Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012


Last Friday night after their shopping excursion with Nana, the girls were picked up by Poppa and Lolo and their adventures brought them to Upper Canada Village where they went to Pumpkinferno!

Apparently there were some intimidating line ups at first but once inside the crowds dispersed and they had no problems seeing all the amazing pumpkins displayed.

It sounds like everyone had a great time.

 I can only hope they do it again next year because I'd like to go too!

day off!

Last Friday the kids had a PD Day, or PA Day or whatever they call a day off from school.

That means we get to take a day off too!

Caelan spent the morning with Mommy and the afternoon with Daddy.

The girls spent their day with Nana cruising the malls looking for Christmas ideas.

I heard it was pretty successful.

Nothing was purchased but items were looked at with enthusiasm and notes were made.

They took a break in one of the photo booths that you can often find in the shopping malls.

I love these pictures. 

They're being goofy and silly, but they look like friends.

They're happy.

There's love there,

and sometimes, around here...

with the bickering and name calling and pushing and shoving...

Well, you start to wonder!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Countdown is on

Better start getting those lists ready...
Christmas is only two months away!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Baby Pool

We thought this would be fun... Hope you do too!


Can't wait to see your guesses!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I can't believe that I totally forgot to mention that the girls had a guest speaker at school yesterday to talk about bullying....

Guess who?

Bet you'll never guess in a million years!

THE...  Bob Dylan!!!

How cool is that?!?

Pregnancy rant

Consider the title as your warning...

It all started back when we first got engaged.
For some people it starts even before that…

“when are you two getting married?”

We were young enough that we certainly weren’t harassed on that front. However, I must admit to being surprised that my first day at work being engaged I was asked when we’d start a family? Really? We’re not even married yet?? I laughed it off at the time, knowing that the particular gentleman who made the enquiry was anxious for grandchildren of his own and just wanted everyone and anyone to be having babies. Looking back now though I think, wow, what allows people to think that they have the right to weigh in on your life. I’m not referring to close family and friends, although sometimes I think they can get out of line too, but strangers, colleagues, and casual acquaintances! Where do these people think they have the right to weigh in on someone else’s family planning?

What makes someone think that when a couple has two daughters the only reason they may choose to have another child is because they can’t live without a boy? I know many families where all the children are the same sex and they’re questioned as to whether they’ll be trying again. I remember when we announced that we were pregnant with Caelan and all the comments that came with it about trying for a boy. It was overwhelming to say the least and frankly we had all the girls stuff so weren’t convinced that if we were to have a preference that it would be to have a boy. Are we sorry we had a boy? No. Definitely not. We wouldn’t trade him for the world. Would we have been disappointed to have a girl? No. Definitely not. We wouldn’t have traded her for the world either. Whenever this presumption was presented to me or I was asked what I wanted I always said that we were aiming for a healthy baby. It honestly summed up our feelings pretty well and I felt it kind of put people in their place at the same time.
Oh, and I won’t get started on all the people that get ticked off because we choose not to find out the sex of our baby before it’s born! That’s right. Don’t be hanging around here in hopes of a post announcing that we’re having a boy or a girl, it won’t come. That opportunity has come and gone and we didn’t find out.

The other question that people feel compelled to ask when it’s none of their business is if the pregnancy was planned or a surprise. I think this one bothered me the most this time around. Everyone assumes that if you’re having a fourth child it must have been an accident. I kind of take offence to the idea that we’d be that irresponsible. We couldn’t possibly be so crazy to do this intentionally!! But you know what? I’d rather you kept your assumptions to yourself and it’s NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!
As of yet nobody has been all touchy feel-y on the baby bump and I haven’t been asked if I’ll be breastfeeding or circumcising this baby, but I don’t doubt that people will ask. They always do. We are a curious people. I know that for the most part people don’t mean any harm in asking these questions. Maybe it’s just that I’m pregnant and a little more irritable than usual, a little less tolerant too. That probably has a lot to do with it. I’m not sure it’s everything though… I’m pretty convinced that other people have felt the same way.

But just one last thing…

This one will be your last, right?

You’re done now aren’t you?

Four is surely enough?

