Saturday, June 27, 2009

Deep Breaths

Well. It is here. Almost. Like, right around the corner. And um... yeah. I'm nervous. And not really about the pain so much because I always seem to be a champ when it comes to that, but the aftermath.

I haven't really talked to Miss A about it because I don't want to freak her out too soon. I'll probably wait until Monday morning to tell her. I'm worried about her. It was a very traumatizing event in her life and I hope it doesn't totally freak her out that I'm going to have a 'sore ankle' again for a while. At least she is older now and I can explain what is happening to her more clearly.

And then there is the baby. What I am imagining is that I will hobble out to the rocking chair on my crutches and Peter will bring her to me and rest on the couch until she's ready to be put back in bed. I'm hoping the arm to arm transfer won't disturb her. I'm hoping that I should actually be able to bear weight an carry her after a couple of days, thank heaven she is rather petite. I don't think I will be carrying Miss (40lb) A again for some time!

Anyway, it should be good times. At least I'm not pregnant this time. A whole week off together. We might be tired. We might be in pain. We might be grumpy. But at least we'll be together.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Making Her Own Holiday

Today Miss A asked "Is it still Father's Day?" I told her that no, it wasn't, that was only one day. She then announced "Well I think today is Sweethearts Day and I'm the sweetheart!" Good to know!

So wow. Look at these.

First Day of School

Last Day of School

How did she grow up so much in just a few months?

They had a little last day of school wind up thing and one of her teachers made a small speech to thank various people and then when she started the "It's been such a pleasure working with your children this year..." she totally lost it and got all choked up and then I lost it and my eyes started to brim over. For goodness sake! I'm going to be a complete MESS next year.

Oh! And look who's walking?

She's not a full time walker yet but she is walking more and more and crawling less and less. She is much more cautious than Miss A ever was when learning to walk. This should help her avoid the abundance of bumps and bruises that her sister seemed to sport once she began to walk. It's pretty exciting.

Another less exciting development is that there are actual fights to break up now. The cause being one of the following scenarios.

-Big Sister decides she wants what Little Sister is playing with and takes it away. Much crying ensues.

-Little Sister decides she wants what Big Sister is playing with and attempts (sometimes suceeds) to take it away. Much complaining/crying ensues.

-Little Sister generally interferes in what Big Sister is doing/playing. Most commonly while Big Sister is on the computer Little Sister messes with the mouse or keyboard. Complaining/Whining Ensues.

And yet. There are these moments too.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

You Said You Wanted To Know

We are home from our Coldplay adventure. I call it an adventure because it involved a lot of jumping through hoops to get our kids settled and happy with their respective caregivers. Those hoops mostly involved packing and traveling since both girls LOVED who they were with. I feel satisfied and content today which is nice because it is common for me to experience post concert depression. (That may be Cure related) It may just be because I'm older now.

Where to begin? Our seats. Our seats we decent. Any of you familiar with the size of a hockey rink would understand the distance. While the band played where one net would sit we were sitting behind the net on the other side. If it had been a hockey game the seats would have been excellent. As it was, they were too far away to see facial expressions with the naked eye. Thank heaven for the screens. I was fascinated by the fans. Perhaps because I am used to this and the majority of the people at this concert looked like this only dressed down a little. Seriously it was the weirdest mix. There were A LOT of guys/men, for some reason I wasn't expecting that. There was a wide range of ages.

One thing almost everyone had in common was the desire to consume alcoholic beverages. I myself am not much of a drinker but I can solidly say that if I was I would abstain so that I could absorb Coldplay in full without the hindrance of intoxication. I mean, really. I think I can understand drinking at say, an ACDC concert or something. That kind of makes sense to me. Perhaps it lubes the joints for headbanging? But at a Coldplay concert? Is it really necessary? I don't think it is. By the end of the concert there were people stumbling (dancing) around in the floor seats and I am certain that they missed a great deal of the awesomeness.

The opening bands were Howling Bells and Snow Patrol. Howling Bells were AWESOME! I especially think Bon, AM and Beth would enjoy. Check this out! They unfortunately did not get projected on the screen so I had to rely on youtube once I got home to really see them. They did however have exaggerated rock star moves so that helped. Their sounds was kind of goth I thought which of course ranked them #1 for the opening bands in my book! Snow Patrol were good, not so much my thing, but undeniably talented. During this song which I'm most familiar with I kept expecting them to project images of Meredith and Derek making out or something. Even though I didn't totally dig them the lead singer (who looks remarkably like Jamie Kennedy) had this terrific smile which kinda melted my heart and made me like them more than I actually did.

