Tuesday, May 29, 2012


i've been thankful to have a careful little boy who never gets too out of control and is usually too scared to try the dare devil antics of his peer group.  but just because you're not a dare devil doesn't mean that you never get hurt (much to a mother's chagrin).  last night when my parents were over, ben was down in the garage with tim "working on the bikes" (a favourite activity around here) when suddenly tim is at the door with ben screaming.  i looked down the stairs and all i could see is tim carefully holding ben's hand to catch the pooling blood.  AUGH!  i refrained from screaming myself and instead got a wet paper towel.  thankfully, he wasn't missing any fingers or anything - just a fairly deep cut...and a ton of blood. i felt so panicked and wondered if he needed to go to emergency or something but i managed to keep a calm exterior in order to not freak ben out.  he was freaked out enough as it was.  he didn't like us holding his finger with a paper towel so he'd pull it away, look at the terrible looking cut, and then say, "oh no!" and burst into tears again.  he was so sweet though - when my dad offered to read him a book, he stuttered "no, thankyou" through his tears. i tried putting a bandaid on it (to which ben said, "thank you mommy") but it just bled through in minutes.  we were made acutely aware of our lack of first aid kits in the house when tim finally had to go down into his hiking stuff and find his first aid kit that he takes backpacking.  unfortunately, having a first aid kit doesn't mean that you know what to do with it.  ;) tim put some gauze on the cut and taped it up.  the bleeding stopped and we were able to distract ben with a "grown up game" (one of our board games) and an episode of calliou.  in fact, after awhile, he pointed at his bandaged finger and said, "i'm having fun with this."  haha.

when uncle matt came over for dinner, he had a look at it, cleaned it out (while ben screamed), and bandaged it up.  ben seemed to be fine.  it helped that it was just a pinky on his left hand - doesn't really get in the way that much.  and this morning, seemed fine again.
his giant bandage

this afternoon, we went to the walk in clinic to get a better bandage on it and have a doctor double check that it was clean and everything.  as you know, ben doesn't have a great repport  with doctors.  he asked to see our dr. d but i explained that he was too far away to go there today.   i was nervous to be there with two kids - i had to hold avery so how was i going to hold ben if he melted down?  we sat in the waiting room at the clinic for an hour until we were finally called.  up to this point, he'd done pretty well.  we get into the little room and there's a poster on the wall showing the insides of your ear, face, and throat and i remembered that there's a poster like that in the room at dr. d's office so when i saw ben looking nervously at it, i told him what it was.  i explained that this is what it looks like inside all these parts and he seemed okay with the poster after that.  i told ben that after he was done with the doctor, i had a lollipop for him in my bag.  then doctor came in.  this sounds rude but he would probably admit himself that he's a bit of a scary looking dude.  some scarring on his face and his nose seems to be missing a chunk...but he's very kind.  he said, "so this is benjamin?" and ben's lower lip trembled a little.  he asked, "how old are you, ben?" and ben was happy to say "i'm 2."  then ben said, "i have no more soothers when i turn 3."  which was gibberish to the doctor so i interpreted.  the doctor thought the finger looked fine (whereas i gasped audibly when i saw it again) so he cleaned it and put steri-strips (teeny tiny sticky strips) all over the wound.

ben. never. cried. at. all.   AT ALL!  it was amazing!  i was so proud of him.  when he was finished, i handed him his lollipop before we even left the office.  it was well deserved.
the kids in the waiting room -
yes, i let them play with the toys...we were there OVER AN HOUR!

as of tuesday morning
(yes, that's tim's mountain biking helmet)
close up - already the strips are starting to peel away!  augh!

