Thursday, 15 December 2011

A @ Home

On December 1 we did our annual switch up at home: Michelle went back to work 2 days a week, and I cut back to 3 days a week. Now I am home on Thursdays and Fridays again with the munchkins--er, kids. This is my third week of the madness and it's going pretty well. Although it feels pretty busy, I've been managing! My main task is to take Kate to dance class on Thursday mornings. So I cut Malachi's nap short and me and him play for an hour in an adjoining room while Kate hops around in her pink ballet outfit (she's really good at 'sa-shay'ing). Getting Kate to dance also requires the car (or 3 hours and the city bus) so we've all been getting up a bit early to drive Michelle to work. I cut Malachi's sleep short. Today I am going to cut his second nap short to take him to get his shots. So, the poor guy just can't sleep! But he will be okay. He turned One yesterday!!!

Fridays are a bit easier since we don't need the car for anything. We all sleep in (a little), and stay home and play all day! I like staying home from work a few extra days--although it makes going into work a bit harder on Monday, too! (I think when you work full time, 5 days a week anyway, you get into a groove and you get used to working so much)

Stay at home Dads unite! Sugar Mommas rule! ;)

Saturday, 19 November 2011

N is for Normal

Andrew and team leading worship at church. (Photo by Custom Concepts Photography)

For a few months I have been wondering if I am officially 'normal' (healthwise) or not. It's hard to decide when to declare Normal to be. Both my MD and my Naturopath say my blood tests and other tests show good, solid levels. But, to be able to function each day with a decent level of energy is a tremendous blessing that just a few years ago I had little hope of reaching. So, thank you God, and doctors, and everybody and everything that helped me get back to enjoying life again. While I still have tired days and the odd 'off' moment, I feel like I am interacting with life in a way that is true (not always thinking about just myself and how I'm doing). I'm able to focus on others, on tasks, to ponder ideas. I hope to be able to give back to those who need my help; that my experience will not be forgotten but will spur me on to good deeds. Not to mention good eating habits. ;)

Friday, 21 October 2011

Anniversary Photoshoot

On our 8th Anniversary (October 18) Michelle and I took a picture of ourselves, as is our yearly custom. Michelle snapped a few shots of me while she adjusted the tripod, set the lighting, etc. I like very much!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Psalm 107:1

The theme at church today was Thanksgiving. A lot of kids thanked God for things like family and Lego. I stepped in to help by teaching the grade 3-4-5 class and I was thankful...when it was over! :) We managed to read the first eight verses of Psalm 107. It provides context to Thanksgiving by chronicling the life of some people who were at their wits end (within an inch of their lives!) and then were delivered from their troubles when they cried to the LORD. I asked the kids if they could think of any examples from their own lives when they were in trouble and needed rescuing. One guy said he had to wait a whole month to play a new video game; another was grounded for two weeks and couldn't play any video games. Tough stuff!

I'm thankful for lots of stuff.
A day off
healthy happy kids
carob chips

Sunday, 25 September 2011


Michelle's parents treated us to a waterfront cabin in Gibsons for a few nights. It was very nice! The photo above was taken from the deck. That is the ocean and a wharf in the background...I hiked up the local knoll, went kayaking with Michelle (my first time in a kayak!), and read a book that I found in the house. As well I looked after the kids a bit, although not as much since we had grandparents and Uncle Michael around! We did a bit of touristy stuff like go to the beach and go out for lunch at Molly's Reach as well.

With the vacation-y mindset and lots of snacks around, I cheated on my diet a bit more than usual but seemed to handle it fine. I seem to be able to tolerate more foods again. It's a nice feeling!

We now have a 9 month old and a 36 month old. I'm really enjoying playing with Malachi now since he can respond more. He's been crawling for about 2 weeks so he keeps us on our toes. He still detests going to bed at a reasonable hour. When Kate decides not to go to sleep it can be a rough evening. It got so bad at one point that it drove us to a prayer of desperation--ever since it has been better, though not perfect--thanks God for looking after our needs when we ask!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Slogging Along

It's been awhile since I posted anything. Half the summer, actually! We went to Ontario for a wedding--stayed in a rented lodge with family and family friends that get together every 2 years for an MCC Nigeria reunion. It was hot and the heat was welcome after our cool summer here in British Columbia. There is a sweet splash park in Leamington with a huge tomato-bucket that dumps gallons of water on excited kids every few minutes. Kate loved it. I rented a car from Discount in Windsor and saved $150 by not renting directly from the airport area. It was a bit of a hassle, and the Ford Fiesta hatchback was painfully small (as my wife pointed out on several occasions), but it got us and our stuff from point A to point B. Our flight back home was delayed a bit so it made for a long day of travel, topped off by my backpack not arriving in Vancouver...but it all worked out!

