Thursday, April 29, 2010

Still the one

Today is our anniversary. I won’t tell you how many years, because then you’ll do the math and find out how young I was and the questions that would follow make me feel all awkward and embarrassed. I will just say I was exceptionally mature for my age and it’s all working out so far. Okay, so I just thought I was exceptionally mature, but apparently confidence goes a long way. Lucky us.

To celebrate the fact that our ignorance and naivety have got us this far, Dale sent me a dozen gorgeous red roses at work today. It was a nice surprise; luckily I had arranged to have a fruit arrangement sent to his work. I’ve never had anything delivered to him before – flowers seemed too… I don’t want to say feminine because I know a lot of guys who would like flowers… and a cookie bouquet might not look good in front of a dietician’s clients. We could have gone away for the weekend for approximately the same price as the arrangement, but I justified it by counting it as groceries. Anyway, an anniversary is always worth celebrating. Go, us.

In other news, we (finally) got a PVR on Monday. Our TV watching has seen a 500% spike this week. The weather has been record-settingly beautiful (except today) but we have been inside watching PVR’d shows left and right. I’m hoping the novelty will wear off, but Neve is pretty excited about watching Strawberry Shortcake whenever she wants.

Chloe and Spencer have been busy working on speeches for school. I would very much like to offer suggestions, but neither of the kids ever like my ideas, so I say nothing. Spencer’s speech is a rambling description about how the ancient Greeks believe the world began, involving Cronos swallowing his children, then being poisoned and spitting them out, nymphs, and other delightful things. Spencer read his speech to Dale & I last night, and there was much eyebrow-raising and wide-eyed glances exchanged. But we kept our mouths shut.

I have more to say, but I’m going to stop there and go watch some recorded TV.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

All good

The weather is still making me all cheerful and positive. So I'm going to list all the good things about today:
  • The kids and I walked to Starbucks for frappucinos after school. So much easier than making an after-school snack. I'd do it every day if Dale would only get a third job.
  • I got some work done that I'd been putting off because I wasn't sure how to do it. I felt focused and productive, which has been hard to come by on these warm, sunny days that just beg me to come outside.
  • Spencer had a substitute teacher today, which is normally a bad thing. But today he said, "This was the best substitute we've ever had! Even when we all went crazy, she stayed calm." I'm thinking she must have been medicated. I admire all teachers, but substitute teachers should get an extra-shiny jewel in their crowns, not to mention automatic entrance to heaven. I'm sure many of them are praying for that very thing to occur while they're subbing.
  • After much blood, sweat, and tears, I finally got my hotel reservations reinstated for the marathon weekend in Fargo. It's a long story, with which I've already bored many of you in person, so I'll just say I am very relieved that we won't have to all sleep in the van.
  • Two happy almost-family things: 1) Today is exchange-student Anika's birthday - partei wie sie bedeutet es! (I used a free online translation tool for that, so I hope it doesn't mean something offensive). 2) My sort-of brother & sister in Edmonton are expecting their first child (to clarify, the parents aren't siblings to each other). We're VERY excited about that - two new babies in one nephew and his wife are expecting baby #1 in June.

I could go on, but it's past my bedtime and I plan to be out running in a few short hours. Positive thoughts are hard to come by when I'm running, so I'll save the rest for then.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

And it's supposed to be 23 degrees tomorrow

The weather outdid itself this weekend ... that's going to be a hard act to follow. It was the nicest April weekend so far this year. I shouldn't try to be funny at this hour. I was going to say it's the nicest April weekend I can ever remember, but that's saying absolutely nothing since I can't remember what I ate for lunch, let alone the April weather for the last 40 years.

I would have loved to just sit outside in the sun and read a book, but it was a busy weekend. Busy in a good way; but still a clock-watching kind of weekend. We had people over for dinner Friday night, went for my long run Saturday morning, went to MTYP (kids' theatre) in the afternoon, and to a party in the evening. Today Chloe and I walked to Polo Park and did some shopping, which is not my favourite way to spend a gorgeous Sunday afternoon, but it's part of my new plan to spend more one-on-one time with her while she still wants to be seen with me. Then we biked to the park and hung out with Teresa & Anthony for a while, and then made a fire at home in our brand new "fire bowl." It was $70 at Canadian Tire and it's already been worth every penny. The fire was splendid; we roasted marshmallows and made smores, then sat around talking and eating sunflower seeds. The children got to bed at 10:00 pm, which was horrible judgement on our part, but we're all rushed and grouchy Monday mornings anyway, so how much worse can it be. We just wanted to drag out the weekend as long as we could. I didn't look at the computer once from Friday noon until just now, so I feel pretty good about that.

And now another week is upon us. I won't complain about the busyness ahead, although it worked wonders last week. I had several offers of help, including one from Darla, who ended up making and delivering the appetizer I was to bring to the party Saturday night. The rest of you could learn from her. Just kidding - it would make me feel awful if everyone was so much more thoughtful and helpful than I've ever been. I love you all just as you are.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Second post in two days

I feel calmer and more in control than I did yesterday, so I felt like I should put a more positive blog entry and a cute picture at the top of the page. I have little to say, but somehow it always turns into a lot when I get going.

This morning I set up a new temporary workstation in the playroom upstairs. I now have a table where I can put both of my laptops, spread out some papers, and even have room for my iPod speakers. I am on the lookout for a smaller table or workstation since I hope to be down to one laptop in the very near future. But I like it up here – it’s bright (despite the cloudiness) and cheery and I can’t see the mess in the kitchen. It’s messy here too, but I am facing the window and try never to turn my head.

