Saturday 30 January 2010

Little House on the Big Stage

Wednesday was the first time Little House on the Prairie: The Musical - starring Melissa Gilbert herself as 'Ma' - played to audiences in Toronto. Except Melissa Gilbert did not play 'Ma' that night! She was sick. She was back on the stage the next night, but that doesn't do me any good does it? The kicker was that we had the meet and greet after the show. I was a little too excited to be meeting Melissa Gilbert. Who didn't grow up watching Laura and the rest of the Walnut Grove gang? This was such an opportunity; we'd be meeting Melissa!

To tell the truth, I was just as geared up to be spending some time with some of the 'Yummy Mummies' I've come to know and adore on Twitter. Laugh if you will, but I've made some amazing connections through this social media forum. It was great to see so many of them there that night. We got a few pictures of the cast and the yummies. (But not meeting Melissa was quite disappointing. Do you remember how excited I was to be meeting her?!)
That's me in the purple scarf. The kid next to me is Melissa Gilbert's son. He plays Willie Oleson, Nellie's sister, in the show.
The 'Yummies' and the cast looking up at Rachael as she takes our picture.

I have to say, I did really enjoy myself at this show. I had to really think about whether that was because of the musical itself, or the fact that I got to hang out with these women before and after the show, and during intermission. (And, oh ya, Jean-Paul was there, too.) I think it's half and half. The night would not have been quite as enjoyable had it not been for the company, but I did enjoy the musical, too.

I'll let you in on a little secret. My husband knows this about me, but I'll share it with you, too. I have two brains. I see a show from two (sometimes very different) perspectives. I have my critical 'theatre brain'. This brain agrees with what Richard Ouzounian said in his Toronto Star review. This brain sees set doors that are built and not used. Why did Pa just walk through the wall?! This brain watches as Laura and Almanzo jump off the wagon they're speeding along in as the sing to each other (in that the-other-person-can't-hear-me-singing fashion). OMG! Stay on the buggy, for pete's sake! This brain listens to the music and hears overly-simplicstic lyrics and not one stand out song. Are they singing AGAIN?! This brain wonders why the hell Mary's little sister, Carrie, just ran off without her BLIND sister in a terrible fire as the fields burned. What just happened? This brain watches three separate occassions that seem to be nearing climax, but it never happens. Girls, don't you just hate that?! This brain wonders why they even bothered to show the couple Laura was staying with while she taught in a neighbouring town - and moreso, why did they give the wife a song of her own? Well, that was useless. This brain wonders why 'Pa' is glaringly obviously not playing that fiddle! Can ya fake it a bit better please? I'm having Milli Vanilli flashbacks.

Oh ya, another thing my 'theatre brain' was critical of was this. It likely won't happen on many nights of the run, if ever again, but one of the domino effects of Melissa Gilbert being sick that night was that 'Eliza Wilder' had to step into the role of 'Ma'. That meant that 'Eliza's understudy had to step into that part. That understudy happened to black, which would generally be absolutely fine. In this case however, that means that Almanzo and Eliza Wilder were interracial siblings. Not very likely to have happened in the Prairie's in the late 1800s.

Now, for my other brain. My other brain has the ability to remove itself from these foibles. My other brain can sit back and thoroughly enjoy something that my 'theatre brain' would tear apart. I credit this other brain for my love of cheesy disaster movies. I do. I love 'Volcano' and 'Armageddon' and all that other crap out there. Hell, I even enjoyed 'The Core'. I KNOW!

My other brain did enjoy this show. My other brain loved the content of 'Ma's song when she was singing about how she could possibly be raising two such different daughters; she wonders what she has done to have them turn out as they have. My other brain loved watching the stories unfold on stage that I know deep in my heart from watching for all those years. My other brain liked the over-the-top portrayal of Nellie. My other brain could dismiss 'Pa's lack of fiddlin' skills and enjoy the number, smiling along with the Ingalls. My other brain is looking forward to going to see the show again. We have tickets to go again in February as part of our regular subscription. Although he can overlook some things and enjoy the show, Jean-Paul does not have this 'other brain'. He will not be going to see the show again. He's on side with Richard O of the Toronto Star and J Kelly Nestruck of the Globe and Mail.

