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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Yes, we can!

Lately, Ellie has started nodding her head yes when I ask her a question. "Do you want to go downstairs and have breakfast?" Yes! "Are you getting tired? Is it naptime?" Yes! "Do you want to go to the park and play?" Yes!

I'm not sure if she actually understands my questions and is answering me accordingly, or if she's just nodding her head because that's what you do. So today I decided to test it out and asked her, "Ellie, do you think Barack Obama is doing a good job? Should he get re-elected?"

She threw up her hands and shrugged her shoulders.

I haven't laughed that hard in weeks. Obviously we need to keep this child more informed about American politics.

Friday, September 9, 2011

When the weather's fine

It has been a busy, exciting eventful summer. We took the girl everywhere.

To the zoo...





...and Niagara Falls...



...and the Canada Day festival...



...and the park. A lot.



We went back to Tacoma, where Ellie saw her Gran...



...her Uncle Keith...



...Auntie Shannon...



...Great-Uncle Bill...



...Great-Auntie Kathleen...



...and Great-Grandma Peters.



Ellie had a birthday...



...and got bigger and cuter and sweeter every day.











Life is good.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

One year

In one year, my baby girl has gone from this...



to this...



..and it's been the best year of our lives. Happy birthday, baby bear. We love you more than you'll ever know.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Day Fifteen

I had big plans to actually post every day for thirty days, but as you can see, that is beyond my capabilities. I will finish this, though!

Day Fifteen: A picture of something you want to do before you die.



I want to see the Sydney Opera House. That thing is so damned cool. I actually do have tentative plans to make this happen, though I don't know when it will be. We have friends who live in New Zealand, and at some point in our lives we are planning to go and visit them. And since most of the flights that way go through Sydney, it only makes sense to arrange for a long layover and see the city while we're down in that part of the world. God only knows when this will happen, but it WILL happen.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Day Fourteen

Day 14: A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without.



Going with the obvious answer again here. She's only been in my life for ten months, but I'm already wondering what I did with myself before she was around. (I was significantly less sentimental and cheesy, that's for sure.) I couldn't even begin to imagine life without this child, and I don't want to.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day Thirteen

IT'S ABOUT TIME, I can hear you all saying. (All three of you.) Sorry about all the days I missed. Ellie got sick right after Day Twelve went up, and everything kind of went off the rails, and then I just got lazy. But here we are!

Day Thirteen: A picture of your favorite band or artist.



And this is where I officially remove all doubt as to my coolness or (more accurately) lack thereof. Those guys are the Moody Blues, who were last considered cool in about 1972, and possibly not that much even then. I don't particularly care, though. They've been my favorite band since I was 12 and finally discovered who sang "Your Wildest Dreams," which is a damned good song, and then I found out that they had this whole other career a couple of decades before that. AND IT IS BRILLIANT I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU SAY.

Here is the video for "Your Wildest Dreams." Ultra-cheesy video (but also sort of sweet), excellent song.



And here they are performing "Never Comes the Day" in 1970, back when they might have been sort of cool. It's good. You should listen to it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day Twelve

Good day, and welcome to Day Twelve: A picture of your favorite memory.



That would be watching Mr. Canuck fall in love with our daughter. She had him wrapped around her little finger pretty much from the moment she was born, and it was absolutely delightful to see. And it's only gotten stronger since then.

(By the way, we did have her wrapped up most of the time, but it was boiling hot in that room so we took the blanket and hat off to take pictures. Just so you don't think we're negligent parents.)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day Eleven

Day Eleven: A picture of something you hate.



I cannot describe how much I loathe tomato juice and tomato soup. Even the smell of it makes me gag. Mr. Canuck likes to drink Clamato, which is even worse, and I make him wash his own glass afterward because I can't even get near it. One of his favorite games is to pour himself a glass of tomato juice and chase me around the kitchen with it.

I love tomatoes, though.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Day Ten

Day Ten: A picture of your most treasured item.



That would be my trusty Nikon D3000. It took me months to save up for this thing, and I finally bought it in November 2009. It was worth every penny. If my house caught on fire, this is the one object I would grab. So mama don't take my Kodachrome away.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day Nine

Day 9:A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most.



