Tuesday, December 19, 2006

And then there was light

The thing about losing power is that it makes you appreciate what you have. Especially when you get it all back.

After being stuck indoors all week by the pain in my back, the lack of napping & the pissing rain, on Thursday afternoon I persuaded Sugar Daddy to come home early to I could drive the three minutes required to get to Gymboree. Sure I could have walked but apparently I am made of sugar - that or I couldn't be bothered getting the stroller set up with the rain cover. We made it over there & Doodle Bug then went on her mission to collect all the balls scattered throughout the room whether or not they were in anyone else's hands. This resulted in a few tussels & several screeches of the velocirapter variety when someone tried to recover their ownership of the treasured plastic orbs. We were involved in this epic struggle while the rain poured down outside when all of a sudden there was the grumble of thunder followed by a huge flash of lightning. Despite the amount of rain we've experienced here I think this was the first bit of thunderstorm to date. Driving home you could see the cars ahead going through about 6 inches of water that was accumulating on the side of the roads. And the rain just kept coming down.

Then the wind picked up.

I'd seen the news earlier out of the corner of my eye while reading Dilly Duckling for the umpteenth time so I sorta knew that a severe windstorm was forecast. I was thinking Newfoundland gale but I don't remember experiencing anything quite like what was to come later that night while living in St. John's. You could hear the storm picking up power as the evening wore on & by the time we went to bed the wind was whipping up crap on the street & small branches out of the trees. It got so loud that I found it impossible to sleep properly & kept getting up every hour to look out the window to make sure the nearby trees weren't about to come through to main me & my loved ones in some freak accident.

Sometime between midnight & 2 am the power went out & the darkness was upon us. At first we just noticed that the clock was out but then realized that there was none of the regular piercing brightness from the streetlight outside our window. We figured the power would probably come back on as soon as the wind died down. Meanwhile we continued to not sleep through the night & kept watch on the desperate people still driving their cars in the total darkness. No streetlights, no traffic lights... what were these nutso's doing? We figured it had to be shift workers or stupid joyriders because we heard lots of screeching tires. Then the car alarms & sirens started. All throughout the night & the following 24 hours the sound of firetruck & police sirens were constant. Whether it was car accidents or candles left burning I don't know but it just didn't stop. In fact we're still hearing them though with much less frequency.

By morning the wind let up & taking a look outside we were a little surprised that the road below wasn't a bigger mess but I guess that the steady stream of nutty drivers throughout the night mashed the smaller branches into the pavement & pushed the larger ones to the side of the road. There was a large branch on the sidewalk from the tree outside our window & across the street we could see that the park was covered with tons of evergreen boughs & at least two large pines down on the ground (walking by later we found the playground closed because of the downed trees). The power was still out & when Sugar Daddy finally turned on the car radio we found out that we were just one of about a million people in the area without any electricity. Thankfully for us we have a gas stove, furnace & fireplace so we could make some much needed coffee. Seems we're pretty lucky. Our neighbor who works at Nordstrom's told us that many people were terribly pissed off that Starbucks wasn't making any coffee for them to fuel their shopping in the dark.

So anyway, no power. Oh well - no biggie. We've lived through 2 other major blackouts in the past 8 years. What's another one? It's not like its cold here or anything. Or is it? Apparently so. Once again I am conflicted by feelings of superior weather coping skills combined with concern for those who are suffering. Our place was a little cold the second night but nothing an extra blanket couldn't fix. It would've been a lot harder if we didn't have the gas stove but we still only used it to heat up water & fry up a microwave meal that wasn't cooking properly on the bbq. If we couldn't have used the stove we would've used our camping gear. We had a bunch of IKEA candles & tea lights, plus we had SD's bike light if we ran out of those. The dude even hooked up the laptop to the car so he could have music.

We spent Friday hanging out playing Yahtzee, reading to the baby & cleaning up. It got a little boring so we opened our Christmas presents to each other (the big things that we won't be taking on the plane to Newfoundland). Sugar Daddy gave me a digital video camera but since it didn't come with any tapes we decided to head over to one of the open stores to see of we could get one. Nothing like essentials people…. essentials. We ended up at Target & the place was packed with people stocking up on essentials (the real kind, like beer & Cheetos) & holiday goods. The flashlights were sold out & I think staples like bread & milk were in short supply.

Heading home we noticed how many dumbasses don’t know what to do at an intersection with non-working lights. Really, did you think that line up of cars in the other direction were waiting especially for you to get through mister? Oh by all means – go through. By the time we got back to the house we were once again shrouded in the darkness so we felt our way upstairs & began the search for matches & the little flashlight we knew was around somewhere. We managed to light about a zillion tea lights – just enough to be able to change a diaper with - & invited the new neighbors over for a drink. Last blackout we were in was awesome for neighborly activities. It was so warm people were wandering the streets in the evening for a bit of coolness so we got to meet a lot of the community we wouldn’t have otherwise. Folks would be hanging out on their lawns drinking their warmish beers, eating their decaying freezer food & looking up at the stars. That was good times. Good times.

Our new neighbors couldn’t come over at first because they had to go get gas. Seems everybody needed some. I’m not sure why people were driving around so much when most everything was closed, work & schools were cancelled & it was a pain in the ass with the trees & lack of streetlights. Apparently our neighbors both had to work despite the outages & needed to drive. Others were using their cars to stay warm because it was about 10 degrees Celsius (50F) in their homes. I know that’s pretty chilly but it begs the question of how little insulation do the buildings here have? I think our house might have gone down to 5 or 10 degrees during the ice storm blackout but it was about – 20 (-10F) or so outside. And this was after a week. Anyway there have been lineups at what few pumps are working throughout the area. Some pumps don’t have power & the ones that do have run out of gas because of the demand. Thankfully we had over half a tank & had nowhere to drive besides Target down the road.

Eventually the neighbors came over & hung out for a few hours, most of which I spent upstairs trying to get the baby to sleep. Of course I fell asleep once she finally went down so it was Sugar Daddy who got to do most of the socializing. And the drinking. When he finally went to bed around 2am he was pretty tipsy & the power was back on. Woo hoo! So in the end, at least for us, this was not a bad power outage at all. Of course there are still about 200,000 people without power & plenty of those are without heat. I guess we have a horseshoe up our butts because with all that could’ve happened we were lucky to have only been frustrated by inconveniences.

So we're back to almost normal except that the internet cable connection keeps going out so we lose cable channels & that most awesome information superhighway that keeps me in touch with the outside world. Also our phone is all screwed up - it rings & I can hear someone on the line but they can't hear me. Very frustrating. But we only have to put up with it one more day as we leave tomorrow for St. John's & Ottawa. We're looking forward to seeing everyone & some familiar sights, not to mention Lucky Ron. I'm super excited to see the Doodles enjoying the Christmas tree, ripping paper from presents & getting spoiled rotten from Grammy & Poppy. We've been talking to her about Santa & she points him out everytime we catch sight of one. Him & snowmen, reindeers & holiday lights. She's so much fun right now & cracks me up every few minutes. Anyway, this has taken way too long to get posted once again so I bid you all Happy Holidays & we're looking forward to seeing those of you back home.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Oops I did it again

Oh my aching back. I think I slipped a disc yesterday picking up the Doodle Bug. I did this once previously & it was major suckage for about 6 + weeks. That time it was just before getting knocked up & I did it shovelling snow from our driveway (the back, not the knocking up though that would've been fun for our neighbors). It was a lift & twist motion that got me since I was bending at the knees like a good snow shoveller with a propensity for weird injuries. Same thing this time.

During our hopefully last foray to the mall for xmas gifts Sugar Daddy was searching for something special for his mom while I played baby wrangler. She had only slept for about 30 minutes that morning so by 5 yesterday she was going into overtired crazy mode & started picking up the charity promotion teddy bears that were lined up on the store floor we were looking in. She'd pick up one & then another so she had one in each hand, then she'd drop one & pick up another so by the time we left she'd touched each of the thousand bears in the store. Then of course, since she'd staken her claim to all of them by way of the grabbing she took a fit when I tried to make her put them back. We've been getting a taste of tantrum around here lately if the girl doesn't get what she wants. We are on a rollercoaster to hell people. She'll screech like a frenzied bat & then lose function in her legs as she assumes the position of either head on floor between her knees or the one where her back arches into a rigid backwards C as she collapes into my arms crying like her entire world is coming apart. It's good fun.

