Friday, 29 February 2008

Too Good To Be True

Ever since Heath Ledger died, one of his earlier "Shakespearean Teen" flicks, "10 Things I Hate About You", has been pretty popular around here. One scene in particular gets played over and over and over... the bit where Heath's character serenades Julia Stiles with "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You" (here). So for my own sanity I googled other versions of the Frankie Valli classic and found this gem:
Video :: Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You by Boys Town Gang

Truly, and unintentionally, hilarious! And impossible to do it justice with a comment (or ten).

Here's a homemade version. The backing dancer is not nearly as exciting as in the above (though better dressed):

Poetry of the small

Fergus is an interesting "waker-upper" - earlier this week he literally woke himself up laughing. He was definitely asleep when he started laughing, but was wide awake by the time he finished, laughing away, saying the girl driving the car was so funny?! Effie and I never did really figure out what exactly was so funny, but we were in hysterics too before all was done - he is contagious our boy! What a way to start the day!

It isn't always happy though. A few weeks ago he woke up from a bad dream quite upset. We cuddled and when he was feeling better he said "I'll give you my black dreams and you can colour them and make them happy". What more could a mother ask for than the trust of her smalls to take their black and fill it with colour?

Our mornings together are some of my most precious times with my kids. So much is shared at the edges of sleep, in the wee hours and in the morning. I am scrunched in between the two I bore for the actual sleeping (or not sleeping as the case may be), and on occasion I have been known to complain about that... But it all fades away in comparison to the glory of being in the heart of my kids when they need and want me most. Sometimes the poetry of their words in those fuzzy hours acts to jolt me right back to the centre of my world - I am exactly where I need to be. What a way to start the day!

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Kids Laughing :: A Legacy

Live & Learn Conference
September, 2007
Black Mountain, North Carolina

Bratz by Lisa Heyman

"Fire", Lisa's youngest, rules the stage here in Bratzville with her chestnut ponytail flying, a black top, and a cherry red flaming skirt whirling - she never stops, so watch closely and you'll see the power that is Fire!

I, like everyone else at the last L&L I think, just took for granted that I would have more time to know Lisa, to know her more deeply, to be with her more, if not now, later. Craig and I are both stunned and shocked and so very sad to have heard of Lisa's passing. We don't know what to say, we wish we could be more for a family in need on the other side of the country, wish we could hold you all, wish we could wrap you in warm love and make you feel "home" the way Lisa's smile always seemed to do for everyone she met.

Lisa isn't in this video, but Lisa is the reason this video exists, this time of laughter and joy existed for all these girls (and adults!) romping round one small stage in Black Mountain North Carolina in September 2007 because of Lisa and the Bratz doll funshop she and Larry helped their Fire set up and run. A funshop that was, according to our Effie anyway, the raison d'etre for the entire L&L conference! A funshop that was itself a living memorial to Diana's dear Hannah. A funshop that led to our own Effie suggesting a talent show Bratz dance, that led to her being up on stage (grinning wildly from ear to ear) for the first time in her 8 year long life.

Craig has titled this post "Kids Laughing:: A Legacy". And that is what I will always think of when Lisa is in my mind - an amazing spirit who blessed all our children with so many moments of joy, both directly and indirectly. And for those of us who lived farther away and just figured we had more time, those indirect ways she influenced us and taught us and led us seem so huge and important and such an amazing gift. Lisa will always be part of us and I know her legacy in our family will be great - Kids Laughing - in situations and at times when, if not for Lisa, we might not have let them, or joined them, or supported them, or even thought to laugh, laugh more, laught at all. We are blessed to have had Lisa touch our lives.

Our thoughts and love are with Larry, Roxy and Fire.

You can see more if you click here on Lisa's memorial website.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

It's not about the wiining

We generally play games with kiddos at a level just competitive enough to lose. However, this is not the case when the games involve me, Effie and the Wii where, despite my best efforts, I get thoroughly and resoundingly thumped… consistently. Now that I think of it, there are many non-Wii situations where my kids thump me. Though winning is, of course, not the point. For example, Fergus is quicker than me when sprinting over 10 yards (I’m usually wearing knee-high gum boots!) however he always slows down so that we can tie. He’s really into the tieing.

In Wii baseball, I swing too hard and too soon and strikeout more often than not. Effie, meanwhile, dings homers quite regularly off of my speediest hurls. She does this while being unaware that I’m constantly attempting to brush her back with inside heat! In fact, “unaware” is her preferred style. She sits at the kitchen table and watches movies on the portable dvd unit and pitches to me while barely lifting her head. My style can best be described as “intense”, though I prefer “life-like”. I draw the line at the chewing tobacco but I do pretend to bat the dirt from my “cleats”. Surprisingly, this does not aid in performance.

As well, my virtual bowling skills are akin to my real bowling skills: I try too hard to pull off the fancy, spinning-ball shot and end up in the gutter. I figure it is because I’m sliding on carpet and am not wearing those slippery, Lysol-sprayed clown shoes. Again, with Effie and her static, unfazed position, it’s pretty much strike or spare for her.

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Lunar Eclipse Night

This first photo was not taken with a shakey hand - this is exactly what the lunar eclipse looked like in these parts, with that extra wavy bit attached to it. I used Tiki's head as a tripod so it has to be for real!

