Thursday, September 30, 2004

It had a "FREE" sign on it!

We were walking today - 5 M's and I - when we passed a man 2 blocks down from our house - putting out a desk at the end of his driveway with a FREE sign on.

I told the kids "lets RUN home" so we can get that desk. I was hoping Allan would be home with the van. They ran and ran. Allan wasn't home but Marianne upstairs (our landlady) said she would keep an eye on the kids in the backyard (twins sleeping in double stroller) and I could take her van to pick up the desk.

It was STILL THERE when I got back and the man saw me struggling with it and helped dis-assemble it and load it up. It is sitting outside now waiting for Allan to get home.

It will be my computer desk - it has monitor stand, keyboard tray, and DRAWERS! "My" desk will probably go for the "kids" computer which is currently perched on a shelving unit - which now can hold MORE BOOKS and the children's art supplies!

My New Desk!
My Desk

I am so excited. Allan's wanted to get me a new desk for a while - we got him an offical desk last year - but it just hasn't been a priority and you can't beat FREE for a price.

The Desk Formerly Known as Cheryl's
Living Room Workstation

Recycled Shelving
Reycled Shelving

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Pilates = Torture

So now - how to deal with the post-partum "twin-skin" and flab. This is a favourite subject at twins forums - and the general consensus seemed to be Pilates. Pilates has been around for a while - but I have typically gone for more active forms of exercise. But since regular walking hasn't improved the tummy pouch at all - I thought it was time to get on the Pilates bandwagon.

Having been tipped off to an online sale at by an online pal - I ordered 4 Pilates videos - total including taxes and shipping was just under $12 US! Which seemed a very good deal to me as the last exercise video I bought was just under $20. The Pilates and Yoga videos were in the sale bin plus they give you a code for $5 off your order if you give them an e-mail address for them to spam you.

Pilates for Beginners and Pilates P.M. (level beginner) seemed as though they would gentle enough - but only a few minutes into the video - I was sure they had been created as a new form of torture.

"Now sit in a V balencing on your tailbone and beat your arms in the air to your sides 100 times - keep going ... just a few more ..." I could barely finish the video.

The next morning - I felt like I had just had another abdominal surgery. I could barely get up, it hurt to lift my arms over my head, reach for things, or turn to either side. I had to resort to Advil and a hot rice pack - followed by soaking in a hot bath before bed. It took three days to recover from that 30 mins of Pilates torture!

Well - around about day 4 - I thought, "it can't be that bad a second time". So I did the video again. I thought, "this is much easier this time" - until the next morning. When again - I'm moving like a hospital patient and downing Advil. With all the pain it's causing me - I'd better see some good results and soon!

The Torture Video

I'm not pregnant (again) - I'm just fat

It finally happened to me last week. Someone mistook the residual stomach pouch and flab left when the twins exited for a new pregnancy.

"Oh when are you due?"

"I'm not pregnant - I'm FAT" - I snapped back.

The church member said "oh" and scurried off quickly.

This is humiliation indeed - though the mistake was understandable. If the truth must be told - I do look about 5 months pregnant.

Ever Feel Like This?
Cheryl's Slug Photo

For the first few months after giving birth - moms are given understanding that all may not be back as it was before especially when it was twins. Even though in my case - the 2 twins together weighed at same about as Madeleine had as a newborn. But the twins are almost 8 months old now and my time has come to deal with that belly.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Allan Replies

This is about the hair colour .. so don't everybody get confused or anything.

Cheryl asked me, "Do I look younger?"

I said, "Sure you do."

She says, "But you don't sound sure."

I said, "You're asking me to make a value judgement."

Photo Sharing

She says, "It's NOT a value judgement. It may be subjective, but it's not a value judgement."

I insist, "Yes it is. I'm responding the way I am because I value my life!"

Monday, September 27, 2004

Cheryl's Take on Hair Dye

Tonight I escaped to the Pharmasave on the pretext of refilling the twins Zantac prescription. This with the ulterior motive of using my Dairy Queen coupon to try out the new Brownie Batter Blizzard. (Which BTW - was superb and I enjoyed every single bite).

