Wednesday, December 21, 2005


We received a child assistance cheque in the mail this morning, for some reason, I'm feeling the urge for beer and popcorn......

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Shopping with a smile

I finished my Christmas shopping this weekend, and it was a pleasure. No, I'm not a masochist with a thing for overheated crowded shopping malls full of stupid people who don't know where they're going, rude salespeople, and screaming children. On Saturday, I let Steve and his brother mind the children (I ran away clicking my heels), and I went with my mother-in-law to Pointe Claire village. Free parking, beautiful sunny day, and fantastic shopping! I discovered little treasures in the tiny shops that line the block and a bit on the lakeshore. Handmade, unique gifties for just about everyone, and stuff that you just don't find at the big chain stores. I'm also happy to report that the prices were very reasonable. Instead of killing myself going from store to store and getting frustrated and tired, I enjoyed a free couple of hours with helpful store clerks who actually wanted to serve me and always asked if they could gift wrap presents with a smile. I talked to store owners who told me stories about various products in their stores and got free samples of all manner of edible goodies and free coffee. It was heaven! Malls suck the happiness out of this wonderful time of the year. If you really want to get into the spirit, head for the small stores and support your local merchants. You won't regret it!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Neither rain, nor 30 41cm of snow....

could keep me and my crew, Lisa, Paul, Jack, and Maggie and her kiddies from meeting up this morning for a get together. Lisa's only in town for a few days from England, so we took the opportunity to finally meet in person. Unfortunately, it was our first big storm of the season, so the going was tough, knee-deep tough. We all made it eventually and swapped babies and had a great time. We should all visit in the summer next time though, much less clothing and slogging involved!
Me, Maggie, and Lisa
Lisa & Naomi
Paul & Jack
Jack nap
Two Jacks!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Say Awwwww! until you overdose

How many days until Christmas?

It was a bit of a shock when I looked at the calendar a couple of days ago and realised that it's almost Christmas and I'd barely done anything on my list. When you stay at home, you tend to forget what day it is, let alone what month. I now have no right to get annoyed at my folks when I call on the weekend during the day and they ask if it's a holiday. So I've organized my Christmas errands by geographic location and store hours, this is what you have to do when you have kids. Steve watched the kids for an hour last night while I got some stuff done. Tonight I hope to sneak out for another hour. We're expecting a storm tomorrow. Maggie and I are meeting Lisa tomorrow for a coffee and some child swapping, I hope I don't get stuck in a snow drift :-)

Still haven't gotten to the Christmas cards, I promise that they'll be out by Easter........

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Quick stuff

This is my first full week alone with the kiddies, so I have to make this quick:

  • I'm down to only a couple of freakouts a day
  • Feeling very guilty that I have not been able to get Ben outside yet this week to the park despite the fact that it's across the street-of course, it's cold here, so I can use that as an excuse
  • Managed to get the kids to playgroup yesterday, a personal triumph even if we were over an hour late
  • Had to call Steve in the afternoon to beg him to come home, which of course prompted the baby who had been screaming inconsolably for two hours straight to pass out 5 minutes before he arrived
  • Wrote out half of my thank you cards, after that the Christmas cards!
  • Baby smiles are the cutest things, and just like Ben, Naomi smiles with her eyes
  • I've been contemplating doing some Christmas baking, am I crazy?
  • I keep repeating, it's going to get easier, it's going to get easier....
  • Maggie promised she'd come and visit next week so I don't lose my marbles

That's it for now. And a big thank you to Dan and Libby who agreed to be Naomi's godparents and who sent a bunch of goodies for Ben and Naomi and the biggest poinsettia I've ever seen! I hope that we can keep it alive until Christmas :-)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Time is relative

When Ben was born and Steve went back to work, there were days, as every other mom I know has had, when I didn't shower, brush my teeth, eat, or manage to get anything done other than keep that teeny tiny dictator alive while trying not to lose my mind. Steve got a two week contract and I have now spent two days alone with the kids and I'm wondering what the hell I wasted my time doing when I only had one. What a wuss I was, whining about how hard it was dealing with one baby, I laugh at my former self. Just getting the two over to the park across the street nearly did me in the other day; returning from the park with one in the stroller, dragging a toddler in the heat of the meltdown of the century made me realise that it's going to be a long winter. I suppose that it's a learning curve. Give me a couple more months and I'll be able to shower in five seconds and peel a banana with my toes while I change a diaper and breastfeed. Until then, everyone have a kind thought for me, and for you mom's with 3+ kids, you have my utmost respect, I'm a big wuss :-)

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Can you hear me now? Good!

We took Ben in for a hearing test today. He's 28 months old and, although he babbles up a storm, he has yet to really start speaking a language that we know. This is the first step to finding out if there's anything wrong, or if he's a late bloomer. Fortunately, his hearing is fine. Unfortunately, the audiologist told us that his verbal skills should be much better at this stage and she isn't sure if he understands as much as we think that he does. We're going to hear from our pediatrician soon to find out how we proceed, it will certainly involve waiting lists for specialists and more tests. For me, this is hard because although I've been worried, I've also been trying to believe that he'll just sort himself out. Now, I'm concerned that they're going to diagnose him with some strange syndrome that requires drugs and therapy, when he may be one of those kids who just needs more time to figure language out.
It's also Naomi's 1 month birthday, and although Steve already posted this pic, it's too cute not to put up here as well.
1 month old!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Winter is here

At least for this past week. According to the weather reports, we're supposed to get a few days of mild weather and rain, then back to snow. This was a perfect week to try out Ben's new snowsuit. He didn't really enjoy playing in the snow last winter because it was hard for him to walk through the snow. This year, he's making up for it! Check the photo to see a few more.
winter park
Naomi and Barky
Naomi loves the toy dog from Terence and Irene.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

It's been a hectic couple of weeks. Babies sleep a lot, but it always seems that when you need them to sleep, they're wide awake and hungry. What is it with babies and shower radar? They always know when you're about to step into the bathtub. Then there's the growth spurts. She hit one on Monday and nursed from 11am until 11pm nearly non-stop.
Naomi's a lot like Ben, she likes to sleep on people, which is cute, but she really needs to sleep not on me more so I can get things done and take care of our other kid. I'm starting to wonder how I'm going to cope with both of them when Steve goes back to work.
So, so far, so good and Naomi is so beautiful and Ben's a fantastic big brother.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thanks Lisa, Paul, and Jack!

We received a great package in the mail today which included awesome Green & Black's dark, milk, and white chocolate, Cadbury goodies for Steve and Ben, fun kids' magazines for Ben, and the cutest outfit for Naomi and a fuzzy reindeer hat and Christmas bibs. Pics of the reindeer hat will follow.

Monday, November 14, 2005


Steve and Naomi at 2am:
Naomi: Waaaaaa
Steve: Yes, sweetie, shhhh, it's ok.
Naomi: Waaaaaaaaa
Steve: Ok, ok, yes, you can have a pony.
Steve: Ok, two ponies.

Baby poop
After Naomi was born, I started remembering all the baby smells and getting nostalgic. When she was two days old, I was holding her and got a whiff of something that reminded me of Ben when he was a baby. I happily took in the baby aroma. It was only later that Steve pointed out that that smell was baby poop. When you move to toddler diapers and solid food, you forget that by comparison, baby diapers are a field of roses.

Ben and Naomi
Ben has been very good to his sister so far. He likes to look at her and honk her nose. Last week he gave her a kiss and I got all teary. So far he's had a lot of attention from grandparents and both his parents. I hope that he's so understanding when everyone's gone and Steve goes to work. I think that this morning he started saying "Nomi", but he could also just like saying that sound.

Nursing is going pretty well. It took a few days for everything to come in, but Naomi has a suck like a suped-up hoover. She's had a few all day feeding sessions that have been difficult, and she still likes to stay up at night and sleep during the day, but we're coping. In another proud parenting moment, Naomi burped while nursing the other day. She's making her mommy so proud!

One week after she was born, I was down to my pre-Naomi weight and wearing my old pants. Of course, I never lost my Ben weight, so I'm still mumble-mumble pounds over, but it's nice to be back where I started in February.

