Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Five Things That Are Entertaining Me

Yep. It's September. Every August I quietly freak out that nobody will ever hire me again because I haven't heard from ANY of my contacts for an entire month and then they ALL contact me in the middle of September. Maybe next year I'll remember that this happens and just calm the hell down. That's my long-winded way of saying I've been a little busy this week.

In my downtime though, here are some things that I've been doing to relax:

1. I found this song. I've been listening to it over and over. I like it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFNRcL-r244  In other news, I wonder if I'll ever figure out how to download a video?

2. Guilty secret time: I watch "Big Brother." I don't know why; I think it's probably one of the stupidest shows in the history of TV. Anyway, this season has been full of big moves and backstabbing and drama. Whoo-wee!

3. I've been reading a book called "The Widower's Tale." It's pretty good. Though I'm having a hard time reading more than a page or two at a time because I've been falling asleep so quickly. (yay!)

Speaking of widowers, I have this friend who is always "that person" who is trying to correct my grammar. Which is hilarious because grammar is what I do for a living. Anyway, his wife texts me once and says: "What is a widower?" And so I replied that it's a man who has lost his wife. She said "That's what I said, but [husband] insists that it's the killer that makes someone a widow." If you think he will ever live that one down, you are sadly mistaken.

4. I made Twin A watch "The Lost Boys" with me. I like to make them watch '80s movies with me so they can be totally up on pop culture from decades ago. Twin A has a t-shirt with a picture of Cameron on it and a caption that says "Save Ferris." He wears it to school and very few of the kids understand it, but the teachers love it. And honestly, who is more important to impress?

5. I've also been watching old episodes of "Gilmore Girls." There are a lot of people who think that Lorelei and Rory talk too much, but I love to listen that fast. They're so witty and they make me laugh. Right now I'm at the part where Lorelei and Christopher go to Paris and end up married and now they have to tell Rory. I wonder what'll happen. Just kidding, I've seen every episode four or five times; I know exactly what's going to happen.

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Everyone Is Looking At Me

Yesterday, my Thursday-night friend took me for a mani-pedi using gift certificates she got on Groupon. (Yay!) The spa also housed a hair salon and an old man was sitting there waiting for a haircut. I walked in and he said: "You have the most beautiful figure (and then went on to explain that he didn't mean anything by that, it was just a compliment)." Thanks old man, that totally made my day.

Someone was looking at me.

*****

Twin B and I are still running. We're up to 40 minutes now, so well on our way to 10k. Yay us!  He still claims that running is boring, but he does it with very little cajoling, so I think he might just be clinging to that thought so he won't have to admit that I'm right.

Yesterday, we had to go after school because he has to be at school so early on Wednesdays. We were running on a pathway behind some houses and there were flowers sticking out of some of the fences. So he picked me one, and *WORDS OF WISDOM AHEAD*

 
It doesn't matter how old your kid is, when he picks you a flower, you hang onto it and display it in your home.
 
 
So, I ran with a flower in my hand for about half an hour. Poor flower didn't last long with all the bouncing and sweat pouring onto it, but I hung onto it and threw it into a cup of water as soon as I walked in the door.
 
 
People watched me run by with my flower: the older ladies smiling wistfully and the teenagers looking confused.
 
*****
 
 
Later, I showered and changed into some legging I haven't worn in a long while, threw on a sweatshirt, and went to pick up Twin A at football. I chatted with some parents, hung out in the parking lot, laughing and carrying on without a care in the world. Until later when I realized there was a giant hole in the crotchal area of my leggings and I wasn't wearing any underwear.
 
Please don't let anyone have been looking at me.
 
***** 

 


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Dinner

Now that the boys are back to school and extracurricular after school activities, I'm going to have to make our schedule a little more strict. Of course I say this every year, and for the first couple of weeks, we run like clockwork, but then we get lazy and it's back to having cereal or popcorn for dinner.

I've been up two days in a row supervising breakfast, making their lunches, and also I've made dinner. And you guys, with this schedule I can see me burning out by Friday. Twin A has football every night, but there is a break between end of school and football, so basically, I go get them, bring them home and feed them dinner at 330, take Twin A to football, go get him again at the end, bring him home and feed them yet another meal.

And Wednesdays are even worse because Twin B has to be at school at 7am. So I take him, come home and then go back with Twin A. I'd make Twin A go at 7 with his brother, but he's got mandatory study hall after school on Wednesdays then football practice so if I make him go at 7am he'll be there for 12 hours straight.

It sounds like I'm complaining, but I'm not. Not yet, anyway. Actually, I'm just looking for good recipes that are fast and easy. Any ideas? Or, if you're feeling really generous, I'll take donations, Jenny.

Growing up, one of my dance classes was on Wednesdays after school. My mom made the same thing for dinner every Wednesday; we called it Wednesday Night Surprise. I remember that there was corn and potatoes, but I can't remember what else. Probably it wouldn't be as good as I remember anyway; surprisingly my tastes have changed a little since I was a kid.

I don't have a good way to end this post and I don't have anything else to say. So that is all.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Summer Wrap-Up

Well, I guess that's it then. Summer is over. The boys are back at school and I have the house to myself. And lists and lists of things that need to get done. Wheeeee!

It was a fun summer. But I accomplished very little. I'm ok with that though. Here's some highlights:

1. I got old.

2. We visited my parents at their new lake lot. It was nicer than I expected. We didn't stay overnight though. We learned our lesson last year on that long trip to Manitoba. There is little you can do to make a trailer comfortable if you're not in the main bedroom.

3. The boys started driving lessons. There is a classroom portion that they have to go to before they actually start driving. It ends up being 18 hours and Twin B especially was not interested in going. But then there were cute girls in their class, so...

4. And now they've started the actual lessons with that big "Student Driver" sign on top of the car. And they're expected to practice. On my car. With me in it. You need to be a pretty great actress to pretend you're not afraid for your life.

5. I had tea at the Empress with BFF. I don't like tea. But it was fun and the baby sandwiches were so very tasty. While in Victoria, I also found a bathing suit that didn't make me throw up when I put it on. Yay!

6. We pretended to be seals. Well, we didn't, but Twin B did. He was pretty good at it too. Probably he could become a professional.

 
 
7. We went to Fairmont with my aunt and cousins. My cousins are the same age as the boys so it was lots of fun. We climbed the hoodoos. Also we went shopping. And we went to the Salt Springs. And we whitewater rafted. And it is very different travelling with girls because we spent an awful lot of time standing in small boutiques waiting for them to try on every piece of clothing and listening to them squeal every time water got in the raft. 


8. I had a niece. She's pretty cute. I haven't seen her much and to be perfectly honest when I do see them I actually prefer to play with her brother. He's the fun one so far.

9. The boys' great-grandma died. She was 94. So we drove to Regina for her funeral. It was a lovely funeral.

10. Football season started. High school football this year. Twin B decided not to play. Twin A is playing many different positions. He's a running back (the guy the QB passes the ball to), he's a back up quarter back, he's some other things on offence and also plays a position on defense. He may also be the kicker unless they can find someone else to do it. And, if any of the running backs get hurt on the senior team, he'll be doing that too. That kid is crazy.

11. I went out for drinks with friends recently. A 28-year-old tried to pick me up. So that was nice.

12. This last week I've been so bored. But I was in that loop where there was only one week left of summer so I shouldn't do anything and really enjoy the fact that nothing needs to be done so I can look back at that week and think about how much I enjoyed it, but I didn't really enjoy it at all so maybe I can just try to remember how much I don't like being that bored. Also, we got some movie channels.

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Monday, July 16, 2012

ZOOOOOOM!

This month is going super-fast. And, as I'm sure you've noticed, I'm not blogging so much. It's hard to keep up when the boys are home is all. Come September I'll be back, but probably not a lot before then.

**************
Well. I turned 40. I had a lot of fun on my birthday with my texted happy birthday messages. There were some of my replies:

Text: Happy birthday!
Me: What? Rappy mermaid? I think my hearing is going due to my advanced age.

