Thursday, August 25, 2011

Damn You, Diapers.

Diapers. They have been a constant part of my life for the past five and a half years. I really thought I'd be done with them by now, since Kee's been three for a few months.

She is entirely capable of using the potty, and she will, but usually, she just can't be bothered. The larger problem is that neither can I.

Up to this point, I've neglected this particular avenue of my parental responsibilities. I kind of expected that there would eventually come a time when she either: got sick of sitting in a cold squishy diaper, or started feeling like she wanted to use the potty like a "big girl".

She could not care less about sitting around in a cold, wet diaper. Does not phase her a bit. I've even left her wearing one for longer than I'd like, hoping that she'd get uncomfortable. Nope.

The "big girl" thing has worked wonders for so many things -- wearing socks, wearing pants, letting me comb her hair -- but not for this.

It's time for me to do something about it. I don't want to make it a huge issue though, because Beege has enough bathroom issues for our whole household.* Kee is just stubborn enough that if she sees it as a power struggle, she'll be in diapers until she's twelve.

I've decided to try and quit diapers cold turkey. I came across this outline, at Perfecting Parenthood, of the method, which sounds pretty much like what I was planning. That gives me some hope.

I'm going to wait until Beege is back at school, and then give it a go. I have a feeling it will go much more smoothly without a big sister's "help".

Hopefully, in a few weeks (unless something changes drastically) I will be free from diapers, and the stanky diaper pail in my too small bathroom, forever.

*When she was sick, there was some damage to her intestines, which made her constipated, which made pooping hurt, which made her hold it, which made her constipated, which made pooping hurt... you get the idea. She's only now - over a year later - getting back into a regular pattern.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

You bet your butt it is! At this point, everyone in my house is heartily sick of each other. Even Kee is starting to ask "does Beege have school today?" every morning.

I cannot WAIT until school starts.

Beege is super excited about meeting new faces and tackling the new challenges of grade one. She has actually asked, her eyes sparkling with joy, "do you think I'll get to do homework this year?" We're pretty much set: new pants to replace the ones that are magically two inches too short, her very first lunch bag, a haircut so that her hair no longer dips in the toilet... we're good.

Kee and I, likewise, have some big plans. We're going to go to story time at the library, we're going to explore the neighbourhood and find all the parks that we may have missed, we're going to have picnics and spend afternoons "reading"* to each other. It will be the Kee and Mummy alone time that we never got when she was a baby.

There is one tiny fly swimming around in the ointment of our otherwise unfettered joy; the seven AM wake up call.

I know, I know, it's seven o'clock. Not exactly the crack of dawn. But? I've been spoiled. I'll freely admit it. Beege has had school in the afternoon for two years, and it's allowed us to have a very leisurely start to our day. Ten o'clock might very well have seen us lounging around in our pajamas.

So, you see, this getting up at seven thing is going to take a little getting used to. We are very much not morning people. It has also taken us as long as two hours from the point we started getting ready to the point we arrived at school. Which is across the street.

I'll let you know how it goes.

*Kee's not quite reading yet, but she does have some favourite books memorised.

Friday, August 19, 2011


My daddy is a builder of things. He is a sharer of ju-jubes. He is a man who is usually pretty quiet and you should listen when he does talk because it's generally good sense; unless it's just a really bad joke.

My daddy is a dog/cat/mouse/skunk/fox whisperer. He reads suspense novels in large print. He's kept a Lego "I love you" that we made for him when we were kids intact for almost 30 years.

My daddy used to wrap me up in his quilted plaid jacket and sit on the front porch, watching thunder storms with me so I wouldn't be scared. He is a procurer of pickles and a maker of "hamburger slop".

My daddy is one of those dads who doesn't tell you all the time, in so many words, that he loves you. But you know it, without a doubt, anyway.

Today is his birthday so I just wanted to say, even though he's not likely to read it: I love you, Daddy.

If he doesn't see it, it's okay, because I'm a lot like him, and he'll already know.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Adventures in Quinoa.

So far, I'm not doing very well in my vegetarianism quest.

Like, yesterday I ate a steak.

I am making progress though, because the whole time I was eating it, I was thinking I'd rather have a nice piece of salmon. Which, I know, still isn't quite vegetarian, but I feel like it's a step in the right direction.

Anyway, meat guilt aside, I have been trying out some new foods!

First in line, quinoa. The health benefits of this tiny grain are pretty remarkable, and I've been meaning to try it for a while, but just never got around to it; that whole cooking two separate meals thing. Which, by the way, I've discovered is not actually that hard. It just makes more dishes. Although... I hate doing dishes with the passionate fire of a thousand suns... so we'll see.

Working from the picture on the box (which I figured must taste good or they wouldn't have put it on the box) I decided I'd make a quinoa salad for my first attempt.

