Monday, May 30, 2011

Crying It Out

Lynden sleeping on his mat

When Lynden was a baby he loved to be held, like all babies do, but it would also include when he would fall asleep.  Being our first we didn't mind holding him 24/7, but eventually we wanted him to start sleeping on his own, but he didn't seem to be ready anytime we tried.  Then one day while playing on his play mat he went quiet, when I went to go see why he had fallen asleep.  Finally, he had fallen asleep on his own.  I now knew he was able to so we stopped holding him to sleep at night. 

I would nurse Lynden to sleep at bedtime and then put him down.  Usually within 5 minutes he'd be awake and crying, but he was a smart boy and every so often he would stop crying for a minute and listen for us.  So, I decided to let him cry for 5 consecutive minutes, at the end of the 5 minutes one of us would go in and check on him, not pick him up, and leave.  It was not uncommon for Lynden to stop crying to listen for us at the 3 or 4 minute mark, which meant the 5 minutes would start all over again. 

The first few nights were longer but within a week he was pretty good about going down, sometimes he'd fuss for a few minutes but would fall asleep.  It actually took longer to train Danny than it did Lynden (I'm still working on Danny); he did NOT like to hear his son cry. 

Eventually bedtimes were a breeze with minimal fussing.  I remember one trip down to visit family some of my cousins were at my mom's and they were getting ready to leave and I said I just had to put Lynden down and then I'd come say bye.  They thought I'd be gone for 10-15 minutes, it took me about 3.  I took Lynden upstairs, laid him down, turned on his music, gave him a kiss and went back downstairs. 

Lynden was also quick to pick it up as a toddler.  When Danny went to the Cayman Islands for a month last year for his diving Lynden was not sleeping on his own again and it was going to be easier to retrain him when his daddy was not home.  The first night it took 3 hours (it was a long night), the second night 30 minutes and I awoke the fourth morning thinking I had just not heard him but he slept through the night all on his own again and continued to do so most of the month.  That was a great month!

Alyssa is a different story.  Knowing how well Lynden took to the crying it out method we've been trying, very unsuccessfully, with Alyssa.  She has a handy self defense system built in, if she cries for more than 3 minutes she breaks into a full body sweat.  If you let her go for 5 she's soaked head to toe.  If you let her go for any longer there is an 80% chance she will vomit all over you when you do pick her up. 

sleeping Alyssa
It seems, so far, she wants to be nursed down, which is ok with me since I do it anyways.  I just have to make sure she's fully asleep before I put her down or else she wakes up crying and wanting to nurse again.  The last 3 nights I've been really focusing on getting her to sleep in her own bed and she's doing fairly well.  Last night she went from 9:15pm to 3:15am without waking once (from then on was another story but we're taking baby steps), which was good because I didn't realize Lynden had crawled into bed with us (he even managed to get me to snuggle him) until he rolled over off the bed (good thing I was snuggling him or else he would have hit the ground hard). 

We're making progress with both of them.  Lynden is staying in bed at bedtime and isn't calling hysterically for us anymore and Alyssa is getting used to sleeping in her crib and making longer stretches on her own.  Maybe sometime this year Danny and I will get a full night's sleep in our own bed without any kids. 

Lynden sleeping on the floor

He's only done it twice

Not a thumb sucker, but for some reason he did

chillaxin' while sleeping

Alyssa sleeping in her chair

out for a walk

pooped after some tummy time

Sunday, May 29, 2011


While feeding Alyssa and looking at her elbow dimples, which are beyond cute, Lynden put on his turtle backpack and reminded me that Grandma Ellie gave it to him.  As he ran around playing with his toys wearing a shirt, underwear and his backpack (yes, no pants) I smiled and couldn't help but think of how over the moon in love with my kids I am.  Here's some of the many things I love about them.

