Monday, February 14, 2011

Adventures in Babysitting

I'm the sort of gal who likes to give the people want they want, and apparently the people who read this blog really want puke stories, so, here we go!
Hubby and I were ahead of the game for a change this past weekend, and we had made plans to go out for dinner with some good friends to celebrate Valentine's Day. Good ol' Gramma was slated to babysit for us, and it seemed that all was right with the world. Unfortunately, Gramma was not feeling well at all, but she was trying to be brave, and not wanting to spoil our evening, she tried to keep it a secret. We figured out just how sick Gramma really was just 30 minutes before we were to meet our friends at the restaurant; it was now decision time. We could cancel, dump the children on their gravely ill grandparent,(and mom, if you're reading this, Hubby was all for that-very compassionate boy you raised there!)or try to find a replacement babysitter who would be free at a moments notice. I called over to my friends house who has not one, but two teenage daughters, and lucky me, one of them was free! I raced over to their house, scooped up the Teenager and raced back home. Having not anticipated someone other than immediate family being in my house, I was very embarrassed that Teenager had a wide eyed view of just how disgusting we all are. The floor was a sticky, gross mess, as were the cupboards. My makeup littered the bathroom counter, toys were all over the floor, and laundry, waiting to be folded, was piled on the couch downstairs. Not pretty. But, we had only 10 minutes to get to where we were going, so I had to shrug it off, and cross my fingers that Teenager would be kind when describing our zoo to her parents later on.
Hubby and I had just gotten settled into our cozy little booth when my cell phone started to ring. I gave an apologetic smile to our friends and answered the phone to hear The Boy say, rather excitedly, "Banshee just puked ALL over the place!!". Normally, I am a very good mother, and concern for my children's health is my number one priority, but here's the order of my thought process just then:
1. Crap. I hope not all over the brand new carpet!
2. Crap. These guys are never going to ask us out to dinner again.
3. Crap. Teenager will never babysit for us again.
4. Crap. I hope she's okay.
The Boy put Banshee on the phone, and she said that felt a lot better getting everything out of her system. Banshee had dipped into the V-day candy after school, and I figured the upset tummy was another case of Banshee over indulgence. Deciding that no one was in immediate peril, we figured we were safe to continue on with our evening. After supper, we all moved down the road to catch a movie not rated G, and halfway through the show, the phone rang, and it was The Boy, even more excited than before. From what I could gather, he had plugged the toilet with paper towel cleaning up Banshee's previous mess, but then Banshee came flying back into the bathroom and puked all over the plunger. (Luckily, Grandpa was available to come and help them out of the mess, but The Boy wasn't too keen on having Grandpa infringe on his alone time with the cute Teenager, pukey little sister not withstanding, so Gramps was quickly shoved out the front door while The Boy cued Barry White on the stereo.) Over the Boy's objections, I stated that we'd be home shortly, feeling the heavy burden of guilt resting comfortably on my shoulders.
At last we were driving down our street when I saw my friends van parked outside my house. Again, normally I am a good mother, but I couldn't help but to think "Great, one more person who now knows how we really live...". Of course I was also concerned about my little Banshee and practically did a tuck and dive roll out of the moving car. As it turns out, Banshee was just run of the mill tummy sick. Poor Teenager just called in her mom for back-up. I sputtered a million apologies to all involved, and got back into the business of being a Mom. I changed from my costume of pretty sweater and high heeled boots with slick hair and lipstick to yoga pants, a hoodie and pigtails; kind of like Superman in reverse. I cuddled with my little invalid, and gave her props for aiming for the bucket and sparing the carpet. She was pretty proud of that, too. We talked until she fell asleep, and then I plopped myself on the couch next to Hubby, where we chatted about the funny parts of the movie and whose steak had been bigger. (Mine was.) So maybe it wasn't the perfect way to celebrate Valentine's Day for most people, but it actually seems fairly appropriate for my family, so I'll take what I can get!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