Tuesday, 19 February 2008


This past weekend, the rain stopped and the sun shined and like a butterfly freeing its cocoon, Fergus donned his boots and raced outside. Well, more like a reluctant bear ending its hibernation. A cute, hairy bear - but a bear nonetheless.

Ferg has guided us on many adventures in the forest these past few days - to the point that a series of adventure-one-upping resulted in Effie leading the four of us into a swath of nearly impenetrable downed branches and 5 foot high salal while she simultaneously belted out Gilbert and Sullivan showtunes at the top of her lungs. Despite being easy prey... no bear-bells were needed.

First we jumped around a bit and burned stuff (not at the same time)...

But outdoor adventuring merely delays getting to the household’s latest member, a Wii fella named Fred. As this photo clearly does not show, the Wii is a very interactive gaming system that offers endless aerobic opportunities.

Alright, alright, the TV may need updating (eventually) but it has served us well. It may accidentally suffer an “accident” of accidental proportions however if I stand too close to it while taking part in Wii boxing.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Fun with Octaclips

Recycling cardboard has never been so much fun. Apparently, all any house needs is a window, a door, a mailbox and a place for the phone to rest.

On a completely unrelated note, last night Fergus told me I could now refer to him as “snacky nuts” (!?!?!). So, of course, I called him that for the rest of the evening. He seemed to embrace it.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Upping the Squeam Factor

There will be no mention of anal probes here on this G-rated blogspot.
Ah, what the hell…

Generally, one shies away from discussing one’s adventures with anal probes but ever since my anal probe yesterday I can’t stop saying “anal probe”. It’s just not-stop fun!

The reactions of a four year old to a father’s colonoscopy are rather priceless. While others didn’t really care to hear too much of the experience, Fergus was like “tell me everything that happened Daddy, right from the start…. don’t leave anything out.” When I got to the bit about the actual procedure he roared with laughter and shouted “Ha ha, that’s gotta hurt”. But I think I may have left out an important tidbit of information in relating the events to him because later, in bed…

Fergus: “Are you okay now Daddy?”
Daddy: “Yes, I’m fine. I was always fine.”
Fergus: “You don’t have your bandages on anymore”
Daddy: “No, I took them off (IV bandages)”
Fergus: “But you still have that thing in your bum right?… doesn’t it hurt?”
Daddy: “NO NO NO Noooooooooooooo”

“Rectum? Darn near killed him.” (RJKB)

By the way, it may have been the drugs or it may have been that my colon and bowels are particularly boring, but after being invited to watch my inner-self on the TV monitor I think I fell asleep (hmmm, maybe they TiVo’d it for me?).

In lieu of a photo anywhere near related to the events detailed in this post - here’s one of Bob Ross painting a happy little scene:


The Star Wars influence, heaved upon us by The Chicagoians (Chicagwegians?), continues unabated. This is what you get when you mix a love of a hyped-up cultural phenomenon with a completest’s love for books and a charity-store shopper’s eye for a deal:

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Fortune Telling

Fergus (lying down eating fortune cookies): "BWAAAAAAAA!!! MOMMA!"
Momma: "What's that?"
Fergus: "MOMMA!!!!!!!"
Momma: "What is it you want?"
Fergus: "AAAAAaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!"
Momma: "What Fergus?"
Fergus: "AAAAAaaaahhhhh.... BLAGH... EERRRRRRR........AAAAhhhhhhh!!!"
Momma: "What Fergus?"
Fergus: "AAAAhhh..... YOU..... READ"
Momma: "You want me to read this?"
Momma: "Okay, I'll read it"

Saturday, 9 February 2008

We've Always Wondered

The past month or so set to music...


Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Top 5 Amazing or Surprising Moments of NCN Everett

1. That Fergus actually petted and hung out with one of the Maier's pet rats. As long as he keeps his hands to himself next time he's near the garage... I'm okay with this!
2. That we were able to fit MJ and Chloe's Barbie Motel into the vehicle... without bungies!
3. That I managed to find a gas station that didn't take credit cards!?! So I went across the street where I had to enter my (non-existent) zip code!?! That'll teach me not to veer too far off the I-5.
4. That, on the ride home, Fergus actually managed to stop screaming finally - JUST as we pulled up to the border agent.
5. That MacGyver exists. He goes by "Harper" these days:

Fun with Kapla

All in a day's work

Dang-blasters... this was supposed to take a week!

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Northwest Mardis Gras

MJ, Chloe, Frank and Ronnie have put on quite a show for us all here at NCN Everett.

Time Warp - N'Orleans style:


Scotty and his new shadow take part in that other, lesser known, cajun tradition - balloon-marking-in-your-life-clothes:

Super Stylin'...

Friday, 1 February 2008

It's not about the stuff, It's about the people

It all used to be pretty simple... go down to the States, hang out, hit the Target for supplies, head home. Now it would appear that we have stepped it up a notch... order stuff online, get it sent to people (good people!), go down, pick it up...

Of course, there are far more important reasons for being here (in Everett, WA)... it's the Non Con North (perhaps a meaningless term out of context?). We get to hang out with friends and Mardis Gras all weekend... yippeeee.