Saturday, December 3, 2011


Well we've had quite a week, it was one of those run around a lot and not accomplish much kind of weeks. We had a some great milestones though.
Nadine turned 6! Watching the kids personalities and interests develop fascinates me. I really do love the way their minds learn and how they explain and reteach what they've learned. Six seems to be a great age. It's full of information...full. I am apparetly a little less thick in the head than when she was five, so that's encouraging. It seems, somehow I ended up with one of the sweetest little girls on the planet, and for that I am truly thankful.
Nadine is in school swimming lessons this week, she's also practicing her munchkin-ness to be a munchkin in the Wizard-of-Oz play for the Christmas concert at the school.
We had 6 girls here yesterday for a 6th birthday extravaganza. Nadine had a great time. We painted Christmas ornaments, decorated cupcakes, and there was intermittent episodes of shrieking leaving Ryan and Braeden pondering the complications of having so many girls in one place...

Ryan had one of his own great milestones this week. Deflating an apparently self righteous police officer on a playschool field trip. Being known as a person that lacks in a lot of sentiment I will tell you this story brought a tear to my eye, if only I could have been there to see it myself. Wednesday was a busy school day. First day of swimming lessons for Nadine (which I went to help and watch) and a playschool field trip for Ryan (which Tim went to help supervise). I thoroughly enjoyed swimming lessons, and Tim was thoroughly entertained by the field trip. He found out a lot of interesting information about the families that Ryan goes to school with :)
The tour started at the fire hall. To see the fire truck was a highlight, and I do mean highlight of Ryan's day. Fire trucks are cool I'll admit, and it impressed Ryan to see one. Far more impressive, evidently than the police car. A police car can't shoot water, there's no extra gauges or trucks are just cool.
Now for all the police officers I've known who are great, the next part of this story is irrelevant. However, I'm sure we've all met (after all these people are in every field of life and work...anesthetist leap to mind but in this case the example was RCMP) the pompous, arrogant, self important guy who for some reason is left to tour the playschool through the police station. So the playschool got a tour of the Sargent's desk and a political lecture about how there was no Sargent there right now and the implications of that (as though the 4-5 year olds cared or were going to write their MLA?). "Does anyone know anyone who's been in jail?" huh?! "Ya my mom's from here" one child piped up...incidentally inaccurately but sometimes it's nice to have something to add during an interrogation. I think it's odd he decided to tell the kids all about the drunk tank...but whatever, we each have a different approach to our job.
So while they all sat together in a holding cell Ryan asked the officer
Ryan: Do you have a fire truck?
Cop: No but I have a police car and I could show you that!
Ryan: No I wanna see the fire truck
Cop: (deflated realizing he's less interesting than the fire hall)
and Tim's heart sang :) and mine smiled when he texted me at swimming lessons to tell me about it.

Braeden has had the milestone of sitting on the toilet, backwards, with a Richard Scary "Cars and Trucks and Things That Go" book propped up against the tank.
What doesn't "Go" is Braeden, but that's OK. Secretly I really really don't want him to get partial to that before we travel for Christmas. Potty training through the mountain passes in December is a lousy idea in my opinion. Really limited dangling or squatting spots off the side of the road if there's a need for that.

I've finally finished the 2011 Christmas calendar, which every year as I fight with the Costco uploading photos function I say something to the effect of "I'm never doing this blankety blanking thing again" while drinking rum and egg nog...that part helps. Every year I do another calendar though. That calendar and I have a love hate relationship...but I suppose some day I'll enjoy having those to look at again.
What I'm really looking forward to is wrapping up 2011 but with 4 weeks to go...woot woot bring on 2012!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Can you hear me now?

This morning I started being interrogated about my hearing. I was trying to sit and have a cup of coffee and egg nog when it started.
Nadine (with a book that makes sheep sounds standing right beside me): Mom can you hear this?
Me: Yes
Nadine (muffles the sound making part): Can you hear it now?
Me: Yes I can.
Nadine (moves a few feet away and muffles the book): What about now?
Me: Yep
Nadine (moves yet again further away by a few feet at a time and asks again...repeat procedure...become a bit frustrated that I can still hear it...finally heads upstairs and asks from there): OK can you hear it NOW?
Me: Yes
Nadine (exasperated groan stomps a little further): WHAT ABOUT NOW!?
Me: Nope can't hear it now.
Nadine (to Ryan who's playing upstairs): OK Ryan mom can't hear us if we are here.

Hmmmm, I wondered for a moment if they were trying to find the best place to discuss my Christmas gift? Probably not. But I appreciate her tenacity to finish her experiment.
"Don't give up! If at first you don't succeed...try again!!
She'll be 6 on Wednesday!! Yay for 6!

Ryan continues to try and convince or confuse me into letting him drive. Earlier I think I mentioned him coming into the house while I was busy working on something and tried
Ryan: Hey mom can you throw me the keys to the quad?
Me: What? um, no not right now buddy
Ryan (shrugs as though it was worth a try)

Ryan: Mom I'm older (as I'd told him he needed to be) and I'm ready to be Uncle Doug's driver. I'm really ready for the open road.
Me: I guess I meant a little older still. Big like your cousins.
Ryan (shrugs as though it was worth a try)

Sometimes I wish I could bring myself to buy him a power wheels thing.

