Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Just for the hail of it

We had a pretty nasty hail storm last (Monday) night. Fred and I were getting ready for bed when all of a sudden it sounded like millions of ginormous cannibalistic toads (à la Stephen King's Rainy Season) were pelting our rooftop. Here are some pics of the hail that I bravely (read stupidly) darted out into the storm to get. I put a quarter beside the hail stone so you have some frame of reference.

I was pretty impressed with the size of this one until...

About 5 minutes later when hail the size of this one started to fall

A neighbour was telling us today that a friend of his had to go move the car to covered parking when the hail started to fall, so he put on his wife's bike helmet. I am so totally doing that the next time it hails.

Monday, March 30, 2009

It's always something, isn't it?

Today was one of those days where the planets and the stars aligned and all was right with the world. Elise slept soundly through the night and woke up in a wonderful mood at 8:00 am. A nurse from the endo's office called to discuss Elise's numbers, and we ended up making some changes to her treatment plan that Fred and I had been asking for.

Later in the morning, Elise and I got our walk on and enjoyed the bright sunshine and temperate weather. Yes there were birds, and yes they were singing. There were no huge food battles today and Elise enjoyed everything I put in front of her. To top it all off, the proverbial icing on the proverbial cake... Elise's numbers ranged from 94 - 155. Can you say woo-hoo? Because I can.


The only hiccup in our day was the 1 hour nap Elise woke up crying from. But I think it's safe to blame that on the teething monster.

As I was preparing Elise's dinner, I thought to myself, "I am a good Mom. No, a great Mom." I gave my daughter an adoring look, to which she returned ten-fold. And then it hit me.

I had totally forgotten to make dinner for Fred and I.

Not only that, I had forgotten to even prepare anything. I had even forgotten to think about preparing anything. It was 5:30 p.m. and all thoughts of my greatness flew out of my head as I rummaged through my fridge for anything that I could magically turn into dinner in less than 30 minutes; start to finish.

I'm happy to say, I did it. It wasn't easy trying to feed Elise, cut peppers, boil pasta and make sauce, but I got it done. You know, being a wife and Mom would be a whole lot easier without all this "extra" crap.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Go Canucks Go!

Thanks to our friends Gerald and Amber, we were able to see our second Canucks vs. Stars game this season. Although they had four tickets, they weren't all together, but both sets of seats were AMAZING! One set, which we sat in for periods one and three, were in the lower section, right behind the Stars net... perfect location to boo Turco from!

The second set were again in the lower section, right behind the Canucks bench. We sat in these seats during period two and were so close to the players you could smell the sweat. No, you really couldn't. Because hockey sweat is gross and I would never voluntarily sit that close to it.

It was fun to switch seats with Amber and Gerald each period because it confused the crap out of people. One guy thought he was in the wrong section because as he put it, "the people who were here before looked totally different than you and had two boy babies with them instead of one girl." As ridiculous as that statement was, I have to give him credit for noticing at all.

Anyway, it was a great game, with the good guys (Canucks) winning 5 - 2. Lots of hitting, great plays and even some rough stuff. I even remembered to take a few pictures.

Enough posing, I want to watch the game!

Our vantage point during the second period

Happy fans!

This one was taken by Elise... kinda artistic, don't you think? I call it "Hockey Reflections"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Now you know why I'm crabby all the time

Sleep, slumber, 40 winks, visiting the Land of Nod; whatever you call it, I need it. I'm an 8-hour a night kind of girl. Oh, I'm not saying I get 8 hours... rather, that's the minimum requirement if I hope to even remotely resemble a human being the next day and not some quivering mass of cranky, useless goo.

But staying up too late, having troubles falling and staying asleep, and having a child that requires nighttime intervention a few nights a week have hugely diminished my sleeping abilities.

