Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas Everyone.

It is difficult being so far away from family on the Rock- especially this time of year. Newfoundland is always beautiful, but never more so than at Christmas. On Christmas she shines with the love of families, tradition and the bright white of blazing stars against the blackest of nights. If you can't be with your family this Christmas I hope you are with people you love.

I am.

Booze helps.

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dan Aykroyd praises Newfoundland

Dan Aykroyd showed up on the Jimmy Kimmel the other night plugging the Yogi Bear movie, his very own brand of Vodka "Crystal Head Vodka", and the "most romantic place in the world: Newfoundland, Canada,”. Thanks Mr. Aykroyd, now pass the firewater over here will ya, it is cold outside.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Magic Santa

So here we are, it is December once again. I had a small panic attack yesterday when I realized that it was December 1st. I am nowhere near ready.

However, I am determined not to let the commercial side of Christmas weigh on me this year. I am not going to give into neighborhood pressure to dress the house up like a Griswold family Christmas card or suffer the crushing throngs of mad shoppers nattering over goods at the mall. I really want to focus on time with my husband and son this year. I would rather do more than buy more. It is not really about what is under the tree for me- it never was.

Although, I am sure I will be buying too.

My first Christmassy act of the season was done today. My sister sent me this link where you can create an online personalized message from Santa to your children. I tried it out with a junk mail account and it worked really well. I am looking forward to opening Santa’s email to Wilson with him later tonight- I can just imagine his little face now.

If this sounds like something your children would enjoy, check it out:

Magic Santa

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Yes Codfather

This Hour has 22 Minutes was in fine form this evening. Premier Danny Williams asks the Codfather for his leave, as Mark Critch laments his job security. My hometown's favourite son, Gorden Pinsent makes an appearance, as does Jake Doyle (Allan Hawco of The Republic of Doyle. Good bit of fun.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Our Fearless Leader Retires

Well, it is over.

Danny has resigned.

And the timing is off.

Why now, with the ink on the $6.2-billion deal for a hydro-electric project in Churchill Falls barely dry? Williams modestly called the deal a "piece of mastery" and the "stuff of nation building." And yet feels no need to stay on and see it through- to ensure it does in fact happen.

Something is rotten in the state of Dannystan.

It reminds me of when I was a kid, and my dad would let a silent but deadly one rip and then would leave the room before anyone noticed it was him who caused the stink.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Little Ears

I have never considered myself a very aggressive driver. Sure, sometimes I get riled up, but it is usually because someone has done something extraordinarily dangerous and stupid. You won’t see me lay on the horn because the guy ahead of me is daydreaming away the advanced green. I have never lost my mind over the fact the car in from of me has had its right turn signal on for the last 5 kilometers.

However, I do admit to talking to the drivers who annoy me, they can’t hear me, and it feels better to get it off my chest. I don’t swear and yell (usually), I don’t gesture. Instead I have a quiet one sided conversation with myself.

“See that little stick on the left hand side of your wheel? Yes, that is an indicator light- use it”

“Stop signs aren’t suggestions”

“You can put on mascara and drive at the same time? Talented”

“You are closer to my ass right now than my proctologist”

It is a simple little protest- and it keeps me from completely losing my cool.

But I have an audience on occasion, and I never really considered how much he pays attention to every little thing.

Until yesterday.

I left work earlier than is my norm to pick him up from daycare early so we could get to the speech pathologist on time. However, construction on the way to daycare delayed me. By the time I made it to the daycare, we only had about 15 minutes to make it to his session. Breathless, I rushed in to get the little guy, and as I was scooping Wilson off his feet to carry him to the car, I apologized for carrying him, but we had to hurry or we might be late.

And we were off.

Halfway there we are waiting behind a large truck at a stop light. When the light turned green the truck does not move because we are waiting to turn left. However, Wilson, strapped in his car seat in the back wants to get a move on, and as far as he knows “Green means Go” so he yells:

“Come on buddy! MOVE!”

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Gunner's Dream

The Gunner's Dream, Pink Floyd.

Floating down through the clouds
Memories come rushing up to meet me now.
But in the space between the heavens
and the corner of some foreign field
I had a dream.
I had a dream.

Good-bye max,
Good-bye Ma.
After the service
when you're walking slowly to the car
And the silver in her hair shines
in the cold November air
You hear the tolling bell
And touch the silk in your lapel

And as the tear drops rise
to meet the comfort of the band
You take her frail hand
And hold on to the dream.

A place to stay
Enough to eat
Somewhere old heroes
shuffle safely down the street
Where you can speak out loud
About your doubts and fears
And what's more no-one ever disappears
You never hear their standard issue
kicking in your door.
You can relax on both sides of the tracks
And maniacs don't blow holes in bandsmen
by remote control
And everyone has recourse to the law
And no-one kills the children anymore.
And no one kills the children anymore.

Night after night
Going round and round my brain
His dream is driving me insane.
In the corner of some foreign field
The gunner sleeps tonight.
What's done is done.
We cannot just write off his final scene.
Take heed of the dream.
Take heed.

Thank you to all the men and women who have served for us.
We remember.
We honor those in service today.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

For Fright Night

I have always loved Halloween. It wasn't just the bags of free candy that had my attention, it was the the spooky stories and cool costumes. When I was too old for trick or treating, I turned to decorating the house, and scaring the coco puffs out of the neighborhood kids.

We had to tone back the decorating a little since my son came along- we are in "cute scary" mode these days. Nothing too threatening. But I still need my dose of the scary stuff. Don and I usually rent a few horror flicks, grab some food which would terrify a cardiologist, turn off all the lights in the house and head for the couch. Last night that is just what we did.

Note, I said horror films. That is not the same as a slasher flick. I can't watch slasher flicks, and not because I am afraid of them, but because I can't stand all the gore and I am not a fan of ripping flesh sounds.

I like films that mess with my head a little bit; leave a little something for the subconscious to play with later on. I thought I would share a few of my favourites- perhaps you are planning a little fright night of your own.

Paranormal Activity: This was last night's choice. For the first 15 minutes I hated it. I didn't like the characters, didn't like the sound, the script, the lack of camera shot variety...and then I was sucked in a little. I became more curious than annoyed. Curiosity gives way to a constant state of nervousness and claustrophobic tension. The film has a serious creep factor- a lot of what happens you don't ever see. Just glimpses. Just tidbits for the brain to fill in for you. I spent most of last night awake, listening to every little creak and groan the house could produce, and staring at the door.

