Friday, January 29, 2010

Maddie bits

  • We are in the midst of a massive growth spurt. Like massive. Like 2 yogurts, a full banana, a handful of cheerios is greeted with "Maddie still very very hungry, Mommy" growth spurt. The upside of this is that she's lost that annoying picky-eater philosophy that so recently had come to visit upon us. She ate mashed potatoes the other night - and while that doesn't sound all that crazy for most kids - in our house mashed potatoes are evil. (Well to Maddie, they are - to me, it just means I get a double portiono - goooo starch!) The other upside is that she's slept until past 8am the past few mornings - of course this being Friday I suspect this loverly side effect will not be extended into the weekend... because that would be just too awesome.
  • In other developmental news, we now have a toddler that can open doors. I have no idea if this is an early or late skill for a 28 month old as I've stopped paying attention to the "developmental milestones" that are annoying and sometimes stressful and can frankly, eff off. Anyways - her favourite past-time is now to hide in closets. In and out. In and out. Inandoutandinandout. It's fun. Because I sit and watch her amuse herself and pretend I don't know where she is and did I mention the sitting? And not having to get up? This is a fun skill. Yay development!
  • She also doesn't give me hell every time I try to brush her teeth, get her dressed, clip her nails or brush her hair. Perhaps it's grudging acceptance that these things are going to happen. Or she's growing up. Who knows - I just appreciate the lack of screaming matches in the morning.
  • But the one thing that hasn't gone away is the.... how do I word it? Oh - that's right. Physical abuse. Oh yes. My toddler loves to slap the shit out of me. Just me. Not the Hubs. Not any of the kids at daycare. No one else gets this fantastic display of acceptance of unconditional love. Because yeah, I've researched the hell out of it and everyone says "the child hurts the one they feel most comfortable with". Well that's all well and good - but really? TIME OUT.
  • What else does she do (besides beat on me like a 1930's street urchin?) She spends lots and lots of time "reading" to herself (kid has a memory like an elephant and memorizes the stories then "reads" them back to herself constantly); is still obsessed with Dora and Cars and sometimes, but not often, Nemo; has decided she doesn't like the cold "Is too cold out 'der!"; and learned her first joke this week "Guess what? Chicken butt!" (this latter one is actually my fault, and now my daycare provider hates me).
All in all - just regular 2-and-a-bit-year-old stuff, right?


Thursday, January 28, 2010

It's staying a surpise + other impossible goals...

I think we're going to forgo the 3D ultrasound this time. Partly because, "yay surprises!" and partly because a colleague at work completely freaked me out about the safety of ultrasounds in general, and the 3D ultrasound being a gratuitous *extra* that isn't really necessary....and blahblahblah fetal temperature rise and 100 decibel noise factors. Although, if you research anything online, I'm sure you can find someone telling you how terrible and risky and unsafe it is. Including the delicious cheese curds I'm currently enjoying as a pre-lunch snack... I'm sure if I wanted to, I could find out how they were going to give me cancer, or make me blind, or cause congenital heart disease... 

ANYways... so my grand plans for sourcing vintage children's wallpaper for this nursery are slighly kiboshed. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing - because seriously? "Sourcing vintage children's wallpaper" ... I know I live 45 mins from T.O. - but that may have been a stretch for even me... Not to say I still don't salivate slightly when I look at these designs from Secondhand Rose's site:

BUT..... now I just have to find myself some cool vintage-y style fabrics that are little more "neutral" and use as accent pieces. Because you know - what newborn doesn't need a few throw pillows, right?

In other impossible to achieve news - I have decided instead of going to the Great Ikea for Maddie's new "big girl" bed, we are going to make it instead. Ha - I can hear you scoffing and laughing to yourself. Whatever - part of my enjoyable kid-free, hubs-free time last weekend was spent perusing through random design + craft blogs, only to stumble upon Knock Off Wood. I may have died and gone to heaven. Once upon a time I had all sorts of grand plans to make several  pieces of furniture (including a large harvest table made from reclaimed railway ties... Guess what? They're toxic!).