That is why when Elise's piercing shrieks awoke me at 5:45 this morning (totally not her fault, the poor girl is teething... at almost 19 months, she still has only 4 teeth and I think the rest of them are erupting simultaneously), I was utterly dismayed to remember that I had been dreaming about grocery shopping before I woke up.

Seriously, subconscious? Even when I'm asleep, I still have to do drudge work? It's supposed to be a time for rest! There was one interesting part where I was talking about the band
KLF to another shopper, mentioning that they had done a duet with Tammy Wynette. Why my brain decided to dig up this nugget of information, I'll never know.

I woke up as I was meandering towards the bread section with a coupon in hand. Hah... I'm cheap even in my dreams.

Hopefully tonight I won't be dreaming of doing something like scrubbing the toilets, folding laundry or vacuuming; I work hard enough during the day to avoid those tasks, I shouldn't have to do it at night too.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Plants, flowers and trees... why do you hate me?

Okay Dallas/Fort Worth and surrounding area people, I'm going to slag on your hometowns for a bit. Don't get defensive... I get that you love it here. Maybe if I was born and grew up here, I would love it too. I get that different people love different places for a whole bunch of reasons.

I bet if I took anyone of you and plopped you down in Vancouver, you would hate how it rains all the time. You would not like the cold, and be disgusted by the socialist-ness of it all. I'm betting that you would complain about how it's too green, or too beautiful, or the kick-you-in-the-groin awesomeness of it all.

Anyway, onto my point. Whatever you guys grow here, my body hates it like.... well, I don't think I can even come up with a comparison of one thing that hates another so much that they would like to bludgeon it, kick it around for a bit, stomp on it, stuff it in a bag and hit it with sticks, throttle it for good measure, then light it on fire and drown it just to make sure it's dead.

I swear my head is going to explode from all the pressure building up in my sinus cavities. I itch all over; my head, my face, my stomach, back... Have you ever tried to scratch your feet when you are the slightest bit ticklish? Not an easy task.

I itch in places that I didn't know you can itch. The other day I used a q-tip to try and scratch the inside of my ear. Yeah, yeah, I know... you should put anything inside your ear smaller than your elbow... blah, blah, blah. You'd do it too, just to get some relief.

I was thinking of trying to find one of the instruments they used in ancient Egypt to remove the brains of dead people via their nose because I swear even my brain itches. Of course I would modify it so that instead of a hook, it had a tiny little hand on the end of it. Like one of those backscratcher things.

I don't get what it could be that bothers me so much. In Vancouver, we have stuff blooming all the bloody time and I have never wanted to scratch my face off. I just want some relief that is not in a pill form. Here's my plan, let's burn it all to the ground and start over... any other allergy sufferers with me?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pictures at the Park

Today was so beautiful that my Mom and I decided to take Elise to the local botanical gardens for some pictures... here are some of my favourite shots:

Top O' the Moron to you

Ahhh, St. Patrick's Day... when even if you're Asian, you're Irish. I will be celebrating my claim of roughly 1/16 ancestry from the Emerald Isle by donning a shirt with a quaint little shamrock on it.

Fred and I were in Target the other day when we overheard a rather funny lecture on something quintessentially Irish by someone who was most assuredly... not Irish. He was wearing an Ireland shirt and telling his three friends all about the Blarney Stone. It went a little something like this (he is in bold type, my response is in italics):

You guys have never heard of the Blarney Stone? It's this rock they have in Ireland that hangs off of the side of a cliff.

I stop walking and lean over to Fred and tell him in my best "I'm whispering, but I really want to be overheard voice":

No, no it's not. It's in a castle that is strangely enough, called Blarney Castle.

Yeah, and you're supposed to kiss it and the way you do that is by getting someone to hold your legs and lower you down.

Dear Lord, even if that were true, would you really trust someone to do that in a country where they have perfected the art of drinking?

When you kiss the Blarney Stone, it gives you good luck!

No no, that's when you capture the leprechaun and steal his Lucky Charms. The Blarney Stone give you the gift of eloquence.

