Monday, January 30, 2006


That's right. Nothing. That's what I did today.

OK, in a mother's world that's practically impossible. But it came pretty close to it.

Woke up this morning to the radio saying there was no school buses today. Big sis decided to stay home , usually I still just drive her in but its mostly a waste of time with half the kids there. Hubby was home this morning, got in last night, so she wanted to spend some time with him. Little ones still had pre-school so I drove them there (and the roads weren't half as bad as what they warned). And then a moment of total indulgence: went, by myself, to a Tim Horton's had my coffee, in a mug, and read my book: Memoirs of a Geisha. Pretty awesome so far!

Then I leisurely and aimlessly strolled through the mall, figuring I was getting some exercise at the same time, and bought some ready made stuff for the kids lunch. Picked up the kids from pre-school, had lunch...with paper plates :) . Then all 3 watched a movie together and I gave them a new toy I bought long ago for a special occasion and figured today was as good as any. So they were busy all afternnon and all got along splendidly. And I lied on the couch, read and fell asleep. Can you believe that ? I napped, like a baby. My body was obviously trying to tell me that I needed a slow down. This weather ain't helping at all. I woke up and they were quietly having a snack. So I sat with them while they were playing and knitted. Yep, something I haven't done in years. A few weeks back I wanted to show big sis how its done, the way my mom showed me years ago, and next thing I knew I was hooked and started a project, extremely beginner . Apparently there's a resurgence of knitting and its zen-like appeal.

Guess its time to go make supper, just for the kids, hubby at work, so something easy schmeasy will do. And no homework, yeah!

All in all a great day. OK, the mother guilt is trying to take over as I see a few projects I could have tended to and I could have spent more time with the kids, but hey, that's why big sis took a babysitting course.

Go away mother guilt, come back another day.
Today was mommy's day.
The dustballs can wait till tomorrow.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

my words

Couldn't resist this one! thanks nancy and dani

holding down the fort

I've been MIA: been a single mom for the past few days, one more sleep to go! For the past 2 years, hubby has been going out of town more. Basically to attend continuing education courses and expand the horizons and scope of the work he does. He comes back re-energized and shares with me all that he's learned. The kids have grown to understand his little trips and so look forward to having him back. Of course the little surprises he brings back are paramount and are also used by myself as pure uninhibited bribery tools the whole time he's gone to obtain stupendous behavior from them ;0

He never leaves for more than 3-4 days at a time. Nancy is my hero for this alone-with-the-kids-hubby-away-on-trip thingy. Heck, she even has special undergarments to help her through those times. The first few times, I was a nervous wreck..."how will I cope with the 3 kids alone?" but now, no problem, even with all the juggling that's needed. Part of me actually looks forward to not having him around. Of course I love him tremendously, but not having him here is one less person for me to take care of, a break from the usual routine, I make it a point of doing out of the ordinary things (like supper at a girlfriends' house with the kids, home movie night complete with popcorn, group manicure, etc.) and I get that 'alone" time when the kids are sleeping. Being an only child, I crave for those rare opportunities. Especially in the evening when I can be in control of the remote and can read as late as I want! Or play on the computer!! Except this time, the computer along with the dishwasher and the truck were having technical difficulties :( Things do happen in threes! Amazing how much I got accomplished around the house with him gone AND the pute on the fritz. Tons of little odds and ends here and there that had been relegated to the procrastiantion pile. Makes one wonder how much I could accomplish if I didn't have this little secret addiction with my blog. But then again this is what makes my mind work all day.

