Thursday, December 31, 2009

What Will The New Year Hold?

2009 was an exhausting year. We had our second child and discovered that adding another boy to the house made the work load increase exponentially while sleep became non-existent. We spent three months, 1/4 of our year, out of our home either waiting for the baby to arrive or on holidays to show off the boys to friends and family. The year passed by so quickly I think it is going to take me until June to remember to put 2010 on cheques instead of 2009.

So what do I see for my family for 2010?
  • more outside time, especially quadding, as Cavan grows and can stay out in the cold for longer periods of time.
  • lots of camping in our lovely truck camper. This year we plan on hitting the North Canol road in addition to our favorite drive down the South Canol.
  • a visit from the East Coast grandparents in late spring.
  • a trip down to Dawson Creek in summer for shopping/visiting
  • lots of hunting trips with me included as the kids are both old enough to stay home with a sitter now
  • fingers crossed- more sleep as Cavan gets older
  • berry picking in the fall
  • trying some new sausage recipes in my new Bradley smoker
  • teaching Hunter how to use a fishing rod
  • finding and buying myself a pink lever action .22 and getting some grouse with it
  • of course the husband sees a new rifle in his future as well
So no real resolutions other than for us to continue to focus on doing things as a family, staying away from negative people and to do the activities we all love. I see a great year ahead for my family.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Traveling Thank-Yous

We arrived in Faro this evening and if feels so wonderful to be snuggled in my favorite blanket on my super comfy chair. I want to send out some thank-yous before I hit the hay tonight, mainly to the wonderful strangers we always come across while out and about.

Thank you to:
- 8 year old Hannah who not only read two books to Hunter, she also acted them out while we sat at a kids play spot in the Vancouver Airport.
- 4 year old Alice who ever so patiently tried to get Hunter to play Polly-Pocket with her and then let Hunter play with her toy horse also at the Vancouver Airport.
- All the parents we chatted with at the Airport. You helped us pass our five hour layover quickly and all of your children were so much fun to be around!
- every ticket agent with AirCanada who were so accommodating and were able to get us all seats together
- the gentleman who so gladly moved a few seats up so I could have two seats to myself with the baby. (I think he was extremely happy to have the opportunity to move!!)
- to all of the friendly folks who sat around our boys on the plane. Thank you for smiling, waving, play peekaboo and not getting upset when the baby got a fistful of your hair!!
- to the young woman who picked up Hunters favorite blanket and ran it up to me after we dropped it unnoticed while pretending to drive the stroller like a race car in the Vancouver airport.
- to the gentleman who picked up my bag of flour in the parking lot of SuperAFoods in Whitehorse after it fell of my shopping cart (again, I never even noticed!)
- to the bag boy at the SuperAFoods for packing my groceries so nicely, bringing them out to the truck, and running out with my box of bread that yes... I forgot.
- to all of the friendly people working check-outs at the stores over the holidays. Every single one I chatted with was happy and entertaining (too bad the same cannot be said for other shoppers...)

And a couple of more personal thank-yous:
- to my baby for holding your barf until we got to the hotel instead of unleashing it on the plane
- to Hunter for sleeping on the floor of the Whitehorse airport while we got the luggage and strapped it into the truck
- to my amazing sherpa husband for heaving everything around
- to my folks for awesome holiday and the drive the airport (sorry about bringing the plague to your house for the holidays!)
- to my sister-in-law for being such a riot to be around and putting up with me when tired and miserable
- to my nephews for being so damn cute

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Christmas To Remember (but not for the best reasons)

We are still down in northern BC at my parents place, but I thought I would do a quick post. It has definitely been a Christmas to remember... **** don't read any more if you get queasy easily!

Hunter started yakking the day we arrived and did that for three days. He christened two beds, the living room rug, the sofa, the bathroom mat, me, Matt.... and more. Nasty projectile yakking to boot.

My nephew ended up with thrush. The doctor screwed up the prescription and the poor kid was taking five times the regular dose, so he kept throwing up after he would take the medication. After Matt read the bottle, he had my sister-in-law reduce the dose and he improved. But then he seemed to get a bit of Hunter's flu and was yakking more. The medication also gave this little guy (10 months old) the worst smelling liquid shit I have ever been around. And it would overflow his diaper. We had two shit-explosions. One under the kitchen table and another on the living room rug.

My parents little dog had pus/bloody squidge coming out of its butt onto the living room rug. So nasty.

