Thursday, December 08, 2011

Tap tap, is this thing on????

Allow me to introduce you to Oakville Meanie, a lot like Ottawa Meanie, but kinda stepford-y.

So Jo and I moved to Oakville last week - we had originally had our hearts set on Toronto, the city, but the hoods we desired proved to be too expensive for us. To afford a house there, a child would have been sold (hmmmm) a second child would have had to sell her zhu zhu pet collection and recorder (hmmmmmmmm) and the husband would have had to sell his 50" plasma t.v. which is perpetually tuned into a football game (hmmmm) in order to afford one. Waaaaiiiit a minute, WTF????? That would have been perfect!

All kidding aside, the homes that we could have afforded in TO were absolutely minuscule, expensive, and not necessarily in the school district we wanted. So, we started looking in Oakville, where the houses are bigger, more affordable and there is room to run and make noise. Jo works in Mississauga so his commute makes sense. I am not working at the moment so it doesn't really matter where I am. And really, I can online shop anywhere you plop me, so whatevs.

The girls are attending what is turning out to be THE BEST SCHOOL EVER!!!!!!! Grace announced to me that the teacher has a fidget box for kids who need to fidget with things whilst being instructed. Amazing. Edie came home from her second day at school beaming because WE DON'T HAVE TO LEARN MOMMY, TODAY WE MADE PLAYDOUGH!!!!!!!!!! Uh huh Edie, and how did you make the playdough? Well, we meathured 1 cup of baking thoda (she's missing a front tooth) wif 1/2 a cup of corn thtarch and some water!!!!!!!! Yup, she didn't learn anything there at all. And today they are off to meet Robert Munsch on a field trip. Nothing against their school in Ottawa, but that is pretty effing kick ass. Next thing you know there will be a field trip to go see Social Distortion. Yeah, I'll be volunteering for that one.

As for me, I'm easing into things. As you can imagine, I was VERY popular in Ottawa, turning down invitations left right and centre, feted by all walks of life just for being me. Okay, I exagerrate. But I did have a really solid group of friends (you know who you are, don't make me write your names). And by solid I mean I did that Oprah thing a few years ago where I got rid of all those people in my life who were negative in any way (or made me feel fat), so you can imagine what an amazing circle of friends I left behind, some of whom I saw on an almost daily basis. Thank Latoya Jackson for email, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and....ummm, am I missing anything? No, don't tell me, I don't need anymore distractions.
Anyhoooo, with all these methods of communicating, I feel like I'm still in the loop somewhat. But, I do have to get out there and meet some people. I think I'll start next week.

But here I am, blogging again, Christopher, Lexie, consider this one dedicated I'll try and be better at it.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Oh my gods with everything going on in my life I have nothing to write about. Like nothing. As if I’m planning the biggest move of my life and I have nothing to say about it. Maybe it’s because I don’t want to ruin everything with my bad karma juju. I don’t want to write too much about “How To Sell Your Home and Buy a Home in City Much Larger and Much More Expensive Than Your Current City”. But can I blog bitch slap the people who have come through my house and made comments such as “I am disappointed in the landscaping”. The word “disappointed” is sooooo pretentious. I would much prefer that you say “I effing hate the landscaping”. It would make me feel all punk rock and growly instead of kind of ashamed, like I disappointed my grade 1 teacher. I also want to freak out a little bit at the person who opened our drawers. Yup, my unmentionables drawer was open (trust me, I checked that they were closed before our open house - I like to set traps for people). What were you looking for nosy parker? The drawers are not part of the sale, there was no need for you to take a peek in there. I know IKEA Malm furniture is almost irresistible to touch and explore, but c’mon. You’re lucky you got my pretty things and not Jo’s collection of Joe boxers. I also don’t particularly like it when I get a message that someone wants to come through our house, in 45 minutes. And I live about 20 minutes from work. And of course that call came the day that I relaxed a little and left the house looking like someone actually lives in it (because god forbid someone walks through your house thinking it has something of a, we are going for complete sterile anonymity here with a splash of life in the form of a strategically place pine comb).

Please, buy my house. I will even throw in my chest of drawers if you do!

And now the Happy Portion of today’s blog post.

Movie review. Well, I felt like a dirty birdy last week when I went to go see Drive with Ryan Gosling. Have you seen this movie yet? OMG, if you have, and you are a lady (or a gay-dy I s’pose) you KNOW what I’m talking about when I say elevator scene. Sweet baby Beiber if Gosling could put those kisses in a can and sell them.....

Another movie review (putting smart glasses on). 50/50. Was privy to an advanced screening (wow, the glasses really work, that intro did sound smart didn’t it!?) of this flick and it is put-your- popcorn-down good. It’s about cancer, which is bad, but it has so many “real” moments in it (did I mention my glasses are also hipster glasses?) that you literally laugh and cry and feel really uncomfortable at times. Go.

