Sunday, August 30, 2009

Milestones

So many milestones.

Connor said his first swear word. He was looking for his shirt. So we did what we always do when we loose something, we walked around the house calling it. "Shirt....shirt, where are you?" In Connor speak "Shit.....shit, where you?" I could have told him where that was, Mary often forgets to flush.

Emily is turning 10 in 10 days. Double digits. I have mixed emotions about this but as so many mothers before me can attest to, there is nothing I can do to stop my baby from growing up before my eyes.
We gave her her birthday present early. We got her her own phone. It was a long ordeal that involved having the cable company out only to turn them back (we decided to not go with them for the phone) and then the phone company making an appointment and not showing up for it, only to send a repairman the next day despite not having a phone line to repair. But it got installed and Nana bought her her own cordless phone with a built in answering machine (I cheaped out and wasn't paying for call answer) and we called her on her phone during supper. Needless to say we are the best Mom, Dad and Nana in the world (for now)

Mary Jo is going to her first concert tonight. We're going to see the Jonas Brothers at the Rogers Centre. We've got horrible nose bleed seats but that won't matter, it's the experience. She is so smitten with them and I'm sure she's going to have a blast. I just have to remember to pack my earplugs because I'm quite certain 40 000 screaming tweens will be substantially louder than the band themselves.

And then tomorrow we're often to Sherkston Shores for the week. I am very excited, we had such fun last year. Though, I might be jonesing a bit - 5 days with no internet. Now there's another milestone.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Cedar Park



We took our first real trip for our holidays to Cedar Park. We'd been about 5 years ago but it was a weekend, it was very crowded and we were both nervouse nelly's with the kids, water and crowds so we didn't enjoy it.
This year was a whole different story though. the girls both know how to swim so we weren't as tense and it was a Monday so it wasn't nearly as crowded.




Sorry, uploaded a double of this pic and being an idiot I can't figure out how to delete it without starting this post all over again. If anyone knows let me know.




Connor went on this water slide about 75 times. He loved it!



The big water slides cost extra so we stuck to the small ones.





This kid is a fish.





And the highlight of the day - the water bucket.


video

Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm a singing lettuce, you're a singing lettuce

My children are going to give Weird Al Yankovic a run for his money.

Last year my sister in law gave me a Bob Marley CD (Legend) for my birthday. I'd had a copy before but it was stolen along with 45 other CD's from our car 3 years prior and I just hadn't had a chance to replace it. I was thrilled, I love Bob Marley, so I spent the next month playing it over and over and over every time we go into the car.

One day we were heading out somewhere and listening to Bob. The song was Stir It Up. After the song ended Emily, very seriously said from the back seat "Man, that guy sure likes cereal!"
Well, I'm confused. "Who like cereal?"
"The guy singing the song"
"Why do you say he like cereal?"
"He's singing about it!" (insert her tone here - imagine a 9 year old who thinks her mom is a total idiot - like 'how can you not understand what I'm talking about it's as obvious as the nose on your face!')
"He's singing about it?"
"Yeah, 'Cer-e-al, little darlin' cer-e-al'"

You see, despite my children being raised just km from the the most multicultural city in the world, despite their friends representing so many cultures and lifestyles, Emily has trouble working through Bob's Jamaican accent and "Stir it up" sounded like "cereal" (the song made a whole lot more sense to her when we told her what he was really singing - though she did want to know what she was supposed to be stirring. Cereal perhaps?)

This started a bit of a trend with the girls though and soon every song was not what it was, instead it was all about food.

Last Christmas Sean gave me the Beyonce CD (I am...Sasha Fierce) Mary quickly changed the words for Single Ladies ("All the single ladies, all the single ladies....") has now become "I'm a singing lettuce, you're a singing lettuce" For this one, they even went so far as to make a music video with little bits of lettuce dancing around and submitted it to Breakfast Television for Free For All Friday (it didn't get shown - I reserve the right to be pissed in favor of the crap they did show but that's another blog)
Mary also changed the words to Beyonce's 'Diva', though like the Bob Marley affair it was purely unintentional. The song goes "The diva is the female version of a hustler. We were shopping and she was entertaining Connor with her singing and dancing. I wasn't really paying too much attention but then I heard her "Na na na diva na na na na na of the mustard, of the, of the mustard"

If we can get a Beyonce lunch meat song we might have a nice sandwich.

