Monday, January 31, 2011

How to Build a Winter Suit for an Infant

Being a Canadian I'm always prepared for snow and cold weather.  My boys both have snowsuits even though we get snow here in Virginia only once or twice a winter.  However last Thursday's snow storm surprised me and Callen's winter suit was in the wash (he peed on it).  I needed to do some shoveling and with my husband away I had to bundle up both boys and have them outside with me.  I needed something for Callen to wear which would keep him warm so I made up my own winter suit.

Step 1. Put warm clothes on your baby

Step 2. Put on a warm fleece sleeper that is one size too big (my son is in a 3m so I put a 6m sleeper) over his warm clothes
Step 3. Put on a warm sleep sac - any kind will do I used one with short sleeves because Callen peed on his long sleeve one (I was having a bad day with Callen peeing on everything)
Step 4. Put on a hat and mitts and enjoy the great outdoors
Step 5. Put baby in snow for a cute picture and then go inside (do not put baby in snow for long as this winter suit is not waterproof).  Callen was not too happy about the snow.

If you want to use a wrap/carrier/stroller instead of using the sleep sac use another warm sleeper.  With a wrap or carrier steal a wind proof coat from your husband or use a maternity one for wind resistant protection.  In a stroller use the rain cover to protect from the wind.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Milk, Eggs and Toilet Paper

It's a good thing we were stocked up on all the snowfall necessities (why stores are out of TP is beyond me) because I was not prepared at all for this snowfall.  While it's nothing compared to Snowpocalypse last year it did catch me unprepared, which sucked as Kyle was away which means I have to do the shoveling. At least the boys, well Tavish, are having fun in the snow especially sense school is cancelled for the third day.

Tavish helping shovel the first snowfall on Tuesday 
Can you believe they cancelled school over this much snow

Yummy Snow - at least he knows not to eat yellow snow 
Snow Angels  
 Callen did not like the wind tent on his sled
Much Happier Now 

Attempt at snow angel ...Failed

Thursday, January 27, 2011

You Know You Have A Canadian Child When...

...He asks for a hockey stick as your walking to soccer practice.

Tavish has only ever seen one hockey game on T.V. and that was the Olympic Gold Medal Game almost a year ago (A Proud Canadian Moment ... Sorry Americans it's OUR Game).  To be honest I did not even think he was paying attention to that game as I know my husband and I wern't (we were having too much fun drinking beer and socializing).  Anyway a few months later when the weather warmed up I bought Tavish a golf club and his first response was "hockey, hockey, I want to play hockey," I've never bothered to tell him its a golf club.  I really had no idea how much of an impact that single game of hockey had on my child.  One of this favorite Christmas gifts this year was mini hockey sticks.  It looks like I'm going to be a future Hockey Mom, well only if I can find place that lets kids under the age of 10 play hockey (the downside of being a Canadian Kid in the USA).

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Warm Memory on a Cold Day

I'd though I'd post some pictures from our Bahamas Trip as requested by a reader.  We had a wonderful and relaxing Norwegian Cruise in July 2009.  Tavish was just 15 months old.  Kyle and I had a great time and aside from the teething nightmare I think Tavish had a great time too.

We are in the process of planning our next cruise in September when we will embark on Norwegian's Pride of America and cruise around the islands of Hawaii.  We will be cruising with family with a total of 6 adults and 5 kids (at least the adults won't be out numbered).  Should interesting.

Bahamas 2009 - Tavish's First Cruise

Don't fall through the rails
Don't fall through the rails

What do you see?
What do you see?

Our first stop (but we only got off the boat to take this picture)
Our first stop (but we only got off the boat to take this picture)

Having fun in the Splash pool
Having fun in the Splash pool

Second stop - we at least went shopping and to the beach
Second stop - we at least went shopping and to the beach

First time "swimming" in the Ocean (he had been in the ocean before but this was his first time getting really wet)
First time "swimming" in the Ocean (he had been in the ocean before but this was his first time getting really wet)

Stop Three - Private NCL Island - first time "snorkling", we went pretty far out so we put his lifejacket on.
Stop Three - Private NCL Island - first time "snorkling", we went pretty far out so we put his lifejacket on.

