Thursday, September 20, 2012

Little boy blue

The light was beautiful last evening and Logan was wearing a great blue sweater. So, of course, I couldn't resist taking as many pictures as possible. It's no wonder he's so comfortable taking pictures himself since that seems to be something we do a lot of in this household.
Not pictured here but on our walk last night Logan decided that I had taken enough pictures and that it was his turn so I tied the strap a little shorter and he started snapping away. I did delete most of the pictures afterwards but there were at least four that turned out pretty well. It was also interesting to see what he chose to capture: we have a good one of the backhoe, one of a rock, one of the trees and one of the bushes nearby. I need hardly tell you that there were quite a few people stopping to comment on our little shutter-bug. It's neat to see how children pick up on things so quickly and imitate so thoroughly (he even was crouching down at certain points to get different angles).
I find I upload enough pictures to facebook so I usually try limit myself to picking the best one or two out of each photo time but it's nice to be able to upload the whole bunch at once and not have to worry about leaving any good ones out.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Twenty-Two Months

I just realized that Logan is twenty-two months old today. I suppose we're closer to the point of counting his age by years and half-years (and almosts and just-overs) rather than months (or weeks, or days) now. Also with being pregnant again I have enough numbers to try to keep in mind. Although sometimes going roughly by trimesters or simply giving the due date will satisfy my interlocutor. I was just thinking the other day of various things I am enjoying about this stage and how I love getting to know his personality more day by day. I realized it's been a little while since I have listed some of the things that I love about him that seem to be particular to this stage. So here is a bit of a list of things precious to me about my little Logi-bear
I love how he tilts his head to the side and nods (not to mention the little hand-gestures that go along with it and the earnest facial expressions) as he is trying to explain something to you or show you that he understands what you are explaining to him. I love how he loves to give squishy-hugs. I love how he truly wants to help. I love how he goes through complicated stories about feeding ducks or fishing or anything that may have happened recently. I love how he is a little shadow for his daddy. I love how they tell stories together. I love how he loves his books (starting all by himself into picture books with stories rather than just board books). I love how he is careful about most things and gentle with very little reminders. I love how he is getting to be so good with the cats. I love how he wants to cuddle when he wakes up every morning. I love how he talks to people on the phone (and just about melted completely when I was away and got to talk to him on the phone myself). I love how he voluntarily shares a bit of what he's eating most of the time. I love how he seems to understand (as far as he is able, I'm sure) about his baby brother. I love how he'll come over and touch my belly to see if he can feel the baby (and shrug if he doesn't feel anything). I love that he plays well with most other children. I love how he goes running for a hug as soon as daddy is home. I love how explaining the 'why' of the matter is usually what it takes for him to avoid most bad behaviour. I love how he still enjoys his blankies. I love how well he goes to bed. I love how he has favourite toys (but not to the point where he has a fit if one is lost). I love how he tries to fix everything. I love how he builds things with blocks and how he is role-playing much more now with various toys. He is just so precious and I love who he is at this very moment.
A tiny taste of the head-tilt...

Toaster Oven Banana Bread

I may have mentioned this previously but the bottom element of our oven burned out sometime this past spring. Over this extremely hot summer the fact I couldn't use the oven wasn't much of a hardship (although I do love to bake) but with the return of cooler weather I find myself wishing for freshly baked goods and attempting ways to side-step the need for our full oven. My latest experiment included banana bread and tiny receptacles baked in our tiny toaster oven. I tried it two different ways: once completely baked in the toaster oven and once started in the microwave and finished in the toaster oven (this latter method sans the metal pans, of course). I found the microwave cut down significantly on the baking time but gave the little loaves less of a loaf shape - it seemed to cause the tops to remain flat rather than puff a little. The problem I had with the larger dishes in the toaster oven was that they seemed primarily to brown on the tops and the sides were fairly crustless (although still baked through). Because my favourite part of the banana loaf is the crust this poses a slight problem but there seems to be enough top-to-bread ratio in these sizes to satisfy my crusty cravings.
Over all I think I shall call this a success. And will likely make several more attempts at this technique in the coming weeks. I have heard rumours that our oven may be fixed soon but I will wait until it actually occurs before planning on it happening.

