Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Little Miss No-Flake

So many of us are flakes.

I'm a flake.

Every time I go to do something, right before I leave, all I can think about is how much easier it would be if I just stayed home and didn't worry about going out. You know, cuz the roads are bad, and we'll be out past Grayson's bed time, and I have to work tomorrow, and... there's probably like 100 reasons why I should just stay home.

It doesn't matter that you know that if you just get your butt out there, you'll come home buzzing about why you are so glad you went.

See, I think that the brain has a thing where it is unable to learn that 1 specific lesson. Go out, it will be fun. At least my brain never seems to figure it out.

This is why so many people are flakes. I just explained it right now.

So it's real treat, when people aren't. My cousin Tanner is dating the nicest girl in the world (which is a good fit, cuz he's not too shabby himself). We wanted to have them over, so I invited him for supper.

Tanner committed to supper the next day. Turns out his girlfriend, Kylee, couldn't make it because of work. When he called me back awhile later and said, "Yeah, Kylee works, so..." I thought to myself, "okay, I've been here before, cancellation."

Instead, they wanted to know if they could come for lunch instead! Now this may sound normal to most people, but I'm telling you that after 60 consecutive days of spending time with people, this is very rare.  A cancellation is usually just a cancellation, and we're left scrambling to meet someone new. Now, oftentimes people have very valid reasons for cancelling, and I get that. But let me just say what a breath of fresh air it was to have people that were going to put forth the effort to get to know us, regardless of the inconvenience.

In the end, they had to take off because she did have to work, but we got some good lunch in together, and better yet, we got to know this girl who somehow tamed Tanner "The Tank".

Another self-timer success. The lighting, a little less...

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Monday, 27 February 2012

Two Nurses Saving The World

We are starting to find that having people over every day is not conducive to being not bankrupt.

It's expensive to make food for that many people on a daily basis, and I'm really starting to wonder how people manage to have 8 or even 10 kids and still pay the mortgage. Especially since child labor is a bit of a social faux pas these days. 

When a classmate of Trish's (nursing classmate--that part is important) asked us over for the evening, including a fully prepared supper, we jumped at the offer. We really have to, in order to be able to be able to have other people over to our house. And, I didn't have to clean my house. 

Becky and Chris (probably spelled wrong, but phonetics goes a long way) had us over for a king's feast of fantasticallness. Incredible fish, coconut rice, and this sauce that was extra lime infused, made for quite the memorable meal. 

Afterwords we pulled out the board games, and sat down for a game of Pandemic. In pandemic you are trying to save the world form several virulent diseases that are threatening to wipe out the entire human race. I thought playing with 2 nursing students would help our chance to avert disaster. 

I have rarely been more wrong.

So we got walloped by the game, but that's okay, we'll just have to try it out again. In fact, I just may have lost the game for us on purpose just so Becky and Chris would have us back over for supper again. 

Anything with monkeys is an instant hit with Grayson.
Peter was a good helper too. 

The night isn't complete 'till Louie takes flight!

Camera timer = genius. Especially for children that try to escape... That Hallie is a quick one!

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Saturday, 25 February 2012

Grayson Officially Joins The Blog

Grayson (our little 3 year old) has been making almost as many new friends as we have this year. But with all the new friends he's got a few that go way back. And one that goes way way WAY back.

His little buddy Nolan (Mackenzie's little boy) has been buddies with Grayson since the beginning of time. Well, the beginning of Grayson's time, but I really can't remember a time before that anymore. Did I ever not have a child?

Grayson and Nolan are 2nd cousins, but I'll never tell him that. He's first cousins for all intents and purposes. I grew up with just over a Jabillion cousins, and spending time with them is one of my favorite memories. Unfortunately, Grayson only has 1 actual first cousin on my side, who he doesn't see nearly enough, plus she's a girl so that's just gross. Trish's side is a little more plentiful, but still, we don't see them enough. For now I'm letting his 2nd cousin's stand in so that he can experience the same thing I did growing up: More cousins than he knows what to do with.

The hair... I adore. 

So we went over to Janelle's house and brought Grayson and Nolan (who we were taking care of for a few days) to recreate a piece of my lost childhood. Janelle has a little boy Benjamin, who just happens to have the greatest head of hair known to man. We let the kids play while the adults sat around a table and boringly talked about adult stuff.

It's important to me that Grayson gets to experience the same things I did growing up. I want to somehow take the most memorable parts of my childhood and make sure that he gets the chance to experience them. Except the time that turtle bit my weenie, that hurt.

It was a great day, the boys played well, and Grayson spent time with his cousins, just like I wanted. He also officially joined in the Tolman Family Challenge 2012, with his first Grayson-centered blog post! Milestone!

Of the multiple pictures I took of these boys it was impossible for 
Grayson to look at the camera, stop moving and smile all at the same time. 
Nolan and Benjamin had no problem.

One of the failed attempts. This one in particular makes me laugh. 
That kid has impeccable timing. 

The boys played well together for the most part. I was impressed.

Ol' Reliable Louie. Best investment ever. Nolan could hardly contain himself! He had a riot. 

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Thursday, 23 February 2012

The Tie-Dyed Bride

One of my favorite reasons (because there are many) of doing this blog challenge this year, is that I am going places and doing things that I would have normally justified opting out of. Some outings requiring the travel and such with children are easier to find reasons not to go, but there have been other events that I really ought to go to, that without this challenge, I would probably have not gone to for various, seemingly rational, reasons. 

For instance, driving all the way up to Calgary with Grayson and going out of my comfort circle to meet some of Ryley's friends, is probably something I would have not otherwise done. Looking back, I had a good time and met some fantastic people. And to think I would have missed lighting the guests on fire! I could add numerous things to this list, but all the links are to the side for your navigating ease. Some days were easy, but there are a few others wouldn't have happened if I hadn't made a conscious effort.

But back to my thought about the events that I really ought to go to. Things like family functions are easier to make it out to, outings with friends are more probable, but weddings... Weddings I struggle with, and I am slightly ashamed. I don't know if it's the drive, or the common evening hour, which is often tougher with the child, or maybe I'm just lazy. But I'll admit I haven't had the greatest reception attendance record in the past. One would think that the celebration of a family member or a great friend would make it easy to go. But then it's easy to justify that there will be lots of other people there and nobody will really notice that you weren't. I don't know if other people remember who came to their wedding reception, but after 6 years, I can recall a good portion of guests at our wedding.

Over the past couple years, weddings have come and passed that I should have gone to. And if it was your wedding I missed, I apologize. But this year you can almost guarantee that if you are getting married, and I get an invite, I will be there. 

Now I don't actually recall receiving an invite to Taneil's wedding. However, if a friend is part of some of your earliest memories and majority of your youth, it trumps the piece of paper and picture you get in the mail. Taneil and I have been friends, well... always. I don't have the memory of actually meeting her for the first time because she was part of my entire childhood: Sundays at church, birthday parties, recess, and so on. Taneil even came to my wedding, and I still remember her emotional hug. So I owed it to Taneil to go to her wedding and share her special day. Yes, I had to drive an hour to get there. And yes, Grayson was a handful. Heck, we were even babysitting Mackenzie's son Nolan, (we also went to her wedding, and I did eat my own coconut cream pie...) so I had TWO crazy little boys for the night. There are other excuses that I could have used, but I made it a priority to go to Taneil's wedding, and I am so happy I did. 

Taneil looked amazing. And for some reason the cheery tie-dyed atmosphere did not surprise me. If you know Taneil, it suits her. It even makes this blog post more fun too! I look forward to spending some more time with these newly weds, because we'd like to get to know her husband, Eric, too. 

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Better Late Than Never

I'm willing to say that it was a year ago, or even more, when I crossed paths with Alisha, a good friend from high school. I don't remember where we were, but I can assume the conversation went something like this, "Hey, how are you doing?" and, "What have you been up to?" Then it moved along to, "How many kids do you have?" and, "Where are you living now?" We came to the conclusion that we both lived on the same side of town, and not too far from a great park to play at. With all the good intentions in the world, I suggested that we get together sometime in the summer and take our boys to that same park.

Summer came, albeit a little late, and left all too soon. I'll admit that I didn't completely forget about going to the park with her, it probably crossed my mind more than once over the course of the summer. I don't remember what my (what seemed to be) good reasons were at the time for not calling Alisha, but in retrospect I could have made it happen. And I should have made it happen. I probably would have felt less sheepish when I saw her a couple months ago. 

To make good on an offer I made too long ago, I finally got in touch with Alisha. We decided to meet up at The Family Center since it would be too cold for the boys to play outside. (And the escalators in the mall always are a hit with the kids.) It felt great to catch up, maybe a little more thoroughly this time. 

So for a morning I would have otherwise sat at home trying to entertain Grayson, we went out and had a great time.  

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Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Been Gone For Far Too Long

For some reason, when you don't get in touch with people who are important to you, it makes you less likely to do so in the future. It's like with each passing opportunity to catch up that you miss out on, it's that much more embarrassing to call them up in the future.

I have several friends like this. It's just gone on too long now, and so nobody is quite comfortable calling the other up to do something.

Funny thing is, I know that I'd love to get a phone call from any of these "long lost friends", and I'm sure they feel the same. But the inhibition is still there, and it's just too hard to do.

That how I used to feel. I still do, but I used to too (RIP Mitch). Only now it's imperative that I find and spend time with every single person I know. This has been good for me. It's been just enough incentive to get together with people that I've been meaning to for a long long time.

Like Kelsey. Kels is my cousin, and has been my whole life (go figure). As we turned into mild-mannered teenagers, we started to hang out more and more. She became one of the best friends I've ever had, and we always had a blast together. Along with our other cousin Lacey, we would cause absolutely no trouble at all, but played an awful lot of scum (aka President to stupid people).

I went away for a few years, and Kelsey got married. Me too. Young newlyweds are very busy trying to please both sides of the family, so anytime that we were both in town we wouldn't find the time to catch up. One year turned into two, and two into five. Years do that, it defies all math. When she came up for her sister Mackenzie's wedding, I knew that it had been way too long since we had spent some real time together.

We scheduled a meet in the evening so that all the wee ones were asleep. I brought some games, which didn't see any tabletime since there was WAY too much to catch up on. I left with that familiar feeling of wondering why I had waited so long to find just one afternoon to spend time with someone who has been such an important part of my not-so-rebellious years. This needs to happen more often.

Apparently we turn back into teenagers when the camera comes out. Kelsey, I apologize for making these public.

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Sunday, 19 February 2012

The Breakfast Club

I'm nearing the end of my second year in nursing, and it amazes me that I am still seeing new faces in my program. However, there are a select few students that I know well. Quite well. And how do I know them so well? It really wasn’t anything I did by choice. Let me explain…

First clinical rotation, first semester: Labor & Delivery. I started this rotation with lots of energy and enthusiasm. To a bunch of fresh nursing students, it was the coveted placement. I was even lucky enough to experience a birth my first shift! But what I didn’t know is that it would be the only baby I would assist with for the rest of the rotation. Aside from a couple diagnostic tests and ultrasounds I was able to sit in on, I sat in the same room, in the same chair, for 7 more shifts. So did the rest of my 6 cohorts. Some of them seemed to be favored more than others (and than me) experiencing more babies and all the excitement involved. But really it was a matter of luck. Labor & Delivery is an unpredictable floor. It’s only a guessing game as to how many moms will come through those doors on any given day and how long their labor will last. But in my opinion, my luck was only short-lived.

So back to sitting in my chair for the bulk of an 8 hour shift... I was keen enough to bring my homework along, and I did get a good deal accomplished. But I can only focus for so long, especially with people coming in and out of the room for various reasons.

If you can imagine the Breakfast Club, that is truly what we were. (and yes, I did age myself referencing that with the other, somewhat younger students…) Labor & Delivery wasn’t necessarily detention, nor did we have an antagonistic principal, but we were stuck in a room for what felt like an eternity and we had to keep out the way of a few irritable nurses. This time there was 7 of us, some of us strangers, but we got to know each other on a level that I won’t be able to duplicate with my other classmates.

One of my classmates that I was fortunate enough to get to know was Erica Sommerfeld. I’m not in any of her classes this semester, so I made a priority of it to catch up with her. It took a couple attempts, but we were able to coordinate a quick lunch date after one of my clinical shifts. Walking out of the hospital at the end of the day, I’ll admit that I was super tired and was questioning my choice to get together. But after having a short visit, it was really only an hour, I was so glad to have caught up with a friend. It was worth the sacrificed nap.

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Friday, 17 February 2012

One Wedding and an ENTIRE PIE TO MYSELF

Yes, pie. But before we get to that.

You know how sometimes people just get arbitrarily screwed by life? People like to try and explain it away through any number of different possibilities. It's a test. It's because you needed to learn something. It's so that you can be ready for a new opportunity. Well, I really don't buy that, and I'm not scared of calling it what it is. Sometimes, people just get hosed.

Some people let it define them, and that's okay I guess. I've never actually been hosed that I can recall, except when I bought a Sega Genesis. Or when I bought my first tape from the band Genesis. Or when I read the first book in the bible. Really, anything "Genesis" equals a great deal of hosing.

But about the defining thing. Some people never quite get over it. Some people do though.

I went to the wedding of my beautiful cousin this week who was getting married. Mackenzie (wicked name) got hosed; Made all the right moves in life, got hosed anyway. She really could have let it define the rest of her life. I wouldn't have blamed her. In fact, I probably would have supported her in dwelling on it for the rest of eternity.

Instead though, she got out of the house, met a great guy who has an accent straight from medieval Disney epics, and married him this past weekend. That's admirable.

It's admirable because she had every reason not to. It's admirable because the position she was in (the hosed one) was not her fault at all. Just as you would never blame anybody for using a wheelchair if their legs were torn off by a gorilla/shark hybrid, one would never have blamed her for quietly living out the rest of her life as a bitter old lady with 10,000 cats and one lazy eye. But instead, she chose happiness.

And that's really the only choice that matters. And it's really the only choice we have to make. You can whine at me and say that you have a more difficult situation and it's not as easy as all that. Well you're wrong, and it is that easy. Choose to be happy, choose to move on. Sometimes it feels so good to hang onto a grudge that we might think that it's actually worth hanging onto. It's not. How do I know? A young bride's smile convinced me otherwise this weekend.

Congratulations Mackenzie! (& Jason).  So happy for you!

And dessert. It was an apple pie all to myself, homemade ice cream on the side. Boom.

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Tuesday, 14 February 2012


Hello Everybody!

You may have noticed that we have not been filling out blog entries for the past 4 or 5 days. If you noticed this, then great. If you didn't, then great.

The reason: Debilitating sickness running rampant through the Tolman household. Patient zero was myself, but it has since spread through the family and back to me again. Those affected have exhibited symptoms of not blogging while sick.

So that's where we've been, but we have managed to keep our commitment (almost). We've been spending time with people, which shows just how much we love you. We're willing to risk getting you sick rather than not achieve our self-made goals. The only thing we haven't done is blog it.

I'm not going to blog any of it tonight either, since it's Valentine's day and you shouldn't be reading this anyway. Go buy your significant other flowers. Or, if you have no significant other, go eat a tub of ice cream.

Artist's depiction of a virus. This is what makes people sick. I'm pretty sure it's the tentacles that does it.

Friday, 10 February 2012


We had a last minute cancellation on Wednesday. This meant that it was Wednesday evening and we had NO idea how we were going to find someone to spend time with by the end of the day.

Like a genius I pulled up the community calendar. Turns out, there was an annual winter walk going on in Lethbridge that day. We figured we'd go stag and find some unsuspecting family to introduce ourselves to.

When we got there Trish pretended to be playing with Grayson while I cased the joint. There were plenty of good targets, but we had to be careful about how we approached them. To quickly, and it would be awkward. Too slowly, and we wouldn't be able to actually get to know them before the walk was over.

At one point I was huddled behind a tree for warmth, trying to decipher who would be the best mark when it just kind of fell into my lap. A young couple, poorly dressed for the cold (at least he was) soon found the tree that I was huddled under.

Suddenly some lady was yelling from a megaphone. Apparently it was time for us to shuffle on over and do some dancing to warm up for the walk. They shoved us out into an empty wind-torn plain to "warm up". It worked so well.

The poor citizens of Lethbridge, trying desperately to stay warm by dancing.
The people were out of focus in real life too. I know how to take pictures, okay?

Grayson doing what he does best: Being a speck in the distance.
Trish doing what she does best: Chasing after him.

Bringing him back to the fold.

In the midst of the turmoil, I lost our chosen targets, but as the group of fifty or so started shuffling down the path I noticed them up near the front. We were at the back, so we had some serious passing to do in order to catch up.

As I explained to Grayson that we would need to hurry, he suddenly decided that every curbside was a balance beam, and that walking across one was as important as winning gold in the olympics for the Motherland. This was going poorly. We were running out of time.

That is when Grayson decided to challenge a teenage girl beside us to a race. In less than a minute we had closed the gap. Thank you, teenage girl, whoever you are.

We struck up a conversation with the young couple, who have names, and they are Lindy and Sam. We soon found out that we know lots of the same people. I mean LOTS of the same people. In fact, it was almost impossible that we hadn`t met before. They know well some of our best friends who have regrettably moved away to the Barrhead area. Don`t know where that is? Join the club.

We've decided that because they were so cool and we didn't get to spend enough time with them, we'd like to hang out with them again. Sam teaches band in Magrath, so we'll have to see what we can arrange there. Something interesting I bet! We were dumb and didn't manage to get a picture with Sam and Lindy. Just another reason to hang out again!

Going stag to a community event. Recommended!

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Wednesday, 8 February 2012

NuTrish on Nutrition

NuTrish the Nutrition expert. She actually is quite the sought after speaker in regards to nutrition, having given presentations in several different venues. This time it was a youth group that was planning a camping trip. Trish was brought in to help them plan their meals in a (hopefully) beneficial way.

I gotta hand it to her, teaching nutrition to a bunch of teenagers is not generally what most people would consider leisure time, but Trish had been looking forward to this for quite awhile now. 

You know how everyone has that one thing that they are passionate about? Even the most reserved person can talk your ear off if you hit on the right topic. I've found that if ever a conversation is lagging, it's because I'm talking too much about myself, and quite simply, I'm not that interesting. 

Trish lights up when you talk about nutrition. She seriously lives and breathes it. Doesn't hurt that she has four Ph.d.'s in it. Or something like that. 

My point is, that she's got a sparkle in her eye up there when she teaches. My camera is good, but it doesn't capture sparkles, so you'll just have to imagine it in her eye in the picture. Or better yet, get in touch with Trish and have her come teach nutrition to your group. Or just you. She loves it. 

Trish sparkling away. She always looks awesome up there.

We didn't really get to know any one person in particular more than the others, just kind of the whole group. I got to chase Grayson around while he laughed hysterically at my attempts to catch him. Never take a three-year-old to a presentation.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Like Some Bawses: Curling


These are just some of the incredibly manly terms that come up when playing the least gay sport ever: Curling. The term "Curling" actually comes from the way men's chest hair curls when several thousand screaming women cheer them on from the audience. It's just an occupational hazard. Don't want curly chest hair? Don't curl. Don't have chest hair? Then you can't curl.

Tom Gundarson (Like we were teenagers) decided that many of the people he knew were simply giving off too much testosterone, and so invited us for a gentlemen's match of curling, but only if our stones were big enough to compete. The stones that I own are bigger than regulation size, so I had to go with what the rink provided.

                            Tom Gunderson          Amie Mendenhall       

We heard that there was sweeping involved, so we decided to bring along the womenfolk. Practice makes perfect, or so they say. Amie and Mike Mendenhall joined in on the curling action, but this post isn't about them this time. (We'll be spending time with them another day.) A last minute cancellation meant that we met up with Mike and Kaylee. Mike was stronger than I was, but he was on my team, so we were good.

There were 8 of us that stepped into the rink that night. The four men ready to compete through an iced-up metaphorical match of fisticuffs, and the four women faithfully supporting us in our endeavor. Though we had all been through countless man-proving challenges, none of us were ready for the sheer intensity of the game.

As I walked into the rink that night, my eyes slowly adjusted to my surroundings. "What, is that blood?" I thought to myself. Surely it was, let from those who had lost this grisly game. No. Only the red lines painted on the ice to measure boundaries. 

I then sensed other bodies in the arena. Like a gladiator of old I puffed up my chest and flexed every last one of my muscle. I did not want to let the other seasoned curlers know that I was fresh meat. Surely they would eat me alive, and leave my body for the crows. 

But, the bodies were smaller than I thought. And the anatomy... different. Oh no.

Ladies league.

I suddenly felt somewhat less manly. Granted, many were pretty manly women, but it did take some of the grandeur out of the whole thing.

No matter, we went ahead. 

Tom split us up into 2 different teams, of 4 people each. He made sure to split us so that we were not with our spouses. This way, if fist flew amongst team members, at least it wouldn't be spousal abuse. I ended up on Mike's team, and Trish on Kaylee's. 

Mike was our skip. And I really don't know why they call it that. Try skipping on ice. Really. Make sure you're taking a video of it.

I think your so called 'skip' has other talents.

I don't want to talk about how the game went. Turns out, the women put us to shame in the scoring department, and we all got in touch with our feminine sides as we learned how to vigorously work the brooms. I've been sweeping in front of Trish everywhere she goes in the house, and I'm pretty sure she's going faster now.

Sweep, sweep, sweep away Ry. If only these skills could transfer to shoveling snow. 
Just think how fast the driveway would be cleared! 
Hmmm... Or mopping. So many possibilities...

To sweep or not to sweep? I still need to get that figured out. 

So it turns out that curling does not require the special talents that men hold so dear. Finesse seemed to be the key. Balance. Coordination. And other things that are foreign to me.

As a first time curler, it was either  - Coordination or Skill -  Not both.
I mostly lacked in the coordination department most of the night,
as in the women curling next to us were thoroughly amused at the majority of my sad attempts.

Ryley making it look easy. What the picture doesn't show is my awesome
rock busting shots after him that earned us some pivotal points.  

Next time maybe Tom will choose a more manly sport. Like making sandwiches or something.


The not quite winners.

The best part about this picture is that Ryley and Mike both turned for a mug shot pose,
at the exact same moment. and direction, without prior discussion.
However, I don't think I can afford to pay his bail.

Had a great time with some great friends, some newer than others.
Who knew curling could make such a fun date night. I highly recommend it. 

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Monday, 6 February 2012

Barbecue Salmon in February! Woot!

It's been nice. Too nice. So nice that we decided to barbeque some Salmon on Sunday. It's probably my strongest dish. I use it to show off to people that I know how to cook. It's kinda like the person who learns one  really hard song on the piano or guitar, just so that everyone else thinks they can play well, but truth is they're terrible. Except at that one song. Salmon is the only song that I can play on the barbeque. But I play it well.

We decided to have Whitney and Brett over, since they had us over a few months ago and made this incredible  dish that supposedly originates from Cafe Rio, but I'm pretty sure actually comes from the Kitchen Of The Gods. That would be Gordon Ramsay. His kitchen.

I wanted to show them that they weren't the only people that could cook.

And I did. I know you were expecting me to say something else. The salmon turned out great. So there haters.

This day was an example of why you should invite people back over more than once. When we went over there it was that really polite preliminary screening where you don't quite let your real humor show. You're not quite sure if it's appropriate to talk about how big people's foreheads are, or something like that.

The second time though, anything is game. We actually had a riot just sitting at the table talking for almost 4 hours after supper.

Whitney brought dessert. She's forbidden me from talking any more about the dessert. I think she was scared I would mention they were overcooked. I wouldn't do that to someone. At least not on a public blog.

Whitney and Brett right before the awesome salmon. 
I wish that I had gotten a better picture of that salmon, it looked great. Let me see if I can zoom in.

Maybe a bit more...


Aw Yeah!

(Finally) Meeting The Neighbors!

Yeah, so we've lived here for five years now.

It just so happens that Trish's sister, Vicki, (and husband, Dic,) are good friends with the people who live just a few doors down from us. We've always talked about the possibility of getting together for an introductory dinner at someone's house. We talk about a lot of things.

We finally did it. Possibly in the most roundabout way conceivable. We all went across town to Vicki's place, and had a barbeque over there (+1 for nice weather in February!).

Great weather. Great food. Great people. 
Barbecue chicken, Greek potatoes, and salad. Gotta love BBQ in February!

Quinton and Chris (or Kris, or Kryss, or Chryss, or Xhriss, or Jeff) however you spell it, met us over at the sibling-in-law's place, and we had a great time. No one had a better time than Grayson, however, as Quinton and XKChris(s) have not one, but two boys that are close to Grayson's age.

Vicki & Dic's son, Mac, (caught him mid-'derp') on the right,
and then clock-wise around the table: Samantha, Andrew, Trevor, and Grayson.
It's amazing how peer influence can work miracles to get a picky kid to eat his vegetables!

The night went great, apart from the complete nuclear Armageddon that erupted from Grayson's mouth when we told him it was time to leave. It would seem that he got along well with his new friends.

Even though it was a pretty strange way to meet your neighbors (travelling across town) at least we finally did it. It's nice to have someone else on the street that we know, especially if he happens to own power tools.

Quinton & Chris

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Like We Were Still Teenagers

So many of us (me) lose that flair we once had for life. We get older. And smarter (or so we tell ourselves), and in doing so become more reserved. We hold back because our incredible amount of life experience compels us to be more reserved than we used to be. It is only becoming of us to act our age, and so we tone it all down a few notches every decade until we die.

Every once and awhile someone breaks this paradigm. We like to refer to these people as they who "never grew up."

But guess what? We're wrong. They DID grow up. They just managed to do so and hang onto some of the good things (perhaps the ONLY good thing) about teenagers.

Thomas and Char-lane Gunderson never grew up. Or are immature. Or don't act their age. Or whatever else you have to tell yourself to justify the fact that they have more fun than the rest of us. Most of us anyways.

We played some games. Well, me and Trish participated at the games, and Tom and Char-lane actually played them. Voices were raised, hands were smacked onto tables, feelings were teased. Tom and Char actually appeared more as a couple who were still dating, rather than married. I mean this in the best possible way. We were privy to constant flirting on the other side of the table (usually in the form of teasing, but that's how Tom operates). I'll add that Trish was on my side of the table. The flirting involved our guests.

Why don't we let ourselves go more? Why do we yell less than we used to?

I tell myself it's because I don't want to wake Grayson. Well, there were several instances of decibel climax last night, and yet the boy didn't stir. By the end of the night, we were just starting to join in. And I was just starting to remember what it was like to just not worry about what I look like and goof off.

 The anticipation is truly worse than the shock...

It's really more of a finger buzz, Grayson actually enjoys it. Char-Lane, not so much.

It's funny, because right after they were gone I was thinking about why I've lost my ability to let go like that. I actually told Trish that I thought it was because I've gained 10 pounds since high school, and so I felt uneasy in my own skin.

Lame, Tolman. Really lame.

It's because I've fallen into the trap of being an old fart in my mid 20's. I've let the expectations of how I should act turn me into something that I don't approve of. I mean to take inspiration from these Gunderson folks and let loose a little more often. If they can do it with a newborn baby in the house, I should be able to do it just fine.

Friday, 3 February 2012

The Tallest French Immersion Teacher In The World!

That's Mike. At almost 7'0", he's likely the tallest guy who teaches french immersion school. I don't need to do any research to know this. I know this because of tall.

We know him around the house as "Big Mike", and I'm not gonna lie, Big Mike is the reason that Grayson eats his vegetables. Example:

Me: Eat your vegetables Grayson.

Grayson: No.

Me: Don't you wanna be Big like Mike?

Grayson: No.

Me: Fine, just wait till mommy leaves, and we'll throw them away.

So it doesn't always go as I plan, but in my defense, it is really hard to argue with a three-year-old.

As big as Mike is, he still harbors a very small child somewhere deep down. Because of this, he very much enjoys games. We get along well.

So I had him over for some good ol' fashioned gaming. Card style. Back when I was little and Mike was less big, we used to play cards a ton. I've actually known Mike since I was a wee bobbin running (mostly) naked through the streets of the small town we both grew up in.

We had a good time, and very few curses were shouted. Mike mostly curses in French Immersion anyway, so he can do that all he wants.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Studying With Partners Doesn't Work...

I don't know why people say that it does. 1 of 2 things will happen.

1) You won't get along with the other people, and you'll spend the entire study session trying to figure out how to make a trebuchet out of various study supplies in order to bombard them with rubbish.

2) You'll get along too well and spend the whole time talking about unrelated things.

Me and Rob usually fall into category 2.

It makes me feel bad, because I know his study habits are excellent. When I come though, we usually spend most of the time expounding upon the secrets of the universe. Or solving other people's problems for them. Or ordering pizza.

Although we're getting better at sticking to the task. He knows my distraction tactics so well that when I innocently ask if he's happened to see a quick online video he just says yes, even if he hasn't. Experience has taught him that if I start showing YouTube videos, it never stops. Rightly so, YouTube videos are amazing. Just watch this one.

So that's what a "study session" with Rob usually devolves into. Though through no fault of his.

We did a lot better this time, and actually got some work done. He studied for a mid-term or something about Biology, and I wrote the rules to a board game I'm entering in the Canada Game Design of the Year contest.

In the end we did get to talking for awhile, but that's okay, it was kind of my aim from the start. It had to happen though, there were many secrets of the universe that needed expounding.