Friday, March 31, 2006

PD day today

Scott and the kids are home so it's thrown off my game a bit. I had to fight with my sons for the computer. Today's blog won't be long. My "turn" is only half an hour. Damn kids using my logic and sense of fairness against me. Hmph.

As you may know from reading previous blogs, I like weekdays more than weekends. I prefer having a structure to my day and having 2 hours blessedly alone. So on a day like today when everyone's home, I feel a bit stressed. I feel guilty watching my soap, I never know when to shower, and meals are always late. I just can't seem to get my feet under me. The only good thing about it is the sleeping in and extra morning reading time. So today I'm feeling off. I'm not sure what day it is, or what time it is. It's all very disconcerting. Which is why I forgot about writing this thing until just now.

I just read that paragraph back and it makes no sense. It's the stream-of-consciousness junk that comes from a scattered mind. See what happens to me on "weekends"? I'm done for today. Especially since my time is up according to Elliott.


Thursday, March 30, 2006

I love tv

And to a lesser extent I love the commercials. I consider a good one to be like a little piece of chocolate. You may not want to eat a whole box but one or two is just right. I've even been known, while zooming through the ads on a show I've taped, to stop and watch if a commercial looks unfamiliar.

Of course I love the funny ones the most. Here is a list of my favourites right now:

1) The new ad for Knorr frozen entrees. They cleverly bleep out the word "frozen" and use the tagline "Frozen doesn't have to be a dirty word". I crack up ever time I see it. "It's everything you want in a f***** meal" Hee.
2) DQ Blizzard ad with Mr. and pregnant Mrs. Lee. After taking a spoonful of a Blizzard, Mr. Lee imagines the doctor telling him that his baby is a boy. "YES!" he fist-pumps. After Mrs. Lee takes her spoonful, she imagines Mr. Lee pregnant and giving birth screaming (like a girl) "you did this to me!" at her holding the camcorder. Hilarious.
3) The commercial for Whiskas starring Hubert the man-cat. The first time I saw it I wondered why the woman was letting that tiny, mincey guy treat her that way. "Talk to me when there's meat on the table."? Who talks to their spouse like that? Then he jumped onto the arm of the couch and flicked something from his eyebrow. I finally twigged. He's a cat. A piece of chocolate with caramel inside.
4) Eleven words: "Can't get your kids to leave home? "Stop cooking with cheese!
5) DQ (again) Flamethrower burger. An office drone is eating a burger at his desk and it's so hot he burns first his napkin, then his blotter then when his officemates come in he's blowing out fire like a dragon. Mayhem and much sprinkling ensues. I love his expression as he tries to apologise while simultaneously spewing flames. I giggle every time I see it.
6) Delissio pizza. The one where two parents are indulging in a role playing game (pizza guy arrives to a scantily clad woman intent on seducing him). I love when they get caught by their teenaged son who exasperatedly exclaims "no wonder I don't have any friends". Funny.

Honourable mention goes to: the government ad that's trying to get new mums informed about the new immunisations available for their babies. Who can resist cute, bouncy, naked babies?
So those are my favourite ads as of today. It changes often but any commercial that just takes a little effort, that works just a bit to make me giggle will get my valuable consumer dollar. That is if I remember what the ad was for.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Did I ever mention that I’m a first generation Canadian?

My parents were born in a country in the West Indies called Dominica. No, not the Dominican Republic. Sometimes I feel like that's its whole name: Dominica-no-not-the-Dominican-Republic. Because I have to say that each time I tell someone since they've never heard of the place. It's even pronounced differently. Dom-in-EEE-ka.

Anyway, it's smack dab between Guadeloupe and Martinique, two islands you probably have heard of. I always find that strange. It's a gorgeous place. It's got 365 rivers and for a place that's only 790 sq.kms. that's pretty impressive. It's got rain forests and Dominica has hardly any white sand beaches. Its all a weird black colour since they're made from volcanic rock. It's known for being a place for adventurers since it has the Eastern Caribbean's tallest mountain and the best scuba diving and hiking anywhere. No, I'm not at all influenced.

I went there when I was 11 and I still remember everything. From my younger brother Mike throwing up on the passengers on the plane ride down to crying like a baby saying goodbye to my family 3 weeks later. We went to a hotel spa (Fort Young, I think) and were picking and eating guavas from a tree that was overhanging the jacuzzi. We chewed on sugar cane that an old lady sold us on the street. After that first time we chased her down in the street every day like the ice cream man. We went to a lake that bubbled and stunk like sulfur just like in all those old dinosaur movies. It was one of the best trips of my life.

So if you're looking for a gorgeous place to travel that's well off the beaten path and not overrun with tourists, I'd suggest Dominica. I even heard that they filmed some of The Pirates of the Caribbean there because it was so pretty and isolated. Check it out for yourself. I intend to go back someday and bring the kids. They'd love the stinky lake.


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Welcome to my day

Since this blog is all about me, I thought you'd like to see what a typical weekday is like for me.

