Monday, May 26, 2008

It definitely IS getting better

This weekend was one of my favourite kinds. Spending lots of time around the house, getting things accomplished, working (and playing) outside - pretty much up there with my definition of a perfect weekend. Although I did have a bit of an epiphany this weekend - I realized that while getting lots of tasks checked off the 'to do' list is a relaxing weekend for me (I always feel more relaxed and energized if I'm plugging away at getting something done - sounds counter-intuitive, but it's the way I am); however Seth's idea of a relaxing weekend is spending it actually 'relaxing'. Luckily I was good at the sweet talking and he was enjoying just being home that I was able to cajole him into working through the weekend. And it also didn't hurt that his 'job' most of the time was to hang out/play with Maddie, which gave me free time (and hands) to get the things done that I wanted to do.

Aside from finally getting our front and back lawns in order (all weeded, fed, cut, watered and gardened), we also managed to watch 2 (!!!) movies this weekend. It was like we were living a close semblance to our old life. Maddie's sleep is getting back to normal (meaning only up 1-2 times a night, not 4-5), so after getting her down on Friday and Saturday nights we enjoyed watching an uninterrupted movie. Bliss.

It's funny what you envision your life to be like once you have children. We've had this discussion a few times, and a while ago Seth nailed it when he defined it as, "I thought it would be pretty much like this, but less hectic, less stressful, and with more time to just enjoy stuff." So as we sat in our backyard on Saturday afternoon, leisurely enjoying the weather and eating BBQ'd hot dogs while Maddie napped for another 2 hours, I turned to him and said, "So THIS is what you thought it would be like." He was like, "Yup... well, it's definitely getting better."

It SO is getting better. I think this is going to be a fun summer...


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Garage sale bonanza

I think the best way to explain my love for garage sale "season" (as I call it), is to compare it will Seth's obsessive love of football. Anyone of you that knows Seth, knows how he gets excited like a kid in a candy store as the weeks to football season approach. That's pretty much how I feel about garage sale season. It's short - starting mid-April (depending on weather) to mid-June, it's competitive (gotta get there early or the best stuff will be loooooong gone), and it's so satisfying (if you like getting great deals that is).

Today I was still too sick to contemplate heading to my regular class at the gym, and so, without guilt, I headed out to the sales instead. Armed with $60 and a Timmie's double double, I started to work my way methodically across the village of Brooklin.

Oh - it was a garage sale diva's heaven today. I think I hit more than 20 sales. And 5 of those were street sales - which means a tonne of houses offering up their wares all at once. So many deals to be had...which I of course had to take advantage of. I picked up a walker for Maddie (that has the 2 legs push together and becomes a little riding scooter thing for when she's older - hard to explain, but multi-functional nonetheless). I picked up some Weebles (these toys are SO cool! I haven't seem them in stores, so I guess they're another one of those items like the peek-a-boo blocks that she likes, that can only be found on ebay and at garage sales - I'll definitely be looking for more - they're like the Playskool answer to Fisher Price Little People, which we also love). I picked up some baby gates, a mirror toy and a wooden block set that I've already ruined by letting it soak in the water too long while I was cleaning it (the paint started to chip off ... oh well).

So there you go - more garage sale success stories from the Vallier household. If I had realized what I know now, I would have bought all my baby stuff last year in the garage sales leading up (strollers, playpens, excersaucers, swings, bouncy chairs - they seem to be at every single sale I visited). Oh well, I will just have to be happy with all the toys I can get now (and will continue to get for many years to come I expect).

Yes, it's been a favourable season thus far...


Friday, May 23, 2008

1 down, 23 to go...

No - not pounds. Items on my "project list" that I wanted to accomplish while I was off work... It's all going a heck of a lot slower than I ever really anticipated. Let's face it. It hasn't gone at all until just recently. I guess 7 months is when it finally got easier for me. That's not so bad right? (Yes, I can hear the snickers from the peanut gallery - for your information ladies, you are all like supermoms, making exclusively homemade baby food, baking pies and cakes from scratch, entertaining large groups of party goers while your babe(s) sleep soundly upstairs and you stress not one little bit. That's great for you ... but I am not that talented!!) Okay, rambling tangent over.

