Monday, April 27, 2015


My mom has told me that I have a lot of energy, something that I don't often think about but I have to agree with her.  I am at the very end of this term - my final paper is due this Thursday - and I am now running out of steam.

I have been in full time classes (5 classes each term plus my major project throughout) since September.  It has been so very rewarding.  Now, with my final paper due soon, I am for the first time dragging my heels.  I can't decide if I am just tired of writing or if I am struggling because this is a hard topic for me.  Oh well, my first draft is almost done and I did well presenting the topic last week - so close to being done!  I am debating using this paper as a part of my RPBio submission in the fall; it is not an easy topic for me but it clearly shows my new found statistical analysis skills.  Something to ponder.  I am sure going to miss going to class!  Classes appeal to my logical, orderly side: I like learning, working on the information and presenting my findings in either paper or exam format.  While exams do tend to cause me anxiety, I have certainly gotten much better in that regard over the past 8 months.

We had a nice weekend at our house - Rob and I had a rare date night out Friday, we went for tapas and drinks.  Saturday Loic had Taekwondo and we visiting with friends.  Yesterday I worked on this paper for what I hope is the last weekend day of writing for a few weeks!  We also ended the day yesterday with a lovely hike up Lynn Headwaters with the two kids and three dogs.  It was really nice, Maelle can now walk for most of it and the kids together are so funny.  The dogs also had fun - Ty still loves to run and wallow in the mud.  Yesterday was Rob's sleep in day so I met up with a group of friends and their kids at White Spot for an early breakfast.  My kids did well, Maelle is getting past the age of having to wander her around restaurants - three cheers for that stage ending!

This is the best photo of my attempt at a group shot.  Tyler is the only dog who stays where I put him!  Taz ignores me and Toby always tries to wiggle towards me - very funny.

Here is Loic on some old logging equipment on the trail.

 Ok then, back to my paper......


Thursday, April 16, 2015

A list of sorts

Here are some random thoughts; I can no longer do any stats today so I shall write a list instead.

1. I do not aspire to be a hydrologist.  I just need to get through this project and come out with an okay (not amazing, plain old pass is perfect) grade on the other side.  Presentation in one week, paper due in two weeks.  My topic?  Can I see a change in creek discharge, precipitation or temperature in one creek in N.Van looking at 35 years of data and can I see what the effects of PDO and ENSO might be.  Yeah.  Interesting but not easy for me at all.

2. We have figured out a way to stop Ty from barking!  It is a formula that looks like this:

Barky dog (Ty) + Barky dog (Taz) = quiet

This formula makes no sense but seems to work!  We have a drop cam that we use to spy on Tyler, and if Taz is with him he is far less stressed and therefore quiet.  Toby is always home with Ty but it seems that because Toby hides under our duvet during the day, Tyler feels alone and gets upset.  This has been a source of stress for us because Ty has been bothering our tenant.  We really like our tenant and want her to be happy.  We have been taking him with us, sending him to my folks (thanks for that Mom and Dad!) and have been planning to make sure he isn't alone at certain times.  This is a big breakthrough.  I did put him back on clomicalm and think that has also helped.  Oh, and he is now totally addicted to peanut butter stuffed kongs....

3. The kids are so, so funny.  95% of the time I find them hilarious and entertaining and fun to be around.  I think that is a great percentage for parenting a 3 and almost 6 year old!!  Rob finds them equally entertaining.  They are just pretty darn neat little people.  They have their moments for sure (Maelle, ahem, has been known to bite.....) but on the whole are just great.

4. Grandparents & Rob have been instrumental during this year of grad school.  My parents take the kids on Wednesdays and Loic Friday afternoons (and the dogs too).  Rob has been awesome on weekends when I work on school stuff.  Barb (aka East Coast Grandma) came out and really helped out over spring break, which is now two whole weeks.  A big thank you to all.  I need to think of a proper end of class thank you.

5. Still loving my garden.  Loic and I spent an afternoon in the front garden this week and it was great!  I also spent an hour or so out there with Maelle.  It is nice that they are at such great ages.  Loic built his own little garden and Maelle moved wood chips around for an hour; during these times I could weed and plant and putter - amazing!  It doesn't get a ton of attention right now but it will all be ok.  A lot of what I have out there is low effort - blueberries and raspberries just need to ripen and be eaten, garlic isn't ready until August and other warm weather plants don't go in for a month.  Oh, I did put in peas and lettuce and radishes by seed though.  

