Monday, December 29, 2008

Really?

Wow. That's all I have to say about my weekend.

Ok, maybe I have a little more to say.

We left late Thursday night to head up north for a dear friend's wedding. We thought we'd drive through the night so Wiggle Man could sleep. Not so much. He started vomited about 3 miles into the trip. And continued for the entire 8 hours, sleeping occasionally, only to wake up and vomit again.

I stopped changing his jammies after the third pair. Is that wrong? I only had 5 pair with me.

Since he stopped once we got to the hotel, we figured all was well. Friday he ate well during the day, and seemed ok, for the most part. Until the rehearsal dinner when he vomited all over the kitchen.

Hubba Hubba took him back to the hotel, so I could continue my bridesmaid duties. While I ran around doing last minute things, having last minute talks over Muddy Buddies (YUM!) Wiggle Man apparently continued to vomit, even while he was sleeping. Hubba Hubba broke down and called me just after midnight, suggesting we should take Wiggle Man to the ER.

You know, because my kid has never really been sick, it only makes sense that his first trip to the hospital should occur hours away from home.

Well, they ended up admitting him and putting him on IV fluids for the rest of the night, and all day Saturday. I had to leave him to go to the wedding (which I was ok doing since by that point they told us he was fine, just needed to re-hydrate) and was able to enjoy most of my day, with only occasional moments of break down on my part. The wedding was perfect, my friend was gorgeous, and Wiggle Man was released shortly after I got back to the hospital Saturday night.

I got some funny looks on the way into the hospital. Apparently most people don't go to the hospital in formal wear.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Not Me! Monday Once Again!

Ah, Monday morning. With only a few days to go before Christmas, I still have a lot to do. Here, however, are some things I, ahem, didn't do this past week:

*I did not go to Walmart in sweatpants and a sweatshirt, totally sans makeup, with questionable hair. I did not then run into someone I knew. I did not then decide to chuck it all, and stay in said sweatpants and sweatshirt for the rest of the day, even when Hubba Hubba and I went to the Chinese buffet and then to rent a movie.

*I did not skip workouts this weekend because I felt blarghy. I realised, of course, than working out would probably make me feel better, so I totally did them. All.

*I do not have laundry sitting damp in the washer from two days ago.

*I did not eat chocolate cake for dinner last night.

*Wiggle Man does not have a stinky diaper that I'm ignoring to type this. He does not normally poop first thing in the morning when I'm trying to blog.

And, drumroll please--my favourite from this week:

*I did not come home from church last night only to find a giant booger stuck to the side of my face. It was not likely left there from when Wiggle Man and I had a huge kissy fight where I tickle him and he attacks me with very slobbery kisses and the occasional booger. This means that I did not spend the evening trying to sell crafts from Africa, with a booger ON MY FACE.

If that doesn't fill your need for Not Me! Monday confessions, check out MckMama for the original NM!M queen, as well as a whole list of other bloggers making their weekly confession.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Out Of The Mouths Of Babes...

Well, our little family was out and about this evening, doing Christmas-y things. Wiggle Man sat on Santa's lap, though we couldn't coax a smile out of him this year. Then it was off to my favourite place--Target.

You can overhear the funniest things in a ladies' bathroom.

Girl: Mom, what's that box say?

Mom: Where, honey?

Girl: Right there. One side says 'tampon', and there's a funny symbol on the other side.

Mom: Um...it says 'exact coin only.'

Girl: No, I can read that. What's the symbol with the circle thingy?

Mom: I don't know.

Girl: Mo-om....

Mom: I don't KNOW.

******

The school I sub for had their Christmas concert yesterday. I was playing the piano for the chorus, and we rehearsed during the day. Afterwards, one little boy came up and this was the gist of our conversation. (Names have, of course, been changed to protect my reputation as a stellar pianist.)

Billy: Um, Mrs. Maroo, remember how I was saying it sounds like the piano at the church is lower than this one?

Me: Nope. We never had that conversation, Billy.

Billy: Oh. Well, I was saying that I thought it was lower, or maybe the other teacher plays it higher or something.

Me: Ok...

Billy: But, no offense or anything, but now I think it's you.

Me: It's me?

Billy: Yeah, I think you're just playing it lower.

Me: Well, Billy, I'm playing the music the chorus teacher gave me. If she plays it differently, she hasn't told me so.

Billy: When you play it, it kinda sounds like a horror movie that's starting to get good.

I didn't know how to respond to that. So I didn't.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Be Careful What You Wish For

First, a little background.

Wiggle Man is thusly named for a reason: he never sits still. Unless the child is in his carseat or asleep, he is never still. If you don't have a toddler of your own like Wiggle Man, you might be tempted to think I'm exaggerating.

I've timed him.

I've seen him sit still for 10 seconds.

Now, I of course, am what Hubba Hubba calls a love vacuum. You ever hear of that book, The Five Love Languages? It describes different ways of giving and receiving love, and how to figure out which ones you and your spouse are more receptive to, so you can express love in a way that best fits your mate.

Our pastor did a sermon series on that once. I'm all five.

Anyway, what this boils down to is that I love to snuggle (Hubba Hubba, Wiggle Man, the cat...I'm not over picky. Although I refuse to let Hubba Hubba hire a Snuggle Stand-In, like he's suggested several times.) So I love to snuggle, and Wiggle Man loves to wiggle. I always try to cuddle him, and he tries to escape.

Until last night.

The poor boy had an awful day yesterday. He got 3 shots at the doctor, had to get routine bloodwork done, and was teething on top of it all. By the time Jeopardy came on (his favourite show) he was miserable. He was on my lap by Wheel of Fortune. And there he stayed, until bedtime.

I got my snuggle on.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Not Me! Monday

It's the most wonderful time...of the week. That's because it's Not Me! Monday time! To participate, or to read the blogs of other NM!Mers, check out MckMama, the first and best NM!Mer.

This week:

*I did not get angry when I realised the super high electric bill was likely my fault, for using space heaters in our very drafty old farmhouse. I did not then ask Hubba Hubba what the point of having space heaters was if I couldn't use them. I of course realised right away I simply needed to be more diligent about remembering to turn them off when they weren't needed. I would never snap at Hubba Hubba like that over something that simply was not his fault. Especially not after he booked me for a massage, knowing the past few weeks have been super stressful and busy. I'm certainly a better wife than that.

*I did not seriously consider cutting the cooked part of my roasted chicken off and letting the rest cook last night when I discovered that, despite the correct temperature read on my thermometer, it was, in fact, not done on the bottom. The fact that I had my in-laws over, and was already serving dinner later than I had promised had no bearing on the impulse to carve off half the chicken. (Fear not, I really did put the whole thing back in the oven and make everyone wait for dinner.)

*I did not wake up with a giant, curly ball of mess on top of my head. I wake up polished and ready to go every day. I did not stuff that ball of mess into a ponytail until I can get it straightened.

*When Hubba Hubba asked what I'd like to do with some unexpected moolah that came our way, I did not tell him I'd like to take part of it and blow it at Target, just for fun. I'm much more frugal than that.

*I did not let Wiggle Man eat two bananas the other day, just because it was the only thing he wanted to eat. I did not give him the second one just to quiet him down because Hubba Hubba and I were tired of his screaming. I am a very consistent mother.

*I did not put Wiggle Man in his very first time out yesterday, only to have him giggle and enjoy it the whole time. Perhaps it will be effective when it's no longer a novelty. I hope.

There you have it, folks. A listing of some of the things I certainly didn't do this week. How about you?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

You Like?

I got a little festive around here, I hope that's ok! I was inspired by our Christmas tree, which we finally got put up this weekend. Normally I put it up as soon after American Thanksgiving as Hubba Hubba will let me, but we got a little behind this year. I just finished the decorations a few minutes ago, so Wiggle Man will have a surprise when he wakes up!

I created my blog header using Scrapblog.com, which if you haven't tried out yet, you really should! I scrapblog for all kinds of things these days. I scrapblogged me some Christmas cards, I make headers, I've even made a presentation for our trip to Kenya.

They'll even print and ship your creations for you. This is what hooked me. I love the idea of scrapbooking, but I'm not into organising all those scraps of paper. This way, I do it all online, and order it when I'm done!

And, should you run into any problems, their customer service people are the best. I'm not kidding. I left a message one night at 5 pm when I realised something had gone wrong (it turned out to be a bug in the program) and Rebecca, one of their reps, was on the phone to me within a half an hour.

So if you're looking for something creative and fun to do with all those pictures on your computer, check out Scrapblog. If you order something by tomorrow, you can even have it by Christmas!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Number Eighty

In case you were expecting something profound having to do with the number 80, I'll let you know right now--this is my 80th post. When I first started blogging, I couldn't imagine that I'd have enough things to say to warrant that much writing. It turns out Wiggle Man always has plenty of new material.

