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.

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*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.

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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.