Friday, December 19, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Kids and dogs

I never appreciate when people compare their pets to your kids. You know, I trained my dog by ... so I'm sure if you took a similar approach to your child... Seriously? I do have to admit, though, that this morning when I got out of the shower and saw Julia walking around with a giant chocolate bar leaving a trail of ripped paper behind her I thought about my childhood dog, Merlin. Julia had broken into Hunter's box of chocolates that he's selling for gymnastics. She'd ripped off the wrapper, left it all over the floor and started to dig into the chocolate bar when I busted her. Merlin could not be trusted with chocolate anywhere in sight. On Easter she'd get into the baskets or have to be locked into the garage. One Christmas she tore into Jason's stocking and chewed her way to the chocolate. There were 1 lb chocolate kisses, beer bottles and truffles that disappeared over the years. Life with Merlin meant safe and secure spots for chocolate were a must or the chocolate would disappear. As I was moving the box of bars to a higher, safer, and more secure spot, I couldn't help but imagine Julia getting into a stocking with chocolate in it Christmas morning - I just hope she doesn't use her teeth!

Monday, November 24, 2008

First Haircut - pictures to follow (I promise, no really)

On Saturday Julia had her first haircut. She doesn't have a lot of hair but she did have enough to get a ball of knots at the back of her head after each nap (a.k.a. a rat's nest). She went to a salon. She was good for the entire thing and quite pleased with herself afterwards. And although she refuses to wear ribbons or any such thing in her hair for more than five seconds (or the time it takes for her to say prit-t while pulling them out) she does seem to love the salon and lipstick (a.k.a prit-teee). I wonder if this means she is going to be a girly-girl afterall?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

One of those Days

Today was one of those days where I found myself asking "is this really my life?". I wish I could say this is an infrequent question but lately I've been asking myself this question more and more. I've been fantasizing about quitting my job, selling our house, moving somewhere small (and cheap) and opening up a coffee shop (that would of course be thriving despite the depressed real estate market). I have moments where I feel like I'm doing something worthwhile but the truth is those moments are fewer and further between all the time. Maybe I'm just taking my grief that I've had no time for out on my career or maybe this lack of satisfaction is part of a professional woman and working mother's life? A couple weeks ago I had drinks with a friend and former colleague and we had this discussion. We're both in a bit of a place where work isn't satisfying like we'd hoped it would be. She sent me a note the other day saying she'd quit her job and took a new one that paid less but looked to be a lot more rewarding. I look forward to being inspired by how the change works for her. Right now I feel like I can't dig out. I feel like the Dad in parenthood that says his whole life is about responsibility. I feel guilty for feeling that way. I worry that my Dad spent half his life feeling this way. And that I contributed. Thankfully, tomorrow is another day.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

And Baby it's Cold Outside

Beyond the staple of complaints about the cold weather this time year, is the re-emergence of the giant box full of one half of at least a dozen mitts, and scarves and tuques that don't match anything. The jumbled box of mismatched items is a reminder of just how disorganized I really am and how disinterested in organizing winter clothes I am, particularly when spring arrives. The front entry way, which is disorganized and too small at the best of times, becomes a mass of boots tossed off quickly, inside-out coats and general chaos. We find ourselves squeezing in as the door opens only a quarter of the way. And while I think that the level of chaos in our house may be unique to a family headed by two disorganized parents, I think that the box (or some form of it) exists in most households, no matter how organized. That's why I thought I would share an innovation introduced to me by my colleague - Cubbies. Just like kindergarten no matter how old your family is. Each member gets one and everything they need goes in it - mitts, coats, hats, boots, everything. And if something gets lost? Not sure. But I like the idea that everyone is responsible for themselves and on their own. Even Julia, who is the worst offender when it comes to stripping off winter attire and leaving it wherever suits her.* When (and if) I get around to implementing it, I'll let you know how it works.

* I know, I know, somewhere someone is saying that a child with no regard for things in their place is exactly what I deserve.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Election 2008

After two nights of watching political debates, and four weeks of reading almost everything on the election, I've come to a conclusion - there are three things that are desparately needed to improve this election:

1. more polls, that's right polls;
2. more sweater vests; and,
3. more one-liners

Never mind analysis of platforms, media organizations really need to devote more resources to polling. Six plus polling companies reporting each day just isn't enough for me to form an opinion on how to vote. I need to know how the intentions of voters change at least three times a day. Does breakfast make a difference to the appeal of Stephen Harper? Is the view of Canadians on Stephane Dion's leadership strengthened by a hungry man dinner? What about a cloudy afternoon - what does that do the prospects of a majority?

And platforms? They're for suckers I need more sweater vest visuals to really make a well-considered voting decision. I've seen Stephen and Stephane but can Jack and Gilles pull off the sweater vest? What about Elizabeth May? Isn't there a soy-based green sweater vest she could find? Policy is nothing - I really need to know who can rock the vest best. This is the stuff that really matters. And think about Canada's reputation oversees - if we aren't able to be at the forefront of fashion-past how are we to shine?

And last but not least, who is the king (or queen) of the zing? Either you don't care or your incompetent which is it? Where's your platform, under your sweater? Your approach is don't worry be happy. Just think how zingers could play out in federal-provincial negotiations. The entertainment factor of First Ministers' Meetings would go way up and what could be more important that a few good sound bytes?

You know what this election really needs? Beer. Oh wait, maybe that's me.

Monday, September 15, 2008

One Word Meme / Any excuse for content really

Thanks to Mama Schmoo for some content. I really should give this thing up but I keep clinging to the hope that one day I will be inspired even though I know the reality is that it actually takes effort not inspiration to keep up a blog. Imagine if that was three sentences? I'm sure it would be much clearer but now I'm rambling (I know, you're shocked).

ONE WORD


1. Where is your cell phone? nowhere
2. Your significant other? comfort
3. Your hair? neglected
4. Your Mother? Mum
5. Your Father? Dad
6. Your favorite thing? warmth
7. Your dream last night? ellusive
8. Your favorite drink? water
9. Your dream/goal? direction
10. The room you're in? dining
11. Your hobby? ephemeral
12. Your fear? surrender
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? unsure
14. Where were you last night? home
15. What you're not? thin
16. Muffins? bran
17. One of your wish list items? foresight
18. Where you grew up? Alberta
19. The last thing you did? class
20. What are you wearing? jeans
21. Your TV? On
22. Your pets? fish :(
23. Your computer? laptop
24. Your life? full
25. Your mood? alert
26. Missing someone? yes
27. Your car? impala
28. Something you're not wearing? socks
29. Favorite store? Book
30. Your summer? short
31. Like someone? Yes
32. Your favorite colour? Black
33. When is the last time you laughed? Today
34. Last time you cried? Friday
35. Who will resend this? ?

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

Growing Up

Not only is Hunter starting kindergarten in less than two weeks, now this...



In case you can't tell, he's holding up a tooth in that picture. That's right, my little guy lost his first tooth.

As I was calculating in my mind approximately how much a tooth would be worth nowadays (you know with inflation and whatnot), he advised me that he was going to hide it from the tooth fairy so that he could keep it forever.

Kindergarten, losing a baby tooth, and now a pack-rat. Clearly my little guy is growing up.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Holidays

Whenever we visit the mountains it becomes so clear to me why we do this vacation again and again and again. One of the things I love most about this holiday is that it is never the same - you could take it a thousand times and still manage to do something different each year.

