Feb 27, 2010

Jude and...ummm...friends?

OMGOMG...it is touching me!




(Body language means everything. First you steal the toy, then you angle yourself away from the offending party...)

Oh, and since they are bigger now...the obligatory "Stacey and Mailis holding babies that are not our own" picture.

(I am as wide as a linebacker. Time to start running, or at the very least playing tackle football...ugh.)

Feb 24, 2010

Anyone lived in a pretty how town...

When I was first asked to do a post about my town for Blogtrotting, I was a little chagrined. I could not for the life of me think of what to write about this tiny village I call home. Yes, village. It's too small to even be considered a town. Population? 350.

Mhmm. You heard me.

After putting a lot of thought into it, (and a little research), I realized that my little village has a rich history. And while it might not seem like much now, it was a pretty bangin' place to live back in the day. Literally. But, I will get back to that.

First I would like to tell show you a little bit about the province of Manitoba, because it has a little bit of everything. White sand beaches, a desert, polar bears, prairies, panoramic skies, massive freshwater lakes, boreal forests, a little bit of (really COLD) ocean and its own little corner of the Great Canadian Shield.

Grand Beach, Manitoba.


You'd find these guys up near Churchill, Manitoba.

Hudson's Bay. Brrrr.


 A familiar sight around here.


The Spirit Sands. Carberry, Manitoba.

Westhawk Lake. Made by a meteor, deep as heck.

My little village is in the South East of Manitoba. It is situated near some very prime farm land, and plopped on top of a huge deposit of dolomite limestone.

That big red dot makes it look bigger than it is.

In fact, that limestone is the reason there is a village here at all. It's top grade, and has been used in the construction of buildings all over North America. If you live in Omaha, Nebraska...or Houston, Texas...or Butte, Montana, or Ottawa, Ontario (to name a few) there is a little bit of my home tucked into a building near you.

A long, long time ago, most of Manitoba was covered in a massive lake called Lake Agassiz.

The limestone (called Tyndall Stone because, though it was blasted out of the ground in Garson, it was shipped over to the town of Tyndall before it could make its way to bigger and better places) is what is left of all the little creatures that once swam around in said lake. And, the fossils are fabulous. I spent many a day fossil hunting as a child, and still look for them to this day. You would, too. They are everywhere.

Back in the main quarrying days, this place was boomin'. But, there isn't much to do in this village these days unless you like a) fossil hunting, b) going for long walks or c) eating. Garson boasts 2 service stations, a hotel watering hole, a post office, a small grocery store, a gas bar and a restaurant. The grocery store, post office, gas bar and restaurant are all in the same building. *grin*

If you ever do make it to my neck of the woods, be sure to check out The Harvest Moon Cafe, though. You won't be sorry. World renowned for its self described "sarcastic waitering" and amazing food (cooked by an array of stellar staff, headed by 5 star chef Andrew Strong), it's worth a visit. The atmosphere is second to none. I mean, where else could you find a 5 star restaurant with a "farmer table"? Yes,  you heard me. A farmer table. At which the farmers sit in boots and coveralls, eat their toast and jam, drink their coffee and talk of seeding while the people at the next table eat this:

or this:

It's wonderful, and truly unique. Make sure you thoroughly check out the decor, too. There are beautiful, hand carved masterpieces all over the walls made by Sheila Grycki (the restaurant owner herself) and a hand painted mural on the back wall. Clicky-clicky to enlarge.


And, whatever you do, don't anger the waitstaff. 

 C'mon. I dare you.

All in all, I know Garson doesn't seem like much, but it's home. People here stop and ask if you want a ride when they see you walking. And, they're not even creepers! There are deer and bears and bunnies in the back yard! Even if it IS cold enough to freeze a witch's tit here for 7 out of 12 months, there aren't really many places I would rather be.

Because there is this out the front window:

In the winter, everything is the same color.
And these, if you are willing to look more closely:


And, a whole lot of this:

What more could a girl ask for?