Friday, September 14, 2012


Logan's hair does not grow very quickly. James has trimmed the hair around his ears a couple times but that's been it for haircutting for our boy until last night. Logan's hair had been getting to the point where it was more often messy than not. I will miss the bunch of curls at the back of his head but I really like the results of his cut. There isn't a huge difference but to me he looks older. I also really appreciate that his hair (so far) has been tidy all the time but still looks natural. I think James did an excellent job cutting it all by hand. Logan was really good at sitting still through the process, too. He did forget a few times and I know James was more stressed about messing things up than he let on but it all turned out really well.
Of course he had to help Dad shave before Dad shaved him around his ears and neck.
Fascinated while watching the meticulous process.
Don't worry, the it is not really cut in a mowhawk: this is just part-way through the cut. I suppose a 'before' picture of sorts would be good too:
I haven't really taken any 'after' pics yet but they will certainly be coming with any subsequent pictures of Logan so you'll have to take my word until then that it turned out well.

Monday, September 10, 2012


I know that much greater minds than mine have attempted to tackle the enormous topic of pain. I'm sure that they have much more profound thoughts to share than anything I could generate. Pain isn't something that I have taken much time to ponder in the past probably because I haven't had a great deal of experience with pain. However, dealing with this kidney stone has brought to my doorstep the reality that so many face of living with pain every day. The difference is that I know that once it has passed, the pain will pass with it. But I still would like to take this opportunity to explore some of what I have been thinking about these days.
Drawing from my readings (a large part of how I experience life) I think about stories of invalids who claimed pain as their teacher and refiner. Patience seems to be one of the virtues often associated with a drawn-out illness (long-suffering). Thankfulness for small mercies is another that seems prevalent as does growing empathy for others who suffer in various ways.
But what happens once the pain is removed? I know, personally, from smaller illnesses and bouts of pain that immediately after I feel so thankful and believe that I will live with more purpose but this new attitude soon gets cast to the wayside. How quickly I forget all I have thought about only wanting to be well while sick and the regular selfish cares quickly take over once again. Does the same apply after a longer illness? I know it is impossible to live on a continuous high and that life will always have ups and downs whether sickness is present or not. But virtues and character traits such as patience and thankfulness and empathy should be things that are not affected as much by external circumstances. If, then, they have been growing while one is sick, they should still be stronger than before once one is well. Perhaps I have never had a long enough experience of pain in my life to be character-building.
One thing that has struck me recently concerning the pain (physical or otherwise) that I have experienced in the past is that I have no actual memory of the pain itself. The only way that I remember feeling pain is through what I thought of it or how I described it or reacted to it at the time. I don't know if this is just me or if it is common amongst humanity. Anyway these are some of the scattered thoughts I have been having (and a record for the future me that I did, in fact, experience pain at this point...). I hope that this pain has not been in vain and that I will be a better person because of it.

Happy Trails

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Mr fix-it

Not sure what was wrong with his car but I'm sure it's all better now...
He certainly has the concept of screw holes down pat. The other day we went to pick up a couple bookshelves and, to transport them, had to disassemble them. There were close to fifty screws and plugs in each bookshelf and I'm pretty sure he had to help take out each one. Heaven to Logan!

