Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Synchronicity

Just as I was e-mailing my sister-in-law to tell her I was looking forward to:

a) walking around the lake with her

b) hearing her laugh for several days in a row

c) teasing her husband

d) watching her and her marvelous husband with my children

e) seeing her baby kick

f) eating supper together on my deck

SHE was posting this.

How's that for matching thoughts?

Why my life is so good

*I have a fledgling flower bed about 2 feet wide the entire length of my sidewalk from my front step to the street and some things are actually successfully growing in it.

*Today B and I were reading and he was trying to work out a word. "What's a baby duck called?", I asked. He frowned at the page, then beamed "Ducklet!"

*A weeded her own flower bed without being asked, because she wants her flowers "to grow comfortably."

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Chatting with the babysitter

Our regular babysitter, R the Magnificent, is on holidays with her family, so we've been here-and-there-ing it this week, and next week is looking sadly similar. Anyway this morning when I left I asked that the dishes please be done when I got home because we're having a barbecue here tonight with a whole bunch of people (people with children, and it's freaking pouring out there)

On my way to drop her off, I asked her what all had gotten done.

"Dishes, lunch ..." she paused ..."And then B just started randomly cleaning things ..."

Atta boy :)

Why not?

Take the MIT Weblog Survey>

Beauty is in the eye ...

So yesterday afternoon I had a few hours after work with all kinds of things to do - weeding, laundry, pay a few bills - but the sun was shining, so I took my kids and the boy who is the process of moving away from next door up to the little park at the end of the street. There was climbing and swinging and a lot of "Mom! Watch this!" and then A taught the boys how to climb a tree and swing from its' branches until you finally have to give up and let gravity have its' way. I had a front row seat as one pair after another of sun-browned mosquito-bitten legs flailed through the air, and I'm still smiling at the beauty of it all.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Also, you'll be pleased to hear ...

This bit of good news.

I happened to share, with my daughter, that I had purchased a new undergarment in hopes of finding one with a bit more support than my current options.

Yesterday I was standing outside the van talking to a friend, and jumping up and down for some very good reason that eludes me* now. A stuck her head out the van window and announced "Hey Mom! You were right!! That new bra really works!"


*okay, I remember, but the reason for it is even sillier than the actual jumping.

Oh no.

So the thermostat isn't working. It won't cool the house. This is a problem for me because I have limited* tolerance for heat. A few nights last week it was approx 7000 degrees in our bedroom when I went to bed so I asked TechnoWeenie when we were getting a new thermostat. Those of you who have been with me from the beginning will possibly remember the dilemna with the hot water heater. Apparently thermostats have their own TechnoNirvana, and that is ...a thermostat that you can control from your computer. That way you don't have to actually GET UP OUT OF YOUR CHAIR to turn the heat down. Or up. Fortunately these thermostats are not wildly expensive, so there was no Agonization Phase to go through - we just have to wait for it because he ordered it over the Internet. (It only makes sense to order a computer controlled thermostat from your computer.) He ordered it from a place called Smart House.

Now this worries me. In my formative years**, I read a short story about a SmartHouse that found out it was being sold, and it locked all the doors and turned the heat down.

TechnoBoy doesn't think he's ordered something that will murder us in our beds. He's in the denial phase of BuyingToysYouAbsolutelyNeed.



*zero
** last week. I was a late bloomer

Thursday, June 23, 2005

A Day of Ups and Downs

You work out which are which.

1) someone at work called me organized. I'm not sure if this is because I am truly organized or because I've promised to give anyone who uses the word "organized" in reference to my performance as Administrative Assistant a chocolate chip cookie, but I also don't care.

2) I told my MIL her new husband is a big baby because he wanted her to hang out with him instead of chat with me on MSN, and it's the first time she's been on MSN in WEEKS, and my MIL ROCKS.

3) I bought three new pairs of shoes at once.

4) I tried on approximately 7 million pairs of pants but none of them did what I wanted them to, which is make me look like I did ten years ago, so I came home discouraged and vowing never to eat again.

5) I forgot to go to my poetry group.

