Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hit Me Baby One More Time

Another accident with Briony in the car. Another read-end collision that was absolutely not our fault (stopped at a red light behind 10+ other cars). Another case of whiplash and something new to flare up my arthritis + fibro for a while. Another round of Autopac appointments and repairs and rental cars. Another car seat to replace. Are you kidding me??? SIGH. Thank God that Briony seems to be absolutely okay once again, and Geoff just has a headache. That kind of makes everything else seem manageable.


Year Two

And what a year it's been... Two years ago today, I was marrying Geoff. One year ago today, I was *very* pregnant with Briony. And apparently, we are marking this auspicious occasion of our second anniversary by dealing with a fussy, teething ten month old baby girl who has temporarily stopped sleeping through the night. And really, what's not festive + a little bit sexy about that? hehe

It's been a crazy adventure so far. I have no idea what's in store for the next year - or the rest of our lives - but it's been lots of fun trying to figure it out together. Go Team Wright :)


When the calls and conversations
Accidents and accusations
Messages and misperceptions
Paralyze my mind

Busses, cars, and airplanes leaving
Burning fumes of gasoline
And everyone is running
And I come to find a refuge in the

Easy silence that you make for me
It's okay when there's nothing more to say to me
And the peaceful quiet you create for me
And the way you keep the world at bay for me
The way you keep the world at bay

Monkeys on the barricades
Are warning us to back away
They form commissions trying to find
The next one they can crucify

And anger plays on every station
Answers only make more questions
I need something to believe in
Breathe in sanctuary in the

Easy silence that you make for me
It's okay when there's nothing more to say to me
And the peaceful quiet you create for me
And the way you keep the world at bay for me
The way you keep the world at bay

Children lose their youth too soon
Watching war made us immune
And I've got all the world to lose
But I just want to hold on to the

Easy silence that you make for me
It's okay when there's nothing more to say to me
And the peaceful quiet you create for me
And the way you keep the world at bay for me

The easy silence that you make for me
It's okay when there's nothing more to say to me
And the peaceful quiet you create for me
And the way you keep the world at bay for me
The way you keep the world at bay for me
The way you keep the world at bay

- Easy Silence (Dixie Chicks)

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Getting By

Hooray for moms who come and help their daughters take care of their daughters. My mom packed up and headed into the Big City to hang out with Briony and I today while Geoff slept off a night shift. It was awesome to have someone around to help while I'm feeling so flared up.

In the afternoon, she helped us out by coming along to a photo shoot I'd committed to before this flare-up (Briony did GREAT!).

By the time she needed to leave, Geoff was waking up - so I was fully covered today. But this was all leading up to a big family decision that happened late this afternoon. It's time for me to come to terms with being sick, and to acknowledge the sometimes daunting challenges that brings into our little family. And so this year I'm going to have some extra help in the form of a one-day-per-week angel. Details to come (and the impact on our budget is still TBD), but I'm feeling *much* more optimistic about our family's future - and my ability to fully participate in and enjoy it.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, September 28, 2009


Emily and I had a date with Keith Urban last night.

I'm not a country music fan, but during my time as Emily's roommate she got me listening to Keith Urban and the Dixie Chicks. I couldn't handle anything else, but I learned to love those two... And I told her that I'd go to those concerts with her if they ever came to town. We did Dixie Chicks two summers ago, and then when Keith Urban's second Winnipeg show didn't sell out and they posted last-minute tickets at $20 each, it was a verrrry easy decision.

We had a great time. It was a great show - he's amazing live, and he plays a mean guitar. Oh, and he's kind of easy on the eyes :)

Labels: , ,

Being A Loser

So I've signed myself up for a Biggest Loser Challenge, organized by my friend Mel. The deal is that we are being organized into teams of five people and working to be the team with the biggest percentage of weight loss between now and Christmas. We'll weigh in weekly and the winning team will pocket some cash just in time for the holidays.

I'm mostly excited about it. I'm also a little bit scared, if we're being honest here (and I see no reason not to be honest). I feel like I'm in a good place with all my post-eating disorder post-baby weight stuff... But this is the real test, isn't it? For months, I've let myself gain weight - and then plateau thirty pounds heavier than I've ever been in my life - because I'm too scared to try to lose weight, too scared to open up a book that's been closed, too scared that I'm just setting myself up to fail. The result is that I'm overweight and I don't like myself very much. Blech. Talk about a sad stereotype.

I'm actually reading a good book right now - Gaining by Aimee Liu - about life after eating disorders. And there's a particularly good chapter in the book about the potential implications for pregnancy, post-pregnancy, and raising a healthy child. My hope is that more and more people will talk about this, because I sure as heck can't be the only one. Well, I guess there are definitely two of us: me and Aimee Liu :)

I need to try this weight loss thing, but I'm approaching it cautiously. My goals are pretty small - and that's where I need to start. The very best part is that Geoff has signed up too. Looks like it will be a healthy, active autumn in the Wright household. I'm already weeping over all the NOs I'll be saying around Thanksgiving... And American Thanksgiving... And Geoff + Briony's birthdays...

