Sunday, July 29, 2007

Rolling in the dirt with my ragamuffin

Yesterday, Saturday, Brent and I both had the day off and wanted to celebrate his acceptance to the RCMP. We took the boys to White Rock Beach for the day, and it was very funny because we dressed in long pants and socks and shoes because the clouds were dark and grey, with little sprinkles of rain every now and then. We brought shorts for ourselves because it was humid and a bit warm, but none for the boys (duh), nor sunscreen, nor sandles...famous last actions, dumbasses!!! There were totally clear, blue skys and warm temperatures in White Rock. Anyways, we still had a blast! Our first action was to buy ice cream! What day trip is complete without ice cream? Then we walked along the beach for a bit, turning rocks in search of crabs, and throwing stones in the waves. The sea wall was busy but fun, and we trekked to the official "white rock" for which the city is named, and both boys tried to climb it, and gathered collectable rocks and sticks to take home with us. The walk to the pier took several hours because we had to stop and investigate every interesting or not so interesting attraction along the way, and watch the trains go by, and check for crabs. Ayden held a crab about the size of my thumb for the first time! Until now he has been too afraid to do more than look at them from a safe distance. We also watched some crab trappers and fishermen on the pier for a bit. It is so wonderful to watch your kids watch something fascinating, and discover the world anew with such sparkling eyes and fresh innocence.
We then explored the town for a good place to eat and found a pub that had a kids' menu and some great looking seafood, and had a good healthy meal. The temptation in White Rock is to default to fish and chips, so we were proud of ourselves for hunting down healthy (for us: the boys had fish and chips). On our way back Ayden and Brent had to run back a few blocks to the beach public bathroom (stinky, stinky), so Matthew and I played at the white rock for a bit. We discovered that Matthew thinks it is HILARIOUS to roll down the hill while hanging onto my torso with his legs, and neck with his arms~I have to roll on my elbows so I don't squish him. It was so fun! We rolled down the hill dozens of times, laughing hysterically. We also played Monster Tag~ which is like regular tag but the person who is 'it' is a monster and must act really scary. Who is 'it' is rather arbitrary, and doesn't really coincide with who catches whom. The grass was green, the sun was setting, the waves were rolling in, and I was rolling around in fits of laughter with Matthew snuggled up to me. Could it get any better than that? What a blissful day! Matthew and me now have this relationship that continues to astound me with its depth and joy; every month since we adopted him I have noticed some major improvement or sign of deeper attachment, and now we are at the point where we are so relaxed and assured that I've been able to enjoy his company more than ever before. This time last year I would have said the same, or similar, but now it is so much more so! We hardly think of him as adopted now, and often forget that he 'looks' different to the outside world, and feel as deeply for him as we feel for Ayden. This may come as a surprise, but not all adoptive parents fall in love with their children instantly, and the love takes time to increase in intensity so it matches what you have with your previous children. Are we alone in this? I doubt it. Are we alone in admitting it? Thus far, yes! I'm so, so, so happy to be boisterously rolling around in the dirt, getting sticks and grass and possibly poop in my hair while playing with my kid; realizing an adoption dream that was birthed many years ago, and fostered by us before we were even married. The dream had a lot of happy in it.

Ice cream


crabbing


noisy train



















Friday, July 27, 2007

Awesome quote

always be suspicious of yourself when you begin
suspecting that you do indeed have the answers.
-t.harkins

Comments

For those of you who are regular visitors~I have changed the comments settings to allow anonymous comments, so you no longer have to be a 'blogspot blogger' to leave comments. If you do leave an anonymous comment, just remember to leave your name so I know who left it!! Comments are not required, but if you would like to leave a comment, now you can even if you are not a blogspot blogger.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

RCMP

BRENT WAS ACCEPTED BY THE RCMP!!!!!!!!!!! HE LEAVES FOR DEPOT IN REGINA ON AUGUST 5TH OR 12TH!!!!!!!!!! HOORAY FOR BRENT, WHO HAS BEEN LOOKING FORWARD TO A CAREER CHANGE IN THE NEAR FUTURE!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

How old am I?

