Tuesday, November 30, 2010

See Ya Next Year, or Possibly Sooner

Well, the end of November is here. You know what that means??? I can finally shave off my moustache! What a bedroom buzz kill that was!

In unrelated news:

That's all for now folks. Cheerio! Now run along!

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Good Day for Pumpkin-isms

So here's a fun idea for some of you: If you happen to have both a wedding video and a five year old, put the two of them together and make notes of the conversation that ensues.

Pumpkin has been asking me if she could see the video of me walking down the aisle, which I agreed to, but then forgot about. The video turned up today in a search for something less important, so I went ahead and showed it to her.

During the video I was hit with an onslaught of questions as Pumpkin navigated the customs and traditions of our ceremony. I tried to keep the explanations simple enough for her to digest, but there were always more questions that only Pumpkin could think of.

"Why did that person walk first? Why did they stop walking there? Where are the children? That man gave you rings??? Are there enough rings for everybody? Why is he the only one talking? Did he say that you couldn't talk? Why are there flowers? Why wasn't I there? Did you know that you wanted children when you got married? What's he saying now? What does that mean?"...and on and on and on....

Then Pumpkin started worrying about her own wedding. Not so much the wedding as the actual marriage. "Mommy, I want to have a wedding, but I don't want to not live here!" I've heard her voice this concern before, so I told her again what I told her the last time that she worried about this.

"Don't worry Sweetie, you and your husband and children can live with us!" I totally don't mean that and I know that she won't take me up on it, but it's funny at this stage. Let's hope it remains funny.

"Will we sleep in the same bed?", Pumpkin further inquired.

"Y-y-you and your husband will. Yes, you will." I stammered, feeling uncomfortable all of the sudden.

"But I have toys in my bed!!!", she protested anxiously, as I burst out laughing. Then she felt the need to add, "Auntie Mel sleeps with toys! They're her best friends!"

Hey Auntie Mel? Good for you!

***

At dinner time, Pumpkin was still talking about marriage, but had moved on to the issue of making babies. I believe in honesty with regards to this subject, but I also believe in offering only as much information as necessary, with the end goal being a drastic change of topic.

"Did you have your wedding, and then wake up to find a baby in your tummy?", she began, assuming that the wedding ceremony was the catalyst for baby making.

"No Pumpkin. We decided to have a baby after a few years of being married", I answered.

"Well how did it get in there?", she asked, as part of me died inside.

"Daddy put it there.", I replied matter-of-factly, realizing that my rules for honesty were being bent somewhat.

"So you just woke up and found a surprise baby in there???", she deduced.

"Uhmm, no. I knew that he was putting it there...", I trailed off, imagining the creepiness of what Pumpkin was getting at. The conversation thankfully ended at this point.

So please allow me to say it for you, 'Birds and bees talk FAIL!!!!'

Saturday, November 27, 2010

If Never Thought I'd Miss the Days of Dora and Diego

Pumpkin has made the move from baby-ish television shows to 'big kid' cartoons. This change has somewhat been an annoyance for me since the old channel didn't have many commercials on it, and the new one is chalk full of ads designed to sell every toy that they make in China.

In the wake of Pumpkin's appreciation of more 'sophisticated' cartoons, the other night I decided to record Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving special, something that I was sure that she'd enjoy as an after school treat the next day. How could she not love the same show that I grew up on?!!

The next day I sat down with her to watch the show, which she seemed excited about at first. I also had dinner cooking at the same time, which I got up to check on a few times. One time when I came back from the kitchen, Pumpkin was gone. I found her playing with her sister in the other room.

"Why aren't you watching Charlie Brown?", I asked in disbelief.

"Because they weren't showing any 'girl' toys! Only stuff that boys like!"

"Are you talking about the commercials????", I asked

"I'm talking about the toys that they show!!!!", she shouted as if the English language was something new to me.

She actually was talking about the commercials. She wouldn't sit through a classic episode of Charlie Brown because of an ad for a Glow Dome and some superhero action figures.

In the words of Charlie Brown, "Good Grief!"

Friday, November 26, 2010

I Try to be Nice, But Not THAT Nice!

I worked in sales for a good chunk of my pre-mommy life. I wouldn't call myself a go-getter, but I think I was fairly successful because I am approachable, friendly, and pretty good at chit chat. If it weren't for the fact that I grew to hate all the customers, I'm sure I'd still be at it in some capacity.

Despite the disdain that grew out of spending too long in the same roll, there were still a few customers that I enjoyed talking to. They were the ones who were also friendly and approachable. We chatted like friends when we did speak, and the customer service aspect of the call always seemed incidental to the conversation. Jim in Saskatoon, who happily gave me his local's point of view on Theresa Sokyrka's career, was always a pleasure to serve.

Anyhow, now that I have become a professional consumer, a title that I just invented this minute, I try to be the kind of customer that I always enjoyed helping out. I attempt to engage salespeople in humourous conversations, hoping that I brighten up their day in some capacity. My belief is that this is not the norm, and not everyone knows how to take me.

The woman in the vacuum repair store made me feel like I was from another planet when I shared with her the danger of seeing my dog, Taz, on the second floor of my house. If he's up there, you can bet that he's looking for a place to drop a load as punishment to the family that has neglected to put him outside for the past six hours. I was there to get my carpet shampooer fixed! The story was relevant! It's not like she was even busy!

My tactic goes the other way too. I swear on my life that I do goofy, not flirty, but I still send the wrong signals sometimes.

Today, I was at a hardware store buying resilient vinyl flooring to repair the damage that I did back when I turned on the irrigation system this year, and figured that I'd share my story with the sales guy. He took this to be an invitation to tell me everything about himself.

He is a grandfather in his 40s due to regrettably getting married at age 18. His marriage lasted 8 years and he has been single for over 20 years. Somewhere in there he asked me if I was a single mom. He continued to explain that when he meets someone new, he lives with them for a year because he now knows that if it is too much of a struggle in that first year, then it isn't gonna happen. Next he complimented me on my make-up, and went into details of his previous job, where he worked along side MAC make-up artists, and how too many women wear their makeup incorrectly...

And then I got a call on my cell from Chichi's preschool, asking me to pick her up as she was really unhappy and lethargic. I explained this to the sales guy, assuming that he would know to hurry the fuck up.

Instead he got into how he is a health and fitness buff, and that he has written a book on the subject. He continued to explain the miracle effects of Vitamin C, and how I should give more to my kids so they don't get sick and all I wanted was my receipt so I could go pick up my miserable, sick child from her goddamn school!!!

I sure as hell hope that someone else is delivering the floor!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Money Talk 101

Pumpkin spends a fair bit of time at my mom's house. Recently, she was over there, fretting about the fact that my mom has the most basic cable package, and doesn't get the cartoon channel.

My mom explained that it was a way of saving money, and that not everyone has enough money to buy everything that they want. She subsequently found something for Pumpkin to watch on PBS, which made Pumpkin happy enough.

You'd think that this would have been the end of it, but later that night, I found Pumpkin in her room, ransacking her piggy bank. "What are you doing?", I asked.

"Getting some money so we can buy Grandma some cartoons!"

***

The other day, I was grocery shopping with Pumpkin. I remarked on apple sauce being on sale, to which Pumpkin asked, "What does 'on sale' mean?"

"It means that it's cheaper than usual.", I explained.

"Oh," Pumpkin replied. "Grandma likes cheap!"

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Culinary Laugh of the Day

"Mommy, why do you have so many cookbooks?"

No clue, honey! Now shut up and eat your Alphaghetti

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Thing That I Hate About You

I know that I get some traffic on this itty bitty blog o' mine. I average about 30 hits a day, and a good two thirds of those hits are deliberate. The rest are people hitting the 'Next Blog' button, or people just googling, "Mac and Cheese". I'm not sure why anyone does such a vague search, not adding the word 'recipe', or something more specific, but whateves. I'm not here to talk about them.

It's you that I'm pissed at. That's right! YOU! I've got one more full week to go on this Nablopomo thingy, and I've gotta tell ya, the first three weeks have been very unrewarding. I know that people don't really comment on blogs like they used to, but I need external validation! I just do! My dad telling me that SOME of my punch lines are kind of funny is not enough!

I think I make it pretty easy too! I posted my anniversary, and got one comment! One! How hard is it to offer me a generic, congratulatory wish when I spoon feed you the opportunity? Then I posted a picture of my adorable Pumpkin. That should garner a few people commenting on how stunning she is. I got one comment there too, and it was the same person who wished me a happy anniversary! BTW, thanks Petite Gourmand! I'd love to say that my linking to your site will boost your traffic, but who knows with this ungrateful crowd!

