July 2007

Bruce’s New Girlfriend

Joan and Derek and the kids came over for the weekend.  I had big plans to go to the beach, maybe hit the caves, or at least pick tonnes of strawberries.  Well, the strawberries did get picked- and subsequently eaten; but, that is about it.  By the time we got our act together and all the kids had their naps, it had started to rain.  The mosquitoes were too bad for Elliot to be outside for any length of time (they LOVED him), and the caves turned out to be too expensive and too far away.  In the end we actually ended up hanging out at the house.  It wasn’t too bad!  The kids got along well, with only a few minor meltdowns.  And no one hit or bit anyone else.  Bronwyn thought these older kids were so cool.  After all, they could walk and talk and played with all her toys.  She tried her best to maintain all attention on her, but it got increasingly difficult as the weekend progressed. 
Firstly, Bruce turned out to be the centre of all child-like activity.  Anne thought he was the greatest thing since sippy cups, and even Elliot deigned to play with him a little (he’s very shy).  With all this outside attention on her old man, Bronwyn was forced to relinquish her strangle-hold on me to assert her rights as firstborn daughter.  Bruce would bounce Bronwyn on his knee, and Anne would come over and climb on the other knee.  Bruce would switch them, and Bronwyn would crawl over and try and “honk” his nose or grab his arm etc.  He was a human playground.  I think he sort of liked it though. 
Secondly, since Anne loved Bruce so much, she was always trying to “talk” to him.  She has about a dozen words and she would play telephone with him or just sit and talk to him, so Bronwyn has started to expand her vocabulary.  She can now say “again” as well as “more”.  When I say she can say them, I don’t mean that she can actually say those words- but they do sound an awful lot like their english counterparts.  Her baby gibberish that mean “again” and “more” might only be understandable to Bruce and I (and Joan who is fluent in baby gibberish!).  Nonetheless, she is well on her way to making her wants and needs known in a way we can understand. 
The adults had fun too.  We made 4 different types of chicken wings on saturday night (Bruce made them- sauce and everything), and potato skins and watched Back to the Future II.  We played some crokinole (Derek and I creamed Bruce and Joan), and just hung out.  Ben and Sarah stopped by on friday night before going to Ottawa and it was funny to watch Ben interact with the kids.  They came up with some fun racing around the house trying to scare each other games.  Fun times. 
Unfortunately all weekends end, and this one was no exception.  Luckily we had fireworks to look forward to.  We decided to head to the base in Petawawa with the reasoning that they would be the most patriotic and therefore have the best fireworks.  We were not disappointed.  Bruce and I agreed later that they were the best fireworks we’d ever seen.  I put Bronwyn to bed early (by that I mean I placed her in her crib and let her cry until she fell asleep at the railing and fell down).  She is not usually like this, but all the excitement coupled with a severe lack of naps made for an extremely wired and cranky baby.  At 9pm I woke her up and dressed her in warm clothes and we headed down the highway.  There wasn’t a soul around and we wondered if we had got the time wrong, when all of a sudden about 3 km from the place, there were about a million cars jammed into parking lots and crammed into little side streets.  Teenagers were everywhere and you could just HEAR the festivities (although not understand them, because most people were speaking in french!!).  The firework display was set up on a golf course overlooking the river.  The sun had set right in front of us, and the remainder of the coloured sky formed the backdrop for the fireworks.  It was the most magnificent setting I have ever seen.  We were all crowded onto one hole, but you could see perfectly because it was sloped.  We set up our chairs with an unobstructed view, and waited for the show to begin.  We were a little worried about Bronwyn, but our fears were unfounded.  Not only was she warm enough, awake enough and interested enough, she LOVED the fireworks.  She didn’t cry or wimper (like lots of other kids), and she even started imitating the oohing and ahhing she could hear around her.  After a particularly long set, she even started chanting “again again”.  I guess all those hours of jumping around corners yelling “BOO” paid off!! 
The next day being holiday monday, Bruce and I started looking forward to the next leg of our weekend adventure- Ben and Sarah returning from Ottawa!  When they arrived after lunch, we loaded all our gear into 2 cars and drove to the Petawawa river for some fun in the water.  We took turns playing in the swifts with our canoe and then when it started to rain, Sarah and I took Bronwyn and headed down the river to drop off the other car, while the boys started on their whitewater adventure.  Apparently it was awesome, and I couldn’t help being a bit miffed when Bruce went on and on about how great it was.  Like that should have been me with him, except I was too busy taking care of our 2 kids to be able to risk my neck in adventerous pursuits.  Then he twisted the knife a little deeper by saying that he and Ben did sets that he would never dream of taking me on.  I guess he found himself a newer, stronger, better partner.  Luckily Ben lives far away or I might have to be jealous!
That night we made tacos and watched a movie and played Euchre until our jokes ceased to be funny.  And Sarah and I beat Ben and Bruce 2/3 games in the first time in the history of Euchre.  Hooray for little girl brains. 
Now, Bronwyn is asleep for her nap (her ONLY nap since she didn’t get up until 11:30am, and therefore missed her morning nap) and I am trying to remember all the things that we did these last 4 days.  Bronwyn is going to be disappointed when she wakes up and it is only boring mommy left at home.  We did go to the beach today, her and I, to cool off and play in the sand and water, and try to forget that all the kids went home.  We slid down the slide and swung on the swings, and got nice and wet and sandy.  We will definitely go back there- but this time I will wear my swimsuit!
On a final note for those who made it all the way to the end, Bronwyn is getting much better at crawling and has started to use her knees more.  She can pull herself up on just about anything, and cruises around holding onto such dubious stabilizers as corners of walls, 6 in tall toys, and the molding around door frames. 
July 08

