Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The Box

My husband is an amazing baker.  He bakes seriously hardcore bread.  Well, the bread is not hard.  Well, it's chewy when need be.  Or fluffy if that's what he's going for.  He makes the BEST homemade croissants you will ever taste (including the ones you ate at that little bistro in Paris) and a mean focaccia.

His current obsession: creating a sourdough culture from wild yeast in the air.  Not using shipped organisms or bought starters.  Just the air. So far, not so much luck.  Mainly, because there is no safe and temperature controlled proofing area in our house. He tried the oven, but one time, I didn't realize it was in there, and I preheated the oven for something else, went to put in my cookies and GAW! Dead yeast all over the place.  Scorched in the very place they thought they would be protected. And by all over the place I mean in his pyrex bowl under a nearly fiery tea towel. I could almost hear their little screams: NO!  I'M MELTING AWAY! I JUST WANT TO RISE AND MAKE WONDERFUL BREAD! OH WHY WON'T YOU LET ME LIVE?!

So I bought Tony a home use proofing cabinet. Like in October.  And have been hiding it under my bed since then, waiting for Christmas. And visions of nummy croissants danced in my dreams.

But the mule couldn't wait until Christmas.

Last week, I caught him googling DIY proofing boxes, involving rudimentary wiring, a treble light, a thermostat, and some sort of insulated box.  So I was like: Really, Tony?  You're gonna do wiring? Involving a  lightbulb? and something containing mercury? You won't even change a lightbulb without turning the breaker off.  And he's all like: Yo, baby.  I can do anything.  And I'm like: how much did that treble light cost? And he's like:  It was cheap, now get off my back, woman!  And I'm thinking: you SUCK. Just lay off the DIY projects and wait two flipping weeks.

This morning, I went to let the cat out at the back door to find this:

An upsidedown Rubbermaid bin with a thermometer sticking out of it and an extension cord.  I'm thinking: GAWD. When will he give UP?!
I texted his colleague at work and told her the situation and she said she would gladly bitch-slap him if he mentioned anymore about building a proofing box or ordering parts from Home Hardware to build said box.

Tonight, he comes home with this:

I'm like: What are these for? He's like: they're for a little project.  I'm like: what sort of project?  He's like: a prototype proofing box.

That was it. 

I marched to the bedroom, told him to follow me.  I pulled out the proofing box and threw it on the bed and said: Here.  Do you want this NOW or can I wrap it and put it under the tree?
He looked all giddy, then sheepish, then said: you can wrap it.  Then I looked at him and said: I ordered this in friggin OCTOBER.  And it was not cheap.  So can you CEASE AND DESIST all the DIY proofing boxes? I don't want you spending anymore money or bringing home garbage to make anymore "projects."

He laughed.  I tossed the box back under the bed and said: Merry Effing Christmas. Now get rid of those styrofoam boxes.
Then he says: Ooh.  I'd better phone Home Hardware tomorrow and cancel that order I made.
I'm like: WHAT did you ORDER?  And he's like: maybe just a small thermostat or something...
and I'm like FACEPALM.

And that, my friends, is how to spoil possibly the best gift ever.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

The Giving Story

Christmas is definitely the season of giving.  And getting.  But mostly giving.  And eating.  Ok, by far mostly eating.  But there's some giving in there, too.

A friend of mine has a tradition with her children that each year before Christmas, they go through their toys and decide which ones to give away to families in need as Christmas gifts.  I was highly inspired by her example because a) it was a beautiful gesture, b) her kids were actually getting rid of toys of their own free will, c) it was a fantastic way to de-clutter, and d) rum.

Ok, scratch the rum. Not really, but it is sort of non-applicable right now.  I mostly wanted to drink it while cleaning out the toys.  And with egg nog.  Loves me some rum and egg nog.

Anyway, I mostly wanted to do the same thing because my kids have so many toys that they NEVER play with.  Well, until I try to give them away, that is.  But if those toys stay hidden in the dark and mysterious storage bin next to The Furnace, the kids don't even remember their existance.  Of course, I wanted the kids to be involved in the process, giving to those in need, appreciating what we have, so on and yadda.  I asked them what they were ready to give away.

Sashimi: Well, I have two Mater Trouble games. I can give away one.
Keesadilla (runs into iBean's room, comes out with some books): She doesn't like these.  Give these away.
Me: Umn, you can't give away your sister's stuff.  You are supposed to decide on something YOU are ready to give away from your own stuff.
Keesadilla: I'm NOT gettin' rid of my TRAINS!
Me: You don't have to.  But is there something else you want to give away?
Keesadilla: Umn, this movie (he tosses a Baby Einstein DVD at me).
Me: That is YOUR SISTER'S.
Keesadilla: Oh, fine.  Here. (He throws me one of Sashimi's dinosaurs).

Needless to say, I went through Keesadilla's toys myself.  No, I did not get rid of his trains.  But he had some puzzles that he never did and some K'NEX that were rarely played with. And iBean purged of all her infant stuff.  Rattles, flashy toys, chew toys, stuff that sings lullabies.

I posted an ad on kijiji (if you are not Canadian, kijiji is like Craig's list) saying that I had all this to give to a family in need this Christmas.  And then I waited.  And waited.  And checked my inbox. And waited.  And NO ONE FLIPPIN RESPONDED TO MY AD! Seriously? Was everyone here rolling in money and showering with money and wiping their butts with money? No.
The problem is that I live in a small community, one with little anonymity.  I was getting quite discouraged when a couple of days ago, I got a response:

Hi, if you still have this stuff available, I know of a family that had a baby the same day you posted this ad. They are trying to transition to their own home and she is still in school... this would probably be a huge help ... while they are from grande prairie, it just so happens I have family going to peace river to check a house tomorrow ... if you still got em, I would be happy to help pass them on.

Ecstatic, I e-mailed this person back with my contact info.  They replied:

They have put the trip off ... waiting for the roads to improve some, they are traveling from Woking area.  The baby is a boy.  His name is Greyson, You posted your add on the day of his birth, and yesterday, when I responded to it, it was his mom's 17th birthday.  Lots of "weird" coincidences, including having to GO to Peace River to check that house... Thanks Sarah, hopefully we can pull this together ... They're gonna try for tomorrow?

I replied:

I will box up a bunch of toys for a baby boy. I can look and see if I have baby clothes as well. I have given most of it away but there may be some kicking around. I had two boys then a girl. We will pull this off! I have faith :)

They replied (I left the typos in tact):

This is so wonderful, I actually sat with one of her relatives today that said they were hurting for money, and mentioned they also forgot her birthday yesterday, I said, don't worry, I didn't have much to spare right now either, but I was work with some people on line that would doing random acts of kindness... and mentioned your ad, I told the relative that I would be say she was in on the project ...  I'll keep ya posted as to when they are going to brave the road.  :-))))

Today, two ladies showed up at my house.  I gave them two boxes: one filled with baby toys, all washed and looking very shiny and new. The other box was filled with the remaining baby boy outfits that I had and some board books. I also asked the ladies if the mom was nursing, and they told me she was.  So I pulled out my nursing pillow and gave it to them for her as well.

