Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Catchup

It's time to catch up on my blogging. Everyday I think of things to blog, and then suddenly it's the end of the day and all I've done is work.
Great meals - cheap!
A writer I used to work with decided to run off and become a chef. She just graduated from the Pearson Adult & Career Centre Professional Cooking Department. They have a small restaurant at the back of the school and they serve amazing meals (lunches and some suppers) for very little money. I had butternut squash gnocchi, fresh Atlantic halibut braised in tomato-fennel broth over homemade linguini, coffee, and bittersweet chocolate torte with orange-scented creme anglaise served with oven-roasted cinnamon ice cream, and amazing homemade bread, all for $12.50. They even serve wine. Fine food, and you can show up in jeans! I've been told not to go at the very beginning of the semester because they're still learning the recipes, and don't go during exams because they're nervous and food might be a bit undercooked. Don't tell everybody, I want to be able to have a nice lunch once in a while. They also sell meat (they learn how to cut their own meat) which I've been told is good quality, and baked goods.
Amazing Race
Still loving the AR, but was completely stunned and disgusted by the two NY gals who lost because they couldn't drive a manual transmission car. What the hell? You're preparing for a travel race and you don't think to learn to drive standard? I was yelling at the tv. It wasn't like they were driving old Yugos either - these were brand new Volkswagon Touregs with clutches like warm butter. How could you stall a machine that forgiving more than twice? Last week, I almost cried for the two mormon women who were ahead and then spent 8 hours rolling out hay bales and were still out there in the dark when the host came to tell them to forget it. The episode this week was rather bland. They were downplaying the hyper-yelling guy, and focused on the whining guy who lives with his parents, who is about as interesting as a loaf of bread. There was no drama. The old couple came in last, but it wasn't an elimination stop, so they just lose their money. All in all, kinda dull.


Christmas stuff


  1. Christmas shopping - nearly done
  2. Baking - not started (I did make some really good gingerbread cupcakes last Friday for work)
  3. Sewing - partially started
  4. Wrapping - nope
  5. Cleaning - not really
  6. Christmas cards - 25% finished
  7. Something to wear to Christmas parties - nope
  8. Space for family to sleep - nearly done

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Ten new fingers, ten new toes

Hurray for Dan and Libby and their new promotion to Daddy and Mommy!
Before:

After:




Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Something for the headphones

I've been listening to these ladies while editing, and even though there are only three songs available on their site, I'm hooked.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Another small leap

Amazon is now making short movies for advertising products - the first one features Minny Driver. I kind of appreciate the directness of Amazon's approach, after all, most movies are just advertising anyway. It reminds me of the BMW movies with (drool) Clive Owen (they were much better).

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Adriana came over last night for some Chinese food and to see Ben now that he is walking around. She has the barest fridge I've ever seen, and she mentioned that she was now running out of condiments. That started us on a conversation about buying condiments at Costco. For me, it was a big bottle of ketchup that I bought when I was single. That bottle became an old friend, it saw me through good times and bad, through men, moves, and was still there when I met and married Steve, who came into our relationship with his own bottle of ketchup. When we ran out of ketchup last year, it was a little hard to get my head around. Fortunately, I recovered quickly, and even bought a huge bottle of dijon that should see me through until retirement.
We also tuned in to The Amazing Race last night. If you haven't watched it, it really is worth a gander. They were in Iceland, and I was blown away by how beautiful it looked - it's definitely been added to my travel list.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Leaves!


leaves
Originally uploaded by dina the mundane and oblivious.

Recap

What a great weekend! On Friday night we went out and saw The Incredibles which was amazing! If you haven't seen it yet - go now! Right now! Just leave work and tell them I told you to. On Saturday, Maggie and I went shopping out in Pointe Claire. We spent some money at Old Navy, and then had lunch and wandered some more. Sunday was quiet and relaxing with a touch of drama. We went for a walk after picking up my group Christmas gift, and decided to play in the leaves with Ben and take some pictures. We had a great time, took some great pics, and were getting ready to leave when Steve realised that he was no longer wearing his wedding ring. There we were down on our hands and knees in the park rummaging through huge piles of dead leaves. I found it after about 20 minutes of digging around, but talk about needle in a haystack. Sunday night was nice and quiet. We gave Ben a bath and then he decided to be very busy for another hour before bed. He gets very excited about baths now. When I'm running his water, he comes in and bangs on the tub and yells and bounces. It's getting much easier to figure out what he wants.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Wheee!

Going on a date tonight with my sweetie to see The Incredibles! Yippeee!

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Moved!

I am now in my new office, without a window. To compensate, my office mate and I have all the lights on, including three desk lamps, a torch light, and the overheads. If we get tired of working, I'm pretty sure we have enough candles/foot to start a decent marijuana growing operation :-)
To be fair though, the office makes up for its windowlessness by being big, and it's still better than a cubicle.
This Sunday we went up to the townies and helped my parents install their new computer and we put on our snow tires. The snow tires are on just in time, it snowed this morning. Fortunately, the snow isn't staying, but I'm ready for it!
I also picked up a sweet little film camera for almost nothing. The guy only used it for two rolls of film!

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

How to....

Coffeering is proud to offer the following 'How to'. This is not a rant, merely an instructional guide:

How to use an elevator:

When you arrive at the elevator, decide if you would like to go up or down and press the appropriate button ONCE. Frantically pressing the button every 1/2 second upsets the elevator god.

When the elevator arrives, stand back from the doors and give the people in the elevator a chance to get out. Barging into the elevator and pressing your floor number before people can get out will result in a thrashing.

When you get out of the elevator, keep going. I know that you think that you are very important and that the people behind you are either capable of walking through solid matter or, in fact, not even there, but some of us cannot walk through incredibly dense material. Be understanding.

When you see someone coming towards the elevator as the doors are about to close, OPEN the door. Do not pretend that you are pushing the open door button and shrug your shoulders.

freakin' nitwits

Monday, November 01, 2004

pumpkin market


pumpkin2
Originally uploaded by dina the mundane and oblivious.

They'll pass anything off as a pumpkin these days!

Friday, October 29, 2004

Getting older

Inside my head waiting at a stop sign yesterday:
"Gee, those kids are a little early to be trick-or-treating. Isn't it only on Sunday?
And they're kind of old to be doing it too.
Oh wait, they're just 'regular'-looking teenagers."

Wanted

Have you seen this chocolate bar?

If you have, report to me immediately!

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Store review - Homesense

Yes, Homesense has finally opened in Quebec! Today was the grand opening of the stores at Decarie Square and Fairview Pointe Claire. Seeing as how I am a 20-minute walk from Decarie Square, I wandered over at lunch for a look. First, I would like to say that I have never seen so many cars in the Decarie Square parking lot. It's a fairly dilapidated shopping centre, and has declined further through years of neglect and wool carpet sales. Expect a bit of a hassle getting in and out, and long waits at the lights. Today, they had many parking attendants out assisting drivers looking for spots. This was absolutely essential and a very nice "we care" touch. The old Winners at the centre has been removed and both stores are combined on the second floor a few steps from the escalators. I was surprised that it wasn't a bit bigger, in fact a lot of the store layout appeared crammed. A small piece of advice: when you are having a grand opening and know that there are going to be boatloads of people in and out of your store, do not put those annoying island shelves in the middles of the aisles. They slow people down with carts and strollers. I know you want people to see your wares, but they aren't going to buy anything if they can't get through the aisles easily, they will turn around and leave. I wandered without a cart and still found it difficult. The winners side was much the same, some good deals, some not so good. I'm not paying $99 for a cashmere sweater at Winners.
The Homesense side was smaller than it should have been, and there was an enormous amount of knickknack stuff cluttering shelves throughout the middle of the store. I guess many people are searching for an antique-looking wooden car for their coffeetables, or another glass vase. I found it a bit off-putting, like a dollar store had exploded. The bedding section was nice, everything was neatly organized and decidedly not an ugly selection of sheets and bedding. The bath section was a little slim except for the towels. I was drawn to the kitchen section, lots of pots and utensils, no electronic appliances though. A small but good selection of dishware and glasses, and lots of holiday-ware for Christmas. The prices were fairly decent, I found many things around $20 and under. There's also a nice selection of frames and framed art/mirrors. There were a few larger pieces (chairs, sofas) in the back of the store, but they looked like they were there for display only. The current layout does not support large items. All in all, there are some good deals to be had at Homesense, but I think they should streamline the space and concentrate on bedding, kitchenware and bath, and decrease the floor space given for the knickknacks.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

What not to watch

I watched part of the worst reality show I've ever seen last night. The Biggest Loser is a show about competitive weight loss. There is nothing about this show that is not disgusting, mean, and wrong. The poeple on the show are on two teams and they compete to see which team can lose the most weight weekly. The contestants range in weight goals from 30-100+ pounds. The teams are headed by two fitness instructors who seem to have no idea how to loss weight in a healthy manner. The first week some people lost over 20 pounds - how is that possible? One person is voted off each week, usually the person with the least to lose. The show's only goal seems to be to make fun of these poor people and provides no encouragement or self esteem building. I thought that The Swan was bad, but TBL makes that show shine.
A couple of years back, there was a show on the Life network called "Taking it Off" that followed a group of people who wanted to lose weight and get in shape. That show had realistic goals, showed people how to eat and exercise properly and the group had good motivation. If the producers of TBL started with that show concept, they really missed the boat.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Nice night

I had a very pleasant evening. Steve made a nice supper, Ben ate heartily, and then we retired to the livingroom to watch a few episodes of the fourth season of Futurama. Ben went back and forth from the tv to his room and emptied some recycling, threw toys all over, and dragged his laundry everywhere. One of his favorite new things is rushing into our arms for hugs -sigh, he's so cute! I missed a lot of the fourth season of Futurama because they kept moving it during the baseball season and I wasn't watching much tv. By the end of the evening, Ben and I were cuddled up on the floor. This past weekend we went and picked out a new pair of glasses for Steve. I hope that these are more kid-friendly than his current pair. I also reaffirmed my theory that all glasses look really bad on me, I'm glad that I don't need them -yet.
We have finally entered the sweater portion of the Fall season. Last night, it went down to 0. Time to get in gear and get those fireplace doors so we can have some cozy fires!

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Short Thoughts

  • Commercials for My Little Pony make me appreciate that I have a son.
  • Things that Ben has attempted to eat recently: a quarter, hair, keys, socks, shoes, pom-poms, paper, kleenex, Steve's shoulder, mousepad, tupperware, footstool, my knee
  • People who leave huge bowls of individually wrapped mini-swiss chocolate squares sitting within easy reach of my desk are evil.
  • Pricing new computers for my folks is much more interesting than editing a 300-page upgrade guide.
  • My hair is in dire need of a fairy godmother

Thanksgiving weekend was pretty relaxing, we saw the folks and did some chores and did some tidying around the house. I made my fabulous banana bread, but baked it in mini-muffin tins for Ben - he loves getting his little muffin and breaking it apart and stuffing it in his mouth. He's so cute when he's eating. He grabs handfuls of food and makes yum noises and hums and kicks his feet and enjoys his food. Ben walked all over the place this weekend, he's walking farther and faster everyday.
I finally got around to creating a brand-spanking new c.v. this week. I was looking around for inspiration and was surprised at how many awful microblah template cvs there are out there. Even the samples from web sites that sell cv writing services are grim.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Friday!

It's Friday! It's also my godson's birthday and he's an amazing kid with a love of fart jokes and maps and sometimes I can't figure out when he got so big! I got him a montreal metro map, a real one - full size. I hope he likes it and that some day he'll tell his friends that his cool godmom stole it for him (not his not-so-cool godmom called the STM and asked for one and they gave it to her).
Ben's on the mend. He made it through the surgery without incident and now it's just a question of healing and some rather bad diarrhea caused by the antibiotics. He has to go back next Thursday to take a tube out of a very sensitive area, but we're coping. When he's not bothered by the tube and diaper changes, Ben's his old self, tearing through the house and getting into everything in site. We're just so glad that it's over and we're hoping that Ben doesn't remember this when he gets older.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Firsts

Ben's first word wasn't Mom or Dad, it was "Yay". He said it when we reached the top of a mountain hike in Muir Woods, while I was videotaping no less. He's a very considerate boy. Last night, he took his first few steps and we were completely thrilled. If he does it again, I promise I will get it on tape. He's becoming such a big boy, where did the time go?

Thursday, September 16, 2004

SF








Day to day

We took Ben to the Children's yesterday for his pre-surgery checkup. He has to go in for a procedure next Tuesday. We have been assured that this is a common procedure and he will be fine, but of course with general anesthetic there's always a risk, and the surgery is going to take at least 2 hours, so I'm freaking out a bit. Words like "best specialist in Canada" are good things. Steve's mom is coming in for a week to help just in case we need her. Either way, she gets to spend time playing with her grandson. Work's still hectic as I try to get out a release and edit a bunch of docs. We've also discovered that we're moving to a different building sometime in the near future. I am going from an office with a window to a converted conference room with no windows which I will have to share with two other people - and just when I was getting used to having a plant in my office!
I've been listening to ex-Men at Work guy, Colin Hay's album Man @ Work. I am especially attached to his acoustic remake of Overkill, which is funny because I didn't really care for the original at all.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Post vacation post

We got back a week ago tomorrow and I'm still reaching into the suitcase for shirts in the morning. Steve and Ben are unpacked, but I haven't managed to unpack, perhaps it's a refusal to let the vacation go. I got back to work and the review I sent out before I left hadn't come back. I'm already over my hours on this project, so I told my manager to sort it out with the project manager - I'm tired of all the postponing and "just one more build" additions.
We had a great vacation. San Francisco's a nice city. I was a bit surprised to discover that although I really enjoyed SF, I didn't fall in love with it, and wouldn't choose to live there. The weather was beautiful, the people were very pleasant, but there was something about the city and me that didn't click. Perhaps it was the endless hills to drive and walk up, or the relentless search for decent parking, or that it was just so warm and sunny everyday. I loved the taquerias, the cable cars, the street cars, the ocean, the redwoods, the fact that you can find wonderful organic produce on almost every block, the ultra-blue sky, and that breath-taking view of GG bridge and the city. Seeing our friends Dan and Libby was the best part of the trip. Libby's looking great, and Dan makes a cup of coffee you'd trade your parking spot for :-) They were excellent hosts, even though Ben was constantly creating chaos in their nice clean home! It's so weird to think that the next time we see them, they'll be parents too, well, at least they've had a brief glimpse into their future.
This weekend was spent visting the folks and Maggie and Andrew which means that we didn't get much cleaning done. I managed to make some muffins for Ben, but that was it. He's eating more everyday thanks to his new teeth. His latest favorite is plain wholewheat pasta, I'm amazed that he can eat so much of it. He's still not walking yet, but he's so close that I know that one day he's just going to go for it - I hope I'm home when he does.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Life's a beach

Ben recovered and so did everyone else, so we continued our adventures with another visit to Stanley Park, Vanier Park, and Kitsalano Beach. Ben was christened by the Pacific and loved the waves and the sand.




