Wednesday, April 6, 2016

march madness

march was an exceptionally long marathon.
indeed, it is just under a month from my last desperate post.

i did make an effort to take more photos but getting them edited and posted just never seems to make it onto the list with work projects taking precedence.

as many of you have already seen, Spring Break was dedicated to doing a trial set of Art Classes for kids ages 4-6.  it went over super well with the kids and parents, so i am very happy!  i won't say it wasn't hard work or exhausting, because it certainly was despite what the photos might say hahaha.  it was received with requests for summer classes for younger kids and adults alike, so it looks like i have my work cut out for me.  i'm game.  i'm always game.

check out the Blog and the Art Club links at THE PAUAHUS for more information and photos of our 2 week adventure!


in other news, i couldn't be happier with the progress of our home.  despite the usual mess that comes with 3 children, there has been a constant orgasmic stream of accomplishments with things getting done and spaces coming together in a very natural way that reflects who we are.

i set a deadline for these shelves to go up in time for Art Club.  they went up.  i bought tiny succulents from Welk's on a trip out to Opus and Lindsay's home that now have actual homes, thanks to Lindsay, who came over yesterday and helped to replant ALL THE PLANTS that have found their way into our home.  there is so much plant-life here now which has really changed the vibe and i could not be happier! 

Chloe's self-portrait from Eve's birthday party in February, Welk's succulents, eccentrically bright stuffies from Sayulita (oh yeah, i never posted that I made it to Mexico for Jade and Rob's wedding... i might post that one day...)  and Velvet Underground record.

the baseboards were finally finished and kevin designed a toilet paper holder for the bathroom that i still have never posted after over a year of it having been completed.  i feel like other improvements have been made in terms of my determination to change my bad habits.  i will say, having small areas of the home that i am finally really enjoying have encouraged my WANT rather than my NEED to care more.  it's not easy, and i am often more exhausted and grumpy trying to squeeze that extra time into my day, but the final result is still always worth it when i don't feel like killing everyone for the insurmountable mess.

this guy is walking full tilt.  as the weather began to turn ever so slightly at the start of March, we started creeping out into the yard a little more, and was Malcolm ever excited to get out and safely wander to his heart's content.  i'm pretty sure he thinks he owns it.  he was much shakier at the beginning of the month with his orangutang arms still up to keep his balance.  this photo is from last week where he is now helping to carry rocks, leftover planks, and toy cars from the front/side yard to back where we now have a NEW DECK!!!!

i remember seeing kevin out planning the size and shape of the deck with random scraps and pieces of string, thinking this was never going to get done.  we were lucky.  we had amazing weather and he was both excited and determined to accomplish something beyond raising 3 kinds of trouble day in and day out.  once he bought the materials, it happened really really fast!

also i'm sorry, i know nobody cares, but some of these photos are not straight and it's driving me crazy but i just started learning Lightroom and i was really trying to just get these photos up ASAP because i should actually be tackling a lot of work right now....

ugh.  crooked photo, so annoying...  but wow this stage already got me super excited because it happened so quickly that i knew the rest wouldn't be far behind.  also helps when your Dad comes by and lends a hand even for a couple of hours :)

chloe in her new favourite undersea dress from MC
and Malcolm playing with screws

we had our first 2 after-school picnics this week.  the kids were SUPER stoked and i was falling in love even more with our little home.  the grass looks fabulously lush from this angle.  it's still quite patchy from bird's eye view, but it's not the GIANT MUDPIT that it was this time last year!  why don't we do a quick flashback here...

April 2015

 May 2015

yeah.  so i think it's safe to say life is really great with a yard
thank you in-laws for making this happen 

OH!  and just to make us feel even MORE grateful, our $550,000 home is now worth double with Tsawwassen's current state of sky-rocketing prices.  we literally made it by the skin of our teeth before the steep rise in property value.

picnics are going to be a big thing...

