Friday, August 30, 2013

Breakin it down.

This is the last month that I can boast mothering two chillens under the age of two, soooo...  it's update time y'all!

Let’s go youngest to oldest.


He’s 4.5 months old, about 26 inches long & 16 lbs, rolls over from back to front, popped his first two teeth, gets giddy in the jolly jumper, makes cutesie cooing sounds, has little blonde spikey hairs coming in, and loooooves to eat (as in, breastfeed). We experienced a temporary regression in the sleep department (thank you, teeth) but it’s generally great, he’s always ready to offer up an adorable grin and/or giggle, and he’s just the perfect addition to our family.


Oh my heavens, the things going on with this kid. He is SO verbal. He’s even using present progressive, past tense, plural and possessive markers. (The speech pathologist in me is simply glowing). His long utterances are only partially intelligible to everyone besides mommy & daddy, but let me give you an inside look at the workings of his genius little brain:
  • He frequently counts to eleven, but always ALWAYS skips “five”. Like, every time. And he does this counting very enthusiastically and completely of his own volition- he thinks it’s a blast.
  • He’s the ‘Kumeu poop police’ and when he discovers poop on the lawn, he calls, “Mommy open garage getta bag! Poop right here!” Seriously. There are a bunch of doggie poopy bags in the garage and he’s intelligent enough to put all those thoughts together and demand that I pick up the poop. You’ll notice that our yard is now pristine (or at least devoid of dog poop).
  • The other day I told Fraser that we were going to go to the store to pick up milk, bread, and bananas. I never said anything else about it until we were at the store about 20 minutes later. I feigned forgetfulness saying, “Hmmm….. we need miiiiiilk… what else do we need?” (not seriously thinking he would respond accurately), and he was like “BANANAS!” and- doing nothing to hide my surprise- I continued enthusiastically, “What else?” After thinking for 2 seconds, he excitedly piped up, “TOAST!” As we sauntered through the store collecting goods, he reminded me of the remaining item(s) to be picked up. Crazy right?!
  • He’s been actually singing songs. I’m convinced that recent time spent with big cousin Ty encouraged this little development as Ty sang Twinkle Twinkle all by himself (an admirable feat indeed). Skinnamarink is his other fave. Only the occasional word is actually pronounced accurately, but I usually skip half the words to songs too so one can hardly blame him. Plus, oh yes, he’s not even two yet.
  • He’s constantly narrating everything in life. “Big bus over there; Mommy feeding Step-uhn; Step-uhn sleeping inna bed; Bayer (Fraser) ride a bike; Doomoo (Kumeu) barking; Read a book; Daddy walteen (walking) to wort (work)" 
Balls, cars, rocks, water, climbing, books, singing, family, friends, Kumeu, Stefan… some of his faves.


He’s almost three and a half, and still as endearing as ever. He’s a tad overly energetic for the first minute of every single interaction, but still adorable. Poor guy hasn’t been getting QUITE the same number of walks/runs that he once did, but he handles it nobly.  He’s wonderful with the kids, and has a protective streak around them. If another dog approaches Fraser at the dog park, Kumeu pulls out a nasty sounding snarl that is very unlike him, and chases the dog away. Fraser LOVES Kumeu and always asks for/about him and/or narrates what he’s doing. We knew when we got him that this would be the case, but we’re reminded time and time again that golden retrievers are excellent family dogs!


He now has permanent employment (can I get a big ol HURRAH?!). His position is that of an Addictions Counselor. He loves his job and the connections he’s making, but yes… eventually he would like to be an actual Psychologist as that is what he IS.

Really, we'll take any excuse for an ice cream cake around here.

He has short hair! At church a couple weeks ago, one of the pastors was up on stage with a short fresh ‘do, and I turned to Lowell and said, “we’re hacking your hair” and then I went hog wild with the scissors. I totes thought it would make him look more grown up, but 100% of feedback indicates it makes him look younger. Still a success, I would say. He has sported the surfer dude look for as long as I’ve known him (as I like it and am in control of such things), so I don’t know if I’m ready to completely bid that look good-bye… but this is a fun change.

