Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Fun in Baby N.'s room

The boys decided Baby N.'s nap was finished.

Adventures in pebbles and baby poop

It was bound to happen sometime.

Baby N. enjoys putting things in her mouth. A lot. More than the boys did at the same age, let me tell you. We are constantly scooping stuff out of her gob, everything from pennies to sticks to dust bunnies. She always complains loudly every time we rescue her digestive system from these objects.

Yesterday, however, she triumphed. Yesterday, she swallowed a pebble.

We were out on the back step. I was hanging laundry while Baby N. sat at my feet, playing with a toy. I had scanned the step for swallowable objects when we came outside. Nothing, I thought. Then Baby N. got that gleam in her eye.

She dived. I scooped her up, grabbed her cheeks, pushed on them to open her mouth, and inserted the trusty swiping finger. I could see the pebble at the back of her mouth. We struggled. She screamed, pulled her head back and went gulp! The pebble was gone.

I sighed, brought her inside, and called the BC Nurse Line.

She wasn't choking, wheezing or in pain; in fact, she was sashaying around the living room, enjoying her success.

The nurse told me to keep an eye on what comes out her other end.

"If she hasn't passed it in a week, bring her to the doctor," she said.

Princess Plumber Butt passed the pebble this morning in her ritual morning deposit.

And I wonder why I'm going gray.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Trip, Day One: Yellowknife to High Level

Note: This is the first part in a series describing our adventures on the trip south.

Our last morning in Yellowknife started well enough. The Hubby and I got up early, fed the children, then washed, dressed and diapered the brood. I started packing everything in sight in the hotel room while Hubby dragged luggage and backpacks and cooler and squeaky toys down to the Bratmobile.

We finished packing; we checked out; the children said good-bye to each Yellowknife landmark as we passed. It was 9 a.m.

"Good-bye, family centre! Good-bye, park! Good-bye, Co-op!"

We turned onto the highway. We started the big drive. And then Hubby noticed a sound. A strange, whirring sound. It was coming from the back, right-hand side of the minivan.

"There's something wrong with the back right-hand tire," he said.

We started discussing what to do. Should we turn around now, or get it fixed in High Level? Were we safe?

And then Hubby said, "Cin, where's the laptop? I don't remember packing it in the minivan."

We turned the Bratmobile around and headed back to Yellowknife.

"Hello, Co-op! Hello, park! Hello, family centre!" A. announced cheerfully.
Back at the hotel, Hubby tore apart the hotel room and found the laptop. I had put it in a "safe place" and promptly forgot about it.

From there we headed to the Chrysler dealership. The mechanic, after listening to our sob story, brought the van in right away (bless him). Sure enough, the bearings in our right back wheel were worn out.

We went to lunch while he doctored up the van.

Finally, repairs complete (thank goodness for our extended warranty!), we all piled back into the minivan and headed to High Level.

It was 1:15 pm. The drive to High Level is eight hours. I was trying my very best to be grateful we had caught the problem with the wheel and not left behind our computer.

The boys took to driving fairly well. Baby N., however, decided about two hours in that the trip was a plot to kidnap her and sell her to a baby-slavery ring. She screamed almost nonstop, unless she was sleeping or had my nipple in her mouth.

About that nipple: in order to nurse her while the two of us were safely belted in, I had to remove my shoulder strap, lean forward and dangle the breast over her car seat. That involved pushing my right ribs into the hard plastic of her seat, sometimes for hours on end. I still have bruises on my ribs from the five-day ordeal.

We reached the ferry across the Mackenzie River in the late afternoon. Break-up of the river ice had happened only a week before, and the boys were amazed at the giant slabs of ice floating around the boat. We snapped the picture above, one of the few we took on the road.

We finally arrived in High Level around 10 at night. After some Daddy-Sons wrestling, we all hit the beds with a resounding thump.
I went to sleep thanking the kids' guardian angel I forgot the computer. The mechanic said if we hadn't have turned back, we would certainly have broken down on the road before Fort Providence. And there is NOTHING on the roads between towns in the Northwest Territories: no houses, no garages, no gas stations. Nothing.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Congratulations, Stace and Trevor!

Stacey and Trevor enter together.

The vows (yes, she's crying; it was sweet.)

Stacey and me!

Stacey and Megan share a sisterly laugh.

