Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bang-tastic! Or bang-butchery...

I have followed in the age-old rite of passage for all moms. Butchering their child's hair in an effort to "trim her bangs".

Something I always promised myself I would never do.


I guess Maddie can just add that to the list of disappointments when she's 14 and telling me all the reasons I am a terrible, horrible, mother.

On the positive side of things - she now looks like an extra in the Lil Rascals with her toothless grin and scraggly hair. Undeniably cute!


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Driving me slightly crazy

Maddie's obsession with the cat dishes continues.  It's now all about the water dish.  She goes over to stir* the water with her spoons from her tea set.  She takes the cups from her tea set over and scoops out water and drinks** it.  She takes her wooden food over to the water dish and washes*** them.

I'm so tired of mopping up water, it's annoying.  Not to mention the grossness of thinking about her ingesting the kitty water... gross.  And again, annoying.  Full stop.


*By "stir" I mean splash water everywhere with the spoon.
** And by "drink" I mean scoops the water out with the cup and pours it down herself, on the floor, everywhere it can possibly reach.
***And by "wash" I mean dunk them in the water, and then proceed to suck the water off them and throw the wet dripping pieces around.  Do it again.  And again.  Andagainandagainandagain.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Daycare drama

It's been a whirlwind week, both Seth and I being busy with insane work schedules (as always it seems - what happened to my supposed 20-30hr work week?).  Add to that the stress of ending daycare with our current provider, and gearing up to starting with a new provider (Alexise, our current provider, is going on maternity leave) next week.

Except, now we're not.  

So here's the story... 

We had been interviewing frantically starting in December, trying to line up a new daycare provider before Alexise went on mat leave.  We found a provider that seemed okay, and she was the same price as what we were currently paying for 4 days.  So, bonus, right?

Except I never really felt all that comfortable with this new provider.  Why was she so much cheaper than all the other daycares we had called?  And why didn't her children, that were home with her, integrate with the other kids in the daycare (they stayed upstairs all day apparently)?  And why didn't she have any paint or pictures on her walls?  (yes, I realize I'm a weirdo - but it made the "home" seem really sterile.  Like "just-moved-in" sterile).

But her hours worked, and like I said - there wasn't anything "technically" wrong with her.  So we sent her an email and said we were signing on, and that we'd like to start Jan 26th.

And then Christmas came and went.  And January started flying by.  And the closer we got to the 26th, the more I started to stress about this new daycare.  Until I finally just started combing through any new ads that had been posted, and calling those daycares.

Then, Thursday of this past week, I interviewed a lady.  Who. Was. Fantastic.  She teaches sign language (meaning, she'll continue our efforts - awesome!).  She has 4 other little ones in her care, a bunch of pre-school and after-school kids.  Her home is set up like a "daycare".  And she was just warm.  Nice and friendly.  Business-like, but clearly loved kids.  And asked to hold Maddie (do you know how often providers DON'T do this when you're interviewing?  Seems so odd to me)...

And of course, she's FAR more expensive than what we're currently (or were planning on) paying.  Of course she is.

And of course she needed an answer from us by Friday, because she had someone else lined up for the spot, but because we could start right away, she'd be willing to go with us.  

So on Friday, during the busiest of all days this work week, I also had to sort this out in my (our) mind.  Which did we go with?  Was I being unreasonable and weird with my "instinct" choice?  But did we really want to make our decision on daycare based on $$$?

In the end, we went with the fantastic provider.  Maddie starts on Feb 2nd.  I emailed the other provider and apologized profusely about cancelling at such short notice (don't feel that bad for her - she still had her ad posted, which was another weirdo thing to me). 

And now she's back with Alexise for one more week.  Haha.  I expect everyone thinks I am a neurotic crazy mom.

Good thing I know that I was neurotic and crazy before ever becoming a mom - so really, nothings changed for me...


Thursday, January 22, 2009

She did it again...

...last night. Slept-through. I woke up refreshed, and happy, and well... Not. Tired.

But I wonder why? Why are some nights now sleep-through nights, and some are still wake up nights?

As it gets later in the evening and my early-morning-serious-work-stuff-meeting looms, I find myself dreading the night (if there's a wake up) and fantasizing about it being another sleep-through night...

Inconsistency. Thy name is Madeleine...


TV obsessed zombie?

When Maddie was a baby I was obsessed with her NOT watching any tv at all. I had read reports, studies, all sorts of things about how TV causes autism, TV causes aggressive behaviour, and how TV makes lazy kids (because they're being passively entertained, instead of going out there and "playing")...

I caught a lot of flak (or just "discreet" eyerolls) from my friends and family, especially whenever I actually tried to explain why I was against her watching TV at such a young age. I mean, seriously? She was a B.A.B.Y. It always struck me as strange that I even had to justify why I didn't want to put my 6 month old in front of the tv...

