Saturday, December 23, 2006

At least it FEELS like Christmas. Sort of.

Well, my parents, sister and brother-in-law (sort of - they're not actually married, but they live together) came last night for a Christmas get-together. My parents will be in Windsor with Mom's family for Christmas, and my sister will be at home because she has to work (she's a nurse) so we got together to exchange gifts today. It was great. My mom went so overboard buying gifts that even she knew she bought too much, but everyone loved their gifts, so everyone was happy. We all bought Mom and Dad tickets to the final weekend of the Tim Hortons Brier, which we saved for the last gift. When Mom realized what it was, she burst into tears and could only repeat, "This is awesome." So, I guess we done good.

So because of all that, it feels somewhat Christmas-y, but I tell ya, the lack of snow is just not doing it for me. I mean, why did I move to the edge of the snowbelt if I can't even have a white Christmas? I ask you! (I asked Rylee but she had no answer for me.) It is just not right that I went to meet Sammie coming off the bus on her last day of school before Christmas, and I had to bring an umbrella! (Or as Hailey calls it, a birella) On December 22!! Again I say, it just ain't right. I know some of you never, or almost never, have white Christmases, but I usually do and dang it, I want one! I mean, we had snow the day Rylee was born, for heaven's sake! In October!

One of my favourite things about this time of year is that most of my friends get at least some time off of work, which seems to allow for more chances to get together. Since my family does not live nearby, my friends are very important. Now that we all have small children, there don't seem to be as many chances to get together. We had a good visit last night with some of them at our friends' annual holiday open house, and will be seeing most if not all of our friends who live around here twice more next week. I'm looking forward to that.

To sum up - feeling good because of good family gathering, not good because of lack of snow. Overall, more good than not. I have a wonderful family and fabulous friends, and at this time of year, I don't feel I need anything more.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Bikini update (that one's for Daph!)

Okay, quick post. Rylee is sleeping and has been for a while, so I don't know how much longer it will last. She actually slept through for two nights (Sat and Sun) but was up twice through the night last night (although not for long either time, and the first time I think she was just cold - she had kicked off her blankets). The whole sleep thing is getting much better. Yay!

Almost ready for Christmas. Like most people around here, I seem to have a hard time feeling Christmas-y without snow, but I'm trying. The kids help - they're so excited that I get a little excited too. Just a few more things to buy and wrap and we should be all set. We're hosting a lot of Christmas/holiday parties in the next week, so in the next few days we have a lot of cleaning to do - thank goodness I'm not married to a man who thinks that's entirely my job (I wouldn't be married to him very long if he did!)

Well, that's all the time I can spare right now. Maybe in about a week or so things will settle down somewhat and I can take a large part of Rylee's nap time to blog. Yeah right. And maybe I'll win the lottery too.

Whatever you're celebrating this time of year, I hope it's happy and joyous. Happy and Peaceful 2007 to everyone!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas can be confusing...

So, we're on our way to swimming lessons tonight, and Sammie is singing Jingle Bells. As she's singing about the one horse open sleigh, she stops and says, "It's not Opa's sleigh, it's Santa's sleigh!"

And apparently, according to Hailey, that red-nosed reindeer's name is Rudo. I don't think she's intentionally shortening it, she just thinks his name is Rudo (not to be confused, of course, with Rudy, who is the aforementioned Opa)

They're so cute.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I know a few Joes, but I'm guessing the one who left a comment for me was Joe Martz (whose work is featured on the site Joe's Camera, which is one of my links at the side) Am I right?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

I can feel it coming in the air tonight...

Blah. Something unpleasant is sweeping through my family. It started with Sammie on Monday. I was woken up by Hailey coming into my room and saying, "Mommy, Sammie fwew up." On Friday night, I was giving Hailey a hug when she said, "My tummy hurts." I gently suggested it might be time to stop eating the Christmas candy Grandma has around the house when she made a strange noise. I ran to the bathroom with her and held her over the toilet just in time. Last night it was my turn. I thought I had just eaten too much at dinner (my mom made one of my favourites) or had overindulged in said Christmas candy. I ended up throwing up twice, and am still only on toast, crackers and juice for now. For dinner I'm thinking of going crazy and having some soup. My mom was going to make a great roast beef dinner, but I suggested this morning we change the plan, which we did.

