Saturday, December 31, 2005

Out With The Old, And In With The New!

Well, it's the end of another year. All in all, I think it was a good one. Lots of new babies born this year, including my own Tyger, so that's always good. An official welcome to the world to all of our precious new children: Aiden, Ty, Madeline, Sophie, Hailey, Jordyn, Brynn, Will, and Grace. (Will and Grace, hey, that's kinda funny! Okay, yeah, I'm tired...)

My brother started a great new job, we went on a nice family vacation, and for the first year in I don't know how many, Mark did not dislocate, break or sprain anything! (Baseball sliding injuries don't count). Keegan is slowly (s.......l.......o.........w.......l..........y.....) adapting to potty training, and his speech is much more clear to the listener. Phoenix is doing well at school and is working very hard there and at home to overcome any difficulties. Ty has a tooth. He can sit up.

My niece got straight A's on her report card. I met my little niece Miranda for the first time. I got to see every one of my relatives within 3 days over the holidays.

I finally bought myself some jeans that fit! (Still have to work on the shoes though...)

So with everything that's happened around here in 2005, what are the plans for 2006?

Well, child-wise, I hope to have Keegan totally trained by the spring. I plan to have Phoenix working on a comprehensive learning program to have him geared up for grade one. I will teach Ty to say the names of all of his relatives (especially Grandpa...). I will endeavor to make some money in a constructive manner, hopefully with freelance articles or my children's books in progress.

I will try to get out more. Mark and I will institute a date-night. I will lose a minimum of 15 pounds by July 1st. I will try to stop swearing. (I don't swear in front of the kids, but when they are out of earshot, it's like a torrent! What the hell? I mean, "Gosh! What the heck?"

I will budget my time more efficiently.

Well, these are the plans. I'll get back to you on July 1st...

I hope everyone had an excellent 2005. I wish all my readers peace, happiness and prosperity in the year to come.

Love each other. More importantly, love yourself.

Shann out.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Woo-hoo! A New Toy!

I am so excited! I got a great new toy for Christmas from my hubby! Okay, after you pull your mind out of the gutter, I will tell you what it is...

A Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT camera. It does just about everything but wash the dishes. It even makes the cool sound, you know like at the beginning of the songs Freezeframe and Girls on Film...awesome. And as soon as I figure out how to hook it up to the computer to download the shots, I will share some photos. Mark also got me two additional lenses, a telephoto lens (to spy on the neighbours-watch out people over the hedge!) and a panoramic lens. Too cool, I tell you. The memory card is 1 G. It stores over 300 photos on the highest quality setting. I also got a carrying case and 200 free prints from the store where Mark picked it up.

Also got some nice gifts from the rest of my family, including mall and book store gift certificates, a deluxe George Forman grill, 4 bottles of Little Penguin wine (2 white, 2 red) and a Stage West package for a show, dinner, wine, and overnight stay at the hotel. Oh yeah, and a nice chunk of cashola too.

My house looks like we robbed Toys R Us. Thomas trains to Rescue Heroes to Fisher Price to Transformers to the nth power. It's a bit sickening, actually. At least I haven't heard any bitching from Bun yet about what he didn't get...

Christmas Eve dinner was at my sister-in-law's house, and was fantastic as usual. 4 kinds of fish and tons of side-dishes as well as fabulous desserts. It was a great bonus this year to have Mark's brother and his family out for the holiday, as they live on the other side of the country from us. Met their youngest daughter for the first time and she's nearly two! What a dolly! She and Keegs had a great time together.

Christmas Day was spent at home with my middle and youngest brother and my Dad, and then we all went to my aunt's place for dinner. A good time was had by all. Kids were really good, especially Ty. Not a peep out of him the whole time.

Boxing Day (today) all of my brothers as well as my sister-in-law and my two nephews came out for lunch. My nephews entertained Bun and Keegs quite nicely, and even constructed one of the more complicated toys for them (the Justice League Watch Tower). Thanks boys! Mark took Bun over to his sister's place for dinner, and I had a quiet evening with the younger boys, playing with the new toys and watching Frosty for the 3000th time. It is now 9:30 pm, the kids are asleep, and I'm off to Timmy's for my nightly outing. Hope everyone had a great holiday, and I hope you all have fun shopping at the boxing week sales...

Thursday, December 22, 2005

It's Been Decided...And I'm Sad :-(

Mark and I were having our regular mock argument today regarding (read in dark, ominous tones) the vasectomy. You know, the usual, where I say, you're getting it, right? And he says, over my cooling corpse, that sort of deal.

So today I said, so are we decided then, that we're not having anymore? And he got serious and said that he would absolutely love to have one more, but doesn't think we should. Not for any financial reasons, because we could always manage somehow. But his main reason was that since Phoenix is having potential troubles with his language development etc at school, and Keegan has his own developmental issues regarding speech and other areas, we should really focus on the boys, and not bring a new child into the mix that could possible take our time away from them when they really needed us. And he was right. And that's probably why I cried.

