Monday, January 29, 2007

Free to or Free from?

I have to admit something to you. Something shameful and embarassing. I have never read a thing by Margaret Atwood. Nothing at all, not a short story, not a novel, nothing. One of Canada's foremost authours, and I could never be bothered to read anything by her. Well, that changed yesterday. I was bored, and I've read every book in the house at least 3 times, so I went off to the mall and bought myself a book (or two). I've always been curious about "Handmaids Tale" so I figured, what the heck, stories of dystopia have always fascinated and thrilled me. I'm halfway through now, and all I have to say is holy crap. Seriously, if you haven't read the book, you really really ought too, unless you're easily frightened by uncanny and terrifying visions of the near future. Really, the most terrifying thing about the story is watching or thinking about current news from the USA. Anyways, I'm having a hard time putting the book down, I suspect I'll be finished some time this afternoon, though it will take me a while to digest what I've read. Goody, if you haven't read this book, I seriously reccomend you read it, and then move to Canada as quickly as you can.

While I was at the mall yesterday, I got a headache, again. So, I decided, to hell with it, and I went to my favourite hair salon to see if my favourite middle eastern male hair dresser was available. He is a fabulous hairdresser, and the way he talks to me makes me laugh. Anyways, I went in, told him that my hair was giving me headaches and I couldn't bloody take it anymore, but I haven't got the time to devote to a short haircut. He took that as a challenge, and about 10 minutes later I was missing several inches of my hair. He cut my hair short, and it's fantastic! It looks good, doesn't make my face look too round, it's incredibly easy (so far) to deal with, and best of all, no more ponytails or headaches! When I got home, Ian said that I wasn't allowed to go out alone anymore, but I think he likes it.

I spoke with a speach language pathologist today about Miss Mary. I may be paranoid, I don't know, but I'm really starting to worry that Mary still doesn't speak English. She has her own language, she can make her wants and needs known quite clearly, and I'm pretty sure that she understands every word I say, but she still seems to be a whole lot behind where she ought to be at this age. I've tried very hard not to spend the last two years comparing Mary to other kids her age, or what the books say she ought to be doing, but I am worried about this. She will mimic what I say to a point, but there are some words that she just won't say, when she mimics them, it comes out as something different, even though she is determined that she is saying exactly what I said. It's strange, and my little brother had horrible speach issues when he was a wee one, so I figured I'd get it checked out now, rather than waiting until it's really a problem. Anyways, the SLP thought that it was something to be concerned about, so she has put in a referral for Mary to officially be seen by someone for an assessment. It sounds like they will check for things like Autism also in this assessment, which I thought was funny. Thanks to Raven, I know a bit more than the average bear (though really not that much, to be honest) about autism, and I'm relatively sure that's not it, but it'll be nice to have some sort of idea of what's going on Marys language development.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The virus that wouldn't die

Well, Mary and I are sick again, or possibly still. We never seemed to fully recover from the cold we suffered through a couple of weeks ago, the noses never stopped running, the cough never completely left. Both the nose and the cough have come back with a vengance today though, poor Mary is a miserable little beast who begged to nap after being up for only 2 hours this morning. Hopefully this is the last gasp for the cold and we can get over it soon, we're both sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Last night I looked after Raven's wee ones (well, really I just fought with the biggest wee one about going to bed, poked my head into the two smaller wee ones rooms from time to time to make sure no one was bleeding, and watched House on DVD). Anyways, Raven wanted to see our new van, so I took her to check it out before her and her lovely husband went out for their date night. And you know what she pointed out to me? Built in car seats! Two of them! Not the type that a newborn can be transported in by any means, but perfect for Miss Mary. I cannot express how excited I was when she pointed them out to me. I had a thought when Ian bought the van that built in baby seats would be neat, but at the price we paid for the van I was pretty sure that there was no luck of it. I remember not too long ago saying that I would never drive a minivan, but motherhood has finally completely broken me. I love the van, I can't wait to fill it with soccer and dance paraphanalia and get a Venti something-or-other from Starbucks!

I'm thinking about weighing in on the whole family of three kicked off a flight because of their horrid three year old, but I think I'll stay away from it. Suffice it to say, I don't disagree with the airlines decision. I am bigger than Mary, and if I want her strapped in to a seat, she'll be strapped into a seat whether she likes it or not. I would be horrified if she behaved the way that child was reported to be behaving, and I would likely have removed myself from the plane before the airline had a chance to do it for me.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Wednesday Baby Blogging

And Cat blogging, of course. I took this picture of Mary and Tybalt yesterday, doesn't the cat look thrilled to be so loved?

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Bug Number Two

Wow, between being sick and just hanging out with Mary, time sure has flown by. Can you believe it's been over a week since I posted here last?

