Friday, December 31, 2010

Out with a Bang!

As soon as I can get some time, there will be a 2010 - Year in Photos post. Someday. Hopefully before 2011 comes to a close!

The city put on an awesome celebration for families last night. There were children's entertainers, then a mock countdown to fireworks at 7:30, followed by Auld Lang Syne. The boys were mesmerized. I've been wanting to get them out to see fireworks for the last 4 years. But they're always at 10pm and it's a half hour walk each way to view.

The look of awe on their little faces was priceless. I cried. It's not everyday you get to achieve one of your parenting dreams!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

View from the bottom

We had a wonderful Christmas. The boys shocked us and slept in. Then they played with their new toys I knew they'd love their new train set  but I didn't expect it to completely engross them until bedtime. 

Cooked a smallish turkey for just us, with enough leftovers for casserole, soup and some sandwiches. Very civilized! And all but Elliot were in our pajamas all day long. Cozy! And here I sit at 8:30, exhausted but fighting the urge to go to bed. Have to finish the soup at least.....and you'll notice a few changes to the look over here. I got bored. Sorry.

Merry Christmas, happy holidays and all that jazz to everyone, and to all a good night!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Love Shack

My mom came for a visit this week. On Wednesday, we cleaned. The floors. The dishes. It took all day. Yesterday, we baked. Starting at 10am, cosmopolitans in hand, we made fudge, skor squares, almond bark, candy cane bark, sugar cookies, orange-almond biscotti, truffles (which I finished today because holy crap! What a long and messy process!) and gingerbread. There was just enough gingerbread left after rolling out slabs for a house to make 4 little people and some trees.

Today, I found an icing recipe that was suitable for sticking the gingerbread house together and we got creative. I honestly didn't think it was going to work. But voila!

Poor melted snowman.

Elliot decorated this person. That's a belly button, I'm told.
So we'll see how long it lasts. Elliot even said while making it, "One smartie for me. One for the house!" The boys were on a sugar high allllll afternoon. Then again, so was I. Candida Protocol be damned!

We also spent some time out in the SNOW! Yay, we finally got some white stuff. And it was perfect snow, too. Played in the backyard. Trekked over to the high school and used their hill for sledding. Good times!

Soooooo, we're thinking of spending 7-8 hours in the (borrowed) car tomorrow to go to a family Christmas party for about 3 hours. Not sure if we will. What say you - should we do it?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wish List

This morning I took the boys to meet Carol. She's a Waldorf-trained Early Childhood Educator. I feel as if I'm drowning and have been in uncontrollable tears more days than not lately. The boys are feral monkeys and I'm a sleep-deprived zombie with all the patience and nurturing of a sack of rocks. It's a wild time of year, there's crazy energy in the air and the boys are broadcasting all my negativity back at me at twice the volume.
I needed help. Carol's Calm Parenting approach appealed to me. Her home sits in a beautiful historic area of the city. It's all hardwood floors and clean lines inside. Very soothing. It felt homey and comfortable and smelled fresh - lavender and other herbs lightly scented the air. I never wanted to leave. Her playroom is on the third floor; a sunny and bright space with quietly tucked away baskets of toys - which the boys dumped out unceremoniously into a huge pile. My favourite was a large felted turtle with a pocket on each end that contained a total of 4 baby turtles. There were hand-knit animals: lots of cats, ducks, geese. And adorable crocheted farm animals. And lots of wooden cars, trucks and trains - "Made with homemade wood, mama!" Elliot exclaimed.

The boys played and discovered, giving Carol and I time to talk. When I told her I was in school, working, and running my own small business in addition to being a mom and housewife (I like that term, so sue me!), she put down her notebook and gave me a long look. And I cried. We watched the boys play and soon enough, they began to fight over the same basket of toys. Before I could drum up the energy to step in, Carol quietly asked me to simply observe for a few minutes.

