July 31, 2009

Giveaway Winner

The winner of The Step 2 Par 3 Mini Golf Course:

is comment #9 CC.

Congratulations CC!


July 25, 2009

My Personal Vendetta

I've read several posts in which a mom gently rescues a cute little bug which has found its way into her house and releases it safely outside to the adulation of her adoring, innocent children.

That's not how it goes down here.

The bugs and I, you see, we have an agreement. They stay outside and they get to live.

When I see a bug I turn into a crazy, bloodthirsty killing machine... Kind of like Wolverine. Not the relatively tame, snuggly, low-key Wolverine of the movies, mind you. He screams and stabs people and launches himself off of balconies and all that, sure, but he's nothing when compared to the Wolverine of the comic books. The Wolverine Origins comics series, for example, is so bloody and violent that I don't even like it to be in same room with the kids. I borrow it from the library and read it with a certain relish (and mustard and ketchup... but I skip the hotdog because hotdogs give me heartburn) but I keep it away from the boys.

Yup, it's the Origins' Wolverine I become when faced with bugs: bloodthirsty and enraged with a wish to kill, kill, KILL (but, you know, only the bad guys n' stuff... I don't wish to kill the good guys or any innocent bystanders. Wolverine and I have our standards, after all). But the bugs must DIE.

I blame Hubby for my uncharacteristic love of comics. He collected them when he was young and I, when I was slowly losing my mind at home with baby Buddy full-time, started sorting through them. Hubby wanted to create an inventory of what he had, thinking he might like to sell them at some point. It was a big job. Hubby has over 5000 comics, all properly in plastic bags with backboards and stored standing up in acid-free boxes.

I started sorting through them but stopped when I came to the X-men comics. Hubby and I used to watch the X-men cartoon when we were in university (that and The Tick and Batman). I'd enjoyed it and liked the characters. I picked up Giant-Size X-Men #1 which was the 1st book in which the characters I was familiar with - Storm, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, etc... - appeared. I started reading and read straight through the entire series. I never did finish sorting the rest of the comics but an X-men fan was born.


Back to bugs.

We sometimes have earwigs hiding in our bathroom. They're actually harmless garden bugs who wander haplessly into the house at night (they're nocturnal) and then make their way to the bathroom because they favour dampness and the bathroom is our dampest room, naturally.

They're harmless to humans but they are so creepy and gross that they freak me out completely. I hate them. Hate. HATE.

So this morning I was cleaning the bathroom and sprayed glass cleaner on our oddly enormous bathroom mirror. Earwigs don't like soap. In fact soap is actually fairly deadly to them. In reaction to the cleaner deluge an earwigs ran out from behind the edging of the mirror. I was rubbing vigorously back and forth with my cloth, trying to scrub off the drops of toothpaste the kids had spit there (messy kids!). Out of the corner of my eye I noticed something fall off of the mirror and onto the floor between the vanity and the wall. "Damn it," I muttered, "I think that was an earwig."

I put my cloth down and looked down into the narrow opening. Sure enough, there hunched an earwig poised to attack. When earwigs are startled, they freeze and arch their backs so that the pincers on their bottoms stick menacingly up. I glared but I couldn't reach it where it was (if looks could kill). Figuring I could wait it out, I started to clean the vanity and accidentally knocked a tube of toothpaste off the side into the opening where the earwig was hiding. "Shit!"

I looked again into the opening and saw that the toothpaste had frightened the earwig so that it was making its way towards me. "That's right you little bastard," I told it, smiling in anticipation of the slaughter, "come on out here."

As the earwig made its way out of the opening on onto the floor of the bathroom I grabbed my cloth and slammed it down on the earwig over and over and over again. On the stereo Johnny Cash moaned, "Oh no I see a darkness, oh no I see a darkness, did you know how much I love you, is a hope that somehow you, can save me from this darkness..." The lights dimmed, lightning flashed. I picked up the carcass in my cloth and cackled a laugh as I disposed of it in the toilet.

Another victory.

Like Wolverine, I'm the best at what I do and what I do ain't pretty.


July 24, 2009

All Chirldren's Furniture Toy Giveaway

I was contacted recently by CSN Stores and offered the opportunity to host a giveaway from their website www.AllChildrensFurniture.com.

I checked the site out. It has just about everything your kids might want for their bedroom or playroom. Super cool rugs, great toys, funky lamps, and my kids' number one wish for their own room right now: stylin' bunk beds. You name it, it can be found here.

So I asked my resident toy experts, Buddy and Monkey, to help me pick out a toy to giveaway. We were allowed to choose anything as long as it wasn't more than $55.00. After extensive research and discussion, we chose this:

The Step 2 Par 3 Mini Golf Course

This toy was listed as one of the Best Toys of the Year from Parents Magazine, 2007 and has a Three-Star Rating (highest rating) from the Canadian Toy Testing Council. Awesome!

This 21-piece set includes 3 straight courseways, 3 curved courseways, 3 unique greens, 3 flags, 3 obstacles (clown, spinner, & windmill), 2 putters, 2 golf balls, 1 starting plate and 1 tunnel. The courseways, greens and obstacles easily snap together and can be rearranged to create a variety of fairway setups.

The giveaway is open to Canadian and U.S. residents only (sorry everyone else! Not my rules). I'll leave it open until next Friday, July 31st and I'll choose the winner by random number generator and announce it on that day.

