Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Real name: Henderson. Scott wanted Henderson after his father's middle name. I wanted Henry after my grandfather. So on paper his name is Henderson but we call him Henry. Perfect.

Henry is smart and is really eager to please. Often too eager. He'll bring home a straight B/C report card and hand it to us with sad dismay in his eyes. For us, after dealing with his language processing delay, a report card like that is fantastic. He could never, ever disappoint us.

Henry makes me laugh every day. He's got the most deadpan sense of humour that you've ever seen. Sometimes I actually wonder if he's actually not joking and I'm laughing when he's not trying to be funny at all. Hello therapy bills and motherly guilt. Then I'll see the little twinkle in his eye. Whew.

Henry's most like me out of all my kids. He likes bright colours, he has dimples and he's overly super dramatic. He's adventurous and full of fun. Plus he's super cute and a little nuts. What's not to love?

So this is a post for my Henry. Yesterday was his 12th birthday and I hope he has the best year ever. I love you baby!


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Today is Henry's birthday!

We had a crazy day coming back from my dad's in Montreal and baking more stuff for his special day that I didn't have a chance to do the blog I would have liked for him. So this is a place holder for tomorrow's blowout birthday blog for my big boy. See you then!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Seasons Eatings, Peeps!

Here's what's on tap today in terms of my slaving away in the kitchen. Oh, and just in case you are wondering, I'll tell you what passes for "helping" with my merry band. I'll be clanging grouchily around in the kitchen about 20 minutes after all the cooking, signing, ouching over the inevitable burn or dropped pan is actually over. I'll hear a tentative rustling in the kitchen doorway and someone will ask "can I help?" To which I'll answer through gritted teeth, "no thanks" and continue to pick at the stupid plastic wrap because I lost the edge. Again. It's a lot like the Little Red Hen story around here when it comes to helping in the kitchen. Except that they still get to eat. And I mustn't forget the "can I just get in here to make a coffee/get a bowl of cereal/make toast" thing that'll happen halfway throught the proceedings where they barely notice I have flour in around and on every orifice.

Wait... I started this post to talk about what I was going to make today. Here's what I should be doing instead of blogging:

  1. 6 pie crusts for 3 pies (sugar, apple and the tourtière for our réveillon dinner tonight)
  2. An enormous batch of pain-in-the-ass sugar cookies (that's not the actual recipe name, it's just that they are an actual pain to cut out and frost)
  3. Bacon jam
  4. Make a triple batch of egg nog
  5. Cinnamon rolls for our traditional Christmas breakfast.
If you say to yourself "Hey, Karen, that's only 5 things, it should only take you a couple of hours!", I'll respectfully invite you to bite me because, add to this list that I'm a mother on Xmas Eve which means I also have to clean, do laundry, pack bags for our trip to Montreal tomorrow, get Audrey's bangs trimmed and still wrap presents. So I'm predicting a 3 hour "sleep" tonight in a pile of tape and wrapping paper, aided by 4 or 5 glasses of butterscotch schnapps laden egg nog. 

And you wonder why I prefer to sit here blogging instead of getting right on this? So what are your plans for today?


Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Quiz

What better way to make this glorious season of giving and generosity all about me?

1.Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Wrapping paper for ourselves, gift bags for friends and extended family. I love you but I hate wrapping.

2.Real or artificial tree?
Growing up we had a fake but since having my own house, it's been back and forth. This year since we won't be spending too much time here at home, we dragged the fake out of storage. I'm digging it after the Christmas tree incident of 2007. Plus it holds heavy ornaments better than the real one and the cleanup will be a needle-free breeze.

3.When do you put your tree up?
Depends on my Bah, Humbug spirit. One year I had it up at the end of November. This year I put it up last week. The older I get, the less motivated I feel. Now I understand my dad's position of not putting it up at all unless the grandkids are coming.

4.When do you take your tree down?
This has gotten complicated ever since Henry arrived. He was born on the 27th. Before that we took it down whenever we felt like it. Anywhere between the 5th of January and the 5th of March. Since Henry and my obsession to make his birthday all about him, I had at first insisted we take it down completely on Boxing Day. When my laziness and sloth proved too overwhelming, I devised the "birthday tree" dodge. We take down all the Christmas decorations and put on more wintry themed items. Then I add a birthday banner and balloons all over it and voilà... birthday tree. Once his birthday has passed, I lose the balloons and banner and the tree stays up until the spring thaw.

