Tuesday, December 23, 2008

'Tis the Season

to be sick, fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la. I don't know why, but it seems to be that every Christmas season we fall ill. Last year I spent Christmas Eve in the hospital, with iv hooked up to my veins, and this year all my boys are sick. I myself had a dry cough for weeks - and I mean weeks. Just ask my yoga ladies, as relaxation was not as peaceful with me hacking away Wednesday after Wednesday! But somehow I did not fall victim to the sicknesses that have befallen my family. Greg was in to the hospital last week (because booking an appointment with our family doctor is next to impossible) only to be sent home with no answers. However, his symptoms continued, and in fact worsened, so off again he went today. He's thinking it may be pneumonia (which he assures me tequila in Mexico will cure). I'm not sure what this doc decided he has, but I see he's been prescribed some medicine, so apparently they've come up with something this time. I thought for sure he was going to continue drinking Buckleys straight... that can't be good!My mom is certain Braylon has pink eye. I definitely thought he had something plaguing his eye because it was gooping far more than usual. Thankfully he's a relatively good baby, so his being sick doesn't unnerve the rest of us. But now it's a matter of finding time (and a place, as I doubt Greg wants to return to the hospital AGAIN) to take him in between all the family Christmases we have. That, and we're leaving Friday on holiday without him, and as I am already dreading leaving him, I'm going to hate to leave him feeling under the weather. But if we can get him in to see a doctor then hopefully he can get some drops to clear his eye up.

And then there's Isaiah, who has had a cough his entire life, yes, but has been barking left, right and centre the past week or so. Like Braylon, he doesn't seem to be too irritated by it, save for sleeping, but he's definitely not his healthy self. I really hope we all start to feel better around here, myself included (as not even I have beaten this cough)!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

We're Still Here!

Okay, I'm realizing I've abadoned my blog at times, it's true. I mean to write, but so many other things come up and, as I'm already a procrastinator at heart, I put aside blogging to tackle other things. Take this morning, for example. I decided to construct Isaiah's workbench, wrap all of the Christmas presents (I am a helper of Santa's elves, just in case Isaiah asks), clean and organize the boys' closets and do a load of laundry. And then it was lunchtime. Some days I don't even manage to go online!

And I suppose I've basically managed mostly to post updates, which very little has changed since last I wrote so that's another reason for not logging on to blog. True, there are subtle changes daily, such as Isaiah's sudden fascination with "Santa pumin' (read coming)" yesterday and Braylon's new feats: balancing upright on his knees and closing bathroom doors. But things have just been hectic lately, so blogging has been pushed to the end of the list.

I'm looking forward to a nice relaxing vacation to Mexico in two weeks. I'm going to miss the boys, but I like to take a break from daily life every now and then. Even if it means possibly contracting a parasite (thanks Aleisha, I still can't get that out of my head!!), I'm willing to take the risk to bask in the sun, cool alcoholic drink in hand, sound of waves lapping on the beach soothing me to sleep. Sounds great to me!

So, I'll try to post before then, but I make no promises!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

And all of a sudden...

a) Isaiah is two and b) Braylon is crawling.

Yep, Isaiah is two. I'm delayed in posting a blog to share pics of the momentous occasion (although my pics are few and far between because SOMEONE I know decided to turn the flash off to take them and the resolution is too dark and blurry, unfortunately), but I thought it worthy of mentioning regardless.
He's two! He's full of words, a vocabulary that grows more sophisticated day by day. He goes potty every time (though soils the diaper between trips to the potty too). His will to be independent is strong. You should've seen him desperately wanting to skate on his own, both at the Toyota Christmas party and on Sunday at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. He is very affectionate and incredibly bright. He is learning his colours easily (especially pink, for some reason) and can count to fourteen (that's how many stairs we happen to have). Things he does and says often make Greg and I shake our heads in amazement and smile proudly. Few people believe he is only just two!
However, with two years come new challenges, apparently. He flails into a limp spaghetti position when he does not want to do something and shows severe signs of jealousy now that Braylon can reach his toys. Two-year-old temper tantrums appear to be upon us in full force. He has mastered a high-pitch shriek/scream that I cannot for the life of me silence.
Both boys are growing up so quickly! Braylon, after months of slithering backwards and spinning in circles, finally decided to crawl out of nowhere. There was no up-on-the-knees-and-rocking for days, and very little reaching forward for toys. He just up and went. And can he motor!! Gone are his frustrations over getting stuck, though now that he's climbing as well his patience wears thin because he hasn't quite mastered that.
So yes, he's turned into an incredibly active child. He's actually standing and beginning to cruise from one end of the coffee table to the other. He's desperate to climb up to standing, but often gets caught on his knees. He'll figure that out too, in due time. I'm finding few "walking" toys successful in helping him advance, however, because they move to quickly, rolling out of reach.
He loves watching his brother play (though doesn't quite appreciate when Isaiah spreads himself out on top of him) and wants to do everything Isaiah is doing. As of late, his favourite thing is to climb into Isaiah's ball tent, throw the balls out, and chase the rolling balls around Isaiah's room. And he loves to be outdoors (even though he can't skate either).
Now it's going to be about sharing in this household, because soon enough Braylon will be big enough to hold his own against Isaiah. And when Braylon wants to play with toys that used to belong solely to Isaiah, as is beginning to happen, Isaiah is quick to use the word "mine." Fortunately for Braylon, Isaiah has been spoiled for years, so of the 5 ride-on "vehicles" he has, Braylon managed to climb up on Lightening McQueen for a quick ride around the living room.
Oh, I don't want maternity leave to come to an end... I can't imagine not being home to share in their daily lives. T minus 8 weeks.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What's the rush?