How I Changed Cable Television

Normally I am not the sort of person to "toot my own horn", so to speak, but a friend mentioned to me the other day how she relies on me to keep everyone together. When I say "keep everyone together", I don't mean that my calm and soothing influence keeps everyone I know from surrendering to mass hysteria and running about frantically waiting for the world to end. She simply meant that I am somewhat good at getting the girlfriends together for coffee. Sure it's not equal to the discovery of penicillin, but it's something, right? I have to agree that my aversion to spending too much time confined to the four walls of my house drives me to suggest to my friends that we "do coffee" on a regular basis. I'd like to think that my desperation is the glue that holds our merry little band of friends together. Again, not exactly Mother Teresa comforting hoards of starving orphans, but hey, what have you done for society lately?
Anyways, this conversation with my friend got me to thinking about the various institutions I have graced with my presence over the years, and how these establishments have fallen into the dumper once I was done with them. For example, that BFF club I started in Grade 5 simply fell to pieces after I left. How they thought they could carry on without me is a mystery. (When I left, I took the club collection dues with me, so that might explain a small part of it.) Okay, maybe the grade 5 BFF club is small potatoes, but I think you'll be impressed to know that I was once a driving force behind the success of cable TV. It's true! Several years ago, when I still lived at home with the folks, I was what some may refer to as a TV junkie, though I always considered myself as more of a connoisseur. Back in my cable watching days, TV was actually good. Remember when A&E could legitimately call itself the Arts and Entertainment channel? That was because of me! Remember when TLC actually had interesting and educational shows and not freaky reality stuff? That was me! TBS used to show two reliable hours of Susan approved Little House in the Prairie morality goodness everyday-now they show hours of Dawson's Creek. Really TBS? Not even two solid hours of Pacey's "I remember everything" speech could make me want to tune into that. So what directly contributed to the decline of cable televison? Some people blame reality TV; this trash infused, cheap to produce programming began to blossom about 11 years ago, and then took over all of TV programming. But the truth is, 11 years ago I left mom and dad's house, and got one of my own. Sacrifices needed to be made. Heating bills VS cable bills in Manitoba in the winter is hardly a contest. Cable had to go, and quality went with it. So I apologize to the viewing public. I'm sorry that I left cable and that it went to crap; I guess PBS is our only hope, and as long as they continue to show As Time Goes By, we should be fine.

Just in case you're not convinced that I make everything better, here is a list of other things whose suckage meter went off the charts when I was no longer around:

1. This Blog
2. General Hospital
3. My Hometown
4. My parents house (I don't think they read this anymore, so I don't think I'll get into trouble for this.)
5. All my ex boyfriends lives.
6. The UN
7. People who used to know me.

Things that have gotten better by having me around:

1. This blog.
2. The Young and The Restless
3. The city I live now.
4. My husband's life.
5. Your life.
6. England
7. Everyone who knows me.

The proof is in the pudding my friends, whatever that means. Just be happy to have me around again! I know I'm always happy to have me around!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Thou Art Mine Enemy...For Now

I have a new enemy. My list of enemies isn't overly extensive (or logical). It includes: a certain corner that I keep catching my toe on. Velcro. The railing of my bed because it snagged the pocket of my favorite jeans and ripped them. The leg of my bed because I kicked it afterward, and severely injured my foot.(Embarrassed by my lack of control, I told Hubby that a closet dwarf attacked me and stomped on my foot and then escaped back into the dark void. I don't think he believed me.) Jay Leno is on my list. So is Elmo, oddly enough. I think it's mainly because he just swooped in and hijacked Sesame Street, when we all know the heart and soul of the entire organization is Kermit; the final straw was when that little red furry menace had the audacity to sneak his way into the sequel of the beloved "Monster At The End of the Book" book; back off Elmo-you're invading Grover territory!
Back to the list.
A girl I went to elementary school with is still on my list. She tried to FB friend me, but I totally denied her. HA! Point to Susie! The neighbors cat is on my enemy list. Brian Frons is definitely on my list. Miss. Piggy used to be on my list, but she's been promoted to "frenemy". I don't always like her, but I sure as heck respect her.
I suppose after all this rambling, you want to know who is the newest addition to my enemy list. You'll never guess. It''s...CORNSTARCH! That's right, cornstarch. Why, you ask? Well, imagine my surprise when I walked into my bedroom to see everything covered in a fine, white dust, and a box of empty cornstarch lying on my bed. Apparently, none of my children were involved in this incident, so I can only assume that the cornstarch snagged a bottle of cooking wine and went hog-wild in the bedroom. Shame on you, cornstarch. Shame.
I am also thinking of adding my desk chair to my list. I don't deny that it provides a very comfortable perch, but that little groaning sound it's been making lately, every time I sit down, is getting a little old. Consider yourself warned, chair. Ikea is coming to town soon, and you'll be easy to replace. European chairs never make fat jokes. Keep that in mind.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Brother's Keeper?

