Thursday, January 31, 2008


Tonight Stuart had his finger in his mouth.

"Stu - do you have a loose tooth?" (he's way behind the other first graders on this one).

"No Mum, it's just crooked."

"What? Are you sure it's not loose?"

"NO Mum, it's really not loose, there's just this little bit... here on the top... it's crooked... maybe it moved... oh I can't explain."

"Let me see..."

"Sigh. But it's not loose Mum." (Dutifully opens mouth for crazy woman who proceeds to prod his tooth.)

"Uh, Stu?"


"You've got a loose tooth buddy!"

"I've got a loose tooth? I'VE GOT A LOOSE TOOTH!!!!!!!! Dad!!!!!!!"

Remember how exciting your first loose tooth was? I didn't until today.

A little icing on the cake of parenting.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Learning to Skate

It's been cold enough here for the outdoor rinks to freeze, and every afternoon on the way home from nursery school we see kids, skates in hand, heading out to the small rink near our house.

Stu has been eagerly awaiting his first go on skates - his godparents gave him some skates at Thanksgiving and he's been itching to get into them. So when we drove by the rink yesterday and realized that there was a tiny rink for the kids not playing hockey, we decided to have a quick snack and head out before the sun set.

We perched on snowbanks to put on our skates and I was reminded of the outdoor rink near my house growing up. Within minutes my fingers were cold, and I didn't even have my skates on yet before my feet felt chilly. Childhood memories came flooding back.

I have a confession to make - I don't like skating. I broke my arm skating in Grade 6 (a fellow girl guide crashed into me 3 times knocking me over and I fractured my wrist) and didn't get back onto skates until I was 22. Goaded into it by a boyfriend at a romantic Victorian Inn in New Hampshire.

When I moved to Ottawa in '94 I bought skates. EVERYONE here skates. I think I used them once (Marc who I met in '95 had never seen me on skates before yesterday).

But seeing as we live in Ottawa - where everyone seems to be waiting for the canal to freeze for half the year - well I bought skates again this year. Nice furry Nike ones that looked cosy (hmmmm. Jury's still out).

I am certain if I spread the word of my lack of enthusiasm to glide up and down the world's longest outdoor rink I would be run out of town.

It's more than just that though - I want to show my kids that you can still try something you're not good at. In the end I only had my skates on for about 15 minutes by the time we got them up and remotely stable. But I managed to stay upright and did a couple of "laps" around the "rink" (I think my living room/dining room is bigger).

The kids did great - Julia on her cheese cutters (double blades) got the hang pretty quickly. Stu, ever his mother's son, took a little longer to warm up, but got off the ice reluctantly when it was time to go.

Think I'll take them to my girlfriend's next week to have her big strapping boys help out. If nothing else they can pick their Auntie Tracy up off the ice ;-)

And perhaps the promise of a Beaver Tail will get me out on the canal.... just perhaps...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Longing for Nancy

I have been trying to keep all my Europe Longings to myself for a bit now.

I'll be going along, having a perfectly normal day and then - BOOM - I think of somewhere we went. Some things are just nice memories, others are much more profound, almost a physical longing for places. Like Table du Pain (oh no, a Lait Russe and a Table du Pain Club... mouth watering....)

Yesterday I had the overpowering urge to go to Nancy, in the Moselle "departement" of France. It was home to Stanislas, Marie-Antoinette's father. It's a lovely town with lovely shopping, a huge lovely park with a lovely little zoo and lovely Art Nouveau architecture. And of course a Table du Pain (I think I should go and make some lunch, I am a little too focussed on TdP at the moment).

We used to go to Nancy a couple of times a year - at 120km from Luxembourg it was far enough to be an excursion, but not far enough to require much advance planning.

We've been there in the hot summer, pregnant with Stu and eating Mexican with S & J when they visited. We've braved winter weather and had delicious crepe meals - though the service was so bad the last time we abandoned our favorite eatery (interestingly enough in some areas of France speaking English still gets you glared at, even if you are doing all your ordering in French).

Last winter we were in Nancy the first (and one of the only) day that there was some snow. We had a great time throwing snowballs with the kids in the big square by the parking lot. We of course got stared at, but hey. (unfortunately I was also so sick that I coughed so hard in the car going home that I pulled a muscle in my chest. No joke.)

The last time I was in Nancy was with my mum and the kids in May. It was a beautiful warm sunny day. We bought Julia her much coveted Lelli Kelly shoes, and me my Dorkings (my favourite shoes). We had lunch and walked through the Park/Zoo. Had ice cream in the rose garden.

