Tuesday, December 19, 2006

One step forward, three steps back…We had been having a really good streak, a solid week of good behaviour, with an occasion 4 year old moment, but nothing notable. Then it hit the fan.

Grace had a very naughty night last night. I’m growing pretty immune to her declarations that she wants a new Mommy, that prefers friend x’s Mommy over me. But she is now getting more creative with her barbs. She expressed to Jonas that she was going to throw a toy at him so hard that he would go hospital and then he wouldn’t be able to be the boss of her anymore. She lost her t.v. privileges first, then her book at bedtime, and she then lost her favourite thing, which is when Jo or I tell her a story about when we were little. For the first time in her almost five years, she went to bed with nothing, not even a cuddle. I did throw out a “love you” just so she didn’t feel totally stripped. Some days are just so damn hard.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


So, Edie has started hitting. It’s not quite as hard as Grace used to hit, and I guess now that I’m a little bit more seasoned in the parenting department, it’s not as shocking as I used to find it. I remember losing sleep over Gracie’s hitting habits, thinking that hitting was the blueprint for a life of crime; that surely no good could come from a child who dared raise their hand in an act of violence. Now I have a little bit more perspective on the issue. Two months shy of being 2 years old, Edie has a very limited vocabulary (no, shoe, yeah, baba, doh-doh and bum being her favourites). Rather than being able to express herself in a civilized manner (“Actually, mother, father, I would rather not dine in my high chair tonight, I am feeling a little under the weather and would just like to relax on the couch with a bottle and Baby Einstein”), Edie raises her little hand and gives us an oh so gentle smack to let us know she is not happy.

What amazes me the most is Grace’s reaction to be on the receiving end of the smack. Being a physical person and reformed hitter, I thought for sure Grace would just hit back, but she takes it, doesn’t even flinch. She’s not happy about it and certainly thinks Edie should be timed out, but that is the extent of her outrage. I’m pretty proud of her for her restraint.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Help me Mall Santa!

So, Grace is very calm about Christmas this year. Grace knows that Santa is going to get her what she wants, and it is very big. Grace doesn’t need to tell Mommy or Daddy what it is she wants, because she already told Santa. Grace doesn’t need to write a letter to Santa because, well, she already told him when she was at the mall with her Grandmother, so why would she need to tell him again? Best part? Santa PROMISED that the big gift would be under the tree. Also, there’s a new rule, you can’t tell anybody what you ask Santa for, because then you might not get it (“it’s just like making a wish Mommy!) So. Do I go back to the mall, describe my little girl to him (“you MUST remember, she sat on your lap, she 4 years old, light brown hair, cut into a bob, pink Barbie boot, you must remember! How many girls look like that? What did she ask for dammit!!!)
I have a feeling there may be some s’plaining to do on Christmas day……

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Our house should be quarantined. There is no guarantee that if you enter our home, that you will leave without being afflicted by some medical atrocity (well, okay, it’s the common cold, but it really sucks!) Edie and I are in this mother-daughter dance of pass the ickiest germs to each other. She had it four weeks ago, then I caught it, then I caught it again, and yesterday, Edie succumbed once again, this time with special effects (snot spray anyone?) Well played, Edie, well played. Not sure how Grace and Jonas are being spared, Grace probably makes sport of dodging airborne germs matrix-style.

*There one nice thing about Edie being sick: when she needs some comfort at night, she curls right up into a fetal position in your arms like a little hot water bottle - feels like she's a teeny little baby once again, and not a (gasp) almost two year old.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Playing with Fire, I Mean Water

Items upstairs:

-musical Winnie the Pooh wagon with blocks
-shopping cart filled with fake food
-LittleTykes pic-nic table with a box of colouring books and crayons at your disposal
-a kajillion puzzles
-a bazillion books
-umpteen toys that flash, ring bells and whistle
-T.V., with a Mommy and Daddy who are usually willing to put it on TreeHouse
-art easle with chalk board

......the list goes on, you get the idea.

What do Grace and Edie want to do the most? Well, it’s a toss up between playing in the kitchen sink and playing in fridge, RIGHT WHEN I WANT TO MAKE DINNER! Grace I can easily reason with and coax into another activity. Edie on the other hand, with her new discovery of her MiniGo supplier and our water source, is much more difficult to navigate out of the way without a blood curdling scream. I don’t know what frustrates me more, a screaming toddler or perpetually wet socks from her playing in the sink.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Is it okay to win?
Last night Grace and I played Snakes and Ladders before bedtime. We have been doing this quite a bit lately, and trying to teach her the virtues of playing by the rules and not cheating. As luck would have it, she has been winning every time. Last night, her lucky winning streak came to an end, and I won. I really didn’t want to, but I figured it was a life lesson, and I should go ahead and take the win. I really wasn’t prepared for how upset she became. She wasn’t angry and she didn’t throw a temper tantrum, she just sobbed. She was crushed. It gave me real insight into our little girl, her competitiveness and her desire to be the very best. I’m glad she wants to be the best, I think this will bode well for her later on in life, we just need to teach her that it is perfectly fine to be the best that she can be and to be okay with that.
That little life lesson made my heart ache.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Wow, it’s getting harder and harder to find the time to write in this thing. I feel like I’m filled with enough clever little stories to write here everyday, but alas, i never get around to it.
Okay, enough about me, more about the family. A check list of this weekends activities:

1) Friends drove Grace to karate in the a.m., yippee! Jo and I were able to drink coffee and read the paper in relaxo-time (Edie was trucking around somewhere, but she’s pretty happy doing just that without much interference on our part).
2) I did my kick boxing class for the first time in two weeks! Felt great! It’s really starting to irk me how the instructor flirts with all the cute girls though. It’s just so…..obvious.
3) During Edie’s nap (went down on the attempt #2) Jonas put up the xmas lights (only a small amount of blood shed). Grace karate kicked down our scarecrow…good-bye Fall, hello Winter!)
4) Paid $15 to go the Museum of Nature, where we only explored the first floor dinosaur exhibit. Spent another $15 in the gift shop on a bouncy ball (lost) and magnet (confiscated).
5) Watched a disturbing movie “The Shape of Things”….good, but icky.
6) Went to Mom and Dad’s for Jo’s birthday breakfast. Jo and Grace then went swimming, Edie and I napped at their house. Cosy.
7) Little hang time with Edie the Bikini, who kills me with her funny ways (I wish I had a video of her dancing, the only way to describe it is….earnest).
8) Grey Cup/football on the new plasma for Jo, girls take refuge in our bedroom and watch Shrek (well, sort of watched it…I think there was five minutes of calm, the rest of the time was spent tickling, breaking up fights, me trying to control the crumb crisis occurring in our bed).
9) Spontaneous walk where Grace kept squishing my shadow. Hmmm, pent up resentment towards Mommy?
10) Ridiculously chaotic dinner (“Grace, ON YOUR BUM! Why isn’t Edie eating anything! Grace, I’m counting, 1-2- that’s your last warning! Edie, keep the chicken IN your mouth! Grace, sit back down…Jonas, pour me a glass of wine……”
11) 8:30, peace and quiet. Good night.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

and on the 50th day she posted pictures...

This is my 50th post! Who knew I had so much to ramble on about! Total cop-out today, too lazy to write, so enjoy our Hallowe'en pictures and revel in the girls' cuteness (Jonas wouldn't let me snap him in his costume!)

