Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Because You cannot Get Enough of Boring

It's been a long few days.
Way Cooler had to study most of the weekend so the boys and I are fully bonded. FULLY.

Monday we drove to the funeral and back. My brother and his wife rode with us. I am certain they are now re-thinking this whole baby thing. Too late guys. Too late. This is why you were never allowed to ride with us before. I wanted to be an Auntie again.

Because my grandma was living in a different city than where she was buried we had the funeral Monday up North and the burial Tuesday back here. It's made for some busy days.

Because I am not from the South (or over 60) I will not make some comment on how it was a lovely funeral. However, it was so good to pay tribute to Grandma and a life well lived.

We DID NOT have to have the boys in the funeral with us. There are no words to describe my joy. My cousin arranged a sitter at my Aunt's house. My cousin is now my new best friend FOREVER. Today a VERY dear friend (who reads this blog - hi M!) watched the boys so I could run to the burial. I love my kids dearly but I got a bit dizzy thinking about taking them to anything that requires any sort of solemnity. They don't really do quiet or sober. EVER.

It has been a long few days so a real post is coming soon*. I promise.

*Soon being subjective, it may be September.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Random Bits of Boring

I have a bunch of stuff to write about but nothing really worthy of a post of its own. Quite honestly, nothing worthy of posting at all but since this is the place you come for high-quality drivel I hate to disappoint.

*I saw the movie Mamma Mia on the weekend with my wonderful sister-law. The outing was great. The movie, OK. Now this review may be tainted by the fact that it was a chic flick, it had a large quantity of singing and the songs were from the 70's. Three strikes and you (poor Mama Mia) are out. I quite honestly would have rather seen The Dark Knight. However, the movie did take it's revenge for stating that it was just average. For the last 48 hours I have had the song "Dancing Queen" running through my head. On a continuous loop. Please someone, make it stop.

* I finally got to meet Tez last week!!!!! She is Uber-cool and now she is married!! She and her hubby tied the knot on Sunday. Go say Congrats. I'll wait. It is quite neat to meet people in real life that I meet on-line!

*Teri is also the source of one of my favorite comments ever, "When self-doubt comes knocking, invite it in for coffee and then stab it in the eye with the sugar spoon." That is brilliant. Off to find me a sugar spoon.

*Sprout has taken to calling his brother "insert his real name"ie. So, for example Sethie, or Paulie or Toddie. It is the cutest thing ever. He runs around the house hollering "Spudie, Spudie where are you?" Hero worship takes on a new meaning in that relationship. If Spud jumped off a bridge Sprout would be right there. RIGHT THERE. The good thing is, jumping off a bridge requires climbing onto said bridge and that is a lot of work and Spud would much rather watch a movie thankyouverymuch. So, there is no immediate danger of my children biting it together. Unless of course they repeat the whole bath-mat incident again and then I may be the one responsible for their untimely demise.

*Costco has Christmas cards in stock. Which one of us is going to tell them that it is JULY? I Seriously DO NOT want to think about a Holiday that involves ice and snow right now. The only ice I am thinking about is the stuff in my fruity drink.

*Other than that, really nothing special, I am driving North again on Monday, only this time doing all 6 hours in one day, but WAY COOLER IS COMING TOO!!!!! Can I possibly be more grateful? Probably not. We are probably taking the boys to the funeral with us. Why? Because we are nuts. Pray for us. Seriously. What kind of a looney contemplates taking a 2 and 4 year old to a funeral? Only the special kind of crazy that you find right here in the house of Geek. Actually our childcare choices are limited so we plan to take lots of books, snacks, quiet toys and Advil.

*Zzzzz oops sorry. Drifted off. This post is even boring me. So go enjoy summer already, as Costco has so kindly pointed out, Winter is NEARLY HERE.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Eyes closing, blanking the blurry
Hands frozen from work,
Lips silent,
Knees stiff, can support no longer
Soul yearning
Yearning for home


Gazing upon the Glory,
Hands outstretched
A mouth full of praise
Falling upon knees grown young
A soul satisfied


Grandma Eileen

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sometimes I Hear Voices

Children can and should be trained to sit through church.
Children are not learning anything when just sitting in church focusing on not wiggling, they should be in age appropriate classes.

Boys should not be cooped up in classroom too early.
A good pre-school lays an invaluable foundation for future learning for both sexes.

Mommies need to take time for themselves.
A mom should be well rested in order to better serve her family, not to pamper herself.

Children should be directly taught as soon as possible.
Young children learn the best through play.