Naomi, napping

Naomi, napping
Originally uploaded by dina the m and o.

Is there anything cuter than a napping baby? I think not!

Saturday, November 05, 2005


Originally uploaded by dina the m and o.

We have a girl! Naomi Christel was born October 31, 2005.

Where'd I go?

My site seems to have been down. I didn't notice, because we had a pumpkin on Monday. I have tons to post about that - more soon!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Ready to go!

preggo 2
Originally uploaded by dina the m and o.

Really shouldn't have had that extra piece of pie......

One day left ....

Dear Pumpkin,

As you can see from the counter above, you have one day left to come out on time. Your mommy is a stickler for being on time, we come from a long line of sticklers who are always on time. Your daddy is also exceedingly punctual, and your brother was so early that I didn't have time to sit around and contemplate his arrival.

Now I realise that good things come to those who wait, but enough is enough my little friend. Kindly quit the premises so that I can stop getting up to pee and stretch and sit up awake half the night wondering when you are going to appear and what exactly you are doing in there with your limbs because it hurts!

Everyone is waiting, now stop being such a diva and get out here. We don't do fashionably late in this household.....

Lots of love,


Thursday, October 27, 2005

Still nuthin'

Nuthin' happening still. My doctor is calling this baby laid-back. I have to go back in on my due date if pumpkin doesn't arrive before then and have an ultrasound to make sure that everything's fine and dandy. Until then, there is more waiting and more lunches!

I took my car in yesterday to the autobody shop. They've given me a crappy neon until my car's ready. I negotiated to get some soon-to-be-rust areas dealt with at the same time. I'm going out to lunch with Maggie today - hopefully the indian food will be spicy today and shake pumpkin out of its daydreaming state and out of my body. What could it possibly be doing in there that's so important? Everybody think kindly eviction notices!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Originally uploaded by dina the mundane and oblivious.

I thought that the truck was letting me in to his lane, he didn't see me and didn't notice that the light changed - smoosh, scrape, ugh!

Tee hee

Leave it to the Germans to come up with an incredibly straightforward approach to where babies come from.
Via Drawn!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

And still waiting...

Still nothing to report on the baby front. The baby is very much in front actually, my shape seems to have changed again and I'm more pointy. Thursday and Friday the sun was out and so were we. Ben enjoyed some quality outdoor time and we ran errands. I made some chili last night, super yummy! It ranks up there with my carrot-ginger soup for being perfect Fall weather food. That and some hearty homemade bread-mmmmm! I'm still hoping to get some muffins made and maybe a couple of casseroles. Ben and Steve are going to head over to park so I can get some cleaning done this morning. Ben likes to "help" vacuum. This generally involves turning the vac off and trying to retract the cord, or ride the vac while we try to pull it around the rooms. He's getting more interested in household chores. Last night, he wiped up some water he spilled on the floor with a tea towel. Ben also likes to impress you with his door-opening skills when you are in the bathroom. He often lets himself in when we are showering and whips open the curtain to have a chat. A couple of days ago, he appeared wearing my underpants around his head - too bad our camera's not waterproof, it was priceless!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

temporary pillow

temporary pillow
Originally uploaded by dina the mundane and oblivious.

Ben's using his sibling already....

Still waiting

Yesterday we went out for lunch with Adriana to a new indian place on Monkland that does veg and non-veg thalis - it was yummy! Afterwards, we headed home and Ben went down for a long nap and I watched Steve play a game. Today, I went to my first playgroup day with Ben and Steve and Ben ran around and I talked to mommies and had coffee and had a pretty good time. It's once a week in a church basement and there are toys and slides and trikes. It's a perfect way to blow off some energy, especially when the weather's crap. The dreary weather continues and it's sapping me of all my energy. I have lots of cleaning and baking that I wanted to get done if time allowed, and now that I have that time, I'm wasting it falling asleep on comfy chairs under blankets. I know that rest is important, but I feel a bit at loose ends.  Hopefully the sun will come out again soon and I'll be recharged!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The birth that was

So on the verge of a brand new birth story, I'll recap the previous one. I had a pretty good pregnancy with Ben up until the final couple of months. I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, and the hospital had me going in for tests that ate up an entire day at the hospital every week, most of that time spent waiting around in uncomfortable chairs. The tests said that I had diabetes, the dieticians were changing my diet every week, the interns doing the ultrasounds were freaking me out telling me that the baby was way too small, the endocrinologist was confused because GD babies are supposed to be big, and the doctors were concerned that I was losing weight. I was kinda fed up with the lot of them. Oh, and of course the icing on the cake was that Ben refused to turn head down. My doctor (a bit of an arrogant prick) told me that the baby wasn't going to turn and went ahead and scheduled a c-section without even consulting me on the date. I was upset about having to have surgery and my doctor's lack of sympathy about the situation. I wanted the surprise rush to the hospital and the "normal" birth experience. Three weeks before Ben's due date, and two weeks before the scheduled c-section, I went to work, left at 5 saying "see you tomorrow" to all my colleagues, went home, had dinner, watched tv and went to bed. I had some minor gas pain, but nothing out of the ordinary. I woke up at 4am when one of the cats jumped up on the bed and I felt a tiny trickle of water, so I jumped up and went to the washroom. Now, I'd watched enough tv shows to know that when your water breaks it's supposed to be a big, dramatic gush. Of couse, I had low fluids, so I didn't get the big gush. I thought that I may have just lost my mucus plug or something. I woke up Steve and had him call the hospital and ask. He wasn't making much sense, so the nurse asked to speak with me, and she told me to come in just in case. We hadn't packed, so Steve hurried around and I got a few things together. He wanted to take a cab, but I figured that we were just going to be sent home, so I said that I'd drive. Before we left, I had another gas pain, but nothing major. On the way to the hospital, I had two more. After the last one, I started watching the clock and figured that they were about 15 minutes apart. When we were parking, I told Steve about them and he freaked a bit. We were told in the birthing classes that you were in labour when you couldn't talk through the contractions, apparently this is not true for everyone. We got to the birthing centre, the nurse informed us that I was definitely having the baby, they hooked me up to monitors and Steve and I waited for the intern to come and examine me. We read the paper and chatted. Steve called our folks and let them know. I got bored and walked around. When the intern came in to examine me it was 5:30 - I was 5cm dilated and fully effaced. The nurse came in right after and said, "you don't look 5cm dilated". I was taken into the operating room and they were wonderful and talked me through the epidural and joked with me. They raised the curtain between me and the surgery when they saw how tall Steve was. He sat on a stool next to my head and we talked about more stuff, and movies, and then the doctor (who was not my actual doctor) keeping us updated on the proceedings, told me that I would feel some pressure, and then we heard the sound of a very angry, red, beautiful little man being removed from his warm nesting place and straightened out (he was folded in two like a cellphone). I liked that doctor so much that she's my doctor this time around. She came to visit me in the ward after and said that she had called her brother that afternoon and informed him that she had just delivered her first baby who shared his name - pretty good considering how long she'd been at it. Despite the technical difficulties, I couldn't have asked for a better birth, virtually pain-free and still incorporating that element of surprise. Here's hoping the second time around is surgery-free, but just as smooth.

Monday, October 17, 2005


So I made it through the weekend! Didn't do too much, ran some errands, napped, and went to bookclub on Sunday night. Today I enjoyed my first day of maternity leave. I slept in (thanks Steve), and had lunch with Maggie, went to the EI office to file my paperwork (that took forever!), and hung out with Ben and Steve. Ben was in fine form all afternoon and evening. He now likes it when you make blankets into makeshift tents. He happily played under a fuzzy blue blanket most of the evening. I've had back uckiness all evening, so now I'm starting to wonder if something's going to happen tonight. Of course, it could just be my bad posture. Still, we are packing up some everyday toiletries just in case.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Last day

Today was my last day of work, and I actually made it! I thought for sure that something was going to happen Thursday night, but no, just my paranoia and aching back and twinges. I had to pack up my office, put all my files into storage, brief people, and throw all my personal crap into a box to take home. I also had to clean out my laptop, you can really accumulate a lot of personal junk on your work computers. I went to see my doctor this afternoon and she was as surprised as I was that I have managed to hold out this long-then she told me to hold on until Monday because she's not on call this weekend. The only reason that she's my doctor now is because my doctor with Ben was on vacation when he was born and I liked her as soon as she stuck her head into the room and we swapped a few casual jokes in the operating room. It would be nice if she was there for the delivery, but I know that it's not unusual to not have your doctor there for the final moments. As far as I can tell, if you have a fairly regular delivery, it's the nurses and interns that do most of the nitty gritty and the doctor comes in for the catch.