His eyes suck. It’s not just the tunnel vision and low light blindness either…. It’s the cataracts, the flashing, and general clarity (or lack thereof). Shortly before we were married, Lowell had one cataract done (no, this is not just a problem for 90-year-olds), and the doctor gave him a random focal point (midway between being far-sighted and near-sighted) despite Lowell’s request to be near-sighted. So now he has different prescriptions for each eye plus has to wear different glasses for near and far for the already surgeoned eye, and even with all of these things, his vision in broad daylight is still unclear. So that sucks. He has an appointment next week with a DIFFERENT DOCTOR at a DIFFERENT CLINIC for his other eye, so here’s hoping.

Not surprisingly, Lowell prioritizes us (his fam) and constantly demonstrates that he’s an amazing husband and father.


I’m doing great! I love being at home with two quickly-growing, super lovable little scallywags.

My body, however, isn’t so thrilled following the whole child bearing experience. I’m not talking looks (although I still have 15 extra pounds hanging (and I do mean hanging) off my frame and you should be thankful that you don’t have to see me naked), I’m talking function. I’ve been doing physio to try to get these darn hips in working order, but the going is slow. It recently dawned on me, however, that I’ve never been NOT pregnant and/or nursing since being pregnant with Fraser, and both of those things contribute to joint pain (or so I've heard). SO, I’m optimistic that when I’m finished nursing Stefan, my hips will magically return to normal and I can continue being as active as ever. (What? A girl can dream.)

Speaking of appearances... apparently I look young (and always have). I regularly get shocked looks and bold comments about how I could POSSIBLY be old enough to have two children. I kind of love it, though, as reactions when I divulge that I’m nearly 31 with a masters degree are soooo satisfying. Mouth gaping, eyes popping… delightful fun for Julie. And APPARENTLY, the young/awkward/adolescent look is actually, like, a STYLE. Have you seen Madonna, Miley, or Katy lately?

It’s supposed to be some sort of high end fashion statement referred to as a “grill”, but to me it’s called BRACES. As in, awkward 12-year old with crooked teeth kind of braces. When I saw these pictures, I was like ‘hang on a tick, is the awkward adolescent look IN? Only like 20 years too late!’ Next thing you know, acne and straight-up head gear will considered fashionable.

But I digress.

We're all doing great, the boys are growing and changing super fast, and we are blessed!

Friday, August 23, 2013

The thing about Starbucks...

So, the thing about Starbucks (or- as it is lovingly referred to in our home: St. Arbucks) is... it’s ADDICTIVE. I’ve never had issues with drugs or alcohol, but Starbucks? I’m frequently jonesing for my next latte. And it’s not just the caffeine either. I’d nearly sell my right arm for a decaf macchiato.  It takes every ounce of self-control for me to not treat myself, like, every. day. When I DO cave (which is faaaaaairly frequently), I have to find a way to justify it cuz let’s be honest, it’s not cheap. So rather than JUST throw both kids in the car, go through the drive-through, selfishly buy myself a bevvy and return home, I think “this is Julie’s coffee ministry on wheels” and I buy one and deliver it to someone who I think might enjoy one ALMOST as much as me. (Almost). Trouble is, then I’m spending twice as much. But it’s still totally justifiable cuz it IS, after all, a ministry… right?

I think a possible solution here is that we need our own little latte/espresso machine. But THAT costs money too. So Lowell was like, “how about every time you want a Starbucks, you instead put that money towards a machine?” and I was all, “OR. Every time I want a Starbucks I could put that money towards a machine AND buy a Starbucks. (And also buy one for a friend)!” Do you see the potential for us becoming really super poor here?

I THINK in lattes. For example, I’ll be at the grocery store debating between brands or whether to purchase something or not, and I’ll be like, ‘okay, if I save one dollar here, that’s a fifth of a latte. We don’t need milk this week, that’s a whole latte. Score.’  Sick? Yes, sick.

It gets worse.

