Sunday, December 30, 2007

One Fish Two Fish

In less than twelve hours my baby will be three. I can't express how wonderful the last three years have been, and I can't even begin to imagine where they've gone. I guess it's true, time flies when you're having fun. Before I had Mary I was unsure whether I even wanted children. Babies are frightening, and kids are cute enough in small doses....but to have one of my own, a little person that I am completely and utterly responsible for every minute of every day, well, it's a daunting sort of idea for someone who can't keep plants alive. I think that I've learned a lot about myself the past three years, and I think that I have grown into a better person. I never thought I would be patient enough to read One Fish Two Fish over and over again, or to sing Baby Beluga every single night. I really didn't think that I would be a good mother, and I've learned that I am and that I love doing it. Being a Mum is the best job I've ever had in my life and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

So happy birthday Mary Bea, I love you more than words can say!

Mary on her very first birthday.

Six months old - the same age as Frances is now.

One year old and still bald.

Two years old and hamming it up for the camera.

Just a few days ago, almost three.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Joy

Our Christmas this year was really, really good. One of the best Christmases that I can remember having in a long time.

Christmas Eve we all headed into the city to go to the early church service and blessing of the Creche. It was nice to go to the church that I grew up at, everyone remembers me (though I manage to remember alarmingly few names) and everyone ooh'd and aah'd over the girls. The service went well and it was kind of awesome to see Mary doing the things I remember doing as a child at the same service. She was quite proud of the donkey she was given charge of (not a real one, of course) and happily paraded it up the isle. When the time came to set up the creche she put a lot of thought into where the donkey ought to go. She didn't make it through the whole service, but it was pretty special to see her there.

After church we ate supper at my dads place and then hit the highway home. The girls went straight to bed and we got to work cleaning up the house and helping Santa. We got to bed around 11, and everyone slept through the night. Frances woke us up at about 8 in the morning, we got up, changed and fed her and helped her open her stocking. Shortly after 9 I couldn't take it any more and woke Mary up so we could get our day started. She was thrilled to open her stocking and thought the sled was pretty great. After stockings and breakfast cooked by Ian, we went for a nice walk. It was a beautiful day, only about 5 below zero and snowing lightly. We bundled the girls up and plunked them in the new sled. Mary occasionally shouted "Faster, Daddy, Faster!" and we all really enjoyed ourselves. After the walk Mary and I played out in the snow for a while longer, we visited our elderly neighbour, Teeny, and finally took ourselves inside. I had to bribe Mary to come in with a second Kindersurprise Egg.

After a cup of tea and a nap for Frances we settled down to open the mound of gifts under the tree. It was great fun, and every time Ian handed Mary a gift to open she said "Oh! Thank you Daddy!" About halfway through the gifts Mary was pretty much done and told me "No more presents Mummy." After a short break where Ian and I opened our gifts (a squishy bathrobe, a bird book, a gardening in Saskatchewan book, The Princess Bride on DVD!) she was ready to finish off. We were finally done opening the gifts around 1:30 and Frances went down for another much needed nap. We hung out, phoned our mothers, and got ready to head back to the city.

At about 4 that afternoon we piled back in the van and drove to my Dads place. We got to open more presents (another bird book! A STAND MIXER!!!) and we had a lot of fun with my fathers wifes parents and sisters family. It really turned out to be a wonderful evening, lots of fun was had by all, supper was fantastic and the girls were incredibly well behaved. We finally left at 10 in the evening with two exhausted girls and made our way home. Mary fell asleep on the trip home and we couldn't wake her up, but Frances was wide awake when we got home. She hasn't gone to sleep before 9 since that night, which is really the only bad thing about Christmas that I can think of.

I hope you all had as good a Christmas as we did. Wish me luck as I prepare for my house to be taken over by a pack of 3 year olds and their parents on Monday!

Twas the night before Christmas....

Festive Baby. She grinned all day long.

Lightening McQueen slipper, toque, mittens, pj's, signed photograph and giant plush doll. She made out like a bandit.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


It could be hormones that made me cry this morning when I turned on the CBC and heard that Benazir Bhutto was assassinated this morning, but I don't think it was. For as long as I can remember being somewhat aware of world politics I have admired Benazir Bhutto, a woman, in that part of the world who has the deep respect of her people. A woman elected into office in a Muslim country. She gave me hope for that part of the world. Maybe, maybe things could be better there. She had so much influence, even in her self-imposed exile...I don't know, I suppose it doesn't matter now.

