Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sweet Rain.

We've had so much rain this spring that I am no longer planning my days with the kids according to weather. Now we just go outside in the rain. Not that we were ever adverse to it anyway, but Check Spellingnow we are going for it with more gusto. Yesterday we went for a nice walk in the afternoon while Karina slept in the BOB beneath the weather shield. It poured. This afternoon we walked along the boardwalk at Westminster Quay. It rained lightly, but it was not cold, it was nice. This evening I took the kids over to the soccer field. We had a ray of sunlight. Karina had her walker, Jonas had his soccer ball and we were all wearing hats, fleece jackets and the kids had their thick pants on and I had my long shorts. It was so much fun, we kicked off our shoes and then it began to rain and we played out there for another 30 minutes. It didn't faze the kids and it felt so good on my bare feet. I have decided that this is the summer of bare feet and from what I have been reading, Jonas's feet will get stronger and begin to build an arch.

Jonas has never really been into movies until recently. His favourites are CARS, A Bug's Life and Up. He has seen mostly all of the IMAX films at Science World. Recently I borrowed Jordie's DVD with a bunch of old school Walt Disney films which I thought Jonas might enjoy. After I put Karina to bed last night we watched Bambi together. Seriously, I was so stoked to watch it again. Talk about reliving my childhood! I used to have the record of BAMBI and listened to it many times. Nothing compares to these old cartoons with the incredible scores - the music is so powerful! I swear, Jonas had a huge smile throughout the entire Bambi movie. He was enthralled. It was a late night but very sweet and memorable. This is what makes being a mom so awesome. These little moments.

Jordan will be back from Haida Gwaii in a week. Jonas wants to make a cake to celebrate him coming home. Last year he wanted to make a cake when Jordan was in a baseball tournament - he really wants to make the same one for his dad. We have all been on Skype a few times together which gets the kids super excited - but the connection is bad so we don't spend too much time on there. Of course I am a little jealous that Jordan gets to be away in the adult world, but I must say I have appreciated this time with the kids and on my own. Jonas had a great time on the Island with his family. I feel more confident to be solo with the kids which is important for me. I find I am out socially abit more without Jordan around, so it has been satisfying that way. Our nanny had to work for someone else for the past week which has worked out just fine. I will move along with my course work once Jordan gets back and we are in a different routine again. Flying solo is indeed tough and if I had to do so, I would be fine, but I would not get as much accomplished for myself and would simply remain in a state of basic survival while the kids were young.

I recently found out that I would probably not be granted hospital privileges if I were to become a midwife who lived on a remote island. It was quite the shock. I still need more information, but it was a huge blow for me that forced me to look even deeper into my career and the choices I am making and their impact on myself and my family. I feel as if I have been offered so much choice in life, so much freedom and I am fortunate enough to really be able to delve deeply into what is working for me and this most gratifying life path. I feel fortunate enough to know that a granite counter top won't do it for me nor will any other material wealth which enslaves me to work, life or debt. What I do know is I love family, adventure, quality friends, travel, academia/education, volunteer work, simplicity, freedom, nature and the unknown. I feel fortunate in my freedom to choose the life I have always loved, to make clear decisions that have lead me on this path where I find myself fullfilled to the core. With all that I am interested in, what I hold dear and knowing what I can do without, I find myself closer to the work I am most passionate about. And life continues to unfold...

Friday, April 29, 2011

Jonas on Quadra

Here's the big guy at our house on Quadra Island. He is helping Grandpa Jerry put some new pipes underground. Last year some hugs trees fell on our proerpty and squished some pipes. We never knew about these squished pipes until there was a fload in our basement due to the back up of water. So thankful to have someone nearby to put the new pipes in while we are away.
Sounds like Jonas has been working on the property, throwing rocks at the beach, going for walks, going out for dinner, building marble towers, watching volcano and dinosaur movies and playing with cousins. Such a lucky boy to have such a beautiful place to visit!

Jonas on the ferry ride to Quadra.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Just the Girls!

