A week in review

July 30, 2007 at 10:26 am (Bored)

Well, there is not much to review.  It’s a sad, boring existence.  But not if you are me – with homework assignments due almost every single evening.  🙂

We spent our Saturday checking out Jet Skis.  We went to a local dealer and Michael said it was too expensive, but I was so ready to sign the papers!  He is trying to talk me into a boat – but we’ll see.  I think we’ll wait.  After the Jet Skis, we attended a baby shower for Michael’s nephew.  They are having a baby girl and the anticipation is so great!  There is currently only 1 other granddaughter on his side, so having a baby girl is a huge event for us!  She isn’t even born yet and is already being spoiled by her grand and great grandparents.  This baby is number 2 for them and makes Michael and I “great” auntie and uncle for a second time.  Who knew I could be so young and be a great auntie! 

We spent Sunday at Lake Berryessa.  It is quickly becoming a ritual for us.  This time, we brought a shade tent and floatie’s!  We had a great time.  The boys are becoming so confident in the water, but I make sure they still have respect for the water.  I got sunburned again.  Which is really frustrating because I reapplied sunscreen twice!!  Plus, I wasn’t out in the sun that long.  Anyway, this is usual for me.  I get sunburned and then I’m tan after that and I usually don’t have to worry about burning again. 

Remember when we were kids?  Lathering on the baby oil and misting ourselves with water so that we could get a tan?  I couldn’t even imagine doing that now.  Plus, the sun wasn’t as brutal in Canada as it is here.  I searched for home remedies for sunburns and ended up wrapping milk soaked gauze around my legs.  Then I soaked in the bathtub with the Aveeno soothing baby mixture AND baking soda.  Today, the burn feels like a burn on day three, rather than a one day old burn.  I think I might be soaking myself again tonight.  It was quite luxurious, laying in a bath reading my book and eating pizza!  I’m having a tough day at work today, I blame clothes. 

We got home last night after the lake and Michael took care of the boys while I soaked.  I read my book, did my homework and we both passed out in bed at 9:53 exactly.  Today, I am starving – it’s almost like I haven’t eaten in two days!  It’s 10:30 and I’m eating my lunch!  I might have to go out for lunch so that I don’t starve! 

I am not sure I can make the gym tonight, I’m pretty sure sweat is NOT good for sunburns.

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School… I appreciate you so much more now that I’m grown

July 30, 2007 at 9:58 am (School)

If only school were this good when I was younger!  I didn’t know the joy of getting 100% on an assignment until these two college classes.  Had I known how great it felt, I probably would have been an honour student in high school.  I was just so lazy. 

My laziness creeps up on me, it’s got stealth mode. 

School is going very very well.  I have risen to the challenge and I am loving it!  People become annoyed for me when I tell them that my degree will take four years.  I think that after I’m done this four, I might do another four!  Don’t tell Michael, he’ll probably rip out his hair in frustration! 

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The lovely Lake Berryessa

July 23, 2007 at 4:05 pm (Family)

Michael, the boys, and I spent the day at Lake Berryessa in Napa county yesterday.  It must have been around 100F degrees, the perfect day to spend at a lake.  Michael was feeling sporty and rented a jet-ski (so typical because he actually went to buy floaties for us but comes back with a huge jet-ski).  Brody fell in love!  We only had the thing for 2 hours and it was sooo fun!  Of course, now we want one!  However, it’s hard to justify buying a jet-ski (or two) at this point in time. 

Brody kept egging me on, telling me daddy took him on the jet ski faster.  So I revved up the engine and took off, smushing his beautiful little face into the front of it.  We had a great time and he didn’t complain – so no harm done.  Evan, on the other hand wasn’t so sure he liked the jet-ski.  He kept telling me to go slower.  He preferred 5 miles an hour rather than the 25 I was doing with Brody. 

Evan is that way though.  He prefers to float through life at a leisurely pace.  Brody prefers to scream through on a dirt bike at 80 miles an hour.