They sure do keep me entertained. And if Weird Al can make a career out of 'Eat It' and 'Like A Surgeon' then there might be hope for my kids!

Friday, August 21, 2009

We're going to the zoo zoo zoo how about you you you

Don't ya just love Raffi?

Today is day 1 of my most fabulous holidays. I am so very tired, it's been a looooooong summer with the kids and I am so looking forward to this 2 week break.

So last night for my birthday my Dad sent me a storm (or so Emily says) For those of you not from these parts we had a nasty storm last night that spawned a few tornadoes. We're not really accustomed to weather like that but global warming seems to be moving tornado alley a little more north than I'm comfortable with.
Thankfully we were fine, it wasn't too bad where we live (though for the first time ever we did prepare with flashlights, battery operated radio and went down into the basement until the storm cleared)

Some places did get hit, including Emily's best friends cottage, where Emily had been invited to for this very week. Thankfully they are all okay as well, just some stitches on the mom and brother but it could have been a bad scene.

Today we went to the zoo.
There is a reason Sean doesn't pack for our outings. He forgets everything. We got to the zoo only to realize that we'd (he'd) forgotten the stroller. Fine, it's only a $5 rental to get one of theirs (and don't get me started on theirs....I LOVE their strollers and would gladly trade them my brand new $300 Joovy Big Caboose for one of their doubles)
But he also forgot the sunscreen. I refuse to pay the zoo $15 for sunscreen so we headed back to a pharmacy to get some.
We headed straight for the splashpad where I saw the cutest thing ever.

There was a little boy in the splashpad, maybe 3 years old. He was running around in his underwear. I'm going to guess that he's new to the world of underpants because he was pretty stinkin' proud of these undies. And the cutest part was, they were Batman underoos and he had them on backward. (because let's face it, you can't see Batman if he's on your butt!) So this little man was running through the splashpad with his Batman underoos on backward having a fine old time. Cute.

Connor managed to get run over by a little girl (purely an accident she slipped, skidded and took him out) but her parents couldn't be bothered to come over and see if he was okay, despite the obvious purple scratch up the side of his face. Whatever!

We went to Stingray Bay. It's a hands on exhibit that lets you touch the stingrays. They have reef sharks there this year as well but they seem to stay in the middle of the water where no one can reach them. I was a little disappointed though. It's a paying exhibit so you go in one door and out another. Connor got a bit restless (he wasn't allowed to touch because they feed the stingrays shrimp and he's restricted from shellfish) so I walked out the back door to get some air. I heard the lady announce that they'd be feeding the stingrays so I went to go back in and the guy wouldn't let me go in (despite me pointing out Sean and the kids still inside) What can I say, a teenager drunk on his power.

It's all good though. I didn't want to smell fishy anyway.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

36 wishes

Another year older. Another year better, wiser, more at peace, content, secure, comfortable in my own skin.

I don't mind getting older. It's not like I could change it even if I wanted to so rather than stressing about getting older I've chosen to embrace the wonderful things that come with getting older.

I don't deal with the same social politics I did when I was younger. The truth is, I know who my friends are and who the fly by night friends are. I don't stress myself over my relationships because the people who matter to me like me the way I am and are willing to accept me, faults and all. And my feelings for them are mutual. The rest, well, let's just say if being your friend is hard, chances are, we're not friends.

I don't worry about my appearance anymore. Not to say I walk around in sweats and with my hair all unbrushed and mascara raccoon eyes. I mean I'm not going to bust my ass dieting to be a size 6 because I like food and as long as I'm overall healthy I'm not going to worry about he extra 20 or so pounds I'm carrying. Those pounds are what I have to show for growing three children and quitting smoking. My badge of honour. I forgo the makeup except when I'm going out (out out, not just WalMart out)

I don't worry about pleasing everyone. The simple fact is, you can't please everyone. So you try and please as many people as you can without losing sight of who you are

I am a happier person that I have been in years and despite the stress I sometimes face I am enjoying my life a whole lot more than I ever did before.

