April 2007

*edited to add, September 2, 2009- I had to omit several entries this month since they included videos, and my subscription to WordPress does not allow me to embed videos at this time.  They are still available on YouTube, search word “Bronwyn”.
April 05

kids and dogs

Hugh and Claire are babysitting their 3 young grandsons for the week.  Nicholas is 8, Anthony is 5 and Gavin is 3.  I want to share a bit of our conversation at supper last night. 
Nick: Let’s play the dog game.  I’ll go first…poodle.
Claire:  Golden Retriever
Anthony:  Bone Breaker
Claire:  What is a bone breaker dog?
Anthony:  You know, like Nevis!
Bruce:  Pit Bull
Julie:  Alsatian
Gavin:  Hot Dog!
I can’t wait for Bronwyn to start talking!
April 18


Well, I was waiting for inspiration to strike.  I find it makes for more creative writing when I can put my thoughts in order beforehand.  Unfortunately, I am just too tired, and my creativity is being sucked out of me.  If these last two phrases have not clued you in, and you have not heard through the rumour mill, I am writing to inform you that the news is out on our next minute arrival.  We will be expecting a little blue or pink package sometime around December 2, 2007.  Our tax baby as Bruce refers to him so far!  We are following close on the heels of my sister and brother-in-law who are due beginning of November, and my cousin who is due beginning of October!  Three more for Christmas!! 
When Bronwyn was informed, she immediately expressed her jubilation by uttering “dada” which is her way of saying…well…everything.  Everyone and everything are “dada” except me of course.  I will and always have been “mama”.  I guess “dada” is just easier to say all the rest of the time!
Bronwyn has also mastered the fine motor skill of the pincer grasp.  She has been practising for some time now, but yesterday she floored me.  You know those squishy balls with the spiky, jelly fingers all over them?  Well she was playing with one and holding it in her left hand, grasping one tiny thread with her thumb and forefinger and pulling it as far as she could (a good 4 inches at least); and then, as she tried to bring it to her mouth the most comical confused expression graced her face.  Where had it gone?  She was undeterred.  She tried again, this time focussing her attention on the tiny bit stuck out from between her firmly clenched digits.  She brought it all the way to her mouth and then let go as it touched her tongue.  But the expression remained.  Where had it gone?  Not until she drew it too close to her cherubic cheek and it slung back and whipped her did she concede defeat.  But even that was funny.  As I rolled on the floor laughing behind her and uncle Hugh tried vainly and unsuccessfully to keep a straight face, she looked around, unsure what her reaction should be.  She finally settled, after 10 seconds or so, on a monstrous, gut-wrenching howl of indignation.  Only Bruce was able to keep his features in check long enough to cuddle and console our weeping child.  But I saw him.  Once she was safely pressed to his chest, I saw the smile creep and tug at the corners of his mouth until it erupted into a face-splitting grin to match the rest of us.  Who could blame him?  It was funny.
April 27

Vernal- April showers and all that…

Yesterday we went to the new house to do some yard work.  We don’t have possession of the property yet, but Mrs. Kathy said she doesn’t mind if we putter in the garden.  So, I loaded Bronwyn into the car along with stroller and various baby paraphenelia and headed to Bruce’s work to pick him up.  We met his coworkers (all nice people) and showed off our prodigy to admiring flocks.  She even consented to give a few smiles and waves to the delight of all present. 
When we arrived we surveyed the raspberry bushes that we pruned the last time we were there.  Well, Bruce pruned them, there was only one set of shears, so I got the rather unpleasant task of removing the dead stalks and carting them to the fire pile.  Several hours and several hundred scratches later, the 3 rows of plants were freed of their strangling relatives and we left them to find freedom in the space we had created for the survivors. 
Yesterday’s task was even more arduous though.  It seems that a kindly neighbour plows everyone’s driveway with his truck, effectively spraying the yard with the pebbles from the drive.  When we looked last time, it appeared that only the perimeter was affected.  We had high hopes of completing the job in one evening.  Bruce even commented to me that this wasn’t such a big job, and if it meant an afternoon once a year, we could handle it.  That was before we reached the end.  We must have compeleted 90% of the garden in less than an hour.  I took a quick break to refill Bronwyn’s Cheerio container, and stretch my back.  We had to pick each stone out of the muck individually as rakes didn’t work and we wanted to till the ground saturday.  We were covered in high quality, premium grade cow manure and it was getting cold, but our spirits were high as we bantered about the new house and how we couldn’t be friends with the Sens fans next door.  I mean seriously- there was the biggest black and red flag ever flying off their back porch.  But, you know, Bruce and Ben are still friends despite conflicitng NHL loyalties.  We’ll have to just see where they stand in the NBA and NFL.  However, I digress.  We moved over to the last line of the garden and stopped in our tracks.  There were thousands upon thousands of little tiny rocks peeping up at us from between rotton onions and old hot peppers (which look like dead, stinky undersea creatures by the way- not a pleasant sight in my delicate condition).  There were more rocks in the final 10% than in the rest of the large area.  We decided to throw in the towel and head for home.
I was looking forward to the chile I had made that morning.  It actually smelled great (my nose has been rebelling lately) and I couldn’t wait to try it.  When we finally sat down with our steaming bowls and took a bite I warned Bruce, “I didn’t season it too much, I can’t trust my senses and I figure less is better than too much, right?”.  Wrong.  It was disgusting.  No taste at all.  And I couldn’t even season it in the bowl because everything I added just made it worse.  I think I will stick with foods that are supposed to be eaten bland for a while. 
We had plans to return tonight to finish the garden, but it is raining with no sign of letting up.  All the dogs are hanging out under the front door.  There is a sort of overhang there that covers the front porch.  There is an old chair set up that Nevis promptly called as “his”.  Any time of the day (when he isn’t digging in the sand pit) you can find his 90 lbs wedged into this tiny chair.  I have never seen him get into it, but he manages to get every part of his body onto the cushion and tucked into the tiniest ball possible.  Only a true lap dog would be comfortable there!  Then there is the old towel that has been so muddied, torn and worried that it is hardly recognizable, but which we are not allowed to remove or feel the wrath of Toby.  That is his spot and he can be found curled up on it when it isn’t sunny.  When it is sunny, he likes to splay himself out on the driveway.  Not on the side, but right in the middle, and usaully right where you are about to drive too.  The only dog who hasn’t the sense enought to come in out of the rain is my working boy, Dude.  I expected him to escort me to the curb when I dropped the garbage at the side of the road this morning, and was somewhat surprised to find him AWOL.  It wasn’t until I was coming back through the downpour that he came racing along the side of the house, soaked to the skin, teeth bared in an ingratiating smile and body flip-flopping like a fish.  The rain may keep Bruce and I from completing our yard work.  It might keep Toby from his sunbathing.  It might keep most of the population indoors.  But not even the rain could deter my Dude from standing watch over the woodpile in case a squirrel happened to escape; or from trotting the paths in the back watching for woodland intruders.  Or slinking along the side of the house waiting for mice to appear.  Nope, Bruce and I might stay in tonight to watch the 3rd game in the Raptors, Nets series; but Dude will be outside, guarding the house against things only he feels are dangerous!

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