Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sweet 16?

I was watching that show about ridiculous Sweet 16 birthday parties and I was wondering... why  is it 16? You can't vote, you can't drink and if it was up to me you couldn't drive either. Sixteen is a stupid age to mark with sedan chairs, belly dancers and a petulant fit when the car you get from your indulgent nouveau riche parents is the wrong colour.

A ridiculous OTT  party should be for a more sensible age like 13 (entering teendom) or dignified like 40. Yes, that's it. A "Fabulous Forty" party. This is the age when you deserve a brand new car. This is the age when you've earned the right to yell and stamp your feet in public when you don't get your way. You could hold the party at a driving range... ooh, better yet, a firing range getting rid of all your frustrations over bosses and bills. You could give out loot bags containing condoms and stogies and airline sized boozes... it would be a complete, adult blowout.

Who's with me? A party to celebrate middle age and the aching-backed tumble down the hill into old age. Of course I missed my chance for mine but we can do the same for 45, right? Forty-five can be the new 16, can't it? Guys? Guuuuys???


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Worst. Sleep. Ever.

I feel bad about this one. No, it's not "badly", look it up.

So as you all know, Scott has been away since Friday night. I slept like a baby while he was gone. I love the man but he's a snuggler and he's about 10 degrees warmer than I am. He breathes through his mouth loudly and has been known to puff in my direction at regular enough intervals to actually wake me up. While he doesn't often snore per se, he does make various buzzy, snorty, moany sounds that I can usually ignore. Last night I just couldn't.

At 3am he actually started to snore. I never just wake him up (treat others as you want to be treated... ie: never ever wake me up, I hate it) so I stole all the covers hoping to make him uncomfortable enough to change positions. It didn't work. I tried everything I could short of waking him up. Something worked because I dozed again only to be woken up at 5 by laughing. But not actual giggling but sarcastic "HA-HA-HA"-ing. Oh hell, no. His subconscious was laughing at me? Seriously? I muttered "that's it", grabbed my pillow and went to the couch. Of course, that woke him up.

So it was a good morning all around.



Monday, March 28, 2011

Didn't I tell you Friday that the weekend would bring fodder?

So the boys left Friday morning to go to a hockey tournament in Buffalo. It's funny how the house is a different kind of quiet when they're out of town versus just being at work or school. Anyway, Audrey came home from school and we promptly ordered a pizza. How on earth did I not know you can order pizzas online? And I claim to be a computer diva. Okay, I never claim that but you know what I mean.

Afterwards, all happily drowsy and full-stomached I asked her if she'd be okay if I went out for a few hours. See, the girls were meeting for the first time in ages and I had been looking forward to it for weeks. Lovely girl that she is, she agreed to watch a couple of episodes of Glee on the PVR while I went to girl's night. Don't worry, I was back by 10pm.

The next day we found out that Elliott tied the first game the night before and won the morning game. There was a game that afternoon and another Sunday morning. Good for him! Audrey and I decided on shopping and a movie. We walked around the mall and went in and out of every store, trying things on but surprisingly not buying much. Then we went to see Rango. A little slow but funny and we enjoyed it.

Another call from the boys. Elliott won the second game which meant a trip to the final on Sunday. The final that takes place at 5:45. PM. In Buffalo. Did I mention that this is Sunday? Yup, they had to spend another night.

Audrey and I watched Stella Dallas Sunday morning. Talk about a perfect mother/daughter movie. I couldn't stop hugging her. After I collected myself and squirted 1/4 bottle of Visine in my eyes, we were ready for the day. We decided on a long walk to buy chocolate (I'm aware of the irony) followed by girl movies for the rest of the day. It really was nice to just be girls with my only daughter all weekend. I often feel confused and even a little scared when it comes to dealing with her but this weekend couldn't have been more terrific.

So have fun on your little road trip, boys. You may think you got the better deal with hotel pools and junk food but Audrey and I had just as good a time as you.

