Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Shopping: The Lazy Bastard Way.

I've never been a person who uses credit. It's good to have in an emergency, but I've always preferred to hand someone some money and walk away with whatever it is that I've paid them for.

Two years ago, I got my very first ever credit card. So that I could pay for my correspondence courses. I've also used it to donate charities and on rare occasions purchase things that aren't available except through the web. I never use it for general shopping, mostly because I just really like not owing money.

This year, I'm not sure why, but it just seems that I'm not able to get out to the stores. Okay, I'll re-phrase that: I'm not able to get out alone. Also, I hate shopping. So this year, I've decided to do most of my Christmas shopping from in front of the computer.

At first, it was great. Look at all I've been able to get done! And I'm in my pajamas! Awesome! I'm beginning to understand why people do this!

Then you wait. And you wait. And you start to wonder if everything is going to get here on time. Maybe it won't come at all? You start to worry about being away from the house in the ten seconds that the courier is there to drop off packages.

You start having dreams of a naked, filthy doll with ratty knotted hair being in the box that is supposed to contain your daughter's lovely new best friend. The other boxes are all empty. My money is gone, and everyone is disappointed. Now the turkey is on fire! Someone stop that monkey!!

Basically, I think I'm going to be a little insane until everything is safely arrived, wrapped and under the tree. I feel bad for my husband.

Apparently, I just don't have the mental fortitude for internet shopping.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Oh... The Weather Outside is Frightful...

Well, not really. It's Canada, it's winter. There's a bit of snow and it's kind of cold. Don't tell me you weren't expecting this. The one thing I didn't realise (for some reason) would be a hassle was holding hands. No, I'm not being romantic; as the mother of two kids who tend to wander off and/or bolt off suddenly, I like to have a handle on them.

I think that this wasn't a problem last year because I didn't have proper gloves. Holding onto a kid wearing big thick mittens while I'm wearing big thick gloves just doesn't work, so we end up taking off one each and holding hands and having chapped hands.

And yes, I suppose I could try keeping the gloves on and trusting her not to run in the road and get squashed by oncoming traffic... but why give up holding my kid's hand when I can knit instead?

So here is my solution:

Basically a legwarmer. (My first go at cable knitting, Jen!) I'm going to make a better one; longer and lined with fleece. Now we can hold hands inside the sleeve and be all snuggly and warm, and I don't have to worry/obsess over the possibility of her darting out in front of cars.

I think I'm also going to make a couple of extras to stick in Beege's backpack so on those really windy days she can tuck one end inside her coat and pull the other over her mittens to avoid that sad little line of freezing wrist.

Take that, winter!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Just When You Want to Give Them Away...

I've been having a hard time lately. With the holidays fast approaching (and the mine field that they always turn out to be), Beege's birthday just behind me, my Grandfather being in the hospital, not having picked up my homework for a month and just generally feeling like my life was spiraling out of control (more than usual)... I've been feeling like I need a secret room to go to where I can scream and smash things.

I spend all day with my kids. I spend most of my day in the house. While I love my kids, and I'm grateful I have somewhere to live, it's not always the most exciting way to spend a day. On the days when we've somehow reached yelling before 8am (and that's been happening quite a bit lately) it's also not the most fulfilling. It's easy to start feeling unappreciated and angry, and once you're in that place, it's hard to get out.

Enter Beege. We were watching TV the other day when a commercial about the Ladybug Foundation came on. It's an organization that supports various charities that help the homeless. And it was started by a 9 year old girl. Beege thought it was pretty cool that a kid started something like that.

Having recently had her birthday, she has a bit of money in her piggy bank. She immediately said "I want to give them twenty dollars."

I've always tried to make sure that our girls know how lucky we are to have a warm place to live, enough to eat and a big family who loves us. We make sure to set aside food for food drives and donate toys to children's charities. I think it has sunk in; they really seem to understand that while we don't have a lot, we do have all that we need and certainly enough to share with others.

So. Next time I'm in the middle of feeling like no one ever says thank you, does what they're asked, or even listens when I talk, I will try to remember this. I have loving caring children. I have a girl who -- underneath the 5 year old frustratingly asserting her will at all the most inconvenient times -- wants to give all her birthday money to make sure people have somewhere warm to sleep.

At the end of January, Beege and I will be walking a mile around our neighbourhood, as others will be walking around theirs, to raise money for the Ladybug Foundation.

If you are able to donate, we'd appreciate it.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tangled: A Review. Sort of.

Last year, for her birthday, I took Beege to her first ever movie in a theatre. Unfortunately, the only (possibly suitable) things playing were Planet 51 and Fantastic Mr. Fox. After letting her watch the trailers for both, she chose Mr. Fox, because "everybody keeps shooting everybody!" in Planet 51. Okay then.

I bundled her up and brought my overexcited little girl to her first ever movie. She got her very own popcorn and her very own seat. She spent the bulk of the movie burrowing into my chest and asking if the scary people were gone yet. Not the best movie selection, that.

This year, there was no question. Tangled. Disney movie about a princess. Perfect. I've never read the original Rapunzel story, but anything would be better than Mr. Fox.

I loved it! She loved it! There was no chest burrowing - although there were some exclamations and hurried hand holding. The funniest thing was that we missed the first 10 minutes or so, so we saw a different movie than everyone else.

Unlike the movie that people who got there on time saw, the movie that we saw had a few mysteries involved; who was this girl in the tower? Where had she come from? Why is her hair magic? Why is her mother so mean??

The mean mother bugged me for most of the movie. You mean Disney's been making movies with dead mothers all these years and now they finally make one with a live/present mother and she's horrible? I was so relieved when we found out that her mother was actually a lovely, soft looking person who likes to hug.

The movie was great. The story was sweet and the dialogue was snappy. The visuals were beautiful. Everything that you'd expect from a Disney movie, actually. Except for one thing. You know how you usually walk out of a Disney movie and there is at least one song that you just know is going to be stuck in your head for a week? (Hakuna Matata? Tale as Old as Time? A Whole New World? Under the Sea?... ) There weren't any of those. In fact, when I left the theatre, I wasn't even sure that there had been any songs in the movie.

So for me, parts that made a good impression: They made her 18. She could defend herself and the guy as well, thankyouverymuch! I liked that her "prince" had issues. Beautiful visuals.

Things that made a bad impression: They never got her any shoes. I really felt let down with no song to hum on my way out.

Overall, a pleasant movie going experience. And I really want her tower in the clearing as a vacation home.

When I asked Beege what her favourite part had been, she told me it was when the chameleon turned purple. Oh, and Rapunzel's dress; it's purple.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Happy 5th Anniversary, Stitches!

I cannot believe my daughter is five. Yesterday marked the anniversary of the first time a real live person every exploded out of my nethers. We did most of the birthday stuff on Sunday, with my family. She was thrilled to pull Taryn out of the box; and she is either really good at pretending to be surprised, or really good at making herself forget things. She really seemed to not know what the big box would be.

As for my contribution to the doll's well being, I was up until about 12:30 finishing up the bedding for her bed. I finished the pajamas in plenty of time, and then -- since it's cold in the basement -- made her slippers, and since kids need snugglies, made her a teddy bear.

She really is a very sweet looking doll. Along with Beege, Kee absolutely loves her. Which presents a problem. Beege, of course, is very protective of Taryn, and while she is open to letting Kee play with her sometimes, more often than not there is screaming and crying, and then Taryn retires to Mummy's room for a nap.