This morning (evening in Pakistan) Benazir Bhutto was shot twice. Once in the neck, once in the chest. Her shooter then blew himself up, killing at least 13 others. She was taken to the hospital and rushed into emergency surgery, but an hour later she died. Violent riots have sprung up throughout Pakistan at the news of her death, and President Musharraf is expected to declare martial law before the night is through. So much for hope.

Friday, December 21, 2007

A Night in the Life

This is how my night went last night. Why does no one sleep anymore?

6:00 - Frances gets a bath and bottle, Mary gets in the bath
6:30 - Frances in bed
6:35 - Mary picks out her pj's and gets changed
6:45 - Read "One Fish Two Fish" for the 500th and final time that day
6:55 - Brush Mary's teeth
7:00 - Mary in bed after much cuddling, arranging of stuffed animals, ensuring that there is indeed water in her cup beside the bed.
(This is how every night goes, pretty much without fail)

7:30 ish - Ian gets home
8:15ish - Ian finishes his supper
8:16 - 10:00 - Hanging around the house. Ian changed the litterboxes and had a shower. I watched the Stuart McLean Christmas special on CBC
10:00 - Bedtime for us! Yay! Sweet sleep. We hang out, chat in bed, get comfy.
10:45 - Start to doze
11:00 - Frances wakes, starts screaming.
11:05 - Change Frances, feed Frances, joke with Ian when Mary will wake us up. He says 3 hours, I say 2.
11:20 - Frances back in bed. She engages in a fierce battle with one of her toys that dangle from the crib rail (It's a peach). Loud battle cries and rattling echo through the house.
12:00 - Doze
1:00 - Mary climbs into bed and kicks me several times. (Two hours! I win!)
1:15 - Ian puts Mary back in her own bed.
1:30 - Doze.
2:00 - Mary comes into our room and stands at the foot of the bed sobbing softly. (3 hours. Ian wins too. We are all winners. yippee.)
2:05 - I take Mary back to her bed, she whimpers and asks for more water.
2:06 - I trip over the semi-trailer parked in the middle of the hallway. Curse softly. Remember why I like to clean up before going to bed and wonder why I didn't last night.
2:08 - Bring water to Mary. She is fast asleep and doesn't notice it.
2:10 - Lay in bed wide awake.
2:30 - still awake. hyper aware. Every sound could be one of those horrible children. Why fall asleep if they are just going to wake me up?
3:30 - finally doze.
4:00 - Frances starts screaming. Put pillow over head.
4:10 - Still screaming. Ian goes to get her. Reports that she was laying in her crib like she had been in a car accident. Apparently the peach won the battle earlier on.
4:15 - Feed and change Frances
4:25 - Frances back to bed.
5:00 - doze
6:30 - Ian's alarm goes off.

Poor Ian had to get up and head off to a very long day of work. I managed to doze back off and finally got out of bed at around 8:30 when I couldn't ignore Frances anymore. I had to wake Mary up at 9. I'm thinking that I may have to start locking Mary's bedroom door again, but I'm not sure that it's worth the horrible screaming when she realizes she can't get out and cuddle with me at 3 AM.

In other news....Mary actually skated the other day! It was amazing, she just decide that she could do it, and she did. She spent most of the class crawling around and rolling around on the ice, which she thinks is very very fun. Near the end of the class they lined up the kids so they could get a picture and Mary kept skating away. They couldn't really tell her not too as this is what we have been trying to convince her do for two, everyone just laughed and applauded, and they finally got a decent picture of the four kids, even if Mary wasn't quite with the group. It was a fun evening, we stayed late for a pot luck, and I got to know a few more people. It's really quite a cool thing to live in a small town. At one point I had to chase Mary down to prevent her from stealing yet another sippy cup. When I was away Frances started fussing, so someone just picked her up and started to cuddle her...and it didn't bother me at all. It's quite the community.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

On Being a Poor Tool

What? Two posts in one day? Huh.

I jinxed myself earlier by commenting on a certain temperamental member of my family and how she has been slightly less temperamental lately. After dealing with an afternoon of shrieking for various reasons (the main one being my unwillingness to happily "GO AWAY!" when told to do so and shoved towards the door) I will not make that mistake again. Rest assured, I have not dipped her in the snow yet, though at times it's awfully tempting.

