Friday, February 25, 2011


Giants games feel long for a four year old...even a hockey fan.

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Giants game...

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Modern children...

...when daddy insists on watching hockey, the modern child steals his iPhone, escapes under the table, and watches Arthur on Netflix.

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

What the...?!

I am doing some work at my local Starbucks and the woman across the way just sat down, opened up a box of her own crackers, cracked her own huge tub of Philly cream cheese and then OPENED UP A TIN OF TUNA!

She is eating the fish right out of the can.

Who opens a can of fish in a cafe? She looks so normal. She obviously is not normal. The whole place stinks of tuna. Tuna brought from home.


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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Great Wolf Lodge

I love surprises. When I plan them. Not when they are sprung on me.

A few weeks ago, we told the kids that we were taking them away overnight this weekend. Then we watched them as they agonized over what/where/how/why we were going. It was great. We've been dropping "hints" when they thought we weren't paying attention. Things like, "I sure hope it doesn't rain, Eric. The tent will be soaked." Or, "It's hard to say no to that overnight...the price they are offering for the kids' teeth is so good." I can almost hear the little wheels turning inside their heads as they struggle to decide whether to take these throw away comments seriously. Molly is pretty astute, I have to say.

She is a bit tricky, too. We have a camper van that we use a fair bit, so she asked what car we were taking. When Eric told her we were going in the car, not the van, she deduced that a hotel was in our future. She was proud of her Sherlock moment. Good deduction, Ms. Holmes...

The surprise was an overnight trip to Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound, Washington. It is a big indoor water park hotel. I got a decent deal on a 48 hour sale and we'd heard good things, so off we went.

It felt like an adventure. We had great road trip snacks along the way, a quick stop at the outlet mall, novel American fast food and then a great destination. The kids were beyond excited when they realized that they had two solid days of water slides and wave pool action ahead of them. We even took advantage of a local casino's buffet, just to complete the scene of indulgence (I was stuffed after that...coconut battered shrimp with old-school cocktail sauce was my Waterloo).

It was a great getaway. Finny conquered the Howling Tornado (Full Disclosure: I was terrified. That ride was Scary. That's right, capital "S" Scary. It was a big time ride and she and I went on it for the first time together and I wasn't sure that she'd make it. She is about 12 pounds soaking wet and the crazy drop made me believe for a split terrifying second that she was going to fly away...she rode it four more times, just to prove me wrong). Lukey inexplicably refused to ride anything except for the scariest slide available to his height, which he did twice. All the other little slides he said were "too twisty"...(?).

As a Valentine's treat for me, Eric let me have a 25 minute shopping spree at Trader Joe's, my happy place. 48 hours of happiness.

Monday, February 14, 2011

E-Thunderbirds visit the Arbutus Club

It's been 14 years since John and I graduated from UBC.....that almost seems unbelievable...but it's true.   When I played from 1992-97, Thunderbird basketball was a huge part of my life.  Since that time I have either been away in Europe for the whole season or busy with other priorities meaning I haven't been very involved with the team since leaving. 

However, on Thursday night the UBC coach Kevin Hansen and I arranged to have Kamar Burke, Chad Posthumous and Doug Plumb come as our guest coaches to the Arbutus Club basketball program.   For me it was a chance to connect to some of the guys currently playing on the team and relive some old memories.  For the kids it was a chance to hear from the guys how they were able to excel at basketball and what some of their dreams and goals are going forward.   

Afterwards we gave all the kids tickets for the last UBC home game of the season.  Les and I took our family to the game on Saturday night and saw a pretty good game.  I am not a great fan however, because it's pretty hard to not want to be out there on the court.  

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Molly Pan

Molly had a little breakdown tonight. She was overtired and overwrought, but the words that tumbled out of her were true.

I remember being a little kid, when 10:00 felt like the middle of the night and the talks I had with my mom were deep. The "late" night talks are stolen moments. Snagged away from the every day, they are a different type of conversation.

Tonight Molly confessed to feelings that I knew she had, but that run deeper than I thought. She is terrified of growing up. She scared that she will change.

Huge teardrops poured down her freckled cheeks as she told me that all the things she liked best were "kid" things. Pretending. Playing.

"Grown-ups don't hop around like bunnies, or play behind the couch. All you do is sit on the computer, talk to other grown-ups and use the phone. I don't like any of those things."

I told her that she could do that kid stuff for as long as she wanted. But that's the point. I think she understands that the time will come when she won't WANT TO anymore. That is what makes her sad.

What could I tell her? She was exactly right. It is tragic. It doesn't last.

I loved pretending. More than anything. What happened to that? Just like her, I thought that was what I was all about. I was all imagination and stories in my head.

The toughest part of our conversation tonight was the double-edged sword of feeling sad for what Molly will lose and understanding what I lost too. There's nothing truthful I could say that would make it better, except that I will love her even if she is a hopping bunny at 15 years old.

The part that made me cry as I said it was the fact that I know she won't be.

She won't be a hopping bunny or a hedgehog behind the couch. She'll be a beautiful, smart, creative young woman. But she won't be a bunny.

