Friday, 30 April 2010

V is for Vaughn-pire

At (almost) 16 months, our little Vampire is growing up! He now has 3 of his 4 vampire teeth, and the 4th can't be any more than another week away, judging by his swollen gums, cranky disposition, and tendency to hang upside down when he sleeps. After this, we only have the 2-year molars left, and hopefully they'll sneak in as quietly and pleasantly as his 1st-year ones did.

Don't let this happy smile fool you into coming too close


New and delightful tricks:

He'll bring you books to read to him, and he'll also sit down and "read" them himself now! One of his books has bright pictures of objects that are different colours, and he'll point to the picture and tell you what it is, by name. (Obviously, he's a genius.)

He says "please" (and makes the sign as well), and "pretty please" when prompted. He'll also rub his hands together when they're dirty, his sign for hand-washing. His vocabulary now includes:

  • truck
  • tractor
  • kitty
  • juice
  • breakfast
  • Jayce (his friend at daycare)
  • hello (when he's holding a phone) (or a bananaphone!)
  • hi! (if you enter a room or come back into view, or sometimes even just look at him)
  • doggie
  • walk
  • baby
  • book
  • all done
  • bye bye
  • yeah (despite my best efforts, he won't change that to "yes", but at least he makes up for it with a very clear and decisive "no" every chance he gets!)

I know what you're thinking - other people have told us what their kids can say, and we hear the kids babble, and say (to ourselves, of course), "He's not actually saying words, he's just making sounds. The parents are obviously delusional." It's true. But, although there's little perfect pronunciation (except for the aforementioned "no"), the idea of each word is there and the sounds are becoming more distinct. And yes, we're delusional.

He says "cheeeeese" if he sees a camera (a ham? my son?) and knows that a ducky says "quack", and if you ask him what sound a lion makes, well... watch this!

He can take off his own socks and shoes, find his tummy and bellybutton, and point at all of Mommy and Daddy's facial features (and is enthralled by Mommy's Giant Belly, which he gave kisses to yesterday (awwww), and as of last night, I started training him to do chin-ups (it's never too early to start!) on the kitchen counter. He's also able to open and close almost anything (he can reach doorknobs now, but isn't quite tall enough to get the necessary grip to turn them, thank goodness), and we're starting to find toys that he's put away in kitchen cupboards and laundry hampers. He still eats like a champ, and when he's all done, he'll say it (the above video isn't a good clear "all done"), and make the sign, and then help me clean up his tray by putting all the extra pieces he didn't eat back onto his plate. Awesome.

And finally, we find dry diapers quite often now! The potty-socializing is going really well. On the days that I work, we get a morning and evening session in, which excellent results (two less poopy diapers for me to change counts as success to me!), and on weekends, he can go for 4-5 hours in the same (clean) diaper. Not that I have hope that he'll be fully trained anytime soon, but he doesn't seem to mind the process at all (probably because he loves to pee on us, which really should be "socialized" out of him before he goes to school) (kaff), and loves our goofy overreactions, so that's positive.


New and not-so-delightful tricks:

How long can we blame these on teething, I wonder, before we resign ourselves to these behaviours as simply his personality? For someone that says "no" as much as he does, saying "no" to him produces a meltdown, every time. He'll lie down and cry, or walk away, bellowing and looking balefully over his shoulder, as if to say, "Look what you made me do!" Taking something (usually dangerous or edible) away from him gets the same result - he sobs like you've broken his heart, the poor schmoo.

He has also discovered the joys of the Candy Basket, and can entertain himself quietly in the little corner behind the couch for quite a while, just taking things out and putting them back...or so I thought he was doing. Last night, I discovered a bag of jujubes that were all mangled. I'm not sure if he got any of the taste through the plastic bag, or if the jubes just feel good to chew on, but I had them removed. They're in a safer place now.* Either way, I must start taking the "if your child is too quiet, they're probably up to no good" warning seriously.

He's also very alert, as always, but can now distinguish between, say, the cut-up strawberries, cantelope and grapes that he gets to eat for dessert and the candy that Daddy is eating, even though they're similar colours and sizes. Much to our dismay, the dietary double standard is going to have to stop.


