Monday, May 30, 2011

And the winner is...

"The Hatch's"!  Congratulations, M!  Just shoot me a message with the address I should mail the DVD to and I'll get it out to you in no time!  Oh, and it also looks like we had a similar taste in kid's shows/movies...that, or we just grew up in the same decade...

Today has been a productive yet relaxing day around here.  Levi has started waking pre-7am again (I thought we broke that habit!  shoooot...) so it was an early morning in our house.  But, by the time Levi woke up from his morning nap at 11, I had already fed him breakfast, played, put him down for a nap, swept and washed the floor, done two loads of laundry and folded some more, cleaned the entire bathroom, and showered/got myself ready for the day!  I love to do things that keep our house looking clean and tidy and put together so it's really been a fabulously relaxing day, despite high productivity.  Ok, I should clarify that statement: I love to do things that keep our house looking clean and tidy and put together when I'm in the mood for it so it's really been a fabulously relaxing day.  There, that's better, and far more honest! 

When Levi woke up from his morning nap, we went for a short walk to the post office.  We managed to catch some sun while we were out...timed that one perfectly!  And of course we took Lennox with us.  Now that I take the stroller, Lennox is a much happier dog.  All winter I just carried Levi in the moby and there was no way that I was going to risk walking on ice with a dog strapped to my wrist and a baby strapped to my chest.  No thank you.  He got fairly depressed, I think.  Lennox, not Levi.  He would see me head out the door and yet I would fail to take him with me every.single.time.  Poor guy.  Lucky for him, it is stroller season once again and he is allowed to walk with me.  I did make the mistake of attaching his leash to the stroller a few times, but after a near death experience slight scare with a stray dog, I've learned my lesson and he now walks alongside with his leash firmly in my HAND.

Right now the little man is napping.  Nathan is sitting next to me sighing and reading and wishing he was done his last textbook of his last class of his, as of yet, incomplete master's degree.  Lennox is sleeping blissfully on the floor in front of me, enjoying the fact that his nemesis is tucked peacefully and safely in his crib for a nap and is therefore unable to chase him down nor grab a handful of his fur.  And I?  I am sitting on the floor with a numbbum (you have to say it as one word) from having just proof-read the last paper for the last class of Nathan's, as of yet, incomplete master's degree.  I have a bit more laundry to fold and supper to make, but other than that, my work is done.  It is 2pm and I look forward to an afternoon of playing with blocks and chasing a scooter. (please picture me running down the street after an electric scooter because that is definitely what I mean)

Hope you're all having a wonderful day!  Congratulations again, M!  Let me know where I can send your prize!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Coupon Code and a Giveaway!

First off, my Etsy shop has been sadly neglected over the past year or so (basically the entire duration of time that I've had a shop!) so I thought a COUPON CODE would be just the excitement my shop needs to get things cooking again!  Simply visit my shop and the code will be on the front page!  Also, if you haven't already, click on the facebook link on my sidebar and "like" the Uniquely Me Design facebook page!  It's brand new and a great way to be the first to know about giveaways and discounts!  AND, if you would rather pick up your order in person, I'll credit you the cost of shipping!  How's that for a fantastic Friday deal?  But hurry, the coupon code is only valid until 10pm tonight!

Secondly, I have a GIVEAWAY!  I've never had a giveaway on my blog before so I'm super-excited!  Through the blogger review program that I'm a part of, I received duplicates of a children's dvd that I requested.  They suggested that I "donate" the extra to a place of my choosing!  All you need to do is leave me a comment telling me what your favourite movie/television show was when YOU were a kid and you'll be entered to win!  I'll make the draw on Monday, May 30, so you have all weekend to enter!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for...
-  God's saving grace
-  Nathan
-  Levi
-  this house that we're renting
-  a yard that is fairly private and fairly large
-  summer!
-  the opportunity to live in California for a year
-  the job search likely being near its end (!!!)
-  things finally seeming to be straightened out with the Canadian government and that we should be receiving our first Child Benefit Cheque shortly...should be here by Levi's 9 month birthday!
-  student loans...without interest
-  Levi sleeping through the night (though I do miss those middle of the night snuggles that we had for 7 months)
-  Vaseline Cocoa Butter hand's the only thing that works on Levi's baby eczema...and it smells amazing!
-  Infant Tylenol
-  the fact that my family is healthy
-  our Toyota that keeps going and going and going and goin...
-  friends who we've been able to reconnect with over this past year
-  indoor plumbing
-  Nathan's graduation and that he's almost done all his homework!
-  the happy noises that are resting their head on my knee and grabbing my keyboard...gonna and go hug the maker of those noises right now!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sometimes I think about...

