Monday, December 21, 2009

Emma at Two

Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding that I may learn Thy commandments."
Psalm 119:73

To be exact, this is Emma at two years and 7 weeks. I almost got her pictures taken earlier - twice - but had to cancel both times because Emma seems to think she can do anything the older kids can do. She can.... but she usually has some mark to prove it when she's finished.

The little rhyme goes, 'Sugar and Spice and everything nice - that's what little girls are made of'. I would say, Emma has a very healthy dose of 'spice'. Life has never been, and will never be boring with her around. She's a born leader - she'll make sure things happen the way she thinks they should. Usually, she'll manage to make everyone else think it was their idea to start with too.

Emma is very independent - she can do it herself, she does not want to need help and if she does need help, asking for it is one of the last things that crosses her mind. Unlike her sister, Emma is not a people pleaser. She doesn't care if you don't like it. She does - the end. She has very strong opinions, and does not change her mind easily. This does not mean she does not change her mind, just that she won't change her mind until she's fully considered all the options, pros and cons, and has found the solution most favorable to herself.

Re-reading all of the above makes Emma look willful and manipulative - and she is, but she's also very charming, mischievous, and lovable. Her laugh is bubbly and contagious, her sense of humour is priceless, she has an expression for every thought that enters her head, she's smart as a whip and very protective of her own.

It has been quite the adventure watching this little girl grow for the past two years. She's definitely the exception to the rule when it comes to raising kids. I guess, the best way to stay on your toes is to be thrown a curve ball once in a while and I think Emma is ours. But you know, the harder it is to do something, the prouder you are of it. Some of the things we've learned with Emma have been the hardest lessons to master, but they're so worth the end result!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Smiles and Smugglers

I tried getting a picture of Butler smiling the other day, but I kept getting the tail end of the smiles in my pictures. By the time I thought that maybe taking a video would work, he was getting bored, although I did get a whole smile that way. There's two smiles in the video below and Butler even added a few words of his own. He was trying to convince me to pick him up since it was time for his breakfast and he'd been waiting very patiently for his turn regarding my attention. I apologize for any dizziness caused by my video skills.

Good Morning Baby

Last night I was getting the kids ready for bed. It was Dolly's turn in the bathroom, and when I checked on her I found PC in there at the sink with his pajamas unsnapped. "PC! what are you doing in the bathroom- WHY are your pajamas unsnapped? Do you need to go potty?" I grilled him. He shook his head and I started snapping his pajamas back up. Two snaps started he said, "I can do it Mommy! Please can I snap it?" Dolly was out of the bathroom by then so I nodded and stood up watching him. "Don't watch me, Mommy - I can do it." he insisted, so I glanced down the hall to see who else needed attention. Then PC closed the bathroom door. I opened it and he insisted as he tried closing it again, "Don't watch me, Mommy. I want to do it myself." I let him mostly close the door and then I headed to the kids' bedroom to supervise the 'getting the toys out before bedtime' process.

A few minutes later PC stepped out of the bathroom smoothing his snaps and asked me, "Are they all done right, Mommy?" I nearly exploded in hysteric laughter, but managed to gulp back my guffaws, pull on a mostly expressionless face and answer, "Yes, they're all snapped right. Now, come with me." I reached for his hand and led him (bulging pajamas and all) to my room where Sir was waiting to say goodnight to each of the children. I said to Sir, "We have a S-M-U-G-G-L-E-R here, and he needs to say goodnight." Then I got to watch Sir control his urge to explode in laughter before he addressed PC.

Sir: PC, are you ready to say 'goodnight'?
PC: Yep.
Sir: What do you have in your pajamas?
PC smoothing his snaps with his free hand: I don't know.
Sir: PC, I can see you're hiding something in your pajamas.
PC checking his snaps again: How?
Sir: What do you have in your pajamas?
PC: I don't know.
Sir: That's not the truth. Give me the sippy cup and get into bed.

Sir and I were cracking up so badly through all of this, we couldn't properly address the situation, so we settled on keeping the cup and sending PC to bed without the 'drink all the water you can before bed' step of the bedtime process. While I was trying to stay out of sight because I couldn't keep a straight face during Sir's conversation with our son, I managed to snap a shot of the guilty party. It's not the greatest picture because I turned the flash off to avoid disturbing them and I couldn't stop shaking with laughter when I took it.

Friday, December 11, 2009


In spite of Butler's claims every 10th day or so, he is NOT starving. We saw the Dr. on Tuesday for the 1month check up and Butler had gained 2 pounds and grown 1¼ inches all in 3 weeks!

I was relieved knowing that it wasn't all 'just in my head' when it came to the size of my youngest. At different points over the last month, I'd thought Butler was either 'gearing up for a growth spurt' or I just wasn't drinking enough water. I figured it must be me and the water option in the end because it happened more than just at the 2 and 4 week marks. But I wasn't entirely satisfied with my conclusion - he was also, it seemed, outgrowing his clothes. I really didn't have a explanation for the half-filled diaper box of baby clothes that wouldn't fit my son. Especially since they were the same clothes the other kids wore at his age and not just more clothes in general.

