Friday, July 22, 2011


Chapter two of our holidays started today with a kickstart. I have been off work for almost two weeks, and it has been a blur. Between the weather, various appointments, sorting of different things, and just being a little scattered, it has felt like we have been waiting. Waiting to find out if we sold our house, waiting to go on holidays, waiting for the day that will come when B will have the botox injections and see what difference it makes.

Yesterday, the damn broke. We sold our house. We couldn't ask to do it under better circumstances, although it has been strange. The buyer never looked inside our house, it was bought for the land and not the building - easy to assume it will eventually be torn down and replaced with either a duplex or two smaller homes. Right next to the property beside us, where the same thing will happen. It was strange not getting our house all gussied up for sale, or considering "curb appeal" or "staging". It didn't matter. Makes our new roof seem superfluous (too bad we needed it two years ago). It is a long, long closing which is nice, we will have lots of time to make a decision as to where we go next. Although that being said, too much time speeds up until O M F G we have to move... and it isn't just us anymore, we have the little ones too!!

Fingers crossed we get a good rate, find a great place, and the rest of the pieces fall in to place.

Today we had a few other appointments, and then a lovely visit with a dear friend and her daughter. It is amazing watching friend's kids grow up - her daughter is pretty darn cool. I see parts of her, and parts of her husband in her. Amazing where you reach the point where you have decades long friendships and you watch your friends move along their lifepaths, and you move apart only to move together again. Too cool.

Celebrated B's 5th birthday tonight, and I am packing to go away in a few hours. A few days in the Seattle area and then up the Olympic peninsula for some camping. I wonder if I am bringing the right things, I am out of practice! Although we have been on trips (and stayed in cabins) first time since I was 8 months pregnant with Connor that we have been out. I can't wait. I still need to pack toys, toiletries, and whatever other bits and pieces I can think of in the next few hours.

Monday, July 18, 2011

A not so Dirty Apron

Four hours of cooking and eating bliss last night.

For Christmas, Ken got me a cooking class at the Dirty Apron. Looking at the cost, I don't think I would have sprung for one of these for myself (I have a really cheap streak at times, I enjoy spending on holidays but at home at times seems to be a different story, damn daycare costs!!!)... but as a gift, it was an awesome since that choice was taken out of my hands. From the beginning I wanted to do a class where I learned something new - I wanted to cook something I didn't normally cook but really enjoyed. Like Thai. I lurve Thai food. The wrapped prawns? O M G they were good. I will learn how to deep fry in my wok at home for this one and make in a batch of 30. SO GOOD. We would watch how things were done, make a course, eat a course (and have some yummy Thai beer with it) and then repeat the process for the next course.

It was an awesome night. There can be up to 22 students in a class, and everyone gets their own station. In between courses, you come back to your station and it is magically cleared! I wish I had this ability at home... It is a great space - clean, crisp lines, and very modern. David, the head chef, is a good instructor and the course is paced well, and the courses were awesome and I think will be decent to repeat at home. I see making a huge batch of green curry paste in my future to go with those prawns... Did I mention, SO GOOD? The cooking school is attached to the restaurant, Shambar, and I foresee a trip there in the near future. Well, near future may be optimistic since we seem to have issues finding babysitters. The joys of kids under 5, they are a wee bit high maintenance.

Would be fun out with my hubby to do something like this again, or to make it a girls night out.

Here is the write up for my cooking class:

The mastery of Thai cooking is an irrefutable art, but The Dirty Apron Cooking School believes even the most novice culinary student can achieve the delicate balance of spicy, sweet, sour, and salty. Chef David shares his love for the land, its people, and its tantalizing cuisine in My Thai, a cooking class for those who long to create Thai delicacies in the comfort of their own home. Feel the heat and surprise your taste buds with the complex and zesty flavours of Thailand: Crispy Wrapped Prawns with Hot ‘n Sweet Sauce, Thai Beef Satay with Coconut-Peanut Sauce and Vermicelli Salad, Chicken Green Curry with Stir-Fried Baby Corn

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bacon Jam, and a rainy saturday

The beach BBQ we were going to attend got canned because of our ongoing terrible weather. It really, truly rained hard today. The kids have been climbing the walls because they have either been cooped up inside, or stuck in a car running errands. Not a lot of fun for a vacation week in July.

In true Kazzy-style, knowing the best way to get C-man to sleep is to tire him out, the three of us went to the park in the middle of the downpour for a walk. We were completely soaked. The boys were happy, hence, I was happy. They ran, jumped, and tried to swim in puddles. They terrorized the geese, stopped for a few ducklings, and pushed the rain from their faces. Home for a shower, soup, and then a nap (for one of them). B requested to make some cookies, so that we did too. Looking for a recipe I ended up sorting and getting rid of a huge bag of paper to recycle. I try to stay on top of it, but it is amazing how fast paper accumulates.

