Monday, April 30, 2007

Where's Joey when you need her?

I've emerged from my dark mood and am back to a lighter look - how's that, Dan? And although someone too shy to post comments emailed me personally with the right answer to the movie question, I must declare Siobhan the winner with Napoleon Dynamite. There are no prizes for meekness. Good news about the railroad ties: they have left the yard. Sorry Dave, they're not on their way to Florida (or to Vancouver). I do still have the carpet though.

Spencer started soccer tonight, which complicates our scheduling. Now it’s all making sense why people say you shouldn’t have more kids than adults in a family. Spencer will be playing Mondays and Wednesdays and Chloe has basketball practice on Mondays and art class on Wednesdays. Fortunately she only has a couple of art classes left, but Mondays are a problem. Basketball practice is in Riverview, so I stay around that area during the practice because it doesn’t pay to come home in between. Dale’s fine with taking Spencer to soccer, but the question arises as to what to do with child #3. Since today was Spencer’s first game and with getting used to where and who he plays with, I thought it would be better to take Neve with me to basketball practice even though we wouldn’t be home til way after her bedtime. We watched Chloe for the first two minutes until Neve started yelling “Gi-Gi!” every 5 seconds (much to Chloe’s delight). So I took her outside and we played on the play structure for the remaining 88 minutes. It’s a great play structure, but 20 minutes is usually the maximum play-structure time I can handle, especially when there’s no other child or parent in sight. There were a couple of teenage girls smoking on the monkey bars, but they were quite clique-ish and didn’t include me. I was so bored I was really wishing they would. I would have even gone to buy them a pack of smokes. Their loss. Anyway, there were all these tiny leaf seeds (? I don’t really know what they were, but they had something to do with nature) all over the slide and Neve was scared of them. She would sit at the top of the slide and say “OH NO!” until I brushed every last one of them off the slide. Most of these specks were the size of a little crumb, but she was very good at spotting them. She may not talk, but we know she can see. Then she kept walking near the teenage girls, trying to get their attention. But they were the epitome of cool and wouldn’t even say hi back to a two-year-old. Just for that I wouldn’t have bought them cigarettes after all.

But my point is that all these logistical problems could be solved if Dale would take a second wife. We need to even out the ratio. I actually can’t think of anything bad about having another woman in the house. It would all be platonic; she’d be like a (very hardworking) roommate. Sort of like Joey on Full House, but female. I regret that we didn’t have the foresight to add an extra room for Wife #2 during the reno. Anyone interested? Those afraid of sleeping in basement storage rooms need not apply. I don't want a lazy "but-I-need-my-four-hours-of-sleep" person anyway.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Idiot!! (see last paragraph)

I took Spencer & Neve to my mom & dad’s last night, so I had the whole day to myself. I had all kinds of fun things planned, all of which involved spending money. But at the first store I went to, my $15 purchase was declined by the bank. That put a screeching halt to all my fun. I knew I should have checked our account before going, but sometimes ignorance is bliss. Apparently not today. So instead of buying new clothes, I went and returned a pair of shoes that I was just planning to exchange. I had a coupon for a free car wash at Jet car wash (I love that place with all my heart. I should have taken before and after pictures of the inside of my vehicle), so I did that. Then I went home and had a piece of toast instead of the nice lunch I planned to have at the Underground CafĂ©. How pathetic is that: coming home from shopping with one bag (I was too embarrassed to walk away from my $15 purchase so I put it on my credit card) and more money than I started with. I did manage to scrape together enough dimes to buy myself a mocha frappucino, and my vehicle (I prefer to call it that because after 2 years of owning a minivan, I’m still embarrassed to say I have one) is clean, so all was not wasted. Plus I could listen to 103 the whole time instead of veggie tales. But here’s the ultimate irony – when I told Dale we didn’t have money in our account, he checked and there was lots (by my definition). In hindsight (as I analyze what went wrong in order to prevent this from EVER happening again) I think the shop’s debit machine wasn’t working properly. Why oh why didn’t I make that my last stop?? I want to do today over. I try to tell myself that in 3 short (?) years Neve will be in kindergarten and I’ll have every other day to myself and I’ll be lonely and sad. All the new clothes I’ll have should help balance out the sadness. It sounds like I am obsessed with clothes shopping. I’m definitely not, but I just looked in my summer clothes bin and was saddened by the contents.

