Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lunch

Work often gets in the way of real life but there are good things that come from it: work friends. Not the friends that you ask how they’re doing while passing them in a corridor because you really don’t care how they’re doing. Real work friends: the kind you stop for when you ask them how they’re doing. The kind you can bitch to because you missed a birthday party for another departmental meeting. I have moved around a bit in the last little while, and my newest job has brought me to Heidi: a true work friend who has become an always friend. Her kids are the same age as mine and she has all the same issues as any real mom. She’s not afraid to tell me when her kids are monsters and she’s not afraid to get watery-eyed when talking about how much she adores them (even in the bad times). As someone that I see as being a kindred spirit, we’ve decided to occasionally get together outside of the cubicle jungle. This brings me to my story about Lunch.
The capital on Lunch is no typo: it is capitalized because it turned into an event. Heidi and I met at a book fair in a park, with all of our kids in tow (two 5 year olds, 1 3-year old and 1 2-year old). I got there late as always, so it ended up that we got there just as Heidi was leaving. We decided it would be a great idea to just get some lunch before parting ways. A family restaurant would be great. It was lunch after all, what could happen?
It started out simple enough “Oh, they’re cute” said an elderly couple waiting to be seated. Others went out of their way to tell us how well behaved our kids were (Heidi and I must have been waiting for the shit to hit the fan because neither of us seemed to mind the inference that we were a nice, blended lesbian couple). Seating? After they have picked their seats by clawing at each other to get the right spot (side/near the wall/beside Mommy/whatever)they decided that under the table was much more appealing. Bathroom trips? For four children we must have gone 6 times. Volume? So loud even the waitresses were giving us dirty looks (this is a family restaurant where they should be used to wound up children. Well, not ours apparently!). Utensils? 8 sets. Yep 8. There were 6 of us all eating food that required no utensils. Whispered threats to the kids to be good or we’re leaving them behind? Countless. By the end of the meal, that older couple that thought our children were cute were shooting daggers across the restaurant to get our kids the hell OUT. Normally I wouldn’t care about this. The reason I did was that everyone in the restaurant had that same hate on. I think all conversation in the restaurant stopped except to say “When is that gay couple going to take those monsters out of this restaurant?”
After what was possibly the longest lunch of our lives, Heidi and I paid and got out, but not before seriously contemplating a large shot of tequila and telling our fellow patrons that the children were not ours, we were just seeing if it would be worth it for us to adopt someday. I’ve been back to the restaurant since and a funny thing happens every time: the hostess sees me coming and flips the sign to “Closed” while shrugging her shoulders in a gesture that could mean “Sorry we’re full” or “Stay out. FOREVER.” I just nod with resignation to say “I understand. I totally understand. Sincere apologies for the last time.”
Next time Heidi and are going to picnic. With tequila.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Summer Vacation Part 2

Once again, we spent a week at the cottage and got to meet up with Darren and Nicola. Before we left, we got to see a glimpse of the fleet review in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Navy. The whole family loved the giant ships.


Then, it was off to the cottage again. The boys were so excited to be reunited with their little lake.

They were also excited to see Uncle Darren and Aunt Nicola again. The trip was during the World Cup, so the boys got to cheer England on in style (complete with mini soccer balls!).
There's more of this post, but I must go to bed. I love looking at these pictures now, as the snow falls outside our windows. Oh sun, how I miss you. Oh yeah, I miss Darren and Nicola, too!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Let's try something different:

Now, I wrote this a little while ago, thinking I would start a new blog. I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen because I can't even keep up with this one. The result: a blend. Here's some new material that takes a slight turn from the kids. Slight. It's still about us.

This is a little snippet of why I do this.

In short, because moms are funny. We all think we want to be Mother of the Year, but really, that’s just one more thing to dust. In reality, we just work hard to get through some days without losing all sanity. Some days we do it and think our lives are blessed and thank God for our children. Others, we put them to bed and down a bottle of Merlot before not putting the laundry away. That is, if we’ve made it to the bottle before falling asleep in a single bed with a Hot Wheels comforter.


When I say moms are funny, here’s what I mean. We all have a story to tell that all other moms know, but we all tell it in a different way. Here’s an example.


I run with my neighbours who have kids much the same age as mine. We’re all doing it for different reasons: mine are for anger management, theirs are health and wellness. The bottom line is that it gets us out of the house almost 3 nights a week. The runs start out at the end of my driveway with a “hello” and how was your day. Here’s how Emily (I'm changing names until I talk to her about posting this) answered me the other day.


“Oh, well. You know.” Sigh. Slightly embarrassed giggle.

“Do tell.”

“We had swimming lessons today with the girls. They love swimming. Amanda is old enough that she can go in by herself and Emma just loves it. Usually, I love taking them. Today, I did NOT love taking them.

“As soon as we got into the pool, Emma had to go to the bathroom. Of course, when Emma has to go, I have to take Amanda out as well. So, we slop over to our towels.” We all know that 5 seconds in a pool is enough to ruin a towel so that when we eventually get out for real, all of the towels are FREEZING because they are soaking wet.


“I had a Dora towel with a hood for Emma. Amanda tells her that it’s a baby’s towel. Emma will no longer use the Dora towel. We are standing there dripping, Emma has to pee, but she won’t use the towel, so she’s crying and doing the ‘I have to pee’ dance, while Amanda is giving her that little smirk that only an older sister can give while she’s wrapped in her ‘big girl’ towel. I had to give Emma my towel to get her to the bathroom before we have to deal with a ‘fouling.’


