January 2008

January 29

Typical Conversation

Bronwyn do you want some breakfast?
un huh huh (points to high chair)
Do you want some fruit?  What is this? (hold up banana)
That’s right, it IS a banana!
Enh ENH MEHMEH MmmmeeeehhhhhhhhhhhMA!  Peese, peese, PEESE mmmmama!  (makes “more” sign)
You know your oatmeal has to be cooked first.  It is 45 seconds out of your day EVERY day!  And yes, I still have to cool it…
….down (as I pour cold milk all over said cereal).
No you cannot eat your yogurt without a bib on.
(pouty expression mixed in with trying to pull bib of of head)
Should mommy feed you?
NO (grabs spoon from my hand).
Are you done yet?
Enh eh!
Do you want down?  Say DOWN.
Right.  Let’s clean up your hands and face.  Which do you want washed first, your hands or your face? 
Ok, hands it is!
After being let down she runs over to the swing.
Tis tis?!
That’s Holly.  Say hi Holly.
Hi Howy.  Goo da.  (translation: Hi Holly.  Good dog).
See… she talks!
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January 25

My girls are growing up…

We had a doctor’s appointment this week.  Everyone is very healthy, if not big (I’m talking to you Holly!).  Bronwyn is now 23 lbs (but I don’t believe it, more like 22lbs).  She is also 31.5 in tall.  Now if it is accurate to take a girl’s height at 18 months and double it to find out her adult height, Bronwyn will be 5’3″.  Which sounds about right to me.  Holly weighed in at 12 lbs exactly on her 7 week birthday.  That is in the 90th percentile.  She is also 24.5 in tall (off the chart!).  She is even taller than her cousin Ethan!!!  Glad that Bruce’s genes are finally coming through.  I was afraid the Golder genes were going to be too strong!
Speaking of that…
I know that I have said before how strange it is to have two daughters who look so different, but this phenomenon has started me thinking.  What about all those other children we never had?  I hate to obssess over all the lost opportunities I have had to make a child, but lately I have begun to fantasize about all those hundreds and hundreds of babies, and what they would look like.  Some families have 4 or 5 kids that are exact replicas of each other.  Yet other couples produce an equal number of virtual DNA strangers.  Does God decide each person or has He set up His system, and lets “nature” take its course? 
We were watching Planet Earth’s DVD on Birds of Paradise.  Side note: WOW- check out those discs!!  There are over 40 different species of that same bird.  Each one more stunning and useless than the next.  I guess what I am saying is that people worry too much.  If God can keep those birds safe looking and acting like they do, how much more will He protect us?
January 16

Title Required

It is 9:17pm and I am bored.  Both of my children have been asleep since 6:30pm.  I know that writing this blog is a surefire way to wake one of them up, but as long as that one is Holly, I am fine with that.  I have done everything I wanted to do tonight (and some stuff that I didn’t).  I am sure there is some cleaning I could do, but let me let you in on a little secret.  I am actually fearful of having a spotless house.  Strange?  Yes, but hear me out.  If my house were completely clean, and there was nothing left to do, I would lose my fail-safe backup for boredom.  As it is, I can safely sit here wasting time and lamenting the lack of things to do, because in actuality, I have dishes to do and floors to sweep and beds to make.  I am terrified of the thought of having nothing to do.  This way, I may rest assured that there is always something that needs my attention.  Besides, I dislike living within perfection.  It makes me feel anxious.

Anyway, Bruce is out playing basketball, my girls are asleep, and my kitchen is suitably untidy, so here I am updating the internet on our lives here.  I brought Bronwyn to the doctor today because we noticed her left eye was puffy.  She also had a copious green discharge that resembled nothing less than snot, but was twice as tough to remove.  Say it with me everyone: conjunctivitis- bacterial.  So since this is highly infectious, and we have a newborn in the house whose face is subjected to Bronwyn’s ardent affection several times daily I thought it prudent to have her seen immediately.  Luckily they took her that afternoon and by bedtime Bruce had her laying on the floor while I dripped antibiotic drops in her eye.  What a test of her good and trusting nature.  She didn’t even blink.  No fussing, no crying, no squirming.  She just looked at me.  Have I mentioned how much I love her?

