31 May 2007


One heckuva week, it's been. In some ways, 4 days of sick kid seems to have gone so fast...tomorrow is Friday already! In some ways, not so much. There is something about a sick kid that feels like it's never going to end. There's something about finding out that he's got an ear infection and the beginning of a throat infection and is prescribed antibiotics and is about 75% recovered within 24 hours that is such a relief.

Yesterday I couldn't sleep, thinking about all of the work waiting for me and what were we going to do, knowing Jaxon wouldn't be ready for school. I woke up around 3:00 and started work at 4:00ish. This morning, I arrived at work at 6:00. Trying to get in as much time as I could before racing home to relieve Dren so he could leave for work at 10:40. Squeezing every possible second out of the day. I've been tired, but also happy and highly productive. The same thing happened the last time J was sick. We spend so much GOOD time together. He said to me on Tuesday "I love the way you take care of me when I'm sick mama." I said "Oh yeah? How's that?" He said "It's just so great." Being a parent is tough sometimes, but oh-so rewarding.

We're going to go outside and do some planting in a bit. Seeing as how he's 75% better and all...let's get some fresh air.

Spring bouquet from Aunty Aley's garden:

29 May 2007


home with a sick kid today. it's beautiful out...keeping a close eye for the steam-cleaners who are coming to give our building a facelift...at which point i'll have to run and close all the windows and doors. j's had a headache and fever off and on for a couple of days. no fun :(

this morning i was listening to the radio and heard about this. there's a bunch of commercial hype because it is, afterall, a product, but the core concept is one i find really interesting. going to do some more reading about that. i love wikipedia.

so it's time to answer a few questions....

stephaniehowell said...
shoot, i missed the questions??

here are a couple-
what makes you really, truly happy?
what are you the most proud of?
what makes you laugh the hardest?

Happy? There are so many things! Especially right now as spring has sprung and the weather is getting warmer and warmer. I love having fresh flowers in the house...the life and colour and brightness they bring really does make me happy. I am happyhappyhappy when I have a clean house. I'm happy when I'm making art, or when I'm in a bubble bath with a glass of champagne (<---this doesn't happen hardly ever...maybe once in my life...hmmm...i should do that more!). But honestly, my truest happiness comes when I'm spending time with people I love. It has to be complete, 100% dedicated time...that's the only time you will ever really enjoy I think...when you're utterly and totally invested in it. Laughing with my boys (happens constantly), chatting with mum, hanging with my sisters or friends.

Proud. I'm so incredibly proud of the job that Dren and I are doing together as parents. Jaxon is an incredible human being. We are raising him to be a good person. It's so important to me that he is kind to people and animals, that he is aware of how his actions/choices affect others. Sometimes it's a really REALLY tough job. People tell me that they like Jaxon...that makes me so proud.

It's always in interacting with people that I find myself in stitches. Jaxon and I goof around together (a lot). Dren will sometimes say something funny that I haven't hear 95000 times before and we will spend 10 minutes just howling. I have a great little group of friends who understand eachother completely...we are sarcastic and scandalous and we are forever making eachother crack up with random digs and insults. Sigh. I love to laugh.

Thanks Steph baby!

Angela said...

Hi there! I love reading your blog, and check in here all the time so maybe I should actually leave more comments and not be such a lurker! LOL

Here are a couple of ?'s for you:
if you could be a famous entertainer(actor or singer, from the past or present), who would you be?
what is your favorite smell?
what is the last thing you thought before falling asleep last night?

Hi Angela! (you lurker)

WOW...that's a hard question! If I could be a famous entertainer.....I'm thinking it would have to be an actress, but I've never thought about being someone else before. I can think of half a dozen actresses and singers whose work I love...but that doesn't necessarily mean I know them or know what there life is/was like and that I'd want to be them. Am I making this much more difficult than it needs to be? OKOK...then let's say Julia Roberts for the down-to-earthednessish thing she's got going on along with her talent and charm...Drew Barrymore for her fun, cute, quirkyness and talent genes, Angelina Jolie for her humanitarian side (ok fine and for her lips and cheekbones)(oh, and minus the husband-stealing bit), Audrey Hepburn for her classic beauty and my fave of that era. In other words, I suck at this question. Ha!!

