Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Stole this from halfbakedbrownieguider; I encourage you to do the same! It really made me warm and fuzzy doing it.

1. Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?

Living at home (up to age 20) Christmas morning for a huge stocking, covered with a beach towel with tons of gifts, and one big present from Mom and Dad, and presents from my brother and sister. Then there was the “overseas package” which contained a myriad of gifts from my Nana, aunts and uncle in the UK. This always included candy that you could only get over there. I remember being the envy of my friends at Christmas because we just had the best Christmas going in town.

As a newly married person, share Christmas between lots of families (husband’s parents are divorced). Realize the stress the holidays can put on divorced families.

And finally as a mom, Christmas Eve, head over to the same friends house every year for some Christmas cheer, bring the kids home way too late, let them open one gift (always new Christmas pyjamas). After kids are in bed, watch a Christmassy movie on the couch. In the morning, watch kids open their gifts, then make a big pancake breakfast.
Ah, the circle of life.

2. Donner or Donder?


3. Turkey or ham?

Don’t mess with my turkey. Ham? WTF?

4. Gifts opened all at once, or one at a time?

Oooh, one at a time. Savour the moment.

5. Christmas tree: live or artificial?


6. Cards: boxed cards, family photo cards, or e-cards?

Before kids – handmade cards with personalized message in each one. Now, boxed, with our names scribbled in them and a picture of the girls.

7. Christmas lights: incandescent or LED?

Incandescent. But Boxing Day I’m planning on scooping up some LED’s at 50% off.

8. Re-gift or not?


9. Gift wrap or gift bags?

I always wrap in brown craft paper and let the kids decorate them. Or, sometime I get carried away do some decorating myself.

10. Best Christmas song?

Gawd. That’s asking you who your favourite child is. I do love Elvis Christmas songs, but if I had to pick two (sorry, can’t pick one) it’s Baby It’s Cold Outside (not the one by Dolly Parton and Rod Stewart) and White Christmas by Bing.

11. Best Christmas movie?

It's a Wonderful Life. But, I always have to watch National Lampoon’s Christmas. I laugh every time. Oh, and does Love Actually count as a Christmas movie?

12. Favourite family tradition?

When I was a kid for while we would go downhill skiing on Christmas Eve and come home and eat tortière. I also have really fond memories of going to church with my mom on Christmas Eve and listening to carols. The only consistent tradition we have right now is the new Christmas pyjamas on Christmas Eve. Gracie just loves this.

This will likely be my last post before Christmas. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas. Peace.

(a beautiful version of "Baby It's Cold Outside")

Monday, December 22, 2008

Two things today:

1) I can’t seem to choke back fruit these days. I am a healthy eater, love to brag that I get all the food groups everyday, but lately, fruit is really unappealing to me. I’ve tried EVERYTHING . Even paying a premium on what I normally consider “fun” fruit (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries). Sigh. Not sure what’s wrong with me.

2) I am expired. I went to work today and my swipe wouldn’t work. I waited for someone to come along so I could bum off of their swipe, but no one came. As a last resort, I appealed to the Commissionares (yes, that is plural. I swear we have a commissionaire per employee here). After much bumbling and arguing, they realized my pass expired yesterday (and pretty much yelled at me for not noticing sooner). They then grudgingly gave me a temporary pass, but had to ask for identification to hold as collateral (in case I raided the nation’s archival holdings? If I did that my punishment would to not get my I.D. back?) Anyhooo, I gave them my driver’s license, which also expired yesterday. Well, you can imagine the field day they had with that. (“Are you always this disorganized” one of them sneered). The hilarious thing is that they took the license as collateral, as useless as it is. I don’t get it!

Why do they make everything expire on your birthday? It should be a fun day, not a I have to run around day.

Friday, December 12, 2008

*warning - this post is filled with generalizations*

i freaking hate gatineau. parts of my job bring me out there and everytime i do go it's horrible. i'll pop into the grocery store and get horrible customer service. i'll let someone in at the busy parking lot and three other cars butt in as well (without a thank you). the produce sucks at the grocery store, you can't return items at the winners there that you bought in ontario, and it seems like an awful lot of pregnant women smoke there. oh, and have mentioned the glass slippers? not once, but TWICE i have been at the grocery store there and seen women wearing these glass slippers that are favoured by those who remove their clothes for a living. seriously. to the grocery store. not to mention there is snow and ice on the ground. a snowy day in gatineau does not call for stripper shoes.

one redeming factor about gatineau? a 24 of india pale ale for $27. now that's alright.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Apologies for yesterday’s pity party. I went to bed early, woke up early, did a little workout, and am now feeling fine. I even fielded a call from Grace, having to assure her that she does not have a peanut allergy. The kids wants something to be “wrong” with her soooo badly. All of her friends seem to have something “wrong” with them – broken arm, allergy of some kind, three heads. Grace wants something that makes her stand out as well. Being beautiful, freakishly athletic and smart is not cutting the mustard with her. She wants more.

This made me think of THE BIG LIE I told when I was around her age. My brother had just been fitted with a retainer – it made his speech change, it affected how he smiled and his mouth was shiny. People asked about it, Mom and Dad were constantly on him to wear it and he was pretty much getting the kind of attention that I wanted. So, I did what any logical 7year old would do. I fashioned a retainer out of two paper clips and claimed orthodontia to anyone who would listen. I wore it to Brownies; my peeps called bullshit, yet I dug my feet in and insisted that it was a retainer. I wore it to school and my teachers called bullshit, yet I dug my feet in and insisted that it was a retainer. They then asked for note from home as proof, as they were concerned that my “retainer” might be a choking hazard or cause tetanus or something.
Well, seeing as my Dad was a dentist, I didn’t think I could convince him that it was a retainer, so I retired my case of orthodontia, claiming to be cured after two days of treatment.
14 years later I wasn’t so enthusiastic when I was fitted with the clunkiest braces you could possibly fashion at the ripe old age of 21. One observer accused Jonas of being a pedophile, that’s how young they made me look.

Ha ha, I really feel better now.

Monday, December 08, 2008

The one where she feels sorry for herself because:

-I just realized that I am going to be making lunches for others for a very long time
-No matter what I make a dinner there are going to be complaints
-One child in particular is sucking the life out of me
-The guilt I feel for "not being nice" is overwhelming
-The thought of waking up pre-dawn is depressing me

I'm not having a good day.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Friday – Gracie’s Christmas talent show, all grandparents invited back to our house for dinner

Saturday – Edie ballet in the morning; go to Not Your Grandma’s Craft Sale (I promised myself); Manotick Santa Clause parade in the afternoon (you promithed! You prom-om-om-omithed!); Gracie’s first ever sleep over hosted at our house (rent appropriate movie).

Sunday: Make a fun breakfast for the sleepover girls; host nine lovely ladies for a Christmas cookie exchange party; bake 9 dozen cookie for said exchange; clean house for said exchange; clear children and husband from house for said exchange, ensure they are gone for at least 5 hours so nine ladies can enjoy spiked eggnog and no little voices/feet for a few hours.

Of course, laundry, groceries, cooking meals will all have to take place concurrently. And I’m working out regularly now and don’t want to miss a session. And I’ve promised myself 8 hours sleep each night. And my cleaning lady has been m.i.a. for about 4 weeks now.

Oh, and I have yet to get the girls photo printed for our Xmas cards, I have yet to write out our Xmas cards, and I have not dedicated even one brain cell to thinking about what to buy people for Xmas. I did buy the girls some stuff on Kijiji over the course of the year, so at least that is done.

And next week? I don’t want to write about for fear of putting myself into an early grave.

What’s you’re holiday madness?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

*sniff* so romantic. This clip gets me every time. Just look at the way he looks at her when he passes her the cigarette. I am mush. I wonder if i could convince Jo to take up smoking.....
I think I'm going to take up smoking and watching old movies.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I have been in the habit of laying out clothes the night before for the girls to wear the next day. Jonas has the morning shift, so he is responsible for getting them dressed, fed and delivered. The past couple of days I have neglected my duties as fashion coordinator, and boy oh boy, when you leave these guys to their own devices, they come up with some pretty interesting combinations. I think I may officially resign as fashion coordinator because it’s worth the giggles of seeing the get ups they come up with. Oh, and by they, I mean Grace and Jonas. Grace dresses herself, and Jonas is responsible for Edie.