I know, November is grey and ugly. But why do we have to rush from one holiday into the next? Please, someone tell me. My neighbours are all in a hurry to string the Christmas lights (understandable in order to beat the weather) and LIGHT THEM AT NIGHT ALREADY (apparently they've got the money for the increase in their hydro bills?!)! They've thrown away the pumpkins, stored the gourds and decorations and exchanged leaf wreaths for holy and pine. Why can't we just take a little break from holiday overload?! I am. I'm on decorating strike, save for Isaiah's birthday party this weekend. No, I'm not a Scrooge. In time, folks!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Rebelo cousins

So every month, Janice, Stacey and I try to get together with our children and take a photo. They were all born within 3.5 months of one another, so they'll likely grow up to be very close. And it's been nice to keep up with a monthly playdate as I think socializing children is incredibly important. If we stay where we are, as in Strathroy, Jasmine (in orange) and Braylon will go to school together, and likely play soccer together as well. So although they won't be into roughhousing like Greg and Darryl were, let's hope, they're sure to know one another fairly well by the time they go to school.
Anyhow, usually we can easily encourage Braylon, Mateo and Jasmine to comply, and sometimes even Isaiah manages to sit still for a picture or two. I think it's neat to mark the monthly progression between them, and observe the family genes inherent in all of them. I think right now they're too much a blend of both parents to note distinct similarities between them, but hopefully they'll cooperate long enough for us to continue our monthly photos!
Lately, though, I've noticed that, despite all claims to a "Rebelo nose," my boys have got my nose. It's the very same shape on both of them. The eyes are different, yes; Isaiah's are crystal clear blue and Braylon's have changed to what I suppose is hazel. Most people remark how alike they look, and though I agree they look like brothers, I find them to be very different. I wonder if, years later, I'll look back and question which child is which when I pull out the photo albums!
One thing is for sure, neither Rebelo boy looks much like their cousin Mateo! He is taking after Isaiah in body size - the Faria side's height, most notably - but both my boys are fair skinned, for one and he's definitely got the olive-toned skin. It's funny because Greg and Stacey look so much alike, but when you add in my background and Ermal's as well, it changes everything! I wonder what the new "Rebelo" baby will look like - and no, not ours! Hopefully Stacey has a little girl next, though, since so far our family has only grandsons!
Anyhow, we're expecting Janice and Jasmine for a walk, so I'd best get my boys ready to go!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween '08

I could've sworn I said I wasn't going to truck the kids around for Halloween this year, I know I did. But I didn't stick to my intentions at all because I couldn't resist showing off my little jungle creatures, and I rather enjoy visiting family and friends, even if it was brief.

Our day began with some pictures at home - not 150 like Kelly (just teasing, Kel), but I try to get shots of moments I'd like to remember! And I of course bought Halloween shirts for the boys, even though it's just one day (so was my wedding, and I don't seem to recall the dress costing $5 like the shirts were!). We headed over to my in-laws to share some candy with the daycare kids, and then back home for Braylon's lunch.
Then we went 'round Strathroy with Janice and Jasmine (the pumpkin), Stacey and Mateo (Tigger, of course), and then to London where I picked up Greg. And, after driving through the city at 5 pm (not intentionally, it just happened to work out that way - ill luck on our part since Wharncliffe was packed like sardines), back out this way and finally home for 7:30. It wasn't record time, since we started at 2 pm, and it was exhausting, but Isaiah didn't really need to trick-or-treat around the neighbourhood this year. Next year he'll enjoy going door-to-door, I think, so don't count on us making the trip again. Although Halloween falls on a Saturday next year, so maybe we'll do the rounds early. We'll see!

We did at least agree that Braylon is moving out of his infant car seat! After taking him out and bundling him back in about 50 times yesterday, in his big belly monkey suit at that, we decided it is time to move up to the normal seat. We'd been debating about doing so for the past while anyhow, particularly since the weather has dropped and he's been wearing a winter jacket, because it is a struggle to get the seatbelt done up at times. So these will be his last few days in the carrier car seat (thank god, because it's getting rather heavy as well, and I do not have upper body strength to say the least; skating built some good strong legs but my arms are weak). I will miss the ease in transitioning a sleeping baby, but I think I can give in for the other advantages of the in-car seat.

Braylon is also showing signs of growing up into a big boy in that he's shown a clear sign of wanting to eat our food lately. He may just skip the veggies alone deal altogether, though he's good with creamed corn, sweet potato and butternut squash not having to be mixed into his cereal. He's been eating banana, cheese, yogurt and such for some time, but lately he's been wanting to eat what the three of us have on our plates. So, despite a lack of tooth eruption in his gums, I think I'm going to have him eating what we are. He had some spaghetti the other night and grilled cheese today, so slowly we'll get him through this next stage!
He's also begun to take one good lengthy nap in the afternoon, and sometimes I'm fortunate to have both boys napping simultaneously. I've definitely got to work on that, because when it does happen I afford myself a little free time... although sometimes I find myself taking a little siesta then as well!