Mmmm...I love scent. I loooove candles & air fresheners that are not too overpowering. I like mildly sweet. Exotic essential oil from the Body Shop is one of my all-time faves. I like melon/cucumber sort of combos...some things that say they are "rainshower" scented, and currently have the citrus cilantro reed diffuser from pier 1 still rockin. YUM. Apparently "what is your favourite..." is going to get a variety of responses from me. This is because I can never make up my mind about anything...well, most things. I can't even make up my mind about whether I can make up my mind.

Last night before I fell asleep I thought "I hope Jaxon is feeling better in the morning". Ha! again.

Kelly S. said...

yum Apricot beer....
Ok I have a question-
Why did you start scrapping?
How did you meet your sweetie?

Why I started scrapping. Huh. Well, I was big into making cards and "found" a little scrapbooking store I could start buying a huge, beautiful array of cardstock. Then a friend and I checked out another store and they had Cathy Zielske's first book and I was so drawn into the way she put these stories together about her kids and family. Not the actual stories, but the design of the pages. The graphic designer in me was totally inspired and after thinking about it for a few days, I went back and bought the book. I figured I would use it for inspiration for card-making. I love her use of typography and colour and her photography alone is totally inspirational. So I started actually reading some of what she had to say...the text of the book and the journalling. I read the stuff in the back and checked out a couple of her fave links. One happened to be 2 Peas in a Bucket. Well, as a lot of you will know...that was the beginning of the end for me! It still took me a few weeks of cruising around, but it was also post-Jaxon, so it didn't take too long before I was a scrapbooking fool.

Dren and I met at school. Douglas College, to be precise. Quite a funny, only-slightly-less-embarrassing-as-I-get-older story. I had spotted him several times around campus. Hi. I mean...he's totally hot. One morning in the cafeteria we exchanged a look and a smile (he doesn't remember...I do...oh do I ever). I had been broken up with my ex at the time for approximately 2 weeks and was officially, definitely, committedly, single. I wanted no part of a relationship. But apparently that didn't deter me from noticing that he was sitting by himself in a computer lab in the room next to my classroom on my way in one morning.

As I sat with my friends waiting for class to start, I could NOT stop thinking about him...about how school was almost over and I might never see this guy ever again. I left our classroom and went next door. I sat myself down a couple of rows behind him. I was trying to figure out how to send a message to his computer (we had figured this out and had lots of fun with it during class)...but I couldn't do it that time for some reason. So I typed up a note and printed it out. Walked up to the printer, grabbed the paper, folded it like 8 times and walked up to him. I stood in front of the table where he was and said "Hi. Can I give you something to read?", and he said "Uhmm...ookaay..." (like who is this weirdo!?). I handed him the note and practically ran away. I did not introduce myself or engage in any sort of conversation whatsoever. Clearly, I was not practiced at picking guys up. At all. I had never in my entire life approached a guy.

I booked it back to my room where the instructor was getting set up, and whispered what I had done to a friend next to me. I let her read my note and she thought I was absolutely insane. That helped my insecure, embarrassed, what-the-hell-did-I-just-do feeling immensely. That afternoon he paged me (...all the cool kids had pagers in those days) and I had no idea what his name was from his message. I let my two best friends at the time hear the message and we sat brainstorming as to what his name might be.

Brent? It has to be Brent. But it really sounds like Gren. What the hell kind of name is GREN?? So there was more embarrassment when I phoned him back and hesitantly asked for Gren. Yeah. He then explained his nickname Dren and we chatted for like 45 minutes while he walked his dog. For the most part, the rest is history....we talked every day, had a first date and saw eachother almost everyday afterwards.

I was 21. He was 28. It was March, 1999.

Thanks for asking Kelly S...that was a fun trip down memory lane...I should break out somma those old 1999 pix methinks!

OK off to try to get this kid to eat or at the very least drink a little something. He's fully immersed in Arthur and the Invisibles. Great show.

25 May 2007

What's the sitch?

Thank goodness for red lights and a quick shoving of the heads together for a snapshot of us on our 4 year anniversary. I simply cannot train the boy to look at the lens rather than the screen thingy. Here, the one and only existing photo us from last night.

