Thursday, November 29, 2012


I have not been taking photos again. Why? Because with my good ol' Ginger Snap Photography thing I have going "on the side", I have been too busy taking photos of other people's lives than my own. It has been fantastic, exhausting, exhilarating, and I have learned a new term for the word "proud". I am honestly proud of what I have been doing; and I know I can get so much better.


Life here has been fantastic. Aryn is growing up and changing every single day, it's mind boggling. She is learning new words daily and has really taken to trying to speak real words.

The other morning, she asked for "tsht." 5 minutes and 300 "what?!"'s later, I figured it out: she wanted toast for breakfast. And when I said the words, "ohhh, you want toast!" she excitedly exclaimed "YEAH!" and hopped up and down - so happy that mommy understood her.

She asks for Neno (Nemo) 300 times a day. And good ol' Dody (Dory), of course.

Oh and don't forget snow. "Mommy! Nosh!"
Me: "Yes, Aryn - that's snow. Ssss....ssssss...SNOW."
Aryn: "Ssssss... ssssss.... ssssnosh!"
Close enough.

She wants "teeeeeea" in her "cups" every single day, and all of her "babies" have to be in attendance. Cats are now "kitty";s, rather than "meow"'s. Cows are "cows" rather than "moos." She exclaims at every "caw" (car), and "puppy" (she refuses to call Bauer by his name, and only refers to him as "puppy"), and has random names for all of her friends (Anna is "Annie", auntie Cathy is "Annie", Keegan is "Keekee", etc. You get the picture).


And my favourite:

Me: "Aryn, what's your name?"
Aryn: (pointing at herself) "I'm Baby."
Me: "Yes, Aryn, you're the baby. But what is your name?"
Aryn: (point at herself) "Baby."

So we are trying to refrain from calling her "baby" (which we have discovered we do a lot) and referring to her only as "Aryn". All the books say a kid learns to say their name first, usually. Well... if her name was Baby, that would be true for us. And no one puts Baby in a corner.

We also took our family Christmas photos last weekend in a quick 30-second photoshoot with my best friend Aleesha (or, as Aryn calls her, "Sheesha") who snapped my camera for these pictures. While I may not be so happy with how I look, the rest of the family looks perfect so that's all that matters. And, in my pregnant stance, there is no photo I would have been happy with.


Oh, by the way. Baby is doing awesome; very chill, very relaxed, the opposite of its sister. Aryn had a heartbeat of 164 and we didn't get many great photos because she was bouncing around everywhere at every ultrasound. Funny... she's still like that. This kid? It just sits there, chilling in its barkalounger, sucking its thumb, with a heartbeat of 130. Mama was nervous at that heartbeat but apparently it's very much "normal". This is going to be one chill kid. And I am hoping beyond all hope that it is a fantastic sleeper as well. Karma can hit me twice, thankyouverymuch.


Friday, November 16, 2012


I'm pretty amazed so far at the differences between this pregnancy and my last one; Aryn. I'm not saying this means I'm having a boy, and I don't know if it means anything. I know people with two extremely different pregnancies and both kids are the same sex. Every pregnancy is different, and I am not sure what it means.

With Aryn, I was sick until 24 weeks. And I mean, gagging, nauseous, must-have-a-flavoured-drink-with-me-at-all-times-or-else kind of sick. I couldn't pick up Bauer's *ahem* droppings on walks. No one thing made me nauseous - smells didn't bother me; it was just life in general that threw me off. I stuffed my face every chance I got because food = less nausea. I was getting up at 2am to eat a bowl of Cheerios. I was constantly starving. I was taking 2 Diclectin a day, and it helped and I could get through a day just fine. I was exhausted and always wanting to sleep. And, I was ridiculously excited for my impending parenthood.

