Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mish Mash

Phew!  What a crazy few days I've been having.  I almost forgot about this little ol' blog of mine.

Just thought I'd blog about 2 related things and 1 completely unrelated thing to get me back into the swing of things.

1. Mother Goose

Knolan and I went grocery shopping one morning at Superstore and on our way in we saw a nesting Canada Goose who had settled in for the long haul right on a parking lot median.  Yikes!  Not really where I would picture myself having my kids, but then again, I'm not a goose.  We kept a wide berth as her hubby was standing guard about a metre away from her, giving anyone walking by a hard time.

When we came back that afternoon to show Kaycie the goose, and for something I'd forgotten (story of my life!), I took some pictures.  This time, hubby was gone, but she had some new friends... a mallard duck couple!

I just thought this was soooo interesting that this was all transpiring in a bustling parking lot!  It kind of reminds me of this tree that my mom once noticed in Toronto.  It was a giant pine tree growing in the postage stamp sized front yard of a home near mid-town... the only tree on the street.  My mom loved it and said it made her think the tree was sticking it to the man and not letting the city get the best of it (or something like that).

Mother Goose

A closer look

It's hard to see, but both the male and female mallards are in this picture and Mama Goose is at the far end of the median.
Nature... so weird.  :-)

2. Mother Robin

So... I'd been coming home for a few days wondering why my front porch was such a mess of twigs and straw.  I honestly started to wonder if some neighbourhood kids were playing an extremely lame prank on me.

Then one day this week, as I approached the door, I thought to myself, "my wreath is looking a little rough!"  See for yourself:

Then as I got to the door and fumbled for my keys, I looked at the doormat and thought, "What the heck is going on!?"

Then I looked up at my wreath, and it all made sense to me... a nest!!!

In fact, I jumped when I realized what it was.  Last spring, a robin made its nest in our climbing vine outside our front door, and we were daily dive bombed by a very protective mama bird!  Sadly, our climbing vine got some sort of disease, and so Ken took it down... resulting in the robin relocating!

After I jumped and then ducked and then looked around, I got up the nerve to look inside the nest.  Which, I must say, is weirdly positioned.  Why wouldn't the bird build the next in the middle of the wreath?  I totally would!

Anyway, when I looked in the nest I was holding my breath, hoping no eggs were there - mainly to avoid being attacked, but also because I felt like we'd have more options if there were no baby-birds-to-be inside!  Here's what I saw:

Phew!  My head was likely safe for the moment.  I opened the door, only to realize that our door opens INTO our house.  Oh no... this was not good.  Every day for weeks I'd be opening the door and running for cover, hoping the robin wasn't going to follow me and the kids inside, pecking at our heads!

When Ken got home, we talked it over, and decided that we'd move the wreath over to the trellis... it would be easy enough to just hang it there with the hook, and maybe the robin would remember her old home sweet home.  So, Ken moved it and we hoped for the best.

Unfortunately, the robin either couldn't find her nest, or she just decided she didn't like us relocating her nest.  She didn't come back, so Ken dismantled the nest and hung our wreath back up on the door.

Now I'm having guilt.  I feel so bad!  But, no sense crying over spilled milk... We were trying to do the right thing, but now it's done, and hopefully the robin was able to make a new nest in time. 

3. My Birthday Dinner

Well, today was my birthday, and when Ken asked me what I'd like to do for dinner, I thought about it and decided that I felt like having the greatest meal of the day... breakfast!  So, my humble request for my birthday dinner was to go to Denny's.  I figured it would be perfect... week-night at a breakfast joint would mean no crowds.  It's a family friendly restaurant, so we would have a fighting chance with the kids, and we would be guaranteed to get a high-chair for the baby (trust me... it's not a good thing when you assume there will be one there and there isn't!)

I like to take Pink's advice when it comes to dinner out sometimes:  Don't get fancy.  So, Denny's it was!

Well, when we pulled up, the first good sign was literally just that... a glowing, looping computerized sign.  This was me, slowly reading out loud what the sign said... gradually getting more excited as each screen looped past:

"Cele... brate... Celebrate what?!"

"your.... birth... day... Today is MY birthday!!!"

"with... a... Gra...     Grape?  What is it?!!"

"Grand... Slam...   OK... maybe I will."


