Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I'm a Creep

We've had a good Christmas break so far. Today we decided to go to "Puck & Stick" at our local arena and then stay for Public Skate. The boys had a good time playing hockey although Jack was ticked off because the sticks were all too long for him. He made sure to tell the Skate Patrol that they should get shorter sticks. Oh yes he did. Ethan was playing hockey with a friend and I was on the bench for this part. I'm nursing a sore throat and I actually can only whisper at the moment. You can imagine how easy it was for me with no voice to get the boys off the ice for the zamboni to come clean it. Luckily Skate Patrol rounded them up and we went off to have a bite to eat before we all laced up for family skate time.

The big draw for me today was that Simon Whitfield, a triathlete who won Olympic gold in Sydney 2000 and Olympic silver in Beijing 2008, was skating and then signing autographs. Mike and I have watched this guy race for the last decade, and he seems like such a nice guy, and an amazing athlete to boot.

Jack nearly ended the poor guy's triathlon career by skating into him to say Hi. Luckily Simon is quick on his feet and Jack only took out the two helpers. It was obviously time to take our skates off and so we joined the autograph line.

We only had to wait a few minutes before our turn came up. Jack and Ethan had a nice little chat with him as he signed their flags, while I nodded and smiled. Simon asked how old they were, and said he has a 2-1/2 yr old - he likes to see what is in store for him!

What I wanted to say: "We've really enjoyed following your races over the years! I was jumping up and down when you won in Sydney, and I nearly had a heart attack in Beijing at the finish. Congratulations on your career!"

What I actually managed to say: "I've watched you for 10 years..."

which, when croaked out in a hoarse whisper, sounded unbelievably creepy.
Then Jack said, "Mummy can't talk today. Can she have an autograph?" Saved by my 5 year old...

Hopefully I'll get my voice back before I meet anyone else.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas ROCKS!

I realize it's been a month since I posted, and I left it on a bleak note. The boys have been challenging here and there, but are well aware that SANTA IS WATCHING THEM, so every now and then we are lucky enough to experience good behaviour! Sometimes even from both of them at once!
Although it has been the usual crazy hectic-ness that is December, Christmas time is so much fun! I DO love this time of year. Tomorrow I am going to sleep in til 8 am! You heard me! 8 AM! Can you even stinking believe it?
Anyway, next week I am going to post top and bottom ten for the year, but for now let me wish you all a very Merry Christmas.
Oh yeah, and I only got your cards in the mail today. By a Christmas miracle they may make it to you on time!
Ho ho ho and xo,

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Adult Abuse

So my son punched me in the face today. In public and on purpose.

Which really makes me feel like such a fantastic parent that I have trained him SO well in his time on earth that he would think it was actually ok to punch me in the face.

We were on our way back from hockey and needed to stop at Home Depot. E has always resisted on-the-way-home stops; he hates the thought of appearing in public in his uniform. Remember this is the kid who won't participate in Crazy Hair Day in case others "think he's stupid". So this was the first time we made him get out.

Mike and Jack went inside so that I, the voice of reason, could talk Ethan out of the car and into the store calmly. He refused. I reasoned and rationalized. He still refused. I started to need to go to the bathroom badly. All of a sudden, we HAD to get in that store for my sake. Ethan didn't quite see it that way. I told him that he had a choice - he could walk in normally and be unobtrusive, or I could carry him in.

He chose the "Struggle and Carry" method.

He's not light, and he was wearing all his hockey gear (minus skates thank GOD or I would be posting from the hospital recovering from major lacerations) and he was kicking and screaming. Think 70 lbs in my arms. So the kid who doesn't want to be embarassed with others looking at him was making SUCH a scene in the Home Depot parking lot that people stopped their cars to look at him. And me.

At one point he unbalanced me and we both fell to the ground (and in a puddle, of course). I grimly picked him up again and continued on. When we got in the door, I asked the closest orange apron where were the bathrooms? as Ethan cocked his fist back and belted me in the jaw. My head snapped to the side and my jaw dropped open. So did the HD employee's jaw.

I have never been so embarrassed in my life. We made it to the bathroom. Ethan started walking on his own about halfway there, and by the time we got to the bathroom he was calm enough for me to share a few choice words with him.

After the bathroom we found Mike and Jack, and Ethan sat nicely in the driver's seat of the cart. We did what we needed to do and then went home.

Needless to say, Ethan has lost a LOT of privileges this week. We have talked seriously at regular intervals throughout the day. What else do I do? I am shocked and horrified, and honestly - I'm hurt. Physically, yes it hurt (and it's still tender), but I'm also heart-hurt. He HIT me. My boy who loves me as much as I love him and he HIT me.

I carefully explained to him that if he was a grown-up and he had hit me, he would be in jail right now. I don't think he'll hit again. But what if he does?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Protecting My Brood

There has been a lot of controversy about the H1N1 vaccine. I've always vaccinated my kids, though, and got them the flu shot every year, so I figured that this was no different. I made sure to read up on it, though, as I know it's a new vaccine. I spoke with doctors and health care workers - the fact that they were getting it themselves and for their families was reassuring. Also reassuring was the fact that although the vaccine itself is new, the components are not new, and WHO recommends getting the vaccine.

I found out that Ethan qualifies for the Priority vaccine, due to his asthma. He doesn't need the inhaler very much, but if he's sick or having allergy problems he certainly needs it, therefore he gets to jump the line and get protected. He could get very sick if he got H1N1 and a lot of the deaths have been in otherwise-healthy asthmatics.

When we got to the special clinic today, they said that within the last half hour they had been advised they could now vaccinate healthy 5-year-olds, too. Lucky Jack! Jack was very brave. My big 7-year-old; not so much.

E. found out he needed two needles as he was getting seasonal flu too. Jack could only get H1N1 today and needs to wait with other non-priority people like me to get his seasonal shot in a few weeks. We barely had to wait 5 minutes in total, and we were arranging ourselves on the chairs. Jack whimpered slightly, shut his eyes and was done in a flash. Ethan... well, Ethan ran away.

They called in another nurse, who was waiting on standby for the escapees. She and I together managed to wrestle Ethan (67 lbs, remember, and strong as an ox) into my lap. Then we couldn't get his shirt off. So we yanked the collar down to expose his shoulder and told him to relax - ha, ha - and poked one arm. Oh, the tears! The drama! And we still had an arm left. We yanked the collar down the other side (his shirt is stretched out just a little too much to wear now) and poked the other shoulder. One hug later, and we sat on the waiting chairs for 15 minutes to make sure they didn't get any reactions.

We played a new card game: "War", which the boys found really fun and certainly took their minds off their arms. Jack sauntered up to a friendly neighbourhood fireman and informed him that he was the bravest boy today. The fireman laughed and gave him a sticker. E. got one, too, and I kept his not-so-brave secret.

The reason I felt compelled to post this today is that I've been quite surprised at just how relieved I feel. I do feel like I have protected my brood, so I'm feeling quite mummy-proud at the moment. I never want them sick and I never want them to suffer. Also, when Ethan's sick we ALL suffer, so maybe there's a little selfishness in there too. And when Jack's sick, he gets sick so hard and fast; his little body gets so frail that I worry myself sick, too. So - I feel I can relax a little. Maybe I DID do a good mom job today.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Today's List

Here are ten things I should be doing right now, instead of writing here:

1. Folding laundry
2. Washing dinner dishes
3. Cleaning up the Game of Life and the 2000 piece puzzle the boys started
4. Wrapping Liam's present
5. Watching Vampire Diaries
6. Filing paperwork
7. Sleeping (What? I made it to #7 before writing Sleeping???)
8. Answering emails
9. Filling out more Olympics paperwork
10. Cleaning toilets

Ok, Ok, you win. Vampire Diaries it is.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Go Team 4!

Ethan had his first honest-to-goodness hockey game yesterday. Score clock and uniforms, cheering crowds in the freezing-ass stands, referees and whistles, breakaways and faceoffs. And I'm just such an awesome mom that I can't even remember his team's name. Yey team!