But - I still have some birthday wishes.
I'm 36 this year and if I had 36 things to wish for I would but really, I only have a few. They're big ones though so maybe each wish could count as 12 wishes.

I wish for love, strength and peace for all those I care about.
I wish that no one ever has to suffer sadness, loss or pain.
I wish for a year that is stress and drama free.

And a winning lottery ticket wouldn't be too bad either. (okay so that's 37 - one for good luck!)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Now I Know

Despite the fact that I have said many many times in the past that I was done having kids I always had a small part of me that didn't want to commit to that. I never wanted to make it permanent just in case that yearning for another baby hit.

A couple of weeks ago at my cousins wedding there was the sweetest little two month old baby. She was gorgeous and it gave me that all too familiar ache in my uterus.
This was coupled with so many of the October 2007 mom's being pregnant was giving me urges.

Then it happened. My monthly nightmare was late. In fairness, I don't have the most regular cycle but it's usually only off by about 3 days.
So it was officially late. And then it occurred to me that with the timing of things, I could very well be pregnant.
So I got myself over to the drug store and started the peeing on sticks ritual. All negative and while I mostly believed them, part of me was not convinced. I mean, there was the missing period.

So I braced myself for what could be. We could move the girls to a bedroom downstairs. I would have to delay my daycare centre plans for a few more years. I could still go to school but would probably not last past this semester with the tiredness, work and my kids.
I was happy. Nervous and worried, but happy. I'm a planner, type A, control freak and while an unplanned pregnancy would certainly not be the end of the world, it wouldn't be my first choice.

Aunt Flo showed up though, a week late and with an almighty vengeance and while part of me was sad, I have to admit I was also relieved. Because now I know, without a doubt that I do not want to have any more children. I'm ready to commit to that. I'm ready to enjoy other people's big baby belly's and cuddling other people's newborns and then passing them back to their parents and enjoying the full nights sleep I get with 2 school agers and a great sleeping toddler.

I see the light at the end of the tunnel, the future of my life and my family (my family of three children). I see what I want to do with myself and when I want to do it. And none of that includes a forth child.

And a giant weight has been lifted from my shoulders because I can finally move to the next chapter of my life.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Birthday Belly Dance.

Oh, this is so very blog worthy and if the pics came out at all I am so going to post them!

My birthday is on Thursday (36 - woohoo! That's right, I woohooed. I honestly don't mind getting older)

So my lifelong friend Judy and my new friend Lori took Sean and I out for dinner to a Moroccan restaurant. We've had Moroccan food before and they know Sean and I are pretty adventurous when it comes to trying new foods so they surprised me with a dinner out at this restaurant.

Usually, I'm a regular Boston Pizza, Red Lobster kind of restaurant person. I don't often go places that have an atmosphere to speak of but this place was all atmosphere. It was dark and there were lots of pillows and curtains. The food was outstanding! I've been craving some more Maftoul all day.

But the highlight of the evening was, by far, the entertainment. Halfway through the meal they dim the lights even more, pull back the curtains and a few belly dancers come out and do a show. I've seen belly dancers on TV but never in real life. Those women, damn, all I can say is they must have some serious core strength because it looks hard.
Well, a few minutes into the show the belly dancer came into out tent, pulled Sean up, wrapped a jingly scarf around his waist and taught him to belly dance. It was hysterical! And he was good! We all know Sean can be a good sport, but this really took some guts, belly dancing in front of the whole restaurant.

It really was the best birthday present ever. I had such a blast, the food was fantastic and if Sean ever needs a part time gig, I'm sure he could find a job as a male belly dancer!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

RIP Kerby

Poor Kerby.

For those of you in the know, Kerby was the daycare frog. For those of you out of the loop, you can read about him here.

It's been a cooler than usual summer. We've had a fair bit of rain but not the humidity we are so accustomed to. Until the last week or so that is. We've had a couple of torrential storms and it's been muggy, to say the least. So poor Kerby has been a little neglected.
Last night Emily asked me to help her catch some ants to feed Kerby. They hadn't fed the frog in two days.
So we caught some ants and dropped them in the aquarium, only to realize that Kerby was a little too still. He was frozen on top of a snail. So I said to Emily, "I'm sorry to tell you this but Kerby has died"

It's not bad enough that this poor child has to go to counselling because she's having trouble dealing with the grief of losing her Papa but now her frog. I offered for us to bury Kerby in the garden but she said no, trying to keep a stiff upper lip. That lasted about a minute and my poor little dear burst into tears.

