Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Baby Daddies

Any man can be a father but it takes a special person to be a dad. - Proverb

Happy Father's Day to my amazing hubby and to my own fantastic dad! The kids and I are so lucky to have both of you. You're kind, compassionate, funny, generous, thoughtful, slow to anger and quick to laughter, understanding, loving, devoted and loyal. I couldn't have ever asked for more in dad or husband and, when I look at my relationship with my own dad, it makes my heart happy to know that our kids will likely have the same amazing relationship with their dad throughout their entire lives.

Thank you for all you do and for being so much more than just a father. You are best buddies, playmates and heroes to your children. You have been with us from our very first cry and have been there along the way to dry tears and celebrate achievements. No matter how old we are, we always find comfort in your arms. We love you SO much and words can't fully express how much you mean to us.

Ash, Miss H and Mr. B

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Look Out, Broadway!

Last week we had a day where we stayed in pajamas all day and relaxed at home. Though we had planned to go to our weekly play group, for some unknown reason Miss H vomited all over herself and the cat a few minutes before we were supposed to leave. After bathing Miss H and the cat and changing into pajamas, this is what ensued:

Clearly she wasn't very sick and clearly she enjoys watching herself perform in the reflection in the windows...not that she's vain or anything. I thought that perhaps this was seizure-like activity but, nope, she was just singin' and dancin' (most of what she says isn't even actual words so, if you can't understand, neither can we). What is even more funny is that she turns the page of her book and then starts the performance over again. I've heard of music that makes you want to get up and dance but I guess the same thing can be said about some books.

In case you think she is as cute as we do, here is the encore performance:

This kid always finds a way to make us laugh and she certainly isn't shy. Just give her some pajamas, a few windows or a mirror, a picture book and let the show begin!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Lizzie Garton Scanlon

Meet our newest family member! She is about fourteen weeks old, has brown and black stripes, is already potty trained and goes by the name of Lizzie.

For the past few months we had been considering adopting a second cat. Our current cat, Elliott, seemed lonely now that the weather is nicer and the dogs, his buddies, are outside for most of the day. He often yowls like he is in pain and, after an extensive (and expensive) workup to check everything from his thyroid to his liver and kidney function, we determined that he is in perfect health. A colleague of mine recommended either having him evaluated by a pet behaviorist OR getting a second cat. After weighing the pros and cons of both (and the fact that a behavioral consult is very costly and doesn't really give you warm fuzzies whereas kittens are initially very inexpensive to acquire and are much more cuddly), the choice was clear. As luck would have it, this happens to be the time of year when homeless cats and kittens are plentiful and, working in a large hospital, we get litters dropped off almost daily.

When discussing what kind of cat we wanted, we knew that our new feline friend would have to meet several criteria. First, he/she would need to be old enough to eat solid food and not have to be bottle fed. Since I still get up to nurse Mr. B several times most nights, the last thing I wanted was to be nursing a kitten AND an infant all night long. Secondly, we wanted a cat that was "complete", meaning no missing parts or major abnormalities. Since the majority of the rest of our herd have special medical needs, I wanted something that was (hopefully) low maintenance. Since returning to work a few months ago, I really have no interest in treating sick and injured animals at home since that's what I get paid to do at the hospital. I want to come home to happy, healthy, low-maintenance canine and feline friends.

While at work a few weeks ago, a litter of kittens arrived. They were found on a busy road and their mother was nowhere to be found. They were healthy, active and old enough to eat solid food. I called Hubby and he agreed that it would be fine to adopt one. I chose a female kitten that seemed vibrant and playful. When I arrived at home, I had the kitten tucked into my coat so she would stay warm and also so Miss H wouldn't see her right away. I told her that I had something special in my jacket and, when I opened it and the kitten emerged, a huge grin spread across her face and she said "A kitten for H? She's so tiny!" When we asked her what we were going to name her, she said "Catty." We vetoed that one and made other suggestions. Finally, we settled on Lizzie. While it's also the name of one of our favorite babysitters, it seems to fit our kitty quite well (and, when we told the sitter, she thought it was funny and was not offended).

