Friday, November 26, 2010

On comparing my husband to food

Recently a very good friend of mine asked me what X’s husband was like. She knows X a tiny bit but her husband not at all.

“Hmm, well...” I started “he’s like boiled potatoes. There’s not much pizzazz or spice or excitement there but he’s reliable and predictable and completely acceptable.”

She paused and then continued: “Well, then you’d probably think my husband is boiled potatoes too.”

“Yeah, good point” I replied “mine too.”

I have someone in my life whose husband is unemployed mainly because he is ultimately very lazy. They would like to be separated but because he has no money or job he can’t really leave the house so he lives in the basement.

I have someone else in my life whose fights erupt to the point of items being thrown and broken. The male has left the house for 3 days straight without calling the female once to let her know where he is.

I know another person who is going through the messiest of divorces where abuse is being charged and fights over the daughter are nasty. Any love that may have been there at one time has completely evaporated. They will fight until every last cent of that child’s possible future education fund is spent.
Give me boiled potatoes anytime.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

On being Abby's little brother

It's just best if you do exactly as she says. Life is just so much smoother for all of us.

Frankly, that's likely the nature of being the younger sibling in ANY family.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thursday Thirteen

  1. Some days it honestly seems like parenting is really no more than picking up 8000 times a day and saying "no" about 2300 times a day.
  2. Is there an illness that is the opposite of hoarding? Because if there is I think my husband and I suffer from it. I think we'd give away stuff that we might actually NEED someday rather than have clutter. It probably wouldn't make as riveting a show as those hoarder ones do though.
  3. We did some of that de-cluttering today and I seriously think we both get some sort of endorphin rush out of the process.
  4. God forbid either of our kids were watching today as we went through their toys. Thankfully, they're both young enough that they won't remember what toys they beFORE the clean-up.
  5. You know how I've mentioned that Abby likes to cuddle at night? Well, Jackie is the opposite. He will give me more hugs and kisses during one day than Abby would voluntarily give me in a week. But at night? He wants to be by himself. Take last night. I was heading off to bed and thought how much I would enjoy a quick cuddle before going to my own bed. I climbed in to bed with Jack. He opened his eyes just long enough to look me squarely in the eye and very determinedly and clearly said "Get. Out." Ah, the love.
  6. Speaking of differences between my two children: Not even once have I had to clean up crayon or markers or pencil from Abby writing places she shouldn't. I don't think a week has gone by in recent months where I haven't had to wash a wall or a floor or a window or... from Jackie writing on them.
  7. Also speaking of Jack: I wish for you that you could be in the stall next to us in a public washroom as I take him pee. He has made more than one person laugh outright with his exclamations of "good job!" and "whoa! Jackie big poop!".
  8. Random fact: Tomorrow is one of my favorite friends' birthday. 17 days ago was one of my other favorite friends' birthday. That would put my favorite daughter's birthday squarely in between. This has pleased my for 5 years now.
  9. Earlier this week we attended an appreciation dinner for all parents in our school district who are hosting international students. Looking about the room it occurred to me that we just got the best looking international kids. Hands down.
  10. I have a fairly strong suspicion that we also got the best kids in general but that's a little tricky to deduce based on a room scan. But, I'd still be willing to place some money on it.
  11. At the dinner we had one of our district's school trustees sit at our table. Goodness above you would have thought he was running for reelection just during dinner. My back would have gotten sore if I'd have been in charge of picking up all the names he dropped. And all of them seemed to be friends of his as well.
  12. Plus, he just randomly mentioned a bunch of awards he's gotten through the years he's been on the school board etc. Who does that? Just at dinner randomly mention awards you've received to complete strangers?
  13. And the last one in my list of random: I am in a photography challenge that offers up a word and we have to photograph said word in whatever way it grabs us. This week's word is "sweet". What would you photograph given that word?

Thursday, November 04, 2010


Abby and the azaleas
My wee baby girl has been with us for 60 months as of today. And so, a list of 60 things you may or may not know about Abby.

