Monday, February 28, 2011

Conversations with my niece

After my niece was born, she was in the hospital for a few days. On one of those days, she threw a temper tantrum. The nurse looked at my sister and said, "You're going to have fun with that one."

It didn't take long before she learned to communicate a little better, mastering the art of pointing.

Eventually, she learned that if she went and got her shoes and then went and got my shoes, we'd go for a walk. From there, it was a short step to leading us to the playground.

When she was first born, I called her "Squirmy" - for obvious reasons - but after her mom objected, I started calling her Monkey instead.

She insisted she was not a monkey.

Just before she turned two, we went out to the farm. There were a bunch of us in my mom's minivan, and we stopped for ice cream on the way back. My mom sat beside the monkey and fed her ice cream. I was in the front, and all I could hear was "num num num". I turned to my sister and said, "I think we have an ice cream monster."

It was quiet for a second, then I heard a very quiet "roar".

From then on, she'd roar at me on the phone. I, of course, had to say "Ah!".

Once I made the mistake of saying "Eek!", and was promptly told, "No, you not say eek. You say ah!"

When she was two, I was at my parents' house. We were eating fruit salad.
B: Auntie Colette, can I have your bananas?
Me: OK. *gives her my bananas*
B: Poppa, can I have your bananas?
Dad: OK.
B: Gramma, can I have your bananas?
Mom: OK.
B: Mommy, can I have your bananas?
K: OK.
B: (big grin) Only monkeys eat bananas.

Lying down to take a nap, B looks at her hand.
B: I can see my bones.
Me: Yup.
B: I don't like bones.
Me: Bones are important. They help you grow big and strong.
*silence for a minute, then*
Me: Why don't you like bones?
B: Because when the dog carries a bone in his mouth and then I carry it in my mouth, it's all stinky and slimy.

Me: "Hey, B, who's your favourite auntie?"
B: "Auntie Michelle and Auntie Camille and Auntie Wanda. Not you."

Today, she turns seven. (Seven! How did that happen?)

Happy birthday, monkey.

Love, your favourite auntie.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Wanda had a belly dance workshop this weekend. It was in a awkward spot to bus to, so she took the car.

That meant I was at home by myself.

It was one of my most productive weekends in recent memory. I made the quilt (above). I made barbie doll clothes for my friend's daughter. I made myself a flannel nightgown for my "nightwear that lives in the drawer while I wear the same pair of pajamas" collection. I sanded down the hole in the bathroom wall (but didn't get around to painting). I even cleaned the fridge.

There were a few things I didn't get to, one of which was cleaning vegetables. You see, I've decided on another challenge. Every day in March, I'm going to eat raw vegetables. I do eat vegetables normally, but they are usually cooked vegetables. It's time to stop being lazy get motivated and clean/eat raw veggies regularly.

Wish me luck ....

Friday, February 25, 2011

Thoughts while cleaning the fridge

  1. Don't store a pickle jar on its side. Really. Don't do it.
  2. Sure, it's an easy slide shelf for easier cleaning, but you must be able to remove it ... right? What if I ... how about ... never mind, I'll clean it while it's in the fridge.
  3. What is that white stuff on top of the Italian dressing? It's not that old, it only expired in ... crap, 2009.
  4. Is that strawberry jam left from a canoe trip in 2002? I think that's strawberry jam from that canoe trip in 2002.
  5. Hmm. The vegetable crisper is dirtier than the fruit crisper. That can only be attributed to apples going bad, forcing more frequent cleaning of the fruit crisper.
  6. Ew.
  7. No one is ever going to drink that mango juice. *puts it back*

Monday, February 21, 2011

If my head weren't attached...

Back in November, I bought some fabric. I went to use it this weekend, and I have no idea where it is. I've looked everywhere (except wherever it actually is, of course).

Also back in November, I bought some badges for Sparks. They have also disappeared off the planet.

Every once in a while, I still look for the black sweater that I last saw in 2009.

This house is finite. How can things just disappear? I'm starting to think I'm the victim of a very specific burglar.

On the other hand, I have a collection of socks I never wear.

I could lose a few pig figurines and it would take months for me to notice.

I have light bulbs for a lamp that hasn't worked in over a year. Heck, I still have the lamp.

Why can't I lose that stuff?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Two weeks ago was "Team Week".

You see, most of my department is in Ottawa, but we have three colleagues in various places around the world. They all came to Ottawa for team week, and we spent the week in meetings sharing information and getting to know each other.

Unfortunately, one of my team mates had a cold. Because it was team week, she continued to come to work anyway.

Last Sunday, I woke up with a sore throat. As the day went on, I didn't get better, but I didn't get worse.

Monday morning was the same, so I packed my gym clothes and went to work.

I came home at noon, worked from home all afternoon, then fell asleep at 5.

I would have taken Tuesday off, but we had three people out of the office and three sick, so that wasn't really an option.

Again, I worked during the day and then fell asleep ridiculously early. Wednesday was the same.

Thursday was a bit better, and by Friday I was really feeling better.

I've never had a cold hit me so hard, so fast. I'm very glad it didn't last terribly long.

Since I'm now feeling better (and I did nothing constructive last week), it was a busy weekend. I got together with a friend yesterday. I finished my niece's birthday present. I did laundry (including things I don't wash every week, like the shower curtain). I started making a pinata for Sparks.

I even patched up the hole that has been in the bathroom wall since Thanksgiving.

There's only one thing I didn't do - register for boxing.

Looks like I'll be boxing on Saturdays again next session.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Hockey Day in Canada

Before Thursday night, I'd never heard of Hockey Day in Canada.

That's before my neighbour sent me an e-mail asking if I could help out.

You see, my local community centre was the rink for our ward, and a few volunteers had canceled on them. I agreed to help out.

As usual, I was helping out in the kitchen. The menu was simple - hamburgers, chili, hot dogs, and cold drinks. Rogers was there as well with hot chocolate, coffee, and TimBits.

Instead of serving food out of the kitchen, we had an area setup outside. Both rinks (one with boards, one without) were full of kids playing hockey.

The mayor was there for a while, as was our city councilor. Rogers filmed some of it, and CBC was scheduled to show up later.

It was a nice day, but as time went on it got colder. I was only there a couple of hours, but by the time I left I was pretty cold. Still, it looked like everyone was having a good time.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Things I've Learned From Boxing

1. Showing up is half the battle

No matter how tired I am, no matter how much I don't want to go, I always feel better by the time class is over.

2. Practice make perfect

I'm not good at skipping. I have hit myself with the rope hard enough to cause bruises. I have untied my shoe laces with the rope. I have gotten the rope tangled around the railing.

Skipping will never come easily for me.

But I'm a lot better than I was four years ago.

3. Learn the technique

Lately, my coach has been on my case, trying to get me to pay attention to how my legs are moving. You know what? It all becomes a lot easier when I listen.

4. Sometimes, you need another perspective

It amazes me how I can be hitting as fast as I can, as hard as I can, yet if the coach says something like "hit harder", I just ... do.

5. Make sure the lid is on your water bottle

There's nothing fun about dumping half a bottle of water down your shirt.