Monday, 27 December 2010

Huffmas 2010

(with deepest apologies to Clement C. Moore)

'Twas the morning of Christmas, and light on his feet,
One wee, joyful Huffling was ready for treats!

His sister was slower to get herself moving,
But soon got the hang of it all (and was groovin').

The stockings were hung by the staircase with care

With big hugs for Daddy, who helped put them there.

Santa had come and left behind toys
For only the best little girls and good boys.

With her plump, rosy cheeks and her eyes oh-so-cute,
Ailsa sure rocked Vaughn's old Santa suit.

Vaughn's still in his jammies and Ailsa's in her cap,
And Mommy's ready to take a long winter's nap.

We headed to Grandma's for dinner and for cheer,
And lifted our glasses to another great year.

With yet another fun Christmas behind us again,
We want to wish Merry Christmas to all of our friends.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Google Earth? Creepy Earth, I'd say...

So, I was google-mapping some things, and decided to 'walk' past my old house. And then I decided to 'walk' past our old park, and lo and behold...

Go to maps/ and enter 127 Saamis Rotary Way Southwest, Medicine Hat, Alberta T1B.

Put the little man on the street there and spin him around till you see the playground. Now zoom in.

Well, hello there! Care to join our picnic?

Weird... but what a nice zeitgeist! V is about 6 months old, I believe.

Has anyone else been mapped?

Monday, 29 November 2010

And Also, Ailsa

Not to be outdone by her more vocal and mobile older brother, Ailsa fights back with the only weapon she's got so far: cuteness.

This was a fallback Halloween costume, but in reality, was going to be too small by the time Halloween rolled around. Don't worry, we got good use out of it.

The cat's meow in cat's pyjamas.

Thanks to last-minute effort by Grandma and Daddy, and a cute onesie from Great-Grandma, Spider Girl was ready just in time for tricker-treating.

She's been sitting up at the table with us at dinnertime, getting used to the idea of this whole food thing.
She looks a wee bit traumatized. She must be watching either her brother or her father eat.

At 5 1/2 months, Ailsa was graciously allowed her first taste of rice cereal. It took one bite, and she was hooked. Much like her brother, she finally started to gain weight the second she started on solids and formula (as per doctor's orders - no criticisms, please). She's rounding out nicely, and our skinny, tiny little girl is becoming delightfully cuddly!

What? Now I look like my mom? What?

Ailsa's favourite hangout is her jumperoo, which she can spend 45 minutes in, at a stretch, bouncing constantly. I call her the Baby Kangaroo.

That's right! I'm bouncy to the bone!


The problem with all of this delightfulness and cuteness was that it was fairly consistent during the day (after the Gaia drops, that is!), but the sleep at night still wasn't happening. But, from "easing" onto formula over a period of a week, and upping her calories, she's now slept through the night THREE WHOLE TIMES this week! At almost 6 months old. Woo, indeed.
She's an incredibly social baby. Case in point: we were at Swiss Chalet the other night (Festive Special, anyone?), and she was getting antsy and fussing. But, since she was wearing a tutu, a table of 12 old people (see also: Swiss Chalet, five o'clock seating), kept glancing over and cooing, so finally, I obligingly turned her around so they could see her miserable little face. Well. It was like a ray of sunshine hit her upside the head; she started beaming the second she noticed she had an audience. Humph. She's ridiculously happy almost all the time, as long as she's being adulated.
She now lights up when she sees Vaughn, and of course plays Daddy like a little fiddle. Men of the world, look out!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Hey! A Meatball!

The Ongoing Adventures of a Boy Named Vaughn

Before leaving the Hat, V checks out the empty cupboards.

So, the V-man is growing and changing before our eyes. On the first morning in the hotel (leaving the Hat, October 15th-ish?), Vaughn said his first sentence. Chris had gotten up to get some fruit from the breakfast buffet, and Vaughn said, "Daddy take oranges Vaughn". Hey, there's a subject, and object, a verb... since then, he hasn't stopped.

