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The Dinner Dilemma

The Dinner Dilemma. I am sitting here writing this post trying to remember what I was going to write when all I can really think about is how unbelievably stubborn my two-year old son is. I know I had a couple of entertaining stories but unfortunately my mind is in a battle of wills with my son. He is currently sitting in his high chair (he normally sits in a regular chair, but his refusal to sit at the table properly has landed him in the high chair) and refusing to eat his dinner. All I want is for him to try his food. Just one bite. One little, bitty, teeny, tiny bite. But no. He’s refusing. And so he sits. We’ve had issues with him eating new foods for the last year. Once upon a time he was a good eater. I could pretty much blend up whatever we were having for dinner and he would eat it. Then he got a mind of his own and it’s been a battle ever since. I’ve read countless books, tried many strategies (eliminating snacks, making food into fun designs, the airplane game, letting him help make supper, letting him chose the food to put on his plate, offering a treat if he eats his supper, etc etc etc.) but nothing seems to work. So here we sit. A battle of wills I guess. It’s a simple rule in our house, you have to try one bit of everything. If you don’t like it, no big deal, you don’t have to eat it. But I also won’t make you something else for dinner. Normally I just give the kids whatever we are having but a plainer version.  Tonight, for instance, I made stir fry. I gave the kids small portions of everything, but plain without the sauce. He’s usually given in by now and tried his food. Guess tonight he’s seeing how far my patience will go. His sister and dad our currently enjoying a movie in the other room while we sit.  Oh goodness, he’s actually nodding off. I just saw his head do the droop down and jerk back.  He’s literally bored himself to sleep.

Until I write again…



Letters To Santa

LETTERS TO SANTA. Who knew writing letters to Santa would be so complicated. Here’s how it went down.

Jack’s Letter (unedited)

Me “Ok Jack, what do you want to say in your letter to Santa?”
Jack “Dear Santa. Love Jack ”
Me “Don’t you want to ask Santa what you want for Christmas?”

Jack’s Version (2nd edition)

Jack “Dear Santa, I want a BIG truck. Love Jack”
Me “No, you don’t want a big truck. You want a Green Lantern Plane, right?!”

Jack’s Version (3rd edition)

Jack “Dear Santa, I want a Green Lantern Plane and a blue stuffy Angry Bird. Love Jack”
Me “I don’t think there is a blue Angry Bird. How about a green one?”
Katie “Yes, there is a blue Angry Bird, it’s small. I’ve seen it in the game”
Me “I don’t think Santa’s elves make a blue Angry Bird. I’m pretty sure they only make green and red ones”

Jack’s Version (4th edition)

Jack “Dear Santa, I want a Green Lantern plane and a green Angry Bird. Love Jack”
Me “Phewf! Ok Katie it’s your turn. Why don’t you print your own letter”.
Me “Wait, what are you doing to Jack’s letter to Santa?”
Katie “I’m fixing it. You did not print your letters very good.  You didn’t do a good job crossing the ‘t’, you didn’t close the loop on this ‘g’ and you forgot the ‘r’ in Angry”.
Me ” I didn’t know my crayon printing skills were under such tough scrutiny.”
Katie “What does scrutiny mean?”
Me “Um, it means I didn’t know you were going to pretend to be my teacher and correct my printing”.
Katie – big smile

Katie’s Letter

Dear Santa. For Christmas I want angry bird and zoo zoo pet. Love Katie. 

Me “Perfect!”

She even gave herself a check-mark for writing it well.

LOOK MOM, ANOTHER PENCIL!  That’s what my daughter says at least once a week. I really need to invest in one of those industrial power operated sharpeners because Katie and I seem to spending our life sharpening pencils these days and my dollar store sharpener really blows.

“Mommy I finished my word packs – look what I got. A new pencil!”
“Mommy it was my birthday – look what I got! A new pencil!!”
“Mommy, we survived in the Mayan apocalypse – look what I got! A new pencil!!!”

A BIT OF GRATITUDE. Happy Jack has returned! It’s been so long since I’ve seen him I nearly forgot what he looked like. You see my normally sweet, goofy, giggly little (well maybe not so little) two-year old boy has been nothing but whining, miserable, crying, complaining, tired, cranky – ok you get the picture – for the last few days, weeks, months. I can’t even remember. It’s all just a big long miserable blur. One unknown illness after the next. Too many abnormal blood tests. Countless trips to see doctors and specialists and emergency room. On and on. But today he is happy. And not just happy. He’s truly returned to Happy Jack. He’s laughing, running all over the house. Being silly. Oh how I’ve missed this little man. I hope his return in permanent but even if it’s not I’m so very grateful to have it today.

