave you with a cute one of Liam:

Having a lazy day today as you may be able to tell by this post. Brain. Foggy. Have a great day!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Ok Now We're Excited

How was your weekend? Ours was nice; we finally got our tree and the kids had a great time decorating it:

We can be found drooling over the presents quite often. And Santa hasn't even come yet! Now that the tree is up I think the Christmas spirit is alive and well in our house...we're all smiling and there's an air of excitement that's nearly palpable. We usually go home to Nova Scotia for the holidays, but this year we'll be home. Three young kids are challenging to travel with in any case, and the thought of driving 18 hours in a van stuffed to the knees in presents was daunting. So, we were glad to go home in October for Thanksgiving instead.

While we were decorating last night, we decided to leave the garland off the tree after much discussion with Caleb, who really wanted it on. This morning, he and Aidan examined the tree and exclaimed over its beauty, and Caleb remarked that it probably would have been too full if we'd put the garlic on. This had Jim and I laughing, especially because no matter how much we corrected him, Caleb repeatedly said that we'd left the garlic off. I'm glad we did.

My sister Jen and brother-in-law Ryan came for a visit yesterday, bringing with them my delicious little nephew, Gage.

Isn't he edible?

While the boys disappeared into the basement to play games with the kids, Jen and I practiced Christmas music on our flutes. Amazingly, it was the first time that we'd ever played together. It was cool that she bounces along with the rhythm as I do. We BOTH look like dorks! We were laughing at each other so much we could barely play. I think we may be able to play one song together by Christmas, though, and with more practice, we'll be playing all sorts of stuff. I've ordered a wooden Irish Celtic flute, and anxiously await its arrival.

I think that's all for now; Caleb is home today and tomorrow again because of a strike, so I'll have to think of some interesting projects to do with him. We'll be making cookies this afternoon, if Liam lets us (separation anxiety, remember?). He beckons now, so off I go!

ps: Check out Caleb's wacky hair. Hmmmm, maybe that's something to do while he's home...

Friday, December 09, 2005

Sticky Situation

Liam is suddenly very sticky.
Remember that post I wrote? The one where I gushed and bragged that Liam was putting himself to sleep? Separation anxiety has ripped that pretty gift from me with merciless brutality.
With the onset of said separation anxiety, Liam seems to have had an invisible, yet powerful type of human adhesive slathered all over him. He desires only to be in my arms. The adhesive, a velcro-like substance when in contact with myself, acts as a repellant to any sort of device in which a baby can be placed, such as an exersaucer, an activity mat, a swing, or a high chiar. When placed in any of these devices, my child instantly begins flailing wildly and yelling in obvious distress. The only cure? Me. Oh, and if he does happen to be distracted enough for me to walk away for a minute to say, make a sandwich or pull out my hair, his eyeballs remain glued upon my person. If I walk out of veiwing range, immediate screaming follows.

I am tired.

In other news, he tried his first finger food today. Baby Mum-Mums are good; they're little rice wafers that melt in the baby's mouth. I'm not sure if he enjoyed them, but he was curious and was a good sport about it all:

Though he seemed to like his bee better:

All of that said, Liam is in especially good sorts when I am around (as long as I am within touching distance). All I have to do is look at him and he jumps and squirms at the thought of being touched or picked up. He loves being tickled lately, and all I have to do is take a deep breath and say AAAAAHHHH and he starts to laugh in anticipation of my fingers scrabbling over his belly or armpit:

There's no way a person can deny that face.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

I Love Movies

The first person who can email me the names the movies that the following five dialogues came from will win a fabulous prize! Ok maybe not fabulous. But thoughtful! These are from some of my favorite movies...see if you can guess them. If you do, I'll send you five of my family's favorite recipies, hand-written with love by moi. AND you will forever reside in my heart as a kindred soul.
(Jen and Jeff, you are not eligible to win!)

Movie 1)

Inigo: Fezzik, are there rocks ahead?
Fezzik: If there are, we'll all be dead!
Vizzini: No more rhyming now! I mean it!
Fezzik: Anybody want a peanut?

Movie 2)

Sarah: Through dangers untold, and hardships unnumbered, I have fought my way here to the castle beyond the Goblin City to take back the child that you have stolen.

Movie 3)

Darkness: Ah Blix. Come closer. Are you not the most loathsome of my goblins?
Blix: Truly master.
Darkness: And is your heart not black and full of hate?
Blix: Black as midnight. Black as pitch. Blacker than the foulest witch.

Movie 4)

Joseph: I tried to prove myself to you, But I know nothing of Books, or Alphabets, or Sun, or Moon, or... All I know is Joseph Loves Shannon

Movie 5)

(This one's a bit more obscure)

Insane Prinsoner: The Mouse? He left our house. No mouse today, he's run away. To ease the pain, he... he's down the drain.