My achievements to-date include two small black, vinyl-covered cubes that currently sit obnoxiously in our living room. These were made in part with my mom and my step-father. To be honest, I did no sewing or drilling. I just gave the measurements and went to work with the staple gun. They're okay. They served the purpose. I now hate them. But at the time - in 2002, they were the shiznay. I had  been coveting a pair of upholstered cube ottomans at Caban for several months and in describing them to my mom, we decided I should just make myself a pair. Of course, mine were made of vinyl. And slightly smaller than they should be. And not quite padded enough. But at the time, there were my crowning achievement and made me want to start making all sorts of things.

And then I forgot about it. Until we moved into our house. And I was coveting a skinny bookcase/console table from Pottery Barn. At this stage I was thinking a bit more clearly and started to research cabinet-making classes at the local college - and put that on my Christmas wishlist for the year. And then I had a baby and good lord I could barely remember to shower, much less attend a class to teach me things. So I forgot about it for a little while longer.

And then, in my desperate search online for a bed that I liked, that I could imagine in Maddie's room, that wouldn't cost a bloody fortune, I found Ana and her plans for the Simple Bed. I am so excited I'm all squirmy like a puppy. Because this is gonna be soooo cool. And yes I'm 19 weeks preggo and planning on building a bed from some 2x4's and 4x4's and that may sound a bit crazy.... but also awesome, non?

So that's the impossible plan for the month of February. But not this weekend. This weekend will be for relaxing, and organizing the garage, and doing some Costco shopping, and fixing our doorbell.

That shouldn't be so impossible. There's not that much electricity that goes through a doorbell, right?


Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday disappointment

After my lovely "Freedom Weekend" wherein I actually did some slothing, some inspiring blog discovering, some terrible Hugh Grant movie-watching and some reckless eating, Monday arrived. And with it a big fat deja vu style disappointment.

It was the day for our 18 week scan. "Ultrasound Day", if you will. The day I've  been waiting for, curbing these nesting instincts within an inch of their life - just waiting to hear..... PINK?  BLUE??  Tell me already... put me out of my misery...

Friends and family will be shaking their heads. In befuddlement, amusement, perhaps even amazement. Just how can this happen twice?

So yes - Lil Val #2 is going to remain a mystery. For a while at least. I mean, it should only take me a few days to work on the Hubs in convincing we do another 3D ultrasound, right?

Stupid, shy baby parts...


PS -- I KNOW this sounds spoiled and rotten and whiny for no good reason. Trust me - I am VERY happy that all seems well in the womb-world, that we got the "unofficial" thumbs up from the ultrasound tech that he/she looks very healthy and happy and normal. I get it - that's all I should be concerned about. So really really - I'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth. But it doesn't mean I can't be a bit bitter that it happened again, right?

Happy Not-so-Winter from Maddie!


Friday, January 22, 2010

Freedom Weekend

About a month ago the Hubs notified me of all the "guys weekends" he had coming up. A fantasy football pool thing, a pond hockey cottage dealio and an ice fishing trip. They were all scheduled within 6 weeks of one another - as in Every.Other.Weekend.

That's cool. I'm actually a super-awesome wifey and don't usually mind these guys weekends (really, I don't - because I get the whole bed to myself and can I just say, "S.T.A.R.F.I.S.H."?) - but seriously, every other weekend seemed a bit lame.

At first I was all - pick 2 outta 3 - you're not getting all these weekends of awesomeness while I get to play single-kill-me-if-I-have-to-watch-another-episode-of-Dora-mom. Not that I don't LURVE my daughter. But dudes - isn't the great thing about weekends getting to do the hand off when you need to take a bath?

Then I realized, well all 3 are pretty unique and different groups of guy friends and blah-blah-softy-cakes, I said, sure have fun at all your weekends. But um - you're taking Maddie with you one of those times.

HA! Don't I rock?

Before any judgy-mcjudgertons here have explody heads, I didn't mean take her WITH him to the actual guys weekend. Because as much as she can out-toot them all, I'm sure she wouldn't be all that into the 3am poker games that ensue.

