Friday, December 21, 2007

How we got here.

The first two flights out of Calgary were cancelled, so we're really just happy our flight took off at all. I'm not really complaining here. I'm just telling a neat story.

We spent almost six hours at the airport before we finally could take off. Our plane was stuck in Toronto, so we had to wait until it could get all the way to Calgary for us. Max was lucky to have his iPod and Gameboy with him, so that kept him entertained for a while. He also played video games in the arcade and read a book with me.

Corina spent at least two hours in this:
Our flight was pretty much fine, but when we got to the London airport, no one was there to pick us up! My ride couldn't even get off his street because it was so snowed in. We waited outside with about 20 other people for a cab to come, but because of the weather it took about 45 minutes. I was the only one with kids though, so I took the cab when it came. Sucks to be you, old people.

The cab got us within a few blocks of our destination, but that's as far as he could go. The roads were insane. We got out of the cab to walk the rest of the way, and when I was trying to get the suitcases out, I fell. I fell really hard! Look at this:

That's my hip. It hurts a lot.

Anyway, we then had to walk many blocks through knee-deep snow while pulling 5 suitcases at 1:00 am, while I nearly cried because I hurt my hip and my knee and my wrist and my shoulder. We got here though, and we're having a great time visiting with everybody. We're so busy running here and there that we're going to need a vacation when we get home from this vacation.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

They put it in all caps. That means it's SERIOUS.

Winter storm warning for: London - Middlesex
Issued at 10:51 AM EST SATURDAY 15 DECEMBER 2007
A NEAR-CRIPPLING SNOW STORM WITH VERY HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW AS WELL AS SOME ICE PELLETS TONIGHT AND SUNDAY. DANGEROUS WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE IMMINENT OR OCCURRING IN THESE REGIONS. MONITOR WEATHER CONDITIONS..LISTEN FOR UPDATED STATEMENTS.

THE PUBLIC SHOULD BE PREPARED TO CHANGE PLANS ACCORDINGLY TO AVOID UNNECESSARY TRAVEL DURING THIS STORM. THIS MASSIVE SNOW STORM HAS THE POTENTIAL TO CAUSE NEAR-PARALYZING CONDITIONS AS ANY ROAD TRAVEL ON ANY UNPLOWED STREETS MAY BECOME NEXT TO IMPOSSIBLE ON SUNDAY. ALL MOTORISTS WHO MUST TRAVEL ARE URGENTLY ADVISED TO USE EXTREME CAUTION AND PLAN FOR MUCH EXTRA TIME TO REACH THEIR DESTINATION.

And guess what! I fly into London right in the middle of that. Or not. My flight is probably going to be cancelled, and I am NOT IMPRESSED. (That means I'm serious too.)

That picture is of last year's snowstorm in London. We haven't had storms like that back home since I was little, and now two winters in a row? I frown on you, London.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas Concert

The kids had their Christmas concert tonight. I taped them each doing their favourite song. Corina like the song about underwear the best. She isn't too into the singing though. It was past her bedtime.

Max didn't get into his song until about 45 seconds in, and then he did an awesome job. The way he's dancing around makes me laugh and laugh. He's a funny kid. (He's one of the boys in blue at the back...the one on the left.)

video video

The reason he did so well is I told him I'd take him to dinner at the Red Dog Diner tomorrow if he sang and danced for this song. He's earning his meal.

I don't care what the old man represents!

One of the courses I was registered in for next semester is Children's Literature. I would have to analyze children's books and write essays about them, and then I would have to kill myself, because I hate that kind of crap.

Today I dropped that course and registered in something much more awesome. I'm taking Child Psychopathology! I will be examining the origins and symptoms of emotional and behavioural difficulties, and also looking at causes, symptoms, and treatments of organic, social/emotional, developmental, & learning disorders to help me understand the dynamics of mental illness.

That course is so much more relevant to my career, and so much less suicide-provoking. It will probably be a lot of work though. That's the only part I'm nervous about.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Alberta Words

Here are a few more things that make Alberta weird. Not as cool as "fingering", but still.

