number twenty three: only problem was that it was too short

A little bit of sun goes a long way…this past weekend was beautiful here in Victoria. Sunny and close to 20 degrees, although in my front yard it got up to 25 degrees, and I was actually complaining it was too hot. Could have been the black yoga pants I was wearing.

Friday night we had a games night with the kids, something we’ve been trying to do more often. It started a bit rough with Amy screaming and being exiled to her room for a few minutes, but she apparently took a deep breath while she was up there (so she told me) and came down a new girl. The rest of the night went fairly smoothly.

Saturday morning we had swimming, and then the kids and I met friends from school at the bike part near the SPCA. We had a short visit there, and then we headed back to Bamfield Park for a play in the playground. We must have spent close to two hours there, and the four kids got along great while D and I lay on the grass and did nothing but relax and watch them. It is so fun to see a group of kids getting along so well.

Sunday morning the four of them got together again at our place as D and I headed to a free brunch at the Victoria Golf Club (one of the benefits of being part of the school PAC — it was a promotion for a coupon book). Amy was not home for the whole time, but the other three, especially the two boys, played together for over three hours. At one point they (the two boys) had the “Frozen” soundtrack blaring in Elliot’s room and they were both singing along to it.

I managed to get some gardening in on Sunday afternoon, Greg mowed the lawn on Saturday so I didn’t have to do it, and I hung my laundry outside for the first time this year. Then late Sunday afternoon Greg and I sat in the hot front yard and had a drink, watching the cars go by.

And now I’m back to work, which does not make me happy, but I’m going to hold on to the weekend. It was the best one I’ve had in a very long time.

i got my snow day

I had a 9:00 meeting this morning in a room without windows. As I was walking to the meeting it started to snow. 60 minutes later I walked out of the meeting room and saw a winter wonderland.

I walked back to my office in my west coast-issued high heels and fall jacket and got all set up to start working. Then Greg called — worried about how I was going to get home. I had driven our truck in, which is terrible in snow, and he had the CRV, which is awesome in snow. After some discussion we decided that I’d drive up to his office, work there, and we’d drive home together in the CRV, leaving the truck at his office (much better than leaving it in a parking lot downtown).

We got a call from the kids’ daycare asking us if we’d pick the kids up early so they could send their staff home before it got dark. No problem. Then we offered to pick up a friend’s son from his downtown school as they would have had to come in from Thetis Lake. So we ended up leaving work at 2:00, prepared for a bit of a trek home. It turned out to be no problem — as I said the CRV is good in the snow, and we didn’t come across any idiots. Well maybe one, but he was well ahead of us.

So. I was home by 2:45, the kids were home just after 3, and Elliot and I spent the next 90 minutes outside. I shoveled the driveway while he played in the backyard, then he hopped on the neighbour’s slide and I pulled him down to the boat park with our neighbours. Along the way we slid down a small hill together. On the way back, as we were walking up the same hill, he told me that had been his favourite part of the day, sledding down the hill with me. I asked him if he wanted to go find a good hill to toboggan on, and he was game. We headed over to the middle school and found a perfect Elliot-sized hill. Steep enough to get some speed, small enough to not get too much, and no obstructions. After two or three slides, he told me this was also a favourite part of his day.

I loved seeing how much fun he was having. And not only did he slide down on his own, he insisted on walking back up the hill, pulling the sled by himself. I actually got cold because I was doing no work, so I started running up and down the hill beside him. We headed home after about 30 minutes and I pulled him along in the sled on the road — the road was super-slick and great for running with a sled behind you. Again, he was having a great time. And so was I. My work day was cut short and I’m going to have to make up the hours at some point, but it was so worth it.

tomorrow is a new day

Concert? Check.

Dinner and games night? Check.

Dinner and birthday party? Check.

Baby shower? Check.

And now I’m exhausted. There is no possible way I could keep this pace up and be a reasonable mother to my kids. I had NO patience today and that was reflected in my parenting. I think I made both kids cry at least three times each. And I was only with them for about half the day.

On the plus side, all the activities were lots of fun, I just can’t pack them all in to a 72 hour period. I’m too old.

snow day

It’s about 11:30 pm and the snow is falling. I’m crossing my fingers that it will stick for a few hours in the morning so we can go outside and play with the kids. As Elliot said: “I’m so ‘cited”. I am too. I’ve never lived in a place that got lots of snow, apart from my first year of university in Quebec, and I truly think I would love it. Of course, those of you who have been through it and now live here probably think I’m ignorant, or at least nuts, and perhaps you are right.

For now, I’ll just enjoy looking out the window, and the first thing I’ll do when I wake up tomorrow morning is check to see if any of it stuck around. And then I’ll get my boots on.

what I did tonight

Sitting at Hermann’s Jazz Club waiting for Wil to start playing. It’s our first time here and it’s not what we expected. Full-on restaurant, tables, chairs. Too bad we had a big sushi dinner already. We’re hoping a server will appear eventually so we can put in a drink order.

I can’t publish this now as Greg’s “smart” phone can’t get a data signal. I’ll post after the show.

————

Taking a short break. Wow. Endearingly unpolished. Modest. Funny. Talented. Accessible. Personable. And absolutely awesome. We are loving it. Very happy that I am sharing this night with Greg.