Jordan is now off in Haida Gwaii for 3 weeks assisting with a graduate forestry course. He went two years ago as a student in the class. Jonas went over to the Island with Grandma J and Opa after the Easter weekend. They came to celebrate with us, though much of the time was quite stressful due to abit of a family crisis from afar. Now things have settled somewhat and Jonas is totally excited to be on the Island. He loves it so much over there and he loves being with his family. Its just Karina and I and life has become quiet and easy. I am used to more action and it almost seems a little too mellow at the moment. Will be happy to have Jonas come home in a few days and of course his dad in a couple of weeks.

Spring has been rainy with abit of sun but quite cool. I really begin to miss the Island and our house in the spring. Nothing compares to Island living in the summer. We have a garden that's the size of our current apartment. Its surrounded by fishnet and driftwood fence and inside there are blueberry bushes, herbs, places for veggies, raspberries and a strawberry patch. I spent a lot of time trying to make the soil as rich as possible. I must say I do love it up here on Burnaby Mnt as well - surrounded by forest and wicked views of the ocean and Mnts - I love running along the forest around the university, the views are stunning. I actually feel quite torn between our 2 homes. On the one hand we have a great community here in Vancouver. Lots of friends, lots in common. Lots to do, stimulating. We walk everywhere which feels really good. Living in such close proximity to people and having such a small space to live does have many positive attributes such as lots of interaction with other adults which is nice when you have small children. Its never any effort at all to go for a visit, share tea, borrow something etc.. We often go to Science World, Aquarium, Lonsdale Quay etc... We have also been doing alot of bike riding on the top of our mountain. Karina likes riding behind me on my bike and watching her brother on the back of her dads bike. Eventually we will be leaving campus which all depends on where I start fulltime school. Whether I am at UBC or in Washington, we will move to a bigger place as close to my school as possible. With Jordan doing his PhD, we can be flexible and live anywhere.

As several friends in our community are nearing graduation, the question of where to move, where to work is an all too often topic of conversation. If I let myself think about it too much I start feeling a little stressed as to where I will get in and where we will be living next year. This particular conversation is an old one and what I really need to do is put these thoughts away and move on until I actually do know where we are headed.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Come on Sun!

I think its time we get a good stretch of pure sun. We have had little glimpses here and there for so long now; I am wanting a week, minimum, right now!

Now that I am able to spend two days a week on my course work and really focus on getting more clients, I feel more balanced. When I can be home with the kids, then work a little and do schoolwork, life is good! It doesn't seem like a big deal, but it is for me.

Karina just got another tooth. She has been so sore for a while now. She has been eating alot of frozen berries which seem to be giving her the most relief. We went out yesterday to get her a new sleep sack and then over to the North Vancouver MEC and then to a farm market - every time we left a store she yelled out a huge Baaayyyy with a big wave which left many people laughing. It was so cute. She is really good with the B words. She has also begun drawing which is fun to watch - she loves Jonas's magnetic drawing board. She is also totally obsessed with her Baby Boo book which Jonas also loved. She tries to get me to read it over and over again and is so upset when I stop. If I put the book away, she will go and get it off the shelf. I am trying to think of all the sweet little moments we have each day. She loves the palm of her hand tickled and she will often do it herself. She is also very curious about her mouth and nose and I will often find her with her hand in her mouth, almost gagging as she tries to grab her tongue or she will have her finger deep in her nose. Jonas never did this - but she is definitely more of an explorer than Jonas at this age. Oh and before I forget, the sweetest thing she does while I read Baby Boo, is when I say 'Kiss Kiss, I love you', she kisses the palm of her hand and blows me a kiss. Where did she learn this? And then I remembered that her Grandma Janet taught her how to blow kisses a few weeks ago, but I didn't know she had learned to do it herself or that she would even remember! But here she is, blowing me her sweet little kisses!!!!


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Happy First Birthday Karina!

We celebrated very simply with cake then dinner. Just the 4 of us. Karina was perfectly happy with her brother blowing out the candle and watching everyone eat cake. She threw hers on the floor. She found it interesting to play with but wasn't keen on the texture I guess. It was a lemon cake. She probably would have loved just plain whipped cream or something a little lighter.