This is Mr. Canuck. He has stuck right by me through all kinds of crap, even sometimes when I didn't want him to. I cried all over him after my grandmother died. He's held me up through one crisis after another over the past seven years. And through all of the 30 hours it took for our daughter to be born, he stuck right by me and didn't complain once (at least not where I could hear him). He is a really, really excellent husband and I'm so grateful to have him.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day Eight

Day 8: A picture of your future spouse



Joel McHale, baby. If he ever showed up on my doorstep and proposed marriage, we'd be heading off to Vegas before you could blink. Largely because of this:



If you're in a hurry, the best parts are at about 2:10, 3:20, and 3:45. Trust me, it's worth your time.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day Seven

Day 7: A picture of the person you do the most crazy things with



This is Becca. We haven't had much opportunity for craziness in the last few years, but we did once steal a sign off a church door. And dye our hair with food coloring. And paint stick figures on our fingernails, which we then named and wrote stories about. Okay, maybe we weren't crazy so much as pathetic. Boy, did we have fun, though.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Day Six

Day 6: A picture that makes you laugh



This is Mr. Canuck expressing his contempt for women's rights just to get a rise out of me. It worked.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day Five

Day 5: A picture of something you love



Going with the obvious answer here. I love this child more than life itself. Especially when she's sleeping.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Day Four

Day Four: A picture of something you'd like to do again.



Go back to Amsterdam. We were there for 10 hours on our way back from Zanzibar and I hadn't slept in about two days at that point, so the day is kind of a blur. I do remember that the city was beautiful and we had a really lovely time, and that the Anne Frank house was just as fantastic and meaningful as I'd thought it would be. And it was really wonderful that our friends flew over from England to spend the day with us. I would love to go back there and experience the city properly. We didn't make it to a single coffee shop! ;)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Day Three

Day 3: A picture of the cast from your favorite show.



Television does not get any better than Mad Men. I am so bummed that the next season has been delayed.

Also, I love how everyone in this picture looks pissed off except for Bert Cooper. He may seem old and slightly batty, but the man is an evil genius. You don't want to mess with Bert Cooper any more than you want to mess with Joan Holloway. Possibly even less, because while Joan doesn't like to waste any time before she ruins your life, Bert will sit on your dark secrets for years until you think he's forgotten them, and then use them to blackmail you. Do not cross Bert Cooper.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day Two

Day 2: A picture of the person you have been closest with the longest.



That's my mama. She's the best. I can talk to her about absolutely anything, and she usually knows the right thing to say. She was always especially good at pushing me to be independent but always being there if I needed her. When my last relationship exploded and I suddenly found myself homeless, Mom took me back in without hesitating. When something in my life is going spectacularly wrong and I just don't know what to do, she usually has some good ideas. She is madly in love with her granddaughter, and sometimes I worry that she is going to get on a plane and come and kidnap her. She is the best mama and granny anybody could want.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

30 days, 30 pictures

In an effort to make myself post more regularly around here, I've decided to do this 30 days, 30 pictures thing. I will probably cheat and write several posts at once but set them to appear one at a time. I am sneaky like that. Perhaps I will surprise us all and turn out something interesting.

Anyway, here is Day 1: A picture of yourself with fifteen facts.



The Facts

1. I'm turning 30 in July and I am sincerely excited about that. I have this idea in my head that people might start taking me seriously after I hit 30.
2. I had all these big ideas about maintaining a vegetarian household, but sadly I have fallen off the wagon, at least partially. I'm still not eating red meat, but I have been known to consume some poultry here and there. I am weak.
3. I cannot abide a dirty carpet. The house gets vacuumed about twice a week.
4. I have a washer and dryer sitting in my basement looking for a new home. (They came with the house and we don't want them.) I have had four different people express interest and then flake out on me. Do you want them? If not, I'm giving them to Habitat For Humanity.
5. I'm really pleased that we decided to use cloth diapers, but the laundry is everlasting.
6. My favorite hobby is photography, but I don't think I'm all that good at it yet. I want to take classes.
7. I am an American living in Canada, which is awkward. Here in Canada, I am The American, and all the Canadians I meet immediately seize on the opportunity to tell me how crappy my home country is. Back in the US, I am The Canadian and subject to all kinds of "funny" jokes about maple syrup and hockey. I don't belong anywhere anymore.
8. I adore Gloria Steinem and wish to be just like her when I grow up.
9. Facebook bugs me but I can't seem to give it up.
10. I have a daughter who is currently sitting on the floor next to my chair and chewing on the mass card from my grandmother's funeral.
11. I like red things.
12. The best vacation I ever took was to Zanzibar in 2009. You should all go there. I know a great place you can stay.
13. I hate new car smell. It makes me queasy.
14. I am allergic to everything. And I mean EVERYTHING.
15. I am not terribly good with people, mostly because I am terribly shy (you probably don't believe that, but it's true) and I'm afraid of everyone.

