Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Well over at ramblingsbyreba,Rebecca's hosting a blog carnival of the best kind of sudsiest sort.
I wrote these “How we met” posts a couple of months ago. So we’ll be doing a little linking today (thank goodness because I’m under a work avalanche right now. And did someone say TAXES??!!).
Apologies to my blog pals who've already seen this before. Perhaps some of my schmaltziest work, here for a redux.
With the header that runs across the blog, I suppose the alcoholic theme is quite in keeping with our first meeting. Which involved a bunch of students in Quality Control … and Beer (student's dream job, YES).
Throw in a little Drama (yeah, she gets around a bit …)
And finally, the Date that was sealed with a Kiss …
This was just the beginning.
This saga continues with the “nomadic years” in future posts.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
You had us hooked. And you grew quickly into a chubby, happy little guy with a smile for anyone who looked your way.
And to those who didn't look your way, "Say What?!!"
You usually got at least a smile.
Always ready for a quick snuggle...
You're so shy, I don't know what to do with you...
A doe-eyed obsessor of Thomas ...
Happy, happy birthday, my sweet 8 year old Wonderboy!!!
Just know that Mommy and Daddy will always be your Wonderwall.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Thirteen Reasons (among millions) to love my Boy
1. He is sweet.
2. He is considerate and caring.
3. He shares.
4. He is all these things to his sister (most of the time) and he's her protector. He is a wonderful brother.
5. He listens and is an attentive student.
6. He is a good friend.
7. He is a wonderful son.
8. He is my first miracle baby.
9. He's an amazing eater (love watching him eat two meals for supper).
10. He loves his family.
11. He's a natural athlete and loves team sports.
12. He looks just like me (gotta give me props for that!)
13. He is my pride and joy. And he's turning all of eight years old tomorrow.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
I knew we were heading treacherously close to the threshold of no return , with the Dad laugh and all. But a few things have happened recently which make me wonder whether it’s already too late:
Sign #1: Full steam ahead
Driving straight toward a lane meant for oncoming streetcars only, which is clearly marked for transit vehicles as well as this:
Sign #2: Fashion Faux "Pa"
Wearing this T-shirt :
… not while gardening, sleeping, working out or cleaning the garage but to head DOWNTOWN!!!
Sign #3: The New Alternative
But this, my friends, is likely the clincher ...
Listening to the radio in the car, to who knows what station, and the following comes on the airwaves:
“ Iiiiiiiii…. Wanna be your sole provider ..."
(sorry if you're a fan... edited to add: Ha! Freudian slip there, should be SOUL provider - thx Kellan! And, as if ... he'd switch spots with me in a flash!])
The Dad says, “Hey, this isn’t so bad…”
WHAT THE ....??????
I've gotta dig deep if I'm gonna find the guy who introduced me to David Sylvian and Japan, and enjoyed the Lust for Life of Iggy in concert with me, among other choice classics through the years.
[I know I like to joke about the hubs a lot here; I'm just lucky he's good-natured enough to laugh and know that I'm laughing WITH him and NOT AT him. ]
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
He then proceeded to rhythmically kick at the heels of his little sister, who was sitting very patiently next to him, happily people-watching in the busy waiting room. Of course, she wasn’t quiet for long, reacting in her usual manner. A whiny shriek is putting it mildly.
Quite irritated by this time, I said to him:
“L-ster. What are you doing?”
And he replied, “Mom, it’s that time of day. It’s in the schedule!”
Now you know how I am with schedules.
Puzzled, I asked, “What schedule?”
Rolling his eyes and laughing, he answered, “Come on, Mom. It’s the usual time when I’m supposed to annoy my sister.”
This kid. He’s good.
Preparations for the big party for the boy's 8th birthday, are the major part of today's agenda.
I swore that last year would be THE last of the big parties. There were a dozen boys at his 7th, and it was manageable. Certainly an improvement over the previous years' gatherings (25- 30 kids ?!!! Nuts, I tell ya. Thank goodness for indoor playgrounds).
