Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wordful Wednesday: A Christmas Lilahbility

It's the day after the day after the day after Christmas and the gifts have all been opened.  (Well, not all, actually - we're saving a few of Lilah's for a rainy day.  Oh, who am I kidding?  It's winter in Vancouver, they're all rainy days!  More accurately, we're saving them for a bored and grumpy day.)  The turkey has been devoured, the joy and excitement felt, the giggles shared, and the photos snapped.

A little Christmas morning magic
My tongue and teeth hurt from all the crap I have eaten over the past few days, and  yet, as I sit here, I am unwrapping yet another mini Toblerone bar.  Santa put too many in my stocking and I just can't stay away.  Besides, I have only a few more days to indulge before those darned New Year's Resolutions must be abided.

Another Christmas is over, and I have that feeling of satisfaction, fullness, and restlessness that comes in the wake of overindulgence, time with family, and barely-contained chaos.  It was a good one, my friends.

My Christmas spirit had been almost completely quashed by Lilah's illness during the two weeks leading up to the festivities.  I wrote about it here, but little did I know that it wasn't actually over at that point.  Two more days of vomiting and diarrhea had us driving to a drop-in medical clinic at 5pm on Tuesday.  All we got from that was a little reassurance and a requisition for a stool sample.  You'll have to get the Hubs to share that story someday - a whole new high in his parenting experience, I assure you!  But by Wednesday she was starting to seem a bit more like the Lilahbility we know and love, so we decided to proceed with our plans to head to the top of Grouse Mountain for our breakfast with Santa.  Well, this is how that turned out:

It was a little ambitious, perhaps.  No matter, the Hubs and I enjoyed our buffet breakfast, and Lilah was so exhausted by the whole experience that she dozed off during the four minute gondola ride back down to the bottom of the mountain and then fell into a deep sleep on the car ride home.  I think she'll enjoy it a lot more next year, when she is a little older and more Christmas-savvy and (knock on wood) not just getting over an epic tummy bug.

The real magic happened on Christmas day.  It was enough  to make me believe in Christmas miracles again.  Our girl, who has been under the weather and a little sad for quite some time now was happy and smiling - an absolute delight all day long.  And she ate.  Boy, did she eat!  The clinginess and whines for "mama" of the past few weeks were replaced with giggles and cute scrunchy-faced smiles.  And that was the best Christmas gift we could ever have asked for.  My new camera accoutrements, tickets to Cirque du Soleil, and bath products were really just icing on the cake.

Christmas finery provided by Grandma and Grandpa
We arrived at my in-laws' place long before the rest of the family, so there was plenty of time to bond with Grandma and Grandpa (after the requisite warm-up period, of course), admire the tree and decorations, and for Lilah to indulge in a long winter's nap before things got really chaotic: 
It's not a wild and crazy Christmas dinner unless someone takes their clothes off.
(In her defence, her three-year-old cousin did it first.)

If you were wondering how she got the belly in the last photo, this would be it.
Apparently ice cream is now a finger food.  The spoon was purely for show.
I think we are now officially in the "holiday hangover" phase.  There are a few extra Toblerone pounds on my frame.  There are brand new toys strewn across my living room that the Hubs and I have been tripping over a hundred million times a day.  There is a lop-sided gingerbread house with most of the candy decorations picked off, looking a little sad and forlorn on the kitchen counter.  All proof that things are just as they should be at this time of year.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

This is the Time of Year...

This is the time of year...

When I want to scream at the traffic lights, "C'mon, change.  Change.  CHANGE!!!"

When the sappiest, cheesiest, most obvious things make me cry.

When I am constantly running behind and apologizing to myself and others for just not being able to do it all.

When I want to create holiday traditions for my little family that will last through the years; traditions that my kid(s) will look back on with fond memories when they start their own families.

When being at the mall makes me feel like this:
"Oh no, we're going to the mall?  Again???!!!"
When I feel so incredibly lucky to be able to say (with total honesty) that I genuinely like my in-laws!

When our bank account bleeds money.  Like a severed artery.  With no hope of rescue till January.

When I remind myself to take stock and count my many blessings.  The past 18 months have been one wild, amazing, bumpy, and beautiful ride.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

The Hair Edition:

I can't believe you are making me wear my hair like this.  Oh, the humiliation!

Wait!  I have an idea!

Almost there. Just. Have. To. Pull. A. Little. More...

Got it!

Muuuuuch better!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


*This blog contains graphic descriptions of a family dealing with a nasty stomach virus.  Reader discretion is advised*

Hi, it's me.  I haven't been around much lately, I know.  There's a good reason for that.

What's that smell, you ask?  Sorry.  It's kinda been following me around since last Monday.  It might be the smell of the contents of our fridge rotting since it's barely been touched in the past week.  Or it could be vomit.

Lilah brought us home a little present last Monday.  It was... (in best Price is Right voice) a lovely stomach bug!!!  And when Miss Lilah has a tummy ailment, she doesn't rest until all the contents of her stomach are strewn across our apartment.  Oh, and she also marks the hallway and front steps of our apartment building as her territory too, just for good measure.

