Thursday, September 20, 2007

It's a BOY!

No, we don't know the sex of our new baby yet, that would be impossible! My cousin, Suzanne had a bouncing baby boy yesterday. His name is Alexander David James (I don't know what they decided as a last name, hers or his). He is 9 pounds 12 ounces and was delivered via C-section. I know that for her this was not an ideal situation (the c-section) but having been there before, I tried very hard to be real with her about the c-section and recovery without overly scaring her (I hope!).
I wish Suzanne, Denny and Alexander a wonderful new life together and can't wait to see some pictures!

ETA picture of Alexander David James

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Mirror, Mirror on the wall...

Which girl in the mirror am I? I feel like the girl on the right but I guess technically I am the girl on the left. At the moment, we are guessing I am about 7 weeks along and so it seems impossible for my little baby belly to be showing already, but I am feeling so much like the girl on the left. Granted, I have not lost all of my baby belly from Ryan but already clothes that fit my post Ryan body are not as comfortable.

Right now, we are waiting for my lab work and ultrasound in mid to late October to date the pregnancy for sure. But I think I am about 7 weeks along making me due the first week in May. This time is so different, I am exhausted again, but my stomach is so unsettled. I wouldn't call it morning sickness, but it is a definite lack of appetite and general dislike of food in general.

Well, I should go and clean my disaster of a house. I've been too lazy the past few days to do much of anything, so it has all piled up. Maybe now while Ryan is napping, I can get some order back to my kitchen and living room. And it will keep me from sleeping again. Plus it will keep me occupied while I wait for the phone call from my cousin. Her water broke this morning, so I am expecting news of her and her new baby sometime soon!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

And they're off!

It's hard to believe that Darryl, Amanda and the girls have left already; it's not quite September! They have set out on their Ukraine adventure. We've already received news from Amsterdam and the first part of their trip. Hopefully the rest goes at least as well and they settle in quickly and without much incident.

Meanwhile, things are getting busy here. We're getting a driveway and walkway. (Well as long as mother nature and the company doing the work co-operate that it!) It is a huge pain at the moment having our front step missing and having ALL of our front yard as a huge mud pit. And it is not very convenient to park across the road, especially when I have two toddlers in tow. Hopefully it is finished sooner rather than later.

In Ryan news, it seems like he learns something new everyday. He has started doing this little dance thing when he hears music. It is so cute! He loves playing with things that have buttons to push although he pushes buttons mostly with his thumb. I guess we will need to play some finger-song games to increase his finger dexterity. He has developed a healthy fear for the cat. He will approach the cat and hold out his hand to be sniffed. He will try to touch the cat now, but not anywhere near the cat's face.

I'll update the Discovery Toys business in another post as I have much to say on that subject!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Setting Up Shop

Last spring I joined Discovery Toys. Things started out a little rocky with my grand opening party not going over so well (note- don't hold a grand opening party on a long weekend!) but I did get two other party bookings and they were more successful. Then I went away on vacation and I've been slack in getting back in the saddle. It is easy to let other things come ahead of making the most with this type of business. However, I want to get back on track and have just signed on with my group manager to start a 6 week group and one on one training to help make this fall really work for me and my Discovery Toys Business.

The first thing she asked those of us participating to do is to figure out why we are with Discovery Toys. Next, to make a goal for the 6 weeks. Then make an action plan to achieve this goal. And finally share this goal and plan with a significant other who will be helping to make this possible. She also is looking for us to share this goal and plan with her so she can help motivate, inspire and coach us to success.

I thought a lot last night about why I am with Discovery Toys. In the beginning I was just looking for something to do to help make some extra money while I stay home. But in my little time with the company, I've come to really see the value in their toys and their slogan "Play with your children, it's the best investment you'll ever make." As a teacher and now a parent I wholeheartedly agree with this philosophy. I also appreciate the fact that Discovery Toys makes educational toys, games and books. So now, I think my why is a little different. I really want to share Discovery Toys with other people and not just by selling toys but by introducing the possibilities with Discovery Toys to others as well.

