Tuesday, 31 October 2006

s'posing they could snark

Rosey: Why are you laughing?

Cass: Because, sis, this is going in YOUR babybook. I look relatively normal, but you....you look like the Statue of Liberty exploded on your head. Vegas, anyone?

Rosey: But I'm little and cute. I can get away with anything!

Cass: Just remember who looks sane here.


We were leaving the little store in town and Cass stopped and looked at me.
"Mom? I'm a big tough pickup truck, okay? I'm not......precious.
Can you get (nice neighbor lady) to stop calling me that?"

Me: (doubtfully) "I can try...." (under my breath) Wooshy Sqooshums.

His costume? Three days. Her costume? Thirty minutes.

Happy Hallow'een, everyone!

Monday, 30 October 2006

ready for hallow'een

His costume is fixed (it had a 'flat tire' at the party), her costume is put together. Bear will get off work and we'll take the two out, probably holding onto both of them for dear life, as the winds are fierce and should remain that way for a few days. (We might get HAIL tonight. HAIL, people. Not my favorite thing.)

Actually, in light of that, I might take the petals that are attached to the neck of her shirt and sew them to a scarf, since it's prit'near certain both bambinos will be wearing BIG THICK WINTER COATS.

I did tell y'all Rosey is going to be a daisy, right?

OF COURSE there will be pictures!

Friday, 27 October 2006

he wanted to be a pickup truck


1. Find a suitable box. This old car seat one did nicely. After many jabs and pokes at it, ask husband (he of the hairy arms) to cut it out. Husband does this, even measuring to make sure both sides match.

2.Use a discarded flap for the hood (make a small slit in 'doors', slide flap in to anchor. Tape edges down.) Paint the whole shebang blue with stippling brush left over from three second fascination with learning to tole paint, as this will be the only paint brush you can find in the house. Remember you're out of wine. Cut massive hole in bottom of box (to insert child) and thread straps through.

3. Take sheet of heavy-duty plastic (I used a heavy dry cleaning bag) and hot glue to dashboard. Stretch plastic up over side pieces, gluing as you go. Frighten both cats with your stomping and swearing as you sizzle your fingers. Cut excess plastic off, tape edges. Take extra piece of box and stretch it across top of windshield. (I taped it to it.) Again, go at it with the blue paint. Make grill out of silver paint, headlights out of white. Realize you will never in a trillion years make perfect circles for headlights. Fret. It is at that moment the mantra 'this is a child's costume' will begin running through your head.
Wonder if there's any cooking sherry hidden in the pantry.

4. Paint four heavy duty thick paper plates brown and hot glue them to sides of truck for wheels. Use end of paintbrush to make lines on grill. Realize you're almost at the end. Resolve to call Mom more, remembering all the princess crowns she made you out of glitter, jewels, and twisty pipe cleaners. Do cute stuff on car - gas cap says 'Regular Boy Fuel Only' and bumper sticker says 'HONK IF YOU LOVE CANDY'. Yay! It's midnight! (And Blogger won't let me upload photos now. I guess I'm over my limit? Sigh. )

I'll get pictures tomorrow of him wearing it.

Thursday, 26 October 2006

maybe it'll snow, and he'll forget about this

So Hallow'een's a-comin.

We've already gone through our first crop of carved/painted pumpkins (the warm one day/cold the next/rainy on weekends weather stirs up rot pretty fast) and will soon need to replace them. Only Rosey's pumpkin has survived thus far, and I think that's because hers wasn't carved, just painted.

This year, Cass is all about the decorations. And I'm so not. His big wish this year is to put one of those huge pumped-air pumpkins (or a ghoul, or a mummy - I don't think it really matters what it is as long as it's huge and Hallow'eeny)on the roof. The roof, people.

Speaking as the person who frankly thinks she has too many (damned) Christmas decorations already,(what do you do with them??) the idea of adding another holiday box to the ever-growing pile is not really something I want to do. But how to tell him this?

