Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas Everyone

To everyone out there in Internetland, and very merry christmas full of love and happiness.
Love to you all!
tree trimming

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Five days before bullets:
  • People are still making me work - what's up with that?
  • Finished my shopping - Yay!
  • Bake, give away, bake, give away, repeat
  • Lost another 2lbs while stuffing my face with cookies
  • There's a frozen turkey thawing in our fridge
  • Have bought way too much stuff for the kids
  • Have JT's 'Sexy Back' stuck in my head, and I like it
  • Completely disgusted with that song about that guy who's talking to his ex on the phone and he's telling her he never got over her and his girlfriend's in the next room - why do they keep playing it on the radio?
  • We still have no snow. It was nice for awhile, but let's get serious now, we need some for Christmas. Ben gets excited everytime a flake falls. He's ready to make some snowmen.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Last Friday was Ben's Christmas pageant at daycare. The kids were cute and totally unprepared for a life on the stage.
little snowflakes
Ben decided not to wear the cute snowflake hat, and also not to sing or dance, or even stand up unassisted. He chewed his fingers and watched the other kids try to recite the poems and sing. He was quite happy to wear the hat and even sing Jingle Bells when no one was watching though. Sigh, maybe next year.
The cutest thing was when Santa gave him his present. He looked at him and said, "Thank you Santa Claus", I was so proud. A lot of the other kids just grabbed their gifts and ran or broke out in tears. I have a great kid!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A new found respect for the Sears portrait photographer

We just need a photo of the kids for the Christmas card, how hard can that be?

Ben & butt
Click the picture to see the whole set. By the end, I was a weeping, laughing mess on the floor.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

cookies and the incredible shrinking woman

We started baking last weekend. It was the perfect Sunday. Snow was falling, those big, fluffy flakes, and we were inside rolling dough and decorating. I couldn't be happier. Ben loved helping this year. He loves it when they bake at the daycare, and he was a great help, and an even better eater.
Christmas baking
We made trees and stars, and of course the traditional Christmas elephants, gorillas, butterflies, and airplanes.I have a big box of cutters and I love to find ones that are a bit out of the ordinary.
In other news, I started weight watchers 5 weeks ago (my own version where I track points but don't have a membership) and I have lost 10lbs so far! This is largely due to the fact that I have much more to go, but I'm very proud - yay me! Of course, this will not stop me from enjoying my Christmas cookies, I just don't have to feel guilty about it now :-)

Thursday, November 30, 2006

One of my favorite all-time Christmas albums is A Charlie Brown Christmas. I love Vince Guaraldi's jazzy sound, and I also love the animated special. We have a copy and watch it during the holidays, and of course Ben is now hooked too. I came across a piece on NPR that talks about how Guaraldi's music almost didn't make it and how CBS thought that the themes of materialism and faith weren't appropriate for children. Can you imagine a Christmas without A Charlie Brown Christmas? How would you describe a Charlie Brown Christmas tree? Good thing CBS caved. The album was released 41 years ago, and has never gone out of print since. If you don't have it, it's a great addition to your Christmas collection.
I was walking through a forest of Christmas trees at a lot yesterday (already!) and the scent was out of this world. Nothing puts you in the mood for Christmas like that smell.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Like Bart Simpson, but with an accent

A tech support guy actually said "aye caramba!" to me today. I think we outsource to Costa Rica now.
The holidays are coming whether you're ready or not. Generally speaking, I am not. I forget about a hundred things that I wanted to do for Christmas etc. that seemed perfectly reasonable in July. I have baking projects, and projects for the kids to make things for people, and shopping, and cards, well, you know what I'm talking about. I came across this site last night for getting organized for the holidays. Although I will not take advantage of many of these templates (a cleaning checklist? are you out of your minds?), there are certainly some here that may put the ho back in holiday. I know there's no such thing as a liday, gimme a break, it's Monday.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The great leveler

Adventures in driving to work:
Older, distinguished gentleman in a suit driving in your Audi with your impressive phone ear piece: I watched you pick your nose in my rear-view mirror for a good 15 minutes while stuck in traffic. What did you have in there that was so fascinating? Did it put up a fight? After the first 5 minutes, it went past disgusting and right into plain funny. I even turned around to watch you for a while, but you were to preoccupied in the dig. Thank you for the laughter, but I wouldn't want to be the people you shake hands with all day. Buy a hankie or a box of kleenex, please.
Why do people think that when they get into cars they are invisible? That's two-way glass people!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Birthday Pumpkin

