Friday, December 22, 2006

Jingle All The Way

Tomorrow morning we're heading to the Okanagan for Christmas. I'm excited about getting to see family and do all the Christmas hoopla. I am not excited about the drive. You're probably thinking you wouldn't want to do an 11 hour drive with 2 two year olds either. Surprisingly, that is not what I am dreading. See the last time we did this drive in the winter we got stuck in an Avalanche. I don't mean buried under it or anything. I mean stopped in the middle of the Rogers Pass on a random stretch of highway for hours and hours and hours waiting for Evironment Canada to finish their blasting and snow clearing.

We were moving from Vernon to Medicine Hat. Hugh's dad was driving our U-Haul, Hugh was driving our truck and camper, and I was driving the van with the kids. Hugh's mom was with me on kid patrol making sure the portable DVD player never stopped and keeping up a steady stream of snacks. We had been making really good time and pulled up to the road blockade about 3:00pm. Originally we were told we'd be stuck for about 2 hours. Oh great! What the heck are we going to do with our kids in the literal middle of nowhere for 2 hours! We couldn't even all hang out together because none of the vehicles had room for more than 2 or 3 people.

But I had packed my 5-pack of Baby Einstein DVD's so I figured I would just lull the kids into insensibility with endless Baby Einstein. "Um, has anyone seen the kids DVD's?" Blank stares. Am I speaking english? Turns out that somehow or other they had been packed into the U-Haul and there was no way they were seeing the light of day until we unpacked that thing. Luckily, that morning I had borrowed Bambi from my sister-in-law thinking my kids might watch a long movie if they couldn't move. I opened the DVD (a little frantically I confess) to find that we only had the special features disc! I didn't even know if they would like the movie. I was darn sure they weren't going to care how it was made. So the movie thing was a bust but I figured 2 hours was do-able.

Well, 2 hours became 3 which meant suppertime and we were all getting hungry. Food onhand? 2 slices of pizza left over from packing the night before. 8 oatmeal cookies and a case of bottled water. And of all things, I was stressed because I'm a sugar nazi and I didn't want my kids to eat the cookies. After a brief counselling session with my mother-in-law where I was reassured that my kids would not end up with ADHD I relented and fed my starving children.

When 3 hours became 4 and I had listened to the one Baby Einstein DVD that hadn't been packed because it was in the DVD player about 20,000 times, my left eye began to develop a small tic and every so often my head twitched uncontrollably. Through gritted teeth I said to Mom Cyr, "!" She suggested a walk to clear my head.

I thought that was a great idea for about 30 seconds. Did I mention we were in the mountains in the cold and blowing snow?

By now it was 7:00pm and technically the kids bedtime. I had been counting on the moving car to lull them gently to sleep. They were tired and cranky but I kept thinking it would be any minute that we'd get the go ahead. I walked up to Hugh and his dad who were talking to one of the BC Environment guys and I heard the news. It would be at least another hour. I think I may have cried a little.

To kill that hour we bundled up the kids in all the clothes we could find and we walked up and down the row of cars. At 8:00pm we put the kids back in the van and got ready to drive. I think at this point I was more hoping we would get to move than believing we would. And sure enough the next time frame we were given was 10:00pm. I know I cried when I heard that. By this time the kids had gone beyond cranky to become weapons of mass destruction. For their own safety (I was ready to become a weapon of mass destruction) we stood outside the van and let them cry/scream until they dropped off from sheer exaustion. Did you know that 10 minutes of screaming actually feels like an hour?

Once the kids had fallen asleep I did not want to open the van doors again and wake them up so mom and I went to the U-Haul to hang out in the cab with the boys. We squeezed 4 adults into a 2-man cab. Then every 3 or 4 minutes someone had to check on the kids and it was jostle, jostle, shift. Jostle, jostle, suck in your breath. Shift. Jostle. Out. It was all very funny. Funny bordering on hysteria.

Sometime later (time had lost all meaning) mom and I went back to the van and the kids slept through the opening and closing of the doors. They even managed to sleep through the blinding lights that flashed on when the doors opened. Technology is all well and good in its place but seriously DO NOT WAKE THE BABIES!

Then finally, finally, finally they started to let cars through. It was shortly after 10:00pm. We had been sitting there for 7 hours. All I wanted to do was get to Calgary and find a hotel with a bed in that I could fall into.

We got to go all of 11 km before they stopped us again. I would have screamed with frustration except I really didn't want to wake the babies and at least we were at a gas station. I have never been so thankful for a gas station bathroom in my life. The bathroom line up was very long. I guess no one else wanted to go au natural out in the freezing cold either.

The other reason not to scream was the rows and rows of food. Glorious food! I gorged myself on black licorice, chips, juice, and those mini packets of mixed nuts until I felt sick. And then we waited some more.

It was shortly after 11:00pm when we were told the roads were clear enough to drive. We had been stopped for a grand total of 8 hours. 8 hours! A good friend of mine had driven the road the previous weekend and had been stopped for 4 hours because of the avanlanches. She advised me to check the road reports before we left "because it would really suck to get stuck for 4 hours with your kids in the middle of nowhere."

You think?

Lessons learned. 1) Make sure I know where the kids DVD's are at all times and 2) Pack food. Lot's and lot's of food.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Some Of My Christmas Fave's

White Christmas

Bing Crosby's Christmas

Oh Holy Night

It's a toss up between butter tarts and shortbread

Way to spend an evening:
By the Christmas tree lights with special hot chocolate

Starbucks drink:
Gingerbread Latte

Way to celebrate:
My family's Candlelight Christmas Eve.

Part of Christmas day:

Part of Turkey Dinner:
My mom's stuffing

What are some of your fave's?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Reporting Back...

Sorry that it has been so long since my last post. We just hit an oddly busy spell. I say oddly because I could probably go for days on end without a reason to leave the house unless I made up something. My social calendar here is not exactly what you call overflowing.

The reason for this post is to report on Hugh's work Christmas party.

For those who are interested (and Paul I know this won't be you) I wore a black wrap dress, aqua pumps and a great necklace that my mom brought back from Italy. I definitely wasted the worry over what to wear. A couple girls were wearing jeans and hoodies! I'm sorry is this a Christmas party or breakfast at Humpty's? (The trucker's version of Denny's.) Some of the women were wearing office wear: trousers and a blouse. And several pulled out the trashy Mariposa and were wearing sparkly little numbers that emphasized their cleavage, panty lines, and and every little roll on their bodies. I guess the rednecks haven't heard about Spanx yet. Something else I noticed was the inordinate amount of bad shoes. I'm not sure when it became okay to pair sparkly gaucho's with Ugg's (nevermind when it became okay to wear cheap sparkly gaucho's) but I don't think I'll be jumping on board with that trend anytime soon. The other shoe of choice for the evening was the square toe, chunky heel black loafer popular in the late 90's. As for the men, Wranglers and plaid with the rope-like western necktie was the dress of choice. Other offerings include a clean white shirt under the slayer t-shirt and a clean hat worn backwards. Stacy London and Clinton Kelly from TLC's "What Not To Wear" would have had a heyday!

They had assigned seating for everyone and we were seated with the owners parents. His PARENTS! When we first walked in the owners mother was standing with the owner who I was meeting for the first time. When he introduced us to his mother we were told that (index finger waving in the air and pointing to the heavens) we had "something in common." So it's going to be like that is it. Then we're standing in the drink line up and behind us was a couple who had just come in. The guy's hair was parted down the middle and tied back in a low pony tail. He was wearing Lenon-esque glasses, sneakers and a shirt that was plaid but not flannel. I guessed it was his wife who was employed by the company. He didn't exactly fit the stereotypical look of a heavy duty mechanic. It turns out that he's the company computer guy (read geek) and our other dinner companions. Also seated at the table were the General Manager and his wife. Well our table certainly wasn't going to be rowdy...or fun.

Actually the people we sat with were very kind and we ended up having some good conversations with them. But all in all I was sadly disappointed. There was no wife swapping to watch, no fireworks set off, and no outrageous behaviour. The drunken owner did do an air guitar solo during AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long" on the dance floor by himself that was quite amusing. And I did snort my drink up my nose when he stood up on a chair still playing his air guitar and tried to do the rock star leg hop across the stage. Surprisingly there's not a whole lot of room to do that leg hop on a chair. But other than that little episode it was a pretty anticlimactic evening and we were home by 10:30. Maybe next year will be more exciting.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Tis the Season

Hugh works in your average redneck truck shop. Many of them come into the shop the night after a "big game" not just hung over but actually still drunk. Their speech is liberally peppered with f-words and good grammar is what's considered a 4-letter word. My favourite is how they break up words with the f-word where there is just not a nat-f-ing-ural break in the word. There was a time when some of the men pulled their manly parts into shapes like the "batwing" or the "goat" and tried to surprise each other into looking. I am happy to say Hugh has refrained from joining in the fun of that game. At least as far as I know...

Next friday, a week from today is Hugh's staff Christmas party. Apparently it gets pretty wild. One year at the Christmas party a Foreman went home with the wife of a Parts Guy. Another year somebody thought it would be a good idea to light fireworks. That's always nice for the holidays. Of course it's better when the fireworks are an outdoor display. The Christmas party is no longer held at that particular hotel.

To be honest I'm not really looking forward to going. I know that I am generalizing about rednecks here and I know some of them and their wives will be great. But what on earth am I going to have in common with the couples who think UFC and a box of wine (so much more romantic than a 6-pack) is a good date night?

The other thought that is bringing me a little stress is the ever important question of what to wear. The party is a dinner and dance at a hotel banquet room so I assume it's sort of dressy. But you never know how people are going to interpret dressy. If I get all glammed up and discover everyone else thought dressy meant trashy Mariposa that's one thing. But what if I show up all glammed out and discover that everyone bought their outfits at the John Deere store in the mall? In case you're wondering if you read that right let me assure you it's true. John Deere, synonymous with farm equipment, has a clothing line. Who knew? On the other hand if they do buy their "dress flannels" at John Deere I don't exactly want to blend in. That tractor green really does nothing for me.

In a situation like this there's really only one thing to do. Start with a martini.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I suspect that this is just the beginning

Last Thursday at our multiples club playgroup Tristan was climbing on some large crash-pad-like things and fell. Being the exceptional mom I am I was too busy talking to some of the other moms and didn't actually see what happened. I did react to the blood curdling scream. When I picked Tristan up his nose was bleeding a bit but I couldn't really see anything so wrong that it called for the "mom I'm seriously in pain here" kind of cry.

We went home. The kids had a nap. They woke up. (Thrilling isn't it? Oh the life of a stay at home mom.) Tristan's eye was black and his nose was so swollen across the bridge that his eye was being pulled funny. Again being the exceptional mom that I am I thought wow he really fell hard. I sure wish I had seen what happened. And then we went on with our weekend.

It wasn't until Monday that I finally googled the symptoms of a broken nose.
  • Nose bled at time of injury. Check.
  • Nose swells into the eye. Check.
  • Swelling doesn't go down within 24 hours. Check.
  • May sound congested or have trouble breathing. Check.

Oh Lord.

So Tuesday morning we took him to emergency to get x-rays and surprise! it's broken. Do you know what is so fun to do? Take 2 two year olds and sit in a waiting room for hours on end and after playing with all the toys and eating all the fruit and crackers you brought and exhausting every children's song you know let them have juice to stave off the boredom. Then move to a little room with no toys and wait for more hours while the two year olds literally bounce up and down and almost literally try climbing the walls because the unfamiliar substance of sugar is coursing through their little bodies like crack. Then, try to get the hurt two year old to sit still for an x-ray when he's tired because it's nap time and he's cranky because he's just come off his sugar high. THEN go back to little room with no toys and wait some more so you can be told it was a clean break and will heal on it's own. Super.

I didn't think to take a picture until a few days after the injury so it's not nearly as dramatic as it looked the first day or so but you get the idea.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Teaching Ava her name part II

"Ava what are these letters?"
"A, V, A."
"Great! What does that spell?"
Wow! I did not expect her to know that. I think I have a little genius on my hands! I wonder what else she can do.

"What are these letters?"
"J, O, Y."
"Good job! What does that spell?"

"How about these letters Ava?"
"C, Y, R."
"Awesome! What does that spell?"
Alright so maybe not quite a genius....

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Has anyone else seen this?

So there's a fried chicken chain out there that "puts an addictive chemical in it that makes you crave it fortnightly".*

I just saw their new holiday ad last night. Can there be anything more depressing than the "holiday feast for one"?

*More bonus points available. Where is the above quote from?

Monday, November 20, 2006

How do you spell mortified?

Last week we were in recovery mode from the previous weekend and our house had severely suffered. Especially the master bedroom.

We were expecting company Friday morning at 10 and I had to run a quick errand before they came. As I ran out my bedroom and down the stairs the thought flashed through my mind "Thank GOD no one will EVER see my bedroom like this."

I got home at 10:15. An hour or so later we were seeing our company off . I had just closed the front door and breathed a sigh of relief that there had been no reason for our company to see the upstairs when Hugh says, "So they asked for a tour of the house before you got here and I gave them one."

"What do you mean you gave them a tour? Tell me you did not take them upstairs. For the love of God you did not show them our bedroom....did you?"


If Hugh ever has occasion to ask why his xbox has been smashed to pieces and if I did it, I think I'm going answer maybe.

Friday, November 17, 2006


Last weekend was a weekend of remembrance. I have struggled to get these words out and debated on whether to post this entry.

At various times throughout the weekend the sky was clear and blue, dark and stormy or just plain grey, as if colour and vibrancy had fled the chill of winter to wait for the newness of Spring.

Remembrance Day dawned crisp and cold and so blue it almost hurt. Standing in Riverside Park, listening to "Taps", I watched an old military helicopter fly overhead and release thousands of poppies to the crowd below. The arms of the trees around us were gnarled and knobby but still they reached to embrace the sky. I watched the blood red poppies float down through the brilliant blue sky to dance among the stark white trees. And my heart ached that there could be such beauty in the cold and chill and barrenness. And I released a breath I did not know I was holding.

The crowd clapped for the Veterans as they marched out of the Cenotaph and I remembered an Armistice Day ceremony I attended in Belgium while I was backpacking through Europe. I think the entire city had turned out and were lining the streets. The various military groups paraded by and I stood silent and small in awe of the roar of a crowd that celebrated as if the armistice had been signed yesterday and not almost 90 years ago. Canons boomed in the distant during the moment of silence compelling us to remember...remember...remember... Remember the sacrifice of those that have fallen. Remember the cost of our peace and freedom. Remember that life is meant to be lived. And I understood the passion of the people and I heard my voice join the cheering crowd as the soldiers made their return journey.

This weekend, November 13 also marked the one year anniversary of the day my sister lost her husband in a car accident. That day dawned dark and stormy. At the cemetery we stood in a semi-circle around Colton's newly erected monument and laid flowers and remembered. And we were silent. Because the day belonged to the wind and words had no place in it.

How can it be that it only takes one moment to change life so irrevocably? How is it possible for your entire world to be altered in just one instant?

I often think back to what I was doing a year ago. Who I was a year ago. What I took for granted a year ago. And I am determined not to waste today. I will not wait for winter's chill to thaw and release the colours of Spring. I will mix my own colours. I will paint a new canvas. And I will let the shadows of the grey that I cannot erase make the colour more brilliant.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

In which I try to teach Ava her full name

"Can you say Ava?"
"Can you say Joy?"
"Can you say Cyr?"
"Can you say Ava Joy Cyr?"
"Ava Joy Cyr!"
"Okay. Now what is your full name?"

Well that was unexpected.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

putting the "fart" back in artsy-fartsy

Let's talk about crafts for a minute.

I consider myself fairly creative but not necessarily craft-y. My friend Michelle could do seminars on scrapbooking, makes her own Christmas cards and is a whiz with an embosser.

I embossed something once. I didn't so much melt the glitter as light the paper on fire.

Apparently my kids aren't so much into the crafts either.

We go to a structured play group every Wednesday (as opposed to the free-for-all that is the multiples playdate on Thursdays). It starts with a little song and then we sit at mini tables for craft-time. This week the kids were given glitter pens to squeeze onto paper plates. First Tristan tried to eat it, then he spent the rest of craft-time playing with the glitter pen; lid on, lid off, lid on, lid off. Ava let me squeeze some on her plate but wouldn't touch it preferring to name the colours of the glitter pens on the table. How funny, they were all purple!

The week before it was finger-painting. Well that didn't go over well with my uber fastidious kids. One of the play group moderators put Tristan's hand in the blob of paint and smeared it on his paper. The look on his face reminded me of those girls in horror movies who've just realized the "kindly neighbour" is actually the axe murder. "ah, Ah, AH" he said, the decibels rising with each word.

After much encouragement I managed to convince Ava that dipping her finger into the itty-bitty-est amount of paint would not be fatal she managed to make a mark on her paper about the size of a pin head. I tried to show by example just how fun finger-painting could be. They totally didn't buy it but I discovered that I am a finger-painter extraordinaire. My artwork was fridge-worthy.

The week before finger-painting was pumpkin decorating. This should have been better. No messy paint. No sticky glitter. Just stickers and markers. First Tristan tried to bite into the pumpkin and after realizing it didn't taste very good my kids sat the entire craft time staring at their mini pumpkins. Do you want a sticker? "NO! NO! NO!" I guess that was a pretty offensive question. How dare I think they would defile their pumpkins with markers and *gasp* stickers!

I should have known how it would be from the very first week. I dipped a sponge into paint, handed it to Tristan and he promptly put it in his mouth. (Did I mention that Tristan has a slight oral fixation?) Ava picked up the sponge with her thumb and first finger, her nose crinkled like she had just smelled a dirty diaper, and let it dangle over her paper for a moment before disdainfully letting it go. That sponge did not get picked up again.

Maybe they'll be good at sports...

Thursday, November 2, 2006

the definition of chaos

1 multiples club play date
9 moms
23 kids under the age of 4

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

all hallows eve

So this is Halloween # 2 for the Cyr household. I was pretty excited about having my kids do all the work for the candy that I would get to eat. Started out kind of rough. Had to bribe Tristan with candy to put on costume. Ava too. I told her if she puts her costume on she gets candy. "No candy, no candy," she cried. Um, I don't think you understand what candy is. 1 mini chocolate bar later and it was "trick or treat! trick or treat! go van! trick or treat!" She catches on quick that one.

Ava the unicorn, Tristan the tiger, Kai the frog prince.

Tristan: "Whoa, I think I'm cut off. If I have one more sucker I'm gonna need a DD"

Close up

Extreme close up

The smarties box that Ava gnawed open to get to the candy.


With her teeth.

I may have created a monster...

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Identical or Fraternal, that is the question

Hugh and I took the kids to a trade show yesterday. It was disappointingly boring for the most part and would have been a complete waste of time if not for the mini donuts.

I love mini donuts. Their buttery, sugary, melt-in-your-mouth goodness makes any fair or trade show worthwhile. To be perfectly honest most of the fairs I've gone to in the last few years have not been for the rides or the chance to win the teddy bear. Nope. I go for the mini donuts. I will willingly, even gladly, pay $15 dollars to get in the gate just to spend $3 on a little bag of sunshine. My internal compass does not point North, or any direction really, it points to mini donuts. You get me in that gate, I'll find you mini donuts.

Anyway we're wandering through the booths and filling out all the draw box forms we can find. Who cares if we don't have room for a pool table, and who cares if the last thing I want is a neon Budweiser sign, if it's free we're dropping our name in the box.

We got stopped at the RESP table lured by the draw of free money for our kids education. This is really just a ploy to get into your homes so you can be sold whatever the proverbial "they" think you should buy; education insurance, mutual funds, cars, the ultimate chopper.

The man running the booth was doing his best to engage us in conversation and set up an "at-home consultation" but I could see a booth giving away free fudge samples just 20 steps beyond us and I was itching to get moving. Unfortunately the guy was not picking up on my lack of enthusiasm and I didn't want to be rude so...

"So I see you have young kids."


"Are they twins?"


"Boys? Girls?"

"One of each actually."

"Oh wow that's great hey?"


At this point he walked to the front of the stroller to take a better look at them and he actually asked "So are they identical?"

Slightly surprised I replied, "Well, it's a boy and girl so...." I left it hanging so he could draw the obvious conclusion.

He looked at them again comparing their appearances and pronounced "Nope, definitely not identical."

Really? The fact that they don't look alike is what makes you think they're not identical? How about the fact that one has a penis and the other a vagina. I'd say that's sort of un-identical.

Sadly this is a common question we get. When the kids were first born and I was still in the hospital about 80% of people who visited us asked if they were identical. Finally after politely answering most people a simple "no, they're fraternal" we had some good friends ask us the question. We laughed at him.

Then we told him it's impossible to have boy/girl twins that are identical simply because one is a boy and the other is a girl. Our friend tried to contradict us saying he had "read about it somewhere on the internet". We laughed at him again.

So to set the record straight in case any of you out there are wondering. It is absolutely 100% impossible for boy/girl twins to be identical. As an old math teacher of mine used to say "Come on people, it's not rocket science."

Sunday, October 22, 2006

In which Ava learns a valuable life lesson

Today Ava brought me her pair of pink sparkly ballet flats.

"Shoes on mama?"

"Sure I can put those on for you."

I tried putting them on. Remember when the ugly stepsisters tried jamming their gargantuan feet into the itsy bitsy oh so dainty glass slipper?

"Uh-Oh honey, I think your feet grew. They don't fit anymore."

I passed the shoe back to Ava and she promptly passed it back to me.

"Yes fit mama."

"No Ava they don't fit."


So I shoved. And I shoved and I shoved and I shoved. I do not now how my normally pain intolerant daughter managed to stand it. I was actually wincing as I was shoving but finally the effort paid off and we sat for a moment to bask in the glory of a really great pair of shoes.

Smiling like the cat who got the cream Ava hopped off my lap and limped away.

That's right. I said limped.

"Ava, do those shoes hurt? Should we take them off?"

"No mama. Shoes fit mama."

I could see her point. The shoes really did make the outfit.

Welcome to womanhood Ava Joy.

Monday, October 16, 2006

saying goodbye Davis style

This weekend we said good-bye to our dad.

Hugh, Jane and I met Erin, our Uncle Greg & Aunt Rosemary and our Uncle Dale in Field, BC. My dad spent the happiest part of his childhood in Field and there is a natural land bridge there that my dad requested we spread his ashes at.

You've probably never heard of Field. It is a tiny little town nestled into the slope of the mountains 15 minutes left of Lake Louise. North, South, East, West...whatever. All I know is when you leave Field you turn right onto the highway to go to Lake Louise and left to go to Golden.