It's all starting to get a bit unreal - I'm starting to have that, "I'm going to have a baby - oh my God" feeling. I'm excited, but it's starting to freak me out a bit.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Three days

I made it! Yet another day to sit at my desk and get through my list. Now I have to make it through today and tomorrow because my doctor celebrates Yom Kippur. Everyone keep your legs crossed for me!
Have you ever thought to yourself, "gee, I wish I knew more about Quantum Theory"? Well now you can! You also have the option of only listening to the audio.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


So my last day is this Friday. Last week, the department took me out for lunch and gave us a really nice gift. I work with fantastic people. They decided not to tempt fate and have the lunch earlier. I thought that Sunday night might have been it. We had my folks in for Thanksgiving dinner and that night I was feeling decidedly unsettled. Turns out it was just too much turkey and my brain playing tricks on me. I was up in the wee hours this morning - now a usual occurrence. Today at work was hard, the walk to the copy room is getting longer and slower. I'm now grateful for the maternity parking too.

Many things were marked off my to do list today - hooray! I'm purposely ignoring some things just because I know that trying to get information from developers will make me look more stupid than, well, something that's really stupid. I'm hoping that I can pass that off on someone with a smidgen of intelligence. Will I make it through another day? We'll see!

Thursday, October 06, 2005


It's been a long week. I'm trying to finish my work and clean up all my projects and organize things in case they actually do manage to replace me at some point. Of course, everyday some new thing ends up in my lap and my to do list keeps getting longer. I keep warning my coworkers that I could just not show up tomorrow and be gone for a year, but they don't seem to believe me. I find this strange, because that's exactly what happened last time, when Ben arrived three weeks early. My brain is melting at an alarming rate and I'm losing my ability to concentrate on just about everything. I've developed a full waddle now, my back has started to get achy, strangers are nice to me, and the people I work with have started to fear me. I'm afraid of my water breaking at work-there are some things that I do not want to share with my colleagues.
We went to see Serenity Tuesday night, great movie if you were a fan of the cancelled show. Ben started eating with a fork sporadically last week and has become super duper attached to his stuffed hippo, Buddy. He's now started getting mad when we refuse to let him bring Buddy into the bathtub and take him away when we're eating meals. He brings him to you for kisses and hugs too which is adorable. My folks are coming in for Thanksgiving dinner, I have decided not to be more than an hour away from the hospital. Steve's got all his dinner stuff ready in the fridge.
I'm reading Eats, Shoots, and Leaves, what's the big deal about this book? It's not that informative, and if they formatted it without all the extra whitespace and small pages, it would barely be a book. I think I'm just jealous because I didn't write it.
That's it!

Monday, September 26, 2005


I read two very amusing articles in The Gazette this morning. One was from the Washington Post about the creationist museum being built in the States that will show dinosaurs co-existing with man. Here are a couple of excerpts:

"The nation's largest museum devoted to the alternative reality that is biblical creation science is rising just outside Cincinnati. Set amid a park and three-acre artificial lake, the 50,000-square-foot museum features animatronic dinosaurs, state-of-the-art models and graphics, and a half-dozen staff scientists. It holds that the world and the universe are but 6,000 years old and that baby dinosaurs rode in Noah's ark.
The $25 million Creation Museum stands much of modern science on its head and might cause a paleontologist or three to rend their garments. But officials expect to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors when the museum opens in early 2007.
"Evolutionary Darwinists need to understand we are taking the dinosaurs back," says Kenneth Ham, president of Answers in Genesis-USA, which is building the museum. "This is a battle cry to recognize the science in the revealed truth of God."
Polls taken last year showed that 45 percent of Americans believe that God created humans in their present form 10,000 years ago (or less) and that man shares no common ancestor with the ape. Only 26 percent believe in the central tenet of evolution, that all life descended from a single ancestor.
Another poll showed that 65 percent of Americans want creationism taught alongside evolution."

At least they bothered to explain why the T-Rexes that Noah brought on the ark didn't eat all the other animals - baby dinosaurs were probably very small and harmless.

The other article was from the NYT about the book that strikes fear in the heads of all mothers - What to Expect When You're Expecting. I think that the journalist has been reading the Broad, because she has frequently discussed the panic-inducing information inside the covers of this book, as well as pointing out the insanity of several pregnancy web sites and online forums. The rest of us mommies have also piped in our 'here heres' about this subject. We are all a bit fed up with the scary stories. Here's an excerpt:

"in its third decade the book has turned into a publishing conundrum: It is the most popular and widely trusted book in its category and yet is coming under such regular criticism that its authors are revising some of its key tenets. The reaction comes in part from expecting parents who call it a worst-case-scenario handbook. (Nicknames include "What to Freak Out About When You Are Expecting" and "What to Expect if You Want to Develop an Eating Disorder.") Though many parents swear by it, a startling number protest that, instead of emphasizing the wondrous process of fetal development, the book dwells mostly on complications, including the pedestrian (anemia), the more exotic ("incompetent cervix") and a catalog of horrors at the book's end ("uterine rupture")."

Funnily enough, I looked at my copy last night. I had been having really bad backachiness all day and consulted the index. Of course it took me to a page that suggested that I might be having premature labour and to call my doctor - that helped me sleep last night :-)

Both of the links provided require that you register for the newspaper sites - but they're free!

Also, apologies, but my old comment site is shutting down, so I have to go with blogger now. At least you don't have to be a member anymore to use it!

Sunday, September 25, 2005


Occasionally, I stay awake long enough to watch a movie.
We watched Danny Deckchair, which was a cute and funny romantic little bit of stuff. It stars the guy who was the roommate in Notting Hill and Aowyn from LOTR. He cleans up fairly well.
Kungfu Hustle had some great action fight bits and neat super kungfu powers, but not very original plot. I especially liked the landlady who could blast apart a building with her yell.
The Life Aquatic was only ok because I was distracted doing stuff on my computer. There were a few good bits, but mostly it was a slog to get to the end of the movie.
I really enjoyed Broken Flowers, it was a slow moving movie, but the sliences were wonderfully full of unspoken dialogue and the neighbour was fantastic.
Sahara was surprisingly good. I'm an old fan of the Dirk Pitt novels and I found that the characters were well casted, especially Dirk and his pal Al, who I thought was a gas. I hope they adapt a few more of the novels into movies.
Wimbledon was dumb and not very good.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Installing that exit sign was a good idea

We went in for an ultrasound yesterday and lo and behold this baby actually has its head down! We had  thought that it was transverse, but apparently it's just long-limbed and active enough to make me feel like I'm being prodded on both sides at once. This means that we're still on track for a vaginal birth provided everything goes normally. The doctor estimates the weight at around 5lbs, 7oz now. Ben was born 6lbs, 2oz three weeks early, so I'm guessing we'll be in the 7lb something range by the time it comes - bets anyone? The one thing the doctor did remark on was the length of the leg bones - apparently this one is definitely going to have Steve's legs. Let's hope that the nose again skips a generation :-)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


I've had the worst luck sleeping last week. Between Ben waking up at night and baby pumpkin keeping me awake with endless kicks and rolls, I haven't  really been able to sleep from 3am until at least 6:30. By Friday, I was fried. Perhaps this is good preparation for when the next baby arrives, but I had kind of hoped for a bit of a break. I have a distant memory of how I slept before Ben arrived. I was a deep sleeper, the kind of sleeper that falls off quickly and stays asleep all night. I rarely remembered my dreams and would wake up most mornings refreshed. What the heck happened? Ben turned me into someone with 'mom ears', the woman who can hear a small cough over a thunderstorm at incredible distances. Now, even when Ben doesn't wake up at night, I'm so programmed that I wake up anyway. I feel like Molly Bloom, laying awake with my brain running at 100 mph, and of course you know that the more that you think about trying to get back to sleep, the more impossible it becomes. You'd think that our bodies would evolve to deal with this sleep deprivation, but I only get stupider, which seems like the worst quality for someone caring for small children. Last night I slept a bit better than usual and it was bizarre waking up almost early. I was still late for work, but not half as bad as normal. I'm hoping for a repeat tonight - sweet dreams!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Testing something

I'm testing out a new (to me) blogging tool because I'm too lazy to log in to Blogger - how pathetic is that?
Powered By Qumana

Four years? Already?

