Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas 2011

Well, this year, Christmas seemed to sneak up on us and was here before we knew it or were ready!

The whole Christmas season was off for me this year.  I couldn't get in the mood to decorate or bake.  Buy gifts or wrap them.  Usually I am chomping at the bit for December 1st to arrive.

I didn't even finish all of my shopping until the Thursday before!

Then is was Christmas Eve and things got interested.   Dinner that night didn't settle for either Brian or I.  By 8 O'Clock, I was in rough shape.  My stomach was in knots and anything but a horizontal position was painful.  By 9, I forced myself to put together everything for the morning and went to bed.

Settling into bed didn't make things better and I ended up spending the whole night in the bathroom.

Brian got up with Hayden at 5 and I told him to just go downstairs with Hayden to see what Santa brought.  At 6:30, they came in to get me.....they had decided to wait for Mommy to go downstairs as a family.  Truthfully, I was WAY to sick to even care!  I made my way downstairs to the couch.  The kids were crazed with the gifts Santa brought.  Even more overwhelmed with the presents under the tree.  About 45 minutes later, Brian came down and said he wasn't feeling so hot suddenly either (COPYCAT).  By 7:45 I couldn't wait one second longer to call mom and dad.  I don't even think I said Merry Christmas...just
"Mommy, I'm sick....please watch the kids until lunchtime?"

It was the LONGEST 15 minutes! waiting for Dad to come and pick them up!  We didn't even dress them, just through stuff in a plastic bag.  Brian was on the couch, and I was in the rocking chair, watching for the truck.  We kept saying back and forth..."do you see your dad yet?"

FINALLY he arrived, I told Hayden to open the door, waved goodbye and said thanks!  I crawled into bed and didn't wake up until about noon.   Dad brought the kids back home, declaring he and mom were done having kids and left (for his own nap I presume!)  Abby went for a nap, I left Hayden with his new toys and went back to bed.

At about 3ish, we were all up and I was starting to feel a bit hungry.  Our Christmas Day dinner consisted of soda crackers and toast.

We had a wonderful Boxing Day dinner at our house and feel pretty good now compared to where we were a few days ago.

I'm sharing a few of our adventures from Christmas Eve on, Christmas Day excluded, I didn't take one single picture that day!

Christmas Eve in their new jammies and matching chairs!

The kitchen Grampa made, complete with "granite" counter top

Brian's been working on his rink and Hayden's been working on his skating

Abby played dress up with her Princess stuff from Gramma

And finally,  Daddy played restaurant with Abby

Friday, December 23, 2011

Please, Have A Seat!

This is a story about a chair!

Space for one little bum to have all for themselves!

When I was little, I had this chair that was wooden and had removable rockers so it could be a regular chair or a rocking chair..and it folded!  I have no idea where it came from, but I know I refused to let my mom ever give it away and it moved with us to every new place.

When Hayden was born, I couldn't wait to bring it upstairs out of the basement and have him use it.

A couple of years ago for Christmas, mom painted it all up and gave it to Hayden.

While I was pregnant with Abby, we were at Value Village and there was another one of those little chairs, complete with rockers and everything, and I thought:

"How perfect would it be if both kids had matching chairs?"

But it was one of those trips where there hadn't really been money to go there in the first place and the chair was about $10, so I just walked away.

I regretted that EVERYDAY!!!!!!!!  So silly to regret a chair, but I did.

Last year, I went out to some yard sales with mom and dad, and we stopped at one and guess what!?!!?

They had one of the chairs!  No question that I had to buy it this time.  It was as if I had been given a second chance to fix my regret.

So, that was about June....2 weeks ago, I remembered that Santa always uses Hayden's chair for his stocking, etc....better get Abby's chair ready too.  So, here I am at 10:40 pm on December 23, finishing it up.  But I am so happy with how it turned out.  Now my kids have matching chairs!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Officially 5

This year marked a small milestone for Hayden.  He officially turned 5.  In celebration of such birthday, we allowed him to have a party this year with his friends.  Previously, our parties consisted of Gramma and Grampa coming over for dinner and cake.  Not this year, this year we allowed him to invite 6 of his friends.

