Tuesday, June 29, 2010


This summer the Patterson family has rediscovered the joy of fishing. Every few days Richard will go tramping through the brush on his quest to discover the best fishing hole in NB...
My bro and his family enjoy the sport, too. We brought the kids on a little fishing expedition the other day.

Graedon mostly just enjoyed playing with sticks and wading in the muck.

Maddie, hard at work, catching supper (we went hungry on this particular day).

I think Richard really enjoys the quiet and solitude fishing provides. I guess you don't get much of that in a house full of kids.

What to do when the 2 year old wets his pants beyond repair and you realize there aren't any extras in the van? You mickey-mouse a new pair of pants using his shirt as a substitute! As an added bonus, the neck hole provides good airflow in the crotch.

I am not included on the family fishing license (just Richard and kids), but I do like to tag along. It's a fun project in which everyone can participate. Some of us fish, some of us play on the shoreline, some throw rocks, and some of us "stream-walk" (wading up stream and getting wet). All of us get to eat! It's a good time!

Is Your Child Drowning?

Excellent, excellent .article on drowning that every parent (or anyone who will be near a body of water this summer) should read.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Growing Your World

Have you ever written a bucket list? It's a list of things you want to accomplish or experience before you die (kick the bucket). Flashback to a Monty Python movie scene. I've written so many of those lists, and sadly, never kept any of them. I'd like to be able to look back at what my 14 year old self thought was important and compare it to my 28 year old self's priorities.

I remember a few of my items - get a tattoo, sky dive, make over $20/hr, have a family, get published, live in every province of Canada and at least one foreign country (changed to visit instead of live), be in a movie...I've done all but one of those.

I'm full of dreams. Always have been. My mind really doesn't shut off much, and I am constantly planning.

I wonder, though. I understand that these are MY things. Not everyone wants to travel. Not everyone cares if they skydive. But shouldn't everyone want *something*? Shouldn't dreaming be part of everybody's life?

My biggest fear is that I will become one of those people who are predictable. One of those people who get up, have cereal and toast, go to work, come home, have supper, watch TV, go to bed and start all over again in the morning. Okay, the TV shows might change from day to day. Supper is a rotation of the same 6-7 meals. When people come to visit, they find them sitting in the same chair as every other time they've visited. The conversations and stories are all the same as last time.

I couldn't imagine my life being that small.

I wonder why people live like that...fear? Apathy? Lack of energy? No money?

I don't buy it.

I love my life to be fresh. I want to be amazed. I want to learn new things. I want to see all that this world has to offer.

It doesn't have to cost a lot of money, or use up lots of energy. It's as simple as putting all your change into a pickle jar and, once full, counting it out and using it's entirety to play tourist in your own province. It's as simple as paying $2 for a city bus ticket and riding the bus it's entire route, just to see what's at the end of the line (don't worry, you can't get lost since they always make a loop). It's buying paint and a canvas at the dollar store, blasting your stereo and painting what you hear coming from the speakers. It's keeping the kids up 'til dusk to catch lightening bugs. It's walking down the ethnic food aisle and buying a packet of Indian food spice mix and following the instructions. It's driving a different route home, just to discover a new neighbourhood. It's speaking to the person in front of you in line at the grocery store. It's going for a dip in the river in your underwear because no one is around and the kids will always remember that 10 minutes.

It's about getting over yourself. It's about discovering yourself. It's about discovering your world, and making it big again.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Looking Closer

I got this plant (it's fake - I can't kill it) at a yard sale. It hangs out at my front door and welcomes people. Look closely...can you see it?

Closer. Closer still.


Proof that my house has indeed been turned into a zoo.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Eden Sustainable Diapering Giveaway

Another giveaway! Click here to check out Eden Sustainable Diapering Giveaway. Good luck!

For The Love of Art Art Giveaway

My friend,Julie is offering up a chance to win her latest creation. Julie is a wonderful artist, and I love staring at her paintings. It seems like there's something new in the image every time you look at it. You're welcome to enter, and while you're at it, enjoy her blog, too!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bullet Backpack

School's just about out for summer. Is this on your list for next year's school supplies?

According to the website, the instructions are as follows: "Instructions: Hold pack between yourself and the shooter using the shoulder straps as handles. Use as a shield to provide cover for upper torso and head whenever possible. While taking shelter use pack to protect yourself in the direction of the threat. While running away, hold pack high on your back or in the direction of the threat to protect your head and upper torso (vital organs)."

It seems like it would be a joke, but unfortunately not. This is real-live product for real-live people to cover a real-live need. What do you think? Is this something you'd consider buying for your children? Is it too much, or too little?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Graedon - My Little Snorker

Look at this face. Sweet, cuddly, pudgy little guy. Don't let the sleepy look fool you though. He's my Snorker. Or my Baboute. Both can be loosely translated to mean "Pack of Trouble".

Today, he has given me a run for my money. I won't tell the story of the tantrum at the store. I won't get into the 2 peaches, handfuls of Bits & Bites, and 7 cherries he scarfed down in the cart. I won't even get into the suspiciously nauseating smell that was the result of the fruit feast (in the van, no less). I won't even write about how he snuck his way outside, unsupervised and visited my neighbour for ice cream and cookies while I was napping.

No, this is a different story.

This is about how, after a day of exhausted running after the 2 year old, I finally breathed a sigh of relief at how quiet he was being for once. Then, I realized that he is like a mosquitoe - quiet is bad. I ran upstairs to look for him. "Graedon? Graedon?!" And there he was. INSIDE the fireplace, covered in ashes, throwing handfuls of the stuff all over the master bedroom. MY bedroom. To his credit, he'd taken out the fireplace brush and was trying to fix the mess. It wasn't working.

Of course, I grabbed him, yelling, "No! Graedon, naughty, naughty boy!!" By this time, my pants (at Graedon level) were plastered with ashes. I stripped Graedy and stuck his clothes and my pants into the laundry. I hosed a now screaming Graedon down in the shower, put his pjs on, and settled him in with a snack so I could get down to the business of sweeping up the ashes.

Our bedroom has an outside door leading to a non-existant deck (we keep the door locked). I opened that up to empty the dustpan into the void and what do I see? Graedon! On the lawn, grinning at me, escaped again! He gives me his crinkle faced smile, yells, "No, no, Mommy!", cackles and starts to make a run for it. Knowing Richard was in the yard, I hollered, "Richard! Richard! Can you watch the little animal??!!" and then I realized.

I was screaming at the top of my lungs into our yard, in full view of our neighbours, frantically waving a broom...wearing nothing but a striped maternity top and panties.

I can never show my face in my neighbourhood again.

Back to Family Day

We've had a rough couple weeks here at the Pattersons'. Everyone's tempers were running high, and we were all headed for nervous breakdowns (especially the pregnant one of the bunch). So Sunday, after realizing that we were all dressed up for church and already 20 minutes late before leaving the house, we decided that what we really needed was family time. There are days when you just have to put aside all the important stuff you *must* do, if only for the sake of the family unit.

We went mini-golfing.

We played at the park (and is it just me, or is the playground equipment at the campground missing key safety components?).

We found a petting zoo, where they were giving away free kittens - which stayed right there, thank you.

If the hairy black pig had been free, though, Richard would have snuck it home in the back of the van.

The kids jumped on a blowup jumping castle.

And then we BBQ'd, napped and finished up the day at Grammy's. It was a good day. It was a needed day. Sadly, tempers were still running high for the rest of the week, but it was a good break.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Our Chicks!

We got our chicks on Tuesday! The kids were beyond excited. Madeleine wanted to hold them in her lap for the ride home, but she settled for having them in a cardboard box beside her in the van. We ordered 10 chicks, but since they had a few extra at the store, we upped the number to 12.

Madeleine has been nagging non-stop for me to open their cage and let her pet them. For now, they are in a safe spot out of cat/wildlife/kid reach, and she can't get them by herself. She's quite gentle with them, and is pretty protective of the little fluff balls. Graedon, not so much.

They're fitting in nicely with the family, or at least, the non-feline part of the family. Chick, meet Snow Beauty. Snow Beauty, Chick.

I think they're friends now.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Portrait of Me

Eva drew this picture of me. Turn your head to the side to see it correctly...

There I am, swimming. I am a mermaid. See the tail and flippers? She also made me with lots and lots of freckles.

I love it.

Little Man in Training

Graedon, helping Daddy. Look at those pipes!

It's hard, sunny work, but someone's gotta do it.

Seriously? It's time for bed? Aw, Mom!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Finally, After Much Waiting...

Tomorrow, the kids and I are going to go pick up chicks. The fluffy, yellow kind. Just to be clear on that :)

It's been much excitement and anticipation here at the Patterson's. The girls, especially Maddie, have been waiting very (im)patiently for our new baby birds. I'm sure that the couple hours between breakfast and pick up time will be filled with questions and giggles and squirming as we try to get some schoolwork done.

Today we watched YouTube videos of chicks hatching, and talked about what would happen when our 10 babies finally arrived at our house. Maddie is worried about Tigger, but we're going to figure out a way to keep them safe.

Stay posted for some pics of the chicks!

Friday, June 4, 2010

And So This Is It...

How is it that even after 3 other pregnancies, I forgot about the third trimester? My body, my mind and my emotions are in full rebel mode. I am going through that normal pregnancy phase where I am getting ready to finally let this baby out. I am bonding with this child, spending more time sitting and "listening" to it. My body is stretching, gaining bulk, and being uncooperative with those every day movements I must do - bending, reaching, sleeping and crouching to play with the kids are becoming things of the past. I'm easily bothered, annoyed and disappointed with everything. Everyone. I have no patience, it seems. I just don't want to do anything, yet I want to do everything. I had come to a point in my life where I had made peace with myself and my life situation. Not anymore.

I feel like a lioness - on the prowl, pacing, batting at her cubs because they want to chase her tail, ready to chase down some poor little antelope and snap it's neck. Hey, you've gotta eat, right? But, maybe I'll just lie here in the sun until it passes.

And, it will. In a couple months this baby will be born. I will be at times ecstatic, at times weepy and sad, sometimes angry. Often I won't know what I am. Give me a year and I'll be myself - or a new version of myself. For now, I'll just take it one breath at a time and be thankful that waking days are only 16 hours long. I can take it for that long.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

No Woman, No Cry

Global maternity care is an issue near and dear to my heart. Christy Turlington directs "No Woman, No Cry" - a film about at-risk women around the world. The trailer is short, but from what I can see, I'd love to view the full length documentary.