Sunday, December 25, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

Yes, I'm still alive

I have many excuses but no reasons why I'm not up to date here, well, except general exhuastion, mixed with a desire to be lazy.

Updates to follow including a visit with Santa, laser eye surgery, puffers, holiday plans and more.

In the meantime, here is a picture of the boys making me breakfast. While this is just training until they are old enough to use the stove, Corwyn now helps makes the bed some mornings (seriously) and Nathan has developed a passion for drying dishes (honest).

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Me: Nathan, back away from the stove. I'm cooking.

Nathan: No, mommy, no. Up. Up.

Me:The stove is hot and dangerous. I'll pick you up in a minute.

Nathan(while trying to get between me and the stove with its bubbling hot pots): Now mommy!

Me(after a few rounds of this): Nathan, you're really starting to push my buttons.

Nathan(looking me up and down): Mommy has no buttons.

Laughter immanent. Frustration relieved.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Heros Among Us

It can be disheartening to read about the story from China where a little girl was hit by a truck and no one stepped into help. It hurts our faith in humanity. But then something like this happens and we know there are those who will help.

Last week, locally, there was a plane crash. The small commuter plane had just taken off but had to turn around fairly quickly. Unfortunately, it didn't make it to the airport and actually crashed on the road. People in the area all flocked to help. It was because of their efforts that almost everyone survived. At risk to themselves, people lined up to help pull the passengers to safety.

Unfortunately, they were not able to pull the pilot and co-pilot out. While both were rescued by emergency crew, the pilot succumbed to his burns later that night. The co-pilot remains in critical condition. The pilot is considered a hero. His actions in the time just before the plane went down likely helped to save the passengers.

You can read about the crash and see pictures here (and many other places with the magic of Internet searches).Crash Story

Like most I was horrified by the crash being so local and happy most escaped with their lives. I didn't give it more thought until I found out that Cameron, our CEO, and his wife had been in the plane. That brought it much closer to home.

I love my job. The work is great, but it's really the people that make it so wonderful. This article tells how Cameron is more than just a plane crash survivor, but is also a hero. It gives you a bit more insight into the type of people that I work with. Lorelie's Story

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Potty Mouth

Well not mouth but maybe foot.

Nathan is doing so well with potty training. I'm impressed. He's had 1 accident in the last 3 days, and even that was a little one that barely soaked his undies enough that his pants were still dry. He's even had is inaugural first pee outside so now we can stay longer at the playground.

He's also gotten more adventurous with the toilet. He prefers to pee standing up (thanks to our little looster) which is great. But then for some reason this weekend, the thought that after he peed it might be fun to 'wash' his feet in the toilet; and not just once, but twice. Seriously! The first time he had socks on too (I got to clean the wet footprints that led from the bathroom to the living room). The next time I caught him in the act and I think my reaction really scared him so it hasn't happened again.

On Sunday he upped it a notch. He had just pooped, I wiped, he flushed and since I have the kidswitch installed, he likes to turn out the light.  So I went to check on what kind of trouble Corwyn was getting into. Um yeah. A couple minutes later, there he was, beside me saying 'Monkey is wet'. Wet? Soaked is more like it, trailing water the entire way. The only good thing is that the toilet was flushed first. Small consolation, but I'll take it. Into the wash monkey went (and when I could sneak it away from him, Corwyn's went in too - he chews the tail so much that the monkey is often rank).

Ah well.

This morning, Nathan woke up dry and didn't even run when he said "Pee. Mommy come, hurry mommy." That was a first and I'm sure a bit of a fluke but I'll take it as a good sign. I don't expect overnight dryness for quite a while so I put him a pullup at night. I wont complain if this is a trend though.

Corwyn is still not ready, although we talk about it a lot and he will sometimes even sit on the toilet or potty with no clothes (rarely but sometimes). I'm hoping to use the 3 day weekend with Nov 11 to make the move with him. I'd love to start the new year with no diapers at all. Wow.

Enjoy the picture. It's so hard to get potty pictures that don't include boy bits. Check out the little looster too - its so easy for him to get on and off himself now.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Allan Candy - Not So Tricky Halloween

I LOVE Halloween! How could I not love a time when I can dress up, play with food and eat candy!!! While they are only going to be 2.5 this Halloween, we already have some wonderful Halloween Traditions and will be adding more as they get older each year.

