Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ah, Cookies.

Yesterday, my sister was here visiting with the baby, when I started feeling a little bit dizzy and cold, and kind of pissed off. She just happened to have a glucose meter in her purse, so she made me test my blood.

Have I mentioned I hate needles? Apparently, this includes little tiny (almost invisible) needles. I was a big huge baby, just ask her.

Anyway, I had a low reading. So she has lent me her meter and I'm going to be checking my blood throughout the day, for a week.

Today, I've been testing regularly and the readings have been on the low side of normal. I also did a random test when I was feeling irritable and cold. Guess what? Irritable and cold coincided with another low reading.

Hopefully all this means is that I can cure my mid-afternoon sluggishness and irritability with cookies. That would be awesome.

"Sorry kids, these aren't cookies; they're medicine."

Monday, November 28, 2011

It's Just The Way The Cookies Crumble.

Apparently*, it takes about 21 days to make something a habit. I would propose that this is only correct when we're talking about BAD habits. Or perhaps, habits that don't really take any effort.

I walked 5k every single day for over a month, and I was feeling great about it. I was feeling better, sleeping better, and I even managed to lose a few pounds.

All it took was a few days of unpleasant weather** to completely kill that habit.

Today, I went for a twenty minute walk around the neighbourhood; I'll be kind and call it about 1.5k. By the time I got home, my legs felt like noodles. It's only been a few weeks since my last big walk, and already I'm practically back to my old state of general sluggishness.

What is it about eating right and exercise that are so hard to do? I know that I will feel good. I know that I will look better. I know that I will be able to chase after the kids without huffing and puffing after ten minutes.

So WHY can't I resist the siren call of a bag of cookies? What is it about me that makes me ignore what I KNOW, and flop down on the couch?

How do you stay motivated, when it's so easy to just slowly let your ass expand and so hard to turn the process around?

I really don't know. I was hoping that you might; any ideas?

*According to some scientific research that I couldn't actually find; but it's quoted lots of places.
**Coupled with Kee's unpleasant reaction to being stuffed in her stroller and pushed around through unpleasant weather.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Just... no.

Although, if you want to wear an adult onsie, be my guest.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Stream of Conciousness...


Okay, so I can't write anything on the "proper" computer because my husband is taking a programming course online, which,of course takes precedence. You know... learning and whatever.

So today, the big kid and I went down to the library to make some clay things with some people from the Gardiner Ceramics museum. Which I hope to take her to at some point. You can get free passes through the library, and it's not one of the big ones, like the Science Center or the ROM, so you don't even have to get there at the crack of dawn and be put in a draw. Which I wouldn't want to do, because who wants to get the kids ready to go first thing in the morning, which is hard enough on it's own, and drag everybody to the library on the premise that you then MIGHT get to go to the Science Center? Not me.

I went and got 12 new colours of thread when we stopped by Fabricland on the way home. All that really means is that I can't put off the sewing that I have to do anymore because I "didn't have the right colour thread." I'm working on a bunch of Christmas presents, which, of course I can't talk about, because they're Christmas presents.

I'm watching "Elf" right now, which is actually funnier than I thought. I love Will Ferrell, so that might have something to do with it; and Zooey Deschanel! Love her. Although, sometimes that's really just not enough, because I gotta say I'm never going to see " Jack and Jill", no matter how much I love Adam Sandler because that one can't be anything but crap. Crap wrapped in vomit, really; have you seen the commercials? Boo, Adam Sandler!

Aaaaand... Time.

The end.

[edit: here are some links for above mentioned things that I could not include due to iPad/Blogger non-compatibility.]
--The Toronto Public Library PASS program
--"Jack and Jill". You can't tell me that movie doesn't look like a crap sandwich.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Oh, Sh*t.

Lately, I've been gently urging Kee towards using the potty. There is absolutely no point being heavy handed because I've never met anyone as stubborn as my little girl. I KNOW that I'm the parent here, but using the toilet is one of those things that parents really cannot control.