6:30am- Alarm goes, I listen to the radio a bit
6:45am- Actually get out of bed, quickly shower and dress
7am- 8am- Scott's off to school and I roust the 3 sleepy kids out of bed, make sure they're all brushed, washed, dressed, breakfasted, homeworked and out the door. They're responsible for making their own beds, picking their own clothes and making their own breakfasts. I just make sure it's done right.
8am- 8:30am- Walk everyone to school, picking up one of my daycare kids on the way. The school is literally 5 minutes walk around the corner. Henry gets on his schoolbus at 8:30.
8:30am- 11:30am- This is "Karen time". Sometimes I clean, sometimes I cook or bake, sometimes I exercise, sometimes I go shopping, I always compute and blog.
11:30am- Henry gets off the schoolbus
11:30am-1pm- The 2 of us have lunch together, I help him with his homework, we play on or and just hang out.
1pm- 2pm- Shut up, All My Children is on. Ryan and Kendall are trying to decide what to do with their baby and Ob/Gyn Dr. Madden has something sneaky up his sleeve. I said SSSHHHH!!!
2pm- 3pm- I start preparing for afternoon snack if it's easy like hot dogs. If it was time consuming like cheese bread, I would have started it during "Karen time". I work off a printed out 6 week menu plan magnetted to my fridge. It makes snacks and dinners easier to shop and plan for. Sometimes I watch Star Trek The Next Generation on Spike.
3pm- Time to pick up the gang from school. I'm a home daycare provider so I have my 3 kids plus 3 more. I've also accepted another child who'll be starting in the next few weeks.
3:15pm- 3:45pm- Relaxing time. The kids just settle in, hang out and have some down-time
3:45pm- 4pm- Snacktime. It sounds like feeding time in the monkey house up in here.
4pm- 5pm- Homework time. The kids all sit around my kitchen table and do their work. The young ones who don't have any do colouring, reading or playdough, as long as it's quiet.
5pm- 5:30pm- The kids are starting to go home for the day. I start making dinner.
5:30pm- 6:30pm- Scott's home from school (Gov't enforced french language training) and I make and serve dinner.
6:30pm- 7:30pm- We all clear up the dishes together and clean the kitchen.
7:30pm- 8pm- Shut up, Coronation Street is on. Charlie is pressuring Shelley for sex even though she's dealing with a wicked case of agoraphobia. He says he'll get his needs met elsewhere if she doesn't get over it soon. I said SHHHHHH!!!
8pm- 8:30pm- The kids make their lunches and snacks for the next day. Much jostling ensues.
8:30pm- 8:45pm- Blessed bedtime routine. Scott and I switch off on this one. Alternate days. The kids get their teeth brushed and a story read to them.
8:45pm- 11pm- Shut up, something's on. Anything. SHHHHH!
11pm- 12am- If I haven't already fallen asleep in front of the tv, I'll putter around getting ready for tomorrow. I'll sweep the floor, wash dishes that didn't fit in the dishwasher, get my clothes ready for tomorrow, check the calendar for the next day's schedule and menu, read a bit in bed, then,
12am- 6:30am- Zzzzzzzzzzzz..........


Monday, March 27, 2006

What a relief!

The nonsense with Audrey's immunizations is over. She's back from the doctor's after getting her boosters at 7:30am. Well, that was stressful. What a royal pain-in-the-ass.

You know, when you are pregnant and have a baby shower, no other mothers tell you this crap is in the cards. At some showers they even have an advice-giving time where guests can let you know what you're in for. Do you ever hear about the times the baby has the flu and is oozing or projecting from every orifice? No. Do they tell you how to avoid jumping out a window from lack of sleep when the kid has his/her days and nights reversed? Hell, no. They just give you useless nuggets of advice like "sleep when the baby sleeps" and "enjoy every moment because it goes by so fast". Ugh. Not to say these things aren't true but it's still total B.S because it doesn't prepare a mother for the reality of what's to come.

See, a new mother has an image in her mind of immediate bonding, of her and the baby gazing lovingly into each other's eyes. Lots of sighing and cooing and smiling and smooshy luurrrvvve. God forbid you should tell her about the time your kid was about to throw up in church and the only thing you could think to do was catch it in your hands.

We should be able, as women, to be honest with each other about the sucky parts of being a mother. It's not all tickles, picnics and rolling around in the grass. Elliott, my 9.5 year old, is starting to hone his teenaged surly attitude and his feet smell. Bad. Audrey, my 7.5 year old, frequently tells me she hates me and has asthma attacks that sometimes wake her up at night. And Henry who just turned 6, still wears a Pull-Up to bed. Nobody told me I'd be in for this when I was pregnant. I want my naïveté back.

Please don't get me wrong. I love this mother gig so, so much. It really is cool to sit across the dinner table from three beings with your DNA from their hair to their toenails. To see, despite their flaws (and ours), how good a job we have done with them. And to realize that when they grow up they're going to be really nice adults. But it sure isn't much comfort when you're in a pew wondering what to do with your cupped hands full of regurgitated cheese omelette. We need to go into this motherhood thing well armed, prepared and supported with knowledge of the bad and the great so we aren't blindsided by reality. We have to spread the word. Who's with me?


Friday, March 24, 2006

How Jet Dry keeps my marriage on track

It's funny what you talk about after you've been talking to the same man for 18 years.

