Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Chasing Bubbles



(It's been awhile since I posted a Wordless Wednesday... I plan on getting back into it!)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Pure Nostalgia

In the last week a giant dose of nostalgia jumped up and punched me in the face. Hard. It started with the anticipation of my Ten Year High School reunion and it just grew from there. It's been exciting, fun, happy, and tear jerking and sad all at the same time. I am exhausted.

The Reunion
Ten years?? Holy crap. I don't feel old, at all. I don't hate the idea of being close to 30. I feel like I've done a lot in the last ten years and am more than happy with where I am in my life. But the idea of attending my reunion was... daunting. I am SO not the same person I was in high school, yet I worried I would become that person again when I was around all those people. And the old high school hang ups... yep, still there. So I did my best to just go with it, not over analyze myself nor the situation prior and just be. It was a success. We didn't have a huge turn out, which is a little sad considering we didn't have a huge class to begin with, but it was fun. Like, really fun. We laughed that if you had taken a picture and compared it to a high school party, you probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference. To be honest, very little aging has gone on!! Wooo! For some reason, I really have no pictures. Lame. And no "I partied till 6am" kind of stories (not lame) like some people!!! I left feeling happy to have gone and seeing everyone and actually anticipating and wondering what the 20 year reunion will be like?? Still jeans and hoodies and flip flops and Beersbie and pools and fires and BeerPong (or a lame excuse of beer pong)? Will there be more "other half's" and kids?   I now  feel the need to listen to Summer Girls and sort through old photo albums.

My fourth and sixth grade Teacher
I admittedly had a favorite teacher in elementary school. She was my favorite for reasons that are important to a nine and eleven year old. Like she let me keep the tattered copy of my favorite book in grade four. A Brother for the Orphelines.


I read it not that long ago. It took half an hour. She also gave me one of those little rubber things for the end of your pencil that are supposed to make it easier to hold. I thought they were pretty much the cats ass and she let me have one. I felt like the coolest kid in class (little did I know, it probably made me the least cool, but whatever). She also used to trade me for my (in my mind) crappy (but actually really were delicious) homemade cookies for her (in my mind) SO awesome wheat crunch. My mom would never buy that stuff, so I traded for it, "trade for homemade" as we fondly referred to it as. Oh what I wouldn't give to have someone give me homemade cookies every day now. haha. Through the magic of facebook, I managed to re-connect with Mrs. Remmer seven years after seeing her at my high school graduation for the last time. We always said we should have coffee when I was home for a visit, but it just hadn't happened, so this time in my state of ohmygodtenyearshasgoneby I decided to try and get together with her. So it all worked out and my mom, Maizey and I went to her house for coffee. I told Maizey to call her Mrs. Remmer, which she scoffed at and told her Nana Bev was better. Umm, she's a teacher, we don't call teachers by their first name!! I realize now that as a student, we really don't know teachers at all. We visited for almost three hours and very little of that was about school or people we had in common, but more about funny stories like her falling off a wall in England and trying to act casual about it while her glasses were obviously broken and sat on her face at a weird angle that was noticeable and hilarious. She has become more than just my favorite teacher from grade school. She has become my friend.


The Cookbook
With the passing of anyone, comes the inevitable cleaning out and getting rid of their stuff. My mom and aunt and uncles are in the middle of this with my Grannies house. For as long as I can remember, the house looked the same -- the same pictures stayed on the same walls, the furniture rarely made any moves, the cookie tin always beside the fridge, the little blue chair sitting at the little wall between the kitchen and living room, with the picture of my brother riding a bull above it. I expected it to be different when I walked in there yesterday, but it wasn't, and I really wasn't ready for it. Maybe its different, easier in some way, for everyone that has been to the house multiple times, but for me it was a shock. She was supposed to be there.
My mom asked if there was anything I wanted or needed. I don't need anything, but there were two things that came to my mind immediately, that I would love to have if they hadn't already been spoken for. The little blue chair was one. I can vividly remember sitting on it at the coffee table in the tv room. We were probably watching 'Are You Being Served'. I can picture my little brothers sitting on it, and now I see Maizey sitting on it. It seems out of place, yet right at home since I brought it in my house last night. I have debated painting it, but I don't think I will. Not yet anyway, for now it needs to remain the reminder of great childhood memories.
Then there was the cookbook. The red and white checkered Better Homes and Gardens cookbook that I'm sure everyone's grandmas and moms own.


