Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Chapter 5 in the Toothbrush Saga

There was something in the air this morning. That something was revenge.

Heath's lunch was packed with extra care today. I hope he tastes the love with each bite.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Troy the Catfish

Troy the Catfish is technically a Betta fish.

Troy was dead last night. I swear. I went into the kitchen and there he was, bottom's up. Floating upside down. Not moving. The classic dead fish pose.

Which meant I left the room and dry heaved in the living room. I can change dirty diapers, hold out my hands instinctively to catch a child's puke, and pick snot out of a baby's nose, but dead fish are not something I do. Cannot do.

So I went to bed. Yes, I left that dead fish floating in the bowl, sitting on my kitchen counter for Eilidh to wake up and discover. I'm a horrible mother, but as I said, I don't do dead fish.

Troy the Catfish was swimming around his little bowl this morning. Which means he's either on his second life as a catfish or he was just playing a practical joke on me. Perhaps Heath put him up to it.

Happy as I was to see him alive, I decided to clean his bowl for him. As I was scooping Troy up to put him in his nice clean bowl, he jumped OUT of the scoop and into the sink. I like trying to pick up flopping fish off the bottom of a stainless steel sink equally as much as floating dead fish. It wasn't a pretty moment. He can flop pretty high up, though, and he got enough momentum going that he flopped into the scoop I was holding beside him as I screamed, "HELPPP!!! HELPPP!!!! HEATH!!! HELPPP!!! AAAAHHHHHH!!!!". Repeatedly.

So, I think that means he's on his third life already. We've had him for 6 days now, so if my math is correct and he goes through 3 lives a week around here, I'm giving him until mid August.

I'm going camping next week with 4 children and my in laws.

Troy may outlive me.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Trip to Ikea, Mahoney Style

Kaitlyn is in the midst of decorating her room, which of course means a trip to Ikea.

We decided to meet Heath there after work, and have a family dinner out. Where else can you feed children for $1.99 and get free childminding? Those Swedes really know how to bring in customers.

Being a family of 6, it is a rarity to eat out. And eating in a restaurant with a very busy 2 year old is not on my "Top Ten List of Fun Things To Do". It is on my "Top Ten List of Things That Are More Fun To Do Than a Root Canal", but I digress.

So there we were, sitting with 4 kids in the middle of the Ikea 'restaurant'. And things were going fairly smoothly. Yes, my leg and foot were coated with a greasy film of Ikea "gravy" that some child who didn't belong to me happened to drop all down my leg and onto my foot as we waited in line....I digress again....but overall, none of my children had managed to spill anything or hit someone or complain about why we spend our summer vacations in Ikea while their cousins go to Disneyland.

As we were finishing up, an elderly lady came up to our table. She apologised for interrupting us. She then went on to say how she had been sitting at her table drinking her tea and was just so taken with how lovely our children and family were. She gushed about how nice it was to see a family enjoying each other's company and kept repeating what a loving family we had. I thanked her profusely, and Heath sat there beaming like only a proud daddy can.

Fast forward 30 minutes.

Eilidh had a meltdown in the checkout line-up such as I have never seen before. SHE didn't get anything at Ikea. It wasn't fair. She wanted something. KAITLYN was getting something (paid for with her own money), KEELEY was getting something (oooh....a 3 dollar potty chair), and then great stomping of the feet ensued. We carted her off to the van, screaming and stomping her feet, and with Keeley demanding to get out of the stroller.

Heath was trying to get Keeley in the van and I was trying to get Eilidh to stop screaming. Toys were falling out of the van. Patrick was arguing with Heath as to why he had to phone his friend RIGHT AT THIS VERY MOMENT and not when we got home. Kaitlyn was trying to load her breakable purchases into the van without all the recycling that I forgot to take back rolling out onto the vast Ikea parking lot.....a fair bit of it being beer bottles. They breed. I swear.

And amidst all this chaos, I looked up, and there was that little old lady who couldn't stop gushing about my wonderful family, looking gobsmacked. Out of that entire vast parking lot of Ikea, she had to be parked IMMEDIATELY in front of our van and getting into her car at the exact moment we were.

