Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lord of the Dance (or getting there ...)

I'm Irish.
Want to know who else is Irish?

Michael Flatley. As in Michael Flatley, Lord of the Dance. The guy who, let's be honest, got made fun of a LOT at the height of his popularity.
Know who else is Irish?
My son.
Who believes he is Michael Flatley.
If we are being honest, I will admit that I have never been to ireland, probably don't have any living Irish relatives, and really don't even know much about being Irish. I just cling to that heritage because I have the colouring (dark hair, pale skin), I have a temper and St.Patrick's Day is an awesome holiday to claim. And, I will even drink Guiness if it's forced on me.
So when Matt came to me asking to take Irish Dance classes with his cousin I thought that it was the perfect fit for us.
Kind of.
Mike doesn't love the idea of Matt being in a dance class.
I'm embracing it but a little scared of the reprucussions of having my boy in dance.
But ...
He's good.
He had his first class yesterday and the child can dance!
He walked right in there and just copied the teacher and went for it.
I won't say he was as well-behaved as the girls.
He didn't listen terribly well and he tended to run around a bit.
But that's Matt - and I can't change that.
What I loved was the excitement.
While some of the little girls were hanging back, not ready for class, Matt was in there showing everyone his stuff. Seriously. He has mastered the arms by his side thing.
And, I'm quite happy that my son's costume expense will be reasonably low.
Chloe even got in on the action. While Matt was in his class I let Chloe watch the older kids rehearse. She was dancing right along with them (and everyone said she was adorable)
But, as my brother in law pointed out - the end of season recital should be very interesting.
And seriously, I'm not sure how much Irish jig music I can really handle.
We'll see.
So, bye-bye karate. hello Irish dance.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cartwheels, Among Other Things

I have this list in my head.
I've been reading people who have these things they want to accomplish by 30 lists. Well, I missed that milestone, so I decided I need a list of things to do by the age of 40. That gives me 9 years, so I have awhile. Item #1 - write the list!
But really, one of the things on this mental list of mine includes learning to do a cartwheel.
You may be shocked by the fact that I can't. And that I never learned.
My parents, in their infinite wisdom, decided not to enroll me in gymnastics classes. They say it was cost prohibitive, but I think really it had more to do with my inability to walk in a straight line, and the fact that they wanted me to live past my 8th birthday. Also, I never asked.
I'm okay with that.
I'm living through my adorable children who have both taken gymnastics (Chloe shows a little more talent) and my niece who is also taking classes.
I'm okay with the fact that I will never be able to do a backflip on a balance beam, or swing freely through the air from the low-bar to the high bar.
I did do the gymnastics rotation in gym class, but my 10th grade gym teacher was frightened by the bruises I sustained in my attempts to do the vault. So, she suggested that learning a floor routine may cause too much bodily injury.
But, I still cannot do a cartwheel. And I am determined to learn.
I debated approaching the coach from Chloe's mommy&me class, but I really want to keep the focus on my adorable child, and I'm trying to cut back on the crazy when it comes to other mothers' perceptions of me.
And then I remembered that my friend used to be a gymnastics coach. And I recruited her.
Now, I love Lisa. But, I'll admit my beloved friend thought I was a LITTLE crazy when I approached her. However, she knows me well, and supported my dream ... and off we went to a meeting room (the big one with lots of space) and she showed me some tricks.
So, awesome, in fact, that last night I dragged Mike outside, in the rain, to make a video of my cartwheeling prowess.
As I performed multiple cartwheels I was thrilled to post the video on here, knowing you would all be impressed, and think to yourselves "wow! she missed an opportunity to be an Olympian. She has so much potential."
And, wisely before I posted I watched myself.
OH MY GOD I SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Clearly I did not miss my calling.
I have bent legs and I look horrible.
Of course, Matt decided to cartwheel next to me and he wanted it on video also.
So, as we watched the video, and I winced in horror, Matt started jumping up and down.
"Look at me, Mommy. I'm wonderful. You too Mommy. You did great."
Really, I didn't.
And honestly, he isn't a cartwheeling genius either. We both equally suck.
But, man, I wish I had that kid's confidence.
I'm not sure when I hit the point of looking at myself in horror instead of pride. What Matt saw, and what I should have seen, was how much fun we were having.
How, when we tried to do cartwheels at the same time it was kind of awesome - not in the sense of an accomplishment, but more in the sense that we were laughing so hard we couldn't stand up.
So, maybe my cartwheel failed.
But, my mothering last night - PERFECT 10.
I'll take that.
And I'll practice.
And, maybe I'll make another video. If I can manage to at least land on my feet. And, I'll show you my adorable child. But, that's another day. When at least if I can't perform a cartwheel I can at least wear clothes that don't frighten the masses.
Someday ...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Crazy, Anyone?

We all need a little crazy in our lives. Right? I hope so.
And there's nothing like a crazy neighbour to make life just a little bit interesting.
We've had crazy neighbours before, but the ones we had were more crazy annoying than crazy funny. And, then we thought one of our neighbours was a crazy cat lady (I say this as a cat lover), but then we got to know her and discovered that she is a teeny bit eccentric, but really not crazy at all. Which was all good except Mike nad I had one less neighbour to gossip about.
Until ...
The crazy bird lady moved in.
I'm not sure if it's totally fair to call her that since she really has a menagerie in her house. She has a cat, a dog, some fish and about 7 birds.

One of these birds is Loulou, a Macaw.
So, bird lady likes to take her birds for walks.
An added bonus is that she decided to take a paper route so that she could socialize her birds. I'M NOT KIDDING. We get a paper 3 times per week and each time she has a different bird sitting on her shoulder.
And every time that she delivers the paper she says hit to my family. My kids love her. I kind of do too. But, that does not detract from her wackiness.
Yesterday was insane on a whole bunch of levels. Mike's opa (grandpa) had an aneurysm on the same day that Mike's sister was arriving for a visit from Australia.  So, he did the airport pick-up while i cleaned, cooked and prepared for a house guest.
And then for some reason crazy bird lady was walking by so Matt went out to say hi. Today was socializing Loulou the macaw day.
And, crazy bird lady decided that she would have people feed the bird.
Of course I thought that was an awesome idea.
Except the friggin bird bit me ... AND THEN LAUGHED. 
Which made everyone laugh except that I was in pain.
Of course this led me to tweet about the event.
Except in this case ... twitter FAIL!
What I forgot when tweeting was that not everyone knew that my sister-in-law was visiting and then my parents were watching the kids while we were off to visit Mike and his sister's grandpa in the hospital. And the tweet about the Macaw bite was just really a one-off tweet. Instead the chain of tweets was a little jarring to some people who thought that Loulou, the Macaw who bit me, put me in the hospital (READ FROM THE BOTTOM UP)

So, my finger is fine. My ego, despite being laughed at by a bird, is intact, and the visit to the icu were for Mike's grandpa. (we don't know how he is doing, so that is another post for another day).

And, as I'm actively avoiding the bird lady, I have discovered that I needn't go far from home for the crazy because there is a spazzed-out territorial squirrel living in the tree that shades our home.
And, I am sure that the squirrel is going to attack.
Duck and cover, people. DUCK AND COVER.