5.Do you like eggnog?
Oh yeah but only the one I make. The stuff from the store is vile.

6.Do you have a nativity scene?
Nope. The most religious we get around here is when Linus does his thing on a Charlie Brown Christmas. That and the first few minutes of the Life Of Brian.

7.Favorite Christmas Movie?
Ohhh, that's a toughie...  I love Scrooged and the Alastair Sim version of A Christmas Carol. But the girly girl in me absolutely adores Love, Actually.

8.Favorite Christmas cookie?
Soft ginger cookies and traditional decorated sugar cookies.

9.Where will you eat Christmas dinner?
This year at my dad's in Montreal but traditionally in my own kitchen.

10.Angel, bow or star on top of your tree?
We do a star.

11.Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
The crowds at the mall. Ugh.

12.Do you like Fruitcake?
Love, love LOVE fruitcake. But my favourite is West Indian Black Cake. It's unlike anything you've ever tasted. Dry is something you can never say about black cake. And you can get tipsy from the fumes alone. You know that giddy feeling you get pumping gas? Like that only tasty. I'm attaching the recipe. Check out the alcohol content. Yes, you read that right, that's 3 bottles of booze.

13.What are you most excited about the holidays?
I'm thrilled about our train trip to New York City. We leave on the 2nd for a week.

14.Do you open presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning?
We open the gifts from "The Sandman" (which are always pyjamas) on Xmas Eve and the big show is on Xmas morning. I got fed up with the photos on Christmas morning where the kids are all wearing stained, holey and generally gross jammies.

15.Will you still be wrapping presents on Christmas Eve? 
Yes. I have plans every year to finish it by the 20th (today!) and get to bed early but every year at 2am I'm still wrestling with tape and cursing the fact that I have no paper left.  

Merry Ho Ho, peeps!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Stupid Costco.

I go through that place just for one thing and leave at least $150 lighter every single time. I see "deals" and I'm so easily tempted I can't help myself. Like the time I needed relish and saw a jar that could easily house a small crocodile. And for only $3.99! The problem was that I only use about a tablespoon of relish every time I need it and the jar was "refrigerate after opening". Where was I going to keep the thing after I used my tablespoon? It's too bad loose relish doesn't make acceptable gifts or sturdy packing material. Moving on...

So Costco did it to me again in the form of a pound of dried figs. Who needs a whole pound of chewy figs? But they looked so enticing and they were only 4 bucks. "How wonderful! So many recipes at my disposal with yummy delicious dried figs!", I thought excitedly as I threw them in the cart along with the jeggings I never wear and the 5000 count AAA batteries. Cue the sound:

Those damned figs sat in my pantry getting dusty until I finally found a recipe that'll use all the crunchy weird figs in one go. Feast your eyes on the Fig Spice Cake I just made:

Tasty AND good for the old digestive system. So bite me, stupid figs and dumb Costco.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It's been over a week since my last blog

And yesterday my stat counter told me I had over 100 hits! The fact I get more than four familial fleeting daily glances at this blog never fails to surprise me. So thank you for coming. If any of you newbies are so inclined, can you click on the comment box and tell me what brought you here? That'll help me blog about more things you may enjoy. Or not. The likely outcome is I will just keep blogging about whatever I want. But it never hurts to try.

So onto other things. I was quickly checking online this morning and ended up looking at women's naked bellies for 30 minutes, nearly making me late for work. I wish I was kidding. I had waded into xojane's "real girl belly project". Who knew that squishy, rock hard, tattooed, pierced, innie, outie, bruised, even stented bellies could be so hypnotising? Just the bellies photographed, no faces with an optional comment underneath. I'm officially addicted. I've scrolled through the gallery twice already.

So inspired was I by all these brave women that I whipped out my camera, set its timer, took a bunch of belly shots that I deleted so fast I must have wrecked the hard drive. Then I threw away the pieces of the camera I crushed under my shoe. Because clearly, it's defective.

Okay that last part isn't true.

