April 29, 2010

Nine Years And Counting . . .

After nine married years together, five years of dating, and two years of being friends . . . I have picked up a few useful "DO's" and "DON'Ts" to live peacably with Brad.

“DO’s and DON’Ts” I Have Learned About Brad Over the Past 9 Years:

DO make sure that 24 is taping every Monday night and make sure it is on HD.

DON’T accidentally record any sporting event in another language . . . even if it is in HD.

DO pick up his socks and launder them, otherwise, he will be running around barefoot (or stealing the kids’ socks).

DON’T forget to get his work clothes ready for the week. While he is capable of using many complex machines and doing many amazing things (like catching babies and such), the laundry machine intimidates him.

DO let him take vacations regularly (as in every 3 months or so). Vacations are to Brad as water is to plants.

DON’T try to buy him any surprise presents. They will likely be the wrong size, wrong colour, or the wrong price if they are electrical . . . and all will be returned.

DO enjoy upscale dining and hotels with Brad. Nothing short of 4 stars will suffice.

DON’T ever pay full price for anything. If you can’t get the deal, let Brad go in and negotiate for you. He is the master of negotiations.

DO listen to his stories. Even if you know them word for word, he will still make them interesting.

DON’T let Brad go into Costco unsupervised . . . unless you want him to bring home every food item that they are sampling . . . in bulk.

DO let him sleep in as often as possible. He works really hard and requires lots of sleep.

DON’T get in his way if he is working on fixing something or finding something. He will not rest until it is done/found.

DO let him win in air hockey and paper, rock, scissors. Otherwise he may never play again.

DON’T forget to show appreciation for all the wonderful things he does. Because, really, he is a fantastic man who is very talented.

And, without further ado, I'll head onto the mushy part . . . in celebration of the "Big 9":

Top 9 Qualities That I Love About Brad

9. Generous: both with time and money.

8. Courageous. He’ll enter into uncomfortable situations while exuding confidence. He’ll drive through crazy snow storms to get to work and back to home. He will even swim with sharks.

7. Fun-loving. If there is anything fun going on in our family, he is probably behind it.

6. Athletic. There isn’t a sport that he can’t hold his own in . . . but he will never be as good as me in skiing.

5. Heroic. He’ll rescue me in crazy snow storms. He’ll go to bat for me with traffic tickets. He will even come through at the last minute of a move, when I am done with packing and there are still rooms of junk to be packed away.

4. Hardworking. Few can really appreciate how many long days he clocks just so I am to be able to stay home with our kids.

3. Gift of the Gab. Negotiations are a piece of cake, even fighting cops in court in my behalf. Everybody likes him upon talking to him and that opens doors to lots of friends, and lots of business opportunities. Not to mention, he is just plain fun to talk to! He has lots of interesting stories to share.

2. Handsome . . . even with the few grays that the kids have given him.

1. Everything. How could I possibly put everything I love about Brad in a list of only 9 qualities?

Happy Anniversary!

April 8, 2010


Bubbalicious pink.

It's not what I had intended.

I went to the paint store, paint chip in hand. It was a lovely, soft liliac.

Perfect for a sweet girls' bathroom, and probably nice enough to stay up should we ever decide to sell.

It was, Purple.

Not Pink.

Apparently, purple was the wrong choice. Avery made her demands known. And since I hadn't let her choose her room colour, I thought I could do the bathroom pink . . . it is small after all. It would be cheap to repaint. And since it's small, it shouldn't take up much time to paint at all.

(Chuckle.) I soon discovered that while a bathroom may be small, they are under no circumstances easy to paint. The paint runs off the other paint on the wall and there is a heck of a lot of taping and painting in crazy positions!

And as I studied the bright, hubba-bubba pink that dizzied me, I began regretting my decision quickly.

Now, I didn't choose the fuschia that Avery requested, but I didn't pick the absolute lightest pink on the paint card either.

The colour was Pink Taffy. I should have known.

It looked nice on the chip, but here, it was really . . . PINK.

It was too late at night to run out and buy another can of white to cover up the peptobismal explosion so I went to bed thinking I could at least try some white towels and maybe some white artwork in there too to help cut the sweetness.

Fortunately when I awoke the next morning, the colour had settled some and while it will never be mistaken for any colour other than PINK, I think I can live with it. Especially with some white towels and artwork.