So I decided to put my list of 'to do's here. I figured that it would accomplish a few things. Namely, 1) helping to get rid of some of the clutter in my scatterbrain and 2) I've always been more motivated when I publicly announce a goal.
  1. Paint and hang the letters for Maddie's room
  2. Build toy box/organizer in Maddie's closet
  3. Buy or build bookshelf for Maddie's room
  4. Organize photos cronologically, add notes and put into albums
  5. Re-organize spare room to make more 'guest-friendly' - get rid of second dresser
  6. Take boxes of old stuff to goodwill
  7. Post and sell not-so-old stuff on kijiji
  8. Organize underneath stairs in basement - storage area
  9. Repaint bedframe in spare room
  10. Repaint dining room chairs
  11. Re-uphoster dining room chairs
  12. Refinish cradle in cherry stain for Maddie's room
  13. Refinish bedside table in cherry stain for Maddie's room
  14. Build workbench and shelving in garage
  15. Clean out and organize garage - move tools, Christmas boxes etc. out to garage
  16. Touch up paint on walls in house
  17. Put up wall hangings
  18. Put up knife rack in kitchen
  19. Choose and print photos for empty frames
  20. Hang collage of frames over sofa
  21. Put up under the cupboard cd player/radio
  22. Get Guinness posters professionally mounted
  23. Unpack the rest of the moving boxes in basement
  24. Plant herbs in large wooden planter in backyard
Well, at least it will be fun to come back to this list every once in a while and scratch off another item. Hopefully I can get through the majority of it before September. That's only 3 months away...


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Maddie stuff

This past Sunday we were at a friend's BBQ and there were 2 one month old babies there, and as much as I tried, I really couldn't remember when she was like that. I mean, I remember when I see pictures. But I don't really remember what it was like to have a little quiet (for the most part) blob that would sleep anywhere and not really notice all that much around her.

Instead we have this curious-cat little girl that is wanting to go-go-go all the time-time-time. Here's just a few of the things she's doing lately...
  • Crawling! Albeit backwards - she hasn't really figured out the forward motion yet, but she is pushing herself around backwards all over the place. And she can pivot on a dime. Which helps when she finds herself in front of a toy she wants, and as she tries to inch her way toward it, she finds herself moving further and further away from it. So with enough turns and some rolls thrown in, she will manage to get herself where she needs to go. Or stuck under the couch - you know, either...or...
  • Communicating! She does this high-pitched squeal thing whenever she sees one of the cats. Which I take to mean, "Kitty!" She really, really, really wants to get them. I kind of feel sorry for them when she does start to crawl.
  • Understanding! She definitely understands some words + some signs (although not signing back just yet). If you ask her where Daddy is, she looks all over the room until she spots him. If you say, "There's the kitty!", she looks toward where you're pointing and then smiles the biggest grin. If you ask her if she wants more (this is a sign language thing) while she's eating, she groans/growls/grunts while slamming her hands down on her highchair tray and leaning forward - I think this is a yes...
  • Playing! By herself!! Yes, she's a little Miss Independence. As long as she has interesting toys or things that make noise all around her, you can leave her for a while. Like 10 or 15 mins on her own. I think that's pretty good - and try to make sure I practice this a few times a day so she isn't reliant on us sitting with her and playing with her.
Other things include: saying 'dada' constantly (check out the vid of it on youtube); eating 3 meals a day (breakfast, lunch/snack, and dinner); trying formula for the first time (and liking it); eating her toes every chance she gets; going into the crawling position from sitting; pulling up on your hands from sitting to standing; screeching just for the hell of it; telling me it's time for boob+nap by turning toward me and pulling on my pant leg while we're sitting playing; looking for stuff when she throws it (hilarious to see her long-necking to see where the toy went); um, banging stuff against other stuff - A LOT; having giggle fits over the most ridiculous things; turning the pages of the book while we're reading....

I could go on and on and on - but you get the picture. It feels like she learns something new daily - and I know it gets even crazier as she gets older. Buh, I hope I have the energy to keep up...


Update from the infirmary

We are both sick with a cold. Me more so (I think whatever antibodies my body is using to fight it off is passing along to her in the breastmilk, so she's not got it as bad) ... but it's been a rough couple of days.

Last time I was sick she was a lot smaller, and MUCH easier to keep entertained (read: happy). I remember that we spent one of those sick days pretty much in bed where she played while awake, but also happily took 3 hour naps with me a few times throughout the day.