I read a lot of captions the women wrote on that site which said that the reality of their photos wasn't as bad as they thought. Lucky them. Because after the retching and comical chest clenching stopped, I couldn't believe my own stomach looked that horrendous. Yes, I went in knowing it's flabby. I know it's pock-marked and I've been cut from stem to stern three times (and it looks it) to remove those damn kids, but even in comparison the the stomachs on that site, I just couldn't deal with what I saw. I work out and I'm super fit but what I got going on below the equator is unacceptable.

You know I have very little to hide from you all after blogging since 2006. You know waaay too much about me and my pretty mundane life. But I'll state this with all the certainty I can muster: You will never ever EVER see my unsucked belly. Never ever. Did I mention ever?

Again, it's a case of reverse anorexia that I suffer from. I think I'm pretty fly then I see a photo and I have to go out and buy yet another new camera. Oh well. I have other attributes. Like I bake a pretty mean cake. Please distract yourselves by looking at my favourite. Forget I ever mentioned bellies.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sometimes art irritates life

You know the saying "art imitates life"? Well, I misspoke it the other day and the title of today's blog was born. Now I'm tasked to think of a blog to go with it. Hm...

Got it!

I'm not an art lover. At least Not the kind that enjoys abstract art. I just spend the whole time complaining that I (or worse yet, my kids) can do a better job. Really, Picasso? Would you really want this staring over you in your living room? Brrr...

I don't think so, Jackson Pollock. It's like he failed preschool. I just don't get it.


But nothing makes me happier than a painting that looks like something else with a touch of the surreal. This is my most favourite painting in life. Aaah.

Plus I like French Impressionists:

Monet (look at the sunshine... you can just feel the warmth and smell the breeze)

And Degas

These make me so happy. At the Musée D'Orsay in Paris a few years ago I completely lost my shit and cried like a moron in front of a Toulouse Lautrec. For no other reason other than it was so darned purty. 

So that's my photo-heavy blog on art. Next time I crack myself up with a random trip of the lip, I'll be sure to let you know.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I've got mail!

About a week ago I got a package from London in the mail. It's been ages since I've gotten any personal mail and even though I was expecting it, it was still a charge. Remember when getting a letter (without a window) was a normal occurrence? When seeing a handwritten envelope was an everyday thing?

I know email is an amazing convenience. I don't think I've sent a handwritten letter in 3 years. Not even a Christmas card. Those (if I send them) only get signed with a quick "Happy Holidays!" scrawled inside. But the thrill I got when I saw my name written in pen on the front... it was nearly a squee-worthy moment. I almost felt like I won a prize.

This is the season of cards and update letters so even if you don't send them out, maybe try mailing one letter. A personal one written with pen and paper (typed and printed doesn't count), stuck with stamps and hoofed out to your nearest mailbox (which seems to be further and further from the house every year). It may be one of the cheapest yet most appreciated gifts you can give. Think about it. I've got someone in mind already.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Brother can you spare $5000?

Braces. Turns out Henry needs them. Why have these things not come down in price? I had braces in 1979 which set my poor (literally and figuratively) parents back about $5000. Now it turns out I have to shell out nearly the same price for Henry's treatment which will start in January. Ouch! Thank goodness Scott's insurance covers over half of it.

Hey, the kid comes by his bad teeth honestly. Scott's teeth don't meet in the front when he bites down and mine looked like a set of knocked over dominoes before my own braces. And let's not forget the headgear I had to wear to improve my nasty overbite. Even though I had a low grade headache for 5 years and I looked like some kind of Black nerd robot, I thank my parents every day for scrimping and saving for them. It was painful and long but so very necessary. How many times have you seen someone who looks nice then they smile showing a mouthful of terrible teeth? It's awful to admit but it's human nature to judge a person at first glance. For me straight teeth is and absolute a no brainer. I'll live on ramen noodles if I have to in order to pay for whatever dental work the kids need. You can get further in life with a nice smile than you may realise.

*for the record, the below photo isn't Henry... it's just an example*

So anyway, there's that. What's new with you?


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Movember is nearly over

I tried to get Scott to grow a moustache for the month of November. Men around here do it as a fund/awareness raiser for prostate and other men's cancers. I could never catch him before he took the razor to it as part of his morning routine. Besides, history tells me that after the 20 minutes of novelty wears off, I'd be regretting the allowance of facial hair for the entire month. Here's an example of his playoff beard. I'm reserving comment.