In the town of Banff

This year we started in Banff, spent a day in Golden and travelled up to Jasper. We also spent a day in Calgary at the zoo (pictures will be posted on the Family Album blog shortly).

We stayed at our favourite campground near Banff - Castle Mountain. Castle Mountain is perfect because you're almost exactly half way between Banff and Lake Louise and only a few kilometres from one of our favourite hikes - Johnston Canyon.

Julia and I near the falls at Johnston Canyon - Just over a 6K hike to take in this beautiful scenary


Johnston Canyon

It's also nice and close if you choose to do the drive to the Radium hotsprings which we opted not to do this year (first time in a long time we haven't done this one but we really needed another week of holidays even to just fit some of our favourites in). The campground costs $21.50 per night plus $8 for firewood. The campground is quiet, has a nice creek flowing through it, and a great hike attached to it. On the drive into town the first day we spotted mountain sheep, deer, two bears, and some elk.


The drive from Banff to Jasper is about 230km but it's worth taking about six hours to drive it with all the wonderful stops. Usually we stop at the Columbia icefields but this year we decided to try a couple of different stops - we'll do Columbia icefields again another year when Julia is a bit older.


Between Banff and Jasper

Hunter and Jason at one of the stops we made on the drive between Banff and Jasper


A stop on the way to Jasper


Hunter climbing at another stop between Banff and Jasper

We didn't get away from Banff nearly as early as we had planned so by the time we had taken several stops on the way to Jasper it was quite late. We had planned to stay at a campgound called Wabaso but on the way there we almost drove into a very larger bear so we decided we'd stay somewhere a little closer to town. We ended up staying at Wapiti campggound. It was $28.50 a night but worth the bit extra because it had showers which we would desperately need since we'd no longer be going swimming and showering at the swimming places in Banff.


Campground

We didn't have a lot of time at Jasper but we managed to pack a few hikes in: we hiked to the glaciers at Mount Edith Cavell, we went for a very short hike at a Caribou crossing, and checked out Athabasca Falls.


This is at Mount Edith Cavell near the first campground we planned to stay at. It's about a one hour hike to the Glacier and back up.


This was near Mount Edith Cavell but a hike we decided not to complete as there had been a grizzly sighting on the trail four out of the past seven days (we wondered when we saw a couple ahead of us packing bearspray).


Athabasca Falls just outside of Jasper


Athabasca Falls again

Athabasca Falls isn't too far from the campground we had initially planned to stay at and on our way to the Falls we saw another bear. We were really glad we had decided not to stay there.

All in all it was a great holiday - we just wished we had more time. We're hoping to take a nice fall holiday to Banff this year and stay at one of the cabin-type hotels at Tunnel Mountain. Of course it will depend on our schedules and whatnot.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Happy 18 Months and a Bit


Happy 18 months and one day my sweet little girl. You are growing up so wonderfully and your smiles, kisses, and devilish nature have been lifting our spirits daily these last couple months.

You are so smart and determined and you are constantly surprising us as you learn something new and unexpected. Lately you've been interested in learning to use the potty with no push from us - one day you yanked and your diaper and said "pee" so we sat you down to see what you'd do and you knew exactly what you were doing so I imagine that in a couple of months you'll have mastered it. You love figuring out how to put stuff together (and take it apart) - Legos, lids, shapes - anything that will come apart really. You are also a fearless climber - you've mastered the ladder to the top of Hunter's bunk, the chairs so you can walk around on the table, and pretty much anything that might even be remotely climbable.

You're also the cutest little mimic I've seen - you'll pant like a puppy, bark, meow, act like a monkey, copy Hunter's "awwws" and Daddy's growls. When Grandma and Grandpa Gush were visiting you picked up angry eyebrows - now angry eyebrows is one of your favourite little looks to give along with raised eyebrows.

You love to play hide and seek, peek, and where's your... (tummy, nose, bum, etc.). You really love to tickle and be tickled. You and your brother continue to have the most amazing relationship - I have no doubt that it will serve both of you well as long as you live. Hunter has you dancing with him and has been singing ABCs to you and teaching you all sorts of things we'd probably rather he didn't but it's hard not to watch the two of you and smile.

Jules, every day with you brings something wonderful and I can't imagine loving you more.

Love Mum

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Coping

Away
I can substitute grief
With worry.
Worry about the woman who not only lost her partner but the future she imagined,
Her hopes, her dreams, her plans.

There
I am forced to feel the loss that is all of ours.
The summers I had imagined for my children with Grandma and Grandpa.
The canoe trips, the bird-watching, the days at the beach.
Trips to the water park and stays in the city fade away.
He is not sitting out there with his coffee as I expect and won't be again.

There
I watch the granddaughter he would adore play.
I imagine how he would love her mischievousness.
I imagine the phrases he would teach her and the nicknames she would acquire.
Knowing she will only know him through the stories of others - my heart aches.

There
I listen to the grandson recall special trips in summer and winter.
I worry the memories will fade.
Or will be false ones that exist in pictures only.
I wonder how to preserve them or something of him in their memories - my throat swells.

There
I see the wife
Whose future is uncertain.
I worry still but I also grieve
For the woman she was and would have been.
She is still there but forever changed.
Tears spill out and I can barely breathe.

There
I take deep breaths. Many deep breaths
And calm, try to calm.
I am needed by the grandchildren who lost their grandpa
And the wife who lost her husband.

What would he do?
He would be a rock wouldn't he?
He always was.

Only the situation reversed is unimaginable.
I don't think he could have survived it.
I pray that she will.
And I worry.
And worry I can deal with.
But grief is overwhelming.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Making Conversation/Planning Vacations

C: "So you start holidays next week, eh? Any big plans?"
D: "If one more person asks me what I'm doing on my holidays I'm going to lose it. You know what I'm not doing? Hanging out with people who ask what my holiday plans are that's what."
C: erm okay, clearly someone is in serious need of a holiday... "Taking it easy then. I'm not a planner either. I've got holidays next week and I have no idea what we're doing. Playing it by ear I guess."
D: "Yeah, playing it by ear" (and losing the rage).

Fast forward one week and we still have no idea, though I am excited that I have three, that's right three, more work days until I am officially off work for two weeks. Things I've thought about in the last two days include: camping in the mountains (aka the staple), going to PA for the best cheesecake ever (erm and camping), flying to Toronto for a Bluejays game, doing some much needed work around the house, going back to Quebec City for an actual holiday (too bad flights and hotels there are so expensive for that to be an unplanned jaunt). What we'll definitely be doing is spending a couple days with my Mum and having some much-needed family time. Beyond that it will be on the fly so to speak.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Cammy is

Writing to advise that she will post pictures soonish - likely next week. I am also writing to announce my frustration at forgetting my camera (especially when I have such a fantastic view from my Montreal hotel room).

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Graduation!

When I wasn't a parent, I thought a graduation for pre-school (or kindergarten for that matter) was silly but now that I'm a parent I soak it up. I was proud of my sad and crowd-terrified boy today and sad that this chapter is coming to an end.







P.S. The guy in the yellow shirt is Davon, Hunter's best pre-school friend. I don't think either family will have a single picture without the two of them in it. Hunter may go camping with his family this summer - yikes! I'm so not ready for that.

