Monday, October 30, 2006

Sunday Morning

Look what we woke up to on Sunday morning. Thankfully the appeal of shovelling snow is on the top of Kaelen's to-do-list.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Magic of Mr. Boo

Sometime in the early 90's

Back in the days, we thought that we were pretty cool as we had an 8 person hot tub. Mom had converted Dad's old workshop into an indoor hot tub room, which also doubled as a sauna seeing as it was located in this tiny room in the basement. We loved this hot tub except when it came to having to empty the thing. The jets were located about mid level, so when draining the hot tub, we would have to bail out about 60% of the tub via a bucket and then dump into a sink. This was a lot of water to bail out, but a small price to pay when it allowed us the luxury of warm relaxation and of course the coolness around your fellow friends.

Mr. Boo decided to take pitty on us one night, however obviously didn't realize that Mom had a night of rowdiness planned for the following night. My mom checked the chemicals in the hot tub at about 11:00 PM, just before heading to bed, to ensure that all was good for her party. At about 7:00 am the next morning, when she was getting ready for work, she thought that she heard some grinding. As she searched around for the noise, her hunt lead her to the hot tub room. The motor was making a loud over worked noise. Fearful that this meant that it was on the frizt and that the water was likely freezing cold, she lifted the lid to the hot tub only to discover that the hot tub was bone dry; water gone. Where did the water go, only Mr. Boo knows. But we can tell you that the hot tub couldn't have leaked as it would have flooded the basement and there was not enough time for it to dry out.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Saturday Night in Our House

With birthday parties planned for Sunday and of course football Sunday, then comes a long Monday with work and daycare; we figured the only chance to get ready for Halloween was tonight.

Daddy and Kaelen carved the pumpkins while Mommy baked up a batch of monster cookies for Kaelen to bring to all of his goblin friends at daycare on Monday.

All in all, it was a picture perfect family night.

Kaelen's pumpkin

Not too sure if he really wants to be sticking his hand into the squishy pumpkin

The finished product. Good job Daddy!

Turned my back for one minute and guess who got caught sampling the Monster Cookie dough?

A Tale of Mr. Boo

My sister Christie and I grew up as best friends. We were literally joined at the hip and could finish one another's sentences without even a second thought. We were and still are like twins, despite the two year age difference between us. One could never accuse us of having a lack of an imagination, and it was times like this, that Mr. Boo likely was rolling on the ground with laughter as we would valiantly try to point out his existence .......

Sometime in the early 80's

I can't remember exactly how old we were, but we shared a bedroom upstairs in what we called the Attic. It wasn't really an attic, but the house was old and the roof was sloped in on each side, so it certainly resembled an attic to an overly active imagination. On this particular night though, our imaginations did not have a chance to create something truly exciting nor scary as we were awoken from a peaceful slumber. It was dark out and out of the blue, an old vinyl pull down blind decided to snap open all on it's own. The loud snap of the blind was enough to bring instant terror into our little hearts so we called upon our dragon slayer to come and save us, AKA: Super Daddy. Once daddy determined that there were no dragons to slay and that it was only just a blind that had opened, we were tucked safely back into our beds. It was shortly thereafter that mischievious Mr. Boo decided to dump all of the contents out of our playroom school desks. It was as if he picked up the end, lifted it up and all of the stored junk inside noisely fell to the floor. After about 10 minutes of this, we called upon our dragon slayer once more to come and save us. Up the steep, crickety stairs Super Daddy did come only to reassure us that the desks were just fine and that we were imagining things. Off downstairs once more Dad did go, with Christie and I tucked safely into our beds. About half an hour later, just as we were drifting off to sleep, Mr. Boo decided to dump the contents of the desks out once more. Truly terrified now, we screamed out little hearts out in hopes that Super Daddy would once again done his cape and come to our rescue. Instead however, Irrate and Irritated Daddy came and gave us a stern lecture. Never one to not take advantage of a situation, I promptly broke down into hysterics at which my Dad practically booted my butt down stairs to Mom to go and sleep in the basement. Being the ever thoughtful sister that I am, I desserted poor Christie to Mr. Boo, who in turn tormented her for at least another hour of dumping the desks. Her saving grace was sleeping under her covers as she figured that braving Mr. Boo was a much safer option than braving pissed off Daddy and risking the same fate as her sister.

