Thursday, October 29, 2009

Meanie’s Hallowe’en costumes, a random look back in time:

1) An arab (yes, my parents thought it would be a good idea to dress a 4-year old me up as an arab man, not sure where the inspiration came from that one)

2) A dice – this was actually pretty awesome in theory. My dad took a big box, painted it white, cut out some holes for my head and arms and glue some black dots on it. Where it wasn’t so awesome was when I wore it to school and couldn’t sit down because the box was too awkward, and I couldn’t take it off because I only had tights and a turtleneck on underneath. It was a long day.

3) A robot – again, my dad with a big box, spray painted silver. But wait, a trip to the hardware store was also made and that plastic coil-ey tubing was purchased for my arms and legs (you know the stuff you use to vent out from your clothes dryer) and was also spray painted silver. The garage was raided for bits of knobs and buttons for dials to be glued on. It rocked. I wore it to school convinced that I would win best costume, but some popular-with-the-teachers skank won instead for her oh so original raggedy ann costume. Whatevs. I knew I looked good.

4) A card. This was recycled from my figure skating days where my costume was a queen of hearts card. Hmmm, not sure why my parents didn’t put effort into things that year?

5) A punk rocker. Symbollic foreshadowing.

6) A hooker (cause yeah, it’s appropriate when you are 10 to dress up as someone who sells her body, Mom? Dad?)

7) Laurel of Laurel and Hardy. No idea what inspired this, but my girlfriend and I dressed up as the duo and got a lot of candy from the older folk.

8) A cop. Just a quick word to the wise – when under the influence, it is never a good idea to pull your toy gun on a real police officer. Just saying.

Well, I’m missing a few years here, but these are the ones that stick out for me. What was your best ever costume?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Reverse Bullying

Those of you have met Grace pretty much know that you don’t f*%$ with her. She has a keen sense of right and wrong, is a loyal friend, and stubborn as hell. Some of these traits, particularly in a 7 year old, can be a little, ummm, annoying, but without wanting to squish her spirit, we generally just try and guide her in the right direction, and more often than not, cross our fingers and throw back a shot of something strong until she moves out on her own.

Well, she came home the other day with a shiny Loonie and story to tell. When I asked her about said Loonie, she told me that a bunch of fourth graders were “bullying” her and her (very little) friend; they were telling them to get off the play structure, go away, called them babies, etc. So, was our little Gracie intimidated? Nope. She she throw punches? Nope. Did she cry and run to the teacher? No way. She demanded from the bullies a loonie in order for her and her friend to vacate the area. And they obliged. She reverse-bullied. I wonder if those 4th graders understand what had just happened to them.

Not sure if this is right or wrong, but I kind of admire her methods of extortion at such a tender age.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I had my hair piled high and my baby just looked so right…..

We went out last Saturday night for some dinner and dancing. I have a thing for 50’s and 60’s music and there was a band, Bruce and the Burgers playing at the Elmdale Tavern that I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. I’ve been to the Tavern a few times now, and the music is always great, the people watching fantastic, and I have to admit, for this particular show I was expecting some cool rockabilly types to be checking out the band.

When we walked into the bar we quickly realized we were the youngest couples there by about 20 years. Our friends who joined us shot me daggers as there are more used of the Elgin Street kind of thing – cheese music, cheese crowed. Whatevs, different strokes for different folks.

Well, how can you resist the sounds of the oldies? You can’t. And at first we watched in awe some of the ‘older’ couples doing the mashed potato and the twist. Then I couldn’t hold back anymore when they ripped into an awesome Beach Boys set. I even managed to get Jonas up dancing for a most romantic version of “In the Still of the Night” – it felt like we were in high school, a few decades in the past. It was amazing. Even our friends had a good time, though they did talk us into going to a bar more their speed afterwards, where we watched drunk types get thrown out and drunk boys kept petting my leopard skin jacket. Yeah, that’s a lot more fun than doing the Twist at the Elmdale.

****this is my 300th post! wow, i talk a lot***

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A scent.

I’ve always loved the idea of having a fragrance that people associate with me. I’m sure you know people who always smell the same, or associate a smell with someone. I have wonderful memories of my mom and dad getting gussied up at night to go out, and my mom coming downstairs, all pretty and stuff and smelling so wonderfully of Coco Chanel. And my wonderful Nana, who also always smelled so delicious of her fragrance, I think it was Ysatis, by Yves St Laurent. She was a layering gal – she had the soap, the moisturizer, the talc and the perfume, all laid out for her to use. There was a also a woman at my old job who smells sooo good, but keeps it a secret as to what she is wearing, because her signature scent is so sacred to her, she doesn’t want people smelling like her.

