Sunday, September 24, 2006

Our Weekend Thus Far

Well, we have had a nice one. Besides the fact that I was awakened a short time ago to horrendous, gut wrenching screams (it was Jock. They had all slept in the Rec Room last night and some of them slept on the hide-a-bed) coming from the Rec Room. I came down here to find the other three kids jumping on Jock as he laid on the hide-a-bed. As I type this, they are still having pillow fights and screeching loudly. Stud left to play guitar at church and we all just slept in. He has to take Jock to hockey practise later, so needed to leave early. We have one driveable vehicle right now (more on that later, possibly) and it would not have worked for us all to go at different times like we need to the mornings that Stud plays guitar.

So Friday night has become Stud and I's weekly "date night". This past Friday, we decided to stay home with the kids and order pizza and have a "Family Night". They were thrilled and we all had a great time. We watched "Hoodwinked" because Stud had not seen it yet and we all wanted to watch it together before we mail it back to Netflix. We also did a little activity that we have done sometimes. We write down a few things we admire or like about each other and then read them out loud. The kids LOVE IT and it is really fun to see what they think of each other, etc.

So I am going to share here what everyone said about me. I like to hear these things too:)

Stud said ~

1. Is a good Mom.

2. Cares about others.

3. Is doing good trying to stay in shape and lose weight.

Brain said ~

1. Listens to people.

2. Has her own cute language.

3. Great job raising kids.

Jock said ~

1. I love you SOOOOOOO Much!

2. You are so nice!

3. You take insults very well. You are good at shining the light about Jesus.

4. You are AWESOME!!!

Clown said ~

1. I love you.

2. You're a good sport when we play games.

3. You're good at playing games with me.

Princess said ~

1. You're good at tea parties.

2. You wear pretty clothes.

3. You are good at taking me places.

4. You are good at playing games with me.

So there you have it. I will ask their permission to post what they said about each other at some point. It is so cute to see what they think about each other:)

So then yesterday we slept late and had a lazy morning. Then we took them to the zoo. We have not been since Spring and Stud has not been in a few years, likely. We had a wonderful time, aside from me standing in line for 25 minutes (no exageration, Stud timed it!) to buy a $4 bottle of water and a $7 chicken wrap. Other than that, and Jock having to go sit on a bench for a while for not keeping his attitude in check, it was lovely.

Some people truly amaze me, though. There are all kinds of prime spots to take photos, at this zoo. Cool climbing trees, fun statues of animals, etc. So when we are taking pics of our kids at these places and other kids come along, we hurry so the other people don't have to wait. We believe in taking turns and having consideration for others.

Apparently this is lost on the majority of the population??

There is this one awesome tree right outside the gift shop. Every time we are there, we like to take pictures of the kids. Then we can compare and see how big they are getting, etc etc. We have some CUTE ones of when we only had Brain and Jock and they have on little leopard masks they just got at the gift shop or whatever, you know. So yesterday we got to the tree and no one was on our favourite branch. We were struggling to get the kids to focus and get ready. We told them to just co-operate because others would be along soon to want the branch. We got some good shots and there was a little 2 or 3 year old on another branch. We had made a few comments as we were taking the pictures how yes, they can go on that branch soon. Let's just let him have his turn, his Dad just put him up there. After about five minutes on "our" branch, we got off and were waiting under and near this other one. By now, this kid's parents had wandered away and just left him. His Dad was doing something with his younger sibling way far away and his mother just left him up there and went to the bathroom.

A man was also waiting with is two kids. He made a few comments about how they needed to wait. This kid just sat up there and then started making horrible faces and sounds in his throat. Pretty soon, he began to spit huge wads of gob onto the ground. Many, many times. I think we were all just standing there with our jaws dropped, in shock. Little boys spit, it just happens. But why were his parents not around and paying attention?? Do they not teach him this is not acceptable, especially in this setting?? He was almost spitting on people's heads as they walked under the branch he was on??? He would have, except they realised what was going on and dodged the spit in time.

Jock was playing and not paying attention and was coming toward us when I was trying to let him know discreetly to be careful where he walked, because there likely a pool on the ground, and not to get hit from above with some. I knew he would FREAK OUT if he got slobber all over him. Who could blame him?? How disgusting is this???

I glanced toward the Dad, who was glancing up sometimes. He just sat there. A line was forming, of kids who wanted to get on the branch. He and his wife weren't even taking pictures or anything, their little boy was just sitting up there. Spitting. All the rest of us had our cameras out and were trying to be patient.

We finally just left. How rude is that, though??

THEN. They love to go to these Lion statues and get their pictures taken. So we try to get some of them each alone and then some with Stud and I with them. As we were taking a few of Princess, I think it was, some little 2 year old girl came running up. I have no problem with that, it is public property, there for all of us to share. She has every right to climb on it, and play and invesigate. That is what children do. I DO have a problem with it, when parents are beaming proudly from far away, thinking that their kid is SO CUTE, that I MUST want her in the photos of my children too?? I mean, this kid was CUTE. VERY CUTE. However, I am trying to take photos of MY kids, I don't want your kid in the shot. I am sure you don't want me posting pictures of your kid on my blog, either. Give me 20 more seconds, let me get the shots I want and then your cute little kid can climb to her hearts content. Ya know??

Then we went to this place called "Willawong Station" that they added a few years ago. You go in and feed birds from birdseed that is glued to popsicle sticks. They just fly all around and are so pretty and it is very fun. The kids had a blast last time we went and Stud had not done it yet. They were most excited to show this to their Dad. The first fifteen minutes or so that we were in there, these silly birds were not hungry or something. They could care less about any food. The kids were getting discoured and wanted to leave.

