Thursday, May 29, 2008

PE #28


It was a quiet day around here without Never-never (as her little neighbour friend calls her). Spencer hurt his foot yesterday by jumping down eight stairs and has been hobbling ever since. He was not happy that we sent him to school today, but I told him he could call me if things weren’t working out. I’ve never had to pick up a sick kid from school before, although once I had to pick Chloe up early from art class because she had a stomach ache from eating too much cookie dough (she ate the cookie dough at home before she left, not at art class). So I didn’t expect him to call, but I was wrong. I took the bus to work, so a friend drove me home and when I got to school, Spencer was so excited to see me, he RAN to put his indoor shoes away and RAN to get his backpack and RAN upstairs to Chloe’s class to tell her she didn’t need to wait for him after school. I was rolling my eyes, but the teacher said he’d been hobbling all day and saying his foot hurt, so I just took him home since I was there anyway. We don’t get a chance to be home alone together very often, so it was kind of fun. He read and napped and played with his hockey cards. He didn’t go to soccer tonight, so it was a very mellow evening.

In other news, I have been defeated in Scramble. Darla is now the new champion, but I don’t feel so bad – how can I be expected to compete with someone who has her Masters?

If you like edge pieces, here’s a product for you. I’m more of a chewy centre person myself.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

PE #27


I finally bought my flowers today. I'll probably end up making three more trips to the greenhouse; it seems I never buy enough. I hope to get to my planting on Friday - my mom took Neve home with her until Friday night. Yay, mom.
Some stiff Scramble competition has surfaced. I'm clinging onto my undefeated title by a tiny, unravelling thread.

That's it for today - must go study the dictionary to enrich my word power.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

PE #26

Baby Isabella (and her camera - she always has it ready in case we do something cute)


Spencer and Baby Bella at the baby shower


Neve & I had our last Parents & Two’s playgroup session at the community centre today. For reasons I have never figured out, it was the highlight of Neve’s week. We’ll be looking for stuff to do Tuesday mornings from now on (hint). There was a little uproar among all us uptight middle class women this morning. One little girl’s mother just went back to work after being on maternity leave, so the girl (we’ll call her Petunia) now comes to playgroup with her nanny. Petunia has dairy and other allergies, so her mother was obviously vigilant about what she ate at snack time. The person who brings snack lets the mother/nanny know if any baking, etc. contains any of the things Petunia is allergic to. So today the snack was yogurt and Petunia dug right in as the nanny watched. At least three different people asked the nanny if Petunia was no longer allergic to dairy products. The nanny, whose first language is not English, kept nodding and saying “Dairy okay.” After being questioned a few more times, it turns out she was saying “Berry okay” – the yogurt was berry flavoured. She hadn’t realized yogurt was a dairy product. By this time, Petunia had eaten 90% of the yogurt cup and was not happy about it being taken away. She was probably thinking “why has no one given me this delicious food before?” No one including the nanny knew enough about Petunia’s allergy to know what to do next, so nothing was done. Hopefully it all turned out okay.

Neve getting her foot painted at playgroup for a craft

It was a gorgeous day today - Neve and I had lunch outside, then she started playing with the garden hose, spraying water and having conversations with invisible friends. It was quite entertaining; I sat and listened to her for a long time. I find it interesting how much she talks about God and Jesus. It's really not something we talk about a lot and they aren't mentioned on Treehouse, so I'm not sure where she is getting it from. Sunday School is only an hour a week; she watches Treehouse much more than that (unfortunately). Here's a sampling:

Help me get everyone wet, Jesus!
God says no.
Jesus says yes.
God and Jesus so angry.

I like Jesus.
(in a different voice) Me too.
I like God.
Me too.
I like sunglasses.
You not nice.
I know!

Monday, May 26, 2008

PE #25

Just played the second soccer game of the season. I’m tired but not at all sore, which is a miracle straight from heaven. I can’t get over how much more fun soccer is when I’m in better shape. Now if only my skill and aim would improve. I better work on that in case the scouts come around. I’m like the rejuvenated golden-ager of women’s soccer. We’re undefeated so far (we won the first game by default because the other team didn’t show up on time, but still) – go, us! Speaking of undefeated: me. Scramble. Challenge me to a match on Facebook if you dare. I know I’m being all cocky and braggy, but I’ll just call it “being positive” so I can get away with it.

