Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Back in Time

I told Jeff that I really needed to add more to the blog. And, he said, "What, more about Edward?" And, even though I could definitely muster up at least one more post about my dear Edward . . . I am going to return to my dear, beloved family.

On Saturday, Jeff discovered that the melting snow had seeped into our basement spare room and soaked the carpet. On Sunday, I discovered that a box containing my scrapbooks, wedding photos and other albums was among the items most affected. I was somewhere between tears, anger and a complete melt-down. I spent the morning hanging, separating and drying my most precious pages and photos. Luckily, there was relatively little damage overall.

It was fun, however, looking through all of our albums after putting them away for a few years. Jeff and I are unusually lucky in that we have everything documented in photos since the very first day we met (April 8, 2000) when I was vacationing in Utah and visiting Cheri. And, I had stashed the only "baby" pictures that Jeff and I have of ourselves in the first few pages of our first album together. Clearly next time we both visit home, we need to bring a scanner and add to our very small collection.

Karen and Dad making potholders. When I was back in Virginia last time, my sister found a potholder-making kit that I have in a closet waiting for Autumn and I to put together. We used to make these all the time when I was young. It's such a fun craft.

Little mischevious Jeff . . . finally back in the kitchen after all these years.

Karen and sister, Amy. Such cute little girlies.

Jeff on his first birthday.

Apparently this is how I thought you held the phone. I see a definite resemblance to Gavin in this picture.

My sweet little Jeffrey about 4 months old.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Robert Pattinson - Singing "Let me Sign"

No one worry. I haven't REALLY lost my mind. I realize the difference between real life and fiction.

But, I find Rob Pattinson's voice along the lines of a very soulful Ben Harper . . . Tracy Chapman even. Anyway, I love it. Apparently he sings a few songs in the movie. There's another one called "Never Think" that is really nice.

This guy really is like Edward . . . except not a vampire, etc., etc.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Bite me . . .

I had somehow missed the entire Twilight saga craze. I know I become completely absorbed with good books - and I was never ready to commit. So, when a friend suggested I borrow her Twilight book to read while I was in Virginia, I was a bit reluctant.

My sister and I bought books #2 and 3 over Thanksgiving and were staying up each night until 3am reading obsessively. I finished Breaking Dawn the following week and then made plans as soon as I could to go see the film.

Here's the problem . . . I'm still obsessed. Like a 13-yr-old, I'd like to wallpaper my room with movie posters, wear Team Edward shirts and make a girls trip to Forks. It's disgusting. I am in love with Edward Cullen (PS - this is not a secret that I'm keeping from Jeff. He rolls his eyes and claims Edward's a pansy . . . I tell him he's just jealous. And, I did confirm with my very wise sister that being in love with a fictional character is not cheating in any way. Phew!).

It doesn't help that I moved away from all of my friends to work a completely stressful job that just never slows down. I read my friends blogs and get homesick and jealous. It's true. Fantasy is just so much easier than real life - making it possible to ignore my kids, husband and family for a few weeks. And, now I have the books stashed around my house. I have already begun the second round of reading. It doesn't even matter the order. I'll pick up whichever book is nearby and start in the middle just to get my Edward fix.

Now, to make matters worse . . . Robert Pattinson? Amazing. The minute I saw that he was actually playing the piano himself in the film . . . in fact, he wrote some of the music . . . that was it. Rob, Edward . . . all de.li.cious. That cute, shy British accent? Yummm.

Yes, I thought Jasper resembled Edward Scissorhands and that Rosalie should have been cast differently . . . but, make no mistakes . . . I'll be buying that movie. I love Edward and Bella (even if you occasionally want to slap her). I liken it to ranch dressing. You can dip anything in ranch dressing and it will taste good. I'm easy to please.

