Monday, March 29, 2010

E- St Paddy's Day in Phoenix

Although it's not exactly the height of Irish culture, Phoenix wasn't a bad place to celebrate St Patrick's day with a green beer on a warm patio. After finding ourselves on the same flight down to Phoenix, fellow fire fighter Guy Biggar, his dad Gerry and I scrambled to find a car at the airport amongst the throng of Spring break goers that had descended on the city. We had a great Mexican meal and a couple of beers in Litchfield Park.

The next couple of days we spent looking at homes in the absolutely devastated West Valley of Phoenix where there are thousands of homes in foreclosure being unloaded by the banks for below $80,000. I spent just over a week down there enjoying the sun, doing some reading and looking at houses.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

E- A big day for a three year old

Luc's day started with a quick smoothie to give him fuel for his 45 minute skating lesson. I was impressed with the teachers who somehow had him skating backwards....incredibly slowly...but backwards. I have a hard time getting him to let go of my hand on the ice.

Luc then patiently sat in the car for an hour and a half while we picked up some books in Point Roberts. We rushed through traffic to get to the Arbutus Club in time for his first day of preschool. He didn't cry or complain but did look pretty shell shocked as I left him on the carpet with the class.

However, when I picked him up he had nothing but positive things to say, which was less surprising when I heard that they talked about cars, trains and trucks for most of the time. Thinking he might be tuckered out I asked him if wanted to go home or go for a swim......he just sprinted down the hall and yelled at Molly "yeah, we goin can't catch me".

I was with him pretty much the whole day and don't think I heard him complain once. He is a great little companion and really coming into his own.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spring break bliss

Two of my very favourite people doing one of my favourite
things...together!!! Best thing ever!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

E- Celebration

It's been almost two months since I had the surgery and I've definitely reached a new stage of recovery. I ditched the crutches and started driving weeks ago so I'm not exactly newly independent. However, just recently I really started to feel less fragile and more like I could push myself. Last week I walked home from Main and Second Avenue and today I walked while the kids rode their bikes for almost an hour. Having already done two hours of physiotherapy in the morning, it is quite a bit of exercise for me at this stage and I am really sore afterwards......however only on the other leg....the operated one is fine.

The pain from my left leg is definitely not bad enough to stop me getting out and enjoying being back in the world again though. As long as it's not standing in six hour Olympic line-ups, I have been pretty comfortable with regular daily activities and happy with my progress. A big part of that has been because I am getting such a good rehab program at the Arthritis Centre. They have a very detailed post surgery program that retrains patients in the proper bio mechanics that are often lost due to pain, and certainly was for me.

This new stage of recovery hopefully also means a little more to blog about for me. I have done a lot of sitting on the couch, moving occasionally to the kitchen to eat or floor to exercise but very little I would want to write about. I found it more difficult than I would have imagined to be a good patient and to barely move for the better part of a month. I'm not particularly looking forward to doing it again....on the other hand I just want to move on as quickly as possible.

I celebrated my 36th birthday on Saturday with a really nice combination of friends and family. During the day we took the kids out for a bike ride and gelato in the sunshine. In the evening Les and I went for a swim and hot-tub before meeting the Rennisons, Baileys, and Hills for a great dinner at Trattoria. The evening was topped off with Steve and Kathy singing "Celebration" on stage at the Legion.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


There are many things that fuel us through our lives. Sometimes at the end of the day, when I think of all the places that my feet have taken me from breakfast to bed, I imagine the "Family Circus" comic (remember?) that shows a dotted line path where people go. I'm sure that if I could really see a visual representation of my movements, I would laugh outloud and then mentally rearrange my entire day (and then ignore said rearrangement because truly, I am a creature of good and bad habits). I am horrifically inefficient, I know. I double back and forth when one trip would do. Heck...double? Who am I kidding? I octuple my way through life.

