Thursday, June 26, 2008


A post of a completely different nature today...

If you're watching the news at all today you will know that there is a terrible political situation in Zimbabwe right now. People are being beaten or killed trying to fight for democracy and freedom which seem impossible to achieve.

After reading General Romeo Dallaire's book Shake Hands With the Devil I was horrified at how the world stood by and watched the horrors that had happened in Rwanda. Could the same thing happen again? At the time the genocide was happening in Rwanda, how many people were really aware of what was going on? How many of us (me included) really understand what is happening in Zimbabwe? What can be done about it?

I think the first thing we have to do is to be informed. I'm going to post links here to two blogs from people we know, John and Rochelle, who are currently in Africa, a couple who are missionaries in Zimbabwe itself and a friend of ours, Trevor, working for Engineers Without Borders in nearby Zambia. I think this will give a more personal account of what is happening that may make it more real than what you see on the news. Trevor's blog also offers some links to more information about what is happening there.

I'm not sure what we can do from here to make a difference, other than pray for Zimbabwe and the people there.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

When You Grow Up

We had a great weekend with Nick's parents and his sister, Stef, visiting from Montreal. There was a lot of shopping and good eating to be done and a lot of laughs generally brought on by the kids. They were both in fine form over the weekend, entertaining us all. Stef has posted some great pictures of the weekend here.

As her birthday present from Auntie Stef, Darcy got to see her favourite author, Robert Munsch, telling stories at a local theatre. Initially she wasn't as excited as we thought she'd be (she was more interested in the paper dolls in the birthday card than the Robert Munsch tickets) but she has been talking about it a lot since. As I write this she's acting out "Love You Forever" with her dolls. It was definitely something she'll remember for a long time.

She's talking constantly about what she wants to be when she grows up. She's got lots of ideas and she changes her mind constantly. Here are some of my favourites from recent days...

-teacher and then a principal
-baseball player
-a girl Robert Munsch (this was after seeing him)
-soccer player
-hair stylist (while getting her hair cut)
-a real princess with a big golden dress
-the queen

and my personal favourite - the woman at McDonalds who talks from the inside to the outside!

Who knows what the future holds???

Friday, June 20, 2008

It Figures

I've complained about our pediatrician here before. He's either rushing us in and out of his office or he's being overly thorough and ordering so many tests that he's scaring the life out of me. Another frustration is that his office has a parking lot that is a fraction of the size of what is needed and you can never find parking when you go there. You can also wait over an hour past your scheduled appointment time in his tiny waiting room that is usually filled with strollers and sick kids who want to touch your kids.

The kids had appointments last week and Darcy was diagnosed with bronchitis and Wesley had a severe ear infection. Darcy was also due for shots which he didn't want to do with the bronchitis so he asked us to come back this week to follow up on both kids and to do Darcy's shots. Wesley's ear infection was so bad that if it wasn't cleared up we'd need to go for a hearing assessment.

I was dreading the appointment, lugging them both there, trying to find parking, waiting with both kids and hearing whatever bad news he had for us. Nick didn't start work until 3:00 yesterday so I convinced him to come with me so I wouldn't have to deal with it alone.

We left half an hour before the appointment time to give ourselves plenty of time to find a parking spot and to possibly walk several blocks to the office. Nick decided to drop us off and go find a spot himself. We got to the office and there were several spots to choose from in the small lot! That never happens when I'm alone. Never. Then we went inside and the waiting room was empty. The receptionist told us to go right into the exam room. We had barely gotten in there when the doctor came in. He checked both kids and said they were perfectly well. No further tests or medication for either of them. Darcy got her shots and her lollipop and we were on our way nearly 10 minutes before the appointment was scheduled to start. I think I need to take Nick with me every time.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Too Much Dora

Darcy still loves "Dora the Explorer". She doesn't watch it as much as she used to but she will still enjoy it if she gets the chance to watch it.

This morning she was building things with her lego and she built a staircase. She said, "This is a pattern staircase". I asked her what the pattern was and without hesitation she replied, "Verde, amarillo, verde, amarillo, verde, amarillo." I asked her if she knew what the pattern was in English and she said no. Then she thought about it for a minute and was able to come up with, "Green, yellow, green, yellow, green, yellow."