  • He says "dammy" when he can't decide if he wants mommy or daddy.  Usually it's daddy
  • When he forgets to use the magic word and you remind him he says "oh pees".  I don't know why he includes the "oh" but he does
  • He gives the worlds best "skeez" (aka squeeze) hugs
  • He will just randomly decide to go and snuggle with his sister
  • "Wook at me mommy"  - I wove he can't say his l's
  • He loves to look at himself in the mirror.  It's not conceded, just genuine interest in what he looks like
  • The look on his face when he thinks he's funny.  He closes his eyes and smiles when he tells us his funny
  • His new thing when he doesn't want to do something is to tell us "back is sore"
  • How he lines up all his cars, either to make one long line or they're all facing the same direction side by side
  • His wonderfully cheesy smile - this will have girls all over him later
  • His love for "Kesser" and his sticker hockey book
  • He either tells me where he's going to hide while playing hide and seek or he laughs when I get it wrong
  • When you ask him to do something he says "not yet" or "have to wait"
  • He loves to "cuwwle" (aka cuddle)
  • No matter how many times we blow bubbles he's always enjoys chasing after them
  • How excited he gets about going over bridges
  • (He'll hate me for this one later) When he's grabbing at himself he says "it's big, it's really big"

  • Her thigh rolls
  • The way her eyes scrunch when she smiles
  • She buries her head into your shoulder or chest when she's beaming
  • She smiles at Lynden when she seems him without any prompting
  • When she's sleeping at night and wants me she flails her arms until I hold her
  • Right before she falls asleep she jabbers, it's like she has important things she Must tell us before she naps
  • How she holds my fingers
  • She gnaws on her index finger or thumb, one at a time
  • When she tries to move while on her belly - she gets her knees under her and almost rolls herself over her head
  • When she's eating she has to stop and tell the closest light about how yummy it is - at least that's what I'm saying she's talking about.  When she's done she flops back to her side so she can keep eating, because it is so yummy
  • How her eyes roll back in her head when she's eating
  • How she holds the blanket to her face when she sleeps
  • How I am the centre of her world and no one compares to her mommy
Those are just some of the many many things that make my heart swell with love when I look at my children each day.

And while I'm at it, here are some things I love about my husband.
  • He kisses me before he leaves for work, even if I'm sleeping
  • His heart breaks when Lynden asks him if he has to go back to work (it sounds horrible but that's how much he loves our kids)
  • Our "hmm" moments.  One night we were watching TV and there was a commercial for something or other and as he said "hmm" I made the "hmm face".  And earlier today he was reading about Sublime (he didn't believe me when I told him I thought I heard a new single that sounded a lot like Sublime) and he said "hmm" to which I responded with "hmm?" and he answered me.
  • He randomly brings home a chocolate bar
  • He also randomly remembers random things about me, usually about sweets.  He brought home those Rocket candies because I had mentioned once that I love them.  Or he sees dark chocolate mini eggs and buys them for me because I LOVE LOVE dark chocolate and mini eggs (although I'll only eat them at Easter since it's an Easter candy.  I'm not thrilled about them being available all year round since I could binge on them the other 11 months of the year and not enjoy them in the 1 month I do binge on them).
  • He kills spiders without giving me a hard time about being scared of them.
  • He teaches Lynden the oddest things.  If you ask Lynden "do you know where you are?" he answers with "In the Jungle Baby, you're gonna die" - it's funny and cute but why???
  • I'm going to mention this one since I'd like for Danny to start again and it was one of the things that made me like him at the beginning - he (used to) holds doors open for me.

**I was going to add some photos to this post, but the laptop died this morning and all my photos are on there.  Keep your fingers crossed we can fix it tonight so I can get my photos from the last year back.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Danny's been on my case for about 2 weeks to make some cookies, so I decided today I would.  Lynden had woken up from his nap and Alyssa had decided to go back to sleep so I asked Lynden to help me.  He loves pouring the measuring cups and spoons into the bowls, helping me stir, and putting the batter onto the cookie sheet or muffin trays (depending on what I'm making). 

I pulled out my trusty cookie recipe, that I clipped from the back of a flour bag, and got the bowls set up only to have Alyssa wake up and demand to eat.  Lynden was a trooper and waited patiently (as patiently as a 2 year old can) while I changed and fed Alyssa. 


Once Alyssa was done I set her up in her exersaucer, which she started using today and seems to enjoy, and went back to getting out the supplies we needed to make cookies.  We measured, we poured, we mixed, we tested the chocolate chips to make sure they were ok, we scooped dough onto the cookie sheet and we baked them.  Something went wrong in the process, though, and the cookies were these flat, mooshed together, gooey things that weren't fully cooked after 5 extra minutes of cooking time.  Poor Lynden was more upset than I was about it, so I salvaged what I could and distracted him long enough so I could make a new batch, using the same ingredients and amounts as before.  I don't know what happened the first time around since the second batch turned out just fine.  The whole time it was in the oven he kept asking "this one better?" and was thrilled when I said yes. 

