Monday, November 30, 2009


sorry this pic is not good of either of them, but photos of them "cutting a rug" were on someone else's camera, but I will post them asap

One of my great-aunties died last week after an extremely short bout with lung cancer. Well short in that she only actually knew it was lung cancer the day before she passed away. She thought she just had a bad cough left over from a summer cold and the doctor gave her a puffer. She was too busy trying to sort out my great uncle's medical problems to bother with something as simple as a cough.

She was an awesome fun auntie. Her husband is the youngest of my gran's siblings. He was twelve when my uncle was born. They have always been the fun auntie and uncle. They also always treat everyone the same, it didn't matter what age you were. My great uncle laughs and jokes in the exact same way with the little kids as he does with the adults. My mom remembers my auntie letting her take their one year old son for a walk all by herself when she was eight.

The best memory I have is of dancing with the two of them at their grand-daughter's wedding last summer. They were almost the first ones on the dance floor, and danced more dances than most of the young people. It didn't matter what the music was.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


I have a place to live in London, ON!

Woo Hoo!

I have a bedroom, a bathroom, and a kitchen. It is just big enough for one person. In fact there is only one chair at the kitchen table. Also, the only window is in the kitchen, but as there isn't really a door between the kitchen and bedroom, it shouldn't be too bad. It is a walkout basement, and the yard backs onto a park with lots of trees, so it is really pretty.

My mother is certain that the small space will ensure that I will spend all my time on campus studying.

It is 15 min walk to the grocery store and mall (dangerous), and 15 min walk to my building on campus. Which is good, since the city bus drivers are currently on strike.

The people whose house it is are very nice and they have an awesome dog, which is a hunting breed.

Which could be a problem for me having Baz the bunny with me. But, we will try it out, and if it becomes too much of a problem, mom and dad will come and get her. I am thinking of keeping her cage in the bathroom for an extra line of defense.

I will only be living there for one semester, so I am sure it will be just fine for 4 months. Then I will either be on co-op workterm, or have made enough friends in the program to find new roommates, or sublet from someone who is on workterm.

All is well.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Torture of the Innocent

Today we took the little monster to the allergist.

He was great in the car and great in the waiting room, well, ok, the stairs up to the offices. Old building, one common waiting room in the old lobby and then a big steep staircase up to the offices (totally not accessible to those with mobility issues, I can only assume there was an elevator somewhere). Anyway, monster spent the waiting time showing all the old people in the waiting room how well he can climb stairs, and then flirting with the receptionists at the top.

Once we got into the office the trouble started.

First of all, he did not like sitting on the crinkly paper on the exam table.

Then taking off his shirt and being attacked by a stethoscope was a crying offense.

Then he had to be held on his mom's lap in preparation for the nurse to come in. You do not hold the monster in captivity. This was also a crying offense.

Then the nurse came in, and not only did he have to be held even tighter by his mom, but I had to hold onto his wee little arm while the nurse dropped the allergens on his arm and pricked them. This was a screaming, twisting, face going purple offense.

And then we had to sit like that, me with a strong grip on his poor wee little arm and hand, his mom with a strong grip on the rest of him and his other hand, for 20 minutes.

20 minutes of tortured, vocal chord ripping screams.

We were able to distract him with some strawberries and blueberries for a few minutes, but then the nurse came in and mopped up some of the blood that had dripped down his elbow and told us we still had 10 minutes left, right when we ran out of blueberries and there were only a few strawberries left. We threw some Cheerios into the mix and bought a little bit more time.

He started screaming full force as soon as he saw the nurse again when she came to clean him off and check the results. He calmed down after that, then screamed again when we changed his diaper.

The thing is, we went there because we thought he was allergic to eggs and dairy. So all they tested for was eggs and dairy. And we found out that he was indeed allergic to eggs and dairy.

We asked the doctor about nuts, and he said, "Oh he shouldn't be eating them at his age anyway, they are a choking hazard."

So we still have no idea if there are any other food allergies lying in wait, which is kinda what we wanted to find out.

Poor little monster went through all of that just to find out what we already knew.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What's in your dinner?

Last night we made tacos.

Generally we have used the packaged seasoning mix, but we have been worried about potential food allergies, and a quick perusal of the ingredients list resulted in numerous red flags. MSG, maltodextrine, and numerous unpronouncable chemicals.

