Monthly Archives: May 2009

My alarm clock

I looked at the clock… 6:26.  This was exactly the same time that I looked at the clock yesterday and within a few minutes the day before.  I rolled over.  A bit later I looked at the clock again – 7:10.  It was 7:12 yesterday and more or less the same time the day before that.

As I rolled out of bed, I once again pondered the accuracy of my alarm clock.  It was absolutely incredible that I was woken up, without fail, within minutes every day for the last couple of weeks.

And for those of you wondering how an alarm clock could not wake you up at the some moment every morning?  You must be thinking that I actually set my alarm at night and wake up to the sound of my alarm clock beeping.  I don’t.  I wake up to the insistent pestering of my cat, Timmie.   She wants to lick my nose.  Or maybe, she has simply figured out that if she keeps after my nose I will eventually get out of my bed and she will get her breakfast.  I suspect it is breakfast that is motivating her more than the desire to snuggle up close to me.

And although I don’t like Timmie trying to lick my nose while I am sleeping… it is far more pleasant to wake up to her persistent ministrations than it is to wake up to the beeping of my alarm clock.

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The weekend

So we were resigned to having no air conditioning this weekend.  I went home and saw the sign on our door that said that A/C was going to be on!!!! The repair was just a repair of a prior weld job.  I was jumping up and down with excitement.  I turned on the air and left the house to walk to the natural foods store.

On the way back… I saw a little stair that went down into the forested area next to the main road.  Wouldn’t it be so much nicer to walk on a trail than next to 4 lanes of traffic?  Umm… perhaps not?  The trail went down to the little stream and then went along the stream and dead-ended after a few minutes.  Return or continue on?  I decided to continue on.  After fording the stream a few times on rocks to get from one navigable side of the stream to another,  I finally made it to a road – hot, dirty and wet!  It was a bit of an adventure.  From there, I walked through a new park and admired how very nice it was.  I finally got home expecting a cool house and walked into a hot and humid place. *sigh*  I called the emergency number to tell them that our A/C wasnt working and was told to wait until 10am the following morning – the water was simply cooling down. 

10am the next morning, I called PROMPTLY. We had had a miserable night with everybody – kids included – complaining about the heat.  We spent the entire morning/early afternoon on the balconey.  Then the afternoon sun rolls around and we had to vacate it for an 80+ degree condo.  It was absolutely horrible and we were incredibly cranky.  I was close to tears.  The people who take care of the emergency calls were getting completely snippy that we were calling repeatedly (we had been told at 12:30 it was fixed and clearly it was not) and had knocked on doors in the building to find out who didn’t have A/C.  I did get to meet some neighbours!  Finally, Eduardo takes us all to the new park that I had walked through.  It was actually nice outside… FAR FAR nicer than our condo.  We stayed there until the torrential downpour started.  At that point, we ran to the KFC and had supper.   There was no way in hell that I was going back to our apartment to cook something.  Afterwards,  we went back to the park.  We truly had a fun time at the park.

And a pleasant surprise awaited us when we returned to the condo.  AIR CONDITIONING!!!!!  The condo was finally cooler and cool enough by bedtime to actually sleep reasonably well.  Yesterday we were talking about how cranky we were and I think the issue was that we  KNEW we should have A/C and didn’t.  It was one thing to know that A/C was not available and we would just have to deal with the issue.  It was a completely different thing to know that we could have had A/C but didn’t.

On Sunday, I went to see X-Men Origins: Wolverine.  What a fantastic movie.  I loved it.  I near fell over at the shock of hearing I was going to either pay 8.50$ for a regular movie or 10.50$ for the Director’s Hall.  The Director’s Hall had stadium seating and reserved seating.   What can I say… for 2 extra dollars I went for the unobstructed view and got a seat right in the middle of the theatre.  If you like the X-Men,  I highly recommend the movie.  I truly enjoyed it although I expected not to enjoy it that much because of some reviews I had read.  

Over the winter,  Eduardo and I kept our heating low.  I did it to save money and he didn’t complain about it too much.   I really don’t think that either one of us is going to be keeping the A/C high to save money this summer.  It has happened Mike,  I like the cool air now.  Maybe not as cool as you like it… but cooler than what I used to like it at.  There will be not sweating our butts challenge this summer.  I want to be comfortable in the summer and sweating it out in an 80 degree house is not my idea of fun.   It seems that 70-72 degrees is the right temperature for us.

Schedule Change again

We are back to just having the kids on the weekend.  Kelly has quit her evening job because the pay just wasn’t worth the upset to her sleep and the kids.  I am in two minds about this.  One side is cheering because I can get things done. It is hard to get things done when you are overseeing the never ending homework procrastination and trying to take the kids out at least once a week to give Eduardo a chance to study.  The other side is a little sad because the kids won’t be around.  I won’t be missing the homework oversight let me tell you but I will miss having the kids around and doing things with them.

Mother’s Day

I have to admit that I need to apologize to my Mom.  I almost never called Mom on Mother’s Day.  Her birthday is right before Mother’s Day.  I make a huge effort to call her either the day of or or a day or two in advance.  I knew this year that it would be hard to remember to call her on her birthday so I called her the day before.  I wanted to get the kids to call her on her birthday and sing "Happy Birthday".  I forgot, as I expected, because Tuesday is an incredibly hectic day.

