Saturday, March 27, 2010

Fake Holiday

*Insert cute picture of the boys in green here*

Let's pretend I made adorable shamrock shaped sandwiches for lunch, died our chicken green for dinner and led Ben on a challenging, educational and super fun scavenger hunt for leprechaun treasure. 'Cause I didn't. We didn't do a darn thing for St. Patricks day because a-I am barely Irish and b-I am not Catholic and don't really know who St. Patrick was. What I did do was feel annoyed at the news making festivities of a holiday none of those drunk on cheap green beer in their "Kiss Me I'm Irish" shirts could recite the origin of.

Then I did an online quiz on post partum depression because I am never this bitter and usually welcome a colour themed holiday with no pressure to make a big meal that requires me to rewash the knives to get the watermarks off. I should LOVE st. Patricks SHOULD be my favorite. Like groundhog day. But, it just isn't.

Easter though...that is another story. And the boys, well hang onto your socks...

hint...they have matching ties...

Friday, March 26, 2010


While I was downstairs I left Jacob in his bassinet upstairs in the family room with Ben. This is what I heard;

"Hi baby Jacob. I am Ben. You are Baby Jacob. We are brothers. You see the firetruck? Here. You see the amleeance? Here. You see the police car? Here. I like all these cars. Yup. I do. I show you these fings. I show you alllllll the fings. Okay Baby Jacob?"

Oh my, the firsts of many moments I wished for are coming daily now. As I imagined them growing together as brothers these are the treasures I will hold close to my heart as the two boys I love fall in love with each other. I hope Ben will always be as loving, compassionate and kind to "his baby" as he is today. I hope Jacob always looks at him with those big blue eyes as awestruck as he does today.

This morning Jacob was crying in the car seat. Really crying. This is a very rare occurrence and I am not sure Ben has even experienced this before that moment.

"Please-a Mommy. Baby Jacob is crying so much. Please-a help him Mommy"!

When I explained that I would certainly help him just as soon as I was able to stop the van he proceeded to explain this softly, sweetly and gently to his brother.

"It's okay Baby Jacob. Mommy is going to get you your Nuby (soother), then you will feel better, okay?"

Jacob stopped crying.

The Bead.

Ben made a beautiful bead bracelet today at preschool. He chose each bead very carefully and arranged all 5 in a precise order only he was quite sure of. He wore it proudly on his wrist all morning. And into bed.

This is where it gets ugly.

I hear him suddenly cry loudly from his bedroom, where usually he is very happy to be. Because this is so unusual I ran into his room. He was so upset it took him at least five minutes to be able to speak.

"Ben, can you please tell Mommy what is wrong?"

"Nooooot yeeeeet".

we wait. He cries on my shoulder. The snot spot growing by the minute.

"Please Ben, if you can't tell me I will have to put you back in your bed for a minute while I get a kleenex to blow your nose".

"Nooooo Kleenex! The bead might get more stuck!"


There is was. Shoved up as far as it could go, a pretty green bead.

I tried my finger. I tried a cue tip. I tried tweezers. Then I called the Doctor.

I could hear the smile in the receptionists voice.
"A bead you say?"

"Yes a bead. I can't get it".

"How old did you say he was?"


"mmmmm". (smile)

I know this is a right of passage. I just didn't want to spend my afternoon in the doctors office with bead boy. The Doctor could see him in a hour. Okay I had an hour to work with. I had to call Jon home from work to hold him down (he's little but boy is he strong. I took one kick to the head to know I needed back up).

Smart man that he is, Jon immediately suggested a crochet hook. OF COURSE! It was out in seconds.

"Ben are you ever going to put beads in your nose again"?



- On another note...about ten minutes after our afternoon excitement my Mother calls. Better known as Grammie. As a prelude I need to explain that there was very few limits placed on me as a child. I came and went virtually as I pleased, we triple belted in the backseat regularly, I roamed the neighbourhood, wore skinned knees as fashion statements and had a sibling with a photo album devoted to his broken bones and injuries requiring more than 3 stitches. My mother was not neglectful in the least but she was prone to the attitude of "kids will be kids" and "they have to learn somehow".

Then she had grandchildren.

the sun rises and sets on these children and she can't talk to me on the phone if one of them is so much as whimpering in the background.
"Ohhhhh Jenn, call me back when he isn't crying, I can't hear him cry".
"He's not crying mom, it was a hiccup".
"Ohhhhh it sounded like crying. Call me later".