Yeah, those days are over. I tried to get her to nap with me yesterday - thinking she might nap longer that way, allowing me to sleep longer (which did used to be the case). Well, I think she's gotten so used to sleeping on her own and in her crib, that it's the only place she'll really sleep now. So we napped at the same time, but separately yesterday.

And when she's awake she's ALL ABOUT the playing. Which means I need to be slightly more awake than just comatose to entertain her. Or at least feign interest while she entertains herself on the floor. Thank god for the new toys she got this weekend - new toys are far more interesting than old toys.

So that's it for us. I've been wanting to post and we've got lots of updates for you all - but it's taken all of my energy to keep pouring glasses of juice and putting the kettle on for tea. I do promise that I'll post more interesting stuff soon.

Until then - send me healthy, germ-fighting wishes and wish me luck in my attempts at unblocking her nose with that bulb suction thingy.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Weekend in Bancroft

Well, this past Friday we packed up the car and headed up to Bancroft to visit with my step-brother, Derek and his family. Mom and Walt were up there was well, so it was a little family reunion of sorts.

We got there on Friday night around 8:30pm and lucky for us, there was shish-ka-bobs left over from dinner for us to eat. After a quick visit with everyone, Maddie was ready for bed - so we put her down and joined everyone out by the fire and ate roasted marshmallows (lots)!

Saturday morning the men got up early to go fishing and the ladies got up early to go garage-saleing! Well, Grandma stayed and watched the grandkids and Auntie Amy and I went to the garage sales. They were great - I got some toys for Maddie, Amy got a few things for Rebecca and Victoria, and I bought a couple of boardgames for the girls (note to self: don't buy toys like Mousetrap that have a lot of small parts from a garage sale - likely there will be a piece or two missing and/or broken - resulting in 2 very dissapointed little nieces).

Saturday night was a big feast of all the fish the boys caught while out that morning - then it was an early night for everyone.

Sunday morning the guys went out fishing again and the ladies enjoyed a leisurely morning around the house. I bounced in the trampoline with Rebecca and Victoria while Grandma and Auntie Amy fought over who got to spoil/feed/cuddle Maddie.

We left early afternoon on Sunday and headed back to Whitby (made it back in 2 hours - Maddie slept the WHOLE way - woo hoo!). After a quick unpacking and shower for Seth, we headed back out to our friend's, Rob & Vone's for a BBQ (well, they BBQ'd and we all hung out in the basement hiding from the cold weather). It was great seeing everyone, but by 10pm Maddie was at the end of her rope and it was time to head home for us.

Yesterday Seth went golfing with the boys, while Maddie slept the morning away (she took a 3 hour nap - yes, I think someone had a bit of a tiring weekend!). I cleaned up the toys I got her from the garage sales (she LOVES the activity table - yay!), cleaned up the kitchen and finished unpacking. When Seth got home Maddie was just getting ready to go back down for another nap - so he took the opportunity to lay down as well and enjoyed a Maddie-Daddy nap in our bed for an hour and a half. Too cute.

So that was our weekend in a nutshell. The fireworks last night woke Maddie up a few times, but all I kept thinking was how cute it will be next year to have her watching them. And I finally managed to finish painting the letters for her room (one more project to finally cross of the list) last night before I went to bed - so her room will now have a bit of decoration. Yeah, only took 7 months. Oops.

Here's a few pics from the weekend ... hope you all enjoyed yours!

Princess Maddie

Meeting of the minds

Holy fish!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

She likes chicken

As I was cutting up pieces of chicken to make dinner (mmmmm green curry!), I decided that it was a good opportunity to introduce Miss Maddie to another source of iron instead of always feeding her cereal. A few pieces were cooked without butter in a separate pan - then thrown in the blender with a bit of water. It took a bit of effort, but finally got it all pureed and mixed it up with some sweet potatoes. Mmmmm-mmmm!

Her first bite was a little trepidatious. But after that she was all for it - ate it all up like gangbusters.

So there you go - pureed chicken. Add to the "Maddie Likes" list.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Asparagus and night terrors

Maddie has a new habit that is not fun. Waking up screaming like she's being bloody murdered.

She'd done it a few random times before - but only when something happened that scared her (for no good reason - like me going 'ewwwww' a little louder than usual at a poopy diaper - that has caused one of those freak attacks).

