Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Fussn' and a Feudn'

When you live with another human being, especially for a long while, you get to discover all the little things that make that person who they are. Some of these things endear them to you even more. The way they might tap their fingers when they're thinking. Maybe they've never outgrown the need to keep everything on their plate separate from touching. It can even be as simple as knowing how many sugars they take in their coffee. Whatever the reason, it's the little things that make people and the relationships you have with them special and unique. It's because of these small lovable things that we are able to tolerate all the things they do that drive us absolutely nuts!

My husband and I are at the point in our relationship where we both know we aren't going anywhere. It's perhaps because we're secure in this knowledge that we feel free to torment each other from time to time. There's a lot of teasing and making fun of each other under this roof. Sometimes it's light hearted jabbing, and other times it seems to take on a life of it's own.  It gets competitive and no one wants to lose. Occasionally we seem to fixate on one of those little things the other does that bugs us. We just can't let it drop. This month's obsession is my make up.

Apparently I have a tendency to leave my make up all over the bathroom counter. Before the kids arrived, I had my own bathroom, so it really didn't matter where things went and what state I left everything in. Now my bathroom is the kid's bathroom and I'm forced to share the en suite with Scott. He stills feels some ownership of the en suite; like he's allowing me to use his bathroom. I really don't have anywhere to put my stuff, so sometimes it can get a bit messy. There is no counter space, so I end up leaving a lot of my make up in the sink which, apparently, is a no no. It's not like it would stay there FOREVER, I just haven't gotten around to putting it away yet. I'm a busy girl! Rush, rush, rush and all that. Eventually I'll put it away, but eventually isn't soon enough. Says the man who can't seem to find the laundry hamper.

Oh my gosh, stop nagging! Which he has in fact done. Instead every time he finds make up strewn across his the counter, he hides it somewhere. This is a dangerous game he's playing! I hate being late and this is going to make me very late at some point. He does a lot of things that annoy me too, but I have the decency to nag him about it like a normal person. NOT play silly games that tear at one's sanity. Seriously, if this is the game he wants to play, I will FINISH him! Oh no. Now it's a competition. I can't back off of something that might allow me to win. Especially if it means his utter, total, humiliation. Oh, it's on alright. I just talked myself into it now. Are you happy Scott? Is this what you wanted?

First field of battle: Someone has been leaving used tea bags on the kitchen sink instead of putting them in the composter.

Watch your back Scott. And your pockets too. I'm just saying...

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Science of Fun

A little while back we decided to take the family to The Museum of Science and Technology. We weren't sure if it would hold the children's interest, but thankfully the loved it! Growing up I always looked forward to visiting this museum in particular. It was the one where you could push buttons, look through a periscope, and of course, walk through the crazy kitchen. It also had a big rocket on the front lawn! For a kid, that was a major seller. So was exploring all the trains and imagining that, at night, they chugged around the museum all on their own. It was lots of fun and I was eager to share these experiences with my own kids.

There have been a lot of changes since I was a youngster, but all the favorites are still there. Miss. A loved looking at all the old trains. She was amazed at how much bigger they are in person. I told her they were old steam trains, for the most part, and one day if we were lucky we might get to ride in one. "Like Thomas?" I wonder how many times that question has been asked here? Probably more times a day than I can count.  We explored them inside and out. Even Baby K seemed interested in everything. Of course Mom and Dad compared it all to what we remembered when we were young. Yep, those trains are still huge! 

One of the things I noticed that had changed, and for the better, was that at each of the exhibits there were elements that would appeal to kids too. Of course every little scientist is going to enjoy tearing through the crazy kitchen, but some of the other exhibits may not hold their attention for too long. So I was really happy to see that children were being thought of when designing some of the other more "adult" aspects of the museum.  There were hands on elements to everything at the there. Lots of make believe from paddling a canoe to driving mining equipment and even dressing up and getting your photo taken with an antique camera.  All these things and many more in addition to the childhood favorites we remember.

Miss. A and I putting together a canoe puzzle. Be quick! If you're not fast enough it resets.