Anyway, after the doctor's appointment I went home and checked the shot and growth records I had for all of my kids and this is what I found:

Dolly, born 8 lbs, 12oz was 12 lbs, 7oz at 2months.
PC, 7 lbs, 6oz at birth was 11 lbs, 14oz at 2months.
Emma, born 9 lbs, 10oz was 11 lbs, 4oz at 2months.
and Butler, born 9 lbs, 8oz was 11 lbs, 4oz at 1 month old.

I didn't have 1month weights for all of the other kids to do a more accurate comparison so it will be interesting to see how big Butler is at his 2month visit. Other than that... I got some real smiles from Butler Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday evening. It was so much fun to see him respond - now just to catch a picture of it!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Is it really 'Better Late than Never'?

Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 2:1

Once again I'm late in getting the portraits posted. I was late getting this picture taken by oh... five weeks. The day I took PC in for his pictures, the studio's computer crashed - halfway through our session. So we went back two days later and they finished the shoot. Then when the pictures were ready three weeks later, I still hadn't had a minute to think of what verse I wanted to put with them.

Next it was Emma's birthday, and after that the priority was getting everything finished up before Butler arrived. And now it's 6 months after his birthday and I'm finally posting PC's 3yr old pictures! Talk about being behind schedule - and it's almost the same story with Emma's pictures (I just got those back yesterday though, so hopefully they'll be up here sooner than later).

These pictures were taken less than a week after Grandma C. let me help her give PC a haircut. Note to self: do not try cutting boy's hair within days of photograph appointment. I nearly scalped him, and even after Grandma C. fixed the worst of the damage, it still looked pretty choppy. But it was either a 'Sir Shaggy' shot, or 'Champ Choppy' one and I think the latter looks better.

I settled with the picture above for our package pose because you can see more of PC's face, but I think the picture below is a nicer picture myself. Both pictures have sparkly-eyed smiles though, and sometimes that's what counts the most.

And now it's time to feed Butler again. I started this post yesterday - at least the pictures are up now. I must go as my younger son demands my presence!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Milestones and Miscellaneous

A couple days ago, we dropped Sir off at the skytrain station so he could make up a bit of lost time on his commute. As I was rushing to get one of the younger kids ready to go, Dolly proudly brought me this paper and told me, "Mommy! This says, 'I have a headache.'!" "You have a headache?" I checked with her. "No, we're playing 'hospital' and this is what's wrong with PC." she explained and she was off to play again.

I was very impressed because it was the first time that I'd seen Dolly try to build words. We 'do schoolwork' a few times each week, but I've spent most of the focus for Dolly on reading and have only asked her to try writing a very few letters and numbers so far.

Below is a video of PC and Emma trying out a birthday present he gave to her. You may need to watch it a few times.

"Niryam, I sorry."

And I think we might finally be making progress when it comes to nights with the Butler. He's gone from being up from 1-4am, to having his bedtime snack at 11:30 and sleeping from midnight to 5ish. Some nights he's up at 4, other nights he'll sleep till 6 and every once in a while he'll go from 1am to 8. The biggest change though was yesterday. He spent more time awake during the day for a change! He took naps of course, but he was pretty much on the same schedule as the rest of us (with the exception of having a meal every two hours) which was really nice.

On a random note here are some numbers you might find interesting. Butler's leg from his hip to ankle is 8" long. His feet are 3¾" long - I think I wasn't that far off when I said he had big feet on Day 1. He also does NOT like his feet to be cramped in any way, shape or form. If you offend his feet, he will let you know what he thinks - loud and clear.

26 days old.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Time is Short

A young man came to a Christian, and old professor in a college. He asked the teacher: "How long before death should one prepare for eternity?" The professor's answer was: "A few minutes." The youth, glad of this reply, determined to have his fling, sow his wild oats, and "see life" in all its aspects. Then a few moments before death should close his selfish eyes, he would ask God to have mercy upon Him!

"But," asked the professor, "when are you going to die?" The youth replied: "I cannot tell." "Then," said the dear old man, "GET READY NOW, for you may have only a few moments to live."

I have traveled widely over this country and have yet to meet a man who wishes to go to the lake of fire, there to endure the "eternal judgement" of God. All have hoped to be saved some day, and to escape that awful doom.

Many persons would like to be saved, but they say they are waiting God's time. Surely God knows the best and proper time for a man to be saved. He says it is NOW. There is no promise in God's Word that a man shall be saved next week, or next month, or next year, or when he comes to his deathbed, or at the eleventh hour, as some people foolishly and unscripturally say.

God's pledge is that He will save a man when he believes on the Lord Jesus Christ; not when he says he believes, but when he does believe. His word in Acts 16:31 is:
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."