It was around this time one year ago that you were born. You were in such a hurry, the nice doctors didn't even have time to give Mommy an epidural. The pain, although I will remind you of it for the rest of my life, was so worth it. You are such a perfect little girl, my favorite little girl in fact. You are so happy so much of the time, you are walking everywhere and babbling and pointing and laughing. You love wrestling with your brother and playing tickle. You find joy everywhere and fill my heart with it. I love you so my little Naomi.
Hugs and kisses,
Your Momma
baby wrestling

Oh, and Happy Halloween everybody! Here's a little something fun that I like to do. Go up to a stranger who is obviously not dressed in costume and try to guess what they are. Don't tell them I told you to do it.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

no one can hear you flush

I got into work this morning to discover that a busted waster main has turned off all water to the building. No coffee, no bathrooms, of course, the two kind of go hand in hand anyway. The nearest bathroom is downstairs and at the end of another building. People are coming by and asking, "I'm going down to the bathroom, you coming?". I now have more information than I ever wanted on my colleagues toilet habits.
In other news, they are adding an extra person in my office. It was supposed to have a small table for meeting with people, but instead I'm getting an extra body taking up oxygen and talking. One cone of silence please. I'll be nicer tomorrow I'm sure.
Look! It's a fairy!

Monday, October 16, 2006

First full day

It's my first full-time day at the office. I feel a bit strangled. Part-time was great while it lasted, but now I know I'm not going home early to pick up Ben from daycare, or play in the park while it's still light out. Sigh.
Fall is here, I love this time.
We were out in the park yesterday for a while before cold hands and noses forced us back inside. Naomi practised walking on sand, a huge difference from hard floors.
Ben enjoyed pushing his sister on the swings:
Time for more coffee :-)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Witty insults

I wish I was clever enough to come up with one of these. Use a few on your least favorite person.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Look who's walking

And here I thought nobody liked me

Lisa just pointed out that my comments didn't work. I think that I have it fixed. Could the beautiful people who still visit my blog leave a comment to test it for me? Thanks!
I love you all.
Work is better. I'm not very busy, but I heard that there are a few things coming my way.
I was listening to a radio piece on CBC this morning about cocoa farming on the Ivory Coast. This is where most of the world's cocoa is produced, and a lot of it is done by exploiting child labour. I'm not really an activist, but the irony of kids selling chocolate bars for school fundraising that was harvested by kids has pushed me too far. If you go to the Global Exchange site, you'll find all kinds of information on stuff that you can do. There are even fundraising alternatives. The one in Ottawa with Cocoa Camino looks yummy. Chocolate lovers unite! Let's stick it to Nestle and Hershey and make them do the right thing!

Monday, October 02, 2006

The grind

Today was my first day back to work. It was grey and dreary. It's weird to have to try to get out the door on time after a year. Ben was upset because I dropped him off at daycare, but he was fine after he got there. I'd forgotten that people drive like real jerks in the morning. When I arrived at work, nothing was set up, no computer, no phone, no chair. By the end of the day I had a computer, and after several calls to support I had software, passwords, then the correct versions of software. I stole a chair and a lamp from an empty office and scrounged a bunch of pens. My new office is nice and quiet, my officemate is gone for at least six weeks. Nothing has changed much since I've been gone. Tomorrow's bound to be better.

Friday, September 22, 2006

a week in bullets

  • It has now been a week since I stopped breastfeeding Naomi. The decision was not totally mine. Since she's started eating more regular food, her feedings have become shorter and less frequent. Her biting however, increased. When you have four new teeth, you tend to explore new textures, and it only took her a few feedings to realise that when she bit, mommy reacted. The last time she nursed, she bit me and when I yelped, she laughed. Game over. It's really depressing when you have to stop, but I wasn't going to continue after I went back to work, so it's time. I just can't get over how much formula we need to replace my boobs.
  • Naomi started swimming classes yesterday. She was the prettiest little splasher there, and she loves the water.
    love the pool
  • I'm starting back to work at the beginning of October. I'm trying to get in touch with HR to arrange to work part-time for the first couple of weeks. I've been told that we're moving to a higher floor and that I will be getting a nice, bright corner office. The bad news is that I have to share it with a hypochondriac, but as a friend pointed out, that means I will have the office to myself quite a bit :-) I may also be able from my new perch to provide traffic updates during rush hour.
  • We watched the first episode of the Amazing Race and were amused by the couple selection. If you were white and applying to the Race this time around, you better hope that you were either gay or had amusing hick accents. There's a cultural rainbow on the AR and Survivor this time around. Of course, Survivor decided to be "controversial" and split teams up by races, it clearly sounded more shocking on paper than practise.
  • I've entered my Autumn cooking frenzy. Yesterday I made muffins, cauliflower soup, whole wheat bread, and squash in preparation for a risotto. I also have another cauliflower to do a casserole and I'm thinking that I should get some stew made and in the freezer.
  • We saw Pirates of the Caribbean 2 this week and it rocked! I liked it better than the first one.
  • And finally, my cute, cute boy
    Ben smile