I can't believe our little baby girl is 1. The year has gone by so quickly (of course) and its been quite the transformation for our little family. Thank goodness we had another baby! Thank goodness Karina and Jonas have each other! My heart is bursting with happiness when I sit back and watch the two play together. They have their own way of communicating and they are so amazingly close its like they have known each other forever. Karina is so upset when Jonas leaves without her; when he goes with his dad on a special outing or when he goes to school. She yells and screams as he leaves. Jonas is never happier than seeing his little sisters face first thing in the morning. He is such a slow boy when waking up and can easily turn very cranky and upset if pushed to get up too quickly. But if Karina is nearby and makes her way to him, he has the biggest smile. She has been such a serious little baby and never did like to be held by anyone besides mom or dad. She will go up to others on her own, but will become upset if anyone moves in and tries to hold her. So very different from Jonas yet they get along so well. He usually includes her in his play, whether it be playing store or ball he always has a role for her. Actually, there are times when he doesn't want her around when he is building something intricate and she just wants to get right in and pull whatever it is apart. This also works out fine because Karina is really independent in her own play and can keep herself entertained for long periods of time.

Karina looks just like me when I was a baby and toddler. She might have wavier hair, but she has lots of it just like me and it is quickly going from totally dark to quite light, as mine did. According to my baby book, I was a few pounds lighter but I think we were about the same length. I will have to check on that. She is very compact and solid. She has huge cheeks just like I did. They last forever! haha.

We have had some changes over the past month. I knew that it was coming close to the time where Karina would begin 'school' a couple of times a week at the SFU childcare center. The teachers and centers are excellent up here but I knew it wouldn't be in the best interest for Karina to be in daycare considering how she is still not very interested in being with anyone but her mom and dad or Jonas. Such a completely different experience compared to Jonas - he was more than ready to be out with other adults at a very young age. He began daycare at around a year and eight months for 3 days a week and totally thrived. I had felt that he needed the external stimulation and that I couldn't provide everything he needed to really be fulfilled. When Karina was born we moved him up to 4 days a week. I never felt so great about that because I felt it was too much for him, but really, he has wonderful friends, and it was a healthy thing for me and Karina. So the alternative has been to find a nanny, which was easy to do in our city. I had so many people interested in the position that I decided to really narrow my search down to hiring someone with ECE certificate. We found a wonderful woman with lots of experience who is also in school to become an elementary school teacher. We have just spent three weeks slowly easing Karina into this new situation and its been really great. Jonas is now in SFU Childcare 2 days a week and our nanny is here for another 2 days a week with both kids. Everyone really does win in this situation. Karina learns to trust and form a relationship with another adult while getting to be close to her big bro, Jonas gets to be at home with his little sis and also gets some one on one with another adult; I get to work on my course and meet with potential clients and of course Jordan has a happier wife and the security of knowing both the kids are being well taken care of. We are so lucky to be able to make this situation work for us. Daycare is great for some kids but definitely not for all. Jonas has stayed in for two days a week because he looks forward to all of the activities and friends he gets to see. Karina can start when she is ready. I am a better mother when I am able to work outside the home part time. I don't do so well being an all the time stay at home mom. The first year with baby is great, but I need other stimulation after that point. I am so happy with the community I am involved with right now and all the birth work that I am doing. It is just so progressive here and there is so much opportunity for experience. I finally created a website for myself and published it before a final polishing, but I was just too excited and I was getting abit burnt out trying to work at it at night while the kids were sleeping. Its up and running and not perfect, but thats ok for now. Although we have a nanny and daycare, it still feels as if Jordan is at home so much. This is why we chose to live at the university - I guess it really was always in the plans. Even when we decided to build our Island house, we both decided to move away to continue our education and start our family at the same time. The environment here is so rich and our lives our so full, we wanted our kids to experience this life as well. Jordan is busy with research and lecturing yet he still seems to be at home and available most of the time. It has worked out well. We both agree that its not about the money you make and the stuff you buy, its about the time you spend together as a family. We each have our separate work and we feel that that is what makes our lives together so much more rich. We are fortuante enough to only have one car, we don't commute and we walk almost everywhere. Public transit is simple and usually more convenient. We have a new car and that was because we needed something we could rely on, especially with my work and the hours I am driving at. Women usually give birth at night and when a woman needs me, I need to get to her quickly.

I may start a more work related blog soonish. I find myself drawn more to maternity blogs lately than the mothering ones I was once drawn to. We'll see. I have also been reading alot of minimalist style blogs as well - most notably the Minimalist Mom blog located on my side panel blogroll. Its a new interest of mine over the past year. And of course the Gloria Lemay blog which I wish had more blogs lately - but I have been taking her Midwifery course which has been alot of fun while being at home!

