Friday, June 16, 2006

Thirsday Thirteen on Saturday ... Why Not?

I like the Thursday 13 thing so I have moved it to Saturday because I have more time. Here we go ...

Thirteen Quirky/Crazy Things People Don't Know about Me (and probably don't care)

1. Growing up my nickname was Lauralski. My sister came up with it and knew it drove me crazy. Thanks, Beckwith (I mean, Becky)

2. I have passed 2 written driving tests and 2 road tests. I have failed one written test and 5 road tests. I do not have nerves of steel when it comes to driving tests.

3. People who drove with me before the age of 23 really are terrified to get in the car with me most of the time.

4. Some people believe that I have a slightly obsessive personality. I do not agree. Addictive maybe, but not obsessive.

5. If I were to agree that I am a tad bit obsessive the things that come to mind are: Phantom, Kurt Browning, City, and I think that is about it. Maybe also the Louis/'Flouis' thing but that was a short period in my life.

6. I took singing lessons - but quit shortly after I started.

7. I have done a mini-triathlon. It almost killed me because I had to swim in a lake and then bike and then run. What was I thinking? I believe I am a stronger person for having done that. And I will never swim in any lake again.

8. I forgot my hairdresser Bill in #5.

9. I love and adore the hairdresser who I have gone to for almost 15 years now and I used to send him cards and letters on a regular basis. If there was one person I felt I really needed to talk to in a crisis I would hands-down trust him with anything. He knows that. And, I love him for that.

10. Sadly, I love the Show America's Next Top Model. It's a bit addictive. Canada's not so much. This does not think I could be a model.

11. Pride week is important to me. I lived on Church Street and in many ways grew up as a person living there. I learned about acceptance - and also about being the one seeking acceptance. I plan to be at the Pride Parade because I want my son to understand - and not judge. And, yes, I will probably cry when I see PFLAG walk by because it always brings tears to my eyes and having my own child makes that more clear.

12. I am absolutely addicted to rewards programs like Shoppers Optimum Points. I love something for free - even if I have to spend more to get a reward.

13. When I was a child (maybe 7 or 8 I think) I was recorded on a cd with a small singing ensemble. I love to say I have my own CD. Actually, 20 years ago it was probably a record. A what? A RECORD!

The Stroller Thing - Take 2

I sould really be at the grocery store now so this is pretty short.
I had to follow upi about the stroller thing becasue I have had so much input both via blog and e-mail and also in person.
I am sure you've all heard the line of "if NAME jumped off the CN Tower would you?"
My mom stopped using that line on me pretty early because she knew that often I would answer yes. Plus, she is more creative than that.
So the question is whether or not I will buy a MacLaren stroller just because some blogger (and person I thought was pretty cool pre-blogging) that I think is like the coolest person ever suggested it.
Pretty much.
Not to mention you can buy a Kate Spade or Burberry MacLaren. Cool stroller and cool brand. Actually, I will not push for one of those.
Though, Amy, if you are reading this, I am sure that the BURBERRY stroller is not much more than your Burberry everything else. Matty would really love you if you bought him that stroller (hint hint)
I digress.
I am defintiely going for it. True it's not in the budget. But what is? Not much. And if having this coveted stroller will make me this much happier I am getting it.
I think I'm stopping by Once pon a Child.
So now the hunt is on. Bring on the Maclaren. You only live once, and really I have taken a test drive and they are defintiely remarkable.

Where's my Fire Warden Hat?

I rarely blog about work.
There are several reasons for this, but mostly it is because a) I spend a lot of time here so I don't feel like talking about it when I write and b) I don't think it's really appropriate since it's such a small world.
However, one of the things I tend to do at work is get involved. If there's a company activity or outing I really try to go because I am one of these people who think that work stuff (like company picnics, etc) are fun. And I also get asked to join things. It must be my sparkling personality - or the fact that I talk way too much to just about everyone. And, side note, I always got in trouble for talking in class and now look at me - it's encouraged.
Anyway ...
The one thing that has been big at work lately is the fire warden program. I attended the training sessions, I got the red hat (no, there are no pictures) and I took part in a fire drill, leading people to exits. The training really actually inspired me to learn a little more about safety both at work and at home.
Add to that the fact that the last fire drill the entire building evacuated in record time, and I am feeling pretty proud of my skills.
Maybe a little too proud because ...
When we got to the daycare today the fire alarm started going off. My first though was that I may have a chance to use my new fire warden skills. I made sure to keep Matthew outside, and then I instructed other parents to stay outside while it was being investigated. I think at one point I did say "I am a fire warden, afterall".
Okay - so it turns out that it was a test. My skills were not needed. But, I did feel quite proud of not only my knowledge but my lack of fear in the face of such an event. I was also wishing I had my Fire Warden hat on. I think the other parents would have been duly impressed by it.
And, there really was a moment of banding together. One of the moms pulled out a soccer ball and had the kids kicking it to each other. Another dad was about to take the kids to the playground. We were moments away from singing Kumbayah.
And then it stopped.
Excitement over - back to work.
I'll say this - bring on the fire alarms. I'm ready!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Biting and Strollers

En route to the daycare today I started to write a blog entry in my head. This frightens me slightly. The topic being strollers and then biting factored into my morning, so herewith is a double entry all rolled into one. (fully inspired by Nine Pound Dictator's "I love you and Needles" which is 2 seemingly unlikely topics rolled into one. And, if Rebecca can do it I can surely copy - though she is a professional writer and I am not).

Anyway ...

Back to the stroller issue.

My husband and I are currently in discussions about the purchase of a new stroller. There are a couple of things at issue here. First is that Matty-Matt is two and does not need a stroller for mobility. Second is that we have a couple of strollers already.

