Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Quick Thanks

I just wanted to say thanks for the kind words offered by you all after my last post. From time to time, I read a post by someone who is going through some sort of struggle in life, and I wonder if the comments left by others offer any sort of comfort. I now know that they do. Sometimes all that is needed is for someone to lend an ear, and a virtual ear can be just as good.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


I haven't been feeling very bloggy lately, not because I'm unmotivated, but because there is something very bad going on in my family right now. I have avoided writing about this issue for the fear of trivializing it, and also because I don't feel that I "do" serious very well. Instead, I have been writing about furniture shopping, and other every-day topics, although it is getting a little too difficult to do that with any sort of passion or humour, given the dark cloud that has been hovering over our heads for the past six months. My mother-in-law is ill. Very ill. In the initial stages of her sickness, I figured that I would eventually write about how she beat cancer, and all the amazing things that modern medicine had done for her. Throughout the summer, I think we all believed that it was possible. By the end of the summer however, it was clear that she had not won the battle yet. My husband and his siblings devoted a great deal of time to learning all that they could about her disease, spoke with various doctors, and even got their mom started on a regime of experimental drugs. They felt that if they could just shrink her tumour a bit, or reduce the swelling in her brain, then there would be more surgical options that they could explore. It hasn't happened this way. They aren't exploring any new options now. Over the past month or so, I have been visiting her at her home where everyone has tried to make her as comfortable as possible. Right now, she is in the hospital because of yet another complication. I was at the hospital earlier tonight in an effort to offer some support to my husband and the rest of his family, but I was of little use. With a flu epidemic going on at that particular hospital, and being pregnant, I chose not to hang around. I came home, feeling pretty useless, so here I am, writing about it.

Truth be told, I know that I am being somewhat useful, being the one who is holding down the fort. I am taking care of our daughter, the dogs, the house, and am making no demands on my husband whatsoever, which gives him the freedom to do what he has to do. It just doesn't feel like enough. I want to do more when there just isn't more that I can really do. I actually feel very distanced from the whole thing as I am home, keeping life as normal as possible for Pumpkin, and also to give my husband a place to come home to that is not completely depressing. When we visit my mother-in-law at her home, I always have Pumpkin with me, who keeps me busy as I chase her around, although I probably do more chasing than needed, just because I don't know what else to do when I'm there these days. I couldn't distance my self tonight, as I watched my mother-in-law drift in and out of consciousness in her hospital bed. I don't want to be distanced from her struggle, and the pain that the whole family is dealing with. I just want to do what I can, whatever that may be.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Yeah, I Stole this Idea

Mama Tulip did a great post on her memories of elementary school, and upon reading it, I was amazed at how many things stood out in my own memory from those early school years of my own:

  • Bologna and mustard on white bread
  • Really rough toilette paper that was dispensed in single sheets, much like the paper towels.
  • Girls daring each other to run into the boy's washroom
  • Standing outside at the corner of the building with my best friend at recess, so I could watch Mike play foot hockey along one wall, while she watched Greg play murder ball along the other wall. (can you even say, "murder ball" at school nowadays without being suspended?).
  • Being mooned by the above mentioned Greg, for reasons that I never really understood
  • Hiding in the washroom when it was too cold to go out for recess, then being kicked out by a prefect
  • Becoming a prefect myself, and holding all the "power" to kick kids out into the cold
  • Being selected as one of the two students who left for recess 15 minutes early to make the coffee and tea for the teachers to enjoy on their break. Also, helping ourselves to coffee, adding about 10 sugar cubes into each of our cups.

