Saturday, April 24, 2010

We bought our house 2 years ago at the end of March so we didn't really know or notice what was going on in the front yard.  There was still snow on the ground, so we probably just assumed there was your standard square of grass.

But as the first few weeks of Spring dawned, lots of little green things started poking out of the dirt, and when a woman knocked on our door one breakfast imploring us, as the new owners, not to destroy the glorious garden out front, we knew something was up.

April 2, 2010
April 24, 2010

In fact, what we'd inherited was nothing short of spectacular.  Great whooping poppies, tulips, sweet pea, clematis, sage, lilies, roses, iris, bleeding hearts, about a dozen things I can't remember and peonies the size of Volkswagens all explode out of the ground without fail.

But every time, just before it happens, I'm often found looking nervously out the window at the dirt, muttering "we've wrecked's not coming back this year."

April 2, 2010
April 24, 2010

"Are you insane?" Suzanne repeats.  She's right of course...I don't think there's anything I could do to stop it, although last year we let the oregano go way too long and it nearly took over the whole place.

I'm the proud son of an excellent gardener and I've been given (that is to say, 'mortgaged myself to the eyeballs to purchase') this gift of a garden, so along with the honour of the gardener's blood coursing through me, I intend not to let it die.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How Do You Wrap 8:45?

I had a birthday yesterday, my 36th.  I had an ice-cream cake from Lily and Suzanne, and I'm getting another one at work tomorrow, sharing the celebrations with someone who was born on the 19th. 

As per presents, my mom and my wife conspired to get me giftcards to the two places that sell the ingredients required to complete a decorating job we've been planning for a while, so that's great.

But the best...the BEST present I got, and probably the best present I've received in ages, was the gift of sleep. 

Suzanne and I have a deal whereby she gets up to see to Henry in the night and I wake up with Lily in the morning to do her breakfast and what-have-you. That means since Christmas Day, I haven't been able to sleep in past 7:30...not once.  Most days I'm up between 6 and 7, which isn't really that early compared to a lot of people, but when it's every day, including the weekends, it can be pretty draining after a while.

That's why at 7 on Sunday morning, when out of the corner of my eye I saw Suzanne roll out of bed as Lily came into our room, I knew my birthday had come early.

"You sleep," she whispered.  Finer words have never been spoken. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Sign is Written in Blood

The weekend can be tough. 
I look forward to a break from work, Suzanne looks forward to me helping out with the kids.  But Lily demands 100% attention and Henry's having trouble sleeping, so he needs to be held a lot. 

I still cling to the foolish thought that I can afford to stay up late, because Hey, it's the weekend! but for Lily(and by extension me), Sunday starts at 6AM.  An afternoon nap would solve that problem, but that bathroom isn't going to clean itself.

I thought Japan was working on such technology?

Lily and I spent time at the park on Sunday, giving Suzanne some time alone with Henry (and the duster). We happened across this tableau on the way home.  The dog is like having a toddler and an infant;  cute, but beware:  if you're not careful, it will end you.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I had to dole out the harshest punishment in Lily's young life the other night. 

Suzanne's been good wielding the time out when necessary, but my discipline has pretty much been limited to the tilted head and the cocked eyebrow, with maybe a "LILY PEARL!".  But when she refused to eat her dinner, I found myself forced into taking things to the next level. 


"Lily, do you want to go straight to bed?  Because if you don't eat your supper, it's straight to bed with no stories."

She nibbled pieces of her sweet potato fries and eventually got down most of the chicken, but in the end, Lily decided that my threat was empty.  When she dropped food on the floor and pushed away the pieces I'd been weakly trying to airplane-into-the-hangar, I knew I had to follow though. 

My stomach sank at the prospect.

"Say goodnight to Mommy," I said, while unbuckling her booster seat.

"Goodnight, Mommy!"   I'm getting out of this! 

But halfway down the hall, the awful realization set in and she started with the crying.  I adopted a 'strictly business' policy and changed her into the jim-jims without saying a word.  She continued crying throughout the tuck-in.

"Do you know why you're going to bed early?"  Stops crying and shakes the head.

"You're going to bed early because you wouldn't eat your dinner when Mommy and I asked you to."

I said night night and left.  She cried and cried and when she started calling me by title, I went back.  I sat on the edge of the bed and we talked it out. 

"If you want to play soccer like Daddy (she does), then you have to eat dinner to grown up big and strong."

"But sometimes I don't like it."

That was an excellent argument.  'When you grow up you can choose your food, but right now, you're like a goose, and you'll eat what we force down your throat' certainly didn't strike the right tone.

I made up some silly analogy about how food is like the gas we get at the gas station and it makes us go, just like the gas makes the car go.   


We eventually worked out the importance of eating, but as I got up to leave, she started crying again, and in that tiny, 2-year-old little voice, whimpered, "But I'm not sleepy.  Why am I not sleepy?"

Another excellent argument!  'You might not be sleepy, but if I let you get up, you'll learn that you can get one over on me every time, just by crying and being sweet' while true, wasn't helpful.

I came out and walked back down the hall, tears in my big baby eyes because I knew she didn't really get it, but I had to do it.  Or did I?  I don't even know.  I suppose I did.  Suzanne met me with a delicious glass of Niagara's finest and patted my back. 

"She'll be fine."  And she was, of course.  The next morning she crawled into our bed and we snuggled for a while before breakfast.

That whole business about 'this'll hurt me more than it'll hurt you' might have something to it. 


Friday, April 2, 2010

Lily Pearl & Henry David

I got a new camera at Christmas 2008 with the goal of learning how to take better pictures of people.  Thankfully for Suzanne, I'm spending less and less time twiddling knobs before taking shots nowadays, although once they're on the computer I spend even more time fiddling with the sliders in iPhoto.

I've put colour versions of these pictures on Facebook, but I like them in black and white too.  These are the latest of our Lily and Henry.