Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Holidays!

We made it to Christmas :-)
I seem to have found some holiday cheer... ;-)
Julia finally decided to open her presents...

We are (as usual) late to get to my mum's...

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

May we make it to tomorrow...

okay - so that's a little melodramatic ("I don't know what MELODRAMATIC means" says Prince Edward in Enchanted...)

Last Wednesday a little boy got hit in the eye with a mini hockey stick at lunch recess. He had to go to the hospital and now needs to see a specialist. Turns out it was my boy's hockey stick, thrown down in a temper (the boy who got hit was cheating apparently) and bounced up and hit the poor child who was lying on the ground. There have been repercussions - there was a lot of lying around said event. I am still not sure it is all over - we're waiting on the specialist to see the eye.

But let's just say that when the Ontario Police Association called earlier looking for a donation for "Fishing with Cops" I didn't hear much past the Ontario Police for the first few seconds and thought we were being called down to the police station in relation to the event (the boy's father is understandably very upset).

Do I need to say I have been besides myself for the last 4 days (I only found out Thursday afternoon). NO? Good. I've nearly made myself sick over Stu's part in the whole ugly mess.

Then Friday night Stu took a tumble out of bed and cut his head open on the corner of his desk. The chances of him actually managing that are - oh - close to NIL, but he found away (he may have a future with the Cirque du Soleil). Off to the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (as advised by Telehealth). Of course I only had the vaguest idea of where the hospital was and spent 1/2 the drive - the same drive where we were dodging snowplows trying to clear excess snow, cursing myself for not having done a trial run to the hospital - I mean we were going to end up there at some point right?

They, after many hours, glued his head back together (it's on the back where it will be covered by hair, so they were able to spare him stitches). I wondered if it was a fitting turn of events for young Stu, and without being all psycho pointed out that this is where Myles (boy with the eye) had to come because of him throwing his hockey stick.

Yesterday morning Julia threw up. Then again at 5:41 this morning. She has sore ears. I am on my 3rd load of vomit laundry.

All I want right now is for her to stop throwing up (touch wood it's been a few hours) and for the snow to stop so that we can drive to Montreal tomorrow and eat turkey.

And drink lots and lots of eggnog.

MERRY CHRISTMAS to all and all the best for 2008!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Tis the season

About 10 days ago I had an email from my friend Catherine. She's spending her first Christmas in Europe and noticing the differences - no Christmas music in stores, feeling like it's not really all that holiday like...

I remember feeling the same way 8 Christmases ago. I had been in Luxembourg for almost a year and thought I knew a lot about living there. But then the holidays came and it didn't feel right. There were no Christmas carols on the radio or in the stores. There were lights up but still... I remember driving to Myles & Cathie's for Christmas dinner in the rain and feeling oh so blue. Though it was hard to stay blue with Cathie's perogies on offer!

Now I am suffering for the reverse effect. There has been Christmas music for going on 2 months now - even radio stations that have been playing nothing but Christmas music since the 1st of December! Everywhere you go you are bombarded by "Christmas Cheer" - it's a bit overwhelming to be honest.

For all our vows to not get caught up in the hype it's hard not to. Going to Toys'r'us almost a month ago was already a frantic occasion. I can't quite put my finger on where it comes from, but there all this pressure to buy gifts, the right gifts for just about everybody.

In retrospect, I used to have to get a lot of Christmas gifts done early to mail. Don't get me wrong, it was still stressful (why is it that gift giving is so stressful?) but at least it was usually done by the beginning of December.

I guess I can also blame a lot of my bah humbugs on other things this year too - Marc's consulting contract coming to an end without any job offers... luckily that one has been resolved in the nick of time and he started a new job on Monday. While I am immensely relieved and proud of him for landing this new job, he still needs to finish up his consulting gig on top of a new job, and at this time of the year that's not fun. Our plans to go to his parents over the holidays - down the drain. We've gotten so used to him not working over the holidays (got to love the NATO shut down for 2 weeks) and now we're happy that he's going to be finished work by 2 on Christmas Eve. It's a lot of changes - in a year where it feels like we've been turned upside down already.

This time last year we were looking forward to 2007 - the last 9 months of 2006 had been challenging (so we thought then!). Now we are looking to 2008. I am aware though in the back of my mind that you can't live your life trying to get from one thing to the next. And that I am turning into a negative person. I have so much to be thankful for in life. Gotta focus on that, and hopefully be jollier next Christmas.

And maybe spend it in the sun - where there's no snow to shovel ;-)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

This pretty much sums it up...