My goal in the 6 weeks, is to become a group manager by Oct. This type of a promotion actually means skipping a step in the rank ladder. I know it is a god thing to keep your goals realistic but I do think I can make this. I may have to adjust my goal, become a Sterling Consultant by the beginning of October and a Group Manager by the end but either way, I do want to reach Group Manager status this fall.

The hard part now is setting up a plan. I know I have some great tools available to me not only in this training/coaching that Jen has set up but also with all the new products about to be introduced in the Fall 2007 catalogue. I can't wait, new things are always so exciting to me. But in the meantime, there are some great products that are about to be discontinued to make room for the new products. They are still great products and I want to make sure people I know have the opportunity to purchase them before they are gone. A few of them I have already and are favorites of Ryan.

My plan includes working 30 minutes per day for 5 days a week and hopefully scheduling one to two parties a week for the next 6 weeks. During the 30 minutes a day for 5 days I plan on making calls, sending out emails, putting together and sending out catalogue party packs and doing other Discovery Toys training that is available to me. In order to reach my goal, I also need to share the Discovery Toys opportunity with 5 others in Canada. To make that happen, I am going to aim to share the Discovery Toys Business opportunity with 4 people a week. If I can get one of those 4 each week to sign up and join Discovery Toys with me, then I should be able to meet my goal of Group Manager.

While meeting this goal and making some extra money is a reward of it's own, I would like to shoot for making money to spend on a possible trip to the Eastern US just before Christmas to visit with some friends and catch the Clay Aiken Holiday Tour 07 (Christmas in the Heartland?).

Each week I will post an update about how things are going with my 6 week intensive coaching and how my goal is coming along. If you would like more information about Discovery Toys, check out .

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Night with Grandma

Yesterday was Brad's birthday. We were very fortunate that his mom was able to come out after work and stay the night, including babysitting Ryan while we went to the movies. We went to see The Bourne Ultimatum which was very, very good! The last time we went to a movie was Valentine's Day when we went to see Music and Lyrics (a cute movie and very fitting for a Valentines Day evening out) Brad's mom also came out to visit and spend the night babysitting Ryan.

The first time grandma M came to babysit Ryan slept the whole time. When we left last night, Ryan was asleep and we hoped we would have a repeat of last time. When we came home last night, Ryan was awake , cuddling in our bed with grandma. She said he basically woke up as soon as we had left and was awake the whole time. She did say he was very good however. He played with his toys a little. Grandma said he especially loved playing with his Winnie the pooh book that grandma B sent for Christmas last year. Kathryn loved that book while we were in Seattle as well.

Ryan was very excited to see us when we got home but he was very tired. He was so tired we were able to lay him down in the pack n' play beside our bed and he fell asleep more or less on his own. I tried that again today at nap time but it didn't work as well. I haven't tired the magic song for sleeping yet but I will soon.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sleepless nights

Ryan has been really consistant and good about is naps since we've been back from our trip. He has one 1 1/2 hour nap in the morning around 10:30 and then he goes down for another 1 1/2-2 hour nap any time between 3-4. That being said, we've been having trouble getting him down at night. It's been 9-10 at night and a huge fight. After thinking about it, I figured maybe he was just staying up too late, (he is usually only up 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours before going for a nap and at night it was getting to be about 4+ hours between nap and sleep) so I have been trying to put him to bed earlier and follow our bedtime routine very closely.

I was so happy when after a trip to Dairy Queen for ice cream after dinner, that Ryan started to look tired. Imagine my happy surprise to have a sleeping baby by 8:20. YAY! By 10 I decided to go to bed early and I had just fallen asleep when Ryan woke up screaming at 10:40. I brought him into bed with me and he nursed for all of about 10 minutes before falling back to sleep. Even though it was much earlier than it usually is when I bring him back into bed with me, I left him there. I think that was my first mistake.

