Monday, January 30, 2012

the swaddle

i get up countless times in the night to stick avery's soother back in. she's rarely crying - it's usually just her talking voice in the middle of the night as she sucks on her fist. i tiptoe in, stick the soother in, rub her forehead, and tiptoe back to bed. and repeat. and repeat. and repeat until her little waving arms settle enough that she falls back to sleep. between 5 - 7am, i don't know how much she really sleeps at all - sometimes it feels like i just keep putting her soother in a hundred times. the thing is, if i get her up out of bed (i remember this being the time that ben woke up for a long time for his first bottle), she can't drink her bottle - she's all crazy and choking on the formula. so at least i know to leave her in bed. finally, by about 6:30-7am, i give in. i unzip her sleep sack, usually change her diaper if she's wet through the back, and i swaddle her up tight in a blanket. she sometimes cries a little but most often she falls to sleep instantly. she then sleeps in her tight swaddle from 7am to between 9 - 10am.

so why don't i just swaddle right away when she wakes up at 5am? i have it in my head that she needs to learn to fall asleep without the swaddle which is why we never swaddle at night. is this crazy? should i just swaddle immediately when she wakes up? i don't know. i was wondering how long people swaddle for (since we only swaddled for weeks with ben) and looked it up on my favourite i couldn't find a good answer as to when i should be stopping! so i guess i'll keep doing it for awhile longer. we swaddle for every nap. she always cries a little but she gets over it and falls asleep pretty quickly usually. why wouldn't i swaddle?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

two steps forward, one step back

as you know, ben does not love the doctor. this week, wednesday, i wasn't able to get someone to look after ben while avery and i went to get my check-up and her shots so ben came along. we brought his doctor's kit along so that he could show our doctor. we amazingly got to the appointment on time and everyone happy. after waiting about half an hour, it was finally my turn to go in. ben had already shown the doctor his stethescope, given the receptionist a shot, and checked her reflexes. i asked him if he wanted to come and see avery get weighed and measured but he didn't. he waited in the waiting room as usual. there was no one in the room except him and the receptionist.

i went in, had my check up (ugh), and then the doctor left so that i could get dressed before we did avery's shots. i don't know what happened out there in that waiting room at that moment - maybe ben was tired of sharing his doctor's kit with another little girl or maybe he saw the doctor leave and mommy never came out but from inside the check up room, i heard, "mommy!" and a huge cry. i ran out into a FULL waiting room in just jeans and a tank top and ben was sobbing. the receptionist is saying to me, "i don't know what happened!" probably the other patients there were thinking, "why did she leave her kid out here alone?". i grabbed ben and sat with him on the only empty chair in the place while he cried that he wanted to go home. the doctor comes out and asked if i wanted to have a few minutes with ben before doing avery's shots but i did not want to prolong our doctor's visit by one more moment so i said, "nope - i'm coming!". ben wouldn't let go of me so in he came to the dreaded room. the doctor started to shut the door behind us but ben freaked - i think he doesn't like the poster on the back of the door of the human body. so we left the door open.

i held ben while the doctor checked avery. ben calmed down and watched the doctor use his doctor tools(without taking his head off my shoulder). the receptionist packed up ben's dr.s kit and brought it in in case he wanted it which was very thoughtful of her. (have i mentioned i love this doctor's office?) then i said, "i have to hold avery to get her shots so you'll have to sit here in this chair next to me." i definitely knew this was going to go sideways because i never wanted ben to SEE avery get her shots - he's too empathetic to handle it. he sat beside me and the doctor gave him the bandaid to hold for avery. first shot - avery's SCREAMING as babies do. ben has his brave face on (which is a tight lipped fake smile) and i know that means the tears are on their way. i smiled at ben and he burst out crying and trying to get his arms around my neck. i switched avery into the other arm so the doctor could give her shot in the other leg and blood-curdling screams ensued while ben hung off my neck. oh. my. goodness. two screaming kids and the door OPEN into the waiting room - i have to admit, i shed a couple tears myself while i shook my head and chuckled.

ben recoverd as he went off with the doctor to choose his treat while i got avery dressed and in her car seat. then i lugged her out into the waiting room where the only free seat was the one that was draped in both our coats, ben's books, snack, fire helmet, and boots. i packed everything up while avery screamed her heart out and all the other patients watched me. i could not get out of there fast enough and it seemed to take hours.

did i mention i was feeling sick to my stomach? on top of all this, i thought i was going to throw-up. i wasn't sure i was going to make it home but i did. got a show on tv for ben, got avery in bed, and i made myself something to eat. i think i just hadn't had enough to eat that day so by the time tim walked in the door, i was feeling a little better.