So that's my rant. I've got seven more posts to go this month, and I want comments! And if you don't...well...I'm going to only post pictures of my neighbours cats and stories about potty training from here on in! I'll do it too! And maybe a few pictures of clowns as well!

(Also, a shout out to Barrie, Ms Diva, Lacochran, Leighchee, Chantal, 1001 Petals, D, and J for making a half-assed effort. Y'all don't suck as bad as the rest of 'em!)

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Cheaper Way to Party

Whenever shopping for over the counter meds at the drug store, I always grab the extra strength version. I've never actually understood how someone could grab regular strength when the 'mighty extra strength' is sitting right there on the same shelf.

Would you like us to do a half-assed job at curing whatever ails you, or would you like to go with something that'll kill it totally, and offer you a good night's sleep in the process. Always seemed like an obvious answer to me.

I think I get it as of today though. As it turns out, I have been thinking like someone who almost never suffers side effects. Something has changed in my old age though.

It started about a year ago when breast feeding became a thing of the past and I went back to indulging myself in cold medication whenever required. About the same time, I noticed that whenever I had a cold, my heart rate had the occasional increase when I was just lying in bed doing nothing worthy of an increased heart rate. When I mentioned it to my doctor, he told me that it was probably the stimulants that are typical in cold medication. Hmmmm, I doubted. It's never been an issue before.

Anyhow, yesterday I visited someone with cats, so I popped a couple of antihistamines, extra strength, of course. As a result, I felt pretty stoned during our visit, and was completely zonked when I slept-walked my way to bed last night. I only just shook my hangover at around 4pm today. So yeah, yet another indicator that I'm getting older. Low drug tolerance.

So I wonder if I can replicate my grade 9 experience of getting drunk on two Wildberry coolers again? Worth a try!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Nothing Like a Recital After a Long Flight

Last month when we took Pumpkin on a trip to Winnipeg, we left our car at the Park n' Fly. It's pretty convenient, and often cheaper than an airport limo.

On our way home, we got into town later than Pumpkin's bed time. Her eyes were red, and we could tell that she was desperate to sleep. Then she had to experience the wait at baggage claim. Then she had to wait for the shuttle to return us to our car.

By the time the shuttle arrived, Pumpkin was spent. All she wanted to do was get home. The driver asked, "Is everyone here going to valet?", to which we all nodded our heads. Then Pumpkin started acting up a bit more, if that was even possible.

When we finally found our way into our car, Pumpkin calmed down a bit. I kept assuring her that we would have her in bed very soon, to which she replied, "Good! I'm so tired and I thought that I was going to be up even later because the man said that he was taking everyone to 'ballet'!"

Friday, November 19, 2010

I'm Feeling Schmoopy

Chichi had her first solo day at preschool today. It went extremely well!

Pumpkin and I had the opportunity to catch a mid-day movie together today. As it turns out, mid-day is my sleepy time, but I enjoyed taking her nonetheless.

Chichi said quite a few words today!

Tonight, being Friday, I routinely opened a bottle of wine, a bag of ketchup flavoured chips, and watched my favourite show. The wine was one that had been kicking around the cellar for quite a few years, and was presumed dead. I decided to open it anyways, just to confirm my belief. It turned out to be delicious!

Today was a good day.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wedding Anniversary, 9th Edition

It feels like just yesterday when I couldn't think of anything romantic to post to The Huz on our anniversary, yet here we are again! This is hard for emotional recluses!

So how are we celebrating? Well, we started out by singing the Flintstones' version of 'Happy Anniversary', you know, just for Pumpkin's benefit. She then ran off to school and told everyone about it, as evidenced by her bus driver congratulating me when I picked Pumpkin up today. She even made us a gift! Awwwwwwwww...


We had little daytime excitement as everyone went about their usual schedule of school/work/grocery shopping, but this evening, well that was the highlight! I left Chichi with The Huz, and took Pumpkin to a five year old's birthday party! Totally worth it! The Tinkerbell cake rocked!

So now, I'm doing the bloggy thing while he works out. Inevitably, he will later fall asleep on the couch, and I will pass out upstairs while trying to stay awake to watch Jimmy Kimmel.

Obviously a good marriage doesn't require a lot of bells or whistles.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

She's More Likely To Recognize a Dry Cleaning Bag

Today was Chichi's first day of pre-school.

This is no biggie for me as I am not one of those moms who cry whenever they feel that their kids are growing up too fast, but I did decide to stay for the full three hours given that it was her first day and I wasn't sure how she'd handle it. Really, I don't have attachment issues. Really.

Overall, she did quite well! The only time there was any sort of issue was when she picked up a toy iron and started banging it on a table. The teacher tried to show her how to rub it on the toy ironing board, but Chichi went back to banging it. The teacher looked at me for consent to take it away from her, which I granted.

In Chichi's defense though, she really has no possible way of knowing what an iron or an ironing board actually are. I take full credit.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I'm Gonna Change My Name to 'Buzz Off!' or 'Shut Up!'

Remember yesterday when I mentioned that Chichi was upset with our dog, Taz, for stealing her croissant? Well something good came out of that!

As also mentioned previously, Chichi's speech is delayed. With therapy, words are starting to come, although a little slow for my liking.

However, today, while Chichi was walking around with the last frickin' croissant that I will never buy again, new words came out!

She wandered out into the foyer, where Taz predictably followed. Chichi didn't run, and Chichi didn't cry. What Chichi did do is demonstrate to her speech therapist that she actually can learn with enough repetition.

The few words and phrases in Chichi's vocabulary now include, "GET DOWN!!!!!!"

Taz actually obeyed!

With repetition being key, you should know that shouting actual obscenities at our dogs will undoubtedly precede the word, 'Mama'.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I've Never Liked French Food!

Do you want to know why Chichi freaked out this morning? Because I offered her oatmeal instead of one of those crappy, pre-packaged, grocery store mini croissants.

Do you want to know why she freaked out a short while later? Because even though I gave her a crappy croissant as a reward for eating her oatmeal, she wanted another one.

Do you want to know why she freaked out ten minutes after that? Because after three of those shitty croissants, I decided that enough was enough.

Do you want to know why she now cries in the presence of our dog, Taz? Because he snatched a crappy croissant out of her hand.

Do you want to know what I'm never going to buy again?


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Just When I Thought She had No Sense of Smell...

Pumpkin has a blanket that is the most important thing in her world. The unfortunate thing about a security blanket is that it tends to get really grimy as it gets dragged around everywhere and anywhere. The other issue is that it is difficult to wash without causing a major tantrum.

The problem isn't with my taking possession of it for an hour while it goes through the laundry cycle. The problem is that after washing, it doesn't 'smell' right to Pumpkin. Sniffing her blanket brings her comfort, even if it smells like, well, I'd rather not even say.

Yesterday during a laundry frenzy, I tried to convince Pumpkin to let me wash her beloved blanket. I may have fibbed and claimed that it smelled like pee, but she wasn't buying it. It didn't smell like pee, but it was still pretty gross from the usual abuse it goes through. Unfortunately, it wasn't a school day, so there was no getting it away from her.

Later that day, Chichi was eating a snack, and my dog, Taz, tried to get it from her. In anger, I gave him a shove. When I shoved him, he fell. To be precise, he fell on Pumpkin's blanket. When he landed on the blanket, he farted.

So I've figured out how to get Pumpkin to beg me to wash her blanket.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

As Long as it has Pink Packaging, Take a Picture!

I had a really bright idea this morning as I headed out to the toy store to buy a gift for my friend's baby shower. "Pumpkin, why don't you come with me and show me the things that you want for Chanukah! I'll take a picture of each thing, then you can look at the pics and narrow the list down to eight things!"

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

I told Pumpkin that we would pick out the shower gift, and then tend to her wish list. There was some protesting, and I eventually gave in and told her that we'd look for her stuff first, figuring that the order of events didn't really matter. Pumpkin very wisely replied to me, "Good! If we look around for me first, I won't get so frustrated!"

So does my frustration count for anything? I have at least 70 pictures on my phone that I now have to somehow print out for Pumpkin for her to apply some sort of ranking to. Not only that, but after an hour of snapping pictures of EVERY SINGLE BARBIE PRODUCT IN THE STORE, she was unwilling to cooperate when I finally took a moment to pick out the baby shower gift!

So yeah, bad idea. Pumpkin likes everything, so its best not to show everything to her. I was better off hearing about the twelve items that are continually advertised on the cartoon channel.

And I always figured I'd have the child whose only wish would be for world peace. Maybe if it came with a Ken doll...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Can I Just Go With the Prize Behind Door #1?