No joke, from 11 last night until 4 this morning Ryan was up at least once each hour. From 4 to 7 Ryan did not sleep at all. From 4 to 5 he nursed and flopped around on the bed. I had a really bad back ache so at 5 I went to soak in the tub for a bit thinking maybe Ryan would settle down with just Brad in bed. Nope. After I got out of the bath and took two Tylenol I was feeling a little better so I took Ryan out to the living room. I had moved all the toys into his room yesterday while tidying so there was not much there for him to play with. First he ripped apart the newspaper from earlier in the week. Then he found a half empty chip bag and proceeded to empty it and crush the chips into the carpet. Thankfully by then he was starting to show tired signs. No longer interested in nursing (and not that I imagine there was much left after his nursing at least once an hour since 11), I gave him a container of yogurt and some water.

Thankfully I was able to take him back to bed and get him to settle and go to sleep around 7:20. And he slept until about 10:30 when we woke up. Needless to say, that threw off his schedule for the rest of the day. 8:45 and Ryan is down for the count tonight. I sure hope tonight is better than last night. With my other little guy I babysit arriving at 7:30 in the morning, I am not sure I can take another night like last night.

Sleep well, I sure hope we all do!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Road Trip ~~Ride on Time~~

Earlier this summer we took a little (ok a big) road trip with Ryan. We drove from our home first to Kelowna, BC then to Seattle, WA and back. Ryan traveled quite well but there were a couple of small meltdowns on the road and no where to stop. It was heartbreaking to have to listen to him cry and not be able to do anything about it (especially when trapped in bumper to bumper rush hour traffic or stuck in construction in the mountains). On the way home we discovered a magic button of sorts, a song that would help soothe Ryan.

Even though this song was a magic button for us during our road trip we somehow manged to forget about it until a couple of nights ago. On Tuesday we took a much shorter road trip into Edmonton. We had a couple of errands to run, visited with great-grandma P and did some shopping. About half way home Ryan woke up and was incredibly fussy. We tried everything. I gave him good fish crackers and water, I nursed him, I changed his diaper, I gave him a teething tab, I took him out of the car and we ran around in a deserted gas station parking lot, I gave him toys and I even got into the back of the car with him. But it was no use. Each thing would soothe him for a few minutes only before he started screaming again. Brad continued to drive on as best he can, stopping when I asked so I could try something new.

Ryan cried pretty much non stop for the better part of an hour (I don't think the CIO method for sleep will be effective with Ryan) and we finally arrived in Bonnyville which is only about a half hour from home. We stopped at the 7-11 and I took Ryan out of the car and carried him around the store for a good 10-15 minutes trying to soothe and calm him. Brad washed the windshield and lights and added more windshield wiper fluid to his car. I took Ryan back to the car and nursed him again. Then I had an idea and I asked Brad to put on the magic song from our Kelowna/Seattle road trip. Brad put the song on and between it and nursing (and the previous meltdown I am sure) Ryan finally fell asleep. I transfered him over to his car seat, he cried a little but I got back into the front of the car and we kept the magic song playing. By the time we were out of the 7-11 parking lot, Ryan was calmed and almost asleep. He slept the rest of the way home, let us take him out of the car and bring him into the house.

The magic song? Let's say this about it first, it shows how much Ryan is like his parents. Perhaps he heard the song so many times before being born that he finds it comforting. But it is a song that Daddy loves that happens to be in one of Mommy's favorite movies. It's a dance/techno song by Black Box called Ride on Time. My newest thought is to make a cd with multiple versions and copies of the song on it and play it on a cd player at bedtime/nap time. We know it works in the car, but maybe it is the combination of the movement and the song. I'll let you know how this new experiment with the song goes!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

