31
October

I crushed your groceries with my phone

I was making our annual hallowe’en chili today when I realized that I was short on a couple of ingredients.  We are fortunate enough to have a couple of grocery stores nearby, so I ran over to the closest one, expecting a quick trip.  The store was packed, so I grabbed my items and picked a short line.  There were a few people in front of me, giving me the chance to catch up on twitter while I waited.

We moved along quickly and soon enough I was second from the front.  The woman in front of me only had bananas, so I started to pay attention at this point.  This was approximately the same time that the conveyor belt decided not to stop and create a grocery pile-up at the front of the line.  The cashier realized that the foot pedal was stuck, so she reached down and freed it while the banana-lady and I tried to save the groceries.

We laughed it off and the cashier started to ring in the order when a voice behind me said, “It’s your fault you know.  You young people are always fiddling with your phones, thumbs always going.  It drives me nuts!”*  The cashier and I both tried to explain that it was a malfunction, but she was having nothing of it.  She kept going on and on about how her groceries were crushed, and that I was responsible, as I had not been paying attention.  The crux of her argument was that I was “so busy with my phone” that I failed to put the separator bar between our orders, and this caused the conveyor to keep advancing.**

I’ll admit that I was playing on the phone, but I did not cause this in any way.  She was kinda crazy, but I tried one more time to explain that there was a mechanical issue, but she was adamant, so I dropped it.  After I had paid and was moving away, the cashier hit the pedal again, and once more it stuck.  Her pre-cooked chicken took a direct hit this time, lid popping off while making that distinctive crackling noise. I walked away smirking in the knowledge that I had nothing to do with it this time.  This time, she blamed the snow that fell last night.  Maybe kinda crazy doesn’t quite cover it.

*note that she referred to me as young?!  I call that a win*

**the seperator bar would not have prevented this crushing grocery pile-up, but her argument did get me thinking about who was responsible for placing the bar in this case.  While I generally don’t use the bars, preferring to mess with the people who go wackadoodle if the bar is not in place, I actually did use it this time.  I put the bar between the groceries in front of mine and mine.  Am I also responsible for putting the bar in behind my groceries?**

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29
October

I’ve created a monster. Or two.

Although I have had my iPhone for about six months, I didn’t actually purchase an app until this month. I have played with plenty of apps, and found some that I truly love, but haven’t felt the need to buy anything. Most of the lite or free versions were filling my needs, so I was happy to save the money and use those. After a while it became a “thing”, trying to figure out which app would be the first that I bought, so I watched for the perfect one.

In that time, Woo started to get curious about the phone, asking to type letters out or play with some of the musical instrument apps that I installed for him. The phone became a fun little diversion for him, buying me a few minutes to start dinner or fold the wash. Goose then started noticing it and demanded her time to play too. It worked really well for a while, they played, took turns handing the phone and forth and then moved on to something else that was shiny.

Woo then got sick and I had to up the ante and occupy him QUIETLY so that I could get some work done. Enter Elmo’s Monster Maker. It’s a little game, costing $4.00, that lets you create monsters that will play and dance with Elmo. Woo likes Elmo, so it seemed like a good bet. My first app was purchased. It was a hit, and I got my work done that day. He REALLY liked it, but was pretty good about understanding that it was a treat to play. Then one day Goose saw it. She LOVES Elmo. Since I let her play it too, she asks for it all the time. She is not so understanding about sharing anymore, and she will not give up the phone without a fight. She hides it, cries, begs, and pleads for just a little bit more time with Elmo. Tonight, she patted me down trying to find the phone. A monster, and I created it myself!

The second thing that I created bought this week was Angry Birds. I had seen some tweeps talking about it and got curious, so I tried the lite version of the game. It was simple and cute, but very addictive. After burning through the lite version, I am happily playing the paid version at any chance I get. It’s very hard to put down – last night I was only able to when I exhausted my battery on my phone. It’s a monster, and I am hooked. There is a hallowe’en version too, that I haven’t installed – yet!

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28
October

Pause

I did nothing today. I did not do all my chores around the house, despite the fact that my mother-in-law coming to visit tomorrow.  I didn’t read my email from work, even though I had to open it to send a message I promised I would send.  I did not even answer the phone when work called me.  It felt good, really good.  Life has been moving at such a hectic pace of late that it was, in fact, necessary.

Taking this time was not was not easy for me.  Not only do I still have deadlines that are getting closer by the minute, but I have regular demands of life and work, and I have me.  While I know how to relax, I rarely take the time to do it properly.  My version usually involves writing three different lists while watching TV, surfing the web and doing things that don’t require me to think or move much.  This doesn’t really relax me, it just makes me think I am relaxing.

Today was different.  I started out thinking that I was going to accomplish a huge pile of things, but then could not get started.  This has happened in the past, but I usually either bargain with myself, or make myself feel guilty so I get things done. Those thoughts never crossed my mind today. Instead, I permitted myself to do fuck all.  It was very liberating.

