Wednesday, December 29, 2010

christmas 2010

For about three days now I have been trying to upload a video to my blog but it just won't do it! And, it's driving me nuts. It was all the photos I took over the last few days and it would have really summed up my Christmas without so many words. Know what I mean?

For whatever reason blogger won't let me link or upload or do anything fun and I'm cranky about it. So now, what you get, is point form. That's kind of fun....right?

-Christmas Eve brunch at my house for 17 people. Delish and I think it should become an annual tradition.

-Christmas Eve annual 'Dabels Christmas Eve movie' (redundant? maybe) was the Narnia movie and since I took a fairly lengthy nap in the middle I simply don't recall whether it was good or not.

-Christmas morning was fun and it involved a LOT of Nerf bullets. I'm still pulling them out of my hair.

-Christmas dinner was with our friends the Mysyks. They came over for Cafe Rio and some games. It was loud.

-Boxing Day dinner with the man's entire side of the family at my house. 23 people to be exact. First time we have all been together in a really long time. It was great. Food was good. Company was better and it was really nice to see everyone. It was especially touching that they all made the trip. All of them live hours away. We had a gift exchange and you'll never believe what I stole from someone and kept all to myself. That's right. A Chapters gift card. Thanks Jennifer, you're the sister-in-law bomb.

-the 27th I laid around in my pj's all day and did absolutely nothing. Actually, I did that the next day too.

-today I worked out for the first time in a week. Scary. I have no idea how much weight I gained over the last week because the scale and I aren't speaking. My clothes are talking to me though and they are less than impressed.

-I made a new year's resolution but I'm not telling yet.

-next week I am going to Chapters and I WILL be spending money.

-we had a very Merry Christmas around here. Except for the 11 year old who has made it his sole purpose in life to spill the beans to the 7 year old about santa. He has been sufficiently threatened and I think he may have come around to my way of thinking. You know, the "keep the secret and I won't hurt you" way of thinking.

-the man is off to work and I am still trying to figure out when the last time I ate a piece of fruit was.

Merry Christmas and Happy New year everyone.

Good riddance to 2010. 2011 can only get better.....right?

Monday, December 20, 2010

catie's randomness pt. 3

Last Thursday was book club. It was the annual Christmas Potluck. I started this little tradition when I joined the book club about 5 years ago and I always held it at my house. This year someone else offered to have it at their house and I took that offer as I was just not sure about anything in my life at the time we set up the schedule.

Anyway, I couldn't go.

It was Amelia's Christmas concert at school. Now normally I would have sent the man to the concert because I don't usually give up book club easily. Girls night out, no children, discussing books, men, children, what have you. It's always fun and I always go but...... Amelia, Christmas songs, gingerbread houses, Amelia, (did I mention that already)? Since I am completely enamored with this child of mine it was a no brainer. The Christmas concert won.

It was 30 minutes long. Seriously?? Don't get me wrong, I'm all for short, to the point concerts, but 15 minutes of gingerbread house decorating and then 15 minutes of singing? That's it? That's all I get? I missed book club for this?

I missed book club for this.

This is the face that gets made when you tell the wee one that there is no more icing for the house.

The man, being a framer, had to put his magic touch on it.

Sing, sweet child, sing.

Holden and Amelia, at home, 30 minutes later, enjoying the fruits of their labour.

I was sort of in a mood after this. I wanted to wallow. So I decided that since I was technically supposed to be at book club that I would take the night off, put my jammies on, grab the leftovers of my fave salad from the fridge, tell the man he was in charge of the children's bedtime routine, and go downstairs and watch my recorded shows.

When I came out of my room from putting on my jammies I went to the fridge to discover that my salad was gone. I went downstairs and there was the man, in front of the only tv in the house with cable, watching a How It's Made marathon (is there a worse show on the planet than How It's Made?) eating my salad with the remote in his hands.

Clearly he missed the memo on what my plans were for the night. I let him know I was really super annoyed with him and then I stormed up the stairs and lovingly put the two youngest children to bed. (That wasn't sarcasm, I wasn't mad at them, I did put them to bed lovingly.... just so you know).

When I whined on facebook about it my brother commented with "suck it up Princess." I found this very interesting. See, I fancy myself a bit of a princess. And my experience with being a princess and with dealing with a few princesses over my time is this: Princesses DONT NEED TO SUCK IT UP. It is the one perk of being the Princess.

Am I wrong?

So the man ruined my night which was already mostly ruined. I ignored him until the next day when I figured he had suffered enough. In true man form though, he decided that my annoyance with his super insensitive behaviour was enough for him to be mad at me back. I calmly informed him that nope, I held the monopoly on annoyance for the incident in question and he had no grounds to be even remotely upset with me. He nodded in feigned agreeance and we went out on a date.

Saturday we set up Christmas. The children were starting to show high levels of stress that there was no tree yet and it came to my attention that the little ones thought maybe Santa wouldn't come if there wasn't a tree. We set it up. Holden (7) said things like "decorating the tree brings me joy" and "setting up Christmas brings the Christmas spirit and that brings me joy" the whole time we decorated. It was, um..... interesting.

The man and Amelia working out the logistics of the the star which is technically not a tree topper.

Hallelujah. The tree. Does it feel like Christmas yet? Anyone?? Anyone??

Sunday, December 12, 2010

calorie overload and forgotten children

On Wednesday I went to a cookie exchange with some ladies from church. By Friday morning all the goodies were gone. I didn't eat them all myself but I did eat enough to vow NEVER to do another cookie exchange for as long as I live. How many calories are in 5 dozen Christmas treats? Strike that. I don't want to know.

I have been running ever since. My knees hurt. And I'm very tired.

I have to speak in church today. My topic is the Saviour. My, oh my. Easiest talk I ever wrote. I was so engrossed in the writing of it Thursday morning that I forgot to get Amelia from school. I was in my jammies, my hair was everywhere, my makeup was still rubbed all under my eyes, no bra. The phone rang at 12:20. Amelia gets out of school at 11:50. I looked at the call display and saw it was the school, still nothing clicked.

me: Hello?

them: Hi Catherine, it's Shirley from the school. (Yes, her name is Shirley and yes, it's perfect for an elementary school secretary)

me: Oh HI! How are you? (see, Shirley and I actually have a history that goes back a few years but it's a long story and I won't bore you.)

them: I'm well, thank you. But I was wondering who was going to come and get Amelia today.

me: AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Bad mommy! Unbelievable. I forgot my child. When I got there she was playing with Floam, completely unaware.

Anyway, when I asked Amelia if she forgives me for forgetting her at school she said "Mommy, I always forgive you when you do bad things."


Monday, December 6, 2010

christmas lists

For Christmas I asked my acupuncturist to lift my spirits. She obliged. That with some vitamin D and I seem to have found my happy place.

Oh joy.

For Christmas the man asked for a root canal. I obliged. It's so practical and fits perfectly into the Christmas budget. He has a knack for timing, bad timing, and this root canal three weeks before Christmas really showcases his "timing" skills. Usually it's new tires or a massive truck repair so I was pleased that this year I was able to give him something totally different.

Cicely has asked for........ nothing. She'd better come up with something or I may oblige.

Jack has asked for the biggest, baddest, roughest, toughest, Nerf gun ever known to man. We'll see.

Holden wants an iPod Nano. That's it? Okay.

Amelia wants everything at ToysR'Us. Can you narrow it down, kid? Please?

I'm still waiting for the energy/desire/motivation to decorate the house for Christmas. No one really seems to care around here except for Amelia who said this to me last week, "EVERYONE is getting ready for Christmas except YOU mommy."

