Tuesday, October 31, 2000

Melissa Listens

Melissa has been listening. This isn't really new. It is something we have observed from time to time over the last few months. I know she knows when we are talking about her but those times when I want her attention, I could go blue in the face calling, "Melissa" before she would deign to notice me.

Last night was a prime example: as I was doing the dishes I looked across the counter and said to Cheryl that I was glad that Melissa had not figured out how to get into the cupboards. Cheryl, sitting on the couch nursing Michael, told me that Melissa got into the cupboards all the time. She nodded her head at the cupboards below the counter; her attention on Michael.

I clarified, "I meant the cupboards above the counter."

In reply Cheryl said that she did not think it would be long before Melissa figured out that she could push her high chair anywhere on the linoleum and climb up onto whatever counter she wanted to. I had to agree and went back to my dishes. Not five minutes later, behind my back, and while Cheryl was occupied with Michael, Melissa scooted her highchair over to the microwave, climbed up it, and tried to get into the container of chocolate cookies from grandma!

I turned at the commotion. "Melissa!"

The would-be cookie plunderer didn't even flinch. She redoubled her efforts to get into the plastic container. So near and yet so far! "Enh! Enh!" she whined.

After I had scooped Melissa off her high-chair, I said to Cheryl, "You'd better not give her any more ideas!" All I got from the couch was a laugh.

Monday, October 30, 2000

Update from our new place

Hi Everybody! We now have all of our stuff here at the new house. Our friends Richard and Greg came by just before lunch yesterday and helped us move our final hold-out: the hide-a-bed couch. It was an item we had been dreading to move because this couch has been the bane of all our previous moves. This hernia-inducing piece of furniture hides its mass in a length and girth designed to barely fit through some doors and barely NOT fit through most! Amazingly Greg and I got it out the front door in less than 7 minutes! Even more miraculous, when we put it into the Caravan (sans bench seats of course) it fit with 3 inches to spare!

We did not get much unpacked this weekend, owing to just wanting to rest up after an exhausting week.

Our kitchen is the most unpacked room in the place (grown up-type room, that is), but there are still about 2 or 3 boxes of mystery items we have not opened yet.

Our bathroom is currently a very MANLY smelling bathroom due to an incident on Thursday when Melissa managed to bump Cheryl at a critical moment of unpacking, causing a bottle of my aftershave to fall and shatter on the floor. We have had the bathroom fan mostly on since then, but it's going to smell like Crossroads cologne for a while.

The kid's room has been unpacked and organized, but you wouldn't know it due to the frequent and random invasions of hurricane Melissa.

Our Sweet Baboo is transitioning from babyhood to toddlerhood very quickly. I have already mentioned her apparent weaning, but in addition to that the SB has figured out that the kid's room is her room: her toys are in it, her bed is in it, and her clothes are in it. At bed-time she even closes the door and lays down on her bed! If she's tired she falls asleep. If she's not, she stays there for about 10 minutes and then gets up and starts playing with her toys. I know because I can hear her talking to herself behind the closed door. I don't dare open it because if she see's me or Cheryl she thinks we've come to get her up for the day.

The big news for Michael is that he is starting to be able to scootch himself around on his blanket. I don't think he is strong enough to roll himself over, but he is getting there. The boy also managed to stop the whole show last night at the "Growing Kids God's Way" parenting class last night. Just after the break, Cheryl handed him to me because he had had his daily constitutional. I grabbed the wipes, a diaper, and a receiving blanket and retired to the back of the room with the boy. 5 minutes later I was still kneeling over him, wrestling with his diaper when the boy shot a projectile poop right between my legs! I could not believe my eyes! Right there between my knees was a mustard coloured streak about an inch wide and 7 inches long. Theresa, one of the facilitators, had to come over and clean up the mess because I was so shocked.