Ethan wasn't really too keen on pausing for the pre-game photo op. I guess he needs to be trained in keeping the paparazzi happy. (he's #7, "streaking" onto the ice here)
This is our boy in his pre-game skate. He's on the left and I can say proudly he is NOT the one fallen on the ice. He did keep his footing in this drill despite skates that were badly in need of sharpening.
He also was responsible for a couple of faceoffs. Now, it may look like he forgot his stick here, but I can assure you he did have one. Also, please don't judge him because he is facing off the completely wrong way. In his defense, they have not done faceoffs in practice so he really had no clue. And he did quite well, if by "well" you mean that he touched the puck first and passed it directly to the other team immediately.
He had a great time, and they won 8-5. Ethan's plus-minus is +3, if you're counting. I'm not even sure they keep track of that in Timbits league, but there you have it. Lots of fun. I was dismayed, however, to discover that his hockey equipment is already beginning to stink. I thought I had a while before we would need to fumigate his gear!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

All About FAILing

Remember last post, when I said I wanted to write a little something every day? Well, FAIL on that as it is now November 5, and I'm four days late on the every day thing. Due to that, and a recently-given-but-undeserved nickname of Mother Teresa, I decided that this post would be about failing miserably. Here are ten things I have failed at in the last week alone. And there's more! I am just limiting this to ten so we don't all get too depressed.

1. Jack-o-lanterns. FAIL. I did not take the kids to the pumpkin patch this year, nor did I even buy pumpkins during a grocery run. (Mainly because there haven't BEEN any grocery runs - see #3 below) Hence, we had none to carve this year. About 4 pm on Halloween, Ethan goes, "Hey, we haven't carved pumpkins this year!" to which I braced myself and replied "Sorry, but we don't have any this year...", expecting a mini-meltdown at this breach of tradition. Instead, the kids just said, "OK" and moved on. So is it a FAIL if nobody cares? Yes, because I have no pumpkin patch pictures for this year's scrapbook. (Which I am also failing at because I am 4 years behind on scrapbooks.)

2. House cleaning. FAIL. Something smells in my kitchen (finally figured out it was high time to take the compost pail to the composter in the back yard), I can't even take a shower in the Master bathroom because it's so slimy and disgusting in there, the dining room table is covered with papers ready to file, and there are baskets of laundry in various stages of cleanliness. Sigh - don't even know where to begin.

3. Groceries. FAIL. You know those good ol' staples - bread, milk, cheese? We've got none of these, nor have we had any for quite some time now. Mealtimes have been interesting and packing lunches for the boys have been barrel-bottom-scraping, to be sure. I've been living on tea and Halloween candy.

4. Bread. FAIL. I tried to make a loaf in the breadmaker for the first time in a while and it was a disaster loaf. I used what was probably old flour (and that's a double FAIL because I have no idea how old this special Best For Bread Flour is/was) and tried to make a whole wheat bread. Woke up to a delicious smell emanating from the kitchen, and as I opened the breadmaker I may have drooled a little only to find... the densest, smallest loaf our maker has ever created. Totally inedible.

5. Arriving on time to hockey. FAIL. Oh, I can't tell you how much this stresses me out. We try so hard to get there early, in enough time to properly lace the skates and get on the ice. I thought I really had it together on Sunday, but I thought we were three minutes early... turns out we were two minutes late onto the ice because I had Calendar-ed 1:15 instead of 1:10. FAIL FAIL FAIL. hmpf.

6. Building a house. FAIL. I was SO happy to participate in a Habitat for Humanity build through work. I was very excited to leave the house at 6:40 for the pleasure of arriving on the job site at 8 am. Not only did I arrive 10 minutes late due to traffic, I also annihilated a raccoon on my way. He (and I'm saying he was a he because if I stop for even a minute to think that he may have been a mummy raccoon with babies I may go insane) ran right in front of me at 6:40 am - pitch black, raining cats and dogs or, er, raccoons, and I had no chance. I whacked into him first with the middle of the front bumper and then, for good measure, ran over him with both the front and back right tires. Crunch. And I screamed, then hyperventilated. I didn't even have time to brake. And on the way home at 5 pm, there he was, lying exactly where I'd hit him. He looked like he was sleeping except his tongue was hanging out of his mouth. So my happy feel-good volunteer day? FAIL.

7. Changing a lightbulb. FAIL. Feel free to insert your own bad lightbulb joke here. But the real story is that every evening for the past four nights, I go to turn on our entry-way light and realize that yet again, I have failed to get out the stepladder to remove the old bulb to go to Home Depot and match the bulb and buy the bulb and come home to replace the bulb. And now that it's dark earlier because of daylight savings, we notice it more. Just not until it's too late to fix it.

8. Not using the TV as a babysitter. FAIL. It took me forever to sew the kids' overalls for their costumes, and I allowed them to play way more Wii and watch way more TV than is good for them. And it totally backfires, too, because they are super grumpy people when that's all they do. So we all lose when the TV is on so damn much.

9. Work. FAIL. Not that there is anything I am fully dropping the ball on; I just feel that there aren't enough hours in the week to get the projects done as fast and as well as I would like. I am only supposed to be working just under 19 hours per week - both me and my manager would like to keep it at that. But for every task I accomplish, I seem to add three more. And I would love to take advantage of some of the other learning opportunities and cross-training available to me, but it's just not working for me right now.

10. Staying positive. FAIL. I fully believe that you can make your day whatever you want it to be by adjusting your attitude. There were several days this week that I lost sight of that and I let myself get overwhelmed. No more negative Nellie here!

So for those of you who think I wear a halo, ask yourself this - does your toilet stink like pee? Because mine does, and as soon as I track down the boy who missed, there will be a stellar parenting demonstration happening. Check your halos at the door people! Over and out.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Halloween Report

Hello all,
I am trying to catch up on a bunch of things I wanted to share, so I'm going to try to write a bit every day. I think I'm going to work backwards, though, and give you our Halloween report for 2009!
The Mario Brothers took our town by storm!
Seriously, how cute are they?
And then this strange spider-webby lady swooped in:
We spent Friday at the school, with me hosting a craft station in the morning for the Kindergarten Halloween party. After making 40 ghosts with 40 five-year-olds, I am happy that there are no more Kindergartners in my future after this year. I am also happy that my original costume didn't work and I didn't have to struggle with the extra spider arms after all. The web on my dress didn't get in the way! After Jack and I were done, it was time to hand out hot lunch to Ethan's class, then we hung out in the playground until the costume parade after lunch. And by "hung out" I mean I hovered over Ethan and Jack, not letting them climb on anything or play on anything in case they ripped their costumes that I had spent over 20 hours sewing.
The costume parade was awesome and lots of fun for the kids. We eventually got home from school - what a long day!
Mike and I went to our friends' for dinner on Friday night, and I will certainly have to change names to protect the not-so-innocent. We had a raucous good time for "Tim's" birthday and were extremely thankful that the boys didn't get up until 8 am Saturday morning. Halloween was crazy busy as usual and before we knew it, it was late afternoon and time to get costumes on. Ethan asked me at 4 pm when we were going to carve pumpkins? FAIL - Mummy didn't actually get to the pumpkin/jack-o-lantern thing this year. Blame the damn costumes, son.
Our friends arrived at 6:30 and away we went, the kids running from house to house. 90 minutes later we hauled the kids home with their gigantic bags bulging with candy.
And today, surprisingly, no sugar crash... yet. Maybe tomorrow?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ew gross

I "raced" a 10 km run this morning. It was beautiful (not raining) and although my ankles are sore from trying not to slip on the wet leaves in the trails, overall it went pretty well. Without training much lately (really, not training at all. Maybe I ran sometime in September? Or August. I think I walked a while ago...) I decided to make it a 5 K, and completed that in 29 minutes. I then walked 1 K and ran the rest, so I was perfectly happy with the day's results. Overall was 1 hr 9 min. I was mad because Mike had taken the boys to hockey just before I left the house, and he had the car with my sunglasses and his running glasses in it. And I did get a killer headache this afternoon, but the worst part was getting the fly in my eye. I blame the lack of glasses. And Mike, of course. I got the fly in at 2.5 K, and didn't get it out until the car on the way home. At a red light, I pulled down my eye lid and EW there it was. So I peeled it out.

I blinked just now (10 hours later) and felt something shift to the corner of my eye. Just poked around in there and pulled out a wing.