I would love to live near the ocean, I could walk along a beach every day and never tire of it. Must be that maritime blood kicking in.


We spent a lot of time with Steve's family to end the Vancouver leg of the trip, we are sad to go, but are now looking forward to seeing Dan and Libby tomorrow! Here we come guys, wheeee! It's also our anniversary tomorrow and Dan's birthday, I sense a few alcoholic beverages in my future :-)

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Rain, fishes, and naps

Tales about west coast rainy-ness are not exaggerated. It's been cloudy and rainy since the day after we arrived. We ate at an IHOP, shopped, and napped on day 2 in preparation for our visit to see Melissa in the evening. She has a really nice place, complete with a cozy fireplace. Tucker was funny with Ben, and I'm sure Ben was amused to find someone to play with who is taller than daddy. It was so great to see her and Tucker, and far too short, but I'm glad we got to meet up before they left on vacation. By the end of the visit, Tucker and Ben were getting pretty cranky.

Day 3 began with a phone call from Steve's folks, looks like we brought the 24-hour stomach flu with us and gave it to Steve's mom, brother, and grandmother. So far, I seem to have side-stepped the bug, but I'm armed with gravol and pepto bismol! We went to the aquarium which was a lot of fun, but the constant rain made it difficult to enjoy the outdoor areas. That's ok, there was plenty to see inside and Ben loved the fishies.







We drove around Stanley Park while Ben slept in the carseat, it's huge and beautiful and only $5/day for parking! After our tour, we headed to Granville Island for a little shopping.

We had hoped to take a ferry across, but it was too yucky out, but we lucked out and nabbed some parking and had a nice lunch and look around. After all this I was pooped, so we headed back to the hotel, found out that Steve's family was feeling a bit better, and I passed out on the bed. We have a nice view from the hotel and Ben loves the sink.

We woke up this morning and Ben was sick all over our bed, looks like he caught the bug again, or he wasn't quite finished yet. He's sleeping it off while we wait for some pizza to be delivered. Hopefully he'll be feeling better by tonight.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Welcome to the west coast

Well, we're here and we're still alive! The flight went quite well. We had hoped to get an extra seat for Ben, but the flight was fully booked. The day before we left, Ben had a stomach flu of some kind - and of course on the day of our flight he had diarrhea, but luckily we avoided that during the flight. He slept part of the way.

We picked up our rental at the airport - a PT Cruiser. The guy actually gave me a choice between that and a minivan - what was he thinking? I gave it a hug just for you Maggie!

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Eight days

Only eight days until we leave on vacation and we have done no vacation preparation. Actually, that's not true, we have found our passports and asked the landlord to feed our cats. I should be making a long list of things to do, but for some reason I keep thinking that it's ages away. I think that part of me keeps thinking that I'm just joking about flying for 6 hours with an almost-toddler. Ben wiggles off our laps at home and just crawls off now, he pulls himself up and cruises until there's nothing left to hold on to in his path. What am I thinking taking him on a plane where he's not going to want to sit and there's a tempting Ben-sized hallway full of people to poke and meet? Unless the plane is lined with grandmas, we're doomed.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Vacation!

We are going on a vacation at the end of the month! We will be spending a week in Vancouver, visting Steve's grandma, and a week in San Francisco with our friends Dan and Libby. I've never been to SF before, the two times that I've been to California I managed to make it from San Juan Capistrano up to Monterey. I know that there's a ton to see, but we're trying to keep it relaxed, especially for Ben. Travelling with an almost-toddler should be an interesting experience. I just hope that he likes flying, because we're going to be going on four planes by the time the trip is through. The amount of luggage is nearly staggering - we'll need his car seat, an umbrella stroller, his clothes, toys, bottles, blankies, books, and I'm sure a hundred other things that will come to mind. If we're lucky, Steve and I may have enough room to pack a spare pair of underwear and a t-shirt to share. We'd also love to bring his backpack, but I doubt we'll have room. We're hoping that the flights aren't fully booked so that we can get a free seat for Ben. We had to get his passport so that he could travel into the States. It has his photo-it's so cute. I love to travel, but I haven't been anywhere, other than business trips to NY, in ages. Steve is incredibly untravelled, which is sometimes fun because I get to watch him discover new things, and other times a bit annoying. Between vacations and moving, I've been from one end of North America (Alaska) to the other (Florida), most of it by car, so I don't know what it's like to grow up without travelling. I'd love to travel a lot with Ben, give him a sense of what's out there. My dream vacation would be a month in New Zealand. I've wanted to go since I was a teenager. If we ever won the lottery, that would be our first destination.

Friday, July 23, 2004

standing moose




Ben's getting really good at this standing thing, now if we could only keep him out of the liquor cabinet....