Karina is now sound asleep. She has been night weaned for a few months now and sleeps easily through the night. Her crib is next to our bed and I am so happy with this arrangement. By child #2, I must say I was happy to have my bed with my man back sooner than with #1. Karina, being so different from Jonas, seemed just fine to have her own crib and space to herself to flop around. Such different children....funny how you can see the differences in personality by the way they breastfeed and sleep.

The boys are at the movies. We asked Jonas to have a nap and if he did, he would get to go to the movies. He has only been to one other movie and then a whole bunch of the Imax ones at Science World. He fell asleep in the first minutes of The Hubble a few weeks ago at the Imax. So this afternoon, he finally fell asleep while listening to an audio story and staring at his fort. Both kids napped, Jordan folded laundry and watched basketball and I got to do some reading for my course. How nice is that??

I will post again soon with some pics of the little darlings.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Island Boy

Pics of Jonas during his first two years - taken at our house on Quadra Island....

Birth Day Eve

Jonas will be 4 when he wakes up tomorrow.

4 years ago tonight I was in labour for the first time and I can still feel the excitement and giddiness of it all. How safe and cared for I felt in those hours leading up to Jonas's arrival.

Back labour, in childs pose, for hours and hours at Grandma Janet's house - first in the spare room, then her bedroom and finally her bathroom. I will forever remember driving myself to the ferry, sipping tea and chatting between contractions with Janet and waiting for Jordan to come back from falling. He must have been so tired at the end. Actually maybe he was just doing some survey work in the forest that day. Regardless, I had left a note for him that I would be heading into town because I was in labour!

It all went by so quickly and then Jonas arrived with his calm little body and the owl noises he made when he looked up at us and those first moment he came out - I was sitting on Jordans lap as he came out and when he was immediately brought up to us, we both laughed so hard and I don't know how often that happens just moments after birth, but Jordan's parents were waiting downstairs and they said they could hear us laughing.

And after some ohhing and ahhing Jordan had to hold Jonas because I bled a little too much and was soon whisked off to the hospital for observation although I was stable before I even left the house. Better to be safe. Luckily Jonas was snuggled in nice and close for all of the transport.

I guess I am a little nostalgic tonight. Right now, Jordan is putting Jonas to bed, Karina already sleeping since 7PM and I am baking mini vanilla and pumpkin/choco cupcakes for Jonas's classmates for tomorrow and also a little cake for our dinner with Uncle Soren and Andrea tomorrow evening. He will have his party at the Gymnastics club on the weekend. Lots of fun!

Friday, February 4, 2011

10 Months

Time, as always, has flown by. No longer a baby, but a toddling toddler, Karina is on the brink of walking. She stands on her own and shuffles from our arms to the couch to the chairs. She is such a joy to have around. I love having both a boy and girl - such a balance of energies! Karina has this beautiful voice that we all really enjoy when she hums and sings. The only 'class' we have really stayed with over the past 2.5 years has been the Music Together program. Its really fun for all of us and the CD's we receive are quite good. Its right here at our UniverCity community on Burnaby Mnt and we gather with 10 other families with kids between the ages of a few months to 4 years old and we sing, dance and play instruments. We have had the same teacher since the beginning and we just love her. Jonas is beginning to lose interest but Karina LOVES the class. She is so vocal whereas Jonas was much more into the instruments and movements.

We night weaned Karina a month ago and she easily began sleeping through the night consistently. It was such a necessary change for all of us and we all benefit ted with the extra sleep and energy. But then the kids got colds and Karina had a cough and 2 more teeth popped out and I chose to nurse Karina throughout the night because she had began waking up again. There was no way I was going to deny her the comfort and nutrients she so badly needed during those weeks. Her food intake almost totally ceased so we got into a new routine of frequent nursings. So now we are back at square one and she wakes up all night to nurse. Of course I knew this would happen but its all part of being a mother with a young toddler and for me this is what is right. I also know that there are always so many set backs and I am sure this sleep regression will happen again and again. Mothering takes time and all too quickly Karina will be in her own room and no longer so close to us. It all happens so fast and I am holding close this precious time with Karina because this precious time changes far too quickly.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Winter Photos from Christmas

Jordan and Karina

Jonas and I dug the car out of the snow

The awesome view of Mnt Washington from our place

Friday, January 7, 2011


Sleep is a common topic among parents of young children. We wonder if our children are getting enough; if we are getting enough.