When you have six people crammed into a tiny space, quiet time becomes a coveted occurrence. I suppose I have the advantage over everyone else here, because when mommy goes into her room, and locks the door, that means one of two things; either I'm naked, or I am on the verge of a rabid, snarling, arm failing, voice raising episode. It's common knowledge when that when that door is locked, it is a knock at your own risk sort of thing, so I am pretty much left alone. My kids on the other hand do not have that kind of advantage. I do my best to enforce a "knock before barging in and annoying your sibling" rule, but, as evident by the numerous altercations going on around here lately, some people aren't really following the rule. And by some people, I mean The Boy.
The Boy, by most accounts is a wonderful, loving, and protective big brother. There are moments when he absolutely shines, and comes through for his little sisters in a big way. But, there are times when a bizarre, uncontrollable force takes him over, and he becomes the biggest pain in the butt in the history of boys. At these times, The Boy makes it his sole purpose in life to get Banshee worked into a screaming, crying, catterwallin', fist flying, hairball of rage. The shrieks of outrage that Banshee hurls at him seems to fuel his fire, and he won't stop until they have both drawn tears and blood from one another. Banshee isn't always Banshee; there are blissful, quiet times, when she is hunkered down in her room, playing with her kitties and drawing pictures of ponies; and it is at these times when The Boy's "Banshee sense" starts to tingle, and suddenly, there he is, bursting in on her solitude, and assassinating her Barbies. When called in front of the jury to explain his actions, he is usually at a loss for words. He can't explain why it is so much fun to annoy his sister to the point of rage and tears, it just is. His father, himself an older brother, gives The Boy a sympathetic, knowing smile when he thinks I'm not looking; but you see, I am also a little sister. I know the burden we bear, so I banish both the boys to the basement to clean, and to think about the many atrocities they have committed against their sweet and lovely younger sisters. And while they are working, Banshee and I plunk down at the table with a couple scoops of ice cream chased with a generous portion of hot fudge, and plot. We baby sisters take our revenge in quiet ways. I think back with glee to the time when I purposefully didn't tell my big brother his fly was open before he had to go up and speak in front of a room full of people. I smile when I think back to the time I tricked him into eating candy I had conducted a couple of experiments on before carefully repackaging it, and gifting it to him. (He thought I was being nice! HA!) My mother still resents him for breaking all the things he never really broke...yes, we sisters get our revenge in quiet ways that will leave you shaken...unless you are a girl like Banshee, she's always been the kind to leave you with a fat lip and black eye...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Susie IS Updating Her Blog!

Hello fans! The worlds most erratic blogger is back! I know it's been a while since I've posted anything of decent quality, but truth be told, I've been extremely busy being lazy. It's true! My devoted family has been very accommodating in providing me with all kinds of over the top antics to write about, but the problem is that once I get some quiet time to write, I get a little distracted by this little networking thingy called facebook. I'm not sure if any of you have actually heard of it, but it's a terrific tool to keep tabs on not just your closest friends, but people you haven't spoke to in millions of years! I often find myself riveted by the golden status updates that inform me if someone is staying in and watching CSI with their spouse, or maybe someone is contemplating having a shower, but they don't feel like getting off the couch to do it (btw-I hear ya sister. Once I'm down, it's very hard to get me back up again-hygiene be damned!). I've even seen (read?) entire relationships disintegrate, and all out war break out, with the aid of the glorious status update, and after witnessing something like happen, how can I be expected to come on here to keep you all entertained when so many of my closest, (and barley familiar), FB friends are on fire over there? There's no competition. That being said, I guess I could, and should, try a little harder to be consistant with my blog. Of course, I say this now because facebook is a little slow today; the most interesting things I've read there so far is that my little cousin is growing a wicked beard, and my friends husband was hit by a semi. BORING! Come on people of the internet! Entertain me!
On that note, dear and faithful readers (Hi Gramma!) tune in next week for a little gem I've dubbed "Pukeahontis Part II"....Mmmm sounds good, right?