Now when I say tiny I mean itsy bitsy, teeny tiny. The population is less than 200 and kids have to be bused to school in Golden 40 minutes away. Field has one coffee shop called The Truffle Pig. It is a coffee shop, restaurant, grocery store, gift shop, and liquor store all contained in about 1000 square feet. I can't report on the quality of the coffee because sadly their espresso machine was broken. The food was good even if there were only 3 items on the breakfast menu.

We stayed at The Kicking Horse Lodge, address 100 Centre. That's it. Not Centre St or Centre Ave, just Centre. Hugh and I shared a hotel room with Erin and Jane. I'm not sure if Hugh is brave, crazy or just plain cheap.

On Sunday morning we headed to the little known land bridge and discovered that it is now a major tourist attraction. At least we assumed so when we saw the 4 tour buses of Koreans parked there. Ummm, this might be a little awkward.

We waited and eventually they moved on. We stood by the glacier fed river and said our good-byes and took turns sending my dad down the wild, churning free-wheeling river. I have never seen water such a beautiful icy, aqua blue.

We came out of our hug, wiped our tears and looked around to see several cameras pointed in our direction. They're ba-ack. Awesome. At least we had the important parts alone.

Dad thank you for giving us your sense of adventure and gypsy spirit. Thank you for sharing with us your love of reading. For all your faults we always knew that you believed in us and loved us. We miss you.

Monday, October 9, 2006

because my brain has been turned to mush thanks to childbirth

Okay everyone I need your help.

I finished my decorating course (yay, yay, happy dance) and I need suggestions for a business name.


Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Tribute To My Sisters

Erin (adventurous middle child), Me (oldest & wisest), Jane (glamorous baby of the fam)

Erin came to visit Jane and I in Medicine Hat this past week. She has been living and traveling in S.E. Asia for basically the last 17 months. The picture above is courtesy of a photo fest taken on Erin's last day here. Let me just pause here for a moment to say that it is extremely difficult to take a photo of three women that everyone is happy with. Hugh was taking the pictures and I'm pretty sure he was ready to bash our heads in by the end of it. I'm pretty intuitive about things like that. Of course his threats of death and destruction and the cursing of digital technology may have given it away.

Anyway as I said before Erin came to visit and I can say without hesitation that this was the best visit the three of us have ever had together. Period. There was no drama, no fighting, no pettiness. Typically we've always had good visits when just two of us are together but you throw that third girl into the mix and all hell breaks loose. Maybe it's because we're all drama queens at heart who hate the thought of someone else taking the limelight. Or maybe we're just too competitive. (We're also really sore losers and we've had to ban certain card games unless non-family members can be present.) All I know is that typically when the three of us get together somebody always ends up either hurt, offended, crying or all three.

But not this time. It seems we're finally growing up and learning the lessons of our past. We've realized the value of family and the importance of having in our lives the people who know our stories. We've seen that sometimes it's better to be quiet than right, and that having the last word isn't as satisfying as getting along. We've learned to celebrate each other's achievements without envy or jealousy and truly wish the best for each other. We've begun to understand our differences and give each other room to be different. And we've realized that our similarities are not something to compete over but something to connect over. We've learned to talk without giving or taking offence and in talking we've discovered that we are all are our mother's daughters. These wonderful, quirky personality traits we share are the things that make us distinctly Davis Women. Or Smith-Cyr-Davis-White Women as the case may be.

This is not to say that everything is perfect or that every lesson has been perfectly learned or even that we've learned all the lessons we need to. It's just to say I'm so glad I was born into this family. I'm so grateful to have the sisters I do. And I'm so glad we're not teenagers anymore!

When I was 13 and Jane was 8 I flipped Jane onto her back and just about dislocated her shoulder. Erin and Jane used to regularly reenact WWE Smackdown. It always ended in tears. We called each other names. We pushed each other's buttons. We manipulated. We competed and we tortured each other as only sisters can. Friends with three daughters take heart! My sisters are some of the most important people in my life. They are so woven into the fabric of my DNA that I have often said to really know me you must also know my sisters.

Erin motivates me to eat better and exercise. During this past week Jane called while Erin and I were out and left a message. "I guess you girls are out. I hope you're doing something fun. Heather are you feeling motivated because Erin is here? Are you guys out exercising?" We so were. I would love to have Erin as my personal trainer.

Jane teaches me new make-up tricks and challenges me to be more creative in my fashion and accessory choices. She's the one I ask for ideas when I need a really great outfit. I would be totally content if she were my personal shopper.

Erin is the one I eat bags and bags of penny candy and black licorice with. (She doesn't always eat tofu!)

Jane is the one I watch old Audrey Hepburn movies with and who I quote "You've Got Mail" with.

I knit with Erin.

I paint with Jane.

Erin has taught me there is more than one way to get where you want to go. Everytime I drive with her we discover an "alternate route"!

Jane has taught me to hold your head high no matter what. Even if you've just rear-ended someone and you're not wearing any pants.

Erin brings my compassion to the surface. She holds her hands to her chest because her heart literally hurts for the lost, the lonely, the orphan, and the outcast.

Jane brings my passion to the surface. Her zest for life, her verve, the way her eyes light up when she talks about the things she's passionate about are contagious.

All three of us throw our heads back to laugh and occasionally pee our pants when laughing and we can still sing every song from the Little Mermaid by heart.

During this past week we had a conversation about hot dog condiments. We all like a hot dog with everything on it but I asked Erin & Jane what they would choose if they could only have one condiment. Jane's pick was relish, Erin's, mustard and mine, ketchup. In some weird way this is a metaphor for our relationship with each other. We're individual, unique. We can stand on our own. We're great when we're all together.

This past year has been incredibly difficult. It has been heartwrenching, confusing, painful, and uncertain but through it all we have had each other. It is possible to walk down even the most painful roads when you can walk arm in arm with your sisters.

Erin and Jane you are my sisters, my friends. You inspire me, motivate me, amaze me, cheer me on. You are my safe place to be me. Thank you. I love you. I'm so proud of who you are. As I write this I'm drinking a cup of piping hot Twinings Earl Grey tea in a beautiful Autumn mug and I raise it in honor of you, my sisters.

Okay so this is the part where we usually break into song. "Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters...Lord help the mister who comes between me and my sisters and Lord help the sister who comes between me and my man!"

By the way I'm giving bonus points to anyone who knows what movie I quoted that song from. (Erin and Jane you can't answer!)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Extraordinary moments in an ordinary day courtesy of Starbucks

I had the funnest thing happen to me this morning! (And yes you grammar junkies I know "funnest" isn't technically a word.)

I went through the Starbucks drive through to pick up coffee for Jane and I. Usually she brings coffee to me so it was really fun to be on the giving end this time. Actually I'm not 100% convinced that it's more blessed to give than receive when it comes to coffee because I really enjoy receiving a Caramel Breve Latte. That would be a caramel latte made with cream. Jane's entire face folds into itself when she drinks mine by accident and she gets a "sugar shake". That's when something is so sweet it actually gives you the shivers. Jane's coffee ideal is espresso, espresso, and more espresso. By itself. With nothing. Yuck. My ideal is something that only barely tastes like coffee. When I'm feeling exceptionally indulgent and can make myself forget that I'm drinking an entire weeks worth of calories I will top that caramel latte made with cream with a little whip and caramel drizzle. It's a little bit of liquid candy heaven.

Anyway, because it's fall and because I love seasonal things and because I love drinks with whip cream I ordered the Pumpkin Spice Latte for me, a double Tall non-fat Latte for Jane and a muffin and a scone. I paid with debit but I must not have hit "okay" at the end because the transaction timed out. When they tried to reswipe my card it wouldn't work so they gave me my entire order on the house! If getting super sweet liquid candy is fun, getting it for free is even funner! (You say potayto, I say potahto. You say more fun, I say funner.)

