Monday, 26 September 2005

Chocolate Fix

Well, I've finally had my chocolate fix. I lasted through seven days, chocolate free, which was my goal. I wanted to try to avoid chocolate during the week and just indulge in a bit on the weekends, but looking at the pictures from last week that I took, maybe that's not such a good idea. Maybe a small daily dose would be more prudent.

I can't believe I actually dressed up somebody's lawn gnomes like that. What was I thinking! I should have chosen the white crown to go with that colour gnome!

Saturday, 24 September 2005

When I "Paint the Town"

When most people "go out and paint the town", it usually involves alcohol and a good time enjoying the company of friends. When I go out and paint the town I do things a little differently. Yes, it did involve going out with a good friend. No, it did not however involve alcohol. It would be hard to tell that I was not drinking, unless you knew me. I did not act as if I was drunk in any way, but "painting the town" did involve walking down a busy strip lined by small shops, busy bars and bustling restraunts. My companion was wearing a crown, and I a set of bunny ears. Easter bunny ears to be exact.

Were you to ask why we would consider doing such a childish thing, you would receive the simple answer, because we could. My companion was wearing it as a symbol of her inner princess and I, on the other hand, have no reasonable explanation as to why I was wearing bunny ears. I don't, to the best of my knowledge have an inner bunny. So, I'll just chalk it up to a sudden lack of chocolate (I made it to seven days! Yeah Baby!)

Now, you would think that a couple of women in their late 30's (I'm being generous as far as my age goes here, seeing as I celebrated the big 40 this summer.) would draw a bit of attention walking down such a street wearing these odd articles of head gear on a busy city street. Oddly enough, in the rougher end of this area, we were unable to attract even a single second glance.

As we ventured further to the "up town" area of the strip, we were able to get the attention that we were expecting among those who were enjoying a bit of liquid pleasure, in the outdoor patio areas of the local bars. We received a few cat calls and a couple of interesting suggestive remarks. Most just assumed that we were headed to a weekend party....never mind that it was only a Thursday night.

We proceeded on to walk one of my favourite middle upper class neighbourhoods, filled with expensive, quaint condos lining a number of small narrow streets. Expensive landscaping noted throughout each and every lot. At least... all but one. One lonely little lot in this sub-division filled with exuberently priced show pieces. On this block, sits a small gem. The reason for our travels this night. A green grassy front lawn no bigger than two car widths, and one car legnth. What interest could we possibly have walking this distance to find such a small bare uninspired place? I will tell you what! Lawn ornaments. Tacky little lovable characters that were begging to fit into this high class condo paradise. How, you ask, could two nutty ladies with a crown and bunny ears respectively, turn a lawn gnome and dog statue into upper class works of art, so that they could feel a part of this community? Well, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. So that's why I included one. (or two.)

I can't wait to see what we do on our next ladies night out!

Thursday, 22 September 2005

Day Five and Barely Alive


It's day five of my chocolate free existence. I am not finding that the cravings are so bad that I can't stand it. My problem exists in the fact that my memory and brain function have all but ceased.

I was out in the park with neighbours I have known for a number of years. They were a sea of nameless faces. I couldn't remember their names, those of their furry friends or even the names of my own children for that matter. At least not correctly.

I am finding it amusing, looking back, at how these people reacted to my absence of brain power. I explained to them why I was having problems, and they were very kind as to assist me in any way possible. This became very amusing when I was having trouble searching for appropriate words to finish an idea in a discussion. Anyone looking out at us from the adjoining homes, would have seen a small intimate group of people playing a game of charades in the park with dogs dodging in and out of the circle. The excitement was visible upon each correct guess of a word. This would result in a loud yes being yelled out and the applause that would ultimately follow.

I could feel the empathy emitting from all and after a while just gave up trying to form sentences because I could see how painful it was for them to watch me stumble through another thought. Quick one or two word answers were what seemed to work best.

