Monday, February 28, 2011


This weekend we had a surprise that DH's Nan sprung on us. She wants to........get this................


Why then, you may ask, am I conflicted??

Don't get me wrong, this is a wonderful opportunity and a HUGE gift! I don't really know what made her decide to spring this on us, but I think it has to do with the fact that she loves to travel, especially in the spring for some reason, and she has run out of travel partners (she is 85? I think this year). I believe she mentioned taking K, DH's sis, and MIL and FIL, but they couldn't (wouldn't?) go. I'm not sure if that makes us her last choice, or if she was trying for a large family trip.


I am conflicted for several reasons. And here they are:

#1. As I'm sure you heard me gripe about before, we have no money. Yes, I know she is paying for the trip, but that likely doesn't include spending money, food, and definitely doesn't include the money I'm going to lose by taking time off. No work, no pay. I'm not sure about the food part. I mean, how do you ask someone who has generously offered to take you and your family to Disney if she is also going to pay for all your food? You can't. At least not without sounding like a greedy asshole.

#2. She has decided to do it in April, possibly over Easter. Wow, that's soon. Great, in that we won't have a long wait to go on vacation, but not great in that I feel bad giving the parents so little notice of my time off and not much time to try to save anything we can (yeah, right) for all the incidentals. Not to mention give my own kids time to save up their allowances for spending money. Also great that she is thinking of us in that going over Easter break gives me a few days that I don't have to worry about time off, but not great in that it is probably going to be very busy and flights may already be full up. I don't want to be stuck flying on a flight with stopovers, or a flight that leaves at 10:00 at night. (Yes, I know, beggars can't be choosers)

#3. Do I want to stay in a hotel and share my family's first Disney experience with an 85-year-old woman? Do we all have to sleep in the same hotel room? Will we be at her mercy as far as timelines, where to go, where to eat, when to eat? She can be real ornery at times, and extremely stubborn. She and DH butt heads, and me, being a Libra wants nothing more than peace and harmony. Part of why I hate going to the cottage is the awkward tension in the air and snide comments under the breath when she and another family member get into it. And I know that there is no way that we could spend 4-7 days together (it's undetermined yet for how long) without getting on each other's nerves.
And if we do stay in the same hotel room, I just don't think my kids could behave for that amount of time. I would be so tense by the end of it from trying to keep them calm, quiet and respectful, that I would need another vacation/therapy/hospitalization afterward to recover. My kids are generally good kids, but let's face it, they're no angels. They need time to misbehave, have a whine-fest or stubborn moment, or a melt-down from over-stimulation and over-tiredness. I expect that, they're kids. But I know that the Nan will expect excellent behaviour, and DH, who always bows to his family's expectations, will be extra hard on them just to be sure they behave, which won't make it a fun experience for anyone. I'll be tense and annoyed, they'll be pouty, and DH will be...well, he doesn't forgive and forget anything very quickly.

So what to do, what to do...I need DH to convince her that we need TWO hotel rooms. I just really don't think all of us staying in one room will be very good. Never mind that it's difficult to find a hotel room that sleeps three adults! And we should stay on the resort. I know that having the free shuttle to and from Disney multiple times/day will be best. If we stay off resort, in a cheaper hotel, we'll have to rent a car, then we're all stuck at the park together until we all decide to go back. What if she's too tired? She is 85. We can go and go. And knowing that this may be the only Disney trip we get for a long, long time, I want us to make the most of it, which will probably mean spending long hours at the parks.

We do have one issue to resolve first before we can even make permanent plans. DH has to see if he can even enter the U.S. I never blogged about this before, and I won't tell all now, but he recently had some legal trouble (not to worry, he didn't try to kill anyone, or set fire to anything, or anything equally horrible or shocking, it involved his former employer and that's all I'm saying for now...). The court side of it is done, and he's in the clear (as he should be! but still, thank GOD!) but that doesn't necessarily mean that the U.S. border security know that or anything. They are nazi assholes tricky buggers those guards. We tried to cross the border last year, and boy oh boy was that a scary experience! When they swipe/scan/whatever your passport, "things" show up. So we are hoping this "thing" is either not there anymore, or it shows that it's been resolved. Don't worry, we're not going to just hop on the plane and hope for the best. DH has to take a little drive to the Niagara border very soon and see what happens that way. GULP. Keep your fingers crossed!