Sunday, July 18, 2004

One

A lot can happen in one year. Last year, at 8:32am, you arrived, a teeny little red man, screaming and mad, from my body and out into the world. For all your protests, it was you who decided to come 3 weeks early and wake me up at 4am. You sent your daddy into a mild panic while we decided whether we should go to the hospital, because neither of us knew that I was in labour. Because you stubbornly remained in the breech position, you came out the window, lifted from your comfy spot sitting on my bladder with your arms frequently stretched over your head, your little fingers scratching the bottom of my ribs.
You changed our lives in that moment. Before you came, we were shadows of the people that we are today. Because of you, we have discovered new heights of love, joy, amazement, and sleep deprivation. We delight in every new thing that you discover every day, and our capacity to love you more and more as time goes by.
Happy birthday Booboo, thank you for coming into our lives and making us a family.
A thousand hugs and kisses,
Mommy


Thursday, July 15, 2004

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Vindication

As you may already know from reading Steve's blog, I had a little run-in with Canon Canada this week. We got a digital camcorder last Friday, a Canon Optura 40, and I was doing a little research about the camera on the Canon Canada web site. On the features page for the Optura 40, I found three paragraphs talking about the Pinnacle Studio 9SE software included with the Optura 40 kit. I didn't receive this software with my camera, so I called Canon Customer Support. The first guy that I talked to said that it was a promotion until June 30. I explained that it wasn't on the promotions page, but the features page for the Canon Optura 40. He said that he would get back to me. I called back when I didn't hear anything, and talked to someone else, who said that the matter was still being investigated. I called again and was told that it was escalated to the supervisor, then that the supervisor was talking to his supervisor. Keep in mind that for each call I was waiting at least 20 minutes to speak to someone and then was on hold while the support person tried to figure out what to tell me. Finally, the supervisor (not the supervisor's supervisor) called my house and spoke to Steve (I was on my way home from work). He said that Canon Canada would not give me the software because it was a promotion and what was on the features page for the Canon Optura 40 was a mistake. They offered to send a small nylon case for my Canon S30 digital camera (not the camcorder). Steve told them to send it, but warned the guy that it wasn't over (he knows his wife all too well). I got home, found out what happened, jumped on the internet and found the email address for the Media and Public Relations director, and the names of all the VPs and the President of Canon Canada and emailed them all a nice letter explaining my case and asking that they please honour their statements and keep a loyal customer happy. Today at noon, the same customer support guy called back to say that they found a copy of the software and would like to send it to me by courier. He also said that they would not be sending the camera case - cheapos. Although I know that the President of Canon Canada probably does not open his own email, I like to think that he did and that he called those customer support guys and demanded that they send me my free software. I wish that he had also told them to send the flashlight attachment, a wideangle lens and several batteries, but that's ok.
It's just a shame that I had to put so much effort into it just to get some proper service.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Matters

We had a great weekend. Steve made me a wonderful chocolate cake, I got lots of gifties, and we enjoyed some laughs and good food with friends - what more could you want? Ben was doing his part as a good host until he finally conked out at 10:30. On Sunday, we drove out to the townies where I had a second cake, and more goodies. My brother was up for the weekend from Toronto. he managed to get all the machines started, and even cut down a few trees.
Then it was back to work. Work's going alright, so little has changed here. The only thing truly noteworthy is that I got a brand new hp laptop and flat monitor. It has bluetooth, so when I brought it home, Steve and I could beam stuff back and forth from the laptop to his palm pilot which was cool. It also found my laser printer and connected itself through the infrared port.
The one thing that has changed since I've been back at work is my whole attitude. Since Ben, my priorities have been reset, and that means that I'm not killing myself at work anymore, or taking too much on myself because of my silly high work ethic. I may work through lunch, but I leave at 5 so I can rush home to my two favorite men. I don't want to be the one that everyone runs to when there's a problem, or the one who always stays late to get the job done. I want to do my work and go home and get the big smile and squeal when I walk in my front door and sit on the floor and play with toys and hear all about how my little guy napped and pooped and babbled. That's the important stuff, everything else is just not.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Happy birthday to me!

Yay! It's days like these that I remember that I'm not getting older, no wait, I am. Um, so, I'm only as old as I feel, no, that would be 82 some days. I have to stop reading greeting cards :-)

Friday, May 28, 2004

Enjoy the shoe

I'm registered with Monster.com, so every week I get a list of jobs that are supposed to be related to my career. Generally, they aren't very close, computer technician, programmers, managers, etc. Today, I got five links for "shoe specialists". Shoe specialists? Am I qualified to be a shoe specialist? Do I have what it takes? Is this an opening that they send to all the women on the list to tease them, or did my husband tell Monster how qualified I am for this position? Perhaps I should consider a career change...

