Saturday, December 1, 2012

A $50 Christmas

This year I have taken on a challenge. Mostly because with school and our trip next year I don't really have more  than that to spend. I was inspired by my love of Pintrest, and after finding tons of things I thought would be fun to make, I thought "Why not actually make it?".
My challenge is "$50 or under". This means lots of homemade gifts, and hopefully a family photo of all 4 of us if I can find my little camera (if you have seen it btw please let me know!).

So there also may be a few very pretty IOU's also because it's a lot more work than I had thought. And also I need to get a cord for my swing machine  because in our move apparently I lost it (if you haven't noticed, I misplace things a lot).

Here are a few examples of my hard work (I'm not worried about the receivers seeing them because they are  the employers and a two year old)

Elmo looks a lot like he is on drug but they are all a work in progress still.

The babies were, as per usual, ridiculously adorable the week. Exceptions of that being poor D's backslide in toilet training, stemming from R's recently growing ability to communicate effectively. I learned this week that not only is potty training crazy hard, but without very immediate results is very discouraging as a caregiver. I left work nearly in tears  more then once this week. But alas, a little progess left me with a little bit of a lift of the spirits by the end of the week.
Listening to a one year old cry for two hours, with nothing, not singing or tv or playing or drinking or eating or anything at all cheering him up, is very discouraging. Makes you feel very crappy about about yourself.

Some day I might write a very bad novel.
Sorry about the lack of enthusiasm today readers, aside from being exhausted, my house is probably haunted.

Happy  December 1st!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Melmo! Apppsauuusseee!!

It was a week of talking for this nanny this week! R is just starting to talk. And I honestly had no idea how adorable it was going to be, or how quickly and spontaneously it would happen. When I started he had the basic "dada" and "anana" and the occasional "mama". This has now grown to "ckocks" (socks), "cucks" (trucks) "caaaarrrk" (car), "meeemoooo" or "melllmooomelmo!" (Elmo), and most impressively "Apppsause" (applesauce).

He loves talking, not that D is taking to that much. This 2 year old is used to being the only one able to communicate, and I can feel the beginnings of the "terrible twos" coming on. Smashing his fists against the table, I ask him " What are you doing buddy?" and I get what resembles a demon stare. His chin is tilted down almost touching his chest, his eyes looking up at the scariest angle at me. It is really quite terrifying. "Are you trying to make Jessie sad or mad?" and still banging on the table he smiles and nods his head. "Is that a nice thing to do?" and suddenly he stops, shakes his head and his face is suddenly frowning.

Other memorable turn of events this week, he has started peeing his pants a little and saying "oh well thats okay". Don't get me wrong. At 26 months he was fully potty trained, which took at total of 3 days, and he hasn't worn a diaper since, not even to bed. He is very smart. But when he peed on me, as he was getting dressed one morning. No that is not okay.

Also Braden turned 21 this week!! So a very happy birthday to my wonderful amazing partner in crime and life! He is now old enough to drink anywhere in the world!! Oh how I love him.

the first gift , for the boss
If you don't already know, this years christmas theme is " Under $50 Altogether", and mostly completely homemade. If you have any requests do not hesitate to make a request. Only a month and a half to go!!!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Home again Home again Jiggity Jig

Long time no see blog readers. Of whom there may be very few, but I decided to go back to writing because I know I have at least one reader, my beautiful little sister Maggie. So for her, and the others who randomly happen upon my page.

Now that we have safely arrived home (yay!), moved into our apartment (perfect), and started our lives here in Ottawa there are not many travel stories to share. But fear not! Being a nanny for 2 of the most adorable boys I have ever met leaves me with many many many stories.

The boys are 2 (D) and 1 (R), and very handsome. D is speaking in almost full sentences, can count up to 13, can sing more songs than I can count including the abc's. We are about to start working on recognizing the ABC's. R is at all times either laughing or crying. Mostly laughing. Say the word stinky. HAHAHAHAHA. Put a stuffed animal on your head. HAHAHAHA. Tries going into his tent with guitar and can't get it in on the first try, and you have nonstop crying for 5 minutes. It is both the best and most exhausting job I have ever had.

Being a first time nanny, I have a new found respect for every mother, stepmom, and childcare giver in the world. It is not always an easy job. Not that I thought it would be. But we have fun finger painting, making crafts, and going on trips to the library.

Badadada badadada It's Elmo's World!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Yesterday I Cried

I have made it back from Vancouver Island! A little bit crazier, but other than that fully intact. And Although this is unrelated to the actual move itself, seeing as this is my blog, and the only people other than me who read it are nosey bystanders on facebook, creeping me without me knowing (which by the way I'm okay with because it's something I do quite often), or close friends and family who want to or feel obligated to read because they love me, I feel as though I can drift away from writing about the trip for a moment and tell you all about why I cried yesterday.