So there's my dilemma. I'm happy, yet not. To put it mildly, it has me rather stressed out. I'm not excited at all, because I refuse to be excited until I'm actually packing for the trip. Then I'll know it's a go. It's like last time, in October. We tried then, but couldn't go because of DH. I'm just glad we didn't tell the kids. And we haven't yet this time either, so SHHHHHHH!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Filth (And Why I Hate Spring)

This is my front entryway, and it's disgusting. It drives me crazy because of all the dirt and grit that gets tracked in at this time of year.
You may look at this picture and think,
doesn't that woman EVER clean?? How could parents even consider dropping their kids off in a cesspool like that? ?Aren't they worried their children will contract cholera or something equally horrifying?

You can see the amount of grit and dirt here in this close-up. I know, gross.

Here's another shot. Go ahead and click it and make it bigger. Ew.

And this mess extends down the hallway, all the way to the carpeted area. Of course the kids walk through it, then they track it down the hall, and onto the carpet, and into the kitchen. They don't bother to brush their socks off before going any further down the hallway, or even try to avoid the worst of it. So every time you walk around my house in socks or especially in bare feet, its all you can feel grinding against your soles.

God I hate this time of year.

Oh, and to answer your question, I do clean! This is only a couple of days' worth. But considering about 15 or so people are coming in and out of my house multiple times a day, this mess is inevitable.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Money Issues, It Never Ends

The schools never fail to astound/piss me off.
This week alone I've been hit up for
1) $15 for a field trip to a conservation area (that costs $2 to go to, I looked it up online)
2) $8 for "scientists in the classroom" (which I'm sure costs money but really, the kids aren't going anywhere and $8 times about 70 or so kids...) and
3) just over $80 for pizza orders to top it off.
Ok, I get the pizza thing, it's a fundraiser for the school, so they have to charge a lot a little more than what the pizza's worth in order to make money for the school, and the kids love it (parents too, since we get a day off making sandwiches). But what is the purpose of fundraisers if the school isn't using the money to help subsidize field trips? At $15 a pop for a field trip to a conservation area that's approximately 17 kms away, you can't tell me that the school is helping out with that? There are two full grade two classes going, plus two other grade two classes that are split (not sure what the ratio is there, but probably more than enough kids to make at least one more full class). So if you take $15 and multiply that by just over 60 kids, that's $900! Ok, I really have no idea how much it cost to rent a bus for the day, but I'm pretty sure they could have made it more cost effective for the parents.
Unfortunately, we live in a more affluent neighbourhood. Well, not unfortunately, we're blessed that way, but unfortunately to this situation. Unlike my household, I would say at least half the school has one parent that stays home all day. And that's at home, without working from home, or working night shifts. At least it seems that way to me.
The other half are doing pretty well. Both parents work, and make good money. There aren't any visible poverty cases here, and you just need to drive around the neighbourhood and look at the houses to see that. You never cease to hear about this family's trip to ______(insert tropical destination here, including other continents), or that family's newest addition/renovation/car.
So the school administration feels comfortable knowing that if they up the prices of field trips/milk/pizza (yeah, milk is now $0.85 per carton; I DO NOT buy it, sorry) that the parents can afford it and will pay it without complaint.
Of course I paid it, but I moaned and complained (to my husband and anyone else that would listen) and cringed as I fetched my purse and a small ziploc bag for the kids to put the money in. I just can't help feeling gouged. $15 will feed my family a really good dinner, and have leftovers for lunch too. And when your husband is making very little money (he tutors at school but that's only a small contribution) and actually spending a lot more money than he is making by attending college full time, and you aren't exactly making the big bucks yourself but still work 10 hours/day without breaks, you have a hard time parting with that money.
So as my little silent protest I sent the kids money in (not the pizza money) in change. All loonies, some twoonies, quarters, dimes and nickels.
Take that school!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Little Bitchy Bloggy

