Thursday, June 28

when it rains, it pours

I am comfortably cuddled in my bed listening to the alternating waves of pounding rain and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy with my sleeping son beside me and my sleepy husband next to him. I returned about an hour ago from a girl's night out that I had originally decided not to attend for financial reasons, but after a particularly hellish day, I decided that I needed to spend a little money and a lot of time with friends.

The rain just broke enough to hear a great quote:
: Perhaps I'm old and tired, but I think that the chances of finding out what's actually going on are so absurdly remote that the only thing to do is to say, "Hang the sense of it," and keep yourself busy. I'd much rather be happy than right any day.
Arthur Dent: And are you?
Slartibartfast: Ah, no.
[laughs, snorts]
Slartibartfast: Well, that's where it all falls down, of course.

Our night out was awesome - we talked about all sorts of stuff... okay, we talked about kids and pregnancy and motherhood... we really tried not to but somehow every single conversation came back to one of those. Regardless I had fun, learned new things, enjoyed what was likely the best veggie burger I have had since turning veggie, and kept my entire bill under $20 (my self-imposed limit).

When I left at 7:30 the house was a fucking mess - toys and dishes and food everywhere. Bliss was wandering in at 11:00 to a clean house, a sleeping baby and a still awake husband. We stayed up even later, enjoyed our movie and I fell asleep feeling a million times better about nearly everything...

Our day had been shit.

The plan: catch bus at 9:15, get off bus and walk to library, return books, check out books while Sebastian makes use of play area, call Andrew, meet for lunch, eat lunch, head home, nap, clean, cook etc...

What actually happened: missed bus, fought with transit website while calming over-excited and bored toddler, found out bus time, packed up 30 pounds of books and other accoutrements, tried to get toddler to ride in sling comfortably, he loved it, I didn't - decided to take stroller, walk to bus stop, remove child from stroller and collapse, wait, wait, maneuver onto bus while wearing bag full of books, on back, child on hip and carrying the world's most awkward "umbrella" stroller, search for seat, find only empty seat at back of bus, guide Sebastian to said empty seat on moving bus, sit child in seat, set stroller down on some woman's foot (an accident) which prompts her to ask if I would like her seat (oh god YES!), I graciously accept and sit.

Bus ride is 15-20 minutes, child is pretty amazing which is a huge blessing because we are both hot, flustered and I am getting smelly (I'm a hippy and my deodorant, while awesome and organic, does have its limits), we get off of bus in "sketchy"part of town - Sebastian would prefer to walk so the backpack rides in the stroller. We have a long walk with many distractions (fountain, whale, bug, flower) and all I want is to get inside what I know will be an air-conditioned building, it is about this point I realise I have forgotten my phone at home (fuck), I stay calm and reassure myself I can use a payphone to call Andrew's cell, we get to the library, Sebastian is adorable and fascinated, things are looking up. We go downstairs to the Children's library and, I swear to you, I got about 2 minutes between managing Sebastian to actually pick out books (left with two books and two magazines). We were shhh'd in the bloody children's library - sigh.

We get checked out, pee, and search for a phone. Finding one free I call up Andrew only to get his voicemail. I left a message (he later asked me if I wanted to hear what I sound like when I am pissed off an trying to stay calm - I wish I had said no) and headed back into the library to a) search for my missing sunglasses and b) use their internet to email my techie husband. The moment we stopped in the very busy computer area, Sebastian began to throw a monumental fit. I jot a quick, impatient email and we venture outside to share an orange. Both a bit happier we return inside only to find the man who usually responds with lightening speed has not replied to the first email - so I wrote a curt, bitchy message. I got an instant, confused response - he hadn't gotten my first message - and we made quick plans to meet nearby.

We met, headed to the air-conditioned sanctuary of a mall food-court, discovered a decent and affordable vietnamese place and as my blood sugar returned to normal I started to feel human (and a little embarrassed). After lunch we treated ourselves to ice cream and walked over to the bus stop. Along the way we decided to leave the compact stroller with Andrew to store at his office. This was a great move, our bus ride home was warm but pleasant and coming home to a nice, cool house and the knowledge that I would be going out later was a great way to end our shitty day.

Gazing up in wonder at the Vancouver Library

Wednesday, June 27

a view from above - and other fun

The day that falls right between the weekends is usually a tough one for us. The excitement of the upcoming weekend not yet upon us and any feelings of rest or refreshment from the previous weekend have faded, no longer days where my one and only thought is "When will Andrew be walking through the (fucking) door??" Wednesdays are still long, exhausting days - especially when they start too early and are populated by a crabby, teething toddler and a crabby, tired pregnant lady. Thank goodness for friends, coffee, and switching my laundry day to Friday.

This morning Sebastian and I met up with two other mamas and their kids - we had a coffee and then headed over to the insanity that was the kerrisdale play palace. Now that older kids are out of school this place is a freaking zoo, not that Sebastian minded one bit - he had a blast running from activity to activity and even managed to stand in line once for the giant slide. Smart boy that he is, though, he saw the waste of waiting 3 minutes for a 10 second ride and chose instead to frequent the smaller slide on the obstacle course. I didn't get a whole lot of social time in, what with chasing him all over a full-sized arena littered with toys and small people, but I did manage to briefly catch up with a dad I had met back in New Westminster before we moved to our new digs. Turns out they also just moved and we now live about a dozen blocks apart. I am looking forward to getting to know him and his son better - my impression from our first few meetings is that he is a really cool guy and an awesome parent.

Sebastian and I shared a lovely picnic lunch on a hill beside a running track (his pick), we had tiny pb&j sandwiches with grapes and oranges for him and carrots a hummus for me, we split a V8 and I got a chance to sit back and watch him roll down the hill before we left. His very brief nap was spent neglecting my duties (I thought I had more time, really) and cruising the net, I re-stumbled on a journal I had found shortly before our Apple switch* called Chronicles of Me, starring the lovely and multi-talented Boho Girl. I read her words and at once she is totally human and completely other-worldly. I lost myself in her world for about and hour and before I knew it my son was unhappily awake and I needed to get my "mom" on.

