Saturday, August 28, 2010

just a moment

I feel the urge to vent. I will admit, I did buy it in the "as is" section, and it was a decent deal... but I am pretty much done with IKE@ furniture. Under duress I will admit my coffee table and tv stand from there are decent (they are real wood) but I am not feeling the love for the dresser I bought for Brandon back in the day.

I guess the kicker is that I love the look of it - the downside is that I hate that parts of it are pressed board (wouldn't have guessed that when I bought it) and have already chipped, and that two of the drawers aren't staying in their brackets anymore and always look off kilter. Even "as is" it wasn't cheap, but it is acting cheap. Pisses me off.

So I was cruising craig$list to see what was about (amazing what people actually want money for) - not really looking, but not really not looking either more out of frustration with having to deal with the dresser. It reminds me of that song, she ain't pretty... she just looks that way... See, this dresser looks sturdy and well made, but nope... that is just the gloss and it pisses me off because I thought I was making a purchase that would see Brandon through to teenager-hood at least. I would have done better through a different catalog. In the very least, as I mentioned above, I need to work some magic on it to get it to a place that doesn't frustrate me on a daily basis.

On a total aside, I discovered the Lee Child "Reacher" series of books earlier on this year. I suspect that I will have read the entire series before Christmas. I get my teeth in to one of the books and it is done within 3 or 4 days.. which is saying something when you factor in family, work, and sleep!! I am already on book 5 (which may be done tonight... tomorrow at the latest)... at least he has written 15 so far... I still have a chunk to go... I have also been really enjoying Peter Robinson's books too... I feel like I have been striking a good balance between my literary and my suspense/action novels lately.

Friday, August 27, 2010

I was on a roll...

For a few days there, I was doing really well about posting a little bit more frequently.

Then life happened again, and all those posts stayed as clutter between my ears.

I interviewed for a position higher up within my department today, and I think I fared well. I feel like I am in a win-win situation since I do like my job, but if I got this new one, it would be a step up and I could really make a difference there over time. I am also sure that there will be times that more of my hairs turn white too. Overall, it went well. Not much I could or would change.

What I would change is my dear youngest child being up between midnight and 3:30.. at which time my dear husband took him for a drive to see if he would finally fall asleep (he did, but god forbid he actually sleep in past 6am). I think I got about 2 hours of sleep last night. Couldn't get it together quickly enough this morning, my oldest took his time getting ready, and then getting out of the car, and then ran in to an old friend from school whose kids are also in the centre (different area though)... time just was running through my fingers. I didn't fall down any stairs (like my last interview), but the laptop didn't have a DVD drive (I wung it instead), and I forgot all about breakfast. My excel test was decent - it really comes down to perception, and what personality my higher ups want and see themselves dealing with. I hope it is me!

To continue my whinge about lunch today- I was going to go for a greasy hamburger. Closed. Then I decided to go for a sub.. you guessed it, closed. I have settled for healthy fare instead. Somehow no matter how good mental lentil soup is... some days it just isn't what you wanted in the first place. Funny how life is just like that with what it serves up.

It has been a real mixed bag today.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Class of 2014

It's official. I am no longer young.

Here is the full list, but this is what the world looks like to the class of 2014.

1. Few in the class know how to write in cursive.

14. Doctor Kevorkian has never been licensed to practice medicine.

19. They never twisted the coiled handset wire aimlessly around their wrists while chatting on the phone.

20. DNA fingerprinting and maps of the human genome have always existed.

27. Computers have never lacked a CD-ROM disk drive.

28. They’ve never recognized that pointing to their wrists was a request for the time of day.

31. The first computer they probably touched was an Apple II; it is now in a museum.

32. Czechoslovakia has never existed.

42. Potato has always ended in an “e” in New Jersey per vice presidential edict.

43. Russians and Americans have always been living together in space.

46. Nirvana is on the classic oldies station.

62. Having hundreds of cable channels but nothing to watch has always been routine.

63. Their parents’ favorite TV sitcoms have always been showing up as movies.

64. The U.S, Canada, and Mexico have always agreed to trade freely.

65. They first met Michelangelo when he was just a computer virus.

66. Galileo is forgiven and welcome back into the Roman Catholic Church.

69. The Post Office has always been going broke.

73. Silicone-gel breast implants have always been regulated.

Strange Tuesday.

Connor seems to be full on teething this morning and was miserable. It was also my morning to drop him off at daycare, and he was crying and clinging to me. It is amazing how strong he is as I pried his fingers off of my shirt and got ushered out of the house ASAP. I ran out, waving my arms and yelling out "tylenol if he needs it" ... seems to be my son gets teeth in groups. At 8.5 months, he had no teeth. At 10 months, he had 6 teeth. Now, at closing in on 14 months.. he still has 6 teeth, but lots of puffiness. We have a long way to go yet with this teething train.

Finished my book off last night and it was really good. I would recommend Where the Heart Is and I am glad the Nej told me not to give it away - I was just really unsure about it and I am glad I followed her advice. A totally different book about the heart of America, one scene I could have done without since it didn't seem to do anything for the book, but it was a good read, and a fast one!

