Monday, December 31, 2012

A Tink Christmas

Hi there! I'm not quite sure where the past week went, but I think it had something to do with rest and relaxation. So no thoughtful; New Year's post this year. Instead, I'll share the annual love extravaganza that is Christmas amongst the Andersens. Which in a way will serve as its own thoughtful New Year's post, because at the end of the day, this is what life is about. Love. And a lot of laughter.

Liam contemplated the meaning of Christmas. Or tried to wait patiently for dinner and presents. Either works.

Morgan borrowed Scott's hat. Hip hop looks good on her.

We moved dinner down to the building's Party Room— there was no room at the inn (a.k.a. my mother's apartment) for 11 people to eat and still have elbow room. During dinner, Morgan attacked David. She is particularly fond of squishing his face.

 Back upstairs the kids burned off energy


and then we all sang carols, both English and Danish. This frequently got derailed as the participants lost it


Anything dinosaur is good for Liam. And when it's something like this, it's extra phenomenal

We managed to thoroughly confuse, then delight, Ken with a present

JD was a new addition to the festivities and a very welcome one. And not just because he brought goodies from Denmark.

We'd all pitched in to get the Tinks a Very Good Present each and they plotz in very different ways. Liam shows his joy in a very extroverted way, essentially exploding all over the living room, handing out fast and hard hugs and culminating in a 'faint' on his new Lego set

Morgan, on the other hand, had a quieter reaction, imploding with the joy of getting her very own camera. Everyone got really long hugs and she positively glowed. She's still plotzing a week later.

Thank you for sharing this past year with me. May the love in your life warm you in challenges and joy. Happy New Year!

Friday, December 21, 2012

City Hush, redux

Toronto's had no snow yet, at least not any that stayed on the ground. None forecast for Christmas, either. So to celebrate the winter solstice, I've pulled this out of my archives and made it my desktop image. Maybe it'll give Mother Nature a nudge, remind her what snow is.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


I've meant to do a post for the past three days and have finally realized it just ain't gonna happen. Too much to do between work, The Book and getting ready for the big day (as my sister says: five more days!). So it'll be about photos instead. 

One of me neighbours on the street next to my building has decorated their shrubbery. Every timeI look out my window, I see dancing stars of light and smile. I love this season.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Real RA: Opening a Pop/Soda Can

RA hands can make a lot of things difficult, some of them big, some of them small. Sometimes it's about the jar, sometimes it isn't. And sometimes, it's about something as simple as a can of pop.

Over time, you develop tricks and workarounds to do what you need to do. Today, I share mine for opening those recalcitrant cans – all you need is a fork. Sure, your health would be better without the fizzy wonder liquid, but every now and again, you gotta give in...
Note: forgot to mention why a small fork doesn't work and only had the one can. The tines need to be long enough to brace against the edge of the hole in the can while keeping the tab steady and straight. If you use a small fork, the tab bends instead of opening.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Tinks are 7!

I have no idea how this happened, but somehow, my wee babies - OK, my sister's wee babies - are now 7 years old. A couple of weeks ago, we all got together to celebrate.

We started at my mother's and as usual, the minute David sat down, he had a pile of Tinks on his lap

After the greeting rituals, we repaired to our local Irish pub for nosh and presents. Liam had a big sandwich

Morgan and Janne/TinkMama communed

The kids both got a Hexbug - a fantastic toy that's fun for all ages. Liam's was an orange larva

Morgan discovered that if she held the middle legs of her superfast purple ant, it whirred around madly. Total glee

After lunch, we went back to my mother's again and the kids piled on top of Scott.

Michele discovered that the kids seems to have outgrown the criss cross game.

And Liam got attacked by Morgan's snake.

It was a good day.

Seven. Wow.


Thursday, December 06, 2012

RA and the Holidays: Dialing Down the Stress

It's been a loooong week and somehow, the blog got neglected. Next week will be better (I hope).

One of my distractions was a post for HealthCentral about how to keep from getting too overwhelmed this season:

"The holidays are here, the time that tradition kicks in more firmly than any other time of year. That means doing everything the way you did last year and the year before that and so on. You have expectations of yourself, expectations to perform at a certain level. You always bake seven different kinds of cookies, because that's what your mother did when you grew up. The silver has to be polished and the house decorated inside and out. You can't not show up to the holiday parties, especially not the ones with a potluck, because people depend on you. There's a mountain of cards to be written and a mountain of work to be done before the end of December. Presents have to be bought and wrapped beautifully, just like you always have.

And when you have rheumatoid arthritis, it can be completely overwhelming. The pressure to do all the things we used to do can wear you down at any time of the year, but even more so during the holidays. Sometimes, it all becomes symbolic of the changes in your life and all the things you want to do, but can't. The gap between your expectations and reality seems impossible to bridge and before you know it, you're in the middle of a depression. How do you stop the spiral and get back to enjoying the holidays?"

You can read the rest here. Other HealthCentral writers are also posting about health and the holidays from a number of different perspectives. Lots of great writing!