Friday, December 22, 2006

3 More Sleeps

Originally we had planned to spend Christmas here in our lovely new home. We've never done that before, and thought it might be nice not to haul the kids and gifts and all the accessories around and invite family to join us here, while getting to sleep in our own beds.

Yah, that's not happening. We are getting up Christmas morning and driving to spend the day with family. Not that I have any problem with family. I don't. I guess it's just the change in expectation of what I thought it would be. reality sets in, I realize I am plenty happy not to be cooking and cleaning for a housefull of people right now. As much as the idea of a cozy house full of Christmas cheer is delightful, I suspect reality is not quite so glorious. At any rate, we still have wrapping and last minute shopping and a birthday tomorrow, and entertaining on Christmas eve, before we even get to 'The Big Day'.

For me, the build up to Christmas day is the true excitement. It's all the getting ready and planning surprises and festive spirit. As long as the stress and shopping doesn't kill it completely. As with so many things, it's more the journey than the destination.

In case I don't get a chance to say it later, may your stocking be filled with oranges, and not a lump of coal! Happy eggnog and turkey! May your pants have elastic and get a nap after dinner! Enjoy your children, or your family or friends, or whoever you are lucky enough to spend time with! May drunken relatives be cheerful and not embarrassing! All is happy and bright!

And to my fiesty little Grandma R, who passed away on Christmas day two years ago, we miss you and think of you often. Much love!

Sunday, December 17, 2006


I heard a talk recently on looking for joy. Being aware of, and finding it in our lives.
I do not always feel joyful. I sometimes get in the mindset that my life is hard. It can certainly feel that way, especially when I am tired and frustrated.

Luckily, I don't have to look very far to find it. My boys are full of joy. Sure, they are full of LOTS of things, not all good, but joy is at the top of the list. They wake up every morning and can't wait to get out of bed. They run around with huge smiles on their faces. They take every opportunity to laugh and giggle and light up a room. I feel bad sometimes being the person who makes them slow down, and clean up and be quiet at times. It can be difficult to contain all that enthusiasm.
I hate to think that growing up somehow crushes that joy with responsibility and civility.

I am thankful that joy is still relatively easy to find in the world around us. Friends are inspiring. Creativity is contagious. Kindness is appreciated.
I had the opportunity to enjoy some amazing music by some very gifted musicians tonight. Live music always conveys a powerful kind of energy. The musicians were extremely talented, and the music was absolutely joyful.

Now I just need to work a little harder at finding the joy when I'm changing the gazillionth poopy diaper and The Bug has thrown his lunch on the floor and The Bee has run out the front door with a sock on one foot and his bib on his head!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

22 Months

This has been a busy month. I guess they all are. Maybe it's just the added mayhem of Christmas approaching.

The Bee is very busy with taking his clothes off, but he has also started putting them on. That can only be good news! He especially likes putting his pants and socks on. Although he sometimes gets tangled in one leg and needs a bit of help. He also likes to pull them up reeeallly high in the front, but leaves his diaper hanging out the back. Oh well.
He is more likely to take his shirt off than put it on. Especially at dinner time in his high chair. He often will pull one arm out, and then it will somehow end up with both out, and the neck hole around his waist, or just off completely. At the very least he cannot leave his bib on. Something must come off.
He also must take his shoes and often socks off in the car. I guess it's all he can reach. I am thankful for that.
The Bee is also a busy boy with a shovel, broom or the vacu-flo. If we go outside to play he will insist on sweeping or shovelling. He is afraid of the noisy vacu-flow, but will set out with it once it is quiet. He has work to do!

The Bug seems to have gotten over his nightmares, thankfully, and is back to his cheerful/sleepy self. Such a relief! He is busy at the moment trying to jump. He has trouble getting both feet up, but is working very hard at it, one foot at a time.
He is also quite mischeivous these days. He gets a very distinctive gleem in his eye when he is up to something. Which is often. Then he will giggle like a madman. But at least he keeps his clothes on!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Party Time

Hey, my cd drive suddenly started working, so here's some catching up...