6. While classes and the work load can be intense, this year has so far been pretty good.  I love the program and I *think* I have balanced it all well, aside from a low point at last fall's apple festival (sorry to Dad, Rob and Erin for that day and the tears that ensued) and a few rough days this term.  All in all I have positive feelings about my decision to do this program and about the program itself.  I do, however, reserve the right to continue to complain about statistics and the fact that I can't do them on my Mac!!!!  And that my math skills are not awesome.  At all. 

7. Thumbs up for trading!  I have traded a few hours of stats tutoring (thank god) for dog training. What a great trade.  I really like the woman who helps me with stats, and I like her daughter and dog. I have helped her daughter clicker train their nice dog and next week we move on to some rally and agility; the perfect trade.

8.  Now some pics from Maelle's third birthday and the garden.

I am concerned that we might need a pony in a few years :)

Love, love love my front garden!

- E  (and three cheers for blogging!)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Hello out there

Hello out there!

Grad school + 2 small kids + three dogs + two bunnies + a husband leaves little time to blog.

I shall do brief updates and will add some photos.  I haven't posted since last fall so won't get into any details - but Christmas was great, same with the fall term.  I have realized that making lunches for kids is not fun (when will they be old enough to do this themselves??) and I still love my little front veggie garden, now complete with a steel T.rex that I got for my birthday.  Such an awesome gift!!

Grad School: what an amazing experience.  I am in the thick of things class wise, but it is pretty darn awesome.  I take 5 classes per term, plus have work to do on my major project.  This term is done for me April 30th then I have four months to complete my major project.  I am going back to work on Wednesdays only starting in May and am looking forward to that.  While I have cried (mostly last term, at apple fest - sorry Rob, Erin and Dad for that!) I am loving the experience and am learning so much.

The kids: Loic & Maelle are both so funny and so smart.  They are a total riot 98% of the time and we sure enjoy them.  Loic is doing well in Kindergarten after a rough start, and Maelle still loves her daycare.  Maelle turned 3 yesterday and Loic will be 6 in July.  Loic still wants to be a scientist and she wants to be a Dr. and a mommy.  Loic is still a soft, sweet lovely little boy who asks a million questions a day about science.  Maelle is so so funny, she has her dollies she loves and the things she says!  She adores the colour pink, dresses, jewellery and anything fancy - where did this come from??

Tyler, Toby & Taz: Tyler is doing remarkably well.  He will be 13 or so this summer and has recovered so nicely from his back injury.  We hike off leash a lot and he is loving it.  He is also back on clomicalm because he is quite barky during the day at home but we are working on it.  We bough a drop cam and can spy on him while we are out - a maddening thing to do but helps us sort out what is working (and mostly what isn't).  We take him with us or plan to be home with him when our tenant is home.  Oh dog, 12 years of your barking now - I guess he is predictable??  The other two are doing well too.  We know now that Taz is prone to pancreatitis so he is on a low fat food.

Bunnies: Messy & cute.  While Rob doesn't see the point, he is a good sport about them.  He built them an amazing two story hutch in the kitchen and is a good sport about moving them around and helping me out with them when I am in class late.

We lost Pinchy (the scorpion) this week.  No one is really heartbroken, and I am glad that we gave him a good life.  Loic wants fish or another insect but we have agreed to wait until I am done school to discuss any other pets!!

Riding Jeff last week (we rode Jeff and Teepee for her birthday, need to upload the pics)

Pancake - Easter is a good season to own friendly rabbits :)

Loic is an excellent artist - this is him and his T. rex

I LOVE my front veggie garden!!!!!  Thanks to Rob & my Dad for dealing with the wood chip drama of 2014 :)

Sassy little thing 

Funny how quickly Taz fit in - he loves Tyler 

Rob won another Georgie!!

An animal lover through and through (kind of have to be at our house!)

Such an awesome family pet

She insists on wearing dresses and as many accessories as she can fit on her body.  She is almost potty trained!  Yipee!

Loic loves his bike and is such a good rider!

Terrible hunting dog :)  

Maelle sure looks up to him.  He is awfully patient with his little sister.  They get along so well - I hope it continues for many years to come.
 - E