Wednesday, March 31, 2010


It feels like a blustery spring day. There have been moments where the sun comes out and warms you, and then a big dark gray cloud dances by and blocks out the sun and threatens a momentary storm with a rainbow to follow. Moments where it felt like it was going to rain, and moments where my living room was so warm from the rays I needed to open the door. I love the uncertainty of spring as much as I love the spring flowers!

A few totally random thoughts - every time it rains my backyard looks like a total disaster after all the scavenging birds have come by to eat whatever grubs they can find. Little tufts of grass and dirt are kicked up everywhere. Now that Connor is pretty mobile, during a sunny spell this afternoon he decided that he had to try to eat some of the grass. Joy. I just looked out and there are about 20 birds working a grid pattern out there.

Did I mention that our second child is one of those where everything goes in to his mouth? Ah yes. My boy makes a bee-line for the cat kibble. I have had a to fish a few pieces out of his mouth and I am sure this is not going to be a once only deal. Brandon has started to call him Kibble.

Easter is around the corner and it looks like we are going to do our celebrating on Good Friday. Brunch with my folks, and then all of our parents over for Easter dinner: beer can chickens on the BBQ and crock pot stuffing... We will decorate eggs tomorrow, and then do a hunt on Friday so it doesn't get too confusing between one on Friday and another on Sunday. Looks like we aren't getting together with the extended family on Ken's side... I haven't heard anything about plans. It feels strange. Every year it has always been a precarious balance - even when I was single it was one day for my mom and then a day where we went to see my dad's side. Now I just figure we balance it all and make it work. But there hasn't been anything. I am not sure if my feelings are hurt that nothing has been said to us - but it feels disconcerting that nothing has been said and strange that it is a traditional family holiday that is going to slip by with nary a word of getting together. At the end of the day, I will have my parents and Ken's mom over for dinner... we will have a great time and the rest is a bonus. This actually frees up different time on the weekend - maybe we will take in a local Easter egg hunt - which we haven't done in the past. Could be fun!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

We have ourselves a cowboy...

I am bursting with pride - Mister B had his first ride on a pony today and he really took to it. I was hoping he would really enjoy riding, but it was a bit of an unknown. I have my fingers crossed, there are horse folk on both sides of his family... and aside from a few moments of clinging to my pant legs before I picked him up and (gently) placed him on his faithful steed, Ladybug, Mister B rocked. I walked on one side for a few laps around the indoor arena, and then he didn't need me anymore! There was B and one other kid in the arena at the same time with a head instructor and then a few volunteers. Once he settled in, B projected a lot of confidence from his new perch. He loosened up on the death grip on the saddle, and he was grinning from ear to ear.

I was surprised, they even took B out for a walk around the paddocks too! I was shocked at how much he did for his first lesson... and when we got in to the truck, he was pretty zen about it all, and he can't wait to go back again! YAY! I think the riding is great for so many reasons - develop his core strength, stretch the right muscle groups, improve his posture... and then all the reasons you can't quantify by the sheer pleasure and untold rewards of being around horses. Lucky dude.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Farewell my friend.

Brandon, about 6 weeks old... (was he really that small???)

It was a weird feeling when I gave my coz my b'feeding pillow today.

I hadn't really had the intention of parting with it, but I knew watching her b'feed on the couch, that she needed it more than me. At this point, 99% of Connor's feeds take place in bed, so it was time. I was able to show her a few different ways of feeding, and then the mom's life improvement factor, being able to shift baby to the couch when they are asleep so you can run to the bathroom or just do whatever, or nothing as the case may be.

So, it was with a sigh, I placed the pillow around her neck to carry to her van, and wished her well. That pillow is now on boy #5 - Austin, Jackson, Brandon, Connor, and now Elias. It sports a new cover and many, many hours of breastfeeding and love. It continues to be in good hands. I will miss it, but, the pillow has moved on to the next best place and will continue to be loved. Egads. What a sappy sod I can be!

Connor... about a month old???

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I officially lost the title ... again

I spent a lovely afternoon with the boys out at Barnet Marine Park. I love it there because it is a somewhat wild park. It isn't perfectly groomed, and you are never quite sure what you might see - like eagles catching salmon, freighters coming in to the inlet, or even a loon fishing... We were checking out my photos from the day... and ... my DH started laughing when he got to this photo. Then I realized that B is in the background, doing a face plant in the sand, making sand angels (his words, not mine). I had asked him why he was doing it that way, and he didn't really have an answer. The fact he was doing this, as I was taking a photo of myself, once again, kicked me out of the running for the mom of the year award.

