Sunday, February 27, 2005

We're unpacked!

Cheryl declared us so this last week, but I didn't feel that we were fully unpacked until today, when I took the last box out of our living room to the garage. It wasn't taking the box itself that caused me to feel that we were now settled. The box had contained all of our framed wall pictures and tonight I finished putting up pretty much all of them. To me, a house without pictures isn't as fully 'lived in' as it could be. The pictures show who lives in the house and who all the stuff belongs to. Otherwise, the furniture, knick-knacks, etc. could all belong to anybody. They could be just props on a movie set.

Humm .. what else got done this weekend? I secured all of the shelves in our living room to the walls. If you have small kids (or even big ones), this is very important. I've already caught Melissa and Madeleine climbing one of the shelves to get at some stuff I had put up out of reach of 4 year old hands. I'm just glad Cheryl weighed all of the shelves down with her college text-books on the bottom shelves. I knew those texts were good for something!

I also stopped at Home Depot and picked up a garden hose for us. It's been a while since we've lived anywhere that we needed a hose, so I was in a bit of a shock at the prices. $60 for 100 feet of hose. Wow. I only got 50 feet and I'm hoping that's enough.

I did not yet manage to get the drop-leaf table stained and sealed. That's going to have to wait for another weekend I guess.

A couple of notes before I forget:

- It was 21c today! We've had almost 3 weeks streight of sunshine here, so you gotta wonder how dire the drought is going to be this summer.
- I didn't have to scrape our winshield before firin up th van before I put it into gear

Michael thinks ahead

I wish I had thought ahead myself. If I had, I would have had the batteries to our digicam charged, because if they were charged I would have had the camera with us at church yesterday to capture Michael about to change his underwear during Sabbath School!

We were in the middle of an activity when someone commented, "I smell a poopy diaper!" All of us parents present started checking each of our children. Michael decided that it was himself, so he set about to deal with the problem. I turned my head to see him, with his pants around his ankles, just about to pull down his drawers too!

Cheryl had set out the children's clothes as usual so they could dress themselves after breakfast. Michael felt the underwear he had on were clean, so he put the briefs laid out for him into his backpack to take along "just in case."

My exclamation stopped him in time and we managed to convince him he wasn't the culprit.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

I've now survived electrocution!

24 hours ago - I was sitting in a very overcrowded ER waiting to been seen after our toaster decided to try and eliminate me at dinnertime. It didn't like that I reached over to stick the waffle farther in while it was on; something I've done a thousand times before. (Now that I think about it - I"m wondering if my ring touched the toaster element?) There was an odd sensation of current/buzzing down my left side and into the floor ... being motionless ... then jumping, only to grab the fridge handle. D'oh - bad idea- zinged again! Then I floated free off it. I must have made some noise because Allan was calling "ARE YOU O.K.?" on hearing the commotion from the dining room.

In a strange, disconnected voice - I said, "No - I've been electrocuted by the toaster". My left side felt numb and tingly at the same time. My left arm and leg felt like they were made of lead. I was talking out of half my mouth like Jean Cretien and couldn't move my left hand; my arm and shoulder felt hot inside.

I phoned home where my mother - roused from near sleep - immediately hung up so as to phone my dad who was working in the ER. She phoned back immediately and said "Dad says GO TO THE ER NOW - they need to make sure your heart is o.k."

I asked Allan to take me - but the M's had already put themselves into the tub and both babies were crawling around in diapers that needed changing. Sensing that it would be a LONG time to get everyone out the door - I headed out alone. Halfway to the hospital I realized I wasn't really safe to drive: I still felt really odd, and I also had no cell phone.

I arrived at Langley Hospital ER to find the busiest ER I had ever seen. It was a 40 min wait just to see the triage nurse. By the time - I had been checked into the waiting room - it was standing room only. For some bizarre reason - dozens of people had chosen after work on Monday to go to the ER for problems that had, in many cases, been bothering them for quite some time - days even. There were the kids with broken bones, tummy flu patients needing IV's, a post-surgery patient who was having a reaction, older men with chest pains, and so on. A foul smelling, drugged or drunk, unkept man with an injured foot was urinating on the floor and being hostile to the nurses. He was finally taken off to a locked room somewhere.