Braeden is becoming ridiculously conversational. He loves to sing. He spent most of the other day singing the Hallelujah Chorus, and has spent most of today singing "Yucky yucky me" a song from TV that in fact is "Lucky lucky me" but either way makes me smile.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Coffee, eggnog and painted socks.

I find it incredibly hard to blog sometimes. I would love to go on and on about why but that would not likely be very productive. At the moment I need to jam in as much productivity as I can it seems like. I guess I should say, I should be trying to jam in as much productivity as I can, but well...egg nog came out in stores so coffee and egg nog is often make that always a lot more compelling than cleaning the bathroom but it makes a great blogging buddy. I should keep that in mind.

So since I last wrote to you we've done a few minor repairs. The most relevant to me and the kids being a minor krazy glue repair to Ryan's very split chin. Bob the builder makes building a ramp look really really easy, and ultimately it can be, unless you want the flimsy strip of OSB to hold your 35lb self up while propped onto the second step of the porch. Then you're probably going to get a lesson in how not to build a ramp. Followed by a second lesson in impromptu tool box medicine.
Ryan is, as always very keenly interested in machines. We spent a glorious harvest tucked into the back window of Grandpa's combine or riding along hauling grain with Uncle Doug. I'm fairly confident those will be some long lasting happy memories for my second born.
He spent a bit of time drying grain with Uncle Doug too. Now he will re-enact that in our kitchen. To re-enact drying grain all you need is a chair, a cup of coffee and some patience.
Ryan: Mom I'm drying grain
Me: Oh
Ryan: Ya mom I'll need a cup of coffee (as he moves a chair into the kitchen). And noooooowww we sit.
My job at that point is to provide snacks and not to laugh audibly.

He still enjoys to teach me about machines. I had a lesson in "seven pointy seven" aircraft a while ago. I can't say I really followed a lot of the material but I always enjoy a good chat with my boy.

Braeden also had his first combine ride. I wasn't sure what he'd think of the combine, it's big and loud but when I climbed up the ladder with him and he found his Grandpa he leaped into his lap and turned to me with a huge grin and waved offering me a "bye bye mom", he had found paradise. Braeden has a way of being quite a challenge when there's a lot of buttons and levers to pull. Ryan is pretty respectful of those things, seemingly aware that alterations made by him might not increase the effectiveness of the operations. Braeden doesn't at this point care. He just wants to pull levers, press buttons, and yank on the steering wheel. How great.

Nadine also had a lot to tell me about airplanes and the theory of flight. Her theory didn't quite line up with the currently held theory of flight but given that the currently held theory of flight doesn't allow for bumblebee's to fly...well perhaps she's onto something. I really wish I'd have taken notes when she was telling me about it. It was a bit too complex for me to retain, evidently. It involved naps, bright rainbows and a few other things.
Nadine seems to be doing well at school. She really likes to go. She got her report card the other day. A couple A's and a couple B's...well and an unsatisfactory in German but really my German isn't exactly satisfactory either.
She was telling me recently
Nadine: Mom school can sure be awkward
Me: Oh, what part
Nadine: The falling asleep in math part
Me: well yes that can be awkward.
I'm really curious to see if that comes up at parent teacher interviews tomorrow.

She is growing like a weed, well all the kids are but I really notice her looking like a school kid now as opposed to like a little kid. She's a real charming girl. Hard to believe she'll be 6 in just over a week.

While Nadine is at school Braeden and Ryan are often left to help me workout in the morning. They're great at helping me. They offer some advice on form and jump up and down encouragingly.
Ryan: She JUST said not to stop mom. KEEP MOVING.
or another one of my favorites
Ryan: Mom that's not really how she's doing it on the TV. Swing your leg higher mom.
So I tried to take that "that's not how she's doing it" concept and turn it into a lesson in being yourself. Don't buckle to peer pressure. We're all different...I'm not sure if that worked but it was something to fill the void as regained the ability to breath. I'm pretty sure it fell on kind of deaf ears as "She JUST said not to stop mom" followed my insightful lecture.
In the mean time Braeden leaps up and down and tries to do his best to participate in the workout. All the kids are now proficient at "flap jacks" (or jumping jacks in most other houses) and even skaters. Brilliant little workout prodigies

If left unattended the boys can produce a heck of a mess when Nadine is at school. Well they can do it when she's home too but for some reason I've deluded myself into thinking it should be less busy with one child out and occupied but, well, it's not.
You know the sound of water being poured out of a bucket? it makes a certain splashing, and depending on how much water is in the bucket it can continue to splash on for what seems like a while as you process what exactly you're hearing and why. Well that's the sound of my boys building a car wash in the upstairs playroom. Interestingly with the 'short shag' carpet, it takes quite an amount of water to be poured to even get to the splashing sound. Interesting hey? The things you learn.
I'm glad they chose to do that on laundry day.

