How Sweet Pea dislocated a man's shoulder

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Mr. Boy goes ice skating in his physical education class every day 5once a week. His class starts at the same time as I pick up Sweet Pea from school, so I'm already there, and don't have to pick up Precious for an hour. Last week, I volunteered to tie skates for the kids, and one of the parents brought her skates and she skated around a bit. This week, I decided I would tie skates again, and bring my skates, and also Sweet Pea's. This way we could skate instead of just watching.

We all got on the ice. More parents brought their skates this week. Twenty students, two little sisters, and about 4 parents were on the ice. Some of the kids were pretty quick, but they're only 6, so they're pretty small and harmless. Sweet Pea was skating around, very slowly, with her skating 'buddy'. One of the parents was getting kids to chase him, and he was skating backwards. Sweet Pea was inching along (I'm not kidding). I was about 2 feet away, shoveling the rink, when BAM! the parent flattened Sweet Pea. I knew it was an accident. He was very apologetic. No harm done. To Sweet Pea, anyway. She cried a bit, but it wasn't serious. I noticed the parent was having trouble standing up straight. One shoulder looked lower than the other. His left arm looked longer than his right.

Long story, short, he was taken to the hospital with a dislocated shoulder. He seemed to be taking it very well. He felt bad about running into Sweet Pea, and I felt bad that he had run into Sweet Pea.

We informally agreed that the incident should not be reported to the principal, as we are all interested in continuing to skate with the kids, and we wouldn't want them to cancel the skating program either.


Why I taped the fridge shut

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I'm making delicious ham-boogers for supper. There's a ton of snow, and we're skipping Tae Kwon Do tonight. The kids enjoy TKO, but they'd rather swim (Sweet Pea) or go skating (Mr.Boy). That's fine with me. Going to TKO was leaving us only an hour a night, two nights a week, in which to do homework, bathe the kids, squeeze in piano practice, read with them, or go skating.

So I find myself looking forward to tonight because we're not going out, there's a snow storm, we can eat supper in a leisurely manner, and do some math homework and piano practice stress-free.

Still, the kids are a little bonkers at this time of day. Since I'm making a simple supper, I have some free time. In theory, anyway. But since it's the hour before supper, it is officially the 'witching hour'. Do you find that the hour before supper time is the craziest? Are your kids unmanageable and a little 'off'?

Precious comes to me about an hour before supper every day and says 'yo-durt peese'. She gets almost frantic, as though I hadn't just fed her a substantial snack about an hour before, and as though she didn't have two yogurts for morning stack. As though she's wasting away, despite being on the 97th percentile for weight. There is no dissuading her from her goal of getting a yogurt from the fridge. Even if it means stealing it when I'm not looking.

So I did what every good mother would do. I taped the fridge shut. And it's working.

I love when I can outsmart the kids.



Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Most of you already know I'm a scaredy-cat. I'll admit it. That's what I like about the Twilight series of books. It's vampires without the scary. Watered down. Sanitized. Fun to read.

I don't know if I've told you about the time I went to see the Blair Witch Project with DH when he was just my DB (Dear Boyfriend). I had heard that it was hit or miss on whether people found it scary. Some people laughed when they saw it. Not me. I was so frickin' scared when I saw that movie, that for the last 15 minutes or so, I had to sit with my legs tucked up under me, my eyes closed, with absolutely no peeking, and my fingers plugging my ears, moving back and forth to distort any noise coming from the movie. I was so scared, that I insisted that we walk home down the middle of the street, rather than on the sidewalk, which was a bit too close to dark alleys. Luckily there was no traffic. We moved to our house a short time later, and we backed on a conservation area, and I wouldn't even sit on my own deck after dark. Camping was a bit scary for me for a while, even in brightly lit campgrounds with Coke machines.

It was a similar experience when I saw The Ring on DVD. The sight of that girl with the hair over her face slowly moving towards her victim scares me to this day. I get goosebumps just writing about it. Until we got a platform bed, I was convinced every night that she was under my bed and would reach out slowly and grab my ankle some night.

You would think I had learned my lesson, but I have been intrigued by the idea of seeing the Swedish movie, Let the Right One In. This is one scary looking movie. The sound effects from when she's killing her victims is reason enough to stay away. The trailer gave me the shivers. Watch it, and sleep with one eye open. If I watch it, I doubt I'll be able to sleep at all.