 No matter which route you took, you would find yourself it the children’s section about halfway through your trip. This was a great opportunity for the kids to get out and have some free play time. They can only be on their best behavior for so long before they get a little edgy. Here they could explore the crazy kitchen, play with blocks or dress up. Baby K loved playing with the puppets. There were also other fun exhibits that seemed geared toward allowing the little ones some hands on exploration. Playing music and watching the sounds waves on a screen above, riding on a snowmobile, and one thing I remember from my past was there with a slight modification. In my day we watched a ball baring slowly circle a hole, gaining speed, and then disappearing down it like down a drain. That's still there, only now you insert a coin and watch it disappear. Curses! Oh well, I hope they like rolling pennies because I bet that's all they get.

After we pried Miss. A away from the crazy kitchen, we continued on. We saw vintage cars, learned about the Earth and Moon, played with machines that made light bulbs glow and drove a big mining truck! There was a space ship to explore, mission control to man and holograms to amaze little eyes. We literally spent the whole day there and we STILL had more to look at, but alas it was close to dinner time and we had to leave. We'll just have to go back again. Oh, twist our rubber arms!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Watch What You Say!

When we become parents we have to make a lot of changes and adjustments. We don't get to sleep in (or at all) anymore. Dinners out are often put on hold until a sitter can be found or the kids are a bit older. Movies? Yay, right. Once you have children you realize the importance of a nice home theater set up and good Internet connection. There are LOTS of things that change, and as your baby becomes a toddler your language is one of the big ones. Only when you hear your little one parrot back the expletive filled tirade directed at another driver, do you fully realize how much of a potty mouth you really have. Of course some of you perfect parents out there are thinking I have NO idea what you're talking about. You lie. You know you do.

It's hard to hold your tongue sometimes. There are times that call for, as Kirk explained  to Spock, colourful language. Those times are not going to magically disappear because you now have kids, in fact they are probably going to increase. To help you vent those frustrations without actually swearing, here are some useful substitutions for common words that are not child friendly. You're welcome!

  1. Shatner instead of Sh*t. As in: "Holy Shatner! I think I just saw something on the wing of the plane!"
  2. Frak instead of F#*k. As in: "What the Frak were you thinking sticking a fork in the toaster!?"
  3. Gorram instead of G0D D@mn. As in, "Where are my Gorram car keys?"
  4. Smeg. It kind of means it's own thing, so it's very versatile. For example. "What the smeg? You are a total smegging smeghead!" Have fun with this one. Get creative!
  5. Belgium. Well, if I need to explain this one we don't know each other very well.
  6. Smurf. For when a little blue language is what's required.
  7. Zarquon. Only use this when you don't mind looking like a total nerd.
  8. Shazbot. A good substitute for SOB. Again, kinda makes you sound like a nerd when used.
Use these words well and may peace be with you. If not, well, just use these words well.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sunny Days

Today I made two goals for myself and the girls. The first was to be more firm and no nonsense.  I'm the boss and what I say goes. There's been far too much whining, crying and disrespect going on in this house and I aimed to put my foot down.  The second was to get outside and enjoy the beautiful sunny day that was before us! As I had mentioned earlier, we have been sick pretty much since mid Decemeber. To say we had cabin fever would be an understaement. Today was a day where health and weather conisided and we were going to take full advantage of it!

The day started off as most lately have. Whining, begging, crying. "I want TV! I want Mario Kart", and a host of other unreasonable requests. Within the first hour Miss. A had about three time outs. During breakfast she moaned at what I imagined she thought was the most unfair treatment EVER! Really! Mothers can be so unreasonable at times! I told her she could eat or not eat, but she wasn't getting anything else until lunch. It was up to her. After a few minutes she stopped moaning and started eating. She looked up at me, "Mom can I tell you something?" I nodded. "I'm sorry I wasn't eating my food. And for crying. And for keeping everyone awake last night." She had been up and down more than a newborn demanding this and that. "It's hard being a little girl! I need more practice." I was pleasently shocked and amazed at this confession! "Thank you, that's very grown up of you. I'm proud of you for saying sorry." I suddenly had second thoughts about selling her to the circus.

After breakfast I told them that I was going to go upstairs and get dressed and ready for the day. Then we could all go out for a walk and maybe even the park. They were super excited about this because it meant the quartine was over! When I came down they had pulled out every bit of play food and made a tea party to surprise me with. After our "tea", we got dressed and went out for our walk. We looked at the little streams on the road from the melting snow and ice. Miss. A jumped in every one. We talked about how to cross the road safely and what the stop sign meant. Baby K talked and laughed to herself the whole time. When we got to the park we saw that there were lots of kids playing. The home daycares in the area all tend to congregate at this particular park. "Look at all the kids! Maybe I'll find the perfect friend here", Miss. A told me excitedly. Geez! Make me feel guilty for not taking her out much as I probably should.