Good luck! I'll announce the big winner on Monday, December 12th.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Their Brains Work in Mysterious Ways

Aidan: Dad, what you listenin' to?
Jim: Harry Potter music.

(The song finishes and a new one begins, this one from Star Wars)

Aidan: What happened to Harry Potter? I want Harry Potter!
Jim: Well, you know, the guy who made the Star Wars music made the Harry Potter music, too!

Aidan ponders this for a moment.

Aidan: Dad? What did Darth Vader do with Harry Potter?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


So, Liam. You've had you're first taste of peas. What do you think?

Oh, I see. Would you like to try a little bit more, just to make sure?

Oh dear. Ok. Well let's try some pears!

Oh! You seem to enjoy pears. More?

Well aren't you a happy little sweetie-pie? Aren't you Mommy's pretty boy? Such a good little monkey! Booby-dooby-doo! ABOOBOOBOOBOOBOO? Yes!

You're such a sweetheart. No more peas for a while, then, huh?

Cruel Temptation

See this?

These are my Christmas gifts from Jim. I knew last night that he was wrapping them after I went to bed, and I can only assume he left the box here, on the dresser, so he wouldn't wake the baby by putting it in the closet.

I walk by the dresser a lot. My fingers want to touch. My arms want to lift and shake. Last night, I told Jim that I don't care about gifts for me...I was just looking forward to giving the gifts that I'd gotten for everyone else.

Last night, that was true!

One of the Many Reasons I Love Coldplay

Fix You - Coldplay

When you try your best but you don't succeed
When you get what you want but not what you need
When you feel so tired but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

And high up above or down below
When you're too in love to let it go
But if you never try you'll never know
Just what you're worth

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Tears stream down on your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down your face
And I

Tears stream down on your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down your face
And I

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you.

Doesn't that just get you? Like, deep down inside?

Monday, December 05, 2005

It's Like A Miracle!

I know I mentioned this in a previous entry, but I am just so excited that I must elaborate, expand and clarify.
Liam can put himself to sleep.
It's true!
What? You say that's no big deal? Let's examine the situation. Caleb, born seven weeks early, was a horrible sleeper. If he could get away with it, he simply didn't. Well, not for longer than 1.5 - 2 hours. And when he learned to sit up, he'd often fall asleep that way, so determined was he not to give in to slumber. He refused to sleep in a crib, and although we had a briefly successful period with his playpen, he slept with us for the majority of his first sixteen months. At that point, we moved him to a toddler bed, and rejoiced at the success of this risky manoeuvre. By the time he was two, we were all enjoying full nights of sleep. Incidentally, Caleb is a wonderful sleeper now.
Aidan slept in a crib, but only after much rocking and singing and head-patting. Every naptime and bedtime, I'd sing Dreaming My Dreams by the Cranberries to him:

All the things you said to me today,
Change my perspective in every way.
These things count to mean so much to me,
Into my faith, you and your baby.

It's out there. It's out there. It's out there.
If you want me I'll be here.

I'll be dreaming my dreams with you.
I'll be dreaming my dreams with you.
And there's no other place,
That I'd lay down my face.
I'll be dreaming my dreams with you...

He'd drift off, only to wake several times in the night. Even now, at three, he takes ages to get to sleep and still wakes at night.
When Liam was born, I fantasized that he would be one of those babies that you could just put down at naptime or bedtime and he's just...go to sleep. Hahahahahaha! I know, I know. Ambitious, but a girl can dream! So I worked on it. I've never been a "cry in out" type, but when sleep time would come, I'd feed the lad, give him a snuggle and them lay him in his hammock with some soft words and a caress on his cheek. He'd look at me like I'd lost it and commence to fuss. Or cry. So I'd sit beside his hammock, and pat him, talking soothingly and praying. Sometimes it would take an hour and a half, sometimes it would take fifteen minutes. Other times it didn't work at all. Our vacation back home to Nova Scotia in October knocked down all that I had built with one fell blow.
Since then, I'd sort of given up. I held him when it was time for him to sleep, and it worked well until a couple weeks ago, when he begun to arch his back and flail his arms each time I'd try to snuggle him to sleep. Unfailingly, he'd rip his susie (a.k.a. pacifier) out and try desperately to see something to our left. What could he want? There was the closet door, slightly ajar, letting out a bit of light. That must be what was so fascinating. Hmmm. Nope, he's looking...over...there. Toward his...bed? Reaching for...his bed? Naw, can't be. It took several of these sessions for me to clue in and just lay him in his bed. Do you know what happened? He put his thumb in his mouth. His eyes drifted to half-mast. He sighed and moaned happily. He went to sleep.
I spontaneously combusted.
As I tip-toed from the room, barely breathing, I thought, "Surely this will not happen again! Surely I have been blessed this one, rare time with the gift of a self-comforting baby and I'm meant to do something meaningful with this time like volunteer work or maybe laundry...?" Well, guess what?
It continues to happen! Naptime! Through the night! I've discovered that the key is to NOT let him have his susie. See, when he has his susie, he grabs it and flails it about violently. Then he bites it and chews it and yells and even if he does fall asleep, said pacifier gets lodged uncomfortably 'neath his tiny neck or skull. Without the susie, the thumb is the pacifier. Not only does the thumb effectively plug the orifice regularly used to scream, it does not get lost. Nor does it become irretrievably lodged behind one's neck or skull. It is easy to find. You cannot toss it about or flail it violently, as it is quite consistently attached to the body and therefore does not wave or flop so dramatically.
Don't get me wrong; the child still has sleep issues. His naps are forty minutes long. All four of them. And he wakes up twice a night to feed. But after he feeds, I put him back to bed! And he sleeps! And so do I! Nirvana!
I'm still holding my breath when I leave the bedroom, just waiting for the Universe to figure out that this is me, this is Theresa whose babe is going to sleep on his own. Theresa doesn't get to have that!
Until the Universe figures it out, though, I do! I do have that! And I am eternally grateful.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Joy To The World! Now THIS is a Christmas Craft