Monday, November 06, 2006

She was a dancing queen...I was starting to worry about myself and my inability to have fun. It seems that even on nights when we have a babysitter, I can’t completely relax because I’m constantly thinking about functioning the next day. One more glass of wine could equal a hangover, and it’s not much fun parenting with a head ache. One more hour out means I’m not getting enough rest, and I suck at life when I’m not rested. Well, I proved to myself this weekend that I can still have fun and relax – I just need to remove myself from home and my children in order to do so.
On Saturday morning, Jonas drove Terrie, Maureen and me to the train station so we could catch our ride to Montreal. We arrived at noon, scarfed down smoked meat sandwiches and promptly started spending money. We shopped like pro’s, and we shopped well together. Nobody shadowed anybody, we were all happy to split up and meet later.
Four hours later we hit the hotel and Maureen had the foresight to pack some wine. Getting hungry, we got ourselves all gussied up (I dusted off the knee-high leapord skin boots for this night) and head on out for a night out on the town. Gotta love Montreal for it’s bring your own bottle restaurants. Once again, Maureen was smart enough to suggest that two bottles would be better than one. Dinner was okay, conversation was great. And, lo and behold, it was 11 o’clock and I wasn’t even tired. We were ready for some dancing (we had done some research and located some 80’s music clubs). We went here: http://www.worldsbestbars.com/city/montreal/a-gogo-lounge-montreal.htm
and here http://www.clubsmontreal.com/en/electricavenue/home.html
There is something about hearing New Order and old Billy Idol that makes me positively giddy!
We danced up a storm and didn't put our heads to pillow until about 4:30 a.m. Not bad for a couple of old girls.
We were a little slow moving the next morning, and we all crashed hard on the train ride home, but my faith in myself has been renewed, I’m not dead yet and I can get still get a groove on. (And my leopard skin

Monday, October 23, 2006

Random musings on birthday parties

I just had a weird little childhood memory. I was thinking about Grace’s birthday and what we might do for her (she wants Cosmic Adventure for the 3rd year in a row with everyone in the world invited, literally). I then started thinking about my own birthday parties and the effort my parents made to make them special. Three really stand out in my mind, and I can’t remember how old I was for them.

1) My birthday is December 21st, so my birthdays were usually winter themed. One party that I remember so clearly involved a sleigh ride late afternoon. I get so warm and fuzzy thinking about that day: I remember being bundled up, my favourite peeps around me, big fat snowflakes falling and hot chocolate warming my hands. What I also remember not so fondly is one little girl who always like to be the centre attention who whined and complained so much about the cold that the ride was cut short and we all schlepped home. (Whenever I see or hear about that girl, this is all I can think about).

2) Another party I remember involved making gingerbread houses. My Mom, (better referred to as The Saint in this story) hand made a dozen or so individual molds for gingerbread houses so me and my friends could build our own little candy shacks. I remember everyone was thrilled and the project occupied the entire party time. Best thing was, my Mom didn’t have to deal with the nuclear-sugar-effects-on-young-girls syndrome as she encouraged everyone to bring home and show off their houses to their parents. What a great idea, and sadly, I can honestly say, I don’t think I could or would go through this effort for my own girls. Why bake when you can buy, I say.

3) The next party I remember took place when I was a bit older, old enough to watch a PG-13 movie (these rules were strictly enforced in my house - my brother and sister will laugh when they read this). Our family was one of the first to own a VCR (Betamax, thank you very much) and my folks tracked down Raiders of the Last Ark for our viewing pleasure. Well, Harrison Ford (dreamy back then) and a decapitation were the bees knees for the pre-pubescent audience in our family room that winter afternoon, and I’ll never forget the cool factor I was feeling that day.*

I have other odd little memories, like birthday parties in the caboose at McDonald’s, playing Atari and Donkey Kong and having séances and playing ouiji board in friends’ basements.

*Addendum: the cool factor was quickly stripped from me when my parents picked me up early from a friends’ birthday party. My folks had found out that the party girl had rented Porky’s for us to watch, and this was not PG-13 material. I was allowed to stay for gift opening and cake eating and then dragged home. It was stripped from me once again when at another birthday party, the rented movie was Purple Rain. I was allowed to stay this time, but with strict orders from my parents that Jen’s mom fast forward through the naughty bits. Jen’s mom, who was the “cool mom” even sold me out to the party girls so she wouldn’t look bad. Ouch.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

It was super-cute up until the moment we tried to take the beer away.....
This PVR you speak of…..
Thank god winter is coming, because I’m going to be spending a lot of time inside. Jonas came home yesterday with the world’s best invention. The PVR. If I win the lottery, I’m going to buy everyone I love, a PVR. Last night I saw my future spread out before me: America’s Top Model, Trailer Park Boys, Miami Ink, Grey’s Anatomy, the Office, Ugly Betty. I even see Grace’s future mapped out: Caillou, SpongeBob, Arthur and Little Bear. Even little Edie, for when she is ready, Boobah (or whatever they are called) are all cued and ready to be viewed.
Unfortunately, Jonas has a different vision. He also ordered some super-sport package that lets him view football games in Croatia, and during the commercial breaks, he exclaimed that he can watch his PVR’d Prison Break (naw, no un-diagnosed ADD in our family!)
We are all pretty excited, but be prepared for some battle lines to be drawn as we all battle for position in front of the idiot box……

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Here’s our little Patchie. She is so cute when it is time to put on her patch. She is very stoic about the whole process. She lies down where we ask her too, sometimes she even points to her eye, as if to let us know which eye it is to be covered (in case we have forgotten) and then lies perfectly still while we patch her. Sometimes she even takes the wrapper of the patch and puts in the garbage for us.
I still don’t know much more information about the operation, but it is slated for January, she goes under general anaesthetic for it, and the doc said she will be running around that afternoon. Sometimes I wish the Internet didn’t exist. I was researching strabismus on the web and of course found the one page that includes case studies of infants being left blind after such operations which promptly put my stomach in knots….(there were also hundreds of pages assuring worry-warts that it is a very common procedure with very little to no risk at all).

Missing summer already!
I think reality just set in today that summer is really really really over. I’m doing crazy things like having Jo install a play structure inside the house in anticipation of lots of indoor play. As long as I can remember, I get antsy this time of year. Lack of sunshine, shorter days and the c-c-c-c-cold kind of freak me out. I also think it was this time of year when my post-partum with Grace really took hold of me. I think it will be okay this year though, simply because we are too busy to think about the long stretch of winter ahead of us.
Okay, Grace is in Jr. Kindergarten, and I swear, everyday she comes home with some kind of “homework” for parents from her teacher, is this normal? I feel like ½ an hour of my precious evening is spent filling out forms. What’s going to happen when she and Edie are both in school?
Grace wrote me her first note yesterday. It said “Karen”, then there was a picture of an eyeball, a heart and a letter U. Get it? She wrote “Karen I love You” and then she wrote her name with x’s and o’s. (Not sure why she called me Karen instead of Mommy). That little note makes up for all her comments and her not wanting me to be her Mommy as of late!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Idiot's Guide to Being a Meanie

Guess what the miserable previous owners of our house did this time! To take the chill out of the house yesterday we decided it was high time to turn on the furnace. With much fiddling and cursing, we couldn’t get it to work. Frank, the fellow who was cleaning out our ducts checked things out for us and announced that the motherf*&?s left us with an empty oil tank AND IT WAS IN OUR CONTRACT THAT THEY WOULD LEAVE A FULL ONE. Can you believe these people? I hope karma comes and kicks them in the ass. They screwed us on our pool, they left the house in a disgusting state, and now they are probably giggling over our lack of heat. Evil. And you should have seen what came out the duct work – I could have built a new dog with all the fur that got sucked out. The scary part is, these dirty evil people are in the medical profession. Scarier yet, they have procreated and are teaching their evil ways to their two little spawns. I think we will dress up as them for Hallowe'en.
Well, at least Grace is getting a good lesson in life with regards to how Jo and I feel about and liars and cheats.
I wish I had happy news, I wish I could say I slept through the night last night….I wish I could say the snot in Edie’s nose has disappeared (instead it has multiplied and taken over Grace’s nose too).
Oh, I know. I bought a pair of kick-ass stacked brown suede mary-jane’s on the weekend – I look like the vamp-y archivist who lives within me. I need to bring her out more often.

Monday, October 02, 2006

What's wrong with your face
This is a question Grace has asked me a little too often as of late. The face she is referring to is the look I get when I am angry, perplexed, thinking, confused. This is the facial expression that will send me for early Botox treatments to correct. I am working on it, I really am. But Grace thinks my non-angry face is a goofy face - I just can't win. I've been practicingtising new faces in the mirror, trying to find one that looks pleasant, serene and calm. Most of these faces make me look heavily medicated, and you know what? These days I am mostly angry, perplexed, confused and thinking.
Why am I angry? Ever had a four and a half year old who questions your authority at every opportunity?
Why am I perplexed? Every had a kid who used to go to sleep and stay asleep for the night, only to one day decide to fight bedtime, naps and sleeping through the night?
Why am I confused? Ever done a complete grocery shop only to return home and not have anything to make for dinner?
Why am I thinking all the time? Wouldn't you stay inside your own head for fear of saying something you might regret later?

