Saturday, May 23, 2009

doing time

Last weekend was the Victoria Day long weekend. My parents wanted to make a quick trip down to Portland to visit friends, so we drove them down to Seattle that weekend so that they continue their trip at the beginning of the week.

Trips to Seattle to visit my brother and his wife are always fun because they mean OUTLET SHOPPING. And lots of it! It's a little harder these days with the 2 kids, but I can always find time to shop. Sometimes, though, it means that I come home with a pile of clothes and shoes from Carter's and Stride Rite rather than Banana Republic and Nine West, but shopping is shopping and clothes for me or the family is ALL good.

Usually, when we go across the border, I'm tuned in to the border line-ups at the different crossings. When we came home from Seattle on the holiday Monday, however, I was too busy making sure that the 2 kids and the dog were kept happy and by the time we reached Bellingham at 10:15 pm, we finally realized we never checked the border crossings.

Big mistake. Both the Peach Arch and Pac Highway crossings were reporting 2.5 to 3 hour wait times. But there was no going back to Seattle at this point. The radio said our best bet was the Aldergrove crossing, reporting a 45 minute wait. So, we headed over to Aldergrove. When we finally reached the line-up at 10:30, our GPS said that we were 2.8 km from the border. So, we waited.

Avery was easy, I could just pop into the back and soothe her or breastfeed when she cried (one of the benefits of a minivan!). And Josh was great. He watched Diego and Cars on the DVD and even though he was pretty tired, he just sat in his car seat. Unfortunately, he couldn't fall asleep because the car wasn't moving, but he wasn't acting up, so we were lucky.

At 11:15 pm, the GPS said we were just over 1 km from the border. At that point, we checked the radio again. This was when the radio reminded listeners that the Aldergrove crossing closes at midnight. OMG. Are you serious?! I never realized that there were border crossings that closed! We did the math and decided to chance it and wait out the 45 minutes. Well, it didn't work for us. When we saw cars in front of us start turning back, the GPS said we were 250 m from the border.

So, we went to the Pac Highway crossing and we finally made it across at 2:15 am. It took us almost 4 hours to cross the border. I'm pretty sure that was the worst border crossing we've had to date. Needless to say, we're going to be applying for a Nexus pass pretty soon now...

Friday, May 22, 2009

motoring munchkin

Since Josh was about 10 months old, we've been taking him to a local drop-in program called Motoring Munchkins. It's basically a gymnasium full of toys for kids, aged 1 to 5 years, to run around and play. Josh LOVES it. He is such an active child that it's perfect for him!

Since I've been on maternity leave again, I've opted to go to the Wednesday class instead of Fridays, hoping that it may be a bit less crowded since it's the middle of the week. Not only is it less crowded, but they also have gymnastics equipment set up for the gymnastics classes that take place later in the day.

All the gymnastics stuff is new to Josh and he is enjoying it quite a bit. He runs around, going from equipment to equipment, testing it all out. His big thing right now is hanging. He learned to hang on the uneven bars and now he'll hang on just about anything - which isn't always good when he can pull over bookshelves and tables at home!

He also loves to jump, but what child doesn't?! And we've found that he's pretty good at walking on the balance beam too!
See what I mean about hanging on anything?!

I forget the name of these riding wheelie things, but you can get them at Costco

Josh likes to build stuff, just like Dad!

Josh jump, jump, jumps right onto a mat at the end

Not only can he balance on the balance beam...

...but he can jump off too!

Butt shot

Who doesn't like the trampoline?!


Brian has wanted a digital SLR for probably as long as I've known him. We've always found reasons not to get one though, citing price as our biggest hurdle. Brian has patiently (and painfully) watched as, slowly, each one of our friends has upgraded from their point and shoot cameras or 35mm SLR's and bought a digital SLR. Each time, I watch Brian's reaction and my heart sinks as I can taste his mixed emotions of envy and reality (that we can't afford it!).

We recently "found" some money and we (read "I") decided that it was time to bite the bullet and get a DSLR. Brian did a bit of research and he decided on the Canon 50D. I have to admit, not knowing anything about cameras, that it is pretty amazing! Even I can take a few good pictures with that camera. But then again, I guess it better be pretty damn good for the price!

