Monday, January 25, 2010

My Favourite Part Of The Day

When Vaughn wakes up at 5:00 or 5:30, it's my favourite part of the day.  He's always happy, and after I feed him, he just lays there and lets me cuddle him while he smiles and coos at me and most often drifts back to sleep.  I too fall back asleep rocking him.  It's a special time and everyday I cherish it.

Then Vaughn gets up at around 7:00 and I think that becomes my favourite part of the day.  I feed Vaughn his breakfast and then he explores his world still in his sleeper.  He is so full of curiousity and so happy.  It is so amazing to watch this little person we made crawling, pulling himself up and figuring out how things work.

When Vaughn has his nap at around 9-9:30 that's totally my favourite part of the day.  This is a long nap for him so I can either take a little sleep myself or get stuff done.  I usually make some baby food, have a shower and plan the rest of the day.  I love that I can make all of Vaughn's food (except his iron-fortified cereal) and grateful that he doesn't seem to have any allergies or pickiness thus far.

My babe gets up a few hours later and it becomes the favourite part of my day.  This is usually where we go out and do something together.  It could be visiting with friends, go to our baby group, shopping, whatever.  It's so important to us that Vaughn is well socialized, and a big part of that is making sure that he meets lots of new people and is put into new situations as often as possible.  So far, he has yet to make strange and seems to crave social interaction.  I am so proud of my baby and how he handles himself when we're out and about.

Since Vaughn has his afternoon nap while we're out or on the way home, when we get back, it's go go go again.  However, he's a little more tired and needs more of my attention, thus becoming (you guessed it) the favourite part of my day.  You see, Vaughn is becoming more independent and quite a little explorer.  He doesn't need me as much, but later in the day, he's not as well balanced, is a little more reckless and has a few more bumps and whoopsies.  Mostly, I just let him sort himself out because I know he's not really hurt.  But then there are times when he cracks his head into the patio door window and then I know it's a big owie.  He needs his mommy for comfort.  A little kiss to make it better and then he's back on his way crawling all over everything again.  

A little bit of supper, jammies and then in bed by 5:30 and that is for sure my favourite part of the day!  By this time of the day, we're both ready to not see each other for a while.  Vaughn is so busy now and I need a little time to relax before I have to get dinner ready and he needs to recharge so he can do all this over again.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that with my return to the work world coming much sooner than I thought it would, I've realized I have to cherish every single moment I have with my baby.  When I first left to go on maternity leave, a year seemed like such a long time.  Now, it's been 9 1/2 months since I've left and I have no idea where the time went.

I love that little baby more than I could have ever imagined loving someone, and every moment I spend with him is the favourite part of my day.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Beautiful Boy

Yesterday, my friend Jen did a photo shoot of Vaughn.  Jen is just getting started with photography and is specializing in baby pictures.  She needed a few test models and fortunately, I was able to get Vaughn in as a volunteer for her.

Vaughn has a great personality and I thought his disposition would be great for something like this, and I was right.  He only cried a few times and that was when the dog Jen was watching barked (it was a big dog and the bark really echoed in their house). 

There were I think around 200-250 shots taken yesterday and by last night, I received an e-mail of a video Jen had made for us as a gift.  When she posted it on facebook, they made her take it down because of copyright on the background audio.  Then she posted it on youtube, same thing.

I'm posting it here in hopes that people can see the amazing effort she went to.  I appreciate Jen so much and am so glad she is in my life.


Beautiful Boy

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Critical Thinker

Yesterday, I had to go to the dentist and get caught up on some work that couldn't be done while I was pregnant. I actually had an appointment scheduled in August but got a horrible bug and didn't rebook the work until much later.

I love getting my teeth cleaned and always look forward to those appointments. However, I had to get 2 fillings repaired and 1 new cavity filled and I was dreading going.

My dentist told me I had a small mouth and a very powerful tongue. Huh? She told me her hand was sore from having to press my tongue down. Good, I'm glad I could reciprocate.

So, after 3 fillings and a cleaning and having my mouth open wide for 2 hours, my jaw was sore, tongue and cheeks were frozen and I was not a happy girl. I couldn't really eat anything and just felt like a milkshake for supper. So, off I headed to my local Cold Stone Creamery for a cup of icy cold,thick deliciousness.

I got to my usual place and they were out of almost every flavour of ice cream (no sweet cream, no vanilla, no chocolate) but had cotton candy, candy cane and some others that didn't really appeal. I decided to head over to another location that I noticed had recently opened - the Braeside Tim Horton's/Cold Stone Creamery.

When I walked in there, they had plenty of ice cream in all of the flavours - excellent! However, I stood there and wondered for a few minutes if I was invisible. You see, they have a separate line for the Tim Horton's customers and I guess maybe they aren't used to having ice cream customers yet because so many staff just walked on by and after politely just trying to catch someone's eye, I finally spoke up and asked if I could get some ice cream.