Needless to say, we are all hooked.  Hooked on the lake on a Sunday afternoon, hooked on the jet-ski, hooked on the absolute joyous family time that chores and housework do not allow, hooked on spending the weekend with each other.  It was a glorious day and next time we are bringing Sasha.  She’ll love it.  She might not like the drive up there (a long and winding road filled with several sharp turns), but the actual THERE will be amazing for her!

Michael and I have matching sunburns.  You know the spot on your lower back where you can’t reach to put sunblock on?  That spot that isn’t covered by your life jacket or swimsuit?  It’s a thin strip of skin about 1 1/2 inches tall by 5 inches wide.  Ya, that spot.  Also, my ankles are sunburned.  And the tops of my knees.  And the chubby part of my back, right where my arms meet it.  The rest of me is good though!  I actually have something of a tan, not just freckles mixed with red spots.  Oh and my nose is burned. 

What of this you ask? Well, we are definately staying away from the spray sunblock and going back to the old fashioned cream sunblock.  This way, I can get a good thick layer on and feel good about where I’ve applied it.  Like to my nose.  We are also getting a beach tent so that when the sun does get hot – we have a place to escape to.  Don’t worry, the boys aren’t burned – just their stupid parents. 

We are also going to try to spend more time at the lake.  I spent almost every summer at the lake and loved it!  I loved the freedom and entertainment it provided.  I’m sure my parents did too.  Michael enjoyed the non-stop snacks and sandwiches.  Brody and Evan loved the non-stop diet soda (they now make a diet orange).  Considering they rarely get soda (special occasions only) it was a special treat for them.  Sure soda has chemicals, but it didn’t have any sugar!  So, when bedtime came around – the boys actually went to bed.  They weren’t hopped up on sugar from 4 gallons of juice.  Brody did mention that his daddy let him have 4 sodas.  hmm.. I might have to put a lock on the cooler. 

We are getting a cooler that has wheels.  Without a doubt.  We are also getting a little wheeler so that we don’t have to make 4 trips to the car (that is the proverbial We as in Michael), we are getting proper carrying totes, and, most importantly, we are getting beach shoes that fit.  The day use area at Smittle Creek was all shale.  Sharp, pointy shale.  So beautiful – but killer on the feet.  You’d have thought Michael had the feet of a newborn the way he was jumping around and screaming.  ha – just kidding honey!  Love you!  (pssst not kidding – he screamed a lot!)

We are also getting some sort of music machine.  We haven’t decided what – but we really need something.  At least then, Brody could entertain us by singing songs and commercials off the radio, the call song from all radio stations, and well everything else that can be sung.  I love it when he sings the mattress discounters commercial.  Plus, who wants to listen to nature – when you can be rocking out? 

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Star Wars – The Sequeled Sequel

July 17, 2007 at 9:24 am (Brody)

We bought Brody this Lego game for the XBOX.  It’s the Lego Star Wars game.  Even before that game, Brody was in LOVE with Star Wars.  What I didn’t realize though, was that he was making up his own characters. dun dun dunnnnnnn!!!

Of course, we’ve all heard of Garth Vader.  But now, there is Lou Skywalker.  I don’t think Brody listens when we speak.  He doesn’t hear us say “luke” or “darth.”  Plus, he’s pretty strong-headed and even if you tell him it’s LUKE he’ll argue until the death that it is LOU.

Michael and I were going to write a little short sequel to the sequel, in honor of Brody. I’m sure we’d get some buggyisms in there too.  Evan has some hum-dinger sayings like “Momma, you see what my big butt did?” When his bum made him fall off the bed.  I’m working on the outline right now and we might even do a short movie with lego characters.  If so, I’ll post it for all to see.  It’s just in the planning stages right now. 

Brody also likes to use the “Hanitizer” in the bathroom after he’s finished his business.  Not hand Sanitizer.  So, we’ll work that into the mix as well.  I think I’m going to have to watch a lot of blue collar comedy to REV up for this screenplay. 

