Saturday, 31 December 2005

mama, don't let your babies grow up....

From the back seat of the car:

Cass: What's a New Year?
Me: It means the old year is over and the fresh new year is beginning. In the New Year we will have a little bit more winter, then spring and summer and fall. See, I was born in 1971, your Daddy was born in 1969, you were born in 2001, and Rosey was born in 2004! Tonight, it will be a new year! 2006!
Cass (mulls this over) I'm still four though, right?

He so wants to be five. I'm not sure why that's the magic number, but he's wanted to be five as soon as he got used to saying that he was four.

I looked at Rosey last night - she really isn't a baby anymore. She's a grand sturdy toddler, gallumphing around and getting into things, feeding herself and making choices - when did this happen?? Soon she'll be out of diapers and her crib.

This year went fast.

Wednesday, 28 December 2005

testing his limits

It's a darn good thing I love my four year old, because he's going through a 'twerp' stage again.
Tonight everything was lovely - he greeted me at the door, gave me a hug, told me about his day, and we talked for a minute before Bugs Bunny snagged his attention again. Bear (who had been home all day with the kids) got ready to go see his Dad (my FIL is in the hospital - pneumonia, which has become an annual event this time of year) kissed the kids goodbye (Cass supremely unconcerned) and went on his merry way.

Half an hour later, I turned off the tv and announced it was time for bed. R headed for the stairs (she just thinks it's cool to read books in Cass's room before bed) and my boy, the one who had been so pleasant, fell immediately into a whiny sniveling heap.
He shot me an injured look. "But where's Daddy?"

I resisted the urge to look under the couch cushions (Nope, no Daddy here!) and told him Daddy had gone to see Papa. When Daddy got home, I was sure he would come and kiss Cass good night.
Cassidy was not happy with this news. 'But I want Daddy!'
No, Cass. Now come on, up the stairs. Do you want to be first?

No eager footsteps behind me. I waited. Rosey shifted from foot to foot like she was waiting for a gun to go off so she could speed up the stairs.

I waited.

His brow was all scrunched up now. Talking through his teeth, he said 'But I want Daddy!'
I clipped my teeth together. "And I want you to go upstairs!"

Even Rosey was still. I expected to hear Western gunfight music come up.

The cowpoke in the Spiderman pyjamas moved first. 'Oh, all right!"
Stomp stomp, up the stairs.

Three stories and prayers later, I turned out the light, gathered the baby, and whispered goodnight.

A little voice came floating out the door after me.

"Daddy would have read more books."

See? Whatta twerp.
It's a good thing I like him.

Tuesday, 27 December 2005

getting political for a moment

Have you heard about the baby gift bags? Massachusetts has decided they promote the evils of bottle-feeding and have banned them.
Amazing noone trusts us to make our own decisions anymore.
According to 2004 statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 74 percent of Massachusetts mothers breast-feed, but only 39 percent are still breast-feeding when the baby is 6 months old, below the federal goal of 50 percent. Nationally, about 36 percent of mothers breast-feed at 6 months.

So Massachusetts has a higher rate than the national norm for the 6 month mark and they're still doing this? My God, does the La Leche League wear armbands and march in that state?

I tried breastfeeding my babies. Flunked the exam both times.
Speaking as someone who can't, I got really tired of that damned 'Breast is Best' slogan.
How (punch) many (slam!) times (thump) do you have to hit me in the head with what a baaaaaad mother I am? For new moms agonizing over every single thing about their babies, the guilt heaped on them is remarkable and incredibly unfair.

Four years ago: Bad latch. Shredded nipples. Low-to-no milk supply. Uninterested baby. (Guess he didn't like the taste of blood?) Fighting a massive c-section infection. I was holding onto the breastfeeding idea like a sword - I was a Good Mom. I would Breast Feed. Daily visits from nurses and lac. consultants. Something still wasn't right. The day we went to the doctor and discovered my son had dropped over two pounds from his birth weight I had a lactation consultant tell me I just wasn't committed enough.

After all, 'Breast is Best', right?

Fourteen months ago: Stormy birth. Infected c-section. Babygirl getting fed both formula and whatever colostreum they could hoover out of my breasts. We were in the hospital for eight days, and by the time we left even the lactation consultants were admitting that my milk wasn't coming in.

Breastfeeding isn't the only way.
It isn't the Great White Way, the Golden Way, or (jesus god) the Easy Way.

It is a CHOICE.

"My breasts, my business," she said. "Stay out of there."

Saturday, 24 December 2005

you know your frustrations are showing when:

In the supermarket:

Me: (elbowing past people to get to the frozen corn) Aaaah, Ffffffffff....(remembering young boy with me) Fudge!

Cass: I know, Mommy, There are too many fudging people in this grocery store.

Tuesday, 20 December 2005

whine snark whine

Wow, what a day. My boss is never around except when I'm screwing up (what, does he have a secret speaker somewhere?) and I seem to be making lots of the middle-rank people happy while simultaneously doing everything wrong around him. He doesn't impact my work all that much but it's irritating.

Long commute home - and is anyone else tired of Christmas music?? - and I came in the house into pure bedlam. Now, Bedlam and I are usually friends. We go waaaay back. But tonight, I had a grudge against noise and hoopla. I wanted quiet. I wanted my childrens' shining faces reflecting in the Christmas tree lights as we talked about what they did today. I wanted to smell good smells as I walked in the door of someone else cooking. I wanted a drink. (I blame the season. I usually don't drink.)

Instead, the house was a mess and the kids were a wreck and Bear cooked chicken for dinner. That's chicken full stop.
Apparently his idea of a healthy dinner involves protein and nothing else. And then he stomped around and threw a whine because I asked him what he did today.

Dishes do not take ten hours.

Thank God tomorrow is Wednesday. Tomorrow, Christmas shopping. Huzzah!

I'm a glutton for punishment.

Saturday, 17 December 2005

hair blues

Still with the bad hair.

I called the hairdresser I've been using, and kept getting her voicemail. Last night I was in the grocery store, though, and chased her down two aisles, finally cornering her near the frozen green beans. We exchanged pleasantries and everything was lovely until I yanked off my beret.
Her face froze. "What" she said ominously, "have you done to your hair?"
I tried to explain, but she started lifting little pieces of hair to check the length, and it was distracting.

"There was an incident...." I began, "with gum!"

"Uh-huh" she said, shaking her head. "Haven't you heard of peanut butter?"

The good news? She's pretty sure she can do something wonderful with my disaster, and won't have to shave my head, as I originally feared.

"Oh, this? That's the family Christmas picture the year Mom was bald. Aren't the antlers cute?"

The bad? She's leaving on vacation and will be back in two weeks.

Two weeks with the mullet.

No. Can't do Christmas with the really bad hair. Must start calling other hair places.

Because I love my hairperson, but Can't. Do. It.

Wednesday, 14 December 2005

recovering

You know the old saying about the flu?
First you think you're going to die, and then you're afraid you won't?

I think I'm going to survive. Barely. Cough-cough. Em-hack.

Bear (who must, after all, love me, as he's put up with me the whole time I've been sick)
made me call in today. I was a chokin' and a'gaggin' and snurflin' and snorkling all night long. I don't think he got much sleep, either.