"THE TIME IS SHORT." Eternity is near. The dark clouds of judgement are gathering and are about to burst in all their crushing, grinding power upon a Christ-less, guilty world. But ere this takes place the voice of God rings out:
"Behold now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation."
2 Corinthians 6:2

Isaiah 1:18 is unequalled in Scripture for tender graciousness:
Come NOW, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."

God's word is "COME," and He tells you when to come: "NOW." He concludes this magnificent verse with the promise of cleansing you from all your sins.

Another strikingly earnest verse is Job 22:21
"Acquaint NOW thyself with Him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee."
Again the word NOW confronts us. It tells us that THIS IS THE MOMENT to make the acquaintance of God through Christ Jesus - to be at peace with God through Christ. He has made peace for us with His precious blood; and only by its cleansing power can good be our portion in Christ Jesus.

The invitation of Jesus is:
"Come; for all things are NOW ready."
Luke 14:17.
There is nothing left for the poor, helpless sinner to do in the matter of the soul's salvation but to believe. Christ did on the cross all that the glory of God required to be done; and then He said: "It is finished." He is in that glory today as proof that it is finished, and that God is satisfied. NOW he can make known to you by the Holy Ghost through the Scriptures His present salvation for all lost sinners.

The devil tempts you to put off the salvation of your soul until tomorrow. Tomorrow is too late! Tomorrow is death, the grave, the lake of fire, the eternal wail of a damned soul. God would not say "NOW" so frequently in His Word if He did not mean it, or if there were not awful danger in delaying, or if tomorrow would do. It may be now or never for you. God grant that it may be NOW.

"Salvation now, this moment;
Then why, oh, why delay?
You may not see tomorrow!
NOW is salvation's day."

(BTP #2383)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Getting Used to Normal

So much for posting anything in a 'day or two'. At first I was procrastinating because I hadn't chosen a blog name for our youngest - who will be henceforth called the Butler (there's a story to it, but I'll get to that). Then it seemed we were catapulted into normal life.

Anyway, here's a rundown of the last 8 days.

Sunday the other kids spent with Grandpa and Grandma C. and went to meeting like any other Sunday. Except for when Sir went and got them for a quick visit to meet their little brother before returning them in time for naps. They came back later when Grandpa and Grandma C. came to visit that evening before the hospital visiting hours were over.

I didn't get any pictures of the initial reactions, I don't think I could have really, it was hard enough to watch three little peoples' faces at the same time without worrying about getting a 'good picture'. Dolly walked in all bubbly with excitement - she knew what she was going to find and couldn't wait. I think she remembered seeing Emma for the first time. PC came in, all eagerness and almost in a state of amazement at the wonder of actually seeing this 'baby' he'd been asking for for so long.

And Emma - well, I wondered what her reaction would be and it was priceless. She came in, curious - probably more because the other two kids were so excited than any other reason. Sir lifted her up beside my bed where I was holding the Butler, and the look of shock/reality/irreversibility of this new thing in her life that flooded her little face was incredible. It was like it finally sunk in that this 'baby' we'd been talking about for so long was another person that was going to be part of her life - forever. In a few seconds, she recovered her composure, and was all excited like everyone else seemed to be.

We had enough time for each of the kids to hold Butler (I did get pictures of that) and then Sir had to whisk them back to meeting so they'd be able to take their naps.

Dolly's turn

Proud PC

Little Miss Emma

By the time we got checked out of the hospital Monday, it was just after noon. Grandpa and Grandma C. were keeping the older three until after their naps, so it was just three of us for the afternoon. I was still on an adrenaline high and kept tidying up bits and pieces of the house. I think I finally unwound enough to take a nap, but it wasn't very long in the end. Grandma C. brought supper when they dropped the kids off - one of my favorite meals actually, so it made the first evening at home pretty simple.

Tuesday was the really slow/lazy day that first week. Sir was home from work and Grandma C. and Uncle A came over for the morning to help out. They brought supper with them so I got spoiled by no cooking again. I took a nap, and sorted through the baby clothes. Being able to put the baby girl clothes away and narrowing the boy stuff down to the sizes we'd be using for the next while really made a difference in the functionality of the living room. Wednesday I did laundry and bathed kids like usual and we took Butler to meeting for the first time that night. After that, the week whipped into a blur.

Holding Butler at home
Thursday Sir went back to work, and PC had a speech appointment in the morning which I'd totally forgotten about until Sir checked his calendar Wednesday night. Thankfully Grandma C. had planned to come over and was able to stay with the rest of the kids while PC and I went to his appointment. She brought supper again and had lunch all ready to eat when PC and I got home. That afternoon Sunflower dropped by with a casserole supper and some DVDs that her kids had outgrown. The casserole made a great lunch on Sunday and the DVDs have been quite a luxury when it comes to keeping the older kids happy while I'm busy with Butler. Friday, Sir worked from home since I had scheduled flu shots for him and the older kids for that morning. Then we had enough time to come home and have lunch before I dropped Dolly, PC and Emma off at Lily's house and headed back to the hospital with Butler for his well-baby check-up. He had gained an ounce from his going home weight, so the doctor was happy. When I picked up the kids after naps that afternoon, Lily sent supper home with me!