Waiting for the cookies to bake

Finally!  Yum!
And like all children, the minute they came out of the oven he was asking me for a cookie.  He was good about waiting until they cooled down.  When I handed him one he took the fastest and biggest first bite I have ever seen.  I am sure he had more chocolate on his face than in his tunny, but that's what makes a cookie so good. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Some Days

Today's been one of "those days".

Danny came home from work early and decided to get in a quick nap before he had to head back to work tonight.  It sounded like a good idea (since I was half asleep all morning from a second consecutive night of constant feedings for Alyssa) and with both kids down for their afternoon naps I joined him.  That lasted about 5 minutes before Alyssa woke up - there went my nap. 

Alyssa also decided that she was hungry about an hour before her next feeding (she's either in a growth spurt or those bumps on her gums are going to actually let way for some chompers), so she had to be fed.  I'm sitting on the couch, feeding her and I can hear Lynden crying.  This isn't good since he naps in his regularr underwear (we had 3 bad days and 2 Fantastic days and then today more accidents).  He wanders slowly into the livingroom and I can see wet underwear.  Sigh.  Alyssa is now unlatched and I have to deal with a wet toddler.  Off to the bathroom, find some new underwear and then go inspect his bed to see if he peed in bed - thankfully no.  Now to get back to a baby who is still hungry since her feeding was interrupted (thankfully she's used to it as we rarely get in a steady feed during the day.  I'm not too concerned since she's got these wonderfully adorable thigh rolls).  The joys of having a nursing baby and a potty training toddler.

We were gone for half of the long weekend and don't have much in the fridge for food and my tiredness today didn't have the motivation to come up with a dinner that included sausages and cauliflower, maybe tomorrow.  So, had to send Danny out to get a quick dinner so he could eat before he went back to work. 

And having been away for a night I didn't bathe the kids on my schedule and it had to be done tonight (Lynden's been running around outside and Alyssa has rubbed her head in spit up, yum!).  Normally we don't bathe both of them in the same night but I didn't have a choice tonight and I was doing it solo (usually Danny washes Lynden and I wash Alyssa).  Lynden's went ok, I decided to rinse his head with the detachable shower head, which he wasn't keen on.  Alyssa was in a mood, so she cried in her bath at the start, which always makes it fun.  But once she starting kicking and splashing she had a good time, although Lynden did not like getting splashed in the face.  So, I asked him to grab a towel and dry himself off.  He stepped off the stool and slipped on water and smoked the back of his head on the edge of the stool.  Now, I have a toddler screaming on the floor and a baby in the bath... Perfect!!  I scooped Lynden up as fast as I could, held him while resting a hand on Alyssa.  I was able to play it off and cheer him up pretty soon (he has a nice goose egg) and rush through the rest of Alyssa's bath, get her dried off, and dress both of them. 

Much like baths, we pair off while getting the kids ready for bed, but with Danny at work I've got to plan it so I can nurse Alyssa and get her to bed in time for Lynden's bedtime.  With the Canucks game on Lynden has to go to bed at the end of the period of he cries because he's missing hockey (he's definitely my son).  It was going smoothly until I put Alyssa into her bed, then the screaming started.  So, I let her go for a bit and then cave, pick her up (I don't know why I have a harder time letting her cry than I did with Lynden), and sooth her (it was a valid screaming fit afterall, she threw up all over me, her and the floor once I  picked her up... so glad I just bathed her).  Then the period ends, so I have to get Lynden into bed.  Lay her back down, just to start the screaming all over again, brush his teeth, power read through a story and kiss him good night (so glad he stays in bed) just so I can rush back to Alyssa who has worked herself up and wants to nurse again.  It's going to be a long night.

But I did manage to unload and reload the dishwasher and wash the pots and pans that have been sitting on the counter all weekend.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Grandpa's Magic Chair

Kids don't like changes.  They like routines and what's familiar to them.  If something does change you have to spend a lot of time explaining Why it's not the same and how different is better than before.

I got a dose of the this yesterday while visiting with my grandparents.  They both have reclining chairs and my grandpa Finally relented and agreed his old chair was no longer usable (really, it was there a few years ago but he finally agreed to let my grandma buy a new one).  So my grandma went out and bought a new chair, but instead of buying him one she bought a chair she liked and passed along her old one to my grandpa.

Well, Lynden does not like it and does not get it.  He knows there is a new chair and that grandma's chair is in grandpa's spot, thus making the new chair grandpa's.  Trying to explain other wise does not make sense since grandma's chair is still here.