BTW, Elliott's team wound up losing the final in overtime. The irony was that the opposing team was the only other team from Ottawa and even in their division. They could have played this game at their local arena. Too funny...

They'll be back at dinner and I have a "welcome home" cake planned. Vanilla with raspberry filling and lemon vanilla frosting. Maybe they'll leave more often.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Flashback Friday

Today's word of the day was "getup". What came up was a blog from around this time last year...

And to think I nearly didn't go...

Have a great weekend. I may have some interesting stuff next week since Audrey and I are on our own this weekend. Scott and the boys are in Buffalo New York for a hockey tournament until Sunday. I wonder what kind of trouble we girls will get ourselves into?


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Are you the sentimental type?

I consider myself to be sentimental. To a point. I've kept the dress my mother wore to my wedding and a couple of her muumuus. I even keep all of my kids' lost teeth in my jewellry box. BTW, I'm always adding to that bizarre collection courtesy of the 2 youngest who are still losing teeth monthly and still believe in the Tooth Fairy. Actually I think they more believe in the payday for doing next to nothing but I let them have it.

So back to sentimentality. This is about drinking glasses. Last week I bought a new set because the old set wasn't really a "set" at all. I had 2 whiskey glasses from a gift box of Jack Daniels Scott got a few years ago, 2 tall glasses from Pom Tea, some chipped dark blue glasses that we bought in 1992 for the kitchen of our last house that no longer match this kitchen, and 4 juice/water glasses from a 15 year old set that were so punished by the dishwasher that they weren't even clear anymore. I'd had enough. I got a nice, cheap 16 glass set. They all match and I'm happy. Scott had a few things to say:

"But we had those when the kids were born!" Um, isn't that the whole point of buying new?

"But you loved the blue glasses!" I did when we bought them for the blue kitchen at the old house. Now the kitchen is brown. And we've lived here for 13 years.

"But the Jack Daniels was a gift." And it doesn't weird you out to watch an 11 year old drink milk from a glass with 'Tennessee Whiskey' printed on it?

I'm all about being sentimental. I am. By all means, keep the tiny spoons that your mum collected from every province and territory. Treasure the penny that you squished on the train tracks when you went camping with your family in 1977. But I just want a set of matching glasses. And in the end, Scott did indulge my selfish whims as usual.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I'b sig.

And apparently this is what passes for creativity on Wordless Wednesday. It's my blog, deal with it.*


*I apologise, being sick again has made me snarky as well as a snot-filled misery bag.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Let's talk about hair baybee...!

Shopping at the mall on the weekend with Audrey we both got complimented on our hair. The cashier said my cut suited me and Audrey's curls were "incredible". I replied to her that Audrey's hair is punishment for cutting mine off. As soon as I said it I regretted it. Even though her hair is unruly, it really is cool.

I talk about hair a lot. It seems to consume my thoughts. I have so many stories. Like the time Scott rented a convertible to impress me and I made him drive with the top up. Like not learning to swim because dunking my head would ruin my perm. Like sleeping sitting up in a chair at my friend's sleepover because I would die if I wrecked her pillowcases with my jheri curl goop.

Audrey's hair is starting to collect stories of its own. Like the time we had it straightened at the hairdresser and it took 4 hours, cost $75, with only Cheetos and coke to sustain her. Oh, and it lasted all of 72 hours. Like the time a kid in her kindergarten class dumped a pail of sand on her head in the spring and in the winter we were still finding stray grains. Like the time she had head lice... Brrrr. That one still keeps me up some nights.

Sometimes I miss having hair. When my best friend got married I was her matron of honour. At one point on her big day they all headed to the hair salon to get their hair done. I went too and for hours became the designated watcher of everyone's cell phones and purses. Good times. I miss having hair to do up when I go somewhere nice. Thank goodness I rarely go anywhere nice.

