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December 31, 2008

Wordful Wednesday: Dear Winter...

IMG_4604 I've had it. 

I've tried to be understanding because I know that Mother Nature has an axe to grind. I've tried to be appreciative, straining to admire the pretty snow-covered trees as I break my back shovelling the front walk for the twentieth time. I've tried to make the best of it, ignoring the fact that I have a foot of snow down my weather-inappropriate jeans as I make a snow angel for my daughter, who is very obviously unimpressed. But I'm here to tell you that I am done. 

Winter, I am sooo over you. 

Winter, have you ever been stuck in a house all day, day after day, trying to entertain a 2-year-old because it's so freaking cold outside that it makes her hands hurt, despite her $4 Old Navy mittens? Have you ever played Doctor with a toddler 8,000 times in a row, every single time with the exact same ailment (in our case a "hurt tummy" that was caused by "walking into an old tree with no leaves" - um... wtf? - and is cured with a blood pressure gauge, tweezers and a Dora band-aid)? Have you ever tried to slit your wrist with a plastic Fisher Price tongue depressor? 

IMG_4610Have you ever trucked across a sheet of ice a block and a half long to get to the bus stop with a stir-crazy 30lb kid on your hip and a 48lb purse/diaper bag over your shoulder because the aforementioned kid refuses to budge as she says, "Nooo! I is scared! I is scared of this snow!" Have you, Winter? 

Have you ever tried to feel good about yourself while wearing thermal underwear and an old turtleneck as static electricity does seriously horrifying things to your hair? 

I'm going to guess no. 

Guess what, Winter? There's a reason I don't live in Saguenay or Buffalo or Antarctica: I. Don't. Do. Snow. 

Well, except when I see Mads knee deep in it in the front yard, throwing fistfuls in the air and shaping ears for Frosty's lopsided head. Then I'll make an exception. But only then.

Freezingly yours, 
Carolyn

December 31, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

December 29, 2008

From one control freak to another

N548797673_2366878_2577 I love Christmas. I light holiday-scented candles and burn batches of sugar cookies and fill my iPod with all 28 nauseating versions of "Santa Baby." But as soon as Boxing Day hits, I want it gone. The tree, the decorations, the leftovers. All of it. Gone. So I'm happy to report that our home is now Christmas-free for another 11.5 months.

Mads helped pack away all of the decorations this weekend despite her protests ("But I don't waaant Christmas to go!" Everything these days is "I don't waaant to" and "I don't neeed to" and "I don't liiike to"). As I wrapped our treetop Santa in tissue - we have a Santa instead of an angel, we're just crazy like that - she yelled: "Bye Santa, see you next week! Thanks for the Goldfish!"

Thanks for the Goldfish?! I have a 4-foot dollhouse taking over my living room and have just about killed myself more than once tripping over all variety of Fisher Price plastic deathtraps littering the house and she's grateful for the $0.49 bag of Goldfish crackers in her stocking?

But the dollhouse does seem to be a hit, though I admit that I need to work on my creative abilities. This morning Mads and I were playing and within two minutes Barbie had been moved out and the house had been taken over by her Madagascar animal collection, etc. Zebra was in the bathtub, giraffe was taking a nap, penguin was dancing on top of the piano, Boots was hiding under the couch, Thomas the Train was standing upright in the corner of the dining room. And I was going crazy.

I am Type A to a T; I like for things to make sense. Maddie, being 2.5, doesn't. And if she wants a lemur to have a picnic in the bathroom of her new Barbie mansion, well then... pass the potato salad. I'll try my best to suppress the control freak in me.

December 29, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

December 24, 2008

Happy holidays!

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Hope you all have a magical, memorable Christmas! 

I've been swamped with holiday stuff to do but promise I'll be back to write soon! 

In the meantime, eat, drink & be merry! 

care xo

December 24, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 20, 2008

I'm still here...

Over a week since my last post?! How did that happen? I feel like I am overdue for a confession.

On that note: When I was a kid I wanted so badly to be Catholic, purely for the confession. I was 13 at the time and had nothing to remotely scandalous to confess, of course... Today I envied the girl in home ec with the super-teased bangs; today I had impure thoughts about Cory Haim on the cover of the new issue of Tiger Beat. Still, the secretive ritual of it appealed to me. Instead my parents took me to the United Church across the street with the lesbian minister. Looking back, it was probably for the best. 