The thing is, that Beege likes to set her up and then leave her there. Kee wants to dress her for the situation and then interact with her. Kee was playing school with her and put her in one of the little chairs at the craft table and stuck a pencil in her hand; Beege went ballistic.

So allow me to introduce you to the newest member of my family, as of December 25th; Jenna.

Kee had decided that she wanted that one "because she looks like Mummy!" (My heart swelled a little for that one.) She was planning to save up for her by herself (yes, the 2 1/2 year old!), but it has been decided that we (mostly me, because it's only day 2 and they're already driving me nuts) can't wait that long. We've told her that since she already has half the money, Daddy and I will pay for the rest for Christmas. I guess I'll go get started on her pajamas.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Words Cannot Describe.

Some things that people make (and buy? Does anyone have proof that people buy these idiotic things?) just floor me. I was over at Rachel's blog today, and she was posting about these little gems. Oh, Teva. Really??

Despite the pictures, there is (apparently) a warning that they are not really safe for hiking, gardening or construction work. Really? Thank you for that warning because, I swear to god, I was gonna pick me up a pair of these the next time I had a hike to go on. You can't be too sexy when you're hiking.

And just in case you love the "hiking" stilettos, but just feel that they're not quite sexy enough for you, I've got the answer.

"Cargo" nylons. Every outdoorsy woman's dream.

I yoinked the "cargo" picture from my friend Sarah and couldn't tell you where it originally came from... anyone?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wednesday's Child is Full of Cake.

I don't know whether I was born on a Wednesday or not. I do know that I was born around dinner time, and I had the decency to not be born on Halloween, as predicted, amidst the ringing of doorbells and trick-or-treaters (you're welcome, mum).

Wednesday has become my favourite day for many reasons: it's the middle of the week and there is weekend in sight, Beege has piano lessons after school so I (theoretically) get an extra hour of alone time, and (perhaps most importantly?) if there is any cake in the house I actually have the time to sit down and sneak eat some. I enjoy cake. It's good stuff. If you were here, I would share with you.

Grandpa is still in the hospital. I feel much better now that he's finally under the care of some health professionals, but I'd feel better still if they could seem to figure out what the problem is. That's what they do there, right?

This morning, Beege and Kee came running into my bedroom and jumped on the bed, yelling about Hanukkah. I'm not Jewish. Neither are they, to my understanding, but Beege's really into playing dreidle and getting a menorah this year... I'm okay with that. Especially since when I was looking up things to tell her about the holiday I found out that part of the celebration is fried foods. Really? I can get behind celebrating fried foods.

I suppose this is around the time that children start asking about religion? I'll have to do some research. I'm not from a religious family, myself, and so don't really know much about any of it. I went to Sunday school, once, with a friend. All I remember is that there was orange juice.

I'm one of those "not sure" people. I think that there must be something bigger than us. We can't be all there is. That seems just too... random. When you get right down to it, nature isn't very random. How can you explain animals knowing what to do from the moment they're born? Bees are an interesting case. I mean, how did they know that they should go drink pollen and then bring it home and spit it on the wall? But while I believe that there is something larger than us, I've always felt it more laying out in a field with bees buzzing around and birds flying by and the sun warming us all.

And since I don't know anything about any of it, we will celebrate it all. We will embrace each culture and see what sticks. If they decide to attach themselves to a certain religion and its beliefs, I will support that. And if they decide that they'd rather lie in a field with me, I'm cool with that too.

I guess, with the various holidays approaching and mortality on my mind from both ends of the spectrum, I can't help but start thinking about higher powers. I'm not comfortable believing that when I say goodbye to someone I love, they just turn to dirt; I'd much rather believe that they are somewhere finally having the chance to just do what they love.

Do horrible things happen so that people have a chance to be good? Do there need to be people less fortunate so that people have a chance to help? Who decides who gets to be on which side? Why have I been lucky enough to get a beautiful family who loves me when someone else is starving and being beaten? If I question, do I not have faith? Do I need to believe in an all powerful caretaker to get into the after party? There are too many questions, and not enough answers.

Anyway, Beege's birthday is on Monday so you can bet that at this time next Wednesday, I'll be full of cake.

Oh - I just checked. I was born on a Thursday. Apparently, I have "far to go".

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I Wanna Be Sedated.

So. It's been pretty busy here lately. Beege's birthday is in 6 days, so there is birthday related stuff to get done. I don't know what it is that makes me do things the hard way - but there you have it. Actually, in this case, I know exactly why I sewed a pair of doll's pajamas by hand; my machine is loud and I didn't want to shut myself away in the bedroom while there was a brand new TV, brimming with movies I've never heard of, for me to watch.

Grandpa went into the hospital on Sunday morning. Still not sure what's wrong, but he's feeling better than he was, and should be home by the end of the week, once all tests have been run, and hopefully conclusions have been reached. Grandma is at the hospital for most of the day, so I have taken on dog duty. It makes Grandma feel better to know that he's being taken care of properly.

I don't think I've complained about this dog on my blog yet, but he definitely warrants some complaints.

We have a huge backyard that we don't use as much as we could because I need time to pick up the .. crap.. before we go out to play and I don't want them running around behind me when I do it. He is very spoiled. He is a dog who wears coats and has special homemade food. The other day when we had friends over, he came down and PEED ON MY FRIEND'S COAT! Wtf?? He's not my favourite animal ever, that's for sure, but while Grandpa's in the hospital, I will sit with the dog to keep him company, I will microwave his dinner for him and I will put on his little boots and silly coats.

Maybe next week, when everything is (hopefully) back to normal, and Beege is officially 5, I can get some sleep. Oh crap, it's December, isn't it?

Friday, November 26, 2010


I suppose that usually stands for "thank goodness it's Friday" right? Tough grits, it's freezing? Anyway. I am glad it's Friday, and it is freezing, so both of those apply.

I haven't done very well writing every day this week. Mostly because I feel like crap; since Monday, I've gotten up and taken some advil before bothering to grope for my glasses. I'm in that horrible place that is sick enough to be really bothered, but not sick enough to call for back up. I almost wish that I was ill enough to hang out at the hospital so that I could rest and not feel guilty because I know, deep down, that I really do have it in me to do some laundry.

Aside from feeling like my throat is inhabited by angry rodents and my muscles are eating themselves, it's a little stressful around here lately.

There's the whole car thing, which is just bugging me now. Car dealerships appear to be peopled by crazies who either won't get off their butts to help you, or think it's okay to call you in the middle of the night with news. We thought we'd decided on a make and model of car and then these people drove us crazy... so now it's all up in the air again.

Beege is driving me nuts. She argues with everything I say half the time and the rest of the time just ignores me. She swings wildly between screaming at me and snuggling with me with absolutely no warning. Which worries me, because this is the way she was behaving for a month or so before she got sick last year. Or.. she may just be being a jerk. So. There's that. On the plus side, she is doing fabulously in school and at the parent/teacher interview last week, her teacher said, "I would pay someone to keep her in my class every year if I could." So at least I don't need to worry about school.

I live at my grandparents house. We were here when my Grandpa had a heart attack four years ago, and it scared the bejeezus out of me. He's been pretty sick lately and I'm worried about him. I'm worried about Grandma too. There's nothing concrete that I can do to help other than popping up every once in a while to see how things are going and if anyone needs anything. I hate it when I can't do anything.