Boys develop slower than girls, don't rush them.
Intervention in the first five years is essential for future success.

As a stay at home mom my day should be planned out hourly for maximum productivity.
Children are only young once, don't rush, enjoy every minute.

Marriage is a partnership, chores should be shared.
The mom is the keeper of the home and should do all the household chores to better serve her husband.

These are just a sampling of the various voices that bounce through my head on a daily basis. I've recently come to realize that this kind of conflicted thinking may not be the best for my continued mental health. Shocking eh?

My voice used to be confident, full of new-mom enthusiasm. After four years of raising two strong-willed children and moving twice in those four years my voice is just tired. This parenting gig is hard. I really have no idea if I am doing it right or not so I seek lots of outside opinions.

There are lots of opinions to be found. (See above examples.)

However, in the light staying sane for the next 16 years I've decided that it is now time to stop listening to all the other voices and go seek out that confident new mom. I liked her. She was a bit cocky but she had spunk. She didn't worry what others thought, she was too busy parenting. She prayed daily for wisdom and confessed her shortcomings.

I'm going to go see what she has to say.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Phone Call

What I wanted to say:

"Listen, nice-man-with-an-incredibly-annoying-habit-of-calling-at-the-supperhour,
he cannot come and talk to you right now. He just got home 10 minutes ago, and I have been dealing with STUFF all day. This is supposed to be my 15 minutes to remember my name. If I hand the phone over to him he will spend the next 45 minutes lying on the couch staring at a pile of dirty dishes while talking to you.

In the meantime I will be doing the following:
*Brushing teeth and getting jammies onto boys that cannot comprehend why they have to go to bed.
*Putting Penaten cream on bums that I just finished diapering because it took them a while to realize that their bum is sore and they cannot possibly go on with life unless the cream is applied RIGHT NOW.
*Supervising the clean-up of the playroom and bedrooms.
*Issuing five time-outs and removing several privileges because apparently cleaning up the playroom is a fate worse than death and they are not going down without a fight.
*Walking in on a toddler urinating on my bathmat less than 2 feet from the toilet.
*Watching his brother splash in the urine on the mat.
*Cleaning and disinfecting the bathroom floor while explaining to a two year old why it isn't appropriate to splash in urine.
*Attempting (in vain) to hush a hysterical toddler because Daddy is on the phone. (Laying on the couch, staring at the dirty dishes.)
All with a smashing headache because I have been doing this kind of stuff since 6:45 this morning. "

What I said:

"Sure, just a second, let me get him for you."

Cursed Canadian politeness.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


My oldest turns four today.

I now am beginning to understand the phrase, "The days are long but the years are short."

It seems hard to believe that four years ago I sat in a hospital room marvelling at a chunky miracle. Within a few weeks I realized that this gig was not exactly what I had signed up for. The visions of playing with a cooing, gurgling baby dissipated into the reality of a baby who coughed and coughed and cried and cried until I thought it would never end.

There is nothing quite like having a baby who is sick and having no idea why or how to fix it.

In the midst of the crying (mine and his) there was holding and comforting and rocking. I certainly do not miss the screaming but looking back it seems a small price to pay for the hours of snuggling I might not have gotten otherwise.

I still hold him more than many four year olds are held. He just loves to cuddle. I am beginning to realize that I only have a short while left before he won't so I try hard to hold him as much as I can. I am storing it up against a day when the only holding done is at arm's length.

My four year old is creative, imaginative, friendly and gentle. He has a stubborn streak that both parents blame on the other and spends a great deal of time in a world of his own making. He resembles me greatly both in looks and temperament and this is a source of great joy and frustration. Whenever you look into a mirror you can see your flaws, even if the mirror is your off-spring.

There are times when his strong will frustrates me to tears and other days when it inspires me as I visualize the leader he will be. Shaping it has been been the toughest job of my life.

I cannot tell what the future holds for my little man but I am so thankful that his Maker knows and that I have been entrusted with him for a season.

It's been the best season of my life.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Road Trip

I remember when the words "road trip" used to prompt excitement.

The music would be pumping, the snacks tasty, and our conversation would flow.

Now the music will be of the machine variety and the snacks will be tossed into the back seat in a desperate bid to quiet the conversation. The NEVER-ENDING conversation.

The boys and I are off to Great-Nana's birthday party and when we return we will be gearing up for Spud's birthday party.

As Spud likes to exclaim, "wow, that'll be special!"

Special, scary, I guess it all depends on your perspective. It'll be something anyway.

See you next week.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Yee Haw

This week is Stampede.

