Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Very Vivian - Quiet Time

I haven't written a Very Vivian post in a long time - kind of for a reason and kind of not.  Mostly, the posts were easy to write when she was smaller.  Babies and toddlers change so much and do so many weird and funny things that it was easy to write about her at least once a week.  Now, she's 5 and a half, and while she's hilarious and amazing and changing so much, the stories are different.  The things she will say don't always translate into a blog post, and she's so sensitive.  She hates it when she hears me talking about her - so sharing her stories on the internet doesn't always feel like the right thing to do.  So I might write about her a little less, or just in bits and pieces in other posts rather than in big "GUESS WHAT MY KID DOES NOW" kind of posts. 

Vivian has hit an awesome stage - she loves her quiet time.  She usually comes home from school and goes straight to her room for a little chill time.  She likes her space and she likes her things, and being an only child she doesn't have a problem with entertaining herself.  It feels strange when I'm working on something or reading on the couch and she's just hanging out in her room, but that's what she likes.  I've often tried to go in and cuddle in bed with her while she's watching YouTube videos, only to be rebuffed with a "I just want alone time, Mommy. Maybe we can cuddle later."  It seems like a terrifying glimpse into her teenage years, but at the same time I'm glad that she can entertain herself and that she knows when she needs to just chill in her room. 

Monday, 30 May 2016

Treats of the Week - Showers

Between the sweltering heat, the hours of hip hop practice, and the time spent cutting the grass, it seems like I'm constantly showering these days.  I'm not complaining - it can be so refreshing to get in a nice, cool shower after being out in the heat and just rinsing all that grossness away.  Relaxing, yet energizing.  Amidst all the awesome, exciting things happening in the area this weekend, some really terrible things happened as well.  There were five separate stabbings in the City of London this weekend alone.  Once the temperatures rise, so too go the tempers.  Let's all try to stay chill, hmm?  Enjoy a nice cool shower, and bask in the good things around us.

  • This weekend marked my first outing at Shock Stock - London't horror and exploitation convention.  It was a really great time - don't know what's kept me away so long.  I always love to shop the floor at a con and this was no exception.  Since I'm not the type to dig through a box of weird old VHS tapes (although I was with a dude who is) I was happy to pick up some other weird items - some porcupine quills, a polished leopard serpentine stone for a necklace, some buttons and a Cinema Sewer pin, and this amazing coffee.  Deadly Grounds has all kinds of awesome varieties, but I was smitten with the Death by Chocolate, which they were serving iced.  SO GOOD.  The names are adorable too - Never Sleep Again, Dot's Die-ner, Haunted House - I loved them.  Although apparently it's weird to call horror stuff "adorable".

  • Also at Shock Stock I got to do another escape room - this time a special mini room that was put on by Sin Labs.  It was a horror themed one and only 30 minutes, but it was super hard.  They said it was 6 challenges in 30 minutes and we ran out of time on the final two.  Well, if I had finished wrestling with the stupid combination lock it would have been just the final one.  In any event, it was pretty fun.
  • Dustin gave his talk at Kangaroo Variety and it went so well!  Even with a late night the evening before of folding and cutting and folding and cutting it all managed to get done on time.  The talk was awesome - I was super proud.

  • Have the distance to empty reading on my new car has basically been the worst and best thing to ever happen to me.  With Foxy I would just hit the reset on the odometer when the gas light came on and guess how far I could go.  My record was 64 kilometers.  But now I know exactly how far I have to go and I definitely pushed it to the limit this week - sitting at 0 kilometers to empty at the gas station.  Kramer would be so proud of me.

  • I made it to the museum on Saturday to check out the Remember When exhibit.  It was pretty interesting - my favourite piece was a model of the Victoria steamer made from pieces of the wreckage.  I would have liked to check it out a little longer but we showed up 20 minutes before the museum closed.
  • Saturday was also the Grickle Grass Festival at the Children's Museum.  I'd never been before, but it was really cool to be in the museum after hours and just seeing grownups hanging out everywhere.  There was even an old dude rolling around on a Segway.  I wasn't cool enough to know any of the bands (except for Motherhood, who also played at Kangaroo Variety the night before) or any of the people, but it was still a great time.  PLUS I brought my dinosaur purse and basically everyone loved it.