Elliot exerted his authority. Felix whined and screamed and followed his big brother all over the room. I was on edge and Carol remarked that yes, it was a highly annoying sound! She made gentle comments: to Felix, "Yes, you do really want that toy, I can tell", and to Elliot "He really wants to play too. What can we do?" Very quickly, Elliot came over to me and spread out a small red blanket that was in the basket and then set up for a picnic. Felix whined louder but came over to investigate when Elliot out out a dish for him. And just like that, the tears were gone and we were having a nice picnic together. Eventually, Elliot went to play with something else and Felix climbed over our 'table' and claimed the bowl of felted fruit for his own.
The Felted Pear
They actually solved their own issue. When I told Jay about it tonight, he pointed out that it was over an easily shareable toy, which was lucky. The other night, when Elliot was playing with his Lego and Felix wanted a closer look, Elliot became so enraged he got in Felix's face and bit him on the bridge of his nose, breaking the skin in 2 spots. Which nicely matched the scrape down Felix's cheek from Elliot's fingernail when they fought over a Christmas decoration the day before. I want to let them figure things out on their own, but 1) Felix has got the "Someone broke my puppy!" scream and tears down to a science and 2) Things escalate quickly and seemingly without notice.
The Wood Garden
My homework is to start a notebook chronicling altercations the boys have with each other or with me and to exam what was happening at that moment - was I on the computer? Off my game due to exhaustion or hunger - or were they? Were we just coming home? Getting ready to go out? Rushed? Late? Whatever. I know many, if not all, of those situations are the hot button times around here, so I will be watching for them.

Additional homework is a change in how we come home on the 3 daycare nights per week. Usually, I pick them up at the last possible minute, bringing a snack for them with me. We get home, undress and then they watch TV while I get supper ready. The new routine will be similar, but instead of a full snack when I pick them up, they'll get something much smaller. And then when we get home, we'll just sit together, having another snack or tea or something for 10-15 minutes, and then I'll slip out to get supper ready. With their help. Setting the table, whatever. This means I'll need to alter my timetable a bit, which is possible, and I'll pick them each up a bit earlier so we don't end up eating supper at bedtime. Meal planning (which we already do) will be key.
Oh, and I'm going to drop my lone winter course that starts in 3 weeks' time. It's an unnecessary stress, since I have to admit that I can't be superwoman and do everything at once. There. You've got it in writing. I may never admit that again. I will be going back to class full time in September, and that one measly little class will just have to wait until then. As soon as she suggested it - and it wasn't even a suggestion, just a subtle questioning of my need to take that course right now - and it felt like the right choice. And Jay wholeheartedly agrees. I'll be working 3-5 full days a week from January-April, so I don't know why or when I thought I would fit in school. Plus my business. Since I have a small client base, I should be able to handle that. As long as I don't take on any new clients.  Or any extra businesses. (I've recently become an independent Epicure Selections consultant. I loooove their product but doing home parties kinda scares me. Maybe over the summer I'll jump back into that??)
Green Mountain Wee Woolies
The next step with Carol is a home visit. See the boys in their natural habitat. We're going to look at toy cleanup - so should probably schedule this meeting for after the holidays as I know there will be a huge pile o' loot for them to sort through. I've been trying to guide gift-givers towards more natural toys. Handmade. Wooden. Things that have a story to tell and can have many purposes. Toys that have been lovingly handcrafted. Or at least look that way. I'm tired of all the plastic and battery operated crap we have. They're becoming more and more hard and ugly and loud and toxic. I want gentleness. Calmness. Whirled peas. I really wish I could put into words how I feel. I did a ginormous toy purge not that long ago and tried to explain to Jay why I wanted to get rid of the ones I did. And what I wanted to replace them with. Less commercial, more love. Words fail me, but I'm just trying to get some happiness. And being at Carol's today, watching the boys play with those beautiful and graceful toys, that's what I want. Right there.

Wish me luck. Send me tips. Wanna join a commune with me?

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

I was worried when we brought the boys to pick out a tree this past weekend. It was snowy, Jay and I were both there, it wasn't toooooo far a walk away. All good, right? But, the trees were in a busy grocery store parking lot. And it was snowing. And it was a good 15-20 minute walk away. And I was recalling, in great detail, this cringe worthy tree outing. Kudos to her, huh?! Mad skillz!

Anyhoo, it took mere seconds for us to pick out a tree. I didn't even have time to pull out the camera to capture the boys running through the lot, slipping on ice, climbing in the baler. Probably for the best. I would have loved to have gotten a picture of our salesman - a young teenager who asked Jay if he wanted him to give the tree "a fresh cut on the butt" before we took it home.

Jay used his strong man arms to carry it home, the boys helped drag it into the house, and there it sat, in the stand and tied to the wall, until tonight when I encouraged the boys to decorate it instead of watching TV while I prepared supper. (Turkey lasagna, yum!)

