Monday, December 20, 2010

Will I ever sleep again?

Sleep has always been an issue in our house. When the girls were wee, they slept amazingly well, but I was usually spinning with anxiety (post partum depression) and could never get a good night’s sleep. Once the anxieties were lifted, being a light sleeper oft kept me awake (I can hear a nose whistler from down the street). Finally, likely from sheer exhaustion of having years of no sleep, I became a star pupil at sleeping, until Grace developed her night time anxieties, which have awoken me most nights for the past 3 years. With some tools under our belts we are able to get her back to sleep much faster now, but some nights it was hours before there was peace.

Well, last week was a good week. No night time waking at all. Finally, an unbroken, 8 hours (if I was smart enough to go to bed at the right time) of sleep. Ahhh, I thought to myself. We will sleep again. We will be rested and that will give us the ability to laugh, play board games, talk about our feelings, wear things from the LL bean catalogue, use cloth napkins and shake our heads fondly at our childrens’ antics (what, isn’t that wall all normal families do)?

Well, my idyllic dream crashing down on me the other night when, while working at the dining room table, up past my bedtime, Grace came stumbling out her bedroom, glazed eyes and obviously not really “there”. She was sleep-walking. And she headed right for the front door, put on her fathers’ shoes (ha, that was kinda funny) and started pawing at the deadlock and door knob, trying to get out. Hmmm. We tried talking to her, with no success. Jo realized right away she was sleep-walking and was a pro in gently guiding her back to her room. I kept getting in her face trying to see if she registered me at all. It’s really strange seeing your kid in that state – it was like she didn’t even see me, and she didn’t speak, just made creepy little noises *shiver*.

Anyhooo, we happened to be up past our bedtime. What if we hadn’t been? What if we were tucked in our beds, sound asleep when Grace was heading out the door? Remember this dream? It’s a little too real for me.

That night I’m not sure I went back to sleep, pre-occupied with listening for her rise from her bed again. I even got up and checked on her a few times to make sure she was still there. Jo seemed more at ease with the whole situation, sleeping like a log beside me.

Thank god it’s Christmas time, and bells are easily accessible. We have them attached to points of exit of the house so we will hear a cheerful little chime before she again tries to enter the cold abyss.

I don’t like sleepwalking! It’s dumb, make it go away. Have you had experiences with it? What do you do about it? When will it go away? When will I sleep again?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas fail!

Saw Cirque du Soleil in Kingston on Monday night (after a massive dinner) and declared Diet Time! after watching those sinewy bodies doing things no body should be able to do while I mowed on pastries, downing them with wine. Who the buck proclaims diet time during the Christmas season?

Started heading to work yesterday, but turned around because sitting in traffic was not my idea of a day at Disney and my book on tape had just ended, leaving me no choice but to listen to the radio (ears. bleeding). Fanstastic, I thought. This will give me a chance to wrap all the gifts! Wouldn't you know that I ran out of tape halfway through? And there were no more Jersey Shore's PVR'd. What a waste of a snow day.

Read the girls the Little Drummer Boy last night and cried. Who does that? For some reason the story made me so profoundly sad, and as we were singing the pa rum pum pum part I started crying, traumatizing the 8 and under crowd. Duh.

The advent activity for last night was star gazing. I wrapped my charges up and out we went in a blizzard. I was determined to see a star, as were they. Cloud coverage hindered that activity, so I convinced them a passing airplane was a shooting star yay! lets go inside now.

And now settle something for me - Jo's Santa wrapped every freaking item in his stocking, down to a toothbrush. My family's Santa did not. What does your Santa do? (Please say your Santa does it the Meanie way!) Keep in mind there is a tape shortage at my house.....

Monday, December 06, 2010

Frank Loyd Wright did not have children.

We live in an open concept bungalow. Very open. It is a late 1960’s
construction that used to have lots of little rooms that the previous owner
blew out to create one big open room. From my Station (the kitchen) I can
see all – what the 8 and unders are playing on the computer, what they are
watching on t.v., what they are eating, what caused the latest “I’m telling
on you!”. I can hear the bleeps of the DS and the blips of the Leapster.
At bedtime, I can even see who is sneaking another book when look-down has
been called. Sounds like a harmonious, idyllic situation, non? Non. It’s
driving me effing crazy. In an open concept home you have no place to call
your own. I had claimed the couch in front of the fire place as mine,
with my books, candles and special blanket my Mom made me spread out just
so. That lasted about a day until I sat on a Webkinz (oh you just know
where that rhinoceros horn went) and found a Polly pocket shoe at the
bottom of my wine* glass.

I can handle pretty much all of the above, particularly when I am self
medicating*. What I cannot handle is when my phone calls are interrupted
with 8 and under Drama (oh yes, I used a capital D). The other day I was
expecting a phone call for an update on a loved one’s operation. The call
came and as soon as I was being updated, Drama broke out. I could barely hear
the person on the phone due to the shrieks of injustice, mutilation and
torture that were going on in the background (see? Drama). I was
mortified. You would think the Angel of Death was visiting our bright
little bungalow. When off the phone, I discovered that the Angel of Death
was merely a pencil eraser crime, the eraser touching the 5 year old via the 8 year old. Most definitely no need for Drama. I was about to show Grace and Edie my
own little Drama. The scary, open a can of whoop ass kind of Drama. It is
not news to them that I want some decorum when I am on the phone or
entertaining. I reached deep into my thespian repertoire of Mom characters and opted for Scary Quiet Lady. I quietly walked over to them, phone still in hand. In my most pointed, quiet voice, I informed them that no computers would be played that night (I’m pretty sure Grace shouted out “I’m melting!” to that one) and that they would be spending the rest of the evening in the basement (to which Edie’s eyes grew even rounder).

Now one would think that medieval torture goes on in our basement. The resistance
movement against the basement is worthy of a chapter in a high school text
book. The girls avoid it at all costs. You would think that there are ghosts
clanging their chains in the closet, large spiders scurrying across the
floor and the Spectre Boredom always on the ready to pounce.

The reality is our basement was re-done with the kids in mind. A nice new berber, bright lighting, a television, comfy couches, a Wii, a play structure and an array of other toys I keep throwing down there akin to a donkey's carrot.

I know, Jo and I should be locked away for the conditions we expect the girls
play in. There’s a freaking play structure in my basement people! A play

So down they went, without a word (you don’t fuck with Scary Quiet Lady).
And lo and behold, they stayed. They played. They watched t.v. When I
told them to come up, they asked for 5 more minutes, please. When they did
come up, I’m pretty sure they were cleaner than when they went down and
with their manners re-charged. When they were in the basement, I sat on my
couch in front of the fireplace, wrapped in my blankie and genuinely enjoyed looking at magazines with pictures of open concept bungalows, in peace and quiet. And I was
re-charged as well, genuinely pleased to see them re-surface. So maybe I don't have a place I can call my own, but at least I can call 1/2 and hour my own. Sometimes.

(ugh, sorry about the layout on this - New Years resolution to clean up damn blog).

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Best reaction ever:

So Grace and I were watching Fear Factor last night (this is her new favourite show) and the contestants were twin men vs. twin women. The whole theme of the show was boys against girls. At the end, the women won all the challenges. All throughout the show everyone kept exclaiming how they couldn't believe the women were beating the men.

At the end of the show Grace asked me why everyone was making a big deal about the women beating the men. I realized it has never occurred to my strong willed, athletic, intelligent 8 year old girl that sometimes it is assumed that men are better at some things than women are.


Monday, November 22, 2010


So todays to-do list:

Deal with the fact that it is Monday - check

Ice on driveway - check

Fall on driveway with sexy boots on - check

No longer feel sexy - check

Ice all over van - check

One ice scraper, two girls who want to help scrape - check

One five year falling right on her ass in a puddle - check

One five year not wearing splash pants because I was in too much of a rush to put them on her - check

Get to school and realize the back up pants I packed are actually the 8 year olds skinny jeans - check

5 year old takes about 10 hours putting on the back up pants - check

The nice man who treats me to valet parking at my lot is not in today - check

I have to park in the shittiest pot holiest spot in the lot - check

Get home, make high caloric comfort meal, everyone enjoys it - check (yay! bright spot!)

Get jammies on, 5 year proceeds to remind me that it is her turn to bring the sharing snack tomorrow, and it has to be celery - check

No celery in house - check

Drive to grocery store with 5 year old, 5 year old falls HARD in parking lot - check

5 year old insists on checking for blood by the foggy light in the middle of the parking lot - check

I chose to go to the grocery store in the sketchiest part of the 'hood - check

Tears and snot create dreadlocks in 5 year olds hair - check

Too late for a shampoo, spray untangler spray in wet hair instead - check

Check label, what I actual sprayed in her hair was Banana Boat SPF 30 sunscreen and have to proceed with shower after all - check

Rather than support me, family laughs at me - check

How was your Monday?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

At least Edie thinks I'm good at something.....

Edie cried in frustration the other day complaining that she wasn't "any
good at anything!" She was in the process of trying to draw high heels on
the princess she just drew, and, well, let's just say the shoes would
satisfy any fetishist with a thing for stilettos. These shoes were bad
ass, but completely inappropriate for a princess (shout out to you Kate
Middleton, congrats on the engagement!)