Audrey seems to have no hair issues like that. She has very high self esteem (she definitely gets that from me). She loves her hair and talks about it all the time. She proudly crows that she's the only person in her class with hair like hers. She's just now learning to take care of it herself and enjoys wearing it loose and a bit crazy. All I know is bad or good, I'm looking forward to hearing (and being a part of) more of her hair stories in the future.


Monday, March 21, 2011


Oh, come on. Yesterday I was minding my own business when I realize that my sinuses are starting to fill up. Really, fate? You want to do this to me again? I've had very good luck in my life when it comes to colds. They've never lasted more than a few days and I've never, ever had the flu. But this cold thing is driving me nuts. This is my 3rd since the year started. In case you haven't been paying attention, it's March. Ugh. I've been in a fog all day and I could probably sleep for the night as of right now. I want my mummy. Oooh and some chicken soup. I could murder a bowl of chicken soup.

I think my immune system crashed like a drunken teenager around the time I gave the cashier my debit card to pay for Audrey's first ever bra. She'd been wearing innocuous sports bra things for the last year or so but Saturday she asked for a real bra. With cups. When she put it on, she looked like a 12 year old girl in a bra. It really suited her. Honestly, I was kind of expecting her to look like those little girls who dress up in their mothers' high heels, shoes and makeup but truth is, it looked good and really grown up. And I felt really grown up buying it for her.

So as I paid for the pretty white bra with the multicoloured butterflies, my immune system took the low road, decided to be a drama queen and socked me in with yet another cold. Traitor. And just when I was trying to be all uncharacteristically adult about this too.

So now I'm going to lie down with rolled up kleenexes in my nostrils and wait for a realistic time to go to bed for the night.


Friday, March 18, 2011

How did I forget?

I forgot to write a blog today. Must be the "fun" that is March Break. It was busy yet I still found the time to try out new recipes. This week I made Nutella Rice Krispie squares and Guinness chocolate cake. Both were incredibly delicious and much more worth mentioning that the six kids running me ragged all week.

Here's a photo of the cake:

The frosting was supposed to be like the thick foam on top of the beer. The consistency was there but it was too thin to sit at the top so it sort of dribbled down the sides. No problem, it still tasted fantastic. I think I'll have to make it my go-to chocolate cake over the Miracle Whip chocolate cake I usually make. It's so much less sweet.

Oh, and Henry got glasses for the first time. He chose the frames himself and is taking such good care of them. As of day 3. I'll let you know when the novelty wears off.

Have a great weekend. I know I will. Waiting for Monday to come and the anticipation of everything going back to normal will be like the agony of waiting for Christmas morning. Bring on Santa!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thanks to Daylight Savings Time, Wordless Wednesday is now on Thursday

Okay, I shouldn't blame DST, it's because I wanted to post the blog about my mumsie yesterday.

So here's the Wordless Wednesday photo on Thursday. Which is now technically not wordless anymore either so I'll just explain that it was taken by my nephew on an antique camera. The kind that you look down into. I don't even know how you get film for that old thing. But he's a clever man... he works as a focus puller in the film industry with some pretty cool people. You should hear the stories he brings home at holiday times. For a pop culture fan like me, having one degree of separation from the rich and famous is incredible. It's almost like being best friends with them and having them stop by for barbeques when they're in town and what? ....ummm, where was I?

Oh yeah, Wordless Wednesday Thursday (and just a note, that suspect dampness on Henry is water, he was just swimming and his bathing suit was still wet when he put on his t shirt)...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Mum!

She was born Mabel Eliza Williams in 1934. She was fun and full of life even at the end. I never mentioned to you that the last thing she said to me was to make sure I wasn't causing the nurses too much trouble by staying in her room past visiting hours. She was a nurse too so she knew what a pain visiting relatives could be. I love that she was playfully scolding me at the end. That she was still looking after others even though she was so sick. That's the kind of woman and mother she was. I was lucky to know her.

I found this old photo of her on her wedding day to my dad. It totally illustrates the way she was. There my dad is trying to be all sober and serious and my mum is goofing with someone off to the side. Classic.