However while we were staying at my Mom's house during our visit in Kingston, she started waking up in the middle of the night like that. Screaming and taking a looooooong time to console once I picked her up. At first we thought that it was a teething thing, or because she was in a playpen (sorry, playyard) and that was new and different.

Then when we were at Liz and Greg's for dinner last Saturday night, she woke up and did the "I'm missing my binkie" cry, so I went up and found it for her, gave her a few back rubs and went to leave. All was good. Until I shut the door, that is. Then the screaming started. And really didn't stop until we took her into the lighted hallway.

Then the lightbulb went on, so to speak. She has a nightlight in her bedroom at our house - there was no nightlight at either my Mom's or Greg & Liz's. So she must be afraid of the dark.

At least that was the theory until last night. She woke up at 10:30pm and I finally got her back down to sleep an hour later. (Yes we gave her Motrin, but after seeing the doctor today, she said that she did not have an ear infection, no signs of a cold or swollen glands, and that she saw no signs of teething --- ummmm, shiiiiiiittt. When the hell are those teeth going to come??)

So now we don't know what it is. My doctor theorized that she just wanted attention or to see me, and this was her way of making that happen. I tend to disagree - she's clearly freaked out, and me picking her up doesn't calm her down immediately - it takes a while. So I don't think it's just a matter of wanting to see Mommy in the middle of the night.

I wish I knew what it was - not only for her sake, but mine as well. Trust me, there's nothing that gets your heart racing better than to awaken to your screeching baby.

On a happier note - we had a yummy dinner (cedar plank bbq'd salmon, rice and asparagus) and Maddie joined us in eating some asparagus. I didn't need to add water - just pureed some of the steamed tips in the blender. She made a few faces, but ate it. Unlike the avocado experience. So we have another vegetable to add to the freezer now. Cool.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

In a month...

...we'll be flying back from Ireland. That means in less than a month we are flying to Ireland. Scary. I think I need to start a packing list now!


Monday, May 12, 2008

Flying bullets

It's been a busy day and am just about to make dinner - but wanted to post quickly...
  • I just used my new jogging stroller for an hour long walk (yay, me!) ... so maybe I'll actually start losing weight now. (goodlordIhopeso)
  • Maddie's one ear is completely filled with wax. I'm not even sure if I can describe just how gross it is. And everything I've read online says not to do anything, it'll work itself out. Um, okay. But in the meantime, gross...
  • We have an ant problem in our kitchen. We just discovered this over the weekend (think it was because Seth filled in the sand in our interlock brick in the backyard - he filled in their home, so they infiltrated ours). Ants are gross. And the ant traps don't seem to be working - at least not fast enough for me. So I keep spraying them with Fantastic. That's right. Fantastic.
  • Tomorrow is our last Babyville group meeting - I really like the moms we met through this group and hope that we all do manage to keep in touch. At least over the summer, while I'm home and bored and (ALWAYS!) looking for something to do...
  • Lastly - random thought: Have you ever noticed how potatoes will just randomly start growing on their own if you leave them long enough? Like start growing little arms and legs (sprouts?) with no help or outside intervention. Don't you think that's just weird? I mean, seriously - does any other food item do that? Just start propagating itself?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mom Test

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there! I had this emailed to me today (thanks Deb!) and thought I'd share, enjoy...

I was out walking with my 4 year old daughter. She picked up something off the ground and started to put it in her mouth. I took the item away from her and I asked her not to do that.

"Why?" my daughter asked.

"Because it's been on the ground, you don't know where it's been, it's dirty, and probably has germs," I replied.

At this point, my daughter looked at me with total admiration and asked, "Momma, how do you know all this stuff, you are so smart."

I was thinking quickly.

"All moms know this stuff. It's on the Mom Test. You have to know it, or they don't let you be a Mom."

We walked along in silence for 2 or 3 minutes, but she was evidently pondering this new information.

"OH...I get it!" she beamed, "So if you don't pass the test you have to be the dad."

"Exactly," I replied back with a big smile on my face.

Tee hee...

Friday, May 9, 2008

Dear Miss Maddie,

Wow - you are seven months old today. Seven months! We're past the halfway mark to a year and we've both survived (barely) - yay!

It seems as you get older, you start learning things at such a faster pace, I'm not even sure where to begin...

You sit up by yourself without any help now - only fall backwards and bonk your head every once in a while ... that still breaks my heart when you do it - but falling has made you learn to start putting out your hands to steady yourself, so I guess that's the silver lining.