I hope you enjoyed your tour, blogtrotters. If you ever do find your way here, let me know and I'll take you fossil hunting. I know allll the best spots.

I leave you with this (because I've always loved it, and it seems fitting somehow):

anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn’t he danced his did.
Women and men (both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn’t they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain
children guessed (but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that no one loved him more by more
when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone’s any was all to her
someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then) they
said their nevers they slept their dream
stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)
one day anyone died i guess
(and no one stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was
all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
no one and anyone earth by april
with by spirit and if by yes.
Women and men (both dong and ding)
summer autumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain

Feb 22, 2010


 What is to be done for
the taciturn ghost who sneaks
through soundlessly
on its fingertips? Perhaps

it devours
memory; bends
time downward like a
fruit-laden branch
and feeds.

it dances behind closed
eyelids; or broods
under a porch light,
hands in its pockets.

When it departs, it dashes
out the window and to the
south at the speed
of never, its redshift
in tow like a
phoenix tail.

Does it mean harm? To
consume that which I hold
most dear and
leave me with
nothing but a
dream turned nightmare,
wrapped in apologies?

does it simply

Feb 21, 2010

This little boy...


is 4 months old.

There have been too many milestones between this month and the last that it would be impossible to list them all.

He now naps like a champ, can almost sit up on his own steam, eats (baby) oatmeal and rice and apples and carrots, jumps like a kangaroo in the jolly jumper, and can even stand alone for a few seconds (with arms encircling him, but only so he doesn't fall backward or to either side.)


His "talking" is changing, too. There are squeals (bptbptbptbrrrrrr-RRRAAAAAAAAHAAAA!!!) and long, meandering stories. He talks through meals and in the bathtub, and sometimes in his sleep.

He laughs more often, too...although he doesn't find many things funny, being a serious little man. His grandma is his "fun person" and I am his "snuggle person", so most of his giggles belong to grandma. :)


Books excite him and slow music makes him cry. He can hold his bottle and eat from it himself (but I am not willing to give up bottle time snuggles just yet, so he doesn't get much practice). He has found his toes and can almost get them to his mouth.

And, best of all, he has wiggle-wormed himself even deeper into my heart than he already was. If that is possible. In fact, I think my heart might burst.


Happy 4 months, beautiful boy. I love you. 

Feb 20, 2010


sock fuzz!!!



As mentioned before...

my charming, charming son:


is obsessed with his hands.


I don't know if he is teething, or if this is just a phase. His hands even trump his bottle.


Taking pictures of him these days is a challenge.  Just when you think those hands will be out of the way, you get a photograph of him insanely trying to GET at his hands.  I'm telling you. It's charming. Especially when you can see all the way down his throat and up his nostrils.


I hope this phase ends soon, because his smile is so precious.



(In looking at these pictures now, I am coming to the full realization of how much hair he has actually lost. I mean, I know he's been losing it. I find it on the bed, in my clothes, in the bathtub and in his mouth, but wow. That "Ernie" tuft on top is practically all he has left! Cute!)

Feb 18, 2010

5 More Things (which makes 10 today)

Oh-ho! That was some impressive math, there. I am so smart...ess emm  ar-tee.

(Seriously, though...that was pretty much the extent of my math skills)

1) I love feeding my baby. There could be nothing more relaxing, or satisfying. I may never do anything important...may never write that poetry book, or unify the forces...but my baby is fed, and flourishing.

We lay down to eat...me on my back and propped with pillows, and him snuggled on his side and cradled in my left arm. Ever since we stopped breastfeeding, it has been this way. I watch his lips pull at the bottle, smooth his hair and tell him he is doing a good job. Kiss his forehead and wrangle his crazy hands. Sometimes he pushes the bottle out of his mouth so he can stuff his hand in there. (He's an addict. All about the hands.) Sometimes he gently tugs at the hair on the back of his head, or twirls the tuft of hair he has on top. Sometimes he pulls mine, or grasps the bottle, or arranges his fist just so, so that he tricks himself into thinking he is sucking his thumb.