What?? This isn't Christmas-y enough for you little child?

This is the extent to which I have decorated thus far. It just isn't cutting it for the four year old. I have no idea why.........

Saturday, December 4, 2010


When the man returned home from Fort McMurray he discovered that I, in my attempt to fix the computer, had made the mouse right click as opposed to left click and could not get it to go back. It was a nuisance but we were surviving. He surmised that in order to return the world to it's natural state the whole computer needed to be reformatted. So that's what he did.

In doing so he completely messed up the universe as we understood it. iTunes was different and all our playlists were gone, amongst other things. Instead of just spending the time to redo them I asked the man if he would be so kind as to try and replace them with the ones on my iPhone.

The next day he attempted just that. However, the moment he chose to do it was the moment he returned home from getting a root canal.

He played with my phone and then went and did this for three hours.

It was during this time that I discovered he had deleted every single thing from my phone. Not the end of the world. I know this. But if you keep your life in your phone and then you lose it? Well, it's a problem. Even all the information I had backed up into the computer was gone. Actually, it's probably not gone. I just have no clue how to find it.

I went to tell him this little bit of info and thank him profusely for his generous service. He growled at me and rolled over.

Since then, I have found my millions of apps but we don't know how to get them back onto my iPhone or even retrieve them in any sort of helpful way. Now if I could just find the 20 notes I had stored in there.

A heartfelt thank you goes out to the man. You're the bomb, babe.

On a separate note. Another belt test last night. Green stripes. Way to go boys.

Now, you're the bomb.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

parent teacher interviews

This week was parent teacher interviews. I understand the theory behind them, I really do but............

Aren't they mostly just a waste of time?

I always go to Meet the Teacher night because I actually do care, contrary to what may come out of my mouth the day of these most valuable evenings. I go and say hi and in the allotted time I have been given, which is not one second more than 15 minutes, I try really hard to get a feel for the person that will be teaching my child for the next ten months. In all my years of having kids in school only once I have I walked out of a Meet the Teacher night and known, without a doubt, that my child had the wrong teacher.

I didn't do anything about that because I prefer to hide my indifference and then, when the moment is right, pounce and unleash on any teacher who may want to make an attempt at changing my child in any way. I lay, in wait, like a mama bear waiting for the provocation.

I dare you to try and tell me about my kid, whom I birthed, and not so gently either. I dare you to tell me he doesn't like to sit still. I dare you to tell me he doesn't care for math and that he prefers graphic novels to boring old regular novels with words. I dare you to tell me he would prefer the playground to mat time. I dare you to tell me he gets attitude when confronted. I dare you to tell me something I don't already know. I dare you.

After I had a teacher tell me what I could do at home to 'fix' my child I decided that I wouldn't be doing parent teacher interviews anymore unless there was actual need. I would base that need upon report cards and my child's general attitude toward school. (It is here that you may judge me for my apathy towards my child's education. Go on, I can take it.)

So this year, I met teachers. All but one but that was because they didn't have a Meet the Teacher night. So I tried to schedule an interview after his impeccable report card came home. The only time they would give me was the EXACT time I had to be half an hour away picking up another child from a field trip.

So, really, how important is this interview, which again, was given 15 minutes of time?

I asked the child involved what he thought. He said "do you wanna see the teacher?" I responded with "do YOU want me to see the teacher?" To which he replied "I couldn't care less."

All right then, enough said.

I know a few teachers. I have two siblings who are teachers. I have never heard a teacher speak enthusiastically about p/t interviews. In fact, one actually said to me "Trust me, I'd rather be somewhere else."

Apparently, they like it just as much as I do.

I wonder if my attitude has anything to do with how many parent teacher interviews my parents attended........

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I'm blue. I'm not sure it could be classified as depression but I'm most certainly blue. No motivation, no happy smiles, no patience.

Every year I dread the first snow fall. It keeps me up at night. I get a stomach ache during the contemplation of it. This year it seemed worse but I'm sure there is an explanation for that. Like, being alone. The man is still gone so if the truck breaks down, I'm on my own. If I crash it, I'm on my own. If I get stranded, I'm on my own. I don't like being on my own and I don't like the first snow fall.

I don't mind the cold so much. I have warm mitts and a warm coat. I don't spend endless amounts of time outside, it's doable.

I hate the roads. It's so dangerous on the roads and everyone seems to be on them at the same time.

"Where are you all going?!?!" I have been yelling this at my windshield a lot.

Is there such a thing as situational depression? Because I think that's what I have. I don't like my situation. I feel trapped.

I love this house, no question. It's so nice and cozy and done so beautifully. The designer is a rock star.

What I don't like is:
- location. I am all alone out here.
- financial situation. We want to sell the house but now is a bad time. A really bad time. So we wait. I don't 'wait' well.
- job situation. The man has to work out of town right now which creates all kinds of issues. Like should we move out of the city? Should he change jobs?
- house hunt. Where should we move to after this? Because it is the final move for a VERY long time I have to give it more than my usual 5 minutes of thought.

I usually go house hunting and find what "will do" and buy it. It takes exactly 5 minutes of my time. It is how I have bought every house we have ever lived in.

Now, it needs to be something I love somewhere I love or I'll get restless and anxious and start contemplating another move. But where? So many things to consider. Job, schools, family, weather........

Self induced misery. That is what this is. I did this all to myself (with the help of the man who actually instigated it but I was on board so it's my fault too)

The silver lining. There is one, there always is and I can see it, don't worry.

One, we will sell this house and fulfill its destiny and make our final move. Where? Don't even get me started, the options seem endless.

Two, the man comes home this week. Only to turn around and go back, probably, if he can't find a job here. But we're not thinking about that.

Three, the snowman. There is little old man who rides a riding snow removal thingie around the block over and over and over again when it's snowing. I love him. We call him "the snowman". He is an angel in the disguise of an old man who is in love with his toys and spreads that love around the block so that lonely sad people like me don't have to shovel their walk when the snow starts to fall........

.......... and then never stops.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

christmas comes early

I don't want to brag but my kids are so well trained it's quite remarkable. They will grow up to make fantastic spouses and as of right now I am so pleased with the job I've done.

Today I walked into the main bathroom in our house and found this.

A fresh, still in the package roll of toilet paper waiting for me to unwrap it and insert it onto the toilet paper holder.

It was like Christmas.

Someone went out of their way to get up from the toilet after using the last little bit, dig underneath the sink for another roll and then leave it, perched, ever so gently, on top of the holder for the next unlucky sap who came in.

How did they know it would be me?

Wow.... the courtesy.

I'm so proud.

And yes, I did have to yell for someone to bring me my phone so I could capture this special moment. I couldn't go get it myself because I was busy unwrapping my present....... if you know what I mean.

Friday, November 19, 2010

weeeeee bit o' fun

Seriously cute kids having some serious fun.

"Weeeeeeeeeee"............ is all that could be heard as they flew down the hill.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

knock your socks off

My boys love to play this game. They beg for it. It's ridiculous.

Have you ever seen two boys play 'knock your socks off'?

It's something to behold. The object of the game is to not have your socks removed by the other guy and you have to stay on the blanket. That's it. Those are the rules.

You can just imagine how it ends.......every time!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

who's a whingin' willy?

All right. That's it. I'm done. I'm fed up. I want my husband back.

Simple as that. It's all about me and I want him back.

You know what the problem is with being so selfish? When you want something and you can't have it you then you tend to turn into a small child.