At this point Ken was openly mocking my complete elation at discovering that birthday boys and girls could have a Grand Slam breakfast for free.  And he was also mocking me for even entertaining the idea that Denny's would be giving out free grapes to people on their birthday.

I don't know what was in the air tonight, but I was DYING of excitement over this free meal!  I think Denny's was designed for people like me, and I'm kind of sad admitting this, but on the other hand, most of you email me thanking me for keeping it real, so... this is about as real as it gets, people!  :-)

Anyway, we went in for dinner, and here are some of my favourite highlights:

- Watching Kaycie's face go from smiles to horror and back to smiles as the hostess pretends that Knolan's name is Phil, and that she is going to take him home with her... she thankfully figured out that it was just a joke fairly quickly.

- Listening to Kaycie order her drink:  "I would like an orange juice shaped like a basketball."

- Watching Kenny carefully colour with each free Denny's crayon on a precise angle until eventually they were all sharp and pointy, at which point he holds them up for me to see and says, "I'm ready for prison now.  Shivs!"  

- Seeing a bunch of total gaming geeks playing "Magic: The Gathering" at a nearby booth (which was verified by Kenny, which begs the question: who is the real geek?)

- Listening to Kaycie basically tell off the hostess who came back to remind Kaycie that Knolan was going home with her and not with us.  Kaycie concluding argument was soundly based on eye colour - she informed the hostess that since she had black eyes and that Knolan did not, that he was, in fact, Kaycie's brother, and not the hostess's.

- Trying explain to Kaycie why you shouldn't tell your server about the "giant, huge boogie" that you pulled out of your nose just moments before she arrived.  I tried to create a teachable moment by role playing with her.  I would come up with scenarios like: "If you had a big toot at home earlier, can you talk about that at dinner, or is it too gross?" and she would have to pick the right answer.  She did pretty good until I said, "If you petted a really cute kitten today, could you talk about that at dinner, or is it too gross?" and she said, "Well... what if I petted a really cute kitten until it made a really big toot?"  It is hard trying to explain this stuff to kids!!

- Watching Knolan basically fall face first onto the table and fall asleep while we were paying the bill.  That was our cue to exit stage left and get the kiddos home to bed.  Poor guy!  I swear he was wide awake just moments before.

Anyway... that's it for today.  Off I go to bed for my 4.5 hours of sleep until I get up to watch Kate and Wills tie the knot.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Monday Memories: The Great Couch "Hoist" of 1998

You may remember my good friend Jeannine who guest blogged here in February with Tales from the Pew.  Well, this Monday (technically Tuesday) Memory is all about how Jeannine and I jointly acquired a couch for our apartment in the summer of '98.

It was the summer of '98 (in case you missed that!), and Jeannine (or "J9"as Ken and I affectionally have dubbed her) and I were subletting the main floor apartment of a house together.  We have so many fun and strange memories from our summer together.  There was, of course, the night I unknowingly forced J9 to sleep on our front porch.  There was also the insane lunatic who lived in the basement apartment below, who apparently could not tolerate any noise louder than a butterfly floating from room to room above him (seriously, I remember one night out of desperation, I strapped pillows to my feet and slid around our apartment to avoid upsetting him, and yet he STILL banged furiously on his ceiling when he heard the floor creak.  We tried everything, including friendly notes of explanation and coming to see him in person, but nothing would satisfy him.).  There was the night I had my first date with Kenny (which was full of mischievousness for J9, and I'm sure she'd love to see it featured here.... but I am sorry to say that that will never happen!).  But one of my fondest memories really, truly was the day we got our couch.

Although we knew each other before we became roomies, I think we would both agree that we didn't know each other all that well - I think if I remember correctly, it was sort of a happy coincidence that we ended up in that apartment together.  So, the first part of our summer together was spent just getting to know each other a bit better.

Here is what I learned about J9:

- that she is not confident about her upper body strength
- that she is terribly claustrophobic
- that she has low tolerance for layers of cat hair on her roommate's bedroom floor rug
- that she is wonderfully tolerant of problematic cats
- that she really wants to develop her upper body strength
- that if she is dreaming that she is trapped in her bedroom, she WILL succeed in exiting her bedroom in real life... via the shortest route possible... meaning through the door we never used that connected our two rooms... even if my bed was blocking her route.  :-)
- that she love nachos and is willing to risk life and limb at seedy bars to get them
- that she makes a mean ratatouille
- that she wishes she could lift heavy objects with more ease

So... you would think that by the time we had realized we needed a couch that I would have had time to absorb all of the information I had learned about my new roommate.  Guess again.

