Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Give Aways

Who doesn't love the chance to get something for nothing? – a great online spot for Baby Clothing, Shoes, Toys, Gifts and Cloth Diapers is hosting the Pippalily Baby Slings Give-Away @ go on over and comment and be entered to Win one of two Pippalily Baby Slings! There are also 13 pairs of Bical Grippers up for grabs. Don’t miss out!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Wild Winter Weather

*If you would like more information about Talk about Tuesday or to see what other people are talking about, visit Lara at The Lazy Organizer .

Given where in the world I live and even the name of my town, I shouldn't be surprised that it is cold this time of year. And I'm not, not really. But this type of weather (even when expected) is always a surprise and seems worse than you ever remember. And while it seems to go on forever sometimes, it often returns to near normal in about 10 days. But in the meantime, it makes you wish you didn't have to leave your house. And thankfully for me, for the most part, I don't. Warm jammies, blankets and hot chocolate and soup become the things you are most greatful for.

It started over the weekend. Saturday it was a balmy -5C and there were next to no winds. It was lightly snowing and the snow was wet. Ryan and I went out in sweaters and fleece vests instead of our heavy jackets. By Sunday it had cooled considerably and the winds had picked up making cool windchills. I had us dressed in layers and Ryan was in his snowsuit and a blanket to cover his face for our weekly grocery trip. It continued to snow and the winds made it impossible to tell if it was still snowing or if it was just the fresh snow being blowed around. Many areas were drifted and low cars (especially those with out winter tires- not mine mind you) were getting stuck all over town. On Monday, the little guy I babysit and his parents had adventures as such trying to get here. They got stuck at corners, they got stuck at the gas station, it was one of those days where you wish you could stay in bed with the covers pulled up over your head. It was -30C (-22F)with windchills at -46C(-53F I think).

And it continues. This morning it has dropped to -40C/-40F but thankfully the winds are so minimal that there is no windchill. It was very pretty early this morning because there was fog in the area. Everything had this frosty glow to it. Beautiful but very cold. It is still one of those days that you don't want to venture outside. And each time you pass the thermostat you turn it up just a little more. The forcast for the rest of the week doesn't look much better and sadly, Brad will have to venture out tomorrow to go to work. (It's been his days off the last two days and while he had some work planned he cancelled those plans due to weather.) I will have to brave the weather at some point as well to go have my glucose test done. And I think I may still bundle both boys up for our Friday playgroup (assuming my car has been a little particular this winter about cold weather and sitting without being started for more than 2 days in row).

Monday, January 28, 2008

Winter Give Away

EDIT- This contest is now closed. Check back in the next couple of hours for the winner announcement. Than you to all those who participated.

While visiting a couple of my favorite blogs (and links to their favorite blogs) I stumbled upon the most amazing thing- blog give aways! Now while most of these bloggers are American and are making their give aways available only to US citizens (and with postal prices I can't say I blame them!) some are international as well and I have/will be putting my name in on a few choice items.

So I thought about what I possibly have to give away. I always try to have "gifts" on hand because you never know when you will need something. And now happens to be one of those times it seems. I am going to make this give away available to any Canadian or American address. Please leave me a comment with your email that I can use to contact you if you are the winner. I will be selecting a winner at random on Saturday, February 2nd after 6 PM PST. I will contact the winner via email (and/or their blog- if you have one!). If I have not heard back from the winner within one week (by February 9th) I will choose another winner.

My offering:

I have this wonderful copy of Shoofly Pie (book and cd in a carrying case) from Do-Re-Me & You and Discovery Toys. My son has a copy that is already well worn (well the book anyway) and while there is a copy of a recipe for shoofly pie I am embarrassed to admit it is not one I have tried!

Good Luck!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Weekly Menu Plan January27- February 2

*Even though I always post my weekly menu on Sunday (because that is when I do my grocery shopping), I will be joining Menu Plan Monday. For more dinner ideas and Menu Plan Monday participants, please visit Laura of I’m An Organizing Junkie.
This week's menu:
Sunday- Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Tomato Soup (it's a very cold day and we need something to warm us up!)
Monday-Pasta and garlic toast.
Tuesday-Breakfast for Supper (eggs, bacon, toast, hash browns and fruit)
Wednesday- Pizza and salad
Thursday- Chicken breasts, rice and broccoli
Saturday-Chinese/possibly eating out

When grocery shopping this week, there wasn't a whole lot that I picked up. But there was some fruit on sale and so I picked up not only my usual bananas but also some mineola tangerines, red grapes and green grapes. I also have two granny smith apples left from last week and some strawberries in the freezer. I am going to make some muffins this week as well ( a bunch of different varieties) and freeze them. Ryan and Mason love to eat muffins and Brad also likes to have muffins in his lunch. They are an easy snack and when they have been already made and frozen, I just need to take a couple out the night before to have for the next day.

SMART update

*For more information about SMART habit Saturday, please see Laura at The Lazy Organizer.
My personal SMART habits for January.
Here we are at the end of week 3 of my SMART habit for January. This week is the last week of working on it and I hope to be able to move onto a new SMART habit for February. It is getting easier to keep my habits, but it does take some work still. They are not automatic. My menu planning went well and I stuck to it every day but one. There is something about red meat (ground beef especially) and my pregnancies that just do not go together well. That made my pasta night (as my favorite pasta sauce is a bolognaise meat sauce) the one night this week that we didn't stick to the menu.
Also with the news from the last doctor's appointment, I fell into a little bit of a funk. I spent most of the day Wednesday and Thursday on the couch. I didn't bother to change out of my pyjamas and my kitchen did not get cleaned each night. I also neglected my daily list of chores. So that wasn't so great this week. By Friday, however, I forced myself to actually start getting back into the swing of things. My MIL came for a brief visit and I have better hopes for this coming week. To make things a little more challenging, Brad has been putting in some extra hours at work. He stayed an extra hour Friday night, last night we went with him for almost 3 hours after supper and then tonight he is gone back for about another 3 hours. He also has some work that will keep him occupied during his two days off this week.
Even though I should not be tackling the removal and storage of the Christmas decorations alone, I think the time has come. I will do what I can on my own and hope that at some point this week Brad can take some time to help with the rest.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Best Laid Plans