We saw a play called Unity 1918 at the Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island. It was kind of funny, kind of interesting, and kind of good. Put on by the Senior Theatre Troupe of Arts Umbrella, the story was about "the panic of a Saskatchewan prairie town during the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918. This dark comedy explores the drastic meausres taked to keep the illness out." As mum said this morning "it's really more about the experience of going". Totally true. We will be getting out to see more local shows. We talked about that at dinner...what we would like to work on in the upcoming year. Changes, continutations and wants.

We had dinner at The Sandbar. The outdoor patio is situated under the Granville Street Bridge...a totally cool combo of city and serene. We got the last table for two right next to the glass, overlooking the water and the downtown side of False Creek. It was a gooorgeous night. You know things are looking up weather-wise when you can be wearing a strappy top at 10:30pm on a patio by the water.

Thank you for the well-wishes for us and for my mum. They kept her in again last night. J and I visited yesterday after work. She is doing well; her heart seems much calmer and under control. What a relief. She's a bit irritated at staying in the hospital ("I really need to get home") but she understands that it's for the best. Let me tell you though, if they don't discharge her this morning, they better look out! Seems to be just a need for adjusting her meds and due to a change they had to monitor her a bit.

So we got home at midnight and picked up J from Colleen's house (snatched him right out of his slumber, poor lil spongebob-clad dude). Stayed up til 2ish completing this week's dare (not that it took me 2 hours...). I think the fog may be lifting. Do you know I realized that all I've really been doing is playing with paint and glue and working on one 'ologie project for like the last 2 weeks?? I haven't actually done any scrapbooking with photos in a long time. So, I think I need to. I love photos and I'm re-realizing that. Here's this week's Dare brought to you by ever fine and fabulous scooter-lovin, New York-trippin Jamie:

Not entirely thrilled, but it's fine and colourful and I think helped open my brain back up again. Open brains are good.

*update! Mum just called me and it looks like she can be discharged! One more blood test and hopefully she'll be sent on her merry way.

I hope the sunshine lasts (although there is a chance of showers I hear) and I hope everyone has an awesome weekend (awesome LONG weekend to my 'merican buddies).


23 May 2007


It's time to think and reflect. Time to be tired. Time to interact, or not. Time to relax. Time to feel stuck, and to practice that good ol' cognitive behaviour therapy. Critical thinking.

Feeling a little bit less-than-stellar these days. Not unhappy...just kind of...edgy. Not like PMS edgy, but restless. Fidgety. UNinspired. But I'm working through it. Fighting through it. Trying new and different things. Taking breaks. But also forcing myself. I have a couple things I gotta get done and then several things I want to get on to. So c'mon. Work with me here, brain/body/spirit. Ya know??

Mum's back in the hospital tonight. She is just not feeling comfortable...her heart rate is not normalizing, not feeling comfortable. More than likely, her medication has to be adjusted. But I didn't go to emerg with her tonight. And now I feel sad that she's in the hospital overnight (because they're messing with her meds they have to keep her for observation) and she's alone. I wish that I could have seen her and talked to her...just been there to have kept her company. I wonder if that's for my sake or for hers. Anyway. I'll call first thing tomorrow...hopefully Rhi will go see her during the day and then I'll go after work.

Tomorrow is me & Dren's 4 year anniversary. We have plans, and I'm sure they'll still happen despite mum's jag in the road to heart recovery...Think good thoughts everyone!

Love you mama.


Oh - and yes, I will answer the other questions asked...just not tonight.

18 May 2007

orange bikes

This is definitely one of my favourite photos from the last several months. I get so discouraged from taking pictures in the winter. It's dark when I leave the house in the morning, it's dark when I get home, and on the weekends it's either raining or threatening to rain or too dark to take pictures. OK, I might be exagerating slightly. But I just get blah about it. The other day I was waiting for a friend outside a shop and this image immediately caught my eye. I mean, how often is it that you're going to see an orange bicycle and an orange motorcycle parked like this? Not often, that's for sure. The people sitting at the pub patio I think thought I was a little bit nuts, taking different angles and...so many shots. It was fun. Do you know I once pretended I was crazy because I had to wait for the bus at night in a shady area of town? I really didn't want the other crazy people and dealers and junkies approaching me. It totally worked. I'm sure that's the moment I realized being crazy is not necessarily a bad thing.

