Saturday, December 29, 2007

Another example of how we are all our mothers' daughters

I love lists.

I love how organized I feel after writing a list. I love how I can compartmentalize any task into a series of lists and make any undertaking manageable. I love a clean sheet of paper on my pad of list paper or a crisp, clean page in a notebook. One of my definitions of bliss is to sit down with a hot cup of tea, a pad of paper and a good flowing pen. My current favourite pen, designated as my "list pen", is not very pretty to look at, it's a freebie from the Medicine Hat License Centre, but the ink flows out of it smooth as silk so I am able to forgive it's ugliness.

I grew up watching my mom write lists. She wrote grocery lists and "To Do" lists and a list titled "The List You Love To Hate" which could have also been called, "While I'm At Work And You Are On Summer Holidays Please Get Done The Following Chores". Oh how we hated that list. Every day of summer holidays, after finally dragging our teenage selves out of bed, we would walk anxiously to the kitchen table fervently hoping not to see that dreaded sheet of lined paper. However, to offset the dreaded list my mom also writes a highly anticipated list, the "Christmas Celebration" list, which she tapes to the bathroom mirror on Christmas Eve, and is an agenda of our evening; 4:00pm - light the candles, 5:00 - appies, 6:30 - dinner, 8:30pm - special presentation, 9:30 - open presents etc. Growing up with all these list surrounding me how could I not be a list-maker?

I write a lot of different lists. I write daily "To Do" lists of things I want to accomplish the next day; wash the sheets, check the mail, call Heidi and book a playdate; and I write a yearly "Things I Want To Accomplish" list. I write lists of books I want to read, movies I want to see and things I want to look for on Ebay. When events like a birthday party come up I write multiple lists; "To Do", "Who to Invite", "Goody Bag items to Purchase", "Things I Need to Buy". Then I break down my "To Do" list into the days, (or weeks, depending on the event), leading up to the party; on Wednesday I will buy the goody bags, on Thursday I will buy the food items, on Friday I will clean the house and bake the cake...and so on and so forth. Like my mom, I also write a grocery list. But unlike my mom it is not a random list written on the first piece of paper close at hand. I sit down with my list-making notebook, (yes I have an actual notebook dedicated for the sole purpose of making lists), and start by writing a list of the meals I'm going to make in the upcoming week, flipping back and forth between my recipes and a second list of the ingredients I will need. I then take the rough ingredients list and write a good copy, putting all the items in the order that I will hit the aisles in the grocery store. Writing this down I am realizing how nuts this sounds. I am actually so neurotic about lists that in addition to my list notebook, I keep a pad of paper and pen beside my bed so I can write lists in the middle of the night. Nothing helps me sleep better than a well thought out list. I have even been known to write lists of the lists I need to make. And I have to title all my lists even if the title is just "List". Hugh calls all this list-making borderline obsessive-compulsive but I say it's just good plain organization.

Sometimes when I'm writing my lists the kids will come over with a pencil and ask if they can colour with me. It's all I can do not to cry out in horror and leap out of my seat clutching my notebook to my chest. Instead, after a few deep breaths, I say gently, "No sweethearts, Mommy's not colouring. Mommy's writing a list."

On the last day of preschool before the Christmas break Tristan and Ava brought home some drawings of Christmas trees they had coloured. I had hung the tree pictures on the fridge when Ava walked over carrying a piece of paper that was covered in broad yellow sweeps of crayon. When she saw her tree picture on the fridge she got all anxious and cried out, "No Mommy! Not that one!" Holding out the sheet of yellow scribbles she said, "My list Mommy. I want you to hang my list."

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A coming of age story...sort of

I own a fridge.

It's not a hand-me-down from someone else who was getting a new fridge, and it didn't come with the house when we bought it. It's a fridge we bought specifically for this house with our particular family in mind. I can fit 6 gallons of milk in this fridge at one time. Milk consumption in our house is astronomical. It's a consideration when buying a fridge.

Not only do I own a fridge, I also own a dishwasher, stove, above-range microwave and deep freeze, complete with frozen meals, freezer burn, and random things like ice cube molds, left-overs of last years Christmas baking and some deli meat we got on sale two years ago, that will probably never resurface unless I defrost my freezer.

I remember when my fridge used to be a clean slate with a few magnets that I would have considered "cute" or "fun". Now, my lists and pictures are held up by the letter "X" and half of a purple sheep. It has happened slowly over the last three years but somedays I look at my fridge and I'm surprised by all the clutter on it and what it says about my life and who I am.

Right now there are letter magnets strewn in a haphazard manner on the bottom half of my fridge. My kids are getting so big; they used to only cover the bottom third. There are pictures taken out of colouring books that have been coloured in broad sweeping strokes across the page, regardless of where the lines of the picture end and begin. On the upper part, the freezer, I have pictures of my friends with their families, notes to myself, and the occasional newspaper clipping. In short, I have the fridge of an adult with a family. In short I have my mom's fridge.

Most days this is ordinary, normal. Other days, like today, I am struck with an overwhelming sense of unreality and I have a hard time believing I am actually an adult. When did I stop being the kid? I have become to other people who my mom was to me as a child. Did she feel the same way I do, like she was just pretending? Some days it's like I hear a voice in my head saying, "And the part of the responsible adult will now be played by..."

I heard that voice earlier this month when I turned 30. Birthday's have never been an issue for me and I embrace 30 with open arms, It's just that it's hard to believe I'm 30 when I feel like I just turned 22, again. I also heard that voice this year when we hung Christmas lights on our house for the first time in our marriage and then again on Christmas day as we watched our kids look, with wide-eyed wonder, at the crumbs on the plate of cookies they left for Santa. It was a milestone of familyhood. A milestone of my family. My family.