Oh, and we've "two sticker days" for 5 days in a row and a "no sticker day" today ;( Poor kid, comes in to see me in the morning with that sad puppy look and announces "guess no stickers for me today but I'll do better tomorrow!" What a sweetie!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

two sticker morning

The twins are 4yrs and 2.4 monhs old. Baby girl has been dry at night for TWO years whereas baby boy still has problems. He needs a pull-up at night. Ok we can live with that. But then he started removing it in the middle of the night ("I was too hot mom!") leaving me with a morning mess of wet sheets and blankets and stuffed animals :( Good thing he's still in his beloved race car toddler bed so the sheets are smaller and all fits in one load of laundry. Nevertheless, I've had it with the stripping of the bed and making it up again as a near daily ritual. We tried everything. The kid is not allowed to drink after suppertime. Meanwhile baby girl goes to bed with a cup of water, but then again she has a bladder of steel that one. We make sure he goes pee before bedtime. We've tried to get him up in the middle of the night but the plumbing doesn't seem to work then ;( We know he can do it, he'll have stretches were all is well. But it makes us uneasy to have him sleep anywhere else, like at the outlaws over Christmas (sure enough, peed all over and MIL had NOT put a mattress cover).

So this week we started the official Baby Boy Pipi Calendar. It's prominently displayed in the kitchen and it came with a few rules which the whole family is in on. If he wakes up and his bed is dry (i.e. didn't remove his pullup) he gets one sticker. If he wakes up and his bed AND his pull-up are dry, he gets 2 stickers for that day. When we arrive to 10 stickers, he gets a prize (some dollar store knck-knack and baby girl will get one too, ahh the joy of twins). When we arrive to 50 (I know a long way for a little boy, we'll see how tath goes) he gets the big prize, something he really, really wants: to go see the Sens play!! Now we've already bought the tickets for an April game so we should be good for then.

So this morning, he wakes up and comes running in our room with pride written all over his face" mom, I get 2 stickers today!" woo-hoo, we all did the happy dance!! This strategy may work after all!!

Monday, January 23, 2006

a pleasant surprise

I really have to thank Dani for enticing me to read this book. One I would definitely not have picked up on my own but her reviewreally intrigued me in a twofold kind of way.

First, Margaret Atwood. That name alone brought me back to my pre-university years in college. I was a science student and it was mandatory for us to take English and Humanities. I despised those courses. Science courses were neat and organized, factual, black and white. These courses were filled with shades of grey and were difficult and brought my overall average down :( One of those courses was titled "Women in Canadian Literature" and given by this b*tchy radical feminist. Of course we read Margaret Atwood, Silvia Plath and the like. Now this was back in 1978 so Atwood's work didn't have the scope it now has. We read and agonized over The Edible Woman, Surfacing and Lady Oracle. I hated writing book reports. Give me a lab report or calculus problem and I would have been happier.

Secondly, the Odyssey. At the same time as I was struggling with Margaret Atwood I met my own Greek God and ended up marrying him and his whole Greek culture. He introduced me to the Iliad and the Odyssey, greek Mythology, greek archaelogical sites, ancient greek history. Our pursuit of knowledge in this field is ongoing.

So this combination of Margaret Atwood (yikes) and the Odyssey (yeah) prooved to be a pleasant surprise. An easy read and something fun and totally different. An old story retold from a different point of view, a woman's point of view. It also made me realize how now, in my older and much wiser years, I've come to appreciate all those English and Humanities courses I had to take and how they've thought me so much. Wish I had known that more then.

And as I was reading this book I kept imagining how young students will be reading it and analyzing it and cursing it. Made me smile :)

don't be an idiot

Big sis brought this photocopied article from Greek school for home discussion. Written by Tony Atherton and I assume published in a local newspaper. Just had to share some excerpts:

In ancient Athens, cradle of democracy, passionately political Greeks had a word for members of society removed from public life, those who did not vote or hold office. They called them idiotes. While the term was no more flattering than the word's English derivative, its contempt was more specific. If we reverted to the original Greek definition of idiot, it would fundamentally change the nature of modern political discourse. Politicians could never again be called idiots.

By ancient Greek standards, then, about 40 per cent of the Canadian electorate are idiots. We refer to the record number of citizens who, during the last federal election, did not exercise the fundamental right and bedrock responsibility of citizenship--the vote.

