Saturday, 7 November 2009

Rules for Internet Usage

Spurred by the massive amounts of information (mainly misinformation) about the Hini aka H1N1 aka Swine Flu aka Bacon Plague aka the Oinking Sickness, I have realized that many people do not really know how the internet works.  I feel called upon to pay heed to this grave matter, and have compiled the following:

Official Rules for Internet Usage, Version Hini Point One

  1. When you google something, the first page of results from your google search are not an indication of their veracity or "trueness." Results are ranked based on how many hits, or "clicks" they receive.  The more you click, the higher its google rank.  This does not mean its content is true and reliable.   Example: Just because the first site that pops up when you google "H1N1 vaccine ingredients" tells you that it contains formaldehyde and tissues from aborted babies does NOT mean it is true.

  2. Anyone can publish anything they want on the internet.  There are no editors or publishers to approve or reject any of its content.  Example: I could create a page touting the merits of taking high doses of Vitamin D to combat the Hini, encouraging people to take doses higher than the daily maximum recommended intake of 2000 IU, and watch my stocks in the vitamin company soar.  I could casually forget to include pertinent information such as the possibility of vitamin D toxicity, which can cause calcium deposits to form in places, like, your blood vessels.  Awesome.

  3. Never believe anything, especially forwards, you receive in your e-mail inbox.  Most of these are not true. You will NOT get bad luck for 100 years if you delete the message before forwarding it to 27 of your favourite friends. Example: Ashley Flores is not a real missing person.  She may not even be a real "found" person.

  4. Anyone can sign any name to the bottom of an e-mail.  There is no way to track this back.  Example: I could write an e-mail to everyone, telling them that eating bacon dipped in vitamin D will give you immunity from the Hini.  Then I could sign it Dr. David Suzuki, and copy and paste an entire list of his credentials and all the great stuff he has done.  That doesn't mean the Suze wrote the e-mail, and it definitely does not mean you should braise your pig fat with D-drops.

  5. When in doubt about the veracity of an e-mail, go to and please, for the love of Zeus, look it up before you forward it.

  6. "Researching" is not the same as "googling." There are places to go on the internet if you want real facts.  Most of these are databases of academic periodicals from universities and libraries.  Not so much from google.  Don't get me wrong, if you want great ideas for icebreakers for your next business function, google is awesome.  If you want to know what caused Gulf War Syndrome (ahem), google is NOT where you go; Pub Med (not to be confused with Club Med) is where you want to be.

If you do not know how to properly use the internet, please don't use it to make important decisions, such as how to properly cook pufferfish, or whether or not to get the Hini shot.  You wouldn't google "pufferfish", then watch a youtube video on how to cut it properly without leeching its poison into the meat, then cook it and serve it to yourself and your children.  Why, then, are people willing to make a decision about getting a vaccine based on their "research" on the internet and in TV Guide rather than talking to their family physician or their pharmacist? Because they don't know the rules of the internet.  The internet is a free-for-all.  Sometimes, this can be fantastic. But not when you are making important decisions regarding your health and the health of your loved ones.

Get off the computer and go talk to your physician or pharmacist or other health care practitioner.  He/She will be more than happy to give you all the valid information you need.


**I realize the irony of my posting this on the internet.  Like I said, it's a BYOB out here. It sort of tickles me.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

How Long I Have Waited

Ally McBeal is FINALLY on DVD!!

Now, I know I am dating myself, but I loved this show so much that everyone knew that you did NOT call me during Ally McBeal, on punishment of death.  Or at the least a severe verbal lashing, followed by a click and a dial tone.  Even Tony knew not to call, when we were first dating, on Monday nights between 10-11 pm: I was on a date with Billy...until he died.  And then with Larry.  Until good old R. Downey Jr got sent to jail for some drug charge and they had to write Larry off.  I cried my face off.