They say the kitchen is the heart of the home and I believe the fridge is the heart of the kitchen. It was certainly the centre of activity in our home. It was the place we went when we got home from school for a snack, where we'd drink milk right out of the carton in great gulps after playing outside with our friends and where we'd stand when we were bored, leaning on the open door. The fridge is also the source of great nourishment and comfort. Growing up, our moms made dinner night after night out of ingredients from the fridge, feeding our bodies and souls with their loving sacrifice as they assured us there was someone who cared. And what is better than coming in out of the cold to a kitchen warmed by an oven full of baking cookies scenting the air with sugar and cinnamon? Our olfactory sense is our strongest memory trigger and the scents of our childhood are like an anchor; we are weighted down and rooted in a sense of place. We can go forward to be and to do because we know where we started. And now I am responsible to provide this for my own children. My own children.

A few months ago, in September, Tristan and Ava turned three. When I called my mom to declare my disbelief that I could actually have children who are three (after all I'm only 22!), she laughed and said, "Wait until they turn 30!"

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The definition of "inevitable"

As soon as you've finished the grueling process of getting everyone into their snow suits, and are standing with face flushed, gasping for breath with your coat undone and gloves in hand, longing for the bite of cold air to cool you down, someone will have to pee.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A rookie mistake

I love Christmas - the music, the lights, the family memories, the food, and lets not kid ourselves here I also love the presents. Stockings especially are a big deal in my family and have always been my favourite part of Christmas morning. In Hugh's family the stockings are mostly about food. Along with assorted chocolates they would get pickled herring, oysters, sardines and other equally gag-inducing items. In my family we get stuff - fun stuff of the smallish variety. Saying it out loud they might not sound all that interesting - pretty change purses, accesories, kitchen gadgets, fun socks, a book or magazine - but stockings have always been a highlight for my sisters and I.

Our first Christmas together Hugh and I weren't going to be with either of our families so we spent quite a bit of time sharing family traditions and planning our first Christmas. I said to Hugh "stockings are really important to me." And Hugh heard me. Really heard me. As I was mildly saying "stockings are very important to me." He was hearing "don't screw this up or you will wreck this Christmas and possibly every Christmas to come."

Then again, I may have actually said that. Out loud. Possibly. While gripping his hands and looking him in the eye. Maybe. Hugh was understandably stressed out. In hindsight I think the pressure was a good thing. It upped the level of play if you get me and my stocking was amazing.

Fast forward 8 years to this Christmas. After 8 years Hugh is no longer a rookie at this. And by this I mean understanding me, getting me, hearing me. So you think that Hugh, no longer a rookie,getting me,hearing me etc. would have known the right thing to do when I came downstairs the first Saturday morning in December and said "this is the ugliest tree I have ever seen. I think we should take it back and get another."

What he was supposed to say was, "you are absolutely right. Let's get this ugly thing back on the van immediately and exchange it." Unfortunately, I may have complained about the tree prior to Hugh's morning coffee so I don't think the synapses in Hugh's brain were firing on all cylinders yet because instead he uttered 2 fateful little sentences, "nah, I think it's fine. We can make it work." I mean honestly, does he even know me at all?

I realize that buying a tree from the Superstore is sort of hit and miss. The trees are all wrapped in twine so you don't actually know what your tree looks like until you get it home and unwrap the twine and pull the branches down into place. For 8 years Hugh has said he wants an artificial tree and for 8 years I have said I loved the smell of a real tree. So for 8 years we have compromised (and by we I mean Hugh) and bought our real trees from the Superstore.

One year our tree was so full that trying to get the lights on between the branches resulted in some serious pine needle injuires. Sticking our raw, bleeding hands into that tree (and by our, I mean Hugh's) was becoming a supreme act of bravery until we recalled our proud Canadian heritage and pulled out the hockey mitts that somehow or other every Canadian family manages to own. But most years our trees have been sort of scrawny or had a decided gap in the branch placement. Those are easy fixes - turn the tree just so, fill with decorations and voila, a full gorgeous tree.

Imperfect trees are a trademark of having a real tree and I am fine with that. In fact I think that is part of the charm. What I'm not fine with is a tree that does not resemble a tree. A tree that does not have the classic triangle shape, narrow at the top and gradually filling out as it reaches the bottom. A tree that goes straight down and tapers in. A tree that resembles skinny jeans. Which, by the way, are not a good look for me or a Christmas tree. I took one look at our tree that Saturday morning and all my happy dreams for a Norman Rockwell family day dissolved.

To back up slightly, we had taken our kids out for dinner on Friday night, bought a Christmas tree from the Superstore and taken a drive to look at Christmas lights. Friday night was magical. The kids were incredible at the restaurant, delighted by the idea of having a tree inside the house that they could put a star on, and in awe of all the twinkling lights. It was a heart-full evening where everything goes as planned and turns out better than you expect and becomes something that you will remember for years after. That was Friday night.

I fell asleep Friday night dreaming about the wonderful day to come - Listening to Christmas carols, eating shortbread, the kids helping to decorate the tree while we laughed easily and basked in our familial bliss while, strangely, all wearing matching red sweaters with snowflakes. On Friday night I managed to forget the Hugh is not always a morning perons, I am not always reasonable (a shocking admition I know) and that the kids who would be helping us decorate are both 3.

I definitely remembered all that on Saturday morning. Saturday morning that I was certain was going to be equal to or better than the night before was not getting off to a great start. As I wasn't about to haul the tree out of the house myself and as Hugh had very definitely decided he wasn't going to, and as the kids have a very small window of cooperativeness, I had no choice to but suck it up and decorate the dang thing. And I honestly tried. Really I did. But when we were twist-tying branches together to try to make the tree full enough to hang our lights on I said again, "don't you think we should just take the tree back before this goes any further?" But no.

