Friday, September 29, 2006

My favouritest treat

Want to know what it is? Ready? Vanilla cake. Plain old boring vanilla cake. With vanilla buttercream frosting. Lately, that is. I cycle through honey-glazed doughnuts and cinnamon buns too. But usually, it's cake. Yum. Scott and I laugh when we realize that I prefer vanilla cake and he prefers chocolate. Just like each other. Hee.

Yesterday, for no apparent reason, I decided to bake one. I've been baking for years and trying different recipes for years and this one for cake and frosting is the easiest and most yummy. Try it and let me know how it turns out. I promise you'll love it.

Now, I've really got to go. I have a whole cake to polish off. Hm. Maybe I'll invite the neighbours over for an impromptu TGIF party. Wanna come over?


Buttermilk White Cake
3 cups cake flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup butter at room temperature
2 cups sugar 1 tablespoon vanilla
4 egg whites at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk or sour cream at room temperature
½ cup applesauce at room temperature
1/3 cup oil

1. In a bowl, sift together cake flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside to be added later. 2. In mixing bowl, cream sugar and butter together until fluffy.
3. To sugar and butter, add rest of wet ingredients and mix thoroughly.
4. Gradually mix in flour mixture until all is combined. Continue to beat, incorporating air, for an additional 1½ minutes.
5. Pour in to 3 8" greased and wax paper lined rounds or 1 9"x13" pan.
6. Bake 20-25 minutes for the rounds, 30-35 minutes for 9"x13" pan.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
5 cups icing sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Cream butter until smooth
2. Mix everything together until creamy, resisting the urge to eat it all before you frost the cake.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

I was supposed to go apple picking today

Henry's class was going to an apple orchard today (not SIL's, worse luck) and there was a total mix-up with my volunteering. I'm so excited to be able to volunteer with the kids' classes this year. I'm home with no kindergarteners to care for so it's possible for me to finally go on trips with the kids. I've already been to Pioneer Village with Audrey as most of you know. I plan on going on every single one. I love to sit in the back of the schoolbus like a degenerate. Hee.

Henry goes to a different school than Audrey and Elliott. His trip was supposed to be from 1:20 to 3:30 so I arranged for Scott to come home early from work so he could get the other kids at their school at 3pm. Well, it turns out that Henry was switched from Mrs. G's class to Mrs. Smith's class on Monday. Same programme but different trip time. Now not only did Scott not need to be home early since Henry was now going in the morning but this new teacher didn't get the note that I'd wanted to volunteer so I didn't get a call about when to show up at the school.

Then there was the added problem that it was raining and Scott took the van so I couldn't just show up at the school to help. Well poop. Poor Henry was so disappointed that I couldn't go and added to the fact that he's in a new class and has to make new friends, he cried a little yesterday... poor kid.

He's due home in a couple of hours and even though it's raining I hope he had a good time. On the bright side, Scott decided to come home early anyway and should be home in the next few minutes. What on earth will we do with ourselves until the kids come home from school? Hmm.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Hello, my name is Karen and I'm an addict

I'm addicted to a game on called "Word Whomp". I'm in fact playing it between sentences as I write this blog. If I have two minutes (2 minutes 30 seconds, actually), I'll try to whomp those groundhogs into submission.

Here's how you play:

Six groundhogs pop out of the ground each holding a letter. You click on them (they make a whomping sound like when you hit them with the foam hammer at the carnival game... very satisfying) and they pop out of another hole in the order you choose. Your goal is to try to make as many words as you can using three or more letters in 2:30. There is always a word using all the letters and that one gives lots of points. Don't ask me what the points are for. I have no clue. Anyway, it's very satisfying to get all the possible words (they're ticked off on a board at the top) because the groundhogs cheer, do a little flip and you get the "turnip bonus". Um, I know it sounds bizarre but I don't get a lot of acknowledgement during the day. But I do get a few groundhog backflips. So there. Well, gotta go. My groundhogs are waiting.


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Is it just me or am I right to be miffed with this guy?

As most of you know I work Sunday mornings in the daycare at the YMCA. It's not the best shift in the world but it pays for my membership so I keep going. I've had an issue with a parent for the past 2 weeks and I just have to vent.

