Thursday, 30 October 2008


...and there's Ferg's pumpkin on the left, in all its pre-Halloween/ post-smash glory (it was already a bit rotten from the rotten pumpkin patch):

We're all out of whack since our plans to trick or treat in Oregon didn't pan out, so of course we had to have a practice session tonight.


Lately Eff and Ferg have really been getting into a zone with their role-playing adventures. All situations are possibilities for re-telling. The other night Effie was baby to Fergus’ Dad for a good couple of hours. Her demands of him were relentless and often included being pushed around in the stroller (limited cleared floor space created many challenges). It amazed me how even-keeled Fergus was as his regular range in such a span of time would match that of a yo-yo. It even ended calmly as Effie asked him to do something and he matter-of-factly refused, stating that he had now moved on to a different baby.

Yesterday they caught Gillian excitedly peering out the window after Effie shouted “SNOW!” However, she realized she had been duped by more rich, imaginative play when it was followed by "quick Fergus batten down all the hatches".

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

The Pull... Corvallis continues strong and relentless this week.

Mary is working overtime trying to seduce us all into making the 7hr drive plus additional ferry & border crossing trip south to Corvallis Oregon (and her happening home and the most jazzing unschooling coffee hang out ever) for Halloween this weekend. This is a have-to event for all radical unschoolers within shooting distance of Corvallis, and even for some dedicated and adventurous souls from much farther away.

Mary's bribe of the day has been a must visit website for us every day this week, as she ups the ante every dang day!

She hooked Effie first day with promises of hot chocolate!! Not that Effie really needed much urging, she was there but for her reclusive family holding her back!

Mary made such a compelling candy lure on Day 3 that Fergus (decidedly homebody Fergus) was spouting such heart warming sentiments as "I am so going there. I will never stop going there!".

Still, the boy is five, full of fickle, somewhat unaware of the meaningful difference between a 2 hr drive and a 7 hr drive, and our last jaunt with him was so much less than enjoyable - in fact we were threatened by representatives from almost all levels of the airline industry hierarchy right up to captain, and then harassed by border patrol to wake him up once we finally resorted to drugging him and were finally enjoying a calm moment - really, you'd think the airlines and border patrol could confer a bit to save me some screaming, but no.

Then on Day 5 Mary ups the ante yet again and starts hammering on yours truly, promising martinis from the holy Jon and and other irresistible treats. Oy Vey, how is a poor mother to resist?!

For a minute there I even forgot about the 7hr drive with the psycho-vomiter!! She is a tough one to refuse is our Mary.

So even though it is 99% certain we will not be rolling our fannies south 2 days from now, we certainly feel loved and missed and cherished and wanted and desired and a whole host of other delicious things. Thank you Mary. I cannot believe you will all be partying without us this year, but Effie is already planning for next year, so that is some small consolation and a testament to her resilient nature! You guys practice up this year for the real thing next year, OK!

We love you all!

Monday, 27 October 2008

And the title of this photograph is...

Twilight at the Playground (with duvet and a smile)

Island Tribing

Awesome RU get-together in Parksville this weekend…





And some sort of highly secretive training session on the road:

Friday, 24 October 2008

Joy (with a time limit)

Yesterday the famdamily, along with the greater field trip group, took in one of them pumpkin patch/ hay ride/ miniature train/ corn maze tours of duty that are all the rage these days (whatever happened to the simple pleasures of squirreling away a few dozen eggs so that they’re nice and rotten in time for Halloween?). Also apparently now all the rage down at your local pumpkin patch: whistles! There are no photos of the pumpkin picking because by the time the kiddos actually found a non-rotting gourd and Gillian turned to grab the camera, the tractor man blew his whistle indicating that their allotted time was up. Effie attempted to spend the entire evening telling me all about this but I deftly cut her off with a sharp blast of my tweeter and sent the young Brigitta to bed.

note:some saintly people are actually able to tune out the negative and focus on the beauty that is their sweet offspring and a field o pumpkins. Blast them sweet, saintly people!

And then, tonight, those with pumpkins wouldn't even allow me to take their picture. So, to the archives we go...

This post brought to you by the year 2005.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Sunshine, light and that other stuff

Last night I get home with two fresh/ glazed/ sprinkled donuts and a bag of home-cooked, sliced roast beef (yeah, Effie's been into the roast beef lately!?!). AND its scheduled to be "Indy and the Crystal Skull" viewing night. But still it all goes horribly pear-shaped shortly after I get home: Ferg squeezes the donut bag, Effie tries to grab it from him, Effie gets upset about not getting the right donut, Effie says she hates the roast beef and wanted the supermarket version she finished off the night before instead, Ferg gets possessive of the donuts but manages to move on to the new Wii game from the library, Effie locks herself in the bedroom and tells all to go away, Ferg and I can't figure out the stupid Wii game and he throws the controls across the room and tells all to go away (although yelling “go away” is the automatic outlet for frustration around here, it is surprisingly rare to have both kids independently screaming this at the same time). Much flailing about and attempts at negotiations persist until, an hour later, things slowly simmer down. The donuts turn out to be eatable, we watch the crystal skull with much enjoyment, and I comment that although I’m not looking for applause at bringing home the beef (and the donut), it would be nice if I didn’t get yelled at because of them. Gillian claps. Meanwhile, I make a loaf of bread because I figure the $9 in roast beef is going to go to waste and, yum, roast beef sandwiches for me the next day! The night ends with the two of them quietly playing out Indiana Jones together for hours, complete with Russian accents and rapiers. This morning I found the roast beef supply largely decimated. Woe is me.