Text: Happy birthday! See you later.
Me: Hopefully, considering my advanced age, I won't forget your name when I'm introducing you to people.

Text: Happy birthday! See you tonight.
Me: Thanks. Hopefully I'll be able to see you through my cataracts.

Text: Happy 50th!
Me: Fuck you!

So, as you can see, I'm handling this well.

**************
The boys are at driving school today.

**************
Twin B and I have started a Couch to 10k. Last Monday we ran 1 minute and walked 1.5 minutes six times. This week we have moved up to running 1.5 minutes and walking 2. We're out for a half an hour three times a week. I thought we should start at week 5, but Twin B thought it'd be fun to pretend we needed to start from the beginning. Whatever. We're out there and we're having fun. And plus I like that kid and it's nice to spend time with him.

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tuesday Five

I might be a little behind on the Friday Fives.

1. My friend, Melisa got married this weekend. Congratulations Melisa and Sleeve! It was a beautiful wedding; I'm so very happy for you both. Also, happy birthday.

2. July Awesomes: A rookie making your ice cream cone at McDonald's. Marble Slab. Twisted Yogurt. The smell of cherry Kool-Aid powder. Summer. Grocery Day. Reaching the itchy spot on your back.

3. There was a lacrosse tournament this weekend. Five games in three days. Twin A got the Heart & Hustle award for one of those. I don't want to brag (Yes I do; my kids rock), but Twin A has never walked out of a tournament without at least one Heart & Hustle. Last year, his coaches actually asked the other teams to choose someone else.

4. Twin B is at basketball camp this week. He complained about how it's seven straight hours of basketball with only a 15-minute lunch break. So far though, he's obviously loving it. He hasn't stopped talking about it and the people he knows there and all the drills they're doing and the pick up games. I love it when he's excited about something.

5. There was a lady at one of the lacrosse games this weekend that was an over-clapper. It was really odd. It was like everyone clapped for an extended period of time and then she would clap five more times. And it was like a loud, slow clap. At the end when they got their medals, she clapped for every single kid anywhere between 10 and 19 times (we counted because we thought she might be OCD and have to clap a certain amount of times but then realized that she clapped longer for the goons and less for the smaller kids). Seriously, try clapping 19 times in a loud, slow clap. Doesn't that seem excessive?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bad Planning

I did not plan this well. Having kids when I was young seemed like a good idea. What I didn't stop to figure out though was that they would enter high school the year that I turn 40. Because having kids going into high school makes me feel old. And turning 40 makes me feel old. And combined makes me want to start looking into Home Care and Meels on Wheels. And possibly getting one of those showers that has a door and a chair.

You're only as old as you feel. Well, that's not helpful, is it? And have you ever noticed this is always said by retired and determindly cheerful people. The kind that are always so sickningly positive all the time that you know they have to be faking. The kind of people that when something unpleasant happens to them they continuously tell you how much worse it could be. "I was in a horrible accident where a piano fell on my head and broke every bone in my body and the doctor's say I will never get out of this bed again and also I have blinding migraines almost constantly from the brain damage and tubes and bags will function as every organ for the rest of my life, but it could be worse; I could've been hit with the piano bench too. Har har har"

Old age isn’t so bad if you consider the alternative. The alternative of visiting the fountain of youth and remaining young forever?

Anyway, I must go get ready for the day; I have to go buy some sensible shoes.


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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Facepalm

Looks can be deceiving. Twin B has a friend. He has long, long hair, wears rock tshirts, and plays guitar in a heavy metal band. He hangs out with his band mates who are known for their badass ways and looks like a troublemaker. He is also an honour student and quite possibly the nicest boy ever. He once came over to hang with Twin B and rather than sneak out in the middle of the night or any other bad-kid habits, they played board games with me.

And this is where I learned that this kid is awful at trash talk. I'd be all "You suck!" and "I win and you lose and ha ha ha." And he'd be all "That was a really good play." and "You're really good at this game." Like he cannot say a mean thing ever even if he's kidding.

Yesterday, Twin B thought up a new witty comeback that he wanted to try out but first someone needed to insult him. He asked his friend to say something mean. And keeping in mind that this friend *cannot* be mean, he says the first thing that pops into his mind..."Your parents are dead!"

*****pause*****

"OHMYGOD! I can't believe I just said that. I'm so sorry."

Meanwhile Twin B is laughing so hard he can barely talk. 

Of all the insults to say to the one person he knows who actually has a dead parent. Oops.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Jetsam

Our fridge was making funny noises this morning. Noises that made me think that perhaps we might have to start looking for a new fridge. Twin A said that he never liked that fridge anyway, and then  felt bad and apologized and hugged the fridge. The fridge immediately stopped making those noises. So that was weird.

************************************

I'm well on my way to finishing that afghan. I need to knit 72 squares; I'm on 21. Go me!

************************************

The tree in my front yard is the most beautiful tree ever invented.

Autumn
Winter

Spring





Monday, June 18, 2012

Phoning it in

This looked like fun. You should do it too.

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
No. But I was almost named Candy. My parents liked to pick out multiple names and then decide between them when we were born. The deciding factor was what name we most looked like. Apparently I didn't look like I belonged in the sex trade.


2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
I honestly can't remember. I'm going to a wedding in a couple weeks though; I'll probably cry there.


3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
Yes. It's very readable.


4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
Black Forest ham


6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
Probably. If I could get me to leave the house to meet me.


8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
Yes


9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
No. I'm pretty brave but bungee jumping just seems silly.


10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
Cheerios. But I don't drink milk so I can only eat them dry.


11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
I rarely wear shoes with laces but when I do, I don't untie them. I do that thing where you step on the heal and pull your foot out.


12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?
I have a tricep, so...


14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
The first think I notice is usually the thing that stands out. I'm not going to say I noticed what colour that guy's eyes were when he was wearing a bolo tie.


16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?
That when a friend or family member has a problem, I can't fix it.


17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
My BFF. It's not that she's not just a phone call away; it's that those phone calls have become so rare. (And don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming her; it really is a two-way street).


19. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
I work from home; my feet are bare.


21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
I like for my house to be quiet when there are no teenagers here.


22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?
Skin colour...duh.


23. FAVORITE SMELLS?
I can tell you what my least favourite smell is: the smell of fifteen 15- and 16-year-old lacrosse players walking past at the end of a game.


25. MOUNTAIN HIDEAWAY OR BEACH HOUSE?
Either/Both. I'm not picky when it comes to vacations.


26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?
I like hockey on tv, but my all time favourite is whatever my kids are playing.


32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
The Lake House. Since the season of every show ever made has ended, I've been recording movies. In the theatre, I saw something about Snow White, but the dwarves didn't have beards so I found it confusing.


33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
orange.


34. SUMMER OR WINTER?
The only people who like winter don't live in this climate.


37. STRENGTH TRAINING OR CARDIO?
Cardio.


39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
The House of Sand and Fog. I think I will accomplish the goal set out at the beginning of the year to read more than 47 books. I'm already on 39.


40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
It's a stack of paper, so a bunch of random notes and numbers that I assume I'll always know what they mean until I look back a couple of months later and think, what the hell is that?


42. FAVORITE SOUND?
Silence.


48. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR HOUSE?
It has green trim. It used to be orange.


50. DO YOU LIKE ANSWERING 50 QUESTIONS?
Well, I skipped quite a few so I guess not.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Flotsam

Often I have a bunch of things to say but not enough about one thing to warrant an entire post. Probably you've noticed that if you've been reading for a while.
  • June Awesomeness: Music, people who sing when they're happy, Jell-o, fresh sheets, finding $10 on the ground, being surprised with Crave cupcakes, "Slow Children Playing" sign.

  • My kids graduated grade 9. The ceremony was last week. I'm happy to say that it only lasted an hour and a half and wasn't boring. The called up the children class by class and had entertainment in between: some girl sang about being 15, another danced, a teacher sang to his own child who was lucky (?) enough to have her dad as a teacher for the last 3 years, and a hard metal band played.