It blows our minds to listen to the changes in just a month, but now he differentiates between wanting something ("Vaughn see dumptruck?" "Vaughn have more broccoli please."* "Vaughn ask Daddy for chips.") and actually doing it ("Vaughn holding Ailsa's hand." "Mommy eating chocolate with wine."). The kid is using verb tenses, often correctly! And possessives! And prepositions! He has a bunch of favourite words that are somewhat oddly pronounced, but I love listening to him say them... speakers on!

The downside, of course, is that he can now tattle on you really well.

The Meatball Incident

Since we didn't have Thanksgiving before the move, Mom and Dad offered to host it at their place, for everyone, on the Saturday night after we arrived. The whole fam damily was there: Tracey and Jason, Logan and Jodie, Uncle Ryan... and things went well till just after the delicious dinner (including pumpkin pie and birthday cake** for Grandpa), when Uncle Ryan said, "I think he's stinky."

Well, I am ashamed to admit that I didn't act on this information as quickly as I should have; I think I was distracted, or feeding Ailsa, or something. But about five minutes later, Logan shouted, "What is that?" And Chris thought, "Hey! A meatball!"

So, now we can look back and remember, fondly, The Thanksgiving that Vaughn Pooped on the Floor.

Nobody move! We seem to be missing a six...

Son of Halloweenie

Halloween was a hit again. He woke up that morning covered in vomit (boooo), and was a bit mopey all day, not wanting to wear his costume (skunk costume number two! Thanks, cousin Logan!).

Until the first kid, a little girl dressed as a witch, knocked on our door.

"Caaaandyyyyy!" she yelled, holding out her bag. Her dad, at the foot of the steps hung his head and said, "It's trick or treat."

"Oh, yeah," she said. "Trick or treat". (She was about 3.)

Well, Vaughn took one look at this, put two and two together, and dragged me over to the costume. "Vaughn skunk on."

So, out we went, and at the very first house, I told him, "Say 'Trick or Treat'", he said, "Tricker treat!" and got a handful of tricker treats (naturally), after which, I told him what to say: he bowed his little skunk head and said, "Sankoooo."*** The next house, he needed no coaching. At the third house, the woman gave him the tricker treats and then said, "Bye-bye, Skunkie!"

Well. Skunkie giggled his way to the fourth and final house, repeating "bye-bye Skunkie" the whole way. Daddy was a bit miffed to see us back so soon (hoping for a bigger haul, no doubt), but it was cold out, and I had a spider-girl stuck to me. Etcetera. Besides, too many tricker treats in the house just lead to demands and tantrums.

Grocery Shopping with Mr. Personality

Vaughn and I have this thing: we go grocery shopping every Sunday. Daddy stays home and does laundry, and Vaughn and I (and usually Ailsa, unless she's napping) go and have a good time. We browse the aisles, we talk about food, we put five apples up on top and V charms the pants off the sample ladies so that he gets things like ice cream and cookies while I'm looking at a label of bread crumbs or something.

But I digress.

We were walking through our local Loblaws, and went up to a sample lady who had cheese and crackers. She walked around her stand and told me that another sample lady had told her that I had the most beautiful baby she had ever seen, so she had to see her for herself. (Of COURSE I have the most beautiful baby! Biased, moi?) Ailsa apparently fluttered her lashes and flashed her a million-watt grin, and was appropriately cooed over. Vaughn, meanwhile, was munching away on his snack, happily ignored.

So the sample lady then realizes that she's leaving him out, turns to him and says, "Oh, and you're very handsome too." Vaughn looked at her very seriously, and said in a bored, of-course-I-am voice, "Sankooo. Bye-bye."

* Seriously. The kids loves him some broccolis.

** Vaughn, of course, loves birthdays. Or "Happy Jesus"-es, as he calls them, thanks to The Story of Christmas book that he has, because at the end, you say, "Happy Birthday Jesus!" or whatever you can pronounce at 22 months old, which is "Happy Jesus". The kid cracks me up.