It's one thing to tell everyone, "Oh yeah, we're done," or "Oh, never say never," when you haven't really decided. But now that we have, it's just so final. I love my kids so much, they are my life; that's why I would love to have more. And petty and small as it sounds, there was that tiny part of my heart still yearning for a daughter. And that missing daughter is who I cry for. My Mom and I had such an awesome relationship, and I was so hoping to have the same with a daughter of my own...

Well, enough of that pity party. Stepping back from the situation, I know that Mark and I have been blessed not once, but three times by having the beautiful children that we do. I couldn't love them more. And every day with them is a gift. I will no longer cry for the children I don't have, but for the people who don't have any at all.

I said in another post that my mother was once asked why she had four (horrors!) children. And that she coldly looked the questioner in the eye and replied, "I suppose because we didn't have five." Well said, Mom.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Forsooth! A Tooth!

Hurray! Finally! Ty has broken his first tooth through those puffy gums. All that gnawing on anything within reach (including Mom, furniture, crib rails, his feet, anyone else's feet within range, toys, sweaters, blankets, etc.) finally has a pay-off! Bottom left tooth. Soon he'll have a whole new smile.

Well, he DID tell Santa that all he wanted for Christmas was his two front teeth...looks like he may just get his wish!

Finally finished all my shopping! Yay!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNDDDDDDDDD...actually did pick up a holiday outfit for myself! The skirt is a plaid, navy, black, yellow, green and cranberry. Much nicer than it sounds. It is just above knee length and is sort of flirty at the bottom. Cute! And on sale for $20. Got a matching cranberry-coloured velvet jacket to match. It's really nice. I even got a matching necklace. Was too shopped out to get shoes...think I may not bother till after Christmas. Enough snow around here to wear my boots anyway...Should pick up some tights or pantyhose though.

Phoenix had his school concert today. Oh it was so adorable! Quite a lot of songs and poems for little 4 and 5 year olds to memorize but they were all great. Oma came out to sub for Mark to watch the show. Got it all on video, and then went back to the class for cookies and cake.

Actually the cake was really cute. One of the moms had made a snowman cake. It was beautiful and looked quite tempting. I was just heading over for a piece when I spotted a little girl with her head bent over the cake licking the icing off of the side of the cake. Gross! Her mom spotted her too and freaked out! I ran. I see enough parental frustration whenever I look in the mirror without witnessing that of a stranger.

Had my Dad over for dinner today. He had come over earlier today to watch Keegs and Ty while I went to the concert. Keegan was having a major tantrum over something and Mark said to Keegs, "If Grandpa wasn't here, I'd lay the boots to ya!" Dad kindly called out, "I can step outside for a few moments if you want to go ahead...". Yeah, every good dad knows the power of a threat.

My Dad never had to lay a hand on me. It was what will go down in history as "THE LOOK". It was enough to send me crying to my room every time! My brother's needed more of a fear factor. Dad would get out "the belt" and fold it in half. Then he would buckle it, you know so that it was shaped like a U on the bottom and the mirror on top. Then he would snap it. The leather made a horrible cracking sound that you just knew was the sound of pain. He would say, "Put your hand in there!" and we would say "NO DAD!" Then he would say, "Go to your room!" and we'd say, "Okay!!!" and run like hell. Yeah, there's nothing better than a threat. I don't any of us were actually stupid enough to put a hand in the belt slap zone. Hmm...on second thought, Paul probably did, but he is the rebel of my siblings...

Anyway, it's getting late, I'm tired, my stomach is doing the cha cha, or as we like to say, "I've got a rumble in my Bronx", and I need a nice cup of tea. Have a good night, and God Bless all of the fathers who only gave the look and the threats, but loved their kids too much to act on them.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Whoa! Pre-Christmas Anxiety Rears Its Ugly Head

Holy Mother! Talk about stress...Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas, and all that it entails, even the shopping part. What I don't like, is the 8 hours of planning involved in order for me to leave the house for two hours. There's something to be said about bottle-feeding around this time of year, that's for sure!

Anyway, I believe, truly, that I have finished my shopping. Well, for other people, that is. I have yet to find myself an outfit to wear at Christmas. You must understand that the majority of my wardrobe is either maternity clothes, which I no longer require, or post-pregnancy hide in the house clothes, consisting of too-large ripped jeans, and old track suits of my mother's. So when I have to actually be seen by more than my forgiving immediate family, I am in a constant panic of what to wear. I have tried on everything at the local mall with no dice. I think I'm going to have to venture further abroad and try the mall on the other side of town. And, because I don't drive (yeah, yeah, skip the lecture, I hear it every three days around here), this means coercing my hubby into rounding up the kiddies into the Rover and hauling me over there. I may have to call in some favours here...or promise some...

So, I optimistically post that tomorrow I will report a description of the lovely new outfit that I will get tonight. Wish me luck! (I wonder who the patron saint of shopping is? Hmm...St. Laurent?)

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Countdown Is ON!