I have been waiting for years to get this on DVD, and even tried to find a way to buy a non-region-encoded DVD player and then order the DVDs from the UK, where it has been out for a long time.  Apparently there were issues with music rights and so on in the New World...gah.

Tony says he wishes he would have known, as he already bought my Christmas gift. NOOOOooooooooo!

To quote John "The Biscuit" Cage: BALLS!

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Seeing is good

On our first night of our mini kid-cation, Tony and I decided to take in some wine tasting, compliments of our lovely hotel.  We tasted.  We liked.  We tasted more.  We discovered that we were allowed to taste two full glasses of wine free of charge.  And so we did.

We then went down to the lobby to decide where we would eat for the night, and I noticed that there was an optician shop attached to the hotel.  My glasses had been bothering me, as the arms were too tight behind my ear and known to give me headaches.  I thought it would be a good idea to get them adjusted.  He adjusted them, but pointed out to me that one of the arms was weak and a little too floppy in the spot where the metal was welded to the plastic.

"See how it wiggles here?  That means it is very close to snapping.  That is a manufacturer's defect, so you should probably take them back to where you bought them,"

he told me.

"Oh?  Wiggly like this?" I asked, touching my glasses and trying to get a better look through the eyes of a drunk.


Oh shit.  My glasses are in two pieces. My only pair for the entire weekend.  My other pair were at home.

"Hmm," the optician said. "I could put some solvent on those to try and get them to hold together until you can get home, but you'll have to let them sit flat on a table for a few hours.  Do you think you could handle that?"

"Well, I have my seeing-eye husband with me, so I think I will be ok," I replied, with as much wit as a semi-intoxicated mother-in-hiding-from-her-children could muster.

So he solved the glasses, I brought them up to our room, and we decided to saunter down to our favourite nacho destination, Julio's. Of course, I could see nothing.  I was a little off balance from the vino, a little blind from the lack of eye wear, and not walking too well.  Tony thought it would be funny to push me into things, just to test my blindness.  Or gymnast-worthy balance.

Seeing how I was already blind and unable to use my knees properly, I decided to have another drink at Julio's, along with the most amazing nacho platter I have ever had.  We ate, we laughed, we belched, we plowed through a Mexican fried ice cream in less than 20 seconds.  It was pure awesomeness.  Other than being blind and stuff.  We paid our tab and decided to head over to Chapters, a rather large bookstore that we frequented a lot when we were poor starving students in university.

I walked into Chapters on Tony's arm, then remembering that I couldn't see anything more than 10 cm from my face.

"Hey, look at this!" Tony would say, showing me the book he was flipping through.  Ha ha.  I can't see.  Dumbass.  What the heck was I doing in a bookstore when I couldn't see anything on the books?  I could hardly make out the labels above the shelves that tell you what section you are in.  Oddly, I ended up in Women's Studies and Military History.  Fun times.  Seeing how those are not really my passion, I headed to an area where I knew I could have fun: the Thomas train table.

Eventually, Thomas got bored with me.  I sniffed my way around the store, trying to follow the stench of Julio's farts coming from Tony's bum.  Eventually, we were reunited, and we walked back to the hotel.

Back in our room, I reached for my glasses, so eager to join the seeing world again.  I went to put them on.


Frick on a stick!!

Alright, bring on the tape.  I can rock the geek look if I have to.

Friday, 2 October 2009


I am not at home.  Tony and I are on our FIRST trip away from the boys.  First order of business: sleep.

Second order of business: sleep.

Will post later after sleeping has occurred.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Just wondering

Is it sad that I just spent, oh, an hour and a half looking up logo and button making freeware so that I can make cool labels for my knitted items RATHER than actually kntting the baby hat I am supposed to finish and block and wash (and let dry) in time for a baby shower on Sunday?

No?  Good.  Just checking.


Image by Cool Text

Thursday, 24 September 2009

The Pelle-Hydraulique Sweater

This was Sacha's birthday present.  He knew I was knitting this sweater for him, but due to some yarn shortages, I had to put it on the back-burner for the last month leading up to his birthday, so he managed to forget about it until he opened it. The pattern is from Handknits for Kids, knit in KnitPicks Swish DK yarn (merino).

