Sunday, April 30, 2006

Self-indulgent blitherings

Got my hair cut. It's too short, but looks much better than before. Went to a party last night. Had fun. J was tired. Left early.

Got shoes. Got clothes. Got carseat. Have to install carseat. Got J's stuff over to parents' place. Picked up nylons and some makeup. Got a pot roast for dinner tomorrow and some extra supplies for J. Diapers drying. Ready for work. Or as ready as I can be.

Tired. Crabby. H is tired and crabby too. It's been a busy few days.

Shoes. Shoes are as feminine as I could find while still fitting my blasted orthotic. Clunky and mannish. I'm tired of clunky and mannish; I want pretty shoes! But I can't have them. Orthotics mean no sandals, and nothing remotely slinky. Stupid arches.

Picked up leather protector and sprayed shoes. Paid for leather protector in the lingerie department, it having a shorter line than the shoe department. Headless mannequins lined up, their sneers implied, as they taunted me for not being a perfect 34B size Medium. Stupid mannequins.

I'm tired of being a size 18. Feeling like the only person on earth who can't lose weight. And even my friends are rubbing it in now, though I don't think they mean to. Feels bad anyway, though. Thanks, guys.

Behind in my course. Generally bitter and disgruntled. Feeling self-destructive. I hope J will go to sleep soon. I need some sleep. Maybe I'll feel better in the morning.


Saturday, April 29, 2006

Things you never thought you'd hear yourself say

"Please don't hump your Boppy Bear."

Things you never thought you'd hear yourself say

"Please don't smack Daddy in the nuts with your Coke bottle, okay?


Friday, April 28, 2006

A time to cry

Feeling sad. Stressed. Back to work Monday.

I hate this.

Still have to buy shoes. I'll get the old ones fixed later. Never hurts to have more shoes.

Still have to get my hair cut. Must be done this weekend.

A few more work clothes to go, and must also take a trip to the grocery store to stock the freezer and ensure J has enough supplies for the week.

All three can be accomplished with one trip to the mall, stopping by the grocer after. Good.

Need one more carseat. But we can get by without it for one week. Got to get it soon though.

J's bloodwork will be done tonight. I hate that. Takes several nurses to hold him down, and the poor little guy just screams and screams. You'd think I'd be used to that piercing scream by now, but I'm not. I hate that.

I have to take some toys, a carseat, and a blankie or two over for childcare.

Play date with Memaw today. Check. I love seeing her.

Supposed to have arranged coffee with another friend. No time. Will have to see her down the road a spell. Shame, though. She wanted to see us before I went back to work. Not gonna happen.

More reading. More midterm work. Cat eating my midterm just now. Seems appropriate, somehow. Chow down, kitty.

Busy busy. No time to cry today. But sure I'll fit it in. Somehow.

Now sounds good. But H hasn't left for work yet. And if I cry, he'll see me. Then he'll feel bad. Not a good way to start the day.

Hold it together. There will be time later.

11 hours a day where I won't be able to see my baby. The baby I've played with and cuddled and cared for throughout the day every day for the past year. Longer if you consider the pregnancy to count. But suddenly, that stops. No more.

Change of routine. 11 hours away. Home. Eat. Brief cuddle and play. Study. Kiss goodnight. Study. Sleep. Start over.

I want those 11 hours.

Missing J already, and he's right across the hall, still sleeping. Feeling painfully sorry for myself. But I shouldn't. I'm lucky. Just hard to feel lucky right now. I know it; I just can't feel it.

Dreading Monday.

Lonely kind of night

Looking for someone to blame. But there is no one. Will get worse soon enough. I wish it wouldn't.

The next couple of weeks will be hard.

One small victory. The government agrees that I have a baby. Woot.

Couple new additions to "New this week" are up. Still working on it slowly. There's even a picture with me in it now. I know. I'm amazed too.


Thursday, April 27, 2006

Tough choices

Yesterday was a beautiful day. So warm and sunny. So much to do. Back to work next week. Very little time left. Must complete chores.

So many chores.

Do I go shopping? Complete the computer illustrations from module 6? Get started on module 7? Work on my midterm? Tidy the house? All things that need to be done. Where do I begin?

Yesterday was a beautiful day. So warm and sunny.

Chores will wait. Playground with J. More important.

More on my biggest pet peeve

Stupid? Who's stupid?


If you send me an email similar to one that I've received before, from an address that looks like a subset of another address which I actually subscribe to and have for over a year, and you tell me that a free coupon for some little baby thingy will be found at the corresponding site, I may go to the site. I may even go to the site if my point and click feature doesn't work and I need to copy the entire address into my browser.

But if your download instructions include instructions that I have never seen before, and if you tell me that I have to install the "free coupon printer" in order to print my coupon, a thing I've never had to do before, I am going to be suspicious. And I am going to get really suspicious when your instructions actually say that my antivirus and spyware protection may need to be turned off in order to facilitate the download.

Why? Oh! Because I'll be downloading a virus? Wow! Imagine that! Okay then. Just you wait there while I disable all of my protection devices so that I can get 20 cents off a bottle of Johnson's Baby Wash. What a fabulous idea!

No. I am not an idiot. Of course I won't do something like that. Get a life!


Yeah. That's what I want my headstone to read. "Killed while simultaneously driving, eating spaghetti, and steering with her knees". Great.

And exactly what sort of person thinks it is safe to operate a vehicle while using a laptop? "How does one use a laptop while driving", you rightly ask? Why, it's very simple. One duct tapes it to the steering wheel!

