Saturday, March 31, 2007

Movin' on down to the 70s

My CD collection is officially coming out of the 90s and moving into the 70s.

A few months ago, I wrote about how, aside from the odd CD here and there, our music collection was pretty much stuck in the 90s. But in recent weeks, we've discovered that Austin loves music, and not just in terms of pulling CDs off the shelf -- he actually loves to dance or just listen to music in the car. So long, of course, that it's his music. He sees no reason to get up and start dancing to U2, but pop in his Dance Baby, Dance CD and he's rockin' out to Old MacDonald.

So, to feed this new love of his, we've been adding to our CD collection - kid friendly CDs of course. There are hundreds, if not thousands of kids CDs out there, but at this age, Austin can't tell us what he wants to hear. He's stuck listening to what we tell him to. So, we (or I should say he) are now the proud owners of Bert and Ernie's Greatest Hits, Raffi's Singable Songs for the very young and Raffi's Baby Beluga.

The Bert and Ernie CD is actually dated 1990-something, but many of the songs date back to ones I remember from when Sesame Street was my favourite TV show. Who doesn't love Ernie's 'Rubber Duckie'. (Come on, you know you're all humming it now!)

But it's the Raffi CDs that make me laugh hardest. We popped Raffi's Singable Songs for the very young in the car the other day, and both of us remembered all the words to all the songs. Austin was sort of mesmerized by the new music, but Ryan and I were having a blast. Honestly, I think we were having more fun with the music that day than Austin was. Classic songs from my childhood are on this CD -- 'The more we get together', 'Must be Santa', 'We're going to the zoo' -- how can you not remember them after so many years.

And so many years it is, the CD originally came out as a record in....1976! Which leaves me to wonder whether it's cool that it's still arond for kids to own today, or whether it's sad that I remember it so well.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Pain relief that actually works

For years I’ve benefited from this drug’s ability to cure a hangover in 30 minutes or less. For those who don’t know, it’s a little tip a friend taught us – after a night of a “little too much”, pop one or two of those, head back to bed and when you wake up again, you’ll feel more or less fine.

But last night, for the first time that I can remember, I discovered that these little white pills actually do work for their intended purpose as well – migraine relief.

Yesterday’s heavy, thunderstorm-thick air was, for me anyway, the perfect recipe to induce a migraine. I was ok at work, not great but ok, but as soon as I stepped outside at 5:30 I felt like I had been hit over the head with a bag of bricks. Almost instantly, my eyes had trouble seeing, and soon enough, my face had trouble forming any type of expression. By the time I got home 30 minutes later, I was a mess.

But pop just one of those little white pills, and I felt functional. I won’t say I felt great, just good enough to function for another few hours before passing out soon after Austin went to bed.

If I’d taken two, I’d probably have felt even better, but it’s a fine line I must walk when I take those little white pills – whether for migraines or for hangovers. They contain Aspirin, and too much Aspirin, gives me an asthma attack. One seems to be just enough to keep the head pain and the difficulty breathing at bay.

Luckily, I don’t get migraines often – in fact I don’t think I’ve had one since Austin was born, must be a hormonal change thing – because it’s such a shame that the only way to get Excedrin Migraine is to buy it in the U.S. In Canada, over-the-counter migraine drugs don't even come close.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Being a professional impostor

I haven’t written much lately, because, well, I don’t feel like I have much to write about. Life is just sort of chugging along at a breakneck speed. In other words…have I really been back at work for over a month now?

It feels weird yet normal to be at work these days. After a first feeling slightly disconnect at work, by the end of the first week, I felt like I’d never left. That’s not to mean I knew what I was doing, it’s to mean, that my desk in my little cubby hole of a cubicle felt like a normal place to be on a Tuesday afternoon.

But I still feel like a bit of a professional impostor and have to remind myself that this is what I do every day, all day and that I’m not just taking a break from what I really do – which is stay home with Austin.

But what really makes me feel like an impostor, is the fact that there’s this huge, year-long gap in my memory. I’ve been brought up to speed on all current projects, am spearheading some of my own, etc. etc. but at least once a day, I have to ask someone about something that we did say six months ago. Almost like when you’re new to a company and have to learn the lay of the land. Except I’m not new, I’ve been here for a few years.

Worse yet, at least once or twice a week, I’ll be asked a question and will have to remind that person that the answer lies somewhere in the middle of last summer, where my business memory doesn’t go. It’s almost like as soon as you’re back into the groove, people around you forget you even left so they assume you’re all knowing. Trust me, I wish I was, but alas…

It’ll continue to get better I know. It doesn’t help that returning in mid-February meant returning at our busiest time of year. I remember being so happy that I was skipping the February to April madness last year – but I forgot to think about the fact that that meant returning smack in the middle of it.

But I have gotten back into many of my old routines, including walking down the street for a Tim Horton’s coffee every day -- which means, like before, I'm cursing that I never win anything but a Play Again from the cup.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Please tell me this isn't a permanent affliction

Every weekday morning, Ryan's alarm goes off at 5 a.m. He gets up, showers, returns to the bedroom, gets dressed and then leaves the room, shutting the door behind him.