We found a recipe for taco seasoning online here, and cut it down to a pinch of red pepper flakes and no added salt, and added half a tablespoon of cornstarch, and then used it just like the seasoning packet (ie, added the cup of water). We also cooked the ground beef with real onions and garlic and grated zucchini (I add vegetables everywhere!).

It tasted really good, and by controling the amount of salt and eliminating the scary chemicals, it was ten times better for you!

And guess what? The tacos still dripped that radioactive orange goo!

Who knew orange goo was all natural?

Monday, November 23, 2009


I just finished up my birthday week!

I got two weekends of celebrations!

We went to Toronto and saw the Dead Sea Scrolls last weekend with my brother.

Then my mom came over the day before my birthday and brought yummy lunch from my favorite place and we went for a long walk with the baby in the sunshine collecting fancy twigs and milkweed pods for Christmas displays.

On my actual birthday, Sesame Street was even celebrating birthdays! and then my cousin and my friend took me out to a fancy dinner. and then laughed at me after my one and only drink.

Then I got a family birthday dinner on Saturday, and a family friends dinner on Sunday night.

Much better than some of the birthdays I have had. And my brother might actually get around to sending me my birthday present sometime before Christmas.

It kind of didn't feel like my birthday, and then sometimes it did. It was weird. Maybe I am just getting older and birthdays don't matter as much. hmm. not sure how I feel about that.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Daily Smile

I have a thing for the show I Didn't Know I was Pregnant.

Almost every episode has a story where a baby was born in a toilet.

There is nothing quite as hilarious as Americans trying to talk politely about having a poop.

And to have it reenacted.

Signs and Portents (of good)

I am occasionally a little superstitious.

When a big change is happening in my life, I look for signs that it is a change in the right direction.

When I got into the History Master's program, everything seemed to be falling into place. I got in to the program I wanted, I got the advisor I wanted, my best friend wanted to move with me, and I was able to borrow furniture from a friend.

But then when I got out there, things started to fall apart. I couldn't find an apartment for us to rent, the History department said there were no grad students around and I should come back during the first week like a normal person, my advisor couldn't meet me because he threw his back out golfing. I started panicking. This was not the way things were supposed to have worked out.

My first year did not go exactly as planned. I had kidney stones on my first day of classes and when I finally attended a class, the students were still grand-standing how much they knew and I started crying in class because I had no idea what they were talking about. I slowly understood that you didn't need to know all that crap, and I had some insightful things to say, but I spent most of my classes feeling overwhelmed and stupid. Which is probably why it took me three more years to write my thesis.

So why am I going back to grad school?

I learned my lesson. (I hope). I learned that fate and luck and divine intervention, if there are such things, can only get you to the door. I have to open the door and do the work to get what I need out of the program. And what I need are the skills for a lasting career.

Besides, I got into the program, and I have already found a good little apartment, walking distance to the school, for a very reasonable rent.

All signs point to yes.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Big Headache

Saturday was a gorgeous day here. 18 decrees C, sunny, just an all around wonderful indian summer day. I had plans, places I had to go, things I wanted to do. All my errands had to be done on Saturday because we were going into Toronto on Sunday for my family birthday trip to the ROM to see the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit.

But none of that happened.

Instead I spent the day in bed with my first ever migraine.

There have been a few times where I have had bad headaches where I really didn't feel well and had to lie down, and I often wondered if they were what people referred to as migraines. Let me just say now, if you have to ask, it ain't a migraine.

There is just no mistaking the "oh my god I have to lie down now or throw up" pain of the migraine. The "why are my glasses suddenly the wrong prescription" start to the headache. The desire to be as far away as possible from all light sources.

The worst part was that I couldn't see. Usually when I am not feeling well, I can at veg out in front of the TV, read a book, or at least flip through a magazine. I was so flipping bored! The two Tylenol and two Advil finally kicked in and I was able to sleep. Which was good, because lying there with only the pain to think about got old pretty fast.

I was feeling better by about 4pm, and actually got out to do a few errands after the sun went down, and went to hang out at a friend's, and when I left her place at 9:30, I was feeling close to normal.

Fingers crossed that was my first and only migraine, I feel so sorry for the people who suffer from them on a regular basis.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I Got In!

I have been offered unconditional admission into the MLIS program at UWO, and I have accepted!

And I officially convocated yesterday from UVic, even though I couldn't go out to be there in person.

I am not sure if this MLIS is a forward, backward or lateral move, but I am all excited now, and I can't jump up and down because the baby is napping.


