Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Random picture blog

Today was hell at work. I have very few brain cells left, barely enough to form a thought or two. So here are some random shots for your viewing pleasure.

By the time they were done, they were almost naked and the sand in the butt cracks didn't come out for days.

The very first picture I ever took of the boys together. Ethan ignored Nicholas for almost 6 weeks, I beleive I bribed him with a thomas train to get this shot.

Oh yeah baby - I'm the man (in woman's shoes no less!)

THIS is why my son gets forgiven for running me ragged and making me sleep deprived.

Ahhhh....sleep. That is exactly where I am headed too.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

How to really tick me off...

Overstay your welcome, force me to MAKE you leave by escorting you to the backyard and throwing you over the fence, only to find you two days later taking up residence in the shower.

Holy crap Fred is back.

Friday, August 26, 2005

How much trouble can one get into in a completely fenced-in backyard?

Oh the adventures in a backyard. My kids just LOVE being outside, which is great. We have a decent sized yard, and the biggest bonus is that it is completely fenced, so my houdini like second born can roam to his heart's content without me worrying about him coming nose to nose with vehicular traffic. One of the most stressful things for me now that I have two kiddos is trying to keep an eye on both of them when we are out at the public park near our home. It wouldn't be so bad if they decided to stay within the confines of a play area, but no, there is much too much exploring to do in the huge adjoining forest and busy bus route. So we have been spending an obscene amount of time within the confines of our backyard. Which is fine by me.

During the summer, when it is warm and we get alot of sun, I like to do my part for the environment by hanging out my laundry (because god only knows that driving my "holy shit it cost me $80 to fill the tank" vehicle sure as hell isn't doing it!). The other day I decided to wash the kids security blankets, and when they discovered them on the line drying out, it was like they hit the jackpot in Vegas. Toys were abandoned and they stood, under their blankets, giving every ounce of love to the wet soggy pieces of material that I have ever seen. Ethan still sucks his fingers, and Nicholas expresses his love by chewing the living shit out of his blanket (and moaning in the process). They stood like this for ages.

So after the boys decided to abandon their blankets, they went in search of mischief. Nicholas is the ringleader in any kind of trouble making, but Ethan is quite happy to follow along. Even though I thought there wasn't too much for them to get into, Nicholas did manage to briefly scare the shit out of Ken and I. We have a shed in the backyard, and recently Ken built a "fence" - actually, it was only two planks wide, but it had to be done to keep Nicholas out of the back of the shed. There was a bit of room at the bottom, not enough (so we thought) for anyone to get under. Well, Nicholas, bound and determined as he is, slid on his belly and pushed himself under the fence. We didn't see him do it, but we did hear Ethan giggling and pointing in the direction of the shed. I am surprised that he didn't try to join Nicholas, but maybe, just maybe, he wanted to see his younger brother get in shit for once. Ken freaked out, I grabbed my camera (yeah, I am a really concerned parent!)

Just as Ken was going to grab something to pull the fence apart, Nicholas decided he had enough and wanted out. You can imagine the dirty mess he was by the time he squeezed his skinny butt outta there.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Fred is on vacation.

So I was talking with my girlfriend the other night and she told me that she thought Fred was one nasty assed spider. She asked me if he was poisionous. My immediate reaction was "We have poisionous spiders in BC?"

I told her I thought it was a great educational opportunity for the kids (except now every time Nicholas sees a spider he calls it Fred - hell, he'll probably fail biology 11 becasue of me). "Besides", M asked me, "what if he bites one of the boys? I am sure that he wouldn't just take a nibble, oh no". According to M, Ethan will only ever be able to count to 19 because, in her eyes, Fred would have dined on his big toe. So after that conversation, I (no, not Ken, and not my burly NZ farming cousin staying with us at the moment) had to tackle Fred. I was the only one brave enough. So I caught him, and walked to the BACK of the yard and hucked him over the fence.

I bet he is back tomorrow. I am a hell of a hostess.

Freaking Gross.

Honestly, I would have rather eaten Fred than drank milk. I fought it, but in the end, it had to be done. Read this to get the background.

So here it is - hasn't been done in 20 years, and likely won't be done again.

Absolutely freaking gross. But Ken is proud of me.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Fear factor - wimp style.