Got this from a friend today. Yup.

BTW - it's snowing again.

December 2: 6:00 PM:
> It started to snow. The first snow of the season and the wife and I
took our cocktails and sat for hours by the window watching the huge
soft flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a Grandma Moses
Print. So romantic we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow!
> December 9:
> We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every
inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be a more
lovely place in the Whole World? Moving here was the best idea I've
ever had. Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a boy
again. I did both our driveway and the sidewalks. This afternoon the
snowplow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the
driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life.
> December 12:
> The sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a disappointment. My
neighbor tells me not to worry, we'll definitely have a white Christmas.
No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says we'll have so much snow by
the end of winter, that I'll never want to see snow again. I don't think
that's possible. Bob is such a nice man, I'm glad he's our neighbor.
> December 14:
> Snow, lovely snow! 8" last night. The temperature dropped to -20. The
cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I
warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The
snowplow came back this afternoon and buried everything again. I didn't
realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I'll certainly
get back in shape this way. I wish I wouldn't huff and puff so.
> December 15:
> 20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4x4 Blazer. Bought snow
tires for the wife's car and two extra shovels. Stocked the freezer.
The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think
that's silly. We aren't in Alaska, after all.
> December 16:
> Ice storm this morning. Fell on my butt on the ice in the driveway
putting down salt. Hurt like hell. The wife laughed for an hour, which I
think was very cruel.
> December 17:
> Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere.
Electricity was off for five hours. I had to pile the blankets on to
stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate
her. Guess I should've bought a wood stove, but won't admit it to her.
God I hate it when she's right. I can't believe I'm freezing to death
in my own living room!
> December 20:
> Electricity's back on, but had another 14" of the damn stuff last
night. More shoveling. Took all day. damn snowplow came by twice.
Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but they said they're too busy
playing hockey. I think they're lying. Called the only hardware store
around to see about buying a snow blower, and they're out. Might have
another shipment in March. I think they're lying. Bob says I have to
shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he's lying.
> December 22:
> Bob was right about a white Christmas, because 13 more inches of the
white shit fell today, and it's so cold it probably won't melt 'til
August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel,
and then I had to piss. By the time I got undressed, pissed and dressed
again, I was too tired to shovel! Tried to hire Bob, who has a plow on
his truck, for the rest of the winter; but he says he's too busy. I
think the a**hole is lying.
> December 23:
> Only 2" of snow today, and it warmed up to "0". The wife wanted me to
decorate the front of the house this morning. What, is she nuts??? Why
didn't she tell me to do that a month ago? She says she did, but I think
she's lying.
> December 24:
> 6" . Snow packed so hard by snowplow, I broke the shovel. Thought I
was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the son-of-a-bitch who drives
that snowplow, I'll drag him through the snow by his balls and beat him
to death with my broken shovel. I know he hides around the corner and
waits for me to finish shoveling and then he > comes down the street at
a 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over everywhere I've just been!
Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open
our presents, but I was too busy watching for the damn snowplow.
> December 25:
> Merry F****** Christmas. 20 more inches of the @&^%)*% slop tonight.
Snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. God, I hate the
snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a donation and I hit
him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude.
I think she's a fricking idiot. If I have to watch "It's a Wonderful
Life" one more time, I'm going to stuff her into the microwave.
> December 26:
> Still snowed in. Why the hell did I ever move here? It was all HER
idea. She's really getting on my nerves.
> December 27:
> Temperature dropped to -30, and the pipes froze. Plumber came after
14 hours of waiting for him; he only charged me $1,400 to replace all my
> December 28:
> Warmed up to above -25. Still snowed in. The B*TCH is driving me
> December 29:
> 10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave
in. That's the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I
> December 30:
> Roof caved in. I beat up the snow plow driver. He is now suing me for
a million dollars; not for only the beating I gave him, but also for
trying to shove the broken snow shovel up his ass. The wife went home
to her mother. 9" predicted.
> December 31:
> I set fire to what's left of the house. No more shoveling.
> January 8:
> Feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep giving
me. Why am I tied to the bed?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Grumble Grumble

Have you seen my holiday cheer?

I think I may have dug a hole in the backyard (under the snow, so deep deep down) and buried it.

Grrr. Mmmhphm. Blech.

37cm of snow yesterday didn't help. Our street still has not been plowed. The Volvo with all wheel drive got stuck.

Grumble. Pfffft. Grunt.

