Sunday, March 31

A Van Can Not 4x4

After the huge dump of snow last week, our residential streets have become total hell. People are getting stuck trying to go a block, so the town did a snow removal. When the town does snow removal it is always a gong show for this house. I don't have a drive way, garage or back-ally to park in. So Jenna and I beg to park at other peoples places and then we have to do our best to work around the mountains of snow in the center of the streets.

Well, I had to get to work and I forgot I drive a mini van now and not the Yukon XLT like I use to.



Oops.. Clearly it was close, I almost had it.

Funny enough, one guy stopped, 5 more drive past (even though I was clearly still needing help) and 3 women stopped. It was a fun 30 minutes. And yes, the guy is using a hockey stick to help dig me out.

Today:

I am grateful for kind neighbors and strangers.

I am grateful for deciding to wear boots that day and not the high heels I had originally planned.

I am grateful I have the ability to laugh when crap happens.

J

Tuesday, March 26

Fashion Show In Edmonton and Photo Creeping

Sam and I went to a fashion show this past weekend in Edmonton. Clearly when you think about fashion meccas in the world, London, Milan and Paris...Edmonton is in the top of that list. I have always wanted to go to a real fashion show during fashion week. I always dreamed NYC would be my first one, but this lady is happy with whatever she can get!




What made the night even more exciting was some of the models were from the media here in YEG both radio and television, and a few are friends of mine. It was fun to get to see everyone all dressed up and supporting such a wonderful cause (the Lois Hole woman's hospital).

The stage and catwalk



Fitzy!!!! 

 One unexpected highlight of the evening was the men at this event. Holy CRAP there were some attractive, well dressed and exceptionally well groomed men in attendance. Sam and I scoped out a few and kept close eye on them the entire night. At one point I actually thought I might be brave enough to walk up to one guy and say hi....and that bravery quickly vanished when the opportunity presented itself.

So instead, Sam and I decided photo stalking was more our style. So for the rest of the night, we would just angle our camera in such a way to capture the hottie in the corner of the shot without having to actually put ourselves out and risk total humiliation. Brilliant plan if I do say so myself!

We got some excellent creeper shots, but the two highlights of the evening for me were:

 1) when the very attractive man I was trying to photo stalk looked up right as I was adjusting my camera to get a picture of him over my shoulder. I was so startled when I saw him looking right at the phone screen I dropped my phone on the table in front of me and burst out laughing.

2) While Sam and I were walking out the door, a man walked past me and complimented my hair. I blushed and said, "thank you" to which his response was, "no, thank YOU for letting me look at your beautiful hair". Good Heavens.. I blushed even more and walked out. Sam grabs my arm and says to me, I am pretty sure that was Jake Ryan from Virgin radio. I laughed and felt even more dumb, I had never met him and my best friend knows him, and not only does she know him SHE LISTENS TO HIM AND NOT ME! lol
So she says, can I get a picture with him?...Sure, lets go! So we walk back into the building and I walk up to him and introduce myself... my friend Sam loves you, can I get a picture of you with her?....He was very kid to let us creeps get the photo.

All in all it was a great night. Here are the spoils of our creepiness.


My photo stalk of  Ryder from HOT 107. One day if I ever meet him I want to tell him about the on line date I went on where the guy lectured me for almost 30 minutes on how to be more like him because he was his favorite. Love the hat! 
This is Sam Photo stalking Carly Kincade from 99.3 UP. I work with her, she is a doll! The best part of this picture is we could have just gotten a normal pic because I work with her, but this was more fun.

Sam with Josh Classen and Jake. 


SAM GOT CAUGHT PHOTO STALKING BILL FORTIER!!!!! 

Cute guy I was stalking...we have serious issues Sam! 

Sam got to meet Jake. 

Finishing off the evening with a photo stalk of my van. 

We ended the night with pizza from Famoso. We had laughed so hard my face hurt. I love nights like this!


After all was said and done we found one of our original photo creeps of Crash & Mars before I worked at 1023 NOW radio. Sam and I went to U2 when they were in Edmonton a few summers ago and saw them there. Sam and I clearly have issues. 



