Saturday, December 29, 2012

One is Enough

We made the decision a few years ago that the Kid would be an only child. I can give you many reasons for that choice:
  • Kids are expensive -if we only have one we can afford to do more stuff like go on vacation.
  • I am a very witchy pregnant lady.
  • Postpartum depression - it sucks and I'm still on the Prozac.
  • Where would I put even more weight?
  • We'd have to move to a bigger house so that we have somewhere to put the baby.
  • Our old crib is unsafe so we tossed it.
  • I like sleeping in.
  • Babies are pretty boring for the first couple of months.
  • Kid doesn't want a sibling.
  • We did pretty well on the first one, which means the second will be evil.
  • What if it is a boy? I don't want to be peed on.
  • Babies cry. A lot.
  • The Kid was premature. The doctor expects that any pregnancies I have will result in a preemie.
  • The huge age difference between the children at this point. There are 8 years between my sister and I. It took a long time for us to be able to relate.
  • The Kid has lots of little toys. That's a choking hazard.
  • We have hard wood floors now. Those are harder than carpet.
  • We enjoy not having baby gates everywhere.
I could go on and on with my "reasons". None of those are the real reason. The real reason is because our family feels right - just the way it is. Not to say that we wouldn't embrace a surprise. Now I just have to convince my husband to have a little "procedure".

Friday, December 28, 2012

The kid is loud and I'm a twit

The kid is talking to her best friend on the phone for I think the fourth time today. And she talks very, very loudly. I figure she must want me to hear what she says and offer commentary.

Or maybe not. But, I kept quiet for the first 3 conversations. And when she told BFF that "I didn't have lunch today!"- despite the piece of pizza she clearly ate around noon and that she denied my offer of additional sustance - I figured all bets were off.

The Kid: We can even talk about You Know Who!

Mommy who is not so much eavesdropping as existing: Voldemort! You're going to talk about Voldemort!

The Kid: *ignores her Mother*

The Kid: Wait, which one is number one and which is number two?

Mommy who is not so much eavesdropping as existing: Pee and poop! Why are you talking about that with BFF!

 The Kid: *ignores her Mother and starts talking more about the boyfriend and her mortal enemy in grade 8 who doesn't know who she is other than that kid that was in the grade 1 class he was lunch monitor of way back in grade 6 and has continued to stalk him for the past 2 years*

At this point I have lost interest and walked away. See, don't feed the trolls or the Mommy.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Quit giving them their 15 minutes of fame

There have been a lot of awful things happening around the world. From the shooting of school children to the shooting of firefighters - it's just horrible. And I think the media is making it even worse by ensuring that everyone knows the name of the monsters that perpetuate these crimes.

I don't want to know that "John Doe" was the person who killed 26 people in a school in Sandy Hook. I don't want to know that "Joe Doe" killed two firefighters in Western New York. And I really don't need to know that "Jay Doe" killed 12 people who were watching a Batman movie on opening night.

Perhaps if we stop plastering their faces all over the news and writing articles analyzing why they did it less of these tragedies would occur. If you're planning on killing yourself anyway, why not immortalize yourself and become infamous by killing a few innocent bystanders too.

Personally, I'm not going to give those idiots the honour of knowing their name. I'd rather focus on the victims. And we don't really do that.

Consider Jeffrey Dahmer. I know what he did but I have no idea who he killed. I do however know that Tammy Lyn Homolka, Leslie Mahaffy and  Kristen French were the victims of the infamous serial killers Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka.

Personally, I think that one of the best ways to punish these psychopaths is to ignore them as individuals. Stop glamorizing them by posting their photos all over the internet, newspapers, magazines and television. They don't deserve it. Instead I am going to focus on Charlotte Bacon, Daniel Barden, Olivia Engel, Josephine Gay, Ana Marquez-Greene, Madeleine Hsu, Dylan Hockley, Catherine Hubbard, Chase Kowalski, Jesse Lewis, James Mattioli, Grace McDonnell, Emilie Parker, Jack Pinto, Noah Pozner, Caroline Previdi, Jessica Rekos, Aveielle Richman, Benjamin Wheeler, Allison Wyatt, Rachel D'Avino, Dawn Hochspring, Anne Marie Murphy, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach and Victoria Soto; Lt Michael Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka; Jonathan Blunk, Alexander J. Boik, Jesse Childress, Gordon Cowden, Jessica Ghawi, John Larimer,  Matt McQuinn, Micayla Medek, Veronica Moser-Sullivan, Alex Sullivan, lexander C. Teves, and Rebecca Wingo.

It was way too hard to find those names. But it is very easy to find photos and the identity of their murders. That's not right.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The use of quotation marks

The kid has been reading the Grimm Sister series of books lately. She loves them. I haven't read them yet but I've heard quite a bit about it. Not with any context mind you. That would be crazy!

She started telling me about the Queen of Hearts and how she is the "mayor" of the town. Yes, she made the air quote gesture with her hands.

I asked her if that meant she wasn't actually the mayor. According to the kid she is the actual mayor but since she is a bad mayor you make the little quotes.

I asked if that would be like saying Rob Ford is the "mayor" of Toronto? She looked at me like I had three heads. And I remembered that we don't live in Toronto so it's all good - for us. :D

Friday, December 21, 2012

Low expectations

The kid was admiring my diamond ring yesterday. She wanted to know how much her father had paid for it. My answer? $0. The ring he gave me is platinum. When I was pregnant with the kid I developed an allergy to platinum.

It really does happen. My other allergies also got worse.

But I digress. Now I wear my deceased grandma's engagement ring. And the kid likes it.

I told her she can have it when I die.

"Thanks. Well, I hope you live another 10 years." was her response.

Mine was, "really, another 10 years? Why 10 years?"

She was generous. She then changed it to 11 or even 20.

I guess 46 and 55 are really old according to my eight-year-old.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Delay tactics

The kid doesn't like going to sleep. But she loves waking up. On Tuesday night, I let her stay up crazy late reading. I figured since she didn't have school the next day she could sleep in.

I was wrong.

She woke up at 7 p.m. when her father quietly (and he really was quiet) crept down the stairs to go to work. She turned out her lights at 11 p.m. That is not enough sleep for an eight-year-old. She disagrees. But I know I am right.


Because last night when the lights went out at 8:40 p.m. she started sobbing. Not because of the recent tragic events. She was crying because she felt guilty about waking up so early and now she couldn't read until 9 p.m. That is truly the behaviour of someone who is not overtired and needs some extra sleep.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Thing you don't want to hear...

One of my colleagues had her last day at the organization last week. So, there was cake. There is always cake. We like cake at United Way.

This colleague has a severe allergy to peanuts. And we do all really like her. This part is important.

After we've all said our goodbyes, the cake is presented. It's quite pretty. And what does the person who bought it say?

"I'm pretty sure it is mostly nut free."

Turns out, it was nut free. How do I know? No epipens were required.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

How do you explain the unexplainable?

The mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday has impacted us all. It's hard to believe it happened. I wish it was just a nightmare. But it happened. And now we have to figure out how to make sure our kids not only feel safe but are safe.

We don't watch the news on television. My husband and I read about things online. So, the kid hasn't been exposed to any of the images of Sandy Hook. But she knows about it. Even though she is eight and I'd love her to stay innocent forever - I realize that kids hear things and they talk amongst themselves. And they don't always put 1+1 together and get 2 - they often get 15.

So, on Saturday we went out for a quiet lunch together. The kid was miffed when I wouldn't let her play the games on the place mat because we had to talk. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.

Me: "Kid, why do you do lock down drills."

Kid: "In case a bad guy breaks in to the school and tries to hurt us."

Me: "Well, that happened yesterday to an elementary school in the USA. Someone, with a mental illness, broke into a school and killed 20 little kids."