First of all, gone are the conversations about life because it's shared now and there's nothing he doesn't know. Ended are the chats about myself because he knows all there is to know. Done are the confabs about politics, he knows how I vote. Finished are the debates about current affairs, he feels the same way I do. Not that it matters but there's not much left. Pretty much "how was your day?" stuff and household stuff.

So here's where it gets weird. Yesterday Scott and I had the weirdest, most bizarre of our non-conversations. We had the exact same discussion we had about a week ago. And I'm sure both of us knew it. It wasn't just some prolonged shared deja vu, I swear to God, it was the real deal. A full on discourse we've already had. Nearly word for word. It wasn't anything important. We were talking about that Jet Dry stuff you put in the dishwasher that keeps the glasses from going cloudy. Did I not say our conversations can be errr... uninspiring? But my point still stands.
How weird is it that we can talk about the fascinating topic of Jet Dry not once but twice?

Because it illustrates to me how much in tune we are and how much we love each other. How? Because neither of us wanted to say to the other "didn't we just have this stupid conversation?". We just went through the moronic motions of it and moved on. He's a very special man and I hope to have the same foolish discussion with him every couple of weeks until the day we die.

He's definitely the one for me.


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Let’s talk about anger today.

I'm not ordinarily an angry person. In fact, I'm the one people call to cheer themselves up when they're sad or talk them down when they're pissed. There are only about 36 days a year when I can truly work up a good head of steam. It's about 3 days a month and I shouldn't have to say why. Let's just say "hormonal reasons" and leave it that, shall we?

Well, I'm mad today. It's a really long story but the short version is that my kids' pediatrician retired without telling us and left us in the lurch. Audrey's going to be turfed out of school on Monday if she can't get up to date immunizations. My family doctor won't do it without her file and I can't get a hold of the pediatrician to get said file. Ergo, the fume.

So after leaving irate messages all over town, I'm sitting here at the computer killing time waiting for someone to call me back. Anyone will do. The pediatrician saying that "the files will be courriered over to your family doctor's, Mrs. Kaye, and we're so sorry for the inconvenience." The family doctor calling to say "I'll immunize Audrey anyway". The Ministry Of Health calling to say "there's an extension on the Monday deadline". My husband calling to say "we're leaving the country on an extended African safari". Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Good Morning, People!

So far since I've started blogging I've written 48 daily blogs (not counting this one) and haven't missed one since the first one on 18th January 2006. Except, of course, on weekends since, frankly, I have a life away from this computer and my poor family expects things like, I don't know, say, meals.

Anyway, I'm not doing one today. Just not feeling it. But naturally instead of skipping a day like a normal person would, I'm blogging it, thus still obsessively keeping up my streak. Oh, I'm a strange one. So enjoy your day, my people and I'll see you tomorrow. Don't worry, I'm not in a bad mood or anything, I'm just not feeling particularly clever.

Feel free to read any of my older witty witty blogs over in the "blog archives". Just pick a day and relive the joy. I'll catch you tomorrow.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Happy Booby-versary to meeeee...

On March 21, 2001, I had a breast reduction. Before you say anything, I was a 36FF. You read that right. Nope, not a typo. And yes, they make bras that big. Butt ugly and industrial sized.

I inherited my tatas from my mum who used to heroically cram her monster puppies into a 44DD. I'm sure she was much bigger than that since she had the multi-boob look in shirts. You know what I mean... tons of excess boobage leaking out over the top and bottom of her bra.

People always assumed I was a) Stupid; b) Easy or c) Stupid (did I say that already?) because of my bust. I couldn't find cute tops, bathing suits, dresses or even jean jackets that fit just right. Not to mention the back and neck aches and the will to stay still.

Anyway, after Henry was born I decided to have something done about them. Thankfully Scott was as supportive as one of my giant bras. Not too many husbands would be if their wives came to them asking about halving the size of their favourite toys.

So five years ago my favourite plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Bell, removed 4 pounds (nearly 2000 grams) from my chest and now I'm a respectable 36D. I lost a bunch of weight after the surgery because I wanted to get up and move again. That's when I started running. Yay, no black eyes from the bouncing. And don't forget the shop shop shopping.

So Happy Booby-versary, Mary-Kate and Ashley. That's what I call them now that they're young, cute, perky and look a lot alike. It was the best thing I've ever done.


Monday, March 20, 2006

Happy Monday!

I'm the only one I know that loves Monday. Not only is it the official end of Spring Break, but it's also the end of the weekend. Don't get me wrong, I like to sleep in just as much (if not more) than the next person but something about the "unscheduled-ness" of the weekend that makes me crazy. I need order. I need structure. I need to be alone. I need Mondays.

So today is the first day of Spring. It's my favourite time of the year. Of course, we in Canada won't get actual springtime weather for at least another month. For example, today's temperature is -16C with the windchill. Not too encouraging for those posies. I'm still wearing my toque and snowpants, for goodness sake.

But isn't it great by the end of April when the grass starts to grow and the weather warms up? Of course you have to ignore the choking smell of defrosting poop in your nostrils but it's all a part of the magic, isn't it? Just what is that unholy pong anyway? I was told once that it was the odour of mud and organic materials warming in the sun but I'm sure it's plain old crap. Aren't you dog owners supposed to take care of that? Another point for us cat people.

