Monday, July 30, 2007

No conversations before coffee, please.

Driving into work today, Homer and I had the following conversation.

H: Why are we doing the garbage in the morning now?

L: I wasn’t aware we did the garbage this morning. Perhaps it was the grogginess of separating the recycling at 6:30 AM, but I really felt all alone out there.

H: You know what I mean, I would have done it last night.

L: Umm…

H: Don’t get all sarcastic. You didn’t need to do it this morning. Sometimes you’re such a martyr.

L: Uhh…

H: You always do things by yourself and then complain that I don’t help.

L: Just so I’m clear… upon discovering that the garbage had not been put out last night, my next move should have been to put you in the time machine and set the dial to last night?

H: I need a coffee.

L: I concur.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Wracked with guilt

I’m feeling extremely uneasy today. I have a headache, I can’t concentrate and I have absolutely no appetite for anything except coffee.

Yesterday, I lied to the grandmother of my daughter’s friend. I feel so guilty and I really wish I had handled the situation like a grown-up, but I didn't. Here’s what happened:

The grandmother, we’ll call her G, called inviting Lisa to a family outing they were planning this week. The outing would involve my daughter’s friend K, her parents and older brother.

The outing was to “The Pier”, which obviously involves water – strike one.

They wanted to pick her up at 2:00 in the afternoon and would have her home by 10:00. Lisa, remember, is 6 years old – strike two.

If I’m really being honest, the first two strikes might not be strikes at all if it weren’t for strike three, and this is what really has me wracked with guilt. G called because K’s parents are deaf. Not only are they deaf, but they are also practically illiterate. I don’t know sign language beyond the few words I taught my kids as babies, they don’t read lips or talk, the mother can read and write a little bit (although most of the time I can’t make out what she’s trying to say – the writing and content is grade 1 level, at best) and the father is completely illiterate. I have no way of communicating with these people beyond polite nods, waves hello and good-bye and signing a lame "thank you". K’s older brother is being raised by G; I don’t know the circumstances surrounding the arrangement, but I do wonder.

So, when faced with the invitation to have my daughter spend 8 hours on the water with this family, I lied. I didn’t face G and say, “I’m sorry, but I just don’t feel comfortable putting Lisa in that situation”. I didn’t tell her that bodies of water, whether natural or the backyard variety, scare the hell out of me. Instead, I cowered in the corner and told her that Lisa would be spending the weekend with her grandparents at a cottage. Not that we had plans for that night, but that she would be gone for the whole weekend. I cracked under the pressure and told not just a little lie, but a big doozie of a lie. I’m such a loser.

Before you judge me too harshly, I don’t have anything against these people. Lisa has been to K’s house too many times to count, as K has been to our house. I love that my daughter is exposed to this other world where people talk with their hands and I love even more that she enjoys going over there (probably because no one there ever yells!) They are kind, if simple, people whose only motivation in inviting Lisa along was to be gracious and to secure a playmate for their daughter.

But, it’s a road trip. To the lake. And I just don’t know if they will take care of my little girl the way I would. And, she’s my little girl.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Craving cake? Do I have the cure…

I mentioned that we just celebrated our 10th anniversary. Well, my mom called me to ask what I wanted to do with “the cake”. “The cake?” I asked. “Yes, your wedding cake that has been in my freezer, do you want it?”

That’s right, my parents have had the middle part of my three-tier wedding cake in the bottom of her freezer FOR 10 YEARS! We ate the top part on our first anniversary. I just laughed and said I would take it, just because I thought Lisa would get a kick out of it.

So I picked it up on Saturday and immediately the kids were begging to try a piece. It was, of course, rock hard frozen. I placed it on the counter and promised to cut into it the next day, but made no promises as to whether or not I would let them taste it.

Sunday morning came and Bart asked, “now we can have some white cake?” We looked at the cake and out of every crack, crevice and sugar flower were teeny tiny ants. Millions of them, parading around this cake, ensuring no part of the beautifully smooth fondant, the carefully selected blue flowers, nor the elegantly placed silver balls would ever be tasted by humans.

This poor cake that had survived ten years in the freezer was unceremoniously chucked into the garbage and taken to the curb. The kids were devastated and I was just a little sad, but mostly amused.

