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11 Jul

We are currently in a level 1 drought.  If we don’t get significant rainfall in the next 24 hours, it will be a level 2 drought.  This is pretty significant for our area, since there are many farms which rely on the rain to water their crops.  Some lucky ones have permits to take irrigation water from nearby lakes, but not all.  And, not us.  Not to say that our little garden is on the same scale, but, you know…

What does happen though, is that our teeny tiny 10 foot, dug well can’t keep up with our water needs, and that’s when Bruce gets creative.

Some things Bruce has suggested to conserve water:

  • No showers.

Ok, he’ll allow showers, but only 2 minute ones.  And you have to turn off the water while you lather.  And it is preferable to have a second person in the shower with you, so one can rinse while the other lathers… so as not to waste water!

  • All water run from the tap, if not being used, should be collected in receptacles from which we can water plants and dogs.
  • Since the rain barrels are now depleted, he and my brother-in-law have headed to the river to collect stream water to keep our garden alive.  Apparently it’s legal to take water from a lake if you keep it under 50 000 L.  I’ll take his word for it.
  • No laundry- all clothes are to be worn until soiled.
  • Dishwasher once a day max… our Hydro bill is going to be awesome!
  • The old adage “When it’s yellow, let it mellow; when it’s brown, flush it down” is in full effect.  If you don’t know what that means, Google it.

And finally, in an effort to conserve as much water as possible, he’s decreed that he and Eric will do their part by switching to drinking beer.

Bronwyn, in the spirit of the moment, came up with her own solution.  After finishing her ice-cream sandwich, she held out her hands to the dogs to lick clean.  She then dried them on a towel and proudly announced that her hands were clean, and she didn’t even use any water!



When my life gets hard, these are things I never want to forget…

5 Oct


One morning last week, Bronwyn woke up early, and instructed me to stay in bed, while she fixed breakfast.  I came out to the kitchen and saw 4 bowls of cereal with milk, and a glass of water at each place.  She used everyone’s favourite colour dishes, and even remembered to use the almond milk for Joss.  And the best part?  Besides the fact that she didn’t spill a drop, and put everything back where it belonged?  My water was poured in a wine glass, because, according to Bronwyn, those cups are “fancier”.


Last week I asked Holly what she wanted for lunch at school that day.  She replied with, “oh anything… except what you made me yesterday”.  After further prodding, she told me that the crackers had touched her ham in the container and made the ham all “spoofy” (definition: where ham has cracker crumbs all over it, and renders the ham “slobbery”).  “I was really disappointed”.

I looked over in surprise (that she knew the word “disappointed” and that she used it so correctly in a sentence).  Holly misunderstood my look though, and quickly jumped in:

“Not disappointed in you, Mom; just disappointed in my lunch”.


Me:  How old are you Josselyn?

Joss:  Three!

Me:  No, you’re not three, you’re two!

Joss:  I DO three.  I DO!

Me:  Ok, ok… well, does that make you a big girl?  Or are you a baby?

Joss:  Me a Princess.

Your Mom is bald…

7 Jul

Tonight at dinner Bruce leaned over and tucked a ringlet behind Bronwyn’s ear.  This sparked an ongoing discussion over Daddy being bald.

Bronwyn:  you are bald, you know?

Bruce:  what are some good and bad things about being bald?

Bronwyn:  (after some coaxing) weeeelllllll… you never have to brush it… or wash it.  And it never gets in your eyes.

Bruce:  yeah… and what are some bad things?

Bronwyn: (immediately) people make fun of you!

Father’s Day 2011

28 Jun

Last weekend-ish (I know I am behind on my blogging) we decided to take the older two girls whitewater canoeing.  We were going with a fairly large group (8 adults and 3 kids), so we had lots of help.  And we enlisted the Grandmothering services of my MIL to watch Josselyn while we were away.

Uncle John with the girls waiting at the put-in spot in Aumond Bay.