Monday, October 22, 2012

4 years old

Well my boy...
After three days of festivities for your fourth birthday this is the best picture I have of you!
I think that says a lot about how typical a boy you are - always on the go and no time for posing for Mom and her camera!! xo

Friday, October 19, 2012

Happy Birthday Caelan!

What an amazing year!

Caelan you've changed so much over the past year...

You're a big boy in school now. 

You recognize your name.

You recognize most of the letters in the alphabet and know the sounds they make.

You can count to five... most of the time.

You've thinned out and grown taller.

Your face has changed so much.  You've become a little boy.

You carry your feed in your very own backpack now.

You no longer sleep in a crib, but in a cool car bed.

You're a walker. You still need to hold hands but you want to walk.

You're working hard at becoming a big boy who doesn't wear diapers.

You're signing so many more words and expressing yourself vocally like never before.

You're a little comedian and love making people laugh.

You still twirl your hair when you're tired.  You can twirl it so tight around your finger that it gets stuck!  You'll use another finger to rub it.  That's when we know you're really tired.

You don't like when Mommy's hair is pulled back.  It has to be loose so you can play with it.

You still love your television. "My show" is the first thing you say if the channel isn't tuned to the treehouse station. You enjoy most Disney movies but probably watch Cars the most, followed by Finding Nemo (fish movie) and 101 Dalmations (doggy movie). Lately Spirit (the horse movie) has been a regular request.

Your favourite books include two box sets: a Curious George one and a Barney one. A total of 8 books, but when I ask you to choose to bed time stories you seem to think that two boxes is close enough!

"you me" is an expression that you use constantly when you want to do something together with someone.  It can be "you me play Dad" or "you me paint".  Sometimes it's a question.  I'll tell you we're going somewhere and you'll ask "you me?" "yes, you and me are going."

You still become fixated on things with unbelievable focus.  Most recently it's been a kitchen set you saw in a magazine... You went to bed asking about it, woke up asking about it, I was buckling you in the van for school while you asked about it and you weren't even back in the house after school and you were asking Daddy about it.  Fix-a-ted.  This has calmed down a bit but I think it's only because Darcy built you a full kitchen out of old diaper and formula boxes and has been playing restaurant with you daily after school.

You're still a herder and like your family all together. If someone is missing, you enquire constantly as to where they are until they return.

I could go on and on...  You amaze me little man and I love you with all my heart.

Happy 4th Birthday Caelan!

Thursday, October 18, 2012


It seemed like a moment to celebrate.

Last night we tried a new recipe and everyone loved it!

That doesn't happen very often so I thought I'd share it.

It's a Rachel Ray recipe for Thai Chicken Wraps with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Wish I had a picture for you but it was a build your own dinner and there were no good opportunities for picture taking.  Especially since Caelan was helping me build mine!

The only thing I'd say is that the sauce is far from spicy at least by our standards.  This recipe is definitely a keeper, but next time we'll be adding a little extra heat.

Let me know if you try it and what you think!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Done yet?

So is that it?
Are you done now?
Are you going to have another one?
Are you going to try for a boy?

I remember being asked these questions after returning from my maternity leave with Darcy.  I remember feeling like my answer should be “Yes our family of four is complete.”  That’s what society expects.  We were very happy with our two girls.  But were we done?  I think more often than not my answer was “I’m not sure” or I don’t know.”  I just couldn’t give a definitive answer.  That alone told me that my answer was really NO we’re not done (and what business was it of theirs anyway??  I'll save that rant for another day!).

Immediately after Caelan was born, and I mean immediately, as in still in the labour and delivery room, I remember telling the Obstetrician that we were done, that was it, no more, most definitely!  Of course that was how I felt.  I’d just delivered a baby. Find me a woman who is ready to sign up to do that all over again when their baby is only minutes old!!

However, my answer didn’t change for a long time.  With everything we were going through with Caelan, for months after he was born the idea of ever having another child was completely out of the question.  Heck, Caelan was overwhelming enough on his own! I couldn't begin to imagine adding to the family  If you asked me at any point during the first year of Caelan’s life whether we were done, I would have looked at you like you were crazy and said "Oh yeah, we’re done!"

