Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I'm having writer's block today

I guess that implies I'm a writer... let's call it "bloggers block" instead. I've been sitting at the computer, staring at the blank page of my open WordPerfect document for about an hour. I hate that page today. I have to admit that for the first time in months it's intimidating. Frankly I'd rather watch All My Children which is playing right now in the background. So there it is. I'm off to find out if Spike is strong enough to withstand the c-section and if Kendall will ever come out of her coma to take care of him.

Have a great day and see you all tomorrow!


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Such a hot humid day

Feeling lazy and logy today. I love this weather. It drives me nuts when people complain about the hot temps. This is Canada, man. It's stupid cold 7 months a year. When it's 30 degrees and over, shut up and thank God you don't live in Inuvik.

Here's how I beat the heat. I move very little and when I have to move I do it slowly. I frequent air conditioned malls whenever possible. I drink lots of water and wear waterproof makeup. And I never ever complain about the heat. I'll complain about bugs, icy a/c, lack of shade, people's BO, cold pool water but never the weather. Love the heat. Enjoy it while you can, fellow Canadians. We have about 8 more weeks before the snow flies.


Monday, May 29, 2006

I deserve to post late today

I've had a busy busy weekend. I ran that 10K on Saturday and had a brutal dragonboat practice on Sunday. I was very sore when I woke up this morning and a bit cranky but it was nothing that taking the kids to school in my pyjamas then coming home for a 2 hour nap couldn't cure. That is one extremely big benefit to being a stay-at-home mum. Not that I have ever in the past taken advantage of the opportunity. Seriously.

So, about the race. It's been less than 48 hours and everyone I've spoken to so far is sick to the gills of it so now there's you. My captive audience. So suck it up and read or just move on.
Julie and I arrived downtown with about an hour to spare so we walked around and soaked up the atmosphere. We chatted with other racers, saw people we knew and pretended to do some beneficial stretches. Before we knew it, it was time to go. With over 6000 runners it took us over 5 minutes to shuffle over the start line but once we got going, it was on. I used my mp3's stopwatch to time the 10 minutes running, 1 minute walking thing. I knew that function would come in handy someday. Well actually I didn't. I always wondered what I'd ever need it for. Well, tada.

When it came time to walk the first time I was so jazzed up with adrenaline that I wasn't ready but I knew if this thing was going to work, we had to be strict about it. Soon enough we were begging for the ten minutes to be up anyway and the one minute walks felt shorter and shorter. Poor Julie, I got really grumpy at the end. She was trying to encourage me with motivating words and all I could to was fantasize about pushing her off the course. Sorry sweetie. I didn't do it, did I? We even sped up at the last 500m so we looked like we ran the race at a really fast clip. So what that we were in the bottom 10% of 6303 people. Seeing my husband and kids in the stands with signs and cheering me on was the best feeling ever.

After the race we got our medals and hung around the food tent grabbing all the free Gatorade, water and food we could get. Well orange wedges and dry bagel halves, anyway. We checked out the awards ceremony, tried to find our race times (there was a cock-up and they weren't posted which made me very whiny) then decided to go to a pub for dinner. Yup, after the athletic triumph of our young lives, we went out for greasy food and beer. Most satisfying pub meal of all time. And we got to eat it with our numbers proudly pinned on our sweaty, stinky chests.
Special thanks to Jim who told me about the 10:1 thing and of course to Julie who ran with me and had "coffee" or shopped with me as a little known form of 10K training. Thanks to my family for putting up with all forms of "training" the last couple of months, for putting up with my negativity/defeatism and for being there for me at the finish line nonetheless. And thank you to you all for getting through another one of my self-indulgent rants. You know, when I called my blog "Karenworld" you should have realized what to expect. You did and you read it anyway.

Thanks for all your support and encouragement, you guys.


Sunday, May 28, 2006

I stayed erect!

Here are the details then I'm off for a shower and to bed. I'm absolutely shattered! I'll post pictures soon.
- I came in 5698th out of 6290 (whee... not last LOL!)
- My time was 1:22:19
- I was 475th in the 35-39 age group
- I was 3065th out of all the women


I'm proud, proud proud...

Friday, May 26, 2006

The knife sharpening man is here!

