30 December 2008

The Hard Way

After a long day when my patience is worn out, the last thing I need is a couple of disobedient kids around bedtime. When my blood pressure is off the charts and they won't cooperate I usually end up giving them an ultimatum - do you want to do this the "easy way" or the "hard way"? Brushing teeth, flossing, taking a bath, putting on pajamas, whatever...the "hard way" ends up being unpleasant for all parties concerned, but sometimes it is the only way to get the little blighters into bed.

So last night my little princess gets out of the tub and stares defiantly at me and says "do it the hard way, do it the hard way". "What? I say. "Do it the hard way!" she says with her teeth clenched. Then a huge smile came across her face and she ran away laughing hysterically.

So much for the hard way. Even that has become a game!

28 December 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Happy Birthday, Mom! I won't say how old you are, but if wisdom comes with age, you must be very, very wise indeed! Hahahahahahaha! Make sure Dad and Gretchen take you somewhere nice for an early bird special dinner!

26 December 2008

How I Spent Boxing Day

Yes, that's my beamer buried in snow even after clearing it off about 15 times. It hasn't moved in days. They say the Inuit have many words for "snow" and I'm sure we've seen them all these past few days. Powder, pellets, crystals, flakes, dry, wet, snow mixed with rain, rain mixed with snow, blowing snow, driving snow, driving me insane! Aaahhh!!! This is a warning that the next person who says "hey, you're from Nova Scotia, you must be used to this" is going DOWN. I've shovelled as much snow in the past 15 days as I would have shovelled in total in the 15 years since I left Nova Scotia.

This is a sad chronology of Boxing Day.

08:30 to 10:30 - build Lego x-wing for Justin (a million !%#*)^$@ parts !!!)
10:30 to 11:00 - yummy dok mundo (Korean gyoza soup)
11:00 to 11:30 - get dressed
11:30 to 12:30 - install printer for Dave (on his Korean language computer !!!)
12:30 to 13:00 - shovel the in-laws driveway
13:00 to 14:30 - load car, go to McD's, let kids burn off energy at play area
14:30 to 15:30 - drive home in the blizzard (RCMP say stay off the roads !!!)
15:30 to 16:30 - shovel wet, heavy snow at our house
16:30 to 18:30 - watch Star Wars I with Justin
18:30 to 19:00 - shovel wet, heavy snow again
19:00 to 21:00 - bath and bed time for the kids
21:00 to ??:?? - finally a chance to relax...though I could be shovelling

Remembering Barrie

It’s hard to believe that 17 years have flown by since Barrie passed away on Christmas day in 1991. I was going to write something profound about him, but then I thought the best way to honour the memory of my friend and brother would be to share one of the many songs he wrote. I don’t have a date on this song, but it must be at least 20 years old now...

I miss you, dude, but I know you’re watching over us.

“There’s Something Strange Inside of You”

** Link Removed **

25 December 2008

Christmas Eve Jammin'

I suppose every family celebrates Christmas in their own way. We've tried to make it a traditional Christmas this year for the kids, since we're not travelling anywhere. We have lights decorating the house, a tree, presents, gingerbread houses and even snow! When it comes to Christmas Carols, however, things got a little crazy.

23 December 2008

Sledding at Almond Park

OK, so maybe the snow can be fun after all. Tiny Almond Park offers a surprisingly wide range of sledding options from kid friendly to knee weakening drops of terror. The run Justin calls "Super Bump" almost broke my spine...we must have caught 10 feet of air over the bump midway down the hill. There were only a few injuries along the way, such as the one in the pictures. We had one major wipe out with Justin, Brooklyn and I all on one sled, and Justin has slope rash on his forehead to prove it. It was all fun until some dopey kid took out Brooklyn with his sled while she was walking back up the hill. More snow tonight.

22 December 2008

Picture of the Christmas Tree for Mom

Pre-kids, Judie always used to have a picture-perfect "Martha Stewart" tree, with white lights, bows hand made with Christmas ribbons, shiny glass balls and golden bells. But then Justin came along, and now "white lights are s-o-o-o BORING". Last year we broke down and bought multi-coloured lights for the tree to appease him.

Well, this year the kids and I trimmed the tree while Judie was out running errands. When she got home I heard her scream "What the $%!@*&#!". She had forgotten...no, perhaps completely blocked the memory...of the multi-coloured lights. I told her she was lucky because when Justin and I were at Canadian Tire this year he wanted to buy multi-coloured lights that CHANGE COLOUR! Well, come on, what could seem cooler than that to a 6 year old?

Justin did a fine job decorating the tree and actually helped put hooks on the balls for his sister. He was a big help. Brooklyn, on the other hand, still wanted to put 3 or 4 ornaments on every branch and kept moving the gingerbread men and snowmen around. On and off, on and off, on and off. All in all though, I think they did a great job. Thank goodness for "shatter-proof" ornaments, though, or there would have been a pile of glass beneath the tree with all the "oops" and "uh oh's". If you look closely, near the top is the Bluenose ornament that Dallas and Stella bought for us in Halifax. A nice reminder of home.

Thanks to our friend Jen's idea, the Christmas tree dilemna will be resolved next year. Judie is planning to get the kids their own, smaller, tree to decorate as they see fit, with multi-coloured, colour changing lights and all. I'm not sure if we're supposed to throw a blanket over it when company comes to visit or stick it in the closet or what, but if it brings peace to our home, then I'm all for it.

Holiday Merriment Moderation: Reason No. 1

Reason No. 1: There's no telling what your 3 year old daughter will do to you once you've passed out.

Enough Snow Already!