She just stood there. Watching the insanity. She wasn't smiling. I avoided eye contact.

I had a cider when we got home and took comfort in the fact that for a brief moment in time, my family was loving. And lovely. I'll take what I can get.

Friday, July 25, 2008

My Mom

My Mom has breast cancer.

There. I said it. I've written about the fact that someone close to me has cancer, but wasn't able to say who it was because...well....she has a public type job and it wasn't my place to put it out there on a public forum such as this.

But the cat is out of the bag, so to speak, and I have to say that there's relief in it. So many friends and acquaintances have emailed and contacted me in the last day to let me know they and their families are praying for my Mom, it's mind boggling. And wonderful. And comforting.

It is amazing to read and hear about other moms who have fought this disease and WON. It helps so much to remember to focus on the positive, trust in God, and be reminded that He is still in control.

I love my mom. I know she can win this fight. It's wonderful to have the support of prayers from so many people.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Chapter 4

That would be a picture of my glasses.

The picture is a bit blurry as it's taken without the aide of my glasses.

Heath thought he was pretty funny.

Not bad, dear, not bad.

I'm sure that's the end of this little game, sweetheart. You won. You're the champ. It's done. You have the victory. Waving my little white flag here. Honest.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Incontinent Dog Versus the Two Year Old

At one point today, I found myself having a little conversation in my head.

"Am I cleaning up two year old pee or 14 year old dog pee? Should it matter? Is it grosser to clean up dog urine than little girl pee I think...this must be Keeley's...I'll just believe it's Keeley's so it's not quite so gross. This has to be Keeley's...what the...what's THIS puddle?? Didn't I just let the dog out? Didn't Keeley just sit on the potty? Did the timer go off and I didn't hear it? Should I be setting the timer for the dog? Is this what my life has come up after assorted beings with limited bladder control?"

That's a rhetorical question. You don't have to answer it for me. I do worry that I ask myself so many questions. Do you think that's odd? The asking myself questions, not the worrying.

On what I thought was a different note today, I succumbed to Eilidh's nagging to get a fish. Eilidh had the bowl on the kitchen counter, admiring the fish's rainbow beautifulness, when it uh....pooped. There I was, with a spoon, scooping out fish poop from its bowl, the fish thrashing around quite grotesquely I may add.

Fish poop is worse than incontinent 14 year old dog and 2 year old Keeley pee. No doubt.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Potty Update

I know you are all on the edge of your seat, awaiting the latest details of the day.

It started off well. It was good overall. She's starting to figure it out.

Until we were sitting at the dinner table. Kaitlyn said, "Why is there a puddle under Keeley's seat?"

To which Keeley responded, "RUN!! RUN!!" and then went back to eating her spaghetti.

Potty Party

Excitement is in the air.

We're in the midst of a party here. Keeley was playing, I was puttering, Patrick was pouting (another blog for another day), Kaitlyn was primping and Eilidh was prone on the couch when we heard a little voice proclaim, "Poop Mommy! Poop! Quick! RUN! RUN!!"

You have never seen me move so fast. Keeley and I raced to the bathroom and success ensued.

And Keeley got a treat. A big treat. An entire cupcake with icing and sprinkles. There were high fives and cheers and big girl panties put on to Keeley with great ceremony. (For the record, she chose the monkey ones over the butterflies.)

I've been changing diapers off and on for 16 and a half years. When I had my own children out of diapers, I was changing the diapers of day care children. I have potty trained no less than 11 children including 3 with autism.

This is a glorious day. GLORIOUS I tell you.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Happy Moment

I was going to start griping about something but decided that the day was too bright and sunny for complaints.

So I will share a lovely moment.


Ah, to be two and find the greatest joy in moments like this. I need to remember to savour the moments that God gives us. It's not about big bank accounts or fancy houses. Enjoy life, not just persevere.

I cannot find any joy in my messy house at the moment but I shall overlook the disarray and remember that it is messy because I've been blessed with children and summertime fun. School and schedules will be back before we know it.

I shall enjoy this day....but I probably won't look as cute as Keeley doing it.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Chapter 3

If you're late in the game, read the first two installments.