Labels: , ,

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Permission to speak freely?

I needed help today. It seems like my worst fibromyalgia / chronic fatigue days are the days when Geoff is at work. Briony and I were on our own again today, and it was a tough one... I actually attempted to go to church with her, but only lasted about 20 minutes before I realized that I needed to leave NOW if I wanted to have enough energy left to go home. Naturally, I spent the rest of the day feeling stupid for wasting all the energy it took to get us both ready and out the door (and back in the door again) for absolutely nothing, but whatever. It's water under the bridge at this point.

So I muddled through the rest of the day, and tried to nap when she did (but couldn't fall asleep). And I didn't call anyone.

I was trying to figure out WHY I didn't try to find help... But the answer was painfully obvious: I didn't feel I had the right to call anyone. I've been feeling so lousy for so long that I haven't kept up on friendships and playdates or even emails the way I should - and the way I want to. I miss my friends like crazy, but I'm exhausted from just taking care of myself, my baby, and doing a little bit of work from home. And it makes me feel like I'm at a friendship deficit, that I can't withdraw any help until I deposit some effort.

It's just one of those things about chronic illness, and invisible chronic illness in particular. I'm sure that if I was recovering from a recent surgery or a car accident, I wouldn't hesitate to say HEY! A LITTLE HELP OVER HERE, PLEASE! But this is a car crash that just happens over and over and over... And really, how many times can one person possibly call for the same thing?

Not a pity thing. And I know in my head that I have a long list of friends who I could have called anyway, who understand that I'm sick and love me anyway... But today I didn't pick up the phone. Tomorrow I might.

Labels: ,

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Are You Kidding Me?!



Friday, September 25, 2009

Don't Say I Didn't Warn You

This photo does *not* do it justice. It's dusky and was taken through my office window.

Any guesses about what that trim colour will be (this is still the same - nice - colour as before)? No prizes if you're right, because I think we all lose dearly in this situation.


Friday Smile

I am truly searching for a Friday Smile.

Today was frustrating... I did not get the answers I was looking for at the EI office about the end of my mat leave and the official start of my business. In fact, I got quite the opposite news. In Canada, we're lucky to have the mat leave benefits that we do and I will never complain about that. But in so many ways, the world still operates in 1950 as far as women are concerned, and we all need to do a better job of speaking up and petitioning government to see those changes happen. In this particular situation that I'm finding myself in, I can't really stand up for myself without shooting myself in the foot at the same time - and I hate how that feels. I don't want Briony to be dealing with this kind of shit when she's grown up.

But I am (relatively) healthy. I have a husband with a good, stable job. I'm smart and educated and experienced. And I have a skill that I can market and make money doing from home. And so I will. Somehow.

Labels: ,

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Eyes! My Eyes!

So I've been watching all afternoon as the neighbour's house got taped up, prepped, and finally painted (oh, the joys of a WAHM...). I ventured outside to grab something from my car and actually stopped to ask a painter, 'Um, that's a PRIMER colour, right?' He laughed so hard, he nearly fell off his ladder. Turns out that this was the PAINT colour. Yes, friends, it's THAT UGLY. And it's the view from my office window. Why does God hate me?

Labels: , ,


Okay, so I've been slacking on my blog since we got home a week ago. I have a couple of good excuses if you're interested...

We got home and immediately (less than 24 hours from landing in Winnipeg) left Briony with my parents and had a date night: Pizzeria Gusto - of course - and the Keane concert. Awesomeness. It was such a good show, and it's ALWAYS good food. We tried a new appetizer this time, a grilled octopus, and Geoff convinced me to get out of my rut and try a new pizza. I switched from the Waterloo to the Miki, and now I just might need to alternate. Turns out that CHANGE might not be a total disaster every single time :)

And in the spirit of CHANGE, I tried changing up my coffee at Starbucks last week. It caused all kinds of drama and nervousness here... And Geoff mocked me mercilessly. But guess what? I found something I like *more* than my usual. I am now a Double Tall Nonfat Caramel Macchiato, and I'm pretty okay with that.

My mom turned 50 on Tuesday. We celebrated with a surprise party on Sunday that totally and completely caught her off guard (yay!). It was so much fun to have friends and family celebrate with us. It's hard to describe, but this felt like a 'bonus birthday' that we got to spend with her. I'm still a little bit emotional about it. We are so blessed.

We're gearing up for Run for the Cure in a little over a week and a half. Our team has seventeen members, and we've raised over $1,000 so far. Getting to participate in the run at the MTS Centre on October 4 with thousands of other people who care about finding a cure for breast cancer - and seeing the sea of pink t-shirts representing breast cancer survivors - will be icing on the cake. Can't wait to see my mama walking in her pink t-shirt :)

Briony is *so* mobile now. My baby girl isn't feeling very much like a baby anymore. She's a speedy little crawler, and easily pulling herself up on furniture and starting to creep around. Gaaaaaah. We've been busy reorganizing, installing gates, and just generally trying to stay one step ahead of her since we got back.

