Wednesday, March 31, 2010

thank-youwelcome

He's been sleeping a lot lately, and I usually wake him up every day from his nap after three hours. I will always think that sleeping babies are precious........this one is especially precious. He will be two on Easter Sunday, so not really a baby at all anymore. The words are so cute and he is such a parrot. Talking more and more every day, and I just love his "thank-youwelcome." He doesn't really forget very often, and his please and thank-you's are pretty much perfect. But when you hand him something, he has started to say, 'thank-youwelcome.' Still making me smile every single day!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Social Time


We have had a lot of friends stop by lately. And if we haven't had friends over, then it seems like we have been going out to find them. Our day to day activities keep us fairly busy, but it's always nice to see friends who we don't see as much any more.......and catch up on each other's lives.

The flu seems to be going around. We were supposed to have friends over a couple of weeks ago and they had to cancel because they were sick. And last week, Toddler ended up with something, but he was the only one who got it. At first, I just thought it was something he ate, but it lasted five days, so no, that wasn't it. And we went to a birthday party on the weekend, and the birthday boy wasn't feeling so great and managed to share with a whole lot of people who were there. #4 ended up taking a sick day on what was supposed to be his first day back, but when you wake up vomiting, then they really don't want you. He ended up going back on Monday instead of Sunday and he has shortened hours for this week, until his shoulder feels better. As a matter of fact, he has tomorrow off, just so he isn't aggravating it. Back on Thursday and Friday for sure, and then they will assess again.
I have a lot of plans this week, and that is the way I like it. Went to a class at CCRR last Thursday on how to make puppets........found that very strange, as I didn't know a single caregiver who was there. All newbies.......I think I am getting old. Tonight I am joining my friends for a Ladies Night, tomorrow and the next night I am heading to the movies. Friday is Good Friday and I will start the morning at church and see where it goes from there. Saturday is Toddler's birthday party, and Sunday is Easter. Busy, busy, busy!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

BC Sports Hall of Fame

We had a wonderful afternoon. I have wanted to go here for awhile now, but the Canucks exhibit is leaving next weekend, so I knew that our days were numbered. I have been told for years how much Hubby would enjoy himself, and all of my friends were right. He did! We all did!! I had a 2 for 1 coupon and that was a very good bargain. But for $10 per adult, it would still be a very good deal, and I know we will be going back again. We borrowed Toddler and his excitement was worth the price of admission as well. He really enjoyed looking at the exhibits, and it was fun to see how excited he was to see all the balls. And all the Canadian flags. He made the day very, very fun........even just walking down the street in his stroller......all the Canada flags, and the sights of the city. I do think he loves Vancouver as much as I do!!!

This is in the Rick Hansen exhibit...which is the only one of it's kind in Canada, we were told. He was looking at the Canada flags in the picture on the wall, and of course loving it!!

His foot looks very small compared to Shaquille's Size 22.

We were in the Participation Gallery, and I know that he really wasn't supposed to be IN the rink, but nobody seemed to mind. And he enjoyed himself so very, very much!

He shoots, he scores!! The stick is being raised upwards....just like Papa!

He was so excited to see all the mascots and knew them all by name. He is on the little pint-sized podium, and wasn't all that impressed to try on the medals and stand there, but it was sure fun to see Quatchi, Sumi and Miga!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

It was just so fun!!

I am reminiscing again.......I think this will be the first weekend in a quite a few weeks, that I haven't been planning a trip downtown. As a matter of fact, I think I might just go anyway, as I have a few things that I want to do that have nothing to do with the Olympics. If anything, the last month a half just made me realize that Vancouver isn't really that far away, and it only takes 40 minutes by vehicle, and just another half hour more than that if we take transit. It's not really that far..........and it would be wonderful if the West Coast Express ran on the weekend, but it doesn't. I was reading in the paper that it may become a possibility in the future, but it is not to be for the time being.

This was a lot of fun. It included your admission to the Art Gallery, and even though that was interesting, the BC Pavilion was very well done. I managed to see every Canadian pavilion, plus Russia House while they were here, which is a lot more than some people, but it still didn't feel like it was enough.

