Thursday, July 31, 2008

Gardening

One of the things I was really looking forward to with the new house was to start a new garden. I loved my old one, but wanted the space to build a bigger better one. =) I am finding that the more I garden the more I want to garden and the more I want to know. So this year we have started the bigger garden. I thought this would be a good place to document, as I know I won't lose it as I would a piece of paper in a drawer. So here we go, Calgary is a zone 2. So here's my list and my start to my gardens:


So first this is our Box Elder or Manitoba Maple. This should grow quick and be a large tree.


The next 4 picture are the large mostly sun garden at the back.
Starting from the left back: Giant Silver Mullein (fuzzy one in the back), Dwarf Ballon Flower and Lychnis
Middle Row: Saxifraga, Yarrow (white)
Front: Phlox, Sooty Sweet William, Edilwess


Again starting from the left back: Raspberry bush, Astillbe, Great Silver Mullein, Saxifraga
Front: Aremia


From the left Back: Tree is a Aspen Columnar, In the pot (although currently in the ground is a Virginia Creeper, the dead looking thing beside that is Jacob's Ladder, which does have new growth. In front of the pot is a gooseneck loostrife.
Front Row: Lily of the valley and lamium ( the other pot is a campula (although I haven't quite decided where it will go)


This is the end of the big garden in the back. Back row starting at the Left: Monkshood and Obdient Plant
Front row: Phlox and Lungwort and half cur off is the Wormwood. There are also two more Aspen Columnars.




Here is the shade garden beside the house. Starting with the plant at the bottom of the picture: Ligulaia (rocket) Coral Bells, Bugleweed, Hosta, lamium, coral bells, Sweet woodruff (you can't really see that) Pincushion flower, varigated periwinkle, Bleeding heart, coral bells, and ostrich fern.



The tiny front yard is also one big garden. Right in the front on the left is some sedum and beside that (almost clipped off) is some clover.
In the middle is a Globe Thistle and growing up the oblesik is Sweet Peas.
In the back: Wild Sweet William and Bee Balm.
Other plants that are hard to distinguish, but I still want to mention them so I have a record are: Columbine, Obedient Plant and Maidens pink. On the other side of the path I have delphiniums.


Beside the turtle is Silver mound and just behind him is some lupine.
Middle row is Sweet William, perennial sage and gypsophila pacifica.

Other things I have planted in this garden and need pictures of are: Pincushion flower, more pholox, rose campion, lambs ear, salvia, more yarrow, drumstick thrift, snow in summer, brazilain verbena, some variegated grass.

Hopefully all these plants will look amazing next year.

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Wordless Wednesday



invasion of the Cat

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

New Banner

I've updated the banner here with my new favorite picture, so for those of you who read the blog through google reader, here it is.



Jenn

Monday, July 28, 2008

Friendship Etiquette

Lucas and the boy next door have taken quite a liking to each other. It's great becuase when I first moved here most of the kids seemed too old for Lucas. Even though this kid is a couple of years older they get along really well. They have been playing together almost everyday for about a week now. I'm not sure what the proper parent etiquette is when kids are playing together. At times they'll play at his house (they live right next door). But I'm not sure I've I hang out over there as well, or stay in my own yard. Or what if he has a friend over, is it okay for Lucas to be there then? As long as they are outside?



What's your feeling, Lucas will be 3 in a couple of weeks. Do I leave him to play in the other kids yard, or do I hang out over there too. I don't want the mother to feel like she has to entertain me, but I also don't want her to feel like she has 3 kids rather then 2.

Are they any rules about playing at a friends for the parents? Is there a time limit for how long you leave your kid at another house?

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Friday, July 25, 2008

Folk Fest Goes Greener

Yesterday Darryl and I took Nathan to the Calgary Folk Fest. It was quite good, good music, good food, Nathan was good, all in all a fun time was had by all. I was impressed that there wasn't alot of smoking (of any sort) and people were generally really respectful. Although there was a point when a spot cleared out in front of us and this couple came and laid on the ground and were quite affectionate (on the ground). The Folk Fest did have a super cool idea to go green. Rather then serving all the food on paper plates they were all served on plastic plates. You paid a two dollar fee for the plates and when you returned them you got your two dollars back. There was even one business minded kid who was offering to return the plates for you.

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Loves the Mix

I think he loves the brownie mix more then the actual brownies.I

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Congradulations

Today I got a call from my little sister in the middle of the afternoon (which never happens), she tries to act all coy, hi, how are you, whatcha doing. Then lets me know she got into the pharmacy program. YEAHHHHHHHH!!!! Darryl, Lucas, Nathan and I are all so happy for you and proud of you. For those of you who don't know it is a really challenging program to get into. My sister is super smart, but there are lots of applicants and very few seats. Persistance has paid off. I'm so so happy for her, I've been smiling all day.

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wii Fit

We recently acquired the new lastest and greatest video game craze, yes we are proud owners of a Wii Fit. My parents were kind enough to buy us one when they got theirs. I must say I am all for supporting a video game that gets you up and moving. Good for you Nintendo for trying to get a nation of people who love to be sedentary up and moving, by doing something they are already doing(playing video games). Really it is super fun. I am not so good at the balance games or strength training, but love the aerobics and the yoga. Darryl on the other hand rocks at the balance games. My favorite is the step and the hula hoop. It's great because it tracks your weight and BMI, gives you hints and tries to make you accountable for changes in your weight. They have done a really great job with it and I highly recommend it (that is if you can find one. =)

Although here is a conversation I recently had with it.

Wii: I see you haven't been here in a couple of days
Jenn: Yeah, give me a break I have 2 kids
Wii: THere has been an increase in your weight since last time
Jenn: Well that's great
Wii: Why is that? (gives you a bunch of choices)
Jenn: I don't know, it's really only .5 of a pound, maybe it's the ice cream I just ate.
Wii: Working out on a daily basis will give you the best results
Jenn: Really, I never would have guessed
Wii: Have you noticed a change in Wii Darryl's posture
Jenn: Well yes I have
Wii: You should tell Darryl about the postive changes
Jenn: Will Do
Wii: And you should try to be more like Darryl



Till Tomorrow

Jenn video

Monday, July 21, 2008

Our Trip to the Zoo

I generally don't go to the zoo very often in the summer becuase of the heat and the people. But I've been wanting to take my father and today worked well. So early in the morning we headed off. One of the great things about going to the zoo in the summer is that there are lots of zoo keepers teaching about the animals. We were fortunate to hear about the gorillas today. One of the things he talked about was how kind gorilla are to human and incidences where kids have fallen into gorilla encloureses and what the gorillas did. It's great to know that gorillas will not harm the child at at, but care for it like any person would. Here's one story and an another video.



We also saw hippos chewing on a giant log and the ADORABLE baby elephant. The cool thing we saw with the elephant was that the mother elephant doesn't really like to nurse the baby, so the trainer comes out and gives the mother special snacks to get her to hold still so the baby can nurse. Then he feeds the baby a ton of milk from an elephant bottle. It was pretty special to see.

It was a great day and as I've said many times before. I do love the zoo.

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Recipie for a Sucessful Garden

I'm not sure who he learned it from but with all the planting and gardening we have been doing Lucas says the plants need 3 things.

Sun, water and love.

What a wise kid I have

Jenn

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Monthly Newsletter - Month Thirty Five

Dear Lucas,

Well next month is your third birthday and you are really looking forward to it. Most people are quite impressed that you know your birthday. A couple of weeks ago we were at the lawyers signing for the will and you told the receptionist how old you were, when your birthday was and how old you would be on your next birthday. When the lawyer came in the room after Daddy and I were finished reading the wills, she said " I hear you know when your birthday is". " August 17" you replied. Then the law clerk came in and said the same thing. When we were done she took you to a couple more offices, where you also recited for them that your birthday was August 17.

As I mentioned in a post a couple of days ago, you are crazy with the "why" questions. I'm glad that you are learning and apolgize for the times I snap because you've asked "why" too many times. Mostly your why questions make me laugh and make me think. Why is someone a pain in the bum? Why does Daddy have to work? Why does Nathan have to sleep? I hope you learn a lot and I can impart some knowledge.



We are outside a lot. You love the dirt. I can't really believe how dirty you can get. We have big diggers that you love to play with. Or a big shovel that you help us dig dirt. And you really do help. It's not like we have to entertain you, but you really do move dirt. Your finger nails may be black, but you are happy.



Now that it is nice outside you are starting to play with kids. I'm having a hard time with it. I see you starting to learn socialization, but it breaks my heart. I know it normal and it probably doesn't break your heart. For example today you were playing with the neighboor who is a couple of years older. Then some older kids up the street came out and he left you to play with them. You stood there waiting at the fence till he came back and after a couple of minutes, you came to me and said your friend was taking a long time.



You had a bit of a blip in your sleep a couple of weeks ago. Where you would wake up in the night crying. I would go into you annoyed and tired as I already have to get up with Nathan. I would crawl into bed with you, becuase I was so tired. You'd put your arms around me and say I want you mommy, I love you mommy. It made all my frustration float away and I would happily cuddle with you in bed.