This weekend felt like true end of my mat leave. No more work for 4 weeks and then get 2 weeks off again. Now it is just holidays to look forward to, and weekends! I had to make a few lists so I could keep track of some of the stuff I really wanted to get done, and I feel satisfied that the big stuff got done. The outstanding stuff all seems to be around pictures and our computer(s) - backing them up, printing some out, and perhaps even doing some digital scrapbooking. I just need to nail down a routine enough that I can learn the ropes of DS, and then build in the time to work on it.

I can't believe how fast it seems things get scattered around our place. It cleans up fast, and I think it is because we have smaller square footage, and four of us living in it, but it does feel overwhelming at times. Especially when I forget and leave the cat kibble on the floor and my youngest starts to fling it around. I look forward to a bigger future, and two bathrooms.

Found out an old family friend passed on this morning, and had yet another strange conversation with my mom this morning. It seems our conversations get weirder and weirder as time goes on - I am not really sure how to talk to her where we both walk away feeling satisfied. I never would have imagined how much better I get along with my dad at this stage, that it is him that I can ask for favours and help, and I figure that the first response I will get from my mom is a no. We are trying to find someone to watch Connor for a few hours on the 28th and it seems to be a bit of an uphill battle. These are hard years (with really young kids) trying to get some solo, quality time with your spouse. Hell, even to create the opportunity to take one kid out to a cool experience and leave one behind is tough. I am sure it will sort itself out but it's amazing how you can have a relatively large family, and still feel so isolated in some ways, especially when everyone is going in their own direction.

Friday, August 13, 2010


Jamie Oliver is preaching a pretty powerful message.

And yes, I actually watched the whole thing.

I am glad I made all my own baby food, for both boys, giving them a good start. I am glad we make most of our meals at home... and that I am starting to teach them about food. This is a good reminder that this is a beginning... especially when I consider my own relationship to food, and my own extra weight that I carry. Some pretty heavy stuff for first thing on my last day of holidays... and a Friday the 13th to boot! Good inspiration for today, and tomorrow.

an odd read indeed

I just finished reading the Lace Reader, and I must admit, my experience resembled that of my dear friend, the KittenWhore.

It was an odd book, an interesting book, and now one that I am done with, and am still scratching my head a little bit about.

Would I recommend it, maybe. If you picked it up and were intrigued or just the right mood. I think I agree with KW that in many ways this book overstretched it's bounds and tried to do too much. When you reach the end, and an explanation of sorts, you then start to question the sequence of the whole book. There are parts that are brilliant, and then parts where you scratch your head and furrow your brow. It wasn't what I expected, and I wanted a little more of the lace reading... there were passages that I had to read a few times because the idea was novel - but overall, a strange book.

I did think it was interesting to note the author suggests that in the past there were no witches in Salem, and that now it is overrun with them. Interesting a town known for intolerance has evolved in to tolerance (of sorts). Some interesting ideas in this book, and I did enjoy reading it, but the end, and how the threads intertwined...yeah... One day I wouldn't mind seeing the east coast - Boston, Washington, Philly.. a few places in between.

I have a pile of books right now - some for both my reading selves. Some mysteries and whodunit adventures for the escapist side, and then some more literary books to satisfy my other, more "intellectual" side (laugh at self inserted here). After the Lace Reader I wasn't up for an escapist read, so I have started reading Where the Heart is by Billie Letts... which I think is going to be a surprising read

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

And yet another beach

Looking outside this morning, I gambled that the cloud cover was marine cloud that would burn off pretty quickly. It did! I had a great day at my favourite beach, had some fish and chips, and we all built a sand castle!

Roar! I am a Brandonsaurus!

I am a goofy kid!
Times like this are precious. I have been itching to get out here for months.. so it was great to get out and play!

Monday, August 9, 2010

and that is that

My island tour ended with a bit of excitement...

Wednesday going in to Thursday Ken ended up some nasty food poisoning and extreme dehydration. This evolved in to a midnight trip to the ER and then many bags of saline to rehydrate my man. After a few hours of this, back at home, trying to reacquaint himself with his internal organs, Ken ended up having an allergic reaction to some chunky soup.

Victoria was almost canceled until I could hear it in his voice that he was on the mend, and that ultimately, coming home with two kids cooped up in a car for 4 hours probably wasn't the best thing for someone who desperately needed some rest.

Victoria was lovely, and it was just awesome to spend time with my Coz and her wee man. In many ways, she is like a little sister, and as we are aging, and now both moms, I recognize more family traits then every before. I also appreciate her, her sense of humor more too, and her man. Her hubby cooks like mine - well, and lots! I was able to hand off four bags of kids gear to her, and I was grateful.. and it made me smile to see her use the backpack I had used with Connor as well... something to be said about paying forward gently used kids stuff, watching the chain continue.