First Smiles

~~~~September 2006~~~~
Smiling is infectious,
You can catch it like the flu.
Someone smiled at me today,
And I started smiling too.
~Author Unknown

Sometime early in September of 2006 Ryan began smiling. On the 6th we were finally able to catch one of those bright rays of sunshine on film for the first time. To me, he looked like a totally different baby when he smiled. His smiles became contagious and it was (and still is) hard to look at his smiling face and not smile back or give him what he wants.

Since then, most people who have met Ryan have commented on what a happy baby he is. I think it is because he smiles so much. The next sagas in Ryan's smile...when it turns from a gummy toothless grin into a dazzling smile complete with chompers and when the grin is accompanied with an infectious giggle.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Little Model

~~~~August 2006~~~~

When Ryan was just 6 weeks old, the three of us went to Walmart to have our pictures taken at the portrait studio. They had a special where you could get oodles of pictures in a variety of sizes for $9.99 but it can only be of the first pose. That was all we really wanted anyway. Ryan was still very little and for the most part only onsies or sleepers really fit him, but I wanted him in a "big boy" outfit. I picked up this demin outfit at old navy when Ryan was just 3 weeks old and we took our first road trip into Edmonton. The blue puppy dog slippers were a baby shower gift and he wore them almost all the time for the first couple of months. Notice how Ryan looks so tiny compared to Brad's arm and especially his watch.

Unfortunately, our Walmart doesn't have any cute backgrounds for family pictures and so we got our pictures done with just the blue background. But we saw a couple of the cute baby backgrounds and we were hooked. We really liked this warf background. With my family being from Newfoundland, we thought this little fisherman set up was too cute for words.

We wanted more pictures, just with Ryan and the cute backgrounds. They took a lot of photos that day, especially of Ryan alone with the cute kiddie backgrounds but we
managed to cut it down to just 4 poses. What we anticipated as just a $9.99 deal turned into a $80 ordeal. *sigh*
But Ryan was a great little model and for a 6 week old, he handled the posing and picture taking like a trooper. We didn't get a real smile that day, but at least in the family picture he has hs mouth open and sort of looks happy. *g*

And yes, I did try to dress us all in a similar manner with demin bottoms, Ryan's brown plaid shirt and tan and yellow tees for Brad and I.

Confessions of a Fan

I'm a Clay Aiken fan, I can admit it. It all started about 4 years ago. I am not a big American Idol fan, and didn't really watch the show. But while flipping channels I came across Clay Aiken singing some song on AI. Each Tuesday I would keep flipping back to AI to hopefully catch him singing and then each Thursday I would google the AI results instead of watching the results show on Wednesday.

By the time it was down to the final four, I started watching whole Tuesday episodes. I enjoyed all four of the contestants left. But I still didn't watch the results show and would just google the results Thursday morning. Until there were two... I even managed to catch the Monday special episode. I watched the Tuesday finale and fell in love immediately with Clay's Idol song "This is the Night"- in fact it remains high on my list of all time favorite Clay songs. I HAD to watch Wednesday night. And with the wonder of satellite, I watched the Wednesday results THREE different times hoping somehow the ending would change.

Since then, I've joined various Clay Aiken message boards, a few I still visit daily- ok hourly *g*. I've made some amazing online friends and have traveled to meet some of said friends. I've been to a handful of his concerts, where I've met even more amazing people. I've filled countless discs with audio, video and pictures of him. Plus, I've had the great pleasure of winning one of his fan clubs meet and greet opportunities at the last concert I was able to attend.

The point of all my Clay Aiken ramblings so far today? Being a Clay Aiken fan has helped me learn more about technology, including blogging. There are some amazingly talented and creative fans out there. So, because I know some people would like to know how, here are the steps to posting a video into your blog.
1. Sign up for a You Tube account ( so you can upload your videos to You Tube.
2. Upload the video to You Tube or select a video you have already on You Tube. (I can blog more on that process as well if needed)
3. Once the video is uploaded, click and highlight the text in the box that says embed.
4. Copy and Paste into your blog using the edit Html tab at the top of your blog composition.