Other than that, we've been having a great visit with my parents. My kids get spoiled rotten, I get to read all day long with occasional breaks to feed Rylee and my parents get to hang out with their favourite kids (note to my sister - I mean the little ones, not me!) I also got to do some shopping, and my parents got Rylee to take a bottle again, so all in all it's been a good trip so far.

Not much else new. My friend Sean, from my UW days, became a father recently. His little boy is absolutely adorable. I would love to get together with all my UW/V2 friends who are now scattered around the province (well, continent, actually, since one is living in San Francisco) - if any of you are reading this, what do you think?

Speaking of reuniting with old friends, I found a book here at my parents' house about the city where I lived in Finland, and found a picture of Daph and me from a Finnish newspaper that was taken at the Oulu market shortly before we left. It was such a blast, looking through that book and seeing the Ball, Rotuaari, and so many other familiar places. Strange how familiar they looked and how clear the memories were even though it's been 14 years. So, Finnbounds, when are we getting together?

Hmmm...I suppose I have an obligation to check on my children, although I'm sure Mom and Dad have everything under control. I feel bad dumping my kids on them, but on the other hand, I just plain have felt bad most of today. I am just SO glad I wasn't home alone with the 3 of them when I got sick.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Miss you, miss you, oh my soul

MIA for a few days there ... my internet connection failed me, and without my resident IT guy, I couldn't fix it. I spoke with said IT guy tonight, and lo and behold, here I am.

The girls are still fairly cranky, but not too bad. Off to Grandma and Grandpa's tomorrow night which should put everyone in a better mood. To hear Hailey tell it, we're going to Dwama and Dwampa's after fwimming lessons. She's so cute. Part of me worries a bit because I know Sammie didn't sound like that at the same age, but I think she just spoke well early. Hailey's right on target. I hope.

Sleep has been an issue for Rylee lately, but she went down well tonight, so hopefully we're in for a better night. Last night was okay once I got her to sleep somewhere other than my arms, but then Sammie and Hailey appeared in my room around 2:30 am. I almost left them there and went to sleep in their bed, but mine is more comfortable :)

And snow...much more of it fell, and not the light fluffy stuff of a few days ago. Oh no, now it's heavy wet snow, the kind that is fabulous if you want to make a snow man or build a snow fort, but not so fab if you have to shovel it. Which I did.

Anyway, it's stupidly late, and I really need some sleep. More posts should be forthcoming once I get to Mom and Dad's and have someone else to hold Rylee while I type.

Monday, December 4, 2006

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

We got the tree up and decorated on Sat, and the outdoor lights have been up for a while. We got a few more decorations around the house too, and Mother Nature did her part by dumping a few inches of light, fluffy snow yesterday and last night. I had the pleasure of shoveling the first December snow this morning - lucky me. It was, as I said, light and fluffy and there wasn't too much, but I still think Ryan timed this latest California training very conveniently! It's not his fault, and it could have been worse - he was originally supposed to go right around when Rylee was due, and switched it to now. Then the trip almost got stretched to 3 weeks because he was going to have to go to Winnepeg, but fortunately that was avoided.

So anyway, I've been alone with the girls for the better part of two days now. Sammie is old enough to understand now that Daddy is far far away, and to actually miss him, not just say she misses him. She cried the night before he left. Hailey still doesn't get it - we told her Daddy is gone for two weeks, but she still thought he might be downstairs when she got out of the bath last night.

Normally, my girls are very well behaved. I'm actually very fortunate, because they rarely act up in public, and not often at home either. Of course, as soon as Daddy leaves, that goes out the window, or at least it has this time. Unfortunately, I've had things I had to do, so staying home hasn't been an option. As a result, Hailey has missed her nap for two days in a row. It will be early to bed tonight, and definitely no missing the nap tomorrow! She does NOT deal with lack of sleep very well (can't imagine where she gets that from!) Everytime Ryan goes away, I am reminded of how much respect and admiration I have for people who do this single parent thing all the time, and do it well. We will be off to Grandma and Grandpa's for a visit while Ryan's gone, which should do wonders for my sanity.