Two Sundays ago a daycare dad... let's call him "Bleff" dropped off his daughters aged 2 and 4. He told me that the two year old has just been toilet trained and she will tell me when she needs to pee. Cool. About 4 minutes after he leaves, she drops a monster load of crap in her underwear. Uck. It's been ages since I've had to deal with a poopie diaper let alone smushed shit in flowered underwear. I was not amused but I cleaned her up with aplomb.

When Bleff picked up, I mentioned what happened. Now at this point if it was me, I would have apologised, laughed, mentioned how gross it must have been; whatever. What did Bleff say? "It happens". Um. Didn't you tell me that she'd mention having to go? Do I not merit a scooch of sympathy? Or even a self-deprecating (defecating?) joke? Apparently not. Hey, that's why I get paid the big bucks, right?

So this past Sunday Bleff drops off again. Remember, I have a cold and I'm already feeling sorry for myself so thankfully there was no poop this time. The problems started at pickup time. First he arrived 5 minutes late. Okay, look. I only work 2 hours a week but it's on a Sunday and at the end of it a just want to take off back to my family. Give me a break. Second, he asks to use the phone. Fine. What am I supposed to say? He then proceeds to make a 5 minute call (yes, I was counting). When he was done, he puts his finger on the hangup thingie and asks "am I holding you up?" before making another call! Are you fucking kidding me? I wanted to answer: "Yes you are, you inconsiderate asshole" but I just said" no" and went into the bathroom area to silent scream, make faces and flip him the bird behind his back.

When he's finally done I make some extra sniffling and coughing noises to rush him out of the room. "You're sick?" he asks. Ummm yeah. What gave it away, Einstein? The two rolled up kleenexes up my nose? I explain to him that it was too late to get a replacement so I had to come in anyway. He replies (with no hint of irony): "You're just like me. Too considerate of others." WHAT? Oh no he didn't. OMG, no court would convict me.

During this time the girls have been playing nicely in the room. When he finally makes to leave, they don't want to go. I pipe in that I "want to go home to my family, girls, come on". He finally has to pull the "bye girls daddy's leaving" ploy to get them to step away from the dolls.

Now here's the final insult. We're out the door and the wind is whistling outside. Honestly, the clouds are whipping by like in those time-lapse movies. I have to go to the lobby to drop off the sign-in book, garbage and keys. On my way back and smelling freedom, who do I see but Bleff and the girls. He says "Can you please do me one last favour?". You're kidding me right? Mr. Bleff Considerate needs another favour? I hesitantly say "okay" while he blurts out the most ridiculous story about his daughters being afraid of the wind and could I please wait with them while he gets his car. Holy crap. I AM way too nice. So I sit with them for another 5 minutes while he gets his vehicle all the while fuming and wishing I was better at standing up for myself. Why do I let people walk all over me? I'm a 39 year old doormat.

Anyway, he finally arrived and I got myself home 45 minutes later than usual. I keep telling myself that I should be more assertive but I have this insane need for everyone to like me and think that I'm a terrific person. I imagine that terrific people don't scream like banshees to get of the effing phone and chase people out the door while pelting them with Legos. Oh well.


Monday, September 25, 2006

I've got a cold

I actually don't get sick often but when I do I'm a baby about it. I'll tell you why. Remember when you were a kid and you were sick? Your mum used to give you soup, rub Vicks on your chest, put a cold cloth on your head? You'd stay in bed, sometimes stay home from school, maybe even get the black and white portable tv in your room? Remember that?

This is what I did yesterday when I was sick: I went to work, my brain so oxygen deprived that I barely remember driving there. After work I got Elliott ready for his first hockey game of the season and sent the boys on their way. I actually got to nap for about an hour while they were out but when they got back we did the weekly grocery shopping, put all the stuff away (my least favourite job), then I made a yucky dinner (by my usual standards, anyway, the kids liked it) of hamburgers and fries. In other words, except for the nap, it was a regular day. Do I ever miss being babied when I'm sick. I did get a couple of "I hope you feel better soon"s and a few sympathetic head rubs and but that's about it. But you can't spell sympathetic without "pathetic", can you? Poop.


Friday, September 22, 2006

Pioneer Village will never be the same

I went on a field trip with Audrey's grade 3 class today. It was my first all day excursion since I'd always had a kid to pick up at noon. It was so much fun. There was no sarcasm there. Seriously, it was a good time. Even with over 40 8 year olds.