There were a lot of interactive technological activities inside the British Columbia Pavilion, but I really liked the colours of these tubes. They changed all the time to all the different colours of the rainbow.

Inside Canada House........again, there were lots of interactive activities, and a lot of Canadian sports memorabilia. Hubby would have really liked this one.......as he loves that kind of stuff.

Gold Hockey Guy. He kinda just says it all, don't you think? #4 bought a Hockey Gold t-shirt for one of his Olympics souvenirs.

I liked him......but I really enjoyed all of the street entertainment!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Shaving Cream Aht

This is a little boy who absolutely loves "aht." He is really benefitting from his Mommy's Creative Art segment of her ECE program. She has mentioned many, many times that her schooling is teaching her a lot about child development and how to be a better mommy. I agree. This is something that I have done with all the daycare children, but never, ever my own. Remember, they are the ones who got the young, un-educated Mom who thought way more with her heart, than ever with her brain. This little boy has the best of the best. He is loved way more than words can ever say, and his parents are educated as well. Bonus!!

Shaving cream and blue paint

Oh, it's just so fun!

He is quite intense.....

Exploring through play

Clean-up time is as much fun as Playtime!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spring Fever

Post-Olympic slump. Exhaustion. Busy Life. The calm before the storm. Resting up. The affects of Daylight Saving Time. Call it whatever you like, but I have been really tired. I have been sleeping at least 7 to 8 hours every night for the last week. Today is the first day for awhile that I have been awake before 6. Maybe I have finally caught up. I don't know, but it sure has been a fun few months!

I think I am finally done with celebrating turning 50. Miracle #4 gave me a birthday gift on Sunday, and he is taking me to see The Lion King in July. How exciting is that?! I did see it way back in 2003 in Toronto with Hubby.......and I have to admit, it is probably my all time favourite Broadway production. Up until then, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was my fave, but The Lion King is the absolute best I have ever seen. (I have seen a lot over the years, but no where near the amount I would like to.......) It seems appropriate that I am going with #4 as he is the one who enjoyed it the most when it came out in 1994 as a Disney movie. We both love the theatre, and I haven't seen a theatre production in a few years now. I am looking forward to it very, very much!

This past weekend was a crazy one. I think I was home for a total of 5 waking hours. Hubby and I went to both Giants/Blazers games and we won them both. The Giants won again last night in Overtime, so they are leading the series 3-0. I spent all day Saturday at a conference in Abbotsford, flew in the door for a very quick dinner and we were at the Coliseum by 7pm. The Boys AAA Basketball Tournament was going on so parking was at a premium. I am glad that both evenings were fairly pleasant as we had to walk from the very farthest parking lot. It's been cold out, but not really very rainy lately.

Woke up on Sunday to some rain, so it changed our plans of taking Toddler to Vancouver with us. He has been a really sleepy boy too, and fighting a bit of gastro-intestinal something, so he stayed home with his Daddy while his Mommy played soccer and they had a very fun family day. SIL is in Edmonton at a training conference for the next few days, he flew out last night and will be home on Friday. It's exciting for him and he is really enjoying his new job.

Hubby is still sick. Everyone else managed to get a cold, and get over it within a week, but the Symbicort caused Hubby to get a very sore throat again, so he is still fighting this same old cold from the beginning of the month. Apparently, this steroid puffer can cause mouth and throat sores in a very small percentage of people, and Hubby turned out to be one of those people. Every day, he starts out sounding not too badly, but by nightfall, he is raspy and coughing again. I am very thankful for Vicks on the Feet, as it is certainly working throughout the night and I guess that is why I am sleeping so well too!! Hubby is very faithful with it and doesn't cough at all during the night.

Miracle #4 got his call from his work yesterday and will be heading back this Sunday. They will assess it all on when he gets there, but it will be for shortened hours, or a shortened week. It will be good for him to go back.........Sunday is good day as it is only a five hour shift so he should definitely be more than ready!