Welcome, Eli

Welcome Eli, you are loved. It was such a pleasure to see your mom and auntie today! To see a whole bunch of family together at my place... was a great experience. You remind me of my son, and how quickly that real baby stage is. Connor is 8 months older than you, and you make him look big because you are so new. It is such a time to cherish, those early weeks seem to take so long to go by (in some ways) but the time is so fleeting. I am pretty proud of my coz, Carnie is doing a great job and she is settling well in to her role as Mom. Welcome to the 'hood girl!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A shopping a cart you say?

The planets aligned last night and my DH and I caught the opening of the big dance show filled with names most of us recognize. It isn't really a priority for me to watch, but sometimes it is interesting to watch, just to see what all the fuss is about. I am a bit perplexed by the show's popularity, perhaps folks are rediscovering the joys of looking good all gussied up and the joy of dancing... but, why I am posting about this... I am sure I will roast for this one... but... it was really damn funny when Bruno said that the professional dancer Tony looked like he was driving a shopping cart around the dance floor. I suspect he won't be taking home one of those mirror ball trophy's anytime soon.

700 posts!

This milestone seemed to creep up quickly...700 posts! Woo woo! It's interesting to see when you look over the years when I had a lot to say, and when I didn't.

I am reading Living Oprah for next month's book club, and yet again, I have been pleasantly surprised by a book I didn't expect to truly enjoy. I am about 2/3's of the way through, and it has been a great read. I think Okrant has a strong, firm grasp of what is important. LO is a yearlong journey that RO takes to "live" Oprah's decrees and adhere to her best life principles. RO commits to following Oprah's advice from her show, magazine, and website. RO wrote a daily blog of her experiences, and then wrote her book chronicling her experiences.

One of threads from the book that I have picked up on is (once again) the importance of decluttering your life. This is an ongoing theme in my life. I think I am finally getting the hang of it, and I am embracing spring cleaning this year wholeheartedly. Already baby clothes are flying out of here, and we have (or are in the process) of getting rid of about 4 bags of stuff the boys have outgrown. Last week I also took a trip to our local used book store, got rid of a box of books, paid forward about a box worth to one of those blue bins, and I still have a box in the back of my truck. I think I will try again at a different used book store and if nothing more comes of it, pay them forward too. I have also been cleaning out my closet. It is getting easier to let go of things I just don't like anymore, or haven't worn or used for a year. I am getting better at letting go, and I am finding that I like more open spaces that don't need to be crammed to the rafters like I have done in the past.

Although I didn't really plan on getting rid of most of my pants until I started to replace them, I was wearing a pair of my cords last night, and they fit so bad as I played with my kids on the floor, they had pretty much slipped off my ass and I was sitting on the waistband. For starters, so not attractive. From pulling them up all the time, I have also made a mess around the waistband from all the belt loops I have pulled off. I have added this pair of cords, and it's match in a different colour to the pile of clothes I no longer need and will be paid forward. Some I may take to a second hand store, but I am really not sure if it is worth the effort.

I am learning more is not always better. I want to have clothes that fit, flatter my body shape today, and are good colours for me. This goes for shoes. No more buying because it is a good deal, or "I could make it work"... it is still amazing at how quickly and easy it is to accumulate things. I would like to think I am developing more discerning taste, and as I am letting go of many of my things, that they are replaced by quality things that reflect where we are at now...For me, this is definitely a process without a beginning or an end. I can see the difference in my closet, my bookshelves, and even with the kids toys. When B was a baby, I was willing to take all hand-me-downs.. now I take what we need, and pay the rest forward. I don't feel the same need to hold on to it all, just in case and it does make a big mental difference to not have that perceived need to have all that stuff!!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

how the blog got it's name.

I was feeling a bit inspired today so I have updated my header and mentally I am in the mood for a bit of a ramble. I figured it was about time to contemplate the title and header of my blog.

My blog title is inspired by the M. Wylie Blanchet novel by the same name, yet it is more the idea and not the content of the book that inspires my blog. I have had this working title for five years... changing now would seem a bit strange... I have wondered at varying times over the years whether or not I should have made up my own title rather than drawing from a quote or an idea that inspired me.

