Sunday, April 18, 2010

My Baby is One!

Ok, so I'm a little late. You should see his (mostly empty) baby book. The kid is lucky I have a blog.

I made a cake! He shares his birthday with his 3 year old cousin and I figured this was the simplest way to handle it.

Gavin enjoying said cake. Really enjoying it. This is his look-how-cute-I-am fake smile.

A rumbly toy truck to play with. Note the basketball game on in the background. Poor kid will forever have his birthday competing with the NCAA playoffs.

Happy Birthday, my darling!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Childcare Void

I'm just writing off the top of my head here....but maybe if our government made providing more high-quality daycare spots a priority, I wouldn't have to resort to Craigslist to try to find in-home care. The group daycare in town has a waiting list a mile long and I can't afford it anyway. The other option is to try to secure care in a family daycare for Gavin and out-of-school care at a separate setting for Trevor and Amy. And for all that trouble I would be paying more than having someone come to the house.

Do I have solutions? Not really. But there has to be a better way.

Friday, April 16, 2010


It's been an interesting week around here to say the least. We parted ways with our nanny. She was with us for a whole four weeks. Truthfully, her psycho-ness began to show up during the first week, but I wanted to believe that I had made a good decision and wasn't willing to face the possibility that I had made a mistake and might have to do the whole quest-for-childcare thing again.

So if the universe sends you trials and tribulations in your life in order that you may learn and grow from them, I really must reflect on what the point of dealing with psycho-nanny for the past month was supposed to teach me. Because I don't ever want to deal with THAT again.

I should have listened to my instincts.
I should have been more thorough in my interview with her.
I should have questioned her decision making the moment I felt uncomfortable about her.
I should have viewed her with a skeptical eye until she proved otherwise (as opposed to my usual rose-coloured glasses).
I should have gotten it all in writing.
I shoud not have let her take the key off our premises.
Instead, because I was afraid of being seen as difficult, or demanding, or bossy, I let her put my children in situations that were at best, questionable, and at worst terribly, even potentially fatally unsafe.

So needless to say the next nanny search will go a whole lot differently.

On a more positive note, having this whole thing blow up on me has also hammered home what a fantastic community I live in. No less than six families offered to do what they could to help out with childcare until I can get something more permanent in place. I'll probably get more offers as word of this gets around (it's only been 24 hours so far). All of these families have their own kids and busy lives and work to juggle, but they happily offered their help. New Westminster is the best place in the world to live.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tiger is Icky

(A couple of days late, I know....)

I managed to take in a bit of the Masters over the weekend. It's one of my favourite golf events to watch on TV. Over the past five months I've managed to dodge much of the Tiger media frenzy by simply tuning it out. Really, there are more important and pressing things for me to worry about. Like global warming. And switching to decaf.

So I was surprised at my own vitriol against him when I sat down to take in a few holes. Yes, he is an amazing golfer. But there I was, rooting against him as loudly and as obnoxiously as I could. It was a visceral "ICK YUCK BLECH" reaction.

SO glad he tanked as the weekend progressed.

And SO glad Phil Mickelson's wife and mom were well enough amid their concurrent breast cancer treatments to be there to watch him win it.

Karma, baby.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

(Grand)Parents are People

I had an experience over the weekend that brought the above into sharp focus. On Saturday, my mom and dad were over visiting and it was such a beautiful day that we (them, Amy, Gavin and myself) decided to go for a walk down to the ravine near our house to look at a duck pond and enjoy a bit of nature. It's a moderately challenging walk back up to our place involving a pretty serious set of trail stairs and a steady uphill climb; we made it almost all the way back to the house when my mom stumbled and fell. After she took a few minutes to gather herself, she felt she would be ok if she just sat for a bit and took it easy. My dad had planned to watch Trevor's hockey game out in Surrey it was time for him to leave; I said I would stay with my mom and for him to go ahead.

