Friday, May 21, 2010

Happy 5th anniversary to my husband!

When I met this guy in a bar on New Year's Eve, with his tight jeans and his shy smile, I never thought we'd end up where we are. We've been married for 5 years now (together for 14 years!) and have a beautiful son together. We've supported each other through school, for me it was a very long undergrad degree and then my Master's, and for him he went back to school and graduates next month with a degree in engineering. We have weathered the death of our treasured pet Petrie. We leaned on each other through the death of his father, my grandmother.We managed to stay together through countless road trips (despite my knack for being a terrible navigator) and I even got him on a plane for the first time (getting the engineer to sit next to wing helped the medicine go down). He's gone to museums with me, genuinely interested in art, even though my eyes glaze over when he discusses robots. He was the best labour coach I could have asked for. I was scared out of my mind in the operating room during my c-section and instantly calmed down when they let him in.
He loves our son so much, which makes me love my husband even more.

Oh and he makes me laugh. A lot.

The wedding was on a rooftop terrace of a hotel.
A good compromise for a country mouse (him) and a city mouse (me).

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Meet Sweetie the Cat

There's a colony of feral cats behind our apartment and we had the idea to rescue one and give it to someone else, trying to save at least one before the winter. My husband caught the ugliest little kitten instead of the cat we had befriended all summer. She was a blotchy orange with these giant ears. Poor thing was terrified of us, she'd buzz when we held her. We kept her in the bathroom when we had to leave the house, because her litter was there and we could keep track of her there. When she roamed around, she got caught in the tiniest spaces, mewing her pathetic little meow to rescue her. We would try and hold her a lot to get her used to us. Slowly she started to explore the apartment instead of bolting to go hide somewhere.

One time we though we lost her. We figured she had escaped out of the door when we weren't looking. We looked in the basement, went outside looking for her. After a full day of looking for her, we found nothing. I sat down on our crappy old hide-a-bed couch. I heard the springs move. Then I sat still for a moment and heard the springs move again. Silly cat was INSIDE the couch.

When we had her a few weeks (still with no name since we weren't sure we were going to keep her since I'm allergic to cats) I noticed she was limping a bit. Then the next day her leg seemed swollen. We figured it was time to take her to the vet, and she was somewhat tame by then. Turns out she was bitten by another animal and would have died without antibiotics. She had a huge abscess in her leg which they had to drain.

 After a couple of months of hellish allergies I'm no longer allergic to Sweetie. After 5 years she is sooo not a feral cat anymore, snuggling with us whenever she gets the chance. She cries when she sees the grooming brush (we call it the slicker brush), she sleeps with her head on my husband's pillow in between us (she thinks she's people), she pretends to hate Daisy but will sleep near her. Whenever we put the baby on his playmat, she would lie near him, I think to keep an eye on him. I was worried about her separation anxiety when we went away for 10 days. I love this cat so much. She greets me at the door when I come home, so I think the feeling is mutual.

Poor no name kitty living in our bathroom trembling every time we held her.

Keeping an eye on her peeps in the alley.

Sweetie helping to hatch the baby belly

Kitty-Baby Mind Meld

Monday, May 17, 2010

Giant Monkey Wrestling Monday!

At least Giant Creepy Monkey is good for a laugh!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Amazing-Never-Sleeps-Super-Awake-Baby

Sleep is good. Sleep is great. You will become psychotic if denied sleep for long enough. You hear that Alex? You're making Mama crazy. The past couple of nights he's gone back to his sleep for a few hours in a row, then wake up every hour. Plus he threw in a "hey 4 AM is morning somewhere, time to partaaay" last night. So this morning his usual thing is to go for a nap about 2 hours after he's woken up. He napped for 20 minutes then crabbed at me. Okey dokey, time to go out for a walk. The stroller usually does the trick if he won't nap at home. Went downtown, did a little shopping, got some lunch, got my watch strap adjusted all while Alex STAYED AWAKE during the stroller. What the french toast baby? Gave him a bottle, nope. Took him out of the stroller for a while, nope. Breastfed him downtown next to the university, even though I'm trying to wean him during the day, still nope. I get home with him and feed him again. Another 20 minute nap. Followed by an hour of screaming. No matter what I tried. I put him in the Ergo, ok, baby lets go for a walk. I walked around with Alex for an hour. Nada. I have gone through all of my tricks and nothing worked. He's finally asleep, the bedtime routine worked its magic on Alex.
But for how long?

Remember this Alex?

Or this?