I cooed and hugged the tears away, and taught her how to draw real princess
shoes - my signature ovals on their side with a line on the back of each of
them. Very smart looking. Edie looked up at me with her big blue eyes, a
solitary tear on the cusp of dropping from her eyelash and told me that I
am the bestest Mommy ever and good at everything I do. I thanked her
graciously, accepting the compliment, but it got me thinking, and the
thinking got me a little depressed. I'm actually not really good at
anything. I'm kinda average at a lot of stuff. I dabble in arts and
crafts, I'm okay at my job, I'm a pretty good Mom (but I get cases of the
yellsitis on occasion) and my next endeavour, to learn how to play bass
guitar (thanks to HellaStella) will likely prove to be another less than
stand out effort. I'm not trying to feel sorry for myself, I just haven't
had that a-ha moment yet dictating what I am great at.

I am good at appreciating other people's amazingness. I have an ear for
music, an eye for art work (and I do consider fashion to be art), and a
great understanding of literature. And I'm good at re-arranging furniture.
Poor Jo will stumble in after hours and bruise his shin on the ottoman that
I just had to move at eleven o'clock at night. But I don't want my
tombstone to read "Good at re-arranging furniture and pretty average at
other stuff".

It makes me a little sad, the older I get, because I know with training,
education and experience I very likely could have been a great at a few different
things that I'm truly passionate about, but I really feel like it is too
late to pursue because a) I'm getting older and b) financially, I just
don't have the luxury of quitting my job to focus on a new career.

Kind of a debbie downer of a post, but this is what is on my mind today.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


The death of Meap.

Grace's fish died over the weekend. It was suicide. We were out of town, my brother was tasked with coming to feed the fish, and it was he who discovered the body of Meap just outside the aquarium. The aquarium does have a lid on it, but I suspect Grace forget to close it before we left. Meap threw himself out of his home. Maybe it wasn't suicide - maybe he was looking for adventure (this is what I told Grace ).

Now Meap was a crazy mother f*%&er. He would bash his body around the tank, against his walls, and glare at poor Ariel (Edie's fish, in the aquarium beside him). Luckily Ariel is much like Edie, oblivious to threats and stare-downs, happy to swim around and catch glimpses of her reflection.

When we picked up Grace from her grandparents, I walked her to the gate to tell her the news. She howled noooooo! and started to cry. When coached to the van, the DS was left untouched and books unread. It broke my heart to look to the back of the van and see her tear streaked face, processing the loss of her fish. I crawled to the back of the van (ew) and sat between her and Edie, arm wrapped around Grace, trying to console.

This is Grace's first experience with death. We didn't sugar coat it, it's all part of life. We did offer to buy a new one, to which she said yes, but not for another week, as she wants to think about Meap.

Meap is currently in our freezer, awaiting his final fate. There is talk about a proper funeral, but because it is the haunting season, Grace fears his spirit may come and haunt her from the garden. There was also talk of a good old fashioned flushing, but that seems so undignified for the Mighty Meap Who Took a Leap. There is also talk of putting him under the microscope - a pretty good indication to me that the mourning session is almost complete.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Small things.

My house is like any other house with kids I'm sure. I puncture my feet on Lego that is left lying around, the sight of Polly Pocket shoes lying on the ground makes me twitch a little and while I have made the girls' dirty laundry hamper entirely accessible, welcoming and even a little fun, I still find dirty socks rolled up like donuts (one was stuck on a door handle the other day - yuck!) and underwear strewn on the ground. I nag constantly for the girls to pick up after themselves, and cackle when I hear their reaction down the hall to me putting all their dirty underwear on their pillows (yes I'm evil). I put more pressure on Grace to keep things tidy because she's older and should be helping out more. Edie I pressure, but pulling her down from whatever cloud she is visiting is too damn difficult sometimes.

The battles are not epic, but I do feel a little like Cinderella at times cleaning up after everyone all the time, with no respect or a thanks Mom youarenice comment. I also snap about once a month a show them a little crazy and get them to clean and put away their "treasures" (oh yes, everything is a "treasure", god forbid you suggest throwing it out or giving it away).

The other morning I had to pick up my boss in my van. Now, my van is a petrie dish. I don't go beyond the front seats. There is likely primordial ooze bubbling in the back seats somewhere. Gollum would be perfectly at home in one of the two rows reserved for the 8 and under crowd - I wouldn't be surprised if I turned around and saw him sitting on a booster seat playing DS. There is a garbage bag provided to them to dispose of their debris, but to rub salt in the wound, I often find wrappers on the floor, a quarter inch from the provided bag. I just don't look anymore to save me from having a complete aneuryism.

The day I was picking up my boss though, I was dropping the girls off at school first. Thinking about the boss man's comfort in my mini-van I took a quick look in the back and am pretty sure I dropped a big old f-bomb in reaction to the mess back there. Grace asked what was wrong and I not so calmly told her I was picking up my boss in 15 minutes and the state of the van could make him question the hygiene of our family. Do you know what that kid did? She calmly began cleaning the van, quietly placing all the garbage in the bag, not even complaining that she was picking up her sister's trash. It was tidy within five minutes. The only thing left to pick up was my jaw off the floor.

I love it when they surprise you like that.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I had a terrible dream last night. I dreamt that Grace and I had a horrible fight. It was a balls out yelling and screaming match, and she threatened to run away from home. I reacted by yelling fine! You do that! She was her real age in my dream, 8 years old. She had on her pink sparkly sneakers, shorts and the little pageboy cap she has been favouring lately. I don't know what the fight was about, but it was horrible, and in my dream I rationalized my horrible reaction by saying to myself she'll turn around and come home in no time. Then it became night time in my dream, and still no sign of Grace. And a snowstorm was suddenly whipped up. I felt physically sick to my stomach in my dream. I drove around the neighbourhood, in the blizzard, looking for her. Knocking on friends' doors, asking them if they had seen her. I can't even explain the anxiety I was feeling, it was off the charts. I wanted to wake from my dream so badly, I was losing my mind but couldn't wake up. In my dream I shakily called 911, to officially report her missing, reeling with different realities that could happen to lost 8 year old girls, in shorts and sneakers, in a snow storm. I wanted to wake up so badly from this nightmare but just couldn't. And then, a little voice called out to me - "Mommy"? and again, more insistent "Mama"? I searched for her frantically in my dream, not able to find where the voice was coming from. I then realized the little voice was actually waking me from my night terror. My Grace was calling for me from her room down the hall. She pulled me from my nightmare. And she only wanted to say hi and have a cuddle.

I believe our brains work on levels that we don't understand. And last night I truly believe that somehow, Grace, in her sleep, sensed I was suffering in my own slumber and she came to my rescue.

Do you think I'm crazy?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Why I believe in bribing....

In my line of work, I have been sent on training to have the notion of bribing=bad drilled through my head. I have had to sit through hours of CPAC hearings with toothpicks propping my eyes open so I understand the evils of bribing a-la Clockwork Orange (kidding, but good visual, right?)

Just because in my professional life I don't do bribery, it doesn't mean I can't participate in my personal life .

Enter one sleep deprived Meanie and her cranky husband Mr. Meanie. Since mid-summer we have been suffering the late night calls of Grace, scared of shadows, scared of ghosts, scared of dust particles and scared of air molecules. I won't bore you more details, if really interested, just read down, I think it has been the subject matter of every second blog post.

Enter one tooth challenged Edie. She has lost two baby teeth now and a big one is growing in. And, at the mature age of 5, she is Queen of the Soothers, still taking one at bed time to fall asleep.

Severely sleep deprived, and with the fear of having a snaggle toothed daughter with expensive dental bills, we decided to put an end to some of the insanity in our household. Did we do this by talking calmly, lovingly and reassuringly to our charges? Nay. Did we do this with charts and statistics supporting our arguments for this nonsense to cease and desist? Nope.

All it took was a trip to our neighbours. Grace's dear little friend has recently acquired a Beta fish. The girls covet this fish. They want it. So. Bad. See where this is going? It's this easy folks. You want a Beta fish girls? Give me seven nights. Seven nights of no waking us up. Seven nights of no soothers. You eff up and we go back to square one, start all over again.

Heh heh. We're going to Billings Bridge tonight to get Grace's fish. Edie has three days left for her reward. I feel remarkably rested and so okay with my bribing ways.

I should write a book.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I done got beat with a boring stick!

Hey, what happened? I feel like with back to school I suddenly matured overnight. I'm 37, but for the most part have never really behaved my age. I like to giggle, have been accused of being flighty, and definitely like to have a good time that usually involves ending up dancing somewhere, sometimes all by myself, but always with a smile on my face. I used to love reading celebrity gossip, fashion magazine, uploading my face on to hair style websites to see what I would like. I used to troll Facebook nightly and spy on everyone's day. I binged regularly on junk food, would get really really hyper, then run around in circles and crash. I would stay up too late watching t.v., then wake up way too early to drag myself to work. And at work I was always happy to jump into any conversation, trade a witty comment with anyone, anything to get up from my desk.

What changed? Well, I've been going to bed at a decent hour, waking at a decent hour, exercising, eating really REALLY well, I don't turn the tv on at night, I am losing touch with celebrity (who are Blake Lively and Chace Crawford?) and I merely glimpse at Facebook, and at work my head is down, my fingers type and I rarely waste a minute of time anymore. And when I do get up from my desk it is to do those stretches that you see old people doing because my back and shoulders hurt a little. I am uber organized, prioritizing things and getting things done. I feel great, am losing a bit of the mommy tummy I have always fought with and am rested and content.

