Monday, 30 May 2011

Queen Spur Of The Moment, At Your Service

We just had one super busy, adventurous weekend, and it was all brought on by a bag left behind by my husband. He travels a lot for work, and on Friday he was in such a rush, at five in the morning, that he forgot his bag with his clothes and toiletries (can I call guy stuff toiletries, or is there some man version of that word that doesn't sound so girly or pretentious? Basically I mean his toothbrush, hair gel and razor, etc). When I realized he'd forgot it, I felt so bad for him. He's not the kind of guy to go out and buy all new stuff (we are not made of money), so I knew he'd end up suffering through his weekend work trip with no change of clothes or anything (okay he might have gone out and bought a new toothbrush, he's not a barbarian, and he's in sales so he's gotta have fresh breath when talking to clients).

After picking up my daughter from preschool that day, I walked in the door and saw his bag on the table and thought, poor guy, wouldn't it be nice if I could bring it to him? So that's what I did, I used his unfortunate mistake and turned it into a little vacation for the kids and I. Of course he was just on the Island, in Victoria, which is only a forty-five minute drive and an almost two hour ferry ride away. But it can be a lot to manage when you have to pack up everything in a matter of hours, make the quickest dinner ever, and rush the kids out the door to catch a ferry, last minute. Still, I did it. I kind of like the challenge. Certainly there are days that I wouldn't be up for it, but it's almost summer and I swear the sun gives me extra energy to accomplish amazing feats. I don't think I would've done it in the wintertime.

So after I started thinking about going, I quickly made all of the right calls to make sure it could be done, like ask my hubby if we could come and crash his hotel for the weekend, and make sure the hotel room was big enough to accommodate us (we ended up with a king size bed and squished the four of us in it, luckily our kids are still young enough to do this; you can bet in five years from now they would not accept this fate), and I phoned up an old friend that I hadn't talked to in a year (but who I love dearly) to see if she'd want to hang out with us while we were there. Luckily everything worked out in our favor, my hubby even had our extra car seat for our four year old in his company car, which he never does. I just had to carry my son's booster seat (and all of our other stuff) on to the ferry and hubby picked us up on the other side. It was a whirlwind takeoff and a whirlwind trip, but I did it. Queen Spur of the Moment made it happen, and it was well worth the effort.

While I contemplated going, I thought to myself for a minute, that it would be much easier and cheaper to stay at home. But really, how boring is that? We haven't been on any kind of vacation in years (aside from our yearly camping trips, of course). Then I thought, I have to take advantage of this opportunity, it may not come up again for a long time, and I will kick myself later for not going. So we went, and had a wonderfully fun, fly by the seat of our pants, unplanned mini vacation. I am so glad that I didn't listen to that negative nelly voice in my head and decide that it would be too hard or to expensive to go. Life is short and sometimes you have to make things happen in order to have a little adventure for yourself. No one else is going to do it for you.

Here are some pictures of our weekend getaway (sorry, lots of pictures), starting with the ferry ride to Victoria.

On Saturday we went to the harbour at Fisherman's Wharf Park, a block away from the hotel. There were four seals swimming around in the marina and the kids got to feed them. You can buy a plate of raw fish at one of the little restaurants, for five dollars, and feed it to seals. They swim right up to the dock and practically jump up eat it out of your hand. It was so cool.

 Then we went to a lovely beach and had a picnic lunch. It was such a gorgeous day.

Shockingly, my shy daughter snuggled up with my friend, who she hadn't seen since she was a baby. My little girl never ceases to amaze me. She's really coming out of her shell these days.

This is my friend's son who is the same age as my little guy. His mom and I met by taking our boys to the same baby group years ago. I am so glad we have stayed in touch.

The beach also had a great playground, with cool stuff to climb and lots of space to run around. The kids had a wonderful time. And I enjoyed watching them and chilling out with my good friend.

The next day we went to a different beach which was only a ten minute walk from my friend's house.

I saw these pretty flowers on the walk to the beach, and I had never seen them before. It's interesting how in Victoria, which is only a few hours away (and of course separated by water) from Vancouver, there are many similarities but also many differences in the two environments. I saw quite a few different types of trees and flowers that I don't see in Vancouver. It really made me feel like I was somewhere else, not still in our province. I know there are a lot places on Vancouver Island that are like that, like Tofino for instance, which has the most beautiful bog ever. It makes you feel like you are somewhere else in the world.