Stay tuned!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Comparison

Here is my little Canadian baby when she was six weeks old:



And here she is at eight months, in the same shirt:



I can't wait to see where she goes from here.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

IT'S HERE!

This morning I ran out to the mailbox in my pajamas with mad unwashed hair because Canada Post had told me that this had been delivered:



If you need me, I will be on the couch with my nose stuck firmly in this book. Ellie can get her own meals by now, right?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Why don't you write me?

Beth didn't actually tag me, but here I am doing this anyway. If you're interested, go to town.

The meme rules/questions:
1. What’s your name/your Blogger name?
2. What’s your blog’s name/URL?
3. Write “the quick fox jumps over the lazy dog”.
4. Favorite quote?
5. Your Favorite song?
6. Your favorite band/singers?
7. Anything else you want to say?
8. Tag 3-5 other people.

Monday, February 14, 2011

She's an air-conditioned gypsy

As you might have gathered from the title, Eleanor is goin' mobile. It's been a gradual process. Around the beginning of January, she figured out how to roll across the floor to get where she wanted to go. Then she graduated to scooting on her tummy. She looks like a little soldier, hauling herself across the floor on her elbows like she's avoiding enemy fire. About a month ago, she managed to get up on her hands and knees. And today she put all the pieces together and CRAWLED. We are in trouble now.

And the sleeping. OH THE SLEEPING THAT IS GOING ON HERE. Gather 'round while I tell you my amazing story.

Ellie was doing pretty well before we moved, going down without too much trouble and waking up once in the night. This was a really refreshing change from having to rock her for two hours, carefully lay her down, go and rock her again 45 minutes later, and get up two or three times in the night. We thought we were more or less in the clear.

And then we moved and everything fell apart again. It was getting so ridiculous, and she was having such a hard time settling with us, that we finally decided to follow her cues and teach her how to fall asleep by herself. She was obviously ready for it, and it ended up being a LOT easier than we thought it was going to be. We are kicking ourselves for not doing it earlier. It took about four nights altogether, but now we spend about 30-45 minutes on our bedtime routine, we lay her down, she fusses for maybe two minutes and then she's out. For 10-11 hours, usually. I KNOW. I'm beginning to feel well-rested for the first time in like a year. I honestly wasn't expecting her to sleep all the way through the night just yet, but she's doing it! So all you mamas with non-sleeping babies, TAKE HEART. Mine was wretched for several months there, but now she is fabulous, and yours will be too.

Of course, now that I've gone and posted this on the Internet, she's going to go back to waking up every hour on the hour. I will now commence to knocking on every wooden surface in this house so that she keeps this up.

And now the obligatory photos, so you can admire just how gorgeous my girl is.


Her new best friend.


So pleased with herself!


Our baby bear.

She's growing up so fast!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tribute

Ellie is dressed in the outfit that John and Cheryl sent her, and this afternoon I am going to have a Buchner-style gin and tonic (you pour the gin, show it to the tonic, and add a lime).



It's the best I can do.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

This is what happened.

My uncle John died suddenly early last week. This guy right here:



He was my mom's oldest brother and always looked after her when she was little. He was a paratrooper in Vietnam. He once rolled a tractor and broke his back. He made the world's most wonderful dollhouse for his daughter, my cousin Beth, which was later handed down to me and was my favorite thing in the whole world. (I think Beth's daughter has it now, which makes me happy.) He built his own flying machine. He had a pet alligator named Grumpy. (There were originally two alligators, but I think Grumpy killed the other one a while back.) I always sort of thought he was immortal. It is really, really hard to adjust to the idea of a world with no John in it.

