Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Running

I agreed to play soccer again this year but I am so incredibly out of shape that I’m terrified. I remember the first game I played last season. Afterwards I could hardly walk. I had such bad side cramps and my ankles hurt when they moved so I had to walk without bending at the ankles for four days. It seems the only way to avoid that this year is to start running and get in shape. The bad part is that the season has already started and I haven’t made it to any games yet and probably won’t until I can run 20 metres without passing out. I just don’t have time to run. I guess I could run late at night, but it’s dark and I don’t want to. I saw a woman running one night around midnight and I guess if she can do it, why couldn’t I? She was running kind of wild so maybe she was running away from someone but that still counts as exercise. I could pretend I’m running away from the kids. Like when I make a phone call at a quiet peaceful moment and they all suddenly stop what they’re doing and swarm around me like flappy-winged pigeons and ask me if they can have candy and start fighting and hitting while I try with all my might to hide from them. Now that I think of it, that’s exercise right there. So is running up and down two flights of stairs 30 times a day, dragging a determined, screaming baby off the playground when it’s time to go home, and shaking a martini (not all at the same time. But I’m practicing.). Who needs to train? I think I’ll have some chips instead. I have to stretch and reach way up into the cupboard to get them. More exercise. I’m going to be awesome.

Regarding the stucco “cliffhanger” as Darla puts it. Hardly a cliffhanger, although I’d quite like to hang the stucco guys over a cliff. Dale called them again on Friday and they haven’t called back, but we’ll give them til tomorrow and then we’ll start getting pesky. We’ll start calling them every other day, from different phone numbers (volunteers welcome). I really want to get it done – we’ve been working on the outside of the house and that’s a big blip on my screen. My window boxes are up and I planted flowers in them yesterday. Despite my best intentions and my annual pledge to regularly water, fertilize and pick off the dead blooms (THIS year will be different), I’m not sure how long the flowers will live so I quickly took a picture. Next project is painting the window trim. I also planted a tiny garden in the back and Dale put up the basketball net and cleaned out the garage. It was such a relaxing, yet productive weekend with no rushing around. I’d like a few more of those.


Don’t forget to go vote today (if you live here). Dale has had a dark cloud over his head all weekend because of the election. He’s upset that his party won’t win. Seriously. I’ve been trying to put it in perspective for him, but it’s not working. It’s going to be a grim night on Lindsay Street.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Why

Yesterday Neve & I were at Polo Park and we walked by two listless old men sitting on a bench. Neve looked right at them and said “Hi!” with a big smile. Their faces instantly lit up and they said hi back (I offered to buy them cigarettes) and we left them sitting there grinning from ear to ear.

The point of that story is that Neve has been such a busy, busy, naughty toddler lately that I feel like it’s been a while since she’s made my face light up. It’s been a busy week and she’s wearing me down. She’s only been two for 3 months but she’s frighteningly good at it. She will only wear what SHE wants to wear (like winter boots on a 28 degree day) do what SHE wants to do, eat what SHE wants to eat and say what SHE wants to say. I could go on and on. I’ll try not to. Well maybe just a little more. Today I had to run into Shoppers for one little thing, and right after I scrounged up just enough change to pay for it, Spencer said “Mom! Look what Neve did!” He hands me a chocolate bar that Neve bit into right through the wrapper. This happened right in front of the cashier, so I couldn’t even sneak it back. Not that I would ever do that. I had no more change left so I had to pay $1.12 with my debit card. The worst part is that it was a mint Aero bar. Do people really buy those (for reasons other than their kid chewing through the tin foil)? Then we walked out and she stopped and licked the van tire. What could be going through her grapefruit-sized head when she does that? She's also learned a nasty new word. "Why?" She says it in perfect context, with a tinge of whiny-ness. She's obviously had good teachers. I actually don't think Spencer's quite done with the why stage and now the next one is starting it? She only says about 15 words - WHY does that have to be one of them?? Anyway that’s just the tip of the iceberg and it’s a very large iceberg. So I’m testing the “absence makes the heart grow fonder” strategy and have sent her off to Grandma & Poppa’s for a few days. Let her light up their faces for a while. The light may fade after a day or so, but I suspect it will return when Neve leaves. I love that baby to pieces but I will enjoy the next 44 Neve-free hours to their absolute fullest. I might even eat the green Aero bar to celebrate.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

White Teeth

Me & my bunch. Spencer & I look sort of freaky,
but getting us all to look decent in the same photo is a lot to ask.