Saturday, I took Emma in for her 2yr pictures (a month and a half late). She was finally facially intact on a Saturday. I've had to cancel picture appointments twice since her birthday due to how she manages to crash into something and end up with a bruised or otherwise marked face. Of course we'd been home from her appointment all of 30 minutes when she ran into the doorway of her room with the whole side of her face, so I was glad we'd finally gotten the pictures done already. Aunt Knittery came by with supper that afternoon, and brought a paint set that the kids completely fell in love with - they've spent hours playing with it and we haven't even had it for a week yet!

The little-ests
Sunday we were still adjusting to getting four kids ready to go somewhere and into the car with enough time to get anywhere on time. That has been the biggest difference I've noticed between 3 and 4 kids so far, but we're slowing getting the feel of it.

By Monday (yesterday), I was a walking wreck due to lack of sleep. Butler does not like to eat and get it over with like the rest of my kids did. Or at least, so far he hasn't seen the necessity of it. He likes to take an hour or more to have a meal taking a few cat naps throughout. It makes for a really long night between 11 and 4 when he mixes that in with 'awake time', tummy aches from gas and sharp-edged bubbles that refuse to be burped out. One of these days we'll work out a functioning system, but until then, my sanity seems to depend on how well the older kids take their afternoon nap thus giving me a chance to sleep as well. HisLady brought supper over for me that evening, and when Sir got home from work, I got to leave the older three kids with him and join the ladies at Lily's house for a 'Ladies' Spa Night'. It was so much fun and SO relaxing to be anywhere without hearing "Mom-my,...". Definitely a treat!

So, that basically concludes our first week with the Butler - I've been spoiled rotten and haven't had to cook a supper for quite a while now. I'm sure it'll be quite the shock to actually have to do something one of these days, but it has been nice. In fact, our kids have taken to asking at each meal, "Mommy, did you make this food? or did you just warm it up?" Once they've discovered where it came from they'll finish with, "Thank you for making/warming up this food!". It's really cute to see them resolve to thank the cook the next time they see her, but I have a feeling they usually forget in favour of playing with their friends!

The story of the Butler:
When I met Sir ten years ago, it was when he was traveling places with Chasm. His friends called him Sir - evidently it'd been his nickname for years already. Anyway, Sir and Chasm each had an imaginary 'servant' - I think the guys claimed Winston and James to be butlers - possibly chauffeurs, although from the way they talked to and about these servants, they seemed more like the personal servant that a nobleman of old often had. Winston was Sir's servant and over the years he'd drifted into the dusty archives of memory where Sir and I all but forgot about him entirely. Then we picked out a boy's name for our baby, had our second son, and named him. Two days later... it dawned on us that we had our very own Butler. And that solved the blog name search for our newest little one. He will be referred to here as the Butler, or probably in most cases just 'Butler'.
The end.

Monday, November 09, 2009

He's Here!

Of course, now I feel like writing up a storm, but that might take longer and result in an even later post. So, here's a quick update for any still wondering. I am working on another post with lots of pictures between feedings and naps though that might not appear for a day or two depending on how things start adjusting at home.

After almost 3 hours of labour, we welcomed our youngest - a 22¼ inch long, 9lb, 8oz little boy on Sunday November 8th at 6:18am. I woke up around 3:30 Sunday morning, and figured that we might actually be finally going into 'real' labour by 4ish. We got to the hospital at 5am, and just over an hour later we got to meet our youngest son!

And now we're at home where we'll be figuring out how things function with four kids. The adventures of life!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Another Week Passed

Baby Dearest,

I thought you might be interested in an update on things out here in the real world. After all this time, and rushing about lately, I believe everything is finally ready for you to come!

When you arrive you will have a lovely name of your very own. Daddy and Mama spent many many hours looking for just the right one, but we found it and we can't wait to introduce you to everyone with it. The hospital bags and the overnight things for your siblings are all packed. Thanksgiving has come and gone, so you won't have to share your birthday with one of the funnest family holidays we have.

Mama has even gotten things on the to-do list done that have been waiting for months and months. The pantry is neat and tidy, I did a whole pile of mending the other day and your siblings helped me put the garden away for winter today, so the yard even looks nice. I should vacuum the house again, but raking the leaves on the patio this afternoon made me wish later that I'd skipped that job, and now I'm procrastinating a little when it comes to the vacuum.