This was her favourite song. I'm glad it's so joyful because when I hear it I smile and think of her. I miss you mummy.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Has this ever happened to you?

This is incredibly strange for me. I have no recollection of this event in the slightest but there it is in "black and white". Me and Scott and baby Elliott. I can only guess that I was just so exhausted in the first few months of Elliott's life (I had mild postpartum) that my brain just performed a massive memory dump. Scary thing is, what else have I forgotten like this?

The story is that I was doing some research on Coronation Street parties (called "pings" or "pingfests") because I'm planning on setting up one of my own in the next few months. So I'm browsing around the internet and find a website with loads of photos from Canadian pings. I click on a file from Ottawa and find this:


I've wracked my brains for days, straining to remember this. I love Coronation Street and anything related to it and I'm sure would have remembered going to an event like this, wouldn't I? Well, apparently not. I don't know where or when this was taken and I don't recall any of those people. Last week I would have sworn to you up and down that I'd never ever been to a ping. It's like a Twilight Zone episode or the end of The Shining when Jack's face shows up in the party photo from the '20s. It gives me chills to look at it.

Does this happen to people or is it just me?


Monday, March 14, 2011

March Break

Two words that strike fear in the heart of any parent. Well, my heart, anyway. I have my own 3 kids plus three "guests" (one of whom is sick today). It's hard to try to find things to do that will amuse everyone. Especially in my house where I'm fighting childproofing again with all I have. The kids here this week range in age from 18 months to 14 years. You try to find an activity that will keep everyone occupied so you can spend 15 minutes writing a blog. You know what I chose? Snacktime. Eating is the great leveller in this house so at least I can sit down and bash something out for you.

Unfortunately for you this means that this week's blogs will be admittedly shitty. Seriously, 6 kids in this house people, and only one who naps. You are lucky I'm giving you anything at all. In fact, I'll be lucky if I can get to the toilet at some point today.

I hate love March Break.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Flashback Friday!

Today's Maury Povich word of the day was DNA. I found this gorgeous little nugget of a blog post (if I do say so myself) from year one of The Kaye Way. Back when it was called Karenworld and it was over at MySpace. My how times have changed. In a way. I still feel the same as I did when I first wrote this motherhood post.

"What a relief!" (March 27, 2006)

Have a great weekend and I'll see you Monday morning.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

I was recently asked how many languages I speak.

The answer is four. Kind of.

When I think about this I realise it's pretty cool.

I speak English pretty well, that's a given. It's the language I conduct my life in. And yes, I realise I ended that last sentence with a preposition and started this one with "and". But part of being an artist (yes, I called blogging an art... deal with it) is knowing the rules yet breaking them. Look at Picasso. Odds are he knew what an actual woman looked like.

I grew up in Montréal, a bilingual city. When I got here my French was already pretty suspect because I had gone to English schools, worked in predominantly English parts of town and hung out with English kids. Not speaking French on a regular basis has made it suffer. Badly. If I watch a French tv show or movie, I can only understand about 70% of it. Thankfully I send my kids to French Immersion schools so they keep me on my toes. And Ottawa is quite bilingual, though not as much as Montréal, so I'm exposed to it quite often.

I was never that confident speaking French although I can understand it pretty well. It's funny that I'm more embarrassed to speak French in Ottawa or Montréal than I was when I visited Paris. Here, the attitude feels like: "What do you mean you can't speak French? What's wrong with you?" and over there the attitude felt more like: "Aww... how cute, she's trying. She sounds dumb but she's trying."