There isn't a person in my family that doesn't associate good cooking and delicious food with my Grannie. We all called her on a regular basis to ask for recipes or directions on something cooking or baking related. This cookbook is taped together at the spine and has pages falling out. It has a few little pieces of paper stuck in it with other recipes or directions. Some pages look worse than others, like the whole section of cakes and the section on making candy. The page that teaches you how to preserve tomatoes is splattered with what I can only assume is tomato juice. It's ragged and worn and well used. I love it. I may never make a single thing out of it, as I just looked at a buttermilk pancake recipe that called for 5 tablespoons of shortening, but that's ok. For me, it really is only about the sentiment it has. She took it off the shelf and sat at the kitchen table looking for recipes, hundreds of times. She prepared many of meals and cakes and cookies and desserts with love. I will remember that when I too, take it off the shelf and sit at the kitchen table flipping through it. Even if all I am doing is taking a minute to remember her.
I was having a hard time taking anything. I told my mom it just didn't feel right. she reminded me what Grannie would say. Don't be ridiculous, no sense this stuff just sitting here. Take it and use it, that's what it's for.
So I did. I brought a little piece of her home with me.
 And I'm happy I did.

Feeling very thankful for all the people and happiness that has shaped my life this far. It's good to remember and feel sentimental and nostalgic about it.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I'm On A Boat

We recently became boat owners.


For as long as I have known Brian, he has wanted one. Every spring when the run off really starts to flow and you can't drive in anywhere good to go fishing anymore, he brings it up.  
We should just drop the cash and buy a boat this year.
As though we just have the cash laying around to go and drop on something like that. He has always met resistance.  
We don't have the money. 
We don't have the time. 
We have too much work to get done.
I don't think I will love being on a fishing boat all day. 
Our truck can't pull a big boat. 
It doesn't have to be brand new you know.
 Etc, etc, etc. Then we found this boat, by chance, driving down a downtown street. The stars (and banks) all aligned and we bought it. It was not on a whim, its been years in the making.

I've learned a lot about boating and fishing and just about being on the water in general, in the last month or so...

-Its never a good idea to wear long pants and socks and shoes. Someone inevitably has to wade in to launch/load.
-Shoes take a long time to dry.
-Go pee before you leave.
-Make sure the boat battery is charged before you leave. It makes for a frustrating half hour after the boat is in the water, wondering why it won't start.
-Just because it started last time, doesn't mean it will start this time. It's old(er). Be nice to it.
-When the water is hovering just about 50 degrees, don't plan on suiting up and jumping in so you can go pee.
-You aren't guaranteed to catch a fish every time. Even with a fish finder.
-When it takes 15 minutes to drive to the boat launch, don't think you can get across the lake, loaded and home in 20 minutes. You will be late. Every single time.
-Almost 2 year olds only find it amusing watching you steer the boat at a slow speed while you troll for so long. They get bored and want to touch stuff. Usually stuff they shouldn't.
-Along with the purchase of a boat comes other, inevitable purchases. Such as a trolling rod and reel. Because obviously a regular rod and reel are deemed un-usable when trolling.
-Almost 2 year olds look really cute in a life jacket (aka wife jacket)
-Some people can't hold their pee as well as they used to. Keep that in mind at all times.
-Your husband will need to spend hours on end doing stuff to the boat. Greasing, tuning, washing, tinkering.
-Don't expect him home early. Ever.


The bottom line is that I have always been a boat skeptic, thinking that we are so not a boat kind of family.
Turns out my mind can be changed, and has been. We are so totally a boat kind of family.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Alone Time

I managed to sneak away tonight for some time to catch my breath. Brian has been killing himself trying to make his miles and get a few extra days off, which means us being home with out him a lot, and that in turn leads to everyone being exhausted and miserable. It caught up with us tonight. I was sighing dramatic sighs as I did the dishes and he was stomping dramatic stomps as he tried to wrangle Maizey into the bath and then into her p.j's. It was ugly and unpleasant.
When it was all said and done, Maizey was in bed, albeit not sleeping, but still. Brian was sitting at the computer and I was walking out the door.
It was very quiet. A look between the two of us followed by an unspoken understanding. A little if I don't get the hell out of here I might strangle you. 

So in my random thoughtlessness that I am enjoying thoroughly right now, I am breathing in a dose of its really not that bad. No really, its not. So she cried wolf about going to the potty three times at dinner, once while her frozen yogurt popsicle was dripping down her arms and all over the floor, big deal. So I dropped the spatula covered in greasy taco beef all onto my formerly un-washed for six-ish-months up until two days ago, floor and watched it splatter all over the place. I guess this time it won't be six months before its washed again. So my legs are aching because I was up half the night with that bitch, heartburn, slowly trying to kill me. It just means I am going to sleep realllllly well tonight (right?). So we have one more day to get through with out Brian. (Hopefully) then he will be home for 4 days IN A ROW!!! 
I ran into a friend at the farmers market yesterday and while standing beside the coffee roasters, right in the middle of the only walkway through, we talked about blogging and how it makes you look at your life differently. Mostly because, lets be honest, no one wants to hear you complain all the time. So it forces me to look at my life in a light that is spun with positivity and happiness, not wahhh wahh wahhh feel sorry for me.