There was a one-room schoolhouse and a woodsmith shop and an inn. My favourite place was the schoolroom where we learned how to write in cursive with turkey feather quills and real dippy ink from a jar. Audrey got called out for using her left hand to write. Did you know they weren't just being mean, that there was a practical reason for that? A leftie would drag their arm through the wet ink and wreck everything they'd written. Cool, eh?

Anyway, it was a great trip. And I think Audrey got something out of it too. Let me ask her... she says that her favourite thing was making the toys. At the woodsmith's we made simple wooden tops and spent a lot of time filing and smoothing a circle shape and sticking in a dowel.

I also learned that living in pioneer times sucked as you worked all the hours that God sends and worst of all? No tv and no shopping. I love living in these times where making a pizza from scratch is a choice I make. But if I wanted to I could get Pizza Hut. I could but I don't. The dough is rising right now and it'll be ready at 6. Wanna come over?


Thursday, September 21, 2006

I'm a winner!

Okay. This is how desperate I've become. I have a bit of free time in my busy day. Okay I have a lot of free time. So what do I do with it? I blog, tidy, putter and shop. But I also spend some time online entering contests. Why not? You can't win if you don't play, right? Most time they send you a lot of junk mail when you give these people your email address so I even have a special address for entering.

Well imagine my delight when I open my email and see "CONGRATULATIONS!" in one of the subject lines. Finally! I open it to see what I've won. It's an exclusive invitation for two to a special evening with Kimberly Seldon. Hm. Not bad. I scan down and see I've also won $250! No WAY. But wait. I've indeed won $250 but in a gift certificate redeemable on any custom orders of Kimberly Seldon upholstery. Aw maaaan. I've been snookered. Again.

It's like the time before kids I got a call saying I've won a weekend at a local resort. WHOOPEE! I call Scott, and we zoom down there on the motorcycle with our backpacks filled with our toothbrushes and undies. When we get there we realize that we've signed up for a time-share weekend event complete with cake, balloons and smarmy salesmen. Damn. dirtius weekenduim interruptedae. We high-tailed it back home before they could even start their spiel. To this day Scott never lets me forget how naive I was.

Well, I didn't go pick up my "prize". I'm sure the $250 in upholstery would have been napkin sized anyway but, wow, look at this other highly overpriced stuff we have. I'm no sucker. To quote the Who, I won't get fooled again. Until next time that is.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Henry was so sweet this morning

I was telling the kids that even though I do daycare I have no kids in my care right now. Elliott piped up that I have 3 kids. Them.

True, I said, but I don't get paid for them. Henry wandered off and came back and with his halting language explained that if I needed to get paid then would I accept this from him. And he opened his hand and showed me a penny he'd fetched from his piggy bank. Awww. I hugged him and told him he could keep his penny. Because on days like this I'm happy to take care of them for free.

Now don't get me started on the many (many) days I'd happily snatch your hand off for my full daycare fee of $35 per day for their care and feeding...


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Aye, I guarantee ye, I've had a twenty percent decrease in me "lice ratio!"

Today is "International Talk Like A Pirate Day". Why I'm finding this hilarious is beyond me. It was started a couple of guys who wanted to spread sunshine to the world via piracy. And it's working. I've been giggling like a wee girl all morning, ya horn swogglin' scurvy curs. Oops, excuse me.

There are videos and even an official website. That's where I got my title for today. Charming, eh? Apparently it's the number five pickup line for a lady pirate. And don't you tell me that wouldn't totally work. Read the other 9 here.

So be havin' a great time an' dasn't forget t' talk like a shipmate at least once. Seriously, 'tis quite freein' an' ye'll really be havin' fun. Ya bilge rat!


Monday, September 18, 2006

What a morning

It started as usual at 7am. As I was making myself breakfast (that is pouring cold cereal into a bowl), Elliott comes out of his room stark naked.

"I have no underwear." He plainly states."Check your underwear drawer." I reply. He actually does this and comes back. Didn't he check it before he asked?"There's none."I sigh and respond that he should have told me that yesterday when he took the last pair out of his drawer. He characteristically retorts that he didn't take the last pair out yesterday... he took it out Saturday. And I shudder with all that implies.

