Monday, January 25, 2010

Blah and snow

(I tried to post this last night, but my computer was not cooperating.)

The January blahs set in on Thursday. I didn’t know there was such a thing as Blue Monday or Misery Monday (the most depressing day of the year) until Wednesday, or I would have jumped on the bandwagon a few days sooner. I was able to drag myself out of bed on Thursday, but Friday both Chloe and I woke up with sore throats and achy bodies, so we stayed in bed pretty much all day. Saturday was Neve’s turn to be sick, so it was another low key day spent in pyjamas, and today was still more of the same. I’m unmotivated, unenergetic, and cranky. I’m sick of doing nothing, but don’t feel like doing anything. My whining ends here. Probably.

The heavy, wet snow we got this weekend made it prime snowperson-building weather. There aren’t too many houses around without snowpeople in the front yard. The freaky batch of snowmen the kids constructed cheered me up considerably. Quite a few passersby stopped to admire them. Or something. Spencer decided to use Smarties to make the mouth on his snowboy, but I think most of them ended up in the human boy’s mouth instead.

I thought the clip on Chloe’s baby snowman was a nice touch.

And Neve was stuck inside with a fever, gazing longingly out the window. She wore that nightgown for 48 hours straight from Thursday night to Saturday night, at which point she bathed and put on clean pyjamas which she has been wearing since. It's going to be a light laundry week.

Spencer and I actually left the house briefly on Saturday to go shopping for a new jacket and snow pants. His snow pants are ripped to shreds, and although we have another pair that fits him, he says they’re uncomfortable. He has two hand-me-down winter jackets that are both on the small side, so I thought we may as well get a new set. Sears still had a good selection, but there was nothing that both of us loved. Then Common Sense came to visit me and I realized how silly it was; I’m sure he’ll get used to the other snow pants, and in two months he can start wearing a lighter jacket. So I offered him $20 to put up with the old stuff for the rest of the winter and everyone was happy. I bet he would have taken $10. Anyway, all that just to say that I’m trying to return to my anti-stuff philosophy. I haven’t been vigilant about it lately, but I’m sickened by all the stuff we don’t need. Maybe it’s the Haiti situation or maybe it’s the unorganized clutter everywhere…but the winds of change are blowing. Or maybe that’s just the bitter north wind.

When we were at the mall, Spencer said. “Don’t you just love shopping at the mall? Everything is such high quality and so reasonably priced!” He said it with such passion and conviction. I have no idea where he got that from. I’m not really a big mall proponent. Maybe it’s because I seldom take him shopping – compared to Dollarama, the mall is pretty awesome.

I hear it’s getting blizzardy out there. Dale and I walked to the video store on Grant tonight and it wasn’t bad then, even with the north wind. Although I could probably have survived a month on the tundra the way I was bundled up. Except I could hardly turn my head with all the layers, so a polar bear could have easily snuck up and attacked me from behind. He would have had a hard time biting through all that outerwear though, so I’d probably win in the end. My sentence structure is getting worse and worse as this entry progresses, so I will stop writing. Hope everyone stays warm and safe! And if you hear growling behind you, RUN! (as fast as you can in your snow pants). Or I’ll pay you $20.

I need to go to bed.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


My blogging has been sluggish lately. I have lots of things in my head that don’t make it to this page in a timely manner, so rather than try to activate my mushy brain at eleven p.m., I’ll share one highlight from each of the past few days.

Friday: We hosted a neighourhood party Friday night. We had a good turnout - 20-30 people showed up and everyone had fun (or pretended to). It was a nice group and everyone mixed well. The high point was when one neighbour fell off her chair. But she got right back up and had a few more glasses of wine. The nice thing about partying with the neighbours is that you don’t have to confiscate anyone’s car keys.

Saturday: We went to Bob & Janet’s for a German-themed dinner. They’ve had a high school exchange student from Germany living with them since September, so it was in honour of her. Except she had to eat in the basement (with the other kids). She is going back to Germany at the end of this month, which we’re all sad about. She’s a beautiful, fun girl and my kids love her. The other day Spencer said sadly, “What’s it going to be like going to Bob & Jan’s without Anika there?” Anyway, the food was amazing and I was so full I didn’t eat anything until Monday. (hopefully Anika doesn't mind her pic being posted!)

Sunday: This is a pathetic highlight, but I’m going to say going for a short run. I need to start training soon for the #$&#% Fargo half marathon Dale signed me up for. I hadn’t run in a while but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, and I am very much looking forward to getting into better physical shape and not having rolls of doughy flesh squeezing out everywhere.

Monday: After dropping the kids off at school(s), I went to Stella’s for breakfast with some friends. I’m thinking I’d like to start every week that way.

Tuesday: I was on my way out the door to take Spencer to the bookstore to get a book I’d promised him, when Dale gave me $50 cash and told me to spend it all. I had a tight time limit because I had to pick Chloe up from gymnastics, so in my haste, this is what I got: Spencer’s book (39 Clues Book 3), The Secret Life of Bees, an art book that I’ve been wanting to buy the kids for a long time, and some wrapping paper. So really I only got one thing for myself, but it was still fun.

And that’s five days in a (plus-sized) nutshell.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Haiti earthquake

There's a blog that I've been following for a few years - it's written by Tara Livesay, who is a missionary in Haiti. She's not what you typically think of a missionary - she is clever and funny and sarcastic and I love her writing. Plus it's a good reminder that my problems are nothing compared to most of the world's. Anyway, you've probably heard about the earthquake in Haiti; thankfully her and her family are safe, and she's sharing first-hand accounts of stuff that's going on. It's a more personal glimpse than you get on the news and makes the devastation to an already struggling country seem more real, even though it's still almost impossible to comprehend. It's been on my mind all day. Check it out here.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

January musings

This new blog template is kind of lame, but I couldn't bear the Christmas theme any longer. I will make a nicer one when I have more time.