Rylee is still doing well with the sleep thing at night. Day time sleep has gotten better since I've started swaddling her for naps, too. On Sat she actually slept a couple of hours on the couch, so I was able to do some stuff around the house. Yesterday she slept most of the day as we went to church and walked around the mall. Today has been pretty good, she fell asleep on my shoulder while I checked email so I put her in the crib so I could have two hands to type. However, she's waking up now so I must wrap up. More tomorrow, hopefully.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Stop, hey, what's that sound?

Well, it's 10 pm and I'm exhausted. So was Rylee, who didn't sleep much today but still refused to fall asleep until a few minutes ago. I think. I'm actually just on the computer because I don't want to walk downstairs and have to come back up in five minutes when she wakes up. This is the third time I've put her in the crib and I heard her still murmuring for a while but I don't hear her now, so here's hoping...

We went to Sammie's school today for an observation session. It was so cute to watch her working with her little friends. We got to see some of her work, and talk to her teacher. Apparently she's doing well in everything except scissor usage. She holds the scissors with her index and middle fingers over her thumb, but she's making it work for her. To think I've worked so much with her on colours, letters, numbers, etc and all this time she should have been practicing cut and paste :)

The woman who babysat Sammie and Hailey for the first few weeks of the school year watched Hailey and Rylee while I was at Sammie's school. Hailey was very happy about going there again, and not at all happy when I came to take her home. Rylee was apparently not quite so happy about the whole thing, but it was only an hour, and it was her first time having someone other than Mommy or Daddy take care of, wait, my dad watched her for about an hour one night, too. Oh, and I forgot to mention earlier, she will now take an ounce or two from a bottle! Ryan's brother's girlfriend got her to drink from the bottle on Sun at the family do, and the babysitter managed a bit today. Yippee!

The appointment yesterday went well - the ob said everything seems to be healing well and I can resume all my normal activities, including exercise. Now I just have to figure out what form of exercise I would like to resume/begin. I've been trying to watch what I eat for now, which is helping with the weight loss. I'm not dieting - I know I still need extra calories while I'm nursing - I'm just trying to make healthier choices. I think I'm doing pretty well.

Okay, strange sounds are coming from the nursery...I guess I'd better wrap up in case those sounds turn into cries.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Author of note

I forgot to mention - if you're a fan of brit-chick-lit, like Bridget Jones or the Shopaholic series, you should check out Melissa Nathan. I've read The Nanny, The Waitress and The Learning Curve, and thoroughly enjoyed them all. The acknowledgements in the last one mentioned that in all probability the novel was going to be published posthumously, so this may be all there is to enjoy of her writing. If you're into that genre, check out these books.

Update: I googled Melissa Nathan, she did indeed pass away this year, but she has written a few more books that I didn't know about, so I'll be looking for those when I head to the library tomorrow. I'll post about them if they're any good.

A few stolen moments

Quick update - Rylee has been sleeping for over an hour, so I don't know how much longer I have before she wakes up!

My sister and dad came over on Saturday and we all had a nice visit, which ended with her driving away in my car. Sigh. That was the first car I ever bought, and I loved it. It will be missed. I may be getting it back from her, or she and her boyfriend may buy it from us. We'll see.

We did our family Christmas photo on Sat morning - what an ordeal! Hailey would NOT co-operate. Thank goodness it was a digital camera because it probably would have been a roll and a half of film and she came close to smiling in one or two. The rest were pretty much unuseable. The final result is quite nice, though, and if I ever figure out how to post pictures, maybe I'll do that one.

On Sun we had a family Christmas gathering with Ryan's mom's side of the family, which was nice. While there, Ryan's brother mentioned they needed players for his hockey team that night, so Ryan decided to race home, get his hockey stuff and a few things we needed to spend the night at his parents' place, and try to join his brother for hockey. Turned out his brother had the time wrong, but we had a nice visit anyway.