With sitting by yourself comes playing by yourself. If I pile a tonne of toys around you, you're happy as a clam to sit and play for a half hour. Although you prefer it if I'm sitting with you. But you'll be satisfied with a quick 'check in' from me every 5 mins or so - which lets Mommy get more stuff done around the house - yay housework! (*sarcasm*)

Just this past weekend, while we were visiting with family in Kingston you learned to stand up (holding onto the couch), crawl backwards (kind of a shimmy that takes you further and further away from what you're trying to reach, which is frustrating, I know), and you had this squeal/laugh/shout thing you did every time you saw the dog - so I guess you've learned to try and beckon animals too!

One of the coolest things you started doing this month is all your babbling. You talk to yourself, to me, to Daddy, to the kitties, to your toys, to the tv ... pretty much to anyone and anything. It started out with the ayayayayya that I first heard while we were in the grocery store. Then you added a bububububabababba to the mix. Now your new favourite word is "da-da". You say it. All. The. Time. Seriously kid, couldn't you throw in a "ma-ma" every once in a while?

We aren't calling it your official word yet though, because I think you need to be looking at Daddy and saying the word specifically at him before we call it your 'first word'. And that gives you more time to figure out 'ma-ma'... :)

Along with the babbling, you also sing now too. I'm sure a lot of our readers are rolling their eyes right now, but I don't care. I know you're trying to sing. You say "aaaaaahhhhhhh" and raise and lower your voice while doing it. You 'sing' mainly to your toys (like I sing to you), and sometimes to yourself while in the carseat right before you fall asleep. I haven't gotten it on film yet, but I need to make sure I do because it ranks right up there with one of the cutest things of all time.

I wish I could say you have poked your first tooth through, but we're still waiting on that one monkey. Still. Waiting. I know it's hard. I'm tired of giving you Motrin at night and ensuring you always have a cool teether available. And I'm pretty sure you're tired of being in pain. I know I would be.

I also wish that I could say you were sleeping through the night regularly - but that's still seems to be a way off for us. You like at least one feeding during the night, and sometimes it seems like you just wake up so you can hang out with me for a bit. While I'm flattered, it's a bit tiring...

We both love the little girl you are turning into Madeleine. You are always just taking it all in. Lots of people think you're so 'serious' all the time - but I can see that you're just trying to figure it all out. And we get lots of smiles and giggles at home - which is what I try to explain to the strangers in the mall, and give up because I don't really care if they believe me or not. You don't smile or giggle on cue, you wait until something strikes you as funny. You already have your own mind and I love it.

You prefer Daddy to give you your bath. You prefer Mommy to chase away the tears in the middle of the night. You like when Daddy reads you a book. You like when Mommy dances with you in your jumper. Daddy likes to walk you. Mommy likes to rock you. It's so cool to see how you like certain things about each of us and how (I think) you're already figuring out that Daddy is the softie.

We have a fun month ahead of us monkey. The weather is getting nicer, so we can go outside lots. And we're going to Ireland in a month - you are going to be a world traveler at less than a year old! I can't wait to show you how beautiful that country is, and for you to meet Mommy's friends. Please just be nice to me on the plane ride over...

Love you monkey - lots and lots and lots and lots.

Love Mommy

Gratuitous Kingston Pics

Maddie discovering her new best friend - Bailey the dog!

Maddie with Grandpa Burke

Maddie with her cousins, Rebecca + Victoria

Maddie with Grandma Thompson outside our new favourite store!

Maddie took her first bath in a 'big girl' tub while we were in Kingston (I forgot to bring the baby bathtub...)

Sleeping in her playpen at Grandma Thompson's

Playing with Quinn (Stefanie's little boy) - well, more like Quinn stealing her sippy. Stealing... playing... po-tay-to... po-tah-to

To see more of pics of our adventures in Kingston - visit our page on Flickr.


Thursday, May 8, 2008


We had our first choking experience today. While at Shoppers Drug Mart, Maddie started coughing, spluttering and gagging. I instinctively knew she had something in her throat (don't worry - she was breathing fine - when I say choking I mean having something caught in her esophagus, not her airway).

I grabbed her out of the cart, turned her over my knee and started patting her on her back. This of course attracted the attention of the pharmacist, who nicely came over to try and help. He too could see that she was gagging on something, but we couldn't figure out what. He suggested we try giving her some water - which she took fine - so we concluded that if anything had been there, it wasn't anymore.