I want my husband back. (Insert whiny voice)

I'm not being nasty about it though. I think I am handling it very well.....most of the time. Sometimes, sadly, I'm sort of like a toddler. I stomp my feet and fuss and say things in a really whiny voice. Things like "I want Darcy to come hooooooome!" Or "I miss your daaaaadddddyyyyy!"

In turn, the kids say similar things back to me and I think, although I'm not 100% sure, that my whining just perpetuates the problem.

We miss the man. It's been 2 weeks. Tooooooo loooong. (Insert whiny voice here, again)

And now there is a crap load of snow on the ground making things harder for him. He's almost at the roof and I hate it when he frames the roof in cold, snowy, slippy, slidy weather. I especially hate it because I know he is working as fast as he can so he can come home. I will have to institute some rules that I will inform him of immediately.

1. No falling off the roof.
2. No hanging off trusses because you slipped off the roof.
3. No frostbite
4. No falling through stairwell holes.
5. If you do fall you can't land anywhere hard.
6. No swearing. Wait. Sorry. I have already been informed that this isn't a rule and never will be.
7. Text the woman as soon as you set foot on the ground so as to assure her of your well being.

Poor man. I'm pretty sure he isn't stomping his feet and whining like I am. I'm pretty sure he is too tired to even think much about us as he told me he worked 70 hours last week.

One more week. Maybe one and a half. Maybe two. These are the uncertain joys of being married to a framer.

"How long do you think you have left, hon?"

"Um, I dunno. A week. Maybe a week and a half. Maybe two......"

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

the man moves out

Last night I had a dream.

In it I was in a wide open city in a valley surrounded by mountains all the way around. I was trying to find my family by calling from my iPhone. I couldn't get the phone to work. There were many men sitting at a table talking to each other and staring at me. Every time I tried to use my phone I was in the room with them. The room had no ceiling and expansive views of the mountains.

I was so frustrated. I kept having little tantrums where I would yell at the phone. And then yell at the men, "Why doesn't my phone work?"

Then there was an avalanche. It was huge and we thought it was going to hit us. I thought I was going to die. I was terrified but then it passed right beside us and buried a city I knew my mom was in. So I tried to call her. My phone didn't work.

"WHY DOESN'T MY PHONE WORK??" I was shrieking. I thought I was going mad.

Then, one of the men stood up and said "You know why your husband won't answer the phone right? Because you act like this. No one likes you. No one wants to deal with you. You're like a 2 year old. This is why he won't answer the phone."

I was dumbfounded. I tried to tell him that my husband would answer the phone. That it wasn't an issue of people not wanting to deal with me. My phone wasn't working. That's all it was. My phone wasn't working. I tried to tell them but my words wouldn't come out.

All the men just looked at me with their eyebrows raised and their shoulders shrugged. My feelings were so hurt. I was so sad. So frustrated.

Strange dream, huh?

Soooo.......What's going on around here? Not much of anything fun. I ordered glass for the en suite and a few other places in the house. I have had three front entry door quotes and because I refuse to spend $4000 on a new front door the old front door still looks like crap. I have had three garage door quotes and it turns out that getting a new door for a vaulted garage is only about 342 times harder than you'd think. I installed 29 pot light trims. There are 30 but one is a real nuisance. So I thought I'd let the man do it. Why should I have all the fun?

Oh, wait. But the man moved out.

He packed a suitcase and moved out. He went to live in Fort MacMurray in a two bedroom apartment with a chain smoker.

I wonder if my dream has anything to do with this........

One guy came over to quote the garage door, Tony. I showed Tony the door the man already bought but hadn't installed. Tony said he didn't think it would work because there are low headroom issues. He said he'd quote something out for me involving a different new garage door.

A couple of days later he called to tell me he had done some research and thought that we'd be able to use the door already purchased if I got some low headroom rails. If I wanted to, I could return the rails I already had. OR......he'd do it for me, if that would be easier.

It is here that I played the useless female card. I told him I had no idea what I was doing and would really appreciate the help. "No, problem", he said. "I'll take care of it", he said.

Today he called to say he searched the city and found some rails. He thought he was going to have to special order them but upon further searching he found some. He'd be happy to come install my garage door for me.

I wonder if my dream has anything to do with this. Maybe there is some guilt for playing dumb. I could have found those rails myself but I knew he'd be better and faster at it. This knowledge doesn't negate that fact that I played dumb. Sometimes I am dumb but dumb doesn't know it's dumb when it's legitimately dumb. When dumb knows it's dumb? Then dumb isn't dumb, it's just playing dumb. I was playing dumb. Or maybe I was delegating......

Say dumb ten times fast.

Tomorrow I am going on a road trip with the children to visit my mom and dad. I wonder if my dream has anything to do with that.

I have PMS and sometimes I want to throw a tantrum and yell at people, just like a two year old. I wonder if my dream has anything to do with this.

On Monday it will be two weeks since the man moved out. It will be the longest we have ever gone without seeing each other in the 16 years of our knowledge of each other's existence. It's a long time. But he is coming home so you can stop having a heart attack now. When? I don't know. Three weeks, maybe four.......It bugs him when I use the term 'move out'. But he packed a suitcase and lives in an apartment. What else should I call it?

He's working. Out of town. And it stinks. The bad economy has finally trickled down and hit the trades. Or at least my trade.

Fingers crossed he finds work here. That he doesn't hurt himself there. And that he doesn't fall in love with his chain smoking roommate and never come home.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

the spirit of halloween

I think I killed the Spirit of Halloween.

I didn't mean too. Not really anyway. Celebrating Halloween for me is like getting a colonoscopy, it's probably a good idea to do it but is it really necessary? I know I should, but I don't want to. I don't want to so much that my disdain for the idea oozes out all over the place.

I think the children inadvertently stepped in it. Their enthusiasm for the holiday was lackluster, at best.

Cicely wanted nothing to do with it this year, she's thirteen so it seemed almost appropriate. Jack told me not to bother getting him a costume, he's only 11 so it created guilt for me. Holden just wanted the candy. He refused to wear his Darth Vader costume to school and when I offered to pick him up early that day and miss his party altogether he jumped at the chance.

I forced him to put on his costume so I could take a picture.

Amelia was Belle. Oh, yes she was.

I used to really like Halloween. I would decorate and we'd carve pumpkins but then it became such a chore. When did that happen?

Remember last year when everyone was so paranoid about getting H1N1? Remember how ridiculous that was? Instead of choosing vaccination I chose to be vigilant about my children's general health and when Holden woke Halloween day with a small fever I cancelled Halloween.

Instead, I went to the store and spent $30 on candy and a new DVD. I ordered pizza and let the healthy children do what they wanted to do, stuff their faces full of candy, minus the door to door perpetuation of swine flu. All that candy handling by potentially sick strangers? Yuck! No thanks.

They ate candy. That's all they wanted anyway. And they loved it. We stayed up late and let the Trick or Treaters grab candy from a bowl left on the front step. I proposed it be a new Dabels tradition. What I got to that suggestion was a mutual "No way!"

So this year, come back year, Halloween fell on a Sunday. Which means no Trick or Treating in the traditional sense but instead the ever so fun Trunk or Treat the night before. This is what turned Jack off. Whatever. I'm all for it. In less than 20 minutes Holden and Amelia had a bag full of candy and because the Spirit of Halloween is dead they opted to forgo the family dance to go home and binge on sugar.

Fine by me.

So.... Jack says next year Halloween is on Monday and therefore he will be dressing up.

Holden will forever do what he has to to obtain a bag full of sugar.