Until I write again…


Pain in the Back

Pain in my Back.  “Seriously?!” was the thought going through my head tonight as I felt the incision on my back rip open after picking up my 38 pound son. I reached down the back of my shirt trying to feel where my scar should be.  Nope, lovely gaping hole in my back. So gross. I showed my husband, hoping that my fears were wrong. My daughter was quite enthralled “let me see!”. “I have to go to the doctor” I told my kids. My son replied “Why?” “Because she split open her back!” my daughter informed him. So off to the doctor I went. We tried to walk-in clinic down the street first in hopes that we wouldn’t be spending another night in the ER. As luck would have it I was in and out in under an hour. Unfortunately the doctor informed me that wound was too deep to glue and too fragile re-stitch so he and the nurse, taped it together as best they could. “Try to keep it held together for at least 10 more days” he informed me. Hmmm, I just pulled my socks on and could already feel one piece of tape slipping. This is truly a ‘pain in my back’.

Eating out with Kids. Last night my husband and I had the pleasure of going on a double date with my brother and his wife.  Rather than swap gift cards (as we have in the past), we decided it would be much more enjoyable to forgo gifts between siblings and enjoy a rare night out together.

Before I get into our night out let me tell you about our adventure getting to our night out. You see yesterday the west coast was blanketed with snow. This is not typical (from what I’m told) December weather and thus caused massive traffic problems. On the way to meet my husband I was tuned into the traffic report. I heard countless stories of downed trees and large chunks of ice falling from one of the bridges on to cars below. At one point the reporter said “if there’s a hill, just assume there is a problem”.

When I arrived at my husband’s work, I got to meet his boss, who flew in from the east coast. He told me that he had been working on his laptop during his flight and when he closed it up as they were about to land, he looked out the window at all the snow and for a moment wondered if he was on the wrong plane!

My sister-in-law was coming to meet us from the city. She had to take a bus to the skytrain station and then should have had a short commute. But it ended up taking her nearly two hours to meet us. As she was walking to the bus station she first noticed that there were at least 50 people also waiting for the bus and no busses in sight. She then noticed that people walking faster than cars were driving so she ended up just walking all the way to the train. Her feet got completely soaked from the slushy snow and she was sprayed again and again by passing cars. At one point she had to stop at a store and buy extra pairs of socks because her poor feet were so wet. She said it was like walking in a slurpee cup.

In the end we were all able to meet up, despite the weather. We went to the Keg for dinner, one of my favourite restaurants. I mentioned to my brother that I hadn’t been there since last year’s Christmas double-date. “But there’s one just down the street from your house” he replied. I then had to explain how going out for meals is just not something we do with two kids. “But your kids always seem so well-behaved when we go out.” he said. It’s not that they are not well-behaved, it’s that we are constantly on edge when we are out. We know they are not likely to want anything from the menu and if we do splurge and get them a meal, they end up complaining that it’s too hot or say something like “these chicken nuggets are not the same as McDonald’s”. Inevitably we end up pulled out fishy crackers or an assortment of other snacks to keep them quiet…I mean fed. The ONE colouring page the restaurant supplies the kids keeps them entertained for about three minutes and then after that we are spending the remaining time finding other things to entertain them. And no matter how many toys you pack, it seems that they are ‘bored’ within about 30 minutes.  That’s when shoes come off and kids start climbing, under, over or through the table. At some point they are likely going to start singing loudly, especially if there the guests sitting next to you who are having a business dinner/lunch. Today my Mom and I hit up our favourite Mexican restaurant while we were shopping in the States. Again, it was a special treat to be out for a meal. But within 20 minutes I found myself saying “Jack, you can’t do somersaults in the restaurant ” “Why?” he replied. And yes this was right in front of the table beside us where two gentlemen were having a business lunch. See it never fails. So as “good” as my kids may seem to my brother. We are constantly on edge, watching the time, wondering how long until we have to grab everything and go. So going out for a leisurely dinner on a double-date, with actual adult conversation is a true pleasure!

Quick Book Review. After dinner we all went to the theatre to see the movie Life of Pi. I’m a big fan of the book. I read it earlier this fall after my brother convinced me it was worth reading. You see I have a tendency to give up on a book after about 20 pages if it doesn’t capture me. Life of Pi kind of bored me until half way through and after that I couldn’t read it fast enough. The ending (no spoilers) made the book and I thought the movie did a great job of capturing the beauty of the story. I’m not sure if my husband appreciated the movie as much as I did but perhaps he is just a little sad that I seem to be the only person on the planet not interested in seeing the Hobbit.

