October 2007

October 03

Out of Luck

I have terrible news.  As of this moment, our camera is being transported via the trustworthy folks of Canada Post to Destination Repair Shop located in Manitoba somewhere.  Just great.  Luckily it is still under warranty.  However, the sad truth of the matter is that there will be no pictures forthcoming until it is returned.  Hopefully before Graydon/Rhea makes his or her appearance in nine weeks.  That is correct, we have chosen names.  Finally!  That was much harder than we expected.  Bronwyn was easy, and Graydon is a given, but another girl’s name was surprisingly hard to decide on.  These are not written in stone though, so offended emails or phone calls if we change the name at the last second and don’t inform the internet are not welcome! 
 
Bronwyn has turned on a jealous streak somewhere in her miniscule physique.  Rising to the surface is a veritable green monster of impotent rage and frusteration, which I am allowed to witness several times a week.  I cannot even look at another child now without Bronwyn taking personal offense.  My favourite example is when Sophie (my cousin’s daughter), who is barely 3 months older than Bronwyn, came to sit in my lap.  When B noticed that her spot was taken, she crawled over to assert her rights and reclaim her position.  She pushed Sophie out of the way and climbed up instead.  This is when Sophie (then an only child as well) grabbed her sandwich out of her hand and shoved it in her mouth.  B was outraged and went after her food in retaliation.  Which is when Sophie pulled the toy B was leaning on away from her, and B (not wanting to let go) fell and hit her head on the platic horn of the toy car.  Probably had my lap been large enough to accomodate two one-year-olds we would have saved ourselves some tears (tears of outrage and hurt from B, and tears of laughter from the rest of us).  As it was, Bronwyn was removed for a little quiet time with her still stifled laughing mommy, and all was well in her world. 
 
All this to say that the new one has developed this jealous streak early!  Bruce came to hug me yesterday and little Graydon/Rhea kicked him!  I pulled away and said, “did you feel that?”.  He didn’t and came to hug me again, but I pulled away in shock moving my shirt out of the way to see a tiny foot beating a tattoo on my belly.  He saw it then and put his hand on the bulging spot only to grimace in disappointment, “he moved his foot back in”. 
 
If Bronwyn won’t let me hold another baby, and Graydon/Rhea won’t let me hug my husband, it is going to be a long winter!
 
Bronwyn learned to stand by herself on sunday.  She gets her little feet flat underneath her body and just rises into the air.  Usually holding on to something that she wants to bring us.  She walked the length of the hallway this weekend, and is becoming braver in her attempts to navigate corners and other obstacles.  Yesterday after Bible Study, she grabbed my hand and pulled me out the door, down the hall, and into the kitchen where some women were still tidying up.  Then she became shy and hid behind my legs.  She still looks like a baby, but she is all toddler!
October 10

It’s ok cuz cherry’s favourite anyway…

Bronwyn has been acting very strange lately.  Hyper-strange.  She doesn’t even remember her morning nap anymore, and her afternoon one is getting later and later too.  She just has so much energy!  Which doesn’t seem to correlate with her food intake, but she looks healthy, so she must be getting enough.  She just plays and plays and walks and climbs and plays some more.  And climbs some more.  Today we went to a store to pick up a shower gift for my sister, and the lady behind the cash had to draw my attention to my wandering child who had clambered up onto an empty shelf and was working her way up the next step toward the toys perched on the stand next to it.  I can’t adequately describe the feat of manouverabilty this took.  Luckily this store is a small children’s store that caters to wandering children, and really, except for that one shelf, is completely child-proof with toys and games set out for the kids to play with while the parents shop.  She loves it there.  Yesterday Bruce and I were playing with Bronwyn in the living room when she became insanely hyper.  Jumping on the couch (or bouncing really) and burrowing her head in the cushions and launching herself at Bruce.  Rolling over and over and keeping up an endless chatter of nonsensical words and syllables.  Where did my non-mobile 10-month old go?
 
It isn’t so much the hyperactivity that made me stop to think though.  As cute as it was, and as endearing watching her act “grown-up” was, I found that I was really enjoying myself.  I mean really really having fun.  When did this become my activity of choice?  When did watching Bruce and Bronwyn play together while I lay on the couch feeling the baby kick become my most prized time of day?  And why is it so alluring?  I feel cheated when Bruce is late from work, or he has a night meeting, or he is tired and doesn’t feel like playing.  It isn’t that I want to have him for myself: to talk about my day, or his day, or be in his presence (as nice as that is), but I reap enormous rewards and benefits just watching Bronwyn have fun with him.  I love watching the bond between them strengthen and mature.  It gives me peace of mind to know that I am not Bronwyn’s sole source of entertainment and comfort. 
 
