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.