*Ok, I ate them.

Week 35: Grow with the Flow

(alternate title: Pun in the Oven)

Well, somehow, despite the laws of nature, I still grow. The belly now has its own area code, as it has surpassed the bounds of what is decent, and definitely what I considered possible. It's sitting lowish, but also sort of pointy, and just looks odd. I still don't seem to have put on any extra bulk elsewhere, which is good, but I know that means nothing, once I'm all deflated again and impatiently waiting for everything to snap back into place.* Weight-wise, I'm currently 5 lbs less than I was at this point last time (yet I'm still up 20% of my starting weight!), but have 2 extra inches of girth.

At 5 weeks to go, my sense of humour (along with most of my tops) is getting quite stretched. I'm unwieldy and uncomfortable (and no, still no sign of that winch - maybe I should have registered for one), and am having to pee much more often every day...the peequency (ha!) has increased to (hopefully) its maximum. Not that I've been getting up in the middle of the night to pee, like everyone complains about - nope, I refuse. I often wake up, think about it, and decide that I'd rather lie there and reeeeally have to pee than actually get up to do it. It's all mental fortitude, mind over bladder if you will... until the night that it turns into mind-if-I-turn-over-the-mattress, that is. The plastic cover goes on this weekend.

I'm a single girl right now - my snossage fingers can't squeeze into my rings anymore! Just this week, I noticed some swelling, and yesterday, the Rings of Respectability were relegated to the Chain of Shame around my neck.

I'm also single because Australia's a very long way away, though Chris assured me that 1) it is a very, very important trip that he absolutely needs to go on, and 2) I won't go into labour till he gets two weeks. Phew! At least I have his reassurance! The quickest return flight combo is 26 hours, and since I've informed him (and anyone who will listen) that labour will not last 26 hours -- let alone 32 -- this time, I Plan on just leaving him a note on the counter when I go into the hospital. He is not amused.

Speaking of the Plan, I am a Very Organized Person.

Really, you ask? Does this mean that you have 'Lump v2.0's room all set up, the wee little clothes and diapers all sorted and neatly folded, the curtains made, your hospital bag packed?

No, silly! It means that I have a flow chart that describes whom to call when, when I actually go into labour!

Seriously. I made a flow chart.

Only one option leads to PANIC, which is good. But how many disorganized, panic-stricken people on a deadline do you know that actually take the time to make a flow chart, when there's so much other stuff to do?**

We DO have all the newborn cloth diapers and clothes (in boxes, in orange, yellow and green!), a crib (in a box in the basement; the guest bed is still in the 'Lump's room), and a Plan for decorating (of which I still have to order the decals and buy the material for the curtains, though the room is painted, at least), and another Plan to drive for 7 hours to go to IKEA for a new dresser for V so that the newbie can have the change table (what a great idea, at 38 weeks preggers, and with a small vampire in the back seat!) (kaff). What could possibly go wrong?

Maybe I need another flow chart.

* Ha ha, "snap".

** Exactly. I must be Very Organized.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

So now we are 34

All in all, a fairly non-descript birthday. No parties, no big celebrations, no Cora's Birthday Breakfast (snif).

Thirty-four doesn't really seem that bad. Or didn't, till I thought about it this way: it's been TEN YEARS since I was 24.

Ok, that one blows my mind a little.

At 24, an impossibly old age when I used to think ahead to how old I'd be in the year 2000, I was living alone in my awesomely slummy one-bedroom apartment on Henderson, with two rescued cats (Trouble and Billy). I was coaching cheerleading and just starting my competitive fitness "career". I was working as a fitness/wellness consultant, using my degree, and making quite good money for the the 22 hours of work I did a week, driving my motorcycle (the Beast), or, in poor weather, my beloved Snotmobile.




