Monday, February 23, 2015

Sick baby blues

All bundled up: So sick, yet still so cute. He didn't move from this position during our hour long walk over the weekend. 
Odin has developed an ear infection that has him feeling sore, feverish, fussy and very lethargic. I love that he will finally rest his head on my shoulder and cuddle instead of squirming and attempting to stand on his own all day, but there is nothing worse than the completely helpless feeling of a sick baby crying in your arms. Cutting new teeth (he now has 5), drooling and a runny nose hasn't helped the situation. He's basically a snotty mess but hopefully he will be on the mend soon and back to his smiling self. I miss my happy little man, and my arms are tired from not being able to put him down!

Oh, hello there bottom teeth!!
Before he was struck down with his illness, we had a very exciting week. Odie tried his first bites of food. We started with rice cereal, and have added bananas (successfully) and carrots (not so successfully). Cale was super excited to be part of feeding him. Once we had decided to give it a try, he began chanting at me to 'Pump some milk! Pump some milk!' so we could mix it with the dry cereal and get the feeding started!! I can't believe how quickly my little man is growing up.

Odie wasn't nearly as excited as Caleb was about trying his first bites.
But he soon discovered how much fun and messy food can be!
I'm so out of practice that I didn't even think to put a bib on Odie!! I won't be making that mistake again anytime soon!
As the end of February approaches, we are getting ready to pack our bags and move once again. We've been staying at a great house in Douglas, overlooking the St. John River. It is the home of friend's parents who spend the winter in Florida and we've been here since November 1. Staying here has worked out wonderfully well for all of us. I'm a bit embarrassed to say that this is the 9th home that Caleb has lived in. How crazy is that??? We are destined to be vagabonds for life it seems. The Unintentional Nomads will be the name of our first family band.

Next up for us, however, is something I'm super excited about - a giant road trip!! I'm flying with the boys to meet up with my parents in Florida and Alan, being the wonderful man that he is, is driving solo down to meet us. The 4 of us will spend a week with my parents and then take 2-3 weeks to drive back up the coast together, stopping to visit friends, family and hopefully some amazing roadside attractions along the way! A family adventure was something we really wanted to make happen during my maternity leave and I'm so excited that my dream is coming true in only 2 short weeks!! 

We're hitting the road, and *hopefully* they won't be snow-covered!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

True love

Happy Valentine's Day
We are at home, preparing for *another* snow storm and enjoying our day together. Nothing too special, but special all the same because we are together, healthy, happy and surrounded by love. I must say that the love a mother receives from her children is a truly miraculous thing, but the love a mother receives from a young baby is on a whole other level.

Anyone who has spent anytime with Odie and I knows that his love for his mama runs deep. Really, really deep. I don't remember it being quite so obvious with Caleb, but with Odin it is hard to ignore. He literally lights up when I enter the room. He fixates his eyes on me and stares with sheer adoration. I'll often catch him staring at me, and when I catch his eye, he bursts into a giant, heart-melting smile. If he is fussing or crying in someone else's arms, he will stop as soon as he is back with his mama. He can go from a scream to a smug smile in 1 second flat. This is quite a superpower to hold over someone, and I take his unwavering trust and love very seriously, even if it makes me laugh at times (and likely frustrates others). Knowing that just my presence or my touch can have such an impact on him is amazing, and it may lead to attachment issues or something down the road, but for now I am revelling in it, knowing that it won't last forever. And to be fair, he does love others as well...his dad for sure, as well as his brother, grandparents and other family have all won a special place in his heart. He often treats people to his smiles and laughter, so he does spread his love around, but he definitely saves his best love for me!

Odin's eyes are a really interesting colour right now. They are very bright, but they aren't blue. More of a grey/green/light brown shade. 
 I left the room the other day and Odie was broken hearted, as if he knew for sure that I'd never be coming back. And the thought crossed my mind that I will never leave him and in fact, he will be the one who will one day leave me- off to college, off to travel, off wherever life takes him - and I'll be the one left behind, watching him go, brokenhearted (but hopefully not expressing it through a screaming fit). Caleb was also attached, and still is to a large extent, but he now needs his mother less and less all the time. He even asked me while we were playing last week if I could pretend to be Ava! Ouch, my first time playing second fiddle!