American Sign Language:
When I first moved to Ottawa I lived downtown. At least once a day I'd see deaf people at the mall or in the park signing away furiously. I'd look on jealously, wondering what they were saying. Finally I decided to take an ASL course. It was so amazing that I kept taking them until I was one credit shy of my certificate. Then I got pregnant and totally sidetracked. I love knowing how to sign. When Scott and I went to Jamaica we went on a snorkeling trip on a sailboat. There was a deaf couple who kept having to ask the tour operator to repeat everything so they could read his lips. When we got to the snorkelling spot he started giving out detailed instructions on what and what not to do and they looked pretty frustrated. I stepped up and translated things about sea urchins and stingrays and they were so grateful. They wouldn't stop thanking me and bought us drinks all night later at the resort. I felt so proud.

Okay, I only took Spanish for a semester in college but it really stuck. Also I learned Spanish from Sesame Street and speak it to anyone who'll listen so you know, I'm totally great at that language. Really. I know all the days of the week and the months of the year and everything.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Shrove Tuesday!

Funny how my computer doesn't read "shrove" as a word. Interesting that the computer doesn't have access to Google...

Just a quick aside about yesterday's festivities. Thanks to everyone who came to visit me yesterday. At the end of the day my stat counter hit just shy of 300 hits (298 if you must know) and I now have 18 shiny new followers. Thanks to SITS for all my new friends!

Okay, back to Shrove Tuesday. I like saying shrove because it puts squiggly red lines all through my text box. Moving on...

When I was a girl my parents took us to church during Lent. A lot. I think it's one of the reasons I'm a "Christmas Christian" today. I just Googled that term and it looks like I made it up so I'll explain that I mean that I'm a Christian who only goes to church once a year. Guess when?

So the point of Lent is to give up something you love for 40 days until Easter to reflect the suffering of Jesus in the days up to his death and resurrection. It's supposed to be difficult and you are supposed to pray to get yourself through all the hardest parts of it. So no points if you give up haggis or chocolate covered squid brains. Unless you love that stuff, that is. My most memorable Lent sacrifices have been tv, meat and booze. Let me tell you, the prayers were coming fast and furious those years. You don't realize how long 40 days is until you have 5 full video tapes of back episodes of Coronation Street to catch up on.

Nowadays I just stick to making pancakes for dinner on the Tuesday night and I'll probably serve a vegetarian meal every Friday until Easter. If I remember. Piss poor effort, I know, but my parents were so religious growing up that I think I have some leeway here. I'm a good person so I'm pretty sure heaven will still be waiting for me even though the next time I set foot in church I'll be rocking my jingle bell Santa hat.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Welcome to my humble home!

Today is my special day. The Kaye Way is today's featured SITS blog!

A while ago I signed up with a lovely website called The Secret Is In The Sauce where we girl bloggers connect, hang out and support each other's hard blogging work. And some days it can be hard work so this site is a service that is very necessary. Especially when you start to question why the hell you've committed to blogging every damn day.

Anyway, sorry for the repeat for those of you who've been hanging with me since 2006 but I feel I have to introduce myself to my new best friends.

For those of you who don't know me, I'm Karen, a 42 year old Black woman, married to Scott.We have 3 kids (Elliott, Audrey and Henry). We live in suburban Ottawa, Ontario Canada and I love shoes, shopping in general, dragonboating and television. I hate campingMy mum passed away years ago (some days it feels like yesterday) and my dad has since remarried.

When I first started blogging I really thought I was doing it just for myself and a few friends. Little did I know that I'd get tens (seriously tens, people) of readers in different countries and I can't unring the "oversharing" bell. And just so you know, even though I am a mother, The Kaye Way isn't really a mommy blog. It's more of a "me-me" blog with some family stuff thrown in for colour and/or comedy. I was always told to "write what you know" and who do I know better than myself and my very special brand of crazy?

Please feel free to wander around my blog. I tried to clean up a little but some posts are so old that links may be broken and some photos may be gone. Much as I'm thrilled that you're all here, I couldn't possibly figuratively clean under every piece of furniture. You'll find a lot of dust under the rugs. If you do find something amiss, please feel free to let me know and I'll fix it as soon as I can.

