Monday, December 12, 2011


Uh ya. Nevermind. Max will not be toilet trained this year. So much for the 'good bye diaper' party. He. Is. Not. Ready.

And neither am I, I guess.

Crafty Kelli

After taking out our little box of Christmas decorations, I realized that we may need a few more. They may have been sufficient for our 700sqft apartment, but they were lost in this big house. So I cut some branches off the Holly tree in our back yard then ripped up a Harry Potter book and ended up with these:

Callum was inspired at school to make some paper snowflakes for our windows, so I got on board too.

Just as a side-note, Max is currently sitting on the toilet and has been on there for nearly an hour. We had his "Goodbye Diaper" party yesterday since I am just disgusted by changing his diapers anymore. Well, by 9:00am, we had already gone through 3 sets of underwear and pants, hence why he is just going to spend the day sitting on the can until he figures out what peeing in the toilet actually means! (Yes, Samantha, you can snicker and feel satisfied that Max will challenge my patience in this endeavor!). I am SO unexcited about the next few days. I am tempted to give up right this very minute, actually....

Friday, December 2, 2011

My 2-month baby going on 9 months

Let's talk about Simon! He's so awesome. He had his 2-month birthday last week and I am loving every bit of him now. Ok, yes, I have to admit that my attempts to enjoy the newborn-infant stage were somewhat unsuccessful because I really just don't understand babies and I get too frustrated by that. So, when Simon hit 6-weeks and started smiling at me - Hallelujah!

Since he turned 6-weeks, he's decided to stop crying anytime he is conscious, so he will often let me carry on with being a mother to 2 other little boys. Yes, he still has his quirks (I often need to use the kitchen hood vent fan at 500cfm to calm him), but Simon seems to be winning the battle for easiest Skinner baby! In Simon's bedroom I had hung this poster that Simon just loves - another way to calm him when upset is to let him lie on his change table and just let him stare at it:

I have to say that he excels the most in the category of night-time sleeping, as he generally goes to sleep around 7pm, and only wakes around 12:30am and 5:00am to feed (though he often thinks he is up for the day at 5am, but I forgive him since I manage to get enough sleep anyway). We have yet to come up with any regular daytime schedule, though, since he likes 10 or 15-minute naps, or 2 to 2.5 hour naps at irregular times of the day. He is very forgiving, though, as I have sometimes had to feed him by propping his bottle up while he sits in the carseat or even while in the stroller as we're taking Callum to school.

He's looking more and more like his own person, not a little clone of Jeff or his brothers anymore. He has their 'big' gene, though, since he is already wearing 6-9 months clothes! Getting a photo of him smiling is difficult when he wants to look into my eyes but the camera gets in the way:

He has found his hands, and is rather entertained by them:

I tried him in the Jolly Jumper for the first time the other day. He wasn't so sure about it:

On another subject.... Christmas time is here!!!! You know that the countdown has started when the thick Toys'R'Us flyers start coming in the mail:

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Bike tricks, the middle name, pumpkins and costumes!

Fall is here - ROAR!
Callum loves his Preschool and since it's only a couple blocks away, we ride our bikes pretty much every day, (well, Cal and Max ride while I push Simon in the stroller). This allows Callum to work on his bike tricks, like his Poppa-Wheelie, putting his feet on his handle bars, running alongside his bike before jumping on the seat while moving, skid-stopping, and this one, where he slings his legs over and rides side-saddle (he is in motion in this picture):

On Callum's ProD Day, we ventured to the Aquarium since it had been a while. Simon is making his place in the family as Callum and Max completely adore him! It's very different than when Max was born - Callum didn't really notice Max's existence for the first few months, but he's actually quite helpful with Simon. I often see Callum trying different sounds or shaking toys at Simon to stop him from crying. Max is constantly trying to caress Simon, kiss him and give him "huggies" as he calls them. They both want to hold him all the time and it's very cute. We did manage to pick a middle name, finally (though I only mailed in his Registration of Birth papers yesterday!), just in time for him to be blessed at church last Sunday - we decided on Davis, since it pays homage to my family and therefore is slightly more meaningful than my other choice, which was Eames, which would have paid homage to the architectural origins of Jeff and my relationship. So, he is Simon Davis Skinner. Callum took this picture of me, doing what I do a lot: the pat-bounce-rock-walk amongst the mess in my house. If you follow the definition of Colic ("3 hours of crying per day, more than three times a week"), then I guess Simon has Colic, though he's still not anywhere near as bad a Callum was. I think back on those few months when Callum was born and I really have no idea how I survived.
Here is the calm before the storm: And the storm begins: We went on a family outing to the Pumpkin patch, (was it our first with all 5 of us? I think so). It was a lot of fun and Simon cooperated by sleeping the whole time. Callum and Max made their pumpkin choices very differently: while Callum couldn't find the perfect one, Max was overwhelmed by the awesome selection - "Look at 'dis! Look at 'dis one! Look at 'dis Mom!" was his refrain for the entire patch excursion.

