Crazy-ass family

You just can't make this stuff up

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Bye Bye, 2006

I'm not partying.
Liam's got a throat infection, so we decided to forego the New Year's Eve festivities and sit around and do nothing. It's great.
Today, I visited my father and stopped at my University to shoot some pictures. We head home early Tuesday morning.
Happy New Year, everyone.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Party On, Wayne


This is what I look like after a Christmas Eve party.

Do you not want me?
I mean, I not dangerously sexy?

I loves you all.

And because I loves you, I have a knock-knock joke for you, courtesy of Aidan:

Aidan: Knock knock!

Caleb: Who's there?

Aidan: PANTS! *stifles a giggle*

Caleb: Uh...pants who?

Aidan: (pause) Ummmm...oh! BOOTS!

Kids are great, eh?

Christmas pics (so far) are here. I highly recommend the slide show.

Don't worry; they're not nearly as scary as that one up there.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Merry Christmas

Well, in 6 hours, we'll be on the road. We're trying to get everything packed and wrapped and done here, but it's tough!
One last load of laundry is in the dryer, the cats and bird are at my sister's, and the DDR mat is packed and ready to go. Things are slowly coming together.

I shall miss you.
Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Oh My God

In less than three days, we will begin an 18-hour drive to Nova Scotia.
Caleb, Aidan, and Liam tend not to like 18-hour drives. Liam in particular.
I am very, very anxious about this.
A few things we've decided to do to ease the journey and preserve our sanity:
-we bought a two-screen portable dvd player last night. Couldn't afford it. Didn't care; bought it anyway.
-we bought each of the boys one pair of pyjamas for the trip that they will wear the ENTIRE time we're driving. First day, hotel stay and second day, baby. Barring, of course, any barf/poo/spilled food/pee-related incidents.
-inhale excessive amounts of glue, starting the day before we depart.
We can't afford crack.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Just a Taste of My Life...Complete with Links for Your Clicking Pleasure

Life is busy. I often contemplate the fullness of it. Today, I shall contemplate and write at the same time. Lucky you!

8 days ago, I traveled to Montreal with friends. I went to places people don't go anymore and took pictures of things my eyes found beautiful. I love to do this. I think that finding beauty everywhere is a skill...something we should all develop. When I visit places whose usefulness has been forgotten, I have the opportunity to open my eyes in a different way, and see the stories in what's left.

How gorgeous peeling paint can be. How intriguing a broken window. An empty shoe. A crumbling staircase.

When I explore these places, I remember what it was like to be a kid in the woods, discovering.

7 days ago I played with my children. We were loud. I looked around my house and saw the cluttered surfaces and perpetually dirty floor and chose to play with my children. Then, I went to dinner with my husband. I had salmon. I watched Apocalypto. We got into an epic argument over the movie.

6 days ago I awoke with a sore throat. That morning, a coworker told me that I wasn't doing my job as well as I should be and that I'd never advance at this rate. I suspect he was upset that I hadn't done enough of his work for him. Work was crazy that day. That night, I went to see a double feature at the Mayfair: Manufactured Landscapes by Edward Burtynsky and Baraka. Both were incredible films, and I walked out of there not only inspired but determined to travel the world.

5 days ago I awoke with a sore throat and felt as though I hadn't slept at all. That day I organized the entertainment for the office Christmas party. I lamented the state of my finances (don't even get me started), and worked, worked, worked on presentations. I had an hour and a half of singing that night.

4 days ago I awoke with a painfully sore throat and feeling as though someone had stuffed my head with a wet towel. It was another crazy day at work. My friend Rachel came home with me and witnessed the chaos that is dinner-time at my house. Then, we picked up another dear friend and went to a house to clear it of more than 20 ghosts. And that was just upstairs.

3 days ago I awoke feeling like I was dead. My shoulders hurt. So did my back, neck, elbows, wrists, pelvis, knees, and ankles. And my head.
I played my flute and sung at the Christmas party that day. It was awful. Jim called me to tell me he was picking Aidan up from daycare; he had a high fever. When I got back to the office after the party, Jim called once again to tell me he was getting Liam...he had a high fever, too. I took the bus home, falling asleep in fits and spurts on the way. That night, I administered Tylenol and Ibuprophen, comforted the sick kids, and barely slept.

2 days ago, I awoke feeling like I was dead and residing in some sort of cruel, cold place. I had slept two hours. My body felt as if someone had wrung it out. Aidan and Liam were feverish and rivers of snot flowed freely from their sore nostrils. Jim stayed home until 9:30 so I could sleep a bit, then went to work. I took care of the sick ones all day. When Jim got home I took a nap. When I awoke, I felt a little better. I ate supper, then went to pick up Rachel. We went to Mark's and played DDR and Karaoke Revolution and Settlers of Catan with Mark and Laura until 1am. It was so much fun I forgot my body hurt. Got home around 2:30. Slept 'til 6:30, waking several times to comfort Liam.