So at 1:26 EST, I wish you a Happy Spring, Alban Eilir, Eostar, Eostre, Feast of Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Festival of Trees, Lady Day, Nowruz, Ostara, Ostra, Rites of Spring or Vernal Equinox. I hope you all enjoy whatever you celebrate, no matter what it smells like outside. A special shout-out to my Iranian friend Homa who's celebrating Nowruz by staying home from school and shopping for new undies. Gotta love a belief that encourages you to go shopping. Why can't we Christians have a special day where we have blow off work or school to go shopping? We can call it "The Festival of St.Mark(et)". So who's with me?


Friday, March 17, 2006

Spring Break Day 5- Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Well, it's that day again where people the world over get drunk on nasty green beer. Why? Not sure. I'm pretty sure that in Ireland St. Patrick's Day is a religious holiday. At least it was. Why must we North Americans turn everything into an excuse for a piss up? Oh, don't mind me... I'm just jealous that I have no plans. I'd stay away from green beer anyway. I'm a Guinness girl. Here's a quiz I found to test your knowledge of the day. I'm as far from Irish as you could get and I still got 5 out of 10.

So, it's Friday and the Kaye's made it through Spring Break with nary murder nor suicide. We didn't do much but we were together and that's what's important. The kids are going to be pretty grumpy come Monday but I'll be over the moon. I can get back to exercising and I may even go for a run if it's not raining. And the quiet. The blessed, blessed silence. Is it Monday yet?


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Spring Break Day 4- Remembering my mum

Today would have been my mum's 72nd birthday. Her name was Mabel Eliza Anthony.
She was awesome, beautiful and funny and we lost her to stomach cancer in June 1995. Words cannot express how much I miss her and I wish more than anything that she could have met my children. I know she would have gotten such joy from them.

I don't want to be sad about her passing. I like to think of the fun times we had. Like the time I took her to my favourite Irish pub. It was St. Patty's day the day before her birthday and my friends and I decided to bring all our mothers with us on one of our good old fashioned piss-ups. This was during my college drinking days and it really did seem like a good idea at the time. I mean what could go wrong? Partying at my favourite pub, getting drunk with my drinking buddies and their mothers? Stellar plan.

We arrived at the Old Dublin Pub and all seemed well. I ordered my usual Guinness and she ordered an Irish Coffee. By the time the singer came on, my mum was on her 5th and I was in babysitter mode. How humiliating. She was standing on her chair dancing the actions to "The Unicorn Song" with Patrick's mum. Why when you want the ground to swallow you up it never does? She was the stumbling drunk teenager and I was the one taking care of her.

When the time finally came to go home, I couldn't wait to get away. How could I ever show my face in there again? Then I realized she'd drank all the reserved taxi money. Great. Now what? She suggested we call my dad to come pick us up. Against my better judgement, I dialed the number and put her on the phone. Keep in mind this is about 3:30am and we were about a 25 minute drive from my house.

Watching my mum drunk off her ass is one thing. Seeing her dancing on a chair in a bar is another. Watching her explain to my dad how we spent our taxi fare and that he had to roust himself out of his nice warm bed, in March, and pick up his drunken wife and highly peeved daughter is something else again. Hoo boy.

When he arrived he was wearing his pyjama bottoms, a winter coat and a monstrous, dark scowl. We silently got in the car and my mum promptly fell asleep on my dad's shoulder. I'm sure I saw him try to shrug her off. When we got home he got out and left us in the car. The guy went straight back to bed and left me there with his half conscious wife. Thank goodness I didn't have much to drink. I struggled her into the house and into the kitchen. As we sat together at the kitchen table, we looked at each other. Was this the same woman who yelled when I came in past my curfew? The same one who lost it when I borrowed her favourite scarf? I thought she nodded but she was actually falling forward onto the kitchen table. Snoring.

When I think back on that night I remember how humilitated and embarrassed I felt. But I also remember it dawning on me that she was a human being just like anyone else. That was the first time I ever realized that about her.

I love that memory. We all miss you, mum. Rest in peace.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Spring Break Day 3

We had access to the van today so I thought we'd actually leave the house. Wasn't sure what to do since we weren't signed up for anything so I asked the kids. God bless 'em, they have such low expectations and are so easy to please. Did they ask to go to the local wave pool? A movie? Nope. The pet store. You heard me. Granted it's a cool pet store where the staff will take out and talk about any animal you ask about but really. The pet store? I love my kids.

So we're just back from Super Pet. We saw degus which are just big rats, big rats, mice, ferrets, all kinds of birds, lizards and a zillion different kinds of fish. I fell in love with some really colourful guppies. We even got to pet a cobra. Well, I did... the kids wimped out. Thankfully we had no disasters, minor or major. I'm thinking minor would be an asthma attack and major? Well the mind boggles, doesn't it? Breaking then having to buy a $3000 parrot, maybe?

So we're home again just in time for lunch. Henry has a playdate at 1pm and I promised Audrey and Elliott that we'd go to the library to get a couple of videogames. Remember when you went to the library for books? Anyway, that's the story for today and I'll keep you posted on the rest of the week.