These little guys here...we call them markers in Ontario. They call them markers right on the box, which is a good clue as to their correct name. In Alberta, they are "felts". Working in the schools, the word comes up a lot. Some people don't even know what I mean when I call them markers. How can you not know? It's written RIGHT ON THE BOX!
I had never heard of stuffed animals being called "stuffies" until I moved here. It's not like a cute little nickname for stuffed animals. It's just what they are. They are not animals. How dare you! The first time someone mentioned a lunch kit, I had no idea what they meant. I know now, but I refuse to call it that. It's a lunch bag, cowboys. (Don't touch the Tardis! Woo hoo!)
At the beginning of my first winter here, I went over to a friend's house. She mentioned she needed to go plug in her van. I said, "You have an electric van??" She stared at me, I stared at her, she stared at me, I stared at her....yeah. It gets cold enough here that everyone plugs in their cars in winter so they'll start. I had no idea.
I just learned this one recently. A friend of mine from the States was saying that she hates how people here pronounce "decals". I asked her how they say it here, because I hadn't noticed. She said they pronounce it, "DECK-uls". I didn't believe her, so we asked all our friends who were there, and guess what! Look at these pretty princess DECK-uls. And this final one I learned at my second practicum, which was at a middle school. One of the students told me he forgot his gym strip. I was trying to figure out what he said - jimstrup? jimstip? jimwhatthehell? Gym clothes. They call their gym clothes a gym strip, because the stripping off of the regular clothes is apparently the part we want to focus on in Alberta.


Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Finger

Back home in Ontario, when we do this to someone:
...it is called giving them the finger. (That baby is giving you the finger!)

In Alberta, they call it "fingering", as in, "That baby just fingered me". Or, "Mommy, that guy who babysat us last night fingered me."

In Ontario, that means something much more...personal. Is Alberta the only place where people say this gross thing? I hate it so much. If my kids ever say it, they will be shipped back to Ontario until they learn how to speak properly again.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Corina's Skating Field Trip

She doesn't actually know how to skate, but that doesn't keep her from having fun.
(How do you spell "pileon"? Pilon, pile-on...the construction things. Is that a Canadian word? I have no idea.)
Anyway, give Corina one of those, and she'll skate all over the place. And look how brave she is to try without the...pyleawn. Hehe.

video

Falling is cute, but you know what's even cuter? Corina's good attitude about her fall. That's what.

video

Monday, December 03, 2007

Gingerbread House Nervous Breakdown

The kids came home yesterday. The only time we saw each other this past week was during the brief hospital visits, so we missed each other like crazy.

About an hour after the kids got home, a friend brought over the gingerbread house things they had at a party this weekend. We missed out on it because the kids were with their dad and I was sleeping. Things went well at first. Look how nice Max's house is!

Corina got hers put together, but then it fell apart. She got it put together again, but then....it fell apart again. And so did she.
I know it seems mean to take pictures of her while she's crying, but I was already standing right there with the camera taking pictures of Max, and, well...I like to document the sad moments sometimes too. So sue me.
Poor little girl. She had such a hard week. It was rough for her being away from me for so long and she was quite sad about it. She was very brave and well-behaved while I was in the hospital though. I think the gingerbread house issue just brought out all her stress from the week. She cried harder than I've seen her cry in a long time and she just couldn't stop. She slept with me last night and woke up much happier.

Friday, November 30, 2007

I'm home!

I got home at 7:00 pm on Friday. I'm having a hard time typing when I'm on drugs. (I typed the word "typing" like this: dipping.)

Here are the facts. I did not die. I am still deaf. They managed to keep the infection from spreading into my jawbone, which would be Necrotizing External Otitis. That was what we were worried was happening, and that would likely have killed me. So...good news there. I am in a tolerable amount of pain, I am very tired, and I might cry shortly. I am getting better though, and I'm back to see the specialist on Tuesday.