Friday, October 27, 2000

No Title

Hey, no title today. I spent some time last night at the old place cleaning out the fridge and stove and washing walls in the kitchen. The stove was the toughest part. All the stress of the last few weeks led to more than one burnt sauce on our poor stove. It took me a good long while to scrub off the blackened remains of several meals.

Cheryl got much of the kitchen arranged yesterday. I got home to find the fridge on the other side of the room than it was when I left. The dishes have been unpacked, as have the pots, pans, and utensils. It's really starting to take shape.

Meanwhile, the pile of boxes outside our door is growing. I guess I shall have to spend a good half hour this evening with a knife breaking them down.

Due to yesterday's activities Melissa did not get any bottles at all. The good news is that she did not complain. Could we have dodged the weaning question altogether thanks to moving? We shall see...

Today's cartoon from non-sequitur

Thursday, October 26, 2000

Putting Down Stakes (After A Very Long Portage!)

It has been a long time since I have worked as hard as I did yesterday. I pulled the bench seats out of the Caravan and loaded it to the gills about 8 times. I don't know what I was thinking! You have no idea how much capacity these mini-vans have until you take out the benches!

Yesterday was a very long day of moving. We got started at about 9am and wrapped up around 10.30pm. Cheryl and Michael stayed at the old house to finish the packing we had begun on Monday. To prevent more "accidents" with permanent markers, Gail took care of the Sweet Baboo at her place in Vancouver. I shudder to think of the carnage visited upon her apartment... (by the way you can visit Gail's M&M pages for more pictures of Melissa and Michael)

Our old house still has some coat hooks that I have to remove using our cordless drill. Once I have done that I am taking the drill over to the new house so Cheryl can start putting together our book shelves. I also have to do the final cleanup at the old house, plus fixup any damage to the walls with drywall patch. I think we have the right colour of blue for touching up the wall paint here and there, but these things are never spot on...

Cheryl has arranged for the carpets to be professionally cleaned. We checked with our landlady and she had them cleaned before we arrived, so it is only fair that we have them cleaned before we go. That and nobody really wants to find out that those funny patterns on the rug are actually regurgitatory artifacts deposited by our sweet baboo.

The new house is truly that: new. It is in a new subdivision about 6 miles south of where we were living. Construction on the house itself was only completed in the last 3 or 4 months. It is of the style west coast modern. Some may like it, some may not, but I think that it is a style that is simple and neat and not hideous. We are in a fully finished basement suite and this time we have linoleum in the kitchen area. Yes! We have a room for the children, a room for us, and a room for the office; so this is good too. Storage is not abundant, but adequate. The faucets are of the single lever variety. You can use 1 hand and be pretty much guaranteed of not starting the flow at a scalding hot setting. I am also told they are a modern sort that don't use washers, so no leaks!

We are storing our bicycles outside; below the stairs that come down to our entrance. Only concern is that they stay dry.

We are not going to post our new address here. Please remember that one of the Internet's strengths is that it is open to all. This however is also why you ought to be careful. If you would like our new address and phone number please email us at this address aedwin@wwdb.org

Cheryl and the Giant Duffle of Cloth Diapers! - 1

Cheryl and the Giant Duffle of Cloth Diapers! - 2

We are thankful and grateful to the GMP for providing us with cloth diapers: some of which are the newfangled kind with velcro fasteners instead of pins. We had no idea how many diapers we had until Cheryl started stuffing them into one of the monster LL Bean duffles we were given on our last visit to Maine.

Staged Sibling Photo - 1

Staged Sibling Photo - 2

Melissa has always been fascinated by Michael. I think she considers him a big animated doll. Her sentiments however, have not always been returned. I suppose we are hoping that they will learn to like each other if we do things like this enough. They probably will; at least on camera.

Sling Me a Grin

Michael was fussing and we never did get the shot we wanted. But at least in this one he doesn't look like Melissa is poking him with a stick again.

Monday, October 23, 2000

Toddler + Moving =...