Kid: *gasp* "That's horrid!"

We talked a little bit more about the difference between gun laws in the USA and Canada and the difference in the mental health care system. Honestly, it is still too hard to get good mental health care in Canada and too easy to get a gun but she doesn't need to know that. We are fortunate that she has a working knowledge of mental health disease and realizes that just because a person has a mental health disorder does not make that person violent.

It was a pretty short conversation and she went back to playing tic-tac-toe happily enough.

On Sunday night however, she asked some questions which led me to believe she was more than a little worried about bad guys getting into the school. I reassured her and she seemed to be okay.

And, of course, none of the kids were talking about it. They were all focused on the one-day teacher strike that is scheduled for Wednesday. Never thought I'd be so grateful for a labour dispute.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Boyfriend

The kid decided to put the boy who proclaimed his crush on her out of his misery. Less than 24 hours after his declaration she told him that she also has a crush on him.

And now the kid has a boyfriend.

Her dad is having a rough time with this evidence that his baby is growing up.

I had to tell him that is was okay for her to have a boyfriend at this age. In fact, telling her she can't have a boyfriend will probably cause us more problems. At least that is what I think.

Although they did exchange presents that they bought each other at the school holiday store. Maybe things are moving a little fast?

Or maybe not. After all, they don't even play together at recess most of the time.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Technology makes me weepy

While I was driving to work today I started making a mental list of things I need to do. So, I started thinking about digital cameras. And then I thought about the first digital camera we had at the office. Which made me think of the digital camera by Grandpa had.

He had already been diagnosed with Alzheimer's when he bought the camera. My Grandma let him buy it - this is back when they were $1,000 and wrote on floppy discs - because he really wanted it and she assumed (correctly) that it would be his last major purchase. I don't even know if he ever figured out how to use it.

And then I felt really, really sad because my Grandpa would have loved all the new technology. He would have been all over Social Media like Facebook and Twitter. He was always the first person to embrace new technology. Heck, after he retired he both took and taught computer classes at the local college. He would have also loved tablets like the iPad and he would have been all over the Kindle.

And it makes me sad that he didn't get to play with all these cool toys.

Which makes me sad.

But then I remember that my Grandma is on Facebook and knows about Twitter and wants me to hook her up with a Kindle next time I'm in Texas. And that makes me happy.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Nature vs. Nurture. Nature wins.

I asked the kid to tell me about her day.

It seems the most exciting thing was that a boy told her he has a crush on her. Her response?

"That's good to know."

She decided that he didn't need to know that she has a crush on him too.

The takeaway from this? Girls start playing games at a very young age.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"Weirdest Girl on Planet Earth"

The kid just handed me her Christmas Wish list (at my request) and said "I am the weirdest girl on planet Earth."

I have to agree.

This is the list
  • walkie talkies
  • pipe cleaners
  • pom pom balls
  • clay
  • bow and arrow
  • books
  • big metal bar that can be attached to the wall
  • soft mat that is big and fat
  • duct tape
  • trampoline
  • laundry hamper
  • rope
  • new light switch
  • Pokemon cards
  • Beyblades
I can understand a few of the things. But duct tape? And a laundry hamper? Not to mention the rope. I could use quite a few of these items to spin a pretty scary story.

Needless to say, the kid (who is 8) will be getting some things from her list but mostly things her mom thinks she would like. Because I am NOT raising a serial killer.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

And so it begins...

I am not a mathematician. I did get 100% on a calculus test in university once. Of course, it was my second time taking the course (I didn't fail the first time but I came pretty close with my D-). And I retook pretty much every math course I took in high school to ensure that I "got" it.

And now the kid is in grade 3. And it isn't super easy for me. Sure, I can do the basics just fine but word problems drive me a bit batty. And trying to get her to show her work is next to impossible. Why? Because the little monster does it all in her head.

But the joke is on her. Now my husband gets to check her work.

His trick to getting her to show her work? He gives her harder problems than those that are assigned. And what am I doing? Sitting quietly and thinking he better not try giving me math homework too.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Apples to apples (or maybe bananas)

We were sitting eating dinner today and talking about our days. The kid mentioned that she's forgotten her taekwondo uniform on Monday so she had to wear just her belt. This led to my husband teasing her about going to class wearing no clothes. She rebutted that that concept was "disgusting. But way more disgusting for girls than boys because girls have..[pointed at her future bosom]"

The parents just exchanged a look. I said, "I guess she hasn't seen a naked boy."

The kid interrupted, "I sort of have. I've seen girls in their underpants."

Right. Totally the same thing.

Friday, November 2, 2012

My new favourite product

While we were at Epcot exploring the Food and Wine festival we stumbled across a vendor called Rinse.  Oddly, considering they are a vendor at the Food and Wine festival, they sell bath and body products. Including the amazing and miraculous PeppoFoot Stick!

I had some really bad blisters when we came across their kiosk. I asked if they had anything to help and she showed me this product. She was actually in the process of labelling more sticks when I asked because they had sold out of their stash the day before. At $18 it seemed pricey but I decided to take the chance.

Best choice I made in October.

My blisters actually fixed themselves. I didn't think that was possible! And the calluses went away. Best $18 I ever spent. At it is cheaper on the website. I really should have bought another stick or three.

Although it probably causes Cancer and/or birth defects in California.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

At least she saves the drama for her Mama

This morning the kid had her semi-annual eye appointment. She has a bit of an eye turn. She had surgery five years ago to correct it but it has uncorrected itself a bit since. So, every six months we meet with the doctor and he asks her if she wants the surgery. It is essentially a cosmetic surgery. Once again she has decided againest it. We're fine with that.

We piggybacked our eye appointment with a Crohn's disease study that the kid is participating in. They're looking at genetic markers, etc in the family members of those with Crohn's. I'm pumped about the study. The kid, not so much. You see, she had to have a blood sample taken.

It did not go well.

Apparently we have a fainter. We didn't get to leave the hospital for over an hour and a half after the sample was taken because she complained so much about not feeling well - dizzy, headache, the list of complaints was a mile long! She was also very pale and the technician confirmed that this was a valid situation.

You see, I am mean, evil and unsympathetic. It's not that I am heartless. Just I had so many procedures at her age and I didn't pull half the drama. Let's face it - blood work isn't particularily invasive. It certainly isn't the same as a barium swallow or barium enema. Don't worry I comforted her, didn't make her go to school in the afternoon (although that was only because the technician and doctor told me to keep her home) and still let her have McDonalds for lunch (the promised treat if she was good during the procedure). But, oy! The dramatics!

What is she going to be like when she is 16?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The more you know...

If you're pregnant or want to avoid Cancer it is totally safe to go to Florida. They may have hurricanes but Disney World will not cause cancer or birth defects. But it is a whole other story in California.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Clingy beast

We got back from our Disney World/Universal Studios vacation late Friday night. Since then I have had a shadow in the form of the nice cat. She is always there and she always has to be touching me. It's creepy but somewhat sweet. Until she made me bleed at 3 am on Sunday night.

During the night she smushed herself next to me and made me hold her like a stuffed teddy bear. This went on for so long that my arm actually fell asleep. I have no idea how much time passed because I was sleeping. But, around 3 am, the evil, devil cat decided to jump on the bed. She scared the nice (but very stupid) cat so much that nice cat ran away. But not before scratching me right under the left eye. At least I know that my husband will go right back to sleep after being awoken by my scream of pain.

My glasses hide most of the scratch but it still aches. At least the evil (but smart) cat knows to keep her claws tucked away. Neither cat got to sleep with us last night.

However, I am typing this while the nice cat sleeps next to me with her paws grasping my arm.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Really? Really?