I found the collection of cinnamon ornaments we'd made last year, wrapped tightly, that still smell awesome. I keep thinking there's some hot guy in my living room and I want to lick him. Apparently, I have a thing for cinnamon. Who knew?!

Tonight when the boys asked for lullabies, I sang Christmas carols - O Holy Night, Silent Night, White Christmas... I love this time of year!! Now to get on with that huge list of holiday baking...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I'm going to show you the latest picture of my fingernail. You - yes, you! -  may wish to avert your eyes or go read about fluffy kittens for a while.

I'm totally fascinated by the morphology of the crushed nail bed. My doctor said I might not lose the nail. Well, she was wrong.

At least it's not oozing anymore. It started by lifting at one corner, which then spread along the base of the nail. Then it kinda flapped there for a while, snagging on clothes and bed sheets. Then this morning I saw that it was splitting up the middle, so I grabbed the clippers and hacked away at it. Eventually, it'll grow out, I guess, so I can remove the rest of it. The exposed skin and crud is hard (and luckily doesn't hurt) but it's not a new nail surface yet. Hopefully that fills in soon. Right now, it's doing a good job of holding the kids' attention at Elliot's preschool - they are as fascinated as I am and ask if they can touch it!

Ok, and since you looked even though I warned you, here's some happiness:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Didn't Beth Die From That?

Scarlet Fever has hit the RainyDay house. Happy happy joy joy! Thankfully, it's not of the "Little Women" death variety.

Elliot woke with a high fever around eleven Saturday night. At 5am we shot out of bed to cries of "I'm going to throw up!!!" The fever continued all day. We did drag him outside on a nature walk at a new trail we found. He loved it, but was shivering and threatening to throw up again as we were leaving. And was asleep within moments of getting home, fever raging once more.
He woke in a sweat after his nap and I was hoping that the fever had broken and he would start feeling better. He asked for a snack, which was promising, but as the afternoon went on, he looked more and more pitiful and refused to eat and drink. I called our Nurse Link line and they said it sounded like strep (he'd started saying his throat hurt, but wouldn't let me look inside his mouth). There's only 1 walk in clinic open in the city on Sundays, but they were full. I figured I could get him into his doctor the next morning, so we were waiting.

His fever didn't respond to Advil. It kept going up, which is the opposite of down. We had a car for the evening, as my mom was visiting, so Jay and I decided to take him to the ER. I felt silly when the intake nurse wrote "sore throat" as the reason for the visit. But he needed medicine. After a long wait, we made it into a room to wait even more for a doctor. As I was changing him into the hospital gown, I saw the rash on his stomach and sides. The nurse scribbled a note and we waited more.
When the doctor finally came in, she was gowned, gloved and masked. Yep, we were a contagion. She didn't do a swab, but said it was most likely strep and prescribed antibiotics. She didn't comment on the rash, but fever? nasty sore throat? rash? simply screams scarlet fever to me. Especially since there was a confirmed case at his preschool a week ago. Poor kid. I hope we didn't infect everyone in the Santa line on Saturday. Bad parents!

To add another dollop of fun to this mixture, Felix has an ear infection and a body-shaking smoker's cough. I had both boys home with me And the power went out due to high winds and rain. We're all home again today. I'm pretty well shot. And trying not to shoot them. We have errands to do, but the boys are rather feral from being sick and cooped up and I don't dare turn them loose on the world.

Time for an arts & crafts and baking day! I want to recycle some crayons. Put up the Christmas decorations? Make cookies? Homemade play dough? Gingerbread house? Tea party?  Hmmm, the toys and laundry do need to be put away. And someone should tackle all the dishes and crap in the kitchen. Speaking of crap, the cat litter needs to be changed as the Floor Pooper struck again.

Screw it. We'll be parked in front of the TV all day.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Saw the big fat man today!

And Santa was there, too....

I kid, I kid.

We had the use of my mother's car today, so went out early to get groceries. And to do a quick pick up of another Candida Cleanse from my chiropractor's office. The office was closed, but they left it in the front porch for me. How ironic is it that as I was leaving, I slipped on some wet wood, fell hard, and wrenched my foot? Now I need to go see my chip due to a visit to my chiro... *sigh* It'll work itself out. At least it's my other foot. But that other one, well, it's starting to act up again, too.

Then on to groceries. And I forgot the list. But lucky for me, I'd only compiled it this morning so remembered everything on it. Booyah!