One Day, One Hour, One Moment

At a time. I used to think of this as a mantra for recovering addicts but now I realize it's just an appropriate mantra for recovery. Or for dealing with something that when considered as a whole is overwhelming and is marginally more accomplishable if broken down into smaller pieces. A mantra I am whole heartedly embracing at the moment. The other factor I often attribute to recovering addicts is the idea of acceptance. This one is harder and some days are better than others but I'm trying to embrace it as well. Sometimes, though, I have these moments where I feel like I'm healing but I'm not entirely sure that I'm not just compartmentalizing or denying because sometimes the realization rushes and it's overwhelming all over again. And this is probably where faith comes in - faith that something somewhere has a plan and I just don't understand. This might be the hardest one, and the most necessary. But there have been great moments these last few weeks too - like "Mummy!"and graduation, and hugs and kisses, and spotting an oriole when out for run. And we're hanging in there.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Disbelief



One of my favourite things about my blog when I was keeping it up regularly was the dialogue it allowed me to have with my Dad. My Dad and I had always been close - I always looked up to him and prided myself in the ways we were alike. Some of my best conversations were 10 pm chats with my Dad. It was my Dad that I always called if it felt like my world was falling apart and I needed someone to talk to. And today he is gone. And I can't believe it. And I don't know what to do and this feels like a silly exercise because there must be something more productive I could do while waiting for the clothes to be ready to pack so we can catch our flight home to be with my Mum but I just don't know what that is. And I just can't believe he's gone. And I wish I had written that Father's Day letter to him that I wanted to write last year that was so hard to write because words really couldn't capture how much he meant to me. I wish I had written about the incredible strength he provided to us when my brother died. The evenness he brought to enraged teenaged battles. The calm wisdom. And I just can't believe he is gone. And I am so glad I hugged not long ago but God I just wish I had more time.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Quiet

In the last month, I've had a couple of out of town trips for work. It had been a while since I had any of these - at least since before Julia was born - and now, in a month, I've had two. A few weeks ago sitting in a posh hotel in Montreal at 10 at night I remember the overwhelming quiet. I remember thinking how much more I would enjoy a posh hotel in Montreal if my family was there to share it with me. I thought the quiet and the longing was due to the poshness of the hotel and the newness of the locale. I was wrong - tonight I'm sitting in a less than stellar hotel in PA, waiting for it to cool off to the right temperature for a run, and feeling an overwhelming sense of quiet and a longing for the sounds of my family -the "Julia"s in Hunter's voice, the "baba"s in Julia's, the business of 8pm bath times and bedtimes, the evening conversation after the kids are in bed - the sounds of joy in my mind. Of course, these feelings could be somewhat exacerbated because the other thing these last two trips have in common is my lack of a good book.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Up and Running

I've completely drifted away from blogland these last few months. Being back at work has been a lot more overwhelming than I remembered it being after I went back when Hunter was one. It may have something to do with changing jobs less than two months after being back and walking right into the busy season in the new job or it may be dealing with a new administration or it might have something to do with having two little monsters rather than one. Really, it's probably a combination of all that and an example of my inability to effectively balance my life. It seems that whenever I pick something new up something else drops even if the new thing doesn't take that much time. My newest pick up has been that running class I mentioned a while back. But I've been attributing more drops than I should to that one small change. I've basically dropped my regular swimming (which seems to have had the effect of neutralizing any benefits I probably would have gotten from running - oh well, the endorphins are good). Anyway, this is a round about way of saying I'm back to blogging a couple nights a week anyway. I hope my readership will find me again but if not that's okay too. New pictures coming up at family album.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Evidence I don't pay a lot of attention to detail or the rest of that meme

31. Would you rather have room mates or live alone? I don't know - I've never lived alone.

32. What is your favorite thing to wear? jeans


33. Do you give money to homeless people when they ask? If I've got change on me I'll likely give it.


34. Missing someone? Yep.


35. You're having a bad day, what is one thing that can make your day better? A hug.


36. Do you keep secrets well? When they're worth keeping I do.


37. Can you sing? Depends, are you deaf?


38. Any plans for today? Not particularly tomorrow I'm going into work (yes, on Mother's Day. Being a grown up sucks).


39. Favorite color? Black.

Monday, May 5, 2008

3 pm facebook think

Cammy is wishing she were on a deck drinking beer instead of writing a million briefing notes. Cammy is thinking if she were at her old job at least she could be happily filled with rage about the current shaningans. Cammy is fondly remembering mindless work days in Banff and Golden. Cammy is thinking at some point she should really get behind the elimination of the automatic is on facebook because then she could at least think in past tense and expand her thought. Cammy is procrastinating. Cammy is feeling guilty about missing a run this weekend. Cammy is wishing she were at a hardware store buying lumber for fence building. Cammy is having one of those useless Cammy days*. Cammy is missing her family.

* At the end of the day Cammy did manage to accomplish a lot it just didn't feel like it as she was muddling through.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Meme (the Rest)

I may have new material related to taking the bus, walking home, and running so I figure I ought to finish this meme thing up so I can bore you with other things...

40. How old will you be in 10 months? Same as now only closer to 33 gasp.


41. What did you do today? Work, supper (ate not cooked), baths (kids), bed (kids), tv, run, computer. Exciting stuff.


42. Who was the last person who texted you? texted? what's that? Haven't I mentioned I'm a neo-luddite?

43. What is your current status? On facebook?


44. What are you listening to? Across the Universe. Who knew I would ever love Beatles covers this much (I'm usually a total purist when it comes to the Beatles)?

45. Who can you tell anything to? Anything? The internet apparently.

46. What were you doing at 12 am last night? Sleeping or trying to.


47. When is the last time you saw your Mom? March 15? Right after my birthday. My boy cried for about an hour after she left for the plane.


48. Have you kissed someone in the last 2 weeks? Yes, yes, yes.


49. How many houses have you lived in? One of my own as an adult. 3-4 as a kid.


50. Do you live in the house you grew up in? No, I'm starting to suspect this survey was written for a teenager.

51. What are you doing for your next birthday? I have no clue, probably not much.


52. Are you a social person? Depends on the day. I seem to oscillate between introvert and extrovert.


53. Do you like someone right now? Yeah, I'm totally right about the teenager thing. Yes, and he's dreamy, giggle.


54. What color is your shirt? Black, I know you're shocked.


55. Do you sleep on a certain side of the bed? Yes but only because there is someone on the other side, once he is gone I roll all over the place.


56. Do you know how to play poker? Not well.


57. What are you thinking about right now? I should go to bed.


58. Any plans for this weekend? Next weekend? Actually, yes. O'Hanlons Friday, kite flying Saturday, BBQ Saturday night oh yeah and two runs.


59. Do you have anything bothering you? Not at the moment.


60. Do you smile often? Yes, giggle even.


61. When was the last time you cried? Not sure. That's probably a good sign.


62. Have you ever had a life threatening injury? Not really an injury, but kind of I guess.


63. Have you ever been in an ambulance? Nope.


64. Do you prefer an ocean or pool? A pool.


65. Why is your relationship status the way it is? What does this question even mean?


66. What is something that you collect? Right now, not too much. I've got a bunch of things I've collected in the past and still kind of do.


67. Do you wear any jewelry 24/7? My earrings and my wedding ring.


68. Do you think OJ killed his wife? Yes.


69. Have you ever been awake for 48 hours straight? Yes, sometimes I wish I could still do that (mostly when I'm trying to write papers that I've put off for far too long).