Awww, why am I complaining so much. Life could be much, much worse. I'm just feeling the ill-effects of sleep deprivation. Edie has consistently woken me up every night for the past week with her cold, I hope it passes soon, for her and my sake.

Add another furrow to my brow: Edie needs an operation in January, and she is going to be put under for it. Don't like this, not one bit. It's one thing to see your little angel sleeping on her own terms, but I imagine it is quite another to see her in a forced, unnatural sleep. This will be discussed later when I wrap my head around it a little more.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Haven’t posted in awhile, apologies to those who wait with baited breath for the next instalment of my ridiculously interesting life.
Hmmm, which story to pick, which story to pick. Okay, here we go. I finally had a weekend away, sans enfants, with my husband, to Toronto. We had a wedding to go to, my brother-in-law was getting married. We had two wonderful evenings lined up of being wined and dined by family and hanging out with friends. How could I possibly screw this up? Well, night no.1, I sensibly wrapped up the night by about midnight, “saving” myself for a day of shopping and a night of debauchery the following day. What did I do? I wasted all my time in the Eaton’s Centre (damn you H&M!) and then only had 45 minutes to spend on Queen St. West, where my real style lies. Then, that night, I got all gussied up for the wedding, got a little too excited with all the wonderful rich food in front of me and insisted on eating everything, licked my plate clean for all four courses. For those of you who know me, eating two tofu burgers is being a little bit crazy. That night I scoffed down gnocchi in cream sauce, salad with some yummy salty bits ‘o’ cured ham in it, steak, salmon and a decadent rich chocolate mousse. Of course, I washed all this down with rich red wine, and took smoke breaks in between courses (ummm, when is the last time I had a cigarette?) So, when the music starts up, I am ready to cut a rug, or at least I think I am. Midway through “hip-hop, hip it to the hip hip hip hop and you don’t stop” my stomach starts to lurch and I have to take a break. Maybe a little Pellegrino would help? I down some hoping, praying that fancy water will be the solution to what ails me, but no, I’m still not able to dance, let alone move quickly at this point. The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was when the midnight snack table was rolled out – just the sight of food made my stomach turn. So, my big night out with Jonas, with no cares in the world, ended with Jo popping me in a cab at approx. 1:00 a.m., and me insisting he tear up the dance floor without me. The party went on until 5:00 a.m., and I was stuck back on the ranch praying the Tums would kick in. Lesson learned.
It was a great wedding though, both bride and groom were glowing and smiling ear to ear, and it made me feel pretty warm and fuzzy.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Yesterday, someone slipped me a key to heaven.
Now that I know a million dollars will not fall on my lap, my potential as a groupie for Social Distortion is no longer a reality, and my ability to fit into size 2 skinny jeans went out the door when I hit puberty, I appreciate the little things in life. You may pity me for getting such a high off of these little things, but for me, they just make my day.
1) Both times I needed to catch a bus today, the bus miraculously showed up (and slowed down to pick me up) just as I was approaching the stop
2) I got a coupon for a free drink a Starbucks because they made me wait too long for my coffee (I was kind of enjoying the people watching while I was waiting)
3) When we went to pick up Grace a the park, we had a great review of her day, and she actually left willingly when we told her it was time to go home
4) Both girls ate what Jo and I ate for dinner (Turkey Scallopine in a lemon sauce) which is highly unusual. Edie flung some sweet potato at Grace, and we all laughed about it (instead of Grace erupting in tears)
5) Grace opted to play in her room instead of watching t.v before bed....she was playing machine gun with her princess wand, but hey, she's using her imagination! (I think she is growing weary of the wholesome Daniel Cook and Emily Yeung)
6) Both girls went to bed without a hitch, and seemed kind of happy to heading off to dreamland.

Okay, so I'm not arm candy for Mike Ness, but I have a great family and they all make me smile and feel warm and fuzzy inside.

*I don't think Jo feels the same way about me today - I forgot to tape Prison Break for him last night after he asked me to promise promise promise not to forget. Oops.*

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I don’t get people like this. We served the previous owners of our house with our costs for the pool repair. They responded with a letter to our lawyer that they had already explained to us on numerous occasions the situation with the pool (Jonas and I must have been blacked out on these numerous occasions as they NEVER addressed the pool issues with us, in fact, they stopped returning our calls as soon as we raised issues with the pool). They also expressed in their letter that they were upset because we were disturbing them during their holidays. Are you f&*?&* kidding me? Disturbing their holidays? How about that chunk of summer we lost because we couldn’t use our damn pool? Did you think about that you idiots? When I think about the trash Jonas emptied from our house left behind by them and the mail I packaged up and delivered to them because they were too damn lazy to do an address forward and the dog feces they left in the backyard I just want to kickbox some human decency into them. As Joe Pesci would say in Goodfellows...”What the fuck kind of people are they?” Indeed.
Yohohoho and a bottle of rum....

Edie officially has a lazy eye. When people see Edie, the first thing they exclaim is what beatiful eyes she has, and now we have to cover one of them up for two hours a day for month to see if it will correct itself. I'm sure an 18 month old is going to have nooooo problem sitting still while we put a patch over her eye, and I'm sure our little 18 month old will refrain from picking at it and trying to pull it off, and I'm sure our rational, tolerant 18 month old will not mind at all when Jonas and I rip that band aid off her eye every day after the two hours are up. Yup, it's gonna be fun folks.
Grace is quite excited that she is going to have a "baby pirate sister"; Grace has even tried out the patch herself to make Edie feel better about wearing it. I think if it was Grace who was being treated for lazy eye, she'd rather enjoy it!
It could really be so much worse, a lazy eye is small potatoes, really.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I am so deliciously happy now that I am working downtown again. I don't feel exhausted anymore, I don't dread going to work, I walk every lunch hour, I can make it to my kickboxing class and still be home by 5:00 (kudos to Jo for doing the day-care run). And oh yeah, the work is pretty interesting to. Life is good.

Last night when I was putting Grace to bed she developed this elaborate game called "Cloud Jump and Fall". The premise? Well, it took a lot of hand gestures on her part because she was too excited to explain, the gist of it is that you puff up her duvet, pick her up as high up in the air as you can and then drop her on to the "cloud". Another thing to add to the bed time ritual, sigh. Bedtime used to be bath, bottle/book, bed. Now, bedtime has evolved into:
-couch, t.v. show
-brush teeth
-2 books
-lights off
-tummy, side and back tickles
-stories from when i was a little girl, or when jo was a little boy
-guessing games
-lights on to make sure she is holding lamb-ey properly
-lights on to identify shadows, lights off

Edie gets plopped into her crib quite unceremoniously at 8:00, tired or not, luckily she just talks herself to sleep, even with all this commotion next door to her room. Miraculously, the house is quiet by 8:30 (or even later when Jonas falls asleep with Grace :)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Okay, other people's dreams are boring, I know. But this one is kind of interesting, and if anyone can psycho-analyze it, I'd appreciate it.
So Jonas and I are in line at Dairy Queen (good dream already, right?) and Jo gets a call on his cell-phone. It's Donald Trump, who is crying, (I know this because Jo keeps saying, "It's alright Donald, stop crying, I can't understand what you're saying"). So when the call is over, Jo tells me that Trump is so upset because he really loves me and wanted to marry me, not his current wife Melania. My response to all this? "Yeah, the same thing happened after Elvis married Lisa Marie".
Wow, dreamy Karen has WICKED self-esteem!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

They make me smile.