Children of an era of peace and freedom, we take the whole issue of civic responsibility rather more lightly than those for whom despotism or oligarchy was fierce.

Now I am totally not a political activist BUT don't be an idiot, go vote today already!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

winter magic

It was a magical winter wonderland of a week-end.

We got a lot of the white stuff. Not fluffy. Heavy. And clingy. To everything. And after the clouds had emptied themselves and moved away, the sun came out and everything was gleaming and glistening and blanketed with a stillness. That peacefulness seemed to get imbibed by us all.

Then we all ended up outside, shovelling the skating rink first of course (amazing how such a small piece of ice can bring such fun). Then building a fort. Then a little cross-country skiing for some, skating for others. These are the days when I feel priviledged to live here with all this space around us for teh kids to explore and enjoy. Then in for spaguetti supper. Then back out for a nightly skate. Back in for chocolate fondue. And finally down for the count.

Wake up to pancake and sausage breakfast and out they go again. Working on their fort some more. I couldn't stop peeking at them from the window admiring this most precious moment of sibling togetherness. After lunch, we went in the city to encourage a neighbour of ours who was competing in a speed skating provincial meet. He ended up winning a silver in his age category and is going to Salt Lake City next week-end to represent the province. What an experience it will be for him. To actually skate indoors as opposed to outdoors. We were all so excited for him. He's the same age as big sis and from the time he was barely 2 he could skate faster than kids older than him. I so remember telling his parents to put him in speed skating. They didn't know much about it so I got them the number of the local club where friends of mine were involved. So I always feel so proud in having a had a small part in this boy's life. He truly has a passion for the sport and its great to see. We wish him well next week-end!

Friday, January 20, 2006

mom's taxi service

Phew, a few minutes to catch my breath, the last two days were a whirlwind of activity.

Last summer, my dad was diagnosed with a basal cell carcinoma on his ear after several appointments here and there and he was scheduled for surgery. Well, talk about short notice, they call us two nights ago with the surgery time. First he has to go in for pre-admissions, the following day for admissions and the actual surgery. Of course, he's all stressed out with this. Add to this, that he can't drive himself there and back, speaks little English and needs me to translate, my mom can't drive, I'm an only child, the freezing rain caused bus cancellations for big sis'school, drastic driving conditions, gymnastics and skating lessons for the twins...long story short, its been two days of driving everyone here and there in a logistics nightmare. But we made it, all worked out. He's at home recuperating, back for a post-op next week.

Two things I gathered from this:

1. I'm definitely in the sandwich generation, caught between aging parents (mom 84 yo and dad 73 yo) and my kids and all of their respective needs

2. deficiencies in our healthcare system, although he was and is always treated very well, the waiting games are atrocious...we were talking to a man in the reception area who had been there for 4 hours waiting to get stitches removed, ridiculous. I think I'll stop at that cuz I could go on and on about healthcare issues and can be quite passionate about it but let's end it by saying that our domestic animals are better taken care of than us humans.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

my first meme

Ok as a virgin blogger I've seen those other bloggers I admire do this and now its my turn. But how exactly do you pronounce this word and where is it from? So a quick Wikipedia search revealed:

The term "meme" (rhymes with "dream"), derived from the Greek word mimema, "something imitated," often refers to a piece of information passed from one mind to another. The term first came into popular use with the publication of the book The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins in 1976, and the conceptual framework of memes borrows from the study of genes -- the units of biological transmission. Historically, the notion of a unit of social evolution, and a similar term (from Greek mneme, 'memory'), ah, ah, as in mnemonics, first appeared in 1904 in a work by the German evolutionary biologist Richard Semon: translated into English in 1921 as The Mneme.

By analogy with genetics, a meme passes from generation to generation via family and cultural traditions or training rather than via sexual reproduction, with occasional "mutations." Another common usage of the term "meme" relates closely to academic study of folklore and the informal communication of cultural information, in which memes fit into an analogy of "language as a virus."

