Tuesday, May 25


It's hot. 
And I really don't have much to say.

Home from our weekend of camping, and it was good.
Haydon did great, had an awesome weekend, was his usually shiny happy self, and all of his naps and was a wonder baby.

And now that we're home and back to his crib...he screamed for over 2 hours before falling asleep. 
And it's hot.

And then my wonder husband got home from work and made me cry.
See, I have this problem with chocolate.  I like it a lot.  So much that if we have any, James hides it so I don't eat it all.  Or if he has any that's like, just his, he definitely hides it.  And every now and then he'll plant some somewhere like my purse or something as a nice treat for me.  'Cause he's so nice.
So, I'm packing up our stuff to come home from camping yesterday, and there's something big and blockish in James' coat pocket.  It's a mint aero bar.  De-lish-ous.  I take it out.  I almost remove the packaging.  Then I think to myself "This is NOT yours!  Put it back!"

And I did.  And THAT is a big deal.

I told him all proudly later on of my wonderful behaviour.  He was proud.
I was certain there was a piece of that mint aero deliciousness comin' my way whenever he opened it up.

So, he gets home tonight, asks me if I want to watch the episode of Chuck we have to catch up on, and do I want anything to eat.

"I wouldn't mind a piece of that chocolate bar you had..."

"It's gone."

Just like that he says.  All straight-faced and like it's no big deal.  It's gone.  It's GONE!  Can you believe it!  After my upstanding behaviour, it's just gone!?!

That'll teach me not to eat the chocolate when I've got the chance...

Thursday, May 20

This day is brought to you by the letter 'P'

'P' standing for puke, packing and Pitch and Praise.

As in, because Haydon's napping, I should really be packing for the weekend, but it's hard to drink my delicious coffee while packing, and it's easy to do it while blogging/reading blogs.

We're going with the youth from our church to Pitch and Praise - a weekend camping retreat.  I'm not sure if I'm pumped or petrified about going camping with a baby and a bunch of young teens...I think it'll be good.  My one ridiculous and irrational fear about the weekend is that I would be wandering around with my babe strapped on and need to pee and not have anyone I can pass the baby too.  To which St. James said "It can't be that hard to pee with him in the sling!" (We don't all come with that kind of equipment...).  And my friends, the other leaders who are going said "...we'll hold Haydon."  Phew.

The problem with packing is, Haydon is perpetually puking.  This is fine when I'm at home and can do two loads of laundry a day (crap!  I'm supposed to have diapers in right now!).  This is less fine when by 9 in the morning he's already puked all over me.  I had all of our clothes clean last night so that I could pack everything, and I'm not sure I will even have clean clothes to pack by the end of the day.

It's a good thing I love doing laundry so much.  Here's some pics from my line earlier this week.

Eeeee!  Does it get much better?  SO cute!

I know.  Poop stains.  Gross.  Have I mentioned that I love cloth diapers?  This would NOT have happened if he wasn't in disposable that night...St. James said he was cleaning poop out of his neck.  Have I mentioned that I love St. James?
Yep.  Baby stuff is cute.  H&M for the monster socks...

Tuesday, May 18

Wondrous Machines


There is something really great about those moments just after kissing that beautiful boy's head, laying him in his crib, and tip-toeing out of the room.  I have a ton of things I'm hoping to get done tonight - laundry on the line to come in, some baking I'd like to do, stuff to put away from shopping today, disgustingly dirty floors to wash.  But first, I had a few moments of me-time, which included a drumstick ice cream cone and a glass of milk, and some reading.

Just wanted to share quickly what I was reading.  An article from Mothering Magazine which I have been really coming to enjoy.  I think I'll subscribe.  The article is "Celebrating our Glorious Goddess Bodies" and was just a good read and a good reminder that this bod that rolls over the tops of my pants and has breasts so stretched that they look like a road map produced that boy I love, and that's pretty amazing.  On that theme, I've recently discovered this blog, The Shape of a Mother, which is a place for people to post pictures of their post-partum bodies in attempts to normalize reality, and work to erase the expectation that we should all look like Heidi Klum after giving birth (just a heads' up - there is nudity).