On a side note, the ten minutes it took to get to the clinic, and the ten minutes it took to get home, were just enough to impress indelibly into my mushy, sleep-deprived brain, such ditties as “Go speed turtle”, and “I love your nose”.  Courtesy of Sandra Boynton’s Blue Moo Cafe CD set.  I sincerely hope that there is a suitable punishment set aside for well-meaning, yet deranged grandparents who purchase these CD sets, then give them to impressionable toddlers.  She isn’t singing them yet, but I know that I will never sleep again.  Imagine the following lyrics set to a tune halfway between a beach boys hit and “Greased Lightening”:

Speed turtle…Oh whoa/ It’s a speed turtle…Oh no/ Man alive it’s in overdrive/ Go speed turtle go go/ When that maniac gets going, better hold onto your hat/ It can speed across the road in just three hours flat.

You get the idea. 

January 12


Whoever took the last 6 weeks had better give them back!  I am not joking.  They are gone, and I am pretty sure that means I will never see them again.  Seriously though, where has the time gone?  Holly will be 6 weeks old on tuesday.  That is the turning point for babies.  However, I don’t think she can get any better than she already is.  She sleeps, eats, smiles and coos in a predictable pattern.  Although, as Elaine was quick to point out when I was talking with her tonight, that just means she has to change it now!!  Regardless, Holly is a perfect baby in all respects, and I wouldn’t change a thing.  Although… if we are looking for changes, I wouldn’t mind more consolidated sleep at night.  I mean, if someone is offering…
I remember thinking at about the 2 week mark that I wish she would just hurry up and get a bit older so she could start to DO stuff.  But now that she is, I realize that I missed out on stuff that I can never get back.  Like, did we have enough skin-to-sking bonding when she was first born?  Did I provide enough black and white bulls-eye patterns for her grwoing visual development?  Is it too late now?  The guilt really compounds when it is your second!  Does Holly get enough one-on-one mommy time?  Is it the same as Bronwyn got?  I CAN’T REMEMBER!!!! 
I have never liked the parenting philosophy that demands exact division of time and resources between all the children.  The whole idea that what one gets all must get seems like a lot of work (who can REMEMBER!?!?!), and diminishes the capacity for spontanaity and individuality.  Besides, doesn’t it also foster the temptation to lie (“no, we didn’t go out just the two of us”) to avoid having to treat everyone to lunch?  But I still find myself trying to treat my girls as equally as I can.  Not because I think they deserve it, but because I feel guilty feeling I haven’t done “right” by my second daughter.  It is that guilt that keeps me awake at night re-reading my parenting manuels, and forcing myself to sing endless lullabies in the wee hours of the morning, even though Holly is already asleep.  I am shelling out money for pictures, and new clothes, and new diapers because I can just picture an 8 year old Holly demanding to know why Bronwyn has a keepsake Christmas ornament and not her. 
Is this because I myself am the oldest?  I don’t think my parents treated me any differently, but they must have.  I already know that Bronwyn got more attention in her first few days of life than Holly has gotten in the past month!  And everything of Bronwyn’s was new.  Holly will spend her whole life eating out of Bronwyn’s high chair, and sleeping in her crib, and wearing her clothes. 
Is this what causes middle-child syndrome?!  And how do I stop it?
January 08