Today, Ken and I went to a wedding of an old friend of mine from school. It was a very casual "outdoor in the backyard affair" with lots of kids (ours not included). We were pretty excited to leave the kids at home in the care of my baby bro, my new sis and a couple of dogs (the boys thought they had died and gone to heaven). Ethan just told me that he had chips for lunch - yup, they had a great time.

So after this wedding, Ken and I decided to take full advantage and go out to eat. To a non-kid friendly place where you can take your time and not have to share any of your meal with anyone. Ken ordered a Thai chicken salad, but I knew as soon as I saw it that he wouldn't finish EVERYTHING on his plate. No, there were some cherry tomatoes on that salad, and as soon as Ken saw those, he pushed them off to the side and dug into the rest. Ken hates cherry tomatoes. He will eat regular tomatoes, roma tomatoes and, when I don't tell him, cherry tomatoes cut up into itty bitty pieces and mixed in with a pasta sauce. It is all in his head - when he was little, he was being looked after by a woman who made him and his sister eat cherry tomatoes. In fact, this woman would not let them leave the table until the the little red balls on the plate were all gone. There were some days that they didn't leave that table for hours. He has been scarred for life.

So I looked at those tomatoes, and I did what any caring, compassionate wife with no kids in tow would do - I dared him to eat them. Ken, not to be outdone, counter dared me with "if I eat these, you have to drink a glass of milk". Now that, I wasn't expecting. I have not had a glass of milk in almost 20 years. I HATE the stuff. Ice cream, bring it on. Cheese - LOVE it. Milk - the thought makes me want to just gag typing about it. So we negotiated back and forth until we came up with a compromise (yes, we have NO life). Ken would eat 4 cherry tomatoes, and I would drink as much milk as was in the glass of water in this picture. AND I got to pick which tomatoes he would eat.

Guess which tomatoes I told him he had to eat....

So like a man he did it - not without the theatrics though.

At the time of typing this, I have yet to drink my milk. I am sure Ken will take a picture to show the internet. And my mom.

Friday, August 19, 2005

The newest member of our family.

Meet Fred. He is the newest edition to our little family. Actually, Ethan has named him "big fat Fred" and he isn't too far off the mark. Check out the hairs coming off his legs.

Let me just say that I hate spiders. They FREAK ME OUT. I have caught Fred and put him outside about 4 times now, and he always finds a way back and has a new web up and running in no time. Ethan really likes him. He says good morning and good night and blows him a kiss before he goes to bed. He is currently living in the top corner of our bathroom, so maybe Ethan hasn't quite clued into how BIG he really is.

On a lighter, and much cooler note, here are a couple of pics of the full moon last night that I took from our backyard. I am sure they would have been better and brighter if I didn't live in the city or have to deal with the neighbour's porch all lit up like Christmas, but all and all, not too bad.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

ARGHHH...I take it back!

Did I just say that I wanted another baby? Did I actually PUT IT IN WRITING??? Holy shit I take it back. Why is it when one child decides that he is going to have a bad day, the other figures that what the hell, he'll have a bad day too? I cannot believe that the two screaming monsters who have replaced my sons today have not yet driven me to claw my eyes out with dull rusty nails (which, by the way would be much more pleasant than the crap that I have had to put up with already - and it is only 1:00 pm and Ken won't be home for another 8 hours, 35 minutes and 18 seconds).

I had a yucky morning, both kids woke up really grumpy and early. I had a bit of a reprive when a friend came over with her little one, and he and Ethan played quite well together for a couple of hours - until after lunch and when the meltdowns started to happen. My friend who is pregnant and due in a couple of months just looked in horror at my screaming kids and I just KNEW she was thinking "OH.MY.GOD. What the hell am I getting myself into?". Yes D - in another couple of months, you too can join the club, and it is NOTHING like the doublemint commercials. None of the "double your pleasure, double the fun". OH NO.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Babies, babies everywhere!

I got an e-mail the other day from a co-worker announcing that one of the many pregnant women in my office had her baby. Attached was a photo of her new wee girl. I didn't really expect the reaction I had to the photo. It didn't tug at my heartstrings like most newborn baby pictures. Oh no. It YANKED my heartstrings out and stretched and twisted them in such a way that I wanted another baby RIGHT NOW. How is it possible that the world can be exploding with so much cuteness? I just can't stand it.