(are you detecting the whole brown-nosing, goody-two-shoes theme yet)

  • Chick-a-dee magazines in the library
  • Hearing students get into trouble by their teachers, easily heard within our open area classrooms
  • Riding my bike to school while towing my friend on roller skates
  • Other kids having great recess snacks, such as Jello powder
  • Red utility balls in gym class
  • In grade one, being told by two older girls that I was the ugliest little kid they had ever seen. I didn't even know who they were or why the picked on me. I cried at the time, and will probably always hate them just a little. I still remember their names.
  • Our lunch room monitor, who I think was a bag lady. You could hear her name being called out all over the gym, as students summoned her over to collect the food that was going to be thrown out. She didn't have pigs like Mama Tulip's lunch room monitor, so presumably the food was for herself.
  • Friendship pins
  • Being yelled at for talking too much at least once a year by my teacher, and being completely mortified whenever it happened
  • Speech arts, aka the nerve-wrecking public speaking assignment we had each year.
  • Being in the choir, just because that't what the cool kids were doing
  • I think there was some school work somewhere in there, but memories of such are a little foggy.

There are a lot of other tidbits that I haven't mentioned here, but I think they may only be interesting to me. It's hard to believe how long it has been since I actually set foot in my elementary school, yet some of the things on this list seem like they just happened last week. Very cliche, I know, but it's true!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

No Cheese Please!

To the person who found my blog by Googling, "can cheese get you pregnant?", please talk to your doctor. No, cheese cannot get you pregnant, but I'm a little worried about what you are doing with cheese that has you asking. It certainly wouldn't be my first choice if I was going to get "creative" with food.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Blogging About Blogging

My blog used to be a secret. I didn't share it with my friends or family, as I just wanted to write freely about anything and anyone I pleased. Now that I am more seasoned, and no longer use this space to bitch about people, I have told everyone about it, and encourage them to check it out. Since I have gone "public", I have to say that I am quite amazed at how few of my friends actually have an interest. I don't find this insulting or anything, but I can't imagine not reading something that was written by someone whom I've known for 15 or 20 years.

The first friend who found out about my blog told me that she felt that it was an invasion of privacy to read it, which I assured her it wasn't. It's on the Internet for crap's sake! My blog is not my diary. It is where I perform, if you will. She still won't read it. Fine, don't read it. Whatever. The next friend I passed my site information to told me that she read a couple of entries, but then decided that she'd rather call me than read about me. I explained that it isn't the same information. I'm attempting to be somewhat artistic on my blog, and not just offering up what I had for breakfast or watched on TV. Yeah, I do realize that I have posted crap like that, but periodically, I try to craft something that reveals my not-usually-revealed inner dialogue. My head can be an interesting place if you give it a chance! Fine, don't read it. Whatever. Last month I told my dad about my blog. He was really excited about it. He hasn't read it, but he was excited nonetheless. How is it possible that my dad doesn't want to at least read a few posts? He was a writer himself and has always encouraged me to get involved in writing. Fine, don't read it. Whatever. I was completely outed when CBC did a story on unsafe toys from China, and featured me as a mommy blogger who was trying to help get the word out. This gave all my friends my blog info. None of them have come by as far as I know, although there has been one request for the link, so I can't fault that particular friend.

Other than the people whom I've met via blogging, I do have a couple of regulars who check in with me. My mom and my brother are always curious to see what I've written. I've got a fairly loyal reader at my old workplace too. The only close girlfriend of mine who reads my stuff is my newest friend, who I met through the mommy circuit when Pumpkin was first born. She gets it. She explained that reading my blog gives her a voyeuristic look into my life that I don't often offer up in regular conversation. It's not that I'm hiding anything from my daily conversation, but stuff just doesn't always come up unless I've taken the time to write it down. I'm possibly a little wackier in print.

I don't want to sound all, "Look at me! Look at me!" That isn't my point. I'd visit an art exhibit if one of my friends had something entered in it. I'd see a play if one of my friends was it. It isn't an issue of being supportive -I'd just be really curious to see a new side to my friends whom I've known for years. Maybe I'm just a bigger snoop than most.

*Just to clarify, my Dad is now reading my blog and only hesitated at first due to a technical difficulty. Hi Dad!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

You'll Be Sorry You Came By

Apparently, I'm being neglectful. My mom just called and gave me crap for not posting anything here for five days. She made this discovery after repairing her own Internet connection, which is quite the feat for the former techno-phoebe. She ran her own diagnostic and everything! Yay mom! Anyhow, I haven't been posting because of laziness, and lack of material. All I have to offer you tonight are my random thoughts as I watch American Idol. So here we go:

I'm not sure if I have gas or if I am feeling the baby move. I did make vegetarian chili for dinner so...

