Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

Including the next generation

A number of years ago my father created his own Christmas tradition and started buying calenders for each male member of my family. Nick lovingly calls it his yearly 'Titty Calender'. Last year my brother took over the tradition so it was no surprise when Nick received a flat, square package which turned out to be a years worth of scantily clad ladies. What was a surprise was that there was one of those flat, square gifts for Oliver as well. He figured that it was time for the next generation of men in the family to be included so both O and my nephew Erik received this....

I thought it was hilarious and the calender is now hanging on his wall. For the record, my mother was not impressed. I figure as long as the ladies stay somewhat clothed and/or cartoonish for the next few years, I'm all for it. It's tradition.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Oliver v.2

Dear Oliver,

At the minute of this post you turn two years old. You have changed so much in the last 12 months that I can hardly picture the baby you were such a short time ago. You learned to walk just a few days after your last birthday and you now relish running everywhere. Your vocabulary has grown by leap and bounds and we can't shut you up. Unfortunately, you've also learned to express your frustration in very adult terms which we find extremely funny. We don't let you know that however, in hopes that you'll forget these choice words. We're making an effort to stop using them too.

You have a bit of a stubborn streak and it seems to come out when I'm trying to teach you something new. I try and try to get you to repeat what I'm telling you and you'll just look at me and say no! And then a few weeks later, you'll throw it out there as if you've known it all along. Sometimes you surprise me with something that I have no idea where you learned it. For someone who doesn't have experience with kids before you, watching your little spongy brain suck up knowledge is truly fascinating.

The biggest event of the year was the arrival of your little brother, Isaac. Or Ikey as you called him for the first little while. You were one of the first people to meet him since contrary to our plan you ended up in the hospital waiting room while he came fast and furious. As soon as you saw him you said, 'Baby!' and have been in love with him ever since. Not once have you shown any jealousy towards him and are patient with the amount of time he requires. You love giving him hugs and kisses and ask to hold him all the time. I think you are going to be great friends and I can't wait to watch you grow up together.

So.... Your two. As I write this, I'm mentally preparing for how to deal with the Terrible Two's which I'm sure are about to hit me like a tonne of bricks. If I'm to be honest, you've already been working up to these fabled times and have been giving your dad and I a run for our sanity. Your favorite 'bad behaviour' is to climb up on the counters and play with all the things that we put there in an effort to keep out of your reach. To your credit, you do try to alleviate our anger when you get caught doing something by tilting your head to the side, smiling and saying 'OK?' as if by being cute you will get away with anything. I really see your father in that sly smile of yours. Oh-oh is all I can say about that.  

Here are some things I want you to know:
-When you come running to the door calling 'Mommy!' I fall in love with you all over again.
-Your dance moves are hilarious. You have a way of pulling out new ones all the time so it's never boring and always adorable.
-You still give the best hugs. And you've added the 'back pat' which is just too funny.
-I always know when you're into something you shouldn't be when it's quiet and you don't answer when I call. You'd get away with more if you'd just answer me but I'm glad you don't know that.
-Wi-oo (W-eye-oo) is what you call water and you called yourself Oyoo(Aw-yoo) for a while. Just something cute I'd like you to know about yourself.

You are growing into a curious, independent, intelligent and easy going little person.
You love to color, your big yellow dump truck, and sliding down the tallest slides. You can count to 10, and know most of your colors although you refuse to acknowledge red for some reason. You are a very special little man and I feel that your future is so bright. I am so proud to be your mother

So here's to you my little man.... 

Happy Birthday
I Love You

Love Mom

Your first birthday

What a difference a year makes. So grown up!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I would love to be at the mall right now fighting the crowds, yelling in my car at the guy who slid into my spot in the parking lot. I would kill to be at Sobey's, causing traffic jams in the aisles with people I haven't run into all year. How I long to be decorating Christmas cookies with my sister like we always used to. Oh to be stressing about how we're going to fit in turkey dinner with both mine and Nick's family. I wish I could be out with friends celebrating Festivus tomorrow night....

These are some of the things that usually ignite my holiday spirit. Since coming up north I've really miss them and have been feeling more like I'm going through the motions than really feeling it. I did 90% of my shopping on line this year and its been done and wrapped since August. We haven't been to any parties, the kids aren't old enough to get it and Nick is a complete bah humbug Scrooge. More than anything, I miss our extended family and the traditions I grew up with. Especially since our little family hasn't established any of our own yet. 

Having said all that, this past weekend has done a little to buoy my spirits. I did tonnes of baking and have been eating way too many shortbreads. We finally found the 'Holly' channel on our Sirius Satellite radio (Hidden on channel 3 if you're as stumped as we were) so I got to listen to some great carols. And the best thing was taking Oliver and Isaac to the Northern to see Santa. It was O's first time and I was so proud. He walked right up to him and said 'Hi Santa!' He even mumbled to him that he'd been a good boy although I doubt Santa understood that's what he was saying.

