Thursday, December 24, 2009

Quiet time

Snowing out, sounds of plows on the roads.  The walk home from the bus was straight out of a Christmas card.  Made this egg nog. Waiting for the laundry.  Christmas in a new city.  Thinking of old friends and acquaintances; I wonder where they are now and what they're doing, and if they remember me at all.  Ave Maria on the radio.  I want to call people, but don't know if I will have the words.  Another year almost over.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holiday baking







We spent the weekend baking. I made some banana bread, and Nate helped make ANZAC bikkies and sugar cookies. He'll probably deny it, but I think Nate had a great time decorating the sugar cookies.  Patty made up little packages which Nate, Snoopy and I took round to the neighbours.


The first 36 mince-meat tarts are all gone, maybe I'll get around to baking some more tomorrow morning.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tree trimming







Walking away from Christmas

Patty went out with her brother yesterday evening to go get our Christmas tree.  They'd just left when it started to snow, quite heavily.  A little later we had an 8 foot Christmas tree in our living room, and a very excited Nate, who could not wait to decorate it.


We very quickly realized though, that there is quite a big difference between the number of lights you need for a 6 foot tree, compared to an 8 foot tree.  Since we have only ever been able to fit a 6 foot tree in our old place in Vancouver, we only had enough lights for a 6 foot tree.  After several failed attempts at trying to stretch the lights to cover the tree, it was pretty clear that we needed to get more lights if we wanted to trim the tree that evening.


By this time, Nate was getting quite frantic about being unable to start the tree decorating.  It was still snowing and blowing like crazy outside and neither one of us really relished the thought of having to venture out for lights in that weather. We tried to convince Nate to wait till the next day to trim the tree, but he was having none of it.  Increasingly distraught  at the prospect of having to wait another day, he bowed his head and wandered away, announcing "I'm walking away from Christmas!"


I found him sitting on the floor of Patty's office, in the dark.  A few minutes later, I was getting snow blasted in the face as I walked to Walmart to get some lights.


Nate got to trim his tree before going to bed.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Old friends

Our friends Lori and Paul paid us a visit this last weekend.  They moved from Vancouver to Charlottetown a little over 2 years ago, and for the longest time we could not go past The Lee Building without Nate telling me that was where his friend Sosi lived.  



It was great to see them together again this weekend!  Better yet, they're both old enough now to more or less work things out amongst themselves.  They would disappear up into Nate's room, or down to the basement rec room, and it was almost like there weren't even there!  Just two old friends, hanging out and enjoying being with each other.



He's pretty handy for a kid



No, he didn't put it all together by himself, but he helped a great deal.  He didn't get frustrated, or lose interest, and stuck with it from start to finish.  I think we both enjoyed ourselves putting the cart together.  




The espresso machine has been moved off the kitchen table, and the grinder has been reunited with it.  No more running about from one end of the kitchen to the other to make coffee!  Thanks Nate!  

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Seen through a car window

Taken in August, along the drive home from mum and dad's. The Armview is a sweet little diner about 10 minutes walk from us.



It only took six months


A couple of nights ago, I was on Facebook chatting with one of my friends in Vancouver. He wanted to know how things were going with the house, and I told him that it was keeping me pretty busy. I told him I was learning lots, like framing walls, hanging drywall, crack-filling and taping. His response to all this was that I needed to post more photos of the house and the work that was getting done.

Well, this post is especially for him. I'm starting small, with a little tiling job I did in front of our dishwasher. It's not quite finished yet, but you get the idea.

When we first moved in some 6 months ago, we had to do a little surgery to the kitchen floor. The hardwood in there had been laid over the old floor, and there wasn't enough clearance between the new floor and the kitchen counter to slide the dishwasher in. We eventually ended up having to cut a few floorboards out, and for the past 6 months there has been a hole in front of our dishwasher; a patch of old vinyl flooring; a window into the past.

It was always our intention to get that cutout patched up. and we decided that some slate would look best. We picked up some tumbled mixed slate mosaic, and they've been languishing in the garage for months now.