Three days with Grammie

My mom-in-law came in from Ontario to take care of Ben this week while Steve finished up at his company. They have taken walks to the store and the park, and played lots all over the house. She's even mastered how to fold and unfold the stroller. Yesterday, she and Ben met me out on the front lawn after work. As soon as he saw me, he started bouncing, his face lit up in a huge smile, and he squealed. My heart absolutely melted, I'm so in love with my son!
Steve's dad is coming in today, he hasn't seen Ben since he was born, so it should be an interesting meeting. Ben is very good with new people, so I doubt there will be a problem.
In other news, I've lost eight pounds! I was very surprised when I stepped on the scale this morning. Of course, when you have a lot to lose, the first pounds come off easy. I log all my food at Fitday.com, I put all the chocolate in the freezer, and I've made a couple of weight watchers casserole recipes for my lunches. If I manage to throw in some exercise, I should have a plan that I can market and sell a book :-)

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Weekend!

Ah, the long weekend, made sweeter by the fact that I worked part of last week so it mattered, and I'm not at work today. On Saturday we did some errands, on Sunday we went up and worked at my folks', and Monday was spent organizing, grocery shopping, and a brief tea visit at Maggie's. My dad wasn't feeling very well when we arrived, but he soon perked up after he got outside and pushed Ben around in the stroller for a while and talked us through a few tasks from his chair. I only had to tell him to drop the screwdriver and go and sit down once, which isn't bad at all.
I am enjoying a day with Ben, although I wish that it was a sunny warm day and not this cold, damp, and rainy day. Last night was the first he slept in his crib all night, and Steve and I are exhausted because we kept waking up to check on him. He was fine, but we missed him terribly and Steve sprang out of bed as soon as he heard him stirring to bring him in to cuddle and play with us on our bed. Why does he have to grow up?

Friday, May 21, 2004

Concern for personal safety

Seen on my way to work today:
40ish guy on a bicycle wearing a helmet and a big gas mask (the kind you use when you're painting a car or under terrorist attack). He passed me and went right through a red light without even slowing down. Is this so his lungs would be clean in case he gets hit by a bus?

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Arghhhh

I miss Ben!!! Steve's having a great time at home with him and I'm very jealous. It took all morning to get a computer and a phone, but I have these things finally and now I must get to work. I'm looking at all the stuff, and it seems vaguely familiar, and everyone's still very nice.
It feels so surreal to be here, almost as though nothing's really changed. Actually, looking at my old projects, not much has actually changed. Driving to work was weird, what is this thing called traffic? I'd forgotten all about that. I can't wait to leave here and get home and kiss my Boo. The only things I brought with me this morning were a coffee mug and two pictures of Ben for my desk. The coffee is still really awful, shouldn't have bothered with the mug.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Comments

I'm not sure that I'm all that happy with the new Blogger comments. It seems like you have to either sign up for an account or post as anonymous. I tried to put my old system back, but I've forgotten the password, so I had to set up a new one. I've left blogger comments on, but put the old ones back as well. We'll have a race and see who wins :-)

Last day

I had a post half-written yesterday, but it got deleted. The weekend was a combination or lazing, errands, and working at the folks'. We also watched Big Fish, which I quite enjoyed. Yesterday, Ben and I went out for a long walk and went to the park where we met up with Maggie, Colin, and Robert. It was a beautiful day yesterday, warm and sunny. The apple blossoms are out, and the trees are exploding in pinks and whites. The smell is intoxicating. Today, it is grey and rainy and my poor Ben isn't settling in for his morning nap. Steve lowered his crib last night, and it seems too strange for our little man. We are going to attempt to let him sleep there, all by himself, one night this week. He already takes his naps in his crib. Today is also my last day at home with Ben. I had hoped for a nice one, but it seems not in the cards. I'm very anxious about returning to work and not seeing him all day. The longest I've been away from him since he was born is about four hours. I do not know how I'm going to feel at noon tomorrow, but I'm sure that if I have an internet connection, you'll be able to read it here.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

I'm not big-boned

Last night was a bit of a bust. I fell asleep singing Ben to sleep. I was planning on getting a bit more done. I've come to the realisation that none of my pre-maternity clothes really fit properly yet. This means that I will be wearing my not-pregnant-looking maternity clothes to the office next week, because I refuse to buy bigger clothes. I figure that if I get truly comfortable, then I'll never lose the weight. I'm thinking about doing weightwatchers. When I was about 20, I did weightwatchers with three other friends and it was fun and I lost about ten pounds. Back in those days, the plan was based on the food guide, so it was broken down into so many proteins, breads, veggies, fruits, dairy, fats and I think some extras for blowing on ice cream sundaes once a week. Now, they have 'points'. As far as I can tell, this means that you could blow all of your points eating chocolate cake and then starve for the rest of the day. This doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I checked out some of the sample recipes on the ww site, and they don't seem to have the old system calculations, but the recipes look very tasty, mushroom and wild rice stew, potato-wrapped salmon, and key lime pie! Maybe I'll get the cookbook and have a go!