While getting organized for our next vacation I discovered that the evil cat has found yet another way to express her displeasure. Apparently, she believes that peeing on our bags will prevent us from travelling. Luckily, she only peed on things that can fit in the washing machine and dryer. But still! She had to go out of her way to do that. There was balancing and climbing involved.

I'm almost impressed. Except for the fact that I have a lot of stuff to disinfect now. At least urine is virtually sterile. But it smells icky. I am more convinced than ever that our cat pees outside of the litter box when she is pissed off. At least she is healthy and I guess she loves us.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

RIP Andy Williams

Today my parents will complete their five day road trip from Niagara Falls to Dallas, Texas. The trip is taking so long because they stopped at all sorts of hot spots like Dayton, Ohio and Branson, Missouri. In fact, they spent two nights in Branson because my mom wanted to see Andy Williams perform.

They had tickets to see his show last night. She found out a few days before they left that he wasn't going to necessarily be performing but she was hoping he'd make a guest performance. I haven't talked to her but I'm pretty sure he wasn't there. He died yesterday.

A sad day for the entertainment world.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


The kid suddenly realized yesterday that she is thin. She also realized that her dad is also thin. Mom.... well, that is a different story. Apparently I am in between thin and fat. I asked if that meant I was "average". Nope. According to the kid I am medium.

I can live with that.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Prop 65 - aka Californians are nuts


Best Western by the Sea (San Diego)
Do I really need to say anything? These signs were everywhere. Good thing I'm not pregnant or Disneyland would have turned my baby into a mutant. And if the fetus had been okay after Disneyland the hotel at San Diego would have messed it up. And don't get me started on what would have happened after we ate at Denny's.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mommy knows what a good book is

I have finally convinced the kid to listen to my book suggestions. It only took several years of battle. She was going through an Archie comic book faze which I decided to put an end to. By forcing her to read The Indian in the Cupboard.

She fought me tooth and nail. Then she started to read it. It was done in two hours and then she asked for more recommendations.

I've been trying to get her to read The Famous Five series by Enid Blyton for several months. She finally agreed to read it after she realized that Mommy was the one that recommended Harry Potter and most of the other books that she loves. Now she's mad that I don't have all the other books in the series for her.

But, I don't let her read everything. I was okay with her request to read Hunger Games but the Twilight series is off limits. I tried to explain that she wasn't allowed to read it because:
a. it is poorly written
b. the protaganist is a terrible role model

I finally got her to buy in to it when I added, "...and the vampires sparkle!" That did it. "They sparkle, that's stupid!" Crisis averted.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Too many drugs

It may be that we take too many medications in our household. Not so much the kid, but she has picked up on the trend.

One evening last week she made me an offer, she didn't think I could refuse:

"Mommy, you should take some of my muscle relaxants."

Neither the husband or I had a clue what she was talking about. Hubby takes Robax from time to time. But I didn't have any muscle aches so the recommendation came totally out of the blue.

Turns out she was talking about bath salts. Not the kind that makes you eat the faces off of people but the kind that you soak in. Incidentally, I gave them to her since they aren't my favourite and she was coveting my lovely Lush bath bombs a bit too much.

I thanked her for her kind offer and suggested she have a nice relaxing bath with bath salts.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The terrible almost-eights

Bedtime has become a chore again. Probably because the kid didn't really have a bedtime this summer and spent so much time with the grandparents. Oops.

As such we have spent way too much time listening to her come up with all sorts of excuses for why she shouldn't go to bed. And overuse of the "I NEED water!" excuse. I particularly like how she dealt with us ignoring her during the nightly temper tantrum:




Sigh. We'll be back in a routine soon, right?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Perhaps they know something we don't?

The kid is convinced that there are monsters in our basement. As such she refuses to go down there alone. As far as I am concerned, the only monster down there is my big mess.

However, it seems the cats have now decided to avoid using the litter box down there. Hubby cleans the litter box and they only used it once in the last week (they have another one upstairs that they have always frequented more regularly). And he was down there when they used it last. Which begs the question, do the cats and child know something we don't?

Nah. They're just nuts.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Stupid things I have done

The flight from Toronto to California takes about five hours. You can watch a couple of movies in that amount of time. And I did.

The first movie I watched was Crazy. Stupid. Love. It was the perfect movie to watch on an airplane. The second movie I watched was a poor, poor choice. And yet I kept watching even once I realized that it wasn't the best pick.

What movie did I watch?


Perhaps it wasn't a good idea to watch a movie about a strange new virus that spreads to millions of people around the world killing a lot of them. Especially not great when travelling with a seven-year-old who likes to touch everything. And sticks her hands near (let's pretend not in) her mouth. All the time. Yup. There was a lot of hand washing going on during our trip.

At least we didn't catch anything. And I suppose the movie choice could have been worse. It could have been Final Destination, Alive or Passenger 57.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Chicken? What has chicken got to do with it?

Apparently the kid has chicken on the brain.

While we were in California, our friends were cat sitting for our two beasts. Alas, our house key got misplaced at some point. This led to me spending a couple of hours and $50 getting my set of keys sent overnight from California to Toronto. Not coming home to find two dead cats - priceless.

The kid was with me while I coordinated the delivery. It seems this is not something they often have to do at the business centre at Disney's Grand Californian. I especially loved when she wanted me to assign a value to the keys. The kid wasn't worried. She figured that the cats would drink water from the toilet (sad, but true) and that they'd just catch mice and rip the chicken out of them.

Yup. That's what mice are made of - chicken.

Incidentally, the keys arrived in Toronto and when we got home a week and a bit later the cats were perfectly fine. Alas, they had not caught any mice and ripped the chicken out of them. They had to settle for Iams and Friskies. Poor things.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

What is wrong with people?

Last night, while we were driving home from a shopping trip in Buffalo, the kid noticed an advertisement for Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours.

"Aren't those dangerous?" she asked. This led to a discussion with her father about all the bodies buried under the silt near the falls. He mentioned that if you went down the whirlpool they'd probably never even find your body.

"And people go into the whirlpool on the jet boat everyday?" she sounded stunned and disturbed. We quickly realized that she thought the Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours was a way for people to commit suicide. And apparently popular enough to warrant roadside advertisements.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Home again, home again

On Friday we came home. I finished up packing our suitcases and we headed downstairs for breakfast. We tried to have breakfast at the Hard Rock Cafe. The restaurant opened at 9 a.m. We were there at 8:59 a.m. The hostess was very confused when we walked up to her. In seemed to blow her mind that we wanted to have breakfast. She led us to a table. We were the only patrons. I asked if we could sit in the booth next to the table she was going to sit us at. She refused because there was no one to serve the table. I am not joking when I say the two tables were right next to each other. Since we were already annoyed with her attitude towards us we left.

Yes. We did.

And went upstairs to Johnny Rocket's for essentially the same breakfast at a lower price. We walked around the mall for a little bit and then returned to the hotel so that I could return our rental car. Once that was done, we headed to the lobby to wait for our airport limo to arrive. He arrived promptly at 11 a.m.

I wish I had realized at the beginning of the trip that they were giving away the tastiest lemonade in the lobby. I must have drunk two glasses while we waited for the car. It was so delicious.

And then we were off to LAX. We were quite early for our flight because I had heard that security is a nightmare at LAX. It wasn't that bad. We had quite a few lines that we had to wait through but we finally got settled at our gate. The kid and I wandered around the airport while Hubby read his book at the gate. I must admit that LAX is super boring. There were three stores and a couple of restaurants. Not much to see and do. We were very happy to get on the plane.

Hubby was seated separate from the kid and I. The flight was delayed a little bit while the flight staff rearranged the passengers so that a mother could sit next to her 6-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter. They ended up sitting right in front of us. And yes, all three of them reclined their seats for the entire 5 hour trip. The lady sitting next to me actually volunteered to relocate for the family.