I think I am going to start doing this more often.  While I don’t see myself blowing off an entire day of work again anytime soon, I am going to make a conscious effort to make time for me.  My new year’s resolution was going to be that I would start to spoil myself a little be more, but I am OK with starting a little bit early.  I will, however, be making a list of the things that I am going to be doing!

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27
October

Wordless Wednesday

Hallowe’ens past…

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25
October

Is it over yet?

Today was the start of a conference that I was responsible for organizing for my office. It is a training workshop that we are really excited about, not only for the content of the presentation, but the possibility of raising a little bit of money for my office. It’s a small non-profit that lost core funding last year, so we were happy that we were able to host this. It’s promised to be a great workshop!

I barely slept last night, as I knew that there were some last minute kinks that needed to be ironed out, and that I had to get up earlier that I was used too. This always freaks me out a little, as I am sure that I will sleep in. I woke every forty minutes or so throughout the night, but Woo took care of my fear of sleeping in by needing cuddles at six AM. I settled him and got up to start the day.

The list of chores that I had left myself took slightly more time than I anticipated, and the lils rebelled at my leaving so early, so I was late getting out the door. A stop at Tim’s revealed that I had forgotten a few items (hello, money? phone? who leaves home without them?!), so I was further delayed by the return home.

When I got to the hotel I learned that they had failed to set up the room as instructed, and that the projector we borrowed wasn’t working with the laptop the speaker was using (damn MACs). The AV techs fixed us up with a projector they provided, a relief despite the fact that it was going to cost some extra. It was a necessary expense. The hotel, on the other hand, dragged their feet on fixing the room set up. This raised my stress level higher than I like it.

They eventually sent one of the housekeeping staff to the room to add the table and chairs that we required. He was surly and accusatory, blaming me for the error. Knowing I was not in the wrong, but wanting to get my room set up, I let him grumble away. He kept at me though, and I finally told him to take it up with the Banquet staff. He was essentially finished at this point and left in a bit of a huff.

He had left behind a stack of chairs in case we had stragglers who didn’t want to weave into the room to find seats. Some of the chairs that were out were wobbly, so I offered to replace the chairs for a few people. I grabbed the first chair off the stack, but didn’t anticipate that it would be SO top-heavy. It came flying forward and smashed my mouth, breaking two teeth. It was nine am. I hadn’t even had coffee yet.

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20
October

Wordless Wednesday

My favourite five from my 365 at day 100:

2/10, Frosty Dock (8:00am)

When Queen Anne's Lace dies

Damp Spider

Reading together

Sleepy Goose

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19
October

Taking a stand

Supper tonight was an ordeal for Goose. There were yells, demands and tears, and she left the table angry with both of us.  It was all because we wouldn’t give her her applesauce, didn’t give in to her. It was hard on us, but it had to be done.  We’ve never done it before with her.

She’s at a stage where being a picky eater is a game, played by her rules.  We’ve let her get away with it, worked around her whims, because it’s easier and keeps the peace.  Being so lax with her on this one has happened gradually, but we are to the point where I am sometimes substituting her meal for something I know that she will eat.  I do not want to be that parent, cooking five meals (one for the cat) and having no one happy.  Our motto has always been that the lils will eat when they are hungry, so we let them push around the food that the normally eat on the days that they are being ornery. They usually eat.

Willy decided that tonight was the night to take a stand.  I was getting there, so am glad that he did.  It was a long fight.  We talked to her, cajoled her, tried to play with her, tempt her in any way that we could both before and after bath.  In the end she didn’t get the applesauce she so wanted, because she didn’t eat her supper.  I am not sure who won this round.  She was so adamant that it was applesauce or nothing.  Tonight we took a stand, but so did she. That little girl has will!

LATE NIGHT UPDATE: she’s wimpering in her sleep.  I am sure it’s because she is hungry.  Silly Goose.

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18
October

Moments

As I walked the lils to the park today, I was struck with pride for them in that moment. They were sitting in the wagon sharing a snack of raspberries, passing the container back and forth, happily taking turns eating the berries.  No fighting, no crying, no yelling, just sharing.  It was rewarding and made me feel like we are doing something right with these guys.  It continued at the park, as they played with some new friends, sharing snacks and toys with each other and the other children.

I used to think that these moments might come one day, when they were much older.  I am aware that a minute or two of being nice today does not mean that they have it figured out, or they won’t need our refereeing for the foreseeable future, so I  take them for what they are, glimpses of my two little people enjoying each other.

I’m seeing it more often these days too.  Woo is now known to spontaneously tell us that he loves Goose, or at least likes her.  He still smacks her occasionally, or pushes her down, but now he helps her up when he does.  He also tries to comfort her when she cries, as she does for him.  It is so sweet to see how concerned they get when the other is hurting, regardless of the cause.