At 34, I'm living in connubial bliss (mental note: look up connubial before I post this, just to make sure it's not something I wouldn't want my mother to read) (oh, good) in my awesomely bright and spacious three-bedroom townhouse in the Hat, with my two boys (Vaughn the Vampire and Fis). My cheerleading career, I believe, is over forever, but fitness still wants me to give it another try (maybe after I have this baby) and so does musical theatre, as long as I'm clear on my audition form that I'm there to dance and am willing to lipsync. I'm working as an administrative/communications assistant, having turned my back on all things Human Kinetics-y except for teaching a step class here and there, maintaining fairly high levels of personal fitness (considering) and terrorizing my mother* over her own activity level. ...But the communications bit is exciting and new, and if not exactly a promotion or prestigious, it's experience, and will look nice on my dust-gathering resume. My takehome is actually less now than it was when I was a 22-hour-a-week wellness consultant (due to some grievous misunderstandings with Revenue Canada way back when!), and the motorcycle, alas, is ancient history, as is Snotty, may he rest in pieces.

What a decade, though! So many highs and lows: fitness triumphs (Miss Fitness Ottawa/Ontario/2nd place in Canada!) and employment woes (boo for unemployment and subsequent, long-lasting destitution); incredible times with friends, and leaving everyone but one behind on a Grand Adventure Out West; my professional cheerleading debut (remember, Danielle?) and my last night on the field at Frank Clair; bad relationships (no names named), pretty good ones (Fis), and the amazing experience of unconditional love (Vaughn and the 'lump-to-be, although I must admit that I'll be much fonder of 'Lump v2.0 on the outside, instead of stretching me three ways to Sunday (like the V-man, it doesn't seem to get that "fetal position" shouldn't be optional)).

But have I grown up?


Sure, I'm more "responsible", but it's not because I want to be. Sure, I have three grey hairs (eeeek! Until last night, I thought I only had 1!). But I still stand firmly by my right to be silly at any time, to eat cookie dough (ok, not right now), to wear the same clothes I've worn since high school (ok, also not right now...well, maybe that green dress would fit!), to nap my heart out (when I'm allowed!), and to drink as much as I want...soon... Sure, I drive a Subaru (which, backwards, sez "yer a bus!") more often than I drive my little Trevor...but I'm still that 24-year-old me. In fact, I'm not even that 24-year-old. I think I'm still that 17-year-old - still struggling with height and hair and skin and awkwardness and self-confidence and loving adventure and excitement and life.

34's not old at all.

Note to self: pick up some hair dye on the way home.

*and her sisters, this week. That's right, Aunt Joanne. Mom told me everything.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Not dead, just quarantined

Hey, faithful readers and people who normally correspond with me on a regular basis!

Miss me? Worried that I'm mad at you? Or that something terrible has happened?

What, are your fingers broken??? Why has nobody called?


Where have I been? I've been here, but incommunicado. Due to some kind of issue with our network at work, we've been totally quarantined from the outside world: no email, no internet. So, by the time I get home at night, I still have all the things that I normally do all day at work, to do.

Ha ha! Just kidding, people that I work for!


I'm too overwhelmed and unwieldy to write much right now, but know this:

1 - I'm getting bigger. To get an idea, take this photo (taken on April 5th, at exactly 7 months preggers) and multiply it by oh, about twelve thousand. I am a barge. But otherwise, according to the doctorbs, healthy. I taught my last step class last Monday night, to the immense relief of my class, I'm sure. The "My name is Karen, and does anyone here know how to deliver babies?" schtick was getting a bit old.

2 - Vaughn takes after his Mom in lots of ways, not the least being his good attitude in the face of tumbles and spills. This happy little fellow took his first header down the front steps on April 8, and my catlike reflexes allowed me to catch him on the first bounce...which apparently doesn't count. Anyhoo, lots of screams (him), lots of tears (me), lots of blood (him), a trip to the emergency room, a few stitches and a freezie later, everything was fine. Ok, Vaughn was fine. I was a mess. I'm still recovering, actually. Below is the trooper right before we got his stitches removed. He was a champ.

3 - What's more fun than pajama time and being tickled by Daddy's feet? NOTHING! THEY'RE THE GREATEST THINGS EVER! Of course, incapacitating belly laughs are pretty awesome, too.