Pretty tired guy after all that swimming
Pretty tired guy after all that swimming

He crashed on me (this is really rare for him) but I think we all had fun.
He crashed on me (this is really rare for him) but I think we all had fun

Monday, January 24, 2011

My First Post ... Ever

Where Moms Who Blog Go!

My very first blog post was May 2009 (read it here), while that was almost 2 years ago I would still consider myself a new blogger.  I only posted 3 times in 2009 and only 12 times in 2010.  I started my blog back in 2009 when I found a wonderful moms site and pretty much everyone on it blogged.  To be honest I don't think I even knew what a blog was but I knew that I should do it.  I posted a few times on their site and made my own blog which at the time was called "Travel, Fluff, and Finding a Job."   Like I said I had no idea what blogging really was so my first post is a mash of everything I wanted to accomplish.  I really think my first post could be split into a few posts: an introduction post and then a air travel tip post.  I'd also change the horrible spelling and grammar (I'm working on this aspect of my writing, as I am the Queen of Commas in the Wrong Spot).   I must say I'm still a bit sentimental about that post though as I like to tell the world who I am and it's pretty interesting to see how far I've come sense I wrote that post.  My 13 month old is now almost 3 and he has a brother.  We've traveled to Florida, the Bahamas, and back to Canada a few more time.  We have moved to the United States and Tavish now attends school.  I'm no longer looking for a job as I plan to be a stay at home mom at least for the first year of Callen's life if not longer.  I don't plan on blogging about cloth diapers but I'm sure you'll see a post or two about it.  

I'm really glad that this was the topic for the Writers workshop as my first post is a  reminder of how much my life has changed and how fast kids grow up.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Birthday Parties

You know your child is growing up when they get invited to a birthday party and you're not the reason they got invited.  Tavish was invited to a birthday party for one of the kids in his class.  As a mom this is a proud day for me, as it shows my son can make friends on his own and is building his social skills (this would be less impressive if the child had invited his whole class but he was one of three invited, according to his teacher they are all friends).  I have to say going to a birthday party where you only know your own child is a bit intimidating.  I must say though Tavish has made some great friends as their parents are all really nice.  I had a great time socializing with the other parents as Tavish played and ate (getting him away from the food table is not easy).  I'm still not sure if we will have a birthday party for Tavish this year as we are heading to DisneyWorld just after his birthday (we are planning on having his "party" there with Nana and Papa).  But if he asks for one I might have a small party but I will make sure to invite his three little friends as both the kids and parents a like were very nice.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Best Movie I Ever Saw...

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So I've just joined a group of blogging moms and I also joined their writing workshop.  I'll be the first to admit my writing SUCKs but I am working on it.  This weeks workshop topic is: The Best Movie I Ever Saw.  I must say I'm not quite sure what the best movie I ever saw is.  I'm sure all my movie buff friends would suggest I say Citizen Kane but I'm no movie buff (I did not really get why it's the best movie ever).  I know there are movies I like more than others.  A few of my favorites include: Love Actually, 40 First Dates, and Shawshank Redemption.  I'm not sure if they would be considered the best movies I ever saw in terms of a cinematic masterpiece.  I like them because of the way they make me feel or I like the story they tell.  January and February is the time of year when the world decides which films are the best or at least the best of the year, but most of the time I think the movies they choose are terrible and boring (which is why I have a degree in biology and not film studies).