  • I took my car in for an oil change yesterday. One thousand dollars and an overnight stay later... Ugh.

  • A murder of crows woke me up this morning and stuck around for hours and hours making that noise that sounds like they might have bypassed that nest of baby robins and went straight for the neighbours cat. I refused to look out the window because I hate seeing the carnage and instead sat in a corner, rocking back and forth, mumbling to myself and crying, hoping they didn't notice the boys leaving for school this morning.

That's all really.

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Finishing

I love starting new projects. I love buying the supplies and planning out how it'll look in the end. I'm so excited to get started...and then this happens:

I started making this doll for my niece when she was born. The doll came with a carrying case that doubled as her bedroom and 5 sets of clothes. I thought I'd whip off a bunch of them so that when I needed a gift for a little girl I'd have something cool and special all ready to go. My niece is going into grade 7 this year, so probably she won't want this anymore.

We went to Disneyland for the boys twelfth birthday. I started working on a scrapbook as a way to keep all of our memories in one place. After many years of trying to keep up with chronological scrapbooking, I thought I might have more success with different books for sports, holidays, Christmas, and Halloween. To be fair, I do have most of the pictures organized; it's just the gluing them onto paper with stickers and fancy borders part that I haven't done.

These, one day, will be purses and bags and change purses and clutches. What you're not seeing is the seven other unfinished projects. They're all knit, just not sewn together.

One of several pairs of mittens not yet sewn together.

The most embarrassing unfinished project of all. My aunt bought this for me to do so she could hang it in her home. She bought this long before the boys were born. And it's beautiful. It's sideways here, but it's a man and woman walking on the beach. How, though, does it take one person over 15 years to finish a project?


Just so you know: this is barely scratching the surface of unfinished projects I haven't accomplished. I like to think that one day I will finish all of these things or maybe some magic elves will steal their way into my house at night and do it for me, except maybe not at night cause I'd hear them and not be able to sleep and have to get up and make them tea or something cause I'd feel guilty that they were doing my work for free except I don't drink tea and I don't have any teabags or anything so then I could only offer them water with maybe some Crystal Light or whatever but probably they only like the pink lemonade kind and I just ran out of that so I might as well finish those projects myself if they're going to be that picky. Geez.


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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Parent/Child Relationship

Twin A: We need to talk.
Me: Do we?
Twin A: They found Marijuana in my locker.
Me: Who did? And why?
Twin A: [Friend] stole my phone. He says he loves you and you are a beautiful lady.
Me: Cause if they really found pot in your locker, I'd be hearing about it from you over text messages. Sheesh. What am I? Some kind of person who believes stuff?


Later...

Twin A: I'm going to be late getting home because we're going on a magical adventure.
Me: Hopefully not involving the marijuana they found in your locker.


I was chatting with a friend yesterday, telling her about how Twin B has been getting up early, showering, having breakfast, then coming into my room and saying "Time to get up, Little One," which is what I always say to him to wake him up. She mentioned that I have a nice relationship with my boys and we set to pondering about why that was. Is it because they don't have a dad? Is it because I got lucky and managed to have nice kids? Is it because when one of us starts to take life too seriously, there are two other family members there to remind that person that life is going to happen whatever your attitude about it might be so you might as well relax?

**********************
I just joined twitter today. My first tweet: I think I've made a mistake. I joined twitter with nothing to say.

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Monday, May 28, 2012

New Neighbours

I got new neighbours last September. X used to be in charge of getting to know all the neighbours and making me look like a friendly person. He moved out 11 years ago, so anyone who has moved into the neighbourhood in the last 11 years is not someone I've met.

Anyway, I am an awesome neighbour. I'll gather your mail while you're away and even mow your lawn if it's for a long time. I share a driveway and if those neighbours need to use my driveway to drive around another car in theirs, I don't even care, even if it's in winter and you pack down the snow and make it harder to shovel.

But these new neighbours are getting on my nerves. I'm sure they're lovely people but they currently have 3 kids, 3 dogs, 3 puppies, and 2 cats. The kids are little and loud, the cats are constantly trying to get in my house and the dogs have now figured out a way to get into my yard. And I know this is not a popular opinion but I don't really like animals. And these dogs are ugly and big, and if I'm being totally honest, kinda scary.

One day we looked out the window to see the dad sitting in a lazy boy in his back yard, drinking a beer with all the animals and three small shirtless children running around him. From then on, we've called them our "Redneck Neighbours."

I was sitting outside yesterday, flipping through a magazine, when one of the dogs climbed the fence into my yard. And then started barking at me. I texted my mom to let her know that for my birthday this year, I'd like a new fence...preferably an electric one with barbed wire on top. She thought I was kidding.



--

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

May Long

May Long Weekend is one of my favourite times of the year. Every year for the past 10 years, I have spent the weekend in a mountain town with BFF. We eat and sleep and shop. And though our weekend looks very different than it did 10 years ago, we still manage to have the BEST TIME EVER!

This year, though, we decided to skip May Long Weekend and go away in the summer instead. And while I'm looking forward to that summer trip, I think we've both made a decision regarding May Long. And that is: What the fuck were we thinking?

Don't get me wrong; as you well know, I love spending time with my kids and time away from home with them is always a bonding experience, but this one weekend a year is mine. Where I don't have to worry about kid stuff. Hell, I don't even have to act grown up at all.

But this year:

Instead of spending the day shopping and having scheduled naps, I got to drive sweaty, smelly teenagers around and sit in freezing cold arenas for a lacrosse tournament in a city that is not that familiar.

Instead of enjoying culinary treats from fancy restaurants, I got to dine in family restaurants with at least eight teenage boys and some adults whose names I still don't know.

Instead of sleeping on pillowy soft beds in a hotel known for their comfort, I got to stay in a hotel with "comfort" in the name only. The mixture of linen with, at most, 100-thread count and the bleach used to clean the linen would cause my eyes to swell and the bed made of plywood and springs would cause my back to hurt so every morning I resembled the Disney version of Quasimodo in the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

And lastly, instead of enjoying fine wines from all over served by knowledgeable sommeliers, BFF and Honey took a $50 cab ride across the city only to end up at a (surprise!) dry wedding.

Never again!

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Twin B

I don't think it's a secret that I worry about this kid. Like, a lot! He's a great kid, but he's not always as content as I think he should be. And just when I work up to a stressful, think-about-nothing-else worry about him, he proves to me time and time again that he'll be just fine.

Because this is him:

He walked home from lacrosse the other day because he had just finished football and wanted to have a shower but Twin A had to be at a game so we went straight to the arena. Twin B texts me from the road.
B: I'm trying to walk the rest of the way home whilst looking up.
Me: Like up, up or just ahead of you?
B: Like straight up.
Me: Why?
B: I feel like it.

And what do you even say to that.

I took the boys out for lunch one day last week and on our way home we drove past one of their friends. I stopped the car to see if he wanted a ride. Before I could get the window down, Twin B threw open the back door and yelled "Get in! There's no time to explain!"

He's gonna be just fine.

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Athlete

I don't think it's a secret that my boys are somewhat athletic. Right now is lacrosse season, so we have lacrosse almost every single day. It is also football spring camp season so we have football every single day. Sometimes, like today, they fit together nicely, football from 5-8, lacrosse at 845. And sometimes decisions have to be made.

My parents never had this problem with me. Sometimes I wonder if I could play the sports my kids do. We used to play basketball in gym. Gym was the class that I always had my period in or my friend was crying and I must go help her. Right. Now. Plus I could never figure out that whole lay-up thing: count and aim at the same time? What am I, some kind of magician?

I think I could've liked sports more but I tried out for the track team in grade 7, didn't make it, and gave up every being an athlete for fear of rejection. Now sitting at a lacrosse game, I'm pretty sure this is not something I could've ever done even if I had made the track team. I'm not very fond of people pushing me and hitting me with sticks.