Once I cleared the kitchen of my cookie making mess, my hubby was inspired to try out the following recipe... It has bacon in it, can you go wrong?

Thank you to for this husband friendly recipe. When you are cooking it down, watch the temperature so you don't overcook that sugar!

Bacon Jam

1 lb good-quality bacon
1 small onion, chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup coffee
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar (optional)
1 Tbsp. grainy mustard (optional)

Roughly chop the bacon and cook it in a heavy pot; transfer to a bowl using a slotted spoon, draining off most of the drippings. Saute the onion and garlic cloves in the rest for 5 minutes, until soft and starting to turn golden. Return the bacon to the pan, add the brown sugar, coffee, maple syrup, vinegar and mustard and cook over medium heat for half an hour, or until deep golden and thickened to the consistency of jam. If you like, cool and pulse in the food processor for a finer texture. Serve warm or cold.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Pronto Purple

With a name like that I am most definitely referring to nail polish.

My final post of the night. It has been bothering me for weeks and I have finally repainted my toe nails. After many months of blue, and the occasional foray in to metallic pink.. hello PRONTO PURPLE.

Dry fast so I can go to bed, I think I am going to read The Echo in the Bone next. I won't admit how long it has been on the shelf waiting for the "right" time to be savored!!!

Painting rules.

In all fairness to my youngest.. this is probably where he got some of his inspiration from...

I love painting - the freedom of just spilling the colours and letting go. I like seeing what my kids can carelessly create without telling them what they can and can't do.

Plus, get messy. Last I checked they were boys and I would rather all of us get our hands dirty than just sit back and watch.

This is what happens when you ignore someone...

My karma.

All painted up and purdy with finger paints (and the floor, cabinet, and chair) when he should have been sleeping.

This is what happens when life is just too damn busy during the day and your coffee habit is flourishing. You start posting, because you can, and the house is silent, and it is just so nice to pay attention to your blog.

Granted, one of these nights I also need to start paying attention to our growing accumulation of pictures as well.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Get over it already.

Being a parent has been the most amazing journey. Being the parent of a kid who has a few extra challenges (I rarely if ever say the words in here, the scary words being hydrocephalus and spastic diplegia, a form of cerebral palsy that affects the lower limbs. For B this means muscle tightness that makes him walk with less coordination and makes balance a little more difficult, this is why he was a late walker. The hydrocephalus is managed by his shunt, which knock on wood, will not fail again but if it does we will cross that bridge when we get to it, I have one helluva strong boy and we are a strong family and can deal with it) thrown in to the mix has been an incredible journey with a few extra pitfalls to take in to consideration. Talking to some of our various professionals, I think a lot of what they need to do is support the parents because they are the ones that are frankly scared shitless for the first few years until they realize that their child is really and truly going to be okay. It really isn't so much about the kids because frankly they don't know a different reality, but for parents trying to be the best people they can be, and balancing work and finances, their relationships, and home, they are the ones that need a little bit of extra support and sometimes just listening to as they evolve in to their slightly adjusted parental role.

Getting over it all... (taking it on the chin, making margaritas...) time moves on... Then, somehow, you grow to arrive in the present moment, no longer as fragile as you once were as a new parent with a whole different set of challenges than you anticipated, more confident, and more capable. You adjust, you grow, you find that you have evolved in to a different kind of parent and person than you ever imagined. Life evens out, hell, it moves on. A few scary words put in to perspective when you envision your cool little person who shrugs off those labels and continues to play and be a kid. You recognize again your dude is really cool, as is your second dude, and you not really knowing any different, discover different strengths and talents.

Moving on to the next chapter as you are where you need to be as a mum, now that it seems your life has moved on and you have grown up a little, you now get to deal with the people who are going to take care of your kid when you are at work. You have to deal with the people who are going to be "teaching" your kid. You realize that even though you have been getting on getting over it (and have moved on and life continues) there are a bunch of people that get stuck on the scary words and their eyes seem to glaze over and their judgment becomes clouded over. The last few weeks have been about transition as we have moved in to a new childcare centre in our place (next age group), and we are getting ready for kindergarten. I see meetings in my future with a bunch of professionals to create a plan. On one hand the plan is about making sure B becomes the best person he can be and to create a education plan for PE, and on the other hand, it is to ultimately support our educational role models (teachers, etc) in figuring out that my kid has a few extra labels that don't really mean much at the end of the day - yes, they could, but the reality isn't quite what they first sound like when you try them out.