Until I write again…


Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

It’s Always Something. Nothing like going to the doctor  to have MY stitches removed and the first thing the doctor says is “so before we get started,  let’s discuss your son. Because I was up all night reading his test results”. That’s re-assuring. Sigh. Short story is on top of whatever else seems to going on with him, he now also has a UTI. He is on medication and it looks like we will be following up in the new year with more tests including an ultra sound. I can only pray that one of these days they are going to get to the bottom of my son’s ailments and we will finally get some answers. For now he seems happy today despite a runny nose.  I let Jack sleep in our bed last night because my husband was worried about him. I can’t worry about him because I am on this “I refuse to freak out and worry until I get some answers quest” but my husband was worried, so Jack slept with me. I know some people LOvE sleeping with their kids. I’d like to say I do. I mean, when they are sleeping I think they are the most cute and precious creatures ever imaginable, but get them in my bed and ug. I’m getting an elbow here and a foot here (if it’s my daughter). My son on the other hand sleeps sideways with his head shoved right in my arm pit. I tried moving him but he was like a spring and within seconds had sprung back to his arm pit position. Not comfortable. It’s no wonder since he was sideways in my stomach my whole pregnancy. Took a c-section AND forceps to get him out. He’s a stubborn one if nothing else.

So anyways, back to my stitches. No big deal, just a biopsy on a weird-looking mole but it resulted in five stitches in my mid back. Right where you can quite reach so of course they were agonizingly itchy. I asked my husband if it was going to leave a scar since i can only sort of see it when holding my hand mirror over my shoulder while i stand with my back to the bathroom mirror.  He replied “some people get tattoos, you get scars”. It’s so true. My back and stomach are like a road map from all the minor and major medical procedures endured. Seriously though, it doesn’t bother me. My doctor recently asked me where the giant scar on my stomach came from. “The last two times were c-sections and the first was exploratory surgery from a ruptured appendix. All the same scar” I said proudly. “Alright then” he replied. I think for me they are a right of passage. A sign that life tried to throw something my way and I threw it back.

On a more serious note though, I have to say that my five-year old was pretty upset about my recent surgery.  “What do you mean you can’t carry my back pack?”  For the last week I have heard her say with great concern “is your back ok? Does it hurt?”  It truly shocked me how she was affected by it. Add on a flu stricken head-cold sniffling me and now she is truly unhappy.  “mommy I don’t like it when you’re sick”.  It’s funny how we overlook how our health effects the short ones in our life. It reminds me that I am being watched by my kids all the time. They hear me when I’m on the phone. They notice when I’m in a bad mood. They are always there watching, listening, learning. So to this point I will be making an extra effort to keep them in mind as I go about my daily routines. Maybe I can keep my mood a bit lighter even when I’m in pain or unhappy. Maybe I’ll take an extra minute to share with them something great that’s going on with my day. Maybe I tried this today and my five-year old said “are we done taking yet? Can I go play?”

Let it Snow! We had our first snow fall today since January. I know a lot of the areas around us have had snow earlier but we seem to live in what I call “the weather bubble” and are rarely if ever affected by snow. But today we have snow! My daughter was so excited all she wanted to do was to skip school and build a snowman. Since living here we’ve managed to build a snowman once. Back in January it snowed one day. But as we were building our snowman, it was raining. Never done anything like that before. Building a melting snowman. And the next day it was hot and sunny so we watched it finished melting. Today seems like the snow might actually be sticking. My son had a great time playing outside. I got out all the beach toys and his big truck. He did fall down once and could not get up. I guess his bulky cloths and snow pants made it difficult. I being the good mom, of course, laughed and then took a picture before I actually helped him. I also built him a soccer ball sized snow ball I thought would be fun for him to stomp. He got quite upset when he tried to kick it like a ball and nothing happened. I guess I should have clarified what I meant by snow “ball”. He soon discovered how fun it was to throw snow at me. Especially with his giant shovel. So we had some good laughs there. At least until he tried throwing it at himself. Not a big fan of wet, cold, snow in his face. Oh well. It’s suppose to warm up and start raining so I’m not sure how long it will last.  But we’ll enjoy it while it’s here.

