Wednesday, April 30, 2008


So this morning I got up at 6 to attend a work seminar in Coquitlam. I got ready, left around 7 to leave myself time for traffic as my class started at 8:30, and was pleasantly surprised to cross the bridge in under 40 minutes. Awesome, plenty of time. I took the wrong turnoff and had to go ALL the way round the Mary Hill bypass and back the Lougheed to Riverview, where my course was offered. This took an additional 30 minutes. I arrived at Riverview, which is a massive collection of medical buildings largely devoted to mental health, with a warren of roads cris-crossing each other across the property. I promptly got lost. I turned around, found a site map, and managed to get back to the building that offered my course, found parking, and sought out the classroom we were in for the day. I walked in at 8:25 to a dark, empty classrom.
The class was yesterday. I missed it completely by 24 hours.
Total, total baby brain.

Then later in the day Brent and I realized that for tomorrow morning, he gets off work at 5:00 a.m. and I need to leave for work at 5:00 a.m. So someone has to look after the sleeping children from 5 until 5:20 or so when Brent gets home (if he gets off work on time)! I arranged for the boys to sleep at their grandparents' place so that they would be looked after during that shift overlap and all was good. Until half an hour ago when I realized that I don't need to leave tomorrow until 7:00.
More baby brain!

I've officially sacrificed my brainpower for little Mr. Vose. Based on previous experience I should be smart again when I'm finished breastfeeding, so expect some inarticulate nonsense now for several years!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Embarrassing, and Stu was watching. And screaming.

Okay, so most of you know that Matthew has this party trick. When he gets really upset, or if he bangs his head, he holds his breath until he turns a sickly colour and faints. Rampant Stu territory, friends. Rampant. If Tomfits AND breath holding/fainting happen simultaneously, the only thing in my life is Stu. Guilty, guilty, guilty.
I always feel guilty when Matthew faints. Stu tells me that if I were a better mother, Matthew would never feel sad, and definately never, ever faint.
Okay, so this morning we went to swimming lessons and we were LATE which usually makes me struggle with Tomfits because I really, really, really hate to be late for things. There are four people in our family, and three of them are chronically late. This shortens my life expectancy for the stress of it all! Anyways, we were late so I was hustling them. Not horribly, but definately hustling. On the sidewalk outside the Community Centre Matthew lost his shoe, but I didn't notice until we were a minute beyond it (because he was silently holding his breath but I didn't know it, upset by losing his favourite shoe and by my failure to slow down for retrieval purposes). When I noticed, I sent him back for it. I still didn't know he was holding his breath. He's short. Breath holding is silent. I couldn't see his face! Anyways, 2 feet from his shoe, PLUNK, down he goes, nose on the concrete, faceful of dirt. Oh my !@#$%^&*. OF COURSE we have witnesses. Witnesses never really understand breath holding.
Loud noise from Stu.

So we sort that out and rush to swimming. The boys swim. I work out in the gym. Everyone has endorphins in their system and the prospect of a snack at the Community Centre cafe after we get dressed, our weekly routine, so we're happy. Then Matthew falls off the changeroom bench backwards, lands on his head, and promptly faints again. AUGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! This time was not as bad, because it was only GENERALLY my fault he fainted this time. I should have been more diligent, but it really wasn't that predictable that he would fall off backwards, and it wasn't my fault. The hustling was my fault.
Stu still talked, but he was quieter and easier to subdue.
Still, fainting twice in one morning is unusual these days. When he first came home, he fainted 2-3 times a day, held his breath up to 9 times a day, and sometimes fainted once every two hours on bad days. Now he's down to once every 3 months or so?

On a cheerier note, I registered both boys for school next year (Ayden kindergarten, Matthew preschool) and they were both excited to visit their schools. Matthew was almost VIBRATING with excitement over the prospect of being old enough to go to preschool. Ayden was moderately enthusiastic.

Both boys helped me make dinner, which they declared 'gross.' It was good! Italian sausage, rice, veggies...yum.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Tamie posted a beautiful sermon today

Here's an exerpt (sp?)

It is very natural that we wonder what Jesus’ words mean to us individually, because it is deeply engrained in us that we are individuals. But actually, we are as much individuals as branches on a tree are individuals. Yes, you can point to a particular branch and say that it is a branch, distinct from the other branches, or the roots. But, the branch is so profoundly a part of the tree that if it broke off the tree it would die. If the other branches caught a disease, that branch would eventually catch the disease. Everything that happens to the tree, happens to that branch.

read the rest here:



