Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Return of SuperDad

While I was enjoying myself in New York City this weekend my husband happily donned his SuperDad cape once again. I'm in no way implying Shaun isn't a terrific dad every day, but anyone who has taken on the sole responsibility of a small child--not to mention three of them--for three days straight, with no relief, knows it takes a little extra preparation and patience to make it through with your sanity intact.

Here's what SuperDad did this weekend:
  • Dropped Kyle and Natalie off at The Little Gym, and managed to pick them up three hours later
  • Went grocery shopping with Brandon
  • Dropped shirts off at the dry cleaners
  • Put the trash out
  • Mowed the lawn
  • Took all three kids to the playground--twice
  • Changed the sheets on Natalie's bed when she had an accident--twice
  • Did laundry--at least twice
  • Made up the bed that Shaun's mom is sleeping in while she's here
  • Made up the bed that Kyle was going to sleep on while Shaun's mom is here
  • Stayed up late at night working on the all the stuff he would have been doing at work if he wasn't at home all day Friday
I was really impressed that my husband managed to accomplish all of the above.

I was also a little amused with Natalie for giving Daddy a taste of what it's like to have to change and wash sheets constantly, but I wish she'd done it in the middle of the night instead of during naptime--nighttime sheet changes are way worse than naptime sheet changes. I'm sure SuperDad would have handled it, but he would have been sleepy and annoyed.

Thanks, Shaun, for giving me a weekend away. And thanks for making it easy for me to go since I always know the kids will be well taken care of. Since you still maintain that staying home with the kids is more fun than going to work every day maybe you won't mind if I leave a little more often? Or how about we try a week next time? ;)

Friday, July 24, 2009

I Am SO Out of Here

Dear Kids,

Mommy has decided that she needs some adult time, so while you are screaming over your breakfast this morning ('Pancakes. No, a granola bar. No, yogurt. No, pancakes. But no syrup. Daddy, where's my syrup? I always have syrup on my pancakes.') I will be leaving for the airport where I will catch a flight straight to Newark and join a few friends for a kid-free weekend. I wish I could take Daddy with me, but someone needs to stay home with you little monsters darlings, and so far we have no other takers.

I know it's hard to imagine that I can survive three days without seeing your chocolate-smeared, sand-encrusted precious little faces, but I must try. For my sanity, I must try. I will do my best to drown my sorrow in gossip, shopping, and alcoholic beverages.

Please feel free to treat Daddy to all your usual annoying demands amusing habits.

I love you, I'll miss you, and I'll see you on Monday!

Love, Mommy

P.S. Remind Daddy that Saturday night is 'Game Night', and be sure to request Monopoly Junior. He hates loves that one.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My Baby Has Turned Into a Little Boy

I think it happened sometime this week. This would make the official age at which Brandon turned into a little boy 15 months. Why am I all of a sudden asking this question? Because following is a list of just a few of the things I've had to deal with over the past three days:
  • Brandon tried to eat a snail in the backyard. Until now he'd been sticking to sand and weeds, but now he's moved on to snails.
  • He climbed onto the dining room table, sat in the middle, and poured lemonade all over himself.
  • He painstakingly dripped every drop of milk from his sippy cup onto my couch (thank you again to the person who invented microfiber).
  • He came up from the playroom, ran circles around the entire house three times while laughing, and then went back downstairs. I think he was just screwing with me.
  • He has started shouting, "AAAAGGGGHHHH!" at the top of his lungs at random moments throughout the day, just for the reaction it gets.
  • I caught him sliding down the stairs feet-first, on his belly, as fast as he could make his chubby little belly bounce over the stairs.
  • When spotting donuts this morning he shouted, "I want dat!"
I cannot take my eyes off of him, he's tireless, he exhausts me, and he's adorable! My crazy little boy.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Terra Nova Roadtrip | Days 4 & 5 Recap

or 'Gander Schmander'

First let me say that I mean no disrespect to anyone living in Gander, anyone originally from Gander, or anyone who has driven through Gander and believes it to be an amazing tourist destination, but I was not impressed.

We decided to spend the fourth day of our trip in Gander, however, there was only enough to do in Gander to keep us busy through lunchtime, and even that was only because we drove around for awhile trying to find something else to do in Gander other than visiting the North Atlantic Aviation Museum. We did visit the museum, and it was interesting but small, and my children have the attention spans of, oh, let's say rat terriers.

After our quick tour of Gander we decided to head back to Pinetree Lodge for our bathing suits before an excursion to Sandy Cove Beach. Sandy Cove was beautiful, and the kids had a great time playing in the sand and water.

Since this was the last day of our vacation we even decided to head back to the national park to go on a short walk after dinner.