Their first Halloween, they dressed up adorable costumes and we went Trick or Treating at a local mall. This was less for the candy, since they had only just started solids, and more to start the tradition and get them involved.  We also went to a few of the buildings in the neighborhood who knew the boys.

The next year to the above, we added a trip to the pumpkin patch and some hauling out of pumpkin guts. We also did much more door to door trick or treating. While candy was (and is) of course still limited, what would Halloween be without some indulgence. They were allowed to try a little of each kind of treat (except gum). Surprisingly enough, Nathan is not a sweets fan. He spit out chocolate (seriously, still does most of the time). Corwyn on the other hand takes after me with a sweet tooth. Choking was a bit of a concern so what they could try was limited.

This year I had hoped to continue last years traditions and add more active participation in the pumpkin carving/decorating process. Unfortunately, the school bus that takes their playgroup on field trips died yesterday so I'm not sure we'll get to the pumpkin patch this year. But they are more 'into' the season this year already. I know they will have more fun going door to door and checking out all the costumes. And Corwyn has taken a like to gummy type of candy (which leaves more chocolate for mommy). Nathan is still a bit of a take it or leave it on the sweets type of guy, but he's more game to try.

Trick or Treating is not the same as when I was a kid. Back then, my mom would take out any apples and bake with them (fear of a razor blade) but we could eat anything else, even the home baked or repackaged food. Unfortunately those days are gone. Candy now has to be prepackaged. More than that, many more kids have allergies and need to also know the contents. Luckily we have companies like Canada's own Allan Candy.

Allan Candy is celebrating its 77th year in Canada. They make several peanut free, individually wrapped treats to give parents piece of mind while still giving the kids a fabulous treat. My favorite is Peach Slices and I've been known to snack on these even when it's not Halloween.

Allan Candy has packaged up the individually wrapped treats into the following combinations for the season:
  • Allan Intense Jubes & Jellies – delivering an intense sour flavor and a soft & chewy bite.
  • Allan Chewy Rascalz – these childhood favourites will keep your taste buds happy! Packed in one bag, and of course, peanut free – you’ll find Big Foot, Sour Big Foot, Green Thumbs and Hot Lips!
  • Allan Fruit Buddies - offering a variety of fruit flavoured candies that are also peanut free! Indulge in 5 great fruit flavours: Sour Watermelon Slices, Peach Slices, Sour Cherry Slices, Tangy Wild Strawberries and Sour Grape Slices.

 Allan Candy can be found at key retailers including Walmart and the Loblaws family of stores.
What are some of your Halloween traditions?



Disclosure – I am participating in the Allan Candy Company program by Mom Central Canada. I received compensation for my participation in this campaign. The opinions on this blog are my own.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What I'm thankful for

For those who don't know, yesterday was Canadian Thanksgiving. It gave me an extra day on the weekend to spend with the kids. After a couple of friends cancelled for dinner, I forwent on the cooking and ordered pizza. It went over well.
This is what I'm thankful for, which should not come as a big surprise to any. These pictures weren't actually taken yesterday. Yesterday it rained buckets. We still went to play and I took both pictures and a video, but those wll go in a Wordless wednesday post. These pictures are from a different playground trip (which happens daily anyway).