I'm sure nothing would have made her feel better at that point but I let her know how proud I was of her (and how proud she should be of herself) that she was able to keep that little frog alive for so long. If it weren't for her (and the daycare kids) the frog probably wouldn't have lived half as long as it did.
She ended up deciding to bury it in the garden so now Kerby has a nice new resting place, marked by his favourite rock.

Life is just never easy, is it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hives

I am so beyond frustrated.

I am a control freak. This is, by no means, a secret to anyone who knows me. Being a control freak can be good in some respects but when it comes to things like unexplained illness, well, it's not so good.

On Friday Sean and I took the daycare kids bowling. Connor had just woken from his nap, he was in his stroller and we noticed a great big red welt on his upper arm. It was also on his shoulder blade and down his side. I chalked it up to a spider bite. The stroller had been in the garage and I'd thought I'd seen a spider on it when I'd opened it up in the parking lot.

Saturday afternoon, Connor woke from his nap and had the same welts on his legs, back and shoulders. I scoured his room and thought perhaps a spider nest had hatched. There were two baby spiders on his ceiling.

Sunday, after supper I put him into the bath. When he came out of the bath his legs were really really red. I thought that it was just from the water, it was quite warm but no, it was hives, all over the backs of his legs, bum and some on his belly. I ended up giving him Benedryl because these were the worst yet.

Monday morning after his nap he woke up with hives on both of his cheeks. After supper he had some on his legs and while we were at the Dr he had them on the back of his neck and shoulder blade.

So the Dr suspects an allergy (duh) The problem was he was hesitant to send him back to the allergist. He said that the full allergy testing is painful and he wasn't sure the allergist would do them. I gave him 'the look'. He then said, well, you can be glad they aren't the kind that swell his throat shut. WHAT??!!! Now we'll side track a little here. I love my Dr. I've been with him since I was 16 and he was fresh out of med school. I drive 30 minutes out of town to his office because I refuse to get a Dr closer to home. Normally, he's an awesome Dr. But a couple of years ago he took time off to donate a kidney to his son and since then, he seems to be slipping. It could be because we were the last appointment of the day and he was tired. It could be because Connor screamed holy murder quit literally from the moment we walked into the exam room until the Dr left. Either way, I was not a happy camper.
So at that comment I gave him another 'look' and said, yes, but since we don't know what's causing it and it's happening frequently, it could very well turn into that kind of allergy.
So he said he would set the appointment up with the allergist and the allergist could decide which test to run. In the meantime I'm to keep a detailed food log (which really appeals to my control freak personality) and give him Benedryl every 4 hours as needed. I just hope now that being a return patient gets us in a little quicker to see the allergist.

For my American friends, you are now seeing what I personally feel is the only downside to our health care system. When my dad was sick his appointments and treatments were immediate. No wait. But this is not life threatening or critical and it's entirely possible that we will wait a month or more before getting in to see the allergist. And in the meantime I've got to try to figure out what it is that Connor can't eat.

So, I think for us it will be like it was when he was a baby. Today his meals will consist of banana, toast with butter, vanilla yogurt and avocado. From there we'll add foods until I find a trigger.

But the control freak in me hates that I don't already know.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

All kinds of ewww!

We took the kids to a local splash pad today. Connor is warming up to it (he hated it at the beginning of the summer) and the girls love it. We always go really early, before 10 am, to beat the crowd (it's at a rather large, lakefront park so it gets busy fast)

When we first arrived there was another family there, mom, dad and two kids. The one child was a baby, under a year. The other one was a little boy, I'd guess about 3. The sprinklers are set on a rotation through the splash pad so the water gun doesn't always shoot water, only when it comes around to its rotation. So the mom is with the little baby near one sprinkler that sprays a light mist. The dad heads over to the water gun and aims it right at the baby. Nice. So of course the baby cries, mom blasts dad and takes the baby to their towels.
Then dad proceeds to spray the 3 year old who starts crying as well and asking dad to stop. The water gun comes off it's rotation so it's not shooting water anymore but the kid is now upset. So dad starts teasing him. "Oh, don't be a baby. Stop whining. Wah wah wah."
It's one of those cases where you just want to bitch slap the parent for the kid but you can't.
So the boy calms down and starts playing again. When the water gun comes on he starts playing with it. The dad says to him, you better not spray me or anyone else (meaning my kids) or you're in big trouble. I'm thinking, huh? Are you kidding? It was okay for you but not for him?
They left shortly after but then it happened.....