I got our two bedrooms cleaned up before the little guy started to lose it, quickly tidied everything else (leaving dishes, much to Andrew's disappointment - "Is that really *two* sinks full of dishes?" "No... uh... (looking over) yeah, it is."), made some tea and packed up the stroller for a trip to the playground. There my tiny two-year-old son amazed me by climbing a 5+ foot children's climbing wall to get to the big slide:

After mastering that feat he took on the amazing "invisible staircase"- a series of monkey bars that step up to the slide platform:

He was super chuffed about this feat and repeated it two more times before a tiny slip near the end freaked him out a bit and he decided he would rather hang out a little closer to solid ground:

Lastly, a photo of what I see when I look down these days (note my feet are already no-where in sight... in four months I will likely be as big as a beluga - note to self: avoid wearing white):

*my favourites are still stored in some digital void somewhere, I haven't bother finding them because it would mean sorting my too many links. After today, however, I think I might, there are many things i miss and I think Kelly Hogaboom (easy to find because of her memorable name) might begin to think I am stalking her (I am)

Tuesday, June 26

Seattle trip, the final three days in photos


Sebastian was far more interested in the waterfall than the barely visible jaguar pacing the far side of the enclosure.
A very sleepy boo vegging out in front of the tube after a long day at the zoo (note sun-kissed cheeks, despite wide-brimmed hat and (admittedly only one) application of sun screen).


A post-lunch photo op with an old friend of mine (who I haven't seen in, oh, 20 years, but who has known me "since before [I] was born") - ps. I covet her office/studio space.

Andrew and Sebastian invented "poke the bottle cap" as we waited for our dinner.

Teaching my son not to talk with his mouth full (do as I say, dear, not as I do)


"You call this food???""Seriously, Mom, even this plastic penguin won't touch it."

I can categorically say that Johnny Rockets was *not* a "blast".

Be a hero.{still taken from a video, 30 seconds of him giving me this look, I think it means "Why the fuck are we sitting in this car and when can I play in my sandbox? Oh, and would someone please turn off that fucking sun??" In my defence we do have tinting up in that window and he was wearing a hat - but I agree, driving sucks.}:

Stopped at a gas station, I asked Sebastian what was in Canada, apparently kids and his sandbox - and though he doesn't miss it he wants to go home.

Kate: Hey Sebastian, where are we going?
Sebastian: Canada, oh dad, you coming? (he had just gotten out to pump gas)
K: What's in Canada?
S: Kids Canada.
K: Yeah, there's kids (can you tell we have covered this point an awful lot? I realise I sounded a little bored), what else is in Canada?
S: a sandbox in Canada.
K: Do you miss Canada?
S: No.
K: Do you want to go home?
S: Yup.
K: You want to go back to Canada?
S: Yup.
K: Me too.

This is what happens to my normally cheerful kid when we wake him up from his nap to put him in a car for (at this point) an hour of driving. After stopping for dinner he was slightly more cheerful, though his mood didn't really lift until we pulled up in front of our house and he knew we really, really were HOME.

"honey, your nerd is showing"

I took some great photos this past father's day while out with my dad and sisters - Andrew took two of the awesomest ones and did this:

The originals, plus a whole bunch more from that day can be seen here.

and you thought your spam was weird

posted moments ago to my husband's blog in response to this post:

Professor Howdy said...

You have a riveting web log
and undoubtedly must have
atypical & quiescent potential
for your intended readership.
May I suggest that you do
everything in your power to
honor your encyclopedic/omniscient
Designer/Architect as well
as your revering audience.
As soon as we acknowledge
this Supreme Designer/Architect,
Who has erected the beauteous
fabric of the universe, our minds
must necessarily be ravished with
wonder at His infinite goodness,
wisdom and power.

Please remember to never
restrict anyone's opportunities
for ascertaining uninterrupted
existence for their quintessence.

There is a time for everything,
a season for every activity
under heaven. A time to be
born and a time to die. A
time to plant and a time to
harvest. A time to kill and
a time to heal. A time to
tear down and a time to
rebuild. A time to cry and
a time to laugh. A time to
grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones
and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a
time to turn away. A time to
search and a time to lose.
A time to keep and a time to
throw away. A time to tear
and a time to mend. A time
to be quiet and a time to
speak up. A time to love
and a time to hate. A time
for war and a time for peace.

Here's what remarkable men
have asseverated about the
world's bestseller:

"I believe the Bible is the best gift
God has ever given to man. All
the good from the Savior of the
world is communicated to us
through this book."
-- President Abraham Lincoln

"For we must consider that we shall
be as a City upon a hill. The eyes of
all people are upon us. So that if we
shall deal falsely with our God in this
work we have undertaken, and so
cause Him to withdraw his present
help from us, we shall be made a
story and a byword throughout the
world." --John Winthrop, Governor
of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1630

"It is impossible to rightly govern the
world without God and the Bible."
- President George Washington

"The Bible is no mere book, but a Living
Creature, with a power that conquers
all that oppose it." - Napoleon

"That Book accounts for the supremacy
of England." - Queen Victoria

"If there is anything in my thought or
style to commend, the credit is due my
parents for instilling in me an early
love of the Scriptures. If we abide by
the principals taught in the Bible, our
country will go on prospering and to
prosper; but if we and our posterity
neglect its instructions and authority,
no man can tell how sudden a
catastrophe may overwhelm us and
bury all our glory in profound obscurity."
- Daniel Webster (Founding Father)

"The Bible is worth all other books which
have ever been printed." - Patrick Henry
(original member of the Continental Congress)

"The Bible is the anchor of our liberties."
- President U.S. Grant

"It is impossible to enslave mentally or socially
a Bible-reading people. The principals of the
Bible are the groundwork of human freedom."
- Horace Greeley (Editor)

"That Book is the rock on which our Republic
rests." - President Andrew Jackson

"In all my perplexities and distresses, the Bible
has never failed to give me light and strength."
- Gen. Robert E. Lee

"Bible reading is an education in itself."
- Lord Tennyson (Poet)

"So great is my veneration for the Bible that the
earlier my children begin to read it the more
confident will be my hope that they will prove
useful citizens of their country and respectable
members of society. I have for many years made
it a practice to read through the Bible once
every year." - President John Quincy Adams

"The existence of the Bible, as a Book for the
people, is the greatest benefit which the human
race has ever experienced. Every attempt to
belittle it is a crime against humanity."
- Immanuel Kant (Philosopher)

"The New Testament is the very best Book that
ever or ever will be known in the world."
- Charles Dickens (Author)

"All human discoveries seem to be made only
for the purpose of confirming more and more
strongly the truths contained in the Sacred
Scriptures." - Sir William Herschel (Astronomer)

"There are more sure marks of authenticity
in the Bible than in any profane history."
- Sir Isaac Newton (Scientist)

"Let mental culture go on advancing,
let the natural sciences progress in
even greater extent and depth, and
the human mind widen itself as much
as it desires; beyond the elevation
and moral culture of Christianity, as
it shines forth in the Gospels, it will
not go." - Goethe (Author)