The journey was fairly uneventful although the flight was a little delayed because of a storm in Toronto. We actually got to see lightening from the air. That was pretty cool.

After getting our bags and going through customs we went to wait for our airport limo. It was well past midnight and I was feeling a little cranky. So, I may have called out the woman who was smoking in front of the nonsmoking sign (literally, 2 steps in front of the sign) at the airport limo station. She informed me that she just didn't care. Good thing our car arrived then.

We got home safe and sound. And were we ever happy to be home!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Glutton for Punishment

For some bizarre reason, I decided that we should do the Starline Tour Hop On, Hop Off Bus Tour on Thursday. I guess I didn't learn anything from the previous day? Or I really didn't want to drive in Los Angeles?

Either way, we braved the streets of LA in the worst bus(es) ever! But, we did get to see Hollywood and Beverley Hills. We tried to go to Millions of Milkshakes but it was closed. Kitson was disappointing. Most of the time we stayed on the bus but we did walk around parts of Beverly Hills, the Beverly Centre, The Grove/Farmers Market. We also decided to take the kid to the Harry Potter store, Whimsic Alley, which she loved. We had lunch at a random restaurant in Beverly Hills, Pinkberry at the Beverly Centre and cold beverages at the Starbucks in the Barnes and Noble at The Grove. Did I mention it was hot?

We took a bus back to our hotel from Whimsic Alley because it wasn't on the Hop On, Hop Off Bus Tour route and we couldn't find a cab. We made it back in one piece. Oddly, the LA buses, although crowded, were still better than the Starline Tour buses.

We had a late lunch at Johnny Rockets followed by some shopping. We really wanted to see Spiderman at Grauman's Chinese Theatre but it was no longer showing. We weren't interested in any of the other shows so we just wandered around for a bit longer. The kid wanted to see famous people so we (okay, I) told her that the people we saw inside the theatre getting interviewed were famous. They might be. They were there for the Hollywshorts Film Festival. We had dinner at California Pizza before packing and heading to bed.

Like Clifton Hills, but without the natural wonder

Hubby and I woke up early on Wednesday. The kid, she slept in.

For breakfast we had "craps" at French Crepe Company. We struggled to get her to realize that Crepe actually rhymes with grapes. However, I must admit, mine tasted a little crappy so....

After breakfast we wandered around the Hollywood and Highland area. Looked at the Walk of Fame, etc... and experienced a bit of Hollyweirdness. It had a lot of similarities to Cliffton Hill. Crummy stores, weird people hitting you up for money and lots of tour guides selling their stuff.

We did decide to sign up for the Warner Bros. VIP Tour with Starline Tours. It was the same cost as booking it through Warner Bros. but we got transportation. It seemed like a good deal. It wasn't. We waited forever for the bus to pick us up. It wasn't air conditioned. The drivers didn't do anything but hit us up for tips - except for the one time he blasted music and rocked the bus back and forth it time to it. He dropped us off and didn't tell us where to go or anything. Good thing the Warner Bros. tour guides knew that we had no idea where to go. After the tour, our bus driver ended up leaving without a couple of the people in our party of 14. They were a little late coming back from the gift shop so they were out of luck.

The Warner Bros. tour was cool. We didn't see anyone famous but we toured the Mentalist set and saw all sorts of cool things - props from the Harry Potter movies, parking spots for the staff at The Big Bang Theory... It was cool and well worth it!

After returning to our hotel at Hollywood and Highland we had lunch at Disney's Soda Fountain and prebought tickets to see Brave at El Capitan that night. We went back to the hotel for a nap and then walked back across the street for our 7pm show.

The movie was awesome. So, was the LIVE preshow. Although the kid was pretty anxious for the movie to start. She kept telling me that she wished they'd stop singing and dancing and just show the movie. Kids.

After the show we wandered around for a bit and then had a late dinner at Mr. Koji's. The hubby loved his sushi. The kid enjoyed her roll and white rice drenched in soy sauce. My shrimp tempura was pretty good but a little soggy.

It was a good day.

Lions, Tigers and Marines, oh my!

We spent Tuesday at the San Diego Zoo. It was cool but not much better than the Toronto Zoo. We saw the 4D version of Ice Age (15 minutes but it kept snowing!), took the guided bus tour and took the Skyfari. Sadly, the Skyfari didn't really let us see the animals.

I am really glad that we did the Discovery Tour - an enhanced version of their guided bus tour. I would have liked to try the Backstage pass but there wasn't space for the three of us. The Discovery Tour teamed us up with seven other people and took us on a 60-minute tour of the exhibits we chose. It meant we got to see the Pandas! And a pregnant giraffe. And cheetahs, etc... It was pretty cool. But very, very hot.

We must have brought the humidity with us to Southern California. People kept telling us it was way hotter than normal.

I discovered my new favourite snack at the zoo - Smart Puffs. They are way better than Cheetos or Humpty Dumpty Cheese Sticks. And a bit healthier too. Might have to get some of my next cross-border shopping excursion.

At about 5 pm we left the zoo for Hollywood. We didn't get to our hotel until about 8:30 pm. Partly because my GPS lied and told us to go right instead of left in Los Angeles. Also, because I wasn't paying attention to the gas gauge and ended up begging for gas at Camp Pendleton. Yes, my evil GPS told us where the nearest gas station was and it turned out to be a Marine base. Good thing we had our passports and that the Marines had a sense of humour about this stupid Canadian.

And I got a migraine while driving. Apparently, in Southern California when you drive North on a highway you actually drive North. Several hours of staring at the sun gave me a killer headache. So, when we got to the hotel, Loew's Hollywood Hotel, hubby and the kid ended up going for dinner at Trastevere Ristorante Italiano while I "recuperated".

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sea World is better than Marineland. Not that it is hard to beat Marineland.

Our first full day in San Diego was spent at Sea World. We had dinner at Denny’s first and then headed off to see how Sea World compares to Marineland.
There is no comparison. Marineland is laid out so that everything is miles apart. Or so it seems. You have to walk forever to get anywhere. That is not the case in Sea World. And there is a lot more to do in Sea World.
We saw the One Ocean show with Shamu, watched Cirque de la Mer, got drenched in the Shipwreck Rapids (yes, I have a new pair of pants to prove it). We went on the Wild Arctic ride, Manta! (although I skipped this one thanks to nausea) and the Bayside Skyride. We checked out the penguins, freshwater aquarium, Beluga whales, etc. It was a busy day. We even went on Journey to Atlantis which is just a flume ride. A flume ride with a freakin’ elevator.
We headed back to the hotel to jump in the ocean and relax in the pool. After hearing that California has no humidity, I was shocked and dismayed to discover that we were visiting during two atypical weeks with high humidity.
After destinking ourselves, we went to the Gaslamp Quarter for dinner and to wander around. I decided to leave the car with a valet located on the road. Luckily, he was legit and we got the car back at the end of the night.
We ended up having a delicious Mexican dinner at Fred’s Mexican Cafe. Our new rule is, we will eat somewhere provided they have other customers at 5pm. We had dessert at the kid’s favourite – Pinkberry – and wandered around the stores. I discovered I love Bettie Page clothes (and I think they love me back). We thoroughly enjoyed checking our Chuck Jones Gallery. If only I had an unlimited art budget.
We then returned to the hotel, packed and got organized for the next day – our trip to the San Diego Zoo and Hollywood.

San Diego isn't Dodgy

The drive to San Diego was fairly uneventful. The highlight of the trip for the kid was our stop at Subway for breakfast. Apparently, breakfast was THAT awesome. She spent the rest of the ride reading an Archie comic book instead of checking out the scenery. In her defence, she is seven. I had to keep reminding myself of that as we saw the mountains and the ocean.