Yesterday I was steaming mad. Madder than a one-legged waitress at Ihop.
I have policies in place in regards to illnesses and the children. These policies are to help prevent the spread of illnesses and mostly to stop me from getting sick! These stupid parents don't seem to understand that! If I get sick, I have to CLOSE THE FREAKING DAYCARE!! How hard is that to understand?? So not only are they going to have to care for their own sick child and take time off work for that, but sending them back to daycare earlier than they should is going to cause them to have to take time off work again when I CLOSE THE FREAKING DAYCARE!!
One of my policies is "24 hours diarrhea and vomit FREE". That seems pretty easy to understand, doesn't it? If your child has had diarrhea or vomited in the last 24 hours, then they can't come to daycare! I've read numerous articles that state that even after a person's stomach virus symptoms have resolved, they can still be contagious for several days. Now, I realize I can't ask parents to keep their kids home for several days symptom-free, but I think 24 hours is fair. And there are always those kids that haven't puked for 12 hours, you think they're ok, and then they start all over again. I don't need (or want) that in my house!
So yesterday, parent M drops off her child S and tells me in the morning that she had a quiet weekend, she may have a cough, and that she wasn't herself the day before. When I questioned that last part, did she tell me she had been sick?
She danced around that whole part of her day and told me that she "just wasn't very bouncy or her energetic self".
So she flat-out lied to me.
Because come lunch time and I'm serving the kids grilled cheese sandwiches (just the thing for an upset stomach), and S takes two bites and informs me that her "tummy still a little bit hurts" so she didn't want anymore. I asked her if her tummy hurt yesterday. Yes. I asked if she threw up yesterday. Yes. Twice.
And here's where I'm a doormat. I wish I had the guts to call her (M) up at work and ream her out. But I thought face-to-face would have been better. But by the time her mother arrived five hours later, my anger had mostly cooled and I wimped out. I had whole speeches prepared in my head! Why oh why didn't I let her have it?!
Because I'm a wuss.
A wimp.
A doormat.
I hate confrontation.
And of course, I'm still angry.
I did question M about the whole thing. Her excuse was that her daddy thought that it was food poisoning, get this.....................
from unwashed celery.
I HIGHLY doubt that. Because seriously, even though I've been lucky to avoid food poisoning (I think), I do know people that have had it, and it ain't pretty. I'm pretty sure you don't just throw up twice and move on. And I'm fairly certain that fevers are usually involved too. Along with terrible stomach cramps and diarrhea.
And considering how stuffed up and nasal S sounded this morning before I dropped her off at her bus stop, I am fairly certain that it was some sort of CONTAGIOUS virus!!
Regardless of that, I just don't understand how selfish people can be. And people that call themselves Christians too! I'm not religious particularly, but I do try to live my life in an honorable and caring way, trying to think of others before myself as a Christian would. But it really gets under my skin when people who flaunt that they are Christian, and baptize their children and make it seem like they're better than you for it, don't even live by the rules their church sets out for them!! Being selfish is a sin, right? Or am I wrong?
This woman will skip off work any old time she pleases for herself because she's "too tired" that day, or she "needs a break".
Seriously? Is that an honorable work ethic?
She doesn't have a stressful job. Not really. She's not a doctor, or lawyer, or police officer, or air traffic controller, or anything else high-stress like that. No one's life depends on her success or failure, she doesn't answer to a tyrant boss, she doesn't even have long shifts.
She's a high school music/drama teacher. Not even a chemistry teacher, where she may be working with volatile chemicals.
I don't doubt that her job is important to someone. Probably even many someones. I'm sure that students connect with her in ways that they don't with other teachers. So in that respect is it fair for her to take off a day because she's tired? If students are counting on her, how would that make them feel to know that their teacher can't be bothered to deal with them that day? Nevermind that we, the tax-payers are paying for her salary, and in consequence to her day off, also her replacement's salary.
Now I ask you, is that not a selfish attitude?
I don't take a day off work unless I'm bed-ridden. Literally.
I've worked through many sleep-lacking days, days when I've been nauseous, days when I've had debilitating stomach cramps, days when I've been too dizzy to walk a straight line, days when I've had a broken arm and days with colds so bad I couldn't stop blowing my nose or coughing. Because to me, I think, I'm letting too many people down if I do call in sick and I am still functioning reasonably well. I know I'm part of a much bigger picture here.
Anyway, back to the selfishness. My point is, is that taking time off work for legitimate reasons like you are sick or your kid is sick is fine. We all have to do it.
But thinking only of yourself is not fine. She sent her child here without thought to the other people she was infecting, the other parents who will have to take time off work, the other kids who will be miserable, and last but certainly NOT LEAST, her own child's discomfort!! Why is it ok for her to take a day off work when she feels like having a day off, and not ok to take one when her own daughter is actually sick? I'm sure that S would far rather have been in her own home. That kind of thinking is just backwards to me.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


So this is me when I was three. As you can see, I have red hair. I used to have quite a lovely shade of red I think. It wasn't too orange, or too blond, just the right amount of "carrot".
(BTW, check out the sylin' wallpaper in the background, and the tweed?? curtains!)