To make things worse, grandpa's chair was a Magic Chair.  Lynden could make it rock by itself by saying "go please" and make it stop with "stop please" (the please is a key word in making the chair go and stop).  So, Lynden climbs up into the new chair (because grandma's chair is STILL here) and says "go please" (because grandpa's chair is magic and rocks on its own) but it doesn't work.  I tell Lynden that only grandpa's chair is magic and to try grandpa's chair.  He climbs up into grandpa's chair and says "go please" and the chair starts to rock by itself.  The smile that spreads across his face when he realizes the chair does what he says is wonderful. 

He then spent part of the evening trying to find what makes the chair magic (it currently has to do with a hole in the back of the chair although every time he looks behind the chair while it's rocking).

I'm hoping he now understands that grandma's old chair is grandpa's new chair.  Either way he knows it's a Magic Chair.

Check out the video of Grandpa's Magic Chair

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Out and About: All Over

It's been a hectic week for us.  Play group and Story Time on Tuesday with my mom's group, Park on Thursday with my sister and a friend of mine, Playdate on Friday with a fellow mommy blogger and her kids, and Parade on Saturday with my sister in law and most of her kids.  And for some Crazy reason I want to take Lynden to the Kids zone at the Cloverdale Rodeo this weekend as well as family picnic, if the sun should decide to come out again or else we'll visit some family instead.  Since we've been getting up around 6am most of the week I'm too pooped to write.  Enjoy some pictures from out week.


Lynden & Aunty
Oh no!  Look out for the bear

Lynden "riding" a bike

Lynden & Ethan riding together


Lynden waving to the floats
The coolest float. An antique steam engine from 1918

First of many horses

Don't remember what it was for but still cool


We saw this pirate boat on our way to our spot and Lynden
kept asking where the pirate boat was

Alyssa & Aunty

Lynden & Daddy watching the parade (in the rain)


Jack the Giant.  Lynden recognized him
Too many rainy pictures, let's go back to the sunshine
LOVE this shot of me and my Wonderful son

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Start The Day With An Emergency Trip To The Doctor's

I am the more laid back parent when it comes to medical stuff for the kids.  Danny, more with Lynden, would want to take him to the doctor right away whenever something was wrong with Lynden.  I, surprisingly, am the one to say "let's wait and see what it's like in the morning" and most of the time it clears up over night and we don't need to bother the doctor. 

But, when it comes to Lynden's boy parts I panic.  Since I don't have the same parts as him I don't know what's "normal" and what's not, so I rely on Danny's reaction to my questions to decide if I really should be worried about a redness/bump/etc or not.  This is also why I let Danny make the decision about circumcising him or not (I figure we should pair off with the child with the same parts when making decisions and worrying about things). 

But, when I pulled off Lynden's "night underwear" (AKA pull up) for his morning pee to discover blood in it I panicked.  When Lynden started to cry because of the pain when peeing I panicked.  When I saw it was bright red and swollen I panicked.  My natural reaction was to call Danny but it was 7:30. Danny had started work already and can't answer his phone or answer his texts, so I called the next best person - my sister in law.  I figure a) she's got 5 boys, b) she's awake (she's got 6 kids!) c) she lives next door, literally and d) works in a medical office.  She was surprised I was calling so early and confused when I asked her to come over, but when I explained why she came over and took a look at Lynden's owie.  She told me to keep an eye on it and if it wasn't better in the morning, or if he was bleeding some more to take him to the doctor. 

My mind went to a bunch of what if scenarios, the worst being what if we have to get him circumcised at 3?!?  Not something I ever want to put him through. 

After more painful pee trips to the potty I decided to not wait til tomorrow to see the doctor.  So, I called my grandma, who has a spare car seat in her car since ours is in our car and Danny has the car at work, to see if she can come and watch Alyssa while I run Lynden to the clinic.  She was able to and so off to the doctor we went. 

Thankfully, it turned out to be nothing serious, just a flare up from his eczema.   Some cream and he'll be good to go.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Looking Forward To Better Weeks

It's been a bad week for me.  Felt like I was bring buried alive by the amount of laundry needing to be done, didn't get a handle on the house chores at all, and between a worried mommy about Lynden's pee pee, a fussy baby that did not want to sleep (she actually slept one day for a grand total of 35 minutes between noon and 10pm) and wanted to be held at bedtime making it impossible for me to fold said laundry, a toddler who wouldn't take "no" as an acceptable answer for anything and was waking up WAY too early for me I wasn't motivated to do much.  Then my cell phone died, Danny's, literally, fell apart the next day (the only thing holding it together is a ribbon inside the phone and now some tape), and we needed to go grocery shopping only to lose the bank card, which we later found, the day I was able to take the car to do it.  And now my darned car is acting up again.... sigh... it has not been a good week for me. 