'The Silence of the Lambs' : This is the quintessential thriller. Anthony Hopkins performance is almost hypnotic. His quiet, understated, and unblinking turn as the evil Hannibal Lector has never been equaled. Jodie Foster was also perfectly cast. I still remember the moment I realized Hannibal was not actually on the run- that he was literally under their noses. My stomach made an unsettling lurch and I actually groaned out loud in the theater.

'The Exorcist' I know that a lot of people these days, especially people younger than me, do not find this movie scary. I know this- but I do not understand it. How can you not find the complete and utter destruction of innocent and sweet little Regean horrific and disturbing? Just look at her face people! The voice! The backward walk down the stairs! I think if you were raised Catholic this film has a few special tricks there just for you- it really gets into your head, and it stays there.

Låt den Rätte Komma In (Let the Right One In): It is subtitled film, and I do admit it starts off slow. But it has this sad, brooding atmosphere which settles into your bones like a cold winters night. Leaving you feeling chilled and exposed.

So those a just a few of my favourites. Do you have any you would like to share? Tell me, I am waiting the dark.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Once

If you haven't heard of this Newfoundland band you are truly missing out. Check out this moving performance, Geraldine Hollett of The Once sings Marguerite:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Happy Turkey Day had by All

Thanksgiving weekend this year gave me a much needed semi-rest. It seems like I started running at the beginning of the school year, and I haven’t stopped since. It has been nutso. However this weekend I refused to do any school work. And even though every free moment was taken up with cleaning, baking and cooking I still feel like I had a bit of a break.

My sister, her boyfriend and family friend came to stay with us a few days. I like having people over for holidays and special occasions, it makes the house feel more like a home. We did the usual Thanksgiving traditions: we ate, and we drank, and then we ate and drank some more. Before we passed out into a turkey coma we decided to have a few games of cards. There is nothing quite like a game of 120s or Asshole to get the blood pumping. A few oaths were sworn- but all in all most of us came out without scars. I wish we could all get together and do it more often.

What did you all do for the Thanksgiving weekend?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hey you!

Well it has been awhile since I blogged. I feel kind of out of touch now.

And rusty.

I have not written anything other than a grocery list and various lesson plans since my last post. Not very exciting stuff.

Part of the reason was a serious case of writers block. I just had very little to say. And when I did have something to write about I was too busy to get here and do it. I had to take a bit of a break from social media for awhile- no blogging, very little email, hardly ever at Delphi, and sadly I did not follow any blogs either. The only thing I did do on a semi regular basis was hop on Facebook. Facebook is a quick and dirty medium, the blog needs more time.

I missed this and I missed reading my favorite blogs. I am going to try to start posting on a regular basis now- maybe once or twice a week to start. Anyway, it is good to see you.

We will talk again soon.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bad music, great video

Man I find most of today's current "artists" annoying. The twat who sings Tik Tok has got to be one of the more aggravating ones making money right now. However, I can tolerate her music when someone creates something new out of it. In this case, a Star Trek music video for the song. Hey, the song is a joke, I say the video works as one too.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Visits from home

My Mom and Dad are here visiting for a few days and it has been so good to have them here. My mom usually comes at least once a year; my Dad is a little more sporadic because it is harder for him to get time away from work. Having them both here at the same time is a treat. But there is a problem, Don and I don’t have any time to take off to spend with them, and this means my mom has a lot of downtime at the house- unsupervised. Dad is doing what normal people do while on vacation- he is reading, watching movies, going for walks and exploring the area. My mom- not so much.

On Thursday I came home to find the front hall painted. On Friday she plastered and painted the basement staircase and attempted to adjust my son’s curtains, only the lack of materials prevented her from completing the task. On Saturday, my sister came in from Kingston and we kept mom busy with a trip to the mall and a few other stores. This did not keep my mom out of trouble though- while we were buying mom a latte at Second Cup (they don’t have that back in GFW) she was in Bonnie Togs completing my son’s summer wardrobe- she bought one of everything in that store I swear. While we were at Bed Bath and Beyond, helping my sister pick out drapes, mom managed to sneak in an extra set of curtains for Serena’s place. On Sunday I came home with a new Duvet cover and a pair of shorts I didn’t know I needed. I am very grateful, however, I am a little worried about what to expect when I get home today.

If shopping were an Olympic sport my mom would win gold. She can sniff out a deal, find flaws in material, knows what is a good buy and what is not, and what time of year is the best to get deals on things like paint and furniture.

My son is being spoiled rotten. It is not just the new clothes, or the toys she and dad brought down for Wil, it is the sheer amount of love an attention they lavish upon him. He loves every minute- I am sure he will miss his entourage when they go on Thursday.

I know I will.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Kiss it bye-bye

Imagine having the winning ticket to a multimillion dollar lottery- and voiding it. That is what happened to a customer at the Corner Store, in the Goulds (St. John's, NL).

The customer ordered 12 bucks in tickets, but the clerk printed up 27 bucks worth, the customer was either unwilling, or unable to pay for the 27 dollar ticket and thus the clerk had to void it.

It turns out that voided ticket was worth 30 million big ones.

Can you imagine? What kind of luck it that?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I had the last of my tests done a couple of weeks ago, and finally, I have an answer about my liver. The lesions are a result of Focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH) which is the second most common tumor of the liver. The main things I need to to be concerned with for this diagnosis is the possibility of one of the nodules blocking my hepatic vein, or rupturing. Both of these possible outcomes are rare.

So no big C diagnosis, yayyy me!

Thank you to everyone who stopped by here with your thoughtful comments and emails. It was very comforting to me to have so many people in my corner.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Newfoundland Screech Comedy Festival

If you are going to be in St. John's on June 5th-13th you might want to check out the Newfoundland Screech Comedy Festival. It looks like a good line-up. I would love to watch Louis C.K., that guy can make me laugh so hard my jaws ache. It would also be a treat to catch Shaun Majumder and Derrick Edwards. I have no idea what Mike Bullard is doing on the bill, as I thought this was a comedy festival- maybe he is an usher?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Old Hag

Have you ever had a nightmare where you were aware you were dreaming but unable to wake yourself up, unable to move, and in some cases unable to breath? It is a phenomenon that has been documented around the world; in Newfoundland we call it ‘The Hag”, scientists call it Sleep Paralysis.

