Thursday, January 31, 2008

A little Bit of Narcissm Never Hurt

Guess what?

I am coming up on my 100th post. I KNOW! You are dying for hundreds and hundreds more posts about poop, cleaning and 21 cent cans of soup. Well, you are in luck, because this blogger is a lean, mean blogging machine. (I am not so certain about the lean part, but Way Cooler can verify the whole mean thing.) I intend to post ad nasuem until you all run away in horror. Or something like that.


Apparently lots of bloggers post a list of 100 things about themselves on their hundredth post. Cool eh? Yep, you can read 100 things about me that you never really wanted to know.

To keep it fun somewhat manageable, this list shall be done in several parts, the last on the actual hundredth post. Yee haw.

So, here goes,

1. I am 5'2"

2. My middle name is a month of the year. Not the month I was born however. That would be a little weird.

3. There are 257 ways to spell my real name. I have seen all of them.

4. I am not a perfectionist or a packrat. Both types of people scare me a little bit. I want to tell them "It's just stuff, let it go."

5. I am merciful to a fault, so I don't.

6. Way Cooler and I dated long distance. The first time we spent more than 8 days together was our honeymoon.

7. We don't recommend this.

8. I used to be a teacher.

9. I have taught jr/sr high Drama, English, Social Studies, Computers, Business Education, Health, Grade 5/6 math and grade 2.

10. What I really wanted to do was teach adults English as a Second Language.

11. I am math impaired. Seriously. In high school I achieved high 90's in English and Social Studies without really breaking a sweat. I had to take grade 12 math twice. It was the subject I worked hardest in, and did the poorest.

12. I almost cried when I arrived in Texas and found out I would be teaching pre-algebra.

13. It almost killed me. There are 60 kids in Texas without any real pre-algebra foundations. For that, I apologize.

14. When I was in grade 4 I got glasses and braces.

15. I got my hearing aids in grade 5.

16. Shortly after that I got the nickname Bionic Woman.

17. This did not do wonders for my social standings.

18. I truly am a geek, but ever since high school I have been quite OK with it. Because, really, the geeks run the show.

19. My favorite colours are red and blue. I have an aversion to beige.

20. I am the oldest of three children.
21. Some people might say I'm bossy, but they are just jealous of my ability to delegate.

22. When I was pregnant with both boys I was sick till the day I gave birth.

23. Up till my pregnancies I hadn't thrown up more than 10 times since childhood.

24. I couldn't even read Deuteronomy while pregnant with Spud without running for the bathroom. I had not realized what a descriptive book that was until then.

25. I have never been in labour.

26. Can't say that makes me sad. I hear it is over-rated.

27. At my very first election I voted NDP. I think I was one of 4 in my riding to do so.

28. While staying in a hotel one time, my brother and I went through the halls and turned over all the "do-not-disturb" signs to "please make up this room".

29. I still don't even feel bad for doing so.

30. When I was in grade one I made two resolutions, to never fail a grade and never get a cavity.

31. I finally broke resolution number two last year.

32. I blame pregnancy.

33. I have been to or through over half of the states.

34. I have only been to 4 provinces.

To be continued....

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Random Thoughts While Dusting My Blinds

In a few years Spud and Sprout will be old enough to do this.

Bwha ha ha sometimes I crack myself up.

Is that a lace pattern on the back of the Swiffer duster? Great, now even my cleaning supplies are more stylish than me.

Oh good, I was hoping both of my kids would want to stand on the chair with me while I dust. Welcome. Make yourselves comfy.

No really Spud, I love it when you stand on my foot. Nothing like 40 pounds of dead weight while balancing on one leg (because Sprout is standing where the other foot should be) to made dusting even more pleasurable than it already is.

They make self-cleaning ovens, I could make a mint selling self-cleaning blinds.


"Because a Thankful Heart is a Happy Heart"

Thank-you Lord for a house that has windows, blinds to cover the windows and the time and ability to clean these blinds.

