Saturday, April 30, 2011

So, we aren't moving

Yeah. So all that talk about moving? Scratch that.

Our landlord posted our place on Grapevine and hasn’t had any luck selling it. If you ask us, it’s way over-priced. Especially because there are exact same places in our neighbourhood on sale on the same site listed much cheaper.

It’s been quite a roller coaster ride this last month. From being told we need to be out within two months, to preparing the house for showings, to talking with a mortgage broker, to crunching numbers. A whole lot of unneeded stress.

Our landlord has asked us to sign a lease for 10 more months and after much debate and anguish we have decided to take her up on her offer. Believe me, if we could buy, we would. There is nothing worse that agreeing to stay to help pay someone’s else’s mortgage off. I get that.

But the truth is, we aren’t ready to buy. We aren’t in a position to, YET.

Even though we are outgrowing this space and would love more room, we like it here. Just 10 more months to get our ducks all in a row and I think we’ll be ready.

This also means that I get to spruce up our place a little more since we had it painted in January. I’ve put my home decorating ideas on hold lately, but since we will be staying for a while longer I think it’s safe to continue. I also have some ideas to make more room here and so I have a few projects on the go now.

Stay tuned!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Queen Ewizabit and our little prince

E has been obsessed with money lately.  This morning I dropped off a crying child because he just wanted "money" and I wouldn't let him have it.

"Money! Money! Money!" he screams.

Yeah buddy, I'd love to have some too.

It started when he noticed the big bowl of spare change in the closet. He got a hold of some of them one day and has been relentless since.  Out of sight, out of mind has not been working for this particular issue.

E studies the coins and can now point out the "duck" on the loonie, the "sail boat" on the dime and his favourite, the "queen" on the penny.

"Queen Ewizabit", actually.

So you can imagine the thrill this morning when I turned the TV on at 6am to watch the Royal Wedding. Cuddled under the blankets with us we had our own little commentator - in toddler speak.

Me: Look honey, it's the Royal Wedding.

E:  Robal wedbing, Mommy? Look all the people. That boy singing? That the queen, mommy?

Me: You're right! That's Queen Elizabeth.

E: Queen Ewizabit, Mommy?

Hubby: That's right buddy, just like Mommy.

E: You a Queen, Mommy?

Hubby: Yes, Buddy. Mommy is the Queen. And you are our little prince.


Our little prince in his prince outfit the day he was born

Thursday, April 28, 2011

My sister came to visit

On E’s birthday last week my youngest sister, M, came to visit. M is 5 years my junior and finished school at the University of Victoria. We hadn’t seen her in nearly 8 months.

I left work a little early and picked her up from the airport. I happily greeted her in baggage claim, holding a sign with her name on it for some laughs.

We had some great chats in the evenings. Ones about our unique family and ones that only family can relate to and laugh about. She was great company especially since Hubby was away for a couple days for work.

We made some wholesome meals together and talked about our healthy eating adventures. We made Easter dinner desserts and I ate too much chocolate. Don’t even ask me how she is on a sugar free diet right now. The brave, brave soul.

She was also A LOT of help. Like the kind of help that sweeps and mops the floor while you are at work (in jogging pants and my new high heels, at that). And the kind of help that washes all of the dishes while I put little E to bed. And the kind of help that takes your dog out during the day for a good run (in the pouring rain). Ah sweet, sweet help. How I appreciated the help.

The best part was my very own private yoga yin class on my living room floor our last night together. Complete with chanting music in the background, dimmed lights and a lit candle and yoga mats. It was my first time ever doing yoga and I told my sister, the aspiring yoga teacher, that I believed her. And we laughed until we couldn't breathe. But really, I’ve fallen for everything yoga and it’s something that I have been wanting to dive into for a long time now. Even more so since she moved out to Victoria and calls telling me about her experiences and now that I’ve experienced it.

We are similar, M and I, in many ways. The summer before E was born she lived with us in Ottawa and we went to the gym and played soccer together and it was awesome. Recently, she tossed around the idea of some day maybe moving back to Ottawa and I think that would be grand.

My sister came to visit and I wish she could have stayed.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday {A Big Boy Hair Cut}

Before and after pictures taken Saturday morning and late Saturday afternoon.  I swear they were taken on the same day and not two years apart. It's amazing what a haircut can do.