Amelia wants to be Belle every year until she is "all growed up".

And me? I made some promises (with my fingers crossed). I promised to be more fun next year. I promised to decorate. I promised (with both sets of fingers crossed) to get a costume of my own. And in one year's time, we'll see who is still reading this blog and if they dare hold me to this fair weathered commitment.

I dare you to try.

And yes, sadly, those two pictures above are the only two pictures I took the whole night, or day, or week .........

I am just that into it.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

what the mcWhat??

Here's a little social experiment I stumbled upon yesterday. Not even looking for it and it smacked me in the face and gave me lots to think about all day long. Thought I'd share.

Every Wednesday Cicely, who's home schooled (against my will) goes to a writers conference. While we wait for her, Amelia and I get some lunch. Because Amelia has me whipped she pretty much gets what she wants for lunch on these particular days.

* In an homage to my good parenting I will insert here that on occasion she does pick Subway.*

Yesterday, however, she picked McDonalds. Now keep in mind that it has been some time since I set foot in a McDonalds so maybe things have changed but .......I doubt it.

Here is something else to keep in mind as you ponder. This is where the experiment comes into play. I was in a sketchy part of town. Less than desirable, I dare say, for a great many reasons. Reasons I will let you assume on your own.

Amelia wanted to eat in the playplace and who would blame her, she's 4. So we went in.

"Where is the playplace?" she asked in her ever so cute voice.

"Ummm.... I don't know", I responded in my ever so confused and hugely disappointed voice.

What I saw, instead of the fun static infested playground, was many of these:

About 8, in fact. 8 video game stations. Instead of a playground there were video game stations.

It's not like I don't let my kids play video games because I do. But am I wrong in stating that the ONLY thing that ever balanced out the unhealthy aspect of McDonald's was the playplace? It was, right? It's why we take our kids there. So they can 'burn it off'.

Now the experiment part. I have had many foster kids in my home that have come from this 'end of town'. Many of them have had behavioral disorders. Many of them were hooked on video games. Many of them were raised by video games. Many of them were medicated due to certain disorders they had been diagnosed with.

I don't judge, I'm just stating what I know to be true. The facts as they have been shown to me through real life experience.

So my quandary is this. Unless all McDonald's have changed their playplaces to videogame stations (and if they have then I will never eat inside a McDonald's again), why would they condone that particular restaurant in that most fortuitous location to change theirs?

It's interesting....... isn't it?

Amelia gave the new concept exactly 45 seconds of her time and then said she was done. We left with no physical exertion being expended at all besides the moving of our jaws.

Good thing Holden wasn't there. He'd have thought he'd died and gone to heaven.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

bored and babbling

I'm bored. My blog is boring. My life is boring. I have lost interest. I'm ready to move on but not in a position to do it. This bores me.

The reno continues, as always. There are a couple of big things that need to be done but they take money and time, neither of which we have right now. I have some painting to do still and I am so sick to death of painting I can't even express it without the use of expletives. I have procrastinated on the exterior painting and now the weather is threatening me. This weekend it will be finished.

Last week I painted like a mad woman in preparation for our party we had Saturday night. I think the house looks good and if I could keep it clean for more than 5 minutes at a time I would take some pictures and post them for you to see. But alas, I have no interest so it isn't happening.

I feel like I am recovering from last week. Working so hard and not sleeping much has left me spent. We had a very dear friend come and stay with us for the weekend and he likes to keep us up late. He did rake the lawn Saturday though, and more than earned his keep.

The party was fun, but in all honesty, I was so exhausted by the time people showed up, the whole thing is a bit of a blur.

Before the party I had some realtors come in and take a look while it was immaculate. It was an interesting experience. Naturally, every home seller wants a truck load of money for their house but when it comes right down to it, the reality is that there are no trucks full of money waiting to be dumped at one's doorstep. The market is bad. I already knew that but decided to fantasize that all the realtors would come in and tell me my house was worth a million dollars regardless of the market and that it would sell on day one. It was fun while it lasted.

One hundred thousand dollars.

This is the difference between the highest and the lowest recommended listing price given. 5 realtors and one hundred thousand dollars difference. Now, I don't know about you, but my guess is that someone is out to lunch. I'm going to give that honor to the guy who recommended the lowest price. He was an idiot.

This has given us lots to think about and, trust me, we are thinking.

I tried to work out on Monday and I think I burned more calories putting on my workout clothes than I actually did working out. I just have nothing left. I am worn out. So I opted to do laundry and watch Grey's Anatomy on boxset.

Tuesday, I didn't even attempt a workout since I got 4 hours of sleep Monday night. I watched Grey's all day long. (Except for the two times I had to run to the store and the three times I had to drive to the school.) I cried like a baby. That much Grey's in one day messes with your head.

I also read. It's book club on Thursday and it's at my house and I picked the book so I should probably finish it. I should go do that.

Last Thursday I braved a kindergarten field trip. I don't know about other moms but when the notice comes home that volunteers are needed for a field trip I have guilt. I have guilt because I don't want to go and I wish I did want to go. Up till now I always used the younger kids as an excuse to not go on field trips. I try to do one a year per kid but......

Anyway, Amelia is the last kid and there is no excuse other than the fact that I don't want to go which is just......sad. Since it was just a morning thing I thought I'd risk it.

53 kinders on a bus and a two hour tour of Fish Creek Park. Ouch. It was loud. I was prepared though. I drank 2 Diet Pepsis and took three advil liquigels before l left. I'm not stupid. I survived, but just barely. The poor woman who sat next to me on the bus was cursing the fact that she hadn't had her morning coffee. She was in bad shape. I gave her my best advice. It's all about the preventative measures, I told her. She was appreciative.

Three things were confirmed for me that day:
One, I could never be a bus driver. Children would die.
Two, I could never teach kindergarten. I would die.
Three, I still hate field trips.

Amelia had fun at least.........

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

no sassy at school

Before kindergarten started this year I sat with Amelia and gave her the low down on what was expected from her at school. Her birthday is in January so she is one of those kids that has the option to go to school early or wait another whole year. Being the fabulous mother I am I opted to get rid of her sooner than later.

She was ready and dying to go. I'm not really a bad mother.....most of the time.

I told her that she needed to put her hand up if she had a question. She wasn't to just talk out during the class. I also told her that her sassiness was to be left at home.

No sassy at school. That is the rule.

At night when she says her prayers, our hearts melt with the things she says. When I had Bell's Palsy she would pray that my face wouldn't be broken anymore and that I would be proud of my face. She always asks that Jesus will have a good night sleep. She's precious.

But, at the beginning of the school year she gave this prayer.

"Dear Heavenly Father,

Bless me to sleep well.
Bless me to have a good life.
Bless me to raise my hand at school when I have to pee.
Bless me not to be sassy to my teacher.


At parent teacher interviews her teacher said she's a dream. Tell me about it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

stop and go

Last Friday I woke up and began the morning gong show to get the kids to school. I tried to check my Facebook on my cell and saw that it wasn't working. I then went to the computer and the internet wasn't working. I picked up the phone to call Telus and it wasn't working. For whatever reason (I know exactly the reason) this super irritated me. Like irritated me to a spectacular degree. I wanted to chuck something or someone through a window. I took the kids to school and came home and began to paint.

I was waiting for a very important phone call and had no way of contacting anyone, unless I left the house. It was snowing.....really snowing.

Off and on throughout the day the internet would work so I sent a message to my sister to call the person I was waiting to hear from and get her to email me when she could. She never did.