6) I forgot we were supposed to bring soccer snack (did I predict this???) BUT it was the last night, there was no half-time and they took the kids out for ice cream afterwards so it DIDN'T MATTER.

7) The housekeeper did everything I asked her to AND folded an entire laundry basket full of socks without being asked. Our whole family wants to adopt her, now.

8) B cried himself to sleep because he didn't get his own way, but really because he thrives on being scheduled and today was his last day of school and his best friend who lived next door moved away today and he's facing a long empty summer and he can't convince me to quit my job. Pray for him.

Okay that's all.

There might be a flaw in this plan ...

The next time my mother-in-law is widowed, *I'm* marrying her. I miss her!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

A Peony Post

(warning: non-flippant post)

So Violet over at promptings posted something about peonies (a Mary Oliver poem! Go read it! It's Mary Oliver!) and when I realized how long the comment I wanted to leave in response to it was, I realized I had a whole post of my own.

The first thing it reminded me of was a short short story I wrote a long, long time ago. I sent it in to a contest at Canadian Writer's Journal and was astonished to learn that they'd given me an Honorable Mention for it. Especially since I only found about it when a friend who was looking at their website e-mailed me "Why didn't you tell me this???", with a link to the list of winners. And the Saturday I received that e-mail was the Saturday between my father's death, and his funeral. I came out of his study at my parents house, astonished, shouting "I just got published again!" and my brother came out of the kitchen, hugged me and said "I think you need a few more highs and lows in your life." Anyone want to read it?

The second thing Violet's peony post reminded me of is where this poem started. A was a baby, and it was the summer of the second year I'd been gardening. The peony a good friend had given us had bloomed for the first time - only two flowers, face down in the mud on their slender stalks. I cut the blooms, and their spicy perfume enveloped our entire house. I started thinking about how the word "only" is or is not applicable, depending on your perspective. There are no peonies in the poem, but peonies are where it started.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Administrative Assistant Learning Curve

Don't blog about your job, lest you get fired.

www.dooce.com (category: dooced)

Monday, June 20, 2005

Guest Blogger: The Man In Front of Me at the DriveThrough This Morning

Dear lady with the jazzy new haircut in the line behind me at McDonald's.

Please forgive me for being such an idiot. I know better than to tell the drive-through order person to wait until I'm off my phone. I'm sorry I gave you the impression that your ten minute wait was due to there being something wrong on the restaurant's end. Thank you for the most lady-like little beep you gave on your horn when you realized I was making the entire line up wait for me to finish my phone call.

Did you notice I hung up right away, as soon as you beeped? You brought me back to my senses.

Thank you so much for that.

Sincerely,
very young man with too much money for snazzy new gadgets like phones that don't have to be attached to your house

ps I actually DO know that it's pronouned "Bay-gull". I just said the word "BAG-ILL" seventeen times because I liked the way it sounded. I'm a bit like that. Besides, it wasn't like I wanted anything else, or anything on it. When it's your whole order, you really want to get it right.

ps2 it's just occurred to me that I could have gotten an entire bag of bag- bayg - baked goods at Sobey's a lot faster and a lot cheaper. And I wouldn't have had to end my phone conversation. What was I thinking???

Spotted on a T-shirt

"April 17, 2004. Run for Wilderness" And there's a picture that's evergreen tree on the left, Calgary Tower on the right. Apparently there is an annual fundraising event that involves running, walking or staggering all 802 steps of the Calgary Tower.

Because nothing says wilderness like a 625 foot structure of glass and steel that dominates the skyline and blocks the view of the mountains ...

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Thinking about straws

(I think is a flippant pensive post, but I'm not sure because I haven't actually written it yet)

So twice a year or so, I'll go to drink something from a fast food place and it doesn't seem to be working. I'll reposition the straw and try again, but the results don't change. Because I'm both eternally hopeful AND a slow learner, it'll take about ten or fifteen minutes before I realize there's a crack in the straw. An invisible imperfection rendering all my best efforts useless.

Lately, my whole life feels like that. Like no matter what I try, I'm just suckin' air.

Thank God (and I do mean that literally) there's a TechnoStrawPatcher in this house. When I sat down to write this post yesterday, it ended with the last paragraph. But he's good with the duct tape, that man.

