Friday, August 31, 2007

I'm Officially Old ...

I'm not even 30. I have only 1 child.
And today we picked up our new minivan!!!
I will spare you all of the details. But, the long and short of it is that our beloved Sunfire was not doing so well.
It was only 6 years old, but I bought that car almost immediately after getting my license. The poor car has been driven into parking garage poles, parking metres, garbage cans, drive thru signs, etc.
Oh, and my beloved husband (not me) has rear ended someone in it.
And, we kind of stopped doing regular oil changes. Routine maintenance kind of went by the wayside too. We wanted a newer car. A better car.
And then we test drove mini vans.
It was love at first test drive.
Matthew loves that there are 5 seats for him to choose from. And, if we ever decide to have quadruplets we're set!!!!
He also loves the roof racks. So does Mike. I don't quite get the roof rack appeal but who am I to argue?
I'm just a little scared about my driving ability. I had mastered the parallel park in the Sunfire thanks to using mirrors. In fact I can parallel park most cars. Vans ... we'll have to see. I was a little too worried to even go through the Starbucks drive-thru today. (despite the fact that I could show off my power windows. I know - I'm a dork!
And, as for Matt ... He's still quite content riding his "motorcycle" (usually he wears a helmet)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A Day Off ...

So what would you do on a day off?
If you were me you wouldn't take it easy. No. Not all All!
First of all, I woke up early - not my usual 5am, but about 6:30. Thank goodness because our alarm clock is broken.
And then the day went from there.

Once I'd drop the boys off at daycare (Matt) and work (Mike) I went to visit a new daycare. I'm really happy with our current daycare and I'm not about to switch him. But, this daycare is new, and I wanted to check it out. I've been debating what we will do when Matty is in junior kindergarten and I wanted to see some options. (this place has a full day school program). Anyway, it was really nice. I think if it had been open when we were looking at daycares it would be have been a tough choice between that and what we chose. It was that nice. And they have fair rates.

But, the visit was nice and quick so I called my sister to see what she was up to. She was having coffee with one of my nieces and her friend and daughter. So, I went to join them for a coffee. It was a nice surprise visit and there was a lots of excitement outside with fire trucks and ambulances outside.

And then , the highlight of my day, a visit to the dentist! It's been way too long since I got a cleaning and I finally booked one and actually went. It really has been 5 years since I have had my teeth cleaned. I really hate it. But this experience went just fine. I had a great hygeniest and after we chatted a bit she suggested that we split it into 2 sessions and skip the flouride treatment (since that's what I dread). So all in all it was fine. Apparently dental technology is vastly improved since they now have some water device that eliminates all the scraping. And, she didn't discover any cavities. Phew.

So ... of course the day continued when my mom met me and we went for lunch and then a couple of hours of shopping at Costco. Would you believe my mom had NEVER been to Costco? Seriously. We had a nice time. It was quiet there so we were able to shop quickly and enjoy it.

And, then I finally got home to have a break and then suddenly decided to make shepherd's pie. So, i went to the grocery store and then whipped it up before I picked up the boys. I actually fell asleep after dinner.

Really, tomorrow. I will take it much easier!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


I don't tend to post a lot about work.
It's not because I don't enjoy work. In fact, I really enjoy my job. I'm one of the few people who can say that she has a great boss, and all the "bosses" on up to our CEO are people that I enjoy. And, a lot of the people that I don't directly report to, but I work with or around, I mostly like them too.
I also like my job.
But here's the thing. My job was sort of kind of lacking in definition for awhile. I love having the kind of job where I never know what's coming next. I would HATE it if I could tell you what I will be doing every minute of every day.
But, I got a little frustrated by not having one specific project that was mine to sink my teeth into and have some control over.
So I brought this up - a few times.
And voila - I got more responsibility.
Are you prepared to laugh???? I got handed the job of webmaster for the new intranet site we're developing. Seriously.
I'm laughing because figuring out how to put a link in blogger took me months. If you're wondering why you are not on my side bar, it's likely because I find it difficult and usually screw up the code and have to get my husband to fix it.
So, when my boss told me my new responsibility I had one of those moments of sheer gratitude that someone had that much belief in me and yet sheer panic that this was something I could NOT do. I didn't have much time to think about it because I ended up going to meetings and being thrown into the deep end of things.
That was a month ago.
And ... I'm loving it.
I should explain that I don't do the technical stuff. I'm still slowly learning the difference between searching and browsing and what a portal is. I never understood the importance of a site map and now I do. And I'm figuring out programs that I have never used before.
And then today I had a conference call. And that conference call was one where I had to make decisions and judgement calls and set up timelines without my trusty boss (and, admittedly really good friend, but in this case that's an aside) sitting there agreeing with me.
And then there was a moment - the technical guy started talking about analytics, and discussing the role that google analytics could play. And in that moment I realized that I understood. And I was able to contribute.
And I even made some good points and suggestions.
And today I realized that sometimes I don't give myself enough credit. There are some things I'm good at and I pride myself on them. But, sometimes I limit myself and think I can't do something. And, it takes being thrown in to realize that fears can be pretty stupid.
Don't get me wrong. I don't think I'm going to quit my job and become a website designer. But, I do think that I'm going to embrace some of this technology and realize that I need to limit myself a little less.
And really, one of these days I'll update those links.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Seniors Night with Our Preschooler

