Saturday, June 30, 2007

How I Feel About Summer

Summer holidays have officially begun. I love summer holidays as much as I did when I was a kid. I usually don’t enroll my kids in any programs or camps because I love having no schedule whatsoever. And I love sleeping in. I was a bit dismayed that Chloe and Spencer were both up by 8:45 this morning. Thank goodness for I am planning to incorporate a chore system that will be rewarded with screen-time coupons - I just have to decide on appropriate chores and make up coupons. It all sounds good in theory and while I am a strong believer in limiting TV/computer time, if they wake up before 10:00 anything is allowed as long as it doesn’t disturb my slumber. I like to pretend that I’m a princess in the summer. I am so not a morning person and I am forced to do it 10 months of the year, so this is my reward. Once I got up, it was a nice relaxing day. Chloe wanted to play school (!!!) so we did that, played outside a bit, then I went for a lovely pedicure courtesy of The Chamber. After naptime, we hung out at Lori's house and in the evening I went to a movie with a couple of friends. I love summer.

Yesterday was the last day of school and things started off a little rough. In the shower I suddenly remembered the tooth fairy forgot to visit Spencer for the second night in a row. So I snuck upstairs and put a toonie under his pillow right when he started to stir. He bolted upright and tried to check under his pillow. I still hadn’t taken the tooth from its little silver box, so I lay on the pillow and tried to distract him while unscrewing the lid of the box. It all turned out okay but I was a little anxious and disappointed in myself for not remembering last night. And then Spencer was crying that he didn’t want to go to school because he wasn’t feeling well. He was sick on Monday and Tuesday with a fever and sore throat, but was completely fine on Wednesday. I have to say he is not really a brave little soldier when it comes to being sick. He takes after his father. Anyway, after some threats and bribes and a pizza pop in his lunch, off he went to school.

Chloe on the other hand literally woke up with a smile. She was happy about the last day of school, but the greater source of her happiness was that she had new accessories to wear. She had Claire’s gift cards and a very clear idea of what she wanted to buy, so Wednesday night we went on an excursion to the Kenaston Power Centre. That place scares me, mostly because the parking lot has some thru-ways where cars go fast, but they’re not very clearly marked and everyone drives wherever they want and I always breathe a big sigh of relief when I leave the parking lot without seeing or being involved in an accident. Back to Chloe, she came downstairs in the morning dressed in her finest dress, her new pair of dark rimmed glasses with fake lenses and her new big dangling ring earrings. I remember wanting glasses so badly when I was young, ever since one day in Sunday School when we sang an action song where we pointed to our eyes and the glasses-wearing woman leading the singing pointed to her eyes beneath her glasses in the most dramatic, yet tender way (I’m trying to remember what song it would have been, but the only eye-related song I can think of is the Guess Who’s These Eyes and I don’t think Erna Dueck knew that song). Oh how I wanted to be able to do that. But there was no Claire’s then; no one realized how lucrative it would be to indulge little girls’ every whim. Chloe looked kind of ridiculous but she was so thrilled.

Anyway, they both seemed to have a fun day and were happy school was done. Went for a slurpee, Chloe had a friend over, went to Subway for supper, then to Rob & Gab’s. The kids swam and Neve played in an inflatable cooler filled with water and the adults sat and watched. I love summer.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

This week in pictures

(not to be confusing, but the captions are above the photos)

Here's Neve in her pre-potty-training haze of excitement. (The picture are similar - try to spot the differences. I just really wanted to show off both my stove and my dishwasher.) Despite my initial high hopes (think like a winner), I gave up on this idea after the last post. When she woke up the next day, I asked her if she wanted to wear panties or diapers. She said diapers.

I said, “No panties?”

She said, “All gone.”

I think she thought once the 3-pack was empty, this idea was over. And I guess it is. Too bad I never bought the m&m’s; I could’ve had them all to myself.

Poor kid - if she was older and had any substantial control over her life, she would have made me delete the following photo. I suspect she won't be thrilled by the above photos either.

Here’s Chloe, glowing with joy about her basketball medal.

Here’s Spencer playing goalie. He is very far in the distance, and much to his disappointment, so was the ball. It never crossed the centre line during his goalie shift. His last game is tomorrow, then all scheduled activities are over!!

This photo was actually taken a few weeks ago, but it captures Neve perfectly and makes up for the embarrassing ones. She's wearing the now-missing hat. I am not abandoning my search.

And one more: it’s our friendly neighbourhood peacock. Just wanted to further prove I wasn’t crazy. I need as much evidence as possible. For example, when I saw this picture in the Metro community newspaper, I said to my family, “Come look at my penguin.” Of course Chloe promptly corrected me. Nothing could possibly thrill her more than pointing out her mother’s mistakes, thereby proving in her 9-yr-old mind that she’s smarter than I am. Think of how much practice she’ll have by the time she’s a teenager. God help me (that’s a prayer, definitely not in vane).

The mosquito fogging truck just went by and I can taste the malathion so I better go close the windows.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

First Potty Success (sort of)

Things are going better than I expected. Neve peed in the potty today for the first time EVER. I think it was sort of an accident, but I don’t care.

We went to Superstore yesterday and Neve picked out a 3-pack of Pooh underwear that came in a cute little plastic bag in the shape of Pooh’s head. Who thought of that?? They’re either brilliant or insane, but either way I respect and admire them. We put on a pair as soon as we got home and made a big deal out of it. It was every bit as cute as I imagined. She was pleased as punch. I got out the potty and we discussed the protocol. She smiled and nodded and said yes to everything I said. Five minutes later she calls from upstairs, “pee! pee!” And so it was. The carpet was wet, her legs were wet, and her cute little Pooh panties were wet (but still sort of cute). After that I put a diaper on her because we were going to the playground, then it was bedtime. First thing this morning, she ran to get another pair from the Pooh-head bag. She wore them for a little while, but we had to go run errands so I put a diaper on her. When we got home it was naptime, then school pick-up, so it was 4:00 before she got to wear her beloved panties again. She ran to get the third pair, then threw the empty Pooh head in the garbage. I took it out of the garbage can and told her she could keep it to use as a purse (yes I'm a packrat), but later I saw she had thrown it back in again. Whatever. I had things to do, so I told the kids they could watch TV in my room for a bit. I put the potty in front of the TV, and Neve sat on it like a chair. Suddenly she came to me saying, “pee! pee!” The good news is she peed on the potty. The bad news is she didn’t pull down her panties. A bit of a glitch, but I was so excited that we jumped up and down and everyone came running to tell her how amazing she was and we all got jellybeans (I was so excited about the Pooh head yesterday that I forgot the M&Ms). We went out again shortly after that, so out came the diapers again. But I am so encouraged by this accidental success that I think I’ll continue.

We went to the Ex tonight. I love it there. The kids went on rides and we saw piglets and cows and watched baby chicks hatch and ate mini donuts. I am always intrigued by what people wear. It seems 98% of the females (me and small girl children are the exception) choose the sleaziest clothes in their closet for their day at the Ex. I’ve never seen clothes like this in Reitmans. The carnival workers seem quite appreciative, so I guess that’s what counts. I would probably be happy for some distractions too if I had to stand at the top of the big bumpy slide and watch pre-schoolers slide down for 12 hours straight.

Speaking of questionable clothing choices, today we were biking home from school and suddenly Spencer yells, "EWWW! YUCK!" I'm looking around to see what's up and all I can see is an older man across the street, walking his dog. The man happened to be naked from the waist up. After we were out of earshot, I asked Spencer what was "yuck." He said, "Did you see that man?? He wasn't wearing a shirt!" I don't know why this was such a big deal since he has often seen men without shirts; but I can just assume it was because this man really should have been wearing one (as so often seems to be the case with bareback men). He was severely overweight. It was 16 degrees with a cool wind. He wasn't in his backyard. He wasn't at the beach. What could have possibly made him decide it was a good idea to take off his shirt? Oh to have such confidence. I suspect the jeers of a six year old won't damage it in the least.

