Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Lost My Tooth

Not long ago, Melissa lost her first tooth. The post-event highlights were captured on video by Cheryl and are posted here for your viewing pleasure.

Click on the image below to see the video. Filesize 13 MB, Windows Media Video format.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

I survived the year-end dance recital!

Melissa in the Green Room
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl

The recital ate our whole day: from starting to get ready at 8am until finally getting home just before 6 pm! I have successfully survived the dance recital insanity at Clarke Theatre in Mission. There were long waits between rehearsal slots, applying make-up to two very wiggly little girls, and two costume changes for each girl. Yeah, two. In addition to Maddy's Kinderdance bear costumes and Melissa's musical theatre school girl outfit, the studio added (now I really feel OLD!) a "retro-80's" grand finale number which included every class the studio ran this year.

Dancing Bears

I was not the studio parent of the year as my girls were NOT dressed as mini-Cyndi Lauper's like most of the other little girls (dancing to "Girls just wanna have fun").... We missed the last class before the recital and all I heard was "80's outfits" for the finale. Given the liqui-poo and house of hurling situations in the house this last week, I didn't have time to do anything fancy.

I put the girls' hair in side pony tails, put hair elastics like wrist bracelents on their wrists. I used leggings and an oversized shirt for Melissa and Maddy wore black leotard/pink tights, but most of the studio girls/moms went all-out for the retro 80's numbers! A classmate shared some giltter hair spray of Melissa's shared some glitter. I was shocked to find myself in a make-up/hairspray sharing situation - that was an odd turn around.

Over all it went well. However, I must curse the "no flash photography and no video" rules. I got no usable photos with no flash and have actually shelled out $50 to order a DVD of the performance so that our distance relatives can see the girls dance. What a racket! I think next year we are going with one of the city Parks and Rec programs because not being allowed to take video clips of ANY of the girls performances for the year left me feeling more than a little put out.

The House of Hurling - Twin Terrors

Warning: This post contains graphic descriptions of parenting subject matter. Reader discretion is advised.

6:45 am - I wake to a plaintive cry from upstairs. From the timing, pitch, and quality, I am pretty sure it is one of the twins. It is. I open the door to the twins room to find Maribeth wailing piteously, "I poopy!" Little do I know ..

6:50 am - Now I know. The reek is inescapable and the quantity of the offending liqui-poop apparently inexhaustible. I have the diaper off and had move it the customary distance away from the child's hind end before I discover that I am dealing with liqui-poop. To my horror the deft removal technique I employ ensures the dispersal of the liqui-poop onto the child's dress and changing table. Furthermore the liqui-poop is threatening to drip onto the carpet!

6:55 am - The diaper is now disposed of. The dress is in the washing machine. I wipe down the changing table pad with disinfectant. The child is taken to the bathroom and showered off. I am now in the process of hunting down a diaper and clothes for Maribeth when I feel a tugging on the leg of my shorts. Megan says, "I poopy." About a minute later my consciousness returns to my body because while I was floating above it all my senses detected the distinct smell of vomit ..

7:20 am - Maribeth is now scrubbed, diapered, and dressed in clean pyjamas. Megan is also scrubbed, diapered, and dressed in clean pyjamas. The dresses in the washing machine are now augmented with the chunky sheets from Megan's bed and the non-chunky sheets from Maribeth's bed for good measure. The changing table has been scrubbed down with disinfectant. Everything in sight has been scrubbed down with disinfectant. I crack open the window and turn on the fan to try and vent the clinging scents of stale liqui-poop and chunked supper. I need to be scrubbed down with disinfectant. Instead of hopping in the shower, I wash my hands and arms, come downstairs to the computer and begin this blog entry ..

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The House of Hurling - Feats of Daring

Given the recent collective bout of nausea, you'd think we would know better than to try leaving the house. Ha! Cabin fever set in and by this evening we had to get out into the fresh air. So we packed up a schwak of diapers and wipes, spare clothes, sandwiches, and water bottles and got ourselves out the door. Next stop: Crescent Beach.

We stopped at a playground with a picnic table to each our sandwiches. The twins, who were not feeling good, didn't eat much and then got down to play on the equipment. After about an hour, we rounded everyone up to herd them into the van. I spotted a racoon rummaging around in the garbage of one of the houses next to the park. We explained to the children to not approach the racoon, but the message was received somewhat unevenly. Maddy said, "Cute racoon!" Megan turned to her and said, "Bad racoon! Bites!"

We went out to Blackie Spit at the far end of the beach for our walk. The tide was as high as we've ever seen it, and the kids ran out to the end to see what part of the spit was still exposed. Unfortunately, while I was soaking in and photographing all the glories of the evening, Cheryl was stuck with doing her best to keep the twins out of the water. I did catch up to them eventually and Cheryl did get to look around a little, but not until after the twins had walked in up to their ankles and soaked their mocassins (robeez).