I've recieved an inadvertant but nice compliment at work recently, twice. Two different coworkers on two separate occasions have asked me, "So, you're like 22? 23?" Nice. It makes me a pretty young mom of a four year old, but not impossible! Both of these coworkers were in their twenties as well, and thus should know what someone in their twenties looks like~ making it an even better compliment! :D

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I love my pet worms

My compost bin is home to a half pound of red wriggler worms. They eat my garbage! They poop out nutrient rich dirt for my plants! I love my pet worms. We had a bit of a scare last week because it MONSOON rained on us for seven or eight days and my bin got a bit wet. Ayden and I went out to feed them and discovered some mold and very damp dirt, with the worms trying to escape out the bottom to avoid drowning. I mixed in some more newspaper, which Ayden helped me shred, and fed them some more scraps, and the worms are happy again. It's so great to be able to turn my kitchen scraps into dirt for my garden; I feel like I've discovered something no one ever invented before!! We used to fight the bugs in our garden and buy peat moss and fertilizer for the dirt, but the chemicles involved were niggling my conscience. This worm bin is the answer! It's great! I can't compost all the scraps that some homeowners can because the worms are quite sensitive, and they can only handle one ice cream bucket of food per week, and only certain foods. Coffee, tea, eggshells, and uncooked fruits and vegetables. Nothing too hard, so no corn husks (as I discovered), no pits, and no corn cobs. They also don't seem to like onions. But this small box of worms is making small miraculous bits of dirt week after week without fail, and I'm so happy! It is awesome for Ayden to learn about composting, gardens, worms, dirt, and the balance of food, moisture, and temperature from my small green box. (Matthew is still too young. He just wants to plant the mini pitchfork I use to mix the worm box firmly in his brother's head). Yay worms!

The Way It Is In Sake

Ayden is a firefighter in Sake. Both Ayden and Matthew are planning to be firefighters when they grow up, and Ayden has decided that there are a few rules in firefighting, which I will share with you. In every fire station there are twenty employees; 10 men and 10 women (there's my little equal opportunity boy~I've taught him well), and if you are a firefighter man you have to marry a firefighter woman. Ayden is going to marry two firefighter women, actually. At the same time. My little polygamist.
Just yesterday Ayden said to me, "You know what mommy? Boy grown ups can do girl jobs and girl grown ups can do boy jobs."
"Yes, I know. Isn't it great that people can do the jobs that they like?"
"Here mommy, I have a boogie on my finger. Can you take it for me?"
Is that a good enough lesson on gender socialization for now? I hope so.

Matthew's Terrible Twos

I think I've mentioned several times what an incredibly easy two year old Matthew is. Ayden's twos were far harder than Matthew's (for me), as there were more tantrums, shouts and yells, negotiations, and defiances in Ayden's twos. Matthew was more easy going, malleable, accepting of direction, and convinceable. However, this kind of worried me a bit. Aren't toddlers SUPPOSED to go through a richly autonomous and emotionally difficult year or so? Is it a side effect of Matthew's adoption? How can I blame myself for this? (joking~sorta). Then, about five weeks ago I asked Matthew to do something and he looked me full in the face from three feet away, scrunched up his face, and screamed "NOOOOOOOOOOO!" I was so taken aback that I laughed long and hard! Then about a week later I took something away from him (something sharp, I think), and he had one of those stomp your feet, flail your arms, shake your head, and scream type of tantrums, which again made me laugh, though this time into my hand and a little more subtle. Another week of 'normal' Matthew went by, and then three weeks ago Terrible Two Matthew arrived in full force. Hooray! Why hooray, you say? Because that richly autonomous and emotionally difficult time is normal and necessary and I was secretly worried about him at a low level of worry, in case he needed to go through the terrible twos and wasn't going to. Also hooray because a year ago, I was at a point with Matthew where I got very caught up in his negative emotions; the world would disappear and all that existed for me was his angry little face telling me I'd failed as an adoptive mom because he was unhappy and I couldn't fix it. Now, I'm comfortable and we're bonded, and I have gained perspective so I see the whole situation and not just his face. Now, I think his drama is funny, and I can emphathize with his very real and very sweet emotion, because I no longer feel like a failure.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

A good quote by Anne Lamott

"I believed that at some point rather early on in parenting, a quiet confidence would inform me, and it did sometimes. But I was stunned by how afraid I felt all the time, too. Being a parent means you go through life with the invisible muzzle of a gun held to your head. You may have the greatest joy you ever dreamed of, but you will never again draw an untroubled breath."