Then it was time for Coldplay. The energy in the room was tangible. Electric. I wish I could remember every song they played and in which order but I can't so I'll just tell you about the most memorable parts... The crowd of course went nuts when they came on stage and they were even more amazing live than they sound on their albums. In fact, though admittedly I think that Viva La Vida is their weakest album and my least favorite, hearing them play songs from it live really turned me (and Peter, who I think actually used the word hate to describe how he felt about that album) around. We are both convinced that they have begun to write songs/albums that are meant to be played/heard live in a large venue. The album just doesn't do them justice.

I was very grateful for the screens which allowed me to appreciate the band and their mad skilz. (Those guys are ridiculously talented, it's no joke.) Sometimes the guys in charge got a little crazy though and the images flashed and changed so fast you couldn't really take them in. There were also lasers and other effects. If I happened to be susceptible to seizures I think I'm pretty sure I would have had one. They also had these really neat globe like screen which they also projected stuff on. It was pretty cool. At times when everyone was singing together it reminded me of soccer chanting. I remarked to Peter that there must have been more good singers than poor ones because everything sounded pretty good. I looked out into the sea of people and was frequently astounded.

Some of the high points... Yellow. It was completely dark and then as the song started yellow lights exploded on and they brought out a dozen enormous yellow balloons which the crowd began to bat around. (I found the balloons a tad annoying, um excuse me, I can't see Chris Martin!) I was astounded by the amount of energy that Chris Martin has. I'm not sure if it's an act but he seems pretty uncoordinated too so he sort of flails himself around the stage and I was honestly concerned for his safety at some points. I really hope he does yoga or something to stay limber otherwise he's probably really sore the day after a show. They played a really bizarre set where they played a medley of songs from 'Parachutes' 80's style. There were also times when Chris would play his piano and get into these David Helfgott moments very similar to what you see here at 2:27 only minus the cigarette. Basically, he seemed a little nuts. And yet, for some reason, this made me love him more.

Are you ready for the best part? Are you? Is anyone still reading??? About an hour and a half into the concert I am nudged by my friend who is excitedly pointing off to the not so far distance. I follow her finger clueless and shrug, thinking "What could be so important that you have taken my attention from the stage!" And then she shouts "A microphone!" Oh! There is a microphone and they are taping off a small area, like 12 feet from where we were. A few minutes from then they began to run down off the stage and up towards us and the next thing we knew there they were, close enough to spit on. It was completely surreal. Seeing someone you've only ever seen in videos and interviews on television, standing right there in front of you. I just kept thinking, "Wow, he's a real and actual person and he's standing right there, breathing the same air. God, he has beautiful eyes." Among others, they sang this song, which I have always said was written about me. (totally flattering!) I also found myself thinking about his wife and his family and how they were so far away. It made me feel so grateful that my husband wasn't a rock star, that he was standing right there with me, holding my hand.

Something I anticipated was this part but I had no idea how it would make me feel when it happened. I don't understand why seeing a million little paper butterflies floating around that made my heart hurt but it did. This is probably the best quality video that best represents what it was like to be there, oh except for the Jay Z part. It was worth every penny and if I ever have the opportunity to see them again I would do it in a heartbeat.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Love, Obsession and Loyalty

Once upon a time I was fifteen and I saw this video. I'd never seen or heard anything like it. I was in love. That was it, there was no going back. I've talked about this before. How my love for that band, that individual was so much a part of me as I grew up. They took their place as my favorite band ever and have remained there ever since.

Fast forward eight years. I was Twenty-three. I saw this video. This lanky cute boy, walking on the beach in the rain as the sun began to rise. I had goosebumps. I was not surprised to find out that they were British, anglophile that I am. They became the only band to ever achieve a solid second spot on my favorite band list. There are only those two spots, favorite, next favorite, and everything else.

I have seen The Cure twice in concert. Minneapolis in 1996 and Toronto in 2000. My seats at the first were terrible. I had to borrow someones binoculars at one point just to get a proper glimpse of Robert Smith. It didn't matter though because I was nineteen, it was my first concert and my favorite band. My seats were slightly better in 2000. It bugged me because I was twenty-three and didn't have gobs of money to spend on a plane ticket and concert tickets for my friend and I but I did it because I loved them. *Sidenote: How exactly does one acquire, like, amazing seats? It just seems like an impossibility to me. I can't help but be annoyed with the people who end up right in the front row. They are always either complete idiots or people who look completely bored and like they don't want to be there.

