Monday, March 31, 2008

60 minutes

On Saturday at 8 pm we took an hour and turned everything off in the house.

We came late to the idea (I had no idea it was Earth Hour until 5 pm) and we weren't exactly ready for it, so as Marc was out buying season one of the Tudors (yes, the obsession runs deep) the kids and I ran around unplugging things or turning off power bars.

Then we lit some candles - 8 to 9 pm is bedtime in our house. We read bedtime stories by candlelight. Made animal shapes on the walls. And talked about the earth and things we can do to help protect it.

I suggested that we do this more than once a year. Marc thought once a month was good. Stu however decided that it really wasn't - according to him we need to do it once a week.

So, we will be unplugging once a week.

You go my young environmentalist.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I would post but...

I am busy reading "The Other Boleyn Girl" with what I can only describe as an obsessive interest.

Marc brought it home from D.C. last week - purchased at the Borders (hello Lisa! made me think of you!) in the airport, and he had read 100 pages on the plane.

We've been reading it in turns - well more like I read it when he's not home. Or when he watches movies I have rented for him.

While making dinner tonight (shepherds pie) I caught myself wondering how I could read and cook at the same time. Peeling potatoes while reading? Not easy.

Tonight? He's gone out virtual golfing (or whatever it's called).

My first thought?

I get the book.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Seen on the back of a car

Bumper sticker reading:



Maybe not to be applied to everything in life, but certainly needs some consideration in mine.

Friday, March 21, 2008

An airport is an airport

The kids and I went to pick Marc up at the airport today. On our way there I realized I hadn't been in the Ottawa airport for almost 9 years, and that I had no idea where anything was, or what the airport looked like.

Well turns out the airport hasn't been waiting for me to come back and visit... it's had a huge facelift and - well - does not resemble the airport I left from on my honeymoon in the least.

I was saying to the kids that I am far more familiar with the Brussels airport, and Montreal when we pulled into the parking lot and got out of the car. And I was hit with a sense of being just about anywhere.

Do all airports look the same these days? Huge, impersonal? We could have been nearly anywhere (except Luxembourg, with it's teeny tiny airport... I wonder how the construction is going on the new terminal...)

And on another note I took Marc from the airport to a clinic. Actually I took him to 3 clinics, but the first two were closed even though their opening hours said they should be open.

Verdict? He has a sinus infection. Poor love, he looks and sounds awful. Stuart has perked up considerably, but Julia is still a pitiful sight. She has not eaten all day (luckily she is drinking) and thrown up her Tylenol twice. Or is it 3 times? I am so lost at this point.

Looks like Easter Dinner at my house might be a no go.

Bummer. Oh well, there's always next year!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Things not to do on a Friday night

Looking for something to do on a Friday night? Here's what I would advise against:

- check your sleeping preschooler's temperature at 5:20 pm. Realize it's 40.1C (or 104 F) and call telehealth.
- while waiting for the nurse from telehealth to call you back google high temperatures.
- spend 20 minutes on the phone with telehealth only to be told when she hears your daughter's cough through the phone that you need to get her to a clinic. Luckily the telehealth nurse is really nice.
- throw together a few things for a long wait at the clinic and get the kids in the car.
- get to the clinic and listen to the nurse tell you the wait is on average 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Worry that contents of bag will not suffice.
- spend the better part of two hours on a vinyl chair with a 40lb preschooler who is burning up with fever draped over you.
- stand and be glad that you are wearing dark coloured cotton because you are soaking wet.
- have both your children check by the very very nice doctor, who proclaims that Julia has mild strep and is bordering on pneumonia and that Stuart (you know, the one you thought was better) has strep as well.
- Feel like a completely incompetent mother for having such sick children. Feel free to insert this step at any point in the evening, preferably repeatedly.
- take the kids and their prescriptions to Wal-Mart (something you have never done before and will never do again) because you figure that you can treat them to cruising the toy aisles in the cart while you wait for their prescriptions, which is better than pulling them off the aisles at the pharmacy.
- try not to cry when you see the millions of people in Wal-Mart the night before Good Friday (because the store is actually closing for a day - what ever will they do??)
- hand in the prescription and be impressed when she tells you to come back for it in 35 minutes. (You will regret this)
- cruise the aisles, pick up some milk and some impulse storage (if that is one of your weaknesses, otherwise feel free to substitute with something more appropriate.)
- head back to the pharmacy counter to have the woman laugh out loud when you ask for your prescription.
- cruise some more and be horribly horribly aware that the people who are in your Wal-Mart at this time of day are not people you would want to meet anywhere else and realize that you may be a snob.
- realize that you are now sweating profusely and that taking off your clothes in Wal-Mart is not an option.
- finally get your prescription 1 hour and 20 minutes after you drop it off.
- try not to scream when they tell you that you now need to wait for "counselling" from the pharmacist (how hard is 2 tsp a day????) despite the fact that it is now after 9pm and you have a screaming, sick 3 year old in your cart.
- make a valiant effort not to club the pharmacist when he knows nothing about the medication, and is muttering so bad that you are trying to coax out of him if the medication is to be taken BEFORE or AFTER a meal and he keeps muttering something that could be with or without (I am usually very open minded about people of different ethnic origin than I am. But tonight his manner and the fact that his English was not good was nearly a breaking point).
- tell children you will not be waiting in line to buy the things in your cart because it's a zoo.
- concede to stand in line for the Fairy Book and Marvel Comics you have agreed to buy.
- jam your hand in the cart while putting in storage thingy, and completely bend ring from Greece into your finger.
- get kids back in car, head home.
- try not to say "Oh S___! It's garbage night!!" at the top of your lungs when heading down your street and doing the slalom between the garbage bags (since we still have a barely passable street)
- bribe children with special treats to fill their tummies so you can force horrid medicine down their throats.
- DON'T think "well at least no one has thrown up"
- clean up vomit that showed up about 2 minutes after the above thought that you should never have had.
- get medicine in them
- put them in the bath
- type a blog when you should be attending their every need (you are however perched on the toilet typing).
- hope that today will soon be over.

and last but not least - Realize that it's not even Friday. You can't even get the title of your post right.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

yeah, not so much

I had the foolish idea that the kids would give me a few minutes to blog.

Yeah, not so much.

We have survived March Break (even had a nice time) and are now living through the flu. Poor Stu had a fever that knocked him out from Friday afternoon until this morning.

And yes, he is still home. He is not eating, I didn't think it was necessary - for anything other than my sanity - to sent him back until tomorrow.

You know, since my sanity isn't really an issue. Just a figment of my imagination. Like an imaginary friend... hey, there's a thought, I can have "pre-kids Tracy" as my imaginary friend.

I have to go now. Stu, while too sick to go to school, is not too sick to torment his sister. Julia, who is not yet sick, is working her way up on the fever meter and is cranky.

They have a plan my kids. I bet if I were to ransack Stu's room I would find some complicated calculations on when he had to pass the germs to Julia in order to have their illnesses fall one after the other (without a break for sleeping for SDP - Sleep Deprived Mum) without actually overlapping.

This morning he even licked his hand and dragged it across my cheek (why??? I have NO clue??). I admit I recoiled and asked him not to give me his germs. Since Dad's away and if Mum comes down with it who will cook dinner etc etc etc. He had the decency to look appalled at the thought of me ill. I could see his plans for world domination by means of the flu virus falling apart before his eyes.

Of course I didn't mention my aching head and my conviction that someone is sticking a knife into my ear a couple of times an hour when I am not paying attention.

Marc left at 5:30 on Sunday morning. When he gets home on Friday I am confiscating his passports. Both of them.

Because every time he leaves, they get sick.

And now, I am really going. Because Julia can't possibly blow her nose alone.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I am not alone

We woke up this morning to more freezing rain and a ton of snow... the wind whips around the corner and builds huge drifts on our driveway. This morning I could barely open my car door.

The roads are awful... I've decided that Julia can miss nursery school because the 15 minute drive will turn into a half hour, or longer.