This was a lucky shot. I could have tried all afternoon for what happenstance handed me here without my asking.

We've seen quite a few sunsets at Crescent Beach now, but each one is unique. Each one is special in its own way. Tonight was no exception.

The evening light can be quite flattering if you use it correctly. Melissa and Megan were the beneficiaries of this particular evening's blessings.

Anyhow, none of this is to say that we got away completely scot-free from the chunking. I did have to change a couple of foul diapers. We did have to take everyone to the public lavatories (which they finally finished building!). But no one totally destroyed their clothes and we didn't come home reeking of vomit, so we felt completely justified in considering this evening's chunk-defying outing a rousing success!

See the video! Click on the picture below to see a Windows Media Video: Megan and the Bug - a short seaside discussion with a budding entomologist.

Friday, May 26, 2006

The House of Hurling - Mop-up Underway

Getting ready to make waffles and fruit for supper. It's a sign that the nausea which has gripped our house is dissipating. Still, Cheryl and the twins are staying home from church tomorrow.

A load or two of laundry was run today, but not because anyone had chunked on their bedclothes. Yeah!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The House of Hurling

Yup. It's chunk city here folks. Consider this log entry #1 of the current edition of Barfarama in the Edwin home.

Some background. One of the first things I learned about Cheryl was that when she is getting sick, her body spontaneously decides that it's a good idea to void the contents of her stomach. Why? No reason in particular. It just feels that when one is woozy the last thing to have on board is food and/or water. To be fair, when I get sick, my lower GI system goes into overdrive. You can take your pick which is more or less disgusting. Melissa, Maribeth, and to some extent Megan, inherited Cheryl's proclivities; Michael and Madeleine, mine. In all cases, it's just not much fun when people here get sick.

Some more background. Michael got a GI bug over the weekend. It was Saturday that Cheryl called me when I was in Victoria that he had thrown up for the first time. We were hoping that it was simply a case of his eating something at school the day before, as one of his classmates had a birthday and their parents had brought in some treat for everyone. Alas, it was not so because Melissa tossed her cookies yesterday too.

We broke out the gravol, but Melissa was pretty much down for the count and stayed home from school today anyhow. As the day wore on Cheryl reported that the twins too were definitely off their game, though no dual-regurgitations have yet been rendered. Madeleine was reported to be just plain grumpy, and she even put herself to bed tonight. Cheryl went to bed pretty much right after supper herself. And me, I'm making sure I have a clear path to the bathroom.

A few minutes ago I heard coughing from upstairs and then a sorrowful sound. I went up to check and Madeleine had indeed deposited some of her supper (chicken noodle soup) on her bed. Sigh. Stay tuned if you dare.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Domestic ramblings

The process is complete - Allan and I are domesticated. The proof is not the five children or the minivan, but that we have spent the past month working around our place every weekend instead of going places (other than taking Melissa and Maddy to dance competitions) AND we've enjoyed ourselves. That there is the proof of domestication. I NEVER thought I would be doing lawn & garden work and actually enjoying it.

Our place has never looked better around the outisde. We've been keeping up on weeding the flower bed, the herb garden and the Co-op common flower beds that are our assigned task this year. We've planted new bushes as well as flowers in the front beds. We've cleared the brush and branches from the back bed & put down landscaping black cloth and mulch. Allan powerwashed our siding, our concrete patio and the fences. Then he painted the back fence. We've been cleaning our van out every weekend and washing/vaccuming it in the driveway. It's SO nice to drive in a clean vehicle! We also cleaned out the garage.

Cleaning out the garage turned out to be prudent because we have received notification that we are up to get laminate flooring installed in our living room next week and have to have the room EMPTY for much of the week (the actual day/time will depend how fact the contractors are with the units preceding ours). So everything has to be re-located to the garage.

As we had new lino when we moved in - we are not getting the wood laminate in the dining room/hall/office. That's o.k. with us! Clearing the living room of five bookshelves, entertainment centre, 2 computers/desks/chairs, rocking chair, toys galore and my personal moving nemesis -- the evil heavy sofa-bed of doomed backs -- is going to be big enough chore without clearing the dining room, hall closets, and office as well. I've started this today. The coming week is so packed that leaving it until the last minute isn't a practical option.

If I think the schedule is packed now, next year is going to be even crazier with adding college classes and likely more co-op responsibilities. I have been notified that I am being nomiated at the AGM next Monday to be the treasurer for the co-op. (How awful is it that I'm praying they don't elect me!!). It's the hisotrical/natural progression from finance committee chair into serving a 2 year term as treasurer - but the treasurer job is WAY more involved. Worst case IF I get elected - I can resign if it gets to be too much. Best case - it's something the actually would be useful on a resume in the future and mention was also made today of having treaurer/assistant treasurer board members so split the responsibility. So I'm interested to see what happens.