Biding my time to inflict my revenge was the most difficult part.

I'm watching my back.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Happiness is Creativity Without the Need for HTML

Today I turned this:

Into this:

All without having to deal with HTML.

Oh happy day.

Have I Mentioned How Much I Hate HTML?

I want to change the look of my blog and have been 'researching' how to customize it. I shut it all down last night when my eyes started to bleed and I swore no less than 3 times at some lady blogger who told me it was as easy as pie (that should have been my first clue. Have you ever actually tried to make pie crust that didn't turn out to be 2 inches thick and tasted like you were eating gluey flour and water baked on high for 15 minutes? Easy as pie my a...).

I've been on all sorts of blogs that look like their owners most likely have 38 scrapbook photo albums for each of their children. (I have none....scrapbook albums, not kids. I have plenty of those.) And these bloggers swear they haven't paid someone to make their blogs all perfectly wonderful. I admit it. I have blogger's envy. Argh. They probably have perfect houses and perfect children too.

What have I gotten myself into? I started blogging as an outlet for frustrations, connect with family and friends, and just to be able to write and have some 'me' moments in my hectic life with four kids, two dogs and a husband (not necessarily in order of importance there). And now I'm worrying about 'my blog isn't as nice as her blog'?

Okay. Breathe. I do not want to change the look of my blog to compete with the 10 million other blogs in cyberspace. I want to change the look of my blog because I want to. I can picture it in my head but can't make the computer believe that's really what I want to do. The computer keeps laughing at me and thinks it's a game. "Oh, really? You want to widen those margins? 'Kay.....but that must mean you don't want this pesky side bar, here, so I'll just get rid of that for you."

Stupid HTML.

I'm begging for help. Don't make me have to go to blogging rehab. Don't make me take up scrap booking. Please....send me your links to stress free blogging designs. Send me info on how to have the upper hand with my computer. Is there a secret swear word I don't know about?

Epiphany. There's an underground secret code that all you HTML lovers know about, isn't there! All you HTML lovers know just where to insert that little code in amongst all that HTML gibberish. And then the computer sees that little secret code and says, "Ah, crap. Gotta listen to this one. They know what they're doing."

Give me the code. I won't tell anyone. Promise.

I'll bake you some pumpkin scones??

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Chapter 2

I picked up my green toothbrush last night with glee. I did not have to think about which one was mine. Mine was the green one. Heath's was the one with red polka dots and curly yellow ribbon.

And as I swiped the green toothbrush across my teeth, I simultaneously said, "What the....", and looked in the mirror to see Heath laughing hysterically at me.

The bugger switched the 'decorations' from his toothbrush onto mine and I was brushing my teeth with HIS green toothbrush.

Game on, man. Game on.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Simple Solution

Heath and I have been married for 19 years. 19 years and 2 1/2 months. And 17 days.

Heath needed a new toothbrush. He bought a new toothbrush. He bought a green toothbrush.

For 19 years, 2 1/2 months and 15 days, I've had a green toothbrush. Heath has whatever other coloured toothbrush his little heart desires to purchase. That deal was made 19 years ago. We can tell what toothbrush belongs to whom. Green is mine. His is whatever...I don't really care. Mine is green. The green one is mine.

As most of you might be aware, I'm a tad scattered in my thoughts of late. There's a bit on my mind. For two days now, every time I go to brush my teeth, I have to pause. I have to look at those two green toothbrushes and THINK about which one is mine. And it's completely driving me mad. Hey...the straw that broke the camel's back and all....

So, every problem has a solution. (Shoving a green toothbrush up Heath's nose flits across my mind as I'm looking at those two green toothbrushes in the holder, but really, although it may momentarily make me feel better, I'd still be looking at the end of a green toothbrush up his nose. Still oddly irritating in my mind.) So I've come up with a better solution.

No problem now. Mine's the green one.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The C Word

Cancer. One of the worst words in the dictionary. One of the worst words a person wants to hear over the phone, at the doctor's office, from a friend or in an email.

I have been told yet another person I know is meeting with a surgeon today about the C word.