And, just to put you at ease . . . I'm not completely psycho like those moms that come and ask Rob Pattinson - in real life - to bite their babies. I would NEVER waste one of his bites on my kids.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Kisses and Tears

I made the mistake of bringing home two single candy cane kisses to my sweet little children yesterday. Jeff's truck has been in the shop for the last few weeks (apparently that big old diesel beast protests to city driving) and we have been sharing just one car - in typical Canada style (we are the only people we know with two cars) . . . so, the incident began in the truck on the way home.

Autumn ate her kiss happily in a few seconds flat and was ready for more. Gavin appreciated the kiss but had no interest in eating it . . . or sharing it . . . or giving it back. I somehow forgot that my candy-obsessed little man will only eat chocolate that looks like chocolate. And, it was driving Autumn crazy that she couldn't eat his, too . . . and the more it drove her crazy, the more pleased and adamant Gavin became.

So, when we finally arrived at home (after much screaming and crying from Autumn), she was sent straight to her bedroom. Little Gavin crawled right behind her, kiss melting and mushed in his hand. Jeff and I hurried back to prevent Gavin from teasing and Autumn from possibly resorting to physical tactics and heard this conversation (we can assume that Gavin's answer to everything was shaking his head 'no'):

A: Gavin, are you going to eat that?
A: Well, if you aren't going to eat it, will you please share it with me?
A: I'm really sad, Gavin. Can't you see my sad tears?
A: Ok, then . . . I'm going to get even sadder.

And, then she burst into hysterical and exaggerated crying.

Can't you see my sad tears!!?? Seriously . . . we give her an A for effort.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Life of Daddy and the Kids

I know the grass is always greener . . . and, I fully recognize how challenging it is to be a stay-at-home parent. Challenging is an understatement. But, I'm still jealous.

However, our kids have got to be some of the luckiest around to have their amazing Daddy home with them. He is the epitome of patience and amazes me how he handles it all and is still smiling (almost) every day. I am one lucky woman.

Start off the day with some breakfast. Oatmeal and cereal are favorites:

Followed by a little game of fetch:

Time to do the dishes. PS, Gavin is not exactly helpful during this process:

Lunch Time at the Peterson's consists of mac and cheese every other day. No exaggeration.

Lots of laughing and playing around:

An afternoon snack of whipped cream:

And some lounging:

Practicing a little piano:

Going to the park:

Tea Time:

Riding the scooter and motorcycle (and getting frustrated when your whole body can't fit on the 4 inch long toys):

And, then waiting for Mommy . . . the best part of Mommy's day.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Grandma and Grandpa Ranson Come to Canada!

In a rare photo that includes me (very unusual) and my mother (extremely rare), you can see the whole family post-volcano lava chocolate cake at the Rainforest Cafe in Toronto. Autumn worked hard to fill up her sticker chart to earn this fabulous reward. And, Jeff and I helped her along with her stickers at the end to ensure that she received her fantastic reward when Grandma and Grandpa Ranson were in town. I told my parents that it was the closest thing to Disney World you could get right around the corner.

It was such a good time to have my parents at my home when we had time to just enjoy each other. Both of their trips have been within a month of Autumn and Gavin's births. I was desperately trying to figure out how to be a new mom with Autumn and in the hospital for surgery #2 with Gavin when they visited. So, even though I had to work more than I would have wanted . . . I hope they are as happy they made the long voyage to Canada as we all were.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sherry is my Hero

I have always planned to write Sherry a note expressing to her how much I appreciate her and cherish her friendship . . . and it has been delayed far too long. We have become such good friends over the years . . . which is fantastic considering our husbands are bonded for life. We enjoy many of the same hobbies and interests and always have great conversations together. But, all of this was taken to another level when Sherry helped me and the kids move to Canada. While Jeff and Jory drove the Penske truck full of our belongings across the country, Sherry and I were flying to Toronto, staying in a series of hotels, and securing my work permit at the border (arguably, Sherry and I had the more difficult journey). Autumn and Gavin quickly became tired of hotel life and had more than one moment (okay, many, many moments) when they were outwardly expressing their frustrations. Sherry was an absolute angel . . . truly. She helped in every way I asked and more without one word or even suggestion about being annoyed. We had such a great time all together in Toronto for our first week. And, I cried all over again when Jeff drove off with Sherry and Jory in the car on the way to the airport. I hope you both come back to visit us soon!

