Gone Coastal

Monday, December 25, 2006


This classic wearable statement came under our tree courtesy of the Bear's brother and his wife. A bit hard to see in this pic, but worth the closer look. Too funny not to share, especially with all the geeks among my readers. Thanks J & M!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas again...

About a year ago, we got a very special present Christmas Day.
A little blue plus confirmed that a new life was on its way.
Seing six double yolks out of six that same morning
had us rather worried. Was this a (not so) subtle warning?

Mom, your four-legged grandkids love to visit you.
But what would you say if I told you you'll soon have one with two?
Boss, got time for coffee? I've a little something to share.
When this current project wraps up, I'll be busy elsewhere.

A last trip just the two of us, at least the last for awhile.
South end of the Yucatan, in a cabana with style.
The Bear dove while I snorkeled (sigh) in the hurricane battered reef.
But where can I find enough food 'round here to fill me for two? Good grief!

'Round the office, "Is she really?" "I don't think so." "Are you sure?"
Many didn't believe it until the sneak peak pictures were
posted on the wall, with my all-time favourite among quotes.
Said Bear at the stretched out foot, "Can't be mine, it's got five toes!"

Come Easter, a hop to the interior, a wedding with old friends,
and a chance to show in person the growing evidence.
But a note came while we were gone, our rented house is on the market.
Just two weeks to close a deal? Our awesome broker hit the target!

There'll be no need to move now when I'm seven months or more.
But now that it's actually ours, there's so much work in store.
There's the deck and the windows, the furnace, the fridge, the latches and doors...
First job back then were the deck stairs, just today Bear stained two doors.

A couple more trips to the old house, hoping to sell it quick.
A new bath to appease the buyers, but finally the deal did stick.
I tried throughout gestation to stay active every day;
At the end of April (5 months plus) I waddled the T-C 10K!

In May I noticed something somewhat familiar across the street.
"We seem to have something in common." It was time for the bellies to meet.
Later, a bump on our boxer's elbow grew too big to ignore.
Tumor removed, stitches thrice split, but the mast cells are no more.

In June for my birthday came my mom, and with her came her man.
He and the Bear framed the nursery windows beautifully as planned.
He lent some tools for the other work, like rebuilding the deck out back.
(Now they, too, have a new house to work, so his tools are back on the rack).

Our two big dogs: it soon got fun to keep them walking daily.
Amusing, I'm sure, to see them dragging me and my growing belly.
The daily routine got slower as well, and my days I had to keep short.
I worked from home as the project allowed, letting catnaps become a new sport.

Late in July a shower for me - the blessings from colleagues abound.
A few days later I started my leave, a new role soon to be found.
Mid-August, eight days before baby is due, my mom and her man were to marry.
To stay or to go? Would the baby be born in Vancouver? or maybe the ferry?

Our neighbors, due ten days before us, shared in the waiting game.
Two days past our due date, that's twelve past theirs, came a girl, Mikaya by name.
For ten days more our little one teased - maybe today?... tomorrow?
And finally scheduled to be induced, no more time to borrow.

One last chance the day before, to see if she'd get the point,
The acupuncturists needles placed to start some action in the joint.
By morning things were moving, in the afternoon I laboured
So, September 8th Trinity came, and the Good Lord showed us favour.

A blur of feedings, burps and naps, the epic ups and downs.
But our baby girl is growing strong, a beautiful gift all 'round.
I watch her breathe, and she breathes into me a longing to fan into fire
The creative embers, and to help her seek for her own life God's desire.

There are changes, too, for the working Bear, with his steady day job ending.
While the road ahead's uncertain now, recent winds have meant plenty of mending
Of radio towers and plenty of hours keeping the generators fed.
And building a name along the way. To new prospects he's being led.

By the time I post, it will be for most of you just into Christmas Eve.
And for some far away it is nigh Christmas Day. It is almost too much to believe
What a road we have traveled - for our friends I now marvel, God's blessings on each of you who
Held us up through the tears, in the blessings shared cheers, and allowed us to hearten you too.

I think I'm all rhymed out now, so I'll close this with our sincerest wishes for a blessed Christmas and a wondrous 2007. Here's our Christmas family photo to close - not picture perfect, but it's definitely us...

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

We were not idle

In his second letter to the Thessalonians, Paul admonishes his readers to work hard and not let their hands be idle. I'd say the Bear's got this one down pat lately. Since he lost his 'day job' about a month and a half ago, he's been picking up what work he can with the competition on a contract basis, and working hard enough at that to bring some increased business for them as well. He's also been tracking down other options to build up opportunities with other clients for himself and scoping out deals on the tools he'll need.
But when there's no paying work to be had, the Bear's been busy tackling the many small and not so small issues that come with a nearly century old house. The first and biggest job was one we tried to get 'the pros' to do over the summer, but finally got going once the Bear started the work himself. That was replacing the furnace with a heat pump and rerunning most of the duct work. The furnace is now in the corner and the ductwork neatly run along the basement walls. With 6 foot ceilings, that has greatly reduced the incidence of smashed head syndrome, as well as eliminating the fire hazard that was the exhaust pipe running across the room just above knee height, and the ugly spaghetti of dead end ducts.