My good intentions of biking around today were shattered by the icy winter winds. Instead I just tried to save gas by driving slower and trying not to burn rubber when the lights turned green. I also took shortcuts at the corners by cutting through people’s front yard. They didn’t mind because it’s all for a good cause. I read a fuel-efficiency tip that suggested taking heavy items out of your trunk; removing all the sippy cups and water bottles and crayons from the van would surely save me $20 a week in gas. I must save something environmental to do tomorrow in case the weather doesn’t smarten up.

If ever I am short on blog material, I just need to listen to the kids in the van on carpool days. Today Jake was teaching Spencer about guns. Apparently some guns kill you instantly (and it doesn’t even hurt) but you live for ten seconds after being shot with a shotgun. That doesn’t hold true for bears though; they live for 40 seconds after being shot. There was much useful information dispensed and Spencer soaked it all up like a sponge and believed every word because it was coming from a grade two-er. I didn’t even try to dispute anything because in his eyes the knowledge of a grade two boy is far more reliable than a 38-year-old woman. To be honest, I think that particular grade two-er very likely does know more about guns than I do, and I agree with his anonymous mother that he not be told about the money-making potential of selling previously-loved toys and written-on hockey cards. All proceeds would surely be spent at Hunting R Us. But think of the stories that would follow.

PE #24

Sorry for my blogging unreliability. That sounds like I’m swearing. I am on the inside. I’ve been in a sour mood all day; partly because of my husband’s inability to multi-task, partly because this house is a pigsty (see previous reason), and partly for no reason at all. And now I’m smelling a horrible smell in our kitchen of something rotting and that doesn’t make my mood any lighter. Our dishwasher is not working properly - there’s always water left in the bottom which I believe is the cause of the disgusting smell. Whom does one call to fix a dishwasher? We bought it at Home Depot about five years ago. The thought of washing everything by hand until the situation is rectified also does not please me.

I’ll stop complaining for now and move on to some positive things. On Friday we had an informal baby shower/open house for my baby niece at my mom’s house. I have lots of pictures on my camera which I have not gotten around to downloading. Just imagine a cute happy baby in your head. On Saturday, we hung out at my sister’s garage sale for a bit. Spencer brought three things to sell: a car track that he bought at my neighbour’s recent garage sale for $1 that was impossible to set up since it had more than half of the contents missing; a hockey card that Carpool Jake gave him with writing on it in thick black marker that said “To Jake, From Josh”; and a car track puzzle. He priced the car track at $2 (I made him write “incomplete” on the price tag so that other little boys would not suffer the same disappointment that he experienced; he disagreed, but wrote it anyway – his printing leaves much to be desired and I doubt anyone could read it anyway); the hockey card at $1, and the puzzle at $1. After unsuccessfully explaining to him that the first two items should be thrown into the garbage (sorry Jake), I tried to prepare him for the fact that nobody would buy these items. But he had high hopes, and said on the off chance that it didn’t sell, he would just put it in the next garage sale. At the garage sale, he stood hovering over his items. After a while we left, so he reluctantly left them in Bob & Jan’s care. Later that afternoon, I phoned their house to tell them to tell Spencer the car track had sold. I know it’s not exactly the right message to send, but it’s a big box and I don’t want it back in my house. But miracles do happen, because my niece told me it had sold. Or maybe they’re lying to me to protect my feelings. If so, I like it.