A few days later, we were talking about the kitten and Miss H started calling her "Lizzie Garton Scanlon". One of our favorite books is a beautiful picture book called "All the World" by Liz Garton Scanlon. Well, apparently H thought that the kitten needed a middle and last name so she is now Lizzie Garton Scanlon!

Our new family member has settled in nicely and gets along well with our other cat, Elliott, and with everyone else. She is very patient with the kids and, like Elliott, is somewhat of a glutton for punishment and always goes back for more even when they're being a bit rough. While I didn't actually consider these as criteria when choosing the cat, this feisty female is loud, outgoing and full of spunk so she fits right in with the rest of us.

Welcome to the family, Lizzie Garton Scanlon!

Flower Power Girl

Last weekend Miss H was a flower girl in Hubby's cousin's wedding in Toronto. It was a whirlwind trip since we left Thursday evening and made sure that the dress fit and attended the rehearsal dinner on Friday. On Saturday, we awoke bright and early so Miss H could have her hair styled by a REAL stylist (not by mom) and so she could get dressed for photos with the other members of the wedding party. Considering that our sleeping beauty often isn't awake until after 8 am local time, having to get up at 8 am in a time zone that is two hours ahead of us (so 6 am for those of you who, like me, are not good at calculating time differences) was a challenge. However, she rose to the occasion and was perky and chipper for most of the day. However, by the time the afternoon rolled around and it was time to go to the church for the ceremony, she was fading fast. Her adorable 'do was falling out from riding in her car seat, she kept asking to go to the park and I was just praying she would at least make it down the aisle.

While we were driving to the church, she took her flower girl basket filled with petals and stuck her toy meatball in it. She has a toy meatball (acquired from a McDonald's Happy Meal) that, when you push a button, says "The meatball says no!" or "Try again later," sort of like a magic eight ball. She informed us that she would go down the aisle if she could take her meatball with her. Uh, I don't think so. After a phone conversation with my mom who convinced her that it was probably best if she walked down the aisle without the meatball, we arrived at the church and waited with baited breath to see if she would actually make it down the aisle with an audience of several hundred people looking on.

Well, amazingly she was wasn't phased by the crowd and strutted down the aisle and up onto the area at the front of the church where the service was being performed. The other flower girl opted out of standing up at the front pretty quickly but, never being one to give up without a fight, Miss H stood there with the wedding party for a good part of the ceremony and only when she started to sway from side to side and the bridesmaids worried that she was going to fall asleep on her feet did we take her down and let her sit with us in the pew for the remainder of the service.

The wedding was wonderful and Hubby's cousin was a beautiful bride and she has such a fun, kind spirit. Her new husband is a joy and we're so happy that he's now part of the family!

After the ceremony, we went to a really beautiful park-like setting to take more photos with the wedding party. Well, we mentioned that we were going to a "park" and so Miss H assumed we were going to a real park, one complete with slides and swings. When we arrived and she discovered that this was more of a scenic, sitting park instead of a playground, she was sorely disappointed. However, she did find some stairs and proceeded with her trademark hobby of going up and down the steps, over and over. I did a lot of stair-stepping at the gym when I was pregnant with her and I always wonder if that has anything to do with her wanting to go up and down the stairs all the time.

When photos were finished we headed back to the reception. Well, by this time she was totally and undeniably done being a flower girl. Period. She was begging for a peanut butter sandwich, begging for raisins, begging for pajamas and bed, begging to go home. Since she rarely begs and pleads for anything, not to mention bed, we knew she was exhausted. We went to the reception for a few minutes but she was too tired to even walk in with the wedding party when their names were announced so we left after the first dances. We were disappointed to have to miss most of the reception but we knew we had to put the kids' needs first and, having been such a great sport all day long, we owed it to her to let her go home and rest. Mr. B was also a trooper but, by the time we left he was fading fast and his usually cheerful and happy demeanor was gone.

We went back to the hotel, tucked the kids into bed and enjoyed the view from our 15th floor, downtown Toronto hotel suite (that I happened to get for a phenomenal price). Overall, the day was a big success and Miss H was a fantastic flower girl, cousin Pamela was a lovely bride and the wedding was a lot of fun. Congrats, Pamela and Michael, thanks for letting us be a part of your special day and we wish you a lifetime of happiness (and think you should start working on some little cousins for Miss H and Mr. B)!