Tuesday, June 30, 2009

See? Not crazy.

My parents have an unusual bird living in their neighbourhood.

An Albino crow.
I was driving down my parents' street last week and happened to look up. Sitting in a tree were two crows - one black and one white - preening each other.

I nearly drove off the road.

My parents have been trying to get a picture of the Albino crow for the past few weeks. Today, as we were leaving their house, that white crow flew past, crowing and cawing.

Fortunately, The Eldest had her camera with her and was able to get a few pictures as the bird flitted from branch to branch.

Proof that we're not all crazy people talking about Albino crows.

That can only be a good thing.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Summertime, Summertime, Sum Sum Summertime....

Top Ten Ways I Know Summer is Here

Take 2....blogger hates me today. I don't know why it won't take off the draft I was working on while supervising many children, putting up with assorted teenage angst and does anyone want to tell me why blogger decided that hitting the enter key meant 'publish' and not going down to the next line? It's like blogger and I had a fight that I had no idea ever happened and it's seeking its revenge in the backhanded catty way of a snotty girl.

I flipping need a beer.

Top Ten Ways I know Summer is Here - Take Two

10. The Princess set up an Iced Tea stand today.

9. The ice cream truck has started its hourly drive down our street causing every child in a two block radius to start screaming and begging their mother for 3 bucks to buy Dora on a stick.

8. I only had to pack The Husband's lunch today.

7. Linda and the twins are out. A lot. (If you're not from my neck of the woods....oy, you don't want to know.)

6. I found sand in the kitchen sink.

5. Assorted children are whining at me about wanting to play at the beach.

4. The Monkey asked to wear her popsicle dress.

3. I counted the number of days until school starts. 73.

2. I counted the number of beers in the fridge. Not enough.

....and the #1 reason I know summer is here....

1. I just contemplated buying this:

so I can wear a bathing suit this summer.

I'd look like that in 30 days.

Uh huh.

Well, with stretch marks past the navel.

Whew. Take two was hard.

I'm glad I had already deleted what I had written about reading a book on fasting while eating a bologna sandwich on white bread. It was bad.

I need to get a grip. I've got 72 days left to survive.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

An Injury

I have a shoulder injury.

Oh, don't go out and buy me flowers and a get well card. It's a minor shoulder injury. Minor enough not to have to go to the doctor but major enough to complain to The Husband about it.

I'd like to be able to brag that I injured my shoulder playing tennis, lifting weights at the gym, or perhaps saving a child from a burning building.

But this is me. I got injured by toilet paper. I have a toilet paper injury.

Google search is going to have a heyday with my blog today.

I was doing some shopping at my least favourite store in the world. A store that doesn't put their toilet paper rolls on shelves but prefers to cut open the cardboard boxes of TP and stack them up super duper high one on top of the other. Stacked higher than 5'1" little me. Much higher.

Apparently, packages of 30 roll count of toilet paper can get precariously off balance. Especially when a 5'1" person takes a package from one of the middle boxes because she cannot possibly reach the top box.

I learned some things that day. I swear instinctively when being pummelled by copious packages of bathroom tissue. I have the reflexes of a sloth. 30 roll count of TP is surprising heavy when lots of it is falling on top of you. And I am anal enough to actually pick up all the packages of TP and put them back on the shelf with my non injured arm.

The Husband accused me of missing out on a little windfall by not informing someone at the store that their carelessness, nay, negligence, in toilet paper stacking policies caused me an injury. I replied that I wasn't going to be going down in history as the lady who sued Stupidstore for a toilet paper injury. I'd be second in line after that lady who sued Micky D's for making their coffee hot and not telling her she shouldn't put it in between her legs with the lid off in a moving car.

Some days, you have to take one for the team. You make sacrifices to take care of your family. You go and slay the dragon, flaunting your war wounds as medals of honour. You can hold your head high, knowing that you fought the toilet paper and won.....your family will not have to resort to grabbing drive thru paper napkins from the minivan to wipe their hinies.

Sadly, my toilet paper shoulder injury was for naught. I got home and I realized that I hadn't bought any toilet paper.

Apparently, I have a head injury, too.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Lots of people have monumental days.

Yesterday was mine.

I caught a whiff of the greatness to follow when I found myself standing in the kitchen at 7:20 am, coffee brewing, and had the profound realization that I only had to make 1 lunch, not four.