We went out and bought a white cake mix, white icing and some pre-made blue and pink sugar flowers and recreated the wedding cake. It was beautiful in its own way and the kids finally got their white cake.

This reminds me of my new must-see show, Ace of Cakes. Have you seen it? You must! You too can have naughty dreams about Duff and his cakes:

Friday, July 20, 2007

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The BIG 1-0

It was July 1997. The sun was hot that day and I worried that our guests would be too warm in the church, that the groomsmen would wilt during pictures, that the cake would melt.

I stood at the back of the church with my dad and my “girls”. I wasn’t nervous. My cousin was singing “You know I love you, I always will. My mind’s made up by the way that I feel…” I could see Homer standing at the front of the church, looking a little sweaty and nervous.

The bridesmaids proceeded up the aisle. Then the adorable flower girl. Then it was just me and Dad. He gave me a light peck on my cheek and said, “this is it”.

The ceremony was nice. Short. Respectful. Jewish elements in a Christian church. And so, we were pronounced husband and wife, partners for life.

Ten years seems like a long time. Ten years ago I lived in a different house, drove a different car, worked a different job, had no kids. Ten years seems like a long time, but it’s really not. Like any married couple, we’ve had our problems, our strong differences of opinions, our squabbles. But, we’ve been married 10 years, and it truly has seemed effortless to get to this point.

So… how does a rockin’ pair like us celebrate our 10th Anniversary?



Going on the same rides over and over again

And having some good ol' family fun at Santa's Village

Happy Anniversary to us!

Monday, July 9, 2007

The Sleepwalker

Bart is a sleepwalker, I’m certain of it. Almost every night he gets out of his bed and makes his way to our bed. Nothing strange about that… lots of kids do it. What leads me to believe he’s sleepwalking is that he comes to the end of our bed, makes absolutely no eye contact, positions himself between us and promptly goes back to sleep. On occasion, we hear him get up and walk around his room, pick up a book, brush his teeth, etc. and then crawl into either his bed or ours. If we try to speak to him, he just gives a grunt, or moves his mouth like he’s speaking, but it just comes out as gibberish.

Last night, he came into our room, stood in the middle of the bed, jumped about three times, then crawled in between us, without one word, or smile or even a nod in our direction.

Now, I have limited experience with sleepwalking. My sister’s friend was brought home by some neighbours down the street when she slept over at our house and walked down the street in her jammies. One of my roommates in university would get up in the middle of the night and cook a full meal and not recall that he had done it the next morning. I met The Sleepwalker several years ago through his sister. I had no idea he was “that guy” until she said in a whisper “he’s the brother, that, you know…”. No, I didn’t know. I bought the book that night and read the whole thing. It was horrendous that a seemingly normal, kind person could do that in his sleep.

I don’t think Bart is headed in that direction. But, to be safe, the knives are all kept out of his reach and we take the doorknob off the front door at night (having a house that is falling apart has its advantages). Anything I have read says he will grow out of this phase. Until then, I'll sleep with one eye open!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Happy Canada Day!

It's my favourite long weekend of the year. It used to be about parties, beaches, camping and beer... lots of beer. Now it's about:

Strawberry picking. Even though Maggie didn't really get the concept of picking the strawberries, not stomping on them, and Homer and I spent most of our time chasing her down the path, it was a great time. Lisa made a feast of it, while Bart was the little task master, making sure we put the strawberries in the basket, not too small... In the end we had a 6 qt basket of the lovliest, juciest strawberries you could ask for. My back also hurts a bit, but that's mostly because I'm out of shape.

The local festival: I love this picture... Bart with his tongue hanging out and Lisa with her eyes closed. I'm quite the photographer!

Rubbing elbows with celebrities: For those not in "the know", this is Loonette the Clown from Treehouse's Big Comfy Couch. My mom's friend won back-stage passes to meet her and kindly gave them to my kids (as her grandchildren are teenagers!) The kids were absolutely star-struck... check out Bart.

Today, we'll be chillin' at home, probably with a barbeque and maybe even one or two Corona's!

Happy Canada Day!