We spent about two hours at the park. Miss. A played on the slides and the swings. Most of the other kids had left the park to go home for lunch, but we stayed and played a bit longer. Baby K loved watching it all. Her eyes were all lit up as she saw each new thing or person. Sadly she is not very good at walking in a snow suit. Quite often, for seemingly no reason, she would fall forward onto her face. It was like her head was some giant heavy bobble head or something! One moment she's fine, the next she's doing Downward Dog without the assistance of her hands. Ah well, I guess this is how we learn.

The best part, as far as Miss. A was concerned, was getting home just in time to have lunch with Daddy! They got to snuggle up on the couch together as lunch was being made. She's such a daddy's girl! It was a great day and hopefully tomorrow will be even better. I even managed to wash the floors today, so yay me!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Passion For Photography

My husband LOVES photography. He has both passion and patience, which is probably why his photos turn out so well. This is something I could never do. I'm not a patient person. I have totally recognized that I like to know how to do things but not learn of to do things. This is probably why I don't have a hobby. He, however, is one of the most patient people I've ever met. You'd have to be if you're married to me. This also allows him to learn and improve on his photography. He takes his time and does it right.

I've been trying to convince him to pursue this interest in a more concrete way. He loves it. I think he should follow what he loves. In this particular case I don't mean just me and what I want. Although I don't discourage that either.  If you are genuinely good at something, have a talent for it, and love it, you should do it. This is what you should fill your days and life with. Many people go their whole lives wishing for such inspiration and opportunity to guide them somewhere better. I think that this would add tremendous joy to his life and how can following joy ever be bad?

I'd love to support him more than words of encouragement and praise. I'd like to be able to show him how this is possible to make this more of a permanent fixture in his life. I'm not saying quit his job tomorrow or anything that extreme. It would be fantastic if we could just get his work out there and appreciated. I'd also love to know where budding photographers can go for support. Where are there local or online groups and resources? I don't have much money, but I'd really appreciate knowing where I can find second hand equipment like light stands and such. Like I said, I don't know much about it, only that it's important and  possible. It's the how that I get stumped by.

I'd like to also encourage everyone to take a look at his Flickr page and bully him a little bit. If you have any good advice please leave it in the comments below. I love comments. Like I said, I'd really love for him to pursue this more actively. I don't have a job, so interfering and meddling in his affairs is going to have to hold me over until the kids are in school.

Scott Parker : Flickr
           Twitter : @SCOTTDKPARKER

Friday, February 17, 2012

FYI: I'm Not Dead

It was pointed out to me a few days ago that I haven't written about anything in quite a while. That's probably an understatement. I think my last post was on January 26th and it's now February 16th. Or is it the 17th?  I'm not sure anymore. The fact of the matter is that I haven't abandoned my blog in any way.  I've just put it on the back burner for the moment. Why? Because I live at ground zero right now. Everyone in this house has been sick, to a greater or lesser extent, since before Christmas.

I'm tired.  I usually don't get sick myself, and I count myself lucky that when I do it passes quickly. We're also lucky that no one has gotten seriously ill.  Right now everyone is feverish and have varying degrees of bronchitis. No pneumonia. No trips to the doctors. So I'm thankful for that.

What it lacks in seriousness it more than makes up for in persistence. It totally wears you down! Every one's nose is red and raw. Our throats and chests hurt from near constant coughing. We're tired and haven't been sleeping well, if at all. The fevers just keep returning, again and again.  Everyone is sick so there's no one to pass the ball to.  We just have to wait it out and hope that at least some of us start feeling better soon. We are SOOOOO done with this! Seriously. I want a prize at the end and it better not be some dumb t-shirt that says "I was sick and all I got was this dumb t-shirt". That's not even funny or ironic.  Just dumb.

So to sum up. Not dead. (yet) Just taking a break until we are well. Plus we've been all stuck inside for EVER so there isn't anything to write about anyways. Of course you could wait a few weeks. If we're all still sick it might take a Shining turn. Miss. A does a mean "red rum" imitation. It's pretty frightening, really.

PS, I just spell checked and got "pneumonia" right on the first try. Score one for me! Things are looking better already. Of course it could just be a new syptom presenting. Paging Dr. House...