Monday, May 31, 2010

Knowing When to Stop

Church shopping continued... Yesterday we went back to a church that we have already been to a couple of times. Janelle had a birthday party at 11:00, so Chris suggested we go there because they have a 9:15 service. It seems to be the one we go back to when we haven't picked another to try.

We all felt so comfortable there yesterday. We just felt really good about it. Janelle is always happy to join the kids program, no matter where we go, so I'm not concerned about her finding a place where she'll be happy. But Connor is so hesitant to join in. On Saturday, he mentioned that a friend from his class said he attends this church. As soon as the kids were dismissed to their program he found his buddy and was happy as could be to stay with him for the morning. So Chris and I actually got to check out an entire service there for the first time.

Last week we went to a church that we were both absolutely sure we never wanted to go to again. I tried to keep an open mind for the whole service in case Chris was really enjoying it, but we hadn't left the parking lot before we both confessed that it was NOT for us. This time I was just loving every minute of it, feeling so at home, and sensing that we had actually found the church that God is leading us to make our home. Just like last week, I didn't want to say too much in case Chris was not feeling the same way, but we were still making our way out of the sanctuary when he said "I really like this church".  Yay!

We don't want to make a hasty decision, though. Friends of ours who moved a few years ago warned us not to decide on a church too quickly. They did not "church shop". They just went to one where their kids have friends and looked no further. They aren't happy there, but their kids are, and right now they feel it is most important to be where the kids are happy. But I do feel that maybe this is the one where we could all be happy. I am ready to stop looking. Chris is almost ready. This church has many pluses:
  1. It is in our neighbourhood.
  2. It isn't huge, but is a good enough size that there is a lot going on.
  3. My kids seem happy there, and the kids program seems like something I'd like to get involved in.
  4. We both really like the worship pastor, and his style of leading worship.
  5. The pastor seems really genuine and very down to earth. I enjoy his preaching, and Chris does too, but wishes he would go a bit deeper sometimes. We both sense a real heart for seeing great things happen for God in this church, though.
  6. The assistant pastor, who met us on our first visit, recognized us yesterday and made a point to speak to us.
  7. There is a strong emphasis on acts of service within the community, as well as supporting a number of missions organizations abroad.
  8. There is a mid-week family night, with a program for the kids and various speakers, a book club, or bible studies for adults.
  9. There is an emphasis on getting people together for social events and small group bible studies.
  10. If we attend this church, it would mean we don't have to look anymore!
I don't want to stop looking too soon, but I don't feel I need to try every church in London, either. This is the church that we found when we were here in January, and Chris studied every corner of their website before we even moved. There is nothing that we feel uncomfortable with at this church. The people are friendly, and seem to want to get to know us. One of my favourite things about this church is its imperfections. I feel like I could be used there. I don't feel like it is a well-oiled machine that couldn't possibly use anything I have to offer. I feel like this could be my church. I certainly don't feel 100% at home there yet, but I can imagine feeling that way someday. And this is the only church I have set foot in here that I have felt that way about.

Next week there is a Big Day Out at this church, a carnival type morning in service to the community, with bouncy castles and antique cars and lots of free food. The kids are really excited about it, so I don't think there is any question about where we'll be going next week. And the week after... we'll see...

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Colour of Joy

Janelle has wanted a purple room for soooooo long. I'm so happy that I could give it to her. It was a lot of work. It was truly exhausting.
But one look at the joy in that smile makes every minute of effort worthwhile. These are the days I really love being a parent!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Quiet Evening

It isn't often quiet this time of night at my house. The boys have gone flying (yes, actually flying with a friend of Chris's from work who is a pilot, and his 10-year-old son — an awesome tour of London from the air), and Janelle and I got back from her soccer game about an hour ago. She got an award tonight! Guess the coaches have figured out that the fact that she actually touched the ball three or four times and did some running is a big deal for my little dreamer. Now she is sleeping peacefully in the spare room (her just-painted room is still off limits), and her Kenny Loggins lullabyes (our favourite) are playing, very nearly putting me to sleep.

I've had a very busy day, painting the one last wall in Nellie's room. It was such a dark colour it took three coats, and I couldn't tape the corners on the other new paint, so cutting in there was misery! I am exhausted, but it's done! Both kids rooms painted, so Papa doesn't even have to touch a paintbrush while he's here. But he does need to put up a clothesline! If I know my dad, he won't be happy unless he has some kind of a "to do" list. Only one more week until Grandma and Papa are here. I can't wait!