Monday, September 26, 2011

Victory is Mine

Um, sort of.
Potty training continues and overall is going well. Nathan even managed to ask and used the toilet when we were out on Saturday (using the portable toilet seat thingy - we (I) need some practice to make sure things are where they need to be to avoid pee going everywhere).
He's 100% on the poop front. On the pee front, at home he's batting around 75%. While out, it depends on if we're in the playground or inside.
He can't pee on command yet unless he has a full bladder. By this I mean before naps or bed. He'll sit on the toilet and I can see him 'pushing' but nothing comes out. It will come with time. He's asking to use the potty when he first wakes up and manages to pee in it, although his pullup is also wet.
Tonite, when they were both just at the edge of sleep, he sat up and said 'oh no, have pee!'. So, while keeping the light off, I got his pants down and sitting on a 'porta potty'. To his credit, he peed right away. There was much rejoicing, with him and Corwyn leading the cheer. I emptied it and he wanted to sit again. Said he had to poop. Uhuh. So then Corwyn needed to sit on his potty (fully clothed of course). I kept the light off, the interaction nil. Corywn kept running from his potty to his bed and back. I would periodically ask Nathan if he was ready to go to bed. Nope.
After about a half hour of nothing, I picked him up to put him in bed, to be met with screaming "poop, I have to poop". I don't want to make the potty experience bad, I don't want him to avoid the potty, but by this point I knew damn well that he was just sleep avoiding. So I put him back on the potty (I was gentle although I really didn't want to be and I will admit that my voice went up a few volume levels). Then I walked out of the room for a few minutes to get control back. Better.
So it was back to waiting. Eventually, Corwyn gave up and went to bed to sleep. Once he was deep enough, I asked Nathan again about going to bed. Nope. So I left the room and told him to tell me when he was ready for bed. Boy did he scream at me. I would regularly ask if he was ready to go to be 'no!'. After about 15 minutes of sulking, he came out with his pants in hand. I asked if he was ready for sleep -  'yeah'. So we put on a pullup and his pants and I carried him to bed. It was less than 10 seconds from tucking him in before he fell asleep.
Victory to me!!!!! Well, not really but it feels like a bit of a breakthrough. We'll have to see what tomorrow brings.
One thing is for sure. I think I know that the term @#$# or get off the pot was coined by the mommy of a toddler during potty training.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Potty Training - Nathan's Take on the Subject

I joined the potty train, choo choo! But I don’t know why they call it a train?

Just before I got really sick, I used the big potty to poop. Mommy got all excited, then I got sick and forgot about the potty again. Last week mommy got this thing that wraps around the big potty that lets me get up there by myself. The step worked sort of, but Corwyn sometimes pushed me off. This is much better, now I can get on and off all by myself.

Mommy lets me run around nekkid when she gets home from work. I love it. A couple of days ago, I stood on this new step thingy and pee came out into the big potty. It made such a neat sounds that I laughed. Mommy was very happy. But Corwyn flushed the big potty before I could; it’s not fair when that happens. When I’m playing, sometimes I can feel it and will shout out ‘poops coming’ and run to the bathroom. Mommy follows but now I can get on and off myself. I put the seat on the big potty and sit and then wait for the big splash. It makes me giggle. Mommy wipes me and I get to flush and say bye bye poop.

I love flushing the toilet. One night, I let a little poop go splash, then got up and flushed. Then I did another little one and flushed again. And again, and again. Mommy wasn’t as happy about that so now I try to do big poops instead. But I still love to flush and will sneak a second one in if I can.

Sometimes I think I want to pee or poop but it doesn’t happen. I don’t mind sitting on the big boy potty if mommy stays with me and reads and sings. I don’t like it when Corwyn steals the books though. And sometimes mommy has to leave to make dinner or see what the big crash from Corwyn was. I don't like sitting alone.

One time, when I really wanted to pee standing up, I was pushing so hard that poop came out! Wow. It landed on the floor. I said uh-oh, but mommy didn’t seem to mind. She cleaned it up and I got to flush the toilet anyway. I don’t think I’m supposed to poop on the floor though. It’s yucky.

I don’t like it anymore when my diaper is wet. I didn’t used to mind, but now I don’t like it. I must pee when I’m sleeping because my diaper was very wet this morning. I told mommy and she took it off. This morning, mommy put on big boy underwear me. I like them. They feel neat. When I felt the pee coming I told mommy and she helped me take them off and I peed in the potty again. This is the first time I’ve done it in the morning. Yeah!

Mommy keeps little pottys in the livingroom so I can watch TV sometimes. I don’t like them as much as the big potty but I like TV. It’s hard to decide. One of them is too small anyway so Corwyn can have it.

Corwyn likes to play with his potty. He puts his monkey in it. I did that, but not anymore. I don’t want monkey to go where poop goes. Yuck! The other day Corwyn pooped on the floor. Not like when I did it, he just stood there and pooped. Then he laughed. Ewwwwww.

I hope I get to wear big boy underwear again. I don’t know about when I’m sleeping though. It’s too much work to get out of bed. Maybe one day.