Chaos!! Melissa was initially upset on waking up to boxes and packing material all over the house. After her bottle and a diaper change she had a chance to re-consider the situation. Her mind quickly grasped what must be the purpose of all this confusion: To mess up the house as much as possible by emptying every cupboard and corner, moving things around, and drawing on things with markers. WHAT FUN!!! What a great activity!!!! I can do this TOO!!!!

So off went Melissa, intent on her mission to empty cupboards, shelves, drawers, and redistribute their contents; to decorate our toilet, numerous boxes, the carpet, a blanket, and herself with a marker pen; all the while scattering toys, bottles, raisins, and a scrounged nutrigrain bar all through the mess already on the floor.

She is currently unloading the shelves near the front door; having been divested of her marker, she now reigns over the chaos with her new scepter: the TOILET PLUNGER!


Pulling up stakes (again!)

Another LONG weekend. Saturday we piled into my sister Gail's old Volvo and drove up to Manning Park. Cheryl put a bug in my ear to go there and I thought that it would be nice to go since I haven't stopped to enjoy the leaves yet this season.

The sun was shining in Surrey and Vancouver when we left, but got progressively cloudier the further we got from the low lying coast. By the time we got to Hope, there was intermitten freezing rain to go with the clouds. I was pretty sure things would be okay because we still had the wind behind us, bringing clear skies with it.

We got to Manning and it was freezing! Melissa was bundled up and put into her backpack, to be toted by her mommy. I had Michael in his snuggly. We hit the trail so we could get out of the windy parking lot and into the trees where it would be warmer.

We hiked along the Lightning lakes trail and ran into sleet, sunshine, and sleet AND sunshine. Very bizzare, but beautiful too. Many trees in beautify yellow fall foliage. Sorry, no pictures.

We got back Saturday night around 7, Cheryl grabbed the newspaper and handed me the phone. I spent about 2 hours calling people about their advertised suites for rent and lined up about half a dozen appointments for the next morning. Our first appointment would be at 9am. With that, I crashed and didn't wake up until...

8am! Cheryl was telling me to get up! Ay-yi-yi-yi-yi...

It was a rush, but we made it out the door and to our first appointment. The neighbourhood was alright, but the suite was definitely too small.

We drove to our next appointment. Well, about the nicest thing I could say about the place was that it was definitely a lot of room. That, and maybe that the laundry was indeed very accessible. (The washing machine was outside the back door.)

The next place I drove us to we weren't to meet the landlord until after lunch, but I wanted to find the house first to have a look. I drove us by, but didn't stop because it seemed to be a nice house but the location was next to a busy main thoroughfare.

Our next appointment was in a new subdivision away from busy streets. (Put a plus on my mental list.) The new house seemed to be quite large on the outside. (plus) The landlord showed me around the suite. Large kitchen space, with linoleum (plus) He told me that he was the contractor building the homes in the area so he would be putting in a new fridge and stove into the suite for us. (plus! plus!) We looked into the bedrooms. Good closet space. (plus) We walked down the hallway to the 3rd bedroom. Cable and phone access. (plus)

He showed me the washing machine and dryer in the garage. We didn't have direct access to them, but would have some access anyhow. (minus, plus)

All in all, it seemed to be a good deal to me.

We arranged to start moving in on Tuesday (tomorrow). When we got home, we started getting stuff ready to pack, and we have been packing since.

Friday, October 20, 2000

He's sleeping in the sling!

Michael is sleeping in the baby sling! After spending some time in the swing, I tried him in the sling again and he fell asleep in about 5 min with only few moments of fussing.


I have my new sling!

After all this talk about baby slings; I had to get one. I have on OTSBH (medium) which just arrived at my door an hour ago. I'm so excited. I'm finding I'm having some difficulty with adjusting it..."just pull the tail" Ha! It's not that easy. I think I will have my dh help me this evening, because he can read the directions, look at the photos and tell me if it looks right. (No, I don't have a mirror, just a little one at face level).

