Wednesday, 30 September 2009

More from Thoreau

I picked up "Walden" again last night, for a few more pages on some thought-provoking insight. He wrote of the beauty of each new day dawning, each morning being a chance to lift ourselves higher than yesterday. Somehow the dawn of a new day speaks to artists; I certainly have experienced this. I have been at my most creative when I have taken an early morning hike through the wilderness of a forest, letting the early light fall on my shoulders and awaken my mind and spirit.

He also had a humourous passage about the nonsense that is news today (it applied 150 years ago, and I think rings even truer today). Who has decided that murders, car crashes, accidents, disasters and such are news? Sure, they are tragedies, but they really are personal tragedies, affecting the lives of those directly involved. I feel it is nothing more than a sick form of voyeurism that we feel the need to watch images and hear the stories of these awful events. And besides - once I have seen one car accident scene, why do I need to see another, and another and another? This has not expanded my world view, challenged my ideas, or informed me about world and community events. The way I see it, these "news items" are no better than any of the other drivel on TV today. Thoreau makes the point that, other than a few items here and there, the news stories could have been written last week, last month, last year, and no one would suspect it. Argh. In case you can't tell, this is a real pet peave of mind, and I got a good chuckle out of the fact that we haven't seem to have progressed at all in this area in the last 150 years.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Random bits

Tonight the boys were out late with us at a church function. When I finally wrangled them out the door about 8:30, Colin stopped in his tracks as he stepped outside.

"Wow, Mom, I can't believe my eyes! It's so dark! And look at the moon - it's sooo beautiful."

Has it really been that long since Colin has seen nighttime? (Summer means going to bed while the sun is still up) But it was a beautiful, clear, crisp fall night with a gloriously shining sun. I think he has inherited my love and awe of nature.


It was the neatest experience this afternoon to actually go out to the garden to pick carrots for the roast dinner I made. I popped the roast in the oven, peeled the potatoes, and then thought to myself: time to go get the carrots. Orange tops peeking out of the soil, green leaves reaching for the sky, slipping the large, fat carrots from the earth, being overwhelmed for the first time in my life at the real fragrant smell of carrots that hasn't been lost in transit to my grocery store. It was beautiful. I'm disappointed my tomato plants have died before I got a single tomato from them. The small, hard, green balls just sit there, taunting me, starting to rot. And I didn't realize that there is supposed to be a pumpkin already on my pumpkin plant, not just flowers. But the green onions I've been putting into my quesadillas were great, and these carrots have provided just enough inspiration to try again next year, under some closer tutelage from expert friends.


If you ask Caleb what he wants to eat, he says, without fail, in the following order:

Mac and Cheese
Sausage rolls


I have just finished reading "The Question of God" - a collection of thoughts by C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud about their positions on theism (Lewis being the theist, Freud the atheist). I was astonished by the logical, intelligent and well-formed points of view of these two men. It was interesting to see Freud's dismal conclusion, that life sucks and then you die, so deal with it. He was a pessimist his whole life, but didn't see any other choice than to live in the miserable reality of atheism. With Lewis' writings, I was amazed to read such a logical explanation as to the existence of God. My own personal experiences are much more emotion-based, although I have a strong tendency to the logical side of things. It was neat to read how a "lazy atheist" eventually came to the conclusion that there must be a God. I hope to write in more detail about this book at another time, but in case "some day" never comes, I wanted to note that it is a fantastic read, one I would love to pick up again.


My parents are currently sailing to Australia. They will be back in December for the birth of our baby, and so really it seems like just an extended vacation. But I do miss already how often they were around. Colin and Caleb still tell us that "Pa will fix it" when a toy is broken. Caleb still looks for "Ma's van" out the window now and then. Travel has always been a huge part of who we are as a family, and so perhaps their absence will always seem impermanent, that they'll be back again soon.


The house is a disaster. Tomorrow should be cleaning day, but it's a PA day at school, so Colin is home, which makes it a lot more difficult. I am seriously considering calling a friend and inviting ourselves over for a morning playdate, while hoping a cleaning fairy stops by while I'm out.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Homeschool considered

Well, Colin's start to school has been less than stellar. I'm surprised I even feel this way after being so confident he would absolutely love going, and that he would be absolutely ready.

First and most concerning, I have encountered some serious safety issues at the school. The first day I dropped Colin off I found four kindergarten kids who had been left in the school yard, after all the teachers and kids had gone inside. Two were near tears, and two were running around near the busy road. I took the initiative, gathered them up and took them into the school. Even more concerning, they were kids from Colin's class, meaning it was Colin's teacher who had missed her head count and left them behind. Then, this past Monday, the teacher lost Colin. James was a few minutes late arriving to pick Colin up, and when he arrived Colin was nowhere to be found. After 20 frantic minutes of the teacher, the principal and James searching the school and the grounds, they eventually found him. All we could get from Colin was that when Colin didn't see me at pickup time, he figured he would just walk home. The teacher didn't notice he had wandered off. I was surprised at how calm I was at the whole experience: I think it was a combination of knowing that a) Colin is capable enough to actually walk home on his own and would adhere to all our safety rules and b) the teacher was likely in as much of a panic as I would have been.

Second, Colin isn't enjoying going at all. He absolutely loved his preschool last year, but this year all he says about his days is that it's boring. Other than the story the teacher reads each day (which he then recites verbatim to me when he gets home), he doesn't talk about anything he is doing there. Every day he has to go, he tells me he's had enough.

Third is the ongoing exhaustion of it all for him. He continues to fall asleep every day at school (no, there is no designated rest time - he just opts out of an activity and falls asleep instead!) Once on the playground, once on the carpet in the classroom, once under his table.

Fourth, we've encountered the inevitable teasing that comes along with growing up. I know I won't be able to protect my little boy from all the heartache he will encounter in the world, but I feel like I want to shield him just a little longer.

Fifth, I don't think Colin's teacher is a good match for him. She seems to be very laid-back, whereas Colin craves structure and organization. I think his dislike of class and his some of his disruptive behaviour is a result of undefined rules and laissez-faire teaching styles. Not that anything is wrong with the teacher's method, it's just that it's not a good fit for Colin. His preschool teachers were extremely surprised to hear about Colin's attitude at and toward school - it is nothing like their experience with him last year, where he absolutely thrived in the "school" environment.

All this has made got me thinking about homeschooling again. If I weren't so ill and exhausted with this pregnancy, I might give it a go. I admit I feel slightly guilty about sending Colin to school so that I can get a bit of a rest, but really it is the best answer for us right now. Caleb is down to 8 or 9 hours a night and is starting to give up his naps, which means I'm not getting near the amount of sleep I need to sustain my own health. Add to that the return of the nausea and overall weakness - I'm not like I was at the beginning of the pregnancy, but I can feel myself on a slow downward slide again.

And so, at least until Christmas, I think we'll have to stick it out with school. For the life of me I can't remember a thing about my own kindergarten experience; my memories begin in earnest at grade one. So hopefully we can see how this year goes and see if Colin eventually settles into the routine of it all. What I love most is that I feel like I always have options - no decision ever has to be permanent. And so the ever-vigilant mother stands her post...

Monday, 21 September 2009


Caleb is growing and changing every day. I absolutely love this age.

His vocabulary grows in leaps and bounds. Just like Colin, he spoke his first word around 18 months. And, just like Colin, as soon as that first word was out a fountain burst forth, as though a deep sea of words had been collecting beneath the surface and was only waiting for the geyser to erupt above the surface. Every new word he hears he immediately repeats, adds to his vocabulary and uses on a regular basis. I, of course, am his sole translator; pronounciation of sounds will develop over the next year or so, but I am generally able to understand based on the context of the conversation, and closely following his train of thought. He is also moving right into stringing words together, to combine a person with an action, to relate multiple thoughts, or to tell a brief story: "Mommy sleeping...wake cereal." or "Daddy working...come home soon...go to park."

The one thing that isn't changing is his lack of sleep. His afternoon naps measure around an hour and a half to two hours, but at night he still needs no more than about 8 1/2 to 9 hours. He wakes usually between 5:30am and 6:30am, ready and rearing to go. "Mommy" is the first word out of his mouth, summoning me to his room. "Cereal" is without fail the second. Just like his mother, he likes to eat first thing. The nice thing is that he doesn't seem to be suffering because of the short sleep he gets; on the contrary - he wakes in a happy demeanor and gets right into his day. It is myself who is desperately looking for ways to prolong his sleeping hours; if I want to get the eight hours I need, it means going to bed almost as soon as he does. This proves difficult if I want to get something done after he is in bed, or spend time with James or on my own. It also means that we spend every waking minute together (because by the time naptime comes, I am in desperate need also!). I love my boy to the ends of the earth, but there are times I need some solitude. I have tried moving his bedtime around, to no avail. The suggestion of ridding him of the afternoon nap is also a fruitless one - he is so tired by noon (having already been awake 7 hours) that he actually asks for his nap, and will put himself to bed if I don't comply right away!

He is still in the "copying everything Colin does" mode. Half the time this leads to hilarious romps around the house between the two of them; half the time Colin is thoroughly put out.

Caleb still loves to help me cook. As soon as he hears me rustling in the kitchen, he races for a kitchen table chair, pulls it over to the counter and climbs up with the pronouncement "I watch." Luckily he is very patient in this activity, and although he wants to help out also, he is very willing to wait until it is his turn.

Last item - Caleb has entered the "why?" phase. Colin never went through this, so it's a new game for me. I'm managing to stick to my guns about always answering the "why", and not just with "because." Two things make this really easy: the first is that although there is never just one "why," Caleb is never asking it as a game. He genuinely wants to know why. If I think my answers through enough, I can usually bring the conversation to a close with a well-thought out reply that truly answers his line of thought. The second thing that makes it easy is that he has developed this Transylvanian-like accent that actually sounds like: "Vye?" So cute, so irresistible.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Tuckered out

So it turns out that a whole day at school seems to be a little too much for my little guy. On Wednesday the teacher mentioned that when she went out to collect the kids after lunch recess, Colin was lying face down on the grass, dozing. He pronounced himself "too tired" for any more kindergarten that day. Luckily the teacher encouraged him enough to come inside and not only did he finish the day out, but he pulled his brother in the wagon the entire walk home from school.

So even moving bedtime to 7pm for Colin (a feat in this house, where we can't let Caleb go to sleep any earlier than 8pm) and letting him get at least 12 hours of sleep at night doesn't seem to be enough yet. I really thought he might nap more regularly on his days off, but he hasn't taken to that, either. I'm hoping that after a couple of weeks he will settle into a routine and either find more energy or succumb to the afternoon nap (I wish!)

There was no question in our mind if Colin was socially and intellectually ready to start school this year. Being born in December, I always kept it in mind that it would be easy enough to wait until next year for him to start. What I have noticed, however, is that there are some areas now evident in which his young age is showing in a classroom with children nearly two years older than he is. Exhaustion and energy levels is definitely one, toilet training another. A third I have realized is being emotionally ready, being in a classroom of 20 children and needing to operate on his own to a certain extent. This will definitely take some time for him to adjust to, but I hope that the independence we have fostered in him will kick in and ease this transition a little more.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Thank goodness for breathing room

Many people (friends, family, acquaintances, and even those I don't hardly know) have found themselves at the other end of my tirade about the start of Colin's school year over the past few days. For this, I sincerely apologize. I have started to see some of the not so positive aspects of public schooling, and even reconsidered (for a brief moment) the idea of homeschooling. But in the end, a little time, a little breathing room and a whole lotta prayer have seen everything work out just fine.

It's a long story, and one I'm not going to record in detail, because I'd rather just bury the whole thing and move on. Suffice it to say that I have some interesting run-ins with the school administration that made me realize the golden truth behind my mother's wise words: I am the only one who will be advocating for my child. I was loaded with a little guilt at wondering if I'm just becoming "one of those parents" who is always complaining about one thing or another and seeking special treatment for my child. Luckily I was reassured by those I spoke with that the issue at hand was indeed important enough to be addressed.

I learned two important lessons after this whole debacle. The first is to trust that "all things work together for good to them that love God," and the second is to always take time to calm down, process, ponder and consider a situation before running in head first.

I was speaking with a good friend on the weekend who found herself in a hard situation regarding her son's school start. I hadn't had any issues at this point, but as we spoke on the phone I counseled her to remember that it was important to believe that everything would work out as it needed to, and her son would find himself in the place he needed to be. Little did I know that two days later I would find myself in the exact same position! It did me much good as that phone conversation came flooding back, and amid my confusion and anger I heard my own words echoing clearly in my mind: everything will work out as it should.

It was a phone message yesterday that sent me spiraling, and when my phone messages went unreturned, I could feel the frustration rising higher and faster within me. But in the end I was grateful to have missed the phone call (I just didn't move fast enough to pick it up!) and also to have not had my own calls returned; it allowed me to really think through the possibilities presented, consider the positives and negatives of each decision (yes, I even made a list!), ponder, pray and read from God's word in search of guidance, and take the next 24 hours to really think about all the angles of the situation, instead of jumping in with an instinctual answer.

And so, all's well that ends well. In the end, the situation resolved itself even without the "meeting" this morning I prepared myself for. I had a whole list of well-thought out points to discuss, and when I arrived they simply said to ignore the phone message, all would be left as is. So although it might appear to have been a fruitless exercise in frustration for me, I have learned two important lessons that otherwise might have eluded me. Life lessons are always learned in the tough times, aren't they?

Monday, 14 September 2009

Being a wife

I'm reading a great book right now, great in that it is well-written and chock-full of fantastic ideas, but also great because it is bringing to mind many of the other little tidbits I've packed away in my memory over the years. "Building a Home Full of Grace" is written by a family - mother, father, and their five children, a culmination of more than 30 years of experience building a home and family.

More than anything, I have been reminded that my role in this family is wife first, then mother. Although I will always be mother to my beautiful children, I have less than 20 years in which I am living with them, where they are directly in my home. After that period of time, the goal is that they will "leave" their parents and "cleave" to their own wife, start their own family. Sad as it is to consider, I will then move into a secondary role. I realize this is the circle of life, and would not want to interfere by trying to cling to my boys when they should be stepping into the role of head of their own family.

And, what this is all a reminder of, is that James and I will always be a family together, here in our home. This is not the time to neglect my marriage in favour of raising my children. It is an easy rut to fall into; babies and toddlers and children demand so much attention because of their dependent nature.

And so I am remembering to be sure to date my husband, make time for him without the kids, support him and praise him and build him up in any way that I can. With my patience so short these days, and the boys driving me up the wall, I found myself resenting our business, James' work which demands so much of his attention. I found myself trying to get him to change something in his day, positive that the problem could be solved if only he would do something on his end.

Then, blessed by the book I have been reading and by some timely inspiration during Stake Conference on the weekend, I realized that I was going about it all wrong. Complaining and arguing and pushing someone else only tires you out; it is usually a fruitless exercise. True change comes from within. I realized the one who needed changing was me.

So I sat down and made three lists. The first was a list of the situations that appeared to be irking me. Then I went down that list and looked past the surface irritations to the reality and truth behind each one. Finally I looked for a way in each situation I could adjust my own attitude and do some small thing to show my love and support for my husband.

My list, of course, is personal, but here is an example of a situation that many women, especially stay-at-home moms, might come up against.

He is working all the time.

He loves to spend time with us and would much rather be hanging out with his wife and boys than working such long hours.

Make his favourite meal after an especially hard day.
Give him 30 minutes to unwind before bombarding him with the problems I need to share.

I was excited as the list of ways I could support James grew longer and longer. And I was excited to be able to start implementing them. I realized that as the primary parent in the home, I am the primary person who determines the atmosphere in our home. What a responsibility! Like it or not, my attitude is most likely to determine my home's atmosphere. And attitude is catching - if I'm short-tempered and irritable, then it's much more likely there will be negative feelings and attitudes all-around. But if I can get my chin up and try to speak softly, kindly, and supportively to everyone, then it's much more likely the atmosphere of peace I find so elusive will be much more pervasive. It's a huge responsibility and task - and one I know I won't always be up to. But as I consider the important role of wife that I am filling, I realize that I can't let it wait until the kids are older/grown/out of the house/business is slower/tasks are fewer. Because if (and that's a BIG IF) I ever do get to that point, I might turn around and find myself staring at someone I hardly know any longer.