I feared that after all this work, he would only wear it once.  So I made sure to get his 3-year old photos taken wearing the sweater.

Sacha 3 year photo

Sacha is THAT kid

Sacha started preschool today.

I know that he just turned 3, and largely speaking, I don't really agree that preschool for 3-year-olds is ncessary. In our case, however, we are sending him to a francophone preschool, where he will interact with other children (and adults) who speak French.  This is hugely important to me (and Tony) as I have only spoken to my kids in French since their births.  Sacha, for some reason or other, has decided that he is not French.  In fact, when we met with his teacher last week for a mini-orientation, we asked him to say "À la prochaine!" (Until next time) to his teacher.  He responded "I don't fwench." I then quickly replied to him (in French) that he is TOO French.  He then conceded and said "I just a wittle bit fwench."

He understands French completely.  There is no issue there.  The issue is motivation to get him to speak in French.  Hence the preschool at age 3.

The first day, despite being über-excited all morning, was a bit of a gong show.  He found his place on the mat, labelled with his name, and sat down.  He said "bonjour" to his teacher, and just as I was about to leave, Kees-man in tow, he started to weep.  He pulled out all the stops: But I WOVE you!  I want stay with you FO-EVAH!  I WIKE you so much!  Don't WEAVE me!" I told him that I would stay until after the class photos were taken.  Sure enough, in every frame of those class photos, Sacha's bottom lip was almost swallowing his head.Once photos were done, he begged me to stay.  By this time, Kees was tearing up the school, starting to smell like pee, and I was at my threshold of patience. So I told a small lie:

"Sacha, I would love to stay, but I have no diapers for Kees (not true).  I have no snack for Kees (only partially true).  I have nothing for Kees to drink (tru dat). I will go home, get the stuff I need, and I will be back to pick you up."

He agreed to this, and his teacher grabbed a little clock and had me move the arms on the clock to what time I would be back.  He seemed to understand.

I left.

I came back at the agreed-upon time.  He was sitting in a circle with the other kids, huge smile on his face, talking to his teacher.  The teacher assistant showed me a photo on her camera of what Sacha looked like about a minute after I left: he was sporting a huge smile.  I sigh with relief.

Just as the boys and I were about to leave, the teacher approaches me.

"Does Sacha hit other kids at home?" she asks.

Shit.  This can't be good, I think.

"He hit someone, didn't he?" I ask.

"Two kids.  I put him in the time-out chair, which I didn't want to do on the first day, but I did."

Damn.  Now I have to really think.  DOES he hit kids at home?  Well, the only kid at home is Kees, and, well, they are typical brothers.  There is a lot of hitting (Sacha), biting (Kees) and general wrestling and UFCing.  But other kids?  No.  Kids at the park?  No. Kids at the play centre? No. He has not physically lashed out at a kid since being a pinching toddler.  Usually, if he is mad at a kid, he turns all red and lets the fiery depths of his 3-year old lungs loose on the other kid.  Or finds out what annoys them and does everything to get under their skin.  He has a real talent for that.  Especially with the young ladies.

I tell his teacher that I will talk about it with Sacha at home. Here is how that conversation went:

Me: Sacha, did you have fun at school?

Sacha: Yeah, Mommy!  Lots of fun.  I learned lots new things.

Me: Did you play with other kids?

S: Yeah, Mommy.

Me: Did any kids try to take toys away from you?

S: No. I did share.

Me: Did you try and take toys from other kids?

S: Yeah.  I ask them for they toys, and they not sharing, so I tap them.

Oh, well at least he's honest.

So obviously, we had the talk about sharing, asking for things, using manners, and what to do if a kid won't share or take turns (talk to the teacher). We even did some practicing of how to ask for a toy or a turn with something and how to talk to the teacher. I guess this is all stuff he would have learned already had he been in daycare. It's not as if he doesn't know these things, but he has never been in a large group of children without Tony or I being there.