This is not unique. I actually see people like this on the street every day. Multi-taskers. Driving while reading. Driving while using both hands to eat a rice-bowl. Driving while smoking a giant doobie and talking on her cell phone at the same time in the Walmart parking lot with the windows rolled down.

If you are so desperate to meet your maker, take pills or something; just please don't take all of us with you.


I know you're here. I can see you!


The government seriously ticks me off. Governments are comprised of vast amounts of "stupid".

I don't think any further explanation is necessary; I'm sure we've all been there.


And that, as much as anything, is why I am now camped out on the roof of Millwoods Town Centre with my high-powered sniper rifle.

Don't mind me. I'll be just fine.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Conversations of the Car

On Smoking

H: Well, he's more of a social smoker.

T: Interesting theory. Kind of like being a social nose-picker, isn't it?

H: Yeah, it's a pretty anti-social habit. "My social habit is blowing toxic fumes in your face".

T: Oh. Okay. Well, my social habit is sticking pins into other people.

On Signage

T: That sign advertises a "downpour jacket". What exactly is a "downpour jacket"? Why can't they just say "raincoat"?

H: I guess "rain" is no longer politically correct. It prejudices the situation somehow. Makes it sound like less than it is. "Downpour" is more acceptable.

T: Well, then what's wrong with "coat"?

H: It must be shorter than a coat.

T: Sort of like a bolero then?

H: Yes; just shorter than a coat.

T: But wouldn't you think that a downpour would require more protection? Not less?

On the Government

T: I am tired of the government telling me that I do not know my child's birthdate. I know when he was born. I remember it. I was there. It hurt.

H: I love how they said they can't pay after his birthdate, but then say that they paid you after his birthdate and send you a bill.

T: When last I spoke with them, they agreed that they owed me for those two weeks. What happened?

H: Y'know, what really gets me is that they say that they paid you for two weeks after his birthdate, but the notice is dated for one week after his birthdate. Must be the new math, huh?

T: Maybe I should make up a sign. "Screwed by the government. Please give." And then hang it around J's neck tomorrow when I go and wait for their office to open so I can get this cleared up. Do we have a black felt pen?

H: Write it in crayon. With backward r's. And "government" spelt "guverment". Like J wrote it himself.

T: And when they ask me to take the sign off, I can tell them that my baby who they are trying to deprive of food for four weeks worked so hard to make it, I can't possibly remove it.

H: Yes. "He nearly fainted several times from hunger while making that sign. What a trooper!"

A place to be

I see things differently now.

I drive. Running errands. You in my thoughts. Almost to the exclusion of other thoughts.

I hope for you.

Arrive. Park car, plug meter. I do what needs to be done. I step out of the dimly lit, poorly constructed building and back into the bright sunshine. It's a beautiful day. More time left. Walk.

I pass a woman. Pretty. Thin. Glasses. Short spiky hair. Reddish blonde. Looks air-dried. Clean. Presentable. Clothes are a bit disheveled. I smile at her, and see how she pointedly avoids my gaze. And I wonder.

I wonder.

Does she have a place to be?

I walk on. I see two grocery carts parked by the side of the road, filled with worldly possessions. Cardboard. Bottles and cans. An old, threadbare, dirty brown blanket. Where are your owners? They can't have gone far. You mean too much to them. I look around, and I see two people on a patio. Very nearby. Eating. Young. Clean. Smiling, and enjoying the day. They don't look like your owners. How would I know? And I wonder.

I wonder.

Do they have a place to be?

I return to my car. Still time. Someone pulls up to the meter behind mine, and I ask him to wait and take my meter instead. Save money; use my time. He is grateful. A small gesture. At least I have done something for someone today.

Not you, though. I think of you, and I hope for better days.

Small successes.

I drive away. I stop at a drive-through. I wonder if you use drive-through. It would be practical right now. But do they have drive-through where you are?

I wonder.

I drive home. Home.

I see that the trees are leafing out now. A forsythia in full bloom by the side of the road. The trees must have leafed out for you too. And maybe the woods aren't quite as scary now. Now it's spring. Now heat isn't as much of an issue. But I know. I know. Still scary. I know.

I see things differently now. Because there is you. And I know.

I read. And I think. I think. Long ago. The hardest words I ever had to say. The words. I remember. "I want to come home".


I am lucky. I am fortunate.

For I have a place to be.

A place to be.

I see things differently now.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Nappie protest

J has decided that he doesn't need naps today. No naps! Absolutely no naps!! No, no, no, no, NO!!!

I got my parking pass today. I met a friend for tea. (I had a chocolate chai smoothie, as it was too hot for tea today. Mm, mm, good.)

But J didn't nap. Every time I tried to get him to nap, he protested. He'd play. He'd cry. But he would not sleep.

Once, he protested in a most unique manner. Alternating between playing and crying. And when eventually I despaired of him ever sleeping and went in to get him, I found that he had pulled off both of his socks as well as his pants, and was sitting there in his crib wearing only a t-shirt and diaper.

I laughed for quite some time about that one. J laughed with me, though he clearly didn't get the joke.

Funny baby!

Last Monday

Last Monday.
My last Monday.
My last Monday. Here. With my baby.

Next Monday. Next Monday.
Next Monday, I leave him.
I have to leave him.
Next Monday.

I can't. I won't.
I will. I must.

I can't.

Last Monday.

Monday, April 24, 2006

How children assist with housework

Last night, J decided to push the VCR off the TV stand. He and the VCR remain undamaged.