There were both parents of an 8 month-old happy baby boy with a red spot on his forehead. I overheard them explaining that he pulled to standing and fell down bonking his head on the chair. They were there when I arrived and they left the same time I did. They waited over 4 hours that evening to see a doctor, with a boy that was eating, playing, fussing, smiling, and filling diapers, just to be told that the boy was fine: something completely observable to everyone else in the waiting room. Obviously first time parents!

Good thing they went to Langley not Surrey. In Surrey - they would be getting grilled more along the lines of "are you sure you didn't hit your baby?" How do I know this? Well - let's just say it will be a cold day in ........ before I take any of my children into the SMH ER voluntarily.

Getting back to the ER though - as I waited, I noticed I was regaining feeling and movement. I had arrived at the ER at 8pm and by almost 11pm was still waiting. Since I was feeling so much better - I decided to go home and walked up to let the nurse know. She looked me up in her papers and said, "oh no, don't leave - just come back here." Assuming I was next - I followed her as she buzzed me through the double doors and motioned me to a chair across from the curtained-off beds housing ER patients. Then she left.

I fumed there for a while until I realized it was a lot more interesting on that side of the door anyway; I got lots more info on what different patients were in for. Hey - it's not evesdropping if they TELL you to sit there and than talk loud enough that you can hear them!

So all told - once the doctor got there - things didn't take long at all. I was - as I had suspected several hours earlier - fine. So after a stop at a 24 hour McDonalds drive through - I was back home by 2am. I deposited the offending toaster in the dumpster today and hope that will be all the "shocking" news for a long time.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Covered in Kisses

Megan and Maribeth smeared their faces witih Hershey Kisses on Valentines Day.

We have mostly unpacked, but there are still some projects that need doing. The bulletin boards and pictures have not yet been hung on our walls.

Last Sabbath we dressed up the kids for church and spent about 1/2 hour trying to get them to look at the camera at the same time.

I spent Sunday working on the kid's bikes. Cheryl took Melissa and Michael to Walmart to get them some proper bike helmets.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Twins 1st birthday!

Twins 1st birthday!

Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.
The twins turned 1 year old on Feb 2nd. Due to the move - we celebrated their birthday on Sabbath. Grandma Sophie bought their dresses and ordered the cake seen here - a gorgeous cake with REAL flowers.

However - we had a mix-up as I thought we were bringing the cake - so I had taken Maddy to pick a cake for the twins so we ended up with TWO cakes. Just the corner of the 2nd cake is showing here (photo of the 2nd cake on Flickr).

Surprisingly almost all of both cakes were eaten! I give Maddy the credit for that. During the opening prayer at church - Maddy stood up front and loudly annouced "WE BROUGHT CAKE - EVERYONE GO DOWNSTAIRS. EAT CAKE." Of course the sermon hadn't even happened yet and Maddy does not have the authority to dismiss church - but all the kids in the whole church just picked at lunch and had 2nds and 3rds of cake!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Our first view of our new home!

Our new kitchen
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

Allan picked the key up after work and came home to pick us up for our first view of our new place. We stopped at McDonalds for supper on the way there - both in celebration of the occasion and in an effort to speed up the evening so the children wouldn't be up too late.

This is Melissa, Michael and Maddy finishing up their food on the floor of the galley kitchen. Why on the floor in that tiny kitchen you might wonder?

Well - that's the "bad news" of the day. To our dismay the dining room is carpeted - yes carpeted! The unit we toured had linolem running out to the dining room. The co-op committee member showing us around said that she hadn't been in our particular unit before and didn't know there was carpet in there.

Two for dinner
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

Apparently when the co-op was built - the original residents had a choice of lino or carpet. Only a few chose carpet and we have one of them. We can request the board to put lino in - instead (or other flooring) - but as the carpet is fine - we were warned would have to pay for it. So we will be off to search for "splat mats" for under the 3 youngest M's highchairs.