Yesterday I cried. I cried because for the first time in as long I can remember I came to the realization that after years of chaos, I have finally become the person I want to be. A person I am proud to be.

 Dear past teachers ( Ms. Legacy, Mrs. Stroud, & Mrs. Campbell among many others), Thank-You for being there for me, never giving up on me, having faith in who I was when I didn't even know. I am a truly blessed person, having had the amount of amazing teachers in my life that I did. Without the teachers I had, I'm not sure how I would have graduated high school. I often feel guilty at the fact that I graduated because I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have if I hadn't had them. I think what Im coming to realize is that they knew who I was, not as a student, but as a person. And they seen potential I did not fully grasp that I had. High School (& Elementary) is not an easy place for many, if anyone. And I don't think teachers ever fully get the appreciation that they deserve. I have to actively fight the urge to hug some of my teachers and tell them I love them and appreciate them every time I see them. 
There are a lot of people who have been there for me, I am an extraordinarily lucky person to have so many people in my life who love me as much as they do. And I really do truly love them all.  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Knight Inlet, Sword and Shield not required


Way back in April, Braden and I went on a trip to a fishing lodge further north, between Vancouver Island and the mainland. Braden is working at an awesome restaurant called the Mad Chef Cafe, and there works the amazing Keeley. Keeley's boyfriend Cam grew up at, and worked at, Sailcone Lodge, which offers Fishing Trips and Wildlife Tours. They extended an incredible invitation to spend the weekend there with them, before the season started. Can you say experience of a lifetime? Obviously we said Heck to the yeah.

We spent a Saturday, Sunday, and Monday in paradise. The lodge itself was beautiful. From the yard to the view to the house itself. Literally everything was beautiful. Im having trouble putting into words how awesome it was. So here are some pictures 

Cam worked hard pulling up the prawn traps :)

My first touch of the sunfish. Which is much like a starfish I believe. If you pull its leg off, not only will it grow a new one but the leg will grow into a new sunstar (what I called them) if enough of its core was pulled out

Prawn anyone? They heads are like little darts. Seriously. Not what I expected them to look like.

The view literally looks like a default screensaver that comes with a computer. This is from in the boat pulling out of the Dock
Bouys for the traps

The Amazing Keeley!!

SEALIONS! Lazy fat adorable hilarious and they bark. Animals dont get much better than this


Telegraph Cove

Sealion Skeleton

He just let his feather blow in the wind.

They waddle when the walk, it really is hilarious

I tried to throw him a prawn head, it just scared him away.

Literally my only catch of the weekend

More sealions

The view of the front yard.

View to the left of the lodge

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bohemoth Wolf

I may or may not be writing a little little something. Definitely still in the very early staged of development. But here is a little piece of what may or may not exist.

"In the distance the church bells rung out the sound that signified midnight. Suddenly a slashing sound, which was followed immediately by what resembled rattling chains and a resounding howl. What seemed to be a canter followed by a WHACK and a small whimper. Again the sound of a canter could be heard, followed by a WHACK and a small whimper. And Again the sound of canter echoed off the walls and it was ended with a WHACK and another whimper. The fourth time however it was and eruption of almost a gallop and a deafening blast. It was as if the room below had just experienced an enormous crash of \thunder. It ricocheted throughout the castle, making it feel as though the castle itself was collapsing. The low echo of an angry snarl could only just be heard as the sound of thunder crashing slowly faded off. The clamour of chains clattering across each concrete step up the curve of the massive stairwell that led directly to the room that Milo sat in could be heard. As the clatter came to a halt Milo looked up, in the doorway he could see only a set of piercing eyes staring at him and he could now hear the vicious snarl from the darkness. Suddenly a titanic growling broke out in the room. The sound of it echoed around the room and it became the only sound that could be heard. It had become so that being able to tell whether it was the growl itself or only its echo ceased to exist. Very slowly, what may have seemed like hours, it tapered off  until all that could be heard was the flickering of the flames in Milo’s fire."

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Wacky Woods, Nymph Falls, and Geocaching

A thing or two has happened since last I posted a post. And also since we arrived at to the Island. Hopefully I can briefly summarize all the small attractions, so you don't miss anything but also aren't stuck feeling compelled by family/friend obligation to spend the whole afternoon reading the whole dang thing.