I got asked a total of two questions on yesterday's post. Fabulous. I think K asked if I wanted to eat Jaxon because he's so cute. The answer to that is most definitely YES. I want to pinch his lil cheeks and squeal at him and slurp him right up and maybe even nibble a lil bit too. But I don't, because now that he's 5 and cool and all, that would be totally an uncool mama type of thing to do. And the other questions came from someone anonymous. Right then...

how long did it take for you to come into your scrapbooking style? If you could have a day off from being a mom, what would you choose to do? Favorite comfort food?

Hmmm...style to me is for sure an ever-evolving thing. Sometimes I look at my stuff and think "this is so not me". As far as how long it took me to get to a point where I thought honestly that I don't want to do what I'm "supposed" to do or told to do from books and articles, it took me a few months. I wanted to experiment and mix up art and scrapbooking. There was a day at the very beginning of learning to scrapbook where I wouldn't make a page unless it involved the computer in some way. I couldn't even think about the possibility of hand-writing on a page. I love typography, I'm in graphics for a living...why would I possibly mess things up!? But then it got to a point where I would be all messy from paint and having fun and I couldn't be bothered to get up and go to the computer. Lately, I've started to go back to the computer once in a while for titles and journalling, and it's been fun. So I really think that my style will never be able to be defined as one thing...at least, I won't be able to define it :)

If I had a day off from being Jaxon's mama. I really hope I get a day of from being a wife too. And a daughter, sister, and friend. So if I had one day entirely to myself, I would spend the day prior to it cleaning my house. I would clean and clean and clean so that the next day my house would be all sparkling and organized. I would kick the boys out of the house. Early. I have not one clue what they're going to do all day (we're all such homebodies) but that's really not my problem, because it's my day off. I would use gesso and paint. I might play around on the computer a little bit and probably then I would get all inspired. I would look at photos and write down thoughts as I had them. I would draw and probably glue some stuff down. I'd probably think of someone and make a card for them. I might make a phone call and then I'd make some tea. Or maybe have a beer. I've discovered this super yummy beer from Quebec called St. Ambroise Pale Ale. They also have apricot ale. Mmmm. I might have a snack. I might flip on the TV and see if an rerun of American Justice or Cold Case Files or Project Runway was on. I might remember a movie I'd been wanting to watch and pop it in and then make my way back to my table. I'd listen to jazz and probably DMB. Loud. I'd definitely use stamps and rubons. I'd start to miss my family and wish we had a cat or a dog. And hopefully it would be almost time for the boys to come home. I'd make another phone call and try to finish up a page or a project but the boys would come home and interrupt me. And a sense of annoyance that I wasn't alone anymore would wash over me. But really that's just a habit because I'm really very happy that they're home to keep me company. And that. Would be my ideal day to myself.

Comfort Food? Funny. I just had to answer this question for something else today. Putting a bio together for the Lazar Street Team ...this is gonna be a fun team...nothing like anything else I've done up to this point. So I'll wait til that comes out to share about food. And some other faves.

I'm glad I only had 4 questions to answer from two people. If I had had more, I might be here all damn night!

Now I wanna paint.


PS. Banner creds: Lazar Digiwerx Ledger Paper, and Eduardo Recife (I previously said Jason Gaylor - oops) brushes. Finally, the girl has a banner.

PPS. I put the link to pre-order the Dare Book over there to your right! Check out the hot price on that puppy! clearly, amazon is the place to shop. that's good to know.

17 May 2007

tuna maki

holy bad bloggedness. that's me lately. not good at anything really...just cruisin by at all of it. a veritable roller coaster of with it/out of it, happy/not happy, healthy/sick, feeling smart/feeling stupid, feeling boring/feeling fulfilled.

what else? here is a picture of ME according to JAX on mother's day. sigh. my outfit is slammin, i have a big heart, round shoes and am holding fresh flowers. on my shirt. there is nothing else i need in the entire universe.

what else? how about some Q&A? anyone want to know anything about me? i know there have been questions on comments in the past where i thought "oh, i should answer that" and then i forget. so now is your chance. if you have questions, ask them. because you never know...most certainly i will go back to my blog-slacking, boring self if ya don't.

i'm also counting the minutes until the canadian long weekend. ok, maybe not the minutes, but i'm in full-on recognition that tomorrow is friday and then after that the weekend is here. and i'm hoping my flat of flowers and various grasses and succulents (which are not supposed to die but i managed to kill all of last year) survive until i can plant them, hopefully on saturday but more than likely on monday.

i would also like to fully credit the two tuna makis i had at lunch for helping put me in a blogging mood. tuna maki is the shiz.

