Tuesday, 23 December 2008

The Conspiracy

We are part of the conspiracy.

December is full of "Are you ready for Christmas?" which is a euphemism for "Did you buy all your presents yet? Are you sure you have enough presents? Did you remember great aunt whatshername? How much did you spend on your kids? What did you get for your parents? Your husband? Are you sure you're totally done?"

To which I reply: Of course I am ready. Santa is very low-key in our house. He brings one gift to each person. No, this gift is not a Powerwheels quad or an iPhone 3G or a new car. No, Santa did not put gifts on my credit cards, and no, he did not buy people things on their "lists."

In our house, Santa gives from the heart.

This year, Santa is bringing the boys each a bead-wire maze. You know, those bead-wire toys that you always see in doctors' offices and you always wonder where you could get one. Mrs. Ho Ho Ho went on the internet and found a baby-sized one for Kees and a regular one for Sacha, and it took me an hour to wrap them since the man in red doesn't do wrapping and I have been told by some that I should never seek employment at those booths in malls that wrap presents for you. I'm that bad.

I also bought each boy a nursing necklace with their names on them, as I thought it would make a great keepsake. These are going in their stockings.

As for the parents, I made them a custom calendar featuring about 80 photos from their kids and grandkids, as well as all the birthdays and anniversaries from the family. It took me about 4 hours of work per calendar (one for my family, one for the out-laws) but they really are worth it.

And I will not reveal what I bought Tony, as he reads this blog. (Hi Tony. I am not an idiot. You will have to wait until Christmas.) We also gave a couple gifts to godchildren (we have 2) and our niece and nephew, which Sacha helped pick out and wrap (that was an exercise in patience).

Sacha also made a special gift for his Grandma and his Baba (which they haven't opened yet) with moderate adult intervention. Kees kissed their cards. Or tried to eat them. Either way, he left his mark.

Christmas cost us about $3oo this year.

So what did we do with all the extra money that could have been spent on novelty gifts and miscellaneous Christmas crap? Tony and I have made it a tradition to donate to charities as part of our Christmas giving. We donated about $200 above and beyond our habitual acts of charity. Do we benefit from this? Not directly (unless you consider a tax receipt). Someone else, however, will benefit from our gift more than we can possibly imagine.

And that thought is enough to keep me happily humming Jingle Bells all year long.

That, and Sacha is obsessed with the Barenaked Ladies version of Jingle Bells. There will be an uprising when I put that CD away after the holidays.

Kitty in a Spruce Tree
Our Kitty in a Tree, through Sacha's Lens

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Nostalgia

I set a little naked-bumed Kees up in his crib, sitting amidst a pile of pillows, and let him play with his crib aquarium. I then sat on the nursing chair, and watched the back of his head as he grabbed the toys, kissed the fish, and toddled from side to side, each time regaining his balance and squaring himself off to a proper sitting position. I watched him in silence until he turned around, remembered that I was there, and flashed me an ecstatic toothed grin. He turned around and resumed playing. And I resumed my motherly vigil.

I was not nostalgic when Sacha grew from an infant to a baby, from a toddler and into an opinionated two-year old. I remember being so anxious for him to be old enough to eat solids, big enough to sit on his own, and old enough to talk. Old enough to go to a sitter without screaming for his maman.

A second time mother is more educated in that respect.

Kees is already 6 months, and I miss him as a new-born infant. My sweet suckler who slept all the time, with his melodious hums and ahs as he sang himself to sleep.

Now, he has two teeth, and bites my shoulder when he gets excited. He rubs those little chewing implements on my breast when he nurses, testing out his new eating tools. He tackles his older brother, pulling his hair, kissing (or tasting, I'm not sure) his ears. He giggles at fart noises (his brother's) and pulls the cat's tail. He loves to read, especially "Where is Baby's Belly Button?" with the large flaps to pull on and flip over time and again. At the end of the day, he nuzzles his head onto my shoulder when he's tired, and calmly lets himself drift to dreamland.

I relish every minute of these sweet 6 month moments, because I know that soon enough, he, too, will be a terrible two, shaking his head "no" when I ask him to pick up his toys or stop dumping his crackers on the floor. He, too, may scream and throw a fit when I tell him that he cannot have anymore advent calendar chocolates. There are beautiful moments in Two-land, but I can wait.

I love my sweet Kees. Just as he is. Right now.

Kees - 6 months


Sweet Kisses

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Yo, she write good an' everything

I often use very colloquial language on this blog. I write as I speak talk. So you may get the impression that I am not so skilled in the area of written verbosity. I present to you proof that I am not an idiot.

Let me set the scene:

My Baba recently sold her house and moved into a condo my aunt had bought for her. The government, in their infinite "wisdom" cut part of her pension because they claimed that she was now living with a relative rent-free, while previously she was a homeowner. In reality, however, her expenses have not changed, since she is running the condo as her own (maintenance and all). So, seeing that I am edumicated and all, she asked me to write a letter for her to the seniors' benefits department and appeal their decision.

The following is what I wrote:

To Whom It May Concern:


In recent correspondence with the Seniors Services Division, it came to my attention that my application for ASB is under review due to a change in my residence status. My current benefit has been calculated based on the erroneous residence status as "other." I am living in a property that is owned by my daughter, but I reside alone and maintain the property in her absence at her request. My daughter has not, at any time, resided in this property.


While it is true that I am not a homeowner, nor a renter, I reside in a property in which I am financially responsible for all utilities, maintenance of the property and other costs that may arise. My financial obligations mirror that of a homeowner. As such, for maximum benefit calculations, I believe that my residence status should be considered equivalent to that of a homeowner. My monthly expenses are virtually the same as they were at my previous residence as a homeowner, and I would expect that my ASB should reflect this, as it is my understanding that the ASB is to provide assistance to seniors for their monthly expenditures related to the cost of living.


Please make the appropriate adjustments to my application and inform me when the benefit calculations are complete.


Sincerely,


Baba



Ok, so I obviously signed her real name at the bottom.

Summation: I write good.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

I'm allergic to diets

Tony joined Weight Watchers a couple of weeks ago.  He has been wanting to lose weight for a while (he is about 40 lbs heavier now than when we met).  I, the amazing chef and probable cause for his weight gain, have decided to help him out by cooking less "good".  A challenge for me, I know. Not to toot my own tuba, or anything.  I'm just that good.

I made some banana bread last night, following a lower-fat recipe and substituted Splenda for sugar.  I tasted the batter, and it tasted alright.  Then, I started to feel ill.  Vomity, even.  I waited for the bread to come out of the oven, then sliced some for myself.  I chowed it down, and still felt ill.  In fact, I was writhing on the couch from the nausea. It felt like I was pregnant with Sacha "I make my mommy puke" Adam all over again.

I told Tony I thought I was allergic to Splenda.  He laughed.  Said it was impossible.

I felt sick all night.

I felt fine when I awoke this morning.  I noticed that Tony and Sacha had enjoyed a couple of slices of bread and left a few crumb pieces on their plate.  I ate them up, not thinking anything of it.

Now, I feel like poop on a stick.

I think I am allergic to diets.

Aw, well.  Back to fried perogies with bacon for me!

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Severe

Everyone things that their child is a genius. Smart, at the very least.

So when I brought Sacha to be formally assessed by an SLP, I was expecting to hear things like "His non-verbal communication is making up for his lack of words" or "He's just a little behind. It's nothing to worry about."

I was not expecting to read a diagnosis of:

  • Severely Delayed Expressive Language

  • Severe Phonological Delay


During the assessment, Sacha scored an age-appropriate standard score for receptive language. His expressive language, however, scored him in the second percentile. As in 2nd. As in 98% of children his age scored higher than him. His expressive language is the equivalent to that of a child aged 1 year 3 months. Sacha's chronological age is 2 years 3 months.

It's difficult, to say the least. To us, Sacha is a very smart boy. Seeing the words "severely delayed" when relating to our son is heart wrenching. I am asking myself how I could let this happen. Tony wants to know why Sacha is not vocalizing many phonemes. We read to him all the time. We speak to him all the time. He communicates with us in his round-about way. He has a fantastic memory, especially for details. He loves telling stories about things he sees, things he hears, games he plays, or crafts he makes. The only catch is that these stories are largely gestural and minimally vocal.

He can't say oo, ay, aye (long i), eh, oh, or make any sounds that end in a consonant, or say his own name, his brother's name, or the simplest words, such as eat or no, that he makes us guess in our eternal game of charades.

So we now play the waiting game for a block of speech therapy sessions to open up, always wondering what we could have done differently.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

The main bullet point of this presentation


  • Sacha pronounces pumpkin "cappi". How the heck does that happen?

  • The pumpkin I carved yesterday had an anus. The pumpkin Tony carved had a pseudo-anus (it was closed up). Like someone who has had a colostomy.