Then, even though the boys were not having patient days and were getting feisty, we still decided to go see Santa. His photo hours started at 10 and I was anticipating a huge line-up when we got there at 10:30. But it wasn't too bad, maybe 15 people in front of us. Took nearly half an hour to get through. The boys tested their boundaries and toed all the lines, but we made it through. They were super excited to see Santa. Elliot ran up and gave him a huge hug and Felix told him over and over how much he LOVED trains.

Felix looks like a doofus, but it does capture their personalities quite well. Similar poses to last year, too. (Felix was trying to figure out why the photographer was shaking a box of Smarties at them.) Plus, they're both sick with colds, so all in all, a good day! While we were in line, Felix ran over to a man sitting on a bench and gave him a hug. Whoops - gotta curb Mr. Friendly before he gets stolen, I guess. Eep!

So yes, I'm doing another round of the Candida Cleanse. My energy levels are high right now and I want to keep them that way. But I'm still craving sugar like no one's business, so I know it's not out of my system yet.  I lost 5 lbs in the last 15 days, pretty much all of which was in the first week. I've also started jumping on my trampoline for 30 minutes every other night. (Should be doing that right now, but I'm tired.)

I'm totally off of my antidepressant now. But I've added in a homeopathic "wet blanket" that has been helping tamp down my crazy. I take 3 a day. Plus 4 probiotics. Plus an iron supplement 3 times. Plus my vitamins (4) twice a day. Add in the 2 candida pills twice a day, my birth control and the synthroid and I'm up to a whopping 24 pills per day. Holy guacamole!!! And I thought coming off the antidepressant would lessen the stuff I was putting in my body...

**And I forgot the antibiotics for strep throat that I'm taking 3x a day....

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Time of my life

Tomorrow is day 15 on the candida cleanse. Are you as excited as I am to find out how it's been? Stay tuned! Any guesses on how much, if any, weight I've lost? Or on how many supplements I'm now taking? Or on what my latest bloodwork results will be? (Well, we'll all have to wait until Monday for that one.)

Until then, this makes me happy...

****But then that makes me sad. You Tube pulled the vid for violating terms of service. Search for Glee - Time of my Life on youtube. Should still be there somewhere.**

I wish they did the lift, though. Pretty silly not too, right? Yes, I'm a Gleek. Grudgingly. And I grew up watching Dirty Dancing. My sister and I practiced so hard to get that lift right. I think we might have nailed it a time or two. And broken some furniture.

And in other news, being December (ALREADY??!) the NaNoWriMo has come to an end. And I stalled out at just over 6000 words at the end of the first week. I'm disappointed but not upset. The words are still in my head. Someday, I'll get them out.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


It's that time again - a new issue of Rhythm of the Home is up!! I want to sit and sip a hot tea and spend time on each beautiful page.

Too bad I have an exam tomorrow that is eating away at my brain. And my time. And my patience.  I took my afternoon class off to give me the whole day to study. And guess what? After 5 hours,  I figured out that the parts I knew previously, I still know. And the parts I was foggy on before - well, those are even foggier.

I had to run out in the middle of the mock exam and buy a new calculator - something I'm been putting off for the last 5 weeks. Glad I remembered today, before getting into things tomorrow.

Recovering from strep, hoping the boys stay healthy - Felix has been coughing and snotting and last night his eye started gooping. Sure make you wanna come visit us, doesn't it?!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Run For Your Life!!

Filmed in barfovision for your viewing pleasure!

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Don't know (yet) if it's strep throat or just a bad sore throat, or scarlet fever (strep with a fever & rash - it's going around at Elliot's daycare), or just "die off" as the yeast in my body finally gives up the ghost.... but I. Hurt.

Tonsils are swollen and nasty looking. That seems more than the simple "sore throat" listed in the die off symptom list. Why does this always happen on a weekend? Ok, ok, I knew yesterday, but with all my other appointments I didn't have time to go see my doctor for a throat swab (gag). The walk in clinics (all 2 in the city) open in 2 hours. Each are 30 minutes away, in opposite directions. This is shaping up to be an awesome day! Are you as excited as I am?

**UPDATE: 5pm: Yep. Strep. Joy.**

In boy news, Santa arrives at the mall today and so we've been thinking of taking them over for pictures. That'll be interesting. Here's last year's picture...
Christmas 2009

Friday, November 26, 2010

Lessons Learned

Apparently, shaking your head and stepping back are both signs that you want to get on the approaching bus and when you make no move to board said bus the driver will take it upon herself to yell to catch your attention and then lecture you on proper bus-declining etiquette.

