Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Hello friends,

With two sick kiddos resting and one mom celebrating a certainly short-lived break in the day, I thought I'd treat myself to a long uninterrupted shower...or rather post a few pictures of what's been happening around these parts.  Back in the day, when Dee was Celia's age, we showed her this video, and she went crazy for it, which wasn't a cheap venture in Australia where you pay for internet by the amount you use.  We made the same mistake with Celia, and she's hooked, and while it isn't as costly a venture in the land of unlimited internet usage, it is taxing on the head.

Celia is still our Big Sky Baby.

Edie on a post at Cranberry Flats.

Ceeley on a post at Cranberry Flats. Happy to be in a precarious position as usual.

Edie's first Jack o' Lantern, and check out the mop on Ceeley!

Cat in the moonlight, big fish chases little fish, scared pumpkin and pirate grimace pumpkin.

Tim took Nadia and Edie out trick-or-treating, those watermelon costumes are holding up well!

LOOT! Edie came back frozen from the cold (it was -4 that night) and with delight that all she had to do was say trick-or-treat and people dumped candy into her bag...if only it were that easy all year long. 

234 Western's first 2012 snowman. Let the winter begin!
Much love to all.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Odds and ends


the starfish

Tonight was the one night that we're allowed to take pictures of Edie at swim class, and while there I realized that there were a few other share-worthy pictures of the kids on the camera that hadn't made it on to the computer yet, and thus, not on to the blog. Enjoy!

So the first group of pictures is from a few weekends ago when we took the girls to a hay maze at a local garden centre. Our kids were the only ones in snow pants- it was indoors...perhaps mom is a little overzealous. It was a lot of fun, and who knew how many times kids can go through the same maze and not get bored. Or is that just our kids?

Dee takes a break

Ceeley leads the charge

Mom: Look at me and smile kids!, Kids: see above photo

Getting closer...

Ceeley takes a break
The rest of these are from here and there.

I caught Celia pushing the doll house up to the crib to climb into it for binky time

Celia can rock any snowsuit
Also Edie

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hello Old Man Winter, you're early!

G'day!  So we're about 3 months late on this post, there's a whole lot to cover.  Pictures will have to do some good telling.

summer girls in Yarmouth

Dialogue from earlier this week:

Edie: Mom, when can I wear my ballet shoes outside again?
Mom: Oh Edie, when Spring comes again.
Edie: How long will that be?
Mom: Let's see. Well, we're in October, Spring usually happens in April. Let's count. October, November, December, January, February, March, April...7 months...At this point Laura in my head is crying.

So, I think that it's safe to say that most of our followers live in warmer places than us.  Winter has been here for a solid week, full on snow and temperatures hovering around between -5 and 5...too cold. Nothing compared to what we'll be getting, but the idea of 7 months of this is a bit maddening. Australia has made me soft. Tim never liked winter, I have always been on the other side of the fence, if not just for being obstinate, but ya. 7 months. Our kids will definitely be wearing snowpants under their Halloween costumes, which is something I remember having to do as a child in Nova Scotia, but it's been ages since it was ever that cold in October where I'm from.  Oh well. We look forward to sliding again and skating, and we still love it here in Saskatoon so the winter months will fly, we're sure!

So since the last post we have returned from the mountains in one piece, a whole lot smarter about how to manage kids and grad students in the mountains.  It's a trip we look forward to making annually hopefully.

In early August Tim left for Australia to revisit fieldwork that he's still involved with there, and the girls and I left Saskatoon for the east coast. I took the camera and I'm writing the recap blog, so I'm afraid there really won't be much Australian content.  The girls and I had an amazing trip, probably the easiest trip I've taken with the kids. They are such good travelers, they love their extended family and the beach, so Yarmouth was a real hit. I was able to reconnect with a few old friends and lots of family again, it is so nice to be back in Canada.

Edie, Uncle Christopher and the cousins

Midge and Celia

Dee and Cousin Maddie

Edie's 4th birthday party take 1, costume time in the Valley!

Cutest Red Sox cheerleader out there!

Princess, of course

Dee and Buppa and a very old tractor

Fun at PM beach 

Not so hard to get a smile out of this one on the beach

Dee and Buppa

Edie's 4th birthday take 2- Spider dogs in Saskatoon

Once we got back from that traveling, it was time for Edie to start pre-school and to get back into all of the things that we'd taken a break from for the summer.  Edie is LOVING pre-school. It's hard to believe that we ever had doubts about her thriving in a school setting. She's made friends, participates in everything, loves her teacher, I have to pry her away everytime we leave.  It's nice that she has that. Along with school she's also started swim lessons and sings in a children's choir, both are also going very well.  She's a little social butterfly.

First day

As for Ceeley-mac, she's exploding developmentally these days. Stringing words together, making demands and sticking to her guns, jumping, dancing, you name it...tetherball??? Yes! She's discovered tetherball at Edie's school and l-o-v-e-s it, demands it everytime we go there. She and I have been enjoying time together while Edie is in pre-school, especially reading together. That makes 4 bookworms in the Jardine household. It's really awesome to see her mimic Edie and what Edie is doing or saying, for example, if you ask Celia to count she can rip off 1 through 10 (though not necessarily in that order) no problem. We can only assume that this is because Edie does a lot of counting out loud too, as we haven't actually sat down and really worked on counting with Celia, her being 19 months and all.  Celia is fearless when it comes to swimming as well. We usually get the girls out to the pool a few times a week and now that Edie is swimming, Celia is trying it too.  It makes for interesting and sometimes very scary pool episodes. It is a really fun time to be parents to these girls.

