Friday, December 27, 2013

merry christmas and happy new year

We hope you had a Merry Christmas and look forward to seeing you in 2014!  Lots of love from Brian, Yvette, Josh, Avery and Nikita.
Christmas morning 2013

Sunday, December 1, 2013


A couple of days ago, Brian had this weird moment where he felt something weird on his tooth.  When he used his tongue to figure out what it was, a piece of his tooth fell off!

He announced that he thought a piece of his tooth just fell out.  Josh, of course, wanted to see.  It WAS, very weirdly, a piece of a tooth (Brian wasn't doing anything like biting down when it fell out).

As Josh was looking at the tooth he said to Brian, "Daddy, you should put that under your pillow!".  and then in the spirit of always giving options, he added, "OR I could put that under my pillow!"

(As an aside, it was likely a white filling and not a piece of Brian's tooth that fell out.)

Along for the ride

Monday, November 18, 2013

how old was grammy when i was born?

This was one of the questions Josh asked when reflecting on his birthday.

It was Josh's "birthday weekend" this past weekend.  He was SO excited for his birthday this year.  He actually started counting down on the 1st of the month!

I'm a bit behind on blogging about milestone accomplishments, so instead of going through them, I'm going to share this funny story along with a couple of birthday pics from the weekend...

On Sunday, we had family over to celebrate Josh's birthday.  Josh and his cousin, Luke, are only 6 months apart and always seem to bond when they get together.  Somehow, though, mischief seems to be able to find them.

There were a few times through the course of the afternoon that Josh and Luke needed a talking to.  All in all, though, silliness aside, they were pretty good.  Every gathering, it feels more and more like we can leave the kids to play and the grown ups can actually have some conversation too.  In fact, there were a few times where we (the grown ups) asked each other where the kids were!

After everyone left, we started tidying up the house.  Nature called and as I sat on the toilet, I noticed something didn't feel right.  I quickly got up.  At first, I thought the toilet seat was up when I sat down (ewwww!), but I recalled lifting the lid myself.  The seat was indeed down, but it was wet, wet, wet!  The underside of the lid was wet too.  It looked like the water from the toilet had sprayed up while the lid was down.  Still ewwww!

As I wiped my backside, I called Brian.  I said, "do you know what happened to the toilet?!'.  Now, I know we always talk about women's intuition, but I'm thinking that maybe this is what male intuition is about!  Brian took one look at this illogically wet toilet seat and lid and immediately called, "Josh!".

I was puzzled why he would have thought Josh had anything to do with this (note that this was in our master ensuite, off our master bedroom; absolutely no reason for kids to be in there).  When Josh came in, Bri started the inquisition:

B: Did you play in our bathroom?
J: Yeah, me and Luke did.
(woo! hoo! to male intuition!)
B: Did you play with the toilet?
J: Yes.
(Seriously, kid?!)
B: What were you doing?
J: We sprayed it with this.
(Josh produces a water spray bottle from the counter.)
B: Why would you do that?!
J: It was Luke's idea (way to throw Luke under the bus!).  We thought it would be funny if we sprayed the toilet and then someone sat on it and got all wet.

Bwahahaha.  It was SO painful for Brian and I not to bust a gut in that exact moment!  How can you punish a kid for that?!

After the kids went to bed, Brian laughed, "They SO got you!".  They did indeed.  Punk'd by a couple of 7-year-olds (sans camera)!

Happy 7th Birthday, my little prankster.  The surprises continue each and every day!  We love, love, love you, Josh.
Party at Koko's with friends

Celebrating at home with family

Monday, November 4, 2013

great fart!

I'm sure she will kill me one day for posting this...

Aves is a big cuddler.  Also, she is cuddly.  So, cuddles with Aves are win-win.

Tonight, at bedtime, Aves was a bit upset because she has a raw spot forming below her lower lip from constantly licking her lips.  I put some salve on it to help heal.  It stung a bit and she was crying.  She was laying down, so I lay down alongside her, like I was spooning her, and cuddled with her to make her feel better.