On a wintery blustery COLD day like today it's a lovely memory... and I wish I could go there right now. Sigh.

I have to stop typing because Julia will not stop talking to me and trying to type. Double Sigh (this is why I haven't posted this week, we're in full on Mummy Love.)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Really, I did

Today I painted the powder room. With Julia's help.

Yes, I teetered off the cliff of sanity and gave the child a paintbrush and pushed her towards the paint.

In a VERY small room. Where we both ended up with paint in our hair from ducking each other and bumping into walls.

For a 3 year-old she is a mighty fine painter. And it was fun.

The baseboards she dripped on needed touching up anyhow. The paint on the hands that ended up all over the toilet? Came off with bathtub cleaner.

The paint she walked in by accident and tracked all over the floor... well there's still some in the grout between the tiles, but what the hey.

She's very proud of herself. Me too.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

where is it in the rules?

The other day I got a Christmas card from a friend in B.C. In it she apologized for sending it in January and I thought - holy cow, she's good to even send them.

I like the idea of Christmas cards. I like to receive them. I love to buy them. Some years I even manage to write a few, but rarely do I manage to mail them.

The last few years I have blamed it on having a December baby - Stu was born the 4th of December. So there's his birthday to organize. Then, when we were still living in Luxembourg, Kleeschen (the Luxembourgish version of Santa Claus) came on the 6th. By then it was getting too late to send them to Canada and have them arrive in time.

And it was a pain to get stamps in Luxembourg. If I ever get a government job, I want it to be in a rural post office in Luxembourg. You get to waltz in at 9, leave at 11:30 for lunch and then go back from 2-5 in the afternoon. Of course at 4:45 you close the doors and glare at anyone coming in because you're CLOSING - hello?!

Okay, so maybe their hours aren't quite that short, but not much longer either.

So - back to me not sending Christmas cards. Please don't tell me I could write them in November. I know I could, but it's just soooooo....... I don't know, too early. For me Christmas season doesn't begin until Stu's birthday is over.

This year I was going to send cards. After all, being a SAHM, I had no excuse (oh shoot me now for any and all judgements I made erroneously before having kids and staying home). I even bought supplies for the kids to MAKE cards this year.

Of course they only wanted to make them for people that live next door to us or their stuffed animals. Not many went out.

So. I've decided - that we will send annual cards. Just NOT at Christmas, when there are 17 zillion other things to do.

I have no clue what time of year we will send them. Working that out still. Wondering if maybe Back to School cards would be appropriate - as in "we all survived the summer".

Then again, after the summer I may be retiring to my room with a nice bottle of wine, and you wouldn't want a card from me then ;-)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

An open letter to my Husband

Dear Better Half,

This letter serves to inform you of changes to the terms and conditions (hereafter T & C) by which we will spend the rest of our lives together (a.k.a. happily ever after).

As of today, 15 January 2008, please be advised that any "Boy Time" you spend with our son should not include, but not be limited to, the viewing of such cinematic "productions" such as Star Wars.

This condition can be waived provided that you cease your current employment immediately and become a Stay at Home Dad (SAHD) and deal with lightsabre fighting, constant battling, "getting" people etc that is a result of watching said "productions".

He seems to think he is Chewbacca (which is the only explanation I can find for him "attacking" children much smaller than he is) and that your daughter and all her nursery school friends are the Emperor's minions. He has "blasted" the car and is in danger of redecorating most of our home in a serious minimalist trend.

Failure to comply with this new T & C will result in a month long Barney-fest for both you and the boy. Repeat offences could result in Julia and I spending a month in the South of France and/or Italy.

Much love,
your wife

Saturday, January 12, 2008

what shade of green is that?

I am suffering terribly from house envy these days.

We left a larger house in Luxembourg - I was not sorry to leave it really, it was an awkward house - and moved back into our townhouse that we built in 1996. The one that I love dearly, but that is the smallest model the builder made. Even with the bit of extra space that we've gained in the basement, it is still quite.... well wee.

Marc has suggested I view it as if it were an apartment in Paris - at about 1300 square feet it would be enormous. Unfortunately I reasoned back that I would have the Seine, delicious croissants and - well - PARIS to make up for it.

It's not that I don't love my house, I do. Really. If there was any way that I could just enlarge it by say - oh 30% - then all would be well.

I seem to have fallen right back into the whole North American mentality of MORE IS MORE, feeling I need a bigger house (or again, just for this one to be bigger).