Today:

I am grateful  For Fusion Hair Salon who always do such a wonderful job of making me feel beautiful! I got so many compliments on my hair this night, I felt on top of the world! Thank you ladies! 

I am grateful for fun friends who laugh and are not embarrassed to do playful things. 

I am grateful to be invited to things like this, although I might not anymore after all this. 

J

Monday, March 25

Easter Eggs & Diabetic Comas

I did my Easter egg hunt with the kids early, they will be with Drew and R for the actual weekend, so like all exceptionally lucky children from divorced homes they get two of every holiday. I loved Easter when I was a kid. My brother Dawson and I would have the best hunts for candy and goodies. My dad Steve is super tall so he would put treats everywhere and it would take forever to find them all. It is one of my favorite traditions to pass along to my own kids.




I love watching the kids, after they get the okay to start looking, frantically scurry around the house looking for the brightly coloured treats. It always makes me think about movies, and when drug addicts are spastically searching for their drug of choice under every nook and cranny.

Then, once every egg has been found and the children are victorious, they eat themselves into type two Diabetes and a sugar coma.




It's such a great day. Pretty sure it's exactly how the holiday was intended to be celebrated.

Also, I found myself feeling rather domestic on my days off and made homemade buns. It's funny how special something as simple as buns feels now when I don't do it all the time. Things that use to be every day only happen on certain occasions now. Which makes the kids even more grateful.







Today:

I am grateful for the snow removal crew clearing the streets today.

I am grateful for exceptions.

I am grateful for the smell of fresh bread throughout the house.

J

Thursday, March 21

Happy F**king Spring Edmonton

Today I was going to go snowboarding. It is my day off and the kids are with Drew so I WAS going to go make the best of a bad situation. The bad situation being that we just got another huge dump of snow. Even though it was almost all gone, I was almost able to wear high heels to work and everything but no, it had to go and snow. Then it had to snow again, then again and yet again.

Sigh...Dammit!

So today I am staying home. I am staying home, watching movies and baking buns and cookies. I am even grinding my own organic wheat to make the flour first....ooh yes, you did read that correctly! Look how domestic I can pretend to be when I want to.


This is normally the sort of obscure behavior I reserve for December, when the weather is horrible and you can't go anywhere...ooh wait, its Edmonton, I forgot, March and December match. Grrr!!

 I am not impressed Edmonton! Not Impressed at all! 


So instead of sitting on my deck enjoying the spring birds I will be inside tonight having a beer and folding laundry and watching TV. 



Today:

I am grateful for these bean sprouts that were sent home from school for the kids to germinate. I didn't kill them!!!! They worked!!! My kids wont be the ones who go to school saying their mom sucked!! 




I am grateful my DVD player is still working. 

I am grateful my kids get a week off school now and I get to hang out with them, laugh and play. 

I am grateful the people I love and care for are safe. Driving today is horrific! 



J


Wednesday, March 20

Lunch With Wendy

I went for lunch yesterday with my dear friend and adopted Grandmother Wendy. Wendy and I have been friends for years. An unlikely match with her pushing 70 and me 34 but we get along like I do with any of my other close girlfriends. We talk about everything and nothing and even when it has been months since our last visit we pick up right where we left off. I love Wendy. We went to my favorite place (Famoso) and like always, she ordered exactly what I do cause "it sounds good" and she has not tried that yet.

We laughed and ate while I told her some of my stories from work and from some dating experiences I have had lately. She caught me up on family and accident she had that has made it so she can no longer colour her hair the pretty red she likes so much, forcing her to accept the grey. She is such a fireball. Wendy never judges when I tell her anything and always gives practical and real advice but only when I ask for it.

When lunch was over she asked for the bill. The server came over to our table and said it had been taken care of already. She looked at me instantly and snapped, "did you pay?" Nope, I didn't pay.
The server smiled at me, she then said, "someone already took care of it for you both". Wendy was stunned and just kept saying, "I can't believe it, who would do such a nice thing?"

This is one of those unexpected and humbling blessings of my job. Sometimes people are overly generous and kind.
I felt this wash of gratitude but not so much for the meal that had been paid for, although of course I was, but in this moment more for how it made Wendy feel. She just had the biggest smile on her face and kept saying, "that was so sweet and so nice, why would someone do that for me too?" Her eyes got a little moist as well.

