June 28, 2008


Why, why oh why does this happen?

My DREAM job (ok, one of a few)just opened up. WHY now???? WHY WHY WHY????

What should I do?


1) am I ready to give up my current job?
2) am I ready to give up a year off with my kids - seriously, I'm only 8 weeks into my leave dammit.
3) am I ready to take on such a HUGE challenge?
4) are you kidding me? WHY NOW!!!!!!!!
5) seriously, this is the third time this has happened in the last 6 months... C'MON!


Advise? Anyone wanna go for drinks and offer some wisdom this weekend?

Yeah, right.

Stupid day. I take it back! Grocery shopping with 4 kids is suicide. Doesn't matter if 3 of them are in the free babysitting area - Luci cried almost the entire time, so I had to actually carry her in one arm and push the cart with the other. No way could I just not get groceries - I'm 3 days late getting them as is.

Also, getting $300 worth of groceries into the house and put away when you have 4 kids (hungry kids, by the way, since it took me almost 1.5 hours to do the shopping) begging for attention. I finally managed to bribe Cohen, Lili and Julia to bring the groceries in for me while I fed Luci.

Grr. I'm hot and tired now.

Going to take a big breath and hopefully Luci will sleep so I can get back into my good mood!

It's a beautiful morning!

WOW. Today is the first day that I can remember... yeah, that I didn't HAVE to get up for any reason. J&B were not here, Cohen did not have school or a playdate, nor did Lili, no appointments, NOTHIN! Even Luci cooperated - I fed her at 4:30am, and again really briefly at 7:30. It's now 9am and I just had the most wonderful shower (Luci is still asleep), and today is stretching out in front of me like an endless road.

There is nothing we HAVE to do today, really, until 6:45 tonight when Lili has skating (and Ian's taking her. In fact, Ian has agreed to take all the kids, so that I can go see a movie by myself! - unless anyone else hasn't seen Sex and the City, call me if you wanna come -)

Of course, I will get stuff done - I plan to spend the next hour cleaning house, then at least 30 minutes going through Luci's clothes, then work on our budget a bit, and then take the kids grocery shopping once Julia gets here. After that, though, nothing.

And the weekend - nothing planned. OH how sweet are those words. And we ONLY have our own children to care for on Saturday and Sunday. Granted, Ian will be sleeping all day and at work each night, but I'm ok with that.

I know everyone (myself included) expected me to miss work a lot... but the truth is, I'm happier than I can ever remember being. I love spending this time with my kids. It's hard work - in many ways, harder work than my job ever was. However, the stress level has been reduced considerably - all the logistics of transporting kids to various dayhomes/schools, have to fight traffic every day (that's a BIG one), the politics that come with a small office made up nearly entirely of women... I don't miss those things right now.

I will admit that every day I think about next year, and what the future holds. Should I stay home with my kids? We can do it, if I can find a decent number of music students to teach at home. Should I go back to my job, which I really do enjoy, and which allows me some flexibility to watch J&B and be present at my kids' events? Or should I start fresh and chase some new dreams elsewhere? Maybe part-time only, and take a few students as well? Maybe I should go back to school part-time?

I really want to be able to stay home with the kids, but I'll admit that we've become quite comfortable with our current standard of living, and not to mention our dreams of owning a house in 4.5 years. I can teach, yes, but we all know that teaching music is unreliable sometimes. Students quit! It's hard to get a full studio, and here I would have to teach out of my living room, which is never fun for the family. Plus, teaching would mean that I'd be pretty much unavailable from 4pm - 8 or 9pm, so I wouldn't get to see the kids much anyways, once they are in school.

ARGH I don't know. Good thing I don't have to make this decision today! Such a wonderful day it will be!

Hope you all have an equally stunning day.

June 27, 2008

Might as well go for it

Instead of putting up my "MFM" ad, I emailed my trainer from last year. She's too busy to take me on as a client right now (right before I got pregnant she got a full-time job at Preventous), but referred me to one of her awesome staff members. Lindy, my original trainer, owns a consulting company called FitNut

Anyway, no sooner had I finished reading Lindy's email to me advising that she would refer to me another trainer, my phone rang, and it was the new trainer. I explained my situation to her, and told her I wanted to get back into the groove immediately, and that meal-planning was going to be a major issue (making lunch for yourself when you yourself ARE lunch for another human being is difficult at best). She is a nutritionist as well, so that's great. She said she'd kick my butt, but "nicely". She wants to meet weekly for a month or two, and said I can expect to be working out 6 days/week again. WHEN? I wonder. But I'll find the time. Luckily, Luci takes formula from the bottle really easily (I just had no time to pump, I'm afraid), so on those rare occasions that I leave the house without her, Ian can feed her.

