Thursday, April 30, 2009

PVD

I may have PVD.

You know, Post Vacation Depression. Symptoms of PVD include frustration at carrying out menial tasks such as emptying the dishwasher or doing laundry. (Or, as you know if you follow me on Twitter, I've been avoiding laundry due to a giant spider.) Other symptoms to watch out for are using unusual lingo (I have to bite my tongue to keep from calling everyone "mon"), listening to music outside of the norm for the individual (I have sudden urges to blast reggae) and trying to get others to notice your tan.

PVD, not surprisingly, strikes after arriving home after a fabulous vacation, such as the one we were blessed to take last week. I haven't done enough research to know the duration of PVD symptoms. I can only hope (for my sake, as well as Hubba Hubba's and Wiggle Man's) that they subside soon.
And I mean, really. What's so wrong with the assumption that when you return to your room it will have been thoroughly cleaned, beds made, and one of these waiting to greet you?


I may have to start folding the ends of my toilet paper into those neat little points.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Not So Wordless Wednesday

Well, at least I got to come home to one of my favourite sights:





I love it when the cherry trees blossom. Wiggle Man and I were out playing with the chickens who live in the pen next to the trees.


It was idyllic. Until I put my hand up to lean on the tree and saw:




Nothing like an exoskeleton to ruin a great moment.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

We're Baa-ack!

I woke up this morning feeling two conflicting emotions. The first was joy tinged with amazement that Wiggle Man had slept in so late. It was 9:45 am, people! I actually had to wake him up. Amazing what a bus ride, followed by a plane ride, followed by Mommy spilling milk in the Wawa parking lot, followed by some staying up 2 hours past your bedtime will do for a kid, in terms of sleeping.

The other emotion? Bummed-ness. I was so bummed that there would be no buffet breakfast waiting for me, no freshly squeezed island orange juice, no smiling Fritz asking me my room number. Somehow, even Wiggle Man waking up at 6 am seemed ok in Jamaica, man.

Sigh. And one of today's questions on Millionaire was about pina coladas. Can you be homesick for someplace that isn't home?

At any rate, we're back in Jersey. Wiggle Man has already trashed the first floor of our house with toys...or maybe it only looks that way because we still have suitcases half opened everywhere. It's hard to tell. I may have strewn about the contents of two carry-on bags in a frenzied attempt to find my phone. (Which, in case you're curious, was exactly in the pocket I thought it was, yet somehow missed the first three times I checked.)

I should be doing laundry, or unpacking, or cleaning. Something productive. Yes, somehow, I just can't seem to muster up the motivation to do it. My brain is still on island mode.

Maybe later.

Monday, April 27, 2009

So Long, Farewell...

Auf wiedersehen, good night. I really do hate to go and leave this lovely sight. Jamaica is amazing. I can't believe it's already Monday. When I'm done this, I have to start packing. Sigh.

I know, I know. No one out there feels sorry for me.


But you wouldn't want to leave this, either, would you?

I didn't think so.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunny Days

Well, Wiggle Man got his Sesame breakfast after all. We didn't realise it was going on until after the office had closed for the evening, so I was worried we wouldn't get in. But get in we did, and I'm so glad. It was a blast. They had all the characters show up, and take pictures with each child. The kids got gift bags, too, which was a nice touch, I thought.

The breakfast was in the same restaurant where Hubba Hubba and I had dinner last night. A bit of a transformation from the quiet, romantic, white gloved service atmosphere to:




Speaking of date night with Hubba Hubba, I wish I'd brought my camera. The reasons for that are twofold. One: the only picture we have of Hubba Hubba and I dressed up on our date was taken by one of the resort employees on their camera, and when we looked at it this morning in the photo hut I hated it. I'm sitting all sideways-ey and it looks like I have no neck. Two: I can't show you the awesome appetizer I had. I ordered tropical fruits in a pineapple hut, thinking it would come in some sort of pineapple cup. Nope--it actually was a little pineapple hut, complete with pineapple roof. I almost didn't want to eat it.

I did, though.

Back to breakfast: what a great job the resort did. There was a DJ playing Sesame Street music, all the decorations were Sesame Street, and I love how each employee, from the Kids Camp counselors to the wait staff, really seem to love the kids.