Football? Football is a boy sport. Yeah, I said it. Sometimes a girl will play but I don't think it's fair. Boys have been taught their whole lives not to hit girls and even if they do tackle her, they're a lot easier on her than they would be on another boy. If there were an all-girl league then it wouldn't matter, but I probably still wouldn't watch it.

NOTE: According to my stats, there are some readers in Europe and Asia. For these readers I would like to point out that football is not soccer. Girls can totally play soccer. Which reminds me, my parents made me play soccer for a couple of years. Borrrrring. The best part was the orange slices at intermission.

I was, however, a dancer. An elephant dancer. It's not that I was clumsy or not graceful; it's just that I was so much bigger than the other girls in my class. They were all 5'2" and, at most, 100 pounds, I was 5'8" and 140. Even though I had a rather lovely shape, I looked like a school bus dancing with some hummingbirds.

I was never much of an athlete is what I'm saying. But I'm really good at being a mom of athletes. I drive them around, I cheer at their games, I volunteer for fundraising, and I know where the emergency rooms are. And I don't even covet their trophies.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

May Awesomeness

Near the beginning of the year, I made a calendar. I say near the beginning because I had meant to have it done for Christmas but actually got it done near the end of January. Which was fine because a calendar doesn't have to start at the beginning of the year so the one I made started in February.

The calendar went with the theme of awesome. Last year was a pretty shitty year so we tried to come up with something every day to combat all the bad feelings. So now, every month, I get to see some of the ideas we thought were awesome.

Having skilligence (a word Twin B made up meaning a cross between intelligence and skill)

When someone says "who" and you correct them by saying "whom" (this wasn't even one that I came up with though I will admit that it is pretty awesome).

English Accents

Giraffes

The smell of popcorn

Fast food (not all of us agree on all the ideas though I do enjoy a Big Mac now and then)

When you get your car fixed and the dealership washes it too



If I had to add something from today, I'd have to say that booking a trip in the summer with my BFF is pretty awesome!

--

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Experts

Holy crap you guys! That was one whiney post on Friday. Boohoo, I'm tired. I'm a single mom and I have to do everything by myself and my life is soooo hard. Yeah. Sorry about that.

One of the librarians in the school I often sub in has left for another job. And while they look for someone to take over, I've found myself playing school librarian a little. It's fun, it's my very favourite place to sub, and they've asked me to stay on until the end of the year. And I appreciate that they thought of me first but I unfortunately, I can't commit to that. Hopefully, they'll take my offer to work 2 or 3 days a week, but if not I'll totally understand.

Anyway, because I'm in a school full of teenagers, I hear some funny things. The other day, for example, I listened to an entire conversation on "kids today." Meaning young children, I suppose, and how parents aren't raising them properly and what these parents should be doing differently. The conversation brought back fond memories of when I was an expert on parenting.

Today I overheard: *nostalgically* Ahhh, I remember when I was 16.

********************
I wrote the top half of this post yesterday then got busy and never got a chance to finish it. I was writing it in the library when the young, hip, incredibly pretty teacher librarian (Hi J), sat down next to me and started reading the unfinished post. And then offered me three days a week. So guess what I'm doing until the end of the school year?!

********************
This morning I left my comfort zone for a business networking meeting. My friend, Porkchop, had just joined this group and thought my business could benefit from meeting new people as well. And it just may. This meeting, though, was really early in the morning, so last night I checked with Porkchop to make sure we were still going.

Me: Are we still on for tomorrow morning?

Porkchop: You betcha. I'll let you know the time.

Me: Like tonight? Or you'll text me suddenly at 630am and yell: GET OUT OF BED! I'M ON MY WAY!

Porkchop: Oh [Lily Starlight], stop being soooo dramatic.

Me: That wasn't an answer Porkchop.

Porkchop: I'll pick you up at 630.

Me: Jeez. That's really early.

Porkchop: Suck it up, Princess.

Me: Fine. But don't expect my tiara to be on straight that early in the morning.


And it wasn't.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday Five Sleeping Problems

You guys, I am exhausted. This week's sleeping schedule has been interrupted. Here's why:

1. Lacrosse. Twin A plays this game. And when he was little, his practices and games used to be at normal practice and game times. But because they reserve those times for little people and Twin A is no longer a little person, his games and practices are now at big-boy times. On Monday night we got home at 11 and on Tuesday we were home at 1045. On Wednesday night, our game was an hour's drive away, so it was midnight before we got home.

3. Diabetes. Twin A is diabetic. He has been for almost 10 years so you'd think we'd have it all figured out by now. But every time we figure it out, something changes like he gets older or grows or he switches sports. Anyway, we have to visit the diabetic clinic every three months so they can check up on him and make some insulin changes and then they want us to vigilantly keep track. Which means that he needs to test his blood glucose at midnight and 3am every day for a week. Only, he's, like, sleeping at those times so really when they say "he needs to test" they mean I need to test. Also, if he has a low number in the night, normally he'll wake up, test, drink some juice and go back to bed. But when we're being all vigilant about it: he drinks juice, I test 15 minutes later, still low, he drinks chocolate milk, I test 15 minutes later, still low, he eats half of a peanut butter sandwich, I test 15 minutes later, within acceptable range. It's now 4am, I've been up for an hour, and my brain is awake. Dammit.

5. Football. "That's ok" I tell myself because it's almost the weekend so I can sleep in. As I mentioned earlier this week, the boys got into the school they wanted, which means that almost before the ink was dry on the registration forms, the football coaches were calling. Spring camp starts in a couple of weeks, uniform fittings were last night, fundraising starts this weekend with a bottle drive on Saturday morning and a lot cleanup on Sunday morning and oh, by the way, we need parent helpers for both.

And there you have it. Five reasons why I'm not sleeping. Perhaps by Monday I'll have fit in a few naps and be back to normal.

--

Monday, April 30, 2012

Yay Stuff

Here is some cool stuff that's been going on lately:

The boys got in to their school of choice. Go Falcons! I met with the assistant superintendent on Friday. She gave me a cockamamie bull story about not making the boys go somewhere that they didn't want to go. Sure...except they didn't want to go to the other school a month and a half ago, seven appeals ago, more than one politician and lawyer ago. Doesn't really matter I guess; they got in and they're happy about it.

Girl on the Corner wrote another book. She always lets me read them before she publishes them and I'm so excited to start reading this one. I'll let you know as soon as it's published so you can buy your own copy.

My yoga challenge is done today. I feel really good but don't think I'll continue to go every single day. It got to the point where the instructor would say "Set your intention for today's practice" and I'd think "I'm pretty sure my intention should be to feel peace or to focus on perfecting the poses, not to add a sticker to the chart that shows how many classes I've done this month." On the other hand, I was running my hand down my arm the other day and was startled to find a lump. It took me a minute to figure out that it was a tricep.

I get to go away with BFF in the summer. We're sitting down this week to plan. I love having something to look forward to.

I hope cool stuff is going on for all of you too.

--

Monday, April 23, 2012

Weekend Haiku

the sun was shining

on a deck in the mountains

I pretended to read but just so you wouldn't think I was lying there with my eyes closed while my girlfriends went for a walk around the lake.

What? A haiku is 5-7-34 isn't it?

--

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Funny

It seems I've been quite serious lately. Sorry about that. I so rarely get riled up about anything; it's a foreign feeling to be all consumed.

Here are some stupid/funny things I've done lately:

1. Yesterday I was watching tv when my phone rang. I answered in a creepy whispery voice because the people on tv were having a conversation and I didn't want to interrupt. And then I was laughing so hard I couldn't explain to the caller what my problem was.

2. I was being badass on Monday. So I skipped yoga (gasp) and then I also ate unhealthy food. It was like I was trying to show some authority figure that I couldn't be controlled. I'm a rebel and you're not the boss of me. Except it kind of backfired because I am actually both the authority figure and the boss of me and I had to work extra hard yesterday to make up for it.