Finally, Stud was getting a few to eat off of his and he would lower it down so that our kids would be able to enjoy feeding them also. Some other kids were so desperate to get birds to eat off of their sticks that they were shoving people around and being very rude. Their parents were nowhere to be seen. Later, as time went on, we were more successful in getting birds to eat from our sticks. I was mostly trying to take pictures and Stud was videoing at the same he had birds all around him:) He and Brain seemed to have a knack for getting them. So Brain would get them on his stick and lower it down for Clown and Princess to also share. He was being very sweet.

One of the kids was feeding one and some kids around 8 years old were shyly trying to put their stick there too. You really do get desperate and when you see someone who has gotten a bird to eat from their stick, it is hard not to rush over and shove your stick in there too! LOL So this little guy was doing that and his mother stopped him. I told her it was fine, my kids did not mind sharing, they know how it feels. They agreed and this little boy seemed so grateful! The mother and I got talking and were saying how rude and forceful some people are and she said some ADULTS were shoving her little boy out of the way when they were trying to view the Lion!?!? WHAT IS UP WITH THAT!?!? Grown people, pushing a little kid around at the zoo?? Disgusting.

Stud multi-tasking. Note the depserate little hands, impatient for him to lower the bird down! LOL

Alright, Princess is waiting for a tea party with me. Stud is possibly taking Brain and Jock to a movie later this afternoon, after Jock's hockey practise and before Stud's evaluation skate to be placed on his own team.

Hope everyone else is having a wonderful weekend!

Friday, September 22, 2006

School pictures and a quote

So Princess has her school pictures done today. Then we are finished with all of that. Brain and Jock had their's done almost a month ago, I sure hope we get them soon. Stud took Princess for a hair cut last night while I was at my water aerobics class. Man, that class from last night is another story entirely. Talk about entertainment!

So here are some shots of my baby girl all ready to go this morning. She LOVES her new shortest ever hairdo. It is so light and she can swing it all around. What I wouldn't give for her nice straight hair! It was itsy tight black curls when she was born and then got lighter with a lot of red. Had pretty little ringlets until she was almost four and we chopped them off because her hair was almost to her waist and driving her nuts. Stud and I hated to chop off all those gorgeous curls that were at the ends of her staight hair, but she was miserable.

It seems she and I are into pink and black together this year. I love black, and she loves pink, so perhaps we are blending our likes together. She is getting the point where I don't have much say in the clothes she likes. Obviously I have the final word as far as things that are inappropriate but she is young enough where she has not wanted anything like that yet. Except for this one bikini. YIKES! It is horrifying what they make for little kids now, people have no self respect. Anyway, seems odd that she is now choosing most of her outfits. She is growing up so fast!

Best friends. Aren't they precious!?? I need to also show one of my faves of them together from years back...

I also leave you with something Brain said a few weeks back. I will quote him (Except where it says Jock and Princess, he actually used their true names. They have identical initials, by the way...but I disgress, as always) right here-

"It's said that one in every four Americans is mentally impaired. I'm thinking it's either Jock or Princess."

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Put it on your blog!!

I am sitting here catching up on a few e-mails. Still in my PJs, planning on finally doing yoga and getting in the shower. Eventually.

Princess and Clown are behind me playing and singing together. They are singing, "I'm gonna be a faw-daaaaahhh (father), yes indeedy-dooooo" and playing with some magnets and stuffed animals. Clown is now singing, "I'll make a bed for all of you, yes indeeeeedddyy-dooooooo!!!"

If you hear their voices, that is what makes it precious. So I was telling them they are so cute, that I may need to come over and squish them.

Princess piped up, "Put it on your blog!!!!!!!"

So I am:)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

WHOA! Where did THAT come from???

I am borrowing a quote from my brother. He will often say something off the wall and then look very taken aback and say, "WHOA! Where did THAT come from???"

Or, he will say to one of my kids in a sing-song voice, "Ooooohh, Jock (or Brain, or whoever, take your pick) is in trooouuubblllee!!!" when I reprimand them for something. Yeah, he is like a big brother to them and I need to discipline HIM too! LOL

Anyway, I was wondering where on earth that huge long rant came from earlier today. I can't believe anyone took the time to read it! LOL I am honoured that anyone did and would like to apologize for the length.

Now Princess and I are off to my water aerobics class. It is really a work out, but I love it. Twice a week I go, started last week. Jock and Stud are at Jock's first hockey practice of the season and Brain and Clown want to stay here and play games. I asked Princess if she wanted to come with me and watch my class and then get in the pool after and swim with me. Of course she jumped at the chance.

So off we go for some fun Mother/Daughter time. Just wanted to say how sorry I am for the earlier yammering!

It takes all kinds!

First, before I begin my rant, I will show you all a photo of Princess from this morning. She is dressed for school, ready to make her very messy bed after a lovely night's sleep. Although how she can sleep with all those critters on the bed is beyond me! Apparently I was the same as a young girl, only I lined them all up between myself and the wall, concerned they may fall out of bed and get hurt! LOL

I got her that outfit last night at Costco for...get this...$14.99!! There are black velvet bows on the lower part of the jumper, HOW CUTE IS THIS!?!?!?