The experience varies from person to person. Some people see a woman’s face in the distance but they cannot pick out her features. However the dreamer senses something is very wrong and becomes anxious. As the figure draws near they realize it is an ugly old crone. When the Old Hag finally reaches the terrified dreamer she slowly crawls up over the person’s body and straddles their chest; slowly crushing the chest cavity in, cutting off their breath. All the while the dreamer is hyper aware of what is going on: the fact that they are sleeping, that this is not really happening, and yet they can smell the Old Hag, they feel her leathery touch as she stretches over them and breathing becomes a struggle.

Sound like fun? Yeah right.

I have had this happen to me a few times, while I have only ever seen the Hag herself once, my experience with sleep paralysis is a little different. I usually do see a figure, but the figure is just out of my sight, watching me. Sometimes the figure moves closer but I miss the actual movement I only catch the change in position. That is when the panic starts. My breathing turns to desperate gasps for air. I struggle to move, to get away, to wake myself up- but I can't even move my baby toe. I try to call out for help, but I cannot make a sound. Eventually I wake up with a start, gasping for air, with sweat cold on my skin. Every time I have one of these dreams something awful happens in my life soon after. I know it is just coincidence, or my subconscious mind picking up on cues my conscious mind doesn’t want to see- but it is still unnerving.

Last night I had the dream for the first time in a long time and this morning it is all I can think about. I was hoping I could just write the experience of my system but so far it isn’t really helping. I still have that anxious feeling, like I am waiting for something.

How many of you have had a visit from the Old Hag? They say it can run in families, if you experience sleep paralysis, it is likely you have a relative who suffers these lucid nightmares as well. If you are not from Newfoundland, what do you call this type of dream?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Monday, May 10, 2010

Galactic Empire State of Mind

I may be a huge science fiction geek but that doesn't mean I can't laugh at the stuff too. Check out this parody: Galactic Empire State of Mind which reworks Alicia Keys hit Empire State of Mind with the original Star Wars Trilogy. This is just too well done not to share. If you like this video there are a lot more at the College Humour website, check it out.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What a mother knows

It was story time at my house just a few short moments ago. Don just finished negotiating his way through the bedtime ritual where Wilson tries to finagle "Just one more book", and then "A drink of water please daddy?", and "Where is my Gaugi?" When all his demands were met it was my turn- it is my job to tuck him in and close the light. I also ask for the last goodnight kiss. Tonight the response was a nonchalant "Sure". Then he thrust his arms up in the air and raised his chubby little cheek to my lips.

In that moment, with his tiny little hands around my neck, I am reminded of him as a baby. It was a sweet moment, but it gave way to sadness, and a little fear. This is all going too fast. My baby is gone- he has grown into this soft spoken funny little boy who is trying to master the alphabet and Velcro shoes.

I just seems like months ago that I was desperately trying master being a mom to an infant. My first challenge was to breastfeed him. I had it drilled into to me by the Breastfeeding Nazis that this was best for baby and that everyone can breast feed- it is a matter if you care enough too. Besides, they stressed, breastfeeding is natural!

Yes, it might be, but some mothers in the wild eat their young. That is natural too.

To any of you ladies out there in cyberspace who are gestating right now, or perhaps your bun is just fresh out of the oven, listen to me: Breastfeeding is a learned behavior; it takes time and it can be painful. Do what is best for you and baby, sometimes the bottle is best for you both. I was foolish, I hung in there for nine months of breastfeeding- but man I suffered. He was feeding every 45 minutes, he had a horrible latch, and he would not take a bottle of expressed milk. I remember one afternoon, after a particularly long night, holding Wil in my arms and dreading feeding him. I was just too sore: cracked and bleeding sore. I looked down at this cute little bundle crying and thinking to myself: I don't know how much longer I can do this kid.

My sweet little babe just looked up at me and smacked his lips.

I lost part of my right nipple at one point. Not pretty.

As difficult and painful those late night feedings were I do miss that part of his life. I loved the feel of his little body tucked in close to mine. While he fed, whether it was the breast or later the bottle, he would rub my arm softly and would stare up at me until he passed out in a milk coma. For a little while longer I would hold him, rocking him slightly and trying to coax out any burps that might be bubbling within. I remember the soft whisper of his breath on my neck, the scent of his bath oil, and his tiny little hands on my chest.

More than once- as I stared into the blue of his eyes, I wondered to myself if he knew: if he could ever know, just how much he was loved?

And here I am, with Mother's Day approaching, as I tuck my young son into bed, suddenly wondering if there was a time when I was a baby, that my Mother held me in her arms and asked herself: "Does she know, could she ever know just how much she is loved?"

Yes mom. I do.

Thank you.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mary Walsh for Rideau Hall!

A lot of names have been bandied about for the PM's choice as the next governor general, including Captain Kirk (this is where inter-species diplomacy pays its dividends) Leonard Cohen (Hallelujah!), Mike Myers (the Goldmember of Parliament) and the man in motion himself: Rick Hansen. Today, I read about a new nominee, Newfoundlander Mary Walsh.

Yes, Marg Delahunty: warrior princess for governor general.

I could get behind that.

But somehow I don't think Stevie will go for it- he is afraid of strong women. Especially women who carry a bigger sword than he does.

photo take from

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Doing what you can

Gosh I miss home. When I get homesick, I tend to read more news from home, a technique that doesn’t really ease the homesick feeling, but it does make me feel temporarily connected to the Rock.

One of the online links that keeps me in touch is the Grandfalls-Windsor Advertiser even though their online presence a little sparse. This week they had a great article on the front page about a really wonderful initiative by Barb Fifield. She is making dresses out of pillowcases to send to an orphanage in Haiti.

She started out alone- making dresses in various sizes using pillowcases she bought from the dollar store- and was soon joined by her sister Eileen Rumbolt in Port aux Choix. Ms. Rumbold enlisted the help of her quilting group who have been added to the running total of the little dresses. Each dress has a pair of underwear and a buckle loving tucked in the pocket.

What I love about this story is how it clearly demonstrates the power of the individual to affect change. What started out as one woman’s desire to help the children of Haiti inspired a much wider range of people to pitch in.

