Friday, December 30, 2005

To My Wonderful Sister

Who was sick, and taking care of sick children and still managed to whip me up a batch of the world's best gingersnap cookies in thw world the day before my mother came up to visit me.

Thank you

Is It Still a Victory If It Falls Apart?

With the holiday season upon us, and a herd of relatives arriving over the week between Christmas and New Years, several days were devoted to the pre-Christmas cleaning frenzy. As a good spouse I lent a hand and together Yvonne and I gave the house a real good cleaning. Then came the odd-jobs. Little fix-em ups and tasks I have been putting off. See I am kinda lazy, and as a past boss once described; I have trouble with minutia.

In other words back a year or so ago I finished our basement. In my humble opinion I think I did a great job on all 95% of it. Yup, 95%, the last 5% of trim work and little jobs here and there I have not quite gotten around to. One of the 5% was putting the vent covers on the duct boots. When I cut the drywall, I kind of cut it a little wide and now need to patch them up. Because of that the vent covers do not stay attached to the ceiling.

This was one of those little things that my wife asked me to do. I tried to inform her that without the patch job they would not stay up. Her reply, made in that don’t-argue-spouse-voice was “Then uses hot glue, but get them up”

I tried to suggest that hot glue was not a manly enough adhesive to be used in construction. That if I were caught hot gluing things together they would come and take away my tool belt. I suggested I run up to Canadian Tire to get some Bull Dog All Purpose Adhesive. It was then I got “the look” followed quickly by me running upstairs to get the hot glue gun.

Today I ventured back down stairs and guess what I found, both duct covers lying on the floor.

Like I said, hot glue is not an appropriate adhesive.

So does this mean I won?

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Taking "who's on the phone" to the Next Level

What have I done!

Like my wife and I don't have enough issues communicating with each other while 3 boys are ryunning around underfoot. Now both Yvonne and Liam have MP3 players. They are both bopping around the kitchen listening to Green Day. I am trying to follow my wife's intructions for making the spinach-water chestnut-pumpernickel bread dish.

I keep asking questions and getting no response.

I have resorted to holding up signs.

1 cup of mayo?

When is your dad getting here?

Mind you I have just confessed all my sins of 2005 to her. Not my problem if she couldn't hear me. :-)

Saturday, December 24, 2005

She is making me do this.

Well Duh! no kidding on that assessment.

Friday, December 23, 2005

An Update on the Type As

An email this morning arrived fron the supreme Matriach and founder of the Ladies of Type A Society

Oh NO, I did it again. Only this time I used ribbons. I laughed so hard at Yvonne's blog but today when I went to sort out what goes to which house, I found a couple of parcels with name. Now I have to open and rewrap. When will I accept that my mind is just not is on permanent holidays..

To those with lists and schedules I salute you!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Behold the power of my mind

Your IQ Is 225

Your Logical Intelligence is Godlike

Your Verbal Intelligence is beyond the capacity of english to describe

Your Mathematical Intelligence dwarfs Einstein

Your General Knowledge exceeds The collected works of mankind

Am I truly that smart? or do I just know html

Your IQ Is 125

Your Logical Intelligence is Below Average

Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius

Your Mathematical Intelligence is Genius

Your General Knowledge is Average

Then again, is this real or do I have strong google-fu.

P.S. I think my logical Intelligence is higher than what this shows... mind you tham may explain some programming bugs I have seen recently

A Question of Taste

A couple of nights ago we served up some tacos and burritos for supper. While a messy meal, the boys love the do it yourself/self serve assembly of the meal.  A little ground beef, some lettuce, some cheese and a pint or two of guacomole and we have the settings for a gourmet meal.  This is a pretty good meal because nobody really complains about what is served. By nobody I actually mean my eldest as he has the most food aversions.  On the other side of the coin is my middlest that pretty well likes everything set in front of him.  

While some say I am a picky eater, I tend to disagree. I am not overly fond of most vegetables and seafood, but throw me some Indian, Thai, or Vietnamese and I am all over that.  A couple of months ago I discovered I also love Mongolian.