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Loving the hair, hating the guns

I went out to the salon with my trusty hair person, Maggie, and came out looking faboo. My hair will not look like this again because I just can't do anything this nice with it myself, so have a look. I'm tempted to just carry the photo and show it to people.
Ma hair!
After, we went to Value Village where I found some costume stuff for Ben, here is the very original cowboy fairy
We then went out for lunch where we saw the news reports of the Dawson shooting. I really hoped that we wouldn't see another tragedy like this one after U of M. One innocent life lost is one too many. I went home and hugged my kids and wished for a world where it would be safe to send them off to school. Maybe the boy who did this needed a few more hugs in his life.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Five years ago today

That was some serious I-do-ing. Would I do it again? Damn right!
Love you Stevie, with all my heart :-)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Tales of a reformed English major

Back in the old days, when I had an attention span, I was a voracious reader. I used to read a wide variety of topics and kept several books going at once. Now, the back of the Cheerios box looks like fresh prose every morning. I also used to be a bit of a snob about pop literature. Anything with an Oprah stamp was beneath me (unless I'd already read it, then Oprah was a wanna-be) and I scoffed at the idea of chick lit. Well, then I became a mom. The piles of unread, untouched books got larger on my nightstand the longer the kids existed. I now have a couple K2-sized stacks blocking my view of the alarm clock (I don't need it anyway) and my access to my face cream (my wrinkles cry themselves to sleep every night). Serious reading takes so long now with all the re-reading I have to do when I open up the book and realise that I can't remember what I read the night before. Why would anyone use more than three characters in a book? They just confuse me!

Anyway, all this to say that when my mother-in-law came down with a stack of Sophie Kinsella novels, I was wary and at the same time in need of some good brain-light reading. Verdict? I love these books! I ignored all my other books and read through every single one. They are like Harlequins for people with brain cells. The shopaholic series is a fun read and the main character is surprisingly interesting and intelligent. The other two novels (Can You Keep a Secret and The Undomestic Goddess) are even better and could also be directly translated to movies (I can already see the trailers). The women are all beautiful, the men that fall for them are all handsome, rich, talented, well-built, or all of the above, but Kinsella has taken the time to write them well and research her topics. Maggie has just given me another potential chick-lit find by Emily Giffin, I'll let you know how that goes.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


I'm melting. Today it was 46C with the humidity. It was like walking around in tepid water all freakin' day. I grabbed the munchkin and ran to the mall where the air conditioning was set to subarctic so that stores could sell Fall sweaters. I have never seen so many pregnant women walking around in my life! I sympathized with each and every one. We're expecting a huge thunderstorm any minute. If it knocks out the power, you'll find me running naked outside dodging the lightening.

Monday, July 31, 2006

9 months old

The girl has now spent as long on the outside as she did on the inside. So far, we are pleased with her and have no intention of sending her back :-)
We may have voided the warranty anyway; she took a tumble off of our bed this morning. Mommy is feeling very guilty for turning away for 2 seconds to grab a shirt :-(
She's now cruising and climbing and I just know I'm gonna need a leash and a bell once she starts walking, which should be tomorrow at the rate she's going - ack!

Thursday, July 27, 2006


How long can Italian soccer fans keep hanging those flags from their cars?
And now, some music:

Monday, July 24, 2006

So Ben's birthday party the weekend before last was great. Our guests piled into our kitchen because it rained so we couldn't do it in the park this year. Ben had a blast, everyone had cupcakes, and Ben was spoiled with gifts.
Happy Birthday!
His actual birthday was not as nice. At 3am, he crawled into our bed and coughed until he threw up, then coughed more and was just burning up. The day was spent being listless and cranky and unable to settle or sleep. Finally, I went to the pharmacy and got some children's nyquil, which worked after a while. Poor thing! We had planned on visiting Angrignon Farm and having some wading pool time and then going out for chinese food at Ben's favorite restaurant.
The rest of the week was a blur of sick and semi-sick children. Naomi's still got it and last night she was either screaming her lungs out and coughing them up, or fitfully sleeping on me, we're both beat.
Yesterday we made it to Angrignon Farm and Ben had a wonderful time and Naomi had an amazing snooze in the stroller.
Momma & kiddies Click the photo to see the set.
Ben's really making progress with his speech. He's getting much better at using names, and has even referred to himself, which he's never done before. When he plays hide and go seek, he pretends not to see you and looks around saying "where's Daddy?", its very cute!
Ben tree
Naomi started crawling with gusto and couple of weeks ago and chasing her brother, father, mother, cats, and brooms (we can't figure that one out either). Not only that, but that very week, she also started pulling herself up to standing using the furniture, toys, and people's legs. Ben is often the target of much of the chasing and pulling up because he is his sister's favorite person in the house (unless my boobs count as people). He has been pants a few times and now tends to avoid her which makes her very unhappy. We figure that she'll be cruising by the end of the week. This has all happened so fast that I haven't had time to video it properly. If I don't do it soon, I'm going to miss all the wobbles. Ben didn't cruise until he was almost a year old and didn't walk until he was about 13 months or so, so this is a big change for us. We had to break out the playpen and put it in the kitchen for containment purposes.
Naomi in baby jail
She's into everything and gets so mad when you restrict her movements. I don't know where she gets that from :-)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Happy Birthday Ben

I can't believe it's been three years since you came out of me all red and screamy. You've had a very interesting year. Since your diagnoses in January, so much has changed. You started daycare, which we hadn't planned on, but it's worked out very nicely so far. You like all your classmates and your teacher Linda. It seems like the more people you know, the more people love you. You've started speaking and telling us what you want and don't want. We finally heard you say "Daddy" and "Momma" and our hearts just swelled to bursting and for weeks every time you said "Momma" I'd blink back tears I was so proud. Now you are starting to speak in two word sentences, and also say "where are you going?" and "what's up?" and it's so funny. You come into a room and say, "hi Momma, what are you doing?", and I know that you don't really know quite what you're saying, but it's too cute to hear your voice. When we were driving out in the country, you were looking out the window and looking for cows and saying "cows, where are you cows?" and your daddy and I were killing ourselves laughing. You are also the best big brother in the world. You are so gentle with your sister and loving, she's very lucky to have you.
Happy Birthday Boy
We have a long road ahead of us, but we are making so much progress. You are the most adorable, beautiful boy that I know and I love you more than the world.
Love, your Momma

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Our silent white god, oh we love you!

Our silent white god, oh we love you!
Originally uploaded by dina the m and o.


Let's pretend

To encourage Ben's pretend play (which is already loads better than 6 months ago), we gave out birthday ideas to the grandparents for things like Little People and Playmobil. I went to the Playmobil site today to have a look around, and they really do have quite a selection of stuff. Two of the out of the ordinary were the Hazardous Waste set:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
and the Vacation Home set:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Can I have a vacation home? Anybody?

Saturday, July 08, 2006

What I've done so far with my summer

I was out of town the week before last staying with my folks while the landlord renovated the kitchen. I thought that it would be a nice break. I brought books and cds and stuff I wanted to catch up on. I imagined Ben playing with my folks outside, gardening and playing in the wading pool while Naomi had a nap and I could read and nap in the swing on the deck with a warm breeze. Sigh, that would have been nice. In reality, it rained all week, so everything was damp and grey and humid and hot and then cold. We took Ben out to play in the puddles which he loved, but the mosquitoes were also out in full force. Even with repellant we were getting eaten alive. Ben decided that he would forgo naps all week, which meant that I was losing my mind everyday by late afternoon. When he finally did nap Thursday, I nearly backflipped. Combine this with Naomi's teething and you have a recipe for a stressed-out mommy. Of course the last day we were there, both kids went for naps at the same time and were good all day, ugh.

We did have a few nice bits. We went out and bought fresh strawberries from a farm and ate them all week. Mom got Ben to help her in the garden and plant some beans, and we got the wading pool out for some splashing.
Our new and improved kitchen looks really nice. I have unpacked quite a bit of stuff and the cabinets are still holding it all. The best thing is the DISHWASHER! The landlord was nice enough to do the rough in for one. I phoned my lovely friend Lynda and she ordered it for me. I love having a friend who is the appliance queen. It's a nice unit with super quiet insulation and a tall tub for pots. The landlord hooked it up last night and we ran it when we came home from a movie -sweet! I feel like a grown-up again!