Cicely had a party in Cochrane that night. I didn't want to drive to Cochrane and pick her up at 10 pm. Who would? But who am I to begrudge my sweet daughter an opportunity to see her friends that I forced her to leave, friends that she loves so much? As miserable as I was I couldn't do it. I decided to let her go.

I painted all day. I painted almost all day everyday last week. This may sound like a normal reno thing to do and it totally is but here's the kicker. I have already painted the entire house. It was done. And now I have to do it again because the drywaller screwed up and ruined all my painted walls by sending in some new guy to patch. He patched and patched and patched and then patched things that weren't even patchable. His other patch guy and I had a conversation about what was to be done. I made it very clear that there were only certain spots that needed patching because I had already painted. Then that guy went on holidays and the drywaller sent in a new guy. Every wall in the house was touched by him, and then not sanded. The lacquer guys really screwed up as well and this just adds to my frustration.

So this week I had to sand some shoddy work and then repaint. At first I thought it would be okay, I would get some more paint and paint the spots that needed it because the paint was so new there was a chance it would match. The new paint didn't match perfectly or even remotely close so I have to paint again. EVERY SINGLE WALL. Like there is nothing else to do around here. Oh, and the fact that there are four kids who have been completely left to their own devices a good chunk of the time makes me sick to my stomach.

I told the boys on Friday that as soon as this reno is done they weren't going to be babysat by video games anymore. I said I was going to fire that babysitter and raise them myself since that is actually the job I signed up to do. Jack said he really liked this particular babysitter. Mmm hmm.

So anyway, back to Friday. I wanted to send the man to get Cicely at the party but then I decided I would go early and watch a movie in Cochrane. I love movies, I thought it might lift my drowning spirits. I left at 6. The movie started at 7:10. This would give me plenty of time to stop and get gas and treats and the movie.

In one hour and 35 minutes I made it half way.


I didn't know how long it took until I decided to pull over at another theatre to see if there was anything left to see. I didn't know because the clock in my truck is wrong, it always is. I didn't have my cell because it didn't work and the radio never says what time it is. Why can't they just say the time every now and then in between replaying the same ten songs over and over and over.......

I ran into the theatre and asked some teen on her cell what time it was. It was 7:35. One movie was left. I bought a ticket and went inside. It was full. There was one seat in the middle of the room. It was mine.

One hour and 35 minutes. It took one hour and 35 minutes to get to a place that is 25 minutes away tops without any traffic. This is infuriating to me. I hate traffic. I am baffled that all those people were sitting in stop and go traffic for just as long as me at 6 on a Friday night. What is the point? Where were they all going?

And you know what baffles me more? When I told some people this experience they all said something insanely ridiculous that implies that I took a route that led me an hour out of my way. Or that I asked for it. Or that I made it up. Or that maybe I should have tried another path, which with my x-ray vision and teleporting super powers, I could have totally done. Why didn't that occur to me? What was I thinking?

There is no rhyme or reason to the traffic. I know this because I have made this exact trip at least 100 times over the last 6 months. It's a crap shoot and it's aggravating.

I never got the gas I needed and made it home with 3 kilometers left in my tank. At least the gas reader works. A telus guy came Saturday and fixed the phone....again. My cell phone decided to work after I paid the bill that I never received. Interesting.

Douse all of that in a tremendous amount of PMS and it will make more sense as to why I was borderline homicidal all day. The trip out to Cochrane was just the icing, the inevitable, the 'is this really happening?', the moronic end to a moronic day, the final glitch in an already glitch filled day.

Seriously.......this IS my life.

Monday, October 11, 2010

thirty something

It's Thanksgiving weekend. It was also my birthday yesterday. I didn't get a turkey dinner this weekend and this is why, or so I think. A couple of years ago my parents moved away from us. They just up and left. It broke my heart. I'm just kidding. I wasn't happy about it but my heart was just fine (just thought I'd add some guilt for my dear mother who will be reading this at some point).

Anyway, when she left so did the place where my siblings and I gather for holidays such as Thanksgiving. It was the place where the turkey was consumed.

So, over the last two years, if a turkey was needed I was usually the one to make it. Which is fine. Except on my birthday. I'm not making turkey dinner on my birthday. And no one was making it here in my house because making turkey and all the fixings leaves one grand mess and I didn't want to deal with it.

I have a brother and a sister near by and my guess is that they were offered turkey somewhere else because surely if they weren't they would have made me turkey dinner on my birthday.....right? Remind me to ask them how their turkey dinners were.

Anyway.....this year my birthday was hugely uneventful. For my birthday I asked the man to get me one thing. Willacy ready to put on the market. He said okay. So he has been working diligently to get it there and the goal is to put it on the market at the end of the month. I don't think it will be done, there is a never ending list of things to get done and even though we both work at it the list doesn't seem to be shrinking at a recognizable rate. Regardless, it is going on the market at the end of the month.

So I insisted that there be no presents. What I want we can't afford right now and it has been promised to me once Willacy sells. I can wait for that. I did want to go out for dinner though and the man obliged.

We went here on Friday night for dinner with some friends. I had never been and I will definitely go again, but not until I lose the eight pounds I gained from going this time. Yum. Yum. So much food, one needs to prepare for it. They had this delicious buffet and then they bring meat, endless amounts of meat, to your table until you flip the wooden stick from green to red. The man really put on a show. It was gluttony at it's finest.

This is plate #2 from the buffet and it is a third eaten. This also doesn't account for all the meat he ate. He was determined to get his money's worth. He succeeded.

I should have gotten a picture of the meat but it seemed weird to everyone that I had my phone out taking pictures so I stopped. I did, however, try and get a picture of what fell out of the pocket of the guy at the next table when he stood up to leave but it didn't turn out. It was a box of GasX. He came prepared. I like it.

I did manage to get this picture before the weird looks started.

Mmmmmmm......grilled pineapple.

We had this thing for dessert called Tres Leches. It was fantastically delicious. So good, in fact, that I made it for my birthday dessert yesterday. It's my new favorite. It think my dad would love it.

Sunday, my birthday, the man made me my fave dinner and cleaned up. That was birthday present enough for a Sunday birthday. BBQ steak (doused in my fave BBQ salt) with roast potatoes and turnip and garlic mushrooms. It was amazing. I am still full.

Then I laid on the couch in my fat pants and caught up with my PVR, which is exactly how I wanted to spend my evening. I watched Sister Wives as well and well, I just can't wrap my head around that one.......

Breakfast this morning consisted of some more Tres Leches. Soon it will be gone and I can begin the journey of working off this weekends food fiesta....... which didn't even include a turkey.

Oy vey.....

Friday, October 8, 2010

muffins for nothin'

I am avoiding my daily chores, which consist of painting my bedroom, with the computer. I am listening to the children bicker and I know they are bickering because they are tired. They are tired because I made the mistake of saying that they could stay up late last night watching the second Matrix with the man. Late for this house means 9 pm. And, yes, this included the four year old. Is it any wonder the last kid is always wrecked?

I thought I'd be a nice mommy and get up this morning and make homemade blueberry muffins for them. So I did. After they were made I offered them to the children.

Cicely ate one and said "Thanks for the muffin mom, they are delicious" and then proceeded to make herself a bagel. She is not feeling well this morning so I left her alone.

Holden took one bite and said "I don't like it." This is the kid who every time we go to Tim Hortons orders a blueberry muffin.

Jack ate one and then started to dig around in the fridge for bagels. This is where I got super annoyed and said,

"Look you guys! I made you muffins for breakfast. Why are you searching for other food?"

Cicely: "Oh, I didn't know they were for breakfast."