...along with delicious cocktails and good friends under strings of globe lights
well into the warm summer evenings

this little boy melts my heart.  from his thin wispy hair, that is without the slightest curl or wave like his siblings, to his improving fine motor skills and body language that he uses to communicate while we still await his real first word.  he loves dogs.  he woofs when he sees or hears them.  he dislikes cheese, but loves peanut butter, mushrooms, scrambled eggs, tofu, and toasted nuts.  he sniffs plants and flowers.  he had his first dandelion blowing experience the other week.  he nods and shakes his head yes and no but still has a deafeningly loud and piercing scream when he needs or wants something.  he understands simple phrases but lies face-down on the floor (and cries) when he doesn't want to do something (at home and in the grocery store).  i remember all the terrible things of coming into toddlerhood, but now that M + C are grown, perspective has given me a much more relaxed ability to deal with these tantrums.  they are awful, but certainly something i would choose over, say, punching someone in a lower grade in the stomach.  more on that in another post.

he really loves being outside

in my last post, i think i mentioned having started working out.  i will admit, i haven't been doing the sun salutations since Art Club started.  i did get to the track a few times, but i haven't given up mentally in spite of my lack of time/organizing to get out there.  i've gotten back to the stairs.  i went twice last week, once with friends and once with the kids here where i took a few photos.  if the rain holds off, i'll be back there tonight.  crooked photo.

we have been lucky to have great weather and some truly glorious sunsets in the neighbourhood.  this sort of thing never gets old and it is a great way to really get more out of your workout.  we watched the sun go down and waited for the stars to come out.  the kids made it up and down twice with breaks in between to collect rocks and shells.

it really must be something to live on the bluff.  whether you're at the top or down here on the bottom level, these sunsets (and sunrises) over the water are to die for.

i forgot to edit this and i'm not going to do it now, but you can see him up on the steps.
that should be good enough for you.

even with the ferry terminal and Delta Port on the horizon, it's still beautiful.  i like to squint and pretend the thingies at Deltaport are giant giraffes...

back to the car

the deck was completed two days ago, on Sunday.
kevin trims the last piece off

Phase I is complete
the plans are to extend both ways
to the left, have the windows replaced with doors to walk out from the dining room
to the right, have an enclosed seating area from the bedroom

Sunday was a perfect day to finish.  we had some of our most favouritest friends come by to celebrate and bless our new deck!  KLF + Milos were visiting from Whitehorse and Jade had a few hours to spend with the girls.

Oooo!!!  also, this weekend was Spring Clean-Up aka JUNK DAY where we managed to find a whole bunch of stuff that we needed included patio chairs, plant pots, another chair for the living room, a basketball hoop, a soccer/hockey net, a work table for kevin, some metal picture frames, and a bunch of other household items. 

Jade brought over cakes which were quickly demolished

do you know what a Filipina cute attack on a baby looks like???
this is pretty much what i still do to this guy all the time

crooked photo
also i was too lazy to go grab the wide lens to get the whole deck

i'm really happy right now
there are many things i am working through for another post
but they are things i am happy to be working through no matter how challenging

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Down the Rabbit Hole

well, it's surely been one of the longest breaks between posts here.  since then there has been much less frost and much more rain.  January and February flew by which is not what usually happens.  Usually it drags on forever with no end in sight.  Well, we are pushing on March now which means a quarter of the year is officially over.

What does that means for us?

It's been a bumpy transition.  It has been a hell of a lot of adjustment for everyone in the house.  Kevin officially stopped working at the beginning of December, but with all the Holiday bustling and birthdays for Chloe and Malcom just before and after Christmas, we were kept busy.  It has since slowed down, the dust has settled and we are in the first steps of "what are we going to do?".  with our large and kind-hearted network, kevin has had a good handful of jobs including prepping a home for selling (light renos and painting), a few upholstery projects, 2 custom built planter boxes, and this week he has been helping friends move into their new home, properly installing things to the wall and building furniture.  he's been catching up with the TO DO list for our home as well, he finally designed a toilet paper holder for the main bathroom, set up shelves in the dining room, and has been working on a custom coffee table for the living room.  thank you friends!  i love you friends!