Ok, feel better now that I know that, so here it goes:

Four jobs I've had:
1. gopher do it all in a clothing manufacture
2. salesperson and cashier at Reitman's
3. research assistant in a virology lab
4. dental surgeon and business owner

Four movies I could watch over and over
1. The Party (Peter Sellers)!! birdie num-num ;)
2. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
3. Finding Nemo
4. Home videos
hmmm, not much of an intellectual when it comes to movies ;)

Four places I've lived
1. Nice, France
2. Barcelona, Spain
3. Montreal, Quebec
4. Ottawa, Ontario

Four TV shows I love
1. The Apprentice...the task and the boardroom, not the squabbling
2. ER/Grey's Anatomy...anything medically related
3. Seinfeld/ Star Trek: New Generation (put them together as they are re-runs)
4. CSI, all of them

Four places I've been on vacation...lots of those
1. Europe (Spain, France, Monaco, Switzerland, Greece)
2. Canada (Nova Scotia : Halifax-New Glasgow-Cape Breton, Newfoundland, Calgary-Banff-Golden-Jasper-Edmonton, Eastern Townships, Kingston-Toronto-Niagara Falls, Windsor)
3. United States (both coasts Florida, Vermont, Maine, Boston-Cape Cod, Michigan)
4. Caribbean (Mexico, Aruba, Cayman, Turks and Caicos, Cuba, Barbados)

Four blogs I visit daily:
my bloggy and real life friends dani, nancy, Anna, Sharon

Four favourite foods:
1. pasta in a multitude of ways
2. crusty bread, cheese as in Brie/Camambert and red wine
3. rippled chips and ranch dip and a Coke
4. Nutella

Four places I'd rather be:
1. week long spa retreat with a beach, books, wine and a few girlfriends
2. a house in the South of France after having gone through Paris
3. Disneyworld with the kids
4. right here in my home BUT with a fulltime cook, housekeeper and personal trainer ;)

Four CDs I listened to most recently
1. U2...latest one, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
2. Rolling Stones...latest one, A Bigger Bang
3. Carmen Campagne...for the kids while driving
4. Best of Mozart

Last four vehicles I've owned
1. 1985 Toyota Corolla...drove it for 10 years
2. 1994 Subaru Outback...still have it
3. 2000 Mercedes SUV, although it really is hubby's but I seen to drive it all the time :)
4. 2006...aiming to get a Toyota Sienna to replace the Subaru

keeping my fingers crossed

A long-time friend of ours is expecting twins, first pregnancy, mom and dad over 35 years of age and both are over the moon with happiness. Of course, I've chatted with her a fair bit about all the expectations and hurdles and am so happy for them for finally being blessed.

I just learned that she is being flown to Toronto tomorrow for surgery. She's at 21 weeks and her last ultrasound last week showed that one twin was smaller than the other. They are identical and have developed twin to twin transfusion syndrome. Its basically a problem with the placenta which feeds one baby more than the other. Apparently they will perform a surgery inutero on the responsible blood vessel.

I can't stop thinking of her and the fear that she must be feeling. I keep praying for a favorable outcome for them all.

I think I'm going to go straigtht upstairs and hug MY twins again, even though they are sleeping, cuz this story along with quite a few other similar ones of other people we know is driving in the realization of how lucky we have been to have rellatively no complications whatsoever and how much of a miracle they truly are.

Monday, January 16, 2006

my little family

Cool! Look at all the people finding me here! You're all part of my little blogging family!! And thank you all for your comments too, especially after my last whiny post. That bad day is gone and we are back to normal, as normal as can be. You are right Brenda, its not a SAH thing, its a woman thing and seems like things escalate and there's a blow out every once in awhile, gotta let out that steam!