Like how the other day, as I was getting ready to play in a recital. I'm a flutist, and I find that I need a good hour warming up on the instrument before I sound ok enough to perform. (This is my post-college warm-up. Back in the days of playing all day every day, I naturally required much less warm-up time.)

About half-way through my marathon warm up, Hubba Hubba walked in the room, carrying our son. He looked at me and said, "I think he's doing you." I didn't get what he was saying at first, until I realised Wiggle Man had a rubber stick in his mouth transversely, like you'd hold a flute. Apparently he'd been walking around like that, holding it like I hold my flute, and humming.

I'm a strong advocate for boys playing the flute. It's a great way for them to meet girls. Although, I still want him to learn the cello. Or at least go to enough Suzuki classes when he's 3 so that I can get adorable pictures of him playing his mini-cello.

***********

This morning I'm off for a dress fitting. Nothing like someone else measuring and analysing your body to lift the spirits.

***********

We're still waiting for paperwork from Kenya. The only new thing to report is that now they're saying they've emailed it. We still don't have it, of course. At least, not that anyone's told us.

***********

Since I can smell my son from where I sit, it's probably time to go change him.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

So Sleepy...

Seriously, friends. All I need is one good night's sleep. At least, that's what I tell myself. One good night would do it. One night where someone snoring the cat Wiggle Man doesn't wake me up. Like many moms...I just want to sleep through the night.

Yesterday I broke down and took an afternoon nap. I never nap in the afternoon, because then I'm up til the wee hours of the morning. But it's been days since I got a full night's sleep, and I was exhausted and desperate.

It doesn't help that there were so many things I should have been doing instead of sleeping. There were presents to be wrapped, a Christmas Eve service to finish planning, projects to work on, not to mention Cheerios everywhere that could have been picked up.

At least I got most of our Christmas cards out. I ran out, of course, so I need to order more to finish out my list. If you're reading this, and are hoping for a Christmas card from me, but don't get one...it may very well be coming. Or I may not have your address. Or I may not be aware you lie awake at nights hoping I'll send you a Christmas card.

If it's the latter, let me know.

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Frosty Not Me! Monday

I'm telling you, the weeks just keep flying by. I woke up this morning, and was thinking of what to post about, when I realised it was Monday, and time for another NM!M. If my weekly confessionals aren't enough for you, go to MckMama's Blog for a whole lotta Not Me! Monday fun.

This week:

*I did not begin freaking out because the bridesmaid's dress I have to wear in NINETEEN days hadn't arrived yet. (Ok, so last week it was twenty-something days, but it's more dramatic to give you today's countdown.) I did not have to resort to being a total girl to get the postman to check to see if he had the package somewhere. He did. Apparently the note they left saying they had tried to deliver it got lost. In the mail. After a 5-minute, rather circular discussion, the conversation did not go something like this: (imagine it in a tone of voice bordering on hysteria) "Ok, listen. In that package is a bridesmaid's dress that I have to wear in LESS THAN A MONTH, and I still need to get it altered, and pressed, and...." "Ok, ma'am. This sounds important. Just let me go check."

*I did not laugh hysterically at my friend who was asked in Sunday School yesterday what a virgin was.

*I did not cheat on my diet the second day in because someone brought us lunch at the church yesterday.

*I did not have to decide which of a slew of outfits I was going to wear for the one song I played on in last night's recital. I, being a professional, was not distracted by the fact that Wiggle Man, who sat angelically with his Aunt and Grammy throughout the first half of the program, started crying as soon as he saw me onstage. I did not secretly enjoy it when my sister-in-law told me that he wouldn't take a bottle from her when she got him home, and that every time my picture came up on the digital frame, he would cry for me. I of course LOVED all the kisses Wiggle Man gave me when I did get home. (That part's true.)

*I am not cutting this short just to go shopping with my mother-in-law!

Friday, December 5, 2008

All quiet on the western front...

Nothing new has happened lately, in terms of our proposed work in Kenya. We're still waiting on paperwork to be sent to our church from Kenya. So we wait. I hate waiting. I had this conversation with a good friend last night...waiting sucks.

I am, however, learning things as we wait. I'm learning that I have much to learn. I tend to think I have a pretty open mind, and a good understanding of other cultures, but all it takes is a visit from a Kenyan friend to remind me that I'm still stuck in my own upbringing.

I'm learning to focus on what God has given me to do now instead of planning all the things I'll do for Him later. Surely He has more in mind for our family right now than just twiddling our thumbs waiting for Kenya. So, I look into the adorable face of my "mission field" these days--Wiggle Man--and teach him the things he needs to learn to grow into the man God has planned for him.

If we're living in the past, or waiting for the future, we can miss out on what God has for us today!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Giveaway With A Purpose!

Most of you know by now that I'm a big fan of Mckmama's blog, My Charming Kids. If you're interested in photography, adorable children, being tv-less, and weekly confessionals/therapy sessions/laughfests, you need to check out her blog.

She's got a fabulous raffle/giveaway going on right now benefitting three worthy causes, with one amazing prize package! As much as I want to win that prize myself (and I hope I do!) I'm willing to tell you about it, so you can enter, too. Tell your friends, too, so that we can raise some serious funds for these organizations. (Ok...I'll admit...I'm also tempted by the bonus prize giveaway.)

So, check out her blog, get all the details on her giveaway, and check out her other posts for some good reading!

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Sleepy Not Me! Monday

It's been an amazing, eye-opening, Kenya-missing weekend for me. After all the Thanksgiving festivities (we're still eating leftovers at our house) we were so blessed to have a visitor all the way from Kenya! David has been traveling in the U.S. raising funds for his school, which focuses on orphaned and vulnerable children. I met David in 2006 when I was in Kenya, and consider myself privileged to have been able to sing some songs with his students. I have never enjoyed "Father Abraham" so much!

But, as so often happens, having visitors makes me sleepy. We always end up staying up later than we planned, talking and working on projects. And so, I offer you my sleepy Not Me! Monday:

This week:

*I did not lose my temper over a lost shoe. I mean, I have a toddler. He loses shoes. In the grand scheme of things, it's certainly not worth locking myself in the bathroom and jumping up and down.

*I did not let Wiggle Man eat a sandwich off the floor. That would be gross.

*I did not play more Tetris this week that I probably should have.

*I did not let Wiggle Man eat rolls for dinner last night simply to avoid a Dinner War in front of company. I am consistent in my parenting, regardless of who is joining us for dinner.

*I did not buy a "child harness" for Wiggle Man yesterday, something that I said I would never do. Of course, I said that before I became a parent and realised that some children are not content to sit in the cart, and will be very vocal in expressing their desire to explore.

*I did not eat more chocolate pecan pie than anyone else this weekend.

So, what about you? What did you not do over the past week?

Here's one thing you should do. Check out MckMama's blog to see the list of bloggers participating in this week's Not Me! Monday, and to learn how you can participate.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Shack

**Disclaimer: If you are content with how you 'view' God, don't read this book. You probably shouldn't read this post, either.**

I read The Shack, by William P. Young yesterday. I do that, sometimes. I get so into a book that I finish it in one day. The Shack isn't a long book, so that's not necessarily a huge feat, but it tells you what I think of this book.

And now, every person I see, I want to grab them by the shoulders, look into their eyes, and tell them to read this book. It's not often I get like this. I told Hubba Hubba about 42 times last night that he needed to read it.

The Shack has affected me in ways I will probably spend a long while understanding, but let me try to explain a bit of it, anyway.

First, you need to understand a bit about me. I met Jesus when I was 4, and regardless of what anyone has to say about the spiritual understanding of a 4 year-old, I know that's when I first met him. Sure, our relationship has grown and changed over the years, but that's where it began. Reading The Shack was another giant step forward. What has already (in the one day since I've read it) begun to change my relationship with God is the theology in it.

That word, theology, is enough to make some people decide not to read the book. So please understand when I write theology, I mean it in what I think is the truest sense of the word: studying God, and how we think of God. Theology doesn't have to be paragraph after paragraph of huge words like transubstantiation, although I suppose paragraphs like those have their place. They're in the books Hubba Hubba is more likely to read than I.

Smack dab in the middle of a great story is some good "stuff" (I don't want to keep writing theology) that challenges what I think are some common misconceptions about God. Some of it might make you uncomfortable. Some of it will probably relieve you greatly.

So, as I said in my disclaimer, if you're comfortable with how you 'understand' God (do we ever really understand Him? I hope not!) then you probably don't want to read this book. However, if you think you might want to see God in a way that makes Him much more relevant to your life, read this book. Also, if you are angry with God, read this book. You'll have a lot in common with Mack. If you think God is distant, read this book. If you're just looking for a good book to read, then you can still read The Shack.