Sleep was so much easier with only one child. Jonas slept with us and nursed all night until he was 1.5 years. It worked out just fine. We bonded so strongly and I slept so sweetly in our bed. I napped once a day with Jonas in his 'bedroom' on his floor bed. Then at night we all slept upstairs in the loft in our bedroom. When we moved to Vancouver we started Jonas in his own room with his floor bed and the transition was seamless. Except that he still nursed a few times through the night, which meant that I went in after midnight and fell asleep with him. When Jonas was 2 we finally night weaned him - his dad took over bedtimes and he began sleeping right through the night within a week. Since then Grandma J bought him a special 'big boy' bed which he was so proud of and he has slept in ever since. He is an excellent sleeper and I wouldn't have changed a thing! I would never trade our sleeping and snuggling together for the first years of his life - nor would Jordan! Jonas eventually self weaned at just over 2.5 years and by this time I was pregnant and was not very comfortable nursing so it was somewhat mutual. Since our night weaning Jonas has slept well through the night. The usual routine for the past year has been bath, snack, perhaps a cartoon and then brush teeth, pajamas and then 2 books if he has been a good boy. Less or none if he misbehaves. Jordan or I then turns out the light and lay next to him. Usually he will chat for abit and we will visit for a few minutes in the dark and then we say its time to sleep and goodnight. We lay with him for a few minutes to half an hour sometimes and when he is asleep we sneak away. He loves to sleep in until 7:30ish. Recently, I am questioning, though, whether his 8:30/9:00 bedtime is too late. Perhaps more about that another time.

Now that we have our second child and yet another personality in our family, we have made a shift in our sleeping patterns. Karina is not so into the whole nursing and sucking for self comfort - she is somewhat, but nothing like Jonas who LOVED to fall asleep on the breast. She is busier with other things on her mind, such as being close to Jonas and watching his every move. For a few months I even had to wear one of those nursing shawls around me in order to get her to stay on the breast and nurse. Otherwise she was pulling off at every few sucks to check out the scene around her. If anything, those shawls draw more public attention to the nursing mother than just a low profile casual bf session. I definitely felt on display when I had to hang the shawl around my body and keep peeking through the hole to look and play with Karina while she fed.

Karina has also slept with us since she was born because it was natural and easy. The nursing, snuggling and loving was the continuation of the bond we created when she was conceived. The hours spent sleeping together and getting woken up to Karina's quick breaths and little purrs against my body are embedded in my mind forever. And we always reasoned that this short time shared with our babies would be part of the building blocks of their lives and relationship with us. Both Jordan and I have deeply valued this time with both Karina and Jonas. When I think about the timeline of my life, this particular time with small children is so very short and I want to do everything I can to be present and still and enjoy its simplicity and innocence. Soon enough the kids will begin to have their own independent lives and the slow separation from us will ensue and I hope to look back on their babyhood and the beginning of our family with fond memories.

Which brings me to the present. As a mother of 2 children with coursework and volunteer work, I need more energy and no longer have the time to nap like I did with just Jonas. Last month I finally realized how tired I had become - my attitude was going downhill fast, I got sick, I felt frustrated frequently and I was becoming quite foggy mentally. Also, I was missing Jordan big time. Although he was physically nearby much of the time, we were both too busy or too tired to be together. Going hard from dusk till dawn and then drop to sleep in total exhaustion is what life felt like in Nov and Dec.

We decided to make some big changes beginning in Jan. Together, we decided to begin using the crib as a bed for Karina and not a play area. Also we decided to night wean. Intuitively I knew it was the right time and it had to be done for the greater good of the family. On Sunday night I slept on the pull out couch in the family room. I gave Karina a nursing at 8:00 and then another at midnight and then again first thing in the morning at 6AM. Jordan went to her everytime she woke up and he rocked her back to sleep. Its now Friday and although she still wakes up through the night, she no longer nurses. Once at bedtime and then again at 6AM when she wakes up for the day. At that point Jordan gets to sleep in until 9 or 10AM and I am with the kids in the morning. For the next part of the plan, we will need to encourage Karina to be able to soothe herself back to sleep without depending on Dad to rock her. I think we will start that on Sunday night. I am hoping that she will learn quickly and that night wakings will stop.

