Thursday, November 29, 2007

My First Meme

So, I've been tagged by JCK to do a meme. I've been procrastinating about it all week because most memes require that you do certain things and I don't follow directions well. Or at all. So, although I am supposed to post the rules on my blog and then tag seven people, I'm not gonna. If you feel like doing this though, you go right ahead! If you want to follow the official rules they can be found here.

I do like to talk about myself however, so I will now share with you seven tidbits that will fascinate and amaze you. Or at least not put you into a coma from boredom. I hope.

1. I have met Mikhail Gorbachev. I won an essay contest in high school so along with 9 others I got to be on a panel interviewing him. This was THE highlight of my high school career. As if y'all needed more proof of the geek factor.

2. Since I said "I do" eleven years ago I have moved six times. Prior to marriage I moved twice and it was always in the same area of the same city. Now I am excited if the move doesn't involved a new driver's license.

3. When I was five I told my mom that a stranger had asked me to go with him. This is not entirely true. We had been covering stranger danger in kindergarten and I had a rather wicked imagination. Can you see where this is going? What had actually happened was a stranger had said hi to me. I let my imagination fill in the rest. Sorry mom. Now that I am a parent I can understand the panic this may have caused. At the time I couldn't figure out what the big deal was.

4. I have only kissed two guys in my life. One being Way Cooler and another being a dude named Dave.

5. I am extremely directionally challenged. If you tell me to go North I will give you a blank stare. People often ask which direction our house is facing. It faces the cul-de-sac. Beyond that, I have no idea. If someone tells me to go left, I have to think about it for a second or two. I usually remind myself "I write with my left, so go in that direction." Apparently this is THE most frustrating thing in the world to a male. At least to the male who lives in my house. Oh well.

6. I like to cross my toes. It's probably going to really mess with with my alignment and someday I won't be able to uncross them and I'll be an elderly lady with freaky feet who can't find shoes that fit, but right now, it's comfortable.

7. I've never been to Boston in the fall.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Happy Birthday Way Cooler!

Today Way Cooler is celebrating another birthday! He's not really a party kind of guy, so I am certain he will be most delighted to discover that I have announced this to all seven of you that read my blog. (Ahem) However, most of you are related to me and know this already, it's not like I've taken out a billboard. Come to think of it, that might be fun! I'll keep you posted.

Anyway, in honour of his birthday I have decided to re-tell the story of how we met. Yes, this is shamelessly copying Pioneer Woman, I'll try and keep it a little briefer however.

I was in the pool at a youth camp when I saw a group of guys trying to toss in another fully clothed guy. They were successful. He stayed in the pool in his jeans. For over an hour. My first impression of that dude was less than charitable. I believe the word dork crossed my mind.

We finally met in the hot tub. I thought he was married. He was wearing a wedding band, and chatting with another woman. Great, a married dork. I found out later out the band was his grandpa's and on the wrong hand.

He then spent the weekend attempting to spell my name correctly every time he saw me. Notice I said attempting. There are about 300 different ways to spell my name, I think I heard every single one of them that weekend. By the end of the weekend I realized a couple of things. He would never win a spelling bee, but he wasn't such a dork after all.

We parted ways, but he did get my address. He then wrote me a letter and on the 5th page he finally asked me on a date. I wrote back and said yes on the 6th page.

On our first date he ran over a gopher and dropped me out of a canoe into the lake. I burped (loudly and excessively) all through dinner. Are we soul mates or what?

Happy birthday honey! I am so glad we found each other!

Monday, November 26, 2007

How I deal with the Jolly Fat Guy

Sue from Navel Gazing at it's Finest is hosting a contest about Christmas traditions. Well, I love Christmas! I love the lights, the glitter and the glorious food. Above all else, I love that we are celebrating the birth of my Saviour, without whom there would be no reason to celebrate at all.

Although I love Christmas, Way Cooler and I don't have a whole host of traditions, we didn't even put up a tree until our 6th Christmas together, (please do not make fun of us, we know we're pathetic) but we did start something last year that helped us out of a bit of a dilemma we had. Our dilemma involved a fat guy with a beard and a frightening ability to circle the globe in a matter of hours.

I was really puzzled about how to deal with Santa. I can't say I was taken with the thought of telling my kids that something is true when it really isn't. Plus, we believe that Jesus is the main and most important reason for Christmas and we want nothing to overshadow that!