Is this just in my neck of the woods or do you all have this too? A van with bells is slowly driving up and down my neighbourhood streets. Is it the ice cream man bearing sweet cold treats for children of all ages? Nope it's "Mike" the knife sharpening man with his truckload of grinding tools. Ahhhh, yes. Summer is here. My neighbour Mrs. W (she never refers to herself by her first name.. she's about 80 and still kicks it old school) is getting her lawn mower blades sharpened. I do have a pair of scissors I'd like sharpened but I despise Mike's deception.

Come to think of it I've never really seen a real ice cream truck. We sometimes had kids on "Dickie D" bikes that sold ice cream but mostly they stuck to parks and had the customers come to them. It's another one of those American culture things that seeped up here that whenever I see a slowly moving van and hear tinkly bells, my mouth waters and I crave a Revello (did you know they have a maple flavour out now? Mmmmm!). But nope, no treats. It's just Mike misrepresenting himself and making me hungry and cranky. Unless you think that wielding a sharp axe is a treat. Hey, whatever floats your boat.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

I’m adrift

I went to the gym today to do some aquafitness in preparation for my big race on Saturday. Then I realized I couldn't possibly run in a field of over 6000 participants in the same gear as last year. What if someone notices? So after a quick stop at my local sporting goods shop for a new top and running capris, I head home to check out my two message boards. But they're down. I'm not sure why but neither of them are working. I feel so weird.

I go to a breast health support website and well as a site for women who have kids born in June of 1998. Now that they aren't working, I realize how often I go to each one and how much of my day revolves around these women most of whom I've never met. But here I sit, feeling all weirded out, trying to find a way to get in touch with my girls today. What's my alternative? Housework? Baking? Showering the chlorine off my skin? Yup, those are all viable but what I really want to do is "see" my friends. Poop.

I'm lonely.


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Alias is (or was) the best show ever

I just got finished watching the series (sob!) finale on tape and it was just excellent.

Unpredictable, smart, funny, cool... I can't say enough about this show. JJ Abrams is a genius. A Joss Whedon genius.

At the end of the show he thanked us fans for the last 5 years. We should be thanking him. He's just so great. And because of this amazing show, I'll watch anything he'll ever do or is involved with till death do us part. I'm serious. Wanna know how much? This past weekend I saw the verbal diarrhea afflicted Tom Cruise in MI:3. There's no way I would have ordinarily supported that borderline misogynist but JJ directed it and I as I've said before, I'm super loyal. And it was fantastic. Despite TC's weird teeth.

I love how JJ's a loyal person too. If he likes an actor you'll see him again and again. Greg Grunberg has been in Felicity, MI:3, What About Brian, Lost and Alias. And it was such a kick seeing navel gazing Felicity (Keri Russell) kick ass in MI:3.

Oh, and joy of joys to every Trek fan in the universe (myself proudly included), he's attached to direct Star Trek XI. How cool would that be? I'm hyperventilating just thinking about it.
So thank you, JJ for a most enjoyable ride with Agent Sydney Bristow. Where are we going next?


Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Danananananana. I knew that I would now. Danananananana. I feel good. Danananananana. I knew that I would now. Danananananana. So good. So good. I got you. Da da da da da.

Now that I've got the song stuck in your heads, I can proceed. You see, I feel good. Yes, I know we've been here already but I do. Here's why:

1. I woke up beside my handsome groom of 13 years today and in lieu of cheesy presents and cards, we said the nicest things to each other. Smushy things like "I'm glad I chose you" and "I'd do it all again". I'll spare you the gory details. Suffice it to say it was nice...
2. My dad and his wife called at 7:30am to sing that cornball song from the Flintstones episode where Fred buys Wilma a stolen piano for their wedding anniversary...
3. I just got off the phone with my best friend Kathy who lives in England calling long distance from work singing that same Flintstones tune sotto voce then hanging up on me quick-like before she gets her ass fired (or should I say "sacked")...
4. I went to a meeting about Henry's transfer to his new school for grade 1. I always get a charge seeing all the professionals attached to Henry and all the support he has access to for his language delay. For free. I'll kick anyone's ass who says the public school system sucks...
5. I ran 8.3K for the first time in my entire life. This was outside and using that run 10 minute walk 1 minute technique that Jim from the gym told me about. I had to stop because I had to get my butt to the abovementioned meeting but I could have run 10K today. Easily.
6. Henry and I are visiting his new school at 1pm. I'm going to meet his new teachers and see his classroom for the very first time. As an early childhood educator I always find that fun and interesting. And I get to talk to adults to boot?