***He's been using the sign-language "thank you" for about a year now, but only recently has even attempted to say the words. But, thanks to Let's Dance, Little Pookie, he now bows and says, "Sankoooo" like a pro. And he's very good at using it, much to my delight: "Sankooo, Mommy." Awww....

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

They Used to Call me "Power", but Now They Just Call Me "Huff"

(Alternate title: Three Years is Too Long Between BodyAttack Classes)

We now have Internet!

Actually, we've had it for about a week, but NOW it's actually hooked up to our computer, which, apparently, is kind of the point.

Rogers and Bell reps have spent waaaay too much time at my house, due to the every-square-inch-drywalled-ness of it, and, despite having people living here (in squalor, I might add -- more on that later) for the last 10 years, had a heck of a time plugging me into the information age.

But first: Welcome back to Ottawa, me!

First order of business, of course, was to go back to GoodLife and demand to be paid for my shenanigans again. There's a process that I have to follow, involving submitting another video, with $100 (yay! I knew I didn't throw out all that extra Mo Money for a reason!)... but I need to decide between Jam (dance, dance, dance! Get down with your funky self, you white girl, you!) and Attack (evil aerobics nightmare-type workout, in which I used to do jump lunges and high kicks with ease, smiling, and barely sweating), since I don't have the mental capacity to do both right now (as evidenced by rambling blog posts, for example).

So far, I've gone to one Attack class. Three years, two babies, and ... well, that's all that needs to be said about that. Let's just say there was more effort expended than I had in reserve. Despite being very sleep-deprived since the progeny arrived, I can't help but wonder how on earth I could sleep at night doing that to innocent class participants for fun and profit. In short, I LOVED IT. I still need to attend a Jam class to make my final decision, but woo! What a rush!

But of course, the masses can sway me with a vote.

Um, go ahead, vote.

I'll be sitting here on this nice ice pack.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Urge for Going

I get the urge for going/
When the meadow grass is turning brown/
Summertime is falling down and winter's closing in.

Ah, Joni.

This is the last post, Hat-side. The packers come tomorrow, and the movers the day after that.

It's not as easy as it would have been last year, or even six months ago; with each day that passes, our roots grow deeper, and we create more memories with the friends we have made, and the eagerness to rejoin "civilization" -- as we've been calling it for the last three years, almost entirely due to the selection of restaurants -- is tempered with sadness: it's bittersweet.

We left Ottawa as newlyweds, which is different from best friends. We packed up and Went West, like you are supposed to do, on our Grand Adventure. We're coming back now, as best friends, and with two very permanent souvenirs, very much changed from the people we were.

We've learned that starting over is hard, but not impossible.

We've learned that great people are everywhere, and you can build friendships and bonds over the smallest things.

We've learned that cable is actually a good thing.

We've learned that we can survive on a whole lot less sleep than we thought possible.

We've learned that a baby can physically spit up more than 6 times what went in.

We learned that one good friend can get you through.

We've learned that a house becomes a home very quickly when you bring a baby home from the hospital.

We've learned that life went on, without us (gasp!), and that the Ottawa we're returning to isn't the one we left.*

But we've also learned that it's where we want to be.

So cheers to all who participated and shared in our Grand Adventure, making it so Grand. We look forward to this next one.

*For example, Vanier is now an "up-and-coming" neighbourhood. (see also, Dowisetrepla)

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Cranky Book Reviewer: Not Cranky at All!

I am in love with Sandra Boynton.

From Moo Baa La La La! to Hippos Go Berserk! she has not only delighted me and taught me counting, but animal noises too. Seriously, every third night, at least, is a Boynton book for bedtime, and I can recite most of them off by heart.

And now she's put a song in my heart and a dance in my feet!

We picked up Blue Moo at the library last week, and I've already ordered it. I WANT it. I NEED it. I GOTS TA GOTS TA have it.

It's a CD of super fun Soda Shoppe-type songs, sung by some quite famous people (like Brian Wilson, Davy Jones, and B.B. King), with a follow-along book that also has the music and chord changes in it.