Was another busy, busy week-end. Friday I went to a continuing education course mostly because I wanted to know more about this particular topic presented but also because I have to log on so many hours a year in order to keep my license. Was kind of neat to wear the career woman hat instead of the mommy hat for a day. The lecturer was so energetic and inspiring and motivational that it made the day fly by. And again the constant question from a lot of my colleagues was "So? When are you going back to work? Are you bored at home?" Seems I always have to validate my decison of selling my practice and staying home. Some people get it, how family life was more important for me than my career and others still believe I threw away my career and all those years of work. Plus I was approached by THREE different parties with great job offers. Of course, it made me feel great but my heart was saying "no, not yet". part of it is the anxiety of job performance and expectations upon returning, sure I'll be a little rusty and slow at first, but after having done it for so long, I'm sure it's like riding a bike but mostly its the "who will be there for the kids?" during the summer holidays, after school, when one of them is sick and re-establishing a whole network of alternate childcare. Guess I still want to be the one mostly in charge of my little family.

Now you have to understand that I do have a little family. I'm an only child and my parents moved here from Europe when I was 3-4 years old leaving all their respective families behind. For years it was just the 3 of us, Christmas and the like was always pretty quiet. Then I married hubby and acquired the outlaws, another small family and not a fun-loving bunch. So over the years, I've relied mostly on friends to become my surrogate family.

Went to three parties this week-end. First one was a belated Christmas gettogether with big sis' godparents, people we have known for over 25 years, so practically family! They have two teenagers and a preschooler so it makes for some interesting dynamics. The older kids were getting ready to go to a dance, driving themselves there, while the younger bro was watching Blues Clues!! We also went to our Godchild's first birthday party. I LOVE that boy AND his parents that to me they are definitely family too. And finally, we got all dolled up and went to hubby's office Xmas party, they always have it after the Holiday season. Was nice to see some familiar faces, have a nice meal, but didn't feel like dancing, by 10 o'clock I was toast, definitely don't have the endurance anymore. Seems like the employees keep getting younger and younger. Some of the younger crowd there certainly got hammered and were going to be hurting the next day, better them than me! Been there, done that!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

bad mommy

That's how I feel today. Like I've lost control, like I don't know if I'm doing things right, I'm questioning my judgment and even feel guilty about this little pleasure, sitting here and typing this out. Last night was a strange night in this household and because of all the events I ended up going to bed mad at hubby and big sis. I even went to sleep in the guest bedroom, which I do once in a while anyways when hubby has one of his major snooring episodes.

The preschoolers constantly clamor for my attention and have been like cats and dogs all week, mom I want this, I want that, he touched me, he hit me, I'm hungry, I'm thirsty, I don't want to go to bed, etc. etc.

The pre-teen is hormonal. I was helping her with some of her homework, trying to make this text she wrote sound a little better, trying to get her to achieve a bit more of excellence rather than settling for mediocrity, and she got mad at me, so under my breath I said "f**k it", and told her "fine, you do it on your own". Seems like I've lost all my patience with her lately. Tired of telling her the same stuff over and over. I've become the dreaded nagging mom : make your bed, pick up your clothes, put your stuff away, go take a shower, etc. Hubby tells me I'm too tough on her. I just want her to do the best she can. Before she went to bed I told her how she made me feel, like crying actually, and told her I'm no longer helping her unless she asks for it and that tomorrow its a new start.

Meanwhile, hubby comes home claiming to have had a rough day, so what else is new and what about mine? Drive kids back and forth to school, to gymnastics lessons, to grocery store, make beds, do laundry, fold laundry, devise meal plan, dry wet mitts and snowpants, stop several squabbles, inherit 2 extra neighbourhood kids after school AND drag two screaming and kicking four year olds to the doctor for a shot. All this with a major head cold? He starts complaining how he's had enough of women bickering at work now he has to come home to hear more bickering. After the kids were in bed, we had a dozen or so boxes of Christmas stuff to stash in the basement and he just looked at them and me and said "well I'm off to bed, I'm pooped", so guesss who put everything away, alone.

