Thursday, January 29, 2015


On Sunday, we didn't have any plans so we popped down to Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle.  It was a beautiful day and the kids loved seeing all the animals. 

Sacha's favourites were the Meerkats and Bears. Alice loved the elephants, giraffes, flamingos and penguins.  Andrew liked the Snow Leopard because it came right up to him. My favourite animals were the orangutans. I did feel bad for them being in a cage especially being winter and inside . Their eyes are so human, you can just feel how intelligent they are. There was so much information about the destruction of their natural habitats because of palm oil harvesting. It's so sad. 

The other unique part of our visit was that all most everyone at the zoo was decked out in Seahawks gear.  We were pretty much the only group without at least one member wearing Seahawks clothing.  A lot if the enclosures had 12th man flags or Seahawks logos as well. The whole city will be watching the Super Bowl this weekend. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Allergy Panel

On Thursday, I want to see a naturopath. Lots of people are seeing them at work and have had some really great results and are now feeling much better.  I know I'm still having allergy issues. Not like the hives in the summer but just feeling gross after eating.  I wasn't too happy with the traditional way to diagnose allergies either. I had the scratch test in the middle of a histamine extravaganza in my body and pretty much everything lit up as an allergen. So then I did the elimination diet and started adding foods back in. If I reacted, I was allergic, if not I was good to go.  But that doesn't seem scientific enough. Or at least I don't trust my own judgement. 

So, I'm not getting my blood tested for 190 different foods to see which antibodies I have.   There were two tests to do, most people just opt for the first one but since it tests for about 15 different types of fish and seafoods and then beans on top of that and I never eat those things anyway, I thought I would do both panels. I'd rather know if I'm allergic to blackberries and vinegar than salmon and Lima beans. 

I get the results in a couple of weeks. I'm not going to start on any crazy diet (like no sugar and only healthy food) before my trip to Disneyland. I've been feeling crumby for months and months. I can wait another 10 days. 

I am really interested to see what I'm allergic too.  I hope it's things I don't like already. I fear it's dairy and gluten though. 

Chop chop

Three years ago, I would have had three posts written about everything that has been happening lately.  Now. I'm going to squeeze it all into one while I get 15 minutes on my lunch break. 

Last week when I was in a fog of illness, Sacha and Alice got hair cuts on the weekend.  Alice just got a tiny trim but Sacha had his cut shorter. Well. I asked for longer in the front and short on the back and sides. In my head, I can picture this being a haircut that looks normal on people. Apparently the hairdresser did not agree and the result was a weird wide flat Mohawky thing. But it was cheap and I was sick so we just bundled up and left. By Monday morning, I didn't want to send Sacha to school with such a weird haircut so I sat down and cut the front short so it was more uniform. 

I am not sure at what point she did it because she was downstairs watching a couple of movies while I was upstairs, sick in bed. But Alice took it upon herself to cut her hair short, just like Sacha. She cut everything so it was 1-2 inches long, leaving a long section from the center of her head to her left ear - the bit she couldn't reach. What she was left with was a pretty impressive mullet. 

After her ballet class that night, I tidied up a bit, at least making it short all over.  It's all business now. No more party in the back. 

Over the weekend, I got an email about today's ballet class, where they are going to be taught how to make proper buns. I bought a hair net and bobby pins but I don't know how we are going to make this work. 

She looks cute with short hair but I did prefer it longer. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pepto Dismal

I am not feeling well. I've been sick since Friday afternoon. We've all had it too. Alice has fallen asleep twice within the last week and not woken up until the morning and Sacha was sent home from school yesterday because of tummy troubles. 

The only things I did this weekend were going to a movie with Sacha, Alice and the Beavers, watching Dance Academy on Netflix (all three seasons) and I bought a cool new lens for my camera that I was too sick to test out in the field. The fields being too far from bathrooms. 

I've booked an appointment with a naturopath on Thursday.  I want to work out what all my allergies and hopefully what this bug is. I've been looking up all the possibilities. Dr. Google says it's most likely is a stomach virus. Giarrdia, Cholera, Dysentary haven't been ruled out yet. So gross. 

Wednesday, January 07, 2015


I borrowed a copy of Wild by Cheryl Strayed that Mum had up at Bowen and finished it on the weekend. A co-worker had read it a couple months ago and was really excited to go set out on a similar adventure, maybe slightly shorter than a 100 day hike, more like a week. After reading this book, I'm not sure she read all the parts about her torn up and sore feet for the full 100 days. 

I enjoyed the book but didn't love it. I liked A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson better. Very similar story, just different gender, different trail. I think I couldn't relate to the main character in Wild. Plus Bill Bryson books are just so funny. 

It's just sitting kind of funny with me. I would recommend it to someone looking for a book to read, especially if they were looking for travel and adventure in their life. I will definitely go see the movie when it comes out too.  

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Hello 2015

Polar Bear 2

I started the New Year off with a bang!  Up early at the crack of 9am and a hearty waffle and berry breakfast, it was then down to the beach at Roger Curtis point for a polar bear swim!  Alice decided that at 1 degree Celsius, it was too cold to leave the house but Sacha braved the cold to watch me take a dip.   I did it too.  Dunked myself up to my shoulders.  I have picture proof, just don’t want to post a full bathing suit shot here.  It was cold!!!  I thought my toes were going to fall off on the way back to the house where I promptly jumped in the hot tub.