Today, J decided that he needed to play in the kitchen instead of the living room. I showed him the tupperware cupboard, and he was amused briefly. But soon, he decided that both the oven and the cat dishes were far more interesting. I had to stick him in the crib just to keep him away from all the things he shouldn't touch. He just doesn't listen for some reason. Oh; that's right. He's a baby and has no idea what I'm saying.

He naps now.

I have taken the opportunity to: move the TV and its components against the wall where it is less dangerous, clean and tidy the living room, wash the kitchen floor, and refill the tupperware cupboard. I have moved the cheese grater into a spot where J can't reach it. Not sure what to do about the cat dishes yet, but I'll work on a solution shortly.

Children are most helpful when it comes to housework. They leave you with no alternative but to attend to it.



double click PLAY and enjoy...


A used ... pink bathrobe
A rare ... mint snowglobe
A Smurf ... TV tray
I bought on eBay

My house ... is filled with this crap
Shows up in bubble wrap
Most every day
What I bought on eBay

Tell me why (I need another pet rock)
Tell me why (I got that Alf alarm clock)
Tell me why (I bid on Shatner's old toupee)
They had it on eBay

I'll buy ... your knick-knack
Just check ... my feedback
"A++!" they all say
They love me on eBay

Gonna buy (a slightly-damaged golf bag)
Gonna buy (some Beanie Babies, new with tag)
(From some guy) I've never met in Norway
Found him on eBay

I am the type who is liable to snipe you
With two seconds left to go, whoa
Got Paypal or Visa, what ever'll please ya
As long as I've got the dough

I'll buy ... your tchotchkes
Sell me ... your watch, please
I'll buy (I'll buy, I'll buy, I'll buy ...)
I'm highest bidder now

(Junk keeps arriving in the mail)
(From that worldwide garage sale) (Dukes Of Hazzard ashtray)
(Hey! A Dukes Of Hazzard ashtray)
Oh yeah ... (I bought it on eBay)

Wanna buy (a PacMan Fever lunchbox)
Wanna buy (a case of vintage tube socks)
Wanna buy (a Kleenex used by Dr. Dre, used by Dr. Dre)
(Found it on eBay)

Wanna buy (that Farrah Fawcett poster)
(Pez dispensers and a toaster)
(Don't know why ... the kind of stuff you'd throw away)
(I'll buy on eBay)

What I bought on eBay-y-y-y-y-y-y-y-y-y

(Thanks for the laugh, Rig. I love it!!)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Is it spring yet?

I miss my garden.




I really miss my garden.


Saturday, April 22, 2006

My biggest pet peeve is "Stupid"

Everywhere I look,
And everywhere I go,
I am forced to ask the question

Why are you such a freakin' idiot?


I'd like to leave it as a cryptic entry, but I just can't. Experience has demonstrated that cryptic entries open to interpretation are sometimes interpreted as offensive by some of my readership. Rest assured, I don't think you are all freakin' idiots. I mean no harm.

Read on, Macduff!


Now, of course I'm not saying that everyone is a freakin' idiot. But sweet lord, there sure are a lot of them out there, aren't there?

If you read on, you'll see that I am right.


A professed alcoholic with 5 previous DUIs is charged. Again. This time, he was driving a stolen vehicle. Drunk. (I know, I know; as if there were any doubt. But it needed to be said.)

So anyway, the details of the charges go like this. While drunkenly operating the vehicle he stole while his license is suspended, and fleeing from the police who are pursuing him in a high-speed chase, he crashes through the side of a house and pins a 17-year old kid underneath said stolen vehicle. Yes sirree. There she is, just hangin' out in her bedroom, doing typical teen stuff, when suddenly, she's forced to try to avoid being mowed down by the truck that has unexpectedly crashed through her wall. Coulda killed her. But thankfully, she survived.

And what sort of penalty does a man like this get? What does our justice system deem to be a fitting punishment for such a series of crimes?

As part of his sentence, he will not be permitted to drive for 7 years.

"BUT HE WAS DRIVING WITH A SUSPENDED LICENSE WHEN THE CRIME WAS COMMITTED", screams my poor, aching brain. And I wonder how this rather important fact escaped the attention of the judge.


That's okay. I'm sure he'll comply with the terms of his conviction this time around. I'll just be over here, banging my head against this wall.

Don't mind me. I'll be just fine.


In related news, the four teenagers with the prior criminal records who beat a man to death on a city bus near Millwoods Town Centre have been released on their own recognizance provided they comply with certain bail conditions. Among said conditions is a stipulation that they are not permitted to ride public transit.

That's a good stipulation. In theory.

Of course, with our Young Offenders' Act firmly in place, the identity of the teenagers cannot be released to the public. No one knows who they are. No pictures of them can be published. So, just out of curiosity, how will anyone know if they are violating their bail conditions and getting on the bus? It's not as though the bus drivers can keep an eye out for them, since the drivers aren't permitted to know their identity. How the devil would anyone ever know?

Or should we just prohibit everyone under the age of 18 from riding the bus, just in case it's one of them?


Seriously! Is someone going to be appointed by the courts to follow these known felons around to make sure they comply with their bail conditions and sentences? Yeah, right. I don't think so. So we'll just all assume that they're doing what they're supposed to be doing; there's a good convict.


So once again, I ask: Why?


And that, as much as anything, is why I am now camped out on the roof of Millwoods Town Centre with my high-powered sniper rifle.

Don't mind me. I'll be just fine.


Edited to add: Well, this post was pretty timely, really. Some freakin' idiot just broke up with one of my friends. One of the most gorgeous, talented, smart, and truly awesome women I have ever met. And this guy just steps up and breaks her heart. He was so lucky to have her, and I can't believe anyone could be so stupid.