Me: "It's 9:30 in the morning, what did you think they were for?"

Jack: "A snack?"

This is where I vowed, out loud, never to make them muffins for breakfast again.

See, I don't like baking. I like eating. If I bake, I eat. If anyone bakes, I eat. Out of the 36 muffins I made I will probably eat 28 of them myself. So why did I do it?

For nothing..........apparently........except maybe a bigger butt.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

a glitch in the system

Remember when I told you that the car broke down while my mom was here? Well, we fixed it and then a week later it broke again. It seemed to be the same thing but according to the dudes who fixed it it wasn't the same thing and therefore will not be covered under warranty. $3000 later and that dumb car is too precious to drive anywhere so it sits at the shop.

About a week after we moved into Willacy we noticed the tub leaking into the basement. The only tub in the house. Leaks.

I go to Rona for one thing and they don't have it.

Remember when I told you about the roof leaking all over the bedroom floor? Yeah, that was a bad day.

When we moved in I called Telus to set up our internet and phone and satellite. I didn't call before I moved because I was so busy and I just didn't care. But after we moved, I remembered that we had a high school student and a child homeschooling. The internet would've been handy.

The high school student, my nephew, has since decided that our house with it's millions of rules and expectations was not for him and he's moved out. This decision was made after I spent days setting him up in high school and three months home schooling him. I hate home schooling.

I sat around for three days waiting for Telus to come and do their thing. Day two, they told me I had to sit around from 8-5 because that's how they do it. Even when I yelled at the lady and told her I sat around from 8-5 the day before and couldn't do it again. She told me I had to because that's how they do it. They didn't even show up. The next day they gave me a two hour window because they felt bad. That's so strange, I thought they couldn't do that and I thought that because the lady told me they couldn't. So I guess you only get a two hour window AFTER they totally pooch you. Eight hours it took to set up a phone line on day three. Eight hours! How is that even possible??

My child, the one who's world was rocked when we told her we were moving to Willacy, asked to be home schooled when I asked her what I could to do to make her life easier, better, less hated. Sure, I'll homeschool you. Besides the fact that I hate home schooling and I know I hate it because I did it for my nephew for three miserable months, how hard could it be?

It is October 6th and she still has no books.

I registered her, like I was supposed to. I went in for orientation, like I was supposed to. I waited the 'wait' period for everything to get going, like I was asked to. Nothing. After a couple of weeks I called her teacher to see what was up. She said Cicely was not on any class list. She looked into it. Her registration was lost in cyberspace. This did not surprise me because being surprised at being the one nothing ever goes right for is a waste of my time.

Her books were now ordered. A week later still nothing. I check in with the teacher. Teacher sends angry email to people in charge and demands books are sent out immediately. They aren't.

A week later, which is 5 weeks since school started, I meet with the teacher who is appalled at the atrocious service the school has given me. She tells me the books were sent out to our home last night and should arrive today or tomorrow and that Cicely will get one major science field trip at no cost to me as a 'we're sorry for this massive screw up' token. She apologizes over and over again. She just doesn't know what to say, so she says this:

"It's like you are our case study. The worst case scenario. The what-not-to-do when trying to win over people's trust and desire to attend our school. There was a glitch in the system and it sent you on a path to nowhere."

I felt like laughing out loud. A big ol' LOL times ten. She doesn't know me. She doesn't know that this type of thing is exactly what I bargained for. That I expect nothing less. What I should have told her is that it's actually alright. This is how it's supposed to be. Everything is exactly as it should be.

Because I am the glitch in the system. If I am there, the system is glitched. I have allowed the man to be an honorary glitcher of the system because it's a big job glitching up everyone's system. I'm tired, I could use some help.

Even superheroes have their sidekicks.

Monday, October 4, 2010

the crime i didn't commit (but mostly did)

This is a story about the crime I didn't commit. Well, not really. Okay, yes, I sort of committed it but nearly as bad as the wicked witch thinks I did. Mean, mean wicked witch.

The house we lived in for a year before we moved to Willacy was a rented house. Now I should clarify. It wasn't a rental. It was a rented house and this is the difference. The lady who rented it to us was trying to sell it and couldn't. She's a super anal retentive woman who has no patience and wants what she wants when she wants it. She is also a perfectionist which doesn't bode well for me.

She is not smart in the fact that she keeps building bigger better houses before she can sell the one she lives in and this is stressful for her. She built this house and spent more than it's worth making it nice to her standards which, when she tried to sell it, meant she was going to take a huge financial hit.

She rented it to us because I told her that we were not 'renting' people. We were home owners who needed to rent for a year. She believed it, because it was true, but what I didn't tell her is my family tends to trash houses. Not in a bad, disrespectful sort of way. Just in a lots of small children and foster children and minor garage stuff hoarding husband sort of way.

So for a year I yelled at kids if they touched walls. I patched walls sooner than if it had been my house and when I moved out I patched and painted and stressed about the state of the house, which I wouldn't have done if it had been mine. And, I will also mention that during the last three months we lived there she had her stupid not selling house for sale which meant it was clean and pretty ALL THE TIME. Even though I was busy with the reno and couldn't have cared less if her house was show home clean and ready to sell. Stupid stupid Cochrane house......

Most of the damage done was actually done during the move in and the move out which is super annoying but what can you do when your furniture weighs a ton and you move it around every year?

So after we moved out I went to do the walk through which my gut told me not to bother doing. I knew she was going to use every penny of my damage deposit to make her house perfect again. I took sick pleasure in the fact that it didn't sell and she had to rent it again and as of the day we moved out it wasn't rented. I know, I am a deep down bad person.

Five minutes in and I wanted to run screaming from that place. She pointed out every tiny little thing she could find and demanded to know what it was from. I had vowed, previously, to myself that I wasn't going to fight her on anything. If she wanted perfection, she wasn't going to get it from our family and there would be no point arguing it with her. I so badly just wanted to be done with the whole renting thing. I told the man the night before I wasn't going to say a word. I was going to take it like a man and get in and get out.

I had told her that she may as well hire someone to clean it. I knew that if I spent all my time cleaning it, it still wouldn't be good enough. Glad I did. Although, I think I would have done a better job. I wasn't impressed. She kept pointing out things to me that the cleaners just simply couldn't get clean. No matter how much they scrubbed and scrubbed. This is when I piped up. Ridiculous, I told her. If you use the proper stainless cleaner on the fridge then it gets clean. I told her her cleaning people should know that. Interestingly enough, I didn't get charged for that.

Didn't matter though. She managed to get the final bill to be $238.08 more than the damage deposit. She bought a new front door, a new vacuum, new knobs for the cook top. She had a door re-sprayed and she also had the stub wall cap sanded and stained. She spent $24.11 on removing a stain from the storage room floor. (A stain I pretended to have no idea about but I actually put there myself.) She even charged me to have a landscaping company come in and re-edge her flower beds.

Ridiculous. And anyone who knows me knows I am willing to fight at any time. She made me so mad I wanted to deck her. But I wanted to be done with her more so I am eating the fact that my damage deposit, my HUGE damage deposit is gone forever.

I will never, ever rent again. I am a homeowner and I take pride in trashing my own homes and much prefer it to trashing other people's homes.

It's more fun when it's your own .....

Friday, October 1, 2010

the decorative snot hankie

I'm a mormon. Yes, I am. And the second week I went to my new ward in Willow Park I sat next to this sweet little old lady whom I couldn't take my eyes off.