If I make no sense today it's because I'm in recovery mode. Not only have I been sick as a dog for the past few days (thanks, Maddie), but last night was the annual Christmas dinner party that we throw for about 25 of our oldest friends. I think this is Year 9, but all the turkey and sequins and cheap white wine have a way of blurring together. It was typically hilarious and generally chaotic, and at one point a grown man modeled a mesh catsuit. That about sums up the evening. 

Being with old friends has me in a reflective mood. When we met we were all basically kids, drinking rum and Coke in our parents' kitchens, planning careers and wondering what lay ahead. Now we have kids of our own, and homes and jobs and bills and dogs and the grey hair that accompanies all of the above. 

One thing I guess you can't realize until you're there is that it's better to be older. It's better to be here, with the lines of laughter, the stretch marks of pregnancy, the pain of heartache, the knowledge of loss, the taste of victory, the mark of experience. Still something to look forward to, but now something to look back upon, too. What could be better than that? 

December 20, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

December 12, 2008

Early morning tears & loathing

Snowflake I am sitting on the bus on my way into work and looking out the window at the first snowfall of the year. The big, wet flakes seem to dissolve before even hitting the pavement. It is cold and quiet and the air smells like winter. It also smells like an Egg McMuffin, since that's what the guy next to me is eating. Complete with oozing globs of ketchup.

Directly ahead of me sits Perpetually Angry Lady, looking pissed right off. She and I have been sharing the same bus for the past year or so, and the sound of her berating our terrified fellow travellers has become a regular part of my morning commute. Is there some disease that might cause a person to hate the entire world for seemingly no reason at all? Because if there is, this woman has a terminal case. If she knew I was writing this right now she would probably smash my head through the window. I'm not exaggerating. 

It's already been a long morning. I was pulled out of bed even earlier than usual by the sound of Mads crying in her room down the hall. I stumbled in to find her sitting up with a bad case of bed head and tears in her eyes. "My blankets! Where are they?" She has two loveys - soft little green blankets that my mom made for her - that she absolutely cannot sleep without. I live in constant fear that one of them will one day go missing, tossed over the side of the stroller or forgotten in a restaurant washroom. One day this summer we were driving on the highway and I looked in the rearview mirror to see her hanging her blanket out the car window, watching it flap in the breeze. I just about had a heart attack. Anyways, we found them this morning on the floor beside her bed. "My eyes are wet, Mommy," she said, pointing to her tear-soaked lashes. So I dried them off and tucked her back in and she gladly sank back into sleep without a fight. I, of course, did not.

And now here I sit, surrounded by the snow and the smell of bacon fat. And Perpetually Angry Lady just kicked someone's umbrella across the aisle. Seriously. Bitch is nuts.

December 12, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

December 10, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Finally some family pics

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My uber-talented photographer friend Amy took our first ever family pics a few weeks ago. Love them.

December 10, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

December 08, 2008

Pour me a shot of holiday cheer

I'm sitting here waiting for my egg to hard boil (dinner of exhausted and uninspired champions) and watching the Holiday Hits! music channel on TV. There's really nothing to see other than the bar across the bottom of the screen telling you what Christmas Hit! you're being subjected to at the moment. Right now it reads, Christmas Wish by 98 Degrees. Not good. So not good. I just don't seem to be able to muster up the mental capacity to operate the remote.

Our front yard fence blew down last night. F and I awoke at 3:30am to a giant CRACK! and the sound of our dogs scrambling across the kitchen floor and crashing headfirst into the door. Turns out a rotting 20+-year-old fence can only sustain so many torrential downpours and gale force winds. Who knew?

So we'll add the fence to the list. That makes a bedroom under construction, a patio that's half-finished, a porch that is very likely to fall apart at any minute, a carport that needs... well, let's be honest, demolishing. Oh, and a jackhammered ravine through the concrete basement floor that fills with water during the rainy season. Mads thinks it's the ocean, she crouches down and watches the rising tides. We may keep that one. We may add some marine life.

Do you ever feel like maybe you're in over your head?

Time to channel Oprah and adopt an attitude of gratitude. Deep breaths, crash diets, favourite things.

