Monday, December 27, 2010

The One Where I Talk About Wanting to Eat Healthy

Does every other parent out there always feel the need to justify why they do the things they do?

Four years ago I made a choice to be healthy. I was 23 years old and decided it was now or never. I have always been active, but I wanted to make it a point to ACTUALLY be healthy. I had stopped eating fast food six years ago when I found out that eating a Big Mac was equivalent to eating four pieces of pizza (or something along those lines. But it should be said I do still eat Subway and Tim Hortons and the occasional Opa Souvlaki!). I made crazy huge lifestyle changes to the way I ate and how much alcohol I drank. I started running five days a week with my running friend Stacey. She had also made a decision to be healthy. Turned out I loved running so it was perfect. Lo and behold, I lost FORTY FREAKING POUNDS!!!!! No one was more surprised or proud than me. Those changes are here to stay.
When I found out I was pregnant I was most excited about not measuring one tablespoon of salad dressing... I figured I could let that one go while pregnant. I did not immediately go on this crazy pregnant eating binge, eating ice cream and pizza for two all day. I gained a normal amount of weight while pregnant and besides a few snide remarks about being "so huge" I was happy with the way I looked. Maizey was two months old when I started working out regularly again and along with eating a well balanced diet (on purpose) and the help of nursing a baby, the weight slowly and surely came off. I may not be the slimmest or the most toned or fit, but I am healthy. I have a healthy BMI and I plan to keep it that way.
We have days when we eat crap. Of course. But I can let those go because I know it won't lead to me ever being that un-healthy again. Brian, luckily, just likes to eat, so if I cook healthy food, he eats it. He doesn't eat baked goods for the most part anyways, so the fact that we don't keep them in the house doesn't bother him. He eats this way because I do and that's fine with him.
When we started Maizey on solids we talked a lot about what and how and when she would get certain things. We agreed that she didn't need much in the way of refined foods, including sugar. So, to the best of my knowledge, in her whole first year she didn't have a lick of sugar. After she turned one, we started broadening her scope of foods to include more than just whole foods. We didn't broadcast that we fed her healthy foods intentionally, we just did it. But rest assured it was intentional. Amazingly, the second she turned one and got to eat a huge piece of birthday cake, it was assumed that it was now a free for all on the junk food. Baked goods, cakes, chips, ice cream, fried food, juice, fruit loops, to my HORROR - POP. Brian and I honestly turned to each other helplessly. How do you say to some one No, she can't have that GIANT piece of banana chocolate chip bread for a pre-lunch snack, with out coming off as a totally righteous bitch who clearly thinks the way they raised and fed their kids is wrong??? If you know, please fill me in. Its not that she can't have some banana bread, its the timing, the portion size and regularity that we concern ourselves with.We just want Maizey to know when something is a treat and to have a general idea about how to eat a well balanced diet. And we think that as parents, its never to early to teach those kind of lessons.
I don't judge people when they feed their kids refined foods or junk. For all I know, it could be a special occasion that only happens once in a blue moon. Or it could be a regular thing, I don't care. You feed your kid whatever you like. But please don't judge me and call me out because I don't let my one year old have four cookies or a big slice of apple pie with two scoops of ice cream.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas

Just like that, it's over. Christmas came amidst a lot of hectic-ness this year, family and otherwise. I did not feel prepared, but I tried to remind myself that it really doesn't matter, the day is going to come regardless, so just let it go. It came and it went, I didn't get organized and guess what... it really didn't matter.
So we indulged in our Christmas festivities with our usual excitement and ate all the Christmas food with our usual heartiness. Back to the post-Mexico detox I go!!!
Maizey took it all in with wide eyes. She really didn't know what the heck was going on, what with all the presents and talk about this Santa character.

When asked if she was excited that Santa was coming she declared NO. Maybe she was remembering when I tried to sit her on Santa's lap, which she was NOT cool with. She got a Dora water bottle in her stocking, so she just really wanted to hang out with that. Talk to it. Kiss it. Drink out of it. Play with it. She opened a present that was a book, so we had to stop so Dad could read it to her.