However, we live in a society that is rather big on Mr. Claus and I did not want to never discuss him or pretend the legend didn't exist because of a story my friend Char told me. She had a friend who never talked about Santa it was just Jesus, all the time. This is good, but one day her daughter walked into W*l-mart and saw a picture of Santa and said "Look Mommy, there's Jesus."

I did not want my children equating the Creator and Saviour of the universe with a benevolent deity who gives you what you want and is always jolly. Enough people do that already.

Thus, I was delighted to discover an idea in a parenting magazine that I copied shamelessly. We started it last year and it went over so well that we will do it again this year.

We celebrate St. Nicholas Day. On (or around, I'm not really a stickler) St. Nicholas Day we invite the grandparents to come for supper and then after that we read the story of St. Nicholas and then we open stockings that night.

I love this idea because it starts the party earlier in December, (and who doesn't want more party anyway?) allowing us to still talk about and have Santa as part of the season but not overshadow the whole celebration of Christ which we do on the 24th and 25th. Plus it spaces out some of the gift giving, helping to prevent gift overload on the 25th.

The lady in the magazine was way more Martha Stewart than I will ever be, she cooked a Mediterranean meal as this is the region St. Nicholas was from. In our case, Santa is more from the bar region as we had chicken fingers, wings, nachos and milkshakes. She also decorated to the hilt, but that's not really me either.

So, if you too are puzzled over how to give the guy some space without headlining the whole show, feel free to steal the idea. I already did!

Just a plug, if you've never read Sue's blog, you have got to get over there and read it. She is utterly hilarious. Ghetto Pinata is really one of my favorite blog posts ever. I like it waaay more than anything I've ever written, it's even better than the never-ending BHTTW saga at Pioneer Woman. Just make sure you comment!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Miss Me?

It's been a week. A looong loong loong week. "What have I been up to?" Glad you asked!

1. The nightmare that was potty-training is fast becoming a happy dream. On Tuesday we had 11 accidents in 3.5 hours. I was beginning to think Spud would be in a diaper for Junior High. Fortunately the tide turned Wednesday and by Saturday we were able to finally go out. Yee haw. Not that being stuck in my house by myself with my two toddler boys for 5 days isn't a joy forever, but well, sometimes a mommy has just got to get out!

2. We are almost at the end of our company. We can go for months without a visit and in the past 2 weeks we have had Way Cooler's Mom and her hubby, my parents, some friends, a meeting hosted here and now Way Cooler's sister and family are here. (I'm blogging because they ran out to get snacks for the Grey Cup, I'm not ignoring my guests, promise!)

3. We are going to watch the Grey Cup this afternoon. To me, this rates right up there with Tuesday's pee-all-over-the-house-fest, but everyone else seems excited!

Yep folks, that has been my week. A thrill a minute I tell you! But, my babies are healthy, I have a warm house in which to watch grown men tackle each other for a ball in order to make more money than a teacher makes in several years football and there still isn't snow on the ground! What more could a geek ask for eh?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My Kids Have a Great Dad!

Way Cooler is truly a great dad. I've known this from the moment he broke into a goofy grin holding our son for the first time. I was reminded how much he is willing to sacrifice for our kids again yesterday.

You see, I may be a cheapaholic but Way Cooler is um, well, how do I put this kindly, so tight he squeaks. Loudly. Spending too much money gives him hives. One of the way he tries to save money is by turning down the thermostat. WAY down. Penguins would be picketing for better living conditions.

We have been involved in a thermostat war for all 11 years of our marriage and I usually lose. I now wear fuzzy socks and grandma-type sweaters just to maintain a proper core temperature but yesterday I was able to go around without 4 additional layers. It struck me as odd. Sure enough, the thermostat had been turned up. I had never seen that before. I thought maybe the thermostat had malfunctioned. But no, Way Cooler turned it up. I wasn't even sure he was capable of this!

That's when I realized what a good Dad my husband is. We are potty-training this week (no, it's not going well, I don't want to talk about it) and Spud is not wearing pants this week for faster access to the pot. His dad was worried that he might be cold so he turned the thermostat up yesterday morning. Against all his money-loving instincts and tendencies he turned up the heat for his son.

That does it for me!

Monday, November 19, 2007

NaBloPoMo Recommended Reading

One of my favorite bloggers is participating in NabloPoMo. Those participating have to write a post every day of November. This would kill me. I can't even commit to one particular brand of toothpaste let alone committing to blogging everyday!