Of course for this work to happen, we had to move a pile of boxes and stuff upstairs to the spare room so there'd be space to work. Which means the next job is sifting through all those boxes before we bring them down again, with the idea being we bring a lot fewer boxes back down and a lot of crap goes out the door! These shelves were put up to keep those that do come down in some sort of order.

And with the duct work being vastly improved, a couple of old air returns were no longer needed. The antique cast iron cover on the one was pretty, but being right in the middle of the hall by the front door, it was a dust trap and a tripping hazard. Here's the crisp new floor patch. With a little help from the dogs we won't need to do as much staining to match the old floors ;). (We're pretty sure the floors are original - ninety-some years old - as the Bear was pulling out square nails as he prepped the holes for the patches.)

Then there is the replacement of a number of old doorknobs with nice lever handles. They're very handy for opening with elbows and knees when arms are full of baby. While he was at it, he realigned a few doors so they'd actually close and latch properly (particularly appreciated in the bathroom), and put in new weather stripping for the exterior doors.

Still on the list is replacement of a number of interior doors (once nice solid wood doors now buried in ten or more coats of cracked, multicolored paint) with these fresh solid pine doors he found at a bargain promo price. The divided lite french door on the left is staying; it's still pretty in spite of some damage done by a certain canine (grrr).

And one of my favourite additions, we now have five lovely pegs to hang coats on, instead of the one knob at the bottom of the stair rail.

He's one up on Red Green: handsome and handy!


Saturday, December 09, 2006

A gift.

So we had our first designated artist afternoon last Sunday. We made a couple of things to hang on a mobile for T. With some luck I'll get one or two more done so there could actually be something resembling a mobile instead of just two hangy thingies. But my friend and I agreed that it was good just to do something. And fun to play with Fimo while T watched from her bouncy chair across the table. But it was a way to get over the inertia.
Taking the momentum forward, I completed a pencil drawing this week for a thank you card. Monday I did some sketching, figuring out the composition and the angles, then picked it up again on Wednesday between feeds, etc., working on the real thing. I enjoyed the process and was pretty happy with the result - I haven't done a lot of serious pencil drawing (lots of sketching and scribbling, just not taking it to a finished project with pencil alone).
As I drew nearer to the end result, I found myself wanting to hang on to it rather than give it away, even though it was conceived from the start for someone else. I settled for taking a picture of it for myself, and for my portfolio, should I never need such a thing again, but still felt reluctant to not have it for myself. [Funny thing, since I've become a mom, the expression "they're like my children" doesn't seem to ring nearly so true]. And then this afternoon I was reflecting on a song, and the Christmas season. The song, by Nichole Nordeman, was not a Christmas song per se, but asked a question common to the season.
How can I thank You?
What can I bring?
What can these poor hands lay at the feet of the King?
And I was reminded that everything I have comes from God. Including the talents that allow me to create art. So what I create isn't mine, and I create and give it away as I feel led. It's not mine to worry about once it's done. I needn't worry if it's liked or appreciated or even seen, whether it speaks to someone, whether it provides encouragement or hits a raw nerve, whether someone will notice certain details carefully incorporated, or the signs of mistakes not quite corrected. I give it away completely, as a small gift back to the Creator in whose image I'm made, a token for everything He's given me, and everything he's created me to be. And that feels good.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Held high

So, T had a little breakthrough today. As I suggested in a previous post, she's been struggling somewhat with the whole head control thing, or maybe not struggling enough, because she's had basically no use for tummy time - the prescribed routine for encouraging said control. Here's the way our attempts usually go. We play on the floor for a bit, and when I think she's as close to the right mood as she gets, I'll roll her over onto her belly. If I've gauged her mood right, she'll lie there with her head flat on the mat looking left for a minute or two before she gets fed up and starts to fight. If not, she'll protest immediately. At which point I'll do various things to soothe and/or encourage her, applauding the brief little accidental lifts as she squirms defiantly. After what seems like an appropriate time (varies greatly with both her and my patience), I'll roll her back over and let her do something she actually likes again once she quiets down. And maybe repeat awhile later.

Funny thing, if I manage to roll her over so her head is looking right instead of her preferred left, she'll lift it just high enough to clear her nose and roll her head till she's looking left, then start fighting, apparently oblivious to the bit of skill she just demonstrated.

One variation I'd tried a few times was putting a rolled towel under her chest to help support her. Today, I opted for a more manual approach, and slid my hand under her chest, giving her just a little lift off the mat. And wonder of wonders, she stopped the fuss she'd started and looked a bit forward, lifting her head. And then she stayed there, and her little arms found there way to her sides and did a little supporting of their own. And her head stayed up as I cheered her on, even letting a bit more of her weight onto her arms. I opted to roll her back before she changed her mind about enjoying the forward view, but I tried again a little while later and she obliged me with a repeat performance.

So, yes, this proud parent's been waiting on this one for a while, watching for signs, since even her pretty relaxed doc was saying at her last appointment I should make her take her tummy time to get those neck muscles going. But T took this little discovery to heart. After her next bottle, I put her up to my shoulder to burp her and she utterly refused to rest her head. No way she was doing anything but hold it up, even as I reclined my chair right back. Stubborn little girl when she gets something into her head. Just like her mama.