(Sorry the photos don't do it much justice. It does look pretty nice in person . . . if you aren't adverse to pink that is!)

Falling Off The Wagon

My name is Melanie.

And I'm a paint-aholic.


I've said it.

All I wanted to do was get a quart of paint to try out an accent wall in our foyer/main hall . . . to 1) see if I even liked the colour and idea of an accent wall before we hired a professional to paint our main floor and 2) have a durable paint on a high traffic area . . . you know for sticky hands and sticky toy bugs that "need" to be stuck on my walls.

Oh, and since I was at the paint store, I might as well pick up a quart for Avery's bathroom. (Since I had to paint over the new drywall, I may as well paint the rest of the walls and paint them a colour we wanted.)

I walked in with a fist full of cash and walked out with a few coins. And a gallon of blue paint for my office, a quart for Avery's bathroom, and only a wall swatch for our hallway.

That evening I found myself compelled to tape up the bathroom and began painting it the next day.

Because, well, you know. After having a baby and looking after 3 other kids . . . I have oodles of free time. It's not as though I have piles of laundry and dishes to do or anything.

I guess paint is an out for me. It is something that I can do to feel like we are making our "boxed" house, a home.

Or, maybe it's supressed decorating desires stemming from years of living with the same builder's paint colour.

Either way, I am adicted. I'm sure my office will be done by the end of the weekend. Maybe sooner if I don't get guilted into folding laundry. :)

April 6, 2010

My Heart in Someone's Hands

I paced the room on Saturday morning.

I found some laundry to do. I got the kids dressed. I looked for any kind of chore I could do . . . even if I normally disliked it . . . just to keep my mind focused on something else.

But keeping my mind on something else wasn't enough.

My heart had stopped and was on the verge of heartbreak and I needed something to keep it intact.

Hope? It seemed like such a hopeless situation.

But there I stood, as though I were in the waiting room of a hospital, waiting to hear the latest news of a loved one in a life-threatening surgery.

"Any luck?" I called out to Brad in the office.

I tried hard to stay positive. And desperately tried to hope for the best.

Because the worst . . . oh, the worst would be--catastrophic.

Granted, my family was all safe and healthy. Yes, that was good. So, perhaps I was being a little melodramatic.

Yet at the same time, we were hanging on to our memories by a thin thread.

A very thin, fragile thread.

My computer files had been building up for quite some time now. I had been meaning to back things up, but wanted to finish (or start rather) Avery's baby book, and do our yearly book of memories. (Original files are far better quality than back up files.)

Obviously, with the move and baby, I just haven't gotten around to it.

And then . . . much like Black Friday, Gloomy Saturday morning came without notice and hit hard.

My computer crashed.

Not just my one hard drive that had all of Avery's first two undocumented years and Liv's newborn pictures, but the other drive as well that had every file from the beginning of our marriage.

Surely there is a way to extract the information from the drives. I kept telling myself that somewhere someone must know how to do it.

Currently my heart sits upon our baby grand getting ready to be mailed out to a stranger in hopes of salvaging everything.

And I am sitting here, trying to focus on anything else. Trying to find a way to have hope while I wait for the surgeons final diagnosis.

April 1, 2010

Growing by Leaps and Bounds

At Liv's two week appointment it was noted that she was at the very bottom of the "acceptable" weight gain limit.

She must have had her ears open, because for the two days immediately following, she nursed every hour.

On her four week appointment, the midwives were expecting the average weight gain of about 7 ounces.

Liv's weight gain?

24 ounces.

She went from needing her premie clothing rolled up to filling out her 0-3 month clothing nicely, virtually overnight.

Though I am glad that she is thriving, I hope her break-neck speed growth will slow down and keep her a baby for a while longer. I was really enjoying having such a tiny baby for once!

A Tom Boy

It was bound to happen, with two older brothers.

Avery is known to play Bakugans with Jackson on a regular basis . . .and he has even convinced her that she needs robotallion for her birthday.

Rough housing is second nature to her, as is knowing all the transformers names by heart.

But I was still shocked to have her run into my room this morning with the end of a light sabre, shouting:

"This is my sword. I will kill you!"

"Oh, Avery, it's not nice to kill people. That makes me sad."

"Don't worry, mom, it won't hurt. I be gentle."

Maybe Liv will bring in the peace that we are yearning for after "three" boys.