Summertime? What? It's still winter, isn't it? Well, here in Canada, winter is in full swing. The temperatures have been colder than usual. Only my new windows aren't fogged up on the insides. It seems like my toes haven't been warm in a week. I've been wearing two fleece jackets over my shirt when I'm in the house. Drinking hot tea like it's going out of style. When I go outside, I'm wearing snowpants, my warmest parka, thickest hat, and mitts that are so big and warm that I can't even change the channels on my car stereo.

Why it my post title 'Summertime' then? Well, in my province, camping sites at the provincial parks can be booked 5 months ahead. Competition for some of the most popular campgrounds is so fierce that getting on-line even 5 minutes after new sites are released is usually too late. It is challenging to get a good site, and people have devised all kinds of tricky ways to get a site, while still sticking within the rules. A few years ago, the people at the province figured out some of these tricks and changed the rules so people who wanted to do that could still use their methods, but would have to pay a penalty. In theory, this would make it easier for us rule-abiders to get a site. Doesn't seem like that's the case though.

So the planning begins a few days before the 5-month-before-the-camping-trip anniversary. Which weekend is likely to have sites? Which sites will come available at 7 a.m.? What are our 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and so on choices? I've gotten all the way to my 20th choice before, found it booked, so just clicked on any available site, just so I could get one. It's frustrating, but the park I have in mind is worth it, even though, as you can imagine, it's booked solid from June to September.

Later this summer, we'll be attending our neighbourhood camping trip. It's at a less popular campground, but it's close to home, which is handy for those families who still run back home for soccer games or birthday parties during the camping trip. In case it rains too much, it's handy too, so people can just leave if they aren't having fun.

I'll be sending out the email soon to give the dates of the camping trip and the date that we can book, as well as remind everyone which sites we booked last year. Whoever had a specific site the year before should have 'dibs' on that site the next year. Stealing someone else's site is a very un-neighbourly thing to do. It happened last year and one family pulled out completely, they were so irked at having their site scooped.

We had some torrential rain last summer during the camping trip. Hopefully it'll be a bit nicer this year.


"Getting to Snow Shoe"

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My father-in-law likes to make up silly words to songs, or do funny things like say "Woof" when he sneezes. Instead of "Getting to Know You" by Oscar Hammerstein, it's "Getting to Snow Shoe". The kids got snow shoes for Christmas, and there was no downhill skiing today because of the cold snap. As the temperature warmed up much higher today than expected, our plans to stay inside and warm, changed. They'll go skiing tomorrow, and today we had a chance to snow shoe and go skating on the rink.

Mr. Boy needed a haircut anyway, so I took the two older kids to the barber, by snow shoe, while Precious napped. On the way home, I looked up, and saw this.
It reminded of my moon pictures from last weekend. It might even fulfil Jen's photo challenge because it looks black and white, even though it was taken in colour.

I made it to Costco today and got Eclipse, by Stephenie Meyer, from the Twilight series. I'm watching hockey tonight, so I probably won't get to crack my new book until tomorrow.


Miracle Cure

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I spent the better part of the day in bed. Around 3, I started feeling better, and decided to get out of bed. My fever went away, too. I made supper. I tidied up. I even took the kids to Tae Kwon Do. Wow.

I was on my way home from Tae Kwon Do and remembered that I was sick, but didn't feel sick. I even got to my hockey game tonight. I am so happy that I'm feeling better. I even plan to go to work tomorrow.

Only problem is, Sweet Pea started throwing up right before I left for hockey, and she just threw up again. Since we have a nanny, I should still be able to go to work. I just hope I'm not next.


I'm sick, sniff, sniff

Yesterday after the stories/craft/swimming thing with the girls in the afternoon, I started feeling really tired. To get Precious to sleep, I ended up lying down beside her, fell asleep instantly, and I woke up a 1/2 hour later. From then on, I just didn't feel that great. I was a bit of a zombie all evening. DH took the older kids to piano, and it was all I could do to supervise the children I did have at home. I managed to make supper too, but cleaning up or moving my body after that wasn't an option.

I knew I jinxed things when I told Mindy on Friday that I rarely get sick!

