Saturday, January 28, 2012

We survived

The coldest week of the winter to date has passed and we survived! Mostly because my mom came in towards the tail end of it and provided relief, entertainment and companionship.

We started off the festivities with cake and surprises to celebrate my mom's birthday that happened just before she arrived. Then we partied with movies and treats and games all week. She babysat the kids so Chris and I could go to the temple and out to dinner and a movie. Although, the movie theater was sold out for all of the shows we were interested in, even the one not starting for another 45 min. Crazy! So we went to Walmart and bought a movie (ended up getting 3) and a treat (or rather MANY treats).

Then we all went to church and Gwen had her 2nd Sunday in Nursery! She's doing great at being left there by herself and only cries for 30 seconds during the transition. The teachers are really helpful with her and she really seems to enjoy the snacks, songs, dolls etc... Hooray! On Monday my mom caught me up on all the laundry, helped me clean the bathrooms and made bread/scones with me for dinner.

Then the next day was chemo day and Mom babysat so I could go with Chris. This time around he started getting all quiet and withdrawn the night before (his Neupogen shots were giving him some pretty bad back pain this time around and he was on Tylenol for most of the weekend). He just laid in bed with his eyes closed and his beanie pulled down over his eyes for the entire treatment. No conversation at all. The lady in the bed next to him was on her first treatment and was very talkative, so I eventually moved to sit closer to her, in case our talking bothered Chris. Everyone thought Chris was just sleeping through it all and made comments like, " wow, good for him, lucky, etc.." I knew better. I could tell he wasn't actually asleep. His breathing wasn't deep and he shifted slightly every now and then. He really must feel pretty awful to pretend to sleep for 5 hours straight. Even though I felt didn't do much for him he told me he was glad I was there. Grabbing him extra blankets, rubbing his shoulder, making all the necessary pleasantries with nurses/etc for him was actually helpful I guess.

The next day was Mom's last day and we FINALLY made it to the West Edmonton Mall with my mom! Its the biggest mall in the world and it was really fun to show it to her. So big and amazing.

It was so nice to have my mom there and help with laundry, meals, cleaning up, watching the kids, spoiling me with groceries, a new spring form pan and a bunt pan! Also it was lots of fun to have a partner in crime for yummy treats and movies. I am paying for it now though. I really need to find some motivation for exercising more and treating less.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Charlie and Beyond Freezing

Charlie is so silly. He eats so little and weighs in at 30 lbs, super light, I can still throw him around. Even though Alec is only 10/12 lbs heavier, it makes all the difference and he gets really sad now that I can't do some of the same tricks with him. Charlie just gets so distracted with his meals. Here he made an artwork out of his cheese and jam and toast:

He likes to cuddle, especially when he gets hurt and its one of my favorite things in the world to hold his little body and have his arms wrapped around my neck.

Well, I mentioned to Alec the other day, that he could use a haircut. Alec just rolled his eyes and denied the fact. Charlie, on the other hand, jumped up and down and requested a hair cut, "like Daddy... shave off all my hair!!"

I contemplated surprising Chris, who was at work, but I couldn't quite bring myself to do it. So I called him and warned him of Charlie's request. He wasn't against it, per se, but we wanted to make sure Charlie really wanted to do this, so when on the next day Charlie remembered and seemed quite sad we hadn't cut it the night before, we decided to shave it off that night.

In the first picture on the last row, Charlie looks A LOT like a Betteridge. He looks a lot like my dad when my dad was younger, and reminds me a lot of Betteridge cousins.


It is soooooooo cold here. There are no words for it. I want to say, "Its freezing!" but in fact, it goes way beyond freezing. Last night it was 77 degrees BELOW freezing, in Fahrenheit. Thats -43 C or about -45 F. This morning as Chris was walking out to catch the bus, the thermometer on our front window read -32 C (-25 F).

It. Is. Cold.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thank you, Canada

Thank you, Canada...
  • for hands-down better Oreos
  • for free health care
  • for Shreddies (like wheat chex but... better)
  • for yummier Chocolate
  • for the best store bought Egg Nog in the World.
  • for heartier and tastier Graham Crackers
  • for generally extra kind and helpful people
  • for forcing me to watch hockey (its slowly growing on me)
  • for SUPER cold and normal tasting water straight off the tap

But most of all thank you for

  • easing us into winter this year!

We've been so lucky to have such a mild winter so far. Its been REALLY GREAT. As is evidenced by the following pictures. This is the ravine near our house. Chris was working from home last week during his few good days and I begged for a break so we could take advantage of the stunningly nice day.

We found a spot where I remembered kids wading across a section of this small river in the Fall, so we figured based on that and the fact that we saw tons of footprints in the snow, it was safe enough to walk across.

And now... the Canadian Winter we've heard so much about is coming. The average HIGH for the next week and a half is -14 C or 6 F. And that isn't a bad week, its what all of December was supposed to be like. There is a couple day streak of -20, so... I won't be running. And then this cold spell is supposed to end in a big snow dump, or so I hear. Lets hope we can face the next few months with all the exhuberance of an 18 month old!