No Snow at the Beach. On my way home from the doctor’s office I drove down to the beach. I love the beach and still can’t believe I get to live 10 minutes away. I’ve never been to the beach when it’s snowing so I thought it would be really fun to go check it out. Apparently the beach is also in the weird weather bubble because it was not snowing there. But I went for a little stroll anyways. It was amazing. The water is usually so calm, almost never any waves. Today the tide was so high and the waves were crashing all over the place. I took a bunch of pictures and stood back in awe. Then I watched some people walk along the promenade and get hit by a wave. It was awesome. What were they thinking? Standing back I could clearly see that the waves were crashing so high it was splashing all over the picnic tables and such. Did they think their umbrella would help them? I know I shouldn’t laugh, but it was really funny to see the shock on their faces. The people next to me laughed too.

Umbrellas for Snow. I forgot how people here use their umbrellas in the snow. I spent seven years living in what felt like the coldest place on earth where it snowed every day for about 8 months and I’ve never seen anyone use an umbrella in the snow. But out here on the west coast it is very common. As I dropped my daughter at school I saw a few moms with umbrellas and even more as I drove around this morning. It looks completely weird to me yet makes so much sense. Especially when the snow here is so wet. That’s what I find so weird. When it snows, your coat gets soaked. Not used to that. Back home its dry snow. Hard to even make a snowman.

Alright I gotta go. Lots to do now that my head-cold seems to be winding down. If you are reading this somewhere its snowy keep warm and drive safely!

Until I write again.


The Twelve Days of Whack-a-Mole

A Bit of Gratitude. So it’s been nearly a week since I’ve written and I can attribute that to the plague that has hit my home. Or so it feels. I was up four nights last week with sick kids. The last of which ended up in an ambulance ride to the hospital after my son had yet another seizure due to rapid fever onset. After four nights of no sleep and then being at the hospital till four, I shockingly developed the flu which has now turned into a wicked head-cold. But I must find something to be thankful during this time despite the fact that my nose is so red that if I were to sport some antlers I would likely be mistaken for Rudolf. So here it goes. I am so very thankful that my mom is visiting and taking my daughter to school and doing laundry and buying groceries and cooking dinner. Because if she wasn’t here I would be doing all of that on top of my trying to cope with an ever-growing head-cold and as much fun as I have known that to be I am much happier having her take care of me while I crash on the couch and catch up on episodes of the Vampire Diaries. I am also grateful that I shopped like a madwoman when my Mom first arrived last week and got all my Christmas shopping done. Because even though I can’t hear and my head is horribly fuzzy I at least don’t have the stress of having to shop! Ok enough pity party, let’s move on to something much more amusing.

Be Prepared. Ok well actually since I was just on the topic of being sick, let me tell you a ditty about our hospital visit. So back in October we spent way too much time having to quickly pack bags and run my son to the hospital. After which I decided the best thing to do was “be prepared”. So I did just that. I prepared several bags for us. One bag for each of my children with a complete set of change of clothes, extra mittens, you name it. I also packed a bag of snacks for the kids. I threw in a case of water and a small backpack of toys all in the back of my van. My thought was that if I ever had to run to the hospital on a moments notice, I would be prepared. It also turned out to be great when one of my kids lots a mitten or I forgot to grab a scarf on the way out the door. I had toys when we were out at a restaurant and had snacks when the kids didn’t like the menu items. I was a freaking Beaver Scout let me tell you. Prepared, prepared, prepared! But here I was last Friday night reading in bed, with my two-year old asleep next to me when he suddenly had a seizure and I was on the phone to 911. Shortly thereafter we were on our way to the hospital by ambulance and I had no emergency bags with me. Why? Because they were in the back of my van. The van which was at soccer practice with my husband. Hmmm, best made plans…Anyways, it turned out ok because my husband came to the hospital but now I feel like I may need back-up bags for the back-up bags. Oh and here is the best part of my trip. My wardrobe. That’s right, my awesome ‘pajamas’ that I was wearing when the paramedics arrived. Which I didn’t even think about until about three hours later when I looked down at my sorry self and just shook my head. You see I don’t really own any pajamas. I used to have  a lot of pjs but then I lost a bunch of weight and none of them fit anymore. Which is obviously a good thing. But buying new ones just hasn’t been on my priority list. So instead I just throw something together. On the night in question it was the t-shirt I wear when I dye my hair. An awesome old ratty white t-shirt covered in brown hair dye. And for pajama bottoms I was wearing an old pair of maternity bottoms. So as I was walking around the hospital in what looked like the dirtiest t-shirt ever, I also had the crotch of the pajama bottom’s hanging at my knees. Awesome! I think Santa might need to grab me a pair or two of pjs for Christmas.