One problem, I feel so status quo and boring. It feels really strange being mature, I feel like I should have grown up a long time ago, and somehow just missed the day I was supposed to switch from immature to mature.

Will they take away my Social Distortion license plate for my conforming ways?

Warning, this blog may become really, really dull with my new found maturity.

Oh, but to liven things up I am going to pull a plane tomorrow and then go to a 40th b.d. party in Montreal - I hope end up on the dance floor!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ahhhh memories.....

Grace's week before school anxiety kicked in last week, which results in a nightly wake up call at two a.m. for us. She calls me into her room to ask for Jo (why wake up only one parent when she can wake up two of them?) We've pretty much accepted this little glitch in Grace's system - the glitch being that whenever there is big change on the horizon, or an uber-exciting even tcoming up (think Hallowe'en, Christmas) there will be a sleep disruption.

She is entering grade 3. Apparently this is a killer year for kids, they have some provincial testing that they have to go through and from what I gather, the teacher breathes fire on them to help them prepare for this big important test and all the fun of being a grade 3 kid is incinerated.

A Facebook thread got me thinking the other day when a couple of childhood friends made comments about our Grade 3 experiences. I don't think we had standardized testing then, but I do remember it being the worst year of my life *polish drama queen crown now*.

Allow me to paint a picture of myself for you, at the tender age of 7-ish. I had legs up to my armpits, a bowl cut that resembled a pyramid because my hair is so thick, madly spaced teeth and the early onset of acne. Cute, right? I also favoured rugby pants with a wildly patterned shirts made of material you might be able to wrap food in if you had to. And so, you might be surprised that I was not the reigning queen of popularity.

Our teacher that year, Mme Bunston, had that wonderful ability (that all good, solid teachers should have) to pick favourites in her class. She saved her nicest, most serene and loving smiles for the prettiest, smartest girls. I craved her attention so badly but she could hardly hide her disdain for me. Like the abused in an abusive relationship, I worked hard at my school work, tried to tame my hair with bad bows and crooked barrettes and emulate the pretty girls as much as possible. All these efforts and I never received a word of praise or one of her beatific smiles that she reserved for her angels. My little 7 year feelings were pummelled on a daily basis by this woman in her simple act of ignoring.

One day Mme Bunston stood in front of the class with a box of chocolates. You know those Laura Secord chocolates, the mint kind? Half are brown and the other green. Soooo good. Anyhooo, she stood in front of the squirming class and asked in her most charming voice, who would like a chocolate? Hands shot up in the air, reaching for heights never before attained. My own hand reached for the speckled square tiles on the ceiling. And miracle of miracles, she called my name. Kids swung around in their chairs, and gave me that look that all kids want to be on the receiving end of - the look of envy. I made my way to front of the class, forgiving Mme Bunston of all her sins, seeing a future of popularity, flat hair and clear skin. She held out the box of chocolates and told me to choose one. I reached for a green, my favourite. She asked me what I should say and I sweetly said merci Mme Bunston. I brought the chocolate to my lips, opened my mouth and bit down.....I bit down on a hard, plastic pretend candy. Mme Bunston exploded into laughter telling the class that the chocolates were fake. The class erupted into laughter as well. The joke went on for what seemed to be an eternity, I felt shamed and humiliated and quickly put back into my place.

From that day forward I didn't give a rat's ass what Mme Bunston thought of me, I had no desire to get on her good side. Even at age 7-ish, I knew teachers shouldn't dick around little kids like that.

Sigh, I hope Grace has a nice teacher this year.

*names have not been changed in this story because she was really really mean.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wow, that was a big bloggy break, wasn't it?

I'm rested now after three weeks off. It was the best three weeks of my
life. That may be a slight exaggeration, or maybe not, I'll have to think
about that.
Anyhoooo, here it is in a nutshell:

1) We camped, we jumped in the waves, we slept on squishy air mattresses,
we made sand castles. I fearfully trekked to the outdoor bathrooms at the
campsite in the middle of the night to go pee (the simple solution to this
would be to stop drinking after dinner, but, I was just having so much
fun!) We met up with friends in New Hampshire and met up with family in
Massachusetts. We discovered North Conway outlet shopping, and
re-discovered the girls aversion to shopping. I confirmed that I still
don't like lobster. I touched everything at Target and the Liquor Depot.
I spent too much time in potato chip aisles (soo many fun flavours in the
U.S.). We touched starfish at the Boston Aquarium and watched sharks and
penguins get fed. We waited an hour and a half at the border and prayed
thanks to the makers of DS.

2) With us back home the 2nd week and Jo back to work, the girls and I swam
everyday, I hosted (too many) playdates, organized stuff, made messes,
cleaned up messes, popped the girls in day care for a 1/2 day so I could
have a day to myself (ahhhh).

3) My third and final week my bestie flew into town and we immediately
donned appropriate attire and then wisely cabbed over to Barrymore's for 80's Night (we hit the dance floor at 9:45 and closed the place at 2:00). It wasn't pretty
the next day as I had to replace my side ponytail with my Mom hat and be
all mom-like with a terrible hangover. We did fun kid-things during the
day (Saunders Farm, Science and Tech, Mooney's Bay, Ramona and Beezus,
Marmaduke y'know, the usual) and fun things at night (old-girls dinner,
beers at the Prescott, Absolut Comedy, backyard bbq's).

Last night we put the girls to bed at a reasonable hour, knowing today we
would be back to the old grind. Jo and I flopped into bed at 9:45. When I
closed my eyes, welcoming the sweet mistress Sleep to take me, I
immediately started thinking about work and stayed awake until about
midnight. Argh! Oh well, it was a great vacation and I am so grateful at
how much it kicked ass this summer.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I don't remember when it happened, but I started resenting, instead of loving. Was I eleven when it started? Or earlier? I remember revelling in walking over to my mom, after dinner, and having her rest her chin on my head. It made me feel so special, so loved. Not saying anything, just listening to the adult chatter over coffee, feeling like I was being included in something special while I lingered there. Later, she would call me over and I would reluctantly go, eyes rolling, but still going over - she would have to strain her neck a little bit to rest her chin on my head. And eventually the little ritual stopped. I grew too tall for her to rest her chin. I also grew sullen, resentful, rude and awful. The first three years of my teen years were intense, dramatic and sad. I was a bundle of insecurities with a dash of depression and I lashed out against the ones who loved me most. There was bile in my voice when I spoke to them and I did everything I could to infuriate them, alienate them, mock them and make them feel sub-human. That they put up with it is incredible. And that they decided to no longer put up with it and expel me from their home is also incredible, but ultimately what saved me from myself. My departure from home for that chunk of time returned me to them no longer full of hate and anger. A little vulnerable, a little bruised, but no longer lashing out against them.

I'm thinking about this today after getting off the phone with my parents, who are meeting us on our camping trip. We are going to the same destination that they used to take us every second year when we were kids. Those vacations where Dad didn't shave everyday and we played Scrabble at night (they still tell me that I used to beat them at Scrabble, ahhh the pride of parents). Everyone is excited to relive memories and create new ones with our kids. Sometimes it knocks my breath out thinking about those years that almost destroyed us and to think about where we are now.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My facebook status update!

2 things, looonnnngggg car ride coming up:
1) I'm looking for recommendations for DS games that don't require any reading;
2) Ottawa friends, looking to buy used DS games suitable for Grace/Edie

Grateful for anything you can throw at me!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Jo and I have camped. We've camped a lot, Jo and I. The two of us have greatly enjoyed camping. We make a great couple at camping. A flawless pair, a real dynamic duo. And we are going to do it again. But with two little edits to our past experiences. Two little edits named Grace and Edie.

Jo and I were certainly the types who stated that having babies would not prevent us from our adventures. Once pregnant, we bought one of those fancy backpacks you stick your babe in and planned on lacing up the hiking shoes. Then the kids actually came. And I became a neurotic scheduler. Naps and bedtime were to take place at a certain time in one's own crib/bed. And I became neurotic about a lot of other things (I can sterilized anything with one hand strapped behind my back and closed eyes). And I became the queen of the what-ifs (what if they cry/get sick//lost/bitten/lifted by hawks/adopted by wolves/swallowed by the earth or god forbid GET THROWN OFF THEIR SCHEDULE and so we never went.

Well, I'm happy to say that the post-partum fog lifted years ago (I don't even use hand sanitizer anymore and bedtime is merely a suggestion in the summer months), but a series of events have prevented us from taking camping trips.

This summer we are heading off. I'm excited. I'm also a little apprehensive for a few reasons, but am trying not to dwell on them. For example, for she-who-likes-to-be-swathed-in-velvet, how will she react to the humble sleeping bag? And for she-who-spikes-a-fever-upon-stubbing-her-toe, how will she navigate the tree-stump laden campsites? And of course Jo and I are a little softer now and a little spoiled; how will we-who-depend-on-the-coffee-maker-with-a-timer deal with making coffee ourselves over the little coleman stove (boil mother-effer!)? And what the eff do you cook for a family of 4 on a camping trip? Variations on the hot dog? I suppose we will learn all these things as we go along. If you have any tips though please pass them along!

