Wednesday, December 30, 2009

When it's all said and done....

Another Christmas has come and gone.

It was good. Actually it was great. It was one of those years when I got the one thing I wanted most and didn't think I would. Sean bought me my DSLR. Now I have to learn to use it. I'm snapping on average 200 photos a day and of those maybe 20 are keepers. Oh well, I'm having fun with it. I get a free one hour lesson at Blacks so in the new year I'll do that.

The kids had a blast. We tried to keep it a little more low key. The girls are getting older, out of the toy stage and quite frankly, I'm astounded by the sheer amount of *stuff* we gave away last year and don't want to bring more *stuff* in. Connor wasn't quite on board. He didn't like his morning ritual being messed with and it took him until close to lunch time before he was willing to open some gifts.
Next year he'll get it.

A few surprises this Christmas as well. From the two people I thought would stress my Christmas out more than anything. One was my brother and the other was my brother in law.

My brother and I are not exactly on the best of terms. He's chosen a path for his life and his come on hard times and while I feel bad for him, I also can't help someone who won't help himself.
But my brother was sober, as was his wife and before he left he made a point of apologizing to me for screwing a lot of things up this past year.

Whether or not this is a turning point for him, I don't know, but I hope so. He was always my favorite brother and I would love to be able to have him back in my life.

The other was my brother in law. Also an alcoholic and again, I expected his visit to be a drink fest.
And again, I was pleasantly surprised.
He spent more time with the kids than with the adults, playing with them, hugging them, getting to know them. It was nice to see and so nice for the kids because you can never have too many people to love you or too much family.
He also did something that will forever change my once clouded opinion of him. He offered me and my mom both his condolences.

He doesn't live close by so this was the first time we'd seen him since my dad passed away. He could have very easily ignored the obvious, swept it under the rug and not said anything, it was after all, 6 months ago. But he didn't. The first words from his mouth to me were how sorry he was for my loss, how at these times it is the strength and love of our families that get us through. And he said the same to my mom. It made her cry and he felt awful for it but he needn't. I'm sure my mom also appreciated the fact that he remembered and offered his love. I sure did.

The only thing that could have made this Christmas more perfect would have been having my dad here.

And so, we get ready for another year. I can't wait to see what it holds!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Christmas!

Christmas, christmas time is here, time for joy and time for cheer.....

I'm having trouble finding my Christmas spirit. The house is decorated, the presents are wrapped, the plans are made...but I'm only halfway feeling it.
I'm sure tomorrow night will be better, loading the presents under the tree and spending an hour getting Connor's tool bench together while I watch "It's A Wonderful Life." I see the networks have screwed my plans this year because "Miracle on 34th Street" is on at the exact same time meaning I either flip channels and watch half of both movies or stay up until 1 am to watch both. Another compelling argument on why I need a PVR.

Well, if I don't catch you before then...

Merry Christmas....everyone.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

It's time for the holiday illness

One of my daycare kids came down with Hand Foot and Mouth disease last week. When I was talking to her mom I joked that I wasn't too worried, it wasn't like I'd never spent a Christmas with a sick child before.
I can remember so very vividly, Emily's second Christmas. Sean bought her a really sweet burgundy dress. I put it on her and she promptly vomited all over it. Since then she's had a couple of Christmases of feeling crappy. So has Mary.
For that matter, Sean and I don't escape it either. The year I was pregnant with Emily the prenatal vitamins were doing one hell of a number on my stomach. And one year Sean was so sick I went to my mom's alone and he nearly passed out on the bathroom floor in the apartment.

Well, now it's Connor's turn to carry on the tradition. He's been a little off. He didn't get nap yesterday (more on that later) and hasn't been eating well. Today again, he only napped for 40 minutes or so and again, didn't want to eat. He also complained about his feet hurting but I thought he was stepping on toys or stubbing his toes. (bad Mommy!)
I was looking for a fever, one of the first symptoms.