so, anyways, i'm pretty sure all our positive steps towards ben learning to like our doctor have been shot. literally. back to square one.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

ben and avery at 4 months

ben at four months :
every picture of him at this stage makes me laugh out loud. he's so round! and this little face doesn't look anything like him now which makes me wonder what our little avery is going to look like!

avery at four months :
maybe round but her hair balances it out!

sleep nazi

you already know i'm a sleep nazi. i was crazy about it with ben but i thought i'd be more relaxed with the second kid. why did i think that? i don't think sleep is less important for my second kid. anyways, this weekend, i was rocking avery for 100th nap of the day (okay, that's an exaggeration) and she laid in my arms, very still and calm but with her eyes open. everytime, i tried to lay her down, she thrashed about. i thought to myself, "this is crazy - we've got to get you going down for naps on your own." because when i'm doing this 4 -5 times a day, where is ben? usually in front of the tv. NOT ideal.

monday morning, first nap: i wrapped avery up tight in her blanket, laid her in her bed, stuck her soother in, patted her head and walked away. instantly asleep. next nap: repeat. asleep. next nap: repeat. a little crying then fell asleep. WHAAT? HAS MY ROCKING BEEN KEEPING YOU AWAKE? crazy. crazy awesome. but if i check the time when she wakes up then put her to bed 90 min - 2 hrs later even though she might not look tired, she falls asleep. of course, she had perfect 1.5 - 2hr naps each time yesterday so it was the perfect day but will this method work on a non-perfect day?

today was day two of putting her to bed with no rocking. definitely not as beautiful as yesterday - not even close. she had a complete meltdown, crying her eyes out right during ben's nap time (i'm freaking out because i don't want HIM to wake up!), but after some swinging and half a bottle, and some more crying while wrapped up in her little cocoon in her bed, she DID fall asleep after just being laid down in her crib. even when i put her down at 5:30pm after longer than 2 hours of awake time (aka. not ideal because she's probably a little overtired which makes it harder to go to sleep), she cried/talked a little but i just kept going in every couple minutes, putting in her soother again, and rubbing her forehead. 3 times of that and she was asleep. LOVE it. oooooh, how i hope this continues.

avery at 4 months

(love that permanent little rooster tail in the back)


all smiles! love this little baby girl.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

back on the wagon...?

is that what you'd say after you've fallen off the wagon? anyways...i'm talking weight watcher points wagon and i'm on it. one whole week of point counting and i survived! not just survived - i didn't go over on points this week which is stellar. once i get on a roll, i can stick with something but it's that initial kickstart that is the killer. i think after having ben, i probably started counting points about 10 different times only to go over on points before the week was out. i'm sticking with the "old points" system because that's what i know how to do and i'm not actually signing up with WW - just going about it the free way. the first time i did ww the free way, i had a friend who was paying - she got me all my goods (aka point scale) and she was my "weigh - in" buddy with whom i could points talk with. it's important to have that buddy. so anyone out there also on old points and want to swap thoughts/recipes/etc.? let me know. i could use a buddy this time around too.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

for judy

here's a little more subdued background and i like it because there's some colour to the main column as well instead of the stark white.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

new everything

new font, photo, colours, background, etc! phew. hopefully not too bright for you.


yesterday, tim had already planned to work from home so when we woke up to piles of snow, i was so happy that he wasn't going in! this way, ben got to spend a ton of time outside playing and i was able to stay inside with avery. we really have no way to lug her around in the snow except to carry her though tim was pretty sure the old zooper could have handled it. turns out that avery decided to have a 4 hour nap this morning which meant loads of time to myself for a long shower, an omelette breakfast, and lots of pinterest/blog-reading catch up time. what a great morning...a great day, really.

the first couple times that ben and tim went out, tim wanted to pull ben around on the sled but ben wasn't too enthused. tim says to me, "all ben wants to do is dig." i said, "great - let him dig." tim replies, "but that's no fun!" haha.
this is actually sunday's little bit of snow. ben left this shovel somewhere on the ground and it was covered by monday morning. tim dug and dug around for it but it has yet to be found!

ben and tim were out for an hour or so first thing in the morning then came back in to warm up for bit.

making a mid-morning "second breakfast" with daddy.

first time having hot chocolate at home!

back out for round 2 - this round lasted at least a couple hours! obviously, tim gave in to digging and he and ben made a mountain on the driveway. other people take the snow OFF the driveway, we like to make it bigger. ;)
out for round 3 - this time with avery.