We proceeded to check out and as I'm pushing the stroller out to my car, she starts gagging and foaming at the mouth. Saliva and bile I guess is what was coming out. I pulled her out of the car seat again, she vomited all over me and I pulled a piece of cellophane out of her mouth.

I had put a few items in her stroller while I was shopping, but none of them had a missing piece of cellophane on them, so I'm not entirely certain where she could have gotten this small piece from. Regardless, I've learned my lesson. Not only do I have to watch her even more carefully to see what she's putting into her mouth (because she puts EVERYTHING in her mouth nowadays), but I also can no longer throw the odd thing in her stroller while I'm shopping - it all will go in a separate cart or in the basket below.

This experience also made me realize that I'm going to signing up for the first available baby CPR/first aid course that I can find. I know I did everything right in the circumstance, but I hated the panicked-not-sure-what-to-do feeling. And for those of you that know me, you know my phobia about choking ... yeah - I'd prefer not to go through that ever again.


Kingston visit

While Seth was away for his fishing weekend, Maddie and I travelled down to Kingston for a visit. We drove down Friday afternoon (I waited until she was ready to go down for her 2nd nap of the day - which meant she slept most of the way there - smart mommy!) - since we were a bit earlier than anticipated, we stopped by the gym where Grandma Vallier was working to visit with her for a while. Then headed on to Grandma Thompson's house where we would be staying.

I got treated to Capri pizza for dinner (yum!) and by the time we were done so was Maddie - she was pretty tired and was pretty easy to get down to sleep (too bad she didn't stay that way - but this isn't a post about sleep so I won't digress).

Saturday morning we tried our luck garage saleing - but were shocked to see that there was only one garage sale in all of Amherstview - dammit!

Saturday afternoon saw us heading out to Buck Lake to visit with Grandma and Grandpa Burke. It was pretty gorgeous out considering it was supposed to rain all day - so we took Maddie on a tour of the gardens. She loves it outside, and this was her first time seeing a lake - she kept staring at it, I think watching the sun make the water shimmer.

Here's a picture of her hanging out on a moose statue in the garden - look at that belly - she's getting so big! And yes, she doesn't look all that happy - but she does have a moose up her bum, give her a break!

We headed straight from my Dad's over to the Vallier's to visit with Grandma and Grandpa Vallier - until Maddie made it quite clear that she was tired, and hungry, and wanted her bath, NOW! So we left - and I addressed all of the above and a very tired little girl went to sleep (and slept well - must've been the fresh air she got!).

Sunday morning we were off again - this time out to Harrowsmith to visit with Aunt Reta, Derek, Amy and the girls - for belated birthday presents for the girls (they got clothes and seemed less than impressed). While Auntie Amy cuddled with Maddie, I went outside to skip with the girls - they don't know any skipping songs yet (and looked at me like I had two heads when I asked them if they knew how to double dutch - I guess they're still a little young for that). But as much as I racked my head, I couldn't come up with one skipping song - so I promised that I would remember some and bring some double ropes for a skipathon when we come to visit them in Bancroft for the long weekend. Umm, so yeah ... I need to find out some skipping songs - anyone remember any?

Seth met us at my Mom's house on Sunday afternoon and we headed back over to the Vallier's for a roast beef dinner that night. Grandma Vallier wanted Maddie to try the teething biscuits she had bought her. Within seconds she had bitten off a huge hunk, which I quickly rescued out of her mouth. I know they are supposed to dissolve quickly, but it was far to big for her to have in there. Too soon I think for those teething biscuits - at least for a nervous mommy like me.

Monday was our road trip day - we took Maddie down to Watertown, NY to hit some of the stores for some shopping. Oh and shop we did! We found amazing deals at Baby Gap, JC Penny had all their Carter's stuff on for 50-75% off, and then Target had about a zillion things on for $3.99. That's right - $3.99. You can't even get close to prices like that up here - so we were very happy for all the deals we were finding, and pretty much bought up everything we saw. Let's just say - Maddie doesn't need any more summer clothes - she's set.

And coolest of all cool things - coming back over the border, we didn't have to pay any duty. I answered the custom agent's questions honestly...
Her: "How long were you in the United States?"
Me: "6 hours."
Her: "What did you do while you were here?"
Me: "Shopped."
Her: "How much did you purchase?"
Me: "I spent $120 and my mom spent $80."
Her: "Okay, go ahead."