You can lead the kid to the toilet, but you can't make them poop. I do wish she'd hurry up and decide that she's ready though. Because really? At this point, it's not "poop" anymore, it's shit.

She has started doing some "big girl" things all on her own lately, like getting dressed without help and taking her dishes to the sink without being asked, so I'm hoping that using the toilet will become part of her repertoire soon.

Today, when she looked as though she was going to poop, I asked her if she wanted to use the toilet. No, she most certainly did not. She did, however want to know what, exactly, poop is anyway?

So I drew her a picture of the human digestion system. We talked about it in simple terms; down your throat into your stomach where the stomach acid helps eat the food, then through the big tubes called intestines that soak up the nutrients, then out your bum. She was very interested.

Then she asked about pee. So we talked about how her bladder is like a balloon and when the balloon gets full, she has to pee.

Then, she took the pencil out of my hand to draw her own diagram for me.

Apparently, this is what she got from the conversation:
"So. This," she says, pointing to a cirle, "is my head. Then I eat and my heart pushes the tummy garbage into my tummy. Because my heart is here," she elaborates, pointing at her belly button. "Then there is an alien who comes and he gets eaten by the big monster that lives in my mouth. He makes the acid. And there's a balloon for pee. And I have a big tube, that's attached to my vagina. Because that's on my head."

I'm just glad I wasn't trying to explain where babies come from.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I Should Know Better.

My kids have been using scissors safely, and with minimal supervision, for quite a while now.

Since they've never cut anything other than the craft they were working on, I may have gotten complacent. I may have decided that it was okay for me to turn my back on them; even read a book.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Story.

By Kee

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Ariel. She liked to hug her prince tightly. But she didn't know the rules on the boat. So the prince said, "No hugging tightly on the boat."

Then she hitted her prince on the bum. The prince said, "No hitting people's bums on the boat!" But she didn't know that rule either!

Then Ariel was hungry, so she ate all the food in the bottom of the boat. And the prince and all the other guys on the boat ran away because they didn't want to play follow the leader with her because she didn't do the rules right.

Then all the guys came back and Ariel said "sorry." So Ariel hugged her prince, but only gentle because she remembered the rules now! So then they all played follow the leader together and had a picnic and lived happily ever after.

The End.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cheese Day.

My husband loves words. His favourite ones though are the strange ones that most people don't use. The problem with those words, of course, is that if they're not in common usage, you don't always know how to pronounce them.

He was a very smart kid - voracious reader - and no one ever bothered to correct his mispronunciations. And really, how often is a word like "acrostic" (which he used to pronounce "ack-roe-stick") going to come up in conversation with a fourth grader?

So I correct him. I'm good like that.

I think he's really grateful that I don't let him leave the house sounding like an idiot.

Sometimes, though, there's a perfectly ordinary every day word that he pronounces oddly. On these occasions, he sometimes doesn't believe me that he's saying anything funny and we get into a "chow-DA" versus "chow-DAIR" type of debate. Then I just sit back and wait for outsider confirmation.

Kee: Daddy, can you make my breakfast? Is it time to get up? Is it Friday?
Husband: Yes, I can make your breakfast. Yes it's time to get up. No, it's not Friday, it's Tuesday.
Kee: It's NOT Cheese day! I don't like CHEESE. If it's CHEESE day I have to eat CHEESE!
Husband: ...

Although, to be fair, he doesn't say "CHEESE day", he says "CHOOSE day."

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hooves and Other Problems.

So. We bought Beege some "indoor shoes" for school. They were plain, purple and white runners. She liked them, I liked them and they were $9.97, so everyone was happy.

Unfortunately, as we found out when she was running through the house after practicing tying her laces, they do not have "non-marking" soles. My husband spent 20 minutes on the kitchen floor with a baby wipe cleaning up shoe trails. This quality eliminates them from the "indoor shoes" category.

