Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Several completely unrelated topics

It seems I have a new Spanish friend; I'll get Neve to translate his/her comments when she wakes up from her nap. Hopefully all that Dora-watching isn't going to waste.

I spent half the morning in one of my least favourite positions: upside-down in the dentist chair. When the hygenist was finished, she zipped me up to the upright position on full speed. I still feel like I'm going to faint. It was a new (to me) hygenist and she was as gentle and tender as a Care Bear while scraping my teeth, so the chair re-positioning was quite a jolt. Then the dentist came in and recommended that:
a) I get two fillings on teeth that looked like they were going to get cavities (?)
b) have my wisdom teeth removed
c) get a night guard, AND
d) get braces.

He examined my jaw and said smugly and knowingly, "So you get a lot of headaches?" Even if I did, I would have lied. I know my teeth are far from perfect, but they don't bother me at all and I'm not fixing what's not broken. I used to have a dentist that was so great. She only did whatever was necessary to keep my teeth and mouth in good health. But then she got arthritis in her wrists and apparently that hinders her ability to do dentistry. I'd much rather have an arthritic dentist than a greedy one. I know it's a business and I don't begrudge them making a decent living, but it seems they see my 100% dental coverage and get dollar signs in their eyes. Sorry, I don't want braces even if they're free.

I took pictures of the signs on the kids' bedroom doors. I can just feel the love.

This is Chloe’s bedroom door:

This is Spencer’s (he's more specific):

On an unrelated topic, I’m concerned about the smell in our laundry room. It usually smells like raw sewage, but now it’s worse. It smells like there’s a dead rotting animal in there. And not just a little mouse; it smells like something more substantial, like a baboon or a Canada goose. The strange part is that after you’ve been in the room for only about 10 seconds, you can’t smell it anymore. It absorbs into you. Then when you leave the room, the rest of the house smells funny. I dream about a fresh white clean laundry room that smells like Tide, but instead I have a grungy dungeon cell that smells like a dead baboon.

New Things:

I can’t compete with Darla’s pom-pom incident, but I did make naan bread from scratch (with yeast and everything) for the first time ever.
I also played Wii for the first time and I’m embarrassed to say I was sore the next day.

Monday, November 26, 2007

You better not pout, you better not cry...

I forgot to write about taking the kids to see Santa at Polo Park on Friday. I was a little concerned about Neve’s attitude towards Santa so I tried to prepare her in advance by showing her our Santa pictures from previous years – all of the kids sitting together with Santa, every year since they’ve been alive. I kept telling her, “Santa not scary, Santa nice! Santa give Nevie candy cane!” (and I wonder why she doesn’t talk that well). She even practiced saying what she wants for Christmas: “Baby. Baba. Soo-soo” (doll with bottle and soother, to add to her 5 other dolls with bottles and soothers). When we got to the mall and she got a glimpse of Satan, I mean Santa, I knew she hadn't taken my pep talk to heart. She clung to me so hard that I didn’t even have to hold her. It’s kind of handy having my arms free while carrying a child. The closer we got, the tighter she clung. Then the screaming started. I tried everything (because I had my heart set on a picture with all 3 kids), but I could not convince her that sitting with Santa was a good idea. She calmed down every once in a while to take a breath, but when I took a step in Santa’s direction, she started wailing again. “Me NO sit Santa! Me no want cane candy!” Chloe and Spencer had a pleasant time though, asking Santa questions about his reindeer and everything. Some say (you know who you are) the Polo Park Santa looks scary, but I don’t care – he is good. I think he may be the real Santa. Spencer brought his Lego catalogue to show Santa what he wanted (with sticky notes marking the items), and Chloe asked for construction paper. And I ended up with a picture of only Chloe & Spencer with Mr. Claus (and Neve still got a “cane candy”). I haven’t quite given up though – the picture quality looked like I took it myself in our storage room with a Kodak Disc camera, so I went back today to see if they could print out a clearer copy. They couldn’t, so I am taking the children back for another try. I’m planning to go to the mall as often as possible before that so Neve will get used to Santa. I really want that picture.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


It was Dale's birthday on Friday and the celebrations were a little more low-key this year. No surprise Las Vegas trip this year, but we did have some friends over for dinner. The birthday cake was a raspberry cheesecake that was more complicated than any dessert I've ever made, but it turned out respectably and Dale was happy. He even made an exception and ate after 7:00 p.m.

I can't believe it's November 25th already. I really wanted to have most of my Christmas shopping done by December 1st, but it will take a special Christmas miracle for that to happen. And I guess I would actually have to leave the house, unlike today. It seems nothing makes me more exhausted and heavy-headed than not leaving the house all day, so I'm putting myself to bed early tonight. Here's hoping for a productive week.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Elf Dance

This is pretty fun:
You may recognize Spencer's face from the first-day-of-school photo.

Speaking of Spencer, my guilt (and Siobhan’s comments) prodded me to take him with me to Superstore on Monday so he could pick out a toy. I'm glad I did because he told me I rocked. Then I bought ice cream, which further elevated my popularity. It’s all good. I'm pretty sure it will still be that easy to please him in 10 years. People complain about their teenagers, but mine will be different. (Like that’s not going to come back to bite me.)

And I must squeeze in a New Thing for the week: Not high on the excitement radar to anyone but me, but I finally found some strings of purple lights for my Christmas tree. I’ve been looking since last year (I took a few months off in the summer) but there were none to be found. I had almost given up when I found some at Michael’s the other day. I also bought new outside Christmas lights. We had some a few years ago so it's not a totally new thing, but these are multi coloured ones, which is definitely new. It's all about colour this year.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Buying Gifts and Dedicating Babies

Yet another weekend has come and gone and the dreaded M day starts in a few hours. It was a good one though – Friday night we went bowling; Saturday I went to Grand Forks for the day; and today we had Neve dedicated at church.

The trip to Grand Forks was fun – great clear roads for driving (thank goodness the snow held off until today), good deals, and lots of Christmas shopping completed. The border guy was unpleasant though and charged us more duty than I felt was fair, but I’m focusing on the great feeling of getting some shopping done. My best deal was a winter jacket for Spencer – regular price was $70, but I paid $12.80 after tax. With the duty and taxes at the border, it cost $79.50. Okay, I’m exaggerating … oh right, think of the positive. Spencer didn’t really need a jacket, but it was $12.80. Books were another great deal – I bought lots for gifts and Arrogant Border Guy on a Power Trip didn’t charge me duty or GST on those. He was sulky about it though, so that cheered me up a bit.

This morning we had Neve dedicated at our new church. It was nice; our whole family went up front and they said a prayer for us. Neve did fine though she was very clear about wanting me to hold her the whole time. I was more concerned about Spencer, especially when he was already acting silly as we walked to the front. I whispered/growled that if he stood still, I’d give him something. It worked; that boy was like a statue. As soon as it was over, he asked when we could go buy his new toy. I told him I meant like a Halloween treat or something. I felt bad later; maybe I’ll give him one of his stocking stuffers tomorrow. My parents and Dale’s mom came over for lunch after, and my parents took Neve home with them for a couple of days. So the rest of the day was quiet - I had a long nap, read to the kids, played Snakes & Ladders with Spencer, started our Christmas cards, and even got out some Christmas decorations. You can add me to the freak list now.

And happy birthday wishes go out to Siobhan today. Hope you had a cozy island day in your slippers with sushi and wine and the smell of wood-burning fires in the air.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

New Thing #? - I've lost count

Tonight we took the kids to see the Bee Movie. It was Neve’s very first movie in a theatre, which definitely counts as a New Thing. Going to a movie on a school night is also pretty much unheard of in these parts. It all went very smoothly – Neve had two “pee comes” moments during the movie which made for two awkward exits, but besides that she sat perfectly through the whole thing and was thrilled with her popcorn. Spencer had a total meltdown when we got home, but nothing makes a kid fall asleep faster than a good hard cry. He was literally sleeping 90 seconds after his head hit his pillow. I am considering ways to incorporate that into our daily bedtime routine, but that tired, whiny crying makes me almost as insane as the sound of a recorder. Seriously, both of those noises make me have chest pains and I feel like I can’t breathe. Is that normal?

And a bonus NT was going to a new cafĂ© last Thursday for lunch – Pastry Castle in the Exchange. It’s a super cute, relatively new place with food that’s just a little bit different. There was a mom eating lunch with her two young kids – that’s going to be my goal for one of the many Fridays the kids are off school this month. We’ll take the bus downtown and go somewhere fun for lunch. It’s never as picture-perfect as it sounds, especially when the kids complain they don’t want cappicola ham and veggies with tangy pesto sauce in a spinach wrap, but that’s their problem.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

That Christmas Feeling

I didn't get out much this weekend, so I really have nothing worth blogging about. Except of course Darla's annual bake exchange party, which is always a great time. There was food, fun and personal details aplenty. My freezer is now filled with delicious baking so if anyone's in the mood for 12 different kinds of sweets, make your way to my house. Shannon may get the award for first person finished their Christmas shopping, but Darla gets the award for earliest Christmas tree set-up. Oh wait, that might be Jenn. You're all a little freakish, but there are no prizes for that.

That being said, at least one miniature member of my household is getting into the Christmas spirit. Neve got out the Christmas wine glass charms this weekend and the charm with the sleigh inspired her to sing this. (It's Jingle Bells with a bit of Avril Lavigne's Girlfriend thrown in)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

First Snow / Frog Birthday / New Things

First Snow (not counting the weird stuff happening on Halloween day)

I’m never ready for snow, except maybe on Christmas Eve. Every single year, the first snow startles and shocks me. You’d think I’d be used to it, but think of old people – they love nothing more than talking about the weather. After 80 years, they still find the weather exciting and newsworthy. Yet another thing to look forward to about being old. But for now, the snow has melted which means there will be another day in the near future when I will again be freaking about the snow. Me, and the personal care home residents.

We had a nice, quiet weekend for the most part. Yesterday was a bit busier since it was Kristy’s first birthday and we had a party. This is Kristy:

Yes, another stuffed animal party. This time the guest of honour was Chloe’s build-a-bear/frog. Chloe loves planning parties. She has been talking about this party for about two months. Kristy technically came into this world last December 30th, but after much thought and deliberation, Chloe decided to have it now since December is so busy. But I think the real reason is that she just literally could not wait that long. She sent out invitations weeks ago (don’t be hurt if you didn’t get one – the guest list was extremely selective) and made follow up calls to everyone to make sure they were coming. The invitations stated “No gifts – only cards.” She planned games and crafts and activities. I have to say I was impressed by her attention to detail. She had laid out every single thing she needed for the crafts, arranged the areas where the games would take place, made up a very specific schedule of events, and did many dry runs before the guests came. I was delegated to make meatballs (WHAT is with the meatballs?! This time I took my boss’ advice and bought them from M&M Meats.) and chocolate cake. All week, she kept asking me if I had done my appointed jobs. She had a hard time falling asleep the two nights before the party. Since Bailey & Tia (nieces) were coming, I invited Bob & Jan too, and Jim & Sabrina, and then my parents called to invite us over so they ended up coming here as well. So it all turned into a big party. And the meatballs (Neve called them eyeballs) were a big hit.
(notice how Spencer's smile matches his frog's smile)

I’m struggling to come up with a New Thing this week. I bought new eyeshadow today, but that’s kind of a stretch. I cleaned out the craft closet in the playroom upstairs, which was a HUGE job, but not exactly a New Thing. I took the kids to Toad Hall Toys* on Saturday – we hadn’t been there for ages, but again, not really a NT. But my goal this week – and this would definitely be a New Thing if I’m successful - is to keep the paper-pile section of the kitchen counter completely clear all week. I spent a couple of hours dealing with all the paper this weekend in honour of Kristy’s party (funny how a frog can motivate me when so little else can) and since we’re having people over next Saturday night, I am dedicating myself to keeping it clear for seven whole days. It’s pretty much a full time job – paper automatically gravitates there and WHY is it so &@%#ng hard to manage?!? If I succeed, I will be writing a book about it. Just don’t look inside the ottoman.

*If you have never been, or haven’t been for a long time, you must go to Toad Hall. It’s one of my favourite stores of all time. When we walked in, Spencer let out such a genuine, awe-filled “WOW!” that the store employee started laughing. There is so much to look at and explore and the building itself is so cool. There’s free parking right beside the store (on the south side) so it’s very accessible and worth the trip downtown.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

What's a "quinine?"

I meant to post these last night but it’s been a busy week filled with playdates and lunches and work and of course Satan’s birthday. Just kidding, we’re all about smiley pumpkins and cheery spider webs; there are no bloody corpses hanging from our evergreen tree. My children, Chloe in particular, didn’t even want to go to houses that had skeleton decorations. But the lure of candy always swayed her in the end. We went up and down Lindsay – about 2 ½ blocks in total – and the kids got hideous amounts of candy. Despite the snow/sleet that was happening earlier in the day, Halloween evening ended up being quite lovely as far as Halloween weather goes. With the later time change this year, it felt strange trick-or-treating when it was still bright outside. But the kids (and adults) had so much fun. We went with friends, and joined up with some more along the way. I thought Neve would only last a few houses, but she made it to Wellington and part way back before she’d had enough. She was so bundled up that she looked like an obese fairy and she was having a tough time going up and down everyone’s stairs. But she was so delighted with the whole candy situation. Every time she said “trick or treat” it sounded like she was saying “hafta go pee.” After we dropped her off at home, the rest of us made it halfway down the next block before we were all ready to go home and eat candy. And eat candy we did. After the kids went to bed, I went through their bags and filtered out enough candy to fill a Safeway bag to the brim. I told the kids it was for poor children, but I actually just brought it to the staff room at work. And now it’s all over for another year, but it was a super fun night - it’s such a festive atmosphere with lots of people out and the neighbours all friendly, and the kids all hyped up (even before the sugar). As I was removing Spencer’s face paint before bed, he said, “I love Halloween. It’s just too bad it doesn’t have anything to do with Jesus.” You can see the sugar taking effect in the bottom photo.

Chloe has had some serious homework this week. Until now, there’s been spelling and her weekly math/logic problem, but now things are getting intense. She had a French test on Tuesday and had to learn all her numbers up to 60 and how to spell them. After school on Tuesday, she told me it was just the pre-test and the real one was on Thursday. So we had to study them again on Wednesday. She has a map quiz, a Bible presentation (not sure what that is), and her spelling test tomorrow. It was such a busy week with Halloween, etc., that we left the spelling studying to the last minute which was too bad since her words this week include Sequioa and quinine (seriously). In 37 years, I’ve never used either of those words in a sentence; can’t imagine why a nine-year-old would.

And now I am trying to clean the house in preparation for this week’s New Thing. I’ve invited some moms from Spencer’s class over for coffee; two of whom I’ve never really talked to before. I always feel like my house must be spotless for people who’ve never been here before. That’s not going to happen (nor has it ever), especially when I use my time so unwisely. And not just blogging; I find myself organizing the puzzle and game cupboard in the basement. No one is going to look in there. I also used up a precious hour today cleaning Spencer’s closet. Why? Good question. The kitchen floor is sticky, all of the living room surfaces are covered with a half inch layer of dust, and if they bring coats, they will see my front closet crammed with junk when I go to hang them up. I hope it’s a warm day.

PS: Happy Birthday, Bailey!