Last weekend we went to the mall to look for shoes for Bruce.  Bronwyn tripped and fell and started crying.  I held out my hands to her and she crawled to Bruce instead.  Was I hurt?  Not really.  Surprised?  Definitely.  When did daddy become more favourite?  I can understand that he might be better at playing with.  He makes up games and has the stamina and strength to pull them off.  I wouldn’t be able to carry her for a kilometer down the muddy road to check out the cows, and play in the trees and who knows what else.  He is more of a novelty too.  I mean, she sees me all day every day.  But come on.  I am the MOMMY.  I kiss the boo boos, and give better hugs.  I am softer to cuddle with.  I smell right.  Besides, I am not the kisser of boo boos for no reason.  I did take four years of university courses to get a degree in boo boos.  Bruce is a self-professed hater of all things blood and vomit related.  It is my role.  One that I accept and embrace (and like). 
 
So maybe I am a little hurt.  But the practical, lazy side of me reminds the overly sensitive, protective side of me that the more Bronwyn prefers Bruce, the less I have to do.
October 20

Rest easy- the moose are safe!

Bruce and I just arrived home from a week in the Sudbury area.  He had been invited to go moose hunting with my dad and his group (19 guys) and I took full advantage of the occasion to visit with the female members of my family for the week.  In my lifetime remembrance, I cannot recall a year when my father has not returned from a hunt with nothing.  I was so confident that they would get a moose, that I spoke of the meat as if it were already in the freezer.  I was told that it is my fault that the moose are still alive and well today.  Maybe they’ll get a deer.
 
My week was much more productive. 
 
I visited nearly everyone I meant to.  We had a lovely baby shower for my sister Elaine, and we spent hours wedding dress shopping for my sister Stephanie.  I was able to spend some wonderful quality time with my mom and sisters, seperately and together, and see old friends and new relatives (like baby Allison!).  The only disappointment was that Elaine hadn’t had her baby by the time we left…so sad…I can’t wait to meet him or her!!  My very first niece or nephew!
 
Bronwyn was wonderful.  She progressed so much in just five days, she is hardly recognizable.  Bruce was struck by how much she had changed in the time he was gone, and I agree.  I could recognize it even as I watched it happen.  For starters, last saturday she was still crawling more than walking, but over the last few days I haven’t seen her crawl once.  Also, her hand-eye coordination is improving.  This is mostly noticeable when she feeds herself.  She can accurately spear her food with a fork and bring it to her mouth.  This makes for much less messy meals.  Well, that isn’t entirely true.  Since the dogs were inside for most of the week (my parents’ backyard isn’t fenced), Bronwyn discovered it was funny to drop food for them to eat.  She also learned a new word: “SIT!”  Good times.  She is using her memory more, combining it with her fine-motor skills, demonstrated by her surprising ability to screw the cap back on the water bottle, and figuring out the clasp to Auntie Elaine’s watch. 
 
Today, she was playing at Aunt Claire’s house and we were surprised when she picked out a toy bowl and fork and started to “feed” the dolly.  Then she gave it a big kiss and petted her head.  She would give the doll a few bites, then mime one for herself, making “yummy” noises.  She learned how to call the cat, and would walk around upstairs at my parents’ clucking her tongue and looking inside bedrooms.  She would squeal with delight when she caught sight of Pelita, but remained unperturbed when the cat hissed and darted under the nearest bed.  Poor cat- two large dogs and a curious toddler in her house for an entire week!  This morning she brought me my shoe and “helped” me put it on my own foot, and then, when prompted, walked back down the hall to fetch the other shoe.  I didn’t know she was recognizing so many of the words we say, and it is exciting to think that we are entering a stage where we can start to communicate with language. 
 
Baby Brulie is growing and maturing too.  S/he is obviously bigger and attempting to find some sort of secret exit hidden behind my liver.  The amount of kicking, poking, stretching, and rolling has increased ten-fold in the last week, making sleeping and sitting for long periods a luxury of the past. 
 