70. How often do you remember your dreams? Rarely but the ones I remember are usually good.


71. What is the main ring tone on your phone? ring, ring, ring.

72. What is something that you do too much? procrastinate


73. Do you shut the water off while you brush your teeth? Yes.


74. Do you wish someone was with you right now? He already is.


75. Are you mad about anything? Not at the moment but give it time...

76. How late did you stay up Saturday night and why? I don't remember?


77. What was the first thing you thought when you got up? Why can't it be Saturday yet?

78. Who were you with Saturday night? My family.


79. Do you think you will be in a relationship 3 months from now? I can't imagine that I wouldn't be.


80. Do you think it will be snowing 3 months from now? It better not be!!


81. When is the next time you will see your best friend? Hopefully soon!


82. What highschool did/do/will you attend? I wouldn't exactly say attend but I was enrolled at Westwood.


83. Who was the last person you talked to last night before bed? Jay.


84. Is there anything that you are craving right now? Nope.


85. Have you ever started a sentence with "No offence but..."? I'm sure I have. Right now I try not to say anything followed by but because it negates everything before it anyway.


86. Do you drink tea? Yes. I like especially like London Fogs, mmm london fog.


87. Are you happy with your life right now? Pretty much.

88. Who do you hate? Nobody.


89. What do you wear to bed? Pjs.


90. Has anyone gotten on your nerves lately? No this week.


91. Do you think you'll be married in 10 years? Yes.


92. What were you doing at 6 pm on Friday night? O'Hanlons. Pay attention annoying question person.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Meme 3

21. Can you watch scary movies alone? Yes and it's a good thing too because I'm probably one of the most annoying people to watch a scary movie with. I have a really hard time suspending belief and keeping my comments to myself.

22. Would you rather stay home all day or be out and about? Depends on the day - I think mostly I'm introverted but I have my moments where I'd almost anything to get out.


23. Do you like to keep the peace or be confrontational? I like to keep the peace but I'm also argumentative. I mostly enjoy being around people with whom I can have a good argument but they always end peacefully (almost).


24. Are you more likely to be with a large group of people or a few close friends? A few close friends.


25. Where would you like to live? I like it here, but I would also like to live in a small mountain town - there just aren't a lot of policy-type jobs in those towns (at least not that I've found)...


26. What is your ideal profession? I'm happy as long as I'm challenged intellectually. I'm pretty content right now.


27. What is one fear that you have? I don't think I have any really irrational fears - mascots make me uncomfortable but I can be around them (I just don't like to be).


28. Are you good in math? Relatively.


29. What's stashed under your bed? Probably dust bunnies - we really need to get our furnace ducts cleaned.


30. Is there anyone you ever regret meeting? Probably but I figure every experience good or bad sums up to where I am now and I'm pretty okay with where I am now.

Meme Part 2

11. Do you know anyone with the same name as you? Not really. I know a few with variations (or at least I used to) - I used to work with a Kamelia. Prince Charles' wife's name is spelled the same way as mine but pronounced differently same with Camilla Scott. Mine rhymes with Pamela but is spelled like Camilla. As for my short name, the one that I go by, I don't know anyone but there was a cashier at IGA once named Kami, there are some anime characters named Cammy, and there was a girl named Cammy in a John Candy movie. See these are the things you notice when you don't have a common name.

12. What do you smell like? I don't know. I hope not bad.

13. What's your favorite month? I don't know, I like Christmas but only from the 24th on so probably not December. I like warm weather so July and August are good. I like the fall, Thanksgiving, and Halloween so October probably takes it for me though.


14. Do people ever misspell your name? Always and they mispronouce it or just flat out call me Tammy (which is among the most annoying things in the world). I had been meaning to do a whole post about this one day I just didn't get around to it. You should see some of the variations on my last name...

15. Are you a mean person? I hope not. Sometimes I might be a bit too blunt but not usually.


16. What was the last sporting event that you watched? I am watching a Bluejays game right now.

17. When you're home alone, do you still close the door when you shower? Yes because it keeps the warmth in.


18. Has a friendship ended recently that you wish hadn't? No.


19. You win the $100 million power ball lottery - what do you do? Good question since I'm not American...


20. Are you a beach person or a snowy mountain person? I like the heat but I love the mountains. I feel at peace when I'm in the mountains and I'm not a fan of the smell of the ocean so I'm going to have to go with snowy mountain.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Meme Part 1

This Meme has one hundred questions so I'm going to answer it over ten posts. I can't guarantee that they'll be consecutive posts but I'll do my best.

1. What was the last hot thing you touched? A cake pan. Today's Jason's birthday so it was yesterday when I baked his cake (Happy Birthday!).


2. Do you have an eating disorder? Would it be wrong of me to answer this with I wish!? Okay, okay, I know it would. I seriously do not have the discipline to have an eating disorder. Not that that (having the discipline to have an eating disorder) would be a good thing, don't get me wrong.


3. As a child, did you ever take swimming lessons? Yes, I loved swimming - still do.


4. What was the last movie you watched in the theatre? I love that almost every parent (with young children) that I know answered this with either a kids movie or a "theatre? this concept is foreign to me" type response. I believe the last movie I saw in the theatre was Ratatouille.


5. Do you have siblings? I bet the crafters of these questions didn't expect that it could be a difficult question. I had a brother, he is deceased.


6. Ever had braces? Although you would never know it, I did. Apparently the roots of my teeth are shallow so they didn't really do that much good. Either that or the fact that I used to loosen the wires when I was a kid and never wore my retainer means that my parents spent ridiculous amounts of money unnecessarily. Who knows, maybe my teeth would be really awful if I'd never had them.


7. When was the last time you kissed the last person you kissed? Maybe ten minutes ago.


8. What are two things you get made fun of a lot for? Hmm a few things come to mind but I'm just going to pick one - my general goofiness.


9. How old are your brothers and sisters? My brother would be 35 if he was alive. He was 21 when he died.


10. What was your favorite movie as a child? I think my Mum would say it was Clash of the Titans. It's really really bad now but I remember thinking it was the coolest thing ever when we were renting it a million times.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Bloggo

I keep imagining a moment where I'm inspired to blog regularly again. I've got a list of new links for when I update my sidebar and I'm contemplating colour scheme. It just seems a little unnecessary when the content is non existent. Sigh. There is a meme I'm going to do... Thankfully there are always memes.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Happy Happy 14 Months

Dear Julia:

I just want to capture a few of the wonderful things you've been doing these last couple months. In the near future I plan to post some videos capturing you in all your wonder but in the meantime, here is a quick run down:
Walking! Sometimes even without the orthopaedic shoes!

Climbing - dangerous but fun. One of your favourite things to do at the moment is to climb onto the couch and peer our the window and knock on it if Hunter's outside playing. If everyone is inside sometimes you'll peer out the window but other times you'll hide behind the couch cushions.

Peek a Boo! When we ask "Where's Julia?" you quickly cover your eyes and then uncover them with the biggest grin imaginable.

That's my tummy. Another favourite is to give your tummy a big slap when we ask where it is (you grin while doing this too).

Beat up Hunter. There really should be nothing adorable about you attacking your brother but I think it's that grin. That grin makes it cute even when it shouldn't be (though, to be fair he dishes it out pretty good too).

Playing with buttons - the microwave, the remote, the television, the stereo, you get the idea.

Some oldies but still goodies are:

Crinkling your nose and grinning when you're up to no good.

Blowing farts on tummies (or arms, or faces, or legs, or whatever will make that sound that makes you laugh).

Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, uh oh. Not just when you drop stuff but sometimes just 'cause you can make a cool beat.

Babas, babas, babas! This is your word for bananas and you're still pretty obsessive about them.

Kissing the babies. Hugging the babies. Kissing the dinosaurs, hugging the dinosaurs.