We managed to get the lights on, the garland and the beads. And although I kept trying to overcome my attitude towards this reject of a tree I may not have entirely succeeded. At one point Hugh said, "I think you need a drink." Irritated, I replied "I'm not thirsty." Then I heard Hugh mutter, "I don't mean water."

So I removed myself from the situation and gave myself a little peptalk. "This is not a big deal. Who cares if it's an ugly tree. It's just a tree. It'll be a memory to laugh over. It's not a big deal." Then having gained some perspective I walked back downstairs, good attitude in hand, ready to decorate the heck out of the tree. I took one look at the tree and wanted to fall to the ground. It was that ugly.

So at 6:00pm, tired and cranky and coming off our shortbread/buttertart/gingerbread cookie high we took the decorations off, the beads, the garland, the lights and hauled that thing back to the Superstore. We weren't going to make the same mistake twice so we unwrapped the twine on a few trees, didn't see what we liked and took home the display tree.

And I didn't even say "I told you so." I may have said, "don't you wish we had just done this in the morning like I wanted?" But I didn't say "I told you so." Not even once. I would say that's growth, wouldn't you?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

He has arrived!

Sebastian Donovan Davis Cyr finally came after four days of labor on Sunday night, 7:10p weighing 6lbs 3oz. Thanks for the prayers and thoughts that you gave. God really did go with us. If I could only write better, I'd tell you the whole story and I'm sure you'd agree. Heather is in the hospital and will be there for quite some time. She lost half of her blood in the process and will need a while to recover. My brave warrior hung in there and brought Sebastian home -I am sooo proud of her! And if you're worried about me - don't. I'll still get my 4 hours of Halo 3 per day.

So there he is. If you don't like these pictures and want more... come and take them yourself, it's been a long ride. Thank you Jesus for seeing this all through. Jane was with us for the whole ride and she did great. She actually gave Heather a foot rub -I know... wow!!

Oh by the way, Tristan and Ava are in love withtheir new brother. They call him "Baby Bastian." I think it's stupid -jj. Tristan is surprisingly taken with Sebastian. And of course to Ava he's just another doll to play with, only he poops -too bad she won't clean it up.

Cheers from a proud father.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

I'm a Blogging Slacker

Well I'm 6 days away from my due date and I thought I'd do a post of our recent life in pictures.
Doesn't Ava look angelic in this picture? Appearances can be so deceving.

Completing final projects before baby comes. That drill has officially become "Tristan's drill".

First day of Preschool. They go Tuesday & Friday mornings from 8:30 to 11:30. I have become a regular at Starbucks during those hours.

Happy 3rd Birthday Tristan & Ava!

39 weeks and counting. My prediction is 5 days overdue.

Next update: the baby edition!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Okay people I need your help. We don't know the sex of the baby but at this point if the baby was born tomorrow and ended up being a boy he would be nameless. That doesn't go over super well in school during roll call.

Please send me as many boys names as you can think of. We need all the help and ideas we can get.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Noon is the new 5:00

Yesterday I told Ava not to throw her toys because it's not a nice way to treat her things.

"Oh mommy," she says, "You're so cute!"

And I could almost hear the thoughts behind her words "oh mommy it's so cute how you think you can tell me what to do and that I'll actually listen."

Up till now Tristan has been our strong-willed child extraordinaire. Recently I think he and Ava decided to run a contest to see who can break me first. But I have formulated a plan of survival to keep myself from prematurely greying.

Move cocktail hour to noon.

Monday, July 23, 2007

You can do it. I'll be helping.

So I've gotten myself a job. Because that's something every 7 month pregnant woman with two kids at home is looking for right? Let me tell you the story.

I got a phone call out of the blue last Tuesday from a guy named James wondering if I was interested in a job being a decorating consultant for the Home Depot in Medicine Hat. Completely random. Now I know that pregnancy makes you forgetful but I'm pretty sure I would remember if I had applied for a job. I called him to get some details and he informed me that he had gotten my name from a friend of mine who used to do decorating and still had her ad in the yellow pages. He cold called her and she passed my name to him since she's now a nursing student and no longer in the decorating biz. He also said he was planning to be in Medicine Hat on Friday if I was interested in an interview. As I said before I was definitely not looking for a job 2 months away from giving birth but I was curious and it meant a free coffee for me at Starbucks which is part of my core values never to turn down.

So he interviewed me and at the end of the interview said that he was planning on setting up another interview for the Medicine Hat store but that he was so impressed with me that if I was interested he would offer me the job right then and there. (Pat on the back for me.) "Obviously," he said, while eyeing my largely protruding mid-section, "you'll want a bit of time to think about it." I promised I would have an answer for him on Saturday and he left me a number to call while he moved on to some BC stores.

So here's the breakdown of the job. Home Depot has been working on setting up consultants in every store across Canada and they're going to launch this new service in September. They have contracted a company called 3D Interior Fashions to provide this service and hire the consultants. I believe you will be able to request a consultant either in the store or online. 3DIF gives their consultants a computer that you check daily to see if there has been any requests for you and it is the decorator's responsibility to contact the clients within 48 hours of their request to set up an at-home or in-store consultation at both the client and decorators convenience. (Lot's of flexibility. That's a plus for me.) Plus they provide you with all your sample books and business cards and a space within the Home Depot store to use as an office. Essentially it is like running your own business through the store. They also require that you spend a minimum of 8 hours a week in the store building relationships with the Home Depot associates and generating leads.