Well, only 7 more shopping days till Christmas, my friends. Want my list? Just kidding! (Kinda...) I am almost finished with my shopping. Still have a few things to pick up for the hubby. I want to get one of those "Hey, that's awesome!" kind of gifts, and I have no idea what that could be. May end up with a bunch of "Um, gee, thanks, Babe," gifts instead.

Also need to pick up something extra for my youngest brother, and some stocking stuffers, and I think that's about it. I am still determined to get a Christmas outfit for myself though...might have to sneak out a few more times before next weekend.

Next week I am having the skunk-stripe removed from the top of my head (read, alarming stripe of WHITE). My hairdresser has been trying to talk me into getting a chunk of funky-mom colour put in...I might actually go for it. A nice electric blue, perhaps? My aunt recently had some pink put into her hair. She got some mixed reactions, but I thought it looked really cool. It suited her. And I figure, since I can't afford liposuction, or breast-reduction/lift into upper body area where they are supposed to be, spicing up the do is a fun option. And if it looks like crap? Well, I'll be back in 6-8 weeks, so I can fix it then.

Mark and Bun are off today to church for the final practice for the Christmas concert, after which they will be decorating sugar cookies. I am enjoying (and yes, realize that even while typing, I am cursing myself) a quiet moment while Keegan and Ty take much needed naps.

Tomorrow morning is the concert, and on Tuesday, Phoenix's kindergarten class is putting on a show of their own. I can hardly wait. They've been rehearsing for months!

Well, (gee I say well a lot, eh?) I suppose I should go wrap the stuff I bought yesterday before Markus comes back. Not that he's a snooper. Oh crap, what did I tell you!!!!! There goes the Ty alarm. Gotta jet. Happy shopping...

And for those millions of you out there that are not nursing mothers, have an eggnog for me, heavy on the spiced rum!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A Pain In My ASS!

OH! I have a pain in the ass! And for once, I am not referring to my husband or children. In a classically stupid and awkward move last night, I slipped getting out of the shower, and landed directly on my tailbone. Holy Mother of God! Such pain cannot be imagined. My legs went numb! I was lying there like a landed fish, naked as the day I was born, weeping onto the tiles and crying for Mark to come and help me.

Gave him the scare of his life, I think...of course, he scared the crap out of me by saying, "Maybe I should call an ambulance..." Oh yeah, right. Bad enough you're seeing me in this position. I'm not letting a bunch of medical technicians see my full moon!

I eventually made it to the couch, and Mark helped me dress. I felt like my 3 year old! Then I curled up awkwardly and went to sleep, hoping Ty wouldn't need me during the such luck. 2 hours later: WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Uh, Uh, Uh, WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Crap! Another 1 1/2 hours later, same thing. And two hours after that. Normally I would have some degree of sympathy for a little guy in swollen gum agony of teething trials, but last night I was fresh out. Found myself saying such nastiness as, "For the love of God, Ty, if you wake me up one more time, I will--" well, I don't think I have to actually WRITE what I said, but suffice it to say, I felt enough residual guilt over it that I gave him a whispered apology for my bad-mother syndrome over breakfast (which began at the unholy hour of 6:00 am. Who are all of these lucky mothers whose kids sleep until 10:00? Never mind. If I know who you are, I'll have to hunt you down and hurt you...)

Anyway, I am going to sign off. I can't sit to type, and my back is hurting from bending over the keyboard. I appreciate any sympathy you can throw my way...sniff!

PS. HAPPY 68th BIRTHDAY DADDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 12, 2005

What Happens To You In Times of Stress?

Strange things happen to our bodies in times of stress. Some people break out in hives, other in acne. Some people feel nauseated, others burst into tears with no warning. Me? I get a cold sore. Eww. I truly hate cold sores. I don't think anyone likes them or anything, but they are just the worst. Especially if you are unfortunate enough to get one without medicine immediately to hand, because then they just mutate. I end up with a face so swollen I look like the Elephant Man.

So when I first felt the tingle, and rushed over to the local pharmacy, and begged for the strongest stuff they had. The pharmacist took pity on my horrid visage and gave me Abreva. This tiny tube is less than half the size of my pinky finger, and costs $20.00. Kripes! But, it works! Usually I spend a week talking with my hand over my mouth, but the swelling was gone the next day. It's been only 2 days that I have been using it, and it is already at the scabbing stage. So if you are doomed to the occasional cold sore/fever blister like me, invest in this medication. It is worth every penny!
Now that my testimonial is over, I also wanted to share that Phoenix won a prize! He entered the Poko sticker contest on Kids CBC, where you had to send in a piece of paper with stickers on it. Phoenix made his own stickers and sent those in, and he found out today that he won a Poko prize pack! We are very excited! Well, I am, anyway ;) So, the prize will arrive in the mail, and is either a Poko DVD, book or poster.