So today we packed the kidlets off to the babysitter, and I get to sleep.
Sleep sleep sleep sleep. God, what incredible luxury!

This weekend, when all this doom and pestilence started, I fell asleep (read passed out, clutching the Nyquil like a lover) on the couch where Cassidy had been recouping. He had developed a bracky cough, and since we can't get him to take cough drops, we were busy keeping his throat wet. The boyo lived on popsicles, orange juice, ginger ale, and gum. It was a good trick, getting him to always be drinking/chewing something, but his throat healed pretty quickly.

Where was I? Oh, yes, face down in the couch cushions, hoping for sweet oblivion. When I finally stirred my heaving coughing racking self off the couch, I found what Cass forgot: to throw away his gum.

It was in my hair. It was everywhere. And while peanut butter may work for the smooth shiny and unchemical-treated hair of children, there was no way it was ever coming out of mine.
As for the second most popular remedy: have you ever had your head rubbed with an ice cube? Have you? Hmm? Not comfortable, made even less so by the chills and shivering.

So I did what any self-respecting half out of her mind woman on cold syrup would do...I hacked it out with scissors.
And when I realized how much I had cut, I had to even out the other side a little.

This morning, I'm running my hands through my hair and realizing just how short parts of it are, and how long other bits are. Ladies and gentlemen, I believe I have given myself....a mullet.

So emergency call to the hairdressers today. And frantic online shopping for Christmas hats.

And to sleep, to dream about the days when I had hair.

Tuesday, 13 December 2005

not a suicidal post

I hurt. Everywhere.

Neck, hips, back, joints.
I swear when I swallow the muscle in my tongue hurts.

My neck, while sore from my ears to the point of my chin, does not have huge puffy glands. What is up with that?

I ache.

The house is very warm tonight because I'm afraid one shiver,
and

I

will

break

in half.

Much Tylenol. Many bowls of soup offered. A few sips of ginger ale taken.

One of these bastards has given me the flu.

I'm begging the doctor to put me to sleep for awhile.

Monday, 12 December 2005

tagged

I've been tagged by the excellent Julia over at Major Bedhead to tell you folks five things about me.
Okaaay...

1. I own six non-working clocks. All old wood, antique-y things, most of which I bought off E-bay or dug out at garage sales and then realized I have no idea how in the hell to fix them. We have one man locally that fixes old clocks and I think he's a shyster, so they all sit forlornly around my house not telling time, waiting for me to remember to put them in a box and take them to Halifax with me. My favorite is an old Seth Thomas that my parents got for a wedding gift - that one (what, your favorites don't get special treatment?) is currently residing in New York, where my Dad is going to take it to a kind old man who will treat it gently and hopefully send it back to me so I can hear it chime again.

2. I miss having a dog around the house. I don't miss the dirt, the hair, waiting outside in the freezing cold during that last night walk, the constant need to shovel the yard or the barking, but I miss the way they're so happy to see you at night, everynight, and that look of 'And what wonderful thing are you going to do today?' Dogs can be so peaceful.

3. I am epileptic, and have been since I was sixteen. My last seizure was about five years ago. This is probably genetic (both my grandfathers had 'spells' when they were in their twenties) helped along by the trauma of a car accident. I've had seizures in some pretty interesting places - behind the counter at Dairy Queen (waking up with firemen standing over me and a bra full of Nestle Crunch was something a girl doesn't forget) in a crowded movie theater (I never did see the ending of The Cutting Edge), at the top of a flight of stairs (yes, I did fall down) and on a bus. Guess I've just always been about the attention-seeking behavior, hmm? I am medically controlled these days and much less likely to flop like a flounder.

4. I doubt very much some of my friends from five years ago would recognize me. Two kids and fifty pounds later, my complete style has changed. Trying to fit in where I live has made me more standardized. Putting the kids first has made me feel less important. Some days I look around and wonder where I went, y'know?

5. I love heavy blankets and a cold bedroom to sleep in. We keep two quilts on the bed and the ducts are shut leading into our bedroom - Bear is a furnace and I like the crispness of the morning air. I am also a pillow whore - I have to have at least three, tucked in and around me.

Yay! Now I get to pick my victims! (rubbing hands together)
How about:

Bean and Sprout
Galloping Cats
Life With Our Girlie!
Underwater Clown Conspiracy
Crazy..er..Dysfunctional

It will be interesting to see who does this. Some of these people are freakin' crazy busy.

Saturday, 10 December 2005

after the storm

Whoo-ey did we have a storm last night! The two hour drive to get home (30 mph, tankyoubeddemuche) was a little hair-raising, but the snow was incredible!! Then I got home, home to my family (which still feels like a gift - I have a family! I'm still amazed and delighted.) to fractious kiddies and a tired husband, home to a twinkling Christmas tree, a good fire going in the woodstove, and hot tea in my favorite mug.

I even dug out my Eeyore slippers. It was that sort of night, where you want a little extra comfort.

The wind was whipping around and I kept hearing sounds like something was hitting the house - tree branches? Falling icicles? Desperate wildlife? - but Bear declared it was only the snow on the roof sliding down. I noodled on the computer for a bit, and then Bear decided he should take a shower now while we had power (the wind was rising and all bets were off. You see where I'm going with this, don't you?)

He jumped in the shower, lathered up with shampoo and body wash (I gots a nice-smellin' man) and was telling me "I think the power's going to go......" PITCH BLACKNESS. He had time for a few curses before it sputtered back, too! I have no idea what he would have done if it hadn't. Heated water on the woodstove? Now that's pioneerish!

But the best part of the night was when we discovered the noise from the roof wasn't snow or icicles, it was thunder! We had a real fire-cracker of a storm, complete with pink lightning and huge, booming thunder. I've never been in a winter thunderstorm before - I've never heard of them before - and it was a treat to watch.

Even more so because Bear was there with me and the kidlets (bless 'em!) slept through the whole thing.

Sunday, 4 December 2005

going to war

The battle has begun.

You see, the dreaded sniffly cold has hit my house.
Cass is whistly (haul out the puffers and the mist machine, yo ho ho) and Rosey seems fine but had a croupy cough this morning. Both will be just fine, given a few days and some cough medicine.

My husband, of course, being the bearer of the mutant gene that makes all illnesses on the house rebound off everyone else and land on him full force, is whinging and whining about how horrible he feels, how terrible, how awful.... and yet I can't help but notice how perfectly happy he is to wallow in the recliner, flipping channels with a languid hand.

Flinging germs at everyone right and left, I daresay.

Any attempt to get him to 'go lay down, for godsakes!' is met with a manly sniff and a cough and pronouncement that he is feeling

a little bit better, but still pretty awful.

He may yet be traded in for a newer, more germ-resistant model.

I have the Mommy-gene (it's like a shield. Zing! Off, damn germ! Ching! Off, ribbons of pus!) to protect me.

Mommies are the protectors of the house.
Our plastic likenesses should be sold as action heroes, complete with suitable action attire and deadly weapon.

I have no symptoms of cough or cold. I, alone, will have to man the battlefield with my trusty medicine dropper and tissues, a roll of cough drops jammed in my hip pocket.

But I don't think the towel tied around my shoulders is going to impress any bad guys.