We arrived at our hotel at around noon. Hubby was not impressed. It looked like a dive initially. We quickly learned, that is just the way it is. The inside of the hotel was gorgeous and it was great to have a view of the ocean from our balcony. I also appreciated the heated pool and hot tub located steps from the ocean. We could watch the surfers without having to get chilled to the bone.

While we waited for our room to be prepared, we headed over to the Wave House so that the kid and I could try surfing in a controlled setting. It was a bit of a fail. The kid lost the bottom half of her bikini but I kept my top on. We had fun and I’m glad I can say that I tried surfing and body boarding. Even if I didn’t go in the ocean to do so.

Our room was ready when we got back to the hotel. So, we unpacked and walked across the street to Tony Roma’s for a nice steak dinner. Followed by a long dip in the pool/hot tub. And sleep. Glorious sleep!

Done with Disney (for now)

Saturday was our last Disney day so we got up bright and early to make the most of it. We wanted Hubby to get to see everything
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Big Thunder Mountain
  • Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
  • Snow White’s Scary Adventure
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
We spent some time poking around the stores. We even ended up eating at a character breakfast in Disneyland at the Plaza Inn. Quite overpriced but tasty.

Hubby and kid spent a few hours at the pool while I got our car rental organized. And had a nap. :D

We then went to California Adventure. We went on Monsters, Inc. Mike and Sulley to the Rescue. We also had dinner at Flo’s V8 Cafe which was very good. And then we staked out our spot to watch World of Color. After the show, we tried to go on Soarin’ but the ride broke down so we didn’t get to go on it again. We returned to the hotel, packed and went to bed.
I knew that we were all finished with Disney when the kid said, "Mommy, do we have to go to Disney World for my birthday?" It seems we may be changing our vacation plans for the Fall.

Vacation really begins

Hubby was very happy to have his presentation done early on Friday morning. And the conference wrapped up at noon so he got to spend a lot of time with us!

The kid and I spent the morning being lazy and considering our shopping purchases. Once, hubby was done we headed to the parks.
We had a very expensive lunch at Blue Bayou which is located in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. After lunch we went on the following rides.

We also went on
  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
  • Enchanted Tiki Room – and had Dole Whip
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Star Tours
We ended up having a light dinner back at our hotel before calling it a night. We also walked around Downtown Disney and let the kid make her own Customized Big Wheel Remote Control Sally car as her "silly souvenir".

"Bored now"

On our 5th day in California, the kid decided she did not want to go to the parks. In fact, she did not want to get out of bed. Hubby headed off to the conference for 8 am and we lazed around the hotel room until he came back at 12:30 for a lunch break. The kid actually wanted me to just take her to Pinocchio’s Workshop for the day. They don’t open until 5 pm.

We walked him back to the conference at Disneyland hotel and decided to stop for lunch at ESPN Zone. We enjoyed watching the Olympics on the big screens but the food was “meh.” She also played a few arcade games after lunch.

We wandered around the stores of Downtown Disney and ended up taking the monorail in to Disneyland and right back out again. It wasn’t thrilling. I’m sure it will come as no surprise that we spent the rest of the afternoon at the pool.

When Hubby came back he had made plans for us to meet his colleagues in California Adventure. After much pleading from the kid that “4 adults is too many!” we agreed to enroll her in Pinocchio’s for the evening.

We ended up walking around the park and riding Radiator Springs, Tower of Terror and Soarin’. We ate dinner at the Pacific Wharf Cafe  - soup, sandwiches or clam chowder. We also got to experience part of World of Color. At the same time, the kid got to watch the Disneyland fireworks on a private balcony through the club. She was the only kid there at the time.

We then went to bed. Hubby’s big presentation was the next day – at 8:10 am!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Day 4 - a little lazier

On Wednesday, the kid and I headed to California Adventure in the morning. We walked on to Toy Story Midway Mania. We decided to wait the 50 minutes to ride Luigi's Flying Tires and then headed in to "a bug's land". We went on all the little rides at Flik's Fun Fair. They really were meant for the 3 and under crowd. We saw It's Tough to Be a Bug and then wandered around a bit before stumbling in to Disney Junior - live on Stage! After the show it was almost 11 and we were peckish so we had lunch at Cathay Circle Restaurant.

The kid wanted to eat there because they had pot roast on the menu. Alas, that was the dinner menu. She ended up with sloppy joes and ate some of my pasta. We wrapped up the leftovers for Daddy and went back to the hotel where she watched a tv show and then hubby came back for lunch. He ate our leftovers and a rice krispie drumstick! When he went back to the conference, we headed to the pool.

After our trip to the pool, he was back from the conference. But, he was tired so the kid and I wandered around Downtown Disney for a little while so he could nap. We were trying to decide what one unpractical souvenir we would like to buy. We still haven't figured that out.

We returned to the hotel and took hubby to California Adventure. We rode Ariel and wandered around Cars Town. We then decided to go back to the hotel and send the kid to Pinocchio's Workshop for a couple of hours. She loved it! We spent those hours quickly walking around Downtown Disney. After we picked her up, it was time for bed.

It took her some time to fall asleep which might explain why at 8 am on Thursday morning she is still fast asleep. :D

Day 3: swimming like a fish

The three hour time change has worked in our favour. Hubby's conference starts at 8 and the parks open at 7 for hotel guests. So, as soon as he heads off to the conference centre, the kid and I go to the parks.

On Tuesday we got to Disneyland around 7:20 or so. We headed through Sleeping Beauty's miniature castle and promptly rode
  • Peter Pan's Flight
  • Snow White's Scary Adventures
  • Pinocchio's Daring Journey
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Storybook Land Canal Boats
We then lined up for 30 minutes so that the kid could met the newest Princess, Merida from Brave. She even got to practice her archery skills. Yup, hit the target dead centre.

We then rode It's a Small World before visiting Mickey's Toontown. In Toontown we rode both rides: Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin and Gadget's Go Coaster. The kid decided that adults must prefer the coaster to the kids because she bumped her head. I think she is crazy.

We got french toast from the Tomorrowland Terrace and snagged Fast Passes for Space Mountain. We then went back to the hotel because the kid had a tummy ache. It was 10:30 am.

We rested until noon and then went out to the pool. The kid didn't eat any of the tuna salad sandwich she insisted on ordering. But she did play in the pool with some kids for four hours.

The kid and I then spent a few hours watching the Disney Channel. Her dad came back from the conference to get ready for the banquet. We walked him back to the conference centre for the banquet, talked to his coworkers and headed back to Disneyland.

Our fast passes worked on Space Mountain so we went on it. And then Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. Then, we decided to go get food from Downtown Disney (we may have popped in some shops along the way). The kid decided she "needed" kettle corn. So we got some of that. We also picked up chips, guacamole, salsa and nacho cheese from the quick service place next to the restaurant we had eaten at the day before. The kid thought that was the best food option. We sat on the hotel room floor, watching Disney shows and eating our dinner until the husband came back around 8:30.

East coast vs West coast

We are a Disney World family. We have been annual passholders and the kid could give you directions at any of the parks and detailed descriptions of the rides by the time she was 4. But, this is the first time we've visited Disneyland.

I was really excited to see Walt's original theme park. I can now see that, in some ways, Disneyland was the trial run. There are some elements that are superior in California but overall I have to say Florida does it best. The actual rides are great in Disneyland/California Adventure but the ques are outdoors, and make everything seem so much more crowded than it actually is.

However, I LOVE that everything is within easy walking distance in California - even closer together than Universal Studios Orlando.

The Disney magic is differently stronger in Florida. Maybe it is because of the college program which brings people from all over the world to live and work there. They're so happy to be there. Not so much the staff here in California. They're just a little less into things. I've overheard numerous inappropriate for the customer to overhear conversations between staff as they "work" in the quick serve restaurants, the stores, work the rides and even perform cleaning duties. I can't recall that once in Disney World.