Today I spent much of the day with Chloe because I’ve been feeling guilty that she takes care of Neve so much. I took her to the Teddy Bear Picnic at the park, which I have never been to before in my life. We got our appointment card for the Bear Clinic, then wandered around aimlessly. I believe I’m turning into an old person, because I am starting to very much dislike crowds and line-ups. I feel sorry for Neve, because the usual face-painting, sticker-getting, mascot-hugging scene has lost all appeal for me, not that there was much to start with. Thankfully, Chloe wasn’t much into any of it either, though she did hug a monkey mascot. I didn’t even bring my camera, so I can’t prove it. And she kept getting drawn back to the “Dr. Goodbear Store” which sold souvenir hats and pins and other junk (but for a good cause). She couldn’t decide what she wanted, and I agreed completely with the father who was arguing with his wife about buying stuff for the kids “They have enough f***ing sh**.” I might not have said it aloud in front of hundreds of little kids though. Chloe eventually decided she wanted to buy teddy bear ears on a headband (so useful), but they had temporarily ran out.* Eventually it was our turn to go to the Bear Hospital. And that made up for everything. Chloe brought her frog, Kristy, who had a rather unimaginative broken leg. Forms were filled out, we were sent to Diagnostic Imaging for x-rays, the Orthopedic clinic for a cast, the pharmacy for pain medication, and (inexplicably) the dental clinic for a tooth check. The volunteers were awesome, and as cheesy as it was, Chloe was beaming. When we got home, she added another cast and made crutches out of chopsticks for the frog. So despite my earlier vow to never return, I’ve changed my mind. I think Spencer and Neve would love the hospital part, so next year we’ll go get an appointment card and then go for a picnic or train ride in another part of the park and head back to the clinic in an hour or two.

*while cycling home, we found a teddy bear ear headband lying on Wellington. We picked them up, though by that time Chloe was no longer interested in them. That should be an example on The Story of Stuff.

We went home, dropped off our bikes and walked to Polo Park because Chloe had a gift card she wanted to use. Notice our walking/bike riding lifestyle changes? Inspired by Corinna and my sister, I am trying so hard to bike and walk more, and to plan my time accordingly. While walking over the train bridge, we heard some girls talking and couldn’t tell where their voices were coming from. Turns out a couple of girls were UNDER the tracks, somewhere in the guts of the bridge support. We could see them right under the tracks through a small hole they must have climbed down through. I sort of admired them and would have like to have seen what happened when a train came, but there was shopping to be done. To our disappointment, they were gone by the time we got back. Later it entered my mind that I should perhaps have called the train police since there were serious safety issues involved and if a horrible accident had occurred and it later come to light that people had seen and heard these girls but not done anything about it, I would feel ashamed. Sometimes it worries me that I think more like a teenager than an adult.

The smell is not getting any better in here, so off to bed I go.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

PE #23

Must squeeze in a quick little post so that my Thursday non-blogging spell is broken.

All my running paid off tonight - I played my first soccer game of the season and as of the time of this writing, I AM NOT SORE!! This is unprecedented. Usually I can't walk for at least two days after the first game. I don't want to be too smug and optimistic yet - we'll see what the morning brings...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

PE #22

As I’ve said before, Neve has a strong little red-headed personality going on. The night time situation was stable for a while, but has recently taken a turn for the worse. The deal is that she is supposed to fall asleep in her own bed, but when she gets up in the night to go to the bathroom, she can go sleep on the floor in Chloe’s room. When I put her to bed, I emphasize “when it’s all dark and everyone’s asleep, THEN you can go to Chloe’s room.” She nods and repeats my words, with a funny little smile on her face. About three minutes later, she is snuggled into her floor-bed in her sister’s room. But Chloe seldom complains and has been very accommodating by reading in Neve’s room or on the window seat before she goes to bed so she doesn’t disturb Neve. Neve does fall asleep quickly and stays that way all night, so we’re happy about that.

Then there are her wardrobe changes. Chloe used to be particular about what she wore (preferably dresses), but neither she nor Spencer EVER changed their clothes as often as Neve does. Many times a day, she goes to her room (“Don’t come up!”) and comes down wearing a fresh outfit. She is always so pleased with herself, and she usually puts away the last outfit (crumpled in a drawer somewhere) so I let her carry on. Sometimes she surprises me with a cute outfit, but usually it is an almost-too-small shirt with capris and leopard print purple socks. I was going through boxes of winter clothes the other day and came across the pink and purple boots in the photo below. I put them on the ‘donate’ pile, but Neve took a strong liking to them. She brought them upstairs and lined them up near the door, ready for snow. The other day she looked longingly at the boots and said, “Snow is takin’ a long time.” I’m hoping she will have forgotten about them by the time snow comes around again. Now you know it’s going to snow this week just because I said that.