He's standing alone well lately too, fairly well balanced on those tree trunk thighs; not yet crawling (though VERY frustrated that he can't as he'll go from sitting to crawling position, but then gives in to the backward slide across the floor to get where he needs to go, until he gets stuck that is). He may in fact walk before he becomes truly mobile on all fours.

As for Isaiah, he'll be 2 in less than 2 weeks! Hard to believe at times! No one believes he's not yet 2, though, mostly because he's quite tall. Greg and I both have remarked lately how big he's getting, and how grown up. Sometimes the changes in him are so subtle, and you don't realize he's growing into a little boy until it all of a sudden hits you. The other night, after his bath, he wanted to go downstairs and he came running into the bedroom where I was folding laundry and said, clear as a bell, "Mom, open the gate." Perfectly pronounced, perfectly paced. His language has actually come along so well, though he wasn't into saying "trick or treat" on command last night, no matter how many times we'd rehearsed!
I must admit he was one of the cutest kids (and yes, I am biased) I've ever seen last night in his elephant suit. It got me every time!

Anyhow, the other thing I learned this Halloween is that my husband bears a striking resemblance to Borat. Seriously. I'd post the picture of just him dressed up from last night, but it's on his Blackberry and I've yet to figure out how to upload photos from our phones (if you know me, you know how computer illiterate I am - it's amazing I've learned to blog!). I'm not sure it's a good thing he looks so alike Sasha, but it is more than a convincing costume!

Okay, well I sense all 3 boys and the dogs beginning to stir from their late afternoon nap (yes, late - it's after 6 pm but the candy consumed last evening changed Isaiah's daily routine in that he slept in this morning due to a ton of running with the neighbour kids around 8:30 last night so his afternoon nap began around 5:15 tonight), so that means I'd best sign off!
I hope everyone had a great Halloween! I'm headed out this evening myself... I'll MAYBE post a pic of my costume next time! No clever disguise for me!

P.S. The spacing will not stay when I go to publish the post, so pardon the craziness when reading. I've tried to return to edit, but it will not keep the spacing for some reason! Grr...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Well, we did it, we braved one of the busiest weekends on the highway heading up to cottage country in order to share in Thanksgiving weekend with my dad and Carol at their cottage on Drag Lake, near Haliburton. The truck was loaded to full capacity, despite the fact that we were only going to be there until Sunday evening (as Raider rides vip in the trunk, though this trek he had to share it with the folded playpen). I hadn't actually yet been up to the Muskokas past summer, even though the cottage is winterized, so I was anxious to see what the landscape would look like. I knew the water level would be down, as my dad had kept me informed of the constant drop as summer progressed, and I knew I should possibly expect some cool weather (and indeed the nights were chilly). And though the drive is always a long one, we were hoping to have a nice relaxing weekend up north. Which we did.

It was worth it; the weather was gorgeous, the turn of the leaves beautiful. (Even though blowing leaves off the property kept my dad and Greg occupied for much of Saturday morning.) Raider got to play with Skye and Angel, running free in the yard to explore the dried up creek bed and wrestle with Skye when they had a burst of energy. The difference in the onset of fall up there compared to south-western Ontario is astounding, and though I hate to see summer go I, like Carol, feel there is something about fall - that smell in the air and brilliant colours ablaze perhaps - that makes me not seem to mind the change as much. So we spent much of the weekend outdoors, as we were blessed with wonderful weather, even for the north.

And of course Isaiah was happy to be outdoors, discovering the fallen leaves and moving dirt with the Tonka trucks the neighbours Ted and Tina had salvaged for him earlier in the summer. He loved chasing the dogs and exploring the woods, climbing up hills and on rocks. His growing sense of independence was manifest in his explorations, though he never really strayed too far from me. He is definitely growing into a little boy, though, favouring digging and throwing, breaking and upturning. (See Greg, that one afternoon dressed as a mermaid by Mikayla had no effect on him whatsoever, he is all boy, don't worry.) I did at one point remember the very real possibility of running into a black bear, and had a small sense of panic in wondering how I would save my boys from its wrath, but seeing as the possibility was rather slim, it slipped from my mind as quickly as it came. And so we remained outdoors for much of the weekend.

Braylon enjoyed the fresh air too, especially when we took him on the boat for an afternoon cruise around the lake. His unknowing imitation of the front of the boat Titanic move was brilliant, his face aglow, grin wide, and hair waving wild in the wind. He is such an observant little boy, taking in all of his surroundings in amazement and wonder. He was able to sit on the seats with us (and at one point seated snugly on the floor on a blanket between Raider and Skye, his two protectors), as his strength to sit himself up is incredible. At one point he was leaning upright against the side of the boat, standing on the seat, when we tied up with the neighbours to drift along the lake and have some snacks.