Sipping my free extra-hot latte, I drove along a street under a canopy of leafy trees in all their fall glory. The sky was clear, cloudless and brilliantly blue. The windows were rolled down so I could breathe deeply and sample the crisp, Fall air. To top it all off my kids were quiet in the back seat; a truly rare occurrence. As I drove in peaceful silence I was conscious of the gift of such a glorious momet and I felt truly grateful to be alive to experience it.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Weekend Post Partum

Well we're back from our weekend away. Back to changing diapers. (Why do they always poop in pairs?) Back to Silly Songs. Back to cer-er-al for breakfast. Back to ordinary life.

But I have the memory of our weekend tucked into my back pocket to be taken out as needed. This weekend was so fabulous that we've decided to try to do this on a regular basis. It really was blissful. Maybe not personal-massuese-in-Paris blissful but blissful nonetheless.

After saying good-bye to the kids I had a few teary moments but they were gone by the time we turned the corner out of our neighbourhood. I can honestly say that I hardly thought of them. I'm pretty sure that doesn't make me a bad mom but I'll probably have to go through a few days of Mother Guilt just to be sure.

The drive was wonderul. I remember when a friend of mine had kids and I didn't. She and her husband were in a car for 4 hours and they talked non-stop. At that time road trips for Hugh and I consisted of me reading or sleeping and him listening to music at the top of his lungs. I actually thought there was something wrong with our marriage because we had nothing to talk about. Not so this time around. It was so great to get to talk about things other than logistics. UNINTERRUPTED. Well uninterrupted excpet for the time that I had to pee really, really bad. You know the Prairies might have "big sky" and an unmarred horizon but it's really inconvenient to pee in the bush when there are no bushes. Let's just say I'm really glad Hugh's jacket size is large.

During the drive I realized I forgot some basic necessities. Underwear actually. Note to self: not having much to pack does not equal having nothing to pack. We made a quick stop at the mall and left 4 hours later. One thing you can do without kids is actually get undressed to try on clothes. Oh the bliss.

After our "brief" stop at the mall we headed to our real destination. Bragg Creek, AB. It's about 30 minutes out of Calgary and has a population of 900. The entire town is contained within a radius the size of a Safeway parking lot. I'm not even exaggerating. Wondering why we chose Bragg Creek?

Some family friends of ours own a cafe there and Jane has been going out every weekend during the summer to work for them and we wanted to check it out. The Boardwalk Cafe is seriously the cutest cafe and the food is unbelieveable. The Quark cheescake is beyond words - it's an experience.

We met Jane to go out for dinner and went to a place called The Powder Horn. Our picture of Bragg Creek was that it was sort of a wealthy yuppie town. Jane said those people were at the other restaurants. This place was home to the locals. We walked in to a room blue with smoke, with wooden planks on the floor and at least one cowboy hat at every table. Oh yeah, it was also Karaoke night. Not quite the intimate setting we imagined for dinner but still no kids so whatever.

We looked at the menu and Hugh noticed calamari. "I don't know about ordering calamari at a place like this," I warned. Hugh and I ordered burgers and I vaguely heard Jane order the calamari. Hey Karaoke lady, just because you're loud doesn't mean you're good. A short while later, a waitress brought a plate of onion rings over to the table wondering if they belonged to our table. We all said no. The entire exchange was communicated with gestures because it was SO loud in there. A few minutes later the basket was brought back by another waitress who shouted that this was the calamari Jane ordered. "This is calamari. This is how it comes," she shouted.

Really? Where does Calamari come like that?

Anyway, our B&B was really cute. The breakfast was amazing, we had a great day on Sunday, and on returning home Sunday night we discovered that our kids really could survive without us. Who knew? On this grey rainy day I'm dreaming of next time.

Maybe it'll be Paris...

Friday, September 15, 2006

Why my kids will be guests on Dr. Phil

One night when we were getting ready to move to Medicine Hat, my parents, having just moved to Salmon Arm, took our kids for the night so we could do some serious packing. And we did. We actually managed to pack 90% of our house in one day.

As far as I can remember that is the only night that Hugh and I have spent together away from our kids since they were born. Let me just remind you all that they were 2 last Saturday. That makes it 736 days minus 1 of not being away from them for the night.

But tomorrow we will be making it minus 2! Hugh and I are going to Calgary for the weekend. Alone. As in, not having to pack a rubbermaid container full of clothes for every disaster or weather situation imagineable. As in not needing to bring 2 playpens, 2 booster seats, another rubbermaid of toys, blankets, teddy's. As in 1 suitcase. Well probably 2 because I do have that shoe fetish after all. As in not having to listen to Baby Einstein on the portable DVD for hours on end. As in ALONE! Oh the bliss.

Originally to cut costs Hugh and I were going to camp. We actually have a camper but we'd have to insure the truck and then that's not exactly cutting costs anymore. So when I say camp I mean in a tent. On the ground. If that doesn't say romance I don't know what does. Personally I was never too keen on the idea. Besides the fact that the weather network is now predicting snow for the weekend, I don't enjoy the thought of getting woken up by the sun at the crack of dawn. We're up then anyway and this is supposed to be a get away. I want to sleep in. In a bed. With lots of pillows. And room service. And a personal masseuse. In Paris.

To compromise we're staying in a Bed & Breakfast. This also works for me. It's a bed. In a house. And I don't have to make cer-er-al for breakfast. I don't have to make anything. For anyone. Oh the bliss.

You'd think after 736 days minus 1 I would be singing at the top of my lungs and doing a little happy dance. Well we've hit a snag. We've come up against something neither of us counted on. It's called Mother Guilt. With a capital G.

After finding someone to stay with our kids and working out our accomodations and our itinerary, (did I mention that I also have an obsession with lists?), we went to bed content; ready to sleep and dream sweet dreams of no silly songs for 2 whole days. At 2:45am I was making myself hot milk and reading through Leviticus to try to make myself fall asleep. I was up almost all night worrying about leaving my kids. What if they're scared or confused because they're not with us? What if they break something, like their heads, and I'm not there? What if they cry the entire time we're gone? I fast-forwarded to when the kids were in their 20's and in therapy because they struggled with abandonment issues and had low self-esteem. By the way I'm also the Queen of The Worst Case Senario.

I honestly never thought I would be like this. I always imagined that if given this opportunity I would jump in my car, well mini-van, and speed off into the sunset. Apparently that's not the case. Suddenly, the kids are being extra adorable and really they're not that much work. Maybe I don't really need the break...

But it's too late. Our B&B is booked. I have an appointment to get my hair cut. We have people who've rearranged their schedules to watch our kids. We're going. I guess I have no choice but to suck it up and have a really great weekend alone with my husband.

If I can just manage to leave that guilty mother behind...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Must have been a redneck...

My sister got a new cell phone yesterday. Her old phone was savagely ripped apart by a snarling, foaming, crazed beast. Word to the wise: Don't leave your phone on the coffee table and walk away and assume it will be safe from curious little beasts, I mean boys, who want to figure out how it opens.

Anyway Jane brought her new phone home yesterday and we spent about an hour flipping through the manual since it's a different model than the one she had before. We flipped through the "how to care for your phone" section and amongst the typical don't drop your phone, don't use bleach to clean your phone, and don't get your phone wet, we saw this warning:

"Don't try to dry your phone in a microwave oven."

Really, are you sure?

Unfortunately I have a funny feeling that this warning is not hypothetical. As in let's say that hypothetically speaking you drop your phone into a pool, lake, river, bathtub, sink etc. and you manage to retrieve it but the only thing handy to dry it is your microwave I wouldn't recommend using it.

My guess is some bonehead soaked his phone, looked at his microwave, and was struck with inspiration. "Guys, seriously, I think this will totally work and it will be fast!" Maybe he electrocuted himself or maybe he shut down the power grid for his neighbourhood. Or maybe he just fried his phone. But I bet he tried to exchange his "defaulty" piece of electronics. And I bet when he was told he couldn't exchange it he complained that "nobody told him not to use a microwave to dry his phone and they should like, put a warning on it or something."

