Jerry Seinfeld owns his own parking garage full of cars.

Imelda Marcos had 2700 pairs of shoes.

Amy, if she could, would be the Queen of hats.

5.11: Princess

Not the just Philip Treacy does Princess Beatrice kind of hats (though I’m sure she’s give them a go), but anything that will fit on her head. A pasta strainer: check. Metal bowl: check. Mama’s bra: check. A towel: check.

In fact, for public outings she is quite partial to a tiara or her sunhat.  Not just your run of the mill, floppy cotton hat (RIP beautiful simple reversible hat from Jamaica, We miss you) but a lovely stripped straw number that she NEEDS to wear to pick Noah up from school or to go grocery shopping.  Most little girls have a doll or a blanket, but our daughter fancies herself as a mini Queen Lizzie and likes to have her hat and purse.  I hope she doesn’t realise that she wears gloves too.

5.11: Beach bunny

 

But being mostly me, with a splash of Lee, her absolute favourite hat … excuse me while I pause for a hard swallow as the pride within me rises … the humble and noble toque (or tuque if you prefer to stick with the French Canadian beginnings).

Lee Cam Misc and May 132

 

5.11: Logger

Seriously.  The girl will wear a toque all day.  Take it off every now and then to check just which one she is wearing and then readjust it and carry on with whatever she is doing.   The best part, to her, is that since we’ve started going through all of our belongings, we’ve discovered that we have a plethora of the fine woolen headwear.  It is Toddler Toque Heaven around these parts and she couldn’t be happier.  Yellow, red, stripes, dongles, loose, tight, soft, itchy.  One for every mood!  No, really.  There are that many!

5.11: Skier

It is an odd fascination, bordering on addiction, but the way we see it .. it could be so much worse!  So hats off (feel free to groan) to Amy’s ‘new thing’.

And let’s hope that Noah’s ‘new thing’ is more of a fad than a fixation.

Lee Cam Misc and May 175

No, that’s not a tan.. it’s a tiger. Can’t you tell? No? You mean you don’t take a blush brush and spread brown eyeshadow all over your face when you’re in the mood to ROAR?

Someone should maybe mention that to Noah.

Today is supposed to be a happy day.  Today you are supposed to be 65.  You are supposed to be celebrating with your children and their children or at least looking forward to a visit from them.  You are supposed to be there when Amy or Noah get sick and I am in a panic because I don’t know how to fix them.  You are supposed to be here to push me when I feel like I’m stuck.   You are supposed to be here to infuriate me and make me laugh and tell me I’m wrong even when I’m not and to let me know you love me one minute and then turn around and insult me the next.

I still pretend that you are at the office or on a trip.  That I am going to get an email or a phonecall and you’ll act like nothing ever happened and I’ll be so mad but so relieved all at the same time.   Less than a month ago it was my birthday.  You were supposed to be the first person to call me and wish me happy birthday.  You always were, no matter what time zone I was in.  I woke up and I waited. And then I got in the shower and cried.  Everyone said that it would get better with time.  That it gets easier.  That you were happier.  Their lies didn’t make me feel better nearly five years ago and they all still remain untrue today.

To be honest, I think it might actually be worse.  Watching these two children grow up is both amazing and painful.  You would love them.  Even Amy and her stinkin’ tantrums.  She is a true Gemini, just like you.  She is the happiest princess in the world one moment and the unhappiest monster in the world the next.  She is so strong and yet so fragile.  So funny and yet so straight.  And Noah.  Oh Noah.  He is polite, sweet, silly, funny, shy and smart.  He’s a thinker before he becomes a doer.  But when he does, he does it right.  He loves fully and really only dislikes mushrooms and shrimp.  He’s scared of the silliest things and hides behind his little sister a lot.    He sings and cannot dance worth a damn, but he loves to.   Whenever I look at them, I see you or I see the faces you’d make watching them do whatever it is they are doing.  I hate that you have missed ever single day of their lives.  It is so unfair; for you, for me and mostly for them.