We went out and saw Superman last night, fantastic! I'm really not used to going out downtown anymore - so many people and cars, I was acting a bit like my parents when they come in to town. I must get out more.

Ben started his swimming lessons last Saturday and he's loving every minute. We went to Ottawa to see Steve's folks for Canada Day weekend. On Tuesday and Wednesday, my folks came in to babysit so I could go to a two-day seminar on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy being given by the adaptation centre program we're waiting to get Ben into. I knew nothing about ABA, so it was very interesting, as was talking to other parents and getting the real dope on private therapists and other pitfalls. I now have a lot more resources.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A video!

Thanks to Lisa for using this site, the free account lets you have 10 free short videos.

Video Hosting - Upload Video - Video Sharing

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

coke and mentos

Apparently, there have been a lot of these types of videos posted on the internet lately, but this one is pretty impressive. Go now and see what two guys with a camera, lots of coke and mentos, and way too much time on their hands have created. Not surprisingly, mentos may hire these guys for a commercial, and coke wants nothing to do with it.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Happy Birthday to me!

Happy Birthday to me!
Originally uploaded by dina the m and o.

I am older than I was in this picture, but the general attitude remains the same :-) Yay me!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

a little something

So, it seems that posting has become regularly irregular. What to do? Post more photos of course! These are all on my flickr site, but in case you don't go there:
I love having a girl to put in dresses. I never thought I would say that, but there are a lot of things that you don't know until it's too late:
pink dress
Ben is continuing to astound us with new words and pretend play. Yesterday, he was rescuing Buddy from the branches of a small shrub, and fishing for leaves with a stick in the sandbox. He also likes the view from Daddy's shoulders:
hello down there
Siblings mean never having to hang out in the shopping cart alone:
shopping cart duo

Dumbest thing that I have done lately?
Put the mail on the top of the car and drive off without it (I have no picture of this). If you found some of my mail runover on the street, please return it. Thanks!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Momming out

I had a pretty good mother's day weekend! Saturday we got the troops ready and drove to Ottawa for the day to see Steve's folks and brother. We were supposed to go and take in some of the tulip festival, but the weather was lousy and rainy and cold, so we had a nice lunch and stayed inside instead.
Grandfolks & kids
We ended up leaving kind of late because I thought it would be a good idea to get mexican for supper and so we drove home in the rain and dark and the kids only fell asleep about 3/4 of the way home. Sunday was my day. Steve made pancakes, I got a couple of great DVDs and cards, and I lounged about all morning while Naomi took a nice morning nap and Steve took Ben out puddle jumping. We then jumped in the car and went to the Kids' CBC show down at Monument Nationale.
Kids' CBC
It's a great theatre, but it's smack dab in the middle of an area of strip clubs, sex shops, and where various degrees of shadiness and seediness occur. It must have been quite a shock for people who live and work around the area to see hundreds of parents and children milling about. I'm sure there was also more than one parent who had to answer the question, "Mommy, what's a Sexotheque?".
After the show, we went to our local chinese place for some good food and to show off the kids. The restaurant was almost completely empty, but the take out orders were pouring in - looks like we weren't the only ones who decided on chinese for mother's day. Hope all you other mommies had a great day!
mother's day supper

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Loving the new camera

park fog
Yes, it's true, I can take pictures of things that aren't my kids...sometimes. Click for more.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Tales from the motherhood

So yes, it has been over a month since my last post. I haven't joined a support group for blogging, but it seems as though I have nothing worth blogging and my brain feels mushy and kinda dumb most of the time. Spring is treating us to a few beautiful days surrounded by rainy cold ones. Last week, Ben came down with that gastro-fever thing. It began with a voluminous puke in the car just as we were getting on the expressway for a trip to the mall. We rushed home and there he stayed being very sad and sick and cuddly until Wednesday, but he wasn't truly rested and better until Sunday. Steve got it Thursday and Friday - ugh! Naomi and I seem to have come away without it, hopefully she has inherited my resistance to tummy bugs.
So, what with that and my constant state of distractedness (I just walked away, cleaned up the kitchen, put a load of wash in the dryer, another in the washer, brushed my teeth, and went through my closet and drawers and packed up all my maternity clothes), I seem to have very little time to blog (no, I'm not kidding, I just did that). The baby is having a very unusual thing called a nap, so I go a little crazy and attempt to clean things when she's not attached to my body.
Now, on to my exciting news. For months I have been anxiously awaiting the release of the Canon S3is, and the camera stored called and it's in and they have one set aside for me! Yippee! I will probably give in and go down today when the baby wakes up. Be prepared for many more boringly cute pics of my children on Flickr like this:
tummy smiling
and this:
arch tastes yummy
and this:
colouring eggs
and this:

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A few pics

I haven't had any time for blogging. We've been sick and busy and now that spring is teasing us with a preview, every spare minute we've been outside playing in the park or out for a saunter. Here's a couple of visuals:
best smile ever

Monday, March 13, 2006

We are growing a giant

I hope that she likes basketball. During our trip to the doctor today, I learned that Naomi is now 15 pounds, and 26 inches long. That puts her roughly at the height of a 6 month old. No wonder we had to start her on cereal last week! Yeeps!


Sunday, March 12, 2006

Weird question

To all you mommies with kids in daycare or school: I've noticed that since Ben started daycare, he no longer smells the same and I find it kind of disturbing. He smells like the daycare, a combination of tempra paint and toddler sweat. I find it kind of sad that he doesn't smell the way he used to. Is that just strange? Has anyone else felt like this?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

quiet days

Ben's now been in daycare a whole week. On the whole, it's been going very well. He still cries when Steve drops him off, but it's been getting steadily shorter. He loves going outside to the park most mornings, as well as the gym-time when it's too cold. He's totally charmed his teacher and a few other teachers with kisses and hugs. His classmates know that he doesn't talk, and they watch out for him like 7 tiny mothers, making sure that he hasn't lost Buddy and being super sweet. He's taking his naps there now, which is going very well. The only thing he's not doing is eating their delicious lunches, he's such a picky eater. I've been giving him lunch when we get home at 3, but I hope that he'll start to eat more than a few crackers and a muffin there soon. Today was minestrone soup, which I know he won't have touched.

I have had to deal with quiet mornings with the little lady. So far we have amused ourselves running errands and having extra long stretches of floor time. I still go to playgroup, but it's weird being there without Ben, I miss him. We are already starting to see some changes for the better though. He seems more responsive and quicker to learn new words. He's also started putting himself to bed, which we think is hilarious and convenient.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Being the calm, cool, and collected coward that I always am

Today was Ben's first day of daycare, and I of course sent Steve to drop him off because a) I am a big chicken and b) I would have broken down into tears and scared Ben and his entire class away from daycare forever. No, really. Instead, I chose to play the hero and pick him up before lunch, we're doing half days this week to break him in slowly. He was fine at the drop off, he found a toy fishing rod and hardly noticed when Steve left. I called at 10 to find out that he had had periods of crying, which is good considering that most kids cry non-stop on their first day. When I went to get him he didn't even notice that I had walked in, but almost all the other kids noticed the carseat I was carrying and came to investigate Naomi. She was a bit stunned by the five little faces bending over her. When Ben did see me, he ran over into my arms and was very happy. They had a good morning of playing in the gym (it was too cold to go outside today) and colouring and playing with dinosaurs and blocks. He was also very free with the hugs, so his teacher, Linda, is now attached, that kid really knows how to work a room. He was so tired that he barely made it through lunch at home before he collapsed into bed. All in all, a good day. Tomorrow will no doubt be a bit harder because Ben knows that we're leaving him there. Hopefully it won't be too bad.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


As a Canadian, I am completely appalled by this family, they make us look bad. When you read this, you'll wonder what planet these people come from and what the hell they are teaching their kid. I hope they get what's coming to them and learn that finding something and not returning it is theft.

Monday, February 20, 2006


I must have a golden horseshoe implanted somewhere (no guesses please), because we have found Ben a place in what looks like a good daycare with little effort and no hanging around for a year on waiting lists. They had an immediate opening, so Ben can start March 1. I hope that he likes it, the facility looks good, clean, and organized. The providers seem very nice and competant, they have a good program with lots of activities, and the kids all seem very happy. They even have a speech therapist, so if he needs therapy, he could start in September. I got a bit teary during the meeting (I really wish I had better control of my eyes leaking), but Ben went from room to room playing with the various toys and art projects. He was a bit out of sorts today, very tired. We had a lot of activity this weekend.

Kuan and Alex came up and we had a great visit and a wonderful time at Lynda's bridal shower. It was so nice to be together with old friends. Maggie and her crew came over Saturday morning for brunch, Saturday night, Kuan's dad and step-mom came over for supper, Sunday morning Melanie came over for a quick visit, then the shower. We got home at 9 last night and collapsed. This week we have appointments for Ben, and I have to organize the craft for playgroup and make the goodie. Busy, busy! And next Wednesday, Ben starts daycare, sigh, I know that it's probably the right thing to do, but I'm not sure how I'm going to drop him off that first day and manage to not cry.

