Friday, July 31, 2009

::goodbye, Bailey::

My cousin, who just gave birth to her fourth child last weekend, sadly had to put her 13-year-old Cocker Spaniel to sleep yesterday. Bailey was old and sick and was going downhill fast. The poor guy.

My other cousin, her sister, found this poem as a source of comfort for the family as they mourn the loss of their pet. Having Dora, I now know this has a huge impact on a family, especially the oldest child, who often has the strongest bond with a pet. I am grieving with them. So long, old pal.

A Tribute to Bailey

When God had made the earth and sky
the flowers and the trees,
He then made all the animals
the fish, the birds and bees.

And when at last He'd finished
not one was quite the same.
He said, "I'll walk this world of mine
and give each one a name."

And so He traveled far and wide
and everywhere He went,
a little creature followed Him
until it's strength was spent.

When all were named upon the earth
and in the sky and sea,
the little creature said,
"Dear Lord,there's not one left for me."

Kindly the Father said to him
"I've left you to the end
I've turned my own name back to front
and called you dog, My friend."

Author Unknown

Thursday, July 30, 2009

::open letter to my soldier::

Dear Wayne,

My dinner plans were postponed this evening and it gave me a night off. I was thankful, actually, as it's just too hot to be social or in a relatively good mood. So I made myself a lovely Caprese Salad and thought about how I would have loved to have made one for you, too, and eaten it with you on our deck with a cold beer (O'Doul's for me, of course). Then I chuckled thinking about how much more groceries will cost when you're home for two or three weeks next month, and just how big the salad would have needed to be to constitute a meal for you. It really is different cooking for one. And easy! But downright boring for a foodie like me. I can't wait to have a reason to try new recipes again!

After supper, I took Dora to the Glen Valley Dyke in Langley. She had a grand time swimming in the river/tributary. You would have loved to be there. She was happy as a clam to be in the water, paddling around with her ball. We watched the sun set. I can't wait to go for leisurely dog walks with you again. I may be a little slow these days, but a good walk is still one of my favourite things to do. Will it be hard for you to walk and not to march? (Just jokin'.)

I saw video of myself from last night opening gifts at the BBQ. It's funny how I look down every day and see a baby belly, and I see it in the mirror all the time, but from farther away, through a lens, I really understand just how BIG I am! Sometimes I look down and wonder how a whole baby can fit in there. But on the video, it's clearly no problem! That footage has really shocked me into reality - we are going to be parents. And soon. To a person that is half me, and half you. This concept, while not new, is difficult to apply to oneself. I think that, until we meet our child for the first time, the concept will remain slightly blurry. But in that moment of meeting, it will all become crystal clear, and we'll be a family, the three of us.

I can't wait to have you home again, and not have to meet you in a rental car, or on an Army base, or in a hotel room (um, that sounds dirtier than it is). To ask you to take the dog out, to bring the laundry upstairs, or help me fold a fitted bedsheet (you have no idea how difficult that is to do alone!). I can't wait to dance with you in our living room, eat supper together at the table, play a few rounds of Liverpool, and watch CSI: Miami just so we can make fun of Horatio's opening lines. We can take the baby for its first walk around the neighbourhood and Dora and I will show you all the new things you've missed since you left eight months ago: the new dog park, the complex across the street, a new elementary school down the road, the Golden Ears bridge, the new paint on our walls, and the beginnings of a nursery.

Most of all, I just want to wake up next to you and know you are here, no matter for how long. I know it will fly by in the blink of an eye, but so will the 10 weeks after that, and we'll be together again, and moving together across our great land to start a new life together in Kingston, or Quebec City, or Shilo. Wherever you go, I (we!) will follow, and I am ecstatic to know that time is so close now.

I am so proud of your accomplishments so far. A year ago, we were telling our parents that you were joining the Armed Forces and they smiled and encouraged us to embark on an adventure. And an adventure it's been! There are no words to describe the power that your attitude and perseverance has on my outlook, how your integrity and drivenness help me to keep my head held high and to trust that the Lord is holding us up and holding us together in spirit, until we can be together completely again. We can do all things through Christ, who strengthens us.

I love you with all my heart, and I'm counting the days until I see you again, in Vancouver.