It's wonderful. It's peaceful. It's ours.

2) I also love burping my baby.

When the bottle is finished, or he decides he is finished, I roll him onto his tummy and pat his diaper-bum. Back patting doesn't work, but pat the bum and out come the most adorable little belches. This little ritual has not changed much, either...except he now lifts his head to look me in the eye. Grins, burps, and then grins again with a flirty eyebrow wiggle...as if to say: "Ooooh...did you smell that one, mommy? Heheh!".

I tell him that I am collecting burps, and I need a few more REALLLLLY big ones to round out the collection. He always complies, and has the grace to look surprised when the huge ones happen. "Oh, no-no...that did NOT come out of me!....did it?"

3) Jude has a girlfriend. She is 6 months old and can sit all by herself, which seems to have made an impression. After making strange with both her and her mother, he was able to slump beside her as she perkily sat munching a toy. She taught and he observed. She chewed and he chatted. She patted him, and he looked confused.

Oh, young love. The poor boy still doesn't know what hit him. He just knows it was blond, brown-eyed and apple-cheeked.

Pictures forthcoming.

4) So, the Olympics are a flop? I really need to actually sit down and watch some of it, or read the paper. It's like I live in a paper bag that smells of milk and that gel they put in diapers. A young man died trying to navigate the luge course (soooo awful)...and some equipment broke down (not the end of the world, fuck.) It is raining. (In Vancouver? NO SHIT!) The Canadians are dominating practice time. Letterman is upset because the Canadians are trying to win. Boo-hoo. Everyone else gets the upper hand on their home turf, and what are we supposed to do? I know we generally adopt the peacekeeper role, but seriously. We want gold. Who doesn't? I think Canadians as a nation NEED to start being assholes more often. If only for the sheer element of surprise.

So, it should be like this?

German skier: Ich möchte gewinnen.

Canadian skier: Oh yeah...sure. You go ahead. I'll wait until next time. No biggie. :)

What I have seen looked good. I mean, literally. The fog on the mountains. The sheer Canadian-ness of it all. The seemingly never ending parade of pink-cheeked athletes. It's nice (aside from that horrible luge incident and all the hoopla surrounding it...) and it feels like home.

5) He is not for the faint of heart, but if you can withstand black humor and black, hockey and Jesus being mashed together into one delightful phrase, go take a look at BHJ. I have linked to him before and will do it again.

His most recent post explores the blog world. Specifically, commenting on one blog so that people will come read yours. LOL. It's hysterical. I wish I'd thought of that. It's so underhand and self-serving, using one another like that. And little 'ol me just commenting because I like something.

It has potential. Hmmmm.

Excuse me while I go comment at Dooce.

5 Things

 1) In  three days, Jude will be 4 months old. I am having a hard time believing it. I must be in a time-warp, because it was just yesterday that I pushed him out...that I shuffled around in slippers at Walmart because my feet were too swollen for shoes...that I learned that love can so big it fills the universe and still spills over into oblivion. Things have changed so much since those first "getting to know you" days. Jude has found his toes, jumps in a Jolly Jumper, chats endlessly, laughs at the word "what?!" and takes his baths in the grownup bathtub. But, I don't know how it all happened. Part of me is still cradling that beautiful, slime-covered newborn, and I imagine that will never change even as everything else does.

2) 14 pounds and 26 inches long...50th and 75th percentile. Tall for his age. But, then...I knew that. When I carry him vertically, his legs hang down to my upper mid thigh. Horizontally, they bounce as I walk.

3) Right in the middle of writing #2, I got up to change a poopy diaper. How appropriate. Problem is, he wasn't finished...not by a long shot. It just kept coming, so I held the diaper under his bottom to catch it. I thought: "OK...we will get through this. No big deal..." and then, on his final push, he peed in his own face. At which point I realized that I should have just put the darned diaper back on. Poor little dude.