I like being married to the best guy on the planet!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Starting from last night, I have had a string of crappy. I sliced open my chin with my thumbnail, scratched my hand with something serrated, spilled and dropped about 14 things and woke up this morning at 5am with a leg cramp that defied the meaning of pain. I drove to the hospital through the Katrina leftover deluge for a blood test and dietician consult, got soaked walking from the parking lot to the door, found out I had to have another test an hour after the first and that I had packed a bad breakfast. Oops! Met with the dietician who told me that my one bad reading was exactly on the upper limit and that she wouldn't have asked me to come in (recap: pouring rain, early morning, needles, breakfast in soggy room full of pregnant women, wet clothes and hair, $15 parking). Ran into my ex in the hallway looking for his wife. He was forced to talk to me and it was like chatting with a small, nervous dog with a caffeine problem. It's hard to conduct a polite conversation with someone when you know they are about to gnaw their own arm off to get away.
Get soaked again walking back to car, traffic caused by super rain, try to run an errand-but of course the store is out of what I want. Back to car-soaked again. More traffic, trees down on road, highway full of water, no maternity parking spots left in front of office, get soaked again. Morning completely wasted and I'm starved. Can I just start over from last night?


I found this link last night - evil, evil!!!

Monday, August 29, 2005

Shake, rattle, and roll

Besides a baby, I'm asking my doctor to check for the following during the next ultrasound:

  • a soccer ball
  • juggling equipment
  • a trampoline
  • aerobics gear
  • leg warmers and the soundtrack from Flashdance, possibly also Footloose
  • a small discotheque

Friday, August 26, 2005


Two men are playing golf. One is about to chip on to the green when he sees a long funeral procession on the road next to the course. He stops in mid-swing, takes off his golf cap, closes his eyes, and bows his head in prayer. His friend says: "Wow, that is the most thoughtful and touching thing I have ever seen. You truly are a kind man." Resuming his stance, he replies: "Yeah, well we were married for 35 years."

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

New Jersey trip

We had a wonderful time in New Jersey visiting my friend Kuan, her two-year old son Ryan, new baby Alex and Kuan's hubby Chris. Friday morning we jumped in the car and started our little adventure. It was our first long trip in the new car, and it drove great. We got stuck for at least an hour at the border and then were further delayed trying to find food at exits that seemed to contain way too many people. We finally arrived and the next few days were full of baby cuddling, toddler shenanigans, fun with friends, and a teensy bit of shopping.
New baby Alex is super cute and teeny. You forget how small they are when they're so new.
The trip back was better except for the turn off we missed and had to backtrack. We stopped at a restaurant called Red Robin which provided free baloons and crayons - Ben was in heaven! img_7169
We got home and were tired. Ben was so happy to be home that he ran around the house looking at stuff and laughing.
See the trip here.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Diabetes update

So I finally heard back from the doctor and I failed only one of the readings which means no gestational diabetes, but I do have to go in for a consult with a dietician. Hooray!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

I had my long glucose test on Thursday and I'm waiting for the results this week. Aside from the bruises on both my arms from the needles that makes me look like a junkie, and the awful dizzy nausea created by the awful orange drink they make you take (honestly, how did they manage to make sugar taste so bad?)it went ok. I've said this before, but having health insurance to pay for private testing instead of going to the hospital and waiting around with tons of other people rocks! I was the only customer at the private testing clinic and had a comfy chair to wait around in for the duration of the three-hour test. I did some work, listened to the radio, and relaxed. It was very civilized. I only hope that I won't have to endure the endless testing and poking of the hospital after my results come in. We shall see.

Phones for kids

Rogers has come out with a new phone for pre-teens called Firefly. It's got mommy and daddy buttons and 20 other pre-programmable numbers. I was listening to an interview with a marketing guy from Rogers on the radio, and he was trying to explain why this is what the consumer wants, and really didn't come off that convincing. What really sealed it for me was the fact that they are not just advertising to parents, but they're also going to advertise on YTV and other kids' programming channels because apparently kids are very savvy about identifying products that have their safety in mind.....right.

Bat Cave

We had another bat this week. That is the second bat in two weeks. I bravely stayed in the bedroom again with Ben while Steve shooed it out. Or at least he think he got rid of it, it seemed to disappear after the door was open. We're not sure why we suddenly have a bat invader, but we're hoping that we can figure out how it's getting in. My dad said that it could be getting in through the flue even though it's closed, so we blocked the fireplace. So far no more winged vistors.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


I found out this morning that I failed the glucose screening I had yesterday. Now I have to go in for the big three-hour test and probably endure all the weekly testing and poking and general badgering from the hospital that upset me so much the last time. I am going to try to fight all the hospital stuff, but I fear that it's gonna happen anyway. I'm not in a good mood today....thhhbtttt...

Thursday, July 28, 2005

I think that I need a vacation

It's a beautiful day today, not too hot, not humid, sunny, nice breeze. It's a perfect day for a picnic or hanging out at the park, or lounging on the balcony, or going for a nice walk. Here I sit in my office without a window as my mind drifts to all the lovely things that I could be doing, and I'm getting a bit down about the whole situation. Should I run away from work and never come back? When I was contracting I could take days like this off (or at least part of the day) and enjoy it. What I really need is a winning lottery ticket - anyone got one out there to spare? Drat! Guess I'd better get back to work then...

Monday, July 25, 2005

Fun weekend!

The weather cooled to mid-20 temps and was sunny and not humid for a change-hooray for non-stickiness! It was perfect summer weather for me. On Saturday we did chores and tidied the house and went for a walk. On Sunday, we drove up to the folks and frolicked in their new replacement pool. I'd have pictures, but we had battery problems, doh! It's a little larger than their old one, but made with plastic and resin, so it shouldn't rust out like the old one. Ben was iffy with it. He likes the wading pool, but this pool was deep and I think that makes him a bit uneasy. He did like playing with daddy and sitting on his huge blowup aligator and in his little inflatable car (beepbeep). Steve and I lounged around on pool noodles and despite sunscreen, I got a little reddish. We finished the day in the country with some fresh picked berries and whipped cream - yum!
Ben had a blood test last week because the doctor thought that his penchant for chewing on metal might mean that he was a bit anemic - but no, he's fine, we just have a chewy child. I guess that he comes by it honestly, I chewed the hands off my favorite doll as well as bits and pieces of several hundred other toys, and when my mother sold her humungous station wagon (aka land yacht), she had to explain that all the teeth marks on the passenger-side dashboard were mine. Can you imagine what the safety police would do to a mom today that let her toddler chew on the dash in the front seat of the car, without a seatbelt of any kind, while she was driving? I shudder to think.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


For Ben's actual birthday, we went to the zoo. We had a wonderful time, although it was so hot that all the animals looked kinda loggy.
See more pics here!
See some of Ben's birthday party photos here on Flickr!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Potter head