This year I thought he'd want to do something smaller. But his chosen activity is Laserquest. So his fractured clavicle is not the best accompaniment for the festivities. The Dad, however, has promised that he will give the group a talk about the injured birthday boy before they head out on their quest. Who knows, they may form a posse around him ... wouldn't that be a hoot!
What's left to do? The big thing is the LOOT bag. I am at a loss; 8 year old boys are a difficult demographic. Here are my thirteen possibilities for thirteen loot bags:
1. Silly putty
2. Chocolate bars
3. 3-D puzzles
6. Key chain (boring but reliable)
7. Pocket volcano
8. Noisemaker. Parents. Would hate me.
9. Gift cards for Starbucks. Parents. Would love me.
10. Gift Certificates for ice-cream. But then that would be too organized.
11. Stickers. But I suspect they’re too old now.
12. Snake, frogs, rubbery things. They may as well learn about rubbers now.
13. Mini lava lamps. Rather useless, but then so is the other stuff.
If you have any other more brilliant ideas (and I'm positive that there are tons), just let me know.
I suppose I should be happy for this momentary reprieve. The girlie starts kindergarten in the fall - and the big party playground circuit starts all over again come winter.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
The bride used to work for me. She inherited me when I came back from my first maternity leave. We'd only met a couple of times before, and apparently I made her nervous for weeks before my arrival. Fancy that! I was her first manager in her first job out of university. And here we are, eight years later and she’s getting married.
Along with being her boss, we got on fabulously as friends. We got quite close both professionally and personally. I am so proud of how well she’s done in her career, but then I saw early on in her, the quiet, shy confidence that I knew would blossom at some point. Reminded me of someone I knew way back when (who would grow up to be dragon-lady boss, apparently ;). We discussed our relationships. I shared with her some of my own trials and tribulations. Some guys are just a lot harder to get to the altar for whatever reason. But they are worth the wait. My guy happened to be one of them (I’m airing this for the whole www; and he’s not even AWAY this time!). For whatever reason, we were a bit of an inspiration to her that things could work out.
At the shower, I was sitting next to a pretty young woman. She lamented a bit that she wasn't currently seeing anyone. I did the annoying older woman thing, " Hey, you should have the bride set you up (what, am I a freakin' grandma now?!)". To which she replied, "Are you kidding, I've been trying, and we've been having NO luck!".
I found out through conversation that she's doing well in her career, has a car, her own condo, and she's very well-travelled. I told her that she should be all set then, any guy would love her. Funnily enough, she said that her situation hinders her rather than helps... a lot of guys are intimidated, and don't like that she's so headstrong and independent. Some are looking for another mother (ick). The singles' scene is so difficult once you're out of school. She's still looking for her Prince Charming. I told her not to seek a Prince, not to look too hard because once she stops trying so earnestly, someone will come along. I really believe that.
I don't think I was ready for marriage until I came to the realization that Ian wasn't my Prince Charming. He didn't want to be. Rescue me, from what? Too much pressure. Life isn't a fairy tale. Sure, he was hawt and everything, but a long-term relationship takes more than hotness. Heat fades (heated floors for the kitchen do help), but if you're lucky, that initial spark can evolve into a real, long-lasting partnership.
At the end of the shower, the groom came by and delivered to his bride a lovely bouquet of roses. Handed it to her with a kiss. That was such a sweet gesture; they looked so happy, so ready to embark on this journey called marriage. I had to smile.
We're coming up to our 15th wedding anniversary this summer. I don't get roses anymore. I don't need them. Don't get me wrong, I still love romantic gestures. But my guy re-arranges his busy business trip itinerary this morning, in order that he can fly home in time to stay with the kids. Just so that I can attend my Tuesday night gym class. Because he knows how much I love it and how important it is to me.
Call me a sap, but I think this is true love. Maybe I'll have to grind some flaxseed for his cereal now.
Ain't senior love sweet?
Monday, April 14, 2008
Opening my eyes, I roll out of bed, cross my arms and walk over to the window. Carefully tweaking apart the slats with the tips of my fingers, not knowing what scene awaits, I peer through the glass.
One, two, three, four … police cars. More screaming sirens. Five, six, seven, eight …another four come up just behind. Finally, in total nine squad cars blocking our usually quiet suburban street. It is 2:05 am.