As well as all the crappy stuff that's been keeping me (emotionally) busy, there's also the not so crappy stuff that's been keeping me (physically) busy.

Beege's birthday is in a week! There is no "friends" birthday party this year, because I just can't, but there will be a little family get together. This is when she will receive the shiny package with a bow on it that she bought herself. And because I'm nuts, I'm also sewing this doll some pajamas, some sheets and a quilt to go with the bed we found (at Ikea for $25 because there is absolutely no way I'm spending $59 on a bed which will still require bedding!) because I felt like the doll needed some place to sleep.

Also? We got Netflix. I don't know about you, but having (on demand!) shows that I want to watch and am actually able to watch during the allotted school/nap time? Wee bit distracting for me.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Kinky Boots.

Or not.

I live in Canada. It gets cold here; cold and icy and slushy and gross. I kind of hate winter, actually. I like the part where I sit by a fire with hot chocolate as I look out the window at the gently falling snow and enjoy the peace; but that hardly ever happens, so yeah, I don't like winter.

Last year, I made sure that my children were both outfitted in a manner to keep them warm, dry and comfortable even in the most heinous Canadian weather. I did not, however, extend the same courtesy to myself.

I hate shopping. I hate it a lot. I do it when necessary, but I'm still wearing clothes from before Beege was born, so my definition of 'necessary' may be a little different than other peoples. So, when we went shopping last year for winter things and we came away without any boots for me, I didn't bother making myself go again. I had some old boots from my grandmother that would do fine. Throw a pair of wool socks on and some wellies would even do in a pinch.

As the weather got worse and I stood outside stamping my feet to try and keep them from freezing off, while waiting for Beege to come out of school, I deeply regretted this decision. So this year, I decided that I would get some boots.

It snowed for the first time on Saturday. I declared that not only was I going to spend some money and get actual good boots, but that I was going to do it that day.

We packed up the kids and off we went to our nearest boot and winter wear emporium. There is no good way to shop with kids. Anyone who's tried shopping with little kids for anything other than stuff for the little kids knows what I'm talking about; it's horrible. I found the boots, dragging Beege behind me, while my husband chased after Kee who had gone tearing off around the store the second her feet touched the ground. They ran around the store while I tried on boots with one hand on the back of Beege's sweater to keep her from joining the chase.

I already knew essentially what I wanted; warm, waterproof boots with good traction. I even thought I'd found some pretty ones. (Is it really too much to ask that boots be good looking and practical?) So I had a look at the sort of sleek, tan suede boots with a zipper and lacing up the side and thought I'd found them. Right beside them were a pair of big clunky, brown, frumpy looking boots. Guess which ones I bought?

*sigh* When it comes down to it, I suppose that practicality will always win with me. The pretty boots had a zipper down the side. No amount of waterproofing can waterproof a zipper. The ugly boots have waterproofing, insulation, and super grippy treads. Darn you, Canada.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I've Spent More Time Deciding on Shoes.

I've been whining a little lately about how we need to buy a new/used/whatever car. You know, just something to get around in. My husband, bless him, has been researching his little butt off; which is great because I couldn't be more bored by the whole thing if I tried.

So, research performed, there is a short list of cars that seem like they would do the trick. Time to go look at them. Have you ever been to a car dealership? We managed to get someone to watch the girls yesterday so that we could go have a look; it was so weird.

The experience was quite surreal. The lighting was too bright, the music was too loud, the people were too... friendly isn't quite the word. Are sharks considered friendly? Killer bees? Other things that swarm at the smell of blood?

So, there we were, looking at a car, when one of the salespeople sidled up to us. "Would you like to have a test drive?" Sure. Why not? So we went out and drove the car around the block. Just once. As soon as we got back to the dealership, he took us over to his desk and sat us down and said, "so, are you planning on buying the car today?"

We looked at each other, a little horrified. Uhm.. no. Not really, we thought we'd talk numbers first. "What would make you happy?" Write down a number that would make you happy and I'll go talk to my manager. Write down your happy number."

Right. So we wrote down a number (based on the research you see). He took our number away somewhere and left us sitting there looking at each other; a little bemused. And wary. The manager came back to us and said, "what can we do to earn your business today?"

I still have no idea what they were looking for there. I mean... to earn my business, you can give me a good deal on a car with the least amount of bullshit you can manage. That would be great. So we told them that we really were not going to buy a car that very moment, sorry. So the manager left. The salesperson looked at us and said, "what can we do to earn your business today?" Is that on a big poster in the back somewhere?

I said, "well, you haven't given us any numbers to work with. What we'd really like is something to take home with us and think about." Apparently, this is not the way things work. When buying a car at this (I don't know if it's like this everywhere) dealership, you need to commit to buying a car -- today -- before anyone will work up any financing numbers for you. Because why waste their time trying to get you to drop $20,000?

My feeling on it is that I'd like you to get off your ass and do some work if you want me to spend $20,000. I've had people be more helpful selling me a toaster. Is this really the way it works? Am I just incredibly naive to want to be able to make a careful decision when it concerns this kind of money?

I guess it goes without saying that we still don't have a car yet?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

No. I am Not Mad at You.

I have always been a fairly straightforward person. If I'm angry with you, then you will know I am angry with you. Will you know because of snide looks? Because I've mentioned it to someone else? Because I haven't called in a while? No. You will know, because I will have told you. I'm good that way. I figure if you're mad at someone, the best thing to do is tell them, sort it out (or not, as the case may be) and move on.

Sometimes, I sound annoyed. I'm sure you do too. Really, is there a single person out there who hasn't snapped at someone when they're really upset about something entirely different? Don't lie, now, I know you have. But, please, believe me when I say that just because I sounded a little "snippy" on the phone, does not mean I'm mad at you.

Occasionally, I will be a little peeved with you, but because I know that it's irrational and really not worth mentioning since there's nothing you can do to fix it anyway (like say, if I call up all hopeful that you can babysit but it's short notice and I really don't expect you to be able to; and you can't.), I don't mention it. Please do not ask me "are you mad at me?" Sometimes, though I was only annoyed before, the question "are you mad at me?" will make me, yes, mad at you. And then I will tell you. (See above.)

There have been times when you've called and I may have been a little short with you. You don't know that I've been wiping yogurt off the wall, breaking up wrestling matches, folding 11 loads of laundry, finding lost shoes, making lunch that no one will eat, and really just need to lay down; how could you? I don't usually bother to explain all that because it's kind of every day life, and you might think that I'm complaining, when really I'm just telling you about my day.

It has happened once or twice that you've given me advice. Maybe unsolicited advice. Maybe the same advice. Maybe over and over. And possibly, when I try to explain to you that I have tried that advice and these are the reasons it didn't work and you tell me that if I don't want advice I shouldn't ask for it, I find that I am, not angry but, frustrated. Frustrated can sometimes sound like angry. I'll try to differentiate better.

To recap: No. I am not mad at you.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Vehicular House Slaughter.

Okay, maybe that's a little dramatic, but that's kind of what it feels like. Back in October, my family was in a car accident. Everyone was totally fine; the van, unfortunately was not.

We had a bit of a wait to hear back from the insurance company, and when we finally did, it was to hear that they'd written off our van and would be giving us a piddling amount of money to cover its funeral costs. Or replacement, whatever. The thing is, there is no way that this money will buy us a new car. And by "new", I mean used. So now we have a transportation issue to solve.

I've always been a transit girl, myself, but when we found out that Beege was on the way, I was lucky enough to have a boss who happened to be selling her station wagon for $300. When we found out that Kee was on the way, we also found out that My husband's highschool (History? Geography?) teacher was selling his van. Perfect! So we've actually been pretty lucky when it comes to vehicles showing up to fill our needs.

This time, we're wondering about a new car. Both of our previous purchases have been from people we've known and trusted... buying a car from an unknown entity is scary to me. So, we're thinking perhaps, perhaps, a new car?

Apparently, calculations have been done and my husband feels that buying a new car with a warranty will be about the same as buying a used car with hidden maintenance costs. Supposedly. I'm still not quite sold on that, but the thought that if anything goes wrong we take it to the dealer and they just fix it... well, that sounds pretty good.

We've also been saving up to buy a house for the past two years. We're almost there; we were going to start house hunting in the spring. (Do you see where I'm going?) The new car (even if we do go with used) is going to eat up a giant chunk of our savings.

So. We may have a new car soon. We may have to wait longer for a new house. Did I mention that I put my foot through the kitchen floor this morning?

BTW - Anyone have a good suggestion for a reliable, roomy, family sedan?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The TV is Dead. Long Live the TV.

My poor old TV has been on its last legs for a while now. A low humming followed by a high pitched "ZAP!" greets you as you turn it on, and then wavy grey lines dance across it for a while as it gets ready to entertain you. The image waves from side to side as if caught in a stiff breeze, which is only really annoying if you're trying to read anything on it. Or if there's a closeup of a face. Or ... okay, it's always annoying. But for some reason, I felt strangely loyal to it.

About a year ago, before it got quite so bad, my husband tried to introduce a new TV into the house. He brought it home without telling me and set it up while I was in the bath. I almost went into shock. "So how much was it?" I asked. He mumbled something that I couldn't hear, looking like a kid who'd snuck an extra cookie before dinner.

I crossed my arms and watched him unhooking our poor old (still functioning perfectly well at the time. After the first 10 minutes or so, anyway.) TV, as if taking it off life support, and lifting this shiny sleek thing up in it's place. After he got it all hooked up, he stood back and surveyed it proudly, "alright, let's see how it looks!" It looked like crap. The blacks weren't true blacks and every channel was grainy. There was some issue with the sound and apparently it wasn't compatible with the something or other.

I probably would have been much less belligerent if he hadn't chosen to do it on my TV night. You know, that night when there's about two hours of television programming that you actually want to watch? So anyway, I said something about at least our TV still works and we've just saved ourselves some money. The shiny TV went back to the store and was not spoken of again.

Until recently, when even I've had to admit that our TV was just not working anymore. I'm not against new technology, per se, but I am against replacing something every time something shinier comes along. Even I can't argue with replacing something that's just not working anymore. Especially when I sometimes need a half hour of Dora (or some less annoying show if I'm lucky) to entertain my children while I regain my sanity.

Apparently, my extended family has also been noticing that my TV is a piece of crap, because for my birthday/Christmas/next-birthday-too present, they got me a shiny, new, flat screen TV. (Thank you!) It's got all kinds of fancy numbers and abbreviations on it, so it's got to be good, right? They brought it over this weekend, and after I made my husband double check that he'd got all the cables he needed to make the thing work, I let him set it up.

It's so light. It takes up so much less space. I can actually get behind it to dust. And there's no power button on the front that the kids can use. And best of all, it works. He tested all the peripherals, and everything works. It's awesome. Not a wavy line to be found.

*The old TV was a 10 year old giant, hulking, grey box. I'm picturing it right now; sitting in front of the Goodwill drop off, in the rain, with that voice from the Ikea commercial in my head. "Many of you feel bad for this TV, that is because you are crazy."

Monday, November 15, 2010

Just a Mum...?

I was recently asked by someone why I'd named my blog "Just a Mum...?" and I can't think of anything else to write today, so you get to hear it too! Yay!

When I was in school I, like everyone else, had a series of less than impressive jobs. At that point, no one is much impressed by a job unless it gets you into movies free or gets you free stuff. Once you're finished school however, people become more reserved about bestowing their approval on your mode of earning an income.

I can't count the times I've answered the "so what do you do?" question with anything about retail and quickly found myself standing alone with my drink. Oookay. So.. not that interesting. Got it. Although, I still maintain that someone who works as the assistant manager of a bedding store has hundreds of funny stories to tell. Not to mention the stories I've got stored up from the medieval clothing and accessories store.. I mean, c'mon! Medieval clothing, people! I sold swords!

So I had gotten used to a lack of interest in my chosen (okay, I more fell into it than chose it) field and learned to direct attention to other parts of my life. And while I understand that -- especially to people who don't have children in their lives -- talking about your children isn't always a popular activity, I was unprepared for actual disdain. More than once, when I've answered something along the lines of "I'm busy being a Mum right now." to the "what do you do" question, the person has said "Just a Mum...?"

As if that isn't enough? At first, I was incredibly offended. How dare you look down on what I've chosen to do with my life? I've listened to you outlining the details of some project that I don't really understand the purpose of for the past fifteen minutes, but the moment I mention my toddler, you need to find someone else to talk to?

It eventually dawned on me that these people had absolutely no idea what it is that a Mum does. It's not like you come across job postings for it all that often.

I've come to the conclusion that there will be some people who will react to me saying my current occupation is "Mum" by rolling their eyes and walking away. This is fine, they're entitled to their opinions.

My blog is titled "Just a Mum...?" because when I started it, I was irritated at being called just a mum. I would be irritated at being called just anything; but please, don't belittle one of the most important and difficult things that a person can do by saying I'm  "just a mum."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Oh, Crap.

My Beege is turning 5 soon. While I wrap my head around that one, let me fill you in on the problem.

I had sort of assumed that a movie with Mum and Dad followed by dinner with the extended family would suffice (as it has in the past). Apparently, I am wrong. *sigh* We've now been to a number of "friend" as opposed to "family" birthday parties, and it seems that this year, Beege would like to have a "friend" party as well. I get it... she's turning 5; she actually has friends now.

It began last week, when she ran up to a friend on the playground and said, "you're going to have so much fun at my birthday! We're having a round cake with a flower garden on top!" "Beege," I mumbled at her, hoping no one else heard, "I don't know if we're having a friends party, buddy."

Then on Friday, she ran up to one of the mums. "I'm going to be five on my birthday! You're invited too!" Okay... great. So I'm thinking that she's been mentioning it while I'm not around as well. I smiled apologetically at the mum and said, "actually, her birthday's not until December. And we're not sure that we'll be having a party."

I've mentioned my paranoia about inviting people over; if it's that bad when I invite one kid and their mum over... okay, I'm already having a panic attack. She has thus far mentioned 10 kids who she would like to invite. That would be plus their mums. We know a couple of the dads too. So that's like... 100 people at my house. I'm not really that bad at math; I know it would only be about 20 (including us) but it would feel like 100.

