Friday, September 30, 2011

Just in case I forget my name

One of my grandfathers many talents is wood working and when I was born he made me a name plate for my bedroom door. I’ve had it up in every house I’ve ever lived in and will till the end of my days. Because my Opa made it. All the kids in my extended family have one and they are all different styles. When my babies were born I wanted to them to have one too and now they do.

On another note... my parents arrive today and I’m very excited. Tomorrow we are going to climb Mount Duval and Sunday we’ll be heading out on a boat trip into the park. We also plan to finally celebrate Isaac’s birthday. We wanted to wait for them to arrive so it’s a bit more of a party. It should be a busy few days.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Isaac

Dear Isaac,

One year ago right now (11:13am) you came in to the world. You were 4 days overdue but once you decided to come, you weren't wasting any time making your grand entrance in just under 3 and a half hours. I can't tell you how much I appreciate that you didn't take your time. You arrived big and beautiful weighing in at 9 lbs, 6.5 ounces and looking very much like me. Oma and Nana both said that holding you was just like having me in their arms again which brought on joyful tears. When I look back at pictures of myself as a baby, I think they are definitely right.

This time around we decided to find out if our new baby was going to be a boy or a girl. When the ultrasound tech said BOY I was so excited. Ok, I’ll admit, there was a little part of me that was hoping for a girl but I certainly wasn’t disappointed. I’ve always said I hoped for two boys when I finally had kids and with you that dream has been fulfilled. Oliver fell in love with you the moment he saw you (....Baby!!!) and that hasn't changed. I think the feeling is mutual because you can't get enough of him either. One of your strange quirks is that even though you are a very happy baby you rarely laugh or giggle out loud.  The few times I've heard you in the throws of a good belly laugh have been when when O was entertaining you.  I hope for you to be best buddies as kids and best friends as you get older. To always be there to for each other and for you to hang out because you like each other, not because you are related. 

Like most parents I think I wondered how another baby was going to fit into our lives. How was I going to love another tiny human as much as I love the one we already had? Once you arrived I realised that loving a second baby was so much easier. Not that I loved you more but since I already understood that special bond between mom and baby I think finding that  love again was like second nature. I also feel that knowing you were a boy and having chosen your name months before you were born made it seem like we'd known you for such a long time already.

A few things I want you to know:

-As a newborn you had the cutest cry I have ever heard. We called it The Lip cause you would stick out that bottom lip in a tiny pout every time.

-You are huge flirt and love to ham it up for the camera.

-If I had to choose 3 words to describe you, the first one hands down would be LOUD. You have a screech that would shatter glass if you really tried. The second would be headstrong. You have no problem at all telling us what you want and are even more obvious about what you don’t want. The third would be smiley.

-As an infant you could blow out a diaper like no baby I’ve ever seen. That  may seem like a strange thing to mention in your birthday letter but trust me, your ability borders on legendary and needed to be acknowledged.

-Your dark blue eyes are going to break hearts someday.

Where has the year gone? I can't believe you are turning one already. You are becoming a vibrant and active little man who keeps us on our toes. You have made our little family complete and I'm so happy and proud to be your mom. Your dad and I love you always and forever.

Happy Birthday
I Love You

Love Mommy


Minutes Old

Friday, September 23, 2011

This is September 23rd.

Guess what we woke up to today?? Happy first day of Fall....

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Kraft Dinner Face

It's a continuing challenge to get Isaac to move on to real people food from the puree's he seems to love so much. He will eat toast when he feels like it, dry cereal and cheese.
Anything else we've tried he will chew and spit out.

And then he tried Kraft Dinner and he fell in love. I don't think I've ever seen him eat so much at one sitting. He is truely his momma's boy.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Vote Fundy

Have you heard about the New Seven Wonders of the world?? No? It's probably because they haven't been chosen yet. You can be a part of the process by voting and I hope you do.

Taken from the website:

The New7Wonders of Nature campaign highlights and celebrates the beauty of the planet, fostering greater respect for the earth's fragile natural equilibrium.

