Friday, August 27, 2010

Calling the tooth fairy....

With a determination that only Finny can display, when our friend Tanya informed her that she was good a removing loose teeth, the next 15 were consumed by a persistent twisting, manipulating and general grossing out of her mother. In the end it was one final, giant tug by Finny that extricated the tooth. And now, her little face will never be the same. Big chicklet teeth, here we come...

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Lucas has stopped calling in Snackinaw lake, yet another sign he is growing up, but it has kind of stuck in my head.  In fact the kids seem to be growing up so fast that I am not even aware of the changes.  Case in point was catching the last ferry of the day to the Sunshine Coast and then driving 90 minutes to Sakinaw Lake and talking to Molly the whole time.  I didn't even think anything of it until I realized it was 12:45 am and my little Molly hadn't even fallen asleep on the drive.

Without their Mom (who stayed in town to write) for the first half of the trip, the kids did incredibly well.  It is nice to have reached that stage of parenting when I don't have to be on constantly high alert with the kids near water.  Molly and Fin are feeling really comfortable in the water and are swimming all over the place.  Lucas is still wearing a life jacket or using a noodle, but gained lots of confidence spending so many hours in the water during our week at the lake.   One day he took off his life jacket and he expressed to me "I think I can do this", referring to swimming without a flotation device.  I expressed my doubts but his confidence remained so I let him try under my close watch.  His confidence quickly eroded as he sunk lower and lower in the water, despite his increasingly frantic attempts to propel himself to the surface.  Despite my usual desire to not crush the childrens' egos, I was quite happy to have Lucas go through a little reality check with me before he decided to do it on his own. 
The 10:30 ferry made for a late but fun night

no more boarding...Finny's first ski
It took a couple of trys for Finny to understand that she had to keep her legs together

a lot of water was drunk in the mean time...I had neglected to mention that Finny should let go when getting up was no longer a she got dragged a long way before finally letting go.

warming up after skiing

we spent hours in the water with air temperatures in the 30's

the kids decided to sleep in the tent with their grandma one night

a much more civilized scene at the ping pong table than when Steve taught me how to play beer pong

going for really long tube rides with the neighbour Eric

kids serving beer and offering foot rubs.....I knew there was a reason we were doing all of this

Luke enjoying watching the construction

raising the first wall of the new shed

Steve's remote control beer cooler kept the kids entertained while we lounged  on the dock

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ships ahoy

We are on our way back from Sakinaw Lake and on a whim, Eric asked the Chief Steward if we could take the kids up to the ship's bridge to meet the captain. They said sure, so off we went.
Dino, the navigation officer, showed us around. A beautiful view on a sunny day.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

We slide....

When it hits about 3 o'clock in the yard, the kids get a look in their eyes. It is the "let's go to the water slides" look. It's a perfect afternoon trip.

This is another picture-heavy post. We just got a new camera. The old one met an unfortunate end. On our boat trip, the kids offered to take a picture of Eric and me on the front of the boat with the sunset behind us on the evening of our anniversary. I went to get the camera. On the trip back to the front, it slipped out the waistband of my pants and sunk in a very cheeky and visible fashion to the depths of the Comox marina. Finny has since made many jokes about seals and crabs taking pictures with our camera. As an aside, the quickest way to make a lovely moment go sour is dumping the camera overboard on Day Two of a two week trip. Happy anniversary. Anyway...

The girls love the rafting ride.

Every time Finny goes down here, the lifeguard yells from her tower that Finny needs to "get her bum down". She tries to listen, but I think she is terrified that if she put her wee, tiny bum down the hole of the tube, the rest of her will follow and she'll slip right out.

I find it interesting how the kids approach rides so differently. Molly, unexpectedly, is a total thrill seeker. She loves roller coasters and speed. Finny like it too, but not quite as much. Plus, she has a wild hatred for rides that she is too small to go on...they are the worst rides in the world. I tried to tell her Aesop's fable about the sour grapes, but I don't think the lesson took.

Luckily, this year she can ride everything here. Last year, the Black Hole was the stupidest, most dumbest ride ever. 

Lukey is a different story. Last summer, he went on everything as long as he was on our laps. I guess we didn't really ask him, or maybe he didn't feel like he had a choice because this year he won't go on ANYTHING. There is a series of baby slides. We finally coaxed him on the babiest of baby slides and he panicked mid-way through and got off. Yeah, that gives you an idea of how lame the baby slide is...

This picture sort of freaked me out. Molly looks so much older than she is in my head.

That's better...

In this next picture, I was trying to get a family shot. Lukey was ridiculous. He was bound and determined to block everyone. Maybe he was sick of me taking pictures of the girls on the slides that he wouldn't ride.
This was the fifth or sixth try at the family shot...he just got more and more pushy.

Best. Shot. Of. The. Day. Eric claims he was hamming it up for the camera. I am here to say it wasn't so. I think the drop caught him by surprise because he had his back to it. Nice jazz hands...

Look at Molly. Now do you believe me about Eric?

We got our three hours of sliding. Time to dry off and head home.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Diary of a Great Night

This is us on the hill in Diefenbaker Park in Tsawwassen, waiting for Diary of a Wimpy Kid to start last night.