So what to do? I really do want to let her have a party with her school friends. We might be able to actually buy a house at some point, and sadly it would mean moving out of the neighbourhood -- we're basically here on sufferance; the houses tend to run about $900,000 -- and she's going to have to leave the school she loves and all her friends. (When it comes to that, I'm finally starting to make friends here, and I'm going to have to leave them.)

So. We can't have it here, because that many people will just not fit tidily in my living room unless they're all sitting down and not moving much. These children are between 4 and 6; not going to happen. I'm trying to find a venue that will have children's birthday parties and that's not out in the middle of nowhere. But it's only 3 weeks away.

I suppose I should just be glad that she started a month before instead of asking me the day before her birthday who I'd invited to the party.

Friday, November 12, 2010

I Did It.

I just did it. I just -- ten seconds ago -- dropped a whole load of money on a vinyl doll. I know, I know.. in the grand scheme of things, $100 is not a lot of money. And really, it's not even my money; I'm just the credit card. It's her money, and I double, triple and quadruple checked to make sure that she really, really, really wanted it. She said, "I'm double, extra special sure, Mummy." Okay.

I remember the first thing that I saved my money for a long time for. It was a video game for my brother. I can't remember anything about it except that it was for the NES and I was really proud of myself. I just hope that she loves this doll with all her heart, and remembers that she bought her with her very own money and feels proud of that.

I had a look through the catalogue and there is some freaking adorable stuff in there. Accessories and outfits and tents and ponies. I couldn't help it, I caved and bought her a snowsuit. Yes, I mean the doll. It's COLD in Canada, ya know.

Have I mentioned that I'm a frustrated has been/would be designer-type? Because I am. Before I even bought the doll for her, I already went out and bought patterns for clothes. She's going to have so many clothes. And I'm wondering if it would be weird if I made her a stocking to hang up for Christmas.. because I really want to make her (yes the doll) some things. Like a purse. And some books. Some little tiny books. And maybe carve her a little MP3 player.

This is what happens when I do this past my bedtime. I'm going to stop writing before I sound any crazier.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Oh, What a World.

I am, admittedly, woefully out of touch. I do not tweet, I do not constantly BBM (I actually didn't know what that was until someone told me.) I don't even have a cell phone. So I'm a day behind, ya know?

Anyway. There was a book on Amazon. I'm sure that you've heard of it by now - it was a guide for pedophiles. Yep. You heard me. A man named Phillip R. Greaves II self published this book through Amazon and it was available as an e-book for the Kindle.

There has been, understandably, a whole hell of a lot of outrage. There have been cries to boycott Amazon, but also a lot of raised voices in defense of free speech.

Personally... I don't know what to think. Could someone have really published this thing seriously? This alleged "how-to" guide? This guy has apparently published three other books through Amazon - and all since October 29th.

I know that I never would have heard about this "book" if it weren't for the uproar on the net. I never would have heard of his other three "books" either. Is there a chance that this idiot did this thing to get some attention? He has said in statements that he's wanted to be a writer since he was a child and now that he's retired, hopes to do it full time. And now everyone's heard of him. Not in a good way, granted, but people have purchased books for less reason than curiosity before.

I don't think that Amazon should have allowed their platform to be used to publish this e-book. I don't. It's not censorship, they aren't a governing body, and it wouldn't have been denying this wing-nut the right to spew his garbage; they just would have been saying "you can't spew it here."

I think that Amazon should be more careful about the things they've got up for sale. I think that this potential child molester has gotten a lot more attention over this than he deserves. I think that to compare "pedosexuals" with oppressed minorities is insulting and ridiculous.

We can't control other people. We can't tell them what to say and what to think. Getting this book removed from the website was -- maybe -- a victory. But for who? Greaves got a lot of publicity. Despite the content of the book being disturbing, I'm not sure that any children were protected by removing it. People who feel like they should be allowed to f*ck children would feel the same whether they shelled out $4.95 to Amazon or not.

I haven't read it, but this person has.

And here's what someone else had to say on the topic...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I'm still sick. It's only been since Friday, but it feels much much longer. The stuff coming out of my face is almost the same disgusting green as the glow from next door. I feel old and tired and gross. Not sick enough to warrant a doctor's visit though. The last couple of times I was on antibiotics for this kind of thing didn't work out too well for me, so I'm putting it off until I'm dying. I'm going to continue to go to bed early with a steaming cup of neo-citran and try not to breathe on people.

In other news -- my daughter's 5th birthday is coming up. Which is kind of unbelievable in itself, since I still get stuck on "oh my god, I have kids?!" every once in a while. We're going to be taking her to a movie -- Tangled -- and then coming on home for dinner with my parents and siblings. This year she's also been very specific about what kind of cake she'd like; which is awesome because last year she said she'd like "a car cake".
(Which I think turned out pretty darn well considering it was my first ever attempt at carving a cake and using fondant.) She saw it and said, "wow, Mummy, that's neat! But I wanted a round cake with a picture of a car." But I digress.

Her birthday is actually a month away - but in my family, there are 6 of us with birthdays in and around October so we all have a big party. Since Beege is the only one with a December birthday and people don't tend to want to have a family party so close to Christmas, we include her in the October/November party.

And again, I'm off track. (I blame the effing green glow. I swear to god, people, it addles my brain.) What I started out meaning to talk about is... the doll.

Beege gets a kids magazine called "Chirp". With this magazine, they sometimes include catalogues for various things that I usually sneak out before she has a chance to look at them because they're mostly for pretty pricey places.

This month, I missed one and she got ahold of the catalogue for Maplelea Girls, which are like American Girl dolls in the States. She fell in love with one of the dolls. She's no fool; she knows her birthday is coming. She brought me the catalogue, put on her sweetest face and said that she would like the doll for her birthday. Unfortunately, I just can't imagine spending $100 on a doll. I told her how much money that was and that if she really wanted her, she could have her, but it would be her only present.

She took the catalogue away for a while and came back and told me that she didn't want to only have one birthday present, but that she did really want to have the doll, so she would save up her money and could I please check her piggy bank for her. Not only was I totally impressed with how mature she was being, but here was an excellent chance to teach her about money and saving for things! So we counted out her piggy bank, and the kid had $90. Hunh. Okay. Sooo... not going to have to save for very long. And of course, my mum gave her some money at the big birthday party this past Sunday.

She has now given me the contents of her piggy bank (minus $10, since Grandma gave her $20) and given me very clear instructions on what I am to do.

I am to order Taryn for her and not tell her about it. I am not to tell her when she arrives. I am to wrap her in shiny paper with a big bow and write a card that says "To Beege, Love from Beege" and stick it on. Then I am to hide the doll until her actual birthday so that she can open it and it will be a "surprise."

You got it, boss.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mummy Ramblings...

Yesterday, the girls and I cut some holes in a cardboard box and called it a house. Then we pulled out some random toys and played with them in the house. We had a lot of fun together.

So, last night, I decided that I'd put something more house-like together for them to play with. It took me a while, and I was pretty pleased with it, considering it's a couple of cardboard boxes and packing tape. I was totally looking forward to seeing how they liked it.

And then doubt. What if, when Beege saw the house she thought that I thought that the house we made together wasn't good enough? What if she felt invalidated by the (perceived) fact that Mummy thought that I could only do it "right" if I did it myself? What if she took this thing that I had done for her and turned it into a lifelong thing and never tried hard at anything because it wouldn't be good enough for Mummy anyway?

