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.