Now, the first order at hand was to pick a theme for the party.  The problem with an almost 5 year old picking out the theme is that is changes daily.  First is was a Lightening McQueen theme, then Spiderman and Monster Trucks, etc.  In the end, I went with what was easiest and picked Lightening McQueen.  In part because we have some items at home I could use to decorate with and I also knew you could rent an awesome cake pan.

I was very happy with how everything turned out for the party and felt it went over pretty well.

About a month previous to the party I had found some great little lego kits and picked up enough for their loot bags as well as some stickers and gummy snacks.

The treat bags I created myself and this is how they turned out.

I had a set of twins attending, so I wanted to make sure I was able to tell which lego character was in each bag.

The party was set to run from 11 - 2, and I knew I needed to serve something other than just cake and ice cream, but also didn't anticipate the kids eating anything much.  So, I settled on a light lunch of cheese and crackers, fruit, chips and cheesies and juice.  The spread was pretty inviting if I must say so myself.  I was right about the kids not sitting down to eat much, but they did run back and forth and snacked away over the course of the party.

The centrepiece decoration for the kitchen table was a sprinkler we had from the summer

Entertainment-wise, I didnt' plan too much.  We put together all of Hayden's Hot Wheels cars, his car mat, car tracks and anything else that fit into the theme.  We didn't play any any games really, but did do a bean bag toss into an inflatable tire we had.  Brian got to hold the target and claimed that bean bags hurt when 5 year olds pelt them at you...wimp!  They also took turns on Hayden's smart cycle and ran around like boys do.  But let me tell you this...they were all fantastic boys!  Well behaved and got along very well.  And all the gifts they brought were generous, despite being a week before Christmas.

My time saving tip that I read somewhere on the Internet and mentally sorted away for future reference was to pre-serve ice cream into paper muffin cups.  I did this about an hour before the kids arrived, covered it in saran wrap and tossed it in the freezer until it was time.  Let me tell you, what a huge time saver.  I didnt' have to fight with hard ice cream while the kids were anxious for cake.  I cut the cake and Brian put on the ice cream and served it.  Next time though I think I would take the ice cream out of the wrapper, I had one child try to eat the paper.

Speaking of cake....are you ready to see what it looked like?  I was super proud of the end result!

Like I mentioned, I rented the cake pan and followed the directions for baking and decorating.  I baked it the night before and thankfully I did.  It took about 3 hours to decorate the cake.  Hayden thought it was awesome, but I don't know if I would do it again.  It took a lot of time and was probably more expensive in the long run than had I bought it from the grocery store.

And finally, here is Hayden, at the table, getting ready to blow out all 5 candles!

Happy Birthday my boy!

Linky Linky....find me here:

Petals to Picots: Best of 2011
I Heart Naptime Sunday Scoop

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

2 Years Has Gone So Fast

Today, my little girl is 2!

Wow, how did that happen?

On November 30, 2009 at approximatly 5:30 pm, we welcomed Abigail Marjorie Lynne Bickmore into the world.  She weighed in at 9 lbs, 2 oz and was 21" long.

It seems like just yesterday, I was drugged out on moraphine, scratching my face all up and trying to sleep was sharing this special day with mom and Brian.

I could go into a long story about how horrible this experience was, cause let me tell ya, it was no bed of roses and recoop from this C-Section was months, but the end result was all worth it.

Let's take a little look down memory lane shall we?


Monday, November 28, 2011

Everything Happens For A Reason

First off, let me say, this post has been about 2 1/2 months in the making.  Some of my closest friends know this story and will probably roll their eyes to hear it again.  It won't be a short post, but I finally had to write it.  It has been consuming me and perhaps this will help me get over it.