This is one of Wiggle Man's new favourite loveys, chillin' with us at breakfast:



The only slight disappointment so far has been that the resort is shooting some marketing photos today, so we couldn't use the beach or the pools. Here's the photographer's chopper. Is it wrong that I wanted to shake my fist in anger at him every time I saw him?




We were pretty upset at first, but the customer relations team came through. All the guests today had their choice of various complimentary tours and attractions--we chose a local water park, thinking Wiggle Man would love it.

We were wrong. Evidently, the kids pool area terrified him, as did the lazy river. Who knew that giant buckets of water landing on your head, and flipping over in a tube with your Dad on the lazy river could be scary?

So, we headed to another resort we'd been given access to, and spent the rest of the day on the beach there.

And finally, to finish things off, more photographic proof that I am indeed on vacation. Yes, I'm pretty red...sunscreen only goes so far, apparently. Happily, I'm darkening to a nice beige today. (I never really get nice and brown. I just stop looking the colour of paper.) Like my diva sunglasses? I tried some "fierce" poses yesterday...I don't think Tyra would be proud.












Saturday, April 25, 2009

Good Morning, Sunshine

I love how quickly we can adjust to a new routine. Morning in Jamaica starts the same way: Wiggle Man wakes up, cuddles in bed with us for about 2.45 seconds, and then immediately wants to go out onto the balcony.





Eventually we convince him that if he wants to do anything other than play on the balcony all day, he needs to get dressed. This means chasing him around the bed and wrestling him into his clean diaper and clothes.


Even before breakfast, he starts pointing towards the pool and signing "more"--his way of saying "please". It takes more cajoling to get him to agree to eat breakfast. Then it's back to the room for another showdown to get him ready for swimming.



In addition to the pools and beaches, the resort has a mini water park with slides, a lazy river, and a fountain of sorts, with water shooting up everywhere. This is one of Wiggle Man's favourite things:




Today we finally got him to play at the beach. (He's been a pool baby up until today.) He didn't seem to fond of the sand; yesterday he wouldn't even walk on it. Thankfully, today there were boats and a water trike on the beach--these distracted him long enough to get him used to walking on the sand. Now we have a hard time getting him to leave the beach.








I love chubby feet on a beach.


And, lest you start to question whether I'm actually here on vacation, here's a picture of me. Yes, my hair is fluffy and curly. Yes, I brought my straightener, but quickly realised there was just no point. Even if I weren't in and out of the water all day, the humidity here has my hair going in all directions. And so, I wave the white flag of surrender. But not before at least attempting to tame it with clippies.




Friday, April 24, 2009

Where's Froggy?

Did you ever read those Where's Waldo books as a kid? That's what this picture reminded Hubba Hubba of:







I found this guy on our balcony this morning. As soon as Wiggle Man is fully awake, he wants to go out on the balcony. I've probably said it before, but the kid would live outside, if we'd let him.

Here's a shot of the little guy up close. (The frog, that is. Not Wiggle Man.)




Cute, right? I thought so. Hubba Hubba just grumbled that Froggy was one of those stinkers making all that racket last night.
I absolutely love our resort here. The people in charge of the kids programs are fabulous, and Wiggle Man has taken right to them. There's so much for kids to do here, and plenty of relaxing things for me to do.
Yesterday there was a Sesame Street parade. Wiggle Man seems to think that Elmo (or any of the characters, really) are his own personal friends. I've heard some kids are afraid of the characters in costume. We can't keep our kid away from them long enough for the other kids to get hugs.
Did you see the movie Elf? You know the scene where Buddy's in New York, and he finds out Santa's coming to Gimbels, and he says "Santa's coming? I KNOW him!" I swear that's exactly what Wiggle Man is thinking about Elmo whenever he sees him. "I KNOW him!"
After the parade it was time for dinner on the beach.
I love Jamaica....

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bring....Me....

Two pina coladas, one for each hand....or maybe just one--I mean, no need to go crazy, or anything. Although I have to say--these are the best pina coladas ever. We even made a Baby Colada for Wiggle Man. Before you call Family Services, relax. It was a tiny bit of the frozen mix (sans alchohol) mixed with a lot of milk. He loved it.