Monday, January 9, 2012


I've been thinking about writing a post like this for a while. Then the day(s) pass(es) and I forget about it in the midst of other things to post about. But I finished the book I was reading and there aren't any interesting shows on TV so I'll let these thoughts just hang heavy and release them.

I'm tired. I'm done. I'm bipolar. Mostly, I think I'm tired. Its crazy to think that yesterday I was teaching the women in church about "Living what you believe" and I totally felt it! I felt inspired to try and work harder at truly living what I believed. I was determined to go above and beyond what I typically do and really strive for patience, assertive compassion, and awesome-mom-ness by enjoying my children more.

Then today, I'm just blah. And it wasn't even a hard day. In fact, all things considered, it had all the ingredients for greatness: I actually got out to run at 6:15AM even though I got to bed at 2:00, I got Chris to his chemo appointment only 15 min late, I successfully scrambled last-minute to get the bed/house ready for Chris to come home and feel happy to be there because for 2 hours I let the kids play/cry/laugh/entertain themselves while I read my book! I found energy to get 2/3 of the wash folded after I read for 2 more hours during nap time and finally finished my book, and I didn't over do myself when I made Mac N' Cheese for dinner and a very short, low-profile Family Home Evening before getting the kids in bed and asleep before 8:00.

Really, it was a great day. But I still feel tired with it. I catch myself wondering, so...this is my life, huh? I'm sure some of my feelings are due to my lack of sleep, or about how I don't live an exciting life of a woman who saves entire worlds with her magical powers and 5 guys who are all in love with her. (that one is slightly embarrassing to admit) If I break down my feelings a bit more, I'll start to feel a bit guilty for feeling so not-excited about life when we've been the recipients of so much love, support, and blessings (did you hear Chris' CT scan showed very positive results!?).

I like really loving life and being excited about it. I just wish those feelings could last forever.

Part of me realizes that its not possible to be in a constant state of cloud-9-ness. I know that we can't really know joy if we don't also know misery. I know that for a split second a few days ago I smelled spring and sunshine and felt the concept of "everything has a season" apply itself to all aspects of my life. I know Spring will come. I know that I'll wear shorts and sandals again and be warm somewhere. I know that we'll be able to do some active and fun activities with Chris again.

Until then I guess I'll just enjoy some good chocolate, waste some time watching nonsense on TV or on the Internet. Although, if I would follow my own advice from my lesson and try and recapture those inspirational feelings I would kick myself into action and do something really worthwhile with my time. How about a compromise? Baby steps. I'll veg out tonight and be better tomorrow. :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Afternoon run

Doesn't get much better than this.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Goodbye, Hello!

Well, Goodbye to Thom and Brittany and Jackson and Graham! Thanks for coming, we know traveling with little ones is hard, especially flying internationally! Christmas, for us, is all about being with family. Thanks for making it feel like Christmas. We love you guys.

Goodbye also to 2011 and Hello 2012! We're ready for a new year with new hope. We kicked off the new year with an aebleskiver party (Chris' cousin, Steve and his wife Barb introduced these to us this past summer and Chris surprised me with an Aebleskiver pan for Christmas. You eat them like pancakes but they're also like light and gourmet doughnut holes.)

Anyway, Here are the things we're hoping for this year:
  • Cancer-free Chris. His scan is just in 2 days, lets hope the progress is astonishing and we can finish all cancer treatment by the end of February. If this is all we can accomplish this year, it will be enough. The rest of our goals are mainly to add some spice to every day living.
  • Renewed organization with daily habits like family prayer, family scripture study, Family Home Evening, chores for the kiddos, table manners and maybe even some piano practice. Chris and I finally put stuff on our billboard to help us keep track of all of theses. I know this is a lot but we'll just take work on them a little at a time.
  • Education! I want to try and be better about doing some sort of playschool with the kids at least twice a week. Also, I want to brush up on my own education. I realize I know nothing of physics and Chris is REALLY excited to go through some sort of textbook with me around once a week in the evenings....just for 15 min. Maybe if at least Chris is excited about it, we'll actually end up do it!
Charlie is already getting reading for school by maximizing his time on the potty. And Chris has already started a science experiment with the boys using our new Rock Tumbler we got for Christmas from my parents!

  • Personally, I need to lose a little weight, have more meaningful prayer, and focus on staying happy with my kids (read: not get so easily upset).

Well, I'm sure that's more than enough so I won't tell you any of my other crazy dreams like sew matching bed covers for the boys, hanging up pictures of the temple in the kids' rooms, painting a picture of the Bay Area, planing a family vacation somewhere, dream of upcoming family reunions, creating a picture somehow (pen and watercolor?digitally printing?quilted fabric?) to represent an "aha!" moment I had last week..... my ideas of things to do never end. Maybe this will be the year I won't let it drive me crazy.