Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy 9th Birthday Phoenix!!!!

Phoenix!!! You are 9 years old today! Wow...this is your last year in the single digits...

You are just finishing up Grade 3, and you are having your Sonic the Hedgehog Party today with your friends...

You are still into Tranformers, LEGO and video games of the PS2 and DS variety.

You love to read, especially topics that interest you...this year included Harry Potter, Star Wars, Knights and Castles and the Titanic...

You also are a burgeoning artist, drawing and writing stories in every spare minute of your day (even while travelling in the car!)...

In some ways, you show a maturity beyond your years, and I am continually impressed by the way you handle difficult situations with wisdom and grace. I am also astounded by the level of your sarcasm, which on one hand, makes me want to yell at you, but at the same time, I often think, yeah, nice one! Genes will out, as they say.

Phoenix, enjoy your year of being nine. It is a great year for still being a little kid without the pressures that come along with becoming a tween. I wish you happiness always, and you know that I love you so, and that you fill me with pride.



Sunday, May 17, 2009

Happy 4th Birthday Ty!!!

Ty-ger! You are 4 today! At the risk of sounding like your grandmother, it seems like just yesterday that you were born...

You have come a long way in the past year. You are talking a lot more, you dress yourself, you are toilet-trained (YAY!) and are increasingly independent, to the point of giving me anxiety attacks.

You know all of your letters, and can write them too...and know all of your numbers to 30 and beyond. You can write your name, and can read a few 2 and 3 letter words. I am surprised daily at what you can do.

You are loving and affectionate, and sweet beyond words. You still love to hug and kiss and cuddle. You love books, and numbers and running until your legs give out.

You have a lively imagination, and an ear for music. I am impressed that you know the words to most Buddy Holly songs, and the Beatles, and a few Electric 6 songs too. Rock on brotha!

I enjoy seeing the daily changes you bring to our lives, and look forward to the year ahead, with your graduation from preschool in June, and the start of JK in the fall.

Love and kisses,


Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy 7th Birthday Keegan!!!

Oh Keegan my Keegan! You are 7 years old today. You lost your second tooth last week and your top two are really are almost as tall as your older brother, even though you are almost 2 years are growing like a weed!

I am very, very proud of all you have accomplished this year. Your best subject in school is drama/dance, and I'm not at all surprised. You are certainly at your creative best when you are in front of an audience. Your team came in first at the ballroom dancing competition at school, and I was so proud of the way you presented yourself. You seem to have transported straight from the classic movie era; I call you my little Clark Gable as you are so gallant.

You always have a bright smile for me, and declarations of love--you are my joy. Although your temper sometimes gets the better of you (Incredible Hulk!) you are learning to bring it under control (Bruce Banner!) and I know and appreciate how difficult this is sometimes, especially when you are frustrated. I am proud of your efforts.

Your reading has really come along this year too, and I love your passion for learning new things. Every year, every day with you teaches me something new, and I look forward to sharing another year of exciting new experiences with you.

Have a wonderful birthday Keegan. I hope you always stay as sweet as you are now.

I love you!



Friday, February 20, 2009

What's new, what's new, what's new....

Well, seeing as my last entry was dated pre-Christmas, I'm sure there is quite a bit...

Speaking of Christmas, we all managed to get through the holiday illness-free...that didn't come until the week after when we all got the flu...but, even with that, that holidays were great, and the kids had a blast, and we got to spend time with lots of friends and family, and really, what more can one ask for? (Well, maybe one could ask for a lottery win to pay the post-holiday bills...)

In more recent, and ultimately more exciting (to me) news, Ty is now out of diapers and into underwear! YAY! He even wipes his own butt, which is great, although I now have to teach him toilet-paper rationing, as he uses about a roll and a half at a time.

Proofing/editing work has also picked up for me lately, and I now have three clients that I work for on a pretty regular basis, which is fabulous. The only downside is that 99% of my work has to be done at night, after the kidlets go to sleep, so 5 nights out of 7, I am hitting the hay in the wee hours of the morning...

