Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Oliver v 3.0

Dear Oliver,

Three years ago at this very moment you made your Dad and I in to a family. I can’t believe it's been three years already because it seems like yesterday that we brought you home. Seeing how you’ve changed and grown, it’s very obvious you’re not a baby anymore. You are an active, smart, and beautiful little boy. Truth be told, you are also infuriating, exhausting and frustrating. You’ve been making the most of the terrible twos which is exactly what you’re supposed to be doing. Add being two to that healthy dose of smart ass you got from your father and I'm sure you can’t always help yourself. You do make me crazy but then you say something hilarious and the love affair begins again.

Your personality is really developing and we are starting to see the person you are going to be. You have always been laid back and easy going and we are starting to see that trait in new ways. When we go for a walk we’d better not be in a hurry. You don't go anywhere quickly. You never walk in a straight line preferring to wind and weave and explore every rock and stick. You are so friendly that you have to stop to talk to everyone and you will repeat your greeting until they return your hellos. There is not a shy bone in your body and you certainly march to the beat of your own drum.

If I had to choose one word to describe you right now it would easily be Fearless. You jump in with both feet and it doesn’t take much convincing to get you to try anything new. In Florida you went on all the rides by yourself and asked to go again. At the beach you ran in to the water without hesitation. When you fell under, you popped up and said ‘I’m ok’ and was happily playing again before I could get up off the blanket to rescue you. This past year when you spent the summer with Erik, you were most often the ring leader even though he is a year older than you. As much as I love this side of you I can see that it will also be the thing that will scare me as you get older.
The second word I'd use for you is silly. You honk at me for no reason, you do little dances, and you say the most funny things. My favorite quote of the year came when you were going pee in the potty for the first time. You got up on the stool in front of the toilet and said:


Other memorable ones are:

-Jump and Squish

-My poo is enormous! Most enormous ever seen!!
-The pee is coming! The pee is coming!

-Good morning Isaac, did you have a good nap? -Every morning.

-On watching Erik pee in the potty: ‘It’s working!!! It’s working!!!’

-Oh Mommy, I love you sooooo much.

Things to know about yourself:

-I say it every year but you still give fantastic hugs.

-Driving is your favorite thing to do this year. At Disney you would have rather sat in the car and pretended you were driving it than go in and see Mickey Mouse.

-You seem to come up with names for all the different vehicles in your life. The RCMP trucks are the Silver Truck, JP’s Truck and the Other Truck. There was the Silver car (a rental that you talked about for months) and the Flag Car (another rental)

-Your favorite show is Toupy and Binoo

-Your favorite toy is Play-doh

-Your favorite food is Peanut Butter and Jam sandwiches


So here’s to you on your birthday little man. We love you so much and are so happy you are in our lives.

I love you


Sweet dreams

Nighty Night

See you in the morning

Have a good nap

Sleep tight

Don’t let the bugs bite

Happy Birthday
I Love You

Love Mommy


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

One of these days I'll get around to posting all about what's been going on here these last 11 days but I just don't have the time. Hopefully after the holiday things will slow down and I can dedicate some of my day to some much needed blogging catch up.

In the meantime, I wanted to wish all my readers and their families a very merry Christmas and a happy new year from Babies and Bulldogs.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bliss is....

I'm sitting in a hotel room at the Moncton Casino and am blissfully Facebooking while lounging on the king sized bed. In a few minutes I'm going to have wine and wear a plush robe before we go in for our couples massage. Tonight, we go to the Keg for dinner and then back to the casino to play blackjack.

Bad Blackberry photos but our room is wonderful

My husband surprised me with this trip as a belated birthday gift. By surprised me I mean that I didn't know where we were going till yesterday morning. I'm usually the planner in our family so to have him plan a whole 2 night getaway is a wonderful treat for me. We're having a great time but I will admit to missing the boys just the teeniest, tiniest bit.