Daddy keeps predicting that you'll come any day, and I'm beginning to wish he was right - you're getting awfully big you know, and I would love to lie down on my tummy again one of these days. Besides, you're probably close to 9½ lbs now and even Emma was barely bigger than that!

Well, tomorrow is meeting which means I should get some sleep soon. Wouldn't you like to meet everyone at meeting? They too, are all eagerly waiting to finally see you. So Little One, you are allowed to come now - the sooner the better as far as I'm concerned. Thank you for being such a compliant baby and waiting 'till the middle of the month like I instructed earlier. Your big brother asks for you every single morning - he already loves you so much. I can't wait to see his face when he finally gets to hold you!

Daddy, Dolly, PC and Emma send their love and like me, they can barely wait to meet you. Daddy even found a verse just for you, so I'll included it here as well!

"Come; for all things are now ready."
Luke 14:17

Lots of love,
~ Mama

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Just in case you're wondering...

Junior has not arrived.

Despite Sir's daily predictions of a delivery 'before the week is out', we have not had to make any quick trips to the hospital. I have had a few Braxton Hicks contractions here and there, but they're random and usually it takes me a while to realize that's what just happened.

Sir tells me I'm just in denial... and maybe I am, but there's still more than enough that I need to get done right now that makes sooner labour rather impractical. And I like practicality. (Baby... I hope you heard that!)

Besides, the 'official' due date isn't until November 8th... and the 'revised' one which is probably more accurate anyway, isn't until October 27th. And October 27th is still almost two weeks away. (Again, Baby.... were you listening?!)

I am making a little progress in the getting ready department though. We have a girls name chosen... now just to finalize one for a boy. I have found, washed and mostly packed some baby clothes for the hospital. I have lists of things to pack for everyone else although I've only gotten to packing a few things from the list for me so far.

And that's about all for now. So I will be going - I need to be rounding up my gang so we can leave for meeting in a few minutes anyway.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Sometimes its the little battles that make parenting so trying or rewarding. Well, I guess to be more accurate - usually its the little battles that make parenting so trying or rewarding.

Today was a victory for me. Yes, a small one, but a victory nevertheless. Emma ate her lunch. Yesterday she didn't want her baked potato, sliced ham or green beans that we all had at lunch time. She stalled, and found creative ways to make things 'disappear', she fussed and protested and did not eat her lunch. Even when PC and Dolly were getting ice cream or cake for dessert, she would not swallow her pride and start swallowing her lunch.

So, she had it for supper last night while the rest of us had soup and hot bread. Emma fussed and wailed and pushed her plate away over and over, but would not eat more than the two or three bites I finally fed her. And after over an hour, I took her food away again and she went to bed.

This morning I forgot about the plate in the fridge and gave all the kids a cookie as we rushed out to the car to take Sir to the skytrain station, but I remembered as I was serving up their waffles for breakfast when we got back and exchanged Emma's waffle for her twice rejected former meal. Which she again refused to eat. Yes, she suffered her way through another couple bites, but would not just eat her food preferring rather to fuss and complain and generally resent this new cruel treatment from her mama. She waited for me to get busy doing something else and then abandoned her plate at the table still unfinished.

While the rest of us had cheese sandwiches this afternoon, Emma was faced with her yesterday's lunch again. She had to have been getting hungry, and it was agony for her to watch the rest of us eat one of her favorite foods. So, after much fussing and complaining and weeping and wailing, she tucked in her lip and ate her lunch. Just like that. Then she had a cheese sandwich like the rest of us.

I was so glad she finally ate. If I gave in, I knew the problem would only get worse. Emma is by far our most strong willed child (so far), and though she may be the most challenging to train, I have a feeling that being successful with her will be the most rewarding. As the children's hymn tells us, "Each victory will help you some other to win;" we must keep in mind the theme of that very hymn, "Look ever to Jesus, He will carry you through!"

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Calendar Space

Dear Jumbo,
The doctor says you're a big strong healthy baby - 7lbs already! She also says that the middle to end of October is more probable for your arrival than the early November date we already have.

This is fine, but since I am the Mama, let me set down some rules: My calendar is booked until the 13th. You are allowed to come anytime after that though. Besides, if you come before that, you might not get a name... and Mama won't have time to get a hospital bag packed (this is important because all the baby clothes are stowed away out in the shed). Life will be much more comfortable for all of us if you give me time to get ready for you.

Dolly, PC and Emma are all looking forward to meeting you, as are Daddy and I, and we'd all like to see you before the month is over! Just be patient, grow slowly for a week or two, and don't kick me too much.

Love Always,
~ Mama

Thursday, September 17, 2009

"Peter and James in a Fishboat!"

Today marked the 1 month anniversary of Sir starting a new job. It was also the day the kids and I decided to drop in on him at work to say 'hi'. Ok, it wasn't exactly 'dropping in', he knew we were coming and had even given us loads of advice on how to get there the best way. You see, Sir's commute is between 75 and 90 minutes one way, and to get there he takes the bus to the skytrain, the skytrain to the seabus, and then walks the last block or so from the seabus to his office building. So, when the kids and I were going to come visit him, we drove to the skytrain and did transit from there.