Phew. Just writing about our trip tires me out. I almost wish I had something entertaining to tell you about our drive home the following morning, but it was fairly painless. We really did have a good vacation--the kids had fun, Shaun and I enjoyed seeing some more of Newfoundland, and I don't think it was any more torture than doing anything else with three small children would have been. Having said that, I'm really looking forward to our beach vacation in a few weeks because Shaun and I plan to throw ourselves on the mercy of our family members and let them entertain the kids as much as possible.

The End.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Terra Nova Roadtrip | Day 3 Recap

The saga continues...

Day 3 dawned soggy and overcast, but we're honorary Newfoundlanders now, so that didn't stop us from heading outdoors to do some hiking in the national park. We didn't see a single moose, but we did see some moose tracks and a waterfall. We also saw a playground at the beginning of our hike, which we were forced to stop at before we could hike to the waterfall and which we forced to return to after hiking to the waterfall. We also ate our lunch at this playground. I guess we should have skipped the hike and stayed at the playground since we also had to listen to whining about the playground the entire time we were hiking.

The same afternoon we decided to go on a boat tour of Newman Sound. Kyle and Natalie had a great time driving the boat and entertaining all of the eight other passengers onboard. Natalie proved to be a great helper, while Kyle was horrified by the sight of a squid. This is, by far, the most entertaining photo of our entire trip: Classic Kyle.


You can tell that the weather has been really nice for the last ten days--I've been neglecting this blog the entire time. The nice weather finally gave way to rain this weekend, but I had to make up for lost time and catch up on my laundry. I'll try to do better, but don't expect much over the next couple of weeks. A good friend is leaving to go back to Texas in a week, I'm heading to NYC to meet a few other friends this weekend, Shaun's mom is coming to visit, Shaun's going on a business trip, and then we head to the beach in New Jersey for two weeks at the end of August.

Prepare yourselves for continued neglect, but take heart in the knowledge that winter will return to Newfoundland before too long and I'll have nothing but time on my hands--blogging time.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sooner Than Expected

We have an appointment!

I know you're thinking, "For what?!" I was thinking the exact same thing when someone from the Janeway (the local children's hospital) called this afternoon and said they had an appointment time for Kyle. I knew Brandon was supposed to get an appointment for his ear tubes surgery sometime, but what did Kyle need one for? I'm not always a fun mom, but I'm always an attentive mom, and I was wondering which ball I had suddenly dropped out of nowhere until I remembered Kyle's preschool check-up in March. We were told that the public health nurse would refer Kyle to an audiologist for a hearing test, and the nurse was sure they'd be able to fit him in sometime before he started school in September.

Good news. They've managed to squeeze him in later in July--six whole weeks before he has to start Kindergarten and only four months from when they referred him. Go socialized healthcare!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Terra Nova Trip | Day 2 Recap

Now for more of my Terra Nova tale... I'm sure the suspense has been killing you.

We drove to a tiny little town called Salvage where we hiked to the top of a hill to see this view:
We weren't planning to hike in Salvage, so Natalie and I were wearing flip-flops and shorts, and that didn't work out so well, but what else were we going to do when we got to Salvage and learned that the Fisherman's Museum wasn't open yet for the season? At least I remembered the bug spray. So what if Kyle got stuck on a branch and ended up knee-deep in some mud while Shaun and I tried really hard not to laugh at him? Those are the moments that make family vacations!

From Salvage we backtracked to Eastport Beach, where the kids managed to soak their clothing in ocean water that was about 45F. Sand beaches are hard to come by in Newfoundland, and Brandon was totally confused by the grainy stuff getting all over his feet.
After some lunch at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant that served a very decent burger we made our way to Family Funland. We paid entirely too much for the kids to play some mini-golf (hit the ball as many times as they wanted and used their feet to kick the ball into the hole, Natalie) and look at about three rabbits (petting zoo), but Kyle and Natalie completely loved it.

After dinner we decided to head into Terra Nova National Park to check out the Marine Interpretation Center. There was a huge touch tank, and even more importantly, there were crayons. It didn't matter that we brought crayons with us on our vacation. It didn't matter that there were starfish to touch. My kids wanted to color! Shaun and I didn't mind because we had really only decided to head over to the park because we couldn't bear to spend the time between dinner and bedtime in our tiny little cabin with the kids climbing all over us. We even drove up to the top of Blue Hill while we were there to catch another stunning view.
It was a long day, but it was fun, and the beauty of this place we have temporarily adopted as home constantly amazes me. We managed to thoroughly exhaust ourselves--so much that we were sure the kids would fall right to sleep when their little heads hit their pillows. They did fall right asleep--after another battle exactly like the one from the night before involving hair-licking and feet. At least I was so exhausted that I didn't even notice Brandon's snoring when I finally got to put my little head on my pillow.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What's Up With This Weather?

Um, check out the weather thingy to the right. Does that say what I think it does? Frost warning? Seriously? In July?