I question what is original? When you sit and choose a number you will wear playing sports, or the title for a blog, or even the handle you are going to use for email... how does inspiration strike? Or is it sheer desperation because in that moment of creativity ever other handle or title you remotely wanted was already taken? Even though the title was inspired by a quote in a somewhat obscure British Columbian novel, it does strike a chord within me. The book is about a female widower whom takes her four children on sailboat journeys up and down the BC coast and relays the life lessons garnered through these travels. When I read the book, I found myself inspired and enthralled by the life that was portrayed between it's covers.

I too ponder the nuances of time. How it moves, changes, speeds up and slows down. How time marks the passage of our lives, and how time seems to slip through our fingers.

I strongly feel that the most important thing you can give to anyone is your time. I try to be conscious of how I spend my time and I have a bit of a carpe diem attitude. It's also important to live without regrets, and to mean what you say. Reaching the end of this very short tangent, at this juncture, I think I have claimed a toehold in to title of my blog, reaching beyond the original phrase that inspired me.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Guinness. Sweet Guinness.

I didn't manage to post on St. Paddy's Day, it ended up becoming a strange day. This has been a week of random highs and lows, and it just seems we have been kicking some odd virus' here and there for the last few weeks.

We didn't make the shamrock cookies I wanted, or the guinness Shepard's pie, a wee wrench got thrown in to the mix with a sick kid. The big guy ended up with a fever that rose and peaked, and went away all within about 18 hours. It made for a strange day as his appetite left him, and then he started to complain about his tummy, and then I realized he was hot...and his temperature climbed, and climbed (up to about 38.9 c) and then with the help of some motrin, and a bath, and then some rest and time, slowly came back down to normal. It was odd. I think I gave him too much apple juice since he ended up with a canker sore (which was yesterday's complaint). Poor guy has had a bit of a rough week, and then last night, before midnight I think we had some crazy dreams going on - he was crying out almost every hour. It's amazing, when your child has certain tones in their cries, you will move worlds to relieve them. Middle of the night he called out again, but this time alert and wanting to come in to my bed... so, lost my big guy and gained the little guy... it was sweet, he said he loved me asked for a cuddle and promptly fell asleep. This morning, you would never guess he had such a crap night. Gotta love kids and how they bounce, can't always say the same about their parents.

In the middle of all this, I did manage a crown floats on St. Paddy's. It was most excellent. Not drinking much over the last few years has changed my taste buds to a certain degree. If I am going to have a drink, I am that much pickier now. I tried a Rickards at my folks the other day and it didn't do a damn thing for me. That Guinness and Strongbow combination? Sheer magic. I did get the Guinness Shepard's pie made last night too, and it was damn good.

Once again, things came together, just not on the time line that I assumed that they would. It seems life is about going sideways and making it work a different way sometimes.

I am also totally stoked. I have been trying to get Brandon in to therapeutic riding to help his core muscle strength and lengthen out his leg muscles (and honestly, I think it would be awesome to be in horseback riding lessons, and to be around horses, and the fact it could make a significant impact to the quality of his life... I am all over it). There are waitlists to get in (especially since we will need a Saturday slot for when I go back to work, prime time, of course), and there aren't many places that offer this in the lower mainland. We got offered a spot at the place I really wanted to get him in to a while back, but then got turned down because it looked like he wasn't old enough for insurance reasons, and we couldn't get him in to the physio they use because we don't live in the area... so, on the sideways theme, I have been trying with another outfit, and have been going back and forth with paperwork to get something happening, only to get put on hold (I can be pretty keen when I set my sights on something) to get a call on the 17th (it was a day of some real highs and lows) that Brandon had a spot in the original place that I really wanted him in, and they could have him ride as long as he was over 2!!! I was ecstatic to say the least... we are going for an assessment today and he starts riding next weekend!! I just hope he likes being around horses and the barn as much as I have...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

being able to pay forward...

Since the Don was born, I have changed as a person, in many different, unanticipated ways. Equally, I think some other characteristics have been able to bloom with my (not so new and shiny) title of Mum. I am sure anyone who becomes a parent would agree with that, or who goes through a major life transition.

I have been grateful as I have come to appreciate that it truly takes a village to raise children. There are many helping hands out there, and many of them are nameless, they just reach out to help at the right time.