"Don't try to dry your phone in a microwave oven."

Thanks, I'll remember that...

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Happy Birthday Babies!

Tristan and Ava,

I can hardly believe that it’s been two years since you were born. I remember being excited to leave the hospital and begin “ordinary” life with you. As if life would ever be ordinary again. I cried all the way home from the hospital. I had gone into the hospital as a wife and an independant woman during the first week of September. It was still blue sky, beach weather. I came out a week later, the leaves had turned, it was Fall, and I was a mother. We were a family.

There have been days where I have wondered if I’m going to make it. There have been days I’ve wondered if you are going to make it and survive my mothering. There have been days of teething and days of fever and days of sheer exhaustion. But to look in on you at night, to walk into a room thick with the sweet scent of baby and see your faces flushed with sweet dreams…There are no words for the piercing pain that flashes through my heart. I love you so much it hurts.

This is not to say that the days are all bad. It’s just that when you’re sleeping you’re quiet. We joke that we have two favourite times in our house: naptime and bedtime.

Really I think our favourite part of the day is walking into your room to get you first thing in the morning. As soon as we walk into the room you both start cheering and jumping like maniacs in your crib. Tristan shouts “yay, yay, yay!” and Ava claps and exclaims “oh mama! oh daddy-o!” And then we spend the next five minutes gathering up the menagerie in your cribs to take downstairs. Why you have to bring teeny puppy, puppy, elo, duck, pony, other duck, oh teddy! and a book downstairs where you have more animals and books, I’m not sure. Maybe you're just trying to see how much you can get away with.

Ava you are talking so much. And I mean SO much. I don't think you ever stop. You are definitely your mother's daughter. You like naming things and until we respond you keep repeating it, "teddy, teddy, teddy, teddy, teddy, teddy." Yes Ava that's a teddy. "Bawoot, bawoot, bawoot, bawoot, bawoot." Yes Ava that's a balloon. You have a current obsession with flags and the other day when we were in the car we drove down a street that could be considered a flag mecca. "fwags, fwags, fwags,fwags." No response from us parents. "Fwags! Fwags! Fwags! Fwags!" Still no response from us. Finally, clawing at your face and then clutching at your shirt as if to steady yourself, "FWAAAAAAAGGSS!!! Yes Ava that's a flag.

Tristan you like to have things named for you and spend a lot of your day asking "Ga ah, ah, ah, ah? Which loosely translated means hey what the heck is this thing? Sometimes the ah ah's go on for quite a while "Ga, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah?" Sometimes, about halfway through, you lose your breath and though no sound is being emitted your mouth keeps moving until you gasp and continue, "ah, ah, ah, ah, ah?"
You're starting to put two words together, your favourite combination being "uh-oh!" We hear that about 13,000 times a day. Your newest combo is "help me". Or in Tristan speak "hep-m".

I love watching you interact with each other. I think it's so strange that you have never known life without each other. Tristan you are so sweet to your sister bringing her her blanket or a favourite teddy. Lately you've started giving Ava random kisses. My heart almost bursts everytime I see you display such spontaneous affection. Ava you love to roughhouse with your brother and you spend a lot of time barrelling into him or throwing yourself on him and then giggling like crazy. My favourite is when you chase each other up and down the hall taking turns being the chaser and the chasee.

Ava I love how you add the word "oh!" in front of so many of your sayings. "Oh, silly songs! Oh, milk!" It sounds so much more exciting than plain old silly songs or milk. I hope you never lose that wonder and delight. I promise we will always believe in fairies.

Tristan I love how you like to cuddle during Baby Einstein. I love the feel of your baby weight against my chest as you burrow in and get snuggled. I love how your eyes light up when you see us when we get you after church from the nursery. You run towards us with arms outstretched yelling "yay, yay, yay!" You make us feel so special and important and loved. I hope we will always be able to do the same for you.

Ava I pray that your wide-eyed enthusiasm would never be dampened. I pray that you would continue to embrace life and live it to the full. I pray that your faith would be adventurous and you would live out the truth of a God who is good but not safe. I pray that you would always be able to find the humour in life.

Tristan I pray that the dreamer in you would be nurtured and that you would dream God dreams. I pray that your stubborness and singlemindedness would be translated into a faith unswerving and unshakeable. I pray that your sweet spirit would never be embittered and that you would always hope, always believe and always trust. I pray that you would have the strength and determination to be who you are and carve out your own path.

These last two years have been filled with every emotion nameable but I wouldn't trade a moment of it. Well, I would probably trade some of the teething days and maybe some of the sleepless nights. I'd definitely trade the days that you were both puking your guts out after your dad and I had both been up all night puking our own guts out. But I wouldn't trade any of the other moments.

Thank you for being in our lives. Thank you for being such amazing individuals. Thank you for being the kindest, funniest, smartest, best looking kids alive!

Happy Birthday Tris & Aia! 2 is going to be fabulous!

I love you,


"You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore... but let there be spaces in your togetherness. And let the winds of the heavens dance between you." ~Khalil Gibran

Thursday, September 7, 2006

celebrity schmelebrity

I saw Mary J. Blige on Oprah yesterday.

Seriously why are people so ridiculous around celebrities? In classic Oprah form a woman was invited on stage and given the "surprise of her life" when her hero Mary J. walked onto the stage. I was so embarassed for this woman my stomach was churning and my face had gone beet red. I'm what I like to call an "interactive" tv watcher. I'm the the person who yells at people on reality tv shows and gives movie characters advice.

Anyway, this woman was sobbing and clinging and crying and Oprah actually had to pull her off so Mary J. could sing. I just don't understand what turns presumably rational people into such idiots when it comes to celebrities.

Another infamous Oprah episode (yes I am a stay at home mom) was the Tom Cruise one where he spent most of his time jumping on the couch. When celebrity hotties are guests the audience is always allowed to ask a few questions and seriously where do they find these people?! I think one of the questions was if he prefers boxers or briefs. WHO CARES!!!!!!!!!!! And on another show (no really I do have a life) I think someone asked Matthew McConnaughey what his favourite part of a woman's body is. Again WHO CARES!!!!!!!! I'm sure it generated some business for plastic surgeons so maybe they care but other than that...

Why couldn't this woman have said "Wow, it's really great to meet you. You've been a real inspiration to me. Thanks for being so candid about your story." Do celebrities give off some kind of crazy vibe that causes people's brains to melt around them? I could understand it around say Nelson Mandela or Queen Elizabeth. But around Eminem or Jessica Simpson? Come on!

I'm sure if I were ever in that situation I would be calm, cool, collected and generally unimpressed by their fame and fortune. Then again I've never met an actual celebrity. Unless you count Mr. Dress-up.

Friday, September 1, 2006

On how I'm almost a saint

So awhile ago I was playing this shape sorter game with Tristan. Tristan loves this game. Like L-O-V-E-S this game. He especially loves it when we open it up and all the shapes come crashing to the floor. He actually does a little happy dance.

I do not love this game.

This is typically how it starts out.

Me: "Tristan, honey, that's a star in your hand. You can't fit a star into the cross shape right? Let's turn it around until we find the hole that matches the shape in your hand."

This is typically how it ends:


I hid the game in the basement for a couple weeks because the sight of it was making me twitchy. I think this toy is actually used as a form of chinese torture.

But I have progress to report. I think I'm growing in patience. Yesterday I played this game with Tristan and I didn't yell ONCE. Yep, I've definitely grown. The fact that Tristan has learned the difference between the star and the cross is just one of those funny coincidences that happen in life sometimes.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Friday, August 25, 2006

not that desparate...YET!