While waiting for the babies prescription I wandered around the Pharmasave aisles - soon coming upon the row of hair color. While waiting I decided to dye my hair. Not to change my hair colour - but because (shudder) I am graying. This is is due to a defective gene on my father's side - my grandmother was completely gray by age 35. At 29 - I already have a good number of grey hairs - a number that seems to be growing daily and greatly accentuated by my new haircut - courtesy of my sister-in-law Gail last week. After about 10 min of comparing colors and brands - I settled on a box of Garnier Truffle ("medium brown"). The brand decision was helped along by a coupon another thoughtful customer had left on the shelf and the color decision was made by yanking out a bunch of my hair and comparing. I figured the last thing I would need is really obvious growing out roots.

On arriving home (after steathlfully burying the incriminating evidence of a private treat in the outside garbage can) - I played my usual bad cop role and decreed BEDTIME for preschoolers. Under howls of protest they went off to bed and fell asleep in record time - proving me right that it was indeed bedtime. The babies obliged with an evening nap and as soon as they were down I told Allan I was off to the bathroom and would be there a while. "Is there anything you need me to do?" he said. "Only pick up the babies if they cry" (I have learned that it pays to be this specific). So Allan headed to the computer and I headed to the bathroom.

In the bathroom I began to read through the instructions. A full first page warned about the necessity of doing an allergy test 48 hours before using the product - although the kicker was that once the solution was mixed it was to be used immediately. Unable to wrap my head around the logic of that one - I decided to throw caution to the wind and use the hair dye anyway. Other warnings included: contact with eyes would cause blindness and inhaling the fumes could cause serious allergic reactions or asthma attacks. "Someone must have been sued," I thought, but opened the window as a precaution.

Hair dying is quite a procedure - plastic gloves, old towels that get covered in dye, mix this in with that, etc. Finally getting everything in order I applied the stuff and sat for 30 minutes in an old towel with my head UP (not wanting to go blind) reading a Dr. Phil book on relationships (practically the last book in the house I haven't yet read).

After rinsing, conditioning, blow drying (which I never do) - I looked at the results and was amazed. I had MY hair back! I was right on with the color but the gray was gone! I dropped at least 5 years off my looks in less than an hour! Amazing. I asked Allan what he thought. He gave the stock safe male answer: "nice". He agreed it made me look younger.

"You look like a 20-something now" he said.

Since I AM in my 20's that was reassuring. I took some self portraits on the digital camera.


While Allan was downloading my self-portraits - I had a look at his blog. There was a story about the ducks. I realized he had the wrong date and year. He informed me to keep reading, so I did.

The previous terrorist duck trip came back to me - I remember the trip. I told Allan he was a good writer. He stared at me and said, "You wrote that".

"No, I didn't"

"Yes you did".

I kept reading and realized he was right. Which proves my next point - I have lost brain cells from sleep deprivation, pregnancy, and day to day life with small children. I barely have time to write these days at all and when I do - the words I use are much smaller.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Going Where No Stroller Has Gone Before

We tried to build on our lessons from yesterday and went adventuring today in the woods, at the lake, and to a playground. And guess who was wiped out by the end? Not us, that's for sure.


- Just because it says Jeep(r) on it doesn't mean its ready for off-road work.
- M's display inverse relationship between steepness of trail and amount of complaining

BC Autumn

At the Lake

At the Playground

Saturday, September 25, 2004

The Terrorist Ducks Revisited

Waaaay back in February of 2002, Melissa and Michael were introduced to the terrorist ducks. What did we learn back then? Well, we learned that ducks may look cute, but they are also mean and unhygienic creatures with a pronounced mob mentality. However, they seem to be the major population species at Reifel Bird Santuary and kids seem oblivious to their more unsavoury aspects, so you just put up with them.

Well, today we returned to Reifel Bird Sanctuary, with 2 more children in tow and it was an interesting experience to say the least.