One of our first stops after we got here was Nymph Falls. Ontario has much to offer, and much to see. All the forests and hills and rocks and rivers so on and so forth. But we really were not totally sure of what to expect when we got out of the car (after getting lost a few times) and headed into the mossy forest. We wandered around the paths in what seemed a lot like a maze. We were yelled at by a resident squirrel ( btw: one of the only squirrels I have seen since we got here), apparently he didn't like us very much. We followed the paths mostly at random, but also towards the sound of running water. You know when your watching cartoons, and something unexpected or surprising happens and the character's chin drops to the ground? That's the best metaphor I can thing of to how it felt when we seen the water. Clear. Imagine the clearest water you've ever seen, then imagine that was dirty water compared to this water. Glacier water. Not something I had ever seen before. You can see straight down to the bottom, and it looks like its only a foot away but really its 8 and 9 and 15 feet away. Deep, and there are man made staircases in the water for the salmon in the fall to make it up the river. All through the water are almost perfect circles of all different sizes, that are all naturally corroded away over time. This was last summer, so it was filled with people. Swimming, tanning, probably a couple people having a few drinks. We decided, in our infinite wisdom, that we should walk up through the river a ways. Keep in mind of course that I had my dads very expensive camera, and a dog who is mortally terrified of water, and its really really slippery, most especially when your walking against the current trying not to fall into any the beautiful circle holes I previously mentioned. A terrifying hour later we finally made it back to the shoreline and crawled up to safety, Toby way ahead of us. The cuts and bruises were worth the cool view, though I don't know if Braden would agree. We took our time as we wandered back out of the woods, walking along trails, seeing all the mountain biking mini bridges and whatnot. A good day. And definitely a good choice for our first real BC adventure. It helps also that its only about 15 minutes, if that, from our house.

Our first glimpse of a rainforest

This squirrel was very angry

The clearest water you ever did see

I cannot remember why we thought this was a good idea

Staircases for the salmon jump

Stone figures built in the water

Don't want to get your foot stuck in one of theses holes

Another Staircase

Headed for the shore. This is twice a tricky as it seems

The Wacky Woods. It truly is a wacky place. Braden heard about it at work. It's one of those places that exists but it only know about from word of mouth. Not an official place. But that makes it a whole lot cooler. We have actually been there twice. The first time, it was fall, and it rains a lot here so it was super muddy. Which Toby loved of course. Its in the back yard of the artist, but moves through the woods and onto a nearby provincial path. Most of it isn't technically his property, but its a very neat place to go. It's very hard to describe. There are little statues, painted rocks hanging from trees, curtains, books in trees with phrases in them, wheels and faucets in trees. Most of it was metaphors for how people should be one with nature and anti-corporationalism (if that's a thing), I didn't understand a lot of it, but from what I got, people were portrayed as rocks. Anyways. A very colourful and  interesting place. The second time we went was because I wanted to see it again, and also there was a geocache (more on that subject after) in it I wanted to log before we left the island. While we were walking through it we made our way to a section we hadn't seen before, which led onto the path, and as we walked up the path there was house numbers on one of the trees, ad if to imply it was someones property. Obviously Braden took this as a personal invitation to walk through the property, which turned out to be an extension of the wacky woods ( or at least we are under the impression it is). It narrows into a little path, that goes out onto an estuary, I think that is what they are called. When the tide is in, it is covered in water. By chance the tide was out so we got to walk out pretty far, and got to see the Oyster boats from a different angle, which is a lot cooler than it sounds like. I also got a great picture of a little crab, but Braden got a better one. When we went back to the path, we found another geocache in the middle of a forest, it was hidden in a really old backhoe, and honestly I don't even understand how the thing got there, its completely surrounded in big old trees. Good times.

a back to the futurish boat

Fishers of men
This one was in memory of someone

Let the show begin

Book in tree. Pretty self explanatory
Ducking and dodging under trees and branches

Braden's Amazing didn't even try crab picture  

The estuary... I think
The hoe part of the backhoe
the main part of the backhoe
My cute but not as good as Braden's picture of a crab
 Hold in just a little longer guys. I swear I am almost done. Something we have added to our mini-adventures is geocaching. As I am terrible at actually giving accurate descriptions of things I googled the word to define it for me. defines it as: the outdoor sport or game of searching for hidden objects by using Global positioning system (GPS) coordinates posted on the internet. So basically. All over the world ( Germany, Italy, anywhere you can think of including Perth ON) has this on-going game of hide-and-seek going on. Awesome. When you can't find it frustrating. Sometimes totally satisfying. Sometimes they are just on a path, sometimes you have to go out of your way to find it, and it turns out to be an awesome view of something you otherwise may not have seen. There in one on mainstreet downtown Courtenay attached to a street light pole, and unless you knew there was something there, you wouldn't never even think it may not have been part of the pole. Ranging in size from the size of a watch battery to sometimes bigger than a car battery, they are hidden, sometimes hard and sometimes easy to find. It makes me feel like I'm not alone, it makes the day more exciting sometimes, and sometimes it just gets you out of the house. I love it. So if you see me referencing geocaching this is what Im talking about.