One day we found a yard sale in our neighbourhood with a bunch of good stuff for sale - the owners were moving and it was an "everything must go" kind of scenario.  They had lots of great things for sale... including a couch!  Between the two of us, we had basically everything we had needed to fashion ourselves a decent apartment that summer... except a place to sit in our living room.  A couch would solve that problem!  It was a nice couch, the price was right... it was perfect!  We gleefully bought it.

All we needed was a way to get it home.
We stood there, reviewing our limited options.  Neither one of us owned a car, so that posed a problem.  We tried phoning cab companies to see if any of them had a van available, but unfortunately they all informed us that Saturdays were their busiest days for van requests and we should call ahead next time to book a van.  Umm... not helpful.

Then I got my 'brilliant' idea.

I proposed that we carry the couch home.  After all, we were only a block or two (or four!) away, and we could stop and take frequent breaks.  It was sure to work!

You may want to review the list of things above that I learned about J9... because apparently I did not!

Wonderful Jeannine, in her signature way, was willing to take up the challenge.  She did not say a word about her difficulties in the heavy lifting department, and seemed optimistic about our chances for success. 

So, we each took an end of the couch, and we were on our way!  We were quite the sight.  I am a taller than average gal, and J9 would probably not mind me saying that she is significantly shorter than I am, so the odds were already against my poor Jeannine.  I tried my best to keep my end of the couch level with hers, but to no avail.

You know those scenes in commercials and movies where there is, for example, a close up of a bumbling dad working his butt off, struggling to climb a rock wall... dripping with sweat, exhausted,  trying desperately to hoist himself up to the next foothold... seemingly a hundred feet in the air?  And then the camera pans out and you see that he is two feet off the ground?

Yeah... that was us.  We were dripping with sweat, struggling for every foot closer to home we gained.  We stopped every 10 seconds for a rest.  We finally put the couch down and looked back at the yard sale, and I swear it felt like we had barely left their property!

Despite much encouragement and ego stroking from me, J9 finally convinced me that walking this couch home was simply not an option.  We sat down in the middle of the sidewalk on our new couch to weigh our options... of which we honestly thought we were out.

Then Jeannine remembered our friend Dean had a truck.  A truck!  Hope!  The only problem was that neither of us had cell phones with us, nor Dean's phone number, so we needed to go home to call him.  But we couldn't exactly leave our new couch on the sidewalk and expect it to be there when we returned.  Slowly, the realization that we would have to drag this couch back to the yard sale sunk in.

We each grabbed our end and started lugging.  I'm sure that the owner of the home where the yard sale was took one look at us dragging this couch back towards her house and wondered what kind of operation we were running.  Finally, with a sigh of relief and a sheen of perspiration, we got the couch back to its old home.  We explained the situation to the woman, and she was friendly, but somewhat reluctantly gave us a window of time to get our couch off her property.

We walked home - which is amazingly easier without a full sized couch - and J9 phoned Dean.  I seem to recall that we had to make several calls to him before we were finally able to catch him, but thankfully Dean agreed to bring his truck and help us get our couch.  yay!!!

I can't remember Dean's reaction that day, but I'm sure that once he saw the couch and sized the two of us up, that he truly wondered what on earth we had been thinking.  But, Dean is the nicest guy out there, and he politely opted not to mock us and helped us load up our new found treasure and take it home.

Thank goodness it fit our living room!

Well, I'm happy to report that not only did that couch provide us a dining area, a place to sleep for many a house guest, and spot for us to share good conversations over a glass of wine (and sometimes tears), but it has also given Jeannine and I a good laugh many times over the last decade whenever we recall that day.

So in my books, that couch was totally worth every dollar.  :-)

*Note:  After a particularly hilarious evening where I entertained myself by having Kenny respond to letters to Miss Manners with his own take on etiquette, I would like to invite you to submit your own etiquette questions for Kenny to answer on an upcoming blog post... should be good for a laugh!  Just email them to me at kirsten.keil [at] gmail [dot] com (sorry for the format... don't want to attract spammers!).