And let me know what you think!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Meanwhile, back at the farm...

Last night seemed like any ordinary night. There we were, sitting peacefully in the living room, watching The Cosby Show, which is one of Hubba Hubba's favourites. (I won't tell you some of the others, it might embarrass him.) It was a good episode--the one where Rudy's sick, and Claire is up for partner at her law firm, so Cliff has to take care of her. Funny, funny stuff. At least BoBo doesn't get his temperature taken "the baby way."

But back to our story. As I said, it seems calm and peaceful. Our family, watching good family programming together. A show I don't mind Wiggle Man watching. I guess he had a problem with it, though, so he did what you do when you have one of those problems:

He called 9-1-1.

Seriously. He'd been playing with our cordless phone when suddenly we heard a man's voice on the speakerphone. Hubba Hubba grabbed the phone, realised it was a 9-1-1 operator, and explained the situation.

Our story doesn't end there.

Twenty minutes later, 2 state troopers pulled in. With a spotlight attached to one of the cop cars. One officer came to the front door, one came to the side door. I was so nervous, I couldn't find the light switch for the porch light. Yeah. They're required to check out all 9-1-1 calls these days. Even accidental ones made by toddlers. They were very kind about it, thankfully. Maybe they have toddlers of their own at home.

Needless to say, Wiggle Man is banned from the phone until he's 46.

My brother-in-law, a former 9-1-1 Chief himself, found the whole thing very amusing.

*********************

On a completely different topic, I wanted to address some of the issues that have come up about Twilight.

The whole reason I began reading the book was to understand the hype, and be able to talk intelligently about it. (Sort of the same reasons I read books like The DaVinci Code.) I wasn't necessarily planning to end up liking it. Which I do, actually.

The vampire thing really doesn't bother me from a Christian perspective. I mean, we're dealing with mythical creatures. No one has a problem with the Narnia books (also favourites of mine) simply because they have pretend creatures in them. But C.S. Lewis, for the most part, maintains the traditional line between "good mythical guys" and "bad mythical guys/witches/evil guardians". Just because in this case the "good guys" are mythical creatures we typically cast as "bad guys" doesn't mean we're glorifying evil. In fact, I think it has a lot to say about judging people/vampires/werewolves/unicorns/other pretend things for who they are and what they do, rather than what category of fairy tale character they fit into.

Other people have problems with the sensuality of the book. And yeah, there are scenes in the book that I wouldn't want my daughter to read. (Not that I have a daughter, but you get the point.) I do, however, have a young son, and as I alluded to in the beginning of this post, there are things in our culture I'm not comfortable with him coming in contact with. Which is why, as a parent, I make decisions about what he sees on tv, what movies he watches, and what books I read to him.

I think this is an issue of age appropriateness. The people I have recommended the book to are all grown adults, married themselves, who are unlikely to be affected by the kissing scenes. (Which, in reality, are rather tame compared to some of what's out there in the mainstream media--but that's another soap box.)

I guess my point is this: Let's be aware, as parents and role models, of what we allow the children in our influence to read, watch, and listen to. Just because something is targeted at 14-year-old girls, doesn't necessarily mean it's appropriate for your 14-year-old daughter to read. Let's make our own parenting decisions, instead of letting the media do it for us. Let's remember that there are things that are appropriate for adults that are not appropriate for teenagers.

And let's look for the good lessons in books like this. Lessons like abstinence. (Yes, it's because of his vampirish strength, but also because Edward values marriage. No one talks about that part.) Lessons about the nature of good and evil, and redemption. Commitment. Sacrifice.

What are your thoughts about these books? I've said my piece--what's yours?

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Late Not Me! Monday

Well, everyone...I'm sorry. I normally get this done much earlier in the day, but this cold I have is kicking my tail. I'm either miserable, or in a over-the-counter-drug induced haze.

Here are just a few of my meager offerings for this week. Check out MckMama's blog for the ultimate list of Not Me! Monday-ers.

This week I did not

*ignore Wiggle Man when he's playing with the pot lids that he's not allowed to play with. I'm a very consistent Mommy.

*I did not let most of the morning worship slip by me yesterday while I simply went through the motions. I have not been doing that for the past few days due to this monster cold.

*I am not having trouble typing simple words like "monster" and "typing."

*I did not let my brother-in-law give me a shot of "medicine" last night that totally cleared out my nasal passages, for a few minutes anyway.

*I did not try to use a coupon for fried onions to get 75 cents off of chicken today. I totally read that coupon, and knew it wasn't for the chicken.

That's all I can come up with for this week--hopefully next week I'll have a little more to offer you!

Oh, and to answer your question, Sky--I liked Twilight. The book is better--I felt like perhaps the movie was put together too quickly, in order to ride some of the hype from Breaking Dawn's release this summer. The movie just felt rushed--although Hubba Hubba thought it was the longest movie ever. Also, I want to see it again when there aren't hordes of 14 year old girls giggling and screaming at Edward's every line. :)

Did anyone else see it? What did you think?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Today

Well, all things considered, today went fairly well. I was able to sing, for the most part. (Although I did give our Fabulous Sound Woman free reign to turn me down if I sounded horrible, and just turn up the rest of the team. Perhaps she did.)

Our meeting with our church went about as expected. Unfortunately, the church in Kenya hasn't sent the proposed contract to our church yet, so there was nothing for them to officially decide upon. We presented our ideas, answered their questions, and now we wait. Again.

Hopefully by the time our church meets next, they'll have the contract in hand, and maybe we'll know a little more. We'd appreciate any prayers you may want to send up for us!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tomorrow

Tomorrow should be interesting.

Hubba Hubba, Wiggle Man and I have all been sick for the past couple of days. (Although, not so sick that I didn't go see Twilight last night...)

But back to the point. Tomorrow, of course, will be jam packed. Because isn't that the way it always is when you're sick? Not only do I get to lead worship tomorrow (which always sounds great when you can't actually breathe through your nose) but we have a pretty important meeting after church about our proposed work in Kenya.

It's kinda the most important meeting we'll have. It's The One. The One where All Things will be decided. When we'll find out Those Decisions is still a mystery to me, but I do know that tomorrow is important.

Hopefully by then I won't be breathing solely through my mouth.

Friday, November 21, 2008

I felt like a 7-year-old all over again.

I knew something was different when I Wiggle Man woke us up this morning. Thankfully, he's not one of those kids that insists on us getting him as soon as he wakes up. He's content to sit in his crib, talk to himself, and play with whatever's on hand.
So I lay in bed this morning, not wanting to leave the warm bed, but trying to figure out what was different. What had, in fact, seemed different even when I woke up earlier that morning.

I blame it on the fact that I've lived where I have for so long. I didn't recognize the light right away.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I take no responsibility for this...

I convinced this wasn't me. But not so convinced that I'll publicly blame Hubba Hubba.

At any rate, make sure you put away sippy cups of milk.

I know you know this. I knew this.


Unless, of course, you want to make your own cheese.

Monday, November 17, 2008

And now it's time for...Not Me! Monday!

Good morning, everyone! I missed last week's Not Me! Monday for a pretty good reason, I think. I was enjoying a couple of days at a friend's beach house. It was very very very relaxing-if you don't count driving back into town to lead worship. But that's a whole other post. Seriously, check it out if you want a good laugh. At my expense.

Anyway, as always, check out MckMama's blog for the original and best in NM!M fun, as well as links to other bloggers participating this week.

Here are my shortcomings, in all my glorious denial:

This week...

*I did not start listening to Christmas music on the radio. I was not excited to find the all-Christmas station because I'm already sick of all my CDs.

*I did not put the cat outside because of the messy wound on her ear, fearing it would get all over the carpet/furniture/Wiggle Man. I am not listening to her whine outside as I type.

*I did not have to spend almost 2 hours cleaning my room because my sister-in-law was coming to stay with Wiggle Man while we went on our aforementioned mini-getaway. I did not remove several bags of trash along with multiple loads of laundry from our room. Or one half of our room, anyway. I did not discover dust I hadn't realised existed. Everywhere.

*I did not succumb to the many M&Ms we had out last night for our family get-together. I will not eat the leftovers today, because I have a bridesmaid's dress to look incredible in next month, and my willpower is invincible when it comes to M&Ms. And caramels. And brownies, and Ben and Jerry's and basically anything whose first ingredient is sugar.

*I did not let Wiggle Man eat the part of his sandwhich he dropped on the floor. Ew.

*I am not wondering what that smudge of goo is on the floor, because I cleaned it up last night when I first noticed it. Ahem.