This is so true! I constantly feel like I'm slogging around in the mud, trying hard to equip my kids for life or at least not royally screw them up, and so many moments feel a breathless kind of suspense at the grave responsibility of it all~held hostage to the responsibility, in a way, even while I'm sleeping.

I love Holmes on Homes

Why do I love Holmes on Homes? He's quirky, with those funny, marginally too tight overalls, a Mr. T gold necklace, and his sweet, little boy blonde hair. He's no-nonsense, sarcastic, and confident. He is very physical and assured when it comes to his craft; in this he reminds me of my dad and this reminder is somewhat comfortable and assuring in its masculinity. I love projects that have tangible results and completable tasks, and that's what he does. He also helps people by swooping in after a botched contracting job and renovates 'properly,' with many tips on how it's done. Like a hero. He's tough and sarcastic, but likes to help people. It's kind of funny that I, a girl, like Holmes on Homes so much~and perhaps if I watched it all the time I would get tired of its formula, and its silly homeowners who give their contracters money before a job is begun, and allow renovations to continue for so long down such obviously incompetant paths, but I only watch the show once a month or so, and have not grown tired of it yet. It is Holmes' persona that I like the best, in a daddyish kind of way. My dad builds stuff, and does it 'properly,' in a no bullshit type of way, and always has, so I like how Holmes reminds me of my dad's personality and of some of my fond childhood memories of my dad, hammering away in the hot sun with some sharp smelling pine or wrestling with itchy pink panther insulation, making stuff 'properly.'

The Bud

The bud
stands for all things,
even for those things that don't flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on the brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within...
-Galway Kinnell

Friday, July 20, 2007

I bought some books

As per my previous post titled 'Infidel,' I went to Chapters in search of a copy of the Quran, the holy Islamic text. I was inspired to read it for myself after reading Ayaan Hirsi Ali's assessment of it and of her experience with Islam. I discovered a copy that was translated by two impressive sounding scholars, one of whom is an expert in Rumi poetry and has translated several of Rumi's texts into english, so I thought this was a pretty good selling feature. A translator of a holy text MUST have hefty experience with poetry. Well, I found this copy and was suitably impressed, and it was only $6.99! I guess people around Langley don't read the Quran much? So I also purchased a book of Rumi's poetry translated into english, also $6.99, and quoted below. I'm so fascinated by what I've learned so far! Islam is younger than Christianity, which I never knew; I thought that Islam was about as old as Judaism, but the Prophet Muhammad lived and had his ministry in the 7th century A.C.E. Also, many of the Islamic people in Ali's book referenced the Prophet's own life as exemplary of how to live their own lives, but the forward to my Quran mentions that much of the Prophet's actual personal life is unknown, which is interesting.
So far I am partway through the first book. The books are baisically scribal recollections of the Prophet's sermons and teachings, and are arranged from longest to shortest, rather than chronologically. I believe they were written a generation or two after the death of the Prophet. What has struck me thus far is a passionate commitment to the holiness of Allah, and a rather passionately negative attitude towards the 'unholy'~ not violent in the stereotypical fundamentalist sense, but rather in the angry, rejecting, and exclusional language sense. There are people who are 'in' and people who are 'out.' Allah seems to be (thus far! I have much more to read) holy, compassionate, wise, and ONE in the sense of strict monotheism, and also strictly exclusive. He is holy, compassionate, and wise to his followers, and scornful of his non followers. It is also fascinating to read a holy text with a fresh perspective and with fresh eyes, because I have been a Christian for long enough that I no longer have a fresh read of anything in the Bible. I still learn new things and gain new perspectives, and feel I've barely scratched the surface of God's character and the wisdom in our holy text, but when I read it my mind references classes I've taken on that or related books, sermons I've heard, or perceptions I hold on God's character or the purpose behind a section of the text. A fresh read of a holy text is quite interesting.
Also, I was struck by the book's commitment to and elevation of the act of prayer. Strict muslims pray five times a day, facing Mecca, and following a basic prayer format which includes some required and some optional prayers. If Christians prayed with this level of commitment, we could change the world.

A poem by Rumi

The ambassador said, "O Commander of the faithful,
How comes the soul down from above to earth?
How can so noble a bird be confined in a cage?"
He said, "God speaks words of power to souls,--
To things of naught, without eyes or ears,
And at these words they all spring into motion;
At His words of power these nothings arise quickly,
And strong impulse urges them into existance.
Again, He speaks other spells to these creatures,
And swiftly drives them back again into Not-being.
He speaks to the rose's ear, and causes it to bloom;
He speaks to the tulip, and makes it blossom.

...If tongue discourses of hidden mysteries,
It kindles a fire that consumes the world.
Behold, then, God's action and man's action;
Know, action does belong to us; this is evident.
If no actions proceeded from men,
How could you say, 'Why act ye thus?'
The agency of God is the cause of our action,
Our actions are the signs of God's agency;
Nevertheless our actions are freely willed by us,
Whence our recompense is either hell or 'The Friend.'
-Rumi

A Word on Narcissism

Aren't we all wrapped up in our own skins? Why then are some of us able to see beyond our skin, and others too consumed with experiencing their organs and inner dermis to notice a world beyond? I admit to a certain degree of inner focus, but the aim of that degree is self awareness for dual purpose: joy for myself and peace for those closest to me. Any 'self improvement' measures are meant to improve both my experience of the world, and the world's experience of me. Don't self awareness and others awareness go together? Self awareness, I think, naturally leads to proactive rather than reactionary behaviours, because with self awareness comes self respect, and boundaries, which lends itself to more objective assessments of situations, people, and oneself~ thus lending itself to proactive behaviour that takes into consideration all priority factors, including the feelings of oneself and of others. In this, self awareness and others awareness are linked.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

New news on breath holding

I just recieved a letter from Matthew's birth mother and she mentioned that Matthew's older brother, who is now 12, used to hold his breath when he was mad, or sad, or tired. It lasted until he was about 5 years old. So interesting! And I've finally found another parent who dealt with this~ albiet she speaks a different language and lives in a different country!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pix of my delicious neice

Here are photos of Ella! I've had some fun shopping for girl stuff...



Some four year old stuff

Most of the time, Ayden is calm and happy. He is the king of negotiations and I think I see a rediculous lawyer like tendancy to ferret out the miniscule divisions in a statement and neutralize the reasons behind the guidelines I set forth, and talk hard and fast to get me to compromise. "Hey mommy, I have a great idea! How about I could have a cookie?" "No, not a good idea." "Why?" "It's too close to suppertime." "Why does that mean I can't have a cookie?" "Because it will fill up your tummy with junk food and you won't be hungry for your healthy supper." "Well, if I have one of those small cookies that are animal shapes, that won't fill my tummy because my tummy is this big." And he holds up his closed fist, which is what we taught him the size of his stomach is while he was reading his latest book on the human body. "Well, if you have just one." Because this seems reasonable. "How about if I have four?" "NO! ONE!!" "Two?" "YOU'RE PUSHING THE ENVELOPE BECAUSE ONE WAS MORE THAN I WANTED YOU TO HAVE" "One and a half?"
Good grief.

This week he has developed a bedtime aversion. Truly at the heart of the matter is the fact that he does not want to go to bed, and wants to control this, but he has worked himself up into a fear of the semi darkness, sea monsters, closet monsters (I've tried vaccuuming them up, telling him his stuffed shark will eat the monsters if they try to come in his room, and turning on the 'magic fan' that is loud and too scary for monsters, all to no avail), and has spent the past three or four nights screaming his head off for 1 to 2 hours at bedtime every night. So of course Matthew is sleep deprived too. The night before last we worked out a system where I leave but come to check on him every ten minutes. Now, the whole time he's yelling "Has it been ten minutes yet?? You are taking too long!! Mommy, it is ten minutes now, you have to come!!" But he stayed in bed and eventually fell asleep. Last night I tried the ten minute intervals again, but he was hysterical before I even left the room. Like, SCREAMING. It was 9 o'clock and he really needs to go to sleep by 8 if I want him to be normal the next day, and here he is frieking out. Poor Matthew was lying in the bottom bunk, big black eyes looking at me like, 'don't leave me with this psycho!' And every time I went in for a ten minute check, he wanted something different from me, a cuddle, for me to sleep with him all night in his bunk bed, some water, my thumb, for me NOT TO GO!!!!!, a 'break' from going to sleep, etc. I had to clean the bathrooms and do an exercise video before my bedtime (Brent is out of town so I'm stuck with videos if I want exercise) which was fast approaching, so I was going in for quick visits. At one point I was doing my excercises and the lady who narrates my video is saying "balance comes from a quiet mind and attention to your inner sanctitude," while Ayden is screaming from upstairs, "BUT MOMMY I LOVE YOU AND I LIKE YOU AND I JUST WANT TO CUDDLE YOU BECAUSE I LOVE YOU AND YOU ARE SO NICE AND SOFT AND I DON'T WANT TO GO TO BED NOW AND I'M SCARED OF MONSTERS MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY THERE ARE MONSTERS IN MY ROOM RIGHT NOW MOMMY I JUST LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" He knows me so well. All I want to do is run upstairs and cuddle him because he's so sweet and soft and he loves me and I love him and really, he is scared....but I didn't...what held me back was that if I went up there at that point, every night from now until he is eighteen he will be pulling out the same rhetoric because it worked that one time. I just yelled that I loved him back but he still had to stay in bed and go to sleep.
Eventually he got up so many times that he lost his bunk bed priveledges and spent the night on the floor on the itchy rug that he hates. I think he tired out and fell asleep around 10. I wish I had tape recorded it so I can play it back for him when he's a father and he can apologize to me. :-) I may change his name to "Guiltmeister" one of these days.