Update : 10 pm and the plow finally goes by, a mere 40 hours after the snow began. Somehow the majority of the snow ends up on ours and our next door neighbours' driveways. Across the street? A few inches to shovel.

On our side (and I am not exaggerating, though I am wont to do so) - a mound of snow that was almost 3 feet high and at least 3 feet across. And the width of two driveways. They must have an in with the mayor (the mayor of Ottawa is likely to be charged for bribing an opponent to drop out of the race... not that I'm implying anything.)

Nice heavy stuff. Yeah. I just asked Marc to return my Christmas presents and buy me a snowblower.

Friday, December 14, 2007

What? a 5 minute window?

To post?? Wow...

That being said I am sitting with the dueling Magnetix building children. There's 200 pieces in the box Stu got for his birthday, how is it they are constantly arguing over a piece?

So... what to say. You know how when you have a friend you talk to every day you always have something to talk about, but then if you don't talk to them for a while you haven't got much to say? That's me right now. I am sure there is some argument to be made for our lives being made up of mostly small stuff.

In our world we have been busy. Rushed off our feet busy. The boy turned 6 on the 4th - 6!!! Was he not just a tiny baby? Where did the time go...

He also got his first report card - better than we had anticipated in a lot of ways. The transition has been hard on him. Skipping Sr Kindergarten was hard on him. But he did okay (even got a couple of A's).

Parent teacher interviews (another first in our house) were a bit of another matter. The arts teacher : "Stuart marches to the beat of his own drummer" as an opener. Bad mother that I am I giggled at some of the stories they told . I am not sure if it was nerves (in part) or the fact that I am so relieved that I am not the only person who can't mold his will to my way. He's a really stubborn little guy apparently, even at school. Smart as a whip, but a non-conformist. We're trying to figure out how to teach him to still hear his own drummer, but not leave the rest of the parade and end up falling off a cliff.

We had a hugely successful birthday party for Stuart - I say that in relation to the amount I was DREADING it. We booked an indoor playground called Midway. We could only get 5-7pm on a Sunday night by the time I got my act together. When I went to inquire I was too late for something else to look around properly (I'd heard it was an okay venue).

Invitations went out, I dreaded the calls saying that it was too late on a school night (what kind of mother books a party at that time? geeesh) but all the kids we really wanted to be there came.

The morning of the party we went to another party in Stittsville at a place called the Moo Zoo. It was a party for a 3 year old. The place was tiny. The play structure was no bigger than that at the Quick on Route D'Arlon in Luxembourg (think Belgian McDonalds). We'd only booked the play structure for Stu's party - egads, what if Midway was the same?

My son would be an outcast - victim of an uncool party booked by his socially challenged mother.

We went home from the morning party and tried to "add-on" to our party. They don't answer the phone at Midway, you have to leave a message. By 4:40 when we left I was in a state.

I need not have feared - we were able to add-on bumper cars when we arrived. We had a great party host. The "tunnels of fun" play structure went for miles. The bumper cars were a huge hit. The tokens for the arcade were a huge hit. THe food was inhaled. Marc and I were NOT STRESSED for the whole 2 hours.

And Stu is not a social outcast (until my next chance to mess up that is).

Tonight we have a concert at Julia's nursery school. They've been practicing for weeks now (she's in two classes, so two presentations to make). She's pretty pumped about it... I just hope she doesn't get stage fright when she sees the number of people in the audience. Tomorrow she has an open house at ballet - I dug out our video camera (which I realize we have not used since June 2004 - eeek!) and tested it out taping her talking to me. She loves the camera, our little prima donna....

On that note, it's been more than 5 minutes and I have rambled on for too long. We need to make & eat dinner and get dressed up and out of the house in an hour. Mission impossible?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

P.S. I love you

A few weeks ago I was putting laundry away in Stu's room and put a few things away in his desk. He loves post-it notes (thanks to Gill and David). I wrote "Mummy (hearts) Stu" on the top one of his post it notes.

Stu and I have been having a bit of a rough go these last few weeks. Nothing I can bring myself to discuss at 10:09 pm when I was supposed to be in bed an hour ago. But things have been more difficult than either of us would like. He's going to be 6 in a couple of days and there are days when I feel like I am under house arrest with this child who second guesses my every request, and yet other days I remember the day he was born... you know how it is, these moments of mother love.

He is clingy and yet not that pleasant to me lately. A weird and trying combination.

This afternoon I went into my room and saw a yellow post-it not on my pillow. It said "Stu (hearts) Tracy".

I didn't cry - miraculously. But I am going to try and keep it forever.