We're having a great time. Even if the kid seems to prefer the pool to the parks. And she definitely preferred the babysitting service to us tonight.  So did we. Hubby and I didn't do much with our two hours of kid free time but guess what, we can do it again tomorrow, Friday and Saturday if we so desired.

The Kid's favourite ride is California Screamin'. Her least favourite was the Ferris Wheel.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Day 2 - Motionsickeness? FML.

We were up bright and early on Monday morning. DH headed off to the conference around 7:30am. So, kid and I went to California Adventure.

We headed for Carsland and looked at the 1.5 hour wait to get fast passes for the Radiator Springs ride. We decided to wait 20 minutes to ride it then instead. By the time we were getting off the ride the wait was 120 minutes. It was pretty awesome.

We waited 10 minutes to ride Mater's Junkyard Jamboree - reminded me of the teacup ride. Then, we headed over to Paradise Pier. We went on The Little Mermaid (walk on), Golden Zephyr (walk on), Jumpin' Jellyfish (walk on), Goofy's Sky School (2 minutes - and awful). We went on Mickey's Fun Wheel which both the kid and I hated - because we chose the one where the gondola moves around and it is not the best. They even provided air sickness bags which is never a good thing. Then, we went on King Triton's Carousel.

We were going to get fast passes for California Screamin' but someone had a fast pass that was good for 6 people so they asked us to join them. We did. We shouldn't have. Hailey was fine. I was not. It is a good thing that I had not had breakfast.

So, we had breakfast. At Ghirardelli's. Ice-cream is the breakfast of champions. We then went on Grizzly River Run (someone gave us a fast pass) and went back to the hotel. It was not quite 11am.

We spent hours at the pool. I even ordered food there. Not that she ate any of it. Finally I called an end to the pool and we went to Disneyland.

We walked through Sleeping Beauty Castle and Tarzan's Treehouse. Then we had a snack/drink at Jolly Holiday Bakery. Cherry Lemonade, Orange soda and a giant cinnamon roll that kid devoured. It was stupid busy so we went back to the hotel for a rest. DH came back at 5:15 and we went for dinner.

At at a yummy Mexican restaurant in Downtown Disney and then went to Disneyland. It was packed so we checked out Innovations, lined up for It's a Small World for a good 30 minutes. But the ride was fantastic!!!! We then rode the Disneyland Railroad to the front of the park and went back to the hotel. We were in our room before 9 pm. Gave the kid a bath and waited for her to pass out. It's 10 now and everyone but me is fast asleep. Goodnight!

Our California Adventure - Day 1

Our morning started at the crack of dawn. With a 8:20 a.m. flight out of Pearson we had a driver pick us up at 5:45. Being that we are us, we were ready way earlier and watched some Olympics before her arrived - exactly on time.

When I woke up the kid she actually groaned, "You've GOT to be kidding!" Didn't take her long to jump out of bed and in to her clothes.

The airport wasn't as easy, breezy as flying out of Buffalo. We had to wait in line to check out bags, then drag our bags through customs. The finally get rid of our bags and actually locate our gate. We did. And everything was fairly uneventful.

We booked separately because this trip is for DH's work. So, he wasn't sitting with us. Interesting his coworker was sitting in our row! He offered to switch with DH but it didn't happen. I thought I had booked a seat with extra legroom for him but while nobody could push a seat in to his knees he also couldn't watch movies during the 5 hour flight. Poor hubby. Switching would have been a jerk move.

The kid watched tv shows and part of the Hunger Games on the flight. She also read some Archie comics. Me, I watched Crazy. Stupid. Love. and laughed like crazy and Contagion. Probably not the best choice on a plane headed to a heavily populated area. But, it helped pass the time.

When we arrived, I had a text from our next driver. He ended up meeting us and our baggage right outside the door. I was a little late in noticing the test or he would have helped us with all of that.

The drive to Anaheim was uneventful. After dropping coworker off at the Disneyland hotel (Where the conference is being held) we were taken to our hotel, Grand Californian. It is swanky. Check in took some time because he wanted to tell us all sorts of tips, etc... And he had a room ready for us - despite it being no where near 4pm. We dropped our stuff off and headed out for food.

Disneyland resort is all packed together. Our hotel actually has an entrance directly in to California Adventure. And California Adventure is directly across from Disneyland. When we walk out the main entrance of the hotel we are in the middle of Downtown Disney. Talk about convenient.

We had lunch at La Brea bakery (or something like that). Good avocado!

Then we argued with customer service about our tickets. They changed ticket styles recently (eliminated the 8 day park hopper) but I had bought one of the discontinued tickets so that had to do extra work. And they weren't thrilled about it. Disney World wouldn't have given me that attitude. But, things got done and so we went on in to Disneyland.

Our first ride - Pirates of the Caribbean - awesome! Then we got Fast Passes for Indiana Jones. Went on Haunted Mansion - pretty much the same as the Magic Kingdom.

Then we walked into Critter Country and actually walked on The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. This ride is better at Disneyland than Magic Kingdom. We wandered around a bit and ended up at Main Street for ice-cream. Got it at Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor and ended up seated outside the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe. And then the parade happened and we had decent seats! Yeah us!

It was time for our Fast Pass so we went over to Indiana Jones. The que theming was exceptional. The ride, a bit less so. Mainly because the ride suddenly stopped and we were stuck for about 10 minutes. Although we did get to see some behind the scene stuff. The ride restarted and it took some time before the lights went back down. Luckily, they let us ride it again to get the full effect. Snakes, why'd it have to be snakes?

We went back to the hotel so that DH could get everything organized for conference day. The kid and I went to the pool. She had a blast. Loved the slide! After an hour or so, we went back in. Because hubby was still going over notes she and I went out to find him a drink.

Somehow we ended up in California Adventure (seriously, made a wrong turn and went out the hotel entrance into the park). We walked around and went on the Silly Symphony Swings. And then we looked for something for her to eat. Really, we just scoped the park. Ended up back in Downtown Disney where I finally got her a Wetzel dog. She didn't really eat it. And we found hubby a Powerade for the morning. We went back to the hotel and jammied up. After all it was 8:30 p.m. Which would be 11:30 at home!

end of day 1 (Sunday)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The things that matter

This week the kid is at art camp at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga. She hasn't told me much about what she is doing. Apparently, she wants to surprise me with her work on Friday.

When I picked her up today she insisted we take a detour. Why? So she could show me the bathrooms.

Apparently they "are like a palace" and "really clean. It's like they clean them everyday."

I humoured her. And you know what?

The bathroom looked like a normal public bathroom. I have no idea why she was so impressed. There were toilets, stalls and sinks. No sofas or flowers. Heck, I saw fancier Wal-mart washrooms on our road trip to Texas.

Don't worry. I didn't rain on her parade. Although now I want to show her an impressive bathroom.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Preemptive offence

I made the kid cry today.
It had nothing to do with her being over tired. Nope, it is because I told her to stop acting like a baby.

I caught her balancing on the vacuum hose. She promptly fell off and knocked a bunch of stuff down. And then there was a fun "discussion."

"Kid, you know you're not supposed to walk on that!" I exclaimed.

"I didn't do it on purpose."

"I saw the whole thing."

"I didn't do it on purpose!"
"I really don't like your attitude..."
"I didn't!" (bursts into angry tears)
"Kid, stop acting like a baby..."
She ended up chilling out in her room for a little bit. The teenager in her has been making guest appearances lately. Hours later she informed me that the only reason she cried was because I had insulted her by saying she was a baby. She must be psychic.

July? Why would you want to buy a bathing suit?