To exemplify the degree of helicopter grand mothering she exhibits Ben was playing with a bungee cord recently when she was here. As he was swinging it around his head Grammie looked at me in horror.

"Jenn! He can't play with that! Aren't you going to take it from him?!"
"Um no... He's fine mom. What could possibly happen?" I examined the short cord with two blunt peices of soft rounded rubber ends. I still couldn't see the danger in his impromptu lasso.

"Jenn! He could catch his eye with that hook and rip his eyeball out!"

Oh well, other than that of course. (Really, there was NO WAY this was going to happen.)

So I made the mistake of telling her the bead story.


"Yes mom, he is fine it was just a bead". I made the huge judgement error that she would have found humor in this story.

"Jenn, it is not JUST a bead. Don't you know he could have sniffed it up to his BRAIN!"

"No mom, he could not have. It was too big to go up to his brain".

"Well gee jenn, I don't know. It sounds like it could have been bad. Really bad. Ohhhh my. I have to go now."

Then she hung up.

And here I thought it was just a bead!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

2 Months Old

Jacob! This is your Mother speaking- STOP GROWING THIS INSTANT!!!!

I took Ben and Jake to a play gym this morning and when I told a woman who asked his age she said "Oh my he is awfully smiley and alert for only 2 months, what a big boy"!

Then I smacked her mouth.

Just kidding. But I wanted to. She put an end to my denial. The squishy newborn was a thing of last week. On a positive note this week brought coos and smiles that melt my heart and make my eyes well up (because as we know I am the suckiest of sucks when it pertains to these little boys).

So here are two facts for two months...

1- Jacob is gorgeous. Seriously not just because I am his Mommy do I say this. I can stare at this kid all day. He is so detailed... so cherubic looking, there is just no other way to describe him. Of course even though I know it, I still like hearing it so don't stop telling me. I won't let it go to his head, I promise.

2- What a gentle, sweet little spirit he is. He is so soft and quiet. He rarely makes a peep, very rarely cries and when he does it is a polite little whimper as if to say "I am so sorry to have bothered you, if you get a spare moment I was wondering if I couldn't trouble you for some food..." (in my head he has a British accent...just so you know). I can't wait to see who this little boy grows into!

Oh Jakey... stay mommy's little squishy baby forever. Okay?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

God Bless Jacob

This past Sunday we celebrated Jacob at church with his Blessing. He is introduced in this way to the congregation and given a prayer of blessings by his Father. Jon did a beautiful job once again.

Mr. Independent

Personal hygiene is a big issue in our home. Ben currently acts as though he is being tortured with such inhumane devices as the hairbrush, nail clippers, shampoo and facecloth. He screams and cries, arches his back and needs at least two parents to assist.

Tonight however...we made big strides.

I caught him trying to cut his own toenails! Huh.

Real Dad's Wear Babies

This is a Moby Wrap...they are great for dad's to experience what pregnancy may have been like as it allows the baby to be worn very close. Well...pregnancy without the other 1000 symptoms and of course removal of the baby is a significantly easier process...

Anyway, Jacob loves it and fortunately Jon is a very hands on (or off in this case...)Dad and will try out all the carriers no matter how "girly" he deems them.

I read an article (yes ANOTHER one...) on how wearing babies stimulates brain development as they are touched a lot more than babies who are not. They cry much less and their needs are met faster. Babies are worn close to their parent for much of the first year of their life and beyond all around the world. They are able to observe from a secure place where they are safe and easily comforted. They have the constant physical contact that they crave and it makes for a very strong bond between parent and child.

In our continent it is not uncommon for a baby to be picked up from their crib, placed in a car seat carrier, placed in the stroller, back in the carseat, home to the highchair for lunch, then the rotation from excersaucer, jumperoo, bumbo and then into the swing for a nap. With all the contraptions available to the busy modern parent makes it possible for a baby to not have to be picked up all day long. Instead of being wrapped in arms they are cradled in plastic. I fear Ben spent more time then I would have liked in his early days with this same common routine, becuase I didn't know of the alternative.

I have worn Jacob from the day he was born and it has proven to be a wonderful transition from womb to world. He is close to me all the time and is always content. He is such a relaxed baby and is free to drift in and out of sleep as he likes. Often I will look down to notice he is awake and wide eyed, taking in the day from the security of my chest. As he is getting older I can tell when he wants to move around more when he starts flexing his legs in the wrap. Recently happy to kick around under his play mat for a while. When he is finished his exercise he lets me know with a little whimper that he is ready to come back to my arms. It is interesting as I learn to follow his cues that he knows exactly what is good for him at what time. He is more aware of what his natural needs are then I am, I simply have to understand his communication. I am feeling like I am being a more effective parent this time with Jacob and baby wearing has been at the root of this.

