Saturday, November 26, 2011

First Snow Day of the Season

This week, we got winter. I drove home from my Wednesday bible study with barely a few flakes. When I went to bed around midnight, the ground was pretty much bare.
When I woke up at 7am on Thursday morning, this is what I saw:

Over the course of Thursday, almost 30cm of snow fell. The university was closed, so Paul stayed home for the day.

There is something about snow days that makes me want to make them awesome. There are many regular days when I'm at home the majority of the day, but on a day when the snow is so thick that there's not a chance of going anywhere, I want to do fun indoor things.
So, after making a great snowman out of the super-sticky snow:

 We made salt dough ornaments to go on our Christmas tree (going up this Sunday!).
(Eagle-eyed readers may spot the Mario-inspired ornament) 

Salt-dough ornaments are super fun and easy. They turned out better then I thought. G was very excited about them, even when we told her they were not for eating.

(Please excuse my lack of food-photography skills.) 
I made doughnuts for the first time! They were super tasty.  I recently acquired a candy/deep fry thermometer and it made all the difference to this endeavor.

Monday, November 21, 2011

In just 2 weeks, this little girl will be one year old. Can you believe it?

I sure can't!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Many Robins

G: Daddy, you be Batman, I'll be Robin!
Paul: Okay, you're Robin.
G: There are lots of Robins.
Paul: Lots of Robins?
G: You know. There's Robin, Robin Hood and Little Red Robin Hood.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Weekend Trip

We took a bit of an impromptu trip last weekend and it was great to get out of the city.We suddenly realized that with a car and no church responsibilities, we were free to go away for weekends if we wanted, so we packed up last Thursday and rented a cabin in Port Blandford for a couple of days, spending one of the days driving up to Bonavista (which is the end of one of the peninsula's of central Newfoundland).

Impromptu trips are fun, but can have their ups and downs.
The cabin was great. It was a cozy little place with 2 bedrooms. We don't own a playpen or anything, so we managed to make a bit of a nest in an open closet for M. It worked perfectly.

I forgot to bring our highchair, but M sat happily on our laps to eat. Parenthood does not have to be about bringing tons of stuff! We managed to bring all the things we needed for the weekend in one suitcase, our backpack diaper bag, a grocery bag and a small cooler. I'm pretty proud of that.

It was an absolutely beautiful drive. No rain, cool, crisp fall weather without being too cold.

One of the major highlights was this amazing playground in Newman's Cove. It had all the fantastic old equipment from our childhood, but the upkeep was great. Teeter-totters, swings, slides... G was in heaven.

Plus the awesome Merry-go-round. They just don't have these anymore. It was a blast. A perfect place to get out of the car and run around.

However, the downs part of "ups and downs" came when we arrived in Bonavista. We stopped for gas and realized that we had left our credit card back in the cabin at Port Blandford, and almost-2 hour drive away. We had already pumped our gas and through a (horrible) comedy of errors*, we didn't have money in our usual bank account. After much back-and-forthing, we finally left them with a license and debit card and a promise that we'd drive back to pay.

*It is quite embarrassing. It was a such an idiot mistake. I transferred money from one account into another in anticipation of our trip and, very stupidly, transferred it OUT of our main account rather then IN. And that amount just happened to be all but $25 of what we already had in our account.

So, despite seeing Bonavista's lovely lighthouse and beaches, it put us in a bit of a bad mood to say the least. We will definitely have to go back when we're all feeling happy (and have cash in our pockets).

Paul made the 4 hour drive there and back the next morning in about 2 and 3/4 hours, with me staying behind and praying that he didn't hit any moose!

In the end despite the frustration, it was fantastic to get out of town and see new parts of this beautiful province. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Five Stages of Wake Up

As I lay in bed this morning, not wanting to get up, I came up with the five stages of (a non-morning person's) wake up. 

Denial - It is not time to get up yet. My clock must be wrong. Is it daylight savings? Why isn't it daylight savings every day?  For parents: Why is that kid up so early? I'm sure if I don't get up, they'll just go back to sleep. If I lay here very quietly, they will know it's still nighttime, even though it's light out.

Bargaining - Just five more minutes. I have to get up when it's an even number on the clock. I have to get up when there's a 0 on the clock. For parents: I got up last time, you get up. I got way less sleep then you, you get up. No, no, remember how I got up two days in a row? Now it's your turn.

Anger - Why aren't you getting up, self? Now you don't have time for a shower/breakfast/getting dressed/warming up the car! For parents: Why is that kid still calling for me? Can't they just get up on their own? I TOLD  you I got up last time! 

Depression - Why did I sleep in so long? What is wrong with me? What's the point of getting up now? It's so late, I might as well just sleep longer...

Acceptance - Okay, that's it. I'm getting up.  

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Back to Writing

If you had asked me as a five year old what I wanted to be when I grew up, the answer would have been "a tightrope walker". Quickly, I discovered this was not the most lucrative of careers.
But if you had asked me at eight, I would have responded "an author" or "a writer". That career goal did not change. For the majority of my life, I dreamed of being a writer. I wrote endless stories. From my first picture book "Happy and Easter in: Chester`s Birthday Party" (a self-illustrated book about twin rabbits) to short works of fiction based strongly on the works of Janette Oke, to teenage angst poetry. In university, I was able to take three creative writing classes and, while I strengthened my skills, I also met many others who were skilled at writing as well.
Then, I was discouraged. There were so many other writers who were better then me. I imagined the sheer number of people in the world who were better then me. I loved writing, but my goal of getting published suddenly seemed so very far away.
Discouragement can be a powerful thing. It worked its way into my brain like a spore, slowly growing and growing until I forgot about my childhood dreams. Slowly, I stopped thinking of myself as "a good writer", then even as "a writer" at all. I busied myself with other things, working for the library, having kids, as that spore of "not as good as other people" worked its way through my brain. There was a tiny part that stayed free, a tiny part that thought "maybe someday I`ll get back to that".
Then, we moved here. I started up a new blog, thinking it might give me some practice writing again (and it has), and more recently, there was a theme in both church and bible study about our life's journey.
What is my journey? I always wanted to be a mother, and I am one. But that cannot and will not be my sole identity. For awhile my identity was the library, and it may well be again, but I felt at a loss for what exactly my journey was. Then the tiny part of my brain spoke up "a writer". I remembered the dreams of my childhood, the hours spent handwriting stories on looseleaf.
See, writing's not magical. I know this. You're not really a writer if you don't write. My production is going to be bad at first, but practice will make it better.
So I've vowed to practice.
This month I'm participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), a quest to write 50,000 words in the month of November. The words I'm banging out now are not of the highest quality, but what they are to me is a habit, a daily writing habit to remind me that I love to write and it is a part of my journey and a part of my childhood dream. I owe it to that eight-year-old who told everyone she was an author.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

How Superman Carves a Pumpkin

Instead of breaking our knives on our incredibly thick-skinned pumpkin, we broke out the power tools.