I think one of two things happened; either this guy went to Ireland and some locals played a joke on him, or he's just really, really... not very smart.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My Super Power Would be Ignorance

This past weekend brought a visit from Fred's family; namely his Mom, sister and our niece. I feel very lucky to have in-laws that are a pleasure to be around.

I have heard some horror stories from friends about in-laws that come to visit and proceed to tell the wife everything she does wrong and how her children are going to end up in therapy because of it. I could not imagine Fred's family ever doing anything like that. They are fun, undemanding, and clean up after themselves (woo!). Plus, Fred's Mom brings us the Aero and Kit Kat bars that we so love.

Knowing that they read my blog is not leading me to say nice things about them. In fact, if I was not overly fond of them, I would write a post that in a round-about way suggested they curtail their visits in a very passive-aggressive fashion that I tend to be famous for.

Anyway, it was so fun to watch Elise interact with our 7-year old niece, Carolina. Elise thought everything Carolina did was hilarious and would light up as soon as she saw her. In turn, Carolina doted on Elise; helping to feed her, give her a bath and generally keep her entertained.

It was also nice that Elise was able to hear more Portuguese being spoken. I am so amazed at her progress with both languages and I love hearing her say something that starts in English and ends in Portuguese. The other day she was looking for her doll and said "where's my baby? Está aqui!" (here it is).

For the most part Fred's family speaks Portuguese amongst themselves when they come to visit. Over the years I have grasped more and more of the language and pretty much understand most of what is being said.

But there's a part of me - a very evil part - that wishes I had never let on about my knowledge of their language. It would almost be like having a super power... like reading their thoughts. Picture this:

They're all talking about where they would like to go have dinner. Fred's mom says she is really craving some pasta. Fred turns to me and in English says, "where do you think we should go to eat?"

I would reply, "You know, there is a really great Italian place that we could try... what do you think, Teresa?" And then there would be much rejoicing and they would lift me on their shoulders; proclaiming me as THE BEST DAUGHTER-IN-LAW EVER! They would then give me a shirt that says as much and everywhere I went, people would applaud me for my excellence.

These are the things I think about when I should be sleeping at night.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

These are a Few of My Favourite Things: Episode 3

There are some words that flat-out make me laugh. You'll notice I use them a lot on my blog. Words like vomit, groin, crap-sandwich and jerkwad are guaranteed to get a chuckle out of me. I also like to use the word "suck" a lot. As in "that sucks", or "suck-tacular", or "they are the suckiest bunch of suckers that ever sucked".

That's why when I saw a website entitled "
You Suck at Craigslist", I just had to check it out. Basically it's a website of postings taken from Craigslist that are funny, poorly written, or just plain bizarre. There are some wacked-out people traipsing around this country... check out this post and see if I'm lying.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Big Ball of Crazy, Thy name is Joanne

I think I may just have a nickname at Elise's pediatrician's office. It's nothing bad, but in the fashion of Prince or Madonna, it is a one-word moniker, albeit without the fame or talent. I think they simply refer to me as "She", or "Her".

As in "She's on the phone... something about Elise's poop again". Or, "Oh no, it's her! Everybody hide!" I say this mostly as a joke. I LOVE Elise's pedi and her staff and think they are amazing, incredible and wonderful. And no, I won't give you her name because then it just makes it harder for me to get in to see her on a weekly basis.

But I have become something I never wanted to be... a High Maintenance Mom. Not by choice, but Elise has had her share of strange things in her short little life, and of course her diabetes makes me extra cautious.

So I go out of my way to not be a pain in the butt when I take Elise in for her appointments. I'm extra polite, I try to be nice to the office staff, I have my payment ready when I check in... stuff like that. The one thing I try to do without fail, is BE ON TIME, because I understand how that can mess up a doctor's schedule.