Now I am going to go throw up.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Pick Your Jaw up off the Floor

Ethan's 7 today! Happy Birthday to my big man! And I'll recap later this week. But I've GOTTA tell you this related story.
Jack had picked out a very nice present for Ethan, wanted to wrap it and everything, of a lovely box of Ritz crackers. You know, the kind that are sandwiches with cheese inside? Yummy, yes. Ethan's favourite, yes. But a birthday present? Hhmmm. But whatever; Jack was stoked so I let him buy it for E.
Fast forward to Mike and I shopping for Ethan. We picked up Monsters vs. Aliens, thinking Jack could supplement his kick-ass present with a DVD. We put the kids to bed, and I went in to Jack's room to tuck him in. While in there, I whispered to him, would he like it if we tucked Monsters vs. Aliens in there as a present from him to Ethan? And his response:
"EFF Yeah!"
Um, pardon?
"Well, I'm not allowed to say the bad word, Mummy, that's why I said EFF Yeah! You know, the word with the finger?"
And he demonstrates the finger. To say I was shocked was an understatement. Because HE'S FIVE, y'all! Please somebody, tell me where he's heard the expression "Eff yeah"? The real one with the real word? Because he used it in proper CONTEXT!
I think we'll be in the principal's office sooner than any other kindergartner.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Hug Your Children

Last night I participated in the Candlelight Walk for Missing Children. It's been over two years since my co-worker's son went missing, and still nobody knows what happened to him.
Even after raising money, attending the walk, and taking part in the candlelight vigil, I can't feel any better. I am someone on the outskirts of this tragedy, yet I feel so devastated for this family that I can't even begin to fathom how they must feel.
Back when we first heard that he had disappeared, I think what horrified me the most was his age. And specifically, that he was 18, and I had assumed there would come a time in my not-so-distant future that I could stop worrying about my boys. This proved to me that you can never stop worrying about your kids.
And so, last night, after witnessing enough raw grief to last a lifetime, I was so happy to find the boys still awake when I got home. Thankfully they are still young enough that I can cuddle them and they don't complain when I won't let go. I don't want to ever let go.
And I want them to read this one day and realize that being a parent is hard on so many levels. I hate being the "brush your teeth, clean your room, get those pj's on and GET TO BED" mom - but what I do is to shape them into awesome human beings. But I do promise (right here, in writing) that I'm going to enjoy my time with them more. And the laundry can wait while I play with my kids. Because what if I don't have all the time in the world?
Excuse me while I go crawl in bed with them again.
But first, look at this face. His name is Bryan Braumberger.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Because someone should tell you before you make the same mistake

So I read this tip in some magazine not too long ago - "If you run out of shaving cream, use conditioner! It will give you a close shave AND moisturize your legs at the same time!"

And it does.

The problem is, hypothetically, that if you shave your legs with your husband's conditioner, and your legs start to tingle fiercely afterwards, again hypothetically of course, that it might already be a TAD too late to rectify the mistake of using a HAIR REGROWTH AND THICKENING FORMULA CONDITIONER. (Hypothetically speaking) ON YOUR LEGS.

Yours truly,

Thursday, September 3, 2009

We're in!

We're not exactly unpacked yet, but we are moved in!

Our boys are over the moon and love the new house. Imagine our joy to discover there are boys next door, they go to the same school AND they enjoy playing hockey and riding bikes! In fact, the older boy remembers playing hockey with Ethan at recess all last year. Ethan just remembers playing hockey with "some big boys". Since we moved in, the boys have had a lot of fun running around the house, playing in the back yard, building tons of Lego, and of course playing with the boys next door.

Meanwhile, I have been attacking the pile of boxes. Our bedroom and the bathrooms are looking pretty good and the kitchen should be done by tomorrow. We are picking up another couple of pieces of furniture this weekend, so by this time next week I hope to feel a little more settled!

As for the boys' rooms, besides getting beds and dressers ready on the first day, I am putting them off. The garage is full of boxes of kids' toys and I don't want to bring them inside! Truthfully, the boys did not miss any of those toys that will have been packed away for close to three months. All we had at our temporary home was Lego and a few outdoor toys. Granted, come winter we will want something to occupy them indoors, but I am SO reluctant to bring all that stuff in. I am going to wait until they're in school and take a whole load to Toy Traders and the Salvation Army. Um, no, the boys don't know that yet!

It's awfully hard to sit here when there are boxes sitting in my line of sight. So... hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

One Sleep

This morning I was trying to work at the kitchen table since Mike was using the laptop table in the living room. It was only a minute before the boys invaded, my files were spattered with oatmeal, and Mike was asking me to move so he could get at the coffee maker. I moved to the living room where Jack made several attempts to spill my tea while jumping on the couch, making it impossible for me to write anything on these oatmealy work files that didn't look like a second-grader's penmanship (sorry Ethan).
But tomorrow we move. I relish the thought of SPACE.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Camping 2009

We have fulfilled our annual camping obligation - something the kids love and Mike and I barely tolerate once a year. It was fun to go to Sooke, see Briana, Rob and the kids, and get away from home for a mini-vacation before the big move-in date. However, camping is not our favourite activity so although the boys loved it, we spent three days feeling a little cold and miserable. Dinner times were a highlight, 2 am freeze-your-face-off-and-shiver-in-your-sleeping-bag was a lowlight. The younger cousins enjoyed themselves with a little horseplay:
(Kieran is 6 weeks younger than Jack - look at the size difference!)
While the older two got to go salmon fishing with Mike, Rob and Rob's dad. Here are the results (OOH AHH):

Bedtime was "great":

Playing on the beach was lots of fun for four adventurous boys:

But I fell on the stupid stone steps and twisted my stupid ankle:

(It's better now, thanks for asking)
It was a nice mini-getaway and now we are sad to see the last of summer leak away. I feel like I am trying to hold water in my hands, grabbing onto the last couple of weeks of summer play. And some days I want to toss all the summer away and get back to a routine that works for grumpy boys. Like today.
They are in YMCA day camp this week, a real old-fashioned kind of camp where they canoe, hike, and learn archery. But all Ethan can talk about is how scratchy the arm band is and how he is NOT wearing it all week. It's going to be a LONG week until we cut that sucker off. Also, he doesn't like the extra armband that shows he's allergic to peanuts. He says other kids keep asking why he has a pink one too and it makes him feel stupid. I feel for the poor boy but MAN! It has been a long night.
It's getting late and I have a ton of work to do before I teach tomorrow so sayonara. We'll chat after camp ends!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I stopped to breathe for a moment today and realized how long it's been since I posted. I can blame lots of things, but it all boils down to the fact that summer messes up our routines. So all week long, I juggle, juggle, juggle our activities but surprisingly nothing seems to get done.

I am working, of course, 2-1/2 days per week - so that puts a damper on beach days. But I am lucky that it's usually only one full day in the office and the occasional meeting on-site; the rest I do early mornings or after the kids are in bed. But right now, it is so hot that I am having trouble focusing on work so I think I will consider tonight a write-off and watch our new DVD purchase of True Blood. Goody goody; can't wait!

Last week both kids were in camps - Ethan in French camp and Jack in bike camp. Camps seem like a really good idea, and they do enjoy them, but oy vey - the driving back and forth! The coordinating of lunches and snacks! Remembering which kid needs a swimsuit on which day! And the spanners in the works, like being told it's Christmas in July day on Friday, so please decorate your bikes accordingly. Excuse me, but Christmas decorations are in the bottom of a POD somewhere I have no idea where. So thankfully I was able to borrow a few items from Susanna and Jim. Jack did great at bike camp, and really enjoyed himself. He SO needs a bigger bike, though! And Camp Bons Jeux was lots of fun for Ethan, too. Until the last day where we got the phone call that Ethan choked on a grape at lunch.

Um, what? Yikes!

I jetted out there as soon as I could, after dropping Jack at home. So we got the call about 12:10, I left here as soon as I got the message at 12:25, and got there at 12:55. He had spit up the grape so they weren't sure why he was still carrying on like a banshee. He could breathe fine, and he was talking normally, but he was SO upset, and spitting drool everywhere. They had tried popsicles and ice cream to calm him down and soothe his throat, but nothing was working. He calmed down somewhat for the drive home. We were just going to drop his buddy Victor at his house before going straight to the clinic. We were almost home when I asked Ethan to take a small sip of water. He did, and started choking and spitting into the bowl I had put on his lap. Next thing you know - GIANT puke - and he said, "Oh that feels better". I screeched to the side of the road, got him out onto someone's lawn, and what was glistening in the midst of the enormous barf pile? A grape, that's what. So by this time he'd had the grape lodged in there for 1 hour and 40 minutes. I bet THAT was comfortable! No wonder the poor kid was upset. I felt bad because we thought he was doing his usual drama thing. Anyway all's well that ends well. He's good and the car needed cleaning anyway. Silver lining.