I am feeling better as the days go on and I have the nights to myself. I have not had more than a 4 or 5 hour stretch of sleep myself as I am so accustomed to waking up at night, but even with these short (long to me!) stretches I am feeling much better. I highly doubt any parent of a young child ever sleeps through the night. Often I go into Jonas's room at 3AM to turn him 180 degrees and put his blanket back on. I know other friends who get up to take their 4 year old to the bathroom each night - its just part of being a parent and its normal not to get the sleep you had before becoming a parent! I know that eventually I will catch up and sleep as much as I need!

For now, its about being a well balanced person, my emphasis being: health, happiness and engagement. As a woman and mother I will strive to hold close all that gives me true health, true happiness and true engagement and now I will truly let go of all the rest. Now I welcome 2011!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Karina - 9 Months

The past months have flown by at lightening speed. So quickly has time passed and I am more than a little guilty for not having kept up at this blog as I did with Jonas. I know that Grandma Janet has always checked daily for new pictures or new firsts with Karina. I will try to post more in this New Year!

We just spent the past 3 weeks on the Island in a whirlwind visit that kept me on my toes. Karina is so very busy. She crawls everywhere and surfs all the furniture - she even lets go and stands on her own without much notice. She eats anything except egg yolk which she kind of gags on. I have not been careful with what I have fed her and she has eaten mostly everything we eat - ground up in the little mill (minus all sweets). Yesterday she had banana, toast and applesauce for breakfast, curried tofu for lunch and ground pizza and avocado for dinner - with snack between of course and a few nursings at napttimes. I have not paid too much attention to any sort of sleep schedule with Karina, but lately she seems to nap only twice a day - noonish and then again around 3 or 4. She is asleep by 8:30 and up by 7ish. She sleeps mainly with us and nurses throughout the night. I am not so sure how many times as I am usually sleeping! I am tired, however, and am making more of an effort to have her sleep in her crib next to our bed. We plan to begin night weaning next week so that I can get a better quality sleep at night. I need it and she is more than old enough to not need to be snacking all night! It will be hard not to sleep next to her all night as I love love love sleeping next to her as I did Jonas.

Christmas was wonderful for all of us but a little crazy as well. I was totally exhausted much of the time but it was so worth it to see all the family and also have the children spend time with their extended family. Karina has some very strong stranger anxiety so would not really go with anyone else besides Jordan or I for most of the trip. She spent time with my sister and was okay with her unless I was in the room or she could hear my voice. She also seemed okay with Jordan's brother, briefly. Other than that she was pretty much glued to her mom or dad or crawling around getting into mischief.

Every time I go to the Island I always have the intention of getting out and visiting people I met during my time there. And every time I feel rushed and busy and exhausted trying to just take care of the kids and be with family. This trip was no exception and I never did get the chance to visit with any friends. I think the closest Jordan got to visiting a friend was when our Quadra house had a basement flood and a friend came to help! Our basement flooded while we were in town and we discovered through Jerry's intuition and digging that one of our drain pipes had been flattened when a tree fell on it last year. Thank goodness he discovered it quickly!

We are now home and I am catching up on sleep and we are getting back into our routine. Its so nice to be home in our little apartment, where everything is within arms reach and so very easy to live in.

Surprisingly, the homecoming event that put the biggest smile on my face and gave me the biggest sigh of relief was being over at our friends apartment on the 3rd floor the other evening for freshly baked pizza and watching them juggle their two kids. Thanks to Jordie and Casey I realized that we are not alone in this crazy parenting world. And then again this morning at a communal brunch with the chaos of kids and yummy food, it felt wonderful to be with friends and we discussed our kids and how the world is so different than when we were young and how parenting is so different as well! We discipline in such a different way than many of our parents did and although our way may be more time consuming and difficult, we hope that the outcomes will lead to grown adults who are open, loving, empathetic, positive, resilient etc...we can only do our best.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


