Browsing Posts published in May, 2012

Hanna and Ellie received their packages to fundraise for “Jump Rope For Heart” a worthy cause, a few weeks ago.

They were given pledge sheets and asked to solicit donations from friends, neighbours and family while promoting heart health and physical fitness.

The day the pledge forms were due back at school, having sat in our giant pile of “things we might one day need so we’ll keep piling things on top” Hanna fished out the blank form and asked, “How much money did I raise?”

Me: Did you jump rope?

Hanna: Um, yeah?

Me: Um, oh.

Well I skipped on the driveway when my shoe fell off, remember?

Yes, that was in the fall. You haven’t skipped for money in quite some time.

Did you ask your friends, relatives and neighbours to sponsor you?

I think so.

Think carefully.

Okay well how much money are you going to give me?

So you didn’t jump rope and you didn’t solicit any donations. How does one million dollars sound?

Great! I’ll get the lunch box with the speakers then. It’s the best prize.

Our daughter’s school had a bake sale the other day and Hanna was very excited to be given a toonie towards enough sweets to keep her focus on anything but school for the rest of the day.

This was one of those situations where I knew learning about counting, money, commerce and the strategic placement of her sister’s piggy bank was really going to pay off in sucrose.

When Hanna came home, eyes shifty, hands shaking, speech like she was being dubbed at high speeds, I tried to ask her how the bake sale went.

She explained, (while foaming at the mouth through a giant whipped cream moustache) “Each treat was $.50 and I bought two treats.

I thought this was the perfect time to put her math skills to use.

“So if the treats were each $.50 and you had a toonie, how much change did you get back?”

Hanna: I didn’t get any change. A boy in my class said they would only take quarters in exchange for treats so he offered me four quarters for my toonie.

 The only thing worse would have been trading a toonie for magic beans. That one still smarts.

I walked into a bakery/restaurant the other day to pick up a sandwich.

I was running errands, I did not want to drive all the way home for my usual salad and I was parked next to a bakery with a chalkboard that advertised: “Freshly made sandwiches.” Who am I to argue with a chalkboard? In I went.

The drama began shortly after I decided on the turkey on whole grain bread. The first on the tray to catch my eye was the multi grain with mystery meat but when I discovered the meat was heavily salted and processed I opted for the sour dough bread with a lower fat meat, trading for a leaner protein but a less healthy bread source.

 Just as I heard about the turkey on whole grain and quickly nodded yes, George and Martha entered (names have been altered for the sandwich buyer’s protection though, his name really was George and I’m unsure if her name was ever said aloud).

Martha asked the girl behind the deli counter if roast beef was the special today. This after a lengthy discussion leading up to the line about how it had been rumoured that roast beast was the special and that George would really love the roast beef and how unbelievable it would be if he was in the bakery on the same day the roast beef was also the special.

“Yes” the deli girl answered and George and Martha lit up, but not before George turned on his hearing aid in his left ear and asked her for confirmation of the roast beef special.

Martha asked, “How big is the roast beef?” (as you do)

The sandwich girl formed her hands together in the shape of a heart in what could best be described as the most perfect roast beef sandwich finger-mime shape I had ever seen.

Martha nearly fainted, “OH MY GOD! THAT is RIDICULOUS!”

At this point I was unsure if Martha was as impressed with the way the deli counter girl was able to hold an imaginary sandwich not losing any imaginary lettuce or dripping any imaginary mustard on her lap or at the imaginary size of today’s special.

I thought perhaps Martha was going to grab George’s arm and speed walk out of the bakery disgusted.

Unsatisfied with deli-girl’s brilliant portrayal of the sandwich’s size, she asked to see one, in complete denial that any roast beef sandwich on this planet could possibly be that size.

Deli girl returned with the roast beef special (yep, turkey on multi-grain was definitely the right choice) George grinned from aid to aid. Martha looked at George with a glare that said, “I will divorce you right now after 75 years of wedded bliss if you order that monstrosity.”

George was perplexed. If he ordered the sandwich he was going to hear about it (vaguely, muffled), not only from Martha but from Betty, her friend who was equally angered by the bakery’s blatant disregard for the size a roast beef sandwich should be.

I quietly said, “I think you could ask them to split it for you?”

Martha rolled her eyes at Betty and Betty raised her cane ever-so-slightly in my direction.

Oh I’m in this now.