Every song is catchy and gets stuck in my head, but in a good way. Like the Gorilla Song, by Sha Na Na, in which 97% of the lyrics are "banana", so it's easy to fake. And Loud!/Quiet! which involves a lot of yelling, followed by whispering, and some stomping (well, when I sing it, anyway), and my personal favourite: The Uninvited Loud Precision Band, which marches up to your house, strikes up a march, and goes up your stairs, through your kitchen, and out the back...and then shows up at your grocery store later. So fun.

So, two thumbs up, and yay for finally being a non-cranky book reviewer!

Oh, and Vaughn likes it too.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Rootin' Tootin'

A bit of background: it's been a bad day. A bad week, really.

There have been several phone calls each day to Utah, where Fis is currently doing science stuff*, with somebody sobbing and screaming unintelligibly: possibly me, possibly Vaughn, possibly Ailsa, but most likely all three.

Did I mention it's been a bad week?

So, tonight, I was making dinner: steak, carrots, and potatoes, and decided that, while the barbecue was warming up, I'd change the bottoms of two happy little kids.


I somehow unleashed hell's fury by just suggesting we go upstairs. Thirty minutes later, I call Chris. "I. CAN'T. DO. THIS." He talks me down a bit, and then I go over to the corner where Mr. Snots is still screaming his indignation over having a dry diaper reapplied to his cute little bum, and demanding both a nap and his blankie, like the autocrat he aspires to be.

I sez, "Are you done? Can you have dinner now?"

He quiets down a bit, gives a long, shuddering sob, and sez, "I sorry," which is the cutest thing ever (and almost worth stuffing him into a corner just to hear), and then gives me a hug and a very soggy kiss (I'm choosing to believe it was tears, not snots) and I lift him into his high chair.

Ailsa, meanwhile, is still screaming from her playmat, so I put the bumbo on the table**, and put ClipClop (her horsie) into her lap.

I put dinner in front of us, pour meself a Strongbow***, and Vaughn picks up his sippy cup of milk and holds it out to me.

"Cheers!" he sez.

Suddenly, just like that, I'm having a delightful steak dinner with two adorable, happy and smiling children. Cheers, indeed.

But that's not the point of this story.

Right after dinner, I take Vaughn upstairs to go potty and get him into his bath. With my partner in crime away, I have decided that it makes more sense to bathe one child a night than to attempt to bathe them both on the same night, so Ailsa is lying on the bathmat, playing with a sock (is that wrong?).

Ok, so picture this: you're 21 months old, you've got a great sense of humour and generally delight in everything that's new and/or interesting. You're well fed, sitting in a nice warm bubble bath, you're surrounded by fun toys like Tubby Tater...but you're also kind of gassy.

Well, we all know what happens when you toot in the tub, even if some of us won't ever admit to having done so. It's funny as all get out, no matter who you are (well, unless you're not alone in the tub; then it's usually only funny to one of you, eh?), but can you imagine, to be that young and that amazed by the world at large, when you suddenly realize that something that makes you laugh like a maniac on dry land is even funnier when it also involves bubbles coming out of your butt.

I thought he was going to drown, he was laughing so hard. He couldn't even say, "toot", he was in such hysterics. And then he did it again! Oh my, what delight! What joy! What rapture! There's nothing like gasping belly laughs from someone that small - holy cow, did we laugh!

When he was out and dry (ish), he still had more in him, but I tried really hard to keep a straight face, to set an example, don't you know. How crass, but the little ripper (badum)... well, let's just say that he would have made his Daddy proud tonight.

What a day!

* I know! I didn't think they had science in Utah either!

** Yes, I know. But she was practically sitting in my plate, so it wasn't unsafe in the least. Pbblt.

*** 1. I needed it badly, and it was either that or an entire bottle of wine, so don't judge. 2. Vaughn now bellows, "Strongbooow!" and makes an archer pose. Ya just gotta love the kid.

