Monday, April 21, 2008

Monday Musings



This past weekend was....um.....interesting. As I mentioned in my Friday posts, Karma got her revenge on me for my gloating about the sun by snowing all over us. As a result, I had a rather deflated kid moping around the house because T Ball practice was cancelled. Sadly, being deflated does not necessary dictate that said child will also be quieter. If anything, the volume in the house increased as she asked me for the 18th time why she couldn't go play and I had to explain yet again that the snow on the ground made the field all muddy. Not everyone's parents are as brave as I am with a washing machine apparently. Or the Coaches (of which Hotty Hubby is one) are all a bunch of wimps. Or maybe we just felt like sitting our tushes on a Friday night instead of freezing our asses off watching a bunch of you kids not catch a ball. Whatever, pick an answer. And if you scream at me like that again, so help me I'll drive you down to the diamond and let you play on your own in the snow.

By Sunday morning, all the snow was melted and the kid in question had re-inflated at the prospect of being able to throw a ball around again. I don't think I have a seen a child more in love with her coach. (No..not her father...the other coach). Coach Nate is pretty easy on the eyes, I'm not the first to notice. But clearly my daughter has taken a shine to him. As I watched her on Sunday, chasing after him for high fives and praise, batting her eyelashes at him, and smiley that big cheesy smile, it occured to me that I was reminded of the actions of those little Barbie doll girls that swoon all over the guys at the meat markets bars. Remind me to lock her up when she's a teenager. At least she's paying enough attention to the Coach to take in some of his instruction right??

On our way to the car after the game, we stopped by my dad's car to say goodbye. As we're standing there, this woman in a huge huge truck drives into the parking lot and parks. I have never in my life seen such amazing parking, I swear. Having failed to find a spot available in the parking lot and, I'm assuming, lacking in the ability to turn the monstrous vehicle around, she decided she'd make her own spot. Up onto the sidewalk she went. I wish I'd had my camera so I could show you all. Not only was she on the sidewalk, but she was parked on the sidewalk next to the only spot open in the lot. The handicapped spot. Well, how considerate is that? No no, I couldn't possibly park in the handicapped spot. I'll just park up here on the sidewalk so that if anyone needs that spot they can have it. Oh, they now can't use the ramp for their wheelchair because I'm parked on it? Well, I could move, but...well, I can barely drive this tank as it is. I think I'll leave it there.

Seriously lady? Are you that wrapped up in our own little world?

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Yesterday afternoon we were in what some would call the third circle of Hell. Though I have to say that I'm not even sure that Beelzebub himself would have subjected himself to this. Yes, yes, we were at The Wiggles performance. All in all, I have to admit it was one of the most parent friendly performances I have ever been to. Hotty Hubby and I were rolling around laughing. The Wiggles themselves had a hard time keeping a straight face a good portion of the time. As we watching the men and women cavort around on stage in some questionable costumes, I looked over to see my children emulating this. The vision of your children dancing around with huge smiles on their faces, singing along to some of the most ridiculous songs on the face of the planet, is amazing.



There is one thing I must say about this little Wiggles adventure of ours. My father bought these tickets for us, so that the kids could get to see a great show without us having to sell any internal organs to pay for it (thanks Dad!). They were, theoretically, fantastic tickets. Floor seats, 12th row back. Every show we've ever seen at the Arena were floor seats and while this was the furthest back we've ever sat, the floor is usually a great place to be. And it would have been but for one small issue.
When we found our seats, we got settled and looked around to see if there was anyone else we knew. Because, you know, in an arena that hold thousands of people, you're bound to see someone you know right? A woman and her small child came and sat in front of us and we adjusted our positions accordingly so that the kids could still see the stage. Great, looks like this will work out well. Unfortunately, the two women with children sitting to the right of the woman in front of us had other ideas.

Woman to the right: "Excuse me ma'am, we've been separated from some friends of ours who are now over at the other end of the row and we'd really like to sit with them [because we can't possibly survive without them]. Would you consider switching places with them?"

Woman in front of us: "Umm.....umm......sure. I guess so"

And off she goes to switch places. Hotty Hubby and are not to worried at this point because surely the seats will be filled with yet another parent and child right? Haha! No so my friends! I looked up to find two amazon women filling the seats to join their friends. So, now we have a group of 6 adults to go with 2 children. And they're all freaking giants.

A word of advice to all of you out there. When you go to a children's show, put on for children, for the benefit of children and making them smile, where the greatest portion of the audience is made up of..you guessed it...children - please do not sit a group of gigantors in front of the CHILDREN.

