Holiday Sadness

In general, my holiday time with family was a pretty wonderful time.  Lots of fun and food and laughing until we fell over and couldn't laugh any more.  (thank you old home videos!)  We will be adding three new family members to our numbers this summer when my brother remarries and it was a special time of getting to know my two new nieces-to-be and a new sis-in-law a bit better as well.

However, my heart still touches a sad note.  My last remaining grandparent; my maternal Grandma, is declining both in body and mind.  Her last hours at our gathering were spent in a fog of delusion.

I have to admit that I wish there was a better way to exit this world.  It seems to hold nothing but pain and heaviness of heart and tragedy for many.  I would want better for my Grandma than what life is holding for her at this point. 

I guess that the lesson is to cherish the "living years", make the most of the time you have... the Princess asked me a rather simple but deep question when we were watching those home videos I posted about earlier.  There was more to it; but the gist of what she was asking was, "If the Young You could see the Now You (thank you, Princess, for not saying "Old You"...lol) what would she think or say? 


Memory Lane

I spent a couple evenings over the holidays digging through some old family videos.  While I'm pretty sure that there are a number of embarrassing moments recorded that I would NOT want leaked out into the InterWeb, the whole experience of looking back over fun events and moments like that was something to be cherished.

Being able to see the faces and hear the voices of relatives who have passed on touched me deeply.  It was so special to catch a moment here and there that was entirely "them" altogether... My Grandpa laying on the living room floor after a big meal as he would often do.  My Grandma sitting on the beach conducting an experiment to see what would attract or repel the horseflies.  She had applied cologne and vinegar and something else on different bits of skin and was observing the results.  My uncle's deep raspy voice, so much a younger version of my Grandpa.  My other Grandpa's camera-side observations of his grandchildren waterskiing.

And the fashion -- or lack of it -- in that time.  Good grief.  The Princess had a good laugh or two over what her mother and uncle were wearing.  She was riveted to some footage of my old youth group house parties, seeing her mama at her own age and all of the crazy fun we had.  And was maybe a little scandalized seeing one of my best friends -- a woman she now calls "aunty" -- playing her turns a little too temptingly at "Darling if You Love Me".  Oh yes, it was all caught on video!  All in good fun!  I think The Kid tripped out the most, realizing that I had a "whole life" before any of them came along.  Imagine that!!

Myself, I loved seeing all the faces of people who were once such a big part of my life and reliving some great family times and special moments with special people.  Seeing my old youth group friends made me think that organizing a reunion was in order.  Might just have to get on that. 

And I have to admit that I was made a little sad by the fact that my own family doesn't have a lot of video records.  I don't know exactly why -- maybe it's because the technology was so new at the time that we seemed to be excited to pull out the old camera and record stuff; whereas now we just take it for granted and forget that it's as handy as the push of a cell phone button.  Whatever the reason, I vowed to start getting some great footage of the years to come so that my kids have memories to look back on, as well. 


Steps to Follow In Case of Piercing Stupidity.

1)  Discover you are a special little snowflake that is allergic to surgical steel.  Seriously, you guys... no one is supposed to be allergic to this stuff.  Well, very few people anyhow.  Color me Lucky.

2)  Have friend help change out said steel jewelery for a lovely Bio-Plast piece. But wait!  Grrrr.... arghh!  It is a bit too long. 

3)  Wear long piece until it drives you crazy with the hooking on your teeth and getting caught on facecloths and clothing and stuff.

4)  On the advice of other experienced people, decide to simply cut down the plastic post to a shorter length.

5)  Not on anyone's advice, attempt this lovely end run maneuver just 90 minutes before you are scheduled to arrive at a year end staff dinner.

6)  Here ensues a drama of hilarious proportions involving a struggle between longish gel nails and an ittybitty post pin and a stud of now shortish proportions.  This involves a lot of dropping, resterilizing, muttering, assistance from the Princess and, ultimately, surrender.  The stupid thing just isn't going to work.

7) Call friend in panic.

8) Drive across town at late shopping hour to find one remaining store in order to purchase new jewlery.

9) Do this while holding the smallish stud in place against my lip with my tongue.  I looked amazing, I can assure you.  There was tongue strain and stress.  And maybe just a little drooling.

10) Purchase cheap-o jewelery at popular accessory store and run over to friends house.  Gel nails are not trusted to handle post pins any longer at this short hour... just 30 mins until dinner.

11)  Tongue can rest!  Stud in place.

12)  Stud hurts like a mutha.  It is cheap.  The inner edge is sharp and jagged plastic.

13) *insert impromptu holiday travel here* 4 hours later realize that this is no longer an issue of pain tolerance or toughing it out... this thing has shredded your inner lip and must be removed.

14) Scour small hometown on Christmas Eve for just ONE LITTLE PLACE that might have something that will work for you.