Little House on the Praire: The Musical runs until February 28 at the Canon Theatre in Toronto (formerly The Pantages). You can click on the link at the side of this page for tickets. Make sure to quote FAITH to get them as low as $25.

Please comment and let me know if you're planning to see it and what you thought!

Monster trucks! And motorcycles!! And racecars!!!

Yes, kids. We took Zachary - our little trailer park boy - to Monster Jam a couple weeks ago. The Rogers Centre (formerly the SkyDome) was host to the event. Zachary had an absolute blast. If you ask him what his favourite part was, he'll reply, "The monster trucks! And the motorcycles!! And the racecars!! And crashing!!!" So, pretty much everything. He even kept his hearing protection on when it was needed. No argument about it at all. I think he liked the ear muffs. :)

Here are a "few" pictures from Zachary's day out with Mommy and Daddy. (Alexandria got to stay with Nana and Grandpa for a couple nights so Zach could get some one-on-two time).

At the Pit Party prior to Monster Jam

El Toro Loco - the truck on the shirt :)

This car won the Demo Derby. It says 'Alex' & 'Z Man' on it!

On the way to the subway via the ACC to kill some time before showtime!

Playing some hockey in the ACC tunnel to Union Station.

Posing with 'Carlton'. Look who's on the TV! It's Daddy as the Dough Dude!

Boy! That is LOUD!!
El Toro Loco racing
Watching the motorcycles. Yay!
Go Monster Trucks!!
The demolitian derby! SMASHing and CRASHing!!
A quick shot of us after the show.
It's over..... :(  But we all had a GREAT time!!

Thursday 28 January 2010

How did anyone think this was ever acceptable?!

This came as a complete and utter shock to me. The fact that this would even pass as remotely ok is beyond my comprehension. And it's apparently standard practice in Canadian teaching hospitals. Bad Moms Club ranted about this yesterday and I have to weigh in.


(being a woman) + (being unconscious due to surgery) = possible nonconsensual pelvic exam

Yes, you read that right. It is entirely possible if you've had surgery in a teaching hospital that you may have had a number of medical students poking around in your girly parts. This happens REGULARLY! And it's not occuring to the medical community that anything is wrong with that?! A woman needs to give implicit consent for that to happen, in my opinion. Does this not sound a bit rape-y to anyone else?

From the Globe and Mail article:

"The long-standing argument in favour of allowing these exams to be done on surgery patients is that it provides a unique opportunity for students to practice the delicate, invasive examination without causing the woman pain or embarrassment.

There is also an assumption that women would never accept pelvic exams by students while conscious so sneaking them in, while not ideal, is acceptable."

This, to me, is also a glaring example of why the medical community needs to operate more as midwives do. Midwifery is all about informed consent, whereas doctors and the medical community seem to operate under the mindset of "just do this because I know best." Some of it is a lack of time doctors have, but it leads to a much bigger issue overall.

But, I digress...

I still just flabbergasted over this. Here is a link to an open letter regarding these practices. Please leave your comment as a show of support to getting this policies changed - and changed NOW. This is nowhere near the realm of 'OK'.

Thursday 21 January 2010

The more things change..

I was looking through my old graduating-year high school yearbook. I came across the "Grad Year Memories" and thought I'd share them with you:

There Will Never Be Another Tonight
Everything I Do, I Do It For You

Bryan Adams
I guess he was bigger than I remember at that time.
C&C Music Factory
Doesn't everybody still dance now when they hear 'Things That Make You Go Hmmmm' or 'Gonna Make You Sweat'?
Ah yes. The shirts that let the whole world know how nervous you really are. (And where his hands really were.) Does anyone else recall breathing heavily on these shirts? Or was that just me?

Hockey on Strike
Some Leaf fans out there might be wishing this were still true...
Wayne's World
Bohemian Rhapsody
Then it was Wayne's World that made it big again. Now it's The Muppets. "Mama!... Mama?..."
Snow days
William Tell Overture by Rossini
Let's Talk About Sex, I'm Too Sexy
Parents everywhere were pleased about these songs, I'm sure. Especially the first one.
Not! Shyeah! Right! Exsqueeze me?
We were really lovin' Wayne's World, I see!
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
On The View the other day they were talking about this concept as if it were revolutionary...
Beverly Hills 90210
Of course, this one's back again!

