Friday, July 31, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
My parents live a couple of hours away from us, so they don't have the same amount of face time with our kids as Chad's parents. They don't come to swimming or skating lessons on a regular basis, they don't drop in to say hi, and they certainly can't make it over in less than ten minutes on foot the way Dana and Bruce can (during the winter months, anyway. The summer at the trailer is putting a bit more distance between us!) So it means a lot to me when they can make time for a visit, and especially when so much of that visit is one-on-one time with the kids rather than visiting with us as adults. A big, huge thank you for coming. I'm sure you guys were pretty tired by the end of the day, too!
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I am thinking... that I am never going to get my objectives for 2009 finished. And that's with 5 months left in the year! Guess I should get to work, huh?
I am thankful for... the health of my family. Now, am I going to get roasted again for saying that?
From the kitchen... nothing from me tonight - hooray! We're going out to dinner with my parents.
I am wearing... brown capris, a green tank and a jean jacket to combat the eleventy-billion-below-zero AC-generated temps in the gas control room.
I am creating... not much right now - I'm between projects. Just gone done some mammoth photo editing. Before that, I put together a mini-album from our trip to Chicago:
(These are double-page spreads.) I have started an album for our upcoming vacation, and I still have a quilt top to finish off and those blinds that need sewing. For me though, I think sewing is really a fall/winter hobby!
I am going... on vacation soon. And. I. Can't. Wait!!!
I am reading... two books right now, and they are both completely engrossing: My Life in France by Julia Child, and The Time Traveler's Wife (yes, again!) by Audrey Niffenegger. The latter is now definitely my all-time favourite book. I have utterly loved it this time through.
I am watching... umm, my computer monitor? Mostly at our house these days, it's Madagascar 2, which I think is hilarious. The penguins crack me up. Mallory has been known to walk around reciting parts of the dialogue. "Sixty nine months? No, six TO nine months!" She cracks me up, too. The most recent big-person movie we watched was a documentary called Running the Sahara. The first DVD we got skipped terribly, and we only got 20 minutes into it before breaking down and requesting a second copy to be shipped. Finally got to finish it off a couple of weeks ago. It's a good movie about people who must be utterly insane!
I am hoping... my new neice/nephew will be born soon so we can finally meet him/her. No pressure, Jenn!
I am hearing... very little right now. The office seems quite empty today. A good time to buckle down and get some stuff done.
Around the house... there is laundry to fold and and small piles of stuff on nearly every surface. And some pictures to hang. But... it's MOSTLY clean... major accomplishment there.
A few plans for the rest of the week... nothing at all. And I am going to enjoy every minute of it.
Monday, July 27, 2009
As usual, Liam ate and ate until he was completely stuffed, and he made hardly any contribution to the 10.6 pounds of berries we left with (thank goodness we were there at the peak of the season this year, and accumulating that much fruit did not take us long to do!) By complete and utter contrast, Mallory happily picked berries for an hour but refused to sample them the entire time. She would not even eat one. I swear, her fruit and vegetable aversion is getting worse by the day. It is definitely a texture thing for her. A few weeks ago I was trying to get some peaches into her mouth, and she would have none of it. At one point I actually forced a piece in and she spit it out and said, "That doesn't feel very good." I don't think she has any problem with the taste of these things, just the way they feel in her mouth.
She's on vitamins. I think I am fighting a losing battle.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Anyway... I will update the badge on the sidebar when the upload has finished and I can actually get to my Flickr account - I'm locked out for the time being. And I will continue to upload edits there as they get finished.
I am off work today, home with the kids. Mallory is singing rather than sleeping, and Liam is trying to reconstruct a Lego whale that Mallory took apart. I have no idea how all the little bits and pieces fit together so I am useless to him.
No photo to accompany this post, because trying to run one more application and perform one more simultaneous upload may well be just enough to cause the computer to explode. I'm sure you will understand.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Anyway, it struck me as I was doing a second pass-through of the photos and pulling out some more favourites, that it's going to be awfully hard to decide what to print. I have a loooot of raw material to work with. Some are one-off type shots and it's a no-brainer that they will get printed. Some are repeats of the same pose, but a blink or wayward hair makes narrowing it down easier.
And then I have this series of Mallory. There are about thirty in all (I know, I know - overkill) but each one is slightly different. Each one represents a different side of her personality. How will I ever decide?