My argument for the stroller is this. I'm completely and utterly frustrated by the stroller we use. It's great because it is small. It was pretty cheap (about $25) and does a good job. Except I use it all the time and the wheels are slowly breaking on me. Plus, we are always carrying things to and fro on the stroller and if Matt climbs out the think topples. It drives me crazy.

And, on the topic of age. I agree that he is old enough to walk. But that is also my problem with it. He is old enough to run away from me. And, when we are constantly around buses, cars, subways and busy streets I want him contained as much as possible. Don't get me wrong. The child runs a lot. He plays outside a couple of hours a day and is non stop most of the time. So sitting in a stroller to commute I think is smart. I just need a good stroller with extra strong harnesses.

So we will see.

And on to the topic of biting ...

This one gets me pretty upset.

Matthew is biting at daycare. I'm not totally sure how to handle it. I really really feel like is teacher is putting some of the blame on Mike and I. And that's not fair. The cruxt of her problem is that Matthew laughs when he bites. Why? She wanted to know.

I don't know. It's not like Mike and I laugh when Matt bites us. Nor do we play games and run around biting each other and laughing. (well ... not around Matty anyway. Ha ha.) But, seriously.
I don't really know what to do about it. We talk to Matt about biting. We tell him no and we tell him that it is mean. He even is now saying "No biting."

But it continues.

Ahhh ... the terrible twos.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Friends Again!

Last night I called a friend I haven't seen in awhile.
She's a mommy friend. She's one of those friends who met me at my worst - when Matt was only a couple of months old.
Together with our other friend Ginny (see my Mother's day posts - I don't know how to do hyper links) we got through a whole lot of crap together. We went to play groups together, we went shopping together, we borrowed clothes and shoes and celebrated New Year's together.
And then life kind of seperated us.
We used to live in the same condo (where I am again and where Ginny always has been) and then I moved to Oakville and she moved to Scarborough.
But, the biggest thing dividing us was this:
I went back to work, and she stayed home. Don't get me wrong. She was not judging me. But, I was certainly judging myself. And when I spent time with her I felt guilty. I felt like I wasn't as good a person as her because I was following a different path.
I clung to the friends who were making the decisions I wasre: working because it was easier.
But, you know what ... she stood by me. In fact, as I dreaded putting Matt into daycare she offered up her home if I wanted him to stay with her (and she had 2 toddlers). That's just the kind of person she is.
We stayed in touch, but I kind of closed her out a bit because I wasn't quite ready to hold myself up to the mirror of her choices.
But last night I called her -- Because I realized what I was doing. And I realized that maybe, just maybe there was a bit of jealousy going on on my part. And we chatted about a lot of stuff - about the stuff that makes us so like.
We laughed about our little boys and their love of dinosaurs, the stages they are at and how crazy they can be. We talked about our relationships and we talked about our friends. And, I realized not only how great it is to have an incredible friend. I realized how amazing it is to know that sometimes people wait for you to be ready to be friends again when you get over yourself and your silliness.
There's a lot of stuff that I know I would like to change to be a better person. And last night I realized that maybe being a little less judgemental (of myself and others) would be a really great to start.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Art of Peace or Art of Noise ...

Last week I went to a rather phenomenal exhibit called the Art of Peace. It was hosted by a friend of mine (and colleague). She put together this exhibit of student art work, poetry and writing dedicated to peace. It's a pretty great idea.
And she invited me to the opening of the exhibition.
The event was held at the Scarborough Civic Centre. I'd never been there before. The work is displayed in the rotunda and the ceremony (guest speakers) we in sort of the main part.
The event last week started at 6pm and as it was pretty casual Matthew and I arrived at 7. Being the good mother and friend that I am, I made sure that Matt was clean and fed and looking dapper for our arrival at the exhibit.
I worked hard at explaining to him that it was art, and told him his friend Angela would be there.
Maybe I hyped it up just a little too much because Matt was excited when we arrived - despite the fact that we had parked a distance away and gone up 2 hills and many stairs searching for the location.
Whatever. We found it. And we walked into the centre to enjoy the Art of Peace.
In about 30 seconds it became The Art of Noise. Matty's noise that is.
"Oh WOW!" he screamed as he ran down the spiral staircase laughing.
I quickly followed him, grateful that I had not worn the heels my husband wisely warned me against.
He was about to greet our friend when he spotted the fish.
What municipal centre, I ask you, has in its centre a HUGE fish pond filled with coy that a kid could climb into. Oh - wait, that's the Scarborough Civic Centre.
So, while guest speakers, readers and danceers celebrated peace, this mother and her toddler talked to fish. I can honestly tell you I have never seen a fish jump out of the water till last Thursday's fish feeding. It was pretty cool.
What surprised me, though, about the evening, was how accepting everyone was. People were smiling at us and laughing and not rolling their eyes.
Hmmm ...
I guess we gave peace a chance (ha ha ha)
And, PS Angela had the most GORGEOUS eyebrows of anyone there. Really.

Soccer Fever

Our soccer star!

My husband's family is Dutch.
They have soccer fever. And, given that I used to play soccer when I was young I enjoy watching soccer as well. So, since the world cup is on we are glued to the set when the Netherlands play.
Here's an interesting tidbit I did not know.
The Dutch flags colours are red, white and navy, but the soccer players wear orange (as do many of their other sports teams). The reason behind this is that the last reigning monarchs were the House of Orange. So now everyone wears orange. Fascinating, eh?
We decided to introduce Matt to soccer. We went to Toys R Us and bought a ball and then showed him soccer on tv.
He's kind of indifferent, but the pictures sure are cute.