My heart and my head are at completely different places when it comes to having another baby. My heart forgets pregnancy, labour pain, sore boobs, sleepless nights and shitty diapers (my second born is kind enough to remind me of the latter on a daily basis). My head tells me that I am getting too old, and my husband reminds me of everything my heart tells me to forget - his favourite is "remember how it felt when the nurse told you that you couldn't have drugs?". Ok, yeah, I do remember that, and man I was pissed!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

What's that funny smell?

One thing Ken is really good at is coming up with stuff to do. I suck at it. Yesterday he suggested we go to Golden Ears Park & Alouette Lake. It is quite a drive from here, but doable, especially since Nicholas had a really good morning nap and Ethan has decided to go off of naps altogether thank you very much.

When I was much younger, we lived closer to Golden Ears, and made many a trip up there to frolic in the lake and spend the day hanging out. I am sure my parents would be thrilled to know that my first memory of this place wasn't the family fun, bonding, love and warm & fuzzy stuff. No, I have only one distinct memory of the lake, and it is the the fact that it was the first time I had ever smelled pot. I was about 8 or 9 years old, and I remember asking my dad what the smell was. I don't remember his response, but I am sure it wasn't something along the lines of "oh, they are just smoking some illegal drugs - and probably having a hell of a fun time doing it". I don't remember the next time I smelled pot, or the time after that, or much about the first (and pretty much only) time I tried it myself (mom, cover your eyes). Gee, I hope with that admission I have not turned into a horrible influence for my younger siblings.

Hell, the fact that I have pretty much spent most of my life in Vancouver and have only smoked weed a couple of times is shocking in and of itself - considering one of the more interesting places to visit here (yes, this is in some guidebooks) is The "pot block" of 300-block of West Hastings St in Vancouver - home to the BC Marijuana Party, Pot-TV, and the Museum of Psychoactive Substances.

Well, things sure haven't changed in over 20 years. Yesterday at the lake there were a group of about 10 kids (I'd say they were about 14-16) all smoking weed. Yup, anyone within a 50 foot radius would have been higher than I ever was when I actually tried the stuff many many moons ago. I could see Ethan thinking about what they were doing (he hasn't even seen anyone ever smoking a cigarette) but he didn't ask. I did however, start to wonder if the big blue cloud affected his little brain when he started calling all the inflatable rafts in the lake "speedboats".

Saturday, August 13, 2005

money, money, money

I got a call the other day from my university alumni association. They call about twice a year asking for money to support struggling students, and make me feel like a sack-o-crap when I tell them that I am not in a position right now to donate to the cause (perhaps my monthly student loan payment that is more than what most pay monthly when they BUY A CAR has something to do with it!). I have calculated that I won't have paid off my student loan until I am well into my 40's - I cringe to think of what I borrowed and what I will have actually paid back by the time it is all said and done.

Besides, I have much more important things to spend my (sorry honey "our") hard earned cash on. Who needs univeristy when you can get your kids one of these?

It is a computer, designed for kids 3-7, fully loaded and guess what? No-where in the text is the price (although they do say that "financing options" are available). A quick google search showed that this little unit is about $2000. The tag line for this is "Meet the future of early learning". Well, the kids in this house will be using this as their future of early learning...

Poor kids - I guess that is what you get when you live in a house with no cable!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Isn't she lovely?

There are days during the week that I have to drag my ass out of bed to tend to the second born who has not quite figured out yet that 5:30 am is NOT prime playtime in this house. There are other days where my pathetic butt must get up to actually get dressed to venture to the outside world and converse with real, live adults for 7.5 hours (not including lunch and coffee breaks). Those are the days, ironiclly enough, that Nicholas decides to sleep in just long enough to hear me shut the door on my way out. I am not sure what my mom has told him, but I am sure she had read his cute little ass the riot act so that she can have a bit of a sleep in on the days that she watches the wee angels while I am at the office.

There are mornings where I actually have enough time to scarf down breakfast, and spend more than 10 seconds trying to make myself look presentable to the general public. Those are the days that I am confident that I look like a real human being and not a mommy who has had 5 hours of sleep and been peed on before 6am. On the days that I can't quite manage to find a matching pair of shoes, much less actually put on my face or drag a comb through my hair I feel like someone who people stare at and think "oh my god...did she even LOOK at herself before she stepped out of her house???". Lucky for me, what is actually said to my face is "oh, you look tired". Hmmm....I got ALOT of that today.