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Kaycie Sez... The Wedding Edition

Hello and Happy Thursday to you!  Not too much on the Kaycie front except for a strange and persistent obsession with weddings this week.  She has been talking to us at great length about weddings and brides and veils and everything she associates with weddings.  It's kind of cute, but it really makes me wonder where it's all coming from!

Anyway, here are some of her recent reflections on tying the proverbial knot:

Her thoughts on how the big day goes: "When you get married, the bride goes and looks at her self for a while, and then the people shout, 'Ohhhh BrrIIIIIIiiiiide!" and then the bride comes out and says, "Here I am!" and then she kisses her prince."

Upon being asked why she talks about weddings all the time, "Because I am going to marry my dad... or maybe my brother."

I peeked around the corner the other day and saw her sitting on the ground working on a puzzle, wearing this sheer material over her head, singing the following lyrics to herself to the tune of "Sweet Child of Mine":  "I am a bride and it seems to me, that I am the most beautiful.  I hate to look into those eyes and see an ounce of pain.  I'm in a wedding and I am a bride, and look at my dress.  It is so beautiful don't you know."  (editor's note:  Kaycie absolutely LOVES this song - her and her dad used to listen to it in the mornings in the car)

She came running into the kitchen the other day, announcing that she has this great idea: "Mommy!  I have a great idea!  You and Daddy should get married!"

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Monday Memories: Where NOT to Hide a Diary Key

Today (well, technically yesterday, but let's just pretend it's still Monday, shall we?) is my sister's birthday, and when I was trying to come up with an idea for my Monday Memories post, it dawned on me that the day I almost killed my sister would be a good memory to share... very appropriate given that her birthday is good reason every year to celebrate that she is still here with us!

When we were younger, our parents underwent a massive kitchen renovation/addition to the house.  Given the events that I am about to describe, I am pretty sure that if I actually looked up the year we did the renovations I would be horrified at how old I was.  I feel like I was a very young teenager, but like I said, I'll probably find out I was 18 or something.

We went through a stretch where we were eating out at restaurants a lot, and using our microwave on a card table in the TV room.  After a while, we all began to count down the days until we could use our kitchen again.  Don't get me wrong... it WAS pretty cool to see a renovation unfold.  I love me some demolition!  BUT... every family has their breaking point. 

So, when the day finally came that the new cabinetry and counter tops had been installed, I was pretty excited.  I went racing around trying every drawer, cupboard, shelf and secret compartment I could find.  In hindsight, it reminds me of everytime I go to Canadian Tire.  I am absolutely compelled to visit the wall of car stereo systems, where I have to push all the buttons to see what they do.

Again... slightly hazy on the details of how my sister appeared on the scene (was she there all along?  Did she wander in?), but I'm sure she will agree that there is no mistaking what happened next.  I turned to my sister and said something mega-nerdy like, "Let's celebrate our new kitchen!!" and swung her around so we were back to back, and then I forced her to link arms with me and I leaned forward, intending to flip her onto my back... and possibly right over... who knew what celebratory plans I had in mind.  If you were ever an 8 year old girl, you probably did this with your friends all the time at summer camp.  I found a video of it on Youtube:

It's shocking how much the girl's voice on this clip sounds like me!  Anyway, that's sort of what I had in mind that day.  Too bad my sister wasn't in on the planning process.

It wasn't until she wrestled herself away from me and started wheezing, doubled over near the new breakfast island and appliance drawers that any of us noticed something might be wrong.  The whole time I am trying to flip my sister over my head, my parents are happily casing out the new cupboards... envisioning where everything might go. 

We all kind of froze, and things started to go in slow-motion for a bit.  I was watching my sister put her hands up to her neck, wondering when it was that you are supposed to intervene and do the Heimlich maneuver.  All we could hear was her gasping:  "Kah... Kay... Keh..."

I'm sure I was doing something completely UNhelpful like asking her to clarify what she was trying to say:  "Sorry, come again?  Are you trying to say my name?  What are you trying to say?"

Then suddenly we all heard:


There, lying on our newly renovated floor was a tiny key.  We looked up, and my sister is gulping air with unbridled gratitude. 