1. She delights. The other day we went to Tim’s for a hot chocolate and it was the first time she’d gotten a coffee cup and she couldn’t have been happier.

2. She has the most amazing brown eyes. Some days I can’t stop looking at photos of her and it’s because of her eyes.

3. She still sleeps with her very favourite bear. Watching her sleep makes any anger I may have had towards her that day fade away.
4. She loves to write. She will sit at the table and write and write and write. If I don’t have time (or patience) to spell things out for her she will find something (anything, a box of cereal, the wrapper from some tissue paper... anything) that has writing on it and write out every word on said object.

5. When I told her that she could write the first letter of each of her classmates on her birthday cookies she couldn’t have been happier.

6. She enjoys sunsets. If we are out and about when the sun is setting she will point out the colors in the sky and remark on how lovely they are.

7. She will want me to photograph it so that we can share the beauty with someone else.

8. She is my ever willing model for any photograph I might want to do. (Her brother not so much.) Although, God forbid I actually want her to be still for a photograph.

9. She bounces. I’ve gone on about this more than once. But of all the things that make Abby Abby that is one of the brightest. It’s been happening less due to the turmoil of the past few months but it still happens on occasion and when it does I feel a weight lifting off my shoulders.

10. She is aware of the right thing to do. When Jack’s daycare lady gave him the exact same little book for Halloween that she had last year Abby knew not to say anything until we were out of earshot.

11. She is an amazing dancer. She has a grace to her movement that I’m actually a bit jealous of.
Growing up
12. She loves. Her dad. We get home from work before he does and she wants to call him every single day.

13. She loves. Her brother. There are many moments of sibling bickering and fighting but there are many moments of intense kindness and protection as well.

14. She loves. Her cousins. Almost nothing makes her happier than knowing one of her cousins is coming over for a visit.

15. She loves. Her Uncle Cel. He has been her substitute teacher a couple of times and it’s the highlight of her day.

16. She gets that it’s not all about her. (Not all the time but sometimes.) She will phone her cousins and uncles and aunts and ask them about things that she knows they like or do.

17. She has eaten pretty much everything I have ever put in front of her. These days she’ll often make comments about the meal not being her favourite but she’ll still eat it every time.

18. In fact, when our international students took us to an authentic Hong Kong restaurant she tried every single one of the dishes even though several of them were completely unfamiliar to her.

19. That being said, she’s not fond of mushrooms or peppers or raw tomatoes. But, she’s smart and she knows she has to eat them anyway and so will quickly eat them first and with milk to help them go down.

20. She has her own houseplant now and remembers that it needs watering more than I remember for mine.

21. She loves to go for car/van rides. Anywhere, any length.

22. She already has an eye for photography. She’s taken plenty of photos that are worthy of framing – especially of people.

23. She loves color. If asked what her favourite colour is she will respond: “pink!”... “and purple”... “and blue”... “and orange”...

24. With that in mind, she has no desire to paint her toes or fingers only one color.

25. And the main thing she wants in a face-painting situation is color.

26. But goodness, does she hate white. She will throw a fuss if she ever has to wear white.

27. She loves music. Always has. When she was little I sang to her to calm her and now she falls asleep listening to music.

28. She is rarely purposely disobedient. If she is watching videos on the computer and I tell her that this is the last one I can feel confident that when I go back in to the room she will be turning the computer off without any sort of reprimand or reminder from me.

29. She is giving. I believe she was 2 or 3 the year she came with me to buy Auntie Corrie’s and Auntie Pam’s birthday presents and she insisted on taking money out of her piggy bank so that she could buy them something as well.
30. She rarely stops moving and has never been a kid to sit on my lap or to hold hands but at night she wants nothing more than for me to lay with her or to come to our bed so that she can nuzzle in to my neck.

31. For her weekly slurpee treat I think she is more excited about how many flavours she can fit in the cup than she is actually drinking it.