About 10 minutes, a very alarming looking bruise on Mom's hand developed so we decided that a trip to the ER for an x-ray was in order. She insisted that she could take a cab, or that I could just drop her off and she could cab home; I insisted that I would take her and we would wait with her.

Before I had my own children, I saw my mom as a wee bit superhuman. If this had happened when I was in my 20's and she had insisted that she could handle waiting on her own I would have taken her at her word and gone on my merry way. But really, faced with an unexpected injury and a yucky visit to the ER, most people would appreciate having some company along for the ride and a bit of TLC. Even if they are superhuman.

And since having my own children, I finally realize that my Mom is human and sometimes she needs help even when she says she doesn't. And not coincidentally, she shares many personality traits with me...including a tendency to re-assure others in order to ease their worries, regardless of the cost to herself. Hmmm...

Mom's hand will be alright in a few weeks. I was glad I bought the three hours' worth of parking and stayed for the duration, kids and all. I don't know that we were particularly helpful while we were there but I hope it showed how much I love her and that I finally see her as a whole person, not just as my mom.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Stupid Easter Chocolate

Why oh why don't I learn from myself? I handled Halloween brilliantly, if I do say so myself. Easter....not so much.

Easter morning, Amy woke up at 4:30am and started to head down the stairs with her basket in hand! I only bumped into her because Gavin and I were having a little nighttime visit. Needless to say, she was just a little bit stoked about the egg hunt. I made her go back to bed and she managed to hold off until about 7:00am.

That dumb Bunny visited our house and left what I thought was a not-obscene amount of chocolate eggs to find and a hollow bunny for each of the kids. I cursed that Bunny every hour for the following 48 hours for ever bringing that wretched substance into my house.

They argued over the distribution fairness of the chocolate. At one point while Trevor was at lacrosse, I caught Amy "dividing" up the eggs between her basket and Trevor's after she ate a sizable amount from hers - not her most shining moment.

They beg, plead, cajole, and bargain for the right to eat the chocolate. One is not enough. Five, ten, twenty...there is never enough, they must always try for more.

Their behaviour is off the wall as they ride a roller coaster of blood sugar highs and lows. I almost pity them except they are driving me mad.

So, today as we approached dinnertime, I started to say no to the chocolate for the bazillionth time that day. Instead, I said, "Sure you can eat the chocolate. Eat it all. I am tired of this conversation and I want it gone. BUT. You must eat at least some of your dinner which we are having in one hour, because Grandma and Grandpa are here to have Easter dinner with us and I won't have it ruined by all the chocolate. AND, if you whine and complain that you are full and cannot eat dinner because you are full of chocolate, I will be emailing the Easter Bunny and asking him not to bring chocolate next year. And if you think I'm kidding, just try me."

To which Amy replied, "You don't have his email address." Whaaa?!

To which I replied, "Not yet, but I have Google. I'll find it." Aha! Take that.

Next year I am sending a copy of this post to that dumb bunny in mid-March. I'm sure he'll figure out something different for next year.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


I haven't been posting much since I went back to work. Honestly, I don't have a lot of mental energy left by the time I get a few uninterrupted minutes at the computer these days. I have these starting fragments floating around in my head...oh yeah, I should write about that. But then I sit down to do it and realize that I forgot to make the kids' lunches or download a science activity.

Here are a few of the things going on around here lately:
  • Easter
  • Gavin's FIRST BIRTHDAY (well that was the fastest year of my life!)
  • My niece's birthday on the same day
  • Report cards (sending out at school and receiving Trevor and Amy's)
  • The extra-curricular activity shift to Spring (lacrosse, spring hockey, pre-teen yoga...)
  • Gavin is starting to walk
  • Fitting in my workouts (they're still kind of sporadic, but I'm pretty amazed I'm doing anything at all since I've hit my usual "quit" zone)
  • the GI Diet...who knew kale was so tasty?!
  • the garden is actually happening this year. Things are even growing already!

So, I shall stumble off to bed. Hopefully I'll re-read this post and actually get to elaborate on one or more of the of these days.