Friday, November 21, 2008

Well helloooo!

So - I messed up NaBloPoMo. Oooops. I realized that I was starting to just grumble about things and you know what? That is so not what I want to do - at least not on a daily basis.

I am trying to get myself in order... me, my house, my kids. I've been complaining to just about everyone who will listen (and some who were obviously trying not to) about the state of my house, getting my kids out of the house in the morning, and in general a lot of put-upon SAHM stuff. Sheeesh. I am fortunate enough to be able to stay home for now and I am whining about it. How spoiled does that make me sound.

So... until I have something to say that is actually worth saying I might not be around here much. I am going to spend some time trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up (employment looming on the grade 1 horizon - only 21 months to go) and get our lives in order. I've signed off on facebook for a while and am even trying to curtail my Etsy viewing.

I was actually going to try and cut out the internet altogether for 2 weeks but that's just crazy talk.

I will of course be dropping by my favorite blogs. I mean really, there's only so much house organizing/future figuring out/making time for myself I can do.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Missing day

I didn't get here yesterday - I realized at about 11:30 as I was trying to drift off to sleep and decided that I wasn't getting out of bed.

My little family made it back safe and sound from Grandma & Grandpa's house, despite the snow that caught them off guard at the beginning of the journey. They were full of tales of time spent with their cousins - Shae especially, who is only a few months younger than Julia, spent the entire weekend with them. It was nice to hear their stories and see their huge grins.

Of course some of that didn't last long - they both came home a little under the weather (and are both home today) and by bedtime there were tears and whining.

I have to admit that I got frustrated - I had heard all about how wonderfully they behaved all weekend, how they were polite, didn't fight in the car, ate without having to be fed (I know, someone shoot me now), didn't whine, didn't cry... and they come home to bicker, whine, pout and cry (not to mention sneeze horrible stuff on me, but that is not really their fault).

My guilty thoughts were "They weren't gone long enough." to "My first weekend alone in 7 years and I spent the whole time sorting out this house for you to come home and be like this?" and some other places we need not go.

I felt horrible at my thoughts - I was supposed to have missed them like crazy and I didn't. Bad mother. I admit that when Julia flew through the door with a huge grin on her face and threw herself at my legs my heart sang. But until that moment I was fine.

Perhaps absence only makes the heart grow fonder if you don't spend 6+ hours cleaning up what your son refers to as a bedroom - and it was a mess the two of them created. I spent at least an hour picking teeny tiny elastics off the floor and hundreds of tiny stickers. I sorted and put away - where things belonged. I pulled dirty clothes out of the backs of drawers full of stuffed animals. I... oh I should stop there before I make it sound worse than maybe it was. Some of it had been building since we moved in 3 months ago, some of it had been in the week before when I flatly refused to clean his room.

He came home to a clean room - my wonderful organized friend Natalie called mid-afternoon and offered to help me move the furniture around. A whole new clean room. And what did I get out of it? A nonchalant "Thanks Mama."

Oh boy, is November a glass is half empty kind of month for me or what???

I am trying to figure out where to go from here. I did not give up working to be the cleaning lady. I was just up there with he-who-is-too-sick-for-school-but-not-too-sick-to take-out-stuff making him put stuff away. There were already socks under the bed and his NHL hockey pucks all over the floor.

And so now I am the nagging cleaning lady. This is why I didn't post yesterday. Grumble grumble grumble.

we'll try this again tomorrow.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

uh, yeah - what she said

How many times do you start a sentence with "This blog I read..."

Tonight I am giving you options.

Option 1
I can rant and rave about the woman my grandfather has been married to for the last 28 years who told him he was looking for attention when he asked her to call and ambulance when he was having a heart attack.

Option 2
Go visit Nora because what she had to say today about sisterhood - show me where to sign up (though I guess it would be easier of transcontinental flights were not involved).

I'm figuring you're taking Option 2 (really, I would).

Speaking of sisterhood I had a bit today - my bff (I'm just trying to feel young, but we have been friends for over 30 years) came round and we tackle the basement (got most of the play area done!!), scarfed down chinese food (that made us both come out in red spots... hmmm) and drank wine while watching Matthew McConaughey remove his shirt several times (Fool's Gold). Some pretty good sisterhood I do believe.