She would pick one little piece of wrapping off, give it to us, pick another, stop and take a drink from Dora, pick another piece, etc etc etc. It was so... endearing? Is that the right word? Perfect? I don't know... typical? This girl isn't about the destination, shes all about the journey to get there.

We slowly made our way to Brian's parents for more present opening, more coffee and Baileys and more food.

I have mentioned before - we are not so much about the spoiling Maizey with 'stuff'... mostly because 'Stuff' will be the death of me. We instead go for the spoiling her with creating memories and with actions and a whole lotta love. I'm not ashamed to admit this. We talk a lot about how to raise a kid that is appreciative and thoughtful and knows that shes loved not by what she gets, but by how we act. The holidays is the perfect time of year to do this, in my opinion. We made this year all about being with people we love.
Our favorite Aunty Myrna lost her battle yesterday. Christmas Day. It took all we had to get our dinner on the table. There were a lot of tears and a lot of story telling. We laughed a lot about what Myrna would be doing and saying. She had this knack for making a regular old family dinner feel like a party. It was a reminder of what really is important. I know Myrnski was surrounded by the people who love her. No one should be alone on Christmas Day. To say she will be missed is such an understatement.
Our Christmas 2010 was not what we expected but nonetheless we made it into what we wanted. A day dedicated to being together. There was a break in there for the little ones naps, but other than that we were together. It was how it was meant to be.
Much love going out this year. We have a lot of it give.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

Its Christmas Eve morning and my family is still sleeping. I have time to myself before the craziness of this and the next few days, begins. I am sipping coffee and Baileys (shocking, I know) and eating a nanaimo bar. Whatever, its Christmas.
We are taking the time to be grateful this year. To appreciate that all that we have is because we work hard to get it and to keep it this way. We also appreciate that it can all change so quickly. We are taking the time to actually be grateful, not just say that we are. We are surrounding ourselves with the people we love, and being grateful for having them in our lives. I don't usually get sappy about things like this, instead I just go and be with the people I love and be grateful in my heart for having all that I have. This year, I feel the need to talk about it. Maybe its the fact that I saw Myrna yesterday again, and I said good bye for the last time. Her last words to me were bon voyage  with a small wave. I choked back heaving sobs so I could say good bye to everyone else, but when I got in the truck...
Maybe its because its Christmas and I love this time of year. I am all about the season, the visiting and cookies and coffee and wine and food and all the visiting. This is the second year in a row that we will wake up at our own house, just us, on Christmas morning. Last year we talked a lot about what we wanted to make into fun traditions and this year its grown into something more. Just like I imagined it would... by the time Maizey is a grown-up I imagine there will be so many traditions that she won't even know which ones she wants to keep for herself and her own family. We've tried to incorporate some from my family and some from Brians, all while making them our own. Some are non-negotiable, like Eggs Benedict for breakfast, others there is wiggle room. We are getting there. This year we added new plaid p.j's for everyone to wear on Christmas Eve. If nothing else, it makes for cute pictures!
I remember Christmas morning when I was a kid, with a whole lotta warmth in my heart. I remember the one year my parents tried to get away with no Eggs Benny and Tyler losing his shit over it. Us Hickey kids takes our Eggs Benedict very seriously. Its funny now, I'm sure it wasn't funny at the time. I remember Christmas Eves with Ron and Trudy, appies, Clam Chowder, opening one present (always the one from Ron and Trudy) and staying up late. Thanks Mom and Pat for making such fun traditions and memories!
My family is awake now and we have a busy day ahead of us. I always say I am going to be more organized, but again, I wasn't. That means we have wrapping, cleaning, cooking and crafting to do.
Merry Christmas Friends! Wishing you all the best!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