Your adoring wife,

Meghan xo

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

::like a blue-assed fly::

Yes, that is a momism. My mom is British-born but moved here where she was 8. That wasn't early enough to purge the old English idioms and funny sayings that sometimes slip out. So when she is so busy she doesn't know what to do with herself, she says she is buzzing around like a blue-assed fly.

I guess the metaphor is that you only ever see it's bum because it's always moving on to the next thing? I dunno. It doesn't have to make sense. Just gotta know what it means.

Anyway, the point is, this is a busy week. Like stupid busy. Monday night was my work baby shower; last night was a co-worker potluck BBQ at my place to celebrate the engagement of another co-worker; tonight I had a "BBQ" with my life group from church (which they turned into a surprise baby shower!); tomorrow is supper with some friends; and Friday night, I may have to figure out somewhere to go that has air conditioning!

Thankfully, this weekend is the long weekend, and although I have some nesting to take care of (that is, cleaning the garage out and attempting to install the car seat), a birthday party, a wedding and some freelance, I don't feel particularly stressed about any of it.

It has been a bit of a stressful week for Wayne, who uncharacteristically failed a safety test on Monday. Of course, with safety, it's all or nothing, so it was only a pass or fail grade. Even though you get to rewrite it, he was pretty miffed because he'd even gone for extra help TWICE last weekend! Turns out, he'd been given a faulty piece of equipment with which to complete the test. So they struck a deal with him: redo the test with a working piece of equipment, and if you pass, we'll scratch the first fail off your record. And he passed! I am so happy for him and he was relieved, too. Now, they have named him safety officer for the entire last week of his course, which begins Monday. It is a huge compliment, as they only give extra responsibility to the guys who can handle the job, but it also means he has to spend the weekend brushing up on his procedures. Bummer, but I'm so proud of him for continuing to be an open and honest person, even in the military. Everyone knows where he stands at all times and he is fair with everyone. In the end, it's all about relationships and respect: what kind of boss would YOU want to follow? I know Wayne asks himself that each time he responds to a certain situation that includes dealing with a team of NCMs (non-commissioned members). He was made for this job.

Tonight will mark night #2 of sleeping in the foyer on an air mattress. I'm about to head upstairs for a cool shower (last night, Dora joined me. I'm sure she will tonight, too!) and then to enjoy a sleep with an ice-cold face cloth draped across my forehead and eyes. Pure bliss, I tell you. Try it!

Monday, July 27, 2009

::quote of the day::

Courtesy of Fariyal Cross:

The other day I bought a designer purse. But, before even considering it, I checked to see how many diapers and bottles I could fit in.

Welcome to your new life.

I love this. So sad but so true at the same time. I guess the era of the "clutch" is officially over...for now.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

::another day::

I forgot to post yesterday. Oops. It was an exciting day - my newest baby cousin arrived: Oliver MacLeod, 7 lbs, 3 oz. What a little sweetie. He is the youngest (and last!) of four - two girls and now two boys. Perfect. :) He lives a couple of blocks away from me so I hope to see and snuggle him lots, especially when HIS new baby cousin arrives in six weeks! (Yes, he's totally smiling in that picture. What could he have been dreaming of?)

I can't believe, now that Oliver is here, how time is slipping away. When I'm at work, it seems to go SO SLOW. I just want to be done and have that time to myself to nest and assemble everything and wash baby clothes and finish the bookcase I started. I can't wait to not have to think of my days in blocks - the 8-5 block and the 5-10 block - and then cramming my weekend full of to-do lists. It's really taking a toll on me. Then again, I know Wayne will be home SOON (not soon enough) and that's when time will start to fly and go by in a blur. I don't know how I'm going to do it once he leaves for his last course, especially with the dog, but I'll have to work out the kinks until I find a system that works for us. I'm hoping my kiddo likes to be swaddled/wrapped, because I have a fabulous invention that I plan to use when walking Dora. Hopefully this will avoid using the stroller a million times a day. My biggest fear is the fall/winter, when the weather starts to turn sour and it'll likely be raining more often than not. Then again, baby will be a bit older and more settled by that time and will hopefully adapt well.

Friday, July 24, 2009

::bad mommy::

One look at these makes me want to take out shares in Nestle!!!