This is how she came out to play tonight (in easily her fifth or sixth outfit change of the day). An hour before, she was playing outside in her swimsuit. I didn’t count that as one of the outfits.


On a positive note, I planted my garden today. It took approximately 2 minutes; just lettuce and peas. Every year, I have high hopes for my garden and every year I end up with a sad, pathetic, stunted garden, so I’ve decreased my expectations and my efforts. I was thinking of doing the Grow-a-row for charity that they talk about on the radio, but I’m afraid the homeless people would not be very thankful for matchstick sized carrots and tiny wilty lettuce leaves. I think I’m going to get some strawberry plants and try my luck with that. The #$*&# birds always eat our raspberries, so they’ll probably be thrilled with strawberries too.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

PE #21

I feel like I have chronic fatigue syndrome. I could sleep the whole day, every day. I’m blaming it on a minor head cold and the cooler-than-it-should-be weather. The result is very little blogging time between sleeping in, naptime, and an early bedtime. I have a messy house, many unfinished projects, and a yard that desperately needs attention. I’m positive I got caught speeding by the photo radar this morning, so that’s caused a big black cloud over my tired head too. I’ll wait until I get the ticket in the mail to whine about that in further detail. Oh well, I’m just a hot sunny day and lots of caffeine away from a happier day. That’s not the best written sentence ever, but it makes sense to me so just keep re-reading it until it makes sense to you.

I better come up with something positive so I can count this towards my 30. For the first time in ages, I got out for the evening by myself (no kids or husband). I went to a work friend’s house for a jewellery party and she served the best food ever. What made it even better was that Dale had to take all three kids to Spencer’s soccer game, bath them and put them to bed by himself. The last few soccer evenings, Dale’s been working so I’ve had to do it all, plus make supper (which I did tonight), and we still managed to bike to the game instead of drive like he did tonight. So I’m still way better than he is. He doesn’t read the blog anymore, so he can’t dispute that. But I will say he even had the dishes washed when I came home. And frankly driving is smarter than biking, because last Thursday when we biked home after soccer, I almost freaked out and left all the kids and bikes in a pile and ran away. Spencer cannot drive his bike in a straight line. He weaves the entire time. He travels twice the distance the rest of us do, and takes three times as long. My hand has to be ready to brake at all times, because I cannot count the number of times he veers right in front of me. I have Neve on my bike in a bike seat, so I am not especially agile. She is much heavier than she was last year. Spencer fell twice on the way home that day, once when he drove into a shrub, and once when he drove into his friend. His second fall produced much blood, and he can cry louder than any kid I’ve ever heard. And I can’t really get off my bike because Neve’s balancing on the back, so I just stand there pretending to be sympathetic for a while until I finally lose patience and demand him to get back on his bike. We are 5 blocks from home; if it’s not bad enough for a ride in an ambulance, we have to ride our bikes. If I wasn’t so hung up on my current environment/consumption issues, we would be driving. But for now, we will just have to deal with the weaving.

Off I go to sleep some more.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

PE #20



I know I said the Friday night and Saturday morning of a long weekend are the best things ever, but the Sunday night of a long weekend is pretty hard to beat too. The kids played outside pretty much the entire day. Chloe and the neighbour girl set up a “house” outside with a kitchen, bedrooms, living room, etc. which involved dragging pretty much everything from inside the house to the outside. They should have just played inside and pretended our kitchen was the kitchen and the dining room was the dining room and so forth. But apparently it was entertaining enough to keep them busy the entire day, and I won’t argue with that. Fresh air and some colour on their skin are added bonuses. Tonight we sat around talking and roasting marshmallows at the neighbours’ until way past bedtime. I cannot say enough good things about summer.

