Sunday, April 11, 2010

box of treasures

Monday, March 22, 2010

toilet talk

One of my favorite parts about living with children is occasionally stumbling upon a tiny tableau left about by a child interrupted in play or just arranging their things while colonizing new spaces. I like to try to guess what the child was playing at, their inner lives being such a deep mystery, though sometimes I get the impression that there is a message there meant just for me.

Today, on a bathroom shelf, I discovered Hello Kitty and The Chicken With Socks having an intimate chat.

I can only guess at what they were discussing, but it did look serious.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010


I spy with my little eye...

An Uncle!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

phat thoughts

Somebody help me, my brain is stuck in 1989!

I've recently had an old friend contact me (Skaters rule and preps drool!) whom I haven't seen since junior high. It's been great reminiscing about ye days of ol', when my heroes were Ice T and Tony Hawk, and I wore bicycle shorts with neon stripes in all seriousness (yewouch! A memory to suppress good and hard!). I've spent some time on Youtube lately, visiting the music and styles of the late '80s. Ah, the '80s...

I know you don't have to read any further to know that I'm not heading in a good direction.

Okay, old friend catch ups = good stuff! Especially this one, she's funny as hell. But actually having my mind wander over to my junior high experiences in general and I start to feel a dull pain like I've got my neck stuck in a banana clip.

One memory surfaced not too long ago of the stupidest compliment anyone has ever given to me. Are you ready for it? Okay, this is what some 13 year old guy said to me as we were hanging out at recess: "You know, you'd be really hot if you just lost five pounds."


Really made me want to throw up my lunch and sweat off some water weight by running around the track a dozen times.

'Cuz then I'd be hot.

To a dude who looked like his hair had been cut by Stevie Wonder while doing the Running Man.

I repeat: wow.

It would be really easy to dismiss the little freak and get on with life, well, after kicking his skinny, stupid haircut ass around the playground a bit, but I've actually took his backhanded compliment to be true. Like, damaging or what? Can you say crap self esteem? Want to know what's worse? I still do, to this day.

Thirteen years olds aren't bright, him nor I apparently, but, seriously, this is the mentality of the '80s, of junior high, of Teen Beat and Seventeen magazine and all the other garbage I used to feed my head. Later, older and smarter, I did shake my head at this bizarre message, but by that point it was habitual thinking. (I don't think I actually heard the 'f' word out of the context of 'what, are you some sort of hairy, bitch feminist?' before I was 20.) I can logically argue the point and dismiss the continuing media imagery that equates fat with ugly, but the voice in the back of my head, the one I actually believe, says differently.

I think about weight and diet and exercise and lifestyle and habit and indulgence and restriction all the time. So does The Man. So does nearly everybody I know. We all carve up natural experience into artificial categories of good and bad based upon ideas about what makes a person's body a particular size and shape. And when we are scared or we fail, we look to ourselves for a reason, and it's really easy to believe what everyone tells us, that we fail because we are fat.

I'm starting to get the inkling that I hold myself back not because I'm fat, but because I believe fat is bad. Is fat bad?

Would anything be better if I was five (or forty) pounds lighter?

I know one thing, and I keep it in mind a lot when I start to beat myself up; Smootch would not be here if my body has been any smaller than it was when I was newly pregnant with her. I lost 25 pounds in the first three months of that pregnancy due to hyperemesis gravidarum. My fat saved my baby. Obviously, this fat equals bad and unhealthy is not as straight forward as the media would have us believe. I think it's worth looking into further.

For anyone else thinking about these things, here is a little primer to get the ball rolling from one amazing blog.

fat rant

I really do love this lady:

Saturday, February 13, 2010

february whining

Hello February.

I know that I usually write long, sad letters to January, about the gloom and cold and lack of energy, but this year you`ve decided to throw your lot in with the most cursed of months, so you too get a long, whiny memo.

Hi. You need to stop messing with my head and body. Stop the dental surgeries and stretched ligaments and torn muscles and pale skin and complete lack of ability to cope with my children`s needs. Please. Stop being about wine from a plastic cup and huge piles of laundry and what looks to be the beginning of a massive ant infestation around the kitchen sink.

I know there are bright spots. Everyday there is a new message or email from a reader that is so wonderfully complimentary I think it may be a wind up. Sometimes the sun comes out. Sometimes one of the kids does something so amazing it makes me cry with pride.

