Tuesday, 20 November 2012

I HATE Peas!!!!

Tonight was a gong show pretty much from the minute the kids walked in the door at 3:59.  They were tired. They were hungry. They were mad because I never let them get to do anything fun. Standard school day stuff really.

A friend of my daughter's came over - the kids played for a while, then the two girls put on a bit of a piano performance for me. I decided it would be nice to sip on a glass of my favorite wine while I was listening. It was wonderful . . .  for about 5 minutes.

About the time I was able to relax, my youngest son decided that he was starving and required a Nutella Samwich as soon as possible. He began to complain loudly when I reminded him dinner would be in just a few minutes. As his volume increased, so did the piano's - resulting in my other son cranking the volume on the TV. So much for relaxing.

After the friend went home, it was time to serve dinner. I served peas . . . sweet little morsels of green smothered in butter and dusted with salt and pepper. Yes, I love me some peas. Unfortunately, my oldest son did not agree.

And so began a 25 minute long tirade about how much he hates peas.  After the first five minutes, I decided to make it into a drinking game. Every time he mentioned how much he hated peas, I'd take a swig of my wine.  I should have known better. This is a kid who fought for 70 minutes about eating 4 kernels of corn!

Five minutes into the game I gave up on pouring the wine into a glass and started drinking straight out of the bottle. Fifteen minutes and 3/4 of a bottle later I was totally practically wasted. Even I couldn't understand the slurring words coming out of my mouth as I tried to cajole him into eating the one teaspoon full of peas on his plate. I did what any responsible parent would do at that point - I slammed the bottle onto the table, put my hands in the air, and shouted "I'm Out!"

Kid: 1  Mom: 0

Oh well, maybe next time.

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Monday, 19 November 2012

I'm Blaming PMS

I hate PMS . . . if I could skip through this monthly phenomenon, I am sure my life would be much happier - if not a bit less entertaining.

I am always amazed at how quickly my moods can change . . . one minute I'm over the moon in love with my children, the next wishing I could lock them outside as they sing the "Winnie the Pooh" song over and over and over. I gather them up in my arms to give them a great big hug, then cringe because I don't want to be touched. Yes, PMS is a tricky b*^@#!

But the most disturbing part? I'm a 'cryer' at the best of times. Normally those around me are embarrassed by this. Today even I was embarrassed by myself as the tears started to flow freely this morning. Why was I sobbing so? I was watching the video of Psy performing "Gangnam Style" last night at the AMA's. The song didn't make me cry. His horrid pants didn't make me cry (although I am incredibly disturbed by the resurgence of 'Harem Pants'). No, I held it together for all that. But throw M.C. Hammer into the mix and I'm bawling like a freaking baby. Too legit, too legit to quit. I'm tearing up just thinking about it. What.The.Heck?

Sniff sniff . . .  Momma needs some chocolate . . .

Friday, 16 November 2012


If you are new to my blog, make sure to check out these two posts before reading the rest of this entry:

Pardon Me, I Think My Brain Just Farted

I Did It!

It's interesting what people will do for fun. Some people like to run with the bulls. Some people like to run marathons. Me? I don't particularly like running - but when there are Zombie's chasing you, there really isn't a choice . . . right?

A couple of months ago, a friend and I signed up for the Best Body Fitness "Zombie Run" at Top of the Hill Golf Course in Sylvan Lake. A year ago, neither of us would have been in any shape to do this. Heck, I wasn't even sure I was in enough shape to do it now considering I've kind of been negligent on getting my regular butt kickings at bootcamp. But, desperate for some time away on my own, I signed up anyways.

The run took place on the last Saturday of October. It had snowed. It was cold. It was windy. I told myself repeatedly how excited I was to be doing this. I reminded myself that it was going to be a lot of fun. But deep inside (well, not really that deep) I was nervous and more than a little scared.

My friend and I arrived at the course 45 minutes before our heat time. We saw one of the obstacles on our way in. If the road hadn't been winding and narrow, I might have backed right down the hill. Too late to turn back now. We suited up in our winter gear and headed in to register.