I'm excited, as she promises that she gets really fantastic weight-loss results with her clients. I'll be using an online nutritional program that will provide me with meal plans every day, and a weekly grocery list. It will also track my caloric intake, plus protein, sodium, carbs etc etc. It will provide her - and me - with a weekly and monthly summary report of what I put into my body.

I decided to go with the Lifestyle option again - most expensive, but also biggest bang for the buck. Since I can pay over 3-4 months, it's not that bad. And I figure, since I won't be spending any more cash on fast food, I'll come out just about even after all is said and done. Plus, we'll all be happier and healthier here, which is priceless!

So, there it is. I took the leap. Back to the gym for me, I guess!

Oh yeah - one of the features that I get with the Lifestyle package is a grocery tour - I had one with Lindy before, and it's great. We spend an hour at any grocery store, disecting every food item. My new trainer said that I'm welcome to invite up to 3 people to come with me on the tour - so if you're in town and interested, let me know! It's extremely informative!

Wish me luck...

Devonian Gardens

On Tuesday, Ian and I surprised the kids by taking them out for a Pizza Hut lunch followed by a trip to Devonian Gardens. We even took the train downtown (Julia's first train ride!), which was fun for everyone. You wouldn't believe the looks we got - everyone assumed we had 4 kids - and it was exhausting, but totally worth it.

For some reason i didn't take any pictures of all of the beautiful flowers, or the fish, or the turtles... just these beautiful creatures:

Cohen's Birthday Party!

My yummy and somewhat famous fruit-kabobs (always a hit!)

Cohen on the slip'n'slide! SO MUCH FUN!

Cohen and best friend Jacob

Cohen riding his new bike - thanks Grandma!

Learning to ride a bike (finally!)

June 26, 2008

MFM seeks MFM

I just had to spend $300 on "fat" clothes, cause I threw them all out last year after losing 50 lbs.

I'm SO mad - I knew I'd have to gain weight with the pregnancy, but I didn't expect to gain so much. And it's sticking to me like glue.

I know when it's time to call in the troups though - I just sent a frantic email to my trainer. Time for her to crack the whip.

Wish I had someone to work out with (or hell, even walk with). Was thinking about putting an ad in the community newsletter:

"Just had child number 3, and desperately looking for another outspoken, motivated fat mom to excercise with. Yes, I just called you fat. You know it, might as well face it. Now let's do something about it. We can kick eachothers butts into gear. Email Mary at... "

Whatdya think?

Graduation Day!

today, my little darling boy is graduating from kindergarten. i can't believe how quickly this year has flown by. september seems so long ago - i was just finding out i was pregnant, as cohen began school. my little dude. he has grown SO much this year, and i have to say, i'm so incredibly pleased that i chose to send him to the arts academy. how many kindergarten students do you know who bring home a HUGE art portfolio on their second-last day of school? and the best thing is, it's all relevent - using art to learn about science, math, social studies etc. i love it. the teachers there have such a passion for teaching (they all have to have a degree in the arts in addition to their teaching degree) and it really shows. and the parents - it's pretty cool to see how diverse everyone is - i love that there are parents who drop their kids off in a minivan that has a sex pistols sticker on it. preppy parents, punk-rock parents, hipster parents...etc etc. everyone is represented. and so committed! this school requires a LOT of parental involvement. mandatory volunteering (the students average about 15 field trips per year), various concerts and assemblies, and of course, the "learning contracts" in lieu of homework, all of which require parental participation. yes, the parents have to help with all homework, and there is a contract that each parent must sign for each assignment.

i'll admit, it's a pain sometime. who know a kindergarten student could have so much homework???? but it's been great.

and now he's all done. next year, he'll be gone all day. it's pretty amazing - i look at luci, and then at cohen, and i'm amazed that we've come so far. he's such a great little guy - always helpful, always kind, tries to make everyone laugh or smile whenever he can. such a sensitive soul too.

kindergarten was one of my favourite times in life. i remember it well, and i hope he will as well.

congrats, cohen, we love you!