We have been very lucky to have received many hand-me-downs from some dear friends. I could not imagine how secure I would have felt clothing my kids without a good cushion of hand-me-downs as a base. We didn't have a lot of money with the Don, and now with Connor, well, since we have two boys, we really don't need much the second time around. For Connor, it is more impulse buys, when I find something that is really cute, at a great price. Oh, and shoes. Brandon thrashed his shoes so there aren't many shoes to pass down. Ah well. You win some...
what I am getting 'round to saying is that I have been very grateful and always wished I could do something as a thanks for the hand-me-downs (especially for one dear friend whom has saved everything possible from her two boys, you know who you are), but you can't really. What you can do, in my view, is pay them forward in the same spirit through which you received them.

Over the weekend, I sorted out the baby clothes to date that the boys have outgrown. Some for my cousin, some for a friend's babe, and some for a friend-of-a-friend. It just plain feels good to pay the clothes forward to someone else. Sure, I could go to a clothing swap, or put the clothes up for sale, but really, they made such a difference to us having, that it is right to pay them forward... and that is where the thanks comes in, knowing that the clothes are passing through hands that need them, that they aren't going to waste, because babies do not wear out their clothes by any stretch. In the first two years, babes go through at least 6 distinct sizes...holy shit, you can spend a lot of money on transitional clothes! Plus, there are some clothes that never get worn because they are the wrong size/season at the wrong time... or they just get buried in a drawer, never to be unearthed.

It feels good to send them on their journey, and to know that satisfaction that my dear friend(s) felt, knowing that someone who needs them, has them, and the story continues. So, thanks especially Nej - the (earliest) clothes and toys have always made a difference. They have merged with others, and ours, and are continuing on.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lycra, are you truly my friend?

A dear friend called the early years of child rearing as being "in the trenches of parenthood." I would agree, as you just move from one stage to the next, the early years with teething, sleepless nights, the first times with many different sicknesses that are worse because they are your child's and they can't speak for themselves and they are so wee, and just learning how to be a parent can be pretty trying and a period of unbelievable growth for you as a person.

I would also add that these are those frumpy jeans years too. I really don't want to wear mom jeans, but I have reached a crossroads where every single pair of pants I own are all bagged out. I have saggy ass, and within about 30 minutes of coming out of the dryer, my pants look like shit on me. I guess a few pregnancies will do that to a person, but when I go back to work, I am getting rid of all of my pants and jeans. I may be able to salvage a pair with the purchase of a nice, new belt.

My mom keeps suggesting to me, "Why don't you let me put elastic in the waist?" Uhm. No thanks. Why don't I just go shopping instead! Okay, maybe not right now being on mat leave with a limited budget... I can suck it up for a few more months, and soon I can wear some of my summer clothes which should fit better since they have less lycra in them and shouldn't be as stretched out.

It is embarrassing though. Jeans and cords that fit out of the dryer are falling off my body within an hour. I sit on the floor and I expose my ass for all to see. When I get up, Ken rolls his eyes and tells me to pull up my pants. Although I am glad that it means that my body has shifted, and although not weighing much less than I did, obviously I must be on the right track... but it would be nice if one of my pairs of pants actually looked good on me for longer than it takes to walk around a room and stretch them out again.

I have discovered a store in Langley that carries Jag jeans... and they have a line that is for women with smaller waists and bigger hips. Perhaps these will fit well and solve my gape-y ass problem that I seem to have. Speaking of which, I could spend a fair bit of money in this store.. they had beautiful dresses and some really nice clothes...

When I do head out shopping this summer, I am going to aim to buy less pieces that are better quality and look better. Just because it fits doesn't mean I am going to spring for it. I am back at it spring cleaning again, I have a whole pile of clothes I am ready to let go of and it was easier than ever to cull from my pile of clothes that I have been looking at and not wearing. Hence, just because it fits, doesn't mean you will wear it. I guess you say I am planning to do more "mindful" shopping in the near future. Quality over quantity. Okay, it will be hard to break away from some of the nice, plain cotton tee's that I love to slum around the house in, but I know I need some new duds for work, and for being seen outside of the house in...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Pork and Root beer?

Pork and root beer you say? I am intrigued, to say the least.

So I have hauled out the old slow cooker, got us some root beer, a bottle of my favourite Guinness infused BBQ sauce, and I am about to turn it on. Up until now I have been using a seasoning packet, which calls for the addition of ketchup, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar. It has been consistently good. This will be a good sayonara to the (old) crock-pot before it's much better replacement arrives.

However, this recipe is blissfully simple, and on my fav recipe site, it was getting rav reviews. Plus it is made with root beer! Sounds like pretty low risk to me...