But as time went on, things got better, life got smoother and you know what?  I wasn’t done.

I kept trying to convince myself that I was.  There were so many reasons not to have another child.  I knew them all and yet I still felt like I was trying to convince myself.  Things didn’t seem so definitive anymore.

And you know what I kept thinking??  I don’t know of a woman who regrets having another child, but I can think of plenty who regret NOT having another.  Tell me I’m wrong? 

I knew that I would be one of those Moms.  

I would regret it if we stopped as a family of five.  So we thought we’d try…

Baby number four is due March 19, 2013 and we are all so excited!


Thursday, October 11, 2012

School Nursing

I just wanted to revisit this since when we were getting ready for Caelan to go to school I had some huge reservations and concerns.  However, things seem to be turning out really well.  His Nurse at school has worked with trached children before.  She gets it and it so refreshing to know that she understands that by suctioning or dropping saline down his trache you're only looking at a short term solution but really your not helping him out in the long run.  Caelan's got a good strong cough and he can clear his trache on his own.  Sometimes it's a lot of work for him but he can do it and it's better that he does it himself.

Caelan has little joy in seeing the Nurse in the morning when she arrives.  He's quick to grab Mom, knowing that he'll soon be off to school.  He enjoys school but I think he likes the idea of staying home with Mom a bit better... Could be just my perception though!

Yesterday I had the chance to chat with his school Nurse for a bit and she said that in the morning he's very "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy"  Everything is about Mommy.  She says he has little time for her.  He's quick to take off and play and participate in activities.

As the day goes on though and there are more challenges presented to him he starts looking for his Nurse.  She's noticed that when Caelan doesn't want to do a given task presented by his teachers, they get the same big "no" huffy-arms crossed-big bottom lip-turn of the head attitude that we get here at home! They often let it go, but will present the task again a while later and if they get the same reaction they'll try again a different way... Unfortunately our Caelan is a stubborn little man and they often get the same response.  It's around these times that he goes searching for his Nurse.  I think he's fed up with these Teachers presenting the same thing to him, that he's clearly already said he didn't want to do and he's looking for an escape knowing that he gets to go home with her.  At this time of day she's the best thing ever!  He's even gone so far as to get his little red emergency kit, which he knows goes with him everywhere, and bring it to her signing 'home'.  If that's not clear I don't know what else he could do to get his point across.  He's done with the school day!  Luckily this is later in the afternoon and he is almost done - it's not like it starts at ten o'clock in the morning!!  That would make for a long day!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fillin' up the freezer!

I've been on a mission ...

Yesterday I made:
  • Two chicken pot pies
  • A double batch of broccoli soup
  • A pot of beef and barley soup
  • Rouladen for dinner, but a second batch for the freezer
Tonight I was trying to get a couple lasagnas done...

Now I'm going straight to bed!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!


Last night as we drove home from our second Thanksgiving dinner with family  I was composing my post about all that I'm thankful for this year.  Topping my list was the health of my close friends and family. 

Unfortunately, all that changed when we got home.  Okay well it didn't change, I'm still thankful for all the same things.  It's just that my grateful feelings turned to sadness in the blink of an eye.

We had a lot of stuff to get out of the car and put away and I'd asked the girls to get their pajamas on.  Caelan had fallen asleep on the drive home and was already transferred into bed and all tucked in. We were late getting home.  Later than we should have been.  Not so much because of the girls getting in bed, but because we have to lock the chickens up at night. 

All the thoughts of things I was thankful for on my way home disappeared from my mind in an instant when I returned to the living room to find the girls crying on the couch.

Something had killed our chickens.

Our chickens have a coup that we lock them in at night to keep them safe from critters.  During the day they're free to roam all over our yard.  When the sun sets they put themselves to bed in their coup and rarely go exploring again.  So once it's dark we lock them in so nothing can get them.  Last night we got home well past dark and it was too late.

It's going to be a very somber Thanksgiving day without our four feathered friends. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

What a good morning for....

sleeping in

dozing and dreaming

being lazy

snuggling up on the couch

enjoying a cup of tea

listening to the rain

watching a family movie

Basically, it's a wonderful morning for ducks!


