Saturday, August 26, 2006

Duckie or Tuesday??

I've started to plan my son's halloween costume.
Okay - I know that sounds crazy, but Martha Stewart I am NOT. And, for some reason I always feel the need to sew Matt's halloween costume.
Seriously. I bought a sewing machine when he was just a couple of months old, and the sole purpose for this purchase was in order to make him a halloween costume. I've made little else since. I've attempted pj's for Matt and Kyla (this was before Paige) but other than that it's halloween costumes.
So ...
Yet again halloween is on the horizon and I thought that I should probably start thinking about what Matt will be - since it will take me forever to make a costume (my time line includes several on the brink of tears phone calls to my sister, handing over some of the sewing to a friend and then getting my mom to finish all the difficult parts). I estimate abut 6 weeks.
So, today I explained halloween to Matt and asked him what he would like to dress up as for halloween.
He said "A duckie - quack - or Tuesday."
So I said "Tuesday?"
And he said "Not friday - Tuesday."
So, I repeated to him "you want to dress up like Tuesday?"
So I pulled up a website of halloween costumes. I thought maybe he would be inspired by some pictures - maybe a dragon or maybe a pirate. He was intrigued by the elephant (way above my skill level), but still wants to go with the Tuesday costume.
I have no idea what exactly that means. He clearly has something in his head. I don't know what it is. So I think we will go and look at some patterns - try to figure out if there is, in fact, a costume that meets his expections of Tuesday.
Or maybe I will go with the duck.

Friday, August 25, 2006

More Government Fun!!!

So today I made my call to the government - CRA - to figure out what on earth the stupid letter was about.
I decided to call early, sip coffee while on hold, and not lose my cool when I had to talk to an agent. I actually was fairly successful in my calmness.
The conversation, though, was bizarre. First of all, I don't understand why on earth everyone at the CRA is Mr. Last Name or Ms. Last Name. Whatever. The phone call went better than I expected. After several failed attempts at logging into the system, and sitting on hold for only a couple of minutes I finally spoke to someone.
I pled my case - how on earth can I be expected to send you more information when you don't tell me what info you are looking for?
Well, silly me. Apparently all good Canadian citizens (along with all good EA's for that matter) are fully expected to have a well tuned sense of ESP and KNOW that they were simply waiting for something from our 2005 tax return in order to let us keep the money they mailed to me.
I should have known that.
Now I do. Situation solved. So, that information will be sent this weekend. And, once they receive the missing information I can keep the full amount of money sent to me. They will, so I was promised by Mrs. Whatshername, clear my debt and I will receive the child tax universal whatever it's called benefit properly.
All in all, not a complete waste of time.
But, I did point out, after I was given all of this information, that had they simply sent a letter telling me what they needed I would have complied.
I also pointed out that it's not fair to send anyone a letter demanding money back - especially when said money was supposed to be applied to childcare. When she said "I don't understand" I explained that I couldn't ask the daycare to refund one day's fee because I would have to send it back to the government.
She suggested I ask.
And, she also suggested I send them the info ASAP so this wouldn't happen again.
Okay. I will.
Rant over.
On to better things. Like the weekend in a few short hours.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Let's go to the Ex!

Yesterday I took the day off and Matt played hooky from daycare and we went to the Ex!
It was soooo much fun. Really.
Part of the excitement was probably because it was a last minute decision. We filled up the stroller and went. And, in case you don't know, my whole parenting philosophy is basically throw caution to the wind and go for it.
So we did!

The highlight of the day for Matt - at least when we started out, was that he got to ride in the streetcar. He LOVES the streetcar.

I was really impressed - he was totally well behaved. I think I maybe shouldn't have told him ig he stuck his hand out the window it would get chopped off. But, it worked and his hands stayed in the streetcar.

Anyway .... so, now for the stories in pictures.

This is in the petting zoo. Matthew loved feeding all of the animals. I freaked out. I hated feeding them. And then there was this woman who Matt tried to feed. Oops. She was overweight (not throwing stones here!) and she honestly said to me "is he trying to feed me cause I look like a cow?" Ummm. No? What do you say? She didn't, but I guess she was self conscious. Seriously ... he's 2!

After the petting zoo I took Matt to see the horses. This picture is a pretend horse. It's an automatic ride and you can adjust the speed. Matty climbed on and loved it. The woman even turned the speed up because he was loving it so much! The funny part was when I said say "yee haw" he threw his hand up in the air, just like a cowboy. Calgary Stampede here we come!!!

There were lots more pictures, but blogger won't led me load them.

More tomorrow, I guess.