I am attending a funeral today for a close friend's mother in law who passed away from cancer.

I am personally glad that science has come so far in finding ways to treat and cure many different kinds of cancer, such as breast cancer. Someone very close to me has a great chance for a cure because of research and the science behind it. There are some cancers out there, such as pancreatic cancer, that do not hold as much hope.

But I also wonder how much money is going into research to study and understand PREVENTION. Breast cancer seems to be becoming an epidemic. Yes, there are risk factors the cancer experts know about. But what about all the women out there who do not have any of those risk factors and are still finding themselves faced with this disease?

Oddly enough, the pills that the pharmaceutical companies have developed to 'help' women have 'helped' them be at a higher risk for breast cancer. Every doctor my family member has seen in her early journey with this disease has asked her if she has taken the Pill earlier in life or hormone replacement therapy during menopause. How many women taking these 'helpers' know that?

I don't know much about this C word. My doctoring experience is limited to polysporin and bandages and kissing the owie all better. But as the days go on, and I get another email or phone call telling me about yet another mother, grandmother, aunt or friend who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, my concern escalates, my reading intensifies and more questions are left unanswered.

I'd love to hear other people's thoughts on this subject. I have three daughters and three sisters. I want this round of breast cancer in our family to be the one and only.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


I've gone for years without really thinking about taking care of my physical body. Other than gimping up my hip giving birth to my youngest, I really haven't had much reason to use our health care system. The past two weeks seem to have the powers that be bombarding me with reminders that this isn't necessarily the best long term plan.

In the past two weeks, the following has been diagnosed in our immediate and extended family:
  • Breast cancer
  • Retina tear
  • Adult onset diabetes

This week, a close friend's mother in law passed away from cancer.

This week, an extended family member fell and had to be taken to the hospital.

One starts to ponder life just a little bit when things keep poking a person in the eye like that. And I've come to a conclusion. Get ready for it. It's a doozy.

This aging thing sucks.

Oh, and I need to start eating way more fruit and vegetables in my diet.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Bozo the Clown

Might I remind everyone out there that sunscreen is a very useful tool?
One might also be reminded that it is a very useful tool to apply to one's nose, particularly if one wears glasses that intensify the radiating heat coming from our summer sun.

Keeley kept poking my nose yesterday evening and saying "Owie."

Yes. Owie is pretty accurate.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Big Girl's Bed

It's time.

The last true piece of baby equipment needs to leave the house.

I may cry. Oh who am I kidding? I WILL cry.

Slowly but very surely, the massive collection of baby paraphernalia has exited the house. At first, I cheered. Bouncy seats, baby swing, exersaucers and floor exercise equipment all left the house one by one. I fondly remember the day our living room was no longer decorated in pastel and neon plastic. What a moment to walk straight across the carpet instead weaving in and out of baby 'stuff'.

But my baby was still a baby then. It didn't hurt to get rid of those things. I still had my baby, who still needed to be tucked into her crib at night.

Just two days ago I commented to Heath how grateful I was that even though Keeley is such a climber, she has never tried to climb out of her crib. She must have been listening. She almost made it out herself this morning.

And so, down will go the side of the crib so she can get in and out without breaking something important on her chubby body. Bunk bed shopping will earnestly begin since the girls share a room.

And I shall go and have a good cry by myself in the bathroom where no one in this family can make fun of me. They don't understand. All you mothers out there do.

I will have a good sob over my last baby turning into a little girl in the blink of an eye. They will be tears for what is over and tears for being finished this part of motherhood. They will be mixed with tears of gratefulness too...thankful for a wonderful two year old who is able to climb and run and draw pictures of Mommy and Daddy. I will never forget that after her birth, we did not know if she would do any or all of those things.

And in the middle of my sob fest, a child will start urgently knocking on the door, the phone will ring, the old mutt will start peeing on the carpet and someone will start yelling "Get your foot off my ear!!"

How many years until Keeley goes to college?

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Hopping on the Bandwagon

I'm a bit of a late bloomer.

I'm always at the tail end of a fashion statement. The latest trends are new to me when I find them on a discount rack at Winners. I drive a 12 year old purple minivan (perhaps I've mentioned that in the past....vague memory....) while others are zipping around in Hybrids and SmartCars.

