Friday, December 31

A New Year...

Sarah is sick. Dan is wicked sick. I had asked Dan to stay home from work today, and go to the doctor's instead. He said that he couldn't possibly do so. Work would fall to pieces without him there. I rolled my eyes and sent Mr. Important off to work.

By dinner time, Dan realised that he was quite sick. Although I had bought him some over-the-counter meds, he said "What I would really like is some honey...". Ahhh! It was 5pm. On New Year's Eve. I had to hurry!!!

I quickly ordered a pizza. From a new place (because our regular pizza place was closed). I decided to pick up the pizza because I could go to the grocery store first and then get the pizza.

I jumped in my car and raced to the grocery store. 5:05pm. The grocery store was closed. CRAP! I raced to the only other grocery store in my small community. Yup, it was closed, too. I gave up on the honey, and headed to the pizza place.

I walked into the pizza place and gave my name. They looked at me blankly. I gave my phone number, and they said that there was no order for me. They asked me if I had ordered the pizza from them. Duh. Of course I had! This was "2 for 1 Pizza"...right? Nope, the guy replied, this was "Pizza la Difference". To which I replied, "It says 2 for 1 Pizza on the window". The guy practically rolled his eyes at me and said "That's our deal. Did you order from 1 For 1 Pizza?". CRAP! Not only had I gone to the wrong pizza place, but I had ordered my pizza from the stupidest pizza place ever! How can 1 For 1 Pizza be a good deal?! Who came up with that name?

I asked for directions to 1 For 1 Pizza. The guy waved across the street and said "It's next to the pharmacy". How lucky! I could pop into the pharmacy (please, God, let it be open!) and see if they have any honey for Dan.

I drove to the pharmacy and looked around. No 1 For 1 Pizza. Oh well, I will go in and ask the cashier.

I couldn't find any honey so I asked a sales associate. She said "The honey is over here". YAY! "But we seem to be sold out of honey". CRAP!

While I was at the pharmacy, I bought another $20 worth of cough drops, sprays, and Neo Citron for my husband. Because I love him. And it sucks being sick. At the cash, I asked where the 1 For 1 Pizza is located. The cashier said "Next to the pharmacy".

"Ummmm..." I replied "We're in the pharmacy".

"No, no. The big pharmacy. Down the road". The "big" pharmacy? I have lived in this tiny community for four years. Yes, I admit, I try not to mix with the locals. But there are two pharmacies here? And I have been going to the small one for all these years. CRAP!

Back in the car, it occurred to me that I could go into the "big pharmacy" and see if they had any honey. I drove there. The pharmacy was closed. I have to admit, so far, I'm not super impressed with the "big pharmacy".

I got the pizza and went home. I broke the news to Dan about the honey, and showed him all the new meds I got for him. He said I shouldn't have. Perfect. I went out of my way to make his life better and this annoyed him. Whatever. He's sick and cranky. I will let it slide...

After dinner, Dan wanted me to spray some of the new stuff in his throat. He opened his mouth, I had a look, and I said "You have strep throat". He said "How do you know?". I replied "I can see it". He said "No worries, I can call the clinic and they can call the antibiotics in to the pharmacy". Right. On New Year's Eve. After everything has closed. His next shot at seeing a doctor is not for two days. CRAP CRAP CRAP!

Turns out that I horde prescription medicine. I like to have penicillin, Percocet, and morphine on hand. I'm funny like that. Anyway, I cracked open my secret stash, and offered him up some antibiotics...on the condition that he goes to the clinic on Sunday and pays me back!

Dan was annoyed that I had antibiotics (despite it coming in handy, I might add!). I told him that I had been saving them and, in fact, was going to start taking them tonight. He asked what was wrong with me. I replied "I have had a raging ear infection for four days. It feels like someone is pushing a dull knife in and out of my right ear. My left ear is completely blocked. I haven't been able to hear anything in that ear for about 36 hours. I have an infection in my sinuses and my throat is starting to hurt. And, I have a tooth ache."

Dan was shocked. He asked "Why haven't you said anything?!". I had said something, but no one listened. What more could I do? He said "But you've been rushing about, taking care of the kids, and doing all sorts of fun things with them". Yup. Life continues, even when I feel awful. Shocking.

So, I threw the kids in bed, and sent Dan to bed shortly thereafter. I sat on the couch and thought of my grandmother. She once said to me "Begin the New Year in the same manner you wish for it to continue"...or words to that effect.

Sigh. I am beginning the New Year with three smelly kids (I was too sick to bathe them tonight...I'll do it in the morning). Dan is sick. Sarah is sick. I suspect that Katie is getting sick too. I'm watching TV alone. Happy New Year. Please may it not continue like this!

Thursday, December 30

The Real Me

I've become disenchanted with social media. Well, not Facebook because mostly I just write wicked funny things to amuse my brother. And that has some real value for me. But Twitter is killing me. Most blogs annoy me, too. Why? Because I seem to be "friends" with women who are perfect.

These women love their children...all the time. They think their husbands are simply wonderful. The have lovely homes, and time to focus on cleaning and decorating those homes. I read this stuff, and take a look around.  My life is wonderful, but far from perfect.

I don't want to be perceived like that. Like I think I'm perfect. Because I'm not. I have surrounded myself with friends who are far from perfect, and I find that it's their idiosyncrasies that make them worth knowing. So, I have decided to share some of mine:

  1. I read. A lot. And when I say "a lot", I mean more than any other person I know. I read non-fiction. I like learning about all types of things. Things that I would never have any use for. Because of all of this reading, I have a lot of useless information stored in my brain. My friends just love it when I wow them with whatever I have learned. When asked, "How do you know that?", I roll my eyes and say "It's common knowledge. How come you don't know this?". And they love me for it.
  2. I get my books from the library, but I don't have a library card. Because I technically don't live in the City of Ottawa, I would have to pay $50 to have a library card. I'm too cheap to do this, so I "borrow" a card. When the owner of the card wants to take out a book, I get annoyed and say "Just tell the librarian that you forgot your card, and show them some ID". Then this person calls me and says "I showed my ID and they made me pay your late fees!". Oops.
  3. I use Lysol. And Vim. And Mr. Clean. And CLR. Because they work. In fact, I don't think I have ever purchased any "green" products. Truthfully, I don't intend to. Want to hear the worst bit? I have hospital wipes that are meant to be used to sterilize surfaces (and are only meant to be used in health-care settings)...and I use them! I know, I know, everyone is against using these types of household cleaners. And that's why I don't tell them about my love affair with Febreeze. In my house, "Febreeze" is a verb, as in "Oh my God, just Febreeze the children!".
  4. I don't like people. No, not all people. Just the vast majority of people that I have to come into contact with. It's kind of funny because most people like me. They look for me. They want to talk to me. They want to be my friend. And that's very sweet of them. But, unless you can make me laugh (and laughing at you doesn't count), then I really can't be bothered...
  5. I can't remember things. I used to have a very good memory, but then I had kids, and the ability to remember things was destroyed. People have had lengthy conversations with me, and I have absolutely no memory of them. It's like it never happened. On the flip side, the situations that I do remember, I remember them very clearly. It's odd.
  6. I have two pairs of shoes. Two. I have my regular old black shoes, and I have my $10 Walmart sandals. The sandals fell apart this summer. I taped them back up with electrical tape. My mother was horrified.
  7. I love my children. Passionately. Completely. With every fibre of my being. But I don't always like them...mostly because they have plotted to kill me. Kidding! They would be content if I was simply shipped off to the Looney Bin.
  8. My husband is a good man and an excellent father. Having said that, he makes me swear. A lot. I don't think it's physically possible to live with the man and not say "What the f@ck?!" at least 3 times a day. I think he intentionally dreams up ways to harass my sanity.
  9. I have a super human skill. Ready for it? I have the ability to get red vomit out of white carpet. Not impressed? I can do it at 3am. In the dark! I know, you're green with envy.
  10. It's all about me. I tell people this, and they laugh. They think I'm kidding. Or exaggerating. But I'm not. I've tried to work on this, but have not been successful. I have decided to "accept the things I cannot change".
And that's the "real" me. Obviously, not all of me. But enough for you to understand where I'm coming from.