"I have known ninety-five of the world's
great men in my time, and of these eight-
seven were followers of the Bible. The
Bible is stamped with a Specialty of Origin,
and an immeasurable distance separates
it from all competitors."
- W.E. Gladstone (Prime Minister)

"Whatever merit there is in anything that
I have written is simply due to the fact that
when I was a child my mother daily read
me a part of the Bible and daily made me
learn a part of it by heart." - John Ruskin
(art critic and social commentator)

"The Bible has been the Magna Charta of the
poor and oppressed. The human race is not
in a position to dispense with it." - Thomas
Huxley (Author & Scientist)

"The whole hope of human progress is
suspended on the ever growing influence
of the Bible." - W.H. Seward (Secretary of State)

"America was born a Christian nation. America
was born to exemplify that devotion to the
elements of righteousness, which are derived
from the revelations of Holy Scriptures. Part
of the destiny of Americans lies in their daily
perusal of this great book of revelations.
That if they would see America free and
pure they will make their own spirits free
and pure by this baptism of the Holy Spirit."
--President Woodrow Wilson

For Christians, the life and death of Jesus
are the ultimate expressions of love, and
the supreme demonstrations of God's
mercy, faithfulness, and redemption.
Since Christ's miraculous Resurrection
on Easter, more than 2,000 years ago,
Christians have expressed joy and
gratitude for this wondrous sacrifice
and for God's promise of freedom for
the oppressed, healing for the broken -
hearted, and salvation. --President
George W. Bush

"It cannot be emphasized too strongly
or too often that this great nation was
founded, not by religionists, but by
Christians; not on religions, but on
the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this
very reason peoples of other faiths
have been afforded asylum, prosperity,
and freedom of worship here."
--Patrick Henry (original member
of the Continental Congress)

God designed humans to want to
believe in something. That's the
image of God that is in us. But as
G. K. Chesterton famously put it,
when we reject the God of the
Bible, we don't believe in nothing;
we believe in everything -- including
Little Green Men. - - Chuck Colson

I am trying here to prevent anyone from
saying the really foolish thing that people
often say about Jesus Christ: "I'm ready
to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher,
but I don't accept His claim to be God."

That is the one thing we must not say.
A man who was merely a man and said
the sort of things Jesus said would not be
a great moral teacher. He would either be
a lunatic -- on a level with a man who says
he is a poached egg -- or else he would be
the Devil of Hell.

You must make your choice. Either this Man
was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman
or something worse .... You can shut Him up
for fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a
demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him
Lord and God. But let us not come up with any
patronizing nonsense about His being a great
human teacher. He has not left that option
open to us. He did not intend to. -- From
Case for Christianity, by C.S. Lewis

"Let every student be plainly instructed and
earnestly pressed to consider well the main
end of his life and studies is to know God
and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John
17:3)." - - - The Laws and Statutes of
Harvard College in 1643

"All scholars shall live religious, godly,
and blameless lives according to the rules
of God's Word, diligently reading the Holy
Scriptures, the fountain of light and truth;
and constantly attend upon all the duties
of religion, both in public and secret."
- - - Two central requirements in Yale
College 1745 charter

If you stop believing what your professor
told you had to be true and if you start
thinking for yourself you may come to some
conclusions you hadn't expected. You may
find the Bible makes more sense than you
thought or were told to think. Allow yourself
to be ruined, ruined with regard to what you
always thought could be true. Can you believe
what you don't understand? You and I believe
everyday what we don't understand unless it
comes to the issue of salvation.
- - - Dr. Woodrow Kroll

There is simply no historic foundation for the
position that the Framers intended to build the
'wall of separation' that was constitutionalized
in Everson. The 'wall of separation between
church and state' is a metaphor based on bad
history, a metaphor which has proved useless
as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and
explicitly abandoned. - - - Chief Justice of
the US Supreme Court, William Rehnquist

In 1796 the US Supreme Court issued this
ruling, "By our form of government, the
Christian religion is the established religion,
and all sects and denominations of Christians
are placed on equal footing." Some 57 years
later, after Congress was petitioned to separate
Christian principles from government, in 1853
the House Judiciary Committee issued their
formal report, including these words: "In this
age there is no substitute for Christianity.
This was the religion of the founders of the
republic, and they expected it to be the
religion of their dependents. The great vital,
conservative elements in our system is the
belief of our people in the pure doctrines
and divine truths of the gospel of Jesus
Christ." - - - Dr. Gerald Beavan

"It is the duty of nations, as well as of men,
to own their dependence upon the overruling
power of God and to recognize the sublime
truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and
proven by all history, that those nations only
are blessed whose God is the Lord."
-- President Abraham Lincoln

Trust in yourself and you are doomed to
disappointment; trust in money and you
may have it taken from you; but trust in
God, and you are never to be confounded
in time or eternity. - D.L. Moody

Faith and love are apt to be spasmodic
in the best of minds. Men and women live
on the brink of mysteries and harmonies
into which they never enter and with their
hand on the door latch they die outside.
- - GK Chesterton

Best wishes for continued ascendancy,
Dr. Whoami

P.S. Here's some blogs that I found
of interest as I negotiated my way
through cyberspace
{edit: I disabled these links}:

Every Student
Religion Comparison
Around the Well
Danish Cartoons
Arabic Cartoons
Muhammad or Jesus???
Answering Islam
Is Jesus God?
A Short Look At Six World Religions
God's Word in different languages...
How to become a Christian
Who Is Jesus?
See The Word
Watch The Jesus Movie
Spanish Cartoons
German Cartoons
Chinese Cartoons
Italian Cartoons
Greek Cartoons
Japanese Cartoons
Portuguese Cartoons
French Cartoons
Hindi Cartoons
Russian Cartoons
'Thought & Humor'

Only one of these is amalgamated with me -
can you determine which one???
{it's the last one - though I haven't visited it} Tell me
sometime what your thoughts are about
all this:O)

Sunday, June 24

you came in with the breeze

Taken out our front window earlier this morning - you can't really tell, but the rain is beating down here.

As the torrential rains of this morning let up, revealing a fresh-smelling Sunday morning, I wave to my husband and son who are off to the Kerrisdale Play Palace and enjoy the quiet music coming out of my computer and a mostly-warm first cup of coffee.