For My Myrna

I've been meaning to write all week. We are still in the midst of the Great Purge of 2010... things always seem to take longer than planned around here. Its getting there. We also had to do some shopping... so that took up two days. We tried to squeeze in some family dinners and coffee dates. We did a little crafting (and got to use the air stapler... after an incident with the air nailer, I threw in my official gun... but the stapler is much easier for my small, girl hands to use!). I will post pictures - there's lots. Maybe tomorrow.
Then the weekend came and my small world has come to a halt. A screeching halt. I was so not prepared for this. Brian has a small family, like four first cousins kind of small. Most of his family lives right here in town. We see them at the grocery store, out for lunch and for whole family dinners often. His Aunty Myrna is iconic, not only to us, but to many in town. She is Brians great aunt, but shes young. She walks a little fold up bike around town in the summer, wearing crazy big brimmed hats to keep the sun off her face. She usually wears purple and can be seen in Coopers a few times every day. She has coffee and lunch out with different people almost every day of the week. I have coffee with her almost every Friday morning, along with Brians mom and another friend. We call it Mothers Day. She always buys Maizey a cookie. If Maizey and I are up early on Saturday mornings and want to let Brian sleep in, we call Myrna to go out for breakfast with us. We always go to Main Street and if they have Black Bottom Cupcakes, we eat one before breakfast, just because we can. If I eat left over pizza or chinese food, cold, first thing in the morning, I always call her and laugh about it. We're the same that way. Myrna loves my girl more than most people. She tells me that Maizey is an old soul and that she is going to do great things in her life.
Myrnas body is riddled with cancer. A month ago tomorrow, her birthday, she came over for coffee and complained that she couldn't sit at the kitchen table because it was too high and it would make her swollen feet worse. I teased her that she was such a whiner. Yesterday she found out that there is no treatment. It may be a day, it may be a week, or even a month, but it will take over.
I haven't stopped crying all day. I saw her tonight, she held my hand and told me not to cry.
Right now, tears are all I have.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

On Tree Hunting

When I was a kid, we ALWAYS cut down our tree. We lived on a farm that was chalk full of the most perfect Christmas trees you have ever seen in your life (well, at least that's how I remember them). My mom would suit up all five of us kids, we would sit on the back of the feed truck while she drove to the river, we would trudge through the sometimes lots, sometimes a little snow, singing Christmas carols and scouting out the perfect tree. My dad wasn't always with us, so Mom would have to cut the tree. As we grew up, I think my brothers took over the honors. We would drag it out, load it up and take it home. That seems like a fairy tale way to get a Christmas tree now.
Theres' so much snow here, that trudging through it means you would be up to your eyeballs. If you didn't take the time in the Summer or Fall to find the perfect tree and draw a map to it, well... good luck. My first five years here, I MADE Brian continue my life-long tradition of tree hunting. Our house was (and still is, but pre-reno days) so small that we couldn't fit a real tree in here, so our quest was always for a little two foot high, the more Charlie-Brown the better, kind of tree. Last year, Maizeys first Christmas and our first year in our newly totally renovated house, Brian refused. He insisted that we would buy a fake tree. I insisted that NO, in fact we would NOT be buying a fake tree, and as long as I am around and able bodied, we WILL be getting a real one. I of course, won. But I did have to go get the tree myself. My father-in-law came with me, and the two of us scoured the 40 acres. After a few hours, it was becoming clear that even though they are considered some sort of tree farm, there are absolutely no good Christmas trees on the whole place. We finally found an OK tree, the only problem was that it was at least ten feet tall. We decided to cut it down, then cut the bottom six feet off. Sounds like a good idea right? Well, it wasn't. We got it on the ground, but rather than cut the bottom half off out there, Brian's dad wanted to drag the whole thing home, then cut it off, so he could do something with the bottom half. Brilliant. Like I said, snow up to the eyeballs. Oh, and I should mention that when the tree was 10 feet in the air, it looked small and perfectly shaped, nice and full with good branch distribution. On the ground, it was none of those things. We drug the behemoth tree home, cut off the bottom and laughed at ourselves trying to get the god-awful prickly thing into the back of the truck (which it was TOO BIG for!!!). I would have been fine with a Charlie Brown tree. This was much, much worse. It was at least 6 feet wide and the branches were so long they hung straight down. I tied (with the help of Jane) the bottom branches to the ones above using fishing line. The needles were so sharp we only hung half the ornaments. I heard I told you so at least a hundred times. I was this close to losing the battle.
My friend Stacey wanted a real tree too, but didn't want to go cut one. So she bought one of those reasonably priced, really cute looking trees from the grocery store. I kid you not, it was the most perfect tree I had ever seen. And all she had to do was drive downtown and buy it.
So that's what we did this year. Guess what? Its the second most perfect tree I have ever seen in my life.I didn't have to pull out the Christmas tree hunting boots, or even lift a finger.