When I talk about this move I usually say, and believe, that this is the right place at the right time for us. It is a fresh start, a new beginning, a bend in the road.

Blah, Blah, Blah.

Today is a day where I feel like starting over sucks.

Today is a day where I feel tired and lonely and that there is nothing very glorious or redeeming in this new chapter. I've thrown myself a little pity party and feel morbidly glad to be at it. I'll take another chocolate chip cookie and another cup of very sweet tea thank you very much. Oh and don't worry about the bread I'll just take the butter.

See I was talking to my mom on the phone one day last week and the kids were SUPER cranky which translated into me being cranky. My mom thought that day would be a good day to fix my life. I love suggestions and advice on days like that. My most common response is to revert to being 12 years old, "oh ya, well then why don't you do it!" During this conversation my mom decided to tackle the area of friendship.
"Well do you have a mom's group you can go to?
There's one at the parent link centre but they're off for the summer.
"Well what about the multiples group?"
I've been meaning to go. I've even made contact but it hasn't worked out yet.
"Well what about people from church?"
Mom, it takes time to get to know people and during summer everyone is all over the place.
"Well, why don't you put an ad in the paper?"

I'm sorry WHAT???? I can see it now: "Pathetic woman seeks friendship with other moms of small children and promises she's not a serial killer or child abuser."

I know you meant well mom and I do appreciate your love and concern but I hope I never get that desparate!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Book Tag

Okay so my good friend Simone tagged me in this book game. All my books are in boxes still so lets see what I can remember without being able to look at the titles to jog my memory.

1. One book that changed your life:
The Bible. The Pentateuch as Narrative. KIDDING! "Boots and Bibles" by Rev. Walt Reimer because he is a modern day hero of the faith whose life of simplicity and humility and willingness has inspired me to say "yes" to God again and again.

2. One book that you’ve read more than once:
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

3. One book that you’d want on a desert island:
Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell because it's such a great read and it's really long.

4. One book that made you laugh:
A Prayer For Owen Meany - John Irving

5. One book that made you cry:
The Diary of An Ordinary Woman - Margaret Forster

6. One book that you wish you had written:
And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie. Amazing plot, masterpiece of it's genre.

7. One book that you wish had never been written: I'm going to have to go with Simone and cite a children's book. If I have to read "Pooh wants something yellow and yummy for his tummy" one more time...

8. One book you are currently reading:
Middlemarch - George Eliot (who was actually a woman named Mary Ann Evans.) Now you'll know a final Jeopardy question if it ever comes up.

9. One book that you’ve been meaning to read:
Blue Like Jazz - Donald Miller

10. One book that you wish had been written:
A sequel to Pride and Prejudice that is written by Jane Austen

11. One book that you got for free:
Anna Karenin - Leo Tolstoy. The last book my dad bought me.

12. Favorite Book this Year:
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - Jonathan Safran Foer.

I'm going to tag my very good friend Michelle. She's always got something interesting on the go! Michelle you're it!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

This is one confused little boy

A few weeks ago...

Me: "Tristan, what's your sister's name?"

Tristan: "Aia!"

"What's my name?"


"What's your name?"



Me: "Tristan, what's your sister's name?"

Tristan: "Aia!"

"What's my name?"


"What's your name?"


We might have a few issues to work through....

Thursday, August 17, 2006

tales of the follicley challenged

I don't get it.

My mom has thick hair. Hugh's mom has thick hair. Hugh has thick hair. I have thick hair. Tristan has thick hair.

Ava has almost no hair.

Tristan has had 3 haircuts. Ava, none. Well I did trim the back a little to remove the birds nest but that was more damage control than real haircut.

A while ago Hugh and I were at Wendy's with the kids and a very sweet little old lady came up to chat. Side note: If you have twins be prepared for everyone you meet to stop you and tell you if they are a twin, have twins in their family, know a twin or always wanted twins. This particular woman fell into the "I-have-twins-in-my-family" category. They were her grandchildren who were all grown up and seeing our kids made her feel reminiscent.

Then, this not-so-sweet old lady looked at our children and asked if they were both boys. We have been asked this question a lot so, typically, when we go out, we try to color code them and on this particular day Ava looked like a big pink gumball. "No," I said without even a hint of the ARGH! I was feeling, "we have a boy and a girl."

Then this horrible old lady said, "Which one is the girl?" With a slightly fixed smile on my face I patiently pointed out the child wearing the cotton candy pink and THEN....

Then this evil old lady said, "Oh I would have thought that was the boy."

%&#^* !!!!!!!!!!! &^%@* !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *&%#@ !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm sorry Ava, the gene pool has failed you.

This is why it was so exciting to put Ava's hair in pig tails for the first time yesterday. She kept touching her hair, "pony? mirror?" I would hold her up so she could see in the mirror and she would reverently touch her "pony's". It was a sacred moment of girlhood.

Admittedly, there were more than a few wisps of hair on the back of her head that didn't fit into the elastic but, whatever! From the front she looks like a bona fide little girl.

At least I think so.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Diary Of An Ordinary Woman

This should really be the title of my blog but I am actually referring to a book I just read by Margaret Forster.

In the foreward the author tells us how she received a call from a woman who had kept a diary from the age of 13 to 94. This woman wanted to meet to discuss the possiblity of publishing her diaries.

Millicent King was born in London in 1901 and her diary begins in 1914 and goes all the way to 1995. As I read the introduction I got chills imagining the story I was about to discover of a woman's life that stretched almost throughout the entire 20th century. I couldn't wait to begin.

The book did not disappoint. I had to put the book down several times just to stop and process what I was reading. She lived through 2 World Wars, Communism, and the advent of Feminism. She loved, she lost, she was depressed, she was happy. She celebrated V-E day, she walked in Feminist marches and protested against the building and testing of nuclear bombs. She never made a major contribution to history or did anything to change the course of history. She was nobody.

And yet, she was everybody. Margaret Forster referred to her as "The Unknown Woman", a fitting comparison to "The Unkown Soldier".

The book ends with another meeting between Millicent and the author to discuss the diaries shortly before Millicent's death in January 2000.

I cried when I finished the afterword. I had been so affected by her life. The dreams she had as a teenager did not come to fruition. The life she imagined she would have she didn't. Sometimes she was full of self pity. Sometimes she was all grit and determination. Sometimes she just wrote about her garden. She longed for life and love and adventure and she got all three. It just didn't always look like she imagined it would. Sometimes I was frustrated with her because I felt she was wasting her life and letting opportunities pass her by. Other times her unassuming heroism would make me catch my breath. She was so brave and yet she felt so ordinary. I found her story incredibly inspiring.

I reread her last few diary entries and the afterword several times not ready to put down the book and let go. I flipped the page and read thoroughly through the bibliography. I even flipped the very last page that's almost always blank. And there I saw it. An Author's Note.

"This book began as described in the first two pages of the introduction, but I never did meet the woman in question. She cancelled our meeting at the last minute because of some family objections. I was already so looking forward to her diaries that I decided to overcome my disappointment by pretending I had indeed obtained and read them. The result is fiction. The real "Millicent" has since died and though her diaries exist, I have never read them."

Fiction? FICTION?

I had just become emotionally involved and attached to a work of fiction?! I had loved and cried and lost and lived not alongside an amazing woman but a work of FICTION?!

I felt so cheated. I still feel cheated. Right from the introduction the entire book is written as truth. But it is not Millicent's truth and it was "Millicent's" truth that I found so compelling. It was like the time I found out Santa Claus wasn't real. Hugh tried to console me by saying that it probably was the amalgamation of truth about women of that time. Well good for them. They should have kept a diary then.

Would I recommend this book? I don't have enough emotional distance yet to be able to be objective. You'll have to decide whether its worth a read or not.