Yes, I WILL use these sinful indulgences to help my children make friends when we move to a new military base town. That is, if any make it out of the kitchen...

::no title::

Weird story about the Hutterites and their driver’s licenses.

Winning online comment below:

Marc Country wrote: Just think: if these Hutterites ever realize that their shoes, pants, shirts, and hats all come together to form a crude representation of a person, then they'll probably have to consider their clothing as yet another form of forbidden 'graven images'.

And then, it's naked Hutterite time...


Thursday, July 23, 2009

::a lesson for the ladies::

Warning: another bathroom post

One thing I will NOT miss about working is changing the toilet paper dispensers in the women's washroom. It's odd because I think most women are responsible for this job at home and HATE it. Yet they get to work and - lo and behold - these commercial TP dispensers are just too darned confusing to figure out! "They must be designed by a man," says lazy coworker #1 as she unwraps a new roll and balances it on top of the two empty ones.

I'm talking about these dispensers:

Maybe some women think a key is required (um, do you see a keyhole?). Maybe some think it's magic ("Ooooh, ahhh!"). Either way, it's just plain annoying and rude to leave it empty and I'm surprised more women don't just say, "Does anyone know how to change this thing?"

Is it because I've worked in hospitality for 10 years that I know this? Heck, I learned at age 15 when I worked at McDonald's how to change these things. But I really thought it was common knowledge.

So, if it's not, today I bring you a lesson on how to be the hero at work by changing these TP dispensers.

1. Use all the paper right down to the cardboard roll.

2. Positioning your fingers behind the roll with your thumb in the front, pinch the outer edge (left edge for the left roll, right edge for the right roll) of the cardboard with your thumb and index finger so that you are now clamping the flat bar (which holds the roll) in between the now flattened edges of cardboard.

3. You will feel a flat prong in there (see pic - look closely at the edges of the bar where they meet the circular clamps). It is a piece of spring loaded metal parallel to the bar. Give 'er an extra little squeeze and - "pop!" - outward will swing the arm on the outer edge of the dispenser. (GASP! It is magic!)

4. Remove cardboard roll, insert a new roll (the right way), and swing the arm back onto the bar into the locked position (it will click into place).

5. Ta-Da! You have successfully changed a roll of commercial-grade TP! And you have saved the next few users the sigh of exasperation that comes with seeing the lazy-woman's TP dispenser on display for all.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


By way of a Facebook group discussion topic I started in a group for Canadian Military Wives, I have "met" (as much as sending Facebook messages can be "meeting") another young military wife in Abbotsford today. She just gave birth to her second child (already has a 2 y.o.) and her husband left for Basic Training in St. Jean, QC, mid-June. He is also Army and graduates in September, so we're going to get together for a coffee one day soon and chat. It's not often I meet people who know exactly what my life is like. What a treat that will be.

She says she is perpetually stuck in BC because his trade has various wait lists for his required courses, meaning he is not stationed anywhere specific for any length of time, and thus, is not entitled to a posting for his family (as far as I understand). Much like Wayne, that wait time will be spent on PAT platoon (Personnel Awaiting Training), keeping him away from home, yet mostly unproductive. This is a frustrating prospect. Wayne says when the guys are on PAT, the local Canadian Tire refuses to sell the military guys any rope for fear they'll hang themselves out of sheer boredom.

(Bad joke - you get used to those with an Army hubby.)

This "meeting" got me thinking about how artificial the cyber world is and how odd it is to make a connection like this, yet so timely and perfect. Really, connecting online with people is not different than was the revolution of the postal service (which is ancient), telegraphs, the printing press, telephone, satellite and television. There really is nothing new under the sun. If it weren't for the Internet, many couples I know would never have met. And so many babies would never have been born. And the plans God had/has for those babies' lives would never have been realized.

So even though I feel strange about meeting someone for what I could actually call a "blind friendship date," I resign myself to the fact that this is the way the world is these days. And I don't need to feel weird about it; my sole responsibility in this life is to respond the way Christ would, and let Him do the rest.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

::zucchini blossoms::

You know when you think about something or someone and suddenly, later in the day or week, that thing or person pops up in your life unexpectedly? And it's really eerie and it makes you look over your shoulder and wonder who was in your thoughts that could have orchestrated this timely coincidence?