Bronwyn was feeling under the weather for most of the trip, unfortunately, so she didn’t have quite as good of a time as Holly.  But, looking back, I’m not sure anyone had as good of a time as Holly!

Bruce working on his solo skilz!

On our first rapid (the same rapid that Bruce took B down solo 2 years ago and she got splashed so badly that she screamed every time she went down fast water after that!) Bronwyn clung tightly to the yolk (Rule #3- don’t touch the gunnels) and held on for dear life, while Holly knelt in the bottom of the boat like a pro and yelled, “WHHHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE”.

On scouting breaks, Bronwyn slunk around my legs like a shadow, while Holly and Daddy checked out the rapids and whined, “when can I go swimming?”.


There were two rapids that Bruce and I portaged the gear and he paddled solo while I watched the girls at the bottom, and we didn’t dump once.  We did get pretty wet, and there was one rapid where the wave crashed over my head (in the bow) and soaked the girls kneeling behind me.  After that Holly declared that she loved the rapids, but only the little big ones.  And Bronwyn admitted that she loved the rapids too, but only if we didn’t get wet.  Well, I don’t much like getting soaked either, but at least the water was warm.

Watching the grown-ups navigate High Falls, only moments before discovering a huge turtle!

While waiting for the rest of the group (and the hundreds of other day paddlers on the river that weekend) navigate some of the tougher Class IV falls, I kept the girls occupied by showing them how we could jump into the moving water and get carried downstream by the current.  Then we slid off big rocks in the middle of swifts and I grabbed the girls as they went rushing by on the tops of waves, and we started all over again.  We drew our names in the sand with sticks, and roasted marshmallows on sticks, and ate meat off of sticks…

Enjoying our standard camping fare: Meat-on-a-stick

Holly spent all her free time jumping from rock to rock next to the river and giving all the adults mini heart attacks.

She learned how to wash dishes in the river, and the girls spent hours filling water bottles with purified water.

Gravity pump?! Whatever happened to the old-fashioned hand pump?!?

Feeling better, and eager to be useful

Holly stared at a tiny pool of water in a rock for nearly 20 minutes because, “I just know there are fairies in there”.

The girls slept great (although probably not as good as Uncle John in his new Monarch hammock tent- so-cool-I-WANT-one!!!), but Bronwyn woke me up at some point after dawn wanting to know if I could hear, “the most beautiful bird song I have ever heard in my life”.

I think the only thing that would have made this trip better, was if Josselyn could have been with us, and we could start making memories as a full family of five.  Next year, Joss.  Next year!

Pretending to be asleep!

Making faces!

Madawaska 2011

Sheep Farm 2011

27 Jun

Last year we didn’t make it to Bruce’s coworker’s sheep farm.  I don’t know why exactly since the kids had such a blast that year!

Cutest 17 month old ever!!

She's just a BABY!

I am weeks away from delivering

Anyway, we went again this year- and it was 3 times the fun!

Feeding the orphan

Holly, especially,  had a wonderful time asking insightful questions about the machinery, the way the farm was run, why some sheep were in different pens, how sheep got their medication, what all the sheep’s names were (over 100- sorry kid, they don’t all get names!)…

Note, too, her ensemble:  the rubber boots were because, “we are going to a FARM, mom, my Crocs might get dirty”.

Bronwyn and Josselyn enjoyed feeding the lambs.  No questions asked.

Two Cute

16 Jun

Josselyn celebrated her 2nd birthday last Sunday (May 29), and Monday, and Tuesday… and, you get the picture.  It was a week-long celebration, with a week of events leading up to the big event.  What did we do for her on her double fun day?  Weeelllll… we actually invited ourselves to a friend’s house, brought supper and made them join us while we took the kids mini-putting.  I don’t think they minded.  We were there again tonight…

The big girls studying a difficult shot

Bruce adjusting Holly's swing

Josh helping Maya with the rest of us looking on

Bored of golfing, Joss is checking out the wildlife

Hole in One! PS I also got a Hole in One but no one saw it since I was at the end, and they didn't believe me!!!