I've been flared up since we got home. Nothing very serious, just not feeling 100%. My energy level is in the toilet and I've been fighting off pain and stiffness (and a cold) for 2+ weeks now. Blech. I'm waiting for that morning where I wake up and feel a little bit better than the previous day. No luck so far.

I started a new book club on Monday. We're meeting monthly at Starbucks and reading books that are being turned into movies. The very best part? It's a completely random group of women, and most of them didn't know each other before. Out of the eight of us, I met three brand new people on Monday. I don't know if I'm more excited to get to know a couple of new people or to be reading and discussing books with fellow book nerds. Both are pretty fun.

Em and I are apparently going to Keith Urban this weekend. It was kind of a last-minute decision, but I'm starting to get excited about it. I'm not usually a big country music girl (in fact, I mock people who listen to country music) but he's cute and has a bunch of good songs - and can play guitar like nobody's business. Should be a good show. And a fun Girls Night Out, of course.

We had a big day here on Friday. This is going to sound stupid to almost everyone who doesn't live with chronic illness, but I gave my ten month old a bath totally by myself for the first time ever. Geoff was there just in case, but Briony and I did it by ourselves. On a regular basis, it still needs to be Geoff's job - but I can't explain what it means just to know that I can if I need to. It was like this piece of quintessential mommyness that I just needed to feel. It was awesome. Geoff was getting her into her pyjamas after and I was just sitting there beside them and bawling... It was a Moment, one that I will treasure for a very long time.

I'm working! Still a little bit less than my goal, but I have another month or so to get there - and I'm working every day now. I love it. It's incredibly difficult sometimes with a super-active giggly little monkey child on the go around me, but it's a challenge I'm *so* happy to take on.

School started again this past week. I'm taking a Case Studies course - my second last before I graduate from UVic's public relations program next summer. YAY ME.

That's not everything, but it's a pretty decent snapshot.

Now I really need to get some studying done and get dinner started before the lovely B wakes up from her nap. We're a little bit behind on things because I totally blew off EVERYTHING yesterday in order to play with my tiny gigglepuss, and then we met a bunch of other moms and babies for a walk this morning in the gorgeous September sunshine (and met my mom for lunch). Ah well. Such is life. My life, at least :)

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday Secret


Friday, September 18, 2009

Decluttering: Magazines

Anyone looking for some reading material? I'm doing some decluttering and Geoff + I have a veritable crapload of magazines that need a new home. Before I declare that new home a recycling bin, I thought I'd check and see if they could be appreciated in someone else's home. So if you're interested, let me know! They're mostly back issues of Vanity Fair and Dwell. Because we're awesome like that (hehe).


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Remission Accomplished

Would you consider sponsoring me for this year's Run for the Cure? We're putting together a team to run/walk in honour of my mom who has spent the last eighteen months fighting breast cancer, and raising money so that other families don't have to walk this road in the future.

Think about it. And if you feel like donating, you can do so here. Thanks in advance - I appreciate it *so* much :)


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ten Months Old

My baby girl turned ten months old today... SIGH.

Can I have a new favourite? I love ten month old Briony. She makes me giggle and it just completely and utterly fascinating. I love how she's always trying to make a new friend, trying to make somebody laugh, trying to explore something new, trying out a new trick. I will admit that it was a heck of a lot easier to be a mommy to a baby who could only roll and scoot around a little bit - but it's pretty cool to see the world open up to her now that she can pretty efficiently get to wherever she wants to go. And I sense that it will only get crazier from here...

New Things This Month:
- Crawling! (first a pretty efficient military-style crawl but now full-fledged 'proper' crawling)
- Transitioning from sitting to crawling to sitting again
- Pulling up on furniture
- Waving, often but not always on command when we tell her to 'say goodbye'
- Getting awesome at getting dressed and undressed - she helps so much we sometimes wonder if she can do it by herself
- Bathtime in the Big Girl Bathtub - the transition did not phase her at all, and she *loves* to splash
- Loving food, and willing to try anything
- Getting used to some finger foods - Cheerios, banana, avacado, and MILD cheeses are her favourites at the moment
- Repeating and mimicking words and sounds
- Making up little dances when she's happy
- Bobbing her head up and down to let us know that she wants us to keep dancing
- Checking out people's teeth... WEIRD
- Lots of sticking out her tongue to be goofy
- SO MUCH babbling - to people she knows, to people she doesn't know, to pictures of people, to her stuffed animals, to her feet, to nothing at all...
- Staying with babysitters (Katie, Jessica, Kari-Ann, and my parents)
- Not responding particularly well to 'no' - especially when it involves eating books or exploring fireplaces
- Unpacking my suitcase for me almost every day we were in BC
- Being somewhat interested in animals for the first time - she was *so* excited and proud of herself when she was petting Tiger the cat
- Getting very interested in her 'touch and feel' books - and anything with pictures of babies
- Laughing hysterically when we show her animal sounds

Favourite Moments:
- Watching Marilyn play 'This Little Piggy' on her toes, and then watching Briony stick up her foot and point at it until Marilyn started again, over and over and over...
- Seeing how very proud of herself she is when she crawls over to something or pulls herself up

Looking Forward To:
Getting back into a fall routine...