On the sleep front, Rylee is consistently sleeping 5-7 hours at a stretch at night, but is still difficult to get to sleep. On Saturday night she fell asleep around 9 pm and slept until about 5 am! It was lovely. At Ryan's parents' house she would NOT sleep in that crib no matter what, so she shared the bed with us. I was tired and cranky yesterday. Last night she let herself be rocked to sleep around 10 pm after throwing up on me while I tried to feed her. She woke up around 4 and only kept me up for about 30 min, so I'm much happier today.

Today I have my follow-up appointment with my obstetrician, so hopefully I'll get the green light to start doing basically everything I did before Rylee was born (she was a c-section birth so I was told not to exercise for six weeks, other than walking) I am losing weight quite well, so I'm hoping that I can start exercising now and lose the rest. It's only about 15 lbs, and I'm hoping to lose it and look like I did before I got pregnant by the time I go to the OMLTA conference at the end of March.

Last week I was able to put on non-maternity pants and have them mostly fit! I wore a pair of track pants for a day, which doesn't sound that exciting but I had tried them a few weeks before and they were uncomfortable, so I was happy. Then I tried on a pair of jeans, and was able to do them up! Now, they're about a size bigger than I was wearing before I got pregnant, and I couldn't keep them on and actually wear them, but I'm getting somewhere. Considering Rylee is only 7 weeks old, I think I'm doing pretty well.

Well, after a certain length of time on the computer, guilt sets in. I feel like I should be spending time with the girls, especially since Sammie will be at school this afternoon and I don't get a lot of time to spend with them without Rylee crying or at least being in my arms. So I will go hang out with my girly-cues, and try to post again soon-ish.

PS Thoughts on the new look?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I'm still here - honest!

Rylee is not sleeping well. Well, I shouldn't say that. If I can get her to sleep, she sleeps well. Most evenings she starts screaming just after dinner and doesn't settle down until 10 or 11 pm. Tuesday night by 11:30 she still wasn't settled and I just couldn't hold her anymore, so she slept in our bed. Last night I managed to calm her by taking her to her room (less noise, softer light) and swaddling her, but she still didn't go to sleep for good until 10:30. She woke up at 1 am to eat and by 3 am I was still up with her, so I finally brought her back into my bed again. I hate doing it, but I needed the sleep. I know the problem is that she needs to burp - but then why will she sleep in my bed if she still hasn't burped? I don't know. Most nights I'm getting a good 5 or 6 hours straight out of her, and a few nights ago we did much better on the going back to sleep after feeding and burping. Anyway, she's sleeping now, in her car seat, which I know isn't as good as sleeping flat on her back, but she's sleeping - she needs the sleep and I need the break. I'm convinced if I could just get her to burp, we'd be fine.

Jodi - can you give me more details on what you do with AJ? Andrew has my email address. And yes, I saw our former roommate in all her living dead glory. Sigh. So proud to say I knew her when...

Kath - OK, Irving didn't exactly plagerize Fifth Business, but there are strong similarities. I even read something once where Irving openly admitted to being strongly influenced by Davies.

My cutest Sammie moment in recent memory - she ate the cheese out of her cheese sandwich, then tore the bread into little pieces and said, "Look, I'm eating it in pieces like our church guy!" At least it shows we take her to church, but maybe we should explain the man in robes at the front is the priest, not "our church guy". Or, as Marn once called him, the guy in the dress at the front :)

Cutest Hailey moment - a few nights ago when asked who she wanted to pray for, she said, "Grandma, Grandpa, Oma, Opa and our computer."

In other news, my sister was in a car accident this week. Fortunately, no people were seriously injured, but her truck was totalled. So, she's coming this weekend (hopefully) with her boyfriend and our dad, and they will be borrowing my car for about a month, until they buy a new vehicle. Not good news about the accident, but I'm glad they're coming to visit.

Oh, and Sammie was the leader at school yesterday. You would think, after weeks of pouty faces over not being the leader, that this would be the first thing she would tell me when she got home. Nope, it took about half an hour before she thought to share that with me.

Well, Hailey has just woken up from her nap, cranky as all get out, and has not forgotten that I told her she could have some computer time when she got up. It seems I just get on the computer and one kid or another needs something. I suppose I signed on for that when I chose to have kids, right? Anyway, I will turn the computer over to Her Whininess.

Oh, and happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends!