I finished the newest Harry Potter on Monday. Obviously, it kept me reading, so the mystery portion of the book was good. My biggest comment is that this book really lacked in plot action - the action occurs very late in the book and much of the beginning serves only to remind the reader of 'important' events from the previous books to set up the final book. When I thought about what new information was added, I realised that it could have been brought together in a much tighter narrative and left room for more actual story to be added around the set up details so that they appeared less forced. Don't get me started about the romance aspects of the book, I agree with one reviewer who said it was like Degrassi Junior High for wizards. I won't talk about the ending, but I will say that looking at the amount of things that JKR has set up to resolve in the final book, it's going to be either an enormous installment or a big disappointment.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Birthday boy

Happy birthday Ben. I cannot believe that two whole years have gone by since I first saw your angry little red face. Since then, you have grown and changed so much. You are now your own little person, sometimes you throw yourself on the floor and scream when you are not getting your way, sometimes you are running into my arms laughing. You babble away and seem to expect me to know what you are saying, and I try to oblige by shaking my head and saying "Really? Is that right?", and then you look at me like I'm somewhat retarded.
I can't imagine life without you. You have a smile that warms up my heart everytime I see it, and when you fall and scrape your knee, it tears me in two to hear you cry as I hold you and want to take all the hurt away. I want to protect you, but I know that you have to fall now and learn. You aren't my baby, now you are my little boy and I love you so very much.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Movie review - The Island

We went for a sneak preview of The Island last night. We made sure to get there early, but almost nobody showed up. There were no announcements before the movie other than a warning about cell phones, and no free handouts after. The only thing they did do was check bags for cameras and have a couple of security guys in the theatre. On the whole, the movie was very good - the action sequences were wild and the premise was interesting. There were also some delightfully funny throw-away bits from some of the minor characters, and Sean Bean was great. Big criticism? The ending was very lame, but it didn't spoil the rest of the movie for me. I knew almost nothing about the movie before we saw it and I think that's what made it good. Afterwards I read a synopsis in the free movie magazine they give out in the theatre and if I had read that beforehand, I think that it would have wrecked it for me. So, if you're interested, don't read anything before you see it. Now that I think about it, I wonder how many movies have the potential to be good and surprising on paper, only to be ruined by advertising trailers and press release blurbs that give the entire plot away. I seem to remember a time when I went to movies knowing nearly nothing about them (which explains why someone got me to see Dead Ringers - ick!). Do we really need to know the entire plot before we go to the theatre?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Vroom vroom!

Well, Steve will have a new car on Friday! We decided to replace his old car before the winter, and we found a nice 2001 Outback for a decent price. We had it inspected yesterday and test drove it around. It has lots of gizmos and electronic gadgets and air conditioning - wheee! I have first dibs driving up to the townships :-)

It will be nice to have a station wagon for lugging stuff around too. Ben seemed to like the view from the backseat, and I'm sure he appreciated the a/c when we were stuck in traffic during part of the trip. Two kids and a station wagon .... all we need is a dog and we'll be those people I never thought I'd be, sigh...

Steve's folks are driving in tomorrow for Ben's birthday party on Saturday. We won't have as many kids as last year, but it promises to be sunny and hot, so we're still planning on having it across the street at the park with the wading pool. We have to get some balloons and hats and make his birthday cupcakes. His birthday is Monday, and I'm thinking about maybe taking the day off so we can go to the zoo or something fun. In the new car no less!

In other news, Ben has hit his climbing stage. We've now caught him standing on the kitchen table- twice. He also climbs into his highchair by himself and tries to strap himself in which is pretty funny.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Welcome Alex!

My friend Kuan had another baby!
Alex was born yesterday, 8lbs 11oz (yeeps!), and 19 1/2 inches long. Pictures to come! Congrats to her and her husband Chris, and big brother Ryan!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

A few things

I'm so not into working today. I had to get up early to get to the children's hospital and get an ultrasound done with a cardiologist - everything is fine and dandy. Note to self: never play poker with an ultrasound technician. They train them to show no emotion. I was trying to figure out if what I was looking at on the monitor was good or bad, and I had no idea by looking at her facial expression. I had to wait until the cardiologist came in to find out that everything was ok. It's now the middle of the afternoon and I am exhausted and my reading material for the day is less than invigorating, why can't merging guidelines contain clever plot twists?
I have a ton of stuff piling up at home to do. I had planned on doing some baking and lunch prep on the weekend to make my life easier, but somehow it's Wednesday and I haven't done a thing on the list. I'm not sure where all of that long weekend went. We did go and see Batman at the new cinema guzzo in marche central. The movie was great, but the theatre was bleak and unfinished and had no ambiance. It was just concrete and sad.
Oh,and congrats to the NASA Deep Impact team. I'm sure that when their project manager told them that they would be actually trying to hit the asteroid that it was every childhood scientist's and engineer's dream come true.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Good dental hygiene

ben bathroom
Originally uploaded by dina the mundane and oblivious.

Is there anything cuter than a kid standing on a stool and brushing his teeth? I think not :-)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

We had our second ultrasound on Monday and everything is looking perfectly normal. We don't have pictures because we got it on videotape and I forgot to ask for a pic for the web. Luckily, we have to go back in two weeks so my doctor can have a better look at Pumpkin's heart which was beating and looked ok, but she couldn't get a good view of the chambers. Hopefully in a couple of weeks we will have a womb with a better view :-) I know that everything is just fine because I experience serious kung-fu action several times a day and at least a couple of times at night. This baby seems to be way more active than the first, perhaps Ben stretched it out so there's more space or something.
For Father's Day Ben and I took Steve out for breakfast on Saturday because on Sunday we drove up to see my folks. We did some chores while Ben frolicked in his new sandbox - complete with a roof and mosquito-resistant netting. Yes, our son is spoiled to little bits by his grandfolks.
This weekend is a long weekend for us. We're going up to the townies again to help my folks take down their pool in preparation for a new one. The old one is over 20 and has just started to come apart. This means more sandbox time for Ben and grandma gets to chase after him up and down the hill. Last week, he ran down the hill and threw himself into a ditch. He's starting to get those toddler scraped knees and bruised shins.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Melting and meltdowns

It was hot this weekend! Hotter than hot! Stupid hot! But I had a great birthday weekend despite the melting humidity. Friday night I went to bookclub and Steve made my b-day cake - twice. He tried to take it out of the pan too early the first time - oops! Saturday we cleaned and prepped and people arrived around 5-ish and we snacked and then had burgers and cake and ice cream. We moved our bedroom air conditioner into the diningroom which managed to bring that part of the apartment down to near-tolerable temps. It was a fun party, there was even a game involving rewriting Hamlet! I got lots of great gifties too. The heat got to everyone eventually though - the party ended at 10 and Steve and I washed up and watched some of my DVD (Scrubs-season 1) and went to bed. Sunday I woke up to more presents! Excellent choices from Ben and Steve and Steve's folks and brother. Ben was a bit off in the morning, but we figured that he'd sleep in the car. My car doesn't have air, but we thought that we'd be fine on the highway, and we were fine, but Ben was not. He fussed and wouldn't sleep and then just before Bromont he melted down and went super hysterical and we had to pull over. His back was soaking poor guy! We took him into a Burger King and let him cool down for half and hour and then continued to my folks' place, but he really didn't sleep, so by 6 he was fed up and hot again so we came home and gave him some tempra and put him to bed in his air conditioned room and he slept all night. We had some BBQ and cheesecake at the folks and some nice gifties. Strangly enough, Ben seemed to get more stuff than I did :-) At least I didn't have to mow the lawn.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Oh and....

my birthday week has officially begun. Bring on the fun!

Reading and the weekend

I finished two books recently - Andrea Levy's A Small Island and Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair. Both are highly recommended. The first is a novel told in multiple narratives about four people in London after WW II - two Englanders and two Jamaicans. The second is a literary detective novel set in 1985 England, where the Crimean War is still being fought and literature is popular culture. If you studied lit in university, you'll fantasize about this alternate universe. The main character, Thursday Next, has to stop an arch villain (Acheron Hades) from destroying popular English novels. Half the fun are the character names, such as Braxton Hicks and Jack Schitt. It's part of a series that I'm definitely reading.
Now I've moved on to Motherless Brookyn by Jonathon Lethem and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. The first is told by a detective with Tourettes, the second is an autistic 15-year old. So far, I'm enjoying them both.