Friday, May 25, 2012

busy bag swap

after a successful baby food exchange, i wanted to try a Busy Bag Swap.  i have been admiring all the busy bag ideas on pinterest but never getting around to making a set of them.  if you're not familiar with the term, "busy bag", it's exactly what it sounds like - a bag of stuff that keeps your kid busy.  nice to have for at a restaurant, doctor's office, a friends house who doesn't have kids, etc.  and there are SO many ideas out there!  when i read about having a Busy Bag Swap on Rookie Moms, i thought, "i totally should do this."

the idea of a busy bag swap sounded awesome but i was initially apprehensive to set one up because of the size of our house and the number of kids that would be at the swap.  i toyed with the idea of having an evening thing for just the moms but i'm often wiped in the evenings and couldn't see wanting to do it that way.  when i came up with the idea to host the swap at a park, i finally booked a date on the calendar and made a facebook event page.  because i have an almost 3 year old, i specifically made the target age of the swap for 3 year olds then i invited all the moms that i know who have kids in and around that age.  i told them to invite their friends and that we'd cap the group at 20 if necessary but we ended up having 15 moms.  on the group wall, the moms posted links to the bags that they were going to make and i just watched to make sure that no one was duplicating.  we said $20 max to make all 15 bags.  it was so exciting to see the links that people were posting of bags they were going to make knowing that i was going to get to have one of those bags!

as we got closer to the date, some moms weren't going to be able to make it so they just planned to give their bags to another mom who WAS coming and then that friend would just collect enough for them as well. also, people began switching their bag ideas as they realized that either it was too much work or it was too expensive.  this worked out fine though - there are so many ideas out there that there still weren't any duplicates.  at the last minute, i had everyone label their bags with a number so that it would be easy to tell if you got all 15 or not.

the swap was today.  it was gorgeous weather.  it was an awesome park that another mom had suggested that i'd never been to before - so huge but easy to spot our kids from the shaded blankets that we set up under a tree. there ended up being about 10 moms which was 25 kids - we filled up the playground!  the kids played, babies sat on blankets or in strollers, and moms chatted. as a mom who doesn't have a "playgroup" or some kind of regular mom group to hang out with, i had a great time.  met some new women who were invited by others and got to see some others that i hadn't seen in a long time.  it was fun to have other moms who were just as excited as me about getting all these busy bags!
we probably didn't need to number all the bags when we lined them up and just walked down the row taking one from each pile.  

Getting started right away!  Number fishing game complete with cute pencil fishing rod with a magnet on the end.
Stringing her coloured pasta noddles onto a string
Packing up all the bags to take home

Check out that park in the background - a nice one!   ben loved that big slide.
we got our bags out right away when we got home to test a few out - here's the felt cupcake kit.  
now my freezer is full of baby food cubes from the exchange and i have a bag of games for the diaper bag. i've already had a mom message me to say that whatever swap is next in line, she's in.  what could we do next?  ;)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

game nights WITH kids

on saturday, we took the kids out to vancouver (sad to say it was the FIRST time since avery was born!  yikes!) to see A & J.  we successfully ate dinner (all 7 of us - the babies with their baby food) and put all three kids to bed.  we were playing games by 8pm!  it sounds like a small feat but it felt epic.  ben in a big bed in the guest room?  avery in the playpen in the office?  amazing.  we stayed til 10:30pm then packed up the kids and headed home.  it felt like old times and we were pretty pumped about it.  
"these are my buddies!" -Ben

playing tim's fav, RA (one i usually like to veto) - tim won.

i heart vinegar and baking soda

i've posted about loving cleaning with vinegar and baking soda before but that doesn't mean that i clean as often as i should around here.  seeing cleaning tips pop up on pinterest reminds me of all the strange things in my house that i definitely don't even notice as NEEDING cleaning - such as the vent above my stove, for example.  i don't like to pin things that i know that i will probably never do so there aren't too many cleaning pins on there BUT here are two that i did this past week.

Citrus-infused Vinegar:  i've been on a grapefruit eating kick for a few months and will eat one every evening while i watch tv.  i came across this way to infuse vinegar with citrus peels and thought i'd try it out since i like to clean most things with vinegar but hate that lingering smell - especially after washing something big like the kitchen floor.  a few weeks ago, i put a couple grapefruits worth of peels into an old jar, filled it to the top with vinegar, and left it in my pantry.  i have to admit, i was a little nervous to open it today - it looked kind of gross.  but it just smelled like...citrus-y vinegar.  i poured it through a coffee filter and had a yellowish looking vinegar.  i re-read the blog post and saw that you dilute it 50-50 with water and i realized that i had really made so little - i was going to use it ALL for my floor washing! oh well - that was the main thing that i wanted to wash with it anyways.  on monday, i did.  it was great.  i smelled fine and while it seemed like it left a bit of film (not sticky but just not a smooth feel under my socks), tim said that he thought that was a vinegar thing - not a grapefruit vinegar thing.  i can't remember. either way - it seemed like a great cleaner and i will be trying this again.
my vinegar going through the coffee filter (i forgot to take a pic of the grapefruit in the jar!)
grapefruit vinegar!  (a terrible resemblance to pee...)