This time, I'm 12 weeks now and I'm off Diclectin and only have little bouts of nausea. Bauer is no problem... it's random smells that set me off, and when they do, watch out. In the throws of the crazy nausea, I was taking 4 Diclectin just to survive the day. I had never, in my life, been that sick with nausea before - but it only lasted 4 weeks (although it seemed like it would last forever). Smells - anything from cooking beef, to the cows outside, to a weird smell in the furnace ducts, to Aryn's diapers (pee and poop) throw me into a fit of gagging. And food - the less food I eat, the better I feel. The less my stomach is full, the better I can make it through the day. Food is my ally. Yet, the saltier the food, the better I feel. Even now! And I can't sleep; I'm up randomly throughout the night and I can't seem to nap during the day. And I'm terrified of my impending second round of parenthood. I laughed writing that.

I am not complaining; many women wish with all their hearts they could get pregnant and cannot. I am fortunate that we are able to be in the position we're in right now. Pregnancy is difficult for some women. And I envy those women who have beautiful pregnancies with glowing skin and perfect little basketball bellies. In fact, part of me hates them. There; I said it.

In Aryn news, she is a ball of red-headed entertainment lately. She is really picking up on this "speaking" thing, although we still don't understand everything she's saying.

"Wash" is giraffe. (duh!)
"Nosh" is snow.
She calls my dad, "Bob." Not Grandpa Bob; just "Bob."
I'm "Nise." Sometimes, I get "Mommy Nise." Thanks, kid.
"Puppy" is Bauer. She will not call him Bauer.
"Boo" is blue. Although, it seems every colour in the house is "boo."
"Cowsh" is cows, naturally.
"Moo" is her cow toque.
"Vroom vroom" is all vehicles.
"Boops" is boots.
"Carsh" is our car.
(do you see a pattern with the "sh" sound? Haha!)
And we hear lots of "No poops, mommy. No peeps, mommy." This kid does not want to be potty trained.

But she did sit on the floor in the bathroom with the door closed, bare naked, and pooped on the floor. Then, when I opened the door, it pushed the poop all over the floor. It was awesome. I'm still happy about that story. Do you note the sarcasm?

She is hilarious and entertaining. She loves movies, particularly "Neno" (Finding Nemo) - and "Buddy" (Open Season). I personally don't like Open Season at all, but the kid loves the animals. She is also starting to like "Kitty" (Monsters Inc.), which I fully support cuz that movie is fantastic. I wonder if she'd like Bugs Life...... I may have to buy that one. These movies sure help during my "off" nausea days! And while making supper, which I have had to start doing every day since Ryan isn't home until 6 now with his new job.

Let me tell you; I do not enjoy it! And, I have also learned that I am an awful cook.

Again, I have no photos to share. I am really slacking in the photo department. I just can't seem to remember to bring my camera anywhere. Maybe I'm more tired than I thought!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Tea party

Yesterday was an awful day. Aryn woke us up bright and early, and I laid in bed with my eyes closed, and I told Ryan 'today is going to be an awful day.' I was right.

I stood up to go to the bathroom and the world moved from under me. I ended up on my butt for the rest of the day, with cold chills, achy body, and throwing up everything I could get past my lips; including water.

I had the flu shot on Wednesday, and I suspect it was from that. Yes, I got the flu shot. All the anti-vaccine people can give me the stink eye and the "how could you do that?" attitude. I don't really care; I believe in vaccines. Not even 80 years ago, there were no vaccines and kids were killed by crazy diseases like measles and rubella. Guess what? Those diseases aren't around much any more. Why? Because of vaccines.

We got the vaccine is because Aryn gets febrile seizures. But the repercussions of the vaccine were terrible and I will never get another flu shot again.


So this morning, when I woke up (again before 7am thanks to that good ol' time change and a toddler who doesn't understand time changes), I wanted to take advantage of feeling about a million times better by soaking up all the Aryn I could. And she was having none of it; she's bored being locked in the house when it's -20C outside. She's bored playing with all the same toys. She's bored with life and us asking her every 5 minutes, "Do you need to go pee? Do you need to go poop?"

"No poops, mommy. No pees, mommy."

So, in my last attempt to entertain her, I set up a tea party.


And it was wonderful.


We invited her babies... her two red-headed cabbage patch dolls, and her peacock whose face could barely reach over the table.