However, JCK has been up to the challenge. She is (among other things) chronicling how she came to be a mom to two kids born ten months apart. It is enthralling. All my mommy-in-waiting friends, you NEED to go read her adoption journey. JCK has brought alive the heartbreak of infertility, yet shows how the dream of family just refuses to die.

Take tissues.

I discovered Motherscribe through a Works for me Wednesday post. This led to the unfortunate cookie incident but also to a talented writer who is graciously sharing her heart on a most sensitive subject. I am better for having read her story. You will be too.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Cookbook Sale

Every year a major Canadian cookbook company headquartered in my city has their annual Scratch and Dent sale. This is pretty much as close as we get to Black Friday. All their cookbooks are at least 65% off, but most are more in the 80% off range. This is good news for all cheapaholics who also enjoy collecting cookbooks.

I was new to the city last year and had driven past the warehouse the week before the sale and seen the sign out on the road. I didn't know at all what it was about and decided to go with the boys as Way Cooler was working that particular Saturday.

It almost killed me.

My first indication that this might be bigger than I had originally thought was the lack of parking in a three block radius. This might deter lesser individuals with an 8 month old and a 2 year old, but it was either go to the sale or go sit at home alone with them and we do that a lot anyway.

We parked, I loaded the boys in the stroller of death and off I trudged through a foot of snow, visions of cheap cookbooks dancing through my head.

I do know however that God loves me as Sprout fell asleep just before we arrived at the sale and slept through the whole ordeal.

Upon arriving at the warehouse I realized that I may not know much about the sale but the rest of the 800 000 or so people living in my city did, and they all were there.

So here I was, with the world's largest double stroller and a two year old who was hollering every 30 seconds or so for "more (s)nacks" amidst several hundred woman all trying to get the same books.

Good times.

I grabbed 5 or 6 books, managing to only elbow a few people in the process. (None on purpose of course - well, except maybe the old lady who kept telling me this wasn't the best place to bring my kids.) I got into a large line and began cursing my stroller, the sale, Way Cooler's work schedule and Spud's never-ending appetite in my head when a marvelous thing happened.

They rang up my purchases.

They were soooo cheap. I had new cookbooks for me, tons of gifts for my gift book and I hadn't spent $50.

It's amazing how saving gobs of money will put the spring back in my step. (It's also a little pathetic, but I never confessed to being cool.)

I manhandled the stroller back out the door, through the snow and went home to tell whomever I might come into contact with about my marvelous score.

I went back to the sale this morning. Spud and Sprout were not invited. I may be a geek, I may be a hardcore cheapo but I am not clinically insane and that is what I would have to be to ever go there again with kids.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Dumb Vandals

I've been vandalized. Some punks broke into my garage and painted my van with invisible paint. That's right, my van is now invisible to everyone on the road but me. "Impossible" you say? How else do you explain the following:

1. There are no cars behind me for miles but someone makes a left turn onto the road I'm driving on almost exactly where I am, causing me to brake violently to avoid hitting them.

2. Last week a trucker in the lane next to me started to change lanes right into where I was driving at the time. Apparently the punks did not muffle the sound of my horn, so when I honked violently, he stopped changing lanes. Thankfully I can still be heard, just not seen.

3. Several drivers recently have driven so close to my rear bumper I can read the logos on their hats. In fact, my bumper was the only thing preventing them from joining my kids in the back seat!

4. A couple of weeks ago a group of pedestrians stepped onto the road (where there is no visible crosswalk) pretty much into the path of my van. I have become very thankful that the punks left my brakes alone or I'd have a whopper of an insurance claim this month.

So, do you believe me now? There really is no other reasonable explanation, I drive a mini-van for crying out loud, it's not all that inconspicuous.

Gotta run, I'm gonna go wash that paint off my Sienna.

Monday, November 12, 2007

What's the Opposite of a Southern Girl?

I have recently started reading Boomama. This woman is sooo funny. She is a true Southern girl. I LOVE Southern girls. I got to know some real Southern girls when Way Cooler studied here and they fascinated me. On the other hand, I think I scared them, but being Southern they would be too polite to ever let that show!

You see, a Southern girl is a lot of things that I am not, and never will be. Ever. Like fashionable or even relatively put together. I see nothing wrong with wearing sweats to the grocery store, to the mall, wherever, and the last time I put on make-up was my sister's wedding. She just celebrated her eighth anniversary. That sound you hear is all the Southern girls desperately trying to cover up their instinctive gasp of horror.

I do like pretty clothes, but it's just not at all high on my list of terribly important things. Let's face it, clothes aren't even on my list of sorta important things.