But, February, you are so different this year. In fact, time has been different all winter. December is supposed to be all rushed and crazy and warm with twinkly lights and anticipation. New Years is always a bomb. Then January is the time I slump around, all bummed out, and as soon as you, February, begins, I can to pull my head up and start to really notice what`s happening around me. I notice the cool, clean winter air and the dazzling way the sun sparkles off the snow, and how red cheeks on a smiling child hauling the sled to the top of the hill one more time is one of the most beautiful things I`ve ever seen.

February is the time to begin searching for the new buds on trees. It`s time to start planning the garden and finding seeds. It`s when the sun is out long enough for me to have my dinner and then catch the sunset over a warm cup of tea.

So, what`s going on February? Why are you such a bummer?

Okay, I know. Because time is also place. And my place now is to be in the eternal wet and fog. The days haven`t changed colour or temperature since November. I`m dislocated and out of touch. Somehow, in this paradise of an island, I`ve lost my connection with nature. Feels like missing a limb or losing my mind.

Alright. I will grit my teeth (minus 1) and step lightly through the second half of this dreary month. I`m pinning all my hopes on March, to give me strength and imagination, to do what I have to do to get home again.

Monday, February 1, 2010


A little catch up.

We just spent a few days in Victoria. Finally got in to see the Royal BC Museum, which has some amazing exhibits. Smootch was completely fascinated with the natural history portion and completely bored with the human history. Not surprising to me. Did I mention that Smootch is keeping a 'specimen jar', with various organic (as in not rock, not chemical free) odds and ends that are interesting to her? So far it contains a bird bone, which Birdie found somewhere outside and sucked it like a lolly for 10 minutes before I wised up to what it was, one of my toe nails, which finally came off last month after it's run in (literally) with the baseboard heater a few months ago, and a stick I picked up the night I met her father some dozen years ago. Don't ask me why I still have the stick, I didn't mean to, it just sort of happened. Like her father :D

Birdie slept through the museum. Thank god.

I got some new wheels, which everyone else seems as excited about as I do.


My new wheels are faster, less sticky, and all around slick. I took them to derby practice last night and promptly sprained my ankle. Somehow, I managed to skate the whole practice with a hurt ankle and drive home (along the way I was stopped by the police in Nanaimo, a whole other story) but today is a major bugger to get around. My ankle is all swollen and bruised. Ugh. It's my sewing machine pedal foot too, which is extra annoying.

I am healing from my dental surgery two weeks ago. I've got kind of a phantom tooth thing going on, where I can feel the molar that was pulled as still there, but, of course, it isn't. I hate losing body parts. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Also, Smootch is still bummed out I didn't get the tooth from the dentist for her specimen jar.

Birdie is a No Boy. He says 'no'. He says, 'NO!' He says, 'Nnooooooooooo!' A hundred variation on the word 'no' that we are just beginning to realize are substitutes for whole other words, depending on where he puts the emphasis or inflection. If he just says, 'no', well, that's pretty much straight forward. But if he says, 'no-o?', he actually means 'yes' (you have no idea how much relief was felt after we figured this little bit out). When he feels threatened by his sister he says, 'no no no no no no no no!' in chain saw massacre victim mode, but when he's the aggressor with Smootch he says a sharp, 'No!' usually followed with a smack.

Birdie really is a completely unreasonable guy. It's amazing Smootch not only puts up with way too much of it, but actually defends him and tries to include him when she's playing with her friends. Even when the friend says, 'hey, let's ditch your little brother; I won't play with you unless you get rid of him,' she still stands by him. Beyond the call of duty, I believe. She's a good kid.

I love those kids. It's a good thing too, because otherwise I might follow up with my threats to list them on Ebay. Happy Monday all!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Hello, we're still here! The weather is rainy, but nice. It's dark, January-esque, but the temperature is always above zero and sometimes, maybe once a week, we can almost see a bit of sun break through the clouds and fog.

The children are growing. Smootch is still herself, only more so. She's begun drawing. Drawing all sorts of things, almost any thing that she can think of. A month ago, if she was asked to draw a dog, she would say that she could not, as she did not know how. But one day she got this idea in her head to draw a dog, for example, even if she really did not know how, and since then she's drawn pretty much everything there is to draw. Our home is covered in bits of paper with a hardly a white bit showing through, with doodles of everything. Castles, trees, the Butchart Gardens, the ocean, boats, fish, our family, presents, sword, hearts, flowers.... We always have to make sure that there is a piece a paper by her, otherwise she'll draw on the table, walls, or herself. Like she can not help herself, she must draw.