Monday, November 20, 2006

In which D'Arcy writes a lot about not much

Well, the busy weekend continued with a visit to our friends Marce and G to watch the Grey Cup (for Daph and any other Americans reading this - the Grey Cup is the Canadian Football League equivalent of the SuperBowl, except on a MUCH smaller scale). The girls were well behaved - some of their friends were there, and Marce and G put out a box of stuffed toys,so they were happy - and I got to visit some more with friends who were at Aimee's birthday party, plus a few more. Good friends, good chili, bad luck in the pool - all in all, a successful evening.

Rylee allowed herself to fall asleep around 11 last night, and got up at 9 this morning, with one feeding in that time stretch. That one feeding had me up for quite a while, because the kid will NOT burp, and then she can't sleep because she's gassy. It's extremely frustrating. I just kept repeating what Kath reminded me yesterday - it's a privilege to be part of a baby's life, it's a privilege to be part of a baby's life. If anyone has any brilliant no-fail ways to make a baby burp, please let me know. All that seems to work is patting her on the back for AGES, then saying, "Come on kid, burp already," which worked twice yesterday! She is sleeping peacefully now after a restless morning, which was likely a result of her not burping. Again.

Oh well. I finally finished my book (A Widow for One Year by John Irving) I forgot that I had vowed not to read John Irving anymore after I realized he basically stole the plot of Robertson Davies' Fifth Business and rewrote it as A Prayer for Owen Meany. The book wasn't bad, it was a departure from the chick-lit I'd been reading, which I will now be diving back into for a while. The book is due back to the library on Wed, so I was trying to finish it before then. Now I have a whack of books that need to go back in two weeks, which I will hopefully manage. Probably by neglecting the housework and grocery shopping, like I'm doing right now :)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Quick update

This is a busy weekend for us. We took the kids to the Santa Claus parade yesterday morning. I think Sammie was more excited about seeing her friends from school in the parade than about the big guy in the red suit. And since her friends were on one of the first floats, and it was cold and drizzly, I wasn't sure we'd make it through the parade, but we did. Sammie and Hailey handled the weather much better than their parents - we had bundled the girls up in their winter best, but not ourselves. I ended up taking Rylee and standing inside the store behind us for five minutes or so near the end of the parade. Rylee slept through most of the parade, wrapped snugly inside my jacket with me. Anyway, I wasn't all that impressed with the parade - I thought the Oktoberfest parade was much better - but the kids seemed happy, so that's what's important.

In the afternoon Sammie had a birthday party for a girl in her class, so she missed soccer. I was home with Hailey and Rylee. Hailey napped, Rylee didn't - she was very cranky yesterday, and awake for a lot of the day (which may explain why she's spending so much of today sleeping so far) Last night some friends I used to work with came over to meet the baby and hang out, which was great - partly because it was adult interaction and partly because I hadn't seen these particular friends in quite a while.

Today we had another party, for our friend's daughter this time. The kids got to ride ponies, which they all thought was absolutely awesome. Hailey is currently napping with her toy from her goodie bag - a unicorn, which she absolutely loves. Rylee slept through most of the morning, and most of the party, and a lot of this afternoon. I hope this doesn't mean she'll be up all night.

Last night Rylee just would not settle. I couldn't get her to settle down for a real feeding, and couldn't get her to burp, so we were not doing too well. NOTHING was making her happy, so by about midnight I was about to give in and just let her sleep in our bed. I put her down beside me and was about to feed her when she fell asleep. I moved her back into her room and got back into bed and said, "I want to watch SNL and I want to read my book but I think I'll just go to sleep. It's not like I'm going to sleep for eight uninterrupted hours." So to sleep I went. When I heard Rylee cry, I opened my eyes and thought, "Wait a minute, it's light outside. What time is it?" It was 7:10. She slept for SEVEN straight hours!!!! I can't figure out why I don't feel more rested, but anyway, it was a good night (once she finally crashed) and I'm hoping she does it again.