There was a big meeting at church on Sunday night......for 2 and a half hours. We were voting in our new lead pastor, who isn't really new, but his interim was up, so it was time to decide if he was to stay or to go. He is staying. I am still ambivalent about it, I don't really know if I feel that it was the right decision.........but obviously it was God's decision. I have been around church politics for a good many years now, I have been on church building committees and pastoral search committees.........I was Chairperson of the Dept of Education and Training at Olivet for at least two years, so it isn't anything new to me. Pastors come and pastors go, and they usually have a following. It's hard on the people in the congregation who get so attached, but a normal term for most pastors is 7-10 years. It's going to change the dynamics, and I know some people who will probably leave. And more people will probably come. It's just the way it is......and it's been this way for generations, and I don't always have to like it. But no matter what, I do believe that it doesn't really affect me too much YET. But time will tell.

I have two very special people who are turning 16 and 17 today. I took care of them both as infants........WOW......time sure is flying by! In a little over 4 weeks, I am going to be a Grandma again!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It's the way I feel!

And if I had a lot more courage.....then I would dress this way too. It was just so darn fun!! We have closed the chapter on Olympics/Paralympics 2010 but I am still quite melancholy. So many memories.......I wouldn't even know where to begin!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Neuroscience

I went to the best ECE conference on Saturday. It was called, "How to Grow a Child's Brain." and the keynote speaker was a man named Gary Anaka. He is actually going to be in Maple Ridge on Friday night, speaking to a DPAC meeting and I think he would be so worth going to listen to again. Full of energy, with a very engaging speaking style and I really learned a lot of new information from him.

Our brain depends on movement. It grows your brain and makes you smarter which makes you successful in your life. It depends on a lot of other things, but this is the most important. We have two sides of our brain, and if you put your two fists together, that is the size of your brain. Big brains are not necessarily smarter than smaller brains, and because I work with most important age group of all, it is very, very important that I want to grow their brains. We are born with 100 billion neurons and it is between the ages of 0 and 3 that we are forming the foundation. The brain is exploding with knowledge every single day......between 3 and 3 and a half, it takes a little break, and then from 3 and a half until 12 it is re-wiring. In construction. It is still growing and learning until the age of 26 and we have our best brains when we are 30. No, it's not really all downhill from 30, but I think we all know how much harder it is to retain things. He had some great info on how to continue growing your brain.......... Gary's website is http://www.braincoach.ca/ and I recommend a quick peek. He is fascinating and his information is even more fascinating!!

This is a poster that Gary used to demonstrate what our brains look like through medical imaging. It really helps to learn how to grow our brains if we know what it looks like. The 20 ways to keep our brains well and keep the plasticity alive are:
1) Brain boosters-vitamins and minerals....he is suggesting Vitamins B,C and D. Magnesium, Ginko Biloba and Co-enzyme Q-10. These are all found in our food, but he recommends we all go see a naturapath and get on our own daily regimen.
2) Music-Baroque and classical, meaning Bach, Vivaldi, Handel and Mozart
3) Problem-solving.....Sodoku and crossword puzzles are the best
4) Use your hands.....juggling is one of the best ways, but knitting, cooking, and carpentry are all good
5) Keep your balance. The exercise is to stand on one foot with your arms crossed and your eyes closed daily.
6) Have hearing checks
7) Have good friends who aren't your family
8) Art
9) Spend time in nature
10) Humour
11) Sleep....he says 9 and half hours per 24 hour period. Naps are fine!
12) De-stress
13) Positive attitude
14) Novelty.....adapt, take risks
15) Challenge
16) Play for fun
17) Be open to change
18) Pay attention
19) Have a life's purpose
20) Keep learning

Sunday, March 21, 2010

It is over!