So that was the beginning of last week.  I stayed home with her on Tuesday, and the Hubs took the day off to look after her on Wednesday.  It was kind of a relief to go to work on Wednesday knowing that she was starting to turn the corner and her daddy was looking after her.  And once I had showered the vomit out of my hair, I was feeling pretty spiffy and ready to be a speech therapist again, as opposed to playing the role of barf-cleaner-upper I had on Tuesday. 

But apparently I started celebrating too soon.  My first appointment of the day?  An adorable four-year-old boy.  He and his mother rush in, slightly distraught at being 10 minutes late due to traffic.  No sooner do they get in the door then he upchucks in the front entrance/waiting area.  While his mom is busy cleaning him up in the bathroom, someone has to deal with the chunks in the waiting room.  When I saw one of our admin staff members jump right in - with gloves on, of course - and it happened to be her birthday, poor woman - I strapped some gloves and got down to work too.  I'd been dealing with it for the past two days anywayBut that's when I started to suspect that the vomit might be following me around.

Lilah seemed to be recovering, and when neither the Hubs or I had come down with it by Saturday, I figured we were in the clear.  One thing I have learned in my 17 months as a parent is that, as soon as you think you are in the clear for anything, the universe will mock you.  Sunday night I started feeling a little woozy and achy and by midnight I knew I would be calling in sick on Monday.  I may gloss over the details here, because nobody wants to hear about the inner workings of my digestive system, but let me just tell you, this was one nasty bug.  And then of course Lilah, who had been okay for four whole days, randomly puked all over the Hubs after he picked her up from daycare that afternoon.

My many warnings to the Hubs to eat bland food in case he, too, should come down with this horrid bug went unheeded.  The man thinks he is invincible.  Seriously, any reference to illness or injury has him assuring me that he is Wolverine of the X-men.  Sure enough, 4:30 am on Wednesday saw him sprinting to the bathroom gagging and sorely regretting his decision to eat nothing but hummus and chocolate for dinner on Tuesday.

Now it is the weekend again and the Hubs and I are back to gorging ourselves on the rich food of the season.  Lilah, having actually learned something from the whole experience, is still studiously avoiding any food that happened to be in her tummy at the onset of each episode, which, let's be honest, was pretty much all her regular foods and stand-by meals.  Which means she is currently essentially living off mac 'n' cheese and breast milk.

And now, almost two weeks after the whole debacle started, I'm finally starting to shake the vomit smell from my nostrils.  Sweet baby Jesus, I think I can smell the candy canes and gingerbread again!

Got any vomit stories you'd like to share?  Tell me in the comments, and don't worry if it's gross -  I have a strong stomach (most of the time)!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Secret Garden

On Saturday we went to a two-year-old's birthday party in North Vancouver.  It's about a half hour drive for us, and we knew Lilah would probably take a wee nap in the car, as is her habit when we drive anywhere on weekend mornings.  We always try to time our morning outings with her mid-morning nap.  Too early, and she won't nap on the way there but will fall asleep on the way home, which means either a very short nap and a cranky baby, or parents sitting in the parking garage bored out of their minds and wishing they, too, were napping.   Too late, and it will mess up the beloved and lengthy afternoon nap. 

This birthday party didn't start until 11:00am*, so we decided to head to North Van a little early and aim for a 10:00am-ish car nap.  We didn't want to surprise our hosts by showing up egregiously early, so we drove to a nearby strip mall parking lot to wait for the Lilahbility to wake up.  When she did, there was still about half an hour to kill before party time.  I spotted a public garden that was accessible from the mall parking lot and was advertising its Christmas light display.  Of course, this being 10:30am, the lights weren't on, but we decided to check it out anyway.  I am so glad we did.  What a beautiful little gem of a garden, tucked away where you'd least expect it!

*In my old life, I would have laughed in the face of anyone ridiculous enough to utter the sentence "This party didn't start until 10 am," but now it sounds perfectly reasonable to me.  I've already been up for five hours by that point!

Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I am hardly the bubbly, enthusiastic type.  I get excited about things, sure, but I don't tend to wear it on the outside like many people do.  Mine is usually a more quiet type of enthusiasm (drunken exuberance aside).  But lately I find myself noticing the beauty around me more than ever, and just needing to point it out and exclaim over it.  A pretty sunrise on my daily commute to work just has to be pointed out to my carpool buddies.  The moutains with their snowy peaks are just dying to be admired, and none too quietly, either.  I think this has a lot to do with my newfound passion for photography, which was ignited by having Lilah and then receiving my fancy new camera as a gift from the Hubs.  I often find myself wishing I had my camera with me to capture this image or that, and I almost always find myself wishing I were a better photographer so I could do certain moments justice.

A great shot made slightly less great by my penchant for showing too much eyelid.

So when we found this little hidden gem of a garden (or perhaps not-so-hidden, if you live in North Van), with night frost still glistening, I was all, "oooh I have got  to get a shot of this fountain - look how the light hits the water!" and "Ohmygod how amazing is this gazebo? Oh, the vines! And the hanging stars! We need a picture of that!"  I wanted to photograph everything, to remember the beauty of the garden and that moment in time

But Lilah had other ideas.  Having just woken up from a nap, she had been ripped from her warm cozy carseat and thrust out into the morning chill, and no way was she letting Mama put her down.  So the Hubs took most of the pictures.  I decided to go with it and take advantage of the opportunity for a rare mother-daughter photo shoot.