Eventually, by the time the sun had started to slip down under the pinkish orange horizon, my kind neighbours had started fumbling for words themselves. Calling their own dogs the name of their spouse or child. Funny how something like that becomes contageous. I have managed to make them all uncomfortable in their own speech patterns and thought processes. Well, all except for one person.

This one person, (oh, let's call him Ron...) decided it would be more helpful to lecture me on the evils of chocolate, especially milk chocolate, and how could I have possibly been eating so much as for it to have this kind of affect on me upon trying to give it up. He obviously isn't living in a household with One working husband, four children, two fish and one very big shedding white dog. If he were, maybe he would be struggling with this addiction too! Or possibly even something worse.

Friday, 16 September 2005

Were only they open 24 hours a day....

Ahhh! September. It's a fresh beginning to yet another school year. A time to start over with renewed hopes of a successful year in the ongoing acedemic journey of children. A time to indulge oneself in the fantasy of remaining organized and finding endless enjoyment in learning all throughout the year.

This is also the time of year that librarians and library technicians alike enjoy almost as much as Christmas! A time to embark upon a journey of ultimate importance.... Shopping for school supplies for their tiny wards ! After all, what self respecting library geek doesn't feel the magnetic pull of the nearest "Staples" or "Grand and Toy" calling them in. They don't even have to buy anything to achieve that euphoric high. Like a drug addict getting a fix, the bibliomaniac can obtain their pleasure from the smell alone of the stationery supplies. The fresh crisp sound of plastic wrap so tightly wound around a perfectly stacked block of "400 sheets" lined loose leaf paper. Pre-sharpened coloured pencils in a perfectly undented box with sharp square corners. Sticky notes, exsensive as they are, even bring pleasure, in their blocks of varying colours and sizes. Oooh! I get shivers just imagining it!

Luckily for me I have kids. I have a reason to actually buy these coveted items. Well, actually, it's not so much that I have a reason, as I have an excuse. I know I've taken to buying items that my 6 year old could not possibly be requiring in grade one. After all what 6 year old is allowed to use pens or white out in class, not to mention a package of business card sheets for our printer. And lets not mention the solar calculator that she just had to have to figure out her ever difficult grade 1 addition and subtraction questions.

My only regret is that these palaces of joy aren't open 24 hours a day. Grocery stores are in many a city, why aren't stationary shops? I guess we can't have everything in life. It's not a perfect world after all. Maybe someone could work on a fragrance for the home that smells like these heavenly places. It could be called, "Ode to September, new beginnings."

Wednesday, 14 September 2005

Coming soon.

Tuesday, 13 September 2005

Blueberry T's and Tye Dyed Floors

This is your mission, should you choose to accept it:

One of our agents is in need of backup daycare assistance while carrying out her mission. Your job will be to entertain and care for, two three year olds females and provide adequate, stimulating activities for the course of an entire day. You are to play the part of "Super Mom." A difficult role to pull off but, this is an important one. Don't blow it.

This message will be covered in grape jelly and butter in five seconds.

Well, guess what....I chose to accept it. Madison always eagerly anticipated the arrival of one of her favourite friends, oh, let's call her Bailey....since I never use real names on the blog. Madison could hardly sit still. She kept asking me what time it was. Well actually she kept saying "Mom, one sleep is it time for Bailey to come over?" Her equivalent to "hey lady, you got the time?"

The exciting, long anticipated moment had arrived. Bailey is finally here. She comes fully equiped with bathing suit, a picnic lunch, benadryl and epi-pen. (She is allergic to peanuts.)

After a hesitant and upsetting good-bye, for the mother only, they are off like a shot. So many toys to play much time.