And while I am sending you elsewhere to see people check out Angie's Cat Engineer video at All A Dither. What is it about cat videos that makes me laugh?

And thus I conclude posting when I normally wouldn't. Goodnight.

Friday, November 14, 2008

do you hear that?

Listen really hard... do you hear it?

No, not the cat howling.

You don't hear it? The SILENCE I mean.

I am home alone. All alone. Marc took the kids to his parents for a long weekend and I didn't go. I am... alone.

This is the first time since Stuart was born that I have spent a night alone in my own home. In fact, I think it may be the first time since June 2000 that I have been completely and totally alone in my own home overnight.

Weird. In a good way I think.

My weekend was supposed to look like this:

Friday - pack hubby and kids in car and then spend rest of day cleaning house from top to bottom. Collapse in self-content heap around dinner time with a glass of wine and a chick-flick. (I like my cleaning from time to time.)

Saturday - Get up and start organizing basement (getting rid of last boxes from move), creating playroom for kids. Saturday afternoon bff comes over to help/get me back on track. Dinner with bff, then head out to see a band (not sure want to do this, but bff asked).

Sunday - sleep in. Try out new yoga place in the Glebe at 9:30. Have a latte and wander through the Glebe to the knitting store if weather nice. Come home, wax legs, knit, read, relax.

But, as I was typing my cryptic post about wanting something and then not being sure I wanted it (I was feeling funny about the 3 most important people in my life driving 750km without me), my mother was leaving me a message. Asking me to call so she could tell me that my grandfather was in the hospital after having a heart attack.

He is stable, and for a 91 year old man who just had a heart attack he's not in bad shape at all. I got in the car this morning and drove to Montreal. My mum and I spent 3 hours at the hospital, got him moved (finally! After 36 hours!) from Emergency to a room. Then I went to Zara and H&M (I needed a little retail therapy - I am not good in hospitals) and had dinner with my stepdad at the "chicken coop" before pulling Marc's old dresser out of my parents basement and into my car, trying to sort through/get rid of some of the boxes we still have stored there from when we moved to Europe and then I drove the 170km home. When I left at 8:45pm I had some questions about my sanity to be turning down my parents offer of a comfy bed and a yoga class in the morning, but I wanted to - um, well - sleep in my house alone.

Which I will go and do now because man, am I rambling or what?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sounded like a good idea at the time

Ever think you want something - really really want something? And then you find a way to get it and then you're all kinda "hmmm, well maybe not?"

That's where I am today. Thinking that by this time tomorrow I will feel like a fish out of water.

And this is my 202nd post! It's taken me forever to get here ;-)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

running out of titles

I was going to post a frivolous post on competitive play dates - Julia had a little friend over today and I dropped into Michaels after the grocery store to pick up a craft. It seems like there is almost as much pressure these days on play dates as there is for birthdays.

But I came home and checked a few blogs and my facebook and decided that my world has really gotten small. Friends having scary tests, high school acquaintances passing away.

A boy (well no longer a boy, but how I will remember him) named Emru has passed away. He has been very ill, and received a bone marrow transplant recently.

Life can be so short. RIP Emru.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Last year on Remembrance Day I was surprised that there was so much going on at Stu's school - all I really remember of Remembrance Day when I was in school was a minute of silence. Ours always seemed to be in the library where we were supposed to be silent anyways.

At the school they have an assembly - actually 2, one for Primary classes (1-3) and one for Junior (4-6). The kindergartens did their own, not wanting to discuss war apparently.

I always get a bit weepy over things like the national anthem or Remembrance Day or anything of that ilk. This morning I was moved to watery eyes by my friend Jenny's Grade 1 class reciting a poem (to the beat of Frere Jacques) that was so simple and plainly put that it was beautiful.

When Marc and I were first in Luxembourg, we went to Ypres (or Ieper) in western Belgium one weekend to meet my aunt and uncle who were there to see their goddaughter who was there on a one year work term. I knew very little about the area, only that it was, so to speak "in Flanders Fields". Coming into town on the train we saw fields covered in white grave markers.

While touring the town - a beautiful town that was completely destroyed in the first world war and rebuilt to look exactly the same - we had the opportunity to explore the Menin Gate, a memorial to the missing soldiers of the first World War who have no grave. The number of names on the monument, and not to mention in the cemetery attached to it was - I don't know what word to use to describe it. Row after row of names, row after row of grave markers. All I can say is that we were in awe, aware of how many had died for our freedom today.