It's 9 o'clock, the kids are still awake, and Mommy needs (another) beer. So I am signing off for now but promise to catch up again soon. Until then!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Two Amazing Shows

This weekend I have been so fancy and cultured. All of that is about to change since I have just sat down with popcorn and a drink to watch episode 2 of season 11 of Big Brother. Oh yeah.

On Friday night I went to the movies with the girlfriends. SOMEONE decided it would be a good idea to see My Sister's Keeper. Oh sister mercy me it was brutally heart-wrenching. In preparation for the show I had a purseful of Kleenex, popcorn, candy and a drink. In retrospect: one purseful = not enough Kleenex.

It only took approximately seven seconds for me to start crying. And that's how I spent the next eternity. My shirt got soaked to my belly button so I decided to craft a tear-catcher. I molded a wet Kleenex to the bridge of my nose and layered a dry one over top so it stayed nicely plastered there, catching all the tears before they could saturate my shirt further. All I could taste was salt and it wasn't from the popcorn because I discovered I couldn't actually eat while sobbing. Jen caught me with my tear-catcher mask on though, so that was a little embarassing. More embarassing, however, was when I leaned over to Jen to whisper "My head is going to explode" (because I was holding back all the sobs) and instead of whispering, as soon as I opened my mouth, my sobs DID explode and I showered us both in slobber and snot. And then we both started laughing, which was completely inappropriate at that moment and oh my GOD I was laughing, sobbing, just an overall disastrous mess. It was exhausting.

We took the boys down to - surprise! - the beach on Saturday afternoon. It was a blast! The water was so warm, and the shallows went on forever. We were wave-jumping and the boys were screaming with excitement. It was pretty perfect. The boys weren't wearing their swim clothes but were full-on swimming and the sand that came out of their underwear later could have filled a small sand box. Mar and Aaron came by after, and they had a bag of goodies for the boys that they'd picked up at the Tour de France. Just to fill you in, all four of us get up every morning to watch the Tour stage of the day. We have contests throughout the day and award each other the yellow jersey, green jersey, polkadot etc. Jack always gets the white jersey since he's always the youngest rider. So we are a little Tour-obsessed as a group, and more than a little jealous that Aaron and Marzia just happened to be at the right time and place to see a stage in the south of France! They brought the kids back all this swag, free stuff that was chucked at them from the Caravane before the riders came through in the peloton. It was like Christmas!

Then Saturday night I had a great dinner at Brix in Yaletown to celebrate Kim's birthday. It was a very nice evening out, lots of fun, and fantastic food. Mike did not have such a great night. He took the boys to an outdoor movie night on the beach. It was Monsters vs. Aliens so it sounded like a good idea. Nope. They got there at 8 pm with their chairs, and set up near some school friends, but the movie didn't start until after 10. The boys lasted a few seconds and both started to scream to go home. Jack got scared by "lightning" and Ethan by who knows what, and they both cried the whole way home. Mike said it was a LONG walk.

Today the boys got to see Grandma again after her three weeks in Florida. This week she is packing up and moving out, so they were busy helping her with that. I, on the other hand, had a matinee ticket to Les Miserables at the Stanley in Vancouver. I went with the theatre crew and the show was absolutely incredible. It was way better than a previous production I had seen, and even sounded better than some recordings I've heard from Broadway and London. Wow. My friends Chad and Erin have two talented children, Jack and Emily. Emily was one of the stars of the show - she played young Cosette and she just flat-out rocked. I also may have fallen in love with Enjolras. He was dreamy (in a Victor Hugo revolutionary way). And the men in the show could SING. What a great show. It's held over until August 2nd and I highly recommend it if there is any way to find tickets.

Big Brother is over, now I'm watching Dog the Bounty Hunter. I have fallen so far, so fast.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Lazy Days

Ah, summer. Please stay with us!
Those days that last forever... where you go out for the whole day in a sleeveless shirt and don't even take a cardigan... where the day is not complete if you don't find sand between your toes... where it always ends in ice cream... where your sunglasses live on your face...

Where the kids stay up until 11 o'clock because it's still light out and then wake up at 6 because, guess what? it's light out again... where you march around with your spray sunscreen holstered at the hip ready to blast the kids at regular intervals... where you have to help the boys remove sand from delicate areas that as a female, you wish you didn't have to see any more... where you realize the whole "kids on sugar" thing is NOT a myth... where you realize you have racoon eyes from your sunglasses and trying to even up that tan results in nothing more than burnt eyelids surrounded by a ring of white and now you actually look more like a lemur than anything.

Hang on... Maybe I'm done with summer.


Living at the beach is 100% awesome. We are seriously at the beach every day. Who wouldn't, when it is mere steps away? We ARE eating too much ice cream, though, and are already well-equipped with our frequent-cone-eating rewards cards. Tonight was a fish and chips at the beach night again. I haven't eaten fish for 21 years (with a Belizean exception in 2008) but I had a craving tonight. I don't actually remember that much grease being involved in my past fish and chip-eating life but MAN fried batter of any kind is just 50 different kinds of fantastic. Have you ever noticed that just about every international cuisine has some form of fried treat? Think about it. I have eaten (inhaled) the following finger-licking deep-fried delights: Mexican churros, Indian pakoras, French beignets, English fried Mars bars, oh my GOD Japanese tempura, Greek Loukousomethingys, South African fatcakes, McDonald's hashbrowns, and I've probably forgotten a bunch because I just had to pause and mop up a giant puddle of drool. And then I ate a Mars bar.

Where was I?

At the beginning of every summer, I sit down with the calendar, a Vancouver visitor's guide, and all the coupons from the kids' report cards. We figure out everything we want to do in our two short but glorious months of summer. Ethan wants to do every single thing we have a coupon for, and worries if we do something that doesn't involve a discount. Um, I don't know WHERE he got that from. Ahem. I heard him saying to Jack the other day: "We can't buy that balloon because our new house costs MILLIONS of dollars and that's way more than your piggy bank. and anyway, Mummy packed your piggy bank." No cash, kids, sorry!

And as for Jack, he would be happy playing Wii all day long, but once he gets outside you can't drag the kid in. I started his Kindergarten readiness booklet with him earlier this week, and we've checked off a bunch from the checklist. There was one left: practice walking your route to school. So we left from the street outside what will be our new house, and walked uphill to the school. It's less than 5 blocks. I divided it into "hard steep" - first half a block, "medium steep" - next two, and "easy level" - the rest of the way. It didn't take TOO much coaxing, whining, or moaning, and we were there in 15 minutes. Jack did "run out of power" once and I had to tow him to the stop sign, but the way back only took 12 minutes and overall I was pleased.

Right. The calendar. So far we have gone berry picking, celebrated Canada Day and my birthday, met Jack's school friends at the beach, mini-golfed, bowled and joined the summer reading club.

Berry picking - we missed the strawberries this year because of moving at an inconvenient time berry-wise, but we went to do u-pick anyway. It was raining and all that was left in the fields cost us 38 cents when they weighed our bucket. So we bought a pile of cherries and five pounds of the most amazing English peas. Yumm-o.

Canada Day was an awesome pool day at Gene and Kim's. There were 21 kids in and out of the pool throughout the day, lots of food and drink, and a beautiful sunny day. Ahhhhh. My birthday was also great as we BBQ'd and ate up on the roof top patio with the Buckdills, the Cowdens, Eliot and Megan. The kids played with Hannah downstairs until 11 pm while we ate cake and slowly realized that it had gotten pitch black somewhere in the middle of our conversation. Also, my birthday wish came mostly true. I had asked the boys to keep their hands off their crotches for the day as that would be the best birthday present EVER. They mostly obliged.

Bowling I would rather not talk about as Ethan kind of kicked my ass. I'm not going again until I practice more on the Wii. I can still beat my five year old though. Yee hah.