I missed two weeks of school and I still won't be able to go back for a while, but it's okay. Because I'm such a nerd and always do so well at school, they had a meeting about me and decided to make my semester over now, and they're counting my marks as if I completed the semester. That means I'm done. Nothing to worry about except getting better. Those are some nice teachers I have.

Also, if it weren't for Vicky, my kids would have been in foster care or something. Vicky...I love you. You are wonderful!

And now I'm going to go enjoy my drug-induced stupor. Or as I typed it the first time - drir insussed stupor.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Because you love me so much

Just letting you guys know I'm being admitted to the hospital. I just got back from the doctor and he got me a bed already, so I'm just getting a bag packed and I'm on my way. He doesn't know how long I'll be in for. Prayers for me and the kids would be appreciated very much. I'm scared!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Part 3

I ended up in the hospital on Thursday night with lots of morphine being shot into my bum cheek. My ear infection has taken over my body.

All things scary: waking up feeling like someone poured water on my head, touching my head and finding it very wet, turning on the light and seeing my hand is covered in blood, looking at my pillow and seeing it is covered in blood, realizing the blood came out of my ear.

I am still deaf in my left ear. The good news is that the doctor today said I should still be able to fly home for Christmas. That was one of my biggest worries. We're so excited for our trip, but I don't want my ear to tear apart when we take off. That would not be enjoyable. I have 22 days left to heal. I had a blessing finally last night, so maybe that will help. Hmm..although after the blessing I woke up covered in blood...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Pardon? Part two.

I never knew that having an ear infection could make a person throw up this much. If you knew this, then you could have at least warned me. Thanks for nothing.

I am currently still deaf in one ear. Funny thing is, I am right now skipping my sensory impairment class in which I learn about deafness. See? Funny.

Here's something to read. I don't have any comment on it, other than that it's interesting.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Pardon?

Starting with some happy news - I more than likely don't have the mumps. Yay!

I've been in a ton of pain on the left side of my head and neck since Friday. Last night it got even worse, and then suddenly this morning I went deaf in my left ear. Try that for scary! I went straight to the doctor, and it turns out I have a "rip-roaring" ear infection. Sexy. I asked how long until I get my hearing back in my left ear, and he said, "Well, as long as the damage isn't permanent, maybe by the time you're done your antibiotics."

Awesome. It had better not be permanent.

PS...this hurts very much.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Report Cards!

See mom and dad and brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and grandparents? I didn't have bad kids like me when I grew up! Suck on that!

The teachers' comments:
"Max is a pleasure to have in class. He is working diligently in all subjects and has great leadership skills within our classroom community. His participation is appreciated and welcomed within all classroom activities and discussions. He is very mature in thought. He works very well in all kinds of working environments and serves as a role model for many in our classroom community."
"What a joy it is to have Corina in our class! She has adjusted very well to the routines of grade one and has become the model student in the class. She always works hard and completes all assignments on time. She shows kindness and respect to all around her. She is always doing exactly what she is supposed to be doing and often other students look to her for direction. She is becoming an excellent leader in our class.

Corina is always up for a challenge so is reading at a higher level than the rest of the class, and has attacked math skills such as adding, subtracting, and even division with no trouble! She is working with the Power of Ten math program which helps children think at a higher level, and is handling it very well.

I love all the stories that she writes at home and brings to school for us to read. Awesome job, Corina!

Corina is always happy to be at school and is willing to help me as well as other students in the class. Since the beginning of the year in Science we have covered topics such as seasonal changes in fall, creating colour, and the needs of animals in the fall. Corina has demonstrated an excellent understanding of these concepts. Keep it up Corina...you are awesome!"

Wow...it's really fun having such good kids. Yep, it is.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

We do many things.

Here's our new obsession. Whatever we're eating, we shove it on a skewer. Now that's good fun.