Jacob's Buddy

Jacob has a friend. His name is Myers. He came over to play today with his sister Ruby. While Ben and Ruby played Myers and Jacob has fun kicking, drooling, grinning, eating and sleeping. In that order.

"And Lookit"

Ben is really interested in space right now. Enjoy this video of him sharing his favorite space book!

(Yes we are still working on numbers...twelve...fourteen...seventeen...)

Friday, March 12, 2010



Picture perfect morning...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Just A Day

The days of runny noses, butterfly kisses, raspberries on tummy's and dinky cars are too fleeting to properly imprint on a busy mothers memory for future savoring. Each day them I must work to consciously store these memories of our days, that to someone whatching may seem ordinary.

As I continue to marvel at tiny, perfect Jacob and his brother who It seems I held just this way only moments ago, I can't help but try to slow these days down as I simultaneously rush through them. When I catch myself looking to the clock in hopes that nap time can creep a little quicker to rescue me from the shrieking two year old with heavy eyelids who managed to get the pot and pan cupboard open I have to remember. I remember that these are the best moments of my life, they are the funniest, sweetest and loveliest bits of life and they come in the form of little boys who absolutely light up my life, full fill my purpose and give me understanding and perspective I could never have imagined without them. I am so grateful for these days of just me and my boys. Many days are "just days". We color, watch cartoons, read and reread books. We throw pebbles down the storm drain, walk to the mailbox and stomp in puddles. We make sandwiches and I peel apple after apple. We pause for nursing sessions and diaper changes. We chat about airplanes and ladybugs (what do they call the boys?!). We follow the garbage truck around the neighbourhood and go to the playground. We blow bubbles and colour our driveway with sidewalk chalk, we walk twenty five minutes to old navy just to put a quarter in the big bouncy ball gumball machine. I kiss bumped heads and hurt feelings, sing songs and make up new ones. We do puzzles and I applaud puppet shows. I coax smiles and play catch while we count down the days until the snow is all gone and the sandbox lid comes off. These are our days. They are "just days" and they are mine. They are treasured.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bitter Sweet

When we went to get the mail this morning Ben didn't want to sit in the stroller with Jacob. I held out my hand then for him to assume the alternaitive position.
He looked at me very seriously.

"I am a big brother now. I don't need to hold Mommy's hand".


When Mommy's baby was still her baby...

When A Couch Isn't Just A Couch

We bought new couches last week. Brown leather, reclining, easily washed couches of my dreams. I was thrilled to see the old couch go into the garage to wait out it's final days until garbage day. I was going to put an ad out to see if anyone could use it but when I imagined the ad;

Free- one stinky microsuade couch with pen scribbles, broken springs, grease spots, dog throw up, baby throw up and toddler pee stains (they won't come out...I tried everything...) for pick up.

Then I thought better of it. Sometimes the dump is a good thing.

This morning we caught the garbage truck in front of our house just as we were leaving for our walk. I thought Ben would enjoy watching the garbage truck pick up the couch and and crush it into the back of the truck.

I initially thought Ben was shrieking in delightful fascination at the strong arms of the garbage truck and then with big tears running down his cheeks I realized he yelled in horror.

"My couch, my couch!" He sobbed. "That truck hurt my couch!"

So I couldn't have misjudged the outcome of this scenario more it seems.

"Ben it was a good couch and we used it and loved it but now it is garbage because Mommy can't fix it (I would have thought better of this phrase in hind site as well...lets pray he doesn't interpret the larger meaning of when something isn't perfect anymore, it is worthless...great job Mommy....)."

He argued with me and cried while bits of the couch splintered and flew into the road. I tried to reason with him to no avail and then the more I thought about the couch the more emotional I became.

That couch was the pillar of our home.

Our first goal as an engaged couple was to find the most comfortable couch in the world to curl up on at the end of the day when we imagined coming home to one another at the end of the day. We took this mission seriously and gave many many couches the flop test until we found IT.

It did indeed become the place we found refuge in at the end of the day. I can think of many good conversations had on that couch. Those grease spots I had been cursing were reminders of the funny movies we enjoyed over a shared bowl of popcorn. That baby throw up; evidence of many hours spend nursing babies on the most comfortable couch in the world. The dog throw up...Bayley. Toddler pee... the memory of Ben jumping up and down just out of my reach as I chased him with a diaper and change of pants...too late, served enough sentiment to make me smile and let a tear escape simultaneously as we watched the last of the wooden frame go under.

