Friday, 27 April 2007

hero break, cow gone, and girl slurp

Just your usual Friday afternoon....

Donatello stopped. Maybe his fellow turkles wouldn't notice if he took five seconds and had a leisurely pee before joining the fight...

Small girl, big thirst, bigger book.

Terrible photo. The label reads: From Free-Range Cowhide.
(You know, the ones that didn't range fast enough?)

Thursday, 26 April 2007

in which I say vagina too many times

the car ride in:

Cass: Mommy, where is the special opening that dogs have their puppies out of?
Me: (swerving to get back on the road and hoping I heard him wrong) Umm...what?
Cass: You know, where dogs have puppies.
Me: Between their legs.
Cass: (clearly horrified) You mean they have puppies through their penis?

Me: (another pause while I fight to not explode in giggles) No, honey. Only girls have babies, and girls don't have penises. Girls have vaginas.

Rosey: (flatly) I no have penis.

Me: No, Rosey, you don't. You have a vagina.
Rosey: Guy-na?
Me: Sure.
(Rosey sing-songs 'guy-na, guy-na' in the backseat)
Cass: So Rosey's going to have puppies? Cool!
Me: Only dogs have puppies. Only girl dogs.
Rosey: Tass! Tass! I no have penis! Has Guyna.
Cass: (rolling eyes) Yes, Rosey, we know.
Cass: Mommy? Is that a secret?

At this point I gave up, pulled over to the side of the road and laughed myself into a wheezing fit.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Saturday, 21 April 2007

dance party mom

I got up this morning (with the chickens!) Kissed the husband goodbye, did a few things, then decided I was going to begin today with music.

So I tip-toed upstairs, picked out the danciest* music B and I have on our computer**, and woke the kids up with something bouncy.

The boy and girl reacted well - much, much better than I ever would have. As I outlined what we were doing today, they be-bopped around and the girl did an impromptu shuffle.

I was trying to rally them towards getting dressed when I heard the lyrics behind me.
Usher was saying something about 'Shorty' and 'Milking the cow' and 'on top of me' and what??

Hmm, pr'haps not so appropriate. Cass groaned when I turned it off.

'Moooom, I like that song! It's about a farmer and his friend's cow.'

I considered for a moment, then shrugged and turned it back on, visions of Mr. Greenjeans getting down with his bad self going through my head....

Eh, so it's inappropriate. One day isn't going to kill them,
'specially since it's my birthday,

and EVERYONE must dance.

(I'll let you pick your own music. Usher's Yeah! if you want to dance with us.)

* Not a word. I know. But 'most dancy' seemed horrible too, so I'm winging it.
**a pretty pitiful selection, actually. And now I know why.

Friday, 20 April 2007

and some days are too be-yootiful not to share

The last three? four? five? days have been rainy and cold - but today is blue and soft and the air is crisp and the whole day feels like a gift.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

a little spiderman with my coffee

Somewhere in small-town Maritime Canada there's a family of bright-eyed bushy-tailed chirping morning people who are wondering why their children are slugs.

Is it the dawn light waking them? The click of the furnace coming on? The dog turning over? Whatever it is, B and I are becoming accustomed to having company in bed with us, arriving sometime between 3 and 6 am.

Their styles are different. Rosey likes to slip in, clutching her blankie, and scootch herself under B's arm. If B wakes up, she'll flash him a smile (oh, he's putty in her paws, that one) and coo 'Go back to sleep, Daddy. I snuggle with you for awhile.'

Cass will leap onto the bed and announce (since by then he has an audience) that he had a bad dream (or he heard a noise. Or he missed us. Or isn't it time to get up yet? Or he thought Rosey was in here. What are we doing today, Mommy?) and lie spread-eagled over both our legs, hog all the covers, and talk until we all get up.

I'm trying hard to enjoy the moment (they'll be big soon, and I'll miss this, right??) but my dependence on coffee is becoming a real problem and.....

I am a grouch in the mornings. I confess.

There are days I am happy to see the sun. Days I leap out of bed and twinkle a happy tune.
Those days, alas, are are when I wake up by myself.

I'm not at my best when confronted first thing by a four-point question about superheroes and how they could possibly make a giant tunnel to the sea so Cass could float a boat to Halifax, and bring back the Discovery Centre so he could go there everyday and....

by this point I'm up.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

new math

Rain + more rain + more rain + howling winds + high tide = watershed filling up and river getting bloated (remind me, why do I live here again?)

Rosey's new barrette fascination + Cass's deep love of Star Wars = many and varied hair-dos (Mama, Hair like Princess Way-a!)

Cass and the Lego castle + Rosey's fast fingers = much trumpeting and running up and down of stairs (Moooooommm!)

Me + bad weather = unholy love of and consumption of cheese (as long as I have sweet, sweet dairy love, nothing baaaad will happen to moooo, er....meeeee)

All this addition? Wearing me right the heck out.

Monday, 16 April 2007

sleeps like a baby

Rosey fell asleep on my lap today.