I am slowly whittling down my Christmas shopping list. I still have to get something for my youngest brother, a cousin, my Dad and Mark. And something for Ty from Oma. Then it's just the small miscellaneous stuff. Oh, and I need to get myself a Christmas outfit. And some shoes. Some new make-up would be nice. Maybe some costume jewellery to match the as-of-yet-mythical outfit.

Most of all, I need time away from the kids! Oh hell. now all three are crying and I'm next. Gotta run...

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Hurray For Carnivores

Just came back from a great pot-luck dinner at our friends Dave & Teresa's house. I love these pre-holiday do's, when we get to see everyone and their kiddies. Aside from Ty, there were three other babies there as well, Daniel, who is almost a year and is toddling from room to room with great speed and agility. He's just so damned cute, too! Sophie, who I barely saw as she was napping most of the time we were there, but has the most awesome head of hair on an infant I have ever seen. Rivals Elvis, I tell you! And Brynn, who was an absolute angel; not a peep out of her the whole time, just watching everyone with placid nonchalance. Lots of other kiddies running around too; Andrew & Julia, Benjamin, Brooke, Jacob and my two, Phoenix and Keegan. They all play so nicely together. Unfortunately, a few share common allergies, as well. Julia, Phoenix and Keegs were all showing signs of cat allergies, with itchy eyes and runny noses.

When we got home, I literally had to sit on Phoenix with his arms pinned beneath my knees to give him his eyedrops. Kripes! You'd think I was pouring acid on his face the way he carries on! Keegan just lay there on the bed, and said, "Okay Mommy, my turn for drops!" What a great kid. (And Keegan did a stand-up pee at the toilet before bed to much praise. Yay Keegs!)

Anyway, the dinner was awesome. I really admire Teresa, as she is a strict vegetarian herself, yet always cooks up some tasty meat treats for us carnivores. Today she served a perfect turkey, venison, goose and duck. Yum!

My contribution was a chocolate truffle cake, which, I have to say, was sinfully good. Go to the kraftcanada website and download the recipe. Definitely worth the effort.

And now the kiddies are a-bed, husband is a-couch and I am planning shortly to be asleep.

Goodbye for now, and to all a good night!

PS. Welcome to the world Baby Girl Czartowski, born this morning to Mark's cousin Adam and his wife Chris. 5 pounds, 11 oz. When asked for a name, Adam simply said, "We have 30 days to comply!" Congrats guys on your newest addition to the family!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

I Guess It Was Bound To Happen

It was bound to happen sooner or later. The flu bug hit me this morning. Ugh...breastfeeding is not an enjoyable experience when you feel like you're going to barf, trust me. To top it off, Mark's not even here to take over the kidlet watching, as he is moving his grandfather to his new apartment today. Everytime the kids ask me for something or require me to mediate in an argument, I just give them a pathetic pleading look, and say, "Did I harass you when you were sick?"

Don't seem to help. There's still crawling all over me, right down to the choruses of "Ewww!" outside the bathroom door everytime I'm sick. Thanks for the Greek Chorus there, boys.

And I just have to say, that when it comes to gingerale, only Canada Dry will do. PC Gingerale tastes like soap. Oh God, gotta go ride the porcelain express again. Later....

PS. Happy belated Birthday to Teresa and Julie who celebrated on the 1st.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Monday, November 28, 2005

It's Getting Scary In Here!

Poor Keegs, fell asleep on his coat zippers and woke up looking like Frankenstein!!


You know, I am getting quite sick (pardon the pun) of cleaning up barf from not only my children's beds, but my own. Why, why! Why do they first hurl in their own bed, then repeat the performance in mine? Gross, I tell you! First Phoenix in the wee hours of Friday morning, and today Keegan. I hope that Tyger isn't next (or God forbid, me!)

A very happy birthday today to our friend Dave, who turns 33 years young!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Hiya Santa!

Judging from the look on Ty's face, Santa is promising him some good loot! All three boys had a great time at the Santa party today. More pictures soon...

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Well Ain't That Just Typical

Murphy's Law? Yeah...change that to Shannon's Law.

On Thursday I was hosting a birthday dinner for myself and my aunt. I had done most of the prep work and housecleaning prior to the event, and only had a few things left to do. In the morning, I had an appointment at the school, to observe Phoenix in the classroom. That was kind of fun...I'll get to that later. When I got home, I got the cleaning of the bathrooms over with and started the dough brewing for the bread in the machine. Then I fed Ty, hoping he would sleep long enough for me to get the appetizers done. No such luck. So, I gave the boys lunch, put Keegs down for his nap, topped up Ty, and whew! He fell asleep. So I ran to do the appetizers. These were basically a cream cheese mixture rolled in phyllo pastry.