Labels: ,

The One With One Last Goodbye (And A HELLO!)

Speaking of processes we've almost perfected... It was Going Home Day today. We woke up, packed up, and headed out. Since Briony was born, we've started flying out of Vancouver instead of Abbotsford. It's a little bit more driving, but it means one flight instead of two (the flights between Winnipeg and Abbotsford always stop in Calgary) - and so, in the end, it's just easier.

Today, we left exactly on schedule so we had time to grab a quick lunch before Marilyn dropped us off at the airport. We're all kind of a well-oiled machine with our goodbyes at this point, which strikes me as a little bit sad. Still, for all our practice, it's sometimes hard not to feel like a terrible person when I carry Briony away and through the Departures door. I try to dwell on the fact that we are incredibly blessed to have family that loves us like crazy in two provinces, and we are incredibly blessed to be able to visit them as often as we do.

On the way up, Geoff pointed out that we were flying over White Rock. Sure enough, I could see the coastline and the shape of the pier, the hill where Aaron + Cait's condo building sits... Yep, waterworks all over again.

I'm really okay. It's just such a strange feeling to have my family leave. It's kind of MY job. I leave, and they are here when I go and when I return. It turns out that it's not nearly as much fun to be the one who DOESN'T leave. I don't like it.

We made it home without incident, despite the fact that Briony didn't nap again. She did great on the plane, and my parents were there to greet us (who are we kidding... they were there to greet Briony). She had immediate smiles for them, and reached out for them with all her typical giggling and babbling and silliness. I had to turn away for a second. It's just incredible to watch one grandma love her as we get onto an airplane, and then to watch another love her as we arrive at the other end. What a lucky little girl.

Labels: , , , , ,

The One Where We Say Goodbye To Aaron + Cait

Monday, September 14

So 'goodbye' seemed to be the theme of our trip this time. I didn't realize just how bad it was until I realized that Briony was starting to wave on cue when we instructed her to 'say goodbye' to someone. If it wasn't so cute, I would have cried... Just kidding. Of course, I cried anyway :)

We bookended our trip by scheduling another IHOP brunch with Aaron + Cait, this time in Abbotsford because I was still pretty flared up. It was fun to spend some more time with them - and especially fun to watch Cait and Briony playing together - but there was a little tiny Eeyore-style storm cloud over top of us, knowing that this brunch would end with an indefinite goodbye. Briony did her best to keep us laughing with her new Cheerios Dance. She seriously danced every time she picked up a Cheerio, as it made its way into her mouth. Such a funny girl. We narrowly escaped an official Parking Lot Scene, only because I finally just spit out the g-word and walked away. I held it together until I saw their car drive away and I knew the coast was clear, and proceeded to burst into tears randomly about every half-hour for the rest of the day.

We said goodbye to Carole and the kids in the evening. It sounds sad, but we're kind of used to saying goodbye to them - we do it every couple of months. It doesn't make it easy. It just means that we're starting to perfect the whole process a little bit.

It all got me thinking... In the next four years, will we become accustomed to saying goodbye to Aaron + Cait the way we've become accustomed to saying goodbye to Geoff's family? Kind of a strange thought.

We got the bulk of our packing done, and then settled in for new episodes of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report (and Kanye on Leno, of course). I made it about two-thirds through my Jon Stewart fix before I crashed, but Geoff assures me it was all awesome :)

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, September 14, 2009

Briony vs Cheese

Introducing Briony to new foods over the past couple of months has been a hilarious adventure to say the least. The funniest thing about Briony and food is that - so far - nothing has been rejected (or ejected). She'll eat anything. She just enjoys some things more than others.

Lately, we've been giving her some stronger types of cheese, and the result has been pretty funny... Well, you can see for yourself.

Make photo slide shows at

Labels: ,

Monday Secret

I got goosebumps when I saw this one yesterday morning... It's so true, and it's such an amazing and positive thing to dwell on. I need to do better at remembering this. This one just might get printed out and tacked up somewhere I can see it often.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

The One Where Briony Turns Into A Monster

Okay, so 'monster' might be kind of harsh. But our baby girl has 'blossomed' into quite the little handful while we've been away... She is crawling, diving, exploring, destroying, and just generally getting into mischief at every turn. I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA where my baby went.

Today, Geoff headed into Vancouver with Rob to check out a luxury supercar show while B and I hung out in Abbotsford. I'd hoped to do a little more with my day, but I've been flared up and icky for a few days now - okay, more like this entire trip - and I needed to take care of myself. It was another super hot day, and after we went for a walk outside with Marilyn, it was straight into another cool bath for Briony. She played for a loooong time and was lots happier when she emerged.

