Car Conversations: Gimli Tornadoes & Ice Cream.

Over the weekend, we drove to Winnipeg Beach for a family gathering, and on the way home, we drove to Gimli, where my husband had his bachelor party.

This visit was more sober and less viking-y than the one 11 years + 1 week ago, but it was fun nonetheless.

Hubby & the kids had ice cream.  Roomie had blue licorice, Mini had rainbow, and Lam had bubble gum.  Unfortunately, our boy didn't like the gum pieces embedded in the ice cream so he stood over the garbage spitting them out as he came across them.  Enjoying ice cream with the fragrance of rotting banana and cans of fish wafting about him.  Weirdo.

The water was beautiful, and the weather cooperated.  The sun even peaked out once in a while through the ever-looming dark clouds.

In the car, on the way out of Gimli...

Mini: "Daddy? Wouldn't it be scary if there was a tornado?"

Roomie: "Yes, so we'd go into the ditch for safety, but we probably don't have to worry about it today."

Me: "By the way, hon, there was a tornado warning today."

Roomie: "There was?!"

Me: "Yup."

Roomie: "Where?!"

Me: "For the Gimli region."

Roomie: "So no one bothered to tell me that there was tornado warning in Gimli, when I suggested I drive us to Gimli?!"

Me: "Nope."

Evidently, we love to live dangerously.

Car Conversations: The 11th Wedding Anniversary Edition.

In honour of our 11th wedding anniversary, I once again drag out this super swank picture of Roomie and me on our wedding day, you know, the picture that captures our love for each other... and Roomie's scruffiness. And you know how much I loves me mah scruff!

This year's anniversary was extra special to us, not because tools, golf equipment, and decorative brooches turn us on, but because Roomie's on vacation and we arranged for both kids to have lunch at school.  Yes, darlings, we had the WHOLE. DAY. TO. OURSELVES. 

With all the monkey-lovin' (bet you forgot that this is a TMI blog, didn't ya?), the giggling (sometimes during the monkey-lovin'), and the napping (after all the monkey-lovin'), we'd worked ourselves up for a lovely and delicious lunch at Cafe Carlo, where Roomie also had a cocktail, I had Creme Brulee for dessert, and we talked about our awesome kids despite efforts to talk only about ourselves and giggle about the aforementioned monkey-lovin'... ahem. 

After our late lunch, as I drove us to the kids' school -- because my hot date got all plastered on his one girlie drink -- in our swank minivan, we passed a beauty shop...

Roomie: "Waxing.  I guess that means bikini waxing, right?"

Me: "And leg waxing, underarm waxing, upper lip, eyebrow, etc."

Roomie:  "Do women get their asses waxed?"

Me: "I don't think so."

Roomie: "Do you think a lot of men get their asses waxed?"

Me: "How should I know?  I'd have to sleep with them to find out--"

Roomie: "What does sleeping with someone have to do with it?  It's like saying, 'Why does she wear her hair that way? Hmm, I should sleep with her to understand--'"

Me: "How else would I know?  Do you think random men come up to me and say 'Hi, I wax my ass'?!"

Roomie: "It would be like word of mouth advertising.  Maybe you'd tell your friends..."

Yup, he's drunky.

I love you, Roomie... Happy Anniversary, my love.  :)

The Green TARDIS.

Yippee!  Yahoo!  Hooray!  Roomie and I are now proud owners of a beautiful new-to-us minivan!  (And I love exclamations points!)

My only worry is that it has an automatic transmission, and for the past 13 years, all we've been driving is stick-shift.

Needless to say, for the next while, I'll be freaking when I must drive faster than 30 klicks, stomping on the non-existent clutch, and flapping my hand around trying to grab for the gear shift which OMG isn't where it's supposed to be!!!  The entertainment value will be through the roof, my friends.

In fact, my bff Miss T is planning to secretly make a video of me at after-school pick-up making a total disaster of parallel parking the van, which I do declare is a yacht.  She's threatened to put it on youtube.  Have I mentioned that she is evil?  But I do adore her.  Yes.  I do.  Even though she is evil.