If you're family, you're glad to know we got here safe and sound. If not, well, you might just be jealous of this:







We're here in beautiful Jamaica, and we may not leave. Ok, we probably will have to leave. But I won't want to.


We had a pretty uneventful trip here. Wiggle Man slept on me most of the plane ride. Which made that the hottest plane ride ever. Seriously, the kid's a heat pump. The only drama we had was the shuttle ride to our resort. (Which was still cool. We drove through the town where they filmed Cool Runnings.) However, it turns out that Wiggle Man inherited more than my love for carbs--he also gets carsick, just like Mommy.

Unlike Mommy, though, he actually threw up.

There we were, driving crazily across the island, music pumping, and Hubba Hubba shouting for the poor driver to pull over. Did you know diapers make excellent barf bags? True fact.


Once we arrived, though, he was all smiles and giggles. He'd live in the pool, if we'd let him. He was less excited by the beach, but I have hope. He is my son, after all. And he loves it here. He won't want to leave, either. Unless, of course, he can take these guys with him:




Cookie Monster just walked by. I blew him a kiss--he returned the favour. Don't tell Hubba Hubba.

I'm off to find me a pina colada.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

And They're Off!!!

Just a quick note to let you all know I may not be posting much this week. We're leaving for our family vacation...a much needed one.

Depending on the internet connection, I may be posting pictures to make you drool with envy (at the vacation part...not any fab photog skillz I may or may not have) or the odd vacation story.

So keep checking back, but don't be too mad at me if there's nothing new. You can always look at archived pictures of Wiggle Man.

Here's a couple more to hold you over, courtesy of my sister-in-law. (Out of respect for Wiggle Man, I will not post the naked butt shot.)

I'm off to pack...at least, that's what I'll be spending Wiggle's nap time doing.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

For The Kisses

I was thinking today about motherhood. Not that I don't think everyday about motherhood, in some form or another, of course, but today was different.

I was thinking about why motherhood. What in the world inspires us to get up way too early, go to bed way too late, spend entire days without adult conversation*, wipe up milk, snot, poop, vomit, and unidentifiable substances without a grimace and re-read Where The Wild Things Are
37 times in a row?

*adult conversation = words that don't end in "ie", (as in "milkie" "blankie" "bummie") don't involve animal sounds, and discussions concerning shows not currently on The Disney Channel.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I think I have the answer. The reason the human race repopulates. What keeps mothers going.

I personally, do it for the kisses. There's nothing like a slobbery Wiggle Man kiss.

Even if I do wipe my cheek afterwards.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Blog Fling!

Happy Saturday, readers! I've been looking forward to today all week. And not just because it's the weekend. (I'm a stay-at-home Mom, remember? No "weekend" for me!)

Today is Sara's Blog Fling! My post today comes from Brandi. Be sure to check out Brandi's blog, and Sara's to find other bloggers who are flinging their blogs.


Here's Brandi's post:


I grew up in the country and I don't think my mother has ever had a manicure or a pedicure. I had to teach myself about girlie products including tampons, often learning things the hard way. There was the time that I waxed off and entire eyebrow. Then another time when I tried to straighten my hair... the chemicals burnt it and my hair started breaking off at the roots. I was left with some nice bald spots. Asking me about a beauty product is like asking a boy to pick out your prom dress.

I've had my moments. I'm partial to Coco Chanel Mademoiselle. My hair stays relatively trimmed. My eyebrows are mostly plucked and my day isn't right until I've showered and shaved. I have makeup preferences although I'm thinking if the economy gets any worse my choices will have to come from Target instead of Sephora. I still swear my Maybelline Great Lash mascara.

What do I treasure most, you ask? If stranded on a dessert island, what is the one thing I can't live without? Here it is...



This stuff is the most versatile and best thing I own. Even dirt poor, I think I would find a way to have it in my cabinet. It cures chapped lips in a heartbeat. It laughs at my scaly elbows and knees. I've used it on babies butts and as lip gloss in a pinch. I lather my hands at night in an effort to make that dry wrinkly 35-year old skin go away. I think it's working. When my kids had psoriasis on their scalps, this was applies. Their hair was greasy one day but the scales disappeared. I quite clearly and vehemently swear by it. Run out and get some. Wait! Maybe I should buy stock first.