I am older now. And how do you say? Ah yes, POOR. It is impossible for me to fly somewhere just to see a band I really dig. And generally the bands I like never come nearby. Yet, by some miracle I will be going to see Coldplay tomorrow night. I'm not exactly sure what our seats will be like but they aren't front row. Pfft! Arranging to go has been a bit of a logistical nightmare. Miss A is having a sleepover with my wonderful sister and Baby B is coming with us to the city and then staying with our friends for the evening while we are at the concert and then we will sleep (or maybe not with the incredible waking baby) over at said friends because we are how do you say? Ah yes, OLD. We refuse to drive home in the wee hours of the morning. No matter, I will be seeing my second ranked band in concert. The best part? Peter is coming with me. I didn't have the pleasure of seeing either of the other aforementioned concerts with him so this will help to make up for it. We were singing this song together in the car on the way home tonight. It just also happens to be a really awesome video too. If you haven't seen it before and get bored, it get's really crazy at 2:52.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I Yell

There are things we all do as parents that we aren't proud of. Things we try not to do. I yell. I don't like it. My kids don't like it (but it gets their attention which after all is the desired effect.)

Lately it feels like I've been yelling a lot. I think after a year of surviving sleep deprivation something has finally snapped. My body and mind have just said ENOUGH. I get frustrated ridiculously fast and next thing I know I'm shouting.

Yesterday I got thinking about my yelling and the impact it might be having on my kids. I'm sure there have been hundreds if not thousands of studies done on that very subject. I can guess that the findings are not positive. As it is, Miss A can often be found yelling "No!" at her sister to either keep her safe or to discourage her from touching Her toys. I ask her please not to yell and feel like a hypocrite.

Having said that I was thinking about all of the positive things that I/we are doing as parents. I was also thinking about the various things that parents do which can impact their children. To use one example, some parents can be incredibly soft, letting their kids get away with everything and/or coddling them. On the surface it may not seem as detrimental to their children as yelling however I believe it's impact can be just as harmful or worse.

Maybe I'm just trying to give myself an excuse to continue yelling but looking back at my own upbringing I know it wasn't the yelling that had the most negative impact on me. I will and do try my best to keep my voice even and calm. I know Miss A doesn't respond well to shouting and often responds with a loud "O-KAY!" And I'm often telling her to be mindful of her tone and the way she speaks to me and others. I know I need to do the same.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Girl Who Was Not Afraid (and her sidekick - The Girl Who Rarely Complained)

I have had to be creative with new bribery tactics since the summer fair has passed. We went on Friday evening. I can say with confidence that it was the most successful time yet. Miss A was AMAZING! I looked up this post from last year when we took her and I was hugely pregnant with B. Looking at the pictures I mostly can't get over how much longer her hair is and how much more grown up she looks. The main difference was her understanding about waiting in line. Before we got there she explained that we would have to wait in line and be patient.

Not surprisingly she went on all the rides and giggled the entire time. Having been on some of the rides with her I have to say that it is extremely contagious and also therapeutic to listen to your children experiencing such glee. One particular ride which she went on with a friend made me nervous and then afterward when she basically stood up out of it before the attendant released the 'restraints' I had the worst sinking feeling in my stomach. I briefly thought about the possibility of her standing up as the ride was is motion and then pushed it out of my mind again. Shudder.

She enjoyed her first corndog which I initially forgot to pay for and then when back apologetically and explained that I had been distracted by my daughter, warning her it was hot, hoping she'd like it, etc... I think the guy I was talking to thought I was NUTS but smiled, nodded and thanked me for my honesty.

Most unflattering photo of her ever.

We also visited the petting zoo. We did this first because last year we missed it altogether. She sped through it thinking the animals were cool but then pleading "Can we go on some rides now?" And our camera was acting up so I didn't get many shots but here are a couple that I think captures the elation she felt while being several feet up in the air flying around in some ride or the other. (Look towards the back of the submarine(?) You'll see her sitting with her Dad.)

I almost forgot to mention Baby B who almost made up for nearly a year of sleeping terribly with her incredible patience. The girl hardly made a peep, sitting contentedly in her stroller, enjoying the view. She nibbled on Baby Mum Mums and didn't even really complain when the temperature rapidly began to drop and her sister was still going strong.

Also, I capture the world's cutest baby smile picture. Witness.