Tuesday, December 28

The Magic of Christmas

On Christmas Eve, I went around the table and said why I thank God for each person sharing dinner with me.  Everyone got a turn. Everyone one said something sweet. Bethie said of me, "I thank God I have Mummy because she always tries so hard to make things nice for us". All the agony of December was worth it...because she had noticed!

On Christmas morning, the twins came rushing downstairs and saw this:

Both Katie and Bethie rushed to the tree and started rummaging through the presents. They shouted to their father "Daddy! Where's the gift that we got for Mummy?". Finding those gifts became the center of their attention until the gifts were produced and I had unwrapped them. It was only then that the twins turned to the tree, and became interested in their own presents.

I was so touched by their thoughtfulness. Most 5 year olds don't rush downstairs on Christmas morning and think of other people first. I applauded myself. Obviously, I must be an extraordinary mother to have created these superior children...

Christmas morning was not as successful for Sarah. Sarah needs to cuddle with me for about an hour in order to "wake up". On Christmas, she got about 2 minutes of cuddling before I heard the twins coming down the stairs. I threw Sarah to the other side of the couch, and I leaped up to take the twinnies' pictures. Sarah was offended, and never really bounced back.

While unwrapping presents, Sarah started to meltdown. She would get angry because she didn't like the wrapping paper that Santa used. She opened presents that I know she loved. She would shout, "I don't like this" and heave the present across the room. Dan and I were shocked!

Did this affect in any way the view I had of myself as being a "superior" parent? Not at all. Sarah's behaviour was due to her being tired, and out of sorts, and a little bit sick...and, of course, she is her father's daughter. I blame him!

Wednesday, December 22

When The 2 Year Old Is "In Charge"

Some people get carried away when they decorate their home with Christmas lights and decorations. I do not. In fact, if I didn't have children, I probably wouldn't put lights up at all. But I do have children, so every year I send Dan up the ladder to put the lights up.

This year, I decided that I would like to "fancy" the house up a bit for Christmas. The children had this in mind:

I thought that this would be a bit much for me. However, an inflatable decoration would be quite nice, and the children would love it.

This caused some tension between me and Dan. He was quite adamant that any decorations should be facing the road. I argued that the decorations should be facing the I could enjoy them from the comfort of my living room. Besides, who doesn't want a 12' Santa peaking in their window (other than Dan)???

The debate was all for nought. Mum bought us a inflatable Mickey Mouse holding an ornament. Sarah fell in love, and insists that it remains... in the kitchen!!!

Dan is not thrilled, but I am amused...and, really, that's all that matters!

Tuesday, December 21


December is killing me.

Katie has an ear infection, on top of everything else. She seems to have turned a corner...again. Last time I said that, I was wrong. Kinda afraid to even think that she might be getting better...

Bethie won a Principal Award at school because she "always tries her very best". Lovely moment for her. I went to the assembly and discreetly took some pictures. She was very relieved. Apparently, I embarrass her. Payback sucks, my little girl!

Sarah doesn't want Santa to come to our house. She's kinda afraid of him. She has agreed that he can give Katie and Bethie presents, but doesn't want any for herself. On a related note, all my shopping for Sarah is done!

Dan is relieved that his passport has  finally arrived. He's going on a trip in about three weeks, and he has been waiting not-so-patiently for his passport to turn up. He was really starting to stress about it. He even filled out a form online to request information about where his passport could be...and that's when I told him that I hid it, about a month ago. Why? Because Dan plays games with my mind for laughs, and this was payback (and I'm really bored and things like this entertain me!).

The 25 Days of Christmas has been whittled down to 24. There was nothing special last night. The children didn't notice. And I have started doing things over and over again, like "Have A Christmassy Dessert". Because that's the type of mother I am...

I have 8 child-free hours left until Christmas. I'm off to create some magic...

Monday, December 13

The Best Santa Claus Parade Ever!

Katie had been sick for three weeks. The last day of school that she went to was Friday, November 19. She was well enough to go back to school today, December 13. That's almost a month of feeling miserable and being house bound. More importantly, for a five year old, she was sick during the Santa Claus Parade season.

Bethie got to go to the parade in Carleton Place.

It was fun. It was cold. It was long.

Katie was desperate to go to a parade, but she didn't start feeling better until this weekend...and most of the parades had already happened. Why are there so many parades in November? I was bound and determined that my little girl should see a Santa Claus parade. To my great relief, I found The Second Annual Carp Santa Claus Parade.

I must confess, I was a bit nervous. I don't think I'd ever been to Carp, and the only thing I knew about Carp was that the city dump is located there. Also, it was only the "Second Annual" parade. How good could it be?

The parade began at 1pm. I was ecstatic! All the parades near my home are at night. They don't even begin until the children's bed time. And it's so much colder at night! I do not enjoy the night time parades...

Anyway, we found the perfect parking spot along the parade route. I really should have taken a picture! I backed into the spot, thus ensuring that if it was too cold, we could sit in the car and watch the parade (okay, I wanted to sit in the car, but the children would rather freeze like little Popsicles before they sat in the car! But the option was there...). Since the parade went past a park and lots of open green space, there was room for all the children to run and play while waiting for the parade to come. Normally, we are stuck on a sidewalk with masses of people vying for a spot, and the children become bored and whiny and cold. This time, we let the children run wild, and Dan and I had (gasp!) a conversation! With each other! Without interruption!

If you feel so inclined, you can click here to see some photos of the parade. But I have to share a couple with you:

 The group shot...Sarah hid behind the twinnies!

 Sarah found the sirens from the firetrucks to be "too noisy"! If that's not the pot calling the kettle black than I don't know what is...

Katie, Bethie, and Sarah watching the parade. I love Bethie's face in this photo. She's sooooo excited!

The floats were excellent! Everyone put effort into their floats. They took pride in their work. I have seen some parades where they just stick a bow or a snowman on a car (with advertising, of course!) and call it a float. Every single float in Carp had been given careful thought and each had added value to the parade. There were no floats that we ignored while scanning for something better.