She's been relentlessly shaking off all things babyish, so I was surprised to look down and see her thumb plugged in, her blankie scrunched up near her face, and hear those long, slow breaths that seem like peace themselves.

It felt familiar and new at the same time. I remembered how new and tiny she was in my arms, how I used to nestle my cheek in her hair and she'd stir and kick in her sleep, and with one of her little bird feet in my hand I'd try to imagine her walking or running or dancing around. How the slight heft of her always felt so right, such a part of me, snuggled and safe.

Today was no exception - I stroked her pretty hair and ran a finger down her arm and her soft clever hand, and reconciled my memories of my baby sleeping with this not-so-grown-up girl, still seeking comfort and trusting me to keep her safe.

Her legs are longer now, but her weight as she sleeps? Still seems a part of me.

I watched CNN on and off today.
I hope the grieving parents can reach back and find peace in a time when they rocked their children, and all was right with the world.

Thursday, 12 April 2007

national poetry month

I'm considering moving to Canada to live on an asparagus farm.


Doesn't worry about taxes or puppies or rent
Just grows and thinks greenly


I'd love to be sensible
I'm tired of the same people, the same expectations
The same taxes

I'd like to be sensible, tall and green
Straight and singing to a cloudless sky.

In Canada they have such farms, where the workers don't care
about death and taxes and whether we'll war


They go about their work, craggy faces full of peace
Hands caressing the singing spears.

(from years before I met B. Life is ironic sometimes.)

Wednesday, 11 April 2007


I'm listening to a radio program - people around the province are calling in, talking about old buildings they'd like to save, or buildings they grew up with that aren't there anymore.

The wistfulness in their voices is incredible.

I live in an area steeped in history. Privateer history. French and English history. Titanic history. Twenty miles away, the whole town of Lunenburg is designated a UNESCO Heritage Site. Visitors from all over the world go and poke through the little shops and museums.

But hearing the voices of others that miss the old buildings really strikes a chord in me. What is it about wood, bricks and mortar that make us feel comfortable and safe? Why do we long for the 'olden' days?

Monday, 9 April 2007

easter comes but once a year

The kids were hyped up higher than kites blindingly high on sugar (note to self: Rosey can now reach the back of the counter, so hiding things there? Not so good.*) and careened around the house, tearing things apart and reveling in bedlam,

which excited the dog so much he peed everywhere (although it may have been in self-defense - by that time I was screeching so loud that the windows were rattling) and ran in circles and bit his tail,

yelping so loud he startled the amok twins. Cass stopped jumping on the couch in mid-leap, Rosey leaned in to look, and Cass fell on her. Rosey screeched and

the phone rang and I couldn't hear my mother on the phone until

she was half-way through the aghast lecture on 'why don't you control your children?' which

made me full of guilt and snappish and short with her,

which translated into me getting off the phone, looking around at the wreck of the house and realizing that this time, she's right, and becoming even more snappish and short-tempered with the kidlets,

who were so high on chocolate they didn't care.

*Cheeks bulging with jellybeans. Bulging. Like a little squirrel.

Sunday, 8 April 2007


And Easter was beautiful.

It snowed (!?) the night before - a good two feet - and was busy melting off under a bright blue sky when I wrestled the kids into Easter outfits (Cass: Why can't I wear these jeans? Me: Because the Easter Bunny wouldn't like it. Go change.) and we left to drive the short way up to my sister-in-law's house.

Where the kids were loved and petted and adored and horsed around with, and halfway through a lovely Easter ham dinner, chatting with all of Bear's family and laughing about something my father-in-law said, it struck me that

not only do I not feel like such an outsider anymore,
but that these people - these kind and funny people, who love my children and actively try to help make their worlds better -

are my family now.

It makes me feel heart-warmed and sad all at the same time. Glad that B has such a terrific family, with strong roots and hearts that have wings, and grateful that both Cass and Rosey are learning that goodness of spirit, but missing my own far-flung family.

And maybe (just maybe!) missing sitting at their tables too.

Saturday, 7 April 2007


Okay, I'm nice to the kids and I poop outside and I whine to go out
and I bring toys and I only leave teeny-teeny holes in things
I'm not supposed to and I go in my crate with no hesitation
and I don't eat the car seats or the couch
and I don't bounce around in the car and I don't bark.

So what the heck is this?

I am still a dog, y'know.

A dog that -harrumph!- likes jellybeans. Y'know, in case anyone drops any.

Hoppy Easter.

Friday, 6 April 2007

i've begun this badly

Our church has no Sunday School. That partnered with general parental laziness means that Cass and I are having some interesting conversations about Easter.