Cleaning your greasy stove hood filter: as soon as i saw this pin, i thought, "i've NEVER cleaned my stove hood filter!"  i immediately put a pot of water on the stove to boil and followed the directions on the site.  i probably had too much water in the pot or my pot wasn't big enough but as i added the baking soda (very very slowly in parts), it overflowed numerous times which was very annoying and a huge mess.  then, when i put my filter into the pot, not only did it overflow again, i couldn't get the whole filter cleaned in the pot size that i had!  augh.  think about these things before trying this.  haha.  i ended up putting the filter in the sink and pouring the remainder of my baking soda water OVER the filter and it worked just as great.  and now i have a very clean hood filter.  


putting it in the sink to pour water over it
it worked!
but this is the mess it left!  

Thursday, May 17, 2012

welcome summer!

i'm getting a little ahead of myself by welcoming summer, i suppose, but it's been a lovely week of sunshine and warm weather here.  after learning that avery could stay up late at my surprise party and she didn't seem to have any problems the next day, we've been keeping her up a bit later every night since!  we usually eat dinner around 5:30pm/6pm and then we've been going for a family walk each night.  ben rides his bike and if we stay in our neighbourhood, tim rides his bike too while i push avery in the stroller.  now that ben's riding, it's actually quite hard to keep up - a good little workout for me. but a couple times, we've gone to Mill Lake and walked around there, stopping at each playground before moving on.  avery's pretty content to watch people go by and see ben riding his bike near her. (though last night was crying by the time we got home - oops, sorry, avery!)  here are some pics from a couple nights ago at mill lake. 

Ben calls these baby swings "the big swings" because he can go much, much higher in them than when he's on the regular swing.  he's starting to look ridiculously big in them though.

Avery was pretty thrilled about swinging

what's funny about all these open mouth photos is that there is no noise coming out - just totally silent excited face.  

Monday, May 14, 2012

Birthday birthday!

when making our plans for my birthday, tim was going to be working on the 12th and my dad was busy at a conference so my mom had suggested that we all go out for dinner at White Spot on the friday before.  it sounded good to me.  i had a staff meeting in cloverdale that afternoon so tim took the kids to white rock and i was going to meet them and my parents and aim for a 5:30pm dinner.  i was a little stressed at the prospect of avery being up so late - she normally went to bed around 6 - 6:30pm.  but i love doing anything birthday-related so i was happy to have this plan.

i showed up to my parents' place and no one seemed ready to go.  i was trying to rush everyone out the door but my mom said that even though matt was working, katie could make it and they were picking her up.  i was thinking, "oh come on!  we need to hurry up and get there so that we can get home!"  haha.  so  i decided that we just needed to get going so i started getting the kids in the car and told my parents that we'd meet them at the restaurant.  all of a sudden, my mom is like, "oh, dad will go with tim.  you can come with me to pick up katie."  i thought this was a strange plan - i walked out to the truck where tim was and i was said, "what is going on?  why am i going with my mom to pick up katie?"  tim says, "oh, is that what's happening?"  then he kind of gave me this sheepish smile.  all of a sudden, i knew something was up so i decided to stop asking questions and just roll with it.  i gave tim and my dad strict instructions to order ben a pirate pack at the restaurant as soon as they sat down so he could eat quickly.