Since then it has been work, work, work...lots of it at my job since different people are on holidays. Things seem to be slowing down a little bit but overall I've been busy. Michelle also feels the work, work, work at home with two busy kids. It would be nice if they would nap at the same time once in awhile, but alas they do not seem to understand the concept. Malachi is sleeping a little bit more, at least, although he can still stay up pretty late.

We also went camping for the first time all summer. Ross Lake (near Hope) is beautiful, but camping with these munchkins is so much work...Michelle came down with a fever/cold during our first night, so we left the next day. Maybe we'll try again in a few years!

I have been feeling well most of the time now. My Naturopath says my digestion has improved a lot. I no longer need vitamin B2 supplements, and I'm weaning myself off my digestive enzyme (M7+) pills. I still get tired after about 6 hours of work on my feet--will that ever change? I had a root canal re-done recently and had to take antibiotics.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

stretched between rich and poor

Two things I ask of you, O LORD;
do not refuse me before I die.
Keep falsehood and lies from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, 'Who is the LORD?'
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.

Proverbs 30:7-9

At times I find myself at opposing ends of the same economic spectrum. When I look around at some of my friends, neighbours, co-workers, and Christians that attend my church, I find myself comparing my economic status with what theirs appears to be, and wishing mine was higher. I half-listen to the constant talk revolving around higher wages at work, wondering if/when I should inquire about a raise.

I also see myself on the global scale and to my surprise, I'm pretty close to the top of the rich pile. My condo is comfortable in summer and winter. I have enough food to eat, a car to drive, credit to fall back on. My family has access to excellent health care, even benefits such as free dental care. I saw in the news today that the current drought situation in Somalia is called 'the worst humanitarian disaster' in the world.

A couple of books I've recently read have not helped me find black-and-white answers to which end of this continuum I should be striving towards. One is The Upside Down Kingdom by Donald Kraybill, which examines Jesus' teachings and the negative political implications they had which got him killed. The other is called Jesus wants to save Christians by Rob Bell and Don Golden. This book focuses on the Exodus as the central event in Jewish religion, showing Jesus' ministry as a new Exodus of sorts. One thing that stood out to me was the way that God heard the cry of the Israelite slaves at the hands of the Egyptians, yet once God freed them, they eventually became slave drivers themselves (in King Solomon's time), and were sent into exile as a result. It is so easy to forget where you've come from.

Which is why I will continue to hover somewhere in the grey area between rich and poor, never quite knowing where I fit in. Somehow the poor side seems safer, though.

Friday, 1 July 2011

An Ominous Warning

I received an ominous warning tonight: Bob is coming.

The tone with which it was delivered was serious. It implied that there was much to be afraid of. The warning continued: "Bob going to eat your feet."

"But not eat Kate's feet."

"Bob coming to get you."

I'm not quite sure what to make of my 2 year old's prediction. Especially since I know exactly who Bob is. What could he possibly want with me?

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Summer Snailing

Kate and I went for a walk last night--to take out the garbage, but also to get outside for a few minutes and enjoy the evening sun after a cloudy day. We noticed some snails on the parkade wall--quite a few, actually. I don't know what brought them all out, but they were all sunning themselves. It was so picturesque that we made the long troop back around the building and up three flights of stairs to get the camera.

Mommy and Malachi are galavanting on an adventure out east this week so Kate and I are batching it. Today for supper we had boiled sweet potato and edamame beans. Last night we had escargot. Just kidding!

Earlier this month our family went to a wedding of some friends in Red Deer; in a few weeks we will go to another wedding in Ontario. We are making vacations out of these trips and spending time with family and friends. Summer is here but it will be short so we will try to make the most of it!

Monday, 30 May 2011

Planters with dirt

I bought some dirt the other day and carried it home on the back of the double stroller. Kate and I planted some sweet peas in one of the planter boxes. Kate likes to blow bubbles on the balcony. The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Rye and Goat Cheese Pizza

About a month ago I made pizza for Michelle and Kate (maybe it was for Mother's Day?). They got a standard ham and pineapple on a regular hand-tossed crust; about 80% white flour, mozzarella on top. I also made a low-glycemic-non-wheat-non-cow-product-non-tomato version for myself! The crust was made from rye flour. For the sauce I just squished an avocado and spread it on top. My toppings were some leftover steak from the Keg, spinach, pineapple, and goat cheese. It turned out okay although it was not as tasty as I had hoped.

You can click on the picture to get a close-up view of all those tasty ingredients! As I have since re-introduced tomatoes into my diet, if I were to make this again I could use tomato sauce.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Planter Boxes

On Friday after work I took apart a pallet that wasn't being used and salvaged some 1x4's. I de-nailed 18 pieces that were 3 feet long each and strapped them to the back of my bike. I wobbled carefully all the way home; they didn't fall off until I got to the door to our underground parking and couldn't fit through it. :) Hey, if they can do it in Nigeria with appliances, I should be able to get a bit of firewood home.

Except it's not firewood; I made one planter box yesterday, and after I buy some more screws I'll make a second one for our balcony. They are a bit rustic looking but kind of nice and the wife approves of them so that's good! I put some sand in the bottom of them and then we'll put dirt on top of that. We are hoping to grow sweet peas that will climb up the balcony railing. Also some herbs such as cilantro; I'm not sure what else. Strawberries would be nice but it might be too late for those. We already have a little banana tree that my parents gave us, as well as some parsley, chives, a daffodil plant that isn't doing much, and a few apple trees that grew from seeds I planted last year. Oh yes, and some winter onions that survived outside in a mossy pot.

What else inhabits our balcony? A propane tabletop barbecue, a diaper pail, and a rolled-up window shade for the summer. We get full afternoon sun in the summer and it can get quite toasty out here. Currently there are also two lawnchairs, with someone sitting in one of them, typing on his laptop. Oh yeah--that'd be me.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Naturopath, Continued

I had another follow-up with my Naturopathic Physician yesterday. Pretty much all good news again, lots of healing happening according to his electro-gizmo. A couple of surprises though--cortisol was high (indicating some stress)--I haven't felt too stressed lately (hmm, except for Monday at work maybe--how long does cortisol hang around after a stressful event?). Also glucogon was high, indicating I've been eating too much protein! This is surprising because all along I've been having trouble digesting protein--so I've been eating lots to compensate for that, I guess. Although honestly I don't think I was eating excessive amounts. So, I will cut back a little there and add more veggies if I can, and I always enjoy carbs too because they give me lots of energy.

Dr. E. also checked my food sensitivities. As he had predicted three months ago, I have improved to the point where I'm no longer sensitive to many foods. Once again I can eat spelt, chicken, oranges, tomatoes, peppers, and curry. A few of the foods that I must continue to stay away from include wheat, pork, alcohol, peanuts, and cow's milk products (although butter is now okay). These may or may not improve in the course of my intestinal healing and I will find out about that in another 3 months.

I have indeed felt better than ever these last couple of months, with the odd 'tired' day thrown in, seemingly randomly. Keeping busy with work definitely helps; perhaps there is an element of adrenaline there, with having something important to do. Sitting at home with a grumpy 2 year old can be tiring sometimes. :)

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Pranking the Neighbours

Down the hall we have some neighbours that like to decorate their door according to the season. At Halloween they had some yellow tape on their door amongst other decorations. So I added an orange sign that read BEWARE OF CAT (they have two of them). To my chagrin they left that sign up for several months.

Then for Easter they put up a very colourful wreath on their door, covered with flowers and plastic eggs. It begged for some further decoration so I made a little beanie cap for one of the chicks!

What else have I been up to? Work and family, mostly. Malachi has been sleeping well although he still goes to bed quite late (about 11pm). I have continued to do a little bit of 'Handy Andy,' but not too much. I have felt pretty good physically and mentally lately. My MD ran my bi-yearly blood tests recently and a lot of stuff had improved. So that is great news!

Saturday, 9 April 2011


At the zoo last fall

Friday, 25 March 2011


Lots of it. I've been busy lately!

A little while ago I advertised my handy man services on Craigslist. I got two calls; one for a fencing job that was too big for me, and one to install some sliding closet doors and quote on countertops. From this second call I've had a month of work (a month being my spare time, about a day a week). I think I am almost's been fun as the work has been varied, installing those mirrored closet doors, fixing a light, installing lights and a smoke detector, putting in a deadbolt, fixing a window awning, patching holes in the wall, fixing closet doors, installing a waterproof moulding around a shower...and tomorrow I am supposed to paint a bedroom!

I also got a call from my dad to work on an indoor landing/ramp for Abbey Medical so spent yesterday and part of today doing that. Columbia has also decided to get busy all of a sudden so I worked an extra half-day today and am already committed to an extra day next week too! And I am quoting on some sliding shelves for Michelle's friend's mom--and possibly also an interesting cabinet extension.

Throughout all this extra work I have felt capable healthwise, which has been a blessing. I got a cold this week which has been slowly but steadily increasing in annoyance. Not a good time to work 6 days in a row. :|

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Uncanny Resemblance

Every time I change our fine little fellow's diaper, I have an eery urge to say, 'Koodo!' Especially when he flashes me a grin. :)

Sunday, 20 February 2011

It Figures

It's kind of annoying. Often when I post something about getting better, the next day I have a bad day. This was the case after my last post (below). It was a harder week (though not terrible or anything). But, it only lasted for a few days and then I was back to "normal." Good and bad seem to go in cycles. Also, eating carob chips seems to coincide with feeling good. Strange huh?

Friday, 11 February 2011

Naturopathic Update

I saw Dr. E. again yesterday for a follow-up naturopath appointment. I have been having a really good week so I was quite positive when asked about the status of my complaints. For example, I have not been lightheaded or dizzy for quite awhile. I have been stronger--able to exert physical effort without getting wiped out. I have enjoyed going to work instead of dreading it. According to his electro-gizmo that measures energy in my body, many levels were much better than they were when he tested me in November. Liver function was up, protein digestion was up, toxins were down...I was much encouraged. "I'm getting better," I said.

That being said, there is still a ways to go. The doctor said that at my next appointment in 3 months, he will spot check some of the foods I am sensitive to, and he expects that I will be okay to eat about 80% of them again! He put me on a bunch of pills, most old, some new--I'm taking some probiotics (bacteria that will call my intestines home).

I have a regular blood test with my Family Doctor in April. It will be interesting to see how my liver enzymes are doing (they have been a bit high on the last two tests). In addition, he is checking my blood sugar/insulin. I am curious to see if this long term low glycemic index diet will have an effect on that.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Taking my own advice

This week started off as a tired week, thanks to work, I guess. Then Thursday came and I reverted to my other job--taking care of the Fam! It's been easier lately--Malachi has been sleeping a little bit better, and Michelle has been recovering (6 weeks now since the C-section), now able to take a larger load in the work we share. So in between the usual dishes, laundry, cleaning (!?), cooking, and diapers, we got a few things done. We finished stuffing envelopes for Malachi's birth announcement. We went mattress shopping and bought one quite quickly from the store a block away. I threw it on the roof racks and drove it home. Then I threw the old one on the roof racks to take it to the dump, but it fell off on South Fraser Way when one of my bungee cords snapped. That was a bit hairy, but I managed to get it back on quickly and drive to a quiet street where I tied it down with twine. Then I drove 30 km/hour all the way to the dump! We bought that old mattress over 7 years ago and it served us well.

Today we got out to watch a play, Gallery 7 Theatre's Tuesdays with Morrie. It was good! A bit of a tearjerker actually. It is my favourite performance I've seen where Ken the Artistic Director has been an actor...meanwhile Grandma and Grandpa were over to watch Kate and Malachi. They got a bit more than they bargained for as Kate has been potty training the last few days and was not tired enough to nap this afternoon. Kate has done quite well during the last few days. She pees in her potty and although I had to help her get there this time, she also put in some solids tonight.

The ceiling fan has been crying again lately, as in the roof is still leaking. Looks like we'll get some sunny weather now so I'm not too worried. The strata corp. had the roof guys here yesterday but they might have to do a call back.

Regarding the title of this post, I have been eating lots of beans! White beans, pinto, black, edamame. Sometimes I notice some interesting effects a few hours later but they haven't been that bad overall. The rest of the family seems to fare worse--especially Malachi! Which leaves me to eat even more beans by myself. Protein! I have been losing weight again these last few months. People have noticed that my cheeks are not as chubby as they used to be. I suspect some of the digestive aids I've been using are working a little too well, maybe. I think I'm back to my high school weight (150 lbs). I need to find something fattening...maybe I'll eat an avocado a day or something.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Some Beautiful Things This Week

Some things (and people) brought me much joy this week. Here are a few of them:

1. A Delicious Breakfast Shown here are some cooked buckwheat groats with carob chips, wild blueberries, cinnamon, and soy milk. Mmm! Topped off with a fried egg and a few supplement pills.

2. A Fine Little Fellow [sleeping]. He is not a bad baby. Although he eats every 3 or 4 hours at night, he doesn't usually fuss much afterwards.

3. 3 kids Wait! I thought I only had 2! Weird.

4. Snow Last night around 11pm I was groggily awakened by Michelle. Blinking the sleep out of my eyes, I followed her to the living room, carrying little Malachi. I stopped and blinked. Outside the window, the trees were covered with a glistening layer of snow. It was worth waking up for that!

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy New Year

Well the old has gone, the new has come. Seems like 2010 was just yesterday, ha ha. New Years Resolutions anyone? I don't really make them anymore. I guess I could resolve to love more this year, be less in debt, and healthier. But sometimes monkey wrenches get thrown into plans like that. Of course, if I took said wrench to a pawn shop, it might help with my debt, eh? :)

Malachi is still doing well, feeding regularly, keeping us from sleeping etc, but seems to be a pretty good baby overall. I don't think he's as fussy as Kate was at his age...but I could be wrong! It's hard to remember the first months of a baby's life because it all becomes one sleep-deprived blur!

We had a good new years eve. Went out for supper at BP with some friends and then went to some other friends' house to hang out, play a game of What, eat a few snacks. Kate was supposed to sleep in her pack-and-play but didn't do so well. We got home before midnight but due to Malachi's meal schedule we were actually awake to ring in the New Year, which is kind of rare for us!

Malachi on his first day of 2011