Hey, you. Dude. How do you not fall down more?

Freakin' idiot.

Friday, April 21, 2006



He stands on the corner and waits patiently. He looks happy and laid-back. He waits for the cars to come to a complete stop. He steps off the curb. He is pleased. He crosses the street. He walks at a brisk pace; a very brisk pace. He doesn't want anyone to wait for too long on his account. He prefers to not further inconvenience the drivers, who were so polite as to stop for him. He knows that he had the right-of-way, but he prefers to acknowledge those who acknowledge him, and so he smiles and waves thank-you to the drivers as he passes their cars.

And he is happy.

He is patient. He is content. He is polite.

He is obviously from out of town.


Baby why you scream so long?

Let me begin by saying that the "New This Week" section has been updated. Old pictures. I'll get them all up eventually, I hope.

Anyway ...

Today, I have to pick up a schedule from the daycare so that we can work to get J onto some kind of similar-ish schedule before he goes there. That way, I hope to minimize his stress. My stress is irrelevant at this point. (What if he likes them better than me?)

Today, I also have to pick up a flat of cat food. This is not an easy thing to do with a baby in tow. It's not as though you can just leave the baby in the car, and so outings to run errands become a huge ordeal. (Of course, I wouldn't leave the keys in the car or anything like that. But still.)

And today, I have to get down to the parking company to arrange payment for my parking spot. Then next week, I have to go back and actually pick up the parking pass, because they won't release it until the week before parking takes effect. (It may just be a patch of gravel and mud, but it's my patch of gravel and mud, and I will learn to love it.)

Wait. Why do I have to do this today? Why can't I do this next week, and save myself a trip? Yes, that makes more sense. I will arrange my parking next week. I have phoned the parking company and checked, and that is acceptable to them.

Today, I have to get more studying done. (Blasted midterm!)

I had an appointment this afternoon to discuss a potential weight loss system. But I will need to cancel it, because I just don't have time for it.

Not today.

J slept pretty well last night, though he fought sleep and insisted on being cuddled down. He doesn't nap so well these days. And he woke up pretty early this morning. Not too early, though. He'll be getting up earlier than that pretty soon, in fact. I'll work on putting that in his schedule next week. Much as I hate to wake a sleeping baby, it will soon be absolutely necessary. I will do it.

He's working on more teeth. He has a very bad diaper rash. He clearly has some pain going on. And in my heart, I know that this is why he is so grumpy. But the screaming ... ooooooh, the screaming ...

I will not miss the screaming. (I don't think so, anyway.)

If I keep myself very, very busy, I will not have much time left to panic and feel sad and scared about returning to work and leaving my baby. Understand?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Schedule blues

I go back to work in ... what is it ... just over a week now. The countdown has begun in earnest. There is still too much to do before I go back. Sheer panic is setting in.

I have to reserve my parking spot in our wonderful downtown core. I have an issue with the concept of paying through the nose to reserve a chunk of gravel downtown, but that's what you've got to do when you live in suburbia and the bus system to the downtown core is ... less than ideal. So I must pay the evil parking company a portion of my hard earned money, so that I can work ... to earn my hard earned money.

Shut up.

I have to buy shoes. Or fix my old ones. I'm not sure which option will be best and/or more economical. I'll look into that later.

I have to get my hair cut. The situation is becoming desperate.

I have picked up one of the two extra carseats that we will require. (I got it at most-evil Walmart. HAHAHAHAHA! Evil laughter doesn't translate well on-line.)

I have purchased some work clothes. Not from Walmart. Not even I could bring myself to commit such an offence just to save a couple of bucks. No, no. I went to Winners for that particular shopping expedition. Good deals. But everything I put on still makes me look pregnant.


I still need to buy a few more work clothes, just so I don't end up in the same pair of pants all week long. I mean, what if I spill something? I'm not known for my grace, y'know.

I took J to the doctor yesterday. He weighed in at 19 pounds, and is back in the charts for weight. Though on the very low end. While fully clothed, and with a full diaper and a tummy full of milk. Apparently, though, he is not on the charts for height. What they imagine I can do to somehow make him taller is beyond me. I could put him on a teeny-weeny little rack, I suppose, but I suspect someone would phone child services.

He's short. Live with it.

I have to get J's bloodwork redone, just to check on his thyroid and iron levels and make sure they are improving.

I have to get stuff sorted out with childcare. Nothing too major, but I just have to take some stuff over to get him nicely settled in.

I have to schedule a play date with Memaw, and coffee dates with a couple of friends. And I have to get into an old work place to see folks once more.

Note to self: Pick up cat food.

I know there is more. I can't think what it is now.

I have to study, and get my midterm ready for submission.

I hate my midterm.

This week, I discovered that I do not leave the confines of my house enough. Apparently, an old friend has lived in my community for over a year. Not just in my community, but on my block. On my street. Four houses away. And I found out last night when I ran into another old friend and she told me. I felt ashamed of myself for not realizing this sooner. I'll have to get over and see her.

If I ever leave the house, bound for someplace other than work, studies, or a soothing car ride for J. Which habit is incidentally draining my bank account; gas is too costly for J to insist on evening car rides any longer. But he does, and we must comply. J doesn't care about our finances.

I have to get out more. Y'know. In my spare time.

Oh, life is so hard!

I want my keyboard banger!!!

Honestly, Mother. Don't you understand my screams of rage?