To the trenches!

Wednesday, 30 November 2005

going out

At work, two of the company's representatives from Europe are here for meetings. They're both good-looking guys (Cute! with accents! I swoon.) and I realized the other day after meeting them how much I miss dating. The flirting, the wondering - the newness of it all. I used to go out on dates that would start after work and end around sunup, with both of us logy from learning all this new information about each other, and exhausted (but wide-eyed) from cigarette smoke and too many cups of diner coffee.

No, I don't want to trade in my husband. Not at all.

Somewhere in between the first time I saw him and having our second baby, though, I think we figured each other out. There isn't a lot of newness anymore. Which is terrific for coming home to, but makes me miss that far-off single past of mine.

Friday, 25 November 2005

brrrr

Is it cold where you are? It's getting colder here - the night-times are frosty, and the mornings glitter. We haven't had any snow yet, (Ha! You thought I lived where the Eskimos are, didn't you! So many people think Nova Scotia is right off the tundra.) thank goodness, but it's coming. It'll be good to have for Christmas.

How was everyone's Thanksgiving? Bear scored beeg brownie points. I was moping around, missing my family and thought I was doing a pretty good job of hiding it, but he noticed.

So Thursday I came home to... an entire Thanksgiving feast!

He had roasted the turkey, made his special family recipe stuffing, cooked carrots and sweet potatoes and squash. There was cranberry sauce. He even made (non-lumpy, even!) gravy.
So I stuffed myself achingly full,(after I pounced on him and kissed him breathless, because how else do you thank someone who makes a surprise like that??) and then he smiled with a hint of mischief and said "Oh, and there's dessert, too." which of course, made my ears prick up.

No, not pie (sorry Tessa!) but a delicious, piping hot Apple Brown Betty.
Oh. My. God.

I'd love to be able to say (and I'm sure he was hoping) that I then repaid him with some extra long holiday quality time, but really - I need to work off all the food first. You just can't stuff a girl and expect gymnastics an hour later.

Saturday, 19 November 2005

here comes the bride

I've been trying to convince myself that I need to scrapbook, but I can't make myself do it. I'm not sure I have the patience, and it seems like one of those things where there would be no end to it, once I started fussing with different papers and twee little charms and whatnot. And what do you do with all the extra photos?? I saw a very nice page the other day on a baby's first bath - there was one picture. ONE. Holy Mother of God, what sort of people are those that can take ONE picture of their baby's first bath? I have three rolls of film on that alone! (AND video!) I think I'm doomed to have shoeboxes full of pictures under the bed for the rest of my life.

Last night, I was rooting around under the bed for a sock (There is no scientific basis for this, but I am convinced they move around while you sleep) and pulled out a wrinkled gift bag with my (gulp!) wedding photos in it.
The Boy came in and started looking at them with me, and we were talking about the day and why Mommy was wearing the big dress (Mommy had bad fashion advice) and the even bigger thing on her hair (Honestly, I looked like a fat Rockette. I was wearing the biggest head-piece thingy and was encased in veil. I looked like The Bride - On Steroids! I looked like I was bound and determined to squeeze every little-girl wedding fantasy out of me - at the same time. ) and why Daddy looked so serious.

And then Cass turned to me and asked where he and Rosey were.

(Oh, crap, don't I get a few years before I have to have this talk? Assuring you that I hadn't lost my penis was bad enough...) I began carefully. 'We didn't have you and Rosey yet, honey.'

But no. Cass was determined that it was after his bedtime, see, and he and Rosey were sitting in the back crouching under the lady's skirt, because they didn't want to go to sleep.(And thinking about Reverend Karen hiding children under her robes is priceless.)

The Boy went on to tell me that he liked the speeches but it was a little long. He then said "And Papa was there in his suit!" and a little light went on. A-ha, you've been talking to Papa about the picture at his house, hmm? Because the sad truth about my wedding (as my father-in-law will readily tell you) is that it was beautiful. Beautiful and about ten minutes too long. Again with the packing in of everything wedding-ish.


Cass leaned in close. 'And the best thing was afterwards. Me and Rosey went to McDonalds and had nuggets!'

Too cool, kid. You hung out for awhile, bore the speeches, and then went to MickeyD's. Sounds like a heck of a party to me.

Thursday, 17 November 2005

and the beat goes on

Not a real post tonight, just stuff:

Panda is home with us. The vet couldn't find anything wrong (some of the lab work isn't back yet), but he didn't think she needed to stay. So that's good.

My job is...boring, boooring, boooring, with occasional flashes of interesting. They've asked me to stay on for two more weeks and I gather the position is actually going to open up, but I need to really sit down and work out the money situation before I jump into any job so far away from home. Based on some quick figuring, with the extra daycare and extra gas money we're paying out, I'm earning about six bucks a day....must work this out. I really hope I'm wrong here.

The daycare...oy. Today was Cass's last day, and God bless the women that work there, they put a positive spin on it and he came home excited to have a vacation. Whilst Bear was there, tidying up the last of our bill, one of them told him they hope to re-organize and be back in January. In the mean-time, Cassidy will be going to Rosey's babysitter with her - which Cass likes, because Michelle's son is about his age and they play with trucks and go out in the backyard and get sand-covered and roll around with the dogs and do little boy stuff.

I didn't realize that it was almost Thanksgiving! The Canadian Thanksgiving is celebrated in October. I have to decide whether or not to put on 'American Thanksgiving' (as they all call it here) and if so, drag the good dishes out.
Hard to pass up all that food, though. Hmmmm.

It may snow this weekend, ugh. Hopefully it won't stick!!

In closing, I want to say that I love my commenters - y'all are such great people. You leave thoughtful comments and insights - how could I not love you? Really. The best.

Tuesday, 15 November 2005

all good things

That's Panda on the right. The striped one is Katie, her daughter.

I moved here from Michigan with all my belongings stuffed (and it was tight packing) into an eight foot pull behind U-Haul. The cats rode up front with me (We are not amused. Not amused.) and we were fine until we hit Buffalo, New York. Then my brakes started getting harder and harder to operate. The cats were sympathetic (Holy shit, does this mean we get to stop??) but I pressed on - I made it (coasting in) to my fathers house in Canandaigua, there to find out my car's frame had cracked and the car was a big ugly paperweight. I finished the trip out with all my possessions taking up a teeny amount of room in an eighteen-foot U-haul. (Only certain sizes [all the biggies, natch] are allowed over the border) The cats helped me feel like this was my home.

My oldest cat, Panda, has been slowing down for a year or more. We think she's fifteen, which is a pretty respectable age for a reformed barn cat to have attained - but I don't want to let her go. Now, though, it may be just nearing her time.

She's started wandering around the house, crying like she's lost, and even when the other cats go to her she still doesn't seem comforted. She spends a lot of time dozing, and her eyes have a glassy sheen. She's lost a bit of weight, and last night we found blood in the cat box. Thursday Bear will take her into the vet and we'll see what he says.

I hate thinking that this is the end. On the bright side, she's still eating and drinking and purring and doesn't seem uncomfortable, just lethargic and...well, old. And tired.

Thursday we'll know.

