Sunday, December 30, 2012

Shooting for the Stars - My New Year's Resolutions

1.  Put away the Easter and Halloween decorations sitting at the bottom of the basement stairs.  Either that, or officially designate the area at the bottom of the stairs as seasonal decorations storage space so that I can stop feeling guilty that they aren't put away.

2.  Measure the cubic space occupied by the 20+ boxes and bags of clothes that the kids have outgrown that I need to sort through to determine if they have to be returned to someone or not so that I know how much of my mortgage has been going toward storing this monolith.  Just 'cause I'm curious.  :-)

3.  Sort through outgrown clothes and return to rightful owners.

4.  Have emotional farewell party, and tearful goodbye speech for my kids' cute little too-small clothes.  Wanna come?  There will be wine.

5.  Send invites for farewell party to the box of single socks in our closet and the bag of things that need to be returned to people.

6.  Return the 2 library books on gift wrapping that I signed out in 2004.

7.  Google "saw shark" and "hammerhead shark".  Have been meaning to do that.

8.  Stop procrastinating and look under our bed to see what's there.  Tentative complete-by date: prior to emotional farewell party in case I need to open up the invites to B-listers.

9.  Stop hitting "remind me later" and finally take the tour of my new and improved Yahoo Mail already.

10.  Learn how to transfer my 3000+ irreplaceable pictures and videos of my family and friends from the last 2 years from my phone to my laptop or memory stick.  They're messing with my Twitter and Words With Friends.

11.  Develop new strategy for increasing my winning percentage for Roll Up The Rim To Win.  Possibly propose new "work from Tim's" arrangement with supervisor for the month of March.

12.  And finally, take the advice of my good friend Monica, and ensure that I find humour in every single day.  There's plenty of it there - whether I see it or not is up to me.

A Happy and Humourous New Year to you all!  May the year 2013 bring you lots of love, light and matched socks.

Everyone Sez...

Well, Kaycie is going to have to give up some of the lime light.  Most of the people living in this house are making me laugh these days, and I don't want to forget any of it, so I'm dumping it in this blog whenever I remember.


On Becoming Famous...
While recalling the day's events, Kaycie shared with us that she was teaching her friend, Nidhi, how to be famous.  While stifling a snort, I asked Kaycie what steps were needed to become famous.  Her reply was, "Well, first, you need to sing.  And then you need to start giving people autographs."

On Hanukkah...
While I was getting dressed, I bent over to put my socks on, and she gently touched my back.  It tickled, so I asked her what she was doing.  She said, "Don't worry.  I'm just pretending to light your back on fire."  I said, "Say what?!" and she said, "Oh, it's just that I love lighting things for Hanukkah."  Don't ask... I have no idea. My kids are obsessed with Hanukkah for no obvious reason.  :-)

On Being Special...
My daughter has an interesting eye.  1/4 of it is brown, while the rest is blue, and a good backgrounder to this little story is that she is extremely proud of this eye.  Here is a picture:

While I was at the dentist recently (and my friend Tina reminded me tonight that I tend to have a lot of fun at the dentist office - I had forgotten!) for a cleaning for me and a filling for Kaycie, my hygienist was extremely accommodating about having Kaycie with me.  Having little ones of her own, she was fantastic about letting Kaycie watch what was going on in my mouth, chatting with her as Kaycie explored every nook and cranny of the room, asking a never ending stream of questions.  The longer my cleaning went on, the more confidence Kaycie was filled with, and she was eventually doing what she called "the dentist dance" for the all of the hygienists, who then called the dentist come come and watch.  This escalating spiral of nonsense grew and grew as I lay helpless in the chair with sucker tubes and dental instruments hanging out of my mouth, rendering me incapable of interfering.  I kept attempting to ask Kaycie to sit on her little chair and just watch, but we all know how that goes when you have a hygienist working on your teeth - and frankly, she seemed to be enjoying every moment.  Finally, Kaycie bounded over to the hygienist, stretched over the tray of tools so she could get close to her face, and grabbed the upper and lower lids of her eye, stretched them apart, leaned in closer and said, "I'm the special one in our family!"  Luckily I didn't laugh all of the contraptions in my mouth clear across the room, but I strongly suspect that my hygienist would have understood because she literally snorted and couldn't stop laughing as she choked out the words, "I'll bet you are!".