I heard an ad on a local radio station today that really had me wondering, WTF??? It was for a contest at some night club, where you can win, (cue my best monster truck announcer voice), either a Harley Davidson motorcycle, or a set of breast implants!

Really? Those are my options?

First of all, if those two prizes are equal in value, HOLY SHIT are breast implants ever expensive!!! I've never priced them out, having as lovely a set as I already have. Heh.

But on to the bigger issue, (I just caught the double entendre upon re-reading this!), how small is the market that this contest is geared towards? (Woohoo! Found another one!) I've never felt older or uncool-er listening to that station as I did upon hearing this ad, yet I'm pretty sure that a younger, cooler version of me wouldn't have been interested either. I really don't think I'm alone.

I'm guessing, and it's just a guess, but it is probably a small minority of women who want to have a bigger rack, AND who would actually risk elective surgery to go through with it. I'm also guessing that it is probably only a small minority of the population who would want to get on a motorcycle, despite its perceived cool-ness.

And then there's the inequality issue. Although these prizes are possibly equal in dollar value, are they really reasonable alternatives?

Undoubtedly the breast implants are geared towards women.

I am not a part of 'motorcycle culture', a term that would probably be laughed at by people who are part of it, but my hunch is that the Harley prize is geared more towards men. Women ride them too, but the statistic I read here says that women make up only 18% of motorcycle riders.

So men, your prize, if you choose to accept it, is a vehicle that is both a method of transportation, and offers a feeling of freedom as you travel along a country road, with the wind in your hair, as you leave your troubles behind.

Women, your prize, if you choose to accept it, implies that your body is not good enough as it is, and offers the opportunity to have even fewer people look you in the eye while conversing with you. AND if the surgery is successful, you then get to worry about capsular contracture, and rupture or leakage, and other possible complications.

I don't want to say that there aren't women who benefit from implants in terms of increased self esteem, etc., and I don't want to condemn women who have had implants. If you did it for yourself, great! But you can't deny that there are health risks. A decision to have elective, cosmetic surgery should be made intelligently, and in a well thought out manner. It shouldn't be on a whim because you happened to have won a contest.

Or you could just opt for the Harley, sell it on ebay, buy cheaper implants and still have enough cash left over for a nice vacation!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Remember


Taking a break from the jokes to thank all of those who fought, and continue to fight for our freedom.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Compassion Wanes with the Patient's Age

In light of Chichi's illness that started yesterday, my mom took Pumpkin out for the day such that they both had a chance at staying healthy, and that I could be at Chichi's beck and call. This made for a pretty boring day considering that Chichi neither 'becked', nor called!

As it turns out, Chichi is exactly like her father when she isn't feeling well. Whenever J gets a cold or flu, he comes home and heads straight to bed. Then he stays there for 18 hours or so, turning the bed into his own personal sweat lodge, ignoring his family, and snapping at me for trying to care for him . Nice, eh? Do you think that I get to do that when I'm sick?

Chichi went to bed at 6pm yesterday. At 6am today, she needed medicine, and then she flopped back down in her bed. At 9am, I brought her water. She drank it, then flopped back down in her bed. At noon I brought her crackers. She ate them, then flopped back down in her bed. At 2pm I check in on her. She refused to get out of bed. She was in that bed for almost 24 hours straight! She got up for two whole hours of play this evening, but then she wanted to go back to bed.

So, like father like daughter. Both feel the need to drop out of family life when they aren't feeling well. The only difference is that when Chichi decides to do this, I find myself impressed with her instinct. Whenever J does this, I feel compelled to throw lit matches at his head.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Inaugural Moment in Parenting

Chichi threw up in my car. A first for me. I even managed to catch her in the act as I glanced in the rear view mirror at just the right time. And then the smell...

I have now learned not to continually try different foods on a child who doesn't seem keen on eating in the first place. If the Cheerios are a no-go, don't push milk and raisins.

So I was forced into doing laundry during peak energy hours today, but I'm trying to look at the bright side nonetheless. For one, everything that got messed up was something that I could remove from the car and hose off on the driveway. I'm also happy that it isn't too cold to actually hose things off in the driveway. The big plus is that she didn't throw up in the house that we were visiting just 15 minutes prior. That would have been a tad embarrassing.

I've been extra fortunate in this particular realm of parenting. Pumpkin didn't throw up for the first time until she was four, and even then it was just once. Today was Chichi's first time. She seems ok but no doubt I'll be checking on her 20 times tonight.

So is it a virus? Are we all going to lose another 'Norwalk Five'? Or did Chichi just ingest the wrong type of dog food. Stay tuned!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Natural Born Carnivore

When children come into this world, we tend to bombard them with cute, fuzzy stuffed animals that make sounds; battery powered, toy barns; and various musical renditions of Old McDonald's Farm. Consequently, my children are excellent at making animal sounds. Yup, there I go, bragging again!

Chichi is following in her big sister's footsteps at being able to make the real sound, and not just a humanized quack or cluck. Chichi's speech is somewhat delayed, so she generally makes the sound instead of naming the actual animal itself. I have to take some credit for this skill as I can be observed holding a plastic chicken or monkey while making a sound like, 'BAWK BAWK BAWK' or 'OOOH OOH EEEEE AAAAH OOOH' at various points during my day.

As you might imagine, I am none too keen at educating my kids about the origin of the meats that they eat, lest they be mortified at the notion of chewing up relatives of Nemo or Big Bird. I nonchalantly refer to dinner as fish or chicken, but these are not the times where I bust out my barnyard impersonations. Pumpkin has never made the connection in her five years, and I've assumed that Chichi hasn't been thinking of such things.

You can then imagine my shock yesterday when I presented Chichi with her chicken nuggets, and she didn't just eat them as per usual. She looked at me with this, uh, look. It was a look I had never seen her give me. One of curiosity, perplexity, and concern. Then she pointed at the food on her tray and said, "BAWK BAWK BAWK BAWK!"

How the hell did she know??? Even more disturbing was that she ate it all up anyways.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Worth the Drive, Age Notwithstanding

Yesterday, my mom and I headed out to Kitchener for a 75% off warehouse sale for what has been one of my favourite clothing lines, Spanner. The actual Spanner store has been good to me, but DAMN is it expensive!

They do carry a lot of petite sizes there, which works out well for my mutant, truncated torso. Don't ya just love that word? Petite. Even if I'm ever a size 18, I still get to use that descriptor. Anyhow, with fairly unique items, and proper fit, they still get my business during their 30% off sales.

So I had a swell time at the warehouse, finding things that I already owned, but paid a lot more for the year prior. I found myself looking through the racks, just to verify that they wouldn't have had my size if I had waited. 'Aha! Everything here is extra large! My premium purchase last year was well worth it!' Right.

I didn't have a huge amount of success at the warehouse, partially because I already owned the things that I liked, but I think mostly because it's a clothing line for old ladies. One of my purchases was actually something that an old lady tried on but rejected!

First of all, don't get me wrong. I like old ladies. I even plan to be one some day. I also know that it is a relative term, seeing as I used to view people my current age as old. Nonetheless, my perception of 'old lady' exists, and I'm quite certain that I'm not supposed to be dressing like one just yet.

In defense of the store though, the old ladies that do buy stuff there are quite hip for their age. It does strike me as a little odd though that my mom and I have a few of the same items in our respective closets. My mom must be ultra-hip. Yeah, that's it.

Will someone just nominate me for that frickin' show already?

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Too Baked to Write Anything Tonight

Taking advantage of NaBloPoMo's Wordless Week-ends. Really! It's a thing!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Shabbat Shalom! No, Really!

It's down to the wire, and although I still have one more recorded episode of What Not To Wear that I intend to watch tonight, I figure I'd better bang out a post before I miss the deadline.

The reason I'm so behind on my TV watching is because I attended a Friday night service at a synagogue tonight. That's right! Me! At a Friday service! Voluntarily! With nary an in-law present for me to be trying to impress.

Ok, so the truth is that Pumpkin's Hebrew school requires that the students attend three family services over the course of the school year. The family service only comes along once a month, so it makes sense to seize them when there are no other conflicting Friday night plans.

Generally I dread synagogue services. I find them sombre, stuffy, irrelevant, and are never something that I attend without some sort of family obligation. Tonight's service was different. I didn't hate it.

As a service that is geared towards families with young children, the mood was upbeat. There was a lot of music, a lot of English speaking, many children making noise which drowned out Pumpkin's noise, AND it only lasted an hour.

I now realize that I can willfully attend any religious service that is informal, semi-chaotic, not overly religious, and most importantly, abbreviated! This is not exactly the equivalent of finding God, but still...