I love Mother’s Day. It’s sort of fun to see the stress Dale is under the week leading up to it. He tries so hard to make the day live up to my expectations, which are admittedly quite high. But I’m happy to say he passed with flying colours. I slept in til 10:00, then he brought me breakfast in bed. He made crepes with strawberries and bananas and ice cream and chocolate sauce. He made sure we had all the ingredients and everything. The kids gave me their gifts, which were the cutest things ever. Spencer’s was a jar of helping hands with little “jobs” written on cut out hand shapes, then attached to popsicle sticks and stuck in a jar. Chloe gave me a plant with a decorated pot and a beautiful butterfly. She also made a book for Neve to give to me, describing why Neve loves me. Plus there were home-made cards from all of them. They were so excited to give them to me and I was so thrilled. Then Dale took all the kids out to do some errands so I had an hour or so to myself. I wisely used the time to mistakenly paint the window boxes and our basketball backboard instead of priming them like I meant to. I’m not sure what to do about that. I’m so mad at myself for not reading the paint can label more carefully. Also went to Chloe’s art show, snuck in a nap, met Dale’s family at Boston Pizza for supper, and watched Desperate Housewives. Oh right, Dale also got me a rose bush and Crest Whitestrips for Mothers Day. The whitestrips are not your usual mother’s day gift, but I had been wanting some for a while and Dale surprised me by storing that information in his head and remembering it for mother’s day. So the day was a big success. If every day of being a mother was like today, my life would be perfect (except for the painting situation). Can't wait for next year.

Here's a funny mother's day story, passed on to me from Dan, passed on by a friend of a friend....

So, we had this great 10 year old cat named Jack who just recently died. Jack was a great cat and the kids would carry him around and sit on him and nothing ever bothered him. He used to hang out and nap all day long on this mat in our bathroom.Well we have 3 kids and at the time of this story they were 4 years old, 3 years old and 1 year old. The middle one is Eli. Eli really loves chapstick. LOVES it. He kept asking to use my chapstick and then losing it. So finally one day I showed him where in the bathroom I keep my chapstick and how he could use it whenever he wanted to but he needed to put it right back in the drawer when he was done.

Last year on Mother's Day, we were having the typical rush around and try to get ready for Church with everyone crying and carrying on. My two boys are fighting over the toy in the cereal box. I am trying to nurse my little one at the same time I am putting on my make-up. Everything is a mess and everyone has long forgotten that this is a wonderful day to honor me and the amazing job that is motherhood. We finally have the older one and the baby loaded in the car and I am looking for Eli.

I have searched everywhere and I finally round the corner to go into the bathroom. And there was Eli. He was applying my chapstick very carefully to Jack's . . . rear end. Eli looked right into my eyes and said "chapped."Now if you have a cat, you know that he is right--their little butts do look pretty chapped. And, frankly, Jack didn't seem to mind. And the only question to really ask at that point was whether it was the FIRST time Eli had done that to the cat's behind or the hundredth.

And THAT is my favorite Mother's Day moment ever because it reminds us that no matter how hard we try to civilize these glorious little creatures, there will always be that day when you realize they've been using your chapstick on the cat's butt.

Happy Mother's Day, everyone!

My finger-sucking, blanky-loving children

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Two Posts in 12 Hours

I’m so excited I had to tell someone. I forgot to mention that last week I got a letter in the mail saying I won a DVD from a contest I entered online. It was a YTV contest so it’s a teenage movie called Lovewrecked. There are no teenagers in my house, but some day there will be, so I’m happy. Not so much about the impending teenage years, but about winning something semi-useful. I had to sign a form and send it back before they send the prize.