I also want to apologize for being a poor tool. I got right into Christmas cards this year, I even made my own. I had things ready to go at the beginning of the month, and most people have been sent their cards and should have received them already. Some people, however, won't be getting cards at all. I ran out of cards. Then I made more and completely forgot about them. Now, I can't find the bloody things. So, if you live in Edmonton (or Nebraska, damn it all) and didn't get a card, I apologize, I really did mean to send a card and I love you very much. Next year I'll do better....maybe I'll even write one of those cheesy update form letters to make up for it!

Oh, and Goody, go hard with your mincemeat! I just made my first batch of tarts this past week and they are fantastic! I didn't make hard sauce to go with them though, I hate the stuff and just couldn't be bothered.

One Week Left!

You know, Mary must have known I was blogging unfavourably about her....we haven't had a major tantrum since then (knock on wood). Yes, there have been minor meltdowns, especially when she feels that she NEEDS a cookie and I disagree with her, but other than that she's been good.

Saturday the Elks lodge put on a show for the kids in town. They played a Pooh Bear Christmas movie, and then Santa came to visit. I was a little concerned that Mary would flip out. She's always interested in Santa when we go to the mall, but won't really get too close. Well, I needn't have worried. Santa walked in the door and she was the first one shrieking his name and dancing at his feet while he made his way to his throne. When her turn came to sit on his knee, well, she did so quite happily. She sat silently for a moment or two just enjoying the experience, accepted her goodie bag and came back to my side bubbling with happiness. I was right annoyed as I had decided not to bring the camera, damn it. Anyways, it was a fun afternoon, even if we missed out on the hay rides afterwards. Frances was about done and while Mary and I were thrilled to see the horses, Fran was not impressed in the least. Oh, and the funny thing about the whole experience? Mary's goody bag was just like the bags we used to get when I was a kid - full of peanuts. You don't get things like that in the city anymore, eh? I guess there aren't any peanut allergies in either the preschool or the regular schools, so they just don't worry about it. Mary reached in and popped a peanut in her mouth, shell and all...

Not much else going on here. I did a tonne of baking the other day, including the first batch of mincemeat tarts...heavenly. Yesterday Ian was off work and we had some errands to run, so we popped into the city to go to Walmart. A word to the wise...don't go to Walmart a week before Christmas. Just don't. We went first thing in the morning, on a monday morning, thinking that it would be okay. It wasn't. It was a zoo. Why were none of those people at work? I don't know. I did take great pleasure in blocking an isle while chatting with a lady who had a baby the same age as Frances. I could hear the irritated groans around us, but after spending an hour trying to get around slow moving geriatrics (not that I have a problem with old people, but for crying out loud...) I felt that I had a right to block traffic for just a minute.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Is this three?

Cause if it is, well, I'd really like two back, please.

Over the last few weeks Mary has undergone some subtle (and not so subtle) changes in her personality and attitudes towards life. I just recently connected these changes to the fact that she'll be three years old in a couple of weeks. She's still sweet and loving, cuddly and gentle most of the time. She adores her baby sister, she loves to play with the cats, she loves cars and trucks and books. Lately though, she has been incredibly contrary, temperamental, irrational and independent in bizarre ways. The temper tantrums have stepped up a notch and are far more frequent than ever before.

Last night she wasn't eating her supper. I was okay with this because she had eaten one or two mouthfulls of her chili and a whole slice of bread. I am used to her not eating, and I try very hard not to make a big deal about it. So anyways, I asked her if she was done. She said "NO!" and grabbed the bowl of chili, moving it away from me. She did not eat it. Five minutes later I asked again, and again she reacted the same way. So I scooped up some food onto her spoon and handed it too her. She shrieked in rage, dumped out the spoon, and hugged the bowl. After about 30 minutes of this I was done, so I took the bowl away to clean up. She. Flipped. Out. Screaming, yelling, howling, sobbing, flinging herself to the floor, hitting me, throwing things. It was truly spectacular but nothing compared to the tantrum she had the day before yesterday where she trashed her bedroom (books thrown all over, stuffed animals tossed willy-nilly and the bed ripped apart) and then refused everything I offered her until I wasn't offering it anymore and then she screamed that she needed it. Then I would try to give it too her and because I was offering it, she refused it again.