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Funeral

This past weekend I attend the funeral of my dear aunt, Tena. Auntie Tena lived a long and happy life, slipping away peacefully at the age of 88. The night before she passed, she enjoyed an evening of good food, good company, and good stories. All of these things combined made her loss a little easier for me to bear. I went to her funeral prepared to bawl like a baby through most of it, but knowing my dad was doing the eulogy, I was also came fully prepared to laugh till I cried, as well.
Dad's eulogy for Auntie Tena was very funny. I suppose that's one of the things my family is very good at. We love to laugh, unless you make us mad, then we will destroy you, and then laugh about it later. My dad really isn't the touchy feely type. I was going to say that he isn't emotional, but anyone who has ever been at the receiving end of one of his rages would probably disagree. He's emotional yes, but never mushy. That's just not his style. You can imagine my surprise then, when dad delivered a funny, yet very heartfelt tribute to his sister. He spoke of her graciousness, her love of church, family, and friends. He talked about how much she meant to him, and that she was more than a sister, she was his friend. He even went so far as to reassure everyone in attendance that it would be a waste of time for anyone to question if they had said enough, or done enough for Tena before she passed. He told us those kind of thoughts were unnecessary. He wanted us to know that Tena's heart was full of love and appreciation for all of us, right up till the end.
Once dad had finished speaking, my mind was reeling from trying to absorb his words of love of forgiveness. In my family, we have tendency to hold on to a grudge as if it were a valuable family heirloom. If someone makes a mistake, it's very difficult for us to embrace the "forgive and forget" mantra, and if we do eventually forgive, we like to hold the offenders feet to the fire for a while first. I was ecstatic to think that maybe my dad was turning over a new leaf; that maybe the "old cowboy" had a heart after all.
After the service, I traveled with my parents to the cemetery. I was in awe of this new dad, and I was busy imagining all the Oprah-esque moments we were going to share. Unfortunately, my reverie was shattered when someone committed some sort of driving offense that ticked dad off, and Dad started to holler "Move it you stupid SOB before I run you off the road...!" And with that, the reformation was over.
So maybe he is just the same old dad. It was nice to have a brief glimpse into the center of his heart, a hidden side of him that is all mushy like over cooked spaghetti. He was able to express his love for his family when it mattered, and it meant a lot to everyone that was there to hear it. Besides, I kinda like the old dad. I've always appreciated the fact that he has a mouth so foul it can literally make paint peel. Not everyone can be so talented.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Anniversary Party

My husband and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary this Friday. No, no. Hold your applause. You're too kind. I have been looking forward to this milestone for quite a while now. Ten years, in fact...oddly enough. Getting ready for marriage was quite stressful for me. I was a 20 year old, small town girl looking at a life sentence in a "big" city that I hated. I was loathe to leave my parents, my family, and my hometown behind. I found the whole "plan the wedding of your dreams because this is the most important day of your life, and this is your only chance to a princess for a day so don't screw it up" thing very overwhelming. The only thing I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt was that despite how much I disliked the tornado of tulle and tacky decorations swirling around me, Darcy was most definitely worth it...(and I was absolutely correct). Shortly after the honeymoon was over, and I could breathe again, in my mind I began to formulate a plan for our 10th wedding anniversary party. I envisioned a garden party with lots of twinkle lights and an assortment of fruity wines and finger foods. I saw a grandiose house looming in the back as I floated among the guests with a newborn girl in my arms and my three year old son hanging onto my free hand. It was a great dream, planned extravagantly down to the tiniest detail...but where was the actual marriage in that dream? Was it tucked somewhere between pretty pink napkins and crisp white linens?
Come Friday, the closest to a garden party I'll get is a quick lunch at the Olive Garden. Maybe we'll get nostalgic and take a stroll past the park bench where we got engaged. We'll point out the spot to the kids, and say that's where it started; this life of soccer practices and baseball games, trips to emergency rooms, and suppers where at least two children are fighting, and something always gets spilled on the freshly washed floor. And somewhere tucked between the mess and the chaos is the marriage; a foundation of love and faith we've been building on for 10 years.
I'd like to say I've been the ideal spouse so far, and I suppose if my hubby's ideal mate is a shrill, demanding barracuda with a tendency to burst into tears with little or no provocation, then I guess I could safely say that I have been ideal. (I must not be too terrible to live with though, otherwise I would be writing a different kind of story altogether, probably from prison.)
I love being married to my husband, even on the days when I have to restrain myself from picking up the couch and throwing it at him. And I know he loves me too, because if he didn't, I'd be writing a different story altogether probably from pri...well you get the idea. There are certain risks involved when you marry a temperamental barracuda.
So thank-you darling for 10 wonderful years. It has been an amazing journey, and I thank God everyday that I am your wife.