Gilbert and Yvette Saunders have a daughter working in a Haitian orphanage and they will be bringing the newly sewn dresses to Haiti when they visit. Friends, family, churches and local businesses are all chipping in by making dresses or donating supplies.

All because one woman wanted to do what she could to help.

There are a couple of different patterns online if you are a crafty person and think this is something you could do to help. I have provided a few links below:

A dress from Dad's shirt

Craftzine pattern

Pillow case dress

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Things don't have to change

This video is making the rounds on Facebook . I haven't been able to get this song out of my head since I heard this version (which might be a function of my current state of mind) but I have always liked this John Legend tune- and this young woman does a great job of it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Ever wonder how much of y0ur life is spent waiting? I have been giving that question a lot of thought these past few weeks. Waiting on the phone, waiting in line, waiting in traffic, waiting for a late friend, waiting in the Doctor's office, waiting for test results...the waits never seem to end.

I waited quite awhile yesterday for my Doctor appointment, mentally prepared to hear the best outcome, and the worst, but not expecting what I did get- which was essentially more tests ordered and more waiting.

It turns out the MRI revealed more lesions on my liver, 5 to be exact. While the Doctor could not rule out cancer absolutely, he does not believe it is cancer at this time. My age, lifestyle, and blood work does not point him in the direction of the Big C. Which is good.

It would have been better if he could have said he knew for sure it wasn't cancer...would have been awesome had he been able to tell me what is going on for sure. Alas, I have to go and have yet another test. Something called a Sulfur Colloid test- which will make me radioactive for 24 hours. I wonder if I will glow in the dark after this?

The downside of this test is two fold: it means another injection and I cannot be around children for 24 hours, including my son because I will be radioactive for that long. Yes, I will have a half life.

And, as an added bonus, I have to have a follow up MRI in 3 months to have a look see at what those pesky lesions on my liver are up to.

So that is the update- not exactly bad news, but certainly not great news.

Monday, April 19, 2010


I want to thank everyone for their kind comments and emails. It has been really something to get such wonderful messages of encouragement from people- friends I know and talk to in real life, and friends who I have gotten to know online. I truly appreciated it.

I had the MRI last Wednesday and I learned a couple of things.

The first: when your doctor asks you if you would like something to help you relax for the test the answer is YES. I was quite nervous about the test, the results, and the fact I would be injected with dye so I was pretty keyed up by the time I was in my hospital gown. However, when they brought me into the MRI room and I had a look at the machine I was about to inhabit for the next 60 minutes my knees were knocking.

The MRI looks like a giant dryer on steroids and it is long enough to hold a body. And the damned thing is loud. Put a few pairs of sneakers in the dryer and an alarm clock and there you have the sound it makes. Not on a consistent bases mind you, at intervals, odd ones too.

I lay back onto the bed and the technician put headphones on my head. He gave me a little ball to squeeze should I need to call for help, and then eased me into the machine. I had a moment of panic- one I did not expect.

I would never have described myself as claustrophobic, but I can tell you that the second thing that I learned last Wednesday is that I apparently have a touch of it- because from the moment he slid me in to the tube every molecule in my body was screaming to get out. The test did not hurt at all, the dye did make me a little sick, but it was a struggle for me to stay in the tube for 60 minutes, unable to really see anything but the tube, and flashing light, unable to move and unaware of how much longer I was going to be in there, and mentally trying to prepare for the next set of bangs and clicks. I had to talk myself down from full-on panic just before the end of the test. I was warm and stomach sick and scared.

When they finally slid me out of the MRI I was so relieved I was giddy. I almost hugged the technician. It took me about twenty minutes to get myself together and leave, my steps getting a little lighter the further away from the hospital I got.

Anyway it is done now. I will get the results from the Liver specialist tomorrow.

Friday, April 9, 2010

I am lucky. No really. I am.

People have all kinds of different belief systems that help them explain how life works. Many believe in a higher power, God, Jehovah, Allah- the Easter Bunny. Others believe that there is nothing at all- no great puppeteer holding all the strings. I cannot pretend that I have it all figured out myself, but there is one thing I know for sure, I do not believe in coincidence.

Remember a little while back when I told you about my little kidney issue? One of the tests they ordered to have a look at my inner works was an ultrasound. At the time they noticed one kidney was distended. So they ordered a follow up ultrasound a month later.

A couple of weeks ago I went to the Walk-in clinic with my son- who had another ear infection. While there, I asked if the results were in about my last ultrasound. The Walk-in Doctor filed through the papers on my chart, paused, and without looking at me said:There is a spot on your liver.”

Nothing can clear the mind of all thoughts, sense of time, sense of place, even existence like: There is a spot on your: (insert your favorite organ here)

The ultrasound revealed that both kidneys were distended, and seemingly discovered by accident- a nodule on my liver. I am on a waitlist to get an MRI for this, and yes, I am pretty worried. My Poppy, the man my son is named after, died of liver cancer.

It has been a rough few months and it seems like the hits just keep on coming. A few nights ago Don was in a car accident. He made it out with a few bruises and a couple of nasty eggs nesting on his head, but he made it. The car- yes the Corolla we bought last September, (you guessed it- the one with all the recalls!) didn't fare so well.

When I look back over the past nine months or so, I can point to a lot of really crappy bad luck moments. Don getting laid off, Wil getting bitten by a dog, our cat dying, our daycare folding up shop with 2 hours notice, various bad news items from home, a broken foot, my kidneys exploding, etcetera, etcetera.

And I am tempted to wallow a little bit- except I know I shouldn’t.

The doctors I have seen so far have said they doubt it is cancer- I am too young and I am not an alcoholic nor do I have Hepatitis. At least I found out about the spot before I got sick- I don’t feel sick right now. That is a good sign right? They could have told me I have six months to live, but they seem hopeful. Also, Don might not have walked away from that accident the other night. But he did. So really, I have been lucky.

Now I just have to believe that luck will hold.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Happy Anniversary Newfoundland

Newfoundland joined Canada as its tenth province at midnight on Mar. 31, 1949.
I am very proud to be both a Newfoundlander, and a Canadian.
Happy Anniversary!

Found this photo here.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Learning Skills

One of the things we are working on with our little guy is getting dressed in the morning. He can do it on his own, but it takes forever, and early weekday mornings we just don't have the time. Our morning routine involves getting the boy up, putting new undies and socks on after the morning pee, and then putting his PJs back on. If you saw how he eats his cereal you would understand why we don't dress him right away. By the time Wil is done breakfast he looks like he stepped on a Special K landmine.