Anyway there is more to come. Our calendar awaits.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Would YOU?

I ask you this, would YOU buy real estate from this guy?

Where to begin...

Well, I think it's pretty evident that he is alienating a bunch of different sports fanatics by the simple fact that he is wearing what appears to be an Eskimos jersey. Green and yellow, right? I think it's Edmonton's colours. Either way, totally not appropriate for a publicity shot.

Also, he scares the living bejeesus out of me. You know, creep in a dark alley kind of stuff. I think this guy looks so mean that he would somehow extort money from the buyer AND the seller, and then threaten all our families.

Plus his name sounds silly.

I intentionally left his phone number visible because if you are looking for a realtor, I think I have found one here who is probably not selling himself super well. So I am helping him out a little 'cause his photo sure isn't. You're welcome Pappa. And by the way, Pap - if I can call you that because girls love us some Paps - your friends aren't your friends if they:

a. dressed you for this photo shoot
b. took this picture and said, yeah that one's a keeper
c. printed the sign for you
d. helped you put up the sign and publicize your booming real estate career

As an addendum, the property is still for sale. Surprise!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Miracle of the Fish and Dispose

Moving week was so, so hard, but there were definitely some memorable moments buried within. On the last day we had possession of the townhouse, I was cleaning like a mad thing all day. At 4 pm, there were several things left to do: make a run to the dump, drop plant pots in Kim & Gene's barn, dispose of the dead fish, clean the fridge and stove. I decided to head to the dump first.

When you google "Dump", you don't get the right answer. Here in Surrey, you would need to search for "transfer station" because that terminology is just SO evident. So that wasted a bunch of time. Get it? WASTED??? Haha. Anyway. So I found out where I had to go, loaded up the BMW to the roof, got out some cash, and headed off. I drove in, and after a short wait in line with all the dumptrucks and pickups, drove onto the scale. After the car got weighed, I drove around and into this giant warehouse where the stench was nicely concentrated to the point where I could taste it for hours afterwards. The nice man inside directed me where to park, and I got out to start unloading.

Right into a gigantic swamp of oozing sludge. I couldn't even see the floor. The waste transfer guy came over, and looking at my feet, said "First time?" I was wearing flip flops. And the ooze was gently lapping at my bare toes while I quietly vomited inside my mouth. He was very sweet and carried my cardboard over to the pile for me, because as he said, "the less you flip around inside here, the better". I started chucking everything else onto the giant pile of refuse. It was so liberating! After the week I'd had, to physically heave everything and watch it explode into a million bits on a pile of ten million other bits was very therapeutic.

As I drove out, I got all my cash ready and drove onto the scales with a fistful of bills in my hand. I had withdrawn $100, because I had really no idea. She leaned close to the car window and said, "That will be six dollars, please". Um, ok, you'll maybe just need ONE of these twenties, then.

So once I left there I still had to flush the fish. This was Jack's birthday present from a few months back, and I hadn't told him yet that "Fighter" had given up the good fight right about the time we moved out. Jack hadn't noticed that Fighter hadn't been swimming at all lately, just sort of floating sideways and only moving with the water currents if you shook the bowl. Not good. I was completely dreading the fish flush, because I felt that my gentle disposition was not cut out for this, and that Mike should be doing at least this one chore. However, Mike was at the new place with the boys, and I was exhausted and just wanted to get to bed, so I figured better get it over with. I very briefly considered the garbage disposal (EW) and went upstairs to the toilet. I scooped him up with my pink rubber glove, screaming quietly to myself, and the darn thing wriggled out and started swimming madly around. OMG! Now my scream was not so quiet, and I felt so sick to my stomach that I almost killed a LIVING THING. I wrapped his bowl in a plastic bag, and carefully placed him on top of the last load leaving the townhouse.

And ever since, he has been the perfect picture of fishy health. Figure that one out. Did he KNOW I was flushing him? Freaky.

I'd also just like to pay tribute to Grandfather Hardy, who we lost on Monday the 22nd after a stroke the week before. I'm thankful that everyone had a chance to say goodbye, and I hope he is at peace. We unfortunately could not make it down to Florida for the service on the 25th, but we hope to fly there at some point to pay our respects. We will miss you, grandfather, and will cherish many fond memories.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Moving is AWESOME (That's irony people)

I read a quote about moving recently that equated it to childbirth: something along the lines of you forget how bad it is until you go through it again, and then you wonder why you did this to yourself again? Yeah. It sucked just about as bad as labour, only the process went on much longer than labour.
As if I didn't have enough to do with a very short timeline: a husband on a business trip, kids' end-of-year activities and a newly redefined job with extra hours required, Mike blew out his knee 10 days before our move. Brilliant. And totally sucky.

Thankfully we have amazing friends who took care of our kids and helped me move everything because oh Lord I am just one bitty person trying to do it all. But I ended up very proud of what I accomplished. Damn I'm good.

We are now comfortably ensconsed in our summer home, mere steps from the beach in a two bedroom suite underneath a friend's house. We will be here until the end of August when - oh JOY - we move AGAIN, this time into the place we've bought and where I fully intend on staying until they wheel me out of there into my retirement home.

Just as an aside, do you know what Jack calls the bathroom? The "Butts and Nuts" room. I just had to share.

The boys have finished school for the summer and this morning I felt very happy not to have to rush everyone out the door. Then by this afternoon I realized that summer is going to be a lot of work because holy cow, school was a great occupier of my kids' time! Now the entertainment is ALL ME! I'm a little scared, quite frankly. But based on previous summers, I know we will have a blast. And a beach field trip is only 2 minutes from our door, so it's all good.

Now I will finish watching this King of Pop retrospective and moonwalk down the hall to bed.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I Heart Packing

I pulled the life jackets out of the closet to pack them in the camping stuff. I KNOW I did. Let me look for them again here, or here, or how about here. What the hell is going on? I know I got them out; why is packing so hard?

Oh. Here's why.

This Mario Kart race apparently required the use of personal flotation devices.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Because I Had Nothing Better to do with My Time

So back in March or April I agreed to help Canadian Parents for French with the annual monetary awards they provide to graduating french immersion students. We sent letters to the school, read the applications, and judged the winners. The last task was to present the CPF award at the commencement ceremonies. The school I got had the grand ol' ceremony at the Bell Center for Performing Arts on Friday night. I was asked to arrive at 6:30 (no problem, said the other CPF gal, I was home by 8:30) for the presenters' reception.

So I did.

What it was, was a fruit plate in a shockingly hot library. I received my instructions and sat down on a chair with a nice old gentleman from the Legion (shout out to Doug the Legion man!) to watch the second period of the Stanley Cup final. Right around 7 pm they said they were ready for us. We were marched into the auditorium (seats 1052 and packed to the rafters) in a single file and this hush descended over the audience. The bagpiper started (Nails on a chalkboard) and the grads filed in. And in. And in. OK, nobody told me there were 295 grads. And that my girl = 246th.

Once everyone was seated (Freakin' HOURS later) there were four speeches totalling 45 minutes in length. One was funny... the rest: meh. Finally the first row of grads left the stage and when they came back, each one went through this process: MC announced name, Student crossed stage, MC said what student's favourite moment of the year was, Principal changed tassel and gave diploma, posed for picture, MC said what grad will be doing next year, special awards given (if any), two more handshakes and picture poses, student left stage.

Did I mention, 295 grads? And my girl, 246th? All I could think was, I shaved my legs for this?

10 o'clock. 10 O'CLOCK and I was finally up. I walked on stage, thought oh no what if I trip in front of all these people and then: oh my God can they see up my skirt? Because I was wearing those hideous flesh coloured Spanx underneath and that would be worse than death if 1000 people could see them. And then I thought: thank God I shaved my legs for this.

I shook my girl's hand, said Felicitations, smiled for the camera, gave my envelope, and walked off stage, out the door and straight into my car. I apologize to grads 247 - 295. I'm sure you had many good memories I should have listened to, and an exciting future I should have paid attention to, but.

Did I mention we move on Saturday? Holy waste of time Batman. And you know how much CPF gave this very deserving girl? $400. Yippee Skippee. Next year I'm picking a kid whose name starts with A.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Can you stop this Roller Coaster? Because I'd like to get off now. Thank you.