The "Smiling So Hard My Cheeks Are Going to Fall Off" One
The Subdued Pretty Girl One
The "I've had enough!" One
There are more of her smelling her bouquet and then starting to twirl her hair around her fingers (a.k.a. the signal that sleep is impending!)
Oh, dear, this is going to be hard.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
So that puts us back into the realm of everyday life, and in this capacity I have a stack of unedited images to get around to, too. :) This one was taken last Friday, on our way to the wedding. Cindy belongs to a local network of daycare providers and they had arranged a group discount day at Storybook Gardens in London that happened to be the Friday before the wedding. Originally we had planned to pick the kids up at lunchtime so we could drive up to Stratford that afternoon. After hearing about Cindy's plans, we decided to go through London en route to Stratford and pick up the kids along the way just as Cindy was packing up the van to bring them home. At home, it rained for most of the morning, but in London it stayed dry until 20 minutes before they left. So they got to check out the animals and play on the playgrounds, and even use the splash pad, although it wasn't very hot. (At first I was almost disappointed that Cindy had this trip arranged, since we normally take the kids to Storybook Gardens on our own at some point during the summer, but we usually pick a hot day to do it, to make the most of the splash pad. This year has been so freaking cold though that it occurred to me that we could well go all summer waiting for a nice hot day that never materializes - so it's good that she got them there after all!) They rode the carousel while it rained and stayed dry underneath it... well, at least Liam rode the carousel. Mallory didn't want to. This does not bode well for the Disney trip we have planned, and I asked Mallory whether she would ride Cinderella's carousel when we go. She swears that she will, but that remains to be seen.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
The hair then got slept on a couple of times, first on the way from the house to the church and then on the way from the church to the reception. But we were able to unpin the clip, smooth it out a bit and clip it back up. It was tousled by the end of the day, but didn't fare too badly.
The dress was the next big concern. Part of me thought we should take Mallory to the church in shorts and a t shirt and dress her there in the lobby before walking down the aisle. That wouldn't have worked so well for pictures at the house before the ceremony though, so on went the dress. The good news is that she did a really, really good job of keeping it clean all day. I am literally still astounded by how clean it is, right through the reception in all its strawberries-and-chocolate-champagne-bottles-eating glory. I am considering listing it on Kijiji - really, what am I going to do with the dress now, especially given that it's only likely to fit for another couple of months? - and if I did, I wouldn't even bother to dry clean it first. I thought I had uploaded a few more photos from the day here, but they have failed to materialize. Hmmm. Oh well. Here is a parting shot of Mallory working on her sticker book during the reception, right as things were winding down. See, she is still (relatively) unscathed.
Monday, July 20, 2009
I still have many, many photos to edit - these were among my favourites, but there are more. I was not the 'official' photographer for the day so my picture set is not really complete. I have lots of Katrina and only a few of John. I didn't use my flash in the church so it wouldn't interfere with the photographer's flash, or move into the aisle to get any shots so my head wouldn't be in his photos, so those are lacking a bit. And I didn't take any photos while he was, so I missed things like the wedding party. But I'm still extremely happy with what I did get. Of course, it helps to have photogenic subjects, and Katrina must be the world's most photogenic person. She looks so natural in all of the pictures I have. All of my wedding pictures look like I am smiling through clenched teeth. She really nailed it.
Much lurve and appreciation to Chad for handling the kids on his own through most of the day to allow me to chase after Katrina.
A few more shots: this one is in the slideshow, but bears repeating here. Aside from some stunning images of Katrina and John in their finery, this is my favourite shot of the day: Mallory showing some sass with the ladies. I love how this one turned from a formal into a candid. So, how did Mallory do as a flower girl? Well... she was up until 10:30 the night before the wedding. Sleeping in hotels is not her forte, remember? We rented a suite that night, and it was massive - it was like a small apartment, really. So we were split up from each other and she was nowhere near Liam, which was by design - we thought this would give us the best odds of her getting to sleep at a decent time. Nope. She was up talking for more than an hour after we put her to bed. Then, she was up bright and early the next morning. We went to get hair done (got hers done too - they squeezed her in after finishing with me), had some lunch, then put on the dress and took a few photos before going to the church. The wedding was at 1:30 p.m. which is her usual naptime, and you guessed it - she fell asleep in the car on the way to the church. We had to wake her up to go inside, and she was NOT happy. Still, she made it down the aisle in one piece. The night before, at the rehearsal, there were a lot of NO!s and running, so I asked Steph to escort Mallory down, and I made sure she knew there was a colouring book waiting in the pew with me. That seemed to do the trick and we got through the service with only minimal (??) talking and only two dropped markers (that seemed to drop like bombs in the echoy confines of a church. Sorry, Katrina!)She fell asleep again on the five-minute drive from the church to the reception, and this time, she didn't wake up. Chad spent the first hour+ of the reception with a sleeping child on his shoulder. My dad and I took turns with her, too.She got her second wind after that, though, and all was well again. This was at the end of the day, when formals were being shot outside as the guests were leaving. Mallory found a stick and announced to everyone that it was her fishing rod. She would march up to someone, complete strangers even, and say, "Do you want a fish?" And they would be taken aback and not sure that they had heard her correctly: "Pardon?" And she would say, "Do you want me to catch you a fish?" They would nod and play along, and she would clarify, "A big one or a little one?" They would state their preference and then she would scurry off, poke her stick into these daylilies, and come back: "Here's your fish for you!"