By the way . . . all of this about Sherry, PLUS, she is an amazing photographer. Not just because her pictures continue to amaze me and get more and more beautiful, but also because - once again - she patiently deals with Gavin as he clings to Jeff while screaming and Autumn who refuses to look at the camera or smile and Jeff who just wants the photo session (and torture) to end. I am so happy with the pictures so far and can't wait to see more. Thank you, thank you, thank you.





Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Living a Double Life

Jeff and I live a double life (maybe triple). We have roots in Colorado and Virginia, respectively, and also Utah and Toronto. Our home is now in two countries. How that happened so quickly, we don't know. Is home where our 'stuff' is? Is home where our heart is? Is home where we have our own mattress to sleep on?

Jeff, Autumn and Gavin left on the 12th to head back to Colorado . . . so Jeff could lay tile at Jared's cabin. I questioned why he would even consider working on his vacation . . . and then realized, that despite some whining about working, that he probably enjoyed every second (as well as the built-in grandparent babysitters for the kids and working with Jory). I was left all alone in Canada - but, during my very busiest time at work - which didn't leave any real time for tears (except for at the airport and all the way back to the office).

I flew to Salt Lake on Friday the 19th and headed to the Hicken household in Heber. I stopped by Papa Murphy's on the way into town and ironically parked right beside the little brown pickup that we reluctantly sold a few months ago! It was a bit strange to pull into Becky's driveway across the street from our house that is now inhabited by renters (referred to as "the intruders" by Becky and me). And, I almost got teary seeing all of the new construction on the impending Wal-Mart at the end of my street (not tears of joy). My bag arrived at the house the next morning. Jeff, Autumn and Gavin finally came into town on Monday. It was a sweet reunion.

The irony of it all was that the entire week we lamented about having to leave Utah. The mountains and leaves were beautiful, we missed our friends, we missed our favorite restaurants and stores among many other things. Staying with the Hickens was perfect. We felt completely at home. And, despite it all . . . we were both excited to get "home" to Toronto and sleep in our own beds.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Puppy Dog Eyes

Before we left Heber, Becky and I took the kids over to a neighborhood carnival. It was really incredible . . . tables of vendors, a train for the kids, a barbeque and more. And, we waited in the long, hot line for Autumn to get her face painted . . . and it was so worth it. What a cute little puppy!

Later that night, after Gavin went to bed, Autumn and I had a Mommy/Daughter night at the local carnival. I took my little puppy all over that carnival and we rode roller coasters, carousels, trucks, trains and more. We danced and ran around all night until way past bedtime . . . and we had SO much fun. I am sure I will cherish our special carnival time for years to come. And, who doesn't love a good carnival?

My Little Zipper

The extra scars up the back of both legs was a in-surgery decision to compensate for the lack of skin around Gavin's ankles once his feet were turned. Because the skin around his feet was so tight, turning his feet left the inside completely exposed. They cut up the back of both legs and literally shifted the skin down to partially cover the area. Crazy.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pre and Post Surgery - April 2008

Rewind to April . . . It seems like so long ago now, but as I was reviewing pictures the other night, I found this photo session from the day before Gavin's surgery. As you can imagine, I was a complete disaster. I probably took over 100 pictures of his sweet little crooked feet . . . and couldn't imagine what they would look like "straight." I spent the day admiring his perfect baby soft skin, playing Little Piggy and massaging them - even though he couldn't feel my touch. I was completely overwhelmed and wanted to capture them as they were - without the scars that would mark his feet and legs forever.

It's just a little easier now to see these pictures as his feet have since healed and look much better. The scars have been likened to "zippers" up the back of his legs. And, they are still far worse than I had originally imagined. These are the first pictures after his casts were finally removed after 8 weeks.