I am including this picture from our last night in Victoria, coming home from an amazing dinner at Santiago's... (it was touch and go for a few minutes, got Connor in the high chair and he started to move... I then used the napkins to tie him in to the chair and all was good!) My dudes are completely flaked out and exhausted, and Eli looks like he could go another round. Too funny. I had a great island tour - wonderful wedding, great beaches, and some amazing time with my family.

The wee dudes, exhausted after a week of traveling between Nanaimo, Parksville, Comox, and Victoria... with all stops in between!!

Eli... ready to go at least one more round!!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Halfway through and island tour

After putting my DH on a plane for Vancouver, me and the boys headed to my Aunt's to pick up the girls and then head up island.

Mental note- Coombs on a long weekend, sheer stupidity.

Everyone and their dog was in Coombs. No, wait. Almost everyone. Everyone who wasn't in Coombs was in Parksville along the beach and boardwalk where people were parked everywhere!!! Total chaos.

Nothing like going sideways, hitting a fast food joint, and heading to Rathtrevor Beach. Now this was a surprise.. the beach was calm. We got parking - hell, we ended up with free parking because a lady gave me her ticket as she was leaving (we all know how much I love free parking) and there weren't that many people around. Yes, it was busy, but nothing like what we had just experienced.

Rathtrevor beach is beautiful. The vista is breathtaking, and the sandy beaches that stretch out for miles are nothing to sneeze at either. Now that I have young children, I appreciate that sand. Rocky beaches aren't great for toddlers. They just don't get a lot out of them for some strange reason.

Had a great time, and then headed back to my Aunts.. and then over to my cousin's for dinner.. and man, did we eat good. Nothing like good times with your favourite cousins and Aunt... and good food!! We even got some cheesy girl-tv...

Today I went up island to visit my folks, visiting some family friends in Comox. It was great - the drive was uneventful (that inland island highway is a fast highway!!) and the weather is spectacular. Spent the day on the beach, watching life go by.

The coolest thing about this trip is that Brandon has discovered beach combing... the wonder as he picks up crab, and tosses rocks around.. it is cool to see the wonder through his eyes. Connor just trucks along at his pace, pushing forward and toddling along. It is a cool experience heading out there now, with both kids mobile and curious. Took the old island highway back to my Aunts.. and ruminated about tomorrow's plans.. I think I will have coffee with my cousin in the morning and then back to Rathtrevor tomorrow. Time to build a sand castle!!!

Been another nice night of visiting, and then going to the park, night time routine, and then watching a girly movie. I love my husband, and I do miss him lots, and it has also been nice to have a few days of hitting beaches and watching shows I don't normally watch, spending time with the girls, and eating way too much good food. I think I will need to eat salads for a week after all the feasting we have been doing... it is nice to miss him, and hopefully be missed too! I am planning to head home on Friday.. after Rathtrevor and Parksville, and then a few days in Victoria. I feel pretty damn lucky.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Island Tour

After madly cleaning and doing laundry on Friday night, we got up at the crack of dawn to catch an early ferry on Saturday morning. See, my youngest cousin was getting hitched in the afternoon, and it is nice to get there with as little panic as necessary.

I think the ferry is a right of passage here on the coast - waiting in those line ups, that guy who never changes who has been selling the papers there, walking those line ups as long as I can remember, barely making ferries just as easily as missing them by a car. I can think of countless times I have wandered around Horseshoe Bay, just waiting for your ferry to come in, the sound of the horns as they round the corner.. and looking for the elusive beer can tree that clings to the side of the cliffs as you pull in.

Reservations do make life easier. It was nice getting there early and bypassing all the lineups.

The wedding was good - we were able to lend a helping hand with set up (which was cool to pay forward a favour... I have no idea of how many and who truly ended up being our helping hands, but truly, it is amazing how it all gets done, it was nice to do that for someone else) and even check in to our hotel early, so we all were at our finest.

I must say - weddings are a different experience when you are travelling with a 4 and 1 year old(s). The dynamic changes - neither of us caught all of the festivities, but we caught enough. The food was good, we enjoyed a night together... took all the boys back to the hotel and then I went back and ended up talking mostly to my cousin, and then watching my brother hit on one of the guests... by the end of the night, I got my bro home safely and I was just so happy to be home with my own guys...

Sunday we went to Newcastle Island on the little ferry that takes people back and forth from the harbour. For some reason, I find Newcastle just enchanting. This is our second time going, and each time we have had completely different experiences. It is a small island just in Departure Bay - it has a bit of everything, great beaches, old mill stone factory workings, evidence of the past, open fields, great hiking... it is a magic place.

After we went back to the hotel and we had a few quiet hours.. the boys slept and I finished my book and then we headed to my Aunt's for some family time - it was nice. Got to see all the important folks, have a great meal, and the time flew. Definitely a bit of chaos with both the boys and people eating on varying schedules. With two it makes it interesting - it is more of a juggle.

Brandon was so handsome in his suit, and Connor was so adorable in his plaid shirt :D My 95 year old gran looked amazing, and truly, I can't believe I have 2 kids, my cousin Carly has a kid... and Abby is married. Wow. It is really cool.