Saturday, 12 November 2005

bedtime stories

Comforts:

Last night Bear hunted out the old ripped comforter I keep that was my mothers. One of the seams has opened, and if I learned to sew, I bet I could fix it. But I have become used to feeling the edge of the ripped batting when I pull the covers up at night. Together with the quilt we usually have on our bed it makes a lovely weight.

I have the best dreams tucked under it.

The house is gearing down for the night.
Cass just turned out his light (he is allowed to read his books for a bit after the official bedtime stories and prayers and songs) and hollered his goodnights and I love yous - he likes to get one more in before he snuggles himself down. He sleeps under an afghan my aunt Gloria knitted (he likes to curl his fingers into its' design) and his baby blanket.
His blanket is a beautiful red on the back, with a jean-coloured top and a cross with disney characters on it, and was made by the wife of an ex-boyfriend.
(He was my wild boyfriend, the one that my mother was scared I'd end up with - he went away to Desert Storm, met a lovely, warm woman, and became a preacher. But this is a story for another day.)
Tonight when I went in Cass was singing a goodnight song to Beau and Charlie (his stuffed doggies he sleeps with) and he had them tucked under his blanket - I had to perch on the side of the bed so I wouldn't wake them up.
Sometimes I am amazed at how beautiful my sons soul is. He put his doggies under there because (I am told) Beau is a little afraid of the dark, and he knew the blanket would keep him safe.

Rosemary's crib has her own comforter - it has (surprise!) roses on it, in a pale green and pink pattern, with lots of leaves and a creamy background. Her loveys are all bunnies, and there is a little lamb that makes a heartbeat noise that lives there too. She looks likes she's asleep in a garden.
She 'acquired' a bunny that was given to Cass by his aunt a few Easters ago, and has almost de-furred one of the ears, as she rubs it at night against her cheek.

I love the hushed-ness of the house as the children settle into sleep.

Good night.

Wednesday, 9 November 2005

worker bee

I am tired.

It's a good kind of tired, the kind after you've accomplished much and feel the night and bedtime approaching in your bones. I have done a lot today.

The job is just a job. I shuffle papers, answer the phones (trying to decipher the who-to-page-and-who-to-voicemail code) and smile at people I don't know. The steel-toed boots have been on once - a tour through the four buildings, seeing Production, Assembly, Design, Storage, Shipping. Everyone is very friendly. I'm trying hard not to really let go and enjoy myself, because even if they offered me a full time permanent job I don't think they could afford to pay me enough to make my gas bills worthwhile. It's just over seventy kilometres one way. (44 miles)

The drive home is nice, though. I get to be just me, not Mommy.

And I get to turn my music up really loud.

It almost makes it fun.

Sunday, 6 November 2005

the death of the laptop

Our computer has been acting up for days - we found out our anti-virus program had expired pretty dramatically, as all of a sudden the computer just wouldn't work. So much fun! I ran a new anti-virus and found that during the programs' quarentine and destruction of the seven (yup, seven) viruses that were chummily causing havoc, the guts were torn out of the basic programs that run my computer.
Corrupted the internal whoosee-whatsits. Basically, a job for the official computer guy.

Tra-la-la! Only I would kill the computer by trying to fix it!

Tomorrow I start a temporary job, an hour away from my house. It's an administrative position, but I'm required to bring steel-toed boots so I can.... deliver the mail.
I'm thinking I'll be full of stories come quitting time!

Friday, 4 November 2005

finding a new place for my little guy

It's a piss-poor day here at the daygobys.
Our sons day care is disbanding - in two weeks he will be cast afloat without the net of teachers, helpers and friends he's loved for almost three years - people who have helped him learn and really enjoyed him - and made me enjoy being his mom a little more, too. They were the ones who caught that he was a little slow to do new things, who pushed to have him tested and helped me find resources to help him overcome his fine motor problems. They gave me tips on how to survive the potty training marathon, suggested ways to introduce Cass to the idea that he was going to have a sibling, and remembered every day what new and wonderful thing he had done or said that day.

I will miss them. He will be heart-broken.

What am I going to do?

Tuesday, 1 November 2005

night games

Cass wanted to ride his bike tonight, so after supper I bundled both kidlets up, opened the front door....and noticed how dark it was. Oops, guess I'm not used to the time change yet! The boy-child threw a fit (But I wanna...) so I threw him the Mommy death-look, (which doesn't faze him, as he's the deluxe kid model and apparently came with Anti-Glare software) and tossed them both into the car.

About five minutes away from where we live is a tiny little park next to a church in one of the sea-side towns here. It does have a streetlight, so I headed for that. Needless to say, we were the only ones there. The Boy chewed his lip. "We're going...here?"
I was busy extracting his sister from the car and managed not to say what I was thinking, which was something along the lines of "Don't worry, dear - the trolls only come out after full dark" and instead settled for a breezy "Looky! A new slide!"

It was clear and a little breezy in the park, but certainly not the cold November nights I remember from growing up. I trundled Rosey around on my hip and we watched Cass run from the slide to the rope bridge to the swing to the climber to the bouncy and back again. It's amazing how much energy a small boy can run through in a play yard.

The girl was getting heavy, so (Oh brilliant me) thought 'She's never been on a slide!' and set her down about halfway from the top of the curvy, young'un slide. I did the standard 'Woo!' as I held onto her and let her go down the slide, peering expectantly at her face for a smile, a giggle, some indication of pleasure. After all, don't all babies love the slide?

Rosey was silent, so I tried again, putting more gaiety in my voice. "Woo-hoo!" Maybe I just wasn't hearing her chortles of glee??

Finally, she turned her head and looked at me with a clear expression of 'WTF is this, Mom?"
I guess sliding down a damp cold slide in the middle of the night wasn't her thing?
Okay. Snagged her up and went to go push the boyo on the swing.
At least he had a good time.

Monday, 31 October 2005

Sunday, 30 October 2005

pumpkins

She has no idea what Halloween is, but she's so excited about the hat!

Saturday, 29 October 2005

kissing Scott

The strangest things can send you down memory lane, can't they?

Cass was watching a Halloween special, 'Alvin and the Chipmunks meet Frankenstein' (or something of that sort) and one squeaky voiced rendition of a doo-wop song later, my cheeks were flushed and I was remembering the summer I was fourteen. I was so in love with the boy next door. He was tall and handsome and was teaching me how to ride horses - how could any barely-teen resist?

He was the longest crush I had, culminating in a drunken revelation at a senior year party that we both wished we'd dated and not stayed friends, and then....the kiss.

Oh! The magic of the moment! The way his head blotted out the light overhead and the gentle brushings of his fingertips over my cheek before he pressed his lips to mine!

And no fireworks. Not a one.

Sorry, Scott.

Wednesday, 26 October 2005

blogging in the neighborhood

Let me say this...I never expected this to happen.

Six years ago, I was talking on the internet with a guy from Michigan (where I was living at the time) and ended up in a long conversation with a man from Nova Scotia. Things progressed, and I ended up marrying the boy from Canada.....and that's how I view the internet, as a vast universe where I can reach out and talk to people from far away. People are reading this page from different countries- Switzerland, Germany, South Africa, California, places I've never heard of. (Where is Slovakia, after all?) The internet is a echoingly huge and incredible place.