Today was the first day I went anywhere on the public transit system by myself. All the other times (if you don't count the greyhound bus ride from California to Manitoba 10 years ago) I've always had Sir to do the worrying and organizing. I started out planning on giving ourselves an hour and a half to get there hoping to meet Sir for lunch around 12:30ish. Only, we didn't actually leave the house until 11 and then we had to stop for gas so we could get to the skytrain station which is about 15 minutes from home.

Once we got to the skytrain, found a parking spot, paid for parking, unloaded into the double stroller and figured out how to get from the parking lot into the station, I'm sure we'd wasted a lot more time. In fact, I think my clock said 11:41 or something like that. The first order of business, I thought was to find the elevator so we could get up to the platform. We walked right past it and tried going to the one that was being used only for the test train side of the station. After an employee kindly pointed us back to the right elevator, we scurried off and up to the platform only to discover I had no idea where I was supposed to 'validate' my transit ticket.

There was a train ready to go when we got up to the platform, and we walked its length twice looking for some place to validate our ticket before finally deciding that maybe we should have checked the first level. So, we took the elevator back down to the main floor and walked its length twice. We found the ticket machines where you can buy a ticket, but they didn't have any directions on validating one. So, then I figured it would be wise to ask for help, but there weren't any employees around just then and we ended up waiting in line at the snack shop to ask the cashier. She smiled and pointed at a long line of blue boxes behind me next to the elevator - I felt like an idiot, but smiled back an scurried off to one of the boxes that I'd absentmindedly chalked up as recycle bins. By this time at least 5 trains had left the station and I believe they run about 3 minutes apart. We validated our ticket, took the elevator up to the platform and then had to wait a good 5 minutes before a 'not in service' test train left and a in-use train pulled in.

Waiting for the SeaBus

Through all of this, all three of the kids were being exceptionally good and we found a nice spot on the skytrain that fit the stroller without too much fuss. The next leg of the journey was the 40 minute skytrain ride from one end of the line to the other with me explaining how many more stops we had left to go each time we pulled in and out of a station - but the kids loved it. When we got off the skytrain we headed toward the seabus dock except the elevator from the train platform to the seabus was broken. Sir had warned me about this, and I had decided to just fold up the stroller and take the escalator. I was in the process of unloading the kids and was about to fold the stroller when a man asked me if I could use some help. I was glad to accept. I gave him my stroller, grabbed my three kids and went down the escalator - just like that. We thanked the stranger, loaded up into the stroller again and headed on toward the seabus - into a crowd of people coming the opposite direction. They were the passengers of the seabus that was by that time now returning to the quay with a load of people going the way we were headed. So, we waited the remaining 10 minutes for the next seabus to arrive, and had no trouble getting on and finding a seat.

The other SeaBus going the opposite direction

Sir called me on the cell phone just after we'd gotten off the seabus on the North shore to see how we were doing. It was already 1:15 and he'd expected us between 12:30 and 1. Then was the short walk up the steep hill to Sir's office building, up the elevator to his floor and then finding the right office - we were finally there by almost 1:30. Sir let us in, we met some of his co-workers and then left to grab some lunch to eat in the park, just below his office building, overlooking the river. It was nice to see Sir in the middle of the day and the kids loved being able to eat lunch with Daddy. Finally he had to go back to work, I washed the kids up, we all said goodbye, and then I let them play for a few minutes while I packed up the stroller and figured we had a couple minutes to spare before we needed to head back to the seabus.

Except, just as I was planning on heading back to the seabus, a regular train thundered by (on the other side of a fence) next to the park and PC raced off to watch it. There had already been two other trains that had gone by and he'd watched them as well, but he couldn't hear me calling him back and by the time I went and got him, and got all the kids back to the stroller, we'd missed our seabus and had to wait for the next one. It was 3:15 when we got on the seabus, and started our backtracking. Up the escalator - no trouble there, to the skytrain where we got on a newer model train that seemed less stroller friendly so we got off at the next station and waited for the right train to come along two trains later. The kids were still being good despite being so late for naps already. Emma fell asleep in the stroller on the skytrain ride home, and Dolly reclined in the other stroller seat while PC bounced between his seat and my lap and the window the whole way back to our starting station. Between explaining how many more stops there were till we would get off, I read a book I'd brought along and probably got 5 or 6 pages read which was nice.

Sleepy Baby

By the time we got home it was quarter to 5 and I put the kids down for a late nap. Sir would be working late, and so supper would be late as well. Emma never went back to sleep, but I had to wake the other two up eventually. After Sir got home and the kids were ready for bed, they went in to say goodnight to him. I came in as he was saying good night to PC and heard him say, "Thank you for coming to see me at work today, did you have fun?" PC nodded and cuddled closer in response and Sir continued, "What was your favorite part of the day? What part was the most fun?" PC sat up beaming and said, "Peter and James in the Fishboat!"