Finding out you are pregnant after months of trying is so thrilling.  To bring this little life home with you from the hospital is a great responsibility that comes with no instruction manual...I mean,  come on...everything ELSE does!  It seemed like I was just starting to know my little guy when the bank account said it was time to go back to work.  I had planned on returning after just six months and was faced with the same problem most people face...who will watch my child.  For me, grandparents were not an option.  For starters, my mom is not healthy enough and two...I don't feel grandparents should be put in a place to constantly reprimand their grandchildren...grammas are for cookies, not time outs!

Our local daycare does not accept children until they are a year old, so that was not an option.  What I ended up doing was putting an ad up at the general store, looking for a sitter to come into our home.  I found what I thought was a perfect fit to our situation.  A woman who was older, like gramma, and would come to the home.  Perfect right?  I sure thought so.

There were issues from the start, but I am not one for confrontation ( I don't make a good boss!) So I let these little things slide, convincing myself that the convenience of having her come to our home out-weighted by far these issues I was having.  I should not have been OK with her ex husband coming over every day into my home, I should not have been OK with her cutting and colouring her hair at our home, I should not have been OK with her helping herself to the food in my fridge ( not part of our original agreement, I offered it to her, but she declined)  These are just a few of the things, and there are MANY more, but you get my point.  As time wore on, these things bothered us more and more, however, how do you bring them up after ignoring them for so long?

Once Hayden got older, the child care situation was a less perfect fit...the energy level of a toddler and a senior are not evenly matched.  At the early age of 2, Hayden no longer needed naps...bedtime at night was too hard if he did.  I told her this and her response was that she felt he was too young to not nap and she would miss her daily naps.  I thought she was kidding, however, I don't think she was.  By the time I was pregnant with Abby, I could sense her energy level and excitement about the job was fading.  She found work elsewhere for the 7 months I was off.  I was in a love/hate relationship with the idea of her coming back.  I had again planned on returning after just 6 months, to put the kids in daycare would mean either putting them both in somewhere in town or two different daycares until Abby was old enough to go to the local daycare.  She came back to work for us and quite frankly, it was just more convenient for us.  I also thought perhaps the time away from us would renew her vigor for the job.  And it did...for awhile.

We started to find that the kids didn't do much under her care.  Very rarely would I come home to pictures or crafts...they would be inside watching cartoons.   So, we made a rule, no TV after 9 in the morning and they could spend the majority of the day outside...they do with us most of the time.  But all summer long, the pool was never out and the kids were inside every time we got home ("oh we just came in the house!")  In an attempt to help Hayden with his speech and writing, I asked that each day, she did at least 2 writing worksheets with Hayden as well as play a game or something like that.  I started leaving the pages out, but always she would comment that he had no interest in doing them.  My response...too bad, he's 4, he doesn't get to decide, I expect him to do it.  My experience all along...he LOVES doing this...I wonder if she just plunked him down at the kitchen table and then sat in the living room.  So, then I thought it might go better if I let him pick out his own pages and that happened for a couple days and then that stopped too!  It just boggles my mind that in a house FULL of craft supplies, colouring books, paint, play doh, etc...why it wasn't used on a regular basis.

Finally, over the long weekend in September, all things came to a head.  I got a phone call from another mom in town and she filled me in on details of the home daycare my sitter AND children were going to!  WHAT?  I had absolutely NO knowledge of this.  When I asked the sitter about this after the holiday Monday, she told me this other woman was nosy and that she herself just got asked to work in this daycare.  I knew right away this was a lie.  I later even found a note of questions to confirm this from the week before.  I suspect she thought my big issue was that she was going to work somewhere else where she could make more money.  Let me be clear....I had no problem with this.  You have to look out for yourself and I can understand that financially this was a great move for her, and it solved my problem perfectly.  I could put the kids in daycare guilt free.  I told her that I was upset that she wasn't honest and after this amount of time, she couldn't be upfront with me.   She was full of denial and was not regretful or apologetic at all.  The kids were enrolled in daycare that evening and scheduled to start my next working day.