All the kids really love art. To derail a bad day I'll often break out the paint, or give them the little indestructible digital camera, or playdough...although I detest playdough. It works though. They really get into their art, and their art gets all over them. I've become completely disconnected from the clean up that will be required after an art extravaganza. It takes away from the amount of stuff I can get done while the art is in progress. They all are aware it needs to stay at the table, and other than that...well whatever. I do often sit with them while they do it. Mostly because it's really interesting and they come up with a lot of great, and original thoughts while they are creating their masterpieces. Having said that I realize that while I've been blogging and egg nogging Braeden has painted my sock...I didn't even know he had paint. Also greatly timed with laundry day.
I swear there is only coffee in the eggnog.
sigh. :)

well that's all for now the next load of laundry is patiently awaiting its turn.

Monday, October 3, 2011

it's FINALLY monday

Well "it's finally Monday Dad!!" Significant being that today, Monday, THIS Monday is the day Ryan can board the school bus for playschool. He woke up a bit nervous. I was surprised about that, but his jitters quickly turned to elation as the time of bus boarding drew nearer.
Then Nadine's pep talks started
Nadine: Do you want to play with me at recess Ryan? You can meet my friend Molly. Mrs Tetreau is very nice Ryan, you'll really like her. You get to sit with ME on the bus! I'll show you where to hang your backpack and jacket. You'll have a hook I have one too but we'll be in different classes.
Ryan: um OK
Nadine: (puts hands on Ryan's shoulders and talks in her most serious tone) Ryan, it's your first day of school (hugs him) good luck at playschool buddy.
Me: (attempts not to laugh audibly)

Nadine didn't actually sleep well last night. She wanted to talk about things, life, her thoughts on growing up.
Nadine: Mom, why doesn't grandma have any kids.
Me: She does but we all grew up and got older
Nadine: (bursts into tears) I don't want to move out!
Me: You're welcome to live here forever.
Nadine: But I want to be a zookeeper (more tears)
Me: (in hopes of just getting the girl some sleep) Great we'll open a zoo. But we can't open one until you're 16 years old. (hoping she'll have changed her mind on growing up by then and for now...just go to sleep, but I thought the concept required some boundary's)
Nadine: OK great mom.

So while I make plans for where to put the giraffe barn, we'll hope Ryan has a first day at playschool. God be with his teacher, I'm not sure he'll be able to stop talking the whole excited.

And low and behold I've figured out why I don't cry at my childrens milestones

Women who drink four cups of coffee a day are 20 per cent less likely to become depressed than women who rarely drink coffee, U.S. researchers said on last week.

Read more:

If 4 cups leaves one "less likely to become depressed" perhaps the amount I drink leaves me unable to shed a tear at all...
Just a theory...that I'll carry on testing

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

School and things.

Well this month marked the start of a new era for us. Grade 1. Sheesh I'm not sure how the last (nearly) 6 years went by in a matter of weeks but they have and so we embark upon school. School is cool, especially Nadine's school.
These days of school have been very different for me and the boys. It's been really interesting to get to know Ryan separate from his older sister. Therein lays the bright side. That is I'd far rather have the kids home, but school does offer a few benefits as well, so when looking for the bright side...that's the one I found. I'm not actually mushy about the kids growing up, I didn't cry when Nadine started school like I've heard happens for so many moms. But lets not equate that to how much I love them because that love is immeasurably enormous.

Nadine made it 6 school days and today has powered out and taken the day off. It's apparently really hard to be a full time school girl when you're not quite 6. Truthfully I think it's remarkably hard to do when you're any age, but I keep thinking this would be so much easier if I could just get her to sleep.... But I can't so it is what it is. She's learned a lot already this year. She's reads well, she tells me all the trials and tribulations of math but in the end "I just tried my best and I got all my numbers right!" success :). She's also quite excited about the Terry Fox run coming up at the end of the month. Running, as far as athleticism goes, is really her thing. Which makes my heart happy.
As far as other things go Nadine's love of animals is really really her 'thing'. She and I taught Cleo to jump over an obstacle the other day. She was pretty darn proud of herself (Nadine that is) Cleo was just waiting for the cookie at the end of the project. There is a long list of animals that "we should get" according to Nadine. It's an exhausting list including zebra's, rabbits, horses, a giraffe, and includes any other animal we encounter. She was also going to try and hatch an egg under her pillow. She'd spend all her time in the chicken pen if given the opportunity and thought it would be fun to have a baby chick hatch in her room. "Why do you always know to look under my pillow at bedtime?" I was asked with exasperated tone. It's been challenging this summer to keep a menagerie of animals and critters out of our house. We seem to think inviting in all the frogs, grasshoppers, caterpillars etc is where it's at. Thereby when we walk in sideways with our hands in our pockets or behind our back it's always a good idea to ask.
Nadine: Why do you always know!?
Me: Same way my mom always knew.
Ryan is fascinating. He's got a memory like a steel trap, he's developed a love of coloring, drawing, writing letters (he's really good at all of them) and likes to learn some new words to read every day. He is going to start playschool. That is a bit nerve wracking for me. We've discussed the fact that he'll have to do what his teacher asks of him. When it's time to put away the toys and come for story time he'll have to do so. The funny thing about Ryan is he can be very politely disobedient.
"Ryan it's time to do ______"
"No thank you."
God bless his teacher.
Strangely I think playschool will probably be a great experience for him, and if he surprises me and doesn't like it he sure doesn't have to go.
Ryan: Mom I want to go to school. I want to go to school and I want to have a flying desk.
Me: I don't think they have flying desks Ryan.
Ryan: Yes mom, and I want one.
Me: We'll see.