Of course we had to cut the pumpkins up, and we each designed our our face - Callum wanted to be the scariest and Max wanted a happy face, while Jeff's is somewhere in between. Mine is the coolest, though (inspired by the Shrek Halloween movie)!
This year I came to a realization: just because I grew up with a mother that had no interest in Halloween at all, I don't have to be that kind of Mom. However, since I am not be the kind of Mom to actually make or sew a costume, (well, maybe in future years when I don't have a newborn to tend to), I forked out money to buy some! I happened to see costumes at Costco back in September, so I took Callum and Max with me to pick out their Halloween costumes. They wear them at least, well, pretty much everyday, so I don't really feel bad about spending $20 on a Knight in Shining Armour costume, or the most adorable astronaut costume ever. I dressed up for our church party the Saturday before while Jeff dressed up on the Monday to take them trick or treating with our neighbours.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Quick, he's sleeping - I'll Blog.

Not too much to say since we have spent a lot of time at home. Well, I have spent a lot of time sitting on the couch, trying to breastfeed and figuring out the new guy. Callum and Max are quite enamored with Simon, as you can see from the photos. Simon has his good days and bad days, good nights and bad nights - he doesn't like to be conscious much and when he is, well, he doesn't really like it. I'm trying to really enjoy this Baby-time, as it will be my last.

Monday, October 3, 2011

I'm so glad it's over.

I don't know how many times I said that last Tuesday - so glad that my pregnancy is over and so glad that the labour is over! I don't have too many pics yet and, as you can see from the announcement above, we still don't have a middle name yet either. But, at any rate, he is home and I'm so glad.

I had been feeling strange for a few days and even thought my water broke the Thursday before, but I didn't really feel real contractions until they came very sporadically all Monday night. When I woke up on Tuesday morning, I still wasn't 100% sure that the baby was going to come out that day, so Jeff went off to work and I made pancakes for Callum and Max. I'm not sure what time I figured I better call my Mom, just in case, but by the time we packed up the kids and she dropped me off at the hospital at 9:30am, I made a call to Jeff saying, "If you don't want to miss this, you better get down here ASAP."

By 9:55am, my water broke in the hallway of the maternity clinic before they even got around to assessing me. A few minutes later, my contractions were up to 3 or 4 minutes apart and the doctor decided to pay attention to me. After several exams, I was informed that the baby was breech - he was on his way out bum-first. At this point, I was told that the standard practice for breech babies was to do a C-section but, considering the rapid development of this labour and my 2 previously successful vaginal deliveries, I was a good candidate for a vaginal breech delivery. As I was scared to death of delivering this baby backwards but I was even more unimpressed with the idea of a C-section, I told them I didn't want a C-section - then I was suddenly wheeled into a delivery room where more and more doctors and nurses started to get involved and everyone seemed eager to be part of my labour. It was very different than with Callum and Max, where it was mostly just a nurse with Jeff and I for most of the labour. Anyway, there were 11 people at one point, all standing around waiting for the pushing to begin.

With no epidural and the hardest pushing I have ever done, Simon came out at 11:35am. But he is calling me now, so I better publish this post and get going...

Monday, September 19, 2011

"No, not a basketball - a boulder."

People tend to comment on the distinct way that I carry my babies when I am pregnant and I have begun to correct them - they say that it's like there's a basketball strapped to my belly, but I know better. Basketballs are filled with air and this thing on my belly feels more like it is filled with a big rock!

The last couple weeks I have been getting slower and slower, losing my breath by the 3rd step up my stairs or feeling inclined to fall asleep on the couch for 2 minute naps throughout the day. I feel a little sorry for Callum and Max, since our daily life includes much less getting out and doing stuff and more time hanging out at the house. I'm just so tired! One more week until my due date and I am praying that I'm not too overdue. I've gained 26 lbs this time around and there is a good chance that I'm having at least a 10lb kid this time - yikes!!!

I guess I can't feel too badly for my boys since we have been doing some decently fun stuff. We went to Redwood Park one day, which turned out to be quite awesome. The boys seem to like trail riding their bikes and we found this awesome tree.
(Callum said he's bored of smiling for pictures all the time, so he's experimenting with variety.)

I took the boys into Vancouver for a personal nostalgia tour of our old hood - it's been almost a year since we moved! We ran into Callum's buddy, Declan and his Mom Claudine.

And we met up with Kami and her boys in Queen E Park.

There was one day we picked up my niece Lorelei to go to a playground and a waterpark.

Our super-awesome neighbour Cindy has a super-awesome Mom that has a super-awesome pool at her super-awesome property in White Rock. We've managed to get invited a few times.

Callum has now started his Preschool, 12:30-3pm Monday-Friday - Yeeay! I guess I am pretty happy about it since it has been Callum's habit to wake me up every morning with "So, Mom, what are we going to do today?!". Being pregnant and exhausted, I don't really like that question anymore. So, Callum loves his school, although it's pretty hard on Max, actually - not necessarily because he misses Callum, but because he wants to stay too!

School is only 2.5 hours out of the day, though, so we still have more playground-time and bike-riding or just hanging out in the backyard.

Max was really angry at Callum this day, so he sent himself off to this contemplative spot to be alone. It was so cute (though he did not appreciate me taking his picture).

Another day, while Callum and Max were waiting for the blow-up pool to fill with fresh water, Callum asked me to lay out the blanket on the lawn. Next time I looked, he has brought out his Lego Star Wars encyclopedia and he and Max were contently flipping through it. They can be SO darn cute, you know.

Jeff and I both really like this song that is out now by One Republic called "Good Life" - it just makes us both think about how good we have it and we hope we don't take that for granted.