Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hope will have your back when you need a laugh

Today was a sad Sunday. We lost a member of our church last night, Leonard, after an accident two weeks ago. Leonard was a big yet gentle presence and friends with everyone. It's a sad day. He was a fixture for Children's Hour, a program I'm heavily involved in and so his death not only touches all the adults in the church, but the kids too, making it even more heartbreaking.

This is what was on my mind for most of the day. The rain and cold matched my mood, although I did really enjoy the day, snuggling, talking and playing games with the kids. That always makes for a good day but I needed a bit of cheering up nonetheless.

Enter Hope.

For those of you who are feeling the same right now, this is for you. Warning: there will be descriptions of girl parts. If you're not comfortable with that... well, you probably wouldn't be visiting this blog anyway, now would you?

Back to Hope.

We had started our nightly routine which we've dubbed "naked time." Naked Time is mainly for Henry who I strip and lay on a blanket on the floor where he squeals and rolls around and poops on the cream-coloured carpet when my back is turned. Hope has joined in the fun recently, minus the pooping, stripping naked and running around before her bath or until someone tells her to "put your jammies on for Pete's sake!"

Actually, it is sanctioned. By me, anyway.

So tonight. I'm sitting beside Henry ensuring, hopefully, that the poop hits the blanket this time, and Hope walks in, stops beside me and starts squeezing herself. Down there. Her labia. Squeezing.

Me: Hope, do you have to pee?
Hope: No.
Me: What are you doing then?
Hope: I'm doing the Squeeze Dance.
Me: What's the Squeeze Dance?
Hope: I squeeze like this... [squeezes herself twice]... then I jump like this..... [leaps like a ballet dancer] and then slap my knees.

And that is when my mood was lifted as I snorted and chortled and guffawed my way into a sunnier place. That kid is awesome.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Wiggles here we come!

I am so, so, so excited to report that I am the winner of tickets to The Wiggles (and if you don't know who that is let's just call them Australia's most successful export), who will be playing at Scotiabank Place this Wednesday! I won the tickets through Dani's blog Postcards from the Mothership and to say I was (a) shocked and (b) deliriously excited to win would be an understatement of epic proportions. I may have used some mild profanity when I wrote Dani back but she said that my enthusiasm made her day, so I'm glad that my slight potty mouth could put a smile on someone's face.

I was likely more excited than even the girls who are two of the biggest Wiggles fans the world has ever known. I videoed their reaction while I told them the news:

Possibly the best part is when Emily ensures that she won't miss the ENTIRE day of school. Phew, that could have been the WORST.

I love my little nerd.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Thanksgiving in review

We had an amazing Thanksgiving Weekend. I won't even be able to accurately remember all the things we did, the things we laughed about, the food we ate (okay, I can probably remember the details of the food since I'm slightly food-obsessed). Also, given that I was having such a great time, my photos of the weekend are scant so you'll only get a smattering.

John's sister, Sue, her husband, Steve and their kids, Kennedy and Claire, joined us for the weekend from Cambridge. We spent A LOT of time with them last year when we were in Waterloo and we really miss them. Like, A LOT. It was great to have a full weekend with them and feel like we never left Waterloo (minus the Ottawa scenery out the door).

On Saturday morning we went to Miller's Pumpkin Farm south of the city. We had lots of fun roaming around the patch, riding the wagon, jumping on straw bales. (As an aside, I can't really see us going back there in future years - the nickel and diming was a bit much. If I'm going to buy a pumpkin out of your pumpkin patch, don't charge me a dollar to ride the wagon to get there. Just sayin'.)

On Saturday night, the whole crew (including John's brother and his family) was at our house for a supper from that great Canadian institution, Swiss Chalet. In the evening, the girls all had a sleepover in our girls' room (a sleeping arrangement that continued through the weekend) while we adults sat up and laughed until we couldn't stay awake any longer. (Had to be at least 10:00 p.m.)

On Sunday we went to Carleton, along with the rest of Ottawa, for the annual Butterfly Show in the greenhouses. We met friends Pam, Jim and kids there as well as John's brother, Mike and his family. Hope was too overwhelmed by the crowds and preferred to hang out in the lobby with me, which I didn't mind because I was feeling a bit claustrophobic anyway. Next year we're going on a weekday. From there we walked to Brewer Park and spent a good hour or two hanging out there with the entire family and Pam and Jim. The kids had a great time, didn't mind the cold air, and we adults loved just hanging out and talking. I loved seeing Sue and Steve finally get to know Pam and Jim after we've talked about each of them to each other for so long.

We spent the afternoon lounging at our house and then headed to Mike and Cibele's (John's aforementioned brother) for a Brazilian meal that Steve kept referring to as fishwater (actually call fejoada, but truly, when said, sounds like 'fishwater' if it was said with a strong Brooklyn accent). The funniest bit was at lunch that day when we adults all started simultaneously whistling the tune from Bridge on the River Kwai after Steve started talking about being served fishwater while in a Second World War work camp. It was hilarious (not the fact that people were in work camps. That kinda sucked for them.). The kids thought we were all nuts.

On Monday, Sue and I took all the girls to Starr Gymnastics, where we also met up with Mike and Cibele and their daughter Sofia, for drop-in gymnastics. The kids had the run of the place. Being a drop-in, we adults were in there on the action, too. My legs were so tired later from trampolining. I totally ROCKED the hula-hoop though. That Wii Fit is totally paying off!

The rest of the day was lounging and preparing our Thanksgiving feast. Which was AWESOME by the way. I kicked serious turkey ass. And pumpkin pie ass too.

All the other bits of the weekend involved Sue holding or entertaining or changing Henry which was such a huge break for me, she has no idea. Not that Henry is that difficult, he's really quite easy, but still, it meant I could sit and do nothing or have tea or whatever I wanted, something I often don't get to do. And Sue loved it too. Win, win!

The only thing "wrong" with the weekend was that John's mom, The Omi, wasn't able to join us. She was supposed to be here but came down with a nasty cold and had to stay home dreaming of turkey and stuffing from afar.

I guess I was able to remember a lot after all, an improvement over Mrs. Short-term Memory, my other persona. Here is the smattering of photos that I was able to capture during all that fun:

Hope and Kennedy ready for the hay ride

Emily does her ritual pumpkin dance

Cutest baby ever. Which one is the pumpkin?

Sue reveals her true persona. Just kidding!

Hope tries to make a dash for it before I make her go back in that greenhouse again.

A typical attempt at getting a photo of all the cousins together.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Mummy brain: not just for mummies anymore

Some of you may not know that John is currently on parental leave. This means, for those non-Canadians out there, that he is receiving employment insurance from the government plus "top-up" from his employer so that he is receiving 95% of his salary (not all employers do this... but the large ones - and nice ones - often do) for something like 30 weeks of leave. He's at home with us until April. Pretty sweet. And some of you Americans actually complain about a socialist state? Puh-lease. It's pretty great from where I'm sitting.

Anyhoo... so John is fully participating in getting the girls off to school, lunches made, cleaning done, all those lovely domestic chores that occupy a mummy's brain for a good part of the day. He's still squeezing in a bit of writing and is on campus a couple of times a week but he is most definitely on parental leave.

And this was very obvious yesterday on our way home from an afternoon at the apple farm when I realized that so-called "mummy brain" had somehow spread to John.

The sun was shining, we were cruising along a country road about halfway home when:

John: CRAP! Where are my sunglasses? (thinking he left them way back in Mountain at the farm)
Me: (looking at him curiously) Um.... on your face?
John: (dumb silence)
Me: (hysterical laughter)