Let me tell you something about Beege: she is entirely practical. When she was three and we were buying her winter boots, she picked up some cute little suede boots with embroidery on them and a flat sole. I picked up some big heavy ones with a grippy sole and elastic around the top to keep the snow out. We discussed the benefits of both pairs, and in the end, she decided to buy the heavy ones because she "would only be able to wear those ones in the house!"

When we went shopping today, we knew exactly what we were looking for: running shoes with white bottoms. Which was actually surprisingly difficult. Why all the black soles? Don't shoe manufacturers know the non-marking sole rule?

Anyway, Beege finally found an inexpensive pair of runners in her size with a white bottom. They were round-toed and lumpy and oddly bulky. They looked kind of like what I imagine Frankenstein's monster's shoes would have looked like if he'd been a five year old wearing non-marking runners. She was perfectly happy with them. Ready to go to the checkout.

But, they made her feet look like hooves.

I, who am usually the most practical and cheap frugal person who avoids the character covered stuff because I know it adds $10 as soon as there's a Disney anything involved, convinced her to buy these.

Apparently, while I am totally okay with walking over to the school with my hair in a messy lump on my head, wearing my pajamas, and having forgotten to brush my teeth, I cannot let my daughter have monster hooves.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sometimes, The Grass IS Greener.

Years ago, before we had kids, before we were married, my husband (then boyfriend) and I received a flyer for dance lessons.

We thought "What the hell? Could be fun!" and signed up. We went to a few lessons, and unfortunately, we really really sucked. Work got in the way, we found that we didn't have enough time, and we sucked so much that it didn't seem like a big deal to give it up.

Today, we spent the day dragging Kee through Sears, kicking and screaming, to get the girls new snow pants and boots. Beege slept over at my mother's last night, so we had to drive up there to get her after we finished the shopping trip from hell; during which, I bought exactly one of the items that I needed to get for myself. (Which, really, is more than I usually get to do.)

My mother will no longer take both girls overnight. It wears her out too much. I realised on the way home, that my husband and I will not have a night alone again until the girls are much older.

I really wish that we'd spent more time dancing.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Upside of Anger.

Kee has not been easy to get along with lately. She's been extremely touchy, and likely to scream at you for everything. If I touch her with a fingertip, she yells that I'm hurting her.* The simplest request can be met with a fifteen minute defiant tirade.

She is also doing things to purposely piss me off.

I will ask her not to climb up the back of the couch (for the eight hundredth time) and she will stop for a moment, smile at me and then go right on climbing. I'll ask her not to jump off the coffee table. Grin. Jump.

I'm a little lost here, because no consequences seem to have an effect. The only thing I can come up with is to haul her to her room, and really, that's more for my sanity than because I think it will have any impact on her behaviour.

Half the time, she's back in there five minutes after I let her out again. Sometimes she doesn't even make it out of the room before she gets another time out.

There is an upside though. In the past couple of weeks, I have finished knitting a scarf, crocheting a lap rug, made a couple of stuffed toys for the girls and sewn a pair of little pajamas** for Spud.***

All while she's been in her room for misbehaving.

If she keeps it up, I'll be done with all the Christmas presents before the end of November.

*I wouldn't let go of her hand while we were waiting to pick up Beege one day, so she screamed at the top of her lungs, "Mummy! You're KILLING me!" Awesome, right?
**I was actually pretty impressed with these, so I'm going to post a tutorial sometime soon.
***"Spud" being the name I've bestowed upon my lovely new nephew.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Don't Worry, Eugene.

"Triceratopses are Vegetarians!"

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Lost World.

So, one morning, we're getting ready to go, and Kee starts loading her pockets with tiny dinosaurs. I told her to pick something else, because I didn't want them to get lost. They won't get lost. They might get lost. They WON'T GET LOST! Fine. I let her bring one dinosaur. So she picked her favourite one, who she calls "Stingosaurus."

After dropping Beege off, we went for our walk. About a block in, Kee screams "STOP! WHERE IS STINGOSAURUS?" So, sucker that I am, I backtracked a little bit until we found him. This happened three more times.