Lam calls it TARDIS because it's bigger on the inside, despite being the same length as our old Tercel.  This moniker got the thumbs up from previous van owner and fellow Doctor Who fan, Miss T's hubby, who I'd call "Mr. T", but he neither has a mohawk or has a penchant for gold chains.  Oh, and he's Chinese-Canadian.

We told Lam that, if he wants it painted TARDIS blue, he'll have to pay for the paint job himself.  He may actually be saving up for that.

But you might be thinking (or not, whatever), so, Nenette, after sharing with us the love you had for your Tercel, are you happy with the TARDIS?  Have you truly moved on?

Yes and yes.  Here's why...

1: It really is bigger on the inside, and this is key because Roomie wanted lots of cargo space for long drives and camping trips for the family.

2: It has air-conditioning.  When we bought the Tercel in '99, it was January, so it was -30C and all we cared about was not freezing our asses off.  The A/C was the last thing on our minds... until summer.  Our not-frozen asses started to get really hot in the not-good way, and we vowed to have A/C in our next car.

3: It has a working radio and cassette tape player.  The Tercel may not have had A/C, but it had a kick-ass stereo system with 12-CD disk changer.  But with wiring seemingly held together with spit and bubble gum, it inevitably died in 2003.  With 1 baby and another on the way at the time, we never found the opportunity to resuscitate it.
Now, I can play my old tapes again.  Glad I hadn't sold/thrown them away.  I can truly be 'old skool'.

4: It has a smooth, cushion-y, slide-through-butter ride.  With the Tercel, I felt every bump.  EVERY.  BUMP.

5: It's higher up, so I can see better. I'm short so this is key for me.

6: It has features the kids love.  Lots of cup holders, room to move and walk around in (when the car is parked of course), cool lights, and OMG, the sliding door is a big hit with Lam.

7: It makes me feel... worth it.  As much as I love our little speedy car, it's a clunker.  It ran rough.  It was gungy and dirty on the inside.  It was a rust bucket on the outside.  It was getting expensive to maintain because too many things were falling apart.  It was the exact opposite of luxurious.  And it's not surprising that it ended up like this because, for its 20 years on the road, it was driven HARD.
It wasn't until I drove our TARDIS did I realize how much I'd been putting up with all the crap.  Our Tercel was tired and ready to retire, and I was ignoring all the signs mainly because it still ran... and Roomie and I had no intentions of ditching it while it still ran because we hate waste.
No, our TARDIS isn't brand-spankin' new, but it's a sweet ride, and it makes me feel like the Universe is saying "you've paid your dues, so you can enjoy now".

I must admit that, the first time I saw the van, I didn't connect to it.  I didn't feel The Thing.  Now, I do.  She feels like ours.  Like one of the family.

I just need practice parallel parking her.

Car-Free: The Good, The Bad, and The OMG

Mini waiting for the bus to dance class... in the rain
All told, we had 4 weeks of no-car living.  Of considering the idea of taking my bike and quickly dismissing it because I knew I'd end up killing myself and/or causing a 5-car pile-up if I tried.  Of walking.  Of taking public transit.

Not since I was a hot, brilliant, 20-something engineer with a body that just won't quit living in Greater Vancouver with a 45-minute commute on the SkyTrain had I taken public transit so much. 

So, what was it like?  (She's going to tell, she's going to tell, she's going to tell... you know, from Monty Python...  No?... okay, never mind then)  Ahem, anyway, here are my thoughts on my car-free period -- the good, the bad, and the OMG...

The Good...
1: We felt so loved!  As soon as we lost the use of our car, so many of our friends offered to drive us around, to help us with groceries, gave us rides home, etc.  It warmed the cockles of my heart.  Totally.
2: The pain in the ass of parking a car Downtown is completely eliminated by not actually having a car.
3: We have a great public transit system, and we're lucky to live close to it.  And sometimes, with careful planning, we were able to get to places almost as quickly as we would with the car.
4: Instead of driving to our fave grocery store further out, we walked to one nearby and discovered that it had a better organic foods section.
5: Even the biggest, gruffest bus drivers get all soft, mushy, and smiley when cute little Mini flashed her sweetest grin and politely says in her little voice, "Transfer please."
6: We didn't buy gas for a whole month and saved $45.
7: We were even greener than we usually are by not adding to gas emissions.
8: With all the walking, I got more exercise... and lost 5 pounds.
9: Roomie and I, while the kids were at school, enjoyed a day cuddling and holding hands on the bus on the way to the mall across town.  It was like university all over again!... except we talked about our kids the entire time.