Here are some interesting ones:

I actually ran down the parade route to get a picture of this. First of all, it's funny. It doesn't matter what party you are affiliated with, this is funny. And memorable. And effective. When I got home from the parade, I googled Karen McCrimmon and the person she's running against, and decided who I would vote for if I lived in that riding. Guess who it was?! 

 I really liked this float! It is simple, and pretty, and charming. It was sandwiched between floats being pulled by trucks. It looked tiny. But that contrast made it even more special. What I especially liked about this float (and I could be totally wrong) was that it appeared that this lady wanted to be a part of the parade. She wanted to promote her business, and contribute to her community. She decorated that sweet little wagon, and went out there and did it! She didn't need to ask all her friends to go with her. She didn't care if she was going to be there all by herself. She just went out there and made it happen! I like that!
Yup, that's a giant bomb with an elf guiding it. Merry Christmas...BANG! How could I not love that?!

 Mrs. Claus in her very own sleigh (it's about time!) being pulled by a riding mower. Most floats carrying Mrs. Claus are big and over the top...and it's hard to see Santa and his beloved. This was perfect!

I have to tell you the truth, I saw this and laughed. Only in Carp would there be a garbage truck in the parade! But why not? They fancied it up. And Waste Management employs a lot of people who will have a roof over their heads and food in their baby's belly because of these trucks. I think this should be in every Santa Claus parade that Carp hosts!

But I also saw this scene and got very nervous. Where was Santa???? He wasn't in the garbage truck. I panicked! I grabbed a fireman and made him pose with the twinnies, hoping this would be just as good as Santa.
It was only after I had taken the picture that I realised how good looking he is. HONESTLY!

So, I snapped the picture, looked up, and saw:


Apparently, that wasn't Mrs. Claus' sleigh after all. She was just sick and tired of listening to Santa go on and on about how special he is and how the parade couldn't happen without him blah, blah, blah. So she left. It was very kind of the (hot) firemen to give him a lift. So, if you're ever in Carp, go hug a fireman (wink, wink) because they saved the parade!

I haven't even told you the best bit of the parade. The people! I have never, ever, ever seen such friendly people. Everyone stopped to talk. They didn't just say "Merry Christmas", they took the time to have conversations with us. Even the police officer who was the pace car stopped to chat me and the girls up. It was like they knew us. It made the parade even better.

I will be going to the Third Annual Santa Claus Parade in Carp, that's for sure. You are welcome to come, too, as long as you don't steal my wicked awesome parking spot!!!

Friday, December 10

My Very Own Gayle King

Last night, I watched Barbara Walters interview Oprah. When Oprah started to describe her friendship with Gayle King, she cried. Because Gayle is such a wonderful friend to Oprah. Because Gayle is the friend that Oprah wishes everyone could have. I was moved. I thought of my very best friend of all time, Lisa. She is the kind of friend that everyone should have!

Lisa wrote on facebook last night: Sigh.

My friend was feeling a little down. I wanted to cheer her up. I wanted to let her know how much I respect and value our friendship. I replied.

Me:  I was just thinking about you. I have decided that you're my Gayle King.

Then my very best friend wrote me an email and said, "OMG now you think your OPRAH??". Not "Wow. I think you're pretty special, too". Not even "Thanks!". Instead, she laughed at me. So I went back to facebook and continued to comment...

Me: Or my Ethel. Or my Tom Sawyer. Or my Ron Weasley. My Baloo! Naw, just kidding, you're my Gayle King...

Lisa:  LMAO...lets get one thing straight...I am not Gayle...I am so more LUCY than you....might I remind you of who went in the kids giant bin of balls to retrieve a child that was not mine...and Ron....RON....I am soooooo Hermione...btw did you see the last one?? And do not get me started on am more of a Belle, but if we are doing the Jungle book than let's say I'm Bageera, although I would love to be as care free as Baloo or right now I am probably as insane as King Louie... I shall agree to be Laverne to your Shirley or a Krissy to your Janet but GAYLE...REALLY!!

Me:  YOU are Lucy? I have to remind you about the strangers having the picnic in the park, quickly followed by the Oreos in the grocery store? Also, you're not loud enough to be Lucy., I didn't see the last Harry Potter. But ...Harry and Ron are tight. Hermione, not so much. I am trying to show how CLOSE we are. This isn't really "Guess Which Literary Character Most Represents Lisa". Belle, really? How come you ended up with Gaston?! Bageera. Ha! I can just picture you singing into the phone "Look for the bare necessities...forget about your worries and your strifes". But, in the end, you are the epitome of Gayle freakin' King. I hate Laverne and Shirley. Who are Krissy and Janet? OH! OH! OH! You can be the Blair to my Jo!

Lisa: How DID I end up with Gaston?? Well on the upside that means my BEAST is out there I should stay GAYLE??? I could be Kate...

Me:  ‎...well then I'm your Allie.

Lisa:  Deal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Most people would stop here. We've had a little laugh and found a suitable famous pair that we can emulate. But no...

Lisa:  Or I'm willing to do Brad to your George, but not GAYLE freakin KING

Me:  George?! He's old. Can I be Matt and you be Ben? That way, we are both GORGEOUS and rich and wicked smart with a whole lot of funny...

Lisa: Well I'd rather be Brad....or someone that at least gets to be with Brad but fine...for you I'll be BEN...

Again, we have decided on a couple, but it doesn't end there...

Me:  BTW, what's your problem with Gayle King? Oprah says she's the best thing since sliced bread and that everyone should have a friend like her. They went camping together. We could go camping... but I'm not sleeping in a tent. Nor will I be peeing in the bushes. Or cooking the dinner over a fire. Perhaps a spa would be more "us".

Lisa: Well I will agree....I am the best thing since sliced bread...LOL...I don't's just weird...

Me: Ummm...have you noticed that this has kinda been me going on about how much I adore you...and not so much in return from you? Thanks, Buddy.

Lisa:  LMAO...I was wondering when you would stop and notice...I have been laughing since it started...And what do you mean nothing in return...I gave you me being BEN!!! LOL

Me: Big sacrifice. You just made yourself Sexiest Man of Some Year. That's like saying, "I'd be Bill Gates for you". What a hardship!

Me: OMG Gayle and Oprah are in Australia together!!! We could SOOOO do Australia! Do you think Gayle is on Twitter? Can you find out for me and I would totally follow her

Lisa: Fine you be OPRAH and buy me everything and take me that I think about it...this one sounds good...LOL

Me:  If I had Oprah's money, I would buy you whatever you wanted...but you have to be Johnny On The Spot and make sure you take care of things for me. Starting with, I never want to have to wait in a Tim Horton's drive-through again. X-Large French Vanilla with half coffee every morning at 6:30am, please

Lisa: It was the least I could do...and yes she has twitter...really all this time we should have been doing boss/assistant relationships


It's worth mentioning that Lisa and I became friends when I was the manager and she was my assistant. I enjoyed that. Lisa, not as much. Although, I would like the record to show that I was the very best boss that she has ever (or will ever) have! I was very good to her. Not so much to everyone else though...!