She was wearing a pink long sleeved mock neck sweater under a low cut purple capped sleeve dress. She has long grey hair and it was pulled up in to the cutest little bun on top of her head (and I mean right on top of her head) with a pink bow wrapped around it. She had fuzzy pink gloves on that were the exact shade of her sweater.

Between her pink sweater and her purple dress was a pretty white doily type decoration. I assumed it was there to add flare to her already spunky outfit. It sat perfectly coifed. Half inside and half outside her dress. It added the balance her outfit lacked.

Half way through the meeting she pulled it out and blew her nose loud and hard into it. I stared. It was inexplicable. I almost gagged. I have a thing about nose blowing.

And then............

And then she put it back into her dress. Perfectly coifed. Half inside and half outside her dress.

After the meeting she asked me about me. I wanted to go but she wanted to talk and who am I to begrudge an old lady some Catherine time. I told her our plans. We are here shortly to finish the reno and then we are moving back to the northwest. She looked me dead in the eye and said this:

"I have a whole bunch of recipes with your name on them. And, you belong here."

What does one say to that? I wanted to run away and put my house on the market that very instant but instead I stayed and said this:

"You have recipes with my name on them? What does that mean?"

She replied: "You belong here because I have recipes with your name on them. That's how I know."

I went on to ask more questions. Like did she actually have recipes in her house with my name on them? Because that WOULD be a sign, right? Besides just being really creepy and weird. Or did she just have recipes that she wanted me to eat? I simply couldn't understand so I smiled and said, "We'll see. Only time will tell."

I gave her frail pink arm a squeeze and turned to walk away and she yelled after me. "You belong here, you'll see!"


Okay, on another note. My birthday is coming up and I am having a party. An unveiling of sorts. Willacy will be done soon and I want to sell it before I love it any more than I already do. My nephew moved out and so now there is no reason to stay until semester change. I need to move on.

The party will be on October 23 and EVERYONE is invited. It will be at 7 pm and it is for adults only. (Babies welcome, of course)

Everyone who comes to my party will leave with a little bag of Jake's Amazing BBQ salt. If you have already had some of this salt then you will know of it's greatness and if you haven't had it then you'll want to come just to put it's awesomeness in your hands.

Grown ups don't party enough. I think it's lame. Get a sitter and get your butt to the best, newly renovated, party house ever.

More details to come. Including a birthday giveaway. So stay tuned.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

the bus

For the first week of school we lived in Cochrane so I drove the kids all the way to Willow Park, it took an hour and fifteen minutes.

The second week of school they started to take the bus from our new house. I wanted Amelia in afternoon kindergarten, I don't know why but I did, but they didn't offer the bus for afternoon kids so I put her morning kindergarten just so she could take the bus. In my cluttered over-stressed mind, this made perfect sense.

So every morning I drove the three kids to the bus stop. At noon I drove to a different bus stop further away to get Amelia. After school the two boys just walked home from the bus stop.

The school is literally one more minute driving from the bus stop.

The first week in the new house we were 15 minutes late for martial arts, both days, which is on the other side of town. So I decided that the boys needed to be picked up from school in order to make it in time which means that I am paying four hundred dollars for the boys to walk home from the bus 3 days a week, otherwise they get driven to and from. Even in my cluttered over-stressed mind this makes no sense.

So I cancelled the bus service and now I drive them the extra 60 seconds to the school. Which, surprisingly, I really enjoy.

I'm sure that little story held zero interest for you, I guess it's just another look into my mind and it's psychosis. Here is what actually prompted the story.

The first day Amelia took the bus they didn't return her to me. I sat at the bus stop for 30 minutes after I knew the bell had rung and then I called the school.

me: Hi there, I am waiting at the bus stop for my daughter but she never came and I can't imagine that the bus takes 30 minutes to get from the school to this stop 60 seconds away.

them: What do you mean 60 seconds? Copperfield is much further than that. I'm sure they are on their way.

me: I don't live in Copperfield. I live in Willow Park.

them: Oh no!!! I'll phone you back.

See, I live in one of these communities that is full of big old schools and old people. There are very few children who attend these schools who actually live in the community. This explains a lot. But still.....

They called me back.

them: We are so sorry. She is on the bus and the driver will bring her to you as soon as she is done in Copperfield. We overlooked that there might be a child not from Copperfield on the bus. We're so sorry!!

me: Honest mistake.

An hour later she was returned to me and my stomach finally settled down. I was nice on the phone but as a parent it just confirms my fears that no one is really looking after my children while they are away from me. I don't care for that feeling at all.

I was so relieved to see her I kissed her face off as soon as she stepped off the bus. I put her in the truck and asked her how her day was and what was her favourite part. She said, "The bus ride."

Of course it was...... Then she told me this story.

"Mom, there is a little boy in my class named Teo. He has dark hair and his mama puts it into a mohawk. He wears a red hoodie and he is so handsome I just can't take it. Today he was so handsome I had to kiss his face off."

me: "Amelia, did you really kiss his face off?"

her: "Yes, I just couldn't take it, he is so handsome."

Oh boy, I guess that since they don't take the bus anymore and I don't have to worry about anyone losing my children I will focus my attention on teaching the 4 year old some boundaries.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

moving day, part 2

Moving day. Started off bad and got progressively worse. I had to take the man out to the Uhaul truck rental in Timbucknowhere. I left him there and made my way back to Cochrane to buy donuts and muffins for the moving help. Once I neared the city limits I received a call from the man.

"I don't have any money and they don't have interac"

Are you kidding me?? Who doesn't have interac? Of course credit cards are out because the only one we have left after the reno with anything on it doesn't work in Timbucknowhere.

I had to go into Cochrane, hit the bank, and drive all the way back out to him. My anxiety was through the roof. I hate making people wait and by this time a bunch of men were at my house waiting for the Uhaul.

You get the picture. But this waiting made it so that the new group of men waiting to help at the new house had to wait even longer. I wanted to throw up all day long.

Finally they arrive. The front lawn has a huge slant to it. They tried to get the Uhaul up on the lawn. It was making a mess. So out comes this question from one of the men, "do you care what happens to the lawn?"

Me, in my head, "um, yes, of course I care what happens to the lawn. I am going to try and sell this place in a month and I would like for the lawn not to be trashed. Why would you ask me such a silly question?" Like I said, only in my head.

From behind me the man responds "Nope, have at er' "

Me, in my head again, "we really don't care what happens to the lawn?? um.....okay."

They drove that giant, multi tonne Uhaul up on my lawn. And then when it was unloaded they tried to drive it off. This is where my mood picked up. It was so funny I wanted to cry. Or maybe I wanted to cry because it was so appropriate to how things roll around here. No one should be surprised when things don't go as they should.

One stuck truck

Wreaking minor havoc

Hmmmm......what to do......

The man, showing that truck who's boss (or so he thinks)

Finally, the chain makes an appearance and saves the day.

And then, the icing? Was when Brett, the man driving the Uhaul. The wonderful friend who stayed all day and helped. The wonderful friend who helps us move into all our houses, lost his keys. I still don't know what happened with that. I really hope you found them Brett and thank-you for being such a great guy.

The house was still so dirty and dusty from the reno'ing. When I first showed up at the house to wait for the movers my amazing, lovely, gracious, kind neighbour came over with a mop, a bucket, some rags and her slippers and said "put me to work". I cry when I think of what she did that day because that has never happened to me before. The kindness of strangers. It was a tender mercy for sure. She vacuumed out all the bedrooms and when I say vacuum that includes the walls. The closets were freed from their three inches of dust and all ready for the kids' things as we moved in.