Tonight, I admit, I was feeling sorry for myself. So I sat down here, at this rickety little table that wobbles with every movement, to write about how crappy it was that my husband has to go on very little sleep to get extra trips in, to get days off, not even extra days, just any. And how Maizey pooped on the porch floor today and I didn't want to clean it up, but, obviously, I had to. And how I hate hiding in the basement when its so nice outside, but seriously, if it gets any hotter, I will be forced to buy an air conditioner.
The list goes on. Its whiny and stupid and... I'm over it. In reality, those really are some minor problems.
I know its impossible (and ridiculous) to even try and be happy and positive all the time, so I accepted my whiny-ness, let it have its moment... and moved on.
I'm good now. Its getting dark and the bugs are coming out. I need to go home. I want to go home.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

On Potty Training

I love teaching Maizey. Everyday I watch her learn new and exciting things that are shaping her into the little person she is so quickly becoming. When I watch her say Thank You to someone without being prompted, I give myself a fake pat on the back and when I see her being grabby or pushy to her friends I take the time to explain why we don't do that and what we should do instead. I love teaching her ridiculous party tricks, like to answer 18 months when asked how old she is. I swell with pride when she says it! I know the invaluable lessons we teach her now will one day pay off, like cleaning up after herself and looking both ways before crossing the street.
But there is one thing I could live with out teaching her. One skill I really wish all kids were born with.
Potty training.
I didn't (and still don't) expect it to be easy. I would be crazy to think we could get through this without any accidents or that it would happen over night. I came into it with very little expectations and so far haven't been too disappointed or frustrated.
But still... there are a whole new set of rules that come along with it and to be honest, no one in this is house is too crazy for them...
When not wearing a diaper there is NO:
Sitting on the couch
Playing by yourself out of your parents line of sight
Playing in your bedroom
Going downtown or to the park

Which means:
We sit on the floor A LOT
We have to be side by side pretty much all the time
We get bored and cranky at each other

It's a process.

That being said, she is doing remarkably well. We even did venture downtown yesterday, veryyyy quickly, with no diaper on. It was stressful. But it was without accident, so um, yayy for us!

We will keep at it. I am hoping for a little break from the diaper changing. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Canada Day

Friday night I put an extremely exhausted, ketchup-covered, black-footed toddler to bed. She whispered love you mama as I walked out of the room. I shut the door and sighed a happy and also very exhausted sigh.
It was a good day.
I sometimes forget why we celebrate Canada Day, what it means for our country and why it's important to be appreciative. What I don't ever forget is how fun it is... the parade, the people, the bbq's, the cupcakes.
Maizey was pretty good at the parade, she didn't freak out at the giant walking bear, but she did startle a little when the trucks blew their horns. She held on to the two pieces of candy she got for dear life.



Some very nice people from some church were handing out bibles. The first lady skipped right over me. I know, I don't get it either. But the next guy, he asked if I needed one. I said no, but I will take it anyways. I don't really know what constitutes "need"... so I thought what the hell. Wait, that's bad. Hmmm... maybe I do need one.

We celebrated with a bbq... that's what I do now that I can't sit in the beer gardens all afternoon.
 Friends and kids and babies gathered in our backyard despite the less than stellar weather.




I love this picture of Marley - she was saying cheeeese while trying to smile, all with her mouth full!!

Baby Cadence. 2ish months old. Pretty much slept through the whole thing!
We set up Chelsea's monstrous water slide sans the water and the kids played tirelessly.


I am sad to say I don't own a single red piece of maternity clothing, so while I didn't feel too festively dressed, I did try to make up for it a tiny bit in swag. You know, red tablecloth, red sorbet in our punch *thanks again Rim, it was delicious and well received!*, a few Canada flags here and there, a red plaid skirt on Maizey. I did alright.


Apparently fireworks are illegal here, so our party ended early. Oh and the fact that everyone and their kids were tired. Just one more time I am reminded how times have changed. No more ridiculous drunk karaoke-ing  on a stage in some harbor in a little town with people who's names I can't remember and songs I really never knew. All in the name of my country, right?


One of my most favorite pictures ever!

We wound down our weekend substantially quieter. Hit the lake, joined in for the early parts of a 30th birthday party, ate pancakes, drank coffee. Finished off the cupcakes. You know, usual stuff.


I loved the reminder this weekend how awesome being Canadian is. And how much I love our life, our kid and our friends.