,mujhm u6y bbbnnnnnnngh b h , b n bn bn W,y eh6yyjhuy sdz M
cccccccccc 32mqw m,aaaaaaaaaaaaaaam qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq, wqaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaww qww mbqjjjjjjjjja

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

On birthdays

J says:


Monday, April 17, 2006

Um ... what???

I do not understand.

Don't get me wrong. I am most appreciative of your presence. And I can certainly make good use of you at any time. Especially just now. In fact, I could feel downright blessed by your mysterious appearance. But the problem is that I still don't think you are mine. Despite any and all insistence to the contrary, I continue to believe that you must belong to someone else, who is probably missing you horribly just now. It is most unfortunate, but I see no other way for your existence to be possible.

Whose are you? And how do I return you to your rightful owner? I tried to find out today, but was met only with the insistence that you must be mine. But you're not. Oh, how I'd love to keep you. But that would be wrong. And so you need to go home.

I do not understand.

Why are you there?

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter

Today, we went to church as a family. My sister sang in the choir. It was a beautiful service. Except that the minister, as usual, decided to try and steal the show at the end and beat the congregation about the head with the Easter message, which was already delivered quite effectively by the choir and actors on stage. (He kind of ruined the service, actually. He must be stopped!)

J was really well behaved. He insisted on being held by H, myself, Grandma, and Grannie at different times. He ate his Mum Mum cookies and drank his milk. And he sang along with the choir. He did not cry, but just sat in each of our laps and chatted. What a good baby! (Weird, huh?)

I have studied a bit today, though not a great deal. But I'm still working on it. I've been interrupted by two things:

  1. Making Easter Broccoli for 15 adults and 3 children for our family dinner tonight (Ugh!); and
  2. J's new toy!!
One of H's coworkers gave J a toy that her children have outgrown. It is a big round piano with multi-colored keys that light up, and a touch-sensitive mat that sits on the floor. It can be set at two different levels, so it is good for children who prefer to sit or to stand. There is a slider to one side, and a large red monkey in blue running shoes that sits on top of the whole contraption (on what appears to be a drum that lights up, in fact). The monkey dances about while "If You're Happy And You Know It" plays. With a salsa beat. At two different volume levels. It is obviously set to "low". And will remain there.

It's really cute! And of course, J loves it.

Saturday, April 15, 2006


Today, we met up with a bunch of friends at the Farmers Market. We browsed. We ate deliciously sweet carrots. We did our best to encourage Mary's baby to come out and play, but the little guy stubbornly stayed put, much to poor Mary's chagrin. She was not feeling very well, poor dear. I hope the little guy comes soon.

We all went out for lunch after. J decided to sample certain foods. He had bun with butter, Mum Mum cookies (of course), and diced Gnocchi pasta (potato dumplings) with a small bit of meat and mushroom sauce. He seemed to quite enjoy it. He drank lots of homo milk, and then had ice cream for dessert. Mmm, mmm, good. J loved his ice cream, and held the spoon himself and got all sticky. He still smells like vanilla.

Tonight, we went out to a chocolate fondue party. I likely put on 10 pounds. But it was totally worth it. There was milk chocolate, dark chocolate, mint chocolate, mocha, and white chocolate, and we all brought plenty of things for dipping. Easter eggs were decorated. Children played. Adults chatted and drank. A good time was had. It was nice to have a bit of a break from my crazy course and stupid midterm. I'm glad I went. Or rather, I'm glad I was all but dragged away from my books, kicking and screaming, and forced to go visit with my friends, have fun, and eat chocolate. Thanks guys, for seeing that I needed to get out and get sane again. I needed that!

J was not given chocolate fondue. Too messy for wee baby. Maybe next time.

I am going to cry

The question reads:

Outline a strategic plan for information systems that will meet current and future systems needs. Prioritize S&S's needs.
This question is worth roughly 1.67% of my final grade!!!

I have never even seen a strategic plan. Ever. And there isn't one in my course materials. Anywhere. And the tutor is not aware of any format that is to be followed. Whatsoever.

I have no idea where the [bleep, bleep, bleepity, bleep] I am even supposed to start with this stupid [bleep, bleep] question.


I asked the tutor for some assistance. Here is the response I received:

This part of the mid-term is looking for the student to highlight the immediate system needs for the next few months and then future needs for the next three years. For example, some immediate needs are to acquire hardware and software for the accounting and financial systems. You should also remember to point out any infrastructure requirements. An example of future need could be online ordering via a webpage, or perhaps inventory control software tied into the cash register system.

And I still have no idea if this section of my assignment is supposed to talk about systems requirements, like the hardware and software, or if I am supposed to somehow correlate this with corporate goals.

I have never been so frustrated in my life. I hate this course. I hate my tutor. And just now, I hate my provincial association, who has decided to limit my study resources while students in BC and Manitoba have access to the board I am on plus a whole other board with a completely different tutor who, I gather, is far more helpful than the one I am being stuck with.

I hate everything. And I have never before wanted to swear so much.

A bit of advice

No matter what you may think, pork is not probably still good after 5 days. And if the word "probably" is featured in a sentence about whether or not food is still okay for consumption, that is a bad sign. Whatever you do, do not eat the 5-day old pork. Go grab a Big Mac instead.


Friday, April 14, 2006

Stuff J does now

J waves bye-bye now. He seems quite proud of himself. He can also do the "high-five" if prompted. And he loves playing peek-a-boo and patty-cake.

Sometimes, J will get into a bad mood. He will sit and cry. But if I join in, imitate him, and pretend to sob, he usually starts to laugh. This is good. It means I can sometimes cheer him up with relatively little effort.