All right. Here goes. Some of you know some or all of this already, but here is what has been consuming all of our time, money - oh God the money - and energy.

We sold our place. It was crazy crazy. The listing went up on MLS on a Friday (May 22), no pictures even up there, and we had a showing before it was even listed! We had more showings that Saturday and Sunday, and by Sunday night we had an offer. It was a decent one, and by Monday night we had accepted it and completed all the paperwork.

So now we had to find a house because we need to be out by June 25. Yes, that is JUNE. 25TH. OF THIS YEAR.

I went out with our realtor, who happens to be Mike's mom's best friend, and we had a fun few days traipsing through houses. On Friday the 29th, I saw one that was too expensive for us, but JUST RIGHT. I brought Mike, the kids, and his mom back for a second look that same night. We looked a little more at others that weekend, mainly I think to eliminate what we didn't want, and by Sunday night we really wanted this house. However, we didn't think they were open to offers. But Monday we made an offer. Long story short - They accepted...!!! Now we had a week to frantically scramble, or it may have been scramblically frantic, to do all that we needed to do to remove the subjects. This is where the roller coaster comes in. After the inspection came back looking pretty good, my mom asked me why I didn't sound excited. Because I really really didn't want to get my hopes up until subjects were off.

We almost lost the house for reasons I don't want to elaborate here. But - wait for it - everything fell into place and guess what? We are fabulously incredibly proud new home owners of a beautiful house a block and a half from the beach and four blocks from the kids' school. I am in heaven.

Snag - you knew there had to be one - we will be homeless for about 2 months. The boys are super excited because they don't appear to be smart enough to realize how this is making their mummy feel all puky inside just thinking about it. We will have most stuff locked away in a container somewhere, a small amount of things in a storage locker we can get to easily, and the rest in the car with us.

So wherever we may roam this summer, we hope to see or talk to all of you regularly. We'll head up to Whistler for a bit, Vancouver for some, and who the hell knows where else. But it's all good by the end of August, and we will for sure be settled by the time school starts again in September!

Now I have 11 days to pack. So see ya on the flip side!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

It's a Man Thing

I firmly believe that as the sole female in this household, I should be the one who is exempt from certain tasks.

For instance. Anything to do with jock straps and corresponding cups, I am really not interested.

That is all.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Word words words

There was a lot of talking going on in our house last night. All three boys. Mike was apparently writing code in his sleep, because I heard all about the parameters, and the number 30 was extremely important somehow. That, and he also told Jack not to spill on the new carpet. Jack was fast asleep yelling “Ethan, it’s not fair!” and “I’m thirsty!” to the world in general, whereas Ethan was just incoherently mumble-shouting periodically. I have no idea whether I joined the sleep conversations in my few snatched minutes of slumber. They all woke up looking pretty refreshed... me, not so much.

I read a passage recently and I will (pitifully) attempt to paraphrase it here. The author was speaking about growing old, and how it starts off with you waking up and thinking, “gosh I look tired today”. It’s a process so gradual that before you know it, you’ve thought you looked tired for a year or more and you have to realize that – you guessed it – you are actually old. I had to quickly breeze over that part of the book because it felt a little too real. Age 35 has hit and there is no helping the bags under my eyes or the endless new grey hairs appearing on my head!


Ethan can read now. Which is - don't get me wrong - awesome, but also presents parenting problems. I always said I'd never lie to my kids but sometimes it was really handy when they couldn't understand something I was trying to say to another grown-up. Now I can't speak French, spell something out or even write it down to get around him knowing what I'm saying. Darn kid's too smart.

And speaking of smart, Jack had his kindergarten orientation. So so cute. He already thinks he owns the school, of course. The principal asked why we had bothered to come; Jack didn't need to be "oriented"! But he is ecstatic to practice his first "homework": the exercise book they gave them to get ready for kindergarten. He can't wait to give it to Madame and he has been working hard on it every night.

All right. Better foster these kids' smarts and actually get them to school on time!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Did It!

So I started off on Saturday like this:
And an hour later, 9 inches shorter and about a hundred pounds lighter, I ended up like this:

I was going to name this post "Cancer Kids will Wear my Hair" but that sounded all wrong so then I was going to try "Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow" but I realized I was probably the only one who would laugh at that. If anyone else has long lovely locks they would like to donate to a good cause, let me know and I can hook you up. Which just made me sound like a dealer, and a hair dealer is just weird and is totally something I am not. Anyway.
The downfall to all this is that I actually have to do something with my hair in the mornings now. Ethan asked me what I am going to do now that I can't do a ponytail anymore (Yikes! I don't know! There may be a lot of hats in my future for early-morning school drop-off) and Jack told me I "looked gooder with long hair" (because he's tactful like that). And as for Mike, I think he's still hoping my hair grows fast. But everyone else on the planet seems to think it's a good look for me so I rocked it at the casino on Saturday night. And by rocked it I mean that I played $20 worth of slots ($20 x 10 minutes = $0) and then went back to the room for wine, cheese and pyjamas.
It was a good weekend!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Picture Dump

I stumbled across a couple of months of photos to share with y'all:
We were all crafty

And we played a LOT of adventurer

Jack had party day at preschool - you can see how short he is compared with some of the other boys!

Don't get in the little rabbit's way of finding what the big rabbit left for him!

Ethan kept stopping to tell us exactly how GOOD he was at hunting for eggs

We got in one last ski and snow-tubing day of the season

Ethan started in his first soccer league

Sometimes it looked like he was dancing a strange ballet

And there was a LOT of crotch-grabbing

He even got to play goal for a short time (but let one in...)

Meanwhile Jack ate so many oranges he didn't even have room for a "wafer-thin mint"...

Spring finally sprung

And 25 Club went to a local winery for a delicious dinner!

And there's April in a nutshell!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ranting Again (This may become a habit)

Who thought it was a good idea to have a road race of 55,000 people? I'm still not sure why I entered the Sun Run this year but I would be very surprised if you ever caught me doing this race again. I had a bad day.

I parked at Trev and Shanty's and had a nice brisk walk to the start. I met some co-workers at the Skytrain station and after taking a photo or two we tried to get to the starting corrals. I was supposed to start with the green bibs and got caught in a crowd like no other. After getting separated from my run buddies (argh), I found myself with no hope of getting anywhere near the green corral. By that I mean I was about 12 feet from the entrance but there were so many bodies between me and it that I had no choice but to wait. The starting gun went off at 9:00. I was finally able to start moving towards the green corral at 9:25.

There was one (actually way more than one but here is the biggest one) panicky moment as we surged forward. Somebody somewhere stumbled and the ripple effect meant that we all staggered. I thought, oh here we go I am going to get trampled to death, but luckily we all managed to stay upright. My heart rate monitor probably registered the moment of terror... I will have to check it!

I finally crossed the start line and... bam. People started walking almost immediately. What the hell were they doing classing themselves as green if they can't even run a block? We were supposed to be the group that finished between 48 min and 1 hr. I also tripped over a stroller (against the rules) and I was constantly cut off by people trying to dodge the walkers and misjudging and running into guess who? Me.

I grumbled for a few kilometers, especially at those who were running all smiley and crap. Then I spotted a JR Direct corporate team shirt ahead sported by a friend of mine. So I ran up behind him and just as he slowed at the water station I bolted past and yelled "You suck Kris!" No response from him and I lost sight of him since it's not easy to run backwards with 55,000 of your closest friends. I stopped to pee in a fantastic (and by fantastic I mean just about as disgusting as you would expect at a mega-event that involves a lot of half-digested PowerBars) Porta-Potty and he must have passed me. Never fear, I saw the shirt ahead of me again so this time when I passed him I yelled "I'm going to kick your ass Kris!" In retrospect, Kris/Chris is a fairly common name so this may have been somewhat startling to my fellow runners. Especially since most of them were not in the same pissed-off mental state and they seemed to actually be enjoying themselves. And since Kris was wearing his iPod and didn't respond yet again leaving me looking (sounding) somewhat ridiculous, I decided to skip the trash-talking part of my race and concentrate on my feet for a while. Plod plod plod and finally I crossed the finish line. Sucktastic.

What a waste of a morning. But luckily in all the hours I was gone the boys and Mike managed to accomplish the grand old task of getting dressed, so it was a successful Sunday on all counts I'd say. We did build our fancy new BBQ that afternoon, though, and have enjoyed a few meals grilled to perfection since then.