We walked into the clubhouse and were immediately welcomed by the excitement and energy of the participants and volunteers. We got our twine and flags that were representative of our brains that the Zombie's would try to eat. We watched the first heat leave and I couldn't wipe the grin off my face.
Karie & I, ready to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Our turn finally arrived. We headed out into the snow and cold. Go!

There were seven of us in our group. We met Christine - who was there running on her own. We made it to the first obstacle without even seeing a Zombie. I think they did that on purpose. Because they were everywhere after that.

For the next couple of kilometres we encountered some crazy obstacles and Zombies that would sometimes seem to appear out of nowhere. And they were Hungry! I made it to the first check point with 3 of my flags still intact - quite a feat as I was fully expecting to lose all of them early on in the event. Apparently I got a little foolhardy, because they were gone in a matter of minutes after a sneak attack by a pack of exceptionally enthusiastic Zombie's. 

It didn't take long to figure out that in order to survive this Apocalypse, we were going to have to collaborate. In order to preserve the brains left in some members of our group, we worked together to duck, dodge, and fake out Zombie's left, right, and centre. They were persistent buggars, I'll give them that. 

By the time we reached the second checkpoint, well, our brains had been pretty much sucked dry. Part of our task was to run across the field and collect the second part of an antidote so we wouldn't turn into stark raving mad brain suckers too. We rounded the corner and a Zombie was waiting for us. I tried to dodge him, but ended up taking him out instead. I actually felt kind of bad . . . for a minute, anyways. It could have been worse - at least I didn't flatten him with the bag of rocks I was carrying.

We had to pass through the same pack of Zombie's on our way back, and since we were all out of brains, we decided to try and trick them. We asked for a photo op - turns out, they LOVE the camera! 
Our new Apocalypse Buddy Christine :)

I didn't even have to toss this dude a Twinkie!
A few more hundred meters through the bush and over three fences (one as tall as Karie!), and we reached the finish line. We did our obligatory burpees in order to regain our brains, and had Finisher Medals hung around our necks. It was awesome.
Brains Regained!
I can honestly say this was one of the most incredible events I have ever participated in. I'm sure we spent the entire 3 km laughing and screaming hysterically - and it was fantastic to be a part of the group and meet some new and amazing people too! I don't hesitate to admit that I was sad to reach the finish line - I didn't want the fun to end. The Zombie's were amazing (many were volunteers from various youth clubs throughout Central Alberta who received a portion of the event proceeds for their efforts) - and really made the entire event a lot of fun. The volunteers were phenomenal, and the organizing crew - well, let's just say they worked their butts off and it showed.

So the point of this story (aside from bragging about my achievement)? Registration is already taking place for next year's event!!! Click on the link below to reserve your spot - you won't be disappointed. 

Hope to see you there - but be forewarned - the inoculation didn't work. I will be a Zombie and require you to toss a Twinkie my way otherwise I'll have to nibble at your brains a bit.  Game On Peeps!

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Thursday, 15 November 2012

The Big Bear Hug

The other day I heard from a friend that she was meeting an old college pal of mine later that day. She messaged me later to say she had gotten The Big Bear Hug from him and I just had to smile.

When I was in college, I was pretty much a screw up with a capital S. My GPA was lower than my blood alcohol content throughout most of the semester, and needless to say, I wasn't invited back. I made some really bad choices during that time, and when I look back, I do so with a lot some embarrassment and a great deal of regret.

The only good thing out of it all? I made some really, really fantastic friendships that have stood the test of time. I remain great friends with my old roommate, and there is a group of us that get together annually to 'relive' the old days (albeit with a lot less fanfare and drunkenness than the days of old).

My friend Mitch is a Big Bear Hug giver. He is a really tall guy, and he will wrap his arms around you and lift your feet off the ground when he gives you the hug. It doesn't matter if he just saw you yesterday, or if it has been years - you will still get the hug. It is seriously one of my most favorite things in the world - and this is why.