The rest of the day was essentially a reign of terror in the form of a tiny, giggly, noisy strawberry blonde. She emptied out all of Marilyn's bottom drawers - in the bedroom and the kitchen. She crawled laps around the living room and played noisily with everything she found. She explored underneath all the end tables and made about a thousand attempts to check out the fireplace and the plants. She thoughtfully 'unpacked' the suitcase on our bedroom floor. And she emptied out my laundry basket. Twice.

She's in bed now, and all the adults in the house are exhausted... :)

I've managed to scrape together a few scraps of energy and start our family's laundry in preparation for packing (I'm just nerdy enough that - whenever I can - I like to come home from a trip with suitcases full of *clean* clothes). I'm not sure why, but the preparation to come home feels a little bit different this time. I'm used to feeling almost kind of indifferent about it, happy to stay or happy to come home. For some reason, I feel a little bit sad today.

I thought for a while that maybe it was because we're leaving Aaron + Cait here, but I really don't think that's it exactly. I think it's a culmination of all the people we leave when we go home to Winnipeg - family and friends who it feels we are just constantly saying goodbye to.

I usually just pretend that it's just like people at home who we only see a couple of times a year, and that usually works... But not today. Today, I want to sign up for music classes with Vicky + Ava, and I want to have a standing monthly games night with Jason + Amy - and I want our 'west coast friends' to hang out at *our* house sometimes. I want to have brunch with Aaron + Cait again next weekend. I want to be around for some of those conversations when my nieces all try to figure out where to apply for school next year. I want to be at the airport when Hannah comes home. I want to go over to Joanne and Carole's houses and have tea with them and really get to know my 'new' sisters. And I don't want Marilyn to keep missing all the new things that Briony is learning every week. It seriously breaks my heart when Briony makes strange with her when our plane lands in Vancouver. Shall I continue? Because that's really just scratching the surface.

So yeah. That's where I'm at tonight. Sorting through laundry and sorting through emotions, and trying not to let either one of those things put a damper on our last 36 hours here.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

The One Where We Stay Out Past Our Bedtimes

Saturday, September 12

Today was the day when we got to see Rob + Vicky + Ava. Vicky went back to work this past week and Ava was starting in daycare, so it really didn't work to see them before this weekend - which is a total shame, because we always have a great time with them.

We met up a little later in the afternoon than we'd originally planned due to an accident on Highway 1 between us and them (between our two locations, not our two vehicles). Once we arrived, we changed the girlies into their bathing suits and set out for the splash park - with pit stops at Starbucks for Vicky + Lindsay, 7-11 for Geoff + Rob, and Rob's sister's house so we could quickly say hi and see their kids.

Ava loved the splash park. Briony was more than a little unsure. The water was super cold and she was a little bit tired. She was much happier when we settled her on a blanket *near* all the splashing and gave her some Cheerios :)

Back at Rob + Vicky's place, the girls played together - not as well as in Victoria, just because of the super active and curious stage they're in right now - and had a few epic battles over the coolest toys. They ate dinner and then had a bath together while Geoff + Rob went to go pick up our grown-up dinner (sushi... YUM). The girls were hilarious in the tub. No amount of splashing seemed to phase them, and you could tell that it was a total treat for both of them to have another baby to play with in there.

Our lovely young ladies went to bed while we had dinner and played cards until probably too late. I always freak out a little bit when we have to mess with Briony like we did this evening - putting her to bed in one place, moving her to her carseat, then transferring her again at home. I should probably worry less, because it didn't really bother her at all. There was not a single tear, and she slept half an hour later than usual this morning. Which just all kind of added to it being a truly great evening :)

Labels: , , ,

The One Where Heatstroke Affects My Parenting Abilities

Friday, September 11

Will it always feel strange to write 'September 11' now?

Today was a beautiful summer day in Abbotsford and it was HOT HOT HOT. After a quiet morning in, we decided to pack up Briony and go for a picnic lunch in the park followed by a walk. Here's what happened.

We chose a picnic table near the water. I sat down and immediately realized our mistake: we were sitting very nearby dozens and dozens of geese and probably five ducks. After the previous day's misadventures with the raccoons, I was understandably wanting to move... Geoff and Marilyn convinced me that I was safe, that Briony was safe, and that I needed to shut up, sit down, and eat my lunch. I did, but not without checking over my shoulder about every 0.8 seconds. After lunch, we took a HOT walk around Mill Lake, stopping to rest in the shade about halfway through. From there, our first order of business was to locate a gelati place. We did, and it was delicious... I must have been suffering from heatstroke or something, because I let Briony try a tiny taste of pear gelati. Her initial face was hilarious because of the cold, but then she was pretty enthusiastic about it. She happily played with two gelati bowls, smashing them together noisily while the rest of us ate our treats.