June 21, 2008

More pictures

Some pictures of Lili, Jaedyn, and Julia.

Fun in the sun

I love living where we live. Today, I sent the kids outside to play at 9am. My next door neighbor fed them lunch at noon...they briefly came inside for a snack at 3 or so... and then they ate dinner inside (took them about 4 minutes), but dessert outside. I finally dragged them indoors at bedtime, 8pm. LOVE it. That is so how I spent my childhood, and it thrills me to no end that they are outdoors, playing make-believe games and chasing eachother around the swingset. They are already super-tanned (hey, I do the sun-screen thing diligently) and look healthy as can be. Lots of mosquito bites already (damn things), and a glorious amount of scrapes and bruises.

Healthy, happy kids. I love it. I spent several hours today and yesterday outside myself, sitting on a lawnchair on my front lawn, baby in arms, enjoying a beer and some girl talk with my neighbor. Every once in a while one of us would have to get up and sprint after one of our children, but ultimately, it was pretty relaxing.

I love summer.

Here are a few pictures... I think, ultimately, that I'm going to use this blog as "the" blog for all three kids, not just Luci anymore. I rarely get the time to blog anymore (Luci fell asleep 45 minutes earlier than usual tonight, hence this post. Hmm, I should be folding laundry!), so merging them into one blog makes more sense!

Big blue eyes:

Meeting my cousin Nancy for the first time:

Pretty in pink:

Meeting Ian's EMT Instructor (and my dear, dear friend) Gray:

June 20, 2008

First Smiles

She's a smart girl, our Luci. She started smiling earlier this week, and it's a good thing. We've been rather frustrated... not with her, really, but on behalf of her. She still is not feeling well, and is still really congested, which means that from about 4am on, she gets pretty cranky. This means I'm cranky pretty much all the time.

I would love to take her to the doctor and see if we could get her suctioned again, but to be honest, I just haven't had the time. She has an appointment next week, I'm sure we'll survive until then.

Things are winding down in other areas. Cohen's soccer is done, as is Lili's ballet. She still has skating for 2 more weeks, and Cohen starts swimming lessons in July. School is out for Cohen next Wednesday - which worries me a little. It is fairly easy caring for the 3 girls, but whenever Cohen gets home, trouble starts. He is constantly "bored", and I feel SO bad for him being the only boy. Of course I'm still stuck on the couch for a good part of the day, nursing, so there's not much I can do to help him. Poor guy.

This week our big event is Cohen's birthday party, which is on Sunday. I'll admit, I'm freaking out a little bit. Luci is much fussier these days, and I'm not getting much done. Ian is on nights tomorrow and Saturday, so he won't be much help getting ready. My mom is out of town at a reception that I would LOVE to be at, but there is just no way. I was also really hoping to make it to Red Deer for a birthday party, but I just can't, which sucks :( sorry Crystal! So I'm on my own, and I'll be honest, I haven't even bought all of his presents, let alone goodie bags, decorations and groceries. And cleaning the house... HA. Luckily, it is supposed to be gorgeous out this weekend, so I will usher everyone outside.

Oh well, one way or another it will happen, and most likely Cohen will be so excited to have all of his friends over, he won't notice.

Ooops, there's Luci, gotta run!

June 14, 2008

1 month old!