Corrienne, my sister-in-law, got the worst of the flu on Christmas day and spent most of it in bed.

Matt was feeling sick Christmas Eve and Christmas day, but he didn't get it anywhere near as bad as Corrienne.

Cavan started yakking yesterday, but seems to be on the mend today. Again, the living room rug took its share of the action.

Hunter has been sleeping fairly well, but he has been in a bed with Matt the whole time. The baby wants to stay up until 11pm and then sleep until 8am, and he screams if we try and lay him down in the playpen to sleep on his own. I want my evenings and bed back.

And the worst? Are you ready for it? Cavan has some nasty diarrhea and had just filled his third diaper in about 10 minutes this morning. I had him between my legs (on the living room rug) while I was changing his diaper, when the shit exploded out of his ass like it was under a couple hundred pounds of pressure. It shot about two feet through the air and hit me in the crotch. I thought I was going to yak. Then Matt comes in, throws me some paper towel and starts to walk away!! Nice try husband. I gave him my scrotum shriveling death glare and he then gladly came to my rescue.

I think we will be buying my mother a new rug for the living room... it just has a funky smell to it now.

So this is definitely a Christmas to remember. I will post again about the fun we did still manage to have and the lovely presents Santa brought once we get home to Faro in a couple of days. I have some great pictures to share and some non-stomach turning stories to share!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Leaving For Christmas!

It has been seven years since I last celebrated Christmas with my parents in their home! Where did that time go? Oh yeah.... I spent it roaming around the north! The only reason we are headed down this year is because my parents were super generous and are flying us down. I absolutely hate traveling at Christmas, but I cannot turn down free flights!

Tomorrow we are leaving early in the morning to head to Whitehorse. I have yet another dental appointment early in the afternoon. We fly out on Sunday morning down to Vancouver and then up to Fort St. John. Then just a nice hour and half drive and we will be there. I know... you are wondering why am I not just driving?? Well it is about 2000km each way. That is 2 and a half days each way, in the cold, with screaming kids and only 10 days off for the holiday. Just doesn't work.

My brother and his family will be joining us there as well. Their boys are nearly the same age as ours, so this holiday is going to be a riot! I envision the boys destroying the tree, eating so many cookies they yak on Grandmas new and expensive sofa, sneaking sips of eggnog with rum and then yet again yakking on the sofa.... Ahhh.... this is how Christmas memories are made!

We will be back just before the new year as Matt has to work. I am sure I will find myself on the computer between now and then!

And sorry all of those recipients of our Christmas cards... the nifty photocards I ordered this year have still not arrived so they will be sent out in the new year. Something to brighten up your mail box full of bills in January!

We wish everyone safe travels for the holidays!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cookie Recipe!

For those who asked!

The squirrel cookies are a recipe from a Country Woman magazine and are called Tea Cookies.
1c butter, softened
2/3c sugar
1 egg
1tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2c flour
1/2tsp salt

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Cover and let refrigerated for 1-2 hours until the dough is easy to handle.

On a light floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8" thickness. Cut with floured cookie cutters. Place 1" part on ungreased baking sheets at 350 for 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Glaze
1 1/4c icing sugar
2tsp meringue powder
5tsp water

For glaze, in a small bowl, combine icing sugar and meringue powder; stir in water until smooth. Divide among small bowls; tint colours and spread over cookies; let stand until set.
********

I do a couple of things differently.

First off, I at least triple the recipe. I make these cookies about double the thickness it calls for which helps for the icing technique I use. Plus they are addictive and everyone will want a dozen. Each recipe makes about 2 dozen if cut out thick.

Second I only bake for the 8 minutes and I don't like to let the edges brown at all. I like them to stay nice and white!

Third I add much more water to the icing recipe. I think there might have been an error in the printing of the recipe in the magazine. I think 5 tablespoons is more accurate than 5 teaspoons. But make it to a nice fairly runny consistency.

I have no clue how to ice cookies. My mother never made cookies like this when we were growing up. I have tried to spread it with a knife, but it always looks messy. So by making the cookies thicker, I can hold the sides, and place the cookie directly into the bowl of icing!! I pull it out and let a little drop off, then place on paper towel until the icing dries. That way it covers right to the edges!! Although, I was rushed with Hunter helping and was running out of icing, so some squirrels had bare patches (hehehe almost like they have mange!)

And the animal cutouts are from Ikea.