*If you are interested in more information about Talk About Tuesday, visit Lara at The Lazy Organizer. *

I spent most of last week and this past weekend reading and preparing myself for my doctor's appointment today. We are at the point where it is time to talk about the birth. Ryan's birth started pretty normally, with my water breaking in the doctors office at a routine appointment about 6 days past due. We had just finished talking about scheduling and induction for the next morning since I was almost a week past due, Ryan seemed a fair size already and I am a little more on the "petite" side. My labour progressed relatively quickly (from 2 cm to 10 cm in just a couple of hours) but without what I was expecting as contractions. Without the contractions to help me know when to push, I was unable to push effectively. Even when the nurse told me when to push by watching my contractions on the electronic fetal monitoring, it was not much help. Ryan ended up being born via a c-section(Cesarean), his pointy head telling me that he and I tried our best.

At my 6 week post-partum visit my doctor told me the next baby would be a repeat c-section. I did not pay much attention to what he said because I had just had a baby and was not thinking of having another just yet at that point. When I did get pregnant again, my doctor did say his personal recommendation would be a repeat c-section (which he went ahead and scheduled for 10 days before my due date) but he has acknowledged my lack of interest in an elective repeat c-section. Thus began our dialogue of a possible VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean) for this birth with both Brad and the doctor thinking that a repeat c-section is the best choice here. I just wasn't sure it was the best choice for me, or my baby.

I began by reading The VBAC Companion. It had some really great information. It included addressing fears that many woman have of VBACs, the risks and the rewards. There were lists of questions to ask your doctor/midwife, your hospital/birth centre and doulas. It did recommend some sort of labour support, the most common being a doula and how important it is to have another woman, especially one who has also given birth, there with you, one on one, focusing only on you. There was a section on labour and how to make the most of your labour to make your VBAC successful. Many of the suggestions for a successful vbac labour were things that I did not have in my labour with Ryan. The book also talked about having a repeat c-section, when it is necessary, pros and the cons. I especially appreciated the first hand accounts from different women with different birth stories.

Next, I moved on to Having A Baby, Naturally. This book was recommended to me by most of the other mothers in my breastfeeding support and play group. I read the whole book but focused on the chapters dealing with labour and birth. There was information about each type of birth, different types of medical assistance during labour and different pain management techniques both drug related and non drug related. I easily understood why it was so popular with the women who had recommended it to me.

In this technology based age, I moved onto Internet searches about vbacs. I found quite a few sites that helped me in my research and decision making process.

Finally, I talked to a couple of people I know who have had both successful VBACs and attempted VBACs. While I still had a couple of questions for my doctor about my own situation and my previous birth history (somethings I don't quite remember about Ryan's birth), I felt certain that I wanted at least a TOL (trial of labour) with this baby with the hopes of a successful VBAC. Armed with my list of questions for my doctor and my own knowledge on the subject, I walked into my appointment.

"If you want to make God laugh, all you gotta do is tell him your plans..." goes a line from When You Say You Love Me by Clay Aiken. Very fitting for this afternoon. This was my first appointment since my 20 week ultrasound (which due to unforeseeable circumstances actually ended up being a 23 week scan). My doctor was able to confirm that the baby is a boy! He also said that things looked very good, EXCEPT... and before he even said it, I knew it was something that would make a difference in my VBAC attempt. At this point I have placenta previa. I think he said partial, but he said that if the placenta did not move, a c-section would be mandatory. So for now, we are looking at having another ultrasound at 32 weeks to see if the placenta has moved or not. I told him of the research I had been doing on VBAC and how that would be my choice if the placenta moved. He said we would talk about it again after the 32 week scan but that he still felt a c-section was the best bet. He also suggested I search for VBAC in small women since my frame is so petite. He said if I was a normal to tall woman he would wholeheartedly support my VBAC efforts.

So, for now, I am looking to keep an eye on the placenta previa situation. I hope it will change and so I will search for information on VBACs in small women. I will also research the different types of placenta previa and if infact it means a mandatory c-section or if a vbac is possible. This diagnosis has made me a little more cautious. While I may want a VBAC, and while it may be a good choice for my baby, that was before I knew of this possible placenta previa complication. If the placenta does not move, it very well be in the best interest of my health and the health of my unborn baby boy to go ahead with a planned c-section.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Menu Plan January 20th-26th

This week I am falling back on a couple of old favorites we have not had yet in 2008 as we have been trying new recipes.

Sunday- Rotisserie Chicken with mashed potatoes, gravy, stove top and broccoli

Monday-Steak with baby roasted potatoes& garlic toast

Tuesday-Hamburgers with French fries and potato salad

Wednesday-Chicken wings with rice

Thursday- Pasta with Tomato Sauce and garlic toast

Friday- Sandwiches/leftovers/ take out

Saturday- Crock pot Ham with mashed potatoes and corn

Unfortunately, there are quite a few nights when I don't know what Ryan will have. Tonight I know he will scarf down the mashed potatoes, gravy and stove top. I'll give him a little chicken but I don't know if he will eat it. Monday night I am guessing I will have to give him something else. Maybe we will have mac and cheese for lunch and he can have lunch leftovers for supper.
Tuesday he will eat fries and I'll have him try potato salad. I will probably make him some chicken nuggets to go with with extra to have Wednesday night instead of the wings but he will have the rice. Thursday he will eat what we have, no problem and Friday too and then Saturday he will eat the mashed potatoes again and might pick at the ham.

