sometimes when i have an idea, i consider myself to have had a brilliant idea. i think, "wow! what a fantastic idea, rebecca! you are the best mother ever!". then it occurs to me...it was really just common sense, not brilliance. like the time i moved all ben's books from the top shelf in his room to the bottom shelf. brilliant? no. awesome that ben goes into his room and sits down to read books on his own? yes.
i'd heard about womens' feet never being the same post-pregnancy. i figured it was in their minds. i once danced in all night in these shoes at a friend's wedding nary a blister to be found. then i wore them to a wedding last august (two months after ben was born) and i could barely get from the church back to the car after the ceremony, let alone dance at the reception. i chalked it up to being much heavier than i'd been at that past wedding. my feet were just fatter.
at my brother's wedding, october '08, i wore another pair of black heels. the cutest, patent, peep toe heels that you ever did see. i bought them a little small because they were on clearance and the women beside me while i tried them on was lamenting that they weren't in her size because they're like, $200 shoes! hmm...a size too small? no problem. i wore them happily because they were cute.
today, i'm headed to a wedding. i didn't think to shop for new shoes because i have many a pair of black heels. i dug out my patent heels this morning and i can't even get my foot all the way inside them. are you serious? pregnancy making a mess of a woman's feet is for real? i've obviously been in denial for the last 14 months. thankfully the ones in the photo still "fit" (like i can get them on my feet) but it could be a rough night. i may be hitting up winners with my fingers crossed before heading to white rock. and if not? it will be dancing in bare feet tonight.
it's hard to not always be looking to your child's next stage. when ben was laying like a bump on a log, i wished for him to roll. when he rolled, i wished for sitting. when sitting, crawling. crawling, walking. and i knew i shouldn't. but i did.
now that ben is walking and exploring, running and dancing, i just want to pause and appreciate how much i love this current stage. he's on the move at all times - never wanting to be in his stroller or grocery cart. we now go to the mall stroller-less and just wander very slowly and distractedly. but it's fun. he holds my finger tightly as we walk and smiles up at me. he points and "ooh-ooh"s at everything. he never tires of being in the backyard or at the park. we are having fun and i'm not in a rush to get to the next stage.
yesterday was so hot and sunny but gorgeous in the shade. i let ben run around in his diaper, filled up his water table and then taught him how the pitcher pours liquid into a cup for him to drink. he thought this was the greatest and continued to re-fill his pitcher in the water table, drinking tons of water (when he got any in the glass at all). i got to sit on my deck and enjoy the afternoon while ben was completely preoccupied. i then took him down into the yard, turned on the hose and gave him my biggest tupperware bowl and a couple different size buckets. he played for over an hour. our new favourite activity on a hot day. who needs a pool or a water park when you have a hose and bucket?
when i posted the video below of the kid reciting the poem, the poet reading his own poem came up on the side of the youtube video. i linked over. i love this poem. it made me laugh. it made me look at more poems by billy collins. you should really see him perform his own poem. that kid below really messes it up. (wink)
since i'm on a roll here with "great things that my kid does" posts...here's one more before i move onto regular posting. this is what moms do. talk about how their kid is so cute and smart, right? (add this to the list of things i thought i would never do)
yesterday, ben was playing by himself on the carpet in our kitchen when he spotted a foil top from an applesauce folded up laying there. he picked it up, walked over to the garbage, opened the door, and threw it in. he then closed the door and went on playing.
love it! he's so cute and smart. heehee...
i told this to tim and he says, "hmm...i wonder what else ben has been throwing away...?"
now here's a kid to boast about - found this on one of my fav. blogs:
back when ben was first born, i laughed at the fact that you're supposed to speak in third person instead of using pronouns. now, all day long, i chatter in third person. "ben, can you bring that to mommy? mommy and ben are going to go in the car now. does ben want to go to the park with mommy? etc etc" to help language development, you label every thing you do and see. "that's a bird. bird. what does a bird say? tweet tweet. nice birdie." oh yes. this is totally me. it's pretty unreal how quickly one transforms. but with all this talking and labelling, what can ben say? "buh-bye." and he doesn't ever use it when we say, "say buh bye!" he can point at the freezer and "buub" which means blueberries. he shouts something that resembles "hi" though no one except his mother would recognize it. and when he sees his baby doll, he says "baba". but he also says baba about a million other things so who knows? (don't get me wrong - i'm not worried and i know plenty of talking is to come) so here i am, talking away, and you're never sure what's being understood and what's just gibberish to him. but yesterday, he had just gotten up from a nap and was wearing a shirt and just a diaper. i told him that we'd be going in the car so that we needed to find ben's pants. "where are ben's pants?" i instinctively said while wandering around looking for where i'd set them down. i turn around and ben is standing by a box pointing at his pants that i'd set down there, waiting for me to see him! whaat? you understood that? what ELSE do you understand? all the talking i do actually is going in? i love moments like that.
