Monday, 28 May 2007

Watery Eyes

This is a field of Scotch Broom. Lovely ain't it!?! For those not fortunate enough to live on Vancouver Island and parts of the Pac Northwest (or in Scotland) you may know not its impact. Its an invasive, noxious weed and each plant regenerates itself through hundreds of seeds each year. So despite years of pulling, whacking, burning, stomping and cursing it keeps coming back and at our place, for example, we have somewhere near 6 million of the suckers - give or take a few hundred. The worst thing about broom, latin name "Scottishius Broomitius Hatchoodium" is that I'm allergic to the stuff just like a lot of other people. So, in May and June I tend to stay indoors and sneeze as opposed to hanging out outside and sneezing. This year - out of nowhere - there emerges this bouquet toting, yellow blossom floating, "I'm not allergic to it yet, Daddy"-quoting, chicky-poo and her love of all things floral. She's just finished decorating her Arbutus tree in some sort of Broom creation (mistletoe!) and I'm too itchy and sneezey to bother to take a picture as I'm reminded that its her tree and she can do with it as she likes. I'm hiding all the vases - there's no way that stuff is coming in the house (he says).

Sunday, 27 May 2007

How lovely to be a woman

"Effie Anne-Margret" has waived copyrights and allowed us to post her off-Broadway rendition of How Lovely To Be A Woman from Bye Bye Birdie. Not quite as fluid and elegant as the Lord of the Dance scenes recreated by "Effie Michael Flatley", but fun and creative nontheless.

For an extensive Bye Bye Birdie trailer - and who doesn't need to see an extensive Bye Bye Birdie trailer - check this out.

New Toy

This has been pretty awesome so far. Luckily no one took any video of the putting together process.... Jump n' Move:

Friday, 18 May 2007

Breaking Down The Wall

Fergus is living in freedom just a little bit more than normal these days with the gate to (Effie's) toy/sun room coming down for the first time in his life.

For Effie, she appears to feel immensely proud at opening up a previously concealed part of her world to her younger brother. She’s even got the crazy notion to house a broom and dustpan and garbage can in the area. Don’t know where she gets that from?

All that freedom tires a fella out...

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Life is Good redux... The Nature Anthem

Here's Grandaddy with the original, and completely awesome, Nature Anthem video ("walk up the side of the mountain"...). Living proof that Life is Good when you wear furry clothes and play songs outdoors:

Monday, 14 May 2007

You Are My Joy

Our three and a half year old boy leads a pretty amazing, child-centred life. For as much as we're able to offer, he lives in freedom everyday. He also goes full-tilt, non-stop all day long and literally falls asleep by bouncing off the bedroom walls or collapsing into his dinner. So it was with perplexity and anxiousness that we watched him unable to get up out of bed a few days ago, complaining of a sore neck and unable to support the weight of his head. Later that day we cradled him in the sling and drove to our country doc's house who advised that he probably had a pinched nerve and that it should resolve itself by the next day. But two more days went by and he had yet to rise, complained of pain in his neck and could not lift his head - though he felt okay otherwise and didn't complain about lying down all day long. We, on the other hand, were increasingly not so calm about things. Last night we managed to get him in the warm bath and continued to talk to him: "does it still hurt?"… "where does it hurt?"… "do you think you want to get up now (PLEASE!!!)?". At one point he said, matter-of-factly, "yup, tomorrow I'm going to get up". So this morning he woke up happy but did not get up. Instead, he cheerfully crawled his way down the stairs and started playing with his sister from his now all too familiar flat-on-back position. He was obviously feeling better. Then, just before the doc was set to come over to check him out again, and after 38 hours straight of lying down…Boom - he bounds to his feet and races his sister across the room to turn the tv on!!??!! It was time! Now we're left with wondering what the heck happened. But first we're going to cuddle him up, feed him some gummy worms at midnight and watch him tear around the house some more. And then we're going to try really hard to have increased faith in him - faith that he knows best what he needs and when he needs it - and to continue to “go with the flow” (but crickey does that ever get severely challenged in situations like these). Here's a short, poorly edited video from this evening where nothing much happens but that makes one daddy, one mama and one big sister beam with joy for all things FERGUS...

Sunday, 13 May 2007

It sucks to be me - Welcome Cullan!

This gorgeous creature sprang from my amazing little sister Jamesie the day before Mother's Day - she sqeaked him out just in time to celebrate today. Another boy to add to the 3 girls and lone boy we already got going on this side of the fam-dam (Check out the "Three sisters having babies" post below).

Welcome dear darling Cullan!

So why does it suck to be me? Cullan and Jamesie and dad Mason are on the other side of the country right now, hanging their hats in Ontario, and I am stuck here on the west coast, a long long way away. Talking on the phone with Jamesie today she told me "It sucks to be you, it sucks to be anybody who isn't looking into his face right now because he is the most perfect thing in the whole world."

Cool, eh? Happy Mother's Day Jamesie! Hold on for the ride of your life!

Life is Good

Here's the youtube version of a video that attempts to capture the essence of the Life is Good 2007 unschooling conference in Corvallis, Oregon (almost 9 minutes). Thanks to the following for sharing their photos to help augment: Crystal M, Mary G, Diana J, the Burtons, Joni Z, Beth F, Mary L, mandaroo63, schoolsr4fish, 4littlebirds.