Let me re-iterate:
I FEEL GOOD! And it's not even noon yet.


Monday, May 22, 2006

Happy Victoria Day!

Another holiday to enjoy up here in the Great White North. This one officially heralds the start of summer. Because of this, we sometimes call it "May 24 Weekend" (pronounced "two-four") referring to the scores of people buying cases of 24 beers (that we call "two-fours") to get them through the weekend. It's also traditional to plant flowers, open the cottage and do family activities on this weekend. Unfortunately the weather's been sucky all weekend but that can be a family activity as well. We rented videos and hung out on the couch for the whole weekend. Bliss.

This is also the weekend that Scott and I got married. Technically it's this Tuesday the 23rd but 13 years ago it fell on the Sunday of "May 24 Weekend" so naturally we celebrate in on this weekend. We went to see MI:3 and to a pub after for dinner. As we get older, even though we would have no life if it wasn't for the day we got married, we celebrate less and less. No biggie, frankly.

So I don't have a lot to say today (but trust me, I'll make up for it tomorrow). The couch is calling me and who am I to resist it's cushy pull? Have a great holiday!


Friday, May 19, 2006

Another disappointing day for the d-boat crew

Yesterday morning the sky looked cloudy. By 3pm it looked crappy. By 6pm when we should start leaving for practice, it was raining and by 7pm, our practice time, it was raining, thundering and lightninging (yes, I made it up. Deal with it) so badly I thought I saw Noah float by.

That's the second practice in so many weeks that has been cancelled. I'm chomping at the bit to get on the water. And for a city girl like me, that's really saying something.

I'd been on motorboats before and those experiences were fine. Just like being on a car on the water. I felt safe. My first experience on a people powered vessel was in 1991. My friend Daphne had what I'll generously term a "cottage" on a lake. Frankly, I think "shelter" covers it better but that's a rant for another day.

After flicking every light socket making absolutely sure there was no electricity and turning every sink knob making positively certain there was no water (good times) I headed outside to resign myself to this weekend of deprivation. Scott and Daphne's boyfriend John were launching a canoe into the water and they asked if I wanted to join them. Thinking back on the futility of further knob turning and light flicking I said yes. To the most terrifying experience of my citified life. On that tippy canoe I made peace with my God. I prayed to Jesus, Mohammed and Ganesh in case my parents baptised me onto the wrong team. I even peed my pants a little. It was not a good scene. I hadn't been in a canoe since.

And yet, last year when Wendi, the captain of our dragonboat team (The Bold The Bald And the Beautiful... guess which I am LOL!) asked if I wanted to join I leapt at the chance. There is something in the security of having 21 other people in the boat with you. It's huge, heavy and not too tippy. Plus, when it gets going, it does feel like there's a motor behind you. There still are moments when people are getting in and out of the boat when I think of that tippy canoe and that day at Daphne's "cottage" but I haven't peed in my drawers. Yet.


Thursday, May 18, 2006

I don't think I talk about Audrey enough

So allow me to indulge today.

I finally got the chance to go on a field trip with Audrey this morning. Usually they start or finish at a time I can't manage because of Henry's half day schedule. Today Audrey's choir did a concert at another school from 9-11am which got me home in plenty of time to get Henry's bus. Cool.

So Audrey and I got to hang together. Even though she's no musician, she's a diva. In fact that's my nickname for her. We took a schoolbus to a special needs school nearby. We had a tour of the facility (I most loved the "Snoezelen Room" that calms stressed out kids with lava lamps, vibrating pillows, soft lights... I'm going to make one for our house when I win the lotto) then I got to watch my daughter sing in front of an audience.