I felt like like this job would be perfect in so many ways except for the timing. I'm having a baby in 2 months! That's when most people quit working not start a new business. And we did not decide to have another baby just so I could go to work. I want to be home with this baby and give this baby as much focus and attention as I gave to Tristan and Ava. Anyway after much debate, dilemma and tears (I am pregnant after all!) and a completely sleepless Friday night I decided I would be willing to try this out on 2 conditions. 1). If they could give me 2 months after the baby is born to be completely hands off, sort of a mini maternity leave and 2). If I did not have to spend anytime in the store after the baby is born until such a time as I feel up to it.

I called James on Saturday and he answered with "do you have good news for me?" I told him I was interested and I outlined my concerns and conditions for saying yes. I fully expected him to say "thank you for thinking about this and we'll keep you on file if we need more consultants in the future." To my complete and utter suprise he said yes with no hesitation to both conditions AND thanked me for being willing to give the job a try. Nice ego boost for me.

So it looks like I have a job. I think. I can't actually wrap my brain around it right now and although James told me to expect a phone call from Head Office early this week I keep feeling like I'm going to get a call, "we've decided to go for someone less...pregnant."

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

How Treehouse is ruining my life

My kids are watching Max and Ruby on Treehouse right now so I thought I'd take this little moment to rant about how much I absolutely detest Ruby.

For those of you not stay-at-home-moms (DJ & Erin) Max and Ruby are siblings and the basic premise of the show is that mischevious Max (3 years old) is always getting into things and "ruining" what Ruby (aged 7) wants to do but then sometimes ends up making it better. Ruby is a paragon of virtue and patience and very responsible and I suppose is a good role model of an older sibling. Blah. Blah. Blah. Frankly I find her longsuffering sigh and "Oh Max" extremely irritating. Max is an annoying little brat that never listens.

I saw one episode where Ruby was putting Max to bed. She got his jammies on, tucked him in and then went to her room, crawled into her own bed and started to say an individual "Good night!" to each of the zillions of dolls and animals lining her bed. She was interrupted in the "Good night's" by Max who had up-ended the fishbowl in his room and got soaked. So she changed his jammies, tucked him in and then went to her room and crawled into her own bed and restarted all the "Good nights". This same scenario played out through about 6 changes of Max's pj's until he finally fell asleep.

By the time Ruby had started to say, for the 6th time, "Good night Lilly. Good night Horsey. Good night Molly doll...." my neck had developed a small tic and my left eyelid was twitching uncontrollably. Have I mentioned that Ruby's voice drives me up one wall down the other and off the sanity bridge into crazy river?

Other episodes have included Max wrecking Ruby's play time with her friends, Max needing to wear a raincoat in order to play outside in the rain but taking it off and running outside everytime Ruby turns her back, Max sabatoging Ruby's attempts to get badges for the bunnies world of Brownies or Girl Scouts. Etcetera. Etcetera.

I think part of what makes Ruby so irritating is her neverending patience. When Max has taken off his raincoat for the 10 zillionth time she just "tsks" and says "now Max if we want to go outside in the rain we have to wear a raincoat." It makes me want to punch her in her stupid bunny mouth. A more realistic response would be"I SAID LEAVE YOUR FRIGGING RAINCOAT ON!"

On the other hand why is this Ruby's responsibility? Where the heck are the parents of this little bunny family? Why does Ruby put Max to bed? Why does Ruby keep Max from dying of pneumonia in the rain. WHY DOES 7 YEAR OLD RUBY MAKE THE TURKEY DINNER FOR THANKSGIVING? Someone should seriously call Social Services.

So I'm done ranting now. I've gotten completely enraged and irritated over a 20 minute show about cartoon bunnies. I may need to get out more. Just a thought.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

A blogging re-birth

Well it's been ages since I've posted anything. I blame Facebook. And I'm not even on it! Conscientious objector that I am I refuse to succumb to the Facebook pressure but it does sort of feel like blogging is dying because of Facebook.

So here's a recap of May and June:

*We've put in our lawn and this weekend Hugh has been building our fence. This is another moment where I feel like we're play-acting being adults. Okay you be the dad and build things with tools and I'll be the mom and keep the kids out of the way and make you things in my easy-bake oven. It's very surreal and I keep waiting to wake up to "real life"...whatever that may be.

*Since moving to Medicine Hat I have developed seasonal allergies. Last year I thought I caught a cold but eventually started taking Reactine and living life again. This year, because I'm pregnant, I can only take Benadryl which totally knocks me out. I discovered this one morning after taking one first thing and then spending the rest of the morning lying on the couch feeling like I had just been on a week-long bender. Every so often Tristan would lean over and say "mommy are you all done sleeping now? Can you not close your eyes anymore?" And honestly, it felt like my eyes had been glued shut so I mumbled something about "mommy's eyes being tired and needing a rest" and seriously prayed that the kids would not burn down the house while my eyes were closed or fry their brains with all television being watched.

So I've learned I can only take the Benadryl at night. It helps me sleep which is nice but I still spend all of everyday blowing my nose, rubbing my itchy, swollen eyes, feeling like my head is stuck in a cloud and seriously wanting to take a bottle cleaning brush and stick it down my throat because it's so itches SO MUCH that I'm almost developing a tick.

*Hugh has been working tons of overtime in the last month and a half. As a result, my kids have developed a love of Starbucks as I've been forced to cope with all the unrelieved alone time with the kids by rewarding myself with copious amounts of sugary, liquid-candy coffee drinks. The sugar high just helps you know? Typically I go through the drive-through where my kids always ask if they can get "fries and burger". On a side note: the only craving I've had this pregnancy, besides all things sugar-laden, is McDonald's fries.