Have a great week everyone! Happy planning and Bon Apetit!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

SMART update- Getting Started is Half the Battle

*If you want to know more about SMART Habit Saturday, please visit The Lazy Organizer.

It is hard to believe that another week has gone by. With January more than half over, I think I am actually making progress on my SMART goals for the month. I don't know if it was because my menu was so simple, if it was because I was back on my schedule but we were able to stick to my menu plan almost every night. Of course Wednesday posed a problem and it is one of the nights that Brad is at work later than normal. By the time he got home and was able to take over the Ryan duty, it was much too late to make fajitas so we just made nachos with melted cheese and salsa. Not the best supper in the world but we did eat. And I had had wheat toast with pb a little earlier as a snack. We moved meals by one day and so the Rotisserie chicken we were to have tonight we will actually have tomorrow. YAY for having next week started already! Plus, I didn't have to go to the grocery store today just to get the chicken and since tomorrow is my regular shopping day I think it just works out for the best. Not to mention it is a simple and easy meal since Sunday afternoons can be so hectic.

I am pleased to say that my second habit is coming along nicely as well. For 5 of the past 6 nights, I have gone to bed with my kitchen looking like this. I took the picture this morning when I got up. It is just so nice to walk into a nice clean kitchen first thing in the morning. It kind of helps start my day off right. It makes me want to keep it clean throughout the day and that in turn makes it easier to keep clean. Make sense? There are still a couple of "cluttered" areas in my kitchen (and the rest of my house) but I am slowly working on them. I have also been fairly consistent with making sure my daily chore list is completed. And for the first time in weeks (maybe months) we actually took the garbage out Thursday night instead of getting up early Friday morning. I found it quite nice actually.
Yes, I still have Christmas decorations up/out. Haven't you ever heard of "Don't Save it All for Christmas Day"?! Seriously though, that is a project I will attempt to tackle over the next couple of nights. Except for maybe a couple of snowmen items. After all, it will still be winter in these parts for quite a while yet.

Friday, January 18, 2008

5 Favorites

5 Favorite Indulgence Foods:
1. French Fries
2. Chocolate
3. Ketchup Chips
4. Chocolate Ice Cream
5. Strawberries (with dip or chocolate)

5 Favorite Movies
1. The Cutting Edge
2. The American President
3. Holiday Inn/White Christmas
4. Casablanca
5. Breakfast At Tiffany's

5 Favorite Dates
1. July 4th
2. July 10th
3. December 25th
4. October 29th
5. August 13th

5 Favorite Books
1. Little Women
2. Anne of Green Gables
3. Jewel/No Greater Love
4. Any Alex Cross novel by James Patterson
5. Socks for Supper

5 Favorite Songs
1. Pump It- Black Eyed Peas
2. Dreams- Gabrielle
3. Tainted Love- Soft Cell
4. Forever Tonight- Peter Cetera
5. A Thousand Days - Clay Aiken (what?! You had to know there would be at least one! ;) )

BTW, speaking of Clay Aiken; tonight was his opening night on broadway in Spamalot. Reports from friends who were there say it is very funny and worth seeing if you have the chance. Sadly, I will be sitting this Clay adventure out. Although I suspect I would run a very high risk of peeing my pants and not just from laughing!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

It all started with...

I was going to post these yesterday, under Wordless Wednesday. They are the newest (from last week's scan) pictures of baby boy #2. We have some from the first scan as well but they were on a film like sheet (more like negatives than actual pictures) like Ryan's scan and very hard to scan to the computer.

I like the first one and the last one the best. It is hard to tell but the tech swears that in the first one, baby is looking right out at us. And well that little hand in the last one is just too cute for words. We have one from Ryan where you can see he is sucking his thumb. I would post it, but like I said above, it was more like a negative than a picture and therefore super difficult to scan.

So, as I was saying, I was going to post this yesterday (when I was also catching up on the blogs that were missing from my computer woes) but Ryan was feeling a little under the weather and being a big ole suck. (I wouldn't even had gotten the updated blogs up except that they were already written and I just uploaded them during nap times) It all started yesterday morning just minutes after Brad left. Ryan was running around the kitchen with a clean, empty Tylenol syringe/plunger thingy in his mouth. Being the klutz he is, he fell and all of a sudden he was howling and had a mouthful of blood. I still don't know where exactly he cut his mouth. It took a while, and freaked out Mason a little, but I was able to calm Ryan, stop the bleeding and I gave him a dose of Tylenol for pain. He had his breakfast like usual (a bowl of cheerios and a yogurt) and after watching a little bit of "baboo" he went for his nap. Usually his morning nap is 1 1/2 to 2 hours but yesterday Ryan woke up screaming after just 45 minutes. From then on, he HAD to be in my arms.

And we couldn't be up walking around. It had to be snuggled in my arms/lap with his favorite blankie and his puppy dog. He wouldn't play with Mason, he wouldn't chase the cat, he wouldn't eat nor drink anything, wouldn't take his soother at times and he took short sporadic naps throughout the day. I tried all his favorite foods, I tried water, milk and juice, but after just one or two bites or sips the poor little thing would push it away and cry. Even snuggled in my lap, he whimpered most of the day.

I called Brad at work and put him on speakerphone. At first Ryan was very excited to hear Daddy, but when he realised Daddy wasn't actually at home he pushed the phone away and started crying again. Brad suggested crushing some ice and I remembered some pedialite freezies I had in the freezer neither worked on Ryan although Mason liked the crushed ice. And all I can say is Thank God for Family Channel, TreeHouse and Teletoon Retro (especially Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show and the Road Runner Show).