The rest of our day was pretty uneventful. Geoff helped his mom install a new blind in the kitchen. Briony splashed up a storm in the bathtub. We finished the final episode of Pushing Daisies season one (delightful, thanks for asking!). Pretty exciting stuff, hey? :)

Labels: , , ,

Friday, September 11, 2009

The One Where We Discover The Very Worst Place To Eat Raw Fish

Thursday, September 10.09

Where to begin...

Today was Aaron + Cait Do Vancouver day. Geoff + Briony + I spent the day with them, touring around Vancouver and showing them a few of the sights in their new home city. It was a long day, and we barely scratched the surface. And it was *so* hard to decide where to take them that would be budget-conscious and cover a few of their own requests. But we had lots of fun - and made a couple of hilarious memories along the way.

First stop (after we picked them up from White Rock) was Steveston, where we ate breakfast on the boardwalk and took a few pictures while we walked through some of the park. Then it was on to UBC where Aaron + Cait needed to pick up some required software that Emily Carr doesn't sell. Holy crap is this the WRONG time of year to need to go to the UBC main bookstore... But it was an adventure. And Briony - being the only baby in sight - made friends as per usual.

From there, we went to Granville Island for lunch and Cait spent two hours in class (English class... I seriously wanted to just leave B with the boys and go with her) while Aaron + Geoff + Briony + I walked around and explored a few of the areas that Aaron + Cait hadn't found yet - like the hill by the water, the community centre, and the Kids Market.

And then it was on to downtown. We did a driving tour of a few highlights, then parked and walked along Robson Street with a detour on the way back to point out the big downtown mall, the Art Gallery, and a few other key places. We picked up sushi for dinner and then headed in the general direction of Stanley Park. We had planned to drive through the park and then stop to find somewhere to eat dinner. And we did. Kind of.

We stopped and found a place to sit and eat, but noticed a few tourists taking pictures of a raccoon on the other side of the fence. And then a few of his little raccoon friends came to see what all the fuss was about, and we took a few pictures of the four of them before settling in to eat our dinner. But then we started to notice that the raccoons were escaping the fenced-off area and surrounding us. One randomly popped up about two feet behind us and I screamed. These evil predators were multiplying. There were four... and then five... and then six... and then TEN. Within about two minutes, we were completely surrounded, and there were a dozen of them. To make it even worse, every few minutes two of them would brawl - complete with hissing and razor sharp CLAWS and TEETH. I feel it is important to note that - during this entire time - I was panicking. I was not graceful or dignified about it at all. I was freaking out and trying to get the rest of my group to join me in fleeing the scene so that I could save myself (and my baby, of course - I'm pretty sure I made more than a few dramatic exclamations to that effect). I am straight-up terrified of wild animals, and believe raccoons to be both vicious and filthy, and my dinner companions were alternately mocking me and commenting on how cute the raccoons were. Cait got up and scared them back a few times, but eventually they started to come over to my side - the SANE side. Finally, they agreed and we went a few hundred feet away, far away from the raccoons (and behind another fence). Within about thirty seconds of sitting down, it became apparent that we were being followed... I watched in horror as they began to climb the fence. We packed up our dinner yet again, and they followed us all the way back to our car. When we were backing up to leave, there was seriously a raccoon staring us down about three feet in front of our bumper and still approaching. TERRIFYING. And officially the stupidest place EVER to eat sushi.

We headed over to the beach (across the street from Tanis & Jer's beloved Sylvia Hotel) and found a bench near the water that was entirely raccoon-free and at last, I was able to enjoy my sushi. In the middle of a swarm of mosquitoes. The only ones in Vancouver, I'm pretty sure. Of course :)

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday Smile

I'm a little torn about over-promoting this because I feel like it - in some way - kind of killed the awesomeness of the flash mob for me by Oprah-izing it (yes, I just made that a word - I'm a writer and I can do whatever I want, so there). And then the Black Eyed Peas changed up the lyrics... Sigh.

But it did make me smile (and I'm pretty sure that it will make you smile too). And so... Friday Smile.

PS - Thanks for posting a link, Jess! I came on my computer this morning to look for this online and - BAM! - there it was on Facebook.


Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The One Where I Order Another Shot Of Espresso

Wednesday, September 09.09

I may have run out of things to say. I know, can you believe it? I think the problem is that our life here feels pretty much like our life at home, and it's just not all that noteworthy...


We did nothing this morning, which was pure awesomeness. Later in the afternoon, we did some running around, but nothing really epic. I found a few new fall shirts that I felt borderline attractive in, which is kind of amazing - and I managed to pay less than full price for all of it, which is even more amazing. I don't know when I turned into a sales-and-coupons mom, but I think I'm doing a darn good job of it. Then we headed back home for a quiet evening in. Carole dropped in. We planned some of our day tomorrow. I talked to my mom and my sister and my brother on the phone (that NEVER happens all in one day - guess we've now officially been gone long enough that people have noticed, hehe).

