Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

I feel like it has been awhile since I have given an update (or updated myself) on Brendan's latest developments as a 20-month-old. This year Brendan learned to associate and say "Santa". When asked what Santa says he promptly replies "HoHo!"

(A minor note on the photo above - being a procrastinator, I sent Ryan to wait in line with Brendan at the mall for 2 1/2 hours on Christmas eve day to visit Santa. Which Ryan understandably grumbled about considering he says he didn't visit the mall Santa as a child. In an effort to make Santa affordable to everyone since many autoworkers in Oshawa were hit hard this year, photos at the mall were free and e-mailed to individuals for printing. I must say...you certainly get what you pay for - in this case not much. I'm really resenting the cheesy Oshawa Centre border and the fact that you can CLEARLY see the mall in the background.

Back to developments.. I have been noticing good and not-so-good changes and he seems to be growing both physically and developmentally in leaps and bounds lately.

The Good

- Communication skills are improving - he has just started using two words together although not necessarily in the correct order

- He is absolutely loving baths and requests them now "BAAFF"

- Loves music - any thing from playing the piano at my in-laws to playing with his new xylophone and singing and dancing to Barney and his new little mp3 playing stereo

- Although he is resisting some foods previously enjoyed, his tastes are expanding and his favourite foods right now are any fruit, cherry tomato, cucumber, peppers. Any round fruit or vegetable are all called "buberries" to him!

The Bad

- Protesting regular activities such as diaper changes: "Brendan, can I change your diaper?" "No" this is often followed by extreme fussiness

The Ugly

- Temper tantrums in public places. Today. The library where he wanted to push around the basket that had a handle and wheels and then when it was time to go he screamed at the top of his lungs while I carried him and made my best attempt to check the books out.

- Resisting bedtime with everything he's got. For awhile he tried to play us by asking for the opposite parent when we tried to put him to bed but it didn't take long to figure that one out. Now he tests us by playing with his bottle - not wanting it, wanting it, throwing it, spitting the contents out. A number of nights recently have been ending in him wailing at the top of his lungs for 5-10 minutes before falling asleep. It breaks my heart to hear the little man sad but for the love of god - please go to sleep!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Penniless and Blessed

Today I came across a really great article. Shuns organized sports which I don't necessarily agree with but on the whole is a great article!


Living more sustainably and saving major $$$

As a single income family, we already try to cut back on a lot of unnecessary expenses and excess consumption. This is sometimes difficult, especially at Christmas time.

We had an awesome CSA foodshare this summer that was DELIVERED to our house weekly and included fresh eggs. We got a 1/2 share and had enough veggies and fruit that we were giving some of it away to neighbours and family. It was roughly $18/week for 22 weeks. I have yet to find somewhere close that has reasonable winter shares. Unfortunately here there aren't too many options besides big chain grocery stores for the winter. In Peterborough where we used to live during my university days, the Farmers Market ran all year round. Sigh...

I am happy to say that as of the end of January we will be replacing our 1980 100 AMP forced air electric furnace which is hugely inefficient and in the winter runs us electricity bills of $500+/month. EEP. We have gone high efficiency natural gas. I know.. with electric you can purchase green energy but I still think that by switching to gas we will be HUGELY saving both in our pocket and in our consumption.

This year I have tried to cut back on the number of gifts and the number of new bought gifts. I was able to find some nice things thrifting - including a present for myself..a pair of NEW Aeropostale jeans for $12 at Value Village :) With my last minute shopping it has been hard to economize this way and the number of crafted gifts significantly diminished. Many christmas recipients this year will be receiving cookies!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Where did the Fall go?

This is where I've been spending most of my December... yup.. the family tree farm up north. Beautiful, isn't it?

I must admit.. I had planned on blogging atleast once/week. But life has seriously gotten in the way. I've been so busy I haven't had a spare moment to myself except for to check various blogs which I love reading. The Fall had such nice weather and then all of a sudden BAM... crazy cold and snow. The weather even made me put off Christmas shopping. So here I am starting my shopping on December 19th. I found some FABULOUS stuff thrifting today that I am so excited to give in a weeks time. Something about finding or making the perfect unique gifts is so much more rewarding than buying a gift certificate at the mall or giving cash. Not to mention the malls are crazy these days. I'm absolutely loving seeing the wonderful x-mas gifts others have been busy crafting or purchasing and posting about on their blogs.