Monday, November 29, 2010

Get Tangled

I'm a sucker for Disney.  It melts my heart and reaffirms my belief in the goodness of humanity.

So there I was, sitting in the Owen Sound theatre, my two year old daughter propped up in a booster seat beside me, holding my hand, gazing through black rimmed 3D glasses, tears leaking out my left eye and dripping of my chin while I pretended to yawn and wipe them away.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Welcoming Sentiment

"Wee-am Wusnak!  I'm so happy to see you!  I weally missed you when you was gone for such a wong many times!"  

Her voice is shrill - not yet four years old - like one of Walt Disney's Cinderella mice.  She's a tiny wee thing, just a baby really, with bouncy blond ringlets that are pulled back into a purple elastic with plastic rainbow hearts.  Her blue, saucer eyes never seem to blink and her red apple cheeks glow when she smiles.  A cherub that sounds like a mouse.

We're late.  Liam decided that a melt-down over the missing water bottle was appropriate as we were heading out the door.  He'd been sick with cough and cold so he hadn't been to school since last Wednesday.  Only two school days for him.  A lifetime, apparently, for the classmates that missed him.

She follows us all the way back to the cubbies.  "Wee-am Wusnak!  Wee-am Wusnak is hewre.  Nowlan, wook, Wee-am Wusnak is hewre!"

I help him undo his coat.  She peeks around my side and reaches out to touch his shoulder, "Hi, Wee-am Wusnak.  I weally missed you."

He shoves his boots and hat into his LIAM cubby.  "Hi, Skylar," and he sits on the floor to do up his shoes.

"Missus McCombeeeeee...Wee-am Wusnak is hewre!"  and she's practically bouncing with excitement.

"Yes, Skylar, isn't that lovely?"  Mrs. McCombie says, welcoming Liam and seconding Skylar's sentiment.


Liam's tired when I pick him up.  Maybe he should have stayed home another day.  He's dragging.  I get him in the car and we head for home.  "Skylar really likes you, doesn't she?" I ask him.

He just shrugs.

"Do you play with her at school?"


"Is she your friend?"


"Don't you like her?"

Shrug.  Eye roll.  "Mommy, I'm not weady to get mayoweed."

Monday, November 22, 2010

Lost in Translation

 I have beautiful children.  I'm not asking for affirmation.  I'm stating a fact.

So would someone please tell me who infiltrated their bodies and produced school pictures so painfully awkward and weird that I don't even know who got captured - my boys or two don't-know-how-to-smile-like-a-human aliens.

Rusnak Retreat

Noa & Bailey
I wasn't sure what to expect.  One house.  One weekend.  One dog.  Fifteen Rusnak's.  We had decided a few days together was more appropriate than giving gifts this year, so we pooh-poohed consumerism for forty-eight hours in a rented Chalet a few minutes walk from the charming Blue Mountain Village and smack dab at the base of naked ski hills.

Hot tubbing with Aunt Steph & Aunt Patty
The website didn't do the place justice.  I was not excited about being crammed into a tight yellow house with the in-laws.  Turns out, 3000 square feet is a whole lot of space.  Everyone got their own room.  The cousins all camped out on a king-sized bed.  (Aunt Salina warned them that the first time she had to come in to tell them to be quiet and go to sleep they would be separated.  I had pulled Zander aside earlier and told him that as long as they whispered they could stay up as late as they wanted.  This was a vacation.  This was not about school night bedtimes.  So he glanced at me as she dictated her warning.  I winked.  He grinned.)

We battled it out on a Wii American Idol game.  (It wasn't until the second verse of "I Kissed A Girl," when my eight-year-old nephew starting singing along with me, that I thought maybe that hadn't been the best song choice.)  Poker.  Settlers of Catan.  That Mexican Train game which has got to be the stupidest game ever invented.  Hot tub.  Sauna.  Cranium.  Pool.  Table hockey.  Walks in the cold.  Hot chocolate and more snacks than a frat house with the munchies could consume.  I don't think we stopped eating the whole time.