I was like, wha?? Just go? As in, don't pull over, show all the receipts (that we had all ready and in order), and pay through your nose in duty? Ummmm, this whole shopping in the States thing may become a bit of a habit for me now...

Oh and I almost forgot. If I only had a crush on Target before - well, it's a full-blown head-over-heels-in-love affair now. Seriously. The. Best. Store. EVER. Not only can I appreciate it from a business sense (amazing retail success story, department store with a twist, developing strategic partnerships with designers, offering interesting, funky products at value prices, clean and organized and eye-catching merchandising) - but I LOVE shopping that store. Seriously. It takes Wal-Mart and kicks its ass all over the retail arena. Prices are AMAZING. Products are fresh, interesting and BRAND NAME (seriously - I saw the Hot Sling I bought in Canada for $70 - on their shelves for $39.99). I CAN'T WAIT until Target comes to Canada. Can't. Wait.

Tuesday was a bit more low-key. My plan was to leave Tuesday afternoon, but I was so exhausted from my shopping extravaganza yesterday and the ensuing sleepless night I had endured, I opted instead to stay one more night and leave Wednesday morning. Maddie and I visited with my friend Stefanie and her little boy Quinn in the morning, then I dropped Maddie at the Vallier's while Mom and I did a bit more shopping in the afternoon and that was the extent of the excitement for the day. It was an early night for us all, thank god.

So Wednesday came and it was packing time. Maddie and I had a great time visiting everyone and enjoyed being cooked for, and looked after, and in general, spoiled. But we were also happy to be heading home - for some good sleep, some different toys, and to see the rest of our family (kitties!).

Today looks to be a quiet day. We may go to the movies this afternoon - Baby Momma is playing at the Ajax theatre - the movies change every week for the 'stars and strollers' option, so this is likely my only chance to see the movie in the actual theatre. We'll see how we're doing by noon today.

And I will post more pics of our visit soon - there's a bunch of good ones I can't wait to share!

Love to you all - hope you're having as good of a week as we are...


Friday, May 2, 2008

Chalk one up for the...

..."Foods Maddie HATES" list:


Yeah, we tried some fresh avocado this morning. I had read about it being a preferred 'first food' for lots of people because babies usually love it, it has all those good essential brain-growing fats in it, and it's an easy 'mash-and-serve' fresh food.

Ummmm ... she HATES it. I mean, scrinkle up her eyes, scrunch up her nose, push it back out of her mouth, gag as she swallows, HATES it.

I was giving her sips of water in between as I thought maybe it's just because it's a little chunkier than she's used to having her food. Maybe that's why she's gagging.

Yeah, no. She was gagging because she HATES it. And she gagged so much she THREW IT UP. All over her bib, highchair and self.

And I don't mean spit up. I mean vomit. Like mucousy, stringy, avocado-y vomit. (Good morning!)

Okay Maddie, I get the hint. No more avocado. Yikes.


PS - I gave her banana for breakfast instead to make up for it. She LOVES banana - so don't worry, she's not starving and is very happy right now.

Bad Mommy, Part II

I use the monitor every night because of the way our house is set up. Our bedroom is across the hall from Maddie's room, but because of the hallway in our room, I don't trust that I will always hear her cries between the doors.

Well, guess what happened last night? At some point during the night I must have turned the monitor off as I was about to go in to her, then fell back asleep. That's the only reason I can imagine anyways - because when I woke up at 6am (her new 'awake' time which I'm now trained to) - the monitor was off.

She had awoken at 11:30 and I had fed her then, and I know the monitor was on at that point when I went back to bed. So somewhere between 11:30 and 6 I turned it off. And I slept straight through. I highly doubt that she did (considering she never does).

Which means I guess we practiced some serious CIO (cry it out) technique last night. Seth thinks that if she was really crying that I would have woken up. I'm not so sure, considering I didn't wake up at all - which means I was in a deeeeeeeep sleep.

I feel guilty as all hell thinking about her laying in her crib crying out for me, and me slumbering away in my bed, completely oblivious.

But she's just as happy this morning as she ever is - so either a) she slept through the night as well, or b) she harbors no grudge against mommy.

So maybe I don't feel so guilty. Just a little guilty...