————

Home now, after one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen. And within minutes of him finishing I was able to walk up to him and shake his hand to thank him. Talk about intimate.

live in the moment, and a bit beyond

My mood improves immensely when I have something to look forward to. It doesn’t have to be much, just something a bit out of the ordinary. And I’ve got lots to look forward to over the next week or so:

– a concert with Greg
– a games night with another couple
– dinner out with another couple and an adult birthday party after that
– The Wizard of Oz with a good friend and her two teenage girls

I’ll fully admit that these are all non-young-children events and that’s part of why I’m looking forward to them. It’s nice to get a break, and it’s definitely nice to connect with my husband without the kids around.

This also means I may have some blog material…a nice side effect.

i’m in love with vincent chase

I started watching Entourage a couple of summers ago when the Verges were visiting. Much Music was showing some random season and we watched about five or six episodes. I was hooked. Unfortunately I am seldom able to watch TV when I actually want to, and we’re in the dark ages when it comes to TV technology so taping things is difficult, so as a result I kept missing episodes.

I like to watch TV shows from the beginning and in order, so when Spike TV announced they were airing all the episodes starting from Season 1, I was pretty stoked. And I was even more stoked when I found out they were posting them to their website for viewing. That meant I didn’t have to worry about actually sitting in front of the TV at the right time.

So all was well and good until they got to Season 4. They inexplicably decided to stop mid-season. Very annoying. That was a few months ago, and I’ve since been going through Entourage withdrawal, but doing nothing about it. Then I was on the ferry a couple of weeks ago and I saw a guy watching an episode on his laptop, and was jealous.

So I finally downloaded a couple of episodes from iTunes last night and I’m back in business. Which means Greg won’t be seeing much of me in the evenings. It also means our credit card charges are going to go up. Buying on iTunes is just way too easy.

great big concert

I started listening to Great Big Sea about eight years ago, right around the time Sea of No Cares was released. I’d heard of them before that, and knew a couple of their songs, but that was it. I can’t even remember why I started listening to them. I don’t own all of their albums, but I’ve got everything since Sea of No Cares, and in my opinion they keep getting better.

The first time I saw them live was an outdoor concert at Centennial Square, and if I wasn’t hooked before then, I sure was after that. They are a fantastic band to see live, and I’ve lost count of how many of their concerts I’ve been to. They are energetic, funny, talented and they share the spotlight.

So when I found out they were playing the Orpheum, I checked with Kaptain K to see if she’d join me (Greg will listen to them, but he doesn’t share my passion). K had just seen them play the Seattle Zoo in the summer, but she was game.

The concerts I enjoy the most are the ones where they sing more of their new material, and Monday night’s concert was one of those. They sang five or six songs from Safe Upon the Shore, and a couple from Fortune’s Favour. They did two complete sets, so they were playing for close to three hours. And the crowd was awesome. I am not a big fan of seeing concerts in theaters, as people tend to sit down, but as soon as the opening notes of Ordinary Day started, before the band was even on stage, everyone was on their feet, and we stayed that way for the majority of the concert.

One of the things I like about seeing bands live, especially bands that so obviously enjoy performing live, is I feel like I’m connecting with them. Sure, I’m one of thousands in that crowd, but I feel like they are playing for me. Another thing I like is hearing a bit of the history behind the songs, and during Monday’s concert there was a lot of that.

So I guess you could say I enjoyed it. And the added bonus was spending 24 hours with K. We went over Monday afternoon, made an Ikea stop, had a sushi dinner, took in the concert and then headed home the next morning.

Next up, Wil.

san fran here we come

Part of the reason for this post is so my previous post about Yoshi isn’t front and center on my blog…it’s like a beacon to me and I keep re-reading it. Not exactly good therapy. Thank you all for the lovely comments that were left. It means a lot. But on to lighter things…

A few months ago my friend Mary Ann asked if I’d be interested in running the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco in October. I had told myself if I ever did another half it’d have to be a destination one, and San Francisco seemed like a good destination for me, so I said yes. Last week eight of us entered the lottery to get in. Not sure what are chances are, and I’m not sure how disappointed I’ll be if we don’t get in. The last time I ran a half it hurt like hell. So I’m letting fate decide.

And speaking of fate…late week I happened to be sitting next to a co-worker reviewing some work with her when a WestJet deal popped up on her computer — $72 for 72 hours. She told me she had to go check it out. I looked over her shoulder as she did, and saw the Vancouver was one of the valid places to fly from, and San Francisco was one of the destinations. I checked the travel restrictions and everything fit with our plans.

So that night I phoned Mary Ann and three of the eight of us decided to book flights. The deal was too good to pass up. We got round trip tickets, all taxes included, for less than $250. Who cares if we’re running the race or not…four days in San Francisco sounds like a good idea to me!

i can cross an item off my life’s to-do list

It’s not climbing Mt. Everest or curing cancer, but I’ve booked myself and the kids onto the E & N Railiner. We’re going from Victoria to Nanaimo.

I’ve wanted to do this for years. Of course when I thought about doing it I imagined myself sitting and admiring the scenery, not taking care of two potentially bored kids, but oh well! I’m still looking forward to it.