Sir and I looked at each other slightly puzzled and then it dawned on us that PC thought he'd actually met Peter and James - from the bible story - at Daddy's work today. One of his co-workers was a fellow Hungarian named Peter and the leader of Sir's division was named James.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mischief with Missy B.

Saturday, 4:30am. Of all days, I should be sleeping in - today will be busy. The kids won't be waking up for another 2½ hours and I would have been wise to take advantage of that and sleep that long myself.

But I'm remembering. Remembering is something significant in my life right now. Pregnancy does things to your memory, and for the past half hour I've been recalling things that happened more than 20 years ago. Things I haven't even thought about for years.

(Puppets at the N. California location - 25 years ago.)

Maybe it's because Dolly woke up at 4 and when I tucked her in again I thought about what we were planning to do today. Sir got a new job almost a month ago. Today we were going to celebrate and for weeks the plan has been to take the kids to Chuck E Cheese. As I tucked Dolly in a few minutes ago, I almost reminded her that today was the day the kids had been looking forward to for so long. Then I realized that reminding her then would only ensure my day starting even earlier, so I bit my tongue, and went back to bed. And kept thinking.

I was remembering the 3 or 4 times during my childhood that my parents took us to Chuck E Cheese. Once we went when I was 6 or 7 probably. There was this little girl who was staying with us - overnight, for the day, a couple of days - I don't remember how long she was with us. I don't even remember her name. She was either the step-daughter of my mom's nephew or she was the granddaughter of an older woman named Cherry B. I think she was the latter, so for blogging purposes, I'll call this girl Missy B. Missy B. was older than I - a year or two maybe? She had short brown hair, and she knew all about stuff. I was very impressed by her and she probably liked me because I was so eager to do whatever she asked me to. Although I did get into a lot of trouble for it.

The first thing I remember about Missy B. was that she asked me to ask my mom to let her stay with us. I did, she was allowed, and later my parents told me it wasn't my place to be asking things for other people - especially if it wasn't my own request.

(Tina, me - about age 14, Li'l G., and our brother Ike posing with a friend on the long-retired little John Deere tractor)
So, when the next adventure occurred, I think it may have been my suggestion based on something I knew Missy B. would like. See, I could drive a tractor. It wasn't a very big tractor - just a little John Deere thing with a scoop shovel in the front and any other kid loved to ride in the scoop. I wasn't supposed to drive it without being told to by my parents and I knew this, because I still remember trembling with excitement and nervousness because I took Missy B. down to the mixer in the shovel scoop. There was some urgent reason we had to go so fast and our legs wouldn't have gotten us there in good enough time. My parents seemed appreciative of the news we breathlessly brought them, but they also reminded me I had driven the tractor without express directions. They didn't punish me, but I'd never experienced butterflies in my stomach before and I know it was because I knew I'd done something I shouldn't have.

You'd think I'd have learned my lesson, but perhaps the excitement of having another girl close to my age around played with my good senses. The next thing I remember doing with Missy B. was making Kool Aid. I'd never made it before although we did have KoolAid packets around the house. Missy B. said that the stuff we were drinking wasn't really KoolAid and so, she and I slipped off to the chicken house to make it the 'right way'. My parents would put about a quarter of the suggested sugar into a jug of KoolAid and my siblings and I never knew the difference. To us, it was flavoured juice, and it was something we didn't get very often. Anyway, Missy B. and I took a package of Strawberry KoolAid, and I have no idea how much sugar, and we made our own KoolAid out in the Dove Room of the chicken house. We used plastic Strawberry Shortcake glasses (because they had red pictures on them) and basically concocted a syrup. Very few sweet things made me sick growing up, but the Strawberry KoolAid that Missy B and I made, was definitely one of them. To this day, I do not have any real liking for Strawberry Shortcake characters, and I do not think I've tasted strawberry KoolAid for more than 20 years!

(One of the few pictures of the Chicken house with Tina playing Indian out front. The Dove room was on the left side)

Of course remembering the KoolAid incident with Missy B., reminded me of one of the only other times I got sick on something sweet, and that was pomegranate juice popsicles. Aunt Helen had come over to watch my siblings and me for a while and she kept us busy doing all sorts of fun stuff. We made play dough out of flour and salt and water, and when that was done, we juiced a box of pomegranates and made pomegranate popsicles. I didn't do so great the next day when my mom let us all try one of our popsicles. Although, I have tried pomegranate juice flavored things since then - just never popsicles! But I'm digressing.