Happy Baking!!

Cookies!

On the weekend I baked about seven dozen cut out cookies and yesterday I finally found the time to decorate them. The baby was asleep and Hunter was ready to be my assistant. He decorated about six of them himself and then happily ate three!

I know squirrels aren't very festive, but the cookie cutters are new and I was looking for an excuse to use them!

A Christmas Moose!
Most of the cookies! They were packed up along with the whipped shortbreads I made last week and are ready to go to some of our friends in Faro.
And this is what happens when you feed a little boy three iced cookies and let him run like a wildman at playgroup- sheer exhaustion!

A Favorite Toy

We have purchased very few toys for the boys as we have very generous grandparents, family and friends. Last Christmas I ordered a few wooden toys for Hunter and this one is still played with everyday. I have to admit it is noisy as all hell, but every kid that has walked through this door loves to tow it around the house. I love simple toys like this so much. No batteries and excellent construction. Now if only I could convince the grandparents to not send the battery operated irritating toys to us!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Going To See Santa!!!

On the weekend Santa came to Faro with a present for each child in town under age twelve. There were also games, food and lots of visiting with friends. We all had a fantastic time! I had been practicing with Hunter for a few days prior what he had to do when Santa arrived in Faro. It was pretty simple- just sit by Santa, say Hi Santa and Thank You Santa. He was all prepared and really wanted a "prize" as he calls it.

Well when the time came, Santa walked into the rec centre and Hunter went and hid under a table!! It had everyone there laughing. I was able to coax him out. He was positive Santa was going to bring him a new car, as you will be able to hear in the video. Even cuter, as Santa handed him the present Hunter asked him outright if it was a car! Santa had a good answer about the elves wrapping this present and he would have to wait and see. Thankfully it was a barn, complete with animals and a tractor. He was very pleased with his prize!

Cavan sat with Santa no problem and was just in love with the Christmas tree nearby. And he was also very happy with his jingling, moving crab!

Santa brings the best gifts to the kids in Faro.
video video

The Toys Are Out To Get Me!

On Friday I was in the middle of putting Hunter in a time out when the phone rang. I finally spied it on the table as it was nearly the last ring before the answering machine would pick up. I leaped over toys and blankets to grab it, however I missed seeing the John Deere Front-End Loader in my path.

I stepped on the bucket and then nearly fell on the floor. I quickly grabbed the phone and was about to let loose a string of my favorite curse words when I realized it was the Pastor's wife asking if I was coming to our bible study this week!! I managed to keep the naughty words in my head long enough to get off the phone, and then I let loose. With some tears as well. I sat on the floor and watched my foot bleed and bleed! I am crying.... the kids started to cry... Oh what a mess.

Good thing I married a nurse! The rest of the family might make fun of me for hauling home a nurse, from the East Coast to boot, but he sure does come in handy. I called him home from work to check out my foot. Now, the picture just does not do it justice. Sure, I probably over-reacted a bit, but there was a lot of blood!! So the gouge goes in on an angle so I have this flap of skin that sticks out now. And there is this nasty dark purple bruise around the area now. It still hurts a heck of a lot.

It is now three days later and it still hurts. This just has not been a good month for me at all. No sleep, huge dental infection, and now the toys are out to get me. I sure hope this is it!

The offending toy and my boo-boo right after Matt cleaned it up:

Friday, December 11, 2009

Music Request From Hunter

Tonight I was playing a new song for Matt on the computer when Hunter came up and asked for his favorite song, "Please F*ck*r Dance, Mom!" Oopps! The song he loves... You're Going To Go Far, Kid by The Offspring.

I was laughing so hard! That has been his favorite song for months and he dances like a little lunatic when it is on. I love his taste in music, but I might have to download the beeped out version for him tonight! He has never asked for it like that before, usually he just asks for his dance song.

And the new song I was playing for Matt? Easy by Deer Tick. A free download from itunes that is quite catchy!

A Travel Agent That Understands Northern Needs!

I want to pass on some contact information to everyone, especially those living in the north. I have a friend in Hay River, NWT who is a travel agent. Not only does she understand how hard it is to travel in and out of the north she understands what it is like to travel with kids as she has two of her own.

So if you want some amazing personal help and great deals please contact Christine Smith to book your next work trip, family trip down south or a hot vacation.