 So to honour all those guys who died of prostate cancer (like Scott's dad) or diagnosed and in remission (like my dad), here are my favourite moustaches:

Tom Selleck rocks his moustache. For him, it's always in style on his face. In fact he looks completely bizarre without it (google it):

Technically this is a goatee, but still, the 'stache part is pretty sweet...

Who doesn't love Ned's "soup strainer?"

Creeeeepy but it suits him...

I had to add Dali. I mean, come on... pretty distinctive.


Lanny Mcdonald

And the explainer of why time flies when you're having fun:

Quite the motley crew, eh? So whether you are moustachioed or not, have a great, safe, healthy Movember. I would have grown mine but the world is not ready to see what my upper lip has to offer. I'm not ready to see what my upper lip has to offer. But I'm with you guys in spirit.


Friday, November 11, 2011

You don't know Jack

This is Scott's dad John (Jack) Kaye.

He served in the RCAF during World War II. He was a bomb aimer and flew in Lancaster Bombers. So very cool.

I'm remembering him today especially, along with all the other soldiers who fought in every war ever. Thank you so very much, Jack.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

You know what makes me happy?


I went to Starbucks the other day and the barista gave me a ceramic mug.

It was a little thing but isn't it nice to drink out of one rather than a paper cup with a lid? She didn't even ask me if I was staying. She probably noticed that I barged in and obnoxiously put my coat down on a chair to claim a table before I joined the line-up, but still. It sure made my chai tea latte taste a whole lot better, that's for sure. And it put a smile on my face for the entire day. And just to let you know, I later paid it forward by giving up my seat on the bus to someone who came in with a friend and they wanted to sit together. I love when this stuff happens.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

I'm so lucky

I spent a little time on Facebook examining my friends' pages. I went to school with a lot of successful people. A couple of jobbing actors, a radio personality, and even a national news anchor. I have friends who've travelled the world and friends who live abroad in really wonderful places. Places I've always wanted to visit let alone live.

At first I felt kind of jealous looking at the photos of all my friends with really amazing lives and even better stories. Then I snapped out of it and realized how lucky I am. I have a great husband, (usually) fun, healthy kids, a great house, a nice job, a car and tons of shoes. So what if we don't have a pool or a maid? Who cares if we can only afford to holiday together every couple of years? We crack each other up, we like each other's company (and that's saying a lot what with a 15 year old boy in the mix) and we always have each other's backs. And that's what's important, right?

That and maybe having that maid...


Monday, October 31, 2011

Hi everyone!

Can I say that now that I've decided to blog less, I feel more free and happy? I thought I'd be obsessed with it but I barely give it a second thought. Of course I feel a bit guilty when I haven't written in a while so here I am today. Hi!

So today is Halloween and I've spent enough blog space talking about my feelings on it. In a word (or a sound) meh. I still have kids to deal with but they're old enough to go out with their friends and leave Scott and me here to dole out candy to the greedy neighbourhood kids. Works for me.

Now, that doesn't mean to say that I didn't thoroughly enjoy The Rocky Horror Picture Show performance Saturday night. When I first heard of the 11:45pm start time I completely baulked, to be honest. I actually looked for an earlier show, knowing that 11:45 on Saturday night ordinarily is 15 minutes before falling-asleep-in-front-of-Saturday-Night-Live time. Thankfully, I was publicly named and shamed on Facebook by my buddy Nancy (hi Nancy!) into sticking to the original plan.

After the movie (and please see this awful flick in the theatre and not on dvd, for the love of God... it's all about the atmosphere) which is more of a cross between a play, Broadway musical and a good old fashioned food fight, we went straight home to bed. At 3:30am. I felt like a teenager. A teenager who soberly went to a midnight movie and came straight home. A boring, friendless, boring teenager.

We slept in until 10am Sunday morning. How embarrassing. But you know what? I love my bragging rights that we did this in the first place and I'm so looking forward to doing it again next year. But it begs the question: When did we get so flipping old?


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I am so smart S-M-R-T!