It is a gorgeous day out there, and a simple dinner where the bulk of the work is already done is perfect. We will serve this up with some warm buns, coleslaw, and some homemade french fries.

I have my fingers crossed that this recipe rocks....

A different kind of pulled pork...

  • 1 (3 pound) pork loin, roast, boneless shoulder (depends on what you want to spend)
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle root beer
  • 1 (18 ounce) bottle your favorite barbecue sauce
The How to -
  1. Place the pork tenderloin in a slow cooker; pour the root beer over the meat. Cover and cook on low until well cooked and the pork shreds easily, 6 to 7 hours. Note: the actual length of time may vary according to individual slow cooker. Drain well. Stir in barbecue sauce. Serve over warm buns.

Friday, March 5, 2010

A different kind of week

Well, C-man has had his first big cold... RSV to be exact. He is a happy wheezer, but it is a bit distressing listening to him breath. Poor guy. The beginning of the week passed by in a haze of sleepless nights and coughing... The Don seems to be doing pretty good, but he has the sniffles and a cough. Half felt bad about taking C-man swimming on Saturday, but who knew what was coming... needless to say, I think we will be taking a pass from waterbabies this week.

So, that was the Big-O. The last hockey game was awesome.. what a win! Hard to believe after all that hoopla... we are over and done, and just the P-games to go. Since the crowds won't be as crazy, we may just head to the city one day to check out what is happening around town...

About slow cookers and customer service. Through airmiles, I ordered a fancy-schmancy slow cooker that was programmable for when I go back to work. Figured it was the best way to go since it would automatically go from heating to warm, and would be the best way to guarantee good meals. Well, the one we got has been a bit of a nightmare. Slowcooking should not be rocket science, but the damn thing was scorching everything I cooked. Or it would superheat the food so you would scald your mouth.. and then the cleanup.. well, it left a bit to be desired as the food was caked on to the sides of the pan.

Airmiles couldn't do anything for us, so I contacted the manufacturer to whine since it has a one year warranty. Well, they have been awesome! I have been shocked by their customer service, and quite happily they are sending me a different replacement unit, free of charge.

This highlights to me I am not the first person to have this complaint about the unit, and, Crock-Pot stands behind their product. Thank you. Before the phone call I was feeling pretty pissy, and now, I am really looking forward to my replacement cooker. It looks awesome... and better features, and from the reviews I read before I chose it, it sounds like an all-round better option. So in the end, everything should be working out. I figure if I can whinge about when I don't get great customer service (like switching our phone/internet to a competitor and then getting my last bill from the old provider and finding out that I was on a "rate protection plan" for my internet I didn't know about, thanks for that and really, do you think you will get my business back in the future??? not with that kind of gouging) that I should also shout out when I get great customer service, which I did. Am definitely looking forward to our replacement cooker...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Found loot!

Yet another post where I reveal my geekdom.

I have heard of the concept of "releasing books in to the wild" and the idea of paying books forward in public places. Once I found a book in the ferry terminal, but it looked more abandoned than anything else, and last year, I left a book in a public place at work, hoping that I would never have to see it again (in other words, not very fond of that book was I). I had heard of book crossings, the website where people publish where they have released books, but just thought it was a cool concept.

Until now. I was up at our local park, and as we wandered through the water park, I noticed something on a bench. It didn't quite look like clothes, but it did look intriguing. So off me and the boys went, and lo and behold! I found not one, but two books!

The are book crossing books! (check out and they have ID numbers in them, and I can see where they were originally "released" and how they got to me. Unfortunately my books were released about 2 years ago, and it doesn't appear who has had them since has been all that diligent about updating the website. The books had also been left out in the rain, so they have now expanded to twice their size. That being said, they are now dry, and ready to be read!

I found Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks and The Inheritance of Loss, by Kiran Desai. Both look good. YOW is drier then IOL so I will read this one next. Needless to say I was thrilled to find the books, I will log them in before I will release them, and yes, I will find a public place to leave them and hopefully they will carry on in their journey. I will not leave them in the rain.

My hubby laughed at how thrilled I was to find the books. But he knows about my addiction. I have lots of books, and only in recent years have I gotten better about not accumulating too many more books. At a certain books, it just gets ridiculous in a limited space to have too many books.. because really, can you have too many books?? No, but there are some you never will read again, especially those pocket books, and it is okay to pay them forward or trade in for more... to once again, fuel the healthy addiction of reading.