Grace, as you can imagine, envelopes herself in as much velvet as physically possible, with no regard to pattern matching or colour coordination. Yesterday found her in a hot pink, white and electric blue pyschedelic velvet top with black velvet pants and a green and pink camouflage sweater on top of it all. My eyes pretty much bled when I saw her.

Edie, well, Jonas decked her out in blue k-way pants and a shirt with a wrench on it (it’s like a rocker shirt with black 3-quarter length sleeves). The pieces de resistence of this outfit were the delicately embroidered Chinese slippers that really made the outfit pop. Oh, and the pony tail on the side of her head à la Chrissy from Three’s Company also added a certain je ne sais quoi to the whole look.

Anna Wintour should pick the Meanie family for the next cover of Vogue.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Do you remember this post?

Check out this video. The girls continue to prove that you don't need to waste a whole lot of money on them....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What a town. Did you know that they call it the windy city not for the wind that Mother Nature produces, but rather for the wind that politicians produces? This is but one fact that I absorbed over the course of our three nights/four days in Chicago. Here are a few other things I learned:

-When 6 really good friends get together after not seeing each for a long time, they will indulge in alcohol like a couple of sixteen year olds, right out of the gates. One will puke; one will lose his iphone because bailed on the sidewalk and it fell out of his pocket; one will fall and twist her knee (BADLY); one will drink so much he will be incredibly hung over and function at a negative level the following day.

-When I am away from the kids, and only get five hours sleep, I feel like I have slept 14 hours. I think I slept deeply for the first time in almost 7 years.

-People in Chicago (or maybe the States? I hate to generalize) are fucking loco over football. And home teams are incredibly biased.

-Tail gate parties are fun. People bring barbecues(!), linen, candles, kegs, home baked goodies, sleeping bags, musical instruments, small babies, wine, wings, lots of alchohol, illegal substances, ferrets….I felt like I was on that old show “Let’s Make a Deal” and if I had asked if anyone had a wax miniature of the Eiffel Tower, someone would have pulled it out of their purse. Weird stuff.

-I like Sushi. I really like it. I’ve always been reluctant to try it, but wow, when the right friends bring you to the right restaurant, it is amazing.

-Ottawa should look into the bring your own bottle philosophy. Every restaurant we went to we were able to bring our own and I think enjoyed our meal even more than we would have had we been stressed about the cost of bottles.

-I will never eat Doritos again (see first bullet re. puking).

-Anthropologie is the best store ever,

-Target is also the best store ever.

-Jo and I are too tall for AmericanEagle airplanes. Seriously, these things are made for the 5’5 and under crowd.

The last thing I learned is that I DO love my children. After our little adventure, my heart had grown fonder and I really ached to see the little munchkins again.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My good friend Christopher passed this article on to me. As a lover of the arts, an employee of the arts, someone who is trying to instill an appreciation of the arts in my children, and dammmit, someone who likes to go to the Bluesfest, swig some beer and enjoy some good music, this article near broke my heart. What is going on people? Can you imagine a world without the arts? EVERYTHING is influenced by the arts, from the picture on your coffee cup to the t.v. show you watch at night, the books you read your children to the music you get lost in. What are we striving for here? A town replete with big box stores and depleted of any beauty and originality? Will we ALL be wearing sweater vests in the near future, unable to come up with our sense of style?

Ottawa festivals to lose all city funding under planned cuts
Last Updated: Monday, November 10, 2008 | 4:43 PM ET Comments48Recommend44
CBC News
Events such as the Ottawa Tulip Festival and Ottawa Bluesfest, prizes such as the Ottawa Book Awards and groups such as choirs and heritage societies would lose every penny of their annual funding under cuts proposed to balance the City of Ottawa 's 2009 budget.
City staff recommended $4.1 million in cuts to the city's arts and culture programs when they released the 2009 draft budget last week.
Details of the cuts are outlined in documents obtained by many of the 286 affected groups and individuals, many of whom were to meet Monday to discuss what to do about the proposals.
Those that would lose 100 per cent of their funding include:
• The Canadian Tulip Festival, Ottawa Bluesfest and the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, which get operating funds annually.
• Several choirs and some dance, theatre and other groups that get operating funds from the city annually.
• Community projects such as Centretown movies, Propeller Dance, House of PainT and Ladyfest.
• The Ottawa Book Awards and the Karsh Award program for outstanding artists.
• Several heritage projects and historical societies.
• Diversity programs such as the Latin American Festival and the Ottawa Chinese Arts Troupe.
• "Capacity building" programs that help groups such as the Great Canadian Theatre Company expand and mature.
Some larger, more established organizations such as Opera Lyra and the Independent Filmmakers Co-operative of Ottawa (IFCO) would lose 42 per cent of their funding.
Groups such as the Ottawa Arts Court Foundation and the Ottawa Art Gallery and museums such as the Bytown Museum , which have multi-year agreements to provide services to the city, would see cuts of 10 to 24 per cent, while endowment funds would remain untouched.

As an aside, please visit http://illustrationfriday.com/blog/2008/11/12/canadian-portrait-gallery/ for a great chuckle at Harper’s expense.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Did I tell you about Jo’s birthday present? The present that I have been keeping a secret for about 302 days? The secret that I was finally able unveil on Saturday night, with friends and family to bear witness? It’s not much, just a little something I pulled together. Really, it only involved conspiring with his boss and booking time off work. Oh, and booking babysitters for the girls for 3 nights and 4 days. And there was also saving my pennies and denying myself some purty things so I could purchase it. Of course, I also had to make sure our passports were up to date. And get tickets to the Game. Yeah, Jo was pretty surprised when I plopped down two plane tickets to Chicago and two tickets to this Sunday’s Chicago Bears game. And pretty happy too.

So, anyone been to The Mighty Opes hometown? Oh, and I guess it’s Obama’s hometown too….

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Irony of Facebook

When I was about thirteen or fourteen years old, there was a boy, around three years older than me, who was so cruel and so mean to me, that now, as a parent, I wonder how he was raised to be capable of such cold hearted behaviour. His behaviour ran a little beyond typical high school bullying. I had forgotten about him though, and the assumption was that I bore no ill effects from his antics.

And then Facebook happened. Facebook has this application on it, that, judging from who you already have on your friend list, it generates names of other people on Facebook who you may know and wish to be friends with. Well, this asshole keeps popping up, and Facebook keeps asking me if I want to get in touch with him. The first time I saw his face and name, a flood of memories came back, and for a moment, I was transported back in time and once again felt all the insecure teen girl that I was, believing his cruel taunts. Now that I’ve seen him pop up a few more times, it is taking everything in me not to lash out at him and let him just how much he sucks/sucked. Part me fears that he would read it, sneer, and laugh out loud at the pain he caused. Another part of me thinks get over it, it’s been over twenty years, time to let it go. And, the last part of me thinks that it is time to quit Facebook altogether, feel blessed with the great friends I have and hold on to them tightly, rather than trying to rack up my friend numbers.

God I hate that jerk.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I love (most) flashbacks.

I was on the bus this morning and had an amazing memory. It involved Jane Siberry and Rideau Valley Middle School (I went there during those oh so painful years of grade six to grade 8). Anyhoooo, we used to have these school dances over the lunch hour, and the “d.j.” (I believe it was our geography teacher) would spin the latest hits. You know what I’m talking about, a little Corey Hart, a little Huey Lewis, and a whole lot of Chicago. Well, one of these dances occurred when Jane Siberry’s “Mimi on the Beach” was a hit. That’s what I’m going to leave you with. Picturing a bunch of pre-pubescent kids wearing stirrup pants and colours you’d only find in government issued highlighters, trying to figure out how to dance to Mimi on the Beach.

I’m sure there were other awkward songs to dance to, I’m going to make a list.

Jane Siberry - Mimi On The Beach lyrics | LyricsMode.com

Friday, October 24, 2008

Appeal to the General Public

I can see the writing on the wall. Grace just got over her last batch of nightmares, and with all the scary ghouley things out there this time of year, I suspect her mind will trap these images and haunt her for the next two months. This means my change at 8hrs sleep in a row is one again shot.

I have thought about suggesting not going trick or treating this year, but that would just be cruel. Besides, scary images are everywhere this time of year, and there is no escaping them unless I lock her up and throw away the key (which would mean me spending 24-7 with her which just wouldn't be good for anybody!)

Grace is aware of the anxiety that Hallowe'en is going to cause her, and we have discussed the "holiday" ad nauseum, and I really really do hope that she will do her best not let her imagination get the best of her. Meanwhile, she has appealed to me to ask everyone (and I'm flattered that she feels her mother is bossy enough that she can communicate to the world) if everyone could do this one this Hallowe'en:

Could everyone just please dress up as a bunny rabbit this year?

We'd be much obliged.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Anyone know a good therapist?

Me, talking to Edie last night, sums up my weekend in a nutshell. Please remember that Edie is my “sweet” one”……

Me: What was the best part of you weekend Edie?
Edie: Me!

Me: What was the worst part of your weekend Edie?
Edie: You!

Monday couldn’t have come fast enough this weekend.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I love footwear. Boots, heels, flats, flip-flops; even slippers have been known to cause me to quiver. I have always been this way – I can remember saving hard earned babysitting money to buy a par of mesh and rubber shoes from Le Château when I was in grade 6. Back then girls were wearing topsiders and PeterPan getaway boots, but not I, I had already developed a taste for the exotic in footwear.

So, when Grace told me her shoes were too small, after I swear, just buying her a new pair of shoes a few weeks back, I smiled to myself and thought, finally, Grace is little like her mother after all. I obliged, brought her to the mall, and we started looking for shoes. Now, last time I checked, Grace was a 12. And that’s what we started with. Lemme tell you, I felt like the Prince trying to squeeze the evil step-sister’s sausages in the glass slipper. Gracie’s foot would not go in. Huh. Maybe she did grow after all. Let’s try 12 ½, umm, nope, no can do. These shoes must be European; they tend to be cut on the smaller side. We’ll just jump up to 13 and see how we do…..well, don’t cry sweetie, Mommy’s not hurting you on purpose, I guess we’ll just have to try the 13 ½, oh, come on, give me a fucking break, is there paper wadded up in the toe area? Miss? Miss? Would you come over here please? Would you please measure my daughter’s feet? She’s just not fitting into any of these shoes, and last time I checked, she was a 12. Are these things labeled properly? Oh, what’s that? I see. She’s a 1 bordering on a size 2. Why yes, I am a shitty mother, completely unaware that children can grow over night in leaps and bounds and potentially bankrupt a family due to her increasing shoe upgrades. And yes, I have been sending her to school everyday in shoes that are two sizes too small for her potentially causing some weird stunting phenomenon in her foot. Thank you, thank you very much for all of your help.

Check out PeeWee's Big Shoe dance. Awesome stuff.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Do to having nothing to say, but still having a desire to talk about myself, here are 10 Random things…..

1) Edie has taken to calling herself Edie Rainbow, and has pretty much done away with our family name.

2) Another six year old taught Grace how to tie her shoes over the weekend. While I’m over the moon with this accomplishment, I also feel a little insecure that another six year taught her something her parents should have.

3) Edie looked and sounded like a little disgruntled bureaucrat yesterday when I picked her up at daycare, muttering something about having a really bad day. The funny thing is she goes to daycare in a building that hosts government of Canada employees, and she blended in beautifully.

4) I’m a little freaked out because I just realized, at 35 years old, that I don’t have consistent handwriting. You know how most people can recognize other people’s handwriting? My changes on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. What does this mean about me? The only consistent letter is a “g”. Strange, eh?

5) I have a huge surprise planned for Jonas’ birthday and I feel like it’s going to pop right out of my mouth any second. This is agony!

6) I just counted 14 pairs of shoes in my cubicle. And two of them are silver. Who needs two pairs of silver shoes? Someone who has a child who refers to herself as Edie Rainbow, that’s who.

7) I burnt my tongue trying to get my coffee in my body this morning in an attempt to ward off a caffeine withdrawal headache.

8) We are being forced to change our signature blocks at work to reflect the“common look and feel” of the federal government. My signature block more than a ¼ of a page long. I shit you not.

9) I am contemplating taking Friday off, not sure what is holding me back. I would like to so some fall gardening and trim stuff back. Is there anything I can plant this time of year for next year?

10) When I got to work this morning and looked in the mirror I was embarrassed to see some white dried up toothpaste on my chin. Sigh. I wonder if this caused the bus people to talk.

Finally, because I suck at entertaining today, this is bound to make up for it:

Monday, September 29, 2008

Addiction runs in the family. I’m always observing the girls, to see if there is any sign of early addictions or addictive behaviour. A little paranoid at the ages of 3 ½ and 6 ½, but what the hell, you can never be too careful.

Every Fall I face my problem with cigarettes. I find myself craving a cigarette. Something about the cool crisp air makes me crave a long, deep haul off of a ciggie. Maybe I’ll give in, maybe I won’t, that’s my issue to work out.

Fall has also forced me to face Grace’s addiction. Thank goodness it’s seasonal, and I can live in denial for 6 months of the year. But, this Fall I am facing the fact that I am an enabler of Grace’s addiction. It is me who supports her habit, has me scraping the bottom of my purse for change, usually a hit is a about $3.99 or so.

Grace has a serious addiction to (c’mon Meanie, the first step is to accept the problem) she’s addicted to (oh God this is so hard) she is addicted to…..VELVET! There, I’ve said it! My little girl likes to be swathed in velvet, head to toe, any colour, any pattern. It’s gotten so bad that my dealer has become Value Village, the bastard, who restocks his shelves every day with new velvet. Prettier velvet, softer velvet, velvet-ier velvet. And I buy it for her dammit, I buy it again and again.

And now it’s affecting the rest of the family. I caught Edie rubbing Grace’s velvet encased leg the other day with a glazed look in her eye and she is now refusing jeans because they are not soft enough. And Jo? Well, I know he is one who would not complain if the velvet leisure suit made a come back.

And so, do I pull my family out of this disease or just ride it out until next May, when we can breathe a sigh of relief that the Velvet season is over?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I’m sorry, I’m dumb.

To the poor woman at the park the other day, I must apologize for making you so insecure about your 3 ½ year old. She is lovely and she is right on track and you shouldn’t be comparing her to my brilliant Edie.

The background….

I was at the park the other day with Grace and Edie and they were talking away, climbing the play structure, and just being lovely. Another mom happened upon us who had her daughter with her, and, as park parents do, we got to talking. I asked her how old her little girl was and she said 3 ½. She then asked me how old mine are and I told her 6/12 and……2 ½. . She expressed shock at Edie’s development. Edie was bigger than her daughter, more articulate, and more agile on the play structure. She simply could not believe that Edie was a full year younger than her daughter, and kept telling me so I said something lame like all kids develop differently bleah bleah bleah, (but off course was BEAMING inside that someone acknowledged Edie’s exceptional-ness). The poor woman actually sort of looked she might book an appointment with her daughter’s pediatrician to see why the hell she was so delayed….in everything.

It wasn’t until bed time that night when I was rethinking the encounter with this woman that I realized I had told her a lie. Edie is not 2 ½, she is 3 ½. I lost a whole year somewhere. How pathetic is that?

So I’m sorry nice lady, maybe Edie and your daughter could play one day. I promise to encourage age-appropriate activities.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I have a dream.

A dream that does not involve kids sleeping through the night, winning the lottery or having my house magically cleaned or my laundry done by fairies.

My dream is to play bass. A big bass. I want to get on stage and play Elvis Presley, Gene Vincent and Eddy Cochrane covers. So how does a girl like me, get a hold of

a) a big ass bass
b) someone to teach her how to play this big ass bass
c) some dudes to jam with who are also interested in playing this kind of music?

That being said, I would also like to learn how to play bass guitar. This is probably easier to come by. If anyone knows where I could get a hold of a bass guitar (I know absolutely nothing about musical instruments – a true newbie waiting to be molded by the music gods) and where I should take some lessons, lemme know.

Before I die (nope, I’m not dying, just planning ahead), I want to know what it feels like to jam and feel like Kim Gordon
Brian Ritchie

and John Entwhistle

(note the emphasis on feel like – it’s kinda liking singing in the shower and feeling like Boccelli but sounding like ass).

A girl can dream right???

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Does this make you sad, mad…. or just make you want to move to a little island somewhere?

I was on the bus the other afternoon going home. Now that school is back in, I share the bus with the local high school kids who happen to leave school the same time I leave work I guess. Most days, I plug in my headphones and try to ignore them as their conversations tend to be loud and obnoxious. I’ve been there and done that, I don’t need to relive it through these kids. And, they tend to keep to themselves with their drama (and trust me, who said what to whom can reach ear piercing drama), so they generally don’t bother me at all. However, the other day, at Billings Bridge, an OC Transpo security dude got on the bus, and a real cop boarded the bus. I of course had to eavesdrop because this is the kind of drama I need to know about.

Apparently, the day before, a bunch of high school kids got on the bus and proceeded to cause all kinds of mischief – including jumping on the rear door steps so the bus would be disabled and the driver couldn’t go anywhere. They were being too loud, too obnoxious, so the bus driver asked them to pipe down and settle down. Apparently, the kids went off on the bus driver, got in his face, told him to f-himself (re. my previous post, I do not approve of this kind of abuse of the f-word) and berated him, harassed him and pretty much made life miserable for all. These are 14, 15, 16 year olds. The driver was upset enough to contact his security people and get the police involved and wanted to have some kind of back up for when the kids boarded the bus. The driver is a NICE man, polite, does his job and he does not deserve to be treated this way, and this behaviour by these kids enrages me. It enrages me so much, I suspect if I had been on the bus that day, I would have stood up to these kids and told them to sit the fuck down (this is proper use of the f-word). And, it enrages me so much, I may have stalked one or two of these kids home and informed their folks of how their children treat other human beings.

I was a teenager. In many ways, I wasn’t a very good one, I get it. But, I would NEVER had treated someone, particularly an adult, in such a way. What are we teaching kids that makes them think they can speak to someone and affect an entire, standing room only bus, in such a way?

The kids didn’t get on the bus that day, so the security entourage was in vain. But it really saddens me that it came down to this, and that this bus driver was so shaken up.

I might add that my bus route goes through some pretty darn nice neighborhoods. This has nothing to do socio-economy. It has everything to do with some kids who need to be taught some respect.

I promise next post will be happy one. I have so much angst lately!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Who says the F-word the best

I saw Burn After Reading last night, and I was mightily impressed by John Malkovich’s performance, particularly how he says “What the fuck”.

Some people say the f-word with such conviction, it becomes music to my ears. I really fell in love with the f-word when I saw Goodfellas for the first time, and heard Joe Pesci say ‘what the fuck kind of people are they?” Awesome stuff.

And then, there’s my back-up husband, Mike Ness, who growls a mean “fuck-up” in the great tune “Don’t Take Me for Granted”

And, I blogged about his use of the F-word a year or two ago, but it bears repeating: when Samuel L. Jackson sings the blues in Black Snake Moan he spits out one of meanest fuck’s I’ve ever heard….(grrr, I can’t link to an un-censored version, what the fuck?)

Being a mom, I can’t practice my f-word as much as I would like, even though I’m a mean mom. I wonder though if I won’t be a little proud when I hear one of my daughter’s mutter their first sincere “fuck!” when they stub their toe.

And, for more on the f-word, a Masterpiece Theatre of the f-word for your listening pleasure.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Oh my God, am I?
My little Edie goes to a great daycare – wonderful staff, organic meals served up everyday, communication notes left all the time, bilingual, no t.v. policy….I could go on, but it’s been great, just great, really really great. And she loves it there. There has been a change though. She was bumped up to the Senior Room in September, a prep course in kindergarten if you will. The regular care-giver, an efficient, loving woman, has had to take leave for an undetermined amount of time. Shake up number 1. Shake up number 2, a new staff member has been hired as the primary caregiver in Edie’s room, and, brace yourself, he is a he. A man. A man, who is not Edie’s father, grandfather or uncle, is caring for my baby. He seems nice enough…actually, to be fair, he seems extremely nice. He has his early childhood education certificate, he is qualified. I’ve spied/observed the class and all seems in order. But I can’t shake the fact that this is a man looking after her, a man I don’t know, and I have to admit, I am confronted with the fact that I am a sexist. My gut is telling me that she is fine, but I’m also filled with thoughts that he is not a woman, therefore not capable of giving her the same kind of care that the fairer sex can. I have always thought myself to be a fair, unbiased person who would never discriminate. But here I am, discriminating and riddled with insecurity about Edie’s care.

I’m the first one to pump my fist in the air and fight for gender equality, but my roar is a whimper now that the roles are reversed.

Monday, September 08, 2008

There is a conspiracy at hand. My work puts on a facade that they are vacation friendly, want us to go, rest and relax and come back to work all refreshed. Huh. I came back to work last week with a kajillion emails in my inbox and I have not taken my daily walk-to-maintain-retain-sanity since I returned. In turn, this makes me wonder if taking a holiday is really worth it or not. I suspect this is the plan of the workplace – send them away and make’em wish they never left.

I jest, a little bit. Work happens to be a shitstorm right now, and I pine, absolutely pine to see Grace on and off the school bus and it just ain’t happening. Also, I wish the time I spend with Edie didn’t revolve solely around arguments at the dinner table and pushing her off to bed. Why does everything have to happen in your thirties??? Why do the important career years and most-precious-kid years have to run parallel to each other? Why do the stresses of work sometimes wake me at 2:00 in the morning, and on alternate nights a wee one with a nightmare wakes me instead?

I guess I’m just having a rough day, but I sorta feel like moving to the country and eating a lot of peaches…with my kids.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

And I'm back.

5 days in the TdotOdot. Did we have fun? Oh yeah. C'mon, a day at the zoo (my highlight, the baboon - the girls' highlight, ice cream and waterpark); a day at Ontario Place (my highlight watching the girls' faces on the waterslide, their highlight, ice cream); a day revolving around navigating around Toronto to get to the CN Tower (my highlight, Jo and I getting f*&*ed out of $100 to see Toronto from high up; the girls' highlight getting as much swag as possible from my brothers' store); a day at Niagara Falls (my highlight getting real live mist on face from the Falls; I suspect the girls' had the same highlight, though we did have some pretty damn good ice cream at the end of the day) and a day caught in real, genuine Toronto long weekend traffic. There just aren't enough highlights to list about that :)

And so, we are home. And it is awesome to be home. The girls were actually quite homesick when we were away, which kind of sucked, but at the same time makes me warm and fuzzy inside because it confirms that they do love the home we have created for them and, even when presented with so much fun and excitement and Kraft Dinner, they still long for what they know.

Let me itemize what sucks about being home:

1) Ragweed. My abs literally ache from all the sneezing I've been doing, and I'm pretty sure my cop friend is questioning our friendship because I look so freaking red eyed and high all the time.

2) Insomnia. A week off is great, but with the return to work looming around the corner, I can't help but think of all the work and deadlines waiting for me. Allergies don't help, and Jo's strange not-a-snore sound he makes when sleeping doesn't help either. Huh.

3) Housework. When away from home, the house doesn't get dirty. Within five minutes of being home, I have dustbunnies mocking me, Leggo multiplying like a bad virus, and I'm pretty sure that everyone on my block is secretly dropping their laundry off at my house for me to do it. I'm just so sleep deprived, they can totally get away with it.

4) Back to school shopping. Why the hell can't I buy #2B pencils? No store carries just #2 pencils. And seriously, do no tell an ex-punk rocker what brand of pencil crayons/erasers/glue sticks to buy. That stinks of....I'm too tired to think of the work. It's like capitalist nepotism or something.

Okay, I think I've cured my insomnia for the night. Well, if your're reading this, I'm sure I've cured yours.

Other than that, it's nice to be home.

Friday, August 22, 2008

See you in a bit!


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A nice story.

Last night Jo got a phone call. It was someone from a local drug/alcohol rehabilitation centre looking to sell a raffle ticket to raise money for the centre. Normally we don’t give money via phone or at the door. We have our system for dealing with charitable contributions that we are comfortable with. Well, this fellow was pretty personable and Jo got to chatting with him. He had our address from a mailing list and mentioned that he used to live in our area. He mentioned to Jo that he had a 4 year-old daughter with whom he was trying to establish a relationship with. That he is trying to mend things with own parents, especially his dad. That he has been clean, sober and cigarette free for 6 months now. Jo knew exactly who this kid and who was talking to. He was our old neighbor from our last neighborhood. He was pretty bad ass, but also kind and respectful to our family. Not so much to his own though. In fact, when we lived there, his parents looked completely defeated and consumed by him. And he brought some pretty scary characters through his parents home – never infringing on us, but scary nonetheless. I had pretty much written this kid off, thinking he was too far gone, and too “cool” to ever consider him rehabilitating himself. But, he is. I know the stats aren’t that great for recovery in addiction, but I hope he does it. At least a seed has been planted.

Jo bought a ticket.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Meanie’s Monday
Things I don’t like:

These new 100 calorie snack bags. If there are 100 calories in those little bags I’ve been consuming an easy 1000 calorie snack per snack attack.

Slow walkers. I don’t get it. Unless you have something preventing you from picking up the pace a little bit, I just don’t understand why one would choose to walk like a turtle on valium.

HomeSense picture frames or any glassware from there for that matter. They always put the price on the glass and it leaves an impossible, sticky residue behind.

The smell of my dishcloth when it gets “ripe”.

People who get excited over a spelling error when it’s obvious it was a typo “ummmm you spelled this wrong, Meanie” “oh really, gee, thanks for pointing that out, that is a vital part of our meeting today, pointing out spelling errors that mean absolutely nothing. Good thing we invited you here. Be sure to add that to the minutes Susan…” grrrrrr.

Being kneed in the stomach when I try to brush Edie’s teeth. They ain’t abs of steel y’know kiddo.

My hair when it is freshly washed. It needs a day or two to acclimatize and get drrrrty to do it’s thing.

People who say “Can I bug you?” What is the answer to this?

Hot dogs. Just don’t like them. They make my burps taste funny.

Donuts. I always feel like I’m scraping lard off the top of my mouth after I eat them (though I keep on testing for some reason).

Deodorizers used to cover up the poo-smell in public restrooms. You can still smell the poo, but you get the headache inducing stench of cheap perfume along with it.

That’s it for today. Next time maybe I’ll list things I like.

*i love this picture. i wish i could give credit where credit is due, but i just don't know where i found it!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

In the VERY early morning....when you are on the brink of insanity from lack of sleep....do you ever want to reach deep into your partner’s throat and rrrrriiiiiippppp out their fucking uvula and feed it to crows that are also making it impossible to get any sleep?

Just curious.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Last night, this Meanie:

went to see this man:

But it felt like this kid:

was seeing her hero, all over again.

I love it when someone/something makes me feel 14 again.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Sympathy for the Devil.....

Today we rushed around like mad, getting a gift for Gracie's friend, who was having a birthday party today. We screeched into the parking lot at Science and Tech a few minutes late, only to be told that there was no party there for her friend. I triumphantly pulled out the invitation to show them that indeed the party was for.....next Saturday. The kicker? Grace smiled coyly and said she knew it was next week but she really wanted to go to the museum today.

Do I laugh? Cry?

I'm actually laughing, because I lied to them tonight and told them it was 8:30 (bedtime) when it was actually 7:30. The house is quiet and it's only 8:00.

Don't mess with the Master Gracie, I will always win.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

So, grocery shopping tonight, I forgot the damn bins and enviro bags. I ALWAYS forget them. Then I buy more enviro bags, and now I have a kajillion of them, sitting in the back of the mini-van, with severe complexes, wondering why I always forget about them. Anyhooo, tonight I decided to stick it to Mother Nature a little bit (she is causing all this rain after all) and go with old fashioned grocery bags. Then at the check out, I saw them peeking out at me. Not white plastic bags, no non no no, I saw some kick ass, old school, pulpey smelling paper bags. I semi-whispered to the check out girl "paper please". She looked at me like I knew something, like I belonged to a secret society, a secret society that knows about the paper bag option. My groceries neatly fit into 4 strong, minimalist paper bags. I ran from the store, worried that the manager might see me, and realize the horrible mistake that was made, in letting a mere civilian get away with these precious paper bags.

I loaded up the van, screeched out of the parking lot, and now the fun begins.

GAAACKKK! Do you remember how much freaking fun paper bags can be? Hellloooo, you can turn them into masks, if you are 3 yrs old you can turn them into full body suits. You can decorate them with stickers, you can tape streamers to them. You can draw HILARIOUS faces on them, you can twirl ribbon and tape it on top and make hair. You can stick pipe cleaners in them and make pokey hair and fake eyelashes. You can glue tinfoil on them and make robot heads (or, again, if you are 3, a whole robot body). There is no end to the fun!

Betcha you all wanna be at Meanie's house this weekend for some paper bag fun!

On a more serious note, what is the bigger crime now, using paper bags and killing trees, or using plastic ones that will sit in a landfill til the end of time? Just curious on what the latest is.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I Did It My Way…..

Our girls are proud, card carrying members of the soother brigade. While Grace is now retired from the soother world, she was active in the community until five years of age. We are now gently nudging Edie towards retirement as well. At 3 ½, we figure it is time for her to give it up. We weren’t so worried about Grace, as she had knocked out her front teeth by the age of three, but Edie has all her teeth still and we don’t want them affected.

The soother is only used at night, when she is falling asleep. In the past, when Edie succumbed to sleep, I gently popped the soother out, and it dangled from her p.j.’s on one of those clips in case she needed to find it at night (with the hope that she wouldn’t holler for me to help her find it).

We have been talking to Edie a lot lately about giving it up, and she wants no help from us (I have suggested making offerings to fairies, mailing it to a new baby who might need one and even offered a….wait for it….puffy stickers! in exchange for the damn thing). However, without our help, I have been witnessing Edie putting herself through the most gradual of withdrawal programs, and she is having plenty of success with it.

In the morning, the soother is hidden under the pillow for the day (before, I had to remove it altogether so she wouldn’t sneak out for a pre-sleep nip). She pats the pillow and says goodbye to it for the day. There are periodic checks during the day, to make sure “Mommy hasn’t taken it away”, but no sucking. At night, she refuses the clip, insisting on “free sucking”, where the risk of losing the soother is the greatest. However, the latest step in the withdrawal program would appear to be removing the soother right before falling asleep and tucking it under her pillow ‘til morning. She is going through the night without her trusty soother. I am so impressed with this self-imposed program of hers. Grace ended up having to do the chicken and go cold turkey when she gave it up. Edie’s method is a kinder, gentler way of doing things.

I can just picture her being the most popular drug counsellor of her day, with stints on Oprah explaining her method:

1) Don’t let Mommy hide it
2) Hide it under your piwwow
3) Just use a little bit of it when you weally weally HAVE to
4) Soon you will be a BIG BIG BIG girl/boy and…no more dwugs!

(p.s. – please don’t tell me that she is too old to be using a soother, I am too old to be laughing at fart jokes and I still do, it’s just how we roll)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

When I was sick last week I had a one of those naps that you fall into a deep, deep sleep. I had such a vivid and telling dream, it’s actually kind of funny to think that my psyche has hit me over the head with this message. I won’t bore you with the details, but the dream had me floating from domestic scene to domestic scene, from work scene to social scene, and in ALL the scenes I was driving my mini-van, blubbering “but I don’t want to be the driver, I want to be the passenger!”
I took this as a cue to stop and chill a little bit. A trip to the doctor re-enforced the idea that I need to slow down. Hey, I know I’m not special. I know everyone is going through this right now, and it’s a crummy feeling. But, since my little health crisis, this week I have implemented a few changes, and I actually feel pretty good and energized. What changes did I make? Here they are:

1) Be in bed by 9:30 – 10:00.
2) Only go out socially 2x a week, once with hubby, once with friends.
3) Commit ½ hour a day 4x a week to exercise (get a sweat-on exercise).
4) Walk at lunch everyday.
5) Say no if I think it’s too much for me to take on.
6) Fruits and veggies.
7) Not worry so much about all food groups being represented a dinner time (seriously, I can get a little uptight about stuff like this!)
8) Refuse to be intimidated.
9) Not procrastinate stuff, just do it.
10) Buy a new pair of boots...

Well, maybe number 10 wasn’t entirely necessary, but the other nine seem to be helping me out. It scares me that at 35 I was feeling so out of whack and stressed out and run down. I’m sure I’ll have more moments of complete stress, but it is nice to know that I can be in control of how I feel.

Now, back to item 10. The boots. My God, the boots. They are black, velvety looking. They have the pointiest toes that are legal. They go up to just past my ankles, they are platforms and the heel measures in at 4 ½ inches. The Olsen twins would want to be seen with me with these puppies on. I may post pictures, but they are so sexy they may be considered inappropriate to view in the work place.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Meanie’s Monday

I suck at sports. I am not graceful, I trip a lot and I feel like I have too many limbs. I was never chosen first for team sports at school. I was chosen last, along with the smattering of rejects nobody wanted on their team. And when everyone in the neighborhood signed up for softball, I did too (glutton for punishment I was), and I was always stuck out in left field, with everyone praying the ball wouldn’t come to me. I was never coordinated enough to catch the ball, and if by some miracle I did, when it came time to throw it back in-field, my wrist would become quite affected and limp and the ball would travel a mighty distance of two feet.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom though. I was good at running (not a pretty sight, but I was fast) and I was also on our community swim team. With swimming, I was always chosen for the relay race. I was a star, and I have medals and ribbons to prove it. I have to explain though. My lack of coordination made the front crawl quite difficult for me. I looked like a robot mid-gear shift gasping for air when doing the crawl. With the back crawl, I’d always be surprised when my head would hit the wall and I’d look around and see that I had crossed the pool diagonally rather than lengthwise. And the butterfly? There are no words to describe the horror of watching me do the butterfly. In fact, I’ve had a life guard try and save me thinking that my flailing was drowning rather than me executing a most difficult stroke. There was an exception though. My breast stroke was phenomenal. In races, I would SMOKE my opponents. And for relays, there was probably some element of surprise when they saw I wasn’t doing the front crawl. I was always put in as the last swimmer, the one to catch us up and get us to the finish line first. I may have looked like a frog on crystal meth, but I always pulled through for the team.

Did you shine at anything when you were growing up? Or did you exceptionally suck at anything?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I've been so sick! Stomach flu! Head cold chest cold flu-like symptoms! Gaaack! Don't worry, I'm okay, just really pathetic and full of self-pity (from which I have learned, family members assume if you feel sorry for yourself, there is no need for them to feel sorry for you as well).

Soooo, instead of Meanie Monday, we'll do Weanie Wednesday.....(I'm stuffed up, so it kinda sounds like that anyways).

Things that my parents told me/have done to me that still haunt me to this day:

1) If I pick at my scabs, a big red line will go from the scab to my heart, and I will have to get a big needle in my bum.

2) Tomato cans, soup cans, all cans are DEADLY SHARP DO NOT TOUCH I REPEAT DO NOT TOUCH!!!! (I still get a little scared when I have to deal with opening a can).

3) It's not good to bring warm water to a boil. Only cold water will do.

4) The soundtrack to Endless Love is innapropriate and the record sleeve pictures are pornagraphic.

5) My parents picking me up early from a birthday party when they heard that Porky's was the featured movie of the night.

6) My dad driving me and some very cool punk rock friends to a punk gig one night, called the band we were seeing "Stinky Socks" (it was actually GBH we were seeing).

7) My Mom, visiting me at university, upon seeing a boy putting the moves on me, announces to the table in a shrill voice: "He takes liberties with my daughter!" (why yes, my mom is from the Shakepearean era).

8) Again, my mom, using the words panties and slacks, liberally, and instead of saying Tiger says Tager.

I bring this up because today I used #1 on Grace after a vigorous scab picking session. It's a slippery slope from here folks.

Did your parents scar you with their strange notions?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sleep is being compromised in our house due to a sudden influx of monsters in our home. We have secured the house with deadbolts, closed windows, waved magic monster-away wands around, installed a monster laser (cleverly disguised as a Cinderella night-light) and they still manage to find their way in. They seem to prevail at 03:30 hrs. The one thing that seems to repel the monsters is our bedroom. Perhaps the sound of Jo’s snoring scares them, or the combined dragon breath of two adults keeps them away. Edie has discovered this safety zone and will not budge until the monsters retreat (approximately 07:30 hrs).
God help all you all.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Meanie’s Monday

Whaaa? It’s Monday already? What little piece of mundane can I entertain you with today?

I know, a scaawwweeyyy story.

I grew up with a ghost in my house. Yup, a real “live” ghost. I felt her, but never saw her. Only the men-folk in the family ever saw her. My dad, my uncle, my grandfather, I can’t remember if my brother ever saw her. Even construction workers saw her. She always appeared at the same doorway, which was the entry way to her old bedroom. Story goes that she passed away in her bedroom, of pneumonia. She lived with her sisters. They were spinster sisters. My dad always told me that he had a very kind vibe from her (vibe being my word, I don’t think the work “vibe” is in my dad’s vocabulary!) and every time he saw her, he would try and make eye contact with her. She would always disappear as he reached her eyes. Strange, no? I wish I hadn’t been so scared of her, but I was petrified. I was so scared to be in that house alone. I remember when I was home alone I would either wait up for my parents, or, I would close my eyes and race past that doorway to the stairs to go up to my room. Friends would come over and they would have the willies, one friend even insists that she felt like someone was trying to push her down the stairs! Other friends wanted desperately to hold a séance or do a ouijia board in our house, which I flat out refused to do – you just don’t mess with that stuff.
Once, when upstairs in the guest room, my grandfather says he saw a woman holding hands with a young child. A ghost-mother with her ghost-child. I’ve heard this before; that ghosts often pass through ghost-friendly houses. This must be what he saw.
My parents are still in the house, but my dad has not see “her” in years. She must have found her happy place.
Do you believe in ghosts?

Friday, July 11, 2008

End of my friday, after 2 lovely Guiness. Edie kept insisting that she had new little fuckers on her arm. I just could not figure out what she was saying until Grace came to my rescue - apparently, when *some* three year olds say freckles it sounds like "fuckers". Ha!

My reality versus their’s…

Their reality includes bounding out of bed in the morning with 11 hours of sleep tucked under their belt, ready to take on the day.My reality never involves bounding of any kind – it usually involves hitting the snoozebutton 5 times and never really feeling rested after a broken 7 hours sleep.

Their reality includes being thrilled with taking a “morning candy” (vitamin. My reality includes grabbing the Tylenol in the morning to ease a sore neck and/or back.

Their reality includes being tickled that they get to see their FWIENDS! at daycare and spend the whole day playing, laughing, singing, dancing and having fun. My reality includes going to work and, well, I don’t experience any singing, dancing OR playing! (hmmmm, maybe I should start?)

Their reality includes coming home and relaxing with their toys while their dinner is being made. My reality includes coming home and starting my second job of the day.

Their reality includes being bathed, having lotion applied by expert hands, sometimes having a light massage, having a book or two read to them, taking in a light snack, and finally, tucked into a bed with clean sheets, sometimes having to be convinced that going to bed is a good thing. My reality includes doing laundry, having a quick shower, sometimes shoving some chips into my mouth while watching bad reality t.v. and collapsing into bed, falling asleep mid-chapter.

Sigh. I wanna be a kid again.


-Girls dental appt. yesterday - no cavities! And no mention of Edie's soother habit. Phew, dodged the bullet again on that one. And, Grace won't have to go through this again, for now.

-I'm reading Memory Keeper's Daughter - GASP! what an intense book. I'd even rather read right now than watch bad reality t.v.

-Where have all the babysitters gone? We used to have a pretty good roster going, and now, try and find one for Saturday night, fuggedaboutit!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Meanie’s Mondays

Okay, so with little to say, I have decided that on Mondays I will turn the spotlight on me and provide my fawning masses with details about moi. Because I will run out of things to say about myself in, oh, about 2 installments, I welcome you ask questions about me that may be keeping you up at night.

And so, let us being what will surely be a timeless classic. Welcome to Meanie’s Monday First Installment: The Tale of Schultzie.

My nickname is Schultzie. I have been lovingly referred to as Schultzie for about 33 years now. This nickname came about when a show I have never seen before was popular on t.v., called Hogan’s Heroes. Apparently, there was a fat, bald general named Schultz. And, because at two years old, I bore a striking resemblance to this General Schultz, the family thought it fitting that they call me Schultzie. A bout with bulimia and a few hair plugs later, I have come to terms with this nickname (KIDDING!) However, the nickname stuck, and even my husband rarely calls me Meanie, (only if he’s REALLY mad) and he has turned it into his own Yiddish version, calling me Yultzie (and no, he’s not even Jewish).

And so, that is the story of my nickname.

Mazel Tov!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Karma baby!

Bear with me, this is a story about Karma – potentially yawn inducing to some, but will make some think twice about missing an opportunity to do a good deed.

We were returning from cottage country late Monday afternoon – a little(lot) hungover, tired and dirty. Just itching to get home and get re-settled. As we were barreling down the dirt road, we saw a huge transport truck (highly unusual for this road) pulled over. We stopped and asked him what’s up, and he was looking for an address. We told him it was just down yonder, and went on our way. For about two minutes. Before we realized that there was no way our big truck driving friend would make it down the road, and there would be no way for him to turn around his big ass truck. He would be screwed. Jo and I looked at each other and gave each other the nod to turn around and tell him so (much to the girls excitement, “What’s going on? Where are we going? Who is that man? Are we going back to the cottage? Can I have a cracker?”) We caught up to him, pulled him over, told him to back his ass up and get a smaller truck. After many thanks from him, we went on our separate ways…until we heard him honking and trying to pull us over. He let us know that we had a MASSIVE flat rear tire. With all cell phones/blackberries drained, and the rain starting to fall, Jo’s accountant hands were about to get intimate with a jack and a donut tire. That is, until a happy little man came bouncing out of the house we were stopped outside of. “Don’t worry about anything, I will take care of everything” were his exact words. Huh? Who is this dude? Turns out this dude was a licensed mechanic and was equipped to patch our tire (with his LAST patch I might add), refill it with the AIR COMPRESSOR he just happens to keep in his shed, and also find our, at this point, somewhat annoying children endearing because, alas, he just changed professions and became a school teacher for the JK to grade 5 demographic. How is that for Karma?

The patched tire should last us a few months (until September, when were planning on getting new ones).
Jo and I traveled home with a smile on our faces with thoughts of our good deed, and the good deed done to us.
The girls got their crackers.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Songs of Summer

The first real song of summer that stands out for me is “Take a Walk on the Wild Side” by Lou Reed. I remember this song was playing the night I kissed my boyfriend – it was my first “real” kiss. I can even picture what I was wearing that night – an oversized James Dean t-shirt and black pedal pushers. My hair was fashioned in that weird lopsided cut that all girls had that summer. For years after that night, every time I heard that song I would get butterflies in my stomach, even though it had been long time since the bloom fell off the romance.

Another song that stands out for me is a silly one. It was the month of May and, having just been sent to rehab, all my punk music had been confiscated, and I was only allowed to listen to top 40 music. That was the summer of “Pop Goes the World” by Men Without Hats. To this day whenever I hear that song, a flood of emotions come over me.

Skip to university and Frosh Week. At Bishop’s that year, my summer song was 1979 by the Smashing Pumpkins – no reason why, but whenever I hear that song, I think about that first foray into living on my own, making the best friends I’d ever had, and general good times.

This summer, my summer song is by M.I.A. Gunshots aside, it makes me sooooo happy when I listen to it. Whenever it comes on, I roll down the windows, crank the volume, and, for a few minutes, forget that I’m in a mini-van .


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*Tell me your most memorable summer songs, I'm always looking for good songs!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Not for the faint of heart……

The tragedy this morning that fell upon Grace’s SK group is almost unspeakable. Perhaps you heard the collective cries of 40 five and six year olds, mourning a loss so horrible and so unfair. We parents who happened to be there when the news was announced were forced to take the role of grief counselors, hugging, consoling, and lamenting the loss along with the children. My Gracie had to compete with other children for a word of assurance and a stroke of the hair from me. I felt like there was not enough of me to go around to comfort these traumatized children, stoked by the inhumanity that had fallen upon them.
It may not be in the news tomorrow, even the media doesn’t like to report these kinds of events, events that bring no joy to anyone. And so, I turn from grief counselor to reporter here, to tell of the horrible fate that met these children this Wednesday morning. Sit down, prepare yourself – I cannot be there to physically console you once you read the news I am about to report. Ready?

The field trip to Saunders Farm was cancelled due to rain.

There, I said it, I put it out there. Are you feeling the pain these Kinders were/are feeling today? Lord have mercy you’d think that Hannah Montana herself had been shot the way these kids carried on.

I can sympathize with them though. The one field trip they have been looking forward to all year was cancelled due to rain. And the kicker? While the skies look threatening, I have not seen one drop fall from the sky yet.

*note to Gracie’s school – cancel the drama classes, these kids do not need any further training whatsoever.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ironing: def. v. The act of taking iron pills.

Really, this is pretty much the definition of ironing in Meanie’s house. Yes, I’m the one who runs to the dryer to get clothes out ASAP to avoid wrinklage. Yes, those are my kids who look a little ruffled when they get to school. Yes, those clothes in my closet have been only worn once because I won’t take the time to iron them.
I. Don’t. Iron. Jo does iron….sometimes…..usually about two minutes before we have to be somewhere very important. And it involves a lot of cursing, burning and general ugliness.
I now wonder about my own mother, who used to crank EastEnders and iron each individual’s underwear while she worked away. My own girls are most likely in awe of the neat little folded packages their underwear turn into after spending the night there (is that a lavender scent we smell Momma?)
I just can’t get into it. What I can get into is this
Are you kidding me? Did you know about this? Tell me all about it! I am your grasshopper, eager to learn of the mystical properties of this magical serum. I will spray away, I will exchange 10 bad environmental habits I have to partake in this wrinkle-releasing orgy.
How did I not know about this?

Monday, June 16, 2008

What I did with diaper wipes this weekend:

-cleaned chocolate off my cashmere sweater

-cleaned bathroom counters quickly before onslaught of father’s day visitors arrived

-cleaned dust off of entertainment unit

-polished my back high heel shoes

-polished my new social distortion belt buckle (it’s so purty)

-wiped freezie stains off my children’s faces

-wiped evidence of chocolate binge off of my face

-wiped marker stains off of walls

-wiped aftermath of artistic frenzy off of the dining room table (water colours + three year old + six year and a brief introduction to the works of Jackson Pollock = one helluva mess)

-wiped pollen off of deck furniture

-squished bugs

-cleaned dust off dashboard of mini-van

-wiped down leather chairs (that never get used but always get dirty?)