Monday, 4 October 2010

A Day at the Park

As we're wrapping up our time here in the Hat (in theory), I thought I should capture some moments at our favourite hangout, the park.
Our townhouse complex backs onto the best park in the Hat, and we go there almost every day, sometimes just to walk through or to play in the field, but usually to let V run off some steam on the playground equipment. It's an awesome play structure, with a rubberized surface around it (no need to teach kids that it hurts to fall down... kaff...) and so many neat features. I have to say, it beats the crap out of the Tot Lot, although it's missing the necessary element of X-treme danger.

Giddyup, mousie! Yee-ha!

(In other news, I'm at home alone with two sick kids, Mr. Snots and the Snuffling Pug. Mr. Snots developed rashy hives today and a fever, which prevented me teaching this morning's step class, and the Snuffling Pug kept me up all night, since it is evidently impossible to both suck your thumb and breathe when you're all stuffed up.)

(And if YOU can't sleep, heck, why should anyone else?)

But, back to the park!

You want me to climb up there by myself? Seriously?

(For two sick kids, I must say that during daylight hours, they're ridiculously delightful, and aside from the runny noses and extra requests to nap (am trying to upload an awesome video which shows off Vaughn's awesome Napasaurus Rex-ness), there's nothing they're not up for. I keep them contained for the public health hazard, not for their own.)

I'm not quite sure what it is you expect me to do here...

(I can't wrap my head around last summer, when I'd take wee little Vaughn for walks to the park and tell him, "one day, you'll be running and playing all over the place," and now he can do so much! Snif.)

Watch me, Ailsa! I'll show you how to do it!

Food on My Son's Face (continued)

The first one was perfect(ly wrong) before I paused to run and get the camera; he must have smudged it while I was away. Pity.

Well, hello, Cookie Nazi!

These two were both lasagna-based.
I said, "Make a funny face." And, well, here we have it.
Mr. Personality strikes again.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

You can check out anytime you like...


We've been keeping this pretty quiet, despite the Great Excitement and Newsworthiness of it all: we're moving! There have been cryptic references throughout the postings for the past few months, and finally, finally, finally, everything was, well, finalized, so we got comfortable telling people the big news:

We're moving back to Ottawa!

This has been in the works since January, in an on-again/off-again way. Unfortunately, the last time it was "official", which was June, it was repealed within 2 days, and we had to deal with a bunch of people calling us to tell us they heard we were moving, and we had to tell them all that, actually, we're not. (Not to mention, we hadn't told anyone that we were moving, and it's a bit upsetting to have to deny a rumour that you really, really wish was true, all the while wondering where the heck it started...) And then hearing that it was officially ON again, but not from the people in charge: no, from a friend who heard it from another friend.

So, understandably, we kept the lid on it this time as well...but with a move date 15 days away, understandably, we were pretty confident and ready to go and spreading the news quietly. Not a big, bellowy "We're Outta Here!" Nope, just telling one friend at a time. Giving notice to our beloved daycare. Cancelling important things like phone, heat, and cable. Telling everyone that it's supposed to be a temporary move, and we should be back within 2 to 3 years, and would they, by chance, like to buy our house? (*

Until this morning.

So, we're moving back to Ottawa...but it turns out we're NOT going anywhere anytime soon. And the way we found out? Our relocation agent (a rant for another day) told us that the bookings (packers, movers, cleaners, and flights) that were supposed to be done last Friday didn't actually go ahead because we're not moving for another 6 weeks... or so.

Um, what?

What I don't understand is why nobody thought that it was important to let US know that. Sure, two young kids, me barely holding it together with lack of sleep, stress of a move and now a pulled muscle/pinched nerve in my neck (joy!)...why, what's another 6 weeks (or more) of stress? Oh, and Fis is holding up about as well, too.

So yes, we're moving to Ottawa. When? No idea. I'm not going to commit to a date, although I'm sure I'll hear about it through the grapevine.

I have to say, I can Pollyanna through just about anything, but I'm tired. I'm tired of having to regroup and wrap my head around a new reality every few weeks, and have to be ok with it. I'm tired of all the crap we've put up with over the past three years, and that we're expected to smile about it and accept it. I'm tired of the small-town gossip mill, of knowing that everyone knows my business before I do. I'm starting to believe that people don't move to Medicine Hat and stay here because they like it, but because they just can't leave.**

Oh, and the conditional offer on our new home expires tomorrow.