And then we stood staring at the sandwich (the real one) being held up by the deli counter girl and I felt a ping of discomfort for having become involved in the great roast beef debate but wanted to help George, Martha and Betty get what they came for.  If that was a bite sized shaving of roast beef with a sign that said “Today’s Special” on it then that’s what I was going to do.

Except that isn’t what I did because I had errands to run so I paid for my sandwich and left while the debate at the counter continued.

But not before I erased the chalkboard notice, “Freshly made sandwiches” and changed it to, “Today’s Special HUGE Roast Beef Sandwiches. George approved.”

Part of my job description after all-time-lice-checker and Band-Aid alphabetizer is reviewer of homework assignments.

Yesterday after school Hanna was working on her grade three homework. Just for fun, I asked her to read the question she was working on aloud as she seemed a little perplexed and I was in one of those your-mother-is-more-than-a-sexy-French-Maid kind of moods.

The question in question had something to do with hexagonal pyramids and rectangular prisms not to be confused with hexagonal prisms and rectangular pyramids. I learned that the hard way.

It occurred to me I really had no idea what was being asked of her and more importantly, what she was asking of me.

“I need to identify the number of faces, edges and vertices in this hexagonal prism.”

Indeed you do honey. Indeed you do.

If we learned anything from operation Mommy-and-Daddy-Rocked-the-Pioneer-Maple-Syrup-presentation-2012 it’s that I really think you should think about this one long and hard and answer it without my help.

The truth is the number of faces, edges and vertices might be zero. It really looked like a trick to me but I wasn’t willing to make it so easy for her.

She said she thought there were eight faces.

How could anything have eight faces? Surely the answer was just one but I needed her to learn from her mistake. Even the moron on had eight for the answer.

I decided to tweet my frustrations but really, how much frustration can one expel in 140 characters?

Apparently enough, because I was re-tweeted by the Global Hexagonal Awareness Project. I was really hoping they wouldn’t have a representative standing by during that exact moment of weakness but there they were just waiting for one of us to slip up.

I never wanted to doubt that this was a real robot person responding but I will admit I feared clicking on the link they so helpfully provided should it be just another penis enlargement promotion—fooled me thrice.

Also, there’s a strange looking six sided object with far too many vertices for my taste (but suit yourselves) as the logo.

Let this be a lesson—do not disparage the hexagon on twitter. The prism robots are reading. I’m just waiting for a rectangular prism (Colgate toothpaste box—yes it is a rectangular prism according to the grade three homework I am planning to pull an all-nighter trying to understand) to come flying through my front door.

At least it will no longer be an unidentified flying object. I can now put a name to one of the faces.

Chloe has been picking up a few key phrases and unacceptable words from her big sisters and I’m guessing from t.v. because it could not be from her parents who speak with impeccable grammar and wouldn’t dare accidentally drop a bomb.

Yesterday, Chloe asked where Ellie had gone and when I explained, “Ellie is downstairs in the freezer,” (she was frantically searching for yogurt tubes to impress a play date) Chloe replied, “Yeah, Ellie is a loser.” Freezer, I said freezer not loser and that is not a nice word.

The list is getting longer.

Chloe has noticed she gets a reaction from saying the word stupid so she’s made up a shorter version with the same meaning that serves that same purpose. The word is “stoop.” As in, “I don’t like that book it’s stoop,” or, Hanna won’t give me back my bike, she’s stoop,” or “stoop is as stoop does.” We know she means stupid and she knows she means stupid but without actually saying the word, it would be tough for a jury of her peers to find her guilty of anything other than messing with her stoop mother. And if I know two year old jurors, they lap this stuff up.

I’d like to say this one is rare but each and every time we enter the grocery store the following shocking question comes out of this cute little sidekick’s mouth, “Mommy did you fart?” I try to ignore her because I know if I react the way I did the first thirty-seven times she wins and I am abandoning a cart in front of the sushi display headed straight to the costume store to be sized for a wig and undercover glasses. When I don’t react, she follows with “Mommy, what do I smell?”

I really wish she’d stop doing this. It’s starting to make me look stoop.

Ellie: Mommy, can we buy an RV?


Ellie: Can we rent one?

Sure, let’s rent an RV.

Ellie: Well, what is an RV technically?

It’s a bus-like vehicle where a family can travel and sleep in the same place. (My worst nightmare)

Ellie: That sounds AWESOME!

To whom?

Ellie: Can we wear hats and stuff?

It would be weird if we didn’t.

Ellie: Let’s buy an RV and hire a driver to drive us around.

Why not? Where would you like to go?

Ellie: Can it drive anywhere?


