Friday, February 22, 2008

Bits and snips

Wow, I was shocked at how many people actually wanted an outie while pregnant. I despised mine. When we had maternity pictures done I actually asked the photographer to edit it out. She flatly refused. But now, after 3 and half years, I don't hate it nearly as much. Now I just lament about how mishaped it is. Never happy are we?

Is he not one of the most adorable little boys ever? Okay, okay so I am highly biased. I'm good with that.

Lots going on around here but really it's the same old same old.

I am busy, busy, busy with my work but that's to be expected with the end of a large project looming and the fact that we went to the Bahamas for a week.

Found out Jack is having his eye surgery on March 26. His reaction after I got off the phone with the doctor's office was,

"Mommy, when did they say it would be. I am not having it but when did they say?"

They are going to have to provide some kind of relaxing medication. Jack might need some too because it's going to be a scene. Have you ever watched Life's Little Miracles? I find the most emotional part of every show is when the nurse comes to take the child to the OR. I cry every. single. time.

I am not sure who will be worse. Me, Jay or Jack. Valium all the way around!

The innocence is palpable isn't it? I will have to store this away for those teen years.

And since I actually spruced up a bit today, here's one trying the Anna patented head tilt.

Happy Weekend everyone!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Yes, I am milking the Bahamas pictures for all they are worth. Wouldn't you?

Sweet sandy toes

My handsome sharks

I could look at this view forever and never get bored of it.

PSST, Mommyknows is having a contest, see the top of my sidebar to enter!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Mr. and Mrs. Grumpypants

Our trip was almost perfect. The only blemish on an otherwise fabulous vacation was the lovely experience of sitting behind Mr. and Mrs. Grumpypants.

As you know, we were traveling with our kids, Jack is 6 and Kamden is 3. They are old enough to not cry uncontrollably the entire flight but not old enough to sit still for over 3 hours and will despite our best efforts bump the seats in front of them numerous times.

Most people are understanding and have patience because they have either been there with their own kids or are compassionate enough to put up with this sort of thing for a short time. After all, we were all kids at one time.

Mr. and Mrs. Grumpypants however, are not those kind of people. In fact I might venture to guess that they came out of their mother’s wombs age 45 and scowling. It’s also very clear that they do not have children of their own or if they do, the nanny has been instructed that they are to be seen very infrequently and NEVER heard.

Keep in mind that these people are most likely flying on the same seat sale we were, a WestJet flight from Toronto to Nassau. Consequently it’s most likely that the former is true rather than the latter.

Jay and I had a plan of attack for the 4 flights it took (each way!) for us to travel to our destination and back. We would take turns sitting with the kids and the other would sit directly across the aisle. On this particular flight, Jay was the one sentenced to kid duty. I had the luxury of being all the way across the aisle, free to read or watch TV at my leisure.

Keep in mind that this is a flight with a duration of almost 3 and half hours. Did I mention that there were TV’s for each seat? With Treehouse and Discovery Kids? A channel for each of our son’s discerning tastes.

All I can say is Mr. and Mrs. Grumpypants have no idea how good they had it. If there had been no TV’s this story may have ended quite differently, namely with me in jail somewhere in the Bahamas for aggravated assault of two idiots. Is that even a valid charge? Maybe, maybe not. It likely depends on your perspective.

From my perspective things were going great. The kids were happily occupied watching TV and the seat in front of Kamden was actually empty (Mr. and Mrs. Grumpypants were seated in front of Jay and Jack respectively). When Jay told Kamden to not kick the seat in front of him I commented that it likely wasn’t as big a deal since no one was sitting there.

That’s when he informed me that he had already been asked twice by the gracious and eloquent Mr. Grumpypants to please not allow the children to kick the seats or something to the effect. Jay is not sure exactly what he said, the plane is loud but that was the just of it anyway.

I was somewhat shocked. I have been a parent for 6 and half years now and I have never had someone say anything like that to me yet. I guess I was just lucky and the luck, well she done ran out.

My comment then and it may or may not have been loud enough for them to hear (I’m really classy like that) was that they quite obviously do not have kids. Any parent knows that you can try as you might but no matter what the kids will bump the seat. Not on purpose but their legs, well, they are sticking straight out in front of them for goodness sake.

Oh, and note to my dear friends Mr. and Mrs. Grumpypants – if you don’t want your seats bumped by the children sitting directly behind you? DON’T RECLINE THE THINGS AS FAR BACK AS YOU CAN.