Yeah, that feeling. Well, it just happened to me.

This post came through on my Google Reader today and what do you know? I was just thinking this morning about when I would ever get to try zucchini blossoms. Dora and I walked past a house in the neighbourhood that had massive zucchini plants. The apricot-coloured petals of the open blossoms caught my eye and reminded me of all the Iron Chef America battles I've seen where they use these, making me wonder how the heck I could get my hands on some.

Well, Des, over at Life's Ambrosia has now inspired me to officially be on the lookout for these gems. Have you ever seen them for sale at your local market? I'm thinking that maybe the White Rock Farmer's Market or the Ladner Village Farm Market might have them. Maybe even Save on Foods or Choices? Please let me know if you have a lead. Since I'm living on my own for the time being, I may just invite you over to eat them with me if you are the lucky one to find them. :)


My dad was over yesterday painting our two upstairs bathrooms. By the time I got home, it was time to clean up and reassemble all the fixtures, medicine cabinet, electrical face plates and other decor. Of course, you can't put it all back dirty, so straight home from work I changed into Cinderella mode and Pinesol'd my way around my dad as he reinstalled the fixtures, etc. Of course, my cleaning instinct kicked in and I ended up giving our room and the nursery a good wipe-down as well (it's amazing how much dust gets in through our screens!).

Sounds like an easy job, but on our third floor, in a north-facing bedroom, at the end of a 30-degree day, it is not easy for an eight-month-pregnant lady. :( By the time he left, I was so pooped that I ate a popsicle, sat on the couch to watch tv for an hour and promptly fell asleep...make-up still on (I HATE that!)...until 11:30. (Hence no blog post last night.) Once I woke up, I didn't actually climb into bed again until after midnight. And I had the most horrible sleep I've had since being pregnant.

Oddly, it wasn't the heat that kept me up. It was the fan! (I need darkness and silence when I sleep.) I think I woke up every time I moved. I liken it to trying to “sleep” in the airport when the janitors are cleaning around you (never had that experience? Ah, lucky. The joys of travelling standby...). All you do is doze. But if I turn off the fan, I’ll roast. Boo. I may resort to setting up the air mattress in the living room again this week so I can have some peace and quiet. Plus, I can watch tv in bed - score! ;)

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Most of you know Dora, our beloved Springer Spaniel. She is our fur-baby. She turned two a couple of weeks ago and is really coming into her own. While she's been a little (sometimes unnervingly) territorial/protective at times since I've been pregnant and Wayne's been away (it is her job), she has really mellowed out and become a lovely companion. Having her around in Wayne's absence has definitely created more work and responsibility, but it has also kept me busy, given me purpose, regulated my walking (the only exercise I've had since pregnant), and most of all, provided a sense of security and cameraderie. I can count on her to be my secondary alarm clock, give me cuddles and kisses when I'm having a lonely day, sit on my feet in the winter, "dry" my feet straight out of the shower, smile when I come home (I swear! She smiles!), and just be all-around cute.

Dora will be a big sister in 7 weeks and I'm praying she takes it in stride. I know it will be tough once Wayne goes back to New Brunswick for his last course to take care of her and the baby, but I'm up for the challenge. I've received a few comments implying that my dedication to her will go out the window once baby arrives, and my desire to care for her will pale in comparison to that of my child. This may be true, but it's hard not to take that as an insult. Many women have much harder circumstances than me and they do what they have to do to get through. I will only be a "single mom" for 10 weeks and I will make it work, through prayer, perseverance and the eagerly accepted help I know I'll receive from friends and family.

I love you, Dora-bear. You have been very loyal to me for the past year in Daddy's absence. I will not let you down or let you feel crowded out.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Today I saw a mother driving an old Toyota Camry (4-dr) with two kids under 10 in the back. At the stop light, she pulled up next to me, and slightly ahead. I noticed a lot of movement in the backseat out of the corner of my eye. When I looked, the little boy in the back was playing with his sister's toys and wanted to hand something to the mom.

And what did I see? Not a stretch toward his mom with the toy held out for her, the way a child retrained by a seatbelt would do. No, no. He just stood up and leaned over her seat to give it to her. Because he wasn't wearing a seatbelt.