It's challenging for Ryan to enjoy watching Nadine get on the bus and not be able to get on with her. Last year, when Nadine was in Kindergarten and boarding the bus just 2 days a week we did OK. We wanted to get on but it wasn't a huge deal. Now the darn thing comes every single day and he's not been on it even once. He was unsure why Nadine chose not to get on it today. Who wouldn't want to get on a bus? It's what he's been waiting years for.
But alas as she sweetly walked out to the bus with her dad, her dogs, her backpack, and her brother, the whole group, Nadine included, returned.
As we established earlier school is tiring when you're 5. This morning the first question from Nadine before any other utterance was...
Nadine: Is it a school day today
Me: Yes and good morning
Nadine: Again! Every single day! Every single day is a school day! When is it not going to be a school day? Good morning mom.

Usually if I can get Nadine through breakfast and a leisurely morning ritual she's happy to go to school. Today she was happy to go as far as the end of the driveway, then there were tears and "I can't do it" for today. :) What a girl.
Today while skipping school she outlined that "Ryan's going to go to playschool, he just has to play all day. Just play. I have to do ALL the work!!" It's evidently quite challenging to be the oldest...I wouldn't know. But it's interesting to observe the birth order fantasticness within my little test group here.

Braeden is a menace, I'm just going to come out and say I'm afraid for life as we know it as he gets older and only more independent. Right this moment I'm ignoring the fact that he's doing his level best to create a swamp in the kitchen. I'm ignoring it because right now I'd rather have an uninterrupted cup of coffee and a few minutes at the computer. Water is fairly easy to dry up so for now I will pretend I don't know about it and drink coffee and blog. Something I enjoy to do but the blog part I often neglect (I've started several but finish almost none of them). The coffee part I am far more diligent about finishing.
Anywho, I've seen far more of Braeden's blood in his 1.5 years of life than I have from my other 2 kids in the nearing 6 years of life I've been a parent for both the other kids combined. Statistically that makes me a bit leery about our future. I'm going to have to pick up some krazy glue... Split lips, bloody noses, scraped up limbs he tries so hard to keep up to his siblings and he has NO IDEA he's half their size.
He can show you where his hair, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, belly button, toes, and chub is. He's got words coming like crazy, each day is many many new ones and they're all fabulous. His little voice is darling if I do say so myself.

Tim's business is busy. Really busy but in a good way. He has hunting tags for us an elk and a deer this season and has high hopes of getting both. He found a herd of elk that he's been talking to for the last 2 evenings. We've butchered most of our chickens that we plan to butcher. We've 13 more roosters that I'll look forward to beheading this weekend. They've make me love the rooster we do have so much more, and they've made me better at football...I'll enjoy eating them.

I've been enjoying taking pictures. I really do love it. It's therapeutic and it's helped me like people again, or most of them. I spent the summer not very fond of the human race but somehow photography helps me with my new found poor attitude. Photography and running, running really does get the snot out of my brain as my children put it. I've made more time for it recently. That or biking. I finally after many years without, have a bike, and a trailer for up to 2 of the kids which often leaves the 3rd disgruntled, but if you bike away fast enough you don't really hear that much about it...kidding...sort of.

I was going to add some pictures but I've run out of time and the swamp is approaching the dining room so, there ya go. :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Solid proof that white boys can't dance.

I hope this video works. Braeden's been practicing his version of the actions to the vacation bible school songs that Auntie Jolene was teaching them earlier this summer.
As a safety disclaimer, at one point he walks through a sunny patch with his lily white chub. You may want to divert your eyes for a moment or risk damage from the glare.
Braeden has become quite a dude. He sings, dances, and has taken up talking a bit which I'm thrilled about. I prefer words to the high pitched squealy noise he'd make when he was trying to ask for something. The unfortunate piece is that usually he's asking for something he can't have because if he could have it, it wouldn't be on the highest shelf in the first place. Then he'll squeal/shriek in frustration of my lack of willingness to accommodate his plans. But I do save myself a few squeals a day and that's progress.

While butchering chickens Nadine was telling explaining to me that she'll butcher her own chickens when she grows up. This being because I think she'd like to gut them this year. So one should plan ahead to how we'll meet our goals.
Nadine: Mom when I grow up I'm going to have my own chickens and butcher them. But I'm not going to have one of things.
Me: You mean a husband?
Nadine: Right, I'm not going to have a husband.
Me: Oh, ya, why is that.
Nadine: Because they always sneeze at cats.

Evidently the reasoning behind not being able to have an indoor cat has profoundly affected her. That being they make Tim sneeze...again, planning to meet our goals. Smart girl.