We were even more awestruck that night when we rushed through the dark streets back to the Menin Gate to hear the last post being played at 8:00 pm. I was struck by how many people were there - young, middle-aged and old - oh some so old that you thought their frail limbs would collapse under them before the final notes from the trumpet faded away. It was a cold rainy night in February and there were still people there, not tourists (except us) but people who lived in the town. People who could still remember the war years - perhaps not the first war, but the second. The ceremony has taken place every night - with the exception of it being moved to the UK during the German occupation of the WWII - since 1928. Amazing.

So I am glad our school goes all out. We live in a very culturally diverse neighborhood with many first generation Canadians. It's good for us to remember who we are and how we want Canadians to be viewed in the world, and above all how lucky we are to have the freedom we do today.

Lest we forget.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Not much to say

So... I haven't got much to say today. The weather is dreary and cold and a few snowflakes fell during my walk this morning.

I have a headache behind my eyes - the kind that makes my eyes hurt and looking at the monitor feel like looking into a fluorescent bulb. One of THOSE headaches as I call them, the ones where you go for weeks on end and then end up in an ENT's office and he tells you you have a rare sinus infection, the one that actually presses onto your optic nerve. But that was 2005 and this is 2008 and fingers crossed I am wrong.

Stu and I are going to the chiropractor tonight - our first visit. I saw an osteopath in Luxembourg but no one since we've been home. I have been telling Marc that I fantasize about a small Asian woman walking on my spine so I guess I am pretty tight.

And I am nowhere near as miserable as this post sounds. You know, this post I wouldn't post if it weren't NaBloPoMo and I don't like to quit. I am surprisingly unmiserable, just not really all that here.

I've had that line from the Robert Frost poem running through my head all afternoon...

And miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.

Tomorrow is a whole new day! I may complain about Julia's teacher! I may give you my opinion on Ottawa drivers (probably not a post for all eyes, it won't have a G rating).

Sunday, November 09, 2008

it would make my naturopath's head explode but it was yummy

Here's what I made for dinner tonight:

Baked ham with a brown sugar beer glaze.

1 fully cooked ham, about 3 to 4 pounds
1 cup beer

Beer Glaze
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
beer to make a smooth paste

Place ham in uncovered roasting pan. Pour 1 cup of beer over the ham; bake at 350° for 1 hour; baste with drippings every 15 minutes.
Combine ingredients for beer glaze.
Remove ham from oven and score diagonally in a criss-cross fashion.
Spread with beer glaze.
Roast for 30 to 45 minutes longer, or until well glazed and cooked through.

I know - SUGAR and BEER and HAM - oh my! (you have to do that in a Lion and Tigers and Bears Oh my! voice - just in case you didn't.)

My naturopath's head would explode. But my kids ate without being coaxed (well except for the whole piece of broccoli thing that we evil parents do) so MY head is still intact.

Far more important - no?

Saturday, November 08, 2008


We just finished watching the Hall of Fame/Remembrance Day Ceremony at the beginning of the Habs vs. Leafs game.

I am sniffly. Seeing the Hall of Famers and the Veterans. Hearing Revelry on the bagpipes (I mean, who doesn't get sniffly at bagpipe music??) and the reading of In Flanders Fields Gaye Stewart who left the Leafs to go to War in 1943.

All pretty emotional stuff.

And for those who have not yet heard it - the new Hockey Night in Canada theme song? OUCH. First time I've sat through it. And the last. The CBC were really out to lunch the day they didn't want to pay that little old lady for the original song.

Hey! Kerry Fisher is still reffing - I thought he was long gone. He now wears a helmet. I wonder if it's nearly as tough as his hairspray was.

I must now return to my seat - my sassy-mouthed 6 year old Leafs fan and I have some trash talking to do - and I almost missed the first fight of the game!!

Go HABS Go!!!

Friday, November 07, 2008

it takes all kinds I suppose

I admit it, I am not a huge dog person.

I do like dogs, really. Just not enough to own one (oh the work).

I have this little Etsy addiction (ahem, my husband would say, LITTLE addiction?) Last night when I couldn't sleep I was checking out Etsy and this popped up in the recently listed items.