I write about this rather mundane morning routine because I don't hear a thing. I sleep through his alarm -- he probably even hits the snooze button a couple of times for all I know -- I sleep through him opening and closing his dresser drawers and getting things out of the closet. I sleep pretty soundly until my alarm goes off at 6 a.m.

Unless of course Austin makes a peep.

Sometimes Austin complains in his sleep or cries out quietly while he's rolling over. He never actually wakes, but suddenly I do. One little peep out out of him while he's sound asleep and suddenly I'm awake and listening. The other day, he woke up at 4:30 a.m., and rather than cry out, he just started talking to himself quietly. Ten minutes later, he went back to sleep. I was instantly awake and listened the entire time.

So why is it that I can sleep through an alarm clock and a person moving around my room, but I'm instantly awake when my little guy, two rooms over, breathes the wrong way?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Time change in reverse

Spring forward, fall back. Regardless of the fact that we changed the clocks in March this year, it's always lose an hour the spring and gain an hour in the fall.

Except if you have young children.

Because children Austin's age don't understand the concept of time. He wakes up at approximately the same time every day -- between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m. So, when the clocks change, he doesn't know the difference.

But here's the catch. In the fall, when we all celebrate getting an extra hour of sleep because the clocks moved back an hour, parents of young children are up one hour earlier. A child who is normally up at 7:30 a.m., is suddenly up at 6:30 a.m. We were lucky last fall, Austin only took a day or so to readjust his schedule. Some kids take a week or more.

But the nice thing is, technically, us parents get an extra hour of sleep in the spring, when everyone else loses an hour. Because, instead of waking up at 7 a.m. this morning, Austin was up at 8 a.m.

I say technically, because I know 8 is really 7 and I didn't gain anything -- but it felt great, because it's not very often that Austin lets us sleep until 8!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Unexpected day off

After 11 business days at work, I think it's about time I had a vacation. So, tomorrow I'm staying home!

Seriously. I am taking a vacation day.

In reality, it's because I and HR screwed up a year ago when I was planning out the adding on of my vacation time to my maternity leave and I have one day left over from last year. And my company's policy is if you don't use it by March 31, you lose it. And that seems like an awful waste to me, so I decided to take the day off tomorrow.

A Tuesday seems like a rather odd day to choose, but I was taking the morning off anyway to take Austin to the doctor, but now, rather than dropping him off at the babysitter's afterwards and booting it back to work, we'll just mosey on home and hang out for the rest of the day. I'm looking forward to it, because it's totally unexpected.

Although I did bring some work home -- we'll see if I actually do it.

Friday, March 02, 2007

What a nightmare!

I’m sure everyone in Toronto had a difficult time last night, but this is my blog, therefore I have the right to bitch on it.

Yesterday, I left work at 4:30 in an effort to pick Austin up from the babysitter’s by 6. On a normal day, it takes a little over 30 minutes to drive the 14 kilometres from Yonge and St. Clair, where I work, to the babysitter’s house – which by the way is only about a kilometre or so from my house. I figured with all the snow, an hour and a half should give me enough time to get there.


I rolled up at home at 7:50 p.m., meaning it took me 3 hours and 20 minutes to drive 14 kilometres. I think if you do the math, my spedometre actually read in negative numbers! (Now the reason I went straight home at a point, was that Ryan and I kept calling to check on each other’s progress, and at about 7:20 p.m., Ryan was closest, so he went and got Austin.)

Anyone who drove yesterday knows what the streets were like. They were covered in snow and visibility was next to none at times. But the real problem was that no one was actually able to drive anywhere. Cars were bumper-to-bumper for miles and miles; lights would change from red to green to red to green and back to red and I still wouldn’t be able to manage to move my car more than a centimetre or two. At times, my right leg got so tired I just put the car in park.

The frustrating part is there really wasn’t THAT much snow. I think there were 10, maybe 15, centimetres of snow. I’m relatively sure that no one bats an eye in cities where 10 centimetres of snow is just considered an afternoon flurry. Correct me if I’m wrong, but cities like Winnipeg, Montreal and Buffalo manage just fine – at least until you get to the point of 50 or 80 centimetres of snow at one time.

But for some reason, us Torontonians are just aren’t able to manage snow. It snows every year, and every year the majority of folks suddenly don’t remember how to drive. And I don’t mean that they drive too slowly and cautiously, instead, gridlock ensues because people drive like idiots. They block intersections in order to make the light, they sideswipe cars in order to get just a little farther ahead…and they cause accidents.

And those accidents cause gridlock. And that gridlock kept me from picking up my son.

But I’ve made a decision; I’m not going through that again. Next time it snows I'm finding somewhere to hang out near work, or heading home at 2 in the afternoon.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The groundhog is a liar

Ok, it's official, either the groundhogs of the world are all liars, plain stupid, or are in on a big conspiracy. Because, on February 2, Groundhog Day, groundhogs near and far predicted an early spring. At the time, it was a rather fun piece of news because, as we all remember, winter had just barely arrived.

So if spring is supposed to come early this year, could someone tell me what the definition of early is...because it's March 1 and it sure has hell doesn't look like spring out there right now!

So if you excuse me, I have to go find my car under the snow in the parking lot and attempt to drive home now.