Monday, April 30, 2012


A lot of milestones in the Brink household lately.  Most of them exciting and notable.  Here's a catalogue [and an update since it's been awhile].

the Firstborn, Silas 2 years and 3 months.
-Potty training!  After two weeks of intensive training involving lots of trips to the potty, an oven timer, a lot of book reading, more laundry, pooping in his pants at the park, and too many teeth rotting jelly beans, Silas is excelling at this whole potty thing!  He's had days in a row with no accidents and has started asking to go to the potty.  So. Relieved.  It's been a whole change in mindset for me to remember to go to the potty with him before and after major things like trips to the store and in the car.  BUT, we're getting there.  I love that Silas now congratulates us when we go pee on the potty.  "Good job mommy, you can have a jelly bean."  or "I'm proud of you." Love it.  At first I thought this whole potty training thing was a pain, but now I'm loving it.  Can't believe by little 2 year old has gotten so capable!

-Soother-less.  After two whole years of seeing Silas' face with a soother in front of it, I'm so glad he is finally free of that beast.  For the last number of months before we bid it good-bye he had a face rash that we couldn't seem to kick but it turns out that the soother was the main cause.  Finally it's gone!  How'd it happen?  One naptime I couldn't actually find his soother so I just told him it was gone.  And it was (until I found it).  But we just kept saying it was all gone and he was like "oh."  The end.  A few rough days where he didn't sleep well but no tears shed at all!  We went from having 3 soothers in his bed at each nap/sleep time, to none, in a few weeks!  It was awesome.  Now he says "I don't need soother anymore, I a big boy."

-Naps.  Phew.  He's still taking them, and for a few hours everyday!  Thought we'd lost them there when we dropped the soother but he's back at 'em.

-"Do it by self." That is Silas' anthem throughout the day.  He insists on trying to use his fork by himself, climb up and down into his car seat, etc etc by himself.  It's awesome when you have the time and the patience but sometimes when we're in a rush, letting him try (for the 10th time) to get his underwear on 'by self' is a bit frustrating.  I'll get there =)

-Reading.  Okay, so I'm sure every parent thinks their kid is a genius but I am just so excited to watch Silas learn his letters and take an interest in reading.  He knows all the letters now upon recognition and he will point out letters when we're out and about.  Just the other night when we gave him his yogurt bedtime snack he tracked the letters on the container with his finger and said "yooogurt."  (Nice try, it said "keep refrigerated" but he gets the gist of it!) So excited to watch him learn!

-Hockey. Okay, so this isn't a milestone, but it deserves a mention.  Silas plays hockey.  All. Day.  I mean, ALL day.  He uses his little train track and ping pong ball and it's "mommy, come play hockey with me" or "you want to play hockey with me" alllllll day.  Just the other day he gave a stick to Toby and said "you will get bigger and want to play hockey with me" [Lord I hope so cause this Momma's tired of playing!]  He's really good too!  He knows what a slap and wrist shot are and spends most time outside or inside perfecting his shot.  I love that mid-play he'll say "good shot mommy" or "niiiiiice."

-Vocab.  This kid can talk!  And by talk, I mean ALL day.  It's so fun listening to the things he comes up with.  He'll make up songs, put sentences together, and pick out big and random words in our conversations and just start using them.  He just memorized his first verse too!  Funny things he says:
   "Mommy, I'm going to go get something cool to show you."
   "Jesus, where are you?"
   "a little bit" or "not working really well."  uses these phrases a lot
   "spicy" uses this randomly
    "I be really careful, don't make a mess."

-Everything else.  Overall, Silas has been a joy lately.  He is full of energy and hilarity.  This kid has me laughing a lot of the day.  Especially when he wakes up from his nap and he is kind of dazed and confused and says random things.  I love that Silas is so interested in everything we do and everywhere we go.  He LOVES watching me cook or bake and loves to 'help.'  This means moving his little step stool from counter to counter watching what I do and helping me "mix it."  He is sweets obsessed (oops) and talks about cake and chocolate wistfully most of the time (maybe cause it is a special treat?)  He loves music and dancing, running and chasing, playing 'pretend cake' and 'pretend happy birthday' and playing with playdough.  He also is a very social kid and is finally learning how to share a bit better.  He loves seeing what's going on with Toby,  playing peek-a-boo with him, laughing with him, tickling him.  So cute to see their interactions and I cannot wait to see what Toby brings out in Silas!
 Showing some brotherly love:

Some family milestones: FIRST family hike!

 First swim with Toby!