The day goes smoothly. Too smoothly. Well, except for the fact that Bailey is terrified of Blue, our Labrador Retriever. Also, she was afraid of the frequent visits in the back yard from the squirrels. They are used to being fed their meals of peanuts at various times throughout the day. It was lunchtime and they were hungry. She believed these viscious little rodents were attempting to kill her with peanuts I guess. I patiently explained why they were visiting and that she need not worry, there were no peanuts in the yard at present. I taught her how to scare them away by tossing a toy in their direction. Luckily she didn't take any of them out. I had just started relaxing my anxiety riddled brain. "Mom" would soon be here. The other kids would soon be home from school, and I, Supermom and hostess, would no longer find the need to follow my little twosome around making sure that they had activities aplenty to stimulate and entertain.

Hmmm. We hadn't done a craft yet. I had planned on doing one, and decided that tye dye t-shirts would be the craft au jour. I was after all "supermom." Surely I could handle that.

We headed to the kitchen, t-shirts and Rit dye in hand. I had sent them out to the flower/rock garden to bring some nice rocks that we could tie into the shirts to make them more interesting. This was also to aid them in feeling like they were assisting me in the wonderous creation of these little masterpieces. After all, there was no way I was letting them anywhere near the boiling hot dye mixture.

"Sandra" Bailey says while tugging at my shirt.
"Bailey...remember it's Sandi, not Sandra." I said this for about the 10th time that day.
"[giggle, giggle, giggle] No. Sandra," She repeats again while attempting to stretch my shirt to my knees."
"I hate that name! Remember honey, it's Sandi" I say while turning back to my duties.
"Sandra, Sandra, Sandra, Sandra....I don't want to get rocks."
"That's ok then. Go ahead and sit down with the elastics and wait for Madision to come back with some rocks."

I'm so glad that I picked an activity that I knew they would so thouroughly enjoy.

We managed to make it though the activity without incident. The final rinse had just finished and the grand unveiling was about to occur. I quickly removed the elastics while trying to keep the attention of my two little playmates. I was excited. This would be spectacular. I could just imagine them proudly modelling their new creations to friends and family alike. "I made this shirt with Sandra!" I mean "Sandi."

"Tada!" I holler with a wide smile spreading across my face.

Silence follows. Madison turns to play with a toy she has brought into the room. Bailey stares. Finally she looks up and me and states,

"I won't wear that. It's wet."
I reply "I know sweetie, but it will dry soon and then you'll be able to wear it."
"But it looks like blueberries fell on it." I know this is her way of telling me "hey woman, you expect me to wear a shirt that looks like I've just spilled my dessert all over it? You crazy or somethin'?"

Well, luckily for me a retort is not required. The school bus arrives home with a fresh group of friends to play with. Three older kids of varying ages arrive noisily with news of their day.

"Oooooh! Tye dye! Can I do one?" my oldest daughter requests.
Still stunned by the less than enthusiastic response from my little guest, I reply, "Sure. Extra t-shirts are downstairs. Pick one in your size."

Again we go through the steps of creating a tye dyed shirt. This time I am more careless. Still stinging from the blow I had received earlier and therefore not concentrating on the activity at hand and the individual I was performing it with. I splash a spot on my face with the still hot dye. This brings me around enough to realize what horrible thing I have just done. I have agreed to make tye dye t-shirts with my oldest daughter, oh, let's call her Elsie.

Let me explain a little bit about Elsie. She's a combination of Mr Bean meets Frank Spencer from Some Mothers do 'Ave 'Em. A little heavier on the Frank Spencer side perhaps. And I can't believe that I've just asked her to pick up the two pails of dye and place them on the floor.

I hold my breath. I didn't want to, upon coming to my senses, startle her in any way. I also didn't want to destroy her feelings of self worth by letting her know I thought she'd bungle this up. I felt every movement the pail took in the thumping heartbeats in my chest, occationally interupted by palpitations. First one bucket makes it down. I decide the only thing I could do was to let her continue. The second bucket slowly makes it down. What took only a matter of second to complete felt like an eternity to my now damp and sweaty body.

Relief floods over me as we unravel our work to see what genious we have created, together. I may be Supermom after all. My daughter is enjoying this. A large toothy smile is now spreading across her face as she is perched on a chair beside me as we rinse out the excess dye.