Thanks, Brandi! Don't forget to head on over to her blog, and Sara's, too!

Friday, April 17, 2009

More Than Just Poutine

It's fun to post about things that are different here in America-Land. People often ask me if it's really different being down here, as opposed to the True North Strong And Free (TNSAF). These people are usually Americans. (Please remember--I'm married to an American. I like you guys.)

There are lots of things that are different. Uni-coloured money, for instance--it took me years to get the hang of looking in the corner for the denomination, rather than just memorizing colours. I can't tell you how many times I gave a cashier a one-dollar bill, thinking it was a twenty. (Twenties are green in Canada. You look in your wallet, see blue, green and purple, and you know you have 35 dollars.)

And then there's Fahrenheit. A few years ago I was finally able to stop subtracting 30 and dividing by two to get an idea of how cold it would be. Or not cold. You see my point.

One of the most bizarre things that's different down here is the Corn Pops. I've never understood why Corn Pops have to be different. What's worse is that the ones down here are...um...not good. My apologies if you're a fan of American Corn Pops. But seriously, there's something weird about the shape. And don't even get me started about the texture.

Here's what Corn Pops should look like:




This picture was originally for photographic purposes only. I've not been feeling the greatest today, so I had cereal for breakfast and lunch. I had every intention of simply pouring this back into the box.

I ate it.

It was good.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

Put On Your Easter Bonnet

It's egg decorating time!

Before you check out these pictures of Wiggle Man "decorating" his eggs, you need to understand the adult/child ratio going on. Wiggle Man was the only child doing eggs. There were....hold on while I count...5 grown ups taking pictures. (Incidentally, there were 4 more watching t.v. in the other room. Men.)

It looked like he was holding some kind of bizarre baby press conference.

Check out the hands. I'll give you two guesses as to whether or not that came off before church the next morning.

The egg dipper is really more of a fun accessory. Not so much a tool.



Who says a manly baby can't dye his eggs pink? That's what Hubba Hubba gets for watching t.v. while the women supervise egg dyeing.


These made some very lovely deviled eggs the next day. Green eggs and ham, anyone?








Saturday, April 11, 2009

Rainy Days and Mondays....

Don't always get me down, actually. This rainy day does, a little, because today's the Easter Egg hunt at church. Yes, I know they'll still do it, only inside. But I was really looking forward to getting some adorable pictures of Wiggle Man outside.

You may not hear from me much this weekend, unless of course something totally blogworthy happens that I just can't wait 'til Monday or Tuesday to post. Grandma and Grandpa are here for Easter to visit the Wiggle Man...and us, of course. Naturally.

So, if I don't post before then, Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Such A Big Boy

Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to introduce you to the newest human with climbing capability: Wiggle Man! (*Thunderous Applause*)

Doesn't he look proud of himself? Pride was my first emotion. Then came exhaustion at the thought of chasing him down all day, keeping him from climbing everywhere. You know, like climbing up onto the couch, then up the arm of the couch, and reaching up to turn the thermostat up to 85. Not that he did that shortly after taking these photos, or anything.

Still--he was pretty excited. And naked. I hadn't folded his laundry yet, people. I promise I dressed him before his afternoon nap. I just make no promises about how long exactly before his nap that was. More than 5 minutes, though.





"YESSSSSS!!!!!"






Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Things I Thought Before I Was A Mother

***UPDATED*** (Warning: visual proof of massive snot at end.)

I can admit it: before I became a mother, there were things I just didn't understand.

For example? Small children's terror of Kleenex. Being a grown-up, I couldn't understand how snot dripping down your face and running into your mouth could possibly not be the worst thing ever. It seems, however, that the worst thing ever is having that snot wiped off your face.

Before I became a mother I could never understand why the mothers of these children didn't just use softer tissues, or not wipe so hard. Or something.

Now that I have one of those children, I've learned it doesn't matter how soft the tissue, how gentle the touch, how carefully I make sure that I don't cover his mouth at the same time I'm covering his nose (you know...breathing, and all) he still runs in terror as soon as I whip out the Kleenex.