Is it wrong to let my kid get this dirty????
I've got to admit, I think I have been abusing the pool a little bit. I have sort of come to the (lazy) conclusion that chlorine is as effective as soap, therefore a day spent in the pool is equivalent to at least 10 baths. I'm not sure how long Grace had gone without a bath at the time of this photo, but when I added Edie to mixture, the water was almost black. The day before this picture, I was thinking to myself how dark Grace's hair was getting.....after the bath her hair lightened up significantly. Oops, my bad. I promise to take the hygiene of the girls a little more seriously (damn, it was so easy....too easy).

I took the plunge the other day and brought Grace and friend Holly to the Ex, they had a blast, and it was pretty fun watching them. You know made me mad though? I took the girls on their first bus ride, and they were so excited. I told the driver when we got on, with a wink and a smile, that it was their first bus ride. I swear, the man GRUNTED at me. Come on, throw the girls a bone, make it a little special for them bus driver! He made me, and the two little girls in my charge feel about a foot tall. The bus driver on the way home on the other hand was a hoot, and made the bus ride more exciting for the girls than any ride at the ex. Takes all kinds, don't it?

The Ex makes me sad, summer is almost over. It also makes me a little excited for cozy sweater and jeans.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

If the Pope can rock red shoes like this,I may just have to find a place for religion in my life.

Things that made me like life yesterday:

-I found a dollar store where things are actually a dollar, not "a buck or two...."
-I found a dress to wear to my brother-in-law's wedding this fall on sale ...
-Everyone happily ate tofu burgers for dinner last night (well, Grace protested a little bit....)
-got to drive Jo's car to work (with the sun-roof down) instead of the mini-van, making me feel a little giddy....
-Edie repeated Momma over and over (usually she's a da-da girl.....)
-found some sugar-free ice-cream cones that actually taste great....
-Jo did an impromptu freezer/refrigerator purge and re-organization (mr. freezies are no longer intimate with the fish fillets!)
-Edie pooped before I put her to bed....
-Grace is back to normal and went to bed without a hitch....(but did leave me with this question to think about all night: how do you go to heaven if you are stuck in the ground?)
-and finally, this hilarious video clip (I hate to laugh at other people, but sometimes they just ask for it:

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Storm Before the Calm, or, Is it Okay to Not Like Your Own Daughter???

Let me explain. Grace was sooooo bad on Wednesday and Thursday, not just little bit bad, but down right mean. So mean that I felt really bad for the little girl she had over for a play-date. I caught her sticking her tongue out at her, refusing to give her friend the comfy chair when they were playing on the computer and breaking the sacred rule of no swimming in the deep-end without a flotation device. She was downright defiant and mean and I was happy to see her go to bed those nights. I can't say I was a warm and fuzzy Mom those days and it took everything in me not to yell "I don't like you either!" when she yelled it at me first.
Well, mother-guilt kicked in on Friday when Grace turned terribly quiet and vulnerable and had a temperature that eventually rose to 104 degrees. She still insisted on going for her daily swim ("I need to practice everyday if I want to be good Mommy!" and insisted on going to karate, insisted on going to the cottage, insisted on going on a boat-ride and jumping in the lake, all with a fever. Maybe Jo and I are bad parents for letting her do all these things with such a high temperature, but such is the personality of Grace, and you gotta love her spirit. I'm sure she will be an Olympic athlete with this attitude. Me, I automatically curl up on the couch with a blanket and feel sorry myself when I'm sick. Not Grace.

So, some of you know that I work in La Belle Province. Get this, while everyone is enjoying a long weekend this weekend, I have to go to work because QuebecÃc doesn't have the August 4 weekend. Instead, I had to take off St. Jean Baptiste day back in June/July. Quebecers who work in Ontario are given the choice as to which holiday they wish to take, but Ontarioans (sp?) who work in Quebec are not given the choice. Love the freedom to choose on that one.

YouTube video of the day (you WILL laugh if you are a celebrity whore like me:

Monday, July 31, 2006

I'm only a little bit pretty
So I'm at my kickboxing class the other morning, and this super-needy 50-ish woman decides that I'm her chosen one and attaches herself to me. When she discovers what street I live on (why oh why did I give her a street name?) she proceeds to ask me if I know "Maria". When I asked her to describe to me what "Maria" looks like, she looks at me quite thoughtfully and says, "Oh, she is quite tall and a little bit prettier than you are". My god, I know it was early in the morning, and I was a little bit hungover, but c'mon, you just don't say that to people!

Had the week off last week, hung out with the girls and Jo, in the pool everyday, soggy 'lil swimmers, soggy wet bathing suits and soggy wet towels left lying around everywhere tend to attract earwigs, fyi. My little dream is coming true though of people just popping in for swims, it's great, I don't to go anywhere or bring Grace anywhere, we have playdates on rotation in our backyard!

Grace is swimming like a pro and is now insulted if we ask her to put on floaties or a lifejacket. Edie has finally found her happy place by the pool: butt-naked on the steps with a little bowl of damp, chlorinated chips all to herself (it does sound kind of nice, doesn't it?)

If anyone knows of anyone who would rent me a parking spot downtown Ottawa three days a week, please let me know. I switch jobs mid-month and don't want to pay through the nose for parking.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Thanks to those who prayed for me - I survived Jo's absence, a little bruised, a little emotionally drained, but pretty much in one piece. One little Murphy's law thing though - why is it Edie was up 6:30/7:00 a.m. when Jo was gone, and this morning, after I was long gone to work, she slept until 8:30? (I know, some parents have much earlier wake-up calls, so I shouldn't complain).

A rundown of my life (who am I kidding, I don't have a life!) Let me rephrase, a quick run-down of the past few days:

-John Lee Hooker Jr. and Etta James on Thursday night with my Dad and my sister (wait! I do have a life!) this was an amazing concert and possibly the most beautiful summer night in Ottawa so far this year. A cold beer has never tasted so good.

-Friday, can't remember, must have erased it from my brain for some reason.

-Saturday, booked a sitter for Edie and took Grace to most unhappy place in the world, a place called Midway, where I later learned some shootings took place last year. It cost $18 for Grace to play on an indoor play structure (where I had to discipline a nasty little child for pushing Grace and for being a nasty little human being - where were his parents?); play some germ covered games and ride a motorized kiddie car around in circles for 5 minutes. Oh well, she had fun.

-Saturday again, felt like Britney Spears when invited for dinner to a new friend's house. This woman has two kids, 4 and 2 1/2, her house is clean, her kids listen to her, both kids still sit in highchairs where they are happily restrained, her daughter clears the table after dinner (!). Meanwhile, when I was distracted trying to discipline Grace for something or another, Edie fell down some stairs (just two, and they were carpeted, so no biggie in my books). The new friend looked a little horrified. The kicker is when we were leaving, she had the nerve to offer me homemade jam. You just don't offer homemade jam to people like me, who can't even get it together enough to make homemade anything!

-Sunday-day. Friends came over and spent the morning with us the pool....yippee! Almost had to kill their son though when he woke up Edie from her nap (he just wanted to see how cute she is when she's sleeping, unfortuntally for me, she isn't so cute for the rest of the afternoon when she only naps for an hour!)

-Sunday-night. Jonas walks through the door, and I pretty much walk out, head to Starbucks/Chapters, read Star and People for an hour and return home refreshed and in love with my kids again.

Website of the day: http://www.tistasty.com/jamstand.htm Just in case I ever have time to make homemade jam.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Pray for me - Jonas may be gone for a whole week leaving me alone with our two little enchiladas. Send back-up if I don't post by next week.....may the gods have mercy on my soul.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I'm all for letting little ones crying it out sometimes, but when a kid who usually settles for the night quite peacefully decides to kick up a fuss and howl and cry, it might be worth checking out. The other night Jonas and I were doing shots and dancing on the tables (okay, we were folding laundry together) and Edie started howling. When I went into her room, her foot was stuck between the bars of her crib and she really couldn't get it out! This is not the first time this has happened, so why does she keep doing it if the outcome is always the same: great pain/discomfort, interrupted sleep, harsh glaring light turned on so Mom and Dad can operate, Vaseline rubbed on foot to slide it out of bars and Mom and Dad rotating foot around to make sure no bones are broken. After the trauma though, there are some awesome cuddles before she gets put back in her crib. Maybe it's all worth it just for those few minutes rocking on the Lazyboy? I heard her attempting to do it again last night before she fell asleep, but Mr. Sandman got her before the crib bars could get her feet.