Now for the good news

dining room light fixture
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

Now that the bad new is out of the way - I need to mention the good news about our new place. Check out Flicker for more photos.

First the dining room light fixture is beautiful! We were told that the "standard" is just a wire for you to hook up your own light fixture - but the previous occupant left her's behind - so we get to keep it!

Next - there will be room in the "office" for both of our desks AND our filing cabinet! The "office" is a small room off the entry area downstairs- too small really for a bedroom - but it has it's own windoww, electrical outlets and a closeable door (which we plan to get child-proofed ASAP!).

We have 2 bathrooms! When we started looking for places to move to - Allan said he was praying for 2 bathrooms as a necessity with 5 females in the house. I had been reading the ads in the paper and had said we couldn't afford anywhere with 2 bathrooms! Well - we have been blessed with 2 bathrooms! PTL!

Downstairs Bathroom
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

We have a dishwasher too and it looks to be relatively new! I also can gate off the galley kitchen and so will not have to be so worried about children accidentally getting burned! The kitchen also has 2 windows! One at the end of the galley kitchen the other in front of the sink and it looks out over the walk leading around the garage to our unit - so LIGHT while I"m working in the kitchen.

That brings me to light overall - every room except the downstairs bathroom has at least one window and many of 2 windows! The living room has big sliding glass doors out to the patio area plus another 3 smaller windows!! The dining room area has 2 windows, the upstairs bathroom has a window! Both girls rooms have 2 windows! Our bedroom and Michaels each have one - but even those are big - in fact - I think there's more square inches of window in just our one bedroom window than we had in all of this house!

This will be such a blessing after living in "the dungeon" down here in the basement suite with only a 5 tiny barred windows way above eye level.

The happy boy has the biggest kids room!

Happy Boy!
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

Now I'm sure you all are thinking - "That's not fair - why should the only child to have his own room have the biggest room?"

Well - I can understand that. In fact - prior to our visit to the new house - I had firmly stated "whichever bedroom is the smallest is Michael's - no matter what." No matter what. Famous last words. One would think that with 5 years of parenting down - I would know better by now. Little did I know that within 30 minutes I would have to eat my words.

The smallest bedroom is a very tiny bedroom - too small even to put 2 twin beds size by side and still fit a small dresser. The closet only one-half the size of the other bedroom closets. At first glace it was the obvious choice for Michael. Clearly, 1 boy needs only half the closet space, if that, of 2 girls. Then with his loft bed - he would still have floor space to play. With the thought of the loft bed - my eyes gazed towards the ceiling where I saw "it."

"It" was a trapdoor to a crawlspace over the ceiling. The trapdoor sat there smugly in the center of the room making it blatantly obvious that there was no way to put Michael's high loft bed out of reach of the trap door. In that instant of realization - the twins were relegated to the tinest bedroom I have ever seen.

Allan helpfully said - "well at least this room is right next door to ours - so we can hear the twins if they fuss in the night". ("If." Hahaha, more like "When"!) He also promised to build (remember this everyone) a crib mattress sized toddler trundle or "low" bunk bed set so that when the twins are bigger and out of cribs - they can have some actual floor space.

But still - how come Michael's room is bigger than Melissa and Maddy's? Well - while Allan, Michael and I were pondering the trapdoor - Melissa and Maddy had been checking out the remaning 2 rooms. They were in total agreement - they wanted "the room with 2 windows." They had also in that short time picked WHERE in the room they were putting their bunkbed, shelves and drawers. They didn't care if it was smaller and Melissa cried when I told her that we thought the other room should be for her and Maddy. So we said they could keep "their" room.

So at the end of the day - Michael - the boy who was supposed to get the smallest room "no matter what". Now has the biggest room and biggest closet outside of ours. Though I'm already planning to stash extra blankets and things in that closet because he only has 2 outfits that need hanging up!