What is going on? It's as if I'm watching an episode of "Cops" at the end of my driveway. Only it's real. I’m nervous. We are safely ensconced in our home but I am nervous. The kids are still asleep … or they were. First the boy, then the girl, make their way into my room.
“Mommy, what’s happening? What are the lights? I see police cars.”
How do you respond when you don’t know the answers? “Just some police checking to make sure everything is OK. No worries guys.”
The sirens finally stop. I see four police officers escorting a young man to a squad car. His arms behind his back. The cops are so much bigger than he is. He gives them major attitude. They shove him onto the side of one car, and then into the backseat.
I get my kids to snuggle into my bed, but they can feel my concern in the air. “Get into the bed Mommy, things will be okay in the morning”. My boy, my protector when Daddy’s away. His sentiments echoed by my little diva.
Did I ever tell you about our neighbour’s son, who blares the really loud, horrible thump and grind, hit-you-in-the-pit-of-the-stomach ”music” out of his souped-up car on their driveway? Usually perfectly timed to come on just after the bedtime books have been read? The beat is relentless into the early morning hours. Ever tell you about the time that I went over during one of these sessions, yelled over the noise (because I couldn’t hear myself think) to his mother who was standing on her driveway chatting with a friend. Shouting in frustration that I had just gotten my infant daughter and my son to sleep for school the next morning -- and did she not realize it was 9:30 on a Sunday night? We’ve thought about calling the police for noise disturbances several times over the last 8 years. But because it's been more sporadic in recent years, we’ve held off.
His parents are nice people. They gave us some BBQ lamb curry when Ian complimented the lovely aromas coming from their backyard the first summer we moved in. We received a holiday gift from them our first Christmas in the house. Granted it was obviously a re-gift (wolf clock … do we seem like wolf clock type people?) … but it’s the thought. We had trees planted in our yard, and the tractor delivering them squashed their underground sprinkler system. We offered to pay for the repairs … they said no worries. (Mind you, they didn’t share in their part of the fence, so I suppose it’s fair enough). They even invited us to the next LOUD party they had after we complained to them the first time. We couldn’t make it, but we would have if we were free. It looked like it was a blast.
This son, who my own son has noticed on the porch or driveway, often curses away on his cell phone. I myself have even heard snippets of snarling: “… the princess, yeah she gets everything she wants… and bro does nothing wrong ….”
*Faux gangsta* is what we’ve called him to ourselves. Because up until now, it’s really been just extremely loud, annoying music at inappropriate times. A man who refuses to grow up, perhaps.
After that night, perhaps not so *faux*.
Don’t even know for sure if that was him or one of his friends. I still don’t know what happened. But the one thought I had just before I finally fell back asleep? He once was a baby boy, a little boy, their little boy. My heart ached for his parents.
The next morning, the birds were chirping, the sun was shining. It was back to the suburban lull. Almost as if nothing had happened.
You never know what the future holds for your children. You hope you instill in them the core values and beliefs that they can uphold themselves. To be the best that they can be.
But it's a big world out there. And try as you might, there's no way to control that world and how it can affect them. You just do your best. That's all you can really do.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
After the boy's little accident yesterday, it was no surprise that he woke up quite sore this morning. He came into my room at about 6:30 AM feeling tired, and asking if he could sleep in as long as he wanted. Seeing as it was already windy and so very messy outside, I didn't have the heart to make him go to school (and on top of that, honestly wanted to keep an eye on him .... you never know what shenanigans 7 year olds can get into...). I just let him snuggle next to me.
Rather than putting in a few good hours of work, I thought I'd just take pictures of the latest additions to my wardrobe. This activity squeezed in between breaks during my gig as the fetch-all person of the day (OMG, I don't even want to count all the drinks, snacks, meals, mini-meals I prepared for the two of them today).
Last week I tried to recapture my youth by dancing the night away with 20-somethings.
This week, while shopping for hoodies and caps with my almost 8 year old son we also found these....
... for ME!