*I am not trying to figure out how to smuggle Hubba Hubba out the door to work so that Wiggle Man does not realise he has left, thus avoiding his morning "Daddy's left" hysterics. No, I want Wiggle Man to learn that we leave sometimes, but we come back, and that we always say goodbye. I wouldn't sacrifice that just for a little peace this morning. No way.

That's it, friends. Or, more honestly, that's all I can think of right now. Check out MckMama if you want to see how to join in the fun, or if you're just looking for another amazing blog to read!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I Ate Some Birthday Cake Yesterday

My own, actually. That's only remotely blog-worthy because my birthday was in the summer.

The cake Hubba Hubba procured for me was my all-time favourite--a yummy marble cake with the best butter cream icing ever. What makes it so yummy is that the marble cake isn't just chocolate and yellow cakes marbled together. It's yellow cake with actual fudge swirled in.

Naturally, I wasn't about to let any of this deliciousness go to waste. So when my party was over, and I'd had my fill of cake, I wrapped up a dozen or so indiviual slices and froze them.

After last night, I have one piece left.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hmm...I didn't even realise I forgot to title this one...

You know how you go away for a couple of days, and it's relaxing and fun and everything you want it to be? But then you come back and spend the next week catching up on everything you didn't get done while you were away?

Yeah.

It's been that kind of week. I've been running around like a maniac it seems, trying to get caught up on the cleaning, shopping and both part time jobs. Oh, and of course--a missions committee meeting.

We got back from our "mini-break" Monday night. I spent all day* Tuesday working on a powerpoint presentation we ended up not using, and then quickly putting together booklets to hand out with information on our project.

*Because of Wiggle Man, "all day" naturally refers to whatever time I could squeeze in between chasing him down, giving him hugs, feeding him, changing him and checking on him. And a flute lesson. Oh, and I picked up groceries.

I don't remember Wednesday.

At least, not much of it. I do remember that it was busy. And I roasted a chicken for dinner, which my in-laws were happy to help us eat. We were happy to have them eat it, especially since my father-in-law had spent all day re-siding part of the house, and my mother-in-law had come to cut Wiggle Man's hair during Jeopardy.

Yes, Jeopardy. Ever since he was little, Wiggle Man has loved Jeopardy, and the Wheel. He becomes a baby zombie. Perhaps this is bad parenting, but we totally took advantage of that. My mother-in-law came over, shears in hand, and we strapped him into his chair and turned on Jeopardy.

It worked so well my mother-in-law was even able to use the clippers a bit on his baby sideburns.

That brings us to Thursday, which is, of course, known as Crazy Thursday around here. Not much happened besides a lot of music teaching. And I ate lunch.

Hopefully today I can finally get caught up--at least on the piles of laundry. Seriously. I have no idea what I'm even going to wear today.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

There's A Clarinet In My Bathroom...

There really is. Or, at least, there really was. Wiggle Man has found an old clarinet we had lying around (for my music studio...decor, not for actually playing, heaven forbid...) and has adopted it as his own. He marches around with it on a regular basis. You could say it has replaced the spatula for him. I had to step over his beloved clarinet to leave the bathroom this morning, as he'd brought in it, then left it.

Our weekend away was wonderful, even if it did require two trips back into town. It's about an hour drive. Unless you're me. Sunday morning.

I am what you might call directionally challenged. I chalk it up to learning to drive later in life. But really, maybe it's genetic or something.

At any rate, there I was, leaving the beach very very very early Sunday morning. I left 2 hours before I needed to be at church. (I always give myself extra "getting lost time" if it's the first time I've driven somewhere. Even if I've been there lots--if I've never actually been the one driving, I tend to get lost.)

Not surprisingly, I missed the very first exit. Or rather, I exited before I even got on the parkway. Long story. The gist of it is that I thought an arrow pointing to my right referred to where I needed to go. Not so much.

After a half an hour's "detour", I got onto the parkway, and everything was going swimmingly. Until I got to the next route I needed to take. There was a detour. Again, the signage was a little confusing, and I ended up backtracking for a bit, before realising that no, I was going the right way all along.

I like to think I'm a good driver. Directionally challenged, yes. But a good, safe driver over all. So, I'm carefully checking the speed limit. I see it's 35, so I slow down to 35. Eventually, I start getting nervous about how late it's getting, and with no other traffic to help me gauge my speed, I'm going 50. I don't realise this until I see another car coming down the road towards me. At the same time I realise I'm going 50, I realise this car coming towards me is a cop. Crap.

Crap, crap, crap.

He goes past me. I see him brake, then make a u-turn and start following me. I'm sweating like a pig, hoping and praying he decides to cut me a break since I'm now going exactly the speed limit. I get hopeful as he keeps following me, sans lights and nerve-wracking siren. Until I realise he's just waiting for a good spot to pull me over. Which he eventually does.

I have never, ever, ever, ever been pulled over before. Never. I've been in cars when other people have, but never have I been a driver pulled over.

I may have been shaking to the point that it was difficult to give the officer my license and registration, but I did not cry. Waiting for him to check my license and registration took forever and I was suddenly afraid the registration was expired (it wasn't) but I did not cry. I thanked him kindly when he just gave me a warning, and I still did not cry.

Not until after the officer left, anyway.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

No Rest For The Wicked...Well, Maybe A Little...

Hubba Hubba and I are trying very hard to find some time to get away, just the two of us. This is the best we could come up with.

We leave tonight to go stay at a friend's beach house. (THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!) Wiggle Man will stay with his Auntie and Uncle, or rather, they'll stay with him. Tomorrow morning I drive back to town to lead worship, then head back to the beach to spend the rest of the day with Hubba Hubba. Monday morning he drives back to town to work, and then back to the beach. Then we both head back to town so I can lead my worship team rehearsal Monday night.

Doesn't that sound like a relaxing way to spend a weekend? Yup.

Hey, don't get me wrong--I'll take it!

I may or may not get a Not Me! Monday post in--I won't have internet, so it will depend on whether I get it written and scheduled before I leave. Considering all the laundry and packing still to do, not to mention the grades I have to have in for Monday, and the plan for Monday's rehearsal, it may not happen. Or it may. You'll have to check in Monday morning to see for yourself!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Grab A Shoe...Preferably Fee-Fee's....

It started innocently enough. Early one morning, I decided to get a head start on some laundry. I went downstairs to our very unpleasant cellar, where the washer and dryer live. (I fought like the dickens to keep them upstairs, but I lost. There's really nowhere else to put them, so several times a week I must trudge down to my "scary basement.")

I started the washer, filling it with water. I added my bleach, looked down, and there was the most disgusting cricket-spider. What are those things? They're not crickets, they're not spiders...I have no choice but to hyphenate. Can anyone help me out?

Here's what it looks like, drowned, slightly disintegrated in bleach, and thrown with disgust (and a little fear that it wasn't dead, I'll admit) onto our driveway:




Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

It's Not Me! Monday!

I really is Monday morning again. This week just flew by for me--I'm still a little exhausted from it all. Good thing Hubba Hubba and I are planning a little overnight getaway next weekend--hopefully it works out!

Well, with Monday morning come the Not Me! Mondays. As always, check out MckMama for the ultimate NM!M fun. She may or may not be posting today--after all, she did just arrive home from giving birth to the most precious miracle baby. So, check out her blog either way--you can join the NM!M party, or read about Stellan's miracle.

This week:

*I did not ask myself on Thursday where the week had gone, because I had nothing done!

*I do not still have a pile of laundry in the bathroom sitting where the hamper should be, simply because said hamper is still in the basement from my laundry attempt a few days ago. There is also not a wet load sitting in the washer that will have to be re-washed for the second time.

*I did not bake a dozen cookies for Hubba Hubba and I to enjoy during our movie night. I did not eat most of them myself.

*I do not have a watermelon sitting on the counter that Wiggle Man managed to pull onto the floor and subsequently crack open. I was not too lazy to take it out to the chickens last night. I am not secretly hoping someone else just takes the darn thing out so I don't have to deal with it.

I am not still tired from the Phillies parade/Citizens Band Park extravaganza on Friday. I do not want to figure out a way to post my picture of the streaker without being offensive.

*I am not typing this with Wiggle Man's fireman's hat on. It is not the only hat he will wear. He is not, for reasons unbeknownst to me, smelling that hat right now. And, ironically, the fire hall's siren did not just go off.

*I am not debating having chocolate Pop Tarts for breakfast. I will eat Cheerios. Like the grown up that I am.

*I am not going to go work out now, just so I can feel better about the Pop Tarts I will not be eating.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

So tired...so worth it.

It's been a couple of days since I posted, and they've been doozies! Most of you know that Thursdays are "Crazy Thursdays" for me, so I don't usually get to post. But yesterday--yesterday took the cake. If you saw the Phillies Parade on your news at all, you likely saw a huge mass of humanity crowding Broad Street in Philadelphia. I was in that blob! We stood and waited for 3 hours for the parade to pass by, then ran like the dickens to make it to Citizen's Bank Park, just in time for the ceremony there.

Hubba Hubba, like all Phillies phans, had been waiting for this day his whole life. (He was too small to remember the 1980 World Series.) I, of course, got to have the fun of back-to-back Series wins, thanks to my Jays, so I wanted him to be able to enjoy yesterday to the fullest. Plus, it was my first World Series parade--I was so not allowed to go in '92 or '93.
It was the ultimate Philadelphia day--cheesesteak for breakfast/lunch, a streaker at the parade, a close call with some angry fans nearby, and Utley's "vocalisation malfunction." It doesn't get more Philly than that.

I have more photos posted on facebook, but for the rest of you, here's a sampling!











Wednesday, October 29, 2008

WOO HOO!

Two words:

Go Phils!

Ok, you didn't really think I'd restrict myself to only two words, did you? I hope not.

This is what happens when you put Billy back where he belongs.

And then there's Pat Gillick. Seriously, friends. Every time one of "my" teams has won the Series, Gillick has been at the helm. (The Jays, who are first and foremost in my heart, and the Phils, my NL team. We like Pat.)

The screaming on t.v. now has my attention, you'll forgive me if I go back to celebrating!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet...

That's what I felt like this afternoon as we headed up to get more vaccinations. Thankfully, most of mine were still good from my previous trip to Kenya, so I only needed to complete my Heb B and start Hep A. Hubba Hubba got his Heps, and we're holding off on Wiggle Man until it's definite that we're going. No sense injecting him with live viruses until we know we have to!

It's been raining pretty hard here in South Jersey, and Philly--but if you've been following the World Series, you already knew that. Don't get me started on last night's game. What did catch me off guard was the giant snow flakes as we headed toward Princeton. It got pretty hairy there, for awhile, but we made it!

After the needling (with no fainting on my part, thank you very much!) we stopped to talk with the missions coordinator at a local church to talk turkey, in terms of funding for Kenya. We were invited to come talk to their missions committee in two weeks--anyone want to pray about that? Feel free!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Not Me! Monday Again...

Well, ladies and gentlemen, it's Monday morning, and you know what that means. Well, actually, this week it means two things: Not Me! Mondays, and the unveiling of my big secret announcement at the end of this post. Check out MckMama at My Charming Kids for the ultimate Not Me! Mondays. She's the one who started it all, plus you can check out other bloggers who participate.

Wiggle Man decided to help me out this week, and give me one right off the bat:

This week I did not...

*let Wiggle Man play with an almost empty roll of toilet paper so he would stop playing with other unmentionables in the bathroom. That was not just this morning, and I did not just have to pick shredded toilet paper up off the floor. I am not thinking about how much of that he actually ate before I noticed.

*Speaking of Wiggle Man, I did not have to buy him shoes from the kids' section, as opposed to the baby section because his feet are now too big for baby shoes. I do not see that as a trait passed down from Hubba Hubba's family. I do not tell everyone this.

*I do not (secretly or otherwise) laugh at Wiggle Man's temper tantrums. I certainly do not find it amusing to see his adorable little face scrunched up while he rolls around on the floor, kicking his little legs for all he's worth. I also do not think it's cute when he cries. What kind of mother would that make me?

*I am not waiting until this post is finished before I change Wiggle Man's diaper. Even though it's smelly.

*I have not been staying up late watching the World Series. I am a responsible adult, and go to bed at a decent hour, especially when I have to get up early. To lead worship.

*I did not eat two brownies, two pieces of cornbread, and countless M&Ms last night in addition to the chili I had for dinner. I did not tell myself that "at least I had salad, too." Nope.

*I was not late to a music lesson this week because I got caught up reading a book. I did not breathe a sigh of relief to discover my students had been late, as well.

Those are my big confessions for the week. Or, non-confessions, more accurately. It's very freeing--check out MckMama's blog to see how to join in the fun!

And now....

Here it is. The Big Secret Announcement. I had no one guess what my actual secret was. Weeksie50 attempted a guess at the prize, so Weeksie--I'll give you part of the prize, if you want it! Email me your address, and I'll send a BabiesRUs gift card your way.

I had been hoping to wait until this was definite, but I just can't hold it in anymore! Hubba Hubba and I are hoping to move to Kenya sometime in the new year! We have been asked to come and minister to college students, as well as help run an English service. The pastor is a man I met on a previous trip to Kenya. Hubba Hubba has been there to meet the people we'd be working with, see the town and the college, and get a feel for what life would be like over there.

We're pretty excited about the opportunity, as you might imagine! However, it's not definite yet, as we still need to get a supporting church (something the denomination wants us to have) and raise funds. If you're a praying person, prayer support is something we could really use right now! We'd love your prayers as we work with our church to hammer out the details, raise our support, and keep discerning God's will in all this!

Friday, October 24, 2008

I've Decided.

That's it. Guesses or no guesses, the big secret announcement will be a secret no longer as of Monday. At the end of my Not Me! Monday post you'll be able to find out the secret I've been waiting to share. If you'd like to guess what my secret is, you can do so up until the Not Me! Monday post. Just leave a comment with your guess, and if I get a guess that comes close enough, there will be a prize involved!

Yesterday was a bizarre day. I did not check my email/blog/facebook/message boards. At all. In fact, this morning was the first time I was online since Wednesday afternoon. It felt...weird. We had some computer issues on Wednesday that kept me off for most of the day. Yesterday was Crazy Thursday.

On Crazy Thursdays I spend the day substitute teaching at a private school, where I have the whole school for music class at some point throughout the day. Then I headed off to teach another hour and a half of private lessons. I came home with a ginormous headache, and since Wiggle Man was napping, I "rested" for about an hour before Hubba Hubba and I headed off to a meeting. After the meeting we started watching the Phillies, and then it just got too sad. Seriously, boys--stop stranding those guys in scoring position! It was too depressing/frustrating, (Hubba Hubba was shouting baaaaddd things at the t.v....ahem...not me, though...) so we went to bed.

In other news, I became that mother this week. You know the one--you always feel bad for her in the ladies room because she's got that handful of a child to keep an eye on while she's trying to take care of business.

It started like any other trip to the grocery store. Wiggle Man, helpful as always, "helped" Mommy put the apples in the plastic bag. Same with the pears, and the avocado. He was even an angel throughout the rest of the store.

And then I had to pee.

Naively enough, I thought my biggest problem would be keeping him from crawling around on the nasty bathroom floor. Even though he's officially a walker now, Wiggle Man still thinks crawling's a fun way to explore.

So I sat down to do my thing, and told Wiggle Man to stay off the floor. Which he did.

What I neglected to tell him is that it's considered bad form to tilt your head down in an attempt to peek at the poor woman next to us. This he tried a couple of times, until I finally pulled him onto my lap.

What am I going to do when he actually succeeds before I grab him? I suppose the same as every other mother--apologize profusely, and laugh about it later.

To follow up on a story from earlier this week: Wiggle Man is still a fan of the spatula. In fact, last night, the kind lady hosting our meeting gave him a spatula to cart around, to keep him entertained. I had neglected to bring kitchen utensils in case Wiggle Man needed them, you see. Which he did. Why bang on things with your hands, when a spatula is handy?

This, however, was the least of my worries. More pressing was his naked jaunt across her gorgeous rugs. I had managed to get the poopy diaper off without an ordeal, but his escape caught me off guard.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Secret Announcement Update

Well, I know I said I'd hold the contest open until today at Noon. Ish. Can I be very liberal with the ish? I'd like to keep it open a few more days because, well...I don't know who the winner is yet!

So, here's a reminder. You're guessing what my secret is. The prize will be something related to my secret, so I can't tell you what it is. Feel free to guess that, too, if you want, but please try to guess my secret, too! To sweeten the pot, I will throw in a $20 Babies R' Us gift card.

So, guess away, friends! If you already know, tell a friend to come check me out, and they can guess, too! I'll announce when the contest will close a day or so before I decide to close it--I'd like to get several guesses before I close!

Guess, guess, guess--and tell your friends!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Rainy Days and Mondays...

I actually like rainy, cloudy days. I always have. I like the feel of comfy jeans and a sweater against the wind. I like having a cup of tea while the rain patters on the window. It makes me want to bake, which I won't do. I still have a batch of blueberry tarts that didn't get eaten at last night's worship team rehearsal. I don't understand it--what could be better than your very own mini blueberry pie? Not to mention the crumb topping. But alas, only a few were enjoyed. Oh well--more for me and my family!

Do you know what else is good on a cool, cloudy fall day? Homemade bread. Now that I may have to bake. There is nothing like a slice of homemade bread, fresh from the oven, with some jam. Not to mention the delicious smell that permeates the whole house. I may bake some for the smell factor alone. Between that and the lingering blueberry tart smells, I may eradicate the odeur de burnt garlic bread from my sister-in-law's tragedy with our ridiculous oven Sunday night.

Just a reminder--you can still submit guesses for my Secret Announcement contest here. Just leave a comment on yesterday's post with your guess as to what my Secret Announcement is. I won't post comments that have guesses in them--so no one can steal your guess! Feel free to submit more than one guess--I'll pick the first person to get the closest. The contest closes Wednesday sometime around noon. Ish.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Not Me! Mondays...

It's Monday morning. There's frost on the ground, and I'm writing this BEFORE MckMama's Not Me! Monday post! Check her out though, she'll have it up soon, I'm sure. Probably by the time I'm done writing mine! So here they are, my weekly confessions. Be sure to check out the bottom of this post for some secret-announcement contest information!

This week:

*I did not let my work outs slip because I've been feeling blarghy.

*I did not refuse to move the dead mole that Chloe killed and proudly left outside our door. It is not still sitting there as I type. I have not been walking around it all week.

*I do not let Wiggle Man play with a spatula. He, in turn, does not prefer it to his toys. The ones we spent money on.

* Speaking of the Wiggle Man, I did not let him sit in his crib for 20 minutes after he woke up because I didn't want to get up yet. Even though he slept in later than usual.

*I did not institute "Pajama Day" on Saturday because I felt to gross to even get dressed, and decided to try and make a fun day out of it for Wiggle Man. We did not stay in our jammies all day, and we did not have breakfast for dinner.

*I did not stay up until 2 am one night waiting for Hubba Hubba to call because he was out of town.

*I did not buy a bag of caramels at the farmer's market this weekend. I did not eat them all in two days.

*I am not having difficulty thinking of more Not Me!s because I want to get breakfast. Which I'll do in just a minute, but first....


Secret-Announcement-Contest Information!!!!!!!

It's almost time for me to share my secret with you. But first, I thought I'd have some fun with it. So, I want to hear your guesses on what my secret is. You can check old posts for what it's not, if you need to. If you know (and you know who you are...) please don't guess! I'm going to moderate the comments and won't post contest-related comments until the contest ends, so your guess will remain a secret from other contestants. (So much secrecy going on...)

Leave a comment with your best guess at what my secret is. I'll leave the contest open until Wednesday at noonish. The first person who gets it right, or comes closest by Wednesday will get a prize that relates somehow to my secret! So, start guessing!

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Cat's Life

This morning I realised there was no way I was napping. Most likely because the book I'd been reading suddenly got interesting, and I knew I'd have to keep reading. In theory, though, I like to take a nap in the morning when Wiggle Man takes his--especially if I've not been sleeping well.

At any rate, I gave up and came downstairs to get some things done before I head off to the farmer's market with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. And Wiggle Man, of course.

This is what I found:



I guess it's a good thing I didn't put away Wiggle Man's toys before his nap--Chloe decided his toy basket would make the perfect spot to hide away and nap. If only I could do the same!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Post Number Fifty

Well, according to my dashboard when I sign in, this will be my 50th post! Sorry it came so late in the week, but my mind and heart have been elsewhere. I'll fill you in soon, I promise. (Yes, Rhonda, Sky, Camilla, and Amanda--yes, you too--you know already! Isn't it fun to know a secret?) Hubba Hubba and I have some big decisions to make in the coming days and weeks, and we'd appreciate any prayers anyone wants to send up for us!

Anyway, in the spirit of Wordless Wednesdays (on Thursday, I know) here are some pictures I took recently that remind me that He is as faithful as the changing of seasons.







Monday, October 13, 2008

It's The Not Me! Mondays...

Well it's Monday again, and you know what that means--Not Me! Monday! As always, check out the wonderful, amazing MckMama for the original Not Me! Monday fun. You can also check out the other bloggers who are participating!

So, this week...

*I did not write this post earlier than normal, just to be higher up on MckMama's list.

*I did not just get excited because my jeans will come off without being unbuttoned. (Did I just write that? It's so not what it sounds like!)

*I did not actually laugh with joy when Brett Myers went 3 for 3 with 3 RBIs on Friday. And text a friend to gloat.

vcvsdds sc nngn,,,,,,,,,,,,ngb gvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvnb

*I did not just let Wiggle Man type on the keyboard just for this post. I am consistent in my parenting, and he is not allowed to touch the keyboard. So I wouldn't just abandon my rules just for a cute bit in a post. No siree.

*I did not sit in my jammies Saturday night, watching girly movies and eating peanut butter cups just because I missed Hubba Hubba.

*I have not taken a ridiculous amount of pictures on my new camera. Pictures that I can't get on my computer until the usb cord arrives. I am not upset about the holiday today because it means the earliest I can get said cord is now Tuesday.

*I am not writing this post to procrastinate. I do not have work to do. Nope, not me.

*I am not busting just trying to wait to tell you my big announcement.

*I did not just eat a ridiculous amount of fried apples at my mother-in-laws last night. I also did not wish I was too full to eat more that I did.

*I do not allow Wiggle Man to eat his snacks off the floor. I mean, eww.

*And, lastly, I am not bummed because this was such a quiet week, and I wanted crazier things to tell you that I didn't do. I mean, that's just asking for trouble.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

No, my American friends, I'm not insanely early on my Thanksgiving felicitations. Monday is Thanksgiving in Canada. The motto of my American family is, "Any excuse for a party!" so we'll be having a small dinner tomorrow night. The usual treats--turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and an apple pie. (Yes, for those of you who know me, I did write "mashed potatoes." I've discovered I actually like them...if they have sour cream, cream cheese, garlic and parsley in them...)

One thing Americans like to ask me is why Canadians have Thanksgiving. After all, I'm told, we didn't have the pilgrims. And, while I remind them that the New World included Canada, and thus we had our share of pilgrims come here, I guess it's not the same. They weren't the Plymouth Rock pilgrims, who got to share that lovely meal with the Indians. Or something like that.

I won't speak for all my fellow Canadians, but growing up, Thanksgiving in our family was simply about being thankful. Grateful for the blessings of family, food, home and country. That doesn't change when you cross the border. I'm still thankful for family, food, home and country, and so tomorrow I will celebrate what we've come to call in our family "First Thanksgiving." The American half of my family didn't seem to like it when I referred to Canadian Thanksgiving as "Real Thanksgiving" and American Thanksgiving as "Fake Thanksgiving." So now we have "First" and "Second" Thanksgivings.

And, if you weren't aware that Canadian Thanksgiving was at a different time, don't worry. For the longest time I couldn't figure out why all the American stations put their Thanksgiving specials on so late, or why there was snow in them. Because, no, it's not snowing in Canada. Yet.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Time to...Grab a Shoe! (Preferably Someone Else's.)

Yes, kids, it's that time again. This is the part of the show where I display various bugs, in honour of my roommate, whose shoe I used all those years ago to kill that giant spider in our dorm room. Seriously, friends...it was 'sgusting. So, without further ado, I bring you: Bob.



We discovered Bob on our trip to Kenya in '06. One morning, after a particularly heavy rain the night before, we arrived to work and found him there, quite comfortable in the mud. The quarter, of course, is not Bob's. We put it there for context, because Bob is THE HUGEST SLUG we had ever seen. Up til that point. Because, apparently, that's the normal size for African slugs.


In retrospect, Bob should have used the quarter to make a quick phone call, or at least used it for cover, because within minutes of this picture being taken, Bob was squished. Poor Bob.


Don't even get me started about the termites there. That's for another edition of Grab A Shoe, Preferably Someone Else's! (To re-visit previous episodes, check out my Yucky Bugs.)




Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Quiet

I just deleted my post.

I had just finished a nice, random post, and I made it disappear. And I'm so ready to go to sleep...I'll just have to sum up for you guys:

Quiet. Blogland has been quiet. So has real life.

Thought today would be hectic, for reasons related to "the announcement." Not so much, thanks to Hubba Hubba's organizational skills. Think perhaps a contest is in order, related to "the announcement." More to come.

Finally am in possession of a camera again. Very excited--first craigslist purchase--Konica Minolta--super price. Now just need USB cable, and will be good.

Blargh--left the clothes on the line. All dewy now. Will have to wait til morning.

Night night!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What Do You Think?