This staying at home business can be so degrading at times and dehumanizing. Seems everyone throws their demnads on me and I feel like I'm catering to all their needs with NO recognition. All I'm asking is for a thank-you once in a while and yes a little help would be great too. Seems ever since I've been home, hubby is doing less and less cuz he figures I'm home , right?, so I can handle it all, I'm responsible for everything. YET, even though I've been getting a few job offers lately, my heart is not ready to go back there, I'm still happier being here.

All right, enough with the venting. Better go get ready, twins have their first skating lesson today. At least I get to witness that :)

Today, I'm definitely "hanging in there"

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

freezing rain and pet peeves

A cold damp rainy day in January, yak, and makes driving and just walking treacherous. Snow would be much much better. At least one could make snowmen :)

Hate this freezing rain. It often ends up freezing over our super mailboxes and at times we can't get to our mail for days. The idea of those supermailboxes is one of my pet peeves. Hate how they replaced the luxury of house to house delivery. Another splendid government cutback idea. The lady who distributes the mail there is constantly grumpy and you never know at exactly what time she'll be there. And if you show up when she's there and all the doors to the little boxes are open, she won't let you get to your mail. And she constantly puts other people's mail in our box. I've met so many of our neighbours hand delivering their mail that ended up in ours by mistake.

Hard to get back to a routine, those past few weeks of getting up and going to bed whenever are not making it easy. Can't seem to get kids to bed early enough and mornings' rush is no fun. Trying to get them fed and dressed and organized with all their stuff is draining. Making lunches is back and homework and getting big sis to get to it rather than watching TV. She's actually pretty good this year at doing it by herself but her time management skills drive me bunkers. She's innately lazy and will do the fun stuff first and procrastinate the other stuff. Just like me right now blogging instead of attending to household shores ;). My cold is not helping...definitely a sign from my immune system that I've been overdoing it and not resting enough.

After picking up the kids from preschool, quick lunch at a local fast food and off to gymnastics classes. This must be their fifth session and they absolutely love it. Great for me cuz its actually an activity suited for both boys and girls, don't know how long I'll be able to do that. And then drag them to the MD for their last hepatitis vaccine. I didn't forwarn them this time, I'll just spring it on them cuz they're not too good with it as of late. Hope this is the last shot in a long time. May have to do the old bribery of going to the dollar store if they behave routine.

All right, enough procrastination, off to pack away the Xmas decorations till next year. Which brings me to another pet peeve: would there be a Christmas without women? Who else does all the shopping, wrapping, decorating, party and meal planning, card sending?

And for my last pet peeve of the day: lottery tickets. This happens to me all the time. I run in a store to get ONE item, rush to the cash only to get stuck behind someone who gently unfolds their little piece of paper inscribed with all their favorite lottery numbers and I have to stand there waitng while the cashier punches all these things through.

Argh, have a nice day, eh!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

sanctity of books

I got myself this little job, purely on a volunteer basis which is kind of ludicrous considering how little time I have on my hands, but I like it nonetheless. Every Tuesday mornings, after dropping off the kids at preschool, I go to big sis' school and become the librarian for that morning. In these days of cutbacks, there is no longer a dedicated librarian in the school like when we grew up. The one who would make us shush, who would give us the evil eye if we messed up the order of her books, who would neatly stamp the return date on the back of the book we took out and I so remember pulling out the card in the back of books to see who read it before us. Now its all automated and scanned.

It's mindless work really but it fulfills my sense of order and I get to see what kids in primary school read. I put books back on shelves, reorganize shelves, put collections together. For 2 hours I work alone and have time to think about life stuff or just not think at all. Its ungrateful work though cuz it always needs to be redone and it seems that kids don't view books with the reverance they deserve. They toss them around, mess up shelves, leave trash lying around. I've been talking to the principal about getting kids involved in keeping them all in order and learning how they are organized. Its real basic Dewey system here. Its mostly all story books now too as any type of research is mostly all done via internet. Long gone are the days of Encyclopedias and Encyclopedia salespersons who would go from door to door. The other day I was showing big sis my very own Encyclopedias and she wasn't too impressed with them and was shocked at how "long" it took to look things up . I had 3: one for sciences, one for geography and history and one for general stuff. I remember reading them as a child from cover to cover. They were sacred to me.