I had to prove that we actually have a full foot of snow here in Vancouver...after a constant drizzle of flakes over 24 hours...and more to come this week. A foot of snow might not be a big deal in other parts of Canada where they have luxuries like...snow plows...salt...sand...I've actually seen ONE city truck plow so I guess they do exist, but it's hard to believe that busy streets like Granville and Broadway are left unplowed. Driving is a nightmare and my beamer is basically buried in snow on the street. My back is breaking from repeatedly shovelling and I think I speak for most when I say we've had enough! Where's the rain?

20 December 2008

Linden 16, Canuckleheads 0

I was lucky enough to attend the December 17 Canucks game against the much despised Oilers, where Trevor Linden's #16 jersey was hoisted to the rafters, retired, to the delight of the (228th straight) sell-out crowd at the Garage. The ceremony was fitting for a player of Linden's stature, one who has worked as hard off the ice for the community as he has on the ice. Bravo, well deserved! The mood was electric...and the Canucks had guaranteed a win that night.

During his speech, Linden said he wanted to be remembered as a player who always worked hard, game in, game out. And he did. But hey, Trev, as hard as you've worked all those seasons for the Canucks, do you know how hard it's been to be a Canucks fan all those years of disappointment?!?

The records will show that the Canucks fulfilled their promise, defeating the Oilers 4-2. What the records won't show is what a lousy, boring game it was, and that the Oilers very nearly came back from a 3 goal deficit late in the third, after the Canuckleheads fell asleep. After a few golden saves we got an empty-netter to make the score respectable.

But what annoys the crap out of me is that the Canucks play the most boring hockey I've ever seen. Every Canucks game is the same. The first period is a draw. They score in the second. They fall asleep in the third and usually squander their lead, either losing or going to a shootout. Too many Swedes leads to boring European style hockey. And now good 'ole Sundin is joining his country-mates to ensure there is no excitement at the Garage, just mechanical cycling and mindnumbing defensive hockey.

Remember when Pavel Bure played for the Canucks? Maybe he was a prima donna, a one man band, an ego maniac...but I remember well those nights at the Coliseum when the entire crowd would rise to its feet every single time Bure had the puck...because everyone knew he would at least shoot the bloody puck, and often scored! Those magical, electrifying days are long gone in Vancouver. Yawn.

Christmas is Coming!

Only 5 shopping days left (including today) to buy Brian's Christmas gift. If you can't think of the perfect gift for the guy who has everything, don't fret, cash or giftcards are always welcome!

Imagine the picture of our decorated front porch (pre-snow) is your virtual welcome to our home for the holidays. Come on in! The kids are ready to roll for Christmas!

18 December 2008

Snow Snorkeling!

Well, it turns out I was wrong about the snow being gone in 48 hours. Apparently our temperatures are the lowest they've been since 1964...the high tomorrow is supposed to be -5 C !!! And not only did we have a second dump of snow, there's a third dump coming on the weekend! Yikes!

All this holiday merry-making doesn't mix well with the snow, especially when snow is such a novelty in Vancouver. The story behind this photo is private, but yes, there may have been some alcohol involved...

15 December 2008

How to Start Each Day With a Positive Outlook

1. Open a new file in your computer
2. Name it "Jack Layton"
3. Send it to the Recycle Bin
4. Empty the Recycle Bin
5. Your PC will ask you: Do you really want to get rid of "Jack Layton?"
6. Firmly Click Yes
7. Feel better?


Tomorrow we'll do "Gilles Duceppe"!

Thanks to Dad for the political humour. Bozos.

14 December 2008


OK, big deal for most of you, I know. But snow is rare and wonderful here in lotus land. Everyone is now in a real Christmassy mood.

Stella did an admirable job driving us home from the office Christmas party last night in the middle of the "storm" (i.e. 5 cm of snow). Arbutus proved just steep enough to make things exciting for those without snow tires (i.e. 99% of the cars in Vancouver).

The party was quite fun, but shovelling snow with a hangover was not so fun.

Justin and Brooks pounded me with snowballs for about an hour until they tired themselves out. Snow should melt away within 48 hours...

13 December 2008


Last weekend Justin took his first taekwondo test. He broke a board with his 6-year-old foot and got his yellow-stripe belt! Way to go, Justin!

In the first picture, yellow-stripe belt Justin hams it up with his sister under the freshly decorated Christmas tree. In the second picture, Justin is in the front row at the end on the right with his broken board. Hut!

I'm blogging?

Why am I doing this to myself? Do I really think this blog will last? How many hours of time I don't have will I pour into maintaining this blog? Aaarrrggghhh! It's making me crazy just thinking about it!

I live many hundreds to thousands of miles away from my family, way out on Canada's left coast. The main reason for this blog is that most of my family members are too paranoid to create a facebook account, where I thought I could easily share photos of the kids and stay in touch with everyone. But no, my relatives seem to be hung up on worries of identity theft and former acquaintances discovering their whereabouts. Just who it is that my Dad or my Aunt think may appear from the past to track them down I'm sure I don't want to know.

I decided that before creating this blog I needed a goal. My goal is to achieve 72 posts, at which point I will go into syndication and re-run my posts over and over again for the rest of my life. Achieving 72 posts without offending at least one of my friends or relatives along the way would also be a nice goal...but let's face it, people, it's going to happen!

Those who know me well would say I will have no shortage of material for my blog, with topics such as "Traffic rant of the day!", "Our toilets are plugged again!", "Stupid person of the week!", and "Guess what 80's band reformed?".

I hope you will enjoy reading my blog as much as I hope I enjoy writing it!