June 2008

June 24

Mastercard has nothing on me

Gas: $43
Overtime for babysitters: $100
New set of tires: $230
Being in the car while Eric plays Road Rapids: priceless!
Bruce’s sisters and their significant others came for a visit this weekend.  We decided that we would go golfing on the friday and then leave super early saturday and spend the day on the water inducting Eric and Jose into the family in a trial by water.  I have said before that canoeing is a great relationship builder.  It requires exact communication and leaves no room for hurt feelings.  Setting up a tent can do the same thing if you are eager to try, yet lack the skills and environment to tackle a I-IV class river.  My nerves were already on edge as my Mommy Radar was set to high frequency and, just like the seat belt alarm, gets faster, louder, and more insistent the further you go without remedying the situation.  I like my new babysitters, and feel confident in their abilities, but logic can’t turn off Mommy Radar.  Other mothers can agree that the younger the children are, the more intense the feelings of seperation become. 
We arrived late, took longer on the water than we expected, and when we finally arrived at the take-out, discovered the car had a flat tire.  We weren’t going anywhere.  I tried to call the sitters, but there was no service.  We wouldn’t have service for another hour at least!  Nothing to do but put on the doughnut and drive really carefully.  Luckily we met a man who runs a shuttle service and he provided a jack.  Eric switched out the tire and soon Bruce, Eric and I were on our way to retrieve the first car at the put-in spot. 
I should stop right here and backtrack a little.  We had a great time on the river.  The rapids weren’t too difficult and they were lots of them.  We only had a 6 km flat paddle that was augmented by a current.  Good thing because we soon realized that Marlys and Jose were having a little difficulty keep their canoe straight.  After breaking for lunch we switched the teams and hurried to our second set of what turned out to be an almost continous series of rapids.  We all portaged only one set, and only Marlys and Karolyn portaged another.  The final tough one, Bruce and Eric did and the rest of us walked across the island and took pictures as they cleared rocks and ledges to arrive safely at the bottom.  Bruce and I dumped on one large water set, and Eric and Karolyn followed suit.  Marlys and Jose learned from our mistakes and took the easier left side and arrived high and dry!  And, once, Jose and Eric tipped in flat water.  Luckily Bruce and I took the only pack so our jackets and lunch were no worse for the swim since they were encased in our new waterproof barrel. 
All in all, we arrived home 4 hours late, soaking wet, and weighed down with a canoe on top of a doughnut tire.  The road out can’t even be honestly called a road, and we spent a hair-raising 45 minutes swerving around pot-holes, rocks, and tree branches.  We ate supper at 10:30pm.  I can’t wait until next weekend when we can do it all again!
June 18

Did I mention that I hate laminating?

After pondering the anecdote of Bronwyn and the peanut butter (see previous post), I came to the conclusion that perhaps I am not stimulating her enough.  I promptly made a play-date at the park for later this week and began scouring the internet for ideas to teach, occupy and improve her mental and physical capabilities.  However, this was an excercise in futility as all the suggestions either were geared toward older toddlers, or were geared toward better (read more organized, tidier, less lazy) parents.  I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t have the time or patience to design, develop and construct cutsey “alphabet bugs” which I can then laminate and hide for Bronwyn to find, thereby teaching her letters, colours, and how to destroy things that are laminated. 
I know she just wants to play with me.  And we certainly have all the tools needed for all manner of creative play.  My difficulty is that, simply, I am a grown-up.  I can’t remember how to play.  I am not imaginative, energetic, or even particularly motivated.  The only thing I can see going for me is that I am Bronwyn’s favourite person in the entire world, and I don’t want to let her down. 
So, any ideas for things to do with an almost 2 year old?  Things that include a 6 month old are bonus but not necessary as Holly still naps twice a day.  I am up for just about anything, as long as it doesn’t require laminating!
June 12

I need a new place for the peanut butter.