Here are some of the first photos we've taken with the camera:

Friday, May 15, 2009

mommy's day

I still find it weird to talk about my "kids". I can't believe that someone saw fit for me to be the mother of 2 kids! These first 4 weeks have been quite an experience having 2 kids, but they have been lots of fun - very different than my experience as a first-time parent! I'm sad that I didn't enjoy Josh as much as a newborn - I was too "post-partum" to enjoy the experience. But I think I've made up for it with Avery.

Brian and the "kids" gave me the BEST mother’s day gift that I think any mom (of a newborn) could ask for. They gave me 6 hours of continuous sleep! It was SO nice. Avery has been strictly breastfeeding and the night before Mom's Day, I pumped instead and Brian gave her the milk, bottled, at her 4am feeding. I got to sleep from 1am to 7am without waking up AT ALL! Brian said she did really well on the bottle – she finished everything that I pumped in about 15 minutes. I was SO happy to hear that and SO happy to feed her at 7am, feeling a tad bit engorged! Hahaha...

It's funny how quickly we adapt because when I woke up, I didn't feel like I had been sleeping for 6 hours. In fact, I felt like I could sleep for 6 more hours! But through the day, I felt like I had energy and I didn't need to take any naps! I'm SO looking forward to the days when I'm getting 6 hours of continuous sleep again...!

We had a really nice Mother's Day. Josh gave me my Mother's Day gift in the morning and said, "Happy Birthday". Hahaha...He also gave my mom her Grammy's Day gift. We all went for dimsum in the late morning and then we spent the gorgeous afternoon outside doing some gardening. In the late afternoon, Nana came over too, so Josh and Avery got to spend their Mom's Day with their mom and both their grandma's. It was perfect!

I hope all you moms had a fabulous Mother's Day. You are ALL my heroes. I don't know any work that is harder than being a mother. I know that even though it's worth it, it sometimes seems like an unappreciated effort. Well, just remember that EVERY OTHER mom appreciates what you do (and, eventually, your kids will appreciate it too!). Happy Mother's Day!

one month

This past Sunday was a milestone first Mother's Day with Avery. Also, it was Avery's 4 week birthday! I can't believe that the first month has gone by already! She looks so different now then those first days in the hospital. For one, she is no longer yellow - she seems to have worked out all her jaundice. I'm glad she didn't have to go through phototherapy!

She also does not look like a newborn anymore. She is filling out and probably weighs around 9 lbs. now! I don't know her exact weight because I'm finding that the second time around, the health care professionals are relying on our experience to get us through the first few weeks. It seemed like we weighed Josh every other day until he was 4 weeks old! With Avery, she was weighed in the hospital and then at one week and three weeks. That's it so far. At 3 weeks old, she weighed 8.5 lbs. She's a little porker!

So, with 2 kids, we're finding that bathtime comes few and far between (for both kids!). The following photos are of Avery's first bath at home. Brian was a little rusty and Avery was new at it too, so between the two of them it was a bit of a clumsy endeavour and Avery was NOT happy...

These first few weeks have found Avery sleeping alot - sleep, eat, poo, she's pretty textbook! She is just now staying awake more and we're finding that we need to start using some of our parenting skills to find ways to get her to fall asleep. It's funny how quickly we forget all that stuff! Now that she's awake more, we're seeing her grey-black eyes and we can tell that she's focusing more. She's even given a couple of non-gassy smiles when she's looking at us!

We've also discovered that she has a REALLY loud cry. We're not used to that because Josh was so quiet as a newborn. It's a bit nerve-wracking. I never realized how much a baby's cry can really grate on your nerves until now. I mean, I don't feel like I'm going to have a nervous breakdown everytime she cries, but it is distracting and I find that I can't do anything BUT tend to her cries when she's crying.

Josh is loving his little sister. Everytime he comes home from daycare or goes to bed, he wants to give Avery a hug and kiss. We just have to make sure that we watch him like a hawk - his idea of a gentle hug and kiss is not quite as "gentle" as we'd like! We also had a "close call" last week - I was sitting on the couch beside Avery in her bassinet when Josh crawled up on the couch between us. I knew he was leaned over looking at her, but I wasn't fully paying attention to what he was doing. Soon, Avery started crying so I leaned over to see what Josh was doing. That's when I noticed 2 pieces of cashew in her mouth! OMG - it just proved to me that you can NEVER be too careful when dealing with a toddler!

Here are more photos of Avery over the last few weeks. The last one was taken on her 4-week birthday: