Tuesday, September 30, 2008

the domestic strikes again!

One of my goals this summer was to plan to avoid some BP-A exposure for my family this winter by canning my own tomatoes. I found it very difficult to find bulk tomatoes! Maybe next year I'll have to grow my own! My mom gave me two flats of plum tomatoes, and this afternoon, for the first time, I canned a vegetable (yes, Wheezer, I know tomatoes are technically fruit, but!...)
I took the red tomatoes out of here:

And put them in here (with a few intermediate steps):

I have nothing but good things to say about this baby, saves my butt every time:

In other news, here is a cute pic;

And some art from Matthew. This is a picture of Riley after he has eaten lots and lots of apples. The red thing is his belly button:

I went to visit my mom in Vernon this weekend! Brent was working so I packed up the three boys and drove 478 kilometres up to the Okanagan all by my self. I'm so proud. In fact, it was incredibly easy compared to what it could have been: I fed everyone and emptied their bladders/changed their bums as appropriate, and everyone was calm until the toll booth (which, by the way is now just a 'booth'--Gordon Campbell suddenly decided to eradicate the Coquihalla toll...three cheers for PR moves that save us money!!), where we pulled over to pee and breastfeed. Then everyone was calm until Kelowna, when Riley wanted to eat again but JUST before I pulled over he fell asleep again and we were good until my mom's place. So, we drove five hours with only one stop!
The weekend was great: Riley met his Gigi (great grandma on my mom's side) and an old family friend, Grandma Katie. We went to the beach I spent much of my childhood on, visited the Nature Centre and saw a real, live snake in the grass outside, among other things, and fed the ducks at Polson Park. We had fantastic weather, and my mom was awesome help with my kids as usual.
We chose to get up early Monday morning and drive home: we were blessed with the same configuration--everyone was okay until the toll booth where we peed and breastfed, and then we made it to Abbotsford before Riley woke up hungry. We made him wait until we got home (20 minutes)...boy was he PISSED OFF...I don't have any photogs of that, so you will have to use your imaginations! We made it home in time to get Ayden to kindergarten and Matthew to preschool. PERFECT! I think I just may be the Queen of Amazing Awesome Road Tripping and Beauty (why not get beauty in there too? Lol)!
When faced with parenting challenges these days I often think back to Riley's birth and think, "If I can do THAT, I can do this." Hence, a road trip with a five year old, four year old, and six week old, alone. It was actually fun. On the way up our portable DVD player broke (minor disaster), so Ayden and I made up stories to entertain us. Mine was about a girl who loved to travel and went to India with her sister and friend (true story, I did this when I was 23). She saw a beautiful white palace called the Taj Mahal, had a bunch of her money stolen from her, rode a train all the way across the country, ate BEAUTIFUL food like butter chicken (one of Ayden's favourites), yogurt and fresh fruit, and tea out of teacups you smash on the ground when you are finished with them (the Indian version of disposable cups...made of very thin clay intended for a single serving of tea), and saw a snake charmer with a pet snake in a basket, who came out and danced when the snake charmer played its flute. Ayden liked the snake charmer part of the story the best. I never told him it was a true story.
He told me two stories, but, sad to say, I didn't hear them because my right ear is still out of commission from my ear infection in July. In the car he sits behind me and to my right. Luckily he didn't get offended because I responded appropriately at the right times with "Oh, really?" and "That's neat!"
We had a fantastic time. Here are some pics with the grannies:

Grandma Katie

Monday, September 29, 2008

Ayden's photog album

(photog is a funny term used frequently on a friend's blog...i think i'll swipe it!) Ayden loves to take photogs. some of his 'work' is really quite interesting; so wide open and unencumbered by shoulds/intellectual arrogance/conventions. he simply takes photogs of things he likes. Enjoy the art of a five year old!

i love this picture, because my son took it (and it helps that i look like a teenager in it)

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Since I came out with this idea of mine to go to midwifery training, I have had two women (a friend and my sister) express to me that they would love that particular job, except for the responsibility involved.
I find this interesting, because the level of responsibility being an obstacle had not even occurred to me...in fact, the level of responsibility being a factor had not even occurred to me. This struck me as being strange--for both of these women the level of responsibility was enough to be a contributing factor in deterring them from actually considering midwifery as a career, but for me it didn't register. After some thinking (and a few minutes of worrying that I might, in fact, be a sociopath or something?), I realized that my job has taught me how to deal with the type of responsibility involved in dealing with peoples' lives and health. Of course, I have never had to resuscitate a baby, but I certainly have with adults. Not only that, but paramedics are generally the type of people who run TOWARDS disaster, chaos, mass casualty, fires, pain, death, and other shit that messes up the psyche. We get used to this level of responsibility. Now, I CAN remember being petrified every time my work pager went off, and I've certainly been scared to 'run' a call--as in, be the person in charge who triages, differentially diagnoses, and makes a treatment plan (fully responsible for the patient's immediate health, mode of extrication, treatment, transportation, and utilisation of freaky resources like Search and Rescue, Air Ambulances, Advanced Life Support paramedics, fire, police, bystanders, hospital staff, etc, with all the messy interpersonal politics that this entails), but this fear has been something I walk towards and not away from. I always assumed (1) I would do the best I could, (2) I would learn to move past the fear, and (3) what was on the other side of the fear would be a really cool experience.
Now, I'm not criticizing my friend or my sister; I'm noting the difference between us. And I'm noting not to criticize, but to note the fact that we are all made differently, and it's so good that this is so. People often comment that they could NEVER do my job, and my response to them is always that it's pretty cool how diverse people are in their desires, skill sets, and talents. There are many jobs I could never do also! (preschool teacher and basketball player topping the list) I also thought it interesting to note that my experience as a paramedic will help me to deal with the level of responsibility involved in being a midwife, if that is the path I choose to take.
It is also interesting that now that I am considering becoming a midwife, my current job seems LESS satisfactory than it used to. I keep mulling over the negative parts of being a paramedic in this province. The weird and nasty pay system. The transfers (shoot me, shoot me, $200 is NOT enough to work 10 hours of transfer car--it is SO BORING). The germs. The superbugs. Crabby people. The divergent expectations--for example, we are expected to show up AS FAST AS POSSIBLE but to drive AS SAFELY AS POSSIBLE: or to never make medical mistakes/misjudgements. You can't expect people to be both human (compassionate and empathetic) and superhuman (never make mistakes). The boys' club. The union. Hospital waits. Missing a cool call by half an hour. Pager tones half an hour before shift change--especially for boring calls. Hours and hours of driving. Boring. Boring. Boring.
So funny! I always knew these negative things about my job, but I'm feeling considerably less tolerant of them now that I'm contemplating a change; perhaps because we try to make the best of things when we don't have options? Plus the trade off was WICKED--adrenaline rushes, and really helping people, and fascinating medical mysteries/events, and weird shit, and never, ever having 'just another day at the office.' These are my favourite things about my job: Code 3 driving. The rush of saving a life. Impacting people in a positive way when they are in crisis. Blood, guts, gore, and really cool heavy equipment/machinery. Being in the community, people's homes, their cars, and their lives, and helping them. And, the really hilarious black humour that comes out of most of us after a few years on the job.
I'm not sure that black humour would be appreciated in a midwife, but I'd certainly get to impact people in a positive way, and be in their homes and lives, and see some blood and guts (hopefully no gore)! There are boring aspects of midwifery, I'm sure--but nothing beats an ambulance transfer. How boring is it to be a trained medical professional and then take a stable patient from one facility to another? Sometimes all day? SNORE. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....
I sure would miss the air ambulance calls, though. And the code 3 driving.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Photo essay of the past week

Open house at Ayden's kindergarten;

Ella and the boys reunited after several months

Look at Ella's face...she loves her cousins SO much!

Matthew's birthday party!

Our trip to Tacoma for So You Think You Can Dance (and Riley's first road trip)
This is Rowenna and Riley

My friend Melissa (everyone calls me Vose and her Wyville and the third Melissa in our church Wilson), trying very hard to get the proper face on for a photo

I laughed so hard I almost peed.

This is Becca


Stellar road tripper, Riley Vose

Plum picking at grandma and grandpa's

White Rock with Ella, Brian, and Billie

We found a jellyfish!

Mini nerdfest at Chapman's

I post many photos of Riley sleeping in weird configurations: this is to prove that he DOES actually sleep on his back, as recommended (most days he sleeps without a blanket as well, as recommended, though in this photo he is not. I own 2 sleep sacs which I LOVE for keeping him warm without a blanket)

Like father, like son

At dinner tonight we were killing ourselves laughing, taking random silly photos of each other (LOVE digital for instant visuals and no worries about wasting film!)

I've been trying SO HARD to get this photo, and tonight I got it! Usually the lip is gone by the time I get the camera past its time delay. This is now my desktop pic. Wouldn't you just give this kid ANYTHING he asked for? Too cute!