The peaceful strains of "Inchworm" are floating out to me, along with Janelle's precious snores, and I'm feeling an irresistible calling to my book and to the couch. I think I'll go enjoy the last few minutes of my quiet house. The boys should be home any minute, and I'm sure they'll bring plenty of excitement with them!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Painting Purple Posies

Today I am up to my ears in Purple Posies Paint.
I can't even imagine being creative today.
It is 30 degrees C outside.
The humidex is 38C. 
Luckily I have air conditioning.
I'm hot anyway!
The first coat is drying, finally.
But my fingers are too tired to type.

I can't wait to see Nellie's face when she see her room!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Making Lemonade

I am recovering this morning from making lemonade.

Last week this time I was very excited about a weekend getaway we were going to take to visit friends in Indiana. Unfortunately, our plans were put on hold early in the week, and I was disappointed. Much of my life these days is wrapped up in what I am looking forward to (and at that time I didn't know my parents are planning a visit in a couple of weeks—Yay!). So I had to come up with something else to look forward to. I succeeded! I succeeded in making so many plans we all finished the weekend exhausted. But I also succeeded in making lots of new memories.

Saturday — Painting Connor's Room!

We've been planning all along to paint the kids' rooms, and I even had the paint waiting in the basement. I don't want my dad ("the painter") to feel obligated to do it when he comes to visit, so I decided this was the perfect time. I (wisely) decided only to tackle one child's room this weekend, and Connor's required the least preparation (ie. the least amount of crap to haul out of it) before I could begin, so he won. We started the day with a trip to Home Depot for supplies, and then I got to work. Chris made lunch and offered emotional support, and practical support later in the day. My first attempt at painting a room on my own was very successful — and supremely exhausting!

My boy does love green!

Sunday — Patio Set

We tried an new church Sunday morning, a bit more of a drive from our place than the others have been. Neither of us felt like it was one that we could see ourselves attending regularly, but at least we've ruled it out and we can move on. However, on the way home I joked "Well, one good thing about attending that church would be that Costco is conveniently located on the way home!" Chris suggested that we stop in at Costco and see if they had a patio set we'd been looking for. No luck — but we still bought plenty of groceries. While I was making lunch I (not very seriously) suggested to Chris that he should go right out and get the patio set we had seen the day before at Home Depot. I stepped outside to put the burgers on the bbq, and when I came back in, he was gone. Twenty minutes later he was back with a brand new patio set — that we spent the afternoon putting together. Well, not all afternoon. I did get some time to sit in the comfy new chairs and read a book.

Monday — The Toronto Zoo

What better way to spend the holiday Monday than a trip to the zoo? Yes, that is exactly what the MILLION people who joined us at the zoo in 30C weather were thinking! We left about an hour behind schedule, drove two hours, and arrived in a 20 minute traffic jam at the parking lot. But by noon we had refueled with granola bars, plenty of water and sunblock and were ready to check out the animals. The restaurants were packed, so we waited a couple of hours to eat lunch. We didn't pressure ourselves to see the whole park. We knew that polar bears were high on the list of priorities, so we headed there first. Then we were off to see the African animals.

"Where do we go first?"
The polar bear exhibit — our unanimous favourite. Although Chris and I both felt sorry for the bears in that way too small pool!
I love the giraffes!
Amazing fish! So many kinds in one aquarium!
We got to the elephants just in time to hear the zoo keeper talk and watch one of the elephants do some exercises. Way cool!

Lazy lion enjoying a nap in the sun.

We ate lunch, walked as much as we could, and took the zoomobile around the park. Then Daddy did the 15 minute walk to the car, while the kids and I went to see the kangaroos and made a quick visit to the splash pad (fully clothed, but it felt wonderful!). At five o'clock, we were back in the car, the kids settled in with their DVDs, and ready for the long ride home.

By 7:00 I was cooking in my kitchen, counting the minutes until the kids would be tucked in bed, and I could climb into my jacuzzi.

I was completely spent after an extra-busy long weekend. But I had made lemons into lemonade!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Project Complete!

Finished — finally! The kids helped, so they get to show off the results. It's a humble effort, but we're proud of it!

At least the lawn isn't a complete eyesore anymore. Special thanks to Nana for the gift of the Japanese Maple tree. The lawn care company is coming tomorrow to advise us on what to do to make our grass grow. I'm determined that someday it will be lush and green!