And check out the temperature. 7.8C. And now put that into the handy-dandy temperature conversion thingy I have provided directly below the weather thingy. 46F.

July 7, and I am freezing my butt off in 40-degree weather, and there's a frost warning for tonight! I swear if there's snow on the ground in the morning I'm leaving.

Terra Nova Roadtrip | Day 1 Recap

I have decided to pace myself as I tell you the tale of our vacation.

Canada Day dawned rainy and cool last Wednesday, and we decided to get our act together, put the kids down for their afternoon naps a little early and then head out to Terra Nova. We anticipated a 3-hour drive filled with the usual infighting and complaining, so in a fit of strategizing I had Shaun move Brandon's carseat to the third row of the TrailBlazer next to Natalie's carseat and put Kyle's booster in the second row. I'm pleased to report that this proved to be a brilliant plan in diffusing our usual Kyle-Natalie conflicts. What we did not anticipate was the nerve-wracking shriek that Brandon managed to perfect over the course of 3 hours and the fact that we would not be able to reach him to hand him sippy cups, snacks, toys and dropped books. Oh well. You wouldn't believe how loud the radio in my car can go.

We arrived at Pinetree Lodge, checked into our cabin, and decided to hunt down some dinner at a place called Whimsicals. The place and the crafts were adorable, but I'm glad I didn't know at the time that every restaurant we would encounter over the next four days would be the size of my living room and that the food would be about the same quality as what would have come out of my own kitchen--frozen then reheated, canned, or just plain ugly. What can I say? We don't eat seafood, and the other choices are a bit limited. But we didn't go for the food!

We went for the scenery, and we went to experience the joy of making Kyle and Natalie share a bed! And what a joy it was. From the very first night until the very last. Our cabin had two bedrooms, so Kyle and Natalie shared a double bed in one bedroom while Brandon slept in his portable crib in the corner of the bedroom Shaun and I were sharing. On top of late bathtimes and bedtimes it would take an hour of ignoring, scolding, pleading, and threatening each night for Kyle and Natalie to fall asleep. Why? Because Natalie loves to torture her big brother, and he makes the best kind victim--the responsive kind.

"Mommy, she's putting her feet on me."

"Mommy, she won't stop talking to me."

"Mommy, she's pulling my ear."

"Mommy, she's licking my hair."

Yes, Natalie was licking Kyle's hair--for no other reason than he found it particularly offensive. And every time we'd go in the room to ask her to stop she'd be on her side of the bed, curled up under the covers, eyes shut, her angelic face and blond ringlets oozing innocence. She's evil, and she's relentless. Every night we put up with this for at least an hour until she'd eventually tire herself out or Kyle would fall asleep, ending her enjoyment of torturing him.

Whew. Day 1 down. I was exhausted, but I knew we were going to have a great time the next day exploring the area and spending some time experiencing Central Newfoundland. I was ready to hit the hay so I could hit the ground running in the morning. I snuggled up under the covers, closed my eyes, and remembered why we moved Brandon into his own bedroom when he was shy of two months old. He snores--loudly. And breathes (a good thing, I know)--deeply. And loves to toss and turn in a Pack-n-Play barely bigger than he is. I eventually fell asleep with one thought running through my head... "It's going to be a long weekend."

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Yeah for internet access

I know, I know. I have fallen off the face of the blogosphere. I can only apologize and hope you'll take pity on me when I describe the laundry and unpacking I now face in the wake of our five-day trip to Terra Nova National Park. Mountains and mountains of laundry--imagine three small children, the beach, a national forest, hiking, sand, mud, water, playgrounds, and more wet socks than you can count.

I had planned to blog from our vacation, but I quickly found that 'wireless internet access' isn't always as advertised when in Central Newfoundland. My husband and I both had our BlackBerries--his is the professional version, while mine is the 'you made me move to Canada, so now I want a BlackBerry too', pink, mom version--but they left quite a bit to be desired. There was one entire day when even the BlackBerries weren't working. By yesterday I was getting quite irritable at the lack of internet access. The cabin we were staying in was supposed to have internet access, but what we got was really just enough of a wireless signal to tease us five times a day into thinking we were about to have internet access only to be disappointed.

I can't imagine how my husband must have felt. I just wanted the internet to tend my crops on my Facebook FarmTown and to check my email (one of my friends was supposed to have a baby on Friday, people), but Shaun does real work on a daily basis, so I bet the lack of communication was much worse on him than on me. He handled it much more pleasantly than I did, but I think I may have seen his hands tremor more than once. And I know it was killing him to think of his fantasy baseball teams carrying on without him to check on them.

I promise to blog about our vacation in the near future, but for now I have to go check on my FarmTown. I mean, I have to go do laundry. Stay tuned for my upcoming Terra Nova blog posts.