Sunday, October 29, 2006

Halloween dress-up

Last night was Kelly and Steve's Halloween party, and despite my earlier complaints about not wanting to dress up, it was a really good time. (Thanks guys!) In the end, I thought our costumes worked out alright -- although I'll take no credit for any of it. Our 'family' costume theme stemmed from finding a cute cowboy/sheriff costume for Austin at Old Navy. From there, it was Ryan's bright idea for us to go as the convicts. All I did was drag Austin from store to store in search of costumes.

The sheriff was in bed by 9, but here are a few of the shots we snapped before he called it a night.

I'll admit, it was sort of fun to dress up. It had been at least 10 years since I actually put any heart into it. But it was more fun to dress Austin up, and I can't wait until Tuesday when I can put his little Sheriff outfit back on!

And this Halloween taught me something about dressng up. For the next 'whatever number of years' that I'm going to have to help with Austin's costumes, I don't have to be creative...I just have to know where to shop.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Cruisin’ right along

A little over a week ago, I wrote about how I didn’t think Austin would ever crawl. Now I’m pretty sure of it. The other day, he figured out how to pull himself up to a standing position using something other than my hands. And now, he’s just cruisin’ right along.

At eight months and three days old, he easily makes his way from one side of the couch to the other. And when he gets to the end, he grabs onto the next available thing and keeps going. (Sometimes it's his infant swing -- in which case, he tends to fall over because it's not exactly something solid to hold on to.) Most of the time, he’d rather walk (holding my hands of course) somewhere than ‘crawl’ there. And some days he’d even rather stand to drink his bottle than sit.

It’s pretty cool to watch him progress, considering he just learned this new skill a few days ago.

But, on the same note, I must mention an off-the-cuff remark my mom made when Austin was newborn. She said, and I quote, “I feel sorry for parents whose kids walk at nine months because they’re fearless and are trouble.”

I wish I had made a just-for-fun bet with my mom, because it’s looking like I could have made some money. Who knows, maybe he’ll even walk before he turns nine months.

And mom, maybe you should take your foot out of your mouth. (just kidding).

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Early bedtimes, birthday parties and kidney beans

My 21-year-old sister came to visit from Waterloo this weekend.

As a 21-year-old, and living on your own at University, many weekends are spent partying and drinking. At least I hope hers are, because I know mine were.

Now here’s a summary of how our weekend went:

- Friday night conversations started to trail off by the time CSI: Miami ended at 11 p.m. And instead of ‘drinking through it’ as my friend Rob would say, we called it a night.

- Saturday night was spent watching a movie after hitting several different grocery stores in search of kidney beans for the chilli Ryan wanted to cook up on Sunday. Yes, the first three stores were actually out of kidney beans!

- Sunday brunch was spent at Rob and Vone’s for Lilo’s first birthday party.

Not exactly the typical university weekend. I’d say it was closer to a weekend visiting the parents than visiting the big sister. But I guess that’s what happens when your big sister is a parent too. But she said she had fun, and I had a lot of fun with her. I don’t get to see her as often as I'd like so it was nice spending some time together and catching up.

And she did happen to mention that she needed to recharge and relax for next weekend since she’s going to be hitting ‘several’ Halloween parties. So I’m sure my parents will be proud to know that me, the big sister, was able to give my little sister a ‘G’ rated weekend.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Austin's version of crawling

I have a feeling Austin will never 'actually' crawl. At almost eight months, he has figured out a way to get around that gets him to where he wants to go. He gets up on his fingers and toes, and moves like a soldier slithering into enemy territory. He's gotten good and moving quickly, and getting into places he shouldn't be in! So, I guess in his mind, he figures why should he learn to get up on his hands and knees. This video was taken about three weeks ago, and the only thing that's changed is he now moves even faster.

In fact, he's been doing this kind of move for well over a month and is moving on to the next stage. He will easily pull himself up by holding on to my hands or legs and once he's up, he'll put one foot in front of the other if there's something motivating him. He'll even try to let go of my hands while 'walking', not realizing that when he does so, he will fall. He's fearless I tell you.