Miracle #4 and I headed to Vancouver today, to take in the last day of our Olympic run. It sprinkled a little bit upon us, but for the most part, it was a dry and sunny day. We started out at the PowerSmart pavilion, we went out for brunch at the White Spot, took a little browse through the Olympic Superstore (they had lots and lots of red mittens for children, in case anyone was still looking), and then headed to the Canada Pavilion. We met a very nice gentleman in the line-up who had come down from Creston to see what he could see. He was very interested in going to see this particular pavilion because he was telling us that it was designed by an architect in Germany, built by a company from Boston and then didn't even pass Canadian building codes. I remember reading about this a while ago, but I had totally forgotten until he reminded me. He told me he was almost old enough to be my dad, but I don't think he looked a day over 59. Very nice man, and he had a lot of knowledge to share with us as we waited in our very last line-up of the very last day of the Paralympics!!

With the Paralympic torch!

Old vs. New.....hmmm, very familiar looking ice skates, I think.

Old vs. New......this time with the skis.

And I just have to say it..........but I really miss the crowds and the energy. (I did hear that there was a 6 hour line-up a the Mint and a 8 hour line-up at the Zip-line) I am so glad we went, and were a part of what I believe was one of the best times of our lives. I am just a little bit sad that it is really gone..............GOOD JOB VANCOUVER!!!

Expressive Eyes

He has always had the most beautiful brown eyes, and he gets told all the time that they are like his mommy's. I have to agree, they are a little bit different in shape, but more like his mommy than his daddy. He talks to you with his eyes. Even when he doesn't really say anything, he looks right at you and can convey a message. Eye contact is a learned behaviour, and he always looks at you when he talks to you. It's very adorable, but then so is he!! Sorry, I know I say it alot, but I really do think that he is!!

He does this a lot. He tilts his head when he is asking you a question........anybody want to guess what he is asking here? I wish I remembered, I just know that we were having quite the conversation, but I was so focussed on taking snapshots.........

I learned yesterday that storytelling is one of the ways to grow our brains. I would like to say that Toddler has no problem with growing his these days.

"See, Mamma? It's a tiny, tiny baby." And yes, he can put that many words together now. When I was away last week, he learned how to say both his uncle's names, and his dog's. Clearly. His enunciation is getting better and better by the day. And yes, the words are plentiful and the expressions are endless. I cannot believe he will be two in two weeks!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Appreciation

I received flowers of appreciation this week. One of my little guys is now on maternity leave with his mom, so he is not coming any more. He dropped by on Monday with a beautiful bouquet from MR Florist and I was very surprised and thankful.

I have received many, many gifts in the past month. But I think because this was the least expected that it was even more appreciated. I also received a gift from my friend Jenn, who went to San Diego with her family last week. I had asked her to pick up something for me at SeaWorld while she was there, and when she arrived back home, she refused payment. Again, I am very grateful. Thank-you very, very much.........and I know that Toddler is appreciating his new "Big, Big Whale" towel. I love it, and I love you too!!

I am loved and appreciated. I know that. I have tangible evidence every single day of my life. I get lots of smiles and hugs daily, I have so many people who show me or tell me every day. Toddler learned how to say, "I love pizza!" this week. So with that, came, "I love Mamma, and I love Papa, and I love Bine, etc, etc." He's pretty cute and I was surprised how much I missed him when I was away last week. #2 told me that he totally gets why. He is a big part of my daily life and he just helps to make it complete. Two year old attitude and all........I just love him so very, very much!!

A lot has happened in the last 5 or 6 weeks and I need to record some of my data. (I am actually surprised that I even remember it......) My eye pressures are 16 and 17. The very best that they have ever been, and that was on February 8th. My thyroid level is 0.53. That is considered normal. So other than getting what is being called the Post-Olympic cold, I am very healthy. My C125 blood test is normal.....and that means I don't have ovarian cancer. Hubby was told that all his tests were perfect. He was given some Symbicort (a puffer) to help with his wheezing, but it's really just a sign of getting older and the environment. Lots and lots of stuff in the air these days, so the puffer has really helped. Hubby still has a sore throat, but is slowly getting over his chest infection. He seems to always take longer than most, but it is going away.

Toddler hasn't had any breathing issues since we stopped going to Gymnastics a few weeks ago. Hmmmmm........maybe it really was dust and such.......and we all know how musty the gym is. We have been going to a new activity on Mondays now, and it is way more fun and way cleaner too!!