-  what it would be like to shave my head

-  how little desire I have to ever go back to school (especially after watching Nathan do it these past two years!)

-  what life will be like in 5 years

-  what my wardrobe would look like if I could start fresh with unlimited $$$

-  what to make for supper

-  all the things I'm thankful for

-  where I could hang my hammock

-  how to best take advantage of the beautiful summer weather while we have it

-  how I could organize our house better

-  where we'll be living in a few months

-  how much has changed in the last 10 years

-  how there is nothing I would rather be doing with my days than hanging out with my boys and doing what I'm doing

-  what life would have been like if we'd never been able to have kids

-  what would happen if gas got so expensive that driving was just out of the question and how 400kms would feel so much further if you had to walk

-  how much I enjoy biking

-  what I'm going to make next (crochet, knit, sew, quilt, cook, bake, something else?)

-  going to bed.  Good night!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Thanks...and another thing

Thanks for telling me what you all use for cloth diaper pails!  There are some great options there and it's got me thinking.  If you haven't let me know and are just seeing the previous post now, feel free to still comment!  I'm always curious about what other people use and how they cloth diaper in general.

I've got another question for you blog readers out there.  It's a little disagreement that Nathan and I had over supper tonight.  Levi has the following onesie:

Nathan has always said what an awesome onesie it is and I didn't really think much of it.  Tonight over supper, it came out why he likes it so much.  Apparently we'd been reading it very differently.  I happen to like my meaning much more than his.  We couldn't agree, so right away I took a picture of the onesie in question and told Nathan that I was going to go to my blog readers to clear this up.  So, when you see this onesie, what do YOU think it is saying?  We came up with three potential readings...

And, just cause he's the most adorable little man in the world, here is a video we took today.  Enjoy!

(Remember to turn off any web protection you may have if you have trouble viewing this video)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cloth Diaper Question

We've been using a garbage can with a fairly tight seal for our diaper pail.  The problem is, it's not ours so after we move (still no details on when that will be) we'll be looking for something new.  I'm fairly happy with what we have so I'm tempted to go out and buy the exact same thing, but if there's something better out there, I'm all ears!  What kind of system do you have for storing your dirty diapers until laundry day?  Also, any suggestions for keeping odours to a minimum during hot summer days?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sleeping through the night - part 2

Well, we've had four nights of intense sleep training (officially known as project "sleep through the night").  We started out just trying to space out Levi's feeds by 1 additional hour each night.  So I would put him to bed at 8pm and the first night I didn't feed him until 11 (which was a stretch for him, resulting in SCREAMS from 10-11).  I fed him no more than every three hours that night.  The next night I wouldn't feed him until midnight...again, screams for an hour.  No feeds for four hours went alright.  The next night was 1am and it went a little better, but he was still crying for about an hour before that first night-time feed.  This just didn't seem to be working well.  For one, Levi was still up multiple times in the night and it wasn't really spacing out his subsequent wake-ups.  Also, it was still being enforced that if Levi cried long enough, he would still be fed at night.  So there was a slight change in plans for last night.  Last night I fed Levi at 8 (ideally this would be the last feed of the night), I fed him again at 11 - when we got home from being out for the evening - and then I crawled into bed and didn't get out until morning.  I noticed Levi wake up and cry a few times during the night but in the end he made it until 9am before he ate again!  And there was no screaming like there had been in the first three nights.  I am cautiously hopeful that we are making some progress toward being a family who sleeps through the night.  It will still take some adjusting on my part *ahem* if you know what I mean...but being able to sleep at least 8 blissful hours in a row will make this all so worth it!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sleeping through the night

Ok, so I mentioned in my 7 month post that I'm trying to get Levi to sleep through the night.  I'm asking for advice:
-  How did you get your kid to sleep through the night?  (I realize all kids are different, but I need ideas)
-  How old was your baby when they started sleeping through the night and how many hours do you consider sleeping through the night to be? (again, I realize all babies are different)
-  For moms of completely breastfed babies (no formula, no bottles, hardly any solids to make a difference)...did your baby ever sleep through the night without any supplemental feeding?