The countdown to the marathon is on – 4 weeks today. I went for a 12 mile run yesterday. I’ve got a bit of a head cold and it was tornado-windy and I just couldn’t get motivated. But finally I went, and it was my worst run ever. Everything hurt, and that’s not an exaggeration. If I’d had a cell phone and a tiny bit less pride, I would have called Dale to come and get me. I was determined to run the full 13 miles next week, but after yesterday’s run I’ve changed my mind. I’m scared I’m going to wreck something or do irreparable damage to my knees or joints. By this point, I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to complete the half marathon (though I really hope I don’t finish dead-last) so I’m just going to go easy. We’ll see how that works out.

Last night we went to Trieu Chau (the Vietnamese restaurant that Dale & I went to for our anniversary) for my friend Teresa’s birthday. All of the food was amazing; I could eat there every day. And this time our sitter (a different one) was not on the computer when we got home.


(It was circle clothing day.)

Friday, May 16, 2008

PE #19



More attempts at pointing my camera up. The first one is the back of the building beside my work building (it's been vacant for years, except for millions of pigeons, but is supposedly being renovated) and the tree is in our back yard.

Blog-less Thursdays are becoming a habit. My inconsistency is becoming predictable. I hate that - I was determined to write something yesterday, but I couldn’t think of one interesting thing to say. Actually I have lots of interesting things to say, but I’d probably be arrested for saying them. There I go sounding all tough again.

Today was another beautiful day. We went to story time at the bookstore, played outside, had friends over, and played outside some more. There’s nothing better than the Friday of a long weekend. Well, the Saturday morning is quite lovely too. We don’t have much planned and I’m looking forward to just hanging around at home and getting some yard work done. I heard an unconfirmed rumour that a Cold Stone Creamery opened in the Kenaston power centre area. That whole congested big box shopping area frightens me and I’m not even a huge ice-cream fan, but for Cold Stone Creamery, I will make the pilgrimage at some point this weekend. Now all we need is Target and Qdoba and we need never go to Grand Forks again. But we still would.

I’m still in my Stuff is Bad mentality. Siobhan and Corinna are helping me stay there. It’s really sticking in my head and I’m slowly trying to make small changes wherever possible. The idea of buying less really hit home when watching The Story of Stuff. Since I am realistic/lazy enough to know that I couldn’t commit to the buy-nothing-new movement, I am re-thinking the things that I do “have to” buy. I need to decide what things are worth spending more on, what’s better to buy cheap, and what things I could do without. For example, my $10 sunglasses fell off my head and broke yesterday. Should I spend $150 for some really nice ones that are sturdier and better quality, but then be nervous about them getting lost/stepped on/stolen from my van? Even if none of those things happen, will they still be in style by next year? Or maybe sunglasses are not a necessity and a few more crow’s feet aren’t the end of the world. Obviously I am over-thinking the situation, but my point is that I’m trying to change my buying mentality. For a thrifty Mennonite, it’s not so easy. I’m not sure what the point of that rant was. No hard feelings if you tuned out a while ago. At least it’s not haiku.

PS: Happy birthday to Teresa, my silent blog-reading friend.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

PE #18

Such clever haiku, everyone! So impressive! Keep it coming.

I've been trying to write something to post for quite some time, but Siobhan has distracted me with a Scrabulous game on facebook. This is the first game of Scrabble (except for Scrabble Jr) I've every played in my life - on computer or otherwise. I'm unclear on the rules and was doing quite poorly. Things turned around for me tonight - I suddenly got 63 points for one word. I didn't know there were bonus points for using all your tiles in one word. My postive moment for today is brought to you by the word 'aurorae'.

Today was a gorgeous day with no shortage of pleasant things to say. I got up early and went for a 5-mile run, showered, dressed, and got the kids off to school all by 8:30. Who knew that was possible? Neve and I hung out at the playground at the end of our street for a while, then a friend joined us and we went to Starbucks for coffee. Neve was in such a happy place all day. She played with Polly Pocket at the counter for an hour straight while I worked in the kitchen. There's a video below, but don't feel you have to watch it. It's three minutes of your life you'll never get back.