The young guy that said he would help me looked frazzled. I told him that I wanted a peanut butter and chocolate milkshake (Tim's order) and a cookies and creme with raspberries milkshake (my order). He had to turn around and look at the menu to see what was in a peanut and chocolate milkshake (because the name alone did not give him a clue what might be in it).

He did not know how to make a milkshake. Okay, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, he's probably new, the ice cream thing is new to Tim Horton's, but he had to enlist the assistance of not one, not two, but three different people to get the first milkshake started. And there were even laminated written instructions on a card. Tick tock boy-o, ice cream melts and I don't got all night...

After much fumbling around, he produced a 3/4 full milkshake and gave me sort of a "ta-da" like I should applaud for him or something. Congratulations, you put chocolate ice cream and peanut butter in a blender. I had to ask him to please fill up the cup - if I'm paying $5.29 for a milkshake, the cup should at least be full. He had to ask somebody if that was okay. Uh, yeah, I'm sure it's fine, considering you still have about 1/4 cup left in the blender that would fill the empty space perfectly.

When it came to doing mine, he did slightly better, only this time he didn't make enough and still had to ask somebody what to do. A manager came over and told him to just put more milk, more ice cream and more oreo into a blender and make a little more.

At this point, I didn't know whether to laugh at this kid or feel sorry for him. And now the point of this blog.

What is wrong with kids today? Why can't they think for themselves? Why are companies programming their employees so they cannot make decisions? When you go to the theatre and ask for something slightly out of the ordinary (bottled water instead of a pop in a combo or to split a large popcorn into two bags) you are looked at oddly and told in no uncertain terms that it can't be done. Yes, actually, it can be done, but you've been brainwashed into thinking that you are not allowed to step outside the box to help a customer.

What bugs me though is that managers always have the ability to step in and do what you want them to do, making them look like heroes and the employees look like schlubs. Companies need to start letting people think for themselves and give a little leeway. Employees need to know they can make a mistake and nothing bad will happen, as long as they learn from their mistakes and don't continually do the same wrong thing over and over again.

I was disturbed that this kid had to ask a question for every step of the process. Had he be trained that he can't think for himself or could he really not think for himself? Either way, not a nice way to live.

I hope that I can teach Vaughn to think for himself, try to figure out how to do something and only if he really needs help, ask me for it. It's hard, because I already have to catch myself just doing things because it's easier. In the long run, it's not going to be easier, because I'm going to have a kid that depends on me for absolutley everything and I don't want that.

Vaughn's only 8 months old and I'm already thinking about these kinds of things, but I guess one has to. The habits we set now as parents are the ones that our children are going to take into the outside world with them, and I don't want my child to be working somewhere someday and getting somebody frustrated because of his inability to make a simple decision.

This parenting thing is hard.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Home For A Rest

Wow! What a whirlwind the past 2 weeks have been. I decided rather last minute to take a trip home to Saskatchewan so Vaughn could see his Gramma and Grandpa for Christmas.

The trip out was great - I left about 5 so Vaughn would sleep the entire time. He had his new carseat so I was not too concerned about his comfort (meaning, I knew he would be comfortable). However, he was starting to get a cold and wasn't feeling the best. At Suffield, he started screaming and I thought maybe I should get a room in Medicine Hat for the night but by the time we hit the city, he was out cold again and I decided to carry on.

We had a wonderful, but terribly short, visit with my parents. They spoiled all of us, but I was especially fond of the sleigh that they bought for Vaughn. I also loved that Mom got up with Vaughn at 5:30 one morning so I could go back to bed. Grammas are great for that aren't they?

I made it back home for a few days' rest, got the laundry all done and then packed up again to get ready for our trip to the West Coast. In typical Kerry and Tim fashion, we couldn't agree on a place to stay in Vancouver so we decided to split our time between 2 hotels. Got to love a compromise.

We left at 1:30 in the afternoon which turned out to be a lot too late, as driving in the mountains in the dark when the roads are wet is no fun at all. We made it as far as Salmon Arm and hunkered down for the night.

Just outside of Chilliwack, I thought maybe we should see if Uncle Tom and Auntie Carol were home and they were, so we stopped in to see their beautiful new apartment, have a cup of coffee and use their restroom. It was a quick visit, but lots of fun. Always nice to catch up with family...

Tim got to fulfill one of his wishes for this trip - to get to our hotel downtown (my pick), we had to drive down East Hasting street in Vancouver. It just so happened at that point in time, I had just finished pumping in the car and couldn't do my bra back up, so there we were, driving down the street, me with no shirt on putting my bra back on. Very fitting.

I loved our hotel downtown. Totally my style - boutique, all suite, very nicely decorated and right in the heart of the action. We had a lovely sushi dinner just off Robson Street and I was able to get my favourite coffee in the world the next day (Blenz Belgian Milk Chocolate Mocha).