I am still embarrased about the whole thing, but I must not be the only mother who has a hitter.  When I told my MIL about his day, she just laughed.  Normal kid stuff, she said.

Sacha keeps talking about how much fun he had at school, and how he cannot wait to go back next week.

I just hope there is less hitting next time.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Remember when Sacha was severely delayed in his language?

Well, not anymore.  And definitely not delayed in memory skills.  Just ask his Pharmadaddy.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Sacha-ism for your Tuesday morning

On the merits of homemade jam:

"Real jam is better for us cuz it have nutrients for help us grow."

On Tony's glasses:

"Daddy, yours glasses make you look so isstinguished!"

On the fact that our local drop-in play centre was closed for the long weekend:


Monday, 7 September 2009

Our green thumbs are busy

The husband and I have been really busy this summer with landscaping.  While we had professionals do a lot of work that we simply could NOT do ourselves, due to lack of equipment, time and know-how, we still have a lot to do ourselves, particularly in the back yard.  My husband recently posted about the whole process on his blog, so I will just link to it here. There, you will also find a link to photos of the entire process, before and after shots, as well as shots of the boys "helping."

Now click away!

Thursday, 27 August 2009

A Caterpillar Cake

I mentioned that I was attempting to make the cake for Sacha's birthday alone.  I can make a tasty cake, but decorating a cake...not so much.

Sacha wanted a caterpillar cake.  Like the yellow and black fuzzy caterpillars that are common this time of year.  So this is what I made:


I baked the cakes in glass Pyrex bowls. The entire cake took 3 boxes of cake mix (I copped out there. I couldn't fathom making scratch cakes AND decorating them). I then made pudding whipped topping rather than icing, using 2 cups of whipping cream and 1 package of instant pudding. I then coated the cakes with yellow-dyed coconut flakes and shredded chocolate to make the cake look fuzzy. Then skittles for the eyes and mouth, pipe-cleaners for the antenna.


If I would have had more time, I would have decorated the cardboard base with green and brown, to make it look like grass. However, being pressed for time, since the whipped topping needs to be made the day of the party, I copped out there, too.

But the birthday boy didn't seem to notice.


Sacha and his friend Jakob thought it was fantastic.

And I feel a bit more domestic having bitten the bullet and done it myself.  Super-Sarah to the Rescue!

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Where does supper come from?

Last night, Sacha asked me the typical 5:00 pm question: "Whatchyoo goin' make for us supper?"

"BBQ chicken, rice and caesar salad," I replied.

"I think we need have pizza," Sacha piped up.

"We don't have any ingredients to make pizza, kiddo," I said, thinking that would be the end of this conversation.

Until Sacha smirked:

"No, but Dominoes does!"

Saturday, 22 August 2009

My blog is dead. Now I can live again.

I recently received an e-mail from a blogger asking me if I was alright, as I have been notably absent from the blogosphere for, oh, 3 months.  I then realized that I have not been getting comments anymore, particularly on a post on UE that I posted about 2 years ago and has received in the thousands of hits, and the comments were creeping into the hundreds when I finally disabled comments.  And I didn't care in the slightest.

This single post boosted my traffic immensely, but it also frustrated me to no end because everyone suddenly felt like I was the expert on getting out of UE contracts, which I am not.  It was also the brunt of harsh e-mails from people who stumbled on it and felt like I had slandered the company.  Now I that I am free of UE, I don't want to speak of it ever again.  That is why I am not even linking back to that post in this one.

The other reason I have been away is that I have been busy living my real life, which is an exhausting/exhilerating life raising 2 boys under the age of 3.  Sacha will be 3 next week and I am attempting, for the first time to make a decorative cake.  I usually ask my aunt, who is a professional decorator, to do the cakes.  This time, however, I am trying to be the superhero myself.  We shall see.  I have also been knitting up a storm, knotting my needles into a sweater for Sacha, featuring a hydraulic digger on the front.  Knitting maniacally trying to finish it in time for his birthday (I finished it on Wednesday night).