But now we have bread!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Great weekend*

*other than Fergus concussing himself last night and nearly winding up in hospital... after a few hours of worry and frantic phone calls he was "back to his old self" Effie surmised. "And I'm not sure I like it" she continued.

This is the sort of thing that comes out of nowhere late at night around here:

Ferg shorn (it's all relative!):

Today Meah, her pig and I played a great game of swingball:

Then the skaters took over and the "dudes" and dudettes" were flying off tongues fast and furious:

Later, an impromptu shop was created and soon Fergus became Effie and Dan's best customer. Walk-by traffic was rather limited.

Tonight a rousing game of pokémon took place:

Friday, 17 October 2008

Piñatas, Darth Vader and coming home

Effie's turn for a piñata. This guy looks especially pleased to be holding such a lovely specimen:

For kids with unlimited access to candy, they sure do get excited about it. An hour of stiff negotiations and sorting later...

This fella didn't come out of the piñata but hung around for the show...

Here's the beginning of Effie's Death Star lego project:


We have made it home from summery California to what is, without question, a truly Canadian autumn. Wet and cold, period. Our travel home was far from the harrowing experience we feared and in fact could be described as enjoyable. Well, enjoyable in that it turns out we had not made the Alaska Airlines “no-fly” list for our mighty display on the way down and that this time around we did not get introduced to the captain. To say we were anxious about how the day would unfold is an understatement and when Fergus had to be woken up early in order to catch our ride to the airport things were a little tense. Then I burped, he laughed and we were on our way. Never underestimate the value of the potty humour!

The time between waking up and clicking Fergus into his seatbelt on the plane was, without a doubt, understood by the three of us more relaxed travellers as “do not upset the Goose” time. Eggshells do not begin to describe it. We then kept Ferg’s boots off that morning so that he could be comfortable on the plane without forcing nearby passengers, if not the entire cabin, to reach for their emergency oxygen masks. So just prior to boarding I lugged him to the potty and made him stand on my shoes to pee (is this to much information? my internal filters are down today!). When we got to the sink I lifted him up and managed to whack a bare foot solidly against the corner of the counter. This was not in the “do not upset the Goose” playbook and a vision of being forced to rent a large vehicle and drive to Seattle raced through my brain. But, surprisingly, he recovered quickly. He’s very good at confounding expectations, our Fergus. And thanks partly to a steady supply of hidden presents, he kept himself well occupied on the flight (Gillian had found a mega-stash of Happy Meal prizes, circa the mid-90’s, from a thrift store prior to leaving home!).

When we hit the ground we raced out of Seattle and then through Everett. This was the sad part, racing through Everett without stopping to at least say hello to Frank, Ronnie and co. who were just back from their big euro trip and who we all agreed we certainly needed a healthy dose of after all that rather non-unschooly disneylanding we had just endured. But the border, ferry and a work day loomed. The border was actually the easy part in that there was no lineup - the only hitch being that they made us wake up Fergus who was in a deep, post-car-sickness dramamine slumber. But then we narrowly missed the 5:00 ferry and were forced to wait until the next sailing which strangely wasn’t until 8:00. The kiddos played in the ferry lot’s playground in what felt like, in my t-shirt and windbreaker, sub-zero weather. The only other thing interesting about that day was that the ferry offered two television options. One t.v. had the federal election results and the other a double dose of “The suit life of Zack and Cody” and “Hannah Montana”. The latter was by far the more entertaining.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Home tomorrow

On our last day at dizzyland, we rode Big Thunder five times (the kiddos kinda get into grooves it seems). And Effie even chose to do Splash Mountain - and ended up despising every second of it!

Effie, Mary, Bert

Mickey and Ferg

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Winding down

Tiki finally made it to Tom Sawyer island after years and years of longing. The kids were happy to have a place to run around away from the maddening CROWDS and I thought it was cool that they named something at Disneyland after a Rush song.

The most grueling lineups at DL are thought to be for Indiana Jones but noooooo... nothing beats the crazy, dolled-up lines at the Princess Faire. It requires serious tag-team action: some wait in line...

Others eat...

And here's what you get at the end of the line... Pocahontas and Mulan:

Effie has been on princess patrol the entire time- here she found someone's protruding belly Jasmine by the entrance:

We've been heavily into Star Tours and Autopia the past couple of days...

Happiness (bonus edition):


And... Happy thanksgiving Canada!!! May all your turkey legs be paired with chimichangas!

Disneyland. 12:22 a.m.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Trick or Treating at the DCA

Since there really isn't enough sugar around these parts, California Adventure has trick-or-treating every friday night in October...