A month late but I finally made it! Here are some photos of Halloween and I know a certain someone has been waiting ever so patiently for these! So very sorry. I have endlessly been tying up loose ends these past couple of day and I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. As of Dec 11th I am hoping to find myself caught up, organized and ready to go and see all of our family on the Island!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Playing Catch Up

Here are some photos from early Oct up at SFU. It was so warm and beautiful that we spent many days going for walks, bike riding and playing in the yard. Its hard to believe that 6 weeks later we are walking around in snow! I cannot believe how fast the Fall has flown by. Thanksgiving on Quadra Island with the entire family and then Halloween on campus. Life is truly great but there is not alot of room for any down time which isn't too healthy! The kids have taken turns getting really sick. Last weekend it was Jonas and now it is Karina. At the moment I am feeling very frustrated with the many things pressing on me and not having the ability to get anything done. It is 4 PM and I am still in pajamas with a sick child and trying desperately to 'catch up' on a week of unanswered emails and a million other things. Perhaps we are too ambitious to have so much going on in our lives. But then again maybe another day I will feel on top of the world again for this is truly a very tough moment. Baby crying and must get back to her....more pictures another time.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

looking at photos of when Jonas was 6 months...

taking a break while on our downtown adventure

the infamous BOB stroller is packed full and carrying both kids


Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday Morning....

These days, I enjoy my Monday mornings. Its when we all get back to a steady rhythm and schedule that allows me my room and space to return emails, play with Karina, plan meals and even do a little school work. Its just Karina and I so its usually fairly mellow. Not so relaxing if I actually have stuff to accomplish because it always seems that if I have high expectations of accomplishment for the day then Karina seems to become more of a handful and everything gets hectic. I know that if I come into the day with an open mind with what I will be able to 'get done', then I am always happy with the outcome - even if its just a blog and a healthy dinner and of course a happy baby!

By Friday, I am happy for the weekend and for all of us to be together. On Sat we went on a fun but exhausting (I have a bad cold) urban trek. We took the skytrain from SFU to downtown and walked over to Gastown where we checked out the trains, old steam clock and met a friend for lunch. Then we walked over to a newly revamped park along the water where we could see the trains, ocean, port yard with cranes and a new playground and Jonas was in heaven. We spent a couple of hours there with Pete - a childhood friend of Jordan's. We then wondered around dowtown some more and then found a little street cafe where we had strong coffees, Jonas had treats and Karina had a sleep. We then hopped back on the skytrain and then met some other friends at a park in Yaletown. Of course Jonas was thrilled with another great playground to run around in. We met Dane and Roxanne's baby Liam and visited until it began to get late and then once again we were on the skytrain and headed home at 7pm. I'm glad we didn't take our car downtown because we would have not been able to be as spontaneous and of course public tranist always ads a sense of adventure for Jonas. Its so quick and easy from our home on Burnaby Mountain and its also freeing to not have to always rely on the car.

We stayed home Sunday and Uncle Soren came up for a visit. It was nice to catch up and watch him play with Jonas - of course Jonas was so happy when Soren helped him build a marble tower. We are so excited that Soren's film, 'Play With Fire', will be having showings throughout Canada this Fall/Winter. He has worked for several years on this film and it is finally making its way to the public. Having written, directed, filmed and edited the entire film himself, I am especially proud of him for sticking through until the end. I enjoyed most of the work I did when I was involved in film, but I never had the passion that Soren has for it. I could see picking up the camera again for documentary work but that is all - I do not have the incredible creativity that Soren has in storytelling.

I have taken such delight lately in sitting back and observing Jonas as he is growing into a young boy. The other day I wondered if his stubborness and strong will are actually a part of his personality and not just a preschooler thing. I know that most kids his age seem to really want most things to go their way, but he seems especially so this past year. Maybe its just a real part of his personality. As well, he is incredibly social and senstive to those around him. He loves to hug his friends and is quite empathetic if anyone is sad or upset. He is so friendly and loving to everyone around him and is never shy to walk up to a new little friend and introduce himself. As a baby he was so easygoing and loved heing with and around people. Although he loves going to playgrounds and taking the skytrain and Science World, Jonas really just loves to walk around in the forest or anywhere natural. His imagination has blossomed and I love the stories he comes up with and the way he organizes his play. He is forever working on building railways, houses, hospitals, cities, roads, mechanic shops etc... Once I heard him talk about having a baby - that was just after Karina wa born. The only negative that I hope turns into a postive is Jonas's waking up crankiness. He always wakes up from a nap cranky. The more you say or try to do, the worse it gets until he is in tears. It is always best to just leave him alone to work it out. Until recently it was the same for morning wakeup - but I seem to have found a way to start mornings with some real happiness. Basically when he calls for us in the morning and I go to him, I will say 'Goodmorning! You have lots of work to do today - the trains are waiting for you to get them on the tracks' - or I will say 'the road crew is beginning work - you had better check make sure everything is running smoothly' and you know what? Jonas happily jumps out of bed and spends a few minutes reorganizing some of the scenes happening around his room and then he is good to go and joins us soonafter for breakfast and normal, happy conversation.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Boys of LRH