And my case of house envy is running rampant.

It happens most places I go. My neighbour's house is nearly twice the size of ours. It doesn't feel cramped like ours. My girlfriend's house - with her two teenage boys and granny suite for her mum - also spacious. My friend's house in an older neighborhood - great huge yard and rooms that feel like real rooms. Like houses we grew up in. Wait, make that two friends in older neighborhoods. Two of Stuart's friends from school... the list goes on. Seems like I can't walk into someone's house without comparing mine.

Tonight we had dinner with some lovely friends who live a short way out of town (Ottawa has grown since we left). They have an ENORMOUS house - one with a lovely cosy family room off the kitchen. With a fireplace. My ideal place for a family room - the one I had in Luxembourg was close to being right, but not quite.

Ugh. This envy leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I am trying to cull it here and now, but I am not managing very well. It's silly and self-serving - there are people out there with nothing and I am concerned about square footage. I am not impressed with myself.

Friday, January 11, 2008

slow going

So - I am extremely proud of myself for managing to get a picture up on here. It's only taken - oh too long. But for some one as technologically challenged as I am, with the attention span of a flea and windows of opportunity that are very short - well it's quite a feat.

Tonight I've managed to add some links to blogs I read - only to realize that I've been so busy I hardly read any. And that someone who moved to Africa needs to find time to post... hint hint...

But what I can't figure out how to do is link things in my text... as in when I wrote the other day "you have to read finslippy" and have it so the finslippy is a link.

I'll figure it out at some point.


(the finslippy link is on the side now though in case you had no clue what I was talking about... and as of now it's still the same post).

Thursday, January 10, 2008

the wool

is winning.

How on earth do you knit one purl one and then do anything with the next row???

All this is doing is sticking VINDALOO in my head (we found the CD when we were unpacking... purchased on our honeymoon to the UK in 1998)

Knit one, purl one... Nanana, VIndaloo, nanana nanana na na... me and me mum and me dad and me gran and a bucket of vindaloo... cos we all like vindaloo....


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

you have to, I said so

you have to check out the post at finslippy today.

I would have written my own post, but I spent too much time reading hers and the comments and laughing until my sides hurt. And I have nothing nearly that funny to say.

hee hee...

Monday, January 07, 2008

warning: needles involved

I've decided I want to learn to knit.

No, this is not the first time. Nor, sigh, do I think it will be the last.

I've knitted before. A scarf for my mum that had to be knit on large needles so it was supposed to look "holey". A scarf to bring baby Stu home from the hospital - it was sweet but completely uneven. It irked my need for symmetry in the world.

Now I am going to start a doll for Julia. Which, according to my son, will be followed by a teddy bear sweater for him. As in teddies in 3 colours who are dancing the cha-cha while sipping Chinese tea and scuba diving.

No, the bears aren't really doing that, but they might as well be for all the chance they have of being knit resembling bears at all.

Bless his little heart for believing that Mummy can.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Happy New Year!



Please don't think I haven't enjoyed the holidays. I really really have. They've just been hectic, so much so that I have yet to tell you about Christmas, or the fireworks on Parliament Hill on New Year's Eve (should have seen Joolsies face! Her first time!) or tell you how FABULOUS Mamma Mia was on Thursday night.

By the way, Mamma Mia was fabulous. You have to see it if you can (Pam - even better than Saturday Night Fever in London. Only thing that would have made it better was having you here to bop with us, instead of in Africa...).

But you know... I need a bit of mental space. I love my kids, but full on, 24/7 for 16 days and I am probably more likely to come up as Grumpy than as Happy if I were to do the "which of the Seven Dwarves are you?" quiz on Facebook.

Just kidding, I don't think there is such a quiz on Facebook. But there's so much other "stuff" (see how polite I am being) that it wouldn't surprise me to find out there was one.

So... back to school tomorrow. It's a bit sad really, all the build up to the holiday season and then inevitably January rolls around and there you are feeling kinda flat.

That is kind of how I feel right now - flat. We did some great stuff. Had some playdates, saw Enchanted, spent lots of time playing out in the snow, went to the museum of Science and Tech... even had some down time, some days when we really didn't get out of pyjamas.

I have resolutions, but I am not sure I will get to them on this post. I am trying to make myself post them so that I feel some accountability to follow through on them.

But for now I am going to go and hug my babies and feel sniffly that they are going to be leaving me tomorrow - even for the few short hours they will be gone. It's a luxury I haven't had for 16 days ;-)