My hair colour isn't something I've ever hated. I've never wished to be a blond, or to have brown hair, or any other colour. I've never dyed it, not even for Hallowe'en. I have however, wished for straighter hair.
Can you blame me??? .....
Grade 12 (I think)

Grade 11
Go ahead. Laugh. I did.

It wasn't until much later in grade 13 that I started to discover the virtues of plenty of HAIR PRODUCT! And still, it wasn't until I was well into adulthood that I found out about wonderful things like anti-frizz serum and molding paste and Morrocan oil.

Even still, it takes a professional hair stylist two freaking hours to do this:

I really hate how old I look in this picture, but it's the best one I had of my hair straightened for my sister's wedding in '09. I'm going to blame the quality of the picture for aged effect. Yeah, that's it...

Anyhow, as you can see from the pictures as I've aged my hair has darkened. And today, it looks darker than ever. The sun has always brought highlights out in my hair, and made it shine and brighten, and of course not seeing the sun now for a good four months has brought my hair to a dull I-don't-know-what-colour. I want my auburn hair back. It was unique to me, something all my own. I don't remember my hair ever being this dark in the winter though. I hope it's not permanent. I seriously don't want to have to resort to being a fake red-head. **shudder**

Friday, February 11, 2011

Early Spring?

This week has been cold, cold, cold. But there has been quite a bit of sun, so that evens it out in my book. I used to hate winter. I dreaded and loathed every minute of it. But these days, I am finding I like it, maybe even love it a little bit.

Of course I do hate what winter brings, the never-ending viruses and various bacteria infecting our household. But on the plus side, the allergies are at the low end of the spectrum. However I am finding that as the boys get older, they seem to picking up fewer bugs than they did the year before. Geez I hope I'm not jinxing myself by saying that! Perhaps their immune systems are getting stronger? Man I hope so! Don't get me wrong, we still get sick PLENTY around here! It's just that instead of 10 colds per year, we might be down to 3 or 4. So that's good, right?

But back to winter and all it brings.


I am loving the snow. I know, I don't have to shovel it (DH does that as I insist I don't know how to use the snowblower and it scares the heck out of me!) or drive in it but it's pretty and above all, fun. The boys have had a blast this year tunneling out caves and forts in our giant snowbanks framing the driveway. And of course there's the skiing.

Ah, skiing.

've only been twice this year, but I love it. And so does the rest of the family.
We would go more often but here are the problems:
  1. It's expensive even just for lift tickets.
  2. We really only have weekends to go as I work until 5 every weekday and DH is in school sometimes until 5 or 6 o'clock. We could night ski but if we couldn't leave until 5 at the very earliest, that puts us at the slopes at 5:30, on the hill around 5:45 and would only give us an hour, hour and a half of skiing time before we had to go home to bed! And, where would dinner fit in?
  3. Only having weekends is difficult as some weekends have been way too cold (in -20's with wind chill!), some we have been sick, and some we have other commitments.
So that's why I am hoping that winter lasts a long, long time this year!! We may only have one or two more opportunities to ski in ideal conditions before spring hits us. This coming week the temperature is supposed to go above zero! Yikes! Not good for snow! And that's when things get ugly too, as in dirty and sloppy and just gross outside. It makes it difficult for me to get to school and back with babies, as I can't pull the sled over the many bare patches, but I also can't push a stroller or easily pull a wagon through all the still snowy/slushy patches.

Then there is the clothing. I do love winter clothing, indoor and above all, outdoor. I love that I can hide my body through all the layers. There's no showing off rolls or love handles when you have about four thick layers of cotton/polyester/wool/various materials on top of it! And I don't have to worry about shaving, or the fact that my veins are popping out extra nicely on my legs today, or that my skin is as white as a vampire's.