I've followed the same steps to add the following video to my blog. It is a video of Clay Aiken during his current summer concert series that the fans have nicked named the "Soft Rock and a Hard Place" Tour. Clay and his backup singers Angela Fisher and Quiana Parler sing a medley of "Classics" while accompanied by an orchestra in effort to make Clay cool. From Sterling Heights, MI July 23rd. Thanks to Huskerfalcon for videotaping.

It is possible to link a video from photobucket as well as I did in my Boredom is the Mother of Invention blog but I think this way is much better.

I hope you enjoy and let me know what you think!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Water Baby

~~~~July 2006~~~~
Ryan is a crab, literally. He was born under the sun sign of Cancer the crab. Cancer is a water sign like Scorpio (me) and Pieces (my mom). Both my mom and I were born on the east coast but she never learned to swim. I wouldn't say I am the best swimmer around but I do like the water. They gave Ryan his first bath in the hospital, or so they say. It was either while I was in recovery or later that night. I don't remember much about those first few hours.
When we brought Ryan home, I was kind of afraid to give him a bath a first. Especially because of the stump left from his cord. For the first while I just gave him a bird bath of sorts. I would fill the sink with warm water and grab a face cloth. I would start with his exposed skin first and then take off his clothes and diaper and wash him up.

When his cord stump finally fell off I took the plunge and gave him his first bath. A water baby he was not. He screamed and screamed and screamed the first few times. It was not the relaxing experience I was hoping for to say the least. He slowly got used to the tub however and began to enjoy it and splash around. He was still iffy about going flat onto his back or getting water in his face.
Then we started taking Ryan to the pool. Ryan really likes the pool and splashing. We used to go to mom and tot swim at lunchtime on base. We'd swim for just over an hour, then go into the sauna on the way out to warm up. Ryan would always fall asleep on the way home and have a really long nap. We've been to the beach (both here and in Kelowna) this summer and apparently the beach is not like the bath or the pool. Maybe the water is too cool but even Cold Lake feels warm this summer and the lake in Kelowna was warm. Maybe it is the lapping, maybe it is the sand but one thing is clear, despite being a crab, Ryan has to work hard at being a water baby.

Boredom is the mother of invention

Ryan has taken to putting/dropping things into other things. We now have to keep our toilet lids down because a couple of toys (including a couple of electronic ones) have taken the plunge. I have to keep my garbage and recycling cans turned around with the opening facing the wall because a couple of toys have been trashed or recycled. The bath tub is often filled with toys. Although he does not sleep in his crib often (or at all really) I always find it filled with toys. My purse and the diaper bag have been known to have surprise items in them if I leave them with in Ryan's reach.

Ryan got into my pantry and found my bag of pop cans to be returned for refund. He took a couple of them out to play with. I think he likes the crinkly sound it makes when he drops it on the floor. So I took the tab off one and let him keep it out to play with. I figured there is no harm in that.

I put a small dish of goldfish on the floor for him to snack on, put him and his pop can in his room with all his toys and put the gate up across his bedroom door. I went and vacuumed the living room, dining room and kitchen. When I came back, my little creative guy had made his own magical musical instrument. (Never mind that he has many rattles already in his toy box in his room!)

IF boredom really is the mother of invention, Ryan and I should be up to something really creative today as Brad has abandoned us and gone to watch a football game in Edmonton with his boss. It is of course Aqua Daze here in Cold Lake, but the weather is overcast with showers and in the high teens. Not the beach weather of last weekend. Maybe Ryan and I will venture out tonight to the fireworks although, we were spoiled when we saw them in Seattle on Ryan's birthday.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Welcome Home ~July 2006~