1 day ago, Jim woke me to take care of the kids. He was off to try and purchase a Nintendo Wii. I was tired. Jim was unsuccessful. The fevers were better. The snot was better. I was tired. Jim came home and I slept. I awoke, ate lunch and played with the kids. We watched Ghost Hunters. I don't remember if I took another nap. Jeff babysat and Jim and I went to see The Pursuit of Happyness, which made me cry. I ate poutine and milk duds and drank fruitopia. The soreness was better.

Today, I awoke with a terribly sore throat. It's Jim's day to sleep in so I've been chasing Liam around all morning. Do you know that 18 month-olds do not get bored of doing something over and over again? Like opening the dishwasher? Or emptying the drawers? Or trying to get behind the couch? It's true. And today he's like a little blonde slug. He wipes his nose on his hand and leaves a little slimy trail wherever he goes. People, I feel like my kitchen is coated with the stuff. Gross, right? Right.

Sometimes, I wish I could hibernate for a few months. Just disappear for a while and sleep. Nobody would knock at my door because I simply wouldn't be there.

But oh, what I'd miss! And I'd much rather have this full life than an empty one...things aren't easy, but they're often fun. And NEVER boring.

At the Christmas party, a friend was describing an SNL skit about sanitary napkins. But he said sanity napkins. I lost it. Mark, on the other side of me, hadn't quite caught it, so I repeated, "sanity napkins! It's so appropriate!" and we laughed for what felt like minutes. I couldn't breathe, I laughed so hard. Tears streamed from my eyes. And in that moment, I was happy.

This morning, amidst the chaos that is three little boys figuring out what to do with their time, I looked up from what I was doing and saw Liam on the floor with one of the books I'm reading, gently turning the pages. Quietly pondering the text. His little head turned and his eyes met mine, and he smiled. In that moment, I was full.

Sometimes, I want time to slow so I can take in these moments and hold them. I know I forget so much. But they leave their mark on me.

What is this life I'm living? Am I doing it right? Do I leave my mark on others? Is it good? All these things I I doing them right? What do they mean?

Do you ever think these things?

Do you ever feel like someone else is orchestrating things? And you're sort of just...going with the flow?

Do you ever wonder if maybe you should have just stayed on the Zoloft?

Here's what I'm going to do today: nothing. As much as possible, anyway. Because there's shopping that needs doing, and the floors...WOW, the floors...and laundry for five people...and diapers...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Jim's a Science Geek

Jim gave me a hug this morning, nestling his face deep within my newly washed, conditioned and moussed hair. When he pulled away, he seemed rather quiet. Then:

Jim: I nearly choked on the VOC's coming off your hair!

Tree: VOC's?

Jim: Volatile organic chemicals.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I Likes Me Some Singing

So I don't talk much about my singing lessons because really, how boring is that? But I have to tell you that I'm just having so much fun. And you know what else is cool? I mean, besides getting to sing without people telling me to stop singing for 45 minutes? All the compliments! I dig the compliments.
But the compliments have led to trouble. See, when people compliment me, I start to melt and thusly become all pliable and twisty. In this fashion, a person can quite successfully make me their bitch. My singing teacher uses this technique with frightening skill and relentless regularity.
This is why I have agreed to sing in a massive competition in the spring.
It's funny because it's surreal and I'm sort of convinced it's not really going to happen!
It's funny!
Because my bowels start to contort with the very thought of the possibility that it could be real!
It's funny!
Dudes, it's some scary shit.
I mean, what was I thinking? I'll tell you what I was thinking! I was thinking, "I can do that! I'm awesome!
Do you know why?
The compliments.
Caroline was all, "I was thinking about you the other day. You are amazing. You are one of those rare few with natural talent, you know? I mean, you could do this professionally!"
Commence melting-induced pliability.
When I'm there and singing, I feel okay. I mean, if she happens to look at me while I'm singing, I get antsy because WHAT ARE YOU DOING? TRYING TO MAKE ME EVEN MORE SELF CONSIOUS, WOMEN? WHAT?
Come on. You don't need to look at me when I sing! Listen! Yeah! I'm SINGING, not contorting myself into a pretzel!
Or stripping!
In any case, it appears this weak alter-ego of mine has agreed to compete and has even, in fact, paid the application fee.
So I shall compete. I will sing, "Angel From Montgomery" (the John Prine and Bonnie Raitt version) and "Good Enough" (Evanescence). Why have I chosen these songs? Because of my soul, people. And how these songs sort of wrap around it and tug, hard.
From "Angel From Montgomery":

If dreams were thunder
And lightening was desire
This old house would have burned down
A long time ago


How the hell can a person
Go to work in the mornin'
And come home in the evenin'
And have nothing to say?