Everyone enjoyed the boat ride, actually, even the dogs. Skye found a spot to bask in the sun, and Isaiah was quick to assume captain, pretending to drive the boat (though someone had the bright idea to show him how to honk the horn). Angel bravely got herself right on the edge as, for a small dog, she is quite agile when she wants to be. Their new boat has plenty of room for dogs, kids and adults (and snacks and drinks galore - I think I gained another 10 pounds this weekend, pounds I'd earlier sworn to lose for our trip to Mexico at Christmas). And Raider curled himself up to snooze on the floor (it's really what he does best).
Our second afternoon on the lake, we came out earlier and he had not yet had his afternoon nap. Although his eyes fell heavy en route to the boat ramp to load the pontoon into the lake, he was wide awake once aboard as his memory of his ride the previous day was crystal clear. In fact, trying to get him to nap took a great deal of effort, but eventually he gave in to the rocking of the waves once we'd been on the lake for an hour or two. My eyes grew heavy at one point as well, though I faught off sleep as best I could. There's just something about the air up north that helps induce a sleeping state, I think!
Isaiah loved that boat, that's for sure. You should've seen his face light up when Grandpa picked up speed. He was half bent over the side of the boat, reaching to touch the splash from the water with his fingertips and jumping up and down on my lap in sheer excitement as we bounced over the waves. And had he known the water was as cool as post-winter's thaw, I don't think even that would've stopped him from jumping in for a swim, were it up to him. (And we did in fact see some people do so, on purpose... and not just when loading the boat out of the water, either!) Greg had thought he'd go for a dip before I reminded him just how cool the lake would be at this point in the year; I thought it too cruel to throw him in off the boat so he'd remember for himself in the future.

And we of course enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner too! Carol made all the traditional dishes, save for the way we made the turkey. Greg and the boys helped my dad and Ted (well, mostly Ted) deep fry the turkey once we'd returned from our afternoon on the lake. That was the fastest I've ever seen Thanksgiving dinner come together in my life, and it worked well for a cottage dinner since their kitchen is limited compared to at home. Yes, it was a weekend spent enjoying food as well, as Carol brought up homemade apple and pumpkin pies (and my dad, notorious for having stashes of candy and chocolate around the house, applies that rule to the cottage as well).
We did manage to get out for exercise too, though. Isaiah picked leaves for the horn to decorate the table on our morning walk, though the ones he brought home were not the first to be picked up. He discarded many as we walked up and down the road, but finally helpd pick out an assortment of full shaped leaves. Our walk on the following morning was nice as well, and Isaiah got to walk both Skye and Angel at one point, which he thought was pretty neat to do. He's always wanting to be grown up - Carol caught him imitating her with his hands behind his back, strolling down the road - he's desperate to do the things we do.
So that was our weekend. Who knows what next year holds - a newly made tradition or, as last year, another football game? I'm hoping we at least continue to gather for a Thanksgiving meal, because I always enjoy time spent with family... even if it's a Sunday spent watching football, Greg, which is another Thanksgiving (or in our house weekly) tradition it seems!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Back Peddlin'

Oh he's desperate to move, that we knew. He's been determined to reach far ahead of him for toys when he's sitting on the ground and, as of late, he's crawling all over us whenever we lounge on the couch., jumping or bouncing up and down, rocking his body to plummet himself in any random direction. So when I put him down for tummy time today, Braylon proved me wrong (see, all it takes is a little post noting my worries at his stale progression at times). Now he's really genuinely trying to crawl, even if it's a back peddling motion instead of forward advancement. It'll come. That's how it was with Isaiah as well.

And Isaiah, he's on a mission to demonstrate mastery of new feats daily. I knew long ago he knew many a word, but not only is he using them all now, and correctly at that (he knows all the words in all of his books, pretty much), he's stringing sentences together like nothing. And I think he may even be beginning to understand the concepts of tomorrow and yesterday. We went and fed the ducks last night on our bike ride and that's all he could talk about today. He remembered doing so with absolutely no prompting whatsoever. The rate at which he is changing is remarkable, although some things I'd like to avoid (for instance, he was in a screaming mood this evening and does not take no for an answer - well, save for his answer to us - when we ask him to stop). He's always wanting to help me, though recently my little clean freak has developed a fear of the vacuum that is worsening each time I pull it out. Today we were making a birthday cake for my mom, though, and he doesn't quite understand why he can't do everything I do. Most of the times I catch him before any major catastrophe happens, but today when he was helping to bake he was just too quick. He broke an egg all over himself in a split second, and then was quite a mess (which he'll tell you about - those words are definitely in his vocabulary too: mess, dirty, etc.).

Anyhow, I obviously haven't found time to update my files with new photos, but I thought I'd just comment without them because if I wait to do that I'll likely not post anything, or at least something completely different, as most certainly life with these boys would be already have seen something new by then!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I'm not even back to work yet, and I'm contemplating ways to avoid doing the work I know I should already begin to tackle. It's called the art of procrastination, and I'm definitely a level four on the evaluation rubric! It's just so damn easy to do nothing. Not that I'm doing nothing, exactly, but the life of an English teacher is a busy one, one I'm not sure I'm looking forward to returning to with two young boys. But it is inevitable, work I must.

So that means that I've begun to sort through my "stuff" in the basement - which, for not being finished at all yet, is completely full. I'm hoping to have an office soon (read: please, Greg). But I've not really done much with it besides organize it (reorganization is a perfected Herr trait, right James and dad?). I need to do some planning and reading and thinking about school. Obviously I don't want to, or else I would have started (or even stop this blogging business in exchange for prepping school work), because I'd really like to think I've a ton of time left before my maternity leave comes to an end.