Monday, January 09, 2006

week-end warriors

Got back last night from our mountain getaway. Put the kids to bed and started unpacking hordes, and I really mean it, hordes of stuff when hubby declared "it would be so much simpler if we were a family of couch patatoes".
That line so cracked me up cuz he's the one that's got ants in his pants and always up to doing some physical activity. He couldn't possibly be any other way. And he's leading the kids in that same direction. We have a room in the basement with sport equipment, any type you can think of. And now with 3 kids, the amount has increased exponentially, with a whole range of sizes: soccer cleats, dozens of soccer balls, skates, cross-country ski boots, downhill ski boots, helmets for skating, helmets for skiing, helmets for biking, ski goggles, swimming goggles, snorkels, fins, tennis rackets, skis and who knows what else I forgot. Every season we go through what we have and make a list of what we need, what we can get rid of, as we can't keep up with the kids'growth.

I'm more naturally inclined to be the couch potato but once I'm off that couch, I'm so glad I did. Like taking the twins downhill skiing: getting them dressed or more like chasing them around to dress them, putting on those awkward to walk with ski boots, carrying all the skis and poles, catching the shuttle to the hill, getting appropriate passes to get on, putting up with all the sibling love along the way ("he touched me!", "she's a knuckle head", "he pushed me" etc.) and the perennial "I have to go pee" just as we are this point we are totally exhausted and wondering what the thell are we doing this for...but after a few "runs" on the bunny hill and seeing them "get it" and actually skiing on their own and seeing the sheer pleasure on their faces and pride with their accomplishemnt, it was all so worth it.
That's the part they will remember. We are that much closer to that day when we will all go up the mountain together and spend the day skiing. I can't wait. Pure family time.

But I also got to spend time ALONE with an old love of mine: a cross-country ski trail. It was a beautiful sunny day. Cold enough so as not to become too hot once you got really going. I'm no athlete and really just an intermediate skier but somehow on that day I was flying. Every once in a while I would stop and listen to...NOTHING. The woods can be so quiet in the middle of the winter. Every once in awhile I would encounter another skier and as an unwritten rule, we'd acknowledge each other and this beautiful moment we were living. As I was skiing, I was thinking of "Jackrabbit" Johannsen who established so many of these trails. Years ago, I went to school with his grandson and I remember him telling me so many of his stories. An incredible man. He was still racing in his nineties and passed away at the age of 111! The best part though was when I finished my loop, I met my kids who were also skiing and having a total blast.

So week-end warriors we are and despite all the aching muscles that come with Monday morning, my head is filled with fond family winter memories.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

we're off

We have a little home away from home in the mountains. We got it when big sis was five years old. So many great memories have been formed there already from week-end getaway with girlfriends, hubby on golf getaways with his buddies, class reunions, meeting good friends, but mostly family time. In the winter we ski, downhill and cross-country, and skate and walk around the village and sit by the fireplace and drink hot chocolate and play board games. In the summer, we hike and swim and bike and have BBQs and go out for supper. We dragged the twins there from 2 months old forward. They are always so excited to go. Its like a mini-vacation for us all.

So off to pack and we're off for a few days back in time for back to school.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

the travelling bug

Hubby and I both have that bug. Nothing still exhilarates me more than going somewhere new, seeing new things, learning new things. I love reading up about places we'll visit and watching travelling shows. Before kids, we did our fair share of travelling, foregoing furniture in our new home for yet another trip. In retrospect, knowing how long it would take us to have kids I wish we had gone more places, more exotic places, but then again we were both also really busy building our businesses and long time away was impractical.