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Blogging on a schedule

July 9, 2007 at 4:09 pm (Bored, Brody, Evan)

No matter how hard I try, I cannot keep a regular schedule with blogging.  I try and I try, to no avail.  It’s not for lack of trying, it’s for lack of topics.  Then I started writing things down that I wanted to remember to blog about – which worked until I lost my note pad with all my ideas.  Usually, I do my best thinking on the drive home.  Hard to write on a note pad while negotiating the busy California freeways. 

Somedays, I just cannot come up with anything to write about.  I wouldn’t mind using this space for more personal entries, like how my husband is ticking me off today vs. tomorrow or yesterday – but sometimes it’s just not fair.  I know my family reads this blog (and maybe his family) and it wouldn’t be fair of me to remove the blinders they have on regarding Michael.  In my parents eye, Michael can do no wrong.  It’s how Michael is.  He is Mr. Teflon (graduated up from Teflon Boy – a name used during his childhood).  Nothing sticks to him, I’ve come to accept it.  I’m not happy about it, but I can accept it.

There is only so much I can write about my children, my intent is to keep family and friends informed on our lives, not to bore them to tears about who pooped on the potty two times today.  Let’s just say it was NOT Evan.  He preferred his pants 3 times on Saturday.

There are the fights that occur, the screaming matches coupled with punches to the head, the wrestling and inevitable crying sessions.  And that’s just me and Michael – never mind the boys!  But those are only fun for so long. 

I can talk about how they cry for me when they are being disciplined by their father and how I fall for it everytime (well, not everytime – but most of the time). 

When Brody was little, he preferred his daddy over me.  Only when he was awake though, while sleeping – I was numero uno!  It destroyed me that he wanted to be cuddled and comforted by his dad.  Then, he started using it to his advantage.  If Daddy put him in time out, he’d cry and cry for me – I would rescue him from time out and love him – because he didn’t want me otherwise!  You can imagine how I felt when he went to his dad for love all the time.  IT killed me.  He should have just put a knife through my heart, it would have been easier to take. 

Evan, on the other hand, has always been my boy.  He always wants his momma (swoon).  I have been told on occasion that I treat him differently than Brody.  It may be true, but I love them equally! 

For two boys with the same genetic make up, they are very very different.  Evan is the eater.  Brody could live off one cheerio if he needed to.  Brody has the ideas, his mind is always going forward – he’s the boy that asked his dad for the keys to the truck because he needed to run to the store.  He’s 4 going on 20.  Evan sleeps with a baby blanket and has recently re-discovered his ba-ba.  Evan does things because his brudder does them, if Brody is shaking his booty, so is Evan. 

But I digress…. do you see how easy it is for me to slip back into writing about the boys?  Sometimes, they are all encompassing.

Now I forgot what my point was.   Ahh mommy memory, you tease me so.

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God bless the fireworks audio montage

July 5, 2007 at 4:27 pm (Brody, Homesick)

Most people I know have a conventional marriage.  They live close to one or both sets of parents, they see their siblings and extended family regularly.  They are able to drop their kids off at a friend or relatives house so they can see a movie that doesn’t involve animated rats.  Maybe one with subtitles?

For a very long time, I was (am) so envious of my brother and his wife.  Sometimes, they were without their children for a whole weekend!  Oh the sanity of it all!  I would call my mom and find out that she had the kids because my brother and his wife went to a wedding (what? An adult event?  Without children?  Ooh my).  It’s not fair, I would cry to my husband.  I want to be an adult who gets to go out for supper and NOT order a happy meal.  I want to go out and NOT cut someone else’s meat or ask them for the 8 billionth time to put their knife down.  How I envied their ability to be child free for a short time. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I love my children.  Every parent knows that we need breaks from our kids.  It’s in the handbook under the subtitle “sanity, how to keep it.” 

My situation is different.  I live in a different country than the rest of my family and my in-laws have done their fair share of child rearing, so much so, that I feel it’s unfair of us to drop our kids off at their house while we sip wine in the NapaValley.  Even though I have been reassured that they want to see our children (and really enjoy it), it’s hard for me to actually take them up on their offer as often as I would take my parent’s offer.  There are no doubts of the children’s welfare while with them; I am actually more concerned for my parents-in-law. 

Michael’s mom is a wonderful Nana.  She loves her grandbabies and could, quite literally, kiss them to death.  She gives them whatever they want (like any good grandparent I’m told) and hugs them when they cry.  My boys are always right, they are always good boys, and they have NEVER misbehaved in her eyes.  Their papa buys them motorized things that take batteries and loves to scare the pants off of them.  I’m curious as to why the boys don’t BEG to go there ALL THE TIME. Plus, there’s always a few cousins hanging around ready to play. 

I don’t think Nana understands what it takes to keep the boys occupied now. Things (and by things I mean the boys) have changed. When they were babies…they were easy peasy.  A little food, a dry diaper, and a nap – life was GOOD.  Now?  Well, when they aren’t wrestling they are rooting through my cupboards or in daddy’s shed playing with power tools.  They run faster than me and things can go from bad to worse in a split second. 

Last night, while watching the fireworks, I became very emotional.  I felt such a longing for my homeland that tears welled up in my eyes.  I wanted to be in
Canada, with my parents and family – celebrating Canada Day.  I wanted to hear songs about Canada to those fireworks.  I wanted to be Canadian again. 

Thinking back, the tears could have been from the fireworks or it might have been Brody’s reaction to God Bless America.  There was an audio montage to the fireworks and THE SONG came on.  In the middle of the fireworks display, Brody stood up, passed me his light saber (a 5 dollar investment), put his hand over his heart and sang as loud as he could.  He loves God Bless America.  From the mountains to the prairies my son stood up and sang with a vigor I have never seen before. 

I’m not sure if it was the song that inspired him – or hearing a song that he knows the words to.  Would he have sang so great if it were a Garth Brooks song?  It’s hard to say.  I do know that he is always so surprised when he hears a song in public that he didn’t request to hear.  Allow me to explain, most of his music is by request to his daddy or myself.  He’ll say “I want to hear the song about the horns on the car” to which Michael will play Big and Rich.  It’s all about what Brody wants to hear.  There have been a few times when we’ve been playing the radio, a song will come on and Brody will say – play it again!  Not realizing it was the radio and not my iPod.   He really likes it when he recognizes songs he knows while we are out in public.

The realization that my children may never know the Canadian National Anthem really upset me.  While my nephew and niece are learning Frerer Jacques and O Canada, my boys are learning a completely different set of standard songs.  That upsets me!

He did make his daddy very proud last night.  He also made his mommy homesick. 

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The fourth…

July 5, 2007 at 1:13 pm (Family)

I have been living in the US for seven years.  This July marks a significant anniversary for me.  It is the month that I moved here.  Shhh… I wasn’t supposed to be here until October.  Anyway, my first 4th of July celebration was 7 years ago, yesterday.

We had a lovely day.  It started with 4,298,430,003,220,009 loads of laundry.  Ha, you think I’m joking!  So cute.  Michael cleaned the inside of his truck and wiped off the sunscreen that Brody sprayed on the outside of the truck.  We washed the parts to the car seats – it was akin to an archeological dig.  You carefully sweep through one layer, not wanting to disturb the layer beneath it. 

Michael has never really cleaned in his lifetime.  He says he’s cleaned before – but I know better. Being a girl (and a kid) I cleaned a lot when I was growing up.  My mom is an excellent housekeeper and can clean anything.  I learned a lot from her and to this day my cleaning skills will never compare to hers.  One reason for that, is that I just don’t care enough to be “super” clean. 

She loves the white glove test and will perform it with her own hidden glove that she keeps in her purse.  Mom also loves to tell me that my housecleaner isn’t very good and probably encourages my father to take a jab once in a while.  The point is, I know clean.  Michael was trying to scrub sunscreen, greasy oily hard to remove sunscreen, from the exterior of his truck with water.  I think there might have been soap involved – but I came outside half way through his task.  He eventually got it out based on my suggestion that he use a grease cutter like windex.  I think he felt accomplished (he did an amazing job), I certainly hope he did because his truck looked like a group of 15 teenagers lived in it for the past year. 