However, I don't. Braylon will be 8 months already this weekend. (Although, side note, I don't quite think he's as advanced as he should be at 8 months... I can't remember how Isaiah was, but I don't remember ever feeling as though Isaiah was behind; in fact, it was the exact opposite. But I'm not convinced Braylon is as far in things as he should be. No teeth yet. No crawling. No eating vegetables that I haven't snuck into his cereal. Ahh, but I'll save this tangent for another blog at a later date, I suppose.)

And then there's so much else to do. I feel as though my to do list is always growing. I've got passports to apply for in order to go to Mexico for Richard's wedding, health cards to get (I've still got the old school red and white card, but it's becoming increasingly complicated to make that one work smoothly for me), a second birthday to plan (and then a first a few months later), among a list of so much else. Sometimes I just like to think I have nothing to do at all (wouldn't that be nice)!

And so on those days I decide to stop and enjoy life, especially with the constant reminders of how short life can be. I take a lot of things for granted and I don't always stop to smell the roses. So I'm trying very hard to live life to the fullest, to enjoy each and every moment and do what I enjoy most in life (hence the absence of any real school work).

Side note (I'm notorious for random tangents as a teacher, by the way): I do love teaching, otherwise I wouldn't do it. I DON'T enjoy the planning and marking in terms of the time it consumes, time not spent with my boys (all four if you count the dog).

So what am I spending time doing, you ask? Well, trying to find things to do that the boys will enjoy and hopefully remember when they look back in life. My mom and I took them apple picking on dwarf trees so that Isaiah could help. Weeks after he still proudly exclaims, "I pick apples" (it likely helps that he has a visual reminder of his efforts in that I've still got 1/2 a bag on my kitchen counter despite making an apple crisp, an apple cranberry cake, and apple muffins thus far).

Even Braylon had fun that day, and though he couldn't pick apples himself he held onto one apple for much of the time. When Isaiah decided Braylon should be enjoying a fresh apple directly off the tree as he had (he ate 2 whole apples in less than an hour), Braylon thought he'd relieve some gum pain instead by "gumming" an apple held by big brother.

I really hope I remember these moments when I look back too. I try to take pictures of the big things, but I miss a lot (although I finally got a phone with a camera - in fact, I skipped right through to a Blackberry)! And obviously I can't photograph everything (nor should I). But I do need to get our video camera out - I think we've taken maybe 5 minutes in total since having these guys. Awful. I must change that!

I've also gone with Greg to watch another NFL game live in Buffalo - his beloved Oakland Raiders. I much prefer that to watching 12+ hours of football on the couch on Sundays (though I'd rather do that than mark, which is what I normally do on Sunday afternoons when I'm working)! I am now the proud (please note some sarcasm implied in that as you read, since blogging does not truly allow my rich sense of sarcasm to come through) owner of my own Russell jersey! Actually, to be honest, I did want one, even though Indy is my team and I've nothing to support them, because all the boys wear their Raider gear on Sundays! As you can tell by Greg and Braylon last Sunday, the game was ever so exciting (likely one reason why they fired the head coach since).

Anyhow, I've got laundry to fold and dinner to prepare (work I MUST do), so I bid you adieu for now. I need to upload some new photos so I can fill you in on what else we've been up to. I'll put that on my to do list!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Halfway into September already are we?

I've no real reason to write, though I admit to feeling I've in many ways abandoned my blog. Don't get me wrong, things are happening here. No, Braylon isn't eating his vegetables (or fruit, for that matter) yet, but our days are always filled with this and that. And I'm well aware that I should be recording some of those memories (especially on our video camera, which I've rarely used since having kids and regret not doing so simply because I haven't captured those moments... which I try to write about on here at times), but I've just been trying to be with the boys as much as possible, since I'm on the tail end of my maternity leave. Not that it's nearly over, but you know how times flies. Soon enough we'll be well into fall, then the first snow will fall, Christmas will be upon us, Greg & I will be off to Mexico and back, and then I'll be commuting to Woodstock once again. It's inevitable.

So for now it's playing with the boys. Isaiah, now that his language has come along, is working on colours and counting. I know I should also be doing crafts with him, so he can begin to learn cutting and pasting besides his "cull-ies" (that's what he calls colouring... you really have to speak Isaiah to know what he's saying at times), but neither he nor I like a mess!! I'm kidding, although you should see him, actually, as he is more clean and neat than am I, which is hard to imagine. He's always telling you this is a mess or this is dirty and needs to be cleaned, and he loves to sweep and swiffer. He even tries to help me fold the laundry, although it's more to throw it out of the basket faster so he can push the basket around the floor. He's been stringing sentences together too, and his favourite these days (thank god we've moved on past "I do") is "I funny." He gets a real kick out of that! It ultimately becomes funny when he says it over and over again, and he laughs hysterically at himself... and we can't help but to laugh as well. He is such a ham! We're seeing some slight headway made in potty training too, as he has gone once a day for the last 3 days on the potty and almost always tells you that he's wet or has pooped. He loves saying that! I'm really going to miss being with him 24/7 because he learns and does something new every day!