Max had his half-birthday this week. That means he is 10½ now, and that I love him so much that he gets two birthday parties every year. He made this icing for the cake himself. It is homemade chocolate icing with Crispy Crunches, Aeros, Smarties - the Canadian chocolate kind, marshmallows, chocolate chips, and Kit Kats in it. It looked a little like chocolate vomit, but it tasted great.
Christmas must be coming, because Santa was downtown last night. We went to Galt Gardens for the lighting of the Christmas tree. It's supposed to be fancy, but after living in London where they light up every tree in Victoria Park, this one tree with lights seems pretty cheap. We always laugh at Lethbridge when they light it up. Here we are waiting for the one special tree to be lit up...
And here is Santa! He was quite preoccupied with finding out my nationality and where I got the name Sara. Weirdo. Corina asked him for Polly Pockets and Max asked for a Pocket Bike. I'm going to buy an old pair of jeans from the thrift store and give them each one of the pockets for Christmas, and tell them Santa was too busy asking if Mommy is Russian and he must not have heard them properly.
This is important. I had these Godiva Dark Chocolate Raspberries last night. They had them at the check-out in Chapters. I think they are the yummiest thing I've ever eaten.
And finally, I went to the doctor today for the pain in my ear, neck, throat, and face. I sort of feel beaten up. She thinks there's a chance I have the mumps! There's an outbreak of mumps at the college, and a girl I know just finished up her quarantine time. (Nine days.) She sent me to the hospital for some tests. I'm screwed if I have to be quarantined. I'll sure get to catch up on sleep though, so there's a positive side to it.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

True story


If you get the fanny burps after eating many, many cloves of roasted garlic, people who come to your house will say things like, "Wow...something smells good in here! What are you having for dinner?"

Monday, November 12, 2007

What's in like in New York City?

Max challenged me to a singing contest tonight. He said he bets he knows more of the words to Hey There Delilah than I do. I don't really know the song, but that doesn't stop me from telling him I can beat him. Corina taped our contest for us.

video

I guess I have to admit...Max lost. Haha Max!

It was kind of neat the way my sister Krista started laughing through my face at the end there. Seriously...we have the exact same laugh? I had no idea.

Sweet dancing, Max. You make me proud.

Today I won my children's approval

video

When I got dressed today, Max said, "Sweet...that looks nice."

When Corina saw me, she said, "Why are you so cool now?"

Yeah...I'm awesome. I got a new hoodie and new socks, and apparently that makes all the difference in the world. Corina is also very cool today, as you can see in the video. We sure do love making videos...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Friday, November 09, 2007

Remembrance Day

This morning I skipped classes to go to the Remembrance Day Ceremony at the kids' school. Max was in the honour guard like he is every year. They have all the Cubs, Guides, and other things like that in a procession. This year Max was chosen to carry the Canada flag in the ceremony, which is a pretty cool deal. Now you may watch it.

video

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Just a sexy little alien mark

Two weeks ago I had many suction cup type things attached to me at the sleep clinic, which all came off early the next morning. Some of them left red marks for the rest of the day. One of them was really special though. It left a red mark that has lasted two weeks so far. See?

I think it's permanent! I also think that picture is weird and it's kind of hard to tell exactly which part of my body that is. Maybe this should be a contest, in which Sherpa gives a prize to the person who guesses correctly.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Wii in the basement....yeah.

video

I love watching Max play games on the Wii. He always looks so ridiculous, but I always look very awesome.

Today was an exciting day because we taught ourselves how to take home movies with our digital camera, so expect to see lots of movies for the next while until we get bored of it.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Grease and things

Last night we went to Grease. Yay! Our seats were second row centre, so we were just about on the stage. The best part of the whole thing was watching the kids' faces as they watched the show. Mouths hanging open, eyes wide...they were trying to take in everything that was happening. They absolutely loved it. The worst part of the show was the woman sitting beside me who apparently had tuberculosis. Her cough was terrifying. I was leaning so far over in my seat to avoid her that I was almost on top of Max.