As you can see, we've done a little renovating here at Poutine. Much thanks to Weeksie50 for willing to share tips with this newbie. Check out her blog, friends, she's got some great stuff there! (And a fab picture of The Hoff!)

******

I'm perversely a little pleased that my casual references to an announcement have sparked some interest. Wait another week or two, and I'll share my secret.

******

Is it wrong that I'm a little peeved that the last half of The Biggest Loser got preempted for the Presidential debate? Grr. Now I have to check online tomorrow to see what I missed.

******

This evening was like a little Christmas for me. A shipment of new make-up and yummy smelling lotions arrived. So of course, I washed off the make-up I had on to put the new stuff on. I seriously just smelled my hands to inhale the fab rosemary-mint scent. I love bath and body products...I have products everywhere!

******

Wiggle Man is exhibiting early neat freak signs. He kept putting stray pebbles back onto the gravel driveway from the grass. Of course, all that is totally counteracted by the toys strewn all over my house. Hmm.

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With those tidbits out there in cyber space now, I'm feeling ready for bed. Night nights!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Not Me! Monday Time

Well, readers, it's been a few days since I posted. I hope you missed me. :) After a crazy weekend, I'm proud to present my edition of Not Me! Monday. For the original (and best) Not Me! Monday blog, check out MckMama. If you're still craving more NM!M fun, she has links to other blogs joining in the fun.

This week:

I did not sleep in way too often, rather than get up and work out.

I did not sit idly by while Wiggle Man mooched second breakfasts of Hubba Hubba and Auntie, even though I'd already fed him breakfast. What kind of mother lets her kid eat two breakfasts?

I did not give in and give Wiggle Man yogurt even though he'd already had one that day, just because he was pointing frantically at the fridge and I didn't feel like arguing. No, I maintain consistency between what I say and what I do. Boundaries, friends. Children need boundaries.

I did not spend yesterday on the couch with a blanket and snacks watching the Phillies and Eagles games, simply because I felt 'weird.'

I did not then have to rapidly finish lesson plans and grades for my substitute job before friends came over because I'd procrastinated all afternoon due to the aforementioned 'weirdness.'

I did not drink a glass of wine before bed over the weekend in the hopes it would help me sleep. (In my defense, it was Hubba Hubba's idea. And it didn't work.)

I have not been having trouble sleeping because my brain will not shut down, but rather thinks through a million different scenarios related to a big announcement coming up in the next two weeks. (Remember, it's not a baby. That's all I'll say for now.)

I do not bake for worship team rehearsals just for an excuse to bake treats.

I will not be trying this butter tart recipe for the same reason. Nor do I drool at the picture of the Joy Of Baking website.

I did not drink an inordinate amount of Diet Pepsi this weekend simply because the cans were in the fridge and I was too lazy to pour a glass of water.

I am not excited about adding those Pepsi Stuff points to my account.

I did not take Wiggle Man out without shoes or socks this morning because I feel like going upstairs to get them.

There you have them--things that I did not do this week. If only I could remember what I actually did do...just kidding.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Perfect Days

I can't help feeling that life is perfect and full these days. Perhaps it's the change to fall--one of my favourite seasons. I love snuggling in sweatshirts while it's cool outside, and reading with a cup of tea.

Perhaps it's watching Wiggle Man grow and learn new things every day. He's so smart, it honestly makes me want to laugh with joy. He points to where he wants to go. (Usually outside, towards the chickens or the ducks.) He knows the chickens eat grass, not dirt, and picks some to feed to them. Heck, he can feed it to the chickens by himself now. He knows his yogurt is kept in the fridge, and will point to the fridge when he wants yogurt. He signs "all done" when he's full, waves good-bye when you tell him it's "night nights", and has very definite choices about which book to read before bed-time.

Perhaps it's watching the Phillies kick butt. It's ok--the Phils are only my NL team. If we ever repeated '93, I'd be cheering for the Jays all the way. I sing the Jays' song to taunt Hubba Hubba, and frequently threaten to pull out the commemorative VHS from the '93 Series. Even in inter-league play, for the few games the Jays and Phillies face off, I'm a Jays fan. And I've gotten my fair share of dirty looks at Citizen's Bank Park. But still--it's nice to cheer for the same team as your husband, as long as my loyalties don't conflict.

Maybe there's something fulfilling in being just a little old-fashioned. My clothes are out on the line (a fact that stunned a teenager recently--"you have a clothesline? Cool!") or the fact that I'm attempting to make my own chicken stock as I type this. I love days where I do things the old-fashioned, homemade way. Perhaps I'll bake a pie to top the day off.

Whatever the cause, I'm thankful for the joy that bubbles under the surface. I'd like to tell it to kick off its shoes and stay awhile. Since I know that's not likely, I'll just have to enjoy it while it's here.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My Not So New Red Shirt

I don't know about you, but when I'm trying to lose weight, I normally have a goal shirt, or goal pants. I have a love/hate (mainly hate) relationship with the scale--it never seems to reflect the work I put in. So, I gage my success by my clothes, and the occasional session with the measuring tape.

Several months ago I was shopping with my girlfriends and found a cute red shirt, on sale for something like $4. Well, come on people--$4? Of COURSE I bought it, regardless of the fact that it was a little...snug.

Every few weeks I'd try on this red shirt to see if it was less frightening to wear. Today, I needed something to wear with a skirt to teach, and on a whim tried on the red shirt. And finally, after months of trying it on and rejecting it in utter disgust, I left it on. That's right--my not so new red shirt, my goal shirt, is now WEARABLE!

Is a toast, I lift a peanut butter cup to you, friends. May all your goal shirts be loose.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I Wanna Be Like Chloe

Between being a full-time Mommy, a part-time worship leader, and a once-a-week substitute music teacher--not to mention loving wife to Hubba Hubba--life is very full these days. It's also about to get fuller, but I'll leave that announcement for another couple of weeks. (No, it's not a baby, and no spoiling if you already know, ok?)

But right now, it's a peaceful fall afternoon. I was about to type 'quiet', until I heard Wiggle Man playing with the musical aquarium on his crib. I guess he's not quite asleep yet. It's cloudy and cool--my favourite kind of day. Our cat, Chloe, is next to me by our back door. She's lulled herself to sleep watching the last leaves fall from the walnut trees out back.

As I watched her, I realised how much I want to be like her. I mean, yes, I'm jealous of the all-day naps, and everything, but I want to bring a little of that calm into my every day life. I think that's something the Lord has been trying to teach me for a while now, and I think I might just be getting better at it.

I'm learning not to stress over things I can't change. I'm learning to embrace, and actually look forward to change. Who would try to stop the leaves from falling off the trees? Even if you dread raking them, you know there's nothing you can do to keep them up there.

I believe God has wonderful things for my family in the coming years. I also think there will be painful times, too. But, since I can't glue the leaves back on the tree, I think I'll just watch them float softly to the ground.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rock Stars and Worshippers

Last night was my first official night "on the job." You may remember I've started a new part-time job at a local church as their contemporary worship leader. I'll admit I felt a little apprehensive going into that first rehearsal. Even though I knew many on the team from the year Hubba Hubba spent interning at that church, there was still that unknown factor. How would we fit together as a team? How would they handle new leadership? My leadership?

I'm a firm believer that baked goods can pave the way for good relationships. A little old fashioned maybe, it's somewhat along the lines of bringing a pie to the new neighbours. So, I baked my favourite brownie recipe. (Any excuse to bake brownies, really...I love brownie batter. Or cookie batter, for that matter. Cake batter's good, too. You get the point.)

Armed with fresh out of the oven brownies and a plan to spend the beginning of rehearsal chatting about what worship means, off I went.

Being a worship leader is an odd thing, sometimes. You're the one up front, singing the songs, and your mic is the loudest. Naturally, people look at you the most. For some people, that may be part of the appeal, I don't know.

I tend to think there's a difference between being a rock star, and being a worship leader. (Besides the metallic shirts, tight jeans and pyrotechnics, of course.) The difference isn't training, or skill levels. Sound checks are just as important. Good equipment is just as important. I would even argue that talent is important.

Don't get me wrong here, friends. I think God uses, and blesses, the best we give Him. Whatever our 'best' may be. But I think He wants and deserves our best. That's the key difference between a rock star and me--my heart. The reason I do what I do needs to be love for my Lord. That love is what should motivate me to practise, to hone my skills, to choose the best equipment, and do whatever else is necessary to give Him by best. My all. Not a love for music, or performing, or anything else. Love for Jesus.

That's the gist of what I shared with my team last night. I hope they were as blessed by our time together as I was. And if they weren't--at least they got brownies.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Not Me! Monday

Well, friends, TGIM. A day for laundry, a new resolve to eat healthy after the weekend's treats, and of course, Not Me! Monday. For the ultimate in NM!M fun, check out MckMama. She's the original NM!M queen, and her blog is amazing. If you don't already read it, you should!