She grabbed her cane and kept saying thank you to the server as we walked out. Wendy drove me back home so I could have a nap before work. She told me I was loved and gave me a hug and then drove off.

It was a wonderful afternoon.

Today:

I am so thankful for whoever it was that paid for our lunch. Thank you for making Wendy feel so special and for my soup, it was delicious!

I am grateful the snow is melting.

I am grateful for moments timed right and caught on camera. God I love my little family.



J



Friday, March 15

Happy Birthday Jenna!

Today Is Jenna's Birthday.

Jenna is the nanny of this house. I have not properly introduced Jenna yet to many people, so today shall be the day!

Everyone this is Jenna, Jenna...everyone.



To give you a few stats on Jenna so you can all bond with her more. Jenna is an EMT by trade. She is currently training  and hoping to join the Canadian Olympic team. Jenna is a distance runner and works out about 100 hours a day, which doesn't allow her to have a "normal" job. So after she is done training and lifting boulders she watches my crew so I can work.

Jenna, on your special day I want you to know how thankful I am for your help. You are grossly over qualified for this role, yet you keep coming back every day. I also know what you get paid, so I know there is some deep reason you do this cause you aint gonna retire anytime soon...

You are a good woman Jenna. You work hard and you give my children laughter and stability when I am out of the home. I love you for that. You allow me to go to work with confidence knowing my children are safe, well cared for and loved. You also silently support and encourage me when things are not going well, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for that.

I hope on your special day you are spoiled rotten and are taken out by handsome men...ooh wait, you are doing rig work today to earn ACTUAL money on your days off, so you can keep working for me to earn nothing...

You are a special woman, and I adore you! Even though you turned off the furnace in my house in the dead of winter because you were "too hot". That story now makes me laugh. Happy Birthday my friend! You are a gem and I hope you feel as loved as you are!


Today:

I am grateful that I have always found solid and wonderful women to help care for my children while I work. Peace of mind is the greatest thing any working parent can have.

I am grateful the nail that was hammered into my tire didn't cost too much to repair.

I am grateful to have friends that know me so well and all called and left excited messages yesterday when the news that Pink was coming to Edmonton. PINK is coming to EDMONTON!!!!! I still can not believe it!

J




Thursday, March 14

Face-Palm Parenting Moments

My oldest son wants a new Ps3 game. Call of Duty I believe, or something along those lines. At night when I go down to his room to say good night, he talks to me about his adventures playing a different war game and how he sniped someone and did something else horrific to another person with a knife. I find listening to it difficult because I don't understand anything and I hate the graphic nature of what he is describing, but the kids like it, and yes, I do believe there is something natural and instinctual with boys and their fascination with war. So I let them play it.

Well, as it is with kids, they want a new game. I am sure I will hate listening to this one too, but that's not the point...I bring this up because the game they want costs $65.

The three boys have decided they are going to pool their money and buy it together, which as a parent I am thrilled with. I love their team work and dedication to a set goal. Moments like this make me stick out my chest a little further and lift my head higher because clearly, I am doing a fantastic job with raising them and teaching them team building and life skills. Thank you Thank you!

When I arrived home the children meet me at the door to tell me about all the things they have cleaned to earn money so they can buy the game. I am so pleased, I love coming home to a clean house, and, yes..MY children cleaned it and it looks amazing! Clearly my parental superiority should be documented not only here, but maybe even in the local paper. I could teach classes.

I proudly walk into the kitchen to start putting the food I just bought away when the kids hand over the list of chores they did and then they say to me, "mom, we did all this....you owe us $70.

WHAT!? I beg your pardon? Can you repeat that please? For a moment I thought you said I owe you $70 for doing one days worth of chores.  One of the boys smiles and clarifies...no mom, not $70..
Well what a relief, I was thinking I heard you incorrectly there..he continues," you owe us $60 for today and $10 from yesterday."

I choked on my own air. What on earth did you do that is worth so much? The children go on to explain that they straightened the boots, and swept the floors, made their beds and even cleaned up the toy room! Gasp!