On Thursday morning, after dropping Nate off at his play group, I got back and started work. Cutting the trim pieces from the floorboards we had removed. Then I cut a piece of plywood to fill in the space so that the tiles would come level with the rest of the floor. First time laying tile, and as you can probably see, it's not exactly level or straight. I had also underestimated just how hard it would be working under the dishwasher door. I could barely get the notched trowel or grout float under it. I laid the tile on Thursday morning, and let it set for 48 hours. Did the grout about an hour ago, and will seal it in the next few days. In all I'd say about 2-3 hours work.

Patty should be home in the next hour, hope she likes it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The old neighbourhood

I thought I would make a list of the things I missed from my old neighbourhood. While putting it together, I realized just how much I've already forgotten. Little details; store names, people, dogs. Some are from 9 years ago, some are from just before we left. There is no particular order, just me remembering. Some of the people and places are no longer with us. Sad, yes. However the memories are all good, and I found this exercise to be a strangely uplifting experience. All those little bits we take for granted.

Milo, the big shepherd; Shiloh, the great dane and Liza Minelli, the Boston Terrier; Misha, Francine, and Frank; Kea; Nice CafĂ©; Chris at Pulp Fiction; Soma; the little old lady at Kams; BBQ pork at Ho Tak Kee; Our Town; Sushi Yama; Grr; Tisol; Leepo; Mister; Corey and Erica at Happy Bats, Tea Swamp; Dave the guerrilla gardener; Hillcrest plumbing; Walter out front of the Sev; Viki and Aleese at Urban Source; Our Community Bikes; Hawkers’ Delight; Helen’s Grill; Bert’s Diner; Anubis and Dammit; Corey; Rev; Windsor Meats; The Flower Factory; Zipang Sushi; Toshi; JJ – RIP; Brewery Creek Cold Beer and Wine; The Budapest; Adam at Yek-O-Yek; Sid and Helen at Papa’s Pizza; Everfresh; Monsoon; Motherland; Pleasant Girl; The Cascade, and the scarey old junk store that used to be there; St. Vinnie’s; Planet Bingo; The Reef; Olivia at Main Sellution; Bubba; Merlin, Linda and Joey (RIP); Max (RIP); Cheryl; Shelley and Crash; Jonathan Rogers Park; Pad Thai; Chutney Villa; Anthony at Mine; Aurora Bistro; Major Matthews Park; Robson Park; The Sunny Spot; Vegetarian at the Bo Kong; Jenny. Eliza and Alice (RIP); Kingsgate Mall; mama (like nana); Rose; The Federal Store; Kim at the best little sushi place ever on Main and 11th (the best spicy tuna roll I’ve ever tasted); The little Vietnamese noodle place that used to be on that corner; Legendary Noodle House on Main and 26th; Thai Son on Broadway; Slickity Jim’s Chat ‘n Chew (destroyed in a fire last week); Laura and Lunar; Shannah; Tara and Bailey; little Arlo; Gabriel, Carley and Frankie; Mark and Story; the Mongolian place; haddock and chips at The Windjammer; Confuscius says; the little place that made jerky, victim to a fire 9 years ago; the congee and noodle house; Damian, Ian and Finley;...

I hope to make more lists like this.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Uilleann pipes



Davis Watson is presently couch surfing at my friend Sam's in Cork, Ireland. Spread the word and pledge if you can.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Missing friends

A couple of weeks ago, Nate wandered into my room in the morning and woke me up with this:-

'I miss Vancouver. I like Vancouver better than Halifax. I miss my friends there and I miss your friends at the coffee shop.'

Then he slumped his shoulders forward, as if defeated and launched into an overly dramatic wail. At the time I thought that he just wanted some attention, and so I pulled him up onto the bed and cuddled with him while we talked about the good things that came with our move to Halifax.

He hasn't let it go yet though. He's brought it up several times since then. We've been here for almost 8 months now, and in the past couple of weeks it seems to me he's mentioned missing people in Vancouver more than he did during the entire 7 months prior.