  • Keeping with that, how do people with colostomy bags fart? Does it smell? If so, like regular farts or more like baby-spit-up (partially digested prunes and what-not)?

  • Why is Hippo Monkey always so constipated? And why doesn't Lactulose work for him? Does he have bowels of steel or something? Or maybe some sort of micro-steel that doesn't absorb anything and won't flex to let the poop out?

  • Why is software so expensive? I really want Dreamweaver CS4, but I really don't want to pay $399 for it. And Santa is not that rich in our house. Or in my mother's house. But I do really want to get into web designing. Frick on a stick.

  • On that note, why the heck is Tupperware so expensive??

  • Furthermore, must get ideas for Christmas gifts for the Hippo Monkey (aka Kees) that Sacha will not steal the minute the unwrapping is over.

  • Scratch that. Impossible.

  • Is wealth distribution really such a bad thing? If so, I must be a Gay Nader Fan for Peace. Or worse. A FRENCH Gay Nader Fan for Peace. Wait. I am French. Hmmm...

  • How am I to keep Sacha away from the Halloween stash so as to prevent further candy-sugar-induced night terrors? Like the one last night that woke up his brother? Oh wait. His brother wakes up every 2 hours for his damn suce (aka binky, toot, soother, crack, whatever else you call it in your house).

  • Happy Feet is the most annoying movie ever made. And WHY do people think it is a kids' movie? Showing the penguins being all sexed-up and dirty dancing-like and with At.ti.tude. It's just creepy. That's all. Just creepy. Goonies...now THERE is a good movie! And it teaches a good lesson, too: don't drop your baby, or when he grows up, he'll throw you off a pirate ship.


Answers to any of these are most appreciated. In the comments section. Right below. See? Yeah, you know you wanna.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Kees and the No-Hawk

After receiving many questions and comments (mostly from relatives or close friends) about Kees's new do, and getting tired of hearing myself tell the story over and over, regardless of how humorous they thought it was, I decided to buzz it.

0

Sarah: 1

Faux-hawk: 0

Any questions?

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Hair-apy

Kees had a comb-over hair-do when he emerged from the womb. A full head of dirty blond hair, neatly parted on the top (to the right).

How can you NOT love that face?!

Then, after the age of 3 months, it began to wear off on the sides.  It was thinning out as his head grew, or so I thought.

Is that a camera phone?

And then, all of a sudden, at 5 months, it looked like this:

The Hair - an aerial view

And this:

The Hair - a side tuft view

And people started to talk.  In fact, at a party last week, one of my cousins interrupted another to ask me what the deal was with Kees's hair.  She asked if I had cut it like that.  Another cousin of mine actually told his wife that I had cut it that way on purpose.  Obviously, he did not clear this notion with me first.

Now why the heck would I cut it into a faux-hawk like that?  So I explained that he was born with a full head of hair, and then he began rolling in his sleep from side to side, rubbing all the hair off his head EXCEPT for the top.

I have always been against cutting my own child's hair.  That just seems like a disaster waiting to happen.  But today, I bit the bullet and cut The Hair.

Square Hair

Hair therapy desperately needed

I think I may have just sent Kees into therapy.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Why oh why?

Why is it that when you are sleep deprived and given the chance to sleep, you can't?

Hence my being awake at 11:06 pm while the babes sleep.

Does anyone have a cure for that?  ANYONE?

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Why won't my babies sleep?

Why won't my babies sleep?

I ask this every morning, it seems.  Sacha has been a bad sleeper since birth.  He used to have to sleep on our chests until he was almost 3 months, then he just decided that sleep was optional and started waking up every hour or so wanting nothing but to be nursed. Even now, at 2 years of age, he still wakes up at night, sometimes too often to keep track.

Kees started out as a miracle sleeper.  He slept a solid 8 hours at night until he was 3 months old.  Then it all went to crap. It started with one night waking.  Then 2.  Now, over a month later, he wakes up every 2 hours, sometimes more often. He doesn't always require nursing to go back down, but the sleep disturbance is really getting to me.

We have every sleep book there is.  They are in a leaning tower of ass-vice on my night stand.

The thing is, my kids are very happy.  They are not cranky.  They are not fussy.  They are good nappers. I know that the night wakings are not affecting their state of being.

It's mine (and my dear partner in crime's) that I worry about.

I know many of you are thinking "Just let him cry it out!  In 3 days, it will be all over and things will be right as reign."  I think the same thing.

It sure as hell did NOT work for Sacha. We tried.  God KNOWS how we tried.  But Kees is a different little person, so maybe it could work.

And then when I hear him cry, I just cannot do it.  I get anxious.  I get frustrated.  I get angry.

I don't think letting him cry-it-out is for me.

Should I just resign myself to the fact that my babies don't sleep?

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

How to get rid of fruit flies

Drosophila is a genus of small flies, belonging to the family Drosophilidae, whose members are often called "fruit flies" or more appropriately vinegar flies, wine flies, pomace flies, grape flies, and picked fruit-flies, a reference to the characteristic of many species to linger around overripe or rotting fruit. (taken from wikipedia).

They linger.  They reproduce like crazy. They suck billy goat.

Fortunately, there is a sure fire way to rid yourself of them and have a good time while doing it.

How to get rid of fruit flies:

  1. Buy a bottle of Magnotta Vidal Ice Wine from your local liquor store.  It runs about $30-50 per bottle.

  2. Pour an ounce or so into a small espresso cup.

  3. Leave the cup on counter overnight.

  4. Drink rest of Magnotta Vidal Ice Wine.  Play a little Wii Teniis.

  5. Wake up completely hung over and sick from overdoing it on the ice wine Wii Tennis and find that fruit flies also enjoy Magnotta Vidal Ice Wine:


How to kill fruit flies



Poor buggers.  Just don't know when to stop.  But, if you have to die at all, drowning in ice wine would probably be right up there on my list of ways to go.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

This is what sick looks like

Men are wimps when it comes to being sick.  Every cough will kill them, every sore throat maim their manhood, and every tummy ache sends them straight to the couch for some immediate TV and self-loving.  Wait, not that kind.  Get your mind out tha gutter.

And they learn early.

Sacha was sick on Friday.  All he wanted was to watch The Lion King (or "Grand Kitty Kah") and lay on the couch with his two friends, Chatters and Chelsea.  And since I am inclined, as a mom, to avoid whining from those of feeble tummies (who had already puked all over me and himself and the floor of Walmart), I let him.

This is how sick looks

**Turned out he had myringitis, an inflammation of the eardrum, which causes blisters to form on said drum and then they pop.  And seeing how this affects the middle ear, his sense of balance was wacked out, which made him puke no less than 3 times after that blister popped.  Coolio.  Oh, and it is common for blood to trickle out of the ear when this happens.  How's THAT for parenting funsies?!

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Onward, Potty Soldiers!

Since Sacha turned the big TWO last week, we have started thinking about potty training. I purchased a potty and placed it in the bathroom and waited for Sacha to figure it out on his own.  He's a smart kid.  He can do it.

Sacha came to tell me "caca" (which he always does before or during a poop).  I asked him if he wanted to sit on his potty, and he did.  Unfortunately, by the time I put Kees down and got Sacha's pants down and diaper off and socks off (as requested by the training two-year-old), he had already pooped.  BUT he insisted on sitting on the potty anyway.  He tapped his feet and kept checking in the pot to see if anything had happened.  Kees and I just sat next to him and played.  Then, Sacha looked down, then stood up and pointed in the potty.  I looked and saw...

PEE!  He actually peed in the potty!  Party time!  Kiss Kiss Hug Hug Pat on the Back I am SO Proud of YOU Have a Chocolate!

He later awoke from his nap with a dry diaper and insisted on sitting on the potty again to pee.  Which he did.  BOO YA!

I am the world's best super-mom!  My kid can potty train himself!  Throw away all diapers, baby!  Penis on a mission coming through!

Then he peed in his diaper all afternoon.  And before his bath, in which he ALWAYS pees as soon as his toes touch the water, I asked him if he wanted to pee.  He placated me by sitting on the potty, but nothing.  So he got up, went into the tub, and peed there.

Must now dig diapers out of trash.

And order potty training books.

Onward, Potty Soldiers!

___________________

If you are wondering where the hell I've been, I will tell you that I am "borrowing" my innerwebs from an unsuspecting kind neighbour.  It is not always stable or very strong.  On top of that, I am actually embracing what it means to blog "guilt-free" and loving it.

Friday, 25 July 2008

My disrecommendation for the day: The Unamzing Persona

The story continues.

Today, I called Telus to find out what the frick was going on. They said that they hooked up our phone from their end and that it should be working. So the fact that I was told to stay at home and wait for them all damn day when, in fact, I didn't have to be there at all really pissed me off. What's worse: I went to the house to check if the phone worked: it doesn't. No dial tone. Nadda.