Sunday, November 8, 2009


I had a horrible dream last night, probably heavily influenced by telling my cousin about the book The Taking the other day.*

Warning: This might be scary. You don't have to continue reading. Even I cut the dream short.

In the dream, most people had been turned into zombies or vampires, or zombie-vampires, in any case, minions of a dark lord.

The people who had not been turned were running scared and hiding out in our last stronghold, but our defenses were weakening, and pretty quickly the zombies got in and rounded us up.

They took us to an underground auditorium and we were forced to sit in the seats to await instructions. There were over 200 people, but the auditorium was only half-full.

Our "guest speaker" suddenly made his appearance. It was a walking, talking skeleton, where most of the flesh had been fried off, and what was left stuck to the bones was still sizzling and crackling. The piercing yellow-green eyes were the scariest part. It was the big D, and he gleefully began explaining to us how we were all soon going to be transported to Hell to begin our eternity of torture.

"What about the good people? I don't think I should be going to the bad place" someone yelled out.

It sucked in it breath and grudgingly admitted that some people didn't have to go to Hell. It obviously had hoped that no one would ask about that loophole so It could have everyone. "Everyone with a lit candle, stand up and make your way over to the front rows on the righthand side"

I looked around, not so many people had lit candles, but they were quietly standing up and walking towards the front. I panicked, where was my candle? I looked down and found I had a candle, but it wasn't lit. I looked around at people I knew and had fought side by side with, but they did not have candles and I thought they should. I tried to ask them if they too had unlit candles, but they didn't pay any attention. The last few people with lit candles were almost past me, and I stood up and slipped into the procession, hiding in the crowd and trying to make it look like my candle was lit.

I still didn't know if the people with lit candles were actually good and going to be saved, or the opposite, but the fact that they didn't rat me out and that people holding babies were part of that group probably indicated that they were the good ones. I still didn't know if It was actually going to let us go, or if It had just singled us out for a worse fate. I didn't know what would happen if they found me without a lit candle.

I just knew that I was terrified, but I had chosen to be good, and that was all I had control over.

Then I woke up.

*The Taking is basically about The Flood happening all over again because modern society is so corrupt, but instead of water wiping everyone out, the Devil gets to play, but only for a few days, so he pulls out all the stops, bringing Hell to earth, but at the end of his time, the rains come and wash everything clean, leaving only the good people and children. It is a good book, but parts of it are just plain scary and the stuff of my nightmares.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

First Sentence (maybe?)

The evil Hallowe'en book has become a bone of contention.

He loves the book. He can sit for hours playing with it.

As you can imagine, I look for any excuse to take it away. The noise gets so annoying after the second time.

The other morning, I made the mistake of carrying him into the living room so that his mom and dad could get ready for work, and he saw the book on the top of the fireplace mantle.

He put out his hand reaching for it and whining.

I said, "No, you can't have the book this morning."

He whined and cried some more.

Me: "Nope, no book."

Baby: "Ya b'!"

His mom: "Did he just say 'Yeah book!'?"

Me: "Yeah, I think so. ... No baby, no book."

Baby: "Ya bo'!"

Today's lesson: To get a child to use his words, just deny them something they really want. Plus you get to see that super cute "determined baby" look on their face!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What you can't have

The water heater is broken this morning.

Never have I wanted a shower more.

I have spent a few days unshowered lately because the little monster is experimenting with different nap times, so why do I really really want a shower this morning when I can't have one? I am actually contemplating having a freezing cold shower because I feel too gross to answer the door to the repairman!

But I can't have a shower because the repairman might come any minute.

This reminds me of the time there was water contamination in my hometown. I was babysitting and the parents called to warn me not to give the kids a bath, or drink the water. I was relieved, the kids hated having a bath. I thought the kids would have a "yeah, no school!" snowday kind of reaction.

The kids started crying because they couldn't have a bath, and moping around the house saying "I wish I could have a bath, why can't I have a bath?"

yeah, that's right, I am reacting the same way the four-year-old did.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

True Scary Story

Someone has a key to my parent's new house.

Someone who lives closeby.

Close enough that they can come and go in the time it takes me to drive my parents 5 min up the road and come back again.

They haven't taken anything yet, the only evidence that they have been here is that the front door that we never use is unlocked when we come home.

Maybe they are just checking if we have had the existing security system hooked up yet.

We had the locks re-keyed yesterday, something we should have done when we moved in.

The door has stayed locked so far.