I've asked my almost 3 year old what is the best movie he's ever seen and he told me, Thomas.  I'm not sure there is a Thomas movie and I know he's never seen it (I HATE Thomas the Tank so I'm not even sure he's  seen a episode).  I'm pretty sure my 2 month old has never seen a movie and if I asked him I'm positive he'd just say "agoo" (again not sure that is a movie).  I asked my husband and he has the same take on movies as I do. His answer was Christmas Vacation (another cinematic masterpiece).  I think there is a reason my we watch lots of TV shows rather than movies in our house.

The Canadian Difference

My husband and I were chatting this morning about what we should do this weekend. We decided that swimming was out of the question because Callen was still sick so we thought maybe I should take Tavish skating (Kyle does not skate, he'd watch Callen).  I needed laces for my skates so I headed for Target thinking they should have hockey skate laces, they have everything.  Well it turns out hockey skate laces are not easy to find here in Northern Virginia. Target did not have any.  I knew there was a sports store near by so I tried them and they too did not have hockey skate laces.  Being Canadian I figure hockey skate laces are a staple, just like bread and milk, they should be everywhere.  At least a sport store or all purpose store like Target should carry them.  But then I got thinking I don't even know where the nearest hockey rink is, aside from the rink in the Reston Town Center (which does not sell laces).  In Canada I'm sure there is at least 1 indoor rink per 5000 people and who knows how many FREE outdoor rinks there are (not including the home made ones in most peoples back yards).  There might be one real rink in Reston (maybe) a town of  around 60 000 people and don't get me started on a curling rinks as the closest one to us in at least 45 minutes away in Maryland.  So for now I have resigned to the fact we won't go skating today and I'm going to have to wait at least 2 days until my new hockey skate laces show up in the mail from Amazon.  The next big battle I'm going to have is where in Virginia do I get my skates sharpened???

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Final Day - Photo Free

Yesterday I said goodbye to my sister and nephew as they heading back to cold and snowy Alberta.  But before they left we had sometime to do one last fun thing...Chuck-E-Cheese.  I must say I LOVE Chuck-E-Cheese but that being said I have only ever gone in the early afternoon on a normal school day when the place is empty.  Who does not love fun games for both kids and us older folk who are kids at heart without having to deal with other people.  Yes the food is terrible but a few on-line coupons you can have an afternoon of fun for 4, for $35 ($45 if you get extra tokens).  I am really sad I left my camera at home because they boys had so much fun, it was the perfect way to end Jessie's trip: the boys got along, Owen got to run around  before flying all night, and I did not have to make lunch.  While Chuck-E-Cheese has nothing to do with Virginia, D.C. or the United States well all enjoyed ourselves and I think Jessie's trip ended on a high note (aside from plane delays which were out of my control).

Like I said before I am so glad that Jessie came to visit, not just because she helped me with my sick kids and for that I am so grateful, but I loved showing her around the coolest place outside of Alberta that I have lived so far.  I can't wait for her to come again (with Jon I hope) so we can check out more fun things and do a whole lot more shopping.

My Sick Little Man

As always it has been an eventful few days.  Monday was going to be a low key day after the craziness in D.C. and Callen had his 2 month well baby check up.  I was really glad that Callen had a doctor appointment because  his breathing was starting to sound terrible and he had a nasty little cough.  Callen has been growing a lot and is now 12lbs 5oz and 23.5 inches long but his cold was worrying the doctor so she gave him a nebulizer treatment and told me to watch out for his rib retractions while breathing and if that happened to take him to the E.R.  While the rest of the day was mostly uneventful the two older boys fought a bit but other than that all was well until Tuesday morning.