Lisa: Ya your ellen and I'm like that skinny dude in the short shorts that does everything she says


Lisa: I knew you would know that guy...and yes he is me....and Ashton Kutcher

Me: You could be Dax!

Lisa: LMFAO.....alright...for you I'd be Dax

Me: Gotta let you know, Dax, I can't keep up with commenting while emailing you and IM you. AHHH!

Yay, that's right. While forcing me to comment on her facebook page, Lisa was also bombarding me with emails and instant messages. And it was about midnight. She fried what was left of my brain!

Lisa:  and that is why I am the ASSISTANT! I multi task better!

Me: LMAO!  But try to remember, you are no longer allowed to delegate UP!

Lisa: Sorry still do...

Lisa really is my Gayle King, isn't she?

Thursday, December 9

Day Eight

This year, I have decided that the girls were old enough to participate in the 25 Days of Christmas. That means, every day we do something together, as a family. The hope is that the focus of Christmas is a little less "Santa and presents" and a little more "love one another".

It's a lot of work! Life unravelled for me before I made all 25 envelopes. So I have eight envelopes hanging from a ribbon on my light fixture, and 17 clothes pins that are just hanging there. Empty. Mocking me. And I haven't put the activity in the envelope the night before because I have been too terrified to commit to any one activity. I feel badly because Bethie has been sooooo excited.

Before we had even started the activity on Day Two, I had 15 fits and cancelled the whole damn thing.

After I cooled down, the festivities continued.

It has been a challenge because we've pretty much been house-bound because Katie has been so sick. We did leave the house for two activities. Although Katie and I still had a good time, we endured a whole lot of Hell, too.

Here are the activities we've done thus far:
  1. Watch a Christmas movie
  2. Have a Christmassy dessert
  3. Paint ornaments for the tree
  4. Go to The Nutcracker ballet
  5. Decorate the Christmas tree/Get a little present
  6. Listen to Christmas music while having a candlelit bath
  7. Make snowflakes out of wrapping paper
  8. Play in the snow and have hot chocolate afterwards
I have no idea what we're doing tonight. I have run out of stay at home activities. I wonder if they'll like "Early To Bed Because Santa Is Checking His List Tonight!"?

Monday, December 6

Getting Up

Yesterday, I took Katie to the Children's Hospital. We left with a promise that she will start to feel better in 2-3 days. I've heard that before. I have absolutely no faith that she will ever feel better. But I am faking it because Katie is borrowing my strength until hers returns.

Melissa's funeral was yesterday. I spoke with her mother and her husband. Despite what is going on in my life, it is infinitely better than the pain and suffering that they are forced to endure. For that, I am very thankful for all that I have.

At the funeral, most of my questions were answered. Knowing more of the details about what happened leading up to Melissa's death is heartbreaking, but it helps to make sense of her "disappearance". In fact, I am starting to feel more like she died rather than "disappeared", which is good.

Not very much has changed in my life over the last 48 hours. Except that I am no longer on my knees. There's a lot to be said for that...

Saturday, December 4

Ineffably Sad

I started a new book the other day. I needed a distraction from my life, and I hoped that I could stay up late reading. Alone. In a quiet house.

A couple of sentences into the book, the main character was described as "ineffably sad". And I stopped. I couldn't move on from those words. Ineffably sad. That's how I feel...

Katie has been sick for a couple of weeks. For the last nine days, the sickness has escalated and she is in an incredible amount of pain. She cries out in pain. It's a howl that makes my blood run cold. She begs for the pain to stop, for me to do something to help her. My baby's tired, desperate, tearful eyes look to me. And I was able to do nothing! This would happen every 30 minutes during the day and every two hours at night. For nine days.

Bethie and Sarah were sick, too. Vomiting, diarrhea, strep throat. Both of them needed me because when you're sick, only Mummy will do.

Then Dan's family came to stay with us last weekend (while all this was going on). I had tried to clean the house and make everything nice, but with three sick kids, and having been up all night, I just didn't have the ability. And that was added to the long list of "How I've Failed My Family Lately".

On Saturday, the washing machine stopped working. As the mountain of clothes covered in vomit and diarrhea grew, I tried to figure out how I was going to be able to afford a new washing machine. Three weeks before Christmas. With every piece of clothing tossed into the hamper, my anxiety heightened. When I finally got in touch with the repair man, he said that he would rush on over on Tuesday! I kept reminding myself "I can do this. I CAN do this!". I took my laundry to Mum's house and more to Emilie's house.

The repair man came Tuesday and was able to retrieve a teeny, tiny sock from the pump. For $60, of course. But I didn't care. It was a lot less than the cost of a new washing machine.

I listened to the sound of the washing machine running and convinced myself that this was a SIGN that things were getting better. The kids would feel better, the laundry would be clean, and we could go back to our happy little lives.

Then Melissa's sister called me. "Melissa has passed away" was what she said. And I was blasted sideways. I was flat on my back. The Earth was spinning. And I couldn't breathe. I couldn't get up. There was nothing left to hold me together. I was broken.

I cried.

I have been crying ever since. Because I am ineffably sad.

Tuesday, November 30


People aren’t meant to just ... disappear. It’s shocking to one’s heart and one’s soul. It’s not right that the last thing you say to someone is “See you Saturday morning”. Like you took it for granted that she would be there. Why on Earth would she not be there?

Yesterday morning, my friend wrote on Facebook that she was sick and throwing up. At 10:25am, she wrote “I feel like death”. And then she died. Melissa, age 28, died.

This is not how it’s supposed to happen. People get sick first. There are warning signs. There are doctor’s visits to attend and tests to be taken. There is time to plead with God for more time. You get to say “Forget all the bad stuff, I love you”.

I read over all the emails that Melissa and I have sent to each other over the last month.

Melissa to me:

You just made me cry. I am so glad that I have a friend like you!
I love you

Me to her:

“Let's be friends when we are old and grey, and our children will roll their eyes because we are so embarrassing when we get together!”

Melissa to me:

“Deal!! :) I look forward to it!!”

She looked forward to it. And to Christmas with her mother. And to babies with her husband. She looked forward to all the world had to offer, and to all of the things that a 28 year old women is entitled to experience. She looked forward to living her life... but, instead, she disappeared.

Melissa was funny, and fun to be with. Snarky, just the way I like my friends to be! Warm. Compassionate. Kind. Giving. She was my friend. And now she is gone.

There will be time for all the funny stories, for talk about the good times with Melissa. But right now, the shock is crippling. And knowing the grief that her husband and her mother must be feeling is simply overwhelming. And anger that this could happen, and happen the way it did, is all-consuming. Tonight, I will mourn my friend. Tomorrow, and every day after that, I will hold on to the good times. Because the good times were great!

Thursday, November 25

The Parent/Teacher Conference

The parent/teacher conference went well. Or, more accurately, well enough. I had planned to have all three children in daycare when I went to the conference. Instead, I had to bring Bethie with me, while my Dad babysat Sarah and Katie. Sigh. That's a super long story best saved for another day...