I think though, that after having three kids, my body never got the chance to get back to the joy of an eight hour sleep, and I find that I can function (almost) normally on only 4 or 5 hours a night, so it's all good.

I recently signed Ty up for JK for the fall. I was originally going to keep him out an extra year, but he has made enormous strides lately, and I think that kindergarden is a better option for him.

I have received mixed reviews on this decision. Unrequested opinions, if you must know, and this annoys the hell out of me.

Note to all: it is one thing to comment on your own child's development and your plan for that child. It is entirely another to critisize a parent on their choices for eductional development for their own child, especially when you have NO IDEA what is behind the decision. There. Rant over.

So, yes. Ty is doing much better these days. Not exactly a winner of public speaking awards, but his spontaneous speech is much improved, and he seems destined to be a muscian-type, as he is always singing, and rarely without his guitar, strumming along to his tunes...

Keegan finally lost his first tooth, and has another one getting ready to come out.

Phoenix's front teeth have finally grown in all the way, and I have to say, that when your kid gets a few adult teeth in their head, it totally changes the way they look. He went from looking like a little boy, to a little man instead. Sigh...time flies...I can't believe he will be nine years old soon.

My nephew Lucas, at the age of almost-fourteen, is six feet tall. The kid is a giant. He was over on the weekend, and I had to stand on a stair to look him in the eye. He thinks it is hilarious. I just feel...well...short. And I'm glad that it is Ela, and not I, who has to keep him in jeans and shoes, when he grows out of them every two months.

I know, I know, my time of growth spurts will least now, I still have a lot of clothes for the boys to grow into/hand down, so my biggest financial burden in that area is supplying shoes...

Gee, I was full of ideas and news when I started this, and now my mind has gone blank. Hmm. Well, I guess if I remember anything else exciting I can repost as a PS.

Oh, if you are looking for a good read, I recommend the new Wally Lamb (The Hour I First Believed), the new Christopher Moore (Fool) and the new Bryce Courtenay (The Persimmon Tree). And DVD box set-wise, I always recommend LOST, Dexter and The Tudors. Movies? You must see Slumdog Millionaire. Awesome film. Food? Just kidding...that's it for recommendations...feel free to leave some of your own...especially books...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tis The Season To Be Cranky...Fa La La La La, La La La La

Crankiness abounds...chalk it up to pre-Christmas anxiety? I'm not sure, but it's been a weird 24 hours...

It started last night at the kids' Christmas concert. I had arrived early with the kids to get them to their classrooms, and went to the gym to await Mark and Ty's arrival at 6:30. Waited, waited, waited. Kindergarden kids came and went. A poem. Grade One's (Keegan's class) came on, and still no Mark and Ty. I was LIVID! Finally they show up, right after Keegan spoke his line. I whisper angrily, "What the hell?!?" Mark tells me he is too mad to speak right now. Uh-oh...

Turns out that Ty had broken into the office while Mark was in the shower...(sidebar here...the office is locked...he moved an 80 lb bench, opened the doors where the furnace is, and slipped between the furnace and the desk to get into the office...). Mark had been working on a duplication project for a client for the past few days, involving two stacks of DVDs of 150 each, one in English, one in French. Ty mixed them all up. AND, jammed 6 DVDs into the drive of my computer. So...rage on Mark's part? 100% understandable...My rage...evaporated. He won that round.

Earlier in the week, I had made roughly 60 Santa cake pops (see photo) for the kids to take in for their class Christmas parties this Friday, and for Ty's party today. Ty wakes up this morning with a fever of 102.1, so he obviously didn't go to school, and now I have 20 spare Santas. Mark was planning on taking Ty to his concert, so he was home. I had a hair appointment. So, he stayed home with Ty, and I went off to get my hair done, with 10 Santas to share with the customers. When my appointment was done, I had missed my bus by 5 minutes, and had to wait 25 minutes for the next one. While waiting for the bus, there was this insane woman chanting rhymes at people with malicious intent, like some psychotic female Dr. Seuss...Mirror Mirror on the wall, shouldn't you be at home watching your kids...maybe I'll pay them a call...Creepy-ass shit like that. Kripes. Glad she wasn't on my bus! Came home rather late. Mark was cranky. He went to work.