I have felt a certain kinship for boy 2 because we have journeyed the same culinary path. We both like spicy foods and curries.

Anyway back to the tacos. Aiden has an affinity for dill pickles, preferably the Tangy Dill Bick Sandwich Stackers.  For some reason pickles are summer foods and we have not eaten them for some time.  While I was cooking up the ground beef and trying to feed the kids some carrots Aiden asked if he could have a pickle. I looked in the fridge, dug out a jar from the back and he sat back happily crunching away. When dinner was served he had not had his fill of pickles yet so he grabbed a taco, loaded on some ground beef and slapped on a pair of pickles. Then he proudly announced  to the table he had made a pickle taco.

The reaction was what you would expect. Liam started to fake gag, Yvonne gave him I-love-you-but-you-are-disgusting-look and Keegan continued to lick Guacamole off his chip and re-dip.  I on the other hand was kind of intrigued.

Think about it, I eat pickled hot peppers and jalapenos on my tacos. It is not just the spice, but I like the tangyness as well.  I figured why not, and besides I felt like supporting my little middle child.  

So I whipped up a burrito and slapped on a dill. You know what, it was pretty good.  I think if I pick up a jar of the spicy dill sandwich stackers we might be on to something.

Monday, December 19, 2005

The wisdom of "They"

We all know “they”. “They” are the ones that hold the nugget of wisdom humanity has learned from generations of experience. Over time I have discovered that “they” have much wisdom and an equal amount of silliness. However recently a personal insight has lead me to believe there may be some truth in a previous “they-ism” I had discarded as nonsense.

“They” say that children will marry their parents. A son will marry his mother, a daughter their father.  I had always considered this hogwash, as the cute little 18 year old that turned my eye way back in Grade 13 was nothing like my mother. Or so I thought.

This year my wife adopted a page from my mother’s book. She has decided to use a different wrapping paper for each child. This way the children will not be able to snoop under the tree pre-Christmas and figure out what present is theirs.  Having grown up in a house where these “organizational type-A” attempts were made on a daily basis I could have warned her what the outcome could have been, but then again I have also learned never to mess with a type a that has a plan. I wonder if I could submit that nugget of wisdom to “they”.

Truth is I have known for years that my wife was cloned from the same genetic type A material that my mother was. So it came as no surprise to me when she un-furled her Christmas wrapping plan. What I did not expect was to have my SIL be responsible for the chaos that erupted in my house last week.

See, my SIL went Christmas shopping for the boys; she also decided to take advantage of our house to wrap the presents. Our house, our wrapping paper, our tape, however, she did not use not “our system”(notice 17 years of marriage I am automatically accept the type a schemes as our). The presents were wrapped in non-conforming wrap.  

I am sure the explosion when my wife found out was felt across continental North America. You thought splitting the ordered balance of an atom caused a big boom; you should try breaking the ordered scheme of a type-a. All the explosive power, less radiation, though I expect the half-life is about the same.

For some reason my type-a-less heart take a small amount of comfort in watching the plan of a type-a disintegrate. I don’t mean that in a spiteful way, it just seems to warm a small part of my laid-back, relaxed heart.

On that note, I need to get back to re-wrapping some presents.

Friday, December 16, 2005

A little trouble wih authority

I have a friend, an associate perhaps. To maintain anonymity we will now refer to this friend as Ivan.  Ivan is a very strong willed person. Emotionally balanced, exceptionally talented, but has on occasion been accused of having trouble with authority.  Now I do not mean that in the “rebellious teen trouble with authority”, nor in the “bohemian stick it to the man trouble with authority”, more in the “I’m a busy person, therefore the rules don’t really always apply to me”.

The trouble with authority moniker first appeared when Ivan made an illegal left turn.  Unfortunately and officer of the law was close at hand and took offense to this violation of posted rules and ticketed Ivan.  Ivan made some remark, which led the officer to reply with the ohhh so famous “you have trouble with authority”.

I have seen this spark rear it’s tiny head many times in the years I have known Ivan, mostly it is tiny little acts of rebellion that never lead to much.  There has been the occasional parking ticket, a speeding ticket here or there. To be honest I kind of find it an endearing trait in Ivan. It reminds me of the strong spirit that lurks inside. The spirit that had guided Ivan to be the successful person they are today.

Mind you sometimes your better qualities come back to bite you on the ass. If you read my previous post you know we are struggling with a bit of snow today. School buses have been cancelled and a normally hectic day is made even more so.  It turns out that Ivan had nipped out to a job interview in between her morning meeting, her afternoon meeting, lunch a bathroom break and picking up the kids at 3:30.  Since Ivan was on such a tight schedule the van was parked in a less than opportune spot. Having finished the meeting Ivan returned to find that van had been towed.

On top of all that to find out where your vehicle has been towed to you require a license plate number, which Ivan could not remember (being a fairly new van and all that). All the documents that had said license number on them were in the van.

So if you happen to see Ivan, or talk to Ivan today, you might want pass out a hug.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Good Morning the rest of the world, welcome to winter; at least in my neck of the woods.

This week the temperature in Ottawa dipped into the –20’s overnight, -12 to –18 during the days. Nice and frosty to make sure you are snuggled extra deep in the covers. Last night the other half of winter arrived. I awoke to about 20cm (8 inches my American friends) of snow. With a forecast of another 15-20 cm falling during the day today it was no surprise that the school buses had been cancelled.  

So I bundled up my boys this morning, dropped the 2 youngest at the sitters and hauled my fledgling moose boy back to our place to shovel snow, and shovel and shovel and shovel.  He was not terribly impressed after the first three shovels. Way I figure it with the amount he is eating these days it is about time I put him to work. Mind you he is just going to eat more to replace the calories I burned off him this morning.

Of course with the first major snow fall of the season you can imagine what the roads were like this morning. I had no major problems whipping around in my baby SUV, but it sure was fun watching the other drivers on the roads.

And to make this typical Canadian day even more uhhhh Canadian… I have to whip home tonight, grab the eldest and make it to hockey practice at 5:30 pm.  Oh yeah and shovel the driveway again.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Stupid is as Stupid Does

So the latest and greatest of the next generation of MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) was release for public stress test last Monday. My current MOG addiction is World of Warcraft. It was release Novemeber of last year and since I have been happily slaying dragons, hunting orcs and doing good deeds. But when a new one starts to come of age I have to take a little looksy at it. When the new one happens to be Dungeons&Dragons Online that little looksy quickly becomes an obsession to play the game.

Monday night I was accepted into the stress test beta. I downloaded the client, I created my account, and I patched the game and then stared longingly at the login screen. Unfortunately the game was not going live till the following morning.

Last night I managed to beg, cajole, and whimper my way into getting permission (I am sure this will come back to haunt me in the future) to dabble with the game during parenting time. I got about an hour into the game before the demands of the boys and my wife came crashing back in. Once parenting time was over and the boys were in bed I had a previous commitment that did not allow my to try logging back in. At 11:00 pm all was silent in our house. My wife had wandered up to bed, the kids were deep in sleep, and I was staring at my computer. I knew I should go to bed, but I wanted to take another quick look at the new shiny computer game. After all 15 minutes would not hurt me.

Like I was not aware what was going to happen. Self-denial is a wonderful illusion.

I am not sure how late it was when I woke back up. My neck was killing me from having fallen asleep in front of the computer, my back hurt and since we lower the temperature in the house over night a fair number of my extremities had frozen.

This morning at 7:00 am I was in a world of hurt, headache, exhaustion, yucky taste in my mouth from late night snacking and not brushing my teeth. Now as I sit and drool over my keyboard at work, my mind a numb glop of jelly I really, really wish I had gone to bed at a reasonable hour.

Tonight I will have to work through the evening with my high-energy sons, I will get no sympathy from my wife, and I will long for my bed.