As the sun went down and the man was still gone gathering the rest of our things because they don't make a Uhaul big enough for all my crap, I collapsed on the couch and surveyed the mess. I looked out the dark window and saw this,

The Elders were there. And they helped, amongst many others, and I remembered how much I love my religion and the service I can count on from people who don't even know me.

I am a lucky lady. I'm very grateful.

Now it's time to wash some windows.......

Monday, September 27, 2010

i'm back!

I am back! Oh blog, I have missed you so. Who knew this old house had such issues with their phone line? Trust me when I say we weren't surprised that there were issues but nevertheless, the issues kept me from my blog for two whole weeks. Fear not. I am back and a whole blog post will be dedicated to Telus and their amazing contribution to my sanity. What a lovely bunch of people, but alas, today is part one of the actual glorious act of moving.

There is so much to say, life has carried on since the move and in true "Catherine" form it has been dramatic and chaotic and a total nuisance! This would be the longest post ever if I put it all here at once so over the next few days I will share the highlights of the move and life thereafter.

The day before we moved I took all the kids downstairs and told them they had to help me clear out the food storage room. Cicely worked hard on occasion, and the boys? Well the boys were distracted by the awesomeness that is empty water containers.

First, the stacking......

then, the jumping head first into.....

and finally, the landing......

This is what they did the entire time I cleaned out the food storage. When I was done I sat down and Jack said "are we done?"

Boys...... honestly.

The night before we moved in the man and I spent at Willacy finishing the floors.

They looked like this a few days before from our first attempt at staining.....

Totally hideous.

I detest sanding floors. One more thing we can add to the list of things I never, ever want to do again.

You'll have to come back tomorrow though if you want to find out what the highlight of moving day was. Here is a sneak peek:

Stay tuned......

Saturday, September 11, 2010

it is what it is

It is 12:59 am on Friday night. The man and I just got home from putting the last coat of poly on the floors before we move into Willacy in 9 hours. The floors look alright. Not perfect by any standard and not even good enough by my standards but .....

" is what it is."

This seems to be my mantra of late.

Tomorrow as we move in the plumber will be there hooking up sinks and toilets because with 7 people in a house sinks and toilets are a necessity. The furnace guys will be there as well cleaning out the battered and dust encrusted vents. Because it is cold outside. And I want to turn on the heat so I don't freeze. That's not too much to ask is it? I didn't think so.

Nothing like having all the excitement happen at once.

Oh well..... it is what it is.

Now I must sleep for tomorrow the impossible will become possible. Just watch me move mountains.

I am woman. Hear me roar!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What day is it?

Today is Thursday. We move on Saturday. On Monday we sanded the floors AGAIN and then we continued to sand them on Tuesday. On Wednesday we showed up to clear coat the floors with polyurethane. As I was doing one last vacuum I entered the back bedroom and was almost knocked off my feet. A third of the floor from wall to wall was under water. I gasped. I stepped back. I madly tried to think of a way to keep the gargantuan eyesore from the man. I had to tell him.

He took it well. No yelling, or throwing, or growling or cursing, maybe a little cursing. He held it together. He went to Rona, bought some plastic and went up to that freaking roof and water proofed it. We had a leak into the basement for a while early on but we fixed it and didn't have any problems with for a long time, until Wednesday. It was shortly after that I shed my first tear because of Willacy. I am nearing the end of my rope, I can feel it.

And.....we need a new roof.

Today I put coat 2 of the polyurethane. It needs another coat. We move Saturday. I can't believe we are moving into this house. I can't believe we are moving in two sleeps. I need to go pack but I needed to sit for a second. I don't ever sit anymore, except to drive the hour to school and then home at 8 at night. I have never in my life been so exhausted.

The other day the man and I were commiserating about our lives and we started to joke around about the things we would rather be doing than this stupid reno.

A friendly game of would you rather. It went something like this:

Would you rather take five hours to push a baby out and then have a bladder infection because of it for three months or do this reno? Bladder infection. Duh
Would you rather have a c-section or do this reno? C-section. Double duh.
Would you rather have an ectopic pregnancy rupture and almost die because 75% of your blood bled into your gut or do this reno? Ectopic. A week in the hospital by myself? Duh.
Would you rather have cardiac catheter surgery or do this reno? This was a toughie. I really super hated that surgery. But then it was only a day of horror. We'll give it an almost duh.
Would you rather have Bell's Palsy for a year or do this reno? Since my palsy only lasted a couple of weeks the jury is still out on this one. I don't know. Which one's worse? Hopefully I'll never know!

So two things were realized during this productive conversation.

1. I have a pretty unusual medical history. Some good stories to tell at parties, if we were ever invited to parties.
2. I am really hating this reno.

Monday, September 6, 2010

sand and re-sand

I've adopted the whole "if you have nothing nice to say then don't say anything at all" mentality. This is why I haven't blogged since last Wednesday. But then, today, I decided that it's my friggin' blog and if I want to whine and complain then that's what I'm gonna do because it's MY blog and I do what I want on my blog.

I don't even know where to start.

First day of school. Busy but mostly uneventful. We get up at 7. We leave at 7:45. We get to school just before 9. Sounds normal, right? Well it's not normal to drive an hour to school but apparently that's how I roll. Like a total maniac, I do everything the hard way. Last Thursday and Friday I spent a lot of time driving and waiting for kids. Getting the teen registered for high school only took about 7 hours of really annoying tasks. Seven hours I'll never get back. (Yeah, yeah, I'm sure it wasn't seven. But still........)

Jack and Chandler wouldn't let me take any pics. Whatever.......

While I was dealing with children and new registrations and all the driving the man was sanding hardwood. I tried my hand at the sanding and it was dumb and exhausting and was taking forever. He took over and rented many a tool until he found one that worked. I won't comment on the quality of the job he did.

I love you Darcy.

Friday we picked out a stain we both loved. Spice. The paint store only carried it in little bottles. It takes a week to order it in gallon cans (of course it does) which would be half the cost. We don't have a week. Two choices: one, buy 20 little bottles for $300 or find a stain that is similar for cheaper. The man said he would search out the perfect stain look alike on his way home. He came home with a stain that looked nothing like it.

I shook my head no.

"Don't shake your head no at me," said the man.

"It's too dark," said the woman.

The next morning, we set out to gather 20 bottles of this Spice. Three Rona's and one Ben Moore later we had 20 bottles. The guy at Ben Moore said "This is the best stain in the world. It doesn't smell, it only needs one coat and it is seamless". Perfect.

With my mother at my house with the kids, which I am pretty sure is not where she wanted to be, we put the stain on. It took forever, we covered 1000 square feet. It looked BAD so I put on another coat. I still hurt from this 8 hour pilate-like workout.

The next day we went to check on it (after we attended our new ward which only has two words to describe it and they are 'gong' and 'show', but that is neither here nor there).

Floors...... Not perfect. Hideous. Blotchy. Light spots, dark spots, seams up the ying yang and the man's not so stellar sanding job glowing though the stain. We hung our heads in defeat.

This brings us to today. We had only one option. Re-sand the floors.

Even Holden lent a helping hand.

Today we re-sanded floors all day long. The man stayed after I left to sand all night long if need be. He has no bed, no blanket, no pillow, no food, no water, no me.......

We move in 5 sleeps.

You can imagine what the stress of this has to done to him. He is a bear, to say the least. Cranky, miserable, unhappy, exhausted. On Saturday, we had Chinese for dinner and his fortune cookie said 'Your magnetic personality will draw people to you this month'.

I laughed till I cried.