And if I give in, how do I explain to Bear that he's going to have to get out on the roof and secure a six foot pumpkin to it?

Methinks this is not going to go over well.

So C may not get his Giant Pumpkin this year. (cough Any year) He is, however, getting to go to at least two hallow'een parties this weekend.

Here's hoping the sugar rush will blind him to the fact that we'll be the house without the Sasquatch-sized decorations.

Tuesday, 24 October 2006

Sunday, 22 October 2006

autumn cleanup

Tomorrow is designated Fall Clean Up Day, where the trash men will pick up big items as well as regular trash.

I tend to go into a zen-like state where I want to throw out everything and start fresh - the whee! zone. Bear (who never met something he couldn't re-purpose) gets tighter-lipped throughout the process. (and wees if he can't get me off the scent)

So we started small - an old mop, a shredded tarp, a broken window blind. Some old toys of the kids. A box of oddments from the shed.He wasn't flinching yet, so I went to the next level.

A five gallon bucket, a crushed laundry hamper, a window shade. Some more tarps and groundcovers, in better condition. The kids' pool, which was left out with water in it and froze. Still okay.

Then I went for it: 'How about that big desk the kids don't use?' and the blinking lights of 'OVERLOAD!' went off in his brain.

He stared at me. "But...WHY?"

I couldn't answer, because I was already lifting it to the curb. "Because," I puffed. "It's (unh!) huge and takes up too much (unh!) room, and they don't sit at it, and it weighs a ton and could you help me?

He did come help, although he was mournful. "It's just....it's just...when you throw it away, it's gone forever."

I looked at him. He wasn't kidding. I let several cars go by* (and several things left unsaid) before I answered.

"Yeah. That's how it works."

So tonight I'm going to have to sleep with my hand tucked into the back of his t-shirt or something, just to make sure he doesn't 'liberate' the damned desk.

*The traffic is always heavy on Clean-Up nights - a lot of college students and people with Perma-Yard sales drive through and take things they can use. People actually sit on their porches and watch other people paw through their trash.

why looky, it's blogger

WHY is it always the weekends when Blogger screws up is down for maintenence?
And does it have to be every. single. weekend?

Anyhoo. Something that made me smile yesterday at the market:

Thursday, 19 October 2006

a little ditty

I will admit, my mind was elsewhere. I wasn't paying that much attention, instead thinking about what to make for dinner and which letters to mail out and oh God I forgot to do thank you notes! and so on.

It took awhile to register that C was whispering in the back seat. Humming a little tune. I switched off the radio and leaned back to just hear him.
Banging his toys together, he was crooning
"High heels, high heels.
I love my high heels."

I was pretty sure this wasn't on any of his CDs. And the last song the radio played wasn't about footwear. I cleared my throat.

M:Honey? Where did that song come from?
C: I heard it on television.
M:Really. What were you watching?
C: Foster's. Hey, I made a pumpkin today for you! It's full of paper. And I painted it orange!

(a few minutes of talk about his art project, then he started messing with his toys again)

High heels, high heels....

M: Hey, honey, what's that song about?
C: Cars.
M: Hmm?
C: Cars. Like my orange one.

The orange car? A Hot Wheel.

flower power

stolen from a friend:

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

"When your friends think smile, they think of you. There is not a day that goes by that you can't find something good about the world and your fellow humans."

Also, my stems are woody, I follow the sun, and I always lay down after the first frost. And the birds pecking at my face don't even faze me anymore.

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

these kids are trying to kill me

Rosey's turning two has been an interesting experience.
Today, she said 'No' for the first time ever. (Just in time for the terrible twos!)

Tonight, she crossed another milestone I had hoped we'd missed - she pooped. In the tub.

Cass was horrified. 'Mom! Rosey's got something on her hands!' Then his tone changed to fascination. 'Is that poop?'

Two milli-seconds later, they were out of the tub. I pulled the plug and started containment exercises.

This was, of course, the one night where I'd said 'Sure!' when they both wanted all the bath toys in the tub.