When she caught her breath, she grabbed the key and explained with frustration how she'd been transporting her diary key in her mouth until I decided I was the newest swing dance sensation this side of the Atlantic and hauled her up onto my back, lodging the key firmly in her throat.

She had only been able to wheeze out "Keh" (choking person translation: "Key!!") through the tiny hole in the key where your key chain or necklace chain goes through!

I thought I'd die right there on the spot of guilt.  I felt sooo bad!  I probably apologized a million times.  I can't remember if my sister could laugh about it at the time, but this story has come up almost as many times since then as the crazy man and his dog who cornered us on the one way street.  It's another family legend. 

And that is why I say thank goodness that she is here to celebrate another birthday today.  I can't imagine life without you sis!  Happy Birthday!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Fabricland Halftime Show

I really wish I had pictures to share of my trip to Fabricland today.

My friend Ashley and I are working on making patchwork blankets out of all the receiving blankets that we are done with, but can't bear to part with.  We're basically done the top part, but I still needed to get some fabric to line the backs of my blankets, so today Kaycie, Knolan and I headed off to Fabricland to find the perfect backing for these keepsakes.

Well... little did I realize that the staff at Fabricland are completely kid and baby crazy!  And the customers, for that matter!

Everywhere we went in the store, one of the staff would be chatting up the kids, trying to amuse them and strike up a conversation.  Both of my kids completely ate up all this attention.  It was cute.  A little bit like some sort of SWAT team training scenario, though... with a new person popping up in every aisle.  :-)

Anyway, I could handle all of the interaction with the kids, but what I hadn't anticipated is the absolute LOVE that both of my children have for textiles and fabrics!  Knolan caressed every single bolt of fabric that he passed in his stroller.  Not just caressing... it was like they were all his long lost friends and he was at some sort of reunion.  He was in heaven!  It was as if I could have tossed him on a pile of 40% off fleece ends and he would have just stayed there for hours, catching up with his buddies.

Kaycie on the other hand, is why this post is called "The Fabricland Halftime Show".  As soon as she realized the sheer volume and variety of cloth in the store, she kind of lost her mind.  She danced from shelf to rack to bin to display examining each different type of fabric.  You could hear her clear across the store every 30 seconds:

"Oooh!  This will be just right for my wedding tomorrow!"

"This would be PERFECT for a Rapunzel dress!"

"OH... MY... GOSH...   SPARKLES!!!"

"Mommy!  You could make the most beautiful dress with this!"

"I love this one!!!"

She would wrap curtain sheers around her head a la Maria von Trapp.  She would rub flannel samples on her cheeks.  She was literally dancing between the displays of material singing "I loooove fabric!  Fabric is wonderful!"  I am not kidding.  I was shocked she knew the word 'fabric'!  She too was apparently in her glory.

She got so much attention, in fact, that she announced this to the store:

"Attention everyone!  Look this way, or you will miss the show!"

... and then she proceeded to break into THE most bizarre dance routine I have ever seen.  It involved a grand entrance where she walked backwards "on stage" from behind a stack of area rugs making "walk like an Egyptian" gestures.  She did jumping twirls, made crazy faces, shook hands with Knolan and a cashier, and ended her dance with a half lunge/half jump and her tongue sticking out.  Oh... and she also whispered "mazel tov" during her finishing pose.

I am grateful that I was able to be in the moment and enjoy every second of it.  The really wonderful thing of it is that she truly seemed to win over her crowd too.  She had all sorts of new friends after her "show".

In fact, the ladies who cut my material for us were so smitten with the kids, that they gave me a little wink and then showed me they were cutting an extra metre of Kaycie's favourite pink fabric and whispered, "sew her something cute".

Awwwww!  I left there feeling on top of the world.  It's always nice when people seem to enjoy your kids.

I asked Kaycie on the way out (as I pried Knolan's fingers off some seersucker) whether she had fun in the store, and she said, "That store is my most favourite place in the world."

... and here I am saving for Disney like a sucker.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I dropped my daughter off at pre-school today and toodled off to the closest Tim Hortons for another stab at that Toyota Matrix.  I ordered my usual coffee, but as I was pulling away from the speaker, I suddenly got this panicky feeling.  It was dawning on me as I drove forward that there wasn't any more Roll Up The Rim signage around the drive thru menu!