Although I learned Lynden listens to the microwave.  He was bugging me to paint one afternoon after his nap and I wasn't ready to start so I showed him the timer on the microwave and set it for 5 minutes and told him when it beeped we'd paint.  He said ok and went and played in his playroom by himself, something he very rarely does, for the 5 minutes.  When the microwave beeped he came running out "microwave went beep beep".  Now any time I set the timer he goes and plays quietly by himself in his playroom until it beeps.  Needless to say I love my microwave timer at the moment. 

Lynden has also had a great potty week.  When we bought his night underwear (AKA pull ups) we said when it ran out he was going to start wearing regular underwear to bed.  We had 1 wet pull up since we bought that pack (and it was the day when his neck was really sore and he could barely move so it was understandable) and we're down to the last 6.  Alyssa has also improved her hand skills this week.  She's really good about grasping what she's looking at and can now shake a rattle like no one's business as well as hold her toes - so cute.  She's also discovered that "other baby" in the mirror and loves smiling at her. 

As bad as this week was for me it's been nice to not be out and about too much as we have some really crazy weeks ahead of us.  We're making play group and story time on Tuesdays our regular thing and we've got playdates, the Cloverdale Rodeo, Surrey Kids Festival, Thomas in Squamish, the Aquarium, and another mom meet n greet (all in the next 3 weeks).  Danny's also talking about starting to teach me and his mom how to scuba dive in June (yay!) so I'm also looking into taking the kids to the pool on a regular basis too. 

Guess I better get used to getting up at 6am to drive Danny to work.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What's Cooking: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Yesterday was Danny's birthday and we've come up with a plan that allows me to not have to think of that Fantastic gift to give him every year - he gets dinner of his choice (usually a great steak and lobster) and homemade strawberry rhubarb pie (his all time favourite dessert).  We also do a BBQ for him, which is when he gets his dinner, but he asks for his pie on his actual birthday so he doesn't have to share the pie with anyone but me.  You're laughing but it's the honest truth.  Every year I ask him when he wants me to make his pie, for the BBQ or on his actual birthday and he says birthday "so I don't have to share" or "this way I can have it all".  He jokes that he's not going to share with me, but I think know he's secretly hoping I'll say "ok, you can have the whole pie".  Not going to happen.

So, here's the recipe for this deliciously yummy, yet surprisingly easy, dessert.  (I don't remember where I found it but chances are

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie:

2 pints strawberries
1 lb. rhubarb
2 pie crusts (I don't make my own, I mean to learn so I can)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 tbsp butter
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp sugar
small bowl of water

1. Cut strawberries (I cut into quarters) and rhubarb (1" cubes).  Toss with flour and sugar.  Let sit for 30 minutes

2. Place filling into pie crust and top with other crust.  Seal edges with water.  Coat top crust with egg yolk, dot with butter and sprinkle with sugar.

3. Bake at 400 for 35 minutes


Yes, that's it.  Simply easy and I honestly think you cannot screw this recipe up. 

I always have left over filling so this year I bought tart shells and filled them with the remaining strawberry rhubarb goodness.  I put them in the oven next to the pie and cooked for the same time.  They're delicious too - more proof you can't mess this up.  Next year I might to a loaf too - I'll work my way up each year until I find Danny's breaking point, not that I think there is one.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

First Mommy Meetup

I should start this and say Lynden is not as bad as my last post made him out to be.  I was having a BAD day and so my post came across a lot more harsh then it was meant to.  He's a good kid, he really is, just yesterday was a really bad day.  He usually has a bad moment every so often (yesterday it was more and I was tired and Alyssa decided she really didn't want to nap even though we both needed her to).

Today's been better, despite getting up at 6:15 to drive Danny to work (only to have him call me after I pulled away to say he forgot his work boots at home and needed me to get them and come back).  Once we got home it was a rush to get the kids fed, dressed and get Lynden to go #2 on the potty before we had to leave for our first mommy meetup at the play area at Guilford Mall and then story time at the library.