something you do to beat the heat? take your shirt off, sit outside with friends, and eat strawberries. when baby kai came onto the scene, ben wasn't too impressed by him. a month or so later, ben loves hanging out with his friend.
ben loves sunglasses. no, ben loves ripping sunglasses off of peoples' faces. after he broke a pair of mine and i know to never give my new ones to him, i bought him a $3 pair at superstore. he thinks it's pretty funny when we put them on him but he immediately pulls them off his face. when he wants to put them on, they're either upside down or he pokes himself in eye with the arm. he's never worn them for more than 30 seconds. that doesn't stop us from putting them on him all the time. then, a couple days ago, we were getting in the grocery cart at superstore and i saw the glasses sitting on the floor in the car. i put them on him. and this was the day he wore them for at least 4 minutes straight - inside. where there is no sun. i think i laughed the entire time he was wearing them.
making sure the people walking behind us were looking at him in his sunglasses.
checking for expiry dates on the baby food.
then when we went to price mart, where we snagged the only CAR grocery cart, he wouldn't keep his glasses on. haha. but whoever invented this idea of having something special for a kid to sit in in the grocery cart? brilliant.
as for the glasses, i suspect they will be making repeat appearances here.
as you know if you live in the lower mainland or you may have guessed by my last gratitude sunday, it's been hot. abbotsford is hot. and i am a cold girl. by never complaining about the rain, i reserve the right to complain about the heat. yuck. after spending a few days in the mall and my inlaws' pool, i realized that if i picked up my parents' at the b-ham airport, i could take them back to their place and spend the night where it is much cooler. and not only is it always 5 degrees cooler in white rock, but my parents' house is wonderfully positioned that it seems to stay much cooler than the average house.
a plan was formed! i picked them up and took them home. ben had some time to play at grandma and grandpa's and i had a babysitter while i went to a tupperware party. then i came back to sleep in the cold, downstairs guest room. cold. like, who else (minus air conditioned people) was sleeping under two blankets and a duvet on monday night? love it!
the next day, we spent the majority of the day with my mom and then the afternoon with baby kainoa and ang. ben has really warmed up to kai since he was born. gave him kisses and tried to share his strawberries with him. he felt so comfortable around him that he didn't think much of spilling water on kai's head or poking him in the bellybutton about 20 times. kainoa may be the most easy going baby ever. thank goodness.
having had such a cool night the day before, i had tim come out to white rock and sleep over on tuesday night. it was a full house! when we woke up, i was happy to see clouds and feel the cooler weather though sad that i didn't bring anything warmer wear for either ben or myself. we made due and finally headed home around noon. it was nice to have a break from the heat. and now the forecast is looking a little cooler. phew. blogging will resume to normal as well.
if you know my family, you know that my dad is a toastmaster. toastmasters is a huge organization of speaking clubs to help people develop and practice their public speaking. there are different "districts" and within each district, there are clubs. for example, district 21 is BC and within BC there are about 260 clubs. anyways, every year, they have a big speaking contest. my dad often enters. now, don't quote me because i'm not positive but i think these are the levels: you choose to enter with a 7 minute speech. if you win your club, you move onto the area contest (there are 52 areas in bc). if you win your area, you move onto division contest (there are 10 divisions in bc). if you win division, you move onto district (aka speaking against every division winner in bc). are you with me still? stay with me - i'm getting to a point. okay - if you win in the district, you move onto regionals. if you're that awesome that you're still winning, you move up to the semi-finals against people from all over the world now (which is 80 people competing in the semi-finals and they only pick NINE). and if you win there and you are one of the elite 9? you're in the finals. the WORLD FINALS. (okay, that's not the official name but you get the idea) was that a lot of work? yes! was that a lot of great speaking? heck yes! you know who is one of the nine that is in the WORLD FINAL? MY DAD! last night, he won with the semi-finals in Palm Desert, CA and we are SO excited for and proud of him! way to go, jamie!
now, if you're still reading, you must be wanting more details! well then, i guess i'll keep going!
jmac has been winning with the same speech. over and over, he has given this speech. he's practiced and rehearsed and speeched...wait, spoken...this fantasticly winning speech a thousand times. but for the finals? he needs a new speech. NEW! so as a well prepared oscar nominee writes a thank you speech just in case...my dad had a new speech prepared just in case. but it hasn't been given a thousand times and it hasn't been in any contests before. so today he is spending the day fine-tuning and practicing and rehearsing. if you could muster up some good thoughts, prayers, positive energy and send it on down to palm desert - do so.