After a few seconds, she stopped right in the middle of her cry, turned over so her butt faced the other way and said, "Just a second, Mommy, I have to fart.".  She paused long enough to expel her gases.  Then she flipped back over to continue cuddling with me!  As she snuggled into me she said, "That was a great fart".  I couldn't help but burst out laughing.  She was very serious and very confused by my laughter!

In the end, I'm not sure whether it was my cuddling or her 'great fart" that made her feel better, but she stopped crying.  So, I guess it doesn't matter as long as she felt better!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

may the force be with you

In my defense, the blog posts have been sparse because I'm living in the moment instead of writing about it.  At least that's what I'll tell myself when I look back at the blog and wished I'd written more!

This particular post is about Josh's recent obsession with Star Wars.  He's done with Ninjago and Minecraft is sort of in the backburner.  It's all about Star Wars these days.  I was pleased to discover his favourites are episodes IV, V and VI!  He's watched all episodes BUT episode II.  Ironically enough, it's the only episode I haven't seen either.

Of course, the highlight of Star Wars for Josh is the lightsaber.  And, I guess, being a Jedi.  I have caught him several times trying to use the force (and, according to him, being successful!).  Although I did like Star Wars as a kid, I don't ever remember pretending to be a Jedi and trying to use the force.  Must be a boy thing...

During our recent trip to NY, my sister bought Josh his first 2 lightsabers.  It was love at first sight.  He is truly obsessed and quite skilled at handling them!  He has since gotten another lightsaber from the PNE (that lights up and makes noises!).  And in an afternoon of father-son bonding, Bri and Josh went to Rona and then built Darth Maul's double-bladed lightsaber.  I'm still not sure who exactly was being indulged with that endeavour.  Ha.

But in the end, it is Josh's conversations about Star Wars that has been most entertaining for me.  There have been so many quips, questions and stories, I can't begin to remember them all.  Here are a couple that have stuck out in my mind:

Josh on saber-play:

J (as he crisscrosses 2 light sabers against my neck; in a very serious voice): Mommy, what are your last words?
Y: Uhhh…I love you.
Josh makes a slicing action with his 2 lightsabers like he’s slicing my head off.  Ha.

J (doing the same to Aves; same serious voice): Ave, what are your last words?
A: Say it in french!

Hahaha.  That could very well be the most famous last words EVER!  Fwiw, he sliced her head of anyway!

THEN, he came back to me and did the same crisscross against my neck:

J: Mommy, what are your last words…in french!
Y: Uhhh…Je t’aime!

And then he sliced my head off.  Again.


Josh on pod-racing:

J: Mommy, did you know that Darth Vader knows how to race pod racers?
Y: Really?!  Darth Vader knows how to race pod racers?! (I never recalled an episode where I saw Darth Vader racing pod racers.)
J (in an exasperated tone with his hands in the air): Maw-uh-om!  Darth Vader IS Anakin.  And Anakin knows how to race pod racers.  So, of course, Darth Vader knows how to race pod racers too!

Mommy can be so uncool sometimes.

S and Josh when I told them to do their best ninja pose (I wish I'd said "best Jedi pose")

Monday, August 5, 2013

motherhood moments

As a family with 2 working parents, part of our "routine" is that we do our chores and errands on Saturday morning to get them over and done for the weekend.  The kids also like to have pancake breakfasts on the weekends.  We dawdled our way through our pancake breakfast this past Saturday and before we knew it, it was 10:30 am.  We hurriedly cleaned up so we could get out the door and through a jam-packed few hours of errands.

I decide that to make things faster (and because this moment to myself would only last for so long), I needed to brush my teeth AND go to the bathroom at the same time.  Ha.  As I sat on the toilet, brushing away, I thought of this post - talking about these motherhood moments where we end up doing things we never imagined we would do before we became moms.

At that exact moment, Aves walked into the bathroom, looked at me on the toilet and without even the slightest hesitation, she came over, sat on my lap and reminded me for the 57th time that morning that she wanted to go to the barbershop to get her hair cut.  We must have been quite the sight.  Motherhood moment, indeed.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


Someone please explain to me what is going on in my son's head...