I rolled my eyes and asked, "and you think this is worth $60?"

I went over to the desk and pulled out 4 pieces of paper and 4 pencils, put one in front of each child and proceeded to do a mini career and life management class.
For this small impromptu lesson, I gave them each a pretend job at McDonalds where they made 10/hour and we began to go through what life costs, what food and clothes cost. How much they want to spend on a car and other such things.

My gloating about my parental genius quickly came to a crashing halt when I discovered in that moment my children had less then zero concept of what things cost and what their time (and their mothers time) was actually worth.

While running through the food portion I asked what they thought we spend on food a month. One child said 300/month and another said 5 million.
I asked, "How much does milk cost? I was holding up the big jug too.
The highest amount that was given for that was $2.50.
When I asked what they thought TV cost they huddled together to discuss ideas and confidently answered $5/a month.
"What do we pay a month for the van then guys?" I coughed when $2000 was given without hesitation.

After I was completely and utterly deflated as a parent, feeling like I had totally failed them as humans who, after this display, will never be functioning adults who contribute to society.  I might need to sign them up for summer school for simple common sense classes,  I had a break through! I decided to explain it in terms of, if X costs this amount, how many hours will you have to work at your $10/hour job at McDonald's to afford it.
FINALLY WE HAD A BREAK THROUGH!!!!

The lesson ended with all the children agreeing they would work a few more weeks doing extra jobs on top of regular chores to earn what was needed. And they also promised that they would go to school and get really good jobs when they were adults.

It was an adventure, but we got to where we needed to be in the end!

What a roller coaster this parenting can be.
I need a drink.

Today:

I am grateful for all of this. It is like a tornado some days with the children, job, house and attempting to have a life...but it's all mine and I love it.

I am grateful for the left over chocolate bar I found in the fridge tonight.

I am grateful my Italy jeans fit again, and they fit nicely!

J







Tuesday, March 12

$100 Elastic Band

Yesterday I had the washing machine repair guy come over to fix my machine. It decided to stop working while full of laundry and water. Frustrating as hell, because only 3 days before I had to pay to get the computer fixed. My favorite part about being an adult is having to be responsible for everything when it breaks and you know when anything is going to break down in this house it's like a giant group revolt where, not just one thing goes quietly. No, here when something goes it takes 2 other things with it. Computer takes the washing machine, and the washing machine then brings the dryer along, the comradery between appliances in this house is admirable and frustrating at the same time.

When the appliance guy arrived the stop watch in my head started. I figured the faster I get this guy out the less it's going to cost me, so once he took his shoes off I walked him quickly down the stairs and showed him the problem. After exactly 32 seconds of hearing the noise the machine made, he bent down, undid a section of the machine and unplugged a box. Brought the box out from under the machine, opened said box and pulled out a rubber band that had wrapped itself round a turn thing (yes that is the technical term). Once the rubber band was free from the turn thing, he swiftly bent back down, put the box back inside and plugged it in, hit start and Pow! My machine worked perfectly.

1 rubber band and exactly 4 minutes of work cost me $100. Sigh...

I hate being a grown up sometimes.

Today:

I am grateful my washing machine and dryer are working now.

I am grateful I have been able to sleep okay this last week.

I am grateful the weather is getting nicer.

J


Monday, March 11

A New Look & Book For J

My friend Sam has been annoyed with me that I have not been writing as much as I should. She enjoys when I write and has always been a hug supporter of my blog. She even went as far as to surprise me and make my blog into a book and give it too me as a gift on Friday in an attempt to get me motivated again.




It is not my entire blog, just the first year (2010). There was a lot I had to say that first year, 233 pages to be exact. I was shocked and completely overwhelmed.  I kept looking at the cover of the book when Sam gave it to me and thinking, I have a book? about me?  It was so wonderful to go back and read through it all. What a amazing gift.

Also, in an attempt to encourage my writing Sam and Jenna helped revamp the look of my blog. To match my hair of course. I love it! It feels light, soft, clean and feminine.

Thanks Sam, I needed that!

Today:

I am grateful for loving friends that come over and make you laugh.

I am grateful for support.

I am grateful for my blog feeling pretty again.

J