And this whole computer stuff. I'm a hopeless cause. I have no idea what Twitter is or what I'm suppose to Digg. I keep having to Google what Html stands for, never mind trying to make heads or tails of reading/writing those hieroglyphics.

Blogging is forcing me into places I have no desire to be. I keep ending up in places that are making me feel uncomfortable and scared that I will have to confess to Heath that, yes, it was I who caused the laptop to implode, or better yet, that I typed a k instead of a j and now someone in Kenya has access to all our bank accounts. Sorry dear. You can fix it, right? Stupid Html.

Anywhooo, so when I keep hearing about the 'latest' website or Internet thingy, I avoid it like I avoid cleaning my shower and discussing feminine hygiene products with my 6 year old. But I'm alone today. The only adult in the house with a 6 and 2 year old, and it's raining. Desperate times call for desperate measures. And so I've succumbed to checking out a website that 'everyone' is talking about (everyone cool and hip with the latest 'it' product and that has children under the age of 7....dang it, even my mother sent me the link.)

Where else can you watch 18 videos of cute little fluffy baby kittens and doggies and little children singing "We Will Rock You."? Yes, there's the good old 'regular' youtube where you can watch 18 videos of cute little kitties....the problem being that the 19th video your 6 year old may click on may be dealing with pussies of a different nature.

Well, Eilidh is calling me to come see the cute dog playing with a room full of balloons. I bet it's even more cuter than the kitten climbing out of that hiking boot. Kill me now.

Friday, July 4, 2008


The house a mess
Yet here I sit
Amongst the crap
An endless pit

Visitor soon
To darken my door
Carpets to find
Must sweep the floor

And make the bed
And weed the yard
And clean the sink
It's just too hard

Two year old
Up til 2
A.m. that is
I have no clue

What to start
Where to end
Or how to get there
But I intend

To make some scones
And then they'll see
Not a mess
They'll clap with glee

Scones are good
Mess is bad
I don't care
I'm rather glad

I've come to this
Conclusion now
And saved myself
From cleaning. Wow.

That felt good
I feel reborn
This blogging thing
Sure has rewards

I know that last one
doesn't rhyme
And so I'll end.....

....until next time.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Albion Ferry

People tell me the Albion Ferry is quaint.

These people take the Albion Ferry 2x per calendar year. With no children. Sipping a margarita. After coming back from a trip to Europe. Holding a winning million dollar lottery ticket in their hand.

The Albion Ferry should not be taken with 6 children, with a four sailing wait, with millions of mutant mosquitoes that can smell human blood through the window glass, and with two 13 year old boys sweating profusely in the back of a minivan....that has the windows closed....because of the mutant mosquitoes. In the summer.

Just putting that out there.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Patience and Trust

The next few weeks will be a time of patience for everyone in our extended family.

In this world of 'right now', patience is becoming a lost virtue. Google, the Internet, microwaves, fast food restaurants, prepackaged foods, and instant tans..... children who want for nothing, who are never made to wait for a new bike, ipod or trip to the candy store. It has all created a society that cannot 'wait' for anything. I'm as guilty as the next person.

And then there's a phone call and your family's world changes. And you want answers. Right now. Immediately. But there are many more questions than answers and you have to wait. Wait and wait some more. And with this impatience comes the questions to God. Why this? I don't understand. It doesn't make sense. This isn't the way it's suppose to be. How could this be Your plan?

And with every question, the impatience grows. And you want more answers that are not forthcoming.

So what to do?


"Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And do not rely on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him
And He will make straight your paths."
Proverbs 3:5-6

It's always amazing to me that God finds a way to put my impatient heart at peace the moment I need it. The above verse is one I wrote down several months ago in my journal. I had pulled out my journal this morning and was leafing through it trying to find a blank page to write down some needed information and there it was. I turned right to the page with the verse. Right when I truly needed to be reminded that God is in charge. All my impatience won't change a thing. But putting trust in Him will give me patience.

Patience and trust. God is in control. I don't understand but God does.