Baking with Toddlers

A friend of mine sent me a recipe for some yummy looking gingersnap cookies, so yesterday Hunter and I gave them a try. They end up not looking anything like the sample picture and I have some theories as to why:
1. Used butter instead of margarine
2. Hunter insisted on measuring out all ingredients himself while I attempted to monitor what went in the bowl
3. Baking soda kinda spilled...
4. Hunter liked to play with the speed on the mixer and I am pretty sure it did not need to be on a level 5 speed for mixing in the flour!

I am pretty sure number 1 was not the big issue...

Sample Picture of Cookie:
Our Super Flat Cookie:

But they tasted delicious and we had fun making them. Even when the power went out in the middle of it all. Three dozen are heading to a cookie exchange tonight. This weekend Hunter and I are going to attempt shortbreads and decorated sugar cookies. Should be interesting!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Exersaucer Transport

This is a video of what Hunter does everyday. He tows his little brother all around the house and for the most part Cavan has been unscathed. Although Hunter has flipped over the exersaucer on purpose with his brother in it on three occasions. Cavan is going to be one tough kid after going through all of this!!

video

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Shoot Me Now. Please.

For the last couple of months I have been dealing with some dental issues. I saw the traveling dentist here in Faro in the middle of September. I had a cavity fixed and an old filling repaired, both on the right side of my face, top and bottom. That dentist did such a horrible job that my teeth on the other side couldn't even touch when I bit down. So on our East Coast vacation I saw another dentist who filed it all down. I was in a lot of pain at the time, and that dentist said it was just from the right side banging down. Okay. We get home from our east coast vacation and the pain persists. So I head into Whitehorse to see another dentist. Turns out the dentist in Faro did a really shitty job. One tooth he had worked on now required a root canal. And the filling he fixed? Will it isn't fixed at all and need to be done again. The three hour root canal ended in me learning that my tooth was shot and the whole molar had to be pulled. I almost cried in the chair. It doesn't help that the freezing doesn't work well on me and I can feel a lot of what they do to me.

So that was over a month ago that my tooth was pulled. I had an appointment for the 18th of this month to go back and get that cavity dealt with. But the pain was getting to the point that no amount of tylenol or ibuprofen was helping. Matt (thank god I married a nurse), brought me home penicillin on Friday figuring I had some sort of infection. But by Friday night the whole right side of my face was swollen and I was bawling my eyes out in pain. Luckily Matt was on call so he went down to the health centre to get me fixed up. A call to the emergency doctor in Whitehorse and he came home with lots more drugs for me. I am now on two antibiotics, Tylenol, ibuprofen, and Demerol. Even with all of that I am still in a lot of pain. I cannot chew anything, drink anything hot/cold, and the cold air outside is excruciating when I breathe in.

I am absolutely miserable. Although, last night after two Demerol pills I was loopy as all hell and could barely walk to my room at 1am. Hurray for a double dose of the happy pills. As of now I have an appointment for Tuesday with my dentist to see what can be done. I have to call Monday morning because I heard that a dentist cannot do any work if there is an infection. I have my fingers crossed that this concoction of drugs does the trick

Another crappy point- I have now used up my allotted dental insurance money so everything from here on out I have to pay out of my own pocket. I wish I had never seen the dentist here. His screw ups are costing me a heck of a lot of money.

Drugs!

But Mummy...

I don't like the crusts!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Matt!

Today my wonderful husband turned a whopping 34! My gosh he is getting old. I fed him a delicious supper that included a prime rib roast, garlic mashed potatoes and this amazingly moist chocolate cake.

Hunter helped me bake the cake before we went to playgroup. In the afternoon we added the icing. I made the mistake of leaving the room for a few minutes. I returned to see he had pulled up his stool, grabbed a spoon, and was stealing the icing from the cake! What a kid.

The best chocolate cake ever!

The Candle War!
video

Matt enjoying his cake:
*side note- check out that X-Ring! He got that bit of man jewelry 8 years ago today. Sadly, no super powers come with it like the guys from the movie X-men. Although, Matt insists that his witty sarcasm is a super power. I still disagree.

Hunter in a chocolate induced stupor:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hair!

Okay.... So I had a bunch of compliments on my hair from yesterdays post! Thank you! I had actually taken the time to blow dry it. But I felt like I was leading you all astray. My hair rarely looks nice. I have hair envy issues. Everyone else always looks so put together and I look like I was hit by a freak wind storm.