Monday, July 16, 2007

News from Sake

Ayden has 100 children in Sake, and I asked him today how he feeds all those kids? He told me he feeds them gum, and carrots, and broccoli, and yogurt tubes. Two whole food groups! He is also allowed to use his outdoor voice inside at Sake, and when he was there yesterday he was 1...or maybe 2 years old...or maybe 6 and a half? He's not sure. Time travel is possible, it seems!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Matthew:
"Two? Tee?"
this means cookie

Nannies

Ah, nannies. I love the Supernanny because she's Ms. No nonsense! I've gotten some solid tips regarding bedtime, discipline, and routines from watching the occasional Supernanny show! She swoops in, observes a family for a day, and invents an action plan for tackling the unwanted behaviours and chaos that we all sometimes encounter with kids in the house.
But a regular nanny? Perhaps it is jealousy, but I kind of see having a nanny as a cop out. I know of some women whose husbands work upwards of 100 hours a week, or who travel to work, and parenting was designed to be a two person, team effort (or more, if extended families live together), so I can see why a nanny would fill that need in that circumstance. But, still? Having someone whom you pay to be your parenting backup seems unfair, somehow...Why not hire someone to cook? Or clean and tidy the house, so you can then have more time to parent, instead of having a backup parent? I try to maintain a non judgemental, accepting attitude towards most parenting styles and philosophies and methods, but I can't deny I find the nanny phenomenon a cop out on the part of the parent. One of the reasons for this is that I have found that the most difficult moments as a parent; the night feeding, the inconsolable crying, the food refusals, the temper tantrums, the incessant negotiations, the tears, and the sleepiness, these moments are the ones that knit us together with our children. We feel successful for navigating these situations and confident about tackling the next time, which makes us feel more positive emotions associated with our babies or children. From our childrens' perspective, we have participated in helping them navigate something unpleasant and reenforced their view of us as co-navigators, and positive, constant, trustworthy presences in their lives. This makes them feel more positive emotions associated with us. Voila, you have bonding!
With a nanny backup, you either enlist their help before the deepest frustration develops, or assign them childcare during your busiest and most difficult times of the day. This arrests the frustration--solution--bonding cycle that is supposed to happen between parent and child, and transfers some of that cycle to the nanny, who is presumably not the adult you want your child to primarily attach to. Some attachment is good, but not a primary attachment that is more appropriately assigned to a parent, and which may emotionally hurt the child if the nanny leaves in the future for various reasons, because she is an employee and not a family member.
Nannies can also be used in lieu of daycare, which I actually think is a great option, so the type of nanny use I'm referring to here is the type that help you when the parent is at home, too, or the live-in type.
DFWWW (Don't fuck with what works) -another paramedic proverb (sorry mom, cover your eyes)
Air goes in and out. Blood goes round and round. Any variation on this is a bad thing. -paramedic proverb