For ten days the entire city pretends we are cowpokes. There are more stetsons and shiny new Wranglers than can be found in the entire state of Texas.

There also are breakfasts, parades, BBQ's, petting zoos and the like. And that's just the free stuff.
If you don't mind crowds and like to spend money the city is your oyster. There is a big fair, a rodeo and enough booze to float the entire Canadian Navy.

Because nothing says Wild West like a bunch of drunk oil executives.

Since I have been doing every thing with two little boys we've been sticking to the free and easy stuff. We've been to several pancake breakfasts and they are so cute in their cowboy hats, plaid shirts and sheriff's badges. But this morning Spud decided he no longer wanted to be a cowboy he wanted to wear his hockey shirt. Fine. Except one thing.

It's an Oilers shirt. For those of you not familiar with the NHL there is a massive and longstanding teeny weeny rivalry between the Calgary Flames and the Oilers. It'd kinda be like wearing a Longhorns jersey to a OU game.

It's a good thing he's cute or there would have been no pancakes today. Some of the looks I got were downright dirty. Lighten up people, at least he was clothed. Some days na*ked would be a whole lot easier.

Monday, July 7, 2008


This week I am going to a birthday party. Not just any old birthday party. A 100th birthday party. Apparently, these are not all that common.

The birthday girl is pretty special. She was born in 1908 so she has seen two world wars, the advent of the computer age and has even had to bury a son.

Her husband fought in the second world war so she was left at home with five kids to raise on her own. After the war she had had two more. One of whom was my dad.

My grandma Eileen turns 100 this week.

She is one of the most remarkably tenacious women I know. I was blessed enough to grow up in the same city so she played an important role in my childhood. I still cannot go to Chinook Centre without thinking of her and our many shopping trips together. It's only now that I realize how much patience that would have taken. She wasa a brave, brave woman.

As I grew older and she grew less able to get out there were many visits at her lodge for lunch. She was a fellow bookworm and we loved to chat about various books we had read.

She was one of the first people I showed my engagement ring to, was there at my wedding, and has met both of my kids. She even crocheted a blanket for Spud, no small thing when terribly crippled with arthritis.

As she has grown older she has grown more into a world of yesterday while the rest of us head into tomorrow. Family members are not often recognized and the pain of living in a body that worked so hard for so long increases.

Yet, while she may not know me, I still know her. A woman of strength, dignity and love.

Happy Birthday Grandma.

I love you.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Speed of Dark

This afternoon was one of those summer days when it is a felony to stay inside. So, we obeyed the siren song of the surf and sand and headed for the beach.

Our surf was a plastic pool and our sand the deck. We are rather land-locked so we learn to make do with what we've got.

However, mommy decided to pretend she was at the beach and do a little reading.

Stop laughing. I'm a dreamer. I like to dream big.

In an hour I had read 27 pages.

I am a woman of few talents. I cannot carry a tune, sew a hem or even cut paper in a straight line. However, I can read fast. Sideshow at the circus fast. Pre-kids I could knock off a Mary Higgins Clark novel in two hours.

Now between sippy cup emergencies, falling Popsicles, fights over Popsicles and uttering gems such as "please do NOT pee on my deck" I am a tad bit slower.

Turtles read faster than I am capable of. It isn't like I was reading War and Peace either. It was a Clive Cussler. (Told you I was a literary hillbilly).

Well, at least I got a tan. The boys haven't figured out how to interrupt that yet.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Easy Chicken Caesar Salad

Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer is hosting a themed WFMW.

5 Ingredients or fewer recipes.

This I can do. It's about all I do in the summer.

Easy Chicken Caesar (This serves the four of us with leftover chicken for lunches the next day.)

1 head romaine ripped up

About a cup of croutons

4-5 slices of bacon cooked and crumbled or bacon bits (I won't tell)

Cesar Salad dressing to taste ( I use Kraft's Gourmet Light)

2 chicken breasts diced.

I put the first four ingredients in separate bowls and let everyone help themselves or you could mix it all up in a big bowl.

I then fry the chicken breasts until nice and brown. I season them with a couple of shakes of Worcestershire Sauce.

Pop the chicken breast on top of the salad (or let everyone serve themselves) and voila, supper.

I often serve with bread or buns and whatever fruit I may have on hand.

I use turkey bacon and make my own croutons with whole wheat bread, olive oil, and Italian seasoning but you can do whatever floats your boat and gets you out of the kitchen faster.

Now go to Shannon's place and see what other 5 ingredient marvels are out there.