We finally made some progress while she ate her snack. As soon as she finished though, "STOP!" We backtracked for about three blocks before I finally decided that Stingosaurus was well and truly gone this time. I would just have to tell her that we weren't going to find him and brace myself for the drama that would follow.

Me: Honey? I don't think we're going to find him.
Kee: Why NOT?!
Me: Well, we probably dropped him a while ago. I haven't seen him on the ground, have you?
Kee: Will we find him tomorrow?
Me: Probably not, sweetheart. I'm guessing that some other kid has found him by now.
Me: Yup! I bet another kid who will love him and play with him found him. So he'll be very happy.
Me: I bet that other kid will take very good care of him.
Kee: He will?
Me: Yup.

I was pleasantly surprised when she just looked at me suspiciously for a minute and then mumbled "Okay." and settled back in the stroller.

Feeling very pleased with myself, I continued down the street.

A little while later, we walked past a playground where there were a bunch of kids playing. "STOP!" I stopped, and looked down at Kee. She was glaring and pointing towards a kid on the playground.

"I think it was that kid, Mummy."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Baby the Bully?

When I think of a "bully", I think of someone angry, aggressive, and possibly sad, who takes out their negative feelings on other people; often, targeting a few specific people. I think of it as a series of ongoing events; the "bully" searching out opportunities to intimidate others.

Which is why I was incredibly surprised when one of the parents approached me in the school line-up and said, in a loud voice, "Your daughter has been bullying my daughter."

Shocked, and completely blind-sided by this man I had never seen before, I asked if he was sure he meant my daughter. There are other girls with her name in the school. "That girl? The small one, with the braids and red rain boots?"

Yup. He was sure. He didn't introduce himself, and he didn't tell me what had actually happened until I asked him twice; apparently, Beege had knocked down his daughter and sat on her.

"That girl? Braids? Rain boots?" Yup. I assured him that this was the first I had heard of it, and that I would, of course, be talking to her about it. He continued to tell me loudly how disturbing he found this bullying, but wouldn't point out his daughter so that I could bring Beege over to talk to the two of them together.

I didn't even notice when Beege's class went in.

There was absolutely nothing I could do at this point, but I resolved to go in and talk to her teacher after school to try and get to the bottom of it.

My girl has always been incredibly empathetic, she's sensitive, and her feelings are easily hurt. I just couldn't imagine her purposely making someone feel bad. I've always been worried about her getting bullied, not being the bully. My gut was definitely telling me that this was not right.

Despite my personal feelings though, I know that there is always the possibility that she's different at school. There is this whole environment that she functions in that I know almost nothing about. But could she be that different? Was my daughter a bully?

I didn't get a chance to talk to her teacher after school, because I needed to go be with my sister, but I did get to talk to Beege about it before I left for the hospital.

Me: Beege? Is there anything you want to talk to me about?
Beege: Uhm... no?
Me: Did something happen yesterday at recess? Did you knock someone down?
Beege: Oh! Yeah! And I sat on her!
Me: ...
Beege: We were playing a game. I was the cat, and [older girl] was being Tori Vega*! The other big girls were being ghosts, and I knocked one down. Then, because I was a cat, I sat on her!
Me:So you were playing a game?
Beege: Yeah!
Me: Did she know you were playing?
Beege: Yeah, she was being a ghost and scaring the baby. That's why I knocked her down.
Me: Did you know that she was upset? Her daddy told me that she was upset and she felt like you were being a bully.
Beege: Oh. I didn't mean to be a bully!

Her immediate response was to be upset that she'd made the other girl feel bad.

So, while she did knock the girl down, she did it thinking that it was part of the game. I was relieved to know that it had been a one time event, that she didn't realise how the other girl felt, and that once she did, she was sorry about it. We also talked about why it's wrong to do something that might hurt someone, even if you are playing a game.

