Tuesday, February 22

19 And Counting...

Things the children have broken. This is not a complete list by any means. These are just a couple of things that I can recite off the top of my frustrated head!
  1. The remote control to the new, highly-coveted TV.
  2. The lamp in the living room. Twice.
  3. The pantry door...by swinging on it.
  4. Almost every toy they own.
  5. The box that holds the toys that we allow in the living room.
  6. Almost every crayon they own.
  7. The new crayons that I made from all the broken crayons.
  8. The lock on the door of the shed.
  9. The things that holds the streamers on their bicycles.
  10. The child-proof lock that was intended to keep them out of my drawer.
  11. The shower nozzle.
  12. The hot air vent.
  13. 25 laundry baskets (or "boats for the parade" as they like to call them).
  14. The piggy bank.
  15. The snow globe. Actually, it was a 2 for 1 because they smashed two at the same time.
  16. My garden gnomes.
  17. 952 night lights.
  18. The blinds in their bedroom.
  19. Every toilet paper holder in the house.
To add insult to injury, those little devils stuck a "Hello Kitty" sticker on to the license plate of my much-adored Little Red Car! Oh wait. That was my husband, the "grown up"! Do you see why I feel like I am losing my mind?

Thursday, February 17

The Peanut Gallery

The world is a stage, according to Shakespeare and my twinnies.

Katie and Bethie love to perform. In the mall, in the park, in the grocery store. If there is an audience, they will put on a show.

Katie would like Dan to build a stage for her ... on our front lawn. She envisions herself entertaining the neighbours as they walk pass our house, heading to and from the bus stop. Bethie thinks it would be super to decorate this stage with Christmas lights, so it will look fancy. Much to Dan's relief, I have refused to build a stage on my front lawn.

So Katie and Bethie are left to performing in their usual locales. Recently, they did a recital on the stairs...
Bethie was singing, Katie was conducting.

This was all very well and good, but they needed an audience. Dan and I were too busy, so they had to make do...

Their bears weren't appreciative enough. They didn't clap and cheer and tell the twinnies how clever they are.

Another audience member was required. One that would sit and watch performance after performance, whether she wanted to or not.

Thank God, we had another child...

Wednesday, February 16

Real Live Women

There's a song by Sugarland that I really like. In it, there's a line about knowing "which hands to shake/which hands to hold". I've shaken a lot of hands in my life. I've been pleased to have met a person, enjoyed the time we've had together, and moved on. No hard feelings, best of luck with your future endeavours.
But I have been lucky enough to cross paths with some extraordinary women. Good women. Clever women. Make you laugh until you cry women. Let you cry until you laugh women. And their hands are the hands that I chose to hold.

Another Sarah. That's what I call her. When I was pregnant with my baby, Sarah, I didn't know anyone else by that name. Once she was born, I met 30 women named Sarah, each needing a nickname. Hence, Another Sarah.

Another Sarah has an ease about her. Being around her is easy. She makes people feel comfortable in their own skin. Especially women. Because people seem to know that she's not judging them. She cares only about the soul within the person. Another Sarah has the great ability to use her humour and her wit to lighten the situation. There is never the concern that she will use her humour to embarrass. Another Sarah thrives when everyone is laughing. When you speak, she looks you in the eye. Because she really is listening. She asks questions, offers supports, makes a joke. After being with her, I feel happy.

I've known Cara for about 10 years now. In my eyes, she's perfect (Cara is screaming her objections at her computer as she reads this!). She's beautiful... blond hair, blue eyes, peaches and cream complexion. She married a beautiful man, and had two beautiful children. You would think that I would hate her, right?! But Cara has a quiet kindness that wraps around you. She cares ... about her family, about her friends, about the world, about all the children in the world. She has opened up her home and her heart to an orphan in the Congo, because her love is not limited by lines on a map, DNA, or skin colour. Her heart only sees her child, in a far away country, and she's fighting to get to her baby.

Cara is wicked smart, and she has the advanced degree to prove it! She finds joy in the world around her.  She raves about how wonderful a father her husband is. She likes cuddling with her children and watching He-Man. When her life gets too hard, and too painful, and too much to bear, she looks for these simple joys. I admire Cara.

Lisa is my Erma Bombeck. She doesn't mean to be. Whatever struggle I am facing, Lisa has already faced the same thing, but it was ten times harder and 100 times funnier. Lisa "gets" me. She can take one look at me and know what I'm feeling and (typically) why. She knows the right words to say, when to say them, and when to say nothing at all.

Lisa doesn't care what the world thinks. She cares about what she thinks. I care about what she thinks, too. Because Lisa is clever. She's insightful. Also, she's wicked funny! Most people don't know that because Lisa is also very quiet. She keeps her thoughts (mostly) to herself which makes me feel privileged when she shares them with me.