Sort of funny that I'm trying to reinforce the art of tying shoelaces with my son, while on the other hand picking up these slip-on, prison issue, velcro numbers. And look, those are SKULLS!!!! I didn't even notice that until I bent down to do them up (I think bifocals are sneaking up on me). I asked the salesgirl if she thought I was too old to wear skulls; of course she wanted to make the sale, and "no one's ever too old to wear skulls". I fell for that line, boy did I!
And a liquidation centre recently opened close to my home, selling brand denim such as Buffalo, Parasuco, Mavi, accessories, housewares etc. At $3 a pop I had to pick these up ...
And the boy? Well, he got so bored as the day wore on. Luckily for him, the grandparents called in concern, and he was conveniently up for going birthday present shopping.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I wasted a couple of good hours on a movie last night. When I could have been doing something more productive... like sleeping.
It was "The Last Kiss". Don't ask me why I picked it out; perhaps it's because I usually like Zach Braff. I don't watch Scrubs, but I did like his quirky movie "Garden State". Unfortunately I was drawn in by some of the cast of this movie, which included Blythe Danner, Tom Wilkinson, Casey Affleck and the luminous Jacinda Barrett (don't know what it is about this girl, I think she's just so refreshingly pretty and likeable). Not a big fan of Rachel Bilson, but she did all right in this flick.
What was this supposed to be? A coming of age story? Well, the characters are turning 30 so it's friggin' about time that these boys grow up. And I think a couple of them do. A comedy? I could not STAND Zach's character. For such a seemingly "upstanding guy", he screwed up so royally, messing around with both his pregnant girlfriend's and a young college girl's emotions all while trying to prove that he really was just a mixed up but super nice guy.
My time was so much better spent watching "Away from Her" the night before. Very sad, but the portrayal of a love story that seemed so touchingly real.
Wow, that's a lot of movies in a couple of days, I know. Amazing what a difference an extra couple of hours makes once you get the kids to bed at a decent hour. Seems that the kids take full advantage of their Dad when he's home and puts them to bed. No messing around with Mom.
So, thirteen things I have either done or SHOULD have done in the last 24 hours:
1/ Did negotiate and bring the son to his swimming lesson whereupon he did swim.
2/ Did NOT sleep the extra two hours.
3/ Did NOT do any work.
4/ Tried again but again, did NOT do any work.
5/ Did make banana bread*.
6/ Did vacuum before 9 AM this morning.* Nothing like having a friend/colleague come over for coffee to make you notice all sorts of crap on the floor that you've been ignoring all week.
* Let's make note, shall we, that these items are NOT the natural order. Remember folks, the Anti-Martha here. This will come into play a little later down the list...
7/ Did bring the girl to preschool where she had tantrum number one.
8/ Did negotiate and bring the daughter to her swimming lesson after lunch, whereupon she threw a huge tear-soaked tantrum (#2) and only put her toes in the water. What a negative difference a week makes (grrrr!!!).
9/ Did take the girlie to the library to get more DVD's and for fun puzzle time before picking up her brother from school.
10/**Did sit in my van with my 7th coffee of the day, while my daughter slept. Watched as my son laughed with his friends on the playground, got on the swings, fell off onto his back, not get up, the crowd of kids and some parents gathered around him as his best friend ran to get me.
11/After making sure the friend's mom could watch the sleeping girl in the van, did tear up the path, heart in my throat, to see my screaming boy.
12/Did bring the boy to his doctor, got an Xray. Nothing broken, muscles bruised ... keep observing the next few days in case more bruising may indicate injury to the collarbone.
13/ Did get the kids to bed early again tonight.
I'm ready for bed too, but guess what? It's an Eli Stone night, so I'll let him take me away for the hour.
** This is what happens when I mess with the natural order. Note to self: DO NOT do the Martha while the man's away.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
...so now I can blog about him.
Do you ever wonder when it is that a man becomes “The Dad”? You know, the Dad with the big, booming exaggerated laugh that’s a cross between a “hardy-har-har” and Santa’s “ho-ho-ho”. The father that guffaws at his own jokes? The Dad that uses weird sayings from a much less politically correct time? And he’s not even a grandfather?
I’m trying to figure out that exact moment, because it sort of crept up on us. The other day after laughing together about an article in the paper, I asked Ian if he knew he had the *Dad laugh*. And he confirmed it. Yup. He noticed it himself a little while back during a meeting at work. The booming reverberated in his head.