I still went in to talk to her teacher about it the next day, to make sure that was all there was to it. When I mentioned the word "bully", she frowned and shook her head, saying immediately "No." This was a one time incident and it wasn't malicious. She assured me that Beege is very kind with the other kids, and doesn't show signs of bullying behaviour.

Beege has been hanging out with older girls though, and it has been worrying her teacher a bit. They like to pick her up and carry her around and tell her how cute she is; which unfortunately, I bet she loves. She gets over-excited from all the attention, and acts silly, which I could totally see leading to this incident.

Not only is her teacher concerned about her possibly getting hurt, simply because they're just so much bigger, but she doesn't think that Beege needs to hear what some of these grade fives are saying. After five minutes of listening to them after school, I totally agree; just the incessant name calling is too much for me, let alone anything else they're saying.

Which isn't to say that they're bad kids at all, it's just to say that my kid is only five. I'm glad they think she's cute, but she is not a doll.

I would also really appreciate it if people don't throw the word "bully" around with so little provocation. Bullying is a very serious accusation, indicative of larger emotional issues. I was (and am) sorry that my child did anything to hurt another child, even inadvertently, but it was unintentional.

I also wish that the girl's father had approached me less aggressively. I understand that he was upset that his child was upset -- so would I be -- but his intimidating me didn't help the situation and was completely unnecessary. Especially when I wasn't being the least bit defensive, other than making sure that he was really talking about my kid.

So. The new plan going forward is to encourage her to play with the kids in her own grade.

And maybe to invest in some tranquilizers for myself; I've got 14 more years of school to get through.

So, question for you: What would you do if someone accused your child of bullying? What if it turned out to be true?

*I had no idea who "Tori Vega" was and neither did Beege. We had to google her.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Meet My Little Friend's Little Friend.

I'm really going to have to think of something else to make with all this felt, or my house is going to be overrun with these "pillow people," as the girls are calling them.

Luckily, Christmas is coming, and I've still got plenty of time (and ideas) to whip up a few presents. Not all pillow people, I promise.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I'm In Love.

So. My sister had this baby and he is absolutely adorable. I was a little too tired when he was born at 1:30am yesterday to fully appreciate him. He was soft and lovely and stuff, but if you've seen a brand new, right-out-of-the-mum baby, then you know that they are kind of icky.

I mean... lovely, of course, but they're still all covered in gunk, and there's goop in their eyes and you can still see the aftermath on the floor.

Tonight, when my sister brought him over, he was all tidied up and wrapped in the cute little monkey-covered pajamas that my girls both wore. He smells wonderful now. And he makes the sweetest little scrunchy faces, as if he's just been sucking on a lemon or something; which doesn't sound all that adorable, but it totally is.

And I love him. I love him (almost*) as much as if he were my own.

I've already started making him stuff. There's a couple of outfits in the works; I'm making some pants and shirts out of a few of my grandpa's old shirts. He's actually named for my grandpa (who would have been ecstatic to have another boy in our girl-dominated family), so it seems fitting.

The girls think he's very cute; Kee was very proud of herself when she "touched him very gently!" They're not really as interested as me, of course, since he does exactly nothing at the moment. As soon as he does anything other than poop and spit up, they'll be much more excited.

Although still not as excited as me.

*I'm pretty sure that I have to say that or my sister won't let me hold him again. She already thinks I'm going to try and keep him.

Friday, November 11, 2011

It's a BOY!

Yesterday started out badly. There was the usual morning nonsense getting the kids up and out. I broke my favourite mug while grumbling through doing the dishes. A stranger at the school informed me of a possible problem concerning Beege at school. I stepped in dog diarreah on my way home.

Seriously. It was not going well.

Then my sister called. My very, very pregnant sister had broken her water and was on the way to the hospital! I was so excited that I was bouncing off the walls and babbling.

My husband came home to take the girls off my hands so I could go to the hospital to witness the miracle of birth; because, to be quite honest, I have no idea what was going on when I had my kids.

