Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Are they just dreams?

Grace and Edie are hardcore dreamers. I usually just chalk it up to two kids who have vivid imaginations, and who maybe shouldn't watch so much Scooby Doo. The girls have woken me up with a litany of stories, many of which include people in their rooms; little girls, grown ups, and some who are just too scary to describe. I'd be lying if I said this didn't freak me out, because it does. And I know dismissing it as a bad dream doesn't help them that much - I remember losing a lot of sleep as a kid just from being scared of stuff.

I recently read a book by Sylvia Browne, many of whom will dismiss as a quack. She says children are more succeptible to seeing ghosts because they aren't as jaded as we are yet and not quite so prone to dismissing things because they are "impossible". And sometimes it isn't scary for them because they aren't programmed to think that kind of stuff is scary. Edie has talked quite fondly about a little girl in her room, and has asked where she has gone in the morning, like she misses her.

What do you think, do you believe in ghosts? Do you think sometimes young kids are actually seeing something we can't?

Now, last night Edie woke me with a blood curdling scream because aligators were biting her feet. I do draw the line at reptilian ghosts. I do think that was just a really bad dream.

Monday, March 30, 2009

A few things.....

Toronto was great. Is it a bad thing that I didn't really miss my kids? I think if I had stayed one more day, there may have been some pining on my part, but it was the perfect amount of time to get away. I don't think they missed me much either. I guess sometimes everyone needs a break from each other.

Thursday night I went to a fab party, put on my $3 Value Village find (a belted pinstripe tunic dress that is just wonderful) and my awesome booties with zippers all over them. I met Ashley McIsaak (is that how you spell his name) and some really great artists; dined a great restaurant called Lee (yum) and had a great evening with co-workers but with no shop-talk. So fun to the social side of people you usually just talk about work with.

The next day, my wonderful Jo mapped out all my prime destinations for me on Google maps (seriously, how many husbands to that?) and I be-bopped my way downtown, down Queen St. stopping in lots of places, buying little but inspired by much. I met my sister-in- law for a beer in the late afternoon. With the sun shining, it was bliss. I then met up with a girl friend who I don't think I have seen for 20 years. It was a facebook reunion. So crazy. Last time we saw each other we were in kilts, docs and donning mohawks or shaved heads or whatever and likely drunk or high. And there we were, both sane, responsible adults. It was nice to see her again.

The next day I got to stroll with my 17 month old nephew, whom I have never really been able to enjoy without the distraction of my own kids. It was heaven, listening to him babble, pointing with his chubby little fingers at everything that amazed him on a beautiful spring morning. So nice. It was also nice hanging with Jo's brothers and their wives, without the distraction of my brood, and getting to talk, really talk, about life and such.

It was a fantastic weekend, but I have to balance my report with a few shitty happenings:

1) Thanks for the book recommendations. I ordered them all but they hadn't been delivered by the time I left on Wednesday, so no great literature was to be read. I did pick up the latest Vanity Fair and Nylon magazines though, but left them in my Dad's van when he dropped me off at the train station. I only had an Ottawa Sun (ewww!) to read on a 41/2 hour train ride to Toronto. This left me with wayyyy to much time trapped in my own head and I am now rethinking my whole career path and thinking that change is imminent. Stay tuned.

2) The first night I sleep away from home, I rarely sleep unless I bring my mommy's little helper pills (mlhp's). I forgot my mlhp's so what should have been a respite from Edie walking me 2x a night with reports on her hangnail/status of her art project at daycare/the fact that her friend likes ladybugs ALOT, was a night with hardly any sleep.

3) The second night, the great dinner I had with my long lost friend must have been just riddled with MSG because I was up until about 3:30 in the morning with a racing heart and the shakes. That how I roll with MSG, it sucks.

However, to end on a positive note, I had a window seat to myself on the train ride home, with the sun shining in, a book that my brother lent me, and the rocking of the train lulled me to sleep on more than one occasion.

And I was happy to see my little brood when I arrived home.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

the Bad: putting on my parka this morning after bannishing it to the basement
the Good: hearing Edie say "I love Spring, all the little people come out of their holes"

the Bad: Christian Dior waterproof mascara. I'm pretty sure if I grabbed some hot tar off the street and globbed it on my eyelashes, it would be exactly the same thing (only not $32!!!)

the Good: I look kinda pretty in a sleepy way without mascara on.

the Good: a closet full of awesome clothes

the Bad: being so fucking sick of winter clothes

the Bad: R.I.P my cute little cellphone with all my songs on it - got soaked in my yoga bag when by water leaked.

the Good: a sweet hip friend who gave me iPod mini because she has since upgraded (ummmm, anyone know how to work a mini???)

the Bad: a zero social life this week

the Good: 8 hours sleep, every night. Bliss

the Bad: hearing Edie moan and cry at night

the Good: we are breaking the soother habit at long last. Wish us luck.

the Good: Grace is reading and spelling!

the Bad: Grace can now decode everything Jo and I spell to each other that we don't want the kids to hear. Oh, did I mention she is fluent in both official languages? I think Jo and I will have to take a course in Mandarin or something to stay one step ahead of that girl.

the Good: Hopping on a train on Thursday, heading to Toronto for an "industry" party, hanging with friends and family, leaving the kids at home.

the Bad: ummmm, I'm sure by Saturday I'll be missing the homefront? Maybe?

On that note, I will be on a train for close to five hours on Thursday and again on Saturday. I will have that amount of time UNINTERRUPTED to read. Suggestions please! I don't really like the Harry Potter or Twilight genres.....but if you had read something fab, preferably Canadian (I can borrow Can-lit from work) please let me know.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My Fridays off thus far....

Here is where I whine and moan and likely get no sympathy from anybody. That's okay. It's my blog, I'll do what I want.

I took a new job in January. The job pays more money, I have an office, with a door, and I'm able to work a four day week. *bliss*. The job is challenging, but not in a "look at your fucking blackberry!" kind of challenging. More like a train going steadily up a really, really big hill kind of challenging. Anyhoooo, the Friday off. This was to be my day to do whatever I want. Get groceries done, do some slowcooking to keep the freezer stocked with meals, attack the clutter belching basement and get things in order again, and, dammit, maybe even go to a matinee. Well, having this day off made me feel a little guilty, so I offered to volunteer for a few hours each Friday morning at Gracie's school. That's fine. I'd still have a whole afternoon to myself. Well, there were eye appointments, doctor appointments, dental appointments to catch up on. Done. As of last Friday, the last oil change was done on the second child and we are all caught up. So, this Friday, THIS Friday was to be my first day with no committments, no appointments. I don't even have a volunteer shift at school.
Well, my boss, who is so kind and flexible just knocked on my door, and there is a meeting she wants me attend on Friday. I know she wouldn't ask if it wasn't important (she doesn't cry wolf) so once again my Friday is hijacked.

Feel sorry for me?

Monday, March 09, 2009

Organic cake, Whoop Ass and Lord of the Flies....or, A Seven Year Old's Birthday Party.

Gracie's birthday party was on Saturday. We decided to do a home party this year because last year we hosted at Cosmic Germventures, we ended up shelling out a kajillion dollars for a) a place for kids to play b) unmotivated teens who drew stick figures on the kids cheeks and called it "face painting" and c) watered down orange "drink" and tartrazine laden cake (leave me alone, tartrazine is my latest nemesis in life).
And so, the home party. Grace is on a spy kick, so I made a cake that looks like a spy glass. Did you hear what I just said (wrote?) I made a cake. In a shape. That was not a square. And I iced it. And decorated it. And wrote names and stuff on it. I'm usually the gal at Loblaws barking out orders as to what decorations should be on the cake and where, but this time I did it myself.....and it was organic (bragging rights!) I guess I thought the organic-ness of the cake might have a calming, kumbaya effect on Gracie's peeps. No such luck.
The one extravagance we allowed ourselves was to hire a magician. A nice man, who came to do a nice show. I'm sure when he saw the girls and one boy, squeaky clean and dressed to the nines, he thought it was going to be an easy gig. Heh.
I literally had to physically remove a creature from his pant leg. I had to time out a child THAT WAS NOT MY OWN on the stairs for harassing him ("I know your secrets!" "You're boring!"). One child was contorted in such a position for the entire show that I thought she was waiting for a diaper change. Seriously. I had to press pause on the video recorder, plug Edie's and my own mother's ears when one child went off on a "friggin" tangent. I'm sure the magician wanted to take his wand and whisk these little cretins to Guantanamo Bay. The show ended to cheers and to boos. The room was divided. The lines had been drawn. The mood had been set. There were kids who wanted to please me (I like these kids) and the kids who wanted to create complete anarchy (respect - I am an ex-punk rocker after all).
For the final hour I had to entertain with games and prizes. I pretty much relieved Jonas of his duties as he a little bit more old school than me and was itching to open a can of whoop ass on the anarchists.
As for the games and prizes? When one child opened her prize, she loudly exclaimed "I hate this!" which led some other children to also voice their dislike of their prizes. I felt like Piggy in Lord of the Flies. You know what darlings? Here's a dollar. Go to the dollar store and pick your own freaking gift. Luckily my lovely Grace had more grace than I and suggested the kids trade gifts so everyone could get something they like.
There more moments of loveliness, including seeing Gracie's face when she was the magicians assistant, hearing one of her friends jump to Edie's defence when another girl was picking on her, watching the kids gobble up my cake and enjoying my efforts, hearing them say it was an awesome party when their parents came to pick them up, and that brings me to the best part of all, the parents coming to pick them up.
Grace had a blast. That was also the best part of all.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


My amazing husband re-did our basement bathroom (think wood panelling, a shower from the movie Seven and a floor you'd want to wear bio-hazard boots to walk on) for about $25. He's amazing. He did it all with 2 cans of spray paint, a container of paint sealer and some left over white paint we had. I will post pictures. We were going to gut this bathroom and do a full reno, then got to thinking that is used so little, why not just clean it and do a little aesthetic makeover? It worked! Yippee!

Edie's birthday went off without a hitch. I had plenty of activities planned, but in the end realized that 4 year olds, without their parents, just want to roam, explore and play with someone else's toys. I was a little disappointed that I couldn't put on the puppet show I had been practicing. It was going to be my first gig since getting the puppet theatre.

Played Rock Band on Saturday night, and i think I have a repetitive strain injury from playing bass with a little too much enthusiasm. Oh, and for the most boring rock star experience, pick up the bass for Beastie Boys Watcha Want.....yawn....

Took Edie swimming on Sunday, caught glimpse of self in mirror, thought I was on acid because it looked like my leg, specifically thighs, were melting. What's that contraption that Chrissy from Three's Company was always swearing by? I think I need one of those.

Jo quit his job a few weeks back. The day he handed in his notice he started coming home at 5:00 p.m. I cannot begin to tell you what a positive impact this has had on our family. Relaxed mealtimes all together, homework harmony, time to play, talk, etc etc. If anyone ever questioned work/life balance, it's so worth fighting for. Also, when I switched jobs my Blackberry went with it. Jo will also be ditching his Blackberry as of Friday. No more flashing lights distracting us after work hours.

And now I'm about to give away the best beauty secret here. Because I was looking as so dry and shrivelled up, and was worried that XUP might start hating on me because I was ageing, I decided to change up my beauty routine. Ponds Cold Cream. Honestly. Glowing. Dewy. Moisturized. All that for 11 bucks.

This particulary chipper post is brought to you from a Venti Bold from Starbucks.