It's been a crazy week since we've been home and I'll blog about all of that sooner or later. For now, I take these 2 kid free days and just enjoy. I think I said it best on my recent status update:

I'm sleeping in the middle of the night... My eye's pop open.
One of the kids is crying.
I listen, listen again, I hear it. It's Isaac.
I throw off my blankets and put my feet on the floor.
Carpet....That doesn't feel right...,,
Not sure what I was hearing but I just don't care.
Go back to sleep.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Santa-rific day

Yesterday Santa Clause took a little time off from his workshop in the north pole to make an appearance here in Pang. We felt honoured considering it's so close to the the big day and made a point to get out and see as much of him as we could. The day started out with the annual Pang Santa Clause Parade. Santa rode on a sleigh carried by a pick up truck and he and his elves threw candy out for the onlookers. This parade was unique in more ways than the usual. First Santa led the parade rather than follow along at the end as I'm used to. Since there aren't any floats, just a few decorated trucks and snowmobiles I guess that makes sense.

What was really unusual was the amount of observers this time around. Normally there are few watchers because everyone in town joins with whatever vehicle they have. This time there were groups of parents and kids lining the parade route waiting for Santa to come by.

Taken from the moving truck out the window. It was the best shot I got of Santa but that's not saying much.

Nick was driving us in the police truck back at the end of the line of cards. From our point of view is seemed that the parade was all over the place and perhaps that the cars at the end had lost track of the lead vehicles. What we quickly realised was that many of the vehicles weren't trying to be part of the parade at all. They were filled with people who had just watched Santa go by and were then trying to get ahead of Santa so they could be there when more candy was thrown in a different part of town. We noticed many of the same faces several times over the course of the parade. I do understand the want of more candy but with few 'alternate routes' to get around town it was causing parade chaos in the form of traffic jams at the intersections. That's sure something I've never seen here before.

In spite of the confusion, and probably a little because of it, I had a great time. I love a parade of any kind and the uniqueness of the northern parade will always have a place in my heart. The kids had fun too with Isaac waving out the window to the onlookers and Oliver working the lights and sirens and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas over the truck's loud speaker. I bet the brass won't let him do that when Nick pulls parade assignment down south.

 The other Santa excitement was that after the parade, he went to the Northern to hear the wishes of the kids in town. I took the boys to sit on his lap and get the picture that I didn't get last year. If you remember we went and did the visit but never received the picture. They ran out of ink to print the photos and when I asked to have it emailed, it just never happened. I'm still disappointed not to have it since it was both boy's first time with Santa and as they say, you never get that time back. BUT ANYWAY....

The audience with Santa went as I thought it would. Oliver did great. Walked right up, said hello and hopped on his lap and had a chat. Isaac on the other hand was overtaken with panic as soon as I put him down and the result is this lovely picture.

David Kilibuk was taking the pictures. I scanned it so I could post it.

Isaac is going though his separation anxiety stage so it's exactly what I knew he would do. I was planning on leaving him home but Nick had to go in to work so that option was out the window. Since we were there I thought I'd inflict some mental anguish on my 14 month old. I know I'm not the only mom who does it so I don't feel that bad... maybe I should, but I don't.

Santa-rific day complete.

Monday, December 5, 2011


I am filled with emotions in regards to ending our time in the north and feel like I'm somewhat on a roller coaster at the moment. We planned to be here at least till the spring so to find out that it's happening so much sooner puts me in a bit of a tailspin. I'm a planner and sometimes the littlest change can throw me off. A change of this magnitude makes my brain go crazy with what's, where's and how's. Not that I can't roll with the punches but I do find myself awake at night remaking to do lists in my head over and over. In the end, it'll all get done, and what doesn't isn't all that important.

I couldn't be more pleased with Nick's new posting with it's proximity to our families. As fate would have it, only a few weeks ago Nick's mom took a new job in Oromocto and had joked that maybe we could move there. I guess maybe she new something we didn't. She plans to commute back and forth to Saint John everyday but I'm sure (and hope) there will be many stops at our place for dinner, or crashing with us when the weather makes that hour long drive too much. That's an open invitation Dale... Make sure you take us up on it. I'm also excited to have my nephew spend weekends with us so he and our boys can grow up being significant parts of each other lives.