08 May 2007


The surprise went off without a hitch. Dren was completely floored and over the moon with happiness all night. Granny (mama) is sufficiently spoiling both of the boys. Fabulous.

The other granny (my mama) is dealing with her heart. A week ago today, she had to go to emergency on our doctor's advice with a very elevated heart rate. Turns out she has atrial fibrillation (Atrial refers to the heart's two upper chambers, the left and right atria. The two lower chambers are called the ventricles. Fibrillating means quivering, or rapid beating.) Sometimes the heart will convert back to normal with help from some drugs, and sometimes it doesn't. So far, unfortunately, it hasn't. Her prognosis is still somewhat uncertain and she may be on meds for a long time. She isn't thrilled (duh) and is definitely up and down. She is used to being strong and healthy and super independent, but also admits that because her mum died when she was a teenager and didn't have much to do with her dad after she moved to Vancouver on her own at 15, she just doesn't know how relationships with aging parents goes. All part of the process for all of us, I guess. It's weird to see her out of breath and feeling so tired. I'm glad she's in good care with her acupuncturist, GP, and heart doctor. We love modern medicine indeed! (with a little ancient Chinese medicine thrown in for good measure too).

So, that's basically what I've been focusing on for the last week.

Toronto granny just made a huge pot of curry so I better clear of a bit of the dining room table. Not to eat at, of course...just so that our guests don't have to trip over scrap stuff.

Phew. Thank goodness for this giant glass of red wine in front of me.

PS! Thanks for all the birthday wishes...Dren got such a kick out of reading your comments!

07 May 2007

the best

happy birthday to you:

The man who has the greatest smile, who tells the dumbest jokes (repeatedly), who loves me & J more than anything and tells us so all the time. The man who is a nerd disguised as a hot guy, who makes the best shepherd's pie in the world and has very expensive taste in birthday presents. The man who will come back to the kitchen and shut the cupboard doors when I yell and who gives the best coziest hugs and doesn't mind when I fall asleep every time we watch a DVD. I love you babe. Happy birthday. (he doesn't read my blog but I'll make him read it later, so he'd I'm sure be really happy if you wanted to say happy birthday...he sometimes feels like he has no friends because he's a video game addict recluse hermit kind of guy and even though that's his own fault, it's his birthday so give him some love)

AND the best surprise of all is that his mama is coming from Toronto to surprise him. She told him she couldn't make the trip and he will DIE when he sees what we've pulled off! We're also making a fabulous seafood/steak dinner in his honour (well, our friend Shelome-the-chef is making it; I'm taking her shopping for ingredients).

happy happy happy!

02 May 2007

No breaks

I never give myself a break. I tell myself "I'll leave that mess, that pile of dishes, that laundry, that whatever until tomorrow. I think I'm letting myself off and giving myself a break, but I'm not really. Because everytime I was past that mess, that pile of dishes, that laundry, that whatever...I torture myself mentally. "Ugh...that is so ugly to look at" "oh you are such a slob" "oh why can't you keep your mouth shut?" "why don't you do your hair anymore". And worse, it's subconscious. I've practiced it so much that it is that silent but deadly self talk. The digs that get under your skin and into your brain without you even knowing it.

Recognition = the first step

There are certain things we must do; our responsibilities and committments. Perhaps I take on too much, but being busy and contributing mean a lot to me. I don't want anything to suffer. And something always does. And so, I continue to strive for balance. I want to participate in the co-op and advocate to get our leaky building fixed. I want to continue to make art and scrapbook. I want to have a clean house and a happy family. I want to spend time with friends and read books. I want to do yoga and have time for a cup of coffee in the mornings. I want to expand my culinary skill and comfort zone. I want a lot and little by little, step by step, I'm gonna get it damnit.

Yours in continually striving for balance,