The one exception is shoes. I HATE shoes. I can still see the horror that caused for many of my amazing co-workers down South. To me, shoes are for protecting my feet and keeping them warm. I will wear the three pairs I have until they stop doing that and then I will drag my sorry little behind into P*yless and find the pair that are most similar to my last pair, pay my money and get the heck outta there.

When I first arrived at my school in Texas the principal told us we could only wear sandals without hose if our feet and toes were done. I thought "great, I stopped growing years ago. My feet are done!" Turns out, she meant pedicure. Do you know what they do to your calluses in a pedicure? Calluses are there for a reason. They, like shoes, protect your feet! They are mine, I earned them, leave them there. Guess who never ended up wearing sandals to work?

Another thing about Southern girls is they are so polite. Those of you reading my blog for any length of time know that this is an area that I struggle in. If someone is being a dimwit, I might tell them! I might even use that word. A good Southern girl wouldn't. She'd bake the offender a cake. I might bake a cake for the dimwit too, but just to apologize for calling them a dimwit, as that's not something a seminary professor's wife is supposed to do. Or so says the professor.

Then there is football. Let's just say, I like hockey more. That doesn't say much. On the other hand, I do love football fans. If I go to a football game with a die hard fan, I am not watching the field, I am watching the stands. WAY more interesting!

So, while I LOVE Boomama it's not because we have much in common, rather she is everything I'd like to be, but just never will. And you know what, that's OK!

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Today was Remembrance Day in Canada. It's the day we honour our veterans and those still serving.
There are not enough words to express how important their sacrifice was and still is.
We may not always agree with the politicians who send you, but thank-you for going. Thank-you for willingly putting yourself in harm's way to benefit others. We are behind you.
We will remember.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I'm a bad, bad Mommy

Ever have one of those moments when you realize someone from Children and Families could be coming by any moment? The moment when you realize, this is just baaaad parenting?

Well, yesterday, Spud and Sprout decided they wanted to finger paint with shaving cream. We've done it before and it has been fun and incident free. So, I got them set up at the table and they were industriously spreading shaving cream from here to yonder.
Good, creative Mommy.

I decided to run upstairs quickly and grab some laundry to bring down and put away.
Naive, Multi-tasking mommy.

Sprout took this opportunity to rub huge fistfuls of shaving cream in his eye. Upon hearing the bloodcurdling shrieking I ran downstairs, grabbed him, hollered at his brother to keep his hands off his face (at least three times) and started getting Sprout in the tub as suggested by poison control on another occasion.
Caring, but dumb, dumb mommy.

In a minute, as I am flushing Sprout's eye I hear new shrieks coming from downstairs, but they are hard to hear over the cacophony still issuing from the tub. (Y'all know where I'm going with this eh?) Another minute later I now have two SHRIEKING children in the tub getting their eyes flushed out. I've been to quieter monster truck rallies.
Poor mommy.

I could not stop laughing. Laughing so hard I nearly cried.
Bad, bad mommy.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

10 reasons to like winter

Well, I found myself grumbling a lot today about the advent of winter. It's just not my favorite season. However, I have also had the indisputable privilege of listening to or being around the umpteenth showing of Madame Blueberry. As a result I have "A Thankful Heart is a Happy Heart" running through my head over and over and over again. At some point I have to pay attention.

So, because I could use this whole happy heart thing, and not the grouchy mommy who appears at our house on an all-too-frequent basis I have been thinking of the top ten reasons I am thankful for winter and I will share them with you.

10. No more mosquitoes. This is especially good because Spud has this compulsive need to pick at his bites until they bleed. Over and over again. Oh, and Alana, you don't need to comment and sarcastically ask where he got that from, I know I did it too, but I kinda wanted him to inherit my winning smile and my killer wit, not the weird, compulsive need to pick at anything abnormal on his skin.

9. My deck and my garage can now double as an extra freezer and fridge.

8. I no longer have to sit on the bus and wonder if that lady is wearing a bikini top or if she is just wearing her bra. And nothing else on top. On the bus. In front of my kids. But then I realize that they probably don't make purple satin bikinis with lace.

7. I no longer have to wonder what would possess someone to wear just a bra and cut-offs on the bus. In front of my kids.

6. Wintry days are perfect for cuddling up in front of a fire with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate. Unfortunately Sprout would make for the fire like a moth to a flame, knocking my hot chocolate over onto my book on his way. But winter days are still good for thinking about a fire, with a book and hot chocolate while I help my kids paint with shaving cream.