* No, seriously. Buy our house.
** Apologies to friends from here: I'm sure I'll be less bitter tomorrow, but today, this is all I've got.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Ailsa Update

"Seriously? Do I HAVE to humour him?"

Ailsa's becoming more of a delight every day! (Of course, she was so miserable at the beginning that ANY cuteness gets her props, but she's almost completely turned around.)

I would like to send a shout-out to that unnamed woman angel at the grocery store who suggested Bio-Gaia drops last Sunday. She, too, was shopping with a newborn and a toddler, and told me that it had changed her life, immediately, replacing gripe water by the bottle. What the heck, I thought? But for $27, it had better work... and WHOA!!! There's been an undeniable, unbelievable change in Ailsa's disposition and awesomeness, in less than a week! We've stopped the baby Zantac, cut back on the gripe water, and .... whoa.

We also yanked the soother from her realm. I was getting a wee bit tired of replacing it 3 or 4 times per nap and 8 or 9 times per night, so... yoink! The first night, she was understandably peeved about it, and screamed for 35 minutes. The next day, we had a fight at every naptime, but during each 20-30-minute session of crying, she'd find a finger, a thumb, a hand, and -- get this -- wouldn't wake up five/ten/fifteen minutes later, looking for a soother!!! Today is Day Four, and she went down with a whimper for about 8 minutes at each nap, and about 3 minutes at bedtime. We're all sleeping better. Why the heck didn't I do this before? Oh right. I was too exhausted to think.

Everybody happy? Well, I should say! (click the "play" button!)

New Tricks:

She rolled over, from front to back, this week! She's done it four or five times now: awesome.
She can also "hop" herself forward while lying on her back, and rotate around like a little clock.

AND she laughed today! Not just a happy squeak, but an actual laugh! Of course it was at something witty that I said...

Ok, so she's not smiling or laughing here, but I blame John Tesh.

Son of DG

Vaughn made his first cookies the other day. Ok, technically he had some help, but he was very proud and happy to pull the step stool up to the island and mix up pretend ingredients in his very own bowl.

Well, that's what was supposed to happen.

Grandma and Grandpa were on their way for a visit, and we had nothing sweet in the house, so I thought that an afternoon of cookie-making would be just the thing to keep us both occupied while Ailsa was napping.

Turns out that pretending to mix ingredients isn't as fun, interesting, or tasty as making the cookies, so the bowl-and-spoon schtick only lasted about 2 minutes. But, for having Captain Underfoot...well, underfoot, plucking his fingers and whatever else he threw in the bowl, out of the bowl, and for cooking without a recipe, we did a pretty good job. There were only two time-outs involved.

I hereby present, if my memory serves me:

Vaughn's Cookies

1 1/2 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. butter, at room temperature
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 vanilla pudding cup
2 1/4 c. flour (we used a blend of whole wheat and all-purpose)
1 tsp. baking soda
unmeasured amount of oats (will explain)
1 c. dried cranberries
1 c. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream sugar and butter. Beat in egg, vanilla, and pudding. Lick pudding cup. Add flour and baking soda, and enough oats to reconstitute gloopy mess into cookie-dough-like consistency (1/2 cup? 1 cup? who's counting?). Stir in cranberries and walnuts, and drop by tablespoonful* onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes until golden brown. Makes about 40 soft and chewy cookies that are actually marginally healthy.

But how do they taste?

They're the best cookies ever, of course! I can't describe how proud V was to eat his own cookies, which he was allowed for dessert, 1/2 cookie at a time. Even Chris found them to be amazingly delicious. SO delicious, that unfortunately, there weren't any left by the time Test Pig #2 came over.

In other DG news, a recent attempt at Crack Pie (with TP2's assistance) was a qualified success. No, it wasn't as ecstatically delicious as the title suggests, but we all agreed: it was hard to stop once you started, a definite property of crack, non?