And the worst part, betcha I log back into the game for another late night session.

p.s. My Eldest was as excited by the game as I was. Some traits breed true.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Putting Your Only Foot Forward

Today our new Nanny came to spend a day with my SIL learning the boys schedule and how the day normally goes. This is how the morning was planned.

Between 6:45 and 7:00 my eldest will come in and wake me up. I had also made arrangements for my wife to call at 7:00 am and wake me up.

We had called and reminded my SIL several times to make sure she was there at 7:30 this morning. She had guaranteed me she would be there on time.

It is nice that we can all have these dreams isn’t it….

My eldest slept in this morning; my wife did not call at 7:00 am.  I was awoken from a deep sleep by the doorbell at 7:20 am. It was the new Nanny early on her first day.  

I stumble from bed and rush to get some clothes on to go and answer the door.  As I am letting her in, the phone rings, It is my SIL telling me that the –25 Ottawa weather has frozen her car and it won’t start.

I told her to grab a cab and I would pay for it…. Sigh

Well at least she now knows how a typical morning will go.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Christmas Bling

I was advised by my SO last weekend that our house was not making the grade and something needed to be done.  While we were one of the first in the neighborhood to put up our Christmas lights our neighbors soon followed in an attempt to out do us.  Soon our row of sparkling coloured Christmas lights paled in contrast to the magnificent pyrotechnical displays of lights and animated robotronic deer and Santa’s that festooned the lawns of my little community.

I was given no choice; the order came from the highest authority. “Make the house prettier”.  So off I went into the festive no-mans land of Barrhaven, Canadian Tire, to acquire more Christmas bling.  There were more lights to get (100 ft worth), there was more garland to buy (60 feet worth), red bows and other accessories.  

3 hours later and a very large amount of cash I received a positive review from the wife.

This week when she is not looking I am heading back out for an inflatable pooh bear and a collection of mooning Santa’s.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Intellectual Property

Apparently I broke the spousal non-disclosure agreement. My previous blog was the intellectual property of my SO. During supper last night, which was supposed to be my blog topic today, we had discussed this. I uh, must have been pre-occupied being an excellent father at the time of the discussion. You might notice the post times on the blogs and realize that mine did come first. I think it is closer to who gets to the patent office first J.

As for the supper blog, I will get to it later in the week, but it had to do with my wife cooking an evil, horrid, poisonous supper, including chicken, rice and an orange sauce (looneyspons recipe, it was excellent). The boys ate PB&Js

Negotiating With Santa

My wife and I were good holiday shoppers this year. She scoured the weekly flyers and I would nip out at lunch and pick up the latest and greatest toys from Toys R Us when they were on sale.  By the time the Christmas spirit wrapped the boys up in the pre-holiday consumerism we were mainly done with the Christmas shopping.

Last weekend my “middlest” wrote his letter to Santa Claus.  A letter I have been dreading seeing him write, because he is asking Santa for something that we did not buy, something we did not want to buy.

Technically I have no problem with the toy, it is not violent, and it does not seem shabby or fragile. The problem lies in the fact that it is an $85.00 remote control vehicle.  Our past history with these toys is that they are played with for a couple of days and then fall into the wayside.  My basement is full of 3 generations of broken forgotten remote control vehicles.

I am at a loss for what to do at this point.  On one side I want my son to believe in the magic of Christmas, the magic of Santa Claus (consumerism and all). On the other hand I do not want to spend the money on the toy.  Parental guilt is closing like a vice around my heart.  Do I just bite the bullet and get the thing, knowing that I will then go and pick up 2 other things for the remaining boys to “balance” the presents? Do I face the potential disappointment of having the one item in his Christmas letter not be there on Christmas morning?  Do I blog about this in the hopes his grandparents read it and come to my rescue (.

The same thing happened with my eldest son, but for some reason I was able to rationalize with him about what types of things Santa does and does not bring.

EDIT: I just had an idea, what if I buy the present, wrap it, then hide it. If christmas morning goes ok we take it back, but if I get the feared sobbing heart shattered tears then presto, Santa left it behind the couch? What do you think?

