happy birthday! and other such things

there are two excellent reasons to celebrate today, the first is that it is my mom, jessie's, birthday. that is her up there in the class picture, she is second row from the bottom third from the left. i love these old class pictures of hers that i have. silvija was quick to point out that there are 8 boys and 21 girls in the photo, those are some good odds for the boys. this picture was taken 54 years ago and she still looks just as cute today. so cheers to you on another birthday, i hope you have a great year!

the other reason to celebrate is that today is my second to last day at work or better put, tomorrow is my last day. everyone keeps asking me if i feel excited, but i don't think excited is the word. relieved is closer to the truth, relieved to be taking a little bit off my plate (well a lot actually) and to finally get a chance to sleep in past seven and relax more. things have seemed so hectic lately. as for the spending more time with cohen part, well i guess that would fall under excited, i can't wait! still it will be strange to leave all my co-workers behind and begin my life as a full-time mom, we'll see how it goes.

as for things not worth celebrating today (cause the good always comes with bad), cohen has been quite sick since last friday night and as a result i have had very little sleep and am now starting to feel sick myself. we have been pretty lucky so far with him and sickness, but this one has really knocked him off his feet. i joked the other day that it was the first time i think i have ever seen him without energy, and it is true. lying around on the couch all day whining, sipping his juice, and refusing to eat, he is a ball of sadness. tonight he ate dinner for the first time in 5 days, let's hope he is on the mend.


well hello there, are you new around here?

avner dean
yesterday cohen, silvija and i went and met avner. it was a bit surreal seeing how small he was and trying to remember what life was like when cohen was so wee. i guess my memory isn't built for holding such tidbits because looking back it doesn't seem like it was possible, but it was. soon i will have my own pint size baby again, seeing avner made me start to get a little excited.

i know marita mentioned his head in her announcement, but it looked perfect to me. everything about him looked perfect, including his incredibly long fingers and toes. cohen seemed to take to him alright, although he was mostly indifferent preferring to play with atticus' train. he did come over and rub his head twice while he was crying though (and both times he calmed him down), so that is a good sign. it is a lot different when it is someone elses baby though.

in other news, it has been awhile since we have seen video on the blog so i thought i would share a clip from the video i took the other night of cohen playing the piano. his uncle is a very talented and accomplished musician and he reads the blog...so tell me, does he have a chance?


we had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun

what a great weekend we had. i know, i know, the weekend was a few days ago now, but still, it was a good one. i would have posted earlier but i have been obsessed with finishing a baby quilt for marita's son avner, who was born this past weekend. as it turns out, tonight when i came home to finish the binding my machine died. after some poking and prodding it became clear that my poor little overworked machine is going to need to go see a doctor. i know i could hand bind it, but i just don't have it in me tonight, sleepy and sore i think i will put it off for another day. there is nothing worse than being really into a craft project and then having the rug pulled out from under you though, serves me right for having never taken it in for servicing in the 10 years i have had it.

wait, i was talking about the weekend, wasn't i?

there was so much sun it was easy to forget that it was february. for once the weather co-operated on a weekend that we had a rental car and so we did much frolicking, including a trip to one of our favourite places for some fish and chips on the wharf and basking in the glow of the boats. we also tackled ambleside with it's seawall, and beach, luring cohen with the pleasure of throwing rock after rock into the ocean while he howled with laughter. each day found us home at dinner, tired and rosy from the fresh air but deeply satisfied in a way that only time well spent can give. there was lasagne and homemade chocolate cheesecake and both nights cohen went to bed easy (the toddler bed seems to be hit and miss with the keeping him in it factor, but more on that another time).

silvija goes home a week this friday so it was nice to finally be able to take her out for an adventure with us without snow or rain or the freezing cold. not that i am complaining, i mean at least we don't live here. not that there would be anything wrong with that.


the guessing game

alright, i know it is marginally lame and predictable, but i have decided to set up an online baby pool for kicks. if you feel so inclined go here and enter a guess. to help you out i will tell you that cohen was born 12 days late and weighed 9 lbs 7 ozs and was 21.5 inches long (i think). as for the winner? you will get everyone's respect and admiration, and maybe something better too.


an inch an hour two feet a day

this is my 32 week belly. i can't believe how fast this pregnancy has gone. with maia and cohen i remember being very aware of the time and it's passing, all the anticipation and excitement, but now with cohen keeping me on my toes all day (when i am not at work) i haven't spent much time at all contemplating this new arrival or worrying about "what if's". as i approach the end i am starting to become more aware of it though. pulling out old clothes and cleaning them, making sure i have enough diapers (and being amazed at just how small they are...was cohen really that small once?) and of course the ever present (but never decided) question about names.

the other thing i am noticing now that the end is in site is my serious decline in mobility. i find myself in awe of those women who still go for long leisurely walks right up until the end of their pregnancy, the ones who can run to the grocery store for milk with ease or clean the bathroom without feeling like they just ran a marathon. i am not one of those women. i was doing fantastic until a couple of weeks ago, but now everything is at a snails pace as i waddle my way through my day. i suppose it is the loosening of ligaments and the considerable increase in girth that is tying me tighter to the earth. the frustrating thing is that my mind is still in agile mode, it thinks "let's go get cat food" as if it is no big deal, but once my body gets going and after 4 blocks i feel like i need a seat my mind starts to apologize. this may be overstating it, but not by much. the truth is i am a young woman in an old woman's body these days and it is only going to get worse.

i only have eleven more days of work. my last day is on the 28th, the day before silvija goes back to serbia. i am thankful that soon i will be back home with cohen full time which is really where my heart is these days anyway. it will be nice to take naps and cuddle and paint the day away together, the last few weeks of just us three.


no more monkeys jumping on the bed

wow, that was so much easier than i expected (knock on wood). as you can tell from the picture, we decided to go the bed route instead of the tent. there were a couple of days of serious debate, but in the end the bed seemed like the right solution for us. partly it was because the only store that was selling the tent wanted $100 for it and many reviews had indicated that the tents didn't last, that holes in the mesh were not uncommon. then there was also the fact that sooner or later we are going to have to move him into a bed anyway, he doesn't have the luxury of being one of those kids that stays in the crib until he is three, the new baby is going to need it within 6 months. we talked about how if we do it before the baby then it won't seem like the baby took anything away from him, and many sources sited 8 weeks as enough time to make the transition before the new baby arrives, so we took the plunge and went today and bought a bed.

cohen helped dad put it together, his help mostly involved keeping tabs on the screws and by keeping tabs i of course mean walking around with his mitts full humming with delight. once it was up he quickly climbed on to get a better look and then clapped (cohen's way of saying "all right!"). everything was looking good.

we did the usual bedtime routine, bath, milk, story, teeth and goodnights all around, and then marko set him in the bed and pulled up his sheets. miraculously, he closed his eyes and stayed in place so marko came back out into the living room. as one would predict though, we soon heard the pitter patter of little feet and then a boisterous laugh and clapping as he rounded the corner to say hello. i told marko he was crazy if he thought cohen would just stay put, he said "you never know", and so he held his hand and walked back into the bedroom, helped him back into bed, gave him another good night kiss and then left the room again. it has been twenty five minutes now and there has been no more pitter patter, no crying, no nothing. those of you that are parents may be saying "ahh ha! silence then huh? i bet he is in there pulling all the clothes out of your drawers". don't worry, it was the first thing i thought too, but peeking in i can see that he is still in bed and all is calm.

so that is the beginning, not bad at all. i wonder how this story ends?


a little more red, over here! he said

if you have been perusing the flickr account at all then you know that cohen has been doing a little finger-painting lately. i made him an apron back in november and then went out and bought some tubs of goo and it has been good times ever since. sometimes he gets bored after 10 minutes and tries to stand up and run away with his hands flailing in front of him, looking for a blank white wall, but sometimes he can sit and play with the paint and the tub for an hour or more, painting and then repainting the canvas over and over. today was just such an occasion. he stacked the containers on top of each other "counting" as he went along and then dove into the paper, his elbows covered in crimson and blue as he swayed from side to side making his mark. the final product is what you see up there in the new header, or at least part of it anyway.

i think art is such a great thing to do with kids and ever since he was tiny i have been waiting for the time when he can create. we have dabbled in crayons a little but they don't seem to hold his interest the way paint or pencils do, so tomorrow i am going to go and buy him some pencil crayons and maybe some washable markers as well.

i guess this means that soon i will be one of those moms who has their children's art all over the house (and the blog), constantly exclaiming how wonderful the use of colour is (and it will be, you wait).

don't say i didn't warn you.


smashing apples in favour of flavour

every year for christmas marko and i decide on one large-ish gift for the house to buy for ourselves and then skip the personal gift exchange. it is not unlike our tradition of selecting our own birthday present and then buying it for ourselves each year. i suppose it isn't the best if you love the surprise or revel in the knowing that your partner knew just what to get you, but i am never disappointed and i don't need to stress about what to buy him every year. for us it is a win win. this year i ended up picking our christmas gift and it was a juicer.

for a few years we have had a juicer that worked well enough but wasn't great. it was a pain to clean and as far as efficiency goes it was mediocre. i always coveted the juicer my brother aaron and his wife laisha received as a wedding gift but could never justify the expense, at least i couldn't until cohen came along. now i look at juicing a little different.

cohen, for the most part, is a really good eater. often he eats so much that i have to stop and wonder where he is putting it all, usually this happens at lunch. he is a fantastic mid day eater. come dinner though, he sometimes wanders into the fickle, for no good reason. a casserole he normally loves gets snubbed or his favourite pasta shooshed away in favour of a slice of bread or a handful of grapes. it was during one of these nutrition strikes that i first offered him some carrot beet apple juice, and much to my delight he devoured the whole thing with glee. a new world had opened.

since then we have made a regular practice of fresh juice in the morning on the weekends and still the odd weeknight when he just isn't interested in anything else. occasionally i slip in another vegetable or fruit, once (with disastrous results) i did an all veggie juice that came out a dark green and when offered to cohen was politely declined (the sippy cup handed back to me with a sour look on his face), but for the most part we stick with the abc (apple beet carrot). i think it might be time to shake it up.

do any of you juice, or buy fresh juice on a regular basis? if so, what is your favourite combo? i go to the grocery store and stare at the produce, once even buying some fennel, but i just haven't landed on the right combo yet. i would love for some suggestions...


jumping fences to see what's on the other side

cohen climbed out of his crib tonight. we were all sitting here quietly in the living room when we heard the thud. i knew right away what it was, i had been waiting for it. a few weeks ago i caught him trying to hoist one of his legs onto the railing, but he failed. then a few nights later i saw him try again only this time he managed to get his leg up and onto the bar, but then he didn't know what to do with it and he fell back, resigned to try another day. i wasn't sure if he was ready to make the leap yet, but i was bracing for it. so it wasn't a shock when i ran into the room to find him in front of the crib flat on his back screaming. not unlike the first time he fell off the bed, i was gripped with panic at the prospect of what i would i find when i bent down. now, as in then, as soon as i saw his eyes i knew he was ok though and he stopped crying as soon as we were there, a slight smirk appearing on his face.

i would like to think that it was a one time thing, that we have more time before we have to make changes, but i don't think that's true. now that he has had a taste of freedom and adventure (all at bedtime!) i am guessing that his mission will be to hone his skills silently in the night when we least expect it. given a few more weeks and an abundance of opportunity and he will likely be climbing out with ease. so what do we do? buy him his own big boy bed i guess, as sleeping with us in our queen size bed is no longer a viable option (especially with me 31 weeks pregnant), but then how does that work? do we ask him really nice to stay put and close his eyes, or do we spend the first several weeks lying next to him enduring his fidgeting and poking and prying for an hour or more until he eventually falls asleep and then pray he stays asleep until morning? i guess that wasn't much of a question since the answer is glaringly obvious. and where am i supposed to put this bed? i thought we had time, so much more time. thankfully, despite living in a one bedroom, we have enough room in there for a dresser, our bed, his crib and bookshelf and yes a toddler bed can somehow work it's way into the mix, maybe even a bassinet...sigh. now him and galena can both gang up on me at 3am (which seems to be the magical time for both of them) and secretly sneak over to my side of the bed where they will gently rub their whiskers against my cheek asking me to wake up, and i will because after all isn't that what being a mom is all about?