Smallest one we have found, twist off the top to find the log

Braden found it

Never would have guessed

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

In Memory

So I have decided to veto the last day of our drive for now, your not missing much, it was pretty boring. I will write about some of the amazing places we have been, but first I would like to write something about my Great Grandma, Olga Pond.

She passed away this past weekend, and in her late 90's, it maybe shouldn't have come as a shock, but it did. She was the nicest, most caring and compassionate person I have ever met. She held true to her beliefs, which has become somewhat of a rarity in today's world. Born in 1913, she lived from a time of a photograph in a bound photo albums to a time of a digital picture frame with an SD card full of pictures in it. The world went from typewriters to touchscreen computers. She lived through more than I can even begin to wrap my mind around. She was amazing and awe inspiring. She loved her husband and family, was ever caring, ever helpful, ever mindful. Knitting mittens and sweaters, sending cards every birthday and every Christmas. She was always hoping the best for everyone, helping everyone she could without complaint, more so with content. She loved, and was great at every card game and board game that came her way. The is a big part of me that misses her, but there is a much bigger part of me that believes she is with Grampy, and she is happy, and in a better place.

I truly believe that I am a better person for have known her,
The world is a better place to have held her, even if only for a while,
And heaven is a lucky place to have her.

I will miss her, and my heart and prayers go out to her children and grandchildren, other family and friends who are suffering from her loss, and I wish her the best in her eternity.

In Memory Of Olga Alfreda Pond

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Unforseen Forces

So, I have one more journey day to write up, but I just wanted to make an honorable mention to a beautiful swan.

When I was little I used to see geese and birds flying away in the fall and back in the spring, and everyone always said they were going south. So for some reason I didn't ever ask where specifically they were going, and every year I would think about how amazing it was that they were all flying together and never bother to think where are they flying to. I learned last April that some fly here, Courtenay BC. Geese, swans, random birds.
Last winter they camped out in what is now my backyard/field and ate the grass. But in the summer they plowed it all and now there is not much grass to eat so they all hang out in a field in the middle of town. And I mean hundreds of them. But you still see them out here, just not as many. You hear them at random times during the day.

Fastforward to Present

Tonight our power flickered and went out. Pitch black, we made sure everyone was okay, and then it came back on. Honestly, part of me thought it was the end of times, a freaking fireball coming for earth, time to say our last goodbyes. I'm a worst case scenerio type. Fortunately for all of us on earth except for it, it was only a swan that ran into our power line. I say only, but really you would not believe how big this thing was. Poor guy, never even seen it coming. Which is better I suppose. I hope it didn't suffer. I am surprised it didn't take the wire out completely. Now it smells like burnt feathers outside, which I suppose it a change from the usual cow poop. I couldnt help but think about this poor unaware swan on its journey when kabam it was taken out by an unforseen force.


Grade 12, at PDCI, our cafeteria had an enclosed gazebo. It was still really snowy so the door to it was locked. It was during a spare and I was with some friends having a snack then we all heard THUD THUD THUD THUD THUD THUD THUD. Everyone was looking around confused. Turns out there is a flock of winter birds that were flying in together, and they all ran into the wall of windows overlooking the caf. There was probably at least a dozen stunned or dead birds. Now this in itself was sad. It was made worse by people knocking on the windows at them and laughing.
I know. They are just birds. But for some reason it just irks my soul to see people acting that stupid. Trying to make the situation better, our vice principal unlocked the door to clean up the dead birds. Seeing one that was only stunned, he decided to put the unconscious bird on a high branch of a tree. He walked away looking very content with himself, and not a minute later the bird fell to what I am quite certain was it's demise. Poor guy, never seen it coming. Was taken out by unforseen forces.

So this is my shout out to all you many feathered creatures, I know how hard you work, and when I can, I will always have your back, And I will always hope the best for you. Even the stupid crows who refuse to fly, and choose instead to hop across a busy street.

We Made it 5km in Only 4 Hours!