I have mentioned before that Holly is generally a very happy baby.  She doesn’t fuss.  She doesn’t cry.  She doesn’t even wimper when she wants something.  Until today.  I was approximately twenty seconds late making her breakfast this morning and she lets loose this banshee cry of glass-shattering proportions.  Then, when I had finished she continued to screech until I had returned with more.  I have always sort of looked down upon parents whose children screamed for attention.  Bronwyn is more of a whiner.  But if there is anything I have learned about parenting, it is that “ye must not judge, lest you be judged”.  Or worse, “ye must not judge, lest God give you a taste of your own medicine!”.
In other news, Bronwyn opened a jar of peanut butter, yesterday, and ate nearly a fifth before I noticed.  Neatly.  Not a drop of PB anywhere!
June 07

I no no

I am the plenipotentiary of our little family.  Not completely, obviously, as this would imply a dictatorship within our marriage (there isn’t), but over my children certainly.  Which is why, today, when it was 32 C in the shade, and we spent the day at the neighbour’s pool, and Bronwyn resisted wearing her hat and sunscreen, I did not give in to her demands.  I am invested with the full power to reach decisions for my children until they are at an age and stage where they can make adequate informed decisions on their own.  So why is it that I “decided” that Brownyn and Holly had to wear sunscreen and I did not?  Laziness?  Busy-ness?  An ill-placed belief that I am immune to the sun?  I am sittin gin my chair, hunched over the keyboard in a vain attempt to not allow my neck to even touch the backrest.  I am looking forward to Bruce coming home so we can slather aloe on each other.  Because, the only person worse, at remembering to cover themselves with sunscreen, is Bruce. 
On another note.  Holly had her 6 month check up this week.  She is 17lbs 6oz and 26″ long.  She can sit unassisted.  She is eating a wide variety of solids.  And has very good hand-eye coordination.  She is still one of the most easy-going babies I have ever met.  And over the last two days she has started throwing her arms in the air when she wants to be picked up.  It is all sorts of cute, but she doesn’t say anything so sometimes she has her hands up for a long time before we notice her.  But she is so patient.  I love her.
Bronwyn has been talking really well lately.  She picked up “happy” and likes to ask me very seriously, “mommy happy?  Dee happy”.  Which translates as “are you happy because I sure am happy!”.  She also ordered very clearly today “Mommy blow bubbles” when we were playing in the pool.  And later when asked where she put her hat, “mommy, I no no” (How am I supposed to remember where I put my darn hat, you find it, you are the mother here).  It is such fun to really start to communicate with her now.  I hope it will always be this cute… even though I know it won’t.
8:15:20 PM | Add a comment | Permalink | Blog it
June 02

Really bad pathway analogy.

Well, apprently my ranting and raving did some good.  Ecxept that it didn’t because Bruce proposed “date night” on friday without having ever actually read that post.  His mom was here visiting (I know I know, taking off on guests an hour after they arrive is not good hostessing), and was delighted with the prospect of watching the girls all evening while Bruce and I headed into town to watch Prince Caspian.  She had them fed, and put to bed a whole hour before we even arrived home (in time for them to both kick my butt at Hearts.  But no worries I creamed that at Scrabble the next night… REPTILES for 63 points thankyouverymuch!).  It was a nice night out with my hubby and we even agreed to splurge on popcorn before we arrived and realized we had grossly underestimated the tween population of P-Dot, and barely made it in before the credits ended. 
All in all, I am feeling a heck of a lot better and more prepared to take on the week.  It also didn’t hurt that at church on sunday we sat behind a couple who I couldn’t place for the life of me, and consequently ended up not hearing a word of the sermon until I could figure it out.  The last time I saw them, it was our first sunday trying out Crestwick in Guelph and their first sunday back from having a baby.  Now three and a half children later on their part, and two full children for our contribution, we meet again!  It was a blessing to talk with Joanna about mothering.  As a woman who is a few steps ahead I was able to pick her brain and gain some reassurance about the road I am going to travel.  A road that I can’t quite see the end of, and can’t quite find the beginning of.  It is a little foggy right now, and I am treading carefully so I don’t lose my way and wind up with a lot of back-tracking to do.  She reminded me that it is only by the grace of God that we can navigate this path (or any path for that matter).  But especially when the outcome doesn’t just affect us, but our spouses and children as well.  It is a big responsibilty to take on the task of raising a family, and I hope that I can see my way enough to not make a huge mess out of Bronwyn and Holly’s lives.  We also agreed that having lots of children forces you to become a better mother.  It is easy to be lax with only one or two.  But you have to be strict with more in order to keep the household running smoothly. 
Can you think of a better reason to start adding a third*?!
*I am NOT pregnant, nor are we trying.

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