Monday, January 31, 2011

Inspired by Hannah, Broken by Miley

She is six years old.  Her blond hair is wild and matted from grandma's hand-knitted tuque, her almost-grown-out-bangs pinned to her head with purple princess barrettes.  She is smarter than she should be, has at least as much fashion sense as most twenty-year-olds and has created art out of manipulation.  Without her two front teeth she looks like some cherubim vampire, like Anne Rice's Claudia (without the perfect ringlets) or Shirley Temple with fangs.  She loves lip gloss and tights and Hannah Montana and being the center of attention.

She has pulled me by the hand into one of the back bedrooms, choking on her secret - desperate to unload. Her blue eyes are bright with concern, threatening tears and brimming with disappointment.

"Aunt Alanna," she begins, barely more than a whisper - like she's nervous.

"Yes, Grace?"

She smoothes the front of her shirt and tries to slick down a fly-away lock.  She is deathly serious, furrowed brow marring her smooth, baby-skin.  She takes a big breath, preparing herself.  "Hannah Montana is on drugs."

I was expecting a covert tattle-tale on Liam, away from the hyper sensitive ears of my sister, her no-tattle-taling mother.  I was not expecting this.

She accepts my silence as shock.  "There's pictures on the internet and everything."

I find my tongue.  "That's terrible, Grace."  Lame.  "Does this mean you don't like her anymore?"

She ponders this, furrow growing deeper, fidgeting and breathing with her shoulders.  "No," she finally says, voice going higher like she's apologizing.  "I still really like her...I just wish she wouldn't do drugs!"

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Happiness is a Cocoa Surprise!


Nothing reaffirms your belief in the general goodness of humanity more than when the janitor leaves a little box of chocolates on your dashboard just because you let him borrow your car to go to the podiatrist.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Storage Makes Me Smile

Hello.  My name is Alanna.  And I am a Dolloramaholic.

It's not because I'm enamored with their cheap toys and messy aisles.  It's not because the staff is particularly friendly.  It's certainly not because of their tiny shopping carts.  But I am a sucker for storage solutions, I am a sucker for labels and I am a sucker for a bargain, hence, my addiction.

My home thanks me.  My sanity thanks me.  And I thank myself, thank you very much!

Here are some of my favorites:

paper trays in the top of the closet to organize school papers & homework
little wire shelves that hook under existing shelves, making storage space out of wasted space

labels so everybody knows which hat/mitt/scarf drawer is theirs
plastic bins and bubble letters to organize the laundry room

Okay, so I know this isn't a "storage solution" but who wouldn't love a $1 peel and stick chalkboard?

Dowa Paw-Tee!!

Noa comes pitter-pattering into the kitchen.
"Hey babe!"  I'm elbow deep in Green Apple dish soap.
"Dowa Paw-Tee, Dowa Paw-Tee.  Wight dare!  Dowa Paw-Tee!"  And she's pointing to the kids bathroom where her new Dora potty has been collecting dust since her second birthday.
"Do you have to go potty?"
"Yeah!  Dowa Paw-Tee!"  And she runs past me.
"Do you want me to help you with your pants?" I call after her.
"No!  Iye do!"
There's a shuffle and a bump.  I peak around the door.  She's sitting on the potty.  She's patting the red plastic side.  She's still wearing her overalls.
"Wight dare!  Dowa Paw-Tee...awl dun!  Mommee...poop."  When she says "poop" it's more like a whispered "POP" because she's too much of a lady to really say the word.
"Noa Riley Joy, did you just poop on the potty?"
She stands up, a hand patting her denim-clad derriere.  "Yeah.  *pop*  Dowa Paw-Tee!  Wight dare!!!"
So I change her and we celebrate with a silly dance and cheer.  She laughs at me.
"Maybe next time we can take your pants off?"  I suggest.
"No.  Iye do.  Dowa Paw-Tee."
I kiss her.  "I."
"Iye."
"Love."
"Uv."
"You."
"Ewe."
And she runs away, her little Noa feet slapping the tiles as she races into the "winwoom" (living room) to tell "Dander" all about the paw-tee.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mr. Rusnak, We Make Gooooood Kiddies!

This was found on the church nursery counter-top:


"Sorry about the cabnit thing.  Me and my brother were going thouro the door and the hunk of wood fell from Zander Rusnak P.S. My mom works here.  and her name is allann Alanna Rusnak"

And so, instead of getting in a load of trouble for crawling through church cabinets and knocking down nursery shelves he gets a big atta boy for being honest and taking responsibility.