I've started my quest to furnish my home now that my brother-in-law has taken all of his stuff back. The first order of business is the guest room, which does see a fair amount of activity. We figured that we'd put our current bed in that room, and buy ourselves the king-size version of the same bed for our room. That's the joy of the 'burbs - having room for a king-size bed. It turns out, the manufacturer of our bedroom set closed it's doors back in November, so now it's more of a quest than just shopping. So far I've found one bed in New York, but I'd rather not pay the shipping fees, especially since the thing was made in Quebec. If any of you are connected with Baronet furniture, please let me know.

I really hate that they plant terrible singers in these auditions. What the heck to the pre-screeners do?

We put our daughter to bed at 8:30 and she is still awake and making noise now, at 9:30. She does this every night. She is often awake until 10:30, not crying or anything, but just singing, or playing, or whatever it is that she does. The upside to this is that she sleeps in, and I mean a proper sleep-in. She doesn't get up until 9am. I'm not sure that this is entirely a good thing since we have programs and other things to get to in the morning, but the only way I can stop this cycle is to wake her up earlier, which sounds counter intuitive as well. Maybe I'll hold off until the baby is born, and then we can all wake up early together.

My daughter just got me up and made me change the batteries in her musical birdie thingy which she seems to need to fall asleep. She probably plays it at least 10-15 times a night. I love taking orders from her. "Mommy! Change batteries! Change them!!!!!" She is still screaming my name but I'm not going back up there. I've done my job.

Kalen Porter is my hair-idol. How does he get such nice curls?

Contestant Chris Watson is a hottie! Watch for him!

I think it was just gas, not the baby.

Pumpkin is still screaming my name, and it's 10pm. The show is over, and now I have to clean the house to prepare for the cleaning lady tomorrow. I hope you had a fun hour in my head.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Come Out Come Out Wherever You Are!

I wasn't going to post today, but then I found out what day it was!

I never miss an opportunity to beg for recognition. It doesn't even have to be good recognition. I'll even take spam! I just get such a warm fuzzy every time I check my e-mail and receive a comment notification, even if it is from someone who accidentally found my site by searching for the number of calories in a serving of poutine, and figured they'd comment anyways. It's just so damn gratifying! So c'mon lurkers! Give me some love!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Just to Prove that I'm Not Making this Stuff Up...

A few posts ago, I mentioned that in order to help myself cope with my all-day morning sickness, I was letting my daughter watch a lot of videos, specifically, The Wiggles. I sort-of joked about how pairing nausea with Wiggles so many times had caused my nausea to actually be brought on by Wiggles music, independent of being pregnant. Then I moved on. Roughly two weeks ago, I stopped feeling sick all the time. I started eating semi-normally, and stopped puking. This morning was no exception. I woke up feeling well, tended to my dogs, and then my daughter. While I was changing her diaper, she started singing a song from a Wiggles video that we haven't played in a while. To give her a treat, I decided to play that video to her while she had her breakfast. I read the song list on the DVD case to see where her specific song was, and then I had a minor heave. This made me laugh, as I thought about my assertion that The Wiggles make me ill. I stopped laughing after pushing the play-button, when upon hearing just a few notes, I heaved again. Hmmmm, I thought. This isn't good. There was another heave, so I headed to the washroom, where I proceeded to spew my guts out. Sorry if I created any sort of visual here. Anyhow, I think that my theory has been proven to be true, and that if the stimulus is appropriate, I can, in fact, be trained like a Pavlovian dog. As a funny aside, before I even completed my business in the washroom, I was already formulating this post, and was somewhat happy that I had something to blog about today. This would be a different type of sickness, I suppose.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Writers Come Back!!!