Callen usually gets up between 2:30am and 3:30am to eat but 4:30 Tuesday morning was the first time he woke up that night and when I went to feed him he hardly ate a thing (not normal).  I changed his diaper and looked at his ribs and you could see some pulling, something my doctor told me to watch for.  So I had my huge parental debate with myself to I take him to Emergency or do I wait.  Now I have this huge fear of being THAT parent who takes there kids to Emergency for nothing but my gut was telling me to take him.  Finally I made the decision, told my sister, packed up Callen and then I looked outside.  Last night we had an ice storm and my long steep driveway was covered in Ice...great.  I had to get my sister up to watch Callen while I de-iced my car and drove it down the driveway (I did not want something else to happen to Callen if my car had issues getting down the drive).  Finally we were on our way to the E.R.  Thankfully the Reston hospital is like a small town hospital but with competent doctors as there was no wait in Emergency.  I actually had to hunt down an admission person and within the hour Callen had seen the doctor, had an x-ray and lab results for RSV came back positive.  Callen was not super sick but they wanted to admit him to the hospital anyway, he did not require oxygen or an IV but they did want to watch him to make sure he did not get worse and give him nebulizer treatments every few hours.

Having a sick kid sucks but having a sick kid while your husband is away and you have another child to take care of really sucks and I must say I am so thankful that my sister was visiting as she spent the day watching Tavish (who got her up at 5am).  Kyle thankfully flew home Tuesday night and Callen was released from the hospital Wednesday afternoon.  Callen is now doing much better and this experience has shown me how much my husband and family do for me.

 Callen sleeping just after being admitted, I think he looks like a big newborn here in his hospital bed and blanket
Trying to get better with some humidified air 
Relaxing in my arms 
Not the best sleeper to have on while being hooked up to a machine 
Sleeping again
I think his breathing here sounds like crunching cereal 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Without Daddy - Day 7 (D.C.)

(not edited for typo's I'll do it later, sorry)
You know when the day starts out bad you should just call it a day because things are bound to get worse.  I was really excited to show my sister D.C., it is one of my favorite things to do when people come to visit.  D.C. is such a unique city and it has such great land marks that everyone knows where you are a history buff or a movie buff.  The monuments, memorials, and the White House are cool but the Smithsonian museums (yes there are more than one) are so fascinating that it's impossible to do everything in one day.  The plan of action was to get to D.C. around 9 - 9:30 so we could walk around the monuments and see the outside of the White house then we were going to check out the Natural History Museum (it has dinosaurs) and then have lunch at the Air and Space Museum (yes there are two one in Chantilly and one in D.C.) and end the day touring the Air and Space, maybe check out an IMAX.  Needless to say that is NOT how the day went.  We were running behind in the first place and it was already 9 when we were ready to start loading the car.  As we finally get the boys dressed and outside I look at the car and the front tire is flat (great), now I have to bring the kids in and get them all unbundled and call AAA.  I must say that AAA got to my house really, really fast and we had a small glimmer of hope that maybe the guy could fix our tire for us but alas it was not meant to be and I was stuck driving with the spare.  As this was the only day I could get my sister into D.C., I was determined to get there so we re-bundled the kids and loaded the car and heading into D.C. more than 2 hours later than we wanted.  Normally when Kyle and I go to D.C. on a Sunday we can find great street parking a few minutes before the museums open at 10 but by 11 most of the good street parking is taken but at least we did find something.  As we start unloading the kids we get our first taste of the nice icy wind that is chilling us to the core (I know I should not be complaining about it being cold when it's -30 C in Edmonton), I must say I'm glad I have the Chariot for my boys but poor Owen got the full brunt of the wind.  Because we were so behind schedule we decided to brave the wind and head for the White House.  The main viewing area for the White House was blocked off so we were re-directed further away (good thing I brought my zoom lens) because someone was visiting (we did get to see the motorcade unload the people).  By this time is was getting near close to lunch time and Callen needed to eat so we heading to the American History Museum as it was the closest and had a restaurant.  The food was TERRIBLE. As we were already in the American History Museum we decided to check out the train and boat exhibit.  This is such a neat exhibit and it's quite child friendly if only the boys would get along.  There is something about Tavish and Owen, that they just seam to drive each other crazy, so Tavish finally got banished to the stroller.  Owen really wanted to see the dinosaurs so we trekked to the Natural History Museum.  All the Smithsonian museums require a bag check before you enter and for the most part they are pretty quick at it, however we managed to get the world slowest lady.  The one line put through about 20 people in the time it took our lady to put through 2 and then she spilled all of Jessie's stuff on the floor.   The Natural history museum was really busy and while Owen wanted to see the dinosaurs, Tavish was screaming "NO skeletons, no skeletons", so I took my two boys out to wait while Jessie briefly showed Owen the Dinosaurs.  By this time I had enough, enough of people but mainly enough of our boys, it was time to leave so I heading for the closest exit.  The security guard at the exit makes eye contact with me and even helps open the door for us but neglects to tell us that this exit has no ramps just two flights of stairs.  Great now we are outside and can't get down the stairs and if we want to find a ramp we have to go back inside and back though security (like HELL i'm doing that) and go down a small elevator to the other side of the building.  I think by this point I'm ready to scream, cry or both, thankfully a  very nice man helped Jess and I carry the strollers down the stairs.  Tavish is still screaming because he now wants to see the skeletons, ahh we need to get home and I need quite time.