Putting on my prophetic hat

I'm switching jobs at work. The job I was doing (that I love) was maternity leave replacement. The office administrator is going on leave for 12 weeks. Everything is lining up nicely so I still get to work at this great place with these great people ...

There is, however, a fly in the ointment. A large bristly muscled fly. The woman who is going on leave is the most organized person on the planet. I, on the other hand, am the least organized.

I figure, by September, they will be offering me a paycheck to just stay away from the building.

Nice work if you can get it.

I'm in it for the ego boost

Got a haircut today. I love getting haircuts. I go to a small shop and usually, it's just me and the hairdresser. There is a cappucino machine, and there is interesting conversation. And this man knows hair. It's an all round positive experience.

I come home with my jazzy new haircut and one of my children walks into the room, shrieks in horror and says "What did you DO?!!?!?!?!"
"That bad, huh?" I ask.
Emphatic nods. "Yes. It looks THAT bad. You should find a new hairdresser."

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Questions, anyone?

Because I was having a "Why not?" day, I allowed my sister-in-law to ask me five questions. If you want your very own five questions, see below, after you've either ignored my answers or read them.

Anyway here's mine. She asked me these weeks ago (maybe 2? I really don't know) but the first question stumped me because my over-riding blogger goal is to be flippant, and I still haven't figured out how to answer the first one flippantly without hating myself. So this might be RPP (rare pensive post) #3 or #4. (who's counting?)

1) Name one trait you received from your mother and one from your father that you are grateful for.

Father: voracious reading
Mother: Storytelling

2) If you could travel to only one more country (that you've never been to) before you die, which would it be?

Christmas Island, to see the crabs migrate.

3) If you were on death row what would you choose for your final meal?

My mother-in-law's homemade soup? But why am I on death row? Would your mother even come to see me then? Have I murdered her son?

4) What one word adjective (eg. happy, bewildered) would you want for your children more than any other (okay, I'll let you have 3)?

I only need one. Godly.

5) When you consider nature and/or creation, what do you stand most in awe of?

The human being.

And here I am following the rules. But if you want questions that will make you think, go to ccap's blog. There's no guarantee what you'll get from me.


The Official Interview Game Rules

1. If you want to participate, leave a comment saying "interview me." (Make sure I have your email address.)

2. I will respond by asking you five questions - each person's will be different.

3. You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree ...

even if it's grafted! Had this conversation earlier this evening:

B: here's your other shin pad, A. Here's BOTH your shin pads. You can wear your own shin pads to soccer now.

Me: Oh you found it? Great news! A! B found your missing shin pad.

A: No, he didn't. I found it. (pause) But then I lost the other one.

As a woman whose child has had to call her from school to tell her where her car keys are, all I could do was laugh.

Some things I just can't ignore

at MSN's homepage, www.msn.com, there is a link to an article entitled "How To Get Pregnant."* As the mother of two adopted children, I smacked myself in the forehead. All those years, all those drugs, all that crying and praying and I COULD HAVE JUST ASKED MSN.

It's a good thing the two greatest kids on the planet ended up in MY house, or I'd be making some kind of fuss, I'll tell you.

*Helpfully subtitled "Baby making basics"

My Secret Act of Rebellion

I get up in the morning and get people ready and go to work, and while I'm at work I try to stay grown up and focussed and actually accomplish some things, and usually I leave work with just enough time to catch the train and I ride the train to where I've parked the van and I go straight to school and pick up my kids - a life of pleasant obligation. But I need to break out now and then ...

I have pre-purchased train tickets. These are marked "Validate this end" on one end, and then, oh so helpfully, for those of us who can only read some of the fine print, the other end is marked "Do not validate this end." Every day I stand poised between being an employee and being a mother (much like being employed, with lower pay but better benefits) and I think "Transit people who I have never met, don't tell me what to do" and I grin rakishly at the validation machine on the train platform and I VALIDATE BOTH ENDS.

Am I reckless or WHAT?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Happy Birthday Karen Powell (the small blonde girl formerly known as Karen Appel)

In the world in my imagination, Karen Appel Powell will someday, out of sheer boredom, google her own name, and somehow this blog will come up and she'll think "Wha ???" so I'll just tell her, so she knows.