More photos to come this week, I'm sure...
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
[sarcasm] Gee, parenthood is fun. [/sarcasm]
If there is any silver lining to this at all - and I am trying really, really hard to find one here - it's that I think - I hope - I pray - he has gotten it out of his system now. Tomorrow is kind of a big day, everyone has new clothes to wear, etc. The last thing we need is multiple dashes to the bathroom. Or, worse yet, missed trips to the bathroom. If you catch my drift.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
(I'm sure it will. I am pretty thick-skinned.)
Not much else to say, except to thank Anonymous for what may well be my first public heckle. However... it looks like you're in the minority.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
The older sister in the movie was played by an actress I have never seen or heard of before, Sofia Vassilieva. There is a scene in the movie where she gets dressed up to go to a formal dance with her boyfriend, also a cancer patient, and she floats down the staircase wearing this gorgeous dress with a full head of red hair (thanks to a wig). By this point she is pretty sick and you are getting the impression that things are not going to end well.
The entire movie is one big tear-jerker, the kind where with every gap in the audio you can hear snivelling taking place in the theatre around you as people are trying to compose themselves. And though this scene wasn't likely meant to be particularly sad or sob-worthy, it sent me over the edge (again). You guessed it - there I was, picturing Mallory an estimated 15 years from now. Though hopefully without the tubes sticking out of her chest.
When I sit back and compare myself to a lot of people I know, I have led a pretty charmed life. My family is healthy, we still have our parents, we have never known the tragedy of a big flood or fire or earthquake or car accident, no addictions (so long as Diet Pepsi doesn't count), no bitter divorces, no children falling into a pool and drowning, and on and on it goes. And the more years that go by like this, with everyone happy and healthy for the most part, the more certain I am that the other shoe is going to drop and when it does, it's going to fall in a big, big way.
Now that I have kids, of course, my worries are more about them than they are about me. I worry more than the usual amount, I think, that my kids are not going to survive into adulthood. At least, I worry more than someone who has not yet been given a reason to worry should. I worry that they are going to be the ones hit by a freak stroke of lightning or contract fatal meningitis or do something incredibly stupid when they are 16 that does not end luckily and happily, as it always did for my friends and me.
There is still the chance that something could happen to Chad or I, and in our mid-thirties, that would still be considered dying a young and tragic death, but I am more convinced, or at least more worried, that it will be the kids. Who's to say that Mallory won't be diagnosed with leukemia when she is four or five? What about this swine flu business that is going to decimate the population in a few short months? - my employer is providing Tamiflu to all employees, but if there's a real epidemic and a shortage of medication, my children might not be afforded the same privilege. And while death from the flu is pretty rare in most cases... statistically speaking... I feel like one of these days, I am going to be left without a chair when the music stops.
So there I was, sobbing, alternately picturing Mallory going to her prom/formal/whatever and just hoping that she is still here in fifteen years and able to go to her prom/formal/whatever, trying not to get sucked into a big impending sense of doom. It was hard to do, especially when sitting in a theatre watching a pretty depressing film. I don't really have anywhere to go with this post... no point to make or conclusion to come to. I guess this is what it's like to be a parent: one big worry-fest. It's not the part of the job that I like the most. That would have to go to Christmas morning.
Monday, July 13, 2009
At least, Mallory has. She was up til 10 last night, singing away. I'm sure that comes as no surprise though, right?We let them eat out on the patio with the guys - they very much enjoy being part of the action.