Well yesterday morning was a very busy one, and after the morning cereal bomb I wiped Wil down and told him to put his pants on while I slapped lunch together.

"Ok Momma" He said. And I attacked the sandwiches.

When I turned around his pants were on and he was struggling to get the shirt over his head. I helped him out with that, then with the boots, hat, mittens and jacket and we were off to the races.

Later that day when I went to pick him up at Daycare, his teacher Michelle hauled me aside and in a hushed voice asked:

"Do you realize Wilson has no underwear on today?"

Yes, that is right, my three year old son went to daycare Commando.

In corduroys.

I am the worst mother in the world.

It seems that when the poor shagger took his pajama pants off to put his pants on, his underwear came off with them, and he did not think to put them back on. I know this because when we came home said PJs and underwear were in a rolled doughnut formation in the middle of the kitchen floor.

I don't think either of us will make that mistake again.

Monday, March 1, 2010

This Olympic Closing Ceremonies are brought to you by, Mel Brooks?

Was it just me, or were the Closing Ceremonies just a tad....oh many ways I can go here....Let's just say over the top, with a hint of stale.

I don't really want to be too mean here. I understand that much of what we saw last night was meant to show the world that we have a unique sense of humor, a wide variety of talent, and an endearing ability to laugh at ourselves. All things I applaud. So I did expect the Mounties to be on display, the Hockey glorification, I could even smile at the dancing canoes, and red-clad lumberjacks but when the giant inflatable beavers lumbered their way onto center stage followed closely by giant boobs with maple leaves on their backs my smile cracked a little.

The Facebook feeds were funny to first people were very pleased with what they saw. There almost universal consensus that Neil Young's "Long May You Run," was a beautiful way to extinguish the Olympic flame. Bill Shatner got a lot of good-natured laughs, and Micheal J Fox just heightened the level of pride people expressed. But as the night progressed I started to see updates like:

"Are there any stereotypes left? All they need is an igloo and a totem pole?"

"I have never done acid, but I am pretty sure this is what an acid trip in Canada looks like"

"Is it me or is this a little too much with the canned jokes"

At one point I mused what the over/under would be on Celine coming out of her crypt to perform. She didn't.

All that aside, it was a good night. We should celebrate all the athetic achievements, and all the hard work that went into this year's games. I saw some of the best hockey I have ever seen, and it is kind of depressing to me now that I have to go back to the Leaf's version of our sacred game.

Sigh, I guess you can't win them all.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Have you ever seen my home?

Check out this Quidi Vidi Brewery Commercial - Music Video. It promotes the beer, the Island, the people and the band, At Ships End, all at once. Love the shots. Great song. Good fun.

Makes me long for George Street!

Song by: "At Ships End" Written by: Dave Whitty Directed, Filmed and Edited by: Phil St. Aubin

Friday, February 26, 2010

Something Positive

Canada has been taking a lot of crap in the press these last few weeks. The Olympic games is the focus of much of the ire, with headlines from the UK like: 'Vancouver Games continue downhill slide from disaster to calamity"; Canadian organizers are responding to complaints about everything from the weather, protesters, ice surfacing and to the fence around the Olympic Flame, and the horrific death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili on the opening day. Add to that the scandal Premier's Danny William's decision to get surgery outside his own province, and worse, outside Canada. He ignited the debate about the quality of health care in Canada versus the United States on both sides of the border. And today, we have the hullabaloo over the gold winning Canadian Women's Hockey team daring to celebrate their win in such a "rowdy" way- drinking and carousing! How dare they? Had this been the gold medal win for the men's team such celebrations would not likely have made the papers; even if it did the finger wagging the girls received would be pats on the back for the men.

Yeah, our collective Canadian image is taking a bit of a pounding.

So it made me feel good to see this video circulating on Facebook. It is Canada, as seen through the eyes of American news anchor Tom Brokaw which was aired just as the games were about to begin. It is a very positive piece about Canada and our relationship with the U.S. I found myself sitting up a little straighter as I watched it- and I was very pleased to see so many shots of Newfoundland.

Thanks Mr. Brokaw, we needed this:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

One language at a time

As many of you know, my 3 year old son has a bit of a speech delay. He couldn't hear for much of his second year of life so he has to catch up a little. He is doing better, I see improvements every day. I have discovered that he can be pretty creative in trying to get his point across.

Take last night for example: bath time was over, and the bathroom floor was appropriately covered in soapy water and bubbles and Wilson was sitting on the counter top wrapped in a towel, swinging his legs back and forth. He was waiting happily for me to brush his teeth- I usually let him have a go at it and then I do the real cleaning. But last night I was in a bit of a rush- so I just put the toothpaste on his brush and started in.

I noticed almost immediately Wil was pulling away from me a little as I brushed, which is odd for him. Finally he put his little hand on mine and push it away gently- a confused look furrowed his brow.

"What's wrong buddy?"
"Momma, it's smokey in my mouth"

It took a second for this to register. He quite often will say something that seems out of left field but when I think about it a bit I can usually glean some meaning out of it. The problem was that in my haste to get the bedtime ritual underway I used my extra strength whitening toothpaste instead of Wil's toddler toothpaste and the poor shagger was feeling the burn. I felt so bad.

But he had another little verbal surprise for me just minutes later. He has been kicking a cold the past few days, so I have been rubbing Vicks Vapor Rub on his chest just before lights out. He usually looks up at me when I have finished applying the smelly goo and says: "That feels better Mama"- last night though he had something else to say.

"Gracias Mama"

Aw geeze kid, let's master the English language first 'eh?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Stones

About two weeks ago I had a little health adventure, and I have been getting caught up on life and worked missed since then- hence the dry spell for Missing the Rock.

It was Thursday, Feb 5th, my little guy was not feeling so well and I wasn’t up to my usual superhero status either. So after work we marched ourselves to the Walkin Clinic and had a little check up. Wil had an ear infection, and I was told I had a UTI. A trip to the drugstore later we were home and into the evening ritual of food prep, mealtime, bath and bedtime.

Around 4:07 am Friday I awoke with a lurch and a small cry. And then I promptly vomited on myself. I tried to get to the bathroom so I could vomit in the toilet but the searing pain in my left lower abdominal was preventing that.

