Monday, November 27, 2006

Again, I say...what spare time?

It's been busy around here these last few days, which is odd because my mother-in-law is gone and I should have free time now that I'm no longer driving to Etobicoke every day. But Austin is not a napper, and lately his naptimes have been worse than usual. So I only get about 20-30 minutes to myself, twice a day. By the end of most days, I'm exhausted and I can't say I've accomplished anything.

But here's what I do know:

- A few days ago, Austin took two and a half steps on his own -- from the dresser in our bedroom towards the bed. Unfortunately, he needed three steps (maybe four) to get there, and went head first into the bed post. For awhile his eye was swollen, now he's sporting a shiner -- and a small, but healthy dose of fear, which seems to be keeping him from trying that stunt again, at least for a few days.

- My mother-in-law is moving back in next week and half of the week after for six more treatments. That means six more days of driving to Etobicoke and six more days of hanging around Sherway Gardens. I could try to get all my Christmas shopping done during that time, but after spending so much time there already, I've decided that Sherway Gardens isn't really mind kind of mall. Or, I should say, it really isn't my bank account's kind of mall.

- 24 baby-free hours is exactly what the doctor ordered to get rid of much of my frustration. And the PCL Christmas party was fantastic. But that probably had something to do with the amount of wine consumed over the course of the evening. Thank goodness for the taxi chits that got us home and for grandparents who kept Austin until Excedrin Migraine kicked in.

- We bought a new lamp for our living room and, thanks to a great Toronto Hydro/Home Depot coupon, it only cost $5. The light is brighter and whiter than the old one so now the flaws in the walls and the cheap quality of paint slapped on by the previous owners is obvious. Suddenly, this $5 deal is going to cost a whole heck of a lot of money.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

To follow the trend...

Austin now has his own blog. I figure this way I can share photos, videos and updates about Austin without having to remember to send e-mails (and making sure I don't forget anyone on the to: list). And giving him his own blog means I don't have to share my personal blog with my family and Ryan's family.

I'm sure I'll still write about Austin here, as I am a stay-at-home mom for another three months, so it's not like I have much else in my life to write about!

Here it is, for anyone that's interested. There's a few things on it already.

Happy reading!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

24 baby-free hours!

This coming Saturday afternoon, we will be driving Austin to my parents house in Brampton so that he can have a sleepover at Grandma and Granddad's. More accurately put, so that Ryan and I can go to his company Christmas party.

This will be Austin's second sleepover without mommy and daddy -- the first one was when he was five months old and we went to a wedding north of Whitby. But this time I'm sure my parents have no idea what they're getting themselves into. Last time, Austin was just learning how to sit on his own; he had a pretty good attention span; and, most importantly, when you put him down, he stayed put. Now, rather than sitting still and paying attention to one thing, Austin prefers to stand up and find a way to walk around and explore. (And I mean "find a way"...lately he's been grabbing on to chairs and pushing them across the room just so he can get to where he wants to go.)

While Austin wanders around their house, Ryan and I will be downtown partying and drinking (it is an open bar after all). And when the party wraps up, we'll find our way home and crash. But the best part of all is...we'll get to sleep in the next morning!

Friday, November 17, 2006

A friend in need

I’m not asking for help or for anything at all. I simply felt compelled to post this here.

My friend Melanie is the strongest person, both mentally and physically, and has the biggest heart, of anyone I know. She's accomplished things, and taken risks, that I'll likely ever only dream of. In the six years I've known her, she's always been there when I've needed to talk or to help out when life has been turned upside down by a new baby. (Here she is when Austin was just a few days old.) And she cooks a mean four-course meal for 14!

She faces two challenges right now, here's her story. As I said, I'm not asking for help, I just wanted to share.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

An ode to idiocy

A two-part story.

About a month ago, I took Austin to the doctor because he seemed to have an eye infection. His eye was always tearing up and filling with gunk and although it didn’t seem to bother him, we thought it should get checked out.

The prescription for drops didn’t seem to help, so the doctor decided it would be best to take him to see an ophthalmologist. A week later, the nurse called with our appointment – it was at a medical centre on St. George, near Bloor, seven days later. On the day of the appointment, Ryan took the morning off work to hear what the doctor had to say. But we took two cars downtown so he could go straight to work following the appointment.

We paid for parking and walked up the street carrying Austin. But, when we got to the medical building, we couldn’t find the doctor listed on board in the lobby. So, I called their number and got a recording that said, at the very end of the message, “please note we are now located at 20 Wynford Drive.”

20 Wynford Drive! That’s five minutes from our house. And here we were, downtown, five minutes before the appointment. I left a message, telling the receptionist we were on our way but that we were outside their old office and it would take awhile to get there. We ended up half an hour late for the appointment.

The kicker, this doctor has been in the ‘new location’ for two years!

After all that, the ophthalmologist said he may have a blocked tear duct but that we should see a pediatric ophthalmologist.

We were pleased, when a day later, the office called telling us our appointment was less than a week away and that it was indeed at 20 Wynford Drive.

Yesterday, the pediatric ophthalmologist called to confirm our appointment for today and then proceeded to say that they are a very busy office and we should expect to wait 1 to 2 hours. And sure enough, we sat in the waiting room, and walked Austin around the halls for 1 hour and 25 minutes before being called in.