I told him I'd do a load of washing today but they won't be ready before school which is now about to start. So I give him his list of options:
a) He can wear a dirty pair
b) He can go "commando"
c) He can wear a pair of Audrey's (he wasn't too keen on this one. I wonder why?)
d) He can wear a bathing suit under his pants

The look of despair/horror in his eyes told me that he hated all the above options. But what could I do? Then I get a mother brainwave. I take his hamperful of clothes, bring them downstairs, throw them in the laundry room and start sorting. I look for the least skidmarked pair of undies (navy blue hides all sins). Then I bring them upstairs and cheerfully (and truthfully) chirp "look what I found in the laundry room!" He gratefully puts on the grungy garment and thanks me profusely. Disaster averted. Supermum saves the day yet again.

After I'd packed everyone off to school I decided to take a power walk through the neighbourhood. I would have run but I barely did it all summer and I wouldn't want to stroke out on such a gorgeous morning. Besides, when you run it's hard to critique the neighbours landscaping techniques and impossible to peek into their livingroom wondows. When I had done that for about 45 minutes I decided to head home. I cut through the quiet little park and spied the swings. No kids... no one at all. Why not? As soon as I hop on, Christina Aguilera starts to play on my mp3 and I swing high and belt out the song as only Xtina and I can. What a duet. I must have swung and sung for 15 minutes. I felt more relaxed than I have in ages. I even closed my eyes. Only, now I'm going to have to scour the internet for copies of what will probably be the most hysterical video since the Star Wars guy. I must have looked and sounded like a lunatic. But to be honest, I don't care. I loved it. And I'm so going to do it again.


Friday, September 15, 2006

I finally booked Audrey for a haircut

Audrey has incredible hair. Incredible, beautiful, curly, unruly, unmanageable, knotted, frizzy, crazy hair. I try to focus on the positives especially when I'm with her but frankly, her hair is a royal pain in the ass. She knows it and I know it when we bond together; me on the couch wielding the wide-toothed comb and detangler and her on the floor crying her eyes out.

When Audrey's hair is soaking wet it reaches the crack of her butt. As soon as it's dry it reaches her shoulders. That's the amount of curl it has. It really is lovely but it's hard work. I spend a fortune on products that rarely work, it's all broken and frizzy and I never know what to do with it. Black girl hair I can deal with. I can cornrow and afropuff with the best of them but Audrey's hair texture doesn't support that stuff. Of course. Why make my life easy?

The problem is she's got Scott's hair and my hair combined. I've got typical Black girl hair. Kinky and afro, and that's why I keep it extremely short. I don't want to be tempted to straighten or dye it. It's expensive and it just doesn't look natural. Don't be fooled by Oprah and Beyonce, people. Their hair is fake. If they ever let it go natural, they'd look like Michael Jackson's circa 1974. Scott has large bouncy curls when it's long and with not a straight gene to be found between us, Audrey is paying the price. The boys have very curly hair too but lucky for them they're boys and it's never been too long.

Back to Audrey. Waaaay back when she was about one, we took her to the hairdresser to cut a couple of locks for her baby book. Then last summer I took Audrey to get her hair thinned out. That's it. Now it's time. I'm finally fed up. Our weekly wash takes about 2 hours and half a dozen different products. Hot oils and deep conditioners and detanglers, oh my. Oh and the crying. Don't forget the massive amounts of crying. By both of us. So off it comes. The big day? Saturday the 23rd. For what it's worth it's Rosh Hashana. Jewish New Year will be a new start for us.

I'm not looking to cut it bald or anything, just something shoulder length and layery that won't make her look like Sideshow Bob. Maybe some long bangs. I'd like to pull away from the ponytails she wears constantly and start to leave it loose the way she often asks for it. Besides, next time she brings lice home from school, I don't want to spend what's left of my youth combing through it with that tiny-ass comb. And it's only hair, right? It grows back. Right?


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Too funny

A friend posted this on a bulletin board I visit and I haven't stopped laughing since. Thank goodness since the events of yesterday's school shooting in Montreal has me reeling.

Weird Al's parody of Chamillionaire's Riding Dirty. Here are the lyrics, click on the link for the song. Enjoy.

