Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

It's been a busy year. Much drama and many changes. We're feeling the loss of what we left behind in Alberta rather sharply right now. More than anything this moment, I want to go home to my people and my farm. But, still, I know spring here on the island comes sooner and I can hold on for a few more months and see how I feel once the sun begins to stay out later than tea time again. We will definitely being going home next year for Christmas.

Thinking back over the past year, some things come to mind. I wish that I was somehow more profound and mature, having made so many changes, but I'm afraid that the only real change I've experienced is that I now have a glass of wine after the kids are in bed.

Still, I've encountered many new things these past 12 months. Here is a totally random list of some things I've learned in 2009:

- it is not only possible to take off your underwear without removing your gymnastics bodysuit, but it's fun too (thanks, Smootch).

- it is best to wait until the cat does his morning business in the box before you transport him to his new home.

- for sale by owner is a rough road to go. But I still don't regret it.

- good times is about people, not places.

- one car + two children + two adults + two cats + three days = all the excuse you need to buy more wine.

- garbage sucks but sea glass is cool.

- when you have two or more small children you should take as many pictures as possible, because you are never going to find time to fill out their baby books.

- if a car is going to break down just one time a year, it will always be just as you are boarding a ferry.

- if children start to whine you should feed them and put them to bed. There is no other cure.

- getting rid of all my stuff sucks. Sure it's a burden, but so is reacquiring it all, because there is, in fact, a reason why you bought it all in the first place.

- Still, I really do not need much to live my life. Just some food, shelter, shower, and a good book. Oh, and a laptop, internet connection, telephone, and a shelf for my book. A bed too. With sheets, and maybe some towels for the shower. Plus dishes and pots and pans, and the kids could really use some toys and books of their own. Also, a couch, a lamp, a desk, a bedside table (for my glasses). And some roller skates. But other than that, I really don't need much.

I hope that you guys can also benefit from these things I have learned.

Happy New Year

Thursday, December 24, 2009

hello family

Hope everyone is having a good holiday. We are terribly, sadly lonely here, with no family or friends. But don't cry for us, we've got chocolate, palt, and roller skates by the beach. So, you know, we're doing ok.

For those of you who were worried we were going to give you junk for Christmas again, you can stop dreading the post. This year, we've decided to support handmade and have actually gone even more eco-friendly. I hope this isn't too much of a spoiler, but if it hasn't arrived yet, Here is a preview of your gift. Don't worry about the extravagance of your present. We wanted to get you something special because, frankly, you rock.

Love you, Merry Christmas xoxo

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Mission: To fight the fear and (re)learn how to roller skate, while ignoring the voice in my head reminding me that I am 30 plus years old and probably more suited to drinking sticky drinks than to have sticky skates.

My last time on roller skates was when I was about 10 years old. It would of been the same summer I broke my wrist navigating a curb, being the super awesome skater I was.

I may have taken awhile to jump back on this horse, but I learned myself up good. Check out my armor:

Check out my smile :D

Skills learned:

1) Stopping; using snowplow method (great for when I have 20 or more feet clear before actual cessation of movement becomes necessary).

2) Turning; by shifting my weight to one side. It's finally good for something.

3) Falling; by standing in one spot, squeezing eyes closed, and following the directions provided by slapstick pantomime of person making flinging themselves from a great height onto a very hard surface from The Man who is standing on the other side of the nearly sound-proof plexiglass. Someday I will learn to fall accidentally.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

today's moments

most familiar: hugging both children at once, with one wrapped over each shoulder, sweetly enjoying their warmth and love until the back of my head gets knocked as they start swiping at each other behind me.

gluttonous: checking out 63 books from the library. And then spotting another interesting cover on the way out of the building, going back, and checking it out too.

most old couple-ish: when both kids were finally sleeping, having The Man clap his hands together and say, "Okay! Let's get some shit done!" Housework is the new romance.

yummiest: The Man made cabbage rolls for lunch.

most irritating: having the toddler catapult an entire cabbage roll at my head during lunch.

freakiest: buying black leggings of the type I haven't worn since I was ten and bicycle shorts were all the rage. I've already worn them.

weirdest: having the boy repeatedly ask me to give him snake bites on first one forearm and then the other. Repeatedly. At first I say no, but after being asked for a solid 10 minutes, I really, really feel like he deserves a couple.

slackerish: having a 20 minute nap (every night) while I help Smootch fall asleep.

slackerish part II: blogging rather than tackling the dishes.

worrisome: bringing in an armload of wood for the stove, dropping it into the wood bin, and then watching as dozens of spiders and ants are flung into the floor from the impact.

most horrifying: bra shopping with the preschooler ("I don't know, mom, they just don't look right from down here.")

most liberating: buying a bra for the first time in 6 years that doesn't have easy access flaps.

funniest: After sending the kids off to clean up a mess they made, Smootch whispers to Birdie, with the camaraderie of a fellow inmate, "I know. She's pretty mean, eh?"

