Archive for the ‘The Little Things’ Category

Holiday Traditions

I’ve been talking a lot with my friends recently about what kinds of holiday traditions we do now that we have children. Here are some of ours:

  • On the first weekend in December:
    • Going out for dinner/breakfast and then getting a Christmas tree
    • Decorating the tree, house, and putting up the outdoor lights
  • On the second weekend
    • Building and decorating a gingerbread house
  • In the first 1-2 weeks, writing and sending out holiday cards
  • Christmas baking – usually 3-4 recipies
  • Christmas Eve
    • Lobster dinner
    • Drive around to the best decorated homes in town
    • Kids always get PJs
  • Christmas Day
    • Some kind of special breakfast
    • Opening Gifts
    • Turkey Dinner
  • New Year’s Eve
    • Bunch of appetizers
    • Try to stay up as late as we can

These are all pretty normal, and I’m sure lots of others do the same, but we still love them anyway. We’re starting to put our own personal touches on them, and I’m sure they’ll evolve as the kids get older.

We also took part in the Angel Tree program at the boys’ school – someone sets up a tree in the school that is decorated with tags with information about a child in need (age, M/F, clothing size, what they’d love to get for Christmas), and then you can choose a tag and buy a gift for that specific child. This year, we choose a 5 year old boy and bought him lots of toy cars (think Hotwheels), a car-hauler truck for them, and a Connect 4 board game. The boys enjoyed picking out the gift and also learned about how not every child will have a Christmas like they do.

What are your favourite holiday traditions? 


Changes for the Summer

I’m done teaching my university and college course, so I’m heading into the post-secondary summer (yay for 4 months!).

E will stop attending before/after school program starting tomorrow, and I’ll be walking him to and from school every day. I’m excited about it because a) it’ll force me to move and b) I get to spend some good 1-on-1 time with him.

C will be going back to part-time at the daycare and will be home with me on Tuesday/Thursday each week. This will allow me to have some nice 1-on-1 time with him as well.

I’m a bit nervous, because the summer last year was very hard for me because it was just TOO MUCH kid time after a very stressful and busy academic year. But, I’ve put some things into place that will hopefully make this summer more enjoyable:

  • I’m taking a couple additional qualification courses for teaching (special education and getting my physics teachable). This will help me make strides toward my goal of getting into a public school board, but shouldn’t be too stressful (I hope!)
  • I’ve registered E in 3 summer camps, so that’s 3 weeks with him out of the house and being around kids his age
  • Both sets of grandparents will be visiting
  • We have booked a cottage for a week
  • I have joined a women’s soccer team in the hopes it will motivate me to move more AND I get automatic social time every week

At the end of summer last year I was more frazzled than at the beginning and ended up taking a not-so-great job just so I could BE AWAY. So, here’s hoping this year will be better (and hopefully with some kind of decent employment in September.

International Laughter

As we were channel surfing last night, we came across Just for Laughs Gags (a comedy show done with no verbal communication), and it immediately reminded me of one of my favorite memories:
We were on a plane in South America – flying from Lima to Cuzco. The flight was full of people from all different countries, since Cuzco is the city where most Inca Trail hikers acclimatize to the altitude (so, therefore, full of tourists).
Most people couldn’t communicate with each other but, at some point, they put on Just For Laughs Gags on the overhead TVs. At first, it was nice just to see something from back home, but then I quickly realized that – in spite of the different languages and cultures on the plane – the language of humour is the same everywhere. When someone dressed as a bear jumped out from behind something to scare someone, or some guy got hit in the balls, everyone laughed.
I loved humanity that day.

Date Night!

Monday night, DH and I had our first date night since Evan was born (over a year ago). We went to an annual dinner that DH’s work hosts for a rather prestigious award in his general field of research.

It was not a typical date night, but it was wonderful none-the-less. One of the staff members at Evan’s daycare volunteered to babysit him, so she took him directly home with her. It was strange having both of us at home and not having him at our feet, reaching up to be picked up or crawl-running around the house.