3. While dropping their luggage off at the school the night before their school trip, the boys were told that they would need waterproof clothing. They did not feel like going to buy any so we asked if they could wear plastic garbage bags. Then we went home and I decorated some plastic garbage bags for them. I drew a suit and tie, a shirt unbuttoned to the waist with sporadic chest hair and a heavy gold chain, a quirky lion wearing shutter shades, and another that said I heart my mommy.
The boys hope that it rains so they'll get to show off their fashion clothing.

--

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Poor Baby Gonna Cry

My brother used to say this to me whenever we had an argument. It drove me nuts, and, of course, never failed to make me cry. I like to think that if he said this to me now, as a grown-up, I'd handle it much better. But every once in a while, on the right time on the right day, it would still make me cry. Right this very second, for instance, would work for him.

It's gloomy out today; that doesn't help.

The boys have gone on a school trip. And though I'm partly thrilled to have some time to myself, I will miss them. I like them; they're pretty awesome.

One of my monthly contracts involves interviewing companies to feature them on a website. I get the names of the companies off the directory on the website and call them to ask a few questions. It's surprising how many companies are not interested. And, try as I might not to take it personally, so many people in a day rejecting me makes my self-esteem even more fragile.

And speaking of rejection, the boys are still not in their school of choice. But I'm not giving up. I'm waiting to hear back from teachers, a principal, some politicians, and a lawyer. Surely, one of those people can help.


*******************************************

Since I started writing this morning, I've had two phone calls. Both governmental type people that want to help. It might be a sign that I should stop feeling sorry for myself. Also, the sun has come out. And both boys have texted. So, fine, maybe I won't cry then.

--

Monday, April 16, 2012

Snob

I don't know where I get off being so high and mighty sometimes. It's not like I wear only haute couture or have my hair styled weekly, or even bother to put make-up on most of the time. But, geez, I can be so judgey.

I was getting ready to go to Dinner Theatre (again!?) on Saturday night and complaining to a friend that I was tired and didn't feel like getting dressed.

Friend: You're never going to get lucky with that attitude.
Me: How am I going to get lucky at dinner theatre on a platonic date anyway?
Friend: Well, the dress has a pretty low v. That's a good start.
Totally judgemental and snobby me: Fabulous. The dinner theatre crowd will flip back their mullets, hitch up their massive belt buckles, and fight my date. How romantic.

Regardless, none of the mulleted cowboys even gave me a second glance. Hmph.

--

Friday, April 13, 2012

Five Favourite TV Shows

Split into genres because I have a lot of favourites and I don't want to write about my favourite sit-coms and not have room for my favourite reality show or drama.

Sit-com
Right now my favourite is "New Girl." Zooey Deschanel is quirky as hell and it's the one show I can count on to make me actually laugh out loud (as opposed to thinking "that's funny" but not actually laughing). My favourite line, and one that I've started using: (Jess tackles Nick in a friendly game of football causing his back to go out. He says he's fine and walks away) Jess says "Are you sure you're ok? You're walking like a Disney witch. Let me drive you to your doctor."




Drama
My DVR is full of shows that I watch every week. So, to pick a favourite in all the genres is difficult. So, in this category, I'm picking long-time favourite. And the winner is..."Grey's Anatomy." I do really like this show, but probably the best thing about it is that every Thursday night, my neighbour friend comes over and we watch it together. This has been going on since before the show even started (when we watched "The OC" together every Thursday). We don't talk; we just watch and then she goes home. Easiest friendship ever!

Reality
Hands down "The Biggest Loser." I watch other ones, but they're mostly stupid and this one is amazing just to watch the transformations, not only physical transformations but the contestants seem to become better and stronger people mentally as well. Plus, Bob and Dolvet are sooooo nice to look at.





Game Show
My favourite, and the only one I watch, is "Jeopardy." I'm really smart, you guys. I answer a lot of the questions correctly, and if not correctly, always loudly and that always startles the kids which is part of the fun of the show.

Kids
Another tough one. The boys don't watch as much Disney channel as they used to; mostly the tv is tuned to the NFL network. But occasionally, when they're not home and I have the tv to myself, I'll throw on some "Hannah Montana." A couple of weeks ago, the Sunday Disney movie was her movie. It was a good one. I don't want to give away the ending, but I think it all worked out for the best.

--

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Immersed

You know when you're so immersed in your life that you think anyone talking to you must be so sick of hearing about the same thing over and over again but you really can't help it because at this very moment those are the only things that you can focus on?

To whit (that's a cool word that I've always wanted to use):

My kids have still not been accepted into their chosen school. We have been denied five times. I am taking it to a higher power. In the school board, I mean, not, like, God or whatever. It's very hard on my self esteem to keep getting denied even though I know it's not personal. All the same, I think that's what "They" are counting on and that I'll just become so despondent and sad that I'll go away. I'll go away when I've found justice *looks into the future with hands on hips and cape fluttering behind in a classic superhero stance*

And the other thing? This 30-day challenge at yoga is simultaneously kicking my ass and making me feel like maybe it would be nice if I let me have something for me all the time. Because I'm going away for a couple of days later in the month, I've done two classes in one day a couple of times. So I'm 46.2 per cent done. Yay! That's almost halfway. On the other hand, I think my kids are starting to feel like yoga orphans (that's like a golf widow except for mom instead of husband and yoga instead of golf and yes, I totally get that that might be a little overkill on the explanation).

So there you have it. Maybe tomorrow I'll have something different to say.

--

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Please

Rarely do I want something so badly that I'm willing to fight for it...or even try that hard to get it.

I'd like to lose at least 20 pounds, but not enough to stop eating Easter chocolate and those damn cookies my mom keeps making and sending over for the boys.

I'd like to have more money, but not enough that I'm willing to get a full-time, out of the house job and deal with the politics of an office all day long or even enough to look for freelance work rather than just let it fall in my lap.

I'd like for the boys to have their own laptops, but not enough that I want to research all that technological gobbly-de-gook in order to find ones that are perfect for their needs, both now and all through high school.

But, for this one thing: I am fighting. I am calling people and emailing them and making myself a pain in the ass. I am using logic to convince them and when that doesn't work, I am using emotion.

My kids are only allowed to go to the school that they're designated to. The problem being, they've always wanted to go to the other high school. Always. Their dad went there, I went there, most of their extended family went there. It's where they always assumed they'd go. But now the school board says "NO." And I know it doesn't seem like something to fight for, really, what difference does it make? They're both good schools.

The difference is that my kids want this! And with the other disappointments that they've had in the last year, maybe it's this one tiny thing that I can get for them.

Please.

--

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

OW!

Obviously, by "return to our regularly scheduled program" I meant I would write whenever I damn well please, not every day like I had been. Just kidding. I'm trying; I really am.

Anyway, today I'm at a local high school working in the library. It is one of my very favourite places to be, so I took the day off writing work so I could be here.

The thing about this library is, though, that there are two levels. And, yes, of course, there's an elevator, but it's inconvenient to use so I just use the stairs. The twenty-four stairs that take me from one level to the other.

Did I mention, by chance, that I'm doing a 30-day yoga challenge? And while I realize that I've only done three days, my thighs feel like maybe it's been a little longer. And every stair adds one more day to that. And I have to go up and down these stairs pretty often.

OWWWWW!

--

Monday, April 2, 2012

Some Stuff I Did

Spring Break is over.

Some stuff I did that kept me from Lily Starlighting:

- I caught up on my reading. My goal was to read more than 47 books this year. I just finished number 16.

- X's cousin came to visit. 'member how I said she was the best guest ever? I may have been a little premature on saying that. Not that she's horrible. Cause she's not. She's really nice. But she's a talker...to the point that people in my household may have taken to hiding in their rooms with their doors closed.

- I signed up for a 30-day challenge at the yoga studio. That started yesterday. I've gone twice. I'm 6.7% done.

- I managed to get all my work done even though the boys were home for a week. Because I am a rock star!