They see me mowin'... my front lawn
I know they're all thinkin' I'm so white & nerdy
Think I'm just too white & nerdy
Think I'm just too white & nerdy
Can't ya see I'm white & nerdy?
Look at me, I'm white & nerdyI wanna roll with... the gangstas
But so far they all think I'm too white and nerdy
Think I'm just too white & nerdy
Think I'm just too white & nerdy
I'm just too white & nerdy
Really, really white & nerdy

First in my class there at MIT
Got skills, I'm a champion at D&D
MC Escher, that's my favorite MC
Keep your 40, I'll just have an Earl Grey tea
My rims never spin - to the contrary
You'll find that they're quite stationary
All of my action figures are cherry
Stephen Hawking's in my library
My MySpace page is all totally pimped out
Got people beggin' for my Top 8 spaces
Yo, I know pi to a thousand places
Ain't got no grills, but I still wear braces
I order all of my sandwiches with mayonnaise
I'm a whiz at Minesweeper, I could play for days
Once you see my sweet moves, you're gonna stay amazed
My fingers movin' so fast, I'll set the place ablaze
There's no killer app I haven't run
At Pascal, well, I'm number one
Do vector calculus just for fun
I ain't got a gat but I got a soldering gun
"Happy Days" is my favorite theme song
I could sure kick your butt in a game of ping pong
I'll ace any trivia quiz you bring on
I'm fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon
Here's the part I sing on...

They see me roll on... my Segway
I know in my heart they think I'm white & nerdy
Think I'm just too white & nerdy
Think I'm just too white & nerdy
Can't ya see I'm white & nerdy?
Look at me, I'm white & nerdy
I'd like to roll with... the gangstas
Although it's apparent I'm too white and nerdy
Think I'm just too white & nerdy
Think I'm just too white & nerdy
I'm just too white & nerdy
How'd I get so white & nerdy?

I've been browsin', inspectin'
X-Men comics, you know I collect 'em
The pens in my pocket, I must protect 'em
My ergonomic keyboard never leaves me bored
Shoppin' online for deals on some writable media
I edit Wikipedia
I memorized "Holy Grail" really well
I can recite it right now and have you ROTFLOL
I got a business doin' web sites
When my friends need some code, who do they call?
I do HTML for 'em all
Even made a home page for my dog
Yo, I got myself a fanny pack
They were havin' a sale down at The Gap
Spend my nights with a roll of bubble wrap
Pop pop, hope no one sees me... gettin' freaky
I'm nerdy in the extreme and whiter than sour cream
I was in A/V Club and Glee Club and even the chess team
Only question I ever thought was hard
Was, do I like Kirk or do I like Picard?
Spend every weekend at the Renaissance Faire
Got my name on my underwear

They see me strollin'... they laughin'
And rollin' their eyes 'cause I'm so white & nerdy
Just because I'm white & nerdy
Just because I'm white & nerdy
All because I'm white & nerdy
Holy cow, I'm white & nerdy
I wanna bowl with... the gangstas
But oh well, it's obvious I'm white and nerdy
Think I'm just too white & nerdy
Think I'm just too white & nerdy
I'm just too white & nerdy
Look at me, I'm white & nerdy


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Henry's class list

I love Henry's new school. He's still in his language rich environment working on his delay. The maximum class size is 10 and right now they're at eight. There's a language specialist teacher and a speech pathologist that comes three times a week. How could a kid not thrive in that environment delay or not?

Anyway, he's got quite the multicultural melange in that class of his. I got his class list last week. Aside from the typical Melissa, Justin and Dakota, he's got the "old school" Adeline, the eccentric Arthika and mystifying Nawfal. Then, the name that defies description. The name that wins the prize. The astounding... Aboubacar. I've done a bit of research and I think it's Guinean.

On a bulletin board I frequent, the girls were recently talking about online dating profiles and names they couldn't stomach. Most were common names like Daniel that were wrecked for them by knowing one or more assholes by that name. What would they do with poor Aboubacar? He would have no chance in the computer dating world. He'd better be hot, an amazing athlete, a brainiac, animal lover and a super nice guy when he grows up. Otherwise he's doomed. Aboubacar indeed. I can't even think of a nickname that is doable. Abou? Boub? Acar? Poor kid.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Top of the World, Ma!