Friday, February 17, 2006

A few things

I have a few things brewing in my head and no time to write! Before they get stale or lost:

  • I love the olympics! Especially the winter ones, you get all the great nordic names (Dordi, Antti, Jaako, Hedwig, Erben), and let me just say that I'm enjoying the event names too: Oval Lingotto (mr. robotto) and Sauze D'oulx (pronounced sozay dukes). There's also the amazing athletes in stretch garb, but because it's winter, you don't see them sweating all over the place. I also find winter sports more interesting on the whole, much faster and more dangerous, even the cross-country relay was fun to watch.
  • Why is Roots doing the US outfits and Canada gets The Bay this year? We look like we're trying to be hip, but failing badly.
  • Emanuel Sandhu and Johnny Weir are spoiled girlie-men. Buy a pair and stop whining and making excuses that blame everyone but you for screwing up. No one cares if you couldn't find your auras or you were upset about not going to the olympics in 98, you divas. Zang Dan fell so badly on a throw jump that I thought she'd broken something and she got up and skated the rest of her program perfectly-that's an athlete with heart!
  • Ben said 'Momma' for the first time last week and I have a whole teary post in my head that may or may not see the light of day.
  • My friend Kuan is coming up with her baby, Alex, today for the weekend and I can't wait to see her.
  • We may have found a daycare spot for Ben in March, but I don't want to jinx it, it would be a miracle if it's true.


Thursday, February 09, 2006


An evening session trying to get a valentine's photo for the grandparents:

Cauliflower soup and fresh rolls!

Originally uploaded by dina the m and o.

This is what happens when the kids' naps overlap by an hour.

Monday, February 06, 2006

The shower dilemma

If you're not a mommy, then you'll have a hard time relating to this one. When you are at home with small children, your own personal hygiene tends to take a backseat. You find yourself rubbing your tongue over your teeth at 2pm trying to remember if you brushed, wearing yesterday's socks and sweatpants because they were next to the bed when you woke up at 5am, and wondering if you'll ever be able to actually 'do' your hair again instead of just throwing it up in a ponytail. Your baby doesn't want you clean either. The minute one of your toes hits the inside of the bathtub, she immediately awakes from that deep nap she was in and demands that your smelly body come and pick her up before she bursts into flames.

It's at this crossroad that you have to make a decision - remain sweat-encrusted, or attempt to shower before your neighbour calls child services. Welcome to the mommy shower, the ability for moms the world-over to clean themselves in under two minutes. Long gone are the luxurious 15 minute showers using shampoo and conditioner. Mommy showers are direct, get straight to it affairs involving a flurry of activity with a bar of soap as you longingly gaze upon the lovely scrubs and loofahs, body washes, lotions, and face cleansers that remain untouched on the shelf since your baby was born. Never mind the foot soaking beads you got as a baby present from some thoughtful friend when your little treasure arrived, your feet will remain unsoaked until they hit puberty.

On days when I am completely out of the mommy shower zone, I shower after supper when there is another adult for my children to torture while I stand under the water trying not to hear the baby screaming while the toddler rattles the bathroom doorknob, anxious to run in and whip open the shower curtain and babble and  point at the water and shampoo now stinging my eyes. During one recent experience, I remembered the Jetsons. Do you remember George Jetson's conveyor belt morning ritual? Why hasn't anyone invented that yet? What are you smartypants people out there waiting for? What I wouldn't give to push a button and in minutes be washed, dressed, and styled with a cup of coffee and a paper in my hand! One thing's for certain, when it does happen, it will probably be invented by a woman.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Sink in

I haven't had a lot of time to think about writing a follow-up to my last post, and I certainly haven't had a lot of time for writing. I've spent some time looking at the list of web sites that the psychiatrist gave us - some sites talk about completely debilitating autism and scare me by saying things like most kids won't learn to talk or go to normal schools, some suggest that with prompt treatment Ben can be just like any normal kid. Until we go through the next series of evaluations, we don't know where he is on the 'spectrum'. We should be finished testing for the hospital on the 16 of this month, then we wait for a social worker for our neighbourhood to contact us, then another evaluation, then that social worker meets with the social workers from our area's adaptation centre to approve and decide on treatment. In the meantime, I'm looking for daycares and looking into my work insurance to see if private services are covered so that we can get started as soon as possible while we inch our way up the public waiting list. We are also on track to start a parent training program, part of a study by our psychiatrist, that will begin either April or September, depending on which group we're in. It's great living on a city that seems to conduct so much research because there are lots of extras we can get in on. Maybe it will help Ben, if it doesn't, it certainly can't hurt.