Chloe and I biked home from school this afternoon. It was such a gorgeous day and it was a treat biking without Neve in the baby bike seat. She always puts her feet on the back of my calves when I’m pedaling, which makes me want to scream. But that’s still preferable to driving the kids home in the van, with all 3 kids talking at once: Chloe talking about how she dreamed she was in an ice cube in mind-numbing detail, Spencer telling me exactly which parts of his lunch he eat when and Neve yelling “LA-LA! LA-LA!!” until I give in and put in the veggie tales CD. I would love to wear headphones when I drive. Do people do that?

Neve & Spencer got home a little while ago and are tucked away in their beds. Mom forgot Neve’s one and only bottle at their house, so I wasn’t sure how bedtime would go. We used to have more bottles, but they’ve gradually disappeared over time and I refuse to buy more since she’s two and will soon be able to buy more herself. Luckily I found a little 4-oz bottle with a tiny newborn pinprick nipple hole at the back of the cupboard. Neve knew something wasn’t quite right but it did the trick. Except instead of the ten seconds it usually takes her to gulp down her milk through the penny-sized nipple hole, it took about half an hour. It was nice to cuddle her though and all that sucking made her so tired she almost fell asleep in my arms.

Who can tell me what movie this line is from: “uuunh! Tina, come get some ham!” One of the funniest movies ever and it’s on right now. “You guys are retarded!”

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Bandaid Weather

The true meaning of summer

This afternoon I had lunch outside on my front porch, reading the Jysk flyer and basking in the warm sun. A year ago at this time I didn’t have a front porch. I have to say I am very pleased with it. It has surpassed everything I dreamed it would be. There are only two problems. One is the birds that hang around the trees in front of my neighbours’ house. They scare me. In fact, I eventually went inside because the sound of their little flapping wings was making me very tense. I rustled my flyer loudly and often, but eventually they got used to it and didn’t even care. The second problem is the white patches on the stucco on the south side of the house. It’s been that way since right after the stucco guys left, but in winter it didn’t seem as obvious. I guess no one stops to inspect white spots on stucco when it’s -40 with a bitter wind. Now that people are out in the longer daylight hours walking around looking at house, I’m getting very self-conscious about it. I have to get Dale to call John and Billy-Bob tomorrow. He had a little better luck with them in fall than I did. I guess not that much though, since it’s still not fixed.

And another reno-related topic: our yard. It’s almost as scary as the birds. Half the yard is mud, so we put a trail of boards down to walk on which is a nice look. We didn’t finish the leaf-raking in the fall and there’s junk laying around everywhere. It’s all bare because the grass is permanently dead (as opposed to just dead for the winter) and we cut down half our trees last year. All the dirt from the garden is pushed up against the fence and there is a stack of huge railroad ties. We have to build a new section of fence at the southwest side of the house. The yard projects we have to do this year are overwhelming. I don’t know where to start. Plus I want to get shutters and paint the window boxes and window trim. We also have to clean out our garage – is anyone interested in some beige berber carpet from our old upstairs? There are two pieces (about 11 x 11 feet each) which would be good for a basement or cottage. If you take it, we’ll throw in a railroad tie as a bonus.

The positive part of all this yardwork is that it’s been so gorgeous out that it’s nice to have an excuse to be outside. We’ve been spending so much time outside that I’m almost out of Polysporin. Yesterday Neve fell on the sidewalk and scraped her toe. She hopped right up and was fine until she saw the blood. Then she screamed. A Dora bandaid with ee-ee (the monkey) and the map on it fixed that up. Then today the Cozy Coupe fell over with Spencer inside. He scraped his elbow and from the volume of his cries, I’m surprised the neighbours didn’t call the ambulance. In fact I’m surprised the ambulance people didn’t hear him from their station. Luckily the situation got under control once I got a pirate bandaid attached to him. We have about 5 different kinds of bandaids, one to suit everyone’s whims except Chloe. She’s too old for Dora and Barbie, too girly for pirates, way too old for Pooh, but not old enough for plain boring bandaids. Maybe I could find some Crush-Boy ones.

Best thing about this week (right after the weather): I can watch American Idol again. My faith in the system has been restored.

And don't forget, if you or anyone you know wants the carpet - you would be doing us a huge favour by taking them out of our garage. There's also a storm door. And did I mention railroad ties?