So I just got through watching the movie White Heat starring James Cagney. Tons of gangsters (not gangstas or worse yet, gangstaz) and shooting, but no blood or guts. 1949 moviemaking at it's absolute best.

That's my blog fodder for today. I watched this movie by myself but my kids could have easily watched it with me. There was no sex or objectionable language. Could you imagine me watching Goodfellas with my babies around me? They'd have nightmares for, well, ever.

My beef is the fact that it's so hard to find DVDs that we can all watch together. Either I'm sleeping before the hero shows up or the kids are bored and they start kick-fighting on the couch. Now that they're starting to move out of the animated movie thing, finding live-action and appropriate for everyone is close to impossible. We tried some Disney stuff like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Mary Poppins but Elliott gets bored with those. We've recently seen and liked the Back to the Future movies, the Indiana Jones movies, Harry Potter & the Star Wars series. Audrey freaked out during Jurassic Park and we had to stop it and we all fell asleep during Hook. In my own defense, I'd been up since 5am that day. I love Hook.

So Scott and I thought we'd try some old classics like The Music Man or the Court Jester (what kid wouldn't like Danny Kaye?). So off we go to our local video emporium, anxious to start showing the kids the movies we grew up with. After going to 3 different places, we finally found what we wanted at the 4th place. For sale only. For nearly $40. Each. So much for that brilliant idea.

What I want to know is why can't I rent great old movies at my local store? Stuff from the 40's and 50's. They don't even have a "classics" section. Yes, Aliens is a brilliant movie but my kids will need extensive therapy if I let them watch it. We're at a loss, here, people. Does anyone have any suggestions for our Saturday movie night?


Monday, September 11, 2006

What were you doing when you found out?

I'm relatively young so honestly what I was doing when John Lennon died or when the space shuttle exploded were the things that kids usually do. For the record when John Lennon died my first question was "Who's John Lennon?". I had heard of the Beatles but didn't know the names of the individual members. I was 13. And when the space shuttle exploded I was so selfish at 19, I wondered why they'd interrupted All My Children just for that. That's a shameful one.

Five years ago I was watching Regis and Kelly like I always did. Henry was almost 2, Audrey just turned 3 and Elliott was 5 and in Kindergarten. They were all at home with me. I picked up the phone to call my friend Lisa on her birthday which is something I've done every year for longer that I'd care to admit. As I watched the tv on mute I remember mentioning to Lisa that there was a decidedly unfunny joke on Regis and Kelly that has one of the towers of the WTC on fire. We talked and caught up and laughed as I noticed the information on the screen getting more and more "serious". I rung off with her and after that I never took my eyes off the coverage. I really couldn't anyway. It was everywhere. I watched as the second plane hit. I saw when the buildings fell. And I couldn't stop crying. All day. The poor kids wondered if I was okay and did what little ones do like offer toys and hugs. If only that would have worked.

As grumpy as many of us non-Americans feel about the US's foreign policy we all have to admit that no one ever ever EVER deserved what happened that day. So on this terrible anniversary, those of you who need it have all my sympathy today. I offer you my very favourite toy and a really tight hug.


Friday, September 8, 2006

My trip to the gym

So today to take my mind off the fact that my babies don't need/love/want me anymore, I headed off the the gym. In addition to the workout I got, I also set up a date with Gym Jim to go kayaking, chatted with many parents whose kids I looked after when I worked during the week, tickled some baby toes, read more nonsense about Tom and Katie's baby Suri in a gossip rag and goggled at the eye candies that were the Tunisian and Argentinian volleyball teams. Wow, those boys are fit, tall and handsome (if a little on the thin side). For someone who stands 5'3 on a happy day (no one ever gets that one... don't you stand taller when you're happy?) seeing the man mountains that were those young fellows was quite amazing. They must have had a minimum height of 6 feet. It was like standing in a forest. A smelly, sweaty, pimply forest.

So 3 hours later, here I sit at the computer after a lunch of donair leftovers and 2 big chocolate chip cookies. I wish I felt like eating healthy after working out. I always crave a sleeve of crackers and a half pound of cheddar cheese. And who says exercise gives you energy? The days I work out, I get home and I just want to take a nap. What's the deal with that?

So the day is pretty much over and I only reminisced about the kids back when they were in diapers about 10 times. I'm going for 5 next week but I need a distraction. A little shopping, maybe?