I tried Dan's Looking Up challenge at the playground. I have a new respect for him; it's harder than it looks.


Other scenes from the backyard tonight. I believe spring is officially here to stay. You heard it here first.



And finally, here is the aforementioned video. I call it 'Polly Pocket goes swimming and gets trampled by a horse with fancy hair'

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

PE #17

Best part of the day:
Going for a long bike ride
with both of my girls

Monday, May 12, 2008

PE #16

It was a rainy, dreary day today and the best part of my day (seems that’s what my Positive Moment has become) was crawling back into my warm bed after taking the kids to school this morning. Neve and I snuggled in and watched TV all morning, and if we’re being technical, possibly a bit of the afternoon too. I dozed the whole time, hearing SuperWhy and the Doodlebops in my subconscious. I don’t think anything else this week can top that. But I would be excited to be proven wrong.

After a long dry spell, I had a tiny organizing burst again tonight. There are so many areas in this house that need help, I’m going to try my best to do one little area a day. This is the end cupboard in my kitchen/dining room.

BEFORE:

AFTER:


Here’s a lovely photo I dug up the other day for our work newsletter. This is me in Japan 14 years ago. I gained about 20 lbs during my nine months there, mostly due to excessive amounts of free time and obsessing about food constantly. At least 15 of those pounds appear to have gone straight to my face.



Since I don’t want that picture to be stuck in your heads indefinitely, here’s a short video of Neve trying to multi-task. She’s trying to clip the raisin bag shut and speak at the same time. We’re having some pronunciation issues. Try to ignore my voice endlessly droning “say milk.”

Sunday, May 11, 2008

PE will resume soon

Too tired to blog
Promise to write tomorrow
Haiku is awesome

Friday, May 09, 2008

PE #15 - Halfway mark

I sent a big work project to the printers today. I’ve been working on it since January – not exclusively, but it has been pretty all-consuming. So today my mind and spirit has felt lighter and freer (as in more free) than it has in a long time.

When I was cleaning up paper piles today I came across some haiku I wrote when I started running in February. I don't think I've told anyone that before. I went through a short-lived haiku phase when someone at church shared some examples of her haiku. Hers were really good; deep and insightful and clever. Mine are an abomination to haiku (and intentionally so, although even if I made a serious attempt, the end result would be exactly the same). I was running on the track on the U of M when I desperately needed to get my mind off the pain my body was in. Here are some examples:

I’m getting dizzy
I hate running on a track
But outside sucks too

I’m hungry again
I run thirteen miles a week
But I’ve gained ten pounds

(This one was composed while running outside)

Trudging through snowdrifts
My feet like full Corpell’s jugs
My heart beats funny

Thankfully for everyone, my running has gotten less painful and I’m no longer writing haiku in my head. Although now that I’ve typed out these haiku I’m starting to think in syllables again. Maybe the next blog entry will be written entirely in haiku.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

PE #14

I wanted to skip my blog entry today - I think it's a Thursday thing. Working all day, rushing home, feeding kids, getting Spencer to soccer, nagging Chloe to do her homework, cleaning up, getting a little more work in after the kids are in bed...it wears me out. Dale's been doing a series of evening sessions for work on Thursdays; I think he's only got a few more and then he'll be finished until fall. I'm very much looking forward to that.

It was so cold today - not in the -30 sense, but in the I-thought-it-was-supposed-to-be-warmer-today way. I dressed very warmly for soccer, thinking I would probably end up peeling off layers, but not so. I was freezing. Spencer is WAY more into soccer this year than he was last year. He is right in the middle of the action instead of standing at the sidelines calling to ask if I brought a snack for him. I think that's my positive thing for today.

I can't think of anything else to say, so here's a fun makeover link someone sent me. I have not actually tried it, but I keep meaning to. If anyone does it, email me a picture.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

PE #13

Positive: I sorted through several boxes of kids clothes in the basement tonight. This is the first step towards cleaning and prettying up my laundry room (no progress had been made since the photo I took about six weeks ago.)