The Oriental Garden, with its pond complete with foot bridge, bonsai trees, and its authentic Japanese tea house was my absolute favourite part. 

This is one of the few photos I took in the thirty seconds Lilah allowed me to put her down. 
Hokey as it sounds, it was truly a magical morning!  And it was that much more special for being totally unexpected.

Have you stumbled upon any hidden gems lately?  Has your camera impacted the way you see the world?  Tell me about it in the comments!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Girl Who Cried Poo-Poo

Lilah has started pointing to her diaper and saying "poo-poo" when it's dirty and needs changing.  Like many moms, I have high hopes about What This Means For Future Potty Training Readiness.  However, she also always says no when asked if she's done a poo-poo and needs her diaper changed.  Toddlers, who can understand them?

For the time being this subject is more like a hobby for Lilah.  We hear a lot about poo-poo even when there is none in the diaper.  She comments whenever the Hubs or I take a potty break.  Her dollies get regular diaper changes, and guests to our home are ceremoniously presented with diapers along with the usual random crap treasures, such as books and teddies and plastic food items.  Our poor cats have been subjected to being chased around the apartment with Lilah waving a (clean) diaper at them and trying to convince them to sit still for its application.  (Walking a mile in my shoes for once!)

Late one afternoon last weekend, we bundled Lilah into the stroller to talk a walk, get some errands done, and pick up some dinner.  She started whining and crying the minute we put her in to the stroller, but she'd been havnig a challenging day, so we didn't think much of it and carried on to see if she would calm down once we were on a busier street with lots to look at.  Three blocks later she was still crying, so the Hubs turned around and brought her home while I carried on with the errands.  Turns out she'd had a dirty diaper and had somehow managed to sneak it past us.  Usually there are obvious signals - much grunting, turning red in the face, and of course the pungent odour.  But this one was sneaky.  I can't say for sure, but there might have been a declaration of "poo-poo" that got lost in the hustle and bustle of getting ready to go.  If there was, it was probably mistaken for general poopy banter rather than an alert as to the State of the Diaper.

The moral of the story?  Don't cry "poo-poo" when there is none.  The villagers won't believe you when you have a real poo-poo situation!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

November 2010 Recap

Amber Strocel does a monthly recap and has invited others to play along and link up. So here's what I learned in November:

1. Daylight Savings is useless to me now.  Those days when "fall back" meant an extra hour to party -in my early twenties- and an extra hour to sleep -in my late twenties- are long gone.  It now means not only waking up at six am when the rest of the world thinks it's seven, but it also entails trying to trick the surprisingly stubborn body clock of a little one.  It took over four days for Lilah to recover from the hour time change!

2.  Baby kisses are highly addictive.

Always have to steal my kisses from her.
3.  A long weekend family getaway is worth its weight on gold.

4.  Apparently meteorologists have the inside scoop on the weather and it is possible for Vancouver to get snow in November.

This was after most of the snow had melted
5. I really need to keep a spare pair of contact lenses and some solution in my desk drawer at work.  Driving home with one lens in your eye is not only dangerous, it's a recipe for a wicked headache by the end of the commute.

6.  The bedtime routine is precious and I'm glad I documented here.

7. Lilah does not enjoy having her photo taken first thing in the morning.

Put. The. Camera. AWAY.
8. Online shopping is totally boss!

9.  Lilah likes to sing, and according to the comments I got on the video I posted (here and on Facebook), she's not half bad.  I wasn't the only one who heard "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" amongst all that jargon!

10.  Attempting to fit into your skinny jeans after applying moisturizer when you're already having a fat day is not only an exercise in futility, it can also lead to self-esteem issues and feelings of worthlessness.  Best to skip the skinny jeans altogether, even if it means fishing something out of the dirty laundry pile.  Stained and wrinkled pants are better than sausage thighs any day.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wednesday of Few Words: Bobs and Lolo

On Friday Lilah met Bobs and Lolo.  They performed a mini concert at the Gap and, after rocking out to their music for half an hour, Lilah was just dying to have her picture taken with them.  Oh sure, she acted all aloof, and she pretended to be totally absorbed in the piece of cauliflower she was munching on, but on the inside she was like a frenzied tween waiting in line to meet Hannah Montana.  Or the latest pop sensation, whomever that may be - obviously I'm not a hip mom, and if Lilah was actually a tween, she'd be all, "Hannah Montana?  Mom, that's like so three years ago!"  Anyway, as children's music goes, Bobs and Lolo's is actually kinda great and I think I could listen to their songs repeatedly without wanting to stick hot pokers in my eyes.  I liked the emphasis on being friendly to the planet, and I found their song "Little Seed" quite sweet and touching without being overly sappy.  If Lilah is a very good girl, Santa just might put a Bobs and Lolo CD in her stocking!


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