J is getting increasingly more mobile. He hasn't tried the stairs again. But he has started performing a fairly crazy antic. He'll hold onto the furniture and walk until he has reached the end. Then, he'll look for something nearby that he can grab. Once he spots it, he will wind up and, flinging both arms up over his head, he'll spin madly around on one foot and lunge for the new object. Then he will continue to walk about. He usually makes it.

On the subject of mobility, we are reaching a place where J's current highchair won't do any longer. We may need to find one with a 5-point harness. J can nearly wriggle completely out of the highchair straps of the 3-point harness.

He still has only 4 teeth. He has them brushed regularly. He enjoys having his teeth brushed. Not that there's ever a lot of food there to be concerned about, as he hasn't moved much on that issue. He still doesn't want to eat anything with texture unless it is grains. I hope this will come soon. I'd love to give him table foods.

He loves all grains (cereal, Cheerios, bread, baby cookies, crackers, etc.), and also homo milk and Minigos. And he will tolerate fruits and vegetables as long as they are pureed. He is starting to be able to handle small portions of meats, but he can't take very much without getting sick.

He has finally noticed his teddy bear hammock. I'll change him, and he'll lie on his changetable, point up at his bears, and say "Baa ... Baa ..." I don't know if he is just making noise or if he is trying to say "Bear". I lean towards just making noise. He's not really wanting to try for many words yet, and he still can't even say "Dada". H really hopes to hear J say "Dada" soon.

(On a different note, my spell check suggests a suitable replacement for "highchair" would be "hijacker". As for "changetable", apparently "constable" is a better word. I respectfully disagree on both counts. This is my blog, and not an episode of "Cops", after all.)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Motivation lacking

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, J is napping, the diapers are drying, and I am in my household's office trying to study.

But the sun is shining and the birds are chirping!! And I don't wanna study!! I wanna go out and play in the sunshine!! Take me out to play!!

But I have to study. I'm behind in my course. If I don't study, I will never get caught up.

But ... But ... BIRDS!!!

Finish Module 4.6 while J sleeps. Then, when he awakes, you can go out for a short time and take him for a walk. It's not as though you can go anywhere without the baby anyway. And are you really going to wake a sleeping baby just because the sun is shining?

Or ... you could use this opportunity while J naps to grab a nice long shower and get caught up on some long-neglected television, couldn't you?

No. Work first and play later. Must prioritize. Must be motivated. Must do homework today.

Shower! TV! Sunshine! BIRDS!!


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I have won a free Caribbean cruise!

And all I had to do was press 9! How easy is that?

The following quote reflects my feelings on this subject quite aptly.

I can’t wait to take my free cruise. I’m going to look for unicorns while I’m on it. And then, with all the money I saved, I’m going to fulfill a lifelong dream of chartering a private spacecraft to planet Xeltax.
Is this what happens when you foolishly attend one lousy timeshare presentation?

Attention Phone Solicitors:

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Hardwood floors and a fireplace

"Well, yes, it's kind of an unusual house. It has umm, three beautiful bedrooms and ah, no baths. But, you know, the ocean is right there."
- Friends

I have concluded that I like hardwood floors and fireplaces. When I see these things in a home, I immediately want to buy the house. Other features notwithstanding, those two things always turn my head. I swear, it could be a former marijuana grow-op, but if it has refinished hardwood floors and a fireplace, I'll absolutely adore it. For some reason, it takes considerable effort for me to see past those two little features.

Take tonight. H and I very nearly put in an offer on an older house in a pretty decent neighborhood right across the street from an elementary school. It had an apartment-style galley kitchen, a small living room, no storage, poor insulation, lifting shingles, some older aluminum windows that would need to be replaced ... but it had gorgeous hardwood floors and a lovely woodburning fireplace. And it was beautiful!

The conclusion I have reached, of course, is that I need to make better use of my brain. Aesthetics notwithstanding, the house was overpriced given the amount of work required. Our house is lovely. And for the moment, our house is fairly practical. Maybe it isn't the most practical house we could own, but it is well enough for the present time. We should keep it for a bit longer.

And we should install hardwood floors and a fireplace. Maybe someday, we will do so.

Better Business Advocate

Session 2 marks will be released on May 2. In a bizarre twist, the last date to register for a session 3 supplemental exam (in the event of a session 2 course failure) is one day prior to the marks release date. Kind of unusual, but I guess students should assume failure?

In related news, the Dragon Girl is prominently featured in a photo on the "Student News" page of the Better Business Advocate. She is happy and smiling, despite the fact that she was apparently very ill all that weekend. What a trooper!

He screams. Of course. Off I go.

Another perfect score

Still behind in my course, but I'm feeling less pressure now that Quiz #2 is in. So now I've got 6% of my grade covered.

I started work on the midterm tonight. It's a bit overwhelming just now, but I'm sure I'll get it in the end.

J is teething, and he was so grumpy tonight I just couldn't stand it. He had Tylenol and went to bed. I hope for a better day tomorrow.

I know you want to see pictures. I'll get them up over the weekend, if not before.

Hopefully before.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

My baby is so big now!


Well, J's first birthday celebrations are over now. My family met up today to celebrate three birthdays, including little J's first. I made him a blue elephant cake for the occasion. It turned out quite well. See?

Devil's food cake with cream cheese frosting and coconut. Yummy!

J was tired and a bit grumpy, but he didn't scream through the "Happy Birthday" song tonight. He was pretty content to grab the blue frosting and smear it over his hands, clothes and highchair. He did not, however, put any of it in his mouth. And he wouldn't sample any of the cake offered. He just wasn't hungry. But he drank a lot of milk, so that's always good.