One day to kill more time I told the kids we were going to Starbucks. No response. We got into the coffee shop and Ava stopped and looked around and then shouted excitedly "this is where mommy and daddy lovin' coffee!" Oh yes it is. The kids split a Strawberries and Cream Frap and are now officially hooked. The other day Tristan was in time out and he yelled "ALL DONE! Can we go to Starbucks?" Sorry son it's only mommy who gets to use food as a coping mechanism.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Our holiday in pictures

The view from our room at the Golden Crown Paradise Puerto Vallarta

Where we spent most of everyday

The Breeze Beach Bar just steps away. They actually had wait staff taking drink orders from our loungers on the beach.

Our view from the lounge chairs

Poolside view

Hugh Parasailing
Hugh learning to scuba dive

A day trip to Los Caletas. Unfortunately the jelly fish were so bad that day that only the divers were allowed in the water. So while Hugh dove I sat here

One of many fabulous meals

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Well we're back from Mexico and totally hooked. We had such an amazing vacation that we're going to try to go away kidless every year. I will post some pictures but I'm having a little technical difficulty, namely, we've lost our usb cord and also our memory card reader.

I have lots of stories to tell but they go better with pictures so in the meantime I thought I'd leave you with something totally un-Mexico-related.

Just before we left Ava was in time out and very unhappy about it. She was yelling from the bathroom, "MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMEEEEEEEEEEY!" After getting no response from me she stopped screaming and the next thing I heard was, "TRISTAN! You come get me out of here!".

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Lost in Translation

A couple of years ago I was in Fresno, California on a fruit picking/sorting missions-type trip. It was an organization called The Gleaners and at this base they dry fruit to send overseas to impoverished third-world countries. The days were very long and we worked incredibly hard in the hot hot humid sun. We were always very thankful for the end of the day which meant a dip in the pool on the base and the possiblity of getting into town to do some shopping.

In this area of California there is a huge population base of spanish-speaking people. On one of these town excursions I was in Payless with a friend who was trying out her newly acquired Spanish phrases and confidently greeting everyone with a cheery "Gwenas Dias!".

I'm sorry. Did you just say Gwenas??

Hugh and I will be arriving in Mexico this Saturday and spending a blissful kid-free week in the sun and everytime I say Buenos dias to someone you can bet I'll be thinking of dear old Gwen!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Seemingly unconnected items that provide a backstory into why I hate Facebook

Fun surprise for me last week. I went to the bus to pick up some suitcases that Jane had sent home from Italy and Jane got off the bus! The sheer surprise of it rendered me completely speechless, such an uncommon occurrence that Jane actually asked if I was okay.

I had just emailed her that morning to confirm that I would be picking up her stuff and was envying her beaching it up in Thailand. The absolute LAST place on earth I expected her to be was getting off the bus in Medicine Hat! But in the process of booking a flight to London she discovered an incredibly cheap flight through Calgary so she decided to come home for 10 days. YAY!

We've had lots of laughs and lots of Starbucks - can you say tall, decaf, non-fat, no whip, xtra hot, dulce de leche latte? (Not 10 times fast you can't!) Jane is leaving tomorrow and I will miss her like crazy and have to find solace in the thought of all the cool presents she'll bring home with her next time.

As great as this visit has been, it actually is not the point of this blog. This blog is actually about my great dislike of Facebook.

Regularly I have notices in my inbox that I have been added by someone as a Friend on Facebook. At first I didn't respond because I couldn't be bothered and now I'm refusing to respond so I don't get sucked into the black hole that is Facebook. While Jane was here I watched one day as 4 hours of her life were sucked out of her by Facebook. 4 hours that she had set aside to do other things like SORT OUT HER LIFE! Or at least her backpack and when you're a traveller your backpack is your life.

A day or so later she asked me to help her. Help her stop the insanity, the madness, the obsessiveness that is Facebook. I do not have the kind of time that is required by Facebook. I have too many other things to do. Like watch tv.

Plus you have this whole other underlying competition of "coolness" on Facebook. How many friends do you have? Are they from cool places? Do they leave you cool messages? Do you have cool pictures in your albums? Highschool was SO 12 years ago. Do I really need to bring that kind of teen angst into my 30's?

I'm sure I'll eventually feel the need to be like "all the other cool kids" and wear Ikeda overalls, Boca athletic wear and Vans but until then I guess I'll be the kid still doing the tight roll.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

How Canadian Am I?

So it's the start of hockey playoffs. The Canucks played last night. Quadruple Overtime blah, blah, blah. I imagine DJ is salivating over this for a blog topic. I on the other hand could care less. I am SO not a hockey person. I used to be. Once upon a time. You know when the seasons were all in their proper places, there was no global warming, penny candy was actually a penny, you could get a popsicle and chocolate bar for a dollar and summer holidays lasted an eternity. Yes those were the good old days. In those days I watched hockey on my dads knee and cheered for the Canucks (of course) and Montreal because my dad did. I might have even known what "icing" was even if I've long forgotten it since. Now when I hear icing I think of a lovely confection that melts in your mouth. So hockey just makes me hungry.

Then again everything makes me hungry these days. Thankfully I've reached the point in my pregnancy where my stomach is finally starting to look less like what the pregnancy books call "maternal fat" and more like an actual baby bump. That's always uplifting isn't it? You're already feeling like a bloated whale, too big for your normal clothes, too small for maternity clothes, living in track pants and elasticized waistbands and then they have to go referring to your "maternal fat". That HAD to have been written by a man.

