Friday, October 12, 2007

Swimming Through Oatmeal...

OK... the title should have been the clue as to how today started out. Anyone who has ever stirred a pot of regular, quick-cooking oats and watched it turn from liquid with flakes in it to a thick, gloppy mass should just imagine trying to swim through a pool of that stuff!

No... I was not a contestant in a bizarre game show or radio morning show stunt.

Nick has been battling a bad head cold all this week and when my head started to feel like a balloon late yesterday afternoon, I decided that I didn’t need yet another reason to be deprived of sleep. Before bed last night, I took a dose of Tylenol cold medicine- the nasty blue tasting slime with “ice minty freshness”. BLEEeeeeaaaaah! Then, someone hit me with a sledgehammer.

Not literally, but the effect was the same. I should have done the math when Nick told me that it made him groggy in the morning. We took the same adult dosage (as everyone does) but he outweighs me by about 100 lbs.! What made him a bit groggy almost drugged me senseless, so what would it do to a regular 5’4” female?

The next thing I knew, the alarm was beeping and I fell back into a deep sleep dreaming that I was in a hotel room trying to sleep and all kinds of people kept walking in and out of my room. My poor brain was probably trying to cope! Nick came back in and woke me so that I could get out of bed and eat something before driving him to work. I almost asked him to bring the van down at lunchtime instead. For the first time, the dire warnings about not operating heavy equipment or machinery while taking said product made a whole lot of sense!

Luckily, breakfast and a quick dose of caffeine allowed me to safely drive him the 6 km to work and back being VERY careful! I WALKED the kids up to the bus stop in the misty rain (telling them that they needed more exercise... not that Mommy was a bit to drugged out to drive them) and got them safely off to school, then stumbled home and crawled right back into bed to sleep this off.

Another 3 hours disappeared into limbo.

Now I am up and mostly functional, though it still feels like I am swimming through oatmeal. Every now and then we need to check out of the world and give our bodies a chance to rest instead of running at a crazy pace, but I don’t think I ever want to do it in a “minty freshness induced stupor” again. Ever!

Next time, I just honk and snot all over my keyboard and still get some work done!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Coping Strategies For Canadian Parents

Indian summer is over. Yesterday morning’s cold, wet drizzle did not motivate my children to get out of their toasty, warm beds which now have the fuzzy, winter sheets on them. While there may still be a few warm afternoons, during which I can coax them outdoors, I have begun to plan my winter coping strategies. This is in everyone’s best interest, especially since eating my young is not an option like it is for some animals.

Before the snow comes, I will have my lines memorized:

“If you can’t find something to do, you can always tidy out your closet!”

“Back then, there were no Gameboys, DVDs and computers. We read books and used our imagination!”

“I could teach you how to do a load of laundry!”

“I know it’s cold out there, but Mommy used to play outside in -30 degrees when she was little!”

I will, of course, try to set the example to encourage them to enjoy the outdoors all year long... but when I can no longer feel my toes through two pairs of socks and warm, winter boots, I will make the ultimate sacrifice. I will go inside and get the hot chocolate ready!

Monday, October 08, 2007


It certainly was a weekend of making memories! Saturday morning we got to sleep in a bit because all of the swimming lessons and other morning events that keep us hopping most weekends were canceled. It felt VERY decadent to sleep in until 8:30 am! After that, we headed off for the day’s adventures.

First stop was the Moncton Farmer’s Market. I had a bowl of Cantonese noodle soup, Nick and Erin had oriental food while Mom, John and Bethany had sausages. We picked up some decorative gourds and other wonderful harvest treats before heading on to our next destination... the apple orchard!

The trees were bursting with crunchy apples. We arrived just as one wagon was leaving for the field, so we jumped aboard. Erin snapped this photo of Nick and I on one side of the wagon. It’s kind of nice to have a daughter that can take a decent photo now since I am so seldom in many of the family pictures.

I tend to be the one behind the lens instead of in front of it. John had never been to an orchard to pick apples and the girls were eager to show him all the fun.

Once our bags were bursting at the seams, it was time to catch the wagon back.

Back at the main area, we picked out some wonderful pumpkins to bring home. I snapped a picture of Erin amid some of them. It was really hard to chose which ones we wanted before they “ringed” them to determine the cost by sliding a wooded shape around the widest part of the pumpkin. This is done instead of weighing them. Hmmmm... I wonder if that could work for humans?

After this we headed a bit farther up the coast to show Mom & John PrĂ©-d’en-Haut ( not Pray Don Ho as Nick likes to joke, but it is pronounced similarly) Bethany sat looking out over the Petitcodiac river long enough for me to capture a few shots. She’s not very happy with this year’s school photo, so it won’t hurt to have some backups.

We headed home and parted company for the afternoon so that each family could get stuff done. I tried baking pies for the first time in our convection oven and ended up sending poor Nick out to pick up more canned pumpkin as well as walking one whole questionable pie up to a cooperative neighbour who had volunteered to taste test it. Since it took almost an extra HOUR to cook before solidifying properly, I was a bit worried, especially since I was hosting my Mom & John as well as my mother-in-law and Jerome the next day. I am rather proud of how well I bake and didn’t want anything to go wrong! I’d like to say that I was completely calm about the whole thing, but since Nick was the one who had mixed said pie filling for me, I’m afraid that I was less that sweet about the whole “pie fiasco”.

Sunday morning I was up early because I’d had a rough night getting comfy again. Erin came down to help me stuff the turkey and learn how to make stuffing from scratch. We got everything ready before John and I left for choir practice and Nick tucked the bird into the oven before he and the girls left for church. After church we came home to check on the bird, set the table... and make 2 more pumpkin pies. I just wasn’t going to take any chances! Erin was a great helper and even made the cranberry sauce ALL BY HERSELF!

The little decorative gourds from the market made the perfect centerpieces around some candles...

We added the extra leaf in the table and fetched a few odd chairs to make enough room for everyone...

The turkey turned out perfectly and I was so proud that I snapped a picture of how beautifully it browned. Next time, I will remember to clean off the counter in the background. I’m certainly NOT Martha! LOL!

Even our hamster got his own special feast for the day...

Finally everything was ready. The second batch of pies turned out just fine and were cooling on the counter when I snapped this last shot of the girls waiting to dig in.

Today has been another hard day comfort wise, but I am just trying to cope until the tests in early November. I do plan to try to see my doctor before I go to Toronto to see what might help cope with the discomfort. Physio doesn’t seem to be making any difference and my tummy finds too much aspirin or ibuprofen a bit hard to handle. IF ONLY chocolate were a pain killer! Then again... maybe not!

The most important thing is to be thankful for all the blessing that come into our lives, even the ones that don’t seem like blessings at first. There is always something special to treasure about each day.

I hope that all of you had wonderful things to be thankful for this weekend, even if you aren’t celebrating THANKSGIVING here in Canada!