More animals

Mini Golf anyone? Come visit, and we'll go to a great place!

Now that Joss is 2, I am noticing a subtle, yet real change in her behaviour.  She is still a toddler, and has worse tantrums than the other girls at any age put together but she is so much better than she used to be.  She has smiles for strangers, and hugs for friends.  She spontaneously calls out the names of my friends who she likes.  She melts down and cries, but can be distracted with apple juice (just not right away- she needs time to feel she’s made her case).  She still loves Purple, but has rechristened it “Mimi”.  She is learning to share.  And she is showing a heart of sweetness.  If she receives a candy as a treat for peeing in the potty she holds out her other hand every single time and says, “Holl?”  I must give her one for Holly too, or she becomes indignant then inconsolable.

She is a pretty good eater, and is definitely willing to try new foods.  But beware if she decides she doesn’t like it, because she’ll spit it back out in your hand.  She also likes to feed you her food.  But again, BEWARE: one time it wasn’t food, it was a booger.

She always shouts “ong ong” before you lay her down in her crib.  That means “song”.  And you could find yourself starting half a dozen before she nods that it is the right one.  Lately the “right one” is “I want to Eat Apples and Bananas”.  Strange for a lullaby…

I can take her out for short errands with no Pull-Up on.  Except today when the wait in the line at Wal-Mart was so lengthy that she peed in the aisle.

She loves to swim, and wants to do it on her stomach with her face in the water, and a good strong kick.  Except, she also doesn’t want to be held onto, and I have let her sink a few times when she was too insistent.  She always came up sputtering and smiling.  I worry about her…  She has slid down the slide or jumped into the pool without waiting for anyone to catch her.  Several times.  Today, she was walking along the edge of the pool with her lifejacket on and fell in.  It wasn’t on purpose, she just leaned too far forward, and I watched as she wobbled and tried to regain her balance but eventually succumbed to gravity.  I was on her in a second and pulling her out.  She didn’t love it, but she didn’t cry.

She is in the 2s and 3s room at church now.  Which means I have no one in the nursery anymore.  That is bittersweet.

She loves Curious George just as much as Bronwyn did at that age.  I may have to buy second copies of those books they are so dog-eared.

She is fanatically, maniacally obsessed with Dora.  She screams in the car if we don’t listen to Dora (not that I give in all the time- the girls are sick of that CD as much as I am), and cries when we don’t watch Dora on tv (why would we bother watching anything else?!?!??) but she does eventually get over it, and quite enjoyed Barbie in the Princess and the Pauper the other night.  There will be a photoblog on that story coming up soon.

What else?  She is around 24lbs, 33 3/4 in, and cute as a picture.  FYI that puts her in the barely 3rd and almost 75th percentile respectively.  We are stopped daily by old ladies and store employees who gawk at her hair, her eyes, and her *ahem* sunny disposition.  My baby is growing up, and I am excited to see that her strong-will and wild (er) disposition have tempered with age, while still showing signs of being a valuable asset to her when she gets a little older.  I can’t wait to see how she’s grown in another year!

Happy Birthday Josselyn!


20 May

Bronwyn has had a reoccurring bad dream:

“I was dreaming that I was falling, and slipping straight into a deadline”.

After I composed myself (and apologized for laughing), it occurred to me that “deadline” is kind of a scary word.  It certainly can be in its proper context, but besides that, can you imagine what it sounds like to a 4 year old?

Is it a line of dead stuff?

A line after which you are dead?

How many words, and their meanings, do we take for granted?  Words that we throw around could sound scary to a child, especially taken out of context.

Even sayings we use can be morbid, or at least disconcerting when you don’t understand them:

It’s raining cats and dogs.

He’s dead meat!

Fish out of water.

I wanted to share this story because I never want to forget that some of the things we take for granted as adults, children still need to learn.

Can anyone think of any other words or phrases that might be scary to a child but that we, as adults, might laugh over?