I've been working a fair bit lately. I'm looking forward to doing less of that. But dang it they seem to pay well.
I ate some fresh garden peas yesterday :) THAT was a happy moment :)
I plan to sign up for the Don't Get Lost in the Woods run in GP at the Nordic ski trails in September. Only problem being I'm scheduled to work that weekend, hmmmm. I'm trying to decide between the 13.1 miles, the 6 miles, or the 200m kids fun run ;)
Ryan's taken up running. He used to be the lolly gagging 1/4 mile behind guy and we'd constantly wait for him to catch up. This year he's found his speed and happy feet. He runs, and runs, and runs, and runs. Making family walks both fast and high intensity.

Well, Ryan told me I'd be a really useful engine if I got up and found his Thomas and Gordon trains. I'm not sure if I want to be that useful but my coffee is done so I at least have to get up to refill.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My sneaky kids.

Well, again the summer has left me not blogging much. Between getting the plans ready for the ark and trying to keep up with the chores that needed to be done between deluges as well as entertaining some fairly muddy, or on all out rain days cagey kids I left blogging to a day when I could get to it.
But every now and then I have a conversation with one of my kids that leaves me thinking...I really can't pass up putting that one online. Last night I had one such exchange.
Nadine can't help but tell on herself. It's like she's aching to tell me how tricky and sneaky she is but she's irritated when she then becomes busted. She doesn't see the correlation and for that I'm thankful.

Nadine (running in from outside): Hi mom
Me (working on dinner and not looking): Hi sweetie what are you guys up to? (in cheerful tone)
Nadine: Oh nothing. I'm just walking up the stairs sideways with my hands behind my back.
Me: What are you up to? (stern tone)
Nadine: oooooooh nothing. Not one thing.
Me: Bring whatever you have here.
Here I'm imagining her with frogs in one hand and mice in the other heading up to add them to her 'collection'. She likes to collect whatever she finds.
Nadine: Moooooom I just want to take it upstairs and I promise to throw it away.
Me (unable to leave my post that moment at the stove): WHAT! Bring whatever you have to me right now and show me.
Nadine: Can I just tell you what it is.
Me: Yes tell me while you're walking over here to show it to me.
Nadine (while making an audible huffing sigh): Ok fine, it's just a dead bug.

Ryan is also notorious for telling on himself.
Me: Ryan did you dump the dogs water?
Ryan: Yes mom I did
Me: Didn't I just ask you not to dump the dogs water
Ryan: Yes mom

Braeden has become BUSY. I've lost a lot of stuff to him in the last little while. Well not really lost it's more that I know where the stuff is but it's inaccessible to me. For example all of my container lids are now stored conveniently in the very small space under the dishwasher. I am totally aware of their location but am not able to access the services of those lids. Some things I'm fairly confident have headed down the toilet and a lot of stuff is inside the water jug that we water the dogs with. Those things are accessible it's just really really really hard to shake them out of the water jug. So he keeps me on my toes. I'm thinking of reorganizing the kitchen to leave nothing in the bottom cabinets at nothing. His vocabulary is growing as is his charming and somewhat determined personality.

This summer all the rain has made the weeds and seemingly the kids grow. The kids have gained some height, and I've been successful at growing Canada thistle and hawksbeard that is as tall as I am. I'm hopeful that it will be dry enough to successfully weed the garden soon.
The kids have taken up eating more than Tim and I. I'm happy we're adding 12 more laying hens to our farm as the kids are each eating 2 eggs every morning, yes even sometimes Braeden...yeesh I don't know how I'm going to afford to feed them when they're teenagers.

Well we're now at the what I refer to as the relentless request portion of our morning so I should go try and seem maternal.

It's been really wet. A good year for mushrooms and frogs.
and mom's lilies
a happy lap full of peeps
this backhoe does a great 360' the rest of us are learning to stay out of the zone.
these two are evolving into very good buddies.
Braeden is often found sliding, and then climbing up and sliding again, sometimes head first sliding leading to a face full of grass or dirt. He's happy with any kind of dismount.
just fiddling
and more fiddling.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I seem to have no title for this.

Ya, so it's been a while. Between my lack of time and a vow of silence (sort of) I haven't been on here much. I realize though that there are a few things I really should update you on.

For example. In case any of you  have young boys who are obsessed with construction equipment and are having trouble potty training them, Ryan gave me a few things to think about with my extended (albeit long since successful) potty training extravaganza with him. Recently while he was working his magic he told me "Mom, I've dumped a big load into this pot and now my bum is empty."
Now there was an approach I'd never tried with him. Make it into a Bob the Builder "on site" episode. I'll be locking that away in the vault for the point that I have forgotten the scars of potty training and start in with Braeden. Unrelated to potty training. Ryans working on this move here.