Then, on top of that, I just couldn't be bothered to be online anymore, other than Googling myself (I'm a narcicist like that) and cyber-stalking Jon and Kate and their ridiculously public, and most-likely, child therapy-inducing divorce.

But this e-mail to check in on me shed some new light on my internet existence.  Now that no one is really paying attention anymore, I am really free to write.  Those who honestly loved my blog for its own quirky state of being will still read it.  No matter what I write.  Whenever I want.

So this is now the beginning of my new cyber-life.  Mrs. Mustard has left the building.  Now it's just Sarah.

Monday, 18 May 2009

One named Jacob

A two-year old chatterbox coupled with potty training and an inquisitive mind ("Why? How? What that?") leads to interesting conversations in our house.

When Sacha got out of the tub last night, his naked butt came storming into the living room where I was sitting with my parents and Memère (grandmother), and he started chanting that he had babies in his testicles.  I couldn't quite understand what he meant, so Tony explained the conversation Sacha and him had in the bathroom:

Sacha (lifting his man-organ to see underneath it): What these under mine pennis?

Tony: Those are your testicles.

Sacha: What hard thing in mine tessicle?

Tony:  What do you think it is?

Sacha: Bubbles.

Tony: Bubbles?

Sacha (changing his mind): No, not bubbles.  Babies.  Babies in mine tessicle.

Tony: Babies? How many babies do you have in your testicles?

Sacha: Two babies. One named Jacob.

Tony: Jacob? Like your friend Jacob or like Jacob in the Bible?

Sacha (truly thinking about this one): Like mine friend Jacob.

Once Tony was finished telling the tale, Sacha, realizing that my Memère was there, asks me: Maman, what tessicle in Fwench?

I turned to Memère, who was red from laughing: C'est une TRÈS bonne question, Sacha.  Memère, connais-tu le mot testicle en français? (That is a GOOD question, Sacha.  Memère, do you know the French word for testicle?)

Memère: Non.  Je vais chercher dans le dictionnaire à la maison et te le dire. (No.  I'll look it up in the dictionary when I get home and tell you.)

As it turns out, the answer is testicule.  And one of them is named Jacob.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Chewing the Fat

Overheard in our garage while my Baba prepared to take Sacha to the park:

Baba: Can Baba ride in your wagon, Sacha?

Sacha: No.  You too fat.

Oh dear.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Sacha Said So

Sacha is a bonafide chatterbox.  I don't know if it was the speech therapy or his finally being ready to talk, but the kid does not shut up from dawn until dusk.  Sometimes, Tony and I just stare at each other, gaping mouthed, amazed that he can speak so much without sparing even a second to take a breath.

Sometimes this is a good thing: he tells himself stories, clasping his hands together on his lap and staring off into the distance saying "Once upon time, ay-cay-no (volcano) EXPLODE EVERYWHERE!"  Before he sleeps, he now says his prayers by himself (a mixture of two prayers that we have been saying since he was 8 months old): "Faddah, Son, Ho-wee Spiit Amen.  Sun shines, I in bed, rest sweepy head. Keep me safe frew night, I wake morning wight, Amen.  Faddah, Son, Ho-wee Spiit Amen!"

He has also decided that his name is no longer Sacha, but rather Chicken Little. In fact, if you address him as Sacha, he will either ignore you or spurt while shaking his head: "Mine name Sacha ANYMORE!  Mine name Chicken Little!

There are the WHY questions, which I often cannot answer to his full satisfaction: Why Maddahs have boobs?  Why Kees cry?  Why mine name Sacha?  Why Daddy go work?  Why we need money?  Why rain outside?  Why peepee come out mine penis?  Why Kees good baby?  Why Daddy good daddy?  Why Daddy name Tony?  Why Maman name Sarah?  Why need say prayers? Why Auntie Teewah go way?  Why me like bacon?