As they left, they wished me a very merry Christmas and told me that this would really make her (the new teen mom) day.  They pulled away, and I then thought of so many more things I could have given: baby towels, baby facecloths, regular towels, blankets, a crib sheet.  But they were gone.  We have so much and this girl has next to nothing.  I could have gone with a few less towels and sheets.  But I did not think of it in time.

I feel so honoured that I was able to help this young girl out, even if I never know her name.  Her baby boy will wear Sashimi and Keesadilla's old clothes, lay on the same nursing pillow that my babies did when they nursed and cuddled with me, play with their baby toys, read their books.  Those objects carry a history to her unknown, and a future that will for me remain a mystery.

I am now a part of someone else's story.

And that is the best warm fuzzy I think I have ever felt.

Friday, 23 November 2012

The Dishwasher

Sashimi has never been a great sleeper.  Night wakings, night terrors, you name it.  He's had it.

For the first two months of school, Sashimi sleepwalked every night, usually within 90 minutes of going to bed.  He would mutter about school, call out to his friends, sometimes throw a tantrum, but it was all in his sleep, and he never remembered it the next morning. Once his slumber shenanigans were done, he would often just end up walking back into his bedroom and putting himself back to sleep.

For the past few weeks, he has not been sleepwalking.  I figure he must have gotten this whole GRADE ONE thing figured out and realized that he doesn't have to be the superhero, rescuing all children from the evils of RULE BREAKING (gasp!) and TATTLING. Or, worse of all, the YOU'RE NOT MY FRIEND ANYMORE! Our little mediator was always trying to defend people and get his little glasses caught in the middle of other people's problems, and would take this to his sleep and then fight the evildoers in our livingroom.  But not the past few weeks. The first grade must have signed a peace treaty, or a cease-fire of some type.  No worries at home, no friends being subjected to the tortures of illwanted desk partners or misappopriated pencils. No sleepwalking.

Enter Santa Claus Parade. Sashimi had a friend join him.  They were hyper as speedheads, running all over the blocked-off streets, climbing up poor Charlie Brown trees, and generally being terrible shits. Funny, cuz if Santa really paid attention at the parade, most of those kids would be getting big lumps of coal in their stocking.  But Santa was in a big rush this year.  Hardly even a wave.  Pfft. Snobby Santa. Anyway, add all the candy that kids get at a parade from otherwise sane adults, and VOILÀ! WE HAVE A SLEEPWALKER! SASHIMI PENGIUN-MASTER, COME ON DOWN!!!

He walks into the kitchen. He opens the pantry door.  He pauses for a minute, then closes the door.  He walks toward the fridge.  I assume he's hungry. He opens the dishwasher.  Then I hear the sound of liquid hitting plastic.  HOLY. MOTHER. OF. SUCROSE.  My kid is PISSING in my dishwasher.  And pissing.  And still pissing.  And peeing.  And peeing.  And pissing.  And finally stopping.  No, wait.  He starts up again.  Still peeing! Dribble. Dribble.  Stop. He turns around, heads out of the kitchen, puts himself back to bed.

Tony picks himself up off the floor from trying to control his laughter.  He looks into the dishwasher.  Frickin kid filled the entire lid with pee. So.  Close the lid, WHOOOSH. Pee in the dishwasher, not on the floor.  Immediately run a rinse cycle, cuz EW. I know if you have no antiseptic you can use urine on a cut, but I'm not really liking the idea of sterilizing my dishes with pee.

But I can rest assured knowing that my dishwasher lid is sparkly clean. And that my son will probably disown me when he figures out that I told everyone on the internet that he peed in our dishwasher. But I figure that's a few years off...

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Calling all Nerds. HEY YOU!

Back to work: check.
Back into a workout routine: check
Building up fab guns and pecs: check.
Realization that working my pecs will make my saggy boobs stick out more: check
Realization that between work, working out, keeping the kids alive and our house non-condemned, my exciting life as a prestigious socialite is passé: check.

Worse than all that, that one teaching day, which in teacherland is actually a day plus a half day of prep, really threw off my knitting-TV groove. I was so proud that I finally subscribed to HBO and Movie Central aka Showtime and looking forward to many hours of joys with my TV, needles and stash. And I have not watched it ONCE. In two months, never. Why? I am sooooo awesome that I either a) fall asleep in kid's bed while putting them to sleep, b) crawl out of kid's bedroom and directly into my bed, c) play Angry Birds Star Wars, or d) am a gimp. I apparently also love paying $21/month for something I don't use. Totally rocks my world. You should try it. If you don't want to do that, you could alternately take a twenty dollar bill, light a match, hold the match close enough to the money for it to catch fire, then let it burn. Not long enough that you burn your fingers. You go to the ER, they ask you "how did you burn yourself" and you say "I was burning money" the doctor will prescribe you some crazy pills instead of burn ointment.

What was I talking about? Oh yeah, my groove.

It's gone. I have no time to knit, have tea in fancy tea cups and raise my finger and pip pip cheerio, no time to watch expensive cable channels, no time to shovel the driveway...hum hum hum...all because of that one day.
So. If anyone manages to find a way to open the time-space continuum and give me either one extra hour each day, preferably when the kids are asleep and I am NOT, or stick an extra 8 hours into the weekend, I would appreciate it. I would appreciate it in the amount of one MILLIONNN dollars! And once you have that figured out, if you could just inject some coffee right into that continuum so that I could stay AWAKE for those extra hours, bonus millionsies for you, my friend.

In conclusion, my inner sloth would like you nerd-types to solve this time-space problem post haste. That means yesterday. Then I can go back in time and actually have time to get into Downton Abby. Because everyone tells me how fabulous it is, and I have the channels and everything, but I have no freaking time to watch it! And then I may resort to burning $20 just to go to the ER to get crazy pills.
So, anyone want to get on that?
The time thing, not the pills. Thanks.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

My Daughter's Cabbage Patch is bottle fed.

Last Christmas, we bought a teenie preemie-sized Cabbage Patch doll for iBean.  I knew that she wasa little young for it, but I thought there would come a time when she would be all about playing with dolls, dressing them, changing them, propping them up to teach them school and assign them homework.  Telling them to be quiet and do their work. You know, regular girlie dolly stuff.
Wait.  You didn't put your dolls in little desks and make them do assignments in their teeny notebooks?  You mean that was just me?  Hmm.  Wait...I think I did that to my sisters...

Where was I?  Oh yeah.  iBean and dolls.

She is now 21 months old and starting to realize that babies are EVERYWHERE.  The first time she met her new cousin Lily, she was not impressed.  She gave that little flower child the stink eye and then moped around for a couple of days.  WAH!  Someone is smaller than me and more cuddly and her farts smell like roses!  WAH! I want MY toots to smell like roses again!  Why do I eat solid food?  WAHHHHH!

Then, iBean discovered her Cabbage Patch doll.  She has always been in her room, in her crib, sitting there, waiting to be played with.  iBean finally decided that if she couldn't beat the baby craze, she may as well join it and have one of her own.  She dug out a little knit blanket and wanted me to wrap up her dolly like Lily.  She wanted to rock her dolly and sing to her.  She wanted to feed her. With a BOTTLE.

My daughter, who just stopped nursing a scant two months ago, picked up a play bottle and started feeding her baby dolly while making slurping sounds.