4) I urge you to visit this blog:

Sarah is turning her blog into a read-o-palooza to promote literacy. If you have a child, or know a child, or simply LOVE books written for children, head on over. She will be reviewing a book a week and there will be giveaways. Did that convince you? Yeah? Ok then, stop reading my lame-ass blog and get your butt over there. :)

5) Who am I kidding? Nobody reads this blog, anyway. LOL. Sorry Sarah...there will not be much traffic from my neck of the woods, but I deserve an A for effort. Facebook is likely a better option. ;)

Feb 12, 2010


When I was little, I went barefoot.

I rode my bike with friends until dusk, played jump rope on the street and caught minnows at a local pond. I had play clothes, and scraped knees...got dirty and stinky and messy.

I was a kid. And so were all the other kids. Summer evenings were kid paradise. Everyone was out in their yard, and as the evening progressed, the mingling would begin. If you didn't happen to be outside, kids would come to the door and ask your parents if you could go out to play. Handstands in the yard. Cartwheels. Lightning bugs in jars.

These days, kids play video games, chat on the computer and talk on their cellphones. If they have time, that is...between all of their extra-curricular activities. Ballet, soccer, piano, language classes, gymnastics and tutoring.

Free range kids are scarce. Summer is a hushed affair because the kids are all at swimming, or hockey camp. Preparing their portfolios for who the hell knows what. Organizing the contacts on their Blackberries.

It is the age of the hyper-parent...parents that circle over their children like blackhawk helicopters, bent on giving their offspring everything they didn't have themselves. 4 year old children are playing soccer in competitive leagues and going to tutoring so that they can get into private school. 10 year old children are writing the cover letters for their Harvard applications. Some of the parental pioneers of this phenomenon are even calling their bright, shiny offspring's boss to complain about salary, or a bad performance review.

Children no longer seem to play outside unless they are with their parents...on a guided, educational bike tour of the neighborhood.

It's sad.

Now, I will admit that I plan to do flashcards with Jude to give him a good basis in reading and spelling. I would also like to try signing, even though he already has a very effective way of communicating exactly what he wants.

But, if he fails, he fails. I don't care what school he gets into, or whether he is smarter or better than the other children his age. His childhood will not be a competition, or a race. He will have play clothes, climb trees and get dirty. Extra curricular activities will be his choice, not mine...and they will not be based on where they will get him in the future. Only on how much fun he will have doing them.

Sure, he will likely be in the band at school...and if he is anything like me, he will join every choir possible and secretly hope for singing lessons. So be it.

Jude will be Jude...not my version of Jude.


 How could this child be anything short of amazing? How could any child?

Feb 10, 2010

And...More Happy Tinged With Sad...

These videos are done by the same people that created the previous Blue October video. I am in love...

Mika "Rain" PMS from PrettyMonkeyStudio on Vimeo.

Mika "Toy Boy" PMS from PrettyMonkeyStudio on Vimeo.
Oh, this just made me so happy.

Blue October "Jumprope" PMS from PrettyMonkeyStudio on Vimeo.

(and it made me cry, too...)

Feb 6, 2010

Did you know...

that there are people out there who actually believe the earth is flat?


I guess people can believe in anything if given evidence to suit their own needs. Even if it is completely illogical.

I believe in magic and ghosts, telepathy and empathy because those things are simply...part of my belief system. God, I am not so sure of. If God is, in actuality, the universe...I just might buy it. Either way, I would love to have a conversation with Him/Her/It. To be convinced. Or, at the very least, to enjoy a unique experience.

It's funny, though...the sheer diversity out there. There is probably someone out there who believes that he or she could turn in a circle three times, burp twice, and then pop into the next dimension as a 2D Marilyn Monroe.

All the power to them, I say.

 Whatever floats your balloon. :)

If you want more info on the Flat Earth Society, here you go. 

Flat Earth Society