If I could make a wish today, for you, I would wish that you could spend a day … even an hour … with all four of your grandchildren that have never had the chance to spend time with a grandfather that would have loved them more than anything in this world (other than smoking and coffee and a Big Mac).

I miss you every minute of every day and though I’ve managed to keep the tears in more than I used to, days like today knock me back to square one.  I so wish I was able to call you today and wish you a Happy Birthday.  I so wish I could just hear your voice.

I miss you.

And I love you more than you ever knew.

They went to the chapel Abbey and they… got married…

And I was there. Not as an official guest or even outside the Abbey, but as one of the million people along the Mall. Though we like to describe it more as The Inner Circle since access to our area was closed off at around 7am. That also meant our access to the toilets was cut off. FINALLY! My super talent of holding in my pee all day paid off!!!

X Marks The Spot

This ‘We’ I refer to is not in fact the Royal WE, though it would be appropriate for the occasion. We actually refers to Stacy and … well.. me. We left the husbands with the midgets, slung our bags on our shoulders and hopped a train to London. Then we checked into the hotel, threw our bags down (gently) and headed off to check out the scene around Buckingham Palace. We scoped out the spots with the best views, the most available space and access to toilets.

After thinking we’d got it all covered, we stopped and watched Lainey Lui do her thing from the Duke of York Steps for CTV, and then headed off to Covent Garden for pasta and wine before a stop at Marks and Sparks to get our Wedding Day food and drink supplies.

We returned to the hotel to rest our sore feet and set the alarm for 4am. It was a great plan that originally had us going to bed by 8.30. Only we did the lights out thing and couldn’t stop talking. Eventually though we realised that we had an important task ahead of us and 4am is never pretty, no matter how much sleep you get.

The alarm went off, we got ourselves clean and dressed and headed off to catch a bus. All of our fellow passengers were on the same mission as us. Except the one dude that was sitting up top who I think may have been riding the bus as an alternative to sleeping on the street. After all, it was cold the night before.

Anyway, we headed down the road toward the Canada Gates and aside from flashbacks from Backpack-Gate, I could see that there were definitely more people than we’d left behind the night before. The line up for the port-a-potties was not a joke. It looked like people lining up for the hottest nightclub in town. Luckily I peed 3 times in the hour before we left the hotel.

The previous evening we had decided to head up The Mall. There was plenty of room up front when we’d last seen it and if we were going to get a good view of something… anything.. then we were going to head up there. Only, as we ducked and weaved through the crowds outside of the palace and in front of the media buildings we stopped and looked at each other. Although it was packed almost everywhere, there was this one patch of grass that was open and available. Not only that, but it had a clear view of The Balcony. We were not sure that what we were seeing was to be believed. I mean this was PRIME real estate. Where were the rightful spotters?! Why were there people stacked like sardines to the left and right of where we were standing and yet here we stood .. with breathing space.

Quickly we went over the pros and cons of where we were versus where we had planned on going. There really were no positives to moving. Okay, so the procession was going to come back and go around the opposite side of the fountain, but from where we were we could see them come into The Inner Circle and we had a clear view of the the main gates where they’d enter. And again The Balcony. So we stayed.

And then they cut off access. No more interlopers in the Inner Circle (aside from Freddie and Conor who sweet talked security). And no more opportunity to pee. Awesome. Sort of.

There was a lot of time to kill, but it actually passed quickly. We could see the various morning programs doing their things. Adrian and Christine, Eamon, Piers and Anderson with Cat, GMA, etc. Between playing Guess The Guest and watching the buzzing inside the palace gates, we always had something to look at.

And then the guests started leaving for the wedding. First the big coaches filled with … who knows. Followed by the minivans with the likes of Chelsy Davy. And then the Rolls Royces started rolling. We missed Wills and Hot Harry since they left from Clarence House, but we saw the rest of the family from Prince Andrew and the girls underneath those hats to The Queen. Or as she is referred to in the Official Program: THE QUEEN. (Kanye would be proud. Speaking of.. I thought he was supposed to be invited to the wedding?!)

