Sunday 26 November 2017


First, an update on last week's post.  After a couple of days of high drama, my daughter finally came to realize that fighting over Christmas wasn't in her best interests worth it and has agreed that we will Christmas on Boxing Day at my house.  In her words, "At least J will get to see Eli open his first Christmas present".  Seriously....she has no clue this kid won't be opening any gifts this year or likely next.  And whatever is in the present will play second fiddle to the paper and any boxes.

As is evident in this photo.  The child has a mound of toys to play with, but given the choice, he always heads for cat toys or something of mine.  This is a garden ornament, that lives indoors, that is a favorite of his.  When he pulls on the mushroom top it springs back...making a noise similar to those door stops. I foresee a time when he discovers those as well and gets himself shut into a room. :)

He's mastered the actual crawl this week and has even successfully climbed the two steps into the kitchen for the living room.  Once up the stairs he heads directly for.... the cat dishes and water bowl. Now he's trying to pull himself up against furniture.  I suspect he'll be walking by the New Year.  

I tend not to "baby-proof" except for the obvious danger of electricity.  Eli needs to learn not to touch certain objects, not to pat the kitties too roughly, and to listen when mom or G'ma says no!  Is it any wonder babies learn to say no so readily, besides the fact it is a two letter word, it's probably what they hear the most of for several months of their young lives.

Since Eli is off to Dad J's house this afternoon, and the Roughriders didn't make it to the Grey Cup, I decided I'd put up the tree today.  My son C was a big help, bringing it upstairs, helping to fluff out the branches and hold the lights as I tried to put them on the tree as evenly as possible.  

I've been sitting here for the last 20 minutes looking at it, getting up and moving them around a bit.  I probably will never be satisfied but there is no way I'm taking them off and re-doing it!  My friend K sent a photo yesterday; it took her 6 hours to put her 1200 lights on her tree!  It's quite a bit larger than mine, obviously, and she is very particular.  It always spectacular when she's done. look homely which is fine with me.

It has been a productive weekend.  I got some errands done on Friday; met with my financial adviser and updated my file, got groceries and did some more Christmas shopping, had my nails done, and met with friends for Friday night supper.  Saturday was housework, laundry, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, washing the living room and front hall floors, clearing away knickknacks and photos, and sorting paperwork and travel items.  Today was a bit more housework with the kitchen floor getting scrubbed, dishes done (I swear I washed everything up before I went to bed last night but got up to a sink full), and putting away the fall decor and pulling out the Christmas stuff.  I'm so proud of myself as I'm down to 2 large tubs and one small container.  I used 
to have six full tubs but I sent a lot of it off to Community Living this summer.  

Yesterday I asked D to clear the dining room table of her projects.  She did, long enough for me to put a new tablecloth (it's plastic as I don't trust young Sheldon).  

In the meantime my island looks like this:
There are numerous bids various stages of completion, baby food jars that are being painted...and I'm told will become an advent calendar.  Then there is the tray of salt dough that are being hand-painted.  Damned Pinterest!

I told her this morning that she is NOT to start any more crafts/projects until these are complete.  

Of course, I'm one to talk as the tree is barely started, I have a pair of mittens half completed, and if look back of the island to the left of the stove, I have margarine softening for a batch of cookies.  I guess I have to admit she gets some of her scatter brain from me.  But, in my defense, my projects generally get done before they are due.  Well, most of the time.

So, enough of my chatter, I'd better go grab another cup of coffee and get this tree done.  Then cookies, and back to my mittens while the football game is on. See...I have a plan. :p

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Sunday 19 November 2017

Christmas present

This is not a catch-up post - it's an opinion piece and most likely a bit of rant. So if you're not in the mood to listen to my whining, feel free to skip this post.

As regular readers you're aware that my adult daughter D and her son Eli are living with me again.  She's basically homeless, as J, Eli's father doesn't want her living with him, she's worn out her welcome at her friend M's, and she doesn't have the resources to live anywhere on her own.  I suspect even when she returns to work in February she'll be hard-pressed to find anyone willing to rent to her.  Yes, she's messed up her life that badly - much of it due to her off-again, on-again, off-again relationship with J.

This morning, I was cleaning the kitchen cupboards of their clutter.  She's been doing Christmas baking so I've expected her to do the dishes and put things away.  She does...but in such a haphazard manner that it is near impossible to find what you are looking for.  It's been driving me nuts so this morning, after a cup of coffee I got busy and started sorting through the pantry.  D wandered in and I asked her to clear out the lazy susan.  

As we were working, she mentioned something about Christmas.  I confirmed that she and J are no longer a couple, and then I informed her I did not want him in my home this year.  It's been three years that I've had to put with someone (or several someones as he often brings whoever is his current roommate) I don't like at my Christmas table (and Thanksgiving and Easter).  The first year, I even drove him to the local jail after dinner so he could serve a weekend.  Yes, that's how I first met him.

She was very upset, telling me she and J had already talked about it, and they decided to spend Eli's first Christmas together...and they had decided it would be here in my home.  I said she and Eli could spend part of the day at J's and part of it here, my son C doesn't generally get up before noon anyway.  But that isn't good enough, there will be no tree or lights at J's and she wants Eli to experience a "normal" family Christmas. 