My family will return to the smells of lunch cooking and a clean home, but before I dig in I will enjoy this bit of peace a little while longer. I have been really spoiled this weekend, yesterday morning they left me alone for nearly two whole hours and then I also got to go shopping kidless. Today they will be gone for about as much time, during which I will wash the few dishes from breakfast and last night's late-night red pepper roasting (it went well), I will then clean up Sebastian's room, putting away the toys Andrew brought in from outside and cleaned (how do so many toys make it out the door each week??), skipping much of the usual toy rotation because after our week away Boo seems to see his toys with more than the usual excitement. Later I will make the bed, tidy up and return to my clean kitchen to simultaneously make lunch (scrambled eggs) and dinner (pre-baking the pie crust for quiche and mixing the filling) - I realise we are having eggs twice today, but lunch was Andrew's request and I will happily indulge him. Before the fellas get home I might even be able to squeeze in a quick shower!

Things have been really awesome lately, the rottenness of the last month or so finally behind us. Andrew and I are getting along so much better and we are both relating better to our toddler son.

I have a bajillion updates to do, pictures from our trip to post and thoughts to share - but for now, the clock ticks and I must get on with it.

Saturday, June 23

foodie me part deux (because everyone cares what we're eating)

continued from here

My groceries:

from that giant grocery store -
frozen peas
pie shells
yves ground "chicken"
doz. eggs
2 cans six bean blend
bulk whole wheat spaghetti
6 little chive plants on clearance for $0.44 (that may or may not die)
shredded asiago
can chick peas
slivered almonds
stringing cheese
2 cans diced tomatoes
soy milk

total: $39.06

from the neighbourhood market:

tomato paste
water chestnuts
frozen blueberries
5 apples
3 red peppers
green pepper
6 oranges
white onion
yellow onion
red onion
tiny butternut squash
2 grapefruits
2 mangoes
4 avocados
4 lemons
2 limes
rice vinegar

total $39.70

grand total: $78.76

Saturday - Marylin's World Famous Beans and Rice, from the Ultimate Healthy Eating Plan and Kelly Hogaboom's Marinated Kale Salad to which I added shredded carrot and substituted a little tahini and roasted sunflower seeds for roasted sesame seeds. Both got rave reviews.

Sunday - We will be making something close to this Quiche aux Poivrons Rouge, Poireaux et Chèvre, but with our own twists, such as the addition of peas and the use of feta and asiago.

Monday - Kelly Hogaboom's amazing Mango and Avocado Salad with Candied Almonds. The bread is from my freezer, served with this hummus from Pepper roasting how-to from

Tuesday - Leftovers inside these tortillas from with fresh veggies and some cheese.

Wednesday - A simple tomato sauce:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion - diced
2 cloves garlic – minced
1 can tomatoes
1/2 can tomato paste
fresh basil (etc)

1. sauté onion in olive oil
2. add garlic, sauté until lightly browned
3. add tomatoes and bring to a boil
4. add basil, turn down heat and let simmer until ready to serve

Pita chips - quarter pita bread, brush or spray with olive oil, sprinkle with choice of herbs, place on baking tray in oven on about 350F until they start to get crispy, turn over and cook until they are desired crispyness. I like mine a little soft, if you like yours "chippier" use more oil and cook until brown.

Thursday - simple stir-fry over rice vermicelli with dipping tofu ala Hogaboom. My dipping sauce: 1/4 cup peanut butter, 2 Tbs hoisin sauce, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, 2 tsp rice vinegar, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 clove minced garlic, 2+ tsp minced or grated ginger, 1/2 - 1 Tbsp sesame oil, 2+ Tbsp water (to desired consistency). The recipe I adapted this from told me to boil it, I never have, I either mix by hand or if I am making a big batch, put it in the blender and serve cold. The measurements are approximate because I usually just make it from memory and taste it often. I take a portion of this out for Sebastian and then add garlic chili sauce to taste (Andrew refers to it as "cock sauce" because of the rooster on the bottle).

Friday - My version of Butternut Squash Risotto from my friend Heather who lived in the UK for a bit and so the original recipe says things like "tinned tomatoes" which I just adore, I was going to keep that in when I typed out my version, but I thought it might come across as mocking, so I didn't.

This risotto is easy to adjust for whatever veggies you have on hand and whatever flavour experience you feel like, add things like carrots, peas, broccoli, roasted peppers and anything else your family will eat. For a protein boost, add tofu, tvp, veggie “meat” or real meat when you’re sautéing the onions.

1 Tbsp oil (olive oil or butter have both worked well in my experience)
1/2 cup onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup rice (any kind will do, but tougher rices, like brown rice, will become less mushy)
2 cup water (plus extra as needed)
5 oz butternut squash, peeled and diced
8 or 10 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup cheese, grated (any kind will work, edam is my personal favourite and cheddar is always kid-friendly)
1/2 Tbsp + spice, depending on what vegetables and protein you are using you can add: dill with a little lemon, parsley, basil, or anything else you enjoy

1. melt butter/heat oil in pot, add onion (and any other additions), sauté until onion is translucent
2. add rice, coat well with oil, cook 1-2 minutes
3. add 2 cups water, cover and leave for 8 minutes
4. add in squash, cook another 5-10 minutes until soft. Add more water if necessary
5. stir in tomatoes and cheese, season to taste.

foodie me

I love food, I love cooking food but most of all I love eating food. Lately I have been cooking in spurts, my energy is lower than I'd like to admit and so keeping up with all that being a mom requires meant I was letting one thing or another slack.

That, at least, was my excuse. And it is a partly valid one, at that, but I have also allowed myself to be lazy. I hadn't been eating very well and was more than occasionally forgetting to take my vitamins and so the little bean was leaching what few bits of energy I had stored up and there wasn't enough more to go around. The last weeks have been great, I have been feeling more energised and on top of things (I should also note I started taking Floradix before we left and though I had none while on vacation, before we left I was definitely feeling the difference. Yay iron!) I attribute this change to, among other things, eating good food at home. Having to put the time into planning meals and then the effort of cooking them gave me more time to really think about what was going into my body. This is in direct opposition to our last week of fast-foods and take out.

I know we could have found good, healthy foods, but really, with a two-year old and a pregnant woman - speed trumps quality nearly every time. In an unfamiliar locale we were naturally drawn to the things we "knew" primarily fast food and family chains. On our last day we threw vegetarianism to the wind and ordered a chicken club for lunch, with chicken tenders for boo (neither meal was finished) and then for dinner all three of us had "dog food tacos" at Taco Bell. It was like hitting rock-bottom, laughing at the absurdity of it all the way down.

On the drive home I made up my mind to return to home cooking with a real gusto. Full of doubts and excuses I have not fully applied myself to this endeavour in the past, this time will be different, not to save money (good, but not motivation enough), not to eat healthier (we can find hoards of healthy take out within ten blocks) but because we're a family and families eat home-cooked meals together nearly every night. Because cooking is fun and therapeutic for me, because cooking means cleaning up afterwards, because my food is better than most of what we get when we eat out, because this way Sebastian, Andrew and I will get a chance to connect nightly and fall into a real routine. Because in a few short months our lives will be turned upside down again and a routine firmly in place will be easier to fall back into once the dust settles.

