Saturday, December 19, 2009

Oh how they grow...up!

It really is quite amazing to watch little people as they grow and learn. They push and push and push against the being told no or trying to get on an item that is a little too high or carry an item that is a little too heavy. They absorb everything and quickly put that new knowledge to use. Really the only thing that holds them back is their physical limitations.

Last night ...or rather early, early this morning little PK was in need of a little drink. As I lay him back down in his bed he raised his head. This usually means he wants me to pick him up and hold him until he falls back to sleep but to my amazement he reached out his hand, grabbed his stuffed cow and pig, tucked them into his armpits and put his head back down promptly going back to sleep. Hmmm...I guess I have been replaced - too bad they can't get him a drink in the middle of the night ;)

Last night we also thought it was time to put another mark on PK's growth chart. It had been about 3 months since last we did it. Was I ever amazed at how much he had grown. To give you an idea the space between the lines is three inches.

And just because we know what a monkey our little man is - here is his new favourite play spot.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A funny moment in time

So this morning PK and I get up and go downstairs. PK plays while I put together breakfast. We eat breakfast and then he plays as I clean up. I am almost finished cleaning up when he walks into the center of the family room and bends over and is grabbing at his groin region. As per norm I say Oh, did you just pee He looks at me and grabs again. So I say Òh, are you really wet, okay give mommy a moment and we`ll get you out of that diaper. He grabs again. Òkay, okay, I`m coming. So up the stairs we go and into the bathroom as I was going to throw him in the tub. So off comes his clothes and there he is standing there buck naked - his diaper had fallen off sometime between going down stairs and his standing in the family room and he was trying to tell me the whole time. Poor darling was probably very confused as to why mommy was laughing so hard.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

I love Christmas... the decorations....the baking....the getting together with friends....the well just about everything to do with the festive season. And slowly my house is looking like it belongs to the season. Littlest PK is doing a great job of learning to look and gentle touch only. Lots of reminding....a couple of slightly damaged ornaments but otherwise we are doing fairly well.

Some pics of what our world is looking like right now.

Our stockings are hung

Bannister is decorated

Glass baubles and such in an oversized bowl as our table centerpiece

Santa taking his rightful place in the center of our homemade wreath

A visit with the real live Santa

And a view out our back window

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A View out the Office Window

As I wrote the last post I was glancing out the window at the current project being worked on by Andy. He has his buddy over helping. They are both on their winter time off and every year have been helping each other out with projects. It's great catch up time for them as they barely see each other the rest of the year and it sure does make the projects more enjoyable for them.

So here is what they are working on.

Yes indeed, the barn is getting a new roof. The guys are putting on the trim right now. We looked at pictures last night of the barn as it looked when we bought this place. It was a two tone grey and now is this lovely deep green with white trim and now a black roof - so excting.

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Littlest PK has been doing a lot of copying and repeating of actions. Some is super cute...others maybe not so much but it's all learning and wonderful memories.

Andy has had PK help with making the fire since he was big enough to walk. PK brings in some of the kindling, scrunches the paper (you can imagine how that translates to other fun stuff), carries the match box to and from the drawer and closes the gate. Anyways to make a long story short, Andy showed PK how to snap in half a piece of kindling that was too long for the fire. Two days later with his new-to-him Xylophone PK picks up one of the mallets and proceeds to snap it in half. Hard to get mad at him when you taught him the action.

But here are some of the super-cute copycat moments of the last week.

Chatting to his girlfriend on his new cell phone

Sharing his bottle with Santa 'cause Santa likes milk don't you know

Clipping his toenails and fingernails

And just cause we like to really get into our projects with our whole body and soul.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

When all else fails

I love my child...I really, really love my child...but there are moments when I also really dislike my child. Today we were having a lot of moments. I am sure there is probably something going on for him that means he needs more attention then normal and wants things his way more then normal but that doesn't make it any easier when he is trying to play drums with the glass measuring cups, eat the tinted moisturizer or the cologne that he somehow managed to get out of the top drawers in the vanity (no longer child prrof I guess), or the same with the markers out of the office drawer.

Today the doors are closed, on the office, on the bedroom, on the bathrooms and anything else I can find to close. I don't like feeling like I am always saying no. It doesn't feel like a positive environment but there is also a limit to what can safely be played with and I only have so many shelves that are above reach or behind locked doors.