When I was making bad choices and feeling rotten about myself, Mitch would arrive and give me that great big bear hug, lifting me off the ground all the while laughing in my ear. Then he would put me down, and look at me with a great big smile and his twinkling eyes, and somehow . . . things just seemed better. He didn't care that I made mistakes (that he let on anyways), he accepted me for what he believed me to be . . . a good person. He stood by me when times were tough, and celebrated with me when things were great. There were days when the last thing I wanted was to be touched by anyone - but along would come Mitch, and up I would go whether I liked it or not. His enthusiasm was contagious - and soon I would be smiling and laughing too. He may not realize it, but his hugs got me through some really nasty stuff - and to this day when I'm feeling sad or alone, I simply conjure up the memory of his hug, and I can't help but smile.

We have remained friends since those days long ago, and every year I look forward to the evening we get together because I know I will once again be lifted off my feet, see those sparkling eyes, and hear that glorious laughter. It is a gift, and I treasure it.

Someday, I hope my children will have a 'Mitch' in their life. Someone who will lift them up when their spirits are down, and share their joy when things are wonderful. I hope they are as lucky as I have been.

Love you Mitch!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

We Must ALWAYS Remember

My heart is heavy, yet full of gratefulness today. As I watch coverage of Remembrance Day Ceremonies throughout our beautiful country, I am overcome by such a profound sense of appreciation that there really are no words which could adequately describe it.

My Grandfather was a Veteran. There were many others in my family who were also Veterans. I grew up knowing this, but never really having an appreciation of it. Perhaps because in my presence it was not spoken of often - or perhaps in my youth, I failed to sense the enormity of what was actually being discussed. I'm not sure which. 

This is not to say that I was unable to recognize the importance of our Veteran's contributions to creating the world in which we live in today. That I lacked respect for the sacrifices made by fine young men and women who were willing to give of themselves so their families could live a  life without fear and oppression. Intellectually I understood this - but in retrospect, did I actually feel this to the fullest extent? Looking back, I am ashamed to admit that I did not.

It's only been in the last few years that the reality of War has really begun to establish itself in my mind. I'm not sure how I could have looked at such events so simplistically, but somehow I managed to. Not so anymore. 

When I think of War, of course, what still comes to mind are the seemingly endless battles and bloodbaths that occurred on fields throughout Europe, Korea, and Vietnam. I think of the Soldiers serving in Afghanistan - on a mission to create safety and freedom in a country full of many who wish to retain the status quo. It doesn't matter whether I agree with the troops being there or not, they are there on my Country's behalf - on my behalf. These are the things I have always thought of when I think of War.

And now?

When I look into the eyes of a Veteran, I see the fresh faced and naive young man who, on leaving to serve his country, turns to look at his family and friends one last time before walking out the door. Not knowing whether he will return home . . . not knowing the horrors that await him. Not knowing that even if he is fortunate enough to return home, things will never, ever be the same. He will be a different person.

I see the young woman, raising her children while her husband is on tour, waking every morning and wondering if this will be the day the phone will ring with dreaded news. The young woman who remains strong and positive for the sake of her children, her family and friends - all the while wondering  if life will always be this way.

I see a family, terrified and hiding, starving not only for food, but for hope as well. They were born of the wrong religion. They survived in a time of evil. They are surrounded by the sounds and smells of hatred and disgust. It isn't their fault. They are persecuted anyways. They are tortured. They are murdered. Every effort is made to crush their souls and spirits. Many, despite all odds, survive and persevere. Millions do not. The survivors mourn for their people. The world mourns for their people. How can such evil exist?

I see the Soldier, about to enter his first battle. Three steps in and caught in an ambush. His Comrades who had no choice but to walk on by, knowing the young man never had a chance to say goodbye to those he loved and who loved him. Wondering if they will be spared - and if they are, why? Why do they live while others die?

I see the Soldier in combat - shooting at and being shot at by other men and women who physically are the same, but ideologically are different. Young men and women who also have families that love them. Who also love their country and are willing to fight for it.