Anyway I think she did the head to knee position first & then as I tried to pick her & one of the bears up she manoevered into her next pose which made me swivel so as not to drop her on the floor. I shoulda dropped her. I felt the twinge in my lower spine as I did this & a quick "oh oh" flitted into my consciousness. Followed by an out loud "oh shit!" which got the attention of most of the remaining bears & store employees. Still I got her thrashing body in my arms & tried to quell the screams of frustration by promising ice cream. No go. She had to have one of those damn bears. Being the suckers that we are, she broke us down into whimpering puddles of weakly made jello. Jello that easily caved on our mutual promises of not to succumb to the pitfall of having little plastic cards in our wallets & to the ever-mutating whims of our whiny child. How far we have fallen in our quest for an unspoiled, quiet & even-tempered tot. But you knew that would happen didn't you?

So, my back appears to be frigged right up. Not quite as bad as last time but I'm having trouble sitting on my ass which I like to do a lot. Lying on my side to nurse is excrutiating & there's shooting daggers being thrust down my legs from time to time. I'm trying to spend my time lying on my back & then doing gentle upper body lifts while lying on my belly (as prescribed by the physio last time) but it's a little difficult when Doodles just wants me to pick her up all the time. If she'd just let me lie on the floor all day while I drink away the pain everything would be hunky dory. Maybe we can reach some kind of compromise. I'll let you know. Gotta go lie down & think about beer for a while.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

For lack of brain power

I'd like to do a meme that I stole from the most awesome DaniGirl. I have lots to write about but I just can't get myself in gear. I'm burnt out from too much Xmas shopping. Anyway here's a very long list of stuff I have (in bold) & have not done. Be prepared for my fantasticness.

01. bought everyone in the bar a drink (I'm too poor / cheap)
02. swam with wild dolphins
03. climbed a mountain (two, plus a few really really big hills)
04. taken a ferrari for a test drive
05. been inside the great pyramid
06. held a tarantula (Little Ray's Repile Zoo)
07. taken a candlelit bath with someone (awkward)
08. said "i love you" and meant it
09. hugged a tree
10. bungee jumped
11. visited paris (hated it the first time & got maced at New Years the next time)
12. watched a lightning storm at sea
13. stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. seen the northern lights
15. gone to a huge sports game (I wouldn't say huge)
16. walked the stairs to the top of the leaning tower of pisa (it was closed for repairs)
17. grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. touched an iceberg
19. slept under the stars
20. changed a baby's diaper (plenty)
21. taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. watched a meteor shower
23. gotten drunk on champagne
24. given more than you can afford to charity (well Sugar Daddy did on my part)
25. looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. had a food fight
28. bet on a winning horse (when I was 12)
29. asked out a stranger
30. had a snowball fight
31. screamed as loudly as you possibly can (In the car)
32. held a lamb (lived on a sheep farm)
33. seen a total eclipse
34. ridden a roller coaster (hated it)
35. hit a home run (I suck)
36. danced like a fool and not cared who was looking (countless times)
37. adopted an accent for an entire day (not really on purpose - it just happens)
38. actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment (a moment or two)
39. had two hard drives for your computer (does an external one count?)
40. visited all 50 states (22 I think)
41. taken care of someone who was drunk
42. had amazing friends
43. danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. watched whales
45. stolen a sign (Paddy's Day drunkeness)
46. backpacked in europe
47. taken a road-trip
48. gone rock climbing (I actually used to be decent)
49. midnight walk on the beach
50. gone sky diving
51. visited ireland (so close but never made it)
52. been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love (oh sure)
53. in a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. visited japan
55. milked a cow (fresh milk is kind of gross)
56. alphabetized your cds
57. pretended to be a superhero (does the Bionic Woman count?)
58. sung karaoke (only when drunk)
59. lounged around in bed all day
60. played touch football
61. gone scuba diving (once in a pool & I freaked out)
62. kissed in the rain
63. played in the mud
64. played in the rain
65. gone to a drive-in theater
66. visited the great wall of china
67. started a business
68. fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. toured ancient sites
70. taken a martial arts class
71. played d&d for more than 6 hours straight
72. gotten married
73. been in a movie (nope but on tv a few times)
74. crashed a party
75. gotten divorced
76. gone without food for 5 days
77. made cookies from scratch
78. won first prize in a costume contest
79. ridden a gondola in venice
80. gotten a tattoo
81. rafted the snake river (went on the Athabasca)
82. been on television news programs as an "expert"
83. gotten flowers for no reason
84. performed on stage
85. been to las vegas
86. recorded music (er....)
87. eaten shark (tried whale in Iceland - it tasted like liver. Yuck!)
88. kissed on the first date
89. gone to thailand
90. bought a house
91. been in a combat zone
92. buried one/both of your parents
93. been on a cruise ship
94. spoken more than one language fluently
95. performed in rocky horror
96. raised children
97. followed your favorite band/singer on tour (once my friends & I followed Jesus Jones from Winnipeg to Minneapolis, plus I've supported a few friend's bands by driving to Brandon - woo hoo!)
98. passed out cold (fainted a few times - never from booze)
99. taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country (how about biking in Cape Cod?)
100. picked up and moved to another city to just start over (more than once)
101. walked the golden gate bridge
102. sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. had plastic surgery
104. survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
105. wrote articles for a large publication (I wouldn't say large)
106. lost over 100 pounds
107. held someone while they were having a flashback
108. piloted an airplane
109. touched a stingray
110. broken someone's heart (I think so)
111. helped an animal give birth (so cool - sheep, cat, dog)
112. won money on a t.v. game show
113. broken a bone (a few little ones along with a cracked tailbone - twice)
114. gone on an african photo safari
115. had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol (shotgun when I was 14)
117. eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild (hallucinegenic ones count right?)
sidenote where is 118?
119. had major surgery
120. had a snake as a pet
121. hiked to the bottom of the grand canyon
122. slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours (mono)
123. visited more foreign countries than u.s. states (I think it's about equal)
124. visited all 7 continents
125. taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. eaten kangaroo meat
127. eaten sushi
128. had your picture in the newspaper
129. changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about (hopefully)
130. gone back to school
131. parasailed
132. touched a cockroach
133. eaten fried green tomatoes
134. read The Iliad
135. selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read (a few)
136. killed and prepared an animal for eating (a fish a long time ago)
137. skipped all your school reunions (you know I was never notified - what does that tell you?)
138. communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. been elected to public office
140. written your own computer language
141. thought to yourself that you're living your dream (for a moment or two)
142. had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. built your own PC from parts
144. sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you (school art auction)
145. had a booth at a street fair (face painting on Canada Day / lemonade stand)
146. dyed your hair
147. been a dj
148. shaved your head (pretty damn close)
149. caused a car accident
150. saved someone's life

That's it. I'll try & write properly soon.

P.S. Huge congratulations to G & K on the birth of Douglas!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Foot in blogging mouth?

I don't know. I'm feeling pretty shitty for making fun of people who don't know how to drive in snow when something like this happens.


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

We were told this would happen

We had a very nice weekend in Vancouver with Sugar Daddy's aunt & uncle. Doodle Bug was in a crappy mood for most of the time & ate less than 1 jar of baby food the entire time, along with about 15 Cheerios, 1 small piece of potato, 2 french fries (yes you read that right - bad, bad parents), half a cherry tomato & 2 bites of a muffin. Probably 1 days worth of food in 4 days. Of course as soon as she got home she made up for it all by eating 2 jars of food & giggling happily when she saw her toys. Ahhhh the comforts of home.

