Monday, June 30, 2008

33.5 lbs of strawberries

Okay, apparantly no one thought my dad's poem was funny. Poo on you.
Yesterday as a family we went to a local farm and picked 33.5 pounds of strawberries (at $1.50/lb you really can't go wrong--and these were plump and delicious, perfectly ripe)!
So last night Brent and I worked for hours getting about 20 pounds in the freezer, and today I made jam and a strawberry pie. Seriously, people, how domestic can I get? But it was DELICIOUS and I'm quite proud of my handiwork.
The boys helped me with the jam.
Then we went to the water park! It was another 34 degrees day...I'm losing sight of all the bones in my feet, and every night I pour myself a literally cold bath and soak for about 20 minutes. I'm a sausage. I'm overdone. I've SEVEN WEEKS TO GO (though I told a nosey parker at the water park that I'm 39 weeks, as I stood under one of the sprinklers for relief...people are just trying to be sympathetic, but I just want them to go away!
Here are some delicious pix;

Brent thought I was the local juicy, but he thought wrong


Ayden enjoying his strawberry milkshake reward

Matthew was helping me make jam at this point, and I wanted a nice picture but he was really preferring to cry, so he has a weird look on his face. It really is torture to smile for a picture for your mother, folks. Just ask Matthew!

Matthew at the water park

Ayden at the water park

This is classic Matthew. Today was a bit much for Matthew to handle, I think. Ayden did something that offended him, and he was marching towards me to tell me his sob story (I was laughing so hard it was difficult for me to hold the camera still)

This is officially my FIRST PIE. You really can't get enough pictures of this gorgeous, delicious, work of art pie:

Sunday, June 29, 2008

My dad's a poet

This is not exemplary of his most serious work, but it is hilarious family folklore that gets tossed around when we get together. This truly did happen. Warning to the sensitive folks: we lived on a farm, so sometimes animals died. We went through cats like we went through laundry, and this particular epithet was for an orange longhair we had named Garfield (so original). Family folklore refers to him as 'flatcat' since this incident.


nobody noticed garfield missing
a wild orange tabby
who tiptoed along balance beams
in a maze of barn rafters

the dogs hated his arrogance
in their dreams
they scrambled through trusses
and had their way with him

but bad judgement flattened him instead
several sets of passing tires
over time
turned him into a cardboard cutout

someone going by
grabbed his tail and
flung him like a frisbee
into the bush

weeks later
garfield appeard on the lawn
beside sleeping dogs
who sometimes rose
to snatch the pelt in their teeth
and shake it

for years
tufts of orange cat fur
bits of chewed hide are
scrounged out of grass clippings
returned to the dogs' place
on the lawn

in remembrance

-Al Smith

Saturday, June 28, 2008

HEAT WAVE and Wall-E

Okay, the temp jumped to 34 degrees today...good grief, being this pregnant in this kind of heat is no joyous experience! I love the sunshine, but I'm turning into a freaking sausage with the heat.
So this morning we woke up at a leisurely pace, had a wicked breakfast made by yours truly (wicked AND made by me; who knew this was possible?), and set off for the water park. We were there early enough to get a spot under a shady tree, which is a small miracle on a hot weekend, and Brent bought the boys boats to float down the creek, AND I brought cherries, so everyone was in seventh heaven.
Around one we headed home (sad to say, not walking...I'll resume my long distance walking habits after CB is born but for right now it's painful for me to walk more than about 3 city blocks, and I'm VERY slow and super cranky when I get this hot, so happy for the a/c in my car), ate a quick lunch, and went to a matinee movie as a family. We saw Wall-E, which I can say was an instant hit with ALL of us! Kudos to Pixar for getting it right. It is a story about Earth in 800+ years, after the people have left to live on a giant cruise ship-like space centre that rivals the Death Star in Star Wars. When the humans left, they set up a cleanup army of robots to compact and tidy the mountains of garbage excessive consumption has left behind (though, I must add, this excessive consumption/garbage production habit did not halt on the Death Star, so I'm not sure how much these people learned from their mistakes...). Well, the cleanup project took 695 years longer than expected, so at the time of the movie there is only one lonely robot still working away at compacting and tidying all that garbage.
A robot probe sent to earth to investigate for signs of habitable conditions sets off a chain of events surrounding this last garbage robot, Wall-E. This movie is hilarious, poignant, entertaining, clean of 'adult' humour or content, and has a wicked storyline. The first half of the movie has almost no dialogue whatsoever, and yet the story unfolds with stark clarity and humour. Actually, much of the movie's themes deal with the idea of communication. The people use lots of words and never connect. The robots use few words and build true relationships.
A stellar family movie, highly recommend it as a date/family event with your kids. Critics are apparantly declaring it an 'instant classic.'
My personal favourite scene is one in which the main characters wind up in the 'robot repairs' section of the ship, which is set up exactly like a psych ward in a hospital. I was almost crying I was laughing so hard (I've seen a few psych wards in my job--it was caricature, but it was so close to the truth it made me howl!), but I had to stifle it because NO ONE else in the theatre was laughing. Smiling, but not from the gut laughing like me. I've a dark side to my sense of humour. If we can't laugh at our crazy tendencies, we'll never survive intact, I say! I've a friend who wound up in the psych ward for a few weeks for postpartum depression a couple of years ago, and she says it was the most peaceful, relaxing place she's ever been. Sometimes she wishes she could go back, for a break from life! Anyways, there were some crazy robots in there. I've rarely laughed so hard.

Then some shopping ($1 flip flops at Old Navy! $30 birdfeeder at Home Depot! Dude, some deals were found today), then home for a 'breakfast supper' of waffles and strawberries.
Awesome day, all around.
The boys are in HEAVEN.
And dreamland.
Sleep well, babies, sleep well.
This is my favourite time of day.
Enjoying it while it lasts, before CB comes and interferes with 'post kids' bedtime/pre parents' bedtime' peace.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Mini Fest June 2008

The Langley/Surrey contingent of "The Nerds" gathered at our house for a 'selicious' barbeque this evening (selicious is an Aydenism). Fun was had all around, and the food was SO GOOD and I ate so much I'm about to burst or barf or something. Here are some pics. We missed the out of town Nerds! All our love to the Mexico division, Philippine division, and Ontario division xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxxoxoxoxo!

Here we have bubblefest in the backyard--it was HOT and GORGEOUS and perfect for a barbeque. Happy Canada Day long weekend, everyone!


Louise and Kai




Bennett and I bonding over bubbles (I think he's forgiven me for spraining his ankle on the slide several months ago)

Louise and Kai

Chef Brent

Kai and Gary

Sam and Bennett

Silly Matthew

Sam, Bennett, and Ayden

The three prego mommies (both 'skinny' mommies are being investigated for twins...the nerds are now multiplying at exponential rates! Forget this one baby at a time thing!), Louise, Me, and Torie

This is what my oh, so mature husband does in his spare time with a camera: (he's so proud of himself. I think this rivals Gary and Andrew's photography work, seriously!)


Big hits: eating outside, the 'cocks' (Bennett speak for trucks) in our backyard toy box, the bubbles, the balls in our toy box (Kai is crazy for balls), frisbee, delicious food, watermelon, and the season's first cherries.
Bummers: mosquitos, having to say goodbye :-(

We'd a wonderful time. Sometimes it feels weird to be grown up enough to have kids and barbeques and morgages and all that...isn't that what my parents do?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Gorgeous day yesterday (and my day improved)

Yesterday afternoon at the park

Yesterday after dinner we went to the water park (very popular)

Good tag

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?

Ten years ago was June 1998. I was living in Victoria, just starting work at my new job at Butchart Gardens and anticipating a new school year (my third university year) at the University of Victoria. I loved working at the Gardens and was excited about going to a public university, but I missed my friends.

2) What are five things on my to-do list today (not in any particular order)?

sweep the floor
go to midwife appointment
matthew's soccer class
put CB's carseat in the car (Brent thinks I'm crazy but I've got this really strong nesting urge to get it done. I did that with Ayden's car seat around this stage of pregnancy, too. I think it is related to wanting to learn how the carseat works long before I'm in labour and can't really focus on it. It really needs to be done BEFORE I go into labour, as we need it to transport home from the hospital, and I barely trust myself to get installation right, let alone ANYONE ELSE)
sign Ayden up for fall soccer, and sign me up for a summer class of some kind

3) What snacks do I enjoy?

Uh, anything with sugar. Especially sour candies. But I don't really enjoy them because I don't eat sugar. It's not really enjoying if you're not putting them in your mouth!
Popcorn, smoothies, anything with cinnamon, fruit of all kinds, cheese.

4) Where are some places I've lived?

Vernon, Langley, Victoria, and Russia. (how long do you have to stay someplace before it qualifies as 'living' there? Seriously)

5) What things would I do if I were a billionaire?

Pay off all debts and buy a bigger house with a hobby farm. Give money to family. Give tons to charity. Adopt another kid. Travel, travel, travel. Buy a nice canon or nikon fancy digital camera with all the fancy lenses and take lessons in how to use it. Invest. Buy properties and fix them up for fun, then resell them (or give them away...wouldn't THAT be fun? To have enough money to GIVE people HOUSES?). Conquer my fear of the ocean and learn to scuba dive. Buy a hybrid. Stop worrying about paying for my kids' university education x 4. Get me a FREAKING MAID!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Week Thirty-Two

Your baby is up to 3.75 pounds (1702gm) now and is 16.7 inches (42.4cm) long.
You might notice she's not moving around as much now. Don't worry! She is fine -- just running short on room. She still has plenty of growing to do though, believe it or not!
All five senses are working. Your little one is fascinated and practicing testing these out as much as possible!
Toenails are completely formed even though she may not be quite ready for a French manicure.
Hair on your infant's head continues to grow in. Will he have dad's black hair or your red hair?
Brain scans have shown that babies have periods of dream sleep (REM) starting around the eight month. What do you suppose your son is dreaming about?


So so grouchy.
Last night I went to sleep at 12:30 and this morning I woke up inexplicably at 5:10 and did not return to dreamland. So, I am grouchy. And Brent is on nights, so I'm on duty for all three meals and all the hours of kid duty from waking up to going to bed, save an hour or two at suppertime when Brent will stagger out of bed, hair messy, and I will fall into bed but worry about dinner.
I really should go to the store for some fruit. But I am tired.
Oh boy, do I feel like a washed up cliche. The tired mom. Yikes!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Visual update on last few weeks

Snoozing at nana and grandad's house

Feeding the ducks

My view of C.B.

My dad's birthday party

Walk to the park

Feeding the squirrels at Campbell Valley Park (this was so popular, we did it two days in a row)

Ayden's preschool graduation last Friday