I used to have very long hair but had it all chopped off when we lived in Kugluktuk. It would never fit under my quad helmet and would attack me while I was skidooing. Plus I didn't want to get barf in it once we had kids.

My sister in law said to me this summer, "You would look five years younger if you grew your hair out again." Five years younger! Well hell yeah then! I dislike 30, of course I want to look 25 again. So I have been growing this disaster out. Ugggggg!

So here is what I usually look like:























1. Crazy side bangs that have a funky wave to them. Always have and probably always will.
2. Cowlick. And irritating chunk of hair that likes to hang straight down in front.
3. Side wing.
4. Even bigger side wing.
5. The rest of the bangs. I made the mistake of trying to cut them myself, but now they are super lopsided. Yep, I should never be allowed to touch scissors.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Comfort

Cool Dude

Sorry Mom, Hunter found the sunglasses you left and has claimed them as his own!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Timbit Tales

Matt was in Whitehorse overnight and returned home Saturday with the required box of timbits. Hunter loves timbits and looks forward to visits to Timmies whenever we get out of Faro.

Sunday morning (while I was sleeping in, thank you awesome husband!) Matt looks into the kitchen and finds Hunter standing on the seat of his tricycle grabbing the box of timbits off the counter! I believe they both then proceeded to have timbits for breakfast.

Late that afternoon Hunter was hankering for a snack and asked Matt for a timbit. The box was on the counter with three left in it. Matt was trying to have Hunter eat something a bit more healthy, so he told Hunter that the box was empty... all gone. Hunter stood in the kitchen quietly thinking this through and then responded with, "I see Dad?"

I laughed so hard! Hunter had totally called Matt's bluff. Matt caved and the boy got a timbit for snack.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Boys

Here are some great pictures from today:


Posing for the Christmas card photo:
Asleep after a walk around the block with dad:
They are so sweet when they are sleeping! I love that his pup had to come along for the ride.

Hunter was so tired he slept right through being brought into the house! So he continued his nap in his snowsuit.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Me Update: Getting Active

Since returning from our east coast vacation just over a month ago, I have been in a bit of detox. I hate to admit this, but it is good to get it out there- since I had Cavan I have gained 30lbs. That killed me inside, especially since I did not gain any weight while pregnant.

I have been watching what I eat for the last month, trying to avoid my overeating trigger foods and getting more active. An aerobics/weight training circuit has started in town and I have been to all three sessions. It is on a break for the next couple of weeks while the instructor is off on holidays. We also purchased a recumbent bike that I tried for the first time tonight. I did 6.6km in half an hour in the weight loss setting.

It feels good to add this activity to my life. Especially since the aerobics time is kid-free! So far I am down 7lbs and would like to be down another 8lbs by Christmas.

The spiffy new bike:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Giddy Up!

Dad now doubles as a horse to carry little boys around the house!


And those full rubbermaids behind him? Well my lazy susan broke and now I am waiting for Matt to build me some shelves in that cupboard. Hunter has turned the empty cupboard into his new house!

Monday, November 23, 2009

29 Months and 7 Months

The boys are growing!!

Here is Hunter, now 29 months old, on his Rocking Moose:

Of course Cavan, now 7 months old, had to give it a ride:
Two happy boys and a bear:
My blue-eyed baby:
And this is a look back at Hunter, 7 months old, just as we were leaving Kugluktuk:

Faro: Home to the Best Neighbours!

Last week was probably the worst week I have been through since I had kids. It is no wonder sleep deprivation is a favorite form of torture! I would have been ready to admit to anything as long as I was promised a night of sleep in return.

The kindness and generosity of my neighbours last week made me appreciate our home in Faro even more than I already do. One neighbour took Hunter off my hands for nearly two hours. That same neighbour cooked up supper. Another neighbour took Hunter out for a walk. Then on Friday night, Matt was called to Ross River to work for the weekend. I was pooped and didn't want to cook supper. And I was too lazy to brave the -25C outside to bundle up the kids, start the truck and go and grab a pizza at the restaurant. In steps another neighbour who offers to run down and pick it up for me. Seriously- how nice is that! There was also a lot of verbal support from most everyone I ran into.

What may have seemed like little things to those neighbours, meant the world to me last week. I am thankful for this community and the support I receive. Faro is the best place to call home!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Overheard Today...

As Matt was carrying Hunter up the stairs, I could hear Hunter yelling, "No side up down Dad!" I looked over and there was Matt carrying Hunter upside down. Pretty cute.