Monday, September 03, 2012

In sickness and in health

This second pregnancy has been quite a bit rougher than the first on my body. Thankfully through everything the little one on the inside seems to be doing extraordinarily well. It is just a fairly new and humbling experience for me to be ill. Not to say I have never in my life been sick but usually it's been something that I can deal with at home and bounce back from. I don't think I usually have a problem with excess pride but I know I not only took my generally robust health for granted but possibly felt slightly self-righteous about it. Not to say that I blamed or had no sympathy for those who were experiencing health problems (I had enough experience with my Dad in and out of hospitals all my childhood to have great respect for illness) but I may have felt that being stoic and bearing with more trivial health problems was in some way virtuous. With the advent of this second pregnancy, however, I discovered just what it was like to be completely debilitated with morning (or all-day) sickness and to have to rely on my husband or a few others to help me keep up with the basic tasks of life with a toddler. So much for being strong and stoic, a herculean effort was required not to allow myself to wallow in self-pity. Morning sickness once over, I was able to regain some of my self-reliance and, although nowhere near as strong and active as I once was, was able at least to keep up with my boys. Then came the time of stress I alluded to previously and I found myself stirred up, unable to sleep at night and feeling crampy on and off for quite a while (isn't it interesting how often matters of the heart or mind can affect our physical well-being so drastically). I finally worked through everything spiritually and emotionally to the point that it wasn't affecting my everyday life when I was told that there was a blood-clot on my placenta. Perhaps a result of the stress, perhaps not but it was difficult at first not to begin to worry about that, too. Thankfully my Doctor was not worried about it at all but is still planning on monitoring it through the rest of this pregnancy. So that was the situation last week on my pregnancy. I know this is nothing in comparison to what many women experience in each of their pregnancies but it was quite a bit more than I had ever expected to have to go through. After all, my mother had easy pregnancies as did most of the women in my family. Why would I be any different? Didn't I deserve to be healthy? Then came this past week. I was feeling a little off most of the week but I wasn't sure if it were partially just psychological because I had just found out about the clot and although I didn't want to overdo things I also didn't want to keep using my pregnancy as an excuse to be lazy or waited upon. So I flopped between thinking I was actually not feeling well and thinking I was just imagining things. Then Wednesday came along. It was a pretty good day and Logan and I did a bit of running around to get things done before the long weekend. That evening I had a bit of a back-ache and figured I had probably over-done it during one of my fits of thinking that it was all in my head. So I rested a bit on the couch and it seemed to ease up. So I got up and went on with life only to have to sit down again a little later. But with it easing up with rest I figured I just pulled a muscle at some point and shouldn't over do it for the next little while. That night, however, I couldn't sleep for the pain no matter what position I was in (even sitting on the couch as I had earlier the evening). I took a bath and it seemed to help at first but not for long. By about four in the morning I was vomiting with the pain and finally broke down and went out to buy some Tylenol (have I mentioned that I try too often to be stoic about pain?). I simply threw up the first two pills and then I was afraid to re-dose myself in case some had absorbed already. The pain was as intense as labour but started in my back and would spread around my abdomen at which point I usually threw up and started again. By morning James put his foot down and took the day off work and brought me to the hospital. I was in the obstetrical triage all day as they ran various tests and tried to make sure I wasn't in full-blown premature labour. Through it all, though, I could hear the baby's heart and feel him moving around and kicking like normal so it was a comfort to know he wasn't in distress (I must say the kicking didn't help me at all, though). To make a long, excruciatingly painful story short, it turns out that I have a kidney stone. They admitted me for observation over night (they were still worried about the contractions that the pain had brought on) and finally, after about twenty-four hours of pain on pain, they were able to give me something to lessen the agony. All I remember thinking while sitting in the hospital bed was thankfulness that I lived in an age of modern medicine. After a night of relief in the hospital they did a final ultrasound that confirmed that it is a kidney stone (and only one, thankfully). They determined that because I am currently pregnant they could do none of the normal procedures to remove it because of the various risks to the baby so I am going to have to pass it naturally (unless further complications arise that make it necessary to have it removed immediately). They then released me that evening (kicking and screaming...Not really but definitely with mixed feelings!). So far, trying to cope with it I have found that: water is of utmost importance, that there are periods in which I do not feel pain but that I shouldn't push myself at these times because it will come back with a vengeance, that I need to take pain relief as soon as possible once the pain starts seriously because it is harder to get down than keep down, and that my husband is more wonderful than I had known before! Anyway I would like to add a little reflective coda onto my tale concerning, and summing up, the various threads of thought I have loosed above but unfortunately I feel as though I am reaching the limit of energy I should be expending on here so will leave this with no more than a farewell for now...