In the end, I ate my words and have started to introduce some TV into Maddie's day. Again (no judgement!) I REALLY don't believe in using TV as a babysitter. I don't believe that TV is the same as actually "playing". And I don't let her watch more than an hour of TV a day - meaning the TV isn't on as "background noise". My "background noise" is music (again, no judgement - I swear!).

But that hour? Her "shows"? Ohmygod she's obsessed. Like, completely and utterly obsessed with Loonette the clown on the Big Comfy Couch. And slightly less obsessed with anything Elmo on Play With Me Sesame. And turns into a scary-quiet-zombie for In the Night Garden.

What do you think Moms? How do you deal with the zombie-like-attraction that toddlers seem to have to the TV?

It's almost disturbing how zombie-like she gets for certain shows. And while I'm all for the educational value of some shows (or just getting 25 mins of peace so that I can make dinner) ... but I don't want her to turn into a couch potato and miss out on actual "live play" learning experiences. So for now, we will continue to limit her exposure. But that's just me - what do you guys think?


PS - here's a pic of my little zombie watching tv from a "safe" distance in her chair!

Monday, January 19, 2009

5 day streak ... ended.

Well, it was a good run. It was enjoyable. I, personally, LOVED it.

But the "sleep through the night" streak has ended. And she went out with a bang - woke up last night (this morning?) at 5am quite upset. I tried to shush her through it, but in the end, it was a bottle that we needed.

Oh Maddie.....


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Happy birthday to meeeeeee

Birthday pluses:
  • I got to sleep in until 9:30 - ah deliciousness! Oh - and that's on top of a 4-th consecutive sleep-thru-the-night night for Maddie. Woo-double-hoo
  • Got my annual Swarvoski ornament and a pair of slippers. Oh and some scratch cards - that I even won a couple of bucks on!
  • About to go have a luxurious bubble bath and then head out for a mani/pedi (my bday treat to myself).
Birthday minuses:
  • Maddie is in devil-child-state today. Currently napping (FAR earlier than she usually goes down - like 2 hrs earlier than she should be sleeping) because the calamity of being awake was JUST. TOO. MUCH. And we have a kids bday party scheduled for later today - goodlordhelpusall...
  • xxoo.S

Friday, January 16, 2009

The end of a long week

It's been a long week here at the Vallier household. Work-wise both Seth and I have been run off our feet - arriving home late, or completely missing the bedtime routine (I didn't get home from work until 10:30pm last night). Needless to say, we're both glad it's Friday...

And while I hate to jinx it (because we all know me even mentioning it will make this behaviour cease - but I can't resist bragging a bit)... Maddie has been sleeping through the night this week. 3 days in a row in fact. It's an incredible feeling, going to sleep and not expecting to be woken up. I didn't even realize how stressful it is going to sleep, expecting that you were going to be woken up in just a few hours. I didn't realize how stressful it was until I realized how much more relaxed I was going to bed the last couple of nights.

And yes - that means that I've gotten used to the privilege of sleeping through the night ridiculously quickly - I'm sure it means that tonight she will awaken at least 5 times and I will quietly lose my mind again...

Have a wonderful weekend peeps. I've got a date night planned with the hubby for Saturday which will involve a pampered dinner (completely with copious amounts of wine I can only hope), and maybe a movie, maybe stopping in to visit at a friend's birthday party...

In the meantime I will leave you with a cute-bum-pic... gotta love Levi's - they always make a girl's bum look good...


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A ladies weekend

This past weekend I had my very good, very old (old in friendship, not in age!) friend, Stefanie, up for a visit.

With Seth away for the weekend doing his infernal football fantasy draft weekend thingamabob, I decided what any self-respecting wifey would do. I organized a little weekend of my own. Including good girlfriends, good food (CAKE!) and good wine.

And it's always nice to have extra hands on deck to help out with the little monster. She's busybusybusy these days. I'm sure most 15 mos-olds are like this, but it literally feels like she spins circles around me and it's all I can do to keep up.

It was also L's birthday (which accounts for the CAKE! mention above) ... I hope she had a good time. I guess anything is okay when you've gotten kicked out of your house on your birthday weekend (her hubby was the host of the football weekend).

So that's that. We gossipped. And chatted. And laughed. And ate and ate and ate. You know, the things girls over the age of 30 do very very well...

This weekend is my bday - going out for dinner w/ the hubs while the little monster gets babysat by her Auntie L. I'm already picking out my dinner (and the accompanying drinks) in my head. Work has been nightmare-crazy for both Seth and I think week, so there will be a fair number of drinkies imbibed I expect.

I'll update you on our shinanigans on Sunday. In the meantime - watch Maddie eat cucumber and sign "please"...


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Holiday pics

Our little Christmas Elf - on Christmas Eve night

Feeding her new dolly

Playing with her new kitchen that Santa brought her

All dressed up on on our way for a Christmas visit to Grandpa & Grandma Burke's

Maddie getting a New Year's Eve hug

Guess who the DD was. And who wasn't...