After Mason was picked up, I had to bundle us both up to go to Walmart to pick up some Motrin and Tylenol. He didn't want to to walk from the car to the store and he didn't want to ride in a cart so I just carried him through the store and back out. And we HAD to take his favorite blue blankie with us. Ryan cheered up slightly and wanted to play a little when Brad came home. He didn't eat anything at supper nor before bed. And he still wasn't drinking but he did have a couple of ice chips. We put him in his crib at his bedtime and he slept for maybe an hour before waking up screaming. Since his last dose of Tylenol had been at dinner time(right after returning from Walmart) I was able to give him a dose of Motrin and then I took him to bed with me. We let him sleep in our bed all night and he slept pretty well. I think we would have been up multiple times if not every hour if we had kept putting him back in his own crib.

Today he was a little better; he ate a little, he drank 3-4 glasses of apple juice and he played. He was still whiny but not as clingy. His morning nap was short but he had a nice long one in the afternoon. I decided that since he seemed in better spirits, and since there was still no fever, I would not expose either of us to the germs of the ER. We have a regularly scheduled appointment on Tuesday. If he gets worse before then, we will go to the ER. I think it was just because his poor little mouth was hurting from his fall. And there is that pesky eye tooth that keeps wanting to break through. Ryan has been asleep in his crib for about 2 hours now. Sleep well little man!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Computer woes

You may have noticed that I have posted a bunch of blogs that I meant to have posted in the last week. The reason for this is that I was having computer issues. At first it was my virus and spy ware checkers that kept telling me they could not successfully update because of a corrupt file. So while this was going on I didn't want to go online and risk my computer which sometimes feels like another appendage. I tried a couple of things that didn't seem to help. Then I ran a disk cleanup and found a couple of corrupt files and had those repaired or deleted as the cleanup suggested. I thought I was back in action but it turns out that one of the deleted files in the disk cleanup stopped my resident shield from working. I tried a couple of different things to fix that but in the end I had to download the program again and install a repaired version of the resident shield. But things finally got up and running and now I have a weeks worth of blogs to post.

**HA! the jokes on me! I got my computer up and running again, got my blog written and ready to post but didn't get to post it yesterday.

Remember When?

I remember when Ryan got his first tooth. He was 9 months old (lucky me, it helped us stay breastfeeding for over 12 months) and it was Easter weekend. Now Ryan is 18 months old and has 12 teeth (4 top, 4 bottom and 4 molars). It seems like his top eye teeth want to poke through as well. I didn't think I would get used to seeing teeth in his mouth at first, but now I can barely remember his cute little gummy smile.

**This was to be posted Monday, January 14/08

Menu Plan January 13-19 2008

Sunday- Kraft Dinner
Mac and Cheese out of the box.

Monday-Chicken Strips with Potato Chips
Frozen Chicken Strips and Potato Chip recipe from Dec 30.

Tuesday-Chef Salad with Garlic Toast

Wednesday-Chicken Fajitas

Thursday- Hot Dogs, French Fries and Potato Salad

Friday- Sandwiches/leftovers/ take out

Saturday- Rotisserie Chicken
I just buy this at the store but bring it home and sprinkle some seasoning on it and put it on warm in the oven for an hour or so. I'll make mashed potatoes, gravy and stove top with it.

**This was to be posted Sunday, January 13/08

SMART- Update

Despite the menu being planned and the ingredients being bought, suppers did not go as well this week. Perhaps it had something to do with Brad being off all week and that it kind of threw off my own personal schedule. Perhaps it was due to the household projects we tackled each day and how much time they took. We often found ourselves drained and exhausted at the end of the day and the last thing we felt like doing was making supper and then having to clean that up as well. The good news (to me!) is that we didn't eat out every single night. We did have take out one night, but we also ate frozen leftovers, mac and cheese out of the box and frozen pizza. Not the most healthy of meals but better than take out in my books.

I didn't start the second part of my SMART habit for January yet; keeping my kitchen clean by cleaning it each night before bed. Hopefully next week with Brad at work and my personal schedule back on track, I will be able to tackle that. I also have made a list of chores and a schedule of when they need to be done.

Chore List
Legend: BR- Brad B-Bobbi

BR- load/unload dishwasher
BR- wash dishes
B- tidy living room, dining room, kitchen,
hall and Ryan’s room
B- vacuum living room, dining room, kitchen,
hall and Ryan’s room
B- take bag of diapers to garage

B-dark laundry

B-mop kitchen/dining room

B-light laundry
BR-vacuum behind/under couch

B-clean bathrooms
B-vacuum master bedroom
B-get garbage/recycling together
BR-clean kitty litter
BR-take out garbage before bed

B-linens (towels, bedding, blankets,ect) laundry
B-mop kitchen/dining room

B-spot wash walls/baseboards
B-vacuum stairs and downstairs
B-mop downstairs

B-menu plan for next week & make grocery list

B-grocery shop
B-clean out fridge
B-clean out pantry

Sometimes I feel like I am becoming a little, dare I say, anal about this organizing. But I am not sure that is a bad thing!

**This was to be posted Saturday, January 12/08

Sick Car

Friday is usually our playgroup day. But since Brad was heading back to work this afternoon, I decided that Ryan and I would stay home and spend a last couple of hours with him before he headed back to work after his holiday. I have to admit it was really quiet and kind of lonely with Brad being back to work this afternoon. We made his supper and packed it up to take it to him. I bundled us up, put Ryan's car seat back in my car (it had been in Brad's) and then we were off! Or at least that was the plan. My car wouldn't start. It wasn't overly cold. My car was in the garage. We had thought my recent car issues were because the plug on my car or something wasn't working properly. But now it looks like there might be a problem with the battery. It doesn't seem to keep a charge.