- I celebrated my brother's 41st birthday. He's an old guy!

- Also it was Sugarplum's birthday. I won't say how old she is, but she's younger than me by quite a bit.

- I went to a dinner theatre. I made my debut on stage as a female floor hockey player. I was not asked back. Surprising.

- I went to a movie with the boys, X's girlfriend, and her son. We saw "Hunger Games." The boys were nervous to see those other people but it was fine and relaxed so that was a relief.

- I got a pedicure at the school where people learn how to give pedicures. It wasn't the best pedicure I've ever had; it's already flaking, but I like the friend I went with and I never get to spend enough time with her, so that was cool.

That's pretty much it. We can now go back to our regularly scheduled programming.

--

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Five Things I Did This Week

As mentioned previously, I have been spending a lot of time working. I've been calling and emailing sources and waiting to hear back, and then starting to worry that I'll never hear back and my 1000-word article will end up quoting song lyrics or something because what else am I supposed to write?

I have been doing some other stuff though:

1. I visited with my favourite cousin. She lives in a city without an airport and I happen to live by her nearest airport so she is often forced to stay with me when coming home from travelling. We had Chinese food and a bottle of wine.

2. I had dinner with some friends on Tuesday night, but one of the friends didn't show up so then I had to have yet another meal out with them on Wednesday for lunch. *sigh* It's good that I'm such a nice friend; not everyone would sacrifice like I do.

3. We had parent/teacher interviews. Honestly, my kids are doing fine. All the teachers like them, they're getting good grades, and I don't have to think of ways to make them work harder which would probably take time away from my meals out, so win-win-win!

4. X's cousin is visiting. She got in last night around dinner time, but had already eaten, and sat and visited for a few hours. She'd been travelling pretty much all day so was pretty exhausted and disappeared to go to bed around nine o'clock. I haven't seen her since. BEST GUEST EVER!

5. I have spent a lot of time watching my new appliances this week. I know that sounds pathetic, but come one, these things are cool. I enjoy watching how random Giles is. (That's what I'm going with for the Roomba; your prize will be available when you get home from Hawaii.) And I made fries for dinner last night and the baby and I watched the fryer for a long time. It's cool. And yummy.

And there you have it. That's my week.

--

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Parent Teacher Interviews

I had a whole long post about PT interviews. But it was super-lame so I deleted it. Now I have nothing. Except this:

Your son pays attention in class, but only to his iPod and cell phone. None of the teachers told me this but you could see it in their eyes.
--

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Toys

It's been a big week over here at the [Lily Starlight] household. Obviously, I've been very busy with writing for people that pay me (otherwise I would have been here more), so that's good news. Also, I got new stuff.

While I sit at my computer desk, I am watching my new robot spin around on my floor. It's cute cause it keeps bumping into stuff. But it seems to be doing a good job. Twin A kept throwing Corn Flakes at it last night and it gobbled them up like it was doing its job...which it was, so that's helpful. It needs a name though. Anyone?

UPDATE: It just told me to empty the dirt out of it. Seriously, a computerized female voice told me to. Anyway, this thing is amazing; doing a much better job than my canister.

Also, I got a new deep fryer. It only uses one tablespoon of oil, so it's pretty healthy. It also comes with a cook book that uses the first 20 pages to preach to me about how I could be eating better, complete with sample menus for all meals and snacks for a couple of weeks. Still, I'm pretty excited to give it a try.

And I got some new towels. I'm just waiting for them to finish up in the dryer before I have a shower. They're bamboo, so they're soft and I'll bet they'll feel real nice.

And last but not least, I got a new computer. It seems to be a lot faster than my last one (which we figured out to be 8 years old--but it came with a free abacus and some kerosene to keep it running). Unfortunately, it is also nameless.

So, your task is to come up with names for my new Roomba and my new computer. There might be a small gift in it for you...

--

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Long Lunch

Sometimes I'm not sure how to write about stuff. Either because what I have to say is a tad too personal or because I just don't have the right words. So bear with me.




Yesterday I went out for lunch with some really wonderful friends. It was a long overdue lunch with Malison as we haven't set eyes on each other since November, as well as another couple friends that I really should make more of an effort to see as they don't live three hours away. We all talked about our lives and offered advice or differing views when we thought it could be helpful.




These ladies offered some advice and insight that could change my life. And at least one other person in my family's life too. It's interesting that when you spend so much time worrying and fretting about something because you can only see it in one way, that you miss every other way it could be viewed. A troublesome thing can become truly great if you choose to look at it from a whole different standpoint.




I know this is vague and I know how lame that is and I totally apologize to those who have no idea what I'm talking about, so to sum up:




Sometimes a situation in your life can seem like it can only turn out in the worst possible way. A long chat with good friends can help.




And if you're still not satisfied with this post, allow me to leave you with a couple of gold medal winners:
























Friday, March 9, 2012

Movie Five

A list of my favourite movies (in no particular order). If you haven't seen them...well, obviously I recommend that you do.

1. RENT - There's nothing I love more than a musical. Since seeing this movie when it first came out in the theatre, I've bought the DVD and the soundtrack and I play them both often. It's about some artists living in New York and the bad guy is Taye Diggs, but he's not a bad guy, he's just a guy that "sold-out." And some of the characters have AIDS but they're living with it. There's only one part of this movie I don't like. I'd tell you about it, but then I'd spoil the whole movie for you. Suffice to say that the singing and dancing makes up for that one part that's so horribly cheezy that you are forced to roll your eyes and snort in derision.

2. White Christmas - Oh Bing, what would Christmas eve be like without your beautiful bass-baritone. Have I already mentioned my love of musicals? OK, so there's these guys in the army and one guy (Danny Kaye) saves the other guy's (Bing Crosby) life. And then they become this really famous singing duo and they meet this sister act (not nuns) and they all end up in Vermont together, but it's the Christmas season and there's no snow, and one of the lodges there is owned by the two famous singers' general from the army and they want to help him out. And then, *Spoiler alert* it snows on Christmas eve. I watch this every single Christmas eve since I discovered it when I was about 15 and I cry at the same parts every single year.

3. Imitation of Life - I'm honestly not a cryer. There is little in real life that can get me to shed tears (unless it involves my kids), but this movie (and the preceding two) make me bawl. Like the kind of crying where your skin gets blotchy and your nose runs and you have to nap after because you're so exhausted from all the crying. Anyway, this is an old movie (1959) about a white mother and her young daughter who befriend a black woman and her young daughter. The black mom becomes the white mom's maid and the daughters grow up together. The black daughter can pass for white and succeeds every time right up until her mom shows up and then everyone finds out she's black and starts treating her badly. Yes, society is horrible, but the main focus of this movie is the relationship between the black mom and daughter and the heartbreak of them having so little control over the emotions of the other.

4. Finding Nemo - This one barely makes me cry at all. Everyone has a favourite Disney animated movie. It's a tough choice to make because so many of them are so good. But this is my favourite because of Dory.

5. Heart & Souls - I don't think this movie is very well known. I found it in a bin at WalMart many years ago and bought it because it has Robert Downey Jr. in it. He's born at the same time as these other four people die, and their ghosts become attached to him and then they find out that they're supposed to be achieving something that they didn't achieve in life and Robert Downey Jr. falls in love with Elizabeth Shue but he's a commitment phobe. It's a cute movie; you should watch it.

--

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hangin'

It's Thursday. I'm spending time with my cute boy watching "Jungle Book" and eating spaghetti. Cause that's what the cool kids do.






--




Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sick

Twin A is not feeling well. He was home with a fever all weekend. On Saturday he stayed in bed all day. On Sunday, he and I watched eight one-hour episodes of "Friday Night Lights." On Monday morning he got ready for school and I asked him if he was feeling better. He said he was tired and a little sore. I asked him if he wanted to stay home. He said no. <--What?!