~~~~July 2006~~~~

There is nothing like a new baby to bring the friends and relatives out in full force. Our son Ryan James was born July 4th 2006 at 6:36 pm. He was born via C-section and by the time I was out of recovery it was too late for visitors. And since Ryan had been born via C-section, we were looking at about a 3 day hospital stay. Ironically, my parents had already started their trek westward from Ontario on that same day and received the news of their first grand baby while spending the night at my aunt and uncles' house.
Although I was a little out of it and looking horrible the next day, Ryan and I had a barrage of visitors. First off was Nicole and Jen from the Brick where Brad works. Brad arrived a little later since he had to get his father to the hospital for an outpatient surgery. Later that day great-grandpa M and grandpa M both came up to quickly take a peek at the new boy in the family. More staff from the Brick stopped by including Nicky, Erin and Rachael. They left when my friend Audrey and Cary from the Brick stopped by.
Day two in the hospital and I was feeling a little more like my self and more mobile for sure. I had even gotten up and showered but even with a full travel sized bottle of conditioner my hair was a tangled mess. There were not many people that came to visit that day, and even Brad had to stay home to over see the delivery of the new bed and finish a couple of things on the main floor renovations. Later in the evening, Chris and Rachael from the Brick stopped by and so did my mom's friend Sharilee.
Day three and I was ready to blow that pop stand and head home. Thinking it is July and summer, I had only packed shorts in my bag to come home. But it was overcast and drizzly that day and I ended up being quite cold when we left the hospital. Thankfully I had brought blankets for Ryan cause I only had a onsie packed for him as well. When we finally got home, I changed into some sweats for myself and a sleeper for Ryan. I sent Brad to get some painkillers for me and some Chinese for lunch. We were expecting my parents to arrive the next day but they phoned to say they were going to drive until they arrived at our place which would be later that night. I don't know what I did for the rest of the day other than catch up on some emails and messages at a few message boards I belong to on the internet. I am sure I also napped so I could be up and awake for a visit when my parents arrived much later that night.
My parents stayed for 2 1/2 weeks. It was great because they were a big help. Brad and Jim worked on some of the basement stuff. Mom helped me with Ryan and kept my house cleaned and helped me cook. The new bed that had been delivered while I was in the hospital was so high that I needed Brad's help in and out of it at first. And even after the first two weeks I needed to use a step stool to get in and out of bed for just over a month more. I needed help stepping into and out of the shower as well since our tub is so deep and I am so short.
While my parents were here, I had my baby shower. Mostly just the girls from the Brick, my friend Audrey and a couple of my Mom's friends from when they lived here. My mom had brought not only many gifts from her and Jim for Ryan but also presents from most of my aunts and uncles as well. The baby shower was a great hit! Near the end of my parents visit, my cousin Andrew (Andy) and his girlfriend Janice came to visit as well. It had been a really long time since I had seen Andy so it was great to see him again.
By the time Thanksgiving arrived, we had also been blessed with a visit from Darryl, Amanda and then 1 year old Kathryn. We travelled west to Donnelly/Grande Prairie for a wedding and to visit with cousin Vance, Sara and the boys. And we made a trip with grandma M to visit great-grandma P in Edmonton.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

I Know What You Did Last Summer

No, I didn't see this movie. But if you know me and my family, then you know what I did last summer. The answer is, I became a mom for the first time. Our son was born July 4th 2006 via C-section just days before our 7 year wedding anniversary.

We had been waiting patiently through June for our little bundle to arrive. And with the Edmonton Oilers making the Stanley Cup playoffs, we were kind of expecting an exciting entrance during game 7 of the finals. But it was not to be, and my husband had a few more days to finish renovating the basement in preparation for the flood of visitors to arrive and meet the baby.

Finally, at a check up with the doctor, as we discussed an induction for the next morning, my water broke, indicating that the baby was not too keen on the induction idea. We did not know the sex of the baby before hand, but we did have a definite boy name picked out and where waiting to see which of three possible names would suit our little girl. That night, we did not have to pick a girls name, as a little boy was born. Dark hair that was curly when wet, dark blue eyes, 7 lbs 6 ozs and almost 20 inches long.

With a C-section birth, we spent a few days in the hospital before heading home and settling in as a new family of three. This past year has seen many firsts, some challenges, some rewards and a lot of love. My goal is to blog and share not only some of those precious firsts from our first year, but also the current goings on of this little clan.