Chunky Monkey

Holly was born a little yellow.  At first I thought it was just her colouring.  Then I thought that it was getting better.  But when, at 5 weeks, she was still tinted, I brought her to the doctor.  When we arrived, the nurse practitioner looked at her and said, “I don’t see it”.  Go figure.  But she was right.  Holly is just not pale.  She is a rosy-cheeked, ruddy complexioned girl.  And she is enormous.  After pronouncing her as healthy an infant as she could possibly be, she revealed her stats.  Holly weighed in at 10lbs 1oz, 61cm (24in), with a brain growth (measured in head circumference) of higher than average.  No wonder my back hurts from lugging her considerable frame around all day.  When you compare her to Bronwyn, it is amazing how 2 people can produce such vastly different offspring.  I gained 25lbs with Bronwyn, and only 16 lbs with Holly.  I noticed something ironic today too.  I dressed Holly in the exact same outfit today that Bronwyn wore on our very first trip to Pembroke to look at houses.  Holly is 5 weeks old today and Bronwyn would have been nearly 6 months.  Same outfit folks.  Size 3-6 months.  Also, coincidentely, both days were extremely foggy. 
As I searched around for blogs written about Brownyn’s actual size, I found that although they were interesting to read, they did little to chart her actual progress.  I will attempt to do better with Holly in capturing the approximate dates that she reaches each milestone.  That being said, Holly had her first smile sometime around the 2nd week.  I know it seems a bit early, but these are definitely social smiles.  Also, Holly reached her birth weight by day 4, (Bronwyn: nearly week 4!).  And Holly slept in her own room by herself for the first time 2 nights ago.  We are all sleeping better without the incessent grunting, cooing, and gurgling.  By Holly, not Bruce. 

We took down the tree today

Christmas this year was the most hectic and most satisfying in a long time.  We started in Sudbury where we had Christmas “day” with my immediate family.  We tried something new this year by drawing names rather than buying for everyone, and I think it was successful.  It was certainly less stressful since the daunting task of buying thoughtful, affordable presents for everyone has been weighing on my mind since Holly’s conception!  We visited with my extended family as well, where everyone was able to ooh and ahh over the three newest arrivals: Allison, Ethan and Holly.  All three infants were under three months old.  And, in their matching pyjamas (courtesy of great-grandma) they were a study in cuteness. 
We left Sudbury on Christmas Eve at 10pm with Eric and Karolyn following in their car.  After a not-so-brief stop in Nobel we finally arrived in Newmarket in the wee hours of the morning.  Not surprisingly, Bronwyn objected to being woken three times already that night and let us know, in no uncertain terms, that the penalty for that infraction would be an hour of cuddling and heart-melting adorableness, not even diminished by the fact that it was 3am and we were supposed to BE in Oakville at 9am.  Bronwyn never has been a cuddly child.  Right from day one she refused to lay on your shoulder, preferring to lift her head and stare around the room with rapt fascination and an alertness that never failed to illicit responses from strangers.  So even though we were both mind-numbingly tired, the tempting idea of having Bronwyn in our bed, cuddling with Bruce and I, with Holly between us, was more than we could bear.  We spent a restless but euphoric hour relishing the closeness of the family ties, which was made all the more binding by the thought that we were in another place (not our own home) and that the bed we shared was our personal oasis from the world.  However, after an hour of Bronwyn kicking Bruce, sitting on Holly and suffocating me, she was sentenced to her own bed in the next room, where she happily fell asleep.
I won’t get into too much more detail.  Suffice it to say that we spent another week in southern ontario, visiting friends and family.  Bronwyn was a perfect example of the pre-temper tantrum years, Holly melted hearts wherever she went, and the dogs were on their best behaviour.  On the temper tantrum note though, I don’t think we will be safe for much longer.  Bronwyn was exposed to several fits by children her own age and the most horrifying moment of the whole trip was when I caught her staring at one such toddler, in the throes of a tantrum, with mouth agape, and a look that read plainly: “you can DO that?”.
We returned to our house late on New Years’ Eve.  As we pulld into the driveway, Bruce looks at me and holds out his hand, palm up.  “I was wrong.  I didn’t think we could do it, but we did”.  High five.  Eleven days, 2 kids, 2 dogs and only enough clothes for a weekend.  But we did it.  Together.
I have decided that it is not a good use of my time to post the same pictures on both facebook and this space, so in future, when I have new photos to share, I will post a link to the ones on facebook.  Anyone can view them, whether you have an account or not.  Christmas pics can be seen at:

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