By 8:00 last night, it was clear that I was going to be no more than a lump all evening, so I went to bed at the same time as the kids, and they woke me up at 7:00 this morning. I called the chiropractor to ask for an 'emergency' appointment. Usually seeing him helps me ward off illness. The fever seems to be in full swing too. I guess my body is fighting some kind of virus. No other symptoms, other than achy-ness. Oh, and I forgot - memory lapses and general confusion. ha ha.

So I'm lying in bed, with a pot of tea, the laptop, Christine on IM (thank goodness), Scott Kelby's 7-Point System for Adobe Photoshop, and Stephenie Meyer's New Moon. I think I'll be here for a while. No biggie, after all, DH's company just declared bankruptcy. He's got nothing better to do than watch the kids. *smirk*


TV Fast

Monday, January 12, 2009

We started something last week and I didn't blog about it, because frankly, I wasn't sure it was going to last. I'm still not sure, but it has been 6 days so far.

The kids are busier than ever, because we signed the two older ones up for Tae Kwon Do twice a week. They already have piano, and now they downhill ski at least once a week. Combine that with daily piano practice, and homework, baths, eating, etc. and it adds up to more hours in the day than there are!

DH and the kids came up with a plan and decided that it would be alright to have no TV, no computer and no video games during the week. The plan is brilliant in its simplicity. Bonus: the kids don't even ask for the TV.

No media during the week has been so great! It's peaceful around here and we have the time to do everything.

My little secret? I'm still watching a bit of TV after the kids go to bed. Of course, I know how to balance everything, so it's fine. In fact, tonight is Junk Food TV night. Yum.


Long Exposure

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A bit late, but I decided to try Jen's photo challenge for long exposure last night because it was a clear night, and the moon was out. I don't know how many times I've looked into the back yard and seen the shadow of our maple tree on the snow. The 'moon shadow' I should say. At night, when the moon is out, the shadow of the tree on the snow is one of my favourite images. Last night, coming home from a date with DH (where we went to the mall - snicker at will), I noticed a bright moon. I'm not sure if it was full. It was also darn cold out, so not a cloud in the sky. "Cold and clear".

I went with my tripod into the back yard, but the tree shadow wasn't cooperating. In fact, it wasn't there at all! I had tried to capture it before, and the autofocus just couldn't figure out where to 'look'. Last night, I intended to use the manual focus to get the shot I wanted.

I looked up in the sky to see where the moon was, trying to figure out why there was no shadow, and realized that my original plan was (ahem) 'out the window' because the moon, and the sihouette of the branches of the self-same maple were stunning. I took my old, clunky, second-hand tripod and tried to set it up to point up at the moon. I set my camera to 1600 ISO, knowing it would be grainy. In hindsight, I might have dialed down the ISO and set up a longer exposure. Note to self: do that next time.

I tried an exposure of one second and increased the exposure using my RAW processor (Bridge). I find this photo compelling and I would love to splurge and get this printed and hang it somewhere. I'm a bit of a fanatic of 'tree' art, meaning any art that features trees. This would fit right in hanging somewhere in my house.
The second photo was an exposure of 6 seconds, again at ISO 1600. I didn't change the exposure in RAW, or change the photo except to crop it. The moon was closer to centre than I wanted. The interesting thing is that the graininess isn't as visible, and the photo was a lot sharper too. It could almost be mistaken for a photo of a cloudy day. In the lower right corner, there is an anomaly which I can only presume is some kind of reflection or lens flare. I rarely shoot directly at a light source, so it is my first time seeing this. I attempted to remove the spot using the spot healing brush, the patching tool and the healing brush. I also found something called 'lens flare' in one of the menus, but it was to ADD lens flare. Any idea how to fix this?


Smelly Cheese

Saturday, January 10, 2009

No, before you get too worried, I didn't eat bad cheese again!

I did something far worse. I spent $12.50 to watch the Twilight movie. Granted, the book, which was really fun to read, was in the teen fiction section at the book store. I should have guessed that the movie would be geared to teens.

I went into the movie expecting to swoon over Edward even more than I had while I read the book. I even find the actor playing Edward, Robert Pattinson, quite handsome. Trouble was, he had mostly one expression throughout the movie (deep intensity/anger), and with his fake white skin and unnaturally red lips, he just wasn't cute anymore.

The scenes that took place at the high school were painful. Cheesy to the max. Surprisingly, the only saving grace of the school scenes was the biology teacher. Now, he can act!

The actress playing Bella wasn't bad, but suddenly I didn't like her character anymore.