Thankfully we plugged the car into the battery charger, and the next day it started no problem. But it looks like the bug will need a trip into the city to the dealer to see if they can figure this out. In the meantime, I am going to have to try to remember to take my car for a little ride at least every other day.

**This was to be posted Friday, January 11/08

What were we thinking?

So yesterday we decided to move our entertainment centre a couple of inches. Why? Well to fit Brad's computer tower in so that it wasn't out in the middle of the floor and I wasn't always moving it back against the entertainment centre so the boys would have more room to play. Brad's computer tower should be downstairs in the "office" with his two nice monitors. But since we are still on a waiting list to have our under slab heating hooked up downstairs and the "office" has morphed into the "catch all/junk" room (a post and a household task for another day or week!) the computer tower has moved up to the living room and he uses the big TV as his monitor. (I will admit it is nice!)
Anyhow, back to the move. This was not an easy task and it took most of the day. We had to take just about everything out of the four different sections and then move them. Since I had everything out, I also dusted and cleaned the glass. We set up the cords for the 3 lights as well. I don't think we've had those set up since we moved into the house. Brad also rewired his speakers since the new heavy duty speaker wire he won late last year had arrived. He also changed the bulb in the TV that has been giving us daily messages that we need to replace it since early October. We don't know why it hasn't stopped working before this point. I probably should have packed away my Christmas decorations that were being housed in the entertainment centre instead of putting them back, but I am not quite ready to say goodbye to the Christmas feeling yet and besides, one household project a day is more than sufficient I say!
**This was to be posted Thursday, January 10/08

Mommys Little Helper

*This post is to be for Wednesday, January 9th.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

It's a...

Today was the big 20 week ultrasound. It got pushed back from before Christmas so I am actually already just past 23 weeks. The official results be ready in about a week and I see my Dr again 2 weeks from today. I had heard that the U/S techs will not tell you the sex of the baby unless your doctor has made a note in your file. I didn’t know this before my last dr’s appointment so I was not expecting to get to find out today. But when Brad and Ryan were brought in to see the baby Brad asked the tech if we could see. She made sure we both wanted to know and then she moved the little wand around to get a good look. She didn’t tell us it was a boy she just kind of pointed out the two legs and then said, “and this is what you are looking to know”. I didn’t have the best vantage point from the bed, and Brad admits to not having a clue what he was looking at but that he thinks it was boy parts. I must admit, so do I. And we did mention to the tech about all the boys in Brad’s family and how we expected this one to be a boy and she didn’t correct us. So I guess another boy it is! I suppose I can always ask Dr. H at my next appointment.

Thirteen Reasons We’re Glad it’s Another Boy.
13. We already know how to handle a baby boy.
12. Ryan has a new friend to play rough with (when they are older).
11. I don’t have to worry about spending so much time dressing up a baby girl that Ryan never gets out of his pajamas again.
10. All those boy themed and blue blankets will get more use.
9. All those boys toys that both boys can share.
8. More Lego for Brad!
7. More cars for Brad!
6. The boys can share a room as long as we want them to.
5. Still no one in the house who will one day want to borrow my clothes, make-up or jewelry (or so we hope!)
4. All those cute clothes that Ryan finally outgrew but due to the large quantity of them, never wore out.
3. Ryan will finally get to be bigger than another boy, at least for a little while.
2. Despite having used both our favorite boy names on Ryan, thanks to Ryan we may have come up with a name for baby boy #2. It’s a new series of sounds Ryan has started making, but we are going to keep it to ourselves for a bit.
1. We’re just glad the baby seems happy and healthy as he kicked up a storm during the ultrasound.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Sleep and Daddy and Strollers, oh my!

Last week I blogged about some sleep issues we have been having with Ryan. Today, I want to update it a little. We have had 3 nights of not waking up or ending up in Mommy and Daddy’s bed, 3 nights of 10-13 hours of sleep a night. It has been great! The downside, it seems like Ryan’s 2nd nap is no more. And it makes him very irritable and grumpy from late afternoon till after supper. His appetite has slowed a little in the last three days as well and he just picking at his lunch and supper, but eating a good breakfast and snacking throughout the rest of the day.

We’ve been enjoying having Daddy home, although I am not getting much done. I’ve been taking the opportunity to nap and we’ve been watching movies. Tomorrow we have a jam packed agenda with errands and appointments, and during Ryan’s usual nap time, so it could be an interesting day.

After mild weather late last week and over the weekend, it has cooled again. The long range forecast shows milder weather for next week but that could easily change. I usually don’t mind winter weather but I am getting to the point where most of my jackets do not do up over my belly and the colder weather tends to keep me inside for that reason.

For his birthday back in the summer, Ryan was given a wagon from my parents. The wagon came with 4 wheels and 4 ski’s. He loves his wagon and as long as it is just him and I, he will stay in it as long as I am pulling it. Mason does not like to stay in, so if I have both of them, Ryan will get out when Mason gets out. I was hoping this week to put the skis on the wagon and give it a try.

I’ve begun researching double strollers. When we had Ryan we bought an evenflo travel system. Of the systems we were actually able to see in person (very limited supply around these parts) I liked the evenflo best because of the handle and it was one of the lightest. The stroller seemed sturdy, easily maneuverable and collapsible. We have gotten much use from it. (Ryan is so little we still can use the infant car seat! Although I think those days are about to be behind us…)

I purchased a double umbrella at the baby consignment sale in the spring because I had just started babysitting and I wanted to use it with both Ryan and Mason. It is great for going for walks and to the park with both boys. And it folds down easily and I can put it in the trunk of my car even. But it is no good in most stores (too wide to get into stores or isles). I can go to Walmart with it though and as long as it is not crowded and there isn't a cart coming the other direction of some isles, we can go and pick up things. If people help me with the doors I can also get into my bank and the post office. (They have double doors at the bank and wide for wheel chair access at the post office.) It is ok to push but it can be difficult to steer, especially tight corners.