Sunday, April 08, 2007

Messy Meal

I now have a YouTube account. I feel so with it and cool (do cool people say "with it?"). Here is a video of Neve eating. It's kind of long and I didn't know how to shorten it so you don't have to watch the whole thing. You'll get the idea after the first 3 seconds and nothing exciting happens at the end. I noticed the sound isn't quite in sync with the video.

I wanted to update my blog sooner, but I've been busy with the Batman Lego. After days of squeezing in an hour of Lego building here and there, Dale & I got serious about it yesterday and we both worked for a few hours together and got it finished. Spencer has been obsessed about it all week. When I picked him up from school on Tuesday (the day he got it), the first thing he said was "Mom! Let's take the fastest way home!" Whenever we had to go anywhere, he wanted to come home as soon as possible to work on the Lego. The construction of it was mostly beyond his abilities, but he spent all of his spare time in the playroom, memorizing the instruction books. So when Dale & I worked on it, he knew which pieces belonged to each section. He was like a little bee buzzing around. And not like a calm bee, but a wired bee on a caffiene high. But I must say it was so worth it (who knew I could use those two words in so many different situations). One time when I finished a part he was waiting for, he looked at me with his eyes full of admiration, awe and pure love and said, "You're the best, Mom!" And that's a lot better than any bathroom blinds.

And Neve continues to speak. I think she's just scared that if she doesn't, I'll take her back to the mean doctor who gave her a needle. Spencer was all excited the other day that he had taught her two new words when I was at work. I was too, until I found out the words were "butt" and "die."

I said, "Why would you teach her die???"

I think he suddenly realized that wasn't the most pleasant word for a baby to say, so he tried to backtrack and said, "Well I didn't really teach her 'die.' I just said to her: 'Die, Neve, die!' and then she said 'die'."

Can't wait for next week's words, maybe "Satan" and "holocaust?" Luckily she prefers one syllable words for now. I can't remember why I was so eager for her to speak. My goal should be to get my other kids to stop speaking.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Six

Today is Spencer’s turn to be the birthday child. Last night he said he was going to be the first one up and wake us all up so he could open his presents. This morning we had to wake him up at 7:45. We gave him the Lego Batcave set, which was what he was hoping for. It’s a huge set with many many pieces. I was freaking (in my mind – I try not to freak out loud on birthdays) as I flipped through the instruction book, which is the size of a magazine. There was a second instruction book which I assumed was the French version. Then I saw “Book 1” and “Book 2” on the cover. Dan, where are you when I need you?! I read a review about this set on the internet, where the writer - who is a grown adult AND obsessed with Lego - said it took him 9 hours to assemble. Spencer is still at the playing stage of Lego rather than the building, so although I am going to spend days assembling this, once it’s built, it will stay that way for the most part. He has the Batmobile and armoured car set and plays with it for hours on end. So I’m sure it will be worth it, at least that’s what I told myself as I was paying for it with money that could be better spent on window coverings for the bathroom. I suspect Batman Lego is more fun than peeing in private, although our neighbours might feel otherwise.

Tonight we’re having some family over for pizza and birthday cake, then going to a Women’s World Hockey championship game. So I’m optimistic it’s going to be a better day than yesterday. Yesterday was one of those days where everything was getting on my nerves. I had a headache all day, I had a work project I had to work on every spare minute, and Neve was trouble from morning to night. She screamed when I put on her shirt because she wanted to keep her pyjama top on. I got the shirt on, but she kept screaming and trying to pull it off, so I put her jammy top back on. She dumped out her cereal on purpose, had a screaming fit when I read a book to Spencer that didn’t have Pooh as the main character, dumped dirty water onto the clean dishes in the sink, and on and on. At supper she threw her salmon and rice all over the floor. I actually have an astounding number of pet peeves, but stepping on wet rice is very close to the top of the list. After putting Neve to bed, Dale went grocery shopping and bought me a family-sized Hershey chocolate bar with almonds & toffee and a People magazine, so that fixed a lot of my problems.

After hearing me tell the doctor last week that I was concerned about her lack of speech, Neve has been saying new words every day. She now calls Chloe “Gi-gi” (hard g). It’s her favourite thing to say. She even calls “Gi-gi” from her crib when she wakes up. It’s taking pressure off “mama”. She says “up” and “off” and “go” and “moo”. I realize that most babies half her age can say these words, but our stubborn little redhead dances to the beat of her own drum (or whatever that saying is).

Now she’s getting mad that the Easter window clings aren’t sticking to her bare tummy, so I better go avert a temper tantrum.