After some to and fro'ing she agreed that this has nothing to do with Eli and everything to do with her feeling that her childhood was lacking because she didn't know her father.  Somehow the time she spent with her grandparents, her aunts and uncles, and her mother and little brother were not normal.  It was a real slap in the face.

I reminded D that Eli won't remember this Christmas.  If and when, she and J formalize their custody arrangement, the likelihood of him remembering a Christmas with both his parents is slim to not at all.  This is his normal, just as living in a single parent family was hers.  

She immediately stormed off to her room (Eli, thankfully napped through this) and when the baby awoke she headed off to see J.  I know she'll be back later, though she mentioned something about leaving Eli with J.  This is her way of punishing me.  When we were arguing she told me I obviously didn't care about spending Christmas with Eli - so they'd spend the day in her room.  Yes, she truly is that childish.  

Perhaps I am as well, but I'm standing my ground on this one.  Despite it is the season of goodwill towards all men, I will not invite him into my home again. I will have Christmas early or delay it a day, but in any event, I'll celebrate with those I love.  

To end this post on a less cranky note, here's Sheldon "helping" me clean out the plastics drawer in the island.  I gave him a bit of a fright when I came around the corner!

Monday 13 November 2017

Making memories

It's early Monday evening of a long weekend, and I'm exhausted.  It's been a busy weekend and to be honest, I'm ready for the short work week ahead (I have requested vacation for the upcoming Friday...three day week, hooray!).

On Friday, I had planned to meet with my financial advisor but she was storm-stayed in a small town a couple hours out of Regina.  She sent me an e-mail that morning to let me know.  D was working her part-time job and had arranged for J to take care of Eli which meant I had much of the day to myself.  So what did I do?  I went Christmas shopping of course!  It may be more than six weeks away but with between 4-6 inches of snow on the ground it seems closer than that.  

I managed to cross a number of gifts off my list; my brother and sister-in-law, my niece, my friend N, some stuff for D and C, and my staff.  I always buy small gifts for my team, nothing major but usually something fun.  This year I found challenging puzzles and some fun Christmas coasters.  I'll tuck them into a bag with a bit of chocolate and a couple of homemade cookies.  I tend to purchase gifts throughout the year and this is true this year as well. I already bought something for my nephew.  For both he and his sister, I also bought Chapter's gift cards.  They both love to read and this way, even if the rest of the gift is a bust I know they'll get something they like!

For Eli, I had bought a Fisher Price house with little people last spring. It's tucked away in the basement, ready to be wrapped.  I suspect he'll appreciate the wrapping paper more than anything.  His mom has been buying items as well - I'd say she's gone overboard - but since this is his first Christmas he won't remember anyway.  Remaining on the list are my adult children though I've picked up a few practical items; pj's, toiletries, and socks.  They'll also get gift cards - that's become a tradition too - because I don't share the same tastes in clothing.  Again, this way they get something they need or want.  

We're going to start decorating in a week or so, as D wants to make up fridge magnets with Eli in his elf pajamas with Sheldon and his reindeer collar and head gear.  We'll see whether either of them will cooperate...I'm not entirely hopeful.  That reminds me, I need to buy hooks for the ceiling and fishing line...this is one year I'm not going to trust that the tree won't be knocked over...either by a rambunctious kitten or mobile baby.

Speaking of Eli, he continues to learn something new it seems every week.  A week ago, he wasn't able to pull himself to a sitting position from his tummy or back, this week he can do both with ease.

He's also army crawling like a champ, though has managed a couple of movements forward on his hands and knees.  Sometimes his movements get him into a predicament, as it did in the photo.  He had crawled under his bouncer, then sat up.  At least there was room for him, as he often gets caught in the legs of the stool behind him and needs to be rescued.

This week also brought two more teeth - he now has both top and bottom front teeth, and we think there may be more to follow soon.  Poor baby is drooling lots, chewing on everything he can get in his mouth (even the odd cat toy...which sends mom and G'ma into spasms), and gets quite fussy at times.

He's been eating some solid foods for awhile now, mostly arrowroot cookies, or cereal puffs.  He's also had scrambled eggs and toast.  This morning's face is brought to you, courtesy of peanut butter toast.  No allergy here, thank goodness.  (He's had peanut butter in small amounts for a couple of months.)

Although some of the toast didn't make it into his tummy, he made good work on his slice of toast.  And then he had some of his cheerios, or rather, he and Sheldon had some cheerios.  I've never seen such a cat for eating cereal, bread or cookies...he loves the all!

Speaking of cats, Saku seems to be have come to terms with Eli.  Of course, Eli has yet to pull his ear or his tail so things have remained calm.  But I'll often find Saku stretched out on the play mat while Eli plays.  

This photo makes me laugh, Saku is such a big cat!  He's definitely dropped a pound or two since Sheldon came to live with us.  That kitten keeps him running and wrestling.