Braeden continues to astound me with his leaps forward in development. He fancies himself quite a little big man. He is blissfully unaware of a size or ability difference between him and his siblings, playmates, parents, or any other person. His lack of size can sometimes frustrate him. He's at this point only able to clear the bottom cabinets and he'd really like to get at the higher ones. He can, and has, moved the chair to the counter to get on the chair, to get on the counter, to get in the upper cabinets. He's a problem solver that one.
We've lost a few toys to the toilet, and I'm sure some other things that I'm not aware of. We've also lost a lot of sleep. The mosquito's are very fond of Braeden's softy lily white chub. I have thereby spent many a night skritching his itchiness. He continues to work on a few new teeth, several new words, and his temper. He's pretty much got the temper one down pat but he likes to keep up the skill of expressing his frustration and discontent. You'd hate to get rusty at something.

Nadine came to me yesterday and declared "A very sad thing has happened!" Now as she carried her trough from her playmobile barn set she showed me Betty. I didn't know she had a pet fly named Betty but she did, and Betty had died, and it was very sad. A sad, sad day indeed. We've laid Betty to rest in with the hosta plant that is waiting to be moved outside.
Nadine: She was my very good friend and I loved her.
Me: Well aren't we glad we had the opportunity to have her as a friend.
Nadine:  *sniff* WAAAAHHHHH
Me: *tries not to smile* Awe honey I'm sorry about Betty.

Anywho, aside from all of that. I continue to take a idiotic amount of pictures. I'd like to say I was running regularly but between Tim's schedule, my schedule, and the kids schedule, I'm content to fit it in now and then and work toward that being a regular part of my life when all the other parts of my life become regular...we'll see.

I found this and it made me smile.
now for a barrage of photos
Canada Day
One of my favorite Veterans :)
a bit of macro stuff

the kids sharing a 'comprello' (I wish I could figure out how to spell what he calls quinoa)
Ryan on his new digging delio
beginnings of a highway
pretty classic family picture, everyone has one. Boy on backhoe, girl with 4' high giraffe...
Nadine blissfully riding at a family bbq
Charming McCharmypants
Braeden likes to spray the water hose.
often at people
but when you take it away to go inside to get ready for bed...sadness
woeful despairing sadness.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Questions, answers, and who-ta-hoops.

I know I was just on here the other day but today's discussion on our walk was just too good not to share.
Since turning 5 and now finishing kindergarten my eldest child has become an absolute wealth of information. Wealth. This wealth of information has made my insights irrelevant, completely and utterly irrelevant. Interestingly enough though the questions haven't stopped. I find that curious but I'm happy for the questions and happy enough for the updated answers.
This evening on a walk our exchange about this phenomenon went like this.
Nadine: (insert a zillion questions here)
Me: (insert applicable answer, or so I thought)
Nadine: No it's not, it's (insert updated more accurate answer here)
After a few exchanges such as this.
Me: It's weird you know, last year when we would go for walks your dad and I would know the answers to these questions but this year we don't seem to be getting any of them right.
Nadine: That is weird. REALLY weird.
Tim and I smiled. :)

In other news...Braeden has taken up "who-ta-hooping", last year known as hula hooping but not this year (see above exchange with Nadine). Braeden's version of who-ta-hooping involves him standing inside the who-ta-hoop and spinning around clapping until he falls over. It's a great sport.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Thoughts, questions, and helpful hints from my peeps.

How is one to respond to the following?

Nadine (while watching the June blizzard through the window): See mom you never should have taken the snowsuits downstairs.
Me: Yes you make a very good point.

Nadine: Mom, I still want to be a vet
Me: That's really cool, when I was your size I really wanted to be a vet too.
Nadine: But instead you ended up being a mom.
Me: True
Nadine: Maybe someday we can be vet's together
Me: Maybe
Nadine: Where do you go to have vet lessons? Are there kids there?
Me: Why don't we just conquer grade one first

Nadine: Mom be careful standing on that chair?
Me: Why's that?
Nadine: Because you're SSSOOOOOO big you might break it.
Me: Thanks for being concerned about me sweet pea

Me (to Ryan): Good night buddy I love you
Ryan: Ya, you do but I don't
Me: huh?
Ryan: I just like Dad
Me: Well have a good sleep anyway.

Me: Ryan you can NOT dig up my garden
Ryan: Sure I can mom I'm a backhoe

Ryan (making a subtle protest about not wanting to watch Horten Hears a Who): Dad, Nadine likes puppy shows...THAT is an elephant.

Or what is one to do with a little boy (Braeden) who loves to stick his finger in his belly button and say "poke poke poke poke". Yes that part is cute but has unfortunately morphed into wanting to stick his finger in every one elses belly button to say "poke poke poke poke" WAY less cool.
He's also taken a header into the kids play pool and came up with a sputter, and a laugh. He can do a backwards, and quite graceful dismount off of the couch and really stick the somersault landing. At the moment he's standing on his wheeled ride on dinosaur thing.
Alas we are a charming work in progress on all fronts here.