(picture taken after clean-up, before sterilization.)

Bear rustled around downstairs. 'Hon? We're um..out of bleach.'
Shit. What now?

Ignoring the two naked kids huddled together on the step, I bounded downstairs and rifled through the cupboards. Borax - no, Softsoap - no, Silver polish - no, PineSol - no...and there it was. Tucked back in the corner.

A brand new bottle of Lysol Power Toilet Bowl Cleaner.

The label said clearly 'Kills 99.9% of germs.' What could be better?

I used the entire bottle. It um... smells powerfully of wintergreen. And it foams! A lot.

Twenty minutes later, after rinsing (and rinsing, and rinsing!) everything with the hottest water we had, the problem had been solved and the tub sparkled. Sparkled.* It hasn't been this shiny since we moved in.

I was feeling pretty smart as I turned back to the kids. 'Ok! Who wants to have the first bath? You guys still need to rinse your hair, you know.'

Rosey shook her head at me. 'No, Mama. No. Shower.'

*Of course, reading the label now, it says 'Not to be used in tubs'. Obviously not made by people with kids. Or, you know, people with kids that have this problem.

the bird in my hand flew away

I've been putting off making Cass's costume, hoping against hope he'd change his mind and not want to be this complicated thing he wants to be.

Wishful thinking...or a healthy dis-like of duct tape? You decide.

Yesterday, though, there was a glimmer of hope.

I brought out the advertisements for Halloween costumes from the paper. And gushed. Couldn't hurt, right?

He really liked the look of the fireman outfit, but then we turned the page and there.it.was.
An RCMP* outfit.
And it was glorious. Hat, coat, striped pants, the whole bit.

C: Oh, oh, look at that! Look at that! Maybe I want to be a police officer.
Me: (patting self on back - I'm sooo smart!) Sure, honey, you can be...
C: Next year.

*Seriously, all y'all State-side know this is the Canadian police, right?

Tuesday, 17 October 2006

stranger in a strange(r) land

The french wording around here confuses me.

I've gotten used to most of it - I think I can even read some of it, thanks to the daily immersion of food labels, signs, etc.

But every once in awhile, something really throws me. Usually something I know I've stared at before, something close to me...

Like my airbag warning, passenger side.

'Danger du mort ou de blessures graves.'

My English-speaking mind wants to make this out of it:
Danger of death or the blessed grave


Monday, 16 October 2006

she's two

My baby is a toddler now.

I mean, officially. She's been toddling (and running and hopping and partying and doing calculus) for some time now.

I've talked about her birth story before. We loved having you as a baby, Rosemary, and now we're thrilled to meet this growing-up girl, and can't wait to see what the next year brings.

Happy Birthday, Funny Valentine. Mama loves you.

Sunday, 15 October 2006

chocolate every day

Naniamo Bars (say nah-nye-mo) image from Wikipedia

Mrs Kennedy has proposed we bake these write a post each day in November. She's calling it NaBloWriMo. (national blog writing month)Even the title sounds good...mmmm, chocolate bloggity goodness.

You know you wanna. And...if you can't think of anything to write...you could make dessert. Or something.

Update - the name has now been changed to NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) which is more accurate, I guess, but doesn't immediately bring to mind the naniamo bars - don't take away the chocolate!

growing up, blogging style

There's a growing unease in the blogging community about mis-use of blog posts and unattributed use of content. One company, botacle.org, (replace the 'o' with an 'i' - I WILL NOT be found by their search engines that way) seems to be the worst - 'scraping' blog content off blogs and republishing it with ads and other $$ clickable items. All this and no credit to the original author (or monetary gain) is making many uneasy about what they put on the internet.

Is password protected the way to go? I have friends who have pass-protect blogs, and they like the privacy, love the absense of worrying about who is reading their stuff. I would miss the voices and comments that turn up as people follow me back through a comment or 'leap-frog' through blogs to say 'Hey! I like your writing!' and then dash away.