The New7Wonders Foundation started this contest on July 7th, 2007 with the election of sites from around the world.. It started out with 441 sites from 222 countries and they are now down to the final 28 wondrous things. Some of the sites you may have heard of include The Great Barrier Reef, Uluru (Ayers Rock if you know it by it's old name) and the Galapagos. I have to admit, I didn't know half of the places on the list so if nothing else, check them out and learn something about our world.

The reason I'm posting about this is because the Bay Of Fundy is the only site in Canada that made the final cut. I'm from Saint John New Brunswick and the 'Highest Tides in the World' where something I saw everyday. Why is it worthy of being one of the New7Wonders?

Highest Tides in the World
Bay of Fundy tides are 53 feet (16 metres), five to 10 times higher than any tide in the world. It takes six hours and 13 minutes for the tides to go from high to low and for 100 billion tonnes of seawater to flow in and out of the bay twice daily. More water moves through the Bay of Fundy in one cycle than the combined flow of all the world’s freshwater rivers. The amount of water in one tide cycle would fill and then empty the Grand Canyon.

The Bay of Fundy has been compared in marine biodiversity to the Amazon Rainforest. Through ocean currents and its massive tides, it is biologically linked to the rest of the world by fish, bird, and marine mammal migrations.

WhalesThe Bay of Fundy hosts over 12 species of whales during their summer and fall feedings, including half the world’s population of rare and endangered Right whales.

Dinosaurs and Fossils
The Bay of Fundy has the world’s most complete fossil record of the “Coal Age” (300 million years ago). It is home to the world’s oldest reptiles and Canada’s oldest dinosaurs, and the site of one of the greatest extinctions the world has ever known — the Triassic/Jurassic extinction.

Green Tidal Energy
The Bay of Fundy has the potential to become one of the world’s greatest producers of tidal energy. The Bay is 10 times more powerful than any other site in North America and is already generating environmentally-sustainable electricity.

The area is rich in the culture and history of its original First Nations as well as European settlers who arrived in 1604 — before Canada was a country. Regional culture and history are celebrated at interpretation centres, historic sites, horticultural display gardens, and artisans’ studios.

I have to admit I learned something by reading this information too. I always thought the tides where the only thing that made the Bay of Fundy so special. (Maybe I should be a tourist in my own home a bit more huh?) So how just how high are the highest tides in the world? Look for yourself:

These are the Hopewell Rocks outside of Alma New Brunswick. In my opinion this is the most dramatic before and after view of the tides. I've walked on that part of the ocean floor and I've watched as the water rose. It's definitely something to see.

So I ask that you vote for our home town (home country) wonder and get the Bay of Fundy on the global map. And all you other bloggers and facebookers... please spread the world.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Testing, Testing

I am yet again changing the look of the blog. Why? One: I like to shake things up every so often, I get bored easily. Two: I loved the last incarnation when I first changed it but realised quickly that it was too busy and the pictures where just too small.

So far I'm liking this new look but I'm trying to figure out the details. And by the way... this picture is here stricktly for testing purposes. Well, that and he's super cute!

Oh and just in case you were wondering (and seriously, as if you couldn't tell) Yes, Tank was photoshopped in to the new header. Getting a dog and two kids together for a picture is getting even more diffucult since Isaac is on the move. Thank god for Photoshop.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Just a few shots from our family ATV outing last Sunday. As you can imagine Oliver and Nick needed a hot bath and some hot chocolate when we got back to our place. It was only about 3 degrees so those splashes made for a chilly ride home.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I write today with sad news for our family. One of our fur daughters, Izzy, is missing. My suspicion is that she fell out of our screenless bedroom window which is her favorite lounging spot. We're not exactly sure when it happened but we have heard she was seen outside our house on Monday night. I know for sure she was here Sunday but since it's not unusual for the cats to hide for days, we didn't realise she was gone till their food was practically untouched for two nights in a row. Another sign should have been how friendly her sister Zazu was over those first days. She's normally very standoff-ish but she'd been coming out to cuddle and meowing through the night which she never does. I'm sure in her own way she was trying to tell us that her twin was gone.