Friday, October 27, 2006

A Tribute to Mr. Boo

For as long as I can remember, Mr. Boo has been an integral part of my life. He came to visit us when I was just a baby and would continue to come for irregular visits from there on in. Each time he arrived, he brought with him an air of mystery and excitement and perhaps just a tad bit of fear. Despite his oddness, Mr. Boo has always been considered as a member of our family.

You see - I have never actually met Mr. Boo face to face; he is our family ghost. Seriously. Our family has a ghost, so in honor of Halloween just around the corner, I thought that I would let you all know about this interesting individual. I will try to post a story of Mr. Boo's hauntings each day up until Halloween.

Fall 1972

Mr. Boo made one of his first appearances (to my knowledge anyways) on a cold fall night. Mom and Dad had friends over for their ritual weekend of playing cards; crib specifically. For some reason or another, I was put to sleep in my parents room in the middle of their bed. Half way into the night, my parents heard a loud thump that came from their bedroom. Their immediate thought was that I had rolled off the bed. Up jumps Mom to run into the bedroom to ensure that little Allie was doing okay. The thing is, is that she could not get the bedroom door to open - it would only open a crack. The door had been closed to block out the rambuncious noise due to the friendly card competition and of course, a few Kokanees. My mom first tried to open the door and couldn't. She told my Dad that she couldn't get it open so he in turn tried. Low and behold, something was blocking the door from the inside that wouldn't allow them to open the door more than a tight squeeze. What could it be?

It was their bed with little Allie still peacefully sleeping. Somehow, the bed had mysteriously travelled across the bedroom to rest very close to the door. My mom was able to squeeze through the small opening to move the bed enough to allow my dad to get in as well. So the question begs: How did that bed get across the room?

Until tomorrow ...... Happy Hauntings!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Wordless Wednesday

Bad Ass Biker Boy

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Value of Family

I find as I get older that I continually am searching for something. Usually it takes me a long time to figure out what I am looking for. This time around though, I know what I am looking for and just can't seem to get it. I want a happy, loving and warm family atmosphere. One that just doesn't include my small family, but one that encompasses my entire family. I dream of one day having the weekly family get togethers on a Sunday where it gets loud and rowdy. Where the men could sit on the couch and watch football, the kids can run around screaming like banshees and the women can gossip in the kitchen while preparing dinner and sharing wisdom. A routine day where it is just a giving that you go to Mom's house or Allie's house.

With the exception of my sister, neither Paul or I have any family that is even remotely close to us that we could start this tradition. It makes me sad sometimes because I start thinking about all that my family is missing out on with Kaelen and now this new little one on the way. It makes me sad that my children only get to see their grandparents twice a year if they are lucky. To me, grandparents are such an important part of a child's life. I was blessed to have had Grandma and Grandpa Palmer so involved with my life. They were such an influence to my sister and I, and we were lucky in the sense that we got to do things with them whenever we wanted. The adventures that my sister and I had at their house and cabin will last a life time and come every Christmas, I get nostalgic and think of all of the fun times with them. My grandma had such an infectious laugh and my grandpa was truly very hip and down to earth. I flash back to reality and think: Will my children ever be able to think of that of their grandparents?

What about aunts and uncles? Again, I was blessed to have had an aunt in my life while growing up. To this day, I think of my Auntie Janny as one of my best friends. I can go to my aunt for anything and know that she will be there to love me and support me. I pray that my children will have that kind of connection with their Aunties. We all know when growing up, that sometimes you just can't go to your parents for advice or help. Hopefully my children will have an aunt or uncle that they can fall upon should they ever feel that (although I still naively continue to think that I will ALWAYS have an open communicative relationship with my children).

It is amazing at just how important your family becomes once you get a little older and in my instance, have a family of my own. I can't really say that I took my family for granted, but I realize now just how important family is to me personally.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Protector of Mommy

It is Friday night and the three of us are sitting around the kitchen table wolfing down our supper. Supper got off to a late start so all three critters were starving. Half way through dinner, we decided to come up for some air after five minutes of continual shovelling of food into our gullets. Time for some quality family conversation:

Daddy: "Hey Kaelen. Mommy is getting fat don't you think?"
Kaelen: "Yes"
Daddy: "Kaelen. Mommy is fat. Why is Mommy getting fat? You think that we should eat her dinner for her?"
Kaelen: "Yes."
Daddy: "So you think Mommy is getting fat?"
Kaelen: "Yes. No. No. No. Baby in tummy. Mommy no fat."