BEFORE

AFTER
I think he may have just graduated from 'little E' to 'E'.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Health Card Woes and a Rash

A newborns health card is valid for two years before you have to renew it. Little E just turned two. Guess what I forgot to do on time?

The renewal forms came to us over two months before his birthday and I filed them somewhere. Then with house showings this past month, I hid them somewhere. Somewhere that I finally dug up a week before his birthday and realized my huge parenting fail. I sent them away for renewal immediately, but they take four weeks to process.

I couldn't believe I forgot about these forms.  I've always been very diligent in any paperwork required for registration,  insurance, etc.

I've never (knock on wood) had to take little E to the hospital or to the clinic for unscheduled appointments. I've never (knock on wood) had to call TeleHealth. But when his health card is invalid for a few weeks, of course something was bound to come up, right?

It started with a couple tiny pimples under his armpit that I didn't think much of. But then as the days passed the group of tiny pimples grew and continued down his side and onto his tummy. Since we had been doing a trial with soy products I thought it was a reaction so I cut the soy out. I was preparing a post all about how the soy trial had failed us.

Days passed and the rash kept spreading. The tiny spots under his armpit were growing and were getting redder. I called TeleHealth on Wednesday, which had been 4 days since the rash started. The nurse on the phone couldn't come to any conclusions so it was suggested I go to a clinic within the next 2-3 days. I explained to her the pickle I was in she suggested I contact the clinic beforehand to make sure they would accept him.

I went a step further and called OHIP for their suggestion. They said it depended on the clinic, but that a hospital HAS TO take you. Our clinic told me over the phone that they could not accept an expired health card so off to CHEO we went on Good Friday morning.

I felt terrible waiting in line seeing the sick children around us who visibly needed help. I felt like we were taking up their time for a stupid reason. But then something funny happened. Immediately after going through Triage 1 we were called to Triage 2. Then a nurse called for an isolated room for a possible case of shingles. Yikes!

Nurses came by our room and ogled over his rash. Each of them voicing their opinions. It didn't look like shingles or like anything contagious, they said.

We kept ourselves busy with a sticker book, flash cards and snacks that I brought. A nurse also gave us a goody bag of play dough, stickers, crayons and some pictures to colour. Little E was in good spirits the whole time.

Not liking the bracelet. "Take it off please Mommy?"
 We waited 4 hours and 15 minutes before a Resident Doctor came to see us. She still wasn't quite sure what is was so we waited another 25 minutes for a second opinion from another Resident Doctor.

In the end they decided it was a skin infection. A hair follicle was somehow irritated and some bacteria got inside it and an infection started. We left with a prescription for an antibiotic cream to apply twice a day for a week. Four days later now, it has almost disappeared.

Although, I felt terrible at the time, I'm actually happy I went to CHEO. The 4 hours and 45 minute hospital visit actually didn't bother me at all. I knew we weren't a priority and little E had a lot of fun exploring the room and the new toys. We were able to get two different opinions and I didn't leave there with any questions. I'm not sure I would be able to say that if I went to the drop-in clinic.

I guess everything happens for a reason. However, many lessons were learned that Good Friday.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Dinner Diaries and Easter Sunday Photos

This is what we are eating this week.

Monday - left over turkey sandwiches on whole wheat pita and salad
Tuesday - bbq chicken and pasta salad
Wednesday - red lentil soup and salmon cakes
Thursday - homemade burgers on the bbq, quinoa salad
Friday - bbq ribs, sweet potato fries, corn, casear salad

One of my favourite blogs to follow along is a peak inside the fishbowl. I played along with her photo challenge at Christmas and couldn't resist trying it again this Easter. Here is my attempt to take a picture every hour, on the top of the hour, Easter Sunday. My first picture was at 7am when we left Ottawa and the last picture was at 5pm on the highway back to Ottawa. I missed taking pictures of our 2nd dinner because it was just starting to get tiresome and my camera was acting up again. I really need a new camera.

7am - On time for departure. Not a happy camper, but at least he has his mini stick.






8am - still on route. Over half way there.




9am - Waiting on the dock for the boat to come.




10am - The Easter Bunny gets busy hiding eggs.




11am - he knows exactly what to do




12 noon - a brand new trampoline. Zip it up and let them go.





1pm - the great Easter Egg Hunt Team Challenge






2pm - too busy chowing down to take a picture. I can't believe I didn't take a picture of my desserts! Just visualize a lot of chocolate and candy.



3pm - waiting for the ferry again.