As I've posted before I don't like walking into preformed groups, they're hard to get involved in since everyone knows everyone already, but I want and need to get out there and meet new people.  It was good.  Lynden played shy and didn't want to play with any of the other kids, although I tricked him a few times by saying "can you catch them?" or after he handed me back his juice "ok, go play now".  I'm hoping he'll get a little more comfortable the more we go.  The other mom's were quick to introduce themselves (I think I've forgotten everyone's names already) and start a quick conversation.  But it was hard to talk much with Lynden attached to my side and wanting me to play with him and not talk to the other moms.  At one point I had to tell Lynden it was time for me to go and talk to the other mommies and I went and sat down and started a conversation with... umm... ya... her daughter's a month older than Alyssa but I can't remember her name (there were about 10 moms with 1-2 kids each).   

We then went off to the library and did story time.  Sadly, Lynden was getting tired and was done about 5 minutes into it.  I managed to get him to stay for the whole thing and he loved the stickers at the end of it.  He said he had a good time and would like to go again, so we'll go again next Tuesday and work on our friend making skills :-)

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Dreaded Terrible Two's

I really don't know if Lynden has started the Terrible Two's or if it's jealousy of Alyssa and the attention she gets, but man oh man is he been a handful lately.  From eating breakfast in the morning, playing, eating lunch, an attempt at naptime, biting, hitting, throwing, the fight at dinner time, getting him to stay in bed, and the ATTITUDE, oh the attitude.

Most parents I know seem to start their Terrible Two experience around 18 months, which seems to be when they start to determine their odd preferences to things.  A friend of mine messaged me last night to tell me about her son, who is 18 months, freaking out when food doesn't make it into his mouth fully - if anything is touching his lips he screams until she pushes it into her son's mouth or else he'll spit the food out.  Lynden used to get upset about any food touching his hands. 

As most parents can tell anyone the "NO" stage is the start of it all.  Then comes the "MINE" stage and somewhere the attitude kicks in.  Lynden loves "no", but only when he says it.  If we say "no" it's not uncommon for full on tears (must learn to cry on command so I can burst into tears when he says it).  And his "no" is a mean one accompanied by the frown and the occasional finger pointing.  I've even tried to stop telling him "no" in hopes he'll stop but no such luck yet.  However, the no isn't as bad as the sassing and talking back - my son is quite rude at times.  We just remind him, constantly, that he's not allowed to talk to us like that,to which he usually says "NO" which leads to time outs after enough warnings.  I would love to know how much time a child spends in timeout from ages 2-5.

Some days it feels like I'm dealing with multiple personalities.  Lynden will ask for cereal for breakfast only to refuse it once it's served to him.  Or he'll ask to play doh only to get mad when it's all set up because he doesn't want to play with it.  Or he begs me to go and play with his cousins next door only to get there, take off his boots and break into hysterics because he wants to go home.  Or wants to watch Yo Gabba Gabba only to turn the TV off the moment it starts.  WHY?!?!?

But I do have to chalk some of it up to jealousy towards his sister.  She does take up a lot of attention that used to be his, but I try to involve him as much as I can.  I try to read to him while I'm nursing and get him to help when I'm changing or bathing her and that seems to help sometimes.  But 7/10 times he's got to go potty 30 seconds after I've started nursing (he knows he gets priority and I'll unlatch her to get him on the potty, although I don't always stay now that he's learned how to get off the potty himself).  I know he loves her and he is so affectionate to her - he loves to hug and cuddle her, he hangs her toys back on her play mat when she pulls them off, and tells her "it's ok" when she's crying - but it doesn't stop him from walking up to her and biting her big toe or forehead or pushing her chair over while she's in it.  Thankfully he hasn't hurt her more than the biting and he was more upset by the trouble he got in but he knows it's attention and any attention, good or bad, is attention. 

Danny has been great with him when he's home and I'm busy, with Alyssa, dinner, laundry, etc.  I don't know how people manage as a single parent with 2 kids. As it is during the day I can manage... most of the time, but I try to pre-plan my day so that I can schedule them on slightly different times (I'm not nursing Alyssa at noon when I make Lynden's lunch, try to plan nap time for around the same time) which helps eliminate the problem of them both desperately needing me at the same time.  Most days I'm successful at it, but my saving grace is knowing that by 4 (most days) Danny's home and I have 4 hours of help before bedtime.  For some reason those 4 hours are the hardest of the day, mainly because of the one dreaded meal of the day... Dinner!