Anyone who has worked with phyllo before knows that you need to work with some speed so that the pastry doesn't dry out. So with all ingredients to hand, including a bowl of melted butter, I began. I got three rolls into it before Ty woke up screaming his lungs out. So I had to pack up everything and put it away before I could go get him or everything would be ruined. In my haste, I knocked over the bloody bowl of melted butter all over the effing kitchen table and floor (which I had just washed the day before!) Kripes! So, as Ty was now hysterical and into the type of sobbing cry that makes you want to burst into tears yourself, I said to myself "Screw it!" and left it all to deal with him. 45 minutes later, he was again asleep, and I dragged myself back to the kitchen, to clean up the freaking mess, and finish the rolls. Long story short, I did manage to get it all done, clean the table and floor, and rise the bread and put it in the oven. Before I knew it, the bread was baked and cooling, Keegan was up, and it was time to go back to school to get Phoenix. Where did the freaking day go?

La, la, la. Anyway, aside from the fact that my Aunt Helen couldn't make it to the party due to driving conditions in her neck of the woods (we missed you Helen!) the dinner went off without a hitch and all was well. Got some great presents too...two sets of bedding for my eight-mile high mattress, a gift certificate for my hairdresser, a basket of assorted coffees, Billy Joel's Greatest Hits, Vol. 1-3 and three great books, including the Narnia Chronicles...but I digress. So I got Ty off to bed, and settled in for my long winter's nap. And to be honest, it wasn't bad. Kids didn't wake up until 7:00, which is quite the sleep-in around here, seriously.

But when I awoke, my first thought was, "What the hell is that smell?" So I checked various children for diaper emergencies, and nothing. Then Phoenix says to me, "I threw up in my bed." Yeah, that's what you want to hear first thing. Turns out, that around 1:30 am, he not only threw up in his bed, but then crawled into bed with Mark (I had fallen asleep on the couch downstairs) and puked in there too. And then decided maybe the toilet would be a better option. So, with eye granola still clouding my vision, I am stripping the bedding from two rooms and hosing down a child.

No sooner was that all taken care of then he informs me that he things he's going to be sick again. And oh yeah, was he ever! Needless to say, the rest of my day today was spent washing linens and making beds and administering toast and gingerale to Couch-Boy. Man, I need a vacation!


To get back to the school observation, I should first give a bit of medical background on Phoenix. The day after he was born, Phoenix had a stroke. I won't go into the harrowing emotional details or medical ones or I would be typing all night, but in the end, he was pronounced fine after a year of occupational therapy. We were told that if we would notice any affects from the stroke, it would be when he began to speak (no problems there, the kid has a larger vocabulary than me, and he's 5!), or when he began school, where there would either be problems with math or written language comprehension. Knowing this, I had asked Phoenix's teacher to keep an eye on him in these areas to see if there were any emerging problems. Turns out, there is. She told me that upon classroom testing, he can only name 4 out of the seven letters in his name, and not too many others in the alphabet, and only a few of the numbers from 1-20. If he does not get a handle on this by the end of the year, then grade one will be a certain hell for him, academically speaking. Grade one moves at a much quicker pace, with a lot more writing and seat work. It isn't that he CAN'T do the work, he just takes much longer to do it, and it frustrates him to be last, when everyone else is moving on to play activities. Sigh. So Mark and I are trying to work out a learning programme at home to incorporate these areas of learning in a fun way. I played GO FISH with him today to work on his number recognition and he had fun doing that, so I hope things will work out. We have a follow-up interview in January to see how he is progressing and if he will need outside assistance.

So, a bit of a stressful few days, on top of which, I had heard that in the space of a few days, my godfather/uncle has had two heart attacks! Okay God, a little help in that corner would be awesome right about now. And if you could spare a few seconds to get Phoenix on track, that would be great too...

On a more fun note, to end this post, tomorrow we are going to a Santa party. It is hosted by the company I used to work for. My kids still get to go, because my father also worked there, and grandkids of retirees are eligible. So, hopefully, Phoenix is better tomorrow and we can go. Will update with Santa pictures tomorrow if we make it. Time to crash.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Out of the Mouths of Babes?

My son said something to me this morning that literally left me speechless. I simply stared at him open-mouthed...

We were about to leave to take Phoenix to school, and I asked him to please get Keegan's juice for him out of the fridge. He did, and as he handed it to me, he said, "I'm not your slave, you know!" My look of shock and disbelief didn't phase him. I asked him to repeat what he said in case I had misheard him. But no, he repeated it verbatim. Then the look on my face must have hit home, because he started backing up against the wall, saying, "Oh no, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" I don't even recall what I said to him, something menacing, I'm sure.

I repeated the story to my husband over dinner, and he almost choked. "Where does he get this stuff?" he asked incredulously. I simply shrugged, but as I was finishing my meal, a recent memory floated past my brain...

Phoenix: Mom! Get me a snack!
Me: Jeez, Phoenix, I'm not your slave, you know!

Yeah, well, I guess it's just another one of those daily occurances where what you say in passing comes back to bite you in the ass...BAD MOMMY!

Monday, November 21, 2005

I'm Alive!

There seems to be some concern out there that I have perished in my sleep. Be not afraid; I am recovered. Drugs are wonderful things, as far as antibiotics go. So now I am mostly cough-free and beginning to catch up on a bit of sleep.