This house may be a disaster from certain angles, but it is a disaster that we will one day, a long time from now, own outright. And Holiday Hits! has yet to play Alvin and the Chipmunks. Ahh. Be thankful for small miracles.

December 8, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

December 04, 2008

I'd like to thank the Academy...

When I was 15 I won an award at my Junior High School graduation ceremony. Not just any award - the one for the top business student. Something like that, anyways (hey, 15 was a loong time ago). Prestigious, right? I know. 

This day stands out in my head for two reasons: First, what I know about business could fit into a thimble. If I were given 2 weeks to do nothing but empty my head of all of its businessy knowledge, I would end up with an essay that could fit on a cocktail napkin. On one side of a cocktail napkin. The other side I would save to, you know, sit pristinely under my cocktail(s).  

Second, it was the last time I won anything. Ever. 

I've always thought that the worst part about the "real" world is that you don't get awards. I suppose if you really go all out you do. I'm sure that big show off Bill Gates has a trophy case or two. But those of us who just toil away - where are our blue ribbons, our gold stars? I guess that when you're an adult you're expected to consider a job well done reward enough. Honestly, I'd prefer the plaque. I'm just saying. 

So imagine my sheer giddiness when I discovered I had been given this by my fellow mom blogger Laura at Ramblings of a Harassed Single Mom

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I'm back, baby! Sadly it comes with no monetary reward, but whatever. It's a start. 

I have recently discovered that this blogosphere that I've been part of for the past 2.5 years is a lot bigger than I realized. Until now I thought it was me and that ass John Mayer. Turns out there is an army of funny, talented, frustrated, frazzled moms out there who are blogging every minute of it. 

So now I have to pass this most prestigious of awards onto several of them: 

Kelsy at Jill of All Trades, because I think she's kind of awesome
Nita at Drowning in Laundry, who may actually be in labour right this minute
Scattered Mom at Notes from the Cookie Jar, a fellow Canuck and kick ass cook
Em at Life, Liberty & The Pursuit..., who reminds me a lot of myself, so it's hard not to like her
And Yessie at Lost in Australia, whose son is the same age as Mads, and who had the guts to start a new life across the pond
 
Ack! And I'm adding a 6th, because I have to. And because I can:
Michelle at Daily Grind Gone Mad, because her vlogs crack up me and she seems to have an incredibly big heart. And if that's not worthy of an award, what is?

To the winners, here are the rules: Link back, and pass it on to 5 of your favourites. 

And all you moms who bounce back and forth between loving it and losing it - trust me, you are not alone. There are so many of us out there. 

Thanks, Laura! 

December 4, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

December 03, 2008

Wordful Wednesday: Someday

IMG_4001We were at the bookstore this past weekend, Mads and I, indulging her love of classic literature. Okay, so actually she was racing laps around the kids' room on the display model of some kind of go-cart apparatus and I was desperately rummaging through the potty training reference section.

As she was rounding the hairpin turn by the Seuss shelf and I was trying to convince myself that a teenager in diapers isn't the worst thing ever, I happened to pick up a book called Someday, by Alison McGhee. By the time I'd flipped the last page I was bawling - not gracefully, not a lone tear and a quivering lip, but big old blubbery sobs.

We all know I’m not a big fan of Love You Forever, the quasi-creepy tale of motherly devotion. Guess How Much I Love You is also not a favourite in our house - as soon as Mads hears the words "Little Nutbrown Hare" she says, "No! Not this one!" I can't say as I blame her. You two Nutbrown Hares love each other. We get it, we get it.

But Someday is just right. Being a parent has a way of putting life into perspective. Everyone was someone’s baby once upon a time. And most of us will be someone’s mom or dad, and then one day, if we’re lucky, we’ll watch our kids become someone’s mom or dad too. And so it goes forever. Life suddenly seems both too short and infinite, doesn't it?

Anyways. Next time you’re at the bookstore, find this book and read it. I bet you a Snickers bar you’ll be weeping like a fool by the time you’re done.

I'm all for Wordless Wednesdays, but sometimes you just have too much to say.

December 3, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

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"Having a two-year-old is like having a blender that you don't have the top for." ~Jerry Seinfeld.

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