As for the V-man's future as a kitchen helper, well, see below for evidence, to be thrown in his face when he's 13 and sullen...
The new craze that's sweeping the nation....

And finally, I'm kicking myself for not getting a shot tonight of V's blueberry face, which would have been the fourth in a series of Food on My Son's Face.

We started with guacamole, two days ago.

Yogurt, yesterday.

And zoodles today!

*Don't get me started on the size of Laurel's cookies.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

3 months old: Life Goes On... ish

Ok, where the heck did summer go?
Not to blogging, that's for sure. Or to sleep, for that matter.
It went to swimming lessons! Our splashy baby turtle was enrolled in Duck level this year, and is a still a relaxed and happy little guy in the water. He'll blow bubbles and the bathtub... but has mastered laying perfectly still in the pool and saying "kick kick kick"...well, he can't go up to the next level till he's 3, so there's no point killing himself to pass Duck this year, is there? He doesn't seem to mind being dunked, either, especially at the bottom of the slide.
I orchestrated a cunning plan in which a babysitter sat with Ailsa on the deck while I squoze my squeezables into a tankini (the bikini may have to wait till next season...more on that in a bit) and jumped in the pool with the V-man. We had really good weather, with two exceptions: the BC forest fire smoke day (Fis said we had to stay inside), and a cool, breezy 18-degree day, which we bailed out of, after witnessing the total-body shakes and purple lips on a nice 21-degree day!

It went to smiles and giggles! Ailsa shows us what she thinks of this whole paparazzi business. Our little girl is getting more and more interactive and funny by the day. She gets bored easily, though, and is very, very needy around dinnertime, of course! We just got her a high chair so that we can have her join us at the table...hoping that will help us have just ONE meal with both of us eating!
Sleep is still a challenge -- I've cut out the past-midnight feedings (much to someone's dismay!), but we're still working on staying asleep through the night. She's done a few 7:30 - 5:45 stretches (with a dream feed at about 10:30), so I know she can do it, it's just convincing her to do it every night. But again, when you go in at 3 am to tell her to can it, and she's lying there gurgling and cooing...

"Who, me?"

It went to growing! The Tarzan baby look is still chic this season, but she's already busted out of all of her newborn clothes, and is starting to put stress on her 0-3 month collection. Vaughn wore his new overalls twice before he couldn't stand up straight in them anymore. Oh, and Fis has officially vetoed the large, hot-pink hand-me-down diaper covers (and any photos of him therein), since his mediums are likely to pop open with a good inhalation! Party pooper. (but thanks, Aunt Tracey!)

Note to self: there seems to be a correlation between feeding the kidlets and them needing new clothes... hmmm....I could take all the money I save on food and clothing and blow it all on hats!

It went to trying new things! Like popsicles!

This was a nice summer night, where, instead of the usual post-dinner trip to the park, we sat on our lawn and got all sticky.

It went to travel! The Huff Household managed a drive up to Redmonton for a weekend and two trips to Ottawa.
Here, Vaughn, having exhausted all the fun to be had with a sprinkler (and accordingly, being clean), now explores the fun of getting dirty all over again, in Grandma's garden.
Grandma and Grandpa were excellent and very-much-appreciated babysitters during last week's trip to Ottawa; after all, somebody needed to watch the kidlets while Fis and I met with a realtor...

Friday, 30 July 2010

Hanging in there...

Below, Ailsa is obviously not buying what Daddy is selling.

Ok, so it's been 8 weeks since little Ailsa screamed into this world, and sometimes it feels like she hasn't stopped screaming since!

The doc prescribed some zantac-ish stuff, just in case she's suffering from baby heartburn, and if her disposition doesn't improve after a week, we get to try Ovol, gripe water (turns out you CAN still get it with alcohol! giddy-up!), and then I have to try eating nothing (well, no dairy, nuts, gluten, food, etc.) for a week ... if all of that fails, we'll just have to accept it: she's just a cranky, Huffy little girl!