I may have mentioned at some point before, I can fairly vocal at times. The exception seemed to be with the Broom Cupboard Lady - but on the whole I make my opinions known when I feel like it. So there I am, sitting behind the Giants of Lilliput Land and saying such things as "Gee [Hotty Hubby], I don't know what to do, the kids can't see over the GIANT ADULTS IN FRONT OF THEM!" "What are we going to do to make sure the kids CAN SEE?!" "I wonder if they'll slide down in their seats a bit so, you know, the kids can actually see the show that's meant for them".

I should have saved my breath. The show started, the "ladies" in front of us were still sitting up nice and tall and swaying back and forth so that neither of my children could see, and I was verging on smack down status. So I hauled the kids out of their seats and went and sat in the stands. Now, not only could the kids see, but they could dance. Sweet.

Kids Performace Seating Etiquette 101: If you're at a kid's show and there's kids sitting behind you, please ensure you do your best to allow the kids behind you to see the show that cost a fortune to get into.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fun in the little leagues!

In these days where our children are incredibly over scheduled and as stressed out as the CEO of a major corporation, I was hesitant in signing up Ash for T Ball. She already does Sparks (that's the level below Brownies, not a group for budding arsonists), and she will be doing swimming lessons as well. But, we bit the bullet and signed her up. She loves it.

After a little bit of chaos in trying to figure out when and where her team was meant to be practicing, getting uniforms for them all, and finding that ever elusive coach, it was all sorted. On Sunday we went out for Opening Ceremonies and their first game.

Something that has been splashed all over the media in recent years is those over zealous parents who beat the crap out of each other because Little Johnny got called on something and his mommy thinks the sun shines out of his ass, so how dare he get penalized. Parents get into screaming matches and fist fights while their kids look on thinking "what is wrong with those losers". As a result of this, not only are the players now required to take a pledge of good behaviour at the beginning of the season, but so are the parents. I think this is so that if any of us break those rules, the coach can take us behind the dugout and give us a good ass kicking himself, though I've yet to clarify that.

So at the Opening Ceremonies, they announced all the teams and coaches (for the teams that had them..lucky buggers), took a big huge group photo, did these pledges and sang "Oh Canada".

**Side note for all you folks out there who are totally oblivious to how things work when the National Anthem is sung - Face the flag and take your freaking hat off!! Nothing makes me madder than seeing a bunch of adult men standing around with their hats on their heads after all the kids took them off without question.**

PLAY BALL!

I gotta tell you - there is nothing cuter than little folks playing sports. In this case, it was the little kids in their oversized helmets. They were so keen, so ready to go.



After plonking these helmets onto their heads and trying valliantly to stay upright, they got ready to bat. I listened to the whisperings around me and most of it was positive, though I did hear one idiot constantly talk about how "the kids aren't even holding the damn bat right". We were all just enjoying the happiness showing on the faces of our kids.

Here's the thing though. At this level, the kids are 4 to 6 years of age. They have no concept of the rules of T-Ball, of where they're supposed to run (or when), and yet they have an amazing amount of fun. Our lovely Coach Nate got them set up to bat, tried (often in vain) to avoid getting hit with the bat as the kids waved it around, and then let them go for it.



THat's great Coach. I've hit the ball, but now what the heck do I do? Run? Sweet! Run where exactly?

We had kids running in all sorts of different directions. And as us parents are known to do, we want to help. So we're sitting in the bleachers yelling "Ruuuuuun little Johnny!" and waving our arms. Little Johnny sees this and instead of running to third like he's meant to, he runs towards mom. "whadya want Mom?" Yeah, we need to keep our mouths shut and let the coaches do their thing right? Also, it's kind of funny to see 3 kids from the same team all standing around on second base chatting away while the parents all yell "ruuuun!" at them. The kids are probably talking about why they bother bringing their parents to these things, and maybe next week they'll just leave them all at home.



We even had a couple of kids who like to watch baseball at home with their daddies who decided it would be fun to slide into a base. Thankfully, Ash isn't that ambitious. Either that or she takes after me and really really values the fact that her skin is still attached to her legs.



Eventually they all made it around to home plate, albeit through untraditional methods. Some even decided to do a little dance around it. And then it was time for them to go out and field.

My mother used to sing me a few lines from a children's song (I think by Raafi?) about standing out in right field watching the dandelions grow, because this is what I used to do as a child. What can I say? Baseball didn't hold my interest as much as perhaps it could have. I always used to laugh it off and think that no one's child actually does that. Ha! Oh yes they do. In between the chats at the bases where they set up lunch dates, they would take turns counting the dandelions and the daisies that were growing. I hear there's a few hundred out there, though I think they'll be doing a recount on Friday at practice.