It was on that little side trip to get my coffee that made me realize why I left Vancouver.

I've always been a friendly person. I make eye contact with people and quite often will smile. In Calgary, people look back and smile back. In Vancouver, people look down, look past you, around you, beside you, anywhere but AT you. The only person that smiled and said good morning to me was a homeless guy with his whole life's belongings in a sack on his back. I was only too happy to smile and say good morning back.

Then, when I was so obviously excited to be at Blenz, the barista couldn't care less how much I loved their coffee. I was thinking that with the Olympics pending that maybe, just maybe, somebody would have told people in the service industry that people will be coming from all over the world to Vancouver and maybe they should be nicer. Wishful thinking. But seriously Vancouver, lose the attitude, you're not THAT special.

We just got nicely situated and it was time to change hotels. So, we packed up our suitcases, Vaughn's clothes, his bumbo seat, his stroller, his playpen/bed, all his food stuff, his toys, blankets, etc. Great idea changing hotels so much hey Tim? He told me he would do all the lifting, which he did, but man what a lot of work.

Next stop, River Rock Casino & Resort in Richmond. Gorgeous hotel, big room, king size bed. Fab. U. Lous. What was the best was that Laura could come over and spend the day with me and Vaughn while Tim played poker and tried to watch the hockey game.

We had a fantastic day of shopping, cupcakes and topped it all off with the buffet at the River Rock. Yummers.

I was so happy we could stop at the Cole office the next morning on our way to the ferry to Victoria. I was sad a few people I wanted to see weren't around, but we got to see most everyone and Vaughn was his usual charming self.

Off to the ferry, where I had made a reservation ($15.00 each way) to find out that it was not the $45.00 I thought it was going to be, but we also had to pay $13.50 for both Tim and me so it was $72.00 one way plus the $15.00 reservation fee. There better be gold toilet seats on that ferry. Nope. We got some great shots of Vaughn's first ferry ride though.

It was so great to see Peahead and Brad and get to know their little girl Bianca. She's a few months younger than Vaughn but already weighs almost as much as him. She was a very hospitable young lady and didn't mind sharing her toys.

The only thing bad about that part of the trip was that the spare bed Cherie and Brad have wasn't really suited for people of our stature. So, after one night of sleeping with one eye open in case the springs popped and the bed folded in on us, I slept on the fold out couch in the living and Tim stayed in the room with Vaughn. Somehow though, I still ended up being the one who heard him in the middle of the night and got up to feed him.

Peahead wanted to give us a nice turkey dinner but had never cooked one before. So, with a little guidance from me and a little basting assistance from Tim, she produced a fantastic meal. It ended with a perfect blackberry pie, made from her own blackberries. YUM.

The next morning, Tim and I decided we wanted to get a bit of a head start on our long drive home, so we got up at 7 to catch the 9:00 ferry. It felt like we were making a mad dash, but we did have to hurry to make sure we'd make it on time. To help me out, Tim dressed Vaughn.

And this is where the trip gets funny.

We were on the ferry, had some breakfast and Tim went down to get the crib board. I knew we were getting close to the shore and wanted to speed things up a bit so I gathered up all the cards. 4 of the cards happened to be Tim's crib which he hadn't counted yet. After much accusing of cheating, we decided to call it a draw, get our stuff together and head to the car.

Tim went to the men's room, and I picked up Vaughn out of his chair and he was soaking wet from his tummy down to his knees. At this point, I regretted asking Tim to change his diaper and wondered what he had done. I decided to go wait outside the men's room for Tim because he had the car keys and I didn't have a change of clothes. But I thought I could at least change the diaper in the meantime.

So, I found a spot and when I took off Vaughn's pants, I discovered why he was so wet. There was no diaper. And there was poop.

By now, the 15 minute warning had gone off, and there were people milling around, heading down to their vehicles, and many stopped to stare at a chick stripping down her baby in the middle of all this. Tim was able to get down to the car and back up again in record time, we got new clothes on our baby and everything settled with 5 minutes to spare. Now that's teamwork!

And hopefully Tim will remember that changing a diaper means that a new one replaces the old one.

Since we got an early start back home, we were able to make it as far as Salmon Arm again so Tim could watch Canada play the U.S. and I could have a good night's sleep.

It snowed all night in Salmon Arm and I heard the roads were not good so we got going early again. Tim did a great job driving - the roads were icy in spots, definitely wet and the blowing snow from other vehicles really interfered with visibility. By the time we hit Banff, I was ready for a coffee, Tim a break and Vaughn a new diaper. We got all that taken care of and had clear sailing back into the city.

While we didn't have a restful trip, we got to see a lot, found that our baby has an extraordinarily happy disposition and really bonded as a family. I think, however, our next vacation will be one destination for many nights. At least, that's my hope.

For now, I'm home for a rest. Happy New Year everybody!