Grandchild #2 is expected to make his or her arrival in 5 weeks. DIL is feeling good and looking great! She was diagnosed with gestational diabetes in late January, but it has been a learning experience and if anything, it has made all of us eat better.......esp. on Mondays, when the family comes to dinner. She had a birthday a few weeks ago and even had some cake, and she said it really didn't even affect her sugar levels too much. Toddler is still hung up on Leelee's birthday and still tells her, "Happy Leelee, Leelee!" We keep telling him that it is going to be his birthday soon and he still says, "Happy Leelee!" If you ask him how old he will be, he takes a couple of seconds to think about it, but then he holds up his two pointer fingers and tells you, "Two!!"

Miracle #4 didn't go back to work as planned. He phoned to tell them that he had injured his shoulder..........so he couldn't do the heavy drainage work that they were planning for him. After his physio appt yesterday, he was told he will need the full 6 weeks of healing before he can use it fully. Still in pain, doing exercises every day, and helping out with all the children who love him so much. I noticed that he picked up his 35 pound nephew yesterday, so it must not hurt as much as it used to, but it has been a slow process. #4 has a great attitude, but it's still not healing as quickly as he would like it to be. It will be six weeks next Saturday, so any extra prayers that any of you have would be very appreciated!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

El Paseo Drive





Remember how in my last post that I said I didn't like art. Well, it's not that I don't like it........I just don't understand it, or appreciate it. Some of it......well, I do like. I just don't want it in my house. But I certainly don't mind looking at it. I just don't understand why some of it exists. These sculptures on the middle of the boulevard in Palm Springs fascinated me. Not because I liked them, but because they were there. This is only a few of the ones we saw, and as I was taking the last picture, the little courtesy car was coming along, so I clicked. These run up and down the road and pick up people to take them back and forth. I am sure when it is really hot that they get used more, but the road is really only a mile or two long. I like walking, and I really enjoyed walking on this particular day, but if you didn't want to walk, then you didn't have to........you could flag down the little yellow golf cart and be on your way!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Northern House

This is Northern House.....it is one of the few venues that will be here for the Paralympics. As a matter of fact, it is staying until April 18th and I think I will probably go back at least one more time. No line-ups and it was very interesting. I went to Yellowknife when I was 15, and I really don't think it looks very different.

An Arctic Wolf

Miracle #4 spent some time in the Yukon in 2005 and 2006 and he became very familiar with the Air North airline. It is a very quick way to get to Whitehorse and quite reasonably priced too!

This wall is the first thing you see when you go downstairs. I really liked it and that's very unusual, because I am not really an art lover. Liked how it was set up and I think I just liked the words....

I love the polar bear. I want to bring Toddler back here one day..........I think he would enjoy himself as much as #4 and I did!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Oh, where are all the people?

Miracle #4 and I headed into Vancouver today, to check out some of the pavilions that we didn't see a few weeks ago, and this is what Granville Street looked like around noon. So different, and I know that there are only a few venues still open, but it kind of felt like January at the Mall, after Christmas. There just isn't as much energy, and the people who are there are still very friendly, but it's just not the same.....

We headed down to see the cauldron and waited in a fifteen minute line-up to go up on the roof of the viewing platform. Different view from up there, and it's a city view, not a water view.

This is where we went a month ago.......and there were so many people that you could barely move; and if you did, it was very, very slowly. Not today.....lots of room to move and lots of room to take some pictures too!!

The countdown clock even looked lonely.....

And this was taken one month ago today, in the lobby of the Hotel Vancouver. This is Beau and Mavis and they are greeters. Cynde loves dogs and these dogs are very easy to love. It's Cynde's birthday today and we have spent a lot of time together in the past month. She is way younger than me.....only by 11 and a half months......and she said that I inspired her for next year. She is planning on being off the continent when she turns 50, as they were out of the country for her husband's 50th. I think she will do it......she is one of those wonderful people who makes goals and lives them. I love her so much and I wish her a very happy 49th Birthday. I know that her family is taking her out for a nice dinner and will be giving her the royal treatment on this last birthday of her 40's!!!