I was bursting with pride! My lovely daughter was singing her heart out with her friends and doing a great job. She used to be so shy and once had a screaming fit during her kindergarten Christmas show and she had to be escorted off the stage. Today she stood tall and was all gappy smiles as she confidently sung every warbly note. What a girl. I'm so proud to be her mum.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I love soaps

I just got finished watching All My Children. Kendall is pregnant and in a coma because JR dropped boxes on her trying to kill his wife. Kendall's husband and her family are fighting over her unborn child. See, she needs to have a miracle drug or she'll die. So they have to do a c-section but the baby's a preemie and may die. Now they're in court trying to decide who's responsible for her. Her mum, her husband or the baby's father. Oooh... I didn't mention that her husband Zach isn't the father of the baby it's actually Ryan who pretended to be dead but was actually alive and... UGH! Soaps are so dumb. But this one isn't bad compared to Passions which is doing a sublimely ridiculous parody of The DaVinci Code. I don't even want to go into it.

But I still watch them. Why? Because my mum did. I remember sitting at her knee as a little girl while she braided my hair in intricate designs. That was what we were doing when we watched in amazement as a character ludicrously said to a bear, a real, live, wild, grizzly bear on location in the woods, "You can't eat me, I'm ERICA KANE!" and the thing walked away. I'm serious. I still remember the smell of spray starch as she ironed my dad's work shirts on the day Cliff and Nina got married.

I'm not saying soaps are the best shows in the world. They're campy, badly written and wildly overacted. But they're a great source of nostalgia for me. Watching them reminds me of when I was little and my mum taking care of me and our home. I'll probably watch them for a long time to come. And if they also give me a tip or two on how to deal with wild animals when I go camping in July, well, that's just gravy, isn't it?


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Well, I've had a busy day

I actually had a job interview this morning. I worked for hours last night on my paper-thin resume last night. It's interesting how not working outside the house for 9 years puts a bit of a hole in the old CV.

Anyway, the interview went really well. I love daycare interviews. They're pressure-free chit chat sessions with a couple of common sense "what would you do's" thrown in. I totally nailed it. Unfortunately the pay is awful and the hours are too short but it's all good practice, right?
To celebrate I indulged in my favourite pastime. Say it with me... shopping. I needed a rice cooker since mine tanked while making dinner last night. Great timing. Fortunately we had noodles to substitute but I can't go without rice for more than a week. So off I went to the Bay and on my way I passed the bathing suit section. What else could I do but try a couple on. Just for the fit, of course.

I have "unique" body issues. Well, as unique as apples are, anyway. So I need a two piece. Notice I didn't say bikini. I've been searching for something that shows off my nice boobs, back and arms but hides my stomach and upper thigh stretch marks and poochy belly. I don't mind showing a strip of my stomach but not too much. I also need to be able to actually swim and dragonboat in it without putting on an impromptu strip/freak show. See, an impossible task, no? Well believe it or not I found it. Funny how you find things when you aren't looking. A racer-back tank that goes to my belly button and boy shorts that come up to the belly button and covering the front of my stripey thighs. Perfect. Of course it's not the best colour on me (pink and brown) but the fit is so perfect I couldn't pass it by. And to top it off the top and bottom were $30 each so it was a deal. So what if I have to cut out the tags that say that the top is size 10 and the bottom is size 14. Whatever. Stupid apple body.

So I got that and the rice cooker and a fun job interview AND an hour of cardio so I had a most satisfying day. And it's not even over yet. I wonder what else is in store for me?


Monday, May 15, 2006

Do a quiz all about me!

The 18th of May will mark the four month anniversary of this blog. I've talked about myself ad nauseam every single day (except on weekends). I've talked about where I was born, my family, my work and my friends. So here's a test for you to try. How well do you know me by now? How much have I divulged to the planet about my personal business?

Just 5 painless questions. I've mentioned all the answers to them in this blog. Incessantly. Have fun!


Saturday, May 13, 2006


You are so special to me. I love you so much sweetheart! Hope we were able to give you a really special day.


Friday, May 12, 2006

What a day I'm having!

I'm still in my jammies, I haven't showered, I've not cleaned a thing in the house like I had planned... I'm being so lazy. I've even napped. Yawn.

It's the weather. It's pouring rain and I just couldn't face moving. I did manage to get the kids dressed and ready for school but on the walk over, rain soaked my pyjama pants and that's when I checked out for the day. I came home, changed into a dry pair and rode the couch all day.