Thanks to Jimmy for the great picture of Edie!

Website of the day: http://youtube.com/watch?v=8TeNdsoCIgc&search=ernest%20and%20bertram

Monday, July 10, 2006

Just back from a week off with the family! Gotta admit, it felt kind of good to sit at my desk, sip at my coffee, and review my emails with no interruptions. In hindsight, it was a great week off - three awesome days at the cottage for our annual Absolut Canada Day weekend (great group this year, lots of laughs, kids were great - I don't think there was one "time-out", though a crayfish was dismembered....) Once home, we had lots of outings to keep everyone occupied, the best, by far, was the trip to Mt. Cascades Water Park - Grace and I joined friends there and I felt like I was four years old again...I was racing Grace up and down the slides and giggling and not wanting to go home - I sort of know how she feels now when we have to peel her away from something super-fun. We also signed Grace up at Douvris School of martial Arts (I can almost hear the collective "gulp" of people reading this). Sensei Dave assured me that while yes, they do train people to kill, they also teach them to not ever have a situation go that far. If I don't show up at work one day, chances are I've denied Grace some gummy bears or something and she's tossed me like a rag doll. Anyhoooo, I think it will be a great experience for her, and I'm going to take some kick-boxing at the same time to spice up my workout routine.

Edie, Edie, Edie.....why did you have to pick the week that I was off to become a cranky, miserable, hold me don't hold me feed me but don't feed me that give me that toy NO THAT TOY baby? Jonas and I determined the following: at sixteen months and having only four teeth, the others must be doing the Hustle above her little gumline and are going to all break through at once and b) it has been two weeks since her MMR shot, and the doctor said if she was going to react (c'mon, this is Edie, OF COURSE she is going to react!) it would be in two weeks time. So, Edie wasn't super-fun this past week, but she made up for it with moments of super-cuteness.

WE SWAM IN OUR POOL YESTERDAY! It's not perfect yet, but the whole fan-damily took the plunge and we swam. Grace is doing great, can swim without her life-jacket now (though we do insist on a life-jacket when we are with Edie or not focused on her 110%). Edie floats around in this little floating raft, not really knowing what is going on, but seems to enjoy it. Jonas has been working very hard on the pool, and while sometimes I can see the rage boiling beneath his calm surface, his determination to get this pool going has become his goal in life.

To end our vacation, we pic-nikked with friends with kids last night at Mooney's Bay. It was a beautiful night, great food, kids had a ton of fun. The only drawback was the psycho mom whose daughter latched on to our kids, which was fine, but she latched for two hours, ate our food, bossed our kids around, taught them naughty things and followed us everywhere. When Grace had to go pee, she asked if she could come to, I said sure. Our friend thought maybe the mother (who was nowhere to be seen for these two hours) should know, so he went and told her that her daughter was with me off to the washroom. He got "fuck-you mind your own business" as a reply. Huh? Then, the woman came to washrooms, grabbed her daughter, and proceeded to drop f-bombs left, right and centre, in front of the kids! I'm no prude, and I do occasionally swear, but never, in anger, in front of my kids. No wonder this kid latched on to us, I wouldn't want to be with her mother either. Sad.

Whew! I'm spent. I'm sure there is more to write, but my coffee is getting cold.

Website of the day:
Seriously, it rocks. Go to Costco and buy your passes there - it's less expensive that way (it's not a cheap outing).

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Pomp and Circumstance
How could I have forgotten to announce to the world that we attended Ms. Grace's Nursery School graduation last Friday. Special dress, cap, podium and all. Just for overkill, they included a valedictorian (who didn't have much to say - I guess it's hard to come up with an inspirational speech at 4 years old - Carpe Diem!).
I mocked Jonas who with great pride and dedication video recorded the whole ceremony...including the other class. I mock Jonas all the time for his video abilities - he tends to have a heavy finger on the record button, and we end up watching very lengthy snippets of Grace and Edie - what starts out being cute just ends up being annoying. However, I have to say, once the other, less diligent parents got wind of Jo's lengthy recording, everyone wants a copy so they can revel in their child's academic greatness.
And so, with Nursery School over, I now need to mentally prepare myself for the fact that our baby is headed off to school in the fall. It is a little depressing as that day in September will literally be the beginning of the never ending toil of academia and then the work force until she is 65. There's a nice heavy thought for the day.
Edie attended the ceremony as well, but had to be removed as she kept trying to disrupt the camera-man (perhaps in a bid to shine the camera on herself?)
This may be my last post for awhile - we are off to the cottage for Canada Day for our annual Absolut Bash - vodka, 2 babies, 3 preschoolers and Bishop's alumni.....I should have enough material for this blog for a whole year after this weekend.

Website of the day: http://www.extremefunnypictures.com/funnypic929.htm (scroll down and read the questions asked on the Canadian tourism site)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

For Beverly Hills 90210 aficionados only:
The double nap.
Well, Grace napped for the first time in 10 years (well, okay, seeing as she is only 4, maybe that is an exaggeration, but it has been a very long time) on Saturday, and for double bonus points, she napped when Edie napped. Let me itemize the things that were accomplished during that two hour period:
-laundry washed, dried, folded, and put away
-floor swept and mopped
-two loaves of corn bread baked
-sitting area finally arranged, photos put on display, flowers arranged
-Jonas pruned every single tree on our property
-lawn mowed

We dropped off Edie for a sleepover at my folks house on Saturday night, and she spent most of Sunday there too. Let me itemize what we accomplished on Sunday:
-fresh smoothies made for breakfast
-office finally unpacked and organized
-basement rearranged, we now have our gym set up, the playroom set up and the t.v. area all set up.
-Grace played un-interrupted Mr. Potato Head on the computer (Edie has a tendency to try and eat the mouse)
-went out for lunch, sat on a patio, waitress commented on what a nice family we were

I think, with all we accomplished this weekend, it is quietly understood between Jonas and I that we will have no more children, and may even give away one or two of the ones we presently have.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Love List
Phew. I'm on the Love List. Grace has a developped a rather complicated way of organizing everyone in her life. Edie and I are on her love list. Jonas just made the "boy" love list (he was originally on the "like" list, he must have bribed her with candy or something). Friends further complicate the lists which have headings such as the Nursery School Love List (Kennedy and Sofia top this list) and the Nursery School Like List (this usually includes a list of boys, as boys, unless related, RARELY make the Love List). There is also the Soccer Love List, which includes Holly, but wait, Holly is also on the Day Care Love List, which leads to complicated questions such as "Mommy, can a person be on two lists?" and "Mommy, can someone be on a Love List and a Like List?" Grandparents seem to be sitting pretty on a Grandparent Love List, which has no "Like" category and doesn't appear to get altered, ever (must have something to do with Grandparents instinct to spoil). And there is the Toronto Love List, which gets complicated as there is also the Uncle Love List and the Auntie Love List. I was bombarded with all this information in a 1/2 hour period this morning, before coffee. No wonder Grace has a hard time falling asleep at night with all this documenting and organizing going on in her head.
I hesitate to enroll her in summer camp, not sure if I can handle another List to keep track of.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Sometimes I wish I wasn't so sensitive. I find myself thinking more and more about Grace and her role as first-born. Edie is really coming into herself and showing off a great little personality. She lights up a room, says super-cute things, has super-cute expressions and is also very loving and cuddly....she is just a joy. Sometimes though, when Edie's audience is oooohing and ahhhhing over her, I'll catch a sideways glimpse of Grace with an almost sad look on her face and it. just. breaks. my. heart. I'm not sure what is going on in her four year old mind, but just the thought of her thinking that maybe everyone *likes* Edie more than her kills me. It's tough, because Grace does a lot more things to piss us off, and her personality is such that she just exhausts us and doesn't stop for a cuddle, she'd rather stop for a game of chase/tickle/jump on the bed....basically anything that requires a lot more energy than I have. Grace's spirit is not something we want to crush, either, I think it's great that she is so full of beans, and I definitely think it will be a great character trait the older she gets.
At the end of the day, Jo and I do make a very special effort to have quality time with just Grace and make her feel as special as she is. Edie doesn't seem to have any doubt in her mind just how special she is.
Soccer last night got rained out - there was a pretty cool storm actually, and while other kids cried and clung to their parents with fear, Ms. Grace just grew wide eyed with excitement. After the storm we all went puddle jumping before bed.
I feel great today - I reset the alarm incorrectly and instead of getting up at 6, I got up at 7:15....an extra hour of sleep always goes over well with my psyche.
Website of the day: any suggestions? I don't have time to look for one today.