So all and all we had a wonderful trip. There were a few bumps along the road, like missing the 7:00PM ferry home and having to wait two hours to catch the 9:00PM one. The kids were crazy at that point, along with all the other kids on the ferry. But they sure had fun running around with them in the kids' play area, reveling in the insanity of a late night ferry adventure.

Monday, 23 May 2011

SNL - Liquorville Sketch And Barry Gibb Talk Show

I just watched last night's SNL episode with hubby, tonight. I had to DVR it because he was out of town yesterday and we wanted to watch it together. That's sometimes the only thing we get to do together as a couple in a week, so I made sure to make it happen. I was excited for this particular episode because, one, I'm a closet Justin Timberlake fan (I even forced my husband to dance our first song at our wedding, last year, to his song, My Love. I shocked all of my friends, but I digress) and two, it was the season finale. But not only am I a Justin fan, I am also a Justin SNL Host fan. I swear he is one of the best hosts they have on the show these days (not to discount Walkin, Baldwin or Martin, some of my other favs), every time he hosts, the show is golden. And this was no exception. I pretty much laughed my butt off at every skit. So here is the best one of the night, hands down. A warning, these are not appropriate for kids.

The Digital Short was awesome too, but much too risque for me to post here. If you are up for it, watch it here. It is, of course, hilarious, as the Justin and Andy ones always are.  Also, as a tribute to my hubby, because he always loves the Barry Gibb Talk Show ones so much, I'll post that one as well. I love it when they bring Jimmy Fallon on the show, he's one of my favorites too (and man is he adorable, I miss his hot/cuteness on the show).

Please Note, I had to change these videos because the originals that I posted from YouTube are no longer available. I these found other versions but the Barry Gibb's one is only watchable in the US. If you are outside the US (like in Canada, where I am) you can watch it here

Also, "Really, With Seth Meyers" was absolutely hilarious. Watch a shaky, but available in Canada, version here. And the last one I'll put in here, is "Herb Welch," the old news broadcaster who hits everyone with his mic, which was super funny too. Watch that one here.

I didn't plan on listing almost all of the sketches, but I couldn't help myself. Honestly it was one of the best episodes in years. If you have a chance to watch the whole thing, I suggest you do because it is well worth it. Enjoy!

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Sorry Kids, We're Staying In Today

We (my two monkeys and I) spent the last three gloriously sun-filled days, at various different parks and events in Vancouver, and basically weren't home at all. We had one three hour play-date at a friend's school playground on Wednesday, a park play-date and later school carnival on Thursday and another afternoon park play-date and then evening drop in gym play-date at a community center yesterday. So I said to my kids this morning (since it is raining, and I'm exhausted) we're going to stay in today. Then hopefully I can get some cleaning and work done. But I'm thinking that those last three days were maybe too much fun, and have now set a high bar with the kids.

I've been busy all morning (after sleeping in a little, of course) trying to get some stuff done (since I've barely been home over the last three days, to do much housework) and the monkeys have maybe been watching a little too much TV. Then my daughter said something to make me think... you know you're too busy for your kids (and maybe ignoring them a little too much) when... your four year old daughter says, out of the blue, "it's boring at home," while watching Sesame Street. I've never heard her say anything like that before. My 6 year old son, on the other hand, he says "I'm bored" all the time, but has a bazillion toys that he barely ever plays with. I expect it from him, but not her. I guess she's growing up too. Is she going to start giving me attitude soon and say stuff like, "why should I listen to you?" Because if she does, I think I might cry.

Please don't grow up too fast!!!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Parenting - The Balancing Act

Being a mom is all about balance, or at least you hope you can find some. Today I met up with a good mom friend of mine, Kyra, of The Scribe's Desk, and while our kids played at the school playground (for almost 3 hours!) we chatted. Of course there were many interruptions, like "mom I want a snack" and "mom help me" (the four year old was stuck up high on the monkey bars), but we did get to talk a lot. We talked about life and parenting and blogging, and the many difficulties of balancing everything. And it's funny how after about an hour we said to the kids, "five more minutes" and then ended up staying and chatting for almost two more hours, we were enjoying the conversation that much!

Sometimes it feels like we give up everything we are to be parents, and have nothing left for ourselves. With all of the cooking (I despise dinnertime), cleaning (arg dishes, my nemesis), juggling appointments (school, doctors, lessons and veterinarian), grocery shopping, yard work, and looking after the kidlets, it's hard to find time for anything else. And then on special days, we get to see our friends and be outside and it all feels good again. I know I go through little phases of not being social or being too busy to meet up with people, and we rarely have anyone over (I think that's because my house just always seems too messy to have company and I don't have the time or energy to keep up with it all) and being a stay at home mom starts to feel isolating and stressful. But then I get to do park play dates (now that that the warm weather is here, yay!) or specially planned girls' nights out and I feel whole again.