Braylon is obviously changing daily as well. He's been sitting unsupported for awhile now, which means he's more interactive with Isaiah. He's finally beginning to sleep longer stretches at night and, when he doesn't, can be soothed back to sleep much faster with his soother and a rhythmic pat on the bum. I've noticed he has started to imitate sound, babbling da-da-da or ma-ma-ma (which, unfortunately, aren't quite first words yet, but it's nice to hear nonetheless) most often. He is a very very good baby despite blowing his food back in our face every 4 hours, and my absolute favourite is when Isaiah or I get him going with squeels of laughter. It can be the simplest of things, like making funny faces or noises or just devoting your full attention to him by talking to him, to set him off! I hope they continue to be good natured children as they grow. I've seen some other children born close to my boys who have already somehow developed somewhat nasty demeanours and I'm not certain it was the fault of the parents or just how the child has come to be on their own.

Anyhow, we're off on a walk (as though crisp fall weather has befallen us, the sun is at least shining above) so I'm off. Hopefully I'll improve my blogging record to more than one a month!

Friday, August 22, 2008

And Another Summer Gone

I should be getting ready for yet another wedding... the 5th of 7 this summer (and then we've one in mid-winter too)... and I will in fact get to that. My nails were done yesterday and my hair has been styled, but my face needs some make-up and I need to get dolled up. However, I thought I'd take a quick moment, as I find myself without children for a second (how rare!), to post a new blog!

I've intended to write far more frequently than I have found myself doing, but I've been too darn busy. Our summer has, like I mentioned, been one of many weddings. It seems we've gone from one weekend to the next in a blink simply because we've had something on the go: wedding, baptism, family reunion, mini-vacation here or there. Which is good, I like keeping busy, but it's now the end of August and I'm in the typical longing-for-more-summer stage.

What helps is that I don't have the impending return to work, though strangely some nights have been plagued with the "teacher nightmare" wherein you just aren't ready for the start of school. Not sure why my mind isn't convinced of the fact that I don't work until January, but I'm looking forward to a post-Labour Day watching kids walk off to school while I lounge with the boys in pajamas still (I'll make a point of staying in them just a little longer that day!). And I know the warm days will continue into September, despite the nights cooling off significantly as of late. And we've things to do - another wedding after this crazy weekend (2 weddings, 1 shower, 1 baptism and hopefully a visit with Greg's cousin Richard and his fiancee from Flin Flon), a live Raiders game in Buffalo, that sort of thing - before Thanksgiving comes, so I know summer isn't truly over... yet. Nor is my mat. leave. But time has flown by.

Take Isaiah, he'll be 2 in November. Can you believe it? Where has time gone?

Or take our recent HCC (summer camp) reunion in Bayfield. A few of us managed to get together up at camp for a visit and a little time to reminisce. Some things hadn't changed a bit, some improved for the better, and others gone for good (such as the ravine bridge). But one thing I love is that, regardless of the passing of time, friends like that - my camp friends - are those with which I can catch up as if our last conversation ended just yesterday. Because sadly we've lost touch, it was inevitable, particularly when we had that type of relationship to begin with (one in which you work together all summer - living and breathing together every second of the day - and then it's 10 months of sporadic correspondance before it all begins again). But we haven't lost our friendship.

And, after 10+ years of not seeing some of these guys whatsoever and others not as much as I should, it was nice to catch up. We didn't all work together, in fact some of these guys were my cabin counsellors, but we're tied together by a common thread. And we came together after such a long time!

Anyhow, I've now, as usual, given myself little time to get ready for the wedding, so I'm off to "get pretty."

Monday, August 11, 2008


Braylon took the bottle! Okay, so we knew it would eventually happen. Even I didn't think he would go forever without eating; he would cave to hunger at some point. But he put up a fight, that's for sure. We resorted to every trick in the bag, and just when we thought we'd exhausted our efforts, he drank!

It's sad, though, because this isn't how I wanted to wean him. I would have liked to continue nursing for a little longer, actually, and then ideally slowly exchange one feed for a bottle of formula at a time. But that wasn't in the stars for us, apparently, as I just couldn't heal to continue nursing and to spare this same battle months down the road we just fought it through and got him on the bottle now.

So all's well at the Rebelo household for now. Isaiah sometimes asks to use the potty, sometimes it doesn't cross his mind. He hasn't actually used it used it in months, but that's okay. I'm giving in to giving up. I know, he'll go. And the hunger strike reached a fair negotiation, it would seem, though Braylon still roots around for his old milk supply when it is me trying to feed him the bottle. So until our next "crisis" arises... :)
P.S. Check out our little Beckham... I had this wise idea to shave his head on the weekend, and although at first he looked a little sickly, I actually think he's pretty cute with the close cut. It suits him!

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Battle of the Bottle (or perhaps more appropriately, the breast)... aka part 2

First of all, thanks to those that gave advice on my first rant. I really do appreciate it, and I know deep down I even agree. And I am very aware where my boys have inherited their stubborn streaks from. Trust me, I am.

Anyhow, I'm feeling the need to also post my other dilemma, particularly as this week it has become a much more difficult thing to endure than has potty training. Not sure I'll post my original free writing notes from 6 a.m. a fews days back, particularly as things have changed significantly since, but I'll try to catch you all up to speed on what's been happening with Braylon and the bottle... and the breast.

