Thursday, March 29, 2007

Four months old and...

...addicted to t.v.! Okay, so we never plunk him down in front of the t.v. on his own, and he's far better entertained by his toys and books, but I've often caught him glued to the tube - like when I try to burp him on my shoulder if I'm up in our bedroom and the t.v. is on, he'll twist his head enough to be able to see the t.v. reflection in the mirror, as his back is to the t.v. itself. And with big screens especially, he is fascinated with the colour and action that the t.v. has to offer. Anyhow, I just thought I'd post a picture of it.

A Roll in the Hay

Mario, oh Mario, please bring sod soon!!

Raider has been loving the warm weather and begs (yes, literally) to be let outside to romp in the hay in the backyard as we've yet to get our sod (you know S-W Ontario, it may still snow). Normally he prefers to bask in the sun lying against the house, but today he apparently learned a more enjoyable deal - rolling in the hay... and you thought I meant something else with my blog title! ;) Anyhow, it would all be well and good save for a mess when he comes inside - and he fooled me twice to let him out to do so! What a brat...

He & I have been losing weight, though - finally! I've been walking him every single day (yes, a normal feat for most dog owners but I didn't get out very often in the snow with the stroller, especially as our street has incomplete sidewalks as there are still dirt lots). Anyhow, both he and I have been seeing results. I've not actually weighed him, but his ribs are becoming defined through his coat; as for me, I have in fact lost some pounds, and am finally down to what I first weighed pregnant - so 8 lbs. to go, which is reasonable. I must admit I'm envious of those I see who quickly shed the baby weight, particularly as it's almost 5 months post-delivery, but I'm getting there... afterall, I did pack on more than 40 pounds thanks to Isaiah! I'm trying to ignore my cravings dictated by my sweet tooth as well and so far it's been fairly easy. I did have to indulge in ice cream this week, though, as I'm battling what I'm sure is strept throat (but I avoid doctors at all costs).

In terms of weight, Isaiah is the opposite of us, which is a good thing. He's been devouring his cereal for lunch, even though I up the quantity weekly. Soon we'll be moving on to single veggies. Poor Raider will have to wait for strained meat to perchance find its way to the floor as the one people food he refuses to eat are his veggies. He gets no scraps from us, poor fellow, and no treats either since his last trip to the vet.

Back to baby... I continue getting sidetracked on dog tangents. One last random point to address today: I am still baffled at how companies come to label clothes in terms of sizing for babies. Like today, as I dressed Isaiah in something from his 6-9 stack of clothes that he'd not yet worn. Well, the shirt just snaps and the sleeves just reach his wrists, yet he is 4 and 1/2 months old. The pants, mind you, were quite long, which was surprising as he's in the 99th percentile when it comes to length. So I can't put them on as an outfit, which is fine but strange. He's got some sleepers that say 12 months but he's already outgrown them, and yet some (though very few) 0-3 month items can still work. Anyhow, my point is, I find it all inconsistent even though they base it on the weight. Good thing we plan to have at least one more child in the future; otherwise, quite a few items of clothes would be going to waste as I realized too late that they would have fit earlier than they did.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Busy Bees

Apparently it was a busy weekend for us as I've not been on to post a new snipet of our lives since Thursday. So, I'd better take advantage of Isaiah's nap and get to posting quickly (as those who know, he snoozes for a maximum of 20 minutes). Anyhow, our weekend was in fact relatively busy.

Friday, despite feeling under the weather which I have for over a week after catching whatever it was Isaiah caught, I went to skating so my mom watched Isaiah while I was on the ice. He's beginning to really make strange and play mama's boy, so I apologize to my mom and others in advance who may watch him for his hysterics - but you know it's all an act, so hopefully you can trick him out of it. I hate it because this means I'm not really able to say goodbye to him, as I don't wish to encourage the hysterics which tend to come when he realizes I'll be leaving him for some time. Thankfully he's been around different people and he's been watched by grandparents and aunts & uncles often enough to begin to get some sense of security from those people, but I know this will be a stage to get through for some time. Afterall, he is the son of the once little boy who cried when his mom took him to school (yes, kindergarten, not high school!).