Aryn poured water for all of them, and gave each an animal cracker... she ate everyone's crackers.


She mostly just played in the water and poured it all over the floor and her babies, but heck... it's just water. These were bona fide memories we were making.


She drank everyone's water, and poured them more. She shoved pieces of cookies in each of their mouths and then stole it back to shove into her own mouth.



And the girls were just as happy to be guests.


It was a great morning of healthy, diarrhoea-and-vomit-free fun.


And while I was too scared to take her into public just "in case" for the Remembrance Day ceremony, we celebrated in our own way. This household is so grateful for all the men and women who fought for us in every war and cause so that we are free and safe in our home. It's because of you that we could have our fear-free tea party this morning. And for that, we are eternally grateful. Lest we forget. 


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pregnancy & Arynisms

There are two kinds of pregnant women. There are the women who get "the glow", who walk through the mall with an excited smile, knowing the child they are growing will one day become Prime Minister. They are the women who take pregnancy photos, of tiny bumps in super tight tank tops and their fingers making hearts over their belly buttons. They are the women who don't look pregnant from behind, and exercise throughout their entire pregnancy. They are the women who have mild morning sickness, and no Braxton Hicks.

Then there are the women, who, about 30 seconds after they see the "plus" sign on the pregnancy test become best friends with their toilet for 3/4 of the pregnancy, who look 8 months pregnant at 12 weeks, who expand in areas they didn't know existed, get stretch marks that look like they were attacked by 300 cats, and curse God for making pregnancy 40 weeks of misery.

I am the latter.

When you know women who just can't get pregnant, no matter how hard they try, it's tough to say out loud that "pregnancy sucks." But... for some women, it does. My friend and I have been texting each other all of our pregnancy despairs. Both of us wanted so many children; neither of us have good pregnancies and therefore will most likely not ever do this again. Ever.


And we walk around the mall, looking at those silly smirking, happy-to-be-pregnant women and secretly curse them with colic and diaper rashes. Because it's only fitting that after 40 weeks of misery, we should get the healthy babies and they should get the children who make them wish they hadn't gotten drunk a year earlier.

But, then, two years later, you seem to forget that horrible 40 weeks and start to think, "I could do this again." Even when you read your previous blog posts about how awfully, disgustingly sick you were, you still think, "I don't remember it being that bad."

So you try it again. And at precisely 6 weeks pregnant, all of those memories from 2 years earlier rush back and, while sitting on the bathroom floor heaving yesterday's supper, you scream at your husband, "I HATE YOU! I AM NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN! EVER!"

And to think I'm sitting here also thinking, "If this one is a girl.... should we have 3 kids and hope for a boy?"

Women be crazy.

But that's not what this blog post is about! It was meant to be about my child, who has become a crazy monster who has devoured my sweet, hugging perfection that was once my beautiful daughter.

You know those kids you see in the stores where you look pityingly at the mother and think, "My kid will never be like that. My child will never speak to me that way."

And then she learns to talk. And she does speak to you that way.

Last night, I asked Aryn if she wanted to have a bath. She excitedly ran to the stairs, while I lay on the floor, contemplating the lesser of the two evil jobs before me: bathe her, or take Bauer for a walk. I lost the bet and had to give her a bath. And she knew it.

"Come here, mommy. NOW. Mommy! Come NOW. Mommy, get up NOW!"

I looked terrifyingly at my toddler. Do I punish her? Do I laugh? Do I just concede?

I conceded. I listened to her demands and I followed her with my tail between my legs. I gots in trouble, and I didn't like it. I had better listen to everything she tells me in the future and always let her tell me what to do.

Today, everything is "mine." The diapers are "mine." The wipes are "mine." My Lululemon still pants are "mine." Yet none of it is really mine; "mine" means "hers." She is demanding it. She is becoming owner of everything in the house. Her poor little friend Keegan's monster trucks were hers. She would not let him play with anything. The paints were hers. Bauer is hers. Everything is hers.

I am scared of her.