Ellie: Okay, let’s go to the glow-in-the-dark-mini-putt place.

Deal–but we’re taking our hats off.

Once every fourteen years (approximately) I sleep in past 7:30am.

To try to put into words the number of factors involved in actually having this happen would be an absurd undertaking.

What is so unbelievably unique about what I am going to tell you is that our entire family of five slept in until 8:30am on Saturday morning. This has never happened before, at least, not in our lifetime.

Here is why this miracle is almost beyond the realm of possibility.

  1. The sleep in took place on a Saturday morning meaning, we didn’t have to rush to get ready for school, we weren’t late for anything, Greg didn’t have to be on the golf course pencil deep in the Penske file so the odds of the sleep in happening on a Saturday are 1 in 7.
  2. For the entire family to sleep in including one elderly person on the cusp of his fortieth birthday, one turning thirty-seven, an eight, six and two year old ALL, SIMULTANEOUSLY sleeping in? There are no words. Odds must be 1 in Google.
  3. None of us were sick. I repeat–nobody in the house was suffering from fevers, vomiting, diarrhea, third nipple chaffing, hot-dog fingers or any other fast talking symptoms you hear at the end of every American drug company commercial. None. And yet, we slept.
  4. To our knowledge, none of us had been drugged in the night though that might be a question for the surveillance tapes.
  5. Outside factors did not affect our rest i.e.; no neighbourhood dogs were being beckoned to return home by an acapella group through a megaphone, no trucks were stalling on the roads nearby, no sirens were blaring, no coyotes were consummating their marriages, no birds were chirping, no raccoons were knocking on the front door looking for a play date with the girls. All was quiet like the sound immediately following a natural disaster when you wonder if you are the only survivors because it’s just that quiet.

I woke up refreshed. I knew what month and year it was. I was hungry having eaten the same bowl of oatmeal at 6am for several years–I was 2.5 hours past my regular feeding. I was scared. If we were the last people on earth, would we care so much about the dandelion infestation?

I was happy and it wasn’t even Mother’s Day.


Chloe (age 2) and I spent the morning at a local park in the warm sunshine.

We laughed and took pictures of how her thin, baby hair would stand straight up after she zoomed down one of the many slides.

I tried to explain static electricity to her while giggling at her faux-hawk.


Yes honey–static.

“Mommy, my hair is staddick, but my heart is just yours.”

I looked forward to my outing at the garden centre with Chloe. We went to look for inspiration, to absorb the smells of spring and to see how professional gardens vs. professional dandelion grow-ops should look.

The colours were extraordinary, Chloe enjoyed watching the waterfalls and we had a lovely chat on the way home where after being asked if she would like to help me fold the laundry, at nearly two and a half years old replied, “I guess it’s not the worst thing in the world.”

I opened the door to our house and the alarm was blaring. The voice over the loud speaker had me identify myself, confirm a series of codes, rub my stomach in a circular motion while tapping my head and finally, turned it off.

I was then told that the alarm had already sounded once today and the police had been to the house.

“Would you like us to dispatch them again?”

Um, YES! If the alarm is going off, I think that’s part of our arrangement. For future reference, here it is in writing, there is no need to confirm with me, this is a universal YES to dispatch police.

I called Greg who was at a meeting and explained the situation. He suggested Chloe and I search the house for signs of a break-in which I gave some serious consideration as we sat outside on the driveway and drew chalk pictures until the police arrived.

I had the officer tour the house checking all entry points, under beds, closets and other favourite hiding spots the kids had identified as being “too good for Mommy to ever look there.”

We both agreed there had been two false alarms–but why?

After a discussion with the alarm company tech while Chloe handed the officer several Winnie The Pooh books and pointed out various characters and predicaments each of them had found themselves tangled in, the tech on the phone concluded if there were no balloons floating around the house (WTF?!!!) then a spider could have set off the motion sensor if it had walked directly over the panel.

“Do you have a spider in your kitchen?”

Do I have a spider in my kitchen?

First let’s assume I do have a spider in my kitchen. Let’s call him Gonzo. Do you think Gonzo would still be sitting on the face of the motion sensor an hour and a half after the alarm had gone off? He probably hopped on one of the many balloons you think I have floating around my house and went for a joy ride as soon as the coast was clear.

I think next time I’d like to be the dispatcher, “Officer, an alarm has gone off for the second time today. We have the go ahead to proceed. We think we’re looking at a motion sensor failure involving a balloon. Suspect has eight legs.”

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