Nadine's last day of school ensemble. The rubber boots left a very black line from the top of the boots to her toes on her tights.
Her graduation, or 'crasheration' as they're known to Ryan.
Looking ready for summer vacation and grade 1.
It's hard for me to find pictures of Ryan that don't have his face covered in either dirt, or ketchup...go figure.
Braeden would like to figure a few of these things out.
He really really really likes Tim's motorbike (who is blurrier than I'd hoped for this picture). Braeden is reliably disappointed to not be able to go along.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Stethoscope etiquite

Nadine has found my stethoscope and has been practicing with it. She often will come up and plop it on me, or one of her brothers to listen for...she's not sure, but is learning.
Nadine (with ears plugged thereby yelling): Mom I can hear your sniffing. Is that your sniffing? or breathing? It sounds like this *takes a few deep breaths herself*
Me: That's breathing honey.
Nadine (still yelling now with a confused look): Is your heart beating today?
Me: Yes I believe it is, it should be here *locates heart sounds for her*
Nadine: oooooh it's like a musical tune. You're cold.
Me: yes a little bit.
we listen for a bit to the "air puffers and heart thumpers"
Nadine (still yelling): Mom I want to be a vet for lovely animals, not a cold music hearted nurse.
Me (smiling): Good choice.

We now have a new rule that you can't pin down your brother to listen for his air puffers.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Stuff about May

Sitting here after returning home from an incredibly long day at work left me thinking..holy crap it's May 23rd. How in the heck did it become May 23rd, combined with why is it only May 23rd?
May has been a REALLY LONG month that went very fast. That makes no sense I realize but it's how it seems to me. I've been quite neglectful of my blog, but I'm not sure I could have changed that this month.

The spring yard work has kept me busy, work has kept me sporadically busy, running...busy, and photography...ditto, the children have kept me busier than any of the others combined.
Braeden has now mastered the art of climbing. He can get onto anything and everything. I very often find him on the kitchen table, not to be confused with AT the kitchen table, but on it....CRAP!! That was one of the "safe places" I had last week but no more. He likes to climb on chairs to look out the window, and if he hears an outside door opening there's a mad scramble followed by either pinched fingers, and escapee, or a very disappointed little boy. The art of climbing has led to the bruised and battered little boy look for Braeden. He falls off a lot of stuff and is often sporting a new bruise or in yesterdays case, a bit of road rash. He's a quick recoverer though.

Nadine is wrapping up her school year. She'll be officially finished on June 2nd. She told me she feels finished right now, but she will still go. Nadine has a lot of interests cropping up. She loves horses, would like to take riding lessons and maybe we'll work that out this summer. She's developed a big love of photography which I think is very cool. She's even pretty good at it.
The other day she told me "mom when I grow up I want to be just like you. I want to do things just like you do them. Except being lazy like you, I'm not going to do that." How uniquely flattering...

Ryan remains with his one track mind focused on mighty machines. I don't know if I've ever known a little boy so very intensely interested in machinery and equipment. He eats, sleeps, and breaths it. He was even showing his grandpa and I his 'matachments' also known as attachments while we renovated the chicken coop. Each 'matachment' is made out of his hand, and each one useful for a different task be it lifting, scraping, digging, pulling, bunching. You name it he's got a 'matachment' for it. Markers, crayons, or pens are imagined into rebar. Dried up play dough is the jackpot for building a road foundation. You get the picture. He'd really like to go back to Uncle Carmen's to find some more equipment. There is a daily request for that trip.
We exchanged our feelings the other day.
Me: I love you Ryan
Ryan: Ya mom, I love mighty machines.
ok then... :)

I continue to love my family, running, and lately photography is what consumes my thought processes. If someone would pay me to take pictures all day I'd be a happy camper, but instead I continue to work casual saving lives, taking orders, taking flak :) It's a good time :) I attended a photography workshop in the middle of the month. It was a very very cool weekend. I learned to run my camera in full manual mode and all the manipulating of the components to make that work.

My newly titled by Tim, most expensive uncle came to visit this weekend. Uncle Ole brought me a couple lenses to try out. I am now saving my pennies for a macro cool. I'm now being bombarded by questions and am about to become very incoherent so I'll leave it at that and upload some photos. Here is some of my tinkerings.
Braeden became quite interested in the sprinkler.
He was game to give it a go.

But was pretty cheesed off when it sprinkled him.

Nadine in front of a stormy sky. We had quite a storm blow in.
Ryan really likes the outdoorsiness of summer

Sunset behind our house.
Macro is some really cool stuff
this stuff is from the lens that Uncle Ole let me use.

So now I save my pennies for my own macro lens...great fun!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Martha Goes on Vacation.

We just got home from a really lovely vacation. First stop, Edmonton to visit a girl I've known and loved since nursing school but haven't seen for several years. How great to connect with people in person. I couldn't have been more thrilled to hang out, have supper, let the peeps play, all without having to write a paper (or shovel out one as we used to perceive it) together in APA format...for which I'd probably struggle to remember how to do and that likelyhood of a struggle is ok with me, I don't actually want to figure that out again.
I also got to meet a darling new (well 6 month old) baby of one of Tim's cousins, reconnect with some of his family. All in all I was left wondering why we don't scoot down to Edmonton more often but I suppose the answer lies with the the 3 kids we would be bringing along with us, the multiple stops we had to pee on the side of the road, the late nights and early mornings of being callosally off schedule. The thing I now realize is the trip, even after 10 days of traveling, was hugely hugely worth it and bless them the kids traveled phenominally well.