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Spring Break Day 2- Double double anyone?

Henry has a friend over right now. They're playing nicely but, man, friend asks a lot of questions. Every minute they're in my face which is why the blog is so late today. Ah, the life of a Spring Break harried mum.

So this being Canada, there are lots of things we love. Hockey, maple syrup, Tim Hortons, Lloyd Robertson... but let's go back to Timmy's, shall we? Right now there's dispute, a brouhaha if you will, and it has nothing to do with double-doubles.

Tim Hortons is holding a contest right now called "Rrroll Up the Rim to Win" (the slogan was originally uttered by a Scotsman which is supposed to explain the 2 extra rs) where when you're done your double-double, you unroll the rim of your paper cup to discover prizes anywhere from a free double-double (can you tell I like to type double-double?) to a new car.

The scenario: A Quebec school. Two girls 10 and 12 are walking by a garbage can where the 10 year old spies a discarded coffee cup in the garbage. She grabs it and tries to unroll. She has a hard time. Anyone else who has tried knows what a pain it is. Anyway, she asks her friend to help and the friend unrolls -you guessed it- a new car. The girls think it's great and giggle and decide to take turns with the car. Aww. Sweet.

Now here's the problem. The parents of girl who found the cup say the car is theirs. The parents of the girl who actually unrrrolled the cup say the car is theirs. And now the teacher who tossed the cup says it was a mistake (A muscle spasm? Distracted? Temporary insanity? What?) and he wants the prize. Lawyers are involved and this has become quite ugly. The two little girls are even no longer friends over this. Sad.

Okay. That's enough. Assez. This is Canada, people. We don't behave this way. We discuss, we rationalize, we are fair, diplomatic, reasonable and dare I say it, polite. What the fuck is going on? I'm flummoxed that they have taken this so far. Here's my solution: Take the car and sell it. Split the money and keep it in trust for the two girls when they get old enough. The parents and the teacher should be fired from their day jobs and forced to work at Tim Hortons. Wearing those terrible uniforms and forever handing out double-doubles and doughnut holes to lazy fat-asses at the drive-thru. And Timmy's should scrap this contest until we can all grow up. Grow up and stop saying double-double.


Monday, March 13, 2006

Spring Break- Day 1

Unlike what feels like most families, The Kayes are staying home this Spring Break holiday. No three day road trips to Florida for us! Uh Uh. We'll be watching DVDs, staying in our pjs all day and maybe even not showering. Now that I think about it, there might be something to this.
I remember road trips as a child. We used to go to Toronto or New York. It was only me and my brother Mike in the backseat of the old Chevelle but it still was cramped. Especially since every 2 minutes one of us was punching the other when a Volkswagen drove by. When we were really noisy, my dad who did all the driving because my mum never learned, would reach behind him grasping blindly for whichever of us he could smack or pinch from the drivers' seat.

There was no entertainment to distract us. Kids today have it too easy. DVDs in the van, kids' music on the CD player, handheld video games, parents who stop at actual bathrooms instead of the side of the road for you to do your business. Seeing your mother hike up her skirt to pee in a ditch by the side of the road is far more than an impressionable child should ever have to be exposed to.

We listened to my dad's music. Eight track all the way. Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Dionne Warwick and a few soca tapes that my dad had sent from Dominica. Guys with weird names like The Mighty Sparrow and Arrow. My dad loved that stuff. Me and Mike hated it. Funny how things change. I can't get enough of that stuff now.

We had to amuse ourselves. We played an earthquake game with a pencil and paper. We'd lightly draw a line along the pad so whenever we drove over bumps we'd get cool spikes. We'd try to get truckers to blow their horns by making that pulling down motion with our arms. My dad thought he was driving badly until he realized what we were doing and started reaching around behind him again. We'd make screeching sounds like the General Lee whenever my dad would make a turn. Again with the reaching.

Besides that, we'd sleep. We rarely stopped at cool places to eat. When we did it was KFC because according to daddy, it was "healthier" than burgers. And when we got to where we were going, we stayed at a family member or friend's home. We never stayed in hotels because it was expensive and West Indian families think it's insulting for you to stay at a hotel if they have a spare room. Can you imagine staying 3 weeks (the average length of our holidays) in someone's poky spare bedroom? Cooking and cleaning up after a whole family who descended upon you? Finding things to amuse them? They'd be carting me away in a straight jacket... or handcuffs.

Anyway, no one's coming over and we're staying home and I was feeling grumpy about that until I sat down to write this blog. And who says that these things aren't cathartic? Now off I go to make the Kraft Dinner for lunch and put on "The Incredibles" for the second time today. Enjoy your Spring Break. I know I will.


Friday, March 10, 2006

It's just the way I am

I'm one of those people who loves something like mad for very short periods of time. Then I get bored and move onto something else that I love just as much, dumping the previous obsession forever.

