Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Journey to Subaru

This morning at nine, my husband remembered that we had an appointment (at nine) to take our Forester in to get a new door sensor.  For about a week now our 11-year-old car has been lighting up that little picture of a car with its doors ajar, even when each door had been slammed shut twice (just to make sure).  We recently got a new alternator and battery for our dear old clunker, but the door sensor can only be found in a mythical place called a "Subaru dealership".

Adam said that the dealership was easy to get to, but he continually underestimates my ability to get lost.  I have a talent.  I've only lived in Burlington since I was five, so you can't expect me to know my way around.  And anyway the Subaru dealership is in Oakville.

So I got off the highway at Burloak instead of Bronte.  In my mind these two roads are the same thing, but in reality they are on opposite sides of a river.  All the streets connecting to Burloak, can also be found connecting to Bronte.  But Bronte's Wycroft Rd, doesn't connect to Burloak's Wycroft Rd.  And South Service Road, on Burloak's side,  widdles itself down to a depressing dead end.  To further confuse me Bronte Creek Provincial Park is on Burloak.  I drove around for quite some time trying to figure out where I had gone wrong.  There was Wycroft, there was the South Service Road, where was the dealership?  Perhaps it had been torn down and moved to another place, thought I.

I had both my children with me in the car, so while I'm not opposed to asking for directions, I hate when it means unbuckling the offspring.  Only when Jadzia started crying and William suggested "How about we just go home" did I pull into the mall and ask.

The woman working at Reitmans looked at me as if I had three heads when I asked where the Subaru dealership was.  "Isn't there one around here?" I said stupidly.
"Do you mean the one in Oakville? There's one on Wycroft Rd."
"Isn't this Wycroft Rd?"
"Yes but it doesn't connect.  They're going to build a bridge later on."
"Not in the next few minutes I'm guessing."
Reitman's woman gave me directions that exactly matched the directions I already had, but made me clue in that Burloak and Bronte are not the same thing.  Huzah!!

I only had to do one more three-point-turn after that and I got to the mythical land of Subarus (at ten fifteen).  I brought toys and snacks for William and Jadzia while we waited, but I was crazy to think I would need them.  I mean, a room full of cars, how cool is that?  The form that I had to sign before they made the repair had "WAITER" stamped on it in red ink.  They should have an extra stamp for "WAITER WITH KIDS".  Jadzia ran around the showroom chatting with her reflections, while William had a blast climbing inside the cars, playing with the steering wheels and turning on the hazzard lights.  The horn was "accidentally" honked no less than three times (might have been four), all the while a salesman was busy trying to show cars to customers.  Anytime I was expecting the "Psst, Ma'am, can you keep your kids out of the cars" but, to their credit, the Subaru staff didn't say anything. 

I was told I had an hour and a half wait, but the car was done in forty-five minutes.  I imagined the salesguy going back to the garage and telling the mechanics: "Can you hurry up with this woman's car?  She's driving me crazy!"   Or perhaps, like Scotty, they multiply their repair estimates to make them seem like miracle workers.  In any case my door signal only goes on now when I leave the trunk open (giant stroller).

Monday, February 22, 2010

My Son Doesn't Hate French

For the past seven weeks I've been taking my son to a weekly, one-hour, preschool French class at the Ontario Early Years Centre.  William has shown little interest in the class and given no sign that any of the vocab was sinking in.  I've avoided practising with him outside class because I didn't want him to get frustrated and start to hate it.  Once when I suggested going to the Early Years for a drop-in, William refused because "I don't understand the songs."

Well yesterday William randomly pointed to his mouth and told my husband that it was his "bouche".  And today William has been asking me how to say everything in French.  "How you say wall in French?"  "Mur!" "How you say window in French?"  "Fenêtre!" "How you say car in French?"  "Auto!"  My vocabulary skills are being tested and I even had to look up a few words that I had forgotten.

Just now he was singing a weird mélange of "Frère Jacques" and the French version of "Head and Shoulders."