Thursday, September 7, 2006

I rustled up my diary from 1989

I thought it would be fun to post something from my diary when I was 22 years old:

"Friday Sept 8, 1989 3:29am(1)Lisa called at about 3pm saying that since it was her birthday on Monday, she was having a pre-celebration tonight and could I please attend. Since I was already dressed (and had no plans), I accepted the invitation.

Before that I went to Chow's to see Syd(2) and get a job interview. The job thing was a dud because the 2 days they wanted me to work are the 2 days I have school so, oh well! I ate dinner #4 (as usual), picked up more photos from Britain(3) and a pair of shoes(4).

Directly afterward(5) I came straight home, changed and went back out(6). We had a great time. Started at Brandy's, then off to Baker Street which I'm starting to enjoy more and more. Andrew Coleman(7) was there and so was Dave Capeletti(8). Some Navy guy tried to pick me up but Syd told him I was from the UK so I had to fake an accent all night. Blimey!(9)

I wonder what Scotty(10) did tonight?"

(1) 3:29?! I can't believe there is actually a 3:29am. I regularly stayed up late/early and wrote before I went to bed
(2) Chow's was a fast food Chinese restaurant at Place Bonaventure and Sydney was a friend trying to get me a job there
(3) I had just come back a month ago from my first trans-Atlantic trip. A family reunion in London
(4) My love affair with shoes has a long and beautiful history
(5) Who writes like that?
(6) Keep in mind this is all on public transit. And I lived a 20 minute bus ride away from the Longueuil metro stop
(7) Who?
(8) That name sounds more familiar but again I say "who?"
(9) We did that a lot because I have a pretty good accent
(10) That's this Scott. The one I married. He was living here in Ottawa and I was funning it up in Montreal. Poor guy.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

"Just because you're happy doesn't mean that everything's perfect. It just means that you've chosen to see beyond the imperfections"

I just heard that saying on the radio today and I thought it was really profound. I'm not usually one for sayings but that one really resonates with me for some reason.

I think it's because I'm a happy, positive person. That doesn't mean that my kids don't drive me batty some days, that I don't have the odd money problem, that most days I can't find anything to wear in my crammed-full closet, that the school shootings lately have been pissing me off, that I honestly just now put my socked foot in something gooey on my floor (gross), no, it just means that I can see past these crappy things. I can put my blinders on, ignore the depressing and focus on the fact that good, bad or indifferent, the above is excellent blog-fodder. My family and I are in excellent health, Elliott got a perfect score on his last spelling test, Audrey has a cute (and clean) shirt on for picture day and Henry loves his new teacher and class. Oh yeah, and Scott's getting his vasectomy next Wednesday. So how on earth can I be unhappy?


Holy Moly! Check out the info on Audrey's new teacher

He's new to the school and this was in the newsletter he gave out yesterday:

"A Few Words About Me:
I'm new to École Lakeview. I moved to Ottawa this summer from Calgary. I am originally from Southern Ontario (Elmira) and decided to come back to Ontario because I missed my family while living in the West. This is my fifth year as a French Immersion Elementary teacher.

I studied Mathematics, Social Development and French in University. Prior to becoming a teacher I worked in the field of Social Work. I also spent 3 years working as a full-time writer and published two books on beautiful Algonquin Park. I continue to write and publish short stories based upon my travels. I am an Anglophone who learned French as an adult. I am absolutely passionate about the French language and culture! I am so incredibly excited to be living and teaching here in Ottawa/Gatineau. I love to learn and never let myself get bored. I have traveled extensively though Southern and Eastern Africa, Canada, Alaska and the US. I am an outdoor enthusiast. This summer I hiked the West Coast Trail in BC, scrambled* in the Canadian Rockies and canoed in the Yukon and North West Territories**. I also enjoy Fine Art and playing my guitar***. I believe that each child learns differently. I find that my students' learning is optmised when I communicate closely with their parents.
I am looking forward to a great year!Wayne Van Sickle, B.Math., B.A., B.Ed."

* Scott and I had to google "scrambled". Apparently it's mountaineering and hiking mixed together

** Here Scott and I agreed that he's really single. What parent (or even married guy) does all this over one summer?

*** Who watches the Simpsons? Doesn't this guy remind you of Mr. Bergstrom the substitute teacher that Lisa fell in love with?