when avery was finally awake at the same time as ben, i took her outside to check out the snow. as you can see - she's not impressed. we went for a little walk with her inside my jacket but it just didn't cut it. after avery and i went back inside, tim and ben stayed out and went back to the park. when they returned, tim excitedly says, "ben got over his fear of the sled!" i guess they went down the hill many, many times and had a lot of fun sledding until it was dark. love it.

what would have made this one of my most favourite days would have been pizza for dinner...but pizza is hard on the ww points. (i'm almost done my first week of point counting and it looks like i'm going to make it without going over! phew. now if i could just get some more regular gym time and hopefully i'll start losing some of this weight!) i indulged a little with chicken strips instead.

before bed, some songs on the guitar. my favourite was the one that went, "bunnies, bunnies, bunnies, fire trucks, bunnies."

what a great snow day! if only i could have gotten tim to stay home again today! no such luck.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

park day

i'm feeling the pressure to be a slave to avery's nap times which leads to a lot of time spent inside. on these cold, rainy days, it's not so bad but when the sun finally came out, i was feeling stressed that i wasn't getting ben outside. it was definitely avery's nap time but i had to meet someone to pick up something i was buying from the kids swap site on facebook. wouldn't you know there was a park across the street from where i was meeting? and ben spotted it? i thought avery had fallen asleep in the car seat (i couldn't quite tell because i had a blanket draped over her car seat but she seemed very still) so i said, "sure, let's go to that park!" i parked, pulled ben out of the truck and set him loose then went around to the other side of the truck to pull the car seat out. when i peeked under the blanket, i realized avery wasn't asleep at all and now it was over an hour after she should have been sleeping. (i know this makes me sound like a crazy person - oh well) it was too late to turn around and tell ben that we couldn't stay so i took avery out in her car seat, plopped her down on the edge of the playground and figured we'd stay until she was wailing. ben got some good playing in. it was a gorgeous day.

ben really wanted to swing in the baby swings, of which there were two. there were two moms standing by the swings talking up a storm with their swarms of children milling around them. (it was weird - like about 7 kids but none were playing, they seemed to all just be standing around) one baby swing had a toddler in it who had fallen asleep. the other baby swing had a 6 or 7 year old in it who was not swinging but just sitting there stuck while the moms were engrossed in their conversation. ben was pretty desperate to swing so we stood around near the swings which i found awkward because i didn't want the moms to think i was listening to them but i wanted them to the get the hint that ben wanted a turn. they didn't get the hint. after many long minutes, the 7 year old asked her mom to get out of the swing and after another couple minutes, the mom noticed her kid and took her out. ben charged the empty swing. i got him in and he had a great time swinging though he was very intrigued by the kid who was asleep in the swing next to him.

after a couple minutes, it was close to lunch, avery was still awake, and i told ben that it was time to go. as we walked towards the car, the group of kids from the swings were standing around a mud puddle throwing rocks while their moms called unconvincingly, "get away from there! come on! time to go!". the kids didn't move a muscle. i said to ben, "why don't you throw a couple rocks in that puddle while mommy puts avery in the car?" (this is about 3 metres from the car ON grass - not in a parking lot) ben loves to throw rocks in puddles so he starts looking for a good one while i got the truck unlocked, the car seat in, and i turned around to go back for ben. i turn around in time to see ben trying to walk around the kids by stepping onto a dirt pile...but the dirt pile was a disguise for a mud sink hole. ben sinks right in and is screaming because he can't get out. i rush over, step onto a different dirt pile, and sink in to my ankles. oh. my. goodness. my entire converse sneaker cannot be seen because it is in mud. i don't panic. i pull out my kid, throw him to dry land, bootless, then trying to rescue his boots and myself, i take another step. i sink my one clean converse sneaker deep, deep into more mud. yes, the strange group of kids are still standing there. now, the mothers are standing there too. everyone cannot believe that i'm up to my ankles in mud (i assume they can't believe it because i sure can't). i step out of the sink hole and manage to keep both shoes on my feet though you wouldn't know it because all we can see is mud. i don't let it show on my face that i'm surprised or upset and the one mom says, "they should put a fence around this area." "yeah," i reply. and then ben and i walk away, ben wailing BECAUSE HE LOST HIS ROCK. you've got to be kidding me, ben. standing outside the truck, i strip ben down (he also fell in the mud in his struggle to get out) to just his shirt and his pull-up, all while using a happy voice so that he calms down. i took off my shoes, rolled up my pants, put all offensive clothes/shoes in the trunk, and we went home.
let me just say, this day's nap time was most appreciated.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