In this hungry-all-the-time phase all I want to eat is pickles and thankfully I have the perfect excuse to indulge. You might think this pickle thing is another pregnancy symptom but that's only if you don't know me. Pickles and I go WAY back. It's been a very long love affair. Once, for my birthday, a friend bought me an entire case of pickles. I think that still tops the list as the best gift I've ever received. For me, Heaven will not be streets of gold but mountains of pickles. Last pregancy I was actually turned off them and was completely devastated. It was an enormous relief, after 8 pickles, to discover that I suffer no such ailment this time.

Last night while eating pickles, watching America's Next Top Model and balancing the laptop on my lap to write a new blog entry I discovered I've reached yet another milestone of pregnancy. This is the part where sneezing equals peeing. Typically when you reach this part of pregnancy you feel the sneeze coming and you do certain things to minimize the leakage. You flex unseen muscles, plant your feet or cross your legs and sort of brace yourself. Well I was on the couch and in no position for flexing or bracing. I sneezed and well, let's just say I was getting tired of those pajama bottoms anyway.

In addition to reaching the sneezing/peeing milestone of pregnancy I've also become rather emotional. Again for those of you who know me well you're probably thinking become? What are you talking about you've become emotional? But I swear my last pregnancy I was way less emotional than this one. Just the other day while watching more eye-glazing, mind-numbing tv I cried during that A&W commercial. You know the one where the son and his wife take the parents for dinner and they get the dad the grandpa burger to tell them they're having a baby? I cried. How ridiculous. I mean how long has that stupid commercial been on tv? What's even more ridiculous is I cry every time I see it. I have these kind of senseless emotional episodes on a daily basis. My last pregnancy I only had one and it was for a very patriotic cause. I cried over Don Cherry.

Yes you heard me, Don Cherry, Hockey Night in Canada, Coaches Corner, shouter, loud tie wearer. That Don Cherry. Hugh was watching HNIC and I was sitting with him reading. He went upstairs to get something and when he returned I was sitting on the couch sobbing over Don Cherry. This was the year that was supposed to be his last doing Coaches Corner and they were honoring his contributions to the sport by presenting him with a painted portrait of himself when he played for Toronto. Hugh was bewildered. "What on earth are you crying over Don Cherry for?" "It's just...he's's just that he's so CANADIAN" I wailed.

Go figure. I guess we really are born with hockey in our blood even if it only makes the most rare of appearances. We'll just have to wait and see what happens with our Canucks this playoff/pregnancy season.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Where did all the pigs go?

This weekend Hugh overheard the kids doing "this little piggy went to the market" on themselves.

Ava's version: "This little piggy market. This little piggy market. This little piggy market. This little piggy market. Wee-wee-wee home."

Tristan's version: "Da da da da da da market. Da da da da da da market. Da da da da da da market. Da da da da da da market. Wee-wee-wee home."

Monday, April 2, 2007

A Royal Flush

Hugh and I rented "Casino Royale" this weekend.


Besides the lame story line and gratuitous product placement, (MI-6 uses Sony Vaio's?), I thought Daniel Craig was a terrible Bond. I understand this was a prequel and telling us how Bond becomes 007 but seriously where is the charm? Daniel Craig as Bond is rude, abrupt, provincial, and he mumbles. Plus his face is too craggy to be a prequel to Pierce Brosnan's and Sean Connery's lovely looking, smooth, suave, man-of-the-world portrayals.

Admittedly I am not a Bond expert. I had actually never seen a Bond movie until Pierce hit the scene as 007 and since then, thanks to Hugh's influence in my life, I have now seen a few with Sean and maybe even one with Roger Moore. (Is he the guy who only did one Bond movie? I
always forget.) However I still maintain that Daniel Craig does not deserve the 007 designation.

Agree? Disagree?

Friday, March 30, 2007

Survival of the Fittest

I went to my Twins Club playgroup yesterday and came face to face with one of those playground dilemmas that parents often face.

Ava was playing with this little stuffed Barney toy and another little girl younger than Ava came along and basically grabbed it out of her hands and walked away. I was watching. I saw it so when Ava came to me crying I knew exactly what happened. I gave her a little cuddle and then we walked over to the little thief and I got down on my knees and said (very kindly I might add) "Ava was playing with Barney first so why don't you give it back and we'll go find you another toy to play with okay?"

No response. Unless you call staring me down a response. I tried again a little more firmly. "You need to give that toy back to Ava. She was playing with it first." She stared a moment longer and then walked away. By nature I am not a very confrontational person. Whenever I have issues that need dealing with I always try to get my sister Jane or my friend Michelle to do it for me. So far it hasn't really worked out for me because they keep saying no.

When the little girl walked away I had no idea what to do. Do I just grab it out of her hands and give it back to Ava? Not really my style. Do I tell the girls mom that her daughter took my daughters toy? Do I just tell Ava to find another toy? I never know how to deal with these playground things. What would you/do you do in these situations?

Friday, March 23, 2007

Just a random question

So you know when you want to leave a comment on someone's blog and they have the comment moderator turned on and you have to type all the letters exactly as they appear?

Why is there a wheelchair symbol next to that line?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Arrival of the Peanut Gallery

When you have small children you tend to talk as if they don't understand anything you say. Sure you edit out the swear words but essentially you have normal adult conversation certain that their unformed minds are blissfully unaware of the content of your conversation.

And then one day you realize they are actually people and not just tiny balls of matter sent to make your life one long diaper change, one endless meal and one repetetive conversation. Don't do that. Please don't do that. I said don't do that. I SAID DON'T DO THAT! And you realize their minds are not quite as unformed as you had previously thought and/or counted on.