On the Way to the Wedding

Whilst people around the world got to watch the ceremony on television screens in homes, bars, hotels and even on beaches, those of us who sat there for hours only got the pleasure of listening to it on tannoys. It was surreal. The whole day was, but listening to the ceremony with a million others to that whole echo effect audio of the ceremony was by far the most surreal. It sounded like we were waiting for the announcement that the war was over. I am talking WWII here.

After the ceremony the buzz started to spread across the crowd because it meant they were on their way back. We all stood up and waiting to hear the cheers down The Mall get closer and closer. Finally we saw the horses start to round the corner and then the 1902 State Landau holding the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge appeared. Followed by Harry and the kids and then Pippa and the kids, The Parents (and Camilla) and of course Lizzie and Phil.

Return to the Palace

The Queen Returneth

The crowd was electrified and once they were all safely inside Buckingham Palace, the sea of people who had been lining The Mall started to fill the road in front of us. Some people hopped the barrier to get closer, but we knew that we still had it good. We still had a clear view (aside from those 2 Australian douchenozzles that decided to stand on the chair in front of us) of The Balcony. And as excited as people were, they were quiet. It was almost like you could hear the handle turn on the balcony doors and when we saw the glass on the doors vibrate a bit the crowed roared for the married couple.

Oh, Hi. Didn't See You There

Soon the whole family came out (or at least the wedding party, The Parents (and Camilla) and THE QUEEN and Philly Phil) and we had the kisses and the fly overs and the wave goodbye.

Are We All Here?

And then it was over.

We battled the crowds and the miscommunication between groups of police officers on where we were allowed to exit, headed off to Westminster Abbey and heard the end of the bells peeling, saw the Houses of Parliament, watched Big Ben ring in 3 O’Clock and then sat our worn and weary bums on the tube back to the hotel.

For the next 3ish hours we sat and hoped our bodies would repair themselves in the comfort of the room with the nice mattresses (though Stacy was too sore and apparently scared of ladders to climb up to her bed) and clean and accessible toilet! We looked through the Evening Standard at all of the photos that they had already printed and watched tv so we could see everything that we had heard.

Three days later, I can honestly say that I have not recovered. It still feels surreal and I still feel exhausted. Kudos to Stacy for flying back to the States on Sunday and being able to go to work tomorrow. You are a champion. A champion that got to see little Wills marry his Princess. How crazy is that?!

The only downside to the trip, was that Hot Harry obviously got confused and didn’t have us on the guest list for the night time celebrations. Next time, right? When Harry gets married, I’ll totally be down for staying at Base2Stay again. Just send the invite there for me. Thanks!

And Thank You Stacy, Jennie, Freddie and Conor, Benni and Timo and the amazingly behaved public (aside from those two assclown Aussies and then early morning drunk) for a great experience. And to Wills and No More Waity Katie for the occasion.

Cheers!

Royal Revellers

Independence in a child can be cute. It can be frustrating. It can be wonderful. It can be messy.

There will be no photos to accompany this post, for two reasons: a) my camera battery is charging for the trip to London and b) I like you. Most of you, anyway.

Amy is our independent child. Sure, she can be the human manifestation of Saran Wrap (read: Cling Film), but generally she wants to do everything for herself.

Not 15 minutes ago, I heard her doing something on the floor in the living room and asked her what she was doing. She ignored me at first and then came to me holding out a baby wipe. A baby wipe covered in baby poo. Not a little bit of fecal matter either. I called Lee over because I knew we had a situation on our hands and I was scared.

Turns out, I had every reason to be.