Inefficiency likely takes more energy than organization. That's why I need lots of things to fuel me. Coffee is a big one. Hugs and snuggles. The promise of a soft bed and a good book at the end of the day. Laughter...lots of this. The odd word of praise, or at least, not castigation. Friends. Tasty food. Moments of heart-squeezing simplicity that only come through children. Hmmm, I read through this list and feel stunningly dull. I bet you could poll any 35 year old woman and we'd have eight things in common.

So my needs are simple and unoriginal. Fine.

Check out this picture. A perfect example of happiness that fuels me. A little boy, tuckered out from watching his country win hockey gold (and then sitting through an alternatingly inspiring then mortifying closing ceremonies) falls exhausted into bed, still wearing his hockey sweater.

I wish I could tell you that I woke him up and gently changed his limp little limbs into clean jammies. I did not. I also sort of wish I could tell you that the next morning when he wanted to keep the same jersey on, I used my persuasive magic to coax him into clean clothes. Nope.

I was very lucky to have three days of great friend fuel last week. My friends Julie and Paulina joined me up at Manning Park Resort for a mid-week "Body, Wine and Soul" package. It was yoga, cross-country skiing, wine-tasting, snowshoeing party. Stellar company and days full of activity that had nothing to do with packing lunches or signing permission slips (well, waivers in the nordic centre, but those were for ME...not a trip to Science World).

Cross-country skiing was so much fun. At the time. The wickedly sore and confused (what?! you want me to do what?!) muscles I sported for a few days afterward were less fun. I guess a bit of nature is a good source of fuel too...check out this pristine trail:

We tore it up. Julie and I classic skiied and Paulina tried skate skis. Holy, that looked tiring. You can see below that I actually look more the part of cross-country skiier than you might expect. Busted. I was fully outfitted by Eric's mom. She loaned me everything except underwear. Without her, I suspect that the whole experience in jeans and a long sleeved shirt would have less enjoyable. Eric also stepped up to let me have a mid-week escape. It was a full schedule for him too. He was even treated to a middle-of-the-night vomit session. I ordered that one special :) ....

Here's Julie, Paulina and me...out on the mountain. As a quick aside, after we arrived home on Friday evening Paulina was awoken in the night to learn of the earthquake in Chile. She is Chilean and, as luck would have it, her parents were visiting Santiago when the quake hit. As very GOOD luck would have it, she found out later in the day that they were fine. Thank goodness.

Here is a picture of Finny's bear, Bump, up at Manning. His companionship was not negotiable. It was either Bump or Finny. Considering she packed a bag (yeah, seriously) and emptied her piggy banks and wallet to pay for the trip, I felt lucky to escape with just the bear. To compensate for leaving Finny, I took a series of pictures of Bump having fun at Manning. Here he is hugging a wooden deer out front in the Lodge.

We ended our trip with a snowshoe tour. Manning was fantastic and I hope to be back next year for the same trip. And my appetite was whetted to try a family trip as well.

Alright, your patience may be wearing thin with my fuel theme for this post. Nevertheless, I power on. Food and children are two biggies in this category for me. So what is the blockbuster? Kids MAKING food!

Molly got a great kids' cookbook from Eric's sister, written by the creator of the Moosewood Cookbooks. She was motivated this evening to make her family dessert. Maybe she is feeling guilty for all the extra work she has been creating for me since she went spontaneously vegetarian about three weeks ago. Not a little veggie. Hard core. She drew me a picture of her tummy and wrote "No Meat in Here" at the top.

She chose the recipe for Pretend Soup, wrote out a recipe and after dinner she got to work.

I was soooo excited. Then I looked at the recipe. The first two instructions were to mix two cups of orange juice with 1/2 cup of yogurt. Ummmm, power on little girl.

She did the whole thing. Cutting, measuring, pouring. You know, this kid is a touch gourmand. She loves horseradish and pickled ginger.

She made special bowls for each member of the family. It was a hit. Here you can see the thumbs up she got:

Kids. Food (even orange juice and yogurt mixed). Friends. My healing husband. Oh, and coffee. Such great fuel.