15) EUREKA!!  Bliss.  All is well with the world.

I will just say that I'm thankful the inside of the mouth is one of the fastest healing parts of the body, cause it was brutal for a day or two.  And, on the plus side, I have now changed this jewelry out myself and didn't get squicky about it.  The past two times, my dear friend has assisted because, well... because I was afraid I couldn't do it on my own.  (yeah, yeah... keep your snickers to yourselves, peanut gallery)  But now, I know I'm good to go.

I also now have extra jewelry of the right length and size in case something ever happens to the ones I'm wearing.  And I'm pretty solid on the fact that I won't be trying to change something just minutes before an event. 

Lesson learned.


Shaun T Owes Me Supper

Maybe it's because I wasn't feeling too hot to start with.

Or maybe it's because I put too much hot sauce on my pre-workout eggs. (I know it sounds sick. But you guys. It's been my pre-workout go-to meal for ages.)

Whatever the reason, Thursday night's Insanity plyo cardio circuit sent me running up the stairs only to have the pleasure of seeing eggs again.

****** side note ******
This is exactly why I choose eggs. Outside of being nature's perfect little packages of complete protein... They look about the same coming up as they do going down. Eggs or oatmeal, baby. The only pre-workout meals for this girl!!
****** end note ******

I composed myself and got back downstairs in time to catch the next circuit round. And I actually felt much better the rest of the workout. I like to think that Shaun T would approve. And possibly offer to buy me a replacement meal...



Very proud of my Princess. She had an outstanding vocal performance at her recital last night.

While I think her voice is ever so lovely, I must say that I'm most proud of how she's really been putting her effort and time into these lessons and practicing. And it thrills me to see how she enjoys performing. She is very composed and in the moment; something I cannot relate to ever feeling or being at that age.


'Merica, control your guns!!

In the days since the tragic school shooting, I have seen this sentiment quite often on Facebook and the like. And I suppose that's natural, living as I do in a country that "controls" weapons. Add to this the fact that Canada has not seen as many incidents of mass murder and people are likely to draw the conclusion that controlling guns equals controlling violence.

I'm not sure I agree completely with that -- although gun control does make it harder for the impulsive and/or mentally compromised violent offender to get their hands on a weapon. At least, that is the idea. The fact is that the criminal element is not known for obeying laws (not to overstate the obvious) and as such, any laws of gun control are not going to stop a suitably motivated person from acquiring a gun for illegal or violent purposes if that's what they want.

I digress.

I think the real shame in this situation (or any one of mass violence, for that matter) is that there weren't MORE guns in that school. That is the one thing that could have stopped that tragedy in its tracks -- For just one person to have a CCW permit and a weapon in hand to double tap that sorry piece of crap child murderer where he stood.

In fact... Wouldn't any potential mass murderers think twice about targeting a school if they knew that even half of the teachers were carrying a concealed weapon?

Just a thought.


So You Had A Bad Day...

The kid about gave me a heart attack today. I picked him up at lunch and he climbed into the car, struggling for breath and feeling like his throat was closing. I tried my best to calm him down as I more or less raced through lunch rush hour traffic to get to the hospital ER.

Our experience was good so far as ER experiences go; the Kid's oxygen sat levels were low so they seated us right by triage and where he could be in line of sight in case his breathing worsened. He was really very calm throughout and I was thankful for that -- I'm sure it felt awful.

Still, even with his fairly serious symptoms, it took two hours for us to get to an exam room and then another 40 mins for the ER doctor to see him. By this time he was recovering. There were thankfully no signs of any kind of allergic reaction or anaphylactic shock. But there were also no answers as to why this happened. The docs immediate suggestion was perhaps a panic attack, but the Kid was in the middle of having fun and playing with friends when this happened. And he was calm even when he was having trouble breathing. I'm not sure that's it.

My mom mentioned that tachycardia runs in the family on her side -- the Kid's symptoms right away resonated with her experiences. So, I think that will be our next thing to check out.

I sure don't want to have to do another trip to the ER like today's. Way too stressful for this Mama's heart.


I am behind already in my quest to reach 300. But there's lots of exciting stuff to talk about so I will be back soon with more better stuff.


Fruit Salad 101

Yesterday I posted a little tidbit from Way Back and out of context it maybe is a bit nonsensical.

Context, anyone?  Giggly 12 or 13yr old girl sleepover talk.  This little fruity rubric was a generalization of the different types or categories of kisses.  The shape of your mouth and involvement of your tongue was a clue to each one.

Peaches.  Little friendly peck kisses.  Family kisses.  Affectionate kiss on the forehead kisses.

Prunes.  Soft lip kisses, sweet and full.

Plums.  Open mouth, maybe a little tongue.

Alfalfa.  OK, so it's not a fruit.  But saying the word would dissolve us in giggles all the same.