We had dinner at my mom and dad's in Point Roberts. The kids were down on the beach playing, while I was marinating the salmon that my dad bought fresh off a boat at the marina. Hooray for sockeye resurgence. We made three different dinners (pretty normal around here), one for the fish-eaters (me and my dad...salmon), one for the meat-eaters (Eric, Finny and Lou...hamburgers) and one for the veggie-eater (Molly...falafel). 

The sun was shining and the company was grand. Off over the border to the outdoor movie night in Tsawwassen.

Can I tell you how wonderful it is to be cuddled between these little people? Outside on a blanket, covered up with about five more fuzzy blankets, touching every person in my family. A funny movie, warm wee limbs, fresh outdoor air. There was popcorn and Coke. Whispers and nose kisses.


The movie didn't end until after 11. All three kids stayed awake right till the end. Even Lukey. We were so wide awake that the five of us stayed cuddled in our blankets and chatted for twenty minutes while everyone around us packed up and left. We looked up and everyone was gone. Our kids have some serious staying power.

E- 3 months post op

I am now 3 months post op on my left hip and almost 7 months on my right one. It has been an emotional roller coaster as I have had my share of both high and low moments. The highs have mostly been the moments when I have been pain free and feeling like I am getting back to being myself....and having so much time to be with my family, doing what I love. I am constantly aware of how lucky I am to have the medical resources and benefits which are allowing me to properly recover.

The lows have been more varied. It started with the day I walked into the doctors office with some sore/tight hip flexors and walked out knowing my life had forever changed with the discovery of OA in both hips. I had several ups and downs as I ran the gauntlet of emotions from hopeful to dispondent with each new therapy I tried....chiropractic, massage, yoga, active release, IMS, physiotherapy, alignment clinics etc. Beyond the time and money commitment, each new treatment involved a renewed hope that this would finally be The Answer. And of course there were lows when my pain and mobility worsened regardless.

There were also lows dealing with doctors who couldn't give any definitive answers and certainly couldn't agree with each other on a course of action.

However, the biggest lows for me have always been the feeling like I have lost a significant part of my life. I have always loved physical activity and felt at my best while really pushing my body. As long as I can remember, sports have been my favorite way to socialize with friends as well as deal with my mental paradigm that constantly seeks out self improvement. Maybe I wasn't actually improving myself, but it was sure easy to appease my mental machine by pushing myself physically and testing my limits.  Of course losing this side of me, severly if not completely, has led to some lows over the last couple of years. I guess it has been a crash course in aging.

Post surgery was one big low at the beginning. Recovering from surgery, particularly the large blood loss, was much harder than expected. Probably the most difficult part was knowing that I had another surgery upcoming in the near future. Feeling so weak and fragile sucked...and knowing I had to go right back and do it again sucked even more.

Luckily, things have mostly improved since the first few weeks of my first surgery. My recovery from the first hip went so well that by 3 months post op I was feeling at about 80% and confident that I am on my way to 100%. All the tests I went through suggested there is nothing in my blood makeup to account for the severe blood loss and that it was likely just a case of bad luck.

The recovery from my second surgery was much easier in the short term because I didn't have the blood loss of the first, but much harder subsequently because so many more muscles were cut to avoid the bleeding. It has been hard mentally to notice how much slower I have been to recover this time than the first and much more patience has been demanded of me.

However, I am now at a new high. I am getting to the stage where I am more mobile than before the surgery and solidly on the road to recovery. I have virtually no limp and the only pain comes from soft tissue issues which I know will soon go away. I am hopeful that I will fully recover and be able to do whatever I want physically, including any sports I chose to participate in.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rolling, rolling, rolling down the river

For my Dad's birthday, PJ, Eric and I booked a day-trip of whitewater rafting with him on the Nahatlatch River with REO rafting.

The four of us went rafting on the Chilliwack River about ten years ago. It has become a great family joke because the shore photographer caught a picture of us that still makes me laugh out loud every time I look at it. 

My dad, Eric and I look like we are out on a leisurely afternoon punting on the Thames. Eric even saw the photographer coming, so he pushed up the sleeve of his wetsuit and flexed his arm for all he was worth. We are smiling and relaxed. 

My brother, on the other hand, looks as though he is staring into the pits of hell. His face is contorted with terror. His cheeks are flushed and his eyes are bulging. The picture has been on the wall of my parents' living room ever since.

Needless to say, PJ was motivated to redeem himself. He was scouting the shore for the photographer and practicing his most relaxed grin. 

We had a fantastic time yesterday. I laughed harder than I have in ages. The Nahatlatch is a spectacular river, although some of the most beautiful views were obscured by the smoke from the fire on Jackass Mountain (this provided many jokes). 

There are a lot of pictures below, so feel free to scroll though quickly. In the first picture below Eric and I are in the front wearing white and yellow helmets. Dad and PJ are behind in pink and white, respectively.

This next picture shows how beautiful the river scenery was.

Here is our group photo. You can see the way that Eric is lying in the boat in the shot below. His hips were bothering him a bit after our first of two runs down the river. You really had to twist to paddle, which is the most uncomfortable position for him to be in. He was undecided if he should attempt the second run at all. After talking to the guide, he spent the entire second run lying down just like below, but without a paddle. He drank a lot of water. Unfortunately, there was no photographer that time. It looked hilarious. 

Here is my handsome husband. He looks like a hard-core rafter. I actually think that hanging out of the front of the boat with no paddle IS pretty hard core.

It was a rare treat to spend the day with my three favourite men.