No fever but as I cleaned his hands after supper I noticed the blister on his finger, and then another and another. And his lower lip is riddled with them. My poor baby.
This isn't like a flu, I don't know what to do for this. The girls never had this and I don't know anyone personally who has. My online friends have been great, many already having gone though it but I hate seeing him hurt and I can't make it better. I just hope it's not too horrible.

So, let's talk about the bed.

My little firecracker Mary Jo was at it again. Yesterday a friend came over for coffee. Her kids came to daycare here and while we were always friendly I prefer not to get too social with clients when they are's just makes things....harder. So anyway, when they moved we got much more friendly.
So the kids were in the playroom and Connor was napping. But when they all get together they are loud. LOUD. And it was too cold to banish them to the backyard. So they woke Connor. Which made him a grump.

I had a splitting headache last night and Mary Jo, not having been outside all day (she needs that time) was being loud and silly and loud. And she gets Connor going and the two of them can bring the roof down. So finally I asked her to go into Connor's room to play with him, where I wouldn't hear it so much.
I got by the room and see Mary Jo flying off the headboard and onto the bed. She knows full well this isn't allowed. No sooner do I say to her "Mary, that's enough" does she go flying off the headboard again, onto the bed and SNAP, the frame of the bed breaks right in half.

I saw red. I don't think I've ever yelled so loud.

I'm better now. Sean has fixed the bed. It's cosmetically a little ugly but his comforter will cover the crack. But at least it won't fall apart and he can still use it.

And the work on listening begins. After Connor feels better.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


I have always been a firm believer in it (despite it being against my religion) What goes around comes around. You get what you deserve. Evil out brings evil in.

I should not take such pleasure in the pain and sorrow of others but I just can't help it in this case. Because finally.....after waiting so long.....

I knew that eventually the little skank would get hers. I just had to be patient. And Sean called me from work this afternoon and gave me a wonderful Christmas present. He told me that the little scuzz bucket had a jumper. (for those out of the lingo loop, that means someone committed suicide in front of a subway - more importantly her subway)

And while I feel terrible for the person who thought their life was so worthless that they needed to do that, I also take great joy in knowing that the little skank is going to forever suffer with the misery of that image. That she will be haunted forever. That a little bit of that smug joy has been wiped from her face for the rest of her life. Good. But it's still only about half of what she deserves. And, of course, I take even greater pleasure in knowing she will not be working for many many months now so I can breathe a bit easier.

I am a firm believer in Karma. And I know I will likely get it in the rear because I am taking such pleasure in her pain. But I'm sure it will be so worth it for the pain she caused me. Please don't judge me to harshly for I am really a good, decent, caring and loving person. But some people just aren't worth it.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Olympic Torch Relay

It's not secret I'm not a giant sports fan. I barely give the Olympics a second glance. I am proud that Canada is hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics though thrilled to death it's not being held in Toronto and equally as glad that I don't live in Vancouver.

But there is something once in a lifetime about it all and we got some of that today. The Olympic Torch made its way past our house this morning. I guess that's one of the perks of living on a major street. There are few reasons I would voluntarily wake up at 5 am or worse yet, wake my kids at 5 am but this was one of them.

We waited out in front of the house and watched the police escort lights come up the street. We saw the bus drop off the torch bearer who was going to receive the pass at the corner. We walked down and snapped some pics, Emily got to have her picture with him. And at 5 am, the whole neighbourhood was still asleep, except us and some of the torch bearer's co workers.

And unless you were actually keeping track, I'm sure not everyone knew it was going to be passing by at that hour so I'm sure some of the 'hood was not impressed when the Coke trucks and the RBC trucks came by blasting music and yelling and cheering over megaphones.

So the pass off of the flame happened 100 feet from my house. Definitely not something you see every day, we'll likely not see it again,. How cool is that! It was worth the 5 am wake up call. I got lots of pics, though most didn't turn out too fabulous. Here's a few

Mary Jo being none too pleased with being up at 5 am

Emily and the torch bearer (I think his name was Ken)

The torch coming down our street

The pass off

The bump

Sunday, December 13, 2009


It's going to be a strange Christmas this year. The routine will be a little off. There will be an obvious spot at the table as our family comes together for only the second time since my Dad died.