She has never been exposed to bottle feeding in our house, my friends all breastfeed their babies.  So where did this come from?  Her brother.  Sashimi, in his infinite loving wisdom showed her how to feed her baby, with a bottle.  In his defense, there is no physical way he could actually nurse a baby.  Not possible, not happening.  But that one moment of Bottle-ganda was enough to convert her.  That Cabbage Patch doll is bottle fed.

So I hid the bottle.  I wanted to show her how mommies feed their babies from their breasts.  I didn't get all wonky and actually try to nurse the doll.  I just held it to my chest (over my clothes) and made drinking sounds.  iBean looked at me like I was from another dimension.  I put the dolly on her chest and made drinking sounds.  She lifted her baby up, looked at her, then grabbed the bottle and kept feeding.


I'm not mental or anything.  I think it's crazy cute that she wants to take care of her baby doll and rock it and sing to it.  But I just want to convince her NOW that breastfeeding is the way mommies are meant to feed their babies.  And show her that it's normal and ok.  And I want to melt that damn yellow bottle into the bottom of a pan.  And then maybe mail it to the Cabbage Patch company and make some internet video that goes viral while I chant DOWN WITH BOTTLES! MORE BOOBS PLEASE!  Well, maybe not in those exact words.  Although if the man in charge of Cabbage Patch is, indeed, a man, I am sure he would agree with the boobs part of that chant.

I'm going to continue being my daughter's lactation consultant, but if she persists with the cutesie bottle, I may just have to convince myself that iBean adopted the dolly and that my daughter never produced any milk to begin with and that's why she thinks I am crazy for trying to get her to breastfeed.

Maybe I'll find some imaginary breastmilk from the imaginary breastmilk bank and slip that into the bottle.
Take that!

Eff.  I am crazy.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

The Working Mom

Today was a monumental day in my life.  After much consideration, soul searching, a visit with my former students hair pulling, distress and ice wine, I made a decision to go back to work in my profession.  As a teacher.

Well, as a substitute teacher.  For now.  Until iBean is in school.  This way, I can get out of the crazy house and walk into a building as a professional.  And get PAID.  Cha-ching!  Granted, teaching is not really where the big bucks are.  If I really wanted to make all the money, I would be pole dancing or backhoe operating.  Seeing how I am not so interested in those, although, I have to admit, backhoe operating would make me some sort of superhero wonder woman in iBean's eyes, I chose subbing.  I figured, show up, follow someone else's plans, keep the kids from burning down the school, get paid.
Turns out, it's not quite so easy.

Well, it IS easy to keep the kids from burning down the school.  Especially since there are no lighters or flammables in their cubbies.

Following someone else's well-laid plans?  Also easy. And kinda fun.  During the teacher's prep time, I managed to staple my thumb to a bulletin board, break one of the secretary's pens while trying to fix the offending stapler, jam a photocopier, then UNjam said photocopier with my mad skillz. That photocopier is now my bitch.

What was hard?

Having my own kid in the school.
Scratch that.  School-Sashimi, whom I had the absolute pleasure of teaching today, is a complete darling.  He is curteous, respectful, good natured, and everyone's friend.  I was very glad to spend the day with this little boy whom all the teachers have raved to me about.

What was ACTUALLY hard?

Going to meet the kids coming in from recess only to have one of Sashimi's classmates run toward the door yelling "Sashimi's bleeding all over the place!"

And then I heard him wailing.  With blood pulsing from his head and nose, covering his glasses.  The TA that was with me covered for me while I took him to the office and got help with first aid supplies.  He had his hoodie on backward, which I found odd, but since the hood was catching all the blood, I figured it was meant to be.  As it turned out, one of his good friends invented a game where he put Sashimi's hoodie on backward, then covered his face with his hood and led him around outside.  Into a brick wall.*  At forehead breaking speeds.  But honestly, what the HELL was I supposed to do?  I knew I had to take care of my kid.  Which would probably involve a trip to the ER. But I was supposed to be teaching! ACK! But he was crying and clutching my arm! "MOMMY DON'T LEAVE ME!"  But I was getting PAID to teach!

So I did what any working mom would do.  I called the husband:
T: Serious? Like how bad is it?
Me: Bad enough that I have blood all down my elbow. 
T: F*$! What I am supposed to do with Keesadilla and iBean?
Me: Take them with you, I guess.  I dunno.  Or you could wait until Jocelyn gets there to babysit and come pick Sashimi up.
T: I have a meeting at noon, though...
Me: I'm teaching all day...

Dun Dun DUNNNNN.  The "whose job is more important" standoff.  On my first day back.  Honestly, my job is TOTALLY more important (I mean, jeez, I mould the future of our society), but he makes more money with which to buy ice wine, so...

At this point, another teacher offered to cover for me so that I could drive Sashimi to Tony, then as soon as Jocelyn, my best friend/babysitter/doing-me-a-big-favour-in-the-hopes-of-scoring-some-ice-wine got there Tony and Sashimi could take off.  It is about 25 minutes round trip, not too long. I even met Jocelyn's car as I was pulling out of our subdivision, so she was only minutes away anyway.

I went back to work thinking HOW DO WORKING MOTHERS DO THIS EVERYDAY?!

I pulled off the rest of the day with minimal glitches.  Grabbed a couple of wrong keys, scrolled through my iPod music several times trying to determine which music was actually appropriate for grade 5 and 6 students in the gym (turns out, very little), read a book about why you shouldn't pick your nose, you know, standard elementary stuff. Sashimi made it back to school about an hour or so later with a crazy-glued forehead covered in bandages. He was all smiles, which alleviated my guilt for calling in the husband reinforcements.  Tony made it to work mildly late.  One less bottle of ice wine for me, I guess.

So, to sum it all up, it was a crazy way to get reacquainted with the workforce.  I would not recommend it.  The teaching part, super.  The blood part, not so super.  it was so NOT super it was RUSEP.  That's right.  I went there.


*the wall part was an accident.  Poor kid felt so bad for hurting Sashimi, he cried and said he would never play that game again. Captain Obvious saves the day!
**Good thing for that hoodie, offering a minute cushioning between Sashimi's face and the wall.  It could have been so much worse.
***But then, if he had not been wearing the hoodie, he would not have crashed into the brick wall in the first place. So DAMN THAT HOODIE.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Back to school boringness

it appears that I have been on hiatus for some time.  The small people have not been very forthcoming with blog fodder, and my life has been pretty boring. But in the spirit of keeping people up-to-date, this post is pretty much about nothing, but informed nothing.