After Haydon was born, I remember thinking to myself  "I've got six months 'till summer...more than enough time to be the best-looking Mom on the beach."  I don't care as much anymore.  I'd like to say I don't care at all, but there are days when that is simply not true.  But, on the days when I'm in the head-space I'd like to be in, I remember that this body looks this way for a reason.  And this body looks pretty darn good.  It's healthy.  It's nourishing my son.  I'm pretty lucky to have it - regardless of its shape and size.

I have some friends who are a part of a band that makes music for kids, called Wondrous Machine.  They have a great, catchy little tune with the same title.  One day, as I was standing in front of the mirror bemoaning my mama body, that little tune worked it's way into my head...

I am a wondrous machine, of God's great design, of God's great design.
I am a wondrous machine, of God's great design!

It's true.

And so are you.

Monday, May 17

Magnificent Mondays

Monday is my favourite day around here, which always feels a little funny, considering most of the world groans over Mondays.

James doesn't work until 1:00 on Monday afternoons.  So Mondays have become this beautiful time of resting and connecting and preparing for the week ahead.  Sure, weekends are great, but they are often filled with outings and errands and visiting, all of which are good, but not always restful.  No matter how busy the weekend is, we always know that Monday mornings are not far off.  Monday mornings are for us, and nothing else gets in the way of that.

On Mondays, we (or one of us) usually sleep in.  We enjoy a nice breakfast together.  I pull out the white board weekly calendar and we talk about what's happening in the coming week.  It's a great way to make sure we know what the other person's up to, helps us trouble shoot problems (wait...if you have a meeting on Tuesday night and I was going to go to...who's hanging out with Haydon?)  It also helps us to regulate ourselves "You mean there isn't a single night when we're both going to be home for dinner together!?  We need to cut back on our commitments..."  After we take care of business, we spend some time praying together, for our family, our friends, and our community.  And then James rushes to get ready for work (I love that he likes to spend as much time with us as possible...even if it means throwing lunch together and throwing his work clothes on at the last minute, when he should already be in the car).

So, basically Mondays are great.  Add to that the fact that I have one awesome husband, who got up this morning at 6 with Haydon so that I could sleep in, and then was able to crawl back in bed at 7:30 when our early riser was ready for a nap, and then got up and made a great breakfast for us to share over our meeting, and you get one magnificent Monday.  Being married to a saint is pretty great.

Sunday, May 16

It's a Dog's Life

Remember that dog we have?

Yeah, that one.  That great big hairy lug of a lovely dog.
I really love Charlie.  Buuuuuut...Lately I have been finding I'm not up to being a dog owner.  He doesn't get walked.  He doesn't get brushed.  He doesn't even really get a belly scratch now and then.  He does get yelled at when he's underfoot, which is almost all the time because he's huge and he's not getting enough attention or exercise.  It's not his fault.  It's mine.

And so we've decided it's time for Charlie to go to a new home.
And I know it's what's best.  For Charlie.  For me.

But I'm still spontaneously bursting into tears all afternoon.  'Cause I kinda  feel like we failed Charlie...just like I kinda feel like we failed Monty.

Yeah, that lovely cat that ran away.

Charlie is going to a house that is full to the brim with lots of kids, and I'm sure he will be well cared for and loved and walked and not left all alone all day long while I go visit my parents in Brantford.
In fact, the first time Charlie met Sihaam, who's taking him, they bonded instantly

But I'm still crying.

'Bye Charlie.  Love ya dude.

Friday, May 14

I Heart Hamilton

There is SO much to do in this fine city this evening.  Let me tell you about a couple of the things I'd like to be a part of...