That being said, not many people around me know I have this blog. A few family members and friends from the States, that's all. It's not a secret, you see, but something I just haven't brought up in conversation. I'm beginning to test the waters of blogging - I like it very much so far, and thought I would use it to talk to people miles and countries away.

One of the first people to comment on my blog has turned out to be my neighbor. Neighbor as in around-the-corner, down the street neighbor. I'm thrilled and astonished that this could happen - that out of all the blogs in the world, she just happened to walk into mine (okay, bad quote. But who could resist?) and looking forward to chatting with her and getting our daughters together for a playdate.

So, howdy, neighbor!



The internet is a vast and huge space - with a wicked sense of humor.

Tuesday, 25 October 2005

The view out my front door yesterday:

Isn't the bridge pretty? And I love the river.

I didn't get a picture tonight, but I guarantee it's going to be much different in the morning. Wilma is brushing by, and roaring on her heels is another storm.

Not going to be much autumnal colour left.


Sunday, 23 October 2005

conversation with my four year old, who doesn't get to see any spooky cartoons

Cass-man: There's a belly ghost outside.
Me: A billy goat?
C: No, Mommy. A belly ghost.
M: A baby ghost?
C: No, Mommy! He's big. He has wings and he laughs ha ha ha (not a spooky laugh) and he plays with me!
M: Is he still here?
C: No. He'll be back. He's my Daddy. No, Daddy is my Daddy! I think he will be my daddy. Someday.
M: Ummm...does he play with you often?
C: All the time!

With Halloween approaching, does anyone else find this umm....odd??

Saturday, 22 October 2005

Katie! Ssssh!

Augh, Kate is meweling again - she caterwauls, and it's hard to ignore. This is the same cat who likes to hunt and kill stuffed animals, and then brings them to you, so she will be petted and praised. Thank God we don't actually have mice.

Ah, there's the answering full-throttle howl from the nursery.

Damnit, cat, you woke the baby up.

Friday, 21 October 2005

No Picasso

Never, NEVER leave a one-year old alone in the crib in only a diaper.

We had an unfortunate finger-painting incident today.

'Nuff said. I have to go buy footie pyjamas tomorrow.

Tuesday, 18 October 2005

babycrack

Wails. Heart-wrenching sobs. Quivering lower lip, then howls that set the glass in the windows swaying a bit and make the cats dash for upstairs. Red, streaky, melty face and protesting body when I pick her up. The arching of the spine. She wants to be down, but wants to be near...

I finish the bottle and pop it into her trembling hands. And there's peace in the world again.

It's a little like having a junkie in the house.

Monday, 17 October 2005

Maybe I can have second best tattooed on my forehead...

I try not to do this frequently, but I'm having one of those days where everything seems determined to kick me in the crotch and leave me gasping.
Last night I threw in a load of laundry - the washer broke.
Dh is convinced it's something huge and expensive to fix, and is muttering things about 'being better to buy a new one' which is man-code for 'I don't want to mess with this'. I, on the other hand, am thinking 'And what money where?'
Things are tight right now, and I had another fruitless job interview today. I don't want to think of how many resumes I've sent out in the last three months.
Top it all off, both kidlets are sick as dogs. The boy-child has turned into a whining grasping bundle of tiredness, temper, and tears (he's a lousy sick person, just like me) and the girlie stumbles around, blowing bubbles of snot out of her poor clotted nose.

Now I know it will get better. I know that. I do. Sometimes, though, it's hard to convince myself that it will happen soon.

Sunday, 16 October 2005

the tumultuous birth of the baby girl

For a second time mom, you'd think I would have figured out what was happening.
In my defense I can only say that with my son, I never went into labor, and so was bewildered by the odd twinges and strange backaches I started getting three weeks before my due date. By the time Bear had talked me into going in to get it checked out and we drove to the local hospital, I was starting to contract. Not so much fun, and why, again, was I still thinking I had missed something when Cass was born? Ow. Off I went in the ambulance to the IWK in Halifax, a decision based on no back-up staff being available in Bridgewater, and my incision from the last c-section being T shaped. Eight hours of labor. Fuuuck. Finally, (finally!!) the OR was clear, and I was ready for my epidural. They numbed me, (oh my God was I glad to see the anesthesiologist!) strapped me down on the tilt table, and were ready to begin. I threw up twice (you know your husband loves you when he doesn't flinch when you upchuck on his hand holding the emesis basin) they tested for numbness, and all of a sudden everything hurt. My shoulders were aching, and there was a roaring in my ears I could barely hear over. I screamed up at the doctor "Are you just about done?" and promptly went into shock. The babys heartbeat abruptly dove, (as did my blood pressure) and things all went to hell.

I woke up two hours later. Bear (who had watched all of this without the benefit of the excellent drugs I had coursing through my system) was very pale and kept a tight hold on my hand as he struggled to explain what had happened. When I had lost conciousness, my placenta had fully abrupted, and the baby was breathing in blood. The pain I had been feeling was the extra blood finding its way through my system to the big vessels in my collarbones.
Our baby girl was in the NICU, on a breathing tube, a tube down her nose to suction out all the blood and gunk from her stomach, and an IV taped to her poor head. Her apgars had been 0, 1, and 8. We had very nearly lost her.

She was to spend four days there in the NICU- the longest, most hellish four days of my life, and several more rooming in with me in the hospital.

That was a year ago. Since then, she has proved over and over again what an absolute miracle she is, and how lost we'd be without her.

Happy first birthday, Rosey Posey. Mama loves you, forever and ever.




Friday, 14 October 2005

As the pearls of sweat roll down my brow

It's cold outside, and it just might frost by morning. In preparation for tonight, I've taken the heavy cover off the bed and found an old t-shirt to sleep in. I put the kids down in jammie tops and socks, and put a bottle of water next to the bed.
Why these (apparently) backwards steps?

Because I married a Canadian, and he loves wood heat.

A week after we officially moved in together, he began lobbying for a woodstove, to be placed in the livingroom. We have an house so old it sighs in the wind, so I thought it was a great idea to have a back up heating plan, in case of power outages and such.

Rude awakening.

'Back up' became 'main source of heat'. Huge piles of wood began appearing in my side yard, dropped off by men who would wordlessly touch their caps and drive away when I ran out to see what was going on. Mr. Daysgoby would disappear for hours, emerging from the (newly-built) woodshed filthy, sore, and bark-covered, muttering strange things about splitting, stacking, and cords. (And I'm not a bondage girl.)
In a household where guns were forbidden we suddenly had four chain saws and an axe.
My cats were thrilled by the extra protein the spiders barreling across the floor gave them - and I was horrified by the dirt and dust being tracked in.


Fast-forward five years. The woodstove is still there, and the first few weeks of fall sliding into winter are still a sweatbath. Bear likes hot fires, y'see, and he likes to make them last. It is not uncommon to find me panting in front of an opened window in November, while he adds logs to the fire and tells me I'm letting all the heat out. After a month or so I can usually wrest control of the intake of wood, and the house cools down so the childrens hair isn't matted to their heads.

This winter, he wants to build a log-splitter. God help me.

Saturday, 8 October 2005

quiet night

It's raining outside, heavy plonks! that are dripping off the leaves and disguising the sound of the river. Both kids are asleep. I have three cats (one in the window, one in the hall on a discarded t-shirt, and one on my bed) monitoring the situation, making sure we're all okay. Soon the little tiger striped one will do her rounds of the downstairs.