My brother was born on June 12. I was born on June 14, two years later, which makes me 2 years and 2 days younger than him. And then we moved to a small town called Ear Falls*, Ontario, and met Karen, who was born a year and a day after I was. So she was one year and one day younger than me, and I was 2 years and 2 days younger than my brother, and SHE was 3 years and 3 days younger than my brother. All those numbers delighted me to no end when I was eight, and I still find them entertaining.
(In fact, if there's somebody reading this who was born on June 16, 1963, you could make my entire year by letting me know! Or June 17, 1964, or June 18, 1965, or ...)

So Happy 40-somethingth birthday, Karen. You are one of the happy memories of my childhood, even if I DID get in trouble for throwing a snowball at you when I was in grade 6 and you were in Grade 4. (I temporarily skipped a grade, but that's a long story. Also I had a lot of suppressed rage, but that's a longer story. Also this post is deteriorating rapidly so I'll shut up now)

*because the lake at the bottom of the falls is shaped like an ear, of course. What other reason could there be?

The Maytag Repairman Myth

Remember those commercials? The lonely lonely repairman, sitting in a small and isolated room ...

I think, actually, that our Maytag repairman has a crush on me. I think that while he's here, he subtly sabotages our appliances so that he needs to come back.

When Dwayne* and I first met, I had a dishwasher, a fridge and a washer that didn't work. I think we bonded over the washer, as we sat together in the laundry room watching it work perfectly through every cycle. I think it was my appealing blush when he told me it was SUPPOSED to work like that that first softened his heart towards me, and spelled death for my appliances forever.

The dishwasher needed a new motor and a new electronic thingummy. (Dwayne likes to be smarter than I am, he won't tell me what it's called) The refrigerator needed two new whosywhatsit's. They arrived en masse a few weeks ago - and the refrigerator mysteriously developed a new problem. He came to fix that yesterday. And ...he was wearing *aftershave*.

This morning, unloading the dishwasher, I noticed that very few of the dishes had actually come clean.

Dwayne, Dwayne, Dwayne. I'm not the answer to your loneliness.

And I may never buy another Maytag appliance if you don't fix EVERYTHING VERY SOON.


*possibly his real name

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

He IS My New Best Friend

Zippy just rang the doorbell, again, to tell me he's noticed some blank spots in my garden and ask me if I thought I should plant something there to cover up the dirt.

Zippy Story

I know, I know, there should only be one once in a while, never mind 4 in one day, but I think he's my new best friend.

We've all had supper here, A is off at soccer with her Dad, B is in the tub, I'm doing dishes. ("doing dishes" is a phrase which here means "reading blogs but planning to get the dishes done before the Bible Study people show up") The doorbell rings, and there stand Zippy and a hockey stick. I tell him B is in the tub, maybe he can see if J is home. He sadly informs me that J is not home and then starts to giggle.

"I planted some dead trees for you" he confesses. I look, and sure enough, my garden is betwigged. This turns into a conversation about the many large rocks in my garden, and I point one out to him and ask what shape it is. He regards it for a moment, and then beams with delight.

"It's shaped like a happy heart!!!!" he exclaims. "I think God made *that* one."

Carpe Diem

A long time ago, 1958 to be exact, my parents got married on this day. 1 year minus 2 days later, they had a baby boy. Exactly 2 years and 2 days after that, I was born. (On my parents wedding anniversary, for those of you having trouble with the math) My mother used to say we should have Christmas in June and get everything over with all at once. (Purely as an aside: to compound the madness, my brother got married on June 14 as well)

Every year since my father died, I've intended to send my mother flowers on my birthday. It was HER special day, too, for over 40 years. I just kind of tailgated. Every since my father died, I haven't remembered until the morning of the 14th, and then I've thought "Oh well, I'll try next year."

This year was no different, initially. I woke up to the sound of the phone ringing - my Mom calling to say Happy Birthday. And I said Happy Anniversary, because we both feel that their marriage is still something to celebrate. And while I was in the shower I remembered I'd forgotten yet again, and thought "Oh well maybe next year" and then ...