The weekend was spent hanging out, doing a bit of shopping(where I fell in love with a white leather coat & white leather boots but then realized that was $1000 worth of love with taxes & frankly I don't think I qualify for that much love), eating (pumpkin pie from the awesome Jody!), meeting up with friends (& their sweet new baby) we haven't seen in about 8 years & taking a gander at the the cool 40 foot sailboat belonging to our gracious hosts. Wow! Too bad it was a bit too cold for a jaunt in the bay. Cold? In Vancouver? Uh huh. It rained of course while we were there but then the snow began on Saturday afternoon. Of course being the bad parents that we are, neither of us had really checked the forecast before we left Seattle & so didn't even think to bring a coat or hat or mitts for our precious child. Oh we suck. At least we had a warm blanket to protect her from the scary white stuff that was falling from the sky.

Scary white stuff we thought we left behind in Ottawa. Hmmm... Turns out we brought it with us. Yes denizens of the Northwest, blame it on us. First we brought a month of no rain & then to mess with your heads we stuck you with this. Bwah ha ha!

So we woke up to a winter wonderland on Sunday & it kept on coming down as we packed up our belongings for the car ride home. We met our friends for lunch & hung out until about 4 just catching up & letting Doodles chase their cats. (oh the squeals of delight issuing forth!) Finally we got on the road for what should've been a 3 - 4 hour journey, depending on the border crossing line up & how many times we had to stop to nurse. The Canadian part of the drive was easy going despite the snow & traffic was pretty light. Then, once we got about 5 km from the border everything came to a standstill. It's usually a wait at this crossing but we hadn't seen the line back up this far back before so we figured maybe they were being extra vigilant for Thanksgiving weekend or some other strange reason we weren't privy too. Somehow we managed to bypass a bit of the line & finally made it through in about 40 minutes. We thought it would be clear sailing the rest of the way back but we were to be thwarted over & over again as we experienced the conundrum of unexperienced winter drivers.

What was a typical Ontario winter's drive in snowy conditions became a painful ordeal of standstill traffic & Sugar Daddy saying over & over "What is wrong with these people?! I am the best driver on this road! Doesn't anyone know how to drive?". Apparently not in these conditions. The amount of fancy SUVs & 4 wheel drives that were driving 20 km/hr on the Interstate was enough to boggle our used to 3 foot snowdrift minds. It was a bit icy in patches but nothing too crazy to warrant the number of vehicles off the road & the snail's pace at which we were going. The only vehicles that seemed to be able to handle it were the big wheel pickup trucks & 10 year old SUVs driven my mustachioed dudes. It was a bit surreal & really frustrating when we calculated that at the rate we were going we wouldn't get home until 2 am. Ugh.

We managed to somehow do a bit of passing & hit a few miles of decent driving speed every once in a while so we figured that we cut our estimated arrival time down to 10 pm. Better than 2 but still way past what it should have been. Traffic cleared up a little once we went past Bellingham but we still got to laugh derisively at the vehicles going in the opposite direction who were stuck behind a row of snowplows. Everything was stopped for miles behind them. (They may have been stopped for an accident we didn't see but I'm going with snowplows because we saw rows & rows of them going North but only 1 going our way so I'm jealous ok?)

Anyway, we finally made it home around 9:30 safe & sound, thinking everything was back to normal. Turns out nope. Monday afternoon it started to snow over top of the bit of ice that was left on the roads. Then all hell broke loose. Sugar Daddy was stuck in the underground parking garage at work because no one knew how to drive their vehicles on snowy pavement. After waiting for 40 minutes he gave up & went back to his desk for a couple more hours. The eventual drive home took another 40 minutes. It usually takes 8. I got to listen to more scoffing when he finally made it here & we tuned into the news to hear all about the crrrrrazzzzy weather.

The next morning it looked like this:

What is that? Maybe an inch of snow? Two tops. Get this my eastern friends - the city was shut down. Work was cancelled, schools were closed, roads blocked off. We couldn't get over it. I went for a walk with Doodle Bug later in the afternoon so we could go to Gymboree but it, along with 80% of the shops in the town center were closed "due to inclement weather". The local roads & sidewalks were a bit icy. The temperature was a slightly chilly 1 degree Celcius. Back East this is nothing. Here it is something to talk about. Here, this is serious & we shouldn't be laughing at it (that means you jackass). There really is a lot of ice & the hills (of which there are a ton around here) are treacherous. This is the second snow day they've had in about 10 years so no one is quite prepared for the conditions & how to handle them. There's more snow & freezing rain & cold to come in the next few days so who knows what's going to shut down next.

Us? We'll try & keep the smirks off our faces. At least until next year when we start freaking out because the sky started tossing scary white stuff at us again.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Missing out on the Turkey Eatin'

We missed Canadian Thanksgiving because, well, I don't really remember. I think Sugar Daddy was in London for work or something. October was a blur people, a blur.

This weekend the U.S. holiday is upon us & we're headed up to the Great White North. Three hours drive up to the lovely city of Vancouver to hang out with family & friends. To do some shoe shopping with colourful money. To possibly sail on a boat. To enjoy a holiday without the holiday crowds.

To miss out again on turkey, stuffing & pumpkin pie. The turkey & fixins I can wait until Christmas for but damn, I love me some pumpkin pie. They've been sold out at the store every time we go & I'm too lazy / busy to make my own. Maybe there'll be a sale on the leftovers when we get back. Here's me crossing my fingers.

Anyway, have a wonderful Thanksgiving my new American pals & I'll see ya when we get back. Canadians - watch out, here we come.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Non-emergency Emergency

I hate the thought of using emergency healthcare when it’s not warranted. It’s such a waste of resources & time that should be saved for real emergencies. Unlike calling 911 to get directions or to complain about Burger King not getting your order right. Or to go to an emergency department for a migraine & then sit for 3 hours on the free phone complaining to your pal about how your boyfriend doesn’t love you & you are pissed because your narcotic patch ran out two months ago & there are kids screaming & how that is so not cool. Lady, what’s not cool is you. If I had a migraine (which I get quite regularly) I certainly wouldn’t be able to talk on a phone, never mind sit in a loud & well-lit waiting room.

Get the impression we checked out some more healthcare? Yup. Within a month of moving down here Doodles & I got sick. We put her in the daycare at the gym for an hour & a half one day & two days later she came down with a cough that she gave to me & which then got worse for both of us. I suspect it turned into bronchitis, at least for me, & it took forever to go away. Then it sort of came back again but not as bad & it coincided with the shots last week, plus what I think is more teething. Anyway she’s been sounding like a mangy tobacco-smoking purring cat for ages now & the past few days there’s been a lot of coughing & hacking that disturbs her sleep & my worry. I asked the person when we got the shots about her possibly having asthma but after a stethoscope listen she said she sounded congested but fine.

Yesterday she got a bit worse & I could hear her wheezing. She sounded tight, congested, phlegmy & her breathing was almost twice her normal rate. Last night when I was nursing her I got Sugar Daddy to take a listen & he wanted to call the doctor. Microsoft Health has a number you can call to get advice & to request an actual house call (I thought those were pretty much obsolete but I guess MS has got the power) so he dialed them up & explained the situation. Upon describing her symptoms they told us to call 911. Huh? We are both asthmatic so we knew she wasn’t that bad. What we were hoping for was a house call or be told to go to the Urgent Care Center (vs. hospital) so we could get her an inhaler with a spacer or nebulizer just in case she got worse. A preventative line of attack. That’s what we requested so they told us they’d get a doctor to give us a call.

He calls & tells us he doesn’t want to prescribe without a definite diagnosis of asthma which he doesn’t feel comfortable making during a home visit. OK That’s cool. Totally understandable. He suggests the urgent care but then calls us back & says they don’t want to do that either & so therefore we should go to the nearest emergency room. Great…. I picture sitting forever in an uncomfortable waiting room filled with a variety of sick people. I picture the sleep disturbed baby not wheezy when we finally get to see a doctor. I picture boredom, frustration & futility.