I looked up toward her, expecting her to whip around and bark at him to sit back down and fasten his seatbelt. Instead, she took the toy and discussed something with him before turning back around and stepping on the gas when the light changed. And he was still perched on the edge of the seat, now turned toward his sister, engaged in the toys they had.

It was then I realized the mother wasn't wearing her seatbelt either! I had to blink a couple of times to make sure I wasn't seeing things! I was so appalled that I considered honking and yelling at her. But off she went and ended up merging in front of me when her lane cut off.

She pulled into a complex about 3 blocks from mine. If I see her again, I'll be tempted to say something. At first, I thought to myself, "Well, I can see she's the type who would verbally retaliate, so why bother?" But then, I thought, "No, she is not caring for her children. In fact, she is ENDANGERING their lives and if someone was doing that with MY kids, I would hope that someone would MAKE it their business to brave the impending conflict for the sake of those children."

I even thought about what kind of memory it would create for that little boy, if some crazed, red-headed pregnant woman reemed out his mom right in front of him and his sister for being such a reckless driver/mother. He would either develop some sort of complex, thinking his mom doesn't love him or doesn't care about his safety, OR he would grow up to be the kind of guy who would step in for others, too.

Dang. I should have said something.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Really, this heat is quite gross. Even when I'm NOT pregnant, I'm not a fan of SUPER heat like this. Mainly because it's no fun for redheads to seek out shade and miss all the fun stuff like beach volleyball, swimming for hours and reading a trashy book on the sand at the local beach.

I took the dog to the off-leash park after work and didn't bother changing out of my jeans because I figured I'm going to sweat profusely in whatever I wear, so I might as well not dirty another outfit. It worked but, man, was that a sticky situation. :oS Then I headed to Costco with Jill (in the same outfit - ha!) to buy a massive box of diapers and wipes to get ahead of the game - who knew Costco was the happenin' place to be in Langley on a Friday night?! I guess it's the A/C but it was packed.

Does anyone buy their baby stuff @ Costco? I found their diaper selection to be quite disappointing. I've been stocking up on Pampers Swaddlers and PC diapers lately, and the only brand that looked appealing to me @ Costco was the Huggies Snug & Dry. Oddly, the smallest size was "1-2" (up to 15 lbs.). Well I wanna know: which is it? Are they 1? Or are they 2? It's kind of a big difference. Bonus: I picked up a box of baby wipes containing 704 wipes! Maybe it's because I'm not a mom yet but that seems like a LOT of wipes! I was very excited by this.

Now that I've showered and talc'ed and I'm cooling off in my cotton kimono, I think it's about time for some frozen yogurt and my latest read, Julie & Julia. If I don't fall asleep, that is.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

::dogs and babes::

While I am fairly certain Dora, our two-year-old English Springer Spaniel, will be quite indifferent to our new addition in 7 weeks (she's a pretty mellow dog), I'm wondering how to go about creating this delicate balance between fur-baby and...real baby. While I originally wanted the extra time off before baby arrives to spend with her, my recent reading says to actually start distancing myself from her now so that when baby arrives, it won't be such a shock to her to no longer be the centre of attention.

Gee. Good thing someone wrote that down cuz I never would have thought to do it that way. Really!

So that has left me contemplating what other tips and trick I may not know about incorporating a baby into a home with a dog. I know we should bring home baby's first hospital blanket for Dora to smell before she meets it so the scent will be familiar. I also know the husband should carry the baby in first and I should come into the house afterward to greet the dog without the baby in my arms. But so far, that's it.

My other concern is that Wayne has been gone for eight months and Dora will be thrown for a loop when he shows up for two or three weeks next month. While she'll just start getting used to having him back, we'll introduce our little bundle, throw her for another loop, and then he'll leave again for 10 weeks. Not exactly a trauma-free experience for a dog who LOVES her alpha to bits.

Has anyone else found anything helpful in terms of familiarizing a family dog with a new baby?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


name: the word by which an individual known, spoken of, etc. (Cdn Oxford Dictionary)

Wayne and I thought we had this child's name chosen for good. We've been referring to it by name for a couple of months, now. (12 weeks, actually!) While we had trouble deciding for both genders, we were relieved when the task was cut in half once we found out the gender.