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Wiscious

"Wiscious" is how Ayden pronounces "delicious." Today something 'wiscious' happened! It didn't seem as such at first, but it ended up that way. I got up at 5:15 to go to work, after what seems to be 8 or 9 days of sleep deprivation and a late night girls night with the nerdettes, and dragged myself out the door headed for Lion's Bay. Traffic was a NIGHTMARE and I dodged being late for work by hitting the HOV lane a few times even though I only had one person in my seven seater van. I felt morally evil. But what can you do? If I'm late the night shift has to stay late, and that is no fun especially if someone calls for an ambulance ten minutes after your shift was supposed to begin. That means the night shift has to stay an extra 1 1/2 to 2 hours! That's how long it takes to do a call from start to finish. Anyways, I made it with 6 minutes to spare and a smile on my face. However, 20 minutes into my shift my partner had still not shown up, and the night crew could not stay later! So I started phoning and phoning...my partner was not answering his phone and no one else wanted to work! This after I got up at 5:15 and battled traffic, and paid for child care for the day! Eventually I gave up and went home. Lion's Bay had to function with only one ambulance today, and not for lack of trying on my part. I picked the boys up from daycare and took them to the water park. We had a blast! They were excited to unexpectedly have a mommy day, and I was excited to unexpectedly be home from work so I could play with them. We went shopping and then played with the water hose (I stayed inside with the sliding glass door safely shut!) in the backyard. Wiscious!
A photo with me in it!!




Last Saturday we visited friends for another nerdfest, (a medium sized group, with only 2 couples and 1 baby missing) and this is Bennett and Kai in the pool




Louise and Kai




The mini nerds! I wonder when they will clue in that they were born to a bunch of geeks? How our group has grown!!




This afternoon Matthew fell asleep in the wagon on our way home from the water park, and I put him on a blanket in the backyard to finish his nap. Several minutes later I checked on him and Ayden was cuddled up next to him patting his head and whispering to him. Too sweet!

More pix

Here are some more pictures of my beautiful new station in Lion's Bay




Monday, July 9, 2007

Here's another opinion. The death penalty is atrocious. I find it difficult to understand how anyone can consider themselves humane and belive justice is served by state sanctioned killing. It is counter intuitive to kill someone because they killed someone: is it not authority which sets the moral tone and ethical example? I know that in my family I set the tone morally and ethically by the example I set for my children, and I think it imperative that I show grace and justice in balance. An immoral action should not be matched by another immoral action.
A life is a life, and holds inherent value which is not affected by the actions of that which is alive.
I know not everyone shares this opinion. I have one paramedic friend who firmly believes all criminals should be shot. I laugh at him all the time for his aweful rhetoric and irrational arguments, but he holds firm that if you steal the contents of someone's garage, you deserve the death penalty. He also maintains that stupidity should garner the same punishment, and I often ask him where the line between stupid and smart really is? He sheepishly laughs and admits to falling within the stupid category frequently, secure in the fact that we do not currently set the firing squad on stupid people. This paramedic is six foot six, shaved bald, with handlebar moustache and souped up pickup truck. On the one hand, you could call him a redneck. He also has three children, several rescued stray pets, and a kind heart, kind of like a six foot six teddy bear? He just has no patience for anything that is not high priority in life, and I think this spills over into his philosophy of criminology and rehabilitation...
When his oldest son was born he spent the first 18 months of his life in children's hospital with liver failure, and he told me that after that experience he learned that very few situations in life are worth 'getting excited about,' by which he means stressed or upset. It is true that he is one of the calmest paramedics I've worked with, and believe me, in our job calmness is a great asset.
I find his philosophy regarding criminals to be rather the polar opposite of mine. He mocks mine and says I'd rather serve criminals tea and let them watch Dr. Phil than give them what they deserve--he's probably correct.
How is brokenness redeemed or even balanced by reactionary brokenness? But my philosophy requires a deep belief in redemption. Are people redeemable? Isn't eternal optimism requiring our own redeemability what makes us try to be 'better'--better students, better at our jobs, better parents, better adults? Better citizens in general? Food for thought. One more opinion expressed, albiet a safe one that I figure will not make me any enemies...

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Photos

Here are some pictures of my new ambulance station--I have more but am back at work again, away from my computer with the photos on it! I wish I could photograph the sound of the creek next to the station, but I will have to leave that to your imaginations...