I am struggling with technology these days. When I called MTS to switch my email to my new laptop, they said I had to switch to Windows Live instead of Outlook Express which I was using. Having no reason to believe they would lie to me or wish me harm, I did so. I can’t tell you how much I dislike Windows Live. It’s slow and awkward and I can’t do many of the things I used to do in Outlook Express, like attach multiple files at once or insert a jpg directly into the body of the email (I eventually figured out how to do that, but it involves first uploading the image to a photo-hosting site. If anyone knows of an easier way, please let me know!). And the ads on the right side make me crazy – now there’s not enough room to have my reading pane on the side and still properly view e-newsletters, etc.

The other major problem I’m having is connecting the new computer to my wireless network. It recognizes the network, but something is keeping it from connecting. Oh well, my troubles are probably all due to my limited technological knowledge and the fact that I am not eager to embrace change at my advanced age, so I need to get over it and stop complaining.

I’ll talk about Neve instead.

The other day as Neve and I were walking out of school, she said, “Guess what?! Danielle told me the best thing EVER! She’s going to invite me to her sister’s birthday party and there’s going to be a disco ball!” She was so excited about this that I didn’t have the heart to tell her Danielle’s older sister’s guest list would very likely not include her. Neve’s in a pretty good place right now; she seems to be enjoying life as a five-year-old. She’s happy and chatty and usually has a skip in her step. She also seems to be easier to reason with lately, although that’s probably going to stop now that I’ve said it out loud (sort of).

Last week she told me she had a boyfriend. When I asked who, she replied in that duh sort of way, “Braden Parkins*, of course.” But a few days later, she had a new boyfriend because “Braden is bossy sometimes.” I was curious about how the new boyfriend came to be, so she told me, “Sometimes he follows me around and I kind of like it so he’s my boyfriend.” I’m not sure what conclusions to draw from that, but I do know she likes to be in charge.

*names have been changed to protect the bossy

Monday, April 12, 2010

Finally a post that doesn’t mention birthdays

Today wasn’t the best day ever. Every room in the house is messy, my mind is starting to be consumed by a large work project, and Neve slammed her friend’s tiny finger in the door (by accident), which required a visit to emergency and four stitches. I need to send in Chloe’s registration for volleyball camp, Spencer needs help choosing a topic for his speech at school, and we can’t find his indoor shoes anywhere (he brought them home for spring break). I need to sort through a rubbermaid box full of odds and ends that been’s sitting in the study since Christmas, and the basement is a disaster with winter outerwear spread all over the place, waiting to be packed away. I need to renew my Autopac this week, take a pile of things to the dry cleaners, and phone the Ramada Suites in Fargo to firmly request that they give us back the hotel room which they cancelled by accident and are now unable to rebook because the hotel’s full. I also need to dedicate a chunk of time, in addition to the hour I’ve already spent on the phone with MTS technical support, to getting the wireless connection on my new laptop to work. I have to take the kids to get haircuts tomorrow and then take Chloe to gymnastics, for which I still need to find a babysitter since Dale is working late and I don’t want to keep Neve and Spencer up until 9:00 when I have to pick her up. Reservations need to be made for a dinner Thursday night, I really should start thinking about what to serve for dinner guests on Friday night, and what appetizer to make to bring to a party Saturday night. Also this weekend, I need to buy a birthday gift for a party Spencer’s going to, take Neve to a play at MTYP, and run 16 miles by Saturday. And I still need to work, clean, cook, do laundry, and hopefully sleep. I am saying no to some things, but I feel guilty for missing Chloe’s band concert tomorrow morning, and for not connecting with the young mom I mentor and for being impatient with Neve at bedtime when she insisted that her little Strawberry Shortcake doll be changed into pyjamas and tucked in to its special bed in a very specific way.

This is the whiniest blog post ever. I always think it’s ironic when people spend 20 minutes talking about how busy they are. If I would have just started tackling some of those jobs instead of writing this, I’d be in a much better place already. Oh well, at least I have a list now (although I wish I would have done it with bullet points – so much easier to check off). Maybe I’ll go back to posting about birthdays next time.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Spencer turns 9

I always feel kind of sorry for Spencer; after the girls' birthdays, we're kind of partied out. But we mustered up our energy and put on a Star Wars-themed party for him and five friends this afternoon. They made their own pizzas, had cake, presents, face-painting, a treasure hunt, a pinata, some Jedi training games, made paper airplanes and had a flying contest, and played a balloon stomping game. This was the first party ever where we actually ran out of time before we ran out of activities. There was one very high-energy boy who was going a little crazy, but it delighted the other boys and added to the fun (theirs, not necessarily ours).

Apparently I didn't get the volcano scene quite right - Anikin was missing. I know nothing about Star Wars - my eyes just glaze over when someone starts talking about it. That's why Dale planned all the activities - and did a stellar job. He's capable of so much more than I give him credit for.

Spencer had a great day - it was so nice to be able to have his party on the actual date. He spent the rest of the day playing with his gifts, and Jim & Sabrina and Bob & Jan came by in the evening, so he felt pretty special all day. We're pretty fond of him ... he's fun and smart, he's a deep thinker with lots of character. And nine years ago he was a teeny tiny baby (well, not that teeny - 8 lbs 2 oz!).