I had my doubts that going to these sort of things was ever going to get easier but this year has given me hope. If I can just survive a couple more years of toddlerville I think we'll make it!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Deep Thoughts

I'd just like to say that looking after one child is much easier, less stressful and much less crazy making than looking after two. Especially when the one you are looking after is your ten month old who is pretty content to just hang out and chew on Little People. Of course as I type that she is extremely interested in the power bar.

Miss A is at daycare today and not a day too soon. It's been a LONG couple of weeks what with her having Fifths Disease and it making her temporarily insane. Sheesh. That kid is going to KILL me with the stress. She has been better the last few days and I've been bribing good behavior out of her with threats of not taking her to the SUMMER FAIR if she is not obedient. Due to her dare devilish and extrovert nature she loves the fair what with the rides and the people so she has quickly shaped up any crying, whining or general bullsh!t when I remind her that only well behaved little girls get to go. This morning she woke up and said "Good Morning Mama! Is it Fair Day today?" Which reminds me of last night at bedtime. We were going through our usual routine and when I began to say our goodnight prayer she stopped me and told me she wanted to pray - "Dear Jesus, Don't worry about me. I'm not going to do anyfing bad." I barely held it together and it didn't occur at the time but I'm thinking that prayer was directly related to this fair business.

Anyway, today while driving home from running a few errands with only ONE CHILD! I happened to notice these guys in the air. I've never been to an air show before but I found myself compelled to pull over and watch a while. It turns out they're doing a show on the 11th and I guess they were practicing? In any case as I watched them with wonder I thought to myself - That is their job. To fly an aircraft around in dangerous proximity to other aircrafts performing amazing stunts thousands of feet in the air. That is what they are doing right now. And I am driving home from WalMart.

I had a similar experience early on in my career as a hairstylist. I was working at my first job in a salon which was located downtown and very near a strip club. Frequently employees from the club came into our salon to use the tanning bed, buy hairspray, inquire about hair extensions but I had never had any of them actually book an appointment for a haircut until one day. You may wonder how I knew their occupation without them having to tell me and all I can say is that after a while, you just know, you know? Anyway, this girl came in and asked if I could trim her bangs. I think I was busy with a client at that time so I had to book her in for a little later in the day. When I gave her the time of a possible appointment she said "Oh, it'll have to be later, I'll be on stage then." I probably smiled at her like an idiot, trying to look like it was no big deal and booked her in for a later appointment. Later on that day I was sitting at the front desk and realized, that that girl was on stage right then. Taking her clothes off while people watched. That was her job. And I was sitting there at the same time, doing a very different job indeed. I couldn't stop thinking about it. When she came in for her appointment I kept thinking, you were just on stage, stripping. It just blew my mind. I have no idea what we talked about during that very short appointment but I do remember thinking that she was very nice. And that she didn't seem so different from me. And I wondered how we both ended up doing such different things in our lives.

I have no interest in being a stripper or a Snowbird I just find it incredibly interesting in those moments when you are smacked in the face with how different your life is from someone else's.

In case you've never been to an airshow either this is a larger and more intimate taste of what I only glimpsed today. It may not seem that impressive unless you consider the difficultly involved in flying aircrafts that closely to one another. I for one, cannot imagine having the ability to fly an aircraft at all even in a totally empty sky. Scares the snot out of me actually. I thought of you AM when I picked this video because of the soundtrack.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Pre-Walking Crankys

Baby B took like, five steps in row last night. It's a record so far since she's mostly been taking one step then sitting down to crawl. I think this is a pretty good indication that real actual walking is right around the corner. And if I recall correctly Miss A was a BEAR around that time in her development. Such seems to be the case with B. Brother! My usually content baby has been whining and crying almost constantly and if I walk away from her she definitely freaks out. Not conducive to getting much done around here. In addition to her pre-walking I think I'm pre-menstrual because W-O-W, I have NO patience. (Although who knows in this world of breastfeeding and totally irregular periods. yay.) Yesterday morning I was literally ready to tear my hair out. Miss A was whining, the baby was whining and clinging to my leg. (I was trying to shake her off like a pesky insect.) PERSONAL SPACE CHILDREN!!!

B is still sleeping for crap. At least I'm getting 4-5 hours in a row but usually between the hours of 3-8 AM. Somehow that's not doing it for me. And the fact that I can't get a decent sleep also feels like an invasion of my personal space which makes me less patience during the day. I am getting by. Barely.

A funny Miss A story. Today she was playing the piano. After completing her made up tune she announced that it by Lucas Gooda, a little girl who has a piano and played that song. Hmmm... I have no idea where that came from, really. But I was highly entertained by it. I hope she continues to play compositions by her "imagination friends".