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Making Friends Wherever I Go

Last winter when I spent my Saturdays bribing Pumpkin into enduring her ski lessons, I was not one of the more popular parents. The post-lesson vending machine jelly beans were only the tip of the iceberg after promises of McNuggets and shiny crap from Claire's. I received many a raised eyebrow in the ski lodge change room as other kids started clamoring for their share of the goods. My popularity continued this week at the doctor's office with Chichi.

Chichi is not a big fan of the place where she has received several needles, and it seems that she is never going to forget this. She bursts into tears at the mere smell of the waiting room. That's where my iPhone comes in handy.

Chichi is quite proficient at operating the apps that I have downloaded for her, and can conceivably play for hours without taking any notice of her surroundings. It only makes sense to let her play with it to calm her nerves when we visit the doctor. At least it makes sense to me.

The person who could not see the logic in the Chichi-iPhone arrangement was a thirteen year old patient who was also waiting to see the doctor.

"MOM! Even that BABY has an iPhone! I'm the last person on earth who doesn't have one!"

I was talking to the doctor at this point, so my mom calmly explained to the girl and her mother that it was in fact the baby's mother's phone.

"WELL I DON'T CARE! That BABY can still operate the thing better than I can because I never get to use one!!!"

To the mother of that teenage girl; "YOU'RE WELCOME!"

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Innovative Ideas in Parenting?

A couple of weeks ago, we took Pumpkin to Winnipeg with us for a family event. It is not news to us that anticipation of big plans like this make her hyper beyond belief, but we were banking on the various parties we were attending to diffuse her excitement. WRONG!

It's not like she was totally unfit to be out in public, but there was a lot of desperate bargaining, and threatening going on behind the scenes. We just found it too hard to discipline someone for being hyper, talking non-stop, and working herself into a frantic tizzy all because she was so excited to be there. We're also not big on causing public scenes. Beating one's kids in the airport seems to be out of style these days.

Anyhow, we made it through the week-end, barely, and have gotten back in the swing of time-outs and toy-removal. Nonetheless, she has continued to be the worst version of herself.

Then I got a voicemail today. It was from her teacher, advising me that Pumpkin was going to be receiving another award at this month's character trait assembly. If you've been following Pumpkin's achievements thus far, you will remember that she received an award last year for 'exemplary optimism'. This time she is getting an award for being 'responsible'.

Seizing the opportunity to get some compliance out of Pumpkin, I told her about the award, and how proud that we all are of her. She merely continued to cry about the injustice of not being allowed to eat Halloween candy for dinner, and subsequently made demands about which toys I had to buy her from the Mastermind toy catalogue.

As the evening went on, however, she calmed down a bit. I continued to explain her award to her, and how being responsible was such an important trait. She started to buy it. She started doing good things, and subsequently boasting about how 'responsible' she was being. She took care of her sister, and declared herself 'responsible!' She dressed herself and brushed her own teeth, declaring herself 'responsible'! By the time she went to bed, she was my dream child. Ok, not really, but she was being pretty good.

Assuming that the awards are going to be distributed fairly evenly amongst the other kids in the class, we're probably not going to be receiving another one any time soon. Would it be unethical to invent some fake awards and just tell her that the school mailed them to her?

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The Post that Never Was

I had a great, rant of a post brewing. It was going to be full of f-bombs, all typed in CAPS, and would have ended with my head exploding. Then the moment passed and I didn't feel like writing it anymore. You'll have to settle for the calmer version now that my rage has dissipated.

Back in September, my family was gearing up for a late, Rosh Hashanah lunch. 18 people were expected at my father in law's house at two o'clock that day. I arranged to meet the caterer at my FIL's at 12:30 since no one else was home to receive the order.

The food arrived, and I assisted the caterer in unloading the truck, and somehow managed to cut myself on one of the aluminum food trays. No biggie. I just turned on the kitchen faucet with the intention of rinsing off the minute amount of blood. No water. Hmmmm.

After about five minutes of pacing, I called my FIL's care worker, who was driving my FIL home from the synagogue. "Hi, S? It's me. I'm at your house, and there isn't any water supply. Do you know anything about that?"

"Hi. Yes, they sent a note saying that they had to turn off the water in order to do some water main repair work."

"Did they say how long it would be off for???"

"Yes, until six tonight."

Now this is about the time where you would have heard me freak out with all of those F-bombs that I mentioned earlier. As you can tell from the short time-frame, there really wasn't enough time to throw a post together as I had approximately one hour to call everyone to re-route them to my house, and actually get my house set up for the event. I did manage a facebook status update though!

Looking back for a moment at the beautifully set up dining room at my FIL's house, I proceeded to run all the food and beverage out the door and into my car, mentally figuring out which of my platters and serving bowls I was going to have to dig out of storage.

I was SO ANGRY on that drive home. Although there was a fair bit of chaos in the hour that ensued, I wasn't able to hold onto my rage because this turned out to be one of the better family events that I've ever quasi hosted.

Although my FIL's house is much more readily equipped to handle events like this, I'm not sure that I like the idea of catering a meal to the house where my late MIL used to slave away in the kitchen for everyone, especially when the rest of us have houses to host in.

In terms of my house being set up for the event, it just so happened to have been cleaning lady day! Huzzah! Also, my mom was already at my house taking care of the kids, so she was able to spring into action, getting a head start on the table settings. Believe me, she really does spring.

With my FIL's care worker helping, probably motivated a bit by her guilt, we put together a fine event! It was far from perfect, but no one expected perfection on such short notice. I think I actually had hero status for saving the day! Not only that, but I got the credit for contributing, without what would have been a week-long build up of anxiety and griping about having everyone over in the first place.

Now if only I could pull this off every year...


Monday, November 01, 2010

Might I Suggest a Smell Test Next Time?

Over the week-end, we ordered in some food and ended up with leftover salad. My mom was poking around the fridge today and asked if she could have it. I told her to go ahead, adding that there was some really good leftover dressing as well.

She held up a small container and asked, "Is this the dressing?"

"Yes", I replied, not studying the container too hard, as it's size and shape were pretty obvious to me.

"It's really thick!", added my mom, while I buried my face in the computer, not really having any concern. "What kind of dressing is this?", she further inquired.

"Restaurant dressing", I replied robotically, becoming somewhat annoyed at the conversation that seemed pointless.

The next thing I knew, my mom had flown over the kitchen island to the sink, and was running cold water over her tongue, while she danced in what appeared to be pain.

"Oh yeah", I remembered. "There is also some leftover hot sauce for the chicken".

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Masochist

I've just signed up for the torture that is Nablopomo. I don't wanna. I really don't, but I'm hoping that it's kinda like broccoli. Not in the slightest bit palatable, but good for me nonetheless. Stay tuned for a full month of brain farts!

While I'm here though, I hafta ask, who the hell gives a five year old kid one of those liqueur chocolates for Halloween???

Monday, October 04, 2010

As it Turns Out, People DO Notice These Things

If you are a female, standing in line at the drug store, waiting to pay for your box of Monistat, I doubt I will even notice. If I do notice, I'm sure I'll give you a secret, half smile of sympathy, and then be done with you.

If you are a male, standing in line at the drug store, waiting to pay for your box of Monistat, I'm definitely going to give you some thought, assume that you are a very good husband, and then be done with you.

However, if you are a male, standing in line at the drug store, waiting to pay for your box of Monistat, but in addition to this yeast infection treatment, you are also buying a container of Ben and Jerry's, 'Half Baked', well, I'm going to giggle for the entire five minutes that I am standing behind you.

My apologies, stranger.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Statistics Like These Make Me Feel Good About Myself

From an article I read in the Toronto Star:

Deep fried butter balls at the CNE

Numbers of butter balls sold: 36,000

Orders taken: 9,000

Balls per order: 4

Cost per order: $5

Pounds of fried butter eaten: 800

Calories per serving size (4): 315



Monday, September 06, 2010

This Post has a More Interesting Title than I Do

I have been finding it difficult getting Pumpkin to appreciate and understand the whole concept of my being a stay-at-home mom vs. a world where I could have been a working mom.

It started with her telling me that when she grows up, she wants to be a mommy. I explained that this was a great thing, but that she could be both a mommy AND have some sort of career if she wanted. The result of this was having her explain to me several weeks later, "Mommy, did you know that you could be a mommy AND a magician???"

Hey, it's good to have goals...

Fast forward a month or two later, Pumpkin asked, "Mommy, when you were a little girl, what did you want to be?"

"A doctor", I answered, not really being truthful, but figuring it was as good an answer as any.

"But you decided to just be a mommy instead?"