I had shared my pleasure in the kids starting daycare and without names answered that we had some concerns for the well being of our children on facebook.  She managed to see this and showed up on the Wednesday, yelling at me in front of the children, telling me I ruined her life and this other woman's life.  I actually only said good things about this other woman and encouraged a mother to keep her kids in the daycare, despite my stories.

I have since also heard from quite a few people that she did in fact yell at the kids a lot and apparently everyone in the village, except us, knew she was going to this home daycare and my kids were going too!

I think the reason that this whole situation still haunts me is because I am full of guilt.  Guilt that I didn't stand up to the issues in the first place, guilt that my kids were not as happy as they could have been, guilt that we opened our home to this woman and in the end meant nothing to her.  I mean, we gave her gifts on all of the occasions, and she gave gifts to the kids.  Abby 's birthday party was this weekend and Hayden asked if she was coming.  I told him no and that she would not be coming to events at our house anymore.  Want to know what his response was "She will be nice, because there will be other grown up's around"  He didn't say this because I have filled his head with horror stories, because as far as the children are concerned, she just wanted to go work somewhere else.

I think I also feel bad because she is still watching children, and no one knows how she behaved at my home.  I mean, this other woman didn't ask any questions about her future business partner, partly I think because they were so busy keeping it secret. And there is also a chance that this behaviour will never be seen (which is good) because she has another adult "keeping an eye" on her and you can't say, "you watch the kids while I go dye and cut my hair"

I still see her walking kids to school and I am pretty sure one day she had them all stopped on the side of the road while she yelled at them.  Her facial expression and arm movements spoke volumes.  I really hope she was just telling them an expressive story, but my gut tells me different.  The worst part is that these kids won't say anything to their parents, because she is the figure of authority, or perhaps they will, but like me, they will feel their idea of mean is something mundane.

I don't hate her, not even a little...I hate that she didn't show my kids as much love and respect that I had anticipated.  I hate that I didn't listen to my son and I hate that he tells me that he wasn't happy at home with her. I assured him he would not have gotten in any trouble and should always tell us when something doesn't seem right. I am also sure that she is telling everyone how horrible I am and all the mean things I said.  I challenge any parent to not do the same thing if they were faced with a similar situation.  I am sure there are people who are judging me based solely on her stories and that is why it is so important to understand both sides of the story before making judgements, because there is ALWAYS two sides to every story.

When I pass her on the street, she won't even look at the car, just the side of the road.  Is that because of guilt?  Or is her level of hatred so much greater than mine?

Hopefully this will relieve my heart and mind. I am not even going to post this link on facebook, because it's not about telling the world, it's about getting this weight off my shoulders.  If I wanted to tell the world, I would make up posters that looked like this

I did make this myself, btw
 I would be interested to see who has read this blog...just leave a short note here or on facebook.  Feedback would be welcomed as well.  Thanks for reading and remember to always follow your gut.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Parenting 101

I need to enroll in this course!

Or rather...I need to enroll in the section titled:

"Reverse Physiology and How To Use It To Your Advantage!"

I've told you about one of my attempts previously when I tried to take Dad down a few notched on the popularity pedestal! (which failed miserably, might I add!)

So this morning....I attempted reverse physiology again....and really, I should know better!

It's only the beginning of November and already Hayden has lost or misplaced about 3 pairs of mittens!  I mean, I have every other pair of mittens from every year that no longer fit, but I am talking about the ones I only bought about 2 weeks ago!

About 20 minutes before we have to head out, I go to gather up all of his "stuff" and can't find mitts or a hat.

I said to Hayden

"Hayden...did you forget to bring your mittens home AGAIN?!?!"

"No mom, they are in my bag"

"Well, you go and look for them, because I can't find them and if we don't find them, I don't have any other you will have to wear socks on your hands instead!"  *that will teach him!*

"Oh mom, I don't see them. but I found these socks" *he says as he puts them on!*

"Hayden!!!  You cannot wear socks!  All your friends will laugh at you for you want your friends to laugh at you?"