Another family comes along. It's a bunch of adults and a bunch of kids with coolers and umbrellas and chairs so you know they're making a day of it. One of the moms brings a little boy over to her, he's about 3. She takes off his clothes and diaper to get him into his swim diaper and bathing suit. Now I'm not overly opposed to this, I also change Connor into his swim diaper at the splash pad. They are not absorbent enough for the car ride there. But this little guy, as soon as he was undressed, peed next to a bench. Then he took off into the splash pad. Buck naked. Mom had a chuckle and went about her business. So now this little boy is running around the splash pad, knocking Connor over, spraying everyone with the water gun and Mom is oblivious. The kid then runs through a muddy patch on the grass, slips and gets a butt crack full of mud. Dad laughs. Then little streaker runs over to the gun (that Connor is now using) and shoves Connor over to spray Mary.
The last straw for me was when Dad finally decides that maybe his kid should have clothes on and says, "Oh, he's all dirty though" (DUH!) and Mom says "Well just rinse him off in the sprinkler" (Because you know, the public splash pad is your personal shower.)

So as I'm drying Connor off and getting him ready to go a little baby from their group comes toddling over to us, having a look. She's maybe just over a year, still not steady on her feet. The mom calls her over (not the naked boys mom a different one) and picks her up. She then starts telling the other lady about how the little girl just had lice and they treated it but she's not so sure if she got it all. So they start fishing through her hair looking for nits. BLAH!!!!

It was all around icky, the whole experience.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Dreams

I'm feeling closer to the dream (the daycare centre dream) I guess it's because I've registered for school, I managed to get ahold of the lady who I had to prove my ECE qualifications to and I'm now ready to go (nervous as hell, mind you, but ready) My kids keep reminding me that they aren't the only ones who will need back to school supplies this year. I wonder how it would look if I used my Nestle diaper bag backpack as a backpack for school. Maybe I should just buy one. I'm sure that considering my program is a post diploma program that some of my classmates will be more in my age bracket but honestly, a couple of years ago I worked with a girl who was 10 years my junior and though we got along great, I just felt so very old when I talked to her. (Remember those little yellow disks we had to put in the center of a 45 record to get it positioned right on the turntable? Well, she had a shirt that had those on it in rainbow colours. I said to her "Hey, great shirt. I remember those things!" She had no idea what I was talking about. She thought 'those things' were just a nice pattern on her shirt. I quoted a characters catch phrase in a show from the 80's once. She said "Hey, my Dad says that all the time!!" You get the point)
I'm sure I'll get along fine but this is a big leap for me. Doing any type of activity with total strangers without having at least one acquaintance as a safety net is scary. Not an easy task for those as shy as me.

But there's something else too. On the weekend a friend made an offer to me, that if I was interested in a business partner she might be interested in becoming said business partner. This in itself is awesome, awesome, awesome on so many levels. She has experience on the business end, experience I am so desperately lacking. She could, among other things, provide expertise that I simply don't have. And I like the idea of not entering into a business venture alone. Two heads are always better than one. It is certainly something I am going to strongly consider and if her offer was indeed sincere ( I have no reason to believe it wasn't) then I am incredibly excited about the future and my goals because now they seem that much more attainable.

It's nice to feel excited about something again.

Monday, August 3, 2009

A story

I want to tell a little story.