'Just be a mommy'. Ugh. I began lecturing her on how I am not 'just a mommy', and also how I could have been a doctor too, (as if!), but that I wanted to focus on my children and blah blah blah blah was all she heard as she tuned out to admire something shiny.

Fast forward another month or two, Pumpkin was asking why Daddy was at work.

'Well, someone's gotta pay for all this shit', was the gist of my reply. Then to revisit the discussion from the month prior, I got into how in some families, both parents have to work, and added how lucky we were that we could afford for me to leave my old job so that I could be home with Pumpkin and Chichi.

Pumpkin replied, "Well I think that you still have a job to do."

Beaming with delight that Pumpkin was recognizing the work involved in taking care of her and her sister, I asked, "And what do you believe my job is, Pumpkin?"

"Laundry", she replied matter-of-factly.

Sigh. Magician school is starting to look better and better.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Maybe it's Just My Ego, but Still...

It's amazing what'll prompt me to post. I just had a fantastic, week-long, family vacation and haven't been able to compose anything on that, but my trip to the mall tonight had me running to the computer to record an odd event.

First off, I bought some hawt shoes that I'll probably only wear once or twice a year, to go with my new skirt-suit, which I also will likely only wear once or twice a year, but whatever. It is currently that time on the Jewish calendar where I get to wear my suits and hawt shoes, and I should look good doing it, dammit!

So maybe I had a certain glow about me after making my frivolous purchase, or maybe the humidity has been working in my favour, but whatever the reason, I got stopped by a 20 something couple on my way to my car. The guy was a clean cut, bright eyed, pretty boy. The girl was very made-up and stone-faced. They were holding hands.

"Excuse me," began the guy, "but we were just noticing how amazing your skin looks!"

"Huh?" I asked, assuming that my hearing problem was leading me down yet another embarrassing path.

"Your skin!", He continued. "You have a great complexion! What do you use on it?"

So..., they were like..., discussing this? I wondered.

"Uh, Nivea..", I replied, wondering why it was the guy, and not Stone-Face, who was inquiring.

"Oh. So, uh, do you live around here?", the guy then asked.

"Uh, Thornhill", I hesitantly offered up, not sure where this was going.

"Ooooh, are you Jewish?", he asked.

"Uh, yeah"

"Right on!", he exclaimed.

(nervous laughter)

It was getting really awkward at this point. "So, are you guys selling products at one of these booths or somethin'...?", I inquired, figuring that this had to be heading towards a sales pitch.

"No, no. We were really just noticing your skin."

"Oh... well... thanks..." I said, giving a half wave and turing my body to walk in the other direction.

So do you think that I passed up a chance at a threesome?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Where I Boast About My Husband's Body

My husband, let's call him J, is a work-out fanatic. He sees a personal trainer twice a week for weight training, and does an hour of cardio in our basement four or five times a week. Periodically while I'm on my way up the stairs to get ready for bed after 10 pm, I pass him on his way down to the 'room of pain' in the basement. I respect this, but I sure as hell can't understand it.

When I ask him why he feels that he needs to work out so much, he usually mentions stress relief, but mostly it's the desire to not let himself go. That sounds admirable to me, but in the spirit of not being the only one sitting on the couch eating a bag of chips, I often suggest that he chill out a bit on his exercise regime.

My desire to curb his time spent working out is motivated by my own guilt for working out on a more sporadic schedule (read: NEVER!), and I'm quite certain that cutting back would also save him all the time he spends in physiotherapy. He isn't responsive to my attempts, and just sets his sights on getting down to his 'fish & chips' weight. That's the weight he feels he has to obtain in order to indulge in his favourite, junky meal.

You know what I find funny about all this? The only people who seem to notice that he's been working out regularly are men. I've heard my dad, my brother, and my friend's husband all remarking on the good shape that J is in. I never hear any comments from the women in our circle.

So J, is this the kind of attention that you wanted? Come watch some reruns with me while we discuss it over a bag of chips.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Pass the Gravol and let's have Fun!

Man, is it ever difficult to get motivated in the summer! I keep saying that I'll get some posts going as soon as something interesting happens.

*Crickets chirping*

Looks like I'm gonna have to put in some effort.

This past Saturday night, our usual date night, we opted for grown-up night at Canada's Wonderland, our local amusement park. We joined another couple and set out to ride the Behemoth, and some other roller coasters that we haven't been able to get onto since we started spending our time on the kiddie rides.

With just under four hours to execute our attack, we had to skip the Behemoth. It appears to be a ride that must be tackled as soon as the park opens. I imagine that there already is an existing mad dash every day for the early birds who don't fancy an hour and a half line-up. Those lines are generally only enjoyed by the horny teenage couples who manage to pass the time quite happily. I always hated (read: wanted to be) those couples when I was their age. The memory made me laugh as I watched my friend swat away her husband's attempt at affection while she tried to shake off her nausea from the previous ride.

Nausea. When the hell did this become the norm??? I thought it was just spinning, circular rides that did this to me in my old age, but it appears that it's all the metal roller coasters too. I think it has something to do with my head being smacked around between the shoulder bars. The wooden coasters just give me back pain. Oy!

Nausea aside, we still had plans for dessert to cap off the night. Sadly, the longest line was the one for funnel cakes, so we decided to pass on that. This didn't make me too upset at the time because I knew of a new funnel cake shop that we could stop at on the way home! It was closed. Waaaaaahhhhhh! Not to be completely discouraged, we settled for coffee shop dessert as a final attempt at satisfying our cravings. Not nearly as exciting, but you've gotta respect our determination!

So that was date night. Definitely fun, but I'm thinking that a night of drinking would have killed fewer brain cells.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Round 2! (Just Like Round 1 with Less Rain and Better Food)

I took Pumpkin camping this past week-end. My friend, Jill, and her 5yo daughter, Abbey, joined us for our second annual trip to a spot all of 45 minutes out of the city. We figured that it was close enough that if things really started to suck, we could just head back home and call a babysitter to save us. This option did not have to be exercised as the week-end was a success!

Some of the highlights included:

Corn pops and coffee!!!

Visiting a nearby playground where both girls spent energy climbing up and sliding down a pole. This would count as a failure on behalf of both dads, who's job it is to keep our daughters off the pole. Nice going guys!

Bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches! Nothing better than bacon in the woods. Mmmmmm....

Beach time!

Washing both cars with wet wipes, leaving streaks galore, but deemed an acceptable, time-filling activity for the girls to engage in while the mommies enjoyed a late afternoon fire.

Not bathing, grooming, or deodorizing for 48 hours straight! We did jump in the lake though. That counts, right? By Sunday morning, we mommies opted for hats instead of allowing our scraggly, Afro hair to fly free any longer. Seeing her mom don a hat caused Abbey to burst into tears. When asked why the hat upset her, Abbey replied, "Because you just look so ugly, mommy!"

Jill and I sitting up late by the fire having drinks and munchies, while the conversation slowly degraded. "Hee hee, Yurt! YUUUURRRRT!"

And the piece de resistance... my kettle portrait!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Just Give Us Ugly Candy From Now On

A few months ago, Pumpkin was given a large, chocolate Easter dog, which she tasted, but then deemed too cute to eat. She wanted to keep it instead. Grrrreeaaat. More crap in my house. Given that I fully intended to throw out the chocolate dog at the first opportunity, I implemented my usual system: Hide it for a fixed amount of time, then toss it when I am certain that it has been forgotten about. This is how I rid my life of Happy Meal toys and mounds of Pumpkin's art work, so I did the same with the chocolate dog.

I hid the chocolate dog well enough that I completely forgot about it myself. However, recently a visiting friend of mine was desperate for a junk food fix and stumbled across the chocolate dog, which I gave her permission to eat. She smashed it up, and satisfied her craving, storing the leftovers in a container in one of my kitchen cupboards.

Today while Pumpkin was instructing my mom on where to find a good snack, Pumpkin chose the cupboard where the smashed dog was hiding. It isn't a usual snack cupboard for Pumpkin, but I think she is now on to the fact that the huz and I have our own guilty pleasures tucked away in various compartments in the kitchen, and she wanted to check around.

Needless to say, Pumpkin was mortified with what she found. The waterworks turned on full force as she bawled, shouting at me for letting this happen to her dog. She was inconsolable.

I would have felt absolutely terrible about all this if it weren't for one fact. Between tearful episodes of Pumpkin mourning the death of her beloved chocolate dog, who was so cute, and is now gone forever, she was stuffing her face with its remnants!

I wonder if animals who eat their young ever get this emotional?

Monday, July 05, 2010

But the Dog Came Back the Very Next Day...