One major project complete. Now on to the painting!

Missed Post #2

Reasons I missed yesterday's post:
  1. Went on a field trip with Connor's class to the "Children's Water Festival", a very cool, educational water expo, featuring 45 different hands-on stations illustrating various water issues like conservation, watersheds, water safety, pollution, storm drains, ecosystems, ph levels, protecting the water supply, water treatment facilities, etc.
  2. Got home an hour before school ended, but Chris was still here (he had worked late the night before), so I hung out with him until I had to go get the kids.
  3. Picked up the kids at school. Connor had a headache. I assumed that he had sunstroke, which he gets fairly often if he is in full sun and doesn't have enough water. It had been 28C at the water festival, and I'm sure he didn't drink enough. So he and I stayed in the air conditioned house for a while, until he felt like going out to play.
  4. Got supper and hurried off to Janelle's first soccer game. We had the talk beforehand about how it isn't appropriate to pick flowers on the field in the middle of the game. I have to admit, she gave it a good try, running with all her might for about 5 minutes, but then she ran out of steam. She's not used to the full sized field they use at this level. I didn't catch her picking any flowers, but there was some wandering around the field singing happening!
  5. Came home to find that Connor had been sick to his stomach (yep, sunstroke), and I had developed a pretty wicked headache myself. Chris and I put the kids to bed and then I spent the rest of the evening on the couch in front of the TV. I shamelessly watched the season finale of Grey's Anatomy, but, for the first time, I almost couldn't handle the blood. I happily fell into bed, still hoping for relief from the headache, at 11:00 p.m.
Today I'm finishing "my project". Then I'm starting another project: painting the kids' rooms. Connor's first: Bamboo Shoot Green. Just thinking about it makes me tired, but it has to get done! Maybe I'll get a chance to write another post today. Maybe...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

It's Official

I just fastened Ontario license plates to my vehicles. 

I'm not sure why that makes this move seem so much more permanent. But it does.

We bought a house.

We enrolled our kids in school here.

We got Ontario Drivers Licenses.

We've been here for more than two months.

But nothing makes me feel like a citizen of Ontario more than those silly blue tags on my car and van.

They're not nearly as pretty as the red New Brunswick plates.

But I guess I'll get used to them, just like everything else.

And it is kinda cool that they are only one number off from each other.
Bye-bye NB plates!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

In Defense of Robert Munsch

I am a bit of a book addict. I am happy to admit it; I think there are far worse things I could be. One of the more serious aspects of the addiction is the need to fill my house, nearly every corner of it, with children's books. I think it stems from the statement made by a literacy professor back when I was doing my B.Ed., that "You must begin building your children's book library now. Add to it everything you can get your hands on." I'm afraid I may have taken her literally. Oh, well, at least now I actually have children to read my hundreds of children's books to.

One of my favourite authors is Robert Munsch. I began collecting his work long before I had children of my own, and I am happy to say that we have just about every one of his books. I even saw him in concert once in Saint John, and would LOVE to take my children to see him again, especially now that we live about an hour away from him. He is a tremendously talented storyteller. His books are funny and smart and tender, and often very silly. My kids love them. I think all kids love them! The Paper Bag Princess might as well be considered a literary classic! I love the way the princess rescues the prince, realizes he is a jerk, tells him off and skips happily off into the sunset. It is such a fresh take on the fairy tale, and it really very empowering to little girls.

My husband called me yesterday and told me about a news item he heard on CBC about Robert Munsch admitting to struggling with alcohol and cocaine addictions, related to suffering from bipolar disorder. I was so saddened to hear that a man who has brought such joy to children (and parents, I might add) has battled with his own demons for so long. This morning I read a story in the National Post that reported that most parents are sympathetic to Mr. Munsch and will continue to support him, but did reference one dissenting voice, an influential mother who refuses to read his stories to her children anymore, and encourages other parents to do the same.