He's not the only one though. I've been missing my friends too. When I first moved here, I made a conscious effort not to pick up the phone to call people back in Vancouver, or to check in too often on Facebook. I felt I needed to let go a little, if you will. I didn't want to be living my life in Vancouver via the phone/internet while I was here in Halifax. Of course that didn't stop me from thinking of my friends there. I guess Nate hasn't stopped thinking of his friends in Vancouver either.

And so my friends out West, know that you are missed by a little boy, and his dad.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Yes, I am still very much alive

My friend Jack wanted to know where I went. I've been right here. Never left, I just never got around to posting anything here. Somehow October just got away from me, and now it's November. What happened?!

I guess I've been busy. With what I'm not exactly sure. The basement reno has been taking up some of my time, and I'm glad to say it's almost done. It doesn't look like the basement anymore, it looks more like it's part of the house now. The newer part of the house. We've also got ourselves a new front door, one that lets light into the previously dark cave-like hallway. It's remarkable what a little bit of light will do.

The outside of the house has been plugged up, the rotten boards have been replaced, the satellite dishes have been removed. Now there's just the matter of all those leaves.

The espresso machine is finally up and running again. I haven't put the cover back on yet, just in case. There are still a few little leaks and some of the valves need replacing, but when you've been nearly 8 months without an espresso machine...you take what you can get. Now we have to find someplace to put it. It's sitting on the kitchen table right now, not exactly ideal.

Nate went trick-or-treating as Batman on Halloween. I stayed home and doled out candy, and Patty took him around the neighbourhood. He was very well behaved, and didn't once wander into anyone's house. Quite a change from last Halloween when all he seemed to be interested in was going into people's homes.

It's Patty's birthday tomorrow and she's leaving for Ottawa in the morning. I got Beatles Rock Band for her last week, since I knew she wasn't going to be around this week. Nate has been singing Yellow Submarine and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

Today at work I met a couple who just moved from Vancouver. They drove across the country and arrived here at two this morning. They were looking for Black Cat espresso. 'Wicked?' I asked, 'Yes!' they replied. Regulars of Wicked Cafe on Hemlock, but they also liked JJ Bean and 49th Parallel. I wanted to jump over the counter and hug them, but I managed to control myself.

This post is missing photos, and I promise they will come soon.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Burned...by a three year old

Nate's bed was empty when I went to his room to wake him up this morning. I kept it together long enough to yell his name, and he yelled back 'I'm down here'.

I went downstairs and found him on the sofa, tucked in comfortably with a pillow and blanket. The following exchange proceeded to take place:

Me:
What are you doing down here?

Nate:
I couldn't sleep so I came down here.

Me:
What time did you come down?

Nate:
At night, it was still dark.

Me:
Why couldn't you sleep?

Nate:
You were making too much noise.

Me:
I was making too much noise? I didn't make any noise last night!

Nate:
You were too noisy dad, your snoring was too noisy. I couldn't sleep. That's why I came downstairs.


I'm not sure I like the idea of my three year old wandering around the house in the dark while everyone else is asleep. That said, this incident has clearly demonstrated that Nate has not inherited my night blindness. I'm not sure how he made it down the stairs in the dark, but I am pretty sure I would have ended up as a mangled mess of broken bones and torn flesh if I had tried it.

He could just as easily closed the door to his room.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Parenting

It's one thing when your kid tells you he hates you, but it's entirely different when you catch him telling another kid he hates him.

As a parent, you expect your kid will hate you, it just goes with the territory. I was a kid once myself and I remember telling my parents I hated them, so why should it be any different with my kid?

This morning, when I dropped Nate off at 'school', I was hanging around and chatting with the teachers when I caught him telling another kid 'I hate you.' He wasn't just saying it, you could see venom in his eyes. He'd been playing with some Lego bricks, and another boy walked up to him to show him a toy, and he just turned and looked him in the eye and told him.