1)True City:InConcert

TrueCity is a movement of churches in the Hamilton area committed to living out the good news of peace, justice, mercy, and reconciliation we have in Jesus. We believe that as we do, we will see our neighbourhoods and our city transformed.
 Some great musicians from True City churches will be playing tonight.  The Freeway - a great coffee house - is located at 333 King St E.  Come sit on a comfy couch, drink great locally roasted fair trade coffee, and hear some good tunes.

2) James Street N. Art Crawl!
The Art Crawl happens the second Friday of each month.  I have been wanting to check out the Art Crawl for eons...every month it doesn't work out.  Every month I tell myself I will go next month.  I won't be making  it this month...and I already know that I can't June, July OR August.  September.  I will go in September.   Here are some details about the galleries and artists on display tonight.

3) "Celebrate Spring" on Ottawa Street
Ottawa Street is having a celebrate spring event on today.  The antique shops will be open 'till 9 and having lots of sales and door pries (you can go buy my desk for me, if you like - it's at Maverick Antiques).  There's also an outdoor movie taking place at 8:30 at East Kiwanis Place.  

Not feeling like going galavanting?  I know of this lovely living room in downtown Hamilton that's a great place to sit and relax while a baby sleeps upstairs.  Candles, good books, tea and fresh baked goods will be provided.  I'd love to head out to True City: InConcert...

Thursday, May 13


Can I brag?

Who am I kidding?  I'm not really sure why I asked. 

I just got a disc of photos from Haydon's dedication service from my talented friend Jeremy Curry.  They're great!  Some great pictures of my boy, and the people who love him.

Here's a sampler...


Thanks Jeremy!


...we have a problem.

Ya see, my mom has this beautiful desk at home.  It's an antique Arts and Crafts style library desk.  It has built in shelves on either side, a narrow drawer that opens, and room for a chair on either side.  It looks a little something like this. 

Only nicer.

I've always wanted one.  Whenever I browse through antique shops, I keep my eyes open for one.  I've been looking for a couple of years.  And they're not that rare, I usually see one that's similar.  But often they don't have the shelves, or they don't have the space for chairs on either side, or they're just not in great shape.

Except for today.  Today I found it.  It's perfect.  It has everything - shelves on both sides, room for chairs on both sides, beautifully finished.  Reasonably priced too.  She was even gonna give it to me without tax today.

And that's the problem.  Ya see, as much as I want it, and have been looking for it for EVER, and it's reasonably priced and all...it's not in the budget right now.  And we're trying to be all fiscally responsible and stuff and pay off the student loans and stuff and not buy things that we don't need and don't have the money for right now.  And stuff.


Wednesday, May 12

A Poem for My Boy

Hey, remember that time I was obsessed with diapers?

...oh right.  That would be currently.

And to feed the flames of fanny fanatacism, I just discovered a new blog.  http://clothdiapers.blogspot.com
Yep, 'cause I really need to spend more time reading about diapers.  You probably do too.

Anyway, they're having a Mom's Week give away.  To enter, you have to write a little (500 words or less) blurb on the theme "I'm so glad you were born"

And so I decided I would exercise my creative writing skills, 'cause they haven't been used in awhile.  I wrote a poem for my boy.  Can I share it?  It's a little sappy...keep your eye rolling and gagging noises to yourself.

I'm So Glad You Were Born

I’m so glad you were born.
You - with your perfect pursed pout
You - with your ever-rosy cheeks
You - with your deep baby blues
lined with those lovely luscious lashes.

I’m so glad you were born.
You - with your early-morning squeals
You - with your deep sleepy grins
You - with your gleeful giggles
 that leave me no choice but to laugh along with you.

I’m so glad you were born mine.
Mine - to cuddle and kiss as you sleep at my breast
Mine - to grin over with pride as they tell me “how beautiful!”
Mine - to love and to lead
as we look to the future with wonder and hope.