Of course, they changed the story a little, which was expected. They really shortened the part where two of the characters fall in love (I don't want to spoil anything), and they could have made the whole scenario of them pledging their undying love just a touch more believable, if they hadn't fallen in love in a couple of days rather than the weeks or months that were alluded to in the novel.

I'm glad Mindy said she wanted to see the movie before I suggested we go. If I had pushed for that movie, I would have felt that I should refund her ticket.

I tried not to snicker during the movie, but it was just too hard not to. I kept it really quiet. I broke my own rule of never, never, never speaking during a movie. I just couldn't hide my derision from Mindy.

All was not lost, because I enjoyed my pre-movie sushi with Mindy, as well as our conversation. Post-movie hockey was great too. There was a fantastic vibe, an even distribution of skill on both teams, and I got to skate really hard. And, 12 of us went out for beer after!


Why Didn't I Think of That?!?!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Reading other blogs is often a jaw-dropping experience. The creativity of people astounds me. I really feel excited by their ideas. I just stopped dead (no pun intended) in my tracks when I saw this Christmas card photo that Zach Hodges took. Coincidentally, I'm going to see the Twilight movie tonight.

I am so inspired by this photo. I plan to scout out a movie poster of my own to recreate for my own Christmas card for next year.



Busy Day

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Being a stay at home mom isn't that easy. I don't get paid. The hours aren't great and there isn't a lot of positive feedback, plus the stakes are pretty high.

It was a busy day today

6:10 - get up with the three kids
6:45 - give the kids breakfast and make their snacks/lunches
7:10 - take a shower while the kids play
7:30 - all are dressed and we start brushing teeth and walk to school
7:40 - get to school 5 minutes before yard supervision starts - that doesn't happen too often
8:00 - snack time for Precious and then a bath - I know, she just ate, but she's a bottomless pit
8:40 - leave for Precious' preschool
9:00 - drop Precious off at school
9:15 - chiropractor appointment - thank you for the lovely adjustment, I feel better!
9:30 - talk to the contractor about where the wall sconces should have been installed, where I want them moved, and tell them they have dry-walled over one of the heating vents.
10:00- my personal appointment
11:15 - pick up Precious at preschool (my mom picked up Sweet Pea at 10:30)
11:45 - eat lunch with Precious
12:00 - Sweet Pea gets home and the three of us leave for craft/swim class
12:30 - craft/music/swim class starts
2:00 - craft/music/swim class ends
2:30 - Mr. Boy finishes school and we all walk home together
3:00- snack time at home with Mr. Boy, his friend and my girls
3:20 - get Precious to sleep (she's gone bonkers from being overtired - usually naps from 12:30 - 2:00)
3:30 - check my email
3:40 - practice piano with Sweet Pea
4:30 - Mr. Boy's friend leaves and we practice piano
4:45 - start making supper (hot dogs - I know, horrible things)
5:15 - walk to piano class with Sweet Pea
5:30 - Sweet Pea's 60 min piano class (I'm in with her on alternating weeks)
6:30 - Mr. Boy arrives for his 60 min piano class (I'm in with him on alternating weeks)
7:40 - Mr. Boy and I walk home from piano
7:50 - we get home just as DH gets home with the girls and some groceries
8:00 - after groceries are put away, put kids to bed
8:15 - leave for yoga
8:30 - do my 60 minute yoga class
9:45 - get home from yoga and DH heads out for a run
10:15 - play on the computer and start blogging
10:40 - finish on the computer
10:45 - go to bed

And to think I thought staying home with the kids would be easier than going to work.


Skating buddies

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Today was the last day of Christmas vacation. We didn't really go anywhere or do anything these last two weeks, but they flew by. The kids got to watch a bit more t.v. than usual. Sweet Pea had three playdates and Mr. Boy had 6 or 7. We got to do some visiting, we went to see a play, had some guests for dinner, did some snowshoeing, watched hockey and did a whole lot of relaxing.

Today, we went public swimming and the kids were so excited to show Daddy how much they had improved since he had last seen them swim. I had brought the three kids to swimming lessons 14 weeks straight this fall. Since Precious was under 3, I had to go into the pool with her, and there were quite a few people I knew watching from the deck. They were in their street clothes and I was in my bathing suit. Talk about being uncomfortable! After all of the effort of getting the three of them there, especially when Mr. Boy would complain that he hated swimming lessons and didn't want to go, I was feeling a little burnt out over swimming. I had had about a month off from swimming and I was ready to go back.