I called him over and we had a talk and he apologized, but I'm still in shock. I know these things are going to happen, but it just brought up all these doubts in my mind on the walk home. Doubts I used to have before I became a parent. Doubts about being a good parent, raising a kid to know right from wrong, doubts about passing on my prejudices and faults. Am I raising him right? Most of those doubts have faded since Nate was born. I don't think I've had much time to worry about them, too busy 'parenting'. This morning's incident makes me question how I've been parenting, too often I think I just want to get things done and don't put much thought into the process. It strikes me that this sort of parenting is exactly what I used to have doubts about, and that this might ultimately be a self-fulfilling-prophecy of sorts. Perhaps I am over- reacting (I'm not even sure if any of what I've just written makes sense), or perhaps this is a bit of a wake-up call for me.

I'm not looking to win any father-of-the-year awards, but I think I may have to work a little harder at this if I want Nate to be that good man when he grows up.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I think Nate may have inherited a love for tools from me

We were at The Home Depot today, getting more things for the basement reno. We had Nate with us this time, and although he wasn't all that excited to go initially, he quickly warmed to the place once we got there.

Some things he wanted to buy:

  • various tape measures - 'for measuring things'
  • a rubber hammer - 'so I can bang on things'
  • some small screw drivers - 'cause they are made for little boys like me and they're cute'
  • 2 packs of 10 carpenter pencils - 'one for you and one for me'
  • a chisel - I have no idea why

This could be a good thing, I could think of worse things to do than go to The Home Depot with Nate for a few hours.

The continuing story of my broken espresso machine


They may not look like much, but these two pucks of coffee signify the first time that espresso has been poured in this house. The first time I've been able to pull a shot of espresso at home since we left Vancouver.

We have been without the Wega for over 6 months now. 6 months! If we were still in Vancouver I could just walk the 3 blocks to JJ and pick up coffees, but we haven't had that luxury here. Three blocks from here gets us a McCafe, and we weren't going there!

So we've been making do with an Aeropress and a Hario woodneck pour-over. They're good, but they don't get you espresso. They also take quite a bit more time, and fussing about. There is no satisfaction of watching that first stream of espresso drop from the spouts, thick with promise. I"m not knocking the Aeropress or the Hario, I just miss my old morning ritual. I miss hearing the familiar sound of the pump kicking in as I lay in bed, my old pre-alarm so that the Wega would be hot by the time the real alarm went off.


Finally, we are one step close to getting back to the good old morning ritual. The machine is up and running, but there are still a few kinks to work out before I'll be able to run it all day like I used to.


As you can see, there is still a leak in the boiler. It's just a small crack, but it's a leak. So I'll be taking the boiler out again. The good news is everything else seems to work just fine, and I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Random bits

  • It's been 6 months since we left Vancouver
  • Nate started going to 'school' last week - 2 1/2 hours twice a week
  • This, based on one of my favourite books by Oliver Jeffers, makes me happy
  • We've been without our espresso machine for 6 months now, but the wait is almost over...I think
  • I am still taking photos, despite the lack of activity on my flickr account
  • Pipe is being laid for natural gas, right in front of our house - our electric stove's days are numbered
  • Work on the basement continues
  • Patty is spending next week in Vancouver, I wish I was going
  • I really really miss The Brewery Creek Liquor Store



Wednesday, September 9, 2009

This, is my life

Getting Nate to do anything these days is like pulling teeth, wringing blood from stone, bashing your head against a brick wall...you get the picture. He's full of excuses, he talks back, he yells, he screams, he throws things, he hits. There have been quite a few time-outs lately.

Just this morning, he drew a time-out for not listening and bugging Patty while she was trying to work. Not an hour later, I asked him to go pee, and he refused. He didn't want to, he would go later, he didn't have to. I asked him again, and told him he could go pee or go to his room. He started yelling, and I put him in his room. More yelling and eventually silence. I usually give him some time to cool off, and he generally comes around and comes out all smiles. Five minutes and still not a peep, so I decide to go take a look. I find him sitting on his bed, reading a book, all smiles. Then I see the dark spot around him on his sheet. The little devil peed in his bed!