I'll admit, I have been guilty of sitting in judgement of public figures who make bad choices. I was angry with Brad when he left Jennifer for Angelina. I did plenty of ranting about Jon and Kate and their childish behaviour. I've had nothing good to say about Tiger. I'm sure I've commented on countless other stars who've been in and out of rehab. But the fact is, Tiger is still a great golfer. Brad still makes pretty good movies. (I'm not sure why Jon and Kate are still a global fascination, but oh well...) And The Paper Bag Princess is still a great story. I would happily read it to my children today, and I will surely run out and buy the next book Mr. Munsch publishes so we can enjoy it together. His addictions do not affect the quality of the books he has written, and they don't need to enter my children's sphere of reference, either. People who write children's books are just people, and I'm sure many of the best authors have skeletons in their closets. I don't need to know what they are, and neither do my kids. All we care about is being entertained, and enjoying some snuggle time with really good books.

The fact is, people who have suffered from addictions of all kinds, or who've just made stupid choices, don't need us to judge them. They need us to continue to support them as they try to do better. Robert Munsch has been alcohol and drug free for four months. I pray he continues to claim victory over his addictions. And since I don't feel the need to do battle with my addiction, I can't wait for his next book to come out. Maybe he could come read it in London. He's welcome to stay at my house!

Monday, May 17, 2010

My Project

I think I've mentioned that I'm not a gardener. I'm even less of a builder. But my front yard, aside from having a terrible lawn that has not needed mowing yet this year, just looks blank and boring. Such a pretty house deserves something to dress it up in the yard. So I got it in my head to build a bed for my bushes and flowers. This was definitely more work than I bargained for, considering the ground needed to be level before I could start piling my bricks. But Chris and I went out and got a load of bricks yesterday, and we did some digging. This morning he left me with a fair amount of instruction, and the intention to build a wall. I dug, and I measured, and I dug some more, and I placed bricks, and I removed bricks, and I dug some more, and I measured, and I placed bricks, and so on, and so on. It took a couple of hours and a couple of sore knees, but I have gotten to a point where I can almost see what it will look like, after I get another load of bricks.

Considering I am neither a gardener nor a builder, I'm pretty proud of myself. Stayed tuned for the results!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Twilight Fascination

I watched "New Moon" last night. I had avoided it for a long time. I hesitate to even write anything about it, because I know the passion it evokes in so many die-hard fans. My fascination with the whole "Twilight" phenomenon is not with the books or movies themselves, but with the way it has invaded our culture as a whole. How did something that one suburban mom literally dreamed up become something with which millions of people, 10-year-olds to 60-year-olds, have become so obsessed?

I read all four books last year. They were recommended to me by a dear friend who just happens to be one of  millions of "Twilight" obsessed moms. I was sceptical. I have never been even mildly interested in reading a "vampire novel", or in watching a "vampire movie", for that matter. But my friend persisted, insisting that I would love these books and I just had to read them. So, with much hesitation, I dove into the Twilight world. I have to admit, for the most part, I enjoyed reading them. They were page-turners, very easy to read, and full of adventure and heart-rending emotion. But the whole time I was reading them, I wondered if I was missing something. When I finished the books I was happy to put them away and move on. They really didn't impact my life in any way. I have absolutely no desire to read another vampire novel. And I really don't plan to read these books again, although I know many people who read them all over and over and over and over.

When I saw the first movie, Twilight, I recognized that this was not a well-made movie. I was intrigued by it because it brought characters I knew in the book to life, but I was really underwhelmed, considering all the hype. I felt like it was clearly aimed at teens and young adults. When I watched it a second time with my husband (I know, why did I watch it a second time?) I realized how truly bad it was. Chris, the true movie critic, couldn't sit through it. He hated everything about it: the setting, the music, the dialogue, the acting! He doesn't often say he hates a movie, but this time he did. I agreed. Bad movie. Very sad.

That's why I didn't rush out to theatres in November to see New Moon. That's why when Chris went away a few weeks ago and I rented some chick movies to watch while he was gone, I didn't even rent it. But yesterday I realized that Eclipse is coming out the end of June. And of the four books, Eclipse was my favourite. I don't even remember why now. I don't particularly remember what happens in the book. But I know I read a 600 page book in about 3 days, and that is odd for me. So I thought, hmmmm, I might want to see Eclipse. Different director. Maybe an improvement. And maybe I should see New Moon first. So last night while Chris was working/watching the basketball game, I watched New Moon. And you know, it wasn't half bad. I enjoyed it much more than Twilight. I'm not going to ask Chris to watch it with me again, but I did enjoy it the one time. And I do kind of look forward to seeing the next movie. Maybe even at the movie theatre (alone, and wearing dark glasses so no one will recognize me -- in this city where no one knows me!)