Seriously, lace on a Swiffer? Someone has too much time on their hands. Wonder if they want to do my blinds next time?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Free Clothes For Us Northern Types

It's that wonderful time of the year again, Bloggy Giveaways is hosting a Winter Carnival. Basically, 500 hundred (or so) contests for you to enter. Yee haw. Go check it out!

This time I am once again giving away a size 24 months girl's outfit from Children's Place. Brand new with tags still on it. If you bought it before it went on sale it would have set you back $32.00 before tax. I'm a cheapo so that is not what I paid for it.

Your job is to guess what I did pay for it (before tax) and the closest guess wins the outfit. I'll even pay shipping. That's why this contest is only open to Canadian addresses. Did I mention I am a cheapo?

Leave your guesses in the comments section. If you are not a blogger leave an e-mail where you can be contacted! One guess per person please. Contest closes Sunday night at 7:00p.m (MT). To my loyal American readers (JCK) sorry to leave you out, but Canada Post is trying to get rich on shipping cross-border. Or so it would seem. If you want to leave a guess then donate it to your favorite Canadian, that is fine too!

Here's the outfit

Good luck all!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Public Service Announcement #6

Should you find yourself with time on your hands, (say your computer died and you cannot blog) and decide that you should wash all the walls in your house you will need the following:

1) A large bucket

2) At least a litre and a half of TSP. Should you decide to get the smaller carton it may necessitate yet another trip to Wal-Mart. While washing the walls you may wonder why in Sam Hill your walls have gotten so dirty, then you will observe your child licking the wall and wonder no longer.

3) Several rags, because you will spend so much time scrubbing USC (Unidentified Stuck-on Crud) that you may wear a hole in one of them.

4) The ugly pink floral towels you received for your wedding instead of the pretty blue ones you registered for. They are great for drying the walls once the USC is removed.

5) Rubber gloves because TSP is terribly hard on your hands. Terribly. Chapped and bleeding hands just seem to detract from whatever outfit you have on, no matter how cute and sassy.

6) Lots and lots of time. This is not a job for the faint of heart.

7) Molly Maid. Only crazy ladies wash their own walls.

This PSA was brought to you by the queen of crazy. But at least her walls are clean.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The End Of An Era


That is the sound both I and the computer were making on Friday. It's not good coming from either of us. Especially a computer. According to the techies at Geek Squad that is the sound of a motherboard frying.

Apparently that is bad.

The good news is, the stuff on the hard drive is safe. I spent Friday worrying that all of the boys' pictures would be lost. (Yes, I know we are supposed to back them up, but knowing and doing are two separate things.) I called my sister (you may know her as momofthecrazies - we'll just call her crazymom for short) and started to lament the fact that my pictures might be gone and she said "what all twelve of them?" I could really feel the love.

Sooo, we are getting a new computer. After years of wandering in the PC wilderness we have returned to the land of the Apple. The cheering you hear is Way Cooler. He really wanted an iMac. REALLY REALLY. But, his cranky, domineering , prudent wife would not let him. I wanted us to wait for our present computer to bite the dust before we splurged on a new one. This waiting allowed him to save up enough birthday money and honorariums to pay for his new toy iMac outright.

And now the cheap geek will do the dance of joy.

I actually think our old computer died of a broken heart, because Way Cooler loved to look up iMacs on it and drool. A girl begins to take the hint after a while.

It is going to be a few days before the much anticipated new computer arrives. Till that time the blogging will be sporadic as I have to use Way Cooler's work laptop and

a) I hate laptop keyboards

b) Apparently Way Cooler's work is more important than blogging. (I beg to differ, but his work seems to pay better than blogging).

Friday, January 18, 2008

Read Any Good Books Lately?

I love books. I love, love to read. My brother used to joke that I would read anything with words on it. This is true. However, I have recently have been having some "reading" problems. I've lost the ability to pick out good books.


Over Christmas I decided to pick up some books by authors I had never read before. I was looking for light and fluffy. What I got was dull and trite. All the books I have picked in the last couple of months have been poorly written, uninspired and someone forgot to tell the authors of these books about the necessity of plot.