Miss N started off by saying that she thinks that Katie and Bethie should be put into separate classes next year. My response? "No". She went on to explain that Katie is more independent than Bethie. Bethie's self-esteem is wrapped up in Katie. Perhaps being in a different class would help Bethie "come into her own". Again, "no". We went back and forth for a while before I pointed out that the next school year is 10 months away, and we can worry about this later.

Miss N said that she didn't really have any concerns about the twins and asked about my conerns. I told her that I view kindergarten as an "introduction" to school. I want them to learn to respect others while continuing to respect themselves. I want them to learn the rules and routines of school. I want them to thrive socially. Miss N has higher hopes. She hoped that they would learn things like reading and writing and math. Yeah, I kinda thought that went without saying.

Miss N said that the girls were very polite, and helped clean up, and were a pleasure to teach. Super. Then she said to me "There are some characteristics that we think are excellent in adults: loyalty, fighting the current, questioning authority. But, in five year olds, we need to temper these qualities." I had to laugh. I know what Miss N means. My children have a lot of my characteristics. They are tiny versions of me. But I'm 27 (ish). I have earned some of my..."difficult" characteristics. They are 5 years old. They haven't earned bitchy yet. But I'm not about to un-teach their loyalty for one another (and for every member of this family). I pray every night that they stop questioning authority...okay, stop questioning my authority. But I am thrilled that they think for themselves. That they have an innate sense of how things should be, and what they want for themselves, and stand up for these things. I am proud that they do things the "hard way", knowing that the end justifies the means. I have strong daughters. Thank God.

Miss N showed me their journals. She said that most children simply scribble or write letters randomly. My little Mary Wollstonecrafts write phonetically. Both of them! The only ones in their class! I was thrilled!!! Miss N went on to say how well they were doing in math. They have a very good grasp of numbers and addition. Yup, my children are brilliant!

While wrapping things up, Miss N said that all of my children (I had brought Sarah with my for my "emergency" conference last week) were extremely well behaved. They play beautifully with others, and play quietly by themselves. She said that they are good-natured and easily pleased. They are an absolute joy to be around. Right. I told her to come by my house around dinner time. They're not so charming then!

Tuesday, November 23

Treats for My Sweets

Sunday morning began with me taking a child to the walk-in clinic. This isn't anything out of the ordinary. I like to swing by the walk-in clinic at least once a week. For laughs.

Anyway, this time I took Katie. She didn't want to go because she said that she was "fine". This almost stopped me. Especially since I rushed Katie to the clinic two weeks ago and she told the doctor that she was perfectly healthy, and he agreed (ahhh!). But she has had a fever for a couple of nights, and I was out of coffee. Since the clinic was in the grocery store (yup, this cracks me up!), I could get the child checked and pick up more coffee. Easy peasy.

Except that Katie refused to see the doctor. As we sat in the exam room, she started giving me a preview of what she was going to say to the doctor when he walked into the room. I panicked. I told her that if she behaved, I would buy her a treat. Problem solved.

After collecting the prescription and three princess stickers (one for her, and one for each of her sisters) from the nurse, we headed towards the coffee aisle. En route, Katie announced that she would like a cake for a treat. Not a cupcake. A great, big cake. I laughed and told her that she wasn't sick enough to get a whole cake! She said, "It wasn't just for me. I wanted to share with my sisters. It's not fair that I get a treat and they don't".

Awww...wasn't that kind of her? So, I got a cake. A tiny wee Deep 'n' Delicious cake (for $1.10!), but a cake nonetheless.

Then Katie announced that she needed some eggnog. To share with her father. I pointed out that the last time she had eggnog, she wrote her name on it and forbid her father from consuming any of it himself. This time would be different, she promised.

It turns out that I couldn't find any eggnog. I offered to get some hot chocolate instead. This way she can share with Bethie and Sarah (who refuse to drink eggnog). Katie agreed, but added "You can't have hot chocolate without marshmallows...". So I bought hot chocolate and marshmallows.

We headed to the check-out. As I waited in line, I was amazed that I was buying coffee, a cake, hot chocolate mix, and marshmallows when I had only come in for coffee. Wasn't that good of me? I sure thought so! Katie did not spend the time reflecting on what a wonderful mother I am. Instead, she spotted a cooler containing bottles of 7 UP.

Katie announced that she was dying of thirst and had to have some 7 UP. I told her that I would be more than happy to buy her some 7 UP...but she would have to return something that I was going to buy. I may have mentioned that I am not an ATM and I may have gone on a little bit about how she and her sisters have one goal in life: to ensure that their father and I die poor.

While Katie ignored me, she examined each of her treats. Which one could she possibly part with? The agony! She decided to leave it up to chance, and started with "Eeny, meeny, miney, moe...". Her last "moe" ended up on the marshmallows. Without missing a beat, she picked up my coffee and said, "You can return this, Mummy".

Through gritted teeth, I snarled "Not. The. Coffee. Katie".

After a very heated discussion, "we" decided that it would be best if I just bought the 7 UP and "stopped talking so much". So, I did. Because my five year old runs the show.

Monday, November 22

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Teacher?

My Parent-Teacher interview for the twins is on Wednesday. And I am terrified. The teacher, Miss N, is kind. She has a good heart. My daughters think she is wonderful. They also think she's smarter than I am. That's not one of her selling points though...

I tried to schedule the interview for a time when Dan could go with me. Because people like Dan. He's friendly, funny, and easy to please. I'm...not. I'm the kind of person who sits quietly by herself in the corner making snarky (and highly amusing!) comments in her head...except my comments often find an escape latch and come out of my mouth (without permission!). And the room gets quiet. And no one laughs. Except for me. Okay, I guess I'm the one who is laughing hysterically in the back of the room all by herself. That's me!

I really want to impress Miss N. I want her to think that I am clever. That my opinions are worth considering. That my children are just super and should have a special place in her heart. At least until June. But I've already made an ass of myself several times since school began, two months ago.

I figure I have thirty minutes to wow her. To change her opinion of me. To make her want to give my little girls all the praise and encouragement that they deserve. All this without embarrassing them...or myself!

Thursday, November 18

'Tis The Season To Send Cards

I love Christmas cards. I love sending them. I love receiving them. I am interested in how friends and family are doing. I am interested in your updates on your kids, or your last trip, or your hopes for the New Year. I especially love receiving family pictures. I treasure them, and I save them. Even the photos sent by acquaintances. Nothing warms my heart more than photos of happy families!

A lot of people have stopped sending Christmas cards. I don't know if they can't be bothered, or if they think no one really cares, or if I've simply been struck off the list (naw, that's not likely at all). I receive e-cards, and I appreciate  them. However, there's nothing as lovely as discovering in the mail something other than bills. A Christmas card, with photos, and a little note highlighting the best bits of the year. We are reminded that although we have busy lives and don't get to see each other as often as we'd like, we are still connected. We are in each other's thoughts. We wish one another a wonderful holiday and best wishes for the New Year. I think Christmas cards are worth the effort.