Because money is tight, it still makes the most sense to go shopping one or two times a week, to facilitate this I have made a meal plan that relies heavily on fresh veggies early in the week and storable veggies later in the week. We should get through only needing to buy salad fixings mid-week.

Our meal plan* (totally yoinked from mrs. hogaboom):

*also on the calendar at the bottom of the page (though I have to go through and make bits public before you can see it).

Thursday, June 21

Seattle trip, day two

After sending Andrew off with a warm bagel and coffee from the hotel coffee shop, Sebastian and I came back upstairs to find something fun to do. Lacking any solid plans I decided it would be a great day to check out University Village, we packed up the car and drove, very briefly, to the shops. There we wandered around, gazing into the shop windows and at the integrated water features. We stopped at Village Maternity, where after a long browse we settled on a Bella Band for me and a dragon shirt and sunglasses strap for Sebastian. Things I wanted, but couldn't afford: diaper bags, glamourmom tanks, bella materna underwear, lovely-smelling body butters and facial cleansers, and just about everything else there. It was really nice and a lovely store, but it reminded me why I just don't shop at places like that anymore. I have gotten very good at denying myself fancy things I can't afford, but there are times I really miss it.

After that stop we went to the very cool fenced-in playground and played among other kids. I can tell Sebastian misses the company of other kids his size, I made a promise to both of us to really try and find a set of neighbourhood kids he can play with regularly. My plan is to start by going to a playground at least two mornings a week and to the local drop-in playgroups (there are two free ones) once a week each. With luck I will meet some cool parents and can start building my community.

Post-play we grabbed groceries and headed back to the hotel where we met Andrew for lunch. With all the excitement, I wasn't convinced Sebastian would nap and so made plans to go to a swimming pool. Unfortunately, upon investigating, I learned that the nearest pool's public swim would end before we could get there. While looking for an alternative Sebastian went rock star on the hotel room. It was insane. That was his not-too-subtle way of telling me he was sleepy and needed a nap. I helped him get off to sleep and then started poking around online in the dark. Everything was fun and good until the hotel's internet cut out. Rather than sit sadly in the dark, I sat between the window and the curtains and did a little reading.

Andrew came home with a take-out menu for the veggie place across the street, we ordered a huge amount of food (in the hallway, because Sebastian slept until Andrew left to find a courtesy phone to order food from) and later we ate like royalty on the floor of our hotel room.

It was another late night for Sebastian and early night for us - we were all happily asleep by 10:00pm.

Wednesday, June 20

Seattle trip, day one

Day one started with some frantic early-morning packing and cleaning, though not nearly as much as in recent years - I think we're starting to get the hang of traveling.

Around 10:30, an old high school friend came by and we walked up to the local coffee shop for coffee, scones and chat. We took Sebastian, who was a little distracting, so that Andrew could pack the car. It was so nice catching up - I sometimes lose sight of all the changes the last 10 years have brought, and because I have so little contact with anyone from that part of my life (or I did until I found Facebook) I forget that these people have changed and grown too. Laura has grown into a wonderful, sweet woman with great stories to tell and a big soft-spot for cute kids. I was very pleased to learn she might be moving to Vancouver soon! Most awkwardness was avoided and only seemed to creep in at the end, likely fuelled by caffeine, fatigue and her impending interview - which I hope went well - and we ended up having a great time and a whole lot to talk about.

When we got back Andrew had bought subs and we quickly scarfed them before running out the door, only 34 minutes later than our target departure time of noon (amazing considering the mini-meltdown Sebastian had when we told him he needed to change his clothes and diaper and the fact that we were leaving on a five-day trip). As we drove to the border we kept an eye on border wait times and remained relatively quiet as we willed the small boy to sleep. He slept through the entire one-hour wait and most of the way to Seattle, upon waking he was a little surly and wanted to listen to Baby Beluga over and over - and then he wanted to listen to Six Little Ducks, over and over and over and over... we finally put our feet down and Andrew put in one of his own CDs for us to listen to. We had been hoping Sebastian would get tired of listening to the same song on repeat - but apparently not.

About to fall asleep, almost as cozy as his bed at home:

Checking the border wait - I confiscated his blackberry after clicking this photo:

Our one hour wait:

We got checked in and made plans to go get diapers and some food - our original plan, Trader Joe's just up the street, was squashed when we found they had no diapers and the place was such a zoo I thought I might actually hurt someone, we found a clerk who was giving Andrew skunk-eye for handing her our basket full of perishables until I swooped in beside him and said (sincerely) "thanks so much for taking that, we didn't know what else to do with it and this guy (gesturing at Sebastian) is going to throw a serious tantrum if we don't get out of here right now." Her demeanor changed completely and she thanked us for not just leaving it on the ground to spoil. As we left I reminded Andrew that people are generally understanding when you explain your situation to them, it isn't as though we are big assholes who pull this stuff all the time and I think that comes across when I tell people why I am doing something that might be interpreted as assholy. Plus it gives me a chance to offer sincere gratitude, which I know I always love receiving.

We ended up driving out to the Target we'd seen on our way in and getting all the things we needed (diaper, deodorant, baby soaps, snacks) and I fully admit I was mesmerized by the bright lights and low, low prices. The Canadian dollar is strong currently and so these prices were as amazing as they seemed. I am a bargain junky and that place was giving me the shakes. My hunger was also making me and the family pretty shaky and so we stopped at the in-store pizza-hut for some terrible pizza and noxiously sweet drinks.

Once safely back at the hotel, three stomachs protesting the grease and other crap we'd just put in them, we crashed in our big bed. That first night I covered sleep-duty, rocking Sebastian and whispering "within you is a peace that can not be disturbed," works better than a lullaby. Given that we're living in one room Andrew and I decided we would also go to sleep and for the first night in ages I got something resembling a full night's sleep.

Saturday, June 16

so sweet it hurts

We had a lovely, productive day today that included an oil change, the purchase of some new plants for the garden (sunflower, basil, two cucumbers and sage), a haircut for the mister, an hour and a half at Andrew's office (specifically the foosball table equipped lunchroom) while he dealt with an issue, a trip to the market and a simple, but enjoyable dinner (soup, salad and sandwiches). A nap was attempted, but ultimately sabotaged when I insisted we move him from the car to the more eco-friendly stroller, my mistake lay not in the move itself, but I then brought him into a noisy, crowded mega-store. Thankfully our near constant activity kept him in good spirits and he is now off to sleep with Andrew.

