Friday, December 28, 2007

Feliz Navidad

Our Christmas was opulent and excessive, making me feel horrible about the inequality of humanity, but it was great. The kids had a blast, and everything was relatively calm and smooth. The only frustration was when the bottle of port ran dry last night when Rob and I were having movie night.

Mom came and spent Christmas Eve and Christmas here. She delighted in being awoken by Lucas at 6:30 in the morning but couldn't convince him to stay in bed any longer. He was sure that he had heard reindeer bells during the night, so was not in the least surprised to see the presents under the tree. He was, however, extremely excited to open them. The hour wait until his grandparents and uncle got here was almost unbearable.

Even though I've only been working a few days a week, it was nice to get some time off to hang out about the house and try to complete the puzzle of how to fit all the new toys into such a small space! We've also had the pleasure of spending some time with friends and their kids.

Pretty dresses supplied by Abuela had plenty of opportunities to be worn.

Lucas and I had an awesome day of skiing on Seymour. It was his first time on skis, and he did a commendable job. He was able a to walk independently on flats but got a little (!) wobbly on any hills. We managed to do four runs; two on the tow rope and two on the chairlift. I have to admit that I now understand why I hated the tow rope when I was a kid. My body still hurts from basically carrying Lucas up the tow while trying to stay on it myself. The last thing I wanted was to fall, put skis back on and try and get up it again! The lift was much better although Lucas' ski bindings were set so low that I was freaking out when he started swinging his legs!

The day brought back so many memories of skiing with my dad when I was little. I just love that I can share this with my kids now. Amazing how life comes full circles sometimes.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

It's almost here!

Tis the season for too much candy, anticipation and partying. We are no exception here. We have heard' "Is it Christmas today?" every day now since the advent calendar showed its ugly face. (Much to Mia's chagrin as the elves mistakenly thought Mia was too young for a calendar this year.)

Sushi night. (Mama too tired to cook.)

Lucas and I have been busy drawing, pasting and cooking up Christmas stuff.

Doggies always need love.

Preschool Christmas Party.

Lucas and his cousin attack the gingerbread train.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Baby is one!

I can't believe that a year has passed since we had Mia, but even more unbelievable is how much she has changed in that year. Even though we saw how fast Lucas grew, I am still amazed at how much humans develop in their first few years of life. From a tiny nursling baby that was so completely dependant on others, Mia has changed into a toddler with abilities that felt so far away not long ago.

She has been solidly walking for about a month now. On Wednesday we were out at the park after all that rain passed and she was out ambling through the puddles in her muddy buddy and rain boots, carrying the dog's chuck-it. It feels too soon. I already miss the crawling. It's funny how with Lucas I couldn't wait for each milestone to be reached; first smile, sitting up, crawling, grasping, eating solids, pulling to a stand, cruising, walking, speaking, weaning etc. But with Mia, and the knowledge that we are unlikely to have another, I mourn each stage as it passes, willing myself to hold onto the memory of her kicking feet as she nurses with pleasure, the sound of a well diapered bottom hitting the ground in an attempt to stand, the discovery of the first threads of successful communication (where's your nose - that's right! There it is!) the kisses sprinkled generously on family, dogs and dollies.

Mia is turning into an amazing little girl with a wickedly wonderful (or wonderfully wicked) personality. She babbles and laughs all day. She delights in pestering Lucas and knows just how to get his knickers in a knot, then imitates his exclamations of protest. She eats like it's her last meal, dances on a whim, and smiles with little encouragement. I am delighted to see that she has a gap between her two front teeth - to some it may only stand as reminder of orthodontic bills to come, but to me it brings a sense of guilty possession and pride that she is both mine and just like me. (Those of you who have known me for a very long time will perhaps remember my own gapped smile that so characterised me as a child.)

So with this I say goodbye to my baby girl and hello to my child. I can't wait to walk beside you as you explore this world, yourself and the possibilities that are there for you. Happy Birthday Mia. I love you. Mommy

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Fall Pics (very late!)

October passed by as perhaps the longest month in record for me. I have never felt so entirely busy from morning until night (and then many times during the night.) After Rob left from his weekend whirlwind visit I was left to my own devices with squirrely kids, cold and wet weather and spooked pups. (Fireworks) It was a loooooooong month of doing almost nothing but looking after the kids and secretly wanting to strangle Rob for not being there. Thank goodness for field hockey, my mom, my inlaws and some good friends for keeping me sane and somewhat still capable of speaking to adults. Here is a very late selection of pictures.

Mia's first independent go at painting

Lucas and his buddy on a fantastically cold, muddy and fun visit to the pumpkin patch.

Lucas the spider at his preschool.

Mommy realized she should have sewn the arms on using elastic a little too late.