Monday, June 19, 2006

My favourite things about summer
While other people complain about the heat, I revel in walking out the door and being hit with a wall of heat. I love it when it is so hot out that it is almost hard to take a breath. I love how our kids skin looks all dewey because they are hot. I love how Edie gets ridiculous corkscrew curls at the back of head with the humidity (she will hate that when she is older). I love the golf-tan Jo gets (even though he hasn't been golfing much this summer?). I love eating Mr. Freezies with Grace, and enjoying it just as much as she. I love watching Edie trying to eat a Mr. Freezie. I love watching the girls having a grand-old time in their grandparents pool (didn't love Edie crying all through dinner because she wanted to go back in the pool!) I love grabbing some take-out and heading to Mooney's Bay with a blanket for a family pic-nic (don't love having to ask the lifeguard what the bacteria levels are for the water though....especially after Edie face-planted in the water!) I love turning on the airconditioning at night for a comfy sleep. I love watching the mosquitoes fly into the "Mosquito Magnet" to meet their maker. I love picking up the girls from daycare and finding them playing in the sprinkler, getting kicks out of filling up buckets over and over again. I love the taste of beer in the summer. I love hooking up with my childless girlfriend in the Market and sitting on a patio with her, talking about non-kid stuff.
This weekend was the first weekend that *really* felt like summer...maybe because the sun actually decided to make an appearance. I also bought a new pair of shoes.
It rocked.
Website of the day: http://www.overheardinnewyork.com/ Funny stuff.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

(The above is Jo's artisitic interpretation of Edie last night)
Everything was easy-peasy last night. We had the girls bathed and sweet smelling (I love that smell); Edie, though cranky, went to bed early and without a fuss and Grace very matter-of-factly accepted that I was going out for the evening to run a few errands and that her Daddy was going to put her to bed (I even got a tear-free "good-bye Mommy! I love you! See you in the morning). Perfect! Upon my return home, the kitchen was clean, the dishwasher humming, and the house was quiet. Jonas and I had a rare chunk of time to spend together so we went to basement and started our plans for renovations. Everything was going well until we got to the bathroom and Jonas looked in horror at our garbage can.....there, in the can, were two of the most menacing looking, ginornous spiders you have ever seen. They looked like they were just waiting for their next plan of attack. Jo and I decided to attack before they could, and being the rational adults that we are, we got a garbage bag and put the whole garbage (yup, including the can) into the bag. Hey, money grows on trees and we can always buy another can! In retrospect, a little dramatic, but they were really scary looking spiders! They couldn't be trusted! Thank god today is garbage day and the ghastly beasts will forever be banished to the dump (in the perfectly good garbage can).
Think that was the end of the drama for the evening? Hell no! While this was going on, Edie began to cry, and by the time I got to her room, she had settled herself. An hour later, the cries began again, and these were the cries that I know need attention. I went into her room, picked her up, and I found myself holdng a convulsing 15 month old with a 105 degree temperature. It was horrible, and even with a heavy dose of Motrin, she didn't cool down for a long time. I was scared to put her back to bed until she felt totally normal. We defnitely put some time in on the ole' LazyBoy. This morning she was as cool as a cucumber and her (relatively) happy little self. How do they do that?
Once again, not to be outdone in the drama department, Grace called out for me, crying. (I swear she knows when I have just fallen asleep!) The high-drama for her? A mis-placed pillow. Oh the horror...But, to her credit, she rolled over and went right to sleep as soon as her pillow was re-positioned.
Hopefully tonight will not have so much action. Canada's Next Top Model is on and I don't want any interruptions.
Web site of the day: http://needsleep.net/

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Itsy bitsy spider indeed.
Missed Grace's soccer game last night due to a visit to the walk-in clinic with Edie. She has a bite on her foot that swelled (swoll?) over the course of the day yesterday, and of course Edie, being the sensitive soul that she is, spiked a fever of 104 (I swear, the kid spikes a fever when she stubs her toe). Well, with visions of gangrene and foot amputations, I took my "ill" baby to the clinic. Why is it kids are always all smiles, laughs, giggles and able to run around when they are in the waiting room at the clinic? I felt like I had to justify our place in line by pointing out her swollen little foot. I don't go to these clinics for kicks!
The doctor who saw Edie was a hoot. He specializes in travel medicine and he was super excited to see us because a) Edie's middle name is Belize ("oh! you travel!" he exclaimed, to which I snorted, because a roadtrip to Toronto is most travelling we have done in a while!) and b) she had a most exciting, unusual growth on her foot caused by a spider bite....he said this was the most exciting thing he'd seen all day! He even encouraged me call him at home this morning if I had any more concerns. He was so great with Edie too - confident, jolly and patient. Edie was most excited when he drew a circle around the bite and gave him a big "oooohhhhh!". Sometimes you never know who you are going to get at these clinics and I'm super happy that we got to see Dr. Paul Assaad.
So, Edie was up only once during the night (thank you Edie!) for her shot of Advil, and not to be outdone by her little sister, Grace also got up with a bad dream. Grace knows I don't have much patience for bad dreams, but she likes to holler out for me, get me out of bed, inform me of the situation, and then request her father's presence (who is much more soft-hearted than I and will go lie down with her for as long as needed).
Stay tuned for developments in spider-bite saga....
Website of the day:

Monday, June 12, 2006

"But WHY can't I go swimming in green water???"

I am actually glad it was a lousy weekend...turns out our pool has a leak in it and needs some major repair work (you suck previous houseowners!) and we won't be able to use it until we get it fixed. I know, I know, cry me a river, worst things in life could happen. But here's the thing, I have wanted a pool for so long, I see it as a great way for our family to hang out and have fun, and as an opportunity to treat our house as a destination point for friends and family who just want to hang out and cool off. This was a major reason why I wanted this house. I just feel so let down that we are having this problem. Grace doesn't really get it - the pool is there, but she can't use it. If I find it frustrating, imagine how a 4-year old feels. Anyhow, it will get fixed, and up to this point Jo and I have been giving the previous homeowners the benefit of the doubt (the 40 bags of garbage we had to haul out of the house, the "missing" central vac accessories, the horrible state of the backyard) - we made excuses for them thinking they may have been too busy because of their jobs. But you know what? When you outright lie and say something is in working order when it isn't, you are are the lowest of the low in my eyes. You just suck. It's scary that people like this have kids are teaching them that this kind of thing is acceptable.
That is my Monday morning vent.
We had our new neighbours over for dinner on Saturday night, which was great. They have a 4 year old and 2 year old, so they didn't even blink when Edie cried on and off the whole time and threw her dinner on the floor; nor did they flinch when Grace spilled her full glass of water all over the table and on our guest's chair cushion. They didn't seem to judge me when by the end of evening I had, courtesy of Edie, smushed banana in my hair and on my nice black shirt. These are good people. And they have a pool that works.
We accomplished a fair amount of work in our garden on Sunday - luckily Edie has developped a weird obsession with her little stand-up sandbox, which keeps her occupied for about a good hour. Grace is happy as long as you play with her in two minute intervals (I get to weed for two minutes, then we play "spider and fly" for two minutes - a game in which Grace is the spider, a big stick is her web, and she chases you around the garden until you get caught in her web....) I felt justified in skipping my workout last night!
Apparently the "comments" section isn't working 100%, I have received some positive feed back though and will continue posting. Thanks for leaving comments though!
Website of the day:
(spider and fly became a little boring after a while!)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Just wondering if anyone is reading this. It's fun for me to do, and I thought it would be a nice way to stay in touch. Just curious if people are tuning in or not. Take a moment and make a comment at the bottom of the blog. thanks!