Saturday we went to London with Greg's family (yes, I know, they're really my family too...) as Stacey & Ermal needed stuff for their new house from Teppermans and we needed to buy a birthday gift for Greg's cousin Zach. After a quick and might I add poor wrapping job of the robotyrannis, we headed to Greg's grandparents/aunt & uncle's (same house) for the birthday celebrations. It was pretty neat to see the kids interact with Isaiah, and him in return. He definitely knows the difference between adults and kids, and favours the latter. And Rachelle is such a mom, she loves to hold him and just lay beside him. At one point she and I were singing children's songs to him together; she's adorable! Even Justin took to lying on the floor with him and coming to check him out every so often, despite the fact that's he'd prefer Isaiah could rough 'n tumble with him. He was so cute too, running around in his Spiderman underwear by the end of the night, flexing his muscles. And Greg is such a little kid too, he was playing Guitar Hero with Liz on Zach's PS2 for hours. I'm glad the X-box has yet to find its' way into the house! Anyhow, so that was Saturday.

Sunday morning we went out for lunch to Aroma with Isaiah's soon-to-be (as May is finally within sight) godparents. Altin has grown far more comfortable holding Isaiah and he was up and about with his Tia because he hates to sit still. I've been trying to keep his lunch fairly consistent so even he got to eat at the restaurant, a fine meal of rice cereal as he'd had his milk prior to leaving. After lunch it was off to check out very low-end cars as the Toyota is on its' last legs. We're likely not going to get anything, not until I go back to work likely, but if the Toyota can't make it then we may have to. At least Greg only puts about 2 km/day on a vehicle since his work is almost in sight, so for now we can lease rather than finance, which is preferable anyhow since we're looking at the cheapest cars possible. Then it was off to watch Altin's soccer game before heading home. The evening brought shopping at Superstore here in town and watching a horrid movie (well, I think only Ermal and I saw the entire thing as both Greg and Stacey fell asleep; fair enough since they're the two who had to go to work this morning!). Poor Raider was deprived of walking this weekend, but once Greg gets home from work we're going to take the whole family out to enjoy the weather.

So there's a huge update... which ended with perfect timing as I sense some life in the playpen beside me!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Splish Splash I Was Taking a Bath

So bathtime has become interesting for Mr. Crazy Legs, aka my son. For the past few weeks Isaiah has been developing his motor skills, and he chooses to practice during bathtime it seems. A welcome change from his initial reaction to bathing, which was sheer terror on his part, he now calmly stretches out and lets himself submerge into warm bliss... for 5 seconds. Then he's kicking up a storm (I know, we really do want him to play soccer, but there's a time and a place for practicing drills!), splashing water all over me and the bathroom. It's craziness! Sheer chaos! I'm wondering when it may become easier to bathe him, particularly as Greg tends to work when I'm giving Isaiah his bath... but for now, it's wet 'n wild fun for us! I must go dry off...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Handy Woman

Alright, so Greg's been working a ton of overtime lately (he's got to get it while he can in the auto industry, that's for sure), and so I've not even bugged him to hang things in the house because I know it's the last thing he wants to do. And since normally I'm more destructive than necessary, by accident I assure you, I've avoided doing that sort of thing in this house thus far. However, I'm starting to hate the lack of a sense of feeling like this is our home, so I finally decided to just hammer away today! (Don't worry sweetie, I actually did okay! If you're reading this at work, don't freak!) There's still far more to do (I know my limitations - I didn't hang anything that would require anchors in the wall first), but the upstairs is slowly gaining a feeling of this being our home. We've been starting to collect the Willow Tree figurines, ever since getting married, so they're now proudly displayed on a shelf. And Isaiah's room was far from done even though it's the room in the house with the most on the walls. I put up three shelves there too and added some things he's already acquired in four months - like his first pair of Mickey ears from Disney! Now we just need to take our dining room table and buffet to get stained, hang the rest of the art up and we'll finally have settled in for real. I can't wait to start the basement too, though that will be in the distant future, which is surprising because I know a good deal of it will be dedicated to the Oakland Raiders. At least there will be a bar... Haha. And on that note...