Update: Finally figured out why my race sucked. It was too cold to wear my new kick-ass running skort. Obviously the day would have gone way differently if I could have looked a little more Fierce.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Quest for the "F" Word

This week, the boys discovered the existence of the “F” word and are quite anxious to find out what it is. They know it’s a bad, bad word. What they don’t know is that not only have they already heard it but they have even said it themselves on a few occasions. They have been BEGGING me to tell them what it is, and their logic is quite sound really. Ethan said, “How can I know not to say it if I don’t know what it even is?” Well, true enough, but there is something stopping me from saying it out loud at them while standing in the kitchen at snack time if I haven’t even dropped anything on my toe. So at random intervals throughout the day, one or the other of them will run up to me and say, “Mummy, is it Foolish?” (Ethan) or “Mummy, is it Farty Fart Fart?” (Jack). I think we have just about gone through every F word in the dictionary so far. One of these days they’re just going to realize, oh yeah, it’s what Mummy says when Jack makes us really late again or what Daddy says when he discovers the day’s worth of dishes in the sink.

When Jack said it, it wasn’t too long ago. We were working through a worksheet on planets and he was having trouble with it. Mike came upstairs and said “How’s it going Jack?” to which he replied, “Daddy, this is so f***ing hard!” I think we both turned purple and my head might have exploded a teeny bit trying not to react to THAT one.

Update: Ethan came to me after I got home from work and said that he knew what the "F" word is, and then he said THE WORD. It sounded just about fifteen shades of wrong coming out of a six-year-old's mouth, let me tell you. I asked him how he figured it out, and he replied that it was the word Daddy said today when the lady crossed the road not on the crosswalk. So thankfully I can blame Mike for that educational lesson. Then Ethan said it again at the dinner table, then Jack said it too, and Mike and I just about exploded and told them they would get kicked out of school FOREVER if they said it again. I think they are scared enough at the moment that they won't say it again for a LONG time. I hope.

Me and the girls went climbing last night. It was a lot of fun - I'll post a picture or two here once I have a look at them. If I determine if my ass looks really huge you won't see them here! The drawback to a good bout of physical activity is that I am now typing this using a pencil between my teeth a la My Left Foot since my hands and forearms have become weak little useless claws. Jack asked me to open a water bottle for him and I was unable to twist off the cap. Sad, sad, sad. But I made it to the top of the hard wall so it's all good. Maybe I will regain hand functionality tomorrow...

Aside: Can anybody tell me why, when I put on eye makeup, my mouth needs to open in an expression somewhere between Edvard Munch’s The Scream and what you look like when you sing the “WAH” part of Marilyn Manson’s Beautiful People? (And who knew I was so multi-dimensional that I can throw a 19th century expressionism reference in there right next to creepy – but strangely catchy – alternative metal?)

Later peeps.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Truer Words Were Never Spoken

My friend Susanna and I went for lunch yesterday on a patio overlooking the golf course on a beautiful 20 degree day. It was sunny and hot; our first hint of heat since September! I even got burned! And I was even excited about that! My whole day was spent with a smile! And I was singing at the top of my lungs in the car! It was quite fantastic.

Jack joined us, and was a perfect little gentleman the whole time. In the car on the way home, he pipes up with this gem:

"I'm never getting married!"

We ask him why not, and he replies:

"Because I DON'T want to have kids!"

Again, why not?

"Because sometimes, kids just DON'T listen, and that is fer-us-ter-ating!"

Susanna can't help it and busts out laughing. I tell Jack that it certainly is frustrating when our kids don't listen, but even still, we are happy to have our kids. Still, his reasoning is sound and truer words were never spoken. Little smartass.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Yes I am a Diva

I have just returned from my 8 km Diva on the Run Race, the first in a series of three races that I am doing this year in the hope of finishing the last race (10 km) in 48 minutes. Here are my race stats:

Temperature: 4 degrees Celsius

Weather: Sunny, clear blue sky and stunning views across the water

Race course: Flat and fast, gravel and chip trail along the waterfront of Jericho Beach, Spanish Banks and Locarno Beach

Details: Run for women only; field of 217 Divas

Crowd support: My mum and dad, and a bouncy, excited super-cheerleader Jack

(now for the crappy part)
Finishing time: 49:36 chip time; placing 106/217 overall and 11/29 in my age group

So how does this happen? Race conditions can only be decribed as ideal; I have no injuries or physical issues at the moment; perfect pre-race breakfast of toast and honey and a banana (and perfect post-race meal of cold pizza and Coke).


49 freaking minutes for 8 km! Sigh. I was getting SO frustrated with every step, overthinking it as I checked my watch yet again and KNOWING that I was so far behind my desired finish time of 45 minutes. I killed the last kilometer, going awesome fast, because I was so damn mad at the previous 7. But the whole race was a gigantic mental battle with my mind saying destructive things like "You can just walk. No one will know." and "Take a break. Who cares?" and "Your legs are heavy." I really needed the angel on the other shoulder saying positive things, but the only one who showed up this morning was the freaking race devil.

My dad took a couple of pictures. I'm going to go wallow in my misery and try a little harder on my next run. And if any of you want to volunteer to be my shoulder angel for the next race, I'm all for it.

I'm on the far right

I am officially a Diva.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sexy Hoover

We got so many awesome gifts for our wedding (almost ten years ago) that we still use all the time. Half of them still feel like new, to be honest! The vacuum, on the other hand, has seen better days. That could imply that it has seen more use than some of our other gifts but sadly that is not the case. However, in its time it has probably sucked up more than a box worth of Cheerios so that has to count for something...
I picked myself up a beautiful new canister Hoover last weekend. Byebye to my upright and Hellooo Hoover, you sexy beast! After setting it up I hoovered the whole house (including the stairs which I always avoided with the upright) and I loved it! OK, not loved it so I will be vacuuming every day or anything. Ridiculous. But it is decent and POWERFUL. I was actually sore the next day from holding the thing back!
However. I have a sneaky feeling that the Hoover is alive. Everytime I turn my back on it, I'm pretty sure it moves. When I was vacuuming the dining room, I propped it up while it was still on, and went to move a chair out of the way. A split second later, Hoover nudged me in the back of the leg. I jumped and screamed a little (or a lot, I'm just saying) and tripped backwards over the thing. So it may be hazardous to my health and just a little bit possessed but this Hoover is mine all mine. But like the apron I inherited from Grandmother Hardy says: "Don't expect miracles". That is all.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cinco de Jacko

Since I became lazy after my February posting blitz, our little Jack turned 5. Wait a moment for the shock to sink in... actually I've been waiting 11 days since his birthday and I am still shocked. FIVE! Seriously, now. It is surreal now, when someone asks how old my kids are. I say 5 and 6, and then I pass out a little because when did I get so OLD to have kids who are NO LONGER LITTLE? (And on a related note, my hair better hurry up and GROW so I can donate it before I am completely grey.)
So Jack turned five, and I am in the midst of writing his birthday letter that I will eventually post up here. But a quick word about his big day: fantabulous! We got him a fish for his birthday, fulfilling his most desperate birthday wish, and he just loved it. The fish has gone through a million names since: Fishy, Bluey, Wemily, Mike, and my favourite derivative from the boy who loves to change the first letter of names (my name is Bummy): Dike. Thankfully Dike has not stuck but Wemily might have.
His Lego party went very well with 17 little lego maniacs in attendance. Thankfully for us it was only two hours long! They had a really good time and we had a relaxing weekend afterward building a LOT of Lego.
Oh, and Happy St. Paddy's Day to all my kinfolk who share some Irish blood! Enjoy a green beer or two and look out for the leprechauns!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Another Cop-out Post

I know it's been forever since I posted (forgive me Father, and all that...) but here is a little something I stumbled across while procrastinating on my own post, that will be up in a couple of days. Here is one of those fun time-wasters: My band and the album I would produce.