I hope this update finds everyone well, and I apologize again for the lack of pictures as our camera is still in Manitoba.  Elaine and Ryan have generously donated to us their old one for the next several weeks so we don’t miss this exciting new period of Bronwyn’s development, and the birth of our newest (only six weeks to go!!). 
October 24

Housekeeping

Well I meant to imply, by the title, that I had housekeeping issues to address, but I could also remind everyone how much I hate housework.  Seriously, hate it.  Why does my house get dirty?  And why should I be held to certain standards of cleanliness if no one is here but me?  I am so exhausted by the amount of housework that has accumulated that instead of actually doing it, I am down here, in my basement, ignoring it instead.  I challenge any bird to a head-in-the-sand contest.  I’ll win.  I always do. 
 
 
On to the update:
Bronwyn had her 15 month check-up and needles today.  She is sitting on the 10th percentile for weight and head circumfrence (like usual) but has dropped from the 50th percentile of height to the 10th.  They are not concerned about this, and actually, it makes for a more proportioned child anyway.  She is eating enough, and her only advice is to stick with the whole milk for now, and not drop her to 2% yet.  Her gross motor activity is on target, and her fine motor skills are above and beyond (as they have been for ages).  Her language is slightly slow, she should be picking up a new word every week at this stage, and trying to string words together, which she hasn’t even attempted yet.  No cause for concern, just a fun new development to look forward to!!  Her systems are all in perfect order, and to date she has had no infections of any kind, with or without antibiotics.  Kathy also mentioned that Bronwyn is incredible strong in her hips and legs for her age and size.  This was pronounced after a difficult struggle to obtain the necessary position for the hip flexing test.  And people wonder why it takes two of us to change her diaper!!
Her needles were not the usual easy time though.  She didn’t even cry at her 12 month shots, but the new nurse wasn’t very good, and clearly nervous, and Bronwyn wailed.  I am getting stronger though, and it is getting easier with each set.  Luckily only one more set to go before we are through until she is four. 
 
Graydon/Rhea is also doing well.  S/he is measuring a touch small for her age, and her heart rate was down during the exam today (130 bpm) but she might have been sleeping.  Or she might be a boy!  My BP is normal and no problems that aren’t regular run-of-the-mill-stop-your-complaining-you-are-pregnant-after-all complaints. 
 
Bronwyn and I have been keeping nice and busy this week after her overly-stimulating week last week.  Tuesday I went to Bible Study and Bronwyn went to nursery school where she discovered the joys of stickers.  I went to pick her up and she was literally covered in little star stickers.  On her cheeks, in her hair, stuck to her clothes, even on the soles of her shoes.  She had a great time!  Then she tried to help Mrs VanS clean up the room afterwards.  All the other adults were bent over picking up stickers off the floor and Bronwyn was crouching in the middle of them deftly scooping a sticker at a time and bringing it over to me to place on her shirt somewhere.  This was extremely endearing until she found the crackers and refused to come out from under the table until she had eaten them all.  You’d think I was starving the child!
 
Today we met Bronwyn’s new friends Micah and Cora at the pool.  After swimming for an hour, we ate lunch at Wendy’s (and people-watched).  I am shocked by what everyone was eating.  Wendy’s has gone out of their way to provide healthy choices (for kids especially) and yet every single child there (5-6 under 3) had fries as their side orders.  AND, only one child had milk!  The rest had something from the soda fountain.  I don’t exclusively give Bronwyn healthy, low-fat (see above) and sodium-free choices.  Today, for instance, she ate some crispers…they are too salty even for ME!  But when the options are the same price, and similar portion sizes, and you are already feeding them chicken nuggets or a cheeseburger, why wouldn’t you opt for the orange slices or yoghurt with granola?  Maybe this is why my child is too skinny- not enough french fries and coke!
October 31

Coincidence?

So not 45 minutes after posting those few meagre pictures of Bronwyn, I hear the dogs barking.  I go outside to see what the matter is, and there is a delivery truck parked in the driveway and a delivery man trying to get out of his truck (to no avail).  My dogs are good guard dogs.  He sees me at the top of the stairs and tosses a package to me.  He looks like he can’t get out of there fast enough.  After I stare at the label for a few seconds I realize what it is: my camera!  I told myself that if I hadn’t heard from them by November I would call, and here it was, 2 days before the end of October, and my camera was already back in my hands.  There was a nice letter attached saying (basically) that even though the damage was not due to workmanship or service on their part (and therefore must have been negligence on mine) they decided to fix it and return it for free as a token of goodwill towards our continued patronage of Kodak products.  Well, it worked.  I already liked Kodak quality but now I appreciate their service as well.  I am sold.  The best part of my story though is that as soon as I finish making Bruce some squash soup, I will attempt to download 3 months of pictures, sort and label them, and have them posted for your viewing pleasure before the Raptors touch the first game ball of the season!

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