I have tea and some low piano music playing.



It's very peaceful here.

Sleep tight.

Thursday, 6 October 2005

Ol' Blue Eyes

My big boy kitty is not feeling well.
He's hairball city, anyway, (he social grooms the others) and now we've gone and switched his food on him, practically asking for floods of upset-tumminess. And he did not disappoint! I spent most of late last night following his heaving, chokey cat self around with paper towels and cleanser.

Once he'd finished, I went to bed. Chumba wanted comfort, so up he jumped and curled right into my arms, purring madly and every-so-often giving a little cough-bark to make sure I realized how very sick he was.
(Oooh, poor me. Purr. Pet the kitty. [shoving limp, exhausted hand with big cat head] PET THE KITTY!) I 'poor-boy'ed him and hummed a bit.

After about an hour of this, my husband woke up, sat up in bed, and said "How come you never sing me Sinatra when I'm sick?"
I burst out laughing. What kind of lyrics would you sing to a cat?

He denies it this morning.

Oh, but you're lovely....
With that fur so soft
Keep that reckless charm
There is nothing for me
But to pet you..
And the way you purr tonight.....

It was a cool day, with clouds scudding across the sky

On October 4th, 2001, I received the most wonderful present. Happy, happy birthday, precious boy.




Friday, 30 September 2005

Mommy and Cassidy's Day Of Fun!

Welp, I've put my foot in it now. Bear found all these great age-appropriate games for Cass (Sesamestreet.com) and now I'm fighting them BOTH for computer time....sheesh.

Actually, I'm taking a break from a day of just Cass and me (it's been a long time since just he and I had a day together - ummm, a year? How old is Rosey now?) so we've done 'cool' errands (Picked up Bear's chain saw from the store full of four wheelers and motorcycles, went out to breakfast, chased Daddy in the (empty and not carrying a patient) ambulance, dropped books off at the library. Next we're going to go buy Mommy underwear (okay, not so cool, but people, I'm in rags here) and go through the car wash - which will up the cool quotient considerably.

I figure after that I can get a coffee and watch him fall asleep in the car. Or, if he's still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, we can detour through the new dollar store and add to his collection of dinky cars.

Tonight: Cass and I make meatloaf and cinnamon rolls (this is what happens when you ask an almost-four-year-old what he wants for supper) and Bear and I figure out what to get him for The Boy's Fourth Birthday, which is (gasp! horrors! how did he grow up so fast?) next week.

Wednesday, 28 September 2005

a distinct lack of Mommy-help

When I was planning my wedding I watched the shows.
Once Upon A Wedding, A Wedding Story, Bridezillas, Wedding Dreams, Happily Ever After.
Who didn't? It made me feel part of a club, where everyone was doing interesting, different things, but were still working towards a common goal. Books and magazines filled in anything the tv missed.

When I became pregnant, I watched A Baby Story. Birth Stories. A Beautiful Start. Labor Ward. The Delivery Room. The Stork Stories.
There was another world of women out there, who could help me through this next life journey - who could help me figure out what to expect and what I should be prepared for. (At least that was the premise,ahem,but that's another post!)

Then, KA-BOOM! I'm a Mom now, and suddenly, there is next-to-no support.
Most books in the library go directly from birth to toddler, with next to no mention of the bit in-between, unless I want to know how to feed my child. The 'help' shows (Supernanny, Nanny 911) don't address babies, except in the 'You're spoiling that child!' realm. TLC has shows that detail first dates, proposals, weddings, childbirth, and then....cast adrift with nothing. I suspect we're all expected to freeze at that moment in our lives? Snapshot: Mama and Daddy hold baby, staring down at their bundle of joy, then fade to black.
So the years from infant to toddler are barely addressed, and the time from toddler (the Terrible Two's) to school-age are IGNORED.

I suppose TLC will jump back in with 'Intervention', right?

Sunday, 18 September 2005

Cassidy's top five

1. Big Yellow Taxi, the Counting Crows version
2. Mr. Sandman (Bwing me a dream!)
3. Just Lose It (Eminem)
4. Car Wash (Shark Tale Mix) - Christina Aquilara and Missy Elliot
5. The theme song from 'Cyberchase'


Guess which one is giving me Mommy-guilt??

And he lurves it. Shakes his little bum and everything.


And, to top it all off, the other night I found the Rosebud in the dishwasher.




I may get that award for Mother Of The Year yet! Ummm, not.

Thursday, 15 September 2005

last day

Disgruntled tonight - I've been working at my old job for a few weeks, scheduling workers to go into clients' homes, and I knew it was a temporary thing, I did, but now it's going to be over and I realize how much I love doing it. And, damnit, I'm good at it. I have a case of the sad n' blues tonight, I guess.

(Yanking myself out of sad mode) Back to job hunting! Yeehaw! Away Silver!!

Sunday, 4 September 2005

lazy day

It's quiet-time here in the go-by household - Rosey is conked out in her crib, clutching her bunny's ear, all curled up like a little shrimp and dreaming. Cass has enticed his Dad into his bed ('Read to me! READ TO ME!!) and now I can hear the sounds of Bear trying to rest, irritably mumbling things like 'Don't put your fingers on my eyes, Cass. I can't sleep when you do that.'

Me? I'm on the computer, listening to the house calm down. The big blond kitty just threw up a nice hairball (he's the one that social grooms the others) and I guess I'm waiting to see if there will be a repeat performance.

When naps are over, we're going to the library, the farmers market, and probably the playground, 'cause he'll need a romp.

And now (politely smothering a yawn) I think I shall amble off meself.

Saturday, 3 September 2005

KATRINA

THINGS I HAVE:

Family
Friends
A house
Two cars
Clean water
Food
Diapers and formula
Medications
Access to hospitals
My children and husband, safe and well.

I never thought I was a rich woman, but now...


Katrina was a bitch.

Those poor, poor people.

Friday, 26 August 2005

Full of birthday cake and cream soda

Happy thirty-sixth birthday to the bestest husband I've ever had. I love you, honey.

Tuesday, 23 August 2005

Choices

Ah ha! I am mostly childless again! The Boy is happily having adventures with his aunt, and Rosey is sleeping! Hmmm, I think there's some chocolate ice cream downstairs - maybe I could misplace a spoonful of it on Bear and have to lick it off....
or I could read. What to do, what to do?

Thursday, 18 August 2005

critter from the zoo

This poor animal is called a bongo. No wonder it's too ashamed to raise its' head out of the dirt. Do you think the zebras laugh and point?

Cass: Where does he hide his drum, Mommy?

Wednesday, 17 August 2005

two from the road

it's a little disconcerting to have either of these go whizzing by you doing ninety miles an hour....




We thought it was hilarious and were both singing the theme song at the top of our lungs, when a little voice piped up from the backseat..."What's a weiner, Mommy?"

We are so old.