Took Tyger to the Dr's today for his 6 month check-up (where did THAT half-year go?) and he is doing extremely well. He is now a robust 17 pounds, 12 oz. And he actually slept for 8 1/2 hours last night, which is the first time since getting pneumonia on Hallowe'en, which means I got a few hours in myself.

Mark took me to Niagara Falls last night for dinner and a show at a great little place called "O Canada, Eh?" Nice family-style 5 course dinner and a cute Christmas show. We had fun, and Ty even took a bottle (of breast-milk, mind) while I was gone. All good.

Phoenix told me yesterday what he wants to be when he grows up. "I want to do what Opa does," he said. "A carpenter?" I asked. "No, Mommy, I just want to stay at home and go on trips a couple of times a year!" So we determined that Phoenix just wants to be retired. Smart kid.

Well, laundry calls yet again (damn that fairy!)...

Bye for now.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Birthday Post Scriptum

Just like to add that today sucked. I mean, birthdays are generally always good, because you hear from most of your friends and family and presents don't hurt either. But being sick on your birthday really blows.

Instead of going out for dinner as planned, I spent the evening with Phoenix and Keegs in the walk-in clinic. The two of them drove me absolutely BONKERS today. I think that someone slipped them uppers at breakfast. They were bouncing off the walls, talking back and generally being excruciatingly irritating. Also, Ty has a head cold, and is teething, so he is pretty cranky as well.

As I was saying, went to the clinic. Phoenix has a nail-bed infection due to his propensity for hang-nails that he pulls off. I tried treating it at home with various antibacterial creams to no avail. Now he is going to lose the nail and is freaking at the prospect. He is also now on anitbiotics. Keegan has bronchitis and is also on antibiotics and an inhaler. And since I haven't slept in the past five nights due to excessive coughing, I was checked out as well only to discover that I have bronchial pneumonia, and was also prescribed antibiotics and an inhaler. Kripes! Then the doctor suggested that I try to rest as much as possible with little to no physical exertion. (Did I spell that right? It looks wrong...) Anyway, after a 10 minute choking coughing fit brought on by laughter at the impossibility of the suggestion with 3 little cranky monsters to look after all day, I resignedly took the prescriptions to the pharmacy to get filled while Mark loaded the kiddies in the car.

I swear, I spent 45 in the pharmacy because my dumb-ass insurance company (yeah, it's BLUE CROSS, and it FREAKING BLOWS!) refused to pay for Phoenix's prescriptions saying that they had filled a duplicate claim for him. I don't even remember the last time I took Phoenix to the doctor, let alone got him antibiotics. So, I ended up having to pay out of pocket which pissed me off further. This post is going from bad to worse, so I'm quitting now. Hope tomorrow is better.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Me and the Beatles

You say it's your birthday/ It's my birthday too, yeah/ They say it's your birthday/ We're gonna have a good time/ I'm glad it's your birthday/ Happy birthday to you/ Yes we're going to a party, party /Yes we're going to a party, party /Yes we're going to a party, party /I would like you to dance (birthday)/ Take a cha-cha-cha-chance (birthday) /I would like you to dance (birthday) /Ooo, dance, yeah I would like you to dance (birthday) /Take a cha-cha-cha-chance (birthday) /I would like you to dance (birthday)/ Ooo, dance/ You say it's your birthday /It's my birthday too, yeah /They say it's your birthday /We're gonna have a good time/ I'm glad it's your birthday /Happy birthday to you /Happy birthday to you (Lennon/McCartney)

That being said, today is my birthday! I am 33 today. My Mom always told me that spectacular things happen in your double digit years (11, 22, 33 etc). Let's think...well, when I was 11, I got my first period...I guess that was exciting back then...little did I know... Hmm, 22? Graduated from engaged...hey, maybe she was right.

At any rate, I am hoping that this is a lucky year as well. Follow along with me in the BLOG this year and we'll see what happens, eh?

Whenever it is someone's birthday, the first thing I want to know is what presents they received. So, in case you are also this sort of person, let me enlighten you. From my Dad, I got a gift certificate for American Eagle. From my in-laws, cash (always fits perfectly!). From my brother Mike, 4 bottles of Pop Shoppe Black Cherry Cola (AWESOME) and the first volume of Davey and Goliath on DVD. My sister-in-law made me a lovely dinner and gave me a beautiful bouquet of flowers. My brother Tommy sent a card(by previous agreement, we only get presents for each others' kids) and my brother Paul (God bless him) will probably remember my birthday in January and get me a sweater that would look great on a Grandmother.

From my hubby and kiddies: the new Outburst game and dinner and a show for Sunday night! I don't know what the show is yet, but I'll let you know!