Who the hell thought it was a good idea to give me such a big hand in shaping these little people?? I've always been the type of person to question myself. I always try and weigh every side of everything before I'll commit to a decision. Sometimes it's useful, and sometimes it's just freaking annoying. While I feel like it's perfectly normal to debate every side of a decision that affects your kids, is it really normal to analyse every word that comes out of your mouth?

I know that I'm the one doing this to myself. I'm the one who worries about how my every interaction with them will shade the way they see things. I know that if they become serial killers (which isn't statistically likely), I'll take complete responsibility; for anything wonderful they do, they get full credit. Every night, after they've gone to bed, I review the day in my head and wonder what, if anything, they will take to heart; did I say anything harmful? Did I say anything inspiring?

How to handle misbehaviour? I agree that the punishment/consequence (what are we supposed to be calling it these days?) should fit the crime - but what do you do when the crime is knocking down their little sister? What can you do when your almost 5 year old is completely ignoring you? Not only that, but then proceeds to explain why they are ignoring you?

If I tell them how beautiful I think they are, will that make them self conscious? If I never tell them how beautiful I think they are, will that make them self conscious?

I'm starting to feel like this motherhood thing comes with too many questions. I, for one, don't have any answers. I think I'll just have to muddle through as best as I can, doing what I feel is right and hoping for the best.

I tell my girls every day how much I love them, how brave and bright and strong and beautiful they are. Anything else, we'll just have to figure out as we go along.

Monday, November 8, 2010


I'm going to assume that some of my malaise of last week can be attributed to the colony of disgusting, pus covered germs who were setting up camp on my tonsils. Just a thought.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Jack of all Trades; Master of None.

One of my friends, who was also a stay-at-home mum, started back at work on Monday. She's in a different situation than me; she's only got one child and that child is 5. Still. That got me thinking. I'm going to have to go back to work at some point.

The problem is this; I haven't really liked any of my jobs. Or at least, I haven't liked any of them well enough to want to go back to it. Except maybe Lewiscraft, but they don't actually exist anymore, so that lets that out.

I've had an odd selection of jobs in the past. I've worked in a craft store, managed a pub, been kitchen help, sold medieval clothing and accessories, made fake stained glass, been a receptionist, and even run rides at an amusement park. The only thing these jobs had in common was customer service. Am I doomed to customer service? To be honest, that was my least favourite part of all of them.

Somewhere along the line, I decided it would be a good thing to work for myself. It seems like a good idea. That way I'd be able to set my own hours, make all the decisions and still be around whenever the kids need me. So I eagerly embarked on a program to earn my Canadian Business Management certificate, figuring that I'd want to know how to run my business once I got started. Okay... so a business doing what, exactly, smartypants?

Some of my skills include: Sewing, knitting, basket weaving, candle making,making (real) stained glass windows. I've got a background in costume and set design, but never designed a whole show. I've done some carpentry, but not enough to be a carpenter. I've done some silver-smithing, but not enough to be a silver-smith. I've done some design work, but not enough to... you get the picture, right? And I'd love to work outside.

The only thing I can think of that would let me do some of these things is get a job at Pioneer Village; and that's seasonal.

So help me out here; what would you do? If you could have any job you liked, what would it be?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Found It!

So I finally found the USB cable for my camera and ran over to hook it up and upload all the awesome pictures of my princess and pumpkin, to find that there were no awesome pictures.

"Why not," you ask? Well, here's how Halloween went down:

5:30pm - "EAT YOUR SUPPER! If you DON'T EAT, we are NOT going to run around getting candy!"

6:00pm - There is a pumpkin to be carved, a diaper to be changed, potty to be used, hair to be combed, costumes to be donned, and trick-or-treat buckets to be found.

6:15pm - I put the pumpkin outside to find that it is sleeting. Sa-weet! Who doesn't want freezing rain while bugging strangers for candy? Must obtain umbrellas.

6:30pm - finally out the door, with umbrella, stroller, buckets, two costumed girls and two costumed adults. I pause to take this picture of the Princess, the Pumpkin and the Jedi; I am starting to hate my camera.

6:38pm - We realise that the front wheel of the stroller is not functioning properly and it will take my husband two hands to avoid careening it into little trick-or-treaters.

We kept it with us because it was holding umbrellas, extra coats and the bag to dump the candy into from their teeny tiny buckets. So. I am holding hands with two little girls, and he is using both hands to steer the stroller. You see my dilemma. I figured that I'd get some solo pictures of Beege and more of both of them when we got home, but Kee foiled my plans. When Kee pooped out and asked Daddy to take her home, he also took the stroller. Which contained the camera.

So here is the best picture I got of the whole night. Just imagine a little blonde girl in the pumpkin suit, and a taller girl with long reddish-brown hair in the crumpled up princess/witch costume.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I'm Probably (Not) Going to Kill You.

Have you been in a really crap mood and not been able to figure out why? Just wandered around feeling kind of off? Like if anyone talked to you, for any reason, you might just rip their face off and feed it to them? That's me today.

Little stuff is making me crazy. The kids got some new play-doh and as soon as I turned my back they mixed it all into one big brown blob. Kee smeared yogurt all over the table. Beege felt the urge to copy everything I said for a while. There was some head-butting. There was some soap "art" in the bathroom. All of it making me feel like I'm at the mall on Christmas eve. (Which could very well take first place for my own personal hell.)

And really? If THAT stuff seems to have made your mum angry, why would you then do THIS while she's in the kitchen making lunch?

Do you see the big grey lump there? That is the RUG! I swear Beege was just trying to see if she could make my head explode. I have never been so happy to leave Beege at school and get Kee down for a nap.

I wonder if any of it can be blamed on the hideous green glow?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

At Least They Don't Have Probes.

The construction next door has been chugging steadily along, since they actually got started. And it has been annoying, as I assumed it would be, but not so much for the noise as the view. There used to be a sweet little bungalow next door. There was a double driveway between us and them. We didn't look outside and see... well, this:

Or this:

Or this - which the girls found kind of disturbing:

We were lucky enough to have a few blissful days of this:

Then they started putting the walls up. Beege actually cried at breakfast the morning after they started because it was dark in the living room and said "But Mummy! I LIKE the sun!" Me too, baby, me too.

And now we have this:

The worst part about this phase of the construction (besides the obliteration of any sunlight we used to get in here) is the hideous lime green. Once the sun starts reflecting off of it at about noon, we get a sick looking green glow in our apartment. Like we're at an alien landing site. For the rest of the day.

I may have had to call the police a few times on the old neighbours, but at least we could still see the sun.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween!

As I learned from my experience in the kindergarten classroom, 4 year olds (and most other people) have no idea who Mara Jade is. So when we took out the kids -- a princess and a pumpkin -- I decided to give my husband back the Jedi outfit and go simple, and threw on a men's poet shirt and a sash to go as Viola. Apparently, 4 year olds don't know who Shakespeare is, either.

We've never gone trick-or-treating in this neighbourhood before, even though we've lived here since before Beege was born; we've always gone downtown to my parents' house. This year, since my parents have moved to the middle of nowhere, we decided to try it out up here. I must say, I'm glad we did. Not only did we run into lots of kids that Beege knew and see where the Office Administrator from the school lived, but we didn't have to drive an hour before we could start asking for candy!