Well, though I know it's ideal to nurse your children for the first year of their life, I knew in advance my summer would be one in which nursing would pose a challenge simply because I have 7 weddings on top of Sunday soccer games, Wednesday yoga classes, reunions and family functions, and the other spur of the moment activities summer tends to bring. So originally I figured I'd wean Braylon mid-July, since the first 2 weddings I had were later in the day than the typical Portuguese ones here (1 pm ceremonies. Always.). And I would pump. Which I did. And all went fine. Braylon didn't take well to the bottle, but he took it nonetheless when he got hungry enough. I continued to nurse; however, I was all along trying to find a good time to begin weaning, which, now that I know differently, went very well for Isaiah... so I was expecting much the same, particularly as Braylon is such a good baby. Very content, very calm and subdued.

Until you give him the bottle, that is. Okay, so let me fill you in a little. We went away on the August long weekend to Vanessa (a place, not a person... basically as big as my "hometown" of Ballymote) and somehow during that time Braylon began to tear my nipples while nursing. So upon our return, I thought it best that this might just be the time to wean him, since I was in pain and obviously he wasn't latching well for some reason. Tuesday brought our first attempt with bottle feeding (Braylon and I, that is) and it was not in the least successful. He was hungry, but apparently not enough to drink. We tried different nipples on different bottles, and even resorted to sippy cups, but he wanted nothing to do with any of it. Knowing he would likely pose more difficult for me than someone else, simply because he can sense it is me, and smell my milk as well, we packed up and headed to grandma's (my mom's) to enlist her help. To no avail. Still he fought that bottle and refused to drink. Instead of forcing it, I caved to pain and continued nursing.

Wednesday brought such cracks in my nipples (I can't believe I'm blogging about this...) that the pain was truly unbearable. I was peeling off skin each time he tried to feed, and everything was raw and sore as ever. By this time the cracks were bleeding through the pads onto the inside of my bra, so I figured I'd best find help again. Fast. So off to Avo's (Greg's mom's) he went, where both my mother-in-law and sister-in-law tried countless times to coerce him to eat. Stacey managed to squirt 3 oz. worth in and later Greg basically took a cup (as in a normal cup) and got some liquid in, but he was refusing everything - no kind of bottle would trick him, and he was even averting breast milk expressed earlier. So Wednesday night brought a series of feeds from me again, which reopened the cracks (I'll spare you the gory details).

Thursday morning I nursed him at 9 a.m. and then sent him to his Grandma's again to see if she'd have any luck that day. I'm sure you can guess by now that he wasn't wanting anything to do with the bottle then either. By this time he must have been very hungry; although he was still eating cereal (with some formula mixed in, so at least he was getting SOME milk), he was drinking absolutely nothing. And so back to Avo's he went for the night, because as hard as it is to not be with him, it really can't be me helping him through this because all he wants to do is try to nurse. He's a boob man. But we're trying to convert him because by this point I hadn't nursed him as often as he had been eating so my supply was not meeting demand on top of it all being too painful.

Well, Thursday night brought more of the same, though with others he was at least fairly content; it really didn't seem to faze him too much that he was so hungry. Which I'm very thankful for (though we're not through this yet, and I'm not certain we've seen the worst of it either). Anyhow, my mother-in-law and I discussed our concerns to one another this morning, and quickly got to thinking what else we could do. We called our family doctor; however, since the medical clinic is in the process of moving, I was not able to connect through on the phone. So I then tried the health nurse, who basically said, after hearing this whole saga, that we were doing all that we could, really. Still wanting help, and on the advice of the nurse after I suggested I take him to emerg. to see if he was dehydrated or perhaps had an infection, we were off to the hospital this morning. However, we came home, 2+ hours and a great deal of waiting later, with absolutely no headway made there either. No one seems to have an answer as to why he won't take the bottle...

...especially when he sucks on a pacifier. That's what gets me. You can't even trick him that way, by quickly exchanging one for the other. And it would be a whole different thing if he'd never taken a bottle before, but he did... even if he didn't do it well, he drank. In fact, we have a few times convinced him to suck, but after 5 or 6 gulps he realizes what he is doing and will have no more of it. I've never seen a baby curl his tongue so quickly to the roof of his mouth in avoidance of food. It's milk, Braylon, I promise. I'm only trying to feed you!!

I'm quick to become frustrated at this point, and I know that doesn't help. But I'm going through pain of my own, as now I'm engorged and still cracked, though at least they are beginning to heal as he hasn't nursed in 30 hours. And I hate to rely on our parents so much (Braylon is still with my mother-in-law, who graciously kept him this afternoon because I am so sore in the chest that I can't even pick up my own son... which gets me to crying... which also doesn't help), but man am I ever grateful we have them close. I don't think I could do this without our family's help because I've never seen such a stubborn baby in this regard. And I'm hoping against all odds that he'll just decide, hopefully sooner than later, to drink from the bottle because I'm not going to be able to nurse him any more. I could have likely done so today, but then the headway I made in healing would have been sacrificed, and we'd likely have to go through this ordeal again at some later point, when we've already been doing this for 4 days now. But what a tough week.

So, now you see why I've not really been a frequent blogger. But thanks for hearing me out. I do count my blessings, I have beautiful healthy precious boys that I am very thankful for. They are my world. But I just wish I could know that we'll get through this - I mean, I know we will but like I said earlier, I don't think we're through the worst part of it so I can't even at present see the light at the end of the tunnel. And yet I know, don't sweat the small stuff...