This week:

*I did not forget to call someone important on her birthday. (Since you're reading this, again, I'm so sorry!)

*I did not give in and buy Nutella. Because, of course, if I buy it, I eat it. I wouldn't do that with my super resolve for healthy eating.

*I did not leave Wiggle Man's laundry folded in his basket all week, instead of putting it away. I have not been taking clean clothes out of said basket. I will not likely leave the clothes there until they're almost all dirty again, anyway.

*I did not put off getting my varicella vaccine. I have not been putting it off since Wiggle Man, who just turned one, was born. Nor have I put off getting my blood work done. Not me.

*I do not obsess about blogging. I do not check my blog ALL THE TIME for new comments. I do not announce the hit count to my husband more than once a day. I do not think about new ideas for my blog while I'm supposed to be doing something else. And I did not write down ideas for NM!M on a crumpled WalMart receipt while I was in bed. No, sir.



Saturday, September 27, 2008

I Can Hear You Pee...

Am I the only one who likes to make up songs and/or rewrite lyrics to existing songs? I mean, one of Wiggle Man's favourite songs is "Ja-boom, Ja-boom." I made it up one day when he was little, and he seems to think it's funny. It's nothing profound--the actual words are quite silly.

It all started in college. My roommate was a singer, and she sang. All the time. Still does. When she talks to you, she's often actually singing to you. When she first met me, one of the first things she learned about me is that when I laugh, my butt shakes. It really does. She was sitting beside me, I started laughing, and she jumped up and told everyone that when The Canadian (as I was known) laughs, her butt shakes.

So she made up a song:

(To the tune of "Maniac" by Michael Sembello )

She's Canadian, Canadian--
And her butt shakes.
And she's laughing like she's never laughed before.

Again, nothing profound, but there were people on campus who didn't know me personally who knew that song. That was a little unsettling. I think you should be on a first name basis with someone before they know that your butt shakes.

I got my revenge, however. Years of living with someone provide ample opportunities, and I discovered her weakness. She, like many people, does not like to be heard peeing. Yup, she can't stand it. Naturally, with my perverse sense of humour, I thought this needed a song. I mean, who doesn't want a soundtrack to their bathroom visits? Maybe someone who doesn't want anyone to hear them pee....

So I came up with this:

(To the tune of "Breathe" by Faith Hill)
I can hear you pee,
Peeing next to me,
Suddenly I'm peeing next to you;
It's not a number two,
Baby all I have to do is pee.
Caught up in the gush,
The slow and steady flush,
Baby isn't that the way that pee's supposed to be?
I can hear you pee.

So, what I'm wondering is, am I the only one? Are there more of us who sing all the time, even if it's ridiculous? I'm anxious to hear your songs, friends. Leave me a comment with your favourite made-up song--yours, or someone else's. You probably won't win anything (OK, you definitely won't-I still haven't mailed out prizes from Pay It Forward, but they're coming, I promise) but we all like a chance to show off. Here's yours.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm Not From Around Here...

Every once and a while, something will happen that reminds me I'm not actually from here. It's not always a big thing, and sometimes it's just a reminder that I grew up in a more...urban setting, shall we say. So it's a little odd sometimes that my nearest neighbours are nurseries and cows. Cows that like to escape and hang out on the church steps Sunday morning. But that's another story for another day.

Today's story is The Groundhog. It's always The Groundhog. Like there can't be more than one, or something. Hubba Hubba and his father are always talking about The Groundhog roaming around our properties. I could understand their concern if we actually had crops we were worried about.

Anyway, I guess Groundhog Fever gets us all, eventually, because this afternoon when my sister-in-law pointed, aghast, out the window at "the hugest groundhog" I went running. And then grabbed the camera, thinking Hubba Hubba would want to see The Groundhog to End All Groundhogs. Seriously. We might not have crops for this thing to eat, but we do have chickens, and I think he could take one down.




If you're not familiar with the stats on groundhogs, let me tell you: this guy is huge. The picture doesn't do him justice. (Apparently the camera removes pounds from groundhogs. How do I make this work for me?)




If this pretty little lady doesn't look worried, she should. There's a monster hiding under her bed! (Well...under her house...so I guess that counts.)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Whew!

Well, it has been quite a day. Thursday is my day to substitute teach. I spend my day teaching K-8 music, then it's off to teach private lessons before I come home and collapse. Don't get me wrong--I love doing all those things. All those things on one day, however...well, it makes my feet hurt. I even wore 'sensible shoes' today.

For some reason, Wiggle Man feels that Wednesday night/Thursday morning is the time to moan and groan. He must wake up 3 or 4 times during the night. Every week. I have no idea why this is...does he KNOW I have to get up and face hordes of children all day? Perhaps this is my punishment for daring to leave him.

~~~

If that's the case, he's about to be even more ticked off. I just took another part-time job. I'm the new (interim) contemporary worship leader at a local church. This isn't too much time away from home--most of the prep and practising will be done at home, with one night a week rehearsing with the rest of the worship team. We'll see how Wiggle Man likes them apples.

~~~

Congratulations to Amanda, Johnny and Rhonda--you're the winners in my very first blog giveaway. If I don't have your addresses yet, make sure you get them to me. Jealous? Well...you'll just have to enter yourselves the next time I do one. And it was so much fun checking for entries that I might have to do another one soon.

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The Wiggle Man is on his way to Walking Man. This week he took his first steps, and of course, I was in the other room. His Aunt witnessed the very first steps. He still refuses to perform for the camera though, so this is an undocumented milestone. It's amazing to me that a child that is such a ham in real life freezes whenever a camera is on him.

~~~

It's cold, and rainy. This is a perfect night to curl up with a cup of tea, some Nutella on toast, and put in a girly movie. I think I shall.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pay It Forward

Dee dee dee dee! (Imagine trumpet fanfare, if you would.)



It's my first giveaway! I'm going to pretend it's because my hit counter just hit 100. Really, it's because Sky had this Pay It Forward giveaway on her fabulous blog, and I wanted to play along. It was a giveaway I could win!

So now I pass the fun along to you. Here's how we'll do it: The first three people to leave a comment on this post will WIN! Just make sure you include your email address somewhere in your comment. I'll send a little surprise your way. The Pay It Forward part is that you then get to host your very own Pay It Forward giveaway. The prizes don't have to be big and fancy--something small enough to fit in a regular or manila envelope.

So, friends, it's in your hands. I know you're out there. I see the hits on my counter. I see the dots on my map. One little comment is all it takes to WIN! (And we all like to win, don't we?)

Why I Don't Buy White Shirts

If you're a regular here at Poutine, you know I love all things Target. I always spend too much money at Target, which is why Hubba Hubba gets a headache just looking at the place. If you read yesterday's Not Me! Monday post, you know about my stained white shirt. But let me elaborate, and fill you in on..."the rest of the story."

During one of my trips to "Jenn Paradise" (read: Target) last week, I bought a great little white button down shirt. Very cute, perfect for layering. Also, from the clearance rack, which makes it even more wonderful. Also makes it hard to replace if it gets, say....stained.

Proudly, I wear my new shirt to church Sunday morning. Hubba Hubba, Wiggle Man and I hit one of our favourite restaurants afterwards for some yummy pasta. I know what you're thinking: Ok, she got spaghetti on her new white shirt. How cliche.

Oh no, friends. I did not spill anything on my new white shirt. Wiggle Man did not get anything on my new white shirt.

Hubba Hubba.

There he was, across the table. I can see it in slo-mo: His piece of celery drops from his hand, traveling down toward his plate of wings slathered in hot sauce. Upon impact, hot sauce splatters up, not towards Hubba Hubba in his green shirt, no. Like a heat-seeking missile, it finds my crisp white shirt and heads right for it. Splat.

Seriously, people?

We come home, and Hubba Hubba gets the stain out. Go Hubba Hubba. Thank you, Shout. The shirt goes on the line to dry to prevent shrinkage. When it's dry, I head out to get it, and the other clothes, off the line. It's so picturesque--Wiggle Man screaming on the grass because he wants to play with the chickens NOW, and me crying. Crying? Because while my beautiful shirt was drying on the line, a bird pooped on it. Not just any bird. A bird that had apparently consumed a purple berry recently.

Seriously?

Again with the Shout. Two rounds, this time. Purple berry poop is hard to get out. The Shout and I prevailed. This time, the shirt is drying on a rack in the basement. It might not have that line-dried fresh scent, but at least it's safe from birds.

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Check out my blog in the next few days for my very first giveaway!