I'm not particularly crafty or creative so I'm super proud of what I did. Please don't burst my bubble and tell me this is a popular practice and instructions can easily be found online just yet. I'm revelling in my moment.

So I've had issues with earbuds. They irritate me to no end and it feels like my life's work to find the perfect pair that'll stay in my pin-like ear canal. Well, I've found the solution. Earplugs.

I bought a packet at the pharmacy and they're so squishy it's like stuffing your ears full of warm marshmallow. And no, I don't suggest you try that. I took the little cover off my favourite set of buds, eyeballed the size of the plugs and cut them (about in half). Then I took a paper clip and opened it up. I heated one end and pushed it through the bud, widening the opening until I could fit the noisy end of the bud into the plug. And voilà, perfect fitting earbuds. I know they won't last for long but there are 10 in a pack and they take 5 minutes to make. I'm delighted with them. I don't know how many times I've tossed earbuds just because they don't fit. Now even the cheapest pair will be perfect. I'm delighted.

So there you go. I feel so creative and smart and what was that? I can't hear you. I can't hear a thing with these earbuds in. And look at me... I'm running with them in, too!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Ready Player One

Holy mackerel is this book ever good!

It was recommended to me by a friend (thanks Marc!) and it's so full of gleeful 80s references to video games, tv shows and music that I'm making a fool of myself snorting, squealing and giggling on the bus. Oh, I have to mention that I only do audiobooks since sitting down and relaxing with a book is impossible. The dishes won't wash themselves. Plus I have a particularly stabby commute in the morning and it keeps my homocidal tendencies in check. The amazing "meta" thing about this audiobook is that it's narrated by Wil Wheaton and the number of Star Trek references and mentions of Wheaton himself makes me make the goofiest noises in public.

The book is about a grim future where the population escapes their difficult lives by immersing themselves in an incredibly realistic video game. The trouble starts when the inventor of the game dies and in his will, tasks the populace to find 3 hidden Easter Eggs in order to inherit his vast fortune.

Right now I'm at a part where the main character is playing Pac-Man. He needs to play a perfect game to get the reward (eating all the dots, ghosts and power-ups without losing a life for every single one of the 256 levels). If you knew how many hours I spent at our local arcade playing that game (and Joust which also features in the book), I'd lose all credibility as the cool suburban mum you all know and love. Heh. He talks about the movie Ladyhawke which I loved, Duran Duran, an all-time fave, and so much more. They even mention Family Ties and Cap'n Crunch commercials. Fantastic!

Anyway, the book is called Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I don't think I've enjoyed a book more in a really long time. But that's not saying much coming from someone who mostly reads fluffy romances and chick lit so please read it for yourself.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

More fun on the bus and random work shit

85 "Fun"

-I paid my fair as usual and waited for a transfer as usual. And waited. Nothing came out. Not really a problem but if the inspector came on the bus I'd have to pay a $150 fine. I told the driver to take note of me in case that happens. Then I sat down and watched as person after person got and she told them not to deposit their ticket as now rides were free until she could get the machine fixed. Aw, man! I was the last person to pay before the machine pegged out. No fair. At least I didn't have to pay a fine.

-I saw a baby in a stroller blowing up a latex glove like a balloon. When it fell on the dirty bus floor, the mum picked it up and gave it back. Not even I could make this stuff up, folks.

Random work shit

-At circle time my co-worker Alison pulled out a few shoelaces to tie together for a demonstration of concept. One of the children piped up and interrupted her:
 "Aglet. That plastic is an aglet. A-G-L-E-T." 
Holy crap, I only learned that word a few years ago after working on crosswords. I'm so impressed that this kid knew it. At 4. I'm just saying.

-I'm off today and tomorrow for Simchat Torah. It's when you come to the end of the reading of the Torah and you start again. This month there were 4 Jewish holidays plus Thanksgiving and a PD day. Alison called this week "The High Holiday Home Stretch". I love her.

-I'm enjoying this blog-writing whenever I feel there's something worth writing. It saves you (and me) from enduring a blog full of questionnaire answers, nonsensical ramblings and silly links.

See you soon...