Saturday Night Live
Of course, this one's still around. Right? Does anyone watch anymore?
Meningitis scare
Now it's the swine flu..
The fall of the Soviet Union
Polka Dot Door skits
Apparently I have a bad memory... What? (Or was I skipping?)
Los Angeles Riots
Life is a Highway-Tom Cochrane
Now it's Life is a Highway-Rascal Flatts (over and over... we have 'Cars' fans in the house)
Now You're Laughin'
Gotta Have It (Uh-Huh)
Let's Get Rocked
This song still kicks ass - and Def Leppard still rocks!
Euchre, Butt*
Apparently that one was edited for the yearbook...
Who's Bob?
Happy 125th Birthday, Canada!
This year will make it 143 for Canada. She doesn't look a day over 125, though. Have you had work done?

Saturday 16 January 2010

Zach sings *dun dun* Mighty 'chines

My foot got peed on and that's awesome!

And I don't mean that sarcastically. I'm truly happy my foot got peed on. You know why? Because Zach went potty on his own. No coaxing.

Alex and Zach were toweling off from their bath. I had just helped Zach brush his teeth before bed and I was in the process of helping Alex. Zach wandered over to the potty, dropped his towel, took aim... and fired. I lept into action! The dude needs help with his aim. He/we got most of it in the potty. Only a dribble got onto my foot.

Yay! One step closer to diaper-freedom, baby!!

And while I was looking for a graphic or picture to use for this post, I came across this. I totally want one for Zachary!!

Tuesday 12 January 2010

A bit of a beef with 'Chirp'

Alexandria had a subscription to Chirp - Owl Kids' magazine for the preschool set. This has now been passed onto Zachary. Really, it doesn't matter whose name is on the label, they both enjoy it. The magazine is great. We love it. We even inherited a bunch of back copies from an older kid. Needless to say, we have LOTS of Chirps in this house. I have never had an issue with any of the stories, poems or crafts or anything else in the magazine..... Until today.

Zach and I were sitting together, reading through the new issue. (Which is - yay! - a dinosaur issue. This issue will be read over and over and over.)

We came to the story on page 18 - 'The Day the Dinos Flew.'

Here's the basic rundown:
Teri Dactyl's flying around. The dinos want him to show them how to fly the skies, too. Actually, you know what? I'm just going to put the middle bit right here for you:

"It's so simple," she replies.
"Flip-flap, whip-zip, I'm in the skies."
"Just follow me to that steep ledge
and all line up along the edge."

Ok... this is where I started going.... 'Wha?....' But I perservered thinking the story will turn around.

"I'll teach you how to sail the breeze
but first join in my singing, please!"

They sing for a bit.. then..

They reach the cliff, peer down in space.
Fear and terror fill each face.
The dinos quake, shake; some swoon down.
Some cry, some scream, some turn around.

Alright....  At least the dinosaurs have a rational fear....

"Relax, at ease and have no fear.
Flip-flap, whip-zip must be our cheer."
The crowd calms down at Teri's words.
"Now," she says, "let's think like birds.
Wiggle those bums and thrash those tails.
Stretch your limbs for smooth sky sails."

Ok, so the pteradactyl is still trying to convince them to jump off the cliff... Let's return to our dinos to see if they will listen to Teri..

"Flip-flap, whip-zip," they rhapsodize.
"Flip-flap, whip-zip, we'll soar the skies."
Up whips the wind, they all take flight.
Dino shadows block the light.

What the...?! Are you following me here? The dinosaurs - in a PRESCHOOLERS' magazine - just jumped off a cliff because they were convinced they could fly!! But I'm sure this story will end with them realizing they can't fly, right? (And hopefully not dying a terrible, horrible death...)

The sky is packed with dinosaurs.
All shapes and sizes, full of roars.
The gently glide close to the ground,
then smooth-land down and gaze around.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Not only did they just convince non-flying animals (which would include my kids!) that they could jump off a cliff and fly, they just showed that it will all be ok if you do jump off that cliff! Go ahead kids! Jump off tables, dressers, cabinets, chairs, rooftops... because, you know what? You'll be able to fly when you get up there. You'll just gently glide down!