A good family shot was taken. I'm not very photogenic these days, but I'm pleased with the picture below. Happy family. Happy birthday.

So there we go. My little boy is 1-year old now. Party time is over and done, and it's back to the same old routine starting tomorrow. I'll get back into the groove of studying; I have a lot of catching up to do. And I'll try to not feel so sad about the fact that my little baby is getting so big. As L says, he is a lot more fun now that he's mobile and trying to communicate. I'll enjoy this next stage too. I just miss his teeny babiness a bit, and it makes me kind of sad.


Saturday, April 08, 2006

First birthday party

Yesterday, J had birthday shots. His one year shots; MMR and chicken pox. He cried, but only briefly. It was easy to soothe him after the shots were done. The nurses at the health clinic weren't concerned about his weight, but did note that he is a bit small. He's short, too. But he is developing normally, and is able to do the other things a child his age can do. They gave me a pamphlet on things to try when a child refuses meat. And they suggested we possibly speak with an occupational therapist about his whole won't-eat-unless-it's-pureed thing. We'll see how he does with it. It seems to be a texture thing with this kid; he'll eat grains just fine, but no meats, and only pureed fruits and veggies. Thankfully, he loves milk, so he's getting some protein anyway.

Last night, H and I took J to "Chuck E Cheese" to celebrate his birthday. He rode his first carousel, and he got to steer a moving car with Chuck E Cheese riding along beside him. (That sounds so much more mature than it is; it was one of those plug-a-quarter-in Supermarket-style rides, of course.) He ate parmesan breadsticks and drank apple juice from a straw. I think he enjoyed himself. I know we did.

Today was little J's first birthday party, and it was a big success. We had lots of friends and family over, and the house was quite full. The kids all played together and ate cake (chocolate and vanilla layers with raspberry filling and buttercream frosting with chocolate sprinkles, from Bee Bell Bakery). J enjoyed the little bit of cake that he ate, while sitting on my lap. We enjoyed visiting with friends. Today was a lot of fun!

J refused to nap at all today. And he was really unhappy about the whole cake, candles, singing "Happy Birthday", thing. He screamed and cried through the entire Happy Birthday song, and then needed immediate comforting. Photographic evidence will be forthcoming. Gemma tried valiantly to make J happy. She offered him his soother and his sippy of milk. She's a good little friend to J.

More folks actually came than we had anticipated, which was a really nice surprise. We live pretty far away from many of our friends, but they found their way, sometimes phoning for directions on the way. We nearly ran out of food once, and H went out to get more. Cake was dropped on the carpet, frosting side down. Oddly, this was not one of the children; H dropped the cake while cutting it. But it doesn't matter. What's a little frosting? Worse things will happen to the carpet; we have a child!

I was really happy that so many people made it over to celebrate our little boy's birthday with us. It was great to see all of you. Thanks, guys! You all rock!!

It was a really busy day here, preparing for the party and all. We are all very sleepy now. J is out cold, and I think it is time to go join him.


Friday, April 07, 2006

Cryptic thought for the day

Having my head repeatedly banged into a brick wall really hurts. Would someone else take over now? I am out of time, and I have laundry to do.

A whole year. Can it be?

Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday, dear J-man.
Happy birthday to you.


I love you, little man.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

And they call it puppy love

Saw a very cool house tonight. Many of our friends would have loved it and, had it not been so pricey, we would have referred several of our friends over for a look. Fisticuffs may have broken out on the front lawn.

H and I liked the house a lot too. And there are many compromises we are willing to make to get a more centrally located home closer to schools and downtown. (No ensuite; loss of 200 sq ft deck; smaller kitchen; no pantry; increased heating costs; etc.) But there was one small layout issue that we just weren't willing to compromise. Our current house has 3 bedrooms on one floor, and we quite like that setup. There are many other houses that also have this feature. We aren't that anxious to sell, so we can hold out for something we like better. (We hope that there will one day be something that we like better.) But it was cool, nonetheless. No virtual tour is available. So I shall attempt to describe the place here.

Cool house

You walk through the front door of the 1753 sq ft semi-bungalow, and into a tiled entranceway. To your right, there are maple hardwood floors in the library! All along one wall is a white painted floor to ceiling bookcase, with attached sliding wooden library ladder. Lots of windows in the front area, so lots of natural light.

From the entranceway, you walk up three tiled steps into a red tile foyer with a small alcove to your left suitable for display purposes.

Just past the alcove is the living area, which has hardwood floors. To the right is the dining room, with a beautiful original light fixture of pressed autumn leaves encased in glass. (J thought it was quite breathtaking). And to the left is the large living room, complete with bay window and woodburning fireplace. The fireplace is stone, with a wooden mantle. The stone extends upwards, with a cutout in the centre suitable for hanging a picture.

Continuing past the living area, you enter a hallway. To the right is a bathroom; nothing special. To the left is the stairwell to the upper level and, just past that, the master bedroom with a smallish walk-in closet.

Continuing past this hallway, you enter the kitchen, which is separated by a single french door. Oak cabinets, and an oven built into the cupboards. There is a large island with a built in dishwasher and countertop stove, and a side-by-side fridge/freezer unit. Some of the cupboards have glass faces, for display. The kitchen has a double sink, and a single sink on the other side. And then there is a nook at the end of the kitchen, with many windows, and a mudroom rear entranceway. Through the rear entranceway, steps lead to the basement.