What I pictured is what we pretty much got despite Sugar Daddy telling me that since we are in America now there won’t be long Canadian style wait times. Two & a half hours after arriving the Doodles gets weighed, temped (where she’s never been temped before the poor, poor thing) & assessed at level 4 because since she’s screaming so much the triage nurse says there’s nothing wrong with her lungs. There’s 5 levels & we are on the second to last so anyone worse that comes in after will be seen before us. One more hour later, during which she dozed off, we finally get called in. A super nice nurse checked her out without waking her, said she wasn’t wheezy & another twenty minutes later the doc comes in & almost does the same. Of course she wakes up when he’s checking her ears, so then he does the rest of the check while she’s half awake & getting upset. He doesn’t want to make a definite diagnosis either since he doesn’t know her history, etc. but he will prescribe an inhaler with a spacer for her that we can use if she gets really wheezy again. So we don’t have to use the emerg unless it’s an emergency. So not so futile in the end but definitely a lot of boredom & frustration felt.

Now we have an inhaler with a spacer & a mask for her which we’ve used twice. She freaking hates having the mask put on her face despite us trying to make the experience as fun as possible. We show her the pictures of the bears on the spacer & tell her she needs some bears in her chest. She’ll play with it & point happily at the bears but as soon as it nears her face she pushes it away & gets pissed off. But, it works. The breathing is smoother, clearer & there’s less purring. Too bad she still has the temper of a mangy cat.

Monday, November 20, 2006


Seems I’ve been jumping on a few bandwagons lately. Have you noticed? Not that I’d know since none of you bastards comment anyway. (Kidding.)

So… I’ve hitched my fake horse up to a few new things, a little behind the times on some, oh so totally with it on others (ya right). Here’s a sad little list for you:

  • Blogger beta – I was afraid, very afraid to make the jump. I thought I’d read somewhere about losing previously posted photos so I was horrified at the thought of a bunch of red X’s scattered throughout my poor blog. Turns out what I thought were a pack of lies & I’m loving the new setup. Plus I made a new banner. Clean & simple. Just like me. Shut up.
  • Internet Explorer to the nth or whatever the latest version is. At first I thought all my favorites were lost but now they’re just under a fancy smancy + button. I still can’t find my Edit doohickey though which is unnerving. I'm also having trouble getting the Beta dashboard to show up (works in Firefox). Also, there’s something up with my Flash player. No matter how many times I download the new version, it still won’t work, hence the regular Flickr badge to the right. Hopefully Sugar Daddy will fix when he returns from the Great White North. Maybe with Vista – I’ll let you know what that’s like.
  • BloggerChicks – I got the code for this about a thousand years ago & didn’t put it in my template what with all the moving & shite. Now it’s there but apparently the sign-up sheet is out of commission until the end of November. So I’m plugging it without being a part of it. We’ll see what happens. I may give up. Just like I did on the feeds. I never did figure out quite how they all work (I understand the basics, it’s the fine details that I don’t have the energy to sort my head around) & it’s not like anyone ever subscribed to them either.
  • Library Thing. I love, love, love this. Why I didn’t do this when I first read about it is beyond me. I’ve signed up for 4 accounts. 1 for the stuff I’ve been reading lately (since I had Doodles, but I can’t remember all of them since my positronic matrix is fried.), 1 for my library of books (that I haven’t started cataloguing yet because I am afraid of the end number), 1 is for the baby’s books (61 so far) & another for the books I’ve taken out of the library to read to her. My hope is that we’ll keep it up so she can have a list of all the books she’s ever read. Totally cool.
  • Flickr Pro account. Ya I was suckered in after I “lost” a whole bunch of my uploaded pictures. $25 bucks & a whole ton of newly uploaded pics later & I’ve barely used 1% of my monthly quota. Awesome.
  • Gymboree. When I looked into this in Ottawa I thought it was insane to pay good money to go play somewhere when I could basically do the same at home. I had the drop-in coffee mom group, spinning class, friends to talk to, other babies nearby to shove mine at & what I thought were plenty of toys. Here, I aint got nobody (nobody nobody cares for me | I'm so sad and lonely | sad and lonely sad and lonely) & it’s been raining a hell of a lot so we went to a free drop-in class & it was awesome. Doodles loves loves loves it & I even met someone from Ottawa. How weird is that? So. Worth. It.
  • Skinny jeans. Ya you heard me. I bought a pair of skinny jeans. I haven’t worn them yet. I’m too scared & might possibly need them in a size smaller. (Woo hoo!) I’m under my pre-pregnancy weight but things have shifted & I need new clothes. Last Saturday the dude took care of the monkey for a few hours (taking her outside sans sweater!!) so I could go to the shops. I ended up in Macy’s surprised to find myself thinking I looked not half bad in a pair of Calvin Klein skinny jeans, a long sweater & cute shoes. Then I thought, man I need to do something about the mop that is my hair.
  • New hair. (Holy hell this is a post in itself. Be prepared for the longest bullet point in history!) Yes Trish I cut it again. Sheesh! You see moving to a new city brings with it so many dilemmas that one doesn’t necessarily think about prior to packing. The whole doctor thing for instance (see a couple of posts down (update: have called Pediatricians & made appointment with doc who I thought had the nicest smile on the website.)). There’s also the horror of finding a new hairdresser. I’ve had two, maybe three good hairdressers in my life. You know, the kind who just get your hair. For me this is rare. My hair is weird. It’s very fine, dry, curly, cowlicky, frizzy, there’s a lot of it & to top it off I now have resistant grey. I’ve had few grey hairs since I was 13 (how mortifying to find one at that age!) & now they come in so fast (& they are multiplying! The horror!) it’s like that whole Dorian Grey episode. At the end when all the hideousness of age & corruption transfers itself onto him? Ya that part. So… I’ve been to the hairdresser’s once since we moved & while the colour was fabulous, the cut left me feeling like a 1980’s heavy metal guitarist. Why must they (the hairdressers) insist on layering my hair? Some layering is good, otherwise my hair can look like ancient Egyptian statuary (wedge-shaped headdress). However, much layering = bad ‘80’s glam. Plus, it makes the bottom half looks stringy. The stringy-ness was getting to me & I was feeling a mess because I had done the stupid thing & dyed it myself again since I wasn’t sure when I’d get back to the salon. So there I was looking at myself in those stylin’ skinny jeans & I decided I needed a haircut, pronto. I’d been formulating this in my head since before the last cut & decided I wanted a bob. Like what I had in my high school pictures. Hey man, I was cool. Back off. Plus I had read somewhere (magazine, internet, who knows?) that it was totally bitchin back in style because of Jessica Simpson, Sandra Bullock & maybe Madonna. But I had thought of it way before them. Really I had. Anyway, the fancy salon couldn’t fit me in so I went to something called Regis. Way in the back of my mind I seemed to remember a Regis salon from my childhood in Winnipeg where my mother would take me for trims & perms but I wrote it off as silliness & not having had any lunch. Looking at the place, it appeared warm & inviting but I guess anything would’ve with the torrential rain that was beating down. The girl that I took to be a receptionist was sweet & said she could fit me in in about 45 minutes so after a quick bite I went back to find out that this sweet young thang would be my stylist. She was really unsure of herself & I was beginning to freak out in my head sitting complacently in the chair thinking that this was going to be a disaster. I just kept smiling though & making stupid chit chat. Why I never said anything is my fault as I’m totally intimidated by all hairdressers. I said bob but what I got was shag. After the first few cuts I thought it was going the way I dreamed it would & then I thought she was done because it was looking great. Bob-like. Then she kept going. I got more layers. All over. Everywhere. There was no semblance of the bob in my head anywhere on my head. Crap. In the end it has actually turned out ok & pretty cute when I put the right amount of products in it (don’t get me started on the money I’ve spent trying out product) but I am on the hunt for the next perfect stylist. You know, one that gets it.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Finger Update

This is mainly for me to keep track but also because it's pretty cool. Today Doodle Bug gave me her first sign. I've been signing to her from the beginning & I didn't think it was really getting anywhere because she didn't seem to be paying attention most of the time. Turns out she picked something up because today she told me she wanted milk.