When I was 17, my mom went away for a week-end, leaving me in charge of the house while she was gone. She knew that I was going to have my friends over for a drink or twenty, but she trusted me well enough to keep it under control.

Overall I was a trustworthy teenager, but on that Sunday morning after a night of 'debauchery' with my friends, I opened the front door to find our family dog on the porch, waiting to be let in after a night of frolicking and who knows what else. Boy was he dirty! I have no idea how he got out, but I was ever so thankful that he decided to stay close to home. I only confessed this to my mom about ten years ago. I figured that I was too old to get grounded by that time.

Yesterday, Pumpkin couldn't find her favourite stuffed dog. I gave the house a pretty good once over in search of it, but it didn't turn up. I can usually find anything, so I became concerned that she dropped it somewhere in her travels, and that it was gone for good.

This morning when I opened the door to take Pumpkin to camp, we looked down at the front step, and there was her stuffed dog, waiting to come in! I don't know how it got out or how it found it's way back, but I was once again very grateful for yet another locked out dog staying close to home.

I immediately turned to the huz to recount the story of my mom's dog that I locked out all those years ago. He laughed, but there was this unspoken overtone in his demeanor that let me know that it wouldn't be funny if I had done that to his dog. Whatever. I'm not a drunk teenager anymore, so why even think about it. Right?

Later this very same day, after poking my head out the front door to grab the mail, I found myself experiencing the weirdest sensation of not being followed by my shadow dog, Lucky. It was the absence of tripping over her while I puttered around the house that alerted me to something being off. I called out her name, but she was a no-show.

'When I grabbed the mail???', I wondered, as I ran to the front door. Guess who I found on the front step when I opened the door?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I Would Have Paid Extra for Delivery

Whenever my dad visits from Montreal, he brings along a stash of smoked meat from Schwartz's. This is an essential part of his visit, without which I probably wouldn't bother to invite him over. No, not really, but my point being is that I really REALLY like Schwartz's smoked meat.

My dad and I have been discussing his trip to Toronto for this week, basically working out the likely timing of his arrival and departure, as well as the quantity of smoked meat he had to bring along. We were going to have a family member joining us for dinner on the night of his arrival, so we had to make sure that there was enough smoked meat to go around. The added bonus is that dinner would already be made, and I wouldn't have to do any work.

Dad arrived via carpool with a fellow Montrealer, who dropped him and his luggage off at my front door, then took off for his own destination. Upon rifling through his many bags in my kitchen, Dad asked, "Where's the smoked meat?"

'G-d damn, mother f-ing, son-of-a, f*ck, F*ck, F*CK!!!!!', is what I thought, but I managed to just sit there breathing deeply while Dad walked around kicking himself for his error. He didn't know his friend's cell number. So we began to sit and wait, hoping that his friend would look into the depths of his trunk for something that we and he would undoubtedly prefer to find sooner rather than later.

Knowing that I didn't have a chance of putting together any sort of edible dinner given that it was already dinner time (not that having extra time helps much), I resigned myself to the idea of pizza or Chinese food. I actually heard my taste buds start to cry and dry up in the anticipation of such a let down. Then Dad remembered something.

His friend's home phone was being forwarded to his cell! We made contact! It was rush hour, so I did a cost/benefit analysis of driving through Toronto in our usual gridlocked traffic versus not having my beloved Schwartz's that I had been thinking about all day.

I've gotta tell you, that was the longest drive I've ever taken to pick up dinner.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Maybe it's Time for a GPS?

I'm notorious for forgetting to carry along necessary papers that I have set aside for various purposes. I often make grocery lists, then find myself calling home from the grocery store, asking whomever is home to read me the list that I inevitably left on the kitchen counter top. I often print out maps to destinations, only to find myself trolling along through foreign neighbourhoods, trying to recall what was on the map which undoubtedly still resides next to the printer.

About 15 minute ago, I took Pumpkin to a birthday party. I didn't bother to print out the map because I'm fairly familiar with the area, but I did manage to forget the invitation with the house address on it. Meh! How hard could it be to find a court, beginning with the letter S, in such a small neighbourhood. I didn't know the house number, but I anticipated that it would be the house with all the cars parked outside.

I found a court, beginning with the letter S, off the street that it was supposed to be off of, where I saw a house decked out with streamers and balloons. Without a doubt that I was at the right place, I pulled in to the driveway and got Pumpkin up to the front door, ready to party.

Too bad that Pumpkin doesn't know eight year old Jordan who is celebrating his birthday at that particular house today.

We had better luck on the next street over. A little variation on the street naming please!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's Not About Me???

We were at a Bat Mitzvah this past Sunday. Typically we don't bring our kids with us when we attend formal events (not that we get invited to too many), but a Bat Mitzvah party is actually kid oriented, regardless of the black tie optional designation, so we decided to bring Pumpkin along, who is now old enough to appreciate a good time.

The last time we attended one of these, we were still a childless couple, and I remember not quite getting why these parties were orchestrated in such a way. Once again, it was black tie option, and everyone was in their formal wear. The DJ was going nuts, riling up all the kids, who were going crazy dancing, screaming, and trying to get their share of the toys and paraphernalia that the DJ was flinging off of the stage.

I remember looking at my FIL, who was clearly annoyed by the loud music, sitting there with a frown, in a tux, with a glow stick wrapped around his head. I decided then that this type of party was the most ridiculous thing going, regardless of any cultural significance.

This past week-end, I figured it out. I guess I had to actually bring my own kid to realize that the party was actually FOR kids. Duh! THEY like to get dressed up and have a fancy night of celebration. We adults are just extra! We weren't even in our right to tsk tsk at the gaggle of twelve year old girls who were all scantily clad in short, tight, sequined black dresses! It was THEIR night. (Eeeek, nonetheless!)

Despite my realizing that the night wasn't about me in the slightest, I had the most fun that I ever had at one of these. Pumpkin was a hoot! She felt so special in her 'fancy' dress (cough, $16 at Winners, cough cough), and danced around like she was the belle of the ball. I ended up getting my groove on too, as we had to get up to the stage and boogie if we wanted any of the t-shirts, boas, pillows, and inflatable junk that the DJ crew was doling out.

This was purely for Pumpkin, of course. I wouldn't have been jumpin' around to Lady Gaga in a crowd full of tweens otherwise. I'm much too s'phisticated for that...

First on the floor, dancing like no one was watching.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

'Cause Everyone Wants to Know how it Turned Out

Since you've all been waiting for it, this is what Ma's hair looked like styled after enduring three days of Bieber Hair:
As the week wore on, her hair got flatter, which is not what straight-haired people generally like, but is actually quite desirable when you've got straightened, curly hair. As you Torontonians are aware, this was a particularly humid and rainy week, which usually causes frizz, but in my mom's case caused a tendency back towards 'The Bieber'.

I guess it's fair to say that the keratin straightening treatment works. Hurray, if that's your thing.

This is in no way an endorsement for the straightening of curly hair. EMBRACE THE CURL!!! (unless you want to be on TV, in which case it seems that straightening is the only option. Oh, and if you have a Bat Mitzvah to attend this Sunday night and your hairdresser doesn't work on Sundays, rendering you to live with a 'do' that will carry over from a Saturday appointment. But those are the only allowable circumstances!)

Monday, June 07, 2010

She Just Needs to Master the Hair Flip

I have curly hair. Up until about 7 years ago, I was quite resentful of it. Throughout high school and years after, I did my best to straighten it, or tie it back, or braid it, or imprison it in a banana clip, but I can't say that I ever liked it. In my late 20s, the curls and I made peace. I figured out how to work them to my advantage, and now I have strangers approaching me on the street, asking me how to obtain the same curl definition. I'm so proud.

My mom, on the other hand, hates her curly hair and has always had her hair done by professional stylists. Every week, her hair is straightened and set, such that most people are unaware of the pent up curls hiding within her perfectly styled coif. This has presented her with the problem of avoiding humidity, sweat, rain, wind, sneezing, spicy food..., you get the picture. It now appears though that there is finally a method for dealing with this affliction.

There is a keratin treatment that is all the rage, which is more or less a reverse perm, that truly keeps hair straight for 3-6 months. It may not leave hair looking like Jennifer Aniston's, but apparently any remaining curl will only manifest itself in the form of smooth waves, and not some Brillo pad that has scoured one pot too many. Oh the 80's were painful for me!

So back to my mom, she decided to bite the bullet and cough up the bazillion dollars required for such a treatment, hoping that she can go out for a walk this summer without coming home looking like Roseanne Rosannadana. There is really just one catch, unless you consider the bazillion dollar fee a catch.

Once the hair is treated, it must be ironed flat against one's head, not to be styled, covered, washed, or touched for three days. Consequently, my mom now reminds of a segment that I recently saw on The Tonight Show titled, 'Too Old for Bieber Hair!'

I've gotta tell you, I'm having so much fun with this! Every time she walks into the room, I point and shout, "Bieber hair!!!", while laughing maniacally, as mom raises an eyebrow at me in annoyance. It's totally been the highlight of my day!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I Rule!

Yesterday as I was heading out the door with Chichi to her usual Wednesday program, I ran into the hot guy who installed our irrigation system last year. When I say hot, I mean hot, and not just someone who is 'not bad' under the conditions of spending all of my time with children, longing for the company of grown ups. Since I was heading out, I was going to miss out on my opportunity to observe him at work, which was the first of my series of unfortunate events.

Just before I jumped in the car, I realized that I hadn't yet turned on the water supply to the irrigation system this year, which meant that I had to run back into the house with Chichi, which ignited a tantrum that set the mood for her entire day.

Next, I zipped down the stairs to the basement, where I quickly opened the valve to the irrigation system, stood there for a minute to make sure it worked, and then ran back up to gather Chichi, and took off, leaving hot irrigation man to tend to his business, with no one there to offer him a glass of lemonade. Sigh.

Upon returning, I heard the vacuum running, which meant, praise the universe, that it was cleaning lady day. Sadly, the vacuum obscured another sound that would have been a good thing to actually hear. That being said, I made no notice of the sound even after the vacuum had been shut off. The cleaning lady had heard the non-vacuum, mystery sound, and attributed it to the furnace, since it was coming from that direction. Due to my hearing impairment, I am prone to tuning out such background sounds, figuring that it was a neighbour's lawnmower that my hearing aids couldn't seem to tune out.

It wasn't until the cleaning lady pointed out some weirdness going on with the water pressure that I finally made the connection to the rumbling sound that had been playing in the background of the house for several hours. I ran down to the utility room to check out the valve that I had opened for hot guy earlier that day. Somehow, in my hurry to stop Chichi's previous tantrum, I missed that the bleeder valve for the irrigation system had been open. Water had been spritzing into the utility room for about 4 hours, which was evident by the ankle deep wading pool that I had created. Pity the drain in the floor had been plugged up with lint.

So today I spent a couple of hours ripping out saturated carpet and under pad, and convinced myself that I was being productive.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

And You Thought it was Important Just to Wear a Clean Pair!

Friday, Pumpkin surprised me by being fully dressed when she woke me up for the day. Usually I need to make a few wardrobe modifications for her when she does this, but yesterday she looked pretty cute. She had on a peach skirt with white capris tights, and a colourful, sparkly t-shirt with a peace sign on it. The ensemble had a 'material girl' quality to it, and was weather-appropriate, so I didn't make her change.

Yesterday, Pumpkin had a washroom 'accident' at school, which is very rare. It's just a little unfortunate for me that this happened on a day when Pumpkin dressed herself. The teacher had to help Pumpkin change into her spare clothes. If I wasn't concerned before about being judged by the way I dressed Pumpkin for school, I certainly became concerned about being judged for having sent Pumpkin to school that day without any underwear!

Maybe next time I'll do a spot check.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Mysterious Second Language?

Chichi isn't speaking yet, at least not in English. The doctor doesn't think that this is anything to worry about, so I'm not worrying, but I do take great rejoice whenever I hear her speech attempts resemble an appropriate word. Mostly she babbles though.

Yesterday, as my mom was doling out some crackers to the kids, Chichi said a word! My mom exclaimed, "Chichi just said, "more"!"

Pumpkin added, "And she said "please" in Chinese!"

Apparently Chichi is more sophisticated that I thought. Pumpkin too for that matter.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Girl's Weekend Redux

Wow, it's hard to get started again after a couple of weeks of laziness. I'll give it a try anyways.

Not this past week-end, but the one before, I had the whole week-end off! By that I mean I did not have any mommy duties, nor wifely duties (whatever those are) for 48 whole hours while I did a repeat performance of a girls-only, shopping week-end. 48 women, 48 hours, an outlet mall, Target, and a room crawl. Do I even need to say more?

Fortunately, or unfortunately, the group remembered my table dancing from the year prior, and did their best to get me loaded up enough to give it another try. I guess I've matured a bit over the past year and managed to keep my feet on the ground. I'm so proud.

I can't say that I found myself the slightest bit well rested after a week-end like that, and my feet were ready to leave me by the end of it, but oh I can't wait until next year!

I was much to busy trying on jeans and counting pockets in purses to have remembered to take any shopping pictures, but here are a few party shots to compensate for the thousand words that I haven't written:

Cheers!


Bizarre Shooter. The Headline might have read: 48 women found dead in a cheap hotel after simultaneously choking on a Hershey's Kiss



We were outta control!

So that's the gist of it. It took me a whole week to recover, but I'm coming out of my fog now so I should be back to posting semi regularly.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Random Marriage

I thought I was taking the week off, but I just got shit from an anonymous commenter who really wants to hear from me. Ok creepy stalker, I'll try to come up with something just for you.

This week in Pumpkin, she was working out the idea that my mom and dad used to actually be married to each other. She found this somewhat odd. It's not that she has a clear idea of what marriage is, but is quite certain that it does not apply my parents who don't live in the same city or spend any time together. I joked that I found their union odd too, not elaborating on my perception of two people who were nothing alike by the time that I was old enough to remember living with both of them at the same time.

Pumpkin then came up with a theory. "Maybe there was this wedding, and they needed a boy, and Grandpa was there, so they asked him to be in the wedding, and so they got married."

Wouldn't that be great for singles who are looking to get married for the sake of it? Just plan your wedding, and let the organizers pick your bride or groom while you're standing there at the altar.

I bet the existing 50% divorce rate would still hold steady.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Not a Good Sign

This morning Chichi and I went to her usual Thursday morning gym class. One of the activities in this class involves lining all the children up at the 'air log', where they proceed to bang on it with maracas in tune to music. This air log is a giant, colourful, inflated tube, about 10 children long, and about 2-1/2' in diameter.

The children who have been in this class before are quite familiar with the routine, and obediently line up to receive their maracas, and then line up along the air log where they wait for the stragglers. While I was leaning over, helping Chichi, who was waiting to receive her maracas, there was a little boy behind me who had already received his.

The little bugger started banging on my ass with them!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Alternative Therapy

The other day, my friend's mom and I were discussing the all important topic of pistachio nuts. I was focusing on the insanely high calorie count per nut (don't ask), but she had information about the supposed therapeutic aspect of pistachio nut consumption. Apparently the whole fiddly process of cracking open each nut, shell disposal, and actual eating offers focus, stress relief, and of course, an edible reward. I though that this was a nice, but unlikely theory until a memory of my childhood was triggered.

Every summer, my brother and I would spend a week in small town Quebec at my dad's trailer. We amused ourselves there somewhat with swimming, biking, and goofing around in a rubber dinghy, but much of that week was spent at the patio table, listening to top 40 tunes, while working our way through a bag of sunflower seeds.

The mindless task of sucking off the salt, cracking open the shell, eating the seed, then spitting out the shell made for what I would consider a nice outdoor activity. It sounds silly, but the memory of munching through a bag, waiting for the radio to play the latest release by Huey Lewis, soaking up the sun, and feeding the occasional chipmunk really does give me a warm fuzzy. Those were quality afternoons.

Calories smalories! Whaddya say we all trade in our anti-depressants for a sunny afternoon and a bag of unshelled nuts?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bad Cop / Good Cop

It has occurred to me that a huge chunk of the behaviour of 4yo Pumpkin is designed to test my ability to not cause her any physical harm. It's hard, but I figured out long ago that I could cause her a fair bit of grief by taking away her favourite toy of the moment. Combined with a time-out, toy removal seems to cause her enough pain to gain her begrudging compliance.

This morning was no different than any other. Pumpkin refused to put on her own shoes, insisting that she needed my help, which she didn't. Sometimes I robotically put her shoes on just for the sake of getting her out the door, but today, I was a hard-ass. I really REALLY hate babyish behaviour when it's being performed by someone who isn't a baby, and I guess that my fuse is exceptionally short today.

"That's it! I'm taking away Mousey!" It's hard to believe that uttering such a stupid phrase gives me such a feeling of power, but hey, if Mousey works, then Mousey it is! Crying, Pumpkin had to put on her shoes and also didn't have her most important toy to take to school.

Those tears didn't affect me! I knew that I was ultimately being an effective parent, as I patted myself on the back after loading Pumpkin onto the bus.

A while later I noticed some scribble on the calendar. Pumpkin has her only show-and-tell for the whole month today, and today was now the only day this month where she didn't have some prized possession with her to show her classmates.

This will be the perfect punishment for her, I thought for half a second, before guilt took over my entire being. Grabbing my purse, Mousey, and some other toy option, I raced my butt over to the school, arriving just in time to catch the JK class lining up to go into the school.

Walking back to my car as I replayed the overjoyed, most beautiful smile that Pumpkin gave me when I showed up with her toy, I thought, 'Gee I'm a nice yet ineffective mom!'

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Little Miss Literal

my mom, hearing The Wiggles playing a disco song from the '70s: You know, Pumpkin, I used to dance to that song!

Pumpkin: And now you don't anymore because you're old?

Thursday, April 08, 2010

I Don't Think that Pavlov had This in Mind

The TV in our bedroom is on the fritz. This has created somewhat of a problem for my marriage. The thing that draws the huz and I together in bedroom every evening is late night television. Without the common goal of not really enjoying Jay Leno, we're having to make a bit of a conscious effort to plan a little 'alone time'.

To make matters weirder, when we do happen to find ourselves in that room at the same time, it's too damn quiet! Last night while we tried to cozy up with one another, I kept hearing things. The dog was snoring. The heating vent was causing the vertical blinds to clang together. I heard shuffling around via the baby monitor. The rain was hitting the windows. A minor power outage caused a flurry of gadgets in the house to start beeping. I need to focus people! Just one focus though. Maybe Monday Night Headlines or Jaywalking?

Is there a support group for people who can only be romantic when there's a talk show on in the background?

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Carjacking on the Playground

Every Wednesday I take Chichi to a play group where a portion of the class takes place in a gym where the kids play with various toys, balls, and ride-on cars. Chichi always climbs into one of the plastic cars and spend her time opening and closing the doors. This seems odd, but it amuses her, and allows me to spend time in the kitchen with the other mothers who are doing their best to avoid their own kids in favour of a sip or two of coffee.

Today, Chichi was sitting in one of the plastic cars doing her usual: Door opens... door closes. Door opens... door closes. I must have looked away for a minute because the next time I glanced over at her, she was not alone in the car. A little boy with the sweetest smile on his face had pushed his way into the car with Chichi, and was trying to crowd her out. I was watching this scene with the other mothers, who encouraged me to let things play out unless there were any tears.

Now Chichi's general facial expression is that of bewilderment. Her wide-open, grey/blue eyes seem to take up half of her face, and her mouth often rests agape, as if she is completely shocked. In the context of this carjacking, it was both appropriate, and really funny.

The next thing Chichi knew, she was squeezed out the door on the other side of the car, and was left standing there, still looking bewildered, watching this little boy drive off with her car as she helplessly looked on. The entire kitchen full of moms agreed that this scene was hilariously sad.

Then Chichi happily ran over to some other toy without skipping a beat.

Monday, April 05, 2010

No Wonder I Hate Hide n' Seek

According to a statistic that I came across recently, the average North American spends approximately 12 weeks per year looking for things that they own but cannot find.

Pumpkin is terrible at trying to find things. She loses everything she owns at least once a day, and can't find whatever she is looking for despite it's obvious location within the house.

Stereotypical is my exasperation with Pumpkin when I find myself running around the house just one minute prior to her bus pick up, looking for her shoes, backpack, random toy that she can't leave the house without, or some other item.

"Pumpkin! Why are you so bad at taking care of and finding your things???", I shouted in futility last Thursday.

She replied, "I know I'm bad at finding my things, but I'm really good at finding the stuff that Grandma can't find!"

I think that my family may be above average at something!

Friday, March 26, 2010

I'm Glad I Skipped the Funnel Cake

I always knew that getting older meant the demise of many physical attributes. I knew that I would get wrinkles, I knew that I would have less energy, and I knew that gravity would take hold. What I didn't know was that getting older meant that I would be more likely to throw up on carnival rides.

That into was a little misleading because I didn't actually throw up on a ride, but I came a lot closer than I ever used to. Today I took Pumpkin to Fantasy Fair at Woodbine Center, which is something I've been planning to do for two years now. Upon arrival, I was completely impressed. It really looked like a fair with full size rides, games, and funnel cake. The carnies had teeth though, and the smell was more mall-like than the typical amusement park, which I guess is an improvement.

I had to go on several rides with Pumpkin, many of which spun us around in circles as rides are prone to do. With each successive revolution, I felt worse and worse, as nausea threatened to claim my dignity.

THIS IS NOT HOW IT USED TO BE!!!! I once had an iron stomach and a need for speed. Now all I have is an intense desire for Gravol.

So what's next to go?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Random, Morbid, Deep Thought

Pumpkin, wiping a slobbery dog kiss off of her face: Why is Lucky kissing me?

Me: 'Cause she loves you.

Pumpkin: So if I die, she'll be sad?

Me: ??? Uhhhhh, I....

Pumpkin: Where's my dress from yesterday? Can I wear lipstick? Where am I going today? What did you dream about last night? Is it sunny today? ...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I Never Thought of it That Way

Drive thru server handing over three individual bags: Here you go! Burger, burger, nuggets!

Pumpkin: Booger booger nuggets???

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Why I'm Such a Catch

Chichi is one of those toddlers who has to grab everything. She relentlessly rummages through every drawer, closet, and pile of things that she can get her hands on, in a manner that can only be described as perpetual, chaotic, circuit training. Nothing within her reach is safe.

We have a console table that has been declared a no go zone for keys, mail, etc. since the table is no longer high enough to keep Chichi at bay. This morning I noted that hubby's Blackberry was on this table. He knows that this is a bad idea, but he does it anyways, probably out of carelessness or laziness, or whatever. I decided not to mention it to him because I always seem to be 'nagging' him about this, and it has no effect on him. I also decided not to move it because I always seem to be picking up after him this way.

Not only am I a great wife for not nagging, and for giving him the opportunity to find his toy right where he left it, but I also did not utter one single, "serves you right", when he reported to me that it no longer works after finding Chichi chewing and drooling on it this morning.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Well Hung

After five years of looking at a blank, two story wall in our foyer, we finally have art! And it's pretty too! It's of a giant rock face with some autumn coloured trees at the top of the cliff, and it's actually hanging on the wall!

I shouldn't be so amazed that it's hanging given that we ordered up an installer to be the one to deliver the picture, but I am comparing it to the mirror that the installer also hung today. This mirror has been sitting on my floor behind the couch for the past three years, save for a week of travel, and I'm in complete disbelief that it is finally hanging too.

Originally we were storing the mirror for my BIL who was working abroad. I was going to temporarily hang it but decided against that idea when I realized the mess it was going to leave on my wall when my BIL came to reclaim it.

When he eventually returned, he sent some pretty unprofessional moving men to pick it up. I am quite certain that they lost the bracket in their travels.

After having the mirror back in his possession for a week, my BIL sent it back to me as a gift, saying that his decorator deemed it an oversized no-no. As for the bracket, it never again surfaced. The mirror resumed it's position on the floor behind the couch where it hid for yet another year while I waited for our perpetually absent handy man to eventually show up and figure out how to hang it. I'm thinking that he's not coming.

This mirror is 7' x 4', and has a 3" wide frame made of lead. This kind of needed the uber strong bracket that it came with. Given that I had a guy coming to hang the new picture, I asked him if he would take a look at the mirror and see if he had anything to hang it with.

When the installer saw it, he let out a groan, complained about the weight and need for special materials, and eventually returned with another guy, a pile of metal, and many tools. It took about two hours for them to get the mirror on that wall, but it's up!

It's also earthquake proof and I will probably have to sell it along with the house one day, but I'll deal with that another time.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Why I Don't Dine Out With My Kids, Reason #122

I took Pumpkin to a restaurant today, which is rare given that I don't enjoy eating with her at home, let alone paying a premium to do it out in public. It was my SIL's idea, and I agreed so as not to be difficult.

Pumpkin was actually pretty well behaved throughout the meal. This may have had to do with the fact that her lunch was a teddy bear shaped pancake with chocolate chips, syrup, and icing sugar, but she ate fairly quietly nonetheless.

While my SIL was in the washroom, I was left to my thoughts, and considered making dining out a more regular habit such that Pumpkin can continue to build on her existing restaurant etiquette repertoire. That was at least until I glanced over at her and saw her sucking up the icing sugar off her plate with her drink straw like some sort of disoriented cocaine addict.

I have now replaced my visual of future family restaurant dining with an image of child services interrogating me about where Pumpkin learned that behaviour.