Friday, 11 May 2007

Drive-by smiles

The kiddos had never travelled much more than an hour in the car before and that was with the lure of cool steam train rides at the Forest Discovery Centre up island. So taking the 1 and a half hour ferry and 6 hour car ride south to Corvallis, OR was a bit daunting. That and Fergus doesn't exactly have a great travelling track record. In brief, he likes to scream loud and violently on plane rides. He already has a namesake on the no-fly list so there'll be no executive-class upgrades in our family's future (nor kind, friendly flight attendent service and meals but that goes for pretty much everyone). But thanks to a tonne of wrapped treasures handed out at key intervals, exciting car games and the grand total of four songs played over and over and over and over again... we made it. And somewhere along the line we managed to have an awesome time. Never mind the kids, check out the head-bopping action on the part of the enthusiastic driver!

Thursday, 10 May 2007

Musical Musicals

Grease has temporarily been shelved, after a solid 40 day run, and its Bye Bye Birdie around here these days. Effie's found another outlet for her creativity as she recreates all the scenes. Birdie's currently enjoying a 2 week stint from the library and features the catchy "Telephone Hour"...

Hi, Margie! Hi, Alice!
What's the story, morning glory? What's the word, humming bird?
Have you heard about Hugo and Kim? Did they really get pinned? Did she kiss him and cry? Did he pin the pin on? Or was he too shy?

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight

Phase 2, Step 1 of getting our butts to North Carolina for Live&Learn in September was thankfully completed tonight: passport photos. Its was really dicey there for a while... Fergus somehow managed to stand still AND look in the right spot AND not be in mid-chew on his mouth full of smarties on the 9th picture taken at the third photo place we made it to. Here's the happy crew...

Effie Movie

The video dump continues... here's a portion of our 2005 family movie - back when Morrissey was our photographer! It features "all the way" by New Order. The music seemed to fit the posing Eff was doing around all the places she hung out that year and now the words seem to be fitting more and more too.

Monday, 7 May 2007

Spring has Sprung

The rain stopped and IS NOT coming back until the Fall...

Sunday, 6 May 2007

And so begins our odyssey...

Us in 2006 - from January through December... more than you ever need to know.

Spring Clean

Before and after shots... I see we still have snowflakes on the window. The first picture was taken by Chuck while we were away in Oregon. He said 'too bad for the guy who breaks into your place, not only would he be disappointed to find your dvd collection consisted of RomComs but imagine the frustration in seeing he wasn't the first to burgle the place.'

May Day 2007

The Victoria Home Learners annual May Day picnic - in rain and shine

Two more hours in the balloon-creation chair

Listening to stories

Freeze Tag

Fergus and Dan

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Zipline Dolly

Effie's impromtu ziplining of her "American Doll" - newly named "Diana" (of course). Neck and crotch chafing a must! Ziplines and snare traps made from thread, cloth, ties (!) currently occupy every room (and attach to nearly every doorknob) of the house. Chaotic bliss!

Somewhere a clock struck 12am, when a boy found some markers...

and the wonderful happened!

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Three sisters having babies

In honour of Jamesie's imminent newborn, Craig made this gorgeous video of Gini's and my 4 babies, and Jamesie's (and Mason's) belly.

I wish for Jamesie and Mason a trust in themselves and their baby that I was slow to achieve. Feel it deep down, trust that inner feeling and go with it. Take a deep breath of intoxicating baby smell and ride the wave of fear beyond doubt to a deep and true belief in yourselves and your new trio.

With love, tiki.


Effie puzzling. The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry was fascinating.

Fergus ecstatic. A train you can climb on, that serves ice cream too!

A girl and her brand new fairy Bratz. Could life get any better?

Gillian with a new travel do. Hair down lasted about 4 hours!

A boy and his board. Meant to be.

A boy and his dad fit just right.

Effie found us these tulip fields in Woodburn Oregon, amazing.

The whole kooky clan around fall birthday time 2006.

Effie and Fergus "scoot & skate"

Some of the many new toys resulting from our roadtrip to Oregon for the LIFE is Good (Learning In Freedon Everyday) Unschooling Conference in Corvallis Oregon April 20-23, 2007. Inspired by Hamish Burnett-Browne and the skateboarding funshop.

We are rollers now!

Watch for Emma, Effie's great new friend from Albuquerque New Mexico - they are riding daredevil face-to-face tandem!

Why "The Wonderful Happens"?

Shameless theft from Cynthia Rylant and Coco Dowley's darling picture book "The Wonderful Happens".

"the wonderful happens every day: peaches grow, bees buzz, and it rains. water makes tea, apples make pie, and it snows."

My friend zenmomma Mary, a huge James fan, has reminded me of the lyrics to a great 1997 James song called "Waltzing Along". The last verse goes:

May your mind let you be opened by the wonderful
May your heart lead you on
May your mind set you free (be opened by the wonderful) of all disasters
May your heart lead you on

Here's an audio-clip, click on the title or the arrow - if it asks for your ID, just click on "later", it will still let you listen to the clip by clicking on the play arrow at the top left of the page that opens:

And so our title becomes even more relevant! Thanks Mary. This aptly named blog is a spot to record and share our everyday wonderful moments with those we love, some of whom are very far away and missed most dearly. May your mind be opened by the wonderful!

Why balloonatikmama?

balloon hat twister, endearment of "Tik" or "Tiki" since birth, mama to Effie since 1999 & Fergus since 2003, toyed with adding "loonie" in there too as tribute to homeland (as well as more obvious reasons), clearly lunatic