Our Relay for Life team received a pledge. We've received a lot of pledges (for which I am eternally grateful) but one in particular I felt especially moved by. This pledge was made by a woman who I've known for around 2 1/2 years. (Wow - I can't believe how time has flown by!) When I say I know her I use it in a very nontraditional sense because we have never met and there is a good possibility we may never meet. Geography has a way of interfering. We know each other because we both fought personal battles with infertility and we were both blessed to have had children born in October of 2007. We (and many others) were brought together in shared celebration of our children.
I get a lot of strange looks from family members or real life friends when I talk about my online family (because family is what we've really become) I know they don't understand how you can come to care for people you've never met. But we have. We celebrate with each other and we cry with each other.
My friend's family is waging their own battle with cancer and I pray everyday that they will have a happier ending.
We have received a lot of pledges but that one pledge, made by someone I've never even met meant more to me than I can ever adequately express. It brought me to tears. And I feel truly blessed.
Thank you.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Groceries, my Dad and Relay for Life

It's been one of those weekends where it feels like 500 things have happened and it's only just after lunch on Sunday. And the best part is, it's a long weekend. I'm spending tomorrow pool side at my brothers. God bless family with pools.

So I did grocery shopping yesterday. Not exciting to read about, I know, but I have to share the valuable lessons I've learned. We've covered how I try to shop on a budget. I always go with a list, I always stick to that list and I preplan all meals so that I'm not shopping mid week for dinners. Those are my cost saving strategies. I go to great lengths to avoid the grocery store if it's not shopping day (to the point that I buy three 4 litre bags of milk to get us through the week)
Anyhow, last week, during a discussion about grocery bills someone mentioned to me that she always price matches when she shops. Now, price matchers are a pet peeve of mine. I swear they wait until it's the busiest time of day to stand at the cash and price match 45 items, flipping through flyers and holding up the line. If you want to price match, do it when the store is not busy. PLEASE!!! And for God sake, be organized about it!
Again, getting away from my story. So I thought I'd see if there was anything to this. If I can save $10 in a shopping trip, that's $10 I can use somewhere else. So, I waited until naptime and made my shopping list. Then I scoured the flyers. Because there are two things I had already decided on. I wasn't looking at flyers until the list was made so as not to be drawn by sale prices to add to the list items that I wouldn't have otherwise bought. And because I am in a dinner rut and thought that maybe something in there would look like a good enough to fit into this weeks rotation.
So I meticulously scanned those flyers, marking on my list the items I would price match and which flyer they were in. First thing Saturday morning I took my list, my bags and my flyers and headed to WalMart
Now here is where the real learning too place.
We all know I'm a grocery snob. Certain items will not be substituted while others are okay to be. It's Heinz Ketchup for this family (but generic mustard is fine) It's Maxwell House coffee but store brand bread.
So, here's my for instance. I got 3 packs of Red Hots hot dogs (our usual brand) for $5. That's a deal! But, the cereal, though I could have price matched a 330g box for $2.49, we go through at least twice that in a week. So it worked out to be cheaper to just buy my usual big box for $6
In the end, though I'd had about 15 items marked on my list for price matching, I only ended up getting the hot dogs, some yogurt and cheese with it. The rest of the items weren't really a good deal, and cheaper to buy my size or brand. And now I think to myself, I saved maybe $6 on those items but at what cost? I spent an hour with those stupid flyers, an hour I'll never get back.
Lesson learned. Price matching isn't really worth the flyers its printed on.


We buried my Dad's ashes yesterday. It was hard. I find myself missing him more and more as time goes on. It's a little strange I guess because in my (almost) 36 years I've only ever lived away from him for about 2 years. And even though my Dad wasn't one to sit around and chit chat he was still a presence. And that presence isn't here anymore. It's silly that I miss things like him coming upstairs and talking to Connor in his high chair. Or driving into the driveway and seeing him standing in the garage. We never really talked a lot but that was okay. He was there. For years I couldn't sleep if I didn't hear my dad awake. Just knowing he was awake in the other room made me feel safe. I miss that feeling. I miss him.

I am happy to report though that after only 6 days our team in the 2010 Relay for Life "Papa's Pride" has reached it's goal of $500. And I thought I was setting the bar high. Clearly we are blessed with a lot of loving family and friends. So the next chance I get, I'm going to increase our goal to $1000 because I know we can reach that one too!
And though I am not normally a shameless nag or beggar, I will continue to be one until next June because every dollar raised helps and I would love nothing more than to know that cancer will never take someone I love again.
So if you haven't done so already, please, please, please, click the link on the side of the page and pledge our team. Let's find a cure.