Sleeping Update

Wow. Thank you everyone for your responses! There were a number of comments on here, my email and facebook that were filled with great suggestions. Another friend dropped off her favorite book that deals with all these issues for me to read.

I have a huge thank you to give to my neighbour (and new blogger) Heather. Not only does she have two kids at home during the day (two others are in school), she also babysits three others. She offered to come and take Hunter to playgroup for me so I could have a toddler break. Too bad Cavan didn't want to nap during that time! But I did get my living room and kitchen cleaned up. And then to top that off, she made us supper! Thank you so much Heather for helping me yesterday. I truly appreciate your thoughtfulness and abounding energy!

We had so many suggestions from other parents about sleeping. And it was great to hear that most everyone has gone through the same issues at one time or another. Last night we put a few of those suggestions to work.

I made Hunter his favorite meal of pancakes (I added applesauce to them to get some more fruit in him) so he would be good and full of food before he went to sleep. We also set up a baby gate at his door. Not too sure if this was good or not. He woke up at 1am and stood at the gate and screamed his little head off. I am sure all of my neighbours hear him! It took Matt over an hour to get him settled. Part of it was a really wet diaper, and then once Matt gave him a bit of milk he settled down. He woke again at 4:30 and started the whole screaming routine again at the gate and we just threw him in bed with us. He slept in there until 5:30! So that is an improvement. He was also not allowed to watch any of his movies until Matt left for work at 8am.

For Cavan I loaded my ipod with white noise (thank you Soph for the link!) and moved the stereo into his room. We made sure he was really good and full of food other than just breastmilk. He woke up when Hunter went through his first screaming fit and I sat up with him sleeping on me until Matt got Hunter settled. He woke up again just before 4, but after a quick boob he went back to sleep until 5am. I tried to not breastfeed him during the night, but I was so tired I just gave in to the little tank. On the weekend Matt is going to get up with him instead. So definite improvement with Cavan.

And I even got out of the house to go to a weight traing circuit class. My butt was kicked, but I am so glad I attended. I am a bit sore, but I will still be attending aerobics tomorrow night.

Thank you again everyone! It is wonderful to know that I am not alone!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Kind Of Tired That Makes You Want To Cry....

Or yak. I cannot decide which today. Maybe it will be both.

Since we arrived home from the East Coast three weeks ago, we have not been sleeping. None of us. And actually during our vacation we slept poorly there as well, but at least the grandparents gave us a bit of a break. Hunter and Cavan are waking up numerous times throughout the night. Prior to our trip both were sleeping so well that maybe we just got a little spoiled!

Something is definitely going on with Hunter. He goes to sleep every night just before 8pm. We hear him get out of his bed during the night and he runs to the living room (this happens anywhere between 3 and 5 times a night)! Then when you pick him up, he is usually screaming and asking us to play toys or to watch his dump truck movie (this of course wakes up the baby). Most often we can get him back to sleep in just a few minutes, but sometimes we have to throw him in bed with us to calm him down. I am guessing this is nightmares, but maybe some growing pains as well, or he is just addicted to his dump truck movie? He then gets up for the day anywhere between 4 and 5:30am. There is no getting him back to sleep at that point. He is still napping, but it is just for an hour and a half in the afternoons. I have found him to be more grumpy and acting out more (which could also just be toddler behaviours). We try to get him outside to play and he is down at the rec centre twice a week to burn off energy.

For Hunter we have gotten suggestions of just leave him in his room (well he just screams until he yaks, and of course it is hard to keep a baby asleep when the toddler is crying), and don't let him nap (hard because if we try to keep him up for the day you will look over and there he is curled up on his blanket asleep anyways). Do you have any ideas??

Cavan is also waking up numerous times throughout the night. He is also asleep by 8pm, but is up again a few hours later. After that he wakes up usually once an hour to feed. The worst part is trying to get him back down into his crib. He can be right asleep and then as soon as his head hits the mattress he is wide awake and yelling at you. This of course wakes up Hunter. He is also awake for the day around 5am. He naps for one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon (of course he rarely will nap the same time as his brother), and a half hour cat nap around 6pm.

Suggestions so far have been to switch him to formula (trying, mainly because he is now biting, but he won't drink from the bottle) and to just let him cry in his crib (counterproductive because it wakes up Hunter, plus we are not fans of just letting the kids cry themselves out especially when they are this young). Any other ideas?