Brent is back at work today. We went to church, had lunch, made applesauce together, and the boys watched Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium while I started supper. So, a nice day.
Until now.
We have no ginger. I thought I had turned on the oven to preheat but I was mistaken and didn't discover it until my dish was ready to go in. Brent bought too much meat, too many onions, and the wrong kind of rice when i sent him shopping on Friday. He left me a disgusting kitchen to clean today (I worked yesterday), and he didn't even feed the boys supper because they went to their grandparents' place so the kitchen really shouldn't have been a disaster. The boys won't stop fighting. Matthew broke a toy. Matthew keeps changing his clothes every hour or so, despite being told NOT TO (creativity and imagination are GREAT-- a week's worth of laundry being made in one day is NOT). I'm pissed. And I feel guilty because he's in a time out for changing his clothes and because I spanked him for breaking the toy. Stu, Stu, I can't get away from you. It's not just Stu that's bothering me. It's this other guy, Tomfits (Too Mad For The Situation). Why am I so cranky? These are small problems! Yet they're driving me INSANE! Partly, I hate cooking. Cooking new dishes is stressful for me. Not having the ingredients I need for a new dish that I'm stressed about making is pretty much fatal.

I actually feel much better, having poured this all out to you.
Thanks, blog readers.
Hopefully you don't think I'm aweful for being so cranky.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Rob asked for some stories...

I don't have the best talent for telling stories, but I've a few things to note about the trip here and there.
First of all, it was surprisingly financially possible (though definately not WISE per se) to fly all four of us to Maui for a week. We waited for seat sales on flights and managed to fly, all four of us, for $1600. We rented a condo for a week (off season starts April 15th and we arrived April 16th so accomodations were cheaper) for another $1500. We brought another $1000 for food and entertainment and, since we had a condo we saved on food costs because we ate all breakfasts, some lunches, and one dinner at the condo. We spent a bit more than the $1000 all told because we went on the snorkling trip, to the aquarium, a Luau, and a few other things that cost some money. So, for a bit over $4000, you have a four person trip to Hawaii (could be done for less, if one did fewer touristy things and cooked at home more). Food is EXPENSIVE on Maui. We had two meals we were happy with as far as quality, and didn't spend less than $50 for four people at a single meal. Except one. Tacos at a roadside stand were $30 and gross.
Anyways, our goals for this trip were to reward ourselves for 6 months of hard work and separation, get away from the responsibilities of everyday life, relax, and spend some time together re-bonding as a family.
Both grandmothers offered to come 'to babysit' for us, but the point was for the four of us to spend time together. So the four of us spent time together. It was awesome!
The morning of our departure was a bit squirrely...last minute packing and errands took up most of the morning, and then we took off for Seattle late and got to the game late. It was fine. We had fun at the game and the boys HAD to have Mariner's hats from the store afterwards, including Brent and the baby. :-) The store and the hats were Matthew's idea, and he was quite persistant about it, otherwise we may have left the stadium without entering the store at all! I should have gotten one, too, but was thinking of 'saving money' being the cheapwad that I am so I didn't get one for myself. Now I wish I had so we would all have one!
We went to Krispy Kreme for should have seen the boys' EYES as fresh donuts whipped past them and afterwards there was jam and icing everywhere. Matthew cleaned up all our garbage for us, one piece at a time. That kid loves to clean!
The next day on the plane Matthew got increasingly anxious--he peed (on the toilet) a total of SEVEN times in 5 hours, cried a lot, and kept frantically saying "SORRY MOMMY, SORRY DADDY, SORRY AYDEN" and SOBBING for minor things like dropping his Hot Wheels on the floor, or getting a piece of rice on his shirt. He also kept incessantly asking if we were all going to be together when we got to Hawaii. Some part of him knows, big airplane rides and lots of travel means sometimes you lose someone you love. :-( Poor stinker.

Once we stepped off the plane and he had a nap in his carseat he felt much better. That first beach visit was seriously worth the entire cost of the trip, and the time involved in getting there. I could have flown home that night and been quite satisfied! It was so good to see the boys so happy and carefree and excited about being on the beach, and to be together. Ayden and I built a sandcastle with a moat and a drawbridge, and the waves kept threatening the castle. He was furious! It was very funny! A good lesson in 'there are some things in life we cannot control!'

Also, the next day the boys put on their snorkel masks and pranced around the beach. Matthew posed very seductively for me (see previous post) and I laughed so hard I farted and the people next to us on the beach were polite enough to pretend they hadn't heard it, but I know they did.
That reminds me, when we first got to Maui and were waiting by the baggage carousel for our luggage, I sneaked out a fart that I thought was small enough to get away with but turned out to be unstoppably big, sort of loud, and totally stinky, you know the ones? They sneak up on you in a crowd. Anyways, I just sort of stepped away from it and hoped no one would figure out it was me in the melee near the carousel. I didn't count on Ayden standing behind me and blurting fairly loudly, "Aw, mommy's bum stinks! Mommy, you're stinky!" I was laughing so hard I could hardly shush him. "Why shhh?" Because if you fart in a crowd you don't want anyone else to know it was you, that's why!!! "Oh."
I'm a gassy person.
It drives my husband crazy.