I wasn't going to write about this, but here I go, apparently. The most noteworthy part of my day was actually kind of the opposite of noteworthy... I've been feeling so gross, and I can only remember one other time in my life that I've felt this kind of gross - and so I stopped to pick up a pregnancy test this afternoon. SHUDDER. No matter which little symbol you're hoping to see, there is nothing okay about having to pee on a plastic stick.


In true Lindsay form, I did the test at Starbucks while Geoff was in line. I asked him to order me a half-caf, just in case... I came out with a grin and demanded another shot of espresso. I am actually pretty sure I was doing a little bit of a happy dance out the door.

I'm just in a place where I can't imagine asking my body to do that for me again, at least not right now. I truly believe that God prepares us for these things, and if the answer had been different, we would have figured it out and been okay. But I also truly believe that God makes sure that life never hands us more than we can handle. And at this point, another baby would have fallen squarely into that category of Too Much. Actually, at this point, I'm pretty sure a broken toaster would push me uncomfortably close to that territory.


Starbucks again tomorrow :)

Labels: , ,

The One Where We Go To Ikea

Tuesday, September 08.09

Yeah, so Ikea Day is pretty much worth its own blog post. Sad, isn't it? ('You know you're from Winnipeg when...')

I haven't really picked up anything for ME on our last couple of trips because I've been so focused on baby stuff and things for Aaron + Cait's wedding shower. It was really fun to wander around and find a few things to bring home for *our* home. Nothing really earth-shattering, just things like new placemats that make me happy in a completely nerdy kind of way. Briony came home with Whiskers, a stuffed cat she attached to on first sight (and a few other little things, including an early birthday present from her grandma).

Later, Marilyn + Briony + I shopped for shower curtains and bathroom accessories while Geoff made the rounds to a few of his favourite stores in Richmond. Another nerdy little moment: I found some sweet bamboo cutting boards that I'd been looking for. Awesome. Would have been slightly more awesome if I'd found them at home, but they should be easy to fly home with.

I was full-on exhausted by the time we came home, and kind of grateful for the lack of Ikea in Winnipeg. Yeah, that's right - I said it. I love needing to really analyze and question everything that goes into a bag ('Do I love this enough to fly home with it?'). And I *really* love paying $1.99 per placemat and then not worrying about every person I know having the exact same placemats. Jason + Amy have matching ones here. And four provinces away, I'm totally okay with that :)

Labels: , , ,

The One Where I Earn My Keep

Monday, September 07.09

This morning was a little bit of a slower start for me. I've been feeling lousy-ish since we arrived - scratchy throat, tired, stuffy nose, flared up. It all caught up with me on Monday and I actually went back to bed after Briony got up, which is almost unheard of for me.

I had a few clients with deadlines coming up this week, so Geoff and Marilyn took Briony out for a walk and I had a couple of hours to get some stuff done. I surprised myself by being freakishly productive and finishing everything. I *love* when that happens.

Later, Aaron + Cait came over for tea and then stayed for dinner and another walk around Mill Lake (yeah, that happens a lot here). It was so nice to see them and help ease their transition a little bit.

Back to work stuff for a second...

I'm very comfortable with the deadlines and projects I have going on now with my freelance business, but it will be interesting to see what happens when we get home. It's time for me to really get serious about looking for clients and getting some more work started, but Briony's also getting much more active - and mischievous - now. And napping less. I know I can do it, I just want to be able to do it WELL.

Today was a good day, not only because I got things done, but because - for a brief shining moment - I actually felt SMART. I was writing an article on a topic I had absolutely no idea about, something incredibly technical and complicated and over my head, and when I really just sat down and concentrated, I UNDERSTOOD IT. Like totally understood it. And found that writing groove where I actually cared about the details and the person who would be reading it and all that garbage that writers are SUPPOSED to think about and care about.

It felt soooo good.

I wish I could bottle that up and save it for a rainy day, because it's powerful stuff. It erases all those feelings of feeling ugly with all my baby weight hanging out there (whatever, at least my face didn't get fat) and feeling lousy because I'm not June Cleaver cloned with Carol Brady (whatever, she had a housekeeper). Until about eight minutes later, of course. Which is precisely why I need to figure out a way to bottle it...

Labels: , , , ,

The One Where Briony Is Disorderly

Sunday, September 06.09

Got up early and went to church with old people (hehe). Briony entertained the grey-haired crowd with her non-stop babble and 'singing' during the first half of the service, but it started to get old around communion time... After one of the pastor's points, she actually yelled 'YEAH YEAH YEAH' at the top of her lungs. Sigh. Took her outside and couldn't find the baby room, so we wandered the hallways for the last half-hour and she made a ridiculous amount of baby noise - mostly deemed cute by the church people - phew! The pastor came to find us later and cooed over her a little bit, so it couldn't have been *that* bad, right? :)

Called Aaron + Cait. Had lunch. Made awesome peach salsa. Visited Carole and the kids. Saw Justin's brand new tattoo. Walked around Mill Lake again.