Next Thursday is my b-day dinner with the aunts and cousins, so I'll update after that as well. Yeah, I'm spoiled!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Bronchitis hell

Oh God! I'm in bronchitis hell! You know sometimes when you eat popcorn, and you get one of those little teeny tiny kernal husks stuck in your throat and you have to drink a can of Coke or cough for an hour to dislodge it? Well, that's what I feel like 24-7. Of course, this intensifies the minute I try to recline to any angle more than 90 when I try to sleep, and end up coughing until I barf, or until I wake up one or more children. My stomach feels like I've done a million crunches! Hey, I'd put up with the coughing if it would show visible improvement to my abs...

Well, enough bitching I guess.

Hah, right? You believed me? Read on, friend.

I seem to have an evil laundry fairy living in my house. I'm sure you've heard of them before. They sneak into your house the minute after you've finished putting away the last clean sock. The next morning: BAM! 13 loads of dirty laundry...what the hell! Today I did 8 loads. EIGHT! No wonder my back hurts. (From carrying the basket upstairs 4 floors, not that I was doing wringer-washing by hand or anything, but's heavy!)

My husband's band is playing in a show for charity on Friday night. He sings and plays bass. He also brandishes a cross of garlic at me when I come within less than 10 feet of him. He says it's because he doesn't want to get sick before the show and lose his voice, but honestly, I'm beginning to get a complex.

Well, I guess I'd better go fold the whites and put the towels in the dryer, and leave some milk and cookies out for the evil fairy (the bastard!)...

Oh, and a very Happy Birthday to my brother Mike, who today turns 36!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Happy Birthday Hubby!

Too tired and too sick to do much of a post. I think I've got pneumonia or something. Kripes. Can't breathe. Can't stop coughing...

Sorry babe, I know it's your birthday and all, but I think we'll have to postpone birthday sex until I grow some new lungs. I love you though! And that's what really matters, right? Right? Umm...honey?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

My Version of Chaos Theory

Chaos, with reference to chaos theory, refers to an apparent lack of order in a system that nevertheless obeys particular laws or rules; this understanding of chaos is synonymous with dynamical instability, a condition discovered by the physicist Henri Poincare in the early 20th century that refers to an inherent lack of predictability in some physical systems. The two main components of chaos theory are the ideas that systems - no matter how complex they may be - rely upon an underlying order, and that very simple or small systems and events can cause very complex behaviors or events.

Then there is MY version of chaos theory: that within a maximum of 1/2 hour before a scheduled appointment, all hell will break loose within the household, with all 3 kids bursting into tears and requiring my individual and immediate attention. Case in point, yesterday.

I had a hair appointment scheduled for 5:15 pm, which meant that by 5:00, I had to have the baby fed, and all three boys dressed and ready to go into the car when Mark came home from work. So, at 4:30, I settled down to feed the baby and told the boys to put their socks on, as we were leaving soon for a car ride. So, of course, Keegs takes that to mean that we are leaving immediately, and runs to the front door to get his shoes and coat. Bun runs after him to try to block him from leaving the house, and accidently slams poor Keegs' fingers in the front door. As soon as the screaming starts, I have to put down Tyger, who has only just started to feed. So he starts bellowing with righteous rage, Bun is sobbing with sympathy and guilt, and Keegs is shrieking, "My bingers! My bingers!" at the top of his lungs. Okay, first things first. I check the "bingers" in question to determine the extent of damage. They are flattened with black bruising lines across them, but he is able to bend them, so I don't think that they are broken. I go to get the ice pack. Meanwhile, Bun says that he can't stop his tears and has to go to bed until they stop, because he is the "worst brother EVER!" I get the ice pack on Keegs, and assure Bun that it was an accident, and that he is a GREAT brother, and that he was only trying to save Keegs from running out into the street. Whew! Nose blowing all around, as well as major tear blotting. Tyger, in the meantime, is hysterical to the point of choking, so I run to get him, which starts the other two crying yet again.

So, at this point, it is 4:55, and I have yet to even feed the baby, let alone get everyone dressed. Then my husband arrives, calling cheerfully, "Is everyone ready to go?" Oh yes, I have forgotten to mention that over the previous 24 hours, I have developed laryngitis, so attempting to tell him what is going on is futile. Instead, I settle to feed Ty, and just resign myself to being late as usual.

Yeah, so that's the REAL version of chaos theory, according to a stressed-out mom of three.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Rabbits, aunt-shrinking and the joy of peas

I thought of a million and one things to post about tonight during my nightly outing to Tim Horton' bear with me here...