I love you too Lucas

love mommy

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

More Controversy: Steven Page

First off I wanted to apologize to anyone who may have been offended by this post. Although divorce is not an option for me, it is the best thing in certain circumstances. I was not trying to be judgmental about other people lives, just in my life it's not something I worry about. And even in my own life I know to never say never. Who knows what live is going to throw your way, but I'm pretty confident.

Onto the shocking news of the day. When I woke up this morning I saw on the news feed at the bottom of Breakfast Television, that Steven Page had been charged with drug possession. This has got me thinking about lots of moral issues all day. For those of you who don't know I love the Barenaked Ladies, they are a Canadian band and Steven Page is their lead singer.

First my thoughts were oh I bet it was just marijuana, then I caught myself thinking that is still illegal, why does that make it any different then any other type of drug. My second thought was his poor kids and that it must be tough to be the children of celebrity. Maybe I'm a prude, but I think that if that is the path you chose in life, there are perks but there are also challenges, like every path in life. If you chose to be a celebrity, don't put yourself in those situations, especially when you have kids, and those kids self esteems can easily be effected by daddy being in the news for drug possessions. Suddenly your parents friends won't let them come and play at your house. I do the same, I am an instructor and when there are Christmas parties at the hospitals I work at there are both students and my friends. But because my students are there I don't drink any alcohol. I won't be put in the situation where anyone could accuse me of anything.

I was also glad that Lucas is still young enough to have no idea about any of that. It must be a hard thing as a parent. Where do you draw the line on what to teach your kids. On one hand I think it's important to teach them tolerance and the fact that people do make mistakes. Or that he hasn't been convicted and they don't knowBut on the other hand is it right to support someone who is allegedly using drugs. Would kids see that and think it's okay to do drugs? Well Steve did it and you still paid to see his concerts and thought he was great, so why can't I. Just because someone does a bad thing, does that make them a bad person. And where does that definition come in? Are they a bad person if they smoke marijuana? cocaine? kill someone? It's all illegal.....

But since Lucas isn't at an age where I really need to worry about it, I will chalk it up to Steve going through a bad time. I still feel for his family and whether he is guilty or not think he is stupid for putting himself in that situation. But will continue to support the band and see what the outcome is.

Any other thoughts?

Jenn

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Conversation with Lucas

Here are some recent conversations with Lucas:

We are in the car listening to the news

Lucas: Why did the baby moose get hit by a car
Mom: Because he was on the road
Lucas: Why was he on the road?
Mom: Probably because he was looking for his mommy
Lucas: Why was he looking for his mommy?
Mom: Becuase he was lost.
Lucas: Why did he get lost?
Mom: Maybe because he wasn't paying attention
Lucas: Why wasn't he paying attention
Mom: Maybe he was looking for food
Lucas: Why was he looking for food?
Mom: Because he was hungry
Lucas: Why was he hungry
Mom: Because he hadn't eaten for a long time
Lucas: Why hadn't he eaten for a long time
Mom: Because he was lost
Lucas: Why was he lost
Mom: Grrr, didn't we just go over this.....

Today on the way home from groceries it went like this:

Lucas: Where are we going
Mom: Home
Lucas: Why
Mom: We need to put the frozen groceries away.
Lucas: Why?
Mom: Because we don't want them to melt
Lucas: Why will they melt
Mom: Because it's summertime
Lucas: Why is it summertime?
Mom: Because......... the earth is closer to the sun
Lucas: Why is the earth closer to the sun
Mom: Because
Lucas: Why
Mom: Just because

Even as I type this here's Lucas

Lucas: Can I have that juice box?
Mom: No
Lucas: Why?
Mom: Because it's past it's expiry date

Our 8 hour drive to Kelowna is going to be a blast! How long does the "why" stage last for?

Till Tomorrow............... Jenn

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Why I Live Here

I quite enjoy living in a big city. Although there are some downsides to it, I love living here. First and foremost my parents live here and they are a big part of our and the kids lives. I can't imagine not having that, so that is probably the number one reason we live here. But of all places I'm glad we chose Calgary.

On friday we headed off to the Stampede. Lucas was great, espcially as I forgot to bring a stroller and he didn't ask e to carry him once. He loved the Superdogs and the Bike trick show they do. He also enjoyed looking at the tankers, fighter engines and helicopters that the army/navy/marines brought along. Here is a great picture of it. With the Saddledome in the background.



He also quite enjoys the agricultaural buildings with all the horses, cows, llamas, sheep, pigs etc. They were also doing a neat demonstration on canola oil and had canola seeds with little tractors in them. We spent quite a bit of time there. =)


Yesterday our best friends headed out to a campsite in the mountains, and invited us out for dinner and a fire. So Lucas, Nathan and I packed up and headed out to the mountains. Lucas loved it. He loved playing with his friends and Emma loved the fresh air. It's great that such beautiful mountains are so close.



Here's Nathan's first trip to the mountains.




Hope everyone had a great weekend.

Till Tomorrow........... Jenn

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Stampede Breakfast at Bobcat of Calgary

Last year for Lucas's second birthday we stopped at a bobcat dealership and they were amazing with him. One of the things they mentioned while we were there was that they have a Stampede breakfast, so Lucas, Nathan and I were sure to attend this year.

One of the great things about this city is Stampede. You could eat all your meals for free for a whole week. Everywhere has a breakfast or lunch and there is always lots of entertainment. Who knew there were so many country bands in this city.



Back to the breakfast we were at this morning. We got tattoos, stickers, posters and bubbles when we arrived. Then they served eggs, pancakes, sausages, hashbrowns and juice for breakfast. Lucas was so excited. There were bobcats everywhere. After a little food in our belly we headed off to see what activities there were. First Lucas operated the mini excavator, although it did take some serious convincing of his mother.



Then we watched some "competitions". Bobcat obstacle courses and how fast could you use a bobcat to grab the hooks and put them in one spot. After wandering around for a bit more was the highlight of the show, the bobcat square dance.



The whole morning was super fun and I will definitely be taking the boys next year, especially for a city girl!

Yeehaw!

Till Tomorrow....... Jenn

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Wordless Wednesday


Three generations doing yard work.

Till Tomorrow

Jenn

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Figuring Out the Stucture of "Life"

Tonight Darryl was upstairs putting Lucas to bed and Lucas tells him:

Lucas: Do you know Christmas is coming again, that's going to be so cool. Then after that the snow will melt, it will be warmer and the Easter Bunny will come.
Darryl: You're right, very good.

He is also starting to figure out the days of the week. Wednesday is Lesley day, Saturday is the day daddy is off.

Amazing how he is starting to figure out the structure of life.

Till Tomorrow........ Jenn

Monday, July 07, 2008

Nathan's Monthly Newsletter: Month Three

Dear Nathan,

Happy three months dude! Currently your dad is walking around trying to get you to fall asleep. As we go through weeks and weeks of your life so many things are coming back to me that I remember from being a parent of a baby in their first year of life. Each week something changes. Last week you were taking a few short naps and one 2-3 hour nap. Today you took about 10, short naps. One day you'll eat every 4 hours the next every 2. It's like you saying dear mommy, welcome to your life for the next year.




The big change that I notice this month is that you are getting stronger. I can see it in your lifting your head and how you want to be sitting all the time. During tummy time you like to keep your head up and it's lasting longer and longer. When I hold you at my shoulder you'll turn your head to look at what I'm looking at rather then looking over my shoulder.





One of the strangest thing that has started happening this week is that things are starting to be to small for you or just not appropraite. For example you love to sit in the Bumbo now, rather then your papasan chair. Yesterday I took a bunch of sleepers that don't fit anymore and put them in a box. Although I'm so glad that you are growing up becuase I find the first couple of months to be so hard. But I also know that this may be the last time I ever use those sleepers. I am treasuring each moment with you.




Ever since you have started those smiles you have been giving them to everyone and lighting up lives. Pop loves to sing you songs, Grandma loves to cuddle with you. Lucas loves to make you smile and Daddy loves to make you smile. Even strangers in the grocery store love to smile at you. And people love to comment at how much you look like a boy.





It has been much easier to start to take you around. You are happier for longer and don't seem to mind the car as much as you did the past couple of months. Im sure it also has to do with you eating less often too. But you'll nap a little bit on and off.




You have been quite wakeful i n the evenings. It is kind of our time together to bond and share smiles. Your daddy was sick this month so we spent tons of time together in those evenings. To be honest with you I am looking forward to having some me time again, but for the moment while you are awake, I'll treasure our evenings together. You are generally a pretty content baby, so I'm happy to be spending that time with you. Also with the sickness we have been sleeping in the guest bed in your room. I usually start in my bed, but after waking for your second feeding I'm too tired so we snuggle in the bed in your room. Babies are so beautiful when they sleep.



You like the rest of us, are quite a fan of being outside. Now that the weather is nice and we have grass we are outside alot. But you like to be carried when we are outside. I'll be glad when you tolerate the stroller a bit more. But the wind doesn't make you cry.





love you gooby (or drooly Julie, or Nate)

mommy

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Stages of Marriage

I was just over at Dutch Blitz reading her post on marriage, which I totally agree with. Then last week I was watching Will Smith on Ellen and he was talking about divorce and how it is just not an option and I agree with that too. Darryl and I are bot lucky to have had examples of good marriages from both of our parents. But for us, divorce is just not a option, so we are going to be together no matter what, we better make the best of it.

That being said as I grow up some of my ideals of marriage change, which I'm sure if a part of growing up. I remember one set of my grandparents use to sleep in different beds. I thought it was strange and I thought, can they really have a good marriage if they can't share a bed. Although one night I slept with my grandma and she snored so loud the light would shake beside the bed. I got not sleep. So maybe that's a good reason why they don't sleep in the same bed.

Currently Darryl and I are going through a stage where we don't always sleep in the same bed. Having a little baby sometimes it's easier for me to sleep in the guest bed with him. I usually start off in our room, but at some feeding during the night I'm too tired to sit up so I take him into the guest bed with me and we sleep. A couple of years ago I would have been fretting that our marriage is going down hill or we are in trouble, but I know that we're not. It's just what is easier for this stage in our life. When you take out divorce as ever being an option, you know that things will go back to being great again, he's all I've got, so I'm going to make the best of it.

But it is interesting how marriage has it's stages.

Till Tomorrow....... Jenn

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Almost Laughing

Hi Everyone! Yesterday I had a record number of people come to the site. Hi to all readers, new and old. Here's a cute video of Nathan, just on the verge of laughing. And one of my smart kid, playing the opposite game.

video

video

Till Tomorrow........ Jenn

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Teenagerhood

So our niece graduated from elementary school this week. Darryl sister and I were reminiscing about what our graduation from grade 8 entailed. Mine entailed my first time of staying up for 24 hours with all my girlfriends, watching Axl Rose and Guns and Roses videos. My friend Riisa loved Axl Rose.


Our niece is a smart, amazing and grounded kid. All that being said she is still a teenager. It is interesting as we are friends on Facebook, so I often see pictures of her on there and watch her talk to her friends. You can see her going through a time in her life where she is trying to figure out who she is, which is what being a teenager is all about. I so remember going through that myself. I think now the rebel style is "emo", where when I was a teenager it was grunge. All of my clothes came from the good will, my jeans had holes in them my t-shirts were well worn. I listened to Pearl Jam and Nirvana religiously. Now I can't remember the last time I bought myself something from Value Village (although I often buy the boys clothes second hand.) and my musical taste has changed to more folky, then grunge. When I met Darryl he would spend tons of money on clothes to have the name brands, where now most of his clothes are from Old Navy or the Gap. It's interesting how being a teenager is a time to start and figure out who you are.

I like our neice had a pretty good head on my shoulders, but I still found it hard to be a teenager. Trying different styles, different friends and trying to figure out where life would lead and what type of people I would want around me. I find adulthood much easier.

So K, if you are reading this, Happy Graduation! We are all so proud of you. Enjoy the next 4 years of highschool and remember that it's a time to start and figure out who you are and if things are going bad remember: This too shall pass.

Till Tomorrow..... Jenn

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Happy Canada Day

Today Canada turns 141, yeah! I think we live in a great country, here's my top ten reasons why:

1. 12 months of maternity leave =). Love being at home nurturing my baby for his first year.


2. Tim Hortons: When ever I leave this country it's one of the first things I look for in the airport. Although in Ontario the TIm Hortons doesn't take interact, so sometimes all I can afford is a small hot chocolate. Tim Hortons in Alberta takes debit


3. The people: generally Canadians are so helpful and kind. Of course there are some mean and bad ones, but generally very nice and helpful.


4. Tetley Tea: I take my favorite tea with me when I leave the country


5. Healthcare: I love that you can go anywhere in this country and be taken care of. I love it, you don't have to fight with companies to pay for your care.

6. Multiculturasim: Although I love Canada I do love to go on vacation. I do love that you can get any style of food in this city/country, from Indian, Chinese, Viatinemese

7. 4 Seasons: Although I complain about the snow come March (or May here in Alberta). I don't think I could live anywhere that didn't have 4 seasons.

8. Hockey: Most any Canadian can talk some hockey talk. It unites us. Go Flames Go!



9. Barenaked Ladies: Sarah McLachlan, Chantal Kreviauk, Sam Roberts, Great Big Sea, Jann Arden, Bryan Adams, Alanis Morrisette, Amanda Marshall, Randy Bachman... Need I say more, we make great music

10. Ice Wine: The Okanogan makes really great ice wine.

Till Tomorrow... eh

Jenn