This usually means I run into their office, about 5 minutes before the appointment time with Elise precariously tucked under my arm, panting from the exertion of it all. Neither of us will have our hair brushed. I may or may not be wearing matching socks, and I'm usually trying to remember if I put on deodorant; making a mental note not to raise my arms too much while I'm there. My shoes are untied, Elise probably isn't even wearing shoes and if I remembered to zip up my pants, it's a good day. It's a pretty image, isn't it?

So I was very pleased with myself today when I managed to leave the house 30 minutes before her appointment time of 10 AM. With the 15 minute drive, this gave me ample time to saunter in; calm and cool with my jeans zippered up.

Well, the devil is in the details, isn't he? Because when I arrived, a full 15 minutes before Elise's appointment, the entire parking lot was full. I mean FULL. There were about 10 other cars circling the lot like hungry sharks. I don't mind parking far away and walking, but that wasn't even an option. To my delight, I saw not one, but TWO people walking to their cars that were parked in the very aisle I was in. I put my turn signal on and waited.

Both of these people decided to get in their respective cars, turn them on, and just sit there. I waited about 2 minutes, and still they sat, oblivious to my growing contempt for them. Five minutes. At this point I was debating about leaning on my horn and yelling expletives out my window at them, but I remembered that little eyes were watching; very impressionable little eyes.

Elise's appointment time was growing closer, as was my boiling point. Just as I decided that my SUV could totally crush the one guy's tiny sport car, leaving enough space for me to park; he backs out and leaves. A full 7 minutes after he got into his car.

So began my 100-yard dash to the pedi's office. I made it with 2 minutes to spare, and my jeans were done up. Thank goodness for button-fly.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Speaking of Music

Can somebody please tell me why I woke this morning up with the song, "Let's Hear it for the Boy" in my head? It won't go away and I think it just might be killing me.

Whoa, maybe he's no romeo
But he's my lovin one-man show
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa
Let's hear it for the boy

And now it's in YOUR head. Why should I suffer alone?

I know, I'm such a giver.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Listen to the Music

My daughter is now at the age where she considers herself to be quite the connoisseur of music. The girl adores any and all audio entertainment, and loves to groove. Especially in the car where she's become very vocal about it. As soon as I get into the car, after putting her in her car seat, she says, "more, more, more, more." Which means, "Dear Mother, would you be so kind as to depress the button that starts the melodious harmonies that entertain me so? I would be ever so grateful." Like Fred, my daughter also has a British accent in my head.

I've tried to trick her, and play my Ipod from time to time. For some reason, she likes my tunes at home, but if I try this in the car, her response is, "Nooooooo.... more, more, more, more?" If I try to ignore her, she just gets louder and more whiny.

So we've stocked up on CDs of (very annoying) children's songs. I did buy the Barenaked Ladies "Snacktime" CD, and she'll tolerate it to a degree, but nothing resonates with her like "Down By the Bay", or "B-I-N-G-O". I've also thought about buying the "They Might be Giants" children's CDs, but I'm a little unsure of how they differ from regular TMBG stuff. Having said that, I don't think you can ever go wrong with They Might Be Giants.

Elise is especially fond of a CD of Portuguese songs that was sent to us by a friend of Fred's. There's one song about an owl that she loves and asks for it by hooting. I now know pretty much all the lyrics to these songs, but have nary an idea what I'm singing about.

The songs I do understand the lyrics to, well... have you ever noticed that children's songs are a bit weird? Have you ever really listened to them? Take "Frog went A-Courtin'". According to this song, Mr. Frog, packing a firearm and a sword, went riding over to Miss Mouse's house (where he had often been before - hmmm, what does THAT mean?). The frog, wants to marry the mouse, but she can't until she asks her Uncle Rat (what kind of screwed up family tree is this?) for permission.