Two weekends ago we had the chance to go to our very first Christmas Party for the kids. It was put on by CH's work, and we'd heard it was pretty amazing. It did not disappoint.
It was huge to begin with, but very well planned with lots of activities for all ages, lots of food, and they staggered the times throughout the day, so it wouldn't be too crowded.
Since The Bug and The Bee are still on the young side, it was quite a lot for them just to walk around and take everything in. They had face painting, and cookie decorating, and picture frame painting, and pictures with Santa, as well as some older activities.
I think eating themselves silly with little oranges was a big highlite! They also had really great gifts for every child. It was all very impressive.
One of our favorite things was at the main door as we stopped on the way out. They had real reindeer! And we got to pet one! Who has real reindeer at their Christmas party?! WE DID!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Saddest Boy in the World

The Bug has been a great sleeper for a long time. The Bee is another story, but that's another story...

The Bug is a busy little boy, but he gets tired and at either naptime or bedtime, has never been a problem. Just put him in bed, and he's off to sleep, usually without a sound.
This week has been a drastic change. All of a sudden he hates going to bed, and once there he climbs out immediately, and starts to sob and wail like his little heart is breaking. And you think yours will too. He will sit and cuddle up to me if he thinks he has to go to bed, for as long as he possibly can. He won't take his little bottle of water if he thinks he will have to go to bed. Anything to avoid it.

It doesn't appear that anything is physically wrong, as far as we can tell. It seems to be completely emotional. Perhaps he's had bad dreams and sleep is no longer the happy place it used to be? That's all that seems to make sense. The other night he woke up sobbing and when we went in to see him he was actually shaking. It's heartbreaking, but at the same time the whole house was awake and I don't think anyone got more than a couple of hours sleep. Not a very sustainable way to function.

I'm hoping this is a phase of some sort. A very short phase. For his sake and for the rest of the family. In the meantime, the house echoes with the sobs of the saddest boy in the world.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Early Christmas Present

A couple of years ago on my birthday CH took me on a surprise trip to Fernie to pick out a painting from Angela Morgan, at her studio.
Angela herself was friendly and wonderful and it was such a treat to see her work space and get a glimpse at her paintings in progress. We picked out a lovely painting called Breeze and Bucket from the work she had on hand, but the one that I really fell in love with was at a gallery in Regina.

CH and I have agreed to start collecting art as we see pieces we love, and finances permit. I've always wanted to have a house full of beautiful creative artwork.

Over the last several months we have been working towards purchasing Girl and Elevator. Finally today she arrived. As with most artwork I've seen, she is even more stunning in person than her photograph suggests!


OK, I actually have things to post...stories, photos...BUT ever since we moved my computer no longer recognizes my cd drive. How does this effect my posting? Simply, I cannot backup my photos like I normally do immediately after I download them. So, I don't want to download them for paranoid fear they will disappear off my computer. I am working on the problem. Sort of. I am trying to find someone to fix the problem!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Hipster Love

I just got this email from my cousin, Ben. He's the drummer for the Hipsters. They're a great band, and I think this will be a terrific evening. Just passing on the love if anyone would care to join us...and that's GREEK band, not geek band...!

Hi Friends,
On December 17th (Sunday evening), the Rembetika Hipsters (Ben's Greek band) are celebrating 10 years together as a band with a Winter concert at the Epcor Centre's Engineered Air theatre. We're going to put on our best performance ever, and it will be recorded for a live album. There will be exotic instruments, guest performers, both of our incredibly talented violinists, great food, and more. The venue is costing us a small fortune, so we want to make sure to fill the place up! Tickets are available in Calgary at Megatunes and Pegasus restaurant, or you could reserve your ticket through me or any of the Rembetika Hipsters. Please do pass this on to your friends who would be interested in a fabulous evening of World music.
Happy Holidays,
Ben Johnson & the Rembetika Hipsters

Saturday, December 02, 2006

More Christmas Past

Every year for as long as I can recall, I make Christmas cards. I guess you can call it a tradition, and it's something that I enjoy, even when it's hectic. Now that I have kids, friends and relatives will be enjoying my childrens faces pretty much every year...until they get to that awkward, geeky stage anyway.

However, I have found lately that it is getting more and more difficult to take a decent photo of the boys. They are too distracted by everything, and much too busy to let me mold them into the perfect little models I would like them to be. So this year's great photo is still in the works.

From the beginning, The Bee has been very photogenic. It has been fairly easy to get great pics of him. The Bug on the other hand, while equally as cute and adorable in person, is not so photogenic. He is often making a goofy face, or has his eyes half shut. And since they are twins, I feel it my responsibility to get the same equal amount and quality of shots of each of them. No favoritism here!
So while I wait for this year's magic to happen, here are some of our favorite shots from last year.