Who knew?

I sure learned my lesson today. Thank you, #10 bus!

Also learned today - vitamin B shots BURN going in. Ouch.

And sitting in a greasy spoon diner eating a plate of eggs and hash browns by yourself while reading a book is relaxing and only costs $3.45

Gonna have a nap now. B12 is low and I found out this week that I'm suddenly quite anemic. No wonder I can't keep my eyes open for more than 7 minutes at a time. 3 full hours before I need to go pick up the boys. Sweeeeeet!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Scrub a dub dub!

So tomorrow, a professional cleaner is coming in for 3 hours - I bought an awesome coupon on one of those city-specific sites that are popping up all over the place. 

So this means I should probably put some effort into picking up the house, right? I want them to do the floors. Which means the floors should be visible, unless there have been some sensational advances in the cleaning industry since I last looked. Anyone know? Anyone?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Swampwater, day 5.

I went hunting for a scale last night, but it seems ours has gone AWOL. The last time I did a candida diet change, I lost 14 lbs in 2 months. Simply from changing the way I ate. I'd like to track my progress this time, but I don't think I should get caught up in the numbers. Not yet, anyway.

I found it this morning, in our room under a pile of clothes. 170. Eep!

But this time, I have my secret weapon, the aforementioned Candida Cleanse and added Herbal Fiber Blend. Picked both products up at my chiropractor's office, of all places. She has successfully used them herself and recommends them to her clients so frequently that she decided to bring some in to sell, instead of sending people to the health food store at the end of the street. 

Today is day 5. I'm still hanging in there. In fact, I haven't had this much success in the early days before. I'm crediting the Fiber Blend for working it's magic on my digestive system, cleaning and healing it and showing it how it can be full with only a normal size of food. And of course the candida pills and tincture, which are dueling with the yeasties currently kicking around in my body.

I've been having fun with my food - you have to when you're working with a limited spread. Supper the other night was Ryvita crackers spread with goat's cheese (a candida no-no, but I've learned in the past that I can handle it), mashed avocado, halved cherry tomatoes and fresh ground black pepper. Soooooo very good!

I'm also nearly 5 weeks into my No Caffeine Adventure. And doing great! I don't miss coffee and I'm not even having decaf. I've been drinking tea, but my go-to drink in the morning is a coffee substitute made by Bambu. It is made from rye, chicory, figs, acorns... (ok, I know I just lost a few readers!) But it's tasty. And hot. And dark. And it meets my needs of having a mug of richness in the morning.

In other news, we had our first snow overnight! When I brought the boys downstairs, I told Elliot to go look out the window. He did, and seconds later there came an exuberant cry of "SNOW!!!!!!" He's been asking for weeks when it was going to be winter. Ever since Halloween.

Have a bunch of errands to run in it today, so that should make him happy. (Well, not the errands themselves because one of them is a doctor's appointment where he's gonna get an immunization. Shhhhh.) But it's drizzling now and I don't expect the snow to be down long. What little of it there was is fast turning to slush and running away.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Going Yeast Bustin'

Ok, I did it. I've been talking about it forever and have tried it - unsuccessfully - many times in the past. I've made it 6 weeks on the Candida Diet previously before the sugar craving put down it's mean little foot and slapped me silly for even thinking I could go sweet free.

But this time, I have a secret weapon. And a plan.

Yeast overgrowth in the body can cause so many things, from fatigue to all over body aches, to constant itching - and not just in the girly bits. During my last half-hearted attempt, my naturopathic doctor told me that since my body was so broken, it would take at least 6 months of being off of sugar, dairy, wheat, yeast and alcohol before it could start to heal itself properly. That's a depressing statement. But I fully agree with her.

This time around, I'm going a more direct route - a 15 day cleanse, complete with powders and pills to take twice a day. 

And to make it even more wonderful - and effective - I'm also taking a fiber supplement twice a day.

Bottom's up! Wish me luck.

It's only 15 days. I can do it. Just take the supplements and stay away from sugar and everything else on the huge list on the fridge.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Baking with the Boys

Today we made gingerbread cookies and pizza dough.
The cookie dough ended up dry and crumbly, so I had to improvise and add some warm water to make it roll-able. Worked like a charm, so now we have a collection of dinosaurs, moons, dogs, cats, bears, hearts and stars cooling on the table. Smells divine!