But this weekend (the pond hockey cottage dealio) is treacherously close to Kingston - where grandparents abound! So Madds is going to visit Grandma and Grandpa Vallier for the weekend. They're excited, she's excited. I'm sure Seth is excited because this is probably only one out maybe two times a year he gets to play hockey anymore. And me?

The sheets are in the laundry, in anticipation of all the starfish sleeping madness that I am going to subject them to this weekend.

Other plans include copious chick-flick watching. Some trashy novel reading. Some junk food eating. And some lounging in pyjamas, not getting dressed for the day, living.

And maybe I'll clean up the garage.



Thursday, January 21, 2010

That's right... I'm old.

Last weekend was my birthday. My 34th birthday. I was going to "allude" to being in my mid-thirties, but let's face it. I know I'm not really THAT old in the grand scheme of things. Mom - I'm looking at you here... kidding. (But not really. You are getting O-L-D. You have a 34 year old daughter - that's gotta make you pause)

So in an effort to actually celebrate my birthday with more than a 2-hour sneak out date while Maddie's asleep with the Hubs, we actually invited friends over! For dinner! And pre-dinner drinks and foodie stuff! And playtime for the kids!

My, aren't we grown-ups?

It was fun. We had steak. With double-baked-stuffed potatoes. And some garlic shrimp. And real bacon bits on the ceasar salad. And then we* poured some butter on our steaks. Because we're fat like that...

It was a hedonistic meal and I enjoyed a glass of my much-loved Masi with my steak (gasps of disgust from the pregnancy-rule-following-crowd!) and then sat and laughed at everyone else who DIDN'T have elastic-waist-band pants on.

Good friends. Good food. Good conversation.  Oh - and ice cream cake for dessert? Yeah, that makes for a solid birthday celebration in your *cough*cough* mid-thirties.

The kids' dinner wasn't nearly as nice as ours. KD + hotdogs. But they didn't mind.

Yum ice cream cake. We had more than a 1/4 of it left over and it was demolished by Monday morning.

Sleep is for the weak! The kids ended getting up at 11pm for one last hurrah.
They were lucky, that was when Seth remembered to bring out the cake. Poor Maddie was totally shafted (and yet blissfully asleep - haha - suckers!)


*I'm kidding. We didn't all do that. Just me and Vone. Whatevs. She's got the metabolism of a racehorse and I'm pregnant. We're dually allowed to be disgusting and eat butter on our steaks. Seriously. Don't knock it until you've tried it...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Now that's gotta be a side-effect

I had a dream last night that I was frantically packing for a "quick flight" to .... somewhere? I don't know where it was - I want to say Florida, and yet, I don't think that's quite right. But I do know that I was concerned that my pedicure wasn't in great shape and that just wouldn't work with flip flops.... so yeah. It was somewhere warm.

And while I was packing (frantically, did I mention the frantic packing?), I was talking to the Hubs about how I thought we probably should take Maddie with us, even though it was going to be a short trip.

His response?

Not worth the hassle. We'll be back in 24 hours and she'll be fine here with the cats. She'll just have to figure out to drink their water.

I'm not 'effing kidding. This was the conversation we were having. LIKE IT WAS REASONABLE. To leave our toddler alone. To drink from the cats' water dish.

And the whole time I had this sinking feeling like, something's not quite right. I feel a little guilty. And OMG have you seen the state of my pedicure? This is Not.Acceptable.

In the end, I woke up just as I was having an argument with the Hubs that I did think we should take her - but since we didn't have a ticket, I'd just put her in my carry-on so the airline wouldn't know. Because you know, while I was fine with her drinking from the cats' water dish, I was worried she wouldn't know when to put herself to bed ON TIME. Yes, that was my main concern. That my unsupervised toddler daughter, who couldn't tell time, wouldn't know that 7:30pm was bedtime and scoot her little ass off to bed.

I am so clearly ready to be a mom to another infant again, yes?


PS - thank you ridiculously small bladder for waking me up at 4am and out of this cockamamie dream that wasn't really a nightmare but giving my heart palpitations nonetheless.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Potty Training Guide... erm... Guide on How to Abandon Potty Training

Abandon hope, all ye who enter here...