The rest of the weekend saw me stay close to home.  Saturday, D was away with Eli, so I pulled all the furniture away from the walls in the living room, vacuumed and scrubbed the floor.  It is pretty amazing how far cheerios can be tossed (Eli) or chased (Sheldon).  Add in the cat fur balls that collect behind and under furniture and it was much needed.  I must admit, I tend not to move the bigger pieces of furniture, the desk, the china cabinet and such as frequently as I should.  

Sunday was the Eastern and Western CFL semi-finals.  Our littlest Rider fan, Eli got his gear on, and joined G'ma in cheering on the Riders.  AND it worked, we won the Eastern semi-final.  Yes, I know Saskatchewan is in Western doesn't entirely make sense to me but we got a cross-over spot and are playing in the east.  Next weekend is the final in Toronto. If (fingers crossed) we win that, we're off to the Grey Cup in Ottawa.  One way or another!

Off topic, do you see the cords on the back of the chair?  I've had to be creative as young Eli thinks cords are the greatest thing, ever!  Bring on the Christmas wrapping paper, maybe he'll leave the cords alone?

Well, this is getting lengthy, so I'll end off with this photo from Friday. D was packing the car, so I got Eli ready to go to J's.  He's wearing his winter snowsuit that Mommy bought for him, and the cap and mitts that G'ma made for him.

I'm very pleased with they way the cap turned out.  This was my second effort - the first time I didn't trust the pattern and it just didn't work.  I think, the idiot string for his mitts is a bit too long, but he won't be losing them!  That blue just brings out the color of his eyes.

I'm taking care of him this evening as well, as D is working from 6-10.  He went down for a nap about just under an hour ago.  I thought I'd best get to this post - he sure keeps me hopping when he's awake.  Hence the exhaustion....but oh the sweet memories we're making.

Have a wonderful week everyone!  

Saturday 4 November 2017

Keeping busy

Phew, having a baby in the house is reminding me that I'm grateful I had my children when I was young.  Eli is one busy boy!  Add in a rambunctious kitten and my home is moving and shaking for a good portion of the day.

D is doing better, this time, and seems resigned to the fact that she and J are not able to live together.  J has taken Eli for a couple of overnights since she returned and she's expressed her frustration that Eli's schedule is off when he comes back here since J is a night owl.  Plus he doesn't bathe the baby or change Eli's clothing (diapers, yes) so the little guy comes back a tad bit messy and smelly.  

I try not to interfere...oh but it's hard sometime. One of the lessons I've tried sharing is to get chores done while baby sleeps, leaving enough time for a short nap.  Most of the time she plays with her I-Pad or I-phone (no wonder they're called "I") though she's started doing some crafting.  My kitchen table is currently covered with various projects including a scrapbook for Eli, flash cards that she's printed out and needs to laminate, and several bibs she's sewn.  I showed her how to set up the sewing machine yesterday and she's partially finished four bibs.  I've given up trying to get her to clear the table...some day all of these projects will be finished, right?

As I said Eli has been very busy.  He's learned to play patty cake - I've been playing it with him for a couple of weeks.  Now he'll do it on his own!

He's pretty proud of himself and will clap and clap for several minutes.  I get such a chuckle out of watching him.

Eli has been drooling and chewing on just about everything and it was pretty clear his teeth were coming in.

On Halloween day, D checked and sure enough his bottom two teeth had come through.  Now he's working on the top two.  Still no photos though.  A friend of D's who is a professional photographer told her the best way to get a shot of the teeth is to make the baby cry.  Mean!

 Speaking of Halloween, check out my little dinosaur!
I picked up the outfit at Costco. The sizing said 6-12 months, thank goodness it still fit.  This kid is getting so big!

He is moving more so I expect his weight gain will slow down.  He can army crawl and scoots around on his butt.  Eli can sit unaided for long periods, but still hasn't figured how to pull himself up into a sitting position.  Soon, I'm sure!

His mom took him to her workplaces and he had a visit with his dad as well.  Apparently J was a bit upset that he wasn't consulted about the costume.  Sheesh, he could have bought one if he was so concerned!

Eli was quite happy to get out of his costume and into his pumpkin pj's.  After a cuddle with mom, he was ready for bed...he had a busy day!

This morning we woke to at least four inches of fresh snow.  I went out and used my electric shovel to move most of it off the driveway and then cleared up the rest with my regular shovel.  The long range forecast is calling for more snow and colder temps this winter.  I'm not looking forward to it at all.

It is, however a good time to work on my own projects.  I have a shawl I started, meaning to take it on my cruise that isn't yet finished.  I also have a knitted cap on my needles for Eli.  This is attempt #2, as I didn't trust the pattern the first go around and ended up with a effort that was less than stellar.  This time, I'm using the pattern and making it up for the 2-3 year old size, as Eli apparently has a big head.  I have enough yarn to make him a pair of mitts as well.  Then there is all that sock wool I bought last year intending to make socks for my kids for Christmas...ain't gonna happen but maybe I'll get a start on those as well in the next few weeks. 

Yep, we're definitely keeping busy around's a kind of busy, where I go to bed at night feeling I've accomplished something, no matter how small it is.  

Have a wonderful weekend!