I've had a few photo and design jobs here and there but my heart has been wandering back to the idea of setting up art classes for kids.  i'm doing trial runs over Spring Break to see how they go, what the response is like and how i feel about taking on the role of leading these young ones through their creative process.  i'm nervous and excited.  if you search through this blog, it isn't my first rodeo.  certainly, leading the Toddler Art Classes with Taryn was an extraordinary feat, what with Moses being under 2 years old and Chloe being months old.  i'm a little more seasoned, much more patient, and a lot more chill than i was 4 years ago!  to boot, i've got the support of friends who have pushed me to do this and whose kids i get to test on first.  thank you friends.  i love you friends.  let's see where things go from here! 

life is great.  generally.  not my life.  yes my life, but not in a conceited way, but from a mindful place of gratitude.  with all its ups and downs, it is great.  as tortured as i am with anxiety over the uncertainty of things, it really is quite thrilling at the same time to know that new things are around the corner.  i've had my share of rough times, especially struggling mentally with depression as i have been tossed in the throws of juggling motherhood with career.  last month was pretty intense as ugly things from the past resurfaced in a new light and required me to reprocess the consequences it had on our marriage with an new entirely different reality.  that took me about 2 weeks which happened to overlap with a 2.5 week fight-turned-relationship-reassesment with kevin.  so many many talks of so many many things, staying up too late for too many days in a row, i was drained.  it's hard to maintain a relationship when there are too many kids and not enough time and not enough money to throw at a movie night or fancy dinner date to get out of the house.  i mean, it's pretty hard to enjoy a living room date night in a 1500sq feet home with 3 kids and all their shit everywhere...  sometimes you really just need to GTFO.  and then there is the grumpiness of not sleeping, and the grumpiness of not having time to do things you love or time to improve the quality of your work and the grumpiness of what feels like NO FREEDOM.  the stress of finding work, paying a mortgage and then suddenly being in one another's space 24/7 is bound to wear out a relationship!  anyway, we came out of it alive, eventually, and we were able to leave much of the disdain, bitterness and inconsolable differences behind and move forward with clarity and empathy.  i really respect that when these things erupt as they do every few years, that after the initial flames and bombs are thrown across the house, we can sit or lie for hours and discuss everything a-z.  i think much of our push-pull is because we are polar opposites.  i am ENFP (Extrovert, Intuitive, Feeler, + Perceiver) and he is INTJ (Introvert, Sensor, Thinker, + Judger).  when we looked at the actual percentages from our 44 answer test, we both filled the amount that the other lacked.  so on one hand, we are so different, but as hard as that difference is to deal with, i FEEL like it really helps to balance each other's extremes.  i get him out and social, he tempers my constant need to "party" for some quiet time.  he reminds me to think things through and check facts, i remind him that sometimes that gut feeling is a good thing or that taking risks are sometimes the only way to experience new things.  anyway, we are doing better and working on a lot of things for each other and for ourselves.  he's working on his pessimism and overall perpsective and i'm working on active listening and not interrupting.

i have started working out.
it's the first time in my life that i am experiencing actual PLEASURE from working out.  i actually factually FEEL BETTER.  let's be honest here, it hasn't even been a week, but seriuosly, i'm pretty sure the longest i've "worked out" for was twice in one week and it went to hell.  i've already doubled that!  i'm hoping to get back into yoga as well, though i have been making it a habit to do 5-10 sun salutations in the mornings.  my improved mental state has brought me as far as it can go, it was time for me to get off my ass and get physical physical.  i'm so happy to be more in control of my mind and my perspective.  it took a lot of practice, but making gratitude a habit has been life changing.  and now that i have broken the bad cycle, bad days are just another day, and tomorrow is another chance.  i am only as happy as i choose to be.