I had this vivid memory of a week in February of this year, a week I spent holding her hand, reading to her, saying good-bye, waiting for her to get over a heart attack. Most of that week I wasn't sure she'd pull through. "Next year" isn't such a guarantee any more.

Apparently the people at the nursing home think the flowers are lovely.

You'd think I'd catch on the second or third time

So last night I'm pouring milk down the drain for the fourth time in two weeks, muttering about how the milk at the convenience never seems to KEEP, and TechnoBoy walks up behind me.

"Is the fridge working?" he asks.

The repairman is working on it as I type.



The Boy Across The Street

I may have mentionned that we have new neighbours who have a 4 yr old and a 2 yr old. The 4 year old is a boy, and any doubts I may have had about B getting along with him have been dispelled. This is a high energy boy, young Zippy. He's only allowed to ride his bike on the sidewalk, but B races him on the street, and if B rides his old bike, with the smaller wheels, they're always neck-and-neck at the end.

Anyway just so you can enjoy this child too, here are a few snippets of conversation:

Me: Time to go home now, Zippy. Why don't you walk with me and I'll get your phone number so your Mom and I can communicate more?

Zippy: Sure!

Me: Do you want to hold my hand, or are you too old for that kind of thing?

Zippy, reaching for my hand, "Come on!! I'm only FOUR!"

************

Zippy confides to me as we're walking home "Well I'll be ringing your doorbell later because I need to play all day. I've got a lot of juice to burn up!"

***********

B, the Hurricane Twins, J (the boy next door) and Zippy are playing street hockey. I come outside and tell them it's time for B and the Twins to go to school.

"Wait!" yells Zippy, pointing to J's sister's camera. "We need a GREAT team picture first!"

************

It's going to be an entertaining summer!

My little hobby

I like to answer spam. The answer usually comes back undeliverable, but there's always a chance it won't ...

Today it was "Would you like to receive name-brand baby products?"

The reply: "No, but I wouldn't mind a name-brand baby, just to see what that might look like."

Friday, June 10, 2005

Morning Report Day #8

Oy vey. Nobody on time to anything but nobody yelled at anyone or locked themselves in the bathroom or itemized their siblings failings at the top of their lungs. There was just a lot more to do than there was time to do it on.

HOWEVER!

THIS!

IS!

THE!

LAST!

MORNING!

REPORT!

Because TechnoBoy is COMING HOME ON SUNDAY.

I am going to smother him with kisses and then chain him to ...something. He gets the key when the kids are of legal voting age.

now where'd that thing go?

I had something excruciatingly funny to say, and now I can't remember it.

Laugh anyway, okay?

Morning Report Day #7

Feels a lot longer than 7 days. But that's seven work days ...

A to school on time, B to the sitter on time, me happily munching an Egg McMuffin headed to work on time, and I turn onto to the Deerfoot and the traffic, she is going nowhere. So I cleverly took Deerfoot south instead of north and then went back home and back to bed. HA HA. In the other leg of the Trousers of Time, the leg I dwell in, I drove past the road going into my neighbourhood and went to work the back way.

But I was clever enough to retrieve the parking card from the car before I left. Well, sort of. I went to the car to get it and it wasn't there. (Deep breaths, TechnoBoy. Read to the end) I stared in consternation at the car, racking (wracking?) my brains trying to figure out where it could be.

"Oh am *I* in big trouble" I said, climbing into the van, card-less.

"Not THAT big", says A practically. "Dad's not going to murder you or anything, he'll just be a bit upset. And then he'll get over it."

*****

I found the card in my purse. Where it had been snuggled, snickering, the whole time I was busy paying $18 to park for a day in the outdoor lot with the friendly homeless people. (I mean this seriously. There's this little group of friendly, fairly clean street people that always come and ask me if they can have my parking receipt when I'm done with it.) Who says plastic doesn't have a sense of humour?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Five Fun Things To Do With My Friends

This post is brought to you by B.

1) play Ninja Turtles on video games

2) I like playing Spy Kids 3D.

3) I like playing soccer with my friends.

4) I like having a race with my friends on my bike.

5) I like playing the laughing game and just fall down with Ben.