If you used the CIO method:
-  Did you just suddenly stop feeding them at night or did you gradually space the feeds out further and further apart until they were sleeping through? 
-  Did you change anything about daytime feeds to accommodate for no night-time feeds?
-  When they're crying, what exactly did you do when you went in after 5 min, 10 min, etc? 
-  Is it normal for a baby to scream on the top of their lungs like never before for 40 minutes straight?
-  Do you let your baby CIO every single time they wake up at night?
-  How many nights did it take?
-  Do I just need patience and a hard heart?  haha.  Seriously though, is it possible I'm doing it wrong?  Or do I just need to persevere through the blood-curdling screams?

Any advice you have is welcome.  Obviously I've thought about this lots and talked to a few books and such.  So I know a bit about putting a baby to bed and helping them sleep through the night.  BUT, assume I know nothing and tell me every little detail of what you know.  I'm all ears!  Is it possible that he's just not ready?

On Mother's Day...

I just wrote this big long post about Mother's Day.  And then I didn't post it.  So many thoughts have been going through my head.  I guess my biggest question is how do I reconcile the side of me that struggled through infertility and hated Mother's Day, and the side of me that is thrilled to be a mom and wants to celebrate?  I guess I feel like, by celebrating the day, I automatically become one of "them" who blindly skips through the day, juggling flowers, hand-made cards, and the diaper bag while those on the sidelines feel like they've been steamrolled.  Yet I do feel like celebrating!  I have the most adorable little boy in the world and I want to rejoice in the fact that I have been given the gift of being his mommy!  You don't need to tell me that I have every right to rejoice.  You don't need to tell me that I don't need to feel bad about celebrating.  I know that I can celebrate.  And I do.  Every day.  But I don't feel like I'm doing my younger self justice if I don't at least pause and look around me for those who are standing in the church service with tears in their eyes or who are aching from the inside out.  I didn't experience infertility for nothing and I don't want to come out the other side of it unchanged and insensitive.  Yet at the same time, I don't feel like I felt then.  The pain is fading.  My memory is fading.  How can I hold onto those memories and the things that shaped me while also celebrating my motherhood and rejoicing in my child(ren)?  Those are just some of the things running through my mind these days...

Monday, May 9, 2011

7 months.

Levi is 7 months old!  He had his 7 month birthday yesterday, on Mother's Day, spent primarily in airports in the USA.  We flew back from Fresno yesterday and are now happily and safely HOME!  I feel like alot has changed with Levi this month.  And it also feels like it's been a long long time since I've written a monthly post!  Last month's was written a day or two early and this month I'm a day behind.

Levi now has two teeth, both bottom, which came in right around his 6 month birthday.  He's so cute with those two bright, white baby teeth when he grins!  It sure hurts when he bites, though.  Wow, those suckers are sharp!  He's started biting our shoulders which really, really hurts.  I think he's just trying to get our shirts, but often he'll get our shoulder skin with it and then he locks his jaw and pulls.  Yikes.  How do you break a baby of a biting habit?  I imagine it's just teething, but how can I encourage him not to teethe on us??

We have now been offering Levi solid food for about a month and a half and he's never fallen in love with it.  In fact, during our recent trip to Fresno, Levi became completely breastfed again for 10 days and didn't miss the solids one bit.  He has tried a decent variety of foods this month, though.  He's had peas, applesauce, sweet potatoes, carrots, banana and, of course, more rice cereal.  We've also had fun with letting him try food off of our plates so he's also tried things like oranges, grapes, lemons, strawberries, watermelon, pork chops, and a rib bone.  With all of it he just gags.  Oh well...breastfeeding is easier anyway so as long as I can keep up, we may as well take it slow!

Levi has a huge fascination with cups right now.  He's getting pretty good at drinking out of a cup too, with our help, of course.  He hasn't caught on to the bottle or sippy cup yet, though.  Maybe he'll just skip that stage and go straight to the real cup. 

Levi has been sitting for two solid months already so now when he tips, it's 98% of the time something that he intended to do.  He's not crawling yet, but he can get around pretty well just scootching on his belly and adding the occasional roll to make even more progress toward what he wants.  It's fun to see him be able to get around so that he can reach the thing that he has his eye on, but it's also a bit harder to keep things out of his reach!  He's definitely a grabby baby...and fast too!  His hand-eye coordination is remarkable.

Levi still isn't sleeping through the night.  This month has been slightly better than the previous two, with Levi waiting at least 2 hours between night-time feeds.  His average sleep-stretch has moved up to 3 hours, though, for which I am SO grateful!  My goal for this month is to try to increase his sleep-stretch average to at least 4 hours, if not more.  I can count on one hand the amount of times that Levi has slept longer than 5 hours in one stretch since birth.  On another note, I can now say that it's been a year since I've slept through the night.  It was about halfway through my pregnancy that I started waking up during the night, either from sore hips or needing to use the bathroom.  I am very much looking forward to a full night's sleep again.  One day...right?