For a double stroller I am looking at the "tandem" stlye where they sit one in front of each other instead of side by side. I know each child is different but just in case the next one is little like Ryan I want to make sure I get one that accepts an infant car seat (which Ryan still technically fits into at only 21 pounds...). That is where it gets a little tricky because most I have seen take only the same brand car seat as the stroller and I don't want to have to invest in another infant seat. I have only seen one evenflo double stroller so far. Good to know one exists but reading up on it, the reviews are not so great. While we have had much luck with our stroller (only now 18 months later showing some wear- bowing out at the wheels) the mother of the little guy I babysit had the same stroller and she constantly had problems with wheels coming off. After the 3rd set of wheels from the company she just went out and bought a new jogger stroller with the all terrain wheels. Now to be fair she uses her stroller constantly as she doesn't drive.

Another thing I am looking for is that the stroller folds up and then the size and weight when it folds up. While I would use it for walks, I would also use it running errands around town, at the mall, at walmart, ect. So I am looking for something that would fit in my car. Ideally in my trunk, but even Ryan's single didn't do that so I would put Ryan in his seat behind the passenger side and put his stroller behind the driver side. Now with two car seats in the back I wouldn't be able to do that, but I could possibly put it in the front seat leaning against the seat. While a new car would be nice, I just don't think it will be feasable barring a moderate lottery win before baby #2 comes along. Perhaps when I go back to work, but I would like to stay home for about a year with baby #2.

So that brings me to the third thing on my shopping list for a double stroller. And that is price. I don’t necessarily want the cheapest stroller out there but I am not about to spend a small fortune on one. And if I can find one used and in good condition, even better! I welcome any advice on double strollers from those of you out there reading this!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Weekly Menu Plan

Menu Plan (Week of Jan 6-12)

Sunday- 15 minute Taco in a Pan
1 pound extra lean ground beef
2 cups water
1 (1.25 ounce) package TACO BELL HOME ORIGINALS Taco Seasoning Mix
2 cups MINUTE White Rice, uncooked
1 cup KRAFT Mexican Style Shredded Cheese
2 cups shredded lettuce
2 cups chopped tomatoes
Cooking Directions:
Brown meat in large nonstick skillet; drain.
Add water and seasoning mix; stir. Bring to boil.
Stir in rice. Sprinkle with cheese; cover.
Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 min.
Top with lettuce and tomatoes.
Yield: 4 servings
Fun Idea:
Top with coarsely crushed tortilla chips and salsa if desired.

Monday-BBQ Chicken Skillet
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into chunks
1 teaspoon oil
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup KRAFT or BULL'S-EYE Original Barbecue Sauce
1 1/2 cups MINUTE White Rice, uncooked
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped zucchini
Cooking Directions:
Brown chicken in oil in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat 3 min.
Add water, barbecue sauce and rice. Bring to boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low; sprinkle with pepper and zucchini.
Cover. Simmer 10 min.
Yield: 4 servings
Prepare as directed, using boneless skinless chicken breasts. Substitute red pepper and zucchini with broccoli and carrots.

*my personal recipe- maybe I’ll share it at another time ;)

Wednesday-Beef Stew
*From Wolf Gang Puck
2 pounds Beef Chuck
1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
3 tablespoons Oil
2 tablespoons Butter
1 Large onion, cut into 1/2 inch thick wedges
2 Large Cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 cup Dry Red Wine
2 cups Homemade Beef Stock or Canned Beef Broth
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 Bay Leaf
7 Fresh Large Sage Leaves, washed and dried
1 pound Butternut Squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 pound Parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 Medium Carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 pound Roma tomatoes, cored, blanched, peeled, seeded, and diced
Cooking Directions:
Cut the beef into 1-inch cubes.
On a piece of waxed paper or in a plastic food storage bag combine flour, salt and pepper.
Toss beef cubes in flour mixture to coat or place beef cubes in food storage bag and shake until beef cubes are coated with flour mixture.
In a wide, heavy saucepan, heat the oil.
Brown beef cubes on all sides, removing from pan as browned.
In the same saucepan, melt the butter.
Saute the onion and garlic until translucent.
Deglaze with red wine and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of saucepan.
Return the meat to the pan.
Add stock, vinegar and bay leaf.
Cover and let simmer 1 hour.
Cut the sage leaves into a chiffonade (I have no idea what this means!) and stir into sauce with the butternut, squash, parsnips, carrots and tomatoes.
Cover and let simmer 20 minutes or until meat and vegetables are tender.
Remove bay leaf and correct seasonings.
Yield: 4 servings
Notes: I will be omitting the onions and the red wine. I am substituting potatoes for parsnips.

Thursday- left overs/sandwhiches/take out

Friday- sandwiches *hubby back to work/just Ryan and I

Saturday-Quick Fettuccine Cacciatore
*From my friend Lea
300 g fettuccine, uncooked
2 tsp. vegetable Oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped
1 cup each sliced green peppers and sliced mushrooms
1 can (19 oz) Petite Cut Tomatoes with Garlic and Olive Oil, undrained
1 cup Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing
1 cup Kraft 4 Cheese Italiano Shreds
chopped fresh basil leaves
Cooking Directions:
Cook pasta as directed on package
Heat oil in large skillet on med. high
Add chicken; stir until no longer pink
Add peppers and mushrooms, cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally
Stir in tomatoes with their liquid and the dressing
Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through
Toss pasta with chicken mixture.
Sprinkle with cheese and basil
Makes four 2 cup servings

Update on last week's plan...