How about this?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Cake Fail (or Strawberry Shortcake Went on a Bender Cake)

So last Sunday I attempted a Strawberry Shortcake type cake for my Mother-in-Law. I baked the cake the day before. I figured I would have plenty of time to decorate it the next day. Yeah, I was wrong. I had the not so brilliant idea to make strawberry icing for the center layer. So I added some berries to a regular icing recipe that would be a small batch.The strawberries were too runny, since I had cut them up the night before. I tried to drain the juice. I figured ok, just add more icing sugar, it will thicken up. A kilo of icing sugar later (2.2lbs of sugar for my American friends) it was still a little runny. Raaaaats. I was running out of time and ran out of icing sugar to make the buttercream frosting for the outside. I slapped the pink goo in between the cake layers, and set off to the grocery store while Alex napped in the carrier on daddy. I knew I had little time left before we had to be at my mother-in-law's place so I caved and bought a container of pre made icing. Well actually 2 of them (I couldn't remember which brand has the nasty aftertaste, so I bought a Duncan Hines and a Betty Crocker container). I hurried home and slapped the icing on as fast as I could. Le sigh. Not at all what I had in mind.

The radioactive Pepto Bismol icing. A whole whack of it.

What I should have done in the first place. Strawberries on the icing, not IN the icing.

Mistake #2. I should have let the cut cake side soak up the juice. Instead it oozed out of a couple of sinkholes on the side.

The final product. It looks meh. Martha Stewart is rolling her eyes at me.

P.S. Duncan Hines is the better tasting icing, if you're pathetic like me and can't master frosting.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

If you don't have anything nice to say....

...then don't say anything at all.

On a lighter note, Hugh Jackman dancing.

Happy Mother's day! (Alex's birth story)

I figure the day I became a mother is a good place to start on mother's day.

This was me on my due date. Alex came 9 days after this was taken. Yeah he was a big baby!

I was supposed to be called in for my induction on the Saturday. I waited anxiously and jumped every time the phone rang (as much as Manatee could jump anyway). I called the hospital and they said if they didn't call by 10 pm it would be the following day. Next day, much of the same. I was barely eating and getting a little panicky. At 2pm on Sunday I called the hospital. No, they don't have any beds yet, I'll still have to wait. If there's anything you're worried about, come in, they said. My mind starts racing, when was the last time I felt him move. Couldn't think of it. I was afraid to mention it to Rick. I started crying, he said "that's it, where going in". Expletives about the hospital omitted. I get to the hospital, they hook my up to a fetal heart monitor, and of course he's fine. The nurse told me that I was 3 of 4 on the list of inductions, but they had called #1 and she hadn't shown up so I got to jump the line.

They started my induction with cervidil which is some hormone on a tampon type thing at 3pm. I was in a private labour and delivery room, but the cervidil takes 12 hours so they moved me into a semi private room on the post partum side. Freakin party of 12 on the other side of the curtain, complete with crying newborn and some sort of stinky food. And then, around 9 pm, my contractions started. Hard. I felt like I was naked in a mall having contractions with all the people in that room. I think I even said to my husband "get me the hell out of here".

I got moved back to the delivery room and was able to walk around. Much better. I didn't know what to do with myself. On the ball, rocking standing, going to the toilet, back to the ball, rub my back, no stop, press on my hips, HARDER! The nurse asked if I wanted to go in the tub at around 1:30 am. Ah the tub was heaven. My contractions were manageable. Husband kept adding more hot water to the tub. I was in there an hour or so. Then a shift change and the evil nurse made me get out of the tub to check the progress.

She hooked me up to monitors, made me lie down and then I asked for the epidural. I had several sleepy hours early that morning with no pain until they started the pitocin. After starting the pitocin the doctor came in to examine me. Oh good you're at 3 cm. Ugh! I thought I was further along than that. She broke my water with her finger. Oh it was like a tsunami wave every time I had a contraction.

The pitocin made those contraction come hard and fast, but no progress. I got stuck at 7 cm for 6 hours, meanwhile the epidural stopped working.They gave me something else for the pain, but it would only work for about 10 minutes at a time. My contractions were 10 seconds apart for hours without any progress. My husband had to get me to focus on my breathing because I was gasping.

They said "oh we'll wait until 6 pm and then do the c-section" at which point I said "no now!". I was out of my mind in pain and terrified. In the operating room I started shaking uncontrollably, I felt so calm when they finally let me husband in. When they pulled out my son (after a lot of jostling) he let out a quiet little cry and I said "that's our baby!" to my husband. He thought I said "is that our baby?". Ha ha ha! He was born at 7:30 pm on the Monday.They cleaned him off and Rick cut the cord (even though he said he didn't want to during our prenatal classes).
They put him on my chest, to get some skin to skin time, as they continued the surgery. He was beautiful but nothing like I imagined. So much hair! I couldn't believe it. They closed me up and wheeled me into the recovery room. I breastfed him there for the first time.
I couldn't believe how much hair he had, he had big hands and feet, and a perfectly shaped head. I was used to seeing funny shaped heads from baby born vaginally. His cry was quiet and sounded like ella-la-la.