Me? I can’t seem to commit to one fragrance. In the 80’s, people would have unfortunately associated Poison with me (public apology, I bathed in it, and I smoked, I smelled awful). When I turned 16 and turned my life around, I symbolically turned to Happy by Clinique, convinced that by wearing something that sounded and smelled so positive, it would have to infect me with good energy. At university, if you walked past me (and most of the other students there) you would get a whiff of patchouli and Pantene. After graduation, I went and worked for Club Monaco. It was the 90’s, cleanliness and minimalism reigned, and I once again turned to Clinique, this time wearing Aromatics Elixir – a very clean, crisp fragrance, which apparently also KILLS allergy sufferers as I was asked to not wear it to work because it irritated one co-worker so much.

When I entered the public service and started making some coin, I spoiled myself with Jo Malone fragrances, which I still love, but they are really a waste of money for me because the perfume seems to fall off of my skin and just does not stick at all.

My current love is Chanel no. 19, and I’ve been wearing this for a few years now. I love it, love walking into my closet and smelling it off of my clothes. I also love it when I go out and night and hug the girls goodbye and they take a big inhale and tell me how pretty I smell.

What’s your signature fragrance? How did you discover it?

Monday, October 19, 2009

What would you do?

So I go into work pretty early so I can leave pretty early. I started doing this to minimize the guilt I feel about the girls being in daycare; this way, Jo drops them off in the later morning, and I pick them up early afternoon. In nice weather this allows time for trips to the park, bike rides, etc etc.

They used to run to me, so happy to see me, peppering me with questions about the plans for the afternoon. Feeling like the The Best Mother In The World, I would look with pity at the moms and dads trying to pick up their kids from daycare who did not want to go home quite yet.

Recently there has been a shift, a change in the winds. It happened gradually, and I should have seen it coming. Last week, it happened. When I picked up Edie, she was engrossed in a tea party, dressed in full princess regalia, crooked tiara and all, pouring refreshments for her subjects. She saw me walk in. Did she run over, leap into my arms like she normally does? Nope. Did she walk over slightly reluctantly, then hug me, realizing how happy she was to see me? Nope. Did she even invite me over for a cup of freaking tea? No. She looked at me, I’m pretty sure she scowled a little bit, fixed her tiara and kept on a-pouring and told me she wasn’t ready to go yet.

I walked down to Gracie’s room at the daycare, looking for some love there. Let’s just say that jar of hodge podge, some pieces of fabric and a cardboard box hold more allure than I do these days.

So, what would you do – would you insist on tearing the girls away from their social time at day care to bond with you, or would you take 45 minutes for yourself to get dinner ready in peace, go for a run, or just run a few errands?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

So I feel like having a good cry. I’m not really a person who cries easily, but the past few months have thrown a few things at me and I just really feel like letting it out. I can’t sit in the garden and eat worms and feel sorry for myself and cry. I need a good protagonist to get the tears flowing. This is where I appeal to you. What movies are the best tear-jerkers? What flicks will guarantee a sob? My plan is rent a recommended movie, send Jo out for the night (there is no need for him to witness this), put my jammies on, pour a glass of red, grab a bag of Lays Fries and Gravy potato chips (damn you Alison!) and let the waterworks begin.
Last time I did this was when I watched The Notebook. Gawd, I practically needed therapy after watching that, but man did I cry and it felt great. I also tried to get Jo to cut his hair and wear a cute little cap like Ryan Gosling and run to me the pouring rain…..
The only other time I remember REALLY sobbing was a more public affair, when I saw the English Patient in the theatres. I almost punched a woman in the bathroom afterwards who said the movie was boring and stoooopid. Crass souless bitch.
So, what are your recommendations to get my tears out?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

What are your plans for Thanksgiving?

I’m heading up to the cottage (not really a cottage. It’s Jo’s parents home. It used to be their country home, but they have moved there permanently now). It’s beautiful. On the lake, colours galore, lots of places to hike, run around and play. My two brothers in law will be there with their wives, a two year old, and two buns in the oven. I know I will be badgered about having a third child. The way I see it, there will be more wine for me because my sisters in law will be off the bottle. HA! At the dinner table we will talk politics, debate and no one will really listen to each other. My MIL will try and engage everyone in a board game, while everyone secretly wants to retire to the couch and watch some boob tube while recovering from dinner. I will put the girls to bed way too late, and fight sleep myself as I cuddle with them in their beds.