P.S. Had I known I was headed for this dilemma I would never have bothered to scribble down my original rant, which had more to do with Braylon continuing to nurse through the night at 6 months than this. That was before all of this, and I'm glad I decided to not get into that now knowing that it went from bad to worse! I'd have felt silly to complain about that... though I really can't complain at all, actually, even though I have just done so at length. I've honestly had two very good experiences thus far, both my babies have been good babies.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Stubborn Boys: Please No Potty, Mommy (part 1)

So this is actually an entry I began scribbling away one early morning after a night of frequent feedings by Braylon, but never got around to transferring onto my site. Things have changed since, but I'll write it up anyhow... and perhaps get around to adding the changes later, since in all of 8 minutes I need to leave for yoga (and trust me, after this blog, you'll see why I need to have some me time).

I'll spare you from reading further if you're reading this for a happy-go-lucky entry... Perhaps next time. Not that my boys aren't great boys, but parenting has as of late had rough patches. Pardon me, but I find ranting helps, so bear with me if you're along for the ride. Here goes.

These are small things in the big picture, I know. That I'd like to acknowledge first. And I've always been told not to sweat the small stuff, but I must. Sometimes I feel like I'm not a good mom in ways, as I seem to fall short (no pun intended, if you know how vertically challenged I am) of helping my children overcome certain feats - namely, weaning for Braylon and potty training for Isaiah.

We'll take Isaiah first. For months now, we've been trying to potty train him. He is old enough. He knows what we're asking of him. He fully comprehends what we want him to do. And yet I am met with this stubborn defiance that I can't seem to get around. I've given in to the reward system - of stickers, that is. I've a hard time succumbing to giving treats of any sort, though I now understand those that do. To each their own, though I'd like to think I don't need to follow a Pavlov's dog regime. Regardless, we're not making headway. Not in the least. I ended up giving stickers for just sitting on the potty, so I gave up on that (need to save my sticker reserve for school, anyhow). And he hasn't actually gone in months. So scrap that. He preferred to put the stickers on his hand anyway, rather than the nice chart that we posted in the bathroom for all to view and praise. And what gets me is that he cheers for us when we go, clapping and saying "yeah mommy" whenever we show him how to do it. But he still won't go. I seriously congratulate all moms who get through this stage - what an accomplishment, for real. I myself have no clue when this is going to happen. He is not too young, that I believe, but I'm having a very tough time with this. Stick it out, I know.

Okay, yoga calls so part 2: The Battle of the Bottle will get posted later. Stay tuned... it's juicy (or rather, not... instead, it's actually kind of painful...).

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Thank goodness my boys do not inherit everything from me, as Braylon is one of the most photogenic babies I have ever known. It helps that Kim excels at capturing the most precious expressions, true, but Braylon sure is one cute baby! He has always been a little ham, laughing and squeeling in delight, and I'm so glad Kim caught one of his gummy smiles! I love the second photo too, though I sure do wish he'd sleep through the night (if only I cover him in petals?!).

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Sweetest Thing

Okay, I'll be the first to admit to my obvious bias, but I truly think my boys are the sweetest things. It is amazing to see them interact so meaningfully with one another. Isaiah is sure to make his presence known to Braylon in anyway he can, typically waving vigorously and repeatedly saying hi to him. He continues to enjoy tickling him, and is very aware of the response he gets. Braylon at times laughs just observing Isaiah play, and loves any attention doted on him by his big brother. They are certain to grow up to be such good friends (though I know they'll have their rough times too). And apart from the odd time, Isaiah holds little jealousy for his brother. We're quite fortunate in that regard, as it tends only to be times when he is tired and irritable and Braylon needs to nurse. I've really got two very good boys to raise.

As of late, Isaiah is really starting to make headway with his speech. In the past few weeks, he has finally begun to use the vocabulary we knew he had stored in his brain. He's even working on proper two syllable words; instead of da-da, used anytime he heard the garage door open when Greg was due home from work, for example, he's now saying da-y (we just need to work that other "dd" in there). And Braylon, too, is continuing to be incredibly vocal, cooing and babbling away. Now if we could only make progress in the potty department with Isaiah; he was doing so well for such a young toddler, but recently he's been quite defiant of even sitting on it. Maybe Braylon will beat him to it!

As for Braylon, although Greg has yet to witness for himself, he has managed to roll over from both front to back and vice versa... despite much time spent on his belly. It isn't yet a daily motion, but he's done it now enough to notice this new feat. He continues to be very strong, holding himself up on his legs for longer and longer and propping himself up at 90 degrees when he is forced into tummy time. (I know, I'm such a mean mommy!) I never know if he's advanced in his growth or not, as I remember thinking Isaiah was compared to other babies I knew who were relatively similar in age, but I think having a big brother to look up to and observe all the time is helping Braylon do things earlier. Who knows?!

Anyway, it seems I've again just noted a few of the things they've been doing lately rather than share the particulars of our lives. But although I've not really stories to share - instead, I tend to give a vague update regarding their accomplishments - I think it worthwhile to post this stuff. I don't even know if anyone who reads this cares all that much about such minute steps, but I think it will be neat to look back with them to remember these moments in time. And I always mean to blog more often, but I think it more important to spend my time at home being with them so you will have to pardon my absence in terms of a daily upkeep of blogging. It will be awhile until I next log on too, as we're off on vacation for the first bit of July. I'm sure to have something to post upon return, so until then...