But then, the little baby that was at our house for a total of 10 minutes this morning began crying, and Aryn rushed over to her like a quick little bunny, grabbed a blanket, patted her head, and whispered "shhhhhh" to her, and brought her a baby doll to check out. Aryn went from being the Hulk to a mother in 1.3 seconds flat. And it was beautiful, and sweet, and makes me think that we can do this Baby #2 thing. I'll have the best helper ever. Then, Aryn took the baby doll she brought over and chucked it straight across the room and looked at the poor, sweet baby with a look that said, "Ever cross me, and that's what'll happen to you."

My uterus hugged the poor little foetus growing inside and patted its head, with a very non-reassuring, "It sure sucks to be you."

It sure will, little one. I'm scared for you, and I'm scared for us.

Send help.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

The last few days...

Nothing much has happened the last few days, and I have no exciting stories except...


I thought this time was so much worse than when I was pregnant with Aryn. But, as I'm going through previous blog posts from when I was pregnant with Aryn, I've come to realize: I was super sick with her. There are major differences: like with Aryn, I couldn't stop eating. This time, the more I eat, the more nauseous I am. With Aryn, smells didn't bother me, only picking up Bauer's poop really got me. This time, smells, sights, food in general throws me off. With Aryn, it lasted about 22 weeks. This time... I don't want to think about how long this will last.


I truly thought I was not this sick with Aryn, and I'm a little discouraged to read that I truly was extremely sick with her. I remember figuring it out with her: bringing a bottle of flavoured water everywhere with me subsided the sickness, and got me through the day; and snacking always made me feel better. But I haven't figured out anything yet this time that makes me feel better. The only thing I have been able to eat in the last 2 weeks is peanut butter and banana on toast. Breakfast and supper... (I can't eat at lunch).


Some women have easy pregnancies, and go on to have more kids. Maybe this is nature's way of keeping the red head population at bay; make the mom's of redheads super sick so they never want to have another baby again. It's working, Mother Nature. It's working.

Regardless of the sickness, and the grumpiness that has come with it, and the very limited patience that I have, everything is going well. We haven't gotten to the "we're excited about this" stage yet... in fact, with many of our friends on to baby #2, we're terrified of that first year again, of no sleep, poosplosions, constant crying for no reason, etc. But we're also excited for all the wonderfulness that comes with a baby. A sweet, cuddly, perfect baby.

I just hope to never do this ever again. Ever.



Thursday, November 1, 2012


Last year, our feet were cold. We were wearing hoodies and 2 pairs of socks. The grass was green, there was no snow. Last year, our kids could barely walk and we had to carry them all to the doors, and we had to call out, "Trick or treat!"


This year was literally, word-for-word, the opposite of last year. We were cold all over. We were wearing winter coats, snow pants, boots, toques and gloves. There was over a foot of snow on every front lawn. And the kids walked up to every door, some called out "Trick or treat!" themselves.


If only it were warmer, I would have loved this Halloween so much more than last year. The kids were adorable, all dressed up in their super cute outfits, pretending for one day to to be an animal or superhero. They were proud of their buckets of candy, and loved going to each house, only to be given more. This year, they got it. They enjoyed it, and they froze for it.




I can't wait until next year!

Aryn went out with her little friends from baby group, and once again, I was reminded just how lucky I am to have such an amazing group of women to raise our kids with. We had a great time, and I learned three things:

1. Next year, bring a larger bag to dump the bucket of candy into.

2. Do NOT, ever, bring Bauer again. Ever.

3. Just let the kids walk. No more wagon.

2013 Denise: read those 3 posts. Even when you buy Bauer yet another super cute Halloween costume, do not bring Bauer. He barks and freaks at every house and person. DO. NOT. BRING. BAUER.


But we had fun. Ohh, did we have fun. So many rosy cheeked smiles, so much high-energy from the sugar rush. Aryn literally ran around the carpet in our living room 15 times in a row, after eating way more than her fair share of candy.



And thank you to all the parents out there who gave peanut-free chocolates. My baby thanks you.

Happy Halloween, all!