This is where Jonas loves to go everyday - just outside of our yard. It is so funny to watch all the kids climbing - their continuous shouts 'look at me mom, look at me dad, LOOK AT HOW HIGH I AM!!!'.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Building Blocks and Garden Harvest...

YES, those are carrots and Jonas LOVED eating them. Better luck next year.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


A Good Day...

Occasionally, Karina will wake up too early. We like to stay in bed until 7AM. Sometimes Karina will start stirring at 5AM. Too early, too painful for any of us. ugh. Jonas will normally start to wake up at some point between 7 and 8. That is a little easier.

Today, we all slept in until sometime after 7AM. It was nice. Karina had some rice cereal while Jonas built a road and some buildings with his blocks. Jordan and I enjoyed some coffee together. Jonas got dressed on his own without too much trouble and we were all out the door by 9:30AM. Karina watched as Jonas and I worked in the garden. We went for a walk and stood in line at the Tim Hortons on campus (for 15 minutes) for 2 Timbits, which Jonas shyly paid for. While in line, Karina sucked on my chin and fell asleep as her brother waited very patiently for his turn to order. We then wondered around abit more and then decided to swing by the childcare centre to visit his old school group. They were headed out for a walk, so we walked with them until we reached our building and then we decided to head home for lunch. It was 12:30 and before lunch was ready, Jonas fell asleep on the couch and Karina went down for a nap as well. How awesome was this?? So, of course I laid down and slept as well!!! All of us asleep at the same time for an hour!!! It felt great. We woke up, ate and headed back out and walked to the other side of campus to check out the Farmers Market and for some playing in the park. Karina sat in the swing for the first time and absolutely loved watching her brother swinging right next to her. Totally entertained.
It was a simple and smooth day - which is nice when I have both kids to myself! Jonas's new friend from Mongolia came over to play after dinner and then we all had a bath and the kids went to bed.

Karina is sitting fairly well on her own now and is also scooting around more and more each day. She does not like unfamiliar faces getting too close to her and she is very picky about who can hold her. She really only likes mom or dad holding on to her and seems to fuss fairly quickly when in others arms. Teething is a nightly irritation for her and a cold cloth or homeopathic remedies will sometimes work; other times its straight to the tylenol. When I wear Karina forward facing in the Bjorn, she will grab at everything so I can no longer do dishes with her in that position. She also lunges for our food whenever she gets the chance. She is getting lots of samples and tastes and can handle chunks of cooked apple, brocolli, pieces of rice and anything else off our plate that seems edible for a toothless babe. She loves food and has already started to feed herself using her fingers and is always trying with her spoon. The four of us went swimming on the weekend and it was Karina's first time. She loved it and splashed and kicked and watched her brother. Of course she was exhausted afterwards.

Jordan is back in classes and is also continuing to work on his research. He has quite the heavy load but still puts everything away when we are all together in the evenings. I make dinner, he plays with the kids and we all spend the evening together. We are exhausted at the end of the day but are happy to have an hour or so to ourselves before we go to bed.

It is beautiful at SFU right now and there are many new friendly faces. I am focused on getting us all settled into this new season - there is much more going on and the balance is even tougher to keep sustained but its workable and everything is already beginning to settle. I have an online course starting soon and next week I will begin abit of Doula work for Vancouver Coastal Health. I am excited to start meeting with the young moms again and will bring Karina along with me during the Childbirth Education classes. Jonas and I are also taking a yoga class together - he loves doing yoga moves!