What makes dinner so much different from the rest of the meals in the day?  Lynden eats breakfast just fine, small snack in the late morning, 8/10 times eats lunch well, small snack in the mid afternoon and then chaos at dinner only to ask me for snacks between dinner and bedtime.  I've now taken to not fighting it and just ask him "do you need to think about it?" to which he generally answers yes, so we let him down from the table and he goes and sits in his room until he's ready to eat without a fight - that's the theory anyways and everything works in theory.  He usually comes back within 5 minutes, eats 3 or 4 good bites and then says "all done" to which we respond with airplanes, cars, trucks, choo choos, motor boats that all go into the tunnel and when those don't work we resort to plain & simple bribery.  I think he's doing it just for the bribery now which is why I try to limit it as much as possible and will counter with "fine, but when you're hungry later you're getting supper".  How I dread dinners with an almost 3 year old.

And then my favourite time of the day - Bedtime!  2 hours of semi-quiet time at the end of my day.  I am so grateful that Lynden has gone back to staying in bed and sleeping instead of getting up every 15 seconds.  One night I stood outside his room for 50 minutes (not kidding) and walked him back to bed every 15 seconds before I gave up and Danny took over.  And now that Alyssa is getting her bedtime routine figured out she goes down around 8 as well, although she usually wakes up about an hour later for a rock or quick feed and then she's out again.  But I can live with that over the alternative.

I'm sure in 10 years I'll be able to look back and see the humour in all this, assuming I'll be able to remember any of it, but for the moment it's a lot of deep breaths, warnings, time outs, and tears followed by hugs and cuddles when it's over.

Just think he'll be over the worst of it just in time for Round 2!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Mother's Bond

When I was pregnant with Lynden there was so much that I enjoyed and looked forward to.  I loved feeling him move and squirm inside my ever expanding belly (he wasn't much of a kicker) and my heart melted every appointment I got to hear his rapid heartbeat.  Labour wasn't something I was dreading, not that I was looking forward to it but I wasn't worried about it, and the epidural really helped cemented my not worrying about it.  I had this idea of what was going to happen right after he was born - I was going to hold him skin to skin and allow him to lead what was going to happen, be it snuggles or breastfeeding, whatever his instincts told him to do and fall so madly in love with him.  It did not go that way, not at all.

Lynden was born after 4.5 hrs of active labour (my water had broken 36 hours before but nothing was happening so they had to kick start the contractions) and 15 minutes of pushing.  He came out as this beautiful, clean, purple baby... yes, purple!  The cord had been wrapped around his neck, so the doctor cut the cord, plopped him on me and when he didn't cry right away they swooshed him off to the warming table to get him to cry, which they did in no time.  There went my wonderful idea of holding him and bonding with him.  Oh well, I'll look at him from a distance and fall in love with him from the delivery bed... it did not go that way either. 

My wonderful boyfriend (now husband), who had been spectacular from the moment I said "my water broke", fell so madly in love with our beautiful son that he (kinda totally) forgot I was in the room and just started at Lynden...awwww... directly in front of me.  Every few seconds I'd say "I can't see him" or "move" or push him to the side so I could see, only to have him step out of the way so I could catch a glimpse of him and then step back into my line of sight.

The doctor then told me she was going to deliver the after birth so I decided to stop trying to get Danny to move and focus on the new task at hand.  By then Lynden had been weighed, measured, cleaned up, swaddled and handed to Danny.  I then got to hold my son - about 25 minutes after he was born. 

Very few people know this, but it affected me, not being to hold Lynden for so long when I had this "idea" of what was going to happen (and I know there are woman out there that go longer not being able to hold their child and I cannot imagine what that is like).  I finally confessed to Danny at Thanksgiving, about 2 weeks after Lynden's birth, that I felt I was missing "that" bond with him.  I loved Lynden, I didn't doubt that, but "that" bond for me wasn't there, although looking back it was there I was just so disappointed that things didn't go as planned. 

I did realize that bond was there one night while feeding Lynden about a week later.  Lynden stopped breathing, completely stopped while he was eating, for about 10 seconds and then just started breathing again.  I died!  Those 10 seconds felt like a year and when he took that initial gasp to kick start those little lungs of his I walked calmly into the bedroom, woke Danny, handed him Lynden, walked into the bathroom, shut the door and sobbed.  It was then I had found that "mommy bond" I felt I was missing.