Duck of Terror

Weather: We left our home in Surrey and the sun was shining warm and bright. This was not the case the closer we got to the ocean-side community of Ladner, close unto the sanctuary. There was quite a thick blanket of sea-fog over the area. Everyone had fleece so we weren't worried, but spirits greatly improved when the sun eventually burned the fog off about half-way through our trek on the perimeter trail around the sanctuary.

Spotted: Mucho ducks of the mallard variety. Some not Mallard ducks with a white breast - we haven't figured out what they were yet. A few coots. Sandpipers. A heron. Two bald eagles. Black-capped chickadees, some of whom would land on an outstretched hand if it was offering birdseed.

Alas, poor Madeleine held her hand out for many minutes but not one chickadee would trust her.

Madeleine was of the opinion that she would enjoy "scare ducks!" but we assured her these ducks were quite jaded and would in fact probably try and scare her instead. She took this in silently and then just beamed us her sunny smile - the smile that means, "Oh, alright dad and mum. You go ahead and think whatever you like, but I know what I am doing."

When we finally arrived at a point where we could stop to feed a quacking horde (there were multiple mobs in various parts of the place) she was not intimidated in the least. Michael and Melissa were dumping the seed straight out of their bags on the ground to divert the attention of the feeding-frenzied ducks. Madeleine doled hers out bit by bit.

The twins too were interested in the ducks, though more in a detached, clinical way, from the safety of their stroller. To me it was as if they were wealthy tourists on an eco-tour watching pirhanas skeletonize a hapless cow*.

*Yes, I know this is a myth, but it is still a potent mental image.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Assisted Insomnia

The twins kept Cheryl up until 2:30am, and then she crashed in our bed and I staggered over to the futon in the nursery with the girls.

They woke me at 4:44 .. I know this because the numbers glowed a dull red at me from the alarm-clock radio on the shelf. I managed a record time (for me) of getting both diapers changed, bottles warmed, babies fed, and back in bed by about 5:30.

But guess who's still up? For the uninitiated, it is a not so good idea to put them back into their cribs and then stay in the room. They can sense in the dark if a parent is nearby and will snuffle piteously to be picked back up again. They won't cry, it's not that urgent.

They, like all children, fight sleep for some reason. My theory is that they all think they're going to miss something really interesting and magical if they let themselves drift into dreamland. (Parents and sleep researchers will attest that it's actually the opposite, kiddos.)

The only way to combat this is to leave the room for a few minutes until they settle down and then you can go back in and try and catch a few more winks yourself. That is, if you've managed to avoid checking e-mail, catching up on any blogs, etc. etc.

They Who Will Not Sleep

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Campout addendum

I keep thinking of things on the campout that I wanted to mention. I keep going back and editing posts, when I ought to be putting in addendums as in a real journal.

Cheryl, for some reason, got onto the subject of slugs with the kids last week. She even took the kids to a web page that identified different species of slugs with numbers. She went out on a walk with the kids, and they managed to identify some of the ones listed on the page "in the wild".

Thus Michael wanted very much to find a #4 slug on our sodden hike, but we never did find one.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Into every life

.. a little rain must fall. Friday night and yesterday I took Michael on his first campout. We had a great time, even though it poured rain like it was going out of style. And wouldn't you know it, after Michael got his shoes soaked, after our tent was drooling wet, and after I decided to throw in the towel and head home, the sun came out!

Day 1

Day 2

I think I could have convinced Michael to stay another night out if all had been well, but he was thinking that he was missing his sisters.

I found out after we got back that the rainfall from this weekend pushed our month total way beyond all previous records for rainfall here in the lower mainland for September. We hit 160 mm of rain and the record was 143 mm for the month.

The good news is that none of this fazed, or still fazes Michael. He asked me again today when we could go camping again.

Friday, September 10, 2004

The more things change

.. the more they stay the same.

People leave but other other people will show up. There will always be work to do and never enough time to do it in.

Having melancholy thoughts today, mostly because I'm tired and because things are changing here at work and I don't feel quite up to dealing with it all right now.

Anyhow, isn't this a great start to a blog?

I got side-tracked into this today because my sister set us up with a Flickr photo account so now I want to see if I can use the photos here.

This is Madeleine, my (almost) three year-old.