I slid to the floor, landing with a thump and dry heave and crawled my way to the toilet. Wondering the whole damn way: “Was it something I ate, is it a reaction to the medication? and “What in the name of holy hell is causing the pain in my side?” Once I got to the toilet I held myself there in a bizarre combination of the praying and fetal positions. The pain was still bad, but squat like this, holding my head up on the toilet bowl I felt a little better. That is to say I no longer felt like cutting a hole in my side with toenail clippers on the sink and pulling out the small rodent that was gnawing its way through my inner plumbing.

I am not sure how long I sat there, I believe I may have passed out. At some point I tried calling out to Don. He was sleeping in the guest room- banished there for snoring offenses. When he got to the bathroom I was standing in the door frame, holding myself upright by clinging to the door. He told me after that I looked yellow- all I needed was a blue dress and blue hair and I was a dead ringer for Marge. My eyes were bugged out like hers too.

So off to the emergency room we headed. We were very lucky Wil’s daycare opens early so we had one less worry to think about. Don dropped him off- literally. He opened the door, handed Wilson off to the first worker he saw, told them we were on our way to the hospital and left. Daycare drop off is usually a 10 minute ritual- this was about 7 seconds.

As we were driving to the hospital in Ajax my stomach started to really ramp up the pain. I turned to Don at one point, crying inconsolably and whimpered: “I think I just ruptured something.”

That was when the first accident nearly happened. Don just pulled out into oncoming traffic cutting off several early morning commuters in the process. I reached out with a shaking hand and put on the four way flashers and mentally decided not to update Don with any further developments until we reached the hospital.

Well I tried not to anyway. The second accident almost happened while we were on the one lane stretch of road that spans the little divide between Whitby and Ajax when I yelped like a cat whose tail was run over by an 18 wheeler. And that was when Don tried to pass first by darting out into the oncoming lane, and veering back, and then by edging over to the soft shoulder. But my frantic screaming at him to stop put that in check.

When we finally got to the hospital we got lost trying to find the right way in. They are renovating right now, and the signage is lacking. By the time I was finally seen by a Dr, I was pretty much incoherent. I have heard the phrase “the pain was blinding” used before but never really understood it. Now the definition is very clear.

The nurse tried to get me settled and helped me into one of those useless hospital gowns. The Dr came in poked and prodded me, asked a few questions, scribbled on my chart, and started ordering the battery of tests I was to undergo. Then he said the magic words: “The nurse will give you something for the pain”. Now, I don’t know how many of you know this about me, but I am afraid of needles. Pass out afraid. But when the nurse returned to my room with three needles on a tray and a look that said “Bend over lady”, I just rolled over on my side and lifted the gown up. Had she told me that the injections had to go in my eyeballs I would have consented to that too.

Blood work, an ultrasound, a cat scan, one shot of Toridal, Demerol, and Gravol later it was determined I was passing a kidney stone. The pain was a result of it leaving my kidney and going for a little jaunt. The cat scan reveled another little surprise, I had an additional kidney stone still in my kidney. Waiting there. No time line. Just a little something to look forward to- like root canals and colonoscopies. Also, my kidney is distended, which may be a result of the stones or it could be something else.

They released me later in the evening, with the chilling phrase: “We think this is small enough to pass on its own” and a directive to see my family doctor. So I am in the midst of more testing, and I am feeling a lot better. However, I am still waiting for stone 1 to pass, my Dr feels it may be sitting in my bladder, and of course there is stone 2 who has yet to make its presence known.

I did learn two things from this ordeal:
  1. The next time we have that kind of emergency we are calling an ambulance.
  2. If you want to be seen by the ER staff right away you have to include chest pain in your list of symptoms.
But I still have several questions. I am hoping someone who has been through this before will offer some advice. Is it possible I passed the stone without knowing it? And cripes, if the stone that caused all that initial pain was “small enough to pass” what in the hell is going to happen to me if the other rock drops and it is bigger?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Reduce? Reuse? Recycle? Repair? Repay.

You know, I do my best for the environment. I recycle, I reuse what I can, I even compost household waste. My husband and I try to reduce what we consume as well. We buy what we need and we make it last as long as possible. In the past few months I have come to wonder why I bother at all.

Before Christmas my watch died. At first I thought it might be the battery, so I had it replaced. The new battery did not bring the watch back to life so I brought it in to be repaired. As I handed the watch over they quickly surmised they could not fix it at that location; it had to be sent away. It is a pretty watch, one my husband gave to me a few Christmases ago so I agreed. “We will call you with a price before we fix it” they promised. Somehow I was not comforted.

A month later I get a call- it can be repaired for the bargain price of $85.00! It needed to be retooled. Ok. Don might have paid 150 for the watch when he bought it. I just blew 30 bucks on a new battery, and now it will cost me even more bones to fix it? At this point is it not cheaper to buy a new watch? I gave them the go ahead to repair it because it is better on my wrist than in a landfill.

Around that same time our TV died. We could still get a picture and sound, but with the added bonus of a high pitched whine- like a cat being skinned alive a few houses down the road. We bought this TV, a Slim Fit Samsung CRT, in 2006, it should still be working as far as I am concerned. But it wasn’t, and it was our only boob tube, so off to a repair man it went. That was last November.

Last night he called to tell us it had been repaired- for a cool $285.00 plus tax. Mmmmm. A CRT TV- the kind not even being made anymore, will cost over three hundred bones to be repaired. Meanwhile I can go to Crappy Tire and pick up a new 42 inch LCD TV for less than $500!

A friend of mine bought a new computer a few years ago, and with it came a fairly decent printer- one with great photo printing. When the ink ran out he went online to buy more; he found out that the ink was so expensive it was cheaper to buy a new printer. So that is what he did. The old printer was given away.

Indeed, Dell printers won’t even allow you refill their cartridges- at least not the model we have. We got away with it once, but on the second refill the computer no longer sees the cartridges as full- and the only way around it is to buy new Dell cartridges. Such a waste.

It drives me nuts. You can’t walk down a store aisle anymore without being smacked in the face by some green version of your favorite products- with a higher price tag. The garbage men on my streets won’t even pick up your recycling or garbage if you haven’t packed it just so. And anyone caught in a grocery store having forgotten their reusable bags is looked upon with scorn and derision when they have to ask for plastic. I must have about 20 “Green Bags” because I just cannot bear that look from the cashiers. I cave and buy yet another reusable bag.