As I pulled up to the window, I was waiting with tortured anticipation... trying to not look desperate and obvious as I strained my neck looking to see what cups were sitting on the counters.

And, as they passed me my coffee through the window, for the first time since February 22nd, I got this:

This contest annually creates a twisted monster out of me, and this year was no exception.  I knew that this day would come, but it couldn't be today... I wasn't ready!!!  (Check out my awesome hair, by the way - I am blaming it on the SHOCK of this contest coming to an end, of course, and not the fact that I just threw it up in a messy pile at the back of my head as I went hurtling out the door with 2 kids in tow.)

Well, I did what any self-respecting, caffeine-addicted, rim-rolling Tim Horton's devotee would do in my shoes.  I started trolling streets looking for a Tim Horton's that had people walking out of it with contest cups in their hands, of course!  (I need help, I know.)

Lucky for me, I found one a few blocks away.  Woo hoo!

See how being reunited with my precious contest cup brings out the best in my hair and my skin and my overall aura?!?  (ok... I MAY have got my hair cut today, but still... I look awesome compared to earlier!)

There was one small problem though, and my karma and ethics were at stake.  When I got my NEW cup of coffee, as I pulled away, I realized that they had given me TWO coffees.


I didn't really notice because I often will pick up one for Ken, but this time I'd only ordered one coffee.  Part of me was like that lady in the IKEA ads who speedwalks out of the store towards her husband in the car screaming, "Start the car! Start the car!"

Another part of me was screaming "It was FATE!"  Fate was replacing my cup from earlier in the day!

And yet another part of me was looking at the huge lineup at the drive thru - guilt coursing through my veins - thinking to myself that the right thing to do would be to drive through again (I sure as heck wasn't going to unload 2 kids and walk in!) and fess up and pay for the coffee.

So, what did I do?  I left.  (*cringe*)  My baby was crying, my daughter was hungry, and I just couldn't bear the thought of waiting in that line up.

BUT... I plan to go back tomorrow to win my car, and I'll clear my conscience by offering to pay for the 'stolen' coffee while I'm there.

Hopefully karma will be kind to me!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday Memories: Things I Believed in When I Was a Kid

I have a whole whack of memories that I'd love to share here, but I've realized that for most of them, I need to do some fact checking to be sure I'm remembering the stories correctly.  So... more on those memories to come.  Stay tuned!

For now, though, I've found myself remembering little snippets here and there from my childhood recently.  I've noticed a common theme... a lot of these snippets have to do with things I believed when I was a kid.  It's not one chronological memory, but I find it amusing to look back now and realize the very, very strange things I thought were true.

As my mom would so kindly spin it for me:  "You're not gullible, sweetie... You are simply extremely open-minded!"

Love ya Mom!

So, here are some of the little flashbacks I've been having:

1.  I used to truly and sincerely believe that Scott and Brett - 2 brothers from our neighbourhood - had buried a key underneath one of their mother's shrubs.  That key - if I could find it - would unlock a secret door underneath their porch.  Behind that door?  A fantasy play land that contained EVERY SINGLE TOY IN THE SEARS CATALOGUE!!!  Unfortunately, despite my best super sleuth skills, I could never find that darn key.  I'm sure Scott and Brett thought this was hilarious.

2.  I remember my parents telling us that we weren't allowed to go into the abandoned and dilapidated old factory that was down the lane way that ran alongside our house... that it was dangerous, and that there were giant rats inside.  I just assumed and completely accepted as fact my theory that the rats were at least 9 feet tall because of some illegal lab experiments, and that they walked on their hind legs, that they spoke English, and that they were cartoons.  I could barely walk past that old building without having a complete and utter heart attack.

3.  For a short time, I honestly believed that if only my figure skating instructor would let me wear my skate guards WHILE I was skating, that I could learn to skate as well as my friend/neighbour Christa.  Ummm... she was amazing, so I'm pretty sure it was going to take more than skate guards!  I'm also sure the skate guards would have only contributed to my rate of injury while on the ice.  I'm sure that my instructor was trying hard not to laugh every time I begged her to let me put them on.