I often think that I am shortchanging his little curious mind when I cut the crap and give him a quick, boring answer "Because bacon is yummy.  Because Grandma liked the name Tony."  I have so much to do, and the questions are so non-stop that I cannot wrap my head around creating a reasonable teacher-like answer to satisfy him.  Or, for that matter, spend enough time with him doing all the 2-year-old things he wants to do, since I have another son on the verge of walking and demanding a lot of my time using my fingers as a balance apparatus while Sacha plays play-doh by himself or pours himself some "coffee" (juice) and goes to "work" (his bedroom) to "help people." There's only so much I can do for two kids at the same time.  And I feel guilty that I cannot do more. Or that I lack the energy to do it.

Then last night, before bed, Sacha leaned in and told Tony: Maman is good mudder.

I guess I need not worry anymore.  Sacha said so.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Words we rarely say

My sisters and I are close. We don't hide anything, we don't spare each other's feelings when we need to get something off our chest. But it seems as though we rarely take the time to utter the positive words brewing in our brains.

I am immensely proud of my youngest sister.

Angry tourist pose

If you recall, I posted this letter to my youngest sister about 18 months ago.

Now, she is a fully (mostly) self-sufficient adult*. She loves her work and is fantastic at her job. On top of that, she seems to be finally understanding the meaning of budget and financial planning. I never thought I would say those words about her!

She is a part of the social committee at said work (I think she heads up the committee) and organizes charity fund raisers and so on. She has a wonderful man in her life, who supports her in everything she does and who grounds her in reality and humour. And she supports him, even when things seem not so great (he was recently laid off - a sign of the times, in this case). Now I cannot wait for them to get married so that I can stop calling him my favourite brother-in-common-law.

Wanna piece of me?

I am also deeply proud of my other sister.

We're so sexy, I know

She took a bold leap, quit her job (which paid well, but she loathed) and decided to take the plunge and go back to school to get an animal biology degree. This involved uprooting her and her husband, moving 500 km away, taking upgrading courses just to get into university, and working part time to support her nasty schooling habit. All the while, she has aced every course she tackled. I think she got 97% on her Chemistry 101 final. That or 100%. I cannot keep her ridiculously high grades straight. She is definitely heading towards a scholarship. All the while, she still manages to keep the glimmer of hope alive that she will, someday, provide my children with cousins. I will keep all my baby gear just for you, my sweets.

I love you, Talia & Stef. I am so proud of both of you.

The little sisters

Now make babies, k?

* I say mostly because she still calls me every friggin time she makes scotch meatloaves, even though I have given her the recipe numerous times, and it is posted on my blog.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

No sympathy from this corner

My husband is out of town for a work-related conference.  I am thus left with the boys: a 2-year-old who doesn't know how to sleep and a 10 month old with a nasty-ass cough.

He called me yesterday, telling me how tired he was.


"Oh,  we were partying until 2:30 in the morning. Then we had to wake up at six."

"Was the party in your room?"


"Well, then you could have left and went to sleep.  No sympathy from me.  You want to know how my night was?"

"How bad was it?"

"Kees woke up at 11:30, Sacha woke up at 3:30, Kees woke up at 5:20, Sacha woke up at 6, then I slept in his bed until 8:00 when we all woke up."

Then he told me he had to go  because the taxi taking them all to the dinner theater was leaving.

Bite me.  I feel so bad for you.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

One week and I haven't died yet

We are one week into Lent 2009.

For those of you who know absolutely NOTHING about Lent, it is a time when Christians are called to reflect on their lives and sacrifice/fast in the way Jesus did for 40 days in the desert, where he was tempted by Satan.  Lent is over at Easter.  Although if you add up the total number of days from Ash Wednesday to the beginning of the Triduum (the 3 days encompassing Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday), you don't get 40. You get 45.  Many people say that this allows you to cheat on Sundays (of which there are 5 in lent).  In fact, every Sunday is a mini-Easter, and a celebration of the resurrection, even during Lent.  So if you cheat on Sundays and indulge in your chocolate mini eggs (which I gave up one year and thoroughly regretted), you won't go to hell.