I think the first time I ever saw a wild rabbit was about 12 years ago. It was in my then-boyfriend's (now husband's) backyard. We saw it every winter for about 5 years, then I didn't see any until last summer. The occasional bunny scooting across a neighbour's lawn. Now, either the fox population is WAY down, or those rabbits have been really doing what they do best, because I don't go a day now without seeing at least a pair. They're everywhere! Little brown bunnies with white tails. Cute. But damned prolific. I always thought that rabbits must be Catholic, and now I'm positive about it...their way of welcoming in the new Pope?
My 10-year-old nephew came over for a visit with my sister-in-law yesterday. I saw him about 3 weeks ago, at which time the top of his head came to my nose. Now he is the exact same height as me. Mind you, I'm only 5'2", but jeez, if he's this tall at 10, he's going to be 6'10" at 18! Glad I'm not the one buying him new pants every month!
I was at the grocery store this evening (with 3 kids! Yeah, we're brave, alright!) and as I meandered up and down the aisles, I thought about how there are foods that I never buy simply because I don't like them. Or in the case of carrots and about a thousand other food items, allergic to them. This is very unfair of me. I should not deprive my kids of the joy (or so I'm told-eww!) of peas. *At this point, I should point out that I DO have a bag of peas in the freezer. The fact that they are used as an ice-pack is irrelevant, right?-But I digress...) So, in the interest of spreading pea-joy, I bought a couple of jars of pureed peas to test-drive on my 6-month old son. I found the fact that he hoovered them up in about 2.3 seconds amazing. Especially since they stayed in his mouth, and not all over his bib! I wonder though, how much of his green pea enthusiasm is due to the taste, as opposed to the fact that by the time we got home from shopping and I fed them to him, it was 2 hours past the normal time he would normally eat solids. We'll see how they go over tomorrow.
I'm quite excited about this week. Why you ask? Well, on Wednesday, I get to escape for a few hours to get my hair done (yes, I did say HOURS, it takes time to achieve this level of spectacular beauty...I'll wait till you finish choking on your coffee...) and on Saturday I'm going out for dinner with a bunch of my girlfriends. We are celebrating our birthdays, which all fall within the next 4 weeks or so. Yahoo! Two nights out! In the same month!'s sad when you get excited about a trip to the hairdresser, right? Skip the post when I start to enthuse about the dentist...
Well, it's about 11:30 pm, and I still have to get Bun's stuff ready for school tomorrow (clothes, lunch, school-bag etc.) so I'd better be off. Hope you haven't gone cross-eyed from reading all of these disjointed thoughts. So, as I say to my boys, "Later, tater!"

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Oh yeah, I could be a criminal...if I wanted to...

Before you start reading, hum the theme to Mission Impossible for a minute, you know "Da, da , DA DA, da da DADA....doo doo doo, doo doo doo" etc.

Now, picture a 3-year old boy, curled up on the couch, watching Mickey Mouse with his deparately-needs-a-wash blankie firmly in his grasp. Enter Mom in stealth mode..."Hey, look sweetie, is that Spiderman on the ceiling? No? My mistake...". See the little boy go back to watching Mickey while his mother, casually whistling above theme song, walks sideways out of the room, looking 5 months pregnant. A mad dash for the basement stairs, a whip of the wrist, and voila! One skanky blankie in the washing machine. I hope it is finished drying before nap time rolls around...

PS Happy Birthday to Auntie Susan and childhood pal Jackie!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Out of Sight, Out of Mind?

Whoever said "Out of sight, out of mind" was obviously not referring to a stash of Hallowe'en candy. "Hello...?" I hear it calling me. "It is I, the bite-size Coffee Crisp! There are 15 of us in this bowl...! Come, come my pretty..."

Well, let's just say that there are no longer 15 Coffee Crisp bars in the bowl. And leave it at that.


I discovered a sad thing today. I have forgotten the art of shopping-for-self. My husband gave me a 3 hour reprieve from the kids today so I could go to the mall, and by myself a new outfit for our family photo session that's coming up next week. I went there to buy pants, a shirt and some shoes that aren't from circa 1991...and sadly, I came home with a shirt and a pair of gloves for my oldest son, a shirt and a sweater for my middle son, and 2 shirts, a pair of pants and some pyjamas for the baby. That's it. No pants for me. No shirt for me. Definitely no shoes for me. I've forgotten how to shop. Kripes. I think someone should just have me put down.

Take a photo break...

Here's my cutie as a Jersey. Too sweet...bummer he had to miss out on the trick or treating...getting over a bout of pneumonia...but I posed him for the photo op just the same...

Bitchy Moms with Attitude

You know what I hate? Bitchy moms with attitude. By this, I mean mothers who have chosen to bottle feed their babies (with which I have no problem, hell, one of the main reasons I breast feed is because I'm too damned lazy to make up bottles and warm them up at odd hours while my child shrieks with impatience. Easier to just lift a shirt, you know?) and seem disgusted at the whole act of breastfeeding...

"Umm. Yeah, so...just how long are you planning to, you know...I mean, don't you want a life? Breastfeeding is such a burden!"

I mean, by that philosophy, so are kids, but I keep having them, and so does she, right? Kripes, I figure if you can't give up smoking, drinking, or prescription cold meds for a few more months for the sake of a child, at least give it more justification than that it cramps your social life. Let's face it, once you have kids, girls, your days of keggers before curfew should be over!

That being said (whew!) the answer is, I don't know. When I feel like it. When he feels like it. Most likely the first time he gets teeth and I lose a major body part! But I refuse to bow to pressure from these women to wean early for the sake of a girls weekend away.

Ok. Rant over.

Guess I'm a bitchy mom with attitude myself, eh?