Monday, October 17, 2011

The 85 Chronicles

I figure if I'm taking the bus I may as well use it for it's valuable, valuable fodder. And boy, is there ever a lot on this route. For instance, I saw a really cool mum get on today. She was with a kid around 3 and was pierced and dressed really funky-like. I thought in passing that it would be really cool to look like that, then I realized two things:

  1. She was young. Super young. She could only get away with that outfit if she had that baby at like 14 and that was her look in the first place
  2. If I was to dress like that I'd seriously look like I was having a psychotic break
Then there was the scary goateed dad wearing a salt-stained ball cap and carrying an extra large Timmy's. He was tucking a pink blanket around a baby in the stroller he'd wrestled onto the bus. Then he bent down and sweetly wiped the face of a little blond girl. With his licked thumb. Her cheeks were covered in chocolate from the giant cookie she was holding. At 7:30 in the morning. I don't even know where to go with that tableau. Cute yet creepy with just a soupçon of yikes. Love the 85. Stay tuned for more crazy.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

His pants are on fire. Again.

We're having another issue with Elliott. I won't get into too much detail but he got caught in a lie AGAIN. The thing is, the things he's choosing to fib about aren't a big deal. He could tell the truth just as easily and not get into half as much trouble as he's in now. So why make the choice to lie, get into tons of shit for no reason, piss us off all night, subject himself to hours of lecturing, have privileges removed and make it so I can't stand to be in the same room with him? What is wrong with this kid? I feel like we're doing a really shitty parental job.

Oh and I just posted this photo to his Facebook wall with no comment. Maybe he'll get that I'm fed up. But to be honest I really don't think he will...


Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Some people eat the big dinner on Sunday, and some today. Due to other commitments, we're having ours today sandwiched between a hockey game and a cadet band practice. A gal's gotta do what a gal's gotta do.

So the menu for today is turkey, stuffing, roasted potatoes, Caesar salad, macaroni and cheese (an anomaly, I know) and apple pie for dessert. I know, right? Watch me go all traditional on Thanksgiving's ass. We're not having that gross sweet potato pie with the marshmallows on top. Can I get a yuck on that? We all agree on the vileness that is cranberry sauce and really, anything green (besides salad), is just asking for table whining and idle threats. "Eat that broccoli or else", "Just one more bite and you can leave the table". UGH. Why not just feed them what they like and give thanks for a pleasant dinner? Am I right?

Have a good one!


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Things I forgot about working in Preschool

Little kids are funny: Like today in the washroom when I was told that "last night I had corn on the cob and now my poo looks like brown corn on the cob."

Little kids are curious: Like the time I was asked "are you brown everywhere?"

Little kids are easily amused: Like today when I had 6 three year olds completely enraptured for 20 minutes by covering 4 toys with a cloth and lifting it up after I took one away. They were delighted trying to guess what was missing.

Little kids get easily frustrated: Like when we had to deal with a full on tantrum because he couldn't get his backpack open.

Little kids say the cutest things: Like at snacktime when I got called "mummy"

All in all I'm having a great time there. Never let anyone say it's just playing all day or babysitting. I develop programmes to enrich the development of preschoolers. I have to pick the exact right words to say to ensure a positive learning atmosphere and... oh heck, who am I kidding? It's fun. Work, mind you, but fun.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My happy place

So I was thinking the other day about places that make me happy. I haven't been to many places in the world so pretty much it would be London since besides Ottawa I'm most comfortable there. But really, when I think about it, my happy place is a lot closer than that. In fact, I'm there right now. My living room.

Think about this. I've got the tv remote control within arm's reach. I'm not on the couch right now but I can be in less than a second. In fact, I think I can jump it from here. Let's see... I can. From the computer desk I'm... hold on I'm going to count... 8 steps from the fridge and wait a sec... 12 steps from the toilet. On tv, arguably Buffy's best episode "Once More With Feeling". In the oven, two home-made pizzas for dinner. Seriously, I'm in heaven. My feet are a little cold but yup, heaven.

Who is rich? One who is satisfied with what one has. Looks like I'm loaded, baby!


Friday, September 30, 2011

Halloween is coming!

I put an exclamation point at the end of that sentence even though I don't feel particularly excited about he prospect of stupid Halloween. There are reasons that I previously explained here and here.

I work in a Jewish preschool and I'm praying that they don't celebrate. How wonderful would it be if I didn't have to spend a whole workday pretending to love dressing up and gorging on candy I don't love but will eat because it's there. That's why I love these contacts and horns so much.