You don't know that half of it kids. Wait until you actually comprehend what a blog is, my sweet darlings, and the public horrors you will face. Remember, it's all because I love you so much!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

princess sticky skates rides again

I don't want to overwhelm you with pictures of Smootch skating (but, I could, if you like :D) but I had to post just one more. This kid slays me. Her latest dramatic play involves her being a princess who's domineering and evil mother won't let her derby because princesses aren't supposed to play rough sports. I suggested that maybe she make the 'mother' in her game a 'step mother', whom her father shacked up with after her own sweet mama died in a horrific derby accident (though, I suppose I'd rather be the bitch than dead). Smootch considered my version for a moment before she looked me in the eyes and said, 'No, I think I'll stick to the regular mean mom.' And I guess that's all there is to say about that.

We're waiting for it to stop raining before we can get outside and get rolling. Smootch has been able to skate around the house a bit, her bearing are pretty tight and she rolls a bit slower, but mine fly like mad and trying to move around a 5 foot square space is an invitation to muscle cramps in the legs. Getting going at the same time as having to stop is plain silliness. I can't wait for a couple dry days.

Monday, December 14, 2009

princess sticky skates' living room roller derby

It's surprising how much speed one can pick up in a 65 foot long trailer. We had to pry the skates off her feet after brushing her teeth so we could get her into bed. She's picked herself off the ground more times today than when she was learning to walk. And she's been studying roller derby tutorials on youtube (she paid particular attention on how to hip check your opponent). So, you know, be warned.

Monday, December 7, 2009


For those of you in Alberta: ha! Look, the boy is out in a t-shirt and the ground is bare!

For those of you in New Zealand: oh, no, the kid is in a toque it's so damn cold!


Friday, December 4, 2009

the irrepressable glamour of my life

I was completely convinced today was Wednesday... of next week. I don't know how, but my brain jumped ahead a whole five days and I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that it's Friday. Even Smootch knows what day it is. She was trying to tell me that today was the 4th of December, but told her she had to be wrong because it was Wednesday.


Maybe it's got something to do with this:

My increasing connectivity. Between working on the computer, email, facebook, my blogs, skype and my new found love of playing YouTube roulette while doing dishes in order to escape the desire to punch myself in the head with the tedium of it all, I'm sort of losing track of real life here.

Apparently I think blogging about it will help.

I'm not the only one with a media obsession. Smootch is still embroiled in her Sailor Moon phase (I know, every female under the age of 25 has had one, yes?) and, being the independent creative sort that see potential in almost anything, it's terribly difficult to distract her from it.

Smootch is very serious about her fun.

Let me state that Sailor Moon is completely inappropriate for five year olds. The whole, "I Will Punish You!" thing has way too many bad connotations for casual use around the house and during play. There's also Smootch's refusal to be called any other affectionate nickname but "meatball head". This is the sort of thing that may affect me long term.

Superheros and special powers are just beginning to enter Smootch's consciousness. She's just getting the good vs. evil thing. I'm pretty sure she thought Sailor Moon was exclusively a love story between Serena and Darrin, and sometimes that guy at the arcade, until about a month ago when she finally noticed that there seemed to be some sort of point to all the costume changes the Sailor Scouts were doing. The transformation from ordinary mortal to super being is starting to seep into her dramatic play. Wands are more now than to just wave around. They can also shoot people. My girl is actually starting to turn almost every pointy object in her hand into a gun. I can't wait to hear how that fits into everyone's gender theories.

It is, of course, all about power. Or, rather, Power, with a capital 'P'. Special abilities, super powers and guns are her drama of choice now. She wants to rule the world and smite any enemies who get in her way. She will punish you!

Sitting at supper tonight, as I finally figured out today was day it really is, I had to tell Smootch she was right about the date all along. It's worth it to tell her that she's right just to watch the gleeful smile spread across her face (she loves being right). But then I jokingly accused her of stealing my special power to know what day it is. Her face registered some shock - I can steal powers?! - and then cunning - What other powers can I steal? That's my girl.

I asked Smootch, "If you could steal any super power from another person, what super power would you steal and from whom?" Smootch responded immediately with, "Auntie Cathee's k-words." A 'K-word' belongs to the same catagory of words a the 'F-word', so named by a preschooler who really couldn't see any difference between one letter or another when initially introduced to the subject of forbidden words. Smootch has heard a whole lot of K-words in her life, partly because of aforementioned Auntie and partly because her mother has no filters that tells her what is and what is not okay to say while in the presence of children. My kids aren't particularly innocent in that realm, and thus have to learn when it's appropriate to curse and who it's appropriate for.

Smootch believes that K-words are powerful, maybe like her Auntie, and that merely speaking them will punish your enemies. Tonight Smootch asked for a special treat. I said, no, automatically, thinking that she's asking for more ice cream or truffles (The Man has been busy in the kitchen) but instead she asked to be able to say a 'K-word'. More amused than I, perhaps, should be, I said, yes, but only once and if...