I then waited for the Amazing Persona (even though they are very un-amazing in their service) cable guy to come around and hook up our cable internet. He called at noon, saying that there may be a problem. He said that if our house was the one he was thinking of, the house construction crew buried the trench in the front yard a couple of months ago before he was able to connect the cable from the house to the main box and down the street.  He then confirmed his suspicions by coming to the house and checking things out. He adds that the cable box and phone box (and lines) run adjacent to each other. He then tells me that he will look into the specifics of fixing this problem and get back to me next week. The front yard will need to be dug up.

My first question, obviously, is that of payment. Seeing how this home was to be cable (and phone) ready upon possession, I really don't think I should be paying for the cable company's retardedness for KNOWING that the cable was not hooked up but not doing anything about it until the humble consumer calls to set up cable internet service. Also, I should not be paying for the retardedness of the construction crew who filled in a trench before the appropriate utility hook ups were made.

Methinks the same issue of digging up the front yard will accompany the phone installation. Again, I am not paying for retardedness.

In conclusion, my disrecommendation for the day is Persona. Boo on Persona. And boo on dumbass construction guys for filling a trench before its time. And boo on not being able to start any landscaping until next year, leaving me with a yard that looks like this:

Backyard - rock picking time!

Thursday, 24 July 2008

My disrecommendation for the day

Moving sucks.

I flew out with the boys and my mom, leaving Tony and my step dad behind to drive the car across the country. Air Canada lost Kees's car seat.  That's right, a car seat. What's more, they seemed to care very little about this until I told them that if they didn't find my seat, I would be taking their loaner car seat with me to my destination, 500 km away.  Then, lo and behold, the car seat showed up. Hmmm...

After an exhausting day of flying with the boys and adjusting to the time change, Sacha had a night terror that night.  It involved screaming as though being attacked by an ax murderer for 45 minutes.  Meanwhile, Kees woke up to eat.  I grabbed Kees, ran to my mom's room, told her to change Kees and bring him back to me, then my mom attempted to calm Sacha.  It was not pretty.  The next morning, my mother-in-law offered to lend me her new Honda Fit to drive into town and get a Starbucks, just to give me some time to myself.  I was hesitant, but I did it.  I pull into the parking lot and PSSHHHHHH: the front tire of the car blew out.  That's right, I blew the front tire.  Of my in-laws new car.  Farking heck.

We are now reunited as a family, so the nights are better (for me), but our movers have been delayed by a few days, so we have to wait longer to get into our new house.  In the meantime, we are staying with my parents.  Our cat, who had taken possession of the new vacant house, went into total freak-out mode and cowered in a corner for 24 hours, refusing to eat, poop, pee, or meow.  Did I mention he was also losing hair?  Fortunately, my grandmother offered to babysit him at her house until we are settled.  I don't know if she realizes that may be a few weeks and a few pounds of cat hair.

Of course, we will all be separated again next week when Tony has to go away for training for his new job.  He will be away for 2 weeks (home on the weekend) so setting up the house by myself when the movers arrive should be super-duper.  Especially since I will be so rested from the shitastic blissful sleep I'll be getting.

And now, my disrecommendation for the day: Telus.  Telus sucks.  We called them over 2 months ago to get our phone service set up.  We booked the appointment for today.  I called them last night to confirm and asked that they call me at my mom's before they showed up, seeing how the house is vacant and I would have to go let them in.  They were hunky dory with that.

So today rolls around.  No phone call.  Nothing. I'm waiting around the house ALL DAMN DAY with an almost-two-year-old who desperately wants to go to the park.  I call Telus at 4:30 pm asking what is going on.  She tells me that there is no reason why our service won't be hooked up today, but that it may take until 8:00 pm.  If they don't show up, she tells me to call at 7:30 am tomorrow morning to get it sorted out.  Cheese and rice!  It is now 9:26 pm. I still have no phone.  I guess I will be hanging around the house all damn day tomorrow, too.

I highly disrecommend Telus.  I also highly disrecommend moving with small children across the country.

To cope with these irritants, I highly recommend Starbucks Cream Liqueur.

That is all.  Over and out.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

The first goodbye

Today was the first of many goodbyes.

When we were sent out here two years ago, we were sent with my husband's best friend and his wife.  Both guys were in university together and part of a scholarship program that involved a contract of employment anywhere in Canada upon graduation. They were fortunate and got sent to the same small city and the same small store to work.

In that time, we all became parents of boys.  Our weekend visits went from relaxing dinners, games and movies to bibs and diapers; we enjoyed everything about it.

Although neither of us really liked living here, having each other made a world of difference on our outlook.  Now the contracts are up and we are all headed back to our respective origins.  They leave tomorrow, we leave next week.

Today was the first of many goodbyes to friends that placed fond memories in my heart in a place I otherwise would have loathed.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

I'm as shocked as you are

I read a book.

An entire book.  With no illustrations or references to a singing backpack, fire trucks, construction equipment or Sir Topham Hat.

The book had over 200 pages and a TON of footnotes.

And I read it in under a week.

As the mother of a 22 month old and 8 week old, I think you should be impressed.
Want to know what I read?  Go here!

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Tales from a B-cup Sixth Grader

I have 6 different sizes of bra in my wardrobe.  I have worn all of them in the past year.

Half of me was an early bloomer.  Relatives used to tease me about having "mosquito bites" in the fifth grade, and I innocently thought they were actually referring to real mosquito bites when they were, in fact, referencing my lopsided chest.  My left side decided to start developing breasts at the tender age of 10 while my right side clung to its girlish body.  I was immensely embarrassed of this.  A friend of my mother's, who happened to be a physician, came for a visit and my father thought it would be useful to consult this friend about my breasts, questioning whether they would always be that way or would things correct themselves in time, as though having lopsided breasts would become a pandemic to be feared and its victims shunned into asylums.

I remember my mother taking me bra shopping for the first time and buying me not the cute little training bras that all my friends wore, but very womanly underwire B-cup bras while my mom wore an A cup.  I was 11.  And the chest kept growing.

By the time I was 17, I was very comfortably into a D cup, although I often crammed those puppies into a C.  High school girls aren't supposed to have D cups.  They are supposed have cute perky boobs without their own gravitational pull.  And even though most high school guys have boobs on the brain 24/7, it seemed that a smaller chest was indirectly proportional to how popular a girl was with said boys.  Make sense to you?  I didn't think so.

Over the course of the next two years, I lost over 40 lbs.  I was not a big girl to begin with, but I felt that I needed to be thinner (that's a whole other post) and I got down to an A cup.  The cute bras and tiny tops were all mine!  But this was not meant to last, since I was clearly well below my body's natural weight, and they shot back up to a 34C over the course of 2 summer months and a trip to France where several pounds of cheese and baguettes were consumed.  My then boyfriend (now husband) was ecstatic.  So was his roommate (or so I've been told).

Then I started this whole "mom" thing.  I had to buy bigger bras twice while pregnant with Sacha.  Then I nursed him for 14 months, which left me with saggy "high Cs low Ds", according to the bra lady who sized me up last summer.  Then, my boobs started getting bigger again: enter pregnancy number two.  Seven weeks after delivering and breastfeeding Kees, I went to get properly fitted for a nursing bra, since all of mine made my boobs look like they were trying to eat my navel.  Where do I stand now?

32E.

That's right.  Next to that tiny 32 there is a giant E.  Again, the husband is ecstatic.

And I have come to terms with this.  I am cursed with ginormous boobs that seem to get bigger with every baby.  I tried to wear my bathing suit last week and the girls popped right out the top.  I don't think they even make bikini tops large enough for me.  Or supportive enough.  I cannot wear most of my shirts, meaning that I was reduced to go shopping and buy large and extra large tops just to fit over my rack.  The "XL" on the tag of my T-shirt is a corrosive acid that eats away at my inner-skinny-girl.  I keep trying to tell myself that it is only a temporary glitch and that they will go back to normal once I am done having kids. That, or I will have to go back to work to save up for the plastic surgery required to put them back where they belong.

The silver lining to all this: at least I won't be headed to the asylum anytime soon.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

I'll take R 4 Q Q Q and the batman symbol

This post is written in the spirit of random letters.  And I ask you to take a guess as to the origins of the title of this post.


Dear Sacha,

I love you, but for the love of Jesus would you do Maman a favour and not start screaming whenever your brother is crying?  Or when I have to turn my attention every so slightly toward the wee babe in order to, oh, I don't know, change his poonami of a diaper?  Also, if you could stop running out into the road  every time we park in the driveway and I let you out of the car while I am taking your brother out of the car?  And stop swiping your brother's soother out of his mouth when he is trying to relax! And could you PUH-LEEZE learn some words and start talking soon?  The ubiquitous "Eh! Eh! Eh!" while pointing to a bajillion things and getting pissed at me when I cannot figure out what you are getting at is going to drive driving me to drink.