But at the end of this somewhat enjoyable movie I was still baffled by something. I completely understand what appeals to teenagers about the whole Twilight Saga. I think 25 years ago I probably would have been a little gaga over it, maybe even had a few posters on my wall (but not of Edward — I am 100% Team Jacob). I get why teenage girls are identifying with Bella: the awkward new kid who doesn't quite fit in, filled with angst and caught in the trap of excitement and pain that is first love. And as a teacher I appreciate the fact that these books have kids reading, and enjoying reading (although I think that the fact that there are so many younger kids, tweens, obsessed with them is a little disturbing, and perhaps even dangerous). But what about the women my age? What about the millions of moms who can't get enough, who read the books and watch the movies endless times, who wear the t-shirts and host Twilight parties for their friends? What is the fascination with Edward, the cold, pale vampire (especially over Jacob, the warm-hearted, warm-bodied werewolf)? I know, Edward does have a certain sophistication that is appealing, but who wants to cuddle up to cold stone? Is that really where middle-aged (ugh) fantasies have taken us?

In my quest to understand this phenomenon last night, after watching the movie, I actually found some interviews on the web, with some Twilight moms. And they did help me to understand a bit. Getting lost in Twilight is allowing women to recapture a little bit of that long ago romance of first love. Brings back the excitement of those teenage first kisses, that electric atmosphere of a new flirtation. Looking back at my early relationships, I am so glad I don't ever have to go back there again, but I do see why living it vicariously through Bella might be appealling. Still, there are so many other ways, so many other great books, and even movies, that can surround us with those feelings, stir up those passions. So I remain a bit mystified. If you'd like to help me out here, please share. I'm lost.

Several months ago, my friend Denise, who is a much more qualified literary critic than I, wrote an excellent post that articulates much of what I have been feeling about Twilight. She didn't actually read all four books, feeling that after two she had gotten the best of what Twilight had to offer. Although the New Moon movie satisfied me more than the first one did, the book was the most difficult to get lost in. The third book, while long, was a quick and easy read, as was the fourth. However, the plot of the fourth, Breaking Dawn, became so ridiculous (I remember putting the book down several times, not sure that I could go on) that I think I may have finished it quickly just to get it finished! In the end, I'm glad I read them, because I can intelligently discuss something that has become such a pervasive aspect of our culture. Most importantly, as a teacher, I will know what young girls are reading, and I can advise parents to seriously consider encouraging their daughters to wait until high school to wander off into the Twilight. Really, does it need to happen any sooner than that?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Rainy Day Blues

I hate the way a rainy, dreary day saps me of all energy. There are so many things I could be doing on a sunny day that would energize me. I could go for a walk. I could start digging in my yard. I could go to the local garden centre and do some more dreaming about the beds I am going to put in as soon as it stops raining.

Even on a rainy day like today I could do the laundry. I could rearrange furniture and think about how to set up my new living room. I could tap into my creative side and write a review of the book I finished last week.

But on this gloomy, dreary day I don't feel like doing any of that. I do feel like curling up next to the fireplace with a good book. Not very productive, and it would inevitably lead to a nap. But it would be cozy.

And the laundry will wait until tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New Thinking Spot

My New Thinking Spot is ready.

I'm just not sure I'm ready to think yet.

I've had five days of company and hundreds and thousands of thoughts swirling through my brain.

Today I'm not going to think.

Today I am just going to be.

See you tomorrow, New Thinking Spot.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Happy Mother's Anniversary Day!

When we chose May 11 for our wedding day, I wasn't thinking about how someday I would have to share anniversary and Mother's Day celebrations.  It wasn't at the top of my mind at the time. But now, how do I know if those roses are for Mother's Day or our anniverary? It's a good thing the card makes it clear! But do I get taken out for dinner once or twice? Once with the kids (Mother's Day) and once just with my honey to celebrate our special day?

I really can't complain. Chris always makes sure I am sufficiently celebrated. This year Lori and Ben and Karen and John came to London on Saturday to visit with their mom, so we had a Mother's Day celebration then. Sunday we took Nana out for lunch, and then Chris and I went out for dessert and a late movie in the evening to celebrate our anniversary, since he unfortunately has a business dinner he has to attend tonight. He came home early this afternoon so we could spend a bit of time together before he had to go out. Lori came for supper and we played games with the kids before bed, and now mother and daughter are downstairs visiting, and I am writing outside Connor's bedroom door.