But, to refresh my memory that sometimes she IS quiet and delightful, I take a look at this photo. Awww. The smiles are more and more frequent, and mostly occur on the changetable, of all places, but I got one out of her in her crib the other day. Little stinker was supposed to be napping (ha ha!), but charmed me into picking her up instead. Oh yes, I'm on to you!

This is Vaughn being sedate and serious, as always. Ailsa has some pretty goofy shoes to fill as she gets older!

Apologies to all: the thank you cards are (mostly) written, and just need to be sent out. So please bear with me while I continue trying to figure out which way is up.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

7 weeks: Smile, darn ya, smile!

Well, we just had Ailsa's 6-week follow-up today (and mine too!) - she's 22 inches long and 9 lbs 10 oz... just a little bigger than her big brother was at this age.

I'm back down to my pre-preggers weight and almost shape (but with less muscle) (and 2 more inches to go on my waist) - I have no idea how I pulled that off. Must be the no sleep/no time to eat or even drink water diet.

The sleeping (ha ha! What is this "sleep" of which you speak? She's averaging 2.5 hours between wakes at night) is still a struggle, as is coping with the screaming, but each day we're getting a little bit more quiet alert/happy time.

Speaking of happy, perhaps you should watch this one with the sound off...

I'm holding up "ok" at best, especially the days when Vaughn is cranky too, but I just keep telling myself that this will get better. Sometimes I repeat that into my pillow, sometimes into a glass of wine...

Good thing she's cute.

Some fun pics:

Another great shot of my two little stinkers angels.

Ok, who gave my son a gun???

Thursday, 8 July 2010

One Month Later: What a Family!

Well, the droves of grandparents have all returned to their respective homes, much to my horror and dismay. They were all such fantastic helps -- I honestly don't know what I would have done without you! Vaughn still points at random old people (ha ha) and says "Bompa"!

I'm somehow still upright (but on my way for a nap - V's in daycare twice a week for 3-5 hours, just so he can play with his friends and I can have a bit of one-on-one with Ailsa, and I can't miss this window!), but am really wondering how other people cope. I find it a challenge, to say the least, to juggle the Screamerpillar and the Vaughnpire - it seems that if one isn't melting down, well, they both are.

Nights are going better - V goes to bed like a champ at 7:30 - throw him in his crib, give him a kiss, and he's all set till 6:30. A is more challenging - she reeeally doesn't like going to sleep, but once she's out for the night (usually around 9), she wakes up around 1 and 4, then is up for the day at about 7. Chris is really being amazing at doing the Vaughn Routine in the morning, since I'm busy at that point feeding Ailsa, but we're going to have to figure something out soon...something about Chris being late every day...!

All in all, I'm a bit of a soggy mess, and sometimes only call Chris once a day, crying. But I have faith that at 6 weeks, she'll be an angel baby. It could happen, right?


Ok, it's time to get out your Mortimer* and follow along at home!
Vaughn's 18 month stats are as follows:
  • weighing in at 26 lbs (whoa!), he's just under the 50th percentile; and
  • heighting in at 32 inches, he's between the 50th and 75th!

MY child! Above normal for height! Can you believe it?

I SWEAR that nobody posed Vaughn for this - he just plopped down beside his little sister and mugged for the camera, or the "cheeeese" as he calls it.

Speaking of words, he's up to about 100 identifiable words - a lot of them come out of nowhere - he'll point to something, name it, and leave Chris and I wondering what else he knows that he's not telling us! If he gets stuck, all he needs to do is say "pleeeeeease" and make the sign for please and look up at us beseechingly. It works on nice grocery-store-sample ladies when Mommy's not looking, to get cookies, ice cream, you name it! Little stinker.

He also says "potty" or "pee pee", just after he's peed in his diaper! Well, it's a start.

And this photo, well, this is what I love about the Vaughnster - it just sums up his personality perfectly! The world may be ending, but everything is still awesome.

And finally, although he stole the iPod from Grandpa, he gets his moves from Mommy:

*Any other 80s kids out there that get this reference?