I'm pretty sure that should be the opening line of any potty training "manual" (imagine me speaking this with aggressive air quotes). Because "3 Day Potty Training Solution" - can suck it. That means you too, "One Day Guide to Potty Training".

Since we had a full week off with Maddie between Christmas festivities and back to daycare/work January 4th, we figured it was high-time to start the official attempt at potty training.

This included prep work of:

  • reading a lot about potty training, with and without Maddie
  • including her on the trip to Walmart to buy "big girl underwear"
  • talking and prepping and generally hyping-up the whole "you're gonna be a big girl, potty time woot to the woot!"
  • buying an superfluous potty (as we already had 2) that was specifically DORA-themed 
  • stocking up on ice cream treats, m&m's, and stickers/potty training charts
Anyone who knows me, knows I'm just a bit too Type A to go into battle without researching my enemy. The research was done. The groundwork was laid. The Daycare Provider was conferred with, and in agreement that It.Was.Time.

So we went whole hog. No pull ups (oh I had plenty on hand, but not for "training" purposes - more for when we went out somewhere) - just underwear between the pee and my carpets.

The first few days were hit and miss. Like maybe a 50% hit rate. As long as I was asking, coaxing, encouraging, doing-nothing-but-watching-her-like-a-hawk-the-entire-time, we were able to pee pee on the potty. She got it immediately. You sit on the potty and you squirt a bit. Sometimes a lot. Sometimes not much at all, but enough to warrant the demand of a "Dib - the ice cream treat".

And then maybe I relaxed. Or got a bit tired of the constant watching/monitoring/asking/coaxing. I tried to explain/encourage/bribe her that she needed to tell me BEFORE she went pee. That when she needed to pee, she needed to go on the potty, not tell me AFTER she had already started peeing.

This went on for more than a few days until I started to get frustrated. Like how many times do I need to ask you if you need to go on the potty, before you'll put the sensation and the need to tell me ahead of time together? Because this is totally the LAST TIME I'm washing all the pads/straps on your highchair...

By the time Jan 4th came around, we had hit a milestone - she was starting to poop in the potty. That was almost a 100% hit rate. She wouldn't necessarily tell us - she'd just head to the potty and sit and sit and sit and sit. Finally I figured out, oh - she's working on a Number 2. So that's awesome (and also not just a little bit gross to clean up out of a potty chair, for the record). I figured - well, if she's got this, then pee isn't far behind.

Except it still was. Our daycare provider was all over the no pull-ups, just underwear, style of training we were trying. So that's awesome. Except it wasn't for her either because Maddie still wasn't able to "tell" when she had to go.

She would go - no hesitation, if you asked her to come and sit on the potty. So it wasn't a fear thing. Just a body-function-not-triggering-her-thought-process thing.

So after another week of no real progress, I reverted. To pull-ups. I figured this would still give us the opportunity to work on the "pull up, pull down" easier access to potty training, but without the mess. Except pull-ups are an easy way for you (as the parent) to get lazy about potty training too. So while there was no mess, there was really no progress being made at all.

I'm not a quitter and I hated the thought of putting all the progress we had made on the shelf and just abandoning the entire endeavor. So I researched more. And read more. And chatted and discussed and asked for opinions from pretty much any mom-type-person I came across.

It all came to pretty much the same conclusion - if she's not ready (and she was mentally, but perhaps not physically), there's no point in continuing. Because we could just frustrate her, we would (definitely) get frustrated and it could turn into a far harder process than it should be.

So we quit. For now. Good thing diapers are on sale this week. I bought another 2 boxes. Hoping that perhaps this would be the last... I guess we'll try again in a few weeks.

What's really ironic, is that I'm not frustrated with her at all. She's still young, perhaps just that little bit too young to really "get" it yet. But I'm frustrated with myself - is it weird that as a mom, you feel like potty training could be "your" failure, not your kids? Like, I could have been more on top of it. Perhaps if I pushed a little harder, or if I had watched more closely, or not been so quick to move to pull-ups, then we would have been further along?

Ah - the guilt of motherhood. How I've missed you these past few months... welcome back.


Maddie pics

Laziness... the first thing to go is the blog, apparently. Have been meaning to post some pics from Christmas holidays for some time now, better late than never...