Tuesday, May 11


Do you ever wondering what you're doing with your life?  I have been lately.  Am I using my time effectively?  Am I making a positive impact on my world?  These are potentially not the best questions for a new mom to be mulling over...but then again, maybe they are.  There's a lot of stuff out there worth doing.  A lot of stuff that needs doing.  A lot of causes worthy of my time.

A lot of diapers that need changing.

A lot of laundry that needs doing.

A lot of bottles that need washing.

I know my job as a mom is important.  But every now and then, it's easy to think that it's not, and that there are plenty of other things I could be doing that would be more gratifying, and have a bigger impact on the world.  (I'm not really sure if this is about what I want to do, or about what is good for the wider world...probably both).  I want to do things that are fulfilling, that will use my brain, and that will have a positive impact on the world around me.  It's hard to see changing diapers and keeping the floor clean for my munchkin as achieving those ends...

I was thinking about this this morning.  And then I thought about my mom.  And I think, that just maybe, I can do both (be a mom, and do things that are fulfilling and have a positive impact).  Just maybe not at the same time.

When I was born, my mom was a hairdresser.  She stayed at home after I was born, and started working from home shortly after my sister was born.  She did hair until I was in junior high, but mostly, she was a full time mom.

And a really, really good one.

 I love that my mom was at home when I was a kid.  I love that when I was sick at school, she could be there within minutes.  I love that she made Halloween costumes, played with us, read with us.  Sure, it's selfish, but I love that she was pretty much 100% ours while we were growing up.  I think it's really important to have a parent wholly available while kids are young.  My mom was, and she was good at it.

Just before I started high school, mom started taking some courses at McMaster Divinity College.  A couple of general interest courses turned into a degree, and the year I graduated from highschool, my mom graduated with her Master's of Divinity (a big deal for someone who hadn't previously done any post-secondary education)!

Mom was ordained.  She's done some work pastoring, chaplaining, and has just started working as the Congregational Health Associate for Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec.  She's doing great things - things that she's good at, that are important, and hopefully that are fulfilling.  I am so proud of her, and the things that she's doing right now.  I also relish her as an example of the possibilities that lay beyond the child-raising years.

A present parent was important to me as a child.  It's also important to me that I provide my children with that.  And on the days that I hit the hay wondering what good I did by changing diapers, it's helpful to remember the good it did me to have my mom around.  It's also helpful to see that now, my mom is embracing new and exciting challenges, doing things that are both good for her and for her community.  Likely, I too will someday have the opportunity to be more than 'mom.'  But for now, I will do my best to make the most of the mom years.  Hopefully Haydon will appreciate it as much as I appreciated having my mom around.

Tweet, Tweet

I think I'm going to sign up for Twitter.

This scares me.  Mostly because I don't really understand it.  And I don't think you need to know what I'm doing every 10 seconds.  And I don't need to waste more time trying to find out what you're doing, facebook gives me enough opportunity to do that, thankyouverymuch.

Watch this hilarious video that sums up my disdain about Twitter (which I am apparently getting over).

I have reasons though, I promise.

Like, there are some people who actually use it for intelligent or interesting things.  Like the person who tweets historic newspaper headlines.  I'd follow that.  I'd also give you a link or a tag or something, but I haven't signed up yet, and don't know how.

And there are blog giveaways I'm supposed to enter by "retweeting."  And I can't do that without Twitter.  And, like, I need to win all that good free stuff out there.  Free stuff like diapers.  'Cause y'all know how I get about diapers.  And clothdiapers.blogspot.com is having Mom's Week giveaways, and one of the ways you do it is through this retweeting stuff.  And a Twitter party?  So confused, but ready to try.

And, because I'm trying to get more into the bloggy thing, and I'd like to put a Twitter feed on my blog, 'cause, if you're reading about my blog, evidently you want to know when I sit down, stand up, hang my laundry out and pick my nose.

I'll Tweet when I've got it set up and figured out. You can follow me and boost my ego.  Lemme know if you want me to follow you and boost yours.