A couple of weeks ago, we were headed out of town.  After crazily getting packed and everything and everyone piled into the car, we started off on our way.  Josh was in the back and I was kitty corner to him in the front, passenger seat.  We hadn't even left the neighbourhood and I was JUST settling into my seat when Josh said to me, "Mommy, flatten your hair.  It's getting pretty crazy."  Seriously?!

Then yesterday, after a fair bit of time in the water the past couple of weeks, we had this conversation:

J: Mommy, do you have a bathing suit where there is a top part that covers here (pointing to his chest) and a bottom part that covers your privates?

Y: You mean a bikini?

J: Yeah, do you have a bikini?  Next time we go swimming, can you wear a bikini?

WTF?!  Seriously, someone please explain what my son is thinking because I'm starting to get a complex...

Friday, July 5, 2013

cotton candy

Out of the blue this morning:

A: Mommy, we had cotton candy when we went to the PNE yast time.  Can we go to the PNE again and have cotton candy?
Y: Of course we can!
A: (jumping up and down) Yay!  I yove cotton candy!  Do you yove cotton candy too?
Y: Yes, I do.  Do you know why they call it cotton candy?
A: (still jumping up and down) Because it tastes yike candy!
Y: And what does it look like?
A: (stops and thinks long and hard) ...Fyuff!

SO funny.  In her defense, I asked her if she knew what cotton was and she didn't.  When I gave her a cotton ball, she said, "Mommy! It feels yike cotton candy!".  Ha.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Out of the blue, coming home from swimming tonight:

J: How come people, like Daddy, try to not sneeze?
Y: What do you mean?
J: When they need to sneeze, they go like this (puts his arm up in front of his nose/mouth area and stifles a sneeze into his arm).
Y: Wow.  Good question, Josh.  I don't know.  I never try to hold back a sneeze (it's true) because sneezes feel good.  If my nose is itchy and I sneeze, I feel better after I sneeze.  Don't you think so?
J: Yeah.
(pregnant pause)
J: I tried to hold back a sneeze today.  In the playground at recess.  I put my arm up and went like this (does the same action as before).  It hurt my nose to hold back my sneeze.  That's why I want to know why people do it.

Funny how asking a question with a seemingly obvious answer makes the answer seem less obvious once the question is asked!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

april showers bring...

...lots of photos, apparently!

I've recently learned that Aves loves flowers.  She is constantly pointing them out everywhere!  She can easily identify tulips; every pink tree is a cherry blossom and every white tree is a dogwood.

Everytime we are out and about and she sees colourful flowers, she asks me to take a picture.  I don't know why, but I haven't been indulging her.  It just feels like if I started down that path, I will have an iPhone full of photos of flowers!

Today, her and I went out for a stroll to the Skytrain station.  I knew she would likely ask me to take pictures of flowers, so I decided to bring her V-Tech camera along.  As we started out, I handed her the camera and told her that she could now take her own pictures.

She was very excited by this and told me she was going to take pictures of pretty flowers AND pretty leaves.  So here is Aves' very first photo journal (unedited) of her walk to the Skytrain station.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


A couple of days ago, Josh and I were huddled over the iPad.  I had just let him download an app or something.  I think he was so giddy with happiness that he couldn't help but say:

"Mommy, you may not be the prettiest mommy, but you're the BEST mommy!"

YOUCH!  Seriously, kid?!  What do I say?  How do I respond to that?  Clearly, the obvious response is, "Who is prettier than mommy?!"

The verdict is still out.  He wouldn't respond.  I know he was thinking of someone; I could see it in his eyes and that sly little smile!  Darn kid.

Monday, April 8, 2013

fp vs. parenting

I have been completely absorbed by work.  My project work started ramping up in late November and it hasn't stopped since!

My latest project, fp, has been the biggest challenge I've undertaken in awhile.  Take a project that has too much scope, not enough schedule and mismatched resources, and you have a recipe for disaster (I'm sure my project management/engineering/IT professional friends can empathize).  Take that and multiply it by 3 years and you have fp.