The cold I was fighting is still lingering, though mostly just with a scratchy throat and a runny nose. It was absolutely brutal at it's peak though, it was in my ears, nose, throat and chest and I was miserable. It didn't help that pregnant women are not allowed to take anything other than tylenol to help. Let me tell you, when you have a sinus/throat/chest cold, no matter how much tylenol you take and halls you suck it just doesn't help. I broke down one day and took some Neo-Critran because I couldn't take it anymore. It helped, and I'm almost positive that two mugs of the stuff will not overly damage my unborn child.

Mary's doing much better too, although she has the seriously runny nose that the cold has left behind in both of us. She's been awfully fun to play with lately, since she started feeling better. She had her first official haircut at a salon today, and it went really well. We went to a place in Sherwood Park that is specifically for kids, and they were great, though it helped that Mary was frozen with terror for most of the visit. Usually I can't even brush her hair, but they managed to wet it, cut it, and even put a little ponytail in on the top of her head. She was rewarded afterward with a nice red sucker, and from her reaction a red sucker will make up for just about any torture I put her through.

On thursday we had an ultrasound to see Bug Number Two, or as I like to call it, Dickie Douglas Dixon. We still don't know if it is a boy or a girl, and I have mixed feelings about that. I hate surprises with a passion that most people can only imagine, but it is kind of neat to think that when the Dr. says "It's a _____!" when the baby's born, it'll be the first time we know. We've pretty much decided on names already, though we do toy with other names from time to time. For a girl it will likely be Frances Anne Louise, a boy will be James Thomas Crawford, or perhaps Patrick James Crawford. What do you think? I like the names Duncan or Declan, but those just don't work with our last name. I like the name Alice too, but I'm afraid that it is becoming a bit too trendy these days.

Oh! I forgot to mention, we bought a van this week! It's a 98 Plymouth Voyager and it was a real steal according to Ian. The dealership we bought it from had just done a big "Trade In Your Vehicle And We Will Love You Forever!" promotion, and they were overflowing with used vehicles that they were desperate to get rid of. So we now have a minivan and we are likely going to try to sell Angus the Ford Taurus some time in the near future. If we can get rid of the huge debt we have left owing on the Taurus our lives will be much happier.

So, there you have it. I've been sick, I've been playing with Mary, I've been visiting the Dr....that's about it for the last week and a bit. The next week should be interesting, Marvel on Tuesday, Purgatory turns coming out sometime this week, Purgatory itself on Friday (YAY!!) and Liz's cheesecake birthday party on Saturday, and of course getting used to driving the van, that should be fun too.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Can someone out there explain to me why a 2 year old who has always been a good sleeper, sleeping through the night since she was 5 weeks old, would suddenly change? Is it because I'm sick and she hates me? Cause that's the only reason I can come up with. Thursday night she was up till 1 in the morning for no reason that I can imagine. Last night she went to bed at her usual time, slept very well, but woke up at midnight and stayed up in her bedroom till 4 am! What the hell? It doesn't help that due to her constant, never ending efforts, I have caught her cold. My throat feels like someone is constantly sandpapering it, my ears throb, my nose is plugged and my head aches...not to mention the rasping cough that takes over when I lay down in bed at night.

My Mum is in town this weekend and the plan is to spend the day hanging out with her today. She told me she would call this morning, and she hasn't yet, thank God. If she had called at 8 am then I would have burst into tears. At least I got about 4 hours of sleep last night. Maybe my mother can make me feel better, that's what mothers do, isn't it?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

House of Germs

Once again the Dixon household is under quarantine. Sigh. It all started on Saturday when Ian woke up whimpering as only a sick man can, and called in to his second job to tell them he would not be in. It was actually quite nice to have him around, we got out of the house and ran an errand or two but otherwise had a nice quiet day. Sunday and Monday he was still feeling pretty under the weather, but thankfully (?) due to a big wind storm on Sunday night his boss called first thing monday morning and said it was too windy to work. Mary had a bit of the sniffles on monday and the occasional cough, but we really thought nothing of it. Monday night I went over to Raven's place to game, and suggested to Ian that he ought to do a load of dishes and go to bed early, to which he agreed. I got home at 12:30 in the morning, and my husband was still sitting exactly where he was when I left, playing the computer game Civ III. I was not terribly pleased, and he ended up calling in sick on Tuesday morning again. Tuesday morning when Mary woke up she was stuffed up, snotty, coughing and miserable. As the day went on she got worse and worse, the poor wee thing. She's still a little bag of germs, snot and misery today, which is really unfortunate for all of us.