As promised, our little soccer star. Grace kicked the ball last night and saved two goals! She also abandoned (unannounced) her goalie duties to consume a granola bar. Her priority remains her stomach, I suppose. Other breaking news, during the game, Edie discovered the marvels of screwing and unscrewing a cap on and off a water bottle (this is of particular importance as it kept her occupied for a good twenty minutes). It was a night of many highlights.

Now that summer has really arrived, I want nothing more than to just laze at home with the family. What a brutal time of year for me to return to work! Thank goodness it is only three days a week - could be worse. I do enjoy the balance of going to work/staying at home, but somedays, especially when it is so nice out, I feel like a caged five year old in my cubicle. Is there anything wrong a 33 year old wanting to play hookey and go home an blow bubbles in the backyard? Besides, it's hard to be here knowing that the above subjects are waiting for me at home. I know they are messy, I know they are a pain sometimes, but I just love them!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Night terrors! Grace never had these, and Edie had her second one on Saturday night (of course we were out of town, staying at a friends house in Montreal!) So after getting Grace settled for the night (at 10:00 p.m., wayyyyy too late for Grace to be up) I heard some whimpering from the playpen. I usually choose to ignore cries at night because Edie usually settles herself quite nicely. Well, there was something different about these cries and they escalated into full hysterics. I picked her up and she looked terrified and pulled a Helen Keller by grabbing at my face; I guess she was trying to figure out who I was? What seemed to clinch it for her that I was in fact her Mommy was when she grabbed the necklace that she faithfully tries to yank off my neck every day - she calmed down and held on to that necklace for dear life. Poor little munchkin - I didn't want to put her back in her playpen. There is no feeling like holding on a child who is holding on to you just as strongly.
Montreal was great - too much wine, too much food, too much fun. I even squeezed in a few hours sans kids and went shopping (I love H&M!)
Grace played with the boys (she did look relieved when Ella, almost 4, showed up).
The drive home was a little bit difficult - Edie couldn't relax enough to fall asleep in the car, and it was her naptime. We realized that maybe she wasn't falling asleep because her big sister was poking her on and off for the whole ride! After a few threats (I never thought I would utter the words "do you want me to pull this car over right now!?) things settled down (thank God for mini-vans with DVD players!) and cruised home for an afternoon of swatting mosquitos, cursing the pool and doing some gardening.
One last complaint though: After an intense run and sweating out a weekends worth of toxins, I was looking forward to nice hot shower. Imagine my disapointment when I discovered that Grace had left the hot water tap running in the laundry room and used up all the hot water! Grrrr. I guess I should look on the bright side and be grateful that she washed her hands.....
website of the day: http://www.archive.org/details/movies - kind of a neat site to explore (love the drive-in movie ads!)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Forget the noodle!
Grace's swimming lesson last Saturday had her forgoing not only her life-jacket, but also her pool noodle. Our little tadpole was swimming on her own (a rather frantic, uncoordinated doggie-paddle, but that is not the point!) She is the only one in her class making this attempt, and we are so proud of her! I'm just not sure why she can do this with a smile on her face, but still struggles with having her hair washed! What seems to work now is when she is having her bath, we pretend it is swim class and I have to pretend that I'm her swimming instructor ("Emma") and Grace is the best kid in the class who shows the other "kids" (various bath toys) how to get their hair wet.
Poor Edie just gets a bucket dumped over her head.
Website of the day: http://homes.mainetoday.com/homecare/050724bugs.shtml
Still trying to control those mosquitos!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Finally a beautiful weekend! Unfortunately we couldn't enjoy our backyard as much as we would have liked to due to the entire mosquito population camping out at our house. They must have detected Edie's plump little thighs and decided she could feed them for the whole summer. Grrrrr. Yesterday afternoon we went out and spent big bucks on one of these mosquito magnets - it better work.
We had a great dinner party on Saturday night with friends and spouses from our university days - Edie and Grace passed the noise test in the new house as we made no effort whatsoever to be quiet, and they snoozed through the whole party. When Grace was trying to fall asleep, she did complain about the ladies shoes going clack clack clack. I have such great memories of my own parents having parties and falling asleep to the sound of laughter, talking and music all mixed together.
FartMart, or Walmart, I have determined, is in fact Hell on earth. Why I subject myself to the torture of going there for milk because it is a few cents cheaper than elsewhere is beyond me (especially when I don't think twice about spending $20 on lipstick). It reeks, it is full of rude people, it is a mess and it brings out the worst in me. I was getting angry at my cash-lady for chit-chatting too much with the customers. I was actually getting mad at her for being too nice.
As for the kids, it was a bruise-free, blood-free weekend! Edie napped three hours each afternoon (so great); Grace was invited on playdates galore (a trip to the fair, which, upon her return home, resulted in her literally running around in circles due to the heavy sugar consumption!) Sometimes there are benefits to her having knocked out three teeth - she couldn't manage to each a candy-apple (but oh how she tried!)
Edie has added a new word to her vocabulary: shoe. That's my girl!
Website of the day - this is my brother's store in Toronto - there is something here for everyone, Grace loves the crafty little things he sends her from here!: http://www.thepaperplace.ca/

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

DISCLAIMER *Sorry to all the IKEA shoppers I bowled over on Saturday morning....I was the frantic lady with the stroller pushing everyone out of the way*

So, it finally happened. Jo and I lost Grace. It was only for about five minutes, but let me tell you, it was the longest five minutes of my life. We went shopping at IKEA (Saturday morning of a long weekend, NOT a good idea). The ball room was full, so Grace had to join us in our shopping expedition. IKEA has these little arrows painted on the ground, and we kept telling Grace that the arrows lead to ice cream and we would get one at the end of our shopping trip. I don't know how it happened, because I really was standing right beside her, but I was looking at Jo who was showing me something. I called to Grace to follow us, and she was gone! We remained calm (well, Jo did) while we frantically searched the area for her. She was nowhere to be found. You have to understand just how busy IKEA was that day - there were people and kids everywhere - it was loud and chaotic. Jo and I split up; I was ready to demand a store shut-down where they lock the doors from the inside and don't let anyone out. Jo was a little cooler than me and thought about the arrows on the ground - sure enough, Grace had followed the arrows, found a kind, older woman and an equally kind IKEA employee to stay with until we found her. She was visibly scared, and when I rounded the corner and found her in Jo's arms, I burst out crying. Do you scold or hug a child who has been through this? We figured the trauma of being lost was lesson enough for Grace, and her little hand held our hands pretty tightly for the rest of the day. Jo and I learned our lesson too - don't go shopping on the weekend with the kids (thank god Edie is still strapped in a the stroller!)

Trauma #2
Jo and I celebrated 7 years of marriage this past Sunday (thank you, thank you very much). We decided to go out for dinner to celebrate at our local haunt, and Jo's mom kindly offered to babysit. We figured we would bathe, pajama and feed the girls so they would be ready for bed (oh, and because they were just back from the park and thought a sand-bath was a great idea). A utopic moment turned tragic: picture naked, cute as a button Edie, rocketing down the hall to the bathroom for her bath. Inheriting her mother's grace, Edie trips on thin air and face plants on the hardwood floor. Jo picks her up and there is blood everywhere! And a blood curdling scream to match! Jo called out to me "I think it's her teeth!" Well, thank god it was a just a bad cut to the roof of her mouth. Can you imagine if Edie lost her teeth as well? I suspect Jo and I would be investigated for sure.

Thank god I just had my hair done last week - I'm sure a few gray stress hairs have popped out of my scalp after this weekend!

The adventures continue, and they make us all stronger (?!) At least I'll never run out of things to write about....

My favourite webiste today (if you like celebrity gossip):

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Ahhhh, don't you all aspired to have a perfect household just like ours?

Abracadabra - make Mommy let me do whatever I want whenever I want, wherever I want!