Spending a morning playing at Little Feet indoor playground during Daddy's holidays

Maddie's new playroom!

Lots more pics uploaded to our Flickr account - but I realized after I uploaded, that we didn't really take any pics of our trip in Kingston. Good thing the Grandma's have cameras...


Friday, January 2, 2009


Our miss muffet has started to say more words. If only we could actually figure out what those words meant.
  • She definitely says "juice" (juuush) - and if she wants it really badly she actually says it more clearly.
  • She says "orange" (ainch) while we're peeling the orange segments for her after dinner.
  • "HI!!!" is a new favourite, accompanied by drastic hand waving. Oh, and "HI!!!" also means bye. Whatever...
  • We've been getting a lot of "yes" (YESHHH) to everything. Hey, better than no, right?
  • "Daddy" used to be "dada", but is now just DA! As in, DA! What're you doing? DA! Give me some juuuush!
  • "Mommy" is getting better - a bit more "mama" than just "mem" nowadays.
  • And her new favourite word as of yesterday is "MOO". What is "MOO"? We're not really sure. Thought it could be "more", and that it could mean the character Lunette, on her new favourite show, Big Comfy Couch. But honestly, I think she said "MOO" to me tonight. I may still be carrying extra weight kid, but I'm not a cow. Jeesh...

Christmas bonanza and a sick new years

Wow - time for an update post. Hold on to your hats, I think it's gonna be a long one...

After a delish dinner on Christmas Eve (Seth bbq'd up some steaks that had been marinating over 24 hrs in the fridge), and a few glasses of wine, we put the munchkin to bed and played Santa. So much fun setting up the stockings, setting up her kitchen, getting everything to look just "so". Seth had surmised that we should hold off on setting up the kitchen, as it would be too distracting for her when opening the rest of the presents, I disagreed. Guess who was right, the next morning?

We had decided a while ago to spend Christmas morning at home, something we'll be doing every year, as I want Maddie to experience Santa and all that's involved in her own house each year. After opening presents, eating breakfast, opening more presents, playing with her toys, etc etc etc, we finally got on the road to Kingston. I think it was around noon when we left, and she fell right asleep.

Traffic was not so bad, and we arrived at my Aunt Reta's in Harrowsmith within 2.5 hrs, with a delayed stop at Timmies on the way. Maddie had woken up at that point, and was g.r.u.m.p.y., but seeing the doggies (da!) at Aunt Reta's, she perked right up. We ate an early dinner there, and opened presents with Grandma and Grandpa Thompson. Then we drove into Amherstview to spend the night. Maddie slept extremely well for the first time in a playpen - it was refreshing that we now know she'll sleep in one - yayyy!

Boxing Day morning we opened more presents with Grandma & Grandpa Thompson, then got dressed and did the whole thing over again (including the turkey dinner) at Grandma and Grandpa Vallier's. Grandma Vallier had a cold and I think Maddie and I caught it, because the next day was a lazy one, and included a (much-needed) long nap for Maddie.

Sunday we visited Grandma and Grandpa Burke, where Maddie (being sick and perhaps a bit overtired from all the excitement of the past few days) was a little grumpy at first. She warmed up eventually and ate yummy salad and tortiere for lunch, and then tortured their poor cat for a while. That night we put Maddie down to sleep and Seth and I snuck out to catch a movie. Unfortunately for Grandma & Grandpa Vallier, the munchkin didn't go to sleep easily. Fortunately for us, the movie was a long one (Curious Case of Benjamin Button - great! loved it! go see it!)... so that meant by the time we got home she was (finally) asleep.

Monday morning we packed up early and headed home. It was a long drive, and by the time we got home everyone was exhausted. We tried to unpack what we could. And keep Maddie happy for as long as we could, but she ended up going down for a late afternoon nap, which meant she was up a little later than usual. But that was okay because we had Greg & Liz visiting as they had just gotten home from their trip to Florida.

We had dinner and some drinks and chatted until late in the evening. The next day, Seth and Maddie spent lots of time together while I worked. More of the same on Wednesday - Seth even took her grocery shopping!! I guess there's a first for everything.

Wed night was New Years Eve and we headed to a friend's house for a potluck (Top-Chef-Style) competition and some new years cheer. I was still sick, so after trying to choke down a few drinks, I gave up and put on my DD hat.

Yesterday was another lazy day, with Seth hungover for most of it. I managed to take the Christmas decorations down though, and set up the front room as an "official" playroom now. I must take some pics and post them for you - I'm so glad to finally have a use for this useless room. At least until we finish the rec room and her toys get relegated to the basement... hmmm - don't see that happening in the near(ish) future.

So that's it - there's your update on what the Vallier's have been up to. It's 1:30 and Maddie is down for her nap after a busy morning at Little Feet (indoor play gym) with Mommy & Daddy. Daddy is napping too, and I'm supposed to be working....