Michael, wasn't too impressed initially. He was hungry, so I tried feeding him in the sling. It sort of worked because it helped support his body. I still had to use both hands to feed him; the sling doesn't seem to get his head quite high enough and he doesn't stay on while nursing. I think as he get's a little bigger this problem will vanish. I also discovered that he gets very upset when he can't see out or if I stop moving around. I think he got upset with me trying to position him so much and adjust the sling o try different positions, so I finally put him in his baby swing. I think he'll enjoy it more when I haven't completely annoyed him trying to figure out how this works.

Melissa loved the sling before it was out of the wrapper... something new! She shrieked with delight when she could see her brother's face in the sling. I carried her around in it with her on my hip and she loved it! She can see and reach everything I can! She was really upset when I put her down because she was trying to "help" me type this post.


Thursday, October 19, 2000

After the Shooting

Hello everybody. In response to everyone's questions about how we're doing, we want to tell you we are alright. Yes, we were very shaken the other night. I know I was in shock. But we have now had a few days to recover and some normalcy has returned to our world.

It is sobering each and every time you come close to death. For me it was more sobering this time because I now have a family.

What if it was our back door those men found instead of our neighbour's? How might have the events that ensued affected Melissa or Michael?

I don't know. I really don't know. I do know that we are alive and relatively unscathed. For that much I am grateful.

What next? Cheryl mentioned moving somewhere safer. Yes we are going to do that. I don't know when, but it will happen.

Jesus' parents took him to Egypt until Herod died and that particular threat to Jesus' life was over. So there's precedent for changing physical situations.

As a long term issue though, we cannot avoid the fact that our children are living in a world where many people place the value of a human life lower than their own interests. Sadly, my children are going to learn that there are many, many ways to kill a person. And if they are perceptive, they will understand that there are fates worse than physically dying.

Last year a boy in Alberta took a gun to school, shot, and killed 2 of his fellow students in a random act of violence. The father of one of the students who was killed is the pastor of a church in that area. I think I can begin to imagine how he felt to lose his son now that I have one of my own. To me that would be a fate worse than my own death.

I take hope, though, from what this pastor and his family did after the death of their son. Because their story became a national issue, their suffering became an opportunity to stand up in front of all Canadians, in the name of God and all believers, and offer forgivness to the boy who had caused so much harm.

I cannot remember the pastor's name now. I'm sure you can find it somewhere on the Net. What I do remember is his attitude. His attitude was this:

We cannot give in to hate or bitterness. We must not walk in fear. We will not let the forces of darkness win.

Anybody feel like this lately?

Wednesday, October 18, 2000

Drug deal went bad in our alley

Cheryl writes: I would have posted this last night except that I did not want to scare my parents, or post without talking to them first.

Around 10 pm last night there was a shooting in the alley in back of our house. Two men barged through our landlord's backdoor bleeding and needing help. They scared the 93 year old Grandpa really badly (his living space is downstairs) as they collasped bleeding on his couch. Our backdoor is right next to theirs, only ours isn't used (we don't have access to the backyard; just the front yard) so it could have easily been us. Allan had to go move our car for the ambulances and police cars to get ito the driveway and he actually saw the shot men as he was doing this. There were 3 police cars, an undercover car, 3 ambulances, and two news crews that showed up. The front of our house is on VTV and BCTV news today and will probably also be in the local papers. The shooting was due to a drug deal gone bad in the alley behind the house. Apparently a man living 2 doors down from us has been arrested (but that's only hearsay).

Anyway, I would like prayer for our landlords and their Grandpa. They are all very shook up. These people have lived here for 45 years and the way the neighbourhood is going is really scaring them. I would also like people to pray for us as we need to find a safer place to live that we can afford. We are sure there are 2 drug houses on our block in addition to the prostitutes on the corner a half block from our house. They are there even during the day now. There are used condoms on the sides of the road. Allan took Melissa for a walk in the backpack last night around 8pm and came back scared. He ran into drunk people and more prostitutes. We are in a 2 bdrm basement suite now, so I can't imagine anything smaller, but I would prefer to be more crowded than keep living in this part of town. This is not a good place to have kids.

