mostly pictures of the kids, maybe some links, and probably some music.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Back to Work - Wah Wah Wah!

The Teenager Graduating from Campus Co-op Community Daycare

It is pretty much official, I am going back to work as of January 8th. I had been hoping to stay off until the end of the school year, but that wasn’t groovy for the folks at work. I didn’t know what to do when BAMN a space became available at Campus Co-op Daycare, the teenagers alma mater. It was a case of serendipity, and like a free horse was not to be looked in the mouth. However I am all choked up about it. How can I leave my baby? How can I spend my time in any other way? She changes so fast I will miss things, important things. It doesn’t matter that Campus is the greatest daycare I have ever had the pleasure to get to know, I want to be with my peek-a-boo playing, moo making, stinky poo taking, blurbulling baby! I guess I will get used to it, and so will she. I have the whole of December to introduce her to the daycare, and she being the trooper she is will probably handle it with aplomb. I am not so sure about her mom and I.

This Week

“Oh” is still going strong, and has had a couple of new inflections added. As well J has figured out that it is Cows that go Moo, and lets us know regularly. When we see a picture of a cow, when she picks up her little plastic Old MacDonald cow, when a cow shows up on Zoboomafoo or Baby Einstein. Yes, I let my under two watch TV, but only for about 15 minutes a day when we are getting dressed for bed. Someone named Jemima is usually very cranky by then and the 15 minutes of quiet zoning out makes the bedtime routine that much easier. And yes, I do feel a bit guilty about it. She is also working on Baa for sheep and goats, but she has trouble with the B sound so it comes out something like “AAAhhh!” at a high volume. As well, she has learned that dogs make a growling sound. I play this game where I gently curl up the dog’s lips to bare her teeth and then I growl. Jemima usually thinks it is pretty funny, and a couple of days ago I came into the room to catch her stretching the dogs lip up and growling. Thank the goddess that the dog is so freaking patient. I don’t know how I would get through the day without her help. Tomorrow some guys are coming to install gas fireplaces, which means we will be stuck in the house all day, and will miss indoor playground.

Another Party

clockwise from bottom left, Jemima, a big girl who's name I don't remember, Thomas, Max

This past weekend we attended a first birthday party for another pre-natal class alumni. Thomas. It was quite different from Max’s party, although Max was there. This party was mostly family, and adults, so J was a little overwhelmed at first. It was her first time singing happy birthday and watching candles getting blown out though. She had a good time for about half an hour and then got all cranky and whiny so we went home to bed.

Friday, November 17, 2006

First Meal With Her Own Spoon

You may remember Jemima visiting with her friend Amimej in the garbage can. Well, a couple of mornings ago, her mom witnessed J “feeding” Amimej with a spoon, so I decided it was time to let her try it on real food for herself. It went pretty well really. Good and messy, very little food making it to the mouth on the spoon and a lot of confidence built. I am going to keep offering her second lunch to her in bowls with a spoon and let her work it out. It isn’t like she is starving, and the dog REALLY appreciates all the dropped goodies.

Fridge Wars

You may remember a picture of Her Majesty standing at the fridge door and inspecting its contents. It is something she really likes to do. Unfortunately for her, it has gone from standing at the door to climbing right inside, and balancing on the lip while she reaches in to pull stuff forth. This has of course led to several tumbles, head smashes and tears, not to mention food on the floor and a fridge that has to work overtime to stay cold. So her mother and I have laid down the law, no babies in the fridge, no babies at the fridge door. If you guess that J hates this new regime and feels it is despotic and unfair, you guessed correctly. Now every time she hears the door open she lunges to throw herself in, and I have to bodily remove her. As a result, we have less food spillage, and head smashing, but way more tears.

Birthday Parties

Last weekend we attended two birthday parties. One was for Max whose parents were in pre-natal class with us. One year doesn’t so much creep up as arrive on a rocket sled, and it was pretty cool to see all these kids we first met as bumps. The other party was for our friends’ Kate and Julie’s brand new baby boy Bruno. That was a big affair to welcome him to the world. Lots of kids of all ages, lots of friends and family, a lovely time was had by all.

This is Max and Jemima on the couch. They were CRAZY for those balloons.

Clockwise from the bottom left we have, Isabelle, Madeline, Jemima, and just the top of Morgan's head.

Her new word

Jemima’s new word is “Oh”. It is pronounced about halfway between Oh – as in “oh really, you don’t say” and Oh – as in “oh my goodness”. It gets used in place of Uh-Oh if something is dropped, it gets used if there is some tasty food in sight, or if the fridge door is opened or her sister or mother walks in the room or for just about any place where some exclamation/statement of interest is needed. I love it.

