Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Amanda!

It is about to be Amanda's birthday. Technically it is already her birthday where she lives now. Amanda is my husband's brother's wife. She is the sister I never had but always wanted. She is a great mom, wife, daughter, sister and friend. She inspires me to be a better me in all my various roles. I am grateful that she and Darryl found each other and now have such a beautiful family to share with us.My favorite memory of Amanda is of a thoughtful care package she sent before Ryan was born. And of a family photo album she made for us the Chrismtas before Ryan was born, when they came home to Canada for Christmas with Kathryn.

These are two photos of Amanda, from this summer. What I really like about these photos is how you can see Amanda as a mom interacting with her daughters (actually I think both pictures are mainly of Amanda and Amelia, but the point is still the same-great mom!)

Darryl's mom shared with me a neat trick that she uses to remember her sons' birthdays which ironically also apply to the son's wives. The day of the month of birth of her sons (and her daughter's in law) are only one day apart with the oldest being born on the first calendar day (12, 13, and 28, 29- BTW this is also how we fall according to age as well, with both men being older than not only their wife but their sister-in-law as well). Then all she has to do is remember the month. We are all born in different months, but Darryl, Amanda and I are born in subsequent months, leaving Brad born close to our months but not in a subsequent month. But Brad has a distinctive birthdate, so that might help her remember as well. Then again, what mom doesn't remember the birth of her children? I just think the math is cute, and that it is weird that Amanda and I also fall into the pattern.

Anyhow, Happy Birthday Amanda! I hope you have a wonderful birthday. Maybe someday we will be able to celebrate it and thanksgiving together with our families.

Monday, November 24, 2008

From the mouth of our toddler...

Here are just a couple of things (cute ones I think) that Ryan has said in the last little while.
~Mommy, look snowman on the car. (It was snowing, and somehow Ryan thinks all snow is snowman/men)
~(while riding in the car from Daddy's work to the mall) Coming up next, shopping!
~ Go in car, go shopping, buy more pretty lights. (just this morning)
~Ryan upset! (This comes out just before he stomps his feet and has one of his meltdowns)
~Ryan is awake! (our greeting almost every morning now)
~(when you ask Ryan what his brothers' name is he replies) Adam bra* (*brother)
~(when you ask him what his name is he replies) Ryan there
~ two candy please (when he gets in his car seat and waits to be buckled in he gets a treat)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Talk About Tuesday- Home Tour Edition

It's been a while since I've TATed. I thought for this month's home edition I would share the "boys" room. It is official. It is no longer just Ryan's room. We are transitioning Adam into that room and the crib as well. Some storage and space issues had to be cleared up before that could happen. I wish I had some before pics...well maybe not because it was not a pretty sight.

First of all, Ryan had to be transitioned back to his "big boy" bed. Since shortly after Adam was born, Ryan has taken to sleeping on the floor. At first he would just refuse to sleep in his bed, would cry and kick and scream. He would always end up falling asleep with his favorite blanket and teddy bear by the door to his room. So we decided why fight it, got a bunch of old blankets and comforters and made a blanket mattress on the floor near his door. That's where he has sleot all summer and into the fall. We carried the same idea over into our room and placed a similar blanket mattress on the floor at the foot of our bed, and on the occiasions when he wakes mid-night and comes into our room, that is where he sleeps.

His bed was becoming a dumping ground for me. It had toys on it, clothes, blankets. I figured if he wasn't going to use it, I would. The same held true for the crib in the room. It was housing clean laundry that got folded but never made it into the closet. Or sizes that were too big/small for either boy. Last weekend I spent a lot of time working on the room, got the clothes sorted and put away, got toys sorted, organized and stored. I turned the room back into a functional space again. Ryan's blankets that make up his mattress on the floor needed to be laundered and I didn't have them ready before bedtime, so I thought, well why not try to have him sleep in his bed again. That first night, he walked into his room a little confused as to where his "bed" was but then I told him to climb up onto the "big boy bed" and he did. As abruptly as the floor sleeping started, it has now ended.