Anyway, he went to school on Monday and Tuesday. Played basketball after school yesterday, until I pulled him from the game cause I'm the meanest mom ever. He came off at the end of the first quarter with tears in his eyes. He spent the entire time a half-step behind any action, being angry that the game would not slow down a little so he could keep up. Yeah, you're not "fine" kid.

Today he stayed home. I didn't even ask him if he wanted to; I just never woke him up this morning. Right now he's laying in his bed reading a book. His eyes are puffy and his legs are sore, but he's not feverish and his emotions are more friendly. Thank god. Grumpy is for squares.

--

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Purim

Do you know what Thursday is? It's Purim. If you're not Jewish, you probably don't know what this is. I'm not Jewish and I'm very sorry to say that I have no idea what the day is celebrating. I do know though, that it is a day that I celebrated for many, many years.

It all started when X and I decided to start saving for a house. We were living in a one-room apartment at the time, and it was pretty nice, but we were starting to consider having a family and obviously we required a little more room. So we put a moratorium on any extraneous spending.

HAHAHAHAHA! Look: I'm not the kind of person that's addicted to shopping. My home will never been seen on Hoarders. I rarely do any sort of retail therapy. But when I want something, I will usually buy it.

Back then, I was a receptionist at an insurance company and as every receptionist knows door-to-door sales is not dead. We had a constant stream of sales people coming in to leave books or kitchen items for a few days then come back and take orders. On this particular spring day, it was paintings. And there was a painting that went so well with our decor (please keep in mind this was the early-90s) and the saleslady convinced me that the frame alone was worth twice what she was selling it for. And so I bought it. And then I panicked.

Wasn't I supposed to be saving money. That painting was a whopping $80. That was our grocery bill for a week. So I turned to the calendar. And what do you know, it was Purim. I couldn't think of a better reason to give a gift.

To give him credit, X was delighted. And we continued to celebrate the day with gifts for him throughout our entire marriage.

PS. The painting looked similar to this. I am so embarrassed right now.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Handwritten Letters

I love handwritten letters. Scratch that, they don't even have to be handwritten, even typed and printed off is nice. Really, anything in the mailbox attached to my house that's not junk, a bill, or "The Watchtower" is something I appreciate.

When the boys were young, I used to write 30 letters a month. I wrote to my grandma once a week, X's grandparents once every second week, and pretty much everyone else who doesn't live here once a month. I get that not everyone enjoys writing as much as I do, so I really love those letters that wind up in my mailbox.

Sometimes BFF will send me a beautiful notecard. I'll save it until all the other mail has been taken care of, carefully slit open the envelope, gently remove the card, run my hand over the top to feel the texture, open it with the anticipation of reading all that's going on in her life...to find nothing but a drawing of a guy smoking a cigarette (it's all she knows how to draw). And I love it, because she thought of me.

Sugarplum is amazing for sending stuff. Every special day requires a note from Sugarplum. Valentine's Day, Halloween, Father's Day. Sometimes, a special day is the day she tidied a cupboard and found notecards she forgot about.

I hope you all have a personal-letter-in-your-mailbox kind of day!

--

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tyrant

I wrote this several years ago. It still makes me laugh.


We’ve all heard a child crying as though his heart is breaking in the checkout line at the grocery store. "I want a chocolate bar," this poor child sobs. "No," answers the cruel mother, "and if you don’t stop this nonsense right now, I will throw away all of the candy you have left over from Halloween." Unfortunately, this is just another of many examples that prove that mothers are tyrants.

In a true democracy, children would be directly involved in the making of rules. Issues of importance would be discussed and voted on. If the majority of children are allowed to stay up until midnight (as is the claim), then is it not constitutionally unfair for a mother to restrict her child to an earlier bedtime? If a child’s peers are permitted to stay up until midnight every night, then why does any mother get to say that her child must go to bed at 8:00? Democracy demands freedom of choice, and this pitiable child has no choice.

Many Russians ruled by Stalin were banished to Siberia for simply criticizing his five year plans. Today, similar oppressive power can be seen in homes across Canada. Mothers will banish a child to his room for something as small as wishing to argue the fortitude of the "homework before TV" rule.

Mothers are not ignorant of what they are doing to their children. They discuss autocratic ideas with other mothers and write about it in their blogs. Children can often be heard saying, "you’re the meanest mom in the world." Does this alone not prove the tyranny of mothers? What child would yell out this statement if it were not true or found unfair? 

A small child of no more than eight- or nine-years-old was found by one of these tyrants gently placing his brother’s arm in his mouth and pressing his teeth together firmly. A small act, to be sure, but how did this mother react? She banished this small child into his dungeon-like bedroom and demanded the immediate surrender of all things electronic. For no more than playing harmoniously with his brother, this poor young soul was left in a small room with no entertainment or digital stimulation of any kind.

Legally, it is wrong to commit crimes against humanity. Taking away someone’s rights and freedom traditionally results in long jail sentences and sometimes even death. If justice is to be served, these mothers should be punished for their tyranny. It would be advantageous for all children of the world to stand up and request equal access to the very human rights they were born with. The future of mothering is now, and it is a conception of tolerance, not tyranny.

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Another Text Conversation

I was chatting with my sister-in-law (not you).

Aside: I have two sister-in-laws. One is X's sister and the other is my brother's wife. Whenever I mention "my sister-in-law" to one of them I always add "not you" in case they get confused. X's sister reads this blog; my brother's wife does not.

She had described something funny.

Me: The picture in my mind is priceless.
Sil(ny): It's times like these when you need a cranial Polaroid.
Me: What an awesome invention!
Sil(ny): I know. We'll be rich!
Me: *takes cranial Polaroid of all the things she imagines buying*

Seriously, how great of an invention would that be. I think people would find me even more hilarious if they could see what I was picturing in my mind...or maybe they'd be even more confused...

Later, we have this conversation:

Sil(ny): Guess what restaurant is opening near my work?
Me: What?
Sil(ny): Ninja Noodle. Ha! So awesome.
Me: That is very awesome. I don't see them lasting long; ninjas never have to pay.

My sister-in-law (not you) has a degree in science; I'm a writer. She reads sci-fi and fantasy fiction; I read normal books. She knows all the characters on Star Trek; I think I've figured out which one is Spock. And yet we have such a similar sense of humour. Cool.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Talent

Experts say that everyone has a special talent. Some are quite obvious: those that play an instrument or a sport really well. Some people can ride unicycles or spell every word correctly.

I am pleased to say that I've finally figured out what my special talent is. I always know what that sound is. You know, the sound you hear from the basement that wakes you up in the middle of the night or the sound that causes every mother to yell "what was that?"

I don't know how my talent works but I know that the click-shh I just heard was the wheel falling off my suitcase because the last time I went on vacation my luggage came back a little worse for wear. And when I make my way downstairs to the basement to check, there it is, a little blue wheel sitting in the middle of the floor nowhere near its home base.

I also don't know how to use this talent for anything useful. Perhaps that's just not the point of having a special talent. I hope not.

What's your special talent?

Monday, February 27, 2012

What Happens Next?

I was watching a movie last night. It was the Disney movie and it was cute and funny. And at the end the protagonist smiled and the music started and then it cut to commercial. And we waited through the commercials, and the previews of shows to come, and the next show started, and still we sat there waiting. Because, really? That was the end? She just smiled and it was done.

I hate endings, in movies and books. I want to know what happens after. What happens after the princess becomes queen? What happens after the wizard defeats his enemy? Does everyone's life carry on as normal? What is normal exactly when you are a newly crowned queen or a wizard without an enemy?

And because I'm forced to imagine what happens after, I'm not always satisfied with how their lives turn out. For example: the newly crowned queen tries to rule the small country but then all of her followers decide that they really didn't appreciate how she had an affair with some guy while engaged to be married and they televise the court proceedings that inevitably occur because having an affair automatically makes her unfit to run a country and they send the video out over twitter and facebook and pretty much she becomes just another politician whose only remembered by that affair she had and to handle the stress she starts to drink and pretty soon she's walking into homeless shelters and calling the customers bums and telling them to get a job and that obviously leads to more court proceedings until she's barely hanging on to her crown, there's rioting in the streets, crime has gone up over 98 per cent in her small country and she's forced to resign leaving the kingdom up for grabs to who-knows-who (perhaps a wizard who suddenly has nothing to do), then she writes a book about her life and fades off into obscurity.