Great weekend! We stayed in town and just hung out and enjoyed the hot weather and sunshine. Ben has taken up long distance walking. He walked about 8 blocks to the video store Saturday and almost all the way back with Steve and I and then played in the park for another 45 minutes. He's very good about holding our hands when he's walking, but he wants to walk, he gets really annoyed when you pick him up to cross a busy intersection. If he keeps this up, he'll have the calves of an everest climber by age 3. In preparation for his birthday, we went out yesterday and picked up his gift - he pointed at it in the toy store flyer. It has little people and airplanes. The fun thing about this age is that he has no idea what we do at stores, so we can take him shopping for his gifts and even have him help us pick them out and they're still a surprise. We also managed to clean the house a bit and watch two movies - Porco Rosso and Closer. Clive Owen was brilliant as Larry, there's a reason that I love this guy so much. Porco Rosso is a Miyazaki film - they never disappoint.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Black market Henckels anyone?

So the doctors in Britain want to ban pointy knives because they contribute to many nasty assaults each year. Apparently, they don't think that they're necessary in a household kitchen. How do you carve a turkey with a bread knife? I guess I could always use a pointed stick.....

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Kuan and Ryan came up from NJ last week. Kuan's looking fabulous for a 7-month pregnant lady, and Ryan's becoming such a big boy. He and Ben wandered around the house playing near each other with only a couple of minor skirmishes.
Steve's folks came in for a visit, which allowed us to see Hitchhikers and the last Star Wars. Movies are great! HGTTG wasn't hilarious, but it was well cast and the Vogons are by far the best thing about it. I thought that the Arthur-Trillion romance plot wasn't necessary, especially because it only seems to be there to appeal to people who never read the books, and everyone I know who's seen the movie without reading the books thought that the movie was terrible and made no sense. The Star Wars was fantastic - lots of action broken up with occasional bouts of bad acting. I was especially impressed with the effort they put into trying to find actors who could be younger versions of the characters in the original (episode 4). Very pleased with this movie I was.
Ben ate chicken for the first time since he's started feeding himself. It may be because it was shredded, or because it was from Chalet BBQ. I don't care. Hooray for carnivores!
The sun has been out all day today, we were all beginning to suspect that the summer was going to be grey and 12C.
In other Ben firsts, today at playgroup he took part in making a craft instead of just eating the one that Steve makes for him. He sat in a chair and put stickers on a piece of paper - that's huge!
My latest doctor's appointment was a success. We listened to the heartbeat and all my blood tests came back with honours. At least my blood is smart.
I've started feeling a bit of baby movement which is pretty exciting.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Name game

So I was a little bit pissed off after reading this article in the paper this morning. This economist is predicting popular names for babies in 2015, and not only is the name of our first-born there, but also the two names that we've been considering for our next little bundle. What people name their kids in 2015 doesn't matter to me, what does matter is that pregnant people are reading that article today and may think that one of my names, which I thought were kind of special, are perfect. We have the only Bennett born in Quebec in 2003, and I kind of wanted to keep that less-than-common streak going. I didn't know anyone with my name until I hit university, and it was nice to not be the fifth "Rachel" in my class, or whatever the popular name was when I was a kid. Now I feel like I'm just following a trend, which is sucky. Fortunately, in Quebec those names will not be very popular because French names rule, but what about when my little XX or XY goes outside the province? Will he or she be awash in a sea of Norberts or Berthas (real names withheld)? Time to send that economist a big bag of thhhbtttt!

Monday, May 02, 2005

Climbing out of the crevice

I am now at the tail end of a cold that completely knocked me on my behind. I can't remember the last time I was that sick, never before have I missed an entire week of work because I couldn't get out of bed. Of course, if I could have taken cold medication, I might have stood a chance. Ah well, it's only a head/sinus thingie now, so it's back to work!
I found this Chris Harding animation on Drawn, it's funny, go and look.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

New Project

Hi All,
Due to the overwhelming success of Version 1.0. We
have decided to embark on Version 2.0, project code
name: Pumpkin.
Launch date is a tentative October 31.

Pumpkin had his/her screen debut yesterday, and amazed
the doctor with tons of kicking and waving and
swimming. There were a few deductions during the
swimsuit competition. According to my doctor, I've
been de-aged to a 24 year old being pregnant. Hoorah!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

holy (white) smoke!

New popey! Benedict is not a bad name, but I was really pulling for Kenneth. Doesn't Pope Kenneth sound like the name of a pope you can trust?

The curse of the loaner

Loaner cars suck. Correction, my loaner cars suck. I have no idea what I did in my last life, but any time that I need a loaner when my car is in the shop, I get the single-most disgusting car that I have ever seen - until the next time I get a loaner. In the past I have been given the keys to everything from compact cars without working heaters and windshield wipers, to station wagons with flat tires and no engine coolant. Well, the garage didn't finish the repairs on my car yesterday, so I got the keys to a rusty chevrolet corsica with half the console and door buttons broken off and a driver's seat that can't be adjusted and looks like it was eaten by a bear. Oh, and they smoke in it and seem to use everything, including the cupholder, as an ashtray. I didn't even bother to lock the damn thing this morning. Please say a small prayer to the parts gods to send those blessed bushings to the garage today.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

It's amazing how cute small children look in yellow raincoats and rubber boots.
I haven't been doing much beyond working, going home and playing with Ben, and sleeping. We did get up to the Townies for my dad's birthday last Sunday which was a beautiful day. On Saturday we bought a new vacuum cleaner, it does a killer job on the livingroom rug and carpet in Ben's room, but it's not doing a good job on our hardwood floors, so back it goes this weekend. We are also going to get a new BBQ this weekend. I have been dying for grilled meat since spring began, so I cannot wait! Steve already has the fridge stocked with steak and hotdogs. Our old one had the biscuit last year, there's no shame for it. I'm starting to look forward to the end of the month, Steve got me tickets for the new Cirque de Soleil show for Christmas. A nice perk of living in Montreal is seeing the new shows before the rest of the world. I went to one a few years ago and was blown away.
Besides The Amazing Race, we're now also glued to the set every Tuesday night for Dr. Who. I was a big fan of the old series (I started watching them when Tom Baker was the Dr) and was pleasantly surprised that the new version has retained that no-frills attitude towards special effects and just concentrates on having some reasonable dialogue and decent stories. I think that they've captured the essence of the original. It started a while back in the UK, but we've only seen two shows so far in Canada. I was a bit surprised when it was announced that Christopher Eccleston was leaving the show after a year, but I'm sure they'll find another good actor to replace him. The other thing that's caught my attention recently was a photo in the paper of the new fabricated 'popera' group Il Divo. It's not my style of music, but man are those guys pretty or what? All the ladies in the department are drooling over them.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Home again, home again

Well, we survived and the trip was actually pretty good, aside from the fact that I am now even more tired than I was before I left. I have now reached the level of tired floppiness that requires large paint scrapers to get me up off the sofa. I did sleep quite a bit last night, so hopefully I will catch up in a few days. Ben discovered the moving sidewalks at the airport, which are apparently the best ever, and elevators, which are equally exciting. Luckily the airport wasn't very crowded, so he ran to his heart's content. The plane rides were short, which was nice, but the last leg was on a small Dash 8 which I really don't care for. You always feel like your teeth are going to shake out of your head. I did get some nice shots of Ben at the airport on the way home, the light was too good to resist.
Yesterday at the office was a bit of a disaster. I should have just put a sign on my door saying "Brain out today, ask tomorrow". Ben's getting back into his routine. He was so happy to get home on Monday, he kept running around and touching things and grinning like a madman. The weather's really springy and gorgeous today, I should go outside for a wander around the block. See ya!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Attack of the zombie lady

I am fatigue girl. For the past two weeks, Ben has woken up at 3 most nights and stayed awake until 5. He's not unhappy, he's babbling and singing and whooping it up and it gets louder and louder until we go and get him and bring him in for some milk and cuddles. When we put him back in his crib, he continues the partying. Steve falls back to sleep quite quickly, but I stay awake and usually fall back to sleep sometime just before I have to get up. I've become one of those walking zombie people, the kind that I curse when I'm trying to get somewhere and they're sitting in their cars at green lights not moving. It's a hazy existence, somewhat unreal. All I really need is a long weekend like the one coming to rest and recharge. Oh wait, who else is navigating through aviation hell this weekend taking a toddler on two planes and a stopover at a large airport? Raise your hands? Crap, I thought there would be more of us. The last time we took Ben on planes, he was crawling and cruising, not exactly the running man he's become today. You put him down anywhere now and he bolts. He loves running at full tilt through open spaces, without a thought to where he's going or if we're following. This is fine at home and the park, but in a crowded airport, the thought makes my heart do running leaps at my throat. My only hope is that we can anchor him to something heavy, that will at least slow his progress. If you see me on Tuesday with my head on my drool-covered desk, cover me with a blanket and let me sleep for a week, preferably with pay.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Chalk mug

Why didn't I think of this? It's so simple and combines my two favorite things: coffee and the need to doodle. Get two so that you can have conversations with a colleague during long meetings.
(via Gizmodo, via RedFerretJournal)

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

I'm a real employee!

