Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dancing Bananas, and I'm Not Judging

Do you ever find yourself watching the hockey game, and wonder how it is that the players can skate by the Viagra ads on the boards and not giggle and snicker? The announcers don't even make jokes. It's not that I have the mentality of a 12 year old, which I do, although it is not relevant in this case. It's just that it is such a blatant, in-your-face, advertisement for erections, which basically have only one purpose, at least that I know of. Please don't tell me of more.

It isn't really a secret that times have evolved to accommodate today's mentality, but it also isn't a secret that sex is a private issue for many, and often not to be discussed in mixed company. I'm sure that there are hockey fans amongst these shy/private/religious/whatever reason groups, who don't necessarily want erections mixed in with their sports. Sounds like a bad combo, actually.

I'm not saying that Viagra shouldn't advertise, as I think it's great that the need for drugs of such purpose can be openly discussed and marketed, but I still marvel over how boldly the word, "Viagra", can be displayed in such a public venue.

Think about the movie, The Gang's All Here, a film from 1943, where a 'banana dance' was suggestive enough to get the film banned in Europe. Apparently, being a musical, the film managed to avoid being banned in North America, but still! We used to frown upon the dancing banana. Now we are accustomed to seeing marketing geared towards giving everyone their own personal, dancing banana!

So back to the game, does anyone know the score?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Turning Back The Clock

I wake up and see that it's only 9:37 am. "Too early", I groan, and roll back over to catch at least another hour of sleep. Waking up for a second time, the clock shows a more acceptable, 11:13 am, and I give J a nudge. He partially arises, if you catch my drift, and we spend the remainder of the official morning ensuring a good start to the day for us both.

Having 'slept' through breakfast, we decide to head out on a walk in search of a light lunch. Meandering up the street, we choose from our wide selection of local restaurants. The choice is based on our own cravings, irrespective of the wait. We eat at a leisurely pace, not leaving until we feel like it, then make our way home without real purpose, wandering into local art stores and candy shops.

Once home, we mess around on the Internet, read books, snack, nap, and occasionally engage in a repeat performance of our wake-up ritual. Eventually we start talking about dinner or movie plans. If we opt to eat dinner at home, an assortment of appetizers from the freezer does the trick. If we opt for a movie, it's always the late show.

After two days of this exact routine, we have the nerve to feel exhausted, and complain about our busy work week ahead.

If only we had known back then that the week-end just passed would be our only-in-our-dreams vacation nine years later.

If you'll excuse me now, I have to get myself to bed so I can wake up in the darkness of the morning, feed the kids and dogs, clean the kitchen...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Dear Coyote, Fox, Stray Dog, or Whomever,

I appreciate that you guys have to eat, and that the rabbits in our neighbourhood are probably the best choice for a meal, but let's talk about manners here, ok? Could you not have taken the whole thing back to your den where you could eat in peace?

Did you have to leave a very recognizable body part in the middle of our road where I have no choice but to pass it every time I come or go? I do accept that my innate, morbid curiosity draws me to stare at it more than I really should, but ideally I would rather not have the temptation practically on my door step.

We have to walk our dogs by it; we have to explain it to our four year old; we have to block the imagery of the actual 'incident' every time we pass by. This is the stuff that nightmares are made of!!!

Perhaps this letter will encourage you to be a little more careful, or possibly consider tofu? You can leave pieces of that wherever you please. I'll even spring for some Tofurky over the holidays! Think about it.


The House of Mac and Cheese

Monday, December 21, 2009

Eventually They Outgrow the Princess Phase, RIGHT???

Over the week-end, I took Pumpkin to see Disney on Ice. It was their Princess Classics show, entailing an abbreviated version of all the usual suspects in the princess world. I hate this stuff. I really do, but Pumpkin loves it, so I endure it 'cause I'm such an selfless mother YO!

I know that Pumpkin doesn't 'get' the romance part of these fairy tales, but she knows that getting married and kissing is something that princesses do. In fact, tonight while SHE was giving US a goodnight story, it ended with her marrying one of her teddy bears, doing some sort of dainty dance, following it with a long embrace. Ugh. How is this my child?

Anyhow, she watched the whole show, clutching her Snow White doll throughout. We sat through six princess stories, each of them having a happy ending, and each of these happy endings involving a handsome prince who saves the princess from danger or despair. Love was so in the air, happiness was abound, fairies were singing, laughter filled the air. I supposed it all got to be so much that Pumpkin started making out with her Snow White doll.

Do I even need to describe my discomfort?

Friday, December 18, 2009

My Next Job Should be at Ikea

My plan for last night was to assemble the wooden play-house that I bought the girls for their final night of Chanukah. I knew that it would take a while, but I had the evening to myself as the kids were in bed, and the Huz was too ill to spend time with. Yes, I wanted to take care of him, but he is such a lousy patient that it's better for our marriage if I just avoid him during times like these. Trust me.

I figured I'd be done by 11 or so, but I accidentally got caught up watching Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and couldn't tear myself away. It was 10pm by the time I started the task of building the house. I figured it would take about two hours. I was so wrong.

It was three and a half hours later by the time I was finished. You'd think I would have been cursing a blue streak by that time but you'd be wrong. I think it was some of the best personal time I've had to myself in I don't know how long. I had a chance to focus on one task for an extended period of time, listening to some tunes, and not being interrupted. That's probably why I kept at it until completion, rather than calling it a night when there was enough structure built to make the kids happy enough. I was having too much fun to quit!

So do you need me to come build your play-house?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

Whether it be for Christmas, birthdays, or no reason in particular, the spirit of giving is such a powerful thing. I cannot describe to you the warmth that I felt tonight when I gave my wonderful daughter's their gifts for night seven of Chanukah.

Chichi showed about half a minute of interest in her toy until she started angrily throwing pieces of it around. Pumpkin had already abandoned her gift and was messing with Chichi's new toy, making Chichi whine and cry harder. I had to threaten Pumpkin with the removal of her own toy to get her away from Chichi's. Pumpkin, defiant as ever, let me count to three, at which point her brand new doll that had been in her possession for all of five minutes was whisked out of her hands and stuffed in a closet until tomorrow. She didn't care at the time, but boy did she care at bedtime!

Both kids went to bed in tears tonight. I do so enjoy the holidays!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's Time to Work on Multi-Tasking

Over the week-end, I was at a local shopping centre with Pumpkin, who had dragged me there because of a banking matter. She had just received a cheque from her Zaidy for Chanukah, and was so excited when I told her that the bank could turn the cheque into five dollars for her piggy bank. The cheque was worth a lot more, but five dollars in coins brought her as much joy as a million of them. Ahhhh childhood....

While we were at the mall, we ran into one of Pumpkin's friends, who was there with her family. The two little ones took a moment to socialize at the colouring station that was set up by the lonely Santa, who wasn't drumming up much business, aside from occasionally waving at Pumpkin, who had no intention of getting anywhere near him.

The older sister of Pumpkin's friend was happy to watch the two girls playing together again, as they have not seen each other since the summer. The sister suggested that Pumpkin come over for a playdate. Pumpkin replied, "Well, I can't come over until another day because right now I'm celebrating Chanukah."

That's right folks, it's all Chanukah, all the time, for the entire eight days. I wish I had such focus!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Oh Crap!

Hmmm, ten o'clock. I think I'll have my evening shower, and drag hubby to bed with me.

Oh crap, it's garbage night and it's my turn.

Now I'll grab my shower.

Oh crap, I have to make Pumpkin's lunch for school tomorrow.

Now I'll grab my...

Oh crap, I have to give Lucky her eye drops, and Taz his liver pills.

Finally, I can...

Oh crap, all the bedding is still in the dryer, and guess what? It's still damp!

At least I can grab that shower while the dryer is running.

Oh crap, I haven't done a blog post.

I'm going to have that shower now, cap off the night by making the bed, and then jump in by myself because IT'S TOO FRICKIN' LATE!!!


Sunday, December 13, 2009

This Post Has Nothing to Do With Me.

A friend of mine is a member of a gliding club where she pilots the tow plane that takes the gliders skyward. She took a couple of cool pics that I thought were good enough to share, so what better place than on my blog, where almost no one will see them! Without further adieu...

Click on the images to make them larger so you can fully appreciate the effect of the gliders in the rear view mirrors. Too bad the resolution isn't good enough to see the distraught faces of the glider pilots who are being towed by someone who is taking pictures rather than flying the plane...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Must Feel Refreshing!