We're trying to push Ben a bit harder at home. We've always tried to get him to speak, but we've also tried to stand back a bit and let him develop at his own pace. Now, we're being more insistent, and it seems to be paying off. Yesterday, I got him to say 'juice' and Steve ran around the house with him touching walls and doors and saying 'wall' and 'door'. We hope that this means that he will respond well and fairly quickly to therapy. Speaking of therapy, he has an appointment with an occupational therapist in a couple of weeks.

The news was a shock, both Steve and I fully expected the doctor to say that he wasn't autistic in any way. I was pretty upset for a few days, but I know what a wonderful, beautiful, sweet, smart little boy he is and just how lucky we are to have him. This will undoubtedly be a minor blip on his way to great things and I'm happy that it's been diagnosed so early so that he can be treated before it becomes a problem.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


We had an appointment with a child psychiatrist today about Ben's lack of speech, and he's now been diagnosed with a mild autism. It's not so bad, but part of me is just shattered. Apparently, he should do very well with the right treatment (he really charmed the doctor), so now we wait for further evaluations and a mountain of meetings and appointments. The doctor said that daycare would be a good idea, ironic considering that we specifically wanted to avoid daycare because we thought that it would be better for our kids. Now we have to figure out how we manage to do meetings and appointments and afford (and find) the daycare and still take care of the baby and give her what she needs. I'm a little overwhelmed right now, I'm sure that it will sink in soon.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Speech impediment

I was watching a cooking segment on some talk show today and remembered just how much I hate it when people use the words "actually" and "literally". I'm guessing that how-to people on tv get paid for every one that they utter, "... then you actually just stir in the rice blah, blah ...", "you literally paint the wall purple and then you're done", ick! They bloat up a perfectly good sentence. I've been trying to listen to myself lately to discover what annoying speech ticks I have. I use "you know" wayyyyy too much, and I also say "so" a lot, probably because usually I'm halfway through a sentence and I forget what the heck I was saying. I may have conquered "like" and "um", although I'm not positive. It's embarrassing to realise that you sound like that annoying 13-year old you heard on the bus talking on her cell phone. When did this happen? I'm sure I used to speak like an adult. What I need is a device that whacks me in the back of the head when I screw up. Any ideas?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The party's over

The holiday is over and it's back to the usual. Despite all the activity, it felt really long, so today home alone with the kids is gonna be tough. Of course, they're still sleeping and it's almost 8:30, so some would say I'm getting lucky. It was a great holiday. My folks and Steve's brother came for Christmas, Bill and Cecil joined us for Christmas dinner which was yummily prepared by Steve. We had lots of visitors and even made it out to the townships for a few visits ourselves. In between, we had a lot of fun with the kids, Ben's discovering that snow can be fun and Naomi is proving to be quite a communicator, she tries to engage people every chance she gets.

Santa was good to me, among the gifts were the newest John Irving and Zadie Smith. I also received a beautiful pilates/yoga mat, so it's finally time to start getting in shape. I don't do resolutions, but this year I would like to lose some baby weight (Ben weight, Naomi's is already gone) and get some more exercise.

I've also got the usual get organized, eat less sugar, become a millionaire aspirations, we'll see how those work out. By request, I received one of those small plastic cabinets with a hundred little dividers that you use for separating screws and nails, etc. I love things with compartments, because they make me feel organized. Over the next few months, I hope to finally go through all of our boxes of hardware, etc, and get all the small stuff into that cabinet. I don't know why I'm obsessed with compartments. For years I tried to find a used library catalogue cabinet, you know, the huge old oak jobbies. If I ever found one I'd buy it despite the fact that I now have nowhere to put it. Just the thought of all those drawers for storage with neat little spaces to put labels makes me giddy. I can't be the only one with a thing for storage, The Container Store is proof of that. Maybe I should just concentrate on having less stuff to store. The last time I knew where all my stuff was when I lived alone. When you move in with someone else there is suddenly another person moving your stuff, and then you lose track of your stuff in their stuff. Now, there's kid stuff taking over our living space, and that's only capable of being organized when they're sleeping, because as soon as they wake up, it's everywhere again.  Speaking of which, I should use this time to pick up all the blocks off the livingroom floor-see ya!