Things That Make Me Go YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1) the rain has stopped (some sort of cheesy prize to the first reader who tells me where that thing is that goes "the rain is over and gone something something something turtledove")

2) I have more flowers to plant!!!

3) I found a bare spot in my garden so I can go buy more flowers and plant those too!!

4) the Japanese lilies the NWKA gave me are going to bloom this year!

5) My mother-in-law was here for two hours today.

6) My mother-in-law slid down our bannister not once, but twice, today.

7) The child who has been missing his father dreadfully is standing beside me TELLING ME JOKES.

8) TechnoDeserter will be home in FOUR MORE SLEEPS.

9) and this note from B:

k

Oh how I wish you could see the delighted giggling that accompanied that.

Morning Report Day #6

Woken up at 7 by A, sat up and laid back down again, holding my aching head. A packs her own lunch, gets herself ready, gently asks me for a ride to school at 8:10. She's on time, B is still asleep, I go back to sleep.

Nobody's late for anything but I have to work all day tomorrow to make up for being such a slacker :)

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Morning Report Day 5

A to school on time, B stayed in bed and I went back to bed when I got home, right after I called in to work with the "sick child" excuse. He didn't throw up any of the apple sauce he had for breakfast, and he wanted to go to school so he went this afternoon with no incidences of spewage from any orifice. *phew* that was a short-lived one, thinks I.

Never relax your Murphy guard.

There are three people in this household. Guess which one is cutting this post short because she has a headache, diarrhea, and an iffy stomach?

Monday, June 06, 2005

Puke, anyone?

so TechnoBoy was once a starving student, and came up with this lovely recipe. A can of tinned spaghetti and tomato sauce, and a lb of hamburger. Fry the hamburger, stir in the spaghetti, eat the resulting horror on toast. He's made this for the kids, who call it Worms on Toast, and it is actually something they choose to eat. They ask for it by name. I thought I'd never seen anything worse.

Never tempt the universe with absolutes like that.

What's really beyond-the-pale (where does THAT expression come from, I wonder?) is ...Worms on Toast, all over your bedroom carpet, after it's spent the last three hours in your 6 year old's stomach. (If you're squeamish, stop reading)

This particular child hates to throw up. I think he's afraid he's breaking a rule. He was sleeping in my bed with me, woke up, got to the bathroom, and threw up all over the floor. Twice. And it smelled so bad and it was so messy that he couldn't emotionally handle being in the same room as all that proof that he had made a mistake, so he walked out of the bathroom. Guess what he stepped in on his way out? Guess whose stomach wasn't empty yet? After he threw up on the carpet, he did what I want to do when faced with stress - he climbed back into my bed and fell instantly asleep. Wait, you ask, hadn't he thrown up on his pajamas? Why yes he had, thanks for asking. He was so upset when I woke him up to take off his pajamas that he walked straight to his room and fell asleep without pajamas on, which this boy does not do, because sleeping without pajamas is also breaking a rule. (I don't know what rule, since there are people in this house who sleep in their UNDERWEAR (just not right now, or there would have been someone here to catch him before he left the bathroom for the Worms on Toes portion of the evening))

So now I'm sitting here at my computer venting away and hoping he will forgive me for talking about him, when he learns to read, waiting for the washer to stop so I can start it again and then wait for it to stop again and then put his pj's in the dryer so that when he wakes up and realizes he has no pajamas on I'll have a clean pair to offer him. Oh and I need sheets.

Man this house smells bad.

Imagined Future Conversation

TechnoBoy: Hey! There's another (insert TechnoWeeniePilgrimage Option) at (exotic location we can only afford for one of us to fly to). I'm thinking maybe I should go. What do you think?

Me: Are the children still living in the same city as we are?

Morning Report, Day 4, Update

Har de har har. Didn't crash my van on the Deerfoot - got to the parkade and remembered that the parking card was in the car. The easy-to-park vehicle that I forgot to drive to work today.

Now that something has gone wrong, I can relax for the rest of the day :)

Morning Report Day 4

The weekends don't count.