Incidentally, last Thursday was the 14th anniversary of my dad's death. So a lot of this feels like a weird echo of January 1997.

At first I didn't think I would be able to make it to the funeral, but then I started playing around with the frequent flyer miles I earned with Northwest/KLM when we went to Zanzibar a couple of years ago. And lo and behold, I was able to make it work.

I should have known better. After all, Northwest is the airline who once left my grandmother at the wrong gate and refused to compensate her when she missed her flight. But they've merged with Delta since then so I thought it might be a little bit better. I was wrong.

This started off being entirely my fault. I am constantly underestimating how long it takes to get moving with the baby, and I left the house a good 30 minutes later than I meant to. So of course by the time I got to the highway, the morning commute had started and the traffic was wretched. It took me nearly 90 minutes to get to the airport. And of course I was too late. They close check-in one hour before the flight leaves, and I think I got to the desk about ten minutes too late.

And this is where Delta starts to fucking suck, pardon my language but this calls for words much worse than that one. The woman at the check-in counter was unbelievably rude. She started off by lecturing me on when I should have arrived at the airport, then heaved a sigh and acted like it was the world's biggest inconvenience to find me another flight. For some reason it was more difficult than she wanted it to be, so she started making rude comments about me, right in front of me, to her colleague at the next desk and to the people she was speaking with on the phone. And then she informed me that since all of this was my own fault, I was just going to have to go to the gate and throw myself on the mercy of the attendants there, since she couldn't book me a seat on the flight. And then informed that I had to pay a $50 change fee plus $25 to check my suitcase. Even though she could see that I was traveling on my own with a baby, and even after I told her that I was going to a funeral, and even after I cried a few times - and not even on purpose, I was just so upset and stressed out that I broke down a little - this woman refused to budge on any of it.

That is when I lost it. I started crying again, mostly out of frustration and rage, and Ellie joined in this time because she is such a helpful and obliging child. I told her to cancel everything, back it all out because I had to go make a phone call, and informed her that if this was the level of service I could expect from Delta then I would go well out of my way to avoid flying with them ever again. AND SHE STILL ARGUED WITH ME. Insisted that this was just policy, blah blah blah, and when I told her she was being rude she contradicted me. At this point I think I said something like, "Thanks, you have made a terrible day SO MUCH WORSE," and walked away with her still shouting after me, but I had stopped paying attention by then so I have no idea what she was saying.

Now, I'm sure that I was not the world's most pleasant person to deal with this morning, but I really was trying. And her behavior was really unacceptable.

So I got myself over to a chair and called Mr. Canuck, tried to explain what happened but mostly just sobbed at him for a while until I could get the story out. Then I called my mom and let her know what was going on. She calmed me down a bit and told me to think it out and figure out what was going to be the best thing for me, and to let her know what I decided. So I sat down, thought it out, weighed the pros and cons, and finally decided to head back home. At that point it would have just been so fucking difficult to get on another plane, plus I had a fussy, tired, hungry baby with me and it would have been at least three hours before I could get a flight out, if then. It was just too much.

So here I am, back at home, even though I should have been landing in Fargo right this very minute. I did call Delta to a) complain and b) see if anything could be done, but it didn't really help. When the first lady couldn't tell me a damned thing (I absolutely hate it when people are obviously reading from a script and can't be bothered to actually act like human beings), I asked for a supervisor. She was much nicer but still nothing really came of it. The only other flight that would get me there in time leaves at 6:30 tomorrow morning, and after today's experience I can say pretty confidently that that would not work out. She is going to get in touch with the counter at Pearson and report the lady I dealt with, though. She apologized pretty profusely, which was nice to hear but really didn't mean much in the end.

On the upside, I do get to re-book that ticket anytime in the next year. So there's that. If I am brave enough to risk dealing with these people again.

Also, I am really wishing I had Dooce's clout right now, because I would really love a repeat of the Maytag incident.

Anyhow. The upshot of all this is that I am not in Minnesota, I am not with my family, I am not attending the funeral of my wonderful uncle whom I miss terribly, and because of all this I am pretty goddamned miserable. You guys, I am so sorry that I am not there with you. I really did try my best, but my best was not good enough. I am more sorry than I know how to say.