We thought tonight was kids eat free night at our local buffet restaurant.
Suffering from all of us being starving, a meeting that we had to go to directly after work, and the knowledge that we had neither fresh dinner food nor clean dishes we decided to pack it in and go out for dinner.
About 2 minutes from the restaurant Matthew told us he would rather be at home or at McDonalds. But we persevered. We're all about kids eating free.
Too bad it was SENIORS night.
Let me paint you a picture.
We walk in. The place is packed with seniors there for a good deal. Seniors who believe that children should be seen and not heard.
We enter with a precocious three year old who decides to announce that he is wearing UNDERWEAR because he is a BIG BOY! He then proceeds to carry a booster seat throughout the restaurant to where we are seated.
And then when we release him to the buffet (with the instruction to stick with us and not push) he makes a very artistic beeline to to whipped cream display narrowly avoiding several people with canes.
Both Mike and I tried to chase after him not being able to so easily avoid the seniors and ended up shouting across the buffet section "WALKING FEET AND DON'T TOUCH" while praying that he did not shove his hand in the whipped cream.
This was all in the first five minutes.
The evening wasn't all that bad.
Once Matt calmed down and realized that he was scaring the elderly he relaxed. He started to listen to us and stayed in his seat. He had a lovely chat with the waiter. And the entire restaurant probably now knows that he is toilet training and wears big boy underwear now. He thankfully didn't have an accident.
And bonus! The waiter didn't end up charging him for his meal so I guess it was kids night after all!
And, oh yeah. Day 2. He's doing really well using the potty. He talks about it non-stop. He is proud of himself.
We're pretty proud too!!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Toilet Training - Day 1

So by some miracle, Matthew has bought into this whole toilet=big boy idea.
I am getting excited.
Day one of the toilet training challenge went really well. It's like he decided to cooperate with us today. He got out of bed and went to the potty without an argument. And then he chose his underwear (it was a bob the builder day).
He not only tried to pee twice before we left, but when we got to the GO station he decided that he wanted to try out the train station bathroom. (actually, it was surprisingly clean).
He did really well all day.
He had a couple of accidents, but all in all he was into it. He went to the bathroom by choice, and was pretty excited to be wearing his Cars underwear at the end of the day.
So we decided that we are going to give him a pretty cool reward this weekend. If he stays consistent with his training (by that we mean he doesn't fight with us or his teachers when it's time to use the potty, and if he doesn't purposely have an accident) then on Saturday he gets to go on a GO Train ride.
To Matt GO train rides are one of the coolest treats in the world. We've decided that we'll hop on the train in the morning, maybe grab ice cream or lunch and then come back home in the afternoon. Because I have a monthly pass I can bring Mike on the train for FREE (on a weekend) so it's actually a really cheap and fun treat. The other great part of it is that the CNE is on in Toronto, so there will be lots of other kids on the train. I know it's a bit of a hassle usually, but Matty can be a little noisy or crazy and it won't really matter. I like that.
Besides ... I'm sure he will be THRILLED to use the potty on the train. When we took the train to Montreal I think the visit to the bathroom was the highlight.
I know this will be a long road to being potty trained, but I have to admit, I'm kind of looking forward to the end result.

Breastfeeding - Don't like it? Suck it.

For the last few weeks I have been following the stories (this is an excellent summary) about breastfeeding mothers and some of the challenges they have faced. From a local woman being asked to cover up at a YMCA pool deck to a Canadian being kicked off Facebook for showing a picture of her baby nursing to a woman in the States being asked to cover up at Appleby's and finally Bill Maher's opinion of it all - it seems that breastfeeding has been in the news a lot.

