Sunday, May 28, 2006

Sparkly Shoes and Silly Faces

Yesterday, Maya and I joined my friends Jenny, Heather, Jennifer, and her daughter Abigail for some scrapbook shopping. We went to the scrapbooking garage sale here in Chilliwack, but found it grossly lacking, so we piled into Clifford the Big Red Truck and alleviated our misery with some Michael's shopping and lunch at Tim Horton's. Hooray for Michael's 50% off coupons!

Maya and I returned to find the house pretty darn tidy. I should blog Eric's promises to clean more often. :)

Andrea and Tyler came for a visit as well. That boy gets cuter and cuter every time I see him. Maya got dressed up for the occasion, wearing her Fairyland shirt, Dora big girl undies, white socks, and purple sparkly shoes. No pants for her, thank you very much. And with that, thankfully, came no accidents. Maya was very sweet with Tyler, rubbing his head and kissing him while Andrea changed his diapers. She also entertained him with her silly faces.

Maya refused to wear pj pants to bed. She also refused to take the sparkly shoes off while she slept. As of 3:30 Sunday, she's still wearing the sparkly shoes without any pants.

Friday, May 26, 2006

A Blog for Eri

Eric says that yesterday's blog about my dad was like a eulogy. I guess in a way it was, but thank goodness he's still alive. The sad thing about eulogies (besides the obvious fact that the person is dead) is that most of us only say those wonderful things about people AFTER they're gone, when it is too late for them to hear how much they're loved and appreciated. Mitch Album wrote a fantastic book called "Tuesdays with Morrie." Read it. It's a true story about this man (Mitch) whose old professor (Morrie) was diagnosed with ALS. Mitch visited Morrie every single Tuesday and learned a lot about living and dying. Before Morrie died, he held his own funeral so that he'd be able to hear how loved he was. Thankfully, my dad's not dying. I just wanted him to know how great I think he is.

Really, I think Eric told me that because there hasn't been a blog about him yet. He's been trying desperately do to things that are blog worthy. And seeing how I wouldn't think it was cute or funny if HE pulled the entire roll of TP off to wipe himself, he's saying all sorts of crazy things.

Today, he promised he'd clean the house while I was out with the girls at the scrapbooking garage sale.

And now that it's been published for the world, immortalized in my wondrous blog, he's gotta do it. Stay tuned tomorrow to see if he really does it. (place your bets in the comments link)

OH, the suspense! OH, The tension! OH, the humanity!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Wayne's World

Today in history... (ok, yesterday actually, because I'm talking about May 24)

1686 - Gabriel Fahrenheit, German physicist and engineer was born
1819 - Queen Victoria was born
1883 - Brooklyn Bridge opens in New York after 14 years of construction
1893 - The Niagara Fall Park and River Railway opens in Ontario
1938 - Tommy Chong was born
1941 - Bob Dylan was born
1944 - Patti LaBelle was born
1946 - Wayne Henry Ball was born

Yes, my dad, my hero, turned 60. Sixty. Six tens. Sixty ones. 600 tenths. 6 plus 2 times my age. Thirty times Maya's age.

Wow, that's a big number.

My dad is a pretty cool guy, ahead of his time, really. He was hip to the computer scene way before PCs were a big thing. Dad had the foresight to impart his computer knowledge to us kids, even bringing the Commodore 64 on camping trips, not letting us out to play until we'd done our computer lessons. He was into the Internet when it was still just bulletin boards. He's hiked the West Coast Trail 3 times, once a decade since the '70s. And now that they've got the wheelchair ramps installed, I'm sure my dad is ready to hike it again.

Dad's a pretty funny guy, too. He laughed eventually after Andrea and I (as kids) taped ourselves fighting and then played it on her ghetto blaster full volume. He came down the hallway, stomping his feet, doing the Wayne Nostril Breathe of Anger. He entertained us all in Parksville, showing us just how fragile wooden badminton rackets are by breaking each one over his knee. He even coined the Ball family phrase "p 'n s" (pound and swear), which is what often happens after a particularly enigmatic computer afternoon.

He taught us to work hard at everything we do. He taught us to commit to what we do, and to follow through on every one of our commitments. He taught us the value of family time spent together. He took us on the COOLEST family vacations in the beloved White Whale ('77 F250 long box), everywhere from Edmonton to Tofino to Disneyland and even the ever-popular family vacation spot, Las Vegas. Even though I'm sure he was sick of Ramona and Anastasia Krupnik and Amelia Bedelia, he would sit and read to me every night. Dad would sit patiently for hours while I set his hair in curlers, plastic barrettes, and the like. These days, I've watched him become the greatest Grandpa in the world.

Happy Birthday, Dad! I hope you've had a great 60 years.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Too many squares!

Maya and I stayed home today. She's been feeling a little off over the past few days, and last night she started complaining that her ear was hurting. I took her to the walk-in clinic, where we "only" had to wait an hour and a half (!) to be diagnosed with an ear infection. Maya was in good spirits, though, and kept the entire waiting room entertained by teaching them her exercises. Or, as Maya says, her etherthiztheth. She taught everyone how to do cat pose, snake pose, dragon pose, and downward-facing dog pose. My little yogi.

So today was a jammie day. We watched Maya's favourite movies - Polar Express (twice), Hoodwinked, and Blues Clues. She was feeling much better in the afternoon, and decided she needed to use the potty. We went upstairs and she went right away, and thus earned a pink star on her chart and the coveted chocolate egg. 15 minutes later, she asks "Mommy, pweeth I have a chocwit egg?" I told her that she just had one for going on the potty, to which she replied that she had to go again. I was in the middle of making dinner, and didn't think she actually needed to go, so I told her to go upstairs and use the potty. I figured she'd go upstairs and forget about using the potty, perhaps being distracting by her books, puzzles, or something shiny. Up the stairs she climbed, and I didn't hear from her for a little while. About 10 minutes later, Eric went up the stairs to check on her. All I heard was "MAYA! What have you got?!.... Aim, you have to come see this."

I go upstairs to find Maya with the ENTIRE roll of toilet paper (which I had changed only an hour prior) between her legs, trying to wipe herself. She was grinning from ear to ear, so proud of herself for being such a big girl. Apparently she actually did need to use the potty, so she took off her pull-up, used the potty, and then used the toilet paper. The whole roll. "Now I have my chocwit egg pweeth?"

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Happy Mothra's Day

The second Sunday in May is set aside each year to honour mothers for all the hard work they do to shape the young minds of the future. It's a day that starts with fathers rushing to the store for a bouquet of wilted flowers and a heart-felt card. It continues with the proud presentation of unrecognizable hand-made crafts from school, complete with lace or glitter, or better yet, lace AND glitter. But the best is yet to come - it's a day of freedom from diaper changes.

This year was no exception.

Don't get me wrong, I definitely felt appreciated and loved this Mother's Day. I really enjoyed the white chocolate caramel machiato and chocolate fudge cake breakfast. I can't wait to bake cookies with Maya with my new heart shaped cookie cutter that was attached to the hand written card by my sweet girl. And after the weekend fresh fruit extravaganza, I was delighted to give up diaper changes for the day.

We spent the afternoon at Cultus Lake with my whole damn fam. This year was particularly exciting because a) Tyler and Cheyenne have joined the family now, and b) it was warm enough that we could all be in t-shirts, instead of the usual Mothra's Day/Cultus Lake get-up of fleece jackets and wool socks.

The best part of the day is looking around the family and realizing that I'm part of a family of great moms. Andrea has been a mom for less than 3 months, and she already is doing such a fantastic job with Tyler. Chantal has a teenager and a baby, and makes it seem effortless to raise two of the coolest girls I know. My mom is incredible. She has always worked so hard to keep everything running just so. She babysat kids during the week and worked graveyard shift at a gas station on the weekend so that she could stay home with us. She went without so that we could have things. She volunteered her time to help with pretty much everything we were involved in. She is a very strong woman and adores her kids. I want to be just like her when I grow up.

The cool thing is that Mom still likes us kids after all the horrible stuff we did to her as kids. Like when Mom had Bell's Palsy one summer, and we kept shining the flashlight in her eyes at night around the campfire because she didn't have quick enough reflexes to close them in time. It takes a patient woman to be able to laugh when your kids do that to you for the 47th time that night. It takes an even more patient woman to wait ten years to seek your revenge by sucking your daughter's gerbil up the vaccum cleaner and then claim he committed suicide. (R.I.P. Pokey)

So really, what I've learned from my Mom is that the secret to motherhood is patience and vengence. Love and compassion be damned. Bide your time patiently, and all will be made well again.

Seriously, Mom, I'm just kidding. I love you. Happy Mothra's Day!

(But I wasn't kidding about the gerbil part. She really did that.)