Out for trick or treating. Mia was the only cooperative one for pictures... and barely.

Mia learns that chocolate is good. (Second child - what can I say...)

Mount Pleasant community Centre drop-in play gym. AKA where we go to pick up any virus that happens to be going around. We were sick for weeks after this visit!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Pitiful, I know...

Yesterday I found myself in the local liquor store, Mia in the sling Lucas in my grasp. Now normally I have my dear husband to provide me with delicious wine and cold beer; two of my favorite things in life. However I was feeling his absence and decide that I would go and get myself some booze. However my demonic little angel Lucas was very overtired from a recent cold which inevitably leads to painful stubbornness. (A trait honestly come by as both Taurean parents are notoriously also obstinate.) He insisted that the wine bottles needed to be counted. And by this he meant touching each and every one as he went by it. My firm disapproval sent him into a puddle of tears as he fell limply on the liquor store floor with the injustice of it all. As I pleaded with him to just hold himself together for only a few moments longer because Mommy desperately needed her wine, a kindly employee came over and this is about how our conversation went.

"Can I help you with anything?" asked the man while trying to hide the look of disapproval on his face.

"Yes, I've kind of got my hands full."

"I can see that. What are you looking for?"

"Wine. Red. Not too cheap - but not a fortune. Quick."

"What grape?"

"Now." I gasped.

"How about this?" he tried pitifully.

"Great," I replied, paid, and was off.

Let me tell you, Rob was veeeerrrry disappointed in my choice when he asked the dreaded question on the phone last night. But me? Well, let's just say I was feeling better while I read my book by the fire... sipping crappy wine.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Another Note

I just re-read my last few posts and realized that you may not be able to follow the train of our busy lives without a little fill-in.

Rob's new job had some setbacks in the opening date of their restaurant (very common) and had to put it back a few months. In the meantime, they decided to send him to Santa Monica to work in their place there at the Viceroy Hotel. This all came very unexpectedly and threw a huge curve ball into our carefully orchestrated transitional fall. Thus I am alone with the kids until December.

A bail-out, a bird, a birthday and a bump

First things first, for those not yet in the know, I finally decided that I had had enough of living the single working mom lifestyle and quit my job. What a relief. I have so much respect for those who can make it work, but I was a disaster at it. Enough said.

This was the first Thanksgiving in years that I have truly enjoyed. Last year I was so pregnant and tired that I just lay on the sofa having hardly been able to eat any turkey. But this year... I let out my belt and dug in. The kids are at an age now that they played well together and we all enjoyed the company and the food in relative peace. It was lovely to have Rob home with us for the weekend, but of course it passed all too fast. He arrived the Saturday of the long weekend, spent a whirlwind couple of days with us, and was gone on Wednesday morning. We will see him again in November for another couple of days and then he should be home again for good at the end of the month. I am now back to the kiddy-routine of playing, eating, bathing and sleeping; albeit on a budget!

Lucas' birthday was a blast. We celebrated with some friends here at the house and enjoyed a Cinemazoo presentation of all sorts of wild and wonderful creatures. Personally, I was amazed at how long the kids stayed still for and how frightened some of the adults were! Ah... childhood innocence and adult fears...

As for the bump, well, that came after a particularly joyful stand and clap on Mia's part. In her highchair, that is. She tumbled out backwards and had a good fall. (Lucas really doesn't get it when I say that.. who made up that expression anyways?!) She suffered a bad concussion and had to be taken to Children's Hospital where we spent a good part of our night under observation. (Her for trauma, I'm fairly sure me for negligence.) After a frightening week of doctor and a repeat emergency room visit, we are fairly confident that she escaped this one unscathed. I am now so much more aware of the little safety details that are so easy to become relaxed with. I am also so very thankful for having a support network of friends of family to help me out. Being alone when things like this happen... not good. Especially when there is another child to be looked after as well. :(

So we are in recovery here. Readjusting schedules and getting ourselves into a better groove with less stress. (Hopefully.)
PS. I'm so sorry about the sideways pictures... another new program that I thought I had figured out... thought.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I am in the midst of a windstorm of activity and emotion. The winds are warm , but furious and I feel it is all I can do to dig my heels in and hold my family close while the world transforms around us. It's at times like this that our values and trust in what is good keeps us strong in knowing that we will reappear after the storm - only stronger for having held firm whilst in its midst.

Lucas has begun preschool, Rob has begun his new job, my job starts next week at which time the kids will be watched by our parents Monday through Friday, childcare exchanges have begun, field hockey starts this week and swimming the next. Rob is now home for dinner, bath and bed, and packed lunches need to be found in the morning. Alarms ring at horribly early times and toddlers are wrestled into clothes before Max and Ruby videos have been thoroughly finished. There is never quite enough coffee in the pot.