I had to read a month's worth of archives at Antique Mommy and Toddled Dredge to get the bad taste out of my mouth and remind myself that there is still good writing in the world.

It's not like I am a major literary snob or anything, I even like Clive Cussler, but I at least need some semblance of plot or literary skill. One or the other. I'm not fussy.

So, my friends, since my ability to find a good book seems to be on the fritz, any recommendations?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

You Know You Might Be a Redneck When...

The other day it was too nice out to stay inside so I bundled up the boys and we headed out into the wild blue yonder, or at least around the block. I had Sprout in the sled and made Spud walk to help wear off the 7 bowls of cornflakes he ate for breakfast. ( I really do fear for when he is a teenager, we are going to have to rob a bank to pay for the groceries.)

Anyway, while on the walk Spud decided to amuse himself by sticking his foot into the snowbanks on the edge of the sidewalk and pretending to be stuck. Every 10 feet or so. The whole walk. Nothing like forcing mommy to stop and smell the roses. Unfortunately the roses are under about 2 feet of snow. Sigh.

About half way through the walk I spotted it. Sitting alone on the side of the curb. Rejected by its previous owners, not even the garbage man would take it. So there it sat, calling me. It was a quilt rack in perfect shape. Could I refuse? Not a chance.

So there I was pulling a 21 month old intent on escaping the sled, a 3 year with one foot in every snowbank he could find and a quilt rack on my arm. What a classy family. At least we gave the neighbours something to talk about!

Sunday, January 13, 2008


I decided to clean out my desk this evening. Yuck. My desk is the black hole in our house where office supplies to go to mate and then die. It's not pretty. To keep myself from grumping (yes, it is a word -because I said so) I made up a mental list of some of the things that brought me joy this week.

Here is a random sampling of stuff that made me smile, laugh and occasionally do the dance of joy. (That also is not pretty.)

1. Through a combination of coupons, sale prices and 15% Tuesday I got Disney soup at 21 cents a can. A savings of 88 cents a can. YEEE HAAAW. (This whole bargain hunting thing is a sickness, I understand that.)

2. Way Cooler came to Costco with me after work to wait for them to fix the tire. There really are no words to describe my joy that I did not have to go through this again. No words at all.

3. The boys' haircuts this week. Truly there is nothing cuter than a blond toddler with a crew-cut. Except maybe TWO blond toddlers with crew-cuts.

4. Costco is now carrying whole wheat spaghetti. Up to this point I have had to buy it at a regular store where ounce for ounce, it is the same price as gold.

5. The cold spell they had predicted for this week, seems to have vanished! Instead the temperature will hover just below freezing all week.

There were many, many more, but I am getting rather sleepy so I will leave you with my favorite joy-bringer from today.

We sang this song in church this morning and while singing it I could totally visualize heaven with people from every part of the world, from past, present and future standing and worshipping the Lamb together. There is no greater joy than the hope of heaven. I am going to smile all the way to bed!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Africa on my Mind

I have always had a heart for Africa. When I was a teenager I had even planned to move and live there. Sometimes, life intervenes. Plans change.

However, I still pray for and think of this continent often, so imagine my delight when I read that Shannon and Boomama were going to Africa with Compassion International to blog about the relief effort there.

Their upcoming trip, and this post from Knittin Chick got me thinking. I am going to get rid of the weather report on my sidebar (it was boring the heck out of me) and replace it with links to posts and site about Africa. Every week (or so) there will be two new links. Something to read, and something you can do.

Even if I am the only person who ever reads it, that will be enough. I need a reminder that there is a world outside of my warm little house. A world that often isn't warm, or cozy or even safe. The good news is, there are things I can do. I've just got to start doing them.

A Song

To be sung to the tune of "Jose Cuervo" by Shelly West

Javex with Clorex you are a friend of mine
I like to use you around laundry time
because I have two boys and sometimes they wear whites
but I never worry, cause you get them so bright

Yep, it's official: I have completely lost my mind.
Thanks for coming out.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Public Service Announcement #5

In case your tire ever runs flat in my city, please note the following:

The free air pump is broken at the Husky on Henday and Callingwood drive. It runs, but an 80 year old with emphysema could inflate your tire faster.