Right now, that's all she wants. She told me, with wracking sobs, that she tried to stop time when she was seven and it didn't work. She looked at me with eyes that begged me to tell her a secret. She wanted to know how to make it stop.

I would tell her if I could. I really would. I bawled when I turned 10 because I was leaving single-digit ages behind me forever. I understood what that meant. She does too.

That's why I didn't tell say simple, consoling words and wipe away her tears. I cried a little too. We hugged tightly and I told her that she should just be herself, wherever that would take her. I told her that she could always be a hopping bunny with me. I hope that's true.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

With the kids out on a midweek pro-d day and Les working, I decided to take everybody for a skate and lunch at MacDonalds. Just as we were finishing our skate, Patrick Chan joined us on the ice and even sat down to talk to the kids for a shirt while.

Only a day after hearing the term "tiger mom" for the first time, I got to talk to Patrick's mom and meet a real live example of the concept. Within minutes of meeting she was giving me advice on which sports I should put the kids in to have the highest likelihood of them winning scholarships. She was obviously an incredibly supportive mom...but I didn't get the sense that Patrick had a lot of free will in life, even as an adult. I wonder how our kids would respond to this?

The picture at the bottom was at Family Skate Night formthe kids' school where Lukey was pleased to see his friend Alex where almost identical cowboy boots to the ones that he wears pretty much every day right now.

Happy birthday to Uncie.

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Molly 52 1/4"

Lucas 41"

Fin 49 3/3"

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Location:W 8th Ave,Vancouver,Canada

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Anatomy of a Day in Distress

Sometimes it feels like our life is a very complicated puzzle. Each Sunday night, I have to place together all the different pieces of the week, fitting each of us into each other to accommodate our ever-changing schedules.

This is delicate work. Usually, things work out. The puzzle picture comes together the way it should and we are busy, but happy.

Occasionally, the whole thing falls apart. Yesterday was one those days.

It started out being balanced pretty precariously anyway. This gets slightly boring and detail oriented now, so feel free to look away.

The collapse began with the news that Eric had to unexpectedly work. That screwed things up right away. I had a lunch planned with out of town friends, at the same time that Eric was supposed to take little Lou to his very first "real" friend's birthday party. I scrapped the lunch plans. No problem, that was pretty me-focused and obviously the first thing to go.

When we got up yesterday morning, both Finny and Molly were feeling sick. I kept them home, hoping that things would turn around for them for a recess drop-off. It didn't.

Well, I still had to get Lukey to the birthday party, so I dragged all the kids to drop him off. Not a bad plan, I thought. I didn't like to drop him off, but I know the other mother pretty well and I knew she wouldn't mind under the circumstances.

We get to Granville Island for the party and Finny won't get out of the car. She feel wretched. I beg. She comes.

We get up there to leave our boy and he won't be left. At all.

Molly, who says she now feels much better, volunteers to stay with him while I take Finny home. All good. So I pay for Molly to go in the Adventure Zone and leave with Finny.

Finny won't go. She is devastated that both Molly and Lukey are now at a birthday party and she is not. I get that and try to console her. I look at the time and I see that it isn't really worth it to go all the way home just to get back in the car to come back. Finny and I find a place to sit down.

She pukes. Once in the bathroom downstairs. Forty-five minutes later, in the upstairs bathroom. SO, I guess she really was sick. Good to know.

We pick up Lukey and Molly. Lukey has peed a "tiny little bit...or it could be juice, Mummy"...

Here's the kicker. I had this work stuff that I absolutely had to do. No choice but to drive across town and park two blocks from my work studio and drag the kids up three flights of stairs to get this stuff done. I stick them in a room with Sharpies and scrap paper while I quickly scan some photos for a book.

Lukey comes to find me because he needs to pee. The only toilet is broken. I make him pee in the sink. Problem averted. Get me home.

Finny comes out looking green. I rush her to the same broken bathroom and she dry heaves in the same sink. GET ME HOME.

I finish scanning as fast as I can, gather my children and walk them down the three flights of stairs and walk the two blocks to get the car. I carried Finny the whole way, whispering into her ear that she really took one for the family team. On a day that she just wanted to be in bed, she was dragged all over the place and never complained once. I, on the other hand...

Molly came home and puked. Finny puked five more times. At least we were home.

If life is a puzzle, yesterday the pieces got chewed up, swallowed and regurgitated...

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Love on a small scale ( get it? on fish)

I noticed yesterday that Finny's beloved fish, Dorothy, has received a Valentine from our sweet girl.

It was propped up against the tank, presumably so she could read it.

I particularly like her spelling of "dortty".

These are her Elmo valentines from two years ago. Who know where she dug it out from, but Elmo's fish is our Dorothy's namesake, so it is entirely appropriate.

I have to confess that I have grown a little bit fond of the little fish. This is going to sound crazy, but I think she is happy when I come in the room.

Maybe I should make her a valentine too...?

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I don't usually get too into petitions and internet movements but this one seems pretty important for Canada and immediately changeable with political action.   So go ahead and sign it....heck, I even own shares of Rogers and am signing it.