She does make up for it when she comes into my bed after Ian's gotten up for work and snuggles up with me, patting my back and whispering sweet nothings before falling asleep.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Time Flies

Things are going as usual these days. I can't remember the last time I actually did an update here, really, my life is awfully boring.

Let's see. Ian worked all weekend, and I did....stuff, important stuff, I'm sure. He had Monday and Tuesday off. Monday Mary and I went into the city to do a big grocery shop and stare at the frightening man in the red suit. Mary really loves Santa's "Castle" in the mall, but she's not too keen on the big man himself. Tuesday was Ian's turn to take Mary into the city to run errands.

Mary's skating lessons have taken an interesting turn. She discovered yesterday that to move around on the ice one need not move their feet...just drop to your hands and knees and crawl, or better yet lay right down and roll. It was the first time I've seen her laugh and engage with the coaches at her lessons, so while she did not actually skate, she did have fun and I call that a success.

Last night Ian called me when he was heading home from the city, just to let me know he was on his way. The weather had turned from quite nice in the morning to very windy and snowy. About 30 minutes after he called, about the time I would be expecting him home, he called again. It turns out that the blowing snow on the road tricked him, and instead of turning with the highway he drove straight into the ditch and almost into a farmers field. Even better, a woman on her way to Weyburn saw his tail lights through the blowing snow and figured that must be where she ought to drive....and she ended up in the ditch too. Misery loves company, eh? Anyways, after trying for an hour to contact CAA, an ambulance pulled up to check on them. The paramedic chatted for a few minutes, and called them a tow truck. About 5 minutes after the ambulance left, an RCMP truck showed up and sat on the corner with his lights on, calling attention to the fact that there was in fact a corner there and people should turn to avoid the ditch. Anyways, the long and short of it is that Ian got off work at 5:30 last night, and didn't get home till 10. It was funny, right before Ian called to tell me that he was in the ditch my father had called just to let me know that if the weather was crummy Ian was always welcome to stay at his place. Is that what they call irony?

Hmm. Not much else going on. Still baking like a fiend. I made some fantastic, melt in your mouth, shortbread, some mediocre gingerbread teddy bears (that Mary loves, so she gets to eat them all), and the best bread I've made so far. I couldn't believe how well it turned out, light and airy, very tasty and perfect for toast or sandwiches.

Monday evening the cast for the dinner theatre met and we taped the play. It was lots of fun to be around other people, and the more I read it, the more I like the play that we are doing. I've also really come to like my character and I'm quite excited about starting regular practice in the new year.

Saturday, December 08, 2007


Please, just go here, okay? You won't regret it....well, you might, but it's cute!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Nice Socks

Not much to report around here. Yesterday was a PJ day for me, I stayed in my jammies all day long and boy did it feel good! Today the only reason I got dressed was because Ian forgot to bring in the cat food from the van, and the boys were driving me bonkers.

I've been busy working on stockings for our family, and I've finally finished the girl's stockings! The sewing is pretty crappy, I'm not really sure how to use my machine, so I just wing it and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I don't know if I will finish Ian's and mine before Christmas, but it was the girls that were important to me anyways.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


We had a relatively busy weekend. Friday we went into the city and spent all our money (quite literally) on this and that. That night we went to a Christmas party put on by Ian's work. We stayed at my dads place as he is in Hawaii, and got a sitter in. It was awfully nice to get out without the girls. The party was quite fancy. When we arrived there was a table full of corsages for the ladies. There was an open bar which Ian and I didn't really take advantage of, being old and boring as we are. There was a silent auction with the proceeds going to the Canadian Cancer society and a couple of raffles. The food was fantastic, and they had brought in a guy from Austin Texas who is billed as "The Worlds Worst Waiter," he was fabulous. They had a hypnotist who was good, but went on far too long. There was dancing after the hypnotist, but we left when he was done his thing, I was tired, and we knew the girls wouldn't let us sleep in.

Saturday we spent what little money we had left, and came home. Saturday afternoon we put up the Christmas tree, and Sunday we decorated it. Mary had a blast putting the ornaments on the tree, and she loves to cuddle with me on the couch and just look at the tree.

Monday was skating again, and Mary continued to be happy just standing on the ice, thank you very much.

Today we got the pictures that were taken by the photographer. They're stunning - take a look!