The pizza dough was more fun. After the basic mixing and rising, punching down and re-rising, I turned it out on the table with more flour and kneaded it until it was very soft. Then split it into two balls and gave one each to the boys.

Now the dough is rising for a third time, and will soon be rolled onto a pan and topped with a hearty mix of sauteed onions, garlic and peppers and some soy pepperoni. And maybe some pineapple, if it hasn't turned.

In a few more weeks, we'll start Christmas baking in earnest. Sugar cookies, fudge, chocolate bark, cheesecake, squares, pie... Mostly to be given away, of course. Before I sneak down at 3am to gobble it all up like the Grinch.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, yes, I still have my fingernail. I call it my cityscape, see:

Or an erupting volcano...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Woe is me, I'm so woe...

You know, some days, some people really shouldn't be parents. Like me. Today. Why is it such a trial? Yes, they're being more insistent than usual, yes they woke up earlier than usual, but most of it is my own reaction. I want to yell, to punish, to make them just freaking LISTEN!!!!!! I caught myself a few moments ago in the kitchen, staring wistfully at a bottle of Tanqueray gin high up on the cupboards. Somehow, I'm certain that there's no way to justify a drink before 8:30 in the morning.

I'm reminded of a few weeks ago when my mom was visiting and she watched the boys while I went to some appointments. She cleaned, of course, which instead of making me feel grateful, usually makes me feel small and incapable. I appreciate it but wish I had the drive/energy/ability to take care of the house myself. Afterall, it is my job.

She mentioned, casually, that she'd noticed an awful lot of bottles of booze around the house and was I having problems? Bewildered, I looked around. Saw 2 bottles of rum, the gin, whiskey, some baileys, wine, fun mixed things in the fridge..... um, no - no problems here. Yet. We don't have a liquor cabinet or shelf space to hold it all where the boys can't reach it, so it's tucked here and there. But maybe it's not a good idea to have all these spirits so easily accessible - to me.

Because the way I feel right now...  only mass amounts of chocolate or alcohol are gonna make me feel better about my abilities. Or maybe a massage. A spa day. A day away from responsibilities. Oh wait, I had that last one for most of yesterday. Didn't help.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Good riddance!

Would someone please remind me the next time I say I'm gonna take the boys on an outing myself, that I should bring along a leash and a taser? Thanks!

Really, it wasn't that bad. The sun was out for the first time in a week today, so we went to the playground. Jay stayed home building our bed. (More on that later...) They ran off lots of energy, we had fun. Then Elliot filled his hat with rocks and the boys brought me up the Stairs of Doom. Jay's gone up with Elliot before. I never have. And I won't be going again if I can help it. It's a flight of stairs 3-stories high on the outside of the elementary school just up the road from us. It's a steel frame of some sort and you can see through the whole thing. See - have a look for yourself:

Not even at the halfway point...
I have mild panic attacks when walking on a flight of stairs in a house that don't have a back on them. Now here I am, hoofing it up the stairs after my brainless fearless boys. Half way up, I figured I was going to have to call Jay to get him to come rescue us me. Elliot made it to the top and started dropping the rocks from his hat through the grid, one by one. Felix started dancing. I started hyperventilating. Oooooh the vertigo. I had no sense of security. We were all gonna die.

Eventually and verrrrrry carefully, we started back down. Elliot sat on his bum and bounced along. Felix walked down 4 steps then turned and ran back up to the top. I swallowed my heart and ran after him. I had to carry him down to the halfway landing. By then, since we were closer to the ground, I felt more in control.

We needed eggs, which was the second part of our outing, but the boys hadn't brought their listening ears. After they started running away in opposite directions, I nixed the idea of going 3 blocks further to the convenience store and instead crossed into the little mom & pop affair opposite the school. And man, you'd think those boys had never been in a store before. They ran in whooping, touching everything. When I turned to put the eggs on the counter, Elliot opened the freezer and grabbed an ice cream bar and was starting to unwrap it. Then he took down all the signs on the door while I paid. Felix cheered him on. Unreal. They've never been so wild in a store before. Ok, not for a while, anyway.