Before I could finish, Smootch triumphantly yelled out, "Shit!" And with a huge, world conquering grin, went to sleep.

I can't tell anymore if this parenting gig of mine is going terribly wrong or terribly right. But I do know we are all having a lot of fun.

Have a good weekend everyone. And thanks Auntie Cathee, for the LunaRock cd and K-words. It's too bad that you don't like kids because they sure like you.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

sticks and rolling stones (warning: very frank and open discussion ahead)

Apparently little brothers are good for more than just teaching to run up and down the halls screaming or convincing to go sneak leftover Halloween candies. They are also handy to have around for comparative anatomy. Smootch has been wondering lately just what exactly did happen to her penis? Good question.

At first we told her that we took her penis off in order to grow her brother. As in he grew like a sprout from a penis, which is actually how he probably views himself - a penis that just so happens to have a boy attached - given how much he seem to enjoy the fleeting moments of access during baths and diaper changes. Smootch took us seriously for about a fifth of a second before she decided we were as full of it as the cat box. Seems she actually already knows a frightful amount about reproduction and could probably qualify to teach prenatal classes. Our second attempt at misinformation, telling Smootch that they had to plug the hole she had in her heart as an infant with an extra part - a penis graft, if you will - was also summarily dismissed.

Finally, in a lapse of imagination, I told her the truth: she never had a penis and most likely never would. Smootch was a little ticked off, I mean, look at how much fun Birdie has with his, but was interested enough in the following anatomical discussion to set aside her irritation. As it happened, in the course of our very frank and open conversation, the word 'clitoris' entered Smootch's vocabulary. Upon further reflection, Smootch figured that a clitoris was the female counterpart to a penis. Belonging only to females, the clitoris is actually the epitome of femaleness, which, with her five year old gender rigidity, also means the very essence of femininity. Sort of like girls are princesses and boys are either princes or frogs. Right, mom?

Yesssssss. I suppose.

"Then I'll be Princess Clitoria, and you can be the Queen," says Smootch.


In other news, I've somehow committed myself to learning to roller skate. Or, I should say re-learn, since I fancy I was somewhat of an diva of the Almost-Competent roller skating set when I was younger. At least I was until grade five, when I sort of broke a bone and stuff. After that I was forced to drop out of the Almost-Competent set down to the Danger-to-Self-and-Others skill level.


But, as it happens, Smootch is completely gobsmacked by all sorts of strange wheeled and bladed boots. She loves ice skating. She cruises right along with out holding onto anything, which means she's got me beat. Her father was a power skater as a youth ("It sucked, though." Edit: he sucked. Sorry. The Man has just clarified.), but her grandpa was pretty good on his pointy, slidey boots, so maybe there's something there. Anyway we look at it, the whole skating thing seems to make her excited enough to bug us every bloody day to hit the ice, so we take her take her every chance we have.

And then she found out about roller blades. By a girl who would climb over playground equipment in them no less. Oy-vey. My position was that she could get a pair in the spring, along with the necessary safety equipment (no need to break bones and stuff) and, hey, go have fun kid. But there's this whole thing with dad going ice skating with her. Shouldn't, in the interest of fairness and balance (another five year old thing) Mom go roller blading with her?

Um, no.

I've owned roller blades for years and spent a total of five minutes on them. I don't think it's going to happen. Nope.

Somehow, though, roller derby has come up in our family culture. You know roller derby. It's that very strange thing people used to do back when roller disco was something people could talk about without laughing. Where you race around a track and knock each other over? Well, it's back in popular culture (though it never actually left completely) and there is a roller derby league now in almost every town. Hey, there's even new movies about it. Hmmmm. Fun stuff!

We've been doing some explorations (okay, watching You Tube videos) and, damn, I can see now why it's the fastest growing sport among women with children. Roller skates and cool nicknames like 'Calamity Carnage' and 'Haul Ass Hanna' and stripey tights and naughty underwear and helmets and, yes, hitting people! Good stuff for moms! I probably don't need to mention this, but moms generally have some rage to work out. And they aren't particularly afraid of pain, being on the other side of child birth and all.

I'm in!

Oh, wait. I can't actually roller skate. Well, only there's only one way to fix that. You can see Smootch grinning ear to ear when she figures out what I'm thinking. "Hey, mom, are we going to get some roller skates? Like, now? Now? Now?"

So, I said, yes, we can look into getting roller skates and yes, we can do it soon, since we'll probably be able to use the pavement throughout most of the winter here, and yes, yes, yes.

Now. Ish.

I'll keep you updated on my bid to break bones and stuff. In the meanwhile, I'll be trying to think up a funky handle for when I become a roller girl. What do you all think of 'Queen Clitoria'?