At first I think she was making the motion to say "gimme what I'm gesturing at" but with a few reinforcements of saying milk whenever she made the sign it worked. Now she keeps coming up to me making the sign over & over again. Methinks she wants the snack bar permanently open.

eta - Turns out she doesn't quite get it yet. She keeps making the sign but she's using it for just about anything she wants. Wants to see the flowers? Milk. Wants to look at a doggie on tv closer? Milk. Oh well. I'll keep working on it.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Giving me the Finger

There’s this funny story about one of Sugar Daddy’s aunt. A very sweet lady, she got cut off one day in traffic. She was so upset she uncharacteristically gave the other driver the finger. “Are you serious?” we all asked incredulously. Turns out she passionately gave him the index digit instead of the middle one. Oh wait. Maybe it was the thumbs up. It’s been a while since I heard the story. And seen the actions that accompany it. Anyway, it’s a laugh riot, trust me.

Since the Doodles had her birthday, things have suddenly gotten a tad easier & way more fun. She’s so much more sure of herself & confident in her walking abilities. This in turn, has made her a lot happier & slightly less reliant on me. All of a sudden I can breathe. And pee. I even got to take a shower while she was napping yesterday. It’s not a wonderfully smelling bed of roses or anything yet – the nap situation is really, really weird (I think she’s transitioning from 2 naps to 1) & it’s kind of messing with my head. And what was once our semblance of a schedule. Oh wait. Not schedule. Let’s call it a routine. That sounds good & non-committal like.

Anyway, back to the fingers. It seems the Doodle Bug has figured out what her index finger is for (I know you were thinking I was going to tell you she was giving me the middle finger. Shame on you for thinking so poorly about an innocent baby!). She’s been picking up Cheerios & other assorted finger food for ages now & I’ve seen her dexterity getting better & better. But what’s really cool now is that she’s learned how to point.

And point she does.

She points at things she wants to see. She points at books she wants to read & she points to pictures on the pages in the books. Ask her where the little dog (who laughed to see so much fun) is & out comes the finger. Where’s the cat, the cow, the pig? Point, point, point. The girl really knows her farm animals. I’m not sure what that says about us but what the hey. It makes me feel so proud when I can ask her where the bee is & she’ll stick her cute little index digit right on the fat black & yellow bug & then to top it all off, she’ll make a funny buzz buzz noise with her tongue sticking out. Kind of a raspberry, kind of a word. It doesn’t seem to be a fluke either; she’s about 90% consistent with only doing it for the bee. Way to go baby!

She puts those index fingers to good work in other ways too. She gets so excited about her books with the animals in them that she’ll flip to the pages with her favorites (cow, dog) over & over again all the while reading to herself. The books that we have with paper pages (versus the board books) are now all dog-eared & torn (& taped) from her constant page turning. My photo albums are getting bent up & the plastic ripped. The toys with buttons to press are getting pressed (if I have to hear Tad’s rendition of Oh Where Has my Little Dog Gone one more time I think I’ll rip my ears out). The dog is getting poked in the eye. I am getting pinched on the boob & she is constantly pinching her chubby little knees so she can tickle herself.

All this is wonderful but there’s one more oh so special thing she has learned to do with her fantastic digits.

Pick her nose.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Yesterday we got a taste of the U.S. healthcare system. Yesterday I tried not to cry while singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” to keep my baby’s mind off her pain. And to drown out the screaming as two nurses held her down with me while they injected her with some mean looking sharps. Yesterday the Doodles got 6 shots in her chubby little thighs. It would’ve been more but on seeing the needles I asked to save the flu shot until later. I didn’t really want her to get it anyway because any time I’ve received one I’ve been sick for about a week. (Yes I know you are not supposed to be able to get the flu from the vaccine but... ) Sugar Daddy on the other hand wants her to get it – he’s never had a problem with stuff like this. Me, I’ve read enough on the possible side effects, as well as the benefits, so as to not have a clear decisive opinion on whether or not she should get it.

She also got a Hepatitis B vaccine. The leaflet on this explains that those at risk are those having unprotected sex, iv drug users, etc. Strange, but I don’t think my 1 year old child fits into any of these categories. Nor do I think that she will have much contact with the at risk population until she’s a few years older.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not anti-vaccine. We love the vaccines here. It’s just that some of the info I was handed afterwards made me think. Plus the fact that it was handed out afterwards rather than discussing it all beforehand kinda pissed me off. I guess it was because the entire visit was odd & stressful. The whole experience was similar & yet so different from what I’m used to. I’ve had the same doctor for the past 12 years minus a year or so of seeing a doctor on campus while in school & the odd walk-in clinic & specialist visits. In the past 12 years I’ve never had to worry about finding someone new to check out my lady parts or prescribe me medication because I knew I could always rely on my family physician if I needed or if I didn’t like what the walk-in clinic did for me. I may not have agreed with everything she said but she was always nice, patient, kind & treated me like an intelligent participant in my own healthcare.

One of the issues on my mind about moving to the States was the status of our healthcare coverage. I needn’t have worried & in this I know we are extremely lucky to have Sugar Daddy working for a company like Microsoft. It appears that everything we need is covered from doctor’s visits to massage therapy. With this group plan we get access to wide range of providers that are listed on a website. I just type in our address & up pops a list of who’s available in my area. It’s just a list though & so I’m left scratching my head trying to make a decision based on the sound of someone’s name in my brain. Since we don’t know anyone here it’s hard to get a recommendation based on personal experience. With Doodle’s next round of immunizations coming up & our suspicions of her having asthma I took the plunge & called one of the three nearest set of doctors. The closest one I wrote off because of her pro-life stance & religious affiliations – just not my cup of tea. That left a community clinic & a medical office. I went with the clinic because it was slightly closer (like a block, lazy ass) & the idea of community sounded caring & inclusive.

It was definitely inclusive. I’d like to think that I don’t have a problem with this but apparently I have some issues. Not with who is being provided for or the expertise of the providers but with the feeling that I was being treated as undereducated or lacking some intelligence. It wasn’t the personal treatment per say but rather, the questionnaires I had to fill out, the repeated questions (already answered on the forms) from the assistant, the nurse & then the medical person, and the assortment of pamphlets I was given afterwards, that gave me this impression. Questions concerning my coverage, my living status (married being the last available option), monthly income, what type of housing (if at all) I was in, if I was a drug user, alcoholic, or smoker. Questions regarding my baby about how much formula (surprise! She gets the boob & for this was called lucky) she took, whether she still took a bottle (uh... she neverreally did?), how her naps & sleep habits were (naughty me for continuing to co-sleep), how much food she ate a day & whether she was hitting all the usual milestones. It wasn’t what the questions were about that got to me, but that I was asked them over & over again like I either wasn’t telling the truth or I was a little too dense to understand what the truth was. I don’t blame the askers – it is their job after all – but it really just didn’t make me feel very comfortable.

And this discomfort makes me feel like a spoiled snob. Which in turn makes me uncomfortable with myself. But at the same time I'd like to think that anyone coming from what I've been accustomed to would feel the same way. The questioning was so over the top for me that I didn't even think to ask what vaccines were being given to my child. I was expecting to go in to get a checkup, talk about the breathing issues & schedule an appointment for the shots. I was so flustered I didn't even get a chance to write down her new measurements. Weight = 18lbs something. Height = ? (at home she's 27") Head = ? I was told she was somewhere around the 40 - 45 percentile for it all so at least I received some information.

The people were nice & they were competent. I just don't think they were the right fit for me which means I’m not going back there despite the fact that Doodles is supposed to go for another round of Hep B shots in a month. Instead I’ll call medical professionals number 3 on my list. Maybe this time we’ll even get to speak with an actual doctor about our concerns. Hopefully I won’t have to feel as though I’m being spoken slowly to &, hopefully, we will find someone who I can eventually appreciate as much as I do my old doctor.

I miss her.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

More open letters

Dear Pervert,

I'm glad you like our webcam, really I am. It's nice that you like looking at my innocent baby (or is it????). Thanks.

However, if you honestly think that I'm going to show you my boobs by either flashing you or by nursing my sweet child, you are sadly mistaken.

That is all.


Dear other webcam viewers,

Apologies if you witnessed Sugar Daddy in all the glory of his after-work uniform of t-shirt & underwear. At least you would've also witnessed the glory of a half-empty bottle of Wolf Blass Yellow Label Shiraz.

Deliciously embarrassed


Dear Friends,

Sorry to lump you in with the perverts but we wanted to wish Happy Birthday to Timothy, Uma, Nicole, Kanti, Todd & Evelyn & anyone else we missed sending wishes to. Also welcome to the world to baby Carson. You are pretty cute! Isn't this better than a card?