*Oh, this is very important. We have borrowed a DS for Edie, who does not yet read. Do you have any game suggestions that don't require reading?
**the "effing" as opposed to the tradition f*%&ing is for Grace's benefit. She just caught on that I keep a blog.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Last night was peaceful, relaxing, and found me draped languoriously (ummm, it's a word, okay spell check?) on my new Couch (if you follow me on facebook, you know why the Couch deserves a capital C!) watching a documentary on the Jersey Shore (ahem).

A far cry from last Sunday.

Last Sunday, I gave Jo the kitchen pass to go to Bluesfest (I used up my pass on Joan Jett and Hole......aweeeesommme!)
I put Grace and a complaining Edie to bed. This is the problem with a child who cries wolf 24-7, complaints for her at bedtime is akin to me pouring a glass of wine at dinner. It just happens.

Anyhooo, once asleep, Edie settled for about an hour or so, and then she woke up. And her complaints were minor no more, they were positively off the charts. The poor thing was banging her head on wall, scratching herself here there and everywhere, and crying "I can't take it anymore!" (Can you imagine? These words from a 5 year old? I thought this stream of consciousness was reserved for 37 year old public servants). Now normally Edie is settled with some intense cuddling and crooning, but not that night. I was helpless. I let it go on for a little over an hour before I called Jo away from his revelry and asked him to come home (this has only happened once before, that I have called him home, on an equally dramatic night).

I ended up going to CHEO at about 1:30 in the morning, and the drive there was agonizing, with her screaming in the back, and me with two hands on the wheel trying to keep it together, trying not to cry. Once there, the bright shiny lights of CHEO and attentions of medical staff did much to distract, comfort, and if possible, energize her. The entire wait there she didn't cry, but she did pretty much ask me every question known to mankind about every possible subject. It's really hard to explain genetics to a five year old at 3 in the morning. Just sayin.

We were seen by a lovely doctor, who did not reassure me at all when he took a look at her, chewed on his pen, said hmmmm, and left the room saying he would be back in 5 minutes (we all know what 5 minutes is in CHEO-land, right?) Actually, it wasn't that bad. He did return with another doctor, who assessed Edie and said it could be this, it could be that, or maybe it could be something completely different. He wrote me a prescription for a very expensive medication, that is very powerful, that may or may not help, and whatever you do discontinue use after 5 days.


We returned home in the wee hours of the morning, both collapsing with exhaustion. When Grace woke the next morning (and god bless the child who sleeps through all this drama and is genuinely shocked that Edie and I left the house, returned and she never had an inkling of it). Grace then got out her hot lamp, directed it at me and put me through the inquisition all the while inspecting Edie's war wounds and compiling information to assess the situation at hand (hmmm, maybe she'll be a doctor, or work for CSIS questioning questionables).

I then made an appointment to see the family doctor, realizing I wasn't completely satisfied with CHEO's, or Grace's prognosis. This visit wasn't much better, but I did get the okay to dole out some over the counter meds to help with the discomfort. That night was slightly less dramatic, but still, this is Edie, it did involve some Oscar worthy moments.

Okay, so three doctors. No answers.

My mom and dad stopped by the following day to drop of my laundry (a blog post for another day). My dad, who is really smart, took one look and said looks like chicken pox. My mom, who is also super smart concurred. They both have medical backgrounds, so they weren't just making shit up.

This made sense to me! Insanely itchy? Check. Unsightly? Check. Other symptoms? Check. It isn't confirmed by anyone, and I still want to follow-up with a specialist, but man, if this is chicken pox, and not one of three doctors we saw were able to identify it, I'm going to be genuinely freaked out with the doctors I did see.

So, send us some healthy vibes. Oh, and she didn't touch Giant Hog Weed.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

And now a short commercial break....

Getting married? Having a baby? Throwing a party? Just like pretty paper, ribbon and fun cards? (and all the things you can do with it)? Check out my brother's store, Urbanfête , which he opened with his friend Christine back in May. This is a unique little shop, something fresh that Ottawa hasn't seen until now. It reminds me of strolling through SoHo and happening upon a funky little shop with lots of little surprises tucked in all the corners. Kevin and Christine will welcome you with friendly smiles and walk you through the invite process or leave you to pick that perfect card for someone.

You also have to check out their paper - some of these pieces are works of art in themselves and are begging to be framed. I have big plans for the girls' bedrooms with some of the quirky owl paper.

So, you've done Westboro, you've done the Glebe, why not go for a stroll down Rideau Street to Urbanfête, tell them Meanie sent you! After your visit, you can either hit up Frenchies for a Famous Burger or to Culinary Conspiracy which is supposed to be a ridiculously good place for some fine food on the go. If you want to sit for a meal, the Sunflower Cafe sounds like another delightful, unique dining experience.

Their store was recently written up on the apt613 blog - where they write much better than I do. Read all about it there :)

urbanfête | 517 Rideau Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 5Z5 | 613-422-4537
Tuesday to Friday: 10 am to 6 pm, Saturday 10 am to 5 pm

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Because you didn't ask......

I am feeling better, thank you! So wrong on so many levels. And my throat still kinda hurts but I am ignoring it (if I ignore my children they eventually go away, why should a sore throat be any different?) What a strange summer cold. Speaking of summer.....

The weather is glorious and I give the mighty third finger to those of you who are complaining about it. This is how summer should be. Speaking of hot.......

Our pool is clear and awesome. Do you know anyone who designs floating dinner trays? Cause it would be really convenient if we didn't have to get out of the pool to eat. Speaking of eating.....

Edie is driving me bananas with her finicky eating these days. She resists her meal then after we all done she then wants her plate back, wants be to feed her like a baby, etc etc. I hate dealing with food with the kids because I never know what the "right" message is to be sending. Clear the plate/don't clear the plate; eat some and get dessert; try something new or not...ugh. I don't want kids who end up with eating disorders because of something we did as parents that messed them up. Speaking of eating disorders.....

I clearly don't have one because I was walking the other day and felt something odd. I realize it was my thighs rubbing against each other. I am not cricket. My legs should not be rubbing together as a means of communication. I am a 37 year old woman who needs to resolve this stat! Speaking of being 37......

I am slathering myself in 50 spf these days in a fruitless effort to reverse sun damage from my mis-spent youth. Am seriously considering bringing my face into the shop for some maintenance. Have you contemplated this yet? Be honest! Speaking of being honest....

I am feeling less than inspired with the olde blog these days. Be honest, should I publish random shit or wait until inspiration hits and hit ya with doozy now an then? Speaking of blogging.....

I had every intention of attending BOLO this year (look it up you non-blog geeks) but something better came up. Seriously. A date with my dad (see item 4) and sister to go see the Gypsy Kings. For all those going, have fun!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A few reasons why summer colds suck by Beamie (that’s how you say Meanie with a cold)

-No one really believes you can be sick when it is so beautiful outside. Especially the 8-and-under-crowd who just want you to run and play tag with them.

-The pool is finally open, my husband has worked his ass off cleaning it, wrapping himself, the children and random neighbourhood animals in tinfoil to attract rays of sunshine, forcing them to bob in the pool in order to heat it up to an agreeable temperature for me and I don’t want to go in because I have the Sicks.*

-Everyone says it must be allergies. I have intimate knowledge of my body people. I know the difference between an allergy sneeze (achew!-achew!) and a cold sneeze (ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh-fuck-meeeeeee-chooooo-that-hurt!)

-The four walls between I which I work has woman going through menopausal hot flashes draped in fur coats, who refuses to take off her fur coats, controlling the air conditioner and insists on keeping the temperature at sub-arctic temperatures so she can remain draped in her furs and not break a sweat.**

-Going home sick in the summer sucks. It is so much better being sick on the couch in the winter, wrapped in blankets, watching Pretty in Pink for the bazillionth time while fat snowflakes fall from the sky. It’s nice and cosy and comforting. It just feels depressing when it is beautiful outside and you can’t see your t.v. due to the glare of the sun and because your windows are open you can hear people laughing outside having un-sick fun.

-ough cough. That’s why summer colds suck. Sniff.

*Jo didn’t really do this but I like the visual
**Actually, a guy named Dave controls our temperature but he just ignores my calls pleading with him to turn down (or up?) the AC so I am forced to create an unsavoury character for him. That’s what happens when you cross me.

Monday, June 21, 2010

I read certain blogs faithfully. They are bookmarked as my favourite, I tend to visit them daily to see if they have been updated, and sometimes comment (not my strength). There are about 10 of these blogs – I rarely stray. I will continue to remain faithful to them, but I would like to add a few more to my list.

I have two questions for you – if blogs began to operate on a cost-recovery basis, would you pay to read? And if so, which blogs would you shell out to continue reading?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Did I mention the Sadness that was my and Jo’s last wedding anniversary? On May 21 we (should have) celebrated 11 years of wedded bliss. Instead, I completely forgot about it. Jo remembered around 11 a.m. the blessed event that is our union and called me at work, wished me a Happy Anniversary, to which I said ditto, and then the monkey started turning the crank in my back so I would keep on typing my Very Important Document, and that was that.