I did get a creative commons license, but I don't kid myself into thinking this will protect me. I've seen some nifty attribution statements on RSS feeds, but so far nothing I can use - maybe soon?

I love the freeing aspect of blogging, the way I have a 'community' of wonderful people who make me nod and smile and laugh and choke up, all with the way they write. I'm not thrilled with the idea that some company will use my words and pictures and stories to make money.

I guess we're all growing up.



Saturday, 14 October 2006

autumnal pretty pretty

Mums on the front stoop

The trees are showing their colors (and it's still warm enough to 'take a drive')

The pines from this spring are growing up fast

And even the glacial leftovers that dot the landscape here look like they're soaking up the sun. (This shelf here? Just big enough for a kid bottom or a leisurely cat nap - we find 'visiting' neighbor felines here sometimes)

Friday, 13 October 2006

Wednesday, 11 October 2006

five-year old humor

We've started working on knock-knock jokes with Cass.
After the standard Banana/Banana/Banana/Orange You Glad I Didn't Say Banana? It was his turn.

C: Knock knock!
M: Who's there?
C: Orange Paper.
M: Orange Paper Who?
C: Aren't you glad I didn't say food?


C: Why did the camel walk on the ceiling?
answer: Because he wanted to leave upside-down footprints!

Of course, it only takes a few more (Vampire grapes! Candy feet! Yellow toast!) to degenerate into poop! and then it's all downhill from there.

Tuesday, 10 October 2006

I seriously signed on for this?

Things you never want to hear your son say...

I had poop juice again!

Off to scrub the bathroom...

oh yes, it must be Tuesday...

Things were suspiciously quiet upstairs.

R had been in the bathroom too long and there were no running-water sounds, nor any of her sitting-on-the-potty warbling.

No thumping around, or squawks of outrage from the cats, or anything.
I headed up.

Rosey was standing in the middle of the bathroom floor, pulling her shirt back on over her head. When I scooped her up she...smelled mightily of....Bear.

Now, I have a nice-smelling husband, and I like that. But I'm not used to having my daughter smell like him. I checked the body wash in the tub. Cap still on and her hands were dry. Shampoo? Nope. Deodor..... Oh, crap.

"R? Show me what you were playing with?"

Sure enough, the little monkey had been putting on deodorant. And, being the enthusiastic two-year old she's about to become, she had swiped it under her arm-pits, up and down her arms, and all over her stomach.

So now my toddler smells like Axe Dry. I'll let you know if the advertising is true and we come home from the beach with women's noses stuck to her belly.

I suppose it could be worse - she could smell like Old Spice.

Monday, 9 October 2006

pretty baby deserves a pretty mama

So - the weekend.
Saturday was Cass's birthday party - he cleaned up with dinosaurs and cars and auto garages (and I thought you liked me, Sister-In-Law? Why did you throw me mercilessly into the land of Toys with Many Small Parts?) and a gorgeous snow outfit - he had a Superman cake and a terrific time.

Sunday was Thanksgiving dinner (Thanksgiving is actually tomorrow) and we all had lovely food and good wine and great conversation at the Other Sister-In-Law's (to be referred to as the Good SIL, heh) and then when we came home I put the 10000 part toy together and it works and C loves it. And kudos to me! I put it together without teaching the kids any new swear words!

I'm going to link to Friday Playdate, because Susan wrote about something that really made me think this weekend, all about forgetting ourselves as beautiful women as we puzzle out motherhood.

She writes:

What I'm saying is this: answering to 'Mommy' doesn't mean that you don't deserve to wear clothes that are not playgroup appropriate and talk to other adults about something other than poop every once in a while. But wearing only sweatpants can make us feel that way.

Go read it. It's a phenomenal post by a very good writer.

So today I dug out my contacts, found a nice pair of black slacks, and blew my hair dry. I even wore a little make-up (At home! Shocking!)