Disgusting: While I was shoveling the last of the dirt this morning, an enormous (is there any other kind) crow flew over my head carrying a big juicy mouse or some other rodent-like creature in its beak. It flew to a rooftop, where I could hear the tortured squeals of the rodent as it crossed the line from alive to dead. That was lovely enough, but then another crow came along and was obviously coveting the mouse. It kept coming too close to the other crow, so Crow #1 kept flying around from roof top to tree, etc. to try to find a new spot. I was trying to concentrate on my dirt, so I lost track of the situation until tufts of gray fur started falling from the tree above me. I looked up and there is that hideous crow sitting RIGHT ABOVE ME tearing apart the mouse. I took that as a sign to go inside in a very speedy manner. The pellet gun the guy got arrested for yesterday would have come in very handy. Like I would even know how to load it. I just like to sound tough. There have been so many birds around lately. That’s the only downfall to the warmer weather. In the afternoon when I was working in the study, another bird flew against the garden doors. If it couldn’t tell my dirty window from the open air, there was something wrong with it anyway. Though it must have ended up okay because I couldn’t see a little bird body lying anywhere.

Positive: Neve’s nights have been great since she got back from my parents’. She goes to sleep in her own bed, and wanders over to Chloe’s room during the night and sleeps on the floor (on a blanket). We’re still working through a few glitches, but thankfully I’m sleeping soundly through the night again, though it is somewhat at Chloe’s expense. Oh well, she’s got to earn her allowance somehow.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

PE #12

Two great days in a row – I’m almost starting to get tired of sounding so cheery and positive, but I just can’t help it. When the weather is so beautiful, it puts me in such a good mood that I get motivated, and when I get stuff accomplished that makes me even happier. It’s a big fat happy circle. This is what I did today:

  • Drove kids to school
  • Vacuumed the van
  • Went to Sears at Polo Park to get the Clinque bonus
  • Saw a guy get arrested. It was quite a dramatic scene, with a swarm of police cars and officers, getting a handcuffed guy into a police car. Turns out he was just in possession of a pellet gun, which I found a bit disappointing.
  • Picked up Neve at my mom’s dentist’s office (she came in for an appointment)
  • Dropped the van off at the shop on Roblin so they could check the squeaking brake problem
  • Brisk hour-long walk home pushing Neve in the stroller
  • Got a load of soil delivered
  • Did Chamber work
  • My neighbour and her kids came over for tea
  • Went to Spencer’s first soccer game
  • Shoveled and distributed 80% of the soil pile. I love fresh black dirt with all my heart. Spencer and Neve loved it too and helped shovel for long past their usual attention span. Neve said, “Dirt is my favourite animal.” Eventually the kids ended up playing with the neighbour kids and we all stayed outside way too late, but I can't resist evenings like this.

And that is in addition to meals, laundry, phone calls, emails, cleaning, etc. I am SUPERWOMAN (when it’s nice outside). As an added bonus, the repair shop did something to the brakes so they are now squeak-free, at no charge. I guess they realized they bled us dry with the $2000 we paid them in March.

Stay tuned to see if my streak of joy can last another day... don't worry, negative fans - it's got to end eventually.

Monday, May 05, 2008

PE #11

Today was a great day – I have nothing but good things to write about. I love Neve with all my heart and could not imagine life without her, but a break from her is like finding a $20 bill in a pair of jeans you haven’t worn for a while. That’s probably the worst analogy ever, but hopefully you know what I mean.

I went for a massage, went shopping, did some errands, walked to Starbucks for a frappucino, and went to school to hear Chloe give her speech. Putting two kids to bed instead of three is so easy that I left it to Dale (not that he can’t handle all three) and went and had a lovely visit with my aunt. All of these things would have been either impossible or unpleasant to do with Neve. But we love her. Really, we do! Chloe keeps asking when she’s coming home, and even drew a special picture of brown Ee-ee and pink Ee-ee for Neve at art class.