To give myself credit, the next 2 days will be really busy. My dad and his wife will be spending the weekend. Elliott's birthday is tomorrow and even though we're not doing a party for him (yet), I've got to bake him a cake and we're all going out to East Side Mario's for dinner. To top it off, the Elliott and Audrey's school is having it's festival from 10:00 to 2pm so we've got to schmooze with friends and neighbours.

Sunday is Mother's Day. Whee. I'd love breakfast in bed but since my dad'll be here looks like I'll be doing the cooking. Then it's off to my first dragonboat practice of the year. I can't wait for that! At least Sunday afternoon should be quiet. Not that I need it after today.

So to all my mummy friends, have the best Mother's Day whether you want to spend it blissfully and deservedly alone or with the reason(s) you're a mother in the first place.

And to my precious baby boy who will be a whole decade old tomorrow, Happy Birthday. I'll never forget the moment the doctor put you in my arms and told me and your dad that "Elliott's here". I think. After 37 hours of labour, he may have said "Wanna beer?" but when I saw your face I knew I wanted that beer. I mean I knew that you were the best thing that ever ever happened to me. The beginning of our cool family. I love you, kiddo!


Thursday, May 11, 2006

So have you heard about those eagles?

There was an eagle's nest about 30 metres high out in B.C with a video stream capturing the eagle couple caring for their eggs. The eagles took turns sitting on the nest, took great pains to gently turn them from time to time until they should have hatched but didn't. The common thought was that the eagles were too old so the eggs were never viable. Apparently a lot of people around the world were watching and waiting for the blessed event and were disappointed. When the eggs didn't hatch, the parents ate them (gross, I know) then abandoned the nest.

After a few days of mourning, the kind web host found another nest, went to tons of trouble to attach a camera to a tree nearby and voila, we have another window into the lives of wild birds. This nest has 2 baby eagles (eaglets? eaglings? cubs?) already hatched and very active in the nest. The adults take turns bringing back food for the hungry babies. And they are hungry. I've never seen anything like it. When I started writing this blog about 5 minutes ago, I watched as one of the parents brought home a small rabbit. I keep flipping back to the window and it's almost gone already. Mum keeps tearing off small bits and feeding it to the babies. This isnt for the faint of heart, though. She keeps tearing bits of fur from the poor bunny and flipping them up into the air before getting to the meaty goodness inside. And sometimes there are stringy, dangly bits. UGH.

This site sure makes you think. Can animals love? Eagles mate for life and it seems like the mummy eagle (see how I anthropomorphize these wild animals... big word, eh?) cares about her babies but how much is instinct and duty and how much is real love? To my human eye, it looks more like instinct. Not that there's anything wrong with that. That's the way most animals are. But survival of the fittest just doesn't translate to human parents, does it?

One of the baby birds is obviously the "runt". When the parent comes back with its meaty meal, the stronger bird (I call him Dirk) practically steps on the weaker bird (Melvin)'s head to get to the food. The parent then proceeds to feed the one whose beak is closest which is always Dirk. Melvin thankfully does get fed but after Dirk eats his fill. And it's always less, poor guy. If he didn't (or couldn't) step up at all, he'd probably starve.

In a human family, that probably wouldn't play. Melvin will usually get showered with attention, affection and support sometimes even to the detriment (hey, another $10 word... I'm on a roll here) of Dirk. Families don't really do survival of the fittest, do we? And that's a good thing. It sure does make watching these cool (and sometimes cruel) birds really interesting. Because it's something we don't see everyday. Now back to the Melvin and Dirk show. They're having sushi now...


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Would you believe I'm not a big chocolate fan?

Sometimes I think other women want to kick me out of our club because of it.

Don't get me wrong, I like chocolate. I don't say no to it when it's given to me. And I sometimes even crave it. But I'm not a chocolate fiend like most women are. If I was told that for some reason I couldn't ever eat chocolate again, I'd shrug and move on although I'd miss chocolate pretzels. Most women I know would go through the five stages of grief before deciding it wasn't worth it then eat it anyway and die happy. Chocoholics all.
So to honour most of my girlfriends (and Scott because, frankly, the man eats chocolate like a girl) who love the sweet treat, here's something amusing I found:

The Rules of Chocolate:
* If you've got melted chocolate all over your hands, you're eating it too slowly.
* Chocolate covered raisins, cherries, orange slices & strawberries all count as fruit, so eat as many as you want.
* The problem: How to get 2 pounds of chocolate home from the store in a hot car. The solution: eat it in the parking lot.
* Diet tip: Eat a chocolate bar before each meal. It'll take the edge off your appetite and you'll eat less.
* A nice box of chocolates can provide your total daily intake of calories in one place. Isn't that handy?
* If you can't eat all your chocolate, it will keep in the freezer. But if you can't eat all your chocolate, what's wrong with you?
* If calories are an issue, store your chocolate on top of the fridge. Calories are afraid of heights, and they will jump out of the chocolate to protect themselves.
* Money talks. Chocolate sings.
* Chocolate has many preservatives. Preservatives make you look younger.
* If not for chocolate, there would be no need for control top panty hose. An entire garment industry would be devastated.
* Put "eat chocolate" at the top of your list of things to do for the day. That way, at least you'll get one thing done.


Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Mini me!

How much fun is Henry? I just got him off the schoolbus and he's crawling around after the cat saying that "his butt smells like poo". Ya think? That kid had a flair for the obvious. And the ridiculous.

Out of the three kids, Henry is most like me. He's the baby (as much as a 6 year old can be a baby) and sometimes acts like it. He can be whiny, he can be loud, he can be demanding and a little weird. Surprisingly, just like me. He's also very loving, very sweet and very dramatic. Again, just like me. He even is the only one of the kids who has dimples. All together, now... just like me. I'm going to admit to you something that I rarely admit to anyone. Something that's horribly shameful and probably hard for mothers of more than one kid to understand (or admit). Here goes. Henry is my favourite. There. I said it.

I try so so hard not to show it to the other kids but I'm sure it leaks out. In the way my voice is softer when I speak to him and the way I seem to defend him more. I'm not sure if it's because he's the youngest or because of his language special need or if it's because he's (again) most like me and I'm my own biggest fan but there it is on the table. He's my favourite.

Let me clarify that I love Elliott and Audrey to distraction. They have awesome qualities and are fantastic kids. They make me laugh every day and we snuggle and talk and hang out but there's just something about Henry. Something a scootch specialler (for lack of any actual English words to express it). Try not to judge me, I already know I'm awful.

So now after writing that I feel guilty. I'm going to publish it anyway but if it's gone later and replaced by something about running that stupid 10K in 2 weeks you'll know why. I think I'll go bake a heart shaped cake for the three of them to let them know that they are all amazing. See you guys later.


Monday, May 8, 2006

It's a velcro world

I love velcro. It's a great little fastener. It keeps my mp3 on my arm, keeps the wind from blowing up my jacket sleeves, it keeps my kids' shoes on their feet and it makes for a good laugh. Remember Letterman's velcro suit? Even the sound of it being opened can be soothing. It has tons of uses.

But let's focus on the shoes today, shall we? I started buying velcro shoes for the kids as soon as they could wear them. It was convenient for me because curious little hands would untie their shoes as soon as they saw them dangling. Great for mums. Then when school started, the teachers wisely asked parents to provide velcro shoes because otherwise they'd end up spending 47% their day tying kids' undone laces instead of teaching them about photosynthesis or whatever they teach kids in Kindergarten these days. Great for teachers.

Fast forward to this weekend when inexplicably Elliott's shoes explode. I guess that's what happens when a 9 year old boy has only one pair of cheap Zellers sneakers that he's worn every day since September. Anyway, we get to the mall and see some really cool shoes. I hold them out for his inspection and he turns each one down. Here's how the conversation goes:

Me: What about this pair? Converse. I even have a pair. They're "in" now, right?
Elliott: I dunno, I guess so.
Me: What do you mean "you guess so"? Do you like them or not?
E: A little bit but they have laces. Don't they have any without laces?
Me: Why would you want shoes without laces? Cool shoes don't come in velcro in your size anymore, hon. I just want us to pick a pair and... (the realization dawns)...

My 9 year old son (10 on Saturday), star of his hockey team, fluently bilingual, great at math, computer simulation game king, bubble gum bubble blower extraordinaire, lots of friends, funny, amazing, cool... never learned to tie his shoes. Ack.