How my life has changed in 14 years! Fourteen years ago I had no idea I'd find myself living in Ontario. I hoped I'd be lucky enough to be a mom, but I had no idea I'd have two such wonderful kids! The one thing that hasn't changed in 14 years is the man I married. Well, he has changed in some ways, but he is still the kind, loving, brilliant guy that he was then, and I know now as I did then that I am blessed.

Below are my mother's day gifts from the kids, and a few pictures of our Mother's Day celebration. Mother's Day or 14th Anniversary — it doesn't matter which; it's all about cherishing the good things in life!

Connor gave me a necklace and coupon for three monthly breakfasts in bed!

Janelle gave me these lovely embellished rubber gloves!

Lori brought a Mother's Day cake.

The Mothers.

Missed Post #1

According to the rules of the challenge, if I miss a day (a school day that is) of writing my blog, I have to write an extra blog post the next day to explain why I missed the previous's day's post. Yesterday was the first day that I missed — not bad for 7 weeks! Here's my excuse:

Chris's Mom has been here since Friday morning, and yesterday morning she and I went to St. Thomas to visit the Canadale Garden Centre (renowned as the best in Ontario). She bought us a Japanese Maple tree and a purple sandcherry bush, and I bought a silver leaf dogwood and some soil, and got my juices flowing about what I can do with the blank canvas that is my yard. We returned to the house at lunch time, just in time for Karen to arrive from Toronto. We had lunch together, and then Karen and I went out shopping, in search of something to keep her beads in for jewelry making. We came home with new organizer bags (for each of us — we found such a great deal that Karen bought me one for scrapping supplies), and groceries for dinner. After picking up the kids, the day flew by in a flurry of homework, making supper, eating, playing basketball, watching a hot air balloon float by, and putting the kids to bed. Before I knew it, it was 11:00, Karen was leaving to drive back to Toronto, and I was way too tired to think of writing something coherent.

So that's my excuse. Hopefully I'll find time to write another post later. After all, today is a special day!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Mother's Day is this Sunday, and I won't see my mother this year. I wish so much that I could give her a hug and breathe in that familiar "mom" smell that I have known so well for 40 years! But, Mom, my thoughts will be with you all day! I love you so much! Have a wonderful day, and enjoy your present. If it hasn't arrived yet, that's just an excuse for you to stretch out your special day for a few more. I hope that Dad and my sister and brother spoil you in the manner in which you deserve to be spoiled!

My mother-in-law arrived this morning, so I will have her to spoil on Sunday. We'll celebrate our special day together with my family.

I know so many wonderful mothers! Happy Mother's Day to all of you!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Run, Run, Run Day!

No time for more than a list today! Sometimes those crazy days come along when we just have to "run, run, run" all day!
  • Started out the day getting everyone up and ready for school/work. Lunches packed, breakfast made, everyone clean and dressed and out the door.
  • Drove to Janelle to school while Connor rode his bike.
  • Drove Chris to the car repair shop to pick up our now extremely valuable nine-year-old Neon.
  • Picked up milk on the way home.
  • Grabbed some breakfast and tidied up the kitchen.
  • Started cleaning Janelle's room. Now that is a huge job!
  • Welcomed Jocelyn and her parents and her beautiful 6-day-old daughter Eliana for a quick visit. I even got to feed the baby!
  • Finished cleaning Janelle's room, and going through all the clothes to swap out for summer clothes. Sorted outgrown clothing into bags: good will, back to Tracy, stuff that is still cute enough for Hailey.
  • Put laundry in the washer.
  • Inhaled a quick lunch.
And now I'm writing my blog. Still to do today:
  • Start some pizza dough in the bread maker.
  • Go visit Connor at school to watch part of his "Medieval Feast".
  • Run to Walmart for soccer cleats and dress shoes for Janelle.
  • Stop at the grocery store for pizza toppings.
  • Pick up the kids at school.
  • Laundry.
  • Help Connor get his room tidied.
  • Get the guest room ready for Nana.
  • Laundry.
  • Clean all three bathrooms.
  • Supervise homework.
  • Feed supper.
  • Take Janelle to her first soccer practice of the season.
  • Clean up the kitchen.
  • Laundry.
  • Put two kids to bed (unless I can convince Daddy to do it tonight!)
  • Finish whatever I haven't gotten done yet.
  • Fall into bed, definitely exhausted!
Sorry! No time for being literary or philosophical today. Today I have to be a Mom!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sunshine-y Attitude

I was in a crabby mood this morning. I don't deal well with pain, and prolonged pain really messes with my attitude. This morning I woke up and the pain in my neck was a bit better. I can look to the left and the right with almost no pain at all. There is still, however, a stabbing pain under my right shoulder blade that gives a sharp twinge with every step I take. It makes me grumpy.