I have come to realize over the years, that I am a very social person, and I need those adult interactions and conversations to feel sane. There is only so much answering kids questions, mediating kids arguments, playing kids games and reading children's books that one person can handle before they start to feel a little crazy. And when hubby comes home from work and he's too tired to talk because he's been talking to clients all day (or if he's been gone for half a week on business) well that doesn't help any. So thank you to the all of friends that break up the hustle and bustle and housewife monotony, and help provide balance in my life. They remind me to slow down and think about myself once in a while, and that in turn enables me to be a better parent.

Photo Credit

Sunday, 15 May 2011

SNL - High Fructose Corn Syrup Commercial Parody

Here is a funny SNL skit, it originally aired in March, but they played it again on last night's show. I love how Bobby Moynihan plays the big kid in the end, he's hilarious.

You can watch the original version of this commercial here. I guess the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) was trying to re-brand high fructose corn syrup and pass it off as healthy in moderation. I'm not so sure about healthy, I'd much rather have my kids have real juice instead (no sugar or any sweetener added), but that's just me. 

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Stressed Out

Ever feel like you don't want to write anymore? I don't know what happened or exactly when, but something clicked in me this week and I am seriously considering stopping my blog. I think I over worked myself and put such high expectations on what I was doing that I am feeling a little burnt out. It became a bit too addictive, the surfing, researching, tweeting, and trying to figure out what I should post about next. I was always wondering, should I write something mommy centered, environment centered, something funny? I am sure all bloggers go through this, what to write, should I write, is my content any good? Don't get me wrong, I like blogging and it really is a creative outlet that I am enjoying, but should it feel like work? Should I feel guilt if I haven't written in a few days or a week? Does anyone even care about what I am writing? I know it's my blog and I can pretty much write about what ever I want, but I do want it to be interesting. I think every writer has a feeling of wanting to be liked and wanting their work to be enjoyed by others, including me.

I went through some things this week that were more important than being on the computer, things that I didn't want to talk or write about. I felt the serious pull of real life problems and issues that made me feel like being on the computer was the last place in the world I wanted to be. The stress of the real life stuff (my sick cat who needed surgery, there you have it) and the guilt of not blogging made me feel so stressed out that I was wondering, what am I doing? Why has blogging become so important that I need to feel guilty about it? Maybe I am just one of those people that needs to feel guilty about everything. I know as a parent I certainly feel that way. But does it really need to spill into my creative outlet?

So I am going to take things a little more slowly. I don't know when I'll write, or if I'll even continue, but it's good to get this off of my chest. I need to feel a little less stressed out and a little more calm. If I take a some time to figure it all out without any pressure or guilt maybe I can reorganize my life to fit it all in, but as it stands right now, it's all just a little too much.

Photo Credit

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Last Night A DJ Saved My Life

Last night a few girlfriends and I went out for a night on the town (in Vancouver), to celebrate my friend Brighter Scribe's birthday. It was a bit of a gong show, but in a good way. There was a lot of typical girl stuff, like taking too long to leave, (it's hard for four mom's to get ready to go out, because we all have our kids to deal with at the same time) and forgetting things and having to go back for them. I alone forgot the gift for the birthday girl, my bus pass and my earrings, and Brighter forgot her rings. And then getting to the restaurant, we didn't realize the hockey game was on, so we had to wait for half an hour to be seated because the place was so packed. Once we got seated though dinner was perfect, there was delicious food, yummy drinks (I had 2 Belinnis, my favorite!) and great conversation. And we were all so excited to go dancing. Being moms who barely ever go dancing, the anticipation had us a bit giddy (and of course the drinks helped too).

Once we were done dinner we headed for the club, Library Square, for 80s night (with some 90s thrown in there too). Weird name I know, it doesn't entice a picture of a dance club atmosphere, but it's actually just perfect. Except for the line ups. Last time I went there I waited for an hour and a half to get in. So I said, this time lets go early, and we did, but we still had to wait. We waited almost an hour outside, but luckily it wasn't raining and the night wasn't too cold. I felt bad that we had to wait, because the place was my idea and I didn't want everyone to be irritated with me, and give up and go home early. But we were troopers. Being the moms that we are, I guess we have all developed a great amount of patience. And once we got in, it was well worth the wait! I danced for over 4 hours straight and I loved every minute of it. The music was awesome! 