Hmm, it seems like I had more I wanted to say, but now Hailey is up and I'm dealing with two overtired, cranky preschoolers, so I'm suddenly not so into posting. I'm sure once I give up the computer I'll remember all the clever things I wanted to say. Oh well.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Cat in the Hat personality quiz

No, really! It's all in how you answer the question posed by Dr. Seuss at the end of the book - "Well, what would YOU do if your mother asked YOU?"

I realized this last week when reading the story to Hailey (it's her current favourite). When Sammie was going through her Cat in the Hat phase, she always felt it necessary to answer that question aloud after I finished the book, and her answer was always something like, "I would tell my mommy." Now it's Hailey' turn, and she has taken to looking at me with this big wide-eyed innocent look, shrugging, shaking her head and spreading her hands out and saying, "I din't do anyfing!"

So...what would YOU do if your mother asked YOU?

PS Thanks to those who have left comments. I like knowing who's reading. Let me know you're out there!

PPS Jeanne - I totally understand. I have often worked on the computer with a little one in my arms. I'm not usually ambitious enough to type, though. Well done!

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Hmm, there seems to be a limit to how long my posts can be. I had typed even more than what appears in my third post. Anyway, the breakthrough with Rylee is that she's now sleeping in her crib, instead of Mommy and Daddy's bed - yay! It means I actually have to wake up to feed her and burp her, but I stil feel more rested, and just plain happier. Which is good, because when Mama ain't happy, ain't NOBODY happy.

What's with the title?

I thought and thought about what to call this blog. I had a name all picked out, then discovered someone was already using it - grr! So I thought about all my favourite books, movies, songs, band...I finally came up with I Think Magic's in the Learning. I figure there are two people I sent the link to who will recognize it. Am I wrong? Do YOU know where the title came from?

Anyway, as Daniel Cook says, here we are! (and if you know who Daniel Cook is, you obviously live in Canada and have small children). Here's what's up with my monsters:

Sammie actually got off the bus with a big smile on her face today. She's 4 and is in school for half days now. She enjoys school but has been known to come home in a mood because she wasn't the leader. I'm not sure exactly what the leader does, or how often it changes, but she hasn't been the leader yet and is not happy about it. Fortunately, school was exciting enough today for her to overlook it. Now she's looking forward to swimming lessons tonight, and two birthday parties this weekend, one of which will result in missing her indoor soccer game. Ah, four years old and a socialite already!

Hailey is a bit cranky right now because I woke her up from her nap to go meet Sammie's bus. She's 2 and doesn't want to stop playing for naps, but today I just really thought she needed the sleep. However, because it took so long to get her to sleep, she didn't wake up on her own in time to go meet Sam. Hence, cranky toddler. Oh well - a snack is helping her mood. She is also looking forward to swimming lessons tonight. She goes on her own now - what a big girl! She can't decide if she wants to be a big girl or not - she likes doing most big girl things, but does NOT want to start using the potty/toilet. Don't know why - she just says she doesn't want to. This is somewhat frustrating.

Rylee is sleeping, which, along with eating and crying, is about all she does. She is five weeks old and sleeps a lot more than I'm told one month olds need to sleep, but I'm not complaining. I wouldn't be blogging if she didn't sleep. When she's awake, she pretty much cries or eats. However, we've had a major breakthrough t

It worked!

I'm just so darned excited that I have a blog and it's up and running (as much as a blog runs, I guess) I don't really have time to post right now, I just wanted to put something else up now that I've sent the link to everyone in my address book who might be remotely interested. I need some lunch, but if Rylee co-operates, I might skip my afternoon viewing of Law and Order to blog some more. Stay tuned!


"Of course we can tell them what to do. That's why we had kids - so we can tell them what to do. If we don't have that we're just the tallest people living here."
-Tim Allen as Tim Taylor, Home Improvement

I just loved that quote. I was watching a rerun of Home Improvement recently and heard that line, and I thought, when I start my blog, I'm starting with that quote. I'm not even a big Home Improvement fan (sorry, Dad) - it was just the best choice one late afternoon while I was feeding the baby.

So, this blog will be a place where basically I keep my far-flung friends and family up-to-date on my life, and the life of my little ones. And since it's almost time to feed those little ones lunch, I will save any lengthy description of what we're up to until later - maybe I'll get a chance this afternoon, if I can time everybody's naps to coincide!