Tuesday, October 17, 2000

Drip. Drip. Drip.

Autumn has arrived here on the wet coast. Unlike the rest of the country, we don't see quite the show of reds, yellows, and oranges that blaze on the trees. Instead our maples turn brown, or bronze if we're lucky.

(Our vine maples DO turn very red, but you don't see as many of them out here in the Fraser Valley.)

Nicolum Provincial Park, near Hope, BC

The alders all turn yellow, giving many hillsides a golden glow. One autumn day a few years ago I saw a lone alder in the middle of a stand of firs. It shone out like a beacon on the mountainside.

Naikoon Prov. Park, Queen Charlotte Islands

Our autumn season here on the coast is characterized by storms that sweep in from the Pacific as the prevailing winds shift from the warm southwest to the cold northwest.

The weather forecast for the rest of this week is fairly typical: Today, 100% POP (probability of precipitation). Wednesday, 40%. Thursday 80%. Friday 80%. Saturday 80%

Many of the trails I have hiked in BC look like the trail pictured here. The trees are HUGE. Sad to say, you take them for granted after a while...

Garibaldi Lake, Garibaldi Prov. Park

Cheryl and I backpacked up to Garibaldi Lake 2 years ago this last Labour Day. It was the first time Cheryl had ever hiked anywhere that you could not see anything man-made at all. We're looking forward to taking Melissa and Michael there when they are old enough.

Not a lot of news on the home front today. Cheryl was apparently feeling better because she cleaned out our van, washed several loads of dishes, and had supper waiting on me when I got home. (Is she cool or what?)

As we were eating she told me I had missed the hurricane by a half hour. Just before I got home there was a fire on the stove, Michael was screeching, and the pot cooking our vegetables had its lid stuck on and our vegetables were likely mush. In the middle of it all was Melissa clamouring to be part of the action!

Speaking of the Sweet Baboo: Melissa still does not go down gracefully for her daily nap, but Cheryl vows to keep on.

Today when Michael produced his VILE POO part of it was solid. I cannot remember what it was that Cheryl suspected was the source of the firmness. I will post that as soon as I remember it. At any rate we may try giving Michael some water to help soften his excrements.

The pictures on this page are from the BC Parks home page. If you would like to see more pictures of the beautiful province we live in, go to http://www.elp.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/

Monday, October 16, 2000

Get your flu shots!

Good morning. Hope everybody out there had a safe weekend...

Be sure and get your flu shots! The season seems to be starting early this year. Lots of sick people in my office. At home, Cheryl has been battling a bug for the last week. She was tired over the weekend, but doing alright. Melissa seems to be over her bug, but Michael is still Mr. Snuffleupagus.

By the way, Cheryl told me that Michael weighed 11 lbs 14 oz at the Dr's on Friday! We have a big boy!

Late breaking news. Melissa went BLEAH on Cheryl this morning, while Cheryl was giving me her state of the union address. I guess the Sweet Baboo is still sick.

I did get a chance on Friday to talk to our landlords about the linoleum siutation. The reason why they put carpet into our kitchen is that under the carpet is bare concrete. If they had put linoleum in, it would have made for a very cold, damp floor. At the time, they found the options to insulate the floor to be very expensive, so they went with carpet. Pending my investigation on how expensive those options are these days, I guess we're stuck with carpet in our kitchen.

Posted by Cheryl

This morning while I was on-line, I narrowly avoided a disaster. Things had been remarkably quiet for a while. Michael was sleeping in his bed and Melissa (when I left her) was looking at books in the living room. Then I heard the baby fussing, then quiet, then more fussing. Upon investigation, I discovered that he was covered in toddler board books (thrown into his bed by Melissa); also in his crib was the cupboard lock from the cupboard under the bathroom sink! Ack!