Monday, August 14, 2006

What the heck are we doing in Alberta anyway?

This is the part where I fill you in on our lives.

As most of you know for the last 5 years Hugh was a youth pastor in Vernon. Since resigning our church he has gotten into a line of work that regularly requires banging on large pieces of metal with a sledgehammer....aka heavy duty mechanics. Hugh calls is paid therapy.

There are 3 different shifts and Hugh works a 2-week rotation on each one: 7am-3:30pm, 8:30am-5pm, and 12:30pm-9pm. Work in the so-called "real world" has definitely been an adjustment. Not being able to call Hugh to come home when I want to throw the babies or myself out the window has been a rude awakening. Pastoring is not a walk in the park by any stretch but it is flexible.

My sister Jane lives here and she has been my life and sanity saver on more occasions than I can count. I will greatly miss her company and our afternoon tea ritual when she moves on from here.

Overall we are enjoying Medicine Hat more than we thought we would. Hugh is really enjoying getting his hands dirty (literally and figuratively) and he has learned alot at this shop. Some of it even has to do with fixing big trucks. Alot of it is words that cannot be published on a family friendly blog.

We have said from the beginning that this is not the end of ministry for us but an evolution. What that looks like we don't know right now. We're just taking the next steps as we know them.

As for moi, I have been working on an interior decorating course for 3 years now and am happy to say that I am one budget quote away from sending in my final project. I'm looking forward to the fun of decorating and the thought of not having to hand draft anything again makes me deliriously happy.

I suppose hand drafting is a good skill to have but seriously now! There are computers for that sort of thing. Drafting is so time consuming and meticulous that it often makes me want to swear and throw things. At one point during this last project I became so enraged that I stomped to the kitchen, yanked open the cupboard door, and roughly (not randomly because I do have a dish fetish and had to think it through) grabbed out a bowl and dramatically and satisfyingly hurled it to the floor.

Actually it didn't get satisfying until the third try. Whoever heard of an almost indestructible salad bowl? The humourist in me found it highly amusing that I kept having to pick up the bowl. The dramatist was disappointed the effect had been spoiled. Once it finally smashed I was able to calmly finish my project.

After I send in my final project I will be looking at setting up my own little decorating business and I'm looking for ideas for business names. Any suggestions would be welcome.

The kids are doing really well. They have a very rigorous schedule of eating, pooping, playing, watching Baby Einstein and sleeping. Apparently that's all very hard work as they are sacked at the end of the day! Ava is talking up a storm and Tristan is coming along despite Ava's best efforts not to let him get a word in edgewise. Apparently her name is Tristan too! They will be 2 next month and I can hardly believe it.

So there you have it. Now you know just what the heck we are doing in Alberta anyway.

more munchkins...

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Friday, August 11, 2006

Whose Kid Is That?

My Son.

23 months old.

A few days ago I was standing in my backyard with a friend. Said friend was hanging some laundry on a drying rack after making a brief foray away from camp life. The kids had followed us downstairs and were playing with some balls around our feet as we stood outside and chatted. The neighbour's child started crying.

My friend and I are talking and this child keeps on crying. The cries are getting escalated and I look up at our neighbours balcony but can't see anything.

We bought a duplex. Ours is the left side. Or as Hugh says, the non-hot tub side. Landscaping and fencing aren't done by builders here and as it was only completed in May neither of us has gotten to that yet.


You can hear pain and maybe panic in the poor child's cry and I was thinking wow I can't believe our neighbours are just letting their little girl cry like that. We rarely hear our neighbours and I was struck with how much their daughter's cry sounded like Tristan's. Weird.

But I'm a good mom. I know where my children are at all times. For example I know that Ava is walking in and out of the back door and Tristan is spinning his ball on the ground beside me...or not...

"Tristan!" Well he can't have gotten far. There's no need to panic.

"Come on buddy where are you?!" Where is he? I can't believe the neighbours kid is still crying. Omigosh! What if he's running down the road...


I glanced into the neighbours yard because they still weren't doing anything about their crying kid and it was starting to get to me. That's when I noticed Tristan's back end sticking up. He had managed to get his head caught between the steps leading up to the neighbours hot tub and he was screaming bloody murder.

The neighbours daughter's cry is eerily like Tristan's? Seriously now.

After easing Tristan's head back out and drying his tears we headed back inside.

The lesson for today is when you have 2 children who are both 23 months of age chances are you don't actually know where everyone is at all times.

Oh yeah and look at the plank in your own eye before trying to remove the speck in your neighbours. Or in another paraphrase, look to your own crying child before accusing the neighbour of negligence to theirs.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

check us seriously, check us out...

For those of you wondering how the kids have grown, in the words of Strongbad: "check me out."

so this is blogging?

Originally when we decided to join the world of blogging I thought this would be (A) a way to let people know that we hadn't dropped off the face of the earth by moving to Alberta, (B) a place to keep people apprised of how amazingly cute, wonderul and original our kids are and (C) a place to share some random thoughts.

I did not realize how all consuming the world of blogger is! I find I'm constantly thinking about what I could post on my blog. My kids are playing and I'm thinking "is this funny enough to post?" I lie in bed at night and in that dreamy state just before falling asleep I plan out all these super amazing posts that will make people say "wow, I had no idea Heather was so ________ " (fill in the blank) I personally like gifted, incredibly intelligent and perceptive or hilarious. Unfortunately by the time the morning rolls around all those wonderfully insightful posts have been lost in the soggy mush that is my brain and are beyond my ability to remember them. Guess I'll have to settle for just plain read-able. I blame all the poopy diapers.

So not only do I obsessively think about my own blog but I want to check out my friends blogs and see what's happening in their lives. Sidenote: Is it bad that I go to my friends websites to find out what they're doing instead of picking up a phone? Between texting, blogging, and emailing we never have to have contact with another human being again....But that's a whole nother issue. And yes "nother" is a word. I looked it up. So anyways I'm reading my friends blogs and then I'm reading the blogs they link to and the blogs that the links link to.....And in the blink of an eye its 10:00, nobody is dressed and I've missed my multiples group playdate. Sick. It was supposed to be my first time going. Technically I've been once before but since I was the only one who showed up I don't count it.

Did I mention that I haven't washed my hair in 5 days and Ava, although we're sitting outside, isn't wearing any pajama bottoms thanks to a recent diaper blow-out. Omigosh, the spirit of the redneck is getting to me....

Anyways were was I? Oh yes the world of blogging. Another thing about blogging that I never really considered is how vulnerable it is to write something and send it out into the void of the internet. You don't know who will read it. You don't know what they will think about your writing. You don't know what assumptions they'll make of you as a person. Everytime I want to publish a post I hesitate. Should I or shouldn't I? Maybe it needs one more read through. A little more tweaking. Publishing a post leaves you vulnerable, exposed. Like taking off your hoody in math class while writing a test and realizing you're not wearing a t-shirt underneath. Which actually happened by the way. Not my favourite memory of Grade 7.

But for all of that where else would it be possible for so many people to leave their mark in this world? At the end of the day that's what this is all about. It's a place to say I matter, my life counts. It's a place to realize that our existence means something. It's a place that proves the power of the individual and the beauty of the ordinary. And that is pretty amazing.


Tuesday, August 8, 2006


So we've officially joined the world of blogging. By the way does anyone know what "blog" means?

Maybe it's an acronym? Bloody Large Overweight Gopher? Big List Of Googlers?
Maybe it's a curse word?
Maybe it's a code word like "Deep Throat" of Watergate infamy?

But I digress.

We're here in Medicine Hat and stubbornly hanging onto our crazy BC ways like recycling, using complete sentences, not smoking and driving a vehicle that doesn't require diesel or a step ladder. No cowboy hats for us....yet.

Just keep praying!