Sunday, December 28, 2008

Nate's third Christmas

How things have changed in the year between Christmases. While Nate was clearly more interested in Christmas last year compared to his first year, he was quite happy to wait till Christmas morning to open his presents. Not so this year.

We brought our tree home on the evening of the 3rd. Our old Christmas tradition involved us walking up to the Lion's tree lot at Oak and 25th, hoisting the tree on our shoulders and walking it the twenty-two odd blocks home. We'd sing carols along the way, to the amusement of the people that we passed. This being Vancouver, we usually did this in the rain. Luckily for us, a tree lot has taken up residence at 12th and Main, making for a much shorter walk home.

The first present under the tree was for Nate. It came in the mail from our friends Lori, Paul and Sosi, who moved from Vancouver to Charlottetown PE last year. From the moment it arrived, Nate could not wait to open it. He'd start the day by saying:

"Can I open my present today dad?"

As the days passed and it got closer and closer to Christmas, the pile under the tree grew larger and larger, and Nate's morning greeting to me evolved into:

"Hey dad! It's Christmas today! Can I open my present?"

My attempts to explain to him that Christmas was still some time away didn't seem to be making any impact and the morning greeting soon became:

"I'm going to open my presents today because it's Christmas!"

More a statement than a question.

When Christmas morning finally came, I thought that he'd be so wound up that his head would pop off or something! Imagine my surprise when I wasn't greeted by the usual morning declaration of his intent to free his presents from their gift-wrap prisons. Instead he was quite subdued and seemed in no hurry to open his presents at all.

After unwrapping his first gift, a Hot wheels monster truck, he announced that he was going to play with it right there and then. Never mind that other gifts under the tree. We actually had to talk him into putting it aside and continue with the unwrapping of gifts. Even then, he would stop after he'd unwrapped a gift, and pick out a gift for either Patty or myself and bring it over to us to unwrap.

Perhaps all that waiting finally wore him out. In any case, I think it all worked out for the best. We had a very relaxing morning unwrapping gifts and got to spend the rest of our Christmas in the company of a few good friends.

I can only imagine what next Christmas will be like.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Maybe we already moved to NS and I just forgot...

It is snowing outside as I write this, on the first day of winter. We've had snow on the ground in Vancouver now for more than a week. This in itself is something of a rarity. This evening, as I left work and walked home, I realized that I could not tell the difference between the road and the sidewalk anymore.

Poor old Snoopy, when I took him out for his evening walk, he could hardly get through the stuff. In fact I think he peed on the sidewalk, or where the sidewalk would have been if we could see it.

Everything is covered under a nice thick rolling blanket of white. It really is quite beautiful. In the ten winters I've spent here in Vancouver, I've never seen anything quite like it. And there is still more to come. The forecast is calling for more snow on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I may finally get a white Christmas, and I didn't even need to move to Nova Scotia!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Just when I thought it was over...

We've had our townhome on the market for some time now. As expected there hasn't been much activity on it. We've had about 3 to 4 showings per week on average, but it's tapered off to 1 or 2 in the last couple of weeks.

The plan was to take it off the market on the 15th of the month, so that we didn't have to deal with people traipsing through the place over the holiday period. It would be an understatement if I said I was looking forward to the 15th.

Well, it's now the 17th, and wouldn't you know it, we're still on the market. As luck would have it, the people who came to see our home on the 14th called and requested to come and see it again yesterday morning. They made an offer yesterday afternoon, if you could call it that. Their realtor called our realtor to follow up later in the day and the conversation went something like this:

Their realtor: Did you get my email?
Our realtor: I did, weren't you sending us an offer?
Their realtor: You didn't get my email?
Our realtor: No, I got it. I thought you were sending us an offer.
Their realtor: Oh.

No, we were not impressed. What does this all mean? Who knows? Except that maybe this is going to drag on for more than I would have liked, and we'll probably have strangers traipsing through here right up to the holidays.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Snow day

We had our first real snowfall of the winter Saturday evening. It started to come down after 9pm, and by the time I got off work at 11.30pm, there was layer of white over everything. It made for a nice late night walk with Snoopy.

Sunday morning, and there was still snow on the ground. Not as much as I would have liked, but still enough to get Nate all excited. He wanted to go outside and play, and he wanted to make a snowman. As we left home, he suddenly said to me: "Hey! We need to go back home to get some treats for the snowman!". He'd remembered that we had used dog treats to make the eyes, nose and mouth of his snowman last winter!

It wasn't quite snowman building snow though. Much too dry and fluffy, but it did pack into good snowballs, and that's what we did. Nate had a great time making and throwing snowballs, and running around with the dogs in the park. 

As we were about to leave for home, he stopped me and said: "I want to bring a snowball home for my mama.". So he packed a snowball and carried it home for 5 blocks, all the while talking to it, and telling me how it was thirsty and we needed to get the snowball a drink of water when we got home. At one point, I pulled out his water bottle from my bag to give Nate a sip of water, and he promptly stuck the snowball to the spout after he had had a drink. It made people walking past laugh.

