Saturday, July 21, 2012

Knee-High Perspective

Keaton's latest favourite past time is taking pictures with my phone.

What I find most interesting is his perspective.  Either in what he finds important to take pictures of, or how he takes the pictures.

All of this leads me to ask this very important question:  do all almost-four-year-olds live in a virtually headless world?

This question makes me want to write excellent poetry.  Please don't tell my old English teacher,  He might go back and change my marks.  It would be so sad to fail Language Arts after all of these years.

A Day in the Life of a Keaton

This is my Dad.  He's making drinks
For he and Mom so's they can thinks
He goes to work, I give him hugs
He saves me from the spider-bugs

 This is  my Mom, She's by the sink
She makes me bath so I don't stink.
That garbage can's at my nose height.
Mom, make IT bath, it smells a fright!

 This is a top that I just found
When I spin it, it goes round
And round and round and round and round
And round and round and round and round
I've found my calling, now, right here!
I'll take spinning pics all year
I'll take a hundred pictures here
My Mom will like them, have no fear.
Oops! Here she comes, I'd better stop
Taking pics of spinning tops!
 Now I'm at a playground see? 
My headless brothers play with me
 There's lots of pavement
And some dirt
My brother has an awesome shirt

 And here's his shadow and his feet

 This pavement splotch is really neat
 Now we're back home. Look what I found
My stuffy Miga, on the ground
And here is Sumi, right by he
They both have heads smaller than me.
 And that is it, my day is done
Thanks for the phone Mom, that was fun

Friday, July 20, 2012

Family Matters - on Waiting

I love writing for Family Matters!  Sometimes it takes what seems like forever for my thoughts to come together to send to them, but it's always a treat and an honour to write for them.

Here is an excerpt from what I wrote this month - I'd love to hear what you think!

It has been said that some people were born with a silver spoon in their mouth, and while that may or may not be true, it could be argued that I was born holding a microphone.
At the very least it should be no surprise that in my heart God has placed a few dreams and questions about what I would do with that love of living life out loud and in front. Some of these have been ruminating for almost 20 years, waiting for an answer.
20 years is a long time to wait for anything. It’s especially long to wait and have a great attitude about it.  So before I move on I feel compelled to confess that I am not the world’s best wait-er.  Waiting might have once or twice made me a little cranky.  So while on one hand I will admit now that the waiting has been positive ...Click to read more!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Just Call Me "Tips"

Today we embraced the glorious sunshine and headed to one of our favourite haunts: Stanley Park.

We were one of the many who headed for the coastal gem in a sun drenched euphoria.   It was totally worth the trip.  There are few places as breathtaking as our fair city on a gorgeous summer's day.

We got there just after breaky enjoyed a leisurely cruise: some of us by foot, some scooting (scootering?) and one strollering (or is it strolling? My conjugation on modes of transportation certainly could use some work) around the sea wall.

Before we started our trifecta of transportation around this famous wall, we stopped at Prospect Point.  It's where all the magic began 19 years ago when two star-crossed children began dating after a fateful band trip to the Variety Club Telethon followed by a bus ride through the park. Buses and band cheesy, but a good thing nonetheless.  Prospect Point is also where Josh proposed a little more than 17 years ago.  I like that place, though it's been years since we stopped there.

The kids we awestruck at the magnitude of our love and begged us to please take their pictures in that same spot.  Or not.  Believe what you want.
All kinds of awesome in this picture.

We've hardly aged.  Or - my age has more than doubled.  Believe what you want.

While we were out today I made some observations that I'm quite sure should be preserved for prosperity's sake.  Keep in mind, these were not just one-off observations.  These were things I noticed enough times it was worth mentioning here.  Feel free to bookmark this page and refer to it often when thinking about any of the following:  tattoos, technology, and transportation.

1) Moms (and Dad's too, I suppose): getting a calf-sized tattoo of the faces of each of your children is a mistake. It just is.

I know you love your kids.  They might even be really cute when they are 3 and 5, but just don't do it. Think of how embarrassed your kids will be 10 years from now.  Or think of what your legs are going to look like 30 years from now.  Your kids will look like saggy trolls or shrunken heads - and what if you forget to shave for a few weeks? That's not a memory you want to preserve.

Maybe I didn't see this one a bunch of times today, but I'm pretty sure you'll thank me later for this excellent advice.

2) When you are at a playground full of kids who are playing don't look so irritated with all of the random kids who are running around actually playing on the playground equipment while you try and get an amazing photo to share with everyone on facebook to show what a magical life you lead.