And as much as I hate being cold, I DESPISE being hot! I can't stand it. It makes me grumpy and short-tempered and very uncomfortable. I can find ways to easily warm up, but cooling off is always harder. So the winter cold is ok by me. Preferable at least to the sticky summer heat.

So don't hate me, but I am NOT hoping for an early spring!

Roll on, winter!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Random Stuff

Wow, today is cold! We went from about -1 or -2 yesterday, to a very chilling -25 + a windchill this morning! BRRRRR....At least now it's sunny.

I really have no idea what to post here today. I wanted to write something originally about the Christina Aguilera epic fail, and I know that's been done but here it is anyway. At first I was appalled and shocked that someone could mess up so badly singing their country's most precious song. I mean, if you have been honored with singing your country's national anthem at your country's most watched and biggest sporting event of the year, you'd think you would want to do the very best you could. As a very patriotic Canadian, I would be horrified if one of my fellow Canadians did the same thing. I know our anthem has been messed up, but it's usually by American singers, and if they can mess up their own song, then...

But as I went onto Youtube and typed in "Christina Aguilera national anthem", I got not only the Superbowl, but other videos of her singing to open other events. And on those ones she did just fine. I just think the poor girl probably got so nervous that she messed up. Who wouldn't be nervous? You're singing in front of MILLIONS of people. But the look on those faces of the soldiers that were there. You could tell what they were thinking.

One week until Valentine's Day. Honestly, I could care less. I've never had much love for this Hallmark holiday. I think it's fun for the kids, and gives me a theme to work with during the boring dull days of February, but ever since I got too old to pass out Valentine cards, I pretty much hated it. In high school, it was just another "rub it in my face" thing proving once again how unpopular I was. Don't get me wrong, I had great friends, I just wasn't popular with boys at all. And they always did these stupid secret Valentine things, where for a week or so before the holiday you could purchase a rose, or candy or something, and have it sent to the chosen person for $0.50 or $1 or something. You could leave it anonymous, which a lot of people did. I'm sure I sent some out, but I don't ever remember receiving any. The day would come, and those cursed messengers would come around to the classroom to deliver the goods. And I would hope and hope that they would call my name, but they never did. Or if they did it would be something from a girlfriend. Not what I was hoping for.

Post-high school it didn't matter to me either. Well, one year I got dumped on Valentine's Day, so that pretty much killed any hope for the holiday I ever had. When I finally got a boyfriend that could and would dote on me and make Valentine's Day what it was supposed to be, it was nothing special. The guy was so good to me ALL the days of the year that it was nothing new. (Why did I break up with him again???LOL)

Now it's more about money, I mean the fact that we don't really celebrate. I despise spending $5 on a piece of paper to tell the person I married that I love him. Really? I do it anyway, if I have time to find a card, because I feel bad to be empty-handed that day, but I don't like it. And I'd love for us to have a romantic weekend away, but I can't afford that. And trying to organize a babysitter and go out for dinner...more money and more hassle. I would like to do those things regardless of the calendar date, the fact that it says Feb 14 is irrelevant to me.

Dead Cupid
Ha ha, I googled anti-Valentine's Day images, and I like this one the best. There were other funny ones, but I didn't want to get carried away. I don't HATE Valentine's Day, I just don't look forward to it. I like it for the kids. And for the candy they bring home!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Snowmaggedon 2011

The snow cave they made next to our driveway.

Just a few pics to showcase our little piece of the snowstorm.

The kids walking home from school.

I have other pictures, but I didn't want to show any faces without any parents' permission, and I'm still wary of showing my own kids on here.

So this is what the streets in our neighbourhood look like now. The storm was pretty hefty, yes, but in our neck of the woods it's really nothing unusual for us to have one or two of these dumpings during the winter (along with many,many,many other smaller snowstorms). They never close the schools here for any amount of snow, so my kids went to school along with all the others I look after.

So you can kind of see how big the snow banks are. I don't think there's anyone on our street that does not own a snowblower. You'd be crazy to live here and not own one. And pretty much everyone owns one vehicle that can push through the snow better than a little Corolla or Prius. We all either have a minivan, SUV or pickup truck. So we're all well adapted.

That's it! Just a short post today.