After having experienced my first Mother’s Day this year, I called her.  I am sorry Mom for not realizing how important it was to be remembered on this day.

I slept in because I really felt bad after staying up until 2am to play Scrabble with Eduardo.  It takes 3 to 4 hours to play Scrabble with him because he takes so incredibly long to make each and every move.   All the kids and Eduardo got up before me.  This is VERY unusual.  I am usually the first or maybe the second person up.   Piero made me toasted peanut butter and jam for breakfast which he was very proud of.  There is just one unusual thing about this… there wasn’t actually any peanut butter on it.  Piero and Eduardo also made ‘arroz on leche’ which I love.

Afterwards,  Piero and Eduardo went out to buy Mother’s Day presents for Kelly and I.  Eduardo thought he could buy flowers but Piero had his heart set on buying ‘one of those books that she is always reading’.  He picked a scary book based on the picture on the front.  It wasn’t particularly scary but seems to be a very good paranormal romance.  In fact,  I just finished reading a particularly torrid part of the book.  I think he would be horrified to know that is what he picked out for me.

I also got a very nice Mother’s Day card in which he wrote.  "Thank you for reading to me and Beba and thank you and thank you for helping me with my homework" – and no, that was not a typo.  I just about broke down and cried on the spot.  Later, Eduardo was telling me about the gift picking out.  It was so sweet.  He was first looking for cards that had cats on it because I like cats and picked out a birthday card.  Then he picked out a card for another occasion that had a dog on it because my dog died (yes… about 4 years ago).  According to Eduardo, I almost got the following words on my Mother’s Day card, "I am sorry your dog died."  I laughed then I started crying over his thoughtfulness.  This is the boy that vexes me to no end because he fights me on just about everything.

In all the day to day mess that is our lives, it is hard to remember that they are more than just an obligation.  They really are in my heart.  How easy it is to forget the love when you are dealing with homework and bedtimes and chores and bathtime and all the other things that require hard work and patience.

Statistics are against marriage

I am not referring to the statistics of how many marriages fail.  I am referring to these kinds of statistics:

  •  It takes two to keep a marriage going but only one to screw it up.
    • What are the chances that two people doing the right thing is going to occur more often than one person doing the wrong thing? I know… not very often.
  • A marriage survives only with hard work.  Neglect will kill it every time. 
    • You know anyone that likes hard work?  Neither do I.
  • Marriage means you need to think of someone else before your self.
    • Know anybody that doesn’t think of themselves first?  I don’t know too many people either. 

And that is why marriages tend to fail.

And Garbage in my house

Since the kids are now at our house at least as much as they are at Kelly’s, the garbage has gone back up to its all time high despite the fact that I am recycling paper and cardboard.  What is it that we are throwing out?

1) Polystyrene take-out containers.  These take up a lot of space and I must get about 3 of these each week from Kelly.  Because Kelly is so busy working two jobs and more than 40 hours a week, she doesn’t have time to cook.  Kelly provides meals for the kids and usually also chooses to cook for Eduardo.   I think she is getting her food from the hotel she works at and all they provide are these types of containers.  So not only have I increased our garbage… I have actually substantially increased the toxicity of it.

2) Food.  It doesn’t seem to matter how little you give to Kylie, she manages to not want her entire meal.  But boy… she sure wants plenty of after dinner food.  This isn’t quite as bad for Piero but he too also manages to not want his entire meal plenty of nights and then STILL wants snacks in the evening.  Last night was a perfect example in which neither of them wanted supper.   In this case, neither of them barely touched it so I put it in the fridge for another night.  And lo and behold they managed to survive the entire evening without needing snacks.  The only way they can get up from the table when they barely touch their dinner is to acknowledge that if they can’t eat supper, there won’t be any other food being offered later – junk or otherwise.  Something I say a lot at our house is, "If you aren’t hungry enough to eat supper, then you are too full to eat anything else".  They often don’t eat all of their snack food either so we are throwing out parts of apples, granola bars and puddings.  Kylie is especially bad for this also.  

Garbage in the National Park

While we were on the hike,  we met some volunteers that were also hiking.  They help people on the hike and pick up garbage.  They showed us the garbage bag of stuff they had picked up.  It was almost entirely water bottles.  I have known for a quite a while that disposable water bottles contribute to landfill garbage but it sure hit home in a way that it didn’t before that water bottle garbage is everywhere.  It made me really happy that Piero and I brought along our stainless steel water bottles.  They are not so expensive that you go into the poor house to buy them but expensive enough that you aren’t about to pitch them when you are getting tired – not that I would do that anyway!  Not only that… the water that went inside of them was free!  My water bottle holds close to a litre of water.  My guess is that my water bottle will pay for itself within about 6 fill-ups.  It is a very quick return on your investment. 

I encourage everyone to look into reusable water containers.  I chose uninsulated stainless steel but do your own research and choose the bottle that meets your needs.  Even if you don’t care about the environment, think about your pocketbook.  It doesn’t take that many fill-ups before your bottle has paid for itself.