Some days there's just no winning. You're damned if you do, and you're damned if you don't. It was 10am and I wanted a drink already. Such is my life these days.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Excuses

Patty:
Nate, take your toys and books up to your room.

Nate:
But I'm too tired. Those things are too heavy. My hands are all sweaty. It's almost lunchtime. I got to make supper. I need a rest.


Reminds me of Joliet Jake explaining why he didn't make it to his wedding.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The boy and the nice monster - as told by Nate

Alternatively known as The nice boy and monster or The nice boy and the nice monster.

Once there was a boy. One day he found a monster.
It was a nice monster, and they became friends.
The boy helped the monster look for the squiggly arrow sign.
They had to look a long long time before they found it.
Then the boy said 'This looks like the right place!'
And then he pushed the button where the squiggly arrow sign was.
Then this big giant door opened, and there were all kinds of monsters inside.
Then the boy and the monster shook hands, and then they said 'Goodbye'
The End!

Nate told me this story and two other variations of it this morning, as we lay on a blanket in our backyard. For reasons I do not yet know, and perhaps may never know, he is in love with the idea of picnics. And so we were having a picnic in our backyard.

This story is Nate's rendition of
The Lost Thing by Shaun Tan.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Stay frosty


I have been watching Generation Kill, a seven part mini-series by HBO. It follows the Marines of the First Recon Battalion as they battle their way through the first 40 days of the Iraq war.

Generation Kill is based on the book by Rolling Stone writer Evan Wright, who spent two months embedded with the First Recon Marines. A lot is covered, so much so that maybe some of it might seem trivialized, but it makes for some pretty interesting television. If nothing else it'll give you some idea why, almost six and a half years later, the U.S. is still mired in Iraq.

I should caution that it's not for the faint of heart. There are some pretty graphic images, lots of colourful language, racism, homophobia, sexism..., and that's just amongst the Marines themselves!

The boiler is back


Peter dropped off the boiler on Thursday afternoon. Beautiful welding job, looks better than new. You wouldn't even know that there had been big gaping holes in it.


Today I spent a few hours putting it all back together. It took some doing, working in such a tight space, but I eventually got it all hooked up and plugged the Lyra in and powered her up. The pump came on, and I watched the welds carefully as the boiler filled. Everything was looking good.

And then I noticed the water pooling beneath the machine. There was another leak, and I eventually traced it to a busted pipe leading from the boiler to the group head.


So, still no espresso. I will have to take the Lyra apart again. And this time I will have to take the group out as well. From what I could see, it looks like this isn't the only rupture in the pipe. I guess I should have checked the rest of the machine while I was getting the boiler repaired. Lesson learnt.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Just when we thought it was safe to go out to dinner

I worked the closing shift at the goat today, and mum and dad came to get Nate for the afternoon. He was very excited to see them and wanted to stay over at their place tonight. Patty and I decided we'd meet for dinner after I finished my shift.

We'd just finished a fabulous meal at Mezza, when my cell phone rang. It was mum, calling to tell me that Nate had been crying for the last 10 minutes and he wanted to come home. I guess it could have been worse, we could have just sat down to eat. So we caught a cab home and he arrived shortly afterwards, all smiles to see us.

I'm not sure what happened this time, he's slept over and mum's a few times now without any trouble. But he told me he wanted to come home because he missed us. How can you argue with that?

Patty told him it was OK and he could stay over at nana's another night. His reply?

'And then I can come home at night?'

I hope this is not the start of a new pattern.

Monday, August 3, 2009

I was only gone for a day...

Natal day in Halifax, a celebration of the birth of the Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. I worked a full shift at the Goat today, the first time in awhile since I've been on my feet for nine hours straight. My feet are killing me!

I left home while everyone was still asleep, and when I got back I was greeted by Nate running down the hallway yelling 'Dada!'. He was talking up a storm, about what he was doing, and what he'd been up to during the day.

'We went to Sobey's because we didn't have any baking soda. Then we came home and we made chocolate cookies.'