"Tada!" I say, only this time to an appreciative audience. I am wonderful. I am the best there is. I am Supermom! At least with the older children.

Now in a previous blog entry I quoted a verse. I didn't stop to remember this verse before starting this activity, when perhaps I should have. I will post it once again for those of you who are new readers:

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.

Proverbs 16:18

To bad I didn't remember this verse first!

Elsie's beautiful glowing face, with beaming smile glances over at me as steps down backwards off of the chair she has been standing on. She steps onto the edge of one of the dye filled buckets she so carefully placed on the floor not 5 minutes earlier, knocking the entire bucket over spilling deep violet Rit dye all over the kitchen floor. I watch in horror as it spreads like a colourful wave of doom and destruction under the stove, splashing the cupboards, stove, and walls in it's wake.

Elsie looks up at me. That beautiful beaming smile fading. Standing in a pool of purple dye when she says, "My foot is purple! Do you see that! My leg is purple too! Wow, cool!"

I now am the proud owner of purple dyed (called violet on the box) towels. I couldn't possibly use paper towels to clean such an immense amount of fluid.

You know, it's all worth it though in the long run. My daughter is excited about her new shirt. She was disappointed when it wasn't yet dried this morning and she couldn't wear it. Even Madison seems happy to be wearing her new shirt. I wonder if Bailey minds wearing her blueberry shirt?

What did I learn from this activity you may ask? Three things:

1.)Perhaps a more age appropriate craft can be planned for the next visit of our little friend.

2.)When we renovate our kitchen this tye dying in the kitchen!

3.)Vim thick bleach is wonderful! And in the ever popular phrase of that oh so annoying American entertainment diva Martha Stewart, "And that's a good thing!"

The very end. Thank God!

Wednesday, 7 September 2005

Grand Central Station aka The Bathroom

School has started. I find it difficult not to enjoy the thrill of a potent rush of adrenaline and break out in a case of the giggles every time the realization of this hits me once again. As excited as I am that my children are once again happily and snuggly tucked into a routine, it does have it's drawbacks. Many of these revolve around my bathroom, first thing in the morning. This morning was a prime example of that.

I arose--groggy--after only about 5 1/2 hours of restless sleep. I have not yet altered my bedtime routine to adjust to these new earlier mornings. When I went to bed, there were only two of us there. Sometime during the night, one more wee, itty-bitty, small, tiny little body found it's way into the bed. I stress the point here about the size of this little person--because as small as this little one may be--she takes up approximately 75 percent of the bed...give or take a couple of percent. I was feeling a bit....pretzel like.

I dragged myself to the bathroom. Relishing the thought of enjoying a quiet 10 minutes or so soaking in a hot tub before the start of a fast paced day. Enoying some quiet and solitude.....(you know where I'm going with this don't you!) When the first of my barbaric invaders slammed into the locked door, begging for attention. Luckily for me the dog doesn't have a set of opposable thumbs. He wasn't able to pick the lock to let himself into the room. Even if it weren't locked, I doubt very much that he's figured the door knob out yet. I wasn't taking any chances though.

Relieve flooded over me as I sunk slowly back into the blissfully warm tub, allowing the healing waters to wash soothingly over me.


Barbaric invader number two had arrived. Just in time too. I was actually feeling the tension starting to melt away. We couldn't have that now could we.

Barbaric invader #2: "Mom, Megan said the F word!"
Cranky Mother: "Which F word is that? !" (yes, yes, I thought I had some idea of what that F word might be, but I just wanted to make sure before somebody got punished.)
Barbaric invader #2:"Friggin'"
Cranky Mother: "I'm in the friggin' tub trying to have a bath! I'll deal with it later!"

Ok. Now that I've solved that one, I'm noticing that the tension is taking a little bit longer to fade away this time. I don't even believe that I got to actually finish this thought before barbaric invader #3 entered the picture.

Rattle, rattle, rattle, BOOM!