We will never be accused of being Ottawa’s most Romantic Couple (no no, we’ll save that for the couple on my bus route who practically sit on each other and stare miserably at the world, as if the rest of us can’t understand their love – chill Romeo and Juliet, you’ll procreate one day and get desk jobs and forget about each other soon enough). However, we can be forgiven for forgetting to celebrate the miracle of Us. We had booked a weekend in the not so distant future to celebrate our anniversary. A weekend where the stars aligned and the heaven’s opened and my in-laws proclaimed “and on this weekend we shall take your spawn and feed them sugary treats and let them stay up too late and take over our quiet lives”. A weekend where we will eat and sleep to our hearts content (hmmmm, I feel like I’m forgetting something here).

This is where I need your help. Our destination is Kingston. I don’t know much about this town, do you? What do you recommend? Shops? Restaurants? Galleries?

(If you recommend Chuck E Cheese I’ll bitch slap you).

Monday, June 14, 2010


I hate money. I hate talking about it, I hate stressing about it, I hate carrying it on me, I hate not having it on me.

I sometimes wish we were like the Swiss Family Robinson, living in tree forts and wearing the clothes we were ship-wrecked in (as long I was ship-wrecked wearing something fab with amazing shoes on and my Uggs in my oversized purse, for the times I want to be cozy on our little island and I want Jo to be ship-wrecked in his poker shirt and Lucky jeans because that is what he looks best in). I digress.

I need to talk about groceries, because I am in my own little world and have no idea what is a normal amount to be spending on groceries for a family of 4 per week. I am a pretty responsible menu planner, with lunches and dinners written out for the week. I also am on the organic band wagon for certain items, but had to fall off said-wagon for other items because it was just getting too pricey for me. I’m a store-hopper, if there is a particularly good deal at one store I’ll hit it in addition to my regular haunts.

So, what does it cost to fuel Meanie’s household for a week? This past Friday I spent a total of $122.58 – this included groceries and my own special grape juices with fancy names like Malbec and Pinot Grigio. This was a good week – usually it is upwards of $150 if I hit a Costco, or if Joe Fresh has a stooopid-cute bathing suit that I just have to get Edie or Grace (Gah! Have you seem of their stuff? Your heart is made of dark things if you don’t just swoon over some of their stock).

Is this normal? Am I doing well or am I hurtling my wee family of four into debt with my free-spending ways?

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The Glue
(Dedicated to Marla, Mara and Mindy (anonymity is important to me – haha).

Last night I went out for dinner with three fabulous women, all three of whom have been friends for a long time. I felt a little bit like we were the cast from Sex and the City, sitting at a fabulous restaurant, wearing fabulous clothes, eating tapas, drinking wine and dishing about every topic you can imagine. I think we were all even having good hair days.

I thought I had made all the friends I needed to make in life, and was quite content to rely on my small circle of friends for my shits and giggles and everything else life throws at me. Then four years ago I moved. I only moved one neighbourhood over, but it was still a substantial move away from direct friends and neighbours. And having young kids, the first thing you do is scope out the hood for other young families, hoping you will like the parents, and your kids will like their kids and that nobody is too weird.

This is where Marla comes in. If memory serves me correctly, I seem to recall that another friend of mine from the old neighbourhood, worried about me settling in the hood, saw Marla walking with her kids down my street. The old friend pretty much accosted Marla, and said that her and I would (not should) become friends. And we did. And our girls and her son became friends. And while Marla intimidates me with her homemade preserves, flawlessly decorated Easter cakes and perfectly behaved children, oh, and her church going, she also hosts some pretty kick-ass shakers (seriously, grown men passed out on her front lawn, people taking their tops off, people rubbing lotion on each other, all while she is serving Coquilles St.Jacques with a perfectly paired wine and a smile on her face). She also hosts play dates, didn’t outwardly judge me when my youngest pooped on her (white) carpet and she lets my whole family swim in her pool when ours is too cold. She rocks. And she introduced me Mara and Mindy. These ladies I do not know as well but have been getting to know them over the past year. As soon as I met them I knew I liked them. Mindy is one of the sweetest, most generous spirits I have encountered, with love for celebrity gossip and movies, just like me. And Mara I also instantly liked for her biting sarcasm and wit, but also for her ability to balance her salt with a little sugar.

At dinner last night we were talking about girlie getaways together, scheduling in dinner parties and filling up our summer calendars. Reflecting on that evening, I am thinking how lucky am I. To be embraced by this group of gals, who really have no need for a new friend and have their own history together. It made me think that not many people would do that, welcome an outsider into their group of friends, be it because they are too busy or don’t want to take the time to invest in getting to know someone new. I’m so glad Marla the Glue (you have to say that with a Marlon Brando voice a-la Godfather) invited me into her circle of friends (even though I don’t own Coach anything). Thanks ladies – you and what you have is pretty special.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Jo has made new golf buddies (Balls! Why did I encourage him to expand his social network?) and last Saturday he was committed to these new friends for 9 hours (I started counting after 6 hours had passed).

Now I have a pretty healthy social life – no complaints in that department. But my social life takes me on outings that last 2, 3 hours tops. Then I return to the loving arms of my husband and freshly scrubbed cherubs asleep in their beds. Whooooops, that’s the fantasy version. So what if the reality is that I come home to a husband basked in the blue glow of the television and children, who are thankfully asleep, but caked with summer substance (that interesting combination of melted freezies, sand, sunscreen and OFF!) It’s still all good because I have ducked domestic duties for a couple of hours and that always leaves me feeling refreshed

But back to this golf thing. And I remember my dad doing this two. Saturday, one of the two days of the weekend, some men-folk leave the marital home and swing their club around (the metal one sillies) for MINIMUM six hours. If I complain, Jo says I’m welcome to do the same. But tell me gentle reader, what activity would take me out of the home for 6-9 hours? I certainly don’t need to do this every weekend, contrary to popular belief I enjoy spending time with Grace and Edie, but I would like to have something in my back pocket, to pull out now and then if I feel like a substantial escape.


Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Project Management

Last weekend, I pulled together a team, carefully picked to exploit the current economic market. I had to be ruthless in my decision, knowing that the wrong personality and ill-suited skill set could quash any plans of financial success.

I found the players in my own house.

Edie was chosen for her eyelashes, her smile, and willingness to sit, focused on the task at hand for hours at a time (as long as something sparkly was available to play with).

Grace was chosen for her athleticism (to troll for customers) ability to tell the difference between a quarter, a dime and a nickel, and her ability to spell.

Me? I was chosen for my talent at making the best darn lemonade on the block.

My team made $4.50. These girls were ruthless and didn’t give it away, even to the thirstiest. They weren’t even distracted by the topless, adorable college (god I hope they were at least college age) boys who stopped by via roller blades to sample their wares.

There was barely enough left over for gin of the Project Lead (moi) that night.

I see a bright future ahead of these young ladies.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

This is really strange. Last night I dreamt that Edie had been attacked by birds, they kept pecking at her back and she was screaming and crying. I finally got to her, scattered the birds, lifted her shirt and there were these horrible marks on her back.
Fast forward to this morning, Edie wakes up, complaining that her back hurts. How crazy is that?

Which nicely leads me to another childhood memory. I just remembered this crazy recurring dream I used to have. It involved a picture of the baby Jesus with pastel coloured triangle shapes that were stained glass as the frame. This was one of those dreams that felt so real, I could never be sure if it actually happened or not (well, it never could have happened because we didn't have a baybay jeeesus picture). Anyhooo, I would be sleeping, and in my dream I would have this urge to go to the hall (my bedroom was on the second floor). There in the hallway would be the picture Jesus just floating in the air. It would then float down the hallway, down the first little flight of stairs, and I would follow it. It would then float down the second flight of stairs, very slowly. I would follow it. Then mid-way down the stairs IT WOULD SPEED UP REALLY REALLY FAST AND CRASH TO FLOOR AND SHATTER IN A MILLION PIECES! (sorry for yelling, but I'm trying to convey how scary it was) and then I would follow, tumble down the stairs, and get all cut up by shards of baby Jesus glass.
Then I would wake up, in my bed.
I used to have this dream over and over again.

What's your recurring dream? Is it as freak-ay as mine?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hunting Nazis.

So this weekend Grace had a playdate. I arrange playdates not so I can play with other people’s children, I arrange them to keep my own children out of my hair so I can do laundry, garden, clean, cook, read, rock back and forth in a corner and suck my thumb. Basically, play with my child so I can have a couple of hours to myself.

Within ten minutes of the playdate starting, the little girl visiting was all over me. Wondering what I was doing, telling me stories that didn’t appear to have any point to them, asking me for food, etc. Then Grace got in the mix, then Edie, and next thing I know I have a wide eyed audience of 8-and-unders, severely compromising my Facebook time (ummm, chello, do you think those witty status updates get dreamt up that easily?) This happens often, even though I’m a meanie, children seem to be drawn to me on these playdates
Go play! I commanded. Play what? They asked.

I listed items, told them to use their imaginations and t.v., DS and Wii were off limits. They eventually scampered off, but it is apparent that the brain cell responsible for dreaming up games for the 8-and-under crowd is underdeveloped with this crew.

Which brings me to an awesome memory. Nazi Hunting.