The Bad... 
1: Our independence and autonomy were stripped from us, and I felt bad that we were at the mercy of the weather and the schedule of public transportation.  I truly felt sorry for myself.
2: With our packed schedule and the amount of time it takes to get to some places via public transit, we were forced to cancel many of our appointments that were farther away... like our chiro adjustments which is at the opposite end of town.
3: Lam has severe motion sickness, and bus rides completely do him in.  The chiro adjustments helped him, but since we couldn't go to our appointments, he just got worse and worse.  We kept Gravol in business.
4: It's frightening when my kids vanish for a couple of seconds in a crowded bus surrounded by strangers and the occasional weird riff-raff.
5: If I have to be at a certain place by a certain time, I had to plan my connections carefully.  And I couldn't be late.  This meant getting the kids ready hours beforehand.  This seriously cut into my lounging around watching HGTV hanging on facebook writing and getting housework done.
6: We may have saved $45 on a full tank of gas, but we spent more than that much on bus fare.
7: My kid gets motion sickness on the bus.  Yeah, it's so bad I had to mention it twice.

The OMG...
1: The coughing, the sneezing, and the not-covering-their-mouths-and-noses while coughing and sneezing!!!  Public buses are germy.  I'm completely shocked that we didn't come down with the cold or something.
2: It was spring, but on the first weekend, IT SNOWED!!!  My warmed up cockles totally froze.
3: Oh, the smells!  Food, BO, and OMG the perfume and cologne!  And a lot of which added to poor Lam's nausea.  You know it's bad when the odours get on the bus before the people do. 
4: It threatened to rain cats and dogs on Picture Day at Mini's dance school.  You know, the same day we missed the bus.  And had to walk 3 long blocks.  Without an umbrella.
5: There were some really scary people on the bus.  They freaked Mini out.  They freaked me out too.  I held her very close and very tight during those bus rides.

In the end -- which, yes, it is because we now have a car! -- it was a learning experience.  I learned that it's ironically like riding a bike.
That once you've done it, you can do it again.
That it's so much tougher with kids!
That it's a good thing for my kids to experience.
That it's a good skill to know with the inevitable energy crisis and we haven't gotten off our asses and considered an alternative fuel source.
That our schedule is too packed for a stress-free car-free existence -- which I kinda have a problem with.
That it really isn't that bad.
And that I may not always be so quick to use the car and might consider using public transportation instead.

I'll tell you all about the new vehicle... in my next post.

it was Mother's Day, so every mom must...

... have a flower roll.

... eat sushi from a boat with their little girl.

... most importantly, "have a hairdo".

Sorry, I don't have the "After" shot of the hairdo.  Too bad.  It was magnifique!

4th Annual Life Candy Freebie 5: Who's on *your* list?

It's time!  It's time!  OMG, I'm so excited!  Aren't you?

Yes, my lovely boys and girls, it's that time of year again!  Today, I make my list and check it twice so you can find out all the naughty and nice boys on my Freebie 5 or Top 5 Crushes List.

I'm sure I don't have to explain what I mean by The List, right?

I do this every year as my tastes change. This should tell you how awesome Roomie must be because fickle me hasn't replaced him. Yet.

Anyway, you can check out the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd annual lists too.  You'll notice in those comments that it can turn into quite the free-for-all, so hit the comments button and share yours.

It's all in fun, so don't worry that I'll be knocking on your door one day demanding that you fulfill your promise to "do naughty things" to Johnny Depp or Jessica Alba or whoever.

Okay, here's my list for 2011...

1:  Gerard Butler.
Ah, yes, my pretend boyfriend.  My list will never be complete without him somewhere on it.  Usually on top, of course.  hehehe.  Ahem.  Anyway, he's no scientist-guy, but he's tall, funny, scruffy, and hot.  A fling with him would be a laugh-a-minute, and Roomie will confirm that, if you make me laugh, you totally have me.