Fall was nice for those 2 weeks it lasted...

As for Tim and I, we're both chipping away at our respective work. Tim is busy and working hard, but we still get lots of time with him on the home front which we are really enjoying. This will likely change dramatically when he starts teaching in January, but we'll take each season as it comes. My job is taking care of some pretty fantastic kids (my own), and I like it, so that's good. I've also had a great triathalon training and racing season this summer and have finally gotten my hands on a road bike. I'm pretty pumped. I'll admit though, this weather is taking its toll on my ambition. Partly because we've all been pretty sick over the last 6 weeks (at one point 3 out of 4 of us were on antibiotics), and because it's harder to make myself do anything outside when it's cold, and because I love to bake when the weather gets colder, and my training partner started full-time work again...well, you can probably imagine that I've hit a little slump. I've got races scheduled throughout the winter that will force me to keep up, I hope. The next is Nov 1st, a 10k trail run in the dark- it will be a great time I'm sure.

Last Fall race for Mom...

And Dee and Taz 

We'll be keeping up a bit more regularly now that we're not sick, and home for a stretch. Big congratulations go out to our friends Team Davis, who will be making the move to Canadian soil very shortly.  All a part of our elaborate plan to get them out to the prairies to join us. Toronto will be their home for now, an easy flight to Saskatoon. We can't wait to see you again!

Two peas in a pod

All for now, love to all.

Laura, on behalf of the team.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Rocky Mountain High

Well, we've been on worcation now since arriving at the Barrier Lake Field Station on Sunday. It's been a slice so far, even as I write this post Edie and Dad are on a date to go and see the Justin Beaver Returns show at a local interpretive centre...or Kananaskis Idol, the songbirds show. Not sure which. Either way, they are gone, Tim's grad student and research assistant are out of the cottage (yes, we're all staying together...I'd put money down that both will seriously, seriously reconsider having children after this), and I'm listening to Celia drift off to sleep in a fit of rage as it's hot in here and this brings out much anger in our little princess.

Those tricky interpretive guides, using pop culture to help educate.

It was a bit of a gamble as to whether we should have undertaken such a big thing as 2+ weeks in the mountains with the girls and with Tim getting done what needs to get done, but we've done crazier, and it's turning out to be quite a trip. The scenery alone is making it all worth it...so far. The girls and I have been walking, running and driving all over exploring while Tim's been working in more remote field locations. We've seen elk, big horn sheep and your standard Canadian forest fare, and thanks to lots of singing, tamborine-ing and jingling we have not yet seen any live bears. Hopefully we'll keep that record. All in all, I could get used to this annual trip.

No mountain walk is complete without tamborine here.  And you might wonder what it takes to get the little one to smile for a picture.
Bingo.  A bucket and water. No clothes also helps.

On the way from Saskatoon to Kananaskis we stopped in Drumheller for a night with a stay at the Badlands Motel along with many bikers who were perhaps drawn to the awesomeness of the motel name. Drumheller is really a pretty interesting place- I could just not get my head around dinosaurs living and dying right where we were standing- but more fascinating was just how different in geography and topography this one little town was from the rest of Canada. Seriously, it's prairie all the way from Saskatoon to Drumheller, then these subtropical-feeling and straight out of an old western film badlands, and then prairie again until you get to the Rockies- such a weird blip. I'm glad we went there. It's a good place to see with your own eyes. Big kids points with the dinosaurs of course and Whifs Pancake House conveniently located at the Badlands Motel is another great reason to go to Drumheller.

Drumheller's splash park complete with world's largest dinosaur- big hit.
Celia the brave.

Edie the less brave, but equally great.

World's most red-faced dinosaur.

World's most gentlemanly dinosaur.

On the home front, our bird house guests this summer turned out to be a family of house wrens. We discovered this one Saturday a few weeks back when our friend Christy Morrissey and her boys were over for dinner. Christy is a colleague at the U of S, appointed partly in biology and partly in the School of Environment and Sustainability, and she works mainly with birds. Our new birds happened to have fledged that same day and one little wren who couldn't quite fly yet, but had left the bird box, had apparently been left behind. It was quite a sad sight, the poor thing hopping about the yard and squawking for the entire day. Christy decided to check the little guy or girl out and show it to the kids. The kids loved it. They also helped to feed it mosquitos and other bugs so that they might help increase the chances of survival although Christy explained very clearly that survival to reproduction in the brightest and best fledglings was generally 2-5%, and this little fellow didn't stand much of a chance. Though sad, it was a pretty cool learning opportunity for the kids.

How cool is this, hey?

Such a very cute little bird. Best of luck!
We hadn't seen the bird or the family around before we left, but hopefully we've given them a good start and our little bird house attracts another family again next Spring. Nadia the neighbor is taking care of our flowers and vegetables while we're gone, and we also hope that they are all doing well. It's been a fun summer of gardening so far and we're looking forward to a good haul come fall. 

Little beauty in our lilly patch.
Our other little beauty spreading some weed seeds- one of her favorite activities.
Much love to all, and best of luck to brother Jay and sister Tamsin who are expecting a new human arrival any day now.  Go, go, go!