I was like that with scrapbooking. I went to one of those Creative Memories parties and lost my mind. This was one of the best ideas EVER. I promptly dropped over $150 on albums (pages come separately), stickers, decorative scissors, stamps, photo croppers, hole punches... I found my calling, baby. But the minute I brought home my booty ready to scrap my little heart out, I knew I was in over my head. I looked with dismay at the filing cabinet chock full of unmarked, undated, unfiled "memories" and my creativity flew out the window never looking back. I tried a half-hearted page on one of the kids then promptly dumped the stuff I bought into that same cabinet. Every time I walk past it I feel like a failure. And I never open it. Ever. I can't anyway.

Then there was the birdwatching debacle. All of a sudden I was an amateur ornithologist. I made Scott buy me top-of-the-line binoculars and I got books on identifying birds by sight, call and even silhouette. I must have been quite the sight peering up into the sky with my binoculars trying to make out if the bird I was spying was a house finch or a cardinal. Sigh. That one lasted a whole summer. I still remember a lot of the songs and calls so at the very least my kids think it's neat that I know what a chickadee sounds like.

So naturally when I started running in 2001, Scott (and frankly, even I) was skeptical. I mean this is what I do. It's my thing. I bought expensive sneakers, went to the Running Room to get "Coolmax" instead of going to Walmart to get t-shirts and even bought an mp3. But to everyone's surprise, I kept it up. That year I ran and ran. I found neat running trails in my neighbourhood, ran on streets, in parks and even a few 5K races. And this May I'm signed up for my first 10K race. Finally a "fad" that stuck. For years. And it's a healthy one, too. Especially for a woman who's pushing 40. Yay me.

Unfortunately last October I got a shiny new red hybrid bike. My first one since moving to Ottawa in 1990. What fun! I could finally ride bikes with Scott and the kids. Of course, when I got it I also had to get a matching helmet, bell and water bottle. From October to when the snow started to fly, I rode my new bike far more than I ran. So much that I'm thinking of getting one of those comfy gel seat covers. Can you see where this is headed? The typical Karen behaviour is starting to rear it's ugly head. I just hope I don't stroke out trying to run my first ever 10K after only training on a shiny red bike. With a matching bell.


Thursday, March 9, 2006

Cold-FX rocks

Can I just be an ad for Cold-FX today? I caught a cold the day before yesterday and today I'm absolutely fine. I attribute it to my awesome immune system (I've never had the flu and the 1 cold I get per year only usually last a week) and Cold-FX. The stuff is magic!

I'm not the crunchy granola type at all. I love meat, I was drugged to the gills during childbirth, all my kids are vaccinated and I'm virtually hairless. But there are some crunchy things I really believe in. I love my Keeper cup, I had a standing Friday appointment at the chiropractor during my pregnancy and after the birth, and now this Cold-FX stuff.

You take it when you feel the first twinge of a cold. Nine pills the first day, 6 the second and 3 the last. It's some kind of magical ginseng pill but I seriously don't want to look too closely at it. It works and that's all I need to know.

Scott didn't take it and he was laid out almost all week. He's better now but he didn't start it until yesterday. I think, especially if you have germy kids in the house that you should start it when the first kid has a cold and take it until the whole house is healthy. Love it.

I'm glad herbal medication is starting to get a better reputation. That way I can feel free to take extra strength Aches and Strains Tylenol for my back as well a pile of ginseng cold tablets at the same time. It's like a hippie and a yuppie skipping hand-in-hand through my immune system curing and loving everything in their path.

Yours in a healthy haze,

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

I want my mummy

Scott and I are both sick. Have been for 3 days. I had a bad back on Monday and Scott has had the flu. I got a cold sometime yesterday. Thankfully it's not the flu (I've never had it). Needless to say, it still sucks.

Isn't it interesting what happens when both a mum and dad are sick? I'm a stay-at-home-mum and Scott is on french language training through his work for the government. Yesterday I was feeling pretty lousy and so was he. I got up at 6:30, got the kids ready for school, you know, fed them breakfast and got them dressed making sure they had their library books, homework done and their stuff for skating. Scott woke up at 7:45 and walked them to school.

Later I started the process of baking homemade rolls for dinner while Scott farted around in the garage. He picked the kids up from school and I made nachos for snack for 6 kids (my 3 plus the daycare kids I take care of). Then I helped them all with their homework and listened to Elliott practice on his insipid recorder. Scott was nowhere to be seen. I assume he was back in his sanctuary (the garage).

When the daycare kids left, I finished making dinner (assorted sandwiches with those rolls and veggies with dip... an easy one since, don't forget, I'm sick). Scott helped clean up the kitchen with me and we both watched Idol and fell asleep on the couch.

I wish I could be sick "old school". My mum would wait on me hand and foot. She'd bring me cold compresses for my forehead and rub Vicks on my chest. She put the black and white tv in my room and bring meals to my bed. Sweet! Now that I'm an adult and a mum the only change in my regular routine when I'm sick is that I'm doing my normal stuff with a raging headache and a pissy, resentful mood that I can't nap in the middle of the day. No fair. I guess I'll rest when I'm dead. Sniff.


Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Cats vs. Dogs

I'm a cat person. Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of dogs. The theory of dogs. But not the practice. A little too slobbery and in your face for me. I prefer the independence of cats. We've gone away for up to 4 days and left Taz in the house completely fine. Royally pissed and looking at us with that "where the fuck have you guys been?" look but fine. I love their hypocrisy. How they can treat you with complete and utter disdain even as you rub their chins? As if you're doing it all wrong but they're putting up with it. All the while purring and rubbing against you. How can they reconcile that in their little cat brains?

My guy Taz loves to see what I'm doing then promptly interrupt me for what is obviously an emergency scratch. He'll wait until I'm completely engrossed in a book or magazine then lie on it. He'll wait until I'm in the middle of a thought on the computer and jump onto the keyboard so it makes that awful beeping sound and my text becomes a page of yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyys. And you can't fake it. If I feel like snuggling him and he won't come over, I'll pretend to be reading but apparently he's smarter than me. He looks at me with that look, rolls his kitty cat eyes and walks away, shaking his furry head. It's true. I've seen it. Then it's off to lie down on my bed on my pillow. Alone. Love is always on his terms.

I've never had a dog but my first thought is that they're too loving. Maybe a little bit too loyal if that's possible. You know that story about the dog who sat on his master's grave everyday until he died, like, 14 years later? Sweet story but seriously, no self respecting cat would do that. Taz would shrug his shoulders (I've seen him do it, I'm serious) and find the nearest sunny spot on the floor to mourn on his back, paws in the air. And that's the way I like it.

Then there's the dog poo issue. Even with my own children we had a sensible way of poo disposal. I never once had to touch it with my bare hands. Okay, you don't really touch dog doo but you have to pick it up and a Loblaws bag can't provide much protection from it. And its warmth. You should see my face as I'm typing this. Then where do you put the bag? You can't flush it without emptying the bag and I'd definitely not want to see it again while tipping it out. The garbage you say? Not in my house. And how gross is it to see those telltale Loblaws bags in the bin at the park swarming with flies? Nice.

But I know all of you dog lovers don't mind doing something selfless for a member of your family. A loyal friend who loves you unconditionally (as long as you keep the food bowl filled). Who may sit on your grave for the rest of his life. I'd just rather think of Taz sleeping on the heat register in my livingroom instead.


Monday, March 6, 2006

Oscar and Me

You know you're an old lady when you strain your back on Friday night (get this...) emptying the dishwasher. I've been practically flat on my back for the past 2 days. How humiliating.

Anyway, it did nothing to dampen my enthusiasm for the Oscars which aired last night. In fact, it made it better as I had an excuse to pawn off making dinner and putting the kids to bed on my long-suffering husband. Thanks, Poops. He made it so I barely moved a muscle for the entire telecast. I was surrounded by the phone, ballots, pens, markers and even my laptop to play Oscars interactive on My little Oscar command centre, if you will.

So on to my thoughts on Hollywood's big night. It was fine. Just fine. Nothing too controversial, no dress too ugly (except... what was that on Charlize's shoulder?), no political rhetoric in speeches. It was the taupey-beige of awards shows. Yawn.

Here's what I liked:
- John Stewart. He was playing it safe but he still was way funny. How could you not like a guy who wakes up in bed with both Halle Berry and George Clooney?
- Jennifer Garner's little trip. She skidded on the floor then commented that she does her own stunts. So cool. She survived everyone's biggest nightmare with a self-deprecating joke. If only we could all manage life's slip-ups with such grace.
- The dresses worn by Kiera Knightley, Jada Pinkett Smith, JLo. Everyone else's was that horrible flesh colour (yours not mine LOL!) Dull, dull, dull. And as for the men, can I ask that you make things more interesing than a boring lookalike tux? I mean, look at Ludacris.
- That a rap song won again (after Eminem in 2003) for Original Song. Too bad the song sucked. And extra points for the Black guys being unintelligible. Yay. Way to set us back. If you didn't understand the speech made by Three 6 Mafia, read the transcript.
Here's what I didn't like:
- The fashions were a snooze. If they weren't the same colour as the actresses skin (Naomi Watts and Jessica Alba) they were too boring. Black at an awards show? Woo. Edgy.
- Chicken Little. And he ripped off his pants. I won't even justify it with any more of my attention.
- Heath Ledger's attempt at Johnny Depp facial hair. Is he trying to get the same kind of respect? Listen boys, the 17 year old man-boy wisp thing doesn't work for either of you. Get thee to a barber. And Morgan, the Oscars is a dress-up day. Wear a tie. I'll forgive you because you were on Electric Company but don't take advantage of me.
Holy Dolly Parton, Batman. She's a caricature of herself.
I know tons of Hollywood insiders read the blog of a black, middle-aged, middle class Canadian mother of 3 so I'm going to now bestow my advice on how to change the Oscars telecast for the better.

Can we please give out only the major awards? Pretty please? Can we save sound editing for another day? With sugar on it? I'll be your best friend. Here are the only awards that should be given on the big night: Best Actor & Actress, Best Supporting Actor & Actress, Best Director, Best Picture (adding one for Best Comedy for us plebs), Best Screenplay & Adapted Screenplay and Original Song. That's it. If they want to still have a 3 hour show, that's cool. Just play longer clips of the Best Picture nominees for those who didn't get a chance to see them and show us some bloopers and outtakes. Have the best director nominees tell us about how hard it was to set up certain shots, audition footage of those who didn't get the job, maybe go shopping with the Best Actress nominees for their Oscar gowns, show us what's really in those gift baskets... it would be like the world's dressiest, fanciest, most expensive DVD extra . They could even sell copies later. I'd buy it. I can't be alone on this one...