Stay tuned--if I get a good shot of him all snotty when he wakes up from his nap, you may get a visual.

Monday, April 6, 2009

For My Peeps

Sara over at Domestically Challenged was asking about how a Canadian gal like me ended up living in Joisey married to a red-white-and-blue-through-and-through American, spawning a half-breed Wiggle Baby. So, naturally, I will oblige. I try and make My Peeps happy, when I can.

(Domestically Challenged, by the way, is a fabulously hysterical blog, and I highly recommend you go check it out. Plus, I'm mentioned there today, which makes it more fabulous. For me, anyway. Oh, and Poutine--fries, gravy and cheese curds. Tres yum. )

And now, back to "Days of My Life", starring Me.

When we last saw our heroine, she was graduating college with her BS of Music Performance (Flute). This was her first foray into living as a Canadian in America-land. For the sake of my sanity, I'll stop referring to myself in the third person right now.

I'd been accepted into a great school for my Masters, but alas, the money there were sure they could find among unaccepted assistantships, was not found. This, by the way, all went down about a week before graduation. Nice. There I was, graduated, and no prospects.

After much prayer (and I mean much) I decided to look for a teaching position in a private school. (It had to be private, because my degree was not Music Ed.)

My reasons for looking for something in the Northeast U.S. are a little personal--and some of those reasons just might be reading this. :) However, I found the school I eventually took a job at, and began the ginormous process of applying for visas, saying goodbye, saying hello, and moving to a land unlike anything I'd known--there were horse farms on the same road as my new home, for heaven's sake.

Anyway, some of that personal stuff led to some heartbreak, I'll admit. But my God is bigger than heartbreak, and He used that to lead me to Hubba Hubba. (And, He gave me one of my dearest friends back.)

God's a great healer of hearts, and Hubba Hubba and I were engaged soon after--I knew he was the one as soon as I met him, I actually did. You really do "just know." We've been married for 5 years now, with a Wiggle Man to bless our lives (and keep us busy.)

So, that's the backstory, Sara. If you want to fill in the blanks with some more details, you'll just have to come visit on your summer vacation. We'll talk over Poutine.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Seriously?

One of the pitfalls of living far from home, in another country, is that no one is ever cheering for your team. Not pro sports, not even the Olympics. I'm always cheering for a different team. (It's why I adopted the Phillies as my NL team--for once, I want to cheer for the same team as my husband.)

I never, ever, ever get to watch the Leafs play. Never. Even on t.v. So, Hubba Hubba thought it would be nice to go watch them play Philly the other night.

Now, let me start by saying the Leafs suck this year. The Leafs have sucked for a few years now. Most of my life, actually, with the exception of a few good years. (Not great, mind you, but good.)

Anyway, so I know they're not the greatest team this year. I wasn't expecting them to blow the Flyers out of the water. But, they were just coming off a win against the Flyers, so I wore my jersey with pride to the game.

By the end of the first, Philly was up 5-0. Or was it 6? I lost track.

Every single Flyers goal, the guy in front of me would turn around, do a little dance, and try to high five me. Every. Single. Time.

My boys actually pulled off a decent comeback--the final score was 8-5. If you're not familiar with hockey, that's a ridiculous score. What that tells you is that the winner was the team whose goalie sucked the least.

It figures.

Friday, April 3, 2009

You Know It's Love When...

You're willing to accept chewed up food from the mouth of your child:

Wiggle Man has this thing--when he's eating food he'd rather not, he'll spit it out, and hand it to me.

I don't know why I take it.


But then again, how could you resist this face?

Also, I wanted to share with you my latest song for Wiggle Man:

(To the tune of "How Deep Is Your Love" by the BeeGees.)

How clean is your bum? (Is your bum, how clean is your bum?)
I really need to know--
Did you do a Number Two in there?
Or is that just air,
That is stinking you up so?
You have got to let me know!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

So Tired...

I. Am. So. Tired. Today.



Today was "Sub at your local Christian school day."


I'm beat, friends. Beat, I tell you.




I want a nap.

Wasn't Wiggle Man teeny tiny?