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 Unfortunately, the last time it was "official", which was June, it was repealed within 2 days, and we had to deal with a bunch of people calling us to tell us they heard we were moving, and we had to tell them all that, actually, we're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...