can't believe it. next thing i know, she'll be in kindergarten! it has been quite the month. we are now in full swing - and we're getting our routine down. she usually wakes up around 6am, and if i give her a quick feed, she'll lie quietly with me for another hour. up at 7, coffee for me. empty the dishwasher, make breakfast for cohen and lili. wake them up at 7:30. get them fed, dressed, wipe down counters and table. feed luci again. get luci into her carseat, shoes and jackets on lili and cohen. leave house at 8:30. drop cohen off, go pick up julia for 9am. take julia, lili and luci with me as i run errands - usually grocery shopping, the library, or shopping for gifts (we average a birthday party every week, this is ridiculous). today we went grocery shopping, and it didn't go as smoothly this time - the kiddy corral for lili and julia wasn't open (ack!), and luci got cranky, so i was walking around with luci in one arm, pushing the cart with the other, and asking lili and Julia to put the groceries i selected into the cart... exhausting! Anyway – after we run errands, we usually race home to drop off our treasures and i will feed luci while the girls go outside to play. Then, we’re back in the van again, off to pick up cohen at 11:45. Next, i usually send the kids downstairs so that i can make lunch. Luci usually has a prolonged nap at this time – 2 hours. While the kids are sitting down and eating, i’ll prepare a snack for the afternoon, sweep the floors, mop if it’s needed, and start getting dinner ready. When the kids are done lunch, i send them back outside to play, or if it’s rainy, i’ll put in a movie for them. Luci will wake up and while she enjoys her lunch, i’ll enjoy a cooking show or two on tv and a much needed 30 minutes off of my feet. Then she gets bouncy chair time, and i get going on the laundry. I can’t believe, by the way, how much laundry 5 people generate. I’ve started going through everyone’s dirty laundry, and if it isn’t REALLY dirty (visual dirt and/or bad smell), it goes back in the closet. Shh, don’t tell ian. I still do 1-2 loads every day. And i’m always about a load behind. Sigh. After laundry, i get the kids at the table for their afternoon snack, followed by a piano lesson for one of them and a craft for the others. We rotate days for the piano lesson, of course. Then, amazingly, it’s usually around 4:30, and we all collapse onto the sofa and watch some well-deserved cartoons while we wait for ian to get home and/or parents to come pick them up. Dinner follows, then playtime and swimming/skating/soccer/t-ball or whatever lessons that we have scheduled for that day. If ian’s home, 7:30 is ME time. I get one hour. I usually use it to take luci for a walk. I LOVE the walk. She’s quiet, i have my i-pod loaded with either classical music, 80’s tunes, power ballads or WHATEVER i want. No screaming kids. No “why, mom?”s. No pouting. No whining. If i don’t take the walk, i will typically hand off luci to ian, and take a bath. When he’s working nights, of course, i don’t get my hour. And that’s tough. I find it really difficult on those nights.

In the next few weeks, i have to start finding the time to work out 2x per week, plus 2 nights of swimming as well. I have to do it – i have to allow myself to be a priority for those times. I just can’t imagine it. I barely have time to pee these days! Sometimes i forget to feed myself lunch. I’m probably drinking too much coffee too. Well, 2 cups seems like too much!

During my walks, i’ve been doing a lot of thinking. On one hand, i am absolutely LOVING staying home with the kids. I had so much fear about whether or not i could handle it – and now i’m certain that not only can i handle it, i can do it really well, and enjoy myself too. The kids are happy, and my house is clean for the first time in years! Today i actually made BOTH banana bread AND cookies – from scratch! The thing is though – i feel like staying home for one year is only going to give me a taste of what i can do. When luci is 1 year old... that is just when it starts to get really fun and rewarding. It seems like such a tease to go back to work then. I have other options of course – i could start teaching again, and stay home. I could go back to school... i just don’t know. And i don’t want to wait to decide – because i know this year will go so quickly. It’s not even a year anymore – 11 months only!
Ohhhh what am i doing, messing with my schedule by typing this. I just realized that i have to get up at 6:30 for when j&b are dropped off in the morning. Then i have to get lili ready for her ballet recital – which i THINK is at 10am (her class is usually at 9:15 but one of the parents last week told me it’s at 10 this week), and pick up Julia. After the recital, drop Julia off, go home, wrap all of julia’s birthday presents, make lunch, wake up ian, take cohen and lili to julia’s birthday party.
Ian is off sat/sun/mon/tues – and i think i may ask for a morning off. Go see a movie by myself or something. Go sit in a hotub somewhere (ha, yeah, cause my bathing suit fits SO well).
I should be asleep. My brain is mush. I must be crazy to take on this much... but what’s really crazy is, well, i’m happier than i’ve been in a long time. I love my kids, i love my husband, i love being a mom and i can tolerate being a wife ;)

pics later. sleep now.
ps - started to write this post this morning at 9:30am. finished at 11:22pm. nice.