'Did you go to work dad? Were you on the bus? How did you come home?'

We had supper out on the deck, it's Nate's favourite thing now, having supper outside. I realize I was only gone for a day, but he seemed so much older to me when I got home.

For the past week or so, I've been leaving his bedside light on after reading him his bedtime story. He wanted to "read" his book one night after I read it to him, so I told him he had to turn off his light after he was done and go to bed. I said I would check in on him later. He's been good to his word so far, and every time I've gone up to check, his light has been off and he's been asleep.

Now, after I read him his bedtime story, he tells me:

'I'm going to read my book, and I'll turn off the light when I'm done. You can check on me at 4.30 (he still doesn't know how to tell time and makes a new one up every time).'

It's a good job I'm back to my half days shift tomorrow, who know how much more growing he'll be doing while I'm gone!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Soccer



Soccer practice did not get rained out this week, and I've since gotten my work schedule organized, so I got to go see Nate in action this week. I'm not sure I was prepared for the whole thing. I can see how it could be a little overwhelming for a kid. There were just so many people, kids, parents, pets, coaches. There seemed to be so many things all happening at the same time. I got to meet some of our neighbours, but I am afraid I can't remember any of their names. There are people who are very into coffee here though, so that bodes well.

Anyways, enough about my experience, here are some photos of Nate in action.



Thursday, July 23, 2009

This just in, we are lucky

My 3 year old son told me, so it must be true.

Nate was eating cherries in the living room, and I was looking out the kitchen window at the mob of blue jays in our garden.

Nate (very excitedly):
Dad! Do cherries grow on trees?

Me:
Yes Nate, cherries grow on trees. You see those blue jays out there on that tree? That is a cherry tree.

Nate:
And cherries are going to grow on it, and then I can get cherries to eat?

Me:
Well, we need to do some work first because that tree hasn't been taken care of for quite awhile. We'll have to prune it back and we're not going to get fruit this year. If we're lucky we might get some next year.

Nate (very matter-of-fact like):
But we are lucky dad!

Me:
Why do you say that Nate?

Nate:
Because we are.

He is correct, of course. We are lucky. Sometimes it's easy to forget that. I just think it's neat that he might actually get it, even at 3.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The first step to getting espresso in our house again

Today, I finally made some time and went down into the basement to remove the boiler from the espresso machine. It's been sitting down there since that fateful day in May when I discovered it did not survive the move from Vancouver.

The photo below shows the boiler still in the machine. You can see where one of the brass couplings has popped off. That is the hot water on-demand heat-exchanger. Water in it must have froze in transit, and the ice blew the top off the stainless steel flange where the coupling fit in. The coupling is still screwed in to the flange. The flange just isn't in one piece any more. The same happened to the heat exchanger next to it, which runs to the group head. In this case. the flange is split, but not completely blown off.



Here is the Lyra with the boiler removed.



Finally, a look at the boiler itself. The markings are my own, just so I don't forget where everything goes. I still have to put it all back together, assuming it is possible to weld the damaged bits.


I'm not going to get my hopes up, it's more like an interesting project now. I'll keep you posted .



A reminder that there is good out there

There may be some hope after all.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Nate on soccer

Nate went to his first soccer practice this evening. Unfortunately, I didn't get to go. My fault, I totally forgot and said I could work this evening. He's been pretty excited about it, and Patty said it was all he could talk about this evening. So what does he say when they get there?

'Mum, I don't know about this soccer thing.'

Of course, by the time it was over and people were leaving, he wanted to keep on playing.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Vancouver through the window of a taxicab












Shot from a taxicab as we made our way from The Cascade Room on Main Street, to our hotel downtown. I don't know why I never did this sooner.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

More food from Singapore

This is some of the food we had at my friend Lun Cheak's home. I wish I could have eaten more, but sadly I stuffed myself at lunch that day. Honestly, there is just so much good food in Singapore, it's almost impossible to eat it all! This becomes especially difficult to do when you are only in town for a short visit.