But as time goes on and the day moves closer, the stress of it has made me second-guess myself and I have been hesitant to refer to Baby B by name. How can I assign a child a personality? All the names we like have been considered by euphony as well as origin and meaning. But it seems that each name comes with an attached preconceived expectation of attitude and personality. I feel like I am not giving my kiddo a chance to show us who it is before we decide what it will spend the rest of its life being "known" as!

I suppose we'll go in with our list of top 3 or 4 names and hope for the best. But I never imagined this would weigh so heavily on me. I have kept baby names in my wallet for years - literally.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I've been pondering my future career options lately, as the end of my time at the office draws near and I face indefinite unemployment in favour of motherhood. I know I can write and edit from home, but without knowing where I'll be or what kind of baby I'll have or how involved I'll be in church/community activities in my "spare" time, I have no idea how to project my goals or estimate my return to a serious attempt at contributing to the family income.

So I Googled "freelance writer portfolio samples" today to see the latest advice in setting oneself up for success by compiling and showcasing one's previous work, and by featuring one's talents and skills for potential clients to consider. Among many things that popped up in my search was a blog about personal branding featuring this video which is a to-the-point rant about putting your passion to work. It is worth the watch and I warn you now: if there are kidlets around, you'll need headphones, as this guy tells it like it is in no uncertain terms. :)

Also, I came across a handy little resource that uses colour preferences to determine successful career paths. The Colour Career Counsellor, powered by The Dewey Colour System--is the world's only validated, non-language colour-based career testing instrument. Just by picking your favourite colours you can find out what kind of career you should be in. I took it, but nothing new here:

My results:

Best Occupational Category
Key Words:
Self-Control, Practical, Self-Contained, Orderly, Systematic, Precise, and Accurate

These conservative appearing, plotting-types enjoy organizing, data systems, accounting, detail, and accuracy. Your very careful, conscientious, conservative nature gives others the confidence to trust you with handling money and material possessions. Structured organizations that have well-ordered chains of command work best for you.

2nd Best Occupational Category
You're a CREATOR
Key Words:
Nonconforming, Impulsive, Expressive, Romantic, Intuitive, Sensitive, and Emotional

These original types place a high value on aesthetic qualities and have a great need for self-expression. They enjoy working independently, being creative, using their imagination, and constantly learning something new. Fields of interest are art, drama, music, and writing or whether they can express, assemble, or implement creative ideas.

So organized creativity is what I like, which I already knew. This would account for my desire to write but only after being given an assignment with clear objectives. I am not waiting to write the next great Canadian novel, nor can I hear music in my head that's never before been composed. And being passionate about this is really not a stretch. So I think my next step is to brand this desire, articulate it through logo, wordmark, vision and mission, and sell this package to whomever I meet in the future, and whichever companies I'd die to work for but could get away with calling "clients."

Obviously, because I'm an "organizer," having this all planned out before I go on maternity leave is appealing to me, so I don't just float along in the parenting abyss without the energy or motivation to get moving again. But I can say that I will pursue my work with gusto and will try my best not to resign myself to working a part-time job to make some extra cash just because I was too lazy to figure out my "business" plan. God gives us talents for a reason and I want to use mine for good and to contribute to my family. But in the midst of all this, I must remember that "In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." (Proverbs 16:9) Without Him, all my plans are useless.

30 days of blogging

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The “What’s Your Style In One Picture” Challenge, Summer 2009

Image from Creative Spaces. Photo © BBC Good Homes. © 2002. Hylas Publishing, publisher.

I am participating in the “What’s Your Style In One Picture” Challenge, Summer 2009, put on by Alek over at From the Right Bank to the Left Coast blog. I am choosing one picture to encapsulate my design style. Now, not being particularly visually creative, I wondered how I would even begin to define this. I like so many different looks, if they're done well! So I cheated a bit and took the "What's your style?" quiz over at

Surprise! My result was: Old World, New Way
Deep, rich and regal but muted for a time-worn effect. Finishes are distressed, woodwork is rough-hewn. A lived-in but luxurious old world.

I was happy with this result, even though I wouldn't say I'm particularly married to it. So I sought out some "Old World" kitchens and found the pic above.

Take the quiz for yourself! What's your style?