They take no effort and throw them on no matter what you have on and voilà... costume. Also, I was shaving my head this morning and realized I could also do a modified male pattern baldness thing, so if I have to I can do that. If I have to. Again, no effort involved to be an elderly demon or something. Of course I work in a preschool and being responsible for perhaps thousands of dollars of post traumatic stress disorder psychotherapy is not part of my job description. So maybe the eyes and horns are out anyway.

Audrey wants to be a gypsy and already has her costume so that's something I don't have to think about. Elliott's going to a party and wants to wear his "ironic ghost" costume again so that's a plus so this year I only have to deal with Henry in terms of a costume.

I wonder if he'd let me near him with my hair clippers?


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I learned something!

Look at this! This is SO. COOL. I was mentioning to a friend that I can never remember which side my gas tank is on. She told me that if I looked at that little arrow beside the gas gauge inside the car, I can avoid choosing the wrong side each and every time, requiring an embarrassing 3 point turn in the middle of the service station. Have you ever done this? Flammable gas pumps, people darting from out of nowhere, kids filling their tires with air, pissed off people waiting to get into my vacated spot... yes, I'm that girl.

Anyway, this stupid little arrow will save me a lot of stress and humiliation and keep a lot of grouchy Ottawans from spraining their rolling eyes as they watch me make yet another 3 point turn in the middle of, well, everything.


Friday, September 23, 2011

What the hell are you wearing, woman?

So a few weeks ago I bought a pair of skinny jeans. Unfortunately when I put them on I didn't get any skinnier but they did look okay so I took the leap and bought them. I'm still on the fence about them and the irony there is I couldn't even scale, let alone get to the top of a fence while I'm wearing them. I can barely sit down. They are snug. Spanx snug.

I have no idea how to wear them. I seem to feel the need to wear mini dresses and long tops so that they look like tights. Or jeggings. Or whatever. I usually wear them with ballet flats but today I thought I'd try Converse. I chickened out when I looked in the mirror and saw a mutton dressed as a lamb and it was back to the ballet flats for me. It's enough that I'm a curvy girly in these sausage casing pants. I didn't need to look like a freaking 17 year old, fat, Black, lesbian, Justin Bieber fan.

Anyway, I'm still hot and cold on them. It definitely depends on my state of mind before I squeeze myself into them. That's one thing in the "pros" column about these pants. Nothing jiggles when they're on. I just have to ignore the spots that appear and disappear in my periphery after wearing them for a few hours. A definite "con". As I type this I've already switched to sweatpants. Blessed blessed sweatpants.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What a week (reprise)

It seems like I post this every week but when am I going to have 2 evenings in a row with all of us at home at 6pm? I think I'm spoiled since in our lives together, we've had the bulk of our dinners. We sat and ate a meal I'd lovingly slaved over cooked and we talked about our days, joked, watched tv (yes, I know...) and generally just enjoyed each other. Fantastic.

All summer at least one of us has been gone every single night. There have been sleepovers, playdates, sporting events and concerts. Meetings, appointments, parties and get-togethers. It's especially bad when it's me since I'm the dinner maker. When I don't cook the rest of them have sandwiches and/or leftovers for dinner. And I can't even explain to you the guilt I feel when I'm having fun paddling, knowing that everyone at home is having cheese and crackers for dinner. Ugh.

This week is the same. Monday was Curriculum Night at my preschool and I had to be there by 6:30. Tuesday night was dragonboat for me and hockey for Elliott. Today we have Audrey's guitar lesson from 5:30-6:30 and Elliott has a parent/teacher conference at 7pm. Tomorrow Audrey and Henry have their school conference from 5-7pm. Imagine that... over dinner again. And what's this I see? Dinner together on Friday? Don't bank on it. It's free as of this moment but it's still early.

I'm so tired.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Ack! I haven't posted since Wednesday?

Sorry everyone! My new job keeps me hopping and even though it's part time, I still have to cram everything I would have done all day into a few hours. Plus there's homework, cooking/baking, the new fall television season is starting... something had to give.