For example. The other day we loaded up the kids and headed to the grocery store making a brief detour through the Starbucks drive through. We were at the pick up/pay window waiting for our drinks when we were greeted by a very perky employee. Copious amounts of consumed espresso really does equal happiness! This wild/bright-eyed young girl kindly asked if we would be interested in some "free samples in the way of edible items!" We were just working our way through her sentence when from behind us Ava yells "YES!" And Tristan, ever so polite, shouts, "THANK YOU!"

Could you possibly at 2 1/2 have understood what the word edible meant? Or were you simply making your dad proud and reacting to the word free? Either way I know I drove away frantically running over every conversation I have had in front of my kids over the last few months. Let's just say I see therapy in their future.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Cue the Hallelujah Chorus

Had an ultrasound today....

IT'S JUST ONE BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Since we can't break out the bubbly to celebrate we're ordering in Chinese. And any night I don't have to cook is a celebration indeed.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The process of self discovery

I always have these great aspirations of being an artiste and I'm always looking for the perfect artistic outlet. I've tried lots of things over the years.

I went through a beading phase and spent a hundred or so dollars on beads and supplies to make a whole crapload of necklaces that I never wore or wore only once. Well that didn't satisfy the itch so I moved on to knitting and 5 years ago started to knit a sweater while my friend Simone was pregnant with her first baby, to be a gift for said baby if the baby was a girl. Simone actually has 3 daughters now and the dang sweater still isn't finished. Then I got this really fantastic, super-great idea that I was going to scrapbook. I spent several hundred dollars on supplies, did 3 pages of a scrapbook and well....scrapped it. Then I decided that I wanted to do pottery and was actually looking at prices of kilns and imagining how my pottery would make me rich, because of course it would be so amazing, when I realized I didn't know clay from glaze and the nights the beginners class was offered didn't work for me.

Now this is not a story of how I start lots of things and don't finish...although it could be. Because I really do that alot. It's kind of one of my pet peeves about myself. No, it is not that kind of story. This is a story of self discovery.

See, I have finally figured out what it is I want to do. After much careful thought and earnest deliberation I have settled on being an incredibly famous painter whose work sells for zillions of dollars. I will have my apartment in Paris and my house in Provence or Tuscany plus my little cottage on the Cape. Any Cape. I will be a chef extroadinaire and live on pasta, fruit, cheeses, breads, olives, and red wine. In this life I imagine somehow I am thinner than in reality despite all the carbs I will apparently be eating. I walk around my gorgeous gardens in barefeet and wear simple flowing linen clothing. Except when I'm painting and then I'll wear jeans with holes in the knee and simple cotton t-shirts. My hair will be pulled back in a messy yet becoming ponytail which strangely enough has become curly. It must be all the salty sea air...Anyway. All of this will provide me with wonderful inspiration for my world famous paintings and keep me in the lifestyle which I am accustomed too. Or would be accustomed to if I had zillions of dollars.

This life is so close to being mine. I just have one itsy bitsy, teeny tiny problem. I don't know how to paint. Or draw. Which is why I signed up for this drawing class. I did six 3 hour classes. 3 classes of pencil, one of ink, one of pastel, and one of pencil crayons. I hadn't done any kind of art or drawing course since oh Grade 8 I think so I really learned alot and it was very beneficial. And I think I'm that much closer to the life (and weight) of my dreams. I just have one itsy bitsy, teeny tiny problem.

I don't really like to draw. It takes so bloody long to do anything!!! I do not have the time or the patience to sit for hours and hours trying to get the shading, the shadows, the lines just right. I want to whip it off in 20 minutes and move on. I found I got so irritated and agitated by the process that I spent alot of time doing neck and shoulder rolls. I would have preferred screaming. The "twitchiness" I felt made me approach the whole thing with a sort of "good enough" attitude. Then after each exercise we'd walk around and look at everyone's work and I'd sigh about mine. If only I could shade like her. If only my texture was as nice as his. If only I cared more about making that stupid bloody orange rind look right.

Unfortunately, I just don't care. Sadly, that ideal life (and weight) is slipping away. I need a new plan to be rich and famous. Maybe I should try abstract art instead...Yes. I can see it now. I'll have a studio apartment in New York in the Village. I'll eat organic food and only drink fair trade coffee. I'll wear ballet flats and black smocks with skinny jeans...

Monday, March 12, 2007

A little story about a dad, a barbeque, and potentially pyro children

The night before we left Salmon Arm we had a barbeque. My dad had a meeting so Hugh was manning the barby while the kids played on the deck. Now maybe it's because it was the first barbeque of the season. Or perhaps it's because it was an unfamiliar barbeque. Or then again maybe it was the distraction of watching the kids that Hugh hadn't seen for 2 months so he just couldn't take his eyes off them. Yes I'm pretty sure that's why the ribs went up in flames.

Now I don't just mean those little flares that result in those delightful little crispy/carcinogenic bits. (I say cancer-causing, Hugh says flavour.) This was a fire that leapt up into the atmosphere and actually made that "whooshing" sound like when you pour gas on wooden pallets and drop a match. Hugh manfully battled the blaze while the kids stared transfixed. They had know idea their dad was also a fire-fighting hero.

Once the fire was nothing more than smouldering embers Tristan dared to break the awe-inspired silence with an excited, "More fire daddy!"

And Ava piped up, "Good idea!"

Friday, March 9, 2007

well, well, well, what have we here?

Well I'm back.

I'm back home in Medicine Hat. My husband is done school and I'm almost done my first trimester. I have been shamefully absent from the blogosphere in the last 2 months and I'd like to apologize to all 8 of my readers. I'm sure you've been desolate without me but things can always get worse can't they? And we musn't feel sorry for ourselves must we?