So after a morning of him getting into everything and then yelling (not crying - yelling) at me when I take it away and whining the moment I am not paying attention to him I finally just put him in his crib, told him that I loved him but that he and I needed to have alone time, and less then ten minutes of crying later he is fast asleep in his crib. Hmmmm, do you think that he maybe just needed the nap that I told him he needed at about 10 o'clock this morning.....maybe just a little.

Anyhow, now that I am done venting and giving away the negative energy I can make room for  a positive and enjoyable afternoon. And to start that off I share some happy thoughts.

PK taking Mr Teddy for a stroll around the house

Breakfast this of our favourites
French Toast with yogurt for dipping
and a side of sliced banana and kiwi

That I have a healthy, active and curious child
I am grateful
And that I can serve my child such a healthy and filling meal
I am grateful
And that I have a warm and cozy home to play and relax in
I am grateful
That I have these things within my house for him to get into
I am grateful
And a camera to take pictures with to share our lives with others
I am grateful

So when all else fails thinking about all these things will certainly be a wonderful afternoon.
And to know that and be able to re-create the rest of my day..
for that I am VERY grateful.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Andy and I had our Christmas 'staff party' this past weekend. We joined up with my old employer for a joint party to make things a bit more fun. Littlest PK went to his Grandma and Grandpa's for his first sleep-over at their house. He had a great time playing and visiting with their guests and listening to music.

Us parents, well we had a romantic overnighter at Tigh-Na-Mara in Parksville. This is a lovely resort on the oceanfront. They do an amazing job of a buffet spread for dinner and the rooms are cozy and enjoyable.

A view from our room.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Green thumb

So last night I quietly placed a couple pots in the garage. Pots that held what once were thriving plants but now hosted shrivelled leaves of very dead foliage. So to make myself feel better about the whole cemetary in the garage I am posting this....proof that not only can I keep a plant alive but that I can in fact get an orchid to bloom...yes indeed these blooms are new and on a plant that I received as a 'please babysit this' from my Mother - I guess I'm doing an okay job seeing as it is still in my care.

Recalls, recalls, recalls

So one would think that a crib that is ten years old would be well past the recall stage....right.....WRONG.....yesterday I just happened to have a Times Columnist sitting at the end of the driveway (we don't get it delivered but occasionally it just shows up there) and I actually took the time to read some of it. So what just happens to be in the paper - a story about how Storkcraft has expanded it's recalls all the way back to 1993 on drop-sided cribs and as you can guess that means that little mans crib is part of this.

So on to their website, fill out the form and now we wait like thousands of others for the new conversion kit to arrive in the mail. In the meantime we hope that little man doesn't go crazy in his crib and break the parts that have been breaking......what do you think the chances are....;)

My advice to all.....periodically check the recall listings or even sign up for their email alerts.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Singing, Reading and my happy boy

So the Terri Clark concert was amazing. I saw her in concert several years ago when she opened for Brad Paisley in Vancouver - huge venue - very small person on a very far away stage. Now don't get me wrong - the concert was still great but compared to row F seats (that's right - the letter F is the 6th letter in the alphabet so you know what that means) in the small theatre here in Duncan it is hard to even compare the two. All I know is that I never want to go to a huge concert again after sitting that close to the stage.

On a reading note I have just finished reading Becoming Vegetarian . This great book was just jammed full of facts about food in general. I learnt a lot about vitamins, minerals, food combos, myths about protein amounts in foods to suppliments one needs to be taking at various times in life and why. I eat meat. I like the taste of meat. Not sure if I could entirely give it up but after reading this book I certainly feel like I could eat a lot more vegetarian meals and feel like I was safely fulfilling my families needs for all their nutrients. I borrowed it from Healthy Beginnings but would actually suggest having a copy on the shelf for reference.

And the happy boy.....well he must have gotten a sense of all the rain that has been coming down and was preparing himself because for some odd reason this is what he wanted to wear.