Each year, I carefully choose Christmas cards. Then I choose the pictures I want to order and then pick up and then insert inside the cards. And I think "Next year, I am going to order cards from one of those online places". You know, the ones that print the cards with your pictures already on it. I have done this for birthday invitations and simply LOVE it! But I never get around to it at Christmas time, and the opportunity slips away.

This year, Double the Giggles introduced me to Shutterfly. I checked out the Christmas cards and was amazed. The selection was incredible! So many different themes, which can be viewed based on colour, or the amount of pictures needed. I was in Little Gweny Heaven! So, thanks to the special offer extended to bloggers, this is the year that I am going to send out fancy cards to all my friends and family (or rather, to all of my friends and family who update their addresses!).

And if there is anyone who is still searching for a Christmas gift for me, let me direct you towards the calendars or the photo albums. They're fancy!

Wednesday, November 17

Toilet Tag

As a little girl, I loved recess. I used to jump rope, play hopscotch, sing little songs with my classmates, and play Freeze Tag. Ahhh, the good 'ol days....

My twinnies are in kindergarten. When the school year began, they loved recess. In fact, when we asked about their day at school, they would only mention the games they played while outside with their classmates. We would get blank stares when we asked, "But what did you learn today?".

Things started changing a couple of weeks ago. Bethie stopped playing with her classmates at recess. When I tried to find out why, she said that she didn't want to play with her class because they would play "inappropriate" games (yup, that's how my kids speak. Sigh). When pressed, she told me about Toilet Tag.

Here's how to play: One person is "It". This child tries to tag as many children as possible. "When a player is tagged, he/she must assume a toilet position (one knee on the ground and the other knee up, one arm straight out to the side).  The tagged player must remain frozen in this position until they are rescued by another player.  To be rescued, a player must sit on the knee of the frozen player, grab their straight arm and make a WHOOSH sound while pulling the arm down to simulate the flushing of a commode.  Once a player flushes the toilet of a frozen player, the frozen player is freed." (Mr. Gym).

I was horrified to learn that the children play this in the school yard. This is a disgusting and scatological game! I was proud of my daughter. She had decided that she didn't want to be used as a "toilet" and did not want children to pretend to urinate and defecate on her. At age 5, she stood up to the crowd. What a strong and proud daughter I have!

There were other problems for Bethie at school, so I wrote a note and asked to speak with the teacher. Yesterday, Miss N and I sat down and talked about the issues that Bethie faces in school. When we came to the games of Toilet Tag being played in the school yard, Miss N said "I think that may be my fault. I taught the children to play this in gym class".

I was, truly, speechless. I was shocked. Miss N is about my age. She's a mother. She's an experienced teacher. How is it that she and I have such vastly different views on the appropriateness of this game?

In my shock-induced silence, all I kept thinking was that this is a "Tribes School". This means that there is a super heavy focus on the "four agreements": Mutual Respect, Listening, Appreciation, and Participation. How can the school foster "mutual respect" when asking the children to pretend to be toilets?
We kinda glossed over the whole Toilet Tag because we moved onto matters that I thought to be more serious. But it haunted me. Am I being a prude? Am I so out-of-touch? Should I just keep my mouth shout?

I don't know what to do. I am at a loss. If any of you have any thoughts about Toilet Tag, please let me know.

Tuesday, November 16

The Princess, The Bride, and The Pumpkin Head

The other day, someone asked me what differences they should look for in the twins. I told them that Katie wears the tiara. All the time. She is a princess, you know.

Bethie isn't so flashy. She wears Sarah's tu tu on her head thereby transforming herself into the Bride...of Christ. I'm not kidding.

Sarah was jealous. She had no tiara and no longer had a tu tu. So Dan put a pumpkin on her head and cheered her up.

You're laughing, but these are the people I am relying on to fund my retirement. It's not looking good!

Monday, November 15

Finding Joy - In Curtains

Despite living here for four years, I have never put curtains up on the ground level of our home. Well, that's not entirely true. Once, Dan hung up some sheers for me in the bay window. The twins pulled them down. It wasn't difficult for the girls to do this. Dan had hung up the curtains using ... wait for it, ladies... thumbtacks!

The lack of curtains never bothered me. I like sitting inside and having an unobstructed view of my gardens. The outside became a part of the inside. I found this to be very relaxing. It brought me joy. What I did not enjoy was when people would walk by our house and wave at me. While I was inside. Having dinner.

I decided that the time had come, and that we needed some curtains for the sliding doors in my kitchen.

 Mum, who was absolutely ecstatic that I was joining the World of Grown Ups, was eager to come along and offer input. Mum is very good at decorating. She has an eye for these things. She has taste, and class, and preference for the finer things in life. Better still, she loves going shopping. I hate shopping.

Mum and I went to about 15 stores over the course of 2 days. In each one, she showed me a million curtains, highlighting accent colours and types of material and other things that I don't really understand. It thrilled her (not really) when I would say things like, "That one looks like a dead fish" or "I'm not THAT old!". It became clear that Mum and I had drastically different ideas about what would look good.

I had given up hope of finding what I really wanted. I had already found a perfectly acceptable substitute. Something that I could live with. Something that would give us some privacy. Although the curtains were nice, they lacked ... joy.

In the last store, I found "joy". Mum was speechless (probably overcome by my excellent taste). We bought the curtains, took them home, and hung them up.

Ta da!


And the children like the curtains, too. They like peeking through the curtains.

And "hiding" behind them.

Oh. That's the only fault. They aren't quite long enough! But they don't have to be perfect to be wonderful. And I love them.

Wednesday, November 10

The Bribe

My kids have worn me down. They have zapped any resourcefulness and creativity from me. After 5 years, I have thrown my hands up and begged for mercy. And that didn't work.

So, I've started to bribe my children.

I realised how effective it was last night. Bethie announced that a little boy in her class would like her to buy some toy (it has a weird name, I don't know what it is, you'll have to ask Dan) so that they can play together at recess. I said to her, "Did you tell him that you don't have a job? Either get a job so you can buy the toy, or you'll have to go without". That went over well (not really). Apparently, 5 year olds are not "allowed" to have jobs. With all the sympathy I could muster, I said "Bad luck, kiddo". All that got me was some tears and yelling.

The next request from the twins was for $2 - each! They had some bizarre story about the school raising funds for the Grade 6 field trip and selling popcorn. I didn't really pay attention ... until I was asked to hand over money. Sigh. I am soooo sick of handing over money. So, I gave my list of demands: they had to have a bath and get into bed as fast as their little legs could take them. If they did this, I would "pay" them each $2. If I heard any whining or resistance of any kind, the Coffee Fairy would transform the coins into coffee for me (there's a new Tim Horton's near my house and it's costing the Coffee Fairy a small fortune!).

All three girls raced up the stairs and hopped into the bath. They behaved beautifully, and I handed over my coffee money. Totally worth it!

This morning, the twinnies were waiting for the bus. Bethie mentioned for the 100th time that she would like a poppy. Remembering last night, I told her that if she and Katie were super good after daycare, their father would buy them each a poppy. They were thrilled! As they got on the bus, they told another little girl, "After school, Daddy is going to buy us a puppy!".