Not much to say today. This shot of Edie was taken in February, looking back on those cheeks I can't believe she hasn't popped more than 4 out by now!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Grace started soccer last night! I am officially a soccer mom, driving the kids to soccer practice in the mini-van. There is nothing cuter than a four year old in tiny soccer cleats, shin guards and a soccer shirt. Grace did not give it as hard as I thought she might - instead of winding up and kicking the ball, she places her foot on the ball and shoves it. Jonas will have to practice a bit with her. She is very good at traveling with ball though and passing. So, she has practices on Monday, and Wednesdays are "game day". I can't believe I have arrived at a point in my life where I stand around watching my daughter play soccer with all the other neighborhood parents - it is a little surreal.
Edie thoroughly enjoyed the practice too - she stayed up past her bedtime to come watch and kept running away from the soccer field and flirting with anyone who would let her bat her long eyelashes at them. I gotta admit, my heart was full of love last night for my two girls. Now, when Grace woke me up at three in the morning with an itch on her back that only I could get for her, that is another story......
my favourite website today: http://pandora.com I'm listening a Stray Cats station I created!

Monday, May 15, 2006

I hope all my Mom friends out there had a wonderful Mother's Day! Grace certainly felt Mother's Day should be like a birthday - with lots of cake, candy and loot bags - such a thoughtful little girl!
We had a pretty good weekend, lousy weather aside. Yesterday, I brought Edie to her swim "lesson" (honestly, can you call singing "Ring Around the Rose-y" and splashing the water a lesson? I think Jo and I could have pulled that one off on our own, without writing a cheque!)
My chest looks like I was attacked by a tiger with all the scratch marks from Edie's sharp little nails. I brought Grace along too so she could watch, and watch she did - she stood about an inch away from the water the whole lesson and never took her eyes off Edie - it's like she didn't trust me and was ready to jump in and save Edie at the first sign of a problem!
Grace and I then went out for a mother daughter lunch and museum outing. I took her to my favourite restaurant, The Green Door, a vegetarian eatery, and I'm not sure if she could have said any louder "Where are the hotdogs???" - she was a good sport though and sampled a few wierd looking things, but ended up mostly grazing on some bread.
We then went to the Museum of Science and Technology. Now, for those of you who now Grace, you know that it is hard to get her to sit still for any length of time. I finally found something that caught her attention - Cryogenics. Yup, Grace sat for a full half hour, completely in awe of a lecture and demonstration of cryogenics. Weird eh? She was by far the youngest audience member, and was shouting out answers (maybe not the right ones, but good for her for trying!)
On our return home, we hooked up with Jo and Edie (looking more and more like Einstein everyday with her Hair) and prepared for our Mothers Day dinner guests.
Edie has discovered her party smile, and pulls of the fakest, work-the-room smile you have ever seen. She's starting to pull that one out more and more - she has us wrapped around her little (very little!) finger! Her naps are way too short, but she is so much fun to have around, it's not such a bad thing (exept when she starts falling over and stumbling because she's so tired!)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A quick little note while I'm on break (ha! you can tell that I'm at work, as I don't get a break when I'm at home with the rugrats!
History of the name "meanoldmommy": a term coined by Gracie. When I'm not tolerating her behavior. Now, after a few really good days, when she has an off day and I have to resort to a time-out, she mutters "mean old mommy's back in town". Hard not to laugh at that.
Have a great weekend!

Monday, May 08, 2006

I was determined to go out on Friday night after work. Before picking up the girls from daycare, I took a power nap (it's amazing what ten minutes can do!) Armed with a new pair of jeans and my red stilettos, Jo and I stuck it out until about 2:30 in the morning......I actually didn't feel too rough Saturday morning! Jonas on the other hand.....
The main reason we went out was to watch the Sens game - a super exciting game, but also a super depressing game. Oh well, they have another chance tonight
Most of the excitement this weekend though was focused on Ms. Grace and her busy social calendar. Saturday morning swim lessons (floated on her back and stomach, and put her face in the water! Yay!) In the shower room, while other kids were screaming about having their hair washed, a very stoic Grace grinned and bore the torture of a shampoo. I LOVE it when other kids are acting like devils when mine isn't - it makes me feel so superior....Next, a trip to WalMart (or, the Yucky Store, as we call it in our family). We had to buy a birthday present for one of Grace's little friends, and I spent about an hour explaining to Grace that she didn't get presents as well. She was easily distracted by some Trident gum (hee hee, she still thinks Trident is a special treat!)
Next up was Dora the Explorer Live! In Concert! Don't need to say much here, just think of the show, and picture it done live on stage (with a bunch of 2-6 year olds having meltdowns everywhere). Grace thoroughly enjoyed it; she danced, shouted and sang her little heart out (and
dropped her popsicle all over me in her excitement). I was talked into buying a 15 dollar Dora thingamajig...I guess I got caught up in the excitement too. Unfortunately, the 15 dollar thingamajig has turned into a royal pain in the ass at home.
Sunday - off to a birthday party - the host parents said I could drop her off and come back for her, but I'm not into that yet. One little boy whose parents did do that started crying for his mommy midway through the party - I would be so upset if I found out Grace did that and I wasn't there! Besides, I wanted birthday cake. After the party, I whisked Grace off to her next appointment - a swim date with her Auntie Lesley at the Wave Pool. I felt quite comfortable leaving Grace at that point and I took two hours to go shopping, have some lunch and enjoy my own company. Grace had tons of fun with Lesley....I wonder how tired Lesley was after a few hours with Hurricane Grace?
After a busy weekend, Grace finally succombed to all the activity and had a meltdown that I would rate 9 out of 10. After two time outs for playing too rough with Edie and stealing her toys ("But Mommy, I want to play with the empty juice box!") and Jo and I refusing to put up with her dinner time antics, she cried for a good 10 minutes. When she realized she wasn't getting anywhere with Jo and I, she stopped her crying and ate her dinner quietly at the dinner table. Thank you Nanny911!
I hope Grace doesn't expect this much activity every weekend. A) we can't afford it B) we don't have the energy!
Yes, Edie still exists. She and Jo had a great weekend of Home Depot-ing, shopping and hanging out. I didn't get much time with my little cutie, and when I did get some alone time with her she fell on the driveway and got a fat lip. Bad Mommy!

Friday, May 05, 2006

I really missed my girls yesterday. I vowed after work to spend some quality time with them and have fun (instead of barking orders and running the tight ship that I like to usually run). When I went to pick them up at daycare, Edie was still sleeping, and the whole daycare was a-buzz with excitement due to the power outage (hey, there is NOTHING more exciting to a four year old than having lights, t.v., music all go out at the same time.....). Grace was in no mood to go home yet with all this going on! Needing some love, I poked Edie until she woke up - at least she seemed happy to see me! When I did finally get the troops home, we all dressed up as princesses (Jo excluded, though invited to) enjoyed a nice meal at Uncle Gordon's table and took a beautiful walk before bedtime. It was a hoot watching Grace in her princess gown (tucked into her underwear so it wouldn't get dirty) motoring down on her bike - she is like this fierce little princess/warrior these days, a real study in personality. Poor Jonas keeps introducing these crazy tricks for Grace that require much effort on his part - his back is just killing after these walks!
I also went for a great run last night while Jo choralled the girls to bed - it was great, except for the mentally challenged man who kept trying to corner me....oh well, made me run faster and get a better work out.
Will try and post pictures this weekend.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

As I got dressed this morning, I realized I am in desperate need of some new threads. Being off work for over year on maternity leave, and the "wonderful" changes my body has gone through after having two kids, my wardrobe needs a major upheaval. Working in the government, it is way too easy to be complacent about fashion and wear jeans and t-shirts every day. I don't want to be complacent. Ottawa has some great new shops that I need to check out. I used to pride myself on knowing all the hot spots to shop, but I realize in past year stores have popped up, mostly on Dalhousie that I never even realized existed! And they all haver super-cool names! Now, the challenge is to see if the little rugrats will give Mommy some time to go shopping (I don't want to bring them with me - an afternoon of shopping is an afternoon of pretending I don't have kids, as far as I am concerned).