So welcome new SITStahs! Have fun and play nice. I'm not trying to save the world with this blog, it's pretty much just cheap therapy. And if something makes you smile along the way, consider yourself lucky because while you're at it you can check your teeth for spinach.


Friday, March 4, 2011

Flashback Friday!

Hi all!
I'm going to admit to you how I choose the blog for Flashback Friday. I usually have Maury Povich on in the background when I write a blog. I listen to the show and often a word will pop out of a screamed argument,  I'll put in in the search box and voilà. A blog post is born.

Today's secret word was "alone". And I found this juicy nugget just for you.

Thursday July 16, 2009 - Today is the last day.

I just want to say that on Monday we'll have a few guests over so be nice and on your best behaviour. Make sure your hands and faces are clean and smiles everyone. All will be revealed Monday. Love you my original peeps! Have a great weekend.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Good afternoon peeps

I was having a weird day today and I wasn't feeling the blog thing until just now. Be glad I spared you from the stream-of-consciousness nonsense I tend to write when I have nothing for you.

Now with some time to think of something "good" to write, let me tell you about my childhood bedroom. It was tiny, had orange and white painted wood furniture and 2 huge posters. Here they are. Ready?

This, in case you are too young, is Greg Evigan. The little hairy guy is Bear. Together they were the main characters of a little show called BJ and the Bear. Classy show about a trucker and his monkey "best friend" hauling stuff in a really cool striped truck. Oh, the boyish hijinx! I had the biggest crush on BJ. And maybe a little on Bear too. The 70s was a confusing time.

Here's the next one:

It's Christopher Atkins in his Blue Lagoon days. How on earth did my father allow this? If Audrey had this poster up in her room, the first call I'd make would be to the Sisterhood of the Grey Nuns. Next would be to a psychiatrist whose arm I'd twist to write me a prescription for some drug to keep me heavily sedated throughout her tweens and teens.

I don't even know where to start "critiquing" this poster. Bony chest? Tiny package? Homemade cloth diaper? Necklace of "bones"? White boy 'fro? I feel like one of those cartoon robots getting too much information too fast and starts to smoke and wave its robotty arms. Does not compute...

Yeah, so those are the posters I had before I discovered Duran Duran and plastered every square inch of bedroom wall with those 5 metrosexual boys before metrosexual was a thing. Again, where was my dad during all this? Poor guy was probably looking up the Grey Nuns in the yellow pages. I was actually going to write that he was programming their number into the speed dial but I remembered we only had a quaint "antique style" rotary dial phone. Just one. Kids, this is what it looked like. Seriously.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bugged by Bugs

For Christmas we got a flat screen tv and a digital box. With all these modern conveniences what am I obsessed with? Teletoon Retro. The channel that shows all the old cartoons that I used to watch as a kid. Transformers, The Smoggies, The Smurfs, Spiderman, The Flintstones, GI Joe (which insultingly the kids find beyond hysterical)... I'm in heaven.

I'll often just watch what's on for a few minutes and move on but I find I'm watching whole episodes of Bugs Bunny quite often. When I was a kid there was no worry about tv violence causing kids to act out. Every Saturday morning we'd watch the coyote blow himself up courtesy of Acme but it never made me or my friends want to construct an elaborate Rube Goldberg machine to try to drop an anvil on the neighbour's cat. So it bothers me that these episodes are often cut to unrecognisable shreds because of it.

I understand that years ago these cartoons were the only things that children were watching so if they had dynamite related outbursts Bugs was blamed first. But nowadays when my 14 and 11 year old boys have access to video games where they can correctly identify each tank plundering innocent European villages and could disturbingly name every gun and rifle in the Unibomber's shack, I'm thinking that seeing Daffy Duck getting hit in the head by an umbrella isn't going to scar them for life. So to whom it may concern, put my precious violence back in classic cartoons.

That reminds me... I need to limit those boys from playing that Nazi Zombie game for a while. Henry is starting to develop an unnerving twitch in his left eyelid.