I drove over the Golden Ears Bridge for the first time. The sun was sort of shining, the golden eagles were stunning against the blue sky and I got to my parent's house in 32 minutes.

32 minutes.

What used to be an hour and a quarter to an hour and a half trip took me 32 minutes.

God bless engineers and construction workers.

I picked up the professional pictures of The Eldest's graduation. And the brilliant and wonderful photographer Peggy Wynne gave me a bunch of extra photos that I hadn't even ordered.

The day just got better. My mom wasn't feeling well when I was there, but she called later to say she was feeling much better. You gotta love those kind of phone calls.

The Eldest wrote her final Provincial examination. She's done. She's officially finished high school.

It just got better. The Husband locked his keys in his car, so I had to drive 30 minutes to bring the extra set of keys. AND I DIDN'T TAKE ANY CHILDREN WITH ME.

After unlocking the car, The Husband took me out for a beer and pizza. And we got to sit and talk about life and it was awesome.

And if you can believe it, I topped off the day with this:

I found Waldo.

All in all, a monumental day.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Girl You Want To Be

A quiet Friday morning.

Perfect timing for a new song,courtesy of The Princess.

The Girl You Want To Be

When you see the girl
You want to be
It's not really you.

But somehow you know
That it's you.
Somehow it's you
You know it.

But it's not really showing
That you are that girl.
And you be that girl.

I know somehow I am that girl
That I know.
I wish I am that girl.

But I am that girl.

I love that girl.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Snack

The Boy has been hungry lately.

Upon waking, he needs to eat. At school, he needs to eat. After school, he needs to eat. After eating, he needs to eat. After dinner, he needs to eat. Before bed, he needs to eat.

I spend my days patrolling the kitchen and walking down the aisles of the grocery store.

Being the wonderful mother I am, I have enforced the 'make it yourself' rule. Hey. I have things to do and laundry to wash. Cook a poached egg for The Boy and he'll just ask you to cook it for him again. TEACH The Boy how to cook a poached egg and you'll never have any eggs left in the fridge.

Case in point:

That, my friends, is classified as an after school snack.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Monkey's New 'Do

The Monkey Baby has a new 'do.


I took her back to the hairdresser's yesterday and asked them to even up the lopsided mess of a $15 haircut.

It took the lady 30 minutes to fix The Monkey's hair. She kept cutting and cutting and measuring and measuring and saying, "It's still not even." The Monkey actually fell asleep in the chair. I had to hold her head upright while the lady kept hacking at her hair.

I'm beginning to think the kid has weird hair. Is there such a thing? Do the future hairdressers of tomorrow learn about weird hair in hairdressing school? I'm sure there's some fancy name for it. Whatever they call it, The Monkey has it.

Weird hair.

She also has a propensity towards scissors, nail polish and the words, "Sorry Mommy! So sorry Mommy!"

She will either keep me and The Husband young or drive us into assisted living before our time. Either way, I wouldn't change a thing about her.

She's our Monkey.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Baby's Birthday Bangs

3 years ago today, I birthed a monkey.

A chubby little thing with massive cheeks, adorable fingers and toes, and a solid foundation of hair on her head.

Her birth was a glimpse into the future.....a future full of getting herself into trouble. In utero, she managed to wrap the umbilical cord so tightly around her neck, the nurse couldn't even get her finger between the cord and the neck.

And she's been getting herself into trouble ever since.

Yesterday morning's fiasco with giving herself a mullet ended poorly. I can't believe I paid $15 for a 'hairdresser' to do this:

"Even it out" is a difficult concept, I guess.

It's not the greatest picture. I apologize. But after taking 17 shots, 14 of them blurry because The Baby had things to do and places to be and standing in front of a wall STAYING STILL wasn't one of those things, I decided to call it a day.

You may notice the shadow on the left side of her chin. That would be a massive black and green bruise from wiping out in the backyard last week.

Yup. The 3 year birthday girl pictures are going to be beautiful.

Maybe a big bow and pictures taken in some candlelight.........

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Monumental Day

My baby graduated from high school yesterday.

The 8 pound 3 ounce bundle that arrived after 26 hours of labour and made The Husband and me parents. That was just last year, wasn't it?

Wasn't it?

Wasn't it just 6 months ago that I left her sitting on the floor in her new kindergarten room? Was it not yesterday we dropped her off in front of her new high school, scared out of her mind at starting a new school and not knowing a soul.