Wednesday, May 5

Wonderful Windy Wednesday

I love Wednesdays.  This one is no exception.

See, they usually start with play group, which is a handful of mummas with little ones who get together in someone's basement and eat cookies or fruit and talk baby while toddlers run around and play.  And sometimes scream, but mostly play.  It's close enough that I can walk, and on gorgeous sunny days like this, there's nothing better than walking to visit friends.  And the kids were hilarious today - I kept wishing I had a camera as a bunch of the toddlers walked around with butterfly nets on their heads. 

After play group, I headed to Little Bird on Ottawa Street.  Little Bird is a great little kids consignment shop, which is also home to re*diaper.  I bought diapers, diaper detergent, shorts and sandals for Haydon.  I spent too much money.  It was wonderful. (PS - I still have 3 10% of coupons for Little Bird for whomever speaks up.  Seriously people, just comment, and they're yours).

Then I walked home.  And I pondered how much I love city living, and how much I love Hamilton, and how much I love that I can walk to meet great people, and then walk to buy good quality used kids stuff and cloth diapers, and just how great and wonderful and sustainable it is and all that good crap.

And then my darling baby fell asleep in the stroller, and I got home and parked him in the back yard while I hung out my clothes which were dry in about 2 minutes because it's so stinkin' windy (downside to so stinkin' windy is that our recycling doesn't get picked up until really late in the day, and the neighbour's blue bin and its contents are all over my yard.  bummer).  Haydon managed to stay asleep long enough for me to hang out the clothes, make lunch, sit and read outside while eating lunch.

Speaking of reading - I'm reading "Babyproofing Your Marriage."  It's pretty darned good!  I picked it up at the library (which I can WALK to!) yesterday.  I was a bit skeptical, but after a few chapters I'd definitely recommend it to people with young kids.  Tips on avoiding "midnight chicken" (pretending you don't hear the baby crying while hoping your spouse, who's doing the same thing, gets up first), scorekeeping, and all kinds of other good stuff.  Definitely valuable for both spouses to read...St. James is thrilled I have more reading material for him.  Poor man doesn't like reading near as much as I do, nor does he have as much time as I do, nor does he read as fast as I do.  It's a rough life, being my husband :P

Now, I'm going to go nap while Haydon has his late afternooner.  And I can do this, because my Itialian Nona neighbour just gave me a piping hot container of meat-sauce, so all I need to do for dinner now is boil water and toss in the pasta.

I love Wednesdays.

Tuesday, May 4

Charging My Batteries

St. James and I were sitting on the porch this afternoon, enjoying the beautiful spring day.  It was warm, breezy, felt like it might rain.  We had just puttered away in the back yard, St. James had planted some raspberry bushes, I did some weeding.  As we sat and looked at our little patch of earth, I remarked that it had been a good weekend, and that I felt good.  Better than I had in a long time.
As I reflected on why that was, I realized that the reason I felt good was because I wasn't as tired and scattered as I usually feel, and that as a couple, we had spent 2 nights in a row at home, together.    With my bum firmly planted in my patio chair, this ridiculous metaphor came to mind. I said to St. James "I feel like a cordless phone that has been carried all over the house and just needed to return to its base."   Really.  I was envisioning my bum, connecting with the chair, just like the little silver pieces in the bottom of the phone connect with the silver pieces in the base.
The phone is made to be carried all over the house and talked into, just as I am made to go out into the world, to work, to play, to see, to hear.  But the phone can't do what it's made for if it doesn't spend almost an equal amount of time on its base, charging up.  I too need to spend more time at my base, my home, to charge up so I can go out and do those other things properly.  When my phone hasn't spent enough time on its base, it beeps in my ear, or the sound quality becomes poor, or sometimes it conks out right in the middle of a conversation.  When I haven't spent enough time at my home-base, I feel frazzled, get cranky and irritable, or just plain can't follow through on commitments I've made.
After a weekend that's been spent mostly at home, with St. James, and other friends, I'm feeling re-charged.  I'm ready to start a new week, ready to go out into the world and do those things I was made for.  And ready to stay home, butt in chair, to recharge when the time comes.

