Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cautiously Optimistic

  • Richard killed a mouse.
  • We have not seen signs of any more.
  • My friend Kathy very helpfully told me about how she makes sachets out of grated Irish Spring soap to keep mice out of her camper.
  • My house now reeks of Irish Spring.
  • We are having fantastic late-summer weather. Sunny, warm, no favourite time of year.
  • The road out front is still not finished.
  • This means we have to move out of our cramped back lane.
Holy Crap!
  • Possession day is Tuesday!!!!!
  • I suppose I should finish packing!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The mouse came back....

......the very next day.

Yep. I went down to the kitchen this morning to make coffee and the mouse (or a relative??) ran across the kitchen and dove under the stove.

I also found a neat line of dog kibble lined up along the baseboard of my pantry behind Lucy's dish. (And I thought of Tara, who told me to look out for that)

Do you think I could ask our neighbour to lend us a cat for a week????

I bought traps yesterday....but hub wanted different ones. I am on that today!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

There is always a silver lining.

I live in a very old house. I am used to sharing my space with a certain amount of creepy crawlies that get in through our unfinished basement. Chances are, if you pick up a laundry basket in my basement a millipede or little beetle will skitter away. Spiders love my floor joists. We tend to live in harmony. They don't bother me, I won't bother them.

I do have a line, though.

This morning I was chatting on the phone with a friend. I heard a strange noise coming from my garbage can. I opened the lid and a mouse looked up at me from his (her?) rotten orange breakfast.

I did the stereotypical thing. I screamed like I was in a horror movie.

I then picked up my entire garbage can and took it outside and left it in the back lane. After that, I looked around for telltale signs and found little mouse poops in my pantry (darn it!).

I promised the kids we would go to playgroup so I put off the clean up until after lunch. When we got home from playgroup I found the lid knocked off my garbage can and hoped against hope it was the neighbour's cats that did it. I also noticed my garbage bag was shredded and there was a perfectly round hole clear through the side of my garbage can!

Since I am a stereotype, that can is not ever going to enter my house again.

What is the bright side?

  • The mouse didn't chew on anything that contained actual food (I think the open bowl of dog kibble was the reason.)
  • The dreaded job of cleaning my pantry before we move is done.
  • I filled a garbage bag with random bits.
  • All of my bulk items are now in Tupperware or jars.
I also found out that for a sporadic tea drinker I have a LOT of tea. Like two four-litre ice cream pails full.

It is really hot outside. Maybe some iced green tea is in order.

I hate meeses to pieces.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Final Countdown

We are down to our last week in this house.

You can tell the stress of packing and preparing is starting to take it's toll.

Emmett wet his pants in public for the first time in many months today. His stimming behaviour is back to happening several times a day. He can't control the volume of his voice and has taken to hoarding small bits of paper and spare change. He cries very easily.

Charlotte is being more willful and obstinate than usual.

I am coming very quickly to my wits end. I am not sleeping well and have no patience for anyone.

Seven more sleeps until we get the keys.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I am packing, sorting, ripping my hair out, hoping the road out front gets built in get a meme. I don't tag, but if you feel moved to do it, let me know I and I will come check out your answers.

Thank you, Ami for the blog food.

Question 1 : Who do you think is the hottest movie star?

I think Ewan McGregor is the complete package. Handsome, can sing and dance, has a lovely Scottish accent, and adores his wife and daughters. He isn't afraid to stretch his acting wings and has been in every genre you can think of.

Question 2 : Apart from your house and your car, what is the most expensive thing you've ever bought?
Our honeymoon cruise, the new washer and dryer for our new house.

Question 3 : What is your most treasured memory?
Hmmmm....This one is a toughie. I could mention the time I used to spend with my dear Great Grandma--we were very close and her name is Charlotte's middle name.

The thing that stands out most in my mind right now as one of the single most amazing things in my life was giving birth to Matthew, at home, in my own bed. I can still picture the autumn light as it came in my bedroom window and smell the changing leaves outside. I remember how wonderful it was to have Richard and me snuggling our new little boy in our own bed. I remember the Earl Grey Tea and home made apple pie I ate. I remember the ratty t-shirt I threw out after I had him. I remember how calm and peaceful everything was. No drama, no flashing lights and buzzing alarms, just the sounds of new life entering the world.

Question 4: What is the best gift you ever received as a child?

My Barbie RV. My Barbies went on many, many camping trips in the back yard over the years I had it. Santa needed a lot of coffee to put it together on Christmas Eve, I think!

Question 5: What is the biggest mistake you've ever made?
I can't even begin to list the huge mistakes I've made. I do find comfort in knowing that everyone makes them, and some make larger ones than mine.
I try to be forgiving, since we all screw up.---I am totally stealing Ami's answer since I couldn't have said it better myself.

Question 6: Give four words to describe yourself.
Mama Bear Loves Fiercely

Question 7: What was your highlight or low light in 2008?
Hmmm....I can't think of anything right now. I just think that my life gets better and better with each passing year. I feel more and more comfortable as myself and am not afraid to be me. Growing up is hard, but I am starting to reap the rewards.