Rosey took one look and started jabbering 'Eyes!' at me. Then when I didn't take the hint, she went upstairs to find my glasses for me herself. After she brought them down (B intercepted them swiftly and handed them off) she and I did a little naming of body parts:
Nose! Mama's nose! (she jabbed her own and then mine)
Toes! Mama's toes!
Shoulders! (etc)
Eyes! R faltered. She touched her eyelid and stared at me. Then...she touched my hand holding the glasses.

In other words, my daughter thinks these frames just 'growed there', like Topsy.

I don't mind that so much - glasses are perfectly fine, and I'm actually more comfortable in them than the contacts, but the idea that she would think they grew there and were a part of me was sobering.

So next week? Going to work more on Me, and not just the Mommy-me.

After all, I deserve it!

Thursday, 5 October 2006

spam story

Want to play? The next piece of spam you get, take one line and create a short story from it.
You know you wanna.
The road now plunged into a gorge of the Delectable Mountains.

Will gazed in open-mouthed wonder at the gorgeous scenery around him. The trees looked like licorice whips, and a river babbled to itself, wending through the rocky terrain. He could see the bus station far ahead, and swallowed hard, reminding himself to use his manners and shake hands like Grandad taught him.

Joe's dirty car was waiting at the curb.
"Hey, kid" said Joe, barely looking up from his newspaper. "You have a good ride?"

Will nodded. "Sure."

Joe gestured him in. "Let's get you home."

As they were driving away from town (Will still peering at everything) Joe remarked "You don't remember this, do you? You know, you lived here before. Your mom brought you out here when you were a baby."

Will's voice was low. "I don't want to talk about my mom. Ever since she ran off with that clown, I don't like the circus anymore."

Joe coughed. "I'm guessing your uncle never told you what he does?"

They turned into the driveway. Large cages lined the driveway, each with a pacing big cat inside. A paddock held zebras and llamas. A man was driving three grey horses in a gaily ribboned cart.

"Yeah, kid, you're living with the liontamer now."
See? Easy as pie. I tag anyone who wants to play.

Tuesday, 3 October 2006

on the last day you are four

You were born on a clear blue day with a nip in the wind - somewhere, your Mommy has leaves gathered from the trees that day. I badgered your poor father into running out into the hospital parking lot that night to get them. You might understand as you grow older how important it was for me to have something to hold onto that day, something familiar and expected.

We were there the second time to be induced, and for the second time they did whatever they had to do....and nothing happened. Nothing. I was heavily and hugely pregnant (I will not lie; 42 weeks looks ugly on everyone) and as uncomfortable as all get-out - you, on the other hand, were happy in your tadpole haven, lazily kicking me and dancing on my bladder. We sat in a small room - your father, me, two nurses and a student, all staring at my belly and the machines hooked up to it, waiting for something to happen.
After about forty minutes of this, I sent your Dad for a Coke and told the nurses I'd holler if anything happened.

I remember petting the curve of you and telling you that everything was all right - it was just time to be born, that was all.

And three minutes later, you decided that this 'inducing' idea was for the birds and set off all the bells and whistles when your heartrate plummeted. (I was screaming for the nurses - 'It says fifty-three!' I yelled into the wall speaker. 'I'm hoping that's me!')

By the time your Dad got to the cafeteria someone told him to come back and he arrived just as two nurses flipped me over onto my side and made me wear oxygen.

We were suddenly scheduled for a c-section - we had time to call everyone and let them know and I got to kiss Nana, and they wheeled me in.

A side note: Your Dad doesn't like vomit and poop, much less the unzipping of his wife like a big Ziploc bag. That he came into the operating room with me and stayed there the whole time is a true testament of how incredible a man he is, and how much he loved you from the moment we knew you were coming.

The rest is kind of a blur (I threw up from the epidural - twice - there was no sensation worse than knowing I was going to vomit but not remembering how) and there were a lot of people in the room. (No one told us, but the doctor was really worried about you. [You have to watch Dr. E - he's dead calm when things are wrong.] So there were ten people in the tiny operating room - a doctor for me, a doctor for you, the anesthesiologist, two nurses, a surgeon, the student doctor, and the public health nurse. And me - the giant slighty-loopy whale on the table, and your Dad, sweating and trying not to look at the reflection of the surgery in the lights.)