This week did not run as planned. The kid was supposed to be at the cottage with my dad. Alas, on Sunday he was admitted to the hospital. He'll be okay but it did mean we had to find emergency child care.

We were lucky. The kid's best friend was at camp and they had an opening! It was a pretty great program too. They went to the movies, African Lion Safari and the beach. Somehow between the beach and the bus, the kid lost her bathing suit.

I wasn't too worried. It was annoying but, whatever. We can always buy a replacement.

Famous last words.

Did you know that it is next to impossible to find a bathing suit in the middle of July? After looking in various stores at the mall I finally found some in Sears. Can you say inappropriate? Why do they make string bikini's for 7-year-olds? We did finally find one bathing suit in her size that wasn't awful. It is still a two-piece but it is good enough. At least it was 55% off. I guess because only fools go bathing suit shopping in the middle of July.

But, I could have bought her a great back-to-school wardrobe.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Treasure hunting

Since the kid is away, I decided it was time to clean her room. Really, clean it.

This is the worst scavenger hunt imaginable. The things I have found and in the oddest locations.

✓ underwear (found stuffed in with the Barbie accessories. I think it is clean)
✓ chocolate with a bite taken out of it (in with the stuffed animals)
✓ used bits of cotton covered with icky, sticky pink lipstick/gloss
✓ pajama top (stuffed between the desk and the wall)

There is a reason why I try and do the cleaning and organizing when she isn't around. Although, she probably could still hear me yelling. After all, she is only an hour away.

I wonder if she'll even notice all the things that are now gone?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Like tea used to be.

It is possible that the evil cat has a problem. It has been ridiculously hot lately. Yet, she still wants to go outside.

For about 2 minutes at a time. Just long enough to have a long drink of the hot water on the porch. Despite the nice, chilled water in the air conditioned house.

All she wants is a hot drink of water. Seriously?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Missing the kid

It is summer and the kid is out of school. So, she is spending a lot of quality time with her grandparents. She spent last week at the cottage and is in Niagara this week.

Last year she told us not to call her everyday because it made her homesick. This doesn't seem to be the case now. She told us that we can call her every time we miss her - up to three times a day.

So, when we called her tonight she announced that, "you must, really, really, really, really, really, really miss me!" I don't think we have to worry about her self esteem just yet.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

California here we come

We're going to Disneyland this summer. Well, the kid and I are going to Disneyland. The poor husband has to speak at a conference at Disneyland so he won't get to spend as much time in the parks as us.

Don't feel too sad for him. We've added a week to the trip so that we can check out Southern California. It is overwhelming trying to plan this trip. The Disneyland stuff is sorted. I added an extra day at the Grand Californian so that he can see a bit more of Disneyland and California Adventure. But, I still have almost six days to organize. And there are a lot of options!

San Diego is a couple of hours away and they have a world famous zoo, Seaworld and Legoland. Although I am not so sure the kid would love Legoland. And then there is Santa Monica and its nifty pier. Plus the Pacific Ocean which I have to swim in. And the Aquarium of the Pacific. There is Venice BeachMalibu and Long Beach. Los Angeles and Hollywood. Universal Studios, Magic Mountain and Knott's Berry Farm. So many options! And I haven't even touched on all the super cheesy stuff - like Movie Star Home tours or Grauman's Chinese Theatre or the Walk of Fame.

Can you tell that this post is serving to organize my thoughts? Or maybe to get my husband to give me his opinion? :D

I knew about the City Pass. That won't work for us because we already have our Disneyland Park Hoppers. But, did you know about the Go Los Angeles and Go San Diego cards? They look pretty interesting.

What do you think we should do?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Organizing the Kindle

I download a lot of free books for the Kindle. We each have one and they've got a lot of books on them. Not all of the free books are great but I have a found a few gems so, I keep downloading.

Alas, even at the rate I read, I can't keep up with them all. And it is a pain to organize them into collections. Especially when you get lazy and somehow have 450 books to organize.

I didn't like Calibre. It didn't do what I wanted. I wanted to be able to create my own named collection and drop the books in the appropriate collections. Finally I came across the Kindle Collection Manager. It is awesome! And free! It does exactly what I want and it worked!

By the way, my free book "dealers" are and If you have an ereader I suggest you like them.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Division of Labour

Hubby and I split responsibilities around the house. For instance, if vomit or child related bodily functions occur, I take care of it. If something is dead (i.e. mouse), he takes care of it.

I think that is fair.

Last night, he went to bed with a migraine. So, I was awake at midnight when the cat caught a mouse. And then played with it. Poor mouse wasn't actually dead. She let it go every few minutes and then got it again. It was pretty mean. It is possible that me yelling at the cat to, "just kill it. Don't be a jerk. Oh. My. God. You are such a bitch!" may have woken him up and caused him to come downstairs to take care of things. Alas, Sera lost the mouse. It ran away. However, 14 hours later I discovered a corpse. And guess what, my wonderful husband took care of it.

I just don't do dead things.

But I have caught dog pee in my hand. On Christmas.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Chatty Cathy

The kid talks a lot. Pretty much nonstop.

Today she had a PD day so we hung out all day. At one point she suddenly stopped her running commentary and said, "Geez, Mommy. You're right. I do talk a lot. I've just gotten sick of hearing myself talk. Plus, I've run out of things to say."

It had to happen some time. Of course, about five minutes later she was filled with other exciting things to share.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mommy's words of wisdom

"It is hard to be a contributing member of society when you are licking people."

We're trying to get the kid to at least pretend to be normal (at least in public). But that means breaking bizarre habits. Like licking family members. We've never been accepting of that behaviour but I'm hoping that this "thing I never thought I'd say" will get through to her.

I also believe in the Easter Bunny.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Hunger Games

Reading The Hunger Games on her
Kindle while eating red peppers.
The kid announced that she can't wait to see The Hunger Games.

I told her that we could go and see it - if she read the book. Yes, she is still seven so I'm not 100% on this but she did read all the Harry Potter books so she has covered some dark material.

She's just started reading it and here are a few of her observations
Kid: "I know why they're called the Hunger Games - everyone is hungry"

Kid: "Is Katniss a girl?"
Me: "Yes"
Kid: "I thought so. She seems like me."
Me: "How so?"
Kid: "She goes in to places that it is illegal for her to go."
Me: "What illegal places do you go to?"
Kid: "I meant she does dangerous stuff."
Me: "What dangerous stuff do you do?"
Kid: "Like running around where they are playing basketball."
Me: "Right. Totally the same."
(It is possible that I am a little sarcastic to my child from time to time)

Kid: "When do I finally get to read about the Hunger Games?"

Kid: "I think that Katniss goes to the Hunger Games. She seems like the main character and I'm sure she is going to win! Doesn't she, Mommy?"

Kid: "ooooh, Mommy! The reaping is starting! I just got to 4%"

I can't wait to her her opinions on chapter two...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

We survived

Our road trip to Dallas from Toronto and back was not too traumatic. The kid apparently travels really well except as we reach the-less-than-1-hour-until-we-reach-our-final-destination. Then I wanted to disown her.

But we did it I'll share more details later. Right now, I have to "call it". As it got darker and darker, the kid would suggest that we "call it". She forgot to finish the thought with "a night and get a hotel." I'm just going upstairs to my bed to sleep the sleep that happens when you take a serious sleeping pill. :D

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Kid is more popular than her mom

Last year I created a blog for the kid called What the kid thinks. It was just a place to capture her opinions of books, movies and music. Really, it was just a place for me to share stuff with my sister - sort of like this blog is.

I last updated it in April 2011. And somehow, despite having 0 followers and practically no promotion (other than in my blog and one post on my Facebook page) it has been viewed way more times than this blog. Almost twice as much.