What a kid. And to think she hasn't even begun to learn French yet.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

An Amazing Race

Darcy ran a big (100 m) race tonight. She did her first one a couple of years ago in conjunction with a race Nick was running. He wasn't in shape to do tonight's run so this one was all about her.

Before we went she asked me to run with her but when we got there she decided she wanted to run all by herself. I stayed with her at the starting line and got her started and then she went the rest of the way on her own.

She wasn't the first one to cross the finish line by any stretch of the imagination but I don't think she's worried about that. She started smiling when she started running and she was still smiling when we put her in bed. She had a blast! Her huge grin while she was running was one of the cutest things I've ever seen. We were so proud of her and it was very clear that she was proud of herself too. She wants to keep doing more races and she wants Nick and I to do them too. We'll have to see about that.

Here's Nick's account of the race and here are some pictures.

Friday, June 13, 2008

New Haircut

Darcy's hair has been slowly driving me crazy. Probably because it's so much like mine, the poor kid. When Darcy was first born we both wanted her to have long hair but that was before we got to see what her hair was really like. It's totally out of control and it is next to impossible to make it look nice. I could brush it 1000 times a day and it would still be all over the place.

Her first big haircut came last summer after Wesley was born. I knew the time I could spend caring for it just got eaten up so we cut it to her shoulders. That's been OK but still not great. One side curls under and the other side curls out always making her look kind of lopsided. Today we went and got it cut even shorter, right about to her jawline. I love it! It looks so cute on her. Maybe that's because she had decided to wear a tiara to the mall today and any new haircut would look great with a tiara, wouldn't it?

It was hard for me to get a good picture when we got home from the mall because Darcy was being antsy and Wesley was crawling all over me. I think you can get the picture though. She's also trying to model her new ring in the picture.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Darcy's Party

We had a great time celebrating Darcy's birthday over the weekend. Friday, her actual birthday, was pretty low-key with just the four of us here. We took Darcy to her favourite park (in 32 degree heat!) to play for a while before a trip to Montana's for supper. She got to wear a big moose hat and have all the staff sing to her which she thought was pretty cool.

On Saturday she had her final swimming lesson before my family arrived in the early afternoon. Then her party began in a park near our house at 3:00. With all her friends and their parents we had 27 people at the party. Everything went pretty well with the exception of the cake. I had ordered the cake, with Darcy's help, a couple of weeks ago. She had selected a "twirling Barbie ballerina" cake. Nick picked up the cake on Saturday morning and when he got it home it didn't look like the cake in the picture. There was a little stand on the cake and they handed him the Barbie separately with no instructions. I couldn't get the Barbie to stand on the cake, let alone to twirl like a ballerina. In one attempt she fell on the cake, ruining the icing. I called the store to see what was supposed to happen and they told me that the Barbie doesn't actually spin, that what was pictured on what I was shown when I ordered it doesn't actually work. I was pretty mad that they knew it wouldn't work, took my order and happily took my $36 for a cake that didn't do what I was told it would. I got my money back.

It was a bit windy down by the river but that helped it seem not so warm. It just prevented us from lighting candles for Darcy to blow out. The kids played some games and we all ate some snacks and cake. Darcy got a lot of wonderful presents that she's been playing with non-stop since the party. At the end of the party as everyone was starting to pack up to leave, Darcy walked over to me and said, "Mommy, thank you for this wonderful birthday party." Well, who cares about a twirling Barbie then? (Incidentally, the geniuses had just constructed the Barbie stand incorrectly. If it was built properly, which is easy to do she twirls quite nicely.)

My family spent the night on Saturday night and Darcy had a great time playing with her cousins for another day. We had a slight scary moment on Sunday afternoon when we took another walk to the park by the river. It was quite windy and there was one moment when no one had their hand on Wesley's stroller. A big gust of wind hit the stroller and sent him flying into the fence. Nick saw him hit his head on the fenct but it didn't seem to bother him, he just kept eating his Cheerios. The only problem was that the impact knocked his sippy cup out of the cup holder and it bounced right into the river.

It was a great weekend and Darcy had great time which is all that matters.

Friday, June 06, 2008

4 Years Old!

Today is Darcy's fourth birthday. We can't believe it. It sounds cliche, but really, where has the time gone?