A was at school on time, and I called work and told them not to expect me before 10:00 (my official hours are "4 hours from when you get here", but they know I aim for 9) B was asleep and he had a fun exciting weekend (Quads! PS2 Star Wars Lego! Quads! Puppies! Quads!) and I didn't want to wake him up early. It's been a very smooth morning (except the part where I dumped about half a green garbage full of guinea pig crap all over myself cleaning his cage and had to vacuum the carpet) and we are 5 minutes from leaving the house - B is just getting his socks and shoes. I realize things can still go horribly wrong, but I've been awake for two whole hours and nothing has happened yet.

I expect I'll crash the van on the Deerfoot this morning.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Morning Report, Day 3

HA. A was on time for school, B was ready before I had to leave with A, I didn't spill any sauce from my Egg Burrito on my blouse ...

And it took me 25 minutes to get from the 4th Avenue flyover to the parkade. I could have done that three times over, on a bicycle. At least. But I refused to be stressed because I was pretty sure that most of my coworkers had put the funny farm on speed dial after the day I had Thursday.

A Few Random Announcements

1) I no longer hate the car. It took me TWO SECONDS to park today. (well, a little longer because I drove past the first two empty spots in the parkade because I was having so much fun thinking "I could fit in there NO PROBLEM.")

2) I love flowers. I planted all kinds of flowers and they all looked like they were about to die and I called the nextdoor neighbour who knows all (NWKA, I'll call him, just for fun) He looked at the dirt and diagnosed a thin sheen of clay on the surface, which made the water slide right off before soaking in, so all I had to do was mess the surface up a little and my plants were all happy again. And then it's been raining off and on for three days and all the little plants are growing and rooting and they look so content I park in the garage and then walk out of the garage and go in the front door just so I can smile at all their happy little faces.

3) ACK!!!!! the guinea pig has no hay. I was typing this merrily away and I heard him thump his food dish angrily on the floor of his cage. I think that's guinea pig sign language for "starving to death wasn't in the brochure". So ...bye, I've gone shopping.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

*phew*

The day is over. I'm going to channel the Daily Gratitude woman and list the blessings, because PERSPECTIVE IS ALL.

The children are in bed.

I have worked out a solution to the "how on earth can I get to that funeral" question that has been plaguing me all day, and it is a solution that pleases everyone. (the next time you see my brother and his wife, kiss them both for me. My children are going to love spending a day at the acreage with them).

I did not break down at work and cry hysterically for half an hour, even though I came close so many times I stopped counting. I also managed to notice that even though I wanted to eat, it had nothing to do with being hungry, and everything to do with being extremely close to falling completely to pieces. So because I needed lunch, and comfort food, I dug through my freezer and found some of my mother-in-law's homemade soup and it felt like she was bolstering me. She's a champion bolsterer, that woman.

I realized that I don't have to take ten minutes to park the way too big van* in the parkade every morning because I have a PERFECTLY GOOD compact car sitting in the driveway while TechnoBoy is in Florida. (He's sleeping in Key West tonight. He's a happy wanderer, he is.)

I recited The Two Thumpers** to A tonight and she was spellbound throughout, and as delighted by the ending as I was the first time I heard it.

I bought some more plants and flowers tonight. Found one for that part of the flowerbed near the street that the water basically pours straight down the drain off of ...the tag said "must have well drained soil." If that isn't well-drained, nothing is.

Now I'm going to sleep so I can get up at 6, which should allow time for unfinished projects, lost cell phones, malfunctionning alarm systems, famine, war and pestilence. Especially since I don't have lunches to pack. (while you're handing out kisses you can kiss the woman who volunteered to feed A lunch on Fridays simply because she knows how much A needs a break from taking lunch every day.)

Good night, TechnoTraveller. The kids loved talking to you tonight. (Smooches for the inventors of Skype...) B is all peaceful and sweet again, and has gone to bed with visions of acreages and quads dancing in his head.


*it's really not way too big, I just suck at parking. Even my children know this, and will volunteer this information to people.

**poem my Grandpa recited, he memorized it when he was quite young. I recited it for him at his 90th birthday, and he listened with shining eyes and whispered right along with me. One of my best memories ever.

More questions

1) How did my cordless phone end up in B's closet?