Then a night at a hotel. My kids often confuse the word hotel with hospital. It has struck me several times in my life, especially after my most recent return to work, that this confusion in terms is a really really common among a variety of age groupings. Interesting, but I digress. Hotels are fascinating places to my children. An elevator, which leads to a room with a bed and a TV all perfectly positioned, a window to a cool view of, in this case, a steam roller (true story Ryan was in heaven), we had driven past all kinds of road construction, AND we were right near the airport. Holy moly we had found our Utopia.

Then we headed south and I got the opportunity to deal with one of the issues that caused me the most pause when thinking of how we'd travel...Ryan and his aversion to commercial bathrooms. Now if you put yourself in the shoes of a 3-4 year old boy who has hypersensitive hearing you would probably not like commercial bathrooms either. Maybe even without those variables you find them undesirable. Ryan however doesn't enjoy listening to the loud flushing of the stalls beside him the loud hand dryers and heaven help us at one point one of the motion sensor toilets flushed while he was sitting on it...EPIC.
I didn't know if we'd ever be able to use a commercial bathroom again. Then like an oasis in the desert we came to Uncle Ole's. Stopping for coffee with Ole and Marg on our way to Calgary, Ryan was thrilled with the prospect of "I bet Uncle Ole has a really quiet pot". On our arrival Ryan made a bee line into their bathroom with his pants already around his ankles. When I went to check on him he informed me that this was the nicest bathroom he'd ever been to. It is a lovely bathroom, and profoundly impacted Ryan's day in a really positive way, he used it 4 times over the course of the 2 hour visit. "I'm unloading all my poop into this hole" he told me as he sat on Ole and Marg's toilet for, well, a long time. What is one to respond to that..."great idea" was all I could come up with.
Not only had Ole the greatest bathroom on earth, across the road from his house was parked an excavator. Really could this day get any better!?!?!
Nadine loved on their dogs. Lacey and Chester, Braeden loved the freedom from his car seat, Ryan loved the bathroom. "We'll have to go back there sometime soon" was the consensus from my two speaking children.

Next stop, Calgary. When we drove into Calgary we began revisiting everything Bob the Builder had ever taught us. Roads and bridges, skyscrapers. It was breathtaking :)
Nadine was patiently awaiting her trip to the zoo. Braeden was waiting for the day he wouldn't have to sit in his car seat. Visiting Carmen and Linda was another very bright spot on our tour. According to Nadine, they have the nicest, smoothest bears ever. I really wish I had taken some pictures of them. There was great visiting, great food, great hockey.
"oooo we should go back there again!" "Uncle Carmen cooks really good eggs." and "can you believe we found Chris (their cousin)?!" was the consensus and some of the highlights discussed in the suburban at the completion of our Calgarian tour.
I got to see another of my dearest friends in Calgary. They'd never know it by how often I am or more appropriately am not able to come and see them but I really love and really miss the people I worked with when I lived there. Lucky for me one of them was able to meet us at the zoo with her two charming boys who totally and completely stole my heart.
The zoo has now inspired Nadine on a new career path. Zookeeper. "Mom I'm going to be a zookeeper, I'm going to be in charge of giraffes and lions." She may be quite right.
Braeden surprised me with how interested he was in the animals at the zoo as he rode in the backpack.
Ryan surprised me at how he wasn't so interested in the animals but was THRILLED to see someone shoveling bat poop out of the bat cage...he's a boy who likes to load and shovel. We could have stood there until all the guano was taken care of.

Onward we drove to Kelowna. We had a totally fantastic time there. Kelowna is filled with a lot of great things. We found great family, great dirt to dig in, great creeks, great trails, great parties, great food, more great people. Not the least of the greatness included the energyplex, an indoor playground where the kids met some new friends, climbed, slid, dangled, etc, etc. Upon leaving I hear tell that Nadine was saying farewell to her new friend the young boy's dad said "Well it was really nice to meet you Martha"...

We did a lot, and I do mean a LOT of driving in the last couple weeks and I was completely astonished how well the kids (all 3) travelled. Maybe I've just developed the Loberg pattern hearing loss quite early in life which is also ultimately a male trait but boy...they were just so good. We had a few unplanned stops to pee on the plants in the ditch. But they were just so...pleasant. We didn't even really use media until we were on our way home. Media in the car is something I used to think was lame. Now to whip out an ipod full of kids movies feels like I hold in my hand a mute button. I recognize I shouldn't be astonished by the success of the kids in the car for days on end. They are after all, great kids.

The following is a butt-load of pictures from the Corbett gadabout tour of Alberta and BC of 2011

Great grey owls are really neat-o looking

Black and white makes this picture look less like it wasn't focussed right...which it wasn't :)
I was figuring out using my exposure compensation when shooting into the sun
I'm planning to adopt this theory. It's from my Father-in-law's retirement party.
Ryan got new cars and a whole arsenal of construction equipment
when we got home it seemed time to hit the field