It’s not rocket science for the love of Pete. Do you know Pete? He’s awesome and we love him a lot around here.

Anyway all of this in isolation is really nothing and I wouldn’t have been steaming about it like I am. But the worst is yet to come.

Probably three quarters of the way through the flight Kamden wanted his playdoh. And NO! not the playdoh we had brought but the other playdoh, THE GREEN PLAYDOH. He was yelling. He was upset. He was tired by this point, we had already been traveling for 24 hours (overnight in a hotel granted but with much less sleep than normal). He was screaming at the top of his lungs. It was loud.

I’ll give all that to the Grumpypants. However, it was literally for a total of 7 minutes. Maybe. It might even have been shorter. I was doing EVERYTHING in my arsenal to stop the screaming already. It did seem like an eternity. The heart rate was up, sweat was pouring…

And that was just Mr. Grumpypants, you should have seen me!

But it wasn’t enough for Mr. and Mrs. Grumpypants. Oh no. They felt that if they both turned around on separate occasions and gave me the look of death that would be very helpful.

Oh yes it was. Do you know what it garnered them?

The wrath of Kami.

After the second scowl that would rival the Grim Reaper, I yelled. Yes I did. I am not proud of what I did. Well maybe a little and I would do it again in a second.

My exact words were “Hello! Do you think that I am making him scream on purpose?”

I mean seriously. WTF?

Out of a 3 and half hour trip and I get dirty looks because he is loud for a total of 7 minutes?

These are standards I refuse to live by. I was mad. C’mon!

But that was it. I kept my cool once we landed. Even when I had to stand in the aisle waiting to disembark while they stood in front of me, facing me. I guess they were trying to intimidate me or something. Whatever. I am sure they had more right to be on the flight than we did. Positive. I mean what are we doing taking our kids on a fun beach vacation? Don’t we know that is for old, grumpy childless couples?

Anyway, we went on to enjoy our holiday and come across yet another child hating person. I walked into a store on a different island (we took a day trip excursion over there to do some shopping) with Kamden. The store had very little in it and even less than I was interested in but I didn’t want to turn around and walk right out since the lady who either worked there or owned the place was standing right there. I said hello as we walked in and she almost immediately interrupted me while I was talking to Kamden to ask if I need help.

No, I am just looking was my response. Her next sentence, and I quote, was,

“Well, do not let you child touch anything. If he breaks it, you have to pay for it. You should know that m’am.”

Me to Kamden, “Come on Kamden, I don’t think this is our kind of store.”

To my mom who was now walking into the store, “COME ON. We are leaving. GOODBYE (kind of rudely I admit to store lady).”

And as I walked out, my next comment was that I have never met so many child hating people in all my life.

And this is the sign that welcomes you to the island:

(Welcome to Harbour Island Home of Friendly People)

Apparently this lady hasn’t seen it. I think perhaps she might want to consider a new line of business because owning a gift shop on an island in the Bahamas that caters to tourists is probably not her thing.

Also if you want to see steam come out of me, this is sure fire way to get it going.

Oh and when we arrived at Nassau to catch our departing flight, who should we see?

That’s right! Mr. and Mrs. Grumpypants, in the flesh thankyouverymuch! I cannot thank the good Lord above enough for the fact that they didn’t sit anywhere near us.

I would not have been accountable for my actions if they had.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Our trip to Paradise

In a nutshell, our trip to the Bahamas was perfect, except for our encounter with children hating scoundrels whom I shall call Mr. and Mrs. Grumpypants from now on. Post to follow in the next few days.

Can I just say that we took the best approach to this vacation? Not to pat ourselves on the back or anything. Well okay, yes, we will pat ourselves on the back.

When we were thinking about going, we were considering staying at the Atlantis resort. But after a bit of thought we decided that wouldn’t be all that relaxing what with hauling our beach/pool crap and two tired kids all over the massive complex. Plus the exorbent cost would make us feel obligated to see and do everything at the demise of the whole idea of relaxing.

My cousin had a house rented on one of the smaller islands and that sounded perfect to me, especially if it was beach front. So a quick google revealed this sweet little house. A quick phone call and it was ours for the exact dates required.

It is located on a tiny Cay named Spanish Wells (or St. George's Cay) just off the island of Eleuthera. It is all of 1 mile by 3 miles and not touristly at all. Besides us, there were only a handful of other tourists there. The island itself has no hotels or resorts at all, only private residences for rent. The locals were nice and we tried really hard not to be the ignorant tourists. Afterall, this is their home and we are the ones invading it.

With views like this, relaxing was easy.

The kids needed very little entertaining. There was miles and miles of white sand beach to build the castle of the day on.

And the water was about knee deep for miles. I am not exaggerating. Jay and Jack tried to walk out to where we could see the waves breaking on the horizon to see how deep it got. They had to turn around before they got there, it was that far. I was starting to panic a bit on shore as they had become a dot and I had no idea if they were still okay (yes, I am a little neurotic like that).

We also spent a lot of time chasing each other in the water. Want a workout? Try running in knee deep water, it gets your heart rate up. And the smiles on your kids faces are SO worth it.

Oh and remember this?

Given that there was harldy anybody else on the beach, I wore this little black number Jay bought me at Christmas. It takes so little to please him! Thanks to Anna’s suggestion to use Arbone cream on my stretch marks, I was not revolted by the sight of me in it. Not that I think Sports Illustrated will be calling but the fact that I am comfortable posting this here is huge progress folks!

We also figured out that we have it all wrong. We are always trying to buy our kids the next big thing in toys. You know what keeps them happy for hours? Time with you and a grand total of two shovels, two pails and two trucks.

There was absolutely no whining about having nothing to do. None.

The only whining was regarding the fact that we had run out of rum for Pina Coladas AGAIN. Damn my mom makes a mean Pina Colada.

And at the end of the day there was a beautiful sunset. It was perfect and the MOST relaxing vacation I have ever enjoyed. I highly recommend it. The only mistake we made was not staying longer.

Thanks to Mom and Dad for joining us, it wouldn't have been the same without you and not just because of the Pina Coladas!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Don't hate me!

But this is what I was looking at for the last week:

That's my Jackson Brown frolicking in the Caribbean Ocean right in front of the house we rented in the Bahamas!

Looking to my right:

Kamden and Jay strolling down the beach that was literally 10 steps from our patio.

And then there were the sunsets:


Back to reality and winter.

But I did miss you all. Please don't think I was ignoring you, but my laptop was not allowed in the Bahamas, think of the sand. It had to stay home for it's own protection. I will be around really soon to visit, promise!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

My Dixie Girl

A while back I mentioned that I rode horses in my late teens. Here is my second horse, Dixie. My first horse was an ass. His name was Red and his greatest pastime was jumping fences to go visit neighboring mares.

He was castrated but that didn't stop him, he had an ego the size of Montreal.

He was replaced with dear sweet Dixie.

“Here is nobility without conceit,
Friendship without envy. Beauty without vanity.
A willing servant, yet no slave”

It describes my Dixie to a T.
This poem is on a poster my parents framed and gave me when I first moved out about 14 years ago. Yikes. That makes me feel old.

When I got her she had minimal training and frankly so did I. If you don’t know much about horses, then you might think a trained horse with an inexperienced rider might means the horse will perform to it’s highest ability.

Not even close. Us humans can really mess up a horse’s groove. Consequently, Dixie and I had our work cut out for us given that we were both in need of some serious training.

I would like to say I was patient with her and together we worked hard and achieved that magical oneness that great horsemen and women talk about.

But that would a big fat lie. If anything she is was the one that was patient with me. If you have been reading this site for a bit, you know that patience, NOT my strong suit.

But we did make great strides and she tried so hard. Often she had no clue what in the world I was asking for this time – I am positive she rolled her eyes frequently at my cockamamie attempts to improve our form – but regardless she would try and try. When she finally “got” it, bam she had it. She was a quick study and her willingness to try was unmatched.

Of course when your first experience with a horse is an ass, anything would be better. Red had attitude with or without a saddle on his back and fun was not a word I would use to describe our relationship. It was tumultuous at best and I wasn’t overly sad to see the back end of him!

Dixie and I took many a lesson together and I enjoyed them so much. I miss the challenge of working towards that next level. When I moved away to attend University, I had to sell her. I feared all the work we had done together was going to be lost if she wasn’t ridden regularly. I also felt like someone else should have the joy of owning a horse as wonderful as she.
I still miss her but Lord knows, I don’t have the time to devote right now. My dudes need me. But when they are more independent, you can bet that I’ll be getting myself a sweet little quarter horse.