project life: week 1

yes! i did my first project life layout! last saturday, in fact - not even behind schedule yet. (she says on week one) here are my things laid out on my dining room table...
there are about a million items in my "wishlist" right now - products that i've seen around the blogosphere. a corner chomper, an "attacher" (uses tiny staples), 6x12 inch page protectors, etc. for now, i'm cutting the corners by hand (gasp!) and just NOT attaching anything. haha. but every page protector has 3x4 pockets for journaling and photos but you can print that size photo at walmart unless you stand in store and use their machine (which i don't have time to do) so on this first layout, i traced a journaling card on a photo and cut it out. then i used that old photo with a hole in it to hold over other pics to see if they'd look good small. do you see what i mean in this below pic? at this point, i'm feeling like i'm going about this archaically when i read all these beautiful project life one is blogging about chopping up their pics! they're printing them from their photo printers. i originally thought i'd print my own photos but then when i started setting up a printer, it seemed like so much hassle AND a new thing to learn AND printing your own pics averages 30 cents a photo. maybe if 2012 goes well, i'll aim for that "new" technology for 2013. :)

finished layout (minus the one photo that i hadn't gotten printed yet). it's bare bones simple - just pics and my own writing on the cards but i have actually DOCUMENTED a week of our lives in a two page spread that you can look at withOUT being on the computer! woohoo!
i find that i want way more pics than i have room for because i also have so many stories i want to add. i could do numerous double page spreads for every week i bet. i'm currently working on this past week and it's so painstaking choosing my photos. i used to edit some photos and to add writing right onto a couple photos so that i didn't need a journalling space for them.
this spread took time planning on paper before i sent my photos to walmart but then only took about 45 minutes to finish once i had photos printed! i'm hooked! :)

good bye, diapers!

have i mentioned we're potty training over here? we startedlast saturday so that we'd have two full days of training with two adults before going down to just me on monday. if you're like my dad and can't believe how often we talk about pee and may want to just skip this post.

back story: the potty entered our bathroom when ben was about 18 months. we've mostly used it as a stool but at 18 - 20 months, ben understood what it was and would sit on it fully clothed making peeing sounds. then around 2 years, he started telling us when he needed to pee during bath time. we were so excited that when he did, we'd give him a treat - a few chocolate chips or M&Ms. we discovered how obsessed he was with getting treats during our five minute potty training fail back in november. after being so annoyed with his desperation for treats, this time we set up a sticker chart - 8 stickers for #1 and 1 sticker for #2. (had to make that poop worth doing on the potty)

a friend of mine had told me that when she started, she would set the timer for 20 minutes and every 20 minutes, they put their son on the potty. sounded like a good idea to me. so i made up a chart, got out some new stickers, had M&Ms on hand and then next morning we started. i described to him what we were going to do. i showed him the sticker chart and mustered all the excitement i could about stickers verses treats. i set the timer but all ben wanted to do was sit on the potty. we had the potty in the kitchen so it was close-by for these learning days. so ben sat and sat. when the tiniest amount of pee would trickle out, he'd stand up and ask for a treat. "treeeeeeat!!!" "nope, sticker!", i'd reply. i was trying to fill him up with juice, water, and milk but the stickers seemed far and few between for the amount of time spent sitting on the potty. i was starting to feel a little badly about the new system because he was working hard. so after a couple times of getting a partial pee in his pants but getting to the potty to finish the pee, when he finally got to the potty BEFORE peeing at all, tim suggested he get two stickers. that helped get us closer to the treat and he'd gotten a couple by the end of the day.

one week later, ben has done really well - very few accidents and no pooping in his underwear! amazing! he filled up his entire chart of stickers and got his toy. he helped me make a new chart for the next toy - 56 pees (aka. 8 a day) and 8 poops. whoa...that seems a long ways away. but there are treats in there along the way to make the wait worthwhile. i already have lots of funny potty training stories from the week and am trying to pick just one for Project Life. i'm sure there will be many more to come.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

maybe for a new header?

haha...loving for editing. this blog may be getting a new look soon...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


from what i've heard about second children, they are more likely to be schlepped around to the first child's activities and less likely to be on a schedule. that sounded good to me. i was pretty crazy about ben's sleep schedule...oh wait, i still am. as it turns out, those second children that i've heard about are not mine. i am me and i can't help but be somewhat tied to this girlie's routine! why would i want to sacrifice a nap just to have a cranky girl all day? i wouldn't. but this is just a new thought since yesterday.