They also help each other now, unprompted.  Woo has started to pick things up for Goose when she drops them at the table, no matter how many times she drops them.  He even feeds her on occasion, whether she wants it or not.  She, in turn, will find things for him when he loses them.  All he has to do is ask for something, and she is on a mission to find it.  This is especially handy when I can’t find his toys!

They play so nicely now, make-believe games, singing songs, and playing games.   They also read together, side by side.  Sometimes they each have their own books, but often Woo reads to Goose, telling her his interpretation of the favourite book of the day.  I think that the best thing that they do together is laugh, a crazy happy, infectious laugh, one that makes you join in, mo matter what crazy things they are doing.  It melts my heart.

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17
October

My camera is gonna get it!

Given that photography is a little bit of an obsession for me, it is not surprising that my camera is like my left hand (yes, it’s a south paw too), always with me, always expected to support my habit. Except lately it hasn’t been.  It’s starting to let me down, not perform as I expect, and this is really starting to irk me.

I am not talking about the normal, feature-, lens-envy-, or speed-based issues, all of which I have. I chose this camera knowing what it could and could not do, and I live with that until I buy my next one.  The problems I am having fall in the my camera is letting me down column, and this is a problem.  It started with little things, like not wanting to focus on objects where there was low contrast and not having the focus lock engage when it should.  Lately I have noticed that the preview refuses to come on when I press the button, that the failure to focus  has become more frequent in all lighting and contrast situations, and that sometimes the shutter out and out refuses to engage.  Today I noticed that the shutter button is sticking all the time, making focus lock stay engaged.  Normally I have time to pop it back up, but when chasing the lils it’s not always possible.  Either I move or they move and the picture is gone or out of focus before I can correct.

The camera has over 30,000 pictures taken on it, but it is only three years old!  So the pro/con lists for several new DSLRs have now been started.  The wish list that I have for lenses and gear is big and expensive.  I am all good with that, Willy is not as good with it, so I am hoping for some price drops as the newest models are released, or I am gonna have some negotiating to do.  My camera is going to regret refusing to allow focus for this cuteness at the park today:

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14
October

It’s the way that they sleep…

I love to watch the littles sleeping.  They are so peaceful and cuddly…

Rainy day napperSleepy Goose

What I can’t get over is how they approach sleep in such different ways!  Goose is our little sleeper.  She was a great napper from the start, slept through the night at an early age , and continues to nap every day.  We tried to change her routine and drop her down to one nap when she went to daycare, but she would have nothing to do with it and napped despite us.  Even in a room full of her rambunctious playmates, she would nap.  Other than when we have messed things up for her, she has missed one nap.  One. EVER.

I am pretty sure that her first sentence, at about a year was “Mommy, book then sleepy” as she dragged me up the stairs to her room.  When she wakes in the night, she just sings her songs until she gets back to sleep, covering herself up with the blankets before she drifts off.

When she wakes in the morning, she plays some more.  Some days there are songs, or animated conversations with Baby and Olivia, the dolls that keep her company, and sometimes her brother crawls into her crib and they play together.  Most days she is just happily reading alone when we go to get her.  ”I don’t want to get up”, she says.  We reach in to get her, but she flops down and feigns sleep.  Like her father, Goose loves her sleep.

Woo, on the other hand, was my problem sleeper.  I am convinced that we spoiled him as a newborn, and he thought that you needed to be held to sleep.  That was all we did for the first two months, cuddle him and hold him while he slept.  When Willy went back to work there were things that needed doing, so I tried to put him down to sleep.  It didn’t work.  I tried many a thing to get him to nap, but he fought sleep.  Many a time he would be falling asleep and shake his head to wake himself up, like someone who has the nods in a meeting.  The only thing that really worked was rocking for a long time, then setting him in the crib and hoping it stuck.  For more than 35 minutes.  We did this for a year, when he was physically too big (at 32 lbs) to continue doing this.

He magically started napping at this point, and one day even napped for over three hours. I remember the day well, as I checked his breathing every three minutes for the last half of that nap. I was sure there was something wrong with him, what baby sleeps for three hours, in a row?!  The bliss was short-lived.  He gave up his at home naps entirely three days after his baby sister came home from the hospital.  I was not ready for them to end, but they did.

We were lucky to have him sleep through the night at an early age too. There were even a few months where he slept for twelve straight hours, until the teething messed all that up. He needed attention when he woke in the night, still does. I remember hours of cuddles and songs until he was back in a deep sleep.  The big boy bed helped here, as we could get into bed with him.  This often led to him sleeping on top of me, with his face pressed against mine. Not the most comfortable solution, but it worked.

Unfortunately, moving him to a bed moved sleep avoidance to a whole new level. We’ve finally gotten to a nice routine where he will stay in bed most nights, but it evolves and we have to figure out a new routine.  We move are considering moving Goose to her big girl bed this weekend.  She is ready and wants it, as do we.  Wonder what changes this will bring.

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