Thursday, May 13, 2004

An Eeyore moment

It's a beautiful day and I'm trying not to get too stressed out about returning to my stinky job. I know that once I'm back, it will be fine and it's not like I'll be working as hard as before I left. I promise that I will stop being bitter and negative about the whole thing soon, because it's tiresome and no one needs to hear about it, but right now I'm just so mad and disappointed and hurt, really.
Ben and I will go out for a walk when he wakes up and I'll feel better.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004


Me, Ben, Mirella, and Vincent at the park Posted by Hello

Oof

If you've heard a dull thumping this afternoon, somewhat akin to the clubbing of a baby seal, that would be me getting totally screwed over by the company that I work for. I start back to work next Wednesday, with zero benefits and security and absolutely no loyalty whatsoever. I am currently open to any offers to make an honest tech writer of me. That's right, I'm a mercenary now, I'm only in it for the money and camaraderie of my equally screwed over colleagues. European companies suck just as much as North American :-)

Friday, May 07, 2004

In the hopes of getting back into the mindset of a tech writer, I found this.
I have just finished several hours (interspersed with naps, playtime, feeding, and other such Ben activities) of peeling and cutting up carrots, leeks, parsnips, rutabagas, and squash for Ben's food. Making your own babyfood is easy, and certainly cheaper, but the prep is somewhat tedious. I made lentils with carrots, leek, and squash earlier today that he loved. I'm hoping that tomorrow I can get some other meals done and in the freezer, and that he likes to eat them. Last week I tried macaroni and cheese, but he didn't like it, so I ate it. He seems to have a problem with textures. He's hated bananas from day one, and I can tell it's because they're slimey. He doesn't like avocado for the same reason. I'm trying to switch him over to foods in chunks that he can pick up, but so far he's refused cooked carrots, zucchini, squash (his favorite puree), and potato. He loves all of these when smooth. Maybe he just needs a few more teeth. On the other hand, he loves cheerios and toast. I guess that he'll get the hang of it eventually, I can't see him at 20 carrying around a blender everywhere so that he can suck all his meals through a straw.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

My Dad is finally home! We went to see him yesterday, and he's looking so much happier already. It is also much more comfortable to visit, especially with Ben. We just hung out in the livingroom playing on the floor. Steve's mom and brother came for a visit this past week. It was too short, but we loved having them here and Ben enjoyed all the extra attention.
Looks like I may have my job back after all. A few of my colleagues are leaving, which leaves a few spaces open. I've also heard that since the company posted a profit, they're probably not going to start layoffs - yay! Steve is starting to get excited again about staying home with Ben. They want me to come back part-time this month-ugh! I'm trying to work starting again around the 17 or so. Steve's mom said that she would come back and stay while we're transitioning between my part-time and full-time and Steve staying home which is a huge help! All we need to do is get her to master unfolding the stroller:-) I'm a bit freaked out about going back to work. I like my job, but if someone handed me a winning lottery ticket I'd be out of there pretty quick. It's going to be so weird not being near Ben all the time. I'm wondering if I'll be able to concentrate on my job, or even remember what I was doing before I left! I think that I created sentences out of engineer mumblings, but I'm not sure....

Monday, April 26, 2004

New update
Dad's doing ok. He's been up on the ward for almost a week and he's been walking a bit almost every day. He's had a bit of an infection, which we're concerned about, but if the doctors manage to get that fixed, he'll be able to go home in another week or so. I've been driving out almost everyday - that's 325km round trip. I know every pothole and dead animal on the highway now. Ben's been a very good sport about the whole thing and has slept in the car and entertained his Poppy and kept up his spirits. Today we are at home because I'm pooped and there's a ton of stuff to get done around here. Ben is also kinda out of sorts today, I think he's cutting a new tooth. We are also weaning because he's just losing interest in the boobs and since he's bitten me three times now, I'm starting to think that it's not so bad. At the same time, my heart breaks a little each time he refuses to breastfeed, sigh.....sniff, sniff.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Update
After seven hours of surgery, my Dad is in ICU and recovering. It's still too early to predict anything, but the surgical team said that it went pretty well. We are very lucky, the aortic aneurysm could have burst at anytime and would have meant almost certain death. I can't thank the radiologist who caught the problem while reviewing the x-rays, and the surgical team at the CHU in Sherbrooke for moving so quickly. He's awake this morning, but just in and out. It's going to be a long recovery. Thank you to everyone for your positive mental vibes :-)

Friday, April 16, 2004

Dina's Dad is in the hospital, in Intensive Care. He'll be having surgery at some point today. I don't have all the details, but it's something with his heart.

Lou has the best heart. He's a warm, loving, generous father, husband and Poppy. He's always treated me like a daughter.

So, please, send a positive thought his way today.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

I love taking my son out and about. Yesterday, we went down to Old Montreal to pick up Steve from work, and then downtown to a bookstore. Because we weren't going on a long expedition, Steve carried him around. Ben starts rocking excitedly when you walk with him outside. He loves looking at the people, and the buildings, and just everything. He likes it when Steve carries him even more because he has a higher perspective. So, he rocks, he smiles and he laughs, but what I really get a kick out of is all the attention he receives. He seems to know just who will make a big fuss over him. He loves women, but he'll also single out the men who will make funny faces and stick out their tongues. I guess that it's hard to turn down a face as cute as this:



Sometimes he chooses the most unlikely people, biker guys, rigid businessmen, or teenage boys. He almost always gets a positive response for his troubles. I know that at some point I am going to have to teach Ben about strangers, but it breaks my heart to think that one day he's going to have to know that there are bad people and dangers in this world. Every parent in the world must feel this way.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Happy Easter!


from Ozzy the Easter Bunny

Monday, April 05, 2004

Congrats!
A big WOOHOO to Lisa and her incredible proposing fiancé!