And so I have opened my eyes to a huge role as a stay-at-home mom that I never realized I had before - that of supportive wife to my beloved husband. Likely it is one of the best examples I can set for my own kids, one of the best ways I can be the best mom to them: by demonstrating how sacred I hold this holy calling of womanhood I have been blessed with, inspiring each of them as they grow into young men, husbands and fathers one day, too.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Colin's first day of kindergarten

Wednesday was Colin's first day of junior kindergarten. I have to say, the whole thing kind of snuck up on us, and in the end came and went without a whole lot of pomp and circumstance.

Tuesday night I found myself going to bed without having made a school lunch for him, without have labeled clothes or backpack, without have even gathered his school bag and things for the next day. Luckily with my early risers I knew we'd have at least two hours or more before leaving the house, which is plenty of time to get it all together.

I opted out of a "first day of school outfit," instead letting him choose his own clothes. Although there are so many cute things to wear out there, I'm more about fostering independence. Besides, a whole day of markers and paint and dirt - I'm not so sure I want to "dress" him up for school!

James gave him a father's blessing, in preparation for this new experience. He blessed him that he would be excited, that he would learn new things and make new friends. He blessed him that he would help those children who might be sad or scared. He blessed him that he would start to figure out using the toilet. He blessed him with safety and peace.

After a few quick photos on the front stoop, all four of us departed for the short 7 or 8 minute walk down the street to the school. There is a staggered entry for junior kindergarten in our area, which meant that most kids had already been back for a week by the time Colin's first day rolled around. Our usually quiet street becomes a through-way for kids walking to school, which provided a really neat sense of community.

We arrived just in time for the bell, which the kindergarten teachers were ignoring in favour of trying to make sure all their kids were present. When all the new students arrived, they made their way from the kindergarten play area over to the school entrance. There were about 15 senior kids who had already been in class for a week, and then about 6 junior kids to whom it was completely new. Colin was the very first kid to dart in the door when the teacher opened it! He was followed by another 4 senior kids, and the rest of the children stood outside clinging tearfully to moms and dads. Colin gave a very quick "see ya later, mom!" over his shoulder and disappeared inside. And just like that, the morning drop-off was over. James, Caleb and I headed home. And I felt fine. No tears, no sadness. I knew Colin was not only ready, but beyond excited to be at school. He goes a little batty at home with no "friends" to play with, and is constantly bombarding me to go to someone else's house for a visit. When I peaked in the classroom window (visible from outside), Colin was already exploring the classroom, checking out bins and buckets and wall displays. He was going to be just fine.

The day passed without incident. Colin's body still hasn't worked out the toilet issues, and so I was prepared for at least one, if not numerous, calls to the school to change his pull-up. But the phone never rang. Caleb and I passed the morning playing, reading, singing, cooking, and cleaning. After and early lunch we both squeezed in a good two hour nap, waking just in time to walk down and pick up Colin.

When the final bell rang, the door burst open and children spilled out into the playgroud. Colin came out reluctantly toward the end of the line. He was moving a little slower, evidence of the onset of exhaustion, but climbed up into the stroller and chatted my ear off the whole way home. Mostly about the friends he'd played with. I got very little out of him about what class activities had gone on, but I imagine he was just taking in the whole experience that first day, and probably not paying much attention to the teacher at all.

I riffled through a thick package of letters and communication, proudly displayed Colin's first piece of artwork, and got some food into my boy (he'd only eaten 6 crackers and one oatmeal cookie from his lunch - again, too much excitement during lunch time!). I gently questioned him about school, about his toilet accident (he changed himself, as we had taught him to do), and about a teasing incident the teacher mentioned (his blocked tear ducts sometimes mean his eyes get a little goopy, and some kids were teasing him about it), but it all seemed irrelevant to him.