Also, we tried to hit an outdoor market near our condo FOUR TIMES before we finally clued in to their hours of operation. The first three times we showed up just as all the shops were closing.

We had to buy 2 shark grabber toys on train day and Matthew lasted about an hour and a half before he purposefully snapped it in two. Guess how happy I was to have wasted $3 on that stupid thing BEFORE it was broken? Then he wanted to go back and get another one and cried when we said no. Welcome to the world of consequences, dear one. Beg for a toy, get the toy, break the toy, and it's gone.
We also bought him a stuffed dolphin he very much desired, which he promptly lost the following day. We did actually go back and buy him another dolphin. He was heartbroken and it wasn't intentional (he gets distracted. He has a one track mind so if he gets interested in something, all else in the world fades, including 'where is my beloved dolphin?' also including, 'where are my feet, will they get tangled up if I start to run right now?' and, 'is there anything on the floor I may trip on between me and the object of my affection?' He trips a lot. He also insists on wearing his shoes on the wrong feet....'Me wike it dat way,' so that doesn't help his balance).

Ayden shows his stress by licking his lips until the entire circumference of his mouth is chapped and bleeding, and by holding his pee. The kid can hold his pee for up to four hours. Four HOURS of hopping up and down, and humping the floor, the couch, the bed, and the pillows. He also gets quite cranky when holding his pee. He held his pee most days that we were in Maui. He shows incredible restraint: he wil demonstrate that he "doesn't have to pee!" by pulling down his pants, standing in front of the toilet, and waiting for a few minutes, then tucking it all away again without peeing. "See? No pee!" (drops to the floor and starts humping). He's hilarious. And frustrating. Of all the things to choose to be hypercontrolling of, why pee? Then of course when he finally gives in he is so desparate to get his clothes off that he's screaming and frantic and flopping and sometimes pisses all over his legs as he attempts to get the pee OUT of his very full bladder. I have a large bladder and can go quite long between pees, but this kid has me beat. Fo sho.

Matthew is very gregarious. Most people we meet or pass by or are standing near are treated to a loud, "HI! ME FREE!" with three fingers held up for clarity. Everywhere we go people laugh and tickle him and engage him in conversation, and admonish us about how cute he is. Well, Matthew met his match in the Seattle airport. "HI! ME FREE!" accented with hops, a grin, sparkly eyes, and three fingers. The man literally stared him down. We laughed afterwards for hours about Stone Faced Man, capable of resisting the sweetest, cutest, most gregarious, sparkliest three year old on the planet. "ME MAFEW! DAT AYDEN!" I think he was confused at the lack of response, especially when Stone Faced Man made eye contact and didn't respond like others do.
His loss.
Matthew didn't mind. He turned around and jumped in the other direction. "HI! ME FREE!" If you really were free kiddo, everyone you meet would gladly take you home. Good thing you're stuck with us!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Wow, oh wow

Our trip was FANTASTIC! Beyond words. The only sad thing about it was leaving. I've posted a shitload of pictures, so be prepared!! :-D
I limited myself to five pix per day but a few of the days were so full or so fantastic they required more than five.
Tuesday we drove to Seattle for an overnight stay, and caught a Mariner's baseball game ($12 seats! woohoo!), which was very fun. We actually were so late for the game that we only caught innings 4 1/2 through 9, but it turned out to be a blessing because it was so cold in the stadium that people were leaving partway through the game. The Mariners won, which we were happy about (except Ayden, who decided to be controversial and cheer for the Royals from Kansas City).

This first day we arrived, we had only a few hours of afternoon sunshine to accomplish quite a few things, like renting a car and grocery shopping, but we went to the beach for an hour after all our errands, and I tell you THAT hour on the beach was worth the cost of the entire trip. My boys were elated. I took a self portrait to show you how happy I was!

The boys LOVED the beach until partway through this day, when Brent tripped on a rock with Ayden in his arms and they tumbled around in the surf, knocked over by a big wave. After that any seawater that sniffed at Ayden's feet had him running and screaming, but he still liked the sand.

This was an incredibly full day. We went to the beach for a bit, drove North to the Sugar Cane Train, an hour long round trip steam engine ride, and then went to a "Lu-How" (Aydenspeak) for supper:

Beach day!

Snorkling in Molokini, the best snorkling spot in the entire world! I am so petrified of the ocean, but look at me in there, smiling away! Actually we paid $80 each for this trip (kids free) and Brent, Ayden, and Matthew (and half of the other passengers) wound up seasick because it was quite windy that day. I had a blast, but nobody else enjoyed it!!

Aquarium visit and sunset on Big Beach in South Maui: