Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Week in Review

The boys have great senses of humour, honest. Just when you hear the following conversation between them, you may not believe it.

Knock, Knock!
Who’s there?
Lantern who?
Lanterns can’t talk.

So we move on to:

Knock, Knock!
Who’s there?
You who?
(this one may be more promising…)
You aren’t a lantern.
(OK, so this joke sucked, too.)

Aaron gave Ethan a Knock Knock book ages ago, and I’m sorry to report that it hasn’t rubbed off. At all.

This week I made Jambalaya, Mike’s favourite dinner ever. I made his with spicy sausage and extra cayenne. Then I made a second version for me with veggie sausage and less spice. Finally, the boys’ version had veggie sausage, no spice, and was made with “ketchup” – tomato sauce really. So after me cooking for 2 hours, the only one who enjoyed his dinner was Mike. I have a hard time enjoying my meal when one boy is crying hysterically because “his dinner stinks… and it doesn’t even LOOK good” and the other is riding along on his brother’s discontent. All this after just having a conversation last weekend about trying to teach the boys table manners, because we don’t want to turn out like other children we’ve seen, etc. I was humbled tonight, let me tell you. I eventually just left the room after telling Ethan how much he had hurt my feelings.

We had a fantastic time last weekend on our Scavenger Hunt. It was adults only, and we had a list of digital photos to get, and tons of items to scavenge, all in the space of 2 hours. We all met here and divided into 3 teams of 4 people by drawing a bandanna out of a sack. Our team was Mike, me, Chad and Kim and we kicked butt. Seriously – Team Green got 505 points, and the other two got 360 and 305. We were having a great time, and then it came to judging where we all judged the other teams. I have never heard it so loud in this house! It was hysterical!

The next day, we picked up the boys and Grandma and went for burgers at Red Robin. Mike dropped me off at a Christmas-card-making party and then he took them to their friend Gavin’s birthday party. They ended up by going to the fire hall – fun for Jack; not so much for Ethan who had a little fit about being inside there. His claustrophobia again? I don’t know.

We celebrated American Thanksgiving this week, too. Mike’s company sent us a giant honey-baked ham so I made a big meal with that, potatoes, squash, and amazing “haricots frites” – green beans blanched, then tossed quickly in hot oil with sesame seeds. So good! Then we had apple pie and vanilla ice cream for dessert – yum!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Little Tidbits

17 children in one Undersea Garden birthday party is about 15 too many for my head. I am SO glad Liam had a great time – so did our boys and Hannah too – but I think the adults would all concur that we were glad for a little caffeine boost and cake pick-me-up at the Spaghetti Factory after!

Ethan’s tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy are scheduled for Monday, December 3rd. I am looking forward to correcting the sleep apnea but scared to death about the surgery. Even more so, I dread the recovery for my little drama king. Or, more accurately, how Mike and I will handle his recovery.

Hours without power due to windstorm: 13-1/2. Hours spent playing board games by candlelight: 4. Hours without internet and phone due to windstorm: 31. Hours Mike went crazy: 31.

While we’re on statistics, approximate number of times I visit Costco per year: 57. I should buy stock.

Note: my boy Becks looks just as good in person from 15 feet away as he does on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Our front row seats to the LA Galaxy vs. Vancouver Whitecaps game were priceless. Sigh. I love Beckham – er, soccer.

It’s very unsettling to hear your 5 year-old call his 3-1/2 year-old little brother “you old bugger”.

Interesting how one boy’s “happy song” (repeated over and over, it’s true) makes the other boy SO mad he screams until he loses control altogether and knocks the happy brother off his stool and ends up on the naughty mat for 5 minutes.

I have exactly 1 hour and 57 minutes between dropping Jack off at preschool and leaving to pick Ethan up at Kindergarten, twice a week. I can do more in that 1 hour and 57 minutes than in 12 hours of time with the boys. Yet somehow, I never feel I’ve accomplished QUITE enough!

I am in my seventh week of my healthier plan. I do 3-4 cardio workouts a week, 1-2 Yoga session, and sometimes 1 weights session too. Despite a two-week back injury at the end of September, a chocolate-tasting party, and two binge days at Halloween, I am overall doing very well. Eating better consistently is easy as long as I allow myself some treat at the end of each day. A small square of dark chocolate fits the bill every time! My goals are: bikini in Belize for New Year’s, Sprint distance triathlon in April and Olympic distance triathlon in July or August.

Ethan and Jack have created something “fun” called the Fart Zone. This involves surrounding me and farting multiple times, then laughing hysterically when I scramble out of the area. I am alarmed since they are only 3 and 5 and they can fart on command. Not cool. What else is in store for me in this house?

Coming up: reports on our second annual Scavenger Hunt (to be held this Saturday)! Have a great week everyone!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Sugar Highs and Embarrassing Lows

Halloween has come and gone for another year. The boys had a fantastic time and somehow or other, their costumes survived through a party on Saturday night, being worn to school and to daycare on Wednesday, and through Trick-or-treating. They were adorable and everyone loved their costumes. But the past few days have been difficult for me, as the kids come down off their sugar high and are acting beastly. Ethan’s teacher popped her head out of the classroom just before dismissal today and said that she’s going to make sure Halloween comes during the summer holidays next year so she doesn’t have to deal with the aftermath! I guess she’s dealing with the beastlies too.