Scariest Moment Yet!

When I have to do laundry, I try to do it while Bronwyn is napping.  Her naps have been sporadic lately though so I am forced to do more housework while she is awake.  Other chores are not a problem, but laundry takes me downstairs, and babies like to follow mommies everywhere they go.  At first I tried to put Bronwyn in her room and close the door.  But I feel terrible shutting her in like that, so I just tried closing the door, not pulling it shut all the way.  She quickly got it opened and followed me down the hall and to the top of the stairs.  Why not just put up a baby gate you ask?  Well, frankly, it is a big pain for us, and she doesn’t ever get out of my sight…yet.  So, I am holding off on the inevitable. 
This brings us to friday.  The laundry has been piling up and I really needed to do a few loads.  I came up with a solution I thought was perfect.  I gathered all my laundry, sorted and pre-treated upstairs, and just before I was ready to head down the stairs, I plopped Bronwyn in her exersaucer.  I forgot that Gavin had been over the day before, so the settigns were down a notch, and left her whining pitifully at her toys. 
I listened carefully while I was shoving clothes into the machine, hanging delicates, and generally trying to do as much as possible in one trip.  After about a minute, I could no longer hear her crying, so I deduced that she had made peace with her situation.  I hurried back upstairs when I was finished to find…
…Bronwyn grinning down at me from the top step!
She had, apparently, climbed out of the exersaucer and crawled over to the top of the stairs (presumably looking for me).  She did all that without crying, fussing, or even making a noise loud enough for me to notice.  We may just have another Stephanie on our hands.
July 10

Downward Facing Baby

Perhaps I need to resume the twice a week yoga craze I was in to when I was pregnant with Bronwyn.  The newest munchkin seems content to ride out his days with his bum wedged firmly in my pelvis, hands and feet over his head in a weird pretzel pose.  I had my ultrasound today.  The tech assured me everything looks normal, and that Baby #2 is actually small for his age (about 9 oz) which is a surprise to me, because he feels bigger!  In the whole hour that I was there, he didn’t shift his position once.  Maybe he’s stuck.  Maybe I should be concerned…
Yeah right.  For those who know me, even slightly, you should know that I don’t get concerned over much.  Or at least I don’t show my concern- ever.  Besides, the child is less than a pound!  He’ll be fine.  My only concern is that he is actually a she, and that I’ll have gotten so used to saying “he” that it will be difficult to change after she is born.  If that is my biggest problem you say…
Please enjoy the fuzzy pics of little No Name!
July 16


This blog is inspired by an article I read concerning overprotective parents. 
I feel that society today is too consumed with keeping our children safe, that we are forgetting to let them grow up.  Proper, healthy development requires risk-taking and a certain exposure to the elements to be successful.  But, we are so scared today to let our children face these exposures that we hide them in little glass bubbles where they can see but never touch. 
Yeah right.
True, we are scared; but my experience has been that we are not scared of the things that hurt children as much as the society that tells us that these things hurt children.
It is considered politically correct to eschew the teachings of our grandmothers that said that every child must eat dirt, and that scrapes and scratches are best healed with kisses.  Well…aren’t they?  Will a Dora bandaid with built-in antibacterial cream actually help to heal a scrape better and faster than soap and water and fresh air?  We’ll never be allowed to find out. 
I am not saying that we should turn our kids loose the moment they can walk to fend for themselves.  But I do wonder why God created all other animals to nurture and care for their young for a short period of time, and we are left raising our children until they are 18.  Don’t get me wrong.  I am looking forward to raising Bronwyn and Brulie to the best of my ability.  But I resent being told how by a society of dirt-fearing, sun-hating, fresh air allergic busy-bodies.  I can’t be the only mother out there who doesn’t keep hand sanitizer in her purse, or who never wasted her money on one of those weird grocery cart covers. 
When my daughter shoves a handful of dirt in her mouth, I am not concerned, because there are no pesticides in my garden.  And when she eats food off the floor, I figure at least she’s eating.
I believe in immunization not sanitization. 
My home is baby-friendly not child-proof.
And my child has NEVER worn a wool hat in the summer (except in the hospital where they made me!).
July 26