There were a few near-misses, but nobody got clobbered in the head with a Frisbee.
Hey, did you know the Space Shuttle is supposed to launch tonight?
*If* it does - the launch has been scrubbed 4 times already on account of the weather, so I am not holding my breath - and you live in the same general vicinity as me, then you can see it in orbit, too. The earth is at the right angle, or some such thing.
In fact, the shuttle will be docking at the ISS, and as it approaches the ISS you'll be able to see it chasing the ISS across the sky. This I have to see. The link I posted a few days ago gives all the relevant dates and times, but they are all subject to change based on when the thing actually blasts off. There might be a few late nights ahead of me this week if it all syncs up, but they will be worth it. It sounds like it would be pretty neat to see.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Thursday, July 09, 2009
There's some universal phenomenon going on right now that makes it possible to see the international space station flying over us this week and next. Even in broad daylight. I am kind of a sucker for astronomical phenomena like that, so here's a date/time list to show you when sightings from Chatham are possible. I have plans for tonight and am not sure that I can be outside at 10:21 p.m. to watch for it, but I am going to try. Tomorrow is supposed to be overcast, and I think this is one of those laws-of-diminishing-returns deals where it will get more difficult the longer you wait.
Those of you in other areas can follow this link to find dates and times for yourselves.
THE FOLLOWING ISS SIGHTINGS ARE POSSIBLE FROM WED JUL 08 TO THU JUL 23
SATELLITE LOCAL DURATION MAX ELEV APPROACH DEPARTURE
DATE/TIME (MIN) (DEG) (DEG-DIR) (DEG-DIR)
ISS Wed Jul 08/09:56 PM 5 51 10 above SW 12 above ENE
ISS Wed Jul 08/11:32 PM 5 23 11 above WNW 10 above NE
ISS Thu Jul 09/01:12 AM < 1 11 11 above NNE 10 above NNE
ISS Thu Jul 09/02:44 AM 4 21 11 above NNW 10 above ENE
ISS Thu Jul 09/04:19 AM 6 62 10 above WNW 10 above SE
ISS Thu Jul 09/10:21 PM 6 49 10 above WSW 10 above NE
ISS Fri Jul 10/00:00 AM 1 14 14 above N 10 above NNE
ISS Fri Jul 10/01:36 AM 1 13 13 above NNE 10 above NE
ISS Fri Jul 10/03:08 AM 2 40 10 above NW 40 above N
ISS Fri Jul 10/10:49 PM 2 22 22 above N 11 above NNE
ISS Sat Jul 11/00:25 AM 1 13 13 above NNE 10 above NNE
ISS Sat Jul 11/01:58 AM 1 19 11 above NNW 19 above N
ISS Sat Jul 11/09:35 PM 5 47 12 above WSW 12 above NE
ISS Sat Jul 11/11:13 PM 1 15 15 above N 10 above NNE
ISS Sun Jul 12/00:49 AM 1 15 15 above NNE 12 above NE
ISS Sun Jul 12/10:02 PM 2 22 22 above NNW 11 above NNE
ISS Sun Jul 12/11:38 PM 1 13 13 above N 10 above NNE
ISS Mon Jul 13/01:12 AM < 1 11 11 above NNW 11 above NNW
ISS Mon Jul 13/10:27 PM 2 15 15 above N 10 above NNE
ISS Tue Jul 14/00:02 AM 2 15 15 above N 11 above NE
ISS Tue Jul 14/01:36 AM < 1 10 10 above NW 10 above NW
ISS Tue Jul 14/10:51 PM 2 13 13 above N 10 above NNE
ISS Wed Jul 15/00:27 AM < 1 21 20 above N 21 above N
ISS Wed Jul 15/09:40 PM 2 15 15 above N 10 above NNE
ISS Wed Jul 15/11:16 PM 2 15 15 above N 10 above NE
ISS Thu Jul 16/00:49 AM < 1 16 10 above NW 16 above NW
ISS Thu Jul 16/10:05 PM 2 13 13 above N 10 above NNE
ISS Thu Jul 16/11:40 PM 1 23 20 above N 23 above NNE
ISS Fri Jul 17/10:29 PM 2 15 15 above N 10 above NE
ISS Sat Jul 18/00:04 AM < 1 29 19 above NW 29 above NNW
ISS Sat Jul 18/10:54 PM 2 24 20 above N 18 above ENE
ISS Sun Jul 19/00:27 AM < 1 12 10 above WNW 12 above WNW
ISS Sun Jul 19/09:42 PM 3 16 14 above N 10 above NE
ISS Sun Jul 19/11:18 PM 1 51 29 above NNW 51 above NNE
ISS Mon Jul 20/10:07 PM 3 24 21 above N 10 above E
ISS Mon Jul 20/11:41 PM 1 23 10 above WNW 23 above WNW
ISS Tue Jul 21/10:31 PM 2 54 30 above NNW 29 above E
ISS Wed Jul 22/10:55 PM 2 45 15 above WNW 45 above SW
(I got this shot this morning before I headed out for my run... the moon was still high in the sky.)