It has meant many 10 to 12 hour days trying to get on top of the fp pile.  I've had to juggle work days with family time and late nights working at home.  It's been exhausting.  But ironically, I still feel like I have mental capacity.  I am not drained by it.

Then, late last week, I had a parent-teacher meeting at Josh's school.  It was a 45-minute meeting and I came out feeling like I'd been through the ringer!  There's nothing like feeling like you're failing as a parent to completely suck the life out of you.

The p-t meeting was a morning meeting and as I commuted into work and tried to get my head into my impending work day, I came to this realization: as much as fp has been challenging my capacity and boundaries and pushing my limits, it is a walk in the park compared to parenting.  I can only wish that parenting is as easy as fp.  Ha.


Josh and Aves went to a birthday party in December.  Like most kid's birthday parties, they came away with goodie bags.  On the car ride home, the kids did the ritual goodie-bag-opening.

From the back, Josh asked me, "Mommy, what's this?".  I looked around and Josh was holding up a whoopee cushion.  Great.  For the record, I've never been able to "get' whoopee cushions.  I can't even remember as a child thinking that it was funny for someone to sit on a whoopee cushion.  Now, my kids each had a whoopee cushion.

I told Josh what it was and I demonstrated how to use it.  The kids howled.  They thought it was hilarious.  Yay.  Josh seemed to figure out how to blow it up but Aves couldn't, so each time she squeezed the cushion and the kids howled, she asked me to blow it up again.  Yay.  Even greater.  Call me the no-fun mommy, but I seriously didn't get it.

Then, a few weeks later, the kids re-found one of the whoopee cushions in the mess that we affectionately call our car.  Bri was driving but he had hopped out momentarily at one of our stops.  The kids and I waited in the car and they played loudly in the back with the whoopee cushion.  

For whatever reason, I decided to put the whoopee cushion to the test.  I told the kids, "let's put the whoopee cushion on Daddy's seat and see if he sits on it when he comes back".  The kids LOVED the idea and were so excited.  I figured that it wouldn't work because the cushion is in plain sight and Bri would be able to see it long before he sat on it.

Well, the next 5 to 10 minutes were the longest 5 to 10 minutes EVER.  The non-stop "is Daddy coming yet?!", made me regret I ever came up with the idea!  Who would have thought that you'd need a whoopee cushion to hold a child's attention for 5 to 10 minutes?!

FINALLY Daddy emerged from the building.  The anticipation was palpable!  We watched him hurry around the car and head towards the driver's door.  He was rushing because I guess he felt bad making us wait so long.  He quickly opened the door and sat down swiftly, with a resounding farty noise!  Bwahahaha!  It worked.  We ALL howled.  Including me.

OK, now I get it.

Friday, March 15, 2013

new do

Wow.  It's been awhile since I've posted!  It's true I've been swamped at work.  Something about a frozen lake in the ninth circle of hell.

I'm pausing long enough to post this.  Mostly because she's the cutest thing EVER and I'm not biased!


Aves has never let us put up her hair.  She doesn't like hair ties, clips or whatever else in her hair.  It was getting long, unmanageable and always in her face.  I had a conversation with her about cutting her hair and she said she wanted to go to the barber.  I asked her if she wanted a haircut like Josh and she said yes!

To be clear, we did NOT go to a barber to get her haircut.  She had no problem seeing it all get chopped off and I think she quite likes it!  Either way she looks super cute.

Speaking of cute, here's another pic of my short-haired, rice monster...

Saturday, February 2, 2013

12 days

Last weekend, we spent a lot of time in the car going back and forth between home and MR. We were driving on Saturday when Aves asked me, out of the blue, to sing “Last Christmas’. I guessed it was the George Michael song and started singing accordingly. The kids were singing along with me and we had a little chorus going. Then Aves started to sing, “Last Christmas, my true love gave to me…”. OK, apparently I was singing the wrong song!