It's my fault, of course. I just let it go on way too long. The opportunity just never arose to sit down and teach him. He never asked and I never thought to teach him. I'd just go to the store and grab the cheapest shoes on the rack which were always velcro. I never thought of it. When it came time for hockey, Scott would tie Elliott's skates since that's what all the dads did to make sure their boys got a really tight fit. He just didn't notice there were probably lace-up sneakers under the benches for when those kids went home.

How humiliating for my guy. I'll take some of the blame but I partly blame society for making it so easy to go a decade without learning the most basic of kid skills. But like I said before, it's a velcro world and we're stuck with it. See what I did there? Velcro? Stuck? Hee.


Friday, May 5, 2006

Whew! I made it

Better late than never, eh?

Today Audrey had an open house in her class. Elliott had his on Thursday and I went to both. I'm not sure which one I liked better.

When I went to Elliott's class, the teacher was reading to them about medieval weaponry. Cool. Maces, armour, lances, swords, trebuchets and catapults. Then she handed out some sheets to the children, told them to find their parents and build what was on the sheets. We were asked to make a catapult. Who-what-now? The things we were to use were some milk cartons, plastic spoons, twigs, and elastic bands. Oh my God. They sure snagged the wrong parent for this task. In case you didn't know, Scott's an engineer. Eep.

So Elliott and I did our best but to be honest it was a pretty lame effort. Our ping pong ball only flew an inch but at least I didn't completely humiliate myself. Besides, it was fun chatting with other parents and mixing with the other kids informally.

Audrey's class was different. The parents pretty much just sat like students at the back of the class and spied on the kids during a lesson. The teacher read a story and explained to them about how a story is constructed using an introduction, body and conclusion. She asked questions and the children raised their hands to answer and they rarely left their seats. Huh. Actually I kinda liked it. It was a neat window into her day. But nothing special for the parents and no mingling. And I'm a real mingler. No kidding.

So here we have two different teaching styles and interestingly enough, they're perfect for each child. Elliott's a doer and Audrey's a learner. I'm glad I got to see the classes this week and check out where the kids spend the bulk of the day. Even though I had to build a milk carton catapult. And can I just mention that they go to french immersion school and everything the whole time was conducted in french? I'm proud to say that even though my french is rusty it's still at the grade 4 level. Good for me.


Thursday, May 4, 2006

What would you do for a free holiday?

A few weeks ago I was listening to my favourite radio station where they were about to give away a big prize. Someone was going to spend a week at an all inclusive resort getting fanned by banana leaf waving cabana boys. Or whatever happens in these places. I haven't been on a tropical holiday in a long while.

So the "Morning Hot Tub" calls the person who won. You know how these morning radio types get... all giggly and excited and raring to give away this awesome prize. The deal with it is, it's a Friday morning and they have to drop everything and leave on Saturday. When they call the woman, she (and I'll type this slowly so you all get it) declined... the... prize. Why? Work. WORK. She couldn't get away because of work.

The woman is either the most dedicated drone in the hive or needs to be committed. She either needs a huge raise or huge amounts of shock treatment. This lady is precisely the type of worker that needs a holiday like this. I just felt so sorry for her that she couldn't come up with something, anything to tell her boss (family emergency in Cancun, maybe?).

It made me think. Could I get away for a week on 24 hours notice? I'm a stay-at-home mother so I don't have a boss to answer to. But I run a home daycare and 3 kids (plus my 3) count on me every day. That would put them out. But the idea of giving up a holiday? Free? I'm sure they'd understand. Scott would have a harder time as he's on a schedule with his french lessons but still. He'd drop it like a bad habit if an opportunity like this came up. You've got to have priorities. It's not even a case of the free holiday. It's what you think of yourself. What you want your life to revolve around. Do you want to be known as a boring workaholic or someone who grabbed life by the short-and-curlies and enjoyed every moment?

It reminds me of a book I just finished reading called "Suzanne's Diary For Nicholas". Mushy, girly stuff but something really stuck with me. In it the author says that life is a game where you juggle 5 balls. They are work, family, health, friends and integrity. Every day you struggle to keep them in the air. At some point in your life you need to realize that work is a rubber ball that will bounce back if dropped. The other balls are made of glass that will shatter or at least be badly damaged if dropped. So if you're having a hard time keeping them all in the air, it's the work one that can be dropped. It'll bounce back. I guess the lady who missed out on a terrific holiday hasn't realized that yet. Poor thing.