Since Adam is 6 months old now, I thought it would be a good time to try to make the crib transition. It is not going as smoothly but we are working on it. Ryan seems to like having his brother in his room.

Anyhow, here is what the room looks like now. The view from the door: Ryan's bed is to the left and Adam's crib is on the opposite wall.

We use a body pillow on Ryan's big boy bed to help keep him from rolling off the bed. I think he also likes it since it is like having someone sleeping in the bed with him and he spent quite a bit of time sharing our bed.

The veiw from the corner of the room opposite the door. This view shows the over the door organizers I have. One holds cars although it is currently empty since we have another car holder that is on wheels that Ryan rolls out from his room to living room to play. (And it slides nicely under his bed when not in use). The other door organizer holds face cloths and bibs.

This veiw is of the closet. One side is for Ryan, one is for Adam. I use the top shelf in the closet to store toys on. My guys have so many toys, that I use a rotation schedule on them. Every 10 days to 2 weeks I switch out what toys I have in a bin in the living room, and in the basket in their room. Toys not in that week's rotation get stored under the bed, crib or on the shelf in the closet. I also have another one of those over the door organizers that I hang off the back of Adam's crib. It holds socks and robeez/slippers.

Under the bed and crib I also have a storage bag that is holding clothes that are currently too big/too small. I used to use those rubbermaid storage bins for these but there were 4 or 5 medium sized ones plus 2-4 small ones (with socks, shoes and other assorted accessories) cluttering my spare bedroom closet. There is still work to be done here. I have some pictures to hang, shelves to go up to hold picture frames and other assorted knick-knacks and the letters for the boys names to go up. Actually I still have to paint Adam's name. OOOPS!

For more information about Talk About Tuesday, or to see what others are Talking About this week, visit Lara at The Lazy Organizer.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Birthdays, hallowe'en haul and our pumpkin patch.

My birthday was on a Wednesday this year. Not really a fun day in our family. It is Brad's first day back to work after being off for 2 days. It is a long day for Brad since he has a staff meeting that night. So I knew I would have to take charge in some of my own birthday celebrations. I made my favorite salmon for dinner and earlier in the afternoon I made a chocolate birthday cake with fluffy white icing. Ryan was so excited about the cake. He wanted to have some the moment he saw it but I told him we had to wait for Daddy to get home from work. The minute Brad got in the door. Ryan ran down the stairs yelling "cake cake cake", then he came up the stairs and told me it was "time to eat cake".

My mom sent me some great Christmasy stuff. It is fun to get Christmas stuff for my birthday since the holiday season is just right around the corner.

She also sent me a wonderful generations figurine from WillowTree.

Brad and the boys gave me a gift certificate to get my hair done. YAY! It's been a while. I don't even remember when really. Before Adam though. My mom also offered to buy me some hair care products when I go to the salon. That is great because I've been sparingly using the products I have and am almost all out.

Darryl, Amanda and the girls sent me flowers. It is a beautiful arrangement and was very festive for Halloween right away.

It was a great birthday all in all.

Then Friday was Hallowe'en. It is our usual play group day, so I made little treat bags for the kids at playgroup. It was one of the little boy's birthday and so his mom made chocolate cupcakes. Ryan grabbed four right away, took a bite out of each one and then ran off to play. He later came back to sample the fluffy white icing, handfuls at a time, right out of the can. I had a cute little pumpkin costume from Ryan's first hallowe'en that Adam wore.

^Ryan in 2006
At the baby sale last spring, I found a pumpkin costume for Ryan, and then I went out and bought one for myself as well.

^We were a cute pumpkin patch if I do say so myself.

I also had a cute Tigger sleeper for Adam as well.

The boys also had hallowe'een shirts they wore.

