Friday, March 10, 2006

Trying out the remote

This is a test of the remote blogging system.  Do not panic, this is only a test!
I don't know if I'll be able to blog while I am gone, we are gonna be busy busy busy.  But there is always that downtime at night when you are winding down from the days adventures but not ready for bed yet, so who knows.
Ruby is finally off to my sister's house where she will spend the week sleeping in a kingsize bed with Tia (black poodle, her picture is here somewhere), Taffy (apricot poodle belonging to my parents), and Lutz (himalayan cat that just loves Ruby...maybe it's because they have the same nose?).  She won't be lonely for sure.  She didn't bark at my BIL at all when I dropped her off, so that is a good sign.  Although it never stopped her from trying to sleep on his head in past visits ;).
Everything is set up and ready for the pet/house sitter.  I even pre-measured the fish food, how anal is that?  But as we all know the fish are as spoiled as anything else in the house and have a varied diet complete with treats.  It is a sickness, I know.  I keep muttering to myself "Don't forget to water the plants....don't forget to water the plants".  We have two large arrangements that have peace lillies in them.  In case you have never had peace lillies, they are quite dramatic.  Although it's best not to do this, if they really really need water they droop completely.  I am talking leaves standing poker straight upright one moment, to completely drooped over the next.  A good watering and a few hours later?  Good as new.  I am a bad plant mommy and tend to use the peace lillies as a watering gauge for the rest of the plants in the container.  I don't want the pet sitter to come in one day and think one of the cats has been nesting in our plant.  Or worse, think it is dead and throw it out lol.  So I will give them a GOOD watering right before we leave, and they should be set for the week.
DD had her tearful good-bye with Ruby this morning, and even DH made me bring her over for a scritch and a hug before she left.  DD also had a tearful good-bye with one of the cats (it was Jasmine.  Xena doesn't go anywhere near the child), which will be repeated this evening right before we leave.  It is so sad, to say goodbye to our pets before we go on vacation.  But there is no guilt, as I know they are all being properly cared for.  And yes, I have been known to bring them back souvineers.  Because, as I have already stated, IT IS A SICKNESS.
So this evening, as you are sitting down for dinner, we will be in the airport waiting to board our plane.  We will be eating dinner there, because we are nerds and the airport is PART of the vacation, and not a means to getting to it.  Want to thrill a six year old?  Eat McDonalds in the gate area of an airport waiting to board a plane destined for Florida - ROFL!
No pics, no time to take or upload any.  I have to finish packing my gigantic underwear ;).  See ya when we come back!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

What is it about laundry?

Every time I fold and put away my personal laundry, all of a sudden I have an audience. DD needs to crawl and climb all over the bed and drag clothes out of the basket to comment. "My, these are big" as she yanks a pair of granny undies out and billows them in the air. "Never mind, give those back!" I snap as I snatch them away. DH comes out of the woodwork and decides he wants to have a serious conversation that requires my undivided attention and eyes right on him. Can you wait a moment while I fold my gigantic unders please??? Where were they when I was gathering this laundry? When I was hauling it down to the basement and sorting it into the washer? Where were they when I could have used a spare back to sling the wet clothes into the dryer? Or dragging the dry clothes out and into the basket? Or hauling them back up three flights of stairs? They must go where ever it is the cats go when it's time to leave for the vet, because I hear nothing but crickets chirping and my own heartbeat when they sense I need a pack mule. I was basically packing out of my laundry basket (yes, dear sister, packing. Now go to sleep and stop stressing about the state of our luggage). Which is not easy to do with two fashion critics eyeing every choice. "Why are you bringing that big old t-shirt? Why not the black one?". Oh, you mean the skin-tight black shirt with the emblem on the front that makes my chest look like it is popping off my body and might take out an eye? No, that is not for public consumption. "The other jeans are better". The other jeans are tight enough to leave welts around my waist and are much heavier denim. We are going to FLORIDA. Think hot and humid. I don't want to walk around in the equivalent of damp sandpaper that is trying to cut me in half at the middle. The comfy jeans with added lycra are going into the suitcase, and calling them "mommy jeans" will only cause you problems later, mister. "Oh look, another BIG pair of underwear". THAT'S IT! Both of you, OUT. Of course this whole time there has been a cat in the suitcase on top of the packed clothes (being covered at the moment by a pair of panties the size of a cotton parachute), another cat in the laundry basket trying to find a sock to steal, and a dog rooting around in the clothes I have laid out on the bed as possibilities. DH is handing me a bikini top to pack (that I bought back when I was thinner and he is really wishful thinking) and DD is now pawing through the clothes looking for more big underwear to gawk at. Don't they have their own packing to do? DH packs his own clothes. And it irritates him when I quiz him after he is done, to make sure he didn't forget anything. Underwear? Socks? Deoderant? Nice shirts without Ozzy on them in case we want to go to dinner? Shirts that are not running like pantyhose? Shirts that do not feature a hand holding a knife coming out of a green toilet with four inch tall letters spelling "Metal up your ass" splayed across the front? Bathing suit that you won't wear because you don't swim but have to pack just in case and to shut me up? When I said underwear, is it your NEWER underwear? Why is it that men will wear the same pair of briefs long after the elastic is shot and they no longer contain what they are meant to restrain? All the while having unopened packages of NEW briefs waiting to be put into the rotation. Sleeping in the same room as a six year old and not-so-tighty-whities is a combo I want no part of. Six year olds see EVERYTHING and ask questions in a loud voice in restaurants. I think I might do an underwear inspection before we leave, just in case. DH and I do pack for DD. Although I always ask her to pack for herself, just to see what she might put in. Usually it's lots of naked barbies, but mostly swimming stuff. She needs her flippers and goggles and snorkel. Pool noodle and floaty shark thing, swim wings and life jacket. Can't forget the diving rings and the inflatable raft. Almost forgot the beach balls! We point out not only can we not zip the bag shut, there aren't any clothes in there! "Oh!" She exclaims, and piles on a couple swimsuits and her hooded towel. We can see where her vacation priorities lie ;). I assure her that there will be plenty of pool toys where we are going, and if not we will hit a big lots or dollar store and get her some. Yes, I would rather buy 10.00 worth of floaties there and leave them behind than lug all that stuff with us. Usually we keep an eye out for arriving families and offer the toys to them, explaining they can keep the items or hand them over to ANOTHER family. Makes sense to us and I don't have to try and get a pool noodle into a suitcase. She gets to keep one or two naked barbies (the boy barbie MUST remain clothed, it is a house rule), the goggles, and the swim wear. We don't waste valuable luggage real estate on towels. Hotel pool towels aren't the greatest, but I don't have to carry them through two airports and across countless parking lots. So now I am packed, and have a travel outfit picked out and ready to go. DD is pretty much packed, we just have to put together her carry-on items to keep her happy in the airport and on the plane. Add a sudoku book for DH, and I will bring my knitting and a magazine. I might need another suitcase for all my medications, blood pressure monitor, and glucose testing equipment but we won't go there. Regretfully, I will be leaving DD's sweater behind. I have started the yoke and the colour work, and really want to keep going. But I have a gift to make that is due at the end of the month, and I want to use these Ruby-less days for some knitting/crocheting that does not come complete with dog hair woven in. My family has grown to accept that any item I make comes "adultrated", but I try to keep out-of-family gifts pet free. I don't have enough room in my knitting bag for both projects. Too bad. The sleeves aren't too short, it's just how I have them laying for the picture. I used some fuzzy brown yarn as stitch holders so it looked like hairy armpits LOLOL. Didn't think that was a good visual so I repositioned the arms.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I can be so cruel

We are going on vacation. Leaving Friday, in fact. Part of the vacation we are on our own in a hotel, then meeting up with family (my parents, my sister and her children). My sister has been packed since she decided to go. Every night she calls and asks "Are you packed yet?" and I answer no. Which makes her scream. She can't sleep because we are not packed yet LOLOL. I am just mean enough to put off packing even later just because I know it drives her nuts. Aren't sisters wonderful? *evil grin* DD's summer clothes are ready, and DH packs for himself. How long can it take to throw a few outfits into a suitcase and make sure we all have eight days worth of underwear? I am a zen traveller. If I forget something, we can buy it where we are going. Sure, I've arrived places and realized I didn't bring any socks or forgot my nightgown. But surely these are not vacation-ruining omissions. When you have a bad back and trouble carrying heavy luggage, you learn to pack the essentials only. I make sure I have an outfit per day, and add a pair of pants or shirt or two just in case. Doing a load of laundry in an emergency is fine with me (although we try to pack enough so that it isn't a necessity). And I always buy brand new socks, underwear, and nightclothes before a vacation. Why is that? There is nothing wrong with the ones I have. Maybe I figure that way customs agents aren't handling my old used things? I don't know. There are a few bits of wisdom I have picked up from vacations and travelling for work: 1. Wear socks. You will have to take your shoes off at airport security checkpoints, and who wants to walk through the x-ray barefoot? If you want to keep them on, you will be stopped and hand searched and they make you take them off anyway, even if they are sandals. So now you are standing on that little rug with shoeprint outlines on it barefoot. 1a) Wear shoes that are easy to take off and put back on while balancing on one foot and being jostled by huffy travellers putting their own shoes on and balancing on one foot. 2. Don't forget to empty your pockets COMPLETELY. That means keys, change, ponytail holders, hair clips, and linty foil covered mints. 3. If you are wearing a jacket or belt, remove them and place them on the conveyor. 4. All jewelry must be taken off and put through the conveyor in a little tray. Rings, watches, everything. If you forget something and it makes the machine beep, you will have to be hand searched and trust me, having a stranger feel under your breast is way worse than having to take off your stuff and put it in a tray. 5. Know that you have to do all that, and be ready. Don't wait until you get to the front of the security line then start to undress. DH and I have "been through the drill". As soon as we are out of the "maze" and had our ID and boarding passes checked, we start to strip LOLOL. By the time we get to the table area, we just have to grab a bin and drop our stuff into it. Getting redressed on the other side is a different story. Not so great at balancing, either one of us. I am soooooo ready for this vacation. The first few days are going to be very very busy, but the second half of the jaunt? I plan on doing nothing more stressful than sitting by the pool and deciding which virgin tropical drink I want to try next. My husband and child have already been warned that breakfast will consist of either cold cereal or going out because mama don't do breakfast on vacation. Lunch? I might be able to rustle up some cheese and crackers, but if they want something fancy (read heated) they are on their own. Dinner? Well, I can cook dinner a couple of times but with Golden Corral, Sonny's BBQ, Popeye's chicken, and other chains we can't find here, why do it? I have to eat a years worth of biscuits in eight days and I can't do that if I cook dinner every night, can I? We are going to Florida, and yes, doing the Disney thing. Got park hoppers this year, sort of trying it out to see if it makes sense for us. A lot of money for a test, mind you. But last time, we sort of ran out of time in certain places and would have liked to go back another day to finish. So this time, we are going at the beginning of the trip instead of the end, and will use the park hoppers. I am sort of having a dilemna in light of all of this. I have bad feet. I get blisters if you look at them. Socks, no socks, new shoes, broken in shoes, expensive custom fits or dollar store tennies. At first I don't notice (why are my socks sticky? Ewwww) then it starts to hurt every time I put pressure on my feet. Theme parks murder me. This time, I am trying a few things. I bought special short socks that are supposed to keep your feet cool and dry as well as prevent blisters. I have some new earth-shoe sandals to try, hoping they will take some pressure off my toes and heel. And I have boxes of special cushioned bandages to put over the blisters as they form. And I'll be bringing epsom salts so I can soak my feet each night. I can only hope I will come out of three days of theme parks with feet that don't look like hamburger. My only other concern is sunburn. My face and shoulders tend to burn even with 45 sunscreen, and the last time I spent $40.00 USD finding a brand that did not give me hives. I also need a new sun hat. I cannot abide sun on my head, but sunhats seem to get so droopy after a few wearings. DH's head burns too and he refuses to wear a hat(he won't let me goop sunscreen into his hair ROFL). DD usually does pretty good with water proof kids sunscreen and seems to tan even if we keep her covered head to toe. My brother likes to tease her, since I am so pale. "Are you sure that is your mother?". I am bringing my tub of pure aloe vera gel just in case. So, two more entries and then I am gone for eight straight days. I don't know if I will have a computer available, not sure if I can test the "remote blog" features of this site. If I can blog, I will. I blog therefore I am, after all ;). Ruby is going to visit some doggy friends, and somebody staying to care for the rest of the menagerie. The paper has been donated to a literacy program, and our fridge is basically empty LOLOL. I think we are about ready to go. Except for packing, of course - tee hee! If you read at the KT, you know why DD is at home today. If you don't, well, then you'll never know. Bwa-ha-ha-haaaa! She is missing four front teeth, makes her look kind of diabolical LOL. And yes, that is a gameboy. Don't judge me man, I had to get some work done!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Very, very proud.

I try as hard as I can to instill what I think are good things in my daughter. Not just things like sharing and being nice. I want her to do those things because she WANTS to do them, not because it is polite. I want her to genuinely care about the people around her and want them to be happy. Not a "people pleaser" who disregards her own needs, but a well-rounded person with a healthy view of the world around her. Unfortunately, weeks of "lessons" with me are undone in moments when she sees her father doing things that are basically the opposite of these principles. I won't go into it here, but let's just say he is socially inept, and never really learned common courtesies. Over the years we have met with some "imaginary" friends from over the internet (hey KT! she says waving madly). And they would say "He was fine and seemed very nice when we saw him". He was on his best behaviour, to be sure, because you are my friends. It's like if he knows somebody through me, he can let his guard down and be a good guest/host/whatever. But in his own realm? Every man for himself and look after number one. I often worry about what kind of person my child will become, getting these mixed messages. It is nice to be nice, but easier to not. One expends less energy when dealing with only ones own needs and ignores the needs of others. I have to say, caring about other people is not always rewarding. My feelings get hurt, some people treat me as a doormat, and I strive to make others happy when often their only goal is to see how far they can make me go. But I really get sad thinking that she will follow in her father's footsteps, never really caring about anybody but herself. This morning, I saw a beam of light. A small ray of sunshine in a dark cloudy sky. A shred of hope that maybe my worries are for naught! One of her little friends brought three cars to play with. One for himself, one for DD, and DD had been playing with another girl so she got the last car. Another boy came along and wanted to play, but alas, there were only three cars. His feelings were hurt, he was turned away. He walked dejectedly to the other side of the playground. DD ran after him, and offered to take turns with the car she is using! Now, if you knew DD you would understand how stellar this is. She is a good kid, but sharing is not one of her strong suits, especially when the item in question has a high demand. There are times she has chosen not to play at all, rather than share a toy. For her to see her friend had hurt feelings, FOLLOW him, and offer to share? Makes this momma proud. In other news, Ruby wants to go outside. She knows once I get on the computer, her only chance of being noticed is getting into my direct line of sight. That means the staircase right above the laptop display. Who could resist that face? It's even funnier when she smooshes it right between the bars of the staircase, but with those expensive eyeballs I don't like her to do that. She will sit and look sad. Then "tsk" at me and look annoyed. That is the signal that any moment she will blow hard out her nose (not a good thing, STUFF comes out). Then she will bark. And since she spits when she barks, the ewww factor goes ever upward. It's better to acknowledge her and let her out before it gets to that stage ;). I'd better go before she tsks!

Monday, March 06, 2006

The birthing chair

When I was pregnant with DD, I went for a tour of the hospital where she would be born. It was a "pre-admittance". There were some tests, and they showed me where the labour and delivery rooms were, that sort of thing. I asked about some of the things I read, things that were to make the birth easier etc. Such as a birthing chair. The nurse SNORTED then laughed at me. "Oh, we don't have anything like that". Oh. Well, I heard that sometimes taking a shower during labour made things progress......I see. No shower huh? I suppose no birthing tub either. Gotcha. I had no idea at the time that I was going to INSIST on an epidural, you see lololol. "Well, we'll have to wake him up and everything". And your point is? SKEDADDLE! Anyway, it turns out, six years after the birth I would finally get a birthing chair. In my own family room. You see, we have two small recliners in front of our tv. They are tiny really, and the backs fold down to make ottomans (although we never fold them down). The perfect size for our multi-purpose room. I wanted them to be able to put my feet up (I have leg problems). And I love them, however I wish they had more padding in the seat area. Which is odd, because you would think I had enough padding in MY seat area. And yet, while my posterier is WIDE it is, alas, flat. Genetics are a bitch. But I digress. Ruby is a lap dog of all lap dogs. She is with me contstantly, usually either on me or with one part of her body on a part of my body. Such as resting her chin on my foot as I work. But her favourite is sleeping on my lap, bar none. To the extent that if I sit in that reclining chair, I am obligated to push it back and cross my legs so she can jump up. After a bit I stretch my legs onto the foot rest, and she stretches along with a deep deep sigh. She loves that chair! If my muscles start to cramp and I move my legs, she will balance along the parts of the chair. Anything that is not supported? Let it dangle! This, for the most part, is comfortable for both of us (as long as she doesn't touch the bottoms of my feet). My only complaint is if I have to get up, she won't move unless I really annoy her (say, touch her tail for example. Or threaten to kiss her). This can get tedious until we are settled. Dh on the other hand, says that he hates when she stretches out like this, because it looks like I am giving birth to a pug. Here you can see her pink belly and how her hair parts near her front legs LOL. A dog with armpits, whoodathunkit? And those paws, that are irresistable, but we aren't allowed to touch (bit to death, and I am not kidding). Sitting like this, I managed to finish another few inches on the second sleeve for DD's sweater. Two more inches to go, then on with the yoke. Now, there's a blog title if I've ever heard one ROFLMAO!