The babe. 5 months and counting!
Other nicknames: "Tobeeeee," "Toblerone,"  "Tobes" and my personal favourite: "Tobylicious" (who, other than his mom would come up with that embarrassing one?)
-Sleeping.  Yay!  Toby is finally getting himself to sleep a bit better without rocking, holding, cuddling, and carrying.  My back thanks him.  As long as we make sure he's really tired then he'll go to sleep well on his own.  However, he's a sensitive/touchy kid when it comes to naps.  He startles easily and if he falls asleep in a carseat or stroller, we better be prepared to keep him there until the end of his nap or he'll wake up as soon as we move him.  Arg.  He seems to be starting to do more like 2 naps a day but mostly does 3 naps.  But here's the real reason this is a milestone: he has started having long afternoon naps at the same time as Silas. What??? The first day this happened I thought I won the lottery.  It was so rare and for such short stretches that I started to think this would never happen.  But it has.  Consistently.  I'm not gonna lie, I LOVE this time.  Woot woot!  And here's another cool thing: he goes to bed at like 7:30 pm.  It's amazing to me how awesome it is to have an evening again!  Where Jason and I can hang out, watch a movie or get some stuff done.  Wow.  I feel like a teenager when 8 pm rolls around!  He still wakes up in the night randomly which is a bit of an annoyance but we're working on that. He also has a 'dream feed' that keeps us up late but that too, we're working on.
-Solids!  We gave solid food a go because Toby seems sooo interested in it, but I'm not convinced he's physiologically ready for it yet.  He's had some 'gassy' and fussy days post-solids so I've laid off for now.  But the point is: he can do it!  He takes it no problem and seems to love being where we are and participating in the food.  He dive bombs for the spoon even.  Cute.
-Sitting.  Not quite there but almost!  He loves being surrounded by cushions with toys right near him and being in the exersaucer.  He also loves being in the front of the stroller seeing what's going on or being carried in the carrier where he can see out.  This kid loves to be in on the action!
-Grabbing.  I have a feeling Toby will get 'into' things more than Silas ever did.  This kid is a grabbing maniac!  Caught him sucking on a tea bag I left too close to him (oops) and grabbing at the tulips.  His favourite though?  Tags.  Not a fancy tag blanket, not the fancy toys, he wants to suck on the washing instructions tag that is on most toys.  Weird. (Oh, and he grabs his toes!)
-Giggling.  He has the most ticklish neck and armpits.  He also loves playing peek-a-boo and seeing himself in the mirror, being thrown in the sky or 'pretend' dropped.
-Rolling.  Rolls from front to back but not the other way.  Soon though, very soon.
 Lovin the jolly jumper since day 1

 Mmmm gimme more of that!
Post 10 k- snuggles with Toby in the car!
 Look Mom!  I'm reading too!

Next milestones to tackle: Getting Toby and Silas sleeping in the same room for nighttime.  Gulp.  We'll see how that goes.  

Next post to come: what's happening with Shannon's health these days (hitting the 5 month mark postpartum and what the specialist said about my wacky thyroid).  Oh and about running a 10 k race!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Never Say Never

Before I had kids, I used to judge others' parenting methods.
Not anymore.  Potty training + a day in stanley park necessitated this situation.
The best part is that Silas acted like this was the most normal thing in the world.  Not phased at all.  "Of course I would be sitting on the potty, in my car trunk, at the park."

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I don't really enjoy running.  I mean, I do it cause I think it's a good idea.  Good for my health, you know, etc.  I decided 'for kicks' to sign up for this 10 km run this saturday.  In Silas' words "hmmm, that's funny."  I haven't hardly kept to the training regimen and most times I go running it's a mental workout trying to convince myself to keep running.  "Why am I running?  I don't even like this!  How much further?"  But then, there are the times like last night:  clear, chilled air filling my chest.  Arms pumping, feet moving, muscles aching, and I feel alive.  I mean, really alive.  My favourite part is when my breathing gets easier and all of a sudden all the thoughts that were barraging my mind settle into their quiet corners and I can just be still.  Really be still. Inside. 
That's when I find God speaks to my heart.  This is how He did last night:
I was struggling at different points in my run but then this song came on.  It's beat was exactly the pace I needed to be at.  Thump, thump, thump.  It helped me get into a stride, a breathing rhythm and set me at a comfortable pace. It helped me keep going up some steep hills, and down some long, straight stretches.  It kept me moving, inspired me, rejuvenated me, brought joy into the arduous task of running. And it occurred to me that God is that song.  Oh, I can dance alright, the mechanics anyways.   I can dance without music all day, moving, flailing, doing.  I can move and swing and put on a show.  I can dance without the music of God.  But how much better is a run with music on?  How much better is dancing?  How much more abundant is life with the song of God turned up loudly in my ears?  When it (He) fills, inspires, and brings life into the movements, it becomes dancing instead of just motion. 
That's where I'm at right now in my life.  
Trying to find Him and be moved by the music of His Spirit filling me, moving me, empowering me.  I spend most days in a frantic state of cleaning, potty training, rocking, coaxing, soothing, feeding, and playing hockey with a bundle of insane energy. [Oh.  And there's Toby and all his needs as well].  But in the midst of the clicking clock, the routine of life's everyday demands, I need His music.  I need reasons behind the reasons.  I need His love, His joy, His peace, His patience, His strength, His light 'thump, thump, thumping' in my ear.  Without that rhythm nothing I do really has meaning or makes any sense.  It's just flailing.  Motion. It's just another day.  It's just another trip to the potty.  It's just another snack-time, nose-wipe time, floor cleaning time.  Man do I ever need that music when I'm not sure I can carry myself another step.

Lord, how I need your presence within and around me or else dancing just makes no sense.
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