March 30, 2010

A Good Day. Until . . .

Brad was working on Saturday and I had to run an errand that was a good 40 minutes away.

The kids were going batty, cooped up in the house all winter. (It's been even worse this winter from those in the past because we don't have a yard for them to even venture outside every so often.)

Solution? Pile them in the car (where they are strapped in and can't destroy my house), run the errand and reward them with a lunch at Mc Donald's and let them play on the indoor playground.

It sounded pretty good. Maybe a teensy bit hard with an unpredictable newborn, but much better than staying at home going crazy.

Everything went as planned. The errand was run with minimal whining and we arrived safely at Micky D's. Liv was still sleeping and rather than wake her to feed her before going in, the kids pleaded that we just take our chances that we can eat and play before she woke up.

The minute we entered into Mc Donald's my four kids quickly dwindled to one (the one strapped snugly in her car seat). The rest ran off in all directions in a crowded restaurant, trying to find the playground and pick out toys for their happy meals.

After some yelling, and a lot of effort rounding up the troops . . . all while ordering and rocking a newborn . . . we were all together at the table. As I was not born an octopus, I had run out of hands to carry all the meals, toys, drinks, baby, and kids so I had stuffed my pockets with napkins, toys, and my wallet. I was even tempted to squeeze the ketchup in there too, but reconsidered the thought very quickly. ;)

We ate and watched Liv begin to stir towards the end of the meal. I thought that staying any longer was pushing our luck and I was not about to nurse a baby in Mc Donald's while trying to keep my eye on three other crazy bodies. So with much reluctance we headed out the door to the car.

We began to drive home and about half way Liv was screaming so hard for food I knew I had to pull over at some random place on a country road to feed her. After her lunch, we continued hom and I had considered it a successful day. I had taken all four kids out to eat on my own and had all of them back at home. In one piece.

It felt good . . . until I realized that my wallet was missing.

The wallet that had everyone's health insurance, social security cards, birth certificates, my license, and all those bank cards and credit cards. To make matters worse, I hadn't updated my information on my ID's since our move so should anyone have found my wallet, realized that there wasn't any cash in it, and wanted to return it, couldn't.

Frantic, I searched the floor of the car. I searched the front seat. Had it fallen out when we stopped randomly on the road? How on earth would I find that spot again?

Worse, what if it had fallen out in Mc Donald's? In the parking lot, or the restaurant? With all the commotion, it would have be easy for someone to have pick-pocketed me and I not have noticed.

My heart sunk as the guy from Mc Donald's told me that no one had returned a wallet at all.

I searched the car once more, hoping for the best, but no luck.

So, I loaded everyone up again and off we went to find the random spot on the road. I was pretty nervous about driving without a license, but thought I had a good case should I be pulled over. I felt really "light" though, like I was missing something so very important and heavy.

Even though we went back on the same roads, we couldn't find it the spot where we had stopped. We had back tracked all the way to Mc Donald's and I searched the parking lot and the restaurant. I asked again.

No luck.

Feeling sick to my stomach, I returned to the car, praying that I would find it some where, or at least at the side of the road . . . if I could ever find that spot again.

Wouldn't you know it, but as I opened the door I found a silver rectangle wedged between the drivers seat and the seat belt holder.

Thank goodness!

I'm Mad . . . But SHOULD Be Grateful?

I'm mad.

So mad.

Like pound my head against a wall mad.

But apparently, I should be grateful. At least according to the cop.

I think back and wish I had made one critical decision a little differently. Why, oh why, did I not turn left instead of head straight into town?

I had been driving the speed limit the entire way in, much to the dismay of the drivers behind me, riding my tail . . . and then later flying past me. I figured that maybe I did need to speed up just a little. I mean, really, did I have to go the exact speed limit? No one gets pulled over for doing 10 over.

So, I sped up. The rest of the traffic was still flying by me. One would think that I would be safe and that my little infraction was nothing compared to the rest of the drivers. And, one might even reason that a cop could only pull one of us over, and most likely that would be the speed demon in front of the rest of the speedsters.

One would think.

Yes, it's true that one cop can only pull over one car. However, what happens when five cops get together and ambush and entire highway of drivers minutes after the speed limit dropped 20 km/hr?

You get people like me, who rarely ever speed, and could even argue that they weren't speeding knowingly at this point since the traffic was going far faster . . . and being in the left lane, I couldn't see the signs with the other cars in the way.

Me and the elderly speed demons. (Really, when you are pulling old people over who are barely speeding, you are really reaching.)

Seriously, my heinous traffic crimes include "speeding" while traveling down a mountain in Montana (because I didn't want to ride my brakes all the way down), running the occassional amber light, and traveling to the bus stop with out seat belts on. (I should preface this by saying that the bus stop is basically beside our house, on an undeveloped, closed road.)

The officer was nice, making small talk about how old my two kids were and that he would try to see what he could do to reduce my ticket. (I think maybe it was guilt for being involved in such a traffic masacre.) Then he took my identification and went away for a long time. He left me with a screaming newborn who I had to listen to for a good 10 minutes.

He returned and said that he had gunned me at 24 over the speed limit and that my registration sticker had expired (20 days ago) and was going to forget about the speeding ticket and just make me pay the $110 for the registration.

I tried to explain that we had just barely moved and it must have gotten lost in the mail . . . and with the baby . . . etc, etc. But he became a little more upset that I was not jumping up and down for the "favour" he had just done me and that I should be grateful.

So, I will try to find something to be grateful for.