We are very much looking forward to living in the world of malls, Costco and play places. Swimming lessons, photography courses and tennis clubs. Old friends and new friends, new jobs and new colleagues. Nick will be not be on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week like he is now. I will be looking for a job outside the house and the kids will be going to daycare. It's going to be a whole new world for us. But as much as I can't wait for all these things, I look at many of these perks with trepidation.

I'm going to be working!!! Yay, I get to go have adult conversations for 8 hours a day. I get to be a productive member of society doing something other than cleaning my house and playing with the kids. On the other hand, boooo, I'm going to be working. I'm going to be joining the ranks or working moms who try and find time to 'do it all', who never can and have guilt because they miss their kids. They miss milestones that their baby sitters get to tell them about. When I really hash out the pros and cons, the money I will bring in is a necessity for the family. I know there are people who do it with much less but there are sacrifices that go along with it that we are not interested in making at this point. And, in all honesty, I think I'm going to enjoy motherhood and my kids much more when I have something for myself outside the home to fill that part of me that's not just a mother.

I think that it's going to a huge adjustment getting used to all the choices and opportunities we're going to have. There is something comforting and relaxing about living in a tiny isolated town where you're options can be very limited. There is no keeping up with the Joneses. No rush hour. No over booked life. I enjoy the quiet life we have here. I love that a super busy weekend means getting the house ready for a Saturday night dinner with friends. I like wearing pajamas bottoms 90% of my waking hours and that getting all dolled up means jeans and a T-shirt. I think it's great that to Oliver, a drive to the dump is as exciting as a trip to Disney World. Most of all, I relish all the time we have to spend as a family. Nick coming home for lunch everyday. Family suppers every night and being there for hugs and kisses at bedtime. I'm sure it won't be long before we are caught up in the rat race and are striving to get back a glimps of the simple life.

I am going to miss the people of the north and how welcoming they can be. I'm going to miss the beautiful scenery I look out over every day although I am excited to have trees back in my life. I'm going to miss the weather in a way because I hate the heat and humidity but I'll be happy if I never see snow on Canada Day or a -40 windchill again. I'm really going to miss the 24 hours of daylight but I won't at all miss the long stretches of darkness. I'm going to miss my sealift room but look forward to the convenience of not having to cook every single meal. I look forward to having the mall close by but don't think I'll ever stop on-line shopping. I will miss having 30 day vacations but I won't miss having my travel plans at the mercy of mother nature's whims. I am excited to use a car again but I'm sad to trade in my amauti for a car seat.

The question I've been asked most over the last 3 and a half years is, "Do you like it up there?" Sometimes that can be a tough question. At times I've been able to answer with a resounding YES. Other times the things I like about Nunavut were overshaddowed by the challenges that can go along with northern living. Now that I'm reflecting on my time here, weighing the good and the bad, I can say overwhelmingly that yes, I do like it here. I am very happy to have had this chapter in my life, in our family's life and I wouldn't trade it for anything. And yes, I would do it all over again if I had to go back. I have learned an enormous amount about myself and my ability to adapt. I've heard it said that a northern posting can make or break a marriage for some couples. I'm happy to say that I think Nick and I have made it though happy and probably closer than we would ever have been had we not come here. I appreciate having had the opportunity to be home with my children which I would not have had down south. And finally, I am proud and honored to have experienced the beauty of the Inuit people, their culture and the land where they live. So few can say that and I'm glad to be one of them.

But now it's time to shed my northern parka and don the sou'wester of a martimer once again.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Short and to the point

All good things must come to and end. And I guess our end has come. Monday, Nick got the paperwork for his transfer so in 90 days or less we'll be getting on a plane and leaving the north for the last time. I had planned to make this a long poetic announcement but honestly, I just don't have the time to sit down and write one. From the looks of things this is going to be a pretty quick move so there is just so much to do.

Where are we going?? A little town called Oromocto, New Brunswick. We're thrilled and happy that we got so lucky. It's a pretty small town but it's only about 20 minutes from Fredericton and only an hour from our home town of Saint John. The kids will see their grandparents often and I'll be able to see my BFF, my sister all the time.

So there's my announcement.... a longer more philosophical post when there's time.