All this talk about crafts has prompted me to follow-up on my promise to locate my South Park Christmas tree ornament collection. Well, I made Jim find it. Details, details! Here it is!

That's the front of the card/ornament holder. Here's the inside:

I had forgotten that I did Mr. Hanky and Mr. Hat. Now is that not crafty? And don't you wish that YOU had a set for YOUR tree? C'mon, I know you're wishing that right now.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Aidan Seems Preoccupied With Unpleasant Odours.

Aidan came down for his nightly pee last night, and as I helped him wash his hands, the following interlude ensued:

Me: Oh! Your hair smells soooooo good!
Aidan: That's because I had a bath.
Me: Mmmmmmm it smells delicious!
Aidan: Well you shoulda smelled my muscles before I had a bath! My muscles smelled BAD!
Me: ... (I could not talk as I had burst into a fit of giggles)
Aidan: What?

My Brother, The Author

I picked on Jeff a lot when we were kids. And when Jen was old enough, we ganged up on him and picked on him together. Mostly, we were mean. Sure, there were moments of solidarity, and there was never any physical abuse (unless you count some pretty intense tickle torture), but mostly Jeff was an outcast within the family.

It wasn't like that from the beginning. When Jeff was born, I remember looking at his fat little cheeks, and the way his thick eyelashes lay on those cheeks as he slept, and feeling my stomach flip and my heart skip a beat. Looking back, and with the experience I have now, I know it was a maternal love I found that day. At four, I wanted him to be my baby.

But he was Mom's. And, despite her denial, he was clearly the favourite from day one. It's ok; I'm not jealous anymore! Neither is Jen. But back then, I was in turmoil over the displacement of love. Jeff was cherished and doted on. He was an easy baby; quiet and sweet, and Jen and I were loud and opinionated, and WOW did we act out when we were feeling a little needy for some attention.

So, the favouritism is the root of why Jeff was picked on so much. The other reason is that he was such an easy target. Always docile, never confrontational, he was the perfect person to take out some emotional angst on. As the oldest, I was blamed for Jen and Jeff's misbehaviour, but Jeff felt my wrath later...and it was worse than Mom's any day.

I'm so sorry for that, Jeff.

But that maternal love for my brother has never been quelled, which may explain why he's lived with me for the majority of the time he's been away from home. He's been through a lot in this life, and the obstacles held to him may have seemed insurmountable to some...but he is beating them. He makes the decision every day to live his life instead of curl up and wait as it passes. And I am so proud!

Two nights ago, I ordered his first book. It's not a piece of fluff; it's about 600 pages long, and it's complex. But the boy can write, and I'm so excited to finally hold the finished work in my hands and read it in printed form. No, he hasn't been picked up by a publisher yet; he's got his book on Lulu, where it can be downloaded or printed by interested readers. But it will be picked up! I know it will. You know what the coolest part is? He's got two more finished. He's starting on the fourth and final book of the series now.

Somehow, when I was a little girl, I convinced myself that I was better than Jeff. Maybe it was because it felt like others thought he was better than me...a protection thing. Sadly, that sort of stuck with me. It was always natural to act as though I was superior to him. It lessened over the years, although the tendency toward competition between the two of us is still going strong.
Last year, Jeff went through a series of life-changing events, and I had an epiphany: Jeff is NOT just my baby brother. He is a separate person, and independant entity in this world. I could not hold on to him and protect him anymore. My superiority complex, or what was left of it, dissolved. I am an observer of his life now, and an admirer. Jeff isn't just my kid brother; he's my friend. And he's a damn fine human being all around.

Crap. I guess Mom was right.