Beege took 16 hours* and I didn't take the epidural until hour 13. I don't remember most of it, and once I had the epidural, I was so out of it that I didn't even know there were complications requiring flipping and suction and extra doctors in the room and stuff.

Kee was so quick that I almost had her in the hallway.

So. My sister's pregnancy has been pretty horrible, with plenty of vomiting and discomfort. She was put on partial bed rest towards the end and could not WAIT for it to be over.

Unfortunately, she didn't follow my pattern of a difficult pregnancy meaning an easy labour. She was in labour for twelve hours, and it was a little complicated because of the difficulties of the pregnancy. It was also kind of gross.

[While I was aware of the grossness that happened at my own labours (especially the long difficult one), exactly how gross hadn't really registered.]

She projectile vomited in my face.

Which I will forgive her for, because my water broke on her shoes.**

It was long and it was hard, and at the end of it all was a beautiful, perfect, amazing baby boy. And despite all the difficulties, she was already talking about the next one before they finished her stitches.

I get a new baby, and all I had to do was take a little vomit in the face; totally worth it.

Oh, and a big thank you to my favourite little sister for doing all that work and giving me someone new to love. You did great!

Now if you'll excuse me, I didn't get to bed until after 4am and I need to convince my daughter to let me have a nap.

*She totally owes me a cruise.
**I think we're even.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Good Morning, Starshine.

As she sat, drinking her tea and watching ducks lazily glide across the water, she was happy. She glanced back into the room and saw her husband still sleeping, his arm thrown over his eyes.

She loved the morning. Loved the solitude and the chance to be alone with her thoughts. Loved the freshness of the day, the promise of it.

She generally got more done before nine than most people did before noon.

She laced her fingers together over her growing belly and lifted her face to enjoy the first rays of sun, now falling across the patio. Happy.

Six years and two children later, she is no longer a person who enjoys the morning. She is almost never woken by the sun gently warming her cheek. Being alone with her thoughts while enjoying a cup of tea is a fading memory.

She hates waking up in the dark. Hates being startled out of a dream by someone yelling her name or pulling her arm. Hates the half finished mugs laying around forgotten in the midst of other people's needs.

And yet.

As she sits looking out at the still dark sky with one daughter on her lap and the other snuggled to her side, she can be happy.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I Think I Can Write This Now.

We have lived in the basement at my grandpa and grandma's house since before Beege was born.

He had his first heart attack the March just after she turned one. I had woken up and was standing in my living room when I saw the flashing lights. I knew he would be okay by the way he was joking with the paramedics on the way out on the stretcher.

After a couple of surgeries and a lengthy stay in the hospital (where he had opportunity to flirt with many nurses), he was back in his chair in the living room where he belonged. He got stronger, and the next few years passed.

Last year, around Beege's birthday, he started getting sick. He was losing weight and eventually stopped eating altogether. He was hospitalised to try and figure out what the problem was. The doctors decided that his medications had been interacting in bad ways and changed all of them.

He got better.

And then he got worse.

He went back into the hospital, where they told him that there was an issue with his heart. He also had cancer.

He came home, and sat back in his chair. For a man as independent and strong willed as my grandpa was, I can only imagine how hard it was. He was getting weaker. He was used to doing everything for himself, and now he was having to rely on others for everything.

My husband and I helped as much as we could while trying not to be obtrusive. I helped him up when he fell, I helped around the house, and we joked with each other about it. Grandpa and I didn't do serious very well. As he started needing more and more help, my husband would go upstairs some nights to help Grandma get him ready for bed.

On August 30th, my grandma called at 11:30, apologised for the lateness and asked if my husband would be able to come upstairs to help. They were having a particularly bad time. Grandpa hadn't been entirely lucid since Thursday when they had given him some heavy duty pain killers after his cancer treatment.

I didn't usually help at bedtime, out of respect for his privacy. Tonight though, I felt strange, and I stayed in the stairwell in case they needed me.

My husband was just coming back down the stairs when Grandma called him back.