I see the Soldier who watches his best friend perish in combat. The Soldier whose troop mate is killed in an incident of friendly fire. I see the soul of these Soldiers as they try to reconcile their cause with their grief. 

I see the Soldier who returns home and is forever changed. She has seen things that one should never have to see. She reads stories by people who condemn war and the Soldiers who give of themselves for their country. She may be cast aside by some in society simply for making the choice to serve our country and fight for the freedoms of others.

I see the Nurse who looks into the eyes of a young man, and offers comfort and hope in his time of injury. Who celebrates recovery in one room and mourns the death of a young soul in another. Who tries hard not to wonder where God is when men are on the battlefield.

I see the Soldier who helps to build a better community for a group of people that deserve more than their country has to offer them. 

I see a Soldier, in the midst of chaos and inhumanity, carrying a young child to safety so they may go on to live another day and perhaps influence change in the future.

I see a man, looking through a War History book, who comes across a picture of some Prisoners of War. He sees the face of his Father.  A photo which he had never seen before, of a Father he barely knew. The image burned into his mind forever as he wonders what horrors this man who meant so much to him had to endure. As he wonders what life would have been like if his Father had survived.

I see the Veteran, reading the paper and learning that attendance at Remembrance Day Assemblies in Schools is now optional. I imagine him closing his eyes and thinking of his Comrades who fell for freedom, how his own life was forever changed by what he was forced to witness in his fight for his country. And I imagine his disgust. 

My heart is heavy as I think of these sacrifices - and I am so incredibly grateful for the men and women who have and continue to make these sacrifices on our behalf. These are the things we must never forget. These are the things we must teach our children. This is why we must always remember. I pledge my commitment to always remember . . . do you?

In loving memory of my Grandfather, Lloyd Wesley Hart. Thank you Grandpa - for everything. I love you and miss you every day. 

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

And the Sock Ran Away With . . .

I don't know about your house, but in mine, my socks have commitment issues. Sure, they stick together for a while - but eventually one seems to run off in the night. Or day. Heck, I have no idea when they leave. Perhaps they get in tight with the washing machine. Or the dryer makes them so hot they just melt from desire. Maybe their mate gets a little thread bare or the toe gets a little hole and they just can't take it anymore. Where is the 'til death do us part? In sickness and health? If I can pack on a few pounds, get gray hair, and still be loved by my mate, why can't they? It seems to me that my socks are a bit fickle when it comes to love.

And when the mate disappears, heck - they start to pair off with any old other sock that might just happen to be lying around! They're open minded like that. It doesn't matter if they are the same colour - or even texture for that matter - they form a temporary bond that is baffling to all those who happen to see it. This was particularly true when our older daughter was still living with us. Although in her case, it would seem that most of her socks were terrified of being worn. As a result, they hunkered down in that  black hole known as 'under the bed', protected from the roving bands of leftover food and hot sweaty feet by the dust bunny army.

But if you think that the socks are the worst for running off on their mates, you'd best think again. Mitten season is upon us, and I've already had three take off in search of the land of the free. At first, I thought it was only the cheap mitts from the Dollar Store that had no morals. Think again. Those high priced floozies from WalMart are just as bad. You can tie those buggars up with a string and they still disappear. They're freaking David Copperfield. In the spring I'm sure I'll find one that made it halfway down the hill before giving up and becoming the 'forever home' for a mouse or some such thing. Well, forever until the cat gets it or the mitten gets run over by the lawn mower. It's the circle of life my friends.

The thing with mittens though is this. There is a conspiracy. Have you ever noticed that it's always only one side that bolts? If I were to look through all my single mittens, I would be hard pressed to find one that would fit on the left hand. Where the eff do they go?!? At least with Magic Gloves it doesn't matter. Too bad my kids can't figure out how to get their fingers inside ...

The only sanity saver in all of this? I know it doesn't just happen at MY house. It happens at yours too ... right?

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Monday, 5 November 2012

I Didn't Need to See That

OK - here's the thing. I don't mind Graffiti if it is tasteful, colorful, and nice to look at. I realize that it is on public property and it's illegal - but I don't get too worked up about it.