Hell ya!


Dear Family,

Thanks for all the wonderful presents that were sent to Freyja for her birthday. She especially liked ripping & eating the wrapping paper & the pages of her new books. She also looks great in the clothes that fit her & we can hardly wait to wear the bigger stuff. Well.... I think she can wait since she hates to wear any form of clothing but I really like them & will force her little hands through those sleeves when the time is right.

Love ya!


Dear Redmond Drivers,

Why are you not as polite & attentive as Seattle drivers? Why do you have trouble noticing two extremely bright & garish neon yellow day-glo crosswalk signs located beside a popular park containing a well-used playground? One set of them are even conveniently located right next to a decent intersection. Why do you not stop at said crosswalks when there are people with small children who probably have the propensity for running into traffic? Apparently a man in the middle of the street pushing a stroller with cars stopped in the other direction also doesn't warrant slowing down your precious SUVs. Seems even cop cars are immune to stopping for people. It's not just this crosswalk either. There is definitely something lacking in the ability of drivers to notice pedestrians here, especially compared to the painstaking troubles Seattle drivers would go to to stop for anyone trying to cross a street, crosswalker or jaywalker, light or no light. Perhaps, just perhaps, your reliance on your personal vehicles has rendered your eyesight incapable of seeing those who rely on the motion of their own feet.

No offence,
A local pedestrian


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Happy Birthday Sweetheart!

Well, this is it.

We made it through an entire year without leaving you on any doorsteps.

Just kidding my love.... I could never let you go. Plus there's no way you'd let me get more than 5 feet from you without kicking up a stink loud enough to attract attention so that we could never get away with doing something like that. And so, this is for you. Perhaps one day you'll be able to appreciate it for what it is in all its smaltziness.

Hopefully this will work. Here's the link if the embed doesn't show up. You'll probably need to download a new flash player though. I had to & something is still wonky.

As for the virtual webcam party, I'm turning it on now (11:00 am Pacific). The schedule for today is hanging out, followed by us possibly leaving for Gymboree drop-in, then back home for napping, then leaving for swim class. After that it'll be time for cake & presents (7 pm-ish). For those back East you'll probably be in bed by then but hey, this is the best I can do. Don't worry, there'll be plenty of pictures.

Toodles from the Doodles.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

One Year Tomorrow

The laptop screen is repaired but things are running slow & crashing a lot lately so I don't know if I'm just having a run of bad technological luck or if something else is up. I'm trying to finish up another one of those cheesy mommy-blogger videos of baby's first year because I know you are all dying to see how wonderful my baby looks to music (yes I know I did one before & despite the cheese factor you all loved it - right up there with velvet kitten pictures right Brian?). I'm getting frustrated though because I seem to be having some audio issues with Windows Movie Maker & I don't know if it's my stupidity or my computer. Hopefully I'll figure it out during the next naptime so you can all prepare to get teary-eyed at the beauty of my sweet baby.

Who is heading out of babyhood & into full-scale toddler mode.
The walking? Spectacular.
The stair climbing? Up & now down.
The talking? We can make out cat, dog & duck.

Pretty cool eh?

Too bad she hates fancy gourds....

boo hoo hoo Posted by Picasa

Just kidding.

She's crying because she is wearing clothes. And because I am all of 2 feet away from her. Somedays I think she just wants back inside. Too bad for her this time last year I was heading into pitocin induced labour 17 days overdue (always gotta plug that fact 'cause it makes me feel badass). Some days I wish I could shove her back in there to stop the crying but mostly I'm just glad she's here to give me at least one happy beaming smile a day.

Those make it all worth while.

p.s. Freyja cam should be on most of the day tomorrow for those who want to view the sham of our festivities. There's no schedule but there will be cake & presents & of course, beer for those who need it. Undoubtedly that will be me.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Black Screen of Death Comes to Call

I am writing this while looking at the tv (& what I am sure to be a dearth of typos). It's really really weird & makes me a little bit dizzy. Seems the monitor on my Compaq Presario R3000 has bit the dust. I thought I saw a little piece of red pixellated crap on the bottom left corner two nights ago & then yesterday morning after working just fine, I came back to tell ya'll about Halloween adventures & could do nothing. Oh ya & this was after coming home to find dog shit in my kitchen & piss in the den. Great day eh? Plus Calvin hid the leftover Halloween candy so I was freaking pissed!

Anyway, looks like my baby has to go into the shop for repairs so I'll be without my lifeline to the world for a few days. What the hell am I going to do? I'll miss you all. Argh!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

I'll tell you all about it tomorrow....

For now here's our little pumpkin as.....

The Cheerio Bat Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 27, 2006

The shirt says it all

my mom...

sucks Posted by Picasa

Ya you read it right. Hey I may sit on my ass all day reading Mother Goose & Dr. Suess but at least I can pick out & pay too much for a trendy ironic t-shirt to dress my baby in just like all the other hip mamas out there looking to keep some aspect of cool in their lives. Sarcastic & bitter much? Nah.... just tired.

In other news Doodles is in love again. Of course she’s always in love with me. That goes without saying. After all I am the snack bar that is always open. Yes I’m still nursing & will be until the cows come home. Ba dum dum. Used to be when she was about 4 or 5 months old she was infatuated with Ryan Seacrest & would smile ever so sweetly every time his smug mug graced our tv screen. I was ok with that. Really. Gave me an excuse to watch American Idol with a little less embarassment.

Now she has a new crush. It’s the Teletubbies baby. You know the one. In the sun. She giggles & coos at its beatific visage & it giggles & coos right back at her. Just like it is supposed to. The smiles on both baby's faces is enough to bring one to mine. Once upon a time I thought much like this guy about this strange little show but now it has become one of our favorites, along with Clifford, Poco & Sesame Street. With this admission you might infer that we watch a lot of tv. You would be correct. I suppose I should be bothered by that fact since most people seem to be taking the American Pediactric Association of not recommending tv ("Until more research is done about the effects of TV on very young children, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not recommend television for children younger than two years of age. For older children, the AAP recommends no more than one to two hours per day of quality screen time.") as saying I am all but ruining my child, but it gets us through the day & it seems to make her happy. What with all the smiling.

Plus the songs are fantastic. For instance yesterday Tinky Winky (you know, the gay one) sang a loud song that consisted of the lyrics:

"Tinkle winkle tinky winky woo woo woo woo
Pinky wiggle tinky winky woo woo woo woo
Tinkle winkle tinky winky woo woo woo woo
Woo woo woo woo"

Then another classic sung by Po:

"Po po po po pohhhhhh
Po po po po po po pohhhh"


How can it get any better than this?

Oh & get this weird fact (?). I was looking up Teletubbies links so I could find a picture of that cute sun & I came across this tidbit that the roller girl from this season's Survivor has the credit of being this same sun. I am a bit confused here though because the chick was born in 1979 & Teletubbies didn't start until the '90's. Go figure.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Burning Out

That picture that turned into my last post sans words was supposed to be about how that day last year was my due date. And how I had to wait 18 more days before meeting the most serious baby in the world. And how it's almost her birthday & I cannot believe that I've made it through an entire year. And how that light at the end of the tunnel is still so dim. Obviously that post never really happened.

You don't know how many times I've tried to post something these past two months & either gave up or been thwarted by the Doodle bug. Mothering in the hood lately has been a challenge to say the least. The moving, the growing, the teething, & the dog whining have been wreaking havoc on all of us. Don't get me wrong - I like it here & I'm slowly getting us involved in some local activities which, I hope, will give us some sense of routine. It's just that Freyja's separation anxiety is still in high gear & her naps are all jumbled & short & unreliable so I'm not left with any decent amount of time in which to sit down & write. If I start, she'll wake up (as she's doing right now....) & then want to play what I'm playing i.e. my laptop.