So Matt and I are exhausted. Seriously, you should see Matt, he looks horrible. I bet he is wishing right now that he could just crawl onto one of the patient beds and take a nap. And me... well I am ready to cry at a moments notice. I am miserable from this lack of sleep. I know, I know... you have 9 kids and you are doing just fine and you are supermom.... good for you. I am not and I have no clue how to get through this. So please send positive ideas or a relief crew. I will gladly accept both!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Toddler Food Tricks

Please let me know what kind of tricks you moms have up your sleeve for getting your toddler to eat!

Lately, if we break up his food into tiny pieces he will gladly eat it! It seems to work really well with bread products which he hadn't eaten in quite a while. The kid is challenging us daily as to what he will eat.

At least he still likes his veggies and fruit, but it varies week to week as to which ones he wants to eat. Last week he was on a strawberry kick, and this week it is watermelon and grapes.

The cute food story of the week was a few days ago when I asked him what he wanted for lunch and he replied with, "macawonies mom!" So freakin cute!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Kitchen Helpers

Trying to be productive in the kitchen with these boys underfoot can be a real hassle! So to get them out from underfoot, I put the baby into one of my favorite baby holding devices- the sink! And Hunter got to hang out on the counter. Amazing how much work I got done in the kitchen with these two entertained!

My kitchen helpers:
Mmmmm... what is this tasty thing?
Oh, this end is much better tasting!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Son The Super Hero!

Hunter loves his new "big boy" underwear (too bad he doesn't love them enough to start using the potty all the time). One day this week he wanted to wear them on the outside of his pants, and of course I thought it looked hilarious and let him do it. I even took him out of the house and down to playgroup dressed like this. I am such a great mom. He is sure to hate me when he is a teenager!

Underwear worn on the outside of your pants totally turns you into a superhero. Here Hunter is displaying his super speed!

To the SuperVan with his trusty sidekick, Curl!
Now where is the button for the rocket boosters again....
Donning the rest of the superhero outfit!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Jolly Jumper Joy

The Entourage!

My son travels with an entourage! Let me introduce you to his constant companions.

Here is Pup. Hunter received Pup when he was two months old from his Nan and Pop during their first visit to Kugluktuk. This is the favorite of the entourage!
This puppy, also named Pup, was rescued (stolen) from the restaurant in Ross River by Hunter one day when we were there for lunch. Hopefully we didn't break some poor kids heart. Pup was a little lonely sitting on top of the pay phone...
And meet, yes you guessed it, Pup! My son isn't very original when it comes to names. Nan and Pop gave him this puppy as well when we came to visit them in Cape Breton this summer.

Along with Pups, there is the ever faithful squirrel named Curl (how Hunter pronounces squirrel right now!). Curl was won by Hunter as a prize at one of the functions in Faro during the Crane and Sheep Festival. You should see people ohhh and ahhh when they see Hunter on the back of my quad with Curl under his arm. Frickin adorable!
And the newest member of the entourage is Bear. We bought Bear for Hunter when he was born, but just in the last month has Hunter decided he would be buddy's with him. Bear has already had to go for major back surgery just last week after some rough play. Don't worry, his stitches are healing just fine!
And the Number One member of the entourage would be his favorite blanket which he has named Ah-Nigh. God forbid we ever lose this blanket.... Here is Hunter playing picnic under his blanket with the entire gang:
"Where I go, Mommy?"
Cute as a button!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Avoiding Leaches

A few days ago, a friend had this statement on her facebook status:

Don't make somebody a priority when they think of you as an option.

I have been reflecting a lot lately as to how I want my life to be. A couple of posts back I mentioned that I try to avoid negative people in this community and instead have been working on finding a positive group of people to associate with. The statement above sums up what else I have been working on.

Have you ever taken a personality test? I remember doing one once and I was deemed to be a helper-type person. It was pretty accurate. I find myself always trying to help people in anyway I can. Usually it is just easy stuff like cooking for a sick friend, or lending out a kitchen gadget or baby item. Also, after being bullied for so many years in middle and high school, I also worry if I see anyone being left out. I like to make sure people feel welcome.

This personality trait is fine by me! I honestly enjoy helping others and I think I am good at it. But there are times when I know I am going out of my way for people that are leaches. I am sure there wasn't a section for leaches on that personality test, but I bet you all know someone who fits that category. Leaches will suck you dry- whether it is for items that they use and abuse or even worse, for sapping all your energy and joy. Leaches only associate with other leaches unless they need something from you. Then they turn into sugar-filled friendly leaches. But after they suck your energy, they turn into just regular leaches once again.