Tomorrow's father's day plans are set and the only secret surprise is that I am going to let Andrew decide in the morning whether or not he would like to join us. The alternative being a rare opportunity to stay in bed for a few hours. I know he will enjoy whichever one he chooses and am choosing to wait until tomorrow to ask him, as he will be more likely at that point to be realistic about what he wants without worrying about what I might want him to say*.

A follow-up to this morning's entry: Sebastian pooped in the toilet!!! He asked for a diaper, Andrew put him on the potty and after a couple of books he dropped a nugget... we were all dancing and high-fiving and there may have even been some hootin' and hollerin'.

I am continuing to read The Mother of all Toddler Books, and loving it. I hit a point in the discipline chapter this afternoon that talked about ten effective methods of discipline - prevent problems from occurring in the first place, find creative alternatives to saying no, offer a substitute, offer a distraction, give your toddler the opportunity to make choices, allow your toddler to experience the natural consequences of his actions, master the art of selective ignoring, be generous with your praise, discipline your child verbally (as opposed to non-violent but physical - ie. physically removing a child from a situation), and give your child a time out - and then listed three that don't work very well - threatened abandonment, bargaining, and spanking - I can happily say we use many from the first list , but am also sad to say we often use two of the three from the last list. Thankfully, we get the chance to change our own behaviours.

I am hoping that our trip this week will give me some time to formulate a "plan" with Andrew - start talking about what our discipline toolbox will include and what we will work to stop doing. It feels odd to me to actually have to work at this - I don't have a clue why I didn't think I would ever need to, but I have to admit that I thought I would just "be a natural."

*Andrew, if you read this later I would like you to know that I really am cool with either response - on one hand you are far more into botanical crap than I am and will likely enjoy taking pictures of the flowers, on the other you deserve a night in. As far as I am concerned, with my sisters along, I have no "need" for you along. I have Sebastian-supervision well covered and the timing of our trip means he will be sunshine and daisies anyways.

nudism and other adventures

We have been working on the whole potty training bit with Sebastian for a few weeks now, somewhat half-heartedly, focusing more on awareness of the potty, having fun sitting on the potty, and awareness of when he is about to pee or poop. Things have progressed slowly (obviously) but I think I hit on something yesterday, while naked Sebastian will request a diaper and then immediately eliminate in it.

This means way more naked time for Sebastian, he is ecstatic, and renewed hope for us that we will not have two kids in diapers at once.

It also means that comments like "Sebastian, it is considered rude to put your peen in someone's face," and "you will need to take your peen out of my ear before we play horsey," have been overheard with surprising frequency this morning.

In other news, we need to get ready for our trip to Seattle on Monday. This means an oil change, a trip to the laundromat and some frantic packing. I hope to get all this done today because tomorrow id Father's Day and we are taking my dad and husband to the Sun Yat Sen Chinese Garden tomorrow followed by brunch. And there is nothing I loathe more than last-minute, late-night packing.

Monday morning I am meeting an old friend I haven't seen since high school for coffee before we leave, in my mind it works out so that Andrew can load the car up un-interrupted and when Sebastian and I return we can hit the road.

Friday, June 15

Major Thomas the Tank Engine recall

As many of you know we have a Thomas the Tank table and various trains, that sebastian just loves. Thank our lucky stars we only own one item on the recall list and he rarely ever uses it (stop sign). I wanted to repost this here for everyone else to see too.

Lead paint has been found in many wooden train bits, the trains and parts affected by the recall are mostly red or yellow and were purchased between 2005 and now.

Click here for more info and a link to a .pdf of the full list with pictures.

Pass the word.

Wednesday, June 13

new photos on flickr

because I know y'all can't get enough of my kid - I have just added a whole schwack of new photos of him (among other things) to my flickr.

Tuesday, June 12

how to wow them at the laundromat

22 weeks and counting - or what would you do for an extra 20 minutes in bed?

Lately I have still been feeling overwhelmed, but also feeling much more on top of things. My family continues to be well fed, eating primarily home-cooked meals and enjoying each-other's company.

Baby's first tattoo:

I have been reading The Mother of all Toddler Books by my favourite parenting author, Ann Douglas. I deserve a slap on the head for not picking this up earlier, I purchased both her pregnancy and baby books while entrenched in those periods and found them to be essential guides, covering every subject imaginable.

This book is no different - in two days of reading I have found jumping off points for discipline *and* interactive learning and play. It turns out that I, and to a lightly lesser extent, Andrew, are "Permissive Parents" of a mostly "'Difficult' or Spirited Toddler" (the quotes around "difficult" are the author's, not mine - most days here are difficult not "difficult"), but I sure would like to change that. In 48 hours I have shaken that horrible feeling that this would be our lives until he left for college (if he made it that far - I didn't at first).

I don't have any solutions or anything right now, but we do have a goal. We want to become "Authoritative Parents" to our spirited son. I see those types out all the time - hell, I know a few - but I have always had trouble grasping the style. My FOO was Authoritarian, to a tee, with a smattering of Permissive when I would spend time with my father*. I think children of divorce have it especially hard when it comes to sorting out their own parenting styles. These days there seems to be a better understanding of the importance of a united front with regards to parenting and disciplining the children of divorce - and huge kudos to my father who is doing an absolutely stellar job raising his second batch of kids along-side his ex-wife (literally, they live a few blocks apart). But back in the 80's, my parents were treading in mostly uncharted waters and I give them full credit for doing their best. I am a mostly well adjusted and healthy parent in a healthy marriage with a wonderful child. I am lucky that a few parenting issues, that my parents gave me the brains and emotional intelligence to be able to identify and address, are all I struggle with.

Also on my reading list are Ann Douglas' books on Mealtimes and Sleep as well as Elizabeth Pantley's book, The No Cry Potty Training Solution and a book of Vegetarian food ideas for babies and toddlers to supplement my re-reading of Sharon K. Yntema's Vegetarian Baby (we have a second edition copy - but it is essentially the same as the "New" one as far as I can tell - and the retro angle makes it that much cooler).

Now it is time to pull Sebastian away from Baby E*nstein, which we had shelved long ago as being too young for this kid (because, you know, he's a genius). He has happily watched the entire DVD, yelling out animal names and asking me questions - as much as I hate to admit it, I think he is getting more out of this than anything else we have around. I am going to keep an eye out for non-disn*y videos similar to this so that I can, hopefully, squeeze some extra in-bed time out of my mornings. If all else fails I know the library has a huge collection of these ones and it sure as hell beats Dora or Thomas the Tank. We have an appointment to meet our new family doctor at 10:00 and I want to get a little running around (literally) done before that.