Friday, March 3, 2006

Good afternoon, gang!

Sorry this was so long in coming but I've had a busy day.

I walked to the Mall right after getting the kids off to school and ran some errands. Once I got back I had to get Henry off the bus, make him lunch then the other kids arrived. Today is one of the school board's "early dismissal" days so the gang's off at 1pm. I only just realized I hadn't blogged today.

Scott and I saw our last Oscar nominated movie on Wednesday night. We saw Capote which in my not-so-humble opinion is the only movie that can give Brokeback a run for it's money. Wow, the acting was spectacular. Once you get past the high voice and mincing around. And that was just me. But seriously, I've never felt so sorry for such a selfish man. I love how a really good movie makes you think about it for hours or even days after you see it and feel feelings that hardly ever exist outside the cineplex. Good times.

Monday's blog will be all about the Oscars. My most and least favourite outfits, speeches, surprises and sure things. I compare how much I love the Oscars to how much people love the Super Bowl. I'm all a-prickle waiting for the big night. As my kids would say... 2 more sleeps!


Thursday, March 2, 2006

My little toothless wonder

Poor Henry!

He swallowed his front tooth yesterday. It was hanging by a thread (gag) and since I was squeamish about yanking it, we decided to wait for Scott to come home. At snacktime, we had cookies and milk. He came over to me and started grunting. I looked over and there he was grinning happily. There was blood where his tooth used to be. I was thrilled and asked where it was so we could put it under his pillow. He just kept right on grinning and pointed silently at his belly.

Me: "You ate it?"
Him: "Uh huh"
Me: "Did you not feel it in your mouth before you swallowed?"
Him: "Nope"
Me: "What are we going to do now?"
Him: "Maybe go get it?"

At this point I actually considered going to get it. Then I quickly came to me senses. I mean really. You make sacrifices for your children in your life but there has to be a limit. Am I right? Eww. There aren't thick enough gloves in the world for me to get on my knees in front of one of Henry's giant pungent poops to search for a tooth that, face it, we'll only give him a toonie for anyway. So we'll write a note. Something like:

Dear Tooth Fairy,
When I lost my tooth yesterday during snack I thought it was a big crunchy chocolate chip and swallowed it. Can you please overlook the fact that you have no evidence but the double-wide gap in my mouth and hand over my two bucks?
Thanks in advance,

Honestly, having kids can be so much fun. Something they do makes me laugh out loud every single day.


Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Happy March, Happy Lent!

Yesterday was Shrove Tuesday so after my family and I pigged out on homemade banana pancakes with blueberry maple syrup, I tried to think of something I could give up for Lent.
Now, just to clarify, I'm not a really religious person. But I grew up in an ultra Catholic home where Christmas was modest because it was all about the birth of Christ and not about tons of expensive gifts and Easter was a sad (then happy) occasion not at all connected with a rabbit who lays chocolate eggs. In fact, if I was still living at home today, I'd be going about my day with a smudge of ashes on my forehead since the family would have all gone to church early this morning to get blessed for Ash Wednesday.

When I moved out of the house I not so much turned away from all that but softened the harsh edges. I go to Anglican church which is nearly the same as Catholic but without the guilt, they have women priests and casual Sundays. At least I think the Sundays are still casual... I haven't been since Christmas.

Anyway, deep down I'm still the good Catholic girl who still prays (off and on) and considers going vegetarian on Fridays (but never remembers until after the steak dinner) and I always try to give something up for the 40 days of Lent.

It's supposed to be something hard. Not like giving up calamari when you're allergic to seafood or sheep's eyes that you've only ever eaten that time you were a contestant on Fear Factor. Can you imagine saying to Joe Rogan: "Sorry, bud but I gave up eating beetle filled doughnuts for Lent. No can do." Hee! But I digress. You're to give up something you love. You're supposed to suffer. It's one of the main tenets of the Catholic church. Second only to guilt. The ever-present guilt. So the point is to think and meditate and pray when things become difficult. And boy, did I pray the time I gave up meat the year Lent fell on my Oscar trip to Miami. That was a hard one and I'm definitely going to heaven just for keeping that one.

So I've decided to give up watching tv before noon. That's the best I can do since I'm sorry but the Amazing Race just started. And I love daytime tv. I usually watch fashion Fridays on CityLine and sprinkle in a little Montel, Maury or Ellen just for kicks. And there's nothing funnier than watching the AChannel hosts try to cook on the morning show. I also watch soaps but All My Children starts at 1pm. Hey, I'm a stay-at-home-mum and like I said, I'm a lapsed Catholic. This isn't supposed to cripple me.

So good luck to my fellow Catholics for Lent. I hope we can all get through it with our sanity and pat ourselves on the backs while we overindulge on what we gave up as soon as Easter is over. I know I plan to keep that tv on 24 hours straight. I'll be anxious to see those spring fashions on CityLine.