And just now when I got home there was a message to call someone about a $50 gift certificate I won. So I did and it turns out it’s for PharmaPlus, which I admit is a little dull, but $50 is $50 and I can always spend it on Huggies or magazines or bandaids. I wonder if I could use it for lottery tickets. The funny part is that I stopped entering contests about six weeks ago. Young Triffie movie tickets aside, I felt luck was not on my side. I just proved Rhonda Byrne or Wayne Dyer (or whoever says this) wrong – I wasn’t believing and thinking positive and I still won something. Perhaps if I took their advice I would have won first prize in the YTV contest which was a trip for 4 to the Dominican. Whatever. The movie we can watch over and over; the trip is done in a week.

At any rate, I am definitely going to resume entering contests. I found a lucky penny at the mall this morning. Keep those prizes coming…

Bandaids seem to be my Favourite Topic

So nice to see the sun pretty much all day, compared to the last 3 days of rain. I was about to buy an umbrella. Luckily I didn’t do anything that drastic since the weather was splendid (that’s my new word) today. But it seems the nicer the weather, the worse the bedtime. They should make a horror movie based completely on putting kids to bed. I guess that’s what Supernanny is. Tonight was an all-out screaming production. I always do work-work (as opposed to house-work) Monday nights, so I made sure I looked very busy and focused so that Dale would put the kids to bed. He had to drag the kids inside, force them into the shower with threats that even scared me (okay I helped him with those), stay firm and strong and after a few hours of yelling (Dale), more threats (me) and crying (them/us), they’re fast asleep like little angels that plopped down from heaven. I did put Neve to bed, but she is the happy exception. She quite likes her bath (except for her daily concern about getting the bandaid on her toe wet), LOVES her bottle (we got the big one back), and actually giggles when we put her in her crib every night at 6:30. The sun is beating into her room through the worn-out sheet we pretend is a curtain, and she can hear the kids playing and laughing outside, but as long as she has her gecki and Ee ee, she lies right down and says “night night.” Not another peep is heard from her until 7:30 the next morning. I am enjoying this while I can; if I remember correctly the other kids were pretty good about bedtime in their toddler-hood too. Although they shared a room and things got pretty ugly some nights.

About Neve’s bandaid – she stubbed her toe almost 3 weeks ago and has insisted on having a bandaid on it ever since. We used up all the Dora bandaids in the first 3 days or so – there are some serious quality issues Dora and her bandaid-making friends need to address. They stick for about 3 minutes if you stay completely still. And Neve doesn’t seem to be capable of that. After those ran out, we went straight to the industrial strength no-nonsense Bandaids. Make that singular. Neve has had the same bandaid on her toe for 2 weeks. It is dirty and frayed and disgusting and I’m sure it’s doing her more harm than good – who knows what kind of germs and bacteria are festering under there. Whenever I try to take it off, she screams the same scream as when I turn off her La-La’s in the van. She gets the same result – Bandaid gets left alone, La-La’s get turned back on. I endured the veggie tales for way longer than I should have and found myself thinking very hateful and evil thoughts about those cheerful vegetables and their song-writers. I introduced a new CD, which I’m well on my way to getting sick of too, but it’s a change. It’s a good motivator to ride our bikes anyway. I can’t remember what my point was about the bandaid, but I guess that holds true for everything I write about.

I went to Home Depot today and all my renovation anxiety and stress came rushing back to me. Thank goodness I was there for “fun” gardening stuff and not a roof vent or something I know nothing about and am cluelessly debating between the $5 one or the $500 one. Two of the things I bought were a hoe and a garden hose sprayer, both of which I realized (when I got home) that the price I paid was more than double than the price tag on the shelf. I Hate that store. Capital H. More than veggie tales.

Dale called the stucco guys about fixing the white streaks last week and he said they were all excited to hear from him. They said they’d been waiting for our call and would call us back when they worked out their schedule. Oh, stucco boys, how gullible do you think we are? We’re sitting by the phone and waiting for them to call. That’s why I’m still up. Clay called and left a message the other day, asking if we want him to give the stucco guys a call. I keep meaning to call him back, but I’ve forgotten his cell phone number. I have it somewhere, but I can’t believe I don’t remember it. It was stuck in my head for 6 months; I have phoned it hundreds of times. I’m not calling him back til I remember. That scares me.

The kids and even the husband have long since fallen asleep, so I don’t have to look busy anymore. I’ll take the phone to bed in case the stucco guys call.