Yet, no one is raising any kind of a stink when it comes everyday items we have in our homes. Business don’t seem to have a problem with the fact it is more cost effective to buy new than to repair the old, and their customers seem to accept this as fact. It is just the way things are.

In so many ways our lives have been improved by the things we own- the technology we have acquired in these past few years is really astounding. The calculator you have at work has more computing power in it than the computers that were used to send humankind to the moon in 1969. And yet, somewhere along the way we forgot how to make anything that will last. Anything that can be easily upgraded. Collectively society seems to have lost a sense of pride in what we create, manufacture or service. These are concepts that seem to have died out with a wind up watch and manners.

All the while, despite all that desperate recycling, the vilification of plastic bags and the many green, recycled and organic products that have invaded the modern marketplace, the landfills continue to grow.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It has been that kind of week

Haven't been blogging much of late. Too much going on at work and home to keep me busy. It has been a stressful few days. The worst thing is I am powerless to really do anything about the things I am stressing over.

So today I came home, plunked my little guy in front of the TV, put supper on, and promptly took a small crowbar to the stupid wooden border around the mirror in the powder room. The the dingbat who lived here before us nail gunned and stapled the "decorative border" around the mirror on the wall. And by the way, said dingbat previously had this bathroom painted puke green and purple I guess I should be grateful for the baby shit brown she threw on the walls to get the house ready for sale. (Hey maybe I could quit teaching and move into the naming paint colors industry?)

Anyhow, I had no plan, few tools, and no one to help out. I got the wooden border off (and a few good chunks of the wall off too- you know- just for shits and giggles), but I cannot get the damned mirror off the wall. It is clamped and glued. I have wrenched the clamps free, but the mirror still stands there.


Somebody better have one for me, because the next tool I am going to take out will likely be a sledgehammer.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Newfoundland at Hand

One of the things I do for extracurricular activities at the school is prepare my students for a competition called Skills Canada. I have been fairly lucky, a few years back a student of mine- one of the most hard working kids I have ever taught, John Matienzo, competed in the Web Design competition and won first place provincially and then went on to place fourth Nationally.

Last year I brought another group of students to compete- we went as a team with other teachers and students from our board. Gerry Goulding was one of the other teachers involved and he is originally from the Rock. The night before the big competition the team went out to a group dinner and it was then that I noticed Gerry’s ring. It was a beautifully crafted gold ring with the shape of the Island on its face; is bolstered by the Newfoundland flag on both sides. I just had to ask him about it.

It turns out Gerry makes the rings himself:

“I got into the business of rings after I came back from Newfoundland one summer. I had purchased a Newfoundland ring from Trinity, Trinity Bay. It wasn't the nicest designed ring, however, it still caught the attention of any fellow Newfoundlander that happened to be in viewing range of my finger. A few people even asked that I purchase them one the following summer. When I visited the place that I bought the ring from the previous summer I found out that they did not make them any longer. I made a decision right there and then that I would design an even better version of the Newfoundland ring that would be both gold or silver and capture both our Island Map and the flag of Newfoundland.”

It is one thing to come up with a great idea, it is quite another to make it a reality. Gerry comments: “It sounds simple to come up with the idea of a Newfoundland ring, however, there were many design hurdles to overcome before I arrived at the current version of the ring. Finding the right people to cast and mold the design proved to be an eye opening experience for someone who was very green to this type of business. Although I do not come from a business background, I have enjoyed the challenge of designing a product and bringing it to market. “

Until recently, Gerry found the best way to sell the rings was using sites such as Kiijii and Craigslist and had a fairly good response. Recently, he set up a website Home Pride Jewelry which showcases the ring and other products he offers such as versions of Irish County Rings custom jobs. I told Gerry I may ask him to a Newfoundland brooch for my mom, as she collects brooches, he was very receptive. He plans to expand his line to include other items such as pendants, bracelets, and earrings. “One of the driving forces behind my motivation to sell Newfoundland jewelry is that we are definitely a flag waving, proud people and love to let everyone know where we are from: the best place in the world! My ring motto is," Newfoundland....always close at hand!"

Thanks Gerry- now get to work on that brooch there are only 343 days left until Christmas!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Just a big thank you!

Stephen Eli Harris is the man behind The Newfoundland and Labrador Blog Roll. He tracks and promotes all the sites you see on the lower left hand side of the my blog under the Newfoundland Flag. I imagine it is a lot of work - thankless work at that. Recently he created an award for the best Newfoundland Blog and was interviewed about it by the lovely Angela Antle on the Weekend Arts Magazine. The pod cast for that interview can be downloaded here.

Missing the Rock is in the running for this award but is as far from winning it as Tiger Woods is from reconciliation with his wife. Karen, John, and Barry are kicking major ass. As they should- they do outstanding work. If you haven't checked out their sites you are missing out. Go grab yourself a beverage of your choice and have a look- and while your at it check out a few more on the Roll: Townie Bastard, Product of Newfoundland, and Oh Me Nerves just to name a few. Then go the the Blog Roll and vote! It is your duty as a Newfoundlander!

The best thing about this award is that it has highlighted all the quality work that Newfoundlanders are contributing to cyberspace. It is amazing to see the quality, variety and heart that is put into the work. I really encourage my regular readers, and you over there in the pink sweater dropping in here for the first time, to check out some of the blogs on the Roll. You will be delighted by what you find.

Thank you Stephen for doing this for all of us! And to those who have cast your vote in my direction, I sincerely appreciate it.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Christmas is in its box

Well it is all over for another year. Christmas is back in its box slumbering until next year. The halls have been undecked, all the trim is put away, and the tree has been tossed to the curb. The only things I have left of the Christmas accoutrement are the two flaccid Poinsettias dying in my living room. It is kind of depressing.

Don and I have only purchased a real tree for Christmas the past two years. The first two years we lived here we lived in a junior one bedroom at the corner of Bloor and Jarvis. There was barely enough room in that apartment for a couch and a bed, so we could hardly get a tree. Real or not. We had a Christmas plant though. I think it was a rubber tree; we decorated it with a bit of garland. Come to think of it, that was sort of depressing too.