And then Marilyn graciously volunteered to princess-sit Briony so that Geoff + I could head into Burnaby to have dinner at Jason + Amy's place - and the epic Cranium battle we'd been anticipating for months. Yeah, we beat them. Twice. And poor Jason tried ever so hard to be a gracious loser. It's just not in his DNA, and it's part of his charm - and part of why we spent a good portion of the evening laughing at his expense :)

Labels: , , ,

The One Where We Bum Around Abbotsford

Saturday, September 05.09

Let's see if I can remember this far back... ;)

Went to the Farmers' Market with Marilyn. Consumed yummy organic coffee. Picked up scones and fruit and veggies. Watched Briony be happy and friendly and just generally having a great time in the midst of music and people and booths full of flowers and produce.

Tagged along on some of her other errands, including picking up eggs from one local farm and meat from another.

Made more baby food. Did some laundry. Went for a walk around Mill Lake. Watched more Pushing Daisies on DVD, trying to finish Season One so we can return it to Aaron + Cait before we leave BC.

Kind of a quiet day, but a good one.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Belated Monday Secret


Monday, September 07, 2009


I just saw on Facebook that my cousin Heather's sweet baby girl has arrived safely into their family today. I'm always kind of emotional when I hear about a new baby, but this one is special... She joins a family of one big brother and four angel babies who came before her - and her safe, full-term arrival is nothing short of a miracle. There is celebration both in heaven and on earth today.

We are *so* happy for you, Heather & Ryan (and can't wait for all the fun details - and a picture!!).


Saturday, September 05, 2009

The One Where The House Becomes Strangely Quiet

Friday, September 04.09

Woke up. Early again. Come on, Briony!

Spent a few last hours with Jo and the three remaining kids. Had breakfast. Had lunch. Walked to Horn Creek Park and took a few pictures. Let David run out his energy for the long drive back to Kamloops.

Came back. Said goodbye. Spent a few hours working and invoicing. Had dinner while Briony had a dangerously long nap. Packed her up and went to watch our nephew Justin play rugby. Came home. Were surprised by how quiet the house seemed... Tucked in our sleepy little rugby fan.

Labels: , ,

The One Where We Go On A Roadtrip With My Parents

Thursday, September 03.09

Picked today for a little roadtrip adventure with my parents to avoid the chaos and emotion that would inevitably surround Hannah's departure. Snuck in one last hug before hitting the road around 8 am.

Drove to White Rock, transferred to my parents' van, and headed for the border. Arrived in Burlington, Washington and split up - the boys went hunting for a GPS for Aaron and the girls went to the Gap and Carter's outlets. Bought a few things for Briony, a few things for Chloe, and a few things for ourselves. Best purchase of the day was B's halloween costume... I seriously can't wait. It's so cute it actually causes me physical pain.

Climbed back into the van. Hit Seattle for lunch. Ate fish and chips at Pike Place Market. Walked around. Bought flowers. Visited the original Starbucks (yes, again). Listened to my dad bitch and complain about the line-up and the over-rated coffee. Ignored him and sipped my coffee blissfully.

Back in the van. Headed home with quick stops for Cold Stone Creamery (banana caramel crunch), Target ($1 clearance baby stuff for next summer), and Bath & Body Works (um, I think everyone's getting some for Christmas, hehe).

Headed in the general direction of Canada. Got waved through the border duty-free for the third time in a row (THANK YOU, BRIONY!).

Labels: , ,

The One Where We Say Goodbye To Hannah

Wednesday, September 02.09

Geoff's sister Joanne + her four kids arrived late the night before. We knew they were coming, but obviously heard nothing :)

Woke up EARLY (Briony didn't get the memo about the time change, apparently). Packed her up and walked to Starbucks just in time for opening. Had my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the year. Mouth watered all the way there in anticipation. Barista was sleepy and misheard my order. Very nearly ended up with a Pumpkin Spice Latte + peppermint flavour shot (!!!). Caught it just in time. Crisis averted. And my latte was delicious.

Walked back to Geoff's parents' place and very few people were up... Greeted them as they meandered into the kitchen. Had breakfast. Had lunch. Went back to school shopping with Joanne and the twins. Laughed at Libby and Briony on the living room floor for hours, trying to teach Briony how to crawl better.

Went to Geoff's sister Carole's place for a barbecue as a farewell to Hannah (our niece who was leaving the next morning for six months in New Zealand with YWAM). Watched Briony interact with a cat for the first time. Watched Sean exhaust himself in an effort to entertain his smallest cousin (that kid is totally going to host his own kids' show on television someday). Watched everyone get weirded out by the partially transparent New Zealand money that Hannah got as a gift. Ate food. Spent time with family. Soaked in the insanity of so much of this family being in the same place at the same time (it's wonderful). Tried to keep Briony happy despite it being many hours past her bedtime.

Came home. More craziness as Hannah prepared to leave. Piled onto couches and watched So You Think You Can Dance with Ruth and Libby and David and Jo. Gave Hannah a very big hug. Tried not to cry, and wondered why I care so much when I'm still the New Kid in this big crazy family.

Labels: ,