Throughout the day and evening, gave away the other 10 Santas...Went to get the boys from school. Ty still feverish. By 5:00, Phoenix and Keegan were at a playdate, Mark still wasn't home from work, and Ty's fever had jumped to over 103. Mark had got stuck in a work meeting (where apparently crankiness was an UNDERstatement) and didn't get home until 6:00. Went to pick up kids. During the making of dinner, Phoenix and Keegan were at each other's throats, and I lost my temper. So now, I was cranky, the kids were cranky, and Mark was cranky. Right after dinner, Mark left for the clinic with Ty, and I sent the boys to their room for quiet, harmonious play out of my earshot. Kids went to bed. Mark came home with Ty, and typically, the doctor said it was viral, plenty of fluids, blah, blah, blah humbug.

Sent Mark off to bed, and went for my nightly walk to Tim Horton's for my steeped tea. When I got there, the staff was all pissed off because the city workers outside had been flushing the water mains since 5:30, so there was no tea, no hot chocolate, no lattes. I tried to keep the peace, and ordered a rare coffee, (which I am enjoying immensely).

Whew. Weird cranky-ass day. Oh, did I mention that (according to the Toronto media...and the Weather Network) we are in for what they are calling, Snowmaggedon? So, now I face the prospect of the last day of school for the year being a snow day, and me being stuck with 40 more Santa pops. Now, that is a thought that makes ME cranky...I hope it holds off until they are already in school, and the damned things have been handed out to the class...)

I hope tomorrow is a day of jolly tidings instead...

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's Not December Unless We Are All Sick

I was looking through some of my previous years' December posts, and in each one, my house in under siege with illness. And, like all other years, we are again ailing over here. The Norwalk virus has invaded our home. Mark Monday, Keegan Tuesday, Ty Thursday, and Phoenix today. So far, knock on wood, I have avoided getting it, but I am not without my own tales of physical woe...I have strep throat, and an ear and sinus infection...and after spending 4 hours coughing my guts out this evening, I'm thinking bronchial pneumonia is about to rear its ugly head again this year...

That being said, I have fallen behind on my Christmas to-do list. This week was supposed to be my baking week...but seeing as I spent the week cleaning dairy-based vomit out of carpets, this plan has fallen by the wayside. This evening, in desperation, I bundled all of the kids in the car (with a barf-bag for Phoenix) and went supply shopping, so I now have all of my ingredients to start the baking as soon as I am in a germ-free state.

However, I am almost finished with my Christmas shopping, so that is one chalked up for the plus side. This is our year for the entertaining, so I am hosting Mark's family for Christmas Eve, my Dad and 2 brothers for Christmas dinner, and my other brother and his family on Boxing Day. Trying out a few new recipes; should be good times, as long as we all have our health back on track.

In other news, Phoenix and Keegan both had good report cards and are happy in school. Ty is trucking along at preschool as well. Yesterday, I went to bat for Ty, and finally got him on the (year-long!) waitlist for a psychoeducational assessment, the purpose of which is to determine the extent of his developmental delays, obtain any possible diagnosis, and get the necessary services in place. My optimistic goal was to have him enter JK in the fall next year, but I can see now that it is just not going to happen. Sadly, once he enters the school system, he would lose a lot of the services he is currently getting through the region, most important being his speech and language therapy. Ty is 3 1/2 years old and is still pretty non-verbal. He has what they call self-motivated speech, meaning that he will only say something when he wants something. He will not engage in conversation, but will request things that he wants. We are constantly working to improve his spontaneous speech, but it has been a long, hard road so far.