After the KoolAid making, Missy B. and I discovered some makeup underneath the kitchen sink. I think I was showing her a science experiment we had down there. Probably an egg in vinegar, and stowed away in the cupboard was a little basket of makeup my aunt had gotten rid of. I do not know why we even had it, but there was nail polish, and lipstick and some other stuff as well. Missy B. declared it a treasure and within a few minutes, we'd dashed off to the dark bathroom on the patio to try some on. I knew we'd get in trouble if my mom caught us wearing hot pink lipstick, so I persuaded Missy B. that it would be better if we wiped it off before leaving the bathroom. After all, we were going to a pizza place that night and the last thing I wanted was a reason for my parents to cancel those plans. Missy B. was fine with that, but in turn, she persuaded me that once we got to the restaurant, we could go to the bathroom and put the lipstick back on. So, we carefully smuggled the lipstick to Chuck E. Cheese's and at the first opportunity we got, we dashed off to the bathroom to apply our stolen treasure. It didn't take my parents long to discover us, and I distinctly remember being marched back to the bathroom, getting my faced scrubbed clean and then watching in dismay as my mom threw the lipstick away. When we got home, she threw out the rest of the makeup too.

(Me about 7 yrs old and Tina who I'd tricked into crawling into the cage before gleefully locking her in. We were directly in front of the Dove room of the Chicken house.)
6am - So, now that it's been an hour to write what took me half an hour to remember, I should be able to go back to sleep without words buzzing around in my head. Maybe I'll even get another hour or two of sleep before my children wake up and remind me that today is the day that they've been waiting for to go to Chuck E. Cheese's!

Saturday, 6pm - now that I've dug up some old pictures for this post, I'm publishing it just before I wake my kids up from their naps so we can go do something they've been anticipating for 23 days.

10:50pm - The kids woke up before I got the rest of my editing done. They're in bed now, wiped out from all the excitement they had this evening. Maybe one of these days life will slow down a little and I'll get more posts written.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Blueberries and Hymn Sings

After the first few days of our heat wave subsiding, the kids and I went blueberry picking with Grandma C... or Grandma C went blueberry picking with us - either way, we took all the fruit home. The sunshine came back the next day, making the one day we spent hours picking berries out in the open, the only overcast day in more than two weeks. I was thankful because my kids get very fussy when they get hot, and there wasn't any shade in the blueberry fields, really.

Starting out.

"This is how you do it," ~~~~~ "I can't eat them all?"

Lost in thought.

Finding the perfect berry... losing the perfect berry.

All by myself! (sorry Mom, the rest didn't make it into the bucket).

Posing with the end result... or trying to.

My blueberry pickers.

The next day we got our Nexus cards which meant we could cross the border again. The rules had changed and our documents were either invalid, or expired. Having Nexus meant we could start going to the weekly Hymn Sings that Doc and Bashful were hosting at a beach down their way. The first time we went, there was the most beautiful sunset, and tonight was the last planned sing for the summer. Again, we had another beautiful sunset - I didn't take any pictures today... sigh.

Emma telling me about the fire.

Aunt Knittery helping PC roast a marshmallow while Emma argues chats with her cousin about the actual process.

Dolly proudly cooking her very own marshmallow.

Dolly in the sunset.

And that was a lot of pictures for one post. Maybe I should stop here tonight. (After glancing at the clock)... yeah, I should stop here - bedtime was a while ago!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

How Long Has It Been!

It's been so long since I posted anything here, I'm having a hard time even remembering how to! If you must know, I couldn't let a whole month go without a single post... well, my pride couldn't. So, I decided to shape up and do some actual writing. Mental blogging doesn't show for very much when you're trying to remember anything later. A lot has happened since the beginning of July.

There was PC's 3rd birthday at the very end of June... I sort of mentioned that earlier. Here he is with some of his favorite people. We had his party at a park that had a train which we got to ride on. This was the 'all boys' train car.

Then a couple days before our 6th anniversary, Sir and I went up to Whistler for a break. It was so nice to do nearly nothing and act completely lazy. We slept in, ate meals at odd hours, rented a canoe, went for walks and just enjoyed our time together.

Dinner/snack: cheese, grapes, apple cider and shrimp. Who needs real food?

Breakfast. We brought enough food along to last us probably 3 or 4 more days than we actually stayed! It was good though.

After Whistler, we had our annual week-long heat wave. Temperatures only reached the low 100's, but for us, that seemed pretty hot - especially because of all the greenery adding to the humidity! The kids spent a lot of time in the kiddie pool, and we played the 'battle of keeping the house bearable' game that often feels like a lost cause. Note to self: someday when moving again, avoid living in upper levels of houses. It was definitely wonderful to have the normal 20 degrees cooler weather the following week. Here are a couple random life-shots.

Emma - Cuddling with the Cat.

PC loves babies. I'm sure he'll be glad to have a new one of his own soon since these two are growing up so fast!

I was going to keep working my way through my summer photos for this post, but it's bedtime now and tomorrow comes awfully early these days. So, I'll stop here for now, and hopefully it won't be another 7 weeks between posts!