And then the story REINFORCES it!!

The cliff's above and they're below.
"We flew!" they scream. "What do you know?"
"Flip-flap, whip-zip, we soared the skies.

Flip-flap, whip-zip believe your eyes!"

Am I crazy here? I am overreacting? Or is this not the WORST. IDEA. EVER for a magazine geared toward kids as young as three?!

Help me out here. Let me know what you think...

Monday 11 January 2010

A little late, but these are too cute

Just look how happy the kids were to be donated toys at Christmas :)

So hard to give away toys they didn't even have at home. Santa did bring that game and the glow bracelets.

They were SUCH good sports. Not that they were happy about it! :)

Little Giddy Girl on the Prairie

Is Little House on the Prairie a guilty pleasure for any else out there? I love this series. I was there in Walnut Grove when Mary lost her sight. When Laura got into trouble (ok, that one was easy). When Nellie grew up and married.... a Jew!! When Harriet dunked Nancy in the dunk tank. When Albert joined the family. When Pa finally gave Almanzo permission to marry Laura. And on and on...

When the Mirvish 2009/2010 subscription line-up was announced, I was squealing with delight to see that Little House on the Prairie was included! AND... for the cherry on the cake? Melissa Gilbert plays "Ma" in the musical!! For anyone does not know (who are you and why are you reading my blog?) Melissa Gilbert was (ok IS) Laura Ingalls (and later Wilder) - or as many of us know her... Half Pint. (By the way, you can follow Melissa on twitter. She is @MelissaEGilbert. I've also been following @PrairieMusical for months.)

Having grown up with the tv series, I was excited enough to be going to see this show in February, but now, as part of my involvement spreading the word about the musical, Jean-Paul and I (and two lucky friends) get to go on opening night! Yay! AND we get to go backstage! AND there are a whole whack of other 'Yummy Mummies' going that night, too!!! I can. not. wait!! So fun :)

AND, as part of my involvement, I get to offer my friends and family special discounted tickets. If you’d like to enjoy this musical with your family (they state it's ok for ages 4 and up), be sure to use the discount price code FAITH when purchasing your tickets. Tickets are as low as $25.00!

For more information or to order your tickets go to:, or 800-461-3333

Sunday 10 January 2010

Playing 'Headbanz' - the kids' version

And then some 'Hungry Hungry Hippos'

Thursday 7 January 2010

Apparently the socks are having a bad influence..

I went to close the dryer door when I saw....


I see you up there!

The socks had apparently tried to explain how to escape to these two articles of clothing. The rogue shirt and underwear have been dealt with accordingly. I don't think any other laundry will try it again.

Wednesday 6 January 2010

Boobies and unwed whales

This morning, as we were all lying in our bed (yes, all four of us had managed to get in there), Zach was telling us about his dream. He finished off his story with...

"I like to dream about boobies."

And today's quote from Alexandria upon seeing a pregnant whale on the dvd we were watching...

"I hope she's married."

Tuesday 5 January 2010

Thanks, baby

Jean-Paul cleaned the toilet, the sink and the mirror in our upstairs bathroom today. He asked me if I'd noticed before I had a chance to say I'd noticed. (Oops). I said I'd noticed the toilet was clean. I also added, "Thanks, baby." He replied (as only Jean-Paul can) with, "You don't appreciate me." To which I replied, "Of course I do!" His final words were, "If you appreciate it then put it in the blog." (Again, for anyone that does not know Jean-Paul, this was in jest - mostly).

Here you go, sweetie. Thanks. I do appreciate you. :)

To kick off the new year, here's one I had to share...

Here is The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational, which once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter - and supply a new definition.

The winners are:

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying (or building) a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

2. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

3 Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize that it was your money to start with.

4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

6. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

7. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

8. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

9. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

10. Hipatit is: Terminal coolness.

11. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

12. Karmageddon: It's when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, and then the Earth explodes and it's a serious bummer.

13. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

14. Glibido: All talk and no action.

15. Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

16. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

17. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.