Hey, how about that weather, eh? The blizzard that they were forcasting rolled in some time over night last night, and once again Ians boss called this morning to tell him not to bother to come to work. Today he went in to his second job to help out. I could have really used some help with the sick baby today, but whatever. The weather seems to have cleared up a bit now, it's still pretty windy I think, but not snowing anymore. It's funny, the weather has been so nice up till now, and my Mum is flying in from Vancouver tomorrow. She was complaining that it was cold there at -2 this morning, I wonder how she will deal with -25?

Friday, January 05, 2007

Time Flies

Wow, can you believe that it's almost a week into 2007 already? It seems like it was just yesterday that Christmas was a week away.

The holidays went very well in spite of Mary being quite ill. On the Friday before we left (Dec 22nd?) Mary woke up with a wild rash all over her wee body. I called capital health and spoke to a nurse there who told me it was likely Roseola and not too worry, but by time Ian got home from work I had gotten myself pretty worked up, and we took Mary to a Medicentre. Luckily we got there just ahead of a big rush. We waited for a while, and Mary played happily in the kids area. When we saw the Doctor he said that it was likely a virus that was reaching the end of its life, and that these sorts of rashes were pretty common in children with hyper-sensitive immune systems. He then went on to say that clearly Mary was one of these children as evidenced by her constant raging eczema. I asked him if we ought to put off our 8 hour drive to Regina, and he laughted, pointed at Mary who was at this point howling so loudly we had to yell to be heard, and told me that if we were brave and crazy enough to lock ourselves in a car with a crabby 2 year old for 8 hours, he wasn't going to say no.

So, then next morning we piled into the car and drove to Regina. The roads were great, a little busy but clear of snow and ice. Mary was incredibly well behaved, she complained a bit, but for the most part it was a nice drive. When we got to Regina we settled in quickly, Mary had her own room for the first time there, and she was pretty thrilled to discover that the door didn't latch. That was fun for us. Every night we would fight to get her to go to bed and stay in her room, usually she would give up around 10:30 or 11.

Christmas day went well, Mary got a tonne of gifts, there was more for her under the tree than for the rest of us put together. She got lots of nice clothes and a few toys, though she was far more interested in handing out the gifts to everyone else than opening them. Christmas dinner was fantastic as expected, I've never tasted turkey and stuffing as good as my fathers.

The rest of the visit was nice, if a little tense. There was some tension in the step-family due to some decisions that were being made by the eldest daughter. I think we left at the right time because the feeling in the house was pretty miserable the night before we left. Lots of fighting and yelling and sulking and grumbling. The oldest girl wants to move back to Regina (she's been living just north of Edmonton for a few months) and her mother thinks it is a very bad idea. So do I to be honest, but I know my opinion doesn't matter much. Anyways, Ian pointed out to me that it must be hard for the girl, as Dad and Michael are working so hard to convince Ian and I to move back to Saskatchewan, and they are working equally hard to convince the girl to stay far far away. I imagine that it must make her feel pretty unwanted, even if that's not exactly the case.

We were glad to get home after another fabulous drive. The roads weren't quite as good on the way home, we were trying to outrun a winter storm which dumped a tonne of snow and sleet on Regina, so the first couple of hours were kind of scary, but the rest of the drive was nice, and Mary was so busy with her new toys that she was mostly silent.

Marys birthday was New Years Eve, and to celebrate we invited some of our friends and a couple of children to Chuck E Cheese's. Mary had an absolute blast, and after three hours we had to drag her kicking and screaming to the car. We didn't do quite so well for toys this time, at Christmas she only got one toy that required batteries and makes any noise, for her birthday she got both a dancing Dora doll, and a dancing Pablo from the Backyardigans. Mary is so terrified of both of them that the sight of the bloody things send her into hysterics and we had to hide them in the closet so she can function. We'll try again in a few months, but I suspect we may end up giving them away. People don't believe us when we say that toys like that scare her, or maybe they don't understand how deeply they frighten her, but I wish they'd listen and get her nice wooden toys or blocks or books.

Oh, hey! The best news of all is that Ian and I got ourselves a fantastic Christmas present this year (and next year, and probably the next one after that....oh, and don't forget birthdays, this counts for the next several birthdays too). A new computer! It's lovely and wonderful and makes me very happy. It's a brand spanking new, incredibly expensive IMac, but it is worth it. We bought it from a good friend, and he brought it over last night and spent several hours installing extra software and games and music and movies for us. I'm still learning my way around it, but so far it's incredibly user friendly, and so shiney and pretty on our desk!

Phew. I think that's it for now. Sorry I haven't posted sooner, having a 2 year old in the house is far more exhausting than I had imagined it could ever be. Mary must have read a manual, she's suddenly lept head first into the "terrible two's!"