Friday, April 30, 2010

Medieval Times

Yesterday I went to Henry's medieval feast at school. His very enthusiastic teacher has been covering medieval England since January and Henry got to be the "village" bishop. He built a plaster cathedral earlier in the year and had to do a presentation in bishop's garb. Yesterday was the culmination of the unit featuring a feast of chicken, carrots, bread, pie and apple juice masquerading as wine. They also had a knighting, a joust, a battle re-enactment, a dance and poetry reading. See? Enthusiastic.

So, I was volunteering by handing out food and drinks and a sweet yet forward little girl approached me for more "wine".

"Who's mum are you?"
"I'm Henry's mum."
"Henry's mu...? But you... and he... he looks just like you" (said quietly as she was walking away)

I'm so used to this reaction that I just laugh it off now. It was actually quite funny. When my kids were younger I used to cry about it. Now I've become all philosophical and shoulder shruggy about it. So the kids don't resemble me. Meh. I know, and more importantly they know, they're my kids. But there's still a small part of me that feels jealous when I see a mother and her spitting image brood go by. Out of 3 kids, it would have been nice to have just one "Mini Me".

Oh well.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Emergency form stress

So the school sent home a form to register the kids for next year. On it they ask for an emergency contact number and I never know what to do with that. I naturally want to put down my dad or inlaws but none of them live closer than 30 minutes away. Isn't the point of an emergency contact to be able to go and pick up your children quickly in the event of a disfiguring catastrophe and the parents are chillin' at the day spa?

I usually use the one of the neighbours. They were all here when we moved in 11 years ago and the kids and I like them. The only problem is, although we have their phone numbers and emails, we don't even know their last names. I wave to them on a daily basis but I only see them on their own property. So if we bump into each other somewhere else, it takes a good 5 minutes for me to realize who they even are. Lame. And I'm entrusting our children to these virtual strangers?

At least we've never had to use the number {knocking furiously on the computer desk} and I thank goodness every day that I'm a stay-at-home-mum. Even though I'm a bit nutty, I'm the emergency contact.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

This is why I shop every week

In case you were wondering, here's how long household items last in my house:

500g butter: 6 days
1 bag of milk: 1 maybe 2 days
one roll of toilet paper: 1 day
one loaf of bread: 1 day
a frosted layer cake: 3 days
a family sized bag of cookies: 3 days
a family sized box of cereal: one week
1 kg of cheese: 1 week
1 can of concentrated OJ: 3 days
1 kg of strawberries: 1 day
18 eggs: one week (I bake a lot and we often have quiche night)
a box of kleenex: a week
bar of soap: 2 weeks (oh, the damage they'll do when they actually bathe themselves)
a tank of gas: 10 days
8 teaspoons (Not a typo. Mysteriously they constantly go missing): 6 months

Funnily enough, any and all vegetables, unless they're in cans or frozen, go completely bad. I don't know why I bother. Also, where are those jellybeans I had hidden in the pantry?


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Getting arrested

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Scott and I were watching the news yesterday as a G8 (or whatever the number is up to) protester got dragged off by riot police into a paddy wagon. I turned to him and said: "I don't think I believe in anything enough to be arrested for it. I mean if my family or home were threatened, it goes without saying but for farting cows or the right to shoot your mouth off in public or something? No way. What about you?"

He said "You just aren't that type of person. If I knew there was an injustice that by protesting I could change, I would definitely do it."

I ignored the obvious insult to my moral character and thought: Was there really nothing in the world I believed in enough to allow myself to get dragged off on the National News and denied access to my makeup case? I wracked my selfish little brain and came up empty. Looks like Gassy Bossy is on her own.


Monday, April 26, 2010

So guess where I've been?

To not one but two passport offices. And if you will be so kind as to check the time? Yes, home before 11am. You know I just have to say that we here in Canada get too much information from the US. Or maybe we just watch too much stand-up comedy. Because going to a government office is an absolute breeze. Nearly a pleasure.

The first office, which is near my house, had me get in a line like the bank. You know where there's one line that breaks up into several wickets. I was behind one other person and there were only 2 wickets open. When I got up to the guy (in about 5 minutes), he told me I needed birth certificates (which I had forgotten) and that they may not be ready in a timely fashion. He suggested I go downtown if I wanted them faster. Ugh.

So after a quick stop at home for the paperwork I forgot, it was back on the road to the downtown main office. When I got there, I waited another 5 minutes at the info desk guy who looked over my stuff, gave me a number and told me where to wait. I sat in a sea of people waiting for my number to get called. I was thinking it would take at least an hour. But when I looked up I saw that I was only 4 numbers away. Still it was about a 15 minute wait. Pretty good. Long enough to people-watch but not too long so that those same people start grossing you out. I can't wait for the contact lens camera that takes a photo when you blink hard to be invented because there were lots of notable people there:

  • the girl with the full sleeve of tattoos that was nursing her toddler (one of the tats was a half an avocado I kid you not)
  • the ska band escapee with his white-boy dreads tied up in an untidy bun (do dreads ever look tidy?)
  • the man with the mullet outfit: dress-shirt buttoned to the neck and shorts. To complete the look... black socks and sandals (business on top, party on the bottom and a just a soupçon of crazy)
  • the chatterer (there's one in every group): the lady that talked to everyone who sat beside her and no, she wasn't me
So now I'm home and the whole thing was a pleasure. We're all set. Even the $10 parking charge for a mere 30 minutes was painless because the attendants were helpful and funny. I'd rather not specify what exactly happened to lead me to that conclusion. Just let me say that they really pack those cars like sardines in those lots.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Okay people this is not a drill. Everybody DOWN!

Give me what I want and nobody gets hurt. Here is my list of demands:

  • A house in the country and a condo in the city
  • To never have to worry about money
  • To be able to go on 2 trips with the family every year, winter and summer. For this, we will require a plane
  • A new wardrobe complete with several pairs of Louboutin shoes
  • A 3D tv and 5 pairs of glasses
  • A bathtub where I can completely immerse myself
  • A maid, landscaper and architect on call
  • A monthly spa/mani/pedi appointment for Audrey and me
  • To have my blog discovered by a publisher who will back a dump truck of cash up to my laneway
So who do I see about this list? I need someone up in here with some authority. Because if these demands are not met, and soon, I will drink your milkshake. Drink it up. Do not test me.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

New blog!

Well, frankly it's not that new but it'll be new to you. I started it in February and unlike this one, it's every day. Every single day... weekends too. But it's a simple concept. I take a photograph of what I'm doing at 2:01pm. Why 2:01? Because I was born at that time. So I thought it would be interesting to see what I'm doing at my exact birth time everyday. Unfortunately it's not as interesting as I had hoped since most of the things I do happen either before or after 2:01 so I'm mostly in the house. In fact I'm usually computing, watching tv, baking, eating, laundering or grocery shopping. Which explains why I only get 1 hit per day since I started it. And I think it's me. Sad, really.

So I have an alarm on my iPod and when it goes off I take a photo. Not being the most technologically-minded person, I have to have both my iPod and camera nearby but it's not too hard since like I said, 80% of the time I'm at home.

I don't write too much so it's not entirely like death. I actually like that blog a lot because it's so easy to keep. So go visit and say hi in the comments. And stay tuned for what I'll be doing at 2:01 today. Should be pretty boring.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Household pet peeves

After waking up to the dishwasher not having been turned on last night, I thought I'd regale you with a fun and jaunty list of things around the house that piss me off. Just to be clear, 90% of these jobs are my responsibility which makes it all the more important to get back to being a Flylady.

  • not running the dishwasher overnight
  • having crumbs on my hardwood floors that stick to my feet, necessitating slippers
  • not being able to find a pen/pencil/paper/eraser/sharpener
  • having half done laundry in the morning
  • cooking in a messy kitchen
  • dustHarveys (dustbunnies that are 6'3 or taller)
  • finding nerf darts all over the house
  • not knowing how old something in the fridge is
I'm sure there are tons more but I have some work to do. I need to clean the kitchen, sweep, unload the dishwasher, and write a note to Audrey's teacher. Hey!


*Just to let you know, the above photograph is not my kitchen. It just feels like this most days.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"I" am getting fed up.

In my Early Childhood Education course were taught to use "I" statements. So instead of saying "ARE YOU CRAZY? GET THE FRICK DOWN OFF THAT TABLE!!!", we had to say "I'm worried you are going to hurt yourself standing on the table so please put your feet on the floor."

I admit, most of the tips and techniques we learned at school about dealing with children I don't use or were complete bullsh!t. Seriously, telling kids to "calm down and stay close to mummy" on a walk through the mall is a whole lot less effective than a pocketful of M&Ms, believe me. But this "I statement" thing has some merit. In fact I use it all the time. It seems to be becoming one of my "good cop" parenting strategies.

While Scott will give a (sometimes heated) 45 minute "bad cop" lecture to Elliott about being responsible, I'll swoop in later with the deadly cut of a quiet "I'm really disappointed in you." With the lecture you can actually see Elliott's eyes glaze over. His eyes take on the lustre of those big chunks of fruit you see on grocery store sponge cake. If the words were actually visible shooting from Scott's mouth to Elliott, they'd be bouncing off his afro with only about 10% getting through the curls.

My rapier sharp sentence, accompanied with a hangdog look and heavy sigh isn't much but I think that's the reason it gets in. Not that it completely works, judging from Elliott's constant state of ennui, but I mostly attribute that to being an average 13 year old boy. They're just not mentally equipped to deal with half the stuff we throw at them. I think we expect too much. The longer I live with a teen, the more I think we need to treat them as if they have a special need. Because let's be honest. They kind of do, don't they?

"I Statements" that I've used in just the past 2 days:
  • I'm so disappointed in you
  • I feel confused about what you need
  • I want to help you (this came dangerously close to "help me help you" which wouldn't have come out with a straight face.
  • I feel sad when you don't talk to me
  • I'm scared about what will happen to you in high school


Monday, April 19, 2010

Uh oh.

I just remembered that I wrote this blog in October. A blog where I made promises to you and to myself to complete one of these tasks per month for 12 months. Well, it's already April and I should have done 4 of them. As of today, I've done... let's see... carry the one... one. By accident. (the iPod touch one).

This is so me. I should have added "completely forget this list until Spring" as one of the tasks. At least I could have been confident about its completion. So should I go ahead and try some of these things or just chuck it and chalk it up to youthful enthusiasm? Which I would without question were I either youthful or enthusiastic. Siiigh.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Looking forward to exercise!

Who said that?

Okay, yes, it was me. A few years ago I went to the gym 3 times a week with a personal trainer, I ran several times a week and even participated in triathlons. Now I'm feeling so lazy and slothful I can barely take care of my basic personal needs. Okay, that's not completely true. I'm apparently eating quite a bit and currently weigh the same as my friend Kathy who's 8 months pregnant.

I attribute it to a combination of being jobless and in the house all the time which leads to baking way more than is sane. Of course the baking leads to the fugue state and the eating and the chewing and the thunder thighs and the Michelin belly. Those things, combined with too much Maury and my Snuggie makes for a big, fat, bald, disgruntled me. I also think I'm suffering from a just a soupçon of depression.

Anyway, with dragonboat season coming up, I've been walking quite a bit with my neighbour Darlene. She's a cross-country skier and knows some really fun, woodsy trails to walk through. Sometimes I can't believe that some of these insanely beautiful places are so close to my house. Full of animals, too. Look! There's a goose in the photo above. This time of the year is perfect too because of my ridiculous, summer-destroying fear of bugs. Thankfully there are none to be seen at this time of the year. Plus we talk and talk and talk which is the frosting on the cupcake. Did someone say cupcake?

Moving on... So I'm off for another long jaunt today. Hopefully before you know it I'll be a lean, mean paddling machine. Well, a mean paddling machine, anyway.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Look at me!

I'm posting in the morning. To be honest I prefer doing it this way since my blogs will be "live and to the minute". For the past little while I was blogging the night or even a few days before and "post dating" them. While it made for real convenience, it was difficult to remember to refer to a show I watched 5 minutes ago as happening "yesterday" or that morning's cool dream happening "the other night". Not that you all really care, you still get a blog.

So what should I talk about on this fine day? Let's go random...

  • the light in my fridge is burned out, making me think that the power's out every time I open it.
  • I bizarrely found a pound of cheddar cheese in the pantry this morning and it was still cold.
  • we're out of Mini Wheats
  • I'm getting a visit from my new daycare baby (and his mum) later today
  • I got a voice mail from my brother who told me there was a mail truck parked in my laneway on Google maps. There isn't... he's just making a dumb joke about me having an affair with the mailman. Which couldn't be further from the truth. Serge is no picture in those hideous postman shorts and sexy Tilley endurable.
  • I just came back from a nice, foresty 2 hour walk with my neighbour Darlene and her schnauzer/poodle (schnauzie-poo?) Yoda.
So welcome to a live morning blog. Will the joy ever cease?


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I tried something new lately.

Just a quick aside:
Thank goodness I'm back online. It's one thing to not use the internet for a bet or to compete in Steven and Chris' Better Choice Challenge but because you are cut off? Horrible. So I really want to thank Ravinder at the Bell Canada call centre in Mumbai for helping a sister out.

So yesterday I did a pile of laundry and I used a "laundry sheet". How cool is this thing? It's a sheet that has soap and fabric softener on it. You just throw the thing in the washer with the clothes then pull out everything and throw it all in the dryer. No need to measure anything. It's a bit simple so I would only use it on heavy duty stuff and things like jeans but it works like a charm. I like to call it laundry, man style. So there's your consumer report for the day.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

No blog today

Well, more like: "This is the reason why my blog is so late"...

I've just spent the last 24 hours back in 1984 and not in the good way. My internet's been down and after baking, watching tv and whimpering in the fetal position in a corner, I find myself logging on in the last refuge for the terminally internetless. The public library. I did make one lonely Facebook post yesterday from the Starbucks parking lot back when they told me it'd be back on at 5pm yesterday afternoon, but now I'm desperate. But I don't really blame them. I mean how accurate could they be at pinpointing the time the repairs will be done from Mubai?

So hopefully this won't take much longer. I'm missing my Twitter, Facebook, blog and email. And I'm just a stay-at-home mother. I couldn't imagine how this would affect me if I had an actual life.


PS: For obvious reasons I won't be able to reply if you comment but I'll try to catch up as soon as I can.

Monday, April 12, 2010

My new favourite commercial...

It has just narrowly passed the Whiskas ones where the cat makes the man and woman (in 2 different ads) all gooshy and ridiculous just before they get caught.

Anyway, even Scott likes this new one even though it has nothing to do with him. I laugh out loud every time it comes on.


Friday, April 9, 2010

Saying goodbye to Audrey Sr.

We are all off to a funeral later today. Audrey was Scott's aunt and had such life and spirit that we named our only daughter after her. She passed away on Easter Sunday. Being Catholic (even the Christmas kind), I find that strangely comforting.

As a Black woman married to a white man, I fully expected a little resistance when I joined his family. It never, ever happened. Not once. Everyone in his family was so wonderful and welcoming but none more than Audrey. She had twinkling eyes I loved right away, was warm and welcoming, full of happy smiles and tight hugs. I always felt like she was the grandmother I never had. I'm so very sorry to have to say goodbye to this wonderful woman today.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Must be playoff time again

My formerly handsome hubby has just gone to work masquerading as a grizzled old timey prospector. Yup, nothing says "buddy, can you spare some change?" like salt and pepper facial hair.

I may be the only Ottawa Senators fan praying for them to get booted in the first round.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Daycare again

So in the absence of actual jobs out there for someone who wants the ridiculously short hours and ridiculously high pay I do, I've decided to go back to the old comfy chair of home daycare. I can be in the house (my all-time favourite place) and still bring in the grocery money.

I've got a baby lined up (hi H's mummy! I found the picture online, I promise) and hopefully I'll have some school-aged kids once it dawns on parents that summer's coming and they still have no childcare.

So if you know anyone looking for a daycare provider just look me up. I may write like a complete idiot but I am quite clever most days and have a big heart. I just need some daily Maury time. What can I say? I may be smart and loving but I'm weak.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The weekend was good and bad.

  • Effing fantastic weather
  • A great bike ride to a local swamp wildlife conservation area with the kids where a chickadee ate out of my hand
  • Lots of baking and cooking
  • A restaurant jaunt
  • Alone time
  • Family time
  • Sleeping in
  • Lots of wine

  • The weather was so gorgeous, I was forced to look for shorts and t-shirts from last summer, none of which fit.

I'm not exaggerating. Not one pair of shorts buttoned up without squishy muffin top and all my favourite old t-shirts show my pudgy belly. Oh my God, I'm totally freaking out here. I knew I'd gained a bit of weight over the winter but I never thought it was this bad.

Audrey totally knows what to say to cheer me up. As I sadly gave her my favourite dragonboat tee, she said, "It's okay, mummy, at least you can go shopping." I love her.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Monday!

Easter is the day that we thank God for sacrificing His only son and we rejoice that Jesus has risen and ascended to heaven to be with dear old Dad. What? Oh yeah...

Easter is the day that a rabbit bizarrely lays chocolate eggs and hides them around for children to find. Where children the world around eat way too much sugar and ascend to the heavens (figuratively speaking) to irritate dear old dad.

Whichever way you celebrate, enjoy the day.


Friday, April 2, 2010

How do I hate camping?

Let me count the ways:
  1. the dark (city dark is entirely different from country dark)
  2. the quiet (ditto the above)
  3. the chit chat (with the absence of electronic distractions, you are forced to actually converse with one another. What do you talk about?)
  4. the lukewarm hot food (nothing says camping like room temperature hot dogs)
  5. the lukewarm cold food (ditto the above but replace hot dogs with macaroni salad)
  6. sand in every orifice (there is nothing fun about excavating sand from the folds of my ears)
  7. dirty feet (yuck from the pedicure queen).
  8. no makeup (sorry, but it's necessary for me)
  9. early bedtime (bed at sunset? what am I, 3?)
  10. unable to cook (I'm aware that to some, this could be construed as a gift but I'm not some. And barbeque does not count as cooking)
  11. unable to clean (see sand and feet posts above)
  12. nature (I like my nature on the Discovery channel, thank you)
  13. noises (do you really need me to be asking "what's that?" every 10 minutes?)
  14. never completely comfortable (I could never really relax with all the above nonsense rattling around my head. Could you?)
  15. I have nothing else... I just hate having a weird number of these.
I've mentioned these things before but lately Scott's been talking about purchasing a cottage property. Just the property. Not the cottage. He says that in a few years we can put a trailer on it then a little house, then a cottage. So I think the plan basically means that by the time we retire we can be assured of something with a roof on the land. In the meantime we'd have our very own camping spot.

Don't get me wrong... I'm delighted about potentially getting it. I think it's cool that we could be the owners of waterfront property so close to the city. I just hope it doesn't cause too many arguments when I flatly refuse to sleep in a pitched tent on the property next summer. Anyway, it's all moot anyway until we actually get it. If we get it. I'm okay both ways.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

I'm getting published!

A publishing company contacted me about my blog and wanted me to compile a year's worth to be printed under the title "This Is The World's Lamest April Fool's Prank Ever".

Actually that was more along the lines of a pathetic daydream/fantasy than an actual joke. Something along the lines of a lottery win or getting discovered by an agent... an event that will never happen but you hope against hope there's a teeny off-chance that it does.

So in honour of this most ridiculous of days, here's a little history lesson for you.