Friday, March 16, 2007

Reliving My Youth & Bringing Sexy Back

Okay, so you'll never know where I've just returned from (well, actually, you may just have an idea should you have checked out my status on Facebook, but otherwise...)... the Justin Timberlake concert in Cincinnati, OH! Oh yeah! I know, you read correctly, JT (yes mother, I hear you now - you would think I'd have outgrown my preteen musical preferences by now, NKOTB was what 17 years ago?!). The customs officers at the border had a laugh or two that two 27 year olds were going to see him too, but to be honest it was an amazing concert (and we definitely were not the oldest people by any means - what a strange mix of people present). And yes we drove that far for a Justin Timberlake concert... 6+ hours each way (though we did stay in Dayton last night to catch some Zzzs). We got there with just enough time for me to pump, brush my teeth with a water bottle in the parking garage and change in the backseat of the truck - I know, how classy, but we were short on time!

Anyway, I was impressed with Justin Timberlake; not only is he a talented vocalist, a gifted musician, and a damn incredible dancer (uhh, what were you thinking Cameron?), but he's a fantastic performer (which I suspected) and he's appreciative, which we found not only to be genuine but a nice change (as opposed to Timberland asking for the crowd to cheer "We love Timberland"). And to make the road trip even better was the opening act, Pink, which was a pleasant surprise. We didn't know who was doing it and when we got there we had to wait in a ridiculously long line for the bathroom when, all of a suddent, we heard Pink! She was excellent, too - what a strong voice and stunning acrobatic stunts! She was bustin' out the Cirque-du-Soleil type moves up and down the suspended material - it was pretty cool! And then of course Timberland came out, though his whole tribute to songs he's produced was a little lengthy. Still, it was a fun time...

But man, is it hard to leave Isaiah. I mean, I think it's important for me to not be the only one to take care of him, especially as I plan to return to work at the end of my leave. I don't want him to make strange with other people who might watch him... and he needs to have bonding time with daddy, too. It's just that I'm his primary caregiver right now, so it felt quite strange to be away from him for so long (even though it was less than 30 hours in total).

Rachel was dying to take a picture of me emptying bottles of breastmilk, too (since I had to pump every few hours) - I'm sure it was hilarious to see my jump out of the truck and dump them out if you were just some random person passing. Ahh, the pleasures of motherhood! So, now I'm back in the mom-groove just like that. Thanks Rach for a great spur of the moment get-away... it was nice to treat myself to something since becoming a mommy!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Warm Weather Walk

Well, the boys and I just got back from a nice walk around the neighbourhood, something I've been reluctant to do with the winter weather we'd been having because Isaiah is not a fan of the cold temperatures (he must be a snowbird like his great-grandma in Florida!). And although Raider was pretty filthy upon our return, it was worth it to enjoy the warm weather we're having today. Lots of neighbours were outside too, especially as it's March Break and it's nice out - they were cleaning out garages, taking their kids for bike rides, playing basketball... even sweeping their laneways (trust me, I wouldn't be surprised to soon see them trimming their grass with scissors... if you know where I live, you'll know what I mean). Maybe I'll finally lose that last 15 lbs. of pregnancy pounds I can't seem to shed if I can make this routine now that temperatures are rising.

Today I took Isaiah in the baby carrier, which is hopefully a better way to get exercise than pushing his stroller as I'm carrying a 17 lb. baby, though it is actually a fairly difficult contraption since it can be worn several ways. In order to get the straps just right, it takes some effort to untangle it, put it on and strap him in. Thankfully Greg is on afternoons this week, so he was able to help me out. Isaiah stayed awake for the entire route, taking in his surroundings. I had him facing out today so he could see the world from a new perspective, and he seemed to take interest in Raider trooping through the mud and mushy sod the most. Now he's snoozing on the couch as if he was the one who carried me, and hopefully he'll have a little longer nap than per usual (he's typically a cat napper).