Because I knew how I had felt with Lynden I had decided to not have expectations about what would happen when Alyssa was born.  Thankfully she came out breathing and cried shortly after they placed her on me - although it wasn't skin to skin because I was still shivering from coming out of the shower moments before I started to push.  I got to hold her for a bit until they took her to the warming table.  Danny says he made a conscience effort to make sure he stayed out of my line of sight and once she had been weighed, measured and cleaned up he instantly gave her back to me so that I could have that bond with her right away. 

I love my kids, more than anything and everything in this world, and have a fantastic bond with both of them.  So, in the end it didn't ever really matter how it happened because when I look at them my heart swells with love.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

About 3 weeks ago Danny wanted to read in bed before we fell asleep.  I had just finished "100 Years of Solitude" (for the 6th time) so Danny offered to choose my next book.  He brought me 3 and I decided I should read "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". 

That was the longest it's ever taken me to read a book of 180 pages.  Although the last third of the book was enjoyable, the first two-thirds was not.  It was slow and confusing (why was Arthur Dent so up to date with what was going on so quickly??).  I know I'm going to get a lot of flack from people since it's a "Great book" but I did not find it as funny and witty as most people I know find it.  Now I've seen parts of the movie (I fall asleep watching it) so I knew bits and pieces of the story, so maybe that didn't help.  BUT, like I said the last third of the book (when they got to Magrathea and I quite liked that mice ran the world and I LOVE Marvin) was enjoyable, so at some point I'll move on to "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe".

I've started a poll to choose the next book on the BBC list (since I can check this one off now) - so vote for what book I should read next. 

The poll is over here ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------->

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What's Cooking: Chicken Fingers and Oven Fries

I have been saying I was going to make homemade Chicken Fingers most of April and after enough delay last night I made them for the first time.  They turned out well and we decided it's a keeper recipe.

Chicken Fingers (serves 3-4)

1lb. Chicken Breast, cut into strips
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup breadcrumbs (made myself - take the crusts of bread that I had frozen and tossed them into the Magic Bullet)
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp oregano, paprika, basil

Put flour into 1 bowl, eggs into another, and in a third bowl mix breadcrumbs, cheese and spices. 
Roll chicken in flour, then in the eggs and coat with breadcrumbs.
Bake at 450 for 6-8 minutes a side.

**I got this recipe from a cookbook my sister in law has - when she gets back from Disneyland I'll ask her for the name

Oven Fries (serves 2)

3 medium baking potatoes (can also use sweet potato), not peeled
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Cut potatoes lengthwise in half, then cut each half lengthwise into thirds.
Lay on baking sheet (use cooking spray or they will stick) and coast with oil, salt and pepper.
Bake at 425 for 45 min turning occasionally, or until tender

** This is a recipe from Good Housekeeping's "Light & Healthy Cookbook"

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mommy & Baby Exercises

With both pregnancies I gained 40-50lbs and it was 90% belly weight, so there's still some left over "baby flub".  With Lynden I would occasionally do these exercises with him - with him born in the Okanagan in the early fall we didn't do much walking around until the spring.  I've started doing them again with Alyssa (although Lynden insists I do them with him too when I'm done) and I thought I'd share them. 

The first one I do is I lie on my back with my legs in the air and bend my knees.  Alyssa lies on her tummy on my shins with her head resting on my knees and holding my hands.  I move my knees towards me, while keeping my shins straight, and then away.  Almost like a sit up but I don't lift my head.  It's a great exercise for the abs, and Alyssa smiles every time she moves towards me. 

The next one is while lying on the ground I hold Alyssa under her arm pits and lift her up, hold for 5 seconds and then down to give her a kiss.  Like a push up but while lying down but with a much cuter view than the ground.

I then go back to the first exercise, but instead of bringing to towards me I keep my thighs still and move my legs up and down.  It's harder than it sounds. 

By now Lynden is bugging me non-stop so I do it all again with him, although I can't do as many reps with him as I do with Alyssa - he's heavier and moves too much.  And if I can get Lynden to sit still long enough I try to get in some sit ups, but he's usually bored of it by then. 

I would have posted pictures of me doing these but Danny took some awful pictures (sorry hun) so no such luck.

I'm hoping that if I can remember to do it on a regular basis (my hope is once in the morning and then again after dinner) I can lose a bit more of the "baby flub" and maybe truly fit back into my pre-pregnancy jeans without having to suck it in every time I pull them up ;-)