I always suspected that it would come to this. Even before we had kids, Ian was the guy who would go up to the poor kid who was holding a tray of goodies for his mom conducting a demo at the department store. He would chat with the young man. He’d ask all sorts of dumb questions about the product while the teenager, who sooooo didn’t want to be there on a Saturday afternoon, subtly rolled his eyes.
So this shouldn’t have been unexpected. What I didn’t anticipate was how far it would go.
A couple of weeks ago, while getting the kids to bed, I heard Ian yell for the boy to get off the computer and get his pyjamas on.
Then little G piped up and said “Hurry up goh-goh (big brother); or Daddy’s gonna beat you like a red-headed stepchild!”
Ian couldn’t help but laugh (BOOM-BOOM!!); and then I asked G what she had said.
She answered: “Goh-goh needs to get ready or Daddy will beat him like a circus monkey!” (Note how she changed her answer ?!)
I tried to explain to her that she shouldn’t be saying those things and that Daddy was just joking.
(Disclaimer: Ian has used these choice phrases with the boy from time to time; it’s part of the bedtime routine and they usually end up wrestling a bit. I don't even know where he got these sayings, or if he remembers where he heard them first. He in no way condones beating of any sort, of any child, redheaded or not. Perhaps it stemmed from all the beatings he got from his older redheaded brother? Nor would he beat a circus monkey, for that matter. But I digress.)
Then I further went on to describe how Daddy would never beat a circus monkey, or any type of monkey (he is after all, a proponent of equal opportunity… ) or animal or...
Ian just continued laughing quietly at my feeble attempts to prevent these statements from ever being uttered beyond the confines of this house. Especially by my 39 month old daughter. In any case, the *Dad* has not been using these brilliant words very much since.
I'd prefer that the girlie stick to emulating her mother. After all, it’s so ladylike for a preschooler to acknowledge every fart she hears with a “Lovely, Dad” dripping in sarcasm.
I can just imagine what she tells her preschool teachers.
PS: Whooooo-wheeeee!!!! I just realized that I surpassed my 300th post, without any pomp and circumstance!!! Well, at least I was writing about hip-hop aerobics, another passion along with blogging that I didn't discover until I reached my 40s. You're never too old to discover new loves, I suppose. And that's a very good thing.
Monday, April 07, 2008
I also made it through the "Oh SHIT, NO WAY" portion at the 2.5 hour mark (yeah, I actually screamed that when I recognized the music; in response my instructor TJ shouted out laughing "Oh YEAH!!!!":
So here are some pictures of the event:
TJ and his team looking badass in pink (LOL!). Krumping...
Here's my team with the lovely T in yellow (check her cool belly tassle, oh to be young again ...), TJ, Me (trying to hide and not look so much like these are my kids); and cutie L, who had to leave a little early...
Enjoying being kid-free a little TOO much don't cha think???
Brazilian singer dancing and singing next to me while I stretch my hand out for help :). This is about the 3.5 hour mark...
Here's the Brazilian drum band that played during the last part. They were wicked good.
The local news came by as well. They took plenty of footage during the band's segment - actually panned from my face down to my feet as I was trying to figure out what to do with them. Why didn't they come about an hour before while we were doing all the moves that I know in my sleep? Alas, I ended up on the cutting room floor ... except for the last millisecond. I think I saw half of my right foot on the TV screen as I caught the news after I got home.
In total there was about $3000 raised for this important event. Not bad for a not-so-large gym. Almost $475 of it by my team captain T alone (she is such a sweetheart!).
I had so much fun. Even though I came home and took a couple of Ibuprofen before hitting the sack, if I can keep up this addiction I will hopefully try this again next year.
Here's a little something to get you going for the week. Have a good one!
Friday, April 04, 2008
My obsession for Bodyjam has gone to the next level. It’s a party night for me. For come 5:30 pm this afternoon, I will embark on ...
not two ...
not three, but ...
... a frickin’ FOUR hour dance marathon to raise funds for Dance4life.