By the way. Barry Bonds has nothing on 5 year olds. Ok, I have no idea if Barry Bonds was a pitcher or not, or even who he played for, but I do know that some of these kids can throw. One little tyke (bless her heart) just about kneecapped me when she threw the ball at me.



For the next three months I get to sit and watch these wonderful kidlets hurl balls at each other's heads, try and hit the coach with the bat and yell at each other to "ruuuuun". I also get to hope that none of the parents get so bent out of joint that they pummel each other. Having said that, if this does happen, you bet your behind I'll have a video camera running to capture all the fun.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Just Another Manic Monday

Mondays. Yeah. I can't even say they suck, because truthfully it feels like any other day to me now that I don't work during the day anymore. But this morning was more hectic than usual for some reason. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I sat up til 1am knitting instead of going to bed at a reasonable hour or that this morning when the alarm went off at 7am for Hotty Hubby to drag his ass to work, I just kept hitting the snooze button til after 8am. I should have been up getting kids ready and snacks put together for school. I should have been throwing a bunch of laundry on. But I was sleeping. And you know what? I'm not sorry. So there.

But it really did feel like a "Manic Monday" this morning and the whole drive to school I kept thinking that, and as a result I kept singing it in my head. Ok - and out loud. So shoot me. My kids thought I was completely insane. I could almost see the thoughts circling in their heads. "What is this drivel that momma is singing?" "Why is her hair getting bigger the longer she sings the song?" "Are those shoulder pads?!"

I thought it only fair that because I am now hearing this song play on a loop in my head, that I should share the thought with all of you so that you can picture it all your head and hear the tune....the Bangles at their worst, big hair and shoulder pads and blue eye shadow galore.



Now - who wants to come clean my house so that I can sit on my backside and knit some more?

I sound rather like an old lady now. Knit knit knit. I have a problem. When I sit and watch tv I need something to do with my hands, so in the past I would eat. Clearly this is not a great solution as you end up looking rather like a blob from outer space. So, I begged my dear friend Allie to teach me how to knit. And now I have a different, more expensive problem. I am a knitting fiend. Rather a shame that the only things I have managed to knit so far are washcloths, but you can never have too many of them right?

I'm working on a blanket right now. Carpal tunnel has never been a problem for me, regardless of the hours I spend on this contraption, but it's fast becoming one now. Never have my hands felt so strong, so powerful - so..painful! Ow.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hello? Tech Support?

The past few days have really hit something home for me. I rely far too much on the internet.

On Monday, I called into our ISP to sort a few things out and while I was yakking it up with the young lad on the other end of the phone, he mentioned that I could save a whole five smackeroos on our monthly bill if I did one simple thing. Instead of continuing to rent our modem, he could switch it over to say we now owned it and we'd save money. Great! Sounds good to me, hook me up.

Tuesday morning, as I was gearing up to post my Tasty Tuesday treats, I noticed a horrible anomaly in the world of the Mad Woman. No internet!?! No problem. Power cycle the modem and the router. No go. Shut down and restart the computers. No go. Throw a hissy fit, scream and yell, stomp the feet and threaten both computers and the modem that if they don't decide to start doing their job "stat" that I will throw them out the window.

They just sat there like the big lumps of metal and plastic that they are and did nothing. Ungrateful little wretches. See if I upgrade your RAM and hard drives next year. I'll buy myself a new computer instead.

It dawned on me at some point (probably when I found myself threatening inanimate objects) that I should probably put a call through to tech support before I totally lost it.



It's not that I am totally reliant on the internet but as my previous ramblings may have mentioned, I am now the PAC President at the school and I happened to have a meeting on Tuesday night that I needed to have access to my email for, not to mention being able to do research for my book and chat with my buds on Crackbook. So, trembling as I dialed, the call was made.

Tech: Thank you for calling _______. How can I help you today?

MW: Umm yeah, my internet isn't working and it doesn't seem to matter how much I threaten them, they just sit there.

Tech: Ok, have you tried power cycling the modem?

MW: Um yes. It seemed my only option after the lack of response to my stern lecture.

Tech: Well I'm not showing anything on your account that might indicate that we've disconnected you, so I'm not really sure what is going on.

MW: Any chance it could have caused a snafu in the system when we were switched from renting to owning our modem?

Tech: Oh no no no. That would never happen. We're very on top of things that way. I'll send a technician out to have a look at it. Earliest we can send them is tomorrow, how's that for you. Sometime between 8:30 and 4:30.