The weird thing is, we didn't go to "Fabulous French" last week.  We missed it because of car troubles.  I can't wait to go to our last class this week and see how he does.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My car hates French

Last week my car wouldn't start.  We were all ready for "Fabulous French" our class at the Early Years Centre where we subject our children to stories, songs, and puzzles en français in hopes that something will stick long enough to give them a head start in grade one.  Well my eleven-year-old Subaru which has been reliable always (except that time when I ran out of gas, and that time when I left the dome light on) didn't start.  My Mom came and drove us to our program and we only missed half the class.

After charging the car battery, my trusty dusty Forester worked like a charm for an entire week, until today when we were all buckled in ready to go to (you guessed it) Fabulous French.  Nothing was left on that I can see, and the car was running fine yesterday.  The only possible explanation is that my car n'aime pas le français.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Three!!!

All the cleaning, shopping, baking and fretting over the last few days have paid off.  People seemed to have a good time at William's third birthday party.  Most importantly William, for the most part, enjoyed himself.  Here are some highlights:

Adam helping William put together his presents from Mommy and Daddy (but mostly Daddy) this morning.  "We" also got him a green lego race car.  Grown-up lego, not duplo.  Yes, they assembled that one too. 

My friend Columbia as the blue balloon fairy. She's awesome and crazy and awesomely crazy.  I love her.  

My totally awesome balloon hat.  That's my Dad in the background giving the thumbs up.

My nephew Hunter being transformed into Balloon Man, a super hero with powers involving weird balloon sounds and ninja-like reflexes.  He was actually kind of annoyed that I took his picture when his costume "wasn't done yet". 

The totally awesome car cake I made.  It's actually a whole bunch of pieces of cake glued together with icing.  My original plan was to put two cakes on top of each other one large and rectangular and one square, but the cakes were too thin so I piled them all on top of each other.  When that didn't work all that well, I used my husband's male car-building instinct.  When he had assembled the random cake pieces into a car-shape, I glued everything together with obscene amounts of delicious green icing.

Jadzia eating the totally awesome car cake I made.  "I'm supposed to share? What?"  She went from person to person getting hand outs and probably ended up eating more than anyone.  Oh, poor baby, noone got you any cake?  That's right Jadzia, I'm on to you.

Three seconds after the last guest left (and we'd opened all the extra loot bags) a late-coming guest arrived and we had another mini-party.  When the party was over (again) William insisted on having a bath to play with his new toys.  He got a bath toy fishing set from his friend Luke and some bath crayons from his friend Aedan.  William is not much into colouring on paper lately but he seems to have no qualms about colouring on the bathroom wall.  We had quite the rousing game of tic tac toe.  Perhaps next time I'll trick him into practicing printing.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Today I'm reminded of an extra special romantic Valentine's Day three years ago, which I spent at the hospital watching Star Trek DVDs while I waited for my son to arrive. Tommorrow is William's 3rd birthday, and his friends and family will be over to celebrate.  Luckily, it's also Family Day, so most people have the day off and are looking for a family-type experience. 

Right now we are taking a break from cleaning the house (no small task).  William is playing Hotwheels car games on Adam's computer and I'm blogging (obviously).  My husband having no computer to use up here is downstairs pretending to watch the Olympics, but is no doubt actually playing with his iPod.  From the sounds of it, Jadzia is upset that she's not allowed to play.

After four and a half years of marriage, Adam still hasn't been able to teach me to clean a house up to his mother's standards, so he'll be taking over much of the cleaning as usual while I tag along like one of the children trying to help.  But that's okay, because I made a totally awesome car cake!

Adam says the Olympics are in reruns and our cleaning break is over.  Love is in the air.  Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 07, 2010


As we were walking to my parents house, William and I were chatting about the ice that was on the sidewalk.  Well talk of ice lead to talk of slipping and sliding, and talk of sliding lead to talk of skating.  By the time we got to Omi and Opa's house, William wanted skates for his birthday.

Luckily my Mom had a pair of Hunter's old skates that were the exact right size.    He was a bit disappointed that he couldn't skate on the way home (it wasn't quite THAT icy), but the next day Omi and Opa took him to the rink at Bronte Creek (after first purchasing him an expensive helmet). 