Growing up I had field across the street from my house that was being developed for housing. There were mountains of dirt, pits a whole body length deep and crazy obstacles everywhere. Everything about this site screamed “I AM A PERFECT PLACE FOR YOU TO DEVELOP AN AFFECTED GERMAN ACCENT AND PRETEND YOU ARE A POST WWII NAZI HUNTER!!!!”. My bestie and I made quick business of using this field to hunt down imaginary Nazis, jumping in pits when spotted by them, being snipers atop mountains and throwing grenades (chunks of dirt, or waiiiit a minute, maybe they were cow patties) at the imaginary offenders. We would tirelessly play this game for ever, perfecting our accents and pretty much making up history as we went along. I can’t remember what retired the game, we must have hunted the Nazis so effectively that there were no more to capture.

What makes me sad is I have NEVER heard my girls take on a heavy responsibility like Nazi hunting. Edie can talk the ear off a dust-bunny, I have no doubt the child has an imagination (or has a serious mental illness, jury's out on that one) but I have never seen either one engaged in a balls-out game of creativity and action.

I just may have to dust off the old Nazi hunting uniform and show these kids how it’s done.

Do you have an awesome game you played as a kid that just involved a keen imagination?

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Alright, this post is really just for me. For when I'm reading this damn thing in 10 years, thinking about when my kids loved me.

Me: Humming "Here Comes the Sun" while tucking Edie in.
Edie: My brain is dancing to your humming.

Gaaack! The sweetness should be illegal.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The kiddies have failed to inspire/provide blog fodder for the past view, but you can indulge me (in me?) over here! New post.....

Friday, April 30, 2010

So quirky!

They both had me smiling today...

I was talking about having babies in the U.S. and how pricey it can me, and how my friend Paula had to "pay through the nose" to have just a normal hospital birth. Grace looked at me puzzled and troubled, and said "does it hurt to have a baby out of your nose?"

*ahem, Dalton, are you listening? In case us well intentioned parents are missing the big picture at home, sex ed in the classroom might be a good idea!*

And Edie, well, Edie just kept telling me this morning how much she love, love, loves her pinkies.

That's just awesome Edie. I love your pinkies too.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

What colour is your parachute?

I’m not sure how this happened, but I have ended up being a circle in a square work environment, Everything about my job is counter-intuitive to me. It’s been a very personal thing for me as someone who has sort of breezed though things, professionally speaking. The people are quite nice, but I have to work really really hard to stay on top of the work, while I suspect others don’t struggle as much. Lately I have been wondering how I ended up doing what I do. In a world that makes sense, I would be employed doing something completely different, excelling at it, loving it and whistling while I work. Instead, lately, I feel sorta mediocre, not loving it so much, and sighing a lot while I work. I am the type of person who tries to make the best of things, and I am acknowledging that I am acquiring a whole new skill set in this job, even though it is not a skill set I really want. I try my best to smile through it all, but sometimes the pull to be at home with Edie on her “helping” chair assisting me with baking while Grace chats away in the background is so strong it hurts. If I was doing something I loved, that pull wouldn’t be so strong, I know, I’ve been there before where work is worth the sacrifice of not being there to get the kids off of the bus.

Before kids, I had a small company (read: I was the CEO, CFO, consultant and photocopier extraordinaire). I always worked at a salary job as well, but I would pick up these contracts and do what I loved to do. I recently picked up a contract on the side, and it was such a wonderful feeling doing what I love to do, being a circle and fitting into a circle. Does that make sense?

This is a bit of a ramble, I’m not sure what kind of feedback I’m looking for, I guess I just want to know if there are circles like me out there trying to fit into a square hole.

*Big sigh*

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Did you grow up with dessert? We grew up with dessert. Not sand - that is desert (I had to look it up). Every night, we sat as a family in the dining room, with a table cloth, cloth napkins and all, to a three course meal. Dinner, salad, (yes, we ate salad second) and then dessert. And, in general, we had high expectations for dessert - when Mom on occasion would serve us fruit salad for dessert, it was greeted, from me anyways, with moans, dirty looks and all round exaggerated unenthusiasm (I think the sound Gaaaaaaahhhhhh! was produced). Looking back, we were so spoiled - I totally have memories of cakes and tarts and pies for dessert, like EVERY NIGHT - maybe my brother or sister will correct me on this one, but I'm pretty sure I'm right.

So I totally don't do that now, but dessert is definitely considered a "course" in our household. The problem is, every night was turning into ice cream night, cookies night and eat easter candy night. Well, I have laid down the law and "super-fun" desserts are to be reserved for the weekend, and a more balanced, healthy option will be offered during the week. Awesome, right? Awesome, except I have to deliver now. Little eager eyes, sold on the healthy lifestyle speech I gave last week are now expecting wholesome, but yummy, desserts on their plates after dinner. Help me out folks, give me some healthy recipes for desserts that kids will like (warning: Grace and Edie can smell flax from a mile away, errrr, so can Jo).

Bring them on! I'm counting on you! (If you want to make if for me too I will give you my address).

Monday, April 19, 2010

GirlaboutOTown recently presented me an award....I have never received a
blogging award before, and, well, I'm not sure I've received any award
before in my entire life (I was voted best feet in grade 7, I suspect it's
because the camp counsellor felt sorry for me because I hadn't been voted
for anything). Anyhoooo, thank you! I do enjoy reading GAOT's blog
(ouuuuch, unfortunate acronym) as she adds a touch of style to this town of
ours and I suspect her shoe collection could beat my shoe collection.

So, because we are adults, the award comes with rules. These are cool
rules though because it is to encourage us bloggers to continue spreading
the smiles and to get to know each other better in the process. Here they

1. You must thank the person who has given you the award.
2. Copy the award logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link the person who has nominated you for the award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
5. Nominate 7 other Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs to let them know they have been

Mememememmemeeeeeee....Interesting or certifiable, you be the judge.

1) I learned a song called "Popcorn" on the piano when I was really little
(may 6 years old?) and to this day whenever I get nervous I play the song
on my finger tips. It makes me look wacko I'm sure but I guess I find it

2) This is how I eat: I try a bite of each thing on plate once to determine
an order of favourites and then eat in that order. So, least favourite
goes down the hatch first, then mid-favourite, saving the bestest for last!
If I don't do this I am usually DEVASTATED that I saved something ick for
the end.

3) I can't sing. I really really can't. When I'm in the car alone I often
test my vocals to see if anything has changed since last time I tried. Of
course I consistently suck. It saddens me to no end that I can't sing. I
always feel like a vocal cord might snap when I'm trying and when it does snap,
released will the most beautiful tinkly voice ever that has been suppressed
by the evil vocal chord. Sigh.

4) My fantasy is to go to an open mic event, saunter up to a stool in front
of the microphone, and just belt out Piece of my Heart by Janice Joplin,
blowing away the crowd and everyone would be like oh my god I had no idea
Meanie could sing, did you? She's awesome and she looks so pretty when she
sings too and she's really nice and I really like her shoes.

5) When I run I'm usually plugged in and my MP3 is loaded with songs by
Social Distortion, Joan Jett and lots of rockabilly stuff and I often get
caught up in a daydream where I'm playing the bass on stage for one of
these bands in a really small club and I'm totally killing it and my girls
are even in the bar with little headphones on because I'm rocking so hard
and loud and I don't want them to get their hearing damaged. I'm always
wearing a white t-shirt and my leather jeans, but my hair changes
constantly in these scenerios and even though I don't smoke I have a ciggie
tucked behind my ear because it looks cool yo. I can run for a really long
time when I get a really good daydream going.

6) I have systems. Each person in my house has their own laundry basket to
make putting away laundry easier. I have a binder organized with all
household items in it so no bits of stray papers are on my counter top. I
have a calender for menus (including lunches) for each day of the week with
colums for grocery shopping so I can stay totally organized. I am a basket
freak with very specific tasks assigned to each tasket. Fuck with my
systems and I'll cut you.

7) Heat. I love heat. I love walking out the door and feeling the heat
hitting me in the face and spreading itself all over my body. I get
stressed if I feel a cool front coming in when it is supposed to be hot
out. I get so scared that I will be robbed of summer heat. I hate air
conditioning. I love a good cross breeze. I want my doctor to write me a
note saying that I need to work from home during the summer months because
of my extreme aversion to air conditioning. It makes me angry to hear air
conditioning, and even angrier when I feel outright cold/goose pimply. I
also hate wind. It drives me nuts, and it usually brings The Cold. There
is a difference between cross breeze and wind.

And now you know.

And I nominate:

mindful merchant because she does homework for me!
jdscrappy blog because we go way back and i think it's cool she is a
missmannered because we went to high school and i'm not sure how we
reconnected but here we are in the blogging universe together!
virtually there because she is about to have a baby and i'm sure she has
nothing better to do than this (hahahhaha)
lara at gliding through motherhood because she commented on my blog the other day for the first time and that's always neat for me to see a new name
pauline at brightestblue because she is a loyal commenter but i don't think i have ever met her before!
and sassyredhead because, well, because she is sassy!

of course i love and read many more blogs, but i'm just giving some love to some newish people in my favourites folder. Happy reading!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I found myself resting at home for extended periods this week, which drove me crazy bored. I found myself consoling myelf with my vinyl collection quite a bit, then my camera got involved, then, a new blog was born.

Meet my new baby! Not a mommy blog, my records don't talk back and provide me with "entertaining" fodder. But it sure is fun for me to pick through the collection and walk down memory lane.