And wear it he did - proudly walking around the house in it for quite awhile - that's my boy!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Days around here have been relatively quiet. Lots of indoor time due to massive amounts of rain. Littlest dude has been getting around (sort of) on his car. Here he is cruisin his car with his newest favorite "toy" - Daddy's tape measure - neatly stowed in the storage compartment - such a smart boy.

Bad news - he's got that croupy cough going on again - grrrrrrrr
Good news - I'm going to the Terri Clark concert tonight - yeah!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Shit Happens

and flows everywhere when one's pump stops working.

We recently had to replace the septic pump for our shop as it burst it's seal and was not fixable. The guys had to tear up and then re-lay the pavers at the front of the shop. It gave Andy the perfect excuse for finishing off the other side though and now we know the tank is empty again so we should be good for a couple of years.

Spraying the dirt and mud off the pavers.

Always happy if it involves being outside and soaking wet.

And this is what I found in our crawl space. Littlest dude has this habit of wandering into the pantry and throwing things down the hole beside the hot water tank. Luckily only the pop cans had leaked. Amazingly no shattered glass bottles and not a drop of syrup oozing out of the blackberry syrup jar. I have re-stuffed the hole in hopes that will prevent him from doing it again....time will tell.

Found in old Day Timer

"Now is the time to enjoy trying something new."

To Love A Person

"When we love a person, we accept him or her exactly as is: the lovely with the unlovely, the strong with the fearful, the true mixed in with the facade, and of course, the only way we can do it is by accepting ourselves that way."  Fred Rogers

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Slow cooking yumminess

I adapted a recipe for what was called "Welsh Honey Lamb" to the slowcooker and it turned out absolutely delicious. Even Andy said "This is good and I don't like lamb".

The recipe went something like this.

Take one lamb roast. Rub all over with pepper, salt, rosemary and ginger. Place in slow cooker. Pour over one cup of honey. Pour in 1 1/2 cups apple juice. Turn to low and cook for most of day. Add more juice if needed. Thicken sauce prior to serving.

We shredded the lamb and served it over slices of toast with a side of hot mixed veggies.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Trouble Maker

I think his plan was to see how much experimental trouble he could get into the last couple of days. It hasn't helped the he is still sick and on meds now and therefore just a tad on the cranky side or that I seem to be battling it as well (minus the ear infection) and therefore also on the cranky side.

So there was the painting with milk bottle - very artistic.

Then the unwrapping of Daddy's xmas present.

Keying Mommy's car......almost....he was remarkably close to getting it in.

And attempting to take Mommy's car for a spin.

So truth be told all the pictures above are the fun things he was captured doing. The trouble has been more the doing the exact opposite of what mommy has just asked and then laughing when mommy says no. As the saying goes "this to shall pass'

This picture captures the true spirit of our little PK.

Going so fast he's a blur and growing so fast it's a blur.

Friday, November 6, 2009

In the bedside basket

Patrick was so thoughtfully cleaning out my bedside basket. Bookmarks removed from books. Papers strewn about. The usual tornado effect. And at the bottom of the basket was another fortune cookie find.

"In life, you won't go far unless you know where the goalposts are."

Demolition Sunday

The boys were at it again this weekend. Sunday turned into a tear it apart day. They took out the fence that ran between the field and my vegetable garden. It is amazing the difference it makes to the backyard - the whole area looks 100 times better and as I don't have any plans to have animals in the near future it isn't like the removal of the fence is a big deal.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Trick or Trick

My super adorable little Panda on his way to Trick or Treat. I was quite surprised how activily he patricipated in the whole event. He carried his bag for some of it and didn't have any issues being in his costume. Even the fireworks went by smoothly and he seemed to find them quite facinating - only the odd tucking of his head to mine when there was a louder then average one. A night full of cheezies, hot dogs and milk - yum yum! Daddy and Uncle Todd tucked into the loot when little tired Panda got home from all the activities and saying his goodbyes to Grammie and Grampie as they head out to their southbound winter adventures.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Simple Life...a Fun Life

PK and I went for a backyard waunder...or rather PK took me for a backyard waunder as I doubt I would think to go for a walk between the hedge and the fence but when looked at from a different angle it is actully quite a beautiful stroll.

And then there was the study of the mushrooms....of which we have copious amounts all over our yard at the moment
(thankfully there have been no attempts to eat them).