My Mom first took me skating when I was about William's age, maybe a little younger.  I never reached figure skater skill level.  Even now, I'm awkward backwards and can't stop on a dime.  But I love it.  There's nothing like gliding along the ice, feeling the cold air on your face (and yet not feeling your toes).  I couldn't let my parents have all the fun. So this morning we went to the rink. 

As we were getting ready William said to me "I need Omi to help me skate."  I told him I would help him, that Omi taught me everything she knows.  We paid $5.80 for the two of us, and donned our skates.  Adam sat with Jadzia, while William and I headed out onto the ice.  I held William as he "skated" the few short feet from one rink door to the next, then asked to get off the ice.

I got William one of those metal a-frames for kids to push on the ice.  We both held on and covered about the same distance we had before.

William tried a little longer with a bribe of hot chocolate offered by Adam.  Then I skated my money's worth around the rink until the kids were to grumpy to stand waiting.  Legend has it, if you take a kid skating four times, they will fall the first three times and know how to skate by the forth. 

Two down.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

A Healthy Hubby

Whenever my husband goes to the doctor he is told that his cholesterol is high for someone his age.  Normally events play out like this:

1.  Adam goes to the doctor who gives him a blood-taking form and tells him to come back when he's fasted.
2.  A few days later, Adam goes to the doctor's office in the morning before breakfast and feeds the vampires.
3.  Adam goes to the doctor to discuss results. The doctor tells him that if he doesn't get his cholesterol lowered he will have to go on medication. He gives him another blood-taking form and tells him to come back in a month or so.
4. Adam continues with his regime of eating whatever he wants and not exercising.
5. A month passes, and Adam does not return to the doctor.
6. A year later, he goes to the doctor and has cholesterol checked again.  By this time, the doc has completely forgotten the last visit, and tells Adam to the same thing, gives him a blood-taking form and tells him to come back in a month.

Today Adam went to the doctor to discuss the results of his latest vampire feeding.  This time he was determined to avoid possible heart attacks by actually asking for the medicine that our doctor keeps threatening to prescribe.  Well guess what?  He doesn't need it.  Adam's regime of eating whatever he wants and not exercising has finally paid off! His cholesterol is withing acceptable levels.  Hooray!

I'm going to go ahead and take credit for this for two reasons,
a) I've been feeding him more salad lately and,
b) (and this is the most important one I think) I instigated a new food budget which involves spending only $100/week on groceries, and (ba ba-da ba) getting Adam to bring his lunch from home instead of eating out.

Now I just have to figure out a new budget that will save money by forcing us to exercise.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Captain Freakout goes to the Doctor

Last night I was supposed to be sleeping, but instead my fabulous husband and I were taking turns consoling Captain Freakout.   Both William and Jadzia have been fighting colds for about a week.  Night time had entailed the constant cycle of William waking up because of congestion, screaming because of a sore throat, making his throat worse by screaming, refusing to take any water or medicine because he's too busy freaking out, finally calming down only to wake up again because of congestion.  Last night was the worse.  He would not go down.  He would not calm down.  He insisted on having milk instead of water we all know is a no-no for sore throats (I coloured some water white by adding a few drops of milk).  Our attempts to give him Children's Advil looked like the scene of a grizzly murder, with Adam holding William down while I covered myself in cherry-red liquid making numerous attempts to pour it into his mouth. As the medicine began to kick in, and our son became mildly more coherent, he said "My ear hurts."

Well this morning, I was supposed to be at a bowling birthday party with William's friends (and, more importantly, my friends) but instead I was at the walk-in clinic with my two sick children.  Our regular doctor's office is in the same building as the clinic so, even though we couldn't get an appointment, William insisted we go to our doctor's waiting room to see the fish.  Jadzia, who slept through last night's fiasco, was full of energy for crying.  I suspect she recognized the building as a place where they stick babies with needles.  Luckily, no shots today.

The walk-in doctor looked in both kid's ears and proclaimed them sufferers of ear infections.  Jadzia got a bottle of banana-flavoured antibiotics.  For William I made a point of asking for the strawberry version because he doesn't like banana.  When we got home William decided he liked banana after all and wanted the same medicine as his sister.  I bribed him with a popsicle.  Hopefully I don't have to give him a popsicle 3 times a day for 10 days.
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