If you are so inclined, join me, won't you?

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

"Whatever character you give your children shall be their future".

Ugggghhh. I just steeped myself a Yogi Tea, ever had that kind before? Best herbal teas ever, and they have a cute little mantra on each tea bag. This is mine tonight. And I'm fucked, and my children are fucked if it's true.

A little background. I usually like me as a mother, pretty comfortable with how I rule the roost and how I dole out praise and discipline. On Tuesday I found myself in the emergency room at the General undergoing a minor, but very painful procedure. I continue to be in quite a bit of a pain now, and didn't take my happy pills tonight because Jo had to go out and I wanted to be of sound mind when alone with the kiddies. Well, they would likely have been better off with me doped up. I was such a witch tonight, on those poor kids for every little infraction. How many mothers do you know get upset when their kid asks for another apple? Now you know one, and I don't blame you if you cut me out of your friend list. I'm not a yeller, and I yelled tonight. Grace actually took over bedtime and took Edie to the bathroom and got her organized for bed. Once I calmed down, I was able to tuck them in, apologize PROFUSELY for my sins. They forgave. They hugged. Grace said she understood, she feels that way when she had a headache. Edie asked me if I wanted a bandaid. They smelled good and they were fluffy.

So, I really hope I didn't teach my kids tonight the character of raging bitch, because they are so nice, I don't want them to spoil.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I hate hate hate it when my schedule is thrown off. I am a control freak. I like to control certain things in my life with a rigidity that would make Howard Hughes’ jaw drop. Okay, I exaggerate. But I do like to do things a certain way, at a certain time, in a certain order. I fully admit that I get all kerfuffled* when I am thrown off my path of comfort. If I detect a change of routine in my future, I like to introduce it slowly, delicately, as to not upset my fragile disposition too much.

The past few weeks have been utterly chaotic for me. I have had to work overtime, which throws a big fat pickle into my daily routine. I have not been able to exercise at all, plan the family meals adequately or do my laundry rotation (yes, I have a laundry rotation, shut up). Perhaps, most upsetting of all is I have missed the last two episodes of America’s Next Top Model. Oh, and the children, yeah, they are getting the short end of the stick as well.

The one good thing about all this is I have discovered something awesome. It’s called sleep. Have you tried it? I used to make a half-ass effort at sleep, staying up way past my bedtime and then waking up with the birds. But because the past couple of weeks have been so crazy for me I have been going to bed at 9:30-10:00, and waking up feeling rested and energized. I like sleep. And while the world continues without me while I’m sleeping, not much is happening, well, at least nothing that I can’t get caught up on when I wake up all perky and stuff in the morning.

And so, the glass is half-full, while I am not enjoying the little hell that is work right now, I am enjoying my new discovery of sleep.

How much sleep do you get a night? I was getting by on about 6 hrs (usually interrupted by a call for water/nightmare/random questions in the middle of the night) and I am discovering that 8-9 hours sleep feels like happy pills.

*growing up word, unique to my family?

Friday, March 26, 2010

lmshmp ciddhsfh adshf fsadhghui *chewing* gulp.

oh, excuse me.

what i was trying to ask is licorice allsorts - yes or no?

if yes, which little shape is your favourite one and why?

fdjasjfal fshgh shump *resumes chewing*

Thursday, March 25, 2010


In true Meanie fashion, Edie has been in tears pretty much every morning this week because she wants to wear either a gown, tiara or carry a wand (or do all three at the same time) and we have said No! At the beginning of the school year, a letter was sent home, respectively asking parents to refrain from sending kids to school with toys/costumes. I totally get this, I can see the problems it could potentially cause (seriously, how many princesses can one JK class handle? How many lightsabers can be wielded until someone loses an eye (or at least until someone is lightly tapped by one, takes it the wrong way, and cries as if they have been stabbed by the most jagged of knives ever).

So, yesterday was no exception. And I was lucky enough to have the morning shift (gawd I hate the morning shift and long for my cubicle, coffee and silence). With Edie by hand (still teary from being banned of all things sparkly and ethereal), we walked into the daycare and lo and behold, did I not count 1, not 2, but 3 members of royalty happily having a most royal tea party. There was no mistaking that we were in presence of royalty, there were tiaras and sparkly dresses present – what more proof do you need? Edie’s eyeslashes must have grown an inch, and her tear ducts ramped up production needs as soon as she saw her peers in all their splendour. How could I deny her royal roots when her friends were allowed?

How indeed. I spoke with the daycare leader and asked her straight up what the fuck is the rule here because we certainly don’t need the drama at home if Edie is indeed allowed to express herself (I didn’t use the f-word, just in my imagination I did, all Goodfellas-like). The leader agreed with me and said she would speak with the other parents. And so, when I picked up my little charges yesterday, and hung out and talked with other parents while the kids played, there is no denying that I have officially caused Toygate 2010 at the school (Ihave not confessed my role in Toygate yet, I'm playing it cool).

Oops. But seriously, what would you do? Tell Edie to suck it up buttercup or do what I did and try and get down to the bottom of things?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Just a quickie to make you feel better about yourself on this fine morning….

Feeling a little bloated and frumpy this morning I put on my bestest skinny black jeans, super-fun ipod listening penguin belt and flattering black top (loose and tight in all the right places). Instantly I felt better, confident, ready to open a can of whoop on the day.

Fast forward to 11:30 a.m. I have yogurt dribbles down my shirt, hommus smeared on my jeans and when I went to the bathroom I had a crumb (chocolate, of course) on my cheek.

Ever have a day (morning) like that? so long confidence, hello safety of sun- deprived cubicle.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I am working this week, highly resentful and full of guilt. It is March Break here and while some kids are lucky enough to be sleeping in and going on fun trips (even if just a road trip) my poor kids are being schlepped to daycare for the whole day. It just isn’t an option to take time off work right now, fiscal year end, stakeholder review bleahdeeboringbleah, so the children suffer. I do have Friday off, however, this is the “funnest” day at daycare because, wait for it, wait for it, it’s pyjama day, movie day, and the government stipulated rest time of 1 hour is ignored! Hoorah! The girls want to go to daycare that day just to be able to give mandatory rest time a big fuck you (ahem, my words, not theirs, I hope!)

This brings me to a New York Story. I was staying in the Tribeca/SoHo area, lots of young families around and a couple of parks/schools nearby. My first afternoon there I found my Starbucks, found a park, and positioned myself for some hardcore people watching. Did I spot celebrities frolicking at the park with their young ones? Nope. Was I witness to a crime scene being filmed for Law and Order? Nope. Did I have to fight off talent/modelling agents, telling them I’m just not interested in fame and fortune? Yes, but that’s a given (juuuuuussssssttttt kidding). What I witnessed was the high ratio of little white children to little non-white women. The park was at capacity with nannies and their charges. I started talking to some of the nannies, asking about their jobs and their hours. They laughed at me when I asked what time the parents get home from work and relieve them of their duties. As clichéd as it sounds, the mothers of some of these children did not work. They were just busy with other things (insert nannies eye rolls here). Literally. Shopping, lunching, excercising, committee work, etc. etc.

I don’t consider myself a judgy person, but I can’t help but judge this. I guess I feel pretty raw right now, wishing I could be at home with the kids instead of working period. And these women obviously have the means to be at home, and choose not to. I totally get needing a day/few hours/minutes to yourself, but to engage someone else to look after your children on a full-time basis (some of these nannies see the children wake up and put them to bed) just kills me. I can see an argument against me, asking why I don’t insist on downsizing everything in our lives, but that just isn’t realistic right now, and I do feel the need keep up my “skills” in the workplace because you never know what the future holds – it’s a security thing for me.

Oh, and you should have seen how pimped out these NY strollers are. Probably more expensive than my mini-van!

Friday, March 12, 2010

I WILL blog about New York, I'm just a short snippet kinda girl and there is so much to say so I am going to wait until I have the energy to write all about it.

I am going to document what I bought though:

1) Pair of clogs (ummm, hellloooo, they are in alllll the magazines right now)

2) Adorable top that I want to look good on me, but doesn't because my boobs are too big, but if I wear three sports bras and strap 'em down it could potentially look like it's supposed to look.

3) Jeans. Jeans that make my legs look like they go on for miles and miles. Paired with les clogs and strapped down boobs-shirt, ooo-la-la.

4) Suit jacket. Made of sweatshirt material, lined with silk. It's freaking nirvana! I'm wearing sweats to work, but no one can protest because it has a fancy silk lining! Take that Mr. Man!

5) Balloon boats, fake poop and some other stuff (for my hyuk hyuk side).

6) Jeans that are more casual, but make me feel like I might look a little like Jennifer Aniston on a fat day, so that's good for me.

7) Fun things you can only buy in american grocery/drug stores like odd flavoured chips and stuff.

8) Marlboro (Lights, I'm just a little bad ass, and only about once a month).

9) An orange purse. You might want to lick it next time you see me. I might let you.

Okay, that's all I can remember, but I haven't blogged in ages and will use this post as a place holder.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Move over Corey.