My employer has finally relented and made me a permanent employee. Until now, I have been what they call a "temp", full-time, but on contract, with no contractor benefits or employee benefits (other than being able to receive EI if I got laid off). Temps at this company spawn from the hiring freeze instituted several years ago which has since been lifted, but they figured out that there was quite a bit of money to be saved by using temps. They owed this to me big time. I am pretty happy with this, especially because Steve just got laid off and we lost his benefits. I celebrated by getting goodies for the department and having a little party in my office.
When I start new jobs, I often think about what I expect to achieve and gain. My idea of what a job is has changed over the years. My first jobs were all part-time stints, summers, weekends, evenings after school. My first real job (also while at school) cured me of the "my job is my life" thing that everyone seems to go through. After that experience, I became much more mercenary. When I decided to pursue tech writing, I employed myself and found that very enjoyable until the market dropped. Then, I chose jobs that were very challenging, in companies that were fast-paced and I worked late and put a lot of effort into building my skills and proving myself. This last jump has been for my family. The company is stable and I am comfortable with the routine and the people and I don't work late or push myself. I look forward to going home and my son running into my arms for a well-earned hug. He's my primary and favorite job :-)

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Tell a woman to proof her writing

Update: I called the folks at L'Oreal and sent an email with corrections (lots on the link page as well, including "Internationnal" on all their e-cards). This morning I noticed that everything was fixed. Good for them!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Neat thing

Turn your gmail account into storage space:
What a weekend! Friday night we went with Bill to see Bride and Prejudice. What a fun movie! People walking down the street suddenly burst into a song and dance number. Some bits were kinda bad, and the American guy they cast was kinda the male Andy McDowell, but very entertaining. Saturday was Steve's party, in the afternoon, Steve's mom and I went out and I got my haircut and then we had lunch. We went to the Java U at Marche de l'Ouest and had yummy sandwiches and belgian french fries with flavored mayo - tasty! The party was great, lots of food and friends and laughs. On Sunday we were supposed to go out for breakfast, but we were way too tired, so we vegged and then went out and did some shopping in the afternoon. We found a new large skillet on sale.

It's all in the way you look at people

A couple of weeks ago, I was walking down the sidewalk running an errand. I was about to cross in front of a car that was pulling out of a grocery store parking lot, when the car didn't stop. He was almost at the street when he noticed me and braked. I gave him my patented look of death and continued down the sidewalk. A few minutes later, this guy comes running down the sidewalk at me. It was the guy from the attempted killer car. He ran down the street to apologize profusely for not stopping. When does that happen? Obviously my look of death has taken on new levels. I'm thinking that I should tone it down to a glance of damnation, or a squint of head trauma.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Happy Happy Birthday Steve

Happy happy Birthday Steve
Originally uploaded by dina the mundane and oblivious.

Love you lots and lots sweetie, have a great day!
(For some reason, Ben cries every time we sing happy birthday - he must be upset that daddy's getting old.)

Friday, February 25, 2005

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


A big congrats to Lisa and Paul and Jasper on the birth of the newest Durbin, Jack!
All the best for a speedy recovery Lisa!

Saturday, February 19, 2005


Today my blog is four years old! Four years ago, I was working at a fairly crappy job, single-but dating a great guy, and living alone. Today, my job is a bit better, I am married and have a beautiful son, and my house is almost never silent or tidy. I think that I'm doing ok:-)

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


Literal meaning
"Oh well, we can always try again."

Coming to an apprentice shoemaker in a dream under the Marquis of Bute, the name dina was originally used largely to refer to a breed of goose, before being transported to Australia for its part in the "Christ, we're starving to death! - how about a bit of food; just if you can spare it, obviously, we don't want to put you out" Rebellion.

Famous dinas
1. dina de Sponetote, who lost a fortune on unspeakable guilt;
2. "Terrible" dina Happenstance, belittler of a musical quiz show based on the Nanjing Massacre;
3. dina Boonk ("The Nervous"), disgusted by Paul McCartney's Wings;
4. dina Q Nightdodge, exposed in the press as having swapped a child for those funny pirate hats; first holder of the office of Emeritus Professor of Prophecy Professing, Oxford;
5. Judge dina Tinkermouse-Marl, director of the new Bond movie, SHOOT FIRST, SHOOT LATER;
6. dina Dindymene-Thews, who owes everything to several of the more violent gypsy curses;
7. dina O'Sprokes-Sprewt, named in court as holding compromising material concerning static electricity; ghost-writer of Anita Ekberg's revolutionary, hologram autobiography, IS THAT ME? NO, THIS IS ME;
8. dina S'Ess ("The Celebrated Juggler"), once saved by the deckchair-cum-hat;
9. dina de la Nootlooter ("The Reasonably Broadly Educated"), proponent of the Formidable Coat; ghost-writer of The St Winifred's School Choir's deeply upsetting autobiography, REMINISCING FROM MY DEATHBED;
10. dina Millington, champion of the right to use the world's most attractive bucket.

Typical dina motto
"You can't win 'em all, or people will get suspicious."

Name Meaning Generator

Friday, February 11, 2005

Made my day

I got a bit of gratuitous pleasure yesterday morning. On my morning drive to work, a guy actually tried flirting with me in traffic. What's more, the guy was in his twenties. He was in a work van too!
Now, I'm not the kind of girl that this happens to every day. When I was younger I'd get the occasional wandering eye, but now, this never happens. It took a minute to figure out what was going on. At first I thought that something was wrong with my car or maybe that someone wrote something rude on my roof (I do live next door to a private highschool). After I figured it out (I really am a dope), I tried very hard not to look at him or play with my hair or attempt a cute smile. Being the suave, sophisticated lady I am, I almost ran a light and slammed on my brakes causing my purse to topple, spewing the contents on the passenger floor - smooooooth. That guy really knows how to pick 'em. Perhaps he's just into spazzy old ladies who can't drive.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Keep your stick off the ice

Be very, very quiet about this, but I don't miss NHL hockey one bit. I realise that it's uncanadian, but I don't really like hockey. Since the lockout started, there's no hockey on tv, news, or around the water cooler and I am loving it. All over Canada, people are going to junior games and enjoying women's hockey, hockey without fighting and blood and people being handicapped for life (if you don't count the parents in the stands). CBC, one of the few tv stations I get with my rabbit ears, has shown movies and some new shows, some of which are quite good. I hate Don Cherry and his stupid opinions and watching the cup playoffs in June? July? Do you think that there's any chance that everyone will stop caring about pro hockey and they'll cancel it completely? Shhhhhh, I didn't say that.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Bad English

In general, I find the state of most written communication I receive in English to be pretty sad. Emails, formal letters from companies, newspaper articles, and advertisements are littered with typos, bad grammar, and misused words. I guess it's one of those things that you come to expect when you live in a province where English is considered an annoyance, and I've become used to it, so when I come across something that's well written in English, it's always a bit surprising. A while back, a letter came in my Publi-sac (little plastic bags of advertisements that show up every Saturday). It was just a short letter defending the practice of sending sale flyers, but it was virtually error-free. It seemed so bizarre that I wanted to keep the letter and show it to all the big companies that send me bad English every day and ask, "if the Publi-sac people can do this, what's your problem?".