Jock was very annoyed when he saw it. They complain that I buy her too many clothes. Of course, all the times I go shopping and buy them all manner of clothes, no one notices she did not get anything. Let us also take note of the fact that Jock wears the same four shirts for weeks on end. He actually went to school yesterday in the shirt he slept in!!! He refuses to sleep in PJs anymore, which is fine. But then don't go somewhere in what you slept in!??!?! ARG!!! He has about 25 VERY NICE shirts and refuses to wear any of them. So talk to the hand, right?? SHEESH! Princess wears all of her clothes AND appreciates them!

As I mentioned in a comment, Brain was called out of class yesterday and they claim that he owes money for lunches he has not eaten. *sigh* So I need to go deal with that BS today.

The former President of our HSing group called me yesterday morning regarding her son's birthday party this coming weekend. She mentioned on the message that hopefully she would see me later at the school picture taking session. THANK GOD she called about the party and mentioned the photos because I had thought I was taking Clown on Thursday. This month is really getting away from me! I was sure the 18th was Thursday for some odd reason. Brain and Jock got their photos taken in August and Princess's are this coming Friday. So I need school pics for Clown also. Our HSing group always gets them done this time of year and our kids LOVE the guy who does it. Clown was so excited to see this man again and was telling me in detail what all the man said LAST YEAR! He remembers how the man said something and Clown did not catch what it was and then went on all about every word that they exchanged. He was hopeful that he may get a comb again this year.

Anyway, when we got there, I thanked my friend who had called for reminding me of the photos, or I would have shown up on Thursday. She gave me a look that was kind of...I dunno. Like she took pity on me or something. She said she was sure I needed a reminder. She knows what is going on with Stud and I and knows I am not happy with the kids being in public school. Not to mention I am known for being pretty spacey anyway:) It is so nice to have friends who care and can understand when you are going through rough times.

So another friend and I planned to meet for lunch at McDonald's after the photos. We were having a great time and her two boys and Clown and Princess were playing nicely, as they often do. We seldom have any issues with these kids playing together. Of course, I have been told many times how well behaved my kids are and how people like for theirs to play with mine. Especially if Jock is not around. I hate to say it, but that boy...UGH. Anyway, all was well.

Her 12 year old came and sat with us and seemed sad. We asked him what was wrong and he said a woman kept on mentioning to him that she thought he was too old/big to play in the play land. First of all, the kid is small for 12. Secondly, any age can go in there. I have been annoyed before when huge 200 lbs 18 years olds are goofing off in there and swearing and stuff, but even then I don't do much but get my kids to come out or something.

Anyway, we told him not to worry and he has every right to go in there. He brightened right up and went back in with his 7 year old brother, Clown and Princess. They were all four hanging around in this one sphere like section that hangs out and over and was in clear view of us. They had been in there another five minutes or so, when we heard a little boy crying. My friend wondered if our kids had maybe been involved or something and soon this boy's mother came over to us, carrying her little 3 or 4 year old. He was crying and had his head buried in her shoulder. We looked up in the sphere and all four of our gang were still sitting in there, calmly talking to each other. She had brought this kid out of an entirely different section than where our kids had been.

Let me back track a bit. I can't stand situations like this when parents sit around oblivious to the havoc their kids are spewing out to all the other kids. That has happened before, and one of two things happen. If my kids have been picked on or abused in any way, and I go to confront the parents they either:

1. Do like myself and say, "I am so sorry! I will go check into it immediately. Thanks for bringing this to my attention!" This has only happened about twice in my almost 14 years of parenting, that I have had the need to do that. Normally, I am so in there and involved I know every move my kids make. Now, as they are older, I can step back more and there is not as much need to be involved.


2. Instantly deny that their kid could POSSIBLY have anything to do with anything AT ALL. I can't STAND that attitude. Both my friend and I yesterday were completely open to the idea that our kids had done something. As perfect and wonderful as our kids are, we have to be realistic that they are human and do mean selfish things. Come on, they ARE kids after all.

So this woman had a look on her face like she had had enough of something and was finally going to speak up and could not take it anymore. Besides her two little kids, there were two other adults in the play area. A single woman who was not with any kids and a man with his two little kids. We had had no complaints, and thought everything was going just fine. Right when she came over to us, I was prepared for some venom. I know that look. I have had that look! I was thinking "What on earth did the kids do?? Our kids must have done SOMETHING, but they have been sitting up there calmly for a LONG TIME."

My friend and I were clucking our tongues over this poor little hurt boy and right as I was about to ask what happened to him and would he be okay, she started in.


As I was trying to ask what happened and what they did, she kept on screaming. I remember thinking what a horrible example it was to send to her two kids with her. I have been LIVID about some kids doing something to my kids before, but I don't go around screaming about it. That is NOT the way to get sympathy and figure out what even happened.

I finally got in the question "What did they do??"

She kept screaming about them holding her son down and choking him, bashing his head into the side of the play structure, and something about a swear word. As she was screaming this, I was attempting to make the point that they had been in our sight for a LONG time, sitting in that one area and we had not seen anything of the sort. I was speaking calmly, and she was screaming. So I am sure she did not hear me.

We were stunned when she mentioned the swearing. Neither my friend and her husband or Stud and I swear. Our kids have heard some icky words as they get older. Out in public, in movies, etc. We have tried to shelter them from it as much as possible, but such is life. I found it interesting that when she mentioned the swear that our kids supposedly said, she SAID it, did not spell it. IF I ever have to speak of something like that with kids around, I spell it. Actually, I spell it even if I read it or have to say it out loud to someone! LOL I can't bring myself to say those words, and have never heard my friend utter them. So we were both dumbfounded. I know my heart skipped a beat at the thought of my kids possibly saying something like that. The word was...A-S-S.

She went on screaming and I asked her who it was who supposedly was doing these things. She said "The big one, in the striped shirt." Red flag. That was my friend's 12 year old, who had been so sad about some woman saying he should not be in there. I knew instantly she was the type who LOOKS for trouble and something to rant about and decided she had found it in my friend's son. As I said, I am totally open to the idea that my kids are not angels, and may do things they should not. Who am I kiddin!??! WILL and DO do things they should not. But we also know our kids inside and out and know what they are known for, what things we have to watch for, etc etc. This kid is as calm and sweet as they come. Maybe her kids have been bullied before by older kids and she is scared of them or something. But this guy is about the size of an average 10 year old and is very easy going. I would not have put it past Jock, if he had been there. But this kid? NO WAY.

So we called her son out and asked him what had gone on. His mother said this woman said that HE had said this word. He looked totally shocked and then was thinking and then said..."Oooohhhh." He thought perhaps when he had said "But..." something the kids thought he meant "butt" and translated it to the A word. Later, we discovered that they had been talking about passwords and maybe the little boy only heard the "ass" part of "password" and misunderstood or something. Since it is pretty clear he is familiar with that word, that is highly possible. Another theory, which I think is more likely, is that her son was trying to say "password" to her and since she was looking for a reason to cause trouble or dislike my friend's son, she heard "ass". This is totally the type of person she seemed like.

By now of course, the manager had heard all the commotion and came to check it out. I looked to a customer near me and asked her if she had seen anything our kids were doing and we missed it. She raised her eyebrows toward the ranting mother and shrugged her shoulders and whispered something about "Don't worry about it. Your kids were fine." I looked over to the Dad who was there and he was looking at me and basically did the same thing. Gave me a look like "Whatever. Try to ignore her." I feel SO BAD for that woman's kids.

By now, she was jerking her kids all over and yelling loudly "WE ARE LEAVING!" I said something about wait a minute, if our kids did something, we need to deal with it. Let's get this sorted out. She ignored me and was huffing and jerking her poor kids all over to get their shoes on. Her little girl was looking very sad and confused and looked toward our kids. I think I even saw our kids looking sad and waving from in there, they were all confused.

We asked them about what she said about them bashing the kid around. Turns out, the kid kept on hitting them and jumping on Clown's tummy. He had been stepping on their stomachs and had been jumping on and climbing all over them. Clown asked him to stop and he wouldn't, so he DID finally push him to get him off. Clown said his head hit the side of the tube or something and then the kid went away and shortly after they heard him crying. They say that is the only thing they can think of and Clown felt bad, but the kid would not leave them alone and just play nicely. He said no one came close to choking or anything.

As the woman was jerking her kids around, the manager was talking to my friend and I. We were saying how we wanted to get it sorted out, but all she did was yell and us and was now ignoring us. So the manager went over and was talking to the woman for a few minutes. This was when the other customers and I were communicating through looks and stuff and then my friend and I were saying how we sure wish we could get this sorted out and our kids will be reprimanded if they did anything at all. The other kids that had been there were looking as confused as our kids and this woman's kids.

The manager came over to us and was rolling her eyes and said basically not to worry the woman was leaving now and seemed to be over reacting, she was sorry it had happened.

So that was quite an exciting lunch time! I feel SO BAD for that woman's kids though. What a life they will have if she continues on this way. I am sorry that Clown pushed her little boy, if she had stayed, we could have sorted it out. But she refused. I am sure if we told her that her son had been jumping on them, she would have denied that, even though she would have no idea. Not that it made it right for CLown to push her son, but you know what I am saying, eh??

Alright, this has taken too long. Just wanted to vent and share that odd experience. I need to post soon about issues with Jock and the drama with Stud's motorcycle.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Brain's Weeping Willow

Here it is and this is what he wrote about it:

I am pleased about the authenticity of the branches. To me they seem remotely real. I also like the form of the tree. I believe it to be accurate, although I have only seen about two weeping willows my whole life.

The two things I think I could improve on here, are the texture and the space. For space I think I should have made it wider and shorter. It looks too skinny for a weeping willow and I would have preferred if the texture would appear sharper. The picture seems blurred and a little unreal.

Nothing in particular

Well, things are busy as always. The kids are settling in to their routines at school. I feel bad, we keep on forgetting to get Jock's Sax book from the music store. I just realised we never went and bought it this weekend like we were determined to do!!!

His teacher doesn't communicate with us at all, so I have no idea what book it is. I sent a note with Jock last week and he said he gave it to his teacher, his teacher read it and then said "Hmmm...ok." and put the note away and that was that. I had asked him to let us know precisely WHAT book to purchase. Only reason I even know he needs a book is because Jock keeps saying he is the only one without one and he needs to keep looking over the shoulder of his friend to look at his. So he still hasn't told me what one it is, but Jock says he will know it if he sees it. We have to do that tomorrow! ARG!!

There is so much to tell. We had quite a fiasco on Friday. Brain refuses to buy "hot lunch" at school, because he is unsure of how to go about it. He makes his own lunch and one morning last week we were running late and he didn't have time so I gave him money. I told him to ask people and they will help him. He came home that day and said he didn't eat anything, because he doesn't really understand what the people mean and what all the rules are and he feels like a "dork". I was so sad to think of him having no food all day! Doesn't phase him, the kids seldom eats anyway. But still. I am a mother, mothers have some freaky need to make sure their kids have food in them, right???

So on Friday, I was driving past their school with Clown and Princess on our way to run errands and I thought maybe I should go in and make sure Brain has eaten. The same thing had happened that day, he had to go to school with no lunch. So I went into the office and signed in and got my badge and everything. I asked when the grade eight's eat and she said right now. Each grade eats at a separate time, of course. Ten minutes was left in their lunch time, so I had to hurry. I was concerned it would embarrass him, but I had to go in and find out how to get this done, once and for all.

This woman was walking me over there and talking a mile a minute. Very nice lady, but I always get annoyed when people talk to me at the same time my kids are already talking. They interrupt and yap away when my kids were talking to me first. I find it very rude. If kids do that, they get corrected. Why do adults do it?? Anyway, Princess kept on trying to say something and I could tell she was trying not to be rude and it seemed very important. I was putting my finger up (thus the signal to wait a minute while we let the lady with no respect for children get her say in and the five year old can be more patient and polite than her) and smiling down at her, as I listened to this woman go on and on about something. I thought I had seen Brain's big puff of hair through the glass in the door. We got in there, the woman was still going on and on about something and finally I grasped that Princess was saying that she saw Brain go out another door and back outside, where we had just come from. I was trying to let the lady know that, but she just would not be quiet. So I finally said, "My daughter said she saw her brother over there, thanks for your help!" and the kids and I went out and found Brain all alone and looking sad, setting his backpack on a bench under a tree. The woman was still yapping at me about who knows what, she followed us out there. Clown had run over to Brain and by the time the woman had wandered away, Brain was walking over with his hand on Clown's shoulder, bending down so he could hear what Clown was saying. He was looking pleased to see us, yet very concerned.

I did not want him to panic and think anything was wrong, so quickly let him know that we were there to get him some food and figure this out once and for all. I asked him if he was mortified with us there and he said no, it was fine. Seemed pretty relieved, actually. We walked in to the cafeteria and right away, the people were very rude. I went to where the food was and said that I was there to help my son get some lunch, he was not clear on what all it entailed. He had on a bunny hug and the hood was up on his head. This woman immediately looked at him and snapped VERY meanly, "HOOD OFF! NOW!!!"

I kind of jumped and looked behind me to where he was standing and made a face like, "Wow! Guess you better take your hood off!" Then she saw he had his back-pack on (he is having trouble getting his locker to work and just carries everything with him all day, poor thing!) and snapped "you are not supposed to have back-packs in here! Take it over there, to that section, QUICK!"

I am not sure if she thought something was in it that was going to blow up, or what on earth. She seemed pretty scared of a backpack and a small kid with a hood on, that is for sure.

So I asked again, "What do we need to do to get him some food??? I have money here, is that all we need or do we need to do something else????"

Lady said "He needs his ASB card."

"He doesn't have one yet. They have not been issued."

"They have temporary ones. He needs it to get his food. Or at least his #."

As she was saying all this, Brain was TRYING to tell me that his temp card was in another pair of pants at home. She was so busy yelling about hoods and backpacks, she did not hear him. So I told her that and she repeated, that he needs that to get food.

I was mad now. So I said, in not the most pleasant tone, "You mean you won't give him any food, even though we have money right here, because he doesn't have some card??"

Lady- "I never said that."

Me - (thinking,"Sure seemed to me like you did.") but SAYING out loud "Hmmmm..." and looking confused.

Lady (REALLY rude now) "It is easier if they have the card, but he can still get food. We just like to keep track of it on the computer."

Me- "I can totally understand that. Fact is, he doesn't have one right now and he has been led to believe that he cannot get food unless he has it. Now you are telling me that he can still have food, it is just preferred that he have a card??" (I found out that he had tried to get food soon before I got there and that they had told him if he had no card, he could not get food. So he had just gone outside to sit and look through his things, to make sure he didn't have the card and was just not finding it fast enough or something)

Lady- "Yes. If he doesn't have a card or his #, he can give us his name and we can look it up."

Me- "That may have been something that would have been helpful to just mention in the first place. We are in a hurry here, his next class starts in about five minutes. He was under the impression that he could not eat lunch today because he had no card with him and does not know his student #!"

By now, another woman from the kitchen had come out and was very nice and asking Brain what he wanted. We got him food and paid and I left him sitting there. He told me one of his teachers threw a stool across the room one day. I tell you, this is going to be an interesting year. Now if we can just get the locker thing worked out and get Jock's ever increasing-in-nastiness-attitude in check, we will be good to go! That is a post for another day. And I REALLY will do it, I promise!

Apparently many girls come and sit with Brain at lunch and try to figure out if his hair is dyed or naturally black. They touch it and pull on it and rave about the curls and how jealous they are. He sits and eats, smirking to himself (I can just picture him) and they talk all about how his eyelashes and eyebrows are black, so his hair must be naturally black. He finds it all very amusing. He has given up on the straightening and is back to the curls, so I am sure it is ok to post a photo of him. I feel bad that the look he was going for did not work for him:( Maybe one day!

He drew a pretty weeping willow for his art class. I will post a photo of him holding it. You can't tell how good it is from the picture. I will also post what he wrote about it in the book. I will do that in a separate one.

I felt so bad for Princess on Friday. She put together this whole look on her own and it was all planned around this pink hat she loves to wear. It is close to her head and looks cute, keeps her hair out of her eyes, etc. She was told to take it off right when she got to school. I was still there, talking to some friends. She came out into the hall and put it back in her backpack and she looked like she was trying not to cry. I felt SO BAD for her. Sure is a different world, this public school. My kids are used to doing math and science inside the fort they built from cardboard boxes, or hanging upside down from the couch. All the while eating fresh cookies or popcorn and wearing Power Ranger or Fairy costumes. This is quite the different experience for them!!! No hoods, hats, backpacks in certain rooms. Clown was even reprimanded for bringing his new toy plastic axe with him to wait outside the school for his sister. I wondered about that one, and I was right. NOT a good idea. Apparently it is s state law or something?? A $3 plastic axe. What is he going to do with it?? I was right there, the thing weighs 4 oz!?!? I don't get it, but we have to play the game, I guess. *sigh*

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

They don't know Jesus here

So we found out that there is another familiar face besides the Pastor's niece in Princess's class.

Yesterday "Teacher J" (the pastor's SIL, who is his niece's mother, obviously. She taught Princess's classes at church for the past few years, and we call her Teacher J) was telling me how a mutual friend from church had said that our friend's son was also going to school there. We had not seen him and had not seen his parents in a while, so were trying to figure out if he was in fact attending or the friend had been mistaken.

Stud told me that last night that when he and the three younger kids were playing in the street with their hockey sticks and a ball, Princess told him that "P from church" was in her class. She said, "You remember, he used to pull my hair a lot?? Well, he is in my class at school now and he doesn't pull my hair anymore!"

So this morning teacher J and I were talking as we dropped the kids off. Then suddenly there was K, P's Dad. P was looking around all confused, poor guy! You could tell he was a bit out of sorts, seeing people from church in a new environment and he is not used to this new school. He had been attending a Christian Private Pre-K school and K told us that he said to his parents, "I want to go back to my old school, they don't know Jesus here!"

I thought that was so sweet and even profound. He seems to feel better knowing that C (teacher J's daughter) and Princess are in his class. Hopefully he has indeed grown out of the hair pulling stage:)

Monday, September 11, 2006


I cannot believe that it is five years since this happened. I am sure to the people who lost loved ones, it seems far longer than that.

I still remember distinctly what I was doing when I heard. Princess was 11 months old and had just woken up wanting to nurse. I had just sat down with her in her room and lifted up my PJ top when the phone rang. I wondered who on earth would be calling at 6 am!!! It was my friend from NC screaming hysterically, telling me to turn on the TV and watch the news, some plane had crashed into a building in NYC.

I don't remember what I did with the hungry Princess, but I woke Stud up and he came out and turned on the TV. I was still on the phone with my friend M. About a minute after he turned it on, the second plane hit the tower. I just COULD NOT believe that it was really happening, as I am sure everyone else felt. That is when it all kind of clicked and I was thinking, "Oh man, this is purposeful! Someone is doing this on purpose!!!" It had not even registered what the people on the TV were saying. I don't remember if anyone was even SAYING anything. I think M and I were screaming a little or something. Well, I know SHE was, I think I was just numb. Stud says I was freaked out, but he doesn't remember me screaming. I have never been a screamer.

I said to Stud that the towers were going to fall. Poor guy, he was in denial. He just kept saying, "They'll be fine. They'll be fine. People will get out ok!" like he thought repeating it would make it happen that way or something. I said a few times, "No, they will collapse, people need to get out now!" I remember scrunching my eyes shut, cause I didn't wanna watch. And I was praying and praying that as many people would get out as possible. Then we started seeing the people jumping from the windows and I just kinda blocked it all out. I do that sometimes when I don't want to face something. I know everyone does that sometimes. The brain is truly amazing. In fact, I forgot about that altogether until I am just now recalling any of this to write it in here. For weeks after, I would go to sleep crying for the families and praying that some in the rubble had somehow found water and could hold on until they were found. I knew they could do without food, but I was praying and hoping that they would get water and that the rescuers would do ok, not get hurt or killed themselves and get rest and food, etc.

I remember wondering if we should wake Brain and Jock up, and let them know what was happening, so they would remember for the years to come, when they learned of it. I think we let them sleep and then I told them later that day. I really don't remember much except that we didn't do any school work but we watched some of the news. I don't hardly ever turn on the TV and really never watch news. But the TV was on pretty much all day that day and a few days after that.

Since they are at school right now (which is still incredibly hard to get used to) I can't just go talk to them when I want to ask them something. It will have to wait. I wonder what all they remember from that day, if anything. Brain was 8, almost 9 and Jock would have just turned 5, so it will be interesting to know what, if anything, they remember.

I certainly hope all of the families who were impacted by this are recovering alright and doing better.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Fun weekend!

We have had a nice relaxing weekend.

Friday night, we left Brain with the other kids and ran down the road to Azteca to have a nice leisurely supper. Stud was surprised, he had thought he was going to eat left over roast, but he got yummy Mexican! In peace and quiet no less.

Yesterday, Stud and Jock went to Jock's hockey evaluations to determine where to place him on a team. From there, it was off to the music store to get Jock a Sax for band class at school. The rest of us here at home cleaned a bit and I can't even remember what else.

Today, we all got ready in plenty of time and were not even late for church!!! There was a meeting after church that we went to where they fed us, so that saved us making lunch! We stayed even longer after the meeting and played in the new children's area. Brain and Clown played video games while Jock, Stud, Princess and I played basketball and air hockey. Princess showed her brothers and Dad where she has choir practice and then she and Jock and Clown vacuumed out one of the rooms for a teacher. Apparently in their class, Manna (crushed up frosted flakes) had fallen from heaven and made quite a mess. The kids offered to clean it up and had fun doing it.

We came back home and went down to the Lighthouse Festival. We live less than a mile from the ocean and have a cute little lighthouse in our little town. So we finally got to see some of the festival. We did not bother with the parade, pancake breakfast, etc etc yesterday. We had a nice time for a few hours there today and then came home and grilled some burgers and dogs and ate out in the backyard. I will show some photos that Princess and I took.

Hope everyone else had a wonderful weekend!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Public School

Well, so far things are going swimmingly.

Princess keeps saying, "I am telling you, I had a BLAST at school today!"

She had an hour on Wednesday and then yesterday and today were full days. Which means two and a half hours. She is SO EXCITED! Our Pastor's niece is in her class and they have grown up together in the church, so that is nice. They were glad to see each other! They are also in the kids choir in church together, they went for their first practice on Wednesday night. Princess LOVED IT! She is singing up a storm to the CD here at home and knows so many motions already to do along with the singing. PRECIOUS!

Brain and Jock set their alarms and get up all on their own. They make their own lunches, get their backpacks ready, get some breakfast, get dressed and are pacing and waiting until it is time to leave. Stud and I were still in bed this morning (I normally get up and go for a jog at 5:30 or 6, but I went out with a friend last night and didn't get to bed until after midnight, so I wasn't about to try and get up that early) when we heard them out in the kitchen, getting their breakfast and chattering away excitedly to each other.

Jock has been feeling a bit sick and put himself to bed last night at about 7. He ran a cool bath to bring down a "fever", Stud went quickly to get him some cough drops before I left to meet up with my friend V, and Jock was in bed before I left. He had been crying, worried sick that he would be too ill to go to school today. Like it was the end of the world! LOL Which I am certain to him it would have been. I called Stud after the movie to check in and he said Jock had gone right to sleep and they did not hear a peep from him.

Brain was pretty nervous the first day. He was almost throwing up, just like when he was flying to Calgary a few weeks back. Jock did not want to be seen with me or have me anywhere near him. So he walked far ahead of us and met up with a friend or two and disappeared into the crowd.

Brain was the opposite. I walked him there, went IN the building with him and he actually wanted me to go into his first class with him and get him settled. I was debating on how to handle it when the teacher came out in the hall to welcome him. I told him of Brain's fear of not working the combination on his locker and the man was very nice and said he would help him, which I knew but wanted Brain to be re-assured.

Now they are very pleased and can't wait to get there. Jock is more excited than Brain and talks mostly of girls. *sigh* I knew he would be popular and from what he AND Brain say, I was correct. People are all over him. He is charming, funny and really cute, if I do say so myself! LOL Apparently, he has his eye on one girl already. He says she looks like Thandie Newton and he appears to be quite twitter-pated. It is strange for me to see my little boy acting this way! I am excited for him, but kind of scared for some reason.

My boys have always been attracted to darker girls. I find things like that so interesting. I have always thought black or Hispanic guys were good looking. I know it shouldn't matter, that is just the way it is. Stud and I find it amusing that I ended up with him, a blonde green eyed guy! LOL My brothers seem to end up with non-Caucasian people too, now that I think about it. My oldest bro married a woman who looks black, but is East Indian. My third one married a beautiful woman from El Salvador and the second was dating a Vietnamese woman. I just find this all very interesting for some reason.

Brain said that girls are very friendly and come and try to sit with him at lunch. Things sure have changed since I was a kid! MAN! He thinks it is amusing. Jock is jealous and was saying in front of Clown and Princess, "All the hot babes like Brain! It's not fair, cause Brain doesn't even care!" I told him not to use words like "hot", "babe", "chick" or anything along those lines in front of his younger sibs.

Brain does care. He is just not as loud about it as Jock likes to be. Brain has noticed girls for quite some time, he is like I always was, feels no need to announce personal things like that.

Apparently Jock's friend was coaching him in the art of "asking a girl out". Jock was sharing this information with me and I was impressed that he knew how off base and out of line his friend was and how to properly talk with females. Maybe I am doing more right than I thought and they actually DO pay attention to things?? LOL

I have told Jock not to worry about it anyway, he just turned eleven, he is not "dating" anyone. He is NOT pleased. Ah well, such is life.

I could ramble on a lot more, as you all know. However, I have let the house go this past week and must get cleaning. I promised Princess I would have a tea party with her and curl her hair with some new curlers. I will close with some photos of them on their way on the first day of school. Jock was MAD and thought that I was making him late for school. Little dork!

Clown and Princess walking her up to the school. She is carrying her first "homework" which is a poster that is all about her. A short description of her and her favourite things to do, eat, etc. She is very pleased with herself, as you can tell. I know we made a great decision in sending her. She is in heaven with a room full of little girls and fun activities to do!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

My brother's new book

Well, my brother's new book will be available next month!!! I am SO excited:)

I spoke with him briefly on the phone today and he said it ships out from the publishers or printers or wherever they make books on the 18th of this month:) I can't wait to read it. He said he is not as excited about this one as he was about his first.

We all got free signed copies of his first one, but I am going to run out and buy a few of this next one, I think:) Help him make a living, ya know.

It is called "All This Town Remembers". It is already listed on Amazon. I should pre-order it:)

Also, if you type his name (Sean Johnston) into google, it will show a few interviews and write ups on him.

Can you tell I am proud???

That is all.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

My poor kids!

I took all the boys for physicals yesterday.

Brain has been complaining of his left shin hurting. Clown's throat hurts, he had a wart on his finger, his legs always hurt and...I can't remember anything else. Jock's right thigh hurts and...I am sure there was something else. I just scheduled a complete work up since they have not been in a few years. Brain and Jock anyway.

So I actually scheduled all four. Princess has been sick, as I have mentioned. She is having nose bleeds a lot. We are trying to figure out if her tummy aches are from lactose intolerance or what. So about 10 minutes after I made the appointment they called back. They looked in the charts and Princess had her physical about 10 months ago, so insurance would not cover it if I brought her in for one before a year was up. They were so funny, they know Princess LOVES to go and see this woman we see. She is not a Dr. but a whatever they are. I forget what all is behind her name. I have taken the kids to her since we moved back here from SC in 2000 and they don't really remember anyone else. Especially Clown and Princess. She is the only one Princess has ever gone to and she ADORES her! So when they called back and they said to prepare her and let her know, they were all talking about how upset she will be when we get there and just her brothers get checked. They all had a chuckle talking about Princess. It is no secret how she LOVES her Dr. Appointments:)

So anyway, I let Princess know she was not getting a check-up. She was sad, but seemed to be ok with it. Once we got in there, she started telling her how this hurt and this was wrong, etc etc. L (nurse person, whatever she is called) checked her all over and was tousling her hair and grinning at me and saying how she had planned to check her out a little, just to make her feel included. She is so good about that.

So turns out, Brain and Jock both needed an ear flushed. They had wax packed in there so badly. They both needed tetanus shots. Brain needed an x-ray of his shin, Jock was prescribed PT for his hamstring and Clown had the wart frozen off. He LOVES that, it is the second time. He had one on his foot about three years ago and she let him pour the liquid nitrogen on the floor and hear the cool sound and see the cloud of it. He had told his older brothers all about it that time and was glad they were there to witness and enjoy it this time. They were very impressed and he was pleased:) They told her all about how their Science teacher last year let them dip graham crackers in liquid nitrogen and then eat them and the "smoke" comes out your nostrils and everything. They asked if they dipped their fingers in there and then smashed their fingers against something, would they shatter and shards go everywhere. LOL Kids have such fun questions all the time:)

Clown did not even cry, we were so impressed. With his other one, he went two times. About ten days apart. It had been a huge one, and needed a few times being frozen. He didn't cry the first time then, but did the second time, if I recall. This one was just the start of a teeny one and was easily taken care of. After it was burning, he was saying how it hurt a lot. She told him it is just like frostbite. He looked at me really quickly and told her his Mum has had that before, when she lived in Canada. I will have to share my frostbite story soon:) My worst one, anyway. Man, I can still feel the burn, now that I think about it. *shudder*

Brain's X-ray looked fine. She thinks it is something to do with a tendon and him growing. He is still not on the chart, but is at least slowly gaining and growing taller. He is 5 foot one and 74 lbs. Jock is 6 inches shorter and 2 lbs heavier and HE is too skinny in my opinion. So we shall see how it all goes. With Brain having constitutional growth delay, he will be a majorly late bloomer AND maybe still be growing when he is 22 or so, she said.

So they were so tough, I had to take them for a treat at McDonald's. Then we came home and Stud and I left for a date. We saw "The Illusionist" and Brain did a great job of watching everyone.

Clown said something interesting yesterday afternoon. I told him that later that night Brain was going to be babysitting and Daddy and I were going out. He said something about we seem to be going out a lot lately. Then he got this look like something just dawned on him and he said "OOOoooohhhhh...I know."

I asked what he knew. He said he knows why we are going out more than usual. I asked why and he said "It is because of HER."

I wanted to see what he would say, so I asked, "Who??"

"You know, that woman at the lake. That woman Dad likes?? What is her name again...M!! Yeah! You are going out a lot because you don't want Dad to want to be with her and leave us and go to SC, right?? I am smart, aren't I???"

I find that incredibly sad, that my children have to even think this way at all. I really wish I knew what it was they witnessed between those two for them to be so convinced that their Dad and M want to be together. I called our Pastor and told him what is going on and Stud has met with him twice alone to talk. Pastor R wants me to join them now, so hopefully that will happen next week.

So have a great long weekend, everyone! We plan to clean up the yard and the house and spend some quality time with the kids. I want to have some one on one time with each kid before school starts next week!!!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Dining Area

This is from May, 2001. Note the "Splat Mat" under Clown's high chair. This was a futile attempt at keeping the carpet relatively safe and clean.

Then this is from December 2004. The only changes were -

1. An attempt at curtains. The blinds are still under the curtains.

2. As well as slowly getting new chairs. We got two of those green plushy chairs at a time, then waited a few months and bought a few more. At this point, we still needed two more. Also, the table that you can't see under the party table cloth was given to us by our neighbour. It is a lovely dark wood, 100 year old beauty. It needs to be refinished and we have not done that yet. The table in the 2001 photo is now down in the Rec Room and has been christened "The Craft Table" or sometimes "The schoolroom table".

These were all taken last night. It is difficult having windows built into corners as they are in this house. It really limits a person' choices on window treatments. The walls are actually a deep "cranberry" and the drapes are a dark shimmery forest green. The true shades do not come across in the photos. It is prettier in person, trust me:)