He must have amazing parents!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Yoga?

this one's my favourite!
Two nights ago I tried yoga.  Last night I created a personalized yoga routine.  And then I did it - the whole thing.  This morning I did that routine again.    And I'm planning on doing it again tomorrow.  WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO?

I have avoided it for lack of understanding.  I had this weird discomfort over the whole topic - like it was some new-age hog-wash all hail the chubby Buddha kind of thing.  But now, thanks to the wonder of my darling Wii Fit and a new appreciation and concern for my own well-being and posture (and - let's face it - my svelte, toned future body!), I have learned that it is really just about training and strengthening my core and muscles.  Not once has my personal trainer (I've named her Pixie) asked me to "hail Mother Earth" or "summon my inner goddess" as I stretch my spine and work my thighs and tremble through the TREE pose.  Instead, I  take that time, curved or pushed into uncomfortable positions, to meditate on things of a more critical nature.  Like chocolate.  Or coffee.  Or putting chocolate in my coffee.

Or Johnny Depp.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Welcome to the Wii Fit Journey

All I wanted was a Wii Fit.  Together we decided to wait for a sale because, undoubtably, it would go on sale right after Christmas.  And it did.  On Sunday afternoon I became the new owner and obsessor of my very own Wii Fit Plus.

I have lately been wallowing in a bit of bodily self-loathing.  You know that soft, lazy, winter body that makes you feel soft and lazy but you crack open another bag of potato chips anyway?  Yeah, that's where I've been hanging out.  And it's not so good for the self-esteem.  So I'm digging out of it.  And my shovel cost $79.99.

It began by calculating my B.M.I.  (also known as the make you feel like a frumpy dump in front of your husband measuring stick)  And there it was *cue the sad music and blushing, head-shaking Mii*  "OVERWEIGHT" and my sweet little trainer saying, "Uh oh, it looks like you're a little overweight.  Let's create a program to get you to a healthy body weight."  Bless Scott for keeping his mouth shut.  I just said, "Whoops!" and giggled uncomfortably when what I really wanted to do was throw the nunchuck at the screen and yell, "IT'S ON, @#$%*!"

notice how boldly (and rudely)
it displays my shame?
This was the motivation I needed.  And it's ridiculously fun.  I'm on day four and I'm down 1.2 kg which has dropped me from "overweight" into what the system brain has deemed "normal".  I am boxing, skiing, jogging, golfing, hula hooping, kung fuing, aerobicing...and the list goes on...ridiculously fun!  Even stranger - I'm getting on the stationary bike more too because suddenly, a little electronic device is giving me something to be accountable to and I hope to never again stand on that white foot pad and titter sheepishly as I'm pegged unhealthy.


So here's to a healthier, happier and (hopefully) leaner new me/mii.         

Oh, and by the way, my Mii is Princess Leia.  My goal: a gold bikini.

"Help me, Wii Fit Plus; you're my only hope!"

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Birthday Blog

December 30, 2010
I was jerked awake at 7 a.m.  The boys were fighting over the new Wii game.
Scott was at work.
No one made me birthday waffles.
I drank two cups of coffee.
Tried to get through my new Ikea catalogue.
I didn't.
Noa fell off the couch.  Liam hit his head on the coffee table.
Kraft Dinner for lunch.
Two games of Scrabble.  One game of Monopoly Junior.  Full-time kid referee.  Rain.  Zander made a disproportionate snowman.  Liam tried to shovel but ended up raking the driveway instead.  Tears.  "Dander fwoo snow in my neck!"  Harrumphs.  "Well, Liam stabbed me with an icicle!"  Perogies for supper.  Loaded with bacon and fried onions and sour cream and tomatoes.  Because that's the way I like them.  Because I wasn't getting a cake.  Happy Birthday to me!

my new car!
There was a great hustle and rustle and whispers.  Liam, beaming, presented me with a well-used yellow gift bag, torn tissue paper sticking out the top, hopping from foot to foot, tongue out to the side.  I dug through the paper.  Making a show of it.  And there in the bottom of the bag was a little red car.  "Happy Burtday, Mommy.  Dat's my vewry favwit tar, you know!"  And I squeezed him until we both fell over on the kitchen floor, thanking him exuberantly until he was giggling almost to the point of throwing up.

Noa grabbed the bag.  She Noa-ran into the living room.  There was a great rustle and thump and thump and thump.  She came Noa-running back.  "Mommeeee - Mommeee - heow (here)."  I opened it with much pomp and circumstance.  Woody.  Jessie.  Ham.  Her doll's baby bottle.  And I squeezed her until we both fell over on the kitchen floor.

Who needs a cake anyway?
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