*my father had a temper and would revert to total Authoritarian in moments of anger - boy does that sound familiar.

Thursday, June 7


gave the ol' blog a facelift tonight, what do you think?

faithless bombs

this video is amazing, I just had to share

baby steps

I've been going on and on about how miserable I have been feeling and I wanted to share (as well as record for posterity) our tiny successes today.

This morning we slept in a little, found out the library we wanted to go to didn't open until noon and quickly came up with an alternative. S helped me make lunch (he threw the lunch bag on the floor and then ate a piece of cheese, all after sticking our little ice-pack down his pants).

We went to this thing called the play palace that has bouncy castles and ride on toys and a toddler "pit" with a house and a kitchen and padded floors. It cost us less than a fancy coffee ($3.65) and was only a 15 minute drive away. Sebastian played well with the hoards of other kids with minimal intervention on my part (I was alternating between hovering and engaging for all but the 15 minutes it took me to down the coffee I had brought from home). We took a lunch break when he started getting "the crazy" and happily moseyed back in for a 15 minute wrap up. He was all about leaving - we played the "what are you missing?" game, but couldn't resist a mad dash into the arena while I tied my shoes. Thankfully as I dragged him out of there he accepted my explanation that shoes were not allowed and so that was why he could not stay and play any more.

you know, for kids:

We were then able to drop off our overdue movie rentals *and* hit the library right at noon to pick up most of my long list of toddler re-programming books. We also grabbed a few board books, two dvds and 2 cds for S while he munched a clandestine snack and drank his pre-nap milk. In the five minute drive between the library and our house he faded fast.

Arriving home I decided to forgo emptying the car and just grabbed my wallet, keys and the boy. We came inside, he politely requested a diaper change and I took the opportunity to also change him into his PJs. He wasn't exactly happy, knowing that the change of clothes meant he was doomed to nap, but I stayed wonderfully calm and distracted him with three books of increasing sleepiness (10 little ladybugs, happy babies and g'night moon). We rocked for what seemed like forever - my poor back - and both times he thrust himself away from me I calmly held him tight and told him I didn't want him to fall. We rocked until he was calm enough to lie down without getting excited again, read g'night moon one last time and went to sleep. All told it took us only 30 minutes.

I figure I should be able to get a solid two hour nap out of him, giving me time to write this entry, get the bags out of the car, make a snack, plan dinner and maybe even start reading one of the books I brought home (though I won't hold my breath).

Thanks to the words and support of many friends, both on and off-line, I am feeling much clearer and calmer today. I just wanted to say thanks!

Wednesday, June 6

questioning my sanity

I am still adjusting to the fact that other people read my writing. It seems silly because I knowingly put my thoughts and trials out there to be read. I want people to read them, I really do... but...

there is something eerie about having people know a little bit more about me than I would normally and naturally let them know. It isn't like I worry about it when all I am doing is talking about strollers or playdates - but when it comes to my own personal muck I feel really naked.

The things is I need to write this stuff and I want to share it, I love the insight and support I get. I love it when something I have written actually resonates with someone else. And being a naturally open person, blogging suits me just fine. It is a great way for me to practice writing, which is something I would one day love to do professionally, it is a nice way to keep friends and family up to date and a great place to show off my most excellent family.

I am just trying to shake this feeling of dancing onstage for the first time.

an aside

related to my last post.

I talked mostly about dealing with Sebastian, i.e. teaching and interacting with him to make him better - but I also wanted to mention how those things help me too. If Sebastian, being smaller and having his emotions much closer to the surface, is like that canary - I am the big ol' miner. Our needs and fates are so closely linked that I can not take a one-sided tack on this "operation" this is an organisation-wide operation, that will take into account the needs and desires of all involved (I talk mostly about myself but do appreciate my husband's role in this) and will require we all make some changes. Some conscious, ours, and some learned, boo's. And we do not delude ourselves that there will be a time when we can wave that giant "Mission Accomplished" banner.

you have just come to a sad realization, cancel or allow?

I have, over the course of my career as a mother, been accused many times of being a "great mother." And while I don't argue with that assessment most of the time, in recent months my work has been short of stellar. I can lay down the reasons and the excuses, but the hard fact remains that things need to change.

I had the luck today to be graced with the presence of not one but two great friends, one a mother, one not, who both did their part in helping with what I am currently going through. The first hour of the visit it was just my mama friend, her daughter, Sebastian and I, we played and drank coffee and I tried to make a little more sense of yesterday (and the preceding months). Sadly I was distracted by my unusually (though less so lately) badly behaved son. It made me really sad to see how he socialised with a long-time friend of his and it hurt me to think that his often off-putting (within his peer-group, at least) behaviour was the result of the things I had done.

I am not someone who expects her kids will be perfect, though I do expect they will be polite, respectful and gentle the majority of the time. I don't want to be the mother who lords over her child constantly to ensure he is not giving another child a bloody nose... but in recent times I have become that mother. And I yell, oh boy do I yell - not always angrily, but loudly... he just has such amazing selective hearing. And it drives me batty: you can't whisper "chocolate" within 20 feet of him, but you attempt to get the kid to pick something up and suddenly he doesn't understand the language.

I don't know what exactly it is we need to do, but a great change is in the making. Over the last 2+ months, since we decided to move to Vancouver, things have gotten worse and worse. Our routines are currently non-existent, as is our (his and mine) play-time. Most days I just want him to play in the background while I attempt to get something done (I say something, but nothing ever gets done - that's another issue). The way I see Sebastian has gotten unhealthy for both of us as has the way I see my job. Things are not about to change, what with another coming and no real way I would a) make enough working outside the home to cover daycare expenses and b) ever actually want to. This stay-at home gig has been the awesomest thing I have ever done - truly the first thing I have ever believe I could be really great at. So what's happening?

We've fallen out of our routines, routines that had become such a part of our lives we did them without thinking. Since we started packing and cleaning and cleaning and unpacking all that has gone out the window. Sebastian is our canary in the mine, letting us know how bad it has gotten. And while Andrew and I have definitely seen the symptoms we have been urgently trying to control those without considering the bigger problem at hand. Mainly the psychological and physical needs of a smart, active two-year old being unmet. I forget that we often did simple crafts together, went out and were social with other kids (2-4 times a week), went for nature walks, played, talked... we were best buds and I could anticipate many of his needs and desires before they caused problems. This isn't to say things were great then either - bringing up a kid, as I hear, is hard work no matter how you throw the dice. No, the difference was, more often than not, we were having fun. Sure I left him to his own devices a lot - but that was only because everything we did otherwise was as a duo (trio on weekends). Sure he had issues with all the things kids do as they climb the developmental ladder, but we handled each situation as it came to us in the best manner we could (or could think of).