Grandpa had stopped breathing. When I went in, he was laying on the floor and my husband was doing CPR.

I couldn't do anything.

The paramedics came and worked on him while I stood in the hall and watched. They tried to get him to breathe. They did what they could and then they loaded him on the stretcher.

When one of the paramedics told us that we didn't need to hurry to the hospital, that maybe we should get some coffee, I knew already.

My aunt took Grandma to the hospital, and I stayed behind to wait.

I tidied the room. I moved the furniture back into place. I scrubbed and scrubbed at a spot on the carpet that just wouldn't come out. I put the sheets from his chair in the laundry.

I opened a window so that I could breathe.

Eventually, I just sat in Grandpa's chair.

The Funeral was, perhaps, harder than watching him leave the house on the stretcher. It was easier to understand that he wouldn't be coming back when they took him away; he was covered in wires and tubes, he didn't look like himself. He looked empty. In his coffin, he looked as though he was just taking a nap.

I still don't know what I believe, but I am finding it hard to believe that he is really gone. And I refuse to believe that all that's left of him is dirt.

Monday, November 7, 2011


I don't know what it is about this neighbourhood, but people seem to really hate squirrels. Judging from where their stiff little corpses end up, I'm guessing at least a few people have actually swerved to hit them.

This makes things a little difficult for me (and I'm sure it pisses the squirrels off too).

You see, Kee loves squirrels. Just loves them. She calls them "Loolies."* She likes to stop when we see them so that she can watch them for a while.

Luckily (for me, not the squirrels) most of the ones we have come across (and there have been a LOT of them) have been so squashed that when she asks what it is, I can say "oh dear! Someone seems to have lost their mitten!"** Or hat. Or scarf. It really depends on the size of the deceased.

Today, there were refreshingly few "mittens" in the road.

There was however, a duck. A live duck, walking down the middle of the road. It was a beautiful duck, obviously young. Drivers were going slowly to avoid it and being careful of it, thank goodness, because Kee was enthralled.

Then, as we sat watching, a big white SUV came roaring down the street and ran right over it.

Miraculously, the duck, after a flurry of wing beating and furious quacking, righted itself and was fine. It made it the rest of the way across the street and waddled into the school yard, where I figured it would be safe for a while.

Kee and I high fived and continued our walk.

When we came around the corner, the duck had come through the school yard and was now wandering towards the road again. A much busier road than the one it had just nearly been killed on. I tried to distract Kee, but she wasn't having it. She wanted to watch the duck.

So, we stood at the side of the road and watched the duck step into the road, crossing our fingers and whispering "go ducky, go!" to each other.

Thankfully, these cars were much more polite than Mr. White-SUV and they all paused as the duck daintily waddled to the other side. We hugged and cheered, thrilled that the duck was safe.

Then I suggested to Kee that we run all the way home just to see if we could do it; which she thought was a great idea.

Which was a relief, because the idiot duck had turned back around and I really didn't want to see if it got flattened by the bus that was coming.

*Not entirely sure why, but I blame TV.
**I think this qualifies as one of those times where the truth will result in more therapy than a lie.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Daylight Savings Time.

Well, it's that time of year again: Daylight Savings Time.

Unlike a lot of people, I don't have that much of a problem with it. I tend to naturally adjust anyway; I've had a real issue getting up before 7:00 for about three weeks now, waking up at 8:00 on the dot. It'll be a relief tomorrow when I don't feel so much like a zombie when I get up at 7:00. Which used to be 8:00. You know what I mean.

The idea that there's one day a year when you're essentially guaranteed an extra hour sleep doesn't suck either.

Unfortunately, the whole concept means diddly to my three year old.

Which is why I've been up for an hour with her now, trying to explain that no, we can't watch "kid shows", because we're up earlier than the freaking cartoons.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011

When you are writing, do you prefer to use a pen or a computer?

Today, being entirely stumped for a topic, due to busy day syndrome, I bow to the "Prompt of the Day". So:

When you are writing, do you prefer to use a pen or a computer?