Life is definitely not boring!

Check out Allan's trip to Victoria

Evening passage
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

You can check out the entire photo-set here.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

No self-esteem issues here!

Ponytail girls
Originally uploaded by Allan & Cheryl.

Megan and Maribeth definitely don't have any self-esteem issues at this point.

Megan loves "pwetty dwess" and after we get her dressed for the day - she usually says "I just SO CUTE!"

Maribeth LOVES to have her hair done and will look in a mirror and say "I pwetty!"

Today Maribeth came up to me and said "I just so pwecious."


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Scenes from Mother's Day Weekend

These days Cheryl is neck-deep in math problems, but she managed to dig her way out long enough to look absolutely smashing in the picture above and enjoy very brief Mother's Day interlude. Then it was back into the hurry and scurry of life with the M's.

The kids made gifts at school. Melissa decorated a little clay planting pot and brought home a petunia in it.

Our visit to Crescent Beach was not quite as relaxed as this picture belies. Those twins headed for the horizons as soon as we turned our heads.

Chores completed on Sunday:

laundry started
pancake & french toast breakfast
mother's day gifts presented
toiletries and stuff at the drug store
bread (and other goodies) at the discount bread store
pick-up bark-muulch, marigolds, sprinkler, edging, and some lilac bushes at home & garden store
weekly grocery shopping
groceries put away
post-lunch clean-up
laundry continued
bathrooms cleaned
vacuuming done
receipts entered and reviewed against budget
mulch deposited on beds near back fence (which was painted Friday)
windows cleaned
garage clutter sorted and put away
edging installed around front bed
marigolds planted
lilacs planted
sprinkler set to water-in new plants
post-supper clean-up
grubby children bathed

Monday, May 01, 2006

My new $50 cello bow

As of today - I'm the new owner of a $50 carbon fiber cello bow. This was bought somewhat on a whim after reading on the ICS boards that Shar was clearancing out these cello bows for less than half of the normal price and that several ICS members had bought them and found them to be functional with a good sound for the price - comparing to other student bows in the $300-$500 price range.

The final selling point was that ICS members first complaints was that the bow was "insubstantial/very light". I struggle with tendonitis in my hands and wrists and so my cello playing time is very limited due to that.

Furthermore, my good cello bow is in need of a re-hairing AND a possible repair. Something feels not quite right where the frog meets the stick. My back up bow is a decent wood bow - but quite heavy. The rehair alone for that bow (assuming that the rehair fixed the issues and no other repairs are needed) is $80. So I figured why not get the carbon fiber bow?

The total cost even with shipping and taxes was still less than the cost to rehair my good bow. I told Allan that no matter WHAT it sounded like - I would practice on it until it needed rehairing so we wouldn't actually be out any money in the long run. I was lucky to get one as the next post I saw after placing my order was titled "Sold out - I don't think we'll see a deal like that again".

So the bow came today and I was eager to try it out! As expected - the tone is not as good as either of my wooden bows. It's clearly even a cut below my "2nd" cello bow and there's just no comparing to to my good bow. However - it doesn't sound BAD - just not as good, the sound is a bit thinner/quieter/not as rich. But the bow actually seems to perform decently - I can do differnet bowing styles - just spiccato takes quite a bit more control. My good bow practically does it on it's own! Basically - it's a good back-up bow to my back-up bow. BUT as I had hoped for - playing with the lightweight carbon fiber stick doesn't hurt my wrist. After practicing cello today, spending time writing out math problems and then playing through 3 hours of FVS rehearsal - my wrist remained pain free all the way to the end of rehearsal! I am even here after orchestra actually typing on the computer!!! That wouldn't be happening before.

So in light of THAT - I believe the dollars were $ well spent! The plan is to practice with the carbon fibre bow the majority of the time and use the wooden ones more for performances - at least during this life-stage where I will be doing more typing/writing. So I once again have 3 cello bows. My previous 3rd bow has gone out to my cousin on the East coast. It was a lovely bow: bought to go with the cello I played in high school, that just didn't sound good at all on my current cello and was quite heavy - so I never actually played it. It sounds wonderful on my cousin's cello however - and had I not sent it out to her - there's no way I would have justified buying a 4th! cello bow and this bow is going to allow me to play cello more than I otherwise would be physically able to.

Breaking News!

I have been accepted into UCFV"s Bachelor of business Administration program for the Fall 2006 semester! I'll get my registraton time on May 10 - online.It's very neat - they have all my previous classes/grades/contact info online already! Registration will run from June 1-30th and being a new student - I'll be at the end of the line. Now we just have to pray that my registration time is before June 28 when we leave for Maine!