As the bus door started closing, I shouted "A POPPY! NOT A PUPPY! A POPPY!". They waved at me and blew kisses as the bus pulled away.


I said a little prayer, "Please, let the twinnies be really, really bad after daycare so I don't have to buy a PUPPY!". After Dan breaks the news to them, I am quite confident that they will, in fact, be really bad!

Friday, November 5

Attack of the Lint

Our change table is in our laundry room, off of our kitchen. It's a handy location. I never have to run up and down stairs to change a diaper. Or to change the children's clothes. Despite the fact that each child has a dresser in their bedroom, no clothes are actually kept there. All of the children's clothes are kept on the change table. For my convenience.

This morning, I had taken Sarah into the laundry room to get her dressed. She noticed that on top of the dryer was a rectangular clump of dark blue/blacky lint. She had no idea what it was (because I am such a good housekeeper that my child, in her 2 1/2 years, has never seen lint), and she mistook it for "poop".

I giggled and informed the child that I, typically, prefer not to leave poop on the dryer. I picked it up and said, "It's lint. Here, look!". Sarah went ballistic and backed away from me. I said, "It's soft, like a Fluffy (what we call Katie's cotton balls)" and then I tickled my cheek. Sarah was horrified!

I thought if Sarah could just touch the lint, she would understand. This is a "Teaching Moment", or whatever they're called. But the closer I inched towards her, the further she would move backwards.

Then, I got annoyed. I just wanted her to feel the lint. I don't know why. I thought that she might like it. But she refused!

So, naturally, I make a quick dive towards Sarah, caught her, and started rubbing the lint on her belly...kinda tickling her. Sarah responded by screaming and running as fast as her little legs could take her away from me. Because she thought I was trying to smush poop all over her body! But I wasn't! It was just lint. I chased after her. Waving the lint in front of me. Making serious attempts to catch her. While shouting, "IT'S NOT POOP!".

The twins, not having witness the lead up, only saw Sarah shooting past them while crying, and me chasing her with the "poop". Bethie, not in the least bit fazed and not even looking away from the TV (!), said, "Why are you chasing the baby with poop?"

I stopped. Why was I chasing the child with what she believed to be poop? I don't know why I was doing it. Things just kinda went badly. But I said to Bethie, "Because, with the school bus being only minutes away from arriving, and no one being anywhere near ready-to-go, I guess I thought I would have a little fun". Bethie response? "Oh". In Bethie's five year old brain, she thought that it was plausible that I would chase the baby with poop for my own amusement. Really, kid?!

Wanna know how I responded? I went up to Bethie and tickled her with the lint/poop. Turns out that I do antagonize children for my amusement. And, boy, was it fun!

Thursday, November 4

True Love

Katie stayed home from school today as she was quite ill. Actually, I have a kind of embarrassing story about that (who is shocked?).

I had to call the school to advise them that Katie would be staying home because she was sick. However, once I had the secretary on the phone, I couldn't remember which twin it was that was home sick. I looked over at my little sicko...and I couldn't tell who I had in front of me! I panicked because I didn't want to sound like some dippy  mother. Also, I do go on a bit that, despite being identical twins, they don't look "identical" to me. In the end, I had to ask the secretary which child she had at school! Yup, embarrassing. I blame it on exhaustion.

Anyway, while at school, Bethie coloured a picture of a squirrel. Then, she coloured one for Katie. Isn't that sweet? But it gets better!

Bethie got off the school bus, and raced inside. She shouted, "Katie! I have something for you!". In her rain soaked boots, she ran across the living room floor and presented Katie with the picture of the squirrel. Katie was delighted! Bethie said to her, "It was raining, so your picture got a little bit wet. Mine got a lot wet. Know why yours was only a little bit wet? Because a sick baby is more important!".

Bethie had put Katie before herself because Katie was sick. She understood that when people are sick, we go out of our way to please and to accommodate them. And she did this on her own accord.

Another great bit? Katie had spent a long time today creating a very colourful fan for Bethie so she would have a surprise when she got home!

My daughters may have their faults, but their compassion is endless. And that warms my heart and makes me proud.

Update: I have learned that the compassion doesn't extend beyond the three sisters. I had a coughing fit. Katie ran into the kitchen, where I was, and yelled at me "Don't throw up on my picture!". Gasping for air, I made my way to the washroom to get some water. Katie then shouted, "NO! I have to use the bathroom BEFORE you throw up!". Thanks for the concern, kiddo!

Wednesday, November 3

She Who Laughs Last...

When Dan and I decided to have children, we realised that there would be a lot of sacrifices. Sleep, vacations, our savings account, natural hair colour. Little things that we loved we would have to do without.

We understood that we would have to baby-proof our home in order to protect the children and our personal belongings. We would have to be careful about leaving things lying around. Little fingers do big damage.

And so, I will accept full responsibility for the library book that Sarah coloured. Not just a little scribble, but rainbows on every page. I shouldn't have left it on the shelf out of her reach. It was just too tempting a challenge. But I am sure that it will please and delight the next person who reads "Forty Ways To Look At Winston Churchill". Ha! Now, there's Forty-One ways to look at Winston Churchill!

But I will not accept responsibility for the children colouring the couch. Because, really, what on Earth would possess them to colour my couch? I guess it was the same nasty instinct that made them colour the living room table. And the living room floor. And the bedroom door. And the kitchen cabinets (a little jack-o-lantern sketch for Halloween!).

I know, I know, these things happen. You can't expect the children to be perfect all the time. Some things are going to get bumped and bruised. I accept that.

What I don't accept is how Dan's much adored, flat screen TV, given to us as a gift, and is 4 feet off the ground somehow, "accidentally", got crayon on it! When I asked the three blank-faced children how the orange crayon got all over Daddy's TV, they seemed confused. They looked at the ceiling, and then at the door, and said "I don't see any orange crayon". To which I sweetly replied, "LOOK AT THE TV!". When further pressed, I was informed it was "an accident".

Right. Someone accidentally got a stool from the other room, and carried it all the way to the living room. Then, that child accidentally climbed that stool. Then, she realised that she accidentally forgot her crayon, climbed down the stool, found a crayon, climbed back up the stool, and accidentally coloured the TV because she thought it was a colouring book.

I totally buy that.

So tonight, I am going to "accidentally" think the clock reads 7pm (bedtime) when it's actually 6pm. That's right, my babies, check and mate.

Tuesday, November 2

Goodbye, Brain

I used to be smart. Honestly! I used to be a lot of things. Then I had children, and everything changed. However, I miss being smart.

I try to keep up with current events. For instance, I check TMZ everyday! Kidding. Well, no, I guess I'm not, but I check out newspapers, too, and I have Anderson Cooper tweeting me ALL THE TIME! And I read. A lot. I just finished "A Thousand Sisters" by Lisa Shannon (you should read it, too!).

So, maybe I'm not as clever as I used to be, but I am trying. I, now, realize that all my efforts are in vain. Why? Because regardless of how many books I read, or how well versed I am in world politics, my children think I'm stupid. Because I have demonstrated this over and over again.