It was, unfortunately, freaking freezing out. Keebee was okay for the most part in her giant fleece pumpkin, but princess Beege was pretty cold. Keebee needed to be taken home by daddy pretty early on after a motion sensor skeleton that vibrated, lit up and yelled "MWAHAHAHAAAAA!" completely freaked her out, but Beege and I persevered.

After a while, she started telling me she was cold.
"Okay, well do you want to go home?"
"Yes! Oh... wait... that house looks good! Let's just do that house, and then go home."
We had that conversation about 20 times and then had to run home to use the potty. At that point, despite Beege's insisting, we called it a night.

At 8:00. I can distinctly remember when Halloween didn't start for me until about 8:00. I remember crawling home one November 1st at 4am. Not only could I not party all night anymore if you paid me (although, I suppose it would depend how much you were planning to pay me and whether or not I got to have a nap first) but it's entirely possible that I'll forget it ever happened by the time my girls would like to be involved in such shenanigans and have screaming matches about how they're insane.

Anyhoo, I'm off to forage in the Halloween candy. How did your night go?

At this juncture, I should be posting pictures of my offspring in their super cool costumes... or at least a pumpkin or something. Sadly, the USB connector cable for my camera has gone AWOL. So. Possibly, someday soon, Halloween pictures.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

And Then Life Happens.

I've been trying to write every day. I think I've been pretty good about it; at least every school day when Beege isn't here and Kee is sleeping. Apparently, if that hour and a half doesn't happen, I don't get anything done.

On Thursday, I had every intention of writing. Until Kee threw herself down the stairs. Okay, I'm pretty sure she slipped but the effect was the same. She was fine, but I kept her up through nap time to keep an eye on her, considering that this has been her second head injury in as many weeks. After a cup of tea (warm milk in a big girl mug) and a couple of cookies, she was right as rain.

On Friday, I brought Kee in to school to hang out with Beege's class for the halloween party. Wow. I don't think that kindergarten can ever be truly organised, what with the 4 year olds and all, but when you stuff them full of candy there is a special kind of chaos. We did a costume parade through the school, ate a lot of junk and got to let them loose with the rest of the school in the gym at the Halloween dance. I also forgot my camera. And her teacher was dressed at the Paper Bag Princess. The world's surliest, hairiest Paper Bag Princess. It was pretty awesome.

So today, I'm ignoring my children for the moment and steeling myself for Halloween. There will be pumpkin carving, there will be children in costumes and there will be banging on stranger's doors and demanding candy. There will be utter (happy) exhaustion. Hopefully, there will also be pictures.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Keep Your Husband...

Ditch the shoes.

I've been hanging onto my wedding shoes for six years. Alright... a lot of people kept their wedding shoes, dresses, jewellery, bouquets, etc. This is not one of the weirdest things I could have laying around. Except, I hated my wedding shoes. Hated them. They were beautiful in the box, but hurt like hell to wear.

My mum bought them for me - without my trying them on or seeing them - and had them dyed to match my dress. I would not advise this approach to anyone. Your daughter, while she may say thank you and say they're lovely, probably wanted to pick out her own shoes. But that's a whole other thing.

I only managed to wear them through the ceremony and had to switch into some pink slippers that happened to be in the car because it felt like my toes were being sliced off and my arch was collapsing.

Anyway. I've been hanging onto these things for the past six years. Moving them from place to place, opening up the box to see what it was every once in a while; and every time saying "oh. It's my wedding shoes," then closing the box and stuffing them in the back of the closet again. The funny thing is, between times, I don't even remember what they look like.

Well, I've finally decided to get rid of them. Now that there are 4 pairs of feet running around in our limited space, I've got to make room for shoes that might actually be worn. I agonised a little bit - they're my wedding shoes - but feel freed by the decision.

Now that those shoes are going, I can also get rid of my prom shoes (which never really fit), my old work shoes (which I just hung onto because they were expensive), the shoes from my sister's wedding (which were similarly painful, yet attractive)...

The best part is that getting rid of the wedding shoes paves the way for getting rid of all kinds of other 'sentimental' junk that I'm hanging on to.

Let the purging begin!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sweet Dreams...

I fondly remember bedtime when Beege was a baby. Nursing her in the rocking chair in her room, singing to her and then putting a sleepy baby down to sleep. No problem. Even as she got older, She'd snuggle in with her bottle while I read her a story and then calmly go to sleep. This kid slept through the night (with occasional hiccups) at 5 weeks. Heaven.

From the very first night in the hospital, the only way Kee would sleep was if I curled up around her with her head on my shoulder and hummed; which was not really conducive to a good night of sleep for me. When we got her home, she still didn't seem to think that sleeping was necessary; at least at bedtime. She would nap just fine; if I hadn't had a 2 1/2 year old running around, I might have been able to follow the "sleep when the baby's sleeping" advice.

Every night without fail, at about 10pm, Kee would start screaming. Not just crying, but screaming. She would scream and scream until she started twitching and passed out.* She'd sleep for about 20 minutes and then wake up and do it again. Every night. All night. And while this was going on, I would hold her, bounce her, rock her, sing to her - while she screamed in my face - and wonder why this beautiful little baby hated me. She would eventually fall asleep for a longer period at about 4am. Then a couple of hours later, Beege would wake up and the day would begin.

Once she finally settled down at about 1 year old, we moved her in with Beege, and I re-arranged the bedroom furniture to counteract the PTSD*, there was peace at night. Mostly.

So. Keebee has never been a good sleeper. I've also mentioned that she likes to climb things? One day I walked in there and she was standing up on the side (yes, the side) of the crib, balancing with one hand against the wall. I wasn't quite ready to give up the baby containment unit but, as it wasn't doing a very good job containing the baby, it had to go.

So. Now we have two girls, both in big girl beds, side by side because there is no other possible furniture configuration. We get them ready for bed, read them a story and tuck them in with kisses and hugs. Once we've backed out of the room with our fingers crossed, we huddle around the baby monitor and hope for the best. Then we hear this:

"Keebee! Get off me!"
"MOooooooom! KEE BIT ME!"
WHAM! (This is usually one of them being pushed off a bed, or something being thrown...)

Whoever loses 'rock,paper, scissors' goes in and rights the situation. Five minutes pass. Repeat. For at least an hour. Although the dialogue changes, the situation remains the same; one or the other has gotten into the other ones bed, taken her toy, stolen her blanket, whatever.

I'm really hoping that this, like the screaming, is a phase that will be (in the grand scheme of things) short lived.

*I couldn't enter my bedroom without hyperventilating - I totally think it counts as Post traumatic stress.

*We did have her checked out, and nothing was actually wrong with her. My husband maintains that she had an immature nervous system, since she also freaked out if there were any loud noises or flashing lights. I (at the time) was pretty sure that she was possessed.

Friday, October 22, 2010


"Stay-at-Home Mum" is a condition with many risks. There are many afflictions associated with this condition. You may experience symptoms and side effects such as; laundry hand cramp, dish-washing depression, tinnitus, "mommy brain", mood instability, sweat pants addiction, verbal diarrhea (sometimes specifically regarding children), outbursts of weeping, general malaise. Possible risk of increased cardiovascular disease and insanity. These can be serious and you should consult your physician if symptoms remain for longer than a period of 18 (eighteen) years.