So I didn’t do too well on the resolutions I set for last year …

 Resolutions for 2014

  • Beat the number of birds I saw in 2012 (165) – The first 90 or so shouldn’t be too difficult – Best effort to finish.
  • Start the year with a 30 day juice cleanse and then do a 10 day cleanse every 90 days after that (starting this Sunday) – nope
  • Read 12 books for fun – I should have an advantage with 4 books half read already - Done
  • Do the 52 Week Money Saving Challenge – but in reverse because I know I will never have an extra $200 in December.  - nope

Between looking after the kids and work and other events, I probably went birding a quarter as often as I wanted to.   However,  I did see 35 new birds this year, making my life list 339.  I stopped counting birds that I saw in November and had 2 really good birding days in December so my year total is probably more like 145-150.  Still short of my goal but not bad under the circumstances, it’s had to convince the kids to hop in the car to try and go see a bird in a marsh in temperatures below 10 degrees.  (here’s hoping they want to go see a Golden Eagle tomorrow!). 

I squeaked in the book one under the wire, I finished my 11th book around noon yesterday and then scoured my shelf at Bowen to find one that I was most of the way through to polish it off to be able to legitimately tick one resolution off my list.


Resolutions for 2015

  • Read 12 books for fun
  • Complete 1 MOOC (Massive Open Online Course)
  • Spend less time on my phone when I am bored
  • I want to say 7500 steps per day but I don’t know what my baseline is and I think it is shockingly lower than that but by the end of the year, I want to be comfortably walking 7500 steps per day.

Goodbye 2014

We’ve been having an excellent Christmas holiday.  The kids had a great Christmas morning, Santa was more than generous with them.  So were Baba, Granddad, Claudette, Donna, Margot, Max, Kai and Steph.  They are a couple of very lucky kids.  I realized afterwards that I didn’t take any pictures of Christmas day at all, which is totally not like me, but it was nice to just enjoy the excitement rather than try to catch it on camera.

On Sunday, the kids and I drove up to Squamish for the night.  The hotel had a pool and a waterslide and the kids and I spent probably 2 hours in there when we arrived.  Sacha probably went down that water slide 30 times.  Alice was more like 20, taking breaks to catch her breath a bit.  It was very quick.

Andrew met us up there after work and we went out to dinner.  On Monday, we drove up to the Callaghan Valley to go sledding.   It was freezing cold.  It was 2 degrees in Squamish with a freezing wind, it was –5 and sunny in Callaghan, much more manageable but Alice was freezing and we only lasted an hour.   We will have to go again later in the year. 

After sledding, the kids and I went up to Bowen for a couple days.  We had a hottub every night, we roasted hot dogs on a bonfire that Kai built in the outside fireplace, I finished 2 books (Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult and Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer), and last year on New Year’s eve, we roasted marshmallows and made s’mores.  It was very relaxing and very fun.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Daring Greatly

I find tasks like stuffing envelopes mind-numbing and 5 times per year, I have to collate 375 report cards in a short period of time to get them out to students. Over the last couple of years, I have turned to watching Tedtalks while folding and it has turned into something I now look forward too. My boss thinks it's a great idea and in October came into my office asking if I had watched any good talks this time, and I had -  this one about “Listening to Shame” by Brene Brown.

It was really fascinating. My boss immediately went back to his office and not only had he heard of her and her work, he had her book dog-eared on every 5th page. So now I had to read the book! This was probably my favourite I have read all year. I want to go out and buy a bunch of copies to give to people and to have one copy at home.  I can see how it relates to Work, life, parenting, relationships.  I want to use what she talks about to help guide Sacha (in particular) and Alice and I want Sacha to read it as soon as he is old enough to understand it.   I can see so much of what she talks about shame in Sacha’s struggles and behaviours.  I am going to be conscious about how I talk to him especially about the difference between making bad choices (Guilt) and being a bad person (Shame). 


This is the quote by Theodore Roosevelt that inspired the name of the book.  It is known as The Man in the Arena quote from a speech he made in Paris in 1910 and I think it is great.

Friday, December 26, 2014


Alice: "I'm doing it! I'm climbing! Just like a REAL pony!"

Birthday Boy

Sacha turned 7 on Sunday. We spent the morning with a pancake breakfast and shopping for a birthday present from Grandad.  We stuck out at Toys R Us (kind of, Santa headed back there later in the day).  We did find the perfect present at the Lego store - Sacha wanted a set with a scuba diver - and luckily they had one left in the back.  He got to pick a special dinner too and we went to Red Robin because they sing to you, which he was totally excited about until he remembered how embarrassed he gets when in the spot light. The ice cream sundae helped. 

I set his party for Monday because Andrew gets Mondays off and everyone gets so busy on weekends before Christmas. It was a minecraft themed party and was lots of fun. 

His cake was fun to make even though I'm not great with straight lines. Minecraft is all about straight lines.  The kids loved the jello water the best. 

Sweets by Cassie made custom cookies for us. They turned out so well, as always. I also made TNT out of mentos rolls wrapped in red paper.  Andrew did a TNT demonstration with mentos and Diet Coke. That was definitely a highlight for Alice. 

I made creeper targets and marshmallow shooters but I don't think anyone actually aimed at the targets, it turned into an all out battle. The clubhouse was covered in marshmallows and pompoms. They were absolutely everywhere but the kids were great and helped clean up. It was a lot of fun.