This year, however, I am not cheating at all.  No Sunday sneaking.

I gave up Facebook for Lent.

The moment I realized that I was a crackbook addict was when a good friend of mine changed his relationship status, thus making me think that he had split up with his girlfriend of 2 years and that he never told me about it. How could he do that??  I had just talked to him and he never mentioned anything!  This is insane!  So I sent him a quick note asking what was going on.  He told me that they are still together.  They just decided that people take FB way too seriously and that they would remove that sort of personal information from their pages.  I am obviously one of these people, as I actually thought that he would announce his breakup to the world on FB and neglect to tell me in person about such a serious change in his life.

I thought that deactivating my account would be difficult, but it has proved to be a relief.  No more inbox full of notifications, no more obsessively checking for photos or updates from my friends.  I have been back into regular old knitting and reading, and talking to people on the good old telephone, which suits me just fine. I am now contemplating whether or not I will even reactivate my account when Lent is over.

So for now, you won't find me on FB.  I won't be posting photos of the kids or of the fantastic time I had at my step-brother's wedding (first time we left the kids EVER).  I'll be enjoying my life in the real world.  And here in real life to talk to you about it.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Happy Birthday, I'm Sorry

It was my husband's birthday yesterday.  I may have let the ball drop a little.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Going Green By Force

We may be going a little greener in our house.  We drive two very economic vehicles: a 2003 Rio, the husband's commuter car, and a 2006 Toyota Prius, the family car.  This morning, however, I decided to investigate a strange smell coming from the garage. Although there is a lot of dirt, sand, and water on the garage's concrete floor (it's very much still winter up here), I noticed a puddle of something curious where the Rio is usually parked. I dipped my finger in it: definitely not water.  Smells a little off.  Possibly antifreeze or oil or both.  Maybe tranny fluid, although I have been told that's usually pink (which this is not).  We brought it to the shop, and they'll be looking into it today.

A 2003 Rio is worth very little on the resale market.  It has served us well, but if this proves to be a major expense to repair, we may very well decide to bite the bullet and go with only one car.  We are still making payments on the Pruis and adding another car payment right now is not a favorable option.

I am trying to think of the merits of being a single-vehicle family (not too many families seem to live with just one car anymore): lower insurance, less money spent on fuel and vehicle maintenance, reducing our carbon footprint, yadda yadda.

BUT WAH!  I would be stuck in the house with my kids!  All! The! Time!

If we go down to one car, Tony would be driving it to work.  His drive to work is bikable, but not in the winter, and it is largely uphill (BIG hill) which is sort of mean, even in the summer.  Yes, I am a SAHM, so the Pruis is parked in the garage a lot of the time.  But as any SAHM knows, it is nice to know that at least the option to flee the scene is there whenever the kiddies and I need to get out.

Which means I am stuck.  There is no public transportation here, and we live in an area that is sort of an "estates" development outside the main part of town.  No stores in walking distance, library and playschool are about 7 km away.  The only thing in walking distance is a park. And more houses.

Are there any other single-vehicle families out there?  Care to share how you make do with just 4 wheels instead of the standard 8?

Monday, 9 February 2009

The Perils of Speech Therapy: Riddit, Riddit!

After months of incessant pointing and "eh! eh! eh!", I couldn't wait for Sacha to start speech therapy.

He has been working on bilabial sounds (insert childish snicker about the word bilabial here), specifically F.  Couple this with his love of pretending in the animal kingdom, and we get the following new edition of "Kids Say the Darndest Things":

Sacha is leap-frog jumping around the house this weekend, saying "Riddit!  Riddit!"  Obviously, we know that he is pretending to be an animal, and while we are pretty sure which amphibian he is imitating, we thought we would give him the benefit of the doubt and ask:

Tony: Sacha, what are you?