2) Why did it take me a year and a half to think that my sewing scissors might be in my knitting basket?

3) Why do I hate folding socks so passionately? Why must I waste strong emotion on foot coverings?

Answer that one, TechnoBoy

B, listening to music at bedtime:

"Is that real people singing?"

"Yes, it's a tape recording of real people."

"Well how can they know to sing louder when you turn up the volume?"



"Magic."

A few random questions

1) Why am I stressing myself stupid trying to park the van in a parkade every morning while TechnoTraveller is away when we have a compact car parked in the driveway?

2) Do bicycle couriers only break the law when they have to, or do they seek out opportunities to do so?

Check this out!!

www.pletzky.blogspot.com

Note to CoWorkers

I am lopsided today because the people who make underwire bras cannot seem to work out that the bra needs to be designed so that the underwire STAYS PUT so that if you're taking ten freaking minutes to park your van in the underground parking garage without damaging someone else's frankly far too freaking large vehicle the last thing you want is wire excavating to China in your armpit.

WHERE ARE MY GOOD SCISSORS?

I haven't been able to find them for a year and a half. This morning, on her way out the door, as she's unpacking the lunch I sent yesterday, and replacing it with a whole new lunch to bring home uneaten this evening, A finds two pieces of heavy cloth with teddy bears drawn on them with a Sharpie. "Moooooooooooooooooooom! We need to have these cut out by TODAY!"
I grab them and grab the first pair of scissors I can find. Cutting corduroy with the scissors in TechnoBoy's office is like trying to cut down a tree with a butter knife. I go on yet another search for my sewing scissors, saying things like "When I find them, NOBODY touches them ever again. EVER." Both children protest that they never have touched them, and I say, calmly, "I'm not blaming anyone, I'm just saying."
I finally give up, take A to school, promising to drop off the teddy bears on my way to work if I have to chew them out with my teeth, come home and ...look in my knitting basket. And there are my sewing scissors. In my knitting basket. That no-one but me ever touches.
I guess *I'm* not allowed to touch my sewing scissors ever again EITHER.

Morning Report, Day 2

A wee chronology of the Daddy Ain't Home period in our lives. He always drops A off at school in the morning.

Day 1: A gets to school 25 minutes early, like she's supposed to, because she's patrolling that day. I am showered and dressed for work when I drop her off. I go home to get B and take him to the sitter and I am 45 minutes late for work. (see yesterday's entry)

Day 2: A is late for school, and when I drop her off, I'm still in my nightgown. I call work and tell them I will not be there before 10. Much laughter ensues, none of it on my part. At least I only work 4 hours a day!

Day 3 is tomorrow. Any guesses as to how that's going to turn out?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

I can admit it when I'm wrong

So pretty much ever since ...well ...forever, my attitude about this household in the morning is "I do everything, and TechnoGuy gets up and gets dressed and then stands at the door waiting for everyone while I get THREE PEOPLE READY and no WONDER YOU'RE FIRST" On good days, I just think this, on bad days I say it, and on No Good Terrible Very Bad Days, I rant about it. (even on the way to church, because nothing puts you in the mood for worship like flogging a dead horse.)

So TechnoBoy is off at TechnoBoy Mecca (go ahead, ask me) this week. Left this morning. No biggie - I get three people ready EVERY DAY and I have to wake him up too. (Do not think poorly of him - he is genetically incapable of waking up in the morning. It bothers him as much as it does me) So TODAY should be a CAKE WALK because there's one less thing to do.

So ...

Why was I 45 minutes late for work?

I guess ...all that nothing he does in the morning ...he didn't do it today.

I'm sorry, sweetheart. Waking B up* and taking A to school make a huge difference and I will SHUT RIGHT UP from now on.

*MAN! There is no logical reason for this. This child has no biological connection to TechnoBoy. He should be able to get up in the morning. When I'm home with him, its because I don't work until the afternoon and so he gets up when he's ready. But if you have to WAKE him up???? It's a full-time job. It took me TWENTY MINUTES. There's no shifting the lad. And he's SIX. What's he going to be like when puberty hits????

I think I'm ranting. I'm going to bed. I have to be up early to get B up, apparently.