1 - Go to "wikipedia." Hit “random”
or click
The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.
Gone Fishin’

2 - Go to "Random quotations"
or click
The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.
Part of Daily Life

3 - Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”
or click
Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

February in Photos Day 28

Briana and Rob brought Liam and Kieran over this weekend. The boys all had a great time playing, and one of the highlights of Saturday was a trip to Science World and the Lego exhibit that is currently there. Here are E&J staring at one of the gigantic creations.So that wraps up February in Photos! Hope you've enjoyed the ride. I'll be back to my sporadic (weekly?) posting schedule from now on!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

February in Photos Day 27

This week we've been driving my dad's Mini, serving three purposes: babysitting it while my dad is away, allowing Mike to take our car on business to Seattle, and showing us just how nice it is to have at least a little space in our regular car. Squishy is the first word I would use to describe two car seats in the back of the Mini! And I attempted a Costco trip which was pretty funny in itself...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

February in Photos Day 26

Jack and I saw a very scary thing today. We were driving down a major street, two lanes our way and three the other. We stopped at a red light about 4 cars back from the front. The light went green, our cars started to go... all of a sudden I noticed a lady running across the road from left to right about 4 cars back from the start line/crosswalk on the other side facing us. She was trying to beat all of us who were just going, and most certainly did not have a walk sign even if she had been anywhere near a crosswalk. So she successfully got across the three lanes on that side of the road, behind all those cars who had been waiting at the light. The lead car in our lane saw her and stopped - she kept running. The curb lane to my right, however, had a guy blasting up who hadn't been stopped at the light and she ran RIGHT. IN. FRONT. OF. HIS. CAR.

I don't think Jack saw the actual impact, I hope he didn't see, but he did ask me, "Why you yell NO and then SH*T, Mummy?" The driver did an amazing job of slamming on his brakes but the end result was that the pedestrian was down and under the front of his car. Not the wheels thank GOD. Amazingly, unbelievably, she rolled out from under, stood up, brushed herself off, and walked to the sidewalk while we all gaped at her from our stopped cars. We were all yelling are you ok, and all attempting to pull over into the bus stop. The guy who hit her (although I want to say the guy whose car she hit with her body because: totally not your fault poor guy!) was just too damn shocked to even move. She yelled to all, "I'm fine, thanks, everyone!" gave a little cheerio wave and a smile and started walking briskly away up the sidewalk.
You would expect her to be young and stupid, right? Nope. Late fifties or early sixties, well dressed and obviously in just that much too much of a hurry to give a sh*t about those of us just trying to drive without killing a human.

Anyway. I was an absolute stress case on the way to Costco, but on the way there I saw a sign that made me laugh and totally took my tension away. So here is the photo of the day.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

February in Photos Day 25

Today is anti-bullying day, so the boys and I are all decked out in our "Stand Up!" shirts. It was very cool to see all the kids at school wearing these. Jack was thrilled to finally wear a shirt in his favourite colour. Ethan thought he looked fat (!) because we all wore them on top of our long-sleeve shirts. I think pink suits all of us very well!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

February in Photos Day 24

Tonight 25 Club did something completely different. (And I was so thankful that I was feeling well enough to attend - I had really been looking forward to this one!)We had a psychic come and do short readings for all of us. Here we all are after our readings, with our psychic! With me, she was chillingly accurate. Here is just one example from our twenty minutes together: she told me there is a birthday coming up very soon, it is a change to five, and it is somehow connected to a rabbit. Jack (nickname Rabbit) turns 5 next week. I will need to think over some of the other things we talked about but I was pretty impressed with her reading. Now it's up to me to use that insight. Also, my good old cat Attila was there somewhere to say hi. She said, there's a huge cat here with attitude, begins with an A. You've talked to him before since he passed. All of which is true - the day that Attila died I kept finding his picture had fallen off the fridge. Over and over again, I magnetted it back up until my mom phoned to tell me he'd died. The photo stopped jumping off at that point but he sure had a starring role in my dreams that night. Now you can read into that what you will, and I understand if you are sceptic. I say it all the time, if these things didn't happen to me I wouldn't believe them either. I'm off to dreamland now... wonder what will come tonight?

Monday, February 23, 2009

February in Photos Day 23

The kids were SO happy to be OUT OF THE HOUSE for the first time in DAYS. They went to SCHOOL and the LIBRARY even and then to SKATING and the whole day was spent in CAPITAL LETTERS which is awesome if you're feeling better but if you're the mommy who's a day or so behind in recovery it is somewhat CRAPTASTIC. Now where did I put the Tylenol?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

February in Photos Day 22

I'm still sick. I got nothing. Enjoy the following photo of a cute kitten.

February in Photos Day 21

I could not even get out of bed on Saturday. Not only that, I could not even roll over to answer the phone when it rang. I was in bed, Mike was crashed on the couch downstairs and the boys sat in the living room and watched TV ALL DAY. Luckily the last pukes were wham bam bam, all of us at 3 am... then no more pukes, just feeling like complete and absolute death. Here is a picture of the only thing that brought me relief yesterday: my magic bag. Unfortunately I could only drag my sorry ass to the microwave twice yesterday to heat it up, but I curled my trembly shaky body around that thing and sucked all the heat out of it. Then my fever broke and I became a sweat ball. I think collectively our little household has lost about 15 pounds since Wednesday night. This morning we are eating bagels and Gatorade - dare I say it - we are on the mend! I cross all my fingers this flu does not get to you.

February in Photos Day 20

Can't even begin to talk about today. Worst flu ever; all of us were down. I am posting this two days late because I didn't even have the energy to open my laptop.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

February in Photos Day 19

Today I present to you Pukefest 2009.
Love. It.
On the plus side, I have sanitized my bathroom so many times in the last 24 hours that I am thinking of hosting a dinner party in there. And as someone in my household pointed out today, I have such an easy day, what with the kids on the couch all day! Yeah, because I am not washing loads of puke laundry or emptying buckets or force-feeding ginger ale or anything. But it's all good because I am off to work in an hour. Downside to that is, I will be taking my very own barf bag in the car because... don't say it out loud... but I am starting to feel this thing coming too. Blurg.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

February in Photos Day 18

There is "Trouble" in our house. At least, our house alarm has been telling us so. Every 10 seconds, all through the night. Yes, every 10 seconds. It has been really "fun" to explore what kind of "trouble" there is at 2:30 am. We discovered that resetting the alarm "stops" the "trouble" if by "stop" you mean that it delays the beeping JUST until you fall asleep again. Mike stayed up for 2 hours to "outsmart" the alarm and it only started beeping again once he had fallen asleep. I got new batteries today for the wireless sensor and it appears we are finally "trouble"-free again. Let's hope.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

February in Photos Day 17

Transit is SO much fun. Tuesday is my commute day, which is actually bearable on days it doesn't rain or snow. And today was so beautiful and sunny that I had to close my eyes against the bright sunlight. It didn't take long before I was snoring softly on my seatmate. Luckily, there is a guy on my going-home bus who always gets off at my stop so I was woken up by him passing me and I lunged out the door just in time. I rock.

Monday, February 16, 2009

February in Photos Day 16

We are making invitations for Jack's birthday party. At first I was all, "Let me do it, I want them to look right" and then I realized I needed to stop being a nazi and let the boys help. And you know what? They turned out perfect. Just like little Lego bricks. Here's Ethan, hard at work.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

February in Photos Day 15

So I say to Jack: "Go upstairs, get undressed, and run the bath."
And he does:When I ask him what on earth is he doing, he says:
"But, Mummy, I did ZACKLY what you asked me to do. You should have asked me to run a HUMAN bath!"
Because obviously I wanted him to run a bath for turtles.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

February in Photos Day 14

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Today we decorated cookies, and by the following picture it's really not hard to figure out which cookie belongs to each of us!In case you need a hint... clockwise from top left it's Jack, Mike, Me and Ethan

Friday, February 13, 2009

February in Photos Day 13

Fridays are Hot Lunch day at Ethan's school. The kids LOVE it, and none more so than my own little hot lunch helper Jack. He gets a visitor tag at the office and he hands out the juices and chocolate milks to Ethan's class while I do the hot dogs, quesadillas, whatever. He is quite the popular little visitor to the classroom and I think it may be going to his head! Today he was inexplicably holding this little white feather ALL DAY LONG. Do you know how many times I had to help him find it after he'd accidentally dropped it and it blew away on a gust? But I had a few good laughs over him trying to pick it up, and every time he'd stop to bend over, it would blow a little farther - it was like a three stooges thing. Cute.