Excuse me? A dog paw knit from someone else's dog fur? And look - a photo of said dogs, just in case you, oh I don't know, wanted to imagine them while hugging your dog paw?

I shudder.

To each their own.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I'm going in

To the fridge. To clean it. And I am scared.

I am the grandchild of a depression era grandmother. Nothing was EVER thrown away. Wrapping paper reused (very environmental). Milk bags in our boots to keep our feet dry (very uncomfortable). Ever last smidge of batter scraped from baking bowls (very disappointing).

I can't bear to throw away leftovers. It seems such a waste - and I really intend to use them, the very next day. Really I do.

Except I am terrible at doing that. And they end up in the fridge for... well a while. Till you can't get other stuff in there. Or get other stuff out. And my charming habit of storing them in dishes (trying to avoid prolonged contact with plastic) means you have no clue what surprise awaits you.

The other night I dreamt that my lovely friend Natalie came to my house when I wasn't here and surprised me by making me dinner. My lovely, organized, tidy, on top of everything friend Natalie. And in my dream my first thought was "Oh Lord, she saw my fridge".

Definitely time to clean it out.

If I don't post tomorrow please send someone to look for me.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

a possible explanation of why I no longer survive adult conversation

On the way home from the Kindergarten Bus this morning.

"knock knock!"

"who's there?"


"banana who?"

"banana house!!!"

"knock knock Mama!"

"who's there?"


"banana who?"

"banana school bus!!!!"

"knock knock!"

"who's there?"


"banana who?"

"banana KIDS!!!!!!!!!!" (apparently this one was particularly funny...?)

"knock knock!"

And so it went all the way home from the bus. There were banana roads, banana rocks, banana leaves, banana cars... and even, as we reached the front door, banana GROWN UPS (cue furious laughter and mother wondering if the joke is on her... since I am now feeling a little bananas myself).

~~~ congrats to all my American friends whose candidate won ~~~

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I predict strange speak for the rest of the week

We are going to see Robert Munsch this evening. Robert Munsch - in person! The kids are a little cuckoo for cocoapuffs over the whole thing.

There has been much talk of favorite Robert Munsch stories the last week or so. The two CDs in the car have been played ad nauseam (I actually had to google how to spell that. Sheeeesh).

I'm hoping for a few of the big ones tonight - I personally love "UGLY". Julia thinks maybe Mud Puddle is her favorite. Stu's jury is still out.

Marc is somewhat bewildered by the fact he is attending.

I just hope that we can all talk like normal people sometime soon, and not in that Robert Munsch sing-song of quiet, LOUD, quiet, LOUD that has me turning the volume up and down every 30 seconds on the car radio.

I'll let you know if "I'll love you forever" moves me to tears or not. I still find it a bit creepy - woman driving across town with a ladder and scaling the wall of her (GROWN) son's house to rock him back and forth, back and forth... sounds like she needs some therapy.

Do you think I feel that way because my mother-in-law sent Stu the book?

Monday, November 03, 2008

And I am not alone

In fact I was #9872 to enroll apparently.

There are some lovely ladies who have also signed up for NaBloPoMo...

There is Nora over at Whopping Cornbread.

Mrs. G over at Derfwad Manor.

And while I am not sure if she's in on NaBloPoMo you have to go and visit Kate at Katydidnot.

And while I am handing out recommendations I have to steer you towards Melanie over at Beanpaste. LOOK at those Halloween costumes people! And she has an ETSY store (Etsy Etsy Etsy, I love Etsy).

And as if blogging every day for a month is not enough, Lisa at Mama Milton (the first blog I check every day) and Kim at Temporary Insanity have signed up for NaNoWriMo as well. Don't quote me but I think that means they have to submit 1667 words a day towards their novels.

That's some pretty good reading.

And now I am going to cross my fingers that my links work and head over to Old Navy to see if they have sweatpants for boys verging on 7. But the sweatpants thing is a post on it's own.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

And I am already late

So - this year I actually signed up for Nablopomo. Instead of just posting for a month like I did last year.

Except that I am a day late. How unusual for me to be late for anything.

I'm giving you a moment to stop snickering.

So I will be here every day until the end of the month. No clue what I will write about EVERY DAY, but maybe it will get some of those post ideas that never make it to the light of day.

And maybe I'll have some room in my brain at the end of the month to remember what I need at the grocery store.