I’m sure there is more, but I’m impressed with the list thus far. I’m also a little freaked that I wiped my children’s bums with something so…..effective.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Well, that’s an hour of my life I won’t get back….

I was t-i-r-e-d last night (note to Edie: you’re three now, you should be sleeping through the night by now). Jo was out for the evening. After soccer practice, I had the girls scrubbed, snacked, hugged and coerced into bed and the house was silent at 8:30. I made lunches, folded laundry, fixed a broken toy and by 9:30 I rewarded myself with a Lindt dark chocolate bar and a little couch time with a promise to myself that I would be in bed by 10:00. I then I surfed the kajillion channels that we have. Biiiiiggg mistake. Did you know that there is a show called Living Lohan that chronicles the lives of famewhore Dina Lohan and her daughter Ali “Save Me” Lohan? Well, you do now. And I spent ½ an hour trying to decipher what it was that I was watching – hell, conversations in my head about what to make for dinner are more interesting than this crap! But, of course, in a chocolate coma, I submitted to the power of Lohan. And, before I could flip the TV off at 9:30, It’s Complicated rolled on right after the Lohans and I was spun into Denise Richard’s orange-y spray tanned web. Honeslty, I watched Denise go shopping for a new shirt, get a spray tan, pick up dog shit and make her father get a sea salt scrub.

See, there are two kinds of people in this world, people who do stuff like Doctor’s Without Borders, and people like me, who get drunk off chocolate, become immobilized and fall victim to less than mediocrity.

Monday, June 09, 2008

I'm keeping him....

Nine years ago, I married a guy named Jo. Years before that wedding day, Jo attempted to court me, and I turned him down. I turned him down out of fear, because I knew in my heart of hearts that I was going to marry this Jo guy, and I was still too young be tied down to that kind of commitment. So I half-heartedly dated a few guys, but my heart belonged somewhere else. Still, I couldn’t make that commitment, scared of my own feelings, scared of committing to something that might actually be, gasp, good for me. Understandably, Jo became impatient, and, a dramatic argument left me standing alone. He’d had enough and couldn’t play my games. Never have I felt so alone. A loneliness beyond anything I’d known before – it was as if I knew that was the loneliness I’d feel for eternity if I didn’t have Jo in my life. And so, I fought to get him back. Swatting back the girls who got wind of his singledom, and I earned back his trust in me.
We are so different Jo and I – I cling to the punk rock glory days, and, Jo clings to his NFL on Sundays. But, we click, and we respect each others differences. We have mutual friends, and we have our “mine only” friends. I cook, he cleans. We can correct each other without getting defensive. We have fun, even when the chips are down. We know the value of a good babysitter.
Sometimes I’m reminded by how good I have it, especially on our ninth anniversary. We booked a sitter for Wednesday night, went our local haunt, toasted each other with champagne. He then presented me with my gift. A gift like no other gift I received.

My blog is my little thing. Or so I thought. What it is actually, is a diary, a diary of the girls, a diary of my personality, a diary of motherhood, a diary of our family. I always wondered how it would be saved, should I print it off, archive it, download it, or just get rid of it.

Jo had a better idea:

front cover

back cover

middle pages

He had the whole thing, from beginning to end formatted and bound. 100 hours of work. Work that took place on the couch, into the wee hours of the morning. My Jo doesn’t see by blog as a silly little thing, he sees it as our life, and something that is worth saving.

Am I lucky or what.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Well, MommaT relayed a little story about some colourful language in her house. Just thought I'd share my own slice of innocence lost with y'all today......

"Mommy, do you know what the s word is?"

errr, you tell me grace

"(giggling) it's stupid!"

"Mommy, do you know what the h word is?"

ummm, do you?

"(more giggles) it's hate!"

"Mommy, do you know what the d word is?"

you tell me sweetie

"It's dummy!"

"Mommy, do you know what the f word is?"

(loving the innocence of it all) Bring it on gracie, what is it?



Tuesday, June 03, 2008

My name is Meanie

You know that show, My Name is Earl? Well, Jo called me Earl this morning. Why? Because of my compulsive list making. How compulsive? At 2:30 this morning I was crouched in my closet writing like a maniac, with a light-up Ariel pen with pink feathers attached to it. Was I writing “the next best thing?” Nope. Penning my last will and testament? Nosiree Bob. Here is a sample of what work of genius I was creating at 2:30 in the morning:

-Call back Ian re. tomorrow’s meeting
-buy new mop for Anna (cleaning lady)
-get money for Anna
-responsible for sharing snack day June 9th
-Grace’s French reader to be returned
-call researcher x regarding y
-inform boss lady of dr.’s appt
-soccer tourney Sunday…what time????
-school bbq Friday – have to bring dessert!
-renew Edie’s OHIP
-daycare cheques due
-hot lunch form – did I fill it out?
-call researcher y regarding x
-book Edie’s eye appt.
-call Mom back
-need yogurt, bread

No wonder the sleep aid industry makes a mint. I just know I’m not the only one with this affliction!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

But I don't wanna!

This morning I woke with one of those feelings that I just could not shake. A feeling of dread, but I could not put my finger on why I was feeling this way. A weird feelig in my stomach that prevented me from enjoying anything that passed my lips. So I worked. Dealing with government-y stuff. Meetings, paper work, paper work and more paper work. Then my admin assistant passed by my office with my pay stub in my hand. I study this form every two weeks, try to come to terms with the amount that is deducted (and no, $30 bilingual bonus money does not make up for my losses!). I then tucked the little stub away and continued with my piles of work. Then, the good fairy of administration came by again, with a bigger envelope for me to open. My pension and benefits plan. When I opened it I knew immediately where my feeling of dread came from this morning. My brain must have had some psychic connection to the information help in this package, and my brain knew to shelter me from this information for as long as possible. This little package, so tidy and correct, informed me that I can retire in 2029. I think in my own little world, I thought maybe I had a few more years at this gig before Jo and I could run off into the sunset together, a little more wrinkl-y, a little rounder, but at least still able to run. But now I am a little worried that we will instead we will be as wrinkled as sharpei puppies, slowly, cautiously, walking at a snail's pace to our beds, just as the sun is setting.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I love my Edie something fierce but the little one is on a crying jag right now that is about to send me around the bend. Edie has two speeds – very very happy (we are talking bouncing instead of walking) and very very upset. The way her face crumbles when she is about to cry is like a watching a face melt during a bad acid trip….not that I….well, whatevs. Even early this morning I heard my name being blubbered from her room, and there she was, fast asleep, but her adorable little mouth looking like an upside down U. And nothing can turn her mood. No amount of tickling, joking, making lamb-ey talk (usually a shoe-in for some giggles). Nope, this little cherub decides when she is done. And when she is done, she announces it. Literally. “All done crying!” she’ll state triumphantly and she starts hopping around the house again as happy as can be, oblivious to my raw nerves.

I bought a skipping rope for Grace at the dollar store. Best investment ever. She shames me with her level of physical fitness. I can almost hear her chanting “float like a butterfly sting like a bee” as she skips out the door down the driveway, around the neighbors driveways and back again. When her shirt lifts a little I see her tiny six pack flexing away, and she is developing shoulders like a football player. And she just started last week.

I got a phone yesterday morning at 5:30 from a co-worker telling me not to come into work as there had been a flood and the building was closed. Are you kidding me? An extra day tacked on to the long weekend? I should have bought a lottery ticket.


Two sets of grandparents. Two kids. Two sets of grandparents willing to take said kids for the weekend. Free condo at Tremblant. Two couples who are great friends who can also get away for the weekend. Is karma finally rewarding me for all the good I bring into this world?

**If anyone has been Tremblant, pls send suggestions for restaurants, activities, etc.