yesterday, i popped avery in her carseat at nap time and figured she'd sleep in the car when we went across the border to pick up my new camera (!). she didn't fall asleep until about 30 minutes after she would have at home. then, since she was sleeping, i lugged the kids into tim hortons with a blanket over avery's carseat so she wouldn't see all the lights and such and hopefully keep sleeping. nope. immediately awake. so instead of a 45min - 1hr nap in her bed in the morning, she had a 10min nap in her carseat. it threw her for the entire day. bottles were crazy. she seemed constantly tired but couldn't get a long nap in. it was very "hey mommy! i need to have normal naps please!" moment.

then this morning she was up at 5am, i got her to sleep until 6am then i got up to feed her. she literally cannot eat if she's tired. other babies need a bottle to go to sleep? this kid chokes and shakes and is a crazy person when she's tired - it doesn't matter that she hasn't eaten in 12 hours. so after attempting to force feed her (seriously? you're not hungry after 12 hours?) and her crying her eyes out, she fell asleep in my arms after i rocked her for a little. oh man. i hope i can get her back to normal today.

uhh...maybe i should stop blogging and go feed her...

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

photo header

i just want to make an announcement to all you old school folks who actually read my blog on the page instead of on google reader...i know that's a really old photo as my header. in fact, it's now over a year old since that photo was taken christmas day 2010. but here's the deal...i find it ridiculously hard to put new photos in there. it took me so long to get that photo to the right size to put in THAT header. i don't have any type of photoshop and i used to make the photos a different size in Word then put them in the header but i don't even have Word anymore. i'm not blogger savvy even though i use it all the time. i would LOVE a blog make-over with buttons for different topics and maybe even a title name change/font but unless there's a reader with time on their hands that wants to help guys are stuck looking at our 2010 family for a little bit longer! i'll get on it soon! promise.


i have this crazy baby who has been sleeping past 7:30am every morning. i have this crazy toddler who has been waking up between 6 - 6:30am every morning. today, when the toddler decided to SLEEP PAST 8:40am, the baby woke up at 6am. classic. will they never be in sync? :)

Monday, January 02, 2012


i regularly make a dinner that consists of rice and chicken cooked in a sauce. ben had referred to this meal as "yucky chicken" and rarely ate a bite of it. weird that 2 year olds can have such strong opinions. tonight, i put it on his plate. he ate some of the chicken and said, "good chicken, mommy." i said, "i'm glad you like it." then he said, "i love that chicken." seriously? he doesn't even say "i love you, mommy or daddy" without being prompted! ahh, how i love conversations with this kid.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

project life 2012

happy new year!

this year, i have a new project. "Project Life". i stumbled upon this scrapbooking system in one of the many blogs that i follow. the concept is that it is scrapbooking for people who don't have time for scrapbooking AND instead of just scrapbooking the big events, project life is all about the everyday. you have 12x12 plastic sheets with pockets (like those ones for hockey cards) and then you buy a kit that has colour coordinated papers in 4x6 and 2x3 (the two sizes of pockets). everyday, you're taking photos (which i already do) and doing a little journalling then you slide those cards and photos into the sheets and voila! a scrapbook page. the idea is that a 2 page spread would be one week. you do a two page spread every week and after 52 weeks, you have an amazing, personalized, scrapbook of your year! check out ali edwards' blog and her version of Project Life and check out this photo of her scrapbook below.

i love the idea of scrapbooking and i have made a couple for specific occasions (one for my first year of teaching...umm...which i haven't finished yet...and one for my mom's 50th birthday). i didn't like how much money i invested in paper and stickers etc etc yet still felt like i was always going out to buy one more thing. i like my digital scrapbooking system but it's still somewhat time consuming to get those perfect pages and i already spend too much time on the computer.

here's the kit i purchased - the turqouise edition. i also ordered a package of 60 plastic pages with assorted designs.
Project Life Core Kit - Turquoise Edition

i, unfortunately, am not a project finisher. i am a project starter. i peter out part-way through many a project (example: not having everyday ready for the advent calendar and then getting sick of posting about the advent calendar! haha). SO - my new years resolution...drum roll, to finish this project! i'm dedicating a space on my desk to the scrapbook so everything is in one place and easy to grab. i also have bought myself a new camera with my christmas money!!! the main feature that i'm super excited about is that it takes pictures in low-light with no flash - something i'm always trying to do with my current camera but they're always blurry/dark. but it also has manual settings that i can learn more about changing my aperture and shutter speeds with which is something i've always wanted.
i'm so totally excited about this project and am hoping it doesn't cut back on my blogging.

other plans for 2012: make a will, get life insurance, keep my room cleaner, get an estimate on replacing all our windows (yes, just an estimate for now), have one tupperware party a month minimum, and get the carpets cleaned professionally.

what are your plans?