Levi's favourite things right now are...peek-a-boo, his Rock 'n Stack, mommy, daddy, Lennox, the Jolly Jumper, the fact that his bald spot is finally gone and being outside.  Levi's least favourite things right now...having his nose wiped, having mommy walk out of the room without him, his car seat, and eating solids.

In the first 7 months of his life, Levi has logged many driving miles, and has been on 8 different flights, totaling 5800 miles in the air.  He is a well-traveled little boy!

Well, that's probably enough about the 7th month.  It's been a fun one.  I'm looking forward to month 8 as much as ever.  So far it has started well.  Levi fell asleep for his morning nap in under 3 minutes and has been sleeping for an hour already.  I think it's safe to say that all THREE McCorkindales are happy to be home.

Happy seven months, little buddy!  You are loved!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

All tuckered out...

Levi and I went for a couple mile walk this morning.  He didn't last very long awake.  : )  Isn't he just the sweetest??

Our trip to California has been good.  I think it's safe to say that we're all tired and looking forward to being home in our own beds again, but it has been fun to see old friends again and live in the Court for a few days.

Nathan has been fairly busy with homework the whole time we've been down here.  Most of that homework has been making sure his thesis is good to go.  That is all behind him, though, because this afternoon he defended his thesis and did an excellent job.  I think having the thesis completed is a huge relief for him, though he does seem a bit tired from all the work he's been putting into it.  Tomorrow the order of the day will having it printed and ready for binding.  Tomorrow evening is a graduation gala for the graduating seminary students.  Then Saturday is the big graduation day!  Despite graduating now, though, Nathan is not quite finished his Masters degree.  He has one more directed study to finish and a trip to LA in June/July.  And then he's finished!  I can't wait. : )

Levi has been enjoying seeing many new things.  At least I think he's been enjoying it.  (How can you tell?)  I think he could do without the extremely warm weather...he's red and sweaty the majority of the day.  We try to keep him cool.  But mostly there's just no escape.  He hasn't been sleeping very well since we arrived...I think it must be a combination of the heat and so many new people/places.  Talk about overstimulation!  Yikes.  I'm really hoping that he falls back into his wonderful sleep habits once we arrive home, but I guess only time will tell.  I sure hope, for all our sakes, that his crying for 30-45 minutes before bed doesn't last too long...

I am doing well.  I am fairly tired thanks to Levi's sleep (non-sleep?) and the heat (+36C today).  But it has been really nice to see friends here again and to be able to spend so much time outside just relaxing.  The sun has been wonderful.  And it's been fun to celebrate with our friends as they finish their last assignments of the semester.

We've only got two more days before returning to the rain and cool temperatures in Saskatchewan.  I never thought I'd say this, but I'm actually looking forward to leaving the heat behind.  This heat-starved prairie girl is mellowing out...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Free nursing cover promo code

Another free nursing cover promo code...

-  all it costs you is shipping (around $10)
-  a few great patterns to choose from
-  get a gift set for $5 (plus $10 shipping)

code: MOTHER

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

heart sigh...

You know that feeling when you're oh-so-tired and the thought of most things just makes you want to curl up in bed and never get out?  Then you think of something else and it just makes your heart sigh with peace and rest?  It's just such a relief that you don't have to do one of those rather-crawl-into-bed things?  Yeah, I'm having one of those oh-so-tired days.  Traveling usually does that to me.  Here are a few things that make my heart sigh on days like today:

-  folding laundry
-  pizza and evening with Nathan
-  Nathan saying, "I'll take Levi and you just relax for a couple hours."
-  snuggling in with Levi for a quiet nurse (and lingering for a few extra minutes, just because it means that I don't have to go back to people just yet)
-  taking a shower, even if I've already had one that day (my version of a soak in the tub, since most - all - tubs are way too big for me to actually relax seeing as my head goes under water if I actually lay down)
-  climbing into bed at night and knowing that I don't have to see anyone for the next 8-12 hours
-  having plans canceled at the last minute so I can just hang out at home
-  going for a walk where nobody can find me
-  grocery shopping in an unfamiliar place - so that I don't have to see anyone I know

Don't you just love that feeling when you just deeply and completely relax?  You know there is nothing expected of you and you can just sink into who you are without worrying about what needs to get done or what anyone else expects?  Yup.  It's a good feeling. 

What makes your heart sigh?