We're so proud of Darcy and the little person she's becoming. She loves princesses, Dora, playing with her friends and drawing pictures, among many other things. She is very active and loves playing outside and riding her bike. She can't read yet, but she has countless books memorized and likes to do "pretend reading" to herself and Wesley all the time. Her favourite author is Robert Munsch (who she's going to go see for her birthday with Auntie Stef in a couple of weeks!). She loves to eat spaghetti and pork chops (not at the same time) and she just generally loves being silly. Darcy is a great big sister and always wants to help with Wesley and gives him hugs and kisses all the time.

One of my favourite things is that Darcy is very affectionate. She is constantly giving us spontaneous hugs and kisses or out of the blue saying, "Mommy, I love you." I especially love it when she does that when we're in a store or something and you can hear the reactions of the people around us. So sweet.

We listen to a local radio show every morning and Darcy listens and often comments on what they're talking about. They announce birthdays every day so we sent in her birthday for them to announce today. She almost jumped out of her skin when they said her name, she was so excited.

We're not sure what we're doing to celebrate today but we're having a party tomorrow with her friends and my side of the family. We'll celebrate with the Titcombes in a couple of weeks when they come to visit.

We love you, Darcy! Happy birthday! Here's a look back at the last 4 years.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Little Brother

Darcy keeps telling us how much she loves her brother and how much she loves being a big sister. I have a feeling that will all be changing very soon as Wesley becomes more mobile and gets into her things more. She is starting to get a pretty good idea of what having a little brother can be all about.

Here's what happened this morning...

Lately we've ended up with both kids in bed with us in the mornings. Nick, Darcy and I lay there and Wesley kind of crawls all over us. He gets really excited to see each one of us and tries to give us slobbery kisses. He was giving Darcy a big kiss this morning when she suddenly started to scream. He had bitten her cheek so hard that it was hard for me to break him away from her. She had a good mark there for a few minutes.

When she was eating her breakfast Wesley was crawling around on the living room floor (which leads right into the dining room and Darcy's chair is closest to the living room). He kept crawling over to her chair, pulling himself up on it and poking her in the bum. Nick or I would move him away from her but he'd crawl right back and do it again.

Later, she was on the couch as Wesley was getting ready to go for his nap. I brought him over to give her a kiss before I took him upstairs. She was so concerned about him biting her again that she didn't realize he had a handful of her hair (and neither did I) until he ripped a few strands out.

This was all before 8:30!

Of course there are times when they're together and they giggle uncontrollably. I love those times but I fear they will become fewer and farther in between over the next few months.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Why Not???

Tonight while we were eating supper the skies opened up and rain started pouring down. We had been expecting rain all day, so it wasn't that big of a surprise, but it was loud and there was lots of it. Darcy heard it and said, "I guess we shouldn't go out to play after supper!" We agreed.

Then I said, "Maybe we should take a walk." I was joking, because it was raining so hard. I didn't expect her to take me up on it. She got all excited about the idea and throughout supper kept talking about wearing her raincoat and using her umbrella while we were out walking. I really didn't want to go for a walk in the pouring rain, but the more I thought about it I couldn't think of a reason why. So we decided to go.

If you've never taken a walk in the rain, I now highly recommend it. We had so much fun! Darcy put on her rain boots, rain coat and got her umbrella. I decided to try out the water resistance my new spring jacket claimed and off we went. Usually when we're outside I'm always on Darcy's case to stay away from the puddles, but today we went looking for them. She jumped in every puddle she saw. Within seconds we were both drenched, but we were laughing. We walked to the end of the street and back and were both a little disappointed when the walk ended. We had to get into our pajamas before 7:00 at night because our pants were so wet and our coats are hanging in the laundry room to dry. My face was soaked and I had raindrops dripping off my nose, but listening to my daughter laugh hysterically as she jumped in the puddles made it all worth it.

Maybe it will rain again tomorrow...

Monday, June 02, 2008

Free Album Download

My cousin Glenn is in a band called downhere (Juno award winners for best Gospel album, might I add) and they've got a cool promotion going on right now that I wanted to promote a little here. They're trying to get the word out as much as possible, so I thought I'd do my part.

For the month of June, their latest release, "Wide Eyed and Mystified" is available, in its entirety, as a free download here.

If you listen to it and you like it, spread the word.