  • Finally on Saturday night we hit Call the Office for the Shock Stock after party (yeah, Saturday was nuts.  We walked like 20 kilometers)  CTO is always a good time and it was awesome to see friends in Sprocket Damage close out the night.  Plus the dude who played the kid Jason in the first Friday the 13th has apparently banked a whole career on being "The First Jason" and we saw his band play.  He plays the keytar, and actually said, "Can we turn up the mic on the keytar?"  So that was worth it.

  • My irises are blooming in the front garden which makes me feel like things aren't quite such a mess.  My favourite flower is currently this one sitting next to me on my desk - a sweet little flower put there by a sweet little girl.

Be cool, honey bunnies!

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Whatcha Doin'?

All of a sudden it seems like there's a million things happening in London - and it's not even festival season yet!  I thought I would do a post about some of the events coming up in the next couple of weeks that I'm hoping/planning on attending.  Hit me up!

Friday, May 27
The Kangaroo Variety live magazines have become one of my favourite local events.  They're held once a month in the upper level of the old Novack's building.  This month is extra-special because my friend Dan Brown and my dude Dustin Adrian are both presenting.  If you dig storytelling or podcasts then you should definitely check it out!

Saturday, May 28
This Saturday night is also Grickle Grass, which is somehow even more hipster than Kangaroo Variety.  I haven't been before, but it's a party in the Children's Museum with live music and art, which sounds pretty awesome. 

Friday, May 27 - Sunday, May 29
If the hipsters aren't your scene, this weekend is also Shock Stock - Canada's Premier Horror/Exploitation convention.  This is another one I haven't gone to before, but I'm really excited to check it out.  There's vendors and screenings and parties, but I'm mostly excited for the horror-themed escape room!

There's also a new exhibit at Museum London that I want to check out - Remember When: an exhibition of souvenirs and mementos.  I kind of have a thing for souvenirs and local souvenirs especially, so this one is right up my alley!  It runs until September 11th so you have lots of time!

The next couple weekends are equally packed...

June 4 - Is the Gathering on the Green in Wortley Village, and the London Fringe Block Party during the day and then Nuit Blanche at night!  I'm hoping to take Vivian to check things out!

June 5 - Is the Forest City Flea - which was one of my favourite events of last year!  Hooray for local vendors! 

June 10 - There's a KULA Mall Night Market at the Novack's Building - perfect for any vendors you might have missed the weekend before. 

June 11 - There's a Touch a Truck event at the Strathroy Community Christian School for the kids. 

June 18 - Andrea's Dance School's annual recital at the high school in Strathroy!  The kids work so hard - and I guarantee you, this is not a lame recital.  The routines are amazing (I can't wait to see Fury Road, the big senior acro routine!) and there's the added bonus of seeing us moms get up there to dance.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Treats of the Week (and a half)

Man, I'm getting bad at these posts.  Especially with a long weekend the time just gets away from me and I don't get things posted!  I'm also going to rely heavily on the excuse that I threw my back out last week and was basically just on the couch watching documentaries for a couple days.  How did I come to do such a thing?  Well I'm thinking it had something to do with trying to do acro on Sunday, cutting the grass on Monday, organizing the garage on Tuesday, and then dragging around a way too heavy purse on Wednesday.  By the end of my lunch break on Wednesday I was shuffling along and taking way too long to sit down.  By Sunday I was pretty well back to normal though, so I still salvaged some weekend!

  • I took Vivian to the drive-in for the first time on Saturday and she LOVED it.  She went straight for the playground and played while I got our snacks then she settled in to the front seat to watch Angry Birds.  We found it worked best to have her booster seat up in the passenger seat so she could see.  She loved eating her popcorn and being able to chat with me during the movie.  She managed to stay awake for the whole thing too - I think it will definitely be a routine this summer!
  • I've started hip hop for the Dance Moms routine at the dance recital and it is no joke!  I was going to do tap, but couldn't make a session on the weekend because of my back and was going to miss another one which would have put me too far behind.  Hip hop was three hours on Sunday and even though it's super tough I think it's going to be really fun.  The recital is on June 18th if you want to come see me dance!  And, y'know, Vivian and the other kids.
  • Vivian has also been enjoying her yoga classes and finally got her own yoga mat yesterday from my mom and she couldn't be more proud.  She looks weird in the picture, but trust me she's thrilled.  She's really enjoying taking yoga - and it seems to be helping her calm down!