Izzy is the one on the right.
We've put out the word around town and have offered a $50 reward if someone can bring her home to us but so far no luck. I had hoped that someone had found her and taken her in but it since we haven't heard anything I can only assume that this isn't the case. She is a friendly cat but I don't know that she would go to a stranger especially if she's scared. We have a bowl of food out and I plan to do a late night walk about tonight to see if she's living up to her feline nature and hanging out after dark.

If I'm honest with myself I will admit that my hopes are probably futile. I would imagine she's met with a bad end at the hand of a dog or perhaps one of the eagle size ravens that live here. I will also say that I prefer that to the idea of her freezing to death out there. The temperature is falling and chilly is a favorable description of how it feels out there.

I hope she comes home soon, or at least we find out that she's really gone. Closure either way would be a comfort. I have a little hole in my heart where she should be and I'm devastated she's gone.

Monday, September 12, 2011


After three years in the north we have accumulated quite a collection of Inuit art. The one thing that was missing was a print of some kind. Cape Dorset (where we lived before Pang) is the 'print capital' of the north and their annual print sale is world renowned. I've been to the sale and although there were quite a few pieces I would have loved to buy, the cost was just more than I was willing to pay. I'm not someone who buys art as an investment. If I like it and the price is right, I'll buy it. Even if there is no real value in it. I never found something that fit all my criteria so my search continued here.

Last time I was down at the Uqqurmiut Center for the Arts and Crafts I found what I was looking for. It's called Akuluk. An etching done my Andrew Qappik.

Even though I'll admit I've seen pieces that I like more than this one, when I saw it, it spoke to me for two reasons. One: Akuluk is a Inuit term of endearment that we use every day in our house. Two: The woman is wearing in amautiq. Being able to carry my babies in this traditional way will always be my favorite thing about living here.

I'm very happy that I finally have my 'wall art' to complete my collection. I really hope that means we're done buying because I suspect our collection already exceeds what we'll have room to display in our future home.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Where were you?

My grandparents remember where they were the day JFK was assassinated. My mom would say for her it's the day John Lennon was killed. I will always remember where I was on September 11, 2001. 

I was living in Edmonton at the time, working for Air Canada. The morning rush had just ended and the check-in line was empty. One of my colleagues came by with a paper that he'd printed out from one of those on-line news sites that said a plane had hit the World Trade Center. Because the paper had a random heading of 'Novelty Sports' at the top I dismissed it as a bad joke. Over the next little while, people coming up to my counter were talking about it so my thoughts went from it being a joke to thoughts that it was probably a small Cessna that had ran horribly off course.

It was only when curiosity got the best of me and I went to the lounge to check out the TV did I realise what had actually happened. At that point the air space hadn't been closed and our flight to Denver was going soon so I was asked to go to the gate and help rebook people. Many our our passengers were were connecting in Denver going on to New York. The US boarding lounge had a television and I watched as the second tower was hit.  The rest of the morning was somewhat of a blurr as everyone in the airport was trying to soak in as much information about what happened as the TV could tell us. The one thing that stands out in my mind is the woman who was frantically dialing her cell phone while I worked on her file, trying to get in touch with family in New York. I could see the panic in her eyes when all she heard was a busy signal on the other end. It was a horrible feeling not knowing what to say. Knowing there was nothing you could do for her. Being thankful you were not in her place. After that I had a strong desire to call my mom, just to touch base and shed a few tears. Finding an available pay phone in the airport wasn't an easy task. I'm sure I wasn't the only one who needed to hear the voice of someone they loved.

We ended up with five planes in Edmonton when they shut down the air space and many of my co-workers stayed to help get everyone sorted out. I chose to head home and sit in front of my TV for hours and watch the towers fall over, and over, and over again. Looking back, I wish I had stayed to greet and help the passengers but in the moment I didn't think I could handle it. That was a very selfish choice and will go down as one of my greatest regrets.

Like the rest of the world, tomorrow I will remember.... remember the people who died in the towers and at The Pentagon, the first responders who risked their lives and the people on flight 93. May they never be forgotten.

Friday, September 9, 2011

And so it begins...

I woke up to this today.