Mommy here. Nathan has indeed jumped on the potty wagon. It’s at his initiation so it’s going really well. They get to go naked once I’m home (unless we’re going to the park) and while he always liked to sit on the potty or toilet (big potty) he didn’t get it. Then a couple of weeks ago, something clicked. Unfortunately, in the middle of the night, both boys came down with what I was still in the middle of, a very nasty week long stomach flu, complete with vomiting, fever, diarrhea and nausea. Yuck, yuck and double yuck. There will be a post on that later. So it took a while to get back to normal even once they were feeling better the next week.

But Nathan came back to wanting to potty train in a huge way. One thing that really helped was getting Little Looster. Wow, what a difference. Yes, we had step stools, but they just aren’t as stable for getting on and off the potty and less so for peeing standing up (which he really prefers). Great invention. There are several American retailers but if you are in Canada, you can find it exclusively at The Safety Superstore. It’s great in that it allows both boys to pee at the same time (once Corwyn is ready) and it doesn’t have to be moved when us big people need to use the toilet. We have a couple of potty styles. With one of them, Nathan doesn’t fit. Oh his butt fits on but he’s so very well endowed that his boy bits don’t fit under the little pee cap thing. I think this is one of the reason’s he prefers the toilet. If you search for it you can find many other reviews and maybe a giveaway or two.
Which brings me to the next point. There is only one bathroom in our place. One. And Nathan is happy to sit on the toilet for hours at a time. There were times when I thought I might have to use one of the pottys myself (and it may come to that yet). And the long times on the potty, demanding I be there means some things don’t get done. Cooking has become a challenge. And poor Corwyn, he wants me with him too. Sigh.

Nathan has used the potty for poop all week and started using it more often for pee yesterday. I suspect he will be out of diapers during the day by the end of the weekend. I’m sure there will be accidents (many) and I need to convince my caregiver that its fine to just change his pants, and avoid diapers and pull-ups for him all together. I also don’t know how he’ll be when he has to use the potty and we’re not at home.

Corwyn shows no signs of being ready yet. He gets to run naked too, but I have to clean up (lots) and while he’ll sometimes stand beside Nathan at the toilet, he doesn’t pee or even try. He will be ready when he’s ready. It might get hard once he is ready if he likes to sit as long as Nathan does. It's hard enough with only two of us wanting to use the toilet, when there are three it will be really hard.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


When I wake up (usually for a bathroom break) but can't get back to sleep, there are a few options. Of course getting back to sleep is the ultimate goal, but sometimes it doesn't happen. So I read a book, take a bath, have a snack, watch some TV or just lie there and try to clear my brain and relax.

When you're two and cant go back to sleep, you don't have all those options. Especially when you share a room with a twin and mommy sleeps in the living room where the TV is. So instead, you get to lie in mommy's bed and keep her awake as company. The hours between 1 and 3 am seem to be perfect for this.

And what can I do? Not much. I rub his back. I sing to him. I get him water. And anytime my eyes start to drift close, I get woken with a wail or a 'mommy wake up'. Sigh. I'll deal. It's not every night, it's now down to once in a while.

This morning we played the game that goes like this:
What Nathan
What Nathan
Go to sleep Nathan.
Go to sleep Nathan
But seriously, I have never felt more like telling him.....

Only a parent could write a book like this.

Friday, August 12, 2011

FREE Books!

Search & WinSeriously free. I joined SwagBucks a few years back. Since then I've been earning with every search I do. Swagbucks add up quickly. Once you have some, you can trade them in for items or gift cards. I almost always take the Amazon gift card. I've earned hundreds this way. You can also gamble your Swagbucks for the chance to win more swagbucks or giftcards for a fraction of the cost. I've won a couple of DVD sets and some Amazon gift cards this way too.

The easiest way to remember to search through is to install the toolbar. Having this installed will also get you a bonus Swagbuck every day. This adds to 365 Swagbucks which is almost enough for another Amazon gift card! If you don't install the toolbar, you can still earn by searching by searching from the main Swagbucks webpage.

Other ways to pile on the bucks includes special codes released on Twitter, Facebook or their blog. Special promotions come up often and well, the ways to earn are endless.

If you join today, you can use the code AUGUSTBONUS and get a bonus 50 swagbucks right away! Seriously, how easy can it get and who doesn't like free things!  So what are you waiting for? Go to Swagbucks now and start earning FREE books, videos or whatever else strikes your fancy.