On Unexpected Turns of Events...
A bit of a back story:  After I had put Knolan down for a nap, he seemed to be asleep for about 20 minutes, when suddenly I heard him yapping away to himself.  As any parent knows, nap time means break time and since Knolan normally naps for 2.5 to 3 hours I eventually went into see if I could either coax him back to sleep or see what was wrong.  When I went in and smelled that familiar waft in the air, I realized he needed a quick diaper change and hopefully he'd be back to sleep in no time.  After our quick change, a short cuddle with some books and quiet songs, I whispered, "are you ready to go night-night?"  Knolan nodded his head and wrapped his little arms around me.  As I gently laid him down in the crib and kissed his forehead, his eyes suddenly widened with panic, his soother dropped out of his mouth and he exclaimed, "No, no, no!  What you doing?!  What happening!?"  So funny.  Thankfully, he slept another hour.  :-)

On What's Happening...
We were at our friends' Tina and Geoff's house for dinner and our two little guys Knolan and Kiran were sitting beside each other, trapped in their booster/tray seats.  I can't exactly recall what it was that prompted this exchange... perhaps Geoff got up to serve another AMAZING course of food, or maybe someone took Kiran's sippy cup, but something had indeed "happened".  Kiran kept looking around murmuring in his sweet little voice, "What happening?  What happening?".  That's when Knolan gently put his hand on Kiran's arm, leaned in real close to Kiran's face, opened his eyes wide and said, "I don't know!" with a level of confusion that matched Kiran's.  The part of this that was so funny was that the two of them haven't said a word to each other in their lives.  LOL


On Finding That Once Again I Had All The Lights On And Was Typing In Bed At 1:00am...
I'm back into my old routine of typing and surfing the net late at night now that we have a proper laptop again. I am gifted with the ability to sleep in any type of light and with pretty much any level of distraction.  Ken, however, is not.  The other night he woke up to find me typing away with the closet light on, the TV on, the bedside table lamp on, and of course the laptop screen glowing away.  I hadn't noticed he was awake until I was visually assaulted with a blinding strobe light coming from the other side of the bed, aimed right at my eyes.  Startled, I looked over, and there was Kenny with a big dorky grin on his face, repeatedly hitting his phone's flash button as I kept trying to shield my eyes from the light.  He looked at me, pretending to type, and said, "Oh hi!  Don't mind me, I'm just sending a few emails."   Hardy har har.  Point well taken.

Saturday, December 29, 2012


I have vivid and weird dreams.  Sometimes my dreams are so memorable that I find myself wishing there was some sort of technology that would allow you to record your dreams to share with others.  At least that way I could prove I wasn't making them up!

Often my dreams will cross into my waking state.  There is, for example, my sister's favourite story of the time I dreamed that my phone was a bomb and I tried to diffuse it by sitting on it... only made more hilarious by the fact that my phone was a pickle phone.

And my husband will eagerly recount for you the times I have talked aloud through my dreams, begging him to try my lasagna, or to look at the hundreds of spiders crawling on the floor, or describing someone standing in the corner.  I feel badly for him because it seems to me that most of the dreams that seem to trigger this half awake/half asleep thing are pretty creepy or scary!  And if you know Ken, you know that he doesn't sleep well once he's been good and creeped out.  Please click here for a refresher.

Most of my dreams, though, seem to be completely not linked to reality... at all.  I have a theory that it's because I sleep on my arm a lot.  I often wake up with a numb hand, and I read in a journal once that if your blood flow is interrupted during sleep, that your dreams will be more vivid and colourful.  I have elected to extend that theory to include "less bound by laws of time and space", "more insecty", and "more shape shifty".

I have had dreams where I was a time traveller, where I could jump on a trampoline right up to outer space, where I was a black and white cartoon character and I could speak French, where I was a centaur in the 1500s (no comments from anyone who knows about THAT little gem!) and many, many more.