... Chickens not so impressed.

Friday, October 5, 2012


It's been a long week.

I guess it hasn't been that bad, but it was certainly an adjustment with both Damian and I at work again after so long.

My mornings have been going pretty good although by the time I leave for work I feel like I'm ready for a nap.  I have about three hours in the morning from the time I get up to when I can leave for work.  In that time I get myself ready, eat my breakfast and maybe check the internet, get three kids up and dressed, two of them fed, make three lunches, pack Caelan's bags, play, change a diaper or two, empty the dishwasher, make sure teeth and hair are brushed... maybe get some dinner in the slow cooker or a load of laundry in the washer/dryer.

This is nothing new to other working moms... but it's new to me.  While Damian was home, I had life good.  I got up, got myself ready and off to work I went!  Now Damian's off to work about 20-30 minutes after we get up.

I don't think Damian's afternoons have been much of an adjustment for him.  He was greeting the kids off the bus before he returned to work.  He was already familiar with the starving nature of children after a long ride home on the bus, their unwillingness to discuss or ability to talk non-stop about their day, homework fights and all this while trying to get dinner ready!

By the time we've finished dinner, cleaned up the kitchen and completed any straggling homework, children are headed to baths and bedtime.  Pajamas are put on and stories are read.  At this point I'm about ready to go to bed too!!

Oh, and when I ask Damian about returning to work??  Well, he says it's like he never left.  Not sure if that's a good or bad thing yet.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

we're on our way

It's a start.  A small start, but a start all the same.

We've had the potty out for a couple months trying to entice Caelan into showing some interest.

Tonight I was putting away laundry when out of the corner of my eye I see Caelan taking off down the hall with the lid from his potty.

"Caelan please go put that back in the bathroom."

I'm happy to say that one of my children do as their told... sometimes.

The next thing I know he's got a piece of the base and is heading out through the kitchen with it.

"Caelan please go put that back in the bathroom."

Not so much luck this time and before I know it he's got the potty in three separate pieces out in the hall.

"Okay, Caelan this really needs to stay in the bathroom.  We don't carry potties (?) all over the house.  Would you like to show Mommy how you use the potty?"

And the shock of all shocks -"yes"

You have to understand that everytime we've tried to sit him on it he bounces back up like the seat is made of a spring crying "all done!"  He's had absolutely zero interest in being potty trained.  It's something that we haven't pushed because he isn't even walking on his own yet.  However, we also wanted him to at least acknowledge the concept.

So tonight when he answered 'yes' I honestly thought it would be another spring loaded experience.  Imagine my surprise when he stayed sitting and said "you me Mom".  I did what any good Mom would do; dropped my pants and sat myself on the throne to show him how it's done.  (By the way, that sight is apparently HA-larious...)

Anywho...  The point of this babbling story is that we had success!  Caelan peed in the potty tonight and that my friends is a huge step in the right direction!!!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Everbody else (read: Daddy) watches television with their feet resting on the coffee table....

Monday, October 1, 2012

Last Monday

Today was our last single-income-family-Monday in almost 4 years!!

Now that Caelan is in school, Damian is back to work... tomorrow. We wanted to wait for things to calm down a bit and make sure we knew how the routine would work and I think we're finally there. He was scheduled to start today but Caelan has two appointments!  It's going to be quite the juggling act but we'll make it work.

We're lucky enough that our schedules allow me to be home in the morning to get the kids ready and on the bus and Damian finishes early enough that he's home to get everyone off the bus. Not sure who has it better - the morning rush or the afternoon homework fight/dinner prep??

With that in mind I've reacquainted myself with my monthly meal plan.  This also required that I get to know what's in our freezer.  I've been leaving the cooking to Damian, although I still did the planning over the past year.  This meant that I haven't been as efficient as I was, not using stuff up in our freezer because I wasn't reminded of what was in there when I went to take something out.  Just lazy on my part.  Anyway, it took me all Sunday morning to put it together but we have a menu plan for October.  I'm hoping that with the menu in place I'll be able to spend more time on the weekends prepping and cooking our meals since I won't have to think about what we're going to eat, leaving more time in the long run for the important stuff!