I am doing everything possible to prepare us all for all this transition, but I feel that my head might explode with small details of it all. Spare clothes, labels, family photos to print, breast milk to pump and pump and pump, meals to shop for, organize and cook; to hell with the laundry.

It's funny but last night after I ran out after dinner and putting Mia to bed, went to a meeting for preschool and raced home again I had this surreal thought; I really AM a mother now. I suppose all these last three years I have sort of felt a bit like I was playing house. But good golly, that feeling has worn off and I have admitted defeat. I am Mom. I was looking around the meeting at the other Moms and thinking, Man these gals all look like Moms.. and then I thought shit, so do I. I had just arrived with food smushed into my clothes (the same ones I was in when I did duty at the preschool in the morning) and smelling like garlic and onions. Nothing wrong with it of course. As I said to Rob last week, I really am living a dream, to be a mom and sit on the floor getting grubby with sticky toddlers; it's all good! I suppose it is just the working mom part that I dread at this point. But I can always jump ship if it all feels too much.

On a side note, Rob and I celebrated our five year anniversary last weekend by going to Guu on Thurlow. If you are a fan of Japanese "bar" food and have a good sense of adventure as well as palate, I highly recommend it. We had a fantastic meal at very good prices.

I hope all your September starts are beginning well for each of you. xox Ting

Lucas and Mia heading out to a party in the bike trailer.

Friday, August 17, 2007

What's happening around here...

Lucas is now drawing cars, buses and trains. We think they are fabulous!
So we now have a new computer in the form of a new hard drive. Finally. Although I am pleased that we can finally rely on a computer once again, I was a bit flabbergasted at the way it happened. Over the last few months I have logged probably close to twenty hours on the phone trying to get this thing fixed; to no avail. Then Rob got uber annoyed, and since I was on holiday, took over the phoning duty for the week. One phone call, and just like that Dell is sending us a new computer. Timing? I'd like to think so.

We have been really enjoying Rob's evening shifts by getting the most out of our days, but alas it is coming to an end in just a few short weeks. This is all for the good however, since Rob has just given notice at Cincin after signing a contract to work as the Loden Hotel's Restaurant Manager. This is a fantastic new position for Rob as he will have the opportunity to help this Kor group hotel open their food and beverage program from ground up. Buying a cellar of wine you say... a dream job. Very exciting.
I am still wavering about work for September. None of my master plans have panned out for me yet, although I have a had a couple of offers. I'm pretty torn about the prospect of leaving the kids to work. There are days I would absolutely love to get out and at it again, but my heart is here right now, I must admit. And with two clever and loving children I think that makes sense, don't you?!

When the SHAW guy came to rewire our cable, he found Lucas and I wearing our new space man hats. Hopefully they didn't interfere with the reception...

We decided to change Lucas' preschool for September after getting a position in a parent participation preschool. We are pretty darn excited about being able to be part of this new stage in Lucas' life by spending days in the classroom and taking on tasks. Mia and I are also looking forward to a little peace and quiet..hahaha...
In reality, Mia is becoming the furthest thing from quiet and Rob and I are beginning to question what wild genes we are passing down. Mia has mastered the art of singing, babbling, and best of all the tell tale shriek that means "Mommy, Daddy Lucas is (fill in the blank)" She loves nothing better than wrestling with Lucas (really) and teasing him endlessly by stealing whatever he is playing with. She happily digs in the dirt, and has eaten way too much sand at the park. We have given up on baby toys entirely. She has taken after Lucas in skilled crawling and loves climbing into the fridge if she catches it open. I have caught her at the top of our Ikea kitchen stool, up flights of stairs in the laundry room and on top of slumbering dogs. She is communicating clearly her need for arms, sleep and food. And boy, can she put that back. She out-eats Lucas 4 out of five meals. No joke.

Lucas is the fastest things on wheels these days, and we have been amazed at his bike riding skills. These pictures are from a sunny Saturday in the UBC endowment lands. That kid rode (with a little pushing) for two hours! We were all pooped at the end!


Congratulations to Juan, Lydia and Matias on the arrival of their daughter and little sister Taya Jane. This is not much of a picture, but she is cute as a button!

Pics from our Vernon Adventures

Mom and Auntie Pat caught eating.

Lucas feeds a goat at the farm we visited.

Miss Mia sports her new bathing suit.

Happy baby, happy Abuelita

Quails Gate Winery - Westbank

Uncle Bill, Auntie Pat and Deb

Lucas drives a tractor.

Life jacket mandatory... but where's Mia?

Lunch at Qual's Gate
How come Mia got to come on our date?

Heritage Beet salad - sideways

Can you see three black and white pups?

Daddy and Lucas out for a chilly turtle float.