We will then head to my parents house on Sunday, where my brother and sister will be, as well as Jo’s mom (she’s a single gal and my mom has taken to inviting her and including her in our family celebrations. I think that’s pretty cool). At my parents home I will be scrutinized for not eating The Turkey (still off meat, it’s been about 4 weeks now?!) We will tease each other without mercy about our quirks, mock my mother for buying a dishwasher and not trusting it enough to load it up and use it. We will loudly do dishes together, one person washing, two people drying, and one person putting things away. I will sneak out for a cigarette with my brother, my sister’s dog will be tortured by the girls, and my dad and Jo will sneak off and watch some kind of sport on t.v.

On Monday Edie will get to watch way too much t.v., Grace will get way too much face time with her DS, Jo and I will fart around until mid-morning before we pick an activity for the day. At some point we will get the box of Hallowe’en decorations out. The girls like to examine and contemplate the decorations before we commit to placing them semi-permanently in the house. I love it when they do this. They do it with our Christmas decorations as well. They get very quiet, quietly inspecting each item – what are they searching for, memories?

I love this time of year.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Problems and solutions (long, thinking out-loud post that is all about me)


1) This summer was not the best for me. Weather wise, it was horrible (I’m the kind of gal who likes to walk outside and get hit by the heat/humidity). I feel like my bones never really dried out from the winter.

2) I also screwed up my holidays by taking two weeks off, but at separate times. I truly think you need two weeks off in a row to completely disconnect. I feel like I didn’t give my girls a real summer holiday. I was too involved with work (I would physically leave the building, but not mentally).

3) We made a huge decision, in a matter of 48 hours, to move away from Ottawa, across the country, but in the 11th hour, the opportunity was taken off the table. Which is probably a good thing, as

4) my dad was diagnosed with cancer at the same time as the opportunity to move was presented to us. It would have been very difficult to be that far away as he undergoes his chemo treatments, and so much of his illness is still a mystery to me. However,

5) I was excited for a change, to shake things up a bit, so I was a little disappointed the adventure was cancelled.

6) Gracie and her chronic night-anxiety (now treated by the amazing Thought Field Therapy) and Edie’s night waking left me feeling exhausted.

7) My allergies were so bad that I (used it as an excuse) stopped working out/running for two months.

8) I stayed up too late watching TV, using the excuse that it was the only time I had to myself. Oh, and my hot date would be a glass or two of wine and/or something junky to eat. Going to bed at 11:00-11:30, waking two to four times a night to comfort someone, then wake for good at 6:00 a.m. took its toll. A few weeks ago I was not in a good place, mentally or physically.


1) Not much I can do about the weather. Except get over it and accept that there’s nothing I can do about. I will also go (with some sunscreen on) to a tanning bed this winter if I feel the need for heat.

2) Jo and I have vowed to take two weeks off in a row next summer and leave town. No checking in with work etc. We are going to go back to Gloucester, Massachusetts, a place of great memories.

3) Well, we didn’t move, but I did take a new job across the river. Change is good, I think I will like this new job, and the people seem friendly, and the atmosphere is more relaxed and positive.

4) I developed a cure for cancer. Haha, just kidding. But I’m glad that I am able to be close by while my pops is going through all he is going through.

5) See 3.

6) Thought Field Therapy has been lifesaver. Leave a comment if you want more information. It’s crazy how effective it has been. This is a kid who would be so stressed at bedtime (heart racing etc) and wake several times a night totally freaked out by everything and not able to fall back to sleep. Now she peacefully falls asleep at night, and IF she wakes at night, with the tricks I have been taught, she falls right back to sleep. Edie, well, she still wakes up, but she is pretty easy to settle again, or she climbs into our bed and sleeps like the dead.

7) Uggh. The allergies. Well, I will get my treatments next year (missed them this year) and I started running again last week, and there is a gym at the new job, so I will definitely be taking advantage of that.

8) I’ve been trying really hard to go to bed between 9:30 and 10:00, and boy does it make a difference.

One of the biggest changes though comes on the heels of a suggestion of a girlfriend, I picked up a couple of books by Dr. Neal Barnard – a huge advocate of vegetarian based eating. I have ploughed through these books, and have completely turned around how I eat. I’ve been a somewhat uncomfortable meat eater my whole life, and now that I have eliminated it from diet (along with other changes) I have lost a few pounds, have more energy and feel better all around.

Well, that really was a self-indulgent post. Thanks for sticking around. If you have any amazing veggie recipes to pass on, please let me know. I love personal, tried and true recommendations. And I’m not scared of tofu.