MW: Hm. Any chance of narrowing that down a bit?

Tech: No sorry. Well, thanks for calling ________. Have a good day now.

<click>

Given that Hotty Hubby is in the kind of industry where he makes service calls, I fully understand the inability to pick a firm time to stop by, but it would be lovely to not have to sit around the house all day and wait for someone to come by. I could be doing something useful and........ Wait a minute. Forget I said anything. That sounds like a great plan.

Yesterday, the technician arrived (at 12:30 for those who care) and went straight to work in the bedroom. He poked and prodded, turned on - turned off, twisted and pulled and even lit up a couple times. The computer and modem were feeling pretty good by this point I figure. But no result. The poor techie was feeling a bit inadequate I think. He concluded that a divorce was in order, threw out the old modem and replaced it with a younger, sleeker version. And then he left.

Cold, man. Cold.

Of course, three hours later I was still getting the cold shoulder from the technology in my house, so I made a second call to Tech Support. It was pretty much a replay of the first time, and again the technician arrived at my house and made a beeline for the bedroom to play with the electronics.

15 minutes later he was back down proclaiming all was right with my life again and I could access the internet. By jove, I believe he's right! Then he said this:

"So I had to call through to our Tech Support and after it turns out that when they switched you over from renting to owning your modem, something went wrong administratively and no one noticed"

Hmm.

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Saturday, April 5, 2008

Excuse me?!?!

If anyone is planning an event in the near future, where a microphone or megaphone might be in order, fear not! I have the perfect thing for you. My son. I swear to you this child has no volume control. At least not at the appropriate times that one would wish for it. What is perhaps the most perplexing and frustrating thing for me is that when I need him to be quiet, he is not. When I need to him to speak up so that I can actually hear him, he whispers. I am getting bald patches from the hair pulling that this provokes. However, this is not the thing that prompted this post. Not directly.

Yesterday afternoon was a perfect example of of his inability to control this "gift". We made a stop at the bank in the midst of my lengthy list of boring and endless errands. This is not a favourite task for me or for the children, but alas it is something that must be done. In all the years I have been frequenting banks, I must admit that I have never seen one that is a party scene (wouldn't that be cool), but they aren't all hush hush like the library either. Having said that, when we are out in public and especially when we are in somewhat confined spaces such as a bank that is rigged with silent alarms, I do like my spawn to at least pretend to exercise some decorum lest they scare the little Barbie doll behind the counter and prompt her to trigger said alarm. I'd hate to have to try and get the kids to sleep on a concrete slab. Personally I can sleep anywhere, anytime, but they are a little pampered in that respect. They would at least require a sheet.

I digress.

Yesterday we stopped at the bank and the kids ran (yes really) to their normal corner where the bank has supplied some rather ancient looking Fisher Price toys that are probably holding enough germs and viruses to kill off an entire third world country. I stood in the long line up looking as bored as I could possibly manage in the hopes that the Barbies would hurry up and get me through the line. In front of me in the line was an acne covered teenager humming along to his iPod, a rather good looking guy in a power suit who probably drove up in the compensation car I saw out front, and a pinched looking woman who looked like the broom that was normally stored up her ass had in fact been pushed up so far it was about to fill the hole left by her shrunken heart. I'm sure there were other people in the line too but these were the ones I noticed.

I knew right away that this broom cupboard of a woman was going to be an issue, but hoped that my instincts were a little further off than they usually are. Sure enough, my son decided that the bank would be the perfect place to test out his admittedly stellar vocal range. Top of his lungs, singing some completely made up lyrics.

I shushed him a couple of times and his sister tried to clamp her hand over his mouth and nose to smother him into silence but he would not be dissuaded. We got closer to the front of the line and I could see the acne commercial, the Barbies and the power suit stifling giggles at my son's little ditty so I didn't bother shushing him anymore. In fact, my extreme blush (think lobster) was disappearing and I was fast approaching a semi normal complexion. I was happy to have scored such an amazing crowd of people. Happy that I was not being chased with pitchforks for bringing this hellion into their midst and disturbing the peace.

This feeling of relief was rather short lived however. Broom lady had finally finished her business and was heading towards us to leave the bank. I really thought she was going to be her proper little British self and keep walking. Oh how wrong I was.