I’m currently on an unpaid mat leave, and finances are, well, tight. As we were discussing some cost cutting solutions, I thought, ‘I should tell Lowell that I will go one whole month sans Starbucks… gosh he’ll be so proud he’ll fall in love with me all over again!’ But I couldn’t do it. I COULD NOT UTTER THE WORDS ALOUD. It was just too painful.

I don’t spend money on shoes or alcohol or, like, scrapbooking supplies or anything. So that makes it okay right? RIGHT?! It’s like my THING.  I definitely drink alone too, but there is nothing- nothing- better than a Starbucks and a friend... together. And for the record, Lowell is surprisingly supportive of this habit. A little more supportive when I’m actually, you know, bringing in cash… but supportive nonetheless.

And also. When we go by Starbucks, Fraser announces, “Doppee! Mommy’s doppee!” which is both beautiful and horrifying.

So there you have it. My kryptonite. The skeleton in my closet. My big huge embarrassingly ridiculous first world problem. Now if you’ll excuse me, I must go. I’m jonesing…

Friday, August 02, 2013

Project 365: July Edition

Stefan's first Canada Day!

What?! At least he's sharing.

First night of room sharing = SUCCESS! Don't be deceived by the actual bed in the room- it's been in there forever, and Fraser is still very much in the crib for as long as I can possibly keep him there!

This really happened. Clearly a "mommy brain" moment (discovered hours later).

They're both veeeeeerrrry bored with shopping.

Date night! After dins, we went to a movie (Monster's University 3D) in an actual THEATRE which we hadn't done since I was just barely pregnant with Fraser. Novel!

Super Dad!

If you look suuuuuper closely, you can see a man in the tree. Fraser was watching with rapt attention as the man preformed his tree-cutting duties!

Fraser seems to share a special bond with cousin Emily!

Katelyn, Julia, and Emily. A bunch of adorable cousins... Cousin Its (hehehe) :)

Stefan's first plane ride was superbly successful... he slept the entire way to Ottawa!

Carlynne and baby Fin at Meech Lake.

Beautiful and dimpled (I will never get over the fact that she has DIMPLES!) Finola Rose!

Double date night on a rooftop patio in Ottawa while Nana watched the kidlets... FUNSIES!

Beach day with my (not-so-thrilled-looking) fedorable (term coined by Carlynne) boys!

Twins and twin cousin babies!

Cute welcome home (from Ottawa) sign in the window from Papa. Note the use of Stefan's first AND middle name. Stefan was named after Papa (the Peter part), and Papa prefers to call him the full 'Stefan Peter' hehehe :)

Watching Daddy unclog the street drains after yet another rain storm.

Lowell demonstrating his photographic prowess.

Fraser blowing bubbles. And by blowing bubbles, I mean putting the entire bubble blower IN his mouth (although he is blowing with remarkable accuracy in this shot).

Oh, Fraser is just taking 'Annie Dah-ween' (Auntie Shareen) for a walk!

Tummy time!

Prince George's day of birth! So we had to celebrate... with crowns, jewels, and ice cream cake... obviously.

Fraser + Nico = beach bums.

Playing some guitar with Papa on his birthday. "Appy Day Papa!"

Fraser, Stefan, Kumeu and I road-tripped it to Medicine Hat to visit Auntie Shareen, Uncle Craig and Maggie!

A coupla monkeys at the park! Fraser was pretty proud of himself for successfully swinging from the bar for the first time. When he was finished, he stood up and enthusiastically ran in the opposite direction- not realizing that there was another bar there (dang parallel bars)... BONK. Oops.

Fraser LOVES running with Kumeu. And I LOVE watching him run with Kumeu.

Stefan and baby cousin Elise!
Happy Sixth Anny to US!
Where's Fraser??!! I kid you not. He squatted in the box, starting bearing down, and POOPED. In a diaper box. How appropriate.

Fraser loooves to play "Dop an Doe!" (stop and go) or "Wun!" (run) whether on foot, in the stroller, or being carried. Much giggling always ensues!

The ginormous disgusting wasp nest in the dog house (that Kumeu has never set foot in. Seriously. (Wanna buy a dog house? It only weighs 700 lbs. For real.)) didn't stand a CHANCE against Papa and his can of Raid!
The. End.