It just has been weird how this transition has gone. It has really done me in emotionally between dealing with the new staff (the casual staff and the program head have been great but the regulars freaked out a bit), dealing with a few issues from the past (when B had his surgery and how it was not handled by his last centre), and then with getting ready for kindergarten and making sure they know what to expect, and then setting goals with our physio, and our supported childcare person, and then getting ready for botox injections in a few weeks (which should help B's tone in the sense that it should just help him even further standing tall and get his legs going better, more retraining the brain). It doesn't help we got in to this care program in the 11th hour, or that we got in to our desired kindergarten program 17 minutes before they closed for the summer... One of the biggest deals is that it is a 1km walk from B's centre to school, and we will be walking it. The staff are concerned about how fast he will be and that at the end of last year the kids could do it in 22 minutes. They wanted to march the kids out the 1km and turn around and come back and not even play or rest or take a break in between. Their concern was that B wouldn't make it and make people late. It was "my problem" to deal with... things were looking pretty bad there (nothing like walking to work after a morning like that and wanting to do nothing more than go to your car and have a good cry). I pushed back, talked to the program head, etc... is it reasonable to ask any almost 5 year old to walk 2 km with out a real break? Not so much. 1km B can do.. he certainly is not fast, but he can do it. Will we compromise, absolutely, and yes, we are taking him on nightly walks to work on his endurance (okay, it also helps to tire out C) - if he needs more time, we can come early, or hell, bring a wagon as a "just in case".. take a few elevators, modify your route.. let us see what will work. This is just such a process. It is exhausting on top of everything else. Let him just be himself, he can do it - his way. This is what it comes down to, a similar process to what I went through, you see the words and get scared, and then you realize you are still just dealing with this really cool kid you love more than anything who isn't those words. So over the last two weeks I have had to help the staff get over themselves, and just kick back and enjoy and learn about my son. As if just dealing with ourselves wasn't enough, I get to help a whole new batch of people get over every year! a strange journey I must say.

Bloody hell, I start typing out all this stuff and it is no wonder I am feeling a bit crispy around the edges. And this is just stuff with B, not C, or his daycare, or his needs as a busy two year old - nothing to do with my own work, or selling our house, or dealing with a potential move, or trying to get all my laundry put away the day it happens and not five days later, and oh my god, maybe even getting a few hours with my husband ALONE one of these days..

Okay. Breath. Still with me? This is a longer ramble-rant.

The irony of it all, the second baseball team that I weaseled our way on to (after the first team crumbled at the end and this second team adopted us and continued playing up until this week), those two coaches who weren't professionals were amazing and didn't need to have all these meetings to figure stuff out. They welcomed our kid, played with him, taught him how to hit the ball, catch, and be a goof with a bunch of other kids his age. The other parents were rock stars and didn't question or ask what was up, they just accepted us at face value. What the hell is wrong when 5 of us have to meet to create a "strategy" to make sure that staff in an educational setting feels comfortable dealing with a kid with a few barriers that at the end of the day, are pretty minor barriers that he has already overcome? I don't get it. What the hell do the parents whose kids are so much farther down the spectrum have to deal with? I could not imagine. we are dealing with gross motor stuff - ultimately balance issues and endurance... not life threatening illness, or behavioral issues, or mental health issues. Woah.

We are going on holidays next week, and apparently there are some ciderys along the way. Never heard of a cidery? Like a vineyard only they make specialty ciders.. much more up my alley. I want to check this one out, and a few others. Find some nice craft brews, ciders.. some fresh seafood, have a campfire.. this is the stuff that matters and puts it all in to perspective.

Modigliani Scandal

I just finished this one and you can see a glimmer of the writer that Follett evolves in to. This book didn't tax my energy, it almost felt like a "light and floofy" read, perfect for the beach. Nicely written, clever twists, engaging enough. Not one that will stick with me forever like a few of his other books, but a decent enough diversion.

I am not sure what to read next. I have a few "heavier" novels on my shelves, but nothing is really grabbing me right now.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mercy Rule

This is one series that I really enjoy. There is something to be said about following a set of characters over time, watching how their lives unfold. I enjoy the blend of police procedural, legal thriller, San Fran novel populated by some great characters. Defintely a pleasure to read.

I couldn't help but think while I read this novel that it is an example of how a writer can progress. I think of his first novel (Sunburn) that I read at the start of the year and how much better Lecroart's writing/plot/character development is now, it is night and day. If I had started with Sunburn, I don't think I would have picked up another one of his books... Speaks to change, and how a novelist can move forward and continue to improve in their trade. Of course, there are authors that move in the other direction ( formula writing, hit success and then their novels slide in to rote books lacking a spirit, etc... ).