he's going to the finals! (this site seems to be well updated to keep track here if you would like)
today i made the mistake of telling ben that we were going to the park. in my head, i meant going to mill lake park but when i opened the garage door, ben went running down the driveway in the direction of the way that we walk to the park behind our house. when i ran after him and picked him up, he wailed all the way into his carseat with disappointment. thankfully mill lake isn't too far away and he was squealing with delight as he ran over the little hill, down towards the playground.
when i was little, i didn't want to play on a playground if there were any other kids there. yes, i was about as shy as you get. i can't keep ben on a play structure if there are no kids there - he's running to where the action is. at mill lake, there's a specific little spot that i love with a structure called "toddlertown". he can climb it, slide it, drive it all by himself. in fact, he mastered climbing UP the slide all on his own yesterday. i can sit on the edge and watch which is very fun to see his independence. but if there are no toddlers around, off he goes to the gigantic, very big kid friendly, playground - chattering, shouting, and waving his arms all the way there.
later in the day, we walked over to the park behind our house. it's a school and there are day camps/daycare run out of the school everyday. the kids can be there until 6pm. for the most part, kids ignore him or aren't sure what to make of him. or if he runs up to them (as he always does), i let him, read the kid's reaction, and usually go over and lead him away. the other day, there was a kid crouched under some climbing bars and ben ran up to him, stood in front of him pointing his finger in the boy's face, and shouted, "buh-bye! buh-bye!" the kid just stared at him. but it was hilarious. so yesterday we went and ben charmed a 7 year old girl who led him around by the hand for a good 20 - 30minutes. very cute. but today's park excursion was the best. there are two kids sitting cross-legged, chatting, under the play structure. ben gets away from me and before i can grab him, he plops down next to these kids and is smiling back and forth at them. they kind of laugh and say hi. ben chatters away to them. they play a little with the bark mulch. ben laughs and copies. they get a kick out of this and call over a couple friends. they start giving ben bark mulch and he takes it and gives it to the next kid. they love it. it becomes a giant bark mulch exchange. they are chatting to me and asking how old he is, what his name is, yada yada. then they ask if they can take him on the playground. well these 4-5 kids walked ben around, made baby talk, blocked the parts of the structure he could potentially fall from, laughed with him, made him laugh - it was so fun to watch.
when i finally said that i had to go, they moaned and were disappointed. i asked if they were there everyday. they are. i told them we'd see them again. ben waved bye and off we went.
i think this kid a park-lover. but only if there are kids there.
sunday night, i went to bed thinking of a To Do list of things that i could do to occupy my time in the evenings this week. who needs to waste time watching reruns on tv? included in my list were things like fold laundry, blog, bake muffins, make some t-shirts for ben, etc. etc.
then i got an email from fvrl (our library system) telling me that my copies of Season 2 and Season 3 of Gilmore Girls was due on wednesday. i was only halfway through season2. now i've already explained myself here and of course, after investing in season 1, it only seemed right to continue on. sometimes i wish that most of the character plot lines were not there and that i could just fast-forward until rory/dean/jess plot lines appear but that would not be true to the show.
so monday and today's nap times and evenings have been spent watching non-stop episodes. last night i dreamed that was talking fast and giving sarcastic, witty comebacks to everything everyone said. i'm halfway through season 3. and yes, rachel, it has occurred to me to renew but the dvds are on hold. what i'm wondering is why all of a sudden i'm trying to return my library items on time?
my mother-in-law loaned me this book called Betty Crocker's Ultimate Cake Mix Cookbook. every recipe uses a cake mix but jazzes it up a bit to make your cake look/taste fancier. my style of cake making. today, i made a Chocolate Turtle Cake. you use a devil's food cake mix, pour half the batter in the pan and bake. then you take it out, pour caramel over it sprinkled with pecans and chocolate chips, then add the rest of the batter on top and bake some more. i don't know how the bottom half can possibly not be burnt to a crisp but it sure sounds good. and the other cakes i've made from this book have always been awesome. we'll see how it turns out. it's currently in the oven.
today, i was in the living room and ben was sitting on the floor in the kitchen. he had a nalgene bottle in his lap and was carefully trying to put the lid on. the bottle kept tipping when he'd try to put the cap on but he tried over and over. finally, after another failed attempt, he shouted out in frustration and threw the bottle across the floor. then he scurried over to it and started again. way to keep trying, kiddo.
in regards to the raccoon story...we did run outside in our underwear (our backyard is surrounded by hedge - no people to see us), we did spray the raccoons with the hose, the raccoons did laugh at us, but after they retreated into the hedge - the story was over. we went back to bed. no clint impersonations happening here. but glad you enjoyed...