Here's the latest:

On Sunday, I was very busy (okay, I was writing snarky comments to my brother on Facebook...and I was on a roll!) and not really paying attention to the children. Sarah came up to me and asked for some popcorn. If I hadn't been so engrossed in my own humorous online musings, I would have suggested something else. But I took 2.75 seconds and filled a  Tinkerbell bowl up with popcorn for the baby.

After a moment or so, she requested a spoon. Okay, whatever. I handed the child a spoon. I went back to Facebook, reading aloud to Dan all my witty comments that I knew would irritate my brother.

Again, Sarah interrupted me. AHHHHH! Can't she see that I am busy? Now she wanted milk on her popcorn (kinda like cereal). Dan told me that I was not to put milk on her popcorn. Umm...seems to me that Dan has done worse than this to accommodate this child (I am not going to publicly state what the baby has demanded of Dan and what he has done to please know what I'm talking about Dan!... but if everyone else must  know, email me). So, I got the milk and poured it over the bowl of popcorn.

To tell you the truth, I was a little bit pleased. I was pleased because it annoyed Dan. I was pleased because my baby knows what she wants and demands it. And I was pleased that Sarah was finally happy and I could return to Facebook and not be interrupted again.

Thirty seconds go by, and Sarah starts screaming for me. I shout back, "Are you kidding me, kid? There are TWO adults here. Shout for your father!". No, no. Daddy would not do because Daddy is not an idiot, according to my 2 year old. She shouted at me, "I said Corn Pops, NOT popcorn!!!".


Sarah was ticked off! It was never her intention to have a bowl of milk-drenched popcorn. She simply wanted a bowl of cereal, and her mother responded to her requested by morphing into some sort of batty bonehead.

To add insult to injury, I was laughing hysterically while scooping the milk-soaked popcorn out of the bowl and replacing it with Corn Pops. Sarah was not not amused. But we all know that this was not her first encounter with her befuddled mother. And it surely won't be her last. Because I stopped being smart the day the children were born!

Monday, November 1

Bonding Through Pumpkin Carving

Dan bought three pumpkins, one for each girl. And the girls were happy with this until, one morning, they realised that Emilie had FIVE pumpkins on her front steps. Bethie was green with envy. She absolutely loves pumpkins. No worries, Dan and I took the girls to the pumpkin patch. They got to pick one more pumpkin each. Now, we had six pumpkins. Everyone was happy.

Yesterday, Dan decided to bond with the girls and carve the pumpkins. I wanted nothing to do with that mess. This was his big chance to be Super Dad. I thought it was a bit ambitious, but who am I to judge. I am simply the photographer.

Dan, in his infinite wisdom (yeah, not so much), decided to carve one pumpkin at a time. I would have given each girl their own pumpkin to "gut", but I guess the "Fight It Out And Splatter Each Other With Pumpkin Guts" way will work, too. And it did...for a while.

The thing is, carving six pumpkins takes a long a couple of hours. My children have the attention span of maybe 7.5 minutes, if we're lucky. This bonding exercise was more like Dan carving the pumpkins...

...while the kidlings lazed around watching Dora.

Dan, realising that he had been ditched by the children, asked me to help. Sadly, I had to decline. I didn't have an excuse, other than I didn't want to get dirty.

Anyway, Dan did a fine job on all six pumpkins.

You notice that there are only five pumpkins pictured. One of the candles blew out, and I couldn't be bothered to light it again. Turns out there is very little about pumpkins that interests me!

Sunday, October 31

The End of The Line

I try hard to be a good mother, but I usually come up short. Or, more accurately, all my best plans are better in theory than in practice. And sometimes, I am just plain tired. But I do my best.

I have a lot of role models in my neighbourhood. There's Super Mom. The name says it all. She's the one who built a fence when she was nine months pregnant. She takes her three boys out every day so they can have rich and fulfilling lives. When things are slow, she'll take the boys outside for a game of road hockey. She doesn't sit on her front step and chat on the phone while her kids are playing. She actually plays with them! Pretty super, eh?

Then there's the Librarian. She goes for a jog every morning at 6am. I wave at her as she goes by. She rides her bike to work. She takes her kids to the local swimming pool, and walks there. She has beautiful gardens, and lovely ivy climbing up the side of her house. She probably serves her kids healthy meals. I really like her, but I don't measure up.

Emilie isn't perfect, but she tries to be. She has such a good heart, and loves children. All children. She dreams up wonderful games and crafts for the children. She has FOUR HOUR long birthday parties. She decorates the exterior AND the interior of her house for every holiday. How can I keep up with her?

Elise is more my speed. I like her a lot. Her house is attached to mine (we live in semis). Every couple of months, one of us will say "Can you hear us through the walls?". What we mean to say is "Can you hear me screaming at the children through the walls?". Well, that's what I mean to say. Elise is more relaxed when it comes to parenting than I am. She helps calm me down. She reassures me that my little angels will survive elementary school (but has made no promises that I will). She has physically restrained me when Sarah was climbing a rock wall at the park, saying "Let her try. She can do it!". And I appreciate that.

As wonderful as all the ladies in my neighbourhood are, they are out of my league. I admire them, and they feel sorry for me (I'm sure!). They seem to do things sooooo much better than I do. For instance, I am quite sure that none of them have sprayed their smelly kids with Febreeze instead of giving them a bath. I only know one other person who may have.

That's right, I wouldn't be surprised if Lisa sprayed her kids with Febreeze.

Anyway, this morning, there was a light dusting of snow. My children wanted to play in it before we left for dance class at 9am. I thought, "Here's my chance to shine!". Dan and I got all the kids fed, dressed, and outside, with plenty of time for play...and for pictures!

I must confess, I was pleased with myself. I was pleased that I took the kids out. I was pleased that (for once!) I had snow boots before the snow fell. For once, I got to be Super Mum! And it totally does not detract from my superness that I lied to the children and told them that the snow was the wrong type for making snowmen.

On the way to dance class, we drove past the Librarian's house. She was out with her kids. They had already built two snowmen. She was smiling at her children. Sigh. I returned to my rightful position at the bottom of the heap.

This afternoon, I emailed Lisa a couple of the snaps I took of the kids out in the snow and carving pumpkins. This was her response:

These pictures are priceless...

We are also just carving the pumpkins now...however the kids are acting up, the sink pipe in the kitchen broke and flooded my one is dressed for the day, we are just finishing brunch (late because of the flood) and we are expecting one of Trystan's school friends to go trick or treating with...oh did I mention that Kelly borrowed my vacuum and hasn't returned it yet so my floors are also filthy gross...not exactly a day for pictures over here...just sent the kids to their room to play; hopefully, Kelly will return the vacuum soon and I am just about to clean...all in all a very crappy stat to my favorite holiday...this year sucks...I hope tonight is better but I do not anticipate it will be...lets hope I at least get pictures...haven't had Halloween pics since Trystan was 3! *gasp*

Great pics though...hope the girls enjoy trick or treating

And that is why she's my best friend. She and I, together, are here at the back. Snickering.