A birthday like no other - I feel really special

I woke up this morning when my son started to get fussy in his room. His Thomas toy just wasn’t doing it for him anymore. And though he was awake, we weren’t really ready for him to come out of his room. Fortunately, we have a distraction that works incredibly well. Distraction, thy name is iPad - also affectionately known as Addy when Matt and I don’t want Brandon to know what we’re talking about.

I stumbled across the hall to deliver Addy under his bedroom door. As I turned away, I said good morning to Matt coming up the stairs. He was carrying a plate of food in his hand and I thought, “Wow - he’s really ahead this morning.” Except, the food wasn’t for Brandon - it was for me. He had a plate in one hand and my coffee in the other all set to deliver it to me in bed. (I’m not making this up - my husband is truly that awesome.)

I foiled his plan (sort of), but I climbed back in bed and ate my breakfast and drank my coffee knowing the day was going to be nice. 

Except it wasn’t. 

At some point - maybe around 6:45 - my friend, Lara, texted me and we got into a conversation that lasted pretty much the entire time I was getting ready. Towards the end, she asked if I had lunch plans. She was going to be downtown and wondered if I’d like to get together. I said yes and she proceeded to tweet it out to the world. And the world responded.

This cheesecake was delicious!I logged on to twitter later to see that our lunch date had grown - and it grew and grew to include 10 people and 4 children. We went to Spin Kitchen & Bar and were given the royal treatment by the staff there, thanks to Anathea. Great friends, great food, great fun. I got to meet Jenn who asked me to go be a social media judge at Yuk Yuks tonight, which I must admit is a pretty cool and fun way to spend my birthday! I also got to see Amy for the first time in too many months. Krista decided to come and “crash our party”. Stéphanie very skillfully convinced Sara and Anna that it really would be okay to come with their children - and I am really glad she did. And Vicky braved the parking challenge to make a special trip downtown as well. All with a couple of hours of notice.

I told you my day wasn’t nice. In fact, it’s been FANTASTIC!

Thank you to each and every one of the dozens upon dozens who have left messages on Facebook and twitter for me. I appreciate that you took the time to do it. You made my day special and made me feel special. And that is worth more than any material item in the world.

Thank you for being such awesome people. You absolutely made my day.


P.S. You can read about my birthday gifts to myself over at Losing it in Ottawa today!

Chats with Matt Episode 4: The Future

Nap time was over. Matt got Brandon out of bed and the child immediately began running through the upstairs looking for me. I could hear the excitement in his voice as he called for me. I could hear the urgency in his footsteps as he sought me out.

I was downstairs. (No, not hiding.)

Matt steered Brandon in the right direction and when he turned the corner in the kitchen, he ran to me with a huge smile and arms outstretched. It was one of those sweet moments that make your day.

After snack, we went downstairs to watch “green” - also known as Mommy or Daddy playing Super Mario Galaxy 2

Brandon, clearly still groggy from his nap, crawled up into my lap and curled up into a sweet snuggle. (Yeah, TWO of these moments within 30 minutes of each other.)

Such sweet boys, aren’t they? I’m betting Brandon takes after his father. He has the same mischievous look.Matt came over behind him and gently draped a blanket over Brandon as he snuggled in even closer, and said with an earnest look on his face, “Take good care of him. He’s the future.”

I just looked at him and snorted.

Then Matt spoke again, “And I’m the past.”

“Yeah, the distant past,” I replied. (There may have been another snort.)

At that point, Matt’s earnest face broke into a grin, “Yeah, well you’re not that far behind.” 

Chats with Matt Episode 3: Pills

Matt and the 35lb. pill. You can tell by the look on Matt’s face that he’s up to something.Last weekend, I was “sleeping in” (read: laying in bed reading, because I don’t sleep in) and also nursing a migraine. Migraines have been the bane of my existence for the past three to four months and the last few weeks they’ve increased in frequency and severity. 

Good times, right?

So, I had a bit of time to myself and decided to take my pill and lay down rather than getting up to do anything.

Matt came in at one point and saw that I was awake, so of course he started doing his best to make me want him to leave. (He’s really good at that and takes pride in it, too.) He was supposed to be hanging out with Brandon, but who knows what trouble the child was getting into.

I said something to the effect that he should be nice to me since I wasn’t feeling well.

His face lit with a big grin as he replied, “I’ve got a 35lb. pill I can bring in here to make you feel better.”

The simple pleasure of time spent with family

The last couple of months have been busy but fun. We had the pleasure of getting an early spring here in Ottawa this year, so we've been outside a lot. Brandon's interacting with us more and more, making his wishes known. We get to watch how he exerts his independence, but generally he's been an easy child. These are some of the pictures of what we've been doing the last couple months and they make me smile.

Brandon's growing up - and now he has a big boy bed to prove it. His transition into the new bed was about as smooth as they go. After one week, he was back to his crib days sleep routine and habits. I love that my boy is a good sleeper!

This bed is a very basic MaxTrix bed. We were so impressed with the quality and love the versatility of the system!

A few weeks ago, a friend of ours brought over a water table they no longer needed for Brandon to have. He already knew how much fun a water table is because he gets to play with the one at daycare, but now he has one at home too!

The same day we got the water table, we set it up for Brandon to try out. He got quite wet, so we had an impromptu picnic dinner!And then this happened! That diaper was one very full diaper after his play time!

Today I was on a walk with Brandon in the heat and bribed him with the water table if he'd just get in his wagon so we could go home. It worked!And then he did it again! I gotta remember to put some swimmers by the door for impromptu water table play!Of course, when Matt got home, the water table play turned into much more, i.e., Brandon's first outdoor shower.