Here are the kids waiting for the show to start. Do you wonder how Corina waits? Like this: "How much longer now until it starts? How much longer now? Now how much longer?"
Corina got her fancy new jewelry yesterday. It's her new medic alert bracelet. She can switch the black band for the red one, or for the pink one with butterflies. She decided to start with black because she looks more like a big kid in it. Now if she decides to have a seizure at school, not only will the teachers know what to do, they'll also be shocked that her bracelet is so grown-up looking. I got my new Cookie Party shirt yesterday. It's my Sarah Silverman costume. Here is a link to some Cookie Party for you. http://youtube.com/watch?v=lFb8X0Kf6TY Go watch it, or I'm gonna beat the crap smell right out of your anus.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Halloween and such.

I try to be a fun mom when I can. Last night we trick or treated for three hours. Three hours! And then we ate candy until we were stuffed, and went to bed quite late. But then this morning Corina woke up for school and puked all over the living room, so maybe next year I should be a little less fun on Halloween.

Here are the kids on one of our healthier days, making a fruit pizza.
It looks so good! I wish we still had fruit in the house. I'm hungry.
Here they are in their costumes for school. Corina actually looks like Cinderella, doesn't she? What a pretty little girl she is. I dressed up in 80's clothes. Unfortunately none of the kids at my practicum school understood what my costume was. I got a lot of, "What are you supposed to be?" One kid even said, "So...are you an alien?" I'll have to go with something a little more obvious when I'm working with kids. I wanted to go as Sarah Silverman, but my Cookie Party t-shirt didn't come in time.

And here are my babies all ready for trick or treating. Corina work something a little warmer than what she wore to school. It was actually a pretty nice night though. Good job, Lethbridge.

Friday, October 26, 2007

We're healthy!

A blog written by Corina:

"I had a cough, and it got worse and worse every day, and it got into bronchitis and we went to see the doctor, and I got a puffer and really gross medicine. I kind of like bronchitis, but I only like the the puffer. And I really really don't like my gross medicine. If I get really sick or I stay up too late, then I get seizures more. I've been having seizures a lot lately. That's all."
"Mommy falls asleep too much and they gave her stuff to put on her face.""And the doctor called and said we need mommy to come in right now, and she went in last night, and she had to put stuff on her boobies and cement in her hair and stuff in her nose, and she slept at the place. Mommy wasn't allowed to wear makeup. She wasn't allowed to eat chocolate. The people that were old - they said, 'Oh, she's just a little girl!' when Mommy was walking to her bed. "
(Now that's an attractive picture.)

See the fun we have with our epilepsy? I love epilepsy so much I just want to kiss it and hug it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Just like her brother.

Max was teasing me a little tonight. He said, "Some episodes of Sarah Silverman are kind of boring..."

I grabbed him by the back of his neck and said, "Watch your mouth!" (Good family fun.)

He yelled, "That's my pressure point!"

I let go and said, "I don't know what that means, but it scared me!"

Corina then piped up with, "Mommy, some episodes of Sarah Silverman are kind of boring", and then she cringed, with a big smile on her face. She didn't want to be left out of the fun.

I grabbed her neck and told her to watch her mouth, and she yelled out, "Ouch...peer pressure!"

Boy she's cute and funny.

PS...she has bronchitis now, just like her brother.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Quite like the Marriott

I was just reading through a pamphlet from the sleep clinic about the overnight sleep study I'll be doing. It's kind of a boring read, but I sure do love the summary.

"A sleep study is somewhat like spending a night in a hotel. The difference is that for a sleep study you'll have a bunch of sensors attached to your body and someone will be watching you sleep."

Hardly any difference at all!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Vampires!

Last night I had a gross dream. My hair was filled with ladybug-like things called Beeders. They were similar to lice, but they were huge. I went to school and found out everyone in my program was covered in them. We stood in a line and shook our hair, and hundreds of them fell out and scurried across the floor.

After that, I dreamed that when Max got home he was covered head to toe in Pityriasis Rosea, which is a nasty rash.

After that, I dreamed I also was covered in a nasty rash.