Do you know how some people just seem like they are born to swim? My older two wouldn't fall in that category. Mr. Boy doesn't even enjoy private swimming lessons, but he does like floating around in a pool, especially on a lounge chair or something. He must get that from me. I was on the swim team in high school, but I much prefer floating to swimming. Sweet Pea tries really hard and she can swim with her head under water. She is working on her front crawl. Precious is the most comfortable in the water and she'll sit on the bottom of the pool, then pop back up, or jump into the pool while I stand in front of her, and she'll go completely underwater, waiting patiently for me to fish her out.

We must have really tired Precious out at the pool and in the hot tub, because she had a really long nap this afternoon. After nap, we went skating. DH had taken the kids earlier in the week and Mr. Boy's skates and helmet were too small, so he took him yesterday to get some new gear. He also got a skating 'buddy' which is a support for beginner skaters (sorry, it only comes in kids' sizes!) Sweet Pea needed a little help skating, and she is getting much better with the help of the buddy which she got to use yesterday and today. I brought Precious down to the rink behind the kids' school, but she had no interest in getting out of the sled. We have 'bob' skates for her, which strap onto winter boots and have two blades per foot. She can try those out with the 'buddy' once Sweet Pea doesn't need the skating buddy anymore.

Mr. Boy comes to visit Sweet Pea who is sitting in the sled watching.
Sweet Pea and her 'buddy'.

Daddy and Mr. Boy passing the puck.
Precious waits patiently.

Tomorrow it is back to the old routine.


Gearing Up

Friday, January 2, 2009

We are now finishing week 7 of our basement reno. The structural stuff is all done. The toilet plumbing has been moved to the proper position. The central vac has been upgraded and moved to the garage. The pot lights and other electrical items have been roughed in. The header has been insulated, the walls have been framed and the insulation installed. The speaker wire, cable and telephone have been routed to the appropriate places. Two layers of subflooring have been installed. About half of the drywall is up.

I spoke to the general contractor on Wednesday, and he predicts it will be another 6 weeks from January 5th before the basement is done. They still have lots of drywall to install, 30-something pot lights, plus at least 5 other lights to put up, the powder room fixtures to install, the bar cabinetry to build and install, the armoire to build and install, the trim, doors, closets, flooring, painting, etc. etc.

During the process of agreeing to this basement reno, we were originally told that the reno would take 2-3 weeks. Then, about 5 months later, right before we signed, we were told it would take 3-4 weeks. On the first day of the reno, the construction manager showed up and said it would be at least 6 weeks. Now he is telling us 12 - 13 weeks.

I've always heard that these things go over budget and over time, but I really thought it wouldn't happen to us. The fact that the basement isn't done doesn't bother me as much as the mess in the rest of the house, and the fact that we can't park in the garage right now. When the temperature is -17 degrees Celcius (1 degree F), it gets harder to start the car. When there is freezing rain, it adds 10 minutes to my commute when I have to scrape the car before I can drive away. Really, not much to complain about, but I would still like the basement to be done!

I bought some more furniture for the basement so now we are storing that on the main floor too. We got these barstools in white. I am very excited to see them in front of our dark-stained maple bar with the black countertop. I think they'll look great.


New Year's Resolution

Thursday, January 1, 2009

It's that time of year again. New year. New resolutions.

A few years ago, my new year's resolution was to buy no magazines all year. That was a great one because it had the added bonus of saving trees and money. I always looked for the longest line at the grocery store so I could read magazines in line, sometimes people gave them to me, and I borrowed some from the library. It wasn't that hard to abstain, although I was tempted to buy a magazine from time to time.

Other years, I've made outrageous resolutions that I knew I could never keep.

This year, I'm doing something a bit like the movie Yes Man. My new year's resolution is to say yes to more things. I'm not planning to try bungee jumping or parachuting or anything. I'm just going to do some things I haven't done before. Take singing lessons. Try getting to know some new people. Take a photography class. Be fearless. Try a new class at the gym. Say 'hi' to someone I don't know. Smile more at strangers. Stop and chat with a neighbour that I don't know. I plan to try new things.

I'm really excited by my resolution. It sure beats 'lose 20 pounds' (which I do need to do) or 'stop eating red meat,' which I could never do!


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