I've been wrapping presents. I'm a gift bag hoarder and use and reuse gift bags until they are practically see through. So as I'm relabeling these bags I'm coming across so many of them that say "to Jean from Mom and Dad" or "to Emily from Nana and Papa" and it occurs to me that none of the tags will say that this year. And it's stupid but I almost don't want to take those tags off, like I'm preserving the memory of the last gift my Dad gave me or the kids.

It's very similar to the blow I felt when I read Sean's birthday card. It said "love Mom C" and though my dad was still alive, she knew (we all knew) it wouldn't be long (two more days in fact) and I guess she just couldn't bring herself to sign his name.

My mom got a Christmas card last week while she was out of town. Just between you, me and the lamppost, I didn't give it to her. It was from a neighbour. She wrote in it "To Lyn and Jim"

We laughed about that last Christmas when she got my dad's name wrong. This year though it wasn't so funny. Sean and I decided to throw the card out...partly because they didn't get his name right but also because they obviously didn't even know he passed away. Had his name been right, I may have just left it there for her but it was almost like a double whammy and I didn't want something that is intended to make someone happy to bring her down.

Of course, after I threw it out I second guessed myself. But then when mom came home there was a card from the Palliative Care team at the hospital and she barely got through the first sentence before breaking down. I knew I'd made the right choice.

I did drop a note along with my Christmas card letting the neighbour know that my dad passed away. At least we won't have the same issue next year.

But it's not all sadness and gloom around here. Christmas has always been my favorite time of year and yes it will be different and I'm sure it will be hard for my mom...but I also know my dad wouldn't want us sitting around feeling shitty and spoiling Christmas for ourselves, or more importantly for the kids.

So we will celebrate this Christmas just like any other but with a new tradition. A toast to Dad.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Too much distraction!

I have tried 4 different times to write this post and something always comes up. Ugh!!

So Mary has turned the big number 7. Crazy. It's crazier to me to think that much of what I see having gone wrong I noticed from the day she was born. Don't get me wrong, because I know how that sounds...nothing that has ever gone wrong has anything to do with her and I wouldn't trade that kid if my life depended on it. It's just that the decline started there.

My Mary Jo. She is, as was described by one of her friends Dad's yesterday, one of a kind. She's energy from 7 am until 10 pm. She's got her own style, her own personality and she is an unmatched leader. I will never worry about her being led astray by friends, but I worry for her friends be led astray by her.
I love that kid like crazy and wouldn't change a single red hair on her head. It goes too well with the red plaid skirt and blue paisley blouse. heehee

We had her birthday party yesterday. It was a gymnastics party, again. 4th time now. She loves that place. I love that it's pretty cheap and the kids aren't in my house wrecking it!
She invited 12 kids. 7 showed up. 4 didn't even RSVP. That bugs my ass. How hard is it to pick up a phone and say "sorry, we can't make it" Then I have to buy pizza for these kids, make loot bags, and have enough cake on hand because you know the one time I don't, they'll show up.
I made a giant snowman cake. It looked awesome. Mary doesn't actually like cake (I know, what's up with that? See what I mean about unique...a 7 year old who doesn't like cake) and two of the kids there have peanut allergies (and while I'm sure it was fine I can't guarantee the cake was peanut free since my kitchen is not) so that left only 5 people eating cake and two didn't want any. So I came home with most of the cake. Oh well.

We're working on potty training again. Yesterday Connor peed in his royal potty (it sings when you pee in it) He was so proud and jumped up and down. This led to the discovery that if he peed in it, it would not only sing but he could pour the pee in the toilet and flush it (flushing is a very big deal) So he would sit on the potty, pee just enough to make it sing, dump it and run back (the potty was in the playroom) yelling "more pee!" He did this 12 times in 15 minutes.
I was so impressed with the bladder control. I thought for sure he'd figured it all out.

He threw me for a loop though. This morning he peed on the floor (right next to his potty) three times in 10 minutes.

Try again.

Time to get the Christmas tree unpacked.

It's the most wonderful time of the yeeeeaaaaarrrrr.......