And then your heartrate went down again and they couldn't get it back up, so they ripped you out and you squalled like an ferociously angry wet cat and you were so beautiful....

And now you are everything I could ever want.

And still beautiful.

Happy, Happy Birthday, sweet Cassidy.

and now for some snippets of story

Rosey had her first "official" haircut last Friday - a few inches off the back and the sides and bangs neatened up. She really did well with it - not so much squirming and actually stayed in the chair - and now she looks so much like a big girl she takes my breath away.

Cass will be five tomorrow. Holy crap, I have big kids!


I am so angry and sad about the Amish shootings in Pennsylvania. How terrible. The survivors will be so scarred.


Last weekend, I made both a pork roast and a roast chicken. Then I used my handy-dandy well-travelled fantabulous immersion blender and turned the leftovers into soup - Curried Sweet Potato and Pork, and Chicken and Portabello. It's been that kind of weather where soup sounds like a wonderful idea.


I think the next books we read may be the Chronicles of Narnia, as Cass and I watched The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe yesterday, and he was enthralled with it. His new career choice is King (after, of course, he gets done being a policeman, a pirate, a rock star, and someone who hunts dinosaurs) and even the battle scenes didn't bother him at all.

Fall is settling in - time to get the wood in, store everything from summer, and drag out the woolen clothes. Think I can bribe B into doing that this year?

Sunday, 1 October 2006

if he hates reading it will be all.my.fault

We sent Cass to bed early tonight.

Things were quiet out on the sunporch, and I glanced out to see an odd flash of light and to hear my daughter's giggle as she crawled out of the dryer. Cass was still in there when I hit the porch door, panic and sheer scared fury making my voice shake. He's been warned before - the dryer is so not a place to play - actually, they shouldn't even be playing on that side of the porch at all, and the gates and barriers will have to be raised accordingly. After a quick three minute lecture (You KNOW you don't do that! You could get hurt! You could get trapped and I wouldn't know where to find you!) I could feel my blood pressure rising and cut to the chase over his protests.

"Upstairs. This minute. March. Into your pyjamas and bed. I am so angry..."

He went, but he hated it. And he wasn't shy about telling me. Bear went in there when it became apparent there was a mutiny - C was sitting cross-legged on his bed in his underwear, saying loudly that he WASN'T going to put on his pyjamas, and he WASN'T going to sleep all night long. And that in the morning, he was NEVER going to TALK to Mommy AGAIN.
I let Bear sort that out while I re-set the gates on the porch and started getting Miss Rosey ready for pre-bed stuff.

Cass was still crashing around in his room when she went up to her crib. Mutters of "NOT going to sleep NOT" could be heard. I went in to check on him and he was sitting bolt upright on his bed, assorted cars strewn around him. Must have been fun, playing in the light from the night-light. I kissed him and ignored his vows of perma-wakefulness, and left.

A few minutes later, he pulled open his door and asked hopefully "Mommy? Are you coming to read books to me?"

When informed that no, there wouldn't be books tonight, that getting sent to bed was a punishment, and he needed to go to bed, he burst into loud wails and told us that we were SO RUDE to him, that he was going to tell MissMacGyver on us (Cass can not say his pre-school teachers name correctly. I don't think anyone in his class can.) and when he grew up, he was NEVER going to read AGAIN.

So, crap. While I am strong in my conviction that they should never be playing in or around the dryer (and that frightened me so badly the hair on my arms still has not gone down) I never want to curb his love of books. I think kids (boys, especially) need all the coaxing to use the library and read every day they can get.

Tomorrow he will have forgotten all about this, I know. But is it a good idea to withhold reading a bedtime book as punishment?

Yarn over and over

Someone, an old babysitter maybe, taught me to crochet when I was six. I remember making long braided loops of yarn and thinking how pretty ...