What's happily ever after about that? Wouldn't it be nicer if the screenwriters just told me what happens.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Five things I Covet

Cov-et (kuv it) v. desire eagerly









I think this dress is beautiful. I would have no place to wear it and it's terribly impractical, but I don't even care. I like it and I want it.



I'm not a big fan of cleaning in general. I would totally hire a maid a) I could afford it and b) if I wasn't home all day, every day. What would I do when she came to clean? Stand there and watch her? Hide in a different room? She would make me feel like a hostage in my own house. Next best thing is this little machine though. Roomba doesn't care if I don't have a bra on and haven't showered yet.




When we were in Cozumel, we stopped in a little store that sold only items made out of bamboo. Twin B bought a whole outfit: shirt, shorts, even socks. They had the softest towels I have ever felt. But the colour I wanted came in a set of bath towel, hand towel, and face cloth. I want two bath towels and a hand towel. But they wouldn't let me pull apart the set. So I didn't buy them. But, oh, how I want them.




We were at a friends' for dinner the other night and they had a set of knives like this that they won at a golf tournament. They were so sharp that my friend cut herself and could barely stop the flow of blood. The knives I currently use are about as sharp as the side of my hand. I could actually karate chop my food as effectively as my knives work. These are ceramic and pretty and sharp and I want them.

And lastly, my BFF's sister has gone on a writers' retreat two years in a row now. It sounds like so much fun. There are people there if you want to meet them, there are sessions you can go to if you feel like it, your room and food are included in the price and you can quietly spend your time working on that project you promised yourself you would have done by your 40th birthday.




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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Food Addiction

I have a secret. I've been hiding food and eating it secretly.


I got this box of chocolates from a friend for Valentine's day. When the boys were small I could just hide food out of reach and they'd never even think to look for it. But now they are scavengers and will eat anything and everything and if they can't find something they like they go searching for it. But they won't eat it if they know it's mine and it's not open (if it's open, it appears to them to be fair game).



So, I carefully removed the ribbon and cut three sides of the wrapping paper on the bottom.



Then, occasionally, when I'm in the mood for a chocolate or two, I remove the top, refer to the map and make my choice. When I'm done, I meticulously replace the top and slide the ribbon back on to make it appear unopened once more.


When I've finished all the chocolates I like, I'll open it for real and let them eat the rest. That's fair.


So yes. I have a food addiction. In that I like to eat it before it disappears into the cavernous pits that Twin A and Twin B have become.


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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Workspace

Sometimes I'll sit in front of my computer for hours thinking of something to blog about. I'll get up to clean something in hopes that a thought will magically pop into my head. I'll read facebook and other blogs. I'll shower and do some actual work. But sometimes I got nothin'. So today, because I can't think of something to write about, you'll be treated to a list of things on my desk (besides my computer equipment):

3 pencils cups - one actually came full of pens, one is a vase that used to have a flower floating in it, and one is a wooden block that Twin B made in school. My kids, by the way, both received C's in construction. They have never gotten marks that low. But I let it slide because I'm kind of ok with them not having the aptitude to build stuff. It's like the scene in "Breakfast Club" when Brian was going to shoot himself with a flare gun because the elephant light wouldn't work and then John was all upset because Brian thought he could totally float that class. Anyway, I love John Bender with all my heart, but in life I think Brian will be more successful and I'd rather my kids have Brian's brains than John's.

5 of my favourite books - The Writer's Guide to Queries, Pitches & Proposals (not that I've ever actually used this one, but I plan to one day), A Canadian Writer's Reference (this one comes in handy when I'm proofreading essays), The Canadian Press Stylebook (this one comes in handy more than you might think). And the two most read books on my desk: a thesaurus and a dictionary.

A cup that has shoes on it and came with a lid. I don't really get why. But I don't drink hot beverages so rather than using it for a drinking vessel, it sits on my desk and holds random money for the boys (from recycling bottles or selling something on kijiji).

A candle that came from somewhere but I don't remember where and I'm not really sure why it's there.

A tape dispenser in the shape of a shoe and a sticky dispenser in the shape of a purse. I also have a shoe calendar. Someone seems to think I like shoes. I wonder why.

A set of TableTopics in a large clear plastic box. These are cards that are said to start conversations. They say things like: "describe your most scenic drive" or "which is more important: intelligence or common sense?" Hey! Maybe I should use those as things to blog about when I can't think of anything else.

A couple of baskets to hold all my papers. One basket consists of all the projects I'm currently working on, organized with clips and staples and neatly in folders, and the other has all different sized notebooks (all with at least one page written on), scraps of paper, photocopies of important stuff that I'll need someday, and the notes, from at least one course I took years ago, held together with random bits of yarn.

And a daily desktop calendar complete with scribbled notes and a checklist of what I'd like to accomplish each day.

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Monday, February 13, 2012

My First Love

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. There are some people that love that day, love the love and pinkness and presents and fluffiness. And there are some people that hate it, claim that it's a commercial holiday, that it's only for couples, and why do we need one day to celebrate our love for each other when we should be celebrating that every day.

I fall into the indifferent camp. I really don't care about it one way or the other. It's kind of like St. Patrick's Day or April Fool's Day; some people live to celebrate these days and I barely notice them.

That being said: in honour of Valentine's Day, allow me to tell you about my very first real boyfriend.

I loved him in the way that a 15-year-old loves: truly, madly, deeply.

He played football but I never watched him play. It occurs to me now that he wore a Northstars (local bantam team) jacket, but I'm not sure if he played high school.

He was shorter than me. He was a lot shorter than my very clumsy 6-foot-tall friend. He sometimes would piggyback her and she could almost reach the ground.

He loved me.

One time we were laying on a couch in his basement (fully clothed) flipping through a catalogue and discussing what our kids would be like. I noticed his mom standing in the doorway; he did not. Awkward.

He would let me use his car to practice driving.

He was exactly three weeks younger than me.

We broke up because I fell in love with someone else. That guy eventually went back to his ex-girlfriend.

He came to one of my dance competitions.

Before he came to high school, he went to the junior high where all the bad kids went. He ended up there because he was giving someone a hot ass (where you light you lighter behind someone's back and wait for them to feel the heat) and when she jumped her shirt lit on fire. Probably that wasn't the only reason.

He was a better person than a lot of kids that didn't go to the badass school.

My parents loved him.

His mom and sister were not fond of me. Probably because of that time on the couch and also because I had weird hair.

Our song was "Angel" by Aerosmith.

Part of me would like to see him and catch up but another part of me is glad he's left in the past. Knowing him now could take away all of the memories of then.

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Belize and Cozumel

It's Friday. That means Friday Five. Here are five things we did in Belize and Cozumel:

1. The day we were in Belize was the boys' 15th birthday. And nothing says happy 15th birthday more than kayaking through the jungle. We had fun.



We saw this guy. He was just a little guy so he wasn't overly intimidating. Also, some bats flew over my head.



That's pretty much all we did in Belize. I would like to go back there to experience more of it.

2. Cozumel was a little more action packed. First we rock climbed. I've never rock climbed before. I climbed a 60-foot wall. Because I'm awesome like that.


3. Then we did some repelling and ziplining.


4. Then we went snorkelling (I don't have pictures of this because I was in the water doing stuff). The snorkelling instructor kept throwing fish food at me so there was always fish swimming really, really close to me. I couldn't decide if that was really cool or really icky. Fish aren't as slimy and pliable as I thought they'd be.

5. And then we went shopping. I didn't really get anything. Twin B bought a whole outfit made of bamboo. And this from the kid who didn't even want to take his wallet because he is saving up for a laptop.



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