You've probably given up on even checking my blog by now to see if I've written anything new but now that I'm back and sane (sort of) and less nauseous (marginally) my goal is to get back into blogging and catch up on all your blogs. I hope you've been blogging about some interesting things.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

TAGGED...little known facts about me

I was tagged by my friend Michelle but I'm pretty brain dead these days. Let's see if I can think of anything...

1. Well this is not exactly new info for most of you but the middle 2 toes on my left foot were melted together by a motorcycle wheel when I was just over a year old.

2. I am not ticklish but I used to pretend to be so Hugh would tickle my feet.

3. If I could afford it I would get the new kind of Lipo for my "twin skin".

4. I love Raffi and not just for my kids sake. I listen to it sometimes on my own. Baby Beluga anyone?

5. I dream about living in Paris for a year. I LOVE Paris which I know is so cliche but I really love it. Pastry (which I could eat for every meal), red wine, art, history, baguettes, vintage shopping, and little markets. What's not to love?

Well, I managed to get something out. Let's see what DJ has to say.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

excuses, excuses

Okay so I wrote a post about how I was in such a blogging funk because I'm so tired all the time but I didn't get around to posting it. See normally I blog while the kids nap in the afternoon but since Hugh has been gone I've been so tired from this single parenting thing that I've gone back to napping when they nap. By 7:00pm I'm so fried I cannot even speak coherently nevermind organize my thoughts enough to write something witty or halfway intelligent. That's a good reason for not blogging lately right?

How about another. I'm pregnant.

Seriously. I'm not kidding. This is not just another excuse. I'm P.R.E.G.N.A.N.T. Which I suppose would also explain the overwhelming tiredness and lack of ability to think straight.

I found out on Friday. I did the pee on a stick test in the bathroom at the airport in Kelowna with my sister Jane. I mean really what better way to say good-bye to someone that you have spent almost every day with over the last year but who won't be in Medicine Hat when we get back because she's going to Italy forever and ever, plus or minus an ever, than pee on a stick with them. When we saw the two little pink lines we hugged and half laughed, half cried. And "Brenda" said congratulations as she washed her hands and I thought well I never was one to pass up the opportunity to make a memory.

I couldn't get ahold of Hugh to tell him until Saturday morning and by then all my family knew, my friend Michelle knew...In my excitement I may have gotten carried away. But I'm pretty sure he knew before the cleaning lady. Besides he was there the first time. It's not like those little pink lines are all that interesting to look at. Right?

Wanna know something bizarre? I have the same due date with this baby as I had with Tristan & Ava. Cue twilight zone music.

Anyway, we are very excited and praying for the normal things, a good pregnancy, a healthy baby, no horrific morning sickness this time. Oh and one more thing about this time. Could we just have one baby please?

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

An indication of the amount of loving discipline Tristan has been receiving lately

"Night night Poppa."

"Night night Nana."

"Night night spanka spoon."

Monday, January 8, 2007

Happy Anniversary To...Me

"Well I'd like to raise a glass to toast my 7th anniversary."

"Tristan put your knees down!"

"Bentley go lie down!"

"As I was saying, even though Hugh and I can't be together for our anniversary I don't want it to pass by without marking it in some way."

"Tristan hold your spoon properly!"

"Ava keep your hands to yourself."

"Bentley get away from there!"

"Okay right so Happy Aniv..."

"Tristan NO! The bowl stays on the table!"

One more time. Happy Anniversary to me, Happy Anniversary to me, Happy Annivers....


"Do we have anything stronger than Pepsi?"

Hugh, I love you. I choose you every time. Coming home is stepping into your embrace.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

The Joys of Single Parenting

As of January 1st I reprised my role as a resident of the Okanagan. In this role I am a reckless recycler, GST complainer, and all about fuel economy. (Have you seen the price of gas here?) I am also a single parent. For the next 2 months Hugh will be living the carefree life of a student while I try to wait until 5:00 to start drinking.

Hugh has to do 2 months of schooling at SAIT for his heavy duty mechanics apprenticeship in Calgary. Since Jane will also be gone, having accepted an au pair position in Italy, I decided to crash in the Okanagan and get some good visiting time in with family (both sets of Grandparents and Hugh's brother's family) and friends.

So Hugh will get 2 months of sleeping in on weekends and having all sorts of time to do whatever the heck he wants while I get to be mother and father in unrelieved bliss. I'm not at all envious. I don't clench my fists everytime I think of it and I certainly don't want to poke Hugh's eyes out.

It doesn't help that the last 2 days have been, um, difficult. Yesterday the kids didn't say anything that wasn't a whine the entire day. In the hopes of a good distraction from whining I bundled the kids into their snow suits to go for a walk. It is amazing how much torture you can fit into 100 feet. My parents live in the middle of a block. By the time we reached the end Tristan had fallen into the snow and got his hands wet. Apparently snow on exposed skin = death and destruction. Moments after Tristan started screaming Ava was clotheslined by the dogs leash and was flat on her back in the snow, also screaming. At this point the Garbage truck drove by and Bentley (my parents dog) went nuts. Are you there God? It's me, Heather...

The day before I looked at the clock thinking it was close to 5:00. 5:00 means only 2 hours until bedtime and with supper inbetween the time flies. I like 5:00. I was hoping, thinking, praying that it was 5:00. It was 3:15. I honestly thought that day was never going to end.

But today is a better day. I'm not drinking Bailey's in my hot chocolate alone at 1:00 in the afternoon today so right there you have to know things are looking up. Right now the kids are asleep and I'm about to make myself a cup of tea and curl up with Stuart Mclean's newest Vinyl Cafe Book which I was reading in bed last night and laughing so hard I had to smother my face in my pillow so I didn't wake anyone up.

Hopefully I'll get to see some of you while I'm in the Okangan.