Friday, September 06, 2013

Grade three!

Wow. I can't believe my only girl is in grade three. I remember grade three. Which means everything now makes an impression. Everything. And she's mature and loving and playful. She sleeps better, eats lots and is wicked awesome on the monkey bars. Her independence is growing and she loves ever second of the adventure of being on her own. Big year. Big time.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Summer 2013!

I hate thinking that it's over now, but in between intermittent warm days, I think the reality is that summer is now over. But it was a good one.

Lots of campfires at Bob and Lori's on the weekends; a couple excursions to Rowan's Ravine with them on long weekends – even one where we left Lily overnight; a weekend at Grandma and Grandpa's for tubing and seadooing; a prolific garden supplying us with steady fresh produce; lots of backyard fun with Jack and Carly; Finn independently going to the bathroom and some botched escape plots; lots of visits to the farmer's market; a spray park playdate with Mason; Lily's birthday party and all of it's preparations; going on bike rides, or to the park; taking a week off work for a whirlwind holiday to Cypress Hills, Carolyn's place in Priddis and a couple days in Calgary; Daddy taking Lily and Carly swimming in the evenings after 7 p.m. because it's free then; brunch at Creeson's house; visits from Ferguson; zucchini; peach jam, fig jam, strawberry jam; basil pesto; applesauce from cousin Heather's apple tree; bluejays and squirrels.

But getting back into the swing of things won't be so bad. Can't keep up that pace forever...though I might like a couple more months. Just happy we can make the most of it. Cheers! (Oh right, and wine was a big part of our summer, too.)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Lily's 8th Birthday!

It was terrific scientific party this year. Lily wanted a science experiment party, so we delivered. A choice group of scientists, complete with personalized security badges, gained unrestricted access to the birthday laboratory. Then the fun – and learning – began.
Even Finn needed access to the great meeting of the scientific minds.
Experiment 1 – Sandwich bag bombs
Experiement 2 – Elephant toothpaste...just kept expanding and expanding.
Experiment 4 – Tie-dye milk
Experiment 5 – Goop
Experiment 6 – Frankenstein's hand
Experiment 7 – Mentos in Diet Coke

The day was a success. The weather cooperated, she got some great presents (including some earrings from her BFF) and there was cake and root beer floats. It couldn't get much better.

Happy 8th Birthday, Lily!

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

The meeting

I met Carolyn. I think we might be related...

We met in Medicine Hat this past weekend. The most anxious part was walking into her hotel room. But once we got some nervous pre-meeting banter out of the way through a crack in the door, I went in. And there she was. She's so familiar. Obviously because she looks like my mom, but also because it's starting to feel like she's been there my entire life.

But she wasn't – and the bright side of that is that we get to be sisters without all that baggage. Without the nasty teenage fights. Without the same traumas and dramas.

The weekend was good. Good to just talk and hang out – oh, and compare our physical features at length. There were dinners out, breakfasts at the hotel, bento boxes for lunch, 90-minute massages, and watching Identity Thief. The finer details of it all needn't be shared. (And not just because I got sloppy drunk and regrettably extolled the virtues of higher education and was embarrassingly hungover most of the entire day Saturday. I can admit that...)

We're kinda the same, more than we are different. And we're kinda smitten with one another. It's nice. Good. Exactly as it should be.

A video momento of my and Carolyn's first meeting from Hood/Anderson on Vimeo.

Monday, May 06, 2013

He's three!

Oh, my sweetest little Finn! You turned three years old! And since then, you've had this monumental leap in personality and thoughtfulness...even though you fell heavily, splat, right out of Lily's bed last night and flat on your tummy onto the hard floor. It didn't shake any brains out, though.

Physical heft aside, and you have visibly grown lately, you are kind and gentle. Unless Lily gets all up in your business...which often happens. (Unless I'm not there. Then apparently you don't fight at all because you two are not vying for my attention! Who would have thought?) But you love to share your toast, or your gum, or really anything you have with anyone. You are very attuned to other's feelings which is why I can "cry" and you will softly comfort me. You even blow me kisses through the window as you ride your tricycle and helmet on the patio and melt my heart.

Dad said the other day you asked if you could throw something out the front window. He said no, then went back downstairs. A few minutes later you yelled, "Dad, come see what I did!" When he arrived, he saw that while you hadn't thrown the original item out, a toy cash register, other toys and magazines had been hurled onto the path below. But we seldom get upset, likely because we're just reveling in your pride and utter cuteness when declaring these things. Besides, your feelings are easily hurt. You come from a long line of sensitive people.