When my friend posted that statement on facebook, it helped me to realize I am still making some people a priority in my life when they only think of me as an option. It is time for me to re-prioritize where my time and energy is spent. I have made small steps in that direction, but it is time for me to make some leaps and bounds instead.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Getting Older Is Inevitable, Growing Up Is Optional!

Today was one of those wonderful family days that makes me appreciate all I have been given in life. Matt let me get an extra two hours of sleep after I had been up most of the night, then we spent the morning cleaning house and playing with the kids. We all took naps and then spent a couple of hours outside in the snow. Our evening was filled with giggling children as we did bath time and a lot of running around the house time. There wasn't much exciting about the day, it was just a perfect family day.

But the best part of my day was supper. As I mentioned on my last post, Hunter has been playing "picnic" all week. We hide under blankets and pretend to eat, usually pancakes. So for supper tonight I made up pancakes, bacon and canteloup while Matt turned our kitchen table into a tent. Hunter was so excited to have a real picnic complete with his favorite food. The baby giggled and tried to grab our plates as we ate. It was a wonderful family supper full of laughter.

Heading into the tent:
My boys enjoying pancakes for our picnic! Hunters face is hilarious here!
His chipmunk cheeks here are stuffed full of pancake!
Here is the bike trailer we got as a gift from the wonderful folks around Faro. I just purchased the stroller kit and it arrived this week. This was our first drive in it!
While their faces don't show it is this picture, they did have a great time! We walked about two and a half kilometers with it today.
**Thanks to Indigo for the title of my post!

Pretend Play

Hunter has just hit the stage where he can pretend play. His favorite activity now is "picnic" where we hide under a blanket that is our tent and we pretend to eat food. He offers me a number of yummy treats such as pancakes, broccoli, peas and water (his favorite foods). We also sing songs, count outloud, and talking about camping trips we took during the summer. He could play this all day long!

Cavan also gets in on the action and giggles whenever we hide him under our tent. He looks at his big brother with such adoration and no one can make that baby laugh the way Hunter does.

Today I made a special tent for Hunter by covering the exersaucer with a blanket and Hunter crawled into the bottom of it. But he was so sad that the baby and I didn't fit, that he took the blanket off and brought it back to the couch so we could all participate.

I think tomorrow I need to make a big tent using our dining room table so we can have a family picnic. Real pancakes might be required as well!

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Right Prescription

I get itchy feet. About every two years the symptoms return, much to my husbands dismay. Symptoms include:
  • looking at house listings on mls.ca and property guys
  • checking out job boards
  • worrying that my grass is not green enough
  • looking for new doors and windows to open
Two years ago we came to Faro on a bit of a whim to look at homes and see if this community was the right fit for us. We found an amazing home for a wickedly cheap price and we moved in three months later.

A couple of people I first met in town were very negative about this little community and I realized that in order to keep my itchy foot symptoms at bay I would have to avoid these people. I quickly backed away, hung out in the shadows for a while until I found people who focus on the positives in life, and then approached them for friendship. It sounds like a horrible thing to do, but in order for me to stay positive about life, I need to associate with positive people.

And it has worked. Our two year anniversary of moving to Faro is coming up quickly and my feet are fine. No itching. None at all.

Faro. The right prescription for my itchy feet. Maybe yours as well?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Stacking

Hunter is obsessed with stacking. He will stacks blocks, cars, bread pans, plastic containers... anything he has around him he will stack. I brought out crayons for him to play with and he won't really colour, instead he tries to stack them. Is this a boy thing?

And after he is done stacking, the items are usually relocated to the under-the-seat compartment in his push van or to the bucket of his John Deere loader and pushed around the house, dumped out repeatedly, pushed around a bit more, and then relocated to some obscure location in my house. Usually my bed.

This is his favorite cupboard and I have no clue how he hasn't broken his foot with the number of cans he has dropped while playing in here. Last week though, he tried to stack the open bottle of maple syrup on top of this tower in the picture. It did not end well. The tower fell, the lid to the maple syrup popped open and it glug-glugged all over my floor. In the few seconds in took me to grab it, my floor was a mess. Cleaning up maple syrup is not easy! But my kitchen did smell nice and sweet for a few days!

Go and Enter!

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