Now I have a couple of hours’ work ahead of me since I slacked off today, but it’s …. (I haven’t said it for a while) … worth it!!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

PE #10

It snowed for a good part of the day today, covering everything with a thick layer of white poison, but miraculously it all melted in about 10 minutes once the sun appeared, and for that I am thankful.

I am also thankful for my parents. We brought Neve over there tonight and she will be delivered back to us on Tuesday. She was happy to go, my parents were happy to have her, and we are happy that we don’t have to bribe anyone with stickers for two whole nights.

Here are two links I found interesting this week:

The Story of Stuff: I saw this on Siobhan’s blog and it’s been on my mind ever since. The whole thing is definitely worth watching, but the Consumption section is especially relevant since that’s an area I can easily do something about. I am generally a bit skeptical of the whole we’re-destroying-the-earth hysteria, but the concept of buying less and thinking about what is really necessary has been on my mind for a long time and it makes sense on so many different levels.

Dinner in the Sky: On sort of the opposite end of the scale, here’s an example of excess and frivolity at its finest, but fascinating nonetheless.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

PE #9

I never did catch up with another Moment yesterday, so I’ll just let it go and carry on. Today was one of those days that seems daunting in advance, but I made it through and am having a nice relaxing evening. Baby Isabella is coming over shortly while her parents go to a social, so I’m looking forward to sitting and snuggling her and watching a movie.

We have two neighbour girls who are Neve’s age and both sets of parents had stuff to do this morning, so we had a little daycare situation going. They are sweet little girls, but with one (mine) whimpering non-stop and one (not mine) sneaking stealthfully all over the house, going into obscure rooms and getting into all kinds of things, I was a bit frazzled by the end. In the afternoon, Chloe had two basketball games, Spencer had a birthday party, and Neve needed a nap particularly badly (due to aforementioned whimpering). With help from Jim & Sabrina, it all worked out in the end, and eventually Dale finished work and did his part.

Today’s positive thing: In the last month or so, Chloe has really been interested in broadening her level of independence and responsibility. It’s so great; she helps me out a lot (when she’s in the mood) and is showing me she’s ready for more freedom (when I'm in the mood). So today, she and Spencer went to Pineridge Hollow on Academy not once, but twice, all by themselves to buy me Mothers Day gifts. They take a walkie-talkie or the cell phone and are in their glory. They don’t have to cross any major street and the store is only a block down Academy. It’s a whole new world for both her and me, and I have to say it’s quite exciting. And that it involves gifts for me is the icing on the cake.

Friday, May 02, 2008

PE #8

I was so exhausted last night that I didn’t even have the energy to turn the computer on. I have felt completely worn out for about three days and I will be needing some strong caffeine to get me through the day today. Sorry for missing my Moment; I will try to compensate today with two entries.

The new sleeping arrangement was a great success on Wednesday night. We had the first four-sticker night. Well, the second actually but the other one didn’t really count – Dale gave Neve 4 stickers one morning before I got up because he hadn’t heard me getting up in the night to deal with her crying and wandering from room to room. The last few nights, she kept going to Chloe’s room and climbing into bed with her. When Dale or I would hear her, we’d put her back in bed, but somehow in the morning she’d always be in Chloe’s bed I decided that her very strong desire to sleep with someone might be a security need she has right now. Chloe & Spencer shared a room until they were 8 and 5, so maybe that’s why they never went through this phase (at least not to this extent). So the new arrangement involves Neve going to sleep nicely in her own bed as before, but then once both girls are sleeping, I move Neve to a little bed on the floor of Chloe’s room. We had tried putting the girls together before, but Neve goes to bed earlier, Chloe likes to read before bed, and they giggle and play when they’re supposed to be falling asleep. So the first night went off without a hitch, but last night Neve suddenly appeared at my bedside at 1:00 a.m. I put her back in Chloe’s room, and she was fine. The glitch is that Neve wakes up at the crack of dawn if she’s not in her own bed. Maybe that will change once we all adjust to the new situation. But I don’t like seeing the 6 on my alarm clock unless I’m going for a run. Actually I hate it even more then.

So I think we’re headed in the right direction, and that indeed is a good thing.