Personally breastfeeding was a funny stage for me. I found it very personal. Some of my friends would show me pictures of their babies at the breast and though I thought the pictures were lovely I never took those pictures myself. Of course I was comfortable taking my top off when I was home with just my baby or my husband and baby. But if anyone was there I was covered.

Still I was not hesitant to breastfeed in public. Give me a nursing blanket and I was good. I got to the point where I would nurse in malls and restaurants. I liked the freedom. Matt ate a lot. If I only breastfed in the privacy of my home, I would never have left. The child ate on the hour.

Bottom line - I think that the protection of breastfeeding mothers is extremely important. And, I can honestly say that I was never asked to leave a location or not attend any event due to having a nursing child.

So when all of this latest controversy came up I was sympathetic but I couldn't exactly relate.

That is until a couple days ago when I received an e-mail. Someone I know is getting married and wanted to know if I would still be breastfeeding at her wedding (when my future child is about 8 weeks old). I had an honest answer - I don't know. I'm not sure if I will nurse baby #2 or if I do for how long. But, I assured her, it's not like I would whip out a boob while she was walking down the aisle. I wasn't sure how else to respond. She's never seen me in the role of mother, so I guess she felt justified in asking me about my breastfeeding habits.

But apparently, my understanding was a little off - her response was that the infant is not welcome - so unless he or she can go without nursing (for close to 10 hours when you add in travel time and the length of the wedding) I have been asked to uninvite myself.

I am shocked. I am outraged. And quite honestly I am surprised at the utter tackiness of the request.

Sorry - if you are too shackled to your infant don't bother attending. Not welcome.

The bigger message to me - breastfeeding will ruin "my day" and you must be kidding if you think you would bring a newborn with you. So, do me a favour and wean - or bottle feed - or pump ... but don't bring that appendage that you may be sustaining with your breasts. That would be uncouth, and "other guests wouldn't understand".

The more I think about it the angrier I get. A wedding is a one-day event. Am I supposed to wean my child - and possibly affect this child's health (not to mention my budget and let's be honest my post-partum weight loss) so that I don't potentially ruin some bride's day? And does this person really think that I would ruin her day by doing something she deems inappropriate (breastfeeding) or letting my child scream?

Her response - that obviously this is any issue so she has to talk to her fiance about it. Why - to ask his opinion on whether or not i should wean my child???? To see if her words were offensive. So that he can give a verdict on whether or not someone you just effectively uninvited is now welcome?

Her issue, really is that she doesn't want any children there. As I said to her, there is a huge difference between a child that needs to be near its mother to survive and a family that isn't willing to shell out for a babysitter.

Truthfully, I understand that she doesn't want children there. And, perhaps my assuming that it was understood that a newborn who is exclusively nursing was inappropriate. But, to bring breastfeeding into it - and to ask me not to come if I am???? Disgusting. Inappropriate and downright tacky. And yes, I did reply. In a lengthy e-mail. And, as far as I know she is no longer talking to me. And, as much as I care, I kind of don't. Because there are some things I'm willing to stand up for - such as the right to breastfeed - and the fact that if you have a problem with it, or with me, say it nicely. Don't send me an e-mail implying that my thought of bringing an infant to a wedding is a joke.

Welcome to 2007, friends.

I get it - I truly understand she doesn't want my child there. And believe me I have already let her know that we will not be there. But as for me and my breasts - that is my business and no one else's.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Wish Us Luck

As discussed by Matt's daycare teacher and myself, tomorrow is Day 1 of potty training.
What? You think you have read that we were potty training before.
That's right. You have. But, I have potentially the world's MOST stubborn child. And he likes his pull ups and diapers.
He knows when he has to pee and poo. In fact he will tell me when he has to pee and poo. He just refuses to do it in the potty or toilet.
And this stubborn streak is getting worse.
When we say big boys wear diapers he says "well, I'm a baby."
And on and on.
I'm thinking the toilet training may kill me.
Mike and I are well aware that this will put a strain on our marriage. So, we're hoping we get this done pretty quickly. It's all hands on deck and the diapers are being hidden.
Bedtime only - though he doesn't need to wear a diaper at bedtime. He is always dry in the morning.
I have a feeling that these next few weeks will be a battle of the wills. Fun.
We went to Walmart and stocked up on toilet paper and underwear.
I'm thinking we probably should have stopped at the liquor store too.
The one thing they told us is that we need some sort of bribery treat. Guess what we chose? GUM! I know. I think that may make us somewhat bad parents. But, it's the only thing that works. Well, that or a bottle of chocolate milk, but I'm pretty sure that there's something wrong with rewarding our preschooler with a bottle for being a big boy.