You still occasionally drop to the floor and drag that one leg.

Devil horns finger sucking.

Just general mahem.

Crazy Mazy, we love you forever, we like you for always, as long as we're living our baby you'll be.

Love Mum, Dad, and Hunter xoxoxo

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Dear Reader

I'm tired because I'm learning. I'm learning because I started a new job yesterday. I started a new job yesterday because I was feeling a bit too comfortable in my old one and took that as a sign that it was probably time for me to move on, challenge myself, and develop some new skills. So far, I love the new job. I'm sure I'm in a bit of a honeymoon phase but as of right now I find it really interesting and I really like my colleagues and my boss.

The other new thing I'm doing right now, is taking a running class. I've tried running off and on for years. Usually I'll get to about 20 minutes of continuous running then give up when I feel like I'm not getting so I can run any longer than that. Apparently the problem is that I'd not been working on endurance. I'm on week two and we're doing 15 minutes so I'm not up to my usual wall level yet but it's feeling good.

As for the family - everyone is well. I think the kids are really thriving with Jason being home and I think he is adjusting well to being home now too. He's much more social than I am so they are getting out and doing more stuff to everyone's benefit.

Last week, we bought Julia some new orthopaedic shoes as we're still waiting for a call from the specialist. The shoes seem to be helping: she is actually walking across the room at times using both feet instead of walking with one foot and kneeling/dragging the other. She can only do it wearing the shoes so she is wearing them for most of her waking hours. She is quite proud of her progress (and so are we).

Hunter has been his usual content self. He has quit complaining about the never-ending winter and has started climbing his tree again lately. He still won't admit that it's spring because there are no buds on the trees but I think he's starting to come around now that there has been a robin in his tree and the geese are returning to the park. They're planting seeds at school already and I'm looking forward to starting our own garden (we're hearing 19 above this weekend!).

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Turn down the Suck

This whole working, going to school, being a parent thing is really starting to cut in to my blogging time. Not only do I find I have less time to sit down and come up with anything worth reading, I also find I actually have less time to read some of my favourite blogs. Don't get me wrong, I am still finding creative ways to slack. Anyway, I thought I would provide a kickass link in case you're needing someone to enable your own slacking. Enjoy.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Don't Judge Me!

Being the mother of a sponge means that I should probably reassess some of my commonly used expressions. I should probably consider the implications and messages of my words. Especially in front of the boy. He picks up everything (well not his toys but you get the idea). Obviously, I have not been applying enough thought to the meaning of my words. My intent is harmless but hearing them come out a five year old's mouth causes me to pause.

I wonder what Hunter's teachers will infer if they hear him tell a classmate (s)he's driving him to drink?

When my Mum was visiting, Hunter took a look at a candy toy my Mum had brought for him and asked "How the hell do you open this thing?" This one I can't take credit for but it is a good example of how he picks up everything (in a short period of time, like say during a visit from a Grandparent).

Last week, Jason and I were talking about Julia's newish musical elephant as I was getting ready for work. The conversation went something like this:
C: She really likes that thing.*
J: Yeah, she does.
C: It's not that bad either. Some of those things are so awful you find yourself wishing for death as you listen to them (altered voice) "Please kill me"
H: Yeah I hate those toys that say "please kill me". Busts into laughter.
J&C: Dumbfounded and trying not laugh.
C: Uh, I have to get to work - can you fix all my parenting mistakes while I'm out?




* It's a singing elephant that takes batteries. Jason and I have a bad habit (or maybe a good habit) of letting the batteries for electronic toys run out because neither of us have much love for them. We never buy them - we like to pretend it's because we're encouraging imaginative play but in reality it probably has more to do with us not being able to hear the stereo or TV with these things playing. Yes, we know, we're horrible, horrible parents.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Whining

I find I'm often disappointed with the level of provincial political analysis in the blogworld (not to mention the lack of analysis in print media). Maybe I just haven't found the perfect provincial political blog yet (you know the one where the person is writing stuff I consistently agree with). Most of what I've found is quite obviously partisan, which is okay if that's what you're looking for, but I just want the issues deconstructed with an eye to good public policy. Funny and thought provoking would be good too. Where is Saskatchewan's answer to Rick Mercer? Okay, maybe Rick Mercer is a bad example but he does tend to make me smile...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Hello

Hello - is it me your looking for? I can see it in your eyes. I can see it in your smile. That's all I know of that Lionel Richie song (thankfully) and I don't know why it's in my head but there it is. Blast you Lionel Richie for your awful, awful songs invading popular culture (not to mention your off-spring).

Anyway, I thought I would write a quick note to say that yes, I am still alive. Life has been busy. I'm writing a riveting paper that involves analysing five years worth of provincial auditor's reports for three different provinces to identify trends. Yeah, it's an exciting topic, I'm not going to lie. Work has been crazy busy and I'm starting a new job in two weeks which would normally mean I can begin to wind down at my current one but the situation at work is such that there is way too much work to be able to withdraw in any manner without feeling more guilt than I've already been feeling about leaving (though to be honest taking a vacation day or two is beyond appealing at the moment). The new job will be good though (and probably equally busy).

The kids are doing fabulous. I'm working on a post about Hunter that will exemplify my tremendous parenting but that will be another day (here's a teaser - it involves him repeating innappropriate things I say about annoying toys). Julia has been going through some amazing changes - she is really starting to verbalize (FYI - I've decided to stretch out the letters to one every two months). She is starting to love her babies - kissing them, asking you to kiss them, and saying "uh oh" when they fall. The other day she babbled something that sounded like "I love you" which any parent knows is the best phrase in the world. Speaking of awesome phrases, Hunter has been throwing around "your the best mum in the whole world" a lot lately and even though he may just be sucking up, I'll take it.

Easter was lots of fun. Hunter isn't crazy about candy but Julia is so even though Hunter is a at perfect age for hunting for the candy, Julia was in on the action in a big way sniffing out chocolate and eating what she could find (wrappers or not). The bunny also foolishly brought her some baby markers and so I'll soon be posting some pictures of the results of that on the other blog. Anyway, more to come in a few days when my paper is handed in - I just thought I would check in and say hi (say hi back).

(In case you haven't noticed I tend to really overuse parenthesis).

Monday, March 10, 2008

Only One Sleep

At Christmas, my Mum told Hunter she would be coming for a visit in a couple of months. For future reference, notice should be given only to the adults as Hunter has been on a bit of a countdown ever since. Last week, Jason picked himself up a new pair of leather slippers. Because I had made the mistake of mentioning the upcoming visit (read: threatening Hunter that if he didn't clean his room Grandma wouldn't be able to visit), Hunter knew the visit was getting closer. Upon spotting unfamiliar slippers in the bathroom when he awoke, Hunter came running into our room half asleep "can I wake Grandma up now so we can play?" He didn't receive the news that she wasn't really here very well at all so the next half hour was spent calming a crying, angry, and still half-asleep boy. By 7am, he had settled down nicely but woken Julia in the process. My snooze button would not be pushed beyond its limit that day. Fast forward a week - his room is messy again and Grandma will be here tomorrow anyway. Hunter will be a mass of excitement all day tomorrow so I'm feeling slightly sympathetic that Jason will have to manage his hourly inquiries as to just when she will get here. I've already warned him to make sure that Hunter doesn't knock her over at the airport. My sympathy for Jason having to field the hourly inquiries is measured by my jealousy that I won't be there to see him light up when she arrives.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Languishing