Not too long ago, we were all sitting at the breakfast room table while Brandon had his dinner and this spray bottle appeared. It's just water, but it was pretty funny watching how Brandon reacted to it!

He kept spraying himself in the face and he'd cringe and make these awful face as he cracked up laughing. The child soaked his hair, his face and a chunk of his shirt in just minutes. He was not happy when we took the spray bottle away!

Matt and I recently took a week off to do housework and other projects around the house that we don't have time to do when Brandon's around. Matt used the bulk of his time off to work on our front fence and gate. We wanted to do something unique - here's the result so far:

The only thing left to do is the arbor and perhaps some landscaping around it. The rest of our yard is pretty plain!

Up until the last couple months, Brandon screamed bloody murder whenever it was bath time. Thankfully, his second birthday brought about a change in his attitude - he LOVES bath time! Mostly, I think he just likes to splash all the water out of the tub, but we'll go with it if it means that we can get him clean through the summer months!

Bath time is fun again!

Last weekend, I was at the store and saw some beautiful Gerber daisies. Daisies are my favorite flower and these were pretty much perfect. I brought them home, dropped the groceries on the counter and took out the flowers to cut and arrange. It didn't take too long - the ice cream wasn't totally melted when I finally got it put away!

Aren't they gorgeous? I think I took about 30 pictures!Theta was mesmerized. He's not allowed on the table, but he braved it to get close to those flowers. It was so cute, I couldn't resist taking a picture before shooing him away!The next day, Brandon saw the flowers for the first time. He kept pointing, saying "fower", so I gave him one. He treated it so gently. I'll have to get flowers more often for the house. They seem to make everyone smile.

Yesterday, we ended up inadvertently attending WestFest because we were down in Westboro running an errand. We figured since we were there and they had hot dog vendors and it was dinnertime - why not? There's something about hot dogs from a street vendor or chip wagon. They taste so much better than if I made them at home!

Brandon's first hot dog! He had bites while he cleaned out my purse and his diaper bag in the bag of our truck. Wasn't that nice of him?

Today we went to visit friends who've got a 2-week old little girl. While we were chatting, Brandon fell asleep in my arms. I was stunned. It was only 10:30ish in the morning! He hasn't taken a morning nap in nearly a year. He woke up about half an hour later in a much better mood. (For the record, I was also stunned that he took almost a 3 hour nap in the afternoon anyway - he was a tired monkey!)

Our friends have a dog and Brandon loves playing in his crate. Fortunately, the dog doesn't mind him being in there!

It's been fun the last couple of months - I'm looking forward to what the rest of the summer will bring!

The ever-so-reliable low-tech compass for the directionally challenged (apparently, that's me)

My absolute favorite thing about work is the people I work with. I get to be around some really fantastic people every day that make the hours spent working a great deal of fun. We get a ton of work done and laugh a lot while we’re doing it.

Recently, I and two other women in my department began a regular lunch date. Initially, the idea was to get out once a month in a non-work setting to just visit together. As we talked about it, we decided to take it a step further and try out some of the different ethnic restaurants in the downtown area. There’s a ton of great food to be had downtown – the plan was fool proof. Our first food choice was Thai. My mouth was watering for days before our firsts scheduled lunch just thinking about eating a spicy beef dish – waiting was difficult!

Finally, our first lunch date occurred just before the end of April. Three days after, one of my colleagues quietly and – in an unusual twist for her – timidly approached me to say she really wanted Thai again. The third in our trio was unable to join us that day, but we went and had a good visit together. The food was a bit of a disappointment after our first visit, but I’m certain it was simply an off day. The following week, our absentee colleague wanted to return to the Thai place as well. So, off we went. Our once a month treat was turning into a once a week routine (not that the treat aspect was diminished at all)!

Last week, we talked and decided that we would try Indian next. I was nominated for the task of finding an Indian restaurant to go to that was within a reasonable walking distance. I must admit, this isn’t the type of task that I feel I excel at. I wasn’t really sure where to begin until one day I had an epiphany as I flicked through my iPhone and saw the app, Urban Spoon. Well, duh! Why wouldn’t I use my iPhone for my search – I mean, it’s not that big an exaggeration when they say, “There’s an app for that!”

UrbanSpoon gave me two options – one that was definitely out of lunch hour walking distance range and the other was just around the corner from our favorite Thai place. So, at our scheduled time this afternoon we set out on our quest for Indian food. I confidently led my colleagues down the street and around the corner just past the Thai place where we turned right. We walked all the way to the next intersection and came across a pizza place. It was then that I admitted to the ladies that perhaps I should have looked at the map on my computer rather than my iPhone.

All was not lost, though. We all agreed that we were quite happy to once again enjoy our favorite Thai place. The waitresses are so sweet and, despite it being only our fourth visit, they even remembered our previous orders. Lunch today was so good. Our level of hunger made the food that much better – it was such a relief to finally eat something – and our table got uncharacteristically quiet when the food arrived.

The walk back to the office was shorter and we knew exactly where we were going. The day was gorgeous and our lunch hour was one to lift the spirits. After a rough morning for two of us, we felt energized again to finish off the day.

On arriving back at the office, I immediately went back to the work I left off with before lunch, while unbeknownst to me one of the ladies was looking up the Indian restaurant. She announced to both of us that I had taken them in the wrong direction (that had already been established, so nothing new about that). She informed me that we should have gone left instead of right. Then she said that next time she needs directions, she would rather flip a coin than rely on me.


So, I took a quarter out of my wallet, pulled out my red marker and marked arrows on both sides of the quarter. I walked over to her desk and “flipped” the coin onto her desk. She laughed, picked it up and showed our other colleague her new “compass”.

And THAT is why I love going to work every day.