Sigh .... already my little protector. Now only if I can cook up some serious revenge on my hubby.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

My Inner Bitch

Yes, we all have one; an inner bitch. There are those truly gifted people though that can control it and never let it come forth and I sadly am not one of those.

Last night after a long day at work, the last thing that I felt like doing was rushing home to make dinner. My sister was in the area and was a true incredible auntie by picking the little man up from daycare for me. We decided that dining out for dinner had an incredible appeal.

There is this nice little establishment up the road from my house and one side of it is a family restaurant. We have only been there maybe twice in the past two years but both times have been decent. That side of the building is never really busy (the other side is a pub) so it would also give Kaelen some breathing room to play around if necessary. Last night however, the place was a literal gong show. Every table had a family at it, kids are running around everywhere and the noise level was at its peak. It was perfect. Absolutely perfect. It kept Kaelen thoroughly entertained and also showcased him as a perfect little boy. The little boy with manners, who sat at his table, cheered on the hockey game and kept asking his mommy for a hug. When his supper arrived, when asked if he wanted a bite out of his hamburger, his reply would be "Yes. Yes please".

One family in particular tweaked my inner bitch throughout our entire dinner. Sitting directly across from us were four children ranging from the ages of 4 - 11 and all four children would be what I could describe as obese. The parents weren't much better. The mom kept yelling at the young boy (around the age of 4, who wouldn't quit wailing) and telling him "You are really pissing me off. Now shut up and eat your mashed potatoes or else I will NEVER, EVER, take you out for dinner again". Meanwhile, the three girls at the table are shovelling in the french fries covered in gravy as fast as they could and were whining that they wanted more. Before you knew it, a fresh round of deep fried grease arrived at their table and this family literally dove onto the table to inhale it.

I shouldn't be one to judge really. I am not a model person nor can I claim that I am the perfect parent, however, as I sat at my table watching this family, I was completely disgusted. Disgusted that the parents would allow their children to become extremely overweight, that the children didn't seem to have much respect for their parents or others around them and that the parents seemed more interested in gluttoning themselves rather than paying attention to their children. I couldn't help but wonder if this family was truly happy because they all looked miserable. I had to fight this overwhelming urge to make a snide comment upon our leaving the restaurant because part of me wanted them to know just how much they disgusted me. That the parents have cheated their children out of so much due to their lack of self discipline or laziness.

Something stopped me though. Maybe it was because Kaelen put his little hand in mine and I realized that I was a bigger person than that. That here I was wanting to criticize them yet in reality, I would be stooping to their level if I did that, especially in front of my son. Perhaps I was supposed to see that delinquent family because it reminded me that you are only as good as you want to be. I want to be a good parent. The best actually. As I put my son to bed last night, holding him close to me for the ritual hugs and kisses good night, I silently promised myself that no matter how bad my days may seem to me, they can never get bad enough for me to neglect my children.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Wordless Wednesday

The Love(s) of My Life - Father's Day 2006

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

This is for the Mommies

I have to say that I am confused. Not just a little, but totally perplexed. Before becoming a mother, I would listen to the frustrated stories of my girlfriends and co-workers as they made their journey through parenthood. More often than not, it seemed that the frustrated complaints were about their husbands; not their babies. At first I didn't understand and of course, would get offended on behalf of my friends that their husbands would even suggest or accuse them of things like sitting around the home all day (while they slaved away in the office), that they (the man) were wiped out because he was working so hard or to hear that the husband was taking a relaxation trip away from the home because he was too overworked. I didn't get it at all.

It has now come full circle to me. I am now part of that sisterhood. I get it and understand wholeheartedly where these women are coming from. It wasn't like they were truly complaining, but they were making the comments with little hidden smirks as if the joke was on the husband. The truth of the matter is, is that men truly don't have a clue of what reality is. I know that is a harsh statement but I don't know another way to explain it. It is not meant as demeaning but more on a smirk-on-your-face, giggle-under-your breath kind of way.

In one of my more recent enlightening moments, I had suggested to my husband should he go home to visit his mom that perhaps he could take our son. After all, not many people in my husband's home town have met our son so it would be a great moment for hubby to proudly show him off. I had expected hubby to say that this was a great idea and ask me to look into the cost of flights for him. Err ... no. I might has well have grown two heads from the look I received. Along with this comment: Why Allie - are you kidding? How could I do that? It would be too hard by myself.