Bronwyn’s Birthday Bash

 Well, Bronwyn celebrated her first birthday this last weekend.  I was all prepared for feelings of accomplishment or a sadness that her baby years have slipped away.  But, frankly, I was (and still am) so tired after the weekend that I can only think of sleeping and finishing my new Harry Potter book!
Maybe it is the new baby that keeps kicking that keeps me grounded in reality and not flung into the far reaches of nostalgia.  Or perhaps it is just that I am not a terribly sentimental person, and that birthdays are just days- fun to look forward to, but not all that special in the long run. 
Whatever the reason, I regret to say that I have no words of advice or wisdom that have bubbled to my usually reserved surface, ready to explode into a gush of sentiment about Bronwyn’s first year.  I did look back though.  And what I realized is… I have a great baby.  She is truly an easy-going child with a sweet temperment, is of obvious intelligence, and is (in our opinion) quite beautiful.  I can only hope that the new one will be as even-tempered and compliant (and good-looking!). 
We had most of our respective families’ join us for the weekend.  I will take the liberty of expressign the opinion that everyone had a good time.  We played ladder golf, and went to the beach where we played more ladder golf and swam and played some baseball (shoeless for most of us!).  We also ate A LOT!!  There was tonnes of food (still is) and everyone helped out with the preparing and cleaning up of the meals, which I appreciate.  All in all there was lots of laughing and just general hanging out time.  So, thanks famiily for making this weekend one to remember.  Not for Bronwyn, but for me.  Knowing that everyone cares enough to travel so far and make such an effort means a lot to me.  I know that I will never forget the day that Bronwyn was born- how could I?  Her first birthday started at 20:46, when she arrived and I  looked at her for the first time and knew that I was a mommy.  I didn’t know all that that title would entail (and still don’t), but I knew that it was the right role for me.  I was meant to be a mom.  There will be many many birthdays down the line that I won’t remember, but I will definitely remember this second one.  The one when everyone put aside their differences to celebrate life and promise and hope.

It Takes Two

Last night started off poorly.  I had a craving for Aunt Jan’s Curry in a Hurry and spent the better part of my evening tracking down the recipe and ensuring I had all the necessary toppings.  It turned out well, but I was toast by the time America’s Got Talent came on, and all I wanted to do was lay on the couch and veg.  Being tired and hot always makes me cranky and irritable, and yesterday was no exception.  The show was just drawing to a close and I was contemplating an early bedtime vs a cool bath and a magazine when Bruce and I looked at each other.  
“Do you smell skunk?”  Bruce asks.
“Maybe one got hit on the highway.”
“We should bring in the dogs just in case.”
Famous last words.  Bruce opened the door and let the dogs into their room, and we were assailed by a veritable force-field of oily gas.
“That sure stinks, good thing we got the dogs in on time” I mention.
More famous last words.
“I think Dude got sprayed!  He’s all wet, and he can’t open his eyes.”
“Just great!  Go check the internet… do we even have any tomato juice?”  I complain.
“Better get into some old clothes” Bruce instructs wearily.
We drag the dogs out onto the grass and while Bruce holds them down, I get down and dirty with each muzzle as I lather, rinse and repeat.  Nevis needs three soapings, and is acting more like a bucking Bronco than a lazy, over-fed Lab.  It is late and all the neighbours have their lights out.  I keep looking over expecting someone to appear on the porch demanding to know what the racket is about!
Our teamwork pays off eventually, and we head inside, sopping wet and stinking of skunk ourselves.  We are cleaning up in the bathroom and Bruce looks over at me and says.  “I’m sure glad I married you”. 
I am a little taken off guard.  “I’m glad I married you too” I venture.
“You know what I mean” he sighs, exasperated.  “I couldn’t ever get that close to that stink like you did.  You know I don’t have the stomach for that sort of thing”.
I paused.  Then I smiled.  It came to me then, that it really does take two in this world.  I started to think about my life if I didn’t have Bruce.  I mean Bruce specifically.  The guy who sits on the dog while I wash his ears.  The guy who always brings me something from the garden to try after he finishes working out there.  The guy who takes Bronwyn into another room and entertains her when he gets home so I can have a break. 
I started out the evening irritable and sulky, but I guess it took two dogs taking their watching duties too far to remind me that no matter what we’re doing and at what hour we have to do it at, it is just more fun to do it together.

One Response to “July 2007”

  1. ToliVodetit December 12, 2009 at 2:48 pm #

    Excellent post, good looking blog, added it to my favorites!

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