I would say it was successful here. We tried three new recipes, one was a hit and the other two just need a little tweaking. We have extra portions of one meal frozen in the freezer for later. Wednesday night however, I was so exhausted after the little guy I babysit left that we decided to just get McDonalds so I could have a little before dinner nap. So we shuffled the menu down a day and had Wednesday on Thursday and Thursday on Friday (hubby eneded up being home unexpectedly).

Then on Saturday (cause hubby was home again unexpectedly) we tackled a major kitchen reshuffle to make room for the new dishes and small appliances from Christmas and finally finished unpacking his mom's china and crystal. It took all day! We didn't even get out of our jammies. Since I like to buy my steak fresh, I had planned on picking it up Saturday while out but since we didn't get out of the house at all, we ordered in from one of our favorite restaurants.

We would have just made something at home but we were out of just about everything and it was very late by the time we finally got everything put away. I like to try to shop just once a week but I usually end up making a second run for milk, bread and other items on Thursday/Friday or Saturday while Brad is at work and I have just Ryan. But Brad's vacation started early and since he was home my own schedule changed and I never got back out to the grocery store.

This Tuesday is 10% Tuesday at our grocery store. So I am going grocery shopping today (because we NEED to) but I am only getting things we need for today, Monday and Tuesday. Then on Tuesday I plan to go back and get groceries for the rest of the week's dinners. I have also made a mock menu plan for the rest of the month ('till the next 10% Tuesday) so that I can buy any freezable, dry goods, lunch items, snacks, ect. My goal is to try to save some $$ that way. We'll see what happens through the month. If nothing else, by shopping on 10% Tuesday we are saving double the sales tax on our groceries. This is not something I could easily accomplish by myself however as I usually have Mason on Tuesdays and Brad is sometimes at work. But even with Mason, if Brad can schedule himself off on the 10% Tuesdays it might be worth while.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

SMART Habit Saturday

I found this blog/group called SMART habit Saturday by Lara of The Lazy Organizer. As the graphic explains, SMART stands for Saving Money, Associations, Reasources and Time. Since we are just into the first week of the new year, it seems like a great time to have found something like this. From my days as a language teacher, I remember a mentor once told me that when it comes to learning a new language, you often have to learn and forget a concept three times before it sticks. I know of times in my own language learning past, and experiences with my students that this is often the case. So it makes sense to me that forming new habits or breaking old ones is not something that can be done overnight (much as we would like). I've read somewhere that it takes 21-30 days of doing something to make it a habit. So I like the idea that at The Lazy Organizer, she is looking to focus on one new habit a month. I don't know what 12 things I will focus on in the next year, I think to be successful I need to flexible about what I am focusing on. We have a couple of things that will change in our lives over the next year and I am sure there are things to which we will need to adapt. For January I have two SMART habits I want to focus on- only because I couldn't decide which to tackle first.

My first priority is Menu Planning. My goal here is to eat better, to know what I am making for supper, to shop for my menu needs Sunday when I go to Sobeys (our supermarket) instead of heading out to pick out ingredients for supper every or every other day and of course, to stick to this plan. This is also one of my new years resolutions and I started last week. We've just finished one full week of a menu plan and we followed the plan 5 out of 7 nights. I think it was successful for the first week. We tried 3 new recipes, have a second helping of one in the freezer and found at least one we really liked. The other two may take just a little tweaking.

My second priority is tidyness. Since my living room, dining room and kitchen areas are open concept and all together, I want to focus on tidying this area of my house everyday. My goal is to pick up Ryan's toys, clear off/wipe down my table and counters and finish the dishes before I go to bed everynight. Vacuming and washing the floors every day or other day would be great but may need to wait until February.

I want to thank my sister-in-law because it was from her blog that I found first An Ordinary Mom and from there The Lazy Organizer. She is not only a great sister but a good mom, friend and someone I admire and respect.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Winter Fun

We had planned a little family time in the new year and so I asked to not babysit the little boy I have a couple of days a week for the first full week of January (6-12). Brad took the week off as well (although there has been a last minute change and he has been off from the 1st and will go back on the 11th) and we have some household projects planned for the week plus an ultrasound and a haircut! Perhaps a trip to the city as well, although that is not a for sure at this point.

But since today is the last day I have Mason for a while, I thought what fun it would be to take Ryan and Mason out sledding. Mother Nature is cooperating and the weather is mild and sunny outside. (This morning there was some freezing rain/snow/sleet that kept us from going to our usual playgroup.) So as soon as naps were over and lunch was had, we ventured outside. There is a nice sledding hill just behind the houses across the street.

At first I sat both boys in the sled to take them over (Ryan sat in Mason’s lap) and then we found a nice “little” hill for them. We sent them down the hill in the sled together the first time and that was ok. Then we took them back up, we sent Mason down in the sled and Brad got on the blue saucer with Ryan. Then we switched and put Ryan in the sled and Mason on the blue saucer alone. I wish I had been able to capture the smile on their faces that time. We tried it again but Ryan’s sled tipped at the end and he fell over into the snow. Mason didn’t want to ride anymore after that, even after a short ride with me on the blue slide, he didn’t want anything to do with the sleds and insisted on walking home. Despite his tumble in the sled, Ryan was content to sit in it and be pulled. Of course I have taken him for walks in this before and it is usually a very pleasant experience.

When we got back to our house, Brad shoveled the light dusting of snow we got over night and I let the boys just play around in the driveway. I put each of them up in the snow bank but neither seemed too interested in playing in the snow, they just wanted to be down walking around the cars in the driveway and garage. We spent just over an hour outside and sadly the sun was already beginning to set as we headed upstairs after taking off all our winter gear.

