Saturday, February 19, 2011

Roan Art

 This is finally a picture of one of the projects Roan did in his art class this fall.  I'm finally getting around to posting it now.  He had to take a lump of plaster sine or clay or whatever it is a mold something out of it.  He decided to do the solar system.  And frankly he did pretty damn good if you ask me (though I'm probably biased).  He even included our moon.  Down below on the left is the ring he made me out of the leftover modeling clay.  I think it needs to be resized, but it's still lovely. 
 Below is a random letter/card he made for Eric one day.  We're not sure what initiated it as it wasn't like he was in trouble or anything.  He definitely likes making people cards.  I know he enjoys getting homemade cards from us just as much so we try to reciprocate every once in a while for his sake as well.  We don't do it quite as frequently as he does though. 
 "Eric and Roan (in heart)
Thank you for evreything I love you so much pease don't leave this house it maks me sad I will allways love you never won't thank you for every thing you have done for me and ather peopel
Love Roan M."

Nifty Fifty!

 Last weekend Eric, my parents, Geoff, Anita and I headed down to Windsor to party with the Rousseau's for my aunt Michelle's 50th birthday.

Eric met my aunt for the first time in the summer and she stated that she would like to capture his eyes so she could place them over top of my uncle Doug's face while they were having sex so she could look longingly into them.  So besides going in on a gift with all of my cousins, Eric and I got a picture of his eyes blown up for her.  She thought it was a hoot and showed everyone at the party.  Glad to get a full faced smile out of her.  That was the intention and we were glad she remembered her original comment and laughed.

The party was fun, as most Rousseau events tend to be.  We stayed with my aunt Lana and uncle Tom, just about a block up from where the party was held, so that was a great convenience.  Most of the family was able to attend.  A few noticeable absences but over all, the majority of the family was in attendance.  Surprisingly I didn't snap many pictures at all.  And I'm sad about that now.  This picture to the right is my dad with his two favourite nieces, Tara and Alison.

Towards the end of the night Eric went into a closed off part of the bar to use a less busy washroom and when he came back out he noticed this kid passed out in amongst the piled up furniture.  Thank goodness he did or they would have closed the place up around him.  Maybe not the best way to wake up from a booze induced pass out.  He came to the party with my cousin and they almost left without him.  Thanks to Eric for being his saviour.

The night ended with some drama that I was just as glad to not have been witness to, but back at my aunt Lana's we sadly got to witness the aftermath.  I'm sure things are all sorted out now and it was probably just a stupid misunderstanding, but it lead to a really, REALLY good conversation with one of my favourite relatives.  Eric hung out with my aunt Sheila and her family, a few of my cousins and my uncle Tom in his work shop til 5 a.m. while my aunt Lana and stayed up to about 3 a.m. talking.  She's an amazing person (of which I already knew but our conversation just reinforced it).  She will do anything for the people she loves.  Maybe her heart is too big for her own good.  She wants the best for her family and she will never stop trying.  Her heart is gold.  And I love her so much.

The Lion and the Squirel

A week or so ago Eric got a brilliant idea to shave Mr. Squirel so she looked like a 'lion'.  He got this fantastic idea from Lesley who often has her long haired cat Brody groomed like this.  So we took it upon ourselves to think we were capable of mastering this effect all on our own.  With brand new clippers and a skittish cat in hand, we got down to task.  Colossal FAIL is putting it mildly.

The plan was trashed  and Eric contacted Lesley to see who she used to groom Brody and we took Squirrel in for a proper makeover.  She looks ridiculous but is still awesome, so it's a win in my books.

The Cereal Aisle

I have two decent kids.  They are good people overall.  Sure they make stupid, hasty decisions that I question, but that's all part of growing up.  I've done worse, and I'm sure they will too.  Knowing all of this I'm still a relatively normal mother, in that I am constantly questioning my ability and role as a mom. 

The other morning Roan approached me, with great frustration, to inform me that once again Gage had eaten all the cereal on him and there was no milk for Roan to eat the leftover "crappy" cereal that Gage had yet to eat.  He was irate that Gage chooses to eat his cereal at night before bed rather than in the morning after rising from his bed like Roan does.  Clearly this is "completely unfair".  I assured Roan I would get him some milk and cereal after work for tomorrow's breakfast but for today, he could have toast or oatmeal.

So that conversation and a trip to the grocery store, cereal aisle, leads me to the following question:
When did they stop putting toys in cereal boxes? 

When I was a kid I remember going to the grocery store with my mom and being excited about getting to pick the cereal.  Of course, the type of cereal selected was in direct relation to the toy that came in it:  a frisbee, a puzzle, a decoder, a magic ring, stickers...  I would actually suffer through Raisin Bran if the toy was decent enough.  And that's saying a lot because I loathe raisins.