That night I pondered a little more closely about this new experience for him. We enrolled him in French Immersion, which will mean a really good second language base. James took FI right through to grade 13, and I took it until grade 4. But even those few years for me provided a solid start that helped me become bilingual also. And the opportunity for so much friend time will be the icing on the cake for Colin. The day before school started, we had a little talk about how excited Colin was, but how shy and scared some other kids might be. I mentioned that maybe Colin could help some of his new friends who were a little scared to start school, by playing with them and making them feel better. I am constantly amazed at Colin's sensitivity to others, and willingness to play with anyone, regardless of age, sex or any other factor.

The last thing I did that night before going to bed myself was fill in a sheet provided by the teacher to help her get to know Colin better. I was most intrigued by the last question on the survey: what was I hoping Colin would get out of kindergarten? I thought about it for a few minutes, trying to discern exactly what it was I knew this class would provide to my son. I knew it had nothing to do with academic concerns - I've never been one wanting to push my child into early reading or writing. I knew it wasn't about socialization - I knew Colin was already well-adjusted in that area. Finally I was able to put my finger on exactly what I wanted out of kindergarten, and I penciled in just three words: indulge his creativity. That is exactly what I hope Colin will experience at school.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

This is going to be framed...

Someone whispered this scripture to me at choir last week in reference to our tenor section, who weren't applying what the director was asking. I lost it in laughter, and immediately decided I needed to have it framed and permanently displayed in my home for my children:

"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only."
(James 1:22)

Hard bargain

We are now the proud owners of a minivan. I've never wanted a minivan; James couldn't wait to get one. But with the addition of a third child, we will officially outgrow our lovely little Honda Civic.

The story began with my parents' moving to Australia, and their generous offer to give us their van. All was in line until the week before we were to get it - when two or three major problems suddenly cropped up. A quick trip to the mechanic revealed possibly $2500 in repairs. They bought the van second-hand last year for only $5500, and it was likely only worth about $2500 - $3500 now. We decided that instead of fixing it, we would use the van for a trade-in, hoping to get a little more for it by using it toward the purchase of another van, rather than asking for cash.

James is a true-blue foreign car man (yes, even though he used to work for Chrysler!). His immediate choice was the Honda Odessey. Our initial research narrowed the field to that and the Toyota Sienna, both which offer essentially the same quality for around the same price (significantly higher than the domestic cars, to be sure).

Discouraged by trying to shop dealers for used cars, and finding that they usually only had one or two choices in stock, I stumbled upon a company that specialized in minivans, specifically Hondas and Toyotas. The allure of not having to drive from store to store made the decision to go there easy.

By the time my Dad and I (James was at work) made the initial tour of the lot, we had narrowed it to the Toyota, Honda and the Montana (which offered fully loaded models for about $5000 less, being that it is a domestic make). We test drove all three - well, my Dad drove them. I would have no idea of the little nuances to look for while driving, plus I'm terrified of driving a car that doesn't belong to me. All three drove well, which left the final decision up to me.

So of course my decision came down to one thing: which car was most "family-friendly". Which car could I see me and my kids getting in and out of hundreds of times, taking long road trips in, carting around kids, friends, and cargo. It was the Sienna hands down, for one feature - the handy way the middle seats flip down, leaving nearly two feet of space for me to climb into the back (to buckle car seats). I knew I would be doing the buckling for years to come, and once that seat flipped down it felt like an empty van with tons of room to move around! Plus, if need be, the back seats fold neatly down into the deep trunk space, which was perfect for groceries and bags and the like.

So I was nearly finished - there were about 10 Siennas there that fit my criteria and price range. I ended up going with a higher end model - not so much for the built-in DVD player as for the All-wheel-drive. We didn't see the pavement on our street for 6 months last year, and the added safety of AWD made the final decision.

Then came the part I was dreading - the bargaining. I'm the type of person that likes to just pay full price and forget the hassel and embarassment of wheeling and dealing. The price of the van was fairly fixed, after the initial $1000 they knocked off the price. Where we had some room was the value of the trade=in. Their mechanics looked over the car and so they knew there was something that needed fixing, and they fairly accurately guessed the problem. They offered much less than I was expecting. I was hoping that the trade-in would off-set the addition of taxes and fees, so that the end price would be what the sticker price of the van was. Well, I sat there and "stared" at the offered price, until finally the salesman inquired about what I was thinking. I told him what I had hoped, and he offered something much closer. I was happy with that, but he couldn't get that price cleared because it meant offering "too much" for the trade-in. The new price was slightly higher, but I could tell I had reached the final offering price. I finally shook hands and the deal was done.