Let's go to the Ex!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Stupid Government

I don't usually complain about the government. I really don't. I vote. I volunteer. If I have a major opinion on something I do something about it. These days it may mean writing a letter. In unversity I went to a couple of protests.
And, I really hate it when people sit and watch the news and then whine, and never do anything about it.
But allow me this vent for one minute.
We've started getting this universal child care benefit.
I think it's stupid. I mean $100 per month sounds great, but ... it's not that much.
Mike and I aren't eligible for any subsidies, and we have been paying roughly $1350 per month for daycare.
We got our first $100 cheque at the same time that our daycare fees went up by $8 per day. Perfect, I thought, as I cashed the cheque and paid our fees. I was pretty impressed. I was also a little surprised because I got the exact same amount ($100) as my sister who is a Stay at home mom (well, she got it twice since she has 2 kids) and another friend who is a single mom with the father not paying child support.
But, great. A child is a child, and frankly I think we should all get the same amount of money.
And then on Friday I got a letter in the mail telling me that I now owe the government $66.47. Apparently they need more information before they can allow me to keep the whole cheque.
This is ridiculous.
First of all - I pay tax. Every 2 weeks when I get my paycheque close to half of it goes to taxes. In addition to that I've been paying $75 per month to the government for an outstanding amount I owed for a previous year. And, I file my taxes.
But, this stupid letter saying I owe this stupid amount says they need information that I didn't provide. Why would I have sent them more information? I got a cheque in the mail. They didn't ask for any info. I didn't apply for anything. I just got a cheque.
And now they want me to return 33% of the cheque they sent me (which I used to pay for child care) and also send more info. What this info could be eludes me. They did not specify in this letter demanding money. They just simply told me I hadn't sent it.
Clearly, I'm still annoyed. I decided to cool off a couple of days before calling them.
And then today I check the mail.
Are they complete idiots? Yes. I do believe they are.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


I'm tired.
I thought tonight I would get to go to bed early. We took Matthew out all day, and he slept for only a little while, in the car, while I went grocery shopping and Mike sat in the car with him.
Matt got up and started entertaining me at 6 am. We went to the Burlington kids' festival for the afternoon. We then spent the evening at my parents' house where he chased his cousin around and played with one of his favourite adults. He should be tired.
I am.
We kept him awake in the car because we knew that it is impossible to put him down after he's had an evening nap in the car.
And, then, I even allowed him to sleep in my bed. Why? Because I had the blissful idea that we would doze off together, snuggled up in the bed while Mike was out having a beer with some friends.
But, no.
No no no.
Nice thought though.
Instead, here we are. 10 pm has come and gone and Matt is still awake. We gave up on the idea of being in my bed and decided to snuggle on the couch and watch the teen choice awards. Poor child was traumatized by a) Jessica Simpson's horrendous eye make up b) Britney Spears in her bizarre pregnant and slutty state and c) Kevin Federline. And, at this point, if I have to turn on Treehouse, Barney, Wiggles or Veggie Tales I will literally lose it. And then it happens.
My child pees on me.
Yep - I'm tired, cranky, freaked out by Britney and I get peed on.
It was the weirdest feeling. He actually peed on my lap, so it was the strange sudden sensation that maybe I was suddenly experiencing incontence. I just had no idea. And then I realized, and Matt laughed and I laughed and then I showered.
So, now my wide awake monkey and I are watching Nanny 911.
Why? Well, cause it's 10:15 and my toddler is wide awake. And, it's really reassuring to watch parents who have worse problems than me. Ahhh!

He's a Big Girl (I mean Boy)

Matty's favourite line lately is "I'm a big girl."
Okay, he's a boy. we know. He doens't quite get that, but whatever. The point is, he is ready to be a big kid, he's growing up.
On Friday our daycare administrator approached me. She told me that she think Matthew is ready for "toilet learning". I knew this day was coming. I know parents anticipate it for years, or at least months. But, I honestly admitted to her that I'm not ready. I'm not.
I have no interest in discussing potties, cleaning up accidents, etc. etc. But, he is ready. And so I will suck it up an start training him. All the signs are there. He wakes up with a dry diaper. He tells us when he needs a change and he is obsessed with the potty. The morning he told me he needed the potty, pulled off his diaper, sat down and peed.
Okay - it was impressive.
I'm beginning to think he may train himself.
According to the daycare admin, there has only ever been one boy go to the preschool class toilet trained. I think Matt is scheduled to move up in October. Is this a challenge???
My friend's daughter pretty much trained herself. Salina had been trying for weeks, and then one day her daughter refused to put on diapers, would only wear underwear, and wanted to use the potty. Okay, it was pretty funny because she decided to do this on a day when Salina, Ginny and I were going to a playgroup, and when this little girl makes up her mind, it's made up. But the point is when she was ready she was ready. As is Matt apparently.
And this morning he told me he wants Diego underwear (we only have Bob the Builder). Ummm .... okay. I shall buy those (does this come out of clothing budget or out of our grocery budget where the diapers come out of - see questions I am unprepared to answer).
But, there have been other signs of him growing up.
First of all, his speech has changed so much. He talks in complete sentences and thoughts. It's pretty amazing. For instance he says "Matty hurt his knee yesterday. I'm okay now" Wow.
I love this speech development. I have always talked to him constantly. (shocker) and finally he responds constantly. Sometimes it's almost a contest to see who can talk first.
He is also really quick witted. Like, yesterday he kept doing the same thing over and over. Frustrated, I turned to him and said "Matthew I already said no." And he said "Mommy, I already said yes".
Kids - they're amazing.