Broom Lady: "May I suggest that the next time you bring your......children <said with incredible scorn>......into a public place like this, that you keep them within an appropriate range and actually control them?" (all said in her snippy little British accent)

Me: "uuuhhhhhh" (yes, I'm a little slow on the uptake)

Broom Lady: "I really have no wish to be subjected to this......noise <there's that scorn again>....when I come into the bank and expect peaceful quiet to conduct my business"

Power suit guy: **GASP**

Acne Boy: **Bug Eyed**

Twinkies: **Gaping mouths**

I looked at her, balled up my fist, sang "Another one bites the dust" at full volume and punched her in the head.

"How's that for peaceful quiet bitch!?"

Actually I stood there dumbfounded while she waddled off with the broom sliding further up her ass than it already was. Of course by now, my son was perfectly quiet. He was too busy watching his mother get bitched out to continue his song. He waited until we got to the grocery store to continue .... where he found a few other preschool aged children to join him. They will begin their world tour, to promote their album, in the summer.

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

All hail "Le Grande Fromage" !!

Last month I attended the PAC meeting at my daughter's school as per usual. I like to at least pretend I have an interest in what is happening at the school and what new forms of torture teaching that they are coming up with these days. I also was performing my obligatory duties as Secretary, taking the minutes and all that jazz. The difference last month was that it was election night.

I'm going to pause on that train of thought for a moment to just briefly mention that out of all the schools in town, ours has one of the best turnouts to PAC. At any given meeting, we have on average about 20 to 25 people show up compared to 7 to 10 people at other schools.

So, bearing that in mind, imagine my shock when I arrived for the election night meeting and there was about half our normal turnout. Shocked and baffled that people would not show up for a meeting where they could potentially be nominated for the executive, I resolved to beat and maim the offenders when next I saw them.

I had gone to this meeting with the intention of retaining my position as Secretary and vowing to never again raise my hand to volunteer for anything ever again. Sadly, 'twas not to be. As nominations were made and people given the chance to turn down any position that they found themselves up for, we found ourselves with a few positions sitting empty. Of course, all the chicken shits lovely folks in the room pretended not to notice this fact as they gorged on sushi and drank tea, while a few of us pondered our new predicament.

I may have mentioned before that I have an overwhelming need to act like a puppy and please people - do my best to help where needed. As a result of this unfortunate (??) trait, I found myself putting my hand up and saying "I'll do it".

I now find myself with the dubious title of "President" a.k.a. El Presidente.

a.k.a



Ahh yes. My life is complete. I will never need another bag of chips or cold beer so long as I am President of the PAC.

All jesting aside, I am actually looking forward to this job. The big heavy binder that was thrust so heavily in my direction last night has turned into a much needed doorstop. The spare time that I was having so much trouble trying figure out how to fill, is no longer a problem.

And I get to be much more involved with the school. I will now know most of what is happening in that small little world that my daughter lives in every day. That fact alone makes any hecticness that I may encounter totally worth it.

All hail ME! Perhaps I should wear a crown to my first meeting in my new role?

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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I want to brag a minute

**WARNING- Sappy Post Ahead***

There is someone in my life who I would like to brag about for a moment. While I have only known this person for 7 years, I feel like I have known him forever. From the very first moment we met, it felt like we were open books. The first night we walked all over Victoria. He took me up the steepest hills, to parts of town I had never seen before. We walked for so long and made each other laugh. At some point we ended up back at his apartment and stayed up all night talking.

In the 7 years since that night, we have seen 6 different apartments and houses and even been through about 10 couches. We've had two children and been through some incredible highs and lows. And we've made it through it all. This man has put up with my tendency to put up the highest walls around myself and even my penchant for walking away in the middle of an argument. Sorry - "Discussion".

I have found it incredibly hard in the past to be able to talk things through and would prefer instead to ignore what is happening around me in the hopes that it will get bored and go away. Not the best way to foster good relations in your marriage. Recently however, I was encouraged to rid myself of this horrible habit, and it's been incredibly freeing. I thank this man for this development and now we talk about everything.

I have two of the cutest children ever, and while I frequently refer to them as "spawn" and "hellions", I love them to death and this man is to thank for that.

He has worked his ass off to support our family and oftentimes it is thankless work. He loves us, he cares for us, he supports us and he plays with us. We enjoy cuddles and snuggles, hugs and kisses, woogies and wedgies and frequent visits from the tickle monster. He takes the attitude from the kids. Ok, and from me.

This man is the rock of this family and the (*warning - cliche moment*) glue that holds our family together.

I will be forever grateful for the day I met him, for the day I married him, and for the days he has made me sit and talk instead of running away.

This man, in case you are dumb and haven't guessed yet, is Hotty Hubby. I love him with all my heart. And here ends the gross sappy post. Enjoy some pics of Hotty Hubby.....they're on me. And so is he. HA!



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