My last really weird one was about me going to the movies.  The theatre was unique in that any time someone needed to go get a snack or use the washroom, they would "pause" the movie.  I thought this was fantastic because I needed to go do some errands!  So, I jumped up, they paused the movie, and I headed off up the street to do some shopping, of course.  As I was walking, an old lady kept pestering me, trying to get me to give her money.  The more I resisted, the more she lunged at me.

I know that this dream sounds like pretty basic stuff, but they usually do start out pretty normal.

Anyway, I turned to look at her, when suddenly this giant glob of earwax shoots out of her ear and onto my arm and it turns into this baby scorpion.  I freaked out and threw it back at her.  When it landed on her, it scuttled quickly back into her ear.  I walked away, thinking about my errands, and when I grabbed my purse with my pincher and unzipped it, I suddenly realized that I had turned into a scorpion.  By the way - I now know that my pinchers would technically have been called pedipalps... because I looked it up... because that is what I am all about.... Googling EV-ER-Y-THING.

So, I kind of freaked out, and figured I should get away from this old lady much faster, and I strapped on my speed skates and I tucked one of my pedipalps behind my back and I swung the other pedipalp like a pro back and forth as I leaned low and forward and pumped my legs in time with my pedipalps (I really like this new word!).  I was gaining speed and suddenly I felt alive!  Like I knew I was meant to do this for my entire life!  Well, I guess the Olympic talent scout agreed, because I suddenly looked to my right, and there was a man skating beside me, flashing his Olympics ID card, talking to me as I skated.  He said that there would be no need for me to go through the normal qualifying process - that if I was willing, I could represent Canada as the only female scorpion speed skater from North America.

It was all happening so fast... first I was at the movies and now I would be competing in Sochi, Russia!  I, of course, jumped at the opportunity, and headed back to the movies, where they started up the film again, as if nothing had happened.

I could honestly fill a book with stuff like this.  Most of them don't phase me all that much.  I wake up, shake my head, think, "what the hell?" and then just carry on.  But some of them are completely terrifying.  Those ones often follow a theme of constantly trying to get away from something.  Sometimes it is a city full of tornadoes, and I just keep running from building to building trying to stay alive. Sometimes I'm in a house, and every time I look at a window, something terrifying is looking in at me, and I lunge and close the drapes, only to turn around and see that thing looking at me through another window.  I did have a terrifying one this week about this strange couple trying to kill me, but they were kind of crappy assassins.  For example, instead of cutting the brake lines on my car, they would just rig the car so that it kind of had a soft tire, or a dragging muffler, and I would have to try to drive the car to the mechanics, and on my route to the garage, they would put together these elaborate obstacles that would slow me down or stop me in hopes that I would be trapped in my car, too afraid to come out and face them, and that I would eventually starve to death.  While I was dreaming this, it was completely and utterly frightening, but when I woke up, it seemed so laughable.  :-)

And then there are the flying dreams!  Aren't they the absolute best?!  It is so easy for me to fly in my dreams.  All I have to do is take a few running steps and then jump so that I am parallel to the ground and I just have to flap my arms to get a little height and then I am good to soar!  It is so disappointing to wake up from those ones, but the feeling of flying is so worth it!

I really should try to write some of these down.  I tend to remember the ones that I share with people, but if I don't manage to tell someone about it within a few minutes of waking up, the dream just sort of crumbles to dust, in a way, and I never seem to be able to remember more than a fleeting moment of it later in the day.  I suppose I could jot some of them down here, as long as they don't reveal too, too much about my psyche.  :-)

The bottom line, though, is that I am simply astounded at what the human brain can do while it's sleeping.  I honestly could not make up the stuff I dream about if I tried, but for now I am happy to be a confused observer of my sub-conscious once my heavy eyelids shut for the night.