And what makes me even more grumpy is that I don't have a car today. In order to have our vehicles registered in Ontario they have to pass a one-time inspection. Yesterday Chris took our 9-year-old Neon in. We feared it wouldn't be pleasant, but didn't expect too many problems since it passed inspection in New Brunswick in December. But of course, the mechanic found $1500+ work that needs to be done before he will give it safety approval. That also means it wasn't ready to come home last night. So I am without a vehicle today.

Chris had a meeting at 9:00. He was running late, so he needed to leave exactly 2 minutes before the kids were ready to leave for school. Which meant that I had to walk them to school. I made sure to let Chris know exactly how much pain he was causing me by insisting that I walk them to school. I'm not sure whether I caused any actual guilt, but that was my intention of course. I stepped out the door in a very crabby mood.

But there's a funny thing about beautiful, sunny mornings in May. They have a way of making crabby moods dissipate. It is an absolutely gorgeous morning. It is about 15 degrees C, and there is not a cloud in the sky. We only live about a kilometre from the school, so it was really a quick walk there and back. Breathing that fresh air had to be good for my aches and pains — and it was certainly good for my attitude. I came home feeling like I may be able to tackle a few more things on my list today. Maybe I could even scrub the floor!

But I have about 20 pages left of my book, and I think my lounge chair on the back deck would be the perfect place to finish it. Then I'll think about scrubbing the floor.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Excuse for a Day Off

I have a list of things I need to get done this week. A long list! And I am NOT a list maker! But there are certain things that I want to get done, and I don't want to forget anything. Yesterday I was pretty successful. I had high hopes for today. Until I woke up this morning.

I have had a sore neck that spreads out to my shoulder and down my back for several days now. In the night last night it was nearly unbearable. This morning it was a bit better, but not scrubbing the floor and dyeing my hair better! So after I took the kids to school I went back to bed. I slept nearly three hours and woke up still not feeling well enough to tackle much on my list.

Sitting at the computer is one of the more painful things I do. Reading a book is not bad at all. And I still have that great book to read. Maybe I'll finish it today...

Monday, May 3, 2010

Stars on Ice

I had been feeling sorry for myself because I didn't have anyone to go to Stars on Ice with. No friends here in London, except one brand new mom freshly home from the hospital with her baby. No babysitters, so my husband couldn't go with me. Then Chris suggested "Why not take Janelle?" He has taken Connor to hockey games and basketball games, but we've never taken Janelle to anything "big" like that. I don't think she had ever even been in a large arena like the John Labatt Centre. I wondered if she would enjoy it — it's not exactly "Disney on Ice". But then I thought about how we were all glued to the TV during the Olympics this year, and how memories of Scott and Tessa and Joannie are still fresh in her mind. Maybe she would enjoy a date with mom, especially watching Scott and Tessa skate in their hometown.

She LOVED it! And I loved watching her almost as much as watching the skating! When I finally got the tickets about a month ago there were only 7 left, so we ended up in the VERY BACK ROW! It was scary being that high! Every time Janelle leaned forward I pushed her back. But it was worth it!

I have to say, watching Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue skate here in London was a unique experience. The proud hometown crowd was wild with excitement went they came out, the first skaters on the ice. Later we got to see their Gold Medal winning routine from the Olympics, as well as their Exhibition routine with the hockey sweater and tutu. I didn't think the standing ovation would ever end! What a thrill!

Then there was Kurt Browning, as entertaining as ever — even skating in hockey skates for one of his routines, Joannie Rochette, who stole the hearts of every mom in the crowd, and Jamie Sale and David Pelletier, my personal favourites whose gravity defying lifts amaze me, along with several other great Canadian skaters. This is the first time Stars on Ice has done an "all-Canadian" tour, and it was clear that this country knows how to grow great skaters!

But the best part of it all was being there with my little lady, whose wide eyes were full of stars the whole time. What a treat to share that "first time" experience together! A precious new memory made!