And yesterday, I watched my baby walk into her school gymnasium donned in cap and gown. I watched her receive the "Excellence in Textiles" award, a $1,000 scholarship, and of course her high school diploma.

Yes. I cried.

The Eldest and The Boyfriend. The future is theirs.

And here are the proud parents. See? I think I hid my 'holy crap I am not old enough to have a high school graduate' feelings fairly well.

The afternoon was spent getting hair and make up done by my brother's girlfriend. She did an incredible job.

And here is the result:

That's my little girl there....looking like a woman.

Yes, I course I cried. I'm not made of stone.

All in all, it was a great day. A very busy day. The Husband got to dance with his little princess at her prom (then they kicked all the parents out). We drove home and talked about how the day had been a whirlwind of activity and monumental moments.

When we got home, I asked The Boy if he thought his grad in 3 years would be such a production. His eyerolls lead me to believe it won't if he has anything to do with it.

Since I had volunteered The Husband to deal poker all night at the grad's dry grad (which took place back at their school after their dinner/dance), he decided to go have a nap. When I went to wake him up, this is what I found:

Apparently, the day was exhausting for everyone.

This morning, I woke up to The Princess asking if she could go downstairs. I looked at the clock and couldn't believe the time. "Wow," I thought. "We were all wiped! The Baby never sleeps this late."

No. The Baby really never sleeps in late.

Can you guess what this is?

Here are the mug shots.

My Baby with a mullet. Nice.

We're off to the hairdresser's today. Apparently.

Tomorrow she turns 3. Everyone can use a new birthday 'do, right?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I'm Thinking of Packing This Family Off to a Third World Country

Mornings are pretty hectic around my neck of the woods. Not as busy as they used to be when I worked for a pay cheque (those mornings would be labeled 'insanity at its finest') but then again, there's The Baby added to the mix and now two teenagers instead of one.

This morning's routine was the usual. Make coffee, make breakfast for the younger girls, make 4 lunches, supervise clothing choices, ensure breakfasts are being consumed, make Husband's coffee to go, brush hair, order teeth to be brushed, find stuff in fridge for males in the family, empty dishwasher, trip over the dog, ask who's turn it is to take out dog, ensure assorted items needed for school are in backpack, spray aloe vera onto The Eldest's back that she sunburned 5 days before wearing a strapless graduation dress. Just what millions of other moms in our glorious country of freedom and clean water do every day. Getting their families ready for another day of learning and work.

This morning's whining and complaining coming from my assorted children about how unjust and unfair their lives are living under my regime started to get on my nerves. Actually, it got on my last nerve and snapped it in half. The complaints were about everything from having to walk to school to how unfair it was that I was MAKING a child eat peanut butter on her toast instead of getting cinnamon and sugar. No amount of calm and rational explanations on my part was getting through their thick skulls.

Ok. It all started out calm and rational on my part and ended with the statement, "I think I should ship the lot of you off to India for a month! Then you'd see how lucky you've got it!"


Much as I'd like to blame some flaming PMS on that statement, I think it may have been my subconscious creeping out into the light and pointing its finger at me. I get mad at my kids for not recognising how good they've got it. Do I recognise how good I've got it?

I think I mostly do. Most days. Then the neighbour went and rebuilt her already beautiful deck in a short 3 days and when I looked out at it this morning at her perfect backyard with her green patio set I felt nothing but pure envy. ENVY. It's not fair. I want our backyard finished. I want a green patio set. I want to plant pretty flowers. I want. I want. I want.

*smack upside the head*

I live in a house. No, a home. I have a husband who works hard for our family every day. My neighbour with the beautiful deck does not. I have four healthy children. I have friends who have spent weeks in the hospital with their child and may have to do again in the future. I have food in the house to make all those breakfasts and pack all those lunches everyday. Many families in our own community, never mind India, rely on food banks and have sent their children to school hungry and are worried about what they are going to feed them for dinner.

My family has so much. Are we rich? No. Do we struggle to pay all the bills every month? Yes. Do we have cable and cell phones? Yes. Do my kids know how lucky they are? No. I don't think they do.

"Why do I have to walk to school? It's not fair! I can't walk fast! I'll be late. It's not my turn to take out the dog. It's hard to walk to school because I have so much to carry. I don't want peanut butter. I want cinnamon and sugar. It's not fair!!!!!!"

"Why do I have to make all these lunches? Why did you have to step in that pile of dirt....I just swept that! Why can't you kids see how good you've got it???"