Birdie talks. Mostly Birdie says, 'No.' Or rather, 'No! No! NOOOOooooooo!!!' like he's confronting a chain saw murderer. He's got a hideous new pair of boots, two sizes too big, handed over to us from our neighbors. They are really, really orange. Birdie will wear nothing else. He even wears them in the house. He is a child who knows what he likes.

We are plodding away here. Smootch has her classes, Birdie has his toys and his outdoors (he loves being outside), The Man just bought a guitar, and I am doing my thing, but now I also do it on roller skates. Mostly we are waiting out the winter and hoping for some drier days. Even when it's not raining, it's actually misty enough to get us a bit wet. Lighting a fire every day or two is more about keeping out the damp then heating our home.

Hope you all are keeping dry and warm.


Monday, January 11, 2010


Birdie is learning to ride a tricycle. I keep telling him that his brain isn't prepared to pedal yet, not to mention that he can't even reach the silly things, but he doesn't care. He crawls right up up on the tricycle and gives 'er.

I've been doing a bit of sewing for Smootch lately - she has been oddly neglected in that realm of late. Going through my fabric choices tonight, I asked The Man's opinion (I know you can already tell it's a mistake) and he suggested that maybe I should sew her something neutral to maybe balance out her wardrobe.

Balance? I believe Smootch's wardrobe is very balanced: Nothing goes with everything. What's the problem?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Grandpa!

Happy Birthday to The Man's Old Man - I hope you had great day!

Don't ask me why Smootch is topless - that's just the way she lives lately.

ps, me going to roller derby, though admittedly laughable, is not a joke. I've even got a new blog going here. I am a blogaholic. On wheels.

Monday, January 4, 2010

derby sit in

Last night Smootch and I sat in on roller derby practice with the Harbour City Roller Derby in Nanaimo. HCRD are just starting up as a league, only a dozen-ish members thus far, so I'm in an unexpected position of being able to join without having know what I'm doing.

This next Sunday, I am to become Fresh Meat, which is a technical term for 'woman who will be knocked on her ass'. This is slightly different than a more experienced derby girl, who is a woman who will be knocked on her knees, having learned how to fall without breaking too much or getting your fingers crushed under someone's wheels on the track.

You are wondering why a decidedly sedentary woman in her (gasp) mid-thirties who divides her time between sewing and taking care of her small children, one who is still actually nursing, and who's favorite activity is reading in a prone position while eating bon bons, is interested in joining a contact sport on wheels?

Well, mostly because a woman in her mid-thirties with small children and eats too many bon bons is a woman who really needs to smack somebody and there are few opportunities for such a woman to do so legally or with good conscience. Also, it seems like good fun, there is a possibility of legwarmers (something is child of the '80s has a strange weakness for), and I'd really like to meet some girls, now that I've gone and move 1200 km away from home.

Right now I'm waiting for it to stop raining so I can get outside and practice. I could use some (alot) of practice, though I'm sure that I will be learning quickly, having seen some of the drills at practice. I'm a bit freaked out about being out of control on skates at the same time as learning a high speed contact sport. Not to mention I'm a bit timid (oh excuse me, ignore me, I'll get out of your way, just give me a push if I'm in the road). I'm going to have to cultivate a derby personality, one that has a bit more, umm, balls?

Smootch loved watching the practice, although she was pretty upset that she didn't bring her skates. I won't be bringing her along to practice for the next while, it is mama's thing after all, but we will be skating together often. While the ladies were doing sliding drills (where they throw themselves down on their knees to stop), Smootch was giggling and cheering like the maniac she is. One skater managed to slide herself into the exit door and halfway out into the parking lot. Smootch thought that was brilliant. I started to wonder about the quality of my second hand tired looking knee pads.

I'll keep you posted on my derby progress. In the meanwhile, if there is anyone in the Parksville area also interested in derby and wanting to carpool, let me know. This 30 minute commute in the dark, along which yesterday there was a bald eagle sitting in the grassy bit between the two highways eating something sinewy, could end up being a bit lonely.