Thursday, April 30, 2009

Long day

An elderly couple in the parking lot of the zoo today, packing grandkids and strollers into the back of the car:

"That? That's a seagull!"

"A seagull! I thought it was a child screaming."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Everything's coming up tulips

Remember this?

I wasn't convinced those bulbs I kept in the fridge for three weeks would actually grow, but they popped right out of the ground in the early spring. Then in April they were greeted by this:

Oh, the suspense! Would they survive?

YES! Well, except for these three that fell prey to some sort of rabbit? Raccoon lost on the way to the garbage? Giant tulip-eating bird?

I have to say that I am quite impressed with myself. Unlike my husband, who has been spending every non-raining moment of his vacation in the yard or at the garden centre, I am not particularly interested in landscaping. I like to sit outside in a nice garden, reading and/or drinking and/or snoozing, but I don't give much thought to how the garden got that way.

But now. I'm shocked to find that I am really quite interested in what my husband is planting and where (although still not planning to dig any holes myself). Whereas he is the king of shrubs and perennials, I have become slightly stressed at the lack of colourful flowers (apparently called annuals) to fill the void the tulips will leave. I'm even considering growing herbs in a planter of my own.

As for this one, she seems to think she's starring in a movie: Stomping Through the Tulips: A Will and Dora Adventure.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

All a twitter and a snooze

It's 9:30 pm and I just got downstairs, so this day in operation why won't this child sleep was not much more successful than any other day.

However, I did lie further away from the child than usual while singing our ABBA repertoire, and I did not let her roll against me and tuck my hand underneath her (although I commend Will on an excellent strategy for keeping a sleeping partner close by).

Even better, when I got up to leave and she shot awake in tears, I told her I was putting her books away, gave her a facecloth to deal with her own nose, and then sat in the middle of her room until I was fairly certain she was asleep. (I can't see that far in the dark, and she is tricky, that one.)

Not climbing back into the bed was definitely progress. And I'm downstairs, at least for the moment, so that is some measure of success.

In other news, I have finally added my tweets to the masses. So far I've dealt with pageant gowns, early repair men and cat poop. It's heady stuff, this twittering.

Friday, April 17, 2009

All of this to explain that there is a right way to load the dishwasher

When my siblings and I were growing up, we weren't allowed to change the dishwater.

At least, I don't think so. The process of washing those dishes was very specific. The "lucky one" got to be the washer. (Although why putting your hands in increasingly dirty water was prized more than drying the clean dishes, with a partner or two, I don't know. Maybe because you were finished first?) The washer always started with the glasses - the least dirty of the lot - rinsing if he or she had left room in the sink for extra water. Then on to the plates and the cutlery, and finally, the serving dishes and pans. Sometimes fresh water was permitted for the pans, I remember.

Even though we were a family of eight we didn't have a dishwasher.

(My father used to say we had six dishwashers. Ha. Ha. Ha. Still funny, that one.)

In reality, we did have a dishwasher, but it sat in the corner for years collecting junk. It was cumbersome, having to be rolled over to the sink and hooked up with a big hose. But it was my mother who decided that the dishes were never clean enough when they were run through the machine.

I'm guessing she just wanted to keep some of us busy in the crazy hour between dinner and bathtime. Even with one child, I think I understand.

(Of course, that doesn't explain why, when we were little, we weren't allowed to change the bath water either. I know. Ew. And the decision was terrible: bathe early with hot clean water - but go to bed early - or stay up as long as possible but end up in tepid grey water. The thought just makes me shiver.)

One of the happiest days of my life was discovering a dishwasher in our first living-together-married apartment. Another one came with the house, but it's awkward and the dishes don't load easily, so we want to replace it soon.

Strangely, having a dishwasher doesn't really keep the kitchen as clean as I expected: the top gets filled before the bottom, cereal bowls and cups pile up in the sink, and there are just so many things that don't fit in there at all.

And there are so many things I would rather do than clean up the kitchen right now.

To whom it may concern

Please excuse Lasha from all regularly scheduled activities. She can be found outside, soaking up the sunshine: sharing snacks in front of the library, sipping iced tea on a dusty patio, or waiting for a toddler at the bottom of the twisty slide.

Welcome back, sunshine.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter rabbit roundup

We have had a crazy few days around here. On Tuesday Will spiked a fever during a playdate at the amazing children's museum in Kitchener. We were surrounded by puzzles and games and her best friend who was "one!" and all Will wanted to do was cuddle.

So instead of staying in town to babysit my nephew while he waited for his brand-new sister, we came home and declared the next day (and then the next) snuggly days filled with Dora and fuzzy clothes and painting Easter eggs.

By Saturday Will was much better, so we headed even further west to visit my dad at the hospital. His surgery went really well, and by his fourth post-op day he was craving visitors and conversation (and by today, cribbage, but I wasn't around for that). Will was thrilled to give her Poppa his very own Easter Rabbit, made out of cotton balls and googly eyes. (And I was very thankful that I thought to grab it on the way out . . . Do you want to give this to Poppa? . . . otherwise we would have been totally outshined by the five or six or twenty pictures of Will's cousins already posted on the bulletin board in his hospital room.)

We took a detour home to meet the new baby. Will very gently held her "head" and "bum" and gazed at her tiny fingernails.