I snowed last week as well but it was only the on the tops of the very tallest mountains way off in the distance towards the park. Today, it was right outside my door. Of course, by noon it was melted and all was right in the world again. I've heard some other snow comments from around the north on Facebook and on other blogs so I know we're not alone.

Let winter begin.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Weighing In

When I read the latest post from 'The Help' over at  A Slice Of Deep Fried Awesome the first thing I thought was that I could have written that post. I have been a fat girl for most of my adult life and even though I know I should have made the changes years ago, I think I've always been in denial. I always joke that I have a reverse eating disorder: People with anorexia look in the mirror and see a themselves as fat when they are way too skinny. I look in the mirror and think it's not that bad when clearly, it's bad. It's mostly when I look at pictures of myself that I really understand what I've become. And when I walk up the stairs, when I bend over, when I feel my gut sitting on my legs when I sit down....

The last couple of months before I went on vacation in July I had started going to the gym and spending some quality time with the treadmill. I dutifully brought my gym clothes to New Brunswick saying that I would continue but of course, I didn't. I was very busy and active however so I managed not to gain any weight even though I was eating like I was on vacation. I kept telling myself that when I got back I would finally make a change. I just couldn't be in denial any longer. Luckily, Nick also made the same decision for himself, without my saying anything. I am pleased to announce that we are both on day two of our respective diets. The day two update is: I'm starving. But I'm committed so I'm going to suffer through. Maybe I'll go and eat a big bag of mini carrots to get me through to supper.

The irony of dieting for me is that these healthy changes means plan, plan, plan. All that planning means that I'm constantly thinking about food. How many points are in that? What foods can I eat the most of for the least amount of damage? What am I going to make Nick for dinner? Since he's doing a different plan we are eating completely opposite things. And then what do I feed the kids? Isaac is still eating baby style foods so there is alot of preparation required for him too. There is also the added difficulty of living in the north were fresh meat and veggies are sometimes hard to come by.

All of this are just excuses in the end because if I really want it, I'll make it happen. I have set a not so lofty goal of losing 5% of my total weight to start out but haven't set a time frame for it to happen. Once I get there, I'll work on another 5%. My ultimate goal is somewhere in the ballpark of 70 pounds but that number is just too daunting at the moment. Smaller goals mean more successes (hopefully) and success means staying motivated.

Just like The Help, I'm not going to make the blog a platform for my diet. I am however choosing to make a public announcement about my intentions in the hope that you all might keep me accountable. Even if it's only in head. Weight loss for me is mostly a mental game and I can use all the help I can get.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Summer Highlights

We are back in Nunavut after a wonderful 6 weeks down south. I have to be honest, I didn't want to come back to a world without my family and friends close by but I am glad to be back in this beautiful place and our family's familiar routine. Lots happened up here while we were away and it seems most of it sad. There was a drowning here a few weeks ago, a suicide of a prominent member of our hamlet and the First Air crash in Resolute Bay. The crash was particularly disturbing for me since we rely so much on air travel up here. I joked with the flight attendant this time that Oliver has been on more planes in his short life than the average adult (38 flights if I have it right). I felt like it just hit way too close to home, I'm sure most Nunavummiut felt that way and mourn for the losses.

On a lighter note... the boys have changed alot since we left in July. Isaac is on the move graduating from pulling himself along his belly to all out speed crawling. He's developed quite a temper if he doesn't get what he wants, he's said his first word. "HI", strangely that was O's first word too. Oliver has changed too but not all for the better. My quiet, passive, laid back toddler has turned into whiny, temper tantrum throwing, never shuts up KID. For the positive he's learned to stand up for himself, is talking in crazy full thoughts and has developed a vivid imagination. It's crazy what they can learn in short time when they are around other kids 24/7.

As usual the best part about being down south is getting kid free time and Nick and I did get to enjoy some. We got away for a couple of nights and laughed ourselves silly with friends. Nick also started doing some research and made some contacts in preparation for our upcoming transfer back down south. There is no news on that front because we are just in the beginning stages of deciding on what we want and where we want to be. He spoke to people in a different types of policing and different provinces and will take that information under advisement.

All in all, it was a fantastic vacation. Probably the best one we've ever had. So without further ado, here is a glimpse of some of it. Enjoy!