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

From SouleMama

Friday, July 29, 2011

The same, but different

I'm happy that both boys love lego (duplo for now). I have a closet full of my lego just waiting for them to be old enough (to not choke on the pieces).

It's interesting to watch them play with it. These were taken this morning. Nathan was very focused, building towers out of brick of a uniform size (2 more followed these ones). Corwyn was more intent on building trains/cars and taking all the people and animals for a ride around. Both are wonderful ways to play with blocks and they clearly show how differently the boys think.

Corwyn will also build towers. Nathan doesnt' seem interested in building much else, but if I make a "house" he'll spend an hour putting blocks inside and taking them back out again. I can't wait to see  how they grow.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

To sleep, to sleep perchance to dream

For me it’s just the sleep part; dreams can’t happen if I don’t sleep or don’t reach REM sleep.

Let’s start with an update. The beds are going great. I have no regrets at all. They have stopped pulling everything off the shelf if I leave the room after lights out. For the most part, they won’t leave their bed after lights out at all. This can actually be a problem when a monkey or blanket falls out since they won’t leave their beds, I have to come get it. Ah well. The worse that happens now for getting out is that sometimes Corwyn wants to sleep with Nathan. Nathan never wants him there so it can sometimes be a battle and occasionally results in Nathan switching beds.

Our bedtime routine is similar but different to the crib one. We still read a story, but they are no longer trapped in cribs before. I often can’t get up after one book before another is shoved at me with the command ‘read mommy’. Eventually books are done and they get into bed. Then its lights out. But now, they insist I sing a lullaby. Sure why not. This is followed by a fairy tale. I’ve modified a few of the basics and some others avoided completely (why are all step mothers wicked anyway?) Right now the 3 Little Pigs is a favorite and they love to blow the house down with me. I really treasure this time. It’s also nice because unlike in a crib, our bedtime now includes hugs after they are tucked in.

When they were in cribs, the first stir would come between 5:30 and 6:30. But since they couldn’t get up and a small whine didn’t bring me running, it typically resulted in them falling back asleep until 7 or 8. Those were the days. Now since they have the freedom, they will get up and come into the living room to see me in bed. Nathan will simply crawl into my bed, snuggle up and go to sleep. Unless or until Corwyn comes out. If there is any sign of daylight when he gets up, he wants to play. He usually wants company. The last few times though, I could hear ‘noises’ and when I looked, he had made himself a bit of fort under the table and was taking things out of and putting back in the stroller basket. I have no idea why, but don’t mind since it lets Nathan sleep longer (and sometimes me).

Corwyn has fallen out twice so far. He is a very active sleeper. When he fell out last night, I’m not sure he even noticed. I thought I heard a bang, but I hear those lots (as they roll around and hit the edges) but there were no cries. I found him on the floor when I went in to check them before I went to bed. I put him back in bed (I debated leaving him there, but had to move him to reach Nathan) and he stayed asleep. But he woke up less than a half hour later and came out to my bed. I had just turned off the TV and light. He crawled into bed and proceeded to make himself comfortable. This was done by tossing, turning, nudging, pushing and kicking me. They say our sleep goes in 90 minute intervals. I could see this as I was woken up again about every 90 minutes by a repeat performance. I can totally understand how he can fall out of bed. Nathan joined us around 5:30 and they both slept through until 7 (bliss, I tell you, sheer bliss).

Corwyn got another molar last week, making 4 in total (Nathan is up to 6, go figure). He took it Corwyn style which is to say he got a fever was cranky and screamed for 3 straight days. If Corwyn is unhappy, he needs me by his side. Sleep is rare then. I managed to get a couple of hours one afternoon while they actually napped. I haven’t caught up yet.

That’s about it for the sleep update. If and when we move to bunk beds, Corwyn will be on the bottom.

These pictures were taken about a week apart. Norice that Nathan takes up a reasonable amount of bed space for his size. Corwyn on the other hand, makes it very hard for anyone else to find room.

Wordless Wednesday - Little Red Wagon

Okay, here are some words. I'm behind, sorely and sadly behind. There is nothing overwhelming to share, but lots of little things. I'm a tad on the sleep deprived side right now though. I promise a post soon, probably about sleep.