Your loving, cuddling, ever subserviant,

Maman

__________________________________________________

Dear Kees,

I love that you sleep so well at night.  One waking per night?  Genius.  Sleeping seven and a half hours straight last night?  I could dance naked on my front lawn from giddiness. In keeping with the wonderful sleep theme, I would really appreciate if you could go back to being the nap king.  It was a good ride, napping for 2+ hours in the morning and afternoon.  The past week without these naps is going to drive driving me to drink.

Oh, and keep up the good eating and fattening up.  I likes me a chubby baby.

Love, cuddles and kisses,

The Moomy

__________________________________________________

Dear Pavement Ants,

I hate you, you low life scrum sucking pieces of shit.  There is no food for you to eat in the basement, unless you like eating shitty diaper wipes. If you continue to crawl out of the bathroom baseboards, I will be forced to continue employing Operation Dyson Aspiration-Extermination. And no, you cannot form a new colony in the canister of my beloved vacuum.  If only I could get the Orkinaters on your asses, I would.  But fortunately for you, I value the life of my baby more than your execution.  God help you when the new owners move in in three weeks.  They don't have kids.  They will not be so kind.

A sincerely pissed yet restrained,

Ant-hater

_________________________________________________

Dear Weather,

You suck.  You send nice weather only to turn to grim torrential monsoon rains at a moment's notice. This is not acceptable, particularly when I am out walking with the mini humans in the half ton double stroller. The least you could do is provide more than a 2 minute warning.  Or throw down some umbrellas before you start washing away my sins.

A most penitent,

Mrs. Mustard

_________________________________________________

Dear Hips,

It's been over 6 weeks.  Although I appreciate the effort in making me appear "curvy", I would appreciate if you follow Waist's lead and reduce your size ASAP.  I would like to be able to wear some of my summer clothes on the odd day that it is actually summer outside rather than full length sweaty sweats.  All I am asking for is 3 inches.  That's not too much to ask.  Right?  RIGHT?

Signed,

The Enabler

________________________________________________

Dear blogosphere,

I am sorry I've been playing hookie.  But I had 30 absences in grade 12 calculus (a local bar saw a lot of me that term) while still getting a 97% term average and it sort of grew on me.  I'll try and be more studious and diligent.  Please don't flunk me!

Mrs. Mustard

Friday, 6 June 2008

Topless Fridays!

I realize that I have not posted in 3 weeks. Kees is now 3 weeks old. Coincidence? I think not.

Obviously having a new baby takes up a lot of my time, and add the fact that Sacha is 21 months old and just a tad jealous. Ok, he likes to smack his little bro upside the head when he is nursing. Or grab his face and try to pull it off. Or pull him off the boob. All of these resulting in my unlatching Kees, carrying him and his big brother by one hand to his room where he serves a time out for being so cruel to his baby bro.  Normal toddler fun, right?

Then there's the issue of feeding. Kees is a mere 3 weeks old and has already gained 3 lbs. So guess what I am doing most of the time...

How can you NOT love that face?!

Monday, 19 May 2008

It's all about timing

There's good timing.

It started with the sale of our house, which had been on the market for two months. We accepted a fantastic offer on Saturday evening. My due date was Sunday.

On Thursday morning, Kees was born. No more house showing, so no more unnecessary cleaning. This is a GOOD thing.

Then there is bad timing.

Yesterday, a week after selling the house, 4 days after Kees's birth, my Pepère (grandfather) passed away.

I want to be there for my mom, who has just lost her daddy. I know what that is like.

I want to be there for my Memère (grandmother) who has just lost her husband of 62 years. Col. Mustard and I were married on their 57th wedding anniversary.

Memère & Pepère provided the piano on which I learned to love music. We didn't have a piano, but my mom used to take me to their house to practice on theirs for the first 5 years of my lessons. Then, when opportunity arose, they gave my parents the money to buy a piano for my sister and I, who were both into lessons by that time. They used to pick me up from school and take me to my many music festival performances every year for all of my youth. They usually bought a festival pass, they were there so often.

They always made a point of attending every honor roll presentation, every speech competition, every poetry recitation, every award ceremony throughout my schooling. That's the kind of grandparents they were. That's the kind of Pepère he was to me.

Pepère loved my husband. He loved conversing with him about pharmacy (my husband's profession), faith, religion, and why we should go back to using trains instead of tractor-trailers and big trucks for transporting freight (this one came up a lot, for some strange reason).

Although we all knew that this was coming, as Pepère had been battling Alzheimer's fro the past few years, I was really hoping that he would hang in there until we moved back to our home province and that I would be able to see him again. Now, with the way the timing works out, it is actually impossible for me to attend the funeral. I have a 5 day old son, who is not able to fly due to airline policies, and even if he could, I am not entirely certain that flying for 8 hours, then driving for another 5 hours just to make it to the funeral wouldn't send me over the edge of complete mommy madness, as though having traditional baby blues and stitches isn't enough.

In a lot of cases, timing seems to bring everything together when you need it.

I guess this is just not one of those cases.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

I am a Mother of BoyS

He's here!

Looking like his big brother


The juicy details are:

Water broke COMPLETELY in my bed and all over my floors at 11:40 pm May 14th. Must now get feather bed dry cleaned.

Arrived at hospital at midnight, leaving a trail of water as I walked from the car to the entrance. Stripped down to housecoat in elevator due to disgusting leakage in pants and crocs.

Normally there are no anaesthesiologists at night, so no epidurals. I tried the laughing gas, but it made me want to toss my cookies. I tried the morphine-gravol drip, it did nothing. The contractions seemed so much worse this time than with Sacha. Tony had to leave the room a few times during them (nurses took care of me) because he thought HE was going to toss his cookies from seeing me writhe in pain. My doctor pulled some strings and I got an epidural at 3:30 am. I have never been so happy.

Started pushing at 6:50 am, and by 7:12 am on May 15th, the doctor announced that we had a baby boy. We both took a real hard look at his penis, as we both thought that it would be a girl. Turns out intuition is NOT always right ;)

Birth stats to satisfy your curiosity:

  • Name: Kees Victor

  • weight: 7 lbs 6.5 oz

  • length: 18 3/4 inches

  • His name is pronounced Case, but Kees is the Dutch spelling of it, and since he is named after Tony's paternal grandfather, who was Dutch, we kept the Kees.

  • Victor was my paternal grandfather

  • He is 2 lbs heavier than Sacha was at birth, but only 1 inch longer.  This makes for excellent chubby cheeks and a cute double chin.  He came home from the hospital in a sleeper that Sacha only fit when we has over 1 month old


A first glimpse of best pals



I've been told it takes a special woman to be a mother of boyS. Here's hoping I'm the right kind of special!

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Baby, you can stay in there just a while longer

I am due in 4 days. That's right, 4 days. I had Sacha at 37 weeks, so this is far longer than I have ever been pregnant, and I feel as though my skin just CANNOT stretch anymore. But it does. Every day I wake up, still pregnant, still having false labour, still waiting. Sacha brings me my tummy butter, reminding me that I AM still pregnant and that I'd better lather that stuff on if I want my skin to keep stretching without the stretch marks.

Still waiting


I look down at my tummy, and I feel as though it has its own gravitational force, as though it has its own mind and is clearly in charge, leading me forward like divining rods in search of ground water, only in my belly's case, it is leading me to a place I both fear and long for.

I wake up each morning, trying to decide what to do with Sacha in case this is the last day that I am ONLY his mommy. We play at the park. We bake. We play outside in the yard. And he wants me to hold him and cuddle him most of the day. He cups my face in his hands and gives me warm kisses, then lifts up my shirt and kisses the baby, reminding me that Sacha has no idea how his life is going to change when he has to share his mommy, nor do I. And I grieve at what I will lose when that day comes.

Then, while Sacha sleeps, I peer at my tummy, wondering who this little person is, and eager to be his/her mommy, too: to hold a little baby in my arms again, to nurse again, to watch my little child grow and discover the world the way its big brother is doing, to fill my heart with imaginable love the way Sacha did when he was born. And I am overwhelmed with excitement for the day when I become a mother again.




I want to meet you, but if you want to take your time getting here, I will wait. Your brother needs me, too.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

I'm so cool, I just had to do it

UPDATE:

I am still pregnant. I have not yet sold my house. I still have a toddler who is waking up at night.

BUT...I have my own domain. I am now cheezewhizandmustard.com

For all you readers via feed, the new one is here. In all honesty, the old feed probably still works, so as long as you keep reading, that's all that matters!

For any of you who have me in your bookmarks, you can update them to the new domain. For any of you who have my blog address scribbled on a post-it note next to the computer screen, you can throw that one out and make a new post-it note that says "My favourite blog by Mrs. Mustard is now cheezewhizandmustard.com"

Now, in light of the fact that this post is for the most part full of useless information, I have decided to brighten your reading pleasure with random shots of the little dude, who may be hanging around with his crazy maman a little too much:

How YOU doin'?