It's ironic that these days we are all expected to be supermoms instead of admitting that every damn one of us has flaws.  Society wants us to believe that all mothers wake up each morning feeling refreshed and energized, speak only in soothing tones to their children, cook their family dinners (of which they have every night promptly at 5:30 p.m. at the kitchen table where every one reminisces about their day) with only organic foods and are able to ease into any situation they are faced with amidst great comfort.    But these moms don't exist.  I think most of us suffer through the Raisin Bran in hopes of spotting a magic ring at the bottom of the box. .

On paper I look really good.  I have a family, I have a great career, I have a house, I've done real well for myself.  But in real life, I have to repair dings and dents in my plaster walls, mop up grape juice stains in my beige carpets, rarely remember to take something out of the freezer in the morning for dinner that night, and plan to have "Because I said so!" as my epitaph on my tombstone.

Real mothers wonder who these experts are who actually write for parenting magazines or Good Housekeeping.  I'd really like to take the time to get to know them.  They seem to have their acts together when I can sometimes barely keep my head above water.  Real mothers know it's okay to eat cold pizza in the morning for breakfast.  Real mothers admit it's easier to fail at being a mom than it is to succeed.  If parenting is a box of Raisin Bran then a real mother knows that the ratio of flakes to fun is greatly uneven. 

For every moment that one of my sons tells me they love me, or confides in me, or does something for each other that makes me so proud of them, there are many more moments of chaos, error and self-doubt.  Sometimes real mothers will secretly wish they'd chosen a different selection for breakfast than this endless box of cereal, but god forbid they ever say that out loud.  That would make them a pariah.  But you know what I've figured out over the past 13 + years fellow mothers?  I've learned that the very fact that you are even worrying about being a good mother, means you likely already are one.  So maybe my epitaph will actually read, "She ate the Raisin Bran and was an amazing mother!"

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mother of the Year Award goes to....

...J.R.'s mom, at soccer.  While sitting on the bench watching our 13 year old boys play soccer (and win), our 9 year olds (my son, her daughter) were running up and down the sidelines playing with each other.  At one point her daughter "Max" comes over and asks her mom if she can take her coat off as she's getting hot from running.  Let me just say that mom should be grateful that her daughter is running.  She's got a little extra meat on her bones for a 9 year old.  No way near being considered obese or anything, but still a concern at this age, one would think.  Instead she tells her daughter, "No, you can't take your coat off and why don't you stop running?."  The daughter was having no part of this and kept asking, to which her mommy dearest replied, "No leave it on.  It will help you lose weight... burn off all that Kentucky Fried Chicken you ate tonight.   And then mom proceeded to tell everyone on the bench that she had no ass.

WTF?  Why's she even BUYING her KFC in the first place if she's just going to throw it back in her face.  That poor girl has a long highschool career ahead of her with that kind of support at home.  That shit makes me sad to hear.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pew Pew Pew

I'm sort of stealing the majority of this post from Eric as he's worded it so eloquently and with humour.

The other day we found this masterpiece sitting on the table. Before anyone calls the authorities I want to clarify that this is supposed to read Hitler Plane, not Plan. Roan is not in the process of drafting a master plan to ethnically cleanse the planet (to the best of our knowledge anyway). Instead, I believe this is his rendition of what Hitler’s plane looked like.
Although it is an amazing drawing of a cool plane, I doubt it was any match for the Americans...(which was drawn on the back side of the paper that the Hitler Plane was drawn on so when you flipped the paper over you'd notice the USA plane was stalking the German Plane.  Very clever)

How could those propeller driven Hitler planes expect to stand up against the jet fueled Steowth Bomers the Americans possessed?  I believe with my whole heart now that the United States is the strongest country in the world.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Dancing Queen

So last night was our first class of Swing Dance lessons.  Sadly she informed us that is we want to learn the moves where I (the girl/follower) get thrown around by Eric (the boy/leader) then we'd need private lessons.  Disappointment with a capital D!  Anywho, I enjoyed the class. It was hillarious, confusing, embarrassing, enlightening, difficult and enjoyable all at the same time. 

She only taught us 6 or 7 dance steps but it was so much more difficult than I was anticipating.  Eric was pretty sure he'd have mad skills like Fred Astaire, but sadly that was not to be the case.  I've also learned that in the beginning I am going to need her to scream out the steps as we go because when left to my own devices or rather the devices of my 'leader', we're a train wreck. 

I was happy though, by the end of the hour I had the rock and step (or whatever it's called) down, I had the "flip flop" down, and the 'step and stop' down, and the "duck" down.  I just didn't have all of them mashed together into an actual dance down.  Maybe next week will be more promising, though I don't really anticipate a whole lot of at home practising going on.

I felt good after.  It was nice to get out of the house and break up these winter blahs, it was fun to hang with my parents (who struggled as much as Eric and I did, so that was reassuring), and I felt like I had a good hour long work out.  So next monday we head back for round 2.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Happy Heart

The worry is over my friends.  We've been informed in exactly the following words that, "Roan will live for another day, you are stuck with him for a while." 