Speaking of beasts, we are having a very hard time getting Ethan to eat meat these days. He’s made the connection that chicken is Chicken, fish is Fish and turkey is Turkey – so he refuses to eat any of those things. I look at him and can see his little mind getting grossed out as he stares at his plate. And who am I to judge, really, when I am a “vegetarian+chicken” myself and I struggle mentally to eat anything other than veggies (or chocolate, but that comes from a cocoa bean, so same thing). We have been very evasive on the origins of ham and beef, but he is extremely suspicious. For the past three weeks, his protein has come in the form of meatballs, sausages, and soy cheese. So if he asks you what animal any of these things come from, please avoid the question. It’s not like we can add peanut butter to his repertoire to “beef” him up! And I have been noticing lately just how thin he is. He eats all the time, no kidding, we jump from breakfast to snack to second snack to lunch to three-snack afternoon to dinner, and you can still see the kid’s ribs clear as day. He doesn’t have an ounce of fat on him, and I never would have thought I would say that about him after his first year of pudgy life. Some of you may remember his nickname: “El Puerco” – the pig. We had to lift the rolls of fat on his arms and legs to get him clean in the bath. He was 8 lbs 11 oz at birth AND he was born nearly a month early. I honestly don’t know how we will afford to feed this guy once he’s a teenager.

And when it comes to bellies, we are anticipating a giant growth spurt from Jack. He’s like a comic strip character – he gets a very impressive Buddha belly, then his feet pop up a size, then he grows an inch. Since he’s still very small for his age, he could use a few inches. He’s desperate to get into that Ikea playroom! The poor little guy just split his lip again – who knows how, and I was less than two feet from him when it happened – and he has a double knot on his forehead. He already had a bruise and a knot up there from doing something at the Halloween party last weekend (what? We have no idea…), and just in time for school pictures, too. Then last night Mike was playing a game of tag with them, and Mike jumped out of the way as Jack supermanned at him. Jack’s momentum carried him headfirst into the side of the ottoman, where we heard a big thwack. He turned around and his knot was now a giant green double knot. Lovely. And he insisted on wearing his Mongolian hat (sent by Uncle Mark some months ago) to drop Ethan off at school today, which only accentuated the giant lump. I should have just drawn an arrow in Sharpie on his forehead, pointing to the bruise, with a label that says “I neglect my kids”.

I have been compiling a list of embarrassing stories for a while to present to you. The following stories are all TRUE and they all unfortunately happened to ME. Here you go:
1. While in WalMart a while back, I unexpectedly had to purchase some monthly feminine supplies, if you get my drift. I then wheeled the double stroller into the large wheelchair stall at the end of the bathroom and proceeded to take care of business. Ethan asks in an echoing voice, "Why are you wearing a diaper, Mummy?" Up and down the row of stalls, I hear muffled snickers. I hotly explained to Ethan that pantiliners were to protect underwear and that they were NOT diapers! I stayed in that stall for a long time until I was sure there were all new people in the bathroom.
2. Ethan is buying a long-stemmed silk flower for a friend for her birthday, and he loves how long it is. While in line to pay for the flower, he holds it up to me and says nice and loudly, "It comes all the way up to your vagina, Mummy!" Sudden silence from all who are waiting in line.
3. Often after a trip to Zellers, and only if they've been decent, we'll stop for one small Purdy's chocolate each. There was one day they totally did NOT deserve it. After I said no, Jack ran over into Purdy's and threw himself down on the floor onto the Purdy's purple logo tile. To my horror, he actually started LICKING the floor. One sweet old lady said, "Oh just get him some chocolate, dear!"
4. We hit Save-On-Foods every Monday morning around 10 am. We often get the same check-out lady and on this occasion, she asked the boys what they had been up to that morning. "Well", Ethan says, "Mummy really needed vodka." (Our first errand had been the liquor store, but let me stress that I had NOT imbibed any!) She took it in stride and silently handed the boys a sticker each.
5. I'm paying a parking ticket at the City Hall counter when all of a sudden Jack runs at me from behind and head-butts me (It's literally a head-butt - his head, my butt); I slam into the counter. Both clerks and the two other customers jump and I mumble "sorry he must think he's a mountain goat or something". Just then Jack grabs fistfuls of my butt cheeks in each hand and yells "you have a beautiful butt Mummy". I'm immediately scarlet and the ladies have tears in their eyes and are howling and telling their co-workers all about it as I slink out. (As a side note – I was telling my friend Carla this story and as we’re laughing about it, her son whips a tampon out of her purse and starts waving it around. So it’s not only my kids who enjoy embarrassing me!)

Well kids, I say this to you: payback's a bitch. And I WILL embarrass you completely, incredibly, awfully. I will save it until your teenage years and for your wedding day. But best of all I am keeping photographic evidence of you and your idiosyncrasies and you can bet that your first girlfriends are going to see it. All of it. So go on with your embarrassing selves. I am patient and I will wait.