We’ve deduced that she must have done her business, climbed up on her horse which assisted in squeezing it out as she reenacted Luke Perry’s stellar performance in 8 Seconds to Glory. She then noticed and thought .oO(oh, let me get this…), proceeding to wipe it all over the floor and I guess when she thought there was too much on the wipe, relieved her cleaning partner of the weight and spread it on the couch cushion.

Guess that seals the Not Taking To Canada deal.

I love her. Really, I do. But at this moment in time, I am loving Lee WAY more because while I type this, he has her in the bath making sure all of the poo is cleaned out from between her chubby toes.

Is it weird that I just described a 65 year old’s body as ‘banging’?

Anyway, enough about her. This is about me. Me and my grey hair. Make that me and my grey HAIRS.

Last year when I turned 34, I looked through my head and found approximately 8 grey hairs. When you consider my parentage, I was damn happy and almost superhuman to have so few. But something happened between then and now. Something so frightening that I had Lee take a photo and couldn’t actually bring myself to share it with you all.

They’re EVERYWHERE! On the sides, in the front, in the middle, and luckily I don’t really have eyes in the back of my head because I can guarantee there’d be some there too.

I know that this isn’t a massive deal. I mean, I’ve already come to terms that we might have to start taking Amy and Noah to the salon when they reach 9 and 10 because they’re fighting an uphill battle now. But I am still scared. Do I embrace it (apparently my momma says I shouldn’t) and be proud of my silver foxiness or do I continue to hide beneath a petri dish of chemicals and colours a little while longer? If so, do I go back to highlights to let me live the lie longer between touch ups?!

Hello, this is important business here! I almost wish I had short hair so that I could just let it grow and not worry. Then the poor midgets would have everyone at school thinking they lived with their grandparents (no offence Mr. Clooney… err Lee)

But really, can it be that bad to just let nature take its course? It seems to work for Helen Mirren. And okay, I don’t her genetics facially or ‘banging bodily’, but still. I am a lazy person. A cheap, lazy person. I’m only fooling myself if I think I can escape the glaringly grey reality for too much longer.

While I figure out which route to take, I’ll be at the salon on Saturday giving myself a little while longer before I decide who wins in the battle of Vanity v Lazy.

What I wouldn’t give right now to be a 3 year old whose biggest decision is whether to take off some of his clothes or all of his clothes whilst he pretends to be a polar bear.

No, I’m not about to pull a Van Gogh (Van Go to my North American peeps and Van Goff to the Brits apparently).

But I am still freakin’ deaf. Seriously now, this is getting ridiculous. Do you know how hard it is to try and keep tabs on two crazy midgets with only one good ear? Do you realise the joy they get when the phone rings and I am running around like a headless chicken because I can’t tell where the sound is coming from? And to make it all just that little bit worse, there appears to be action in the ear. I’m not exactly sure if it is good action or bad action, but heyzeus it is annoying.

Currently the midgets are asleep. Out of my good ear I can hear that there are birds chirping and Amy is stirring (so now I have to sit here like a statue hoping she doesn’t clock me and fully wake up. These damn singing birds! Don’t they realise that just because I can’t hear doesn’t mean the other people in my house are suffering the same fate?! Phew… she’s out again). Out of my bad here, I don’t hear much. But inside of it I can hear the din of a small plane engine. Or actually, it sounds more like there is a toilet running constantly in my ear.

If you’ve ever suffered in a house with an ever running toilet, you know how this can get quite annoying after a while. Though usually in that case you can stop it temporarily. Mine is constant and I can’t even flush it.

I haven’t even developed any extra senses to make up for it either.

And now I’ve blogged about it twice in a row which makes it not only annoying to me, but boring to you. Let’s hope that this clears up soon so my brain can obsess about something else that I’ll feel a burning need to share with the Internet!

(I’ve just realised that I wrote this only 3 days after the last ear post. That post was a week after I’d been to the doctor. I’ve gone again this week and she’s put me on antibiotics which ‘should’ help. THEY BETTER. Lee is getting really sick of me yelling when I speak and if I don’t snap soon, he will.)