Maybe what I meant to say this morning is that our whole family needs to be shipped to India for a month. And not wealthy India. Third world India. Or perhaps a walk through the downtown Vancouver Eastside, or visit the Salvation Army's homeless shelter in our very own community.

At least, an attitude change by me.

I'm grateful for a husband who is too tired to finish the backyard because he works so hard everyday and many times into the weekend for our family.

I'm grateful that The Eldest is graduating this weekend because it means she's had the opportunity to get an education and that she will be heading to university in the fall. How many women in the world can say that?

I'm grateful that The Boy is eating us out of house and home. It means he is healthy and growing and on his way to being a man.

I'm grateful that The Princess was sick last week. It meant I could take her to the doctor and use our pretty awesome health care system. How many people in the world have access to health care, let alone universal access to health care?

I'm grateful I have to watch The Baby every second. I'm grateful that she's so busy and curious. It means I have the opportunity to stop and look at bugs and sticks and butterflies and rocks and 'find the quiet' in days full of stuff to do.

Today I am choosing to be grateful.

How about you?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


As I was using my kitchen tongs to fish a half eaten raw hide dog bone out of the toilet at 11:30 pm, a thought occurred to me.

There are some things in life I never thought I'd be doing.

When I became a mom, I knew I'd be puked on. I figured I would see my fair share of green snot, exploding diapers, teenage angst, grubby hands and have a perpetually dirty house.

No one told me about using my kitchen appliances in the commode.

So, do I throw out the tongs?

Boil them for 2 hours?

Throw them in the dishwasher and then tell The Husband what I last used them for as he's placing a cob of corn on his plate using the tongs?


I think I'm going to have to throw them out.

Can you top my tongs? What's one thing you've done that you never imagined in a bazillion years you would ever do?

Monday, June 1, 2009


I've been grocery shopping for a few years now.

Even before I was married and still living at home, it was my work responsibility to do the shopping for the day care's hot lunch program. Lunches and snacks for 22 children, 5 days a week. I had one hour a week to do the shopping. I learned to shop quickly and to stay within a strict budget.

Fast forward 20 years or so and I'm still shopping quickly and within a budget. Just not for 22 children. Although, the way The Boy is eating lately, it's starting to feel like I'm shopping for at least 10.

Enter Stupidstore. Someone, who I'm sure has a fancy title and is very important, recently decided to move every flipping item in their store to a new location. Except the milk and eggs. And the bread. Ok, the deli department looks the same too. But everything else has been moved around. Even stuff that's in the same aisle as before has been switched to the other side. (For those of you who don't know what a Stupidstore sells, it sells everything from housewares to books to home decor to toys to groceries to seasonal stuff to toenail clippers. It's a lot of stuff to move.)

I've been shopping at that store for 4 and a half years. I knew where everything was. Everything. Brown sugar. Large bag of Craisins. Those Asian crackers that the girls like so much. Inexpensive picture frames. The discount bin. Life was tolerable.

But then they changed everything, and now a 25 minute shopping trip has turned into an hour. Each aisle I turn down brings me new grief and frustration. Each new aisle is full of customers looking just like me.....pushing their shopping carts with one wonky wheel, wandering aimlessly with a vacant, slightly dazed look in their eyes. I started snickering at one point because as I looked at the scene, I couldn't help but think we all looked like we were participating in some sick zombie movie.

But with less moaning and dragging of assorted body parts.

On the upside, the checkout lines are really short. All those wandering souls on a quest to find chickpeas and granola bars were, well, still on their quest. Godspeed, said I. Godspeed.

It's been two weeks since I've stepped foot in Stupidstore. My mom is cheering. My kids are complaining. But I just don't have the energy needed to shop on manual functioning. I like autopilot. I need to use the manual functioning for chasing The Baby, remembering what hair colour to buy and making pop explode in the checkout lane.

So, dear Stupidstore, the hundreds of hours you have paid out to rearrange your store has driven one of your customers over the edge, which I realize wasn't that hard to do considering I was hanging onto said edge with my unmanicured hands and some bungee cords wrapped around my ass, but still.

I don't know when I'll be back. I'm sure you've noticed a drop in milk and cream sales. And perhaps you've been scratching your head at the sudden decline in dill pickle chip purchases. But you brought it upon yourself.

And what can conclusions can we draw from this little tirade?

Change is bad.

And I think those bungee cords just snapped.