"Mom, the teacher will tell them to stop!"

That was the end of discussion for him.  No big deal...he can just wear socks and the teacher will look after him.

To be five again!

On a side note...

About 5 minutes later I had to apologize to him....I found his mittens in the side pocket of his backpack, under all the toy cars!

See!! I suck!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Further Proof My Son May Have Been Switched At Birth!

I am not sure if I have ever mentioned that I often wonder if the little boy I brought home from the hospital is actually mine....sure he looks like both Brian and I, but I still wonder!

The events that transpired this morning only make me question this further.

Last night was Halloween and the kids had a pretty good haul.  Between the two of them (mostly Hayden), they had enough chocolate bars to fill one of those plastic pumpkin pails, plus enough bag of chips to fill a second one.  We left it on the kitchen table, with visions of wrappers all over the living room when I got up this morning.

At about 7, Hayden comes in and I can see chocolate on his face!

"Hayden, what did you eat this morning?" ( already confident of the answer)
"Oh, just a muffin"

Yup, he skipped the table of treats and helped himself to a chocolate chip banana muffin!

Seriously!?!?!  What kid does that?  Mine a little boy, he would have taken the cantaloupe over the cookie any day!

Abby on the other hand makes me proud! :-)

First thing she said when she walked into the kitchen this morning...

"Abby chip"

And no!  I didn't let her have them!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Trick or Treat

Can you help me decide what to dress Abby up as for Halloween?

She could be.....

A "Gangsta" girl

Or, she could be....

A wall from my kitchen!

Nope, I think I will dress her as....

A kitty!
Thanks Gramma and Grampa!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Footloose and Fancy Free

This is a very difficult post for me to write.

I have a horrible confession to make.

I cheated.

And now I am involved in a secret love affair!

It all started out innocently enough, but doesn't it always?  I told myself this would never happen and I really couldn't have predicted it.

Brian's niece was down for the weekend and I decided that instead of sitting around Saturday night with nothing on TV and Brian watching hockey, we would go to the movies.  I mean, I haven't been to one in probably about 5 years and how much trouble can a married woman and a young teen get into?

We were about 20 minutes early for the movie, the theatre was already packed, so we ended up sitting 3rd row from the front where only late comers and losers sit!  We were just getting comfy when a single man asked if the seats beside us were taken.  They weren't,  so we let him slip by.

I had to give this guy a good look, just to make sure some creepy serial killer wasn't settling in next to us.  Suddenly, the lights dimmed and the movie started.  It only took about 5 minutes into the movie for the infatuation to set in and I was hooked!


However, I do still consider it cheating!

I told myself I would not see it...I mean, how can you top the original with the hunky Kevin Bacon?  But still, the previews drew me in a bit.  With Brian's niece down, I thought it would be the perfect excuse to check it out.   

I will be talking about the movie, but really, if you saw the's not much of a spoiler!

Let me tell ya, the movie was GREAT!  They made it modern, but still kept all the scenes and lines that you loved in the original, but with a spin on it to make it just a little bit different.

The opening sequence still had all the dancing feet in funky shoes, Ariel still got caught dancing in the parking lot by her father, Ren drove a bug and liked his music too loud.  Willard did not have one single dance step and the end of year dance was still held in Basin.  The songs were still all there, but were re-recorded.

And when I saw the actor that plays Ren, really was a love affair, but I was pretty sure the lustful thoughts I was having would put me jail for just thinking about a minor that way! (turns out the actor is 26, so it's all good!)  And his teeth???  PERFECT!!

Kenny Wormald

I would pay to go and see this movie again...that is how much I loved it.  Truthfully, I may have liked it just a little bit more than the original, which is saying a lot!
I hope when Paramount releases it, they consider releasing it as a combo pack with the original.  I would watch them both.
But if it's out on video by Christmas...I hope Santa puts it in my stocking!