Saturday, January 29, 2005

An afternoon at Fete des Neiges

An afternoon at Fete des Neiges

What a great day! The weather was sunny and warm, so
we packed Ben into the car and headed for Ile Ste Helene. On the way to the parking lot, a nice guy heading out flagged us and handed us his parking pass,
saving us $10! What a fantastic thing to do! Good
humour was in the air today, tons of people were out enjoying the event . An afternoon at Fete des Neiges
There were lots of kids in sleds
all bundled up, and lots of activities and warming stations. You could slide, sled, make snow sculptures, climb, tunnel, and take dog sled and horse sled rides.
There were also some pretty amazing ice sculptures. Ben had fun running around and looking at all the people.

An afternoon at Fete des NeigesAn afternoon at Fete des Neiges
An afternoon at Fete des Neiges

Thursday, January 27, 2005


Originally uploaded by dina the mundane and oblivious.

Ben and Steve couldn't resist a sleep in this morning. Aren't they cute?

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Hey ya Charlie Brown

I know this is probably old, but I just saw it and it made me surprisingly more energetic on a Tuesday afternoon.

Monday, January 24, 2005


Originally uploaded by dina the mundane and oblivious.

In response to Lisa, this is why you should make bread. You always know what's in it, it's fresh, it smells great, and Ben prefers it to store-bought stuff anyday :-)

Start me up

This past week has been really freaking cold. I know that it's not very environmentally friendly, and some people say that it's bad for the car, but I love my car starter. If you live somewhere where it never gets as cold as -36 with the windchill, it's probably hard to appreciate the feeling of leaving the house and getting into a nice warm car, but let me tell you, it's heaven. Since having it installed, I no longer have to endure the icy cold seat, the defrosters throwing frost out on my face, and the gear shift that won't move for 10 minutes. I park my car where I can see it from the windows at the office so I can start it up before I leave work too. It's my favorite winter accessory, especially since having Ben.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Ring ring!

Steve and I are getting new cell phones! Steve wanted to change phones anyway, and I'm not loyal to Telus-after 7 years of using their service, the only thing they've ever done for me was give me a small, blue iguana last Christmas - woohoo indeed! I saw an ad in the paper this morning for a family plan and when Steve checked it out, reported that after all the fees and taxes were included, we would save $7/mth with this family plan with Rogers. That's $84/year! We are also getting new camera phones! They aren't free, but they were pretty cheap, and hopefully will last a while if Ben doesn't find them (he broke Dan's phone while we were visiting them in San Francisco last September). One of the things we get is 500 text messages per month to each other. I've never really done text messaging, but I may learn to appreciate it now. We also get three months of free picture messaging, so we can send each other pictures of whatever is sitting in front of us at the time. Maybe this will turn out to be a bad thing, I'll let you know.
So I called Telus to cancel my account and spoke with a charming lad who begged me not to leave and then told me that my account could be reactivated within 90 days when I changed my mind. He also told me that I could tranfer my account (which is special because it's old and still charges per second instead of per minute) to anyone else if I could find someone that wanted it. Geez! They're desperate to keep you as soon as you tell them you're leaving, but before that? Have a blue iguana and don't ask for more you non-deserving customer!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The end of last week was a bit of a trial. Thursday I wasn't feeling well, so I stayed home and rested. Friday morning at around 2am, Steve and I woke up with food poisoning or a stomach flu. Let's just say that Friday was very unpleasant and a bit hazy. Ben didn't get anything, thank goodness, but we were very tired, droopy caregivers that day. By Saturday we were much better. Sunday we went to see my folks. They got him a hippo that you can ride on and it picks up blocks, it's very cute. When I got back to the office, my plant was half-dead because no one watered it, and some people didn't even notice that I wasn't at work. This has given me the idea to replace myself with a cardboard cutout and see how long I can get paid before they find out. I'd just have to get an artificial plant. Ben had his checkup and he's nice and healthy and average. The one new problem that we've been having is that every time we lay him down to change him, he throws a huge fit and it takes a good 20 minutes to calm him down. He was good enough to demonstrate this when the doctor was trying to measure him on then exam table, and he said that Ben's just being willful. Steve's started changing him standing up, which he seems to hate less. I don't know where his stubborn streak comes from (cough). Steve and Ben were going to go to a playgroup today, but the cold weather has not been good for Steve's car, so they're staying home instead. We're looking forward to Ben hanging out with other kids though, maybe next week.
We watched The Amazing Race last night and I was a little torn about Jonathon and Victoria being eliminated. They are the most awful people, and the screaming and crying was really annoying, but they were very entertaining. At the start I felt sorry for Victoria because Jonathon's very aggressive and abusive, but then I realised that Victoria is crazy in her own right. I just hope that these two people never have children. AR was also pushed back to 10pm because of American Idol, which meant staying up until 11-I'm old, I can't stay up that late!

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The charge of the salt brigade

A few days ago, we had some rain and mild temperatures followed by cold temps which turned the sidewalk on our street into a treacherous ice slide. It's been unsanded and unplowed ever since, so I decided to find someone to complain to. I found this number on the city of Montreal web site:
Emergencies and public works 514-872-3434
I called and this guy answered. It sounded like he was in a truck. I told him about our street and he said that he would send someone. I'll keep you posted.
Update: Two days later and nothing, so I called them back and they said that they would send someone. We're supposed to get 10-15cm today, so maybe they'll consider sending one of their little sidewalk tractors down our street.

Lego Prodigy (Protegy)

Ben figured out how to stick two plastic building blocks together last night. Is it too early to call Harvard?

Monday, January 03, 2005


I don't have any official ones, that's too much pressure, but I do have a few to dos.
Now that I have a new sewing machine, I'd like to make more clothes and things for Ben. I've started a pair of dinosaur pj's, and I have this neat idea for a puppet theater for when he gets a bit older. I would like to try a little harder to find different things that Ben will eat. I'm thinking about trying to make pasta. The top three resolutions are getting organized, exercise, and diet, all of which I desperately need to do. I'd like to get rid of lots of extra crap that I don't need. What else? Save more money instead of spending it on dumb things and give more to charity. Oh, and maybe learn how to juggle.

What I did on my Christmas vacation

We had a great holiday. The inlaws arrived on the 20th and my folks showed up on Christmas eve. Ben was in a tizzy with all the activity and people. We put up the tree and decorated it. All the fragile ornaments went over the four-foot mark. We put the plastic ones on the bottom, which Ben pulled down and piled on my desk chair in the office, leaving the tree completely bare below four feet. We had a nice meal, started a fire in the fireplace, and had some good family hang out time. It's the first time that we've had the whole family together for the holidays. We definitely need a bigger livingroom. We borrowed an air mattress so that Scott could sleep in Ben's room. Ben discovered that the best game ever was to run down the hallway and jump on it and roll around. He's also discovered that he can stand up in his rocking chair, he's such a little boy! On Christmas day we all got up and settled in with some coffee and unwrapped presents. I got a new sewing machine (I got it a bit early), and a slow cooker. Steve also spoiled me with Cirque De Soleil tickets and the new Bill Shatner CD. Ben got me the second season of Spongebob Squarepants. Ben got some toys and a mountain of clothes. Steve made an amazing Christmas dinner complete with turkey and veggies. For dessert we had my mom's apple pie. My folks headed home on Boxing day, and Steve's family left on the 28th. We had some friends stop by over the holidays which was a great way to get rid of all the extra cookies. Melissa dropped by on New Year's Eve with some terrific books for Ben. It's fantastic to catch up with friends who are far away. I also heard from Caroline who spent Christmas travelling around Tasmania. For New Year's Eve we stayed in and watched Garden State and Steve played some video game.
Today I am back at work and it is less than fun. I miss my baby and my bathrobe - curse you paycheck!