Edit: I've finally found my camera. Here's some of our pics. But go over to Sally's blog for the best one.

Still catching up over here!

This past weekend I went to a happy and beautiful wedding, and watched my "sister" step into the world of The Marrieds, holding the hand of the man she loves.

Congratulations to you both, and many, many blessings to you.

Here's some shots from the wedding, above.

Whaddya think of the new duds?

Do you like the new template? I think it's rather appropriate, myself.

C'mon, tell me what you think.

To my father


I called you on Father's Day, but there was no answer. My guess is you were swinging a golf club. Good.

Dad, you were the person in my childhood who showed me the pleasure of a good discussion, the value of thinking on the bigger things in life. Although we have come to markedly different conclusions about all that, I was introduced to it all by you, and at a very early age! Who else would have talked to a skinny ten-year-old about aliens and eternity and the depravity of human nature?

You were also the one who helped me through the storms produced by a sensitive nature and teenage hormones. I can't count how many times I curled up in your arms at 16, 17, 18 years old and cried. Thank you.

I don't think I ever told you how much I admired your decision to return to school when I was a kid. As I watch my husband struggle to get his homework done while making time for his family, I think about how much harder it must have been for you, with a full university course load of math and physics. And yet you succeeded.

Thanks for being there, Dad, and for showing me what a man should be. Happy belated Father's Day!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Jumping on the Ickler vent

Okay, so I know I owe you about a month's worth of stories and explanations (and I will get to them, I promise), but I couldn't resist joining Sally and Megan. I need to vent my spleen on Rebecca Eckler.

Ickler is the Paris Hilton of Canadian journalist mothers. Self-absorbed to the point of mental incapacitation. She's one of these wealthy people who moan and complain about their lives all the freaking time. She's got it sooo hard. Being a mom of one spoiled brat with two nannies is soooooo difficult. (One nanny for the week, one for the weekend, mind you.)

She recently posted a time line of a typical day so you can get her hard work and motherly devotion.

Mademoiselle Eckler, try my day on for size.

5:30 a.m. Nurse baby for the fourth time that night, but wake up during the process because the sun is up. Realize I need to get up in half an hour, meaning I got six hours of sleep -- a good night.

6 a.m Get up, wash and dress (a little early -- usually up at seven.)

6:25 Eat breakfast, wake house guest, clean up mess in kitchen and dining room.

6:50 Start a load of laundry.

7:10 Kiss husband goodbye -- he's been awake since 5:50, and is dressed in immaculate uniform with shined shoes.

7:15 Check email,, G&M, Facebook and the HER Foundation.

7:25 Children wake up. Washing, dressing and feeding frenzy begins.

8 a.m. Chivvy kids into shoes and coats, pack diaper bag and snack, head out door.

8:16 Leave for airport with house guest and three kids in minivan.

8:50: After much swearing, arrive at airport. Have Tim Horton's with Megan and kids. Send Megan back to the North.

9:30 Potty break.

9:40 Pack kids in minivan. Head home.

10:30 Arrive at home. Carry sleeping baby into house.

10:40 Log food at Weight Watchers Online.

11:00 Clean more messes.

11:16 Baby awakes. Carry her downstairs.

11:30 Make lunch for children and self.

12:15 p.m. Clean up lunch.

1:00 Pack boys in stroller and baby in backpack. Walk to rec centre (20 minutes). Register boys in swimming lessons.

1:30 Arrive at rec centre playground. Push swings, hand out water and snacks, etc.

2:30 Pack kids in stroller and backpack. Walk up steep hill to grocery store while all three kids nap.

2:50 Pick up supper supplies.

3:10 Walk home (25 minutes), then put away stroller and backpack. Sit on front step and watch boys play and baby try to eat grass.

4:00 Start supper prep (roast chicken and potatoes.)

4:10 Kiss Hubby hello.

6:10 Serve supper with Hubby's help. Hubby and I clean up.

7:00 Free time. Read book.

7:30 Chat with neighbours.

8:00 Hubby bathes all kids. I dress and diaper baby.

8:20 to 9:55 Nurse ravenous yet sleeping baby while surfing Net.

I still have an enormous amount of housework to do.

And you know what, Ickler? Today was a GREAT day.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

In Victoria!

We're here! We made it safe and sound, and didn't even kill any of the kids during the 5-day drive.

More info when we're settled.