Oh, and Spiderman jacket: found. Keep looking for the other two!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Ready or Not

I am a firm believer in not toilet training babies until they’re ready. A month after Chloe turned two, I decided she should be out of diapers and spent the next 6 months trying to convince her of that. Six frustrating months of Pull-ups and M&M rewards and threats and accidents. Three months before Spencer turned three (some things I don’t forget), one day he decided he’d like to pee in the potty and never wore a diaper again. He’s had less than 5 accidents in his life, and most of those were when he was sitting on the toilet and things weren’t pointing down and pee got on his jeans (and everything else in the room). So even though Neve is well into the normal toilet training age, I have felt no pressure whatsoever and always knew that I’d only start when she was ready. But that was before this morning when I saw my cousin Lisa’s adorable little girl – 5 months younger than Neve – wearing panties. It was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. I am taking Neve underwear shopping tonight. I’m also going to buy some M&M’s. This is completely against all of my best judgment. It will be an exercise in futility and frustration. But it’s going to be SO cute.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Lost Items

First of all - I have been searching for 3 missing things and am asking everyone I know if they've seen them:

- Chloe's pink zip-up fleece jacket - La Senza Girl brand (not proud of it)
- Spencer's bright blue Spiderman jacket (brand new)
- Neve's denim hat with tiny flowers - Gymboree (sorry Teresa!!)

I haven't given up hope yet; things sometimes reappear in the most unlikely places, but if you've seen any of these things, please let me know. THANKS!

I met my blog stalker in person on this week (and she met hers). I couldn’t ask for a nicer stalker. I guess she doesn’t qualify as one anymore since I actually know her.
It’s much more entertaining to read the comments than the actual blog post. So I don’t know why a mysterious someone wants a new entry. I don’t want to disappoint so I’ll just ramble on about nothing.

For example, my purse is overflowing and I’ve decided to clean it out. They say you can tell a lot about a person by what they carry around, so besides the fact I’m messy and unorganized, what can you tell about me:

6 receipts – 1 Cdn Tire, 1 Canada Post, 2 Safeway, 1 liquor store, 1 Epicure
2 grocery lists
4 Huggies coupons
1 Academy Massage $10 off coupon
Safeway coupon book
Paint swatch card
2 Hot Wheels cars
a Fruit to go
Tweety fridge magnet
Sylvester fridge magnet
Nail kit
Lip stick
2 lip glosses
2 Kleenexes (unused)
an orange skittle
a pink skittle
wallet – won’t even get started with that
a Mars bars square
half a Lindt chocolate bar
fake Swiss Army knife
2 birthday party invitations
Pharmaplus gift card
5 cent Cdn Tire money

This is a new low in blogging. And I’ve seen some low points. My favourite is one blog I saw where the writer changed around her bedroom furniture, described it in excruciating detail AND posted at least 10 pictures to show the new arrangement from every angle. It was actually kind of highway-traffic-accident-like interesting. I don’t remember whose blog it was or how I came across it or I’d link to it just to prove it. WAY more interesting than purse contents.

Here’s something a little more exciting. I’ve told lots of people my peacock story already, but I now have a picture to prove it (look closely). Last Thursday night, I was putting out the garbage and there was a peacock in the back lane. It scared me half to death and I ran to the house like a cheetah. I made Chloe come out with me (sort of pushed her ahead of me for protection) but it was gone. Then we heard honking coming from the neighbour's roof and there it sat. We went around the front to see it better, and the neighbour came out and a guy walking down the street stopped and we were all looking at the peacock. The guy says “I hope it’s not lost.” I said, “Yeah, me too” (pretending I have sympathy for a bird). Our neighbour looks at us like we’re nuts. “I’m pretty sure it IS lost. I don’t have a peacock.” Then it flew down RIGHT towards me (Chloe might have a different version) and I almost blacked out. Off it went to the neighbours across the street. It doesn't get more exciting than that around here.

In conclusion, here are some recent kids quotes:

Chloe (to her friend, all hyped up and pretending to be tough): Dare me to do something! I’ll do anything! Except kiss a boy I don’t like.

Spencer: Mom! Neve’s hitting me like I’m something to hit.