Five hours later & she's banged on the keys until an accidental shut down, nursed three times, ate half a jar of plums & apples, shoved several handfuls of cheerios in her mouth, fought through a diaper change with all her strength, screeched when I put a sweater on her beacuse fabric is the devil's work, cried when I set her on the floor beside me three times so I could pee, screamed when I left her watching Clifford for two minutes while I got a cup of coffee (hence the peeing), banged on an empty tin for 20 minutes & had me read 8 or 9 books really fast due to her impatient page turning. We also went down the street to the local community center where they have a drop in play time 3 times a week for a couple of hours. It took her a while to warm up to what was happening but by the end of the allotted time she was pulling my sorry ass back to the push mobile thing she fell in love with & started laughing at the other kids. I think we'll go back & maybe next time I'll work up the nerve to say more than three words to anybody. Afterwards we headed over to the Value Village down the road. This is the best VV I think I've ever been in. Sure there's the requiste bunch of shoddy, dirty, broken crap and a boatload of Halloween costumes right now, but this place has one of the best selection of books I've ever seen. Plus, buy three & get one free. Woo hoo! Today I bought 4 paperbacks & 9 children's books for $14. It's closer than the library & I don't know who is dropping stuff off there but I hope they keep doing it because reading is one of the only things helping me keep hold of my sanity.


Calvin is trying to give me breaks from the devil child & it is slowly getting better. Better meaning she doesn't necessarily break into a vomit inducing crying/ screaming fit every single time he picks her up. Now it's maybe only every other time. Poor guy. Poor baby. Poor me.

Yes. Oh woe is me. Oh please feel sorry for me. No one else ever had it this bad. My life is hell. Blah blah blah. Ack! I'm making myself even more depressed with this stupid pity party. I'll stop now & spare you more whining. Too bad that's all I want to do lately. That & feel burning bitter jealousy towards fellow (mommy) bloggers who have their shit together enough to actually spare a few moments to write something smart / witty / funny / whatever. I really can't even begin to fathom how they are doing it. I'm so burnt out that if I do get a free 20 minutes to write most times I'd just as soon veg in front of the mind numbing tv. Because I know that if I started to write something it would end up just like this.

Boring, self-pitying & repetitive. Sorry folks... I'll try harder next time.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

baby face Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

First Steps

Tentative but gaining confidence.

Yay baby!

~ If that doesn't work try this link. ~

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Preparing for change yet again

Tomorrow we sign the lease on our new living quarters. We haven't rented anything for about 8 years so it's a strange place to find ourselves once again. Though more homey & permanent than what we are living in now, there's still a sense of unattachment. Detachment? (I'm sleepy & sick.) Also, there's stuff to think about like possibly not being able to paint, staining the carpet with pureed plums & wondering if installing baby gates will muck up the walls that we don't own. We have this tendency to be a little more careless with our own possesions & I get overly concerned when I have to care for something that is not mine. I'm a little worried that I'll turn into this weird neat freak that won't let anyone come into the house unless they are wearing a blue hazmat suit.

Anyway, big changes yet again in the next week & a bit. I think we get the keys tomorrow but we won't start moving in until Wednesday when our movers are scheduled to deliver the obscene amount of junk that is legally ours. Calvin's brother Bruce comes to visit next Thursday for a few days so we'll also be busy doing more sightseeing & boozing it up. Or at least I will while those two are off biking in the woods somewhere. Watch out Whistler. Me & Doodles will be organizing closets & cupboards & installing baby gates. Woo hoo!

I'm also hoping to reorganize this silly blog. I feel like I desperately need to update my links & blogroll, plus the whole thing could use a fresh look. Fat chance eh? I've been trying for the past few weeks to create a different page to link to where all the crap I never get to read anymore will be organized. As it stands right now, there's quite a few blogs here on the right that I never have time to read & I'd also like to link to a few new ones every so often just to spice it up around here. It's not that I don't love the old ones anymore, but I just feel like it's time for a change. That way it'll go with the rest of my life.

We'll see what happens when it happens. Don't hold your breath or nothing.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Seattle Sightseeing #2

The Children's Maze Museum

This is a great place to bring the monkey child. I’m going to miss living 4 blocks away from the Seattle Center because at $3 a pop (Microsoft discount) this place is so worth the uphill stroll. Unlike the Children’s Museum back in Ottawa this one has a fantastic area for little ones 2 & under called Discovery Bay. Park your stroller & away you go into toddler heaven. First there’s a decent sized fish tank that Doodles promptly tried to lick the scum off of & then once sated, she started smacking the glass so as to scare the bejeebus out of the tank creatures. Poor little fishes. Once inside the padlocked gated (so as to keep the older riff raff out) area there’s several of those wood bead bent metal maze things set up along the wall, as well as a couple of child sized table height ones. Of course she tried to eat the wooden pieces. Mmmmm crusty woodiliscious.

Next to the wall of wood chew toys is a seaweed area with bells attached at their bases above your head so when you walk through the vinyl green wavy things tinkle which makes for a fun game of peek-a-boo. Spread throughout the Discovery Bay are a few padded / matted play structure areas where your little ones can practice climbing & if they are like mine, biting & sucking on the vinyl mats. There’s also a huge basket in one corner that contains clear plastic tubes filled with assorted sparkles, plastic die, bells & the paper circles from your old three-holed punch. These are good for bonking against each other, as well as against other children’s heads. Also good for rolling along the floor with both hands so that you end up doing a face plant into the carpet. Oh and throwing into the air. That’s the fun. The best part in this wonderful area for Doodles is the little pond where two tiers of water are filled with various plastic sea creatures & boats for her to put in her mouth right after all the other germy kids. The ponds are too high for her for the moment so I am also stuck bent over like some old hunchbacked crone so she can be at the level needed to splash & grab the toys, but hey, at least there’s vinyl smocks to don so she doesn’t get her clothes wet. Not that she cares & not that I get to stay dry. The blissful look as she sucks the air brains out of the killer whale squeeze toy does however make up for any soggy garments I may have to wear.

The special exhibit on display at the moment is Clifford the Big Red Dog. Though we’ve never watched this cartoon I figured we’d check it out since all she wants to do is look at doggies lately. She can almost say dog now & it’s hilarious to watch her get so overexcited whenever she sees one of the canine crowd. She’ll kick & wave her arms & squeal & laugh hysterically at any dog she sees. Thankfully we haven’t met too many nasty ones yet but I’m starting to get a bit wary of where & to what she’s thrusting her innocent hands at. Anyway, the Clifford exhibit is pretty cute despite the whole thing needing a bit of antibacterial cleansing & a few less pushy kids. I know the child was only 4 or 5 years old but did he have to take ALL the plush flowers out of my baby’s hands? While she was trying to suck on it? No harm done but we were both a bit surprised. Good thing there were several large fibreglass dogs around to take the sting out of dashed suckage. Doodles especially liked the one named Cleo, a poodle with a perky little nose. Perhaps it reminded her of Gramma’s menagerie of doggies, or maybe she just wanted to gnaw on that snout.

Getting ready for some gnawing

There were plenty of other things to see & play with in here. The older kids appeared to be having great fun playing mail delivery person & maneuvering large dog bones onto some conveyor belt thing that I believe deposited them into a large dog bowl (I wasn’t paying attention because it looked too big for baby to play with). There were books to read, musical instruments to smash, a fake sand castle puzzle to piece together & a grocer’s deli shop complete with plastic food & a kid that told me to get out because he was playing in there. I’m sort of glad crazy pirate baby has yet to form words because from some of the smack I’m hearing from the youngsters these days I am not looking forward to the lip I’m sure is in store for me. Oh and the swearing. At the rate that I’m (still!) cursing at the dog I’m almost positive her first word will start with an f. That’ll go over well at the playground won’t it?