Just then Melissa rounded the corner and headed straight for Michael's bed aiming the bottle of glass cleaner! I left poor Michael covered in board books crying while I confiscated the bottle, re-locked the bathroom cupboard, and shut the bathroom door. I think my cleaning products are going to move to top closet shelf now! Yes, I know, I should have done that already.

Friday, October 13, 2000


Hey! It's Friday! If you're a Canadian, wasn't it nice to have such a short week? You only had to put up with turkey sandwiches for 4 days instead of 5 :-)

For those of you readers in the US who weren't aware, we had our Thanksgiving holiday last Monday. I'm glad we don't have it the same time as yours or travelling for the holiday would be even more impossible than it is already.

Cheryl had a busy day yesterday. She took Melissa to the reading group at the library. Then they went to see our Doctor. Michael is progressing very well. Cheryl didn't tell me what he weighed, but I'm betting he is around 10 lbs now. After visiting the Dr. they did some shopping. Cheryl found some items for the children to wear on our Christmas visit to Maine.

Melissa was a very happy Baboo yesterday. Cheryl told me that Melissa only had 2 small tantrums, which is not too bad.

Thursday, October 12, 2000

Links fixed

Hi. Jamie emailed me this morning that some of the links to the pictures weren't working so I fixed them up.

Wednesday, October 11, 2000

Package arrived!

We got a package today from Maine! It had some lovely pictures from the GMP's camera when she was here on her visit. We also got the zip disk with her pictures from the digital camera. I have not had a look at them yet, but I will be sure to post our favourites to this page when I get a chance.

Melissa was fussy today. Cheryl says she is teething. I suppose so since I have seen her on quite a few occasions tonight rubbing at her gums with her finger.

Last night we finished sending some of our long awaited thank-you notes for the lovely gifts we received when Michael was born. Check one more item off the to-do list!

Tuesday, October 10, 2000


Hi everybody! Allan here. It's my first day back at work after a very long weekend.

We have re-arranged the house (again!) to accomodate the ever adventurous Melissa (see below). The office is now our bedroom / office. Our former bedroom is now storage space for all those goodies that the Sweet Baboo must not touch! The futon has been moved to our bedroom and Michael's porta-crib occupies the space that Melissa's once did.

I am going to talk to our landlords this month about putting linoleum into the kitchen and laundry areas. The number and severity of food 'accidents' instigated by the SB is increasing and the carpet is really taking a beating.

Cheryl has managed to stave off the bug(s?) that have been plaguing the children, but is not out of the woods yet. She is taking her vitamins once again and this seems to have helped. The picture you see is from yesterday when she was talking to the GMP (Grand Mom-Person).

Melissa had a very good time at grandma's (Allan's mother) house last night. She relocated about a half dozen CD's and tapes from one side of the living room to the other. This is an improvement as previously she simply dismembered any tape, Cd, or case she found.

The Sweet Baboo is recovering well from whatever bug it is that she caught the week before last. We noticed that her sinuses are drying, albeit slowly.

Melissa is still adjusting to sleeping in a bed. Cheryl says that she counted at least once last night that she heard a loud 'THUNK!' and then 'WAHHHH'. Cheryl also found the SB wandering around out of bed last night, but she isn't sure if it because the Baboo fell out of bed or got out of bed.

New words from the SB as of this last weekend: bathroom, go away.

Michael is filling out very well, as you can see! His last weigh-in at the doctors showed him at over 9 lbs. I think he's gained more than that!

Michael smiles a quite a lot now and spends long periods just staring at things. I'm not sure if he's being meditative, analytical, or simply awestruck. We'll just have to wait until he can tell us more.

Cheryl thinks this last weekend may have turned him around sleep-wise. Michael spent most of yesterday awake and was not awake as much last night as he has been.

The latest news about Michael is that he is still sick. Cheryl says that he has become even more snuffly and has a hard time breathing while nursing. We have gone through so much Dimetapp I am thinking of investing...