Jay's been working on the new bed frame alllllll day. Which is good, since the mattress arrives tomorrow. But that meant I had the boys all day. And by bath time, I was very grumpy. I have an assignment for school due tomorrow that's only mostly finished and I should be working on it right now, but I can't concentrate.  My back hurts. My computer is above the workshop in the basement where Jay's blasting music and sanding and swearing when things go wrong. And it's Thursday night which means my shows will be on soon. And I'm thinking about the old bed, which is currently in the front hall, awaiting removal in the morning.

The boys were conceived in that bed. (Well, Felix was. Elliot might have been in the shower.) Jay and I first whispered our "I love yous" in that bed. I laboured long and hard on that bed, twice. Spent the boys' first years in that bed.  Lots of memories. But you know what? It's a CRAPPY bed! It hurts. I rotisseried myself in it, night after night during both pregnancies trying to find a spot that was comfortable for more than 10 minutes at a time. It was cheap and thin and sharp and I'm glad it's leaving. So long, old friend, but we're moving on to a fresher, better model.

So there's no bed in our room right now. I'm sleeping in Felix's room and Jay will take the couch. How romantic! *Hopefully* the new frame will be done so we can sleep in the new bed tomorrow night. Fingers crossed!

And on a different note, lets end our evening with a little musical entertainment, shall we? Give him a few seconds, he was a bit camera shy at first...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Rain. Day 7.

Well, many parts of the province have pretty well floated away. It's been raining steady for a week. Today we got a bit of a break and the drizzle stopped around 11. Stayed gray and windy all day, though.  During the first 3 days, we got a typical month's worth of rainfall. So much flooding and damage. Several bridges and many roads have been washed out in my hometown. Scary.

 Tina Comeau, photo

Aaron Pothier, photo

Aaron Pothier, photo

The boys are going batty. Took them out puddle jumping yesterday. Their raincoats were still soaked this morning! Luckily, I'm still off caffeine so I'm mostly in control of my impulses and able to deal with the stir crazy testosterone around here. I think. Though I did lose it on them around supper time yesterday. In my defense, I'd had crappy sleep the night before and 2 needles - flu and tetanus shots - that morning. I still wish I hadn't yelled.

We went shopping last weekend - bought what we went for, but it still added up to $$$$. Got a brand new 1620 coil count mattress with a memory foam topper. (Apparently, the coil thing is good - standard bed have around 800, she said.) It's a queen, firm, cozy. Hasn't been delivered yet. (Boooo! 2 more days...) We can't fit a queen box-spring up our steep, narrow staircase. And a queen split - 2 smaller box-springs - was an extra $300 on the cost of the set. Yipes! The current platform we have sucks. It's old and creaky and the slats slip back and forth and stick out the sides and we bang into them. So, Jay's building a new platform for the mattress. Not sure how the logistics of new bed in, old bed out will work since the platform won't be ready when the new bed arrives. We'll see.

We also bought a new portable dishwasher to replace the freebie we got on the side of the road last year. Yay for efficient dish-washing not being done by me!

Elliot's entered another aggressive phase. On Friday, Jay came around the corner from the kitchen and saw him stabbing Felix in the head with a plastic pen from their magnadoodle thingy. Nearly broke the skin, Felix had a good bruise. Jay said it was vicious. Later that day at preschool he got mad at one of his friends and bit him really hard. Didn't break the skin, but a full impression was still there at the end of the day. Plus he's always (and almost unconsciously) hitting and poking people as they walk by. The other night he told me to put the food in my butt when I told him to put it in his mouth and eat his supper.

And Felix, well, he's 2 and he's showing it. Every choice, every offer, ever question, every request is met with screaming. He sounds like a schizo pterodactyl.  Bedtime is an issue. Naps are fine, but bedtime. Ugh. It took 75 minutes to get him to sleep tonight. I'd tuck him in, two minutes later he'd be silently standing in my room, staring at me until I wordlessly took him back to his room.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

On writing

So yes, November is here. Three days in to the NaNoWriMo. So far, so good. I'm writing. No idea if it's any good, but I'm writing. It's been years. I miss my English classes in high school, where the poetry vibes and short story ideas never seemed to run dry.

I have no shortage of ideas, that much remains the same. There are at least 2 partial novels tumbling around in there right now. I just wish I could crack open my skull and pour the word out onto the pages. When I sit down to write, things lose context. I ramble, lose threads, get hopelessly tangled. Just stuck on description. Forget the gist.