Ty has also moved into his demon phase. I know, you are thinking, well what phase was he in before? Have you not likened him in the past to Stewie Griffin? Well, as bad as things were before, I now see that that was pie compared to what he is like now. He's just what my mother would have called "a going concern". You know, things like climbing bookshelves, hoisting himself ON TOP OF the refridgerator, general chaos and destruction...his cuteness is his saving grace. It's a true survival tool of his species...just let me live though this year. Hopefully, being 4 years old will be calmer. Ha. Ha ha ha.

I have a bit of a new obsession these days. Well, two really. The first is knitting. I have become a machine for knitting all sorts of little knitted stuffed toys. They are fun to do, and keep me occupied while I am watching tv at night. Which leads to my second obsession: DVD box sets...

In the past few months I have burned my retinas watching Entourage, Prison Break, Smallville, the Tudors, Lost, and most recently, The O.C. The problem with having multiple episodes at my disposal is that I do the "oh sure, just more more episode" thing, and end up going to bed at 3:00 am. No wonder I'm sick....I used up all of my energy stores on teenage tv angst...

That being said, I am going to go watch an episode (okay, maybe two) of The O.C. before coughing my guts out for another night. Hoping that the drugs kick in soon, and I can get back to a normal (ish) life...

Sunday update: Damn....caught the Norwalk virus after 2 of impending death...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Lot Has Changed In 11 Years...

11 years ago today, I was dressed in my wedding finery, trying to convince my mother that a smile would photograph better than a nerve-induced rictus. She regretted not accepting the Ativan that my mother-in-law to be had offered her...

Until later that day, I was still living at home with my parents and two of my brothers. I had a room with a twin bed, pictures of Mikhail Baryshnikov on the walls, and a hutch full of penguins. I had stuffed animals hanging in a hammock in the corner...a doll crib bedside the bed with my preemie Cabbage Patch kid, Lucille Claudia...and a cheesy romance novel on my bedside table.

My brother's old room was stacked with items for my new married life, gifts from wedding showers...Tupperware, Corningware, bowls, dishes, measuring spoons and cups, bedding, cookbooks and on and on.

11 years ago, I was a 112 lb size 6 (oh, how I miss those days!), and working for SunLife Financial. I worked in the health claims department under a cruel manager(I won't name names, but...oh, what the hell. CRYSTAL!) who I really hope has got what she deserved, and is now sitting in her own personal hell being poked by devil's minions with razor-sharp pitchfork tines...oh, but I digress. I wore Braemore suits to work, and my hair was Laboratoire Garnier's shade of Red Penny Auburn, not to mention about a foot longer than it is now...I wore contact lenses instead of glasses.

My social life took place at my friends' apartments in Toronto, or at pubs that served $2 beers on Thursdays. I did not have children. I did not volunteer for Healthy Snack days or field trips. I did not spend my hard-earned cash at the Children's Place, but rather on books by the pound at Costco.

My stomach was still able to accomodate 4 cups of coffee a day, and my life was not spent on the internet. I didn't have a home e-mail address. There was no blogging or Facebook. On weekends, I slept until the late afternoon, with no guilt.

Mark and I spent the summer camping in a tent, and staying up around the fire, drinking and telling jokes with our friends...and my canon camera carried 35mm film instead of a memory card.

I did not own furniture, or appliances. I spoke to my mother 100 times a day, and had breakfast with her 5 mornings a week. After the wedding, what is now Ty's room became the office, the boys' room was the spare room. We had new furnishings. All that lay ahead...was our future.

And 11 years later, the office is in the corner of the basement, our billards room is now the toy room, sleeping in on a weekend is something to look forward to in a decade to come. 11 years later, I have three boys, I work from home, and I volunteer at my sons' school. I make cakes, and Hallowe'en costumes, and knit sweaters for Webkinz.

Is this where I thought I'd be in 11 years? Not exactly. Am I happy with the way things turned out? A few exceptions, but I'd say yes. I wish a little more work would come my way...I wish I could see my friends more often...most of all, I wish that I could still call my mother 100 times a day.

But after 11 years, my husband and I still love each other, and I can't even think of living out my life with anyone else at my side. So, to you Mark, I wish you a very Happy 11th Wedding Anniversary...and I hope to celebrate many, many, many more.