While the salesman went away to finalize the paperwork, my Dad let a smile go and murmured to me: "You drive a hard bargain!" Together we realized that with the amount we got for the trade-in, added to the amount we knew the repairs would cost, I had gotten exactly what he had paid the year before for his van. Not bad at all!

And so I have my van. It's beautiful and functional and has some really nice bells and whistles (that are, admittedly, a little frivolous and unecessary, like auto chair positioning and the "Distance to Empty" gas guage (tells me how many km I have until the tank is empty), but it's kind of nice knowing James and I are entering the next phase of our life where we don't have to buy clunkers anymore. I have yet to figure out the DVD player - I'm wondering how long the boys will let me get away with "I don't know how it works..." but it's also a nice bonus to have for long car rides. Oh yeah - and the cordless headphones will surely be appreciated when they're watching their favourite movie for the umpteenth time!

I have only one caution about it all - wanting to make sure that I continue all the walking I do. The van will definitely be a blessing for those times when I was having to lug two (soon to be three) children around town on multiple buses, and for trips to the store that meant pushing a stroller and toting a cart behind, and for times when neither walking or the bus would do and I had to rely on rides from others (hard with three carseats!) but our fabulous house location means that much of what I need is within walking distance. I'm hoping to keep in shape by still doing a lot of moving around town on my own two feet, and making a commitment to keep to it.

Lazy days

The lack of motivation I feel lately is astounding, especially for me. I'm exhausted, and seem to be experiencing the first trimester nausea again. I'm just keeping up with basic housework, but the clutter seems to be building out of control. I've given up homemade bread - given up all baking, really. I'm even reading a run-of-the-mill fiction book; it claims to be "historical" fiction, but really is nothing more than a simply written romance at the turn of the 20th century. My "thinking books" lie untouched and slightly dusty on my night table. My journal writing here has become uninspired and only occasional recaps of daily events.

Colin begins school tomorrow, which will hopefully send me into a much more stable routine. After raving about the lazy days of summer, and enjoying the slower pace, I'm suddenly craving something, anything, that will get me up and going again.

I'm grateful for a "Christmas" due date - these last three and a half months should fly by with the amount of activities and events that build up this time of year. I've started band again, and the Christmas choir will begin in the next month or so. School starts tomorrow, and the weekly women's bible study I attend gets going in two weeks. Then there is Hallowe'en, Thanksgiving, and then straight into the Christmas season, replete with concerts and parties and dinners and celebrations. Before I know it our little baby will be here and then things will really be able to get back to normal.

In the meantime I will do my best to enjoy some outdoor time at the park, now that we finally have some decent summer weather here. With Colin at school (who is not such an outdoors kid), Caleb and I will be able to spend some quality time just the two of us in the great outdoors, which will be especially important before the baby arrives.

Well, I feel a little better now - even inspired to maybe write one more entry, about my experience in buying the van. I guess a little writer's purge is good medecine after all.

Thursday, 3 September 2009


Ah, the blog has been calling, but the distant echo has not been enough to draw me to write. The last week has brought on major pregnancy nausea again, plus exhaustion from trying to get some last minute home repairs done with my dad. I also bought a new van, and my parents are bunking with us while they wait for their cruise/emigration date at the end of the month. Add to that missing my naps and worsening insomnia - I guess it's no wonder that my creativity has run dry.

I hope to write about some of these changes (like the hard bargain I drove while negotiating for the van, and my parent's move to Australia, not to mention Colin starting school next week!), but I think it will have to wait a few more days...

All that being said, change is always good in my books. I have never feared when life has moved in a different direction, welcoming a new freshness to daily routine. So despite the tiredness at least I don't feel any stress in this all. In fact, I think the last few weeks, and the next couple, will buoy me up.