Motherland (day eight)

August 31, 2007

My long-suffering stepmum rose before the crack of dawn to take us to the airport.  We walked right past the long line of people at the check-in (yes, long line at 4:30am) to check in at the kiosks were there was no line.  At the Vancouver airport you must go through US Customs and Immigration before you board your US-bound plane.  This was the biggie, for me, the real test of whether my documentation without my passport was enough.  It was.  Our agent was fairly pleasant, even, given the time of day, although it’s been my experience that the agents at YVR are consistently more pleasant than those in the US.

Our gate was next to a Tim Horton’s so Paul spent our last five Canadian dollars on a non-nutritive snack (but, oh, how can you resist a sour cream donut?)  The boys, tired, were slightly less cooperative than on the flight up, but in the end, much better than could have been expected of them and I was pleased.  I even took a short nap on the flight.

Then we cut through the brown cloud, landed twenty minutes before we got to our gate, and entered LaLaLand.  Our neighbour greeted us with a three-hour long concert.  We were welcomed with a heat wave.

The vacation was definitely over.

But Guy Smiley was happy.

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His Royal Cuteness is Tricky

August 30, 2007

Yesterday Little Red said, “Mummy, it’s Sunday today.”

 “No, sweetie,” I said, “today is Wednesday.  On Sunday we go to church.  We aren’t going to church today.”

“It’s Sunday.”

“No, it’s Wednesday today.  It’ll be Sunday in a couple of days.”

“It’s Sunday.”

“It’s Wednesday.”

“It’s Sunday.”

“It’s Wednesday.”

“It’s Sunday.”

“It’s Wednesday.”

“It’s Sunday.”

“It’s Wednesday.”

“It’s Wednesday”

“It’s Sunday.  OOPS!”

In my defense, I was driving and looking for a place I had never been before.  I was only partially paying attention to our conversation.


Motherland (day seven)

August 28, 2007

We had to stop by the campground to pick up Andrew and Elena before we got on the ferry, so we also stopped to pick up a dozen muffins for the family.  (Paul came out from the market with a funny look on his face.  “Tim Hortons would have been cheaper, but you’re right, these are healthier.  I hope your family likes vegan bran muffins.”  I don’t know if they did, but I did, they were delicious!)

We said quick (and teary) goodbyes, and headed up to Sidney where we caught the ferry. 81307-5-small-file.jpg81307-small-file.jpg

We hung out at the house playing Yatzee and resting all afternoon.  For supper we went to White Spot, making complete my trip to BC.  It was a great farewell meal, Dad and Liz, Nana and Grandad, Andrew, Elena, Simon, and the four of us.  Then Dad took Nana and Grandad back to their hotel, Simon went to his first of two hockey games of the night, and the rest of us walked along Kits Beach to try to work off the massive amount of food we’d just consumed.  It was a beautiful night.

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Motherland (day six)

August 27, 2007

We went to sleep on Saturday night to the sound of the seagulls.  I awoke a few times to the sounds of the revellers on the street below, but it was more pleasant than anything I’d heard at home from RockStarNextDoor.  In the morning as we dressed for church the seagulls were an underscore to the carrilon playing only two blocks away.  Definitely, I decided, I could get used to a luxury condo in downtown Victoria.  Nevermind that it’s a one-bedroom, the hideabed was a perfect bed for the boys.  Little Red loved saying “Abracadabra!” at night as we pulled the bed out and “Presto-Chango!” in the morning to put the bed back.

Church was nice.  I think everyone was a little overwhealmed to see the clan walk in and occupy a pew and a half.  Paul had to take Little Red to the other side of the chapel with some of my brothers because sitting near us was a boy his age who was walking all over his mother and getting away with things we don’t allow in church.  Little Red, seeing the permissive behaviour, wanted to follow suit.  Otherwise, church was uneventful.  Church was church.

We swung by the condo (out of the way) to show Andrew and Elena the place and grab our gift for the wedding, then up to Saanich we went.  It was a beautiful wedding.  Sasha and Heather were happy, so that was the best part.  The ceremony was at the private estate of someone they knew, located on a bluff overlooking the water.

View of water from Sasha and Heather’s Wedding

After a nap we joined up with the family for more socializing and a nice walk along the beach.

skipping stonesIsland View Beach

We said our goodbyes and returned, once again, to the condo.  Guy Smiley, overwhealmed by all the people, was very happy to be plopped on the bed and left alone.

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Because Life Without Toddlers is Dull

August 24, 2007

Before I had a toddler I could leave things on the table or counter and not worry about them.  Before I had a toddler I could put something in the fridge and it would stay there.  Before I had a toddler I didn’t have the unmistakable smell of decomposing food hidden somewhere in the kitchen where I can’t see or reach.

Oh well, before I had a toddler I couldn’t pull the “toddler card” to explain why my house was not tidy.


We Interrupt the Holiday Programming with this special note . . .

August 24, 2007

We need a new house phone.  I think this will be our fifth or sixth phone since we were married.  I am so sick of buying a new phone every couple of years.  I’m really frustrated that they are clearly designed to have a short life.

I don’t care about a lot of special features.  I don’t really use the phone all that much.  All I ask is a cordless phone that works.  I don’t want to answer the phone or make a call and feel like I’m playing the lottery with the static.  I hate yelling at my friends, “I’m sorry I can’t hear you.  I’ll try again later.  Or just email me.”

Please, if you have a phone you like, let me know what it is.  I don’t think I’m asking too much.  All I want is a phone that works.


Motherland (day five)

August 23, 2007

First thing in the morning with Dad and his parents in one car, and Paul the kids and me in the van, we trekked on down to Tsawassen to hop on the ferry.  It was the boys’ first boat ride of any kind, and my first in nearly a decade.  I was so excited!  Crossing Active Pass was really beautiful, and Little Red loved seeing us pass another ferry. 

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There’s nothing like being on a boat to bring out my inner loner.  Wearing my sleeping baby I wandered the windy deck an anonymous admirer.  I could stare at the water and the islands forever.  There’s something so calming and centering about being on the water.  I am stripped of materialism and returned to my natural state.  In the decade since I moved to the states I have made feeble attempts to fill a void with flashy things and busy days.  As soon as I return to the land I love I care nothing for those things.  I could live a quiet existence here. 

We dumped our stuff at Dad’s work condo in Victoria, said goodbye to Dad, Nana, and Grandad, and drove up to Saanich to see Mum and the rest of the family.  I hadn’t seen most of them since my wedding, and Mum was the only one that had already met Little Red.  Saturday was a day devoted to baby holding and hanging out.  We took a lot of photos and played around as though there hadn’t been a decade since we all lived together.  It’s very centering to be with those who’ve known you best and longest.  There’s no pretense, no consciousness.  I think it’s the only time I really feel like I can just be and that’s okay.

On our way back to the condo we stopped by Tim Hortons.  We saved most of our purchase for the next morning’s breakfast, but Paul and I each had a doughnut before going to sleep.  Listening to the seagulls out the window, sleeping in a nice bed, and with Timmy’s in my tummy, I fell asleep happily, reflecting on the day and how nice it is to be with family.