Neve: backpack (at least she said something)

And the link of the day: (guaranteed to make even the most cynical of us smile)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


June is such a crazy month - I think the kids have something special every day at school from now til it ends. Not so fun for me – every day I’m sending money for a field trip or bringing dainties (yes, dainties) for a special lunch, but mostly just feeling guilty that I’m not volunteering for any of it. Chloe has a field trip to Oak Hammock Marsh coming up that she really wants me to volunteer for, and I feel bad since I haven’t been on any of her field trips this year. I went to Fort Whyte Centre with her class last year and the memory of that is still raw in my mind. Somehow I became responsible for a high-spirited boy who tried to catch a baby deer and I physically held on to him the whole time. I don’t even know if that’s allowed. The guide was even less patient with kids than I am, and I was so stressed out by the end of it and so relieved when we finally got back on the bus. To my horror, the bus broke down and we had to wait til the bus company sent another. One of the volunteer dads kept asking me if I was okay. He avoided me the rest of the school year. Now we’re at a different school. Anyway, no offense to wildlife lovers (? - you know what I mean) but I find Oak Hammock Marsh excruciatingly dull. I would rather go on a field trip to the water & waste sewage treatment plant. I told Chloe I couldn’t go because I’m scared of birds. She understood.

I’m sad that Spencer’s almost done Kindergarten. It’s my favourite year. He loves going, and he also loves being home on his off-days. It’s the best of both worlds. He told me today that he’s the most popular boy in his class. I asked what he was basing that on and the reason was unclear. He was quite pleased about it though. Then he said, “Mom. I said two words at school that no one had heard before so I had to explain them.” My heart skipped a few beats, but it turns out one was “robbery” and he forgot the other one.

All the kids have colds right now so we are going through Kleenex by the minute. The kids blow one little drop into a Kleenex then reach for a new one. We have about 25 boxes in the closet (since Dale’s on a quest to get the bonus air miles at Grant Park Safeway every week so he buys things we don’t need) but I still feel like they’re wasting them. My mother’s influence is very strong. She would be proud (sounds like she’s no longer with us, but she is). Back to my point (sort of), I put Neve to bed at 6:30 last night and she slept til 10:15 this morning. I could hear her breathing on the monitor, but I still went to check on her in case someone took her during the night and left a tape-recording of her breathing. Yes, I am demented (as are most mothers I know). When she finally woke up, I could tell she was sick but she made it through the day just fine despite looking like Casper.

I must go write some cheques for school now.

PS: Regarding the ranking of blog fans, I won’t go into specifics but there are several ties involved in the top 5.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Wasting Time

I enjoyed all the comments from the last post. I love blog stalkers - I just hope I don’t say anything bad about someone who reads this without me knowing. And Darla, now I’m all nervous about annoying you with incorrect apostrophe useage. You’re one of my top 5 blog readers and I want to keep you happy. I’ve been meaning to update the blog all week, but all the rain seems to have washed the time away. The sun finally showed its shiny yellow head today and it’s amazing.

Here are this week’s top three time-sucking leisure activities.

  1. Facebook: straight from the devil. If every person who plays on that would spend their time doing something useful like writing notes of encouragement to their member of parliament or reading to their children or mowing their neighbour’s lawn, the world would be a radically different place overnight. But instead I stare at my computer and try to find friends like a socially-retarded teenager. I am by far the oldest person on Facebook. Most of my friends are way more mature than I am and are not on it so I have to find (younger) people I hardly know and beg them to be my friend. I’ve only found 12 so far. I must step up my efforts. I’m going to start hanging around the university and Starbucks to meet new friends.
  2. A Thousand Splendid Suns: book from the author of Kite Runner. I’ve only started and I really didn’t want to put it down but I had to check Facebook. I haven’t picked it up again because it’s so hard to put down. I’m blocking off Sunday and will read til I’m done.
  3. Boston Legal: some TV-addicted friends got me hooked on this show this season. So now I have to go to Rogers Video every week and rent all the seasons I missed. So far I’m still on Season 1, episodes 5-8. For some reason, Dale doesn’t find it nearly as clever and witty as I do. He’s just jealous because I like Alan Shore.

Stucco update: Called the stucco guys last Friday. They actually answered the phone which was a good start. They are still insisting that they will do it, but apparently “it’s hard when you’re a small company to get a crew over there to do a small job.” Yes, whiny stucco guy, it’s also hard looking at white splotches all over the south side of my new house. He said they’d do it in the next couple of weeks. They don’t know who they’re up against. A na├»ve, passive, trusting, non-confrontational little woman, that’s who. Lucky them. I wish I knew where they lived (so I could mail them a pretty card with a mean message inside).

Have a great weekend, everyone. Let the sun shine in.