Tuesday, 16 August 2005

a leetle bit sore from the car-ride

But otherwise okay. Bear and I corralled the young'uns and threw them in the car, drove (okay, Bear drove, and I played an amusing 23 hour game of pick up bottle, pick up nook, pick up toys, and also answered 20 hours of questions about highway construction and big machines.) and we drove, and we drove, to upper New York, where my mum and dad let us stay, and then the next day drove through three states to Kentucky. Why Kentucky? In August? Surely the smart thing to do is visit the hot and humid states nearer Christmas? Yes, that would be the smarter thing. But we had a purpose. My grandparents were having their sixtieth wedding anniversary, and everyone on my mother's side of the family was going to be there. It was lovely. Hotter than hell, and so humid it felt as though we were drowning in warm water, but lovely to see everyone. My Uncle Rick has married a smart and beautiful woman who I met for the first time, and they were nice enough to let me and mine stay in their house.

Oh, did I mention this was the first time 98 percent of the people we visited had seen Rosebud in the flesh? Including all my parental units and the grandparents? Living three thousand miles away is hell on get-togethers.

But hey - we managed, through all the relative seeing and merrymaking, to haul the children (under the guise of this will be a fun thing, damnit) to the Louisville Zoo, and I had the privilege and pleasure of not only watching my little boy ooh and aaah over the animals, but of carrying my 42 lb son when halfway through he decided it was too hot and sticky and awful to go any farther.

Cass at the beginning of the Zoo:


and a melted and crabby boy (just on the edge of a whine):


Jesus, it was hot. But the relatives were all there, and, amazingly, all liked my renegade children. (Or at least faked it well.) The celebrations were wonderful, and the kidlets had just started to relax when boom! We threw them, protesting, back into the car (the baby has no more love left for her carseat, let me tell you) and drove back to Canandaigua and stayed there for a few days. Time with the other set of parents, dont'cha know.

I looove New York. Bear loooves New York. I may, actually, be able to get his little Canadian heinie to move to New York. I'm afraid I spent a lot of time saying things like "Oh, look! If we lived here you could work there!" while Bear smiled lightly and rolled his eyes. (No fool, my husband, even if the car ride thingy was his idea.)

Mum and Dad's house is spectacular. And peaceful. We spent a lot of time just relaxing, talking and swimming and eating incredibly good food - it was a breath of calm in our hurricane of a vacation.

And now we're back, and I miss all my extended family with all my heart.

Saturday, 30 July 2005

Sunday, 24 July 2005

Ye Gods

Tonight I heard gunshots - so close they rattled the windows - and rushing to the windows to see if some idiot was actually thinking he could shoot the deer in our apple orchard, I saw the light pole at the corner of our property going crazy. It flashed lightning a few times (the sodium light exploded) and made these horrendous cracking noises, and, of course, huge plumes of black smoke. I dialed 9-1-1 and explained to the RCMP dispatch that answered that I wasn't really sure what was going on but that things were definately hinkey. She dialed the people who page out the fire/first responders around here, and I got to have the exact same conversation with him.(If this were a life-and-death situation, wouldn't this be a huge waste of time??) I was staring out the window the whole time, making sure this big ball of flame didn't appear out of nowhere and sweep towards my house, and I saw a couple of cars turn in to the fire hall. So I told him 'Look, there are a few firemen there already, do you want me to just run over and talk to them?' He laughed a little and said 'Actually, I have the (Small town) Fire Department on the other line.' At which point I blurted (because I am famous for saying things like this) 'Well, then, I guess you don't need me, do you?' and hung up. So now I have a pole with scorch marks, and three firemen sitting in their cars, watching to make sure nothing happens where they need to get out the beeg trucks.

I found out later it was 'just' a transformer, and that NS Power will come out tomorrow.

I'm not crazy about the idea that light poles can suddenly put on firework displays all on their own. I'm even less crazy about the idea they can do this next to my house.

Note to self: Throw out the cordless phones. Six firemen showed up at the firehall tonight before it was paged out....many, many people have police scanners around here, and I'm not always polite when I talk on the telephone.

Here's Casserole on one of the firetrucks the other day...

Bear is a volunteer on the department and takes the trucks out sometimes to give them a run, much to the The Boy's glee...

Friday, 22 July 2005

A mermaid, she isn't.


Rosey's first dip in the ocean! And it was low tide, and the sand and the beach went on for miles, and the sky and waves were this gorgeous blue color, and the water was freeze-your-ass-off-cold. And she hated it.

Cass, of course, since he is part fish, loved being in the water. And of course, getting all wet and shrieking wasn't nearly as fun as going in deeper when Mommy came to get him. (And I think I mentioned this, but the water was so cold it hurt.)

As a total aside, I used to be amazed that people here lived by the **ocean** and completely took it for granted. Now I know why - it's too frigid to swim in!! It's like the cooler at the end of the party...

By the end of the night, Cass was a big, sandy, one-reason-away-from-falling-apart ball of tiredness, and Rosey was clinging like a limpet to both Dh and I - I suspect she thought we were going to set her down and leave her there.

Photos courtesy of Bear, who never seems to use the zoom function on the cameras....

Tuesday, 19 July 2005

Gahhhh! The heat!

It is hotter than a quarterback's armpit right now, and it's midnight. The kidlets are lying still to conserve bodily moisture and the cats are waiting for me to go to bed so they can take their fur off and parade around.

Dh is downstairs, watching television (some old corny movie) and drinking Diet Pepsi. I want to know when he'll be bringing my mojito up....or at least some iced tea.

Remember when you were little and on the very hottest day the Coke would freeze your brain? Your hand would go sort of numb from the coldness of the can and you'd have to switch your grip on it. Why can't things be that cold now, when I'm all grown up and melting??

Tuesday, 12 July 2005

He can camp! She can crawl!

Cass is camping in the wilds of one of the local parks with my SIL and her husband, and the house feels so lonely and dark without him. He left Sunday and he'll be home either Tuesday night or Wednesday morning - I'm sure he'll be sunburnt, hugely dirty, and bug-bitten, talking six hundred miles a minute and drop-dead tired. I love this age - he's excited about everything he does, thinks, sees, or hears.

Rosey and I hung out today and she crawled a bit, just to show off. She's a master at the commando crawl, using her forearms and toes to get where she wants, (and can that girl ever move!)but today she finally decided that hey! Crawling on my hands and knees might be fun. So she did.

Saturday, 9 July 2005

I don't want to re-stir the ashes of a fight I wasn't involved with, but:

I read a lot of blogs. There are some very funny, wise and wonderful people out there writing, and I'm lucky to be able to grab ahold of their lives, if only for a short while. They make me think and laugh and weep. Some of those blogs are women with small children. Since I have an ankle-biter or two myself, I can relate.

All well and good, right? So, you're thinking, ho-hum, what is the point??

One of these women had a post on her blog about letting her baby cry it out. She's a first time Mom, and was having some guilt issues about doing that - I wrote back to her and shared a story about my experience with CIO (Worked with my son, my daughter the diva, no dice) then watched in horror as her post was completely mistrued and comment after comment poured in about how terrible she was, what a monster, etc.
People posted comments about her blog on others' blogs, and the venom (and incorrect statements!) went on and on.

My question:
How can we, as women, as mothers, be so horrible to each other?
Noone's parenting style or choices make you a better parent, it's just the road you choose. Isn't it time for some solidarity between women? Some helping, instead of righteous name-calling? Some acknowledgement that we're all in this together, and working as hard as we can to help our kids become great adults?