June 11, 2008

4 weeks old (almost!)

luci is 4 weeks old tomorrow!

and boy, has it been an interesting week. luci is still sick - she gets so stuffed up at night, and the saline is no longer effective. i feel so bad for her, but hopefully it will clear up on its own in the next day or two - i don't want to have to take her back to the hospital for more suctioning!

just when i thought things couldn't get more difficult, ian came down with the stomach flu. yesterday he was teaching at the school, and luci slept all day, so i managed to get a solid 8 hours of cleaning done. no kidding. laundry, floors, cleaning out the cupboards, going through the kids' clothing, etc etc. it seemed like it was going to be such a great day... and then ian came home sick. i quaranteened him in our bedroom. however, this meant that i had to care for the 5 kids by myself last night, which is difficult, especially when luci isn't feeling that great. and since she slept all day, she was pretty cranky from dinner-time on.

it was chaos! my friend crystal came for a visit, and it was great to have adult conversation again, even if it was with kids racing around us, shrieking!

after i got everyone in bed, luci and i hung out in the living room, watching tv (me) and eating (her). i decided that i had better sleep on the couch, so i brought her bassinett out here and settled in for the night.

not a great sleep. i've been up since 4:30, which is when luci started getting really stuffed up and miserable. so i'm pretty exhausted, which is probably why i agreed to let cohen stay home from school today. it's pouring rain (which i love) again, and getting all 3 girls out the door to drop him off and pick him up again in a few hours... well, that seems to be more than i'm willing to do today.

in other news - ian got a new tattoo this week. i love it - it is the cover of a leonard cohen album, in honour of cohen (the kids, not the musician). now it's my turn...i haven't even thought of what i'd like yet. no clue.

and, as usual, here are some pictures of little luci...

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ps - took the whole family to see kung fu panda on sunday - AMAZING movie. ian and i loved it. the kids liked it too! ;)

June 7, 2008

Adventures at the Hospital!

just when i think i can't handle anything else...

yesterday, luci seemed to be doing ok for the most part. she was still stuffed up and seemed a little cranky, but that was all... until around dinner time. i started noticing that she was becoming more lethargic, and then i noticed that she had diahhrea, which is really, really bad for newborns. after her 3rd diaper change with the runs, and when she started to refuse to eat and seemed to have trouble focusing on my face, i called health link.

usually i like health link. despite the thousand questions they have to ask, i typically trust their advise. this time, not so much. they told me to make a saline to drop into luci's nose - which was fine, but it takes a while to cool boiled water! so i never actually got to that part. they told me to go to this after-hours clinic, and said a nurse from the clinic would phone me right back with an appointment time. this was at about 7pm. well, when the "nurse" called me, she barely spoke any english and kept calling luci "laci". she also told me i "had" to come in right away, as they wouldn't see me after 8. i hung up, called ian at work, and he advised me to go directly to the childrens and he'd meet me there.

i knew she was ok... but i also knew that newborns go from being "ok" to being really NOT ok very quickly, so we decided not to take the chance.

ian's partner dropped him off and i met him there. we got through triage immediately (miracle!) because of how young luci is. we didn't wait at all, really, and actually saw the doc before we even saw the nurse! he ordered "deep suction" for her, plus tylonol and pedialyte. the deep suction was truamatic to say the least - a respiratory therapist came, and had to insert a catheter into each of her nostrils while a nurse held her still (no easy job). she screamed like crazy - and cried real tears! it was horrible - ian and i just sat there holding hands and trying not to cry. the good news was that it worked - she had a really bad blockage that they cleared up, and she was happy as a clam after that. although, it took a few hours before she stopped taking those horrible, heartbreaking shuddering gasps.

immediately after the suctioning, she fed (yay!) and we were able to go home. she had a good night (for once, i was happy to wake up and feed her!). she was congested again this morning, but ian snagged some saline for us to use to help break up any blockages this time around.

i was also really relieved when ians superintendent came by the hospital to check on us - and to give ian the rest of the night off. very nice, and great to have ian awake today!

so there's our first adventure at the hospital with luci. lili had her first hospital visit at 3 weeks as well.

we're home now, and doing much better, she's been feeding all day.

whew! SURELY we'll have an uneventful week now...right?