Caleb is also learning about love, and how to be a loving big brother. There are many lessons he has learned including:

1. Never touch a sleeping baby, no matter how cute he looks
2. Never put your finger in the mouth of a teething baby
3. Try your best not to kiss a baby when your face is covered in jam, or other sticky substances
4. It feels great to hug a baby, but it feels not so great for the baby if the hug is too tight
5. It is most effective to be more than 5 cm away from a baby's face when trying to make him smile or laugh
6. Roaring suddenly within close proximity to a baby's unsuspecting ear may result in crying
7. Most of all, don't stop trying because the rewards, when they come, are so incredibly worth it.

I'll add to this list as I continue to notice these little things that make me smile!

Monday, February 2, 2015

The most magical of birthdays

As Yoda would say 'Your birthday it is'
After my super fun birthday potluck last week, I asked Caleb what he would like to do for his upcoming birthday party. He replied, 'I want my party to be exactly like yours, but with way more decorations!'. On January 29th,  the day that my boy turned 5 years old, I was awoken at 5:30 am. Cale climbed into bed and told me that he was going to take a tour around the house.  I asked why, and he replied "I can't wait to see all the decorations". I asked him why he thought there may be decorations around the house and he looked at me very seriously and said 'Mom, I know what parties are all about'. Well, thankfully Alan and I did decorate the night before and following an inspection, Cale was very satisfied with our work, especially when we discovered the treasure hunt we had set up around the house that lead to a brand new big boy bike hidden in the garage.

I love that birthdays are a chance to celebrate the special people in my life. I wanted Caleb's celebration to be extra special because he is honestly the best little boy anyone could hope for. We had our special day all planned out well in advance, in fact, I overheard Caleb telling someone that he wouldn't be able to go to school on his birthday because he just had too much fun stuff to do! So he skipped class and we set out on an awesome adventure.

First stop - Hot 92.3 Radio station. Yes, Caleb has developed a taste for pop music (his father is suuuper happy about this!). Cale has a fort under Greg and Linda's stairs where he set up a radio and keeps the dial on his favourite station. I had called the station a few days before and asked if it would be ok to bring him in for a tour - and they were incredibly obliging. He met the djs, sat in the studio chair, talked about his favourite song (Uptown Funk) and was gifted with stickers and a 92.3 t-shirt. Very cool.

Taking over the dj booth!
Next stop - UNB biology lab. Because of Cale's love of microscopes, I had arranged up a meeting with Dr. Rick Cunjak who had set up his lab with a ton of water samples, insects and other fun stuff for us to look at. Cale was very interested in everything he saw, asked great questions and again, I chalked this up as a hugely fun and successful venture! Our celebration day ended with a family pizza party, brownies and ice cream.
Budding scientist

Our kids party was planned for Sunday and we still had one more super surprise up our sleeves. Another one of Caleb's interests at the moment is magic, so for his party, we hired Perley the Magician to come and entertain the kids. Caleb couldn't believe it when Perley walked in...with 3 giant tupperware containers filled with magic tricks and props! He put on a great show and had the kids squealing in delight. Cale was beside himself, surrounded by friends and family and just loving every minute of his special day. 
How could you not be excited seeing all of these great tricks!

Party time!
To top off our most magical birthday week, we watched the Patriots win the Super Bowl Sunday night. I didn't want to jinx it earlier, but I think that Odin is the Pats' secret weapon. Each time he wore his Brady jersey this season, the Pats won the game. 15 wears, 15 wins!! My dad is going to retire this lucky jersey once he outgrows it! We'll probably have a little ceremony, just to give us something else to celebrate!

Odie probably would have been voted the Super Bowl MVP, had the Patriots only known about their secret weapon.
I also decided to keep my tradition of interviewing Caleb on his birthday and I'm pleased to share this special video below! Enjoy!