As two approached and as our move approached things changed. He kept growing and evolving, but as a parent I stayed pretty stagnant. We would try and succeed with things here and there (time outs), but mostly I was complacent. Lulled by the fact that we have an amazing kid. A tipping point came where our symbiotic relationship became almost non-existent and we were instead two creatures simply trying to take what we needed (or wanted) from the other.

I don't know if it was weaning that tipped us over - but it has been his persistent requests for "boobah" that turned on the light for me. That physical closeness, as much as I resented it near the end, was so important to us and was something that once lost desperately needed a stand-in. Sitting and cuddling isn't currently an option as he and I both bore of it quickly and get squirmy (well, he squirms, my mind wanders). I think, today, I hit on our substitute though, and it is so smack-on-the head obvious, reading. Yup, that's it, reading.

I hope the rest comes as easily.

Back to today, my non-mama friend came over about half-way through the afternoon. She is incredible with kids and her presence allowed me to relax a bit more - but I still found myself in these spots where I would just have no fucking clue what to do or say. Usually after painting myself into a corner with words and finding myself at a point where I need to wonder - do I ignore the behaviour now because it just isn't worth the fight? Or do I follow through? I found myself looking around for answers, but there were none to be found - I am mom and the buck really does stop with me. Fuck. My self-confidence is still struggling to rebuild itself, which is a horrid place to be when you have a kid because all of a sudden, like it or not, the kid has the power.

This friend and I talked briefly before she left, she has a way of probing me and asking the questions I want to avoid that I find so invaluable. While talking to her things cleared up a little more for me and my blind optimism started taking a tangible shape.

I am not happy with how things are right at this instant (if it isn't obvious already) but I am optimistic. We have recovered from so many things, Andrew and I, we have learned so much and even had the balls to decide to bring another baby into our lives. Failure is not an option, so the only path leads up. The "sad" realisation is that it is going to take a whole bunch of conscious effort to undo the last three months. Happily we realized that now and not a few more moths down the road when added change (on top of the impending sibling) would have made things much harder. We'll start by setting out things like a schedule and some simple and more complex goals - we have given this operation the code-name "DPB" for deprogram boo. Books and spreadsheets will be used. We mean business (if you couldn't tell from the fancy codename).

Things really will be alright - this is a hiccup, a little one at that. I am relieved to have had the other shoe drop so that I can see everything as it is.

Tuesday, June 5

pregnancy update

I am feeling much more pregnant. I feel the baby all the time now - we have begun to talk names and Sebastian talks about (and to) the baby every day. My midwife assured me that most second-time mothers go through all the things I am going through and to try not to feel guilty about it.

I've been lying in bed a lot feeling and talking to the baby - and as much as I tend to focus on and feel the negative bits, I look at our future with a sense of optimism and eager anticipation. I can easily envision myself cradling "new baby" in a sling, I look forward to breastfeeding and even birth. To the wonders of meeting a brand new person and finding out all about them.

I have passed the half-way point and will be holding this baby before I know it.

within me there is a peace that can not be disturbed

I spanked my child today. This is something I have always swore I would not do, I have terrible memories of being spanked - of being chased and spanked by my step-father - and never, ever, EVER want to inflict that kind of pain and humiliation on my children. And yet, today I spanked my son... suffice it to say the punishment did not fit the crime. In fact my memory of the entire incident is a little fuzzy - and it only happened half an hour ago.

The story doesn't really need re-telling, the feeling of wanting to vomit, of feeling shaken to the bone is enough for me. I never want to feel like this again - and I never, ever, EVER want my child to look at me again with fear in his eyes. I realise now that my behaviour lately has been leading me up to this. I have been alternatively cocky about my amazing mothering abilities and completely insecure about them. So insecure that I have been hiding and internalising my frustrations, holding in instead of letting out for fear of being seen as less than wonderful. Meanwhile I have done nothing to actually deal with these feelings, I go on about the wonders and virtues of mantras and mindfulness - but as a total hypocrite.

A friend brought up the possibility of prenatal depression and I don't think she is far off the mark. My ability to live in denial is really strong and I keep trying to hide what I am going through from everyone, including my husband, just like I always have. So it might be depression, it might be that I am just not dealing well with all the things I have piled on my plate and need to work through all of them, it could be that I am not getting enough sleep, or some nutrient, or eating often enough, or, most likely, it could be some combination of all those things.

We have been busy, off the charts really, and while I love it, it has been really really draining. It has left me unable or unwilling to plan social stuff through the weeks with Sebastian's friends and I am really really starting to miss those playdates. But they take so much planning and it is always a little touch and go right up to the last moment as to whether or not they will actually happen, the frustration of it all made it a simpler option to just stay home or do things just the two of us. And then there is the whole living in a new neighbourhood, meeting new people deal I am working through right now. I hate it. I miss our old friends and old activities. I miss the effortlessness of going to an organised playdate. I miss knowing people and people knowing me.

I also miss feeling rested and feeling sane.

Monday, June 4

Saturday in photos

Riding the bus from the parking lot to the Open House site - note the look of quizzical anticipation on my son's face, likely a combination of factors: his first ride on a school bus, the sights, sounds and smells of the landfill, and the fact that he was both seat belt and car seat-less.

Andrew, lord of the tractor: He looks underwhelmed, but I assure you he's having fun.

Andrew getting his rock star on, check the neon green beard. Rock on dad, rock on.
A dragon for Sebastian - he was SO good through this, his first face painting.
That there is a big-ass truck dumping out garbage.

Thrilled by his belly button.
The trash heap with a regular-sized truck on top of it - for some perspective.
Chowing down on a veggie dog (thanks to the face-painting vegetarian for telling us about them).
Next year I will make Sebastian dress up like this balloon butterfly.
Sebastian regaling "Return-it Man" with tales of trucks and sand.
And after a hot day at the dump, there's nothing better than a dip in the pool.
Even later that day at our friend Shannon's Sebastian had a chance to listen to his heart beat. He was mesmerized, he was just staring at Shannon as though she had just blown his mind.
Andrew, lord of the snack table.
It might just be me - but I look at this picture and can't help thinking that it looks as through Brian is about the grab Shannon by the neck as she plays a tune on her beer bottle. (Not to worry, it wasn't that kind of party).
My teeny-tiny glass of wine.
Sleeping it off.