Monday, August 24, 2009


I've been debating this for about a month now. I've asked countless moms their opinion on the matter and I finally decided that, like many things in life, I'm never going to be ready to do it. So, on a whim, Caroline and I were in Metrotown yesterday and I decided to pop into Claire's and get Avery's ears pierced.

I think it was meant to be, because the lady I talked to in Claire's was the manager. She explained the procedure and she said she had done MANY babies. She didn't try to reassure me that it would go smoothly but, strangely enough, I felt better about it after talking to her.

In the end, there were 2 ladies that simultaneously pierced both of Avery's ears. She sat in my lap and I had to hold her hands and her head. About a second after the piercing, she SCREAMED. But the crying was all over in a few seconds. She did great - better than her immunization shots, actually.

It's still been less than 24 hours, but all is going well. She rubbed her head against her mattress during one of her naps yesterday and she lost a backing. I think it irritated her ear when I put it back on because she was pretty cranky yesterday evening. But she slept well last night and her ears look okay.

She looks super cute with these huge stones in her ears! We have to keep these in for 8 weeks before we can change them but I'll be surprised if anyone asks me how old "he" is anymore! (Note: the darkness on the ear on the right is the purple marker they used to mark the holes.)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

catching air

After our failed attempt to see the Blue Angels at Seafair during the August Long Weekend, we decided to make the trek out to Abbotsford to catch the Air Show there.

Oddly enough, in Brian's 40 or so years living in the Lower Mainland, he has never gone to the Abbotsford Air Show. He has gone to see the air part of the show from somewhere off the grounds, but he has never paid to go in and see all there is to see.

Well, now that we've gone once, I think I'll wait a few more years before we attempt to bring the kids again. In a word, the air show was "LOUD". We came prepared - we had ear muffs for Josh, and ear plugs for Avery, but even with the ear muffs, the fighter jets were still REALLY loud when they flew right over our heads and then fired up the thrusters (is that what they're even called?!) to fly straight up, right in front of us! Maybe the noise was amplified because of the cloud cover and possibly the jets flying lower because of it - all I know was that it only took one loud scare for Josh to completely lose interest in what was going on in the sky.

And with Avery, it was an exercise for me in how to insert earplugs into an infant's ears! I carried her in the ergo carrier the whole time and everytime she rubbed her head against my chest, her earplugs would fall out. Not fun. The air show's Web-site warns that the show may not be suitable for infants, so we can't say that we weren't warned. But we tried, and now we know!

Other than being extremely loud, Josh (and Brian) really enjoyed seeing the displays around the grounds. Josh got to sit inside police cars, trucks, fighter planes and army vehicles. He LOVED that. And before he lost interest in the actual air show, he quite enjoyed the smaller planes that trailed colourful smoke and the skydiving show, too! So, it wasn't a complete loss.

But, back to my original reason for wanting to see the show - I wanted Josh to see the Snowbirds perform. Unfortunately, they save the best for last and the Snowbirds weren't scheduled to fly until 4:45pm. Josh was already getting really tired at 3:00pm, and having experienced the noise factor a couple of times, we decided we didn't need to wait around for the Snowbirds.

So, we tried twice this summer to see some aerial acrobatics and haven't seen it yet. Hopefully, I'll still feel like seeing them next summer - only we'll take a cue from Brian's childhood and watch the show from a distance!
Look mom, no ears!

Checking out some planes with Daddy

Avery's air show was happening on the ground!

Mmmm...cotton candy!

Do you think I can take this for a ride while he's not looking?!

Daddy, I really like this super cool army tow truck, but I like my ear plugs even more!

Monday, August 10, 2009

back to normal

Avery will be 4 months old next week. A few days ago, my sister and my niece left Vancouver after a 2-week visit. This marked the end of a 3.5 month period where the Vandopoly was an extended family unit. First, my mom and dad stayed with us in Vancouver for 2 months; then, Josh, Avery and I stayed in Toronto at my parent's place for 5 weeks; then, my sister and my niece stayed with us in Vancouver for 2 weeks. I can't believe it's been 3.5 months since Brian, Josh, Avery and I (and Nikita) have been a family unit!

Don't get me wrong - it was really good for me to re-connect with my family the way I have. Now, I'm not just saying that because this is the internet and anyone can read it. Sure, my family has it's own share of dysfunction (I'm sure my brothers and sister are laughing at that comment!). But I think that having this time with my family has given me a second chance to appreciate what I never did the first time around. Growing up as children and teens, we never really appreciate family, do we? But now, I feel really lucky to have my family. And it has given me some insight into how I want to mold my own family unit. I guess I miss having my family close by to support me and set some of the examples by which I want my kids to grow. I just hope that I can continue to carry on some of the things that I have learned on this journey...

So now, it's just the 4 of us (plus Nikita) under one roof! It'll be interesting to see how we transition back to "normal". It's been awhile, but I think I'm ready for it! Did I mention the kick a$$ reno that I got out of the deal too?!

Anyway, I've done a few posts of our visit to Toronto. I've also posted some photos in Flickr, but you have to be family or friend to see it. So, here are some photos during my sister's visit with us here in Vancouver and Seattle. We didn't do as much as I had hoped because we got hit by the heat wave, but we definitely got to spend good quality time together (especially when it was 35 deg. C in the house and there was only one room with an air conditioner)!

Taking Nikita for a walk at McDonald Beach (the dog beach)

The stuff that quality time is made of

Avery and C...and their entourage!

This time was also about Brian re-connecting with the kids

I love this shot

Putting those chubby legs to work!

Had to get a shot of my sister in!

Joshie LOVES playing with Uncle Jonnie (my brother)

And C LOVES playing with Nikita!

In the beginning, C and Josh were like siblings that fight all the time, but by the end of the trip, they had really warmed up to each other and were more like siblings who only fight some of the time!

Cousins forever!