Hmmm .... just let me think about this here for a minute. Oh yes. You would play it by ear yet try to keep to a somewhat consistent schedule. It is not that hard really. Why, I have taken our son to Winnipeg and back home to the Kootenays on many an occassion; BY MYSELF!! In addition to that, I have managed to work a full time job and then be a full time mommy while you have gone away on pleasure and business trips. So perhaps I am the one that is jaded but I don't see it as a big deal. Sure some days will be longer than others but it is not that difficult to manage.

Needless to say, I still think back to this not so old conversation and find myself smirking and laughing just a little under my breath. Now it is me who shares this story with my girlfriends and it is them that just laugh and nod their heads in complete understanding. I don't discredit my husband as he does his fair share of the workload around the house and he is a great father. But, whether he is just a unique father or there are others out there, I think the idea of being solely responsible for his son, for more than 24 hours, all by himself seems rather daunting and terrifying.

Hopefully I am completely wrong.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The "Boy Chat"

Mommy walks in the door on Friday night from work. It is 6:00 pm, Daddy is cooking supper and Kaelen is running around playing hockey with himself.

Daddy: "Kaelen. Kaelen. Remember our Big Boy Chat today? What do you have to tell Mommy?"

Mommy: "What is that? Was Kaelen bad or something today?"

Daddy: "No". (with a smirk on his face)

Daddy: "Kaelen. What did you learn today from our chat? Anything about Mommy?"

Kaelen: "MOMMY!! Baby in tummy (as he slaps my belly)"

Mommy: "What did you say Kaelen? That Mommy has something in her tummy?"

Kaelen: "Yes. Baby in tummy. My big brother." (Kaelen refers to himself as my rather than me).

Have to say, that was rather easy telling him. Now all weekend long, he has been patting my belly and telling the world that there is a baby in there.

Friday, October 13, 2006

La La Land

Today I am in la la land. In that state of happy euphoria; that feeling that I am floating around rather than walking. Yesterday was our big day in regards to having our level 2 ultrasound done on the baby and of course finding out if my bed rest restrictions were to be lifted.

Needless to say, we received excellent news. The baby is doing fabulous as is Mommy. I have been given the green light to go ahead and mingle amongst the live and normal people, yet must still exercise cautious and make the proper judgement calls. Basically, I can't go ahead and resume a walking/running routine and if I start to feel achy or crampy at work, I need to go home and lie down. If I practice this common sense, then perhaps I will be able to carry a baby to full term.

At the ultrasound, we had a genetic perinatologist in attendance. He was mostly there to look over the baby in "real time" and answer any questions that we may have had. Here are just a few of the amazing things that we learned yesterday that a technician and/or doctor will be looking for during the ultrasound (done at 18 - 20 weeks gestation) and hence why they seem to take a million and one pictures before you get to see your baby:

  1. Hands/feet. This was probably the most interesting thing that we learned yesterday. The technician will want to see that the baby is flexing it's thumb out. Most commonly the baby will spread all five fingers out. If the thumb is flexing out, then this is showing that there is proper brain development. If the baby's thumb remains folded into the hand it could be a prelude to a problem, at which point, the technician will take a look at the feet. If there were to be brain development issues, then most likely, in addition to the thumbs folded into the palm, the feet will likely be turned inwards (as if your ankle were to roll over). If the feet are flexed upward, this is a good thing.
  2. Abdomen. Aside from checking the heart out to ensure that there are 4 healthy values, a liver and kidneys present, another reason why the abdomen is checked is to ensure that the baby is practicing swallowing.
  3. Bladder. Self explanatory: to ensure that the baby is having bowel movements.
  4. Stretching like movements. This shows that the skeletal and muscular systems are developing normally.
  5. Placenta. For someone who like myself has a type of Thrombophilia, the placenta will typically start to take on a grainy appearance. Without proper treatment during pregnancy, the placenta could eventually start to break down and feed clots to the baby resulting in stillborn and premature births. (Thankfully for me - my injections are working like a charm because my placenta looks fabulously clean).
  6. Cervix. The length of the cervix is an important tell tale factor of how a woman's body is responding to the pregnancy. Anything around the 1 - 1.5 area (sorry, I don't know if that is in mm's or cm's) indicates that there could be premature labor issues. Luckily, I was at 4.4!
  7. Gender. Yes, we wanted to know and it is figured that we are going to have a _____! (Heh ... you think that I would tell?)