Barbaric Invader #3: "Why's the door locked?! I have to use the bathroom."
Cranky Mother: "One guess."
Barbaric Invader #3: "But I have to use the bathroom, NOW."
Cranky Mother: "Luckily we have two. Go downstairs."
Barbaric Invader #3: "But I don't like that bathroom!"

Unfortunately barbaric invader #3 does have opposable thumbs and knows how to jimmy the lock.

Why is it that these people feel so comfortable around me that they can sit down in full view of where I'm soaking and feel absolutely no embarrassment at relieving themselves of every possible fluid, solid or gas that happens to be awaiting escape from their bodies? And since they have no inhibitions, can actually enjoy attempting to carry on a conversation all the while.

I was sitting in shocked disbelief and denial at what was happening in full view of where I soaked. "If I close my eyes and pretend not to hear, everything will be ok" I thought to myself. "If I hold my breath and pretend I can't smell, everything will be ok."

Drip, plop, crumble, drop (it's not what you think.)

Ah yes, I see invader number 4 and 5 have arrived to join in the fray! Just in time too! Wonderful.

Irrate Mother: "No eating muffins in the bathroom! That's gross! You're dropping crumbs in my water, and can't you see your sister is using the toilet! That's disgusting!"

Two invaders quietly exit without argument or complaint. They can't mutter a word, their mouths are full.

Well....finally, all of the barbaric intruders have finally left. I believe I can finish my now tepid bath with some peace since I have been visited by all of the kids, and even the dog. I hear a light tapping at the door, as a balding head cautiously peaks into the room.

"You don't mind if I shave while you're bathing do you?

Is it any wonder that I haven't adjusted my schedule yet? 10:00pm to 1:30am is the only time I have to think an uninterupted thought. That is the only blissfully quiet time of the day when all of the barbarians are asleep! (Yes, that includes the big bald guy and the short furry one too.)

Yes, we love our families, but have you ever wondered why God has provided us with the gift of a requirement of 8 hours of sleep a night? And why children need more? Any thing less would be uncivilized.

p.s. this blog entry was written a bit quickly. The barbarians are at the gate arguing again...on with the fray!

Monday, 5 September 2005

I am inspired

I have upon writing my previous entry, inspired myself to attempt to once again, decrease my chocolate intake. I attempt this feat without the assistance of any kind of a chocolate substitute. No cocoa patches, hypnosis, cocoa addiction gum, overeating other things in it's place.....

12:20am: I have not eaten chocolate in approximately 15 minutes. (give or take a few.) There is a slight tremor in my left hand, and my stomach is gurgling, but I can handle the withdrawl so far.

12:22am: I find myself thinking about the texture of the peanuts in the chocolate I ate earlier. Rolling around my tongue, gentley being carressed by smooth melting chocolate. So sweet! So satisfying.

12:23am: Crap. I'm having palpitations. The only fighting chance I have is if I go to bed and hope I don't get up during the night and sleep-eat. I've been known to do that where chocolate is concerned. Night, Night.

Slave to the Cocoa Bean

I was at a baby shower this afternoon. It was a wonderful event. Lovely to see everybody, incredible food, gorgeous mother to be. My only question is why is it that I insist on gorging myself until I feel like I am carrying a little one of my own? It doesn't matter how much I have promised myself before the actual event that I "will not go near the dessert table under any circumstances," I always land up sampling, no... cross that out, inhaling large quantities of food, particularily dessert! I have issues with chocolate (if you haven't figured that out by now, well....I hate to say it, but you're just stupid!) What would it take to keep me away from the chocolate? (aside from diabetes, or falling into a comatos state) I'll let you know if I ever figure that out. In the mean time I'll continue to make promises that, like so many New Years Resolutions, will continue to fall by the wayside. I am however, secure in the knowledge that though I have not yet met a chocolate I didn't like, one of these days I will. It is at this time I will be freed from the iron grip of that oh so horrible slave master....the cocoa bean.