You are convinced you a big boy and while I won't disagree, you seriously think we should let you drive the van home from daycare. True story! But you're still not potty trained. At times, you will protest, screamingly, the taking off or putting on of diapers. Which is too bad because you are so good at peeing on the toilet, especially since Mezia implemented jelly bean rewards. (Apparently Smarties weren't as strong an incentive.) Pooping is currently your downfall. You can't squat on the toilet, therefore you don't consider it an option. No rush, my last baby.

We had your birthday party on your actual birthday, a Thursday. Lily wanted Carly there as your birthday is her half birthday and well, her birthday is your half birthday. Nana came, too. We started with presents as I couldn't see a reason to make you wait. You got so much awesome stuff! A zoo Duplo set and book from Uncle Nigel, Auntie Jessie and Ferguson; a semi truck and digger Lego set from Grandma and Grandpa; a pirate treasure chest with dagger, spy scope, bandanna, etc., and pirate figurines from Nana; a bunch of big boy gotch from Carly and Jack; a Captain Hook cuff with fishing rod, canon, net, hook set from Lily; and a large pirate sword with treasure map, etc. and Spiderman mask from Mom and Dad. After, we ate supper of mac 'n' cheese and sweet potato fries before calling Jack to join us for cake. You blew your candles out like a pro. Things got a little dodgy after that with lots of crying so after Carly and Jack went home, you went to bed and were asleep within minutes.

You are a big, beautiful, bright boy whom we all adore. Happy birthday, Finn!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

New addition

You usually don't get a new sibling when you're 35...unless, of course, you're one of Larry King's older children. I'm not a King, but I did score a new sister.

On March 4th, I sent my sister Carolyn, who was given up for adoption, an email. The next day she replied. Two weeks of daily (or more) emails and pictures back and forth and then she called me. Our first phone call lasted five hours – at night, and I had to work the next day. But it was worth it. Our conversations are easy, at ease. We've got some things in common! We talk about what we look like, what our personalities are like, what we think about things and about our kids. We've chatted three times since that first call, for many hours. I think of her constantly and if we're not talking, I'm sending her emails.

I've known about Carolyn since 2003 when she first tried to contact us. The timing was bad, so we vetoed her contact, but I sent her a letter at that time with my veto to let her know why timing was bad and that maybe in the future...

Carolyn is 13 months older than me, but she's shorter. She's married and has three kids. Jack, who will be 10 in June, has red hair. Julia is 9 days older than my Lily Julia and they're half an inch apart in height. Little Kate will be 5 in June.

It's all very exciting. Very emotional. Very crazy. We've even made plans to meet in May. Alone. Which means I have just over a month to get Lily used to the idea that we'll be apart... Everyone should send their best wishes and good luck to Chris.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

A friend

Lots of stress these days. My back has been in knots for almost two months. One of the many things we're struggling with is our friend Boonie's diagnosis of a malignant brain tumour in mid-January. The past year had been awful and hard for his family all ready. Just today, his wife's dad died from cancer. Their daughter is only three years old. It's crushing.

Every single day I think about what they're going through. And what is to come. In the week before Boonie was rushed to the hospital, Chris said he wasn't looking well so I sent him lunch with Chris. In my head I'd been planning other lunches he might like that I could send along so that would be one less thing for him to worry about... It all shoots me back exactly eleven years ago because it's exactly the same thing at exactly the same time of year except my dad was 53 and Boonie is only 40. I have an over-abundance of empathy.

We met Boonie in about 2000 after a Unisource event. Chris started working with him at FCC in 2003, always just a few feet from each other for the last ten years. He is the most easy-going, jovial guy you could meet.

I swear the thing I miss most these days is having Chris come home and tell me what he and Boonie talked about that day. The loss Chris is feeling is obviously much more.

Feeling helpless, I made him my first adult-sized quilt. The kids tried it out and it looks like it will work. Those hospitals can be cold.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2013! Haven't made a resolution to blog more, so don't expect much. Pinterest has made a huge dent in my life (mostly at work) and when I'm not there, I try to really be here. With Chris. With the kids. Doing stuff. I only have a few more months working part-time, then it gets hard. While I know that's how most everyone has to do it these days and we, poor graphic designers, just can't afford not to no matter how much we cut out, I think it's absolutely tragic that we end up having to contract out our lives (daycare, housekeeping, food) because we're so busy working that we just don't have the time or energy. And the time we do and will have is short and harried.

So, I suppose what I'm saying is that I propose all maternity leaves last 5 years or until your child starts kindergarten.

I wish.

No one said a girl can't dream.

Until then, I'll continually be posting pictures on Flickr so that's the easiest way to keep up with what we've been keeping up to. Here's a few in case you missed them. Happy New Year!