Let your poor children play on the playground instead of shouting their name over and over trying to get that perfect shot all the while getting annoyed that your kids aren't happily looking at you and other kids are using the playground for the intended purpose of playing.  Instead, take a couple of candid shots that are actually candid, then put your fancy SLR camera away, save the picture taking for a different time and place,  and play with your kids. 

(Perhaps it's worth noting that the irritated types weren't irritated with my own progeny, so this isn't a case of sour grapes.  It's just me using my super-sleuth skills - over and over again with many different people engaging in this behaviour.)

3) When you are out and supposedly bonding and making memories with your kids - put your stupid (feel free to insert any stronger word you prefer) phone away!  You aren't actually doing what you think you're doing. You look like a loser - and that's mostly just because you're acting like one.  You're better than that.  You're kids deserve better than that.   Be all there, or don't bother. In fact - this is a good life rule when you are out and about with anyone, not just your kids.  The people you are with in the real world are more important than the people living in your phone. Just. Stop. It.

4) I really didn't see anything crazy in the transportation department. Although someone else might be blogging about the motley crew of transportation that was my family.  Who knows.  I just like the letter T.

The boys were inexplicably drawn to the compass, but I  only took a couple of crappy shots and then we laughed and played and made a macrame plant hanger.  We bonded for reals.  Some of this comment may be fabricated, but I for sure wasn't irritated with other kids and this wasn't on a playground, so we're cool.

Here's to real relationships and face-free tattoos!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Do Not Feed The Bears

While Josh and I were having coffee outside this morning, we had a little, or rather, large visitor at our backyard fence.

Perhaps it was the little cub of this visitor from last year.

I didn't bother to ask it, so I guess I'll never know for sure but  I realized a few things when I saw the bear this morning.

Bears are beautiful.  And they look totally approachable.  I feel about bears like Tony Stark feels about Dr. Banner.  I know the potential for rage and harm is huge, but  I kind of want to poke it and see what happens.

I was sort of irritated with our (otherwise very nice) backyard neighbours for not getting rid of their many bird feeders. They are a huge attraction for the lovely herbivorous creatures.  I have a bird feeder that sits sad and empty right now, but for the sake of everyone else in the neighborhood, I have to do without watching the chickadees, juncos and squirrels feeding and preening steps away from my own coffee perch.

I sort of feel like a jerk for being upset with my neighbours.  They are very nice.  I need to give them the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe they don't read the papers, or listen to local news about the multiple bear sightings and bear take-downs that have happened in the surrounding neighbourhoods. Maybe they haven't realized that we live on a mountain and share a habitat with wild animals.  Maybe.

On a somewhat related note, if I had a theme song for today, it would have been "I'm Grumpy and I Know It"  Some of the words (that I wrote myself, can you believe it, what talent!) go like this :

The morning sun is high, there's so much mess I want to cry
I'd much rather sleep, So don't make a peep, better only creep yeah
This is how I roll, yoga pants, hair outta control
Its your Ma with a big afro
And like a bear I'm gonna growl

Kids look out for Mommy
Kids look out for Mommy
Kids look out for Mommy
She freaks out

Bring me the coffee pot, cause I don't want no tea
Everybody run, don't you try and mess with me
I'm tired and I'm cranky and I ain't afraid to show it

I'm grumpy and I know it
I'm grumpy and I know it.

Can you picture the fantastic music video that would go along with this? Would that I had the skills to create it for you all!  My demise for your entertainment! Or am I the only Mom that has ever woken up feeling like this? 

It's all so dumb, really. Back to our show.

Part way through the day I realized that Do Not Feed the Bears might apply as much to me as to my neighbours.  I know it's kind of silly, to turn this into a life lesson, but honestly, I just rewrote a song I've never heard, save for the title. It's possible I excel at silly, so stick with me.

If my neighbours would all stop inadvertently feeding the bears, they (the bears, not my neighbours) would find elsewhere to go.  The big bad bears would leave the neighbourhood. 

I had been pouty, grumpy, and throwing a fantastic pity party for one the whole morning.  I was feeding the grouchy Mama bear, and then some. When this revelation about bear feeding hit me square between the eyes,  I decided promptly to stop feeding it.   I got my butt off the couch and wiped down a kitchen counter I had been glaring at with little success the whole morning.  I started to purposefully interact with my kids that I had hoped Netflix would help me avoid.  We cooked together.  We conquered the paper route together and made it fun.  

It was amazing how quickly choosing to change my actions led to a change in attitude.

It was, dare I say an imperfect, but very good day.

So in case you missed the point of this whole essay.  The lesson today was two-fold

1) Taking a song you know nothing about and rewriting the lyrics is a lot of fun.

2) Don't Feed the Bears.