the kids.
moses is currently the one torturing me the most.  he's had another log book that helps him to keep track of his feelings and appropriate behaviour.  he's doing a lot better, but i feel like he needs these visuals to help him remember.  also, hot on his list is LYING and SNEAKING.  it's enraging but since both his parents were avid liars and thieves, it's not a big surprise that karma is hitting back... HARD.

chloe has been excellent.  the worst thing about her right now is that she keeps reverting to talking like a toddler and it drives me insane.  that and the fact that her listening/memory is the same as my own, where she literally takes 5 steps and forgets what she is supposed to be doing.  BRUSH YOUR TEETH, GET DRESSED, EAT BREAKFAST, PUT ON YOUR SHOES AND COAT AND GTFO.  it's the same thing everyday, i don't understand why she can't remember!!!!! 

malcolm is so freaking adorable which works to his advantage when he is literally kicking and screaming on his belly for NO REASON.  i just laugh at him and it seems to shut him up when he realizes i'm entertained more than angry at him.  also, he is still in pteradactyl stage.  we made some old ladies pretty angry at White Spot the other day.  HOW COULD THEY POSSIBLY ENJOY THEIR LUNCH TOGETHER!  also, i'm annoyed that foods he used to eat are all hitting the floor.  he didn't eat dinner so i gave him some crackers LOL.

i'm so happy to have blogged something.
there is a backlog of photos that i have wanted to blog but 2 months feels like forever...


Monday, January 4, 2016

Winter Wonderland

Sunday Morning
our last day before the return to school 

he's starting to do the toddler tantrums but he also comes to me just for cuddles
he pats my back or squeezes his arm around my neck as he rests his head on my shoulder

i want to print a mini photo of this and keep it in my wallet

with the sudden gust of winter that has blown in this past week, my Facebook feed has been flooded with posts from the local mountains and the beautiful frost that has embellished every car, plant and spiderweb with ornate detail.  for the most part, i was so caught up in the rush and then trying to relax and clean up the rush, that i didn't give too much thought to the winter activities.

my mom guilt kicked in.  we hadn't done the Stanley Park train nor the Van Dusen lights show or Capilano Lights.  we didn't go ice skating at any of the local rinks, but to be honest if we were going to skate i would have LOVED to go at the tiny outdoor one they set up at Tsawwassen Springs with a big Christmas tree and globe lights.

unfortunately, they don't rent skates and it's $10 admission per person…   not having winter tires cuts out trips to the mountains for tobogganing (snowboarding and skiing are not even close to being an option…) and those were the photos that really got me in the gut.  seeing the beautiful snowy mountains on clear sunny days.  we haven't had snow this year, although i'm pretty sure during the frost, Deifenbaker would have been slippy enough to ride anyway.  

we made tentative plans to hit up the skating rink at Robson Square with Lindsay and Neil Sunday afternoon but those plans fell through, so we're hoping to reschedule.  i think the kids would really love a pretty evening downtown, skating under the festively lit dome...


we set out to check out Centennial after being inundated with FROZEN TSAWWASSEN NATURE PHOTOS on Facebook.  it got foggier as we approached the beach and by the time we arrived it was engulfed in fog.  we turned back to try out the dike, we had seen many cars parked on our way to Centennial.  

wintery fog

dance off

momo looking out to Beach Grove

winter florals


the sun started burning through the fog as noon approached

lucky shot of these birds

the hasties
joined us at the beach just as the fog had completely lifted

normally you can see whatever city is across the water
but the purple band at the end is more fog rolled out

the shore was a giant salty slurpee trail

we visited on a warmer day
the previous days had the water all frozen

too cool for school these two

first winter beach for little m

derp + derp

Malcolm had a good time with his other parents

he took 10 steps on saturday afternoon
i will post them in a separate Malcolm update because he's been on a roll this week

will he have thick curly hair like momo or a thinner batch like chloe?
we shaved Momo's head when he was born so wondering if that old wives' tale is true...

hoping we get another cold snap so i can get more photos


as far as white chicks go, this one is pretty alright
returning soon for a winter bonfire!