32. She pays attention. If I start to tell a story about one of my coworkers she will often say “is that the one?...” referring to another story I’d told. Usually she’s right.

33. Even tiny details. She knows that for movie day this week the doors open at 5:30 and the show starts at 6:00.

34. She is considerate. She loves to help serve dessert on Thursday nights and will always serve everyone else before she takes her own.

35. She loves to share. If we are going out with her aunt and cousins and I pack a treat for all of them she will pester me about it more because she can’t WAIT to give it to them than that she wants it that badly.

36. She is sociable. If we are going out for lunch on Sunday her first question will be “who’s coming with us?”

37. Keeping the above three in mind I can’t HELP but think that she will be like my mother and love to have people over so that she can serve them.

38. She positively LOVES outings. If it’s a choice of staying home or going out she will pick going out every time. Even if it’s just grocery shopping.

39. She’s very smart but there are still a few things she mispronounces. If J-L and I are going out: “Who will take chare of Jack and me?”

40. Also the Old El Paso commercial that’s on right now. “Old El Paso. Mucho fun tonight.” She sings it “Ooocho Paso. Mucho fun tonight.”

41. She has an affinity for mirrors. Even when she was little... if I were to take her clothing shopping with me and she would go missing I knew that the best thing to look for was a full-length mirror as I’d likely find her then. Her father likes to refer to her as “Diva” as a result.

42. She doesn’t really like chocolate very much. She has her moments but given the choice she’d pick a white cupcake over a chocolate one and a sugar cookie over a chocolate chip cookie.

43. For all her screaming independence of late (and frankly, most of her life) she still likes me to carry her to bed and I happily oblige.

44. She positively LOVES playing dress-up. Three of her aunties got her a tickle trunk for one of her birthdays and it was one of the best gifts EVER.

45. She rarely plays with toys. Really never has. She would much rather do crafts or watch slide shows or go for a bike ride.

46. She loves to wash the van windows. She would do it every single time we fill up (even on the cold days) if we let her.

47. She is a girl full of questions. Some days they exhaust me, some days they delight me. She Needs to Know. How things are spelled. What something says. Why we have to stop at a red light. How much things cost. Who was born first. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.

48. She has become quite sensitive lately. She’s developed fears that are new and we (her dad, me, her) don’t quite know what to do with them.

49. Her giggle stops the clock for me.
Happy girl
50. She loves pretty things. Dresses. Jewellery. Purses. Shoes. Decorations. People.

51. She has an amazing memory. She remembers minute details about trips or Jack’s birth or things we’ve told her.

52. With #27 and #50 in mind: She has a spooky ability to remember what songs she likes on a cd. It can literally be the second time we’ve listened to a cd and she will ask for a specific number of song as she knows she likes that one.

53. She has a talented imagination. Not only does she have imaginary friends that are too many to name they also have detailed lives (one is missing an eye, one is moving to Toronto) and many secondary characters (parents, siblings).

54. She also has conversations with herself when she thinks no one is listening. Eavesdropping on those are fun.

55. She is usually quite quick to say “sorry”. Part of it is because she knows that can only help lessen her punishment and part of it is because she genuinely feels heartbroken that she hurt someone.

56. She listens well. She picks up on how things are going for us at our jobs even though we try to have those conversations privately.

57. She enjoys having international students living with us. She demands very little of them. If they allow her in their rooms sometimes or laugh at her silliness it’s really all she needs of them. Not ONCE has she complained that “Chanel doesn’t have to eat her mushrooms” or “Chanel gets to eat chips for snacks”.

58. She doesn’t enjoy watching tv. For awhile she enjoyed watching Dancing With the Stars and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives but even that has waned. It requires too much sitting in one spot for her.

59. Rain does not dampen her spirits. It will not keep her from enjoying folk fest or an entire day on a trampoline.

60. 5 years ago today she changed my name to “mom” and changed my life forever.
In the rain