Treatment and Prevention:

Treatment of symptoms and side effects associated with "Stay-at-home Mum" are as follows: Prolonged stay in a spa or similarly relaxing environment. A nanny/housekeeper or other person employed to assist with the daily work of a stay-at-home mum (If there is another adult residing within the domicile, it is preferable that they assist). Wine or other alcoholic beverage consumption (note: this treatment carries its own risk of side effects). Five freaking minutes of alone time.

Prevention of this condition can be achieved in the following ways: Arrangements for alternate childcare. Don't have kids.

Additional Information
"Stay-at-Home Mum" is a state that is often chosen, rather than required. Often it is both at once. This condition is not infectious, thus persons wishing to avoid this condition need not shun persons currently living with it. While "Stay-at-Home Mum" does often make one more focused on [their children], this does not mean that other topics of conversation will not arise. Oddly enough, people afflicted with this condition often have many things to say on a variety of topics. Persons with "Stay-at-Home Mum" may complain from time to time; as with any other job, there are ups and downs and one should attempt to be sympathetic even if one does not fully comprehend what's so terrible about [current dilemma] - chances are that some people don't understand what the hell is wrong with you, either.

Disclaimer: The preceding is not the statement of a medical professional. The preceding is the statement of a current sufferer/enjoyer of the condition "Stay-at-Home Mum." Said person loves her kids more than anything in the world, but occasionally wishes that she could run away (all alone) and live in a tree house in a temperate climate.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Canada; Not So Much For Nudists.

Before anyone gets disappointed, there are, in fact, many nudist/naturist clubs in Canada. It's just that my daughter does not, in fact, belong to one.

Keebee is two. This kid loves playing dress-up. She will wear two dresses, some pants, a jacket and 4 hats. However, try and get her to put on some regular old keep- you-warm kind of clothes, and she pitches a fit. It takes about 45 minutes (not including socks, which would take another half hour or so, if I really felt like banging my head against that particular wall) to get her into pants and a shirt; at which point, you have to pick her up football style and run her outside before she realises what's happening. If you give her half a chance, she will strip back down to her diaper. Sometimes she'll shuck her diaper too.

Don't think that I haven't tried to get her to go out in the costume stuff, either. I really don't care what she's wearing, so long as she's warm enough and isn't going to trip on it. She, sadly, thinks of the dress-up clothes as indoor clothes and is "not gonna wear INSIDE clodes OUTSIDE!!"

This is a fairly recent development, actually... it's just unfortunate that it's happening in Canada, in October. Now is not the time to decide that you don't want to wear clothes. If she wants to be a nudist/naturist when she grows up, well, that's her call. For the moment, however, I am the mum, and she will wear a freaking coat.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

You Can't Win 'Em All.

You really can't. That's why I've decided that from this day forward I will only enter contests where the prize is something I actually want/need. Just in case there really is someone keeping track, I don't want to waste the times I do get to win on crap I don't need. Also, given the current state of my seemingly-shrinking home, I've decided that I will enter contests as if I know I will win the prize; ie. I will make sure that I have somewhere to put it or some way to use it.

So if I somehow do win a prize, I won't be left wondering what the hell to do with it. Like say, this thing:

Beege receives a magazine for children called "Chirp." Every once in a while, there's a contest where you have to draw a picture of you/your pet/your grandma riding/playing with/eating a train/ball/vegetable (you get the idea) and send it in. I imagine these are all random draws, because there is no way to judge pictures done by 4-6 year-olds. So every once in a while we enter one, and apparently, we won one; I'm still not sure what the contest was.

So now I've got this gigantic wooden "tree house play set" still in it's box, hiding up in the attic, -- I somehow managed to get it in without anyone noticing -- probably until we move. Our playroom is also our living/dining/craft/office room, so there really is nowhere to set it up. At least until our .. exuberant .. girls learn a little self control.

I really did consider giving it away - but look at it! It's cool! Just out of curiousity, I found it online, and not only is it eco-friendly, all natural, etc... but it's pretty darned expensive. I would not be able to replace it - and it just showed up at the door!

So here's the question: Do we give it to them as, say, a Christmas present; do we pretend at a later date that it only just showed up and she won it recently; or do we tell her that she won it a year ago (or however long until we find a new place) and then hope she doesn't freak out because we didn't let her have it right away?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

You say it's your birthday

It's my birthday too--yeah
They say it's your birthday
We're gonna have a good time
I'm glad it's your birthday
Happy birthday to you.
- The Beatles

I don't know about you, but I tend to view my birthday as my own, personal New Year's day. As such, there are protocols to be followed. First, on New Year's Eve, I need to have a nice relaxing bath and put clean sheets on the bed - even if I changed them that morning - I must begin my new year in clean sheets. Second, the house must be clean; sparkly, even. Thirdly, I must have eggs, bacon, good bread and stewed tomatoes in the house; got to start the year out with a good breakfast.

I am also the mother of two small kids with no storage space, no dish washer and no time, so these protocols haven't been followed in recent years. This year, I decided that it was more important that Beege have clean underwear to wear to school than I have clean hair to drop her off; bye bye, nice, relaxing bath. By the time I remembered about changing the sheets, I was already laying between them with my eyes closed, so there goes that. My house is not sparkly. And I think I had coffee and a stray corn pillow* (*cough* possiblyoffthefloor *cough*) for breakfast.

The day started out well enough, sweet little voices waking me up by yelling "Happy birthday, Mummy!" But soon enough, it became apparent that someone had replaced my children with ... I'm still not sure what. We ate breakfast. I sat down to play blocks with Beege while Keebee finished up at the table. I was hit in the head with a bowl that came flying across the room, accompanied by the war cry "I WANT MORE APPUH DUICE!"

It kind of went downhill from that point. There followed a lot of arguments, breaking up of wrestling matches, pleading, confiscating; until I sat on the floor, crying out of sheer frustration and protecting my head from my very irate two year old, who for some reason felt the need to pummel me while shouting "STOP BEING SAD!"

Based on this year's experience (so far - it's only 2:00pm) I have come up with a new list of rules specifically for Mummy's birthday. They are as follows:

1. Mummy gets the day off. The end. I don't care how you arrange it, Mummy gets the freaking day off.

*Keebee calls these things "corn pillows."

Monday, October 18, 2010

Should I Start Planning the Wedding?

I was watching "Sister Wives" last night with my husband - for some reason, I cannot get enough of that show - and we decided that maybe I need a sister wife.

I know, that might sound odd, but think about it; someone to help around the house? Someone to help raise the kids? Someone to take over when you really need a day to lay down? It could work!

These women appear to have a really great relationship. They all love each other's children as if they were their own, they each care about each other as if they were family... there are totally some pros to the situation.

Now, of course, if there were to be some other woman welcomed into this marriage, I would totally have to be the one to pick her. She would have to be friendly, good with kids, a hard worker and completely uninterested in having sex with my husband. It would be great to have someone live here who I could be friends with and share the duties of the household... but I couldn't see sharing my husband.

Even if I could stand the thought of my husband down the hall with some other woman - and I most certainly cannot - I would be too afraid of him turning into this douche-tard.

So, upon further discussion, we decided that we don't need a sister-wife. We need a live-in nanny.*

*Who would still not be allowed have sex with my husband.

Friday, October 15, 2010

So it's Gonna Be Like That, Is It?

Just found my (already heated once and now cold again) coffee in the microwave. Yay, Friday!

(My favourite mug by Ketto Designs)