off we went to matt and katie's place.  we parked in front and my mom says, "you knock on the door - i forgot my phone in the car."  so i think, "maybe something is going to happen here."  katie opens the door.  no one else there.  hmm...  but she says that she's not ready so my mom and i wait on the couch.  i'm feeling stressed that i'm not with my kids.  my mom gets a text and tells me, "they haven't even been seated yet."  oh my goodness!  now, i'm feeling really stressed and wishing i was there with them and wondering where the heck is katie!  poor katie - when she came back down and said she was ready, she could tell i was antsy, i'm sure.  we're driving out of the townhouse complex and katie says, "oh, could we just stop by the clubhouse for a minute?  there's a baby clothes sale going on.  i'm sorry, rebecca!  but maybe you can find something there."  i'm thinking that this sounds strange and i'm pretty sure that there's no clothes sale.  we go walking up the stairs and i'm so confused as to what we're doing there. i just want to get to white spot.  

we walk in and everyone yells surprise!  ( i guess you probably saw that part coming in this story, right?)  i was stunned.  i couldn't believe how many people were there.  it was so crazy.  there were balloons everywhere and ben came running to me.  i was so happy to see that they weren't still waiting in the lobby at white spot!  haha.  it was pretty great to get a surprise party - so thoughtful on my mom's part and matt and katie did a lot of work for it too.  and then of course, katie had to take the brunt of my frustration in being the person to be picked up!  tim was very nervous for everyone - he was sure i would be showing up in a very bad mood because he knew i would have been wanting to hurry up and get to white spot.  ahh, tim...you know me so well.  too funny.  it was a wonderful evening. 

my parents took the kids back to their place around 8:30pm so that tim and i could stay longer but everyone with kids were in the same boat so we had a smaller group to hang out with - all the kidless people!  but it was great to sit down and have better conversations than we could in the big group.  and of course, i just wanted to re-hash the whole surprise!  :)  we got back to my parent's place around 10:30pm and re-hashed it all again.  it's really one of the best parts!  i remember talking about my mom's 40th surprise party for so long afterwards... now i get to talk about mine!  so good.  
my mom had the sweetest decorations - items from my childhood

there were 30 balloons each with a picture attached - one from every year of my life.
i'd seen this all over pinterest and had thought to myself that i wished someone would do that for me.  it was so thoughtful - i loved walking around the room and seeing yet another new photo hanging.  :)
Matt rocked the BBQ for us.
There was so much amazing food but I barely ate anything -
I was too busy chatting with everyone and just being overwhelmed!  ;)
my sweet family - i'm one lucky 30 year old
After months of telling Ben that there are NOT bouncy castles at ALL birthday parties...there WAS one at MY party!  haha.  all the kids loved it - ben just ate candy all night and bounced. 

although i thought the bouncy castle was genius...i think it was other people (like Heidi) who had to look after my kid!  thank you to all those friends!  
Great friends - love this photo.
Avery was her regular self despite the super late bedtime - a quiet little dolly!
sisters in law - katie did such a wonderful job at making this party work -
right down to the "could we just stop at the baby clothes sale at the clubhouse before dinner?"
my helper
i loved having ben and avery there at my birthday party -
one of the big reasons that makes 30 so okay.  :)

Monday, May 07, 2012

yogurt pop

avery loves smooth foods.  So far she's gobbled up ALL the pear baby food from the baby food swap while i tried to sneak in other foods in between bites.  she quickly learned to close her lips tightly and just stick her little tongue out to see which food it was.  if it was pears, she'd open her mouth.  anything else, she pursed those lips so that there was nothing getting through.  oh man.  last night, we were having mashed potatoes.  i put a little in her mouth and she loved them.  she never stopped opening her mouth for those potatoes!  

but so far, her favourite treat is a yogurt pop.  i buy these yogurt tubes and put them in the freezer to make "popsicles" out of them for ben.  i let avery have a taste a few nights ago and she loved it.  on saturday night, i let her hold it herself and showed her how to get it to her mouth.  she held on tight and seemed to love every minute of it.  when i took it away from her to peel the wrapper back a little more, she just kept shaking her hands wildly with her mouth open until she got it back.  after she demolished half of it, i felt like she shouldn't eat the WHOLE thing, so i took it away.  she was a little bit upset...she actually held her breath for a good 20 seconds before screaming.  poor girlie.  we let her finish it the next night.  :)

Saturday, May 05, 2012

a 30th birthday surprise party...?

details and pics to come...but it was fantastic.  here's just a little of the aftermath this morning:

wild man in the balloons!

i got one!