This was the first song we heard last night, that really got us to start dancing (there were a few when we first got in, that weren't so good, but after this one played they just got better and better from there). And it ended up feeling like a bit of a theme song for me. I was playing it in my head when I woke up this morning and thought that it was just so fitting for my night.


At about 2 am, two of the ladies wanted to go home, they were done (and I can understand why, it was a long/but awesome night). But Brighter wanted to stay until close, she was like "it's my birthday and I am staying until the lights turn on." And so I gladly stayed with her, I used to (back in the day) stay out all night long and go to after parties and all night breakfast places and not get home until 8 in the morning sometimes. Even though I haven't done anything like that in years, my adventurous side will gladly have me stay until the bitter end of a fun night;  I don't want to miss out on anything and I want to live the night to the fullest. 

During the night my friend Brighter, got chummy with one of the DJs, and he was really great. He settled a bet of ours and he played all of our requests; he even rescued her from an overly gropey dance partner. At the end of the night he played two of my favorites for me, Deee-Lite's "Groove Is In The Heart" and ABBA's "Dancing Queen" and left me feeling very grateful. It's amazing how one night out can rejuvenate you, and dancing can make you feel young again. Not that I am old, it's just that I don't always feel young. I know they say "you're as young as you feel," but being a parent and a responsible adult, doesn't always give the allure or feeling of youthfulness. So thank you Patrick the DJ (and thank you to my girls too!), last night was awesome and exactly what I needed!!!

PS. Happy Mother's Day to all of you lovely mommies out there. I hope your day was a special one!!!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Girls' Night Out

I am so excited, I get to go out on Saturday night! I don't go out very often, it's hard to find the time, and organizing with my mom friends is difficult because everyone almost always has something else going on. But this weekend has been planned for quite awhile, thanks to my friend Brighter Scribe. It's her birthday celebration and we are doing it up in style (we'll, not like limos and champagne kind of style, we're not made of money, but moms out on the town kind of style). We are going out to dinner (I get to have my favorite drink, a Bellini, or two) and then DANCING!!! I can't wait to dance my but off.

I go dancing a couple of times a year, and usually to my favorite club. It's just the right mix of people, not all young kids and not all old farts, and it's not pretentious or snooty. People don't look at you weird for being a 30 something mom, out on the dance floor, shaking your stuff. Which is not always the case at a lot of clubs in Vancouver. And another great thing about this place is the music is perfect. Saturdays are 80's night and I can dance to pretty much any song that comes on (and I usually do). Last time I went with my sister-in-law, we stayed until closing time (3 am), and we seriously danced for 3 hours straight. It felt so good, to let loose and have some freedom. I remember back in the day I would go dancing 2 to 3 times a week, and boy was I in good shape (which is another story). Now I'm lucky if it's 2 to 3 times a year. But don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade my life now, for the life I had back then. I feel extremely happy with what I have and who I am, I just like visiting with my old life here and there. Because, though I am a wife and a SAHM, I am also a dancing queen, and I will always be, no matter what.

Let me leave you with a little question, would you drag your kids out after school to the mall to get yourself a new shirt for your GNO, even thought you know you won't be able to find one because of all of the wining and complaining that will happen during the outing? Or would you dig some old thing out of your closet to save yourself the trouble of said mall excruciation, I mean excursion? That's the debate going on in my head right now... 

I'll let you know how it all turns out  : ) 

 Photo Credit

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

SNL - Iran So Far

Here is a little midweek humor. I've been super busy and extremely exhausted, not to mention down right sad about yesterday's results in the Canadian federal election. So I needed to post something funny to lift my spirits. I really hope this SNL skit doesn't offend anyone, but if it does then I guess we just have a different taste in humor. This is probably my all-time favorite SNL Digital Short (this and "D**k in a Box" are tied for first place, actually), I think it's extremely hilarious and it definitely comes with a warning that it's not appropriate for kids or for people who are offended easily. Enjoy!

PS. Anyone catch "The Voice" tonight and last week? I think I like it. I used to watch American Idol, way back, years ago, but got bored of the same old, same old. The Voice was fresh and I liked that it had all good singers. I also liked that the coaches couldn't see the contestants before they picked them. Anyways I'll keep watching, it's definitely piqued my curiosity.