We got to the venue of the dinner, ran into some of DH’s co-workers, and got a glass of wine. We ate hors d’oeuvres and chatted about our day and the people he knew there. We went into the beautifully decorated dining room and ate a four-course meal over a span of almost three hours.

The highlight of the evening was listening to Michael J. Fox speak about his childhood, his acting career, and his fight with Parkinson’s. It was funny, touching and inspirational.

At about 9:30, we headed out and picked up Evan (who did really well and was sleeping like an angel). It was a great night, and we can’t wait to do it again!

"Bad" Words

When did “penis”, “vagina”, and “breast” become bad words? Why do people get so worked up about them, and why is it so seemingly inappropriate for a child to use them? They’re the correct names for those body parts – like hand, arm, nose, and toe. What’s the big deal?

This is one thing I’m not quite sure what to do when it comes to Evan. I want him to know those words and body parts are normal. I don’t want him to feel shame or embarrassment. BUT, when he’s older, I also don’t want him pointing at people’s crotches and telling them they have a penis/vagina, or whatever else kids do!

For the parents of older kids out there: how did you handle this?

For everyone: why do you think these words are so “taboo” in our culture (or at least in North America – is it different elsewhere?).


I’m not in a hurry for Evan to grow up any time soon. I just told DH this morning that I wouldn’t mind him being a “late bloomer” in terms of starting to crawl, walk, or talk. Although these milestones are exciting, I’m trying to enjoy him in the moment.

That being said, I cannot wait until this whole spitting-up thing is over.

Most babies grow out of it by the time they’re six months and can sit up (assisted or not). Apparently, that’s not the case with Evan. In fact, it seems to have gotten worse in the last month or so. It seems that sitting up puts pressure on his tummy, causing him to spit up even more.

I have to say, I’m pretty tired of getting puked on a few times a day. I love the guy, but it’s not exactly an endearing quality.

We have talked to Evan’s pediatrician about it, and she says some babies just take longer to grow out of it than others, especially if they’ve always been a spitter (like Evan). She said as long as he’s not in pain (he’s not) and he’s gaining weight properly (he is), it’s nothing to worry about.

So, time Gods, is it possible to fast-forward to the non-spitting-up stage but not the crawling/walking/talking stages? Please, for the sake of my pants, carpets, and furniture?

PS: on a completely unrelated note, some of you may have noticed my blog rolls to the right have disappeared. I was using those as a way to keep up with the blogs I read, but because I changed to Google Reader a few months ago, those lists have not been updated in ages. So, instead, I have a new Blog Roll page for anyone who is interested.

PPS: next week will consist of a five-post series about my experience with a wardrobe consultant. The week after that I will be away, so I’ll do a 5-part photo series. Things will then get back to normal, and hopefully I can blog about my new job soon!

Self-Imposed Routine

I am constantly amazed by how Evan puts himself on a routine.

A few months ago, he wasn’t going to bed for the night until 10 or 11pm. We were wondering how we were going to get him to fall asleep earlier, and then one day, seemingly out of no where, he just started falling asleep earlier and earlier. Now he falls asleep sometime between 7-8pm for the night. We didn’t have to do a thing!

At that point, he was sleeping 12 hours at night, but he was still easting 7 times a day. It seemed like he was eating all the time, so one day I just decided to up the amount of his early morning meals and see if he would compensate. I was wondering if he would still continue to eat 7 times a day, but within a couple of days he had switched to eating 6 times a day.

Around the same time he was being really really fussy during the day. He would get so overtired that he would cry and cry and it would take a long time to get him to settle down and fall asleep. After actively observing him for a day or two, I realized he would get tired about two hours after he woke up from his previous nap. So, instead of letting him get overtired, I would just have quiet cuddle time with him when he would be ready for a nap, and he would fall asleep so easily.

So, for the past few weeks, like clockwork, he would want to eat every 2.5 hours and want to sleep two hours after his previous nap. It was amazing and sure made my life easier knowing when to expect what!

He seems to be going through a schedule change now though. It looks like he’s starting to phase out a nap, though it’s unclear which one since he is changing it up each day. This time I’m just going to trust that he knows his own needs and will adapt with whatever he decides. It’s amazing how smart these little humans are 🙂

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