The Twelve Days of Whack-a-Mole. So today we attended my daughter’s school Christmas concert. I’m not going to gush about how cute the 5 year olds all looked singing Little Toy Trains in their pjs or how adorable my son was because he just had to wear pjs to the concert too, just like his big sister (oops). No instead I’ll share a little story that I like to call the “Human Whack-a-Mole”. You know the ‘whack-a-mole’ game right? The one at the arcades or carnivals where moles pop up out of holes and you whack them with your hammer? Well that was me. Along with about 200 other parents and kids at today’s concert. Here’s the scene. The music teacher tells us that we are all going to sing the Twelve Days of Christmas, only every time a number is mentioned it is going to correspond with a birthday month. So when we sing “On the First day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…” all the people with January birthdays have to stand up. And so on and so forth. Only we have to do it every time your number is mentioned. And if you remember the song, you add a number every stanza and then count down again. So it looked something like this:

[Shay stand up] “On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me four colly birds, [Shay sit down Kelly stand up], three french hens, [Kelly sit down, Steve stand up] two turtle doves, [Steve sit down, Grandma stand up], and a partridge in a pair tree”.  [Grandma sit down, random person next to me stand up] “On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me , five golden rings, [random person sit down, Shay stand up] four colly birds, [Shay sit down Kelly stand up], three french hens, [Kelly sit down, Steve stand up] two turtle doves, [Steve sit down, Grandma stand up], and a partridge in a pair tree” and so on and so on. My friend emailed me tonight saying she will never, ever, for the rest of her life, forget my birthday month after going through that!

Seriously, try this at home with your family. It is truly  like a human whack a mole game. I couldn’t help but laugh. It was silly and we all looked ridiculous. But I think deep down everyone had a lot of fun.

I’m pretty sure I had another funny story to share but my head is becoming more and more cloudy and my thoughts are making less and less sense. So I am going to attempt to get a good night’s rest in hopes of a clear head tomorrow.

Until I write again…


Wacky Wednesday

Wacky Wednesday. I’m writing this post as I sit in the tea-cup chairs of Chapters book store. I’m not sitting in the kids section because I’m with my kids. I’m sitting here because the power just went out and they’ve locked us in the store. Just as I was thinking to myself “I’m just about done my Christmas shopping and can finally go home” BAM, power out. And so goes my day. This morning my daughter declared today “Wacky Wednesday” and I think got it right.

Here’s how my day begun. 5am and my two-year old son comes in to my bedroom “Mommy, I have to pee”. Sigh. “Ok” I say and drag my butt out of bed and him to the bathroom. After which I promptly return him to his room explaining that 7am is a much more reasonable hour upon which to rise. 3o minutes later and he’s back in my room “Mommy, I pooped”. “You have to go poop, or you pooped in your pajamas?” Want to take a guess on his answer? Ten minutes later, I’ve got him cleaned up, my bathroom cleaned up and thrown out his pjs (they did not survive the disaster). By now it’s nearly 6am and I’m wide awake.

On the way downstairs I dropped my son’s stainless steel water bottle. BANG, BANG, BANG, CRASH, it went down the stairs slamming into our hardwood floors. That’s when my daughter declared it Wacky Wednesday. And so the tale continues.

A few hours later I’m laying on the table at my doctor’s office having minor surgery and the fire alarm goes off. Again and again and again. Thankfully no one seemed to be too alarmed about …the alarm so I was able to stay put. Can you imagine having to leave while your half-naked and being stitched up? And now here I sit writing this blog entry. I’ve just been informed that they want us all to leave but they seem to have some type of back-up power on the cash registers so we should be able to pay for our items on the way out.  Wacky Wednesday indeed.

Paper Towel Dress. Last week I was at the my doctor’s office for my yearly check-up. The nurse tells me to undress all but my socks and hands me a ‘gown’ to put on.  Ok seriously, what is up with this ‘gown’?  I looked at that thing and all I could think was it looked and felt like a giant paper towel. And not even the expensive kind, the cheap no-name brand.  When the doctor enters he asks me how I’m doing. My reply “well I’m basically wearing a piece of paper and I’m freezing cold”. “I meant how are you feeling these days? Any concerns?” “Oh…”

A Bit of Gratitude.  When I put my daughter to bed tonight she decided it was a good time to have a serious deep discussion about religion, where babies come from and cancer. Awesome. Just the conversations I want to have with my five-year old at 7:30 at night. I did my best to answer each of her questions with just enough information that I felt was age appropriate. Once she seemed satisfied and no longer curious, she was content to go to sleep. As much I was feeling a little overwhelmed and surprised by the conversation, I am grateful that she was comfortable enough to ask me questions. I hope to be able to sustain this type of communication in the years to come. Maybe just not quite so late at night, and not all at once.

Until I write again…


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