I promised that I'd offer up four posts a week, and don't know if I'll be able to find the time to post during my upcoming, extremely busy week-end, so you are either stuck with my observing my dog scratching his butt on our fresh supply of crusty snow this morning, or my depression over the new facebook security that has officially ended my stalking career.

You've gotta admit, it IS a good way to take advantage of our miserable winter!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Holy Customer Service!

In keeping with my quest to bring back the music, I decided to set up an iTunes account. I was skeptical about putting my credit card number 'out there', so I came up with the idea of buying a gift card from a 'real life' store, and then using it as my payment option when setting up the account. It seemed like a great idea, until I wasn't able to make it happen.

I entered all the pertinent information, but the card was deemed invalid. I tried it a day later, and got the same response. I called the store that I bought the card from, and they assured me that they had activated it. I tried several more times, but no dice. Finally, I set up an account using my credit card, and then tried to redeem the gift card after the fact. Kinda defeated the purpose of the gift card, but I wasn't going to give up on the $25 already spent. When I attempted to redeem it, I was informed that the card was already redeemed. WTF? Great. I was already anticipating the hassle of dealing with customer support.

I sent off an e-mail, and was informed that my case would be dealt with within 48 hours. Surprisingly, it was! Somehow, probably during one of my supposed failed attempts at setting up the account with the gift card only, I managed to create an account under a different user name. This meant that I set up two accounts, one with the gift card, and one with the credit card. All in all, I would say that this was my fault. I felt stupid, and sent back a note saying, "Thanks, whoops, sorry!", and then went on to redeem the gift card. Apple done good, as far as I was concerned.

Today, I got another e-mail from the same person at Apple's customer support, thanking me for the opportunity to assist me. Then as a show of good measure, she told me that she is giving me a credit on my account for one free song download. Good measure??? Really? Wasn't I the one who messed up? Then I looked for the credit on my account, and saw that they had given me five credits! Five free songs because I'm too much of a tool to set up an account properly!

Then, I got another e-mail from another person, exclaiming that they were so pleased that they successfully sorted out this matter for me.

I was reminded of the self-satisfied doors from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy:

“All the doors in this spaceship have a cheerful and sunny disposition. It is their pleasure to open for you, and their satisfaction to close again with the knowledge of a job well done.”

As the door closed behind them it became apparent that it did indeed have a satisfied sigh-like quality to it. “Hummmmmmmyummmmmmm ah!” it said.

I Got free stuff though, so I'm not complaining.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Repressed Road Rage

Yesterday I packed up my kids into the car and drove off to visit a friend of mine who lives a half hour away. I hadn't been there in a while and inadvertently ended up taking a different eastbound road than usual. I wasn't entirely sure that the cross street that I was looking for came as far north as the road that I was traveling along, but I didn't say anything. It is weird though that being 1/2 a km too far north took me from a landscape of endless urban sprawl to serene farm land. At least for now.

Anyhow, I ended up missing the street that I was supposed to turn on, but simply made two right turns and headed back to towards it. There was no panic, there was no reason for Pumpkin to notice anything seeing as she has never travelled the usual route to this friend's house. Why then, did she turn into the most annoying back seat driver imaginable?

"Are you sure that this is the right way?", she asked.
"Are you sure?"
"Yes.", I replied again, although I wasn't entirely certain that my detour would work.
"You sure?"
"Yes.", I answered again, becoming agitated at her asking.
"YES! Now please stop asking", I requested, wondering if I'd have to backtrack to the main highway.
"Are you sure?"
"Are you sure?"

Do you have any idea how hard it is not to swear at someone during a conversation like this?

Monday, December 07, 2009

Maybe I Should Start Waking Up Earlier

I have managed to train Pumpkin to stay in her own room until 7 every morning. Consequently, I am woken up at 7:01 every day as she proudly points to the seven on my digital clock. Then she runs into my washroom to pee while I groggily drag myself out of bed, trusting that Pumpkin has it all under control.

The other morning, I somehow got out of bed before my 7:01 wake-up call, and sleepily made my way into the washroom to attempt to get a jump start on my day. Pumpkin walked in a few minutes later, and announced that she had to pee.

"Ohhhhkayyyyy...." I yawned, not really paying attention to her. Then I snapped out of it. SHE WAS PEEING IN THE BIDET! How many times has she done that??? The thing doesn't even have any water supply!
At the risk of further damaging my already peeling kitchen ceiling downstairs, I turned on the water supply to give the bidet a serious cleaning.

Kids are so frickin' gross.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Open Mouth, Insert Foot.

A couple of weeks ago at Pumpkin's gymnastics class, I was chatting with one of the fathers, who had just gotten back from a six week acting job out west. In an attempt to make polite conversation, I asked him what he did when he wasn't acting.

"I just try to get more acting jobs."

Then I felt like an idiot. I wondered if my question sounded like an insult to him, as he was obviously a serious actor, who was successful enough to make a career out of it without having to wait tables to make ends meet. He didn't seem insulted though.

"Actually", he continued, I had a really good five year run on Air Farce.

Now I was impressed! "Oh cool! I used to watch that every Friday night with my inlaws!" Then I started racking my brain for a skit that I remembered him from, and drew a blank. He DID look familiar to me, but not familiar enough for my brain to make any useful connections. Now I felt like an even bigger idiot as I just admitted that I watched it every week, yet I had not recognized him.

"I was usually dressed up as Steven Harper or someone, so I wouldn't expect you to immediately recognize me."

He was being super duper nice, but I still felt like a dumbass.

That night after all things Air Farce had been purged from my consciousness, and I was going about the usual routine of mundane evening tasks, it popped into my head! 'I remember him now!' Thanks to the internet I was able to find this particular skit and verify that it was indeed the man I was speaking with at gymnastics. I'm not sure if he'll be too flattered that I remembered it though...

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

I Don't Recall Any Wars Fought Under the Sea

A friend of mine has her 4yo daughter attending Hebrew school, once a month. This is something that has me anxious, as I know that I will need to enroll Pumpkin in Hebrew school too, but there are a couple of things holding me back: My own discomfort, and Pumpkin's ability to handle the information.

My discomfort stems from my own lack of Jewish education. I never attended Hebrew school, I never practiced any Jewish traditions, and I'm not very spiritual, regardless of which religion we are talking about. I was raised with the knowledge that I was Jewish, but also with the knowledge that Santa would bring me presents after I finish eating my potato latkes. That pretty much wraps it up for my religion. So what am I to do with Pumpkin now that I've married into a Jewish family who actually practices?

Well, she ain't gonna get any answers around here, that's for sure. I just don't know if she NEEDS any answers right now. She certainly isn't asking any questions. I also fear that she wouldn't pay any attention if I actually did send her to Hebrew school. She's so young, and doesn't show signs of learning the curriculum in her JK class. I've basically been thinking that it's too early for any sort of religious schooling.

This month in Pumpkin's preschool, they are doing the politically correct thing and teaching the kids about Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. They started with Hanukkah, which means that Pumpkin heard stories about Jewish people and Hanukkah celebrations. Pumpkin heard the same stories last year at the same preschool, but didn't really process them. I guess she took in a word or two this year.

The other night in the bath, Pumpkin was playing with her mermaid toys, and stated, "I don't think that Ariel likes Jewish people."

"Wha..wha..what??? That's not a very nice thing to say! Why would you say that?" I stammered, obviously unprepared.

"Well, she doesn't like people who have legs...", and continued on with her nonsensical dialogue as per usual.

I let it drop, because I know she was just trying out a sentence with the term, 'Jewish people' in it, as she had it fresh in her mind from preschool that day. It might have caused me to change my mind on the issue of Hebrew school. Obviously a few concepts from school have sunken in, and like I said above, there isn't much of a Jewish education to be found within our own home. She probably should be exposed to more dialogue about Jewish people, and stories that don't involve anti-Semitic mermaids, I think.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Nightmare Invoking Image Alert

Can you believe it??? I'm still here! Living up to my word. I actually had a post saved for today, but it got bumped until tomorrow because of something Pumpkin said. Then I almost got killed by a venomous spider, so everything has been bumped again. Ok, I may be exaggerating about almost being killed, and possibly about the spider being venomous, but it was ugly, and definitely not invited to the party.

I bought grapes today, which usually take me a day or two to get around to washing, but I was feeling ambitious. Instead of stuffing them in the fridge for a day or two, I ran them under faucet, then plunked them in a bowl of water, leaving them to soak. Does soaking actually do anything in terms of removing pesticides? I'm not even sure. I just do it in case it does. I'll tell you one thing that soaking does though. It forces the spiders to rise to the top. And not just little, white, innocuous spiders either. Black and red HAIRY spiders. Ok, there was just one, but it looked like this:

Ok, it was only the size of a man's thumbnail, but still! Look at it! It was in my foooooood!!!! I trapped it in a container so I could identify it on the Internet, then set it free outside when I found it to be 'mostly' harmless.

So what was I then to do about the grapes. I'm sure I've eaten tons of produce that insects have crawled across at some point in time, but this was close to home. Then I took a closer look at the bunch. A NEST!!!!!!! I am squirming as I type this. Grapes be gone! I'm switching to fruits with removable peels for the next little while.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Predictable 30th Post

So I suppose you're all here for the grand finale. 30 days in a row of posts, and now I should be dancing on the hill tops to celebrate that I don't have to post tomorrow. That's certainly how I felt last time I did this namoblome thing. This time, not so much. I kind of enjoyed the challenge. Once I gave up trying to come up with something meaningful, intellectual, deep, or thoughtful, the task opened right up for me! A funny a day, or sometimes a not-so-funny a day. "So where will you go from here?", you ask. Fear not! I could never leave the three of you!

How 'bout we make a deal? Four posts per week, week-ends off, and four weeks of paid vacation. In exchange, you really need to step up the commenting. Maybe even give me a clue who you are in the event of anonymous comments? I need love, y'all!

So why are you all still looking at me. It's late! Buzz off! Go home!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

This Feature is Currently Unavailable

It's a good thing that I posted before I went out to dinner last night. We got home at 11, and there was no way I could have strung any words together at that hour on such a full stomach. We had Mediterranean food for lunch, and Indian food for dinner, and it is possible that we combined nations that just don't get along. Needless to say, romance was not to be had. Can't say that either of us found the option too appealing. Today isn't looking good either based on the groaning I'm hearing from the other room. Aren't you glad you asked? I guess you didn't ask. Sorry. Moving right along, today I discovered that my immersion in technology may have irreparably damaged the part of my brain that is supposed to be reserved for the 'real' world.

This morning I took Pumpkin to gymnastics, where the parents always sit in a room upstairs, looking down at the gym where the kids are. We always watch our kids, but we also tend to be distracted by our own, grown-up conversation. Ahhhhh, grown-up conversation........what was I saying? Distraction. Right. During such a distraction, I missed one of Pumpkin's turns on the balance beam. That always makes me feel bad, and really, I should have been paying better attention, but in all honesty, my immediate response was to grab the remote and rewind. I actually felt a moment of frustration when I couldn't do it.

If that wasn't bad enough, I made another similar error while I was talking to another mother. She was griping about how her work Christmas party falls on the same night as another event that is important to her. I actually started saying out loud, "Can't you just record one of them?" I only got as far as "Can't you...", but the fact that I got that far means that I badly need to be spending more time out of doors.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Such Compassion!

We're on our way out for a late evening dinner since we never had a chance to celebrate our anniversary on the actual date, so I'd better scrounge for your laughs now, 15 minutes before leaving, just in case I can convince Hubby to express his, uh, love upon our late return. Probably a tough sell on the full stomachs we'll be on, but ya never know...

Last night, Pumpkin slept at my mom's place, although she might be on the brink of not being invited back. My mom isn't a very good sleeper, so when Pumpkin got up to pee at 1:30 am, she woke up my mom and got mom's puppy all riled up, which pretty much ended my mom's entire night of sleep. Back here at the ranch, Chichi slept until 9am, but I digress.

This morning, my mom was watering her plants while Pumpkin watched. There is one hanging plant that has to be reached by standing on the couch, which is usually no problem. Today, however, my mom lost her footing, fell off, banged her head on the wall, landed on a granite floor, and spilled the pitcher of water all over herself. Do you know what Pumpkin did upon watching this horrific event? She laughed, pointed into her mouth, and said, "I'm hungry." I've heard of pets showing more concern! I've heard of two year olds dialing 911.

I dunno how this is my child.

BTW, ma is cranky, but ok.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Nothing Motivates Like Guilt.

When Pumpkin started JK, and it was arranged that she would be in school on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and every other Friday, I declared that the non-school Fridays would officially be known as 'culture days'. The plan was to do something different and educational within this fine city of Toronto. Well I finally got around to doing the first round of that today, and only three months into the school year. I'm so proud of me. Anyhow, after deciding that I didn't want to dunk myself in a public swimming pool on this cool day, I took Pumpkin to the Ontario Science Centre instead.

There is a fairly new section called, KidSpark, which seemed to have enough hands-on equipment to fill our visit. The area that seemed to have the most draw for Pumpkin was a pint sized supermarket, where the kids could shop for pretend foods, or be the cashier, or work the meat counter, or whatever. Kids were swarming the shelves, loading up carts and baskets with empty, no name products, then heading to the cashier to empty their order. I noticed a sign on the wall, asking for everyone to return the products back to the shelves when they were finished. The only people doing this were a few mock stock boys, who weren't really doing a thorough job.

There was an easily identifiable spot for each item, so I decided to pass time by restocking the shelves, even though the kids were undoing my efforts as I went along. Kind of like how things are when I clean up at home. I have to say that I became a wee bit obsessive compulsive about it. IT HAD TO BE PERFECT! The carrot couldn't go in the cucumber bin, and the canned carrots could not be in the canned beans spot. I was pivoting around in circles, picking stuff off the floor, off the check-out counter, off the meat counter, re-filing everything as fast as I could. Then something funny happened.

Other parents started paying attention to what I was doing. I'm guessing that a wave of guilt swept over them, and they joined in on the action. Moms were re-sorting the vegetables, dads were gathering stuff off the floor, and kids were being instructed to help. I started a cleaning revolution! I probably ruined all the fun, but boy did I get everyone moving! They hired me on the spot.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Bonding Over B.O.

Today I took Chichi to her weekly, 10am class. 10am, not pm. It's not that I would ever take a baby to anything at 10pm, but I just wanted to stress that it was only mid-morning. This is important because typically at 10am, people are fairly recently showered, and even if they forgot to wear deodorant, they should still be fresh-ish. I can accept having toddler-thrown food on one's clothes at that hour, or even eggs in one's hair, but run-of-the-mill armpit odour should really not be making an appearance until later in the day, not that I'm an expert or anything. I'm pretty sure that I smell like daisies, all the time.

The class had a few newcomers today. One of them was a woman in green, and the other was the only dad in the class. The class had a few new odours today as well. One of them came from the woman in green, and the other came from the only dad in the class. They weren't even together! It wasn't like they came from the same house where soap is considered the devil's tool and laundry a once-a-year event! I suppose that it's possible that they both hold such values, but what are the chances? There was absolutely nowhere to go within the room to avoid the smell. Both offenders were chasing their toddlers, so downwind was everywhere! I'm not just talking a slight whiff either.

This was the kind of smell that reminded me of my friend from high school who worked in a garden centre in the heat of summer, and would come straight to my house afterwards to see who was around. Sometimes he wouldn't even have a shower until the next day after work, but not before stopping by my place to see who was around. I'm talking about that second day smell! But it was only 10am on a cool day!

The class instructor approached me at one point during the class, leaned on the wall that I was leaning on, and said, "Boy do I smell a shivtz! I'm gonna have to fumigate later!" Together, we figured out who the offenders were, and then the class went on as usual.

As unpleasant as my time in olfactory Hell was, I actually felt good about my conversation with the instructor. As someone who used to always be a teacher's pet, I'm glad she chose me to confide in. I'm also glad that she knew that I wasn't the perpetrator. I hope. (Sniffs the armpits). Yup, daisies, just like I thought.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Tough Sell

When Pumpkin was first born, I found myself at a mom's group, commiserating with another new mother who was just learning that having a baby was the equivalent of throwing a bomb in the middle of a perfectly good marriage. I had figured this out a few weeks before during those early days of motherhood as I lay in bed one night, working out the logistics of the inevitable divorce that was coming my way.

Having a baby is a surreal and miraculous time, but it is also potentially a time filled with disappointment. From the moment that Pumpkin was first placed in my arms and Hubby and I did not have a moment where we expressed eternal love for each other and our new family, I knew this was not going to be a Hollywood event. Hubby had fears that he felt he couldn't express, and in all truth, newborn babies aren't much fun. Consequently, he kept a distance from us. Combine that with the usual chaos of actually having a newborn, and you've got the hypothetical marriage bomb. Thankfully, we emerged from the rubble, and as an even stronger couple for it. But that wasn't where I was trying to go with this story. Sorry about all that serious stuff.

So back to commiserating with that other new mother, she and I were discussing the possibility of divorce within our respective marriages. She had even gone so far as to broach the subject with her husband, sort of. She didn't actually tell him that she wanted a divorce so much as she tried to point out to him what a good idea it would be. "You know, with your investments in the tank the way that they are, it would be the best possible time to divorce. You wouldn't have to pay me out as much as you would if they were doing well!" Amazingly, he didn't get the hint.

Edited to add: They're still married.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

We'll Just Bang Our Heads for a While Longer

Today I was invited to spend the first hour of the school day in Pumpkin's kindergarden class, observing what is said to be their most productive hour. I was wondering if I was going to see a side of Pumpkin that I never see, or if it would be business as usual, where anyone listening in on Pumpkin's answers and conversations would wonder if she had a concussion. Guess what? Concussion it was!

In Pumpkin's defense, the subject matter was really boring. They are currently learning the names of construction machinery. Steam rollers, wheeled excavators, cherry pickers, etc. were the topics of discussion for 20 minutes straight. Pumpkin actually fidgeted less than I did. If you recall, Pumpkin can't even bear to see even the intro to Mighty Machines, so I was actually surprised that she didn't screech in horror at the mere mention of a bulldozer. She's such a girl.

When I spoke with the teacher, I asked her if Pumpkin seemed to be absorbing any of the lessons. The teacher gave a hesitant shrug, as if to say that my guess was as good as hers. Perfect. Yes, Pumpkin is only four, and she isn't atypical in her class, but I'm really looking forward to a day when I can ask her if she would like to try something like a piece of apple, and have the reply not be, "NO! THAT APPLE MAKES ME ITCHY!"

Monday, November 23, 2009

Shouldn't She Have Been Baking Cookies or Something?

Writing a post every day has given me time for reflection, motivating me to take action on a couple of things that are lacking in my life. The first one, which I have already discussed, is that I need to put time and energy into music. The second one is that I need to drink more. Don't let my ambition intimidate you. It has taken me a long time to get to this point.

Last night, in my quest to be proactive, I decided to break open a bottle of wine and watch the American Music Awards. I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed myself, especially during Adam Lambert's performance. As you may recall from last week, his managers were being mocked for requesting that he not be portrayed as 'too gay' in a magazine that he was featured in. When I saw him driving a couple of leashed, leather-harnessed men, I realized that Lambert and his managers were not on the same page. When Lambert dry humped one of these guys in the mouth, I was pretty certain of it. Then he fondled a female dancer's crotch, made out with a male-ish keyboardist, and actually left me stunned, which doesn't happen often. Nothing usually strikes me as exceptionally risque. This did, although not in a disapproving way. I just couldn't believe Lambert's 'cojones'.

My mom watched the same awards show. "What did you think of Adam Lambert last night?", she asked me when she came by today

"I couldn't believe it!", I replied with a smirk, as I waited to hear about how she no longer respects him as a performer.

"Oh, I thought he was great!", she started. "I just don't care for the way he styles his hair."

(shaking my head) Grandparents today are just too desensitized!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Time to Give a Little, Doncha Think?

Yannow, I've been doing this napomoblowme thing for 22 days straight without any complaints. Apparently my poppy and wedding pics were 'cop outs', but for the most part I've done everything I can to keep you entertained, even when my own day has been particularly blah. Every evening I replay my day to find some thread of humour that I can spin into something for your amusement. So what does it take to get any love from you? I give and I give, and what do I get in return? Nadda. Zilch. Bupkis. It's time to return the favour, yo!

I can see that about 20 people are checking in every day. I'm averaging about one comment per post. Does it matter to you that this makes me cry in my pillow ever night? Remember in high school when you came home to see if the red light on your answering machine was blinking? Remember how you felt when it wasn't? Well that's me, every morning when I log on while I should be getting my kids some breakfast. They're going hungry for no reason!

Well guess what? We are now into International Comment Leaving Week, or IComLeavWe. You can click the link and read up on the official rules, but I don't care if you do. Just leave me a futhermucking comment! I get the feeling that most of you are not bloggers and therefore don't have on-line identities. Just check the anonymous box and tell me how much you love me. If you don't, the next eight days will be all rants and festivus type activities, which won't be fun for either of us. Now get to it!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

It's My Life

Overheard conversation between Hubs and Pumpkin while unpacking the groceries:

Pumpkin: "Oooooooh, I really like that life!"
Hubby: "Hey, that's my life!"
Pumpkin: "No, it's not! IT'S MY LIFE DADDY, NOT YOURS!!!!!"

They were arguing about a box Life brand cereal, but it still gave me a chuckle, and possibly a glimpse into the future.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Puff the Magic...I Can't Go On

I am not the most emotional person you'll ever meet. I rarely cry, and I don't do lovey dovey. I hug my kids when they let me, and I often tell them that I love them, but I imagine that some people who know me would find the scene out of character. A former colleague of mine even remarked that he imagined that if ever I cried, sparks would shoot out of my eye sockets. Yes, B, I'm talking 'bout you!

I don't know where this personality trait came from. I wasn't like that when I was a child. There were always tears due to my tormenting, older brother, but I was also quite sensitive. I remember bawling my eyes out while watching an episode of the Muppet Show where Gonzo fell in love with the guest star, Madeline Khan, but she turned him down. I felt so sorry for him! I especially remember being unconsolable after watching the Puff the Magic Dragon TV special.

"A dragon lives forever but not so little boys
Painted wings and giant rings make way for other toys.
One grey night it happened, jackie paper came no more
And puff that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar.
His head was bent in sorrow, green scales fell like rain,
Puff no longer went to play along the cherry lane.
Without his life-long friend, puff could not be brave,
So puff that mighty dragon sadly slipped into his cave."

To this day, I absolutely cannot speak or sing those words without getting choked up. I don't know why I can't get passed this. I don't know if there is some personal symbolism going on or what, but I do know that I feel like a total tool when I have to read the story to Pumpkin, and can't continue because my eyes are welled up with tears and my voice keeps wavering.

Pumpkin made me read it tonight. When I got to the sad part, I had my usual emotional breakdown. Pumpkin started consoling me. The picture book that we have shows a little girl coming to play with Puff after Jackie Paper has abandoned him. "Don't worry mommy. That girl is going to make sure Puff is ok". How pathetic is this! Next time I'm throwing on the CD and making a run for it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Coming Out of the Dark Ages

In 2002, I moved close to my office. I no longer had a commute worth speaking of. Sometimes there was no time to hear even one song on the radio on my way to work. I lost touch with all the new releases and hits. I lost opportunity to play the music that I already owned. This was the beginning of my musical decline. It only got worse in 2005, when our first born came along, and sapped up much of my free time. Kicking back to some tunes while reading a crappy magazine became something I could only dream of.

Hubby enjoys music, but primarily in passing. He has provided no influence in my musical education, and has never played any tunes around the house. He and I both got into downloading every song from the '80's back in the days of free Napster, and we do have a couple of iPods floating around, but the MP3 collection is getting tired, as we haven't really kept up.

There is an iPod that is designated for me, but it was initially Hubby's, and not actually ever presented to me. I don't entirely know how to reset it and get it up and running, not that I've tried. We also have a Mac, which is an excellent device for organizing music, but I must confess, it has been a bit of a waste thus far. It's really lightweight and small, so it's great for surfing the net while watching TV, but for the most part, we don't (know how to) maximize its potential.

The sad thing is that this is coming from a house that is packed to the rim with the latest technology. Hubby brings it all home, sets it up sometimes haphazardly, loses manuals, and gives me operating instructions on a need-to-know basis. This bugs me because I'm was always fairly savvy when it came to this stuff. Don't get me started on the state of our home theatre. Anyhow, back to the music thing, I've finally decided to deal with it as my life without music is starting to get me down.

I'm starting by loading up every disc I own onto the Mac, getting the iPod up and running, and rolling with it from there. So far there is a heavy slant towards the '90's, but it's a start. It should only be a matter of time before I am inspired to seek out new things once I tire of Blink 182 and The Cranberries.

While I was sitting in the kitchen, loading up some James Brown, I became impressed that a disc that was compiled in 1985 had all the useful information for being organized by iTunes. This is probably small potatoes to the rest of y'all, but it has never mattered to me that CDs have all the behind the scenes information encoded within. I remarked on this to my mother, who made me feel better by saying, "I'm not impressed by any of this computer stuff. The most impressive thing to me is still the fax machine."

Mom, you will not be receiving an iPhone for Christmas.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


The picture may have been recycled from last year, but my love has only grown deeper.

Happy Anniversary Baby!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

You Know You're Not in the 1950's When...

I make no secret of the fact that I don't prepare wonderful, home cooked meals every day. I take a lot of short cuts, and often don't get all the food groups represented. On the days when I manage to make something worthy of bragging about, I actually do brag, as if it was some sort of out of the ordinary accomplishment.

I also make no secret of the fact that I don't keep my house particularly clean and organized. I rely far to much on the cleaning lady, who really doesn't come often enough to exempt me from vacuuming up dog hair tumbleweeds, or disinfecting the numerous places within the house that creep me out on a daily basis.

I actually feel a little bad that although I am privileged enough to be a SAHM, I don't manage to maintain the house and cook meals as well as well as some of my predecessors. Not bad enough to actually do something about it, but bad enough to talk about it every now and again.

A while back, I was discussing this issue with a successful, career-oriented friend of mine. "I'm a pretty good mom,", I explained, "but I really suck at the housewife part of this job."

"Well there's certainly NO shame in THAT!", she replied with conviction.

I love this day and age.

Monday, November 16, 2009

YEAH TOAST! (I'd cue the song if I knew how)

I am on my fourth toaster oven in approximately six months. The first one was the one that hubby bought ten years ago for $50 or so. It worked, but the LED was broken, and it seemed kind of rinkydink compared to the cooler ones that grace the countertops of some of my friend's homes. It may also have been taking too long to toast, but it is possible that I just perceived that to be the case to justify buying a new one. That toaster has since been given away.

The second one had convection technology, and although I know what convection means, I'm not certain it actually adds value to whatever I'm re-heating. Nonetheless, it was on sale, shiny, and certainly better than the old one, right? At least until it crapped out about a month ago.

I returned the dead one and upgraded to the third one that would undoubtedly be engineered better than the second. It sure looked snazzy! It was almost double the price of the last one but had to be worth it, right? It wasn't until I got it home that I realized that it wasn't convection. I still wasn't sure if that mattered, so I decided to live with it. Unfortunately, the door seemed to be flawed, and if it was jiggled too far to the left, it wouldn't close, so I decided to return this toaster oven as well.

Now I am more rehearsed in toaster ovens than anyone should really have to be. I decided that I should have convection, just because it may one day reveal itself to be something useful to me. I also decided that I had to find one with a better set up than toasters two and three. Both units had three knobs each, which required some sort of adjustment depending on what you were doing. So sad is the person who sets the top knob to "Toast", but leaves the middle knob on "Bake". Such a frustrating start to the day! Both of these units also had another common flaw: THEY SUCKED AT TOASTING! Bells and whistles galore, but all I want is to make my bread a little crunchy without having to preheat and wait ten minutes! Oh, and it would be great if it could be modulated easily so it doesn't burn half of the time!

Toater ovens have become like the appliance version of Murphy Brown's secretary around here. I have now brought home number four. It cost three times the amount of the second one, and has been promised to resolve my other problems. It did a dandy job on the kid's nuggets and fries tonight (don't judge me!), but the true test will be if it can brown my bread in the morning with minimal aggravation.

Yannow, the original one actually did work quite well...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Doing as I Do, Not as I Say

I'm starting to think that one the behavior corrections that I do with Pumpkin is starting to sink in. On a daily basis I deal with keeping Pumpkin quiet enough such that she doesn't wake up Chichi, who, bless her soul, goes to bed early and wakes up late. This is a problem when Pumpkin wakes up all full of energy, but also during the bedtime routine, when a lot of activity occurs outside Chichi's door. I've had more than my share of cringe moments when Pumpkin has gone into psycho mode during a bath, causing Chichi start screaming after having already been asleep.

When I say that the lesson has sunk in, I don't mean that Pumpkin was quite either this morning or while getting ready for bed. However, when the delivery guy arrived with our dinner tonight, and the dogs started barking at the door, Pumpkin stormed out of her room and screamed, "I CAN'T SLEEP WITH ALL THIS BARKING GOING ON, AND CHICHI IS AWAKE NOW!" Then she marched back to her room, shaking her head at her moronic parents.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

We're So Classy!

We don't drink much wine, at least when it's just me and the hubs. It makes us too sleepy. Due to this affliction, we buy relatively good wine. We figure if we're only going to drink a bottle every three weeks or so, it should be worth our while. Consequently, most of the bottles in our stash are worth $25 or more. I know that's not terribly high end, but it's not low end either.

Tonight we had dinner with our friends at their home. They never come to us since their kids are afraid of our dogs, so we always end up enjoying their hospitality while we merely bring the wine. I feel bad about this, but I can't make them want to come over, and I wouldn't want to disgrace their gourmet spread with something that I prepared. Would you like a side of mac and cheese with your almond crusted salmon with lemon dill cream? It's a great pairing! Yeah, so we just bring the wine.

Hubby shopped for all the wine that we have on hand right now, so I don't know what is what. I just grabbed a bottle. On the way down, he asked me which one I brought. When I told him, he had a minor freak out. "That's a $50 bottle!" he moaned, as he envisioned ourselves trying to grab a sip here and there while we stopped our kids from destroying the house. "Our hosts don't even drink much wine! What if they don't even serve it!" I thought that he should let it go, but he was pouting, claiming that he was really looking forward to drinking it. Don't worry though, I took care of him.

When we got there, our friends were still getting dinner organized, so I offered to help. They didn't want me to do anything, so I said, "Well let me at least get the wine going." I opened our bottle without asking them if they had another bottle in mind, and poured hubby enough to shut him up. Then I set him free from watching the kids. He was buzzing before we even sat down to dinner. He got his share though!

Friday, November 13, 2009

How I Didn't Win Millions

So I've determined that I'm not a gambling addict. I guess that's a good thing. A few weeks back, we made an escape to Vegas for four nights. It was my first time there, and I was kind of expecting to get swept up in the excitement of it all and lose a pile of money.

I sat down at my first slot machine, loaded in $20, and started pushing the button. 80 credits, 76 credits, 72 credits, and all the way down to zero. Wow. That. was. fun. I switched machines. 80 credits, 76 credits, OOOOOHHHHH, up to 90 credits, aaaaaaaand back down to zero in no time. WTF? Why is everyone doing this?

I looked around. People were serious about this. They were staked out at their machines, making themselves comfortable for the long haul, and focusing, as if focusing did any good. I didn't get it. Maybe it's because I didn't win anything, but how much were people spending before they actually won?

I started loitering around hubby, who was enjoying himself; up six bucks, down three, up four, down again. He was considering it to be entertainment, if nothing else. He probably would have preferred to play poker at the tables, but neither the other couple we were with, nor I were 'hard core' enough to join him. Nonetheless, he was having fun, at least until I started talking.

"Why are we doing this? These machines belong to the casino. The casino doesn't want us to have the money! These computers are programmed not to give us money! Why does everyone think that they're going to win? It felt ridiculous to stuff money into the machine, only to push the button 20 times and watch it disappear! So what if you won a little! You're just going to lose it again! I'm thirsty! How much longer are we going to stay here! "

He stared at me blankly, probably wondering why he was there with me. I'm glad he has actual poker buddies for this purpose.

Don't feel bad for me though. Vegas has more than just gambling. Vegas has OUTLET MALLS!!!!!!! A good time was had by all.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hey Bus Driver Speed Up a Little Bit...

Isn't a school bus a device to make my life easier?  Pumpkin takes the bus to school, which is only five minutes away, but encouraged as a way to reduce traffic in the area.  Most days, the bus is late.  Late enough that Pumpkin misses the beginning of class.  The other parents have continually called the school and bus company about this, but nothing ever changes.   I haven't given this a lot of concern because it's only junior kindergarten, and I couldn't imagine that she'd fall behind on anything.

Today, the bus didn't come at all.  I am assuming that it's because the other girl who gets on at our stop is off for a religious holiday, and that her mom advised the driver of this, who in turn skipped the stop altogether.  I don't actually have an answer on that yet.  I ended up hauling our butts over to the school ten minutes after class had begun, signing Pumpkin in late, and walking her into a class where all the kids were seated quietly at the front, discussing the date and the weather.  I'm starting to re-think my nonchalance on this issue.

Pumpkin doesn't seem to like kindergarten.  Could this hurried, disorganized morning routine be part of the problem?  She doesn't experience being corralled into the kindergarten 'cage' with the others each morning.  She doesn't experience lining up when the bell rings.  She probably feels that she stands out when she is ushered into class late each day.  Are we possibly setting her up with a lifelong pattern?  Maybe she IS falling behind on something.

When I ask her why she doesn't like it there, I don't get a useful answer, much like any time I ask her a question of importance.  Maybe it's time to contribute to traffic congestion to see if getting her there on time turns her attitude around.  It's not like I don't spend the same amount of time standing out in the cold waiting for the bus on most days.    I mean, isn't this one of the benefits of being a stay at home mom?  Getting to be a chauffeur too?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Daily Laugh

Today I was driving with Chichi to our weekly music class, when I happened upon an accident on Steeles Avenue.  The tow trucks had already descended like vultures, and traffic had slowed down enough for everyone to do that rubber neck thing that Torontonians are infamous for.  Joining in on the fun, I had a chance to glance at the company name on one of the tow trucks.  Camel.  The company's name was Camel Towing.

To my parents, please don't ask me to explain this.

Monday, November 09, 2009

A Different Kind of Busy.

It's probably unhealthy to compare my life with the life I led before having kids, but sometimes I just can't help myself.  Today I was thinking about how much I used to accomplish in any given day compared to what I get done nowadays.

Before I left for work, I would manage to clean one or both of the two bathrooms in our condo.  On the way to work, I often stopped at either the bank, the dry cleaners, the drugstore, or all of the above.  I would get to work with enough time to spare to log onto the internet and pay my bills.  During my lunch hour, I often grocery shopped, or ran some other errand. After the commute home, I would happily make dinner for me and hubs, and enjoy a nice evening together.

How does that compare to my current life?

1.  Forget about the bathrooms for one thing.  We do have a cleaning lady, but we did back at the condo too.  The days of pre-cleaning for the cleaning lady are officially done.  

2.  I almost never make my way to the bank anymore, and often find myself fishing for change in random places just so I wouldn't be without any money on me.  I popped in today for the first time in ages, only to find myself in overdraft because I haven't checked in for a while. 

3.  Dry cleaning sits in my front hall until my mother can't stand it anymore and takes it herself.  (heh)

4.  Grocery shopping now happens haphazardly, as I can't get organized enough to figure out what I need for an entire week. 

5.  Making the hubs a nice dinner:   hahahahahahahahahahaha

The funny thing is, I feel way less busy than I used to be.  Yeah, I'm wrangling kids, but there is a lot of down time during the day.  Perhaps this is just my slow decline.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

I'm Touched By Your Concern

Well thanks for the outpour of support and concern regarding my exploding head.  One flippin' comment! You all suck!  Except for Freya.  I still like you.

I am typing after having mixed meds with booze.  Probably not a good combo but I only have two hours left to post, and I'm not getting any smarter.

No, my head did not explode, but once again, thanks for asking.  Over the counter meds have carried me through, although the second that they wear off, my eyes darken, my sinuses fill up, and I turn into a puddle of misery.  I'm fun that way.

Anyhow, my day was busy, but not terribly interesting, so I'll leave you with a tidbit from the past:

Pumpkin:  "Why do we have to walk to camp?"

Me:  "Because camp is close by, and driving makes the planet dirty."

Pumpkin:  "What happens when the planet gets dirty?"

Me:  "Well, if it gets too dirty, we won't be able to live here anymore."

Pumpkin, looking concerned:  "So we'll have to live with aliens???"

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Good Weather Saves Your Tax Dollars

Nobody reads this on the week-end.  Traffic isn't too crazy on a week-day, but week-ends are exceptionally slow.  I could probably post nude pictures of myself today and no one would see them.  I'm not going to chance it, but still...

So how did good weather save your tax dollars?  I woke up this morning after an incredible night's sleep.  By that I mean NINE hours.  Pumpkin slept at my mom's, where she woke up at 5am, but back at our place, Chichi slept until 9am.  Sorry Ma, but it was totallly worth it at this end.  Anyhow, despite getting ample sleep, I was still crusty, smurgly, and all things gross.  Based on previous experiences, I determined that my cold had morphed into a sinus infection.  I am a total fan of drugs, so I headed out to a walk-in clinic to get a prescription for whatever would turn off the 'colourful ' faucet that is my head. 

Getting out of the car, I realized that it was a nice day for a change.  Once inside the clinic, I was told that I would have a one to two hour wait.  That is actually a pretty good wait, but I kept thinking about the nice weather outside, and weighed it against the fact that my eyes were bugging out by two inches thanks to my sinus pressure.  Nice day...head exploding...nice day...head exploding...NICE DAY!!!!  I forfeited my spot in line, ran to the pharmacy to load up on whatever would help, and went home to play.  My head has not yet exploded but the night is young and I've maxed out my sinus pills.  If you don't hear from me tomorrow, you'll know what happened. 

Friday, November 06, 2009

'Cause Everyone Wants to Hear About Body Hair

For the a full year after Chichi was born, I didn't take the time to get my eyebrows professionally shaped.  I figured that I could just do it myself and save myself the time.  I'm also uncomfortable booking spa-like treatments, for reasons I don't quite understand.  I assume that it's a combination of shyness of making the call, and space issues during the treatment, but whatever the reason, I don't enjoy the process.  Anyhow, after a year of self maintenance, my eyebrows looked kind of odd to me.  I was actually too embarrassed to have them done professionally until I grew them back enough to hide what I had done.  Apparently I didn't wait long enough.

The woman who eventually got my business looked down at my brows as I lay vulnerably on her table,  and curtly stated, "Your eyebrows are a mess!"  Maybe this is why I don't like spa treatments.  I'm a big fan of self-deprecation, but hearing it from someone else, well that just mean!  Then she inflicted a great deal of pain on me with only a thread, and told me that it would take about three months to make them look good, and that I MUST not touch them in between treatments.  Do you know how difficult that is when I've got renegade eyebrows working their way down my face?

Today I looked in the mirror and was startled by two angry looking caterpillars staring back at me.  How did they creep up on me like that?  I made a call to my 'Eyebrow Nazi', but she can't see me until next week.  Too bad Halloween is over.  I could have gone as Martin Scorsese.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Off Switch?

It is day three of laryngitis.  I haven't been able to read Pumpkin her evening story, which has her somewhat annoyed with me.  So as not to be outdone, she came home from school with a plan to teach me a lesson.

"Pumpkin, what did you do at school today?"

"I can't tell you Mommy.  My voice is turned off."


If only...

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Whatever it is, I Don't Like It!

I didn't like to eat anything as a child.  I would always take one or two bites of whatever was in front of me, and then announce that I had a stomach ache.  That used to piss my mom off royally.  To be honest, I don't like a lot of foods now, but I am at least mature enough to force feed myself for the sake of nourishment.  I still kind of regard lunch with resentment as being such an annoying thing to require smack in the middle of the day.  I'd rather take a hypothetical food pill and be done with it.

When I was about three or four, my mom took me to a pool party at her friend's house.  It was a party for adults but kids were accommodated for in terms of food.  When it came time to eat, I looked at the hamburger on plate, folded my arms across my chest, and stated, "I don't LIKE hamburgers!"  Kindly, the host offered to make me a hotdog.  When I looked at the hotdog on my plate, I folded my arms across my chest and stated, "I don't LIKE hotdogs!"  Annoyed, the host went on to make me a sandwich.  When it was handed to me, I folded my arms across my chest and stated, "I don't LIKE sandwiches!"  At this point, the host just turned to me and shouted, "YOU'LL EAT IT AND YOU'LL FUCKING WELL LIKE IT!!!"  My virgin ears!  My mom thought this was pretty funny, given that this was her everyday battle.  However, my mom also thought it funny when I used fridge magnets to spell the f-word, so her amusement may possibly have been more of a function of the '70s than pleasure derived from someone else having to deal with my picky eating habits.  Maybe a combination.

 Pumpkin obviously comes by her bad eating habits honestly.  Including French toast, there are only three possible dinner options for her, and tonight she rejected macaroni, which might mean that we're down to two.  She even professes to dislike food that doesn't exist, such as the plopolop fruit in a book that we read recently.  It even extends beyond food.

I bought her new pyjamas.  She cried, "I DON'T LIKE TO WEAR THAT KIND!"  I showed her the moon last night, and she said, "I DON'T LIKE THAT KIND OF MOON.  IT LOOKS TERRIBLE!"  I'm not sure what's up with that.  Lately she doesn't like Kindergarden.  She also doesn't like one of our dogs.  She doesn't like her bedspread, and she REALLY doesn't like to watch Mighty Machines.  I pity the fool who turns on the Treehouse channel when they're playing Mighty Machines.

Do they have hypnosis therapy for four year olds?

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Keeping it Positive

The smurglies are still kicking my butt, which is preferable to what they're doing to butts over at the Urban Dictionary, so maybe I shouldn't complain.  I figure that today would be a good day for reflecting on the positive things, rather than the fact laryngitis has been added to my list of ailments.  As it turns out, angrily whispering the phrase, "Shut up or I'll beat you with a stick!", does not qualify me as a dog whisperer.  So yeah, lets look at the good stuff.

Pumpkin actually drew something that looked like something!  Visual arts don't exactly run in the family, but I was starting to imagine myself getting a call from the teacher about Pumpkin's lack of skill:

"Hello, Pumpkin's mom?  I'm concerned about Pumpkin's inability to do anything but scribble."

"Is this a real problem?" 

"Well, she is in grade 9..."

Yeah, so we've gotten over that hurdle.  Out of the blue, she started drawing people.  When I asked her who they were, she replied, "Customers!".  Ok, so we've still got a few quirks to deal with but they seem so minor now!

In other news, I decided to get Chichi the H1N1 vaccine.  I will probably do the same for Pumpkin next week when she is in better health.  Thanks to all the media madness about the mayhem at the vaccination clinics, I went well prepared with an arsenal of snacks, drinks, books, DVDs, and a sense of resignation about how bad my afternoon was going to be.  As it turned out, I was in and out of there in 30 minutes, and that included the 15 minute recovery wait. Kudos to the town of Markham!

Next, on the way home from getting the vaccine, I came up to an intersection where my light had just turned green.  For whatever reason, an elderly lady with a walker decided to cross against the red light in the other direction.  Quickly, the very handsome man in the snazzy sports car in front of me turned on his hazards, abandoned his car, and escorted the lady across the street to safety.  No one honked, no one was hurt.  It's nice to see a little display of humanity every now and again.  It didn't really matter that both the man and his car were pretty, but it does add to the whole Prince Charming effect.  Good karma to you and your family, whoever you are!

And finally, there is NeoCitran.  Good night. 

Monday, November 02, 2009


Smurgly is apparently a Macedonian word that describes how one feels when one is coughing and sneezing up everything under the sun at the tail end of a cold. Do NOT look it up in the Urban Dictionary as they have a different definition that I would NEVER speak of on this site, or in every day conversation for that matter. I never would have thought of it, actually. I do realize that I provided the link, but don't look it up. Really. I was innocently doing a quasi spell check when I stumbled onto it. But I digress.

There is somewhat of a plague upon my house right now. Pumpkin had 'a' flu last week, which was, according to much of the media madness, 'that' flu, given that it is too early for it to be seasonal flu. We quarantined her in the guest room for a few days, where she watched more TV than anyone should be willing to admit to. Her doctor had no time to see us, and the walk-in clinics and ER's would have been insane, so I kept her home and watched her. She was her usual self most of the time, so we just weathered it out with a bottle of Motrin. Since she was fever-free by Saturday, I did take her trick or treating, but left Chichi home with hubs, just to extend their time apart. Just as well, since a 16 month old in a Winnie the Pooh costume would have scored me about 20,000 calories that I probably wouldn't have shared. So does anyone want a free baby-sized Winnie costume? It's only been used for a 5 minute photo opp.

Anyhow, now that we are past fevers and barking coughs, we seem to all be somewhat smurgly from a cold that followed suit. Looks like it's going to be a long winter.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Here We Go

When I signed up for NaBloPoMo back in November of 2007, I felt like a part of a community. Most of the bloggers that I read were doing it too, and we all signed up to suffer together. That community has somewhat disbanded. Posts are few and far between these days, with me being one of the worst offenders. My readership may be down to a few friends and family members, but I just don't feel ready to throw in the towel just yet. I figured doing a post a day for a month will either indicate to me if I've got anything left, or if I need to work on my singing career instead. You'd better hope that I've still got some writer left in me. Even my daughter screams at me to stop singing when we're in the car. Where else am I supposed to practice?

I've actually let quite a few bloggable things go unblogged over the past few months, which will hopefully give me the fodder that I need to fill those days when nothing else amuses me. Here's a good one:

Back in August I was having lunch with my mom's friends, a well-intending, wealthy, yet pushy couple. They were harping on me to get a nanny, which doesn't make sense to me seeing as I quit my job in 2006 so I could do the child rearing from start to finish each day. This is not always fun, and certainly not glamorous, but it was what I signed up for. Keep in mind that my mom helps me out quite a bit each day, and if I had a nanny, she and my mom would be fighting over who gets to wipe Chichi's butt at the next diaper change. Freeing up my mom's time was probably the main objective of this couple's argument, although my mom doesn't actually want to abandon her post over here. Honest! You can ask her.

After almost a whole day of receiving disapproving looks every time I mentioned being tied up with my kids for one reason or another, I finally asked the couple why they cared one way or another about my not having a nanny. The husband of the pair replied:

"I just think it would be great for you to experience the freedom that is motherhood."

(blink, blink)

Yeah, I thought that you would like that.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Don't Leave Me!

November should bring you at least a brain-fart every day! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Yet Another Post About Cereal

The first time I ever went camping was when I was 10 or 11. We camped at Lake George, NY, in a pop-up trailer. I'm not quite sure why we went there instead of one of the many beautiful spots on this side of the border, but I do remember my stepmother making a run to Montgomery ward to buy a microwave oven, which would have been much cheaper in the U.S. back then. I guess that was enough to draw us State-side.

During this trip, I had a blast. I loved camping, eating outside, playing with the campfire, playing a five hour game of risk, visiting a couple of amusement parks, playing Pac Man in the building at the front gate of the camp ground, and whatever else we did. I remember excitedly telling my mom's friend about my trip and how much I loved it. When she asked me what I liked best, I replied, "Breakfast!" My mom's friend nodded in agreement, and talked about the beauty of eating breakfast outside in the cool morning air, birds chirping, dew on the grass, etc. I then replied, "Well, actually, it was the amazing American cereals that made it so great." I was of course referring to Cookie Crisp, or my other poison de jour, Dinky Donuts. I seemed to have a strong appreciation for foods made by Ralston Purina. No wonder I'm so short.

Anyhow, just before labour day, I took Pumpkin on a one-night camping trip along with my friend and her four year old daughter. It was supposed to be for the whole week-end, but the weather was crap, so we opted for just one night so as not to disappoint and cancel altogether. We did our best to busy the girls with the campfire, playing at the beach, cooking hot dogs, going to the playground, going for ice cream, playing 'house' in the tent, and taking long walks in the cold, pre-autumn rain.

Just last week, Pumpkin started talking about the trip and asked to go camping again, which really delighted me. I asked her what she liked best about camping, and she replied, "Eating Corn Pops!"

And so we begin a new generation of fond childhood memories formed around a box of sugar. Could this be hereditary?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

This is No Longer a Rant

"Hi, T, this is K, the principal of Pumpkin's school. As you know, the Ministry is enforcing blah blah blah, and now that we have an issue at the school due to blah blah blah, all the jr. kindergarten students in Pumpkin's class are being redistributed to the other JK classes. Consequently, we'll be changing Pumpkin from a Tuesday/Thursday class to a Monday/Wednesday one."

"Sure, no problem! I'll just pull Pumpkin out of her Monday and Wednesday morning preschool since they have a waiting list and won't be able to move us to Tuesday and Thursday, and I'll cancel her Wednesday afternoon swim lesson that she isn't completely fond of anyways. I love the idea of having nothing scheduled for her for four and sometimes five days per week. It will give us so much more time to bond!"

(commence banging head on wall)

Some time over the course of the next four hours, one of the confirmed Tuesday/Thursday parents called the school and asked to be switched to Monday/Wednesday. As you can imagine, I opted to swap, and promptly started humping the leg of the other parent.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

As if My Bragging About My Body Wasn't Enough...

If my last post was me taking one for the team, this one is certainly a product of inspiration. Today...I found love. It was in the form of a retail affair, but I know the real deal when it hits me. Had I done this post about eight hours ago, I would be gushing about my shopping high, and praising the universe for delivering me to such a perfect store, but since then, a dentist has drilled my face, and my kids took up whatever enthusiasm I had left. So I'm back to being me. Nonetheless, it was the best hour of shopping in my entire life.

As a general rule, if I find something that actually fits me well, I buy it without hesitation. This is because I don't get a lot of shopping opportunity sans kids, and because my short torso makes me somewhat difficult to find clothes for. If I had an actual calculated shopping budget, I would never get close to maxing it out. I'm just a bad shopper. When I do get in the shopping mood, I try on zillions of things, usually to return home with maybe one or two. Today I attacked this never before visited store and pulled about ten things into the change room. Everything fit! Everything! I got excited. REALLY excited. I had to have it ALL! MWAHAHAHAHAHA!

I worried a bit about justifying it, seeing as I don't actually earn money or anything, but I was able to work it out well enough. You see, hubby doesn't buy himself a lot of clothing, or typical things that people pamper themselves with, but he did recently buy a Cylon, or something as obscure from a Battlestar Galactica auction, and a few other things that are still in boxes and making me a bit nervous. This is kind of the equivalent of the Cylon, right? I figured I'd at least call him and let him know: "Hi baby. I'm at this store that was MADE for me, and there are so many things that I LOVE, so I figured I could scoop 'em all up for my birthday and save you the stressful shopping trip you'd eventually have to make". I heard him smile, and that was all I needed. Guess I'll be taking one for the team again tonight, eh? God I'm such a cliche!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Daily Affirmation

Wow, blogging is starting to remind me of marital sex. The less I do, the less I want to do. Sometimes to get the ball rolling again I am either struck with inspiration, or I end up taking one for the team. Well team, here I am.

Following in the footsteps of Danigirl, I finally decided to visit one of those fancy lingerie shops that I have always avoided due to being cheap, and due to fear of being cupped by a stranger. Buying bras is typically an unrewarding purchase for me. No one really sees them, and they tend to cost a heck of a lot when you can't fit the cutesy stuff at La Senza., I did figure that a fitting was in order since every post-baby woman who posts something on the topic always seems stunned to find out that her perceived 36Bs are actually 34Ds. I wasn't too far off. I traded in my old 34Ds for 32Ds, which is a good thing. Not only was there no cupping, and not only do I have less girth than originally thought, but I have now become bra sisters with my friend in Victoria. Hey friend in Victoria! I can hook you up with some good support the next time you visit! Truthfully, I would prefer to be your size 2 butt sister, although I'd like it to happen without all that marathony stuff that you do. I'll set that as my long term goal. The butt, not the marathon.

In all seriousness, I'm not looking to change shape. I am about to speak one of the most obnoxious things that you've ever heard a woman say. I'm kinda happy with my body. It's true! I'm not perfect in any way, shape, or form, but if I judge my body on a bell curve, I'm doing quite well!

I look pretty much the same as I did in high school, but I hated my body in those days. Back then, I wasn't very high up on the bell curve, but instead had a lot of curves of my own. My friends were all built like 10 year old boys with boobs. Me, not so much. I may have even been five pounds heavier than I am now. That doesn't sound like much, but it seemed to look like a lot. I believe that my brother can attest to this based on the "compliment" that he gave me recently. He said, "You know, you look really good! Based on how you looked when you were 17, I figured that your body would be a complete mess by this stage in life."

Hey ladies, in case you're looking, he's available....

Anyhow, now at age 36 with two kids, I'm feeling pretty good about the way I look. I hated my non flat stomach when I was younger, but now it's almost to be expected. Did you see what my stomach went through? And due to what I would call extremely rapid growth during puberty, I never had boobs that saluted the sun. Guess what! I still don't! But did you see what my rack went through? You probably didn't, but you can imagine, right? I'm sure that the average woman who endured the same has to hike her rack up a couple of notches higher than she used to as well. How about the dark circles under my eyes that were regarded with concern by teachers who were worried about my home life. Now that I am a mother of two, I'm supposed to have them! They've almost become something to brag about!

So there it is: I'm good enough; I'm smart enough; and gosh darn it, people like me. Sort of.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Working Holiday 2009

I've been taking a bit of a break lately, partly because I was on vacation, and partly because I am still recovering from said vacation. With our crew of a 4yo, a 1yo, two dogs and a shortage of dog-sitters, the typical vacation choice for us is a week-long stay at a cottage rental. This was our first attempt since Chichi came along, and was also our first attempt on our own, as our usual cottage companions were unable to join us. Overall, I would have to say that this trip was a LOT of work. We knew that it would be, but we also know that it's important to do things together as a family, which we seldom do. Equally important is that our children have memories of such events so that they can reflect back on their happy family life at some point in the future and at least acknowledge that their parents made some sort of effort, be it half assed or otherwise.

As with the majority of my stay-at-home mom days, the week consisted of about 10% priceless moments, and 90% getmethefuckouttahere moments. Every morning I looked out at the chairs on the dock, wishing that while wearing pajamas and a hoodie, I could sit and enjoy a steaming cup of coffee while looking out over the lake. Instead, every morning I had to deal with the constant whining from Pumpkin, along with the intense, yet necessary helicopter mothering of Chichi, who only wanted to play with fireplace pokers and matches. It was also difficult to impress upon Pumpkin just how important it was to be outdoors instead of sulking on the couch in the cottage, demanding videos. I always gave her a video if she was cranky, in hopes that she would pass out on the couch, but that never happened. Chichi wasn't much of a napping superstar either. She was usually awake, tired, and wanting to disassemble whatever she could get her hands on. I would be lying if I told you that I didn't at least once a day say to myself in exasperation, 'this would be so much better without kids.' Yes, I love them, and they enhance my life, but dealing with a double tantrum during a rain storm at the cottage does not come close to comparing with the fun that hubby and I used to have in the wilderness during bad weather, even if we were confined to a leaky tent.

The neighbour was a single mom, had a 4yo girl and a dog, but was smart enough to bring a nanny. Her trip seemed a lot more enjoyable. A couple of times I saw her on the porch, feet up, reading a book. Oh the things that I have learned to envy! An extra pair of hands, or even just an extra pair of eyes would have made a huge difference. I'm still grateful for the family time that we had though.

The week was not without it's priceless moments. Pumpkin made great use of the lake, and enjoyed swimming with the neighbour's daughter. Chichi seemed taken by the scenery, and enjoyed her first go at eating sand, and loved splashing along the shore line. We got Pumpkin out in the canoe a few times, where the conversation wasn't always what I had hoped for, but was still a positive experience. I'm glad that they like the outdoors because if we can swing it one day, we plan to have a cottage of our very own. A cottage that doesn't have stray pieces of Risk and Sorry strewn about the place that Chichi seems to have a radar for. A place where we don't have to cringe every time a dog scratches a wall, or eats a table cloth. Yeah, we seldom get our security deposit back.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

...and we can spin our heads right around too!

Many, many years ago, I attended a party where I met a guy named Mike. It wasn't a hook-up or anything, but we had a conversation, although nothing particularly noteworthy. The next week, Mike inquired about me to our mutual friend. He couldn't remember my name, but using his most eerie voice, and wiggling his fingers in a spooky manner, he referred to me as "That girl with the EXORCIST EYES!"

I have to admit, my eyes are probably my most memorable feature, or so they were before my raccoon-esque dark circles decided to envelope most of my face. My eyes are blue, and my complexion is kind of olive, (dark circles notwithstanding), so people tend to notice them (the eyes, not the dark circles). I had always thought it was a positive thing, but that exorcist comment certainly put a new spin on it.

Chichi doesn't have a dark complexion like mine, but her heavy mop of black hair contrasts strongly with her light grey/blue eyes. In addition, her eyes are so large that she often appears to be a somewhat stunned. Based on the attention that this gets her, I naturally assumed this to be a good thing, without any parental bias, of course.

Yesterday, Hubby was out pushing Chichi in the stroller, when a small boy came running down the path towards them. When the boy got close enough, he stopped in his tracks, pointed at Chichi, and with a look of concern exclaimed, "That baby's eyes are SCAAAAARY!"

Glad to know that I've perpetuated my 'creepy' gene.