And after that, I woke up...and found I was bitten by something in the night four times! Dun Dunn DUNNN!!!!!!!!


So what do you think? Vampires? Beeders? I have no idea what these bites are.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Family things

There's something colourful in my living room! Normally I would be against that, but I'm making an exception for a paper chain counting down the days until we fly home for Christmas. Fun!
It was Corina's half-birthday on the 10th. She's already 6½! We get little presents for half-birthdays in our house, and here she is with her new tea set. And with her morning hair. She had only been awake for a couple of minutes.
Corina tried on some dress-up clothes to see if she had something good to wear for the school Halloween party. It's not quite as cool as Cindylocks from Wizard of Oz, but Cinderella is pretty too. Isn't she cute??

Friday, October 19, 2007

Yay!

Thanks to Westjet's lovely seat sale and to Sarah Seymour who told me about it, I get to go home for Christmas! I haven't been home in two years, so there are a few people I miss. There are also new people I haven't even met yet, so that part will be awesome. Babies babies babies! It's going to be hard to wait for two whole months to go by.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I don't care what you say anymore, this is my life.

Max really likes Billy Joel. I don't think I've mentioned that before. When he was 8, he heard a Billy Joel song on the radio and asked who it was. I told him, and he said, "I like that song!" A few days later he heard another Billy Joel song on the radio and asked who it was again, because he liked it so much. And then it happened again. And again. All on his own, Max became a Billy Joel fan. I think that's adorable. He likes Alice Cooper because his mommy influenced him, but this one is just pure love of the music. I bought him The Best of Billy Joel when he finished grade three, and he listens to it all the time. Oh, and the other day on the radio they were playing that game where they play only a few seconds of the first line of a song, and you have to call in with your guess for what song and what artist. Max totally got it. He knows My Life very well! (We didn't call though. I'm lazy.) Anyway, Billy Joel is playing in Calgary soon, and I was thinking about going, but the tickets are over $100 each! Sick. Figure in the cost of renting a car to get there and then buying gas and all, and it's just way too expensive. Too bad, because that would have been really fun.


The good thing is Max and Corina both love Grease. They've never seen the movie - I know, shame on me - but they love the cd. A theatre group of some sort is doing Grease here in November, so I just bought us all tickets for the show. And at only $69 total for all three of us, including fees and all, and no travel costs, it works out much better. I haven't told the kids yet, because they're sleeping. They better not decide overnight that they don't like Grease anymore, or there's going to be trouble.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Second tooth lost

Corina had a goal this time around.

"Mommy, when my wiggly tooth comes out, I'm not going to use any kleenex. I'm going to let my mouth fill up with blood!"

Look at that. She set a goal, and she achieved. Good girl!

The Max story is that he seems to be doing MUCH better. He's outside right now getting some fresh air. Yesterday I was excited that he got off the couch, and today he's all the way out the door. His cough is still terrible, but he is definitely getting better. Yay!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Take it sleazy, Beasey.

He's not actually dying, but he sure looks like he is. I think maybe, possibly...tonight he's doing a little bit better. I hope. Even if he's not, I'm making Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow and he's going to at least pretend to eat it.

The great news around here is that I got season one of The Sarah Silverman Program. Sick kids means lots of tv, and we've watched all the episodes a couple of times. Corina even made fake cookies and taped candies to them so we could have a "Cookie Party" while we watched the Cookie Party episode. Max liked it when Sarah said she wouldn't miss Cookie Party even if she was in a coma with double pneumonia. Or namoana.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Halloween

Corina and I were having a chat about Halloween costumes. She said, "I know just what I want to be. I want to be Cindylocks from Wizard of Oz!"

Cinderella, Goldilocks, and Dorothy all became one person in her mind. After further conversation, I now know this is what she wants to be.

I don't think I can find a cheap Dorothy costume at Walmart, though. She's probably out of luck.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Pneumonia.

Yep. Max is quite a sick little guy right now. Look at this sad picture! Poor baby.