EKG results were crystal clear and she suspects it's a strained muscle in his ribs.  She said even she gets the sharp poking pains from time to time and it's not the same feeling as a pulled or strained muscle in your back.  It's been almost 3 days since he's felt the pangs so she figures it's healing.  She did inform him he'll do it again, as he's a boy and he's a kid and not to worry, it's normal. 

So with relief we carry on.  Thanks for your well wishes and concerns.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

BC or Bust!

As my kids get older I feel this intense need to plan vacations with them.  I suppose I know it's so much easier to travel with them now.  They are old enough to 'appreciate' it, remember it, enjoy it, etc.  I was extremely fortunate as a child to be able to travel with my family despite the fact that there were 5 of us.  (I find it daunting enough just planning a vacation for 3)  So now that I'm the parent I want to give the same opportunities to my children.  I think it's important to see other parts of the province, country, continent, world. This past year we did the Disneyworld trip and it was so awesome.  I had so much fun with my boys that I now want to do a trip every year. 

I was originally tossing around a 5 day trip with just Gage and myself (Eric has no real interest and Roan's too young to care) to New York City in April.  I love it there so much and Gage really wants to go there.  I was excited just thinking about the idea of taking him.  I thought I'd check with my sister to see if she wanted to tag along, and I know my mom had an interest in going.  I've also got a connection at a funeral home in NYC where we can rent the upstairs apartment for so much less than what a hotel room would cost and it's right in the heart of Greenwich Village.  Anyway, after being responsible I've come to realize that if I want to do a family vacation in the summer with all four of us, then I can't really afford to take Gage this spring.  He's already going to Montreal with his Grade 8 class in June (for which I have to fork over a good chunk of change), and I'm planning an all-inclusive to Punta Cana in November with Margaret for a week.  Besides, the funeral home is remodeling the apartment at the moment so I think I'll take that as a sign and plan to take him to NYC next April instead.  I'll get my mom and sister on board and Gage promises he'll still very much want to go with his mom, aunt and grandma even when he's in Grade 9. 

So this year the family trip is to British Columbia.  Roan has heard Eric (mainly) and myself talk about how beautiful it is out there and now he really, really, really wants to go.  Gage has also expressed an interest in seeing another province.  I've started researching it as best I can and I've discovered it's not going to be nearly as convenient planning this trip as it was Disney.  While they have a lovely website of BC and all the things tourists like to do there, it's not going to be a cakewalk planning this.  It's already giving me a headache.  Airlines, rental cars, hotels, road trips, maps, attractions, GAH!  I'm still trying to figure out why it's so expensive to travel within my own country for crying out loud.  We're planning to go the last week of July, so the weather should be perfect for us out there.  So I'm on to another project...creating another perfect vacation for the family, this year without the help of the most magical place on earth.  Sigh....

Broken Heart?

My little Roanie Balogna, the 9 year old with the biggest heart ever had to go for an EKG yesterday because he's been experiencing heart pains.  Ugh.  I'm sure it's nothing.  That's the mantra running through my head anyway.  He says it feels like a sharp pain in his heart.  We thought it might be a side effect of his medication, but his pediatrician doesn't think so.  She's ordered the gammut of tests and we go see her tomorrow to get the results. 

After he described the sensation to me, I felt mildly at ease because growing up, and still on occasion I have those same pains in my heart/lungs.  A feeling of a rib poking into my chest...  making it difficult to breathe deeply for the short period they occur, but knowing they eventually go away.  I was reassured by my sister when she mentioned that she too got them growing up and still does from time to time and that Eric as well, suffered these pains.  So with fingers and toes crossed we will hopefully walk out of the doctor's office tomorrow with clear and sound minds. 

In my opinion Roan has such an amazing heart there couldn't possibly be anything wrong with it.  All the love in there could mend anything right?  I keep telling myself that. 

Snowtorious B.I.G

What's this?  A winter storm?  A blizzard?  Seriously weak.  Very much lacking any real substance.  They were comparing it to the blizzard of '77.  I know I was only 3 but I don't think this even compares.  I call bullshit.

I'm not gonna lie, there's a lot of snow in my parking lot at work and after watching the guy plow it I feel that statement is even truer now.  However, it is not enough to warrant shutting the entire school system down for the day.  A bus can get through this snow if my little Buick Lucerne can get through this snow.  I'm not sure if I'm more pissed that I spent 40 minutes (on what is normally a 15 minute drive) coming into work this morning for a 3:30 funeral only to have the family cancel the funeral not 1/2 hour ago.  Hmmp.  Had it not been for this scheduled event I would have had my own snow day.  I'll take an excuse anywhere I can get it for an extra day off. 

I just need to put this out there though...we live in Canada.  In a part of Canada that usually gets snow.  So why do we have to be advised to prepare for an impending storm?  Shouldn't we be used to this already, seeing that it's February?  Generally the worst month of the winter season.  I mean don't we all have means to shovel our driveways by now?  I do, his name is Eric.

Top:  Blizzard of 1977.  Bottom:  "Blizzard" of 2011.  I probably didn't even need to clarify that.  An overstatement if ever there was one.