Go ahead.  Try it.  ;)


Of Fruit and Remembrance...

A silly little thing popped into my thoughts the other day from the Days of Young Flutterby. Anyone else remember this:

Peaches. Prunes. Plums. Alfalfa.

Yummy. ;)


Instant Awesome.

This one little iPhone app is rocking my world at the moment.  It is basically an endless list of FREE playlists of music from every genre and time, sorted and searchable according to themes, genres, decades, activities (ie: Energy Boost, A Weekday Dance Party, etc.).

It is getting me through my workouts (courtesy of Massive Pop Hits, The Remixes), gives me my regular dose of 80s Love Ballads, HairParty and One-Hit Wonders.  Creates my soothing yoga background (thank you, Temperate Ocean Sounds playlist) and is currently throwing some lovely Hanukkah music my way. 

Huzzah for Songza!

I will just mention that Hanukkah songs as a genre are as varied as you can imagine.  So many are full of that noted wry, sardonic, self-deprecating humor that the Jewish culture is known for and the list of celebrity Jews is a long one; I never fail to be surprised to see what band or singer/songwriter has a Hanukkah song or album in their discography.

You'll find a large category of song parodies (ie: My Menorah sung to the tune of My Sharona) and this one is one of my favorites... kinda dig the acapella, these guys are really good!

And of course there are a number of sweet, sentimental and thoughtful songs like this one:
Hanukkah Blessings - Barenaked Ladies from Tom Edwards on Vimeo.

I saved this one for last; an 800 year old hymn that has survived the hazards of time and history.  Marc Cohn renders it in a way that leaves me a little speechless and solemn.  Touching and spiritual and profound.



I happened to notice that I am just 15 posts away from hitting 300 posts on this blog. I have this crazy idea that if I post just about every day between now and the end of the year, I will hit 300 by New Years Eve. Hmmmmmm... Readers be warned.

Offspring Moments.

Just a few things that warmed my heart around the Flutterbyhouse lately:

This morning, as I was putting the finishing touches on my hair for the day, the Princess walks into the bathroom and hugs me from behind, saying, "I love you, Mom. Don't ever die." Which of course was prompted by a nightmare she had the night before. But still sweet. Until I realize that she was dreaming about me dying. Creepy.

The Kid is starting to love to sing and it is straight up adorable. His favorite thing is to bring the laptop into his room to play Minecraft and blast some music that he'll sing along with. I think that because it's so loud in his own room, he assumes that we can't hear him sing. We can. It's cute. His voice is kinda warbly and young and he's in there giving it his all. I love it.

Seeing my kiddos get along so well. This week they each remembered on their own that they wanted to buy a gift for the other for Chanukkah. I hope that they will always remain close like this.

The Kid has lost so many teeth in the past 4-6 weeks. He looks like a little chipmunk, all toothy up front and then spaces on the sides. I love his grin, it makes me smile.

Thankful for my little traditions with my kiddos. Glad that my boy still wants me to come tuck him in and pray with him. And for mani/pedi nights with my Princess. Watching Merlin with the Kid, while he tries to make sure that his mama is up to speed with the plot. And cringing all through The Walking Dead with the Princess. (post to come on that nasty little parenting decision, all my own fault)

The Kid's Minecraft creations. I get regular tours of all he's built and I never fail to be astounded at his creativity and ability to take these ideas from his head and bring them to "life" in this weird little world. It never fails to make me glad that I took a few minutes away from what I was doing to come take a look.

The Princess and all the fun friends she brings into our home. I enjoy them all and this is kinda a fun stage of parenting to relate on this different level with your child and her friends. We have a girls weekend planned in May and I'm really looking forward to it.

My kids. I love'em.


Family Transport Specialist

Who knew that when you take one vehicle away from a two-vehicle family "fleet" that whole systems of family flow and time management would come to a crashing halt? Me. Actually, I knew that. Still, I was not prepared for just how much extra planning and juggling and criss-crossing of pathways and trading of vehicle rights would mess with my, shall we say, inner balance. Yeah, I'm a little stabby about this. Most days have me running the kids to school and Mr.F to work (45 mins round trip) and then I have use of the vehicle to do all the errands and chasing kiddos around to their involvements that I need to do. And then I get to run over and pick up Mr. F at the end of his day. However, should Mr.F be in need of his vehicle, we are adding at least one more 45 minute foray through the city to facilitate... and on occasion, there has been two such trips and I have wanted to rip the skin from my face in frustration. My personal record was six hours spent behind the wheel on one particularly icy day. So not impressed. Thankfully, these one-vehicle days are coming to an end. My beloved "Rocket" (rest her soul) is being written off by our insurance company. Today I finalized everything for my new ride. Hopefully on Friday I will be sitting behind the wheel of my very own non-moose-molested vehicle.