Rockin with Red Zeppelin

Jemima has plenty of toys. We have been given oodles of them. She has books, puzzles, rattles, electronic noisemakers, two Dora dolls (one little and one life size), and 3 portable phones just for her. What is her favourite toy right now? This red plastic appliqué that came off of a gap sweatshirt that someone donated. She crawls all over the house with it in her hand. Folding it, chewing it, waving it, talking to it and bathing with it. I don’t get the appeal, but she sure does. It is a bit safer than last week’s fave, which was an empty Chandrika soap box. Sure it smelled nicer, but it is cardboard and was falling apart in her mouth when she chewed it.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Remember This.

Today is November the 11th, and everywhere you see the red poppies. My Mom’s Dad served in both world wars and my Dad’s great uncle died in France in the first world war, so I understand that people want to remember what they have lost. It strikes me though that the poppy has us remembering the wrong things, should we really be remembering all those soldiers? Should we really be talking about valour, camaraderie, or honour? Maybe we should try ruminating on this.

“Historically, as many civilians as soldiers have been killed in wars. In the 18th, 19th and most of the 20th century, civilians represented some 50% of war related deaths. In the 1960's civilians accounted for 52% of deaths; in the 1970's, for 73%; in the 1980's, for 85% and at the close of the century for over 95%.

Or maybe we should be remembering this.

* In World War II, Japanese soldiers forced between 100,000 and 200,000 women into sexual slavery. Most were from Korea, but others came from Burma, China, Holland, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Taiwan. These so-called "comfort women" were usually sent to the front lines where they were forced into sexual slavery. Some underwent forced hysterectomies to prevent menstruation and thereby make them constantly available. More than half of the women and girls died as a direct result of the treatment they received. Many survivors were detained in the program for 3 to 5 years, and most were raped 5 to 20 times per day. For 3 years of enslavement, this comes to a low estimate of 7500 rapes per person. Japan has not compensated any of these victims.
* Rape occurred during the Vietnam War. Perpetrators included US soldiers; few have been brought to justice.
* During Bangladesh's 9-month war for independence in 1971, between 250,000 and 400,000 girls and women were raped, leading to an estimated 25,000 pregnancies.
* In Rwanda, at least 250,000 women were raped in the 1994 genocide.
* During the 1990s, more than 20,000 Muslim women were raped as part of an ethnic cleansing campaign in Bosnia.
* Credible allegations of sexual humiliation and rape against female detainees at US facilities in Afghanistan and Iraq have been well documented.
* Other conflicts in which rape was widespread include civil wars in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Somalia.

These stats came from an article by Martin Donohoe, MD, at Unfortunately when you try to click on the link you get Medscape log-in page. If you want to read the whole article you should google the title “War, Rape, and Genocide: Never Again?” you can click into it from that link.

So I won’t be wearing a red poppy today, or any November 11th. I think they miss the point. If I am going to wear any poppy at all, it will be a white one.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Sick, Tired and Gassy

The baby and I both have colds. Hers is evidenced mostly by a snotty nose and a poor temper, mine by, sniffles, aches and coughs. We feel crummy. I thought I was almost better, but it is back with a vengeance and seems to be moving in to my chest. What a surprise. I hope I haven’t passed that genetic failing on to daughter number 2. Sorry number 1, you got bum lungs.

On top of the cold I seem to have sprained a rib ligament, or busted a rib, or herniated something in my lower left chest. I was having a sneezing fit this morning, and a took a huge deep breath and let rip and something tore down there. Boy did I yell. It is okay if I sit still, but if I am carrying the baby on that side, or if I cough or sneeze, jeepers! I guess it wouldn't have happened if I was in better shape and didn't have such a middle aged, office sitting, fat guy belly.

N and I are so tired. Sure the baby is sleeping from 6ish to 4ish, but even if N nurses her at 4, and even if she hasn’t pooped, and gets back to sleep, N can’t seem to get back to sleep herself. I have no trouble falling back to sleep, but I am still the idiot I have always been and insist on staying up way too late. I did use the “should have been sleeping” time to watch Old Boy and The Departed. Both of which were pretty enjoyable. I thought that The Departed would have been better without Jack Nicholson, but I don’t really like him in much (besides Little Shop of Horrors.)

Not only are the girl and I gassy (another genetic failing or the curried dhal for lunch 4 days in a row – perhaps both?) but there has been a natural gas fiasco at the house too. Enbridge sent someone to replace the gas meter yesterday and after he was finished he announced we had a gas leak, that he couldn’t find it, that he had to leave and that he could not turn the gas back on. That meant, no hot water, no heat and no laundry – plus the chance that the house might explode, sweet. I used and called some gas contractors to have them find the leak but it is pretty hard to get someone to come out right away. Finally at about 6.30 (after the baby and I spent the entire day in the house waiting) the guy who installed the whole heating system in the house last year showed up and did a thorough check. He could not find a leak. He had to go, but he turned back on the gas and promised to be here today with some other equipment. The house hasn’t blown up yet and we are still breathing, so perhaps the Enbridge guy was wrong.