Thursday, July 5, 2007

New Station

I recieved pix of my neice Ella but am not able to put them on the blog while at work, so I will share my beeeyewteeful honey bee with you once I get home (tomorrow night). Meanwhile, I am currently halfway through my first (36 hour) shift at my new station in Lion's Bay. It took me only ONE HOUR to get to work this morning, WITH TRAFFIC, and I am in heaven. This is a commute one can deal with! I will share with you a few observations regarding my new work environment.
I was very nervous to drive here today: mountains of new people to meet and prove myself to all at once are kind of intimidating. I almost had to pull over and throw up! And I didn't sleep last night so if I sound a bit rambly and weird, that's why. So, Lion's Bay is GORGEOUS!! The station is on a steep hill surrounded by lush forest with a stellar view of the ocean. There is a large creek next door which could almost pass as a waterfall because of the speed at which it moves, and the grade of the hill it courses down. You can actually sleep with the sound of this waterfall creek in your ears if you open the windows. I took some photos of the view today and will post them when I get home. What bliss!! There are two ambulances and they are BUSY--constantly in North Vancouver or in Squamish, or attending spectacular car crashes on the Sea to Sky, which bodes well for the finances. We get paid per call when part time, so the more crashes, the merrier. Obviously I don't wish people ill but if they are going to get hurt they may as well do it on my watch, in my jurisdiction. ;)
The station itself is immaculately clean, and I have never seen such organized and sparkling ambulance as the one I climbed into this morning. The crews I met were friendly and hard working, and around my age and stage in life, so that is great. All around, so far--only one day in so we'll see--I think Lion's Bay was a good move. I can't even begin to describe to you how good it feels to sit under these brilliant green trees and the juicy blue sky and listen to the water flow down the mountain. It is good for my soul. It makes me feel cleansed and happy, somehow. This feels like a fresh start, which I think I needed after some tense moments with my supervisor in Squamish, who liked to flex his management muscle and bully me around. He complained about my attitude when I fought back, and then he backed off, but still I tried to avoid him at all costs so it is nice not to have to accomodate for that anymore.
Hooray for Lion's Bay! I'm so glad it has been beautiful so far.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

A post for Ella

I believe, Ella, that you are the most wanted baby on earth. You were wished for, and prayed for, and dreamt about for more than four years. Your mommy was so patient and brave as she waited and waited for you. I'm afraid your grandma Vose was not as patient and brave, but you know grandmas have a hard time waiting. For the Sloans you were a miracle because Sloans have so many boys! Some sugar and spice is welcomed with joy by the Voses as well, because we have only boys in your generation so far. Your cousins Ayden and Matthew have wanted a 'real, live' cousin, and are so proud they are bragging about you already and you are only 17 hours old. When I heard the news you were born I was so excited that Uncle Brent had to tell me to slow down because he couldn't understand what I was saying when I spoke! I'm sure your grandma Vose is just shimmering...she won't be able to sleep until she sees you.
When you were born there were some scary moments! Your umbilical cord snapped off too early, and too close to your body! Then you came out with fluid in your lungs. I'm sure it was a big and scary day for you, but you faced it all bravely. You must get that from your mom. Your dad is a quiet type of person, but when you were born he was so excited and so happy that he spent a long time on the phone with us, telling us the story of when you were born and talking excitedly about you. When he called everyone on his list to announce your arrival he remembered in his message to tell us how much you weighed but not what your name was! He was too excited to remember to leave all the details! He was happy and full of energy despite having had no sleep while he waited for you to be born the night before.
We've waited and waited for the happy day when we would get to meet you, and here you are, darling girl, and we love, love, love you.

Auntie Melissa and Uncle Brent

YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!! Brent's brother and his wife (Brian and Billie) just had their baby this morning!!!!!!! Hip hip hooray! The first Vose baby girl in this generation (of the Leon Vose branch of the family tree). Her name is Ella Brie Vose (not sure if the spelling is correct as we got this info over the phone) and we are VERY EXCITED to welcome her!! Yipee! I'll post photos as soon as I get some. Welcome to the world, Ella! XOXOXOXO!