As a parent, I almost, not quite, but almost feel cheated that he will likely not crawl. I mean what he does is very cute, but crawling seems like such a milestone -- one that he has found a way to skip.

That's alright though -- he'll be running around before I know it, and then I'll long for the days where I could put him down and he'd stay put. So for now, if you ever need to get under a barb-wire fence...Austin's your man!

(P.S. If the video doesn't appear, and you want to see it, go here:

Saturday, October 14, 2006

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

What happened to Halloween? Correct me if I'm wrong, but Halloween is still on October 31, and today is only October 14, right? By my math, that means Halloween is still more than half a month away. And by extension then, Christmas is more than two and a half months away.

If there's two and a half months to go until Christmas, then why are stores stringing up decorations and hawking everything from wrapping paper to snow globes at us? This mentality of sell, sell, sell is going just a little bit too far. It may have snowed on Thursday in some parts of the province, but that does not mean I, or anyone else I know, want to be making a list and checking it twice quite yet. But there I was in Sears this afternoon walking through displays of Christmas decorations, crates of wrapping paper and shelves of wind-up snow globes playing Silver Bells.

I'm not trying to be scrooge. I love Christmas. And my love for it drives Ryan crazy every year when I start playing Christmas music and putting up decorations around December 1. But October 14! I think I'll worry about getting a Halloween costume before I think about Christmas.

Friday, October 13, 2006

I am slowly going crazy

I have two cats. One is three years old and a little bit crazy. She tends to zip in and out of rooms at high speed and when she does stop to take a breath, it’s often because we’ve accidentally locked her in a closet or something. The other is seven years old and is now pretty laid back thanks to the Prozac he gets once a day. Although he still gets pretty territorial when he sees another cat on his property.

In the past, the two got along most of the time – and I’d often find them cuddled up together, sound asleep on the couch or bed. Chloe, being the younger and more hyper one, often wanted to play with Ollie. If he was in the mood, he’d put up with her for a bit, if not, he’d give her a swat and she’d bolt out of the room.

But lately, it seems that those days are over. For more than a week now, all these two do is fight. If one is eating in the kitchen and the other walks in, all I hear are hisses from one and a growls from the other. They’ll keep at that for a bit before one will walk away. This scene is repeated morning, noon and night – it doesn’t matter if they’re in the kitchen, the basement or in our bedroom while we’re trying to sleep.

I don’t know what started it all, and I don’t know how to end it, but quite frankly, it’s starting to drive me crazy. Any ideas on how to get them to cut it out -- other than letting them run out the door and locking it behind them?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

My new house guest

Starting this Sunday, my mother-in-law is 'temporarily' moving in. She'll be living with us from Sundays through Thursdays for the next five weeks while she undergoes treatment for her back at a special clinic in Etobicoke.

I mentioned this to a few people over the last few weeks and each time, I've received the same reaction – an eyes bugging out expression followed by an 'oh my God'. The weird thing is, is right from the minute this decision was made, I've never looked at it in an 'Oh My God' kind of way.

Don't get me wrong, having someone move into my basement, even temporarily, isn’t high on my list of things to do but honestly, I’m not looking at this as a bad thing. Here’s why:

· She’ll get to spend lots of time with Austin.

· I’ll have adult company every day for the next five weeks – which will be nice, especially on Austin’s fussy days.

· There’s someone else around to watch Austin. I don’t expect her to babysit while I go out (especially since she can’t lift him because of her back) but it means I can leave him in the living room with her for a few minutes and take a shower or put on a load of laundry. I don’t have to wait until he falls asleep to do all that.

· Spending all day, every day, together will give us an opportunity to get to know each other better.

· She doesn’t expect me to entertain her, and that takes a lot of pressure off. This means, I’ll still be going out and meeting friends like usual.

· She understands that this isn’t an ideal situation. In fact, she asked me if I was sure about this by saying “I wouldn’t have wanted my mother-in-law to move in with me for five weeks.”