Watching the roses get snatched makes baby

So very sad Posted by Picasa

So… lots to see & do & play with at the Seattle Children’s Museum. Besides the two areas we hung out at there’s several other spots to have fun in, including a gear / machine section called Cog City where you can depress levers, press button & watch science at work. There’s also a music area where I think you can play some instruments, etc. but again I didn’t really check it out too thoroughly as it was way beyond our respective age levels. One area that we explored a little bit was the regular exhibit (doesn’t really seem like the right word but whatever) which was different parts of the world as a village. (Ah I see... it is the Global Village.. I'm a little slow.) Little splices of life from China, Africa & more displaying living quarters, dining & shopping likely to be found in each place. Kinda neat & there were some wooden musical instruments for baby to bang away on but for some reason there were some really weird dead ends. In fact there were quite a few of these throughout the museum. You think you’d be walking to another room or a way out & bam there was a wall in front of you so you’d have to backtrack to get back to the beginning. I think someone needs to rethink the flow of user traffic in this place because it’s just not the most intuitive set of pathways I’ve experienced. Some of the displays also need a good cleaning. Won’t somebody think of the children? The dirty, germy children who put things in their mouths, probably after sticking them down their pants? Anyway, I’ll give it an A for keeping baby happy & getting me out of the apartment twice in the last 6 days.

Monday, September 25, 2006

He's ok

He fell asleep on the couch in his underwear while watching a movie.

After drinking 5 beers.

Phew! That splinterverse we were living in for like 4 hours was a scary place!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The aliens have landed

And taken over Sugar Daddy's body. That or the pod people, or maybe he's finally gone bat-shit crazy. Otherwise I have no logical explanation for what he said to me in the car yesterday.

"I don't really feel like going to a beer festival."


Monday, September 18, 2006

Success on the Eastside!

No I didn't pass my driver's test. I've yet to go back.... however we have finally finagled us a place to live for the next year.


It's totally rockin' & probably the nicest place we've ever lived. Also a complete fluke in finding it. We had an appointment to see an apartment down the street that we'd been pinning some hopes on but the leasing agent never showed & no one was in the office that was supposed to be open all day. Someone who lived in the building was gracious enough to show us their place & it was nice but we really wanted to see the other plans available. After waiting about 45 minutes we decided to go get some lunch & come back. On the way back we walked past this pretty park & these townhomes were across the street with a sign that said "now leasing" so Calvin gave the guy a call & made an appointment to see them the next day (Sunday).

Meanwhile, we saw a few more apartments & one more townhome that was really nice but pretty far away on the East side of Redmond. Some of the other places we saw were really depressing & ugly & way too expensive for what you got. Most of the places come with a communal centre that usually has a business centre (fax, printers, etc.), workout room, pool, hot tub, movie room & living room area that you can book for parties. While this is great, it increases the rental prices & even though the common areas look fantastic, when you get to some of the apartments they don't live up to the expectations these areas raise. We also don't need any of this because we have discounted memberships at a fantastic gym complete with 4 pools, etc., etc., etc. (Seriously, the gym is insane!) So.... we were getting really frustrated with trying to find an apartment. The areas we liked in Seattle itself didn't seem to have much available without paying an arm & a leg for, plus we were severly limited by the dog restrictions. We started looking Eastside, which is across Lake Washington & consists of Bellevue, Mercer Island, Kirkland & Redmond (where Microsoft is) & prices weren't that much different but the farther we went the more likely they were to take out dog, plus it would be that much closer to work for Calvin who is getting a bit tired of the commute he's making every day now. We narrowed down apartments to one on the island & one south of Bellevue but decided to look one more day & check out the apartments that no one cared to show up to. Bonus for us I say!

Anyway, we got a 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath 3 level townhome with 1600 square feet for less than most other places we were looking at. I mean the place technically has more square footage than our house in Ottawa so all of our crap will fit & we won't have time pressures to get rid of stuff right away, but actually sort through what we need & what we can sell or give away. The place is across from a really nice park with bbq's, an excellent playground & lots of huge trees. We'll be walking distance from downtown Redmond & grocery stores (Whole Foods!) & a huge off-leash dog park & & &....

New car + new house = I am so spoiled!

Can you tell I'm happy? And so less stressed. It's like a huge weight has been lifted off our shoulders & we can get down to really enjoying ourselves here. Doing stuff like choosing baby's first Halloween outfit.

This sweet mermaid is not it. Despite the happy demeanor above she hated this dress contraption so much I thought she was going to rip it off her flailing limbs. Good thing she loves hamming it up for the camera or you would be able to feel her wrath through the ether of the internets & you would be afraid. Very afraid.

Be not afraid my friends for tomorrow is Talk Like A Pirate Day!! Posted by Picasa
Are you ready?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Flailing & Failing

I don't fail much of anything. Never have. If I set my mind to doing something I generally achieve it or even, overachieve. This is basically because:

  1. I am s-m-r-t.
  2. I am a total keener. And a geek.
  3. I will only attempt to do something I am fully prepared for. Sometimes I can fake this because of number 1.
  4. I can remember tons of useless information. Well... I used to be able to.
  5. Most importantly, if there is a chance that I will fail I'll avoid the situation like the plague.

For me, failure is basically not an option because I do not handle it well. (Understatement of the year?)

In order for us former Ontario folk to drive in Washington State we must both take our driver's license tests again. Written & driven. No problem right? Plus for me it was a good thing because I never actually took the G whatever exit exam in the graduated licensing format. I had planned to do it when I was about 8 months pregnant so if I happened to make a little error I might just get a little pity or the benefit of hormonal doubt. By the time I was 8 months knocked up I was running out of energy & working quite a bit so I made excuses to put the test off. Here there is no graduated licensing so all I have to take is one driving test. Woo hoo! But first I have to do the written. Again, no problem right?

Wrong! One of the problems with never failing much of anything can be a sense of cockiness. How hard can a written driver's test be? I did the practice test online & made only 1 mistake. I scanned the book & thought "ok I may not have read the whole book, but I've been driving for a few years now & am confident in my abilities (except for the dreaded parallel park)". So on Wednesday morning we got in our new car (yay Subaru!) & drove to the DMV in Redmond. I planned to read the book again in the car on the way there but was defeated by the screams of my precious crazy Doodles the entire way there. She's not the type of baby who will cry & eventually settle down but the extreme opposite wherein the cries build & build until she is out of her freaking mind & can barely breathe. It's all I can do to keep myself from unbuckling the car seat straps & picking her up to comfort her. Needless to say I didn't get any studying in before getting to the testing office.

Oh ya & the DMV? As a foreigner you hear the stories & the comedians & the skits about the horrors of these places & while it wasn't as bad as some people make it out to be, it was still pretty bad. The wait was ridiculously long & frustrating & many of the staff appeared to be really grumpy. Especially the woman who was in charge of the driving tests & was behind in her appointments. You did not want to get in her way or some shit was gonna fly. Anyway, after waiting about 45 minutes I took the eye test & went to the computer to do the written exam with the baby crying in the background. Even though the tests are randomized I think the guy who sent me over must have thought I was a drunk cyclist because I swear half of the questions revolved around these topics. Seriously it was weird & sort of stupid. I mean come on, everyone knows it's really dumb to drink & drive, it's fairly well known that .08 is the legal limit, but really, what difference is it going to make in my driving ability & knowledge of rules of the road to remember exactly how many days you have to stay in jail or lose your license for if you get caught drinking & driving? I know not to drink & drive, I know if you get caught it's bad, really bad, isn't that enough? Why do I need the exact amount of days? For various offences? Why? Also why as a driver of a motor vehicle do I need to know how many feet a bicycle light should shine ahead into traffic? Isn't this the responsibility of the cyclist, not the car driver person? Things like this... I just don't get why I should fail a test because of these types of questions.

Ya I failed. And then I cried because it was just so fucking stupid. And then my baby wouldn't stop crying & screaming & clawing at me. And life just sucked. And then, upset, Calvin dropped me off at the gym so I could do a Baby Robics class (she goes in the Bjorn). She continued to scream & I continued to try & stifle my tears. I could barely get dressed because she wouldn't let go of me. I nursed her & put her down so I could get my shoes on & still she screeched. There was no holding back the tears anymore & I just about lost it in the changing room of the gym I'd only been to once before. Suddenly two sweet, sweet woman came & asked if everything was ok & made everything better again. I don't know their names, only that they'd been there (as in with screaming infant) before & I can't thank them enough for being so sweet to the crazy lady in the family change room. Whoever you two are, thank you from the bottom of my heart. The kindness of strangers is just about the nicest sort of kindness you can find.

Stupid Giraffe or proof that I am a bad mother. : ) Posted by Picasa