Okay, you’ve heard of Bryan Adams, right? Well, when I was growing up, when Brian Adams was on the charts, so was Corey Hart. In my mind, we had to pick sides; we had to decide which one we liked. My little fist sized heart belonged to Corey Hart. Never Surrender made me cry, Boy in Box made me rock out (gawd, how embarrassing). I was that girl at his concert, booing Katrina and Waves off stage to make room for the Hart Attack (sorry Katrina, Walking on Sunshine really is a nice happy song!) I was also that girl who sobbed from the moment Corey walked on stage, prrrrrety sure he was singing to me (there was eye contact, I’m sure. And of course he would seek me out in the audience, what 20 something rock-star wouldn’t be looking for pre-pubescent pimply girl in rugby pants, sneakers and a paisley patterned sweatshirt? I mean come on!) And you can just imagine how I imploded when he threw a ball into the audience and I touched it. Sit with that for a moment, will you? I touched something Corey Hart touched. Girls around me touched my hand, the one that touched the ball, and cried because they had touched something that had touched something that Corey Hart had touched. It should be pretty clear now that there was NO time for Bryan Adams.

I recently picked up a record at Value Village by Bryan Adams called Reckless. I can’t tell you how much I am enjoying it! It is pretty awesome. I have called up other Bryan Adam’s songs on the ‘puter and I’m really digging them! Of course there is some cheese that I just can’t stomach, and I definitely favour his early stuff over what he has produced in later years. His early stuff is the stuff I missed out on when I was worshipping the almighty spikey haired, sweaty Cory Hart. This is probably for the best. I’m not sure my pre-adolescent psyche could have handled two loves like that.

As an aside, I wonder, at 11 years old, what I was hoping for if Corey Hart had invited me back stage? Some intense hand-holding? Cuddling on the couch while watching Degrassi Junior High? I wasn’t yet even close to having any knowledge of what could transpire between man and woman (ahem).

Ahhhh innocence.

Who set your heart aflutter when you were still drinking milk at bedtime?

(I just know some people are going to make fun of for this confession!)

Monday, March 01, 2010

Start Spreading the News…..

On Thursday morning I am going to scrape the playdoh from my fingernails, hang up my bus pass and work pass, jot down a few instructions and make some meals and stick-em in the freezer, trade in my sensible work clothes for something a little funkier and hop on a plane.

This is not an “I wish scenario” this is the honest to goodness bees knees truth.
I did something really good in a past life to have this coming weekend bestowed on me. I think Edie waved her little fairy wand and wished to have her meanoldmommy banished for a few days. And banished I am, banished for 4 days and 3 nights to New York freaking City. Oh, it gets better. My fancy girlfriend’s husband keeps an apartment in SoHo. The fancy girlfriend’s husband and my Jo conspired to send us worn out frauleins to the city that never sleeps to hang out, giggle, shop, go see a show, eat and hit every Starbucks we can. We only have one thing scheduled - that is to go see Jersey Boys on Saturday night – beyond that we are up for anything.

Have you been to NYC? What is a must-do experience in your opinion? I’ve been before, but only with kids in tow. Send your ideas – I’m keeping a list of things to do (including knowing where all the cushy bathrooms on our walking route for the inevitable pee-breaks).

Thursday, February 25, 2010

This week was kind of the shits for me. Because I am smart and work a four-day work week, my week is now over. Because I am striving to be a half glass full kinda gal (it can be a half glass of hard liquor, right?) I am going to highlight the positive:

Things that made me smile this week:

Grace, looking at me accusingly
“Mommy, you laugh a lot”.

Edie explaining a picture that she drew to me of a box with lots of colourful blobs around it. Turns out it is a prototype (my word, not hers) of a butterfly machine she wants to make so she can crank out butterflies on a whim.

So many pretty shiny medals!

Sitting in massive over-stuffed chairs at Zoe’s (tucked to the left of the lobby at the Chateau Laurier) with some super-funny ex-colleagues, sipping on a whiskey sour and eating fancy cheese.

My mom talking about “the email” like she owns it.

Edie skiing and being all like “whatever” when she made it down the hill herself without falling/losing control.

Hearing one of Gracie’s friends saying “that’s so random” TOTALLY out of context.

Friends who are happy (I’m typing at you Mr. Friendly Neighbourhood Curator!)

Here’s to next week being better, and Go Canada Go!

(I need some of those Olympic mitts to bring to a friend in the States next week, if anyone has a lead, please let me know where I can get them).

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

You know what drives me crazy? Songs that have sirens in them when I’m driving. I always look the fool checking my side mirrors, rear view mirror, craning my neck to look beyond the front window and use my x-ray vision to look past the stoooopid van with no windows that is inevitably in front of me therefore totally obscuring my vision completely of anything 10 feet in front of me. I also have the girls turn off all DS’s and Leapster components so I can figure out where the siren is coming from. In split seconds I plan my good-citizen route as to where to pull over on the road in order to allow the emergency vehicle to pass and go save a life (all the while imagining the firemen/policmen/ambulance driver giving me a thumbs up for being so cooperative and then saying to each other “wow, why can’t all drivers be like her, and did you see how beautiful and poised she was? Whoever married her is a lucky man”.
And when I finally turn off the stereo to better detect where the siren is coming from, I realize that the siren was coming from my Run DMC CD.


Friday, February 19, 2010

And Now for Edie....

My little Edie Bikini, you are turning 5 tomorrow! I guess it’s time to stop treating you like my little baby (never!)

A few little things I want to keep in my Edie Archives forever:

I love how you tell me you love me before you go to bed, and you say love so many times that you run out of breath and heave a big sigh at the end, like you are completely spent.

I love the way you will exclaim that something is the most specialist thing to have ever been bestowed on to you, and then you offer to share it with whoever is in the room. It kills me, it is so sweet.

The way you look at me when you say you hate something, because you know I hate the word hate (hypocrite, I know) – that look shows me you will test the waters with me ten-fold in the future.

Okay, this actually drives me crazy, but I suspect it will be endearing one day. You are a messy child. The messiest little girl ever. You spill everything, you knock things down, your markers roll off the table constantly, your face is always covered in something, your always touching me with your grubby little hands, and you do all this with a tiara and princess dress on.

I love the way you call your stuffed dog Puppy Puppy Puff Puff, and you give him to me to sleep with because you feel badly that I don't have a stuffie. I love finding him on our bed.

I love that you call Lambey's fluffiest bits "The Soft".

I love that you don't walk, you hop, and I super-love that this past week even you noticed that you don't walk anywhere when you asked me if I noticed that you hop instead of walk.

I love how when you are sleeping, you look like you are hard at work, recharging your batteries.

What freaks me out is that I was such an insecure first-time Mom with Gracie, thinking that I was doing everything wrong, that I actually said out loud that I wouldn't have another child. Even when pregnant I was filled with doubt that I could do it all over again. My little girl, you've made it as easy as pie.

Love you to the stars Edie.

For Grace....

And so my dear, you turn 8 tomorrow, and your old, cliched mom just can’t believe how quickly time has passed.

Here are just a few things about you that I want to hold forever in my memory:

-Your thoughtfulness. I love love love, when posed a question that requires some thinking, the way you shift your gaze to the side, as if to block out all other stimulation, so you can give the question your full attention.

-Your interaction with Edie. While it hasn’t always been a bed of roses, this past year you have really grown into your role as big sister by reading to Edie, helping her with her “homework” and letting her tag along when you have a friend over. You still bug the crap out of her and tease her relentlessly, but the good and the bad is more balanced now.

-Your obsessive compulsiveness. Okay, I know I shouldn’t love this, but I appreciate how you need everything in order before you go to bed, with nothing on the floor and things tidied up on your desk and dresser.

-Your sense of style. Girlfriend, while your friends have been sucked into the vortex of all things sparkly, Hannah Montana-ey, Camp Rock-ey and Bratz-ey, you still like to cruise around in your velvet leisure suits. Awesome. This isn’t really new this year, but I love that you are true to your style.

-Your MP3 player! I took a chance and loaded it up with songs I feel are important to anyone just starting to listen to music, and am so tickled that you are partial to the Beach Boys, the Ramones and the Clash (I can’t put Social Distortion on there yet because he says fuck too much).

-Your diligence. You treat homework with respect, and for the most part enjoy the challenges you bring home. Except that time with the subtraction and addition patterns. That sucked.

-Your vulnerability. I don’t necessarily like being woken up at three in the morning, but I do love the confused little face that greets me when I go into your room. You don’t know what scares you, or why it scares you, it just does. And I love comforting you (and then waking your father to come lie with you because your bed is a single and mine is a king, so, y’know).

-Your attitude towards health. You are so aware of what is good for you and what isn’t. Your mantra is “healthy before junky”. You love candy, but you also know to balance things out.

-Your front crawl. God, you look so graceful doing it. I always looked like a baby giraffe going through heroin withdrawal when I did the front crawl. Likely still do. You just cut through the water.

-Your communication methods. You were so mad at me once this year that you stormed to your room and slammed your door. After a few minutes, something came flying out from under your door. It was a cartoon, frame by frame, outlining what a bitch I was being. I love that you used art as an outlet. I’m going to save that cartoon forever.

-I love that you still reach for my hand on our walks together. Those are tears of joy and love kiddo, nothing else.

These are a few things that stick out in my mind about you right now. There are a million more, and I wish I could tell you them all, pump you up with accolades for every day that you venture out into the real world. But you know what kid? You’re so awesome, you don’t need to hear it. The way you carry yourself, you unconsciously already know.

Love you to the moon.