Another movie review (smart glasses off, pants off too whaaaatttt???) Crazy Stoopid Love. Again, if you have seen this, I Had the Time of My Life will never be the same for you either.

T.V. Review. Ummmm, not really a review, but just curious if the X Factor has made anyone cry more than twice? Me neither, but that would be really crazy if it did, right?

Well, that’s about it. I wish I had more interesting stuff to write about but my regular little subjects (Grace and Edie) have no stimulation at home (because when you are selling your home you have to hide every toy, crayon, object o’ fun) and so I find them slack jawed in front of the t.v. wayyyy too much and that doesn’t provide much blogging fodder.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

This just struck me as hilarious. Edie had one of her epic meltdowns the other afternoon, right around dinner time. We opted for option A: go to your room and cool down (option B would have had Children's Aid on our doorstep in record time).

This meltdown involved blood, sweat and tears (well, not blood, it just reads better that way) which resulted in her hair being all medusa-like and askew.

When dinner was ready, Jo looked over at me and said "Should we release the Kraken?"

This is how nicknames are born people.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Hey kids, want to feel better about your day?

Against my better judgement, I stayed up too late and watched the final episode of "The Kennedys". Against my better judgement, I read one too many chapters of BossyPants by Tina Fey (so funny). My lack of judgement made me go to bed wayyyy past my bedtime.

I awoke from a brutal nightmare (I couldn't find my minivan and there was a terrorist attack going down) at around 2 a.m. I got back to sleep eventually, only to be woken up by Edie who also had a brutal nightmare (giants yo). After a game of musical beds/pillows we settled in her bed and fell asleep. I was woken up by Grace around 4:30 who was suffering from nightmares too scary to even talk about (wasn't sure if I should call bullshit on that or not). Too tired to fight, I flopped into her bed, amazed at her strength and ability to wrestle all the blankets from her mother and I curled up the fetal position and sucked my thumb until I fell asleep.

When the cruel cruel alarm went of from my bedroom at 6:45, I was still in Grace's room and couldn't whack the snooze button so I HAD to get up to shut the damn thing off. Whoops. Something was amiss. Oh, one of my eyes was sealed shut, that's all Have I mentioned that I have brutal seasonal allergies? Well, this week they have manifested themselves into various eye pleasing ways, such as the golf ball sized hive on my forehead a couple of days ago (I don't have bangs, just sayin') and a crusty shut right eye this morning. But life must go on. I attempted to wake the girls who were very cranky from their disturbed slumber last night and I had to get them out the door by 8:00 for their camp outing today. While I was trying to get them up, the phone began ringing incessantly. When I finally picked up the phone (I have the ability to say WHAT! FUCK! with a simple chilly "Hello" in these instances) it was Jonas reminding me to empty the pool skimmer or elsebadthingswillhappenanditwillallbemyfault (he's been out of town this week).

Okay, so, with one eye shut and my robe falling open I went outside to empty the stupid damn skimmer. When I picked it up I let out a blood curdling scream because there was a dead frog floating in it. I am irrationally scared of 3 things in life 1) Zombies 2) Cannibalism (have you seen The Road?) and 3) Frogs. So, kindly picture a one eyed, robe flapping open crazy haired mama screaming and running around in her back yard, all while her little darlings are inside watching Phineas and Ferb, eating their Cheerios, oblivious to it all.

I won't even go into the epic fit Edie pitched when I attempted to get her moving towards the door, but it did involve her slamming Lambey to the floor (poor Lambey, NOT his fault) and a few solid rounds of "you don't love me". While this chaos was going done, Grace thought it would be a good time to ask me about Halloween and what she should dress up as, what hood in Toronto we were going to trick or treat in etc etc. Forgive me Grace for not engaging in this particular conversation at this particular moment in time.

And, not sure who I think I am, but I also put on white jeans just to tempt the Fates this morning.

Feel better about your morning? You're welcome.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ummmm, I had kind of a fun night last night. And a quick disclaimer, nobody reads this blog, and I am certainly not being paid by anybody to write reviews or promote anything, so these words are pure.

A friend of mine who is a good friend to have because she is so freaking gung ho and enthusiastic about EVERYTHING (let's run the 1/2 marathon! let's train for it 4x a week at 5:45 in the morning! Let's go for a hike in Gatineau! Let's do this! Let's do that!) signed us up for something called Supperworks. This is one of those services where you go with a group of other people and basically put meals together for your freezer for quick and easy week night meal preparations. Now, I'm usually wary of these things because it involves a) other people (stranger danger! stranger danger!) b) work stations that involve measuring which means a potential for math (they used my voice for Teen Talk Barbie whose recorded message was "Math is Hard!" c) these things usually take