Lisa is the strongest woman I know. She holds on tight to her husband and her children. Life sends massive "waves" to knock her down, and silent "drips" to erode her self-confidence. And my friend stands tall. She is the breaking wall between Life and her family. She wishes she were some pampered duchess in a time long ago. Instead she is a pillar of strength. She is the force that keeps everyone going. Safe. Together. I adore Lisa, and I am so proud to call her my friend.

Melissa would have made this list, too. I think about Melissa every single day. Her death has had ripple effects throughout my life. But it's still too soon to lay my heart out for the world to see. It is, however, important to me that everyone knows that she is included in my list of extraordinary women.

Tuesday, February 15

Feeding The Birds

The whole family has been sick. I was quite pleased because I managed to dodge most of the sickness that has infested our home...until this last week. Now, I am wicked sick, but the sympathy has been used up. So, I tried to plan activities this weekend that would require as little effort on my part as possible.

I decided that we should feed the birds. When I say "we", I meant everyone except me. I'm not a huge fan of "wildlife". I took the photos...

The girls, Katie with the bird

Sarah trying to tempt a bird

Dan and Sarah

Sarah did, in fact, have birds come to her...I just wasn't quick enough to get any photos of it

Mum proved to be an expert!

Dan and Katie

Katie was quite good at standing still




Bethie. Remaining quiet and still isn't exactly her forte...

....however, Bethie excelled at pulling Sarah on the toboggan!

Friday, February 11

Following Orders

This cold winter has been very harsh on my children's skin. The skin on their faces and hands becomes very red and hard. I've been using Spectra Jel Eczema Care, and that does a tremendous amount of good. However, I try to do my best to prevent outbreaks.

Everyday, the twins come home from school with soaking wet gloves. I have explained to the little darlings that wet gloves will exasperate their eczema. I send them to school with extra gloves so they can switch if their gloves become wet. They never do.

Yesterday, I was particularly concerned. I asked the children to refrain from playing in the snow before the bus comes in the morning. This way, their gloves would be dry when they arrived at school. And I would feel better.

The twins thought this was a well thought out idea. They said that I was most clever and they would wait until recess to play in the snow. With their promises not to go in the snow, I ushered them out the front door saying that I was going to get Sarah some more milk and then I would be right out.

It took about 90 seconds to get Sarah her milk. I walked out the front door and saw:

I shouted, "You weren't supposed to go in the snow!"

Bethie looked up at me and said "Oh. I forgot".

Yeah, right.

Sunday, February 6

The Younger Sister

Katie helped her baby sister, Sarah, put on her snow suit....

...because she's so cute...

...Sarah drove her toboggan over Katie...

...that was payback for drawing "tattoos" on Sarah's face!

Friday, February 4

True Love

Valentine's Day is quickly approaching. At school, both Katie and Bethie had to cut out a heart and write the name of someone that they love inside the heart.

Katie thought long and hard about who she loved. After careful deliberation, Katie wrote that she loves ... her sisters!

Katie's sisters are her co-conspirators...

...her buddies...

...her fan club.

Katie is hero worshipped by her little sister ...

...and adored by her twin.

Katie couldn't imagine her world without her sisters. She proudly, with love and affection, wrote down the names "Sarah" and "Bethie" in her little cut-out heart.

Bethie did not need a moment to ponder who she loved. She wrote "Jerry". Because Jerry is her boyfriend. Every day, Bethie assures me that she loves Jerry and will one day marry him.

Ladies, let me introduce you to my future son-in-law, Jerry...

...the bus driver.

Sigh. At least he has a job...

Wednesday, February 2

The Blending Bond

Katie is home sick. Again. Dan asked me if it's possible that she won't "pass" kindergarten because she has had so many sick days. I informed him that kindergarten is optional. Besides, Bethie has been soooo good about coming home and teaching Katie everything she has learned throughout the day. For instance, Bethie came home yesterday and announced that the class "didn't learn anything today". That was very reassuring.

When I keep Katie home from school, I also keep Sarah home from daycare. This way they can entertain each other and I am free to read my book or muck about on the computer. Good plan, eh?!

Yesterday, Katie and Sarah decided that they wanted to make fruit smoothies. I said that they could because Katie has stopped eating. If she will consume a smoothie, I consider that a victory.

Katie and Sarah each took turns dropping the fruit into the blender. Katie shouted out commands to Sarah, "More bananas! Sarah, get some strawberries! Faster!". Sarah did what she was told. When it was time to blend the fruit, the fighting began.

Both girls wanted to be the one to push the button on the blender. Sarah was louder, so she won. However, she found the blender to be "too loud" and refused to allow the fruit to be blended. Katie had to think fast:

Together, Sarah and Katie got the job done. It reminded me of the Wonder Pets who sing, "What's gonna work? TEAM WORK!".

And this would be a very endearing story had I not put down the camera and noticed that Katie was applying such force to Sarah's head that I thought it may explode.