Tonight, I will try to scan the gorgeous ultrasound pictures of our precious little baby. It is funny, because today I feel pregnant. I swear that I feel movement and I know that this little one can hear me speaking to it. To be honest though, it is because I now believe in this pregnancy and am not scared to bond with it. To start to take enjoyment out of it and not focus on the fear of losing it.

Now, all that is needed to make things great is to tell Kaelen about it. I am sure that this will provide an amusing story to two in the near future.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Wordless Wednesday

Dirty Boy - Kaelen at 1 Year

Friday, October 06, 2006

Birthday Wishes to Ellen

My dear friend Ellen who lives in Belgium, specifically Ghent, sometimes Leuven, and as of late in hotels scattered around the country, is celebrating her 28th birthday today.

Happy Birthday Miss Ellen! May your day be filled with laughter and love. Kaelen, Paul and I are sending you big hugs and kisses!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Wordless Wednesday

In the spirit of fall and Halloween just around the corner, here is Kaelen in his costume from last year. He went on a growing spurt about a week before Halloween and as you can see, he no longer fit his bull dog vest.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Bedresting Momma

It has happened - one of my biggest fears; I am on medical bed rest. For all of the whining that I have done over the past couple of weeks about aches and pains, it has proved that I am not off of my rocker and imagining things. That I am not one big whimp. The discomfort of late has actually been contractions. Contractions at 17 1/2 weeks. Not good. It bites the big one really. As a result, I have been placed on a two week medical bed rest and then from there a decision will be made as to whether it will remain as such for the rest of this pregnancy or if I can resume somewhat of a regular routine.

So, after two days of solitude as I sit here at home, here are some thoughts that have crossed my mind:

  1. I wonder if I can actually hire a person for cheap that can wash my dirty, dusty walls;
  2. I have 32 black marks on the walls of my living room and area caused from hockey sticks, golf clubs and balls hitting them;
  3. I wonder if I could actually get paid for doing book reviews online seeing as I could possibly be reading a lot over the next couple of months;
  4. Why can't I ever match a number on the 649 Lottery draw;
  5. Will I ever feel this baby kick within me;
  6. What will we do if I do end up on permanent bed rest. What is my back up plan going to be;
  7. I wonder if I can actually make a connection with Kaelen telepathically seeing as I can't stop thinking about him and wish he were here with me;
  8. Perhaps I will wake up tomorrow morning and become a creative momma. That way I can make this cool stuff in kid and Martha Stewart magazines with Kaelen;
  9. Is there an online language site that will help me learn the secret language of men, this would be a useful skill to have - especially of late;
  10. Can my dad actually hear my pleas of watching over me and my family;
  11. I don't think that I could be a cat and lounge around all day.

Kind of scary really. I can't imagine what else my ever active mind will come up with if I am on permanent bed rest.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Sir Elton John is King ... er Queen!

Last Friday, I was so very lucky to have been given the opportunity to see Sir Elton John in concert. Not only did I fulfill a "to do" on my list of 100 things for my life, I got to spend an evening with my family reliving fond memories.

Sir Elton John has always been a favorite of mine. I own every single CD of his. When growing up, my favorite song was "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" with Kiki Dee and then later on, switched over to "Empty Garden" and "I'm Still Standing". When we were young, our thing to do on our family days (Sundays) , my dad would pull out the 8 tracks, 45's and LP's and we would play name that tune for hours. Elton, Peter Frampton, Cliff Richards, Mama's & Papa's would all make their appearances and as soon as we the song was guessed, the four of us would break out in a dance and bop around the room for the remainder of the song.

My mom and sister planned this weekend of memories and pleasure as a birthday gift to me and in essence to the three of us. And Elton did not let us down. I can honestly say, he was the best concert that I have ever been to and he was worth every single penny of the cost of those tickets. He came on stage at 8:20 PM and played straight until 11:00 PM - no breaks. There were songs that he played solo and songs that he played with his five piece band. There was no real stage show - just him, his amazing talent, his sincerity and the honesty in his songs. He played old and new and catered to the entire crowd.

In short, if you ever have the opportunity to see this amazing man in concert, I would highly recommend it.