Day 4 started off where day 3 ended obviously, Swift Current Sask. We got some HUGE cups of really yummy french vanilla cappuccino and headed off for Lake Louise to see the lovely Alex. The drive went fairly smoothly for the most part. Nothing to exciting. We passed the border into Alberta and the fields got more and more hilly. We went through Calgary which was a nice cute city. Just before we hit Calgary we could see the foothills to the Rocky Mountains. For a while we kept stopping at every stop along the way because we were so excited to see the mountains. We got to Lake Louise and it was packed to the Max. It took us almost 20 minutes just to find a parking spot. As we walked down the hill we seen the Hotel, and let me tell you, it looked like a freaking castle. Very high class hoity toity. There were valets all dressed up, it felt like I walked into a different world. We went inside and went to the restaurant Alex worked at, it was closed but there was a guy playing piano outside, apparently Vince Vaughn ( Wedding Crashers ) played it once. We walked around for a little while. Went to the gift shop, but there were no good magnets, post cards, or key chains so we didn't get anything. Although there was a very expensive wine journal. Although I really couldn't see there ever being a time in my life when I would need it. 

Every single time I point the camera at him, this is what he does. Whatta guy.

Cute birdie atop a car in the parking lot at Lake Louise

Piano playing guy

     We headed back to the village to get some lunch and gas. The restaurant sort of looked like it really wanted to be fine dining but really wasn't. Their bathroom was really gross but the food was okay. After eating, we forced ourselves back into the car and got back onto the 1. We had just gotten over the border (yay!) when we hit a road block due to a landslide and had to turn around, drive back to the other side of Lake Louise and take a detour into BC (boo). So we were feeling a little bit irked, but these things happen, and back we went. We were headed towards a town called Radium, which has hot springs, and Braden had wanted to stay there but before it was to far out of the way, so we thought hey why not. Again, we were wrong. We got stuck in a traffic jam build up not 15 minutes into our detour. A traffic jam that seemed to go on forever. An hour and a half, and barely 1km later we seen the hot springs, which really looked like a little pool much more crowded than any pool should ever be. 2 hours of traffic jam turned into 3 hours which turned into 4 hours and 5 km later until we finally hit Radium. Finally we thought. We thought wrong. The town was full. The only room left available was a 500 a night Egyptian themed room. Wonderful. It took us another 15 minutes to get onto the highway and we were on our way to Revelstoke. The road was pitch black and our  gps told us we wouldn't be there till 1:30am. It was 11pm and we were both dead tired. 
Literally 5km, 4 hours

     There is a place on the route called "Rogers Pass" that is tunnels through the sides of mountains. Braden was amazing and kept his eyes open and awake, I don't know how he did it. I literally had to slap myself to stay awake. We got to Revelstoke and we were stoked (haha)! Then we seen the construction that was right where the only pet friendly motel with an open room was available that we could find online. we couldn't get in. We decided to drive through the town just in case. Nothing. We decided to drive through once more.  Just because we had no other options at 2am. We got lucky. We got a room, got the key and headed to it. It was on the opposite side of the motel complex. When we got to our door we couldn't get it open. So we went back to the main desk, where the attendant came back to our room with us, and after about 10 minutes of key jiggling she finally got it open. She left. We got Toby and Moto into the room, and got into bed. We thought this was goodnight, and because life really enjoys proving us wrong, yet again we were wrong. 

     After about 15 minutes we started smelling something really gross. We went through the usual " Was that you" "No was that you" and we thought Moto must have tooted. But the smell lasted longer than your average lingering fart, so we got up and pulled the covers down and turned the light on. To our undelightful  surprise there was a big wet Toby turd on the floor. We cleaned it up, put Toby into the bathroom and got back into bed. The smell lingered. We thought we must have missed some. For once, we were right. We turned the lights back on and sure enough there was some beside the bed. Braden got up to clean it up, and I moved the blanket to help and KABAM. I found the true source of the stench. The blanket. Toby had pooped all over the blanket. How he did it without us noticing is beyond us. Now, please take into consideration that he had been stuck in the car for 4 straight days, his diet and routine completely thrown and he wasn't even 6 months old. We cleaned it up again, took the poopy blanket off the bed, let Toby out of the bathroom and went to sleep. This was only to be woken up a little while later by Toby moving around the bed, Braden kicking him off the bed and then the sound of Toby peeing. I really do love my animals, and don't get the impression that we treat them badly, because we really do not.  We stop constantly for bathroom breaks and meal times, the stress was just to much for poor Toby. But I really was starting to feel like nutter butter. After another  cleaning, we fell asleep for the night. We woke up to another pile of dog poop in the bathroom in the morning, which we cleaned up. And we were just happy that we were on our last day of our journey to Courtenay BC.