Now, I don’t know about anyone else, but I would much prefer to wait three months to get an appointment rather than know that I will have to sit in a waiting room for up to two hours. What’s the point of even having an appointment if your doctor doesn’t even make an attempt to keep it?

And yes, Austin does have a blocked eye duct. If it doesn’t resolve itself by the time he has his first birthday, we will have to make another appointment to sit in a waiting room.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

And I thought we were pack rats

The other day, Ryan and I decided to clean out the furnace room so that we could put it to better use, rather than to just use it as a junk room. Also, we wanted to move the litter box in there and needed to find just the right spot. It seemed like a pretty straight forward thing to do as we’ve never used that room other than occasionally to open the door and throw an empty box in. And, in all honesty, it’s not a very big room – big enough for the furnace, water heater and an old kitchen counter with cabinets pushed up against the wall.

So why spend my time writing about cleaning a few things out of a useless space in the house? Well, when we moved into this house two and a half years ago, we discovered that the previous owners were…for lack of a better word…rather odd. They took being a pack rat to a whole new level. Put it this way, when we viewed, and subsequently purchased, the house, we didn’t even know there was a workshop in the basement. We saw the door in the room that’s our guest room (the previous owner’s office), but there was so much junk in the room that you could only walk from the door to the computer. You could not get to the door – or anything else in the room for that matter. When we asked what was behind door number one, we were told it was a cold cellar. On the day the house became ours; we walked around the now-empty home, and to our surprised, discovered a reasonable-size workshop behind the door.

That was the pleasant surprise. The unpleasant surprise was the mountain of garbage along the side of the house. Everything from old margarine containers to outdated computer programming books were piled high right outside our side door. It took six weeks to dispose of all the garbage. Then there were the two-dozen or so empty wine bottles under the sink in the laundry room and the construction material in the garage.

The picture was taken on the day we went to sign the papers. It's of the laundry room, not the furance room, but I think it gives the general idea.

So, with all that in mind, we set about to clean out the furnace room. Here, in no particular order, is a list of what we found:
· Extra floor tiles for the workshop
· The cut-off pieces of floor tiles for the kitchen
· A box of ceiling tiles
· Floor grout or something like that.
· Random plastic baggies of nuts, bolts, screws etc.
· Shelves for the closet organizers in all three upstairs bedrooms
· Shelves for a bookcase, I think.
· A broken covering for the florescent lights in the basement
· A bed headboard, or maybe it’s a footboard
· Some large black tube of sorts that Ryan said is used when installing toilets.
· Random pieces of broken wood.
· One of those workshop screw sorters…you know the boxes with all the tiny little drawers in it.
· A box of florescent light bulbs (at last something useful!)
· Cardboard.

Some of the junk went out in the garbage this week, and other stuff is sitting in the basement while we wonder what the heck to do with it. The answer is likely to kick it to the curb next week.

I’d like to say that we have now finally rid ourselves of the previous owners, but I’m sure six months from now, we’ll find something else in a corner of a cupboard that will leave us wondering why anyone would keep it. And besides, we’re still getting their mail.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Life with our house guest and other news

It often seems as if there are never enough hours in the day, and so, when I have something I want to write about, it often takes me days and days to get to it. This is pretty sad, considering I don’t go to work for 8 to 10 hours a day. But I am home with the child who doesn’t sleep and spends most of his time now days getting into everything he’s not supposed to. The game of “Austin, don’t eat that” is starting to get old. And he hasn’t yet figured out that just because I’m not “looking” at him, doesn’t mean I don’t see what he’s getting into.

But in these next few minutes, while Austin is sleeping (figures because we have to go out in 20 minutes), here, in a post of random points, are the few topics I’ve been wanting to write about for the past few days.

Living with the mother-in-law is going well. In all honestly, she’s a pretty easy house guest to live with. She spends most of her days doing her own thing – which usually involves being on the computer – but is more than willing to offer, without being asked, to look after Austin for a few minutes while I shower or get something else done. I now cook for three every night, instead of two, which isn’t really a big deal. And, in the evenings, she even watches many of the same shows that Ryan and I watch, so there’s no arguing over the remote. And, best of all, she records Dancing with the Stars on her PVR, so thankfully I’m not subjected to it!

The only downside is the driving. Two to three days a week, I drive her to Etobicoke for the treatment, kill an hour and a half at Sherway Gardens, and then drive back. It's always in the afternoon, so we always hit rush hour on the way home. Needless to say, by Friday, after so much running around, and just from having someone at home all the time even is she is easy to live with, I find that I’m exhausted.

There’s only two weeks left though, and I think I’ll miss her when she’s gone. It is really nice to have company during the day.

Next. Austin is officially signed up for daycare starting mid-February. It’s a huge relief to have that said and done, especially since he’s in the centre closest to our house. I can walk him over there in less than five minutes.

The centre is in a high school, which initially caused me some concern because I know there were a few “incidents” there last spring. (Specifically, the cops were called for a stabbing and a gun sighting. Sigh, high school just isn’t the same as it was when I went – I don’t recall there ever being such incidents at my school) But I discussed these issues with the director when I went in for a tour last week and she put my mind at ease by explaining their safety procedures.

It seems like a good place, and the centre seems to be very focused on encouraging child development through activities and play, so I’m happy with it. I put the deposit down this morning.

I guess I have to slowly start thinking about the fact that I’ll be going back to work soon. Where the heck did the last nine months go? Being pregnant for nine months sure took more time than being at home with Austin has.