· Having someone move into the guest room and, by extension, our basement, has given us a reason, and the motivation, to furnish those rooms. There will now be a proper bed in the guest room (no more futon) and a couch and love seat in the adjoining family room. A few pictures on the wall, and a DVD player to go with the TV, and the place will be all done up.

So there you have it. It will likely feel kind of busy and crazy around here at times but I think it’s going to work out just fine.

But, I draw the line at having to watch Dancing with the Stars!

Friday, October 06, 2006

How do commuters do it?

Today, I went to visit a friend and her kids in Brampton. We had lunch, we played with the kids and we chatted. And then around 2:30, Austin wanted a nap. So, I put him down in her son’s crib – figuring he’d sleep for 45 minutes or so and then we’d go. But no. Austin decided today was the day for another marathon nap.

At 3:45, I thought about waking him. But as you know, Austin is not much of a napper – so waking him seemed horrible when half the time I complain that he doesn’t nap enough. So I let him sleep and he woke on his own at 4:15 – just in time for a snack.

By the time he had his snack, and we packed up, it was 4:45 – just in time for rush hour. I dreaded the drive, but figured it couldn’t be THAT bad. Ryan drives from roughly the same place I was at every day and it takes him about an hour.

I cruised down Highway 410 at 110 km/h and merged onto Highway 401 thinking maybe this won’t be so bad. Almost as soon as I got on the 401, I came to a dead stop. And I continued to creep along for the next hour.

I hit the Keele Street exit at 6 p.m., and with Ryan’s advice (who was calling to say he was leaving work), I decided to get off and take Wilson across (which turns into York Mills once you hit Yonge Street.) I’ll never know if the decision helped or not, but I was spending more time idling on the 401 than actually driving, so I figured what the hell.

Wilson was moving well until I hit Bathurst. Now, I must add, that until this point, Austin was being pretty good. He played with his toys, looked out the window and sucked on his soother every time I shoved it in his mouth to keep him quiet. But by this point he had had enough. Now he wanted out – or, if nothing else, he wanted to be entertained. So, what do you do when you’re alone in the car, stuck in bumper to bumper traffic (again) and have a screaming baby in the car? Start singing nursery rhymes of course!

After several verses of ‘Row your boat’, ‘When you're happy and you know it’, ‘Skinamarink’ and others like it, he was happier and I was going crazier. But by Yonge Street, he had had enough of that too, so I moved to nice calming lullabies. Unfortunately, I only know two and I’ll be hearing them over and over and over in my sleep tonight.

At Bayview, my gas light went on. I had spent so much time idling in the SUV that I went through almost a quarter tank of gas.

Finally, after 2 hours and 8 minutes, I pulled up to my house. I drove a total of 52 km.

Oh, and to make matters worse, Ryan, who left work (at the 401 and the 403) at 6 p.m. took Highway 407 on my advice, and got home before I did.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Who says babies sleep a lot?

Yesterday, no matter what I tried, I couldn't get Austin to nap. He slept for 20 minutes in the morning and another 20 minutes or so when I plopped in the car -- and my main reason for driving somewhere, anywhere (I ended up in the Beaches -- which was actually really nice for being out walking) was to get him to take some sort of nap, because he was driving me crazy. Now whoever said babies are supposed to sleep a lot has never met my son! Normally, he's not that bad of a napper, but he certainly gets nowhere near the 3-4 hours of nap time per day that the 'experts' say children his age should be getting.

Today, we're having the exact opposite kind of day. Austin's on his third nap of the day, and this one is proving to be a marathon one. (By his standards anyway, since he's been down for a little over an hour.) Which is great for him, but has left me wondering what the heck to do with my time now. I'm so used to him only sleeping for short periods of time, that I don't know what to do with my time when he sleeps for a long time.

Imagine how much I could get done in a day if he actually slept 3-4 hours a day...every day! Oh well, he is an unpredictable one, that's for sure.