I started to sing the 12 days of Christmas as I hopped on my iPhone and tried to quickly google what came after the 7th day (I couldn’t remember!). I managed to find it just as I got to day 8 (I strategically slowed down the tempo as I went along) and went through all 12 verses. Aves asked me to sing it again. Over the next week, Aves kept asking me to sing the 12 days. I think I sang it, at most, a dozen times. Aves must have been absorbed because this was the video she wanted to do on Friday for Nana, Grammy and Auntie DD.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

what a day

Really, though, what a weekend.

The funeral service for Bri's dad was on Friday and though it was was wonderful for the family to see so much support, it was overwhelmingly emotional for all of us.

Before I get to the point of this post, I wanted to mention a couple notes on the passing of Bri's dad and how it affected the kids.  Firstly, many have asked me how the kids have been comprehending death.  I would say that Avery is still too young and doesn't comprehend much of anything.  She seems to be going with the flow.

Josh, on the other hand, is trying to makes sense of everything.  He asks LOTS of questions and we are trying to give him the God and heaven version of death.  He understands that he won't get to see his Opa anymore.  This makes him sad.

But he doesn't quite understand where Opa has gone and how his body and spirit have separated.  With all of our explanations of one's spirit and how it goes to heaven, Josh once said that he pictures a heart, like the ones we draw but with lots of lumps, floating up into the sky until it reaches heaven.  Ha. And he asked what Opa's body was like without his spirit.  Aiyah.  He also asked if Opa could run in heaven (he was walking with a cane for the past couple of years).  What a sweet kid.

I overhead him a few times last week telling people, out of the blue, that his Opa went to heaven.   I think he wanted to hear different people's responses to see if he could make better sense of things.

The 2 times I felt like Josh had made some sense of death in his head (i.e. he gave me an "aha" sort of look) were when I told him that my grandmother (whom he remembers) and Opa would get to see each other in heaven.  And then when I said that we don't really know how God takes spirits to heaven.  We can't talk to people in heaven and they can't talk to us, so no one really knows how spirits get to heaven.  Ironic how uncertainty made him feel more certain.

The second thing I wanted to mention was that the kids fared quite will despite being at a funeral service.  Understandably, Adrian's 7 grandkids were the only kids at the funeral service.  And Josh and Aves were the youngest.  It didn't dawn on me until we sat down in the church that my 6 year old and 3 year old were going to have to sit through something similar to a church service.  Uh-oh.   Well, they didn't really start getting fidgety until about half way through the 1 hour and 20 minute service.  And even then, it was just an exercise for Brian and I in managing movement.  They were pretty amazing.

But, and here comes the real reason for this post, I think that all of this finally took it's toll on Josh.  As we were gathered with family on Friday evening, Josh started to complain that he wasn't feeling well.  He couldn't describe what was wrong, so we just thought he was exhausted from the day's events.  He was fine all day Saturday, but by Saturday evening, he started to complain again and this time, he was also feverish.  He passed out on the couch at M&C's house and we brought a sick child home and straight to bed.

We had a full Sunday schedule of catching up with family and friends.  But when Josh woke up, he was still feverish.  I brought him downstairs to the couch, where he lay, looking very lethargic and miserable.  I knew at this point that we weren't going to make our breakfast plans.

I was going to go back upstairs to tell a still-sleeping Brian to cancel brekkie plans, but Nikita, who had been experiencing diarrhea the previous day, was subliminally telling me that she needed to go outside. I brought her outside and sure enough, she still had diarrhea.  Poor dog.  I'm not sure what she ate that is giving her diarrhea.

After Nikita circled and squatted 3 times, she finally came back inside.  After surveying my feverish child and my diarrhea dog, I finally went upstairs to tell Brian to cancel brekkie.  Just at the time that I was thinking, "I'm surprised Nikita lasted through then night with diarrhea...', I got to the top of the stairs and saw the 2 piles of dog diarrhea on our carpeted den floor.  Seriously?!

And just when I thought that waking up to a feverish child and dog diarrhea wasn't enough, as I walked back down the stairs to the family room, Aves greeted me standing on the rug in front of the coffee table saying, "Mommy, I just peed in my pants."

Wow.  This was the point that I realized that this family would be spending the entire Sunday at home.  Gratefully.  What a day.