I felt really bad that our D.C. trip sucked so much. Jess will need to come back and we'll have to go again withOUT the boys.

 View of the Capital 
 Motorcade with people going into the White House
Trying to get into the Western Review 
Sleeping Boys (my only peace and quite time) 
 I'm actually having fun here - little did I know what was going to happen
 Washington Monument

 Owen with the Washington Monument behind him
 Callen by an oil rig
 Stop fighting boys
 At least I have one happy boy
Don't be deceived they are not getting along here 
 Yeah this is fun
Tavish back in the stroller for a brief moment of peace before all hell breaks loose

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Without Daddy - Day 6 (Port Discovery - Baltimore)

It was another action packed day (well as action packed as you can get with preschoolers) as we loaded everyone up in the car and made the hour and a half journey to Baltimore.  I do believe this was Callen's longest road trip so far and he managed really well (he slept).  I was a bit scared about how the drive would be as we had very little entertainment but all the boys were really well behaved.  Tip: An iPod with really good kids music can be really entertaining for kids when other forms of entertainment are not available (Mickey Mouse Clubhouse soundtrack and Snack-time by the Barenaked Ladies are a must on any child's playlist).

I knew I wanted to take my sister to Baltimore but I had a hard time deciding between Port Discovery and the National Aquarium as both are great but we really only had time for one.  After some discussion with my sister we decided to let the boys decide which one we'd go to, naturally Owen said Port Discovery and Tavish said the Aquarium.  We decided on Port Discovery in the end for a few reasons:

  1. I can take a stroller - the design of the aquarium does not allow for strollers and while this is not normally a problem when adults out number kids but in our case we were out numbered and needed storage for diaper bags and winter clothes as well as a place to put Callen when I was not carrying him
  2. I had been to the aquarium 3 times and Port Discovey only once
  3. I think the boys would have fun running around and it's more acceptable to run around in a Children's museum than an Aquarium
The boys had a great time at Port Discovery, the water works room and Bob the Builder area were the biggest hits of the day.  The tiny diner and the store were also high on the fun list but the wonders of Egypt scared Tavish so much that if you even walked by that room he burst into tears and started shaking.  For the most part the boys played really well with each other and the other kids but they did let us know with their behavior when it was time to leave.    The rest of the day was pretty low key, they boys played with some toys and then it was dinner, bed and peace and quiet for Jessie and I (we need the rest as we are off to D.C. tomorrow).

Fun in the Water Works Room 
Boat Building Time 

I love Bubbles
 Surfs Up (Practice for Hawaii)
 Bedtime in the Crazy House
 Fighting over a stool (of all the things to fight over)
Cheeseburger anyone? 
That will be $4.50 
Choo Choo 
My little Climber 
Rock hopping (until he got scared out of his mind by the "Wolfman"aka Anubis  
Lunch time - Sub deconstruction