This writer's strike is killing me. I have watched more episodes of Friends, and Seinfeld in the past two months than I did during the entire decade of the '90s. What's even worse, these pregnancy hormones are making me all stupid, and I just found myself shedding a tear while watching an episode of Friends involving Ross and his monkey.

In other TV randomness, I'm not sure if I've been living under a rock or if I happened to find this show under a rock, but how is it possible that there is an audience for The Two Coreys, a reality show involving both Corey Feldman and Corey Haim? No, I am not the audience for this show - it happened to come on while I was devouring a plate of nachos for dinner, and I didn't want to lose my focus. Is anyone still curious about either of these two guys? I liked them in The Lost Boys, but I was only 15, so this cannot be held against me. Another thing that perplexes me is that in The Lost Boys, why did Corey Haim have a picture of Rob Low on his bedroom wall? Did I really just devote an entire paragraph to those guys? Help me.

So now I'm closing off my night with an episode of Scott Baio is 45 and Single, which is being shown on one of our local channels. I watched it back in the summer on-line, so now I'm trying to recapture the laughter on a screen that's bigger than 4"x4". It is pretty hilarious if any of you are looking for something to watch these days.

Is it pathetic that I'm actually excited about the upcoming series of Amereican Idol? Maybe I should give reading another try.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Good Things

Two good things to report on here:

First of all, I am so glad that Jay Leno is back on the air. I know that he is crossing the picket line, and that the writers have a legitimate reason to be on strike, but I respect that being on the air is keeping over 100 or so other people from being out of work. That may not even be his actual motivation for returning to the show, but I can't say that I have too strong of an opinion on this. All I care about is that he is on. Since the strike began, I have been dealing with an inability to fall asleep before 2am on most nights. I had originally believed that my sleep issues were pregnancy related, but last night, I proved myself wrong. I started watching Jay, and I was asleep before the first guest came on. I don't know what it is about him, but I know that I need him.

The other good thing is that I got my results from my prenatal screening tests, and all results were negative. No red flags, no reason for concern. My doctor didn't have me too worried, even though I have now reached the magic age of 35, when reproductive cells apparently start to go haywire. Nonetheless, anyone who has ever been pregnant has worried about things going wrong, so these results leave me with just a few less worries. I can spend the rest of my night wondering what the effect is on the fetus after three days of leftover chocolate fondue. I'm willing to bet that he or she is pretty happy with me.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2008 Randomness

I have to apologize for my lack of writing over the holidays. I have no excuse - I was just being lazy.

Outta curiosity, how many of you played either Wii and/or Guitar Hero as part of your New Year's Eve celebration? Add some fondue, and that sums up how I brought in the new year.

My one New Year's resolution is to shred my papers.

In pregnancy news, I haven't yacked in over a week, and I seem to be able to eat a normal meal with only occasional "issues" thereafter. I may be entering the "all you can eat" trimester. Woo hoo!

Pumpkin slept in a big-girl bed for the first time. I've been reluctant to switch her over because she is such a good sleeper in her crib, and I haven't wanted to mess with imperfection. She slept at my mom's place last night, where there is no crib option, which is why we've started on this path. I was hoping to keep her trapped in the crib until she was about eight, but it doesn't look like I'm gonna be able to do that. Incidentally, with no programs or classes on the go during the holidays, I have managed to get her sleeping in until 9am on most mornings. The evenings have gotten a little longer, but it has been worth it. I'm so sad that I have to change this pattern.

My brother-in-law arranged his move back to Toronto from England, and took back all his crappy furniture that we have been storing for him. It has been taking up space in our house, and we have been blaming it for our inability to properly decorate, but now that it's outta here, our house is sadly lacking anywhere to sit, sleep, or put down a drink. Yes, I'm bitching about important issues such as furniture again, but we now seem to have a lot of work to do around here. I never thought I'd miss the furniture that smelled funny and had chew-marks from a badly trained basset hound, but...

That's all I've got for day one of this year. Maybe my one resolution should have been to create more high-quality posts. Nah, that's too much work. I'll stick with the shredding.

Happy 2008 to you all!