Saturday, December 27, 2008

I Got Nothin'

I know I'm due for a post.  I just can't get one going.  All I've got are some random updates:

Last week at Pumpkin's school holiday concert, the mother of a boy who is in love with Pumpkin approached me and laughed about the fact that her son plans to go to synagogue with Pumpkin on Saturdays.  Pumpkin apparently made me look good by telling the boy that this is what we do on Saturdays.  Uhhhhmmmm, we don't do this.  Ever.  She LIED!  To impress a boy?

Chichi is eating cereal now, and can sit up for several minutes at a time.  As per the last developmental update on her, I know this is only interesting to my parents, but I do want to have some written record of when she started doing things.  I wasn't a blogger during Pumpkin's baby stage, leaving me with only my memory for such info.  I think she sat up at two months and started walking at five months.  Sound about right?

I was formulating a post in my head about Hanukkah vs. Christmas, and how they should never be compared seeing as Christmas will always win out due to the month-long build-up, whimsical characters, ambient lights, etc., but I'm actually thinking of retracting those thoughts.  I guess they're still true to me, but I don't feel all jaded and disgruntled enough to write a rant about it.  Hanukkah has actually been fun this year.  We had a family party which was ok, but the kids really enjoyed it, which made it a success.  We've been lighting the menorah, singing songs, and giving Pumpkin a present every night, which has her anticipating her nightly Hanukkah event with excitement.  Tonight was a bit of an exception because she woke up grumpy from a nap, told me that she didn't like her gift, and gave it back to me.  On the upside, I can still re-gift it tomorrow, being the eighth night.  I also find the pace of Hanukkah gift-giving to be better than a bombardment of presents all at once.  Thinking back to her last birthday party, Pumpkin wasn't able to enjoy all her gifts, and didn't play with some of them until months later.  One per night seems to work, even if I am stuck with a box of rejected finger puppets.

Remember the promise of mermaid barbie dolls in exchange for successful potty training?  Doesn't work.  Save your money.  I've gone through three princess, two Disney videos, and promises of everything and everything, but I'm still up to my elbows in crap.  Hating life a little for a few minutes a day.  

Last year's new year's resolution was to shred my papers.  Never did it.  Don't even care. 

As you can tell, I've got nothin'.  If I don't come up with anything new this week, Happy New Year!  See you in 2009....

Monday, December 15, 2008

Baths, Tantrums, and Fire Breathing Dragons

On Saturday night my family was at a Christmas party and came home later than Pumpkin's usual bedtime.  We asked her if she'd like to go straight to bed and skip her nightly bath, but she typically loves her bath and declined our offer.  Sunday night, Pumpkin refused her bath, which was weird, but we had company so I was happy to skip it.  This evening, before starting the bath and bed routine, we were testing out our gas fireplace.  Pumpkin was nervous about it but we assured her that she would be perfectly fine as long as she didn't touch the glass.  She then went off to play for 15 minutes or so.  When I told her that it was time for a bath, she refused.  I didn't want to skip it another night, especially given that she hasn't mastered the whole potty training thing and is often a bit too gross to not be bathed.  I also didn't want her to think that she could dictate to us whether or not she has a bath.  A tantrum ensued, but I stayed the course and bathed her while she kicked and screamed.  I kept asking her why she didn't want her bath but she just kept insisting that she had to go to bed right then and there.  After all was said and done, and I was tucking her into bed, I lay down beside her to see if I could get an understanding of what the problem actually was.  She told me that the fire was going to get her.  She was afraid that the fire-breathing dragon was going to burn her bed, and wreck all her stuff.  Now for the past month or so, Pumpkin has been obsessed with Sleeping Beauty, and has watched the movie many times.  She has also watched Shrek a few times, and often asks me to read The Paper Bag Princess.  All three stories have dragons in them, but she has never expressed a fear of them.  She actually seems to be enthralled with them.  Nonetheless, I spent the next few minutes trying to ensure her that dragons weren't real, and that nothing was going to happen to her, and that the fire was going to stay in the fireplace.  When she was finished listening, she turned her back to me and asked me to go to my own room.  My heart broke a little.  I felt that I had let her down somehow.  The days of simple maintenance are over.  

Sunday, December 07, 2008

TA-DAAAAAAA !!!!!!!!

Once upon a time, we had an unattractive room that had a great deal of potential:

Two and a half years ago, we decided to renovate it. I immediately consulted a designer, and selected the materials. What happened next was a whole lot of nothing due to a series of errors and a cast of clowns. It took a year and a half to begin the demolition:

Once we started, we were racing a clock to get the job completed before the birth of Chichi, who was expected six weeks later. Everyone on the job thought it was possible until they realized that it wasn't, and then the wheels fell off for a while. Last week, however, on the day of Chichi's five-month birthday, the job was completed:

I'm still in a bit of shock. I'm shocked that I have somewhere to sit. I'm shocked at how well it turned out. I'm shocked to see that I have a grown-up looking room. And guess what else?:

Dogs doing the conga! It's all too much. I need to lie down.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A Travel Agent I Shouldn't Be

My mom is still on her 35-day cruise of a lifetime. As I've mentioned before, she hasn't travelled much throughout her life, and this is her first cruise. She was nervous about going, but we waived away her concerns, telling her that she'd be perfectly safe on such a large ship, and with so many other people. Her cruise was supposed to stop in Mumbai. That's obviously not going to happen given the recent terrorist attacks, but upon reading the news on the day of the attacks, I was fearful for my mom as I wasn't sure of when she was going to be there. She wasn't there, and the ship wasn't stopping there anymore. Ok, mom was safe again. Or so I thought. What were the odds then, that this 30,000 ton commercial vessel, with almost seven hundred passengers on board, would be attacked by pirates? Seriously! Read the article! Everyone had to take cover as two skiffs tried to intercept ship, and fired eight rifle shots! No one was hurt, and the ship outran the pirates, but what a thing to happen! The cruise is still continuing, and ma is still enjoying herself, but holy crap! If I ever encourage you to take a trip, don't listen to me!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Conversation with Sleeping-Beauty-Obsessed 3 Year Old:

Pumpkin: Sleeping Toody is in trouble!

Me: Why is she in trouble?

Pumpkin: 'Cause she touched the spinning wheel!

Me, impressed that she remembered the storyline: What happened when she did that?

Pumpkin: Her shoes got dirty!

This could be the plot for an entirely different kind of princess movie.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Baby Milestone

Today, Chichi rolled over for the first time! I can't see the majority of my readers finding this remotely interesting, but I wanted it documented somewhere, and I'm sure the odd family member who reads this might want to know. So there it is. Actually, the first thing I thought was, "Great, now learn to sit up so you can get crawling". I should smack myself for thinking such a thing as the next thing I know, she'll be three, kicking me out of her room, contradicting EVERYTHING that I say, and asking me to buy her every toy in existence. I'll be longing for the the simpler times where rolling over was the extent of her independence.

Hey, remember that family room renovation that was to be completed before Chichi was born? Although everyone stopped rushing once they missed that deadline, and although Chichi is almost ready to start college, this Friday will be the big day. Yes, the flooring guys will be coming in to put on the final coat of varnish, and then we will be able to move our furniture in! All the finishing touches will come later, but you have to understand that I did not feel motivated to buy end tables and art work seeing as we already had to pay over a year's worth of storage fees for the stuff that we actually did order. The physical construction took six months, but the plans were drawn up OVER TWO YEARS AGO! Longest one-room reno in history. Pictures coming soon!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

November 18th

One year ago today, ...I probably threw up.

Two years ago today, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes got married. This must have made someone throw up.

Three years ago today, I probably got thrown up on

Four years ago today, ...yeah, I probably threw up.

(Wow, this post is not developing the romantic sentiment that I initially intended. It gets better, I promise)

Six years ago today, we moved into our first house, and started our family.

Seven years ago today, our wedding day, you made me, and continue to make me happier than I ever thought possible.

Happy Anniversary, Baby!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bon Voyage!

We woke up yesterday and didn't have an out-of-town wedding to go to. It felt strange. Yes, wedding season is over. No more figuring out how to dress given that things don't fit right yet. The dress I wore a month ago to wedding #2 of the year fit fairly well at the time, but I've lost a little bit of the baby weight since then so when I wore it last week at wedding #4, I didn't look too svelte. Oh well. My regularly schleppy self will resume immediately. Bring on the elastic pants!

On an unrelated topic, many months ago, hubby and I talked my mom into taking a 35 day cruise with a friend of hers. The price was relatively good, and the opportunity was once-in-a-life-time, so she booked the trip, not entirely knowing if it was a good idea. Today was her day of departure. Seeing her for the last time for five weeks, I became a little verklempt as I watched her wheel her brand new luggage into the airport, hair perfectly coiffed, as she looked back at me somewhat nervously. I'm so happy for her that she is going on this adventure given that she hasn't been able to travel much throughout her life due to the whole single mom thing, coupled with financial constraints. That being said, boy am I screwed! My mom has pretty much been here five days a week helping me with the two kids since July, so I'm going from mom overdose to mom deprivation. Truthfully, I know I'll be able to hack it with the kids, but I'm not promising that I'll be getting that daily shower or preparing my usual gourmet meals. Hey, if you happen to be reading this, can you send over a casserole? Much appreciated.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Childhood Crush

The first time that I felt something for him was in grade three. I sent my friend over to tell this boy that I thought that he was cute. He told her to tell me that he hated my guts. I guess that he was still at the girls-are-icky stage. Either that or he really did hate me, but let's not smash my eight year old ego, mmmmkay? I wasn't overly fazed by his response at the time, and don't know what I expected him to do with that information anyways.

The next school year, I found myself staring at him a lot, and looked forward to the end of the year party where I might have a chance to dance with him. Slow dancing was new to our class, and it was as romantic as things got for us at that age. The boy with his hands on the girl's waist, the girl with her hands on the boy's shoulders, arms extended forward as far as possible while rocking back and forth from one foot to the other. Mike had danced with Shelly for most of the party, who I foolishly decided to confide in. When I told her that I was hoping to dance with Mike too, she though it hilarious and ran to laugh about it with Mike and his friends. Bitch. I remember hoping that her antennae-like, orthodontic head-gear would get caught in the door of the bus.

By grade five, my crush was in full gear. It had the kind of uncomplicated intensity that I believe that only a pre-teen girl can muster up. Shelly had already outed me the year before, so I felt free to talk about Mike to anyone who would listen. Apparently, I even confided in my teacher, who I recently learned was a good friend of Mike's mother. They had a good laugh at my expense when Mrs. Teacher told Mrs. Mike that I one day whined, "I like him soooo much and he doesn't even know that I'm alive!" I was pathetic on two levels; one for actually saying that; and two, for actually telling my teacher. Yup. I was cool. I also may have read too many Archie comics and identified myself with Betty.

That crush lasted through to the end of elementary school, but fizzled out when we moved on to Jr. High, where the world opened up a little bit more. Mike and I had all the same friends, so we hung out every now and then, but it wasn't like when we were younger and I stalked him well enough to know where he lived, his phone number, his birthday, and the fact that his mouth opened whenever anyone took a shot on net during the foot hockey games that he played at recess.

Our casual friendship carried on through high school, and even through university when we e-mailed each other every so often just to catch up. It wasn't until after university that we started talking more frequently, visiting each other, and forming what I would consider to be a true friendship. It was then that I gained an appreciation for his dry sense of humour, his intelligence, and the overall good person that he is.

My eyes welled up with tears at the wedding when I saw Mike standing at the altar. As I held my husband's hand, waiting for the bride to march down the aisle, I found myself feeling reflective. Despite the tuxedo, he still looked like the Mike that I knew from elementary school, and I could so vividly see him in his old yellow and green hockey jersey that he wore almost every day in grade five. Thinking about that, I wished that I could see the face on my eleven year old self if I could tell her that she will be there on Mike's wedding day, that she won't be the one getting married to him, and that she will be thrilled just to be a part of it. My eleven year old self would never see this as an acceptable scenario, but my thirty-something year old self knows that a friendship like this is rare, and all that all that pining is just a funny part of the history that Mike and I share.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Have Pumpkins; Will Travel

Last Saturday, we went to a pumpkin carving party (I am referring to those orange things filled with seeds, not my daughter, Pumpkin). I reluctantly carved up two pumpkins, only to discover that it was kind of fun. I have no faith in my creative abilities, but after whining about the task for ten minutes or so, I got into it. I think I did a pretty good job too!

My daughter, Pumpkin, wasn't at all interested, but later in the week, she asked me to carve up the tiny pumpkin that we picked up on a school field trip, so the idea must have sunk in at some point. Those jack-o-lanterns sat in my flower planters for the week, and were relocated to my mom's place on Friday since her's was the neighbourhood where we did our trick-or-treating. My street has only a few houses on it, and is a bit of a secret from the rest of the world, so it isn't a good area for all things Halloween. My brother actually had to argue with a cab driver about the location of my house as the cabbie was certain that there were no houses where my brother was telling him to go. Anyhow, trick-or-treating in Ma's neighbourhood was a hit once again. Pumpkin was dressed as a poodle, Chichi was stuffed in a sling, and Hubby and I took them out for some good, ol' fashioned begging. It is kind of rare that we ever do anything as a family of four, but I really enjoy it when we do. I am still amazed at how much candy one can get when one travels with cute children. As an added bonus, in true Pumpkin fashion, she has already moved onto the next activity and has forgotten about her candy.

Speaking of the next activity, on Saturday we packed up the jack-o-lanterns and headed to Kingston for a wedding. The wedding was on a farm, and the bride and groom used the jack-o-lanterns as decorations. This was not the kind of wedding that required a professional florist. We were outside for the entire time (read: cold!!!), and with the campfire, potluck, and meat on a spit, the wedding had more of a cook-out type of feel to it. I can't say that the suckling pig was my cup of tea, but neither would you if you had seen last week's episode of Grey's Anatomy. We ate in the barn, which was also where the ceremony was held. As a cool aside, out of the dozens of jack-o-lanterns that furnished the ramp leading into the barn, two of the six that were chosen to adorn the altar were mine! I was so proud. Anyhow, although this was the strangest wedding I had ever been to, I thought it was very cool, and absolutely perfect for the bride, who has always been like a sister to me. The bride, let's call her JoJo, has never been one for following convention. The day had to be a relaxed event for her, which it totally was. Hours before the ceremony, she was wearing cargo pants, a hoodie, a blue Paddington Bear style hat, and was hangin' out with all the guest. She didn't have jitters. She wasn't worried about caterers, or anything like that. There was some order to the whole event, but they didn't follow the schedule perfectly, and didn't care. Children ran around, Pumpkin included, and added to the excitement. We sat on bales of hay during the ceremony, which was delayed due to the bride just not being ready to march yet. The music had already played, the groom was waiting, as were all the guests. I was starting to wonder if we had a runaway bride on our hands, but no one else seemed worried, and after 15 minutes or so, the music played yet again, and this time there was a bridal party to march to it. At one point, I had to drag Pumpkin out of the ceremony 'cause she wouldn't stop shouting. It was already passed her bedtime, and delirium was starting to set in, so I can't fault her too much. Nonetheless, we were able to re-join the service before that whole kissing of the bride thing that they do. Congrats to you both, JoJo and BoBo! We're so happy for you.

Anyhow, lots of driving and Pumpkin wrangling have rendered me extremely tired today. The end of daylight savings hasn't helped much either. For those of you with small children, was this not the longest day ever????

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mermaids and Wiggles

Blogging, to me, is becoming a bit like cooking. It's not that I dislike blogging the same way that I dislike cooking, but if I am going to cook, I want the meal to be fabulous. Making something fabulous, however, takes more effort than I have time and energy for, thus I don't cook as often as I should. My family does expect to be fed at some point though, which means I will eventually heat up a frozen pizza or barbecue pre-packaged meat-on-a-stick, and serve it up. I guess I'm trying to say that this post is the equivalent of pre-packaged meat-on-a-stick. Better than nothing?

This week I learned that duct taping a mermaid to the washroom wall is not enough incentive to get Pumpkin to do #2 in the toilet.

Even though she knows that the reward is to actually get to play with said mermaid, she will leave the washroom to go crap in her pants in private, then return to the washroom to talk about the mermaid. I do, however, enjoy the opportunity to showcase my '80s wallpaper, that I'm sure will come back in style if I leave it up there long enough.

Friday, Pumpkin went to the Wiggles concert with her Daddy and Grandma. I happily stayed home, missing the chance to see the joy on Pumpkin's face, but also possibly avoiding puking on the shoes of the people around me. The Wiggles have made me ill before, and I'm sure that they wouldn't hesitate to do it again. I also knew that there wasn't a guarantee that Pumpkin would love the concert. Her responses to many gifts and events have so far been somewhat underwhelming, so it was possible that I wasn't going to miss much. It turns out that she enjoyed the concert well enough, but the only thing that she wanted to tell me about when she came home was that the train was broken and that she needed a better one. I'm glad that her first time on public transit left such an impact!

That's my life this week. All potty and play, all the time. Woohoo!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Birthday Recap

I didn't get the watch, but had a pretty good birthday regardless. The day started off with balloons, streamers, those party favour things that you blow into, and party hats. This was hubby's answer to my complaining about there being no hoopla about my birthday. Kind of a rude awakening actually, but Pumpkin thought it was hysterical, and it was very cute overall. We invited two other couples and their spawn over for dinner, and enjoyed watching three little girls dress up in princess costumes then turn the house upside down. We haven't had a lot of evenings where we socialize with other couples and their kids. Usually we dump our kids on my mom and get out for grown-up time. Family socializing seems to be fun for the kids, but the adults never actually get to talk to each other. Oh well. Only one thing got broken, and dinner was tasty. My annual birthday Indian food feast never lets me down.

Today hubby took me out to buy me my gift. As mentioned above, I did not get the watch, but technically, it is still owed to me. When I was pregnant with Chichi, I found out that we were having a girl, but hubby didn't want to know the sex of the baby. I knew that if I did not ask questions pertaining to having a boy, he would know it was a girl, so I inquired about things such as the circumcision, the potential boy's name, and started sentences with, "If we were having a boy...". I asked girl-related questions too so it didn't appear that I was trying to make him think it was a boy, but somehow he got it in his head that it was definitely a boy. Any time I steered him towards thinking it might be a girl, he thought I was just trying to keep the secret alive instead of having him "know the truth." Realizing that he would not be swayed from his belief, I asked him what kind of "push present" I could have if it was a girl. Naturally he told me that I could have whatever I wanted, thinking that it was irrelevant. I told him that I wanted Uma Thurman's watch, but added that he should get it for me regardless of the sex since I was kind enough to be birthing his child. He said that I could only get the watch if I produced a girl. Hee hee. One day I'll collect. For today, my new earings will do! Is this not the most superficial babble you've read today?

Friday, October 17, 2008

It's the Gift that Counts!

So here I am, on the eve of my birthday, hangin' with my dogs while the kids are sleeping. A few years back, I would have been jumping out of my skin on this particular occasion. I've always loved my birthday. As a child, it was the anticipation of gifts, as well as the belief that the whole day was about me. As I got older, it became about the anticipation of gifts, as well as the belief that the whole day was about me. I don't know where the excitement went, but somehow this day managed to sneak up on me and I hadn't really noticed. Sure, my family members have been asking me about gift ideas, and Pumpkin is jumping for birthday cake, but I'm not feeling it the way that I used to. It has nothing to do with getting older either. I'm where I want to be at this stage in my life, so my age really doesn't bother me. I think I'm going to blame my husband. This morning he mentioned my birthday, and asked me what he could get me. I can't believe that he is only asking today instead of having spent the last two weeks planning a special surprise. He always asks instead of trying to surprise me, lest he make a bad choice. The truth is, I'd rather be surprised, but only if it's a surprise that I want. Maybe I'm the one to blame. Nonetheless, I'm going to give hubby a hard time. My mom can't babysit on my actual birthday, so she offered to babysit tonight such that hubby and I could catch a movie. He already had plans to play poker, but he said with a look of guilt and sadness that he would go to the movie if I wanted him to. Naturally I told him to go play poker such that he doesn't resent me for suffocating him in a deathtrap of a marriage, but really I think he should have insisted on the movie. Now he's going to be sorry that he is giving me the opportunity to pick my own gift. Do you like this watch?:

I could learn to love my birthday again.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy Happy

The universe has delivered. Back when I registered Pumpkin for pre-school, I decided on three days per week, which proved to be a mistake. I should have enrolled her for five, but I was worried that she would feel rejected due the new baby on the scene. Well, after experiencing just how long a day could be with both Pumpkin and Chichi at home, I started looking for some other sort of program that I could ship Pumpkin off to. Nothing really compared to a solid three-hour morning of school though. Then the best thing happened! Someone dropped out of her school on the days that Pumpkin wasn't attending! Yup, I'm rejoicing over the fact that some other child in the class probably suffered severe separation anxiety and had to give up his or her spot. I scooped those days up pretty quickly. Woohoo! Excuse my lack of compassion, but I've gotta look after my family and sanity first and foremost. I love spending time with Pumpkin, but when we are stuck at home, we tend to run out of things to do, and end up resorting to watching videos. Once the videos get boring, Pumpkin then resorts to tormenting the dogs, or whining up a storm. I guess I'm never actually "stuck" at home, but I can't say that I always have somewhere to go. All those friends/playdates/parties that I planned on for this stage in my life; not so much. The fact that my social life is a wash shouldn't be Pumpkin's problem. She should be happier now too.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I Don't Want to Complain, But...

I am a lucky individual. I am healthy. I don't live in an impoverished, war torn or hurricane ravaged country. I have a happy marriage with two beautiful, healthy children. My parents are alive and healthy. I have a lovely home. We can afford nice cars and other luxuries. That being said, can I reserve the right to complain, if only for a teeny, tiny moment, about my cleaning lady phoning in sick on the week that I am expecting twelve people for dinner on one night, then another seven guests over the week-end?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Not Dressed Up with Somewhere to Go

Had we known how much time we would spend as adults looking for car keys, sunglasses, etc., would we have been so inclined, as children, to always be playing hide-and-go-seek? Just one of the many deep thoughts that I come up with each day.

Taking off from Kittenpie's post about the misery of dressing the postpartum body, I would like to add further complaints. Right now, my body is thinking of returning to it's regular weight, but hasn't quite reached this ultimate goal. For the time being, I wear old jeans that were always too big for me, and an assortment of large t-shirts that I purchased during my previous postpartum wardrobe woes. Overall, I have succeeded in being not naked, which you should all be thanking me for. I look schleppy, and haven't cared too much until recently. This look is starting to create a problem for me. I keep getting invited to events that require me to look nice. For the most part, I refuse to buy clothes for this current body of mine. To me, buying clothes right now is like admitting defeat. I do NOT plan to spend much time in this current shape, and I will NOT appease this shape by trying to make it look nice. Then last week, there was an unveiling for my late mother-in-law, preceded by a nice dinner with some relatives that came in from out of town. Ripped jeans were not gonna cut it. I tore through my closet to find anything that would go over these unwanted curves of mine, and managed, with the help of a pair of Spanx, to look like I was at least trying. Spanx are great if breathing isn't important to you. I was in a bit of pain, but I got through the two events, and thought, phew! Unfortunately, my relief was short lived. We are now in the middle of the Jewish High Holidays, three of which days require me to dress up nice and attend synagogue services. I'm using the breast-feeding excuse to get out of actually going to the synagogue, but there are still extended family meals to attend, where everyone still has to look nice. Yesterday I re-used an outfit from last week, and today I'm just sayin' "fack it!". That's not really what I'm sayin', but I don't usually swear in full on this site. That brings me to the three weddings I have in this upcoming month. They aren't black tie, but I know that I can't get away with the current wardrobe, with the exception of the Halloween wedding where we are encouraged to wear costumes. If it fits, I might just go in my slutty pirate outfit. What? You mean you don't have one of those too? As for the other weddings, I asked around for something to borrow, but came up short. Literally. My friends are all taller than me. I had no choice but to admit temporary defeat and buy something. So sad. Anyhow, if you are having an event, and I can't attend dressed like a bum or wearing my new, black evening dress, don't invite me. It's too stressful.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Gourmet Night at Casa Mac & Cheese

I finally opened up that Jessica Seinfeld cookbook that I bought many moons ago, but tossed aside due to pregnancy nausea, coupled with some pretty gross sounding recipes. Every recipe in the book is designed to hide nutritious food in other food such that kids don't know that they're eating something good for them. It would be great if I could get Pumpkin to eat well, but I have to confess, I'm not much better than Pumpkin. I'm actually worse because I'm supposed to know better. I do force down veggies at some of my meals, but it's usually in the form of a salad or coleslaw, and not some of the more "hard core" veggies. Today I decided to make Jessica's chicken nuggets, which are made by dipping the chicken in a broccoli/egg mixture, then breading it in a bread crumb/flax meal mixture. The chicken nuggets are then supposed to be fried in a pan, but I baked them in the oven as I was certain that I would burn them in the pan. I did try to fry a couple of them as an experiment, and although I did burn them a little, I think I could figure out how to do it right for next time. Anyhow, since Jessica Seinfeld included family testimony along with each of her recipes, I figured I'd let you know what my family thought.

Mom thought they were delicious! She even suggested that I make them again, and not worry about frying them.

Hubby thought that they were really good. He even stated so in a tone that told me that he meant it, rather than his usual, scripted tone. You know what I'm talking about. The same tone that accompanies phrases such as, "Nah, your ass didn't change at all with this pregnancy".

Pumpkin didn't like the way that the breading fell off the chicken when she pinched it. Once that happened, she refused to actually taste it. Instead, she had a time-out for blowing spit bubbles at me, then returned to the kitchen to eat a banana. That's actually an example of a good eating night.

I thought it was quite tasty. Although my house smelled like fermenting garbage as a result of steaming something as vile as broccoli, the other ingredients hid most of it's disgusting flavour, which I was able to totally finish off by using a honey mustard dip.

Chichi sat in her swing and said, "Ack!", which I think translates to, "What's the deal with the fermenting garbage???"

This gourmet meal was inspired by the pressure to sit down to dinner as a family, which, according to the media, will increase my childrens chances of having a bright future, and be less likely to use drugs. Whatever. I am personally more likely to abuse alcohol after these attempts to get Pumpkin to sit still and actually eat.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Kids are Icky

This past week, Pumpkin:
  • Peed on the new couch
  • Peed in several pairs of underwear
  • Pooed in several pairs of underwear
  • Smeared her lunch all over the counter, then licked it up
  • Chewed her hair, her sleeve, her jacket zipper, her blanket...
  • Stuck a finger in each of her nostrils at the same time
  • After doing the double nose pick, she grabbed a food storage container that I was using
  • Ate sand
  • Made spit bubbles and let them dribble all over the house
She's really gross!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Found Kitten

Yesterday a man from a nearby business knocked on my door to see if I owned the stray cat that he found. I'm guessing it was the same cat that came by my yard earlier this evening. It didn't actually act like a stray as it was quite docile, playing the way that a house cat would play. It had no collar, and may have been dumped around here seeing as we live near a conservation area. Hubby played with it a bit, but we couldn't take it in due to my allergies, and also because of one of my dogs who would probably attack it. It parked itself on my front step for the rest of the evening and even tried to get into the house. My SIL happened to be over for dinner tonight with her husband. They are almost never here for dinner. They are cat people. They left with the cat in a Hewlett Packard box. Is that the universe taking care of business or what? They already have two cats and aren't looking for another, so they are hoping that they can find someone who can take it in. If you're in the market for a cute black & white kitty....

Friday, September 12, 2008

This and That

My mom is home. YAY! I did survive her being on vacation for two weeks, but I'm glad she's back. I managed ok without the extra help during the weekdays, but I never got used to being so constrained. Maybe if given more time, I would have ventured out regardless. I wasn't completely home-bound, but I certainly went out less than usual. Chichi just isn't the type of baby to be content in her stroller for long periods of time, so I couldn't visualize us all hitting a book store or coffee shop, or any place where I need to keep Pumpkin on good behaviour while trying to keep Chichi happy at the same time. Even walks are iffy. Ma has a five week vacation coming up in a couple of months, so chances are that I'll get out there on my own eventually, screaming kids and all.

So after hanging around my own house and yard this week, I discovered that we have to move. We have a garden in the back yard that I have never tended to so it has become a haven for whatever wants to live in weeds and ground cover. Yesterday Pumpkin was jumping around in there and came out running towards me shouting, "That's a nice snake!" Huh? Snake? I went over to take a peak and saw not one but two snakes slithering away from Pumpkin's footprints. One of them was about two feet long! Maybe this isn't creeping you out the way it creeps me out, but I'm not lovin' sharing my space with things that slither. I think I did the wrong thing and told Pumpkin not to go back into that area because snakes bite. Now she will probably have a phobia, but isn't it useful to be afraid of snakes?

In renovation news, don't take my lack of reporting about it to mean that it isn't happening. After Chichi was born, everyone slowed down since meeting the baby deadline was no longer a concern. The wheels also fell of a little when the plastering was contracted out to hubby's friends instead of someone who does plastering for a living. There were a lot of touch-ups and repairs that are sort of finished. Now the carpenter has done his part, and I will be able to see the light at the end if the electricians show up this week. Get it? Light? Electricians? We are officially in the home-stretch. I don't want to post any photos now as I'm saving myself for the finished product. We're actually going to get to use our family room before 2009!

Hmmmmm, I'm racking my brain for something to post about but when you don't go out or watch anything but the Treehouse channel for a week, the pickings are kinda slim.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Week-End Update

I need to start out by saying that I am not panicking or stressing out. I'm just trying to work out the logistics here. As you may or may not know, I now have two kids. You also may or may not know that my mother has been here to help me out pretty much everyday since the second one came along. Well, my mom had enough nerve to take a two week vacation, and now I am handling the two kids by myself most of the time. So far things are fine, but I'm just trying to get used to my lack of freedom. I can't just dart out the door for a quick errand, or a physio appointment, or a hair appointment, or a pedicure, or a lunch date, or.... I can't find much time to blog either, not that I was finding much before, but now I'm forced to actually do household chores in my free minutes as I never know when the next opportunity will arrive. Overall, I like being spoiled. The real world sucks. I want my mommy back.

I'm not sure if Pumpkin is acting out against Chichi's arrival, or Grandma being away, or if she is just a bonafide brat, but she is sapping my energy. I find that I am uttering threats and issuing time-outs all day long now. She is either disobeying me, or tormenting the dogs, or both, and neither are acceptable. I'm fairly harmless, but the dogs could cause some real damage if they wanted to. I'm so used to reprimanding her that I'm even correcting the behaviour of other people's children, which may or may not be appreciated by the other mothers. Regretfully, I only signed her up for three days a week of school, when five would have been more beneficial for both of us. I feel bad about the type of days that we are having together as she makes me angry, I am being no fun, and Pumpkin is always asking me to smile, which means she isn't enjoying the constant scowl on my face either. I need playdates, people! All applications will be accepted!

In doggie news, we've got another sick one. Taz was acting more lethargic than usual so we ordered him a wellness test. We found that his platelet level was dangerously low, and that there was a wonky reading on one of his liver enzymes. We had to deal with the platelets first as he could have bled to death very easily with such a low level. Next we had to have an ultrasound to figure out what was up with the liver, and it looks like he has some sort of liver disease. We are going to do a biopsy, but it's likely that the drugs from the platelet problem will obscure the biopsy interpretation. This is par for the course for our dogs. So far, we've dealt with optic neuritis, a tumour, pannus, epilepsy, canine athlete's foot, and now the latest episode. I guess you might say that our dogs are survivors, and that they cost lots. I am hopeful that everything will be ok in the end. Keep your paws crossed.

So, it's all fun 'n games over here at casa Mac & Cheese. To leave you on an up-note:

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Family Resemblance

My brother, D, came to town for a quick visit to meet his new niece. Upon seeing them together for the first time, I was amazed at the resemblance:
Uncle D seems to think that the two of them look like Zoolander:

I think that they look like a furry little friendly Monchichi:
Since it's my blog, we'll just assume that I am more correct. This brings me to an important announcement: From this post forward, the baby will be known as "Chichi", 'cause it's cuter than any version of the name, "Zoolander" that I can think of.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Life Almost Ended

Pumpkin has an off-white, crochet blanket that is the most important of all her possessions. She sleeps with it, eats with it, travels with it, pees with it, chews it, and drags it around. She calls it her "Geekie". It was made by a good friend of mine. Pumpkin also has a back-up Geekie, which is just a receiving type of blanket that came with a sleeper that she was given as an infant. It's pink with flowers, and for some reason became important to Pumpkin as well. A lot of kids I know have a favourite possession like this, whether it be a stuffed toy or something else. All that really matters is that whatever this possession is, it must never be lost, torn, bent, folded, or mutilated. Imagine then, how life as we know it almost ended last Sunday when we loaded up the car to return home from a day at the pool at my FIL's place. Pumpkin left the Geekies in the car that day as we told Pumpkin that they could not swim, which really meant that I didn't want more crap to carry as I was already too loaded down. Hubby was in charge of strapping Pumpkin into her car seat, and had to move the blankets out of the way to do it. As we were driving home, Pumpkin shrieked, "It's stuck!" I glanced back and took a second to understand what I was looking at. She was holding a corner of the crochet blanket which appeared to be coming out of the ceiling. "Is Geekie on the roof???", I shouted at hubby.
"Uhhhh, yeah", he replied, without enough of a sense of urgency. I pulled over to find that both blankets were out there. The pink one was tangled up in the main one, and it was only by luck that the main one was anchored by the door. All is well now, and I don't want to start a fight over it, so it will have to suffice to embarrass my husband by publishing this story on the World Wide Web, in hopes that enough of our friends read this post and tell him what a doofus he is.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Breastfeeding with an Audience

I'm not writing this post because it is/was World Breastfeeding Week, but my story is quite timely in that sense.

I absolutely HATE HATE HATE breastfeeding in public. I can appreciate that I have the right to breastfeed wherever I want, or so I would like to believe, but the gliding chair in my baby's room with the assistance of a nursing pillow will always be my first choice. I've learned to make peace with the fact that I have to do it in front of my mom since she is usually here, but even that makes me a little uncomfortable. Recently, some inlaws came over for a visit to meet the new baby, so I felt obligated to spend time with them and not hide away in the baby's room when it was time to feed her. I found it stressful, especially since the baby doesn't stay latched for long periods of time. She is always pulling away and re-latching, which certainly leaves me exposed for all to see. Despite knowing that breastfeeding is completely natural and non sexual, I'm still not comfortable letting other people see my boobs. I didn't like my boobs being seen back in the locker room in Jr. high, and I don't like it now. Most people are polite enough not to stare, but there was a ten year old boy in that pack of visiting inlaws who could use a lesson in manners. This past week, I was on the phone with his mother who suggested that I cover up when I feed the baby when her son is around because ever since that visit, he has not stopped talking about my boobs, their size, their colouring, etc. Great. I love that he has created a visual for the rest of my inlaws. Given that this kid was just busted by his parents for surfing adult sites on the net, I can see why my rack got him talking. My guess is that my set scarcely resembles the perky and probably artificial ones that he saw on line. Hey, the porn industry gave me false expectations too. The first penis that I ever saw belonged to a porn star on a movie that I found in my brother's room. The "actor's" name was Raul, and his schlong was the size of Manhattan! Reality catches up to us all eventually, but I don't want to be the one who teaches this little boy what that reality is, especially if he is not mature enough to understand that boobs in this context are not sexual. (my husband will attest to that) Under these circumstances, I am quite happy to cover up, which I was trying to do in the first place, and I don't mind that it was suggested that I do so. The boy's mother may or may not have used the incident as a teaching opportunity, although that isn't my concern. I just learned that on a more recent visit with my inlaws, the same boy peeked around a corner to catch another glimpse of me nursing my daughter, even though I made a point to do it in a separate room. He was silly enough to brag about it to his mother, and consequently got in trouble for it.

In no way am I saying that women should cover up or hide away while breastfeeding. In the words of HBM, "BOOBS ARE NOT DIRTY. BOOBS ARE NOT SHAMEFUL. BOOBS SUSTAIN LIFE. OF BOOBS PUT TO THEIR NATURAL PURPOSE WE SHOULD BE PROUD. OF ALL BOOBS WE SHOULD BE PROUD." Nonetheless, if this boy is going to gossip about my rack to my inlaws, and possibly noodle himself under the covers as he replays the memory, I'm coverin' up, thankyouverymuch.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

I've Been Half Assing this Mother Stuff

Since the birth of the new baby, my mom and husband have taken over the majority of my Pumpkin duties. I do look after her and play with her some of the time, but not nearly as much as I used to. Also, her nightly bath has pretty much been taken out of my hands. I hate the whole bath/bed routine, which I have happliy opted out of while I've taken a few moments to myself each evening. However, I have come to realize that as much as I resent being torn away from my limited chances to watch recordings of Canadian Idol and The Two Coreys, bath/bed routines are good bonding opportunities that I've been missing out on. I also came to realize that although it had just been a few weeks, Pumpkin has grown, and I've missed it. Upon giving her the a bath for the first time since the baby came along, I noticed that she was larger. I know that after caring for a newborn, a pre-schooler can appear enormous, but she really has grown. Not only that, but her hair has gotten thicker. These are things that should stand out to someone who hasn't seen her in a while, but I shouldn't really be noticing them so easily as I am with her everyday.

A friend of mine once told me a story that I was certain was an exaggeration, so I dismissed it at the time. After he and his wife had their second child, they agreed that the wife would be primarily in charge of the baby, and he would look after the older child. After many months had passed, he was then given the task of watching the baby for whatever reason, and he realized at that time that he didn't know anything about his second child. I think I understand how he might have felt that way. Since our second child arrived, I have been in the privileged situation of having an extra pair of hands to help me. My mom has been here almost every day since the baby was born, primarily looking after Pumpkin. Many mothers of young children would kill for that kind of free help, and I know that none of you are playing violins for me, but there is a downside. As mentioned earlier, I missed a stage of growth. I don't want to miss stages. I can see myself not knowing all that I should know about Pumpkin if I allow myself the luxury of not having to ever wipe her butt or force-feed her . It is great to be able to give the new baby the kind of attention that I gave Pumpkin when she was an infant, but I need to ensure that I get some quality Pumpkin time too. I know that I have to make a better effor than I've been putting forth lately. That being said, you can continue to give her some of her baths mom. I still need my reality TV time too.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Ok, Pumpkin is at camp, baby is asleep, so here I am, having an unheard of second cup of coffee, attempting to sneak a post in before you all quit popping in. You may still quit after realizing that this post is about potty training, but I could use your wisdom. We have managed to get Pumpkin 90% toilet trained in terms of "#1", but have no luck at all with "#2". A lot of the time she asks to have a diaper put on her so she can do her "business", but sometimes she just does it in her underwear and just yells at us to change her. Bribery does not seem to work. What did y'all do when it came to your own kids?

Wow, was that ever a lame post! Let me make it up to you with a picture of the babe, 'cause I imagine that you would rather look at her than listen to me yammer on about stuff anyways.

The hair is still hangin' in.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Milestones and Deep Thoughts

This was an interesting week for Pumpkin. She had her first week of camp, which, as mentioned previously, is the first place where I've ever dropped her off. I only cried a little on that first day, although Pumpkin didn't cry at all. When she asked if I was staying, and I said that I wasn't, she turned her back on me and went back to whatever activity she was already engaged in. I'm not sad about that - I'd rather she not cry, which would leave me feeling guilty. I just had one of those my-baby-is-growing-up moments. She went every day for four days, and apparently did very well. She did not completely embarrass our family, although she did have to be asked twice a few times to do things. Not bad considering that she was raised by wolves.

Another great moment in Pumpkin-land was yesterday's trip to the dentist. Six months ago when we first took her to the dentist, she was frightened and wouldn't open her mouth for more than a minute or so. At that time, I had been reading to her from a book about Dora going to the dentist. Since we've now read that book together about 50 painstaking times, Pumpkin is no longer afraid. She sat with her mouth open long enough for a proper cleaning and flossing. I'm still beaming with pride over that one since Pumpkin doesn't ever do what Pumpkin doesn't want to do.

The baby also hit a of minor milestone. One night she slept six and a half hours straight! This is reminiscent of Pumpkin who slept eight hours every night starting at three weeks of age. Other mothers hated me for that but sleep was more important than their approval. Oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please let this baby follow suit. Pretty please?

Speaking of sleep issues, wouldn't it be cool if baby monitors had snooze buttons? What's the worst that could happen? Also, can anyone explain why it is so easy to doze off while sitting uncomfortably upright while giving a baby a late-night feeding, but it takes about twenty minutes to fall back asleep once returning to one's bed after said feeding?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Parenting Randomness

I miss writing. I find myself concocting posts in my head all the time, but the posts never come to fruition. I like to write at night, but nights have become a write-off as you can well imagine. I have to make peace with writing during day-light hours. I've only got time for randomness today as I can only expect both the baby and Pumpkin to amuse themselves for a short while.

Pumpkin started breast-feeding her dolls, although she feeds the dolls through her belly-button. In her defence, my belly-button is still protruding, and has a darker pigment than the rest of my skin, so I can see where she got confused. I've decided to let things be so she doesn't start talking about boobies when we're out at the store or something.

Pumpkin starts camp tomorrow. This will be the first time I will be dropping her off anywhere and I'm pretty nervous about it. The camp is at the same place where she will be attending pre-school in September, so it seems like a good idea to get her feet wet by trying out the camp first. I just can't imagine her going off into the world with all of her peculiar idiosyncrasies. Will they mock her for screaming, "I DID IT!!!" whenever she pees in the potty or toilet, or whatever they have. Will she even use their potty? Will the fact that she hasn't figured out the rules of "time out" be an issue? Is the fact that she doesn't do what she's told be an issue? I guess that's the real concern. Her behaviour is a reflection of me, and although she is 90% angel, the 10% devil that we see a lot of at home has me very worried. I don't want to be the mother of "THAT" kid. I guess it's time to step up the disciplining in this household, even though it doesn't get through that easily. While I was typing this post, I had to break for half an hour to implement and re-implement, and re-implement a time out, and only managed to get ten seconds of silence before I decided to quit while I was ahead. Maybe next time we'll make it to twenty seconds?

The baby is being a baby. Not much that you'll find interesting about her, except that she is so cute my head might explode. Thank you all for your compliments on her picture, BTW. Breast feeding is going well enough - no extreme pain, cracking or bleeding. She is willing to take a bottle, unlike when Pumpkin was an infant, so I still see a glimpse of freedom on the horizon. We're even escaping for a couple of hours for dinner tonight.

Well, that time-out sucked up most of my blogging time. Until next time...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Checking In

I'm still here, head above water. I haven't been posting because of visiting family members, and the fact that my blogging time coincides with my sleeping time, and you can guess which one wins out. The sleep situation isn't too too bad, although it takes a little getting used to. The baby sleeps in three hour stints, with the occasional four, but usually three. This would actually be completely tolerable except for the fact that I was given a rubella vaccine while in the hospital, and I turned out to be part of the five percent of people who have side effects. Nothing drastic, but aching joints, headaches, and a fever don't help the situation. Did you know that when you add a fever to existing, hormonal night sweats, you may as well wear a bathing suit to bed? Charming, no? Anyhow, although I've had all the babies that I'm presumably gonna have, I am now immune to a virus that is dangerous to unborn children. Better late than never?

It has been hours since I started this post and the baby isn't going to let me add much more as she had declared today to be boob-fest. For now I will leave you with a picture intended to melt your heart, or at least show off her natural faux-hawk:

Thursday, July 10, 2008


So I guess it's time that I shared the birth story with you guys. I honestly didn't think I'd have a very interesting one to offer, but since my birth plan more or less went out the window, I can entertain you with it somewhat. If you recall from a previous post, my only requests were to get an epidural, and to get the baby out. Although the baby is in fact out, it didn't happen in the almost pain-free method that I had so been looking forward to.

When Pumpkin was born, there was plenty of time to prepare. My water broke the day before, so they had to induce me about 15 hours later. The happy-epidural-woman took care of my pain, and the nurse who was looking after me kept bringing me Jell-o, and talking to me like I was four, which I quite liked under the circumstances. I was in the delivery room for a few hours before it was time to push, and when Pumpkin finally came out, there was a whole team of doctors and nurses waiting to take care of both mom and baby. This is how I imagined that the birth of baby #2 would be.

Last Thursday, which happened to be Pumpkin's birthday, I started having contractions. By mid day they stopped, and then resumed in the evening, which sucked since they were going to screw up the good night's sleep that I had planned to have before delivering. I was supposed to be induced on the Friday morning. The contractions went on through the night, although they weren't strong or frequent enough to keep me completely awake. I woke up a lot, but still managed to get some sleep. I was supposed to get a call between 6 and 8 in the morning to come in to be induced, but by 7:15, I left for the hospital, even though I hadn't received my call, and even though the contractions were still not consistently five minutes apart. Some were only two minutes apart while others were as far apart as twelve minutes. I was actually concerned that they would send me home if my doctor wasn't ready for my induction, but I wanted to try, and my mother was practically pushing me out the door to ensure that I didn't deliver in the car on Leslie Street. The two contractions that I had in the car were seven minutes apart, and only medium on the severity scale.

In the assessment room, I was ignored for about half an hour. The pain was still controllable with deep breathing, so no one was overly concerned. Finally I was asked to go lie down so they could determine how dilated I was, and as soon as I lay down, the pain intensified. My moaning and groaning could be heard by the other people in the assessment room, but I couldn't control it. I even yelped out, "Help!" at one point. Finally someone came to check me out, and called another nurse over for a second opinion. I hate when a medical practitioner calls a colleague over to check me out. It wasn't the first time that this has happened to me and it has never been a good thing. "Yup, she's ready to go! You're fully dilated", she said to me. I immediately started begging for an epidural for the pain but was told that the happy-epidural-lady was in surgery and that the baby would be out long before she could tend to me. I begged for something else. They said that they could get me some laughing gas, but then never found anyone who could give it to me. They rushed me to the delivery room while I continued to groan very loudly, as everyone in the assessment room looked on. The doctor on call came in after about 10 minutes of intense screaming, broke my water, and had me push. I pushed for maybe five minutes before the baby was born. I had only been in the hospital for just over an hour at this point. That doesn't beat HBM's 11 minutes, but I wasn't all that interested in competing.

So I accidentally had a natural childbirth. In hindsight, I'm glad I had the experience of it, only to say that I did, and to discover how intensely I can actually scream, but I still wouldn't recommend it to my friends. It may have been a better experience if I hadn't been anticipating the drugs for the past nine months, or even if I had read the "irrelevant" chapter on drug-free births. At least it was quick, and the end result is still miraculous.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

It's A Girl!

I am pleased and exhausted to announce the birth of our baby girl, who arrived at 8:47 am on Friday July 4th. Her blog name is yet to be determined, and I'm too tired to give you the whole story, so I'll leave you with this pic for now and promise you the full story later:

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


No baby yet. I have opted to be induced on Friday if nothing happens by then. I wasn't sure if I liked the idea of being induced, but then I found out that it was typically done between 6 and 8am, which works well with getting some sleep before hand. It also saves me having my water break in the middle of a pool party like last time. No, I wasn't in the pool, thank goodness. Too gross to contemplate. I still don't feel anxious to start up the whole newborn routine, but my body is certainly ready to evict the critter. Not that I was ever "glowing", but now I'm all grunts and groans. There just isn't any more space, and there are no comfortable positions to be found.

Other than that, all I have going on is toilet training. We've had a fair amount of success, but all I can really tell you at this point is that the process forces one to stay on top of the laundry. Is that a plus? I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel on that one.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Babies, Retirement, and Renovation (Oh My!)

First off, no baby yet. my due date isn't until July 1st, and I'm planning on holding off until the 3rd so my kids will have the same birthday. I had my hair cut and highlighted on Friday, so I'm ready to go, but I'm also enjoying these last peaceful moments of life with just one child. I am loosely using the word, "peaceful", but I know that it will seem peaceful in comparison to life as it is about to become. BTW, thanks you for all the lovely compliments on my last post. I wasn't fishing for flattery, but I'll take it regardless.

Next, I invite everyone to congratulate my mom on her retirement! Today was her final day of work, and she is super duper happy about it. Don't worry about her being bored or anything - I'm sure we can find some way to fill her time REAL SOON!

I don't have much else going on right now. Just a bit of nesting behaviour, and a last ditch effort to find a console table for the family room that is currently under renovation. No luck with that. Speaking of the renovation, the floor has been stained and given two coats of varnish. One more coat will be applied at the end of the whole project. The painter is coming some time this week, even if I happen to be in the hospital, so things are still motoring along.

The upside of the room not being finished yet is that we won't be in there spewing newborn spit-up for an extra few weeks. I'm always looking for an upside.

Monday, June 23, 2008

I Think I Control the Weather

I realize that I only have a small sample size to deduce such an egotistical claim from, but the last time I saw crazy-ass weather like this in Toronto was the summer of 2005, aka, the summer that Pumpkin was born. Given that I am only one week away from birthing another child, I have concluded that every time I bring a child into this world, we are going to be subject to violent rain and thunderstorms. I'm not sure what the gods are trying to say. Nonetheless, we will now stop at two children just to save the city from future leaky roofs and basements. Currently, it is hailing in my neighbourhood, with a side of thunder and lightning. It did the same thing yesterday. Last summer it was so dry that I couldn't even grow dandelions. This summer, I'm recommending that our provincial flower be switched to mushrooms, and am declaring my yard to be the original breeding ground. I'm not complaining though. I love anything that saves me having to water the garden, even if all I can grow is fungus.

So yeah, still preggo over here. I need to hang on for a while if the renovation is going to be completed before the baby arrives. Ok, I concede. That dream will never happen. Things are happening, but it looks like we won't be using that room until late July. The fireplace was installed on the week-end, the floor is being finished this week, the painter is coming next week, and then we still have to have all the mill work installed. I'd post a new picture but plastering and priming is all that has happened since the last shot, which doesn't make for a dramatic impact. I'll post the floor by the end of the week. So anyways, if I can't make the baby wait for the renovation, I'd at least like it to wait for me to get my hair done on Thursday or Friday of this week. Not too much to ask, is it?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

On a More Positive Note...

Ok, that was enough complaining. Thank you all for your words of support, but I shouldn't abuse your compassion. I'm ok, really. My bad days are probably better than many people's good days. As for the fatigue, hey, it gets me sympathy! Who doesn't like a good dose of that? Aside from all your comments, my mom and husband don't let me do much of anything now. If the phone rings, I just look at one of them and the phone is brought to me. If I don't make dinner, no one dares to comment. If Pumpkin needs something and I'm not the only one here to help, it becomes not my problem. When the cleaning lady is here (see, I told you my life is pretty good), I no longer feel guilty enough to get off my butt to do laundry, groceries, or a pre-clean. I can just sit there and look justified in doing so

How about that crazy heartburn? It has it's benefits too! Just today I was at Costco, noticed a club pack of Oreo Cakesters, and was immediately turned off by the inevitable heartburn that I knew I would suffer if I were to buy them. How many calories and grams of fat did that save me? Hey, I only have to be awakened once at 3am by the burning sensation of acid in my esophagus to know that such rich starches need to be avoided. Ok, maybe it took me three times to learn my lesson, but at least I didn't buy the box of oooey, goooey evil. Nothing seemed to stop me from buying a club pack of gourmet jelly beans, but there was a coupon! It was beyond my control.

As for my aching feet, it's all good. I get to wear sensible shoes to fancy events and no one dares to judge me. A few weeks back, I actually wore flip flops to a wedding. They were fancy flip flops, but flip flops nonetheless. I think I'll wear them again tonight to a dinner event. And if the event is unpleasant or boring, we can leave without need to explain ourselves. It is assumed that I'm already exhausted and tired. People will think I'm a trooper for being there in the first place!

So there it is - my positive take on the situation. It does help that Pumpkin is being much better today, and that my mom has been here since lunch time taking care of her. (It's also helpful to have a face full of jelly beans!)

Monday, June 16, 2008

I Don't Wanna Play Anymore

I don't really like to complain and rant, given my half-assed attempt at working the "Secret", but I am spent. It's over. There's nothing left. I know it's not news that being 38 weeks pregnant is tiring, but OMG it's tiring! With my last pregnancy at this stage in the game, I started my maternity leave and went home to just lie there for a while. Not really an option this time. Pumpkin is really, REALLY trying my patience today, or at least it seems as though she is. I just put her down for a nap and am praying that it lasts 3 hours. We had an early birthday party for her on the week-end given that I'll probably be in labour on her actual birthday, and I'm thinking that we overstimulated her. On a positive note, it was a pretty good party. Pumpkin doesn't have many friends since she hasn't been to school yet, so I just invited close friends and family of mine who came with an assortment of kids from age three to ten. Somehow, they all ended up playing together, which was unexpected. Nonetheless, I now have an overtired, over-spoiled kid who isn't listening. I also have a very nervous dog who was frazzled by all the people and the subsequent thunderstorms of the week-end, who now won't leave my side, and trips me up every time I turn around. I'm just too out of patience to deal with it today. Try me again tomorrow.

Monday, June 09, 2008

We Can't ALL Be Philosophers!

I've come to the conclusion that in the realm of motherhood, I am not the deepest person that you will ever meet. I'm not an idiot or anything - actually I consider myself to be quite intelligent. It just seems that I don't analyze many things beyond their surface levels unless I absolutely force myself to. I reached this conclusion after reading the posts of many "mommy bloggers" who have been as close to the birth of a child as I am, and who have made some very emotional blog entries on the subject.

Often, a blogger in my position will do a post that is like an ode to her first born. I completely understand this. For the past three years, the days have been just me and Pumpkin spending time together, learning from each other, and learning about each other. These have been such precious years, and the fact that this twosome is coming to an end could be an emotional time. That is, if I was an emotional person. Being the recluse that I am, I haven't given a great deal of thought to the issue. I love my daughter with every fibre of my being, but I don't feel the sadness that I have read about elsewhere. I dwell more on the fact that my easy life with one child as I know it is about to change. One is manageable. One travels well. One can be passed off to Daddy, or Grandma, leaving me to do my own thing. The one we have never wakes me up in the night. The one we have is relatively easy to deal with. Overall, adding a newborn to the mix is really going to upset our equilibrium. Yeah, yeah, I know I'll get used to it. My point is that this is more on my mind than the end of the Mommy/Pumpkin era.

How about posts that are written to read as welcome letters to the unborn child? This has never occurred to me as something I'd want to do. If I were to attempt this right now, it would read something like, "Uhhh, hi baby! Sorry the place is such a mess and that you have to live with all this noise. Overall you should like it though! You will never be wanting for love or audio/video equipment!". I'll meet him or her when the time comes, and I'll figure out what to say afterwards. I don't feel any sort of connection at this point to be able to come up with something heartfelt. I'm not even all that anxious to get this baby out and start the process. As crappy as it is to be this pregnant, it's much less chaotic than what is to come. Just this morning I dug out the bucket-car seat, and did not feel a pang of anything but dread. Here we go again with all this infant stuff. Not the best mind-frame to be writing a welcome letter to anyone. Sorry baby. No pre-birth letter from mama, but I promise you that you won't be disappointed with me once you're here, at least for at little while.

How will I be able to love this second child enough when all my love is currently devoted to my first one? This is a question that I have never asked myself. I'm not scoffing at mothers who have worried about this. It seems like a legit concern. I am not willing to sacrifice any of my love for Pumpkin to give to Child #2. Apparently, I won't have to. Any time I have read a post about this, the mother has just come up with more love to give. I'll take their word for it and not worry for now. That's just me.

Finally, there have been posts about actual birthing experience. Some have expressed the importance of having a vaginal birth as opposed to a c-section. I don't want major surgery anymore than the next gal so I'll avoid the c-section if I can, but the issue seems more to do with the experience of delivering a child vaginally, and how that provides some fulfillment as a mother. Some have expressed the importance of giving birth in their home environment, which I think I might hate. Some have sworn by their mid-wives, which I have no knowledge of, but I also don't feel the need for after the delivery of Pumpkin, where I was quite satisfied with the care provided by the doctors and nurses. Personally, I only have two requests: Give me your best drugs, and get the f*ucker outta me!

Am I missing some sort of mommy-gene that should have me pondering such issues?

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

More of Reno 2008

Did I mention that we had the new floor installed? It isn't going to be sanded/stained until everything else in the room is done, but the raw floor is here, and has been for about a week now. This week in family room renovations, things have been happening behind the scenes. The carpenter is still working on cabinets in his shop, and I finalized some colour choices today. Last week-end's plastering didn't happen, but hopefully things will resume this week-end. If not, all bets are off. Still racing the baby clock over here, but apparently it is to no avail, because aside from the threat of things being delayed in construction, my mom is now predicting an early labour, based on ??? Actually, she is basing it on how violent the baby seems to be these days. It's as if it's practicing martial arts or something. That widget on the right where you see a calm baby floating around with lots of room- not so accurate. I'm not sure that kung fu punches are indicative of the baby wanting out sooner than later, but that's ma's prediction.

Behold, the new floor. That green blob at the bottom of the pic - that's my stomach. I found it amusing to see it jutting out into the frame, so I left it there. You want me, I can tell.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Freedom of Summer Past

A few of the bloggers that I read have made mention of the beginning of summer vacation for their school-age children, and are busy making plans to keep the kids busy for the next two months or so. Back in my day, my mom made plans for my summer holidays to an extent, but once my older brother turned the legal age for babysitting, I think 12, we were pretty much left to do our own thing. There really wasn't a lot of choice for a single mother of two, who didn't have the resources to send us to camp for the whole summer. Some will argue that times were different back then, and maybe they were, but I have always been proud/smug/amazed at how independent we were at ages 9 and 12, due to the amount of rope we were given to hang ourselves with.

Sleeping in late was high on our daily agenda. Once we were up, we watched a LOT of TV. Re-runs of Alice stand out in my memory, along with Different Strokes, and The Facts of Life. Game shows, cooking shows, whatever - we just kept watching. By mid-morning, we would make our own breakfasts. Sometimes we had cereal, but I do remember frying bacon and/or eggs all by ourselves as we prepared our BLT or western sandwiches. Frying. Wow. No microwave option at the time either. Think of a nine year old that you know - now imagine his or her parents giving him or her permission to fry something while home alone. I can't see it happening. As scary as that sounds though, we really could take care of our basic needs by ourselves.

At some point in the day, I would typically hook up with my best friend who lived next door, and we would head off to the pool that was available to all residents of the townhouses that we lived in. No sunscreen of course, but who needed it back then? There was an actual life-guard working there, which was pretty much the most supervision we had during the hours between 9 and 5. The lifeguard was probably 14 or so, and I remember her sending us to the store to pick up powdered donuts for her, which she kindly shared. We were always running off to the store, the second either of us managed to come up with any amount of money. One of the nearby stores was forbidden to us by our parents who weren't comfortable the the crowd that hung out there, but we just HAD to go there, 'cause that was the best place for beef patties, and possibly cream soda flavoured freezies which just popped into my head. Memory or pregnancy craving? Who knows? We also walked over to the local mall on many occasions, and once again, although it felt like a perfectly safe activity, I still can't see anyone letting their nine-year-olds do the same. Correct me if I'm wrong.

There is no doubt in my mind that society has us protecting our children way more than is probably necessary, although as a parent, I want to protect my children as much as I can. On the other hand, I would really like to allow for a certain amount of independence to promote growth. Reflecting back on those freedom days of summer, I really don't feel like I was ever in harm's way. We had relative street smarts, and learned to make good decisions. I wish I knew how to pass these skills on to my kids given the current social climate, where things may or may not be worse than they were, but fear is at an all-time high.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Reno 2008

Theoretically, that header should read, "Reno 2006", but these things take time. Now that it is underway, however, things are just motorin' along. A lot has happened since the demolition. The carpenter has spent some time here doing tons of measurements and installing brackets; The electricians have been and gone, and we now have everything roughed in that is supposed to be, including a groovy looking conduit to meet our AV needs; and hubby's best friend, D, has been here doing some patching and plastering of the Swiss-cheese ceiling that the electricians left us with. More plastering will take place tomorrow. There is a floor scheduled for installation on Thursday of this week, but it may be delayed if D is still here making a mess. D and the floor guy are friends, so they coordinate well together. Meanwhile, the carpenter is working on cabinets in his shop, so it appears that everything is coming together. Do my skeptics want to change their bets that the baby will be here before the reno is completed? Hmmmm? I'm personally feeling the love, and think that the reno may be completed first. Dreamer? Maybe, but I AM workin' The Secret, so I'm going for gold.

The room towards the end of last week
At this point, I quite like having my home under construction. My mom was saying that it is important not to let the whole house fall into a state of disarray in the wake of the construction, but I personally feel that it's a perfect excuse to have a messy house. I now make no apologies when people come in and trip over toys in the foyer, or when they have to climb over an arm chair to get through a doorway. Much of my life will be spent keeping my place tidy, but a renovation excuses me from the pressure of it all. This actually reminds of a post over at Part of Everything, who put more effort into decorating her dollhouse than most people spend on their real houses. Whenever there was an unfinished room in the dollhouse, she put out miniature tools and paint cans, which represented being under construction, thus she was excused from having that part of the house looking pristine. Pure genius.

In addition to seeing the positive side of a destroyed family room, I have also managed to find the positive in being 8 months pregnant. No muffin top! All the slack and waistband spillage that Pumpkin left me with has been picked up by my unborn child, and everything is firm again. Isn't that great?!!! Well, it's something.

Friday, May 23, 2008

My Life is So F*cking Glamorous

My female dog has spay incontinence. That means that as a result of being spayed, she doesn't produce enough estrogen for proper bladder control. We control it with drugs, that periodically need some adjusting. One becomes aware of the need for such adjusting when one steps in a puddle in one's home. Sitting in a puddle can be just as likely, hence the recent disposal of that couch that no one wanted. So last night at 11pm, I discovered a puddle, and shampooed the rug, which I guess is just part of pet ownership.

My male dog has an iron stomach, usually. With all the tradespeople coming to the house lately, we've been giving him a lot of rawhide to chew on as a diversion, as he is extremely mistrustful of strange men in the house, given his background of abuse from previous owners. This also teaches him to associate new people with a positive reward, which seemed like a good idea ever since he almost bit the guy who came to baby proof the house. Normally rawhide doesn't affect him in any way, although I am told that it can cause constipation. That would actually be nice. Unfortunately, it seems to have caused the opposite reaction. This morning, we found a large pile of crap in the baby's room, as well as a lot of pee, adding insult to injury. Our carpet shampooer couldn't handle this one, so we're going to have to bring in a professional. In the meantime, I have been following the dog around the backyard, just to see if his crap is back to normal, otherwise there is no point in calling in a professional carpet cleaner just yet. Based on the two piles that I just scooped up, we're going to have to wait a bit longer.

On top of my leaky dog woes, yesterday was the day that we eliminated diapers for Pumpkin whenever we are at home. Bad timing, but I don't think that we should turn back on this. We did have some successful potty moments, but also an equal number of lesser successful moments. So now we have three beings who are not relieving themselves where they are supposed to, a carpet that may or may not come clean, an inevitable bill from a carpet cleaning company, and a lot of laundry. Lovin' life today!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

My Demolition

I feel hungover today, and all I did last night was watch people drink. It's going to be a long six weeks. I can't believe that at the same stage with my last pregnancy, I managed to pack up a house and move. I can barely move myself around this week-end. Bitch, complain, whine, moan.....

The other night, I dreamt that I was adopted by Ellen DeGeneres, and that she and Portia de Rossi were going to help me raise my unborn child. Is that weird?

The eye update: I would say that the average person would not notice that I impaled my eyeball with an exploding bottle last week-end. It's almost not even worth mentioning, except for the fact that my post about that incident generated more comments than usual for me. I am now going to pepper all of my future posts with the phrase, "bleeding eyeball", just to keep the flow of comments coming in.

And now for the highlight of my week, MY DEMOLITION!!!!! (cue music from the game show, Definition, because "demolition" and "definition" sort of, like, rhyme). Behold, a picture of my favourite room in my house:

This ugly room is my favourite because it's bareness is indicative of something that I have been waiting for for a long time. About two years ago, hubby and I decided that our family room was really ugly in an '80s sort of way, and that we needed to start from scratch if we were ever going to love it. The paint colour was my error as I was talked into it by a painter who scorned me for going with off-white in my last house. I took his advise on the current house, and regretted it right away. We never re-painted because we then got the idea for a complete renovation. Anyhow, since construction was part of the equation, I met with a decorator to determine how to proceed. The decorator came up with drawings, and then it was up to us. Hubby wanted to use a particular contractor named Neil. Yes, Neil is his real name. I'm trying to shame him so Neil, if you happen to find this post, it serves you right! Neil was doing a lot of carpentry and mill work from my husband's company, so it seemed like a good idea to use him, given that he would want to please us to ensure future work within the company, or so one would think. Neil kept putting us off, and lying to us, and never came to do the work. Finally, after A YEAR AND A HALF (!!!!!), hubby decided that maybe Neil was not the man for the job. Either Neil isn't a smart businessman, or his actions have something to do with an unsuccessful blind date that he and I went on about 15 years ago. It was a one-time-only date that didn't go anywhere, which he may or may not have remembered. Yeah, I went on a blind date - I was lonely, ok??? I wasn't always this hot and marketable. (Shut up and leave me to my delusions - they make me happy.) Anyhow I never did let on that I recognized him on the one occasion that he came to look at the room. Small world nonetheless. So now we have a real contractor who is working on our project as we speak, a completed demolition, electricians and flooring people scheduled, new furniture jammed into several rooms, and only six weeks to go until the baby is born. That widget on the right is now a countdown for two events. The race is on! Place your bets on which one will happen first!

...oh yeah, I almost forgot... bleeding eyeball!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Bits and Pieces

First off, thank you all for your show of concern for my bleeding eyeball. The bleeding has stopped, and everything will return to normal soon enough. It's still very red though. Pumpkin just noticed it today for the first time. She seemed very concerned, so I will return to wearing sunglasses during her waking hours. The only real problem is that it looks pretty gross, so I am requesting that no one look me in the eye for at least another week. Stare at my chest instead, ok?

In retail news, we finally bought our patio dining set, and decided to go with the medium to higher-end stuff as opposed to the cheaper sets that I was deliberating about back when I first posted about it. In my travels, I learned that aluminum is a good way to go as it does not rust, and that wrought iron is just too damn expensive. I went with the sling-style chairs so I don't have to mess with cushions, and I made sure that the chair backs were high enough to accommodate people taller than myself. At 5'1", not many chairs are too short for me. The chairs also have lumbar support, which matters to our aging bodies. So there you have it, 'cause I know you were dying to know.

In the land of Mother's Day, it was an iffy day. Aside from my icky eye, I have one of those non-medicate-able colds again, so I was pretty weak and crusty. Thanks to my ever lovin' husband, I got to sleep in, which helped, and then I didn't have to do too much toddler wrangling for most of the day. I met a friend for coffee, and did a little more furniture shopping for Pumpkin's room. I'm replacing the change table with a bookshelf, and I bought a matching desk, not that she needs one now, but no doubt the line will be discontinued if I wait another few years. In keeping with the teachings of "The Secret", by preparing to eliminate the change table, Pumpkin actually used the potty twice yesterday. Today, not so much success, but that's because I only half-ass The Secret. It's in my nature. Anyhow, to cap off the day, we ordered in from Dante's, which, if you have ever spent any time in Thornhill, will make you salivate at it's mention.

I still have to post about the family room demolition, but I'll leave you in suspence for another day as I am too tired to sit at the computer and need to close my eyes for a while. Stay tuned!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

It's All Fun and Games Until....

I can't believe no one wanted the couch! Not to worry though - it has been hauled to Goodwill by the fine men who demolished my family room this past week. More on that later, but first, an interruption in the week-end with a visit to the ER.

Last night, about a half hour before dinner with my mom, FIL, hubby, and Pumpkin, I put two bottles of sparkling mineral water in the freezer to cool down quickly. You can already see where this is going, can't you? When dinner was served, hubby grabbed one bottle from the freezer, leaving the other one in there to get colder. We always polish off two bottles when my FIL is over for dinner, so it didn't occur to either of us to take the second bottle out yet. Well, somehow, we weren't very thirsty last night, and the second bottle remained in the freezer until I remembered it just before heading up to bed. I pulled it out of the freezer, and stopped to examine it to determine that it was, in fact, frozen. While I was holding it, the heat from my hands must have ignited the explosion, and that bottle burst into a kajillion tiny shards, landing in every nook and cranny of the kitchen. I sustained only one injury, but it was a significant one, as I discovered that I was bleeding out of my eyeball. Curiously, it didn't hurt. Nonetheless, I wasn't going to mess around with something like that, so after my mom so graciously came over to babysit, we headed off to the ER to get my eye looked at. As it turns out, there was no glass in my eye, but a cut was evident, as is the fact that half the white of my right eye is now red with blood that probably won't clear up for a week or so. Pretty! Speaking of pretty, as I was leaving the ER, there were about ten girls in prom dresses hanging around the waiting room, creating a 90210 effect. I would have liked to ask one of them their story, although I was too tired to think about it at that moment. Anyhow, I feel quite lucky that I wasn't hit in the cornea or some place more important. I'm actually inclined to think that I was cut by ice, and not glass, since the damage is so minor. I'm also lucky that Pumpkin was already in bed, and that the dogs were outside when this incident went down. Yup, I'm one lucky girl. So how is your week-end going?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Free Couch!

Serious Offer!
Down filled.
Doesn't smell very good.
Cushions can be machine washed but take four days to dry.
You pick it up. (Thornhill, ON)
Dogs not included

Monday, May 05, 2008

Shaking My Head Over This One

This was a little disappointing:

I guess I could have read the box and noted that there were 15 of these unfulfilling snack cakes inside, but I just guestimated that 100 calories would be about three times larger, with maybe 6 cakes in the box. I'm also a little worried about how many calories are in the regular-size May West cake as I tend to eat them by the box-load when I can find them. That explains the more-rapid-than-usual weight gain over the past few weeks. Shame on my unborn child for craving edible oil products so badly!!!!!