My husband the engineer fascinated by the monitors that I was hooked up to.
He would watch the graph and say "Oh you have a big contraction coming" Really? You need to tell me?

Alexander Robert at 2.5 hours old. He weighed 8 lbs 9 oz.

...and already able to bust out of the swaddling.

Tired mom and baby the following morning. My look says "ok now what do I do?" Slightly terrified, very happy.

I think I'll keep him. :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine?

So this is Rick's last day of work. He'll be unemployed at 5 pm today. Yes, I'm concerned about the money and him finding a job, but my immediate concern? He's going to be home ALL THE TIME. Yes, I love my husband, enjoy it when he's around, but 24 hours a day? I've gotten used to being home alone with Alex, I have a bit of a routine during the week. Mondays groceries, Tuesdays Mother Goose story time, Wednesdays playgroup. I like it, I know what to expect. We have a tiny apartment, there isn't much space to roam. Is he going to help out with Alex, the housework or is he going to play guitar all day? When he gets into a deep cleaning mood it's usually the last thing I want to do.
I just have to keep telling myself
  1. It's temporary, maybe only a few weeks. It'll be like a vacation.
  2. Alex will love getting more Daddy time.
  3. The weather is nice so we can go out to the park as a family.
  4. I will get to shower in peace whenever I want.

Happy fun vacation time, right? Just add an extra pair of feet?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ten months old! Double digits baby!

Happy ten months my sometimes screeching, furniture walking, temporarily solo standing, bathtime bubble eating, cat wrestling, blueberry snacking baby Alex! I'm guessing soon I'll have to lose the Baby I always put in front of your name. Not a baby for much longer.
Showing off his new haircut. Momma was tired of the Justin Bieber look.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

It's a good thing.

My husband handed in his paper on Monday after this drama. He already got his paper graded. He passed! He got a B+! So he finally gets to graduate! Hooray! He can officially put B.Eng after his name.
Now he just needs to find a job.

Alex has been sleeping better, some nights a 5 hour stretch in a row (much better than waking every hour). He's eating a little better too. Behold, the first time Alex ate chicken:

Yes, that's a whole drumstick in his hand. He does better with finger foods instead of purees so I thought I'd try it. He didn't eat much, but hey it's a start!

Ok, I'm still doing some purees. This was a new one though. Spinach, broccoli, and ricotta cheese. He squawked for more! Oh and yes, he doesn't have a bib on. I dare you to find a bib he'll keep on.

One more thing made me happy this week. For fun I decided to check the university libary, to see my thesis entry. Someone had taken out a copy! Wow, someone other than a family member or my research supervisor read it. How cool is that? I'm still amazed I have a Master's degree. I was always an average student (at a school for overachievers...15% of my graduating class are doctors). I never really thought of myself as smart enough. So it's HUGE that someone bundled up, trekked to the library, signed away their first born, risked late fees to read what I've written. They might even quote me.

Monday, May 3, 2010

This little piggy went to market!

I couldn't have picked a better day to trek to Atwater market. It's one of four farmer's markets in the city, open year round. I say trek but really it's 20-25 minutes door to door using the metro and a bit of a walk on each end. It's a fun place for people watching in the summer. I went looking for nothing in particular, so of course I came home with too much! Alex always gets so many compliments on his stylin' hat. Sometimes he actually smiles at people. So I bought a can of maple syrup, old cheddar (older than Alex), some gouda, frozen cinnamon rolls to bake, sausages for supper (spicy Cajun for husband and maple pecan for me), a raspberry lattice pastry, some lamb to make a stew, blueberries, green beans, new potatoes and a little sushi for lunch. I told you I over did it, especially since I had Alex in the carrier too.
In the background is the market building. These bikes are BIXI bikes that you can rent for a couple of hours or for the day. There's tons of stands like this in the city, so you could borrow one here, and return the bike across town. Very cool.

Ah flowers! I know nothing about what to plant where, but they are pretty!

This covered area has all the fruit and vegetable stands. On the left are cheese shops, fish markets, and the liquor store. Oh and the maple vendor right now.

Inside the market there's the bakery and all the butcher shops.
 Bonjour les croissants!

All marketed out. Alex fell asleep about 30 seconds after this was taken.