The woman I deliver the milk with (the woman who does most of the work, getting the milk into bags while I am at reading group with Julia) had the school secretary call to tell me not to come, she would do all the deliveries - bless her!

I love a good snow day (though not in March), but Julia is going non-stop this morning. She's still hanging on to the last bits of her cold, but it's not stopping her from talking, talking, talking...

I escaped to the bathroom (sorry, too much information) for a moment's peace.

But as usual, I was not alone.

I used to laugh at stories of men sequestering themselves in the bathroom... now I understand.

I am longing for Spring, to get out of the house. Let's hope this is the lion of March who will soon give way to the lamb.

And now - I must go and listen to Julia. Because she insists, and I am charmed by her imagination, and she is adorable.

Loud, but adorable.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

It's just wrong

Marc went to see a hockey game while he was in Florida. Panthers vs the Leafs - Leafs won in a shoot out in OT.

In telling us a bit about the game, he told us that - hang on to your seats hockey fans - there were CHEERLEADERS.

Yes, Cheerleaders.

He was sitting next to a guy from Alberta and he turned to ask him "Um, what are those?"

Guy replied shaking his head. "Yeah, they're uh - cheerleaders."

The "Ice Dancers" are the Florida Panthers... cheerleaders.

I admit, I am appalled. This is not what hockey is about to me. It's bad enough that we have pop music blaring now in every arena instead of the good old organ and Stompin' Tom, but cheerleaders? In itty bitty outfits - Hello?? Hockey arenas are supposed to be COLD. You know - the ICE for SKATING and all? And gold pom poms?? What the...?

Let me share with you "5 Things you should know about Melanie" (one of the Ice Dancers in high heeled white patent leather boots):

1) Melanie is a huge sports fanatic. She loves football, basketball, NASCAR and of course, hockey! (My comments - wow! I bet if she could be a football or basketball cheerleader she'd forget she ever saw a hockey game. And is NASCAR really a sport?)

2) She loves to travel. She has been to dozens of countries and hopes to travel even more. (My comment : has she been to Canada? Where you need to wear CLOTHES and sip Timmy's at hockey games?)

3) She grew up in a small Texas town - playing hide and seek in the corn fields and catching tadpoles in the creek. (What can I say? She caught tadpoles! Wow! Now shake your booty honey! Keep those hockey fans in the arena until the end of the game!)

4) Even though she's from Texas she has a talent that you wouldn't think a Texas girl would have. She can snow ski! She's been skiing since she could walk and she can ski down pretty much anything! (my comments - phew - I am so glad they explained that she skis DOWN things! I was scared she'd been cross country skiing through the cornfields or something. As for the skiing down anything - how about the side of the arena? The Empire State building? Has she skied down the Eifel Tower in her travels to dozens of countries? Oh. She means she can ski down just about any SLOPE... duh, silly me.)

5) A quote she lives by is - "Live life to the fullest, with no regrets!" (I have no comment. I am too mesmerized by her Fake & Bake tan and sparkling white teeth.)

Have I mentioned I am appalled. Yup, I guess I have.

Cathie - even you must want the Leafs to win against a team with cheerleaders!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Watching for headlights

Marc is on his way home from the airport. He called, he is back in Ottawa after a much delayed flight. Thankfully it was a direct flight. We've had too many trips that ended with delays resulting in missed connecting flights.

It has been snowing here all day. The driveway is ridiculous again. The road that they finally cleared on Thursday - so that is was actually wide enough to drive down - has been plowed again and guess what? You can hardly tell they took away truck loads of snow 2 days ago. Poor Marc coming back to this.

We went to A's birthday party - so good to get out of the house. Though I must ask - do girls birthday parties have a whiny pitch? My poor head... there was one little girl who sat there making a high pitch noise the entire time she played. Her mother seemed oblivious.

When we got home the plow had been by. I cringed at the mounds of snow in our neighbours driveways as I came down the road. Miraculously ours was empty.

Johnny from next door had cleaned it for me. He's awesome. I am so glad we sent him cake the other day.

Right now life looks pretty good. Now where's that taxi?