Compost

Okay, in the interest of self expression (see the post 'Infidel,' to which I would like to add that my art is a form of self expression in which I do not hold back), I would like to state that I am a fan of the earth. The wind in the trees, or on water, or along grasslands, draws me inward towards peace and upwards towards god. As an individual I feel a responsibility to do what I can when I have knowledge and the strength to do it, to make choices which reduce my negative, hurtful impact on the earth in order to assure wind in the trees, on the water, or along the grasslands for many generations to come. I grew up on a farm, which nurtured a love for the earth but also bred a realistic view of nature--a Thoreau type regard tempered with some Melville type respect for its indifference and power. However, being a rural family, we did no recycling, some burning, some herbicide and pesticide use, etc.
Now I live in a townhouse, which precludes much of a garden, but situates us near recycling facilities and bus routes...interesting to me how moving away from a rural setting, which is closer to nature, empowered me to do more for it...
As a ten year old I had a teacher who was a real hippie, granola bagger type, who didn't shave her armpits and wore those hideous dress jumpers with the shapeless skirt and buttons down the torso. I loved her. Well, she was the first environmentalist I met and she educated us about the issues of the day, which included landfill overuse, plastic and styrofoam properties and overuse, overpopulation, and pollution. One of the things she taught us about was cloth diapers. A testament to the power of a teacher in a child's life is that I grew up determined to use cloth diapers. Now, I know the environmental impact of cloth is not nil. The washing and drying of diapers uses electricity, which contributes to pollution and certainly the hydro dams in b.c. have an environmental footprint. When Ayden was 2 and still nowhere near interested in pottying I discovered a store in town that sold phosphate free, fully biodegradable laundry soap for not too expensive, so I bought that and used it on the diapers to reduce phosphate soap pollution as a result of those diapers. Also, when Ayden was 8 months old our washing machine died--ironically on a load of poopy diapers--and we bought an energy star water saving front loader appliance to replace our 20 year old klunker, further reducing the impact of those diapers. As you learn new information, you can do new things.
Recently I have been bothered by the iridescent blue 'miracle grow' flower food I put in my flower beds. It always kind of bothered me, but without it my flowers don't bloom. Also, the pesticides keep the bugs out of my plants. Recently I've learned more about chemicle free gardening, which I'm fairly excited about. Learning new information! Doing new things! Something which I learned that I never thought of before was that plants native to your area are hardier and have natural defences against local insects, fungus, etc, and so are wiser to use in your garden if you want to stay away from the pesticides. And compost is the perfect fertilizer for plants, including flowers...hmmmm...I have not yet been able to cultivate native plants in our garden because you can't 'begin' a garden in June, but I will be planning for next year (if we're still here...if we move elsewhere I may have a bigger garden to work with...). In the meantime, I was bummed because our townhouse common yard area really wouldn't allow for a big compost bin, and we would have trouble filling it. A few weeks ago there was an ad in the paper for a 'worm composting bin' workshop put on by the Langley Environmental Parnters Society, aka LEPS, and apparantly these worm bins are perfect for apartment dwellers and townhouse owners. The bin is small, the worms quick and efficient, and the bins don't smell or attract flies if properly maintained. So, off I went.
We have had our worm bin for a week and a half now. We've attracted a few fruit flies so I did some research and discovered that I wasn't burying the food deep enough in the soil of my bin, so hopefully we can rectify that. In a few months my worms will take my garbage and munch and poop it into nutrient rich dirt that I can add to my garden. How perfect is that? A step closer to eliminating those iridescent blue flower crystals, and the pesticide spray in my garage. Plus, some of what would go to the dump now goes in my garden.
This weekend I learned about 'zero impact' gardens, where you plant a garden that you don't need to water...not so sure about that one...maybe a rain barrel would be better? Not sure if our strata would like a rain barrel any more than they would like a compost bin, though.
There you go, an opinion expressed and examined. Hopefully nobody will reject me :p (see earlier post).

Monday, July 2, 2007

Insomnia

It's July 2nd. Happy Canada Day, yesterday. I can't sleep. I think I'm anxious about Brent going away for six months, because my fingernails are all gone and I'm weepy, and of course I can't sleep. Until now I've been able to stave off this anxiety, or at least bury it beneath layers of home life and work life and a wee bit of friend life, but up here in relaxation land (my parent's place) it is catching up with me. I don't want him to go! I love him, I enjoy his company, I find his presence comforting. Being away from each other is going to suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. Can I make it? What if I fail? Am I strong enough? I must be, I come from a long line of strong Reside women. Still it will be tough.