The basement features two additional bedrooms, one of which has a sink and wiring for a kitchen. It also has a good-sized laundry room, a 3-piece bathroom with good-sized shower, and a family room. The family room has a cedar closet that lights up automatically when the door is opened. And it also has an (illegal, mind you) space-heater in the corner, that can't be turned on because of code violations, but could easily be replaced with a direct vent gas fireplace.

The upper floor features two bedrooms, each with walk-in closet, and a linen cupboard. Nothing special, but not too shabby either.

The house has a fairly new hot water tank, but a 25-year old furnace that would need to be replaced. Most of the windows are from the '80s, so they are decent enough.

Both front and back yards are large. There is a two-car sized garage with a single-car door and a workshop in the other side, and the garage has attic storage above. The back yard is fenced, and there is a gravel parking pad area beside the garage for additional parking.

The house sits on a corner lot, with one side abutting a very busy street. But you don't really hear the traffic noise in the house. It's in a very desirable area of town. And the house has a lot of charm, with arched doorways, and curved walls leading to the textured ceiling.

It was quite beautiful. But just not quite right for us, and so we will hold out. We have a very nice house, really. So when it's time to upgrade it, we'll find the right house at the right time. And that, my friends, is that.


But it would have been absolutely perfect for L&P. And I bet they will buy it someday, when it goes on the market again.

On the way home, we took a detour to drive past a pretty little park, in which we saw two dogs doing the nasty. H started singing "And they call it puppy love". Hence the title of this post.

How much can I get for this kidney?

Oh ... crap.

Stuff we can sell:

  1. Old flute in need of some minor repair
  2. Living room suite that I assume Nez doesn't want
  3. Mahogany computer desk designed for a Mac
  4. Oval kitchen table (no chairs)
  5. I assume there is more ... probably a couple of bookshelves and a coffee table & end table set ... and maybe a guitar case ... we have to clear out our basement and assess the situation further
Note to self: file tax return and hope for $$ back.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Stressed and overwhelmed

I have to get the house ready for J's birthday party on Saturday. It needs to be cleaned and organized. We need to get the cake ready, pick up some party favors and a present or two, decorate, and make some food. Right. Okay. At this point, activity ideas for J's party include dust drawings, junkmail origami, and sock bundling. Um ... no ...

On Friday, J gets his 1-year shots and is likely to be grumpy afterwards. This will obviously not buy me more time.

Then there's school. I need to finish module 3 and get a start on module 4 before Saturday. And I should finish module 4 by Monday, so that I can submit my quiz on time and start the midterm assignment.

And as if that weren't enough for anyone to handle, we have family stuff going on too. Duties that can't be shirked. So other things must be shirked while we handle the important family issues.

Not that everything else isn't important too, you understand. But there just isn't time for everything.

H works every day this week, and J is starting to refuse naps. So my time is rather limited. I don't quite know how to manage all of this.

I need a miracle. A miracle, and a maid.

A clone might be good too.

Is it any wonder my mood is ... questionable today?

On another note: Have you ever seen "Jurassic Park"? You know that sound the Velociraptor makes just before it attacks you and eats your liver? The terrifying, piercing squeal of death and dismemberment? Right. J discovered that sound today. My ears hurt.


I just don't feel sociable right now. Feeling down today. I hope it passes.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Just for today

I was surfing the net a bit today. I found some funny sites. But I also found one that was absolutely heart wrenching. You may not want to visit it, especially you who have small children. But in case you want to see what's up, the site is here.

I began to read. And then I began to weep.

I have been richly blessed. I need to always remember what a precious gift I have been given in J. I know that my schooling and work are both important to our family unit. But I so want to spend more time with H and J. After all, they are what really matters to me. I need to make more time for them. I pray that they will always be here with me.

The following has been taken from a post on the above site. It is a reminder to me to hold each day precious and to not take anything for granted. It may be a bit hard to read. But yellow was his favorite colour, and that is important.

Just for Today

Just for this morning, I am going to smile when I see your face and laugh when I feel like crying. Just for this morning, I will let you choose what you want to wear, and smile and say how perfect it is. Just for this morning, I am going to step over the laundry, and pick you up and take you to the park to play. Just for this morning, I will leave the dishes in the sink, and let you teach me how to put that puzzle of yours together.

Just for this afternoon, I will unplug the telephone and keep the computer off, and sit with you in the backyard and blow bubbles. Just for this afternoon, I will not yell once, not even a tiny grumble when you scream and whine for the ice cream truck, and I will buy you one if he comes by. Just for this afternoon, I won't worry about what you are going to be when you grow up, or second-guess every decision I have made where you are concerned. Just for this afternoon, I will let you help me bake cookies, and I won't stand over you trying to fix them. Just for this afternoon, I will take us to McDonald's and buy us both a Happy Meal so you can have both toys.

Just for this evening, I will hold you in my arms and tell you a story about how you were born and how much I love you. Just for this evening, I will let you splash in the tub and not get angry. Just for this evening, I will let you stay up late while we sit on the porch and count all the stars. Just for this evening, I will snuggle beside you for hours, and miss my favorite TV shows. Just for this evening, when I run my finger through your hair as you pray, I will simply be grateful that God has given me the greatest gift ever given. I will think about the mothers and fathers who are searching for their missing children, the mothers and fathers who are visiting their children's graves instead of their bedrooms, and mothers and fathers who are in hospital rooms watching their children suffer senselessly, and screaming inside that they can't handle it anymore.

And when I kiss you good night, I will hold you a little tighter, a little longer. It is then that I will thank God for you, and ask him for nothing, except one more day...

~Author unknown~

I am so sorry for your loss.