“After we get through the bathroom incident, we go to our lessons which, by this time are more than half over. When we’re done, we have to go through the whole towel thing again and in the end I am left standing on the deck freezing my ass off in a fucking Dora towel while both the kids are crying because I yelled at them.


“You know what’s the worst part about this story?” By this time I’m trying really hard not to laugh, which is kind of easy because we’re going up a hill and I have to concentrate on not passing out.


“What’s that?”


“When it was all over, it was only 11:00am.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Family Vacations Part 1: White Point


We pretty well spent every weekend this summer going somewhere. We had the best summer on record here, so we were lucky enough to have fantastic weather on all but 2 of our "vacations."

For my birthday, Rob got me a weekend at a family resort. It was like something straight out of Dirty Dancing minus the pageant and the lift scene. Our little cabin was right on the ocean, so close we heard the waves as we went to bed and when we woke up in the morning. Amazing.

An exciting feature of this vacation was our guest. Matthew and Sebastian's daycare have a stuffed lamb named Woolly. Woolly is expected to spend the weekend with someone and his adventures written down in a journal. This is one of the most stressful things about daycare; even more so than the $$$ I spend there every month. You must perform for Woolly much like chefs must perform for a restaurant critic. Every other parent is going to read that journal, so you can't just sit him in front of the Backyardigans or push him on the swing: you've got to step it UP! It's not like you can even lie. With digital pictures, you have to PROVE you did something spectacular. So, we took Woolly to a resort. Suck it, cookie bakers and zoo trippers!
Anyway, we got to enjoy a couple of days of relaxing on the beach and playing in tide pools and regular pools. The resort is also known for all the rabbits they have running around the grounds, so we got to chase a few of those, as well. Indy loved it even though we would not let her have a bunny.
A fun feature of the resort was story time every night. We took the boys, only to find that they were the only ones in attendance. The 17 year-old kid who had to read the books wasn't so thrilled but Matthew and Sebastian (and Woolly) were in heaven: a plate full of cookies they didn't have to share with anyone. To be fair, the kid reading the stories was fantastic! He had an entourage waiting in the wings (and surely his ass must have been sore from all the vibrating his phone was doing...a hazard of the texting age), yet he still read 2 long stories and even did voices.
Matthew and Sebastian had a blast. Rob and I enjoyed ourselves as well, but I think the most fun was had by our furry friend Woolly. He still tells the daycare teachers that his weekend at White Point was the stuff of legends. In fact, he tells them he had the Time of his Life (get it?).

Friday, November 05, 2010

So let's go back a few months

So now that this is going to be published in our own book, let's start with where we live.

In the spring we moved across the country for Pepsi. We now have the luxury of seeing the ocean every single day. I love it; the rest of the family says they like it, but would like it better if I shut up about how much I love it.

Instead of playing at the park near our house in the middle of our old neighbourhood, we can choose to go to the Pirate Ship park that overlooks the ocean. The kids play for about 5 minutes on the pirate ship, then spend the rest of their time throwing rocks into the Atlantic. It's lovely.

Luckily, we've also had the opportunity to meet lots of new friends. When Rob was at our house looking to buy it, the biggest selling feature for me was not the closet size or kitchen space, it was the fact that there were snowmen in the neighbour's front yard. In this picture, Sebastian is on a little plastic motorcycle that plays all sorts of sounds and music. I think he's learning early that chicks dig guys on motorcycles.
This next picture is from a trip to one of the zoos essentially down the road from where we live. We went with some friends from my new work and their daughters. The highlight of the trip ended up being the sandhill in the middle of the zoo instead of the actual animals, but I think it was just a testament to the fact that this group of kids pretty much instantly got along.

The dirt pile. Notice that Sebastian's shoes are totally on wrong. It looks like Clare is trying to figure out the best way to get hers off. Matthew is using his as a shovel. We call that resourceful, not destructive.
A serious case of the sillies with Anna and Rachel.
Anyway, we're about to enter our first winter in this part of the world, so I'm not sure if that will sour the province for me, but I'm pretty sure it won't. Like it or not, my family is going to have to put up with me gushing about our new community. I love it here!!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Hooray for Myah!!!

So, she told me about a site where I can print my blog! This is motivation to keep it up. Maybe to even push me off Facebook...well, let's not be hasty. Anyway, I will post again soon, but now I have 4 years of blog to print! Bear with me a little longer. In the meantime, here's Halloween pics.

We are so lucky. What parent can say their sons are superheroes?

Here's a little story to keep you interested in our lives:

Usually the car after school and work is stressful. I have been meaning to get 4:30pm to 6:30pm erased from existence, but have been too busy to petition of late. Both kids are tired, they fight, I fight. It's just a bad time of day for all of us. Today was so different.

"Boys," says Mommy for once in a fantastic mood when picking Sebastian up. "You are amazing. I am so lucky to have you in my life." See, sometimes I'm nice to the kids.
"Mommy?" Matthew says quietly. "I'm the luckiest Matthew in the whole wide world to have you as my Mommy."
"I yuv you, Momma." Sebastian has to chime in.
"Momma?"
"Yes, Sebastian?" Expecting something to brighten my day that much more.
"There's an S in my name." Beggars can't be choosers.