For our Christmases in Whitby we bought a small fake tree decorated it with Star Wars ornaments and snowflakes. We tried to keep the cat away from it. However, we woke up one morning to find the Wicket perched in the tree with Yoda in his mouth. He growled at us when we tried to take the ornament away from him and clung to the branches when we tried to wrench him from the tree. This became a tradition every year actually. Wicket would scale the tree and claim a new ornament as his own. After 6 years of an 11 pound cat scaling the PVC tree it no longer had the classic Christmas tree shape. It was still somewhat triangular but the center section had a gaping hole in it that bowed quite a bit. When we moved to the new house the fake tree did not come with us.

For our first Christmas in the new house we decided that a real tree was in order. We made a day of it, Don, Wilson, my sister and I went to a tree farm to cut our own tree and discovered it was a fun way to spend an afternoon. Don was too sick to do the cut-your-own this time around so we went to Sheridan Nurseries instead. They stored the trees in an outdoor greenhouse but they did something I had never seen before- and when I compare it to the lively experience at the tree farm, this was downright creepy.

All the trees were hanging. Hanging from a rope wrapped around the greenhouse rafters.

It was like stepping into a forest of suicides.

All of them hanging there, swaying in the soft breeze, oozing sap and dropping needles. I wanted to take them all home; save them from this dismal end. Alas, we left with one Fir tree, the one that looked like he had the most to live for. We brought him home, shoved a tree stand up his ass, rammed a snowflake on his head and light him up with LED lights. He was beautiful! He had a good life as a Christmas tree.

And now he is on the curb, pondering the end that awaits us all – the chipper.

P.S. Anyone have any advice on how to keep a Poinsettia alive?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Republic of Doyle

The Republic of Doyle debuted last night, and while I wasn't wowed, I will watch again. It was the pilot episode and you could certainly tell. I can't really put my finger on exactly why, other than to say the episode seemed to lack some polish. It came off a little raw- like we were watching a dress rehearsal as opposed the the start of what is supposed to be CBC's new hit series- if you believe the hype.

I liked that fact they we were not subjected to any fishing scenes, stages or ridiculously outrageous stereotypical presentations of Newfoundlanders. It was wonderful to see the beauty, color and personality of the city of St John's displayed the way it was; almost like it is part of the cast. Another character to get to know and love. I see a lot of potential for the show. It could be a good ride.

I wasn't a big fan of Jake's wife Nikki, or Jake's possible hook-up Leslie (the female Constable). His wife overacted a few scenes, and the constable defined the term one dimensional. It would be impressive if The Republic of Doyle avoids the trend other shows follow where the male and female leads end up hopping into the sack together. A relationship of intellectual equals should develop between them. Yes, the sexual tension can create a few sparks and a few laughs, but a sense mutual respect and restrained professionalism should prevail.

Consider the following to be a public service announcement aimed at the Republic of Doyle writers: Please never allow Jake and Leslie to cross that line. I am telling you this for your own good because as soon as they do the horizontal bop The Republic of Doyle becomes just like every other show. It is usually a death knell. Think Mulder and Scully. Maddy and David. Bert and Ernie...ok maybe not that last one.

Still I liked it...I will give it a few more episodes before I decide if the show becomes a keeper for me or not. Have any of you seen it yet? What did you think?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It's resolution time again

It's resolution time again. Common resolutions like losing weight, quitting smoking, spending more time with family and less time at work are likely to be on the top of many resolution lists. I have not made New Year’s Resolutions these past few years because they rarely stick, and there is nothing more pathetic than a lie you tell yourself.

I asked friends how successful they were with resolutions in the past and the question is met mostly with laugher followed by an unconscious bow of the head and a sheepish admission that most of the resolutions they make don’t make it past February. Why is it so hard to keep those promises to ourselves throughout the year?

It is simply a lack will power; or is it unrealistic expectations? Whatever the answer may be I have decided I am going to make a resolution this year. And here it is:
I am going to take better care of myself and enjoy the time I have.

Yep. That is it.

Now I know a lot of you are asking what that means- and I am not sure I can really quantify it for anyone. Actually, I think that is part of the point.

I can say it means if I have to make a choice between mopping the floor, or coloring with Wil before he goes to bed- I am going to break out the Crayola. It means I am going to eat breakfast most days of the week rather than just on the weekends- but I am not going to flog myself if all I can manage Monday morning is a mug of tea when I get to work. I will reduce my portion sizes, try to drink more water, and as soon as my foot heals, I am going to exercise again. Not to lose weight, or to look better, but to feel better. To be around as long as I can with the people I love. However, I will have the occasional cookie with my son after school but it is more important to me that we will bake them together.

I don’t know if it was the four soldiers and the first Canadian journalist who were killed over Christmas in Afghanistan , or the poor men sent to the winds on a scaffold Christmas Eve but I have just decided that I don’t have the time to waste of worrying or berating myself over things that really have little meaning.

This is one New Years Resolution that I really hope I stick with.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Welcome 2010

Where is my flying car?

I always thought as a kid that when 2010 arrived we were going to be zipping around the planet on our own personal flying cars, eating replicated food, and taking off to the moon for the long holiday weekend.

While we aren’t quite there yet, our home had its most technically advanced Christmas yet. Don gave me the new Iphone, which I have named Noodle for some reason. I gave Don a Blue Ray player, which he refuses to name, and we upgraded our satellite to HD TV. His mom gave him a GPS for the car and my parents sent us a new gynormous LCD television as our old CRT finally gave up the ghost. If I was looking for the 2010 space monolith this year, I certainly found it- it is sitting in my living room with a Blue ray and an Xbox 360 attached to it. It is huge! I think Don is in love.

Wil didn’t get any new technology really, and that is fine with me. He was so happy with the gifts he received, but certainly caught on to the fact that the bigger gifts have toys in them. Anything in small package was pushed aside in favor of the big boxes, even if they weren’t his. He had to help you unwrap the “big one”. It is funny watching him open gifts. If he likes what he opens he wants to play with it right away. He would jump up and down saying “Open it Da da!” All his other gifts could wait as far as he was concerned; he wants to play with the new toy now!

Watching him Christmas morning makes Christmas away from family and friends back home on the Rock almost bearable. He was so happy to have the both of us home with him, to play with his new toys, and to have his cousins visit. It was good to have some time off- we needed it.

I am hoping the New Year finds you all happy and well and most importantly that Santa was good to you!