  • It is so nice and warm out!  I'm so glad to be able to wear dresses and not have to freeze in the morning.  I even got a little bit of colour on the weekend - although I doubt I'll be anywhere near as dark as I was last year!
  • I am a sucker for a grab bag - she when Kate Gabrielle had some for $10 I couldn't resist!  My package arrived yesterday and it's pretty much the most perfect thing ever.  You guys, it's a velociraptor brooch.  I've been thinking a lot about getting a dinosaur tattoo and this pretty much seals the deal.  Now who wants to pay for it?

  • On Monday mom and I took the crew out to African Lion Safari.  We went last year on the Monday of May 2-4 weekend as well and it worked out really well.  The crowds aren't too bad and it isn't too hot yet.  The kids loved it - I was grumbling before we got in the gate.  (Seriously, there were people who had pulled over and were taking pictures with the directional signs pointing the way to the park.  Not even at the actual park yet.  The worst.)  I think my favourite part was this ostrich who didn't give a fuck and laid down beside this van until a zookeeper had to come over and bang a stick on the ground to get him to move.  He promptly sat down on the opposite side of the vehicle.  You do you, ostrich.

  • I've totally got that spring cleaning bug - which works out well since my anxiety has been bad this past week and organizing helps me to calm down.  I've been organizing drawers and the garage and closets and it feels so good to get rid of things - even if it prompts Dustin to say things like, "What's going on?  Why are you organizing?  Are  you upset?"  Sometimes you just gotta organize.  Now if only I could get a truck to come and take away all this excess stuff - then I would really be in business!

Kind of quiet this week - but this weekend is crazy busy so there should be lots of treats there!

Monday, 16 May 2016

Treats of the Week - Bright Ideas

I do a lot of dumb things.  I would even say that I do dumb things on a fairly regular basis.  I'm a smart person, but that doesn't always equate smart actions.  So when a survey came around for this year's edition of Dance Moms for Vivian's dance recital, I clicked that I would be interested in Beginner Acro.  And so I spent the better part of two hours yesterday tumbling, cartwheeling, handstanding, and backbending.  I am definitely feeling it today.  Luckily, there wasn't enough interest for a mom acro routine in the recital, but it sounds like I'll at least be doing hip hop, and potentially jazz and tap as well.  I'm probably crazy for it, but it's fun and Vivian gets a kick out of seeing me dance.  I think it's important for her to see me trying things and being okay with looking silly or imperfect.

How about some less painful treats, yes?

  • My coffee was happy to see me the other day - and I was just as happy to see it.

  • I was out on Saturday night for my friend Kimberly's birthday.  Not only did I have a delicious marlin dinner at Lola's in Sarnia, but I also found $10 at the bowling alley after!  I was the top bowler as well - quite the feather in my cap.
  • I cut the grass tonight, which isn't exactly a treat.  But I did manage to finish cutting it just before it started to rain.  This seemed like enough of a reason to order pizza for dinner.
  • There's nothing quite like new stamps for work!

  • I had some successful thrifting today - I found another copy of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, which makes my second complete set.  I gave the first set to Dustin for Christmas, and this second set is for me, but if I find a third set I will be putting it up for sale!

  • I got carded TWICE this weekend - once while wearing makeup and once with no makeup.  I'm going to chalk this up as a win rather than focusing on the fact that I went to the LCBO twice in one weekend.
  • I made the mistake of trying the fancy new raspberry truffle donut from Tim Horton's today.  That was a poor but delicious choice.
  • In related news, those new Smores Oreo cookies are not very good.  If you have any in your home, you should probably just bring them to me so I can dispose of them for you.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Treats of the Week - All the things

It has been a packed week! Things are always feast or famine like that - this coming weekend I have like zero plans and this past week was constantly on the go! Lots of treats - and excuse any formatting because I'm posting this from my phone due to the constant comedy of errors that is my life. 

Wednesday was McHappy Day - when I have my annual Big Mac. The calories don't count when it's charity, you see. Vivian and I took our dinner to the park for a picnic, which she abandoned after about three French fries, leaving me to just be a chubby mom eating McDonalds in the park. 

I love Apple Music - I really don't mind paying for it because it's so handy to have all kinds of playlists and albums at my fingertips. This "self-deprecating rap" playlist made me laugh. 

Vivian made me this beautiful necklace for Mother's Day - and also gave me a gift card to McDonald's. She knows me so well. 

What does one geek give another for an anniversary gift? Why the official graphic novel sequel to Django Unchained, of course! I can't wait to read it!