How YOU doin'?


You put the eye shadow on like this...


You put the eye shadow on like so.


Easy Breezy Beautiful


Easy Breezy Beautiful...

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

The Comment

I will be the first to admit that I don't have the foggiest idea what the hell I am doing when it comes to being a mother.  I begin everyday with grand ambitions and lofty goals, only to feel like I have fallen short and that my child will ultimately hate me and end up having a shrink who will inform him that he is the way he is because of his crazy mother.

Deep down, I know this isn't true.  Sacha is a good kid.  He is very happy-go-lucky by nature, always smiling or laughing, loves to read and play pretend and dance the freaken mambo with Dora.  He is, however, becoming a terrible two: he knows how to throw a tantrum (and HOW!) and get on my last nerve.  He has also developed a lovely habit of scratching and pinching other kids.  For no real reason.  Just because he is a 20 month old boy.  But everything I've read tells me that this is normal, and that he is not a bad kid, nor am I failing as a parent.  Then there was The Comment.

I had signed Sacha and I up for a Messy Play workshop at a local drop-in center for preschool children and their parents.  Sacha and I frequent the center a LOT.  The staff are amazing, the toys are great, and it gives me a chance to visit with other moms while the kids play. I had taken Sacha to a Messy Play workshop before and he loved it: a craft, doing some baking and cupcake decorating, what's NOT to like?  Today, apparently everything.  He didn't want to wear a smock for sponge painting, nor did he want to use a sponge.  He didn't want to sit at the table long enough to even see what type of baking we were going to do.  He put his body into full rigor like a plank of wood and refused to do anything that was "organized".  At that moment, in a room filled with moms and their 2 and 3 year olds, one particular mother of 4 looked at me, fully pregnant at 38.5 weeks, struggling with Sacha and said: "If you can't control him, what are you going to do when you have two?"

Huh?  WTF?  I think my jaw dropped to the floor, I probably urinated myself a little, and stood up with Sacha and pretended not to hear her.  But how could I not?  It is one thing to think that you, yourself, are an inadequate parent.  It is entirely another for a bitch of a woman, a fellow mother, to share my opinion and voice it in that way.  I've been stewing over this all day, and I still don't know what I would have said to her.  I know her little boy is no angel (I think Sacha picked up his screeching habit from him), but I still can't come up with a retort that would have put her in her place, the way she did me.

We left about 10 minutes after the comment.  I still don't know what I could have done or said.  I know I will see this mother again, as she frequents the center a lot, but I really wish I could just crawl in a hole and die instead.  Or that she would do the crawling and dying for me.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Too much food on a tiny plate

Bloggers usually pour their lives onto the interwebs to release some tension in the hopes that someone will leave a comment telling them that they are not alone.  Right now, however, I am not really being a good blogger.  I have way too much on my plate, and despite the need for relief and some sort of sedative, I just don't want to bore the netz with my seemingly insurmountable pile of poo.  I will let you in on powerpoint version of it, but not bore you with benign details:

  1. Baby is due in 19 days.  It dropped over 2 weeks ago, making the carting around of a 20 month old a real pain in the ass/back/tummy/body in general.

  2. Our house has been on the market for over a month and no offers.  All of the activity in our area is in the low-shitty-leaky-basement price range and the high-massive-driveway-parks-20-cars price range.  We are in the middle with a  beautiful home that is in move-in condition.  No one is biting.

  3. We have to sell our house by mid-July, as we are set to take possession of our NEW home on the other side of the country at the end of July, and our down-payment for that house is sort of, well, THIS house.  Besides the fact that I don't want to be paying 2 mortgages.

  4. The little dude is in a total sleep regression.  Woke up 3 times last night, for example.  Fights us to the death when it is time for sleep and wakes up in the middle of the night convinced that it is day and wants to go outside and play.

  5. The husband is having anxiety issues which I have never witnessed prior.  He has generalized anxiety disorder and did have panic attacks before I met him, but I have never witnessed the effects of this disorder until now.  There is so much going on in our lives that is completely out of our control and it is greatly affecting him.  He has been on the brink of a panic attack more than once over the past few days.  Good times.  I told him he needs to get laid, but then remembered whose job that is.


In conclusion, I hope this explains why my posting has been infrequent and blah (at best): too much food on a tiny plate.

I promise to post when the baby comes.

Monday, 14 April 2008

My 19 month old can read!

Ok, that title may be a little deceiving. Sacha cannot read actual words, per se. What he can do, however, is pick out, with his keen observational skills and his ridiculous omniscience, a variety of logos and locate every object in the house (or city) that has the same logo, even if Col. Mustard or I have never noticed these before.

I present to you The Dictionary of Sacha-ese.  Please note that these items are not in any sort of alphabetical order, nor order of importance in his mind.
This means "Thomas or Bob the Builder"

This one means "Bob the Builder" and "Thomas the Tank Engine".

Obvious, no?

This one is fairly obvious, right?

This means "where we rent Thomas videos"

This one means "the place where we go to get Thomas videos, and MUST continue to obtain Thomas videos at every possible occasion."

This means "timbits, coffee, and eating"

This one means "eating, timbits, coffee, Mmmm."

This means "the grocery store where we buy bananas"

This one means "the place where we buy bananas."  Yes, they sell bananas, but they also have very narrow aisles and really cramped self-bagging quarters, which are not to my liking.  But we buy bananas there.

This means "Our car"

This one means "Maman and Sacha's car." Not to be confused with Daddy's car, which is a Kia Rio.  Not that there is anything wrong with Kias.  But I love my Prius.  Sacha loves his Prius.  He points to it and declares that it is HIS car.  I then remind him that it is OUR car.  I don't think he buys it.

This means "the grocery store where we buy toilet paper" (huh?)

This one means "the place where we go buy toilet paper." I have no idea why he thinks we buy toilet paper at A&P. I don't even really like shopping there, since their shelves are poorly stocked and the prices aren't that great. Although, on second thought, this association may be due to the fact that he saw me use a plastic A&P bag as a garbage bag in our bathroom.  And the garbage is located beneath the toilet paper roll.

This means "where Maman bought a new vacuum"

This one means "the place where Maman bought her new vacuum."  Which apparently only Maman uses.  Not to be confused with Daddy ever vacuuming.  Or cleaning in general.  In Sacha's eyes, only Maman cleans.  Not only that, it is what I spend most of my day doing.  Except when I am on the toilet: while on a little shopping trip to Home Depot with his Daddy, Sacha pointed to every toilet and declared "Mama!".  But that's a whole other issue I may have to take up with him at a later date.

This means "everything in our bathroom"

This one means "everything in our bathroom, especially cough drops and generic antacids which Maman must consume every day."

Ah, what ISN'T a Kenmore in our house?

This one means "vacuum, fridge, waffle maker, blender, play kitchen, and hot sauce."  Not too sure how the hot sauce has come to be labeled as Kenmore, but then again, I do NOT spend all of my time vacuuming or on the toilet. Seriously, I don't.  Ask my husband.  Wait, don't.

Aren't you impressed? I know I am.

Friday, 4 April 2008

Bad Kat-ma

Mr. Dash had it coming.

Kids, cats, and stickers don't mix


I know I should have stopped it. But I didn't.

Oh, poor Mr. Dash!


I just thought it was a very creative way for Sacha to express his distaste for Mr. Dash's annoying habits. That, or it was just too funny to stop. What's more, Mr. Dash didn't move. He just sat there and let Sacha cover him with Dora bling. I guess Dora rocks his kitty-world or some such nonsense.

Where is the kitty?


Sacha then decided to play a little hide and seek with Mr. Dash. Or maybe he just wanted to placate him with stuffed animals so that he would go to sleep and shut the hell up.

SOMC - the new version


Hmmm...definitely NOT hide and seek. Maybe squish and squeak is more like it.

I know I should have stopped it, but if Mr. Dash wants to sit there and take it, I'm certainly not going to bed over backwards (or do any sort of bending at this point) to free him of his torturer. Besides, I think Dash kind of likes it, the masochist that he is.

Or he realizes that Karma is a bitch.

Or a son of a bitch. And his name is Sacha.

Are you talkin' to me?


PETA's worst nightmare

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Dear Dumbass

Dear Dumbass aka Mr Dash aka the feline who dwells in my abode,

Stop meowing at Sacha's door the second we put him down for a nap or for bed. It is extremely annoying and makes me want to hurl you out the window. Even though you wouldn't get hurt because the snow is all the way up to our windows anyway.

Sincerely,

The one who feeds you

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Why I caca'd on Earth Hour

I did not do Earth Hour. I caca'd* on Earth Hour.

My mom did Earth Hour. This is the same woman who runs her car for half an hour when it is -10 (Celcius, for you American readers) before she goes anywhere.**
I did not consciously choose not to do it, nor do I have anything against environmentalism. In fact, I am quite conscious about my environmental footprint (that seems to be a popular phrase nowadays). I just think that the whole idea is a gimmick to help the world feel better about its polluting/energy-gluttonous self, while, in reality, doing nothing to help solve the increasing crisis that is global warming.

So you turn off your lights and TVs and computers for an hour. WOW! That will TOTALLY help the planet, and you may immediately resume driving your SUVs which you have never taken off-road, not even once, or your damn 3/4 ton pickups, in which you have never hauled anything other than groceries or the odd archaic mattress that your grandmother has had since she was a toddler.

Also, feel free to plug-in your car overnight when it is a whopping -5 (again, Celcius) outside. Please remember to run your car and really warm it up good before you get in. You wouldn't want your poor bottom side to catch a chill. And when you go to the store, it's ok to leave your truck running whilst you shop: you participated in Earth Hour. You deserve it.

You may think that I am bitter. I'm not. I just don't understand how so many people can claim to be conscious about the state of our planet and our energy gluttony while they continue to drive vehicles that get less-than-stellar gas mileage, or buy plastic Ziploc steamer-bags to cook their food in, rather than dirty a pot and have to actually wash any dishes. I do not understand why my neighbour creates 4 garbage cans of waste each week and one meager box of recycling, while we create 4 bins of recycling and one can of garbage. Or why people with one child feel it absolutely necessary to drive a mini-van. I also do not understand why people cling to the idea that clothes MUST be washed in hot water to be thoroughly cleaned. They don't. They come out just as well when washed in *gasp* cold water. Try it sometime. You'll be amazed. You may also be amazed at your lower utility bill next month. Especially if you turn off the lights in the laundry room when you're not there. And use compact fluorescent bulbs.

One of my husband's coworkers, looking to buy a new (used) vehicle, and asked him this:
"What would you buy: a truck or an SUV?"

"Neither," he replied. "You live in a city, you don't go off-road, and you don't have a job that requires you to haul anything. They're bad on gas and will cost you more to run than a little car. I would get a car."

I'm not telling everyone out there to go and buy a hybrid*** or a Smart car (although it would be super-duper). I just want people to think a little before they do things: if you really care about the Earth, it has to be more than just Earth Hour. It has to be a way of life: going beyond what you want and discovering how you can live comfortably in a manner that treads a little lighter on our planet.

So no, I didn't turn off my lights for Earth Hour. I did what we always do between 8 and 9 pm: we turned off all of the lights upstairs and retired to the den in the basement, where we flicked one light-switch, and relaxed.

---------

*If you are not familiar with the word "ca-ca'd", here's the best definition: Sacha says it right before he drops a bomb in his diaper. He points a finger at me and yells "caca!" when I let one slip at the grocery store. Or points to our cat's litter box and tells us that he sees "caca."

**Also, I love you, Mom. I just like to poke fun at you. Don't write me out of the will.

***By the way, hybrid SUVs do not count as hybrids. 25 mpg is NOT stellar: it is caca. My '89 Toyota Tercel got over 30 mpg. And it was 14 years old at the time. So to repeat, Hybrid SUVs: caca.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

I mega-loathe the doctor

Let me first clarify the title of this post: I do not mega-loathe my doctor specifically. In fact, he has always made himself very available to us as a family doctor, and he is a good physician.

I am at the stage of my pregnancy where I have to see him every farking week.  This is what I hate.  I cannot get a sitter for Sacha (insert long story here), so he has to tag along.  This is what loathe.  The habitual time spent in the doctor's office each visit is 2 hours.  This is what I mega-loathe.

There are only so many things that I can do to entertain a toddler in a doctor's office for 2 hours every week: I pack an entire backpack full of snacks, books, his favourite toys, sugar-type food things, and beyond.  You would think that this would work.  Well, not if you have a child who remembers all too well the pain of getting vaccines.  Sacha starts whimpering  as soon as we drive into the parking lot, then the full blown tears and screaming starts when we start taking off our coats and boots inside. (Yes, I did say boots.  We'll have snow until July at this rate).  On a good day, it takes me about 30 minutes to calm him down.  Then, we'll get called into one of the ROOMS OF TERROR examining rooms.  Insert more screaming, kicking, pulling on my arm, etc.

I hate it I hate it I hate it I hate it I hate it I hate it I hate it I hate it I hate it I hate it I hate it I hate it I hate it I hate it I hate it I hate it I hate it I hate it I hate it I hate it I hate it I hate it.

It's reason enough for me to want this baby to come early.  Not that I really want that to happen, but at times, it seems the lesser of two evils.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Stop saying that!

Sacha has learned some words in the past few weeks. He's been saying Mama for a while, now, but add to the mix the following (bearing in mind that he speaks French):

  1. Caca - poop. As in he may have pooped, he is pooping, has has pooped, we need to change his diaper, Mr. Dash pooped, Mr. Dash's litter box, Daddy.

  2. Dada - obvious, no?

  3. Papa - aka Dada

  4. Baba - aka Papa aka Dada. May also refer to play dough.

  5. Nanana - Pineapple (which, in French, is ananas). One of Sacha's favourite fruits.


Let's revisit #1 in a real-life context. I am 33 weeks along, and as everyone probably knows, I have wicked pregnancy gas. I wish I didn't, but I do. I try to let them slip out quietly, but the odour usually gives me away. Picture it: I'm shopping with Sacha in a grocery store when I let one sneak out, all secret-agent style. I don't say anything. I keep moving, going about my business. Sacha is too smart for me: he points at me and says "CACA!"

Obviously, I try to over it up by saying "Sacha a fait caca?" (Sacha went poop?), but he keeps wagging that little finger in my direction, laughing and spewing "CACA! CACA!"

Damn. I never thought I'd ever be that classy.

Hi, my name is Chatters

Meet Chatters.


Meet Chatters the Penguin



Chatters was given to me from a friend when my dad died 8 years ago. I hung on to it for some reason until now, and it's a good thing. In the past 3 weeks, Chatters and Sacha have become best friends.


Sacha and his best friend, Chatters



Sacha, in his infinite toddler wisdom, has taken to teaching his penguin friend many things. When they first acquainted themselves, Sacha came to get me from the kitchen, where I was cooking/eating/marfing down the rest of my birthday cake, and brought me to the bathroom, where Chatters was apparently going "ca-ca" (french for poop). Chatters was bum-immersed in the toilet.

When I then tossed Chatters into the dryer (the toilet was clean), Sacha stayed vigil, turning his head around and around for 20 minutes until Chatters emerged, relatively unscathed.

The next day, Sacha taught Chatters about cleanliness: I was showering, Sacha was playing.  I hear him call "mama", turn around, see his grinning face, and find Chatters behind me, soaking up my soapy rinse water.

Chatters and the dryer partied it up.

Sacha then got sick.  Chatters became his de facto snot-rag confidante.  The sheer volume of snot and phlegm that Chatters endured surely sealed their fate as soul mates forever.

Now there is just the matter of giving Chatters a real bath (washing machine) without Sacha jumping in after him.

-----------

On a different note, thanks for the nice comments and concerns over my being sick.  Sacha's pneumonia was passed to me in the form of a wicked cough and cold.  I couldn't sleep from coughing and wheezing, I was using my husband's ventolin multiple times a day just to get a decent breath.  Add to that the fact that every time I coughed, I peed.  Brilliant. I saw the doctor, who told me that I just have to ride it out, both the peeing and the coughing.  So now I am still fighting the cold, but at least the cough is mostly gone.  Sacha is doing good, too.  The medicine worked wonders for him.  I wouldn't know, personally...damn pregnant drug-boycott.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Umn...yeah

Am sick.  Have not checked google reader in over a week.  Not ignoring you, just too sick to focus.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

The mother of all crap birthdays

Things have gone from normal and mundane to crazy-psycho-hose-beast ridonkulous in the Mustard house, right around the time that I "celebrated" my 26th birthday. Let's start things off on Saturday, 2 days before the birthday:

  1. I did not feel the baby move at all on Saturday, which is unusual, even for this mellow fetus, so I headed into the hospital for a non-stress test that evening. Everything is fine. The baby must have been taking an extra-long nap.

  2. Good old daylight savings time kicked us in the arse on Sunday, and we are still struggling to get Sacha used to it. And me. I cannot seem to adapt to the evenings yet. Is there such a thing as "daylight lag"?

  3. I celebrated my birthday on Monday. Well, I didn't celebrate. Sacha woke me up from the sound of him gagging on phlegm and mucus. He was supposed to get his 18 month shots that day (killer birthday gift, I know you're jealous), but by the time we got to the doctor, he was even more sick, and they wouldn't give him the shots. They prescribed an antibiotic for his lungs and sent us home.

  4. That night, Sacha woke up at 9:00 pm with a fever (103 F), racing pulse (185 bpm) and rapid breathing. We brought him to the ER at 10:30 pm, where they did a chest x-ray and found that he has a touch of pneumonia in his lower left lung. He was prescribed a different antibiotic and we went home. Got home at 12:30 am, tried to sleep with him in our bed, but he woke up twice before 2:00. We shipped him to his crib, where he woke at 4:00 am from coughing and then woke again for the day at 7.

  5. He did not nap more than 30 minutes, despite having lost over 3 hours of sleep the night before. Day after my birthday sucketh just as much as birthday itself.

  6. We put our house on the market today, 2 days after my shitty birthday, as we are preparing to move across the country in July. Our first showing is tomorrow evening, right when Sacha should be heading to bed. That should be fun. Really. I mean that. If fun means sucketh a big goat testicle.

  7. Did I mention that Sacha hates his medicine? Wait, I don't mean that. I should say he mega-loathes his medicine, meaning Col. Mustard and I have to wrestle it into him. Much screaming and kicking involved. From all three of us.


The only plus side to this wonderful series of unfortunate events: the Col. made me a black forest cake. From scratch. It was brilliant, despite the fact that he wouldn't soak the cake in kirsch (like the recipe says) because of my knocked-up state. I mean, come on! 3 tbsp over an entire cake can't be that bad, right??


Ooh, black forest cake from scratch...

Friday, 7 March 2008

Replace-a-meal smoothies

Sacha's recipe for a great lunch:

  • Take once glass of chocolate milk. Add 3 spoonfulls of chicken noodle soup.

  • Mash grated cheese in between fingers. Drop into cup of milk.

  • Take one piece of pastrami. Roll it between your fingers. Take a bite. Spit it out. Plop into cup.

  • Eat a few grapes. Only not eat them. Just chew them to pieces and spit into cup.

  • Stir viciously until sloppy goo splatters all over the floor.

  • Dig meat out. Try feeding it to innocent bystander.

  • Drink the rest of smoothie.

  • Immediately spit smoothie out all over same innocent bystander and start coughing up gooey bits of noodle soup.


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For more meal ideas like this, I believe Fear Factor may be in syndication.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Awesome parenting 101

Col. Mustard and I take pills every morning. We each have a prescription medication, and we each take a multivitamin (mine is pink and heavy on the folic acid). Sacha sees us do this every morning, and wants to take pills just like us. He is often seen carrying around a bottle of Gaviscon or Oval and shaking it around the house.

This is the premise behind the following conversation:
Me: Where is the Tylenol? I have a wicked headache.

Col. Mustard: I don't know.

Me: Well, you had it last.

Col: No, Sacha had it. Ask him where it is.

Aw crap.  Thank GOD for childproof bottles.  Please don't take my child away from me.

Monday, 3 March 2008

At the whim of a benevolent dictator

Picture this: we're leaving the mall, it's 5:30 pm.  Supper time.  I'm hungry, Sacha's hungry and a little irate, Tony is indifferent.  We drive past Montana's.  Mmmm...ribs.  I sure could use some ribs.  Tony wants to go and pick up his weekly newspaper (he used to read the paper everyday, but being a parent has limited his paper-consummation).  We go to the convenience store, which is located directly adjacent to a Tim Hortons.

Sacha is no stranger to the T-Ho's.  He knows it just by their drive-through.  In fact, when I take Sacha to a local playgroup, I often go to T-Ho's drive-through and order a beverage for me and 2 plain timbits for him.  He knows it so well that when we approach the drive-though, he starts to sign "eating".  When he sees a Tim Hortons cup, he signs eating.  When he hears the words "Tim Hortons" he tries to put his coat on and convince me to drive him there by pointing to himself and making a sign for driving.

I came back out of the convenience store with the paper and we leave the parking lot.  Sacha starts yammering away at us, protesting.  He points to the Tim Hortons building, viciously  signing "eat eat!"  We convince him that we are going to eat at a different restaurant and that he can have french fries.

We get to the restaurant, go inside.  They tell us it will be a half hour wait.  BAH!  We get back into the car and see Sacha still pointing toward the direction of the Tim Hortons and signing "eat".  Meh, Tim Hortons and its fast service sounds pretty good right about now.

We drive back to Tim Hortons. Sacha looks at us as, clearly thinking "why the hell did we leave in the first place??"

So we resign to eating at Tim Hortons.  For supper.  Soup and sandwiches.   And donuts.  And coffee.

And it was pure bliss for Sacha.

Other than the fact that we did not sit where we usually sit.  After our truly classy meal, he went over to that specific table, climbed up on the chair, and patted the table proudly, showing Daddy that this was his rightful seat.  

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Clearly, something must be done

Dear Nintendo,

I am writing to you because I have recently purchased the classic Super Mario Bros 3 game for my Wii using some Wii points, and I have a few suggestions that I think could improve this game.

  1. Clearly, 4 lives are not enough to start out with. After several attempts, I feel that you should up the lives-allotment to 8, as that's how many lives it took me to get past level 1.

  2. Those flying mushroom-looking dudes should not fly. They misrepresent what real mushrooms can do. Furthermore, if one accidentally runs into one, one should not lose a life. I think that a nice little band-aid or something similar would suffice. Or maybe the little mushrooms could kiss you or make you high. Mushrooms do that, right? That would make sense, no?

  3. The boomerang throwing turtle should die.

  4. Every time you finish A level, you should immediately get a free life. This life will undoubtedly be needed for running into those damn flying mushroom evil thingies.

  5. What the hell is the purpose of the coins? Can I bank them and trade them in for more lives? If not, get rid of them. They're useless to me.

  6. When you ultimately run out of lives and die, you should NOT have to go back and try to pass level 1 again. That is just cruel and unnecessary punishment for dying by flying mushrooms.


I may have more suggestions for your consideration once I get past level 4. Until then, I remain respectfully yours,

Mrs. Mustard

In case you think I am exaggerating, I am not. I am truly the worst super mario player ever to touch a nintendo.

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Caution: Wii Pregnant

We be Wiiing.

Despite the ridiculous difficulty in obtaining a Wii in most of Canada (anywhere you look, they're back-ordered or out-of-stock), we got one.  Last weekend.  It was a great weekend.  I whooped Col. Mustard's ass at everything, despite my being huge with baby.

I thought this weekend would be an easy victory.  HA!  Turns out the Col. has been practicing.  A lot.  Especially at tennis, which I have actually played in real life, while he has not.   I don't know how many best-of-fives we played last night, but they all ended after 3 matches, and never in my favour.  He can hit those balls and make them go so fast, while mine just lob over the net with a nice pregnant arc.

The Col. decided to run on the elliptical after trouncing me at tennis, but I wanted to redeem myself at something, anything.  So I decided to take up a new sport: bowling. Nice low impact, not really cardio, I thought it would be great.  And it was. I am the MASTA of bowling.  I played until I racked up my skill level to 784.  Then I noticed that my butt really hurt.  I was using muscles I didn't know I had anymore, so I decided to call it a night.

My ass thought otherwise.

My ass and lower back ached so much that I couldn't sleep for most of the night, on top of the regular night-time wakefulness a pregnant women suffers in her third trimester. Luckily for me, the Col. woke up with Sacha and took him to church while I tried to sleep in.

They just got back from church.  Turns out there was a pancake buffet breakfast.  I ate Cheerios at home.  Serves my heathen-wiiing-ass right, I guess.

-------

I welcome any tips on how to play Wii tennis and spike those balls so I can beat my husband,  whose advantage seems to lie in the fact that he is so clearly accustomed to playing with his.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Higgledy-Piggledy with Numbers

Number of names given to our cat, Mr. Dash, (who meows incessantly at Sacha's door when he is sleeping) on any given day: dozens, including but not limited to:

  • dumbass

  • jackass fuckface

  • Idiot! (think Napoleon Dynamite)

  • fucker

  • jerkwad

  • ass bandit

  • retard

  • shithead

  • pig

  • fucking cat

  • stupid cat

  • DASH!

  • dickface

  • fuckweed

  • ass hat

  • dickhead


---------

Number of train and/or train related toys in our house to satisfy Sacha's obsession with all things train: 0

Number of pool pumps sitting in our storage room that Sacha thinks are trains and insists on riding: 1

Number of Thomas the Train videos viewed on YouTube: infinity squared

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Number of socks designed and intended to fit a Winnie the Pooh doll: 0

Number of socks Sacha thinks are rightfully Winnie's: 2, my newly finished knit Thistle Socks, which Sacha took off my warm feet and put on his Winnie.
Winnie in my socks! Thistle sock #1

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Number of soothers hacked up, destroyed and garbaged in the last week: 10

Number of soothers still remaining in the house: 5 (we think, although Sacha has been known to stash them for future dry spells)

Number of soothers that are actually fully intact: 3 (the other 2 have teeny holes pierced in them)

Number of soothers required by the little dude to go to sleep: 2 (an improvement from 3, which was the standard until last week).

Number of times I wish I had taken the fucking thing away a long time ago: the integral of infinity raised to the power of x.

--------

Number of child-mullets waiting to be rectified by a competent stylist: 1 (but a very important 1)

Number or rockin' haircuts received in the past week: 1

Rockin' the do



What's your number, baby?

Thursday, 14 February 2008

I don't need sex on Valentine's Day: I've got Bernard

Remember how I said this?

Well, it happened again. The part about the chocolates.  A lovely parcel arrived in the mail for me this week: a box of Bernard Callebaut chocolates. If you have never sampled the goodness that is a Bernard Callebaut chocolate, I pity you. I really do. They really are the best chocolates you can buy. In fact, they're good for dieting because after eating one, you'll turn a smug nose away from your ordinary Oh Henry or Hershey's chocolate bars. They're just not the same. Probably the only thing that comes close to Bernard Callebaut chocolates in terms of their greatness is sex. In fact, they may be better than sex. Indulge me for a minute:

Theorem: Bernard Callebaut chocolates may be are better than sex.

Proof:

  • Col. Mustard stated that my sharing 3 of these sublime chocolates with him was the same as putting out.

  • You can do enjoy it without worrying about shaving or pruning.

  • They cannot get you pregnant.

  • You aren't considered a whore if you spread the chocolate love. In fact, it is most likely considered a public service for the greater good.

  • You don't have to get all warmed up and prepped to enjoy a chocolate.

  • You'll ALWAYS be satisfied.


Anyone have anything else they'd like to add? Have you had the pleasure of having intimate relations with these chocolates?

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As a total aside, does it drive anyone else crazy when people say ValentiMe?  It's not a time of day, it's a name of a saint.  It's N, not M.  Freaken crap.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

No title - just complaints

Sacha is in a mood today.  Oy vey.  This doesn't happen too often, but when it does, it always puts me on edge, making me dwell on the insignificant and usually benign irritants in my life.

  1. I can't get Sacha to give up his soother.  A few weeks ago, we took it away during the day with great success.  About 5 days later, he got a really bad cold and we gave it back to him.  Now, if he doesn't have his soother in his mouth, he walks around with his hand on his mouth in wonderment of his precious' whereabouts. Yesterday, it got so bad that he started dumping all the laundry hampers and taking the couch cushions off trying desperately to score some soother, screaming the entire time.  I decided to go "find" one (in my dresser) and gave it to him.  I couldn't take it anymore.

  2. I am tired of the constant back ache with this pregnancy.  Ugh.  Cannot get comfortable sitting, standing, lying, period.  Let alone trying to put out for the Col.

  3. I wish Sacha would never have learned to scream when he has his little fits. It is seriously the most obnoxious thing I've ever heard.  Well, aside from Col. Mustard's musical tastes.  But that's a whole other story.

  4. I wish Sacha would let me leave him with a sitter.  Alas, he screams and cries the entire time I am gone.  It would be nice to be able to go and get a haircut once in a while and not be destined to look like a cherry-picker all the time.

  5. This baby is giving me the worst heartburn I've ever had.  Mostly from my favourite comfort foods, like pasta, pizza, meat, those types of things. I've had to resort to buying extra-mild salsa.  Extra-mild!  I am so ashamed.

  6. I really miss Starbucks, and I just can't bring myself to drive 3 hours one-way just to go have have a yummy beverage.

  7. Tax time licks goat testicles, especially when one cannot look forward to receiving a refund because one has no income.

  8. I'm tired of this shit-hole town.  I cannot wait to move our asses out of here, even if it costs us a small fortune.  If it means only one kid can go to college, so be it.

  9. I'm tired of wearing glasses.  They totally throw off my groove.  Oh wait, my hair already does that.  And my big tummy.  Nevermind.

  10. I'm tired of hearing about Britney Spears.  Can we not all agree that she's gone psycho-hose beast and get back to some real news reporting?  Like whatever happened to Chunk from the Goonies?

Saturday, 9 February 2008

It's Business Time

As some of you may already be aware, Col. Mustard* and I have been married for 5 years.  Our church decided to have a mass celebration of marriage this year: anyone who is celebrating a significant anniversary (which they defined as a year ending in 5 or 0, or anything over 50) would get to celebrate mass together, get a fancy certificate, have a festive luncheon with sweet little finger sandwiches, and have a complimentary anniversary photo taken.  Being a total sucker for succulent finger sandwiches, I signed us up.

I did not know that in order to get free sandwiches, we would need to renew our vows.  Uh oh.  For realz?  I already did this once!  Does this mean I'm going to have to put out tonight? Cuz I got tricked into that once before, and I'd like to think that I'm on to that whole wedding game, now.  You can't fool me twice.

But then I looked at my husband, my dear, sweet husband who gets up with our son every morning and lets me sleep until 8, who buys me yummy chocolates out of the blue, who cleans up around the house, who supports my knitting and internetz addictions, and who loves me anyway.

I guess putting out once in a while is worth it.

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*Tony has mentioned that it would be cool if he takes on my alias, so as of now he is Col. Mustard.  As in Clue.  As in Col. Mustard in the conservatory with the knife. Not that he's into that sort of thing.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Not just for looks

I like to think of myself as a bit of a tree-hugger: I use cloth diapers, I wash my clothes in cold water, I dry my clothes on a clothesline (weather permitting), I drive a hybrid, I use compact fluorescent bulbs, energy-star rated appliances, and I use eco-friendly grocery bags.

That is, I bring my eco-bags to the store and assume that the store that sold me the eco-friendly bag will know that I want them to pack my groceries IN said eco-friendly bag.


An eco-friendly bag



Ah, what a nice bag! I feel great that I am saving some landfills from all those plastic bags!


An eco-friendly bag MY ASS!



Wait, what is that?? A plastic bag WITHIN an eco-bag?  How the hell does that work?

When I bought my milk (you can see which store from the bag), I placed my eco-bag on the counter next to the milk, assuming that the cashier would get the hint and place my milk in her store's eco-bag. Obviously she was not that smart. Instead, she placed my milk in one plastic bag, my two bottles of water in another plastic bag, then put them in my eco-bag.

This is where I go:


Duh...



Are you fucking kidding me? For real? Why the hell would a store market and sell eco-bags and then not tell their cashiers to use them? Furthermore, why the hell would I want you to put my milk and pop in separate plastic bags, then put both of those bags into an eco-bag?

Now, I cannot blame the store in question as being the only culprit. I have also shopped at Walmart, boasting its own brand of eco-bags, and the handitard cashier, even after I told her to put my groceries in the eco-bags, continued to plastic bag everything and then place them in the eco-bag. Then there are the cashiers that get their curlers in a knot when I insist that it's ok to place my deli meat next to *gasp* my bread in the same bag, like so:


OH NO!  My meat is next to my bread!



I mean, for crap's sake.  The deli meat is double-wrapped in plastic as it is, and the bread is already in a paper bag from the bakery.  I think it's ok that they sit next to each other. Getting along is a virtue I love in food.

I don't use eco-bags because they're pretty. I use them to help the environment.

So damn you stupid companies who sell these bags, tell your cashiers to USE THEM!

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Only a scare

We had a scare last night.

Sacha has been battling a cold, but seems to be mostly over it.  He has some coughing spells, but nothing major.  Last night, Sacha went to bed without incident, but was awake 30 minutes later, crying.  Tony went up to see what was wrong.  I soon heard him yelling for me: "Oh God! Hon!  Oh God!  Oh God!"

I ran upstairs and heard a coughing fit.  Tony was in the room, with the lights on, holding a brick-red faced Sacha, who was coughing his little lungs out.  He couldn't seem to get his breath.  Then, as quickly as it all started, it all quietened, and he laid his head on Tony's shoulder and closed his eyes.

Tony said that when he walked into the room, Sacha was thrashing in his tangled blankets, and then was gasping and wheezing, as though choking.  Not knowing what he could be choking on (as his bed is a safe haven), he grabbed him and started patting his back to help him along.  That's when I walked in.

We stayed with him until he fell back asleep and tucked him back into bed.  I was sufficiently freaked out that I spent the rest of the night tossing and turning, listening for every little noise and leaped out of bed at every cough.  The fear that I had as a new mother, afraid of SIDS, was back, thinking that my son would stop breathing in the night if I wasn't attentive enough.  I had to check his tummy to feel it rise and fall, confirmation of his breathing.  I had to stroke his hair and hold his hand, feeling his warmth, for fear that it may leave in a second if I wasn't careful.

I cannot fathom going through what she (and she and she and many others) have gone through.

I am thankful that it was only a scare.