I know, I know, I shouldn't post about work. So instead I thought I would do a little vocabulary building. Infer what you will.

lan·guish (lāng'gwĭsh)


  • To be or become weak or feeble; lose strength or vigor.
  • To exist or continue in miserable or disheartening conditions: languished away in prison.
  • To remain unattended or be neglected: legislation that continued to languish in committee.
  • To become downcast or pine away in longing: languish apart from friends and family; languish for a change from dull routine.
Maybe I should do some self-analysis. Nah, more vocabulary building. Again, infer what you will.

dra·mat·ic (drə-māt'ĭk)


  • Of or relating to drama or the theater.
  • Characterized by or expressive of the action or emotion associated with drama or the theatre: a dramatic rescue at sea.
  • Arresting or forceful in appearance or effect: a dramatic sunset.
  • Music Having a powerful, expressive singing voice: a dramatic tenor.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

1831


Hunter, your five year update is a bit late so your Dad has suggested I title it 1831 because that's how many days old you are - you know, roughly speaking and not accounting for fractions. I'm accounting for the lack of precision because you like to be accurate and, well, precise. This update is late because I've really been struggling with what to write. You'll learn (if you haven't already noticed) that when Mummy really wants to get something right what I often do is not do it at all or leave it until it's really late and do it poorly (because I can live with it if I rushed it). I hope this doesn't rub off on you (though I'm just going to say for the record that only good personality traits are inherited from your mum, okay?).
Hunter, I looked back and read your four year old update the other day and I am amazed at how much has changed in such a relatively short period of time. For you it doesn't seem short at all because it's 20 percent of your life but in the scheme of things it's a short period of time and you've changed immensely. Your little face isn't so little anymore. You've grown so much- you're the tallest kid in your class, your feet are too big for the cute little toddler shoes or the cool shark rubber boots, and you wear a size five (and not just a 5T anymore but a real five). You're getting so strong too - you can pull yourself quite far up the rope at gymnastics, you can do the backwards somersault on the incline, you can swim/float on your front or back for the five second count, and you can tickle me into submission (which is not cool by the way).
The part of you that hasn't changed, though, is your incredible heart. You are an amazing being and I constantly feel blessed to have you in my life. You give me faith that there is something greater in this world. You bring me tremendous joy and I can only hope that we are able to give you a fraction of what you give us every day.
Love you Little Man,
Love Mum (and Dad)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Five!

H: Good Morning Mummy.

M: Good Morning. Happy Birthday Hunter!

H: It's my birthday!! Does this mean I'm five now?

M: Yep.

H: Wow!!! I'm really five now!!! Can I open my presents now?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Work, Work, Work

I know, I know you shouldn't post about work on your blog. But it's hard not to seeing as it is taking up 10.5 hours of my day five days a week.

Mostly, I've been surprised at how easily I've transitioned back into work mode. On my first day I found myself editing the Briefing Notes my new boss had given me to bring me up to speed on my files. Not because she was asking that they be edited but because I'm a jerk who can't read anything (not published) without editing it (or at least really wanting to edit it you know, because I write so well - snort-).

By day two, I was working through an evaluation, writing some Briefing Notes, and asking for more work. Which reminds me of an old saying - think before you speak. Because you may not like the work you get, you may even have a serious problem with the direction that makes you feel a bit queasy. Or maybe you should think before you speak because you're just lazy. I kid, I kid. Actually, I figure if you're going to be chained to a desk for a good part of your day you might as well work your ass off and accomplish something.

By week two I found myself struggling through the file that was making me queasy. Who knew that a meeting of all things would save me? Those who know me know how I generally feel about meetings - I'm the one that often will be pretending to stab a pen into my neck as people drone on about how important their work is and how busy they are (because it isn't obvious that people are busy and important if they don't) . But this particular meeting, this meeting was good because as I was sitting there wondering when I should reveal myself as the obnoxious resister I am someone else spoke up first and raised many of the same concerns I had! Then there was dialogue and I went back to my office with determination and finished a draft of the document. A draft I could live with.

But the best part of my day? The best part of my everyday sounds a bit like this "Mommy!!!" or "Mommy's home!!!" and of course the sound of the fastest crawl you can imagine accompanied by a squeal and a giggle (Julia's version of "mommy!!!"). Ah, life is good.

Monday, February 18, 2008

One Year (and a bit)


Dear Julia:
A year really has gone by since you were moving around inside my tummy, or more accurately, kicking, punching and wanting out. You'd had enough. Kind of like you'd had enough of that not moving around stuff and rushed to roll and then crawl. Now you're into everything you can get your hands on. You have a particular fondness for shoes, wallets, phones, and remotes. I imagine I could infer something about what kind of a woman you'll be from that but it's much more fun to watch it unfold rather than speculate.
Instead of talking about all the wonderful things you do, though, I'm going to attempt to capture Hunter and your relationship. But first, I do have to tell you that one of my favourite things you are doing right now is arm farts. If there's someone in the vicinity wearing a short-sleeved shirt, you like to lean over like you're doing something sweet like giving a kiss and then surprise them with the loudest fart sound you can muster. Then you come up with a giant grin on your face. This will go on for as long as your victim is willing to take it. I'm not sure where you learned this little gem but it is definitely among your favourite games.
As for you and Hunter, I love watching the two of you in the mornings. It's kind of like your special time together to play. Usually you guys are fairly in sync with when you wake up but occasionally you're up first, and when you are you can't stand it if Hunter's not up. Instead of taking advantage of some just parents and you time, you like to get as close to Hunter as possible and whap him a few times to see if he'll wake up. You like to look right into his face and say "hi, hi, hi Huntah." If that doesn't work and you're able to stand next to him (like if he's crawled into our bed in the morning and you've managed to sucker us into letting you in as well) you jump, right next to him to shake him out of his slumber. Lucky for you he always wakes up in a good mood in the mornings.
I was thinking I should probably take you right out of the room so that Hunter can get that extra bit of sleep those mornings, but the other day when he was the first one up (which is more usual) I watched him pacing around trying to get you to wake up. I asked him to let you sleep and he said he would but I noticed he kept coming up with excuses to go into the room and when he thought I wasn't looking he put his face next to yours and whispered "Julia, it's time to get up and play." I chased him out again only to find him in there a few minutes later holding your hand and talking to you as you slept. That didn't work either and Hunter was devastated because he was worried he was going to have to go to school without having gotten his Julia playing time in. That's about the only morning I can think of in recent memory where you guys haven't had your bit of playing time together.
What exactly do you guys do together? Well, it seems you like to play dinosaurs, zoo, cars, trains, dolls, castle, and store. Pretty much everything (except for puzzles, which you eat and games, which you tend to destroy). I like when Hunter is playing something by himself and you crawl (or furniture walk) over and instead of getting mad when you inevitably knock over something he's playing with he just factors you in to his play - "ah the giant baby is attacking!!" Other than that, you guys mostly like to chase each other. He likes to read to you, or at least tell you about the pictures (especially since he saw on PBS that you should be read to at least 15 minutes a day). Sometimes I think it's like you have three parents because Hunter is so protective of you. You're one lucky girl. And we couldn't be luckier to have you in our lives - I can't imagine the world without you.
Love you my Mungry,
Love Mum

Friday, February 15, 2008

Best Email Ever

From: Jason
Sent: February 15, 2008 3:00 PM
To: Me
Subject: House/Kids/Cleaning

Hi Honey,

I hope you're having a good Friday and after work you can enjoy a 3 day long weekend, even though we'll be busy with Julia's Party and getting it ready.