I just got to watch!

(that's his are you shitting me? just open the effing tailgate... face)

One thing led to another when we got home and so, the Great Purge of 2010 began. There was no place to put the tree and no way to re-arrange the furniture so it would look good. So we decided to get rid of the bakers rack. Which meant we had to get rid of most of the crap on it. etc, etc, etc. Our house is now down two garbage bags full, 3 boxes, half a desk, and a bakers rack. Day two is over. This purge will not end until my house is clutter free, if its the last thing I do.
After close to five hours at it today, we called it quits and headed downtown to the Santa Clause parade.
We met up with some friends,

Maizey wasn't a fan of Calvin, the horse, I mean dog. I, on the other hand, really liked him. And that says A LOT because I pretty much, don't like dogs at all.
We sipped hot coffee, ate shortbread a la Chelsea and Stacey, and watched the floats go by.

I love our little town (technically city, but whatever). We celebrate every little thing. The turn out isn't always great but I think we always deserve credit for trying. The energy downtown, the running into our friends by chance and standing and laughing with them the whole time, the driving around afterwards looking in peoples windows, I mean, at their Christmas lights, going out for Sushi after. I love it all.

 Thanks to all our fantastic watching the parade friends and to those that weren't there (Ang and Paola!!!) - sad face.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Was About Christmas - Now Its Just Pictures

We are getting in to the Christmas Spirit, slowly but surely. The outside lights are up (no thanks to my husband!!!), the tree is in the house and has lights on. There are some, but not all, decorations out. We will bake cookies soon and try to get a few people crossed off our list with some home-made craftiness. Wish me luck on that one.
The goings on in our house as of lately...
(in a quick scan through the photos from the last week-ish, I noticed they are ALL of Brian and Maizey... apparently this was a daddy-daughter week!!)

And a christmasy-decorationy one for good measure!


Monday, December 6, 2010

The Same But Different

I think my girl is pretty cool. Obviously I'm biased. But for real - shes one cool kid. Missy knows what she wants and she is determined to get it. I like that. I admit, there are times I can't effing stand it, but for the most part, I think it makes me proud.
I've recently been comparing her day to day life to a choose-your-own-adventure novel. We are so totally alike on one hand, we like to get up early, we both feel the need to argue when someone tells us not to do something that we really want to do, we get bored easily then bother the people around us by letting them know just how bored we are. Shes a mini-me in looks. But on the other hand, we are totally different. I spontaneously plan adventures for us, all the time. We decide what to do on a minute-to-minute basis usually. Plans change in the blink of an eye, we are crazy like that. Shes always up for the adventure "Maizey, you want to go to Nana and Papas and feed the chickens?" "yessssssssss", as am I. Its the part of the adventure that we each find the most thrilling that differs. I think the chickens coming close and trying to pet them, and listening to them and watching her learn that's where the eggs she had for breakfast came from, is the exciting part. For her, the chickens aren't reallllly the adventure, its more the, how close will I allow the 'puppppyyyy' to get to me, before I freak the hell out and panic and scream for my mamamamamamamama....till she picks me up, then I wave at the 'pupppyyyyyy' and laugh...  on the way to see the chickens, that's thrilling.
Today was a beautiful, blue-bird day. Cold, but beautiful. We got bundled up and headed out for a walk and a coffee with the newly back to town, Chelsea. The being in the fresh air, the view, the people we meet and nod with a smile at, the coffee and visit... those are what I enjoy about the walk - the being in the here and now with my girl. Maizey... she prefers the 'how many times will Mama pick my mittens up off the ground when I throw them, before she takes them away and lets my little hands freeze' part. And the 'If I kick my legs hard enough the well tucked in blanket will fall off and get dirty, I wonder what she'll say' part. Oh, and don't forget the 'I love my winter boots, I would wear them all day in the house if I could, but since it's -7 out here, I don't think Mama will like it if I take them off, so I think I will do it, just to see if she cares' bit. The one I drew the line at? When she took her socks off. Frost bite  - that's not a joke. I did take the mittens away, and the blanket, but I put the socks back on AND the boots. I tried to run, but the coffee made me have to pee... and I don't need to explain to you what happens after you have a baby and your bladder is too full and you try to run. Its just not a risk I am willing to take, ok? Frost bite or not. Needless to say, we both had fun, just for different reasons.
I will keep on letting her choose her own adventures. She doesn't listen when I tell her to sit down on the oh-so-adorable-but-very-unsteady-round-chairs, but she learns when it falls over and she lands on her back, bumping her head on the coffee table on the way down.Maybe the adventure should have been more in the sitting and watching Dora, than in the trying to climb up and turn the lamp off.
She laughs and she makes me laugh, even if it is through clenched teeth sometimes.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Corbin And Maizey