Zander & the Pool Table

We split up the meal responsibility.  Each couple    
cooked, served and cleaned up two meals.  It was nice to work in the kitchen beside Scott.  Nice to have to squeeze by each other around the kitchen island.  Nice to set a table together and nice to clean it off together.  That doesn't happen at home.  I relished it.

We had fun.  I would do it again.  It was definitely worth giving up the yearly Christmas gifts that never fit and end up being returned anyway.

Fred loved warming his feet up by the fire

playing the Wii

Liam & Logan playing table hockey

our pretty bedroom

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Inspired By A Windshield

The frost was thick and I had to put some muscle behind the scraper.  I did a poor job - just clearing it from where I absolutely needed to see in order to make it to the school on time.

"Why'd you do dat?" Liam asked when I finally slid into the drivers seat and settled against the deliciously heated leather.  "Why'd you do dat scwape-scwape-scwape ting to da windows?"

I sent a shot of wiper fluid across the windshield and let the wipers work away at the remaining frost.  The defrosting fan was turned all the way to four and I had to raise my voice to answer him.  "I can't see through the frost, Liam.  I have to clean it off before we can leave."

But he didn't care about my answer.  He was watching the wipers.  "Why'd you squirt dat stuff evwywhere?"  and then, "why'd you put on dhose wiper thingys?"

"The squirt stuff helps to melt the ice and the wipers clean it all away," I told him.

"Huh?....Dat - is - so - AWESOME!!!!!!  Mommy?"

"Yes, Liam?"

"When I dwow up I'm gonna be a windsealed wiper!"

Friday, November 5, 2010

Colours by Noa

Me:  What colour are you?
Noa:  YeoYeo!
Me:  What colour is Mommy?
Noa:  Boo!
Me:  What colour would we be if you mixed us together?
Noa:  Appul!

Yup, she's brilliant!

YeoYeo (yellow |ˈyelō|)
Boo (blue |bloō|)
Appul (apple |ˈapəl|)

Monday, November 1, 2010

"Twick Owar Tweet"

the front door
in the hallway

I love Halloween.  I love the colours and the pumpkins and the garden mums and the crunch of leaves and the squeals of excited children.

 The boys had been counting down since October 1st which was when I hung the pumpkin garland and the orange twinkle lights.  I'm big into decorating for the season.  It makes it that much more exciting.

pumpkins in the laundry room

I told them we could go out at 6:00.  Any later and there might have been a mutiny.  It was still light but they didn't care.  It meant that the scary houses weren't actually that scary.  And all the good candy wasn't gone yet.

Liam was Batman - his heavy sweatshirt underneath the costume giving him some nice lumpy Batman muscles.  Zander was a pirate and Noa was his parrot - though she didn't quite get the connection - she just flapped her arms and cock-a-doodle-dooed while Zander did his best ARGH.

Noa didn't want to go up to the doors.  Jack-o-lanterns scare her.  Mostly she just watched the boys.  They actually say, "Trick or Treat" at every door which I think is adorable (or, in Liam's case, "Twick owar Tweet" which is a step forward from last years "Pick ol' Pete").  Zander's wonderful at saying thank you.  Liam is not.  "I dust keep fordetting!" he kept telling us.  Until we told him if he forgot again he'd have to skip the next house.  Funny how his memory suddenly worked perfectly.

We just do our own street and it's quite enough.  Zander begged to go further but they each had bags that they were struggling to carry.  There is such thing as too much candy no matter what they think.  I had just dumped a tub of last years left-over Halloween spoils before we left.  Yeah - gross.  

So it was home for one treat, baths, the scrubbing of the pirate beard that just wouldn't come off - he went to school with a five o'clock shadow today - pajamas and bed.  And today I'll have to take down the pumpkin garland and it makes me sad.  Things are always so bare afterwards.  Oh well.  Only 30 days until we put up the Christmas tree!