Soul-tugging stuff.
From the Evanescence tune:

Under your spell again
I can't say no to you*
Crave my heart and it's bleeding in your hand
I can't say no to you

I shouldn't have let you torture me so sweetly
Now I can't let go of this dream I can't breathe but I feel
Good enough
I feel good enough
For you...

Anyhoo. I'm not going to tell you the name of the festival, because I'm sort of hoping nobody'll come. Maybe they'll do a really crappy marketing job this year! Maybe all the organizers will get Ebola (oh I instantly feel bad writing that. Forgive me, sweet baby Jesus! I so totally do not wish horrible illness on anyone! Maybe just a mild form of festival-related marketing amnesia?)

In any case, if you happen to be there? Avert your eyes when it's my turn! Yeah! Focus on the pretty trees or perhaps that cute guy in front of you! Much nicer.

Ah, I love singing. But maybe I should have just limited it to the car...

*Hey! I think I know why this song feels so right to me!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Montreal Excursion

New photos from my latest excursion are on flickr.

Friday, December 08, 2006


I remember you
Moving my toys
Before I could walk
Making me scream for my mother
Before I had the words to tell
I remember you easing up from beside my mother’s bed
Your eyes huge, wet, reflective globes
I remember you on the wall
I remember you in the corner of my room, whispering wet whispers
I remember you beneath my bed
Above my bed, oh God
I remember you hovering there

I saw you
In the closet door
Dripping wet

I saw you in the window of the abandoned house

I saw you in the water
I saw you in the trees
I saw you in the shower
I saw you in that space between awake and asleep

I see you
There, behind my friend
You there behind my friend
Behind my friend
You and you and you and you and you
I see you there
Behind my father
Behind my son
Feel you there
Behind my back
Brushing up against my arm

I see you with the strangers walking by me in the mall
I see you seeing me seeing you
I hear you smell you taste you feel you

I have your heart attack
I suffer your stroke
I drown with you burn with you starve with you
Feel how you died

Behind the sick man in the elevator
All around him
Your fingers in his belly
Black and hateful fingers

They want to be like me
My students with their gifts
They yearn for what I see
And it makes me feel like crying

I see you everywhere

I see you and I’m quiet
I process it within
I see you and I’m terrified
You, holding my son…you, beneath him
So breathtakingly beautiful
And so indescribably horrifying

You, I see you, too
You who have never been human
You who are beyond beautiful
And you, too, who are dark

I see you there

I see you and I can’t make it stop

Make it stop make it stop

Don’t ever stop.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

WARNING: Playing DDR Will Make You Look Like a Spaz

I don't care if you're the most graceful person in the world; this game will make a spaz out of you.
Thinking of getting DDR for Christmas? Be forewarned: though the game is fun and will get you in shape, there are unavoidable side effects to consider:

-jerky arm movements

-uncontrollable giggling

-frequent discombobulation of the limbs

-suddenly becoming a reliable source of comic relief

-pain in the legs, shoulders, back, ankles, and brain

-occasional spills

-slight chance of destruction of furniture within a 10-foot radius

Friends, because I care for you, I am going to share the following video with you to illustrate my point.


I don't know who that crazy, spazzy chick is. But I think that she was brave to offer her video in order to warn others.

I guess my best advice is, if you decide to go ahead and purchase Dance Dance Revolution, make sure you share the pain; make every guest who steps through your door try it out. I guarantee you'll laugh.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

All I Want For Christmas is to be Saved From This Monotony

Okay before you start lecturing me about how thankful I should be for how lucky I am and all of that touchy-feely nonsense, let me just say this: I am aware of how lucky I am.
Three beautiful children. Good job. Great friends. Sweet ass.
It's not my fault that I get bored easily.
My resume is easily over ten pages long, and that's not including all the pre-University stuff like...McDonald's! And...Volunteer Councellor at Church Camp! I get settled, I learn stuff, I make myself useful, then my eyes start to look beyond the proverbial horizon and my mind starts to churn in discontent.
What's next? it whispers, knocking persistently on my forehead, scratching unceasingly at my frontal lobe.
But you know what? The most recent onset of this strange affliction of mine has me frustrated. I'm tired of the "something new"s. I am. Because eventually, it all just becomes...well, rather same old, same old, you know?
So I've made a pact with myself.
I'm sticking it out.
I'm going to stay put. That's right! Even though it's simply not in my nature, I'm going to be still for a while.
Stop searching.
I don't need something new right now!
I just need to work on what I have.
I can do it!
For a couple of months at least!

Now that you know that, I bet you're wondering what I'm doing tonight!
Am I a fantastic psychic or what?
Well, it's volleyball night for Jim, so I'm basically eating oreos and watching tv. I might put The Others on in a minute, if I can motivate myself out of this chair.
What are you doing?