I have a question? How do you do it??? The house is looking okay, but how do you manage the time and such? I think we might sit down Sunday or Monday and try to figure out a plan. I might be overthinking this, I don't know.

See you when you get home,

Love you,

Jason

Thursday, February 14, 2008

One Year Old Vitals

What you find out when you take your baby for four needles on her first birthday, she's:
16 pounds
71 centimetres
3rd Percentile
One tough but achy birthday girl

Letter to come.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Work, Work, Work

Observations on my return to work:

Things change a lot but not that much.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Odds and Ends

My January to do list was accomplished (for the most part) by the end of January! Completed without a self-congratulatory post (well, until now, that is). I haven't thought of anything for February so probably more of the same.

I'm not going to post ughs or about wagoneering (wagoning?) anymore but I'm still plugging away and doing okay. In hindsight I would have spent less of this past year worrying about it but that is much easier said than done.

Besides that, I wouldn't change this last year at all. I'm so greatful that I had this time home with my babies. I think I took just the right amount of time because I'm ready to go back and I definitely wasn't a month ago. Hunter cried when I tucked him in tonight because he "likes it better when I'm home" but he'll be just fine, he's going to have lots of time to get his Dad on a routine (and I'm sure he'll enjoy the lack of crazy).

When she's not chasing Hunter around, Julia crawls around after me and yanks on my pants to pull herself up or uses the back of my knees for support as she walks behind me. It's going to be tough leaving my little shadow tomorrow but Jason tells me that her tears always cease the minute I'm out the door (usually as he's trying to rush me out the door).

I'm not entirely sure what I'm going back to but I do know I've got great colleagues and can guarantee that within a week I'll be writing briefing notes (I just hope most of them aren't for speeches). Some day I will attempt to capture what exactly it is I do half as brilliantly as Palinode captured what he does.

Self Analysis ala Facebook

According to some application on facebook, my Beatles song is Hey Jude. This means the following:

You are a little hesitant and insecure when it comes to taking action, but the truth is you are extremely capable and full of life and hope, and are a natural leader. You are an idealist and you often wish that there was something you could do to make society a little better. Although you can be overdramatic when faced with obstacles, you have a strong support group of people who love you who will be there to set you back on your feet. Sometimes you have difficulty opening your heart and expressing your feelings because you are worried that people won't accept you, so you act nonchalant and cool. However, you are slowly learning to let people into your heart and let go of your fears.

I'm sure any of the Beatles songs that I could have been would have been among my favourites since most of them are but I like that I'm Hey Jude because Hey Jude influenced our decision to name Julia Julia much like Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (the first book Jason and I read together way back when) informed our decision to name Hunter Hunter. I like that it's Hey Jude because I often sing Hey Jules (terribly off-key) to Julia. As far as the analysis goes, I'm totally a natural born leader but I am not overdramatic I mean come on, me? Dramatic? Nooo.

Friday, February 1, 2008

1996 is Astonished

Facebook compelled me to dig up some photos from the 90s. When I was digging through my scraps of poems, pictures, and ticket stubs I came across a letter my Dad sent me in 1996:

"What do you think of the letter with the pictures on it? I got a couple more toys for the computer - a digital camera that hooks up to the computer and a colour Epson printer. The quality of these pictures isn't great because I don't have any photograph paper but when I get some they say it will be as good as a photograph or almost anyway."

It's hard to imagine that 11 and a half short years ago we were astonished with digital cameras and our ability to print pictures. Hunter's generation won't even be able to imagine a world without digital cameras, cell phones, personal computers, laptops, etc. Even now when I take a picture with a regular camera, Hunter can't understand why he can't immediately see the picture.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Coping

Q: What do you do to entertain the kids when it's colder than hell outside?

A: Cut up oranges, make cucumber sandwiches, dress for the beach and have an indoor beach picnic.






This afternoon we're going to make moon sand castles.

All of Your Friends That Live in Western Canada are Cold

One way to differentiate where my facebook friends live is by their status updates these past couple days. Anyone living west of Manitoba has some variation of I'm f#$cking freezing as a status update. Yesterday we had a blizzard and today it's clear but -50 with the windchill. This isn't particularly abnormal for January or February in Regina (we usually get about five days of this - the year Hunter was born Regina was the coldest place on earth the day before he arrived). I'm spending the day being thankful that I took a one month extension on my maternity leave so the kids and I can be inside with no plans to go anywhere. Now if February can just be unseasonably warm everything will be good.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Mum, Mum, Mum - Come Watch My Play

When I was little my cousin used to come over fairly frequently. There was a bit of a ritual to the visits. When she arrived we would sing her nickname to the tune of Batman. We'd maybe play a game or two of hide and seek then my brother would ditch us and we'd play dolls or the Game of Life. Without fail, we would inevitably decide that the best possible thing we could do to entertain ourselves and the adults (or insects as we called them at the time) would be to perform a play. I remember sensing that the novelty had worn off rather quickly as our disinterested audience would sigh and look on (I'm sure this wasn't the case the first time we came up with this brilliant idea) but that didn't stop us from performing again and again.

I have to admit, though, that I never really appreciated the tedium until today when I sat through two dozen plays. The first one was adorable, the second one was pretty cute too, even the third one was decent, but by the time I watched a fourth plot-less play I understood. I understood exactly why those plays were the cue every time for "oh dear, look at the time we really should get going." This, of course, would be followed by another ritual on our part - the hiding of the cousin. Thankfully Hunter has been performing his plays solo - they're puppet shows really and there really isn't much need to hide the puppets because that would be too much like cleaning his room.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Inevitable

When I first started this blog one out of five entries was basically about how I couldn't think of anything to say or anything worth reading. Lately, I've been feeling the same way. I'll have ideas pop into my head about what I could write and then I think they're not particularly interesting anyway. I seem to have fallen out of the groove. For a while I was thinking in blog: "ooh two parents pushing their kids on the swings one with a cellphone attached to her ear the other with a wireless headset, this will be great for a rant on my blog." I don't know if this is an extended or temporarly lull. I'd like to blame facebook but I really haven't been using it much lately either (something about all the applications clogging it up, I think - besides, I think I've caught up with just about everyone by now).

What I have been doing lately is cleaning, cooking, and baking like mad in preparation for my return to work. I don't know why because Jason will have six or seven months off and is perfectly capable of doing those very things, but I feel compelled. The cooking and baking I enjoy, but the cleaning is getting me down. I had this plan to do a thorough cleaning and organizing on one room per couple days but before I had a chance to move on to the third room the first one already needed redone *deep sigh.* Maybe I shouldn't have started with the kids room?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

11 Months plus 1

Wow, less than one month until you hit the big one year mark. I think I've captured most of your milestones this month in some other entries so I won't spend too much time on that. I'm still obsessing over your foot and walking but you are such a proficient crawler I can kind of see why you are happy to get around that way. Turns out you are trying to get a total of six teeth in the span of a month instead of just four so you've been suffering a bit but overall have still been remarkably happy.

Our days of getting up at 6:30 with Hunter, having breakfast and then sneaking back to bed for a power nap while he watches Sesame Street are coming to an end (we've got a little over three weeks left). I will miss our time together but I am happy that you and Hunter and your Dad will get a few months together. He's nervous about it so be good to him. You'll all do great and I will enjoy watching your face light up when I come home from work (so make sure it lights up enough to cover the bit of crying I'm sure to hear in the mornings).