Because I can assure you, whether my kids CIO or not, that's the goal.

Tuesday, 5 July 2005

In which I notice I need upkeep

My sister in law (the younger one) stopped by last night to tell me she got a teaching position close to home - that means she'll be able to live in the house she bought last year, instead of commuting home on weekends. She's my age but still single and fancy-free - I looked at her last night, her cute shoes and pedicured feet and hair done perfectly and just had this almost physical reaction. Inside me there was a big ol'cry of "I used to be you! Where am I, and who the hell is this woman sitting here with baby spit on her shoulder, with broken nails and in desperate need of a haircut!" Then I realized the awful truth...the slob who smelled like baby barf was me.

So happy for her good fortune. So plotting for a few days to myself.

I love love love my kids, but this Momma needs some girl time.

Monday, 4 July 2005

the eating of big boy


My favorite pic of Casserole at the carnival yesterday - the tiger looks happy to get a bite of smallboyflesh, doesn't he??

Sunday, 3 July 2005

Mommy I want to go to the carnivore!

Spent the day at the carnival. Casserole loved it. We bought him an armband so he could ride as many times as he'd like and he was off to the races. I think the carny people deliberately put the little kid rides on opposite ends of the space so the wee ones will get tired of chugging back and forth. It worked...but only after a few hours! He rode the motorcycles (the updated version of a carousel, blah) a bajillion times and the Gator ride (mini roller coaster) a hundred times.

'Mommy, I wanna go 'gain!!"

And after all the manners we've taught him (the ones he's really pretty good at using!!) he decided that he had to ride in the first cart of the Gator, bowled over two small girls and dove, headfirst, into the seat. The operator had to lift him out and help him get re-settled. I was too busy giggling to help at all, watching his little feet wave around.

He had a hot dog and a soda, then decided once we left that nothing would do but he have a chocolate chunk cookie. (I'm telling you, kid after my own heart.) So Mommy got to indulge herself too and get an iced cappucino - thank God for Tim Horton's.

Now he's sleeping the sleep of the truly exhausted. Tonight my father in law and my husband will take him up to see the fireworks. I plan to put the Rosebud to bed and read a good book. Maybe some ice cream?? Now that's the way to spend a summer's night.

Wednesday, 29 June 2005

bathroom play time

I am currently perched on the edge of the little stool that Cass uses to stand on to reach the sink, typing away like mad, while Rosey sticks bath toys in her mouth and grunts and Cass (who's actually in the tub) has two of his dinky car monster trucks talking to each other. It's a toss-up which is more entertaining, hearing 'No, my wheels won't go' and 'Oh, okay, sorry to bother you' or the 'Guh' and then laughter coming from my daughter. And to think I used to be bored on weekend nights!!

Saturday, 21 May 2005

the demise of the diaper bag

MY SON HAS DRY PANTS!!! MY SON HAS DRY PANTS!!!

Okay, not that it's going to create world peace, but it's a wonderful, awesome thing. I've been telling people on the street - I keep expecting the Hallelujah Chorus to sound whenever I think of it - Cassidy finally understands, and is very nonchalant about the whole thing, calmly requesting Scooby-Doo underwear and running off to the potty by himself. I'm the one still waving the flags and gleefully recounting the days he's stayed dry to my poor suffering husband. The next hurdle? Either getting rid of the damned binkie (which he uses only at night) or tying his shoes, one of the two. And what was the ditty about the rabbit's ears that our mothers used to teach us how to tie our shoes??

Monday, 11 April 2005

goodbye, puppy

We put down our dog Kansas on Friday - my son is sad and bewildered and I am fighting a battle between my heart and my head. My heart wants to cry and feel guilty that I stood there and let them inject him, let them end his life while I sat by and stroked his head, murmuring 'Such a good dog' while he slumped, and snored, and was still, and my head is sending a fierce refrain, reminding me that he was ten years old, a severe case of hip dysplasia, getting so sore and crippled that he couldn't crouch to poop, and that it was best to take away all his pain.
The house is poorer without him here, and lonely.

Cass has decided that God put Kansas on a cloud, and blew him up to the moon, and he's there, watching over all of us. I like his version of Heaven.

As for me - I think I will be conflicted about this for a long time.

Poor doggie. Poor Kansas. I hope somewhere you are running free, barking at rabbits and sure that you have a soft rug to go home to. We'll miss you, big dog.

Friday, 18 March 2005

little pink houses for you and me....

First off, since you asked, I married a man I met on the internet. It's worked out well - I'm not sure now, after almost five years of marriage, that he's the soul-mate/perfect person/absolute best person for me, (and, really, how can anyone ever be sure??) but we love each other and we have a solid relationship. I moved here,from Michigan to be with him.

I moved from a city to a hamlet that consists of a post office, a general store, a church, and a fire hall. Actually, we live across the river from the town, in a bedroom community that most people don't know exists. Everything else we have to drive fifteen minutes for. It's lovely here, out in the boonies, there's a river that wends through the village, and the house we have faces the river and it's a lovely, low, constant sound. I miss the waves of Lake Michigan more than I ever thought I would, so being able to walk outside at night and hear the sounds of the falls is soothing, and at the same time raises pangs of homesickness...

The trouble with living in an old town, though, is that there are generations of people that live here that consider it their right to know exactly what you are doing at all times. The nosiness of people is astonishing. Bear is sometimes annoyed that I don't want to share news with family or neighbors, but I'm just not comfortable telling everyone everything.

Thursday, 3 March 2005

oh! These children!

"Better than you are" is how my mother put it, and now I realize exactly what she meant. I want so much for these children that my heart hurts, thinking of it. How does anyone prepare their kids for the world? Casserole is already loud and boisterous, and it's just a matter of time before some child at the day care refuses to play with him, or won't give him a toy...Rosey I still have time to fret about. At four months old, she's more concerned with her own toes than social niceties. Maybe I should take a leaf from her book - and not worry about what's going to happen. But how does a mother NOT worry about her firstborn?

When he was born, there was no more beautiful baby ever. That still applies. He is the best thing I've ever done. One thing, however, that having two kids teaches you very quickly is that your beautiful, perfect child is actually a bit more human than you originally thought - he will run and yell in the house, and there are no guarantees that he'll love his little sister.

She, of course, worships him, her whole face crinkled into a grin whenever he's around. He avoided her for the first three weeks after we brought her home, until one night Bear lost patience and plopped Rosebud into his lap - and then he, startled, said "MY sister" and is more cheerful (and possessive!) when she's around. I'm afraid, though, that this honeymoon period will end when Rosey gets her 'sea legs' and starts going after his toys.

"Better than me" - I should have it tattoed on my wrist, so I see it whenever I look at the time.

Tuesday, 8 February 2005

February 8, 05

The title for this is 'days go by', - a reference to the Talking Heads song. My life right now is a long cry of 'The same as it ever was?' and 'My God, what have I done?'

I'm Jess. I have two kids - the big boy Casserole, and the small girl Posey. Three cats - Panda, Chumba and Katie, an old dog, Kansas, and a husband - Bear. Somedays I look at myself in the mirror and wonder:

"How did this all happen?"