Actually, it's pretty neat because Isaiah is beginning to reach for objects and he attempts to manipulate them in some way or another, usually grabbing them and pulling them toward his mouth (anything foreign is of uptmost interest).
This morning is when his infatuation with our dog began because I sat him on the floor and reached out to pet Raider and Isaiah imitated me (and thankfully didn't pull any part of Raider toward him). Raider is pretty good because he doesn't mind Isaiah (though we'll see when he gets to the pulling Raider's tail stage); he tends to just lick him to death! It's especially challenging at lunch time when Isaiah eats his cereal because he wears quite a bit on his face. I don't need a facecloth to wash him up after because Raider gets in there like a dirty shirt! Anyhow, I think that's enough rambling for now; until next time, adieu.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Ode to Kim

This afternoon Isaiah and I met our photographer Kim to pick up our photo shoot proofs and some maternity prints I'd ordered. Now Kim has done fantastic work for us in the past - she shot my wedding photos and maternity photos, as well as some recent work of my mom & her Greg - all of which I absolutely loved. She is tremendously gifted and extremely creative, but I think my favourite work of her's to date is our family photo shoot that we sat for at the beginning of February. It is touching to see the moments she captures and her eye for position and detail is extraordinary!

So this blog entry is my props to Kim, and should any of you need/want a photographer for an event or a special occasion in your lives, I seriously hope you consider contacting her. Her work is phenomenal! She did the angel picture of Isaiah posted here all the time, as well as the work I've included in today's entry (I could have posted picture upon picture, she gave us all 247, but I chose a select few... that and she is trying to run a business, afterall, so should you actually want some pictures of Isaiah or all of us, please let me know so I can order you some). This second one is a particular favourite of mine, Isaiah snuggled in a basket.

Love your work, Kim, you're the best!
This last photo I included because Greg's ultimate dream is for Isaiah to play professional soccer (let's hope he doesn't have either of our knee problems... which run through the family on both sides). And of course that would mean playing for one team in particular, Benfica. Isaiah doesn't have very much in the way of Benfica memorabilia quite yet, but I love this pose with his soccer ball (check out the strategic placing of the leg - someone was self-conscious... or else he didn't want blackmail later in life). He was such a good boy that day - hence the result of 247 options to choose from! Anyhow, once again a huge thanks to Kim... I'll be calling when baby #2 is on the way for our next session!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Rice Success & Mosquito Madness

YEAH! Today Isaiah had his first successful feed of rice cereal! Okay, so at my last doctor's appointment, 2 months ago, I was informed I could begin introducing rice cereal to Isaiah. However, I was incredibly reluctant to begin at such a young age when everything I read, including information from the product websites, says to wait until 4 months of age at the earliest, and many books say to wait until even longer. In time we did try to test the cereal after nursing sessions that we'd end a little earlier to save room, but Isaiah didn't take very well to it. And because it was such an ordeal anyhow, particularly for one person to do (because Greg is on shifts) as although he could hold his head steady even then it's a different story when trying to feed him, we eventually gave up on our attempts. Anyhow, today I decided it was high time to give it another go, especially as he's not been nursing as well as I think he should be during the day, and he's stuck on his three-hour feeding routine that I'd like to start stretching to four. And surprise, surprise, he actually swallowed every bite... so much so that I had to make a little more because he ate every last bit of the first batch! Now I'm doubting every meal will be taken so well, but I was glad to see that he was able to eat much better than our previous attempts. Not that I'm worried about him gaining weight, as according to my in-laws digital scale he added a few pounds last month alone. He has his next appointment this afternoon, so I'll know for certain just how much he's gained, but he weighs what most 6-month-olds do, so he's doing just fine!

On a totally different note, only because I'm growing increasingly irritated, we've got mosquitoes in our new house. Yes, in March. We noticed them when we returned from Florida in early January - one on the main level and one upstairs. We've killed quite a few since then (so apparently they're breeding), but there are still some in our house. I've found them hanging out in our plants, which I don't want to get rid of but they've become such a nuisance I'm seriously considering it. Last night I even heard buzzing in my ear and had to swat it away before biting me... I felt like I was camping in my own home! I'm careful to not have any standing water besides that, though there's never a single one near the dog bowl for some strange reason. And, knock on wood, none of us have had to dose ourselves with calamine lotion as we've not yet been bitten. Anyhow, if for nothing else I figured you'd get a good chuckle out of our dilemma! (Doesn't it make you all want to come over for a visit?)