5. Snow is pretty. So are flowers, I miss flowers

4. The steady stream of unwanted door to door solicitation pretty much dries up in the winter. The only ones brave enough are the missionaries (of all faiths) and I have sympathy for them. I might even give them a cup of coffee. But it'll depend on how well this whole happy heart thing holds up.

3. Way Cooler no longer has to mow the lawn giving him more time to watch hockey play with his kids.

2. Tobogganing. Because there is nothing like careening down an icy hill on a thin piece of plastic (with no steering) in -20 degree weather to say, I'm a crazy Canadian.

1. And the number one good thing about winter, it only lasts for 4-5 months!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

That's m'boy

Gotta love a man who is in touch with his feminine side.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Public Service Announcement #3

When the clocks switch from Daylight Savings time back to normal time, make sure that your husband changes his clock. That way, Monday morning when you hear the baby cry at, oh say 5:00am you don't think it's 6:00am and go in to get the child. The same child who if you put him back to bed once you realize what time it is will think that this is akin to having his arms and legs amputated all at once without anesthesia and scream as if the procedure was actually being done.

Happy Monday.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sunday Stuff

So, it is Sunday and this Psalm has been running through my head all day, so I want to share it with you!
Psalm 103

1 Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits-
3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
6 The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children-
18 with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.
19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.
21 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the LORD, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the LORD, O my soul.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

A potato and a skinny veggie? Really?

I'm sure that is what you are thinking when you realize what web names I gave my two precious off-spring. As previously mentioned I'm web-paranoid so I cannot use the perfectly lovely names that we agonized over.

Most of the agony belonged to Way Cooler as I pestered him about names non-stop from the moment I saw the second line on the little stick until he gave up in sheer exhaustion. We lived in the sticks and had to drive 2.5 hours (each way) to the nearest city of any note and every single time we drove, I brought the baby name books. Poor man, I can't think of anything worse, locked for nearly three hours in a car with a VERY hormonal pregnant lady who wants to know "Why" you don't like every single last name that you veto. Sometimes I even cried. I also threw up a couple of times, but then, I did that no matter what he said!

Sorry, big tangent there. Anyway, let me explain the web names. Spud is actually my oldest son's nickname in real life. He is kinda shaped like one. He is nearly the top of the growth chart for weight, and just about at the bottom for height and he isn't fat. He is a solid little chunk of deliciousness. The other inanimate object he resembles is a brick, but I think Spud has a bit more of a ring to it! I know he'll be discussing this whole nickname thing on Oprah some day, but hey, mommy's have got to have some fun in life!

Then there's Sprout. That's what we are hoping he will do some day. Sprout up. Unfortunately he didn't exactly win the genetic lottery. I'm 5'2" and his Dad is 3 inches taller than me. This is a big week for Sprout he has pretty much outgrown his 6-12 month pants and I turned the car seat around to be forward facing as he now weighs enough. Did I mention he's 19 months old? At least his height and weight are in the same place on the charts - well below the last line.

I suppose I could have just used their first initials, or given them a beautiful, thoughtful name that is reflective of their personalities like Veronica, but I am a geek and thinking inside the box, well, I'm just not good at it. So, instead I think inside the crisper!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Because I know you can't start your weekend till you know this

First of all, let me just say, that by entering my first ever Fall Y'all contest, you are all winners. There really are no losers. (Can you tell I also taught elementary school?) The only difference is one of you actually gets to keep the outfit, and not just the title of "winner".

So, my little winners, imagine my dismay when the VERY FIRST entry to my contest nailed the exact price. Seriously. Elizabeth F guessed $3.98 plus tax which is what it is. I thought, "wow, here I'd thought I'd stump them and the VERY FIRST person gets it right. No more contests for me." But on the upside, I did get lots of traffic from a whole bunch of disappointed Americans. They were just dying to get an outfit, but they'll have to settle for the 600 other prizes that I don't qualify for being Canadian and all.

The first runner up is my sister (who has since been told she can't enter, being family, but don't feel bad, her girls are too big for the outfit and her son might have issues wearing it.) Should Elizabeth decide she no longer wants the very cute (and cheap) outfit then Dawn (not the one who reads this blog on a daily basis, sorry) is the winner being only 6 cents away.

Thanks for playing, and if you are new to this blog and want to keep reading then you just go for it. If you don't, well, that's fine. (This is me sticking my tongue out at you!)

Happy weekend!