The same is true at the Macs gas station on 87th and 182.

Although they sell tires at Wal-Mart, they do not have an air pump.

The Esso on on 100 Ave and 178 Street has a working air pump. It'll cost you 50 cents though. For air.

This particular air pump is located quite far from the gas station and your van may shield you from general view so watch out for large, slightly seedy men who may accost you looking for money.

Should this whole air-hunting expedition happen when it is oh, say, -18C (0F) out, the sassy leather gloves from Costco will keep your fingers warm for approximately 38 seconds. You will be spending at least 15 minutes outside between all three places so if you do wear these gloves don't expect your fingers to warm up much before Easter.

This Public Service Announcement has been brought to you by ACME screws. Deflating the nation, one tire at a time.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Things That Go in the Night

Spud is potty-trained.

(Cue hallelujah chorus)

But at night, his cup still runneth over.

So, the collective wisdom of the Internet is needed. How does one night-train a 3.5 year old?

This brain-taxing question was brought to you by backwards Works for Me Wednesday at Rocks in My Dryer. If you've got answers, she's got questions.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Mensa Should be Calling Any Day Now

The other day I decided to try another creative activity with the boys. It's winter, we're feeling rather cooped up and they have energy to burn. So I thought, "let's play a bean bag game."

The game was rather simple. I sat on the floor, made a circle with my legs and told the boys to toss the beanbag into that circle.

In other words, I handed 10 heavy projectiles to two energetic preschoolers and told them to throw them at me. That's when I realized that when it comes to my cognitive abilities these days, the wheel may be spinning, but the hamster is dead.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Sometimes I Wonder

In 2001 Way Cooler and I packed up and moved (with what we could fit in our Corolla) to Texas. That's a long way from Vancouver (geographically and in every other conceivable way as well). We were on our way to get his PhD and I would work to support this endeavour.

A funny thing happened when we crossed the border. My maternal instinct turned on. Until then, five years married, I really had no interest in having kids any time soon. That all changed almost in a heartbeat.

It didn't really matter how I felt though, we had a plan. We had a goal, we were not having a baby. Instead I continued to teach other people's kids (and increase my list of things I would NEVER do as a parent).

However, the longing continued.

After two years the coursework was done, the orals passed and the dissertation well in hand. I tossed my pills in the garbage and began to dream.

I was completely shocked (and utterly delighted) to discover I was pregnant a mere month later.

The world took on a new glow. I was consumed with happiness. I rubbed my tummy 16-60 times a day and each time told the little life "mommy loves you". I followed the pregnancy diet to the T and began to feel as if God was smiling on us again.

You see, Texas was a time of loss. Not only were we away from the familiar and all our friends and family, but in the two years we were there all three of Way Cooler's remaining grandparents, two of his friends and mentors and most shockingly his dad, all passed away.

At times we felt enveloped by grief. Sadness seemed to soak into our home.

That all dissipated one May afternoon. When I went for my first check-up and to confirm the home test, the nurse practitioner said, "now if you have a miscarriage, remember, it is nothing you have done." I brushed it off. I certainly was not about to miscarry. We'd been through enough. This baby was wanted, prayed over and loved and coming to live with us in January.

In mid-June, in the ultra-sound room of some incredibly over-priced hospital I was told the worst. While I was still carrying my child, he had died some weeks ago.

Grief came screaming back. At times it threatened to overwhelm me. I thought I would never recover.

I did.

I went on to have two of the most delightful boys a mom could possibly ask for. The grief faded and is for the most part completely gone.

Noah would have turned 4 this week. While the grief is gone, sometimes I wonder about him. What would he have been like, how would our lives be different?

I will never know, nor would I care to change a moment of what I do have.

But still, sometimes I wonder.

Friday, January 4, 2008

A Hallmark Moment

One of my favorite bloggers recently confessed her phonephobia. I must confess this puzzled me to no end, a day without a phone conversation is really a day without sunshine, but then I realized I have a quirk that may weird a lot of you out.