We only shook hands briefly at school yesterday and unfortunately he's also cute, young and nice so I'll be crushing on him as soon as we meet properly on parent/teacher night on the 19th. I'll keep you posted on the progression of my public humiliation as it happens.


Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Wow. That was sadder than I thought it'd be

I just said goodbye to my youngest child since he's going to be at school all day for the first time. I'm not sad, I guess, more melancholy. Like where did the time go and all that. I'm thinking a lot about when the kids were babies and how much they needed me. Twenty-four seven. Constantly. Today when I dropped off Elliott and Audrey they hardly looked back at me once they found their friends. Even though there was a chaos of parents and teachers.

Henry was a bit different since he is at a different school that is much bigger than his last. He clung to my leg for a few minutes and made me feel wanted. But when I asked him if he was scared, he said no. I think he may have sensed that I needed the hug.

I had to fight following him to his class (and taking the desk right beside his) and as I stood there in the schoolyard watching the big blue school door shut behind him I kind of felt like a chapter of my life was over. My kids are independent. They don't need a mummy. I hope they make good choices and become good people.

Oh, for Christ's sake. They're only 10, 8 and 6! Of course they need a mum. Who's going to do their laundry? Bandage scraped knees? Listen to their long, rambling stories about Yu-Gi-Oh, Littlest Petshop or some such nonsense? Who will darn their socks? Well, let's not get carried away. Who will buy them new socks? Cook their picky picky meals? Bake their favourite cookies? Dad? HA! It's ME baby. You heard me. SOOOPERMUM! They'll always need me. Right? Hellooooo? Guuuys?


Monday, September 4, 2006

Aaaah, Labour Day

Love the oxymoronic idea that there's no work to be done on "Labour" Day. What do I care. I get to sleep in. I am mourning the last long weekend of the summer, though.

Which brings us to the kids starting school tomorrow. That's always chaos. Just trying to get everyone back in sync with a schedule they left behind 3 months ago is quite the challenge. They're so young they barely remember even ever going to school in the first place. New teachers, speaking french again... tomorrow at about 3pm should be nuts.

Oh, and I'd like to wish Scott a happy anniversary. Today is the 18th anniversary of our first kiss. Or so we told the kids. And it is, technically. But it's more truthfully the 18th anniversary of the day we first met at Barrymore's, got hammered together and ummmm... had a sleepover. I'll never forget my first thought as I woke up the next morning in a strange apartment, in a strange bed with a strange snoring man beside me: "I remember he's White but pleasebegoodlookingpleasebegoodlookingpleasebegoodlookingpleasebegoodlooking." So you see the problem of complete disclosure to our children. But I do like to remember this day because without it there would be no other anniversaries, no kid birthdays, no other life-as-a-couple events at all. So as sordid as this very first anniversary is, it laid (excuse the pun) the groundwork for every other important event in our lives together.

And there you have it. My essay on what Labour Day means to me.


Friday, September 1, 2006

My absurd family life

We all love Taz. He's been our cat for about 5 years since our neighbour Tina moved out and left him behind. He's loveable, cuddly, friendly and aside from an unfortunate drool when he purrs, an all around terrific cat.

We're definitely a cat family. We talk to him, he sleeps on our beds, we miss him when he's outside and "Santa Paws" comes at Christmas and leaves him catnip in the paw-shaped stocking beside ours. His name is in sparkles just like ours.

Anyway, this year the kids thought that he should have a birthday party. Yesterday was the day they chose. A complete party with cake and presents. Thank goodness they didn't demand guests. Indulgent mother that I am, I went to the store and spent $30 on cake ingredients, wet cat food (a real treat for him) and a new collar with a bell and charm.

Audrey had to have the cake in a cat shape of course, so I had to find the frosting and tips for my creation. It took me all bloody day but I did it. A kitty cat cake that the kids would eat and a mound of Whiskas for the cat that he ate while I wrestled his collar on. We sang him "happy birthday" and he was beside himself with joy. Okay, he looked at us in that way that only cats can. Like we were aliens from that bizarre end of the galaxy where heads are where asses should be. But he licked his lips with joy and believe it or not, I'll take that as his wholehearted approval of the entire celebration.

Oi, the things I do...