Except that as soon as I set foot in the door at Cindy's, both kids started to cry.
Now that it is summer, one of Cindy's regulars is off rotation (her mom works for the school board) and two school-aged kids who used to be her charges are back in her care. These two are a brother (7) and sister (5) team, and let it be said - Liam adores them both.
When I got to Cindy's yesterday, everyone was out in the back yard. The 7 year old was running around shouting that he was going to eat Liam's eyeballs, and Liam was on the ground laughing so hard that he could scarcely catch his breath.
I stuck around for a good 15-20 minutes or so, trying to ease them out the door, but by the time we left there were tears all around. I tried to reassure the kids that the other moms would soon be coming to get the other kids, but that was little consolation to them: they did not want to miss out on a minute of it. In fact, despite the fact that he has not been napping at home for the past six months, yesterday was the first day that Liam told Cindy he did not want a nap at her house. And it was because he didn't want to miss a thing.
This was a first for Liam, this fussiness at getting out the door, though Mallory has been crabby at pick-up time for the last little while. No idea why and no ability to fix it. (We tucked her into bed at 8:30 last night and she was still talking to herself at almost 10 p.m. How on earth do we fix that??)
The silver lining in this is that it reinforces what I have suspected all along, which is that Liam is ready for school. He is ready to enjoy the company of older kids and move onto new things. There is some solace in that.
Anyway, the next time I am out of work half an hour early, I will go run an errand or something and then pick the kids up at the normal time. No more of this early pick-up business that makes me the bad guy. I get enough of that on my regular bath-taking and vegetable-eating enforcements at home.
(Chad organized a charity creek clean-up event last weekend. Here's Liam swimming in his t-shirt and thrilled about the work gloves he got to wear... that he didn't want to get dirty.)
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Anyway, in an attempt to appease the masses - ha! - here are a few photos from our Canada Day celebrations. Not only have I been slacking on the posting lately but I have also been slacking on getting my photos uploaded/edited/sorted. And that photography website I started last month and haven't updated since? Don't get me started on that. Much. To. Do. No small-town celebration would be complete without a couple of things: number one, the travelling snake show. Seriously, this is so NOT my thing. Did anyone see the story on CNN about the python who killed a 2 year old sleeping in a crib last week? (If not, don't worry, I understand that world news has been completely overshadowed by Michael Jackson these past ten days. I mean, North Korea fired seven missiles this week, but I'm sure most people don't know about that, either.) That's the only thing that keeps me at arms length to the snakes at these types of shows: the ability to clobber said beast if they go after one of my kids.And then there is the ubiquitous cow train! How many times has Liam ridden this thing now?? One... Two...Three... I will stop there - partly because you get the point and partly because the other photos are on my XHD at home and I don't have access to them.
Anyway, this was the first year that Liam really enjoyed the bouncy castle-type activities. We had gotten him to try them in the past but he was totally not into all the kids bumping into him and the jostling. This time, he loved it all.So did Mallory. Big surprise, right? She has always been a little bit tougher around the edges than Liam. It's a good thing when you are 2, but I have visions of her hanging out in bars with bikers when she is 16. It won't always be a good thing.
The lines were not too bad at these events since we were there in the morning and the parade was not until late afternoon (damn misprint in the paper!) So I guess it's good that we got out early, after all.
Hello, stranger's bum.Of course we went back to the parade later that day. How could we not? The kids are totally into the police cars that start and finish the parade and, of course, the candy that gets thrown. I snitched a piece of bubble gum from their 'loot bags' this week, and it was awful. It actually stuck to my teeth, and I spent two hours picking bits of it out. Not that they are allowed to have gum, but... I have started to question all of the stuff they picked up now. All these suckers were probably made in China and they likely have melamine in them.
Oh well. The kids have tough stomachs. I'm sure they will survive.