So we made it through the first week of January, which is always a joy to have over with. It was a busy week, but we had no plans yesterday or today, which was lovely. Dale took the kids sliding late this afternoon, filling their lungs with fresh air and tiring out their little bodies. They all went to bed early, and I sat and watched TV while eating Old Dutch ripple chips and Epicure herb & garlic dip (they’re sponsoring today’s post – they just don’t know it yet).

Chloe had her first official babysitting job today. She is not technically twelve for another ten weeks, but she has taken the babysitting course and everyone involved was comfortable with the arrangement. It was just a short stint for a neighbour we know well, and Chloe was thrilled to launch her babysitting career. She has already stayed home with a sibling or two quite a few times, and things have always gone smoothly (or so they pretend). We’re on the brink of a whole new era. It’s going to take a while for my mind to not automatically think of getting a babysitter when we make plans. I thought this day would never come. I fully agree with the clich├ęd “enjoy them while they’re young; they grow up so fast.” But make no mistake, the benefits of children growing up are plentiful.

Luckily, we also still have a little one that we are quite enjoying. Her tantrum problem is now manageable, and she has been much happier lately. She had a great week back at school. I volunteered in her class on Friday and I’m shocked at how much the kids know. They all know the alphabet in sign language, can write their names in lowercase, recognize the first and last name of every child in the class, do simple adding and patterns and so many other things. I don’t think these things are out of the ordinary; I’m just amazed at how teachable four-year-olds are. I’m also a little worried when I think of all the things she’s probably learning from Spencer. Today she was repeatedly singing a happy little worship song after Sunday School. Spencer said, “Neve! Don’t you know that your teachers are poisoning your mind?” When I pressed him on that, he said Neve was singing the song over and over because it was stuck in her mind, which I guess he equated with poisoning. Sometimes I wonder how all my children will turn out.

One other Neve tidbit: While she and I were driving somewhere the other day, she was talking to Chloe on my cell phone. She was having trouble holding onto the phone with her thick mittens, and I don’t think it was quite lined up with her ear because she kept saying, “What? What? I can’t hear you because I have my mittens on.”

We have another busy week ahead. My uncle passed away on the weekend (the second one in the last few weeks), so my parents – who just arrived in Florida on Thursday – are coming home tonight. Also, in a somewhat impulsive move, I made invitations and distributed them to about 25 of my neighbours. I guess I better be prepared if some of them appear on my doorstep Friday night. It would probably be rude not to let them in.

Lastly, I am still enjoying my new slippers. I am already very dependent on them and feel naked without them. By request, here they are.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Twenty X

After seventeen days, I finally had the house to myself today. I love the holidays – having the kids home, sleeping in, doing puzzles, no schedule – and I always dread getting back into routine, but today was peaceful and happy. The kids, Chloe in particular, do not enjoy getting up in the morning, so I’ve started a new Morning Motivational System (MMS – I might patent this). I printed out play money in a different colour for each child. I put one “Breakfast Buck” per child on the counter before I go to bed. The children must claim them by 7:45 a.m. or they disappear. Once they collect five Breakfast Bucks, they get a reward, which is yet to be determined. The other thing I need to communicate to the children is that they cannot go back to bed after retrieving their buck, like Chloe did today.

But the glitches will work themselves out, and the year seems to be off to a good start. I’m feeling organized and on top of things; I even made supper today. I have a good feeling about 2010.

Speaking of 2010, Chloe has taken it upon herself to conduct a survey of how people are saying “2010” – feel free to voice your opinion in the comments and I’ll pass it on to her. This was a hot topic on the radio today. I feel quite strongly in favour of “twenty-ten.” Two thousand ten sounds awkward and clumsy, even worse if you add the “and.” One of the radio guys is calling it “twenty-ex.” Not bad, but a little too gangsta rap for a forty year old lady (who doesn’t even know what gangsta rap is).

Speaking of the radio, I was on it today. This is the high point of my year so far. For the first time ever, I phoned in a traffic tip and they re-played the whole message. If I’d known they would do that, I would have been more articulate and clever. But I was still pretty excited.

But the excitement wasn’t over yet! Tonight I saw a car accident in the parking lot of St. Vital Centre. A young guy in a sporty car, trying to impress his female passenger (I’m just assuming that part) came speeding around the corner of Sears, did some serious miscalculating in his turning abilities, jumped the curb, and plowed into two parked cars, which both happened to be blue. A woman and her kids were getting out of a van right beside one of the cars, and she was not impressed. She started ripping into the guy about being an “idiot” and crashing his “hot rod thing.” He was most concerned about the damage to his car, and she didn’t hide the glee in her voice when she told him, “Your back end is wrecked! You’re not going anywhere!” I thought about telling her that she wasn’t really helping the situation, but I’m a middle child who doesn’t like confrontation, so I remained silent. The owner of one of the damaged cars appeared almost right after it happened, to the van lady’s delight. She got to tell the car owner the whole story about the “stupid” young driver. Anyway it was kind of funny, because the car owner suddenly said, “Oh! This isn’t my car!” and she was all relieved. Unfortunately that didn’t have a happy ending because her car was the blue one beside it, which had even more damage.

Anyway, the reason I was at St. Vital was to buy some slippers that I’ve wanted for years. I’m wearing them right now and they’re everything I dreamed they would be. That’s the real happy ending.

Hope your Twenty-Ten is off to a fantastic start! (Don’t forget to add your two cents for Chloe!)