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Baby Day

So, yesterday we had a baby day for some of us who have recently become new moms. I thought it was pretty adorable to see all of the babies together, even though most of them are far from interacting with one another (but hey, the moms were able to catch up on some gossip and swap parenting trials and tribulations as well as special moments). Anyhow, Isaiah was the second oldest there because Anita and her daughter couldn't make it, but he was definitely the biggest (I'd question whether he was my son on that one, had I not myself given birth to him and still remember every detail... hence baby #2 is not yet anywhere in sight!). And he's definitely at the stage where he's mastered interacting and flirting even. It's astounding to watch him giggle and laugh when people talk to him, and it's even more incredible to see him know the difference between adults and people more his size. I first saw this change in the way he took in a new face when I stopped in at my mom's school, and he saw people more his age... well, quite a way off, but still far closer than he and I. And since then he's noticed babies and children and had a completely different reaction to them.

Anyway, as for baby day, it was so nice to share stories and ask questions of one another, particularly of those of us who have gone ahead so to speak. Likely these guys will be going to school together too, or at least see one another at certain functions, so it's nice to start them off with "play dates." It actually reminded me of that new Tostitoes commercial, save for the part where the babies are snoozing lined up in their car seats on the floor. Though I'm glad to see Isaiah is not the only cat napper of the bunch!

And not that you really truly compare because every baby is different, but I can't help but be jealous of Greg's cousin Sandra's baby, Vincent, who has been sleeping through the night (and I mean, 9-7 sort of thing... unbelievable) for nearly two months. She definitely deserves the rest, though, because they've had a tough go so far... Vincent was jaundiced at birth, and then had to have a shunt put in to drain water on the brain, so the little tyke has had a rough life so far and Sandra, as a new mom, has had to deal with all of that. She's a tough cookie!! Greg's five-year-old cousin Rachelle was there too, at baby day, because she doesn't attend school on Tuesdays, and it was so amazing to see her as a little mom herself (yes, at five). She was helping with diaper changes and telling knock-knock jokes to Isaiah, and she'd have even helped with feeding if she could (trust me, I've seen her with her baby alive and she has definitely honed her maternal instincts)... but with nursing, she's already learned she's of no assistance there!

I thought I'd also share some pictures because babies are simply precious and whether you've met Isaiah yet or not you can appreciate the absolute beauty of my son in some of the snaps! In the first, Rachelle holds Isaiah (though he's not too sure about it!). And then in the second, Isaiah is interacting with Olga and her son Joshua, across the table.

Below, Isaiah and Vincent take a nap together... and at one point they were holding hands and later sharing a teething ring in their hands. What cousins! They did this when they first met, too - back in December at Sandra's house.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Reminiscing Down Memory Lane

Okay, so I've been on Facebook (sorry, by the way, because my link isn't effective yet - see my comment about my technological challenges - but hopefully you're checking out my profile posted there too) far more often than I've posted a blog entry in the last while, but namely because I've been creating photo albums. I've loved doing so, even though we don't have a great deal of our digital pics on our computer, just those taken in the last few years. Greg didn't back our first few years worth, so we lost a number of captured moments, and I've yet to learn how to scan properly (yes, I know, I'm that behind the times), so point being I've not got as many memories to share as I'd like. But as I was saying, I've been creating photo albums and it's been so great to reminisce down memory lane. I'll share a few here because I think it's pretty cool to be able to.

The first photo is one of me when I was a newborn and my brother (yes, then a blonde - James, I'll refrain from a bald joke for now) leaning over to be affectionate (how things change... just kidding). I think it's cute, but I also think it's cool how even though Isaiah as a newborn and me as a newborn look nothing alike, he actually bears resemblance to my brother in his early days (earlier than this actually). That's who he reminds me of the most lately, as he's changed from his mini-me version of his daddy!