Maddie + Daddy at the Whitby Santa Claus Parade

Baking Christmas cookies with me (my first attempt at "roll out + cut shapes" cookie dough - they were good, but a bit weird because I used whole wheat flour)

Completely ignoring Baby Cole on Christmas Eve. But don't you love her fancy sweater?

She doesn't look impressed here because Christmas Presents were Over.Whelming. But that's another post for another time.

With a sick daddy and exhausted mommy, Maddie got to sit and watch more than her fair share of Disney movies over Christmas vacation. And the battle of chair supremacy continued with Simon the Cat.

"Helping" Mommy shovel the back patio on New Year's Eve. Intense work, I tell you...


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sugar in my coffee? No ta, I'm sweet enough...

I've always embraced the New Year's Resolution tradition. Loved that whole concept of "fresh year, fresh start" blah blah blah bloopy blah. Except when it actually came to, you know, keeping those resolutions. Like most of you, I expect.

This year I had cheekily told a friend that I was resolving to be a "nicer person" for 2010. We both laughed at that.

Because, really? Aren't lofty, generalized resolutions like this, kind of bullshit? Unless you came up with a solid, structured game plan of how you are planning on accomplishing them. Which then means your resolution is now about 10 different resolutions that you have to keep. And dude, that's just getting a little too complicated.

Anyways, I've decided that I'm not all that interested in being "nicer". Because that would take real effort, you know?

Like, not rolling my eyes at dumbasses. Or laughing at inappropriate times. Or talking like a sailor... And that's just at work. bab-dum-bum-chshshhh (that's a drum roll you get after a funny joke - get it? har. har.)

Seriously though. I give stuff to charity, sometimes. And I try to recycle as much as humanely possible. I correct my daughter on her P's & Q's. I totally brake for small animals crossing the street.

But in examining my niceness in comparison to the average person's "nice-appeal", I think maybe my short-coming is really just my lack of patience. Which I totally blame on my parents - because genetics are an awesome blame-shifter, non?

So, since I've perhaps pin-pointed a possible area that I could improve as a person, let's use that as a focus, shall we?

For 2010, I resolve to be more patient. With family and friends mainly. And maybe the elderly. But not annoying or idiot strangers in a parking lot. That's just asking too much.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Post-holiday... er... Post.

Okay. So I've been avoiding this post like the plague. Because honestly? I hate when more than just a few days pile up between posts, much less a few weeks. Too much to cover and I'm far too wordy already. I don't want to subject you to that. And holy shit, I've already written an entire paragraph about how much I don't actually want to write because I write too much...... AND, breathe.

There were a number of ups and downs over this holiday. And to be honest - I've never been happier to be back to our "normal" routine. Although we're not quite there yet. But getting infected with 3 (THREE!) separate sicknesses and family-drama-rama means that it wasn't the funnest vacay ever. I give it a 5 out of 10.

Instead of boring you with details, I'll give you the highlights...

  • Christmas Eve we hosted what I hope becomes the Annual Vallier Xmas Eve smörgåsbord of drinks + appy's. I introduced my family + friends to scotch eggs and they are now fatty Anglophile converts like me.
  • Christmas spanned about 3 days in total between real Santa-day and visiting family. Lots of good eats, FAR too many presents and good family time enjoyed by all.
  • We watched the Cars movie about 7,093,098,023,563 times. Clearly Santa could have saved money and just put this one item in her stocking and called it a day.
  • Maddie started potty training and is doing well. Not gonna lie to you, I thought it would go faster, be easier, less messy-like. But apparently my expectations were too high, I should be more patient (what? ME?), and things are going fine.
  • Miss M also started speaking incredibly more clearly - like a little person with full sentences and prepositions and shit. Oh, she still starts most sentences with "Maddie" - but then again, you would too if you were the centre of the universe, right? ;)
  • Other Miss M accomplishments include jumping (WITH 2 FEET MOMMY!), shoveling snow, eating snow (lots and lots and lots), and ... erm. I mentioned the potty training right?
All in all. Life is good. Life is (getting back to) normal. Bring on 2010...