In fact, I've been finding that my creative juices have been drying up over the past 5 years of blogging and while I'll never stop writing, I think I need to blog a little less. There are times when I'll write one of my terrible stream-of-consciousness blogs and apologize to the ether as I click the "publish" button. I need to work on getting my groove back. Or actually getting a groove in the first place.

I've always thought that if I miss even one blog, I'd lose rafts of readers. But I think that writing shitty posts may do that faster. Besides, I didn't start this blog to satisfy lots of readers. It was to fulfill myself.

I'm going to start blogging only when I have something cool/funny/interesting to share. The focus, as always will be me. I'm sticking with the adage "write what you know" and the only thing I'm an expert on is yours truly, so... there you go.

I'll still be writing most of the week, trust me. You can't get rid of me that easily. I'll definitely do fewer Wordless Wednesday posts and cut out the Flashback Fridays altogether. At first it was a way to get you to read my older, cleverer posts but I say to you with every kindness and respect: "read the archives yourselves, you lazy so-and-so's".

So off you go... enjoy your days. There's nothing to see here. Literally. I have some baking to do for a parent/teacher thing we have at the school tonight and I have to make dinner as well, help the kids with their homework, show the kids and my husband that I actually remember who they are, and try to get a good night's sleep and do it all over again in the morning. You know, the usual stuff.

See you tomorrow. Maybe. ;-)


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Not very Wordless Wednesday

I'm not a dog lover but there is something about Bostons. Looka dat face! They're small and kinda weird looking. Like a certain blogger we're all familiar with. If (and that's a BIG "if") I ever get a dog, this'll be the brand. Wait... it's not a brand when it comes to dogs, is it? It's ummmm.... BREED. Yes, breed. See? I should never own a dog.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I think I'm going to like this semester.

Elliott has only started grade 10 a week ago and I'm seeing something interesting. He actually seems to like a class. It's quite the switch from previous years when he would have named phys-ed, recess, music, and shop as his favourites. Ah, my high achiever.

Anyway, since school started he's been crowing on and on (and on) about history and his history teacher. He'll be studying Canadian history from the First World War until the '80s. I'm delighted that he's taken to it so much. He wouldn't stop talking about it in the car the other day and to see his eyes sparkle about school... Finally!

Today he showed me a handout that the teacher gave him. It had me howling. It's "If World War I Was A Bar Fight". With a teacher like this, and Elliott already this engaged, I can't wait for the rest of the year.



Monday, September 12, 2011

I'm invincibile!

There are many things that happen in a mother's life that make her feel like she can do anything. It can be as simple as writing a letter from the tooth fairy explaining why she didn't come last night... something to do with air speed and time of tooth loss and nothing at all to do with her drinking too much wine and passing out on the couch at 9pm. Another example could be oh, say, baking cookies for a certain lifeguard 10 minutes before the kids' final swimming lesson.

Last week that Supermum feeling extended to my new daycare job. A boy asked me to open one of those cheese string packets. I did and handed it back to him. Unfortunately I hadn't opened it to his satisfaction and as he pulled out the cheese, about an inch of the cheese broke inside the packet.

Him (crestfallen): My cheese is broken! Fix it!!
Me: Oh, sweetie, it still tastes yummy in two pieces, don't worry. (HA. Imagine trying to be reasonable with a 4 year old...)
Him: My cheese is broken!! FIX IT!!
Me (Uh oh... I take the pieces and squish the two parts together and precariously hand it back): See there you go. All fixed!

Hoo boy. I was in trouble. As I looked at the pieces in my hand I did the only thing I could think of with that little one inch bit. 

I palmed it.

Me (I handed back the woefully short cheese with a flourish and held my breath): Ta da! It was tricky but I attached them again. There you go!
Him (examining it suspiciously then breaking into a smile): Thank you Morah Karen!

Disaster averted.

And now I know for sure that my many years of stellar mothering will translate into a successful career in daycare. Now I just need a couple of tricks to dispose of chunks of food hidden up my sleeve.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Flashback Friday

I'm watching old episodes of MasterChef on PVR and I'm listening for a word that pops out and that word is... "attitude".

So please read about Elliott's first crummy grade from February 2006. Prophetically, it wasn't his last and strangely, he's gone on to be very proficient on the sax and the bagpipes. Go figure.