Well, we have a weekend coming up, and two birthday parties to attend, so things are looking up. Plus as of Monday the teenager is home.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Support Our Troops

If I see one more “support our troops” bumper sticker, lawn sign, or button I am going to scream! I have never been comfortable with them, to be fair I spent too much of the 80s and 90s as a peacenik protester to ever feel good about “supporting our troops”, but I was at first at least a little conflicted. Weren’t we in Afghanistan doing some good? Driving out the Taliban? After doing some reading and some thinking I have decided no. We aren’t doing good, we are making things worse and I am sick of the freaking sentiment.

I recommend a book I just finished called “To Afghanistan and Back” by Ted Rall first published in 2002 and recently again in an updated edition. Mr. Rall’s book makes for exciting first hand reading, ire raising political commentary, and serves as quite an eye opener. Certainly it was written in the early days of the war in Afghanistan, and things may have changed, but the basic facts and background still hold. The U.S. going there wasn’t really about 9/11 and as far as I can tell, Canada is just there to help the U.S. out. His book lists several others for further reading.

Ted Rall

So, support our troops? Sure, I support paying them a living wage (everyone deserves a living wage.) I feel for the families of the enlisted women and men who are putting their lives on the line for a wrongheaded, dangerous, and fated to fail mission. But mostly, I support bringing them home.

The links below touch on the same subject, and are far more eloquent and informed than anything I can rant here. Don’t be taken in by Harper’s pro-war line and don’t let anyone try to tell you that you are being unpatriotic, or unCanadian by not going along with the line being doled out by the Department of Defense or the Government.

Friday, November 03, 2006

She's Looking At The Girl In The Mirror

Jemima would like you to meet her close close friend Amimej. These two get along so well, and despite their busy schedules they always have time to stop and chat whenever they pass a reflective surface.

You want to know something sort of gross, see those smudge marks all over the surface of the garbage can? That isn’t just any old dirt, that is dried Jemima saliva and greasy Jemima handprints. She loves her reflection so much that she can’t help but touch it and kiss it, and lately suck on it. Don’t be too grossed out, we wash the garbage can with bleach, and discourage her from the kissing.

She does much the same thing with the full-length mirror in our bedroom closet. Stands there kissing and smacking and talking.

Best buds for life.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Music Music Music Pt2

So we are still rocking the Dan Zanes and the Sho + Mo and the Monkey Bunch, but we have replaced the Yodeling Crazy. Not because we are tired of yodeling per se, but because trying new things is good.

Kid Koala
At first we listened to the new Kid Koala disc. It is more of the crazy turntable trickery that we love him for. It is called “Your Mom’s Favourite DJ” and the wee one really liked the talking and the trumpet sounds. Visit his site, and give the music a listen. If you like it, buy it. I am pretty sure he will never get rich of playing the wheels of steel.

Your Mom’s Favouite DJ

Okay, I admit it, I am listening to Sting. Yikes. Back in the day I didn’t like the Police. Most of my friends did, but I just couldn’t get into them. I guess I didn’t mind “Walking on the Moon”, but otherwise – P.U. So about a month or so ago there was an article in the Globe and Mail about Sting learning to play the lute for his new album of songs by this contemporary of Shakespeare. Sounded cool, I had never even heard of this John Dowland before, but as cool as it sounded, it was Sting. Then about 2 weeks back we are watching Studio 60… and who should they have on as a pseudo-guest but Sting, rocking it on his lute. So N says she wants to hear the album, and an N sanctioned music acquisition is the sweetest of all (right up there with N sanctioned television or film acquisition), so I went and got it right away. You know what, it is quite enjoyable. Especially after you have listened to it a couple of dozen times. The girl always does a little dance when the lute comes on, which, while she is pre-verbal, is her stamp of approval. Give it a listen.

Songs from the Labyrinth

Now, it is true that the baby and I listen to music everyday, and that there is certainly some she seems to enjoy more than others, but to be honest, she seems to like the sound of the CD player shuffling discs the most. That always stops her in her tracks and gets her searching for the source of the sound.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

GrandMothers Are Great

Nana knit her a sweater.
Yes, my mom (nana) knit the baby this beautiful red sweater. The very first time she wore it she decided to spit out an entire mouthful of banana/papaya smoothie. That really starts to smell after just a little while. It has been through the wash now and still looks just as super.

Grandma did some cooking.
N’s mom (grandma), who has done plenty of knitting herself brought us some lovely wild rice with mushrooms and baked beets. The wee bairn loves them both. As a matter of fact, she has eaten so many of the beets that one of her bodily expulsions has taken on quite a beet like hue.

GrandMothers are great.