These two really like each other. In a brother/sister kind of way. Maizey annoys the shit out of Corbin. She adores him and wants to be close to him, hugging him, all the time. They don't fight, they just pick at one another. This video shows it perfectly.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

On Potty Training - Sort Of

Disclaimer - this post is about pooping. If you don't wish to read about Maizeys pooping excitement, then don't bother reading any farther. 
Big day around here, today was.
1) It all started about a week ago - Maizey learned to say Pee. I don't think we taught her per-say... like, we didn't practice it repeatedly until she started saying it (like Chicken - which she still won't say), she just one day started saying it, over and over again. And she totally knows what it is, because when I catch her in the bathroom, she says 'pee?', as though that would make me let her stay in there or something.
Anyways, so that got me thinking, maybe I should just try sitting her on the potty. But we didn't have a potty, so I just sat her on the toilet and held onto her. She thought it was great, we sang songs, laughed, she said pee-pee a hundred times and looked between her legs. But nothing really came of it, as in, she never actually went pee-pee, she just liked to talk about it and sit there.
On Monday I got her a little potty. Tuesday morning the first thing we did when we got up was put it all together. Maizey thought the box was really fun until it was all put together, then she was all about the real thing. We tried sitting on it - I think she thought she was on a real throne, because she just grinned like a fool and giggled. We stripped her down and had a grand old time playing with it. A few more times through out the day she sat on it again. Last night at bath time she sat on it with no clothes on again, for 10 minutes at least. She didn't want to get off. I eventually got bored and stuck her in the tub - first thing she did? Pee. Awesome.
This morning after breakfast I took off her yogurt and peanut butter covered p.j's and sat her on the potty. Again, we sang, laughed and played... next thing I knew - she was totally going poop!!! She wanted off in the middle of it... I distracted her (thank god!!) until she was finished. As soon as she heard it hit the bottom, she started panicking 'uh oh uh oh uh oh' and climbed off as fast as she could. She turned to look inside and when she saw what was in there, started bawling her little eyes out saying 'uh oh uh oh uh oh' .... I cheered and clapped and told her I was proud of her!!
Did this same thing happen to anyone else?? Can someone please let me know what I can expect now for potty training??
After lunch, I tried again... stripped her down, sat her on there and wha-la - Pooped again!! Not nearly as much freaking out the second time... just a few 'uh oh's' that were only slightly frantic.
We really had no intention of "potty-training" this early... we just thought that since she seemed mildly interested we would just try to get her comfortable with the potty...
I don't really know where to go from here. Maybe try to stay casual, not make a big deal out of it, if she wants to sit on there, fine, if not thats fine too.
Its so exciting - the thought of not changing diapers anymore sounds pretty damn good. But no more diapers means shes a big girl... and the thought of that is slightly terrifying.

2) Because it hasn't really stopped snowing for almost a week, I decided I'd had enough of being couped up (why I waited so long I don't know), so we busted out Maizeys new and really really cute snowsuit, bundled up and went out to play.
Snow+ A One Year Old = Pure Enjoyment. Until her mitt fell off... then it was just the end of the freaking world.

Today was good. Life is good.
Keep your fingers crossed that I don't have to change a poopy diaper tomorrow either!!