I took both boys out trick or treating on Friday. Adam just went along in the stroller looking cute and eventually fell asleep in the fresh air. Ryan did all the houses on our street and about half of the next street. He was cute. Sometimes he would try to say "trick or treat" but mostly he just said "please" or "candy please" or "candy in pumpin(pumpkin) please". Whenever someone said "Happy Hallowe'en" to him, he would respond "Happy Day". He had a little pumpkin basket he carried around, and I would frequently empty it into a canvas bag I had with me on the stroller. By the end of our night the canvas bag was almost full as was his pumpkin. Ryan enjoyed a bag of cheesies at the end of the night while watching cartoons with gran-gran and even shared his cheesies with Adam and Mommy.

The next day we went to a birthday party. It was a firehall themed party to match the birthday boys hallowe'en costume. The guests were invited to dress up in their hallowe'en gear as well. Here are some photos from that day. The birthday boy wouldn't keep his costume on though. He also had some help from his friends opening his presents. And Adam pumpkin taught Pilot-in-training Aiden how to push up off the floor during tummy time.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Busy October

WOW! I never would have thought that October would be as busy as it was. It seems like just days ago it was the first of the month and we were enjoying summer like temps and gearing up for the baby sale. Now, October is over; the weather is wet and cold and the holiday season will soon be upon us. I have many things to blog about and just as many pictures to share.

First of all, Thanksgiving.

It's celebrated in October (the 2nd weekend) in Canada. That doesn't stop me from "celebrating" it in November as well. With as many friends and family as we have south of the border, I think it just makes good sense to observe both. But for Canadian Thanksgiving this year, I did three nights of cooking where we invited Brad's parents over. The first night was Saturday (the 11th) and it wasn't really Thanksgivingy, just a BBQ using up some of those steaks we were gifted with earlier this summer. Brad's dad came over but his mom didn't feel quite up to it. Sunday, I did our favorite crock pot ham and mashed potatoes. Again, Brad's dad came over but I can't remember if mom joined us, although I think she did. I made rhubarb crisp and apple crisp for dessert that night and unfortunately there was not enough left to save for dessert the next night. Monday night we dinned on two rotisserie chickens, potatoes, carrots, gravy, stove top and a nice light angel food cake with fluffy dream whip frosting and a cute little plastic turkey decoration.

There were enough leftovers that I attempted for the first time to make Chicken Pot Pie. I even made my own crust. The crust will take some work but I think the pot pie was pretty pleasing. I'll definately make it again!

Earlier in the week, the weather had been a little blustery and the boys and I shared a day of stay in our jammies and we made cookies.

Ryan is a great helper!

We took a wirlwind trip to the city so Brad could attend an electronics fair. We took the HHR and not the van. It was loaded to the gills, but much of that was the bedding we needed to stay at the condo downtown and not a hotel. Next time, I have a solution for bags! The boys travelled very well. And we were so excited when we arrived in Smokey Lake to find gas under $1.00. Brad loved his fair and while he was doing that, I took the boys on the bus downtown to Kingsway Garden Mall where we met up with friends from Babies First who were also in the city. We had a nice visit with Brad's grandma and then a lovely meal at Red Robin. BTW, they serve a "tartar" sauce with their fish and chips that Brad LOVES. It was much fun. I did take not only the camera but the video camera with me, but never took any pictures. Sorry!

On our trip to the city we invested in a 2G memory card for the camera we got at Christmas time last year. Up to now, we had just been working with the little memory it has on it's own harddrive and taking 10 pictures at a time. Now with the new card we can take lots of photos and even video. I experimented with picture settings one afternoon while Ryan was sleeping. Look who is more than mobile...

So glad we bought that fence to go around the Christmas tree last year (ang bought more at the baby sale this year). I have a feeling one little monkey will be pulling up on the gate around the tree.

Ryan has been enjoying going "shopping" with mommy. He especially likes to wear his monkey and help mommy push Adam in the stroller. He is also eager to help put items from our basket up on the counter to pay (unless it is something he REALLY wants). He wants to have his own "card" too. But what I think he likes the best is getting a cookie in the bakery and sometimes riding the vehicles in the mall. It is very rare that I will give him money to make them work but that doesn't stop him from climbing onto/into them and playing anyway.

I'll blog more about the end of the month, my birthday and Hallowe'en, soon.