(in the car)

Cass: So today is Good Friday?
Me: (passing car) Yes.
Cass: So when does the Easter bunny come?
Me: Sunday. Sunday is the day we celebrate Jesus' return from the dead. God brought His son back to life.
Cass: Like Panda? Are we getting Panda back?
Me (SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT) No, sweetie.
Cass: What happened to Jesus?
Me: Some bad men (wincing away from the subject) umm... killed him, and God brought him back so he could say 'Look what a miracle God did! It helped people see how wonderful God is and what miracles he can do. Then God took him up to Heaven.
Cass: So the Easter bunny comes to leave candy at our house so Jesus will come back?
(silence while I try to formulate a response that makes any kind of sense)
Me: (brightly) Oh look! We're here!

Thursday, 5 April 2007

heloise meets aerosmith

Cass was despondent. His Phonics DVD wouldn't load onto the computer.

We (I) tried everything. Loading it from another drive, ejecting and re-starting, testing the CD. Still, the program would only load about half-way, error, error, error, and the drive would spit it out.

I was trying to decipher the Hooked On Phonics website (seriously? On a computer website there's only a mailing address for customer service?) when I had a thought.

Something I'd read a long time ago. Something I never really thought I'd use...but it was worth a try.

I took the CD downstairs, smeared it with peanut butter and buffed it off.

And it worked.

"Daddy!" Cass yelled. "Mommy's a rock star!"

Wednesday, 4 April 2007


I've done so much laundry lately.

The spring weather confuses the husband and children into yanking everything out of their drawers (Do I need a sweater? Maybe I can get away with just a long-sleeve shirt...) where it all mingles with the dirty pyjamas and gets swept up into the laundry baskets.

I'm also in the midst of creating giant bags of Salvation Army stuff, (crap these kids grow fast) which will sit on my sun porch until I remember to take the damned things in (fall? never?) and with the '3 bag limit' imposed by the local branch, emptying the sun porch of clutter could take awhile.

Even with the mountains of old clothes I am hauling away my daughter has more clothes than God ever intended.* Does she really need an entire dresser drawer full of short-sleeve shirts? (This is not counting the drawer underneath it full of long-sleeve light weight shirts, or the drawer full of pretty summer sets.) Do t-shirts multiply in the dark like bunnies?

And another thing. She has more underwear than I do.

Now how is that possible?? She's not totally toilet-trained yet, while I have had years to amass cotton goodness...

So not fair. At least the dryer doesn't eat my socks.

*That's this minute. If I turn around, she'll have grown into another size.

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

yip yip whine yip

The dog is busy shredding his umpteenth-thousandth squeaky-toy. I could go broke keeping him in plastic newspapers and chewy-ropes. (At least it's not shoes, right?)

I really like the medium-sized brown menace. I do. He pees outside (okay, he's had two accidents) and he plays with his toys and he entertains my children. (And occasionally leaves small puppy-sized holes in them.) For the most part, everyone (excluding the cats, who are plotting his death) agrees - he's a really nice puppy.

But I realized something yesterday.


Sunday, 1 April 2007

the music meme

tagged by Stephanie of MamaDrama (sorry it took so long, Steph!)

List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what they are. They must be songs you are presently enjoying. Then tag seven other people to see what they're listening to.

I don't have an I-pod, mainly because I've lost every walkman or portable CD player I've ever had (I also only buy cheap sunglasses because I will put them down somewhere and they'll be gone) - but I do play quite a bit of music.

When the kids are asleep, I like:

Sarah MacLachlan (everyone knows she's FROM Nova Scotia, right?? Homegirl done good.)She's haunting and beautiful and her re-make of Joni Mitchell's River is lovely.

Allison Krauss. I grew up going to bluegrass festivals, and her music can sweep me back to that - running barefoot, the smells of campstoves and fried dough, and the squeak of folding chairs. I Will or When You Say Nothing At All. (I'm supposed to be naming songs, right?) Her 'Baby Mine' (yes, the song from Dumbo) was one of the songs I sang to Cass.

James Taylor. An oldie but goodie. Carolina In My Mind. Song For You Far Away.

Dave Matthews Band. Crash Into Me, The Space Between, and Where are You Going - three songs that for all intents and purposes, could be squished into one long piece and called 'the two moods of Dave'. (I still like it, though!)

Diana Krall. Um, anything by her. I love the old standards and her piano-playing is superb.

When the kids are up and we're driving somewhere and singing:

The Beatles. Latest one: When I'm 64. But they also like Octopuses Garden and Hippy Hippy Shake. (While I try to squeeze the thoughts of the movie 'Cocktail' out of my head.)

Angels and Airwaves - The Adventure. This is the song, Cass tells me, that he's going to grow up and play. He does a mean air guitar. Rosey keeps time on the air drums. (And I try to not go off the road.)

Ok Go - Here It Goes Again. Bouncy and cute.

Sick Puppies - All The Same. Sweeeeeet.

Steve Harwell - Everyday Superhero. This is the catchy song from The Pacifier - a movie Cass likes for the spy gadgets and I like for Vin Diesel*. (what??)

Is there anyone left who hasn't done a version of this? I tag you.

*Congratulations to Walt Disney Films for realizing Moms like a little more eye-candy than Prince Eric from the Little Mermaid.

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 ...