So in the interest of convincing you of my never ending geekiness, I will confess. I do not understand or even really like, cards.

Yep, the kind you send. You see, when someone asks me to sign a group card that's what I do. I sign my name. This usually bothers the person organizing the card-fest and I have been asked (on more than one occasion) "but don't you want to say anything?" Nope. If I did, I would have.

When I get a card, I read it once, put it on my mantle to gather dust and after it falls off 15 or 16 times I put in the recycle and get on with my life.

There are people (who otherwise seem normal) who save all their cards and pull them out and re-read them. For fun! This is weird. It's a card, not a novel!

I even had a co-worker one time who I had to circulate a birthday card for. (We did the card and the cake for the person whose birthday fell just before ours.) So, I did. Apparently I missed getting two signatures (out of 25 or so). The receiver of the card pointed this out to me. This was the height of weirdness, and a smattering of rude as well. I never would have noticed, (or cared) if anyone missed signing mine. I feel good for a minute when I read the card, but then I return to my regularly scheduled life.

I do send cards, because it is a socially acceptable thing to do, but I must tell you, Dollarama has really revolutionized my life. Until then, I cringed every time I shelled out 3$-5$ for a pretty piece of paper with a poem or a joke on it. I finally took to making them to be able to afford to send my kids to college. Now at a buck a pop, I can almost handle cards. Almost.

Recently there have been lots of posts on Works for Me Wednesday about what to do with all your Christmas Cards. Two words. Blue Bin. I have two kids, one of whom attends Sunday School and Speech therapy. We have enough paper clutter in this house already to be a serious fire hazard. I just don't need more!

Now, if you have ever sent me a card, don't get me wrong, I liked it, I appreciate it that you thought of me and sent me one, it's just not going to stay in the house forever. Or even for long. I just don't get attached.

The one exception to this rule is Valentines. Way Cooler found this out the hard way. We generally (out of our extreme cheapness) do not exchange gifts on this pseudo-holiday but if there is no card, well then he's really taking his life into his own hands. I don't know why this is, but this is the one holiday I crave a card. But just from him. The rest of you, not so much. (For all the sweet women in my life who just wrote themselves a note to send me a Valentine's card.)

Yep, I can hear my name being deleted from Christmas Card lists all across the country. I told you I was a geek!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

An Observation on a Snowy Morning

This morning we were out shopping at Germ-mart and of course Spud, (who normally has an iron bladder) has to go potty. So, I gather the boys and my stuff and schlep them into the bathroom (where even angels fear to tread).

We go into the stall and Spud looks around with a rapturous gaze and declares in a voice filled with awe "wow, this is a very nice potty! Wow." And that statement sums up why I never ask my kids their opinion on anything. Ever.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A New (and very exciting) Blog

Yep, it's official, I am no longer the only member of my family sucked into the time-wasting vortex that is blogging. One of my cousins has come over to the dark side as well!

You've seen her smart-alec comments, now go see the smart-alec herself!

Knittinchick is originally from Saskatchewan (but we won't hold that against her) spent 8 years working with kids (and has lived to tell the tale) and knits for fun. (I know, it's really weird, but remember, she's from Saskatchewan, there's really nothing else to do there.)

She also is much cooler than I am and has a very wry sense of humour. Welcome to the nuthouse Chickie, glad you joined us! Now we just need to do something about that blogroll. It's a little weird being lumped in with crafty type blogs. Not that I'm not terribly crafty, or a killer decorator, but I just wouldn't blog about it:)

Public Service Announcement #4

When taking a straw sippy cup on the plane, be aware that it may pressurize, thus when someone, (oh, say your husband) goes to open it, water will shoot up the straw much like a firehose. The pressure may be so intense that it will hit the ceiling, then splash off onto the rows behind and in front of you and drench said husband.

An additional caveat, this is NOT funny and you should not, under any circumstances laugh, chuckle, giggle or break into a smile. No matter how much you want to.