Archives for August 2006


I’ve been on a campaign to clean up my act, recently.  I have a small child, and I don’t want to hand her a big pile of garbage.  To that end, I’ve been re-examining some of my choices.  I’m eating more organic foods, I’ve stocked up on canvas grocery bags, and I have the best of intentions to start composting (again).  By approaching my choices systematically and making small changes, I’m hoping that I can not only reduce my consumption and waste, but pass that value along to Hannah.

In my quest to find ‘greener’ products, I’ve had hits and misses.  Some of them are just ineffective and expensive, but some are fabulous.  I’m really in love with my latest find, though–Nellie’s Dryerballs.  These are two spiky little balls that you throw in the dryer with your clothes.  They make a bit of noise while the dryer warms up, but they do quiet down considerably within a couple of minutes.  They soften your clothes and reduce wrinkles naturally.  I’ve tried them on big pieces of canvas fabric, which normally bunches and twists something awful, and they came out so nicely.  Far better than dryer sheets, and without chemicals or waste.  Three cheers for dryerballs!

18 Months Old

Just a quick note to say that Hannah is 18 months old today!

She has come so far in the last 6 months.   She has 15-20 words now, and she also uses 5 or 6 baby signs consistently.  She has started singing songs, too, although they are fairly unrecognizable. 

 Physically, she’s a champion climber.  She can do ladders now, so she can tackle most climbing structures and small slides at the playground.  She also loves to run, throw, and kick.  Hannah is fearless, so her physical abilities often frighten her parents, but she rarely falls, and she generally just picks herself up and keeps on going when she does.

Hannah has become the master of her own world.  She can express many of her desires, which she expects us to act upon.  She has a strong desire to do things for herself, and there’s more and more that she can accomplish on her own.  She is great at sorting and stacking, and she does things like pick up litter at the park, pick berries from a bush, or use a spoon to feed herself.  We have started toilet training, and we are having some small successes. 

In the last 6 months our baby has been completely replaced by a toddler.  And, as it turns out, toddlers are a lot more work, but they’re also so much fun.  Every day is an adventure with an 18-month-old, and we’re just along for the ride. 😉

Beautiful Day in Victoria

I got up this morning and took a trip to Sidney by the Sea, which is the small town near the Victoria ferry terminal. I was drawn by the many bookstores, which market themselves together as Sidney Booktown. The little town is beautiful and leads right down to the oceanfront pier. Of note was the heavy senior population, the only place I saw kids was at this one breakfast restaurant that seemed very popular. Walking back to the car, I passed the local real estate office. Oceanview 2 bedroom condos were over $450,000. It’s getting a little crazy.

Here are some pics taken with the cameraphone…

The Sidney PierSidney TownGardens

On the Road Again

Hello everyone, haven’t posted here for awhile, just wanted to say hello.

I’m coming to you this week from Victoria, the site of the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships at the Commonwealth Games pool. It’s quite a nice facility, two 50 meter pools, and a wave pool with a pirate ship and a very cool waterslide. I’m here working for NBC, rejoining them after the Stanley Cup Final in Edmonton. It’s fun to do these kinds of events, but it’s very hard to be away from Hannah and Amber. Now that Hannah is big enough to know who I am and wave goodbye at the door, it makes it that much harder. So in honor of our daily trips to the park, here is a trip that we recently took in the rain. Hannah will never let a little bit of bad weather get in the way of “outside!”

Mom Wardrobes

Since I’ve had a baby, I’ve acquired a number of different wardrobes. I generally only use one at a time, and store all of the other clothes in a bin under my bed. I have my favourite items in each, of course, but they are not all created equal. My wardrobes are:

1. Big and pregnant – This is pretty much completely made up of maternity clothes. I don’t mind wearing these, because what other choice do you have when you’re 6 months pregnant? Plus, maternity clothes have come a long way in recent years.
2. Transitional – My least favourite wardrobe, these are regular clothes in larger sizes. They’re for the early months of pregnancy when I’m gaining weight but not ‘showing’, or for the early months after giving birth. These clothes just make me feel big.
3. Regular – This is made up of ordinary, ‘skinny’ clothes. It’s my favourite, because it’s the most extensive, and the smallest in terms of clothing sizes. It’s easy to justify buying nice regular clothes, because you can wear them for years. Plus, you have more choices when you’re not trying to ‘minimize’ everything. 😉

In the past 2 years, I have gone from regular, to transitional, to big and pregnant, and back down again. After my visit to Value Village yesterday, I went through and organized and stored the last of the transitional clothes, which made me very happy. In the process, I found some pants I had forgotten about that I’m wearing today, and purged old things that I no longer wear. For the first time in a long time I feel like I am in control of my physical self and my clothing options, and I am happy with how I look. I don’t think of myself as a superficial person, but this has made me very happy. I have lost all the baby weight, and I have nice things to wear to boot! 🙂

Thrift Store Heaven

A brand new Value Village opened up near our house about a month ago. So, today a friend and I ventured forth to check it out. I was blissfully childless, since I’d left Hannah napping at home with Jon. As much as I adore my child, shopping without an active toddler is much easer than shopping with an active toddler. 😉

I can’t recall the last time that I bought any second-hand clothes for myself. I don’t know if I ever have, really. But today I made up for lost time. I love the new store. For one thing, it doesn’t have that thrift store smell, which is usually such a turn-off. For another, the quality of the clothes seems to be improving. And, thanks to a kindly shopper who shared a coupon, I even saved 20% off of my purchase.

So, one pair of pants and a shirt for my kid, a scarf, 2 sweaters, 3 t-shirts, 2 pairs of jeans, and one pair of corduroy pants later, and the grand total was $43 and change. Plus, I bought some really cool clothes I would never have bought in a regular store. Somehow, it’s much easier to be adventurous when you’re spending $3.99 for shirt than when you’re spending $39.99.

Long Weekend Report

We spent the BC Day long weekend at the Strocel condo in Kitsilano. The weather was great, and even better, we had our own free parking stall. We went to the Pride parade, visited Kits Beach, and spent an afternoon at Stanley Park.

While we all really enjoyed ourselves, I was very glad to return home. I discovered that two adults and a toddler do not fit comfortably into a 600-square-foot space. As lovely as the West End is, I think that we will happily reside in suburbia with our children.

Unfortunately, the nice weather didn’t hold upon our return home. I suppose we should just be grateful for the sun while it lasted.

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