When I started writing on Monday, I got about 800 words in and hated it. The plot is weak, but I knew where I want it to go. But there's no point to it. I couldn't figure out how to make it all matter. Plus, it was coming out like I was a simpering idiot. So I gave up and turned to another idea I've been thinking about for a few YEARS now. Rather quickly, I had 1800 words. Fantastic! 100 words over my self-imposed daily limit! Go me!

Sitting down to write after the boys were in bed last night, I discovered that 600 words were gone. Erased. Eaten by the computer. WTF? Did I get so used to the auto-save feature from blogging that I actually didn't save it? But then, who closed the file? Who selected "no" when asked if they wanted to save the changes? Couldn't have been me. I may have been drinking more and sleeping less and eating boatloads more sugar than usual, but you'd think that would have been a clue. Right? RIGHT?

Do I blame the boys? My mother, who was visiting and watching them for the day? The cats?

Ugh. I so wanted to give up then and there. I couldn't stand the idea of re-writing those measly 600 words. But Jay encouraged me, cheered me on, and I did it. And you know what - I like the direction the story then went in even better now!

I'm having a hard time with character names and the setting. I'm trying to blend what I know and what's familiar with fiction. How can you write about a sadistic child killer when it's set in your own neighbourhood? How can you write steamy sex scenes when your mother - or mother-in-law - or the daycare teacher might someday read it? I've always been hung up on what people think of me. If they're talking about me. Yes, I'm paranoid.

I'm not well traveled.  I can't just make facts up. I'm going for authenticity here, and that means I have to use places that I know in a fictitious manner. What an unexpected concern.

In boy news, I took them to a walking path yesterday afternoon, since they were both climbing the walls. In hindsight, they were also super defiant, so freedom may not have been a good choice, but they needed a good run.

They found an awesome climbing tree. We played for a while and then I tried to entice them home with promises of tea and cookies. Well, that didn't go over well. They ran in different directions, laughing manically and shouting that they were going to run away and hide. Which they did. Since we were close to a very busy street at rush hour, this was alarming. I did manage to round them up, like herding cats - I'd get one and the other would disappear -  and Felix spent the walk home riding on my shoulders (my arms went numb) and I had a death grip on Elliot's arm. And we didn't have tea or cookies. Boo.

Before the mayhem, I did manage to snap some fun pics with my phone!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

C'est l'Halloween!



In their daycare costumes... (Elliot's T-Rex wasn't finished yet.) Felix wouldn't take the lion suit off all day! And couldn't wait to put it back on for's the end of an era, as Elliot's worn that suit the past 2 years. It won't fit anyone next year, so it will be donated to the daycare. I'm going to start scouring the second hand shops for cheap, bigger costumes and dress up clothes and start a tickle trunk for them.

Nearing the end of their trick-or-treating. Elliot was beyond wired for it. He would run from house to house, shouting "Trick or treat - I love candy!!!" What a basket case. He was already exhausted from a busy day and no nap and weird eating times. Had a melt down at supper and very nearly missed getting outside for Halloween at all. But it worked, I found a way to cajole him into eating his supper without actually spoon feeding him like a baby - which is what he wanted - and then we got a late start.

The heavy tail kept dragging on the ground and getting hooked on steps and doors. But he loved it. So brave. One house had their porch set up as a haunted house, complete with a smoke machine. He declared "I'm not afraid of ANYTHING!" and marched up there to claim his candy. 

 Jay's handliwork, lit with mini Halloween lights. 

In other news, I've joined the NaNoWriMo and have accepted the challenge to write a 50,000 word novel before November 30th. Might just be the bit of motivation I need to get creative. Though, I will be more difficult for the first few days, because I was viciously attacked by a can of condensed milk while gathering ingredients for tonight's supper.  Heavy can + 2 foot drop + ceramic tile =

Holy frack it hurts!!! It's still throbbing and the pain is radiating down the finger, into my wrist and up my arm. After it happened and I howled in the kitchen for a bit, I managed to grab an ice pack (ok, a bag of frozen french cut green beans) and ran down to Jay's office in the basement, shaking and bawling. Scared the poor man, but he quickly got me back upstairs and secured a real ice pack and found the ibuprofen.I hope it heals fast. But given my track record, it probably won't!

And now, I should get my hand out of the candy bag, drag the double stroller up the front steps because I can hear the rain pattering down, and get myself to bed. Night, peeps!
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