1. The sun is shining today.

2. I didn't get any demerit points.

3. I didn't get the speeding ticket on top of the registration ticket . . . or have him look at the brake lights or car seats. Or make any mention that I still need to update my driver's license.

4. Avery didn't get run over when she ran off from the car while I was getting Liv out for our midwives appointment.

5. I think that's all the gratitude I have today. I'm still mad.

Mad that I didn't turn left.

Mad that I even fell to peer pressure from the other drivers.


March 24, 2010

What's in a Name?

The name game.

It's always easier to think up fantastic names for your babies before you actually need one.

It's even easier to do it before you are married and have to run your list by someone else.

The list gets pretty short after both partners have crossed off their old flames' names, kids who were nerds, or people they just didn't like.

We were pretty lucky with Jayden. Both of his names were well liked by us both, it was just a matter of whether he looked like a "Jayden" or a "Blake" when he popped out.

For Jackson, it was a lot tougher. Do we name him after family? Do we use a name even if family doesn't like it? Can we even agree on another boy's name to begin with? And what about what he looks like?

Originally, he was Gavin. Until some family totally shot the name down upon the call from the hospital.

Jackson was chosen because it followed a family name when shortened, but offered a longer version for formality . . . and incase our "tough Jack" might soften up a bit to warrant "Jackson." (Poor logic, I know. Because he is still the loud, high-intensity child that he was the minute he was born, but somehow Jackson has stuck.)

Avery was a choice between Avery and Ava and given the surge in popularity, and the ability to shorten it to Ava, Avery was chosen and easily stuck with. (Even if the "Ava" short-form fell flat.)

I knew that we'd have trouble with this one. Ever since Jackson, we have been mulling over boys' names to be prepared. It seemed we never had trouble with girls' names, only boys'. I also knew that since we had a solid boy's name, we were going to have a little girl . . . whom we could not decide on a name for at all.

And, voila! A little girl emerged.

As the only baby we didn't find out gender with, we had gotten so accustomed to calling it "it," "he or she," or just "the baby," we didnt' even realize that we could find out and solve the mystery when she was born. For a whole 15 minutes we were calling her "he," "she," "the baby."

So it is only natural that it has carried over into her name.

"Baby" has been more familiar to us than any other name.

However, the Canadian governement requires all the forms to be in before the month in . . . and some even had to be in a week or so after birth.

So, we went with the name that Brad really liked, Addison, and the name that I really liked, Liv, and there it was.

And we still called her "she" and "baby" almost most of the time. (Well, everyone except Avery who could not stop saying "baby Asson" all day long for the past month.)

Until . . . one day when Brad came home and asked if I wanted to change it to Liv.

Did I want to change it? Yes, I liked Liv much better. (Not that I didn't like Addison, but I just didn't like any of the short forms that she'd be called.) My one reservation with Liv was that it made a better second name than a first name . . . but maybe that doesn't matter?

So, we are trying to change her name in our house. Jackson is 100% on board, Jayden has reservations, and Avery is obviously having trouble. Baby "Asson" will always be "Asson" to her, or so it seems at this point.

I think Liv suits her more . . . now it is just a matter of deciding whether to change her official records to read: Liv Addison Templeman instead of Addison Liv Templeman. Avoiding the confusion in the future that anyone named their second name faces might be worth the hassle now, and the $50. And so what if Addison Liv rolls off the tongue a little easier . . . how many times will her full name be said anyway??

Introducing . . .

The newest member of our family, Liv!

Here is her birth announcement!(Details: With love we introduce

Addison Liv Templeman

born Saturday, February 27th, 2010*

at 8:43 am**

weighing 6 lbs, 2 oz***

Melanie, Brad, Jayden, Jackson, and Avery

*Apparently someone really wanted to catch the US/Canada gold medal hockey match so she made her debut early.

** Time is approximate, according to when Ted glanced at the clock during delivery.

***Some lady was extremely grateful for a 6 pounder (after two nine pounders), particularly since there wasn't any medical personnel on the scene . . . except for a dentist and the voice of a L&D nurse.


Delivered by Dr. Dad and Aunt Megan, RN

(Mom did a little bit of work too!)

Little Livvie

Since the addition of Livvie, our lives have been a teensy bit busy. ;) So, I appologize for these portraits coming up so late.

Here are some pics of her when she was about 4 days old:

More pics to come . . . so stay tuned!

March 6, 2010

One Week

In one week, I:

Said "hello" to the world outside mom's tummy.

Learned how to eat . . . and use my digestive system. (Actually, I am still learning how to use it . . . and keep in under control!)

Met my family. Mom's definitely a good person to know . . . Dad seems pretty nice too. I'm a little undecided about the other three kids . . . in spite of all the toys they throw on me and all the hugging and squeezing they do.

Took my first bath. I hope it was my last. I really do not like to get wet. Not even with lotion.

Had three photoshoots. Something tells me I should get used to the camera pointed at me.

Slept. A lot!

Ate. A lot!

Blissfully went into milk comas several times a day.

Went on my first shopping trip to the mall with mom. She was pretty unsuccessful trying to find clothing for herself. (It seems that having a baby a week before still leaves you as big as you were before the delivery . . . only instead of having a bulge in your tummy, it's in your arms. All the other fat is still where you left it.) We had a little more luck for me . . . at least for clothing that I will fit into in a few weeks. Nothing was on the shelves for me to wear in the meantime. I am pretty tiny.

Got interviewed by a local reporter. (Okay, so maybe Dad had to do most of the talking for me.)

Made mom and dad fall helplessly in love with me. And in newborns in general.

It's been a busy week.