**I would normally post the picture of them on Santa's lap here but I have yet to get it. They ran out of ink for the printer so the photos are not printed and they don't know if they will be before Christmas.**

When I complained about my 'unchristmasy' feeling last year, Nick told me that's why you have kids. They'll bring it back to you once they are old enough to play the game with you. He could be right. Oliver will be three next year so I'm hoping that by then he'll understand what the whole thing means. I'm sure his excitement will be infectious and I'll be back to my old self even without the malls and crowds. Until then, I'll take my daily dose of holiday tunes and shortbread and muster as much spirit as I can.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Let there be light!

Sunrise- 10:02

Sunset- 12:40

This photo was taken at about 1:10 instead of 12:40.
The one at actual sunset looked pretty much like the one at sunrise.

 Today is the Winter Solstice. The first day of winter. The shortest day of the year. The day we northerners look forward to because today the light begins to return.

This year I seem to be more affected by the very short days. While I don't get depressed or anything, I do feel very lazy and unproductive. It could be that here in Pang we are just that much closer to the arctic circle than we were in Cape Dorset. However, that really only equates to a few extra minutes a day. It could also be that up until the last few days it had been overcast for weeks so it was doubly dreary. More than likely its just that I'm practically house bound with a new baby and a toddler to deal with. And that I rarely get a full nights sleep. Whatever the reason, I'm really looking forward to the long days again.

We gain about 7-8 minutes of light every day at this latitude so it should be mid May or so before the dark is gone completely. I can't wait.

Friday, December 17, 2010

This makes me happy

After O falls asleep I always go in and check to make sure he's all covered up for the night. More often than not, he's not covered and he's sleeping all curled up in a fetal position with his butt in the air. It makes me smile every time because it's the same way he prefered to sleep when he was tiny.

2 months

Almost 2 years

**** Just so I don't get hate mail about letting him sleep on his belly at 2 months, I only ever did it at nap time when he slept in the living room, around me at all times. Never at night... I know, back is best to avoid SIDS. He just wouldn't sleep on his back at nap time for some reason. ****

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Matching Set

Mothers of  2 or more boys out there. When you had your second, did everyone buy you matching clothes? In our case its PJ's. ....and... hmmmm...   I may have bought a matching set myself.

From Oma

From Jen

From Meaghan

I may or may not have bought these

From Nana

Thanks everyone, They're all adorable.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Adding to the collection

The other day we picked up our 'Pangnirtung addition' to my Christmas ornament collection. They are carved from Caribou antler by a guy named Ahmee Kakee.

I started buying ornaments to commemorate places I've travelled over the years and the walrus ranks among my favorites. If you are at all interested in seeing more of my collection you can do so here.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The best gifts are not bought in stores

Today is my birthday and my boys got me the most fantastic gift! The gift that's perfect for both the giver and the receiver. It's inexpensive. It's always available if they are willing to do it. Everyone wants and needs it. Nobody every dreams of returning it. Ahhh, the gift of sleep!

Oliver slept till 830 today which is a rare event these days. Many days he's woken up by me trying to sneak back to bed after feeding Isaac around 6am. Sometimes we can get him to go back to sleep but more often than not, he's up for the day at that point. The mornings I successfully avoid the squeaks in the floor, he hardly ever sleeps past 730 anymore. And Isaac has slept through the odd night up to now but is usually up like clockwork from 5 to 6am. So for them to both have a really good sleep on the same night is such a treat!

While this was a super great present the best one I got was that my sister arrived today! She had the typical northern travel experience and had to spend last night in Iqaluit. Of course that was after having flown to Pang only to fly over and go back. It's great having her here and I look forward to spending the next 10 days having those great talks sisters have. The extra pair of hand with the kids will be nice too.

My first attempt at red velvet cake. It turned out pretty good.

Thanks to everyone who has sent wishes my way! Happy Birthday to me!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Foodmail Rant

I am so annoyed with Foodmail!!

As of October 1st the foodmail program has changed and many of the things they used to allow are no longer included. The general goal is to make the choices healthier and not cover things that are not considered good for you. Fine. I get that. But they seem to have a skewed view on what things fall under this category.

Things that are no longer allowed: Sour cream, bacon, Kraft dinner. Annoying but I guess I can agree. These are not the healthiest choices.

More things that you can't get anymore: Chickpeas, hummus, brushetta, cream cheese, dry pasta noodles.  

But yet you can still get: Delissio Pizzas and Hungry Man frozen dinners.

Pasta not healthy? In moderation, it's a staple in most balanced diet plans. And in what world is a frozen pizza healthier than hummus? Don't get me wrong, I'm happy they still include pizzas because they cost $17 each at the northern. But I seriously can't get chickpeas? Since when are they not healthy? Hungry Man dinners! They are not only disgusting but a heart attack waiting to happen with their 'One Pound of Food'.

I just don't get it. Grrrrrrr.