It’s being run by my Goodlife gym. I am pumped, excited, and a little nervous. I’m not kidding when I say the rest of my team is likely at least a decade or more younger than I am. No intimidation there.
So if I’m going to throw something out, I may as well look good, right?
I hereby present the various Lulu’s being contemplated for tonight’s festivities… (finally, some images more wrinkly than my visage)
Dark and sleek?
Short and sassy?
The hoodie will do
I’ll be off with my water, my Gatorade, some snacks and perhaps some splints and Bengay?!!!
Wish me luck. It’s all worth it of course, as after all
Bodyjam > Kegels
(I’ll let you do the math)
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Last Thursday I settled down to watch my Thursday guilty pleasure, Lipstick Jungle, when much to my dismay, I discovered it was not being aired. Since I was plunked down on the couch in front of the boob tube anyway, I decided to watch Eli Stone. Thank goodness I did, because this is a very quirky, different type of show that I think I can get into. It doesn't hurt that it features Jonny Lee Miller, he of the starter marriage with the female half of Brangelina. I've been a fan of his since he played Sick Boy in Trainspotting.
But what happened to Lipstick? Turns out that the previous episode, number 7, was the last of the season. When I started this post, I didn't know if it had been picked up for the fall season --I've since found out that it has. And I'm glad because it annoys me when the networks do not let a show have enough of a chance to gather a fan base before they drop the axe.
For today, I've got thirteen TV shows that in my opinion, ended too soon. I found it interesting that my watching patterns changed a bit after I had the first of my kidlets in 2000.
1. The Equalizer (1985 – 1989). Edward Woodward, a gentleman and a tough guy.
2. Thirtysomething (1987 – 1991). I watched this when I was in my 20s, thinking that it could be my life by the time I got to my 30s. I dreamed of having Michael and Hope's marriage; I was of course totally in love with Peter Horton (Gary, sigh) and his long shaggy blond locks. I didn't have any professors who looked like him while I was in university. Cannot believe they killed him off.
I think it's pretty amazing that a lot of the cast is still heavily involved in some of today's TV hits, in acting and directing, producing capacities (including Lipstick Jungle I believe; who would've thought that neurotic Elliot would direct here and on Without a Trace?).
3. Beauty and the Beast (1987 – 1990). What a romantic I was. But there was something magical about this fable that took place in modern day NYC.
4. Life Goes On (1989 - 1993). Corky was so cute; Patti Lupone an amazing actress and Becca (Kellie Martin) was such an earnest geek. I thought Chad Lowe was so much more talented than his older, better looking brother at the time.
5. The Wonder Years (1988 – 1993). Fred Savage was just the CUTEST kid, and his friendship with Winnie was so poignant.
6. Quantum Leap (1989 – 1993). Great timetravel show.
7. Party of Five (1994 – 2000) Charlie, Charlie, didn't think you'd grow up and get Lost. You're still darn cute though.
8. Relativity (1996-1997). Hubs and I LOVED this show. We were routing for the unlikely couple, Isabel and Leo. This was such a well-done show on 20-somethings (of course, we watched while we were 30-somethings). I was so disappointed when it was cancelled.
9. Felicity (1998 – 2002). This is how obsessed I was: Ben and Noel were both on my shortlist to name my first born.
10. Once and Again (1999 – 2002) Can you think of a more beautiful "older" couple? As in parents? Not the Brady Bunch, that's for sure. The quality of the acting was superb. Even McDreamy was on as a recurring character.
11. Arrested Development (2003 – 2006). I did not follow this one religiously, but every episode I watched had me howling. Thank goodness for reruns. Revived the career of Jason Bateman and introduced us to the talented young Michael Cera.
12. Love Monkey (2006). Why didn't they give this one a chance? I loved the music and Tom Cavanagh. He's Canadian to boot. Hey, small world, he's now appeared as Eli's Dad in a recent episode.
13. Smith (2006). Ray Liotta and Virginia Madsen. RAY and VIRGINIA ... AND Jonny Lee Miller! This was such a cool show; a hot team of thieves, cool cars, cool toys; double life. I was so into this one.
Big question... when Lipstick comes back, it better not be up again Eli. Without PVR, I will be torn.