Question 8: What is your favorite film?
Today, Moulin Rouge pops into my head. The music! The costumes! The crazy story! The cast! (Hello, Ewan!)
Ask me again tomorrow, and I will probably have a different answer.

Question 9: Tell something not generally known about yourself.
I used to sleepwalk when under stress. It mostly happened before tests or music recitals. Once, I woke up standing in the shower with the water running. I think I must have thought it was time to get up and go to school. I'm sorry for scaring you all those times, Mom! I finally get it now! I must have been a handful.

Question 10: If you were a comic strip/cartoon character, who would you be?
Elly Patterson from For Better or For Worse, or the mom from Baby Blues

That's it. That's all I've got!

Stay tuned--in a couple of weeks I will have an article published in a local parenting magazine. I will post the column here once it goes public.

Monday, August 10, 2009

It's officially official.

Last week Richard's mom bought our house. She is still deciding if she is going to rent it or put it back on the market after we leave.

We bought new washing machines for our new house. I changed my magazine subscriptions. I spent an evening taping boxes together I liberated from the cardboard recycle bin behind a strip mall.

In three weeks I will have a new address.

Holy Moly!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Busy Doing Nothing.

It's August. Every August we drop our kids off with Richard's Dad and then get a week off. Sometimes we do home renovations, we went to New Brunswick one summer, two summers ago I spent the week off having Braxton-Hicks contractions. The summer after that I chased one kid instead of three.

This year we were supposed to be packing and moving during the kid's holiday. This has not come to pass, so I get to do nothing.

Do you have any idea how wonderful the chance to do nothing is?? I have not been away from my kids for two years. Right now, as I am typing this, I am sipping coffee, there is Irish Soda bread in the oven baking and Weeds, a show I can't watch while kids are awake, is on the TV. Richard is sleeping without anyone fighting outside his door.

Yesterday I lingered over my coffee and newspaper in an empty house and then my Grandma and I shopped for a washer and dryer. I went to three stores. I lingered over things besides washers and dryers. I poked and prodded and pushed buttons. No one nagged me to hurry up. No one tried to break things. No one ran away to reprogram the TVs in the TV room while I tried to find what I needed. The person I was with was happy to be there and was patient as I looked and pondered.


Yes, I will miss my babies by the end of their trip, don't get me wrong. Right now I am enjoying the fact that we ran out of milk yesterday and it was not a big enough emergency to warrant running to the store when I knew it would be mobbed. I am out of coffee now. THAT is an emergency so I guess I will have to go to the store today. I will probably pick up ingredients to make sushi while I am there. Mmmmmmmm California rolls..... (Emmett was super sweet and left his DS behind so I could use the cookbook game he has--that is where my sushi recipe is.)

Now, if you will excuse me, I need to refresh my coffee and get the newspaper.
Richard and I might go to the midway later and go on the big person rides. Or, we might not. Who knows? This weekend, we don't have to plan too far ahead for anything.


Monday, August 3, 2009

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

I have worked as a camp nurse off and on for the past 10 years. The camp I work at is one I used to go to *ahem* twenty years ago. It is so comforting to hear the same graces sung at mealtimes, hear the same songs ringing out from the campfire circle and hear about the activities the kids are doing--I did them too!

Of course, things change too. The photography class no longer needs a darkroom. There is a shiny new shower house. Kids bring mp3 players to listen to during quiet time instead of walkmans and portable CD players.

Nursing changes too. When I first started camp nursing my med box was usually brimming with various antibiotics that the campers came with. Years went by and for a while I saw a lot boys using a nasal spray for bedwetting. This spray has since been banned from use. For a while there were a lot of kids coming to me on ritalin. Ritalin use seems to have peaked and is now on the decline. I only had one boy on it this summer, but I had a very large number of kids using anithistamines on a daily basis. I also had one little girl on daily doses of Prozac. This really made me sad. I spent a lot of time wondering about this girl and what made her parents think that it was ok to put someone not even fully grown on a drug that will alter her brain's chemistry and set her up for potentially fatal side effects as she grows into an adult. The director of the camp, also a nurse, was disturbed by the sheer number of supplements and herbs her teen campers came with the week before.

You get to see a real picture of how kids are raised as a camp nurse. Most of the campers were very concerned about Matthew when they saw him gleefully splashing in puddles or tasting the sand under the volleyball net. I often heard them tell me very seriously "He's getting dirty!! His feet are getting wet!" I know their hearts were in the right place and they all relaxed when I reassured them he would be ok if he got a little (ok, a lot) dirty. That is what camp is for!!!

I love that camps like this still exist so that urban kids CAN get dirty. One of my campers took great pride in getting Swimmer's Itch--he even counted his spots (over 100) Another girl took a teatherball to the face and wore her bloody nose like a badge of honour. Of course, I also had kids coming to my cabin to show me hangnails--you can't toughen them all up!