And so then I couldn't resist adding another photo of Isaiah, taken a few weeks ago when I stopped in to visit my dad & Carol. What a character! Here he still looks quite a bit like Greg, and at moments (particularly when he makes certain faces) he definitely is his father's son, but the only things he's got of mine are my eyes, and possibly my nose. He hasn't much hair as you can see, which is strange because I've the thickest hair of anyone I know and Greg's got a full head as well, but we're hoping in time he grows some! He's such a little man, though - of all the babies I've seen lately (and if you know anything about the water in Strathroy, it's been a lot... hee hee) he's got such defined facial features and has yet to acquire the chubby cheek phenomenon so typical of three-month-old gaphers (my fingers are crossed). What a cutie!!

So I'll end this rather long post with one last bit... which is just to say I love being a mom. I mean, it's got it's rough patches and growing pains, but I truly love every minute of it. It's unbelievably touching to see my son's face light up when I am in sight - sheer delight to see me! And he's definitely made me think about what kind of person I'd like to be, what values I'd like to impress upon him, what type of life I'd like to lead, what's important. He's been such a blessing. In the nearly four months he's been a part of our family, he has added nothing short of joy. We love him to pieces!!!

My 5 Reasons

Okay, so I got tagged twice - once by Leanne and once by Kelly - to particpate in a meme, which really is just to detail the 5 reasons why I blog. Now I'm skipping the part where I tag others, only because Judith and Jen you'd be the only two to tag since I've few friends with blogs to date and the others have done this (well, JL, I haven't checked yours yet but I noticed Kelly got ya). Anyhow, without further adieu, here are my five reasons.

1. Keeping in touch. In the past, I've often come to realize it'd been awhile since I'd seen/written/called someone, so I'd quickly compose an email and send it off to the masses. Rather than doing so, I figure whomever would like to keep up to date with my life can check it out on here, and then I'd intended to get better at sending personalized emails. So far, I'm not doing so well on the latter, simply because life as a mom can be pretty hectic, but I'm not doing so poorly at writing at least once a week on here... so far!

2. Sharing. I like to share - pictures, words of congratulations, random thoughts - and hope someone out there cares enough to check it out. I'd like to think so. And I like when others share - like those of you who maintain blogs or write comments on the things I say. I like to hear snipets of your lives, largely because I've fallen out of better touch with you wherein I actually talk to you on a regular basis, so it's nice to be tapped into the daily happenings of my friends. I love seeing the photos shared by friends of moments that are instrumental to them, I like hearing what they have to say and knowing what's going on with them. I enjoy catching a recipe or an idea too, that sort of thing. It's so far been a pretty cool tool for sharing, that's for sure.

3. Fun. I agree Kelly, it is fun. I enjoy writing, and it's been nice to do so in a forum like this. And right now I've got moments when Isaiah is sleeping to come online to write.

4. Overcoming my fear of technology. Yup, I tend to hesitate when it comes to exploring new things I think I'll struggle at... and technology tends to be one of them (as you can tell, likely). I still haven't begun to figure out all that I can do on here, but I'm pretty proud to have figured out what I have thus far. I mean, I've added pictures, linked sites... to some that may seem miniscule, but to me it's a stepping stone to greater things on the computer. Yes, I'm behind the times, you need not remind me, but I haven't even needed Greg yet to help me with what I've done!

5. Journaling. Though I've not truly recorded journal entries on here, as of yet, I intend to post daily happenings or stories of our lives, since as I've mentioned, there are many friends and family who are not there to see or partake in certain things or know about them. I mean, some of you have yet to see Isaiah, simply because you live miles and miles away from us and it's been absolutely impossible to get together (and even for those of you who are closer, but have nonetheless been unable to see him yet). You can do so here. It kind of ties back to my whole point about not keeping in better touch... so should you be reading my blog, you can get a sense of what's new and exciting (or apparently not, since it's been almost a week since last I wrote) with us.

So there, those are my spur of the moment answers. I think I'll post an entry too since, as I said above, it's been a good while since I've written.