Monday, August 08, 2005


I have said in previous posts that if I didn't CLEARLY remember giving birth to my second born (no thanks to the nurse who refused to give me ANY drugs), I would swear sometimes that he is NOT my child. The other day I took one of the kiwi relatives to an ice cream joint here in Vancouver that has over 450 flavours of ice cream, and at least 200 available to select from at any one time (I am sure they would have all 500 out if they had the room). You would think that La Casa Gelato would have come up with a flavour that Nicholas would like, but no. I guess until they have sand flavoured ice cream we are out of luck.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

I should have known something was up.

I walked into the kitchen the other day and found my second born asleep. IN his highchair. MID FEED.

I swear this is no child of mine. While I love sleep and food, I don't think I have ever fallen asleep while eating (although I am sure if my mom looked hard enough she would find a picture or two just to prove me wrong). Up until that point, Nicholas had eaten quite a bit which is odd, and then falling asleep on top of that - MIND BOGGLING.

Later that night, he woke up with a fever. Not just any fever, but one that sent my mommy radar into overdrive and had me phoning all kinds of hotlines to find out at what point short of bursting into flames should I take my son to the hospital. I am not a big one for trucking the offspring to the doctor for run of the mill sniffles, colds or fevers. But this was different. I don't know why, but it was. So I loaded the kid up on tylenol and held him for the next few hours while he alternated between demanding "Bob" (the builder) and his cup. Ironic that just a couple of days ago I was thinking about how he used to just fall asleep in my arms and how much I missed that. Yeah, careful what you wish for, I know. He stayed in my arms for about 6 hours, 10 minutes of that was sleep.

Once the fever started to go down a bit, I felt a tiny bit better, but not much. With Nicholas, not only do I worry about run of the mill stuff, but I think about his little ticker, and wonder if anything he catches will affect his heart in addition to doing whatever else it will do. Funny that I almost never think twice about his heart when he runs non stop all day, but as soon as he spikes a fever my fears set in and I just can't shake it. I guess it is something that I just have to get used to.

So later in the day I took him to the doctor. Of course, he pitched the BIGGEST fit while we were there, and wonder of all wonders, his fever had come down from the time we left the house until we got into see the doc. Apparently all we have to worry about is his high pitched, glass shattering screams whenever he sees a tongue depressor.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


In about an hour, we are off to the airport to say goodbye to some of the Kiwi contingent that came up for my brother's wedding. Although we only see them once every few years, every time we do get together it is like it was just yesterday the last time we saw them. It still amazes me that this is the nature of the relationship, I feel so close to these people, and really, New Zealand is like a second home to me. Last time they were all here was for my wedding, and I was too busy worrying about getting married and being a bridezilla to spend alot of time just relaxing and hanging out. My only worry about my brother's wedding was making sure that Ethan didn't lose any rings, and we accomplished that - just barely.

My cousin Michael brought out his girlfriend Stephanie out with him, and she fits into our clan like a glove. They were the perfect houseguests - ate my food (in fact, I am sure that I could put a plate of dog shit in front of them and they would have told me it was wonderful), put up with the kids getting up at 5 am, and were offering to help with just about anything at every turn (too bad I cleaned the house from top to bottom before they got here!). I am hoping they give us a great excuse (not that I need one) to get our asses down to NZ in the near future.....(did I mention that I love WEDDINGS???)

It seems odd that the wedding is now over. I am sure it is even more odd for my bro and my new sister (YAY) who can now finally relax and enjoy new married life. I have spent the last couple of days just playing around with lots of pics that I took of the lovely couple and remembering just what a really nice day it was - thank you Kirstin and Paul!

So, to the Kiwi's - thanks for coming up and adding a distinct "down under" flavour to the wedding. We all love you to bits.

And now, more pictures....

I love this picture of Kirstin - she looked absolutely stunning (even from the back!)

Evidence that there are gorgeous, beautiful days in Vancouver.

Monday, August 01, 2005

I LOVE weddings

Yesterday, my baby brother got married. It was a wonderful day and we had a great time. This was Ethan's big day too, and for the most part he did pretty well.

As I am still somewhat recovering, so this is going to be just a picture entry. Enjoy, and congrats Kirstin and Paul!