Saturday was also Free Comic Book Day and it was SO GOOD this year. They finally closed a section of Dundas Street for the event so there was a lot more of a festival feel. I wasn't able to bring Vivian because I had to go to Toronto and I was worried about all the waiting, but seeing how it ran with the street closed makes me much more inclined to bring her out next year. Bonus? Totally saw this Batmobile cruising down the 401 on the way to Toronto. 

My garden is in that nice spot where things are blooming and filling in, but isn't yet full of weeds.

My coffee was happy to see me this morning, and I was happy to see it. 

On Wednesday I also went to see Eagles of Death Metal and Death From Above 1979 and it was an awesome show! There's nothing better than a really great rock show, and it was pretty amazing to see Eagles of Death Metal still going strong after the Paris attacks. 

My pin board is getting pretty full! I found that perfect flamingo pin at Blue Pepper Vintage and that Super Mario pin is my new favourite - he slides up to punch the block! 

The main event of Saturday was a trip to Toronto for a special screening of Wu Xia and an appearance by martial arts legend Donnie Yen. The movie was actually really great - and he was incredibly gracious during the Q & A which followed. I didn't score a wristband, but lucky Dustin did and he will basically never be happier than he was when he met his hero. 

I had been nervously awaiting my grades for the second semester and actually ended up doing better in Policy Processes than I expected! I was super worried about that course so it was a huge relief to see that grade posted! Now I just need to focus on my major research paper and it's on to the next thing!

Monday, 2 May 2016

Treats of the Week - Bit of a Break

So, I took a little break there!  I think that might be the first time since my surgery that I actually missed a Treats of the Week post!  My excuse isn't very interesting - I spent most of last weekend curled up and miserable with a stomach bug which put me behind on an already very tight deadline.  So I spent the first part of last week coming home from work, getting Vivian fed and into bed, and then working until midnight.  Probably not my wisest decision, but it's over now until the next crisis.  So let's see what I remember of treats from the past couple of weeks!

  • Last Saturday night was the worst night of the fun little bug I came down with, which meant Sunday was a little rough.  My mom, ever the superhero, came over to take Vivian out for a couple of hours so I could rest and try to do some work and they picked up some groceries for me which was a huge help!  
  • In related "bad idea" news, I decided that I needed to move my china cabinet last night but didn't want to take anything out of it.  Miraculously I managed to move it across the room without breaking anything inside of it, or any part of my person.

  • I cut the grass for the first time of the season on Saturday, and while I was not impressed with all the broken glass I found in my front yard (grrr) it did feel really good to be outside and things always look so much nicer once the grass has been cut.  Per usual there's a bunch of stuff I would like to see done in the yard this year, but who knows if I'll actually get around to any of it.
  • I scored some awesome new pins from Ludlow Luna, but unfortunately they didn't arrive in time for the Retromania screening of Beetlejuice on Friday night.  It was so great to see that movie again - I probably haven't seen in all the way through in 20 years and it really holds up.

  • Also from Ludlow Luna?  This perfect Jawbreaker sticker.  "I killed Liz, I killed the teen dream.  Deal with it."

  • I picked up this letterpress-type tray from Talize a few weeks ago and finally got around to hanging it up.  I knew Vivian would love it for all her little ponies and figures!  It's huge and it was only $6!

  • This weekend was another volume of Kangaroo Variety at Brown & Dickson.  If you're in London you should keep an eye out for this event.  It's a live magazine - so you can expect interviews, storytelling, videos, live food reviews, all manner of things.  It's super hipster but it's a really cool way to learn more about the people working and living in your community.

  • After a small extension (or two) I finally got my final paper of the semester handed in.  I didn't do quite as well as I was hoping (probably because it was due the Friday when I started to get sick and was struggling to be coherent) but I ended up with a grade that I'm pleased with.  Still waiting on the final grade from my other course and then I'm just working on my major paper for the summer.  Is it bad that I'm already researching new programs for the fall?  Probably.
  • If you haven't checked out Chef's Table on Netflix you totally should.  It's a documentary series and it's so oddly compelling.  I mean, cooking shows in general kind of draw you in, but this one delves so much into the philosophies of different chefs and really examines what makes them do what they do with such passion.  I highly recommend it.
  • I just scored tickets for David Cross in Toronto in July and I'm so excited!  I saw he was going on tour a while ago but there weren't any Canadian dates at the time.  So glad I jumped on this presale!
There's probably more, but my brain has been fried lately.  Somehow it's already May, and I'm looking forward to Vivian being done school and having some vacation time this summer.  Daytrips are calling my name.