Guess I better start recording her insights again. Especially since we've been watching classics like Tomb Raider and National Treasure.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Playing telephone

On most Wednesday evenings my husband takes the kid to her swimming lessons at the YMCA. Once a month they end up having a second dinner post-lesson at Taco Bell.

Tonight my cell phone rang shortly after her lesson wrapped up. They were in the car so the kid was on the phone.
Kid: Mommy, can you make us dinner.N
Me: err, okay (looks at the plate of half eaten dinner the kid left on the table)
Kid: *sobs*
Me: What's wrong, honey?
Kid: Daddy said we can't go to Taco Bell because I had trouble pooping.
Me: Pardon?
After a bit I figured out that she was constipated and hubby wanted to make sure it was okay to take her to Taco Bell. It took way too long to get that.
Kid: Mommy said we could go! Pardon, Mommy, what did you say?
Me: I said it was fine for you to go to Taco Bell.
Kid: yup. It is okay.
Me: Tell Daddy it will probably cure your constipation too.
Kid: Daddy, Mommy says Taco Bell is exactly what I need to make me not constipated!
Daddy: *laughter* Did Mommy mean to be funny? *laughter*
Kid: No, she said we could go.
Me: Have a fun time at Taco Bell.
Kid: Is there anything at Taco Bell you like?
Me: No, nothing.
And these types of conversations happen every. single. night. :D

Saturday, February 25, 2012

2011/12 tv shows

This is what I'm watching (or rather DVRing) this year. I usually end up binging when I am working on something like videos for the office, blogging, playing on the computer, surfing the internet, etc...
  • How I met your Mother - DH and I both love this one!
  • The Big Bang Theory - DH and I both love this one!
  • Modern Family
  • Cougar Town
  • Raising Hope
  • Parenthood
  • Ringer - we're a little backlogged on this one
  • 2 Broke Girls - DH likes this one more than I do but it is funny
  • Hawaii Five-O
  • Revenge
  • Pan Am - I figure it will be gone soon. Not liking it as much these days
  • Up all Night - hee hee hee!
  • 30 Rock
  • Hart of Dixie
  • Grimm - really DH's choice and we have a huge backlog!
  • Once upon a Time
  • Suburgatory
  • The Firm - love it but probably because I watched the first six episodes back to back when I had insomnia one night.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The kid is having one of those weeks.

The kid is being a bit of an idiot about bedtime. She is totally testing me and it is really hard not to laugh at her.

The other night she was told to go to bed.

"No, you can't read the last three chapters of your book. It is a school night and I know it will be at least 20 minutes before you are actually in bed because you mess around so much."

So, she announces that she has to go to the bathroom. And starts coming downstairs to get her book.

 "Err, no, you can go the bathroom without the book."

You see, I wasn't born yesterday and I know when she's trying to work the system. I would have done the same at her age. But she is not good at the sneaky. Thank goodness.

She immediately stomped her foot and screamed, "I don't have to go to the bathroom."

No kidding, kid.

We then got to listen to 20 minutes of her lying in bed screaming "nobody cares about me!"

Poor thing. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

It finally happened....

The cats brought us a present. On Sunday night at about 2 am, Sera started yapping. I checked her out but everything seemed okay so I went back to bed. She kept making noise so I turned on the light.

"Honey, can you get rid of the dead mouse?"

Hubby got out of bed and disposed of the corpse. He then fed the cats some yummy wet food. We're trying to get them to realize that if they kill mice they get treats.

They seem to be getting the connection. A few nights later the other cat caught a mouse in the kitchen. True, she didn't actually kill it (poor hubby had to do it) but I think the mice are getting the message. They may be too smart to get caught in the traps but the cats do get them.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cat Crack

Our nice kitty, Sera, has a thing for chicken. She really, really loves it.

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled across cat treats at Walmart that are just freeze dried chunks of chicken. I bought them and promptly forgot about them. Yesterday I remembered that I had them and offered them to our cats. They both turned up their noses and the treats remained uneaten. "That was a bust," I thought as I cleaned them up and forgot about it.

A few hours later, at 2 a.m., Sera started screaming in our bedroom waking both hubby and I from sleep. She just wouldn't stop. So I put my hands on the floor to try and pet her. And my hands touched something plastic.

"Oh my God," I exclaimed. At this point I'm pretty sure hubby thought Sera had brought me a dead mouse. Thankfully, she had just brought me the package of chicken treats, that she had grabbed off the kitchen counter and dragged up two flights of stairs, and was insisting that I give her a treat right away.

I don't negotiate with terrorists so I just put the treat package in my nightstand and went back to sleep. Or tried to. Sera kept trying to get the package. After 30 minutes of this I finally relented and gave her some treats. And was woken every hour or so by the cat trying to get more treats.

It's cat crack.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Adventures with creepy things...

Yesterday at 10:40 am I got a call from the kid's school. My first thought was, "oh no. She isn't over the stomach flu and barfed in class."

I wish.

Nope. There is a lice epidemic in our town and "eggs and hatched nits" were found by the friendly community Nit Nurse in my lovely daughter's long, thick hair.

It is possible that I used an expletive or two after the school secretary told me why she was calling.

I got to the school just in time to get my hair examined by the Nit Nurse. Woot! I got an all clear. So, the kid and I went to the pharmacy and bought the poison and $24 metal lice remover brush. The pharmacist said that the plastic one that comes with the poison would probably be good enough. But I decided that it would be worth the $24.

Kid got plunked in the tub with her head covered in poison while I threw all her belongings in either plastic bags (where they will remain sealed for 2 weeks) or the laundry. And then I did all the poison stuff and brushed her hair with the metal comb.

"This isn't fun for anybody, Kid." I exclaimed while she grumbled.
"It looks like it is fun for you" she responded

Because lice are fun. Woo hoo! Best way to spend a Thursday.

I still don't know what I was looking for. I couldn't find anything in her hair so we went to the unpopular walk-in doctor down the street. He got out his magnifying glass and said, "I don't see any lice either. She can go back to school." This was at 2 pm.

And her hair still smells like poison. At least I didn't have to treat the cats for lice. Apparently human lice don't do cats. Thank goodness for small mercies.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sometimes my parents are creative. Sometimes they go with the crowd.

My sister and I were born 8 years, 2 months and 1 day apart. There are reasons for the significant age gap but the weird thing is our names.

My name is rather unique; especially the spelling. It was not a popular baby name in the 1970s. Heck, I think it was last vaguely popular in 1910. I was always frustrated that I couldn't find any "customized" items with my name on them in the stores.

My sister, on the other hand, can easily find her name splattered on all sorts of merchandise. Heck, a popular brand of nail polish boasts her moniker. My parents gave her one of the most popular names in the 1980s.

Seems kind of strange doesn't it?

I never ran in to many people with my name. Especially not my age. However, I did go to Girl Guides with a girl with the same name as me - although hers was spelled differently. We ended up in the same high school in grade 9.

My grade 9 English class was filled with people with the same name. Now, it isn't unexpected to find more than one Michael in a class but this class had duplicates of many less common names. Including mine. I'm pretty sure that wasn't a coincidence. Especially since there were eight pairs in a class of less than 30. But I must admit it was really weird not knowing if the teacher was referring to me when my name was called. She transferred to another school the next year and I was back to being "one of a kind".

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Privacy is a thing of the past

We've been struggling to get the kid to close the door when she is in the bathroom. It doesn't matter if she is using the facilities, having a bath or just changing - she refuses to shut the door.

Which I guess is okay since the cats don't like doors to be closed. If a door is completely closed they will scratch and scream at the door until you open it. If it is not latched closed they will open it. If you continue to try and shut the door they will continue to scratch or push it open.

Perhaps the kid is smarter than the rest of us? Since she never shuts the door she doesn't have to worry about the wrath of the cats. Although, they do try and avoid her most of the time.