Sacha: Fuck.

Tony (mouth aghast, trying to contain the inevitable laughter eruption): WHAT are you?

Sacha: FUCK!  Riddit! Riddit! (resumes hopping on all fours)

Then this morning, while watching Curious George, we hear Sacha exclaim "Oh! Fuck!" I am sure you can deduce what George was playing with on the show.

Now, I have the daunting task of bringing to extinction all frogs so that he never says this in public. Must also find a way to avoid him pretending he's a frog in front of my grandmothers...oy vey.

Friday, 30 January 2009

Now 99% Puke-Free!

I rarely get sick.

Correction: when I am neither pregnant, nor nursing, I rarely get sick.  Somehow, when it is completely forbidden by all pharmacist-anal-husbands to consume any type of medicated relief, I get sick a lot. Mostly colds, but I've had rotovirus and some bad stomach flus.  And the traditional morning all-day half-pregnancy sickness.  But I digress.

When my kids get sick, I run to the rescue and become super-mom.  I ain't scared of no puke!  And diahrrea?  I laugh at thee.  HAHAHA!

However, I am perpetually amazed at how much puke can come out of a 2 year old.  And how difficult it is to parent not only the sick 2-year old and soothe his needs while cleaning up puke before his baby brother starts splashing in it, but to also attend to the puke-splashing 8 month old who requires his regular daily does of mamalove and turning his riding car around when he hits the wall.

I did it alone for 7 hours.  I even managed to get them both down for naps at the same time. But the puke kept coming, and I started running out of rags and paper towels and clean jammies for the boy (having puked on all of them and refusing to wear regular clothing).

So at 4:00 pm, I called in reinforcements: my 83-year-old grandmother.  I asked her if she could come over, not to clean up puke (which had occurred 7 times by then) but to play with Kees so that I could clean up, rub Sacha's back and head and try to settle him to sleep.

She came, she rocked it up. I got Sacha to sleep.  Victory...for now.

When she left for her dinner date, my mom came straight from work, in her scrubs and all, and helped more.

Finally, my pharmacist husband came home just before 7.  He took over Sacha's care so I could get my Hippo to sleep (who will only go down for his favouritest mama of all time). I then scrubbed all the hard floors in the house and did about 5 loads of laundry to get rid of the puke smell.  Tony got Sacha to sleep and things seemed to calm down.  We even watched some television.  The puke came, I conquered it. The house was now vomitless.

Fast forward one hour: more puke.  In bed.  All over his PJs. In his hair. On the rug.

Screw it.  99% puke-free is good enough.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

A dolphin is NOT a fish. Duh.

Sacha has now been in speech therapy for three weeks. He amazes me every time we go, not only with his progress but with his openness to do anything Lindsey (his therapist) asks him to do.  I cannot say the same for his attitude towards me - normally, his way of avoiding my demands requests is to wave and say "Bye, Mommy."

Sacha's session yesterday was no exception. Sacha was playing a fishing game where he used a little fishing rod and pulled out fish from a “pond”. When he’d pull one out, Lindsey would say “Sacha, this is a FISH. Can you say FISH?”  He would oblige by making his best attempt at an FFF sound, followed by something approximating ITCH.

At one point, Lindsey used the rod and caught a fish.  She asked him to say FISH. Sacha shook his head and kept saying "Non non non non." She looked at him and again said “Sacha, this is a fish. Can you say fish?” He adamantly refused.

After a few repeated attempts on her part, he finally said “Non non. Daffin.” Lindsey said “What?” And Sacha pointed to the fish and said "Daffin." She had caught a dolphin with her rod. She laughed at said “Yes, Sacha, it IS a dolphin!”
I friggin didn’t even know he knew what a dolphin was, let alone the word. God bless Finding Nemo ;)