The day of no naps
Ben decided not to have naps today, and I've discovered how much I need his naps to get anything done. He wasn't in a bad mood, just not tired, at all, no matter what I did or fed him. I did finally give up and let him play on his mat while I got a few chores done. I also made a marvelous banana bread with pecans that filled the house with the most glorious smell! Ben conked out after supper and some nursing around 7:00, and I fully expect him to stay that way until 6:30am.
Ben's bottom teeth are coming in, you can just see them peaking through the gums. So far, he hasn't bitten me while he's nursing, let's keep our fingers crossed! The weekend was great, except for the snow on Sunday. We did a lot around the house, got Ben's new car seat, had a short visit to a park (Ben's first), and had dinner with our friends Dan and Libby who we haven't seen for a bit.


The car seat was a bit of a pain. Last weekend our friends with a slightly younger son mentioned they had to change car seats, and sure enough, when we returned home and I looked at the manual, I realised that we were overdue for a larger seat. Oops! So, I get on the internet and start researching convertible car seats (ones that are rear-facing until 1 year and then forward-facing until 40lbs), because you can't get help at the big toy store or department stores. I narrow it down to two seats. One is made in the UK and REALLY expensive, the other is made in the states and reasonably priced and just as safe. There is a third choice which seems to be widely available and used by many friends, but I was more interested in the second seat. I went looking for the second seat and couldn't find it anywhere. After phoning the company's head office in Ohio, I learn that they don't import it to Canada. Ah! So that leaves me with the third choice, which seems to be the only game in town. We couldn't afford the UK seat, and I couldn't find anyone that even sold it in Montreal. I found a decent, smaller store where the saleslady really knew a lot about car seats and was exceedingly helpful. We paid about twenty dollars more for the seat, but I prefer to keep a smaller store in business where you can get service over that cold mega toy store.

Friday, March 26, 2004

Oh, piss ant
I just returned from my visit to my office where I learned that I probably don't have a job to return to, sigh....
Anybody need a senior tech writer?
Ah Spring! This is what we are saying today because the temperature is shooting up to an unnatural 16C! It's also supposed to rain, but who cares? 16C! People will be out in their shorts and shedding coats and boots. Ben and I have errands to run today. I finally got around to mounting the chalkboard in the kitchen, so I even have a few things written down where I can see them. I feel so much more organized! I may even stop by my office to see my coworkers and enjoy the fact that I don't have to be back there for a couple of months. It seems hard to believe that I have to go back and not be with Ben all day. Steve and I decided that we would try to have one of us home for as long as we could manage, so Steve will be taking his turn at home when I go back. It's a shame that his company won't allow him to work part-time, but he'll probably be able to do some small contracts so we won't be a total single income household.
The funeral service for my grandmother was very nice. The minister knew her well and so it was very personal, and the eulogy given by my cousin was wonderful. All the grandkids got up and said something, mine was short and sobby - I've never been good at composure when it comes to stuff like this. I took Ben up with me though, which I hope distracted people from my shortcomings as a public speaker. I don't think that it's quite sunk in. I'm sure that when Easter comes, I'll buy her some lillies and daffodils like I always do.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

My grandmother died this morning. She was an amazing lady. She spoke more than eight languages, she never complained about having two bum hips that caused her to walk with two canes and later a walker, or her gradual loss of hearing and eyesight, or even the bone cancer that was slowly eating away at her body. She loved her garden, animals, books, and the birds that came to her feeders. She was a very patient and extremely kind woman and she loved life. She made the best pickles I've ever tasted and was a pretty shrewd business woman.
I was her first grandchild, the one who received her name. She made tapes of her telling stories so that I would know her even though we lived far away. When I was older and lived closer, she told me stories of how she came to Canada and met my grandfather, toured Europe on a motorcycle, made it through the depression and the war, and eventually learned how to be a country wife.
I wish that she could have lived forever.



Wednesday, March 10, 2004

I have many things to do, but Ben's decided to take many naps today, so I have some time to blog. This weekend we got quite a bit done and even managed to relax a bit here and there. On Monday we drove out to the townships to see my grandmother who is in the hospital with double pneumonia. We spent the day there and visited in between her naps. I'm glad that we went because her condition has worsened and now she's not very coherent and essentially shutting down. I feel so sad for her, because I know that she was not ready for this. I'm glad that Ben got to hold his great-grandma's fingers and that she knew he was there. So sad.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

I am the Master of the Universe!
Magister Mundi sum!
"I am the Master of the Universe!"
You are full of yourself, but you're so cool you
probably deserve to be. Rock on.


Which Weird Latin Phrase Are You?
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