I wonder what I'l dream about tonight?  And for goodness sake, someone please tell me that they have absurd dreams too!  :-)

Friday, December 21, 2012


I went through a bit of a crazy week last week.  My days were jam packed. At work I was focused on our 5 year business plan, our budget reforecast, planning documents for a new project, and a whole bunch of other stuff.  I was also immersed in 2 projects for a board I sit on, and I was getting ready for Christmas and  3 weeks of vacation (yay!).  I was working well into the night and most mornings I was up and working at 5am.  With most of my time dedicated to work and volunteering and secret shopping, not much time at all was being spent on caring where I tossed my dirty laundry, putting things away or eating on socially acceptable surfaces.

I don't know how many heels Achilles had, but one of my many Achilles' heels is dealing with stuff.  By "stuff" I mean things that come into our home and things that I use.  I remember my mother-in-law once saying that when she came home from somewhere, she didn't feel right until she took a moment to put everything away.  And I looked at her with such admiration and awe.  Let's just say I have no internal chip that drives me to put things away.  

I would say that the most common theme for me is bags.

For example, last December we returned home from our two family Christmases and I did what I do every year.  I put everything down in the front hall and collapsed into bed.  In the next day or two I consolidated the gifts into bags and dropped the bags in different rooms depending on what was in them.  Kaycie's bag of toys got hung on her bedroom door, the bag of our stockings, gift bags and tissue paper was put in our bedroom until I could get a minute to take them to the basement, the normal bag of last minute Christmas cards and paper and tape and pens that I annually tote around everywhere was thrown on the kitchen table.  That practice comes in handy in many ways.  For example, this summer when I needed tissue paper, all I had to do was move a basket of folded laundry and a bag of baby clothes to find some tissue paper!  AND... you can imagine the glee Ken and I experienced when we found the contents of our stockings when we decided to clean our bedroom this past September.

I need help.

Bags seem to be my coping mechanism for things I can't get to right away.  A bunch of notes from Kaycie's school come in - I stuff them in a Sobey's bag and hang them on our mail organizer for later.  Knolan dumps a chocolate milk in his lap, I stuff his pants in a Zellers bag and hang them on the railing to the basement to throw in the laundry later.  I think I might do my hair in the morning, I stuff my velcro rollers and a hair dryer in a bag and throw it on the newel post at the top of the stairs so that I can blow dry my hair downstairs in the morning without waking anyone up.  I have a bunch of crap that I need to bring in from the car - I fill up a tote bag, bring it in the house and hang it on the closet door knob.  I buy groceries - I put away the perishables, and put a bag full of toiletries on the steps to go upstairs.

But for as much as the joy of finding 8 month old Jolly Ranchers and Christmas scratch and win tickets is basically unparalleled, there is the good, there is the bad, and there is the ugly.

Good = "Ken!  Look!  Gift cards and cash from our birthdays!!!"
Bad = I still don't know where my hair dryer and velcro rollers are... and it's been about 4 months.
Ugly = You haven't smelled gross until you've smelled month old chocolate milk.

Anyway, back to last week.  It was about 3:00am and I was still up, sitting in bed with my laptop working away on a spreadsheet, eyes glazed over from the week that felt like it would last forever, 12 empty glasses on my night table, three bags on the floor beside the bed (one with garbage in it, one with papers to recycle, and of course, one with a baby gift for our neighbour's daughter who is now almost 3), unopened mail all over the place, laundry (dirty? clean? who knew, really) all around the bed, and papers all around me in bed and on the floor.  Ken wakes up all bleary eyed and stunned, slowly realizing I hadn't gone to sleep yet, and that this wasn't the first time this week. He stumbled to the washroom and on his way back found me hanging my papers for work the next morning in a bag on our bedroom doorknob and then climbing over my crap pile to get back into bed.  He wanders into the hallway, looking around and then comes back into the bedroom, looked at me with half-amusement and half-eye-rolling and said, 

"You are a garbage city Blair Witch."

To which I responded with a delirious, unstoppable laughing fit. 

I mean, the analogy was so perfect.  I was so focused on work and commitments in those days, that I was almost on autopilot, compulsively working, building a nest of garbage, clothes, empty yogurt cups and water glasses around me, scaring my loved ones, and leaving bag talismans on every available doorknob.

At least we were both laughing.  I was laughing so hard that I was silent laughing.  It was awesome.