Love Mum

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Trouble With Underwear Continues

Late this morning after Hunter had shown no interest at all in getting dressed I pulled together a pair of jeans, a shirt, socks, and underwear and asked that he get dressed. The underwear had bats on them. He took one look at them and said "Mum, these are not winter underwear, these are Halloween underwear". To which I replied "Hunter, it doesn't matter because nobody is going to see them anyway." He sighed, "I'll see them every time I go to the bathroom." And louder sigh, "I'll go get a pair that I can wear." He proceeded to grab the underwear and with another sigh headed to his dresser. He pulled out a red pair with trains on them and said "These are winter underwear." Like, duh, Mum.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

One to Four Baby

Julia has sprouted three more teeth! I also broke down and bought a pair of the killer baby shoes to see if they would help her with her walking. So far, they don't seem to be much better than bare feet as the one foot will still bend the wrong way but the laces sure are fun to untie (for Julia anyway).

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Resolving

In other years Jason and I have sat down and written a list of things we would like to accomplish the next year. Usually the list gets put somewhere and all but forgotten. The last couple of years we ignored resolutions all together. This year, I've decided that part of my procrastinating problem is that I tend to not break things into small achievable tasks instead overwhelming myself with a daunting list. As such, rather than a list of yearly resolutions, I'm going to try to make a small list of things I would like to accomplish each month. My hope is that the sum of these will be an improvement over the year (in my procrastination if nothing else).

Here's January:
  • 1-2 blog entries per week
  • Start Catch 22
  • I haven't seen my syllabus for my latest class but in expectation of a paper - start the research in January instead of waiting until a week or two before the thing is due
  • Ensure the kids get outside at least for a walk each nice day this month (by nice I mean minus 10 and warmer)
  • Yoga three days a week, swimming at least two
  • Call Service Canada
  • Book Hunter's Birthday Party space
  • Enjoy my last month at home with the kids

Will let you know how I make out. I'm thinking getting the head start on the research will prove the most challenging.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Holiday Highlights

The blog has suffered due to... well, December. In lieu of a number of well thought-out posts (has this blog had any well thought-out posts lately?), what follows are strung-together words attempting to capture the moments that made my holidays.

Hunter's Christmas Concert - I posted a video on that other blog but it just touches the surface. There was lots of practicing of the poem ("Rudolph's Colourful Noses") and the song ("The Itsy Bitsy Snowflake"). There was a handmade invitation brought home from pre-school. There was Hunter's excitement and nerves after the dress rehearsal and leading up to the concert (he was up at 4:30 that day). There was an audience full of parents filming and photographing. There were tears of pride in our eyes, not only because our big guy was on the stage making our hearts swell but also because our girl was sitting with us clapping and trying to sing along. I had no idea I could feel the way I did when watching a Christmas concert but I'm glad I got to experience it (and will get to experience it again and again).


Christmas Crafting - We made hand and thumbprint tree paintings, candy cane reindeer, glitter snowflakes, picture frames, "a wall" painting, sugar cookies for gifting, and a snow globe. Hunter made jingle bells and door hangings with friends. He brought home a reindeer pot and a candle holder from school. The feeling I got when seeing Hunter beam with pride over what he had created is hard to describe but undoubtedly fulfilling.


Christmas Countdowns - When my niece was around six, my parents started a Christmas countdown tradition that saw them give 24 tiny(ish) wrapped gifts to be opened each day in lead up to Christmas. Hearing about her breaking into the countdown box (after the pockets of the first year were destroyed) and nagging to open the next present was rewarding enough that four grandchildren later, the tradition continues (and grows). Last year, Hunter got so accustomed to the daily ritual of gift opening that he was surprised when on Boxing Day there wasn't a countdown present to open. This year, he caught on to the concept (this may have been aided by the countdown he brought home from school and his Polar Express countdown). Each morning, Hunter would stumble out to the living room, retrieve and unwrap a present, then run into our room to excitedly announce what he received ("I can't believe they got me a ... I always wanted a ...", "Wow, craft supplies!!! Now we won't have to run to the craft store!!"). After breakfast a new magnet would be added to the Polar Express countdown. Next, a day would be marked off the calendar he brought home from school and he would count how many days were left until Christmas.


Wrapping Presents - I'm not particularly crafty. I think I'm a bit of an anomaly in my family that way. One of the things I do enjoy, though, is wrapping presents. I like to pick out the perfect paper, bow, bag, basket, tin, box, etc. and ensure that the present is packaged just right. My interest in this has been declining over the years but was reinvigorated this year by Hunter's keen interest in helping wrap the presents. He picked all the packaging this year and, aside from the presents he received from us, helped wrap every single one. They may not have looked perfect, but they were beautiful to me.

The Rise of the Menace - I can not stress enough how different my two monsters are. I don't really remember Hunter playing much before he was a year and a half. I don't remember having to keep things stapled to the ceiling much before he was walking. Julia, on the other hand, is in to everything and anything she can reach and everything is a toy (or at least has the potential to be one). Christmas was particularly fun for her. From unwrapping presents way before Christmas to chewing on shephards from the manger, extra decorations and clutter meant non-stop destruction (which of course means fun).

Christmas Morning - When I see the sea of wrapped gifts under the Christmas tree I always feel a bit sick. Aren't we trying to ensure our kids are not too materialistic or greedy? But we're guilty of contributing to it too. The last two years, my favourite sound on Christmas morning has been the gasp from Hunter when he spied his gifts from Santa. That sound, I figured, captured all the excitement of Christmas. This year, the best action and sounds from Hunter on Christmas morning was when he stopped mid-way through opening his stocking to run to the tree and grab all the gifts from him for everyone. He was as excited about seeing everyone open what he had picked out, made, and wrapped as he was about digging into his own loot. Maybe the stuff we're trying to teach the kids the rest of the year sticks even through the holidays that break all the rules.


December Hunterisms - What would the holidays be without a few odd phrases heard from Hunter? Here are some of my favourites this month: "crazy" (this is said about basically anything - in excitement, about himself, etc.), "some certain Dad" (as if there might be a plethora of Dads around), "Nobody is ever going to believe this story" (while riding on the quad with Grandma and ~gasp~ Julia).


All I Want For Christmas is a tooth, a tooth, a tooth!! - Somewhere between Christmas and Boxing Day without much fuss or complaint a perfect, beautiful tooth emerged at last. Merry Christmas, toothy grins are not far behind!


A sliding, skiing, snowshoeing Christmas vacation - I've been stubborn about travelling at Christmas since Hunter was born. I figure it is just safer to stay home and host Christmas. This year, we rented a van and drove to my parent's place for the holidays. There is talk of making this an every couple of years event. I can't imagine a much better gift for Hunter because once we got there there was virtually no shopping and plenty of time spent outside (sliding at least once a day, skiing and snowshoeing for the adults, and of course the hot tub which Hunter views as his own personal place to demonstrate all he has learned in swimming lessons no matter how much water is lost). I'll take this opportunity to note that the daily exercise did little to prevent the inevitable (I think) Christmas pounds.


First steps on New Years day! - This one isn't a December but it is definitely noteworthy so I'm squeezing it in here anyway. This evening, Julia took her first independent steps (three times). Hunter was dancing and she was sitting on the floor - she stood up (I think to dance) and surprised herself by taking a step forward. She tried it two more times right away. I'm starting to think she has a thing for holidays... born on Valentine's Day, first tooth on Christmas, first steps on New Years (and we're thinking she probably did something wonderful on all the other holidays and we just didn't catch on).