Monday, August 30, 2010

Graduation Day

Cue the Chris Isaak. Ollie has moved on up to the Senior room. It's still Infants, but now it's Senior Infants. Next stop: Toddlers, and then University (not that we have any expectations or anything).

Although as parents we were initially aprehensive of the change, something that can hit him pretty hard, it has actually come at a perfect time. Daycare has been a battle since we returned from vacation. He got quite used to having both parents around and he has been really protesting his return to daily abandonment. He didn't understand that it was only a "vacation". Compounding matters, he's changed a lot in that time too. Now that he is walking and running everywhere, his perspective on the world has changed. It's a couple of feet higher.

He's been reunited with his cohort in the senior room and the daily visits to the playground in place of a stroller walk are great fun (and help tire him out). Today's drop-off was the first since July where there were no tears. Let's carry that streak through to bedtime!

Oliver at the Zoo

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cottage Memories

Our short vacation with Cristin's family was great. Oliver loved hanging out with his Grandma and his cousins, and of course his aunt and uncle.

Boating, bears and BBQ, it had it all.

Some memories . . .

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Toddler's Gift

To our dismay, our little one has come down with bad case of separation anxiety. It started with some tears upon our return from vacation and has blossomed into full-on, gut-wrenching screams when we leave the room.

Needless to say, mommy is having a hard time getting ready for work in the morning. And daddy has resorted to playing Raffi to drown out the sobs on the drive to torture, um, i mean day-care.

Parental doubts loom in again: are we doing the right thing? are we damaging our child? is there something we're missing? or are we just the biggest suckers that ever did live?

Today went a little better at drop off and mommy didn't cry in her boss's office, so we just may be turning a corner.

As I got the thumbs up on a better drop off from daddy-extraordinaire, I reached into my bike bag to get out my iphone, and out fell a fuzzy little red ball. You know, the kind you'd use to make some kind of cool arts and crafts project? The very kind of which Oliver made at daycare and then brought home to share.

At times, parenting is heartbreaking. But today Mommy smiled.

This particular piece of art has been the subject of much conversation around our house. It lives on the fridge but often comes down so Oliver can hold it, walk around and talk about it.  In the chaos of the last few days I'd lost track of it but this morning when I opened my bike bag at work I had my reminder. Not one, but TWO fuzzy little red balls popped out over the course of the day. And I know how they got there.

Oliver, I love you too! More than you will ever know.

Guest writer,

P.S. Happy Fatherhood Friday to all the amazing Dads out there! Where would be we without you?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Boys day out

Today the moms had their "day away" so us dads were left with the four
boys under 6.

The weather at the cottage was blustery and fairly chilly so our plan
of throwing them off the dock all day was thwarted. Improvising after
naptime (and thank all that is good in the world that 3 out of 4
napped well and long) we opted for a trip to the dump. Boys and
garbage, what could better? There are often bears at the dump whatever
thought the little dudes would enjoy bear watching atop mounds of
trash. We figured we'd get lucky since the cottage had already been
visited by a cub this morning.

Unfortunately the bruins weren't cooperating and it was on to improv
plan B - the wolf centre. Again not much luck as we got there too
late. But nearby there's a farm so we took a right and there were the
pigs. Dozens of pigs. And the boys loved them. On the way back to the
car Oliver got loose and made a break for it back to the pen, barking
the whole way. I'm alright with the fact that he thinks dogs and pigs
make the same noise.

Dads on duty meant that the return trip to the cottage had one more
detour. A stop at the marina for Ice Cream Sandwhiches! Who cares if
it was 5:30 and almost dinner time. Surprisingly the boys ate all
their dinner and were fed and bathed by the time the mommies rolled

Smores for dessert just meant that it really was a classic summer
vacation day up north.

Maybe tomorrow we will see bears and wolves and if we are really lucky
some big old moose. We just need to remember to close the windows
tonight. . .

Baby Bear Visit

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Vacation Prep - Round Two

After a week back at the office, it's time to get away again. Our second (and final) vacation of the summer has us heading up north to Ontario's cottage country for some rest and relaxation chasing of the toddler across boulders, ducking swarms of black flies and preventing unexpected dips in the lake. Instead of four hours in a plane, we will spend a few hours in our car. Although on the plus side there is no ear-popping and no strangers to clamber over, unfortunately the wee man will be strapped in tight with nary a friendly flight attendant in sight. I'm starting to dread this more than the flights. At least there are no baggage limits, weight restrictions or snotty gate agents. And he definitely gets his own seat. How did we drive all the way to Prince Edward Island last summer?

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Challenges of Parenting

Being a parent means confronting numerous challenges, often in the most unexpected of places.

We're not starting to potty train the little guy just yet, but we have introduced him to the concept. More accurately he's introduced himself to the concept. One of his favourite games happens to be opening and closing doors. Doesn't matter which door, especially not if it happens to be the bathroom and it happens to be in use. So like I said, he's introduced himself to the concept to both Mommy and Daddy's chagrin.

This morning, we were out for a walk and we stopped at the local Second Cup. The purpose of the visit was twofold: 1) Daddy needed a coffee and 2) Daddy needed to use the bathroom. Conveniently this particular location has a nice and large ground floor family washroom. We've stopped here on many an occasion. Usually I can bring the wee man into the room and leave him in the stroller while I find relief.

Unfortunately today someone had managed to lock the keys inside the can. So instead of the nice and clean spacious family washroom, Daddy's choices were reduced to nothing or the *slightly* less clean facilities in the basement. There was no way the stroller was going to navigate those stairs, but neither was I going to make it to the next coffee shop. Hoisting him from his stroller, babe-in-arms I tacked the challenge. This being the *slightly* less spotless facilities there was no way I was going to release the wee man on his own recognizance. Thankfully he kept the squirming to a minimum and he got a new view of the proceedings.

Corn-y Times

The little guy is pushing 16 months now. For some reason we thought the pace of change would slow. Maybe it has, but now each and every change is very noticeable. He has learned a few words and can express himself with a few basic signs - pointing, clapping and asking for more. That last one he's perfected. We didn't know how well until we were sitting out under the Alberta big sky for a full salmon bbq.

The little guy loved the salmon, and the salad and the rest of the dishes. But there was one thing he really wanted: the corn. And not cut off the cob into babysize chunks, thank you very much. No, he wanted the whole cob. 

Not only did he want it. 

He ate it. 

All of it. 

And then some of a second. 

I wonder where he got this from?

(Hint: she gave birth to him)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tales from Western Front

Monday saw us fly back from our first (of two) vacation of the summer. We headed out west to Alberta for a much needed break. Despite our best efforts to not plan too much, not get up to much and generally chill out, the wee man had different plans. Over the next week I'll recap some of the more interesting events, but in the meantime I want to pass along this tip for travelling with infants. Unfortunately for us we got it too late and maybe I'm breaking some parental cone of silence by sharing, but I figure you worthy readers might be able to put it good use:

When  two parents are travelling with an infant under 2 book your seats at either end of the row.  It is highly unlikely that the person stuck in the middle will sit there for long thereby providing your offspring with a seat. All the more extra space for toddler gymnastics or, more hopefully, napping.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Done and done

Vacation is over. All in all, a great trip! Although next time we'll
try to pack a little lighter.