Monday, May 3

Poor, Poor Pitiful Me

I'm sitting staring at my screen, going back and forth between my email and facebook, wondering why no one is sending me love every 30 seconds to keep me entertained.  Hay-baber is sleeping (although I keep thinking he's waking up, otherwise I would've been sleeping too).  St. James is working this afternoon/evening.  And often, those days suck.  For some reason, despite the fact that he was home a mere 4 hours ago and we had a lovely morning together, Monday and Tuesday evenings drag like you wouldn't believe.  I start to get lonely and stir-crazy.  I thought my sister was coming to visit...we had different ideas of what "tentative" plans means.  I thought the timing was tentative...she thought the plans were tentative.  When I called she was making dinner for my fam, which, of course, just made me feel left out (which I know is ridiculous, considering they all live under the same roof.)
And, my husband, my darling husband, has misplaced my iPhone.  This is frustrating.  See, I will leave it somewhere (in this case on the back porch beside the chair I was in).  I will know it is there.  I will know I have to return to get it.  He will see it and think "Oh!  Rae left her phone!  I'll bring it in for her..."  And then I will return and it will not be where I knew I left it.  And, usually, he knows where it is...but for some reason, this time, he doesn't remember...
Good thing it's a beautiful day and the neighbourhood Little Casears has a crazy deal on and I have good friends nearby that will eat pizza with me...

Sunday, May 2

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins of Awesomeness

My mom used to make these muffins when I was growing up.  They were banana oatmeal chocolate chip.  They were wonderful.  She'd make them on the weekends, in the morning, and I'd wake up to the aroma of their baking as it wafted down the hall.  It would draw me out of my bed as a teenager when, under normal circumstances, I would stay there all morning. Sometimes, if I wake up in just the right comfy, sleep-in state, I think I smell them, and I'm right back in my bedroom at my parents' house.  On a really delusional day, I imagine that my mom has come to my house and is baking them for me (moms out there with teenagers - don't underestimate the long-term effects of these kinds of loving actions!).
When I make muffins, these are the muffins I make.  In fact, these are really the only thing that comes to mind when I think "muffin."  There is no other type of muffin in my mind.  Just these, and their powerful attachment to my mom and my home growing-up.  Whenever I have bananas that have gotten too ripe to be eaten, these muffins are what I make.
I had some of those over-ripe bananas last week.  For a couple of days I looked at them and thought "it's time to make some mom muffins."  When I finally got a chance, we didn't have any milk.  After groceries the next day, I thought "gotta get to those muffins..."  Again, it took a few days.  But tonight, after Haydon went to bed, I started mashing those bananas, mixed in the eggs, the oil, then realized...we were out of milk.  Again.  I contemplated the breastmilk in the fridge.  St. James offered to go the store.  I completed the muffins.  I typed up the recipe for a friend who had asked for it recently.  As I was typing, I realized....I forgot the baking soda.
After a week's worth of anticipation, and an extra trip to the store on a Sunday night, I now have a beautiful batch of banana oatmeal chocolate chip pucks.  Bummer.
Here's the recipe, in case you ever want to mix up a memory ;)

Banana-Oatmeal-Chocolate-Chip Muffins of awesomeness

1.5 c    all-purpose flour
1 c       rolled oats
1/2 c    sugar
2 tsp    baking powder
1 tsp    baking soda (crap...I didn't put this in mine just now.  boo-urns)
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c    chocolate chips

2        eggs
1/4 c  cooking oil
1/4 c  milk
3        bananas, mashed

Mix wet ingredients, set aside.  Mix dry ingredients in large bowl, add wet ingredients.  Mix just enough to moisten.  Bake at 350 F 10-14 min (when tester comes out clean).
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