June 5, 2008

Just call me "Martha"

Most efficient cold ever. Yesterday it progressed to a chest cough, and today it's pretty much gone. Doable! I can manage that. Poor Luci is still not feeling great, but I'm sure she'll be much better tomorrow.

We had her 3 week appointment today. She's perfectly healthy, and has grown 1/4 inch in length (22.75 inches) and is a whopping 10.2lbs! Go Luci!

As for me - I have to go see a Neurologist in a few weeks! Scary stuff! They are very concerned that I still have no feeling in my 2 fingers. So as soon as they can get me in, I'll probably have a CT scan. Probably the same week I'll have my ultrasound for my spleen. Fun fun! Can't wait for the end of June! (Sarcasm intended).

In other news - I'm enjoying my new role here at home. I'm happy to have control over how clean (or not) the house is, and I REALLY like that I can make the kids healthy snacks again, as opposed to packaged crap. Here, for instance, was their snack yesterday:

I love doing crafts with Lili and Julia while Cohen is in school (Luci permitting), and I've started teaching all 3 kids piano as well. Now that I'm feeling better, we'll be adding daily walks to the park as well.

I'm feeling, could it be? Content!

Next week I'll add some more fun to the schedule - workouts, 5-6 days per week. I have to get back into it. I'm not fooling myself - it is going to be much harder to lose the 50lbs I gained (yes, 50) this time around. However, I'm giving myself 9 months to do it. Starting with lots of walking and 1 or 2 workouts per week for the first 2 weeks - then adding another workout for the next week, and then finally adding swimming back into the program (I can't WAIT!)... and my goal is to be back at the actual GYM by mid-July.

Here's a picture of darling Luci and her cute outfit - including adorable shoes!

June 3, 2008

I am not an all-you-can-eat buffet!

what a crazy weekend. we had all 4 kids for the weekend, and boy, were we busy.

friday night we went out to celebrate (ha) my birthday... it was all right. i was feeling somewhat under the weather, and as usual when that happens, i got rather, uh, quiet. which, when you're supposed to be drinking (i pumped for 2 weeks just to enjoy this one night out) and partying it up, is rather lame. plus, most of my friends didn't find us at the pub we went to - missed the second floor, apparently! not to mention our waitress... oh god, don't even get me started. i'm pretty sure she actually got fired before we left. i drank more than i dreamed i could - 6 beers and a shot, and never got really drunk. left at 10:45 - LAME! i was tired, though, and honestly, was looking forward to a full night of sleep more than anything, as ian had promised to get up with luci all night.

and boy, was that nice. even though i actually woke up for each feeding, it was still really relaxing.

i also found, going out, that i missed luci a lot more than i anticipated. this might sound awful, but i feel a lot closer to luci at this age than i did for cohen and lili. maybe because i'm actually home with her, all the time. i don't know. maybe because i'm soaking up each moment, because i know it's the last baby. who knows. i missed my other kids too...

i don't know. the night was something of a disappointment for me. i'll have to try again, and soon!

the rest of the weekend was a blur of yardwork, housework, kids, chores and the like. sunday night, though, i realized i'd probably overdone it... as the cold i'd been fighting finally materialized.

and it SUCKS! today i started caring for my neice julia full-time. i also have a sick little luci. it was so heartbreaking last night, every once in a while she'd wake up and give this little shriek of pain, i'm sure her throat felt just as scratchy as mine, plus the headache and runny nose. we had a restless night, us two.

today i managed to pretend like i wasn't feeling like dogpoop. it was my neice's birthday, so after J&B were picked up, i dropped cohen off, picked up julia, took the girls to tim hortons for breakfast, came home, got some chores done, took the girls out for lunch, got some groceries, came home, made cupcakes, decorated them, cleaned up the house (again)... all the while holding a very miserable and fussy baby. poor love.

by the time ian came home, i was done! oh i feel just awful. can't really take anything - the only drugs that the pharmacist said would be ok with nursing, well, they didn't do much. ugh. i am truly hoping that today is the worst of it, and i'll start feeling better tomorrow.

anyways, luci is driving me batty right now... she wants to be nursed every minute, and she's not really eating, just grazing... it's soothing her, i know, but in the meantime, i can't get any rest. i'm dreading tonight. and i can't get ian to help out as he has to work at 6am... yuck. all right. i'd better go and try and get some rest. ha.

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