To enter:

1. One entry: Leave me a comment telling me which cool bunk beds I should choose for my boys.
2. Another entry: Blog about it using this code (just copy it here and paste it into a new post at your site, add whatever else you want to say, shake or stir, thrown in a few olives and voila: instant blogpost):

Make sure to come back and leave another comment telling me you blogged it and don't forget to make sure I can contact you.

And that, my friends, is all there is to it. Good luck!


July 22, 2009

Some Canadian Chicks Who Sing

I want to share some of my favourite Canadian music with you. I love each and everyone of these songs written and performed by Canadian ladies. Canadian ladies just like me... except, you know, with talent and stuff.

Check 'em out:

The Good Lovelies, Lie Down

Beautiful harmonies and these chicks look like they have so much fun together.

Coeur De Pirate, Comme Des Enfants (Like Children)

Such a sweet song by la belle fille Québécoise (the beautiful girl from Quebec), Coeur de Pirate.

Julie Doiron, Swan Pond

I knew Julie when I was in university in Sackville, NB where I believe the swan pond in this song is located.

The Be Good Tanyas, The Littlest Birds

You might recognize this song because it was used in a Target ad. That doesn't stop it from being twelve kinds of awesome.

Let me know what you think!



July 15, 2009

Blogging for People Who Don't Blog

How do you explain blogging to people who don't blog?

I was driving with my sister-in-law last week when I noticed a small airplane taking off from a large body of water (we'll call it a river because that's what it was).

"Oh look!" I said, pointing.

She looked, "Cool!"

We sat in silence for a few minutes, watching the road.

I said, "I want to tell you that I know someone who can fly one of those but I really only know her through blogging. I read her blog, she's read my blog, we've emailed a few times. It's not like I know her in person."

She said, "Oh yeah? That's cool. I knew a guy in high school who already had his pilot's license."

"Really? I can't even imagine. I'd be terrified. I hate flying."

"Yeah. Me, too!"

Shortly after I was featured at SITS I was talking to my parents on the phone. I told them I'd been featured, I explained what SITS is and then I said, "And I had over 600 comments in one day!"

There was a long pause and then my dad said, "Wow! That's a lot of comments... isn't it?"

My mother-in-law was visiting a few weeks ago, shortly after I was featured. We were having breakfast and getting ready to go to an event. I checked my email and said, "Wow! It's been three days since I was featured and I'm still getting tons of blog comments. I have 45 new messages this morning. I won't read them all now, though, since we have to get ready."

She agreed, "No. Just check your personal ones."

"Well, they're all personal. They're blog comments." (T-shirt idea: "Blog Comments: It's personal")

"Well, you can certainly skip the spam," she told me.

"I don't have spam. I have blog comments."

She looked at me for a few minutes, shrugged and went back to her breakfast.

Later we were sitting together on the couch watching television. I had my computer on my lap and was reading a post by Kelly at Don Mills Diva (oddly the same blogger who can fly those airplanes that land on water - I think I might have a case of blogging mentionitis). Kelly's post told how her son came very close to being hit by a car in a parking lot at her local grocery store. I must have looked terrified because when my mother-in-law happened to glance over at me she asked, "What's wrong?"

I explained. She looked mystified.

I'm sure she wondered why I cared so much about someone I'd never even met.

It's just that I feel like I know the bloggers whose blogs I read. Especially those, like Kelly, who I read regularly and who have read my blog and who I've emailed with a few times (or more than a few times in some cases). It feels like a friendship, even though I've never met them in person.

My friends and family don't blog. Most of them don't even read my blog, much less anyone else's. They certainly don't view the relationship I have with my fellow bloggers as friendships. Some of my (real-life, live and in the flesh) friends don't even have internet at home (how do they live, I ask you?).

My friends and family just don't get it.

They think the whole thing is kind of weird, I'm sure.

And I find it awkward to talk about.

So, I ask you again, how do you explain blogging to people who don't blog?


July 13, 2009

Brothers and Girls

I was tired this morning and decided I would treat myself to a little television while I drank my coffee. I curled up in my favourite corner of the couch and turned on Ellen. One of her guests was a 7 year old girl who plays the piano and composes her own music.

Emily Bear, 7 year old piano prodigy and Ellen*

Thinking that seeing a kid their own age who's such an accomplished musician would inspire Buddy and Monkey, I called to them in the dining room where they were eating breakfast: "Come and look at this, you guys. This girl is the same age as Buddy."

The boys watched as the little girl ran onto set and hugged Ellen. Buddy tilted his head to the left and said, "That girl is really pretty."

Monkey gave one of his big belly laughs and pointed at his brother, "Buddy loves that girl!"

Buddy shook his head, "I don't love her," he said. "I just think she's pretty."

On screen, the little girl sat down at the piano and started to play.

"Wow," I said, quite blown away.

Buddy looked at me, wrinkling up his nose, "What?"

"She's amazing!"

Both boys turned back to the television and watched her play for a few seconds, until they simultaneously lost interest and returned to their breakfasts.

I'm pretty sure they missed the point entirely. Oh well. At least you can't say I didn't try.

*Photo courtesy of Rockford Register Star


July 1, 2009

Canada Day

Happy Canada Day!

We're off to eat timbits and visit some dinosaurs. Hope everyone has a canuck kind of day!