4.  I practised - for insane stretches of time - jumping off the top/back of our couch onto the seat cushion below, all the while, flapping my arms like a complete lunatic.  I was convinced that at one time while I was just playing around, that I had somehow achieved a nanosecond of flight, and so I practised over and over again trying to replicate that moment.  How I thought that I had flown is waaayyy beyond me, but in my mind, it was true.  I never did achieve lift off, sadly. 

5.  My favourite show as a kid was Battle of the Planets (or G-Force, as we all called it at the time).  I wanted to be the character Princess sooooo badly!  I earnestly believed that if only I could get my hands on a transformer watch and a Princess costume that I could fly (I really, really wanted to fly as a kid!).  So, there were a couple of years where I asked Santa for a Princess transformer watch every Christmas, figuring that he would be the only one who could locate one.  Every one of those Christmas Eves, I would be practically vibrating with excitement, already picturing myself soaring out of our family room, out the side door, and into the early dawn skies over our sleepy little town - but unsure as to whether Santa could pull it off.  Sadly, I never did get my hands on a transformer watch... or the orangutan I asked for.  I would have been happy with either one.

Did you believe anything unusual when you were younger? 

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool's Day: A Tribute to My Dad

As I'm typing away, I am practically giddy about tomorrow morning.  April Fool's Day will always have a special spot in my heart because it seems to be my dad's favourite day of the year.

Right now I have a bowl of Cheerios and milk sitting in the freezer with a big ol' spoon sticking out of it.  I can barely wait for the morning to get here so we can serve Kaycie her "breakfast"!  Even Ken seems to be convinced this is going to be the best gag ever.  I wish there was a way we could play a trick on Knolan, but I don't think 9 month olds really understand prankster antics.  Maybe I'll put a chair on my head and see what he does.  :-)

The anticipation is making me nostalgic.  When we were growing up, Dad had a bit of a reputation as an incurable prankster.  I remember Dad telling us stories about the tricks he used to pull on people back in the day.  I seem to recall tales of chivarees, where he was guilty of filling newlyweds' toilet bowls with Jell-O and putting tonnes of confetti in honeymooners' suitcases. 

A few of the pranks over the years of which we were victims - April Fool's Day and otherwise - stand out for me.

For example, there was the time he actually shovelled snow and pine branches into our upstairs hallway and then woke us up with his mock panic accompanied by reports that the giant evergreen outside of our upstairs bathroom had crashed INTO the bathroom through the window.

There was another time he called me on April Fool's Day while I was away at school to let me know that our accountant had finished my taxes and that my income tax return was $5000.  Can you imagine the thrill of hearing those words when you are a student!? 

Oh, he thought he was pretty funny, alright!  To be truthful, we all loved it.  And the key to his success (with me anyway!) was that he always called us early enough to catch us when we were asleep so that we wouldn't clue in to what day it was.

I think my favourite April Fool's prank of Dad's has to be the time he actually put together and couriered a fake package to me at my workplace saying that I had won some contest (I think - I saved it... I should try and find it sometime!) and that I should call the number enclosed in the package.  He had gone to great trouble to put graphic design elements all over it and it was all on fake letterhead.

I was determined to not let Dad have the last laugh, so instead of calling the number, I called my friend, and good sport, Dave.  I convinced Dave to help me get back at Dad and call him at his office pretending to be an investigator with the "Bureau of Mail Fraud", and I arranged with Dad's staff to make sure Dave was put through to voicemail so that he wouldn't actually have to talk to Dad... just make him laugh a bit!  Dave played the part beautifully, making up elaborate extra details I hadn't even thought of!  He called himself Roger LeRoche, and inferred on his voicemail that Dad could be looking at some serious legal issues for fraudulent use of a courier service.

Well, I didn't think Dad would fall for it, but apparently we gave him a bit of a scare!  I felt a slight twinge of guilt, but it was pretty satisfying (and fun!) to prank the ultimate prankster... and we had a good laugh about it.  Dave deserves most of the credit.  I can't believe he went along with it!

So Dad... I'll be thinking of you tomorrow morning, as I take up the April Fool's Day torch and expose a new generation to antics inspired by you!  Now that I think on it, perhaps you should watch your back.  I have a feeling that when tomorrow rolls around and Kaycie figures out what April Fool's Day is all about, she'll be looking for a victim... and who better to target than the master himself!  Hee hee!