Ahh… i digress

We then went to Michael’s parents house for a BBQ.  I thought it was going to be a family bbq but between Michael and I – we only knew about 5 people.  Jeff and Heather showed up, we ate and then headed off to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom to watch the fireworks.  The latest news at SFDK is that Thomas the Tank Engine town finally opened!  It’s a cool little spot for kids and seemed to be the happening place if you were a 4 year old boy.  Michael waited in line with the boys so that they could ride the Harold the Helicopter ride.  I bet he was in line for about 40 minutes.  With all three boys.  By himself (I know, he’s a saint!).  Michael was almost fed up and POOF! it was their turn!  The timing was amazing!  A chocolate milkshake was definitely in order after that! 

We started lining up for the fireworks at Chabot Stadium at around 8:00 pm.  I hate crowds.  I especially hate crowds in a line.  I get anxious, snippy, unmanageable, cruel and irritated.  So. Easily. Irritated.  Plus, the crowd in this line were the lowest of the low.  We had a few people who were respectful of space etc.  Most of them were this close to getting a pop in the head. 

I think it’s pretty bad when the stadium attendees are yelling at grown adults to stop running! stop running!  This is NOT Nascar ™ for goodness sakes!  Why are people running over fireworks?  I was not in a rush to run to my seat just so that I could sit for the next hour and a half waiting.  While seated, I was amazed at the number of people who wanted us to “scootch over” and give up our amazing spots.  Spots that we had waited for over an hour and half for.  Uh… I don’t think so.  Nice try though! Buh-bye. 

The fireworks were awesome!  We loved every minute of them.  It made up for all the nasty people surrounding us.  Until it was time to leave of course!  That’s when all hell broke out again!

We ended up getting home at around 10:45 pm and you can imagine the state of my children this morning.  It was scary!  I was actually scared for my life!  So far though, only one phone call saying how bad they are behaving.  One call… not bad.

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What’s up Canadians?

July 2, 2007 at 4:12 pm (Bored)

Today is a holiday in my native homeland.  It’s about 96 degrees here today and I should have taken the day off to celebrate Canada Day.  Instead, I’m at work – slugging away. 

I just want to say Happy Canada Day!  Please know that I miss celebrating this holiday at home. 

It’s so very civilized – with only 1 person allowed to work the fireworks (but several people handing out beer).  Here in the states, on the 4th of July, well – it’s a madhouse.  The dog usually stays up barking all night because the trashy neighbours are drunk and blowing crap up.  It’s a heck of a good time.  It’ll be even better this year because I have to work the next day. 

I’m still wondering who will be the first to lose their fingers.  Anyhoo, I digress –

 Party on Canada!!

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Week One is Ovah!!!

July 2, 2007 at 4:07 pm (School)

Well, after a full week at school, I have done two things:

1.  I have received perfect scores on all my assignments (go me)
2. I have had an online spat with a 20 year old child from idaho who thinks she knows it all (stupid young girls who know NOTHING)

I won’t go into details, but this child (and I use that term loosely) had it coming.  We have class discussions in an online forum, kind of like a chat room.  She has about an IQ of about 50 (spelling and punctuation DO MATTER)  and doesn’t know how to type or formulate a sentence.  So her question actually came out as an attack – and not only to me.  She did it to another student.  Talking about how I needed to respect her opinion and I needed to respect her.  It was UGLY.  Needless to say, I don’t respect her and told her so – and also said that I will not be responding to any more posts from her.  Except, I wasn’t that nice about it.

Some of my classmates are using the forum as if it were Myspace.  Chatting where they aren’t supposed to, making the main forum ugly with lost posts that were supposed to be filed elsewhere.  It’s so frustrating because I want to clean the threads up.  Everyone needs to follow the rules!  grrr

The first week of school did end on a great note, I got all of my assignments back from my professor and she made wonderful comments on them, grading me with perfect scores.  That’s how I roll yo’. 

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