We also had some music lessons at Strong Start.
Nothing quite like a toy that jingles. good for you....and tasty too!

Yesterday PK and I had tofu with shitake mushrooms and green beans over brown rice for lunch. I had not eaten tofu in years and thought that it would be fun to try again (plus another mom had mentioned that her son just loved it). With the added bonus of it being soft to chew and a great source of protein I thought little man might benefit by adding to his diet.

So the jury (PK) has decided that tofu is very yummy and worthy of eating every last piece on the plate. Rice on the other hand is still worthy of spitting out and flicking of the plate onto the floor....sigh...First time he has eating more then a piece or two of green beans though so that was a bonus.....and I just LOVED the roasted shitake mushrooms......all in all definately worth repeating.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My Little Pumpkin

It is funny how you can capture a moment that is so sweet in a photo but you may not have noticed it when it was actually occuring as there was movement and talking and rush, rush, rush to get something done. I paused for just a moment with little guy to play with the pumpkin at the front door, snapped a few photos of him and this is the outcome.

Every moment truly is precious.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

All in a Days Work

Little man has been hard at work the last couple of days helping out Mommy and Daddy with their chores in the yard. So much so that little man fell asleep at the wheel while cutting the lawn with his Daddy.

He has also been a big help in the garden. Digging up the tomato plants to hang in the garage, transplanting strawberry runners to free up some garden space, planting garlic, harvesting (eating) the raspberries, and bringing in the pumpkins.

Laying claim to 'his' pumpkin.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Pacific Alphabet

This is a wonderful book to read. Not only is the vocabulary inside full of rhymes but the author has used each letter several times to start words on each page....for example...the letter B starts off "Blue whales make bubbles..."

The illustrations are pieces of art and are also full of the letter you are reading about. There is a page at the back that also lists items by the letter so you can see if you missed any.

This book is great as it can engage all ages. Highly recommended.

Birthday Celebrations

Last weekend was little PK's first birthday. We turned it into a birthday weekend and headed for Rathtrevor Beach.

He seemed quite taken with this ducky, which I believe was due to the fact that he can make it move - such a grown up boy.

There is great fun in the destruction of sandcastles. It took daddy working at super speads to keep ahead of little PK's ability to destroy them with his new outdoor tools.

But the most wonderful thing is wading in the warm water on this beach.

Or maybe it was the taste of his first birthday cake. Nothing tastes so birthday as a DQ icecream cake on a hot sunny day.

Or perhaps it's the nap that comes when you've had a long, busy day surrounded by your extended family and are cuddled into your new jacket and hat that was made with love from your grandmother.

I make this birthday banner from a tutorial I found at Vanilla Joy. I changed it up slightly by using some of the clothes that PK has grown out of that had gotten stained and so weren't really worth keeping but made you kind of sad to throw out. I hope to add to it in the next couple of years as I am sure there will be more clothes that end in the same stained fate!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Chili Lime Baba Ganoush

New recipe, and rediscovered vegetable all in one. I quite enjoyed.

• 2 medium eggplants
• 3 cloves garlic
• 2 tbsp tahini
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 tbsp lime juice
• 1 tsp chili powder
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1/2 tsp cumin

Pierce eggplant and broil until skin in charred.
Allow to cool slightly, then scoop out inside of eggplant, leaving skin behind.
Smoosh eggplant and remaining ingredients until smooth

Monday, September 7, 2009

On the Window Sill

Double fortunes from September 5ths dinner out.

"Moneywise, you are lucky this month"
"You shall soon be rewarded for your endeavors"

Fortune Found

We all have what some might consider strange quirks. I have a lot of them and here is one such example - I keep my Chinese Fortune Cookie Fortunes. You will find them in odd little places around the home - tucked into my daily planner, in my bedside basket, in the console of my car or in my purse or...well you get the picture. So in a bid to clean up my home I have decided to simply post my fortunes here. What a fun way to re-find my fortunes.