But when I drive by a bridge and see the picture of a giant penis . . . well, look. I live in a house with two boys and a husband. I see my fair share of penises every day whether I like it or not. The last thing I want to look at when I drive under the overpass is the picture of a giant penis with balls not to scale.

Seriously people, stick to 'Grad insert year here' for goodness sake.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Sigh . . . Time to Turn the Clocks Back

Once a year we get the infamous 'do over'. A chance to turn back the clock one hour and start over. I used to live for this day. 

When I was a teenager, this day represented an opportunity to get a much needed extra hour of sleep - meaning my Mom had to wait an extra hour before nagging me to get up and get busy. I cherished this day, and looked forward to it all year long.

As a younger adult, this day represented an extra hour before closing time at the bar. I'd get to listen to 'Closing Time' not once, but twice. What a great night!

As a parent with a young daughter, daylight savings time always afforded me the chance to arrive somewhere either an hour early, or more likely, have children arrive at my house an hour early because their parents forgot to turn the clocks back. Either that, or they just wanted to get rid of their kids early and feigned ignorance about the time change. 

Now, as a parent with three young children who have a knack for waking up at 6 a.m. no matter what time they go to bed, I dread the 'do over' day. Because they will be up at 5. Instead of an extra hour of sleep, I get an extra hour of whining, crying, fighting, and misery fun because we kept them up late the night before in the hopes that they would sleep in. One would think that we would know better by now - I mean they are 8 and 5 years old - it's not like we haven't walked this road before. Yet foolishly, we hold out hope every year.

This got me to thinking . . . if we are going to get to 'do over' hour, why couldn't it have been at 5:30 yesterday when we went to that awful Chinese Food restaurant and I gorged on ginger beef and spring rolls? I could have saved myself some misery. Or at 9:00 two Thursdays ago when I arrived at the Kindergarten class AFTER everyone had left on the field trip.

Sigh . . . oh well. Maybe I can get the kids to go to sleep at 6:30 tonight. At least it will be dark out.

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Thursday, 1 November 2012

The Day After

Last night was the best night of my kids' life - or so they told me. While they were eating candy for breakfast. I forced them to eat something healthy along with all that sugar.

"You don't take care of us very well" they said. 

"Oh, and if I did, what would that look like?" I asked.

"You would let us eat candy ALL the time and drink pop for breakfast" I was informed. 

"I can't afford the dentist bill so I guess you'll have to suffer" I replied. They didn't appreciate my logic.

I sent them off to school. I contemplated sending an apology note to their teachers, but I was distracted by the piles of sugar in my kitchen.

For the rest of the morning I did everything I could to ignore the bowl of chocolate bars and skittles sitting on my counter. I ate raspberries. I defrosted the freezer. I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. The more I ignored them, the louder those darn chocolate bars screamed. Then they started whining. Gah . . . I can't handle whining!!!

I relented. I gave in. I had one. It was sooooo good. I told myself "no more". I went back to work trying to distract myself.

As soon as the kids walked in the door, they immediately went to their candy bags. They are trying to take it easy on me by not letting me see what's inside. But I know what's in there - and it is calling me. 

One of them brought me a half eaten Aero bar. I said no, I can't eat that. No one else wanted it so my son walked over to throw it in the garbage can!

"Nooooooooooo" I yelled as I dove across the counter to rescue that delicious chocolate. I shoved it in my mouth as fast as I could, and then looked around the kitchen with wild eyes, searching for more. There were half eaten chocolate bars everywhere! Something inside me snapped.

I'm not exactly clear on what happened next, but I'm hoping my kids don't have nightmares after seeing me headfirst in their candy bags and hissing at them whenever they came within 5 feet of me. I'm assuming they went to bed while I was binging. Either that or they ran away.  

When my husband finally gets home tonight he may be surprised to find me sitting in the living room half dressed and stroking a ring pop repeating "My Precious".  All I know is he better not come near me unless he has chocolate . . . .

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