Big sis proved to be an awesome traveller from an early age. So off she went with us to Europe and the Carribean a few times, along with local trips i.e within North America. With the twins, we figured our travelling days could be over for a while. But then again, they had their first airplane experience when 5 months old going to Florida for 2 weeks. Although everyone called us crazy, including myself while in the midst of packing, we managed pretty well. This last summer, we took the plunge and brought them to Europe. What good little travellers they turned out to be. Enduring plane ride after plane ride, long hours of waiting in airports, finding "fun" things to do wherever we were. They amazed me. Sure, it ain't a piece of cake for me organizing them all to go from Point A to Point B, and it certainly isn't the same travelling experience as when we were just a couple, but what an enriching experience for them in oh so many levels. They keep asking when our next plane ride will be. They've become quite adept at packing their little travel-on suitcases.

So today, I decided to bring them along to get their THIRD passport (and they just turned 4!!). I laughed out loud when I realized they were little country bumpkins as they ohed and awed at the skyscrapers and all the people scurrying about. We arrive at the Passport Office to witness a huge line-up and are told its a 2 hour wait :( I decide to stay, it had taken long enough to get ourselves here. They were awesome, they waited, sang, looked at some hockey cards they brought along and looked around at all the people commenting just like 4 olds would "mom, did you see, that guy has a ponytail! that lady has a big butt! that girl has pink hair! that guy has an earring on his nose!!" At the end of it all, it turned out to be just an hour alltogether. To them it was an important wait cuz "if we don't get our pazpots we can't get on the plane!" Guess they caught that bug too.

Monday, January 02, 2006

that tidying up urge

My house is a mess or more like a total wreck. The reality of my life is that I live with four slobs: they leave everything lying around and it doesn't seem to bother them. I'll admit it doesn't bother me AS much as it used to, but it still does. Especially today when I stopped by at some friends house, and they too have 3 young children, and the house was spotless. The Xmas decorations were all put away. maybe because its the dad who's the organizer. In this house, it's me but it's a loosing battle.

So I've spent the last 2 days pretty much locked up in the den trying to catch up on months of paperwork and organizing tax and year-end stuff. Boring! Meanwhile, the kids and hubby spent the major part of their time skating in the backyard, going in the hot tub and watching the SIX Star War movies. So each time I'd come out of the den, the mess was getting worse and worse. Yesterday, I declared it a "I'm not picking anything up for you guys day" and they looked at me like "whatever".

Oh well, one more week and they'll be back at work and school and I can try to have my house in order for a few hours till they come back home ;)

Sunday, January 01, 2006

2006, here we go

For years, especially pre-kid years, New Year's Eve meant inviting everyone and anyone over to our house for a get-together and having people ending up sleeping here and there. After big sis showed up, the trend of house parties continued but more toned down. After the twins showed up, the ritual pretty much became extinct.

This time around, something completely new arrived and how fun too!! We are very lucky to belong to a warm and loving church community. They organized a NYE party, close to 300 people in attendance including 60 kids. They had a room set up for the kids with tons of entertainment, bouncing ball pit, crafts, bingo, pinata, karaoke, etc. So in between the 5 course meal, they would go there and burn off tons of energy. Or come back up to dance a bit. Plus all these kids know each other. Which meant, that us adults, were upstairs enjoying our served meal, dancing to an awesome live band, and chatting away with friends. The most incredible moment was a few minutes before midnight, our little family stood on the dance floor holding hands, wearing party hats, tooting horns, throwing streamers and at the stroke of midnight hundreds of balloons fell down on us. The look of total and sheer excitement and wonder in their faces, all 3 of them, was totally priceless and hubby and I were filled with emotions at witnessing our first New Year's Eve "together" as in all kids awake. They lasted till 1 am and then slept till 11 am this morning. We've got some major re-organizing of sleeping schedules but it was so worth it. What little party animals we have!!