Monday, December 05, 2005

Christmas Wish List

My brother-in-law is a pretty clever person. He decided to use his blog to subtly ask for his Christmas gift. What a really great idea.

The War Has Begun!

Ok so maybe I over-used my firm voice just a little bit on Friday.  Maybe my threat of bright pink Dora the Explorer snow pants was pushing it, but the little bugger retaliated.

Shots have been fired and lines drawn in the snow.  You know what he did? He “accidentally” forgot his snow pants at school on Friday! He “accidentally” forgot his boots at school on Friday and wore his in-door running shoes home.  

Sure he has tried all sorts of excuses like, “it was the day of the my first confession”, “I wore my dress clothes home with Mommy”, blah, blah, blah  I know the real truth, he’s pushing me.  Well okkkkkay Mr. Too-Cool-To-Wear-Snow-Pants, guess what it snowed last night, this morning there was 3-4 inches of white fluffy all over the ground.  Think you are getting away with the running shoe and no snow pants.

Nope this morning my strong-willed little fella walked out the door with his mother’s boots on and his mother’s snow-pants.  He’s lucky I did not pull out the duct tape to ensure they did not fall down.  I am sure the wails of anguish were heard in Toronto.

I will win this battle!

And for those keeping score at home, he did have a somewhat legitimate reason for forgetting his stuff, and it was less of a battle of wills than I am making it out to be, I can be guilty of taking creative license on occasion.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Echoes From My Past

Once you get to school you can get naked and dance in the snow, but before you leave this house you will be dressed appropriately for the weather”

Words uttered by me this morning as my 7 year old tried to leave the house this morning wearing a t-shirt, his coat hanging open and a ball-cap on his head.  Did I mention it is snowing in Ottawa this morning?

After a brief discussion and the threats of a trip to Wal-Mart to buy bright pink snow pants, my 7 year old decided that maybe a toque, snow pants, a sweater and doing up his coat was a better option.

Dear Mr. All-the-Cool-7-Year-Olds-Don’t-Wear-Snow-Pants
On the off chance that you ever stumbles across this blog and read it I just want to let him know I saw you sneak your ball cap back into your knapsack when you thought my back was turned.

There is a Klingon proverb that says, “Revenge is a dish best served cold”.  Personally I think revenge is a dish best eaten by grandparents watching their children deal with their grandchildren.

Mother, for all my snow pant-arguments I apologize.


Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Cat

A while back we had an unexpected addition to our household (no, not child 3).  While my wife was out hunting for some fish food at the local Pet Store she stumbled across a furry white feline with a most relaxed attitude to life.  In some manner (I am assuming mastery of the dark arts, perhaps a an Imperius curse caused this), this little fur-ball convinced my wife to take him home.

Snowball as he was named, quickly became a permanent member of our household and my wallet.  Within days of coming home he developed a wheeze and a cough.  $185.00 later I was administering anti-biotic cream to his eyes and oral antibiotic pills.

Great, you save a cat from the pound and this is how he rewards you.

Since then Snowball has graced our home with rolling tumbleweeds of white fur, the occasional scratch, bite and midnight attack.  But as a male adult cat he has settled into life with 3 boys.  To be honest he is a pretty good cat and the boys love him.

At some point in his past he had been de-clawed.  One of his rear paws (which come to think of it is not de-clawed) has a bit of an ingrown toe.  My wife has always been concerned with it and so decided to have my SIL take it into the vet clinic where she works part-time.

The good news is the toe is fine, no worries.  The bad news… his ass was infected.

I dunno how a cat goes about getting an infected ass, but there you go (I swear I was not involved).  Apparently the vet was also forced to express his “anal glands”.  Upon return to the home I was greeted with a cat that has a very clean-shaven strip running from the base of his tail all the way past his… stinky bits.  He also came with a tube of anti-biotic cream, which as you can guess, must be applied twice a day to his infected areas.  And guess who gets that job.

At least he isn’t pissing on the furniture.