1. Sashimi went back to school.  Hallelujah freaking hallelujah! The night before going back to school, while talking about it with my parents at the dinner table, Sashimi looked at me and said: Are you only excited for school to start just to get RID OF ME?! I looked at my mom, who avoided eye contact with me.  Tony did the same.  What?  Am I THAT easy to read?  Hell yes I wanted Sashimi out of the house. Not necessarily getting rid of him, but I needed for him and Keesadilla to not be together during the day, you know, make them miss each other, absense makes the heart grow boogers, all that stuff.
2. Buuuuuut that backfired. Turns out that although Keesadilla misses his big brother like crazy, big brother doesn't give a rat's hairy behind about being nice to little brother when he gets home.  For the first few days, Keesadilla was so anxious for Sashimi to come home that he would ask to wait for him at his bus stop.  Sashimi actually told me that he did NOT want us coming to meet him. Then he hit his brother over the head with a golf club. Or maybe he just shrugged out of a hug.  Whatever it was, Keesadilla was not very impressed.  I think then there was some punching in the face, and throwing wooden trains at someone's head, or something like that.
3. Topping that craptastic cake off is...drum roll please...sleepwalking!  That's right, our oldest child is now a habitual sleep walker.  Sleep walker-talker-wanderer-cryer, while his siblings snore soundly in their beds. Sometimes he takes a pee while sleepwalking and I cringe wondering how much of it actually hits in the bowl.  Turns out his sleep aim is pretty good.  Better than Keesadilla's awake aim.  Maybe sleep-Sashimi should teach awake Keesadilla how to take a piss.  Now if I could figure out a way to arrange for that to happen...
4. My days at home with only two kids have been quiet.  Well, mostly. Kinda.  Whiny, actually.  I've been working on the whineroad, all the freaking day...and then iBean has learned how to throw little fits.  Stomp stomp stomp and arm-flail arm-flail arm-flail.  Maybe beat head into cupboard a few times when mommy won't give her any more toddler toothpaste. MAAAAMMMMMY!  PAH-PEEEEE!!! NONONONONONONONO!
5. Fortunately for her cuteness sake, iBean has taken up nail painting.  Or nail colouring, when nail polish is otherwise unavailable.
All this and I am stepping foot into a classroom in my capacity as a teacher for the first time in over six years.  Only I will be a substitute this time.  I am figuratively crapping myself.  In a good way.  Wait, is there any way to crap yourself in a good way?  That seems wierd.  All I mean is that I am nervous as heck but in a positive "yea me!" kinda way.  Can I say "yea me!"? I totally can't get away with "Me Go Girl!" If not for the grammatical absurdity, just for the fact that I don't think I know ANYONE who can pull that off.
Unlike Awesomesauce. I can totally pull that word off.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

The true price of organic broccoli

Although we are avid gardeners, we also pay for a plot through a local CSA (community supported agriculture, that's fancy-talk for someone else grows vegetables so I can enjoy fresh garden yummies). We have the reassurance that our produce is being grown organically and locally, and we enjoy the variety of veggies that we get, and are happy to get new produce that we would not normally buy or grow for ourselves.   Like getting a secret ingredient from Iron Chef: And today's ingredient is....KALE! À LA CUISINE!! At which point, Iron Chef Ukraine says: I cook in cream-dill sauce, tak?
As it turns out, you make kale chips.  Which are not in any sauce, nor are they rigid enough to dip in a cream-dill sauce.  Fortunately, Sashimi loved them and pretty much inhaled an entire bunch of kale in its dried chippy form.

A staple veg in our house has always been broccoli. We love steamed broccoli, a little on the crunchy side, dipped in a mix of sambal oelek and soya sauce.  Our kids love the little trees, too, only they don't do sambal oelek.  Yet.

I have never grown my own broccoli.  Wait.  That's a lie.  Our first garden had some broccoli in it.  It looked fantastic, but when we steamed it, it tasted like hot.  Like eating a hot flower.  Not at all like broccoli.  Since then, we have enjoyed garden broccoli only from our CSA.
Getting fresh broccoli is always a treat for the boys.  As soon as we got home from picking up our veg last week, I washed up the broccoli, chopped it up, steamed it, and served it.  While the boys munched on broccoli, I heated up some other leftovers (rice and ribs).  Sashimi devoured his helping, iBean used hers to paint the table with whatever condiment she could reach, and Keesadilla thoughtfully enjoyed each morsel. 
Then he saw something he had never seen before.

K: Mommy?  What is this?

I looked at what he had on his finger.  It was curled on itself, it had many little leg nubbins, and it was yellowy.  I knew it was a worm.  A cooked worm. Well, steamed. From his broccoli bowl.  The last thing I wanted was for him to know that there was a worm in his broccoli.  The kid actually likes vegetables, and I did not want to scar him for life.  Acting with super lightening quick speed, I took the worm away from him, threw it in the garbage, and said: It's just a piece of a leaf.  Don't worry about it.

K: Mommy, it was round.  And it was bumpy.
M: Sometimes leaves are round and bumpy.
K: But Mommy, I saw two little round things on it.  It looked like eyes.
M: Oh?  Are you sure?
K: Yeah.   I think it was a caterpiller.
M: Yeaaaaahhhhhh.  I think it was, too.  But it's gone, now.  Don't worry, you didn't eat it.

Keesadilla kept meticulously eating his broccoli, then he stopped.

K: Mommy, there's another caterpillar in my bowl.
M: What? No.....

I went to investigate.  Yup.  There it was.  Another tiny worm.  Dead. Death by soya sauce.  I grabbed it and launched it into the sink.

Sashimi: TWO catperpillars?  Mommy!  I ate all my broccoli already.  What if I ate a caterpillar?
M: Sashimi, I looked through your broccoli.  There were no worms in it.
S: WORMS? Are you SURE? What if I ate one?
M: You didn't eat one. And even if you did, some people eat worms and bugs because it's part of their culture. It's not a big deal. Here, have some rice.

Even though in my mind, I am screaming with gross-outness from the whole thing.  EWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!! But must maintain composure so as to not frighten the offspring.  I smile, they smile.  Right? Right.

I handed the kids each a bowl of rice.  Sashimi dug right in.  iBean used the rice to create some sort of collage on her condiment art. Keesadilla just stared at his bowl, as still as the dead worm he nearly ate.

K: Mommy, I think I don't feel very good right now.

M: Ok.  You can go watch some TV.

So the lesson of the day is that when you go organic, you sometimes get a little bonus protein. As long as you don't yak it up.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Insanity: CHECK!

I have completed the Insanity program
As in I've done 63 days (not 60, like they advertise: 9 weeks = 63 days) of gruelling, sweat-inducing, profanity-shouting, vomit-producing, work-til-you-drop workouts. 
And I am DAMN proud of myself.
I used to be an active person in my before-kids days.  As a kid and teen, I was a dancer, so I had those awesome dancer legs. When I met Tony, I used to work out 5 days a week, doing cardio and weight training. 
Then I got pregnant with Sashimi, started feasting on Hot Rods and Bounty candy bars and avoiding all things fit-related.  It's not that I didn't want to be in shape.  It's just that I was so sick, I was eating anything that would make me feel well enough to function.  Then after I had the baby, I had a really hard time getting back into any type of exercise regimen: breastfeeding and pacing the hallway at all hours of the night with my non-sleeping baby were my main forms of physical activity, followed by melting breastpumps, reaching under the crib to find lost soothers, and using my foot to push the gas pedal in the car to get more coffee.
Then I had another baby, then a miscarriage, then a scary pregnancy and a preterm delivery, followed by a bout of hyperthyroidism.  I lost all of my baby weight and was nearly 10 lbs lighter than before I ever had kids.  That meant I was in great shape, right?
It meant that I had somehow 10 lbs of muscle mass that once graced my body thanks to the, you know, exercise I used to do had been lost thanks to the, you know, six years of sloth and gluttony.
And how do I know that?
Because 64 days ago, I did the Insanity Fit Test and discovered that despite my slender body, I was really not in shape.  Actually, I was the antithesis of in shape.  I was in flab.  Or in floom.  Or out of the box.  It was really bad. After each of those workouts for the first week, I had to recover on the floor in a puddle of my own sweat for a good 15 minutes before I could actually get my arms to pull my limp body up the stairs so that I could pass out on my bed.  And each day, every stinkin' muscle was yelling at me.  But I persevered. I was not trying to lose weight, I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it, that I could get back into shape, and that I could enjoy exercise again.
After a month, I began to notice that I actually gained energy from doing the workouts.  Don't get me wrong, they were still gruelling.  But they also gave me a buzz like an extra cup of joe.  Too bad I usually did my workouts at night after the kids were in bed and I was wired until past midnight.  And that's where the Fifty Shades trilogy came in handy...
On the last day of the program, you repeat the same Fit Test that you do on the first day, and compare your results to see how you have improved.  You actually do the test every two weeks to track your progess.  There are eight exercises, and you try to do as many reps as you can in one minute. I did not record my results on the first day because I was so exhausted that I couldn't count and workout at the same time. Or use a pencil in between exercises. But I did record the other tests. The left column is day 14, the right is the last day.


And just to note, I disctinctly remember that on day 1, I did ZERO switch kicks.  As in none.  To go from 0 to 140 is, well, crazy.  That means I did 140 kicks in one minute.  Over two per second.  I am a MACHINE.  Besides giving me energy, I have gained 4 lbs of pure muscle, mostly in my legs, I am sure.  Yes, I am heavier now than before I started, but I don't care.  Did I mention that I am a MACHINE?!

Also, I did not think to take a before picture of myself.  I really wish I would have, because I would have loved to send in the before and afters to Beach Body and receive an Insanity T-shirt.  But I definitely took some after pictures:
These babies can do 33 push-up jacks in a minute.  Real ones, not the girl ones.

My dancer calves are back! 
These are the abs that bore three children.

And there you have it.  The program rocks.  It gives results. And it is sort of addicting.  Like I am sort of sad that it's over and I may just start all over again.  Oh...THAT's why it's called Insanity...

Monday, 9 July 2012

Defining Moment

There are several moments that define your life: first kiss, first love, wedding day, coming out of the closet day, you know, stuff like that.  Some of these moments are truly momentous for everyone involved, like the day a child is born.  Or the day you come out.  Other moments, well, they may not be as astounding, but they build character.  Or merely highlight a quality of your character you didn't know you had.

I was watching the kids take a bath after an excruciatingly hot day.  I was sitting in my bra and shorts.  Tony was walking around in his boxers, Sashimi still in his swimming trunks, playing with Lego.  iBean tried to climb out of the tub, so I helped her out, dried her off a bit, then let her run off.  The air-drying time would bring her some relief in the heat.  I looked over at her bending over the lego bin, watching her brother.  Then I saw something.  I reached out my hand and caught it.    I walked over to the bathroom, put the half-footer log into the toilet and flushed.  Then I realized what I had just done.

I caught a shit in my HAND.  My bare hand!  ON PURPOSE!  And for what?  So I wouldn't have to clean shit off the carpet.  Because I apparently would rather have to clean poop off my hands (which I use to EAT WITH) than off the carpet, which we walk on. With our dirty feet. But wait!  After the log, iBean made a sequel and it was all mushy, so when Tony tried to pick it up off the carpet, he smushed it in.  SMUSHED SHIT INTO THE CARPET!  So my log-catching was all for naught.  Because not only did I gently cradle my daughter's feces in my hand, catching it like delivering a fragile baby, I also get to scrub it out of my bedroom carpet.

And you know what the worst part is?  The whole thing didn't phase me. At. All.  It was like business as usual in the frickin Gross McDisgusterson house, where people apparently poop in the tub, on the floor, and now in my hand.  You know how some people potty train their kids?  Not me.  My kids are totally hand-trained.  They squat, I catch.  It's easy, you all can do it, too.  You just let your kids run around naked and wait for the catch.  In the middle of making dinner?  No worry! Don't have to run to the bathroom, just catch and dump.  Or is it dump and catch?  Or they dump then you catch and you dump?  Either way, you always get poop on your hands.  And then you use your hands for EVERYTHING ELSE in your day.

Seriously, what have I become that I can see a turtle head poking out and my first reaction is to stick my HAND there?!  Why would I not find a cloth to catch it in, or pick her up and put her over the toilet?  Or just let her poop on the floor and make Tony clean it up? Because apparently I am a shit-catcher.  Some people catch a break.   Some people catch colds.  I catch shit. 

And that has been my character-defining moment of the day year. 

Sunday, 24 June 2012

A letter to my "kids"

For my OLPH "kids"

It doesn't seem like that long ago that I got my first teaching job - grade six French immersion. I was trained as a high school math teacher: quadratic equations or bust! I was not really trained to be a sixth grade teacher, I was sort of trained to teach French immersion, and I couldn't paper a bulletin board to save my life.  But a job was a job, and I took it.

The first day that I walked into the classroom and stared at all of your eager faces, I was terrified.  These happy, smiling kids were all looking at me like I not only had a clue, but that I had THE clue, the answer to every question, the solution to every problem.  I knew nothing.  And you looked up to me, assuming that because I was your teacher, that I knew everything and that everything was completely under control.

Here is the truth: I faked it.  I faked being in control and knowing everything, because the truth was, I had a LOT to learn. Sure, I knew how to do advanced calculus (which, sadly, you don't teach to sixth graders) and prove mathematical theorems (also not in the sixth grade curriculum), but I did not know if I could do you justice as an educator.

Day after day, you pulled up a chair to my desk and had lunch with me, spouting all of your (and your friends') secrets and stories, jokes and dreams while I listened.  I smiled, I laughed, I convinced a few of you to try tofu, and I loved every minute.  I loved your stories, and for some reason, you thought I was amusing to listen to, and you seemed to actually want my company.  There was more to the relationship dynamic than just a teacher who teaches and students who learn.  Lightening struck my heart.

From there, I started thinking about you all the time.  You were not just students, you were my kids.  I wanted you to be happy, I wanted to protect you from unnecessary distresses, I wanted you to succeed, and I wanted you to know that you were important, not just to me, but to the world.  I never really knew whether or not I achieved that, and I just hoped that no matter what curricula I taught, that each one of you would come to learn that you MATTERED.

This weekend, I went back. You are now graduating from high school, standing on the edge of greatness.  I had kept in touch with a few of you kids, and so I managed to get a ticket to your graduation banquet.  I was excited to see my kids again, probably for the last time all in the same place.  And I was not expecting the reception that I got.

Only two students knew that I would be there (of the 50 or so that I had taught).  I heard shouts from across the room as a girl threw her arms around me, exclaiming "Madame!  I am so glad you're here!" (When did she get so pretty?) One young man wrapped his arms tightly around me before deciding to see if he was finally taller than me (he took off his hat, I took off my shoes: turns out he is now a couple of inches taller).  One beautiful young lady looked at me and asked in earnest "Is it hard?" about going to the french campus at the university. (She'll be an excellent teacher.)  A boy (well, a man now) towered over me, giving me such a firm and loving hug that I thought I would fall over.  (When did he get so tall? And when did he grow facial hair??) One after another, I was wrapped in warmth and love from kids that spent 10 months of their pre-teen lives with me six years ago. 