"A new chapter in your life is being written"

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

A yummy meal of Cream of Cauliflower Soup and Baking Powder biscuits was consumed by all as our second veggie dinner of the week. We also had a meal of tomato, onion and garlic pizzas with a greek salad on the side. Now off to work on PK's b-day banner.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Story of Five Shrivelled and Forgotten Potatoes

Once upon a time, in a warm and well used pantry in a land called the Clarke household there lived a potato bin. Now in that potato bin there lived a supply of potatoes and whenever the potatoes moved away new potatoes would quickly arrive to take their place. For some strange reason though a couple, or five to be more precise, of potatoes chose not to leave the bin and there they lived until one day the overseer of the potato bin, Sonja, found them huddled at the back, shrivelled and dehydrated.

I am sorry little potaoes but your time has come, you must leave the potato bin declared Sonja and they were whisked away to meet their end in the compost bin. But for some strange reason on their walk to the compost bin Sonja got distracted by a bare patch of soil in her vegetable garden. Hmmm...she thought.....I guess the worse thing that could happen is that they don't grow and I have wasted this patch of dirt for the year. So the potatoes were saved from the compost bin and they in turn grew and multipled and supplied Sonja and her family with a large bowl (8.5 lbs) of new potatoes on which to feast.

Explore Somewhere New

The challenge - to go somewhere new each week

September 4 - Spectacle Lake Park

Spectacle Lake Park

Today we explored Spectacle Lake Park. I wouldn't reccomend doing the walk around the lake with a stroller - I think I had more upper arm workout then leg but it was a fun trip around the lake. We had a snack on the beach at the end of our walk. A nice natural quiet park.
I don't like graffiti in general but when it's possitive like this I can't help but smile.
Exploring the beach.

Some leftover art from a past visitor.
We then drove home the long way through Cowichan Bay and stopped in at Cowichan Bay Farm for some pasture raised chicken and dropped in at True Grain bakery for a fresh loaf of bread and some stone ground wheat for baking at home.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Garden Goodness

Last night's picks from the garden included sorrel, tomatoes, strawberries, and cucumbers. The sorrel was turned into a yummy pesto for rotini and beans (PK loved it!). Tomatoes eaten in the garden as an appi - PK still working on picking only the ripe ones and the strawberries were put into the freezer for some winter time goodness.

Exercise Everyday

1 - Walk to Silver Mine Estate's to return a canning jar
2 - Walk with my niece T (saw a buck and ate some blackberries)
3 - Walk down Peerless, Shinrock, Stein with PK
4 - Walk around the lake at Spectacle Lake park

A Book a Day with PK

My Little Book of Animals
Inside Noah's Ark
Bendon Bear and the Gentle Animals
Big Farm Friends
Who's Hiding on the Farm
Bendon Bear and the Farm Animals
A Pacific Alphabet

32 By 33

I saw this on another blog and thought it was a great idea. A list of things to accomplish by your next birthday - therefore I have 32 things to accomplish by my 33rd birthday (May 17). Obviously I may or may not get them all done but the importance is the act of working towards these goals, of believing in the possibility of accomplishing them and taking action to create them.

So here is the list.

1. Exercise everyday
2. Read PK a book everyday
3. Go on a volunteer vacation
4. Try a new food or retry a forgotten food every month
5. Save $200 every month
6. Have friends over for dinner every month
7. Install a berry patch in my yard
8. Drink more water
9. Go somewhere new each week
10. Get back to pre-pregnancy weight
11. Read Simple Abundance everyday
12. Start a business
13. Plant a vegetable or fruit in garden that I haven't grown before
14. Read a novel of a genre I don't typically read
15. Run a 10K in under 60
16. Eat more fruits & vegetables - less refined foods
17. Read a spiritual passage everyday
18. Finish PK's quilt
19. Take a course
20. Go to Peru
21. Eat 2 vegetarian dinners a week
22. Get back to wedding day weight
23. Volunteer once a month
24. Keep a gratitude journal
25. Create PK's Christmas stocking
26. Install a cut flower garden
27. Complete one craft/sewing project per month
28. Say 'I love you' and 'Thank you' to my husband every day
29. Visit my grandparents more often
30. Go on a date with my husband every month
31. Try 1 new recipe every week
32. Put together Pk's photo album

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Camping bliss

Friday through monday was spent at Qualicum. The campsite left something to be desired but thankfully when you are spending time with friends it is easy to forget.

New friends

Fair fun

Sandy sculpting

And for todays little sister is expecting #2....yeah!!!!