Wednesday, May 3, 2006

I'm a hockey fan

But I'm the kind of hockey fan hockey fans don't like. I'm the dreaded bandwagon fan. I wait until my favourite teams do really well then throw my support behind them 114%. And when they lose, well, I don't really care, do I?

So the Senators won the first series in the playoffs against Tampa Bay (the Cup champs from last year) and I'm thrilled. I just bought one of those "Rev Up The Red" plastic banners for my minivan. I watch every second of every game without fail. I learn the team roster, their stats, and of course, the most important thing, who the cute boys are. When their teeth are in, anyway. But the second they lose, I'm done. At least until the next playoff series.

And that's my problem with hockey. Best sport in the world along with soccer (stay tuned for my future World Cup rant). But here's why there are people like me. The season including playoffs are way too long. Too many teams get in and each playoff series is the best of 7 games. SEVEN. So explain to me why I'd watch hockey all year long when I can watch the best face off in a "shortened season"? There sure are enough games. I mean, there'll be hockey until summer for goodness sakes. Then it starts again in August with the pre-season games. Ugh. Soccer's so much better in that respect. One game and it's over. Having a bad day? Tough. Weather sucks? TDB. One chance is all you get, baby.

Anyway, my point (and I do have one) is GO SENS GO!! Especially now that Montreal (my other favourite team) got booted by Carolina last night.

kx (GO SENS GO!!!)

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Scott has insomnia and I'm suffering for it

Wanna know the time? It's 2:29. AM. Earliest. Blog. Ever. Why, you ask? Because Scott has insomnia. He's learning french for the government and he's having one of his 4 or 5 big final tests in the morning. I mean later.

Anyway, supposedly everything I do tonight is bugging him (not usually a problem). First I was too hot. Then I was crowding him. Then I started to snore. What? Snore? Me? I know for a fact; A FACT, mind you, that I only snore when I'm drunk or sick. And I'm neither. Pissed? Yes. Exhausted? Definitely. But neither sick nor drunk. So he kept nudging me every 20 minutes or so and I finally had to leave our marriage bed. For the first time in 18 years. For this reason, anyway. And I'm unhappy.

I had the foresight to grab my pillow on the way out of my own bedroom and took what ended up being the scratchiest blanket in Christendom out of the hall closet. I tried to install myself on the leather couch in the livingroom but I kept thinking about how unfair it is to be on the cold, tiny leather couch with a scratchy wool blanket instead of my warm cosy, ROOMY bed with the down duvet and now I can't sleep. I was going to watch late night tv but decided to blog this delicious incident instead. Why, you may ask again? Because in the morning "Karen Time" will be "Nap Time". And Scott had better be fucking grateful that he's not out here instead of me. And he will be out here if this ever happens again. For a week.


Monday, May 1, 2006

Henry's got a great Show & Tell today

Henry's in a special language learning programme at school as he's got a delay that was picked up quite early. It's an awesome programme with a one teacher to 10 child ratio, a speech pathologist that's there 3 days a week and a heavy focus on words, stories and labelling. Anyway, Henry has Show & Tell every Monday and the item has to be something that starts with the letter of the week. This week its "Y". Instead of just showing and telling he has to put it in what the teacher calls her "mystery bag" and has to describe it to the class while they guess what it is from the description. Sounds fun.

So we went through the things in the house he could bring like a toy school bus (it's yellow), the letter "Y" from his alphabet puzzle, or even an egg yolk in a plastic container but he said they were all boring. I lamented about not having the yo-yo from my youth. Then we started to laugh talking about things he couldn't bring like "yesterday", and "yak". Now here comes the clever part.

He says "I want to bring my yell". I'm all like "Huh? How are you going to do that?" He slyly opens the bag, brings it up to his face and screams inside the thing. I couldn't help but crack up. I ask him how he's going to describe it to his class. He replies "Um... it starts with "Y", it lives in my mouth and it's very loud". I laughed again and said that it was a very good idea and no one is going to think of that one. So it was decided. Henry brought his best yell to school this morning for Show & Tell. Man, I'd have loved to have been there for that one. Hee.