Not only that, but your parents were very enthused to see me, telling me how much it meant to them that I came and how much I meant to their child.  One mother told me that when she asked her daughter which of her teachers meant the most to her (of all her school years) she said she didn't even hesitate: it was Mme N.  Another mother told me that I was the first teacher to really see in her son what other teachers couldn't (or wouldn't take the time for).  A different parent told me that I had such a lasting influence on the kids, and that the fact that I was a first year teacher made it all the more amazing.

My kids are now adults.  You are future nurses, doctors, teachers, 3D animators, musicians, composers, performers, electricians, broadcasters, zoologists.  You are future mothers and fathers.  You will have to make difficult decisions, you will have failures, you will be successful.  But you will always be my kids.  And of all the lessons I wish you could remember from that lightening storm six years ago, it is this: you mattered.  You mattered to me, and you showed me this weekend just how much I mattered to you.

And you always will matter to me.  That's just the way it is.

Much love and pride for ALL of you, my OLPH kids.


Mme N.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Sweat-induced hallucinations

It's been about two weeks since I wrote about Insanity.  Today is Day 20.
Some things I have discovered in the past 20 days (and 20 workouts):
  1. Covergirl waterproof mascara is not sweatproof.  It runs like watercolour paint all over your face and into your eyes...and it burns. ACK!  It BURNS!  AAAHHH! Get it off!  Get it off!  Oh. Wait.  That's not the mascara that burns.  It's my sweat.  What the heck is sweat made out of?
  2. Sweat, as it turns out, has small amounts of ammonia in it.  It all makes sense now...
  3. Plyometrics is just fancy talk for a lot of bouncing around and sweat-flinging, the way a dog shakes itself dry.  Except I'm not trying to shake the sweat off.  It just flies off of its own free will.  As long as it's not in my eyes, it's all good.
  4. Except when it pools on the floor and then when I am plyometricking around my shoe actually slips in it.  
  5. Plyometricking does amazing stuff for your legs and butt.  My legs have not been this strong since I used to be a dancer.
  6. I was a Ukrainian dancer, not a female form of Magic Mike.
  7. I am pretty sure I could crack a nut between my thighs.
  8. Ack. Change nut to walnut.  That doesn't sound so dirty.  I did mention that I was NOT an exotic dancer, right?
  9. After I crack that walnut, I could put it in a bowl and rest that bowl on my muscular shelf of a bum.
  10. The last time I rested a bowl on any part of my body was when I rested a two-piece chicken meal from KFC on my enormous pregnant tummy the day before I went into labour with Sashimi.  And popcorn chicken.  And coleslaw.  And a tub of gravy.  Mmm...gravy...
  11. Where was I? Oh yeah, Insanity.  While the workouts are still crazy hard, my muscles are not sore anymore.  
  12. My muscles are getting larger, though.  My quads are definitely bigger, but in a nice way.
  13. Big enough that I have gained about 3 lbs, but not lost any inches.  Well, I have lost a couple, but I am not saying where.  It will only make Tony mad.  BUT one of the best and most unexpected things that has happened is...*drumroll*
  14. My evening blood pressure, which has been an issue ever since I was pregnant with iBean, has gone into the normal range!  I guess working out IS good for blood pressure.  Darn self-righteous pamphlet and its being right in its righteousness...

Friday, 1 June 2012

Snippets of Insanity

So I started doing Insanity.  The Insanity workout.  Why I thought that would be a good idea, I'm not sure.  I started drafting a post about the workout, what I thought of it, pros and cons, but I thought to myself: that's not my style.  Being rational and serious?  There is NO ROOM for that on this blog.

So instead, here are some tidbits of my first week of the Insanity workout.

Day 1: The Fit Test.
Before: Hmm.  It's called Fit TEST.  It must be some way to determine if I am too in shape and hawt for Insanity.  This should be easy.  I gave birth three times, I run up and down my stairs a billion times a day.  Easy peasy.
During: Oh for the love of all that is holy and good!  What the hell was I thinking?  When did I get so out of shape? WHAT?  SUICIDE DRILLS?  I don't know what those are, but I don't think...OH MY GOSH, I'M GOING TO HURL.  Wait, did I just pee myself?  What?  That's a puddle of SWEAT?  Insane.  Ah.  There it is.  That's why it's called Insanity.  Well played, Shaun T.
Conclusion: I am not fit. Damn.  Hey, what's this HipHop Abs preview?  Dancing all cool-style AND getting awesome abs? That's definitely more my style. I totally took a Hip Hop class while I was pregnant. Easy peasy. But...I don't want to spend any money.  Bah.

Day 2: Plyometric Cardio Circuit
Before: Ok.  It can't be as bad as yesterday.  That was a test.  I failed, but now I am here to learn.
During: My glasses are slipping off my much sweat.  This is just the WARM UP?  What kind of sick joke is this?  Basketball drills?  I can't play basketball, what do I care?  SUICIDE JUMPS?!  AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!
Keesadilla looks at me and says: Mommy, are you tired?  I don't think that's a good idea to do that.
After: Huddled on the floor in fetal position for about 15 minutes.  Then I use the banister to pull my formless body up the stairs, then collapse onto my bed.

Day 3: Cardio Power and Resistance
Before: Ok.  My legs are going to fall off.  If my legs worked that hard yesterday, today must be more upper body.  That's good.  I can do upper body.  I carry kids around all day.  My upper body is hard core.
During: Oh no.  I think I have to poop.  Should have went before.  No wait.  I think I have to pee.  Or vomit.  Balls. MORE LEGS!  My muscles are on FIRE! YES, SHAWN T!  I CAN FEEL THE BURN. 
Conclusion: Apprarently there is no alternating between upper and lower body.  It's just all bad.  And I don't have to poop.  My colon was just feeling the burn, too.

Day 4: Cardio Recovery
Before: Recover.  That sounds good.  Maybe we sip some tea and talk about  our feelings.
During: Stretchchchchchchchchchchh.  Oh that's nice.  Why am I sweating so much?  All I'm doing is stretching?  Maybe I am really out of shape.
After: I rocked those stretches.  Boo-ya. 

Day 5: Pure Cardio
Before: I have a good heart, I have good endurance.  This should be easy.
During: AAAAAAAAAH!  Oh God.  Save me!  No more drills with the word suicide in them!  I'm gonna hurl, I'm gonna hurl...BEEEEELLLLLCH.  That felt awful.  How can I do push ups when my hands are so sweaty they slip all over the floor? 
After: Tony looks at me and says: Whoa.  You're, like, so wet.  And red.  Are you ok?
Me: YES I'm ok.  Sheesh.
Obviously, I'm a bit sweaty.  But the people in the video look fine.  They look in shape and fit.  I am clearly as sweaty-fit looking as they are.
I look in the mirror.  Is it normal for your skin to be bright magenta?  Wow.  Oh well, it'll be better soon.
Twenty minutes later: Still magenta, hey.  Neat. Well, my orange glasses are definitely out for today.

Every part of my body hurts.  I have not had a decent poop in five days.  My boobs are probably a size smaller from all the sweating they've done.  I've gained two pounds.  Mostly muscle, I suspect.  Maybe some poop. 

My plan is to make it to 30 days. If I have not pooped by then, I'll definitely be done with Insanity, and possibly become closely acquainted with a new friend, Exlax.  If Mr. Colon is A-OK, I'll do the recovery week and keep going. No matter how much I work out, I know my breasts will never be just below my smile again.  So I will then buy myself a sweet custom-fit bathing suit, the cheaper alternative to having a post-baby post-breastfeeding boob lift. 

And then I will be able to say this was the dumbest/smartest thing I ever did.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Loooooooooong Summer

Let me preface this post with an obvious, but need to state explicitly, statement:  I love my son.  I would do anything for him, I love him to pieces and wouldn't change a thing about him, because he is unique, brilliant, and oh-so-popular with others.  Girls included.

Last night, while cuddling with Sashimi in bed, I told him that he had to go to school today because this was the last week of kindergarten.  He was fine with that, and then Keesadilla chimed in: Yea!  And then Sashimi will be home everyday!  I could only weakly mutter: yeeeeeaaaah...

Because here is the honest truth: I am dreading summer. It may be a shocker to some of you, but Sashimi and I don't get along so well on a day-to-day level. We love each other fiercely, but somehow we butt heads at everything.  He hurts himself, he blames me.  He has to do chores, he yells at me and blames me.  When he asks for a snack and I tell him no, he gets upset and says that I can't control HIS body. I am somehow stifling his individuality and sense of being just by being his mother.

I never thought it would be this way.  One of my best friends has a very similar relationship with her nearly-10-year-old son.  When I met them six years ago, I saw the way he would get frustrated and mad at her, and I thought it would NEVER be that way with my as-of-yet unborn child.

Fastforward six years, and it's the SAME. Sashimi is an amazing kid. His teachers have nothing but glowing praise for him, he is very well-liked by his classmates, busmates, bus driver, and the neighbourhood kids.  Other kids' parents think he is soooo neat, and he is.  He is awesome. 
Somehow, his awesomeness and my natural awesomeness cannot be in the same house for too long or they create some sort of sinister reaction that turn us both into snarling venomous beasts.  We feed off each other, and it's just a whirling cesspool of yaksauce. 

School keeps us both on better terms.  He has a great day with his friends and comes home in a good mood, and it generally stays that way until he goes to bed.  Non-school days are another story. He needs stimulation outside our home, and I can't blame him.  I spend all day taking care of his train-loving brother and baby sister, our world revolving around her naps.  It's not exactly a 5-year old's dream summer. 

I have been trying to look at my summer options for operation: stay sane.  Thus far, my search for summer entertainment for Sashimi have come up short.  He is too young to register for our community's Summer Fun program (trust me, I called).  There's the library's reading program, but that still means I have to drag iBean and Keesadilla with me, which may be more trouble than it's worth.  To top it off, I feel guilty because if Sashimi knew that I was trying to find ways for him to get out of the house away from me, he would get pretty anxious. He doesn't like being away from his family for any reason other than school: he would even rather stay home and not play with his friends than go to a friend's house alone. 

So, if anyone has any ideas they want to share on how to keep both Sashimi and I sane and on good terms for three whole months, please let me know.  And in this case, alcohol is not the answer.  Ok, maybe it's one answer, but it cannot be the answer everyday. I have a figure to maintain...

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Real iced tea *face palm*

Sashimi and Keesadilla loves them some iced tea.  They love it at restaurants, they love it at the park, they love it at my parents' place when we roast hot dogs in their fire pit.

Wait. Scratch that.  They love "real" iced tea. 

Yesterday, I decided to make some homemade iced tea.  You know, with tea bags and hot water and lemon and sugar.  The kind that you have to let steep and then cool in the fridge for hours until it's actually "iced" and not just, well, tea.  While I was making it, the boys looked at me with a scrunched up "I smell a stinky bum" face.

Sashimi: What's that smell?
Me: It's iced tea.
S: That's not iced tea.  That smells like TEA!
M: Sashimi, this is REAL iced tea.
S: No, it's not!
M: Yes, it is.
S: No, I want REAL iced tea!  You know, the can with the powder that you mix with water...
M: That is NOT real iced tea.
S (because, of course, 5-year-old boys know everything): Yes it is!
M: Where do you think the name "ICED TEA" comes from?  It's TEA...that's ICED, which means COLD!
S: Well this smells gross.  I want the powder stuff.
M: Well, we're all out of powder, so if you want iced tea, you'll have to wait until this is cooled off.
Keesadilla (sticking his two cents in): NO!  I don't WANNA!  I WANT IT RIGHT NOW!

Bah.  So I put the jug in the fridge and waited for my freon to work its magic.  And shook my head at how something as simple as iced tea powder can make my kids so food-dumb.

Fast forward a few hours.  The iced tea is now ICED ICED BABY!  I poured myself a small massive glass and slammed it back like I used to do with Long Island Iced Tea ponies at the Moon Saloon when I was a skanky teenager.*  And by pony I mean those pitchers that are, like, half the size of a regular pitcher of beer.  And you looked sooooo sexy on the dance floor in your plastic leather pants, sipping from one of those pitchers filled with neon green alcoholic something-or-other while gyrating to some Destiny's Child billboard hit. Or "IIIIIIIIII'M Comin' up, so you betta get this party STARTED!!"

Anyhoo...let's jump back to 2012. I served the kids each a small glass of iced tea** with their supper.  Before they even realized it, they had drank it all and were asking for seconds.  Sashimi even said that it was BETTER than real iced tea.  *face palm*

* Quick note, I was never a skank in any way.  I always dressed in very loose paisley-print clothing that completely concealed my curves and cleavage.  I also spent all of my free time at church praying for those poor lost souls in the bar who would never find what they were looking for at the bottom of a pony.

** Just to clarify: there was no alcohol in the kids' iced tea. Only poor lost souls put alcohol in their iced tea.  Sheesh. 

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

The Poopsmith

Poopsmith /ˈpo͞opˌsmiTH/
1. the science and art of making, defeating, and concealing poop
2. my daughter

iBean is a prolific pooper. Not only that, she is now at the age of poop awareness.  Seriously, I think the poop awareness ribbon is brown with flecks of green and yellow, designed by iBean herself.  Just to create awareness out there that YES!  SHE CAN POOP! AND SHE LOVES IT!

She hides behind doors or crouches beside tables when she does her business, and when I look at her and ask her if she just went caca (French for poop), she looks at me with pure pleasure and repeats "TCHA TCHA!"  She even poops in the tub. On a regular basis.  I think it's one of her favourite places to poop.  Maybe it's like giving birth in a pool: less pressure and it just slides right out.  Not that I have ever given birth in a pool.  Or pooped in a pool.  Or bath. So maybe it's not like giving birth at all. Meh.  Just scratch all that.

This morning after breakfast, I lift iBean out of her highchair, only to discover that her diaper had leaked pee through her pajamas.  Her bum, and now my shirt from her bum being pressed against me, are soaking wet.  So I instantly strip her down to her naked-diva-self as I grab a new diaper, clean clothes for Beanerson, and a new shirt for myself.  As much as I like walking around looking like I am permanently lactating, I think I'll go for a fresher look today.

I put on a new NOW-URINE-FREE shirt and go get iBean from the kitchen, where she is wandering around playing with clean dishes in the dishwasher, rearranging my cupboards, being über-helpful in a way only a 15-month-old can.  I bring her to the bedroom and put a new diaper on.  Hmmm.  That's wierd.  There's a bit of poopsmear around her bum hole.  Wow, must be dried on from yesterday, I guess.  Wierdo presto strange-o. Oh well.

iBean gets dressed and races back to the living room to cause general confusion and delay while Tony is trying to get Sashimi dressed for school and I work on convincing Keesadilla that playschool is not full of BAD GUYS and that his friends are not all BAD and STINKY, and YES, Mommy will stay with him for five minutes to play.
Speaking of stinky, Keesadilla pipes up: Mommy, what's that stinky smell?
Me: TONY did you fart?
Tony: No...*look of disbelief crosses everyone's face*...Seriously, I didn't.  I think it's iBean.
Me, checking her bum: Nothing in her diaper, I just changed her.
Keesadilla: Mommy, YOU stink!
Me: No I don't.  I don't smell anything, Keesadilla.
I walk into the kitchen to make myself some breakfast, start slicing up fruit to make a smoothie.  I go to the fridge to get yogurt and see it: 

I shout out: OH MANNNNN!  IBEAN!!  You pooped on the floor!!
And our live studio audience bursts out into maniacal laughter, followed by the Poopsmith herself, heaving with red cheeks and flailing her arms about from the sheer hilarity of it: "TCHA TCHA!!!!"

Well, it's not so funny when you have to CLEAN THAT SH*T UP!

Nice try Beanerson.  I'll be more impressed when you TELL me you pooped on the floor.  Wait.  Scratch that.  I'll be more impressed when you tell me you have to poop BEFORE you poop on the floor.  That's better.

Oh well.  I guess that's one less sh*tty diaper I have to wash.  Wait, did I just say that?  Damn.  Well played, Poopsmith.  Well played.

Monday, 23 April 2012

The Collection

In four weeks, Keesadilla will celebrate his 4th birthday. And he knows it's coming. This morning, while Tony and I were hazily enjoying our caffeine-drip, Keesadilla asked if his birthday was after breakfast. When we said no, he asked if it was tomorrow. When we said no again, he said: How many minutes, then??

For the third time in his life, he wants a Thomas the Tank Engine cake. And gifts? Trains. More trains. Maybe a Shake-Shake bridge. Oh, did I mention trains? Now, buying Keesadilla a train is not as easy as a perogy: there was the unfortunate incident when he received two of the same engine for Christmas. Wait, scratch that. It was THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVEEEEEERRRRRRR! OH MY GOSH! I GOT TWO DIESEL 10S! ARE THEY BROTHERS LIKE ME AND SACHA? AAAAAAHHHH!! I LOVE TRAINS!!!!

 For ease of train-shopping for all you birthday gift givers out there, Keesadilla has produced an informative video featuring his extensive train collection. He hopes that it will help all of you in your train purchasing endeavors and says to please, feel free to reference it as often as you like. You may not get all of the details of which trains he has and which ones he does NOT after a single viewing.

If you have shares in Learning Curve toys, YOU'RE WELCOME.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Congratulations and Condolences

Today is Friday, April 13.  My little sister got married today.
At this point, most people say:
1. Who the heck gets married on a Friday?
2. WAIT....Who the heck gets married on a Friday the THIRTEENTH?!  DUN DUN DUN!
3.  Did you know that Friday the 13th is bad luck?
4.  13 is a prime number!  What?!

Wow.  Really, you had to add that last one, didn't you.

Well, my sister had not really planned on getting married on a Friday, nor on the 13th, and especially not on a Friday the 13th.  She was supposed to get married on September 15th, a nice relaxing sort of number, divisible by 3 and 5, and a Saturday, like all normal people.

This wedding was anything but the norm.

Three weeks ago, Talia (my sister) called me to tell me that her future father-in-law was very ill.  He was battling cancer, and it seemed that he was losing the battle rather quickly. The doctors had given him at most a few months to live.  At that point, he was already basically bed-ridden in his home, unable to complete any further cancer treatments as his health was not really up to the onerous task of dealing with cancer drugs and so on.  They started treating him palliatively.

Talia and her fiancé (Leigh) decided that it was very important that his father be present at their wedding, so they decided to forgo the big fancy hoopla and have a small ceremony in their house, scheduled for today.  They wanted to get everything planned as quickly as possible so that he could witness his oldest son get married.

Leigh's father died yesterday.

In his last hours in this world, he was adamant that they NOT cancel or postpone the wedding. The family, wanting to honor his wishes, unanimously decided to go on with the wedding as planned.  When Talia initially told me this, I thought she was crazy.  We lost out father 12 years ago, so I knew how difficult it was and I could not imagine getting MARRIED the day after he died. But I wanted to be supportive, so I picked out some karaoke music (I was supposed to play the piano, but we discovered it was badly out of tune and would make the guests' ears cry), went over the songs with her and started learning lyrics.  I decided to only bring one child (iBean) as Tony's mom had told me that she would take the boys to Telus World of Science (is that what that place is called now?  I can't keep it straight).  I had not planned on bringing any kids to the ceremony - Leigh's dad was ill and I didn't want rambunctious hooligans (read: my chillins) causing him any additional discomfort.  But I also did not think Tony's mom would have as much fun at the science center with a 15 month old.  So I used the excuse to buy her a new cheery outfit and brought her with me:
Did your computer crash?  Sorry, it's just a minor cuteness overload.  Your data should all be in tact.

When I arrived at the house this afternoon, things were quiet, but not somber.  Just calm.  There was no rush, no sense of urgency, just a sense of being truly in the moment.  I am pretty sure the ceremony started late, but no one was really looking at their watches (except maybe the marriage commissioner). And everyone was smiling.  There were some tears, but they were the usual wedding tears, nothing like the funeral tears I had been anticipating.
And Talia flubbed her vows a bit - she looked at the marriage commissioner and said "Wait a minute.  I missed that.  What did you say?" True Talia style.
But she was beautiful. You can cut her some slack for that, right?
Beauty was not in the eye of the beholder.  She was GORGEOUS on an objective level.

Leigh had the most adoring look on his face with eyes only on his bride for the entire ceremony.
And once they were introduced as Mr and Mrs, he picked up a ukelele and serenaded his new wife. On a ukelele.  Serenading.  Did I mention it was a ukelele?
 We had some appetizers and wine, followed by the ritual of the couple feeding each other the cake:
Have YOU washed YOUR hands today, honey?
I was happy to have been there, and I am sure that Leigh's dad and our dad were both there.  Although not in monkey suits like the rest of us, who have to wiggle out of our spanx everytime we need to pee.  And I am sure they smiled down on us.  I mean, who wouldn't laugh at someone trying to wiggle themselves free of their underwear while their bladder is ready to burst from the large volume of wine you drank?  WHY OH WHY did I drink that last box of wine?  I really need to invest in a stadium pal.  Or maybe they should make spanx with a built-in stadium pal.  That's a million-dollar-idea right there. Now DON'T STEAL IT.

 Oh.  And congratulations you two!