Apparently, Uncle Rat is down with this and goes off to by his niece a wedding dress. I'm not sure what woman in her right mind would trust a guy with this task, but whatever. The happy couple decide to wed in a hollow tree (who needs a beach in Hawaii when you've got a decaying stump, am I right?), and the guest list includes; a moth, a jig-dancing flea, a fiddle-playing bumble bee, and a cow that can't dance. Anyone else wonder why this last guest is about 100 times bigger than everybody else?

So the frog decides to get married naked, because the song tells us he was dressed in green. That would be like Fred waiting at the alter to marry me in a flesh-coloured tuxedo. Just... weird. The odd couple get married by a bird, there's singing and dancing and then they jet off to France to honeymoon. I guess frogs and mice aren't on the no-fly list.

Seriously, the whole song is like a really bad acid trip. Well, since I've never done drugs, it's what I think an acid trip would be like. But alas, my daughter likes it, so Frog will be a-courtin' in my car for many years to come. Uh-huh.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Funny things she does

My daughter is an endless source of entertainment for me. I sometimes wish I had a camera running all day, just so I could capture the funny things she does. I know that most of them probably only appeal to Fred and I, but I think this latest one is truly for the masses.

Yesterday I gave Elise an afternoon snack of banana. About ten minutes after she finished eating, she let out a burp. A look of surprise crossed her face, then she smiled and said, "Nana", which is Elise-speak for banana. Of course, I start howling with laughter which makes her crack up too.

Ladies and gentlemen... my daughter.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Elise and the Technicolour Yawn

***This is not a post for the weak-stomached. Or if you happen to be eating at the moment. Seriously, if you are an easy-queasy, stop reading now. I mean it! Okay, don't say I didn't warn you...

I've come to realize that the pathway of parenthood is cobbled together with various rites of passage; getting peed or pooped on by your baby, going a whole day wearing a shirt that has spit-up down that back and either not realizing or not caring, putting the baby down somewhere and forgetting exactly where. Okay, that last one was a joke. But this weekend Fred and I notched another mark on our parenthood belt when we experienced Elise projectile vomiting while strapped into her car seat and we're miles from home.

We were leaving church Sunday, pulling our of our parking spot when it happened. Elise started to cough, and acting on "Mommy-instinct", I turned around and cupped my hands under Elise's mouth. This had happened before, a little cough, a bit of spit-up, and we're done. It was not to be this time, as Elise let loose with Old Faithful-like power, a geyser of spew that travelled all the way into the front of our car. It was as if Elise was going for the distance record in her age group of the Barf Olympics.

I am now wearing a coating of vomit on my arm and yelling at Fred to park the car somewhere. He wisely navigates the car towards the door of our church. Meanwhile Elise is continuously hurling, over and over again. I am doing my best to "catch" it in my hands, all the while instructing Fred to open one of the back doors so I can throw the puke out. Sort of like I'm bailing a sinking boat, but a whole lot more disgusting.

We unbuckle poor Elise from her car seat, and Fred runs her inside. I was left to try and clean up the carnage that had taken place in our car. It was miserable; I was fighting the urge to blow chunks myself, while shivering, covered in a pretty thick layer of ralph, in the 35 degree weather. About halfway through I ran out of baby wipes and had no way to clean up the rest of the mess. All in all, Elise had thrown-up nine times. Say it with me Ferris Bueller fans... Nine times. I guess she subscribes to the "better out than in" philosophy.

Fred brought Elise back, cleaned up to the best of his ability, and we strapped her back into the car seat. I was just hoping we could get home without further tossing-of-the-cookies. Because of the cold weather, we couldn't put down the windows, so we drove home breathing in the smell of sick.

I'm happy to say we drove the rest of the way home without incident, but I have learned my lesson. When Elise went down for her nap later that day, I immediately drove to the store to buy supplies for an "Emergency Clean-up Kit". I shall never be caught unprepared again.

Sorry if this post was a little gross for you to read. For some reason, vomit and all related words have always made me laugh. Given this opportunity to write about it and use all my various synonyms for up-chuck... well, I just couldn't pass that up.