While I am sure Ryan will love having Daddy home to play over the next week, I suspect he will miss his buddy Mason.


If you notice Ryan’s snowsuit, it is all one piece with a hood (that doesn’t have a drawstring to make it tight), detachable booties and detachable mittens with no thumbs. It is the only snowsuit we have that fits Ryan this year but it is great. I do however, put a toque on him always since the hood doesn’t have a drawstring and is quite loose on his head, plus his toque has ear flaps and ties under his chin so he can’t pull it off. I also put other mittens on him under his attached mittens because again they are a little loose. I also put either his robeez booties or his hiking boots on under the attached booties to help keep his feet warm and dry incase snow gets down there.

Just before Christmas at the end of a bitterly cold windy weather streak and I was in Walmart with Ryan. We had been out running errands all day and I knew before we left that it was cold, that the mall and Walmart would be swamped and we would have to park far away so I bundled him up in his snowsuit. We had just finished paying at Walmart and I pushed my cart over by the customer service counter so I could redress Ryan (I had taken off his hat, mittens and unzipped his suit to get his arms out) when a lady came over and told me that was some suit Ryan was wearing. She went on to say she was glad to see some parents still know how to appropriately dress their children for winter weather.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Talk About...Toddler Sleep Issues

We finally transitioned Ryan to his room and his big boy crib in early September. By Canadian Thanksgiving (early October) he was sleeping 2 1-2 hour naps and 10-12 hours a night in his room. Occasionally he would wake up middle of the night but it was usually health related (a stuffy nose making it hard to breathe, cutting a new tooth, a blow out in the diaper,ect). Since Christmas his sleep patterns have gone all to crap.

I know our routine has been a little disrupted over the holidays and he is a little over stimulated during the day what with the decorations, the special treats and sweets, the Christmas lights in the house, the new toys and the friends and family that drop by to visit. But we've been trying to keep things as close to routine as possible.

Unfortunately Ryan is ending up in our bed at some point every night. It is taking him forever to get to sleep at night and he is not wanting to nap at all. I rather he nap because I am a firm believer in the good naps lead to good night time sleep and so we try to force him to nap at least once a day. The past couple of days we have gotten two naps out of him but it has taken 2 or 3 attempts each. At night we've been starting at 8 and sometimes it takes as long as to 12 before he is out for more than an hour. Then between 2 and 4 he is up and comes into bed with us because I just can't get him soothed and back down without a huge struggle. Unfortunately once he comes back to bed with us, as soon as I get up again (even to just go to the bathroom) he is up for the day. So he is getting up even earlier than usual.

The weird thing is that when he goes down at night and we finally get him to sleep, he will sleep for anywhere for 25-60 minutes but then wakes up screaming. He'll be up for 30-45 minutes and is starving. The other night he had two yogurt tubes (in addition to the one he usually has before bed), two cups of water, a cereal bar and some goldfish crackers. I can't remember if he ate particularly well that night but I know for sure he had had a a tube before bed as usual. (He rarely turns down yogurt or fruity apple sauce blends). Two nights ago when he woke up, he had a tube, a cereal bar, goldfish crackers and water. He had had a piece of french toast, some fried apples (maybe 4-6 slices), apple sauce, and milk for supper at around 6:30, then a yogurt tube at 8:80 before bed. It was about 10 or 10:30 when he woke up and had his "snack".

I don't know- growth spurt maybe? Too stimulated with new toys during the day to eat as much as he should and so still hungry at night when he goes to bed? And then a tummy ache earlier in the morning from eating so much and going to bed? His top eye teeth are on the verge but this is different than his usual teething upset sleeping (not to mention going on for longer). Maybe it is a combination of all this. All I know is I long for a good nights sleep again…without Ryan in my bed.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words...

Before the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, I was reminded by my almost 18 month old son that sometimes the simplest things make the best toys.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year Thoughts

With it being so long since my last blog, I thought what better way to spend a new years resolution than to blog on a "more frequent" basis. I even thought up/borrowed from other bloggers I read ideas on what to blog about on a daily/regular basis. I had orginally blogged today with a slideshow from photobucket of Christmas memories from last year. But the slideshow doesn't seem to want to work. It is something I will work on in the coming days I am sure!

Another of those new year resolutions, to eat better. I know this one is a common one but my approach may be a little less than tradtional. I am looking at this more in a try new recipes, plan a weekly menu, eat smaller portions, dress up leftovers and make/freeze to save time. I even jumped the gun a little and planned my weekly menu for this week on Sunday before I went for groceries.

Exercise would be another of those common resolutions but it is hard to gear up to exercise more when the weather is so cold and the fact that at the moment, no matter how much I exercise my waist is still going to expand for the next several months. But trying to get to the pool once a week with Ryan and finding time for my pregnancy yoga dvd are goals for sure.

At some point in the last couple of months (summer maybe?) I messed up the settings on my digital camera and haven't bothered to dig out the manual to fix them. It makes taking a picture with any kind of movement incredibly blury and with a toddler, it is near impossible to get "still" shots unless they are sleeping. (And just how many pictures of my sleeping toddler do I need anyway?!) So that is another "resolution" to learn more about my camera and become more "tech" aware. Just because he is a toddler and into EVERYTHING, Ryan is no less cute than he was at 6 months (maybe even more so!) and I want to make sure I have lots of pictures of him. Especially with most of the family so far away, recent pictures and now the invention of webcams are blessings to be shared. (Plus I want to get back in the habit before baby #2 makes it's arrival in the spring- lest we fall into the dreaded second child/less pictures trap!)

Wishing you a happy new year. May your wishes and dreams be realized. And may 2008 be a great year!