We were just a block from home when he dropped his snowball as he went to push the button for the pedestrian crossing. I'm not sure I have ever seen him look so sad as he stood over his fallen snowball, now covered in grit and sidewalk dirt. As I started to tell him we could make another, he burst into tears and sobbed as we hurried across the street. It took some convincing, but he finally accepted another snowball I made as passable, and carefully carried it the rest of the way home.

He was all smiles when he presented it to Patty.

"I got you a snowball mama!"

And that, is why we now have a snowball in our freezer.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Nate's blue jay

On our morning walk to daycare, I pointed out a bunch of birds to Nate.

Me: Look at those birds Nate.
Nate: Oh yeah!  I see a blue jay!
Me: You see a blue jay?  Where did you see it?
Nate: On the grass, and on a car.
Me: How do you know about blue jays?
Nate: I went bird watching.
Me: You went bird watching?  Who did you go with?
Nate: With you dad!

Now, I don't know when this bird watching took place, but I have no recollection of it!  I've only ever seen a blue jay once, on the Sunshine coast, so I'm pretty sure it wasn't me that showed him a blue jay.  

Interesting the things he comes up with.  A few days ago, he was playing in his room and tripped and fell over.  I was in the other room and heard him start to cry, so I went over to see what was the matter.  

Me: What's wrong Nate?
Nate: I broke my leg.

For one brief moment I actually thought he might have broken his leg!  I had a vision of his little leg dangling uselessly from where the break was.  I was almost afraid to touch his leg.  But of course he hadn't broken his leg.  He'd barely scratched it, but he does have a flair for the dramatic.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I may need a name-tag

The following exchange took place at work. To protect the innocent, all names have been changed except for the author.

The cast:
Beth - a customer I've know for at least 2 years
Wanda - a co-worker
Justin - myself

The Scene:
A busy cafe in a hip Vancouver neighbourhood. It is night. The cafe is full, but most of the customers have been there for some time. There are only a few customers at the till placing orders. Justin and Wanda are manning the tills.

Beth (to Wanda):
Medium soy mocha to go please.

Wanda (to Beth):
Medium soy mocha to go. I'm sorry, but your name escapes me.

Beth (to Wanda):
Beth. It's OK, I can never remember any of your names.

Justin (to Beth):
But you remember my name don't you?

Beth (to Justin):
Of course I remember your name. You have the same name as my brother, I could never forget your name. You're the only other Moses I know.

Justin (to Beth):
What? What did you say?

Beth (to Justin, somewhat flustered):
Nothing, I didn't say anything bad. I just said you're the only other Moses I know.

Justin (to Beth):
But that isn't my name.

Beth (to Justin):
Your name isn't Moses?
(to Wanda) His name isn't Moses?

Wanda (to Beth):

Justin (to Beth):

Beth (to no one in particular):

Justin (to Beth):

Beth (to Justin):
But I've always known you as Moses, from the first day we met! Your name isn't Moses?!

And so it was revealed to me, that for the last 2 years or so, Beth was under the impression that my name was Moses.

This, of course, isn't the first time I've been called other names. For the longest time, strangers would call me Mike. Eventually, I found out that the Mike in question worked in the same neighbourhood. Apparently, I was a dead ringer for him. Curious, I went by his place of work one day and sure enough, there he was. There was no mistaking him, it was like looking in a mirror! It was surreal. I didn't dare go and say hello because I was sure the universe would implode.

In a curious coincidence, one of the regulars to the cafe also called me Mike. At first I just let it go, it didn't seem like a big deal. Before I knew it, a couple of years had gone by, and this person still thought my name was Mike. I didn't have the heart to tell him otherwise. How could I? So much time had passed, I didn't even know how to begin to explain that my name was not Mike.

As for Beth, I told her she could still call me Moses if she wanted to. It's only a name, and there are far too many Justins at work anyway!

Monday, December 1, 2008

The bed

This morning, I took the gate off of Nate's crib, and effectively turned it into a small bed. It's been something we've been meaning to do for awhile now, but obviously we were in no real hurry to implement it. I guess you could say we had thoughts of him falling out of bed, or getting up in the middle of the night and wandering around the house unsupervised.

Nate seemed pretty excited that he could get in and out of bed by himself now. He christened the 'new' bed by pulling off all his toys, pillow and blankies. Then he climbed on and proceeded to jump on the mattress, yelling 'I can bounce!'.

Needless to say I was a little nervous when it came time for his nap. But there was no bouncing. He just climbed on and lay down and said goodnight. I'm not sure how long he napped for, I had to leave for work. I wonder if he woke up and let himself out of his room?

I half expected to come home this evening and find him downstairs watching TV or eating a granola bar!

But I was only met at the door by Snoopy.

I guess we really didn't need to worry.