The preferred method of getting my words down really depends on what it is I'm writing.

For my blog, the computer wins, hands down. It's also got to be a desk top computer, with a proper keyboard and everything. I tried blogging on my iPad, and it SUCKED.

There's something about blogging that feels wrong on paper. I have written entries down on paper when I wasn't able to get to a computer and felt that I might lose it otherwise, but it felt weird. Like writing an essay or something... it's just not as organic. Half the time I don't know what I'm going to write when I sit down to do it, so the extra step of writing it on paper in the first place bogs me down a bit.

There certainly are times when I like to sit down with a pen and write. Mostly when whatever the idea is has stemmed from a picture in my head - because then, of course, I also need to draw. There are times when a computer just isn't tactile enough.

I occasionally write poems. I prefer to use pen then too. I like the scribbling and fiddling and having my entire thought process there in front of me.

So, the answer, I suppose is both.

Speaking of no segue, last week Kee told me that she "loves me more than poop." Just wanted to share that.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Heart Felt Gift.

My husband and I have known each other for quite a while now; we met at Frosh week when I was nineteen. We're coming up on our thirteenth anniversary*. That's a pretty long time, really, and there have been plenty of gift giving opportunities during that time.

He is totally easy to buy for: if there is any new Star Wars anything, my shopping is done. Failing that, anything kinda nerdy-cool will do the trick. One year, when I couldn't think of anything else, I made him a Star Wars themed bean bag toss game.

I, on the other hand am (apparently) not quite so much of an open book.

This has resulted in some... odd... presents. He has given me the standard things like flowers, chocolates and jewellery... but he also gave me a hammer** for our anniversary one year.

This year, for my birthday, dude gave me twelve pounds of felt.

I'm thinking that perhaps my lovely husband didn't realise quite how much felt twelve pounds would be.*** Or maybe he just wants bigger bean bags.

Just so we're clear, everyone I know will be getting presents made of felt until the end of time.

*Holy crap!
**I actually did want a good hammer, just maybe not for our anniversary. I decorated it with heart stickers to make it more "romantic".
***See that little brown thing on the right hand side of the picture? That, dear friends is my lazy-boy reclining couch. Being dwarfed by bags of felt.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

NaBloPoMo, Etc.

Well, crap. Yet another thing that I didn't start when I meant to.

Can I start late? Or have I already bunged it for this year? To be fair, I did have other things on my mind... pumpkins aren't going to carve themselves, and sadly, I can't study by osmosis.

I tried to write every single day last year, I really did, and only managed to do 20. I suppose (even if I missed day 1) there is still the possibility of doing better than last year. So, here we go:


Yesterday, I went and wrote the test to extend my license so that I wouldn't have to wait another year before I could schedule a road test.

Despite being entirely confident that I would pass -- because I remembered it being really easy as long as you could read and knew what might kill someone while you were driving -- I felt like I would throw up all morning. I am really not good with tests.

My husband took the whole day off for the occasion, because really? Who knows how long you're going to have to wait at those testing places? We charged up the iPad for poor little Kee who would have to accompany us and ventured forth.

The testing facility that I went to is in this creepy industrial park type place that kind of looked deserted.

We waited an hour before I was able to take the test.

Which took eight minutes. Seriously.

Then I had to get my photo taken at a specific desk, because, as I was getting it extended they had left the transaction open from when I had paid to take the test... because if I passed, I would have to pay the re-licensing fee, and if I failed, they would take my license and shred it in front of me.

Anyway. I went to the desk that I was told to, and then realised I would have to wait some more.

I sat and listened to a man heap abuse on the woman at the counter for something that was entirely not her fault. For about twenty minutes. (I've never understood it when people do that. It's not in her power to help you; move along.)

So... one hour and thirty-eight minutes later, I am once again licensed to drive with a responsible adult at my side until 2016.

Here's hoping I remember to do the freaking driving test this time.