While you can just boil it in water, I chose to use half water and half broth* with a quartered clove of garlic thrown in for good measure. (It came out tasting pretty good already, and I'd even serve it on it's own as a side dish.)

I didn't have too many veggies in the house and had to settle for just cucumber and red pepper. I chopped the pepper and cucumber and tossed them with some salad dressing (virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard powder, basil, and a dash of paprika.)

Add the cooled quinoa and toss it all together and it comes out looking something like this:

Throw it on a plate with some baby spinach and a salmon fillet, and you've got supper!

Apparently, it's also pretty tasty with some sugar and cinnamon, a la oatmeal. I'll let you know. Hmm... I wonder if I can put it in cookies?

*In the interest of full disclosure, I used chicken broth. I know, totally contrary to the point, but it was all I had. Next time, I'll be using veggie broth since I've got some in the house now. It's an adjustment period, give me a break!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I Am So Getting Hacked Up.

A few days ago, I sat bolt upright at two o'clock in the morning. There had been a noise. A huge thump from right above my head, in my grandparents' dining room.

Heart pounding, I threw back the covers and raced to the door. I flung it open* and raced up the stairs to make sure everything was okay.

Everything was absolutely fine, no one was hurt, my grandpa had just knocked over a dining chair with his walker while trying to reach something off the table.

I went back into my apartment, re-barricaded the door, went to the bathroom and checked on the girls before going back to bed. As I settled back into my bed, beside my still snoring husband, two things occurred to me.

One: Despite my innate chicken-ness, I will run towards possible danger** and try to take care of my people.

Two: That's a damn good thing, considering my husband slept blissfully through the whole thing and I'm definitely going to have to deal with any axe murderers*** all by myself.

*After moving the shelf that I use to barricade it so that I get some warning when a murderer is trying to come in.
**I know, there is no inherent danger in a dining room chair, but it
could have been a murderer.
***I may be a little too focused on axe murderers.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Call of the Wild.

When I went up to the cottage, we did the usual things. We brought our books and towels to read on the dock. We swam in fish infested* lake water. We ate, we did a puzzle, we lolled around doing nothing. We went on a hike. We made rude jokes and swore a lot. We all pretended to have french accents. We swung by the nearest town to hit the liquor store.** You know... cottage stuff.

It was beautiful. It was peaceful. It was restful. During the day, anyway.

At night, it turned into a horror movie.

You may be aware that I'm a basket case. If there's something to be neurotic about, I am. And if I'm not, it's just because I haven't thought of it yet.

For example, did you know that Devil Lake was so named because people used to disappear in it? Just fall in and never be seen again. They couldn't find the bodies to bury. And there's a little island that's an old burial ground. People have tried to build on it, but each and every time, the structure has burned down***. These might have been things to mention to me on the way home.

The first night was the worst, of course. Once we were safely ensconced in our cozy cabin, the creatures came out. The little furry woodland variety had gone to sleep and the slavering beasties who might eat us made themselves known. Each time the crickets suddenly stopped chirping, I was sure I was going to die because that means axe murderer, right? I mean, I've watched movies, I know how this cabin-in-the-woods thing works. At least there weren't any wind-chimes.

The second night, we'd figured out that what had sounded like someone hitting the cabin with a baseball bat was actually just nuts falling on the roof. Phew. I even managed to take myself through the dark, over uneven ground, in peril of death by firefly (which, when you've never seen one, you're half asleep and pretty sure there are angry ghosts around, are pretty freaking creepy!) to the bathroom. Which, thank goodness, looked like this, because an outhouse might've done me in.

By the last night of our stay, I actually slept the entire night. I didn't even wake up when a bat flew into the screened window and scared the frick out of my bunk-mate. Which I do feel bad about, because she was totally with me for the first couple of nights when I'd sit bolt upright at any noise. I'm very lucky to have a kindergarten teacher for a friend... they're patient people, y'all.****

The big unexpected bonus from the trip was that by the time I got home, night noises meant nothing. I slept through two whole nights without waking once! I even forgot to be paranoid and barricade the door before bed, because really? If I can survive imaginary axe murderers, fireflies, falling nuts and marauding chipmunks, nothing in my own house is gonna get me, right?

Chipmunks are evil, dude.

*It hasn't come up in my blog yet, but you can add "fear of fish" to my list of neuroses. After being assured that any fish would swim away as soon as we got in the water, I was surprised to find that our fish were actually rather aggressive. They'd swim right up and try to take a bite; earning them the name "Nibble-fish".
**And bought enough to prompt an older woman walking by to yell "Woo hoo! I think I want to come to that party, ladies!"
***One loon singing at dusk on the lake? Beautiful. Twelve or so loons screaming at each other in the middle of the night? Obviously, angry spirits.
****I know, I'm not from the south and I really have no right to "y'all", but sometimes, it's just called for.