I think all of the foods here are Indonesian in origin, but they are very popular in Malaysia and Singapore as well. When I was in junior college (grades 11 and 12), my lunch usually consisted of rice, rendang, begedil and sambal goreng (green beans and tempeh fried in chili sambal). This is my comfort food, and I'm getting hungry just writing about it!

Sayur Lodeh (Coconut vegetable stew)

Begedil (Fried potato cakes)

Beef Rendang

I think I'm starting to appreciate how some of my readers have felt about the previous food postings!

A reunion


Myself, and my friends from high school. That's Gary on the far left in the black T-shirt, and Lun Cheak in the middle in the blue T-shirt. When I was still working in Singapore, the three of us would meet up in the evening and spend hours at the beach, drinking coffee and talking. Some of the best talks I've ever had happened on those evenings chats.

The posse has gotten somewhat bigger in the last few years. We all had dinner together one evening with our families, and it was nice to see the kids get along and play. And we got to the beach for one more late night chat before I left Singapore. It's nice to know that even after so long, some things just never change. It was just like old times, only this time we got to talk about our kids as well.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Nate's goodbye

I am writing this now, before I forget it.

When we left Singapore, we were seen off by my parents and my brother Kevin. Poor people, they had to wake up at 3am to make sure we got to the airport on time. After going through security and customs, we turned around to wave goodbye to my family through the glass. I was carrying Nate over my left shoulder, and he kept on waving as we walked towards the gate.

Then he said:

'Goodbye Kevin! I'll see you later. I'll be back soon.'

There was of course no way Kevin was going to hear it, and it was probably just as well. It was said in such a sincere voice it would have broken his heart. It damned near broke mine, and I just barely held it together as we approached our gate.

Back home

Well, we are back in Halifax. Back in our new home, and slowly coming to grips with regular life again. We spent our first night home sans Snoopy, which was a little odd. The bed seemed altogether too big, and I missed the comfort of that familiar warm furry body next to my leg. It's funny, but both Patty and I woke up the next morning feeling like something wasn't right. But we are all back together again now. It feels good. Now if someone would just take care of all the stuff that needs to get done around here! Groceries to get, laundry to be done, bags that need unpacking, grass that wants mowing... the list goes on. Good thing we had a vacation, although I feel I need another one to get over the long journey back.

For those of you who are wondering about the rest of our vacation, never fear! There is still lots to tell from our time in Singapore and our short stay in Vancouver. Lots more photos, and lots and lots more food. I'll try and get around to them soon, I promise.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

It only took 3 years and 4 months


and a bunch of beer! Free I say--free like the birdies! This is the first night Justin and I have shared with Nate nowhere in sight since his birth! So what the hell am I doing talking to you?

Love Patty!

P.S. She's had a few drinks.

This is where we are!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A celebratory lunch

To celebrate mum's birthday and Fathers' day, we went out for indian food at Vansh.

I'll let the photographs speak for themselves.








Saturday, June 20, 2009

Nate and the family in Singapore



It's never been a big secret that the primary reason for this trip to Singapore was so Nate could spend time with his grandparents. They've been to Vancouver to see him twice already, but he'd never been to Singapore to see them. It was so nice to see Nate run up to his grandparents at the airport and give them big hugs, even though he hadn't seen them since April 2008. Since then, it's been nothing but grandma this and grandpa that.

In addition, Nate has finally met my brother. It didn't really take very long for him to make up his mind about his uncle Kevin. On their second meeting, he turned to Kevin and said 'You're a cool guy!'. Since then, whenever Kevin is around, Nate is stuck to him like glue.


'Is Uncle Kevin coming?'
'Uncle Kevin, are you coming with us?'
'Uncle Kevin, I have to tell you something.'
'Are you coming home with us uncle Kevin?'

These are just some of the things you'll hear Nate say when his uncle Kevin is around. The list goes on. I always knew that the two of them would hit it off, but it's so nice to finally see it happen. Just look at them, you'd think they've known each other forever!