2:  Steve Bacic.
He's the lone and first ever Canadian of the bunch.  He's into health and fitness, and, goodness, does it ever show.  Have you seen any of his interviews?  He's funny and cute, much like pretend boyfriend #1.  I prefer him with the beard.  I apparently like my boys hairy and funny.  Geepers, that doesn't look attractive on paper.  Neither does "geepers".

3:  Bill Campbell.
The picture is old, but he's aged well.  OMG, so well.  At first glance, he looks so dreamy and moody, then he smiles that playful smile and, holy jeebus, you're hooked.  Not much else to say except yum.

4:  Jonathan Rhys Meyers.
Obviously, my list isn't complete without a hot younger-than-me thing to demonstrate my cougarific cougarocity.  He's so hot.  And I haven't even watched The Tudors yet, which Harmzie has mildly encouraged me to do -- if "NO, YOU HAVE TO WATCH IT!!!" could be considered mild.  I suspect that when I see him in this show, I'll kersplode.  Blam!

5:  Clive Owen.
Do I have to explain?  Really?

Update (5pmCT)...

Bonus: Chris Hemsworth:
As my girlfriend Eunice said, "I can't watch the preview for Thor without thinking thoughts that start with 'Mmmmmm......'"  Well-said, my dear, well-said.

Okay, boys and girls, your turn.  Show us your top 5, 10, 100, whatever.


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Let's BEE Friends

Head over to Bruna's -- She's awesome!

an election, a touch-up, a run, and a wedding.

Hubby and I had an early morning date.  While the kids were at school, we held hands on our way to... vote!  Yep, Canadians hit the polls today.  And this liberal-leaning hottie (who is always shrouded in a healthy dose of self-esteem apparently) demands to have a government that won't screw up her beloved Canada.

My Canadian peeps, not sure who to vote for?  Check this...

Now, get out there and do it!


During my first ever Reiki session, my bff told me I had butterfly wings.  No wonder I had such joy and good fortune with my hula school whose logo was... a stalk of celery.  Kidding!  It was a butterfly.  :)

Here at Life Candy, in case you were reading my posts with your eyes closed, my header was a tad leafy and devoid of butterfly:
So, to celebrate my butterfly-ness, butterfly-osity, butterfly-liciousness, I've changed it.  (I know -- again.  Stop laughing.)  Check it out!  The butterflies are coming up over the horizon!

I've also slapped up some new borders and changed my welcome message.  I've tried to keep it simple and clean, took out some elements, changed the footer from 3-column to no-column, took out some crap, etc.

Let me know what you think!


Lam joined the running club at his school. Yeah, I was shocked.  He's my future high-tech mogul, not my future Olympian.  Meh, I guess it shouldn't matter how he makes his millions, right?

Anyway, the club starts up every spring to prep the kids who want to enter the Manitoba Marathon (to take place on Father's Day) so they won't throw up, have a heart attack, collapse, and sue the school for "torture disguised as physical fitness".

On the 27th, the marathon organizers held a kick-off event called Jog in the Park for the 26 schools taking part in the marathon.  I -- as cool, awesome and supportive mom -- volunteered to come long and supervise.

When all the kids were called to jog the short 2.5km circuit around the park, I -- as happy and energetic mom -- decided to jog along.

About halfway through, I -- as huffing and puffing mom who hadn't jogged in years -- thought "wow, this was foolish" and seriously considered asking one of the cute-and-very-fit gym teachers passing by to give me a piggy back ride back to the finish line. 

On marathon day, the Grade 3s have to have an adult run with them.  Lam asked if I could do it.  I -- as crazy and delusional mom -- am actually considering it.


I was already up.  It was 12:30am, so I thought "okay, I'll just stay up and watch the wedding."  At 2am, I thought "wow, this was foolish" (yes, 2nd time I've thought that this week), set the VCR to record it, and went to bed instead.

SO GLAD I DID, because now I can watch it over and over.  I can enjoy the little glances they gave each other, the loving smiles, the "you look beautiful" when he saw her for the first time that day, him holding her hand in the carriage, her doing her best to be proper in front of his family and to make him proud, and OMG, two kisses on the balcony!

Can you tell?  I'm a total smitten kitten over these two...