There we stood then, crying on the sidewalk as the young garbage man threw the discarded shards of memories into the back of the truck and snuck one more sideways glance at me (remember when I got sprayed in the face with the garbage juice a few months ago...yup same guy) before hauling it away to the dump.

The couch I sit in now seems a little too stiff, too shiny, too stark. I have a feeling though, as we open a new chesterfield chapter that a little magic marker and spit up will have it feeling right at home in no time.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Just In Case

Just in case anyone had forgotten how cute this little monkey are some reminders.

Missing Camera

When I downloading a new batch of pictures I discovered some interesting shots...very artistic...although I don't remember taking them...

But then the artist exposed himself...

Friday, March 5, 2010


Here it number 500! I can't believe it. I started this blog in 2007 shortly before Ben was born and wow, we've come along way baby!

Here's to 500 memories captured and the next 500 to come!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


(I am on the left...don't look for the thoughts in my head, because there was none...)

Anyone who knew me in my youth could attest to the fact that the frontal lobe impaired Jenn was fearless, truly. I was confident in my youthful invincibility.

Then I grew up, the reasoning and foresight areas of my brain finally got it together and I had a baby. I loved him too much. Then I had a baby who had a life threatening health condition that required my constant vigilance and my anxiety grew bit by bit each day until it was crippling. It was bad enough that I sought medical treatment for my condition I had no previous experience with. My Doctor recommended a prescription for anxiety medication and counseling. I declined the first because pharmaceuticals weren't going to change our situation and the second because I was too afraid to leave the baby with anyone...and my anxiety grew into fear.

A good friend, sensing my budding agoraphobia tried to put things in perspective for me. She challenged me to simply think of Ben's anaphylaxis as the same as what every parent worries about...its just one more thing on top of car crashes, house fires, abductions and so on. I realised that I had not been worrying nearly the appropriate amount about these other things because I was so fixated on Ben's allergies. This brought me into aniety overload...I am now able to assess risk in a split second...scan a room for safety infractions in moments. Paranoid doesn't even almost begin to cover my constant state of being with these boys.

Some would call this a lack of faith. Everyday we pray, everyday we pray for them. I should just trust that God has my back and hand it over. But I am afraid...maybe their angels lost the memo that my boys need some extra eyes so their Mother can remember to breath.

Now I have another baby. My fears have taken on a life of their own now...
Jon talked to me about the degree of my irrationalities and borderline disorder last weekend...I said in my defense that these fears were well within the range of normal...Mother's worry, that is their job. Jon had me list my fears...
here were the top 20...we got to over 40 and counting however by today.
1-Ben having an anaphylactic reaction I can't save him from.
2-pools/open water
3-house fires
5-car accident/anyone driving with the boys
6-Jon being too far away from home
7-parking garages
8-Alice in wonderland
9-wizard of Oz
10-willy wonka and the chocolate factory
11-children falling out windows
12-children falling down stairs
13-someone falling down stairs while holding Jacob
14-Ben falling over railing on loft
15-Ben falling over our second story deck
16-something happening to me where I can't care for the boys
17-brain aneurysms
18-locking the kids in the car on a summer day
19-making a mistake that could endanger the boys

My biggest fear is that I believe you can create what you fear...when you put so much energy into these things you draw that energy to you (are you following?)so I fear that my fears are creating these things at this very moment...(don't worry, Jon's diagnosis was that I am officially certifiable). I need to stop.

I don't remember what my line of thinking was before too many Oprah Exclusives and children but I remember it was nice. I could lead a charmed and blessed life without secretly waiting for the bomb to drop. I am not sure I can ever go back to being that person, ignorantly enjoying bliss; but I can make the conscious effort to not allow myself to get carried away. It is a work in progress...


21-I am afraid Jon is going to commit me

Monday, March 1, 2010

Well Heeeello March!

Whew! Just in time!

I was able to take the boys for a "mommy is walking her butt off" hour long walk this morning and it FELT different you could almost hear the buzz of promise inside the buds on the trees and the bulbs under the ground just waiting to explode.

Oh I love spring! I love winter because without it I would not be able to TRULY grasp the magnitude of beauty this season holds- even if it begins with salt stains, brown grass and naked trees...anyone that lives in a province with 5 months of winter can tell you this is stunning.

ps- do the leaves fall off trees in areas that don't have cold weather winters?

Just Becuase...

He is so sweet!
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