And then it was Easter:
Finally finding a chocolate egg on the lawn at city hall (this was Saturday morning).

Brilliant spontaneous mom moment this morning.

The hunt begins!

The Easter egg hunt was a blast until Will tripped on her pajamas and fell into a corner, luckily cushioned by her basket as the (styrofoam) eggs went flying. This accident revealed that Will is something of a drama queen, as she spent the rest of the day re-enacting the fall - Easter basket full of eggs and all - and anticipating it with hysterical giggles as she watched it over and over again on video.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Monday, April 6, 2009

A meme for a crazy day

I just emailed my husband because I can't figure out if the dishes in the dishwasher are clean or dirty. They seem clean, but what if they're not? It turns my stomach like the time my roommate cooked her taco meat in a dirty pan instead of washing it. I can't even think about it.

Then I tried to catch up on some back episodes of "Private Practice" on my DVR, but I'm annoyed at their attempt to educate the world about HPV. (Men can get it, and it can lead to throat cancer! If you have oral sex! So get your daughters immunized!) But who knows, maybe they will end up sending the message that both boys and girls should be immunized. Which is just part of my own complicated opinion on the whole HPV vaccine issue.

But then I came across this meme from DaniGirl and decided to give it a try.

15 years ago today I would have been:
  • packing up to move home while finishing my first year of university in Montreal. My dad and a couple of my siblings literally packed up everything except my computer and my chair, and I completed my final paper in my otherwise empty room the night before heading home
10 years ago today I would have been:
  • packing up to move to Kingston after finishing my final year in Montreal. I had stayed in the city to do my Masters degree in English lit, and by April 1999 I had completed all my coursework, passed my comprehensive exams and been given a borderline pass in my final attempt at the French language requirement
  • it was also the start of the first summer in 10 years that I would not be working at the CNE. After being screwed out of my usual overtime pay the summer before, I made good on my promise never to work there again. Instead I moved in with my boyfriend (now husband) in Kingston, worked for the local labour council to plan the annual Labour Day picnic and wore a black cape around the city while leading tours for the Haunted Walk.
5 years ago today I would have been:
  • a newlywed living in Troy, New York, underemployed and teaching a couple of composition classes at a local community college, and spending time with my first (feline) baby, Pasha
1 year ago today I would have been:
  • planning my (human) baby's first birthday party
  • deciding not to apply for a teaching position with the local school board for at least a year
  • buying our first house, although we wouldn't be closing until July
This year I am:
  • surprised that I'm still (mostly) enjoying my role SAHM, with no plans to change in the foreseeable future
Today I:
  • took Will to an early morning doctor's appointment (just a winter rash, with a suggestion to use vinegar as fabric softener?)
  • took Will out for a coffee shop breakfast, to the butterfly conservatory and to the mall for lunch
  • am annoyed that I had to hear about the birth of my new niece via my brother's girlfriend on facebook - grrrrr!
  • am waiting to hear how my dad's surgery is going
  • wow, it's been a busy day
Next year I hope:
  • my daughter finally figures out how to sleep through the night on her own
  • I can figure out where I want to go next with my career, family, etc.
In five years I hope:
  • I can't even begin to think that far ahead. So many possibilities in terms of career and location and family . . . but I do hope everyone I love is healthy and happy. (Sappy, but true.)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Night in

I may not be in the middle of enjoying a decadent dinner out, but I'm having a great time visiting my sister. Especially since my daughter keeps insisting that I leave her and her aunt alone. And every couple of minutes she slides down the hallway on an orange crazy carpet, pulled by an ever-more-tired auntie.

Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

This is why I wanted to be a mom

"Remember the turtles we saw at the zoo?"


"Yes, one of them was big."


"The other one was small."


"And one was in the water."

* * * * * * * * * *

"They take a . . . "


"In one big tub, with soap all over, scrub scrub scrub. They hang their towels on the wall and find pajamas . . . "


"and . . ?"

"'mall! Daddy, beeg!"

"Yes, Daddy wears big pajamas."

"Baby, 'mall."

"Yes, babies wear small pajamas."

* * * * * * * * *

"Cat! Black cat!"

"Okay, we can read that one. 'The black cat was sad. She did not have a home.'"


" . . . lived in a tree."


"No, who lived in the . . ?"

"Bat! Bat!"

"The bats lived in the belfry."


" . . . lived in the tree trunk."

"The fox and the . . ."


" . . . lived in holes in the ground."

"Dog! Door!"

"The dogs lived behind the doors, in houses."


" . . . tried living with the . . ."


" . . . but it hurt her feet. She tried hanging upside down . . ."


" . . . with the bats, but she didn't like it."


"She tried the hole in the tree, but it was too . . ."


"She tried the hole in the ground, but it was too . . ."


"Wow. That's a good one!"

"She tried the houses, but they already had . . ."


"Except for the last one. The yard there was full of . . ."

"Rat! Rat!"

"Just what the black cat loved to chase. So she arched her back and spat! And the rats went scat."

"Cat. Black cat."

" . . . had found a home. And a job too!"

* * * * * * * * * *

Stories adapted from Sandra Boynton's "The Going to Bed Book" and Richard Powell's "The Black Cat"