4pm - the ferry is delayed. Still waiting.






5pm - on the highway again.



Friday, April 22, 2011

Have a Ball Birthday Party

Here's a little recap of little E's birthday party last weekend.

Birthday boy!
We threw around a lot of different ideas for his party and in the end decided on some fun at Andrew Haydon Park to accommodate everyone. We wanted our family and close friends as well as little E's little friends to attend and numbers were getting high. A free party in the park was just the ticket.
 
As it turned out, none of our family could make it, but we enjoyed the morning with little E's friends and our close friends. We were especially happy that his godparents could come and play! The morning was freezing so a few stayed home, but at least the rain held off until we were leaving and we didn't have to call off the whole party!
 
The theme around the party was "Come Have a Ball".  Little E loves playing with all kinds of sports balls so I picked up some extra and let them loose in the park for the children to play with. Instead of loot bags for the kids I picked up some beach balls that were sport themed from Dollarama and sent the kids home with a ball each. Unfortunately, it was too windy to bring the balls out to play which kind of killed my whole theme.  I survived.
Playing soccer
I made dairy free/soy free cupcakes and I think everyone liked them. I was happy to see some take seconds and was happy to not have to take too many home with me.




Home made sport themed cupcakes

I decorated the cupcakes with green icing to look like grass and stuck some homemade cupcake toppers in them. I created these using clip art, a printer, scissors, flat toothpicks and some mod podge. I'm happy with how they turned out.


He loved "mommy's ball pancakes"
 Later that night he was reflecting on his day and told me he liked "mommy's ball pancakes". That made me proud.

It was really too cold to even take your gloves off to eat, but I set out a ton of snacks like pretzels, banana chips, dried cranberries and apple cinnamon puffs for the kiddies. We also had a tray of lentil chips and pita bread served with hummus and vegetable and fruit trays.

When we sang happy birthday, little E did not like the attention and burrowed his head into my chest to hide.  But when it came time to clap he proudly raised his head and clapped along, grinning ear to ear.  We've ben singing "Happy Dirdday to you" around the house ever since.  And the requested lullaby before bed all week has been "Happy Birthday to Daddy".

We wrapped the party up a little early, but despite the freezing cold weather I think the party was a success.  We are so fortunate to have so many amazing friends in our lives. 

Little E cried as we left and wanted to stay longer as Hubby and I blasted the heat in the car and tried to de-thaw. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pinch. Wake Up.

For the last month I have been in dream land. Dreaming of moving to a beautiful home to finally *start* our life.  

Right now I feel stuck.  Like the walls are closing in.  Like we are outgrowing this tiny little town/terrace home with no place to go.

I’d like to think that I’m a pretty practical person.  I don’t spend money on *stuff* and live within my means.  My small means.

We hold off on purchasing larger toys for little E because, well, we don’t have room for them.  I sometimes wonder if I am depriving him of these larger, more exciting gifts.  But then we think, he can have these when we have a bigger home….some day. Some day he’ll even have his own playroom, we dream.

For his birthday I thought, ah, screw it, and we purchased him an art easel. This item is clearly not a space saver, but I figured it was something practical.  Something that he will use for years and years.  So what if it takes up our whole living room, right?

We have been on the search for a home that we want to stay in for years.  A home that has a lot of space and a basement and a garage and a big back yard. A home that is obviously bigger than our budget.  Dream land. We’ve been racking our brains for the last month trying to find a way to make this work.  Is it practical to do this and then ultimately be house poor? No. I’ve given myself a pinch. I’ve woken up.

Back to being practical.

So we are on the hunt for a small home.  Probably still a town home.  But one with 3 floors rather than our current 2.  And one with a back yard with grass rather than a patio of stones.  One that will probably still be a pain to gather my whole family in and/or a large group of friends in, but it will be our home. Our starter home.  And it will probably be our home for at least a few years.  Until one day when we can save enough to afford the home we dream about it.

It’s time to get real.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dear Birthday Boy - Little E turns 2!

The last two years have been nothing but an absolute joy. You’ve grown so much since your last birthday and what an amazing little man you have become!

Did I even exist before you?  I can’t imagine life without you.

We have a whole week of celebrating with you and celebrating the little man you have become; with a birthday party at the park this past Saturday with your little friends and Mommy and Daddy’s friends, a dinner with Daddy’s family tonight and fun with Mommy’s family this weekend for Easter.

I love watching the little wheels turning in your head.  You amaze me with your ability to take things you’ve heard and use them in the correct context.  Like when you tell us, “I’ll think about it” when asked a question. Or when you're acting naughty and yell,  “Don’t say a word!” which I just realized you must have pulled from the Hush Little Baby lullaby. Or when you ask, “What you doin’ Mommy?” or “Mommy, what’s going on?”. Or when you roll over in the morning and smile and say to me, “I love you too, my little one” – words taken directly from your bedtime stories and used to melt your Mommy’s heart.

You are most happy surrounded by sports equipment and balls, which we knew was bound to happen with sporty parents.  You have amazing hand-eye coordination for a just two year old and we often joke about you one day making it to the “show” or the “big leagues”.  Most of all we just love watching your face light up with excitement and pride when taking mini slap shots in the living room or kicking field goals in the kitchen. Which is one of the reasons why we are searching for a bigger home for room for you to play.

You love to paint and colour. We hope you enjoy your new art easel.
You love our dance parties in the living room and Friday evenings at Gymnastics. 
You are currently going through a cling-on-to-Mommy phase.
Your persistence is both tiresome and hilarious. 
You are independent and stubborn.
You are just like me.
You are emotional and sensitive.
You are just like Daddy.
You can count to 10 in Spanish (thanks to Dora) and to 20 in English, but usually forget 13. 
You think Mommy is silly when she counts in French. 
Your dimples melt my heart.
You are a very good eater.
You love singing songs like Twinkle, Twinkle, Old Macdonald, Wheels on the Bus and No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. 
You love visiting the farm and riding the boat. Last time asking, “Mommy, I see dolphins this water?” 
You are one smart, inquisitive little boy.
You love watching Daddy’s hockey games and Mommy’s soccer games.
You love swimming in the bath tub.
You love playing with the big boys at day care.  This morning when I asked you how old you were you said, "Two. I wanna Four".  Such a big boy beyond your years!
You are polite.
You are reflective. Saturday night you recounted all of the highlights of your birthday party without being prompted. 
You amaze me.
You are shy and burrow your head into Mommy when all the attention is on you.
You have Mommy and Daddy wrapped around your finger.

Happy Birthday to my baby…er…little…er…big boy!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Dinner Diaries

Let's get this week started right.   
Monday - Veggie and bacon omelette wraps
Tuesday - Dinner at Hubby's Nanny's for little E's birthday
Wednesday - Ground beef burritos
Thursday - Chicken and bok choy stirfry and brown rice
Friday - Butternut squash soup and stuffed zucchini

We have another busy week ahead of us and are especially excited for little E's birthday tomorrow (tear), my sister flying into town and Easter celebrations this weekend.

When I have time to sit down at home I'll spit out some of our adventures from the past couple weeks.

Happy short week!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Distracted

I’m a little preoccupied these days and haven’t had time to write much of anything in the last week. My spare time is being spent trying to do some serious organizing, preparing the house for showings and getting ready for little E’s birthday party this weekend.  (Side note - my baby is almost 2! ). Throw in some extra work with bedtime routines, soy trials, a little too much fun with friends on the weekend, a broken down home computer, a return to the office from working from home for nearly a month and a half and trying to find a place to live in less than 2 months (!) and I just can’t find the time to sit down and write out my thoughts.

See ya’ll next week, hopefully.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hockey Wife Rant

Hubby and I started dating in highschool and while he was playing Junior hockey. I was the lone girlfriend of the players, sitting in the stands all by myself.  I loathed the puck bunny's sitting around me, cheering my Hubby's name because he was the one with the 'C' on his jersey.  Pathetic, I thought. 

Of course, I liked that he played/plays hockey.  He is athletic, like myself, and that is one of the biggest things that drew us together.

But let me get this straight...
I am not a puck bunny.  I just happened to marry a hockey player.
And now I am a hockey widow. Jokes on me.

Hockey is year round in this household.  Hubby plays an insane amount of hockey (and golf too, but I'll save that post for the summer). This winter he also coached an insane amount of hockey (which he will not continue next year because it was too big of a commitment, and yes, we came to this conclusion together). 

Hubby wants little E to be well rounded and to try all sports and activities and I agree. He grew up in a hockey focused household.  But what our little monkey sees Daddy doing a lot right now is hockey and so what does our little monkey want to do all the time? Hockey. Practice what you preach, my dear.

But you know what the funniest thing is?  When little E starts getting a little too rambunctious with his hockey sticks and we decide to put them away and play with other toys for a while; Hubby answer to little E's cries is - "Life isn't all about hockey, buddy".

RIGHT.
Little E's first time on skates - 18 months, Christmas 2010

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A funny trip to the doctor's office

I failed to mention the hilarity and behind the scenes action that took place at little E's appointment last week. Now, I'm looking back at it and laughing.

First of all, I went to the wrong location.  It's a good thing I was 20 minutes early!  The computer system at the front of the office wasn't letting me check in with the Doc we had an appointment with so I asked the nurse at the front desk.  She looked up little E's file and it showed 1) we were at the wrong location and 2) his appointment was cancelled.  UM, WHAT? Apparently, in my search to find a specialist to take in us earlier (we waited 3 months for this), the receptionist I talked to on the phone had cancelled this appointment and made a note that we were booking with another specialist. I assured the nurse at the front desk that this wasn't the case - I had even told the receptionist on the phone not to make any changes to the original appointment! The only thing she could offer was for us to go to the right location and try to explain the situation. 

So I picked little E up in frustration and walked out to the parking lot to drive (thankfully only) 5 minutes to the RIGHT location.  While juggling little E on my hip and texting Hubby the location change (who was on his way from work), little E kicked off his rainboots.  "I don't have time for this!" I said to him.  To which he grounded me and replied in his sweet little voice, "No time, Mommy?".

On the road again, I hear "Doctor?" on repeat for the next 5 minutes.  The poor kid thought I jipped him out of a visit I hyped up all morning.  So I repeat, "Yes buddy, we are going to the doctor", a million times.

I plead my case once I arrived (with 5 minutes to spare) which wasn't a struggle at all.  We were told she would sneak us in between clients and we would just have to wait 30 min.  Thank the high heavens.  No big deal since it could have been much worse (I could be writing about how I waited 3 months for no appointment right now!)

As soon as we sat down, little E asked to "walk around" so Hubby entertained him by circling the waiting room and the halls and probably annoying every other person waiting with his squeals of excitement.  Oh well - 30 minutes is a long time to spare with an active toddler!

Then is was our turn.  We heard little E's name being called.  But, where was that voice coming from? We walked up to two different desks until we finally realized a nurse down the hall was calling us. It was really embarrassing.  I guess you had to be there. We were both red-faced by the time we got to the office.

In the Doctor's office we discussed progress since the last appointment and she familiarized herself with his charts. Hubby kept little E busy with a basket of plastic zoo animals that a nurse gave to us.  He was proudly counting the animals out loud, like REALLY loud, and the Doc laughed. He is so proud of his counting and counts everything in sight (he even received a round of applause from an elderly couple in the grocery line last week).

After surprising us by pronouncing rhinoceros perfectly, he lifted up some type of deer looking animal and asked, "What dat fing?".  None of us knew what it was, but he was determined to find out.  He started spitting out all the other animals names frantically.  Hubby told him "Wait and think about it".  We were looking for what clever name he would come up with.  To which he responds, "I wait. I think about it" which made the Doc laugh out loud again.  And then he answered, "It's rhinoceros".  We settled with deer.

I few minutes later he got the prick tests done on his arm and was really brave.   Then as he stood beside Hubby's chair the Doc asked to check his heart which gave him a slight spaz attack when she lifted his shirt.  As she commented about his nice round healthy belly he took a deep breath and pushed it out as far as it would go.

More laughter.

When she was done checking on him and as she explained the next steps with us, little E explored the office while jumping the plastic frogs around the walls.  As she was talking, I noticed he put his hand inside his pants.  I gave him the look, as if he should know by the look he should take his hand out, but instead he proclaimed, "Penis!". 

More laughter.

What an eventful day and what a funny kid.  Seeing him that day through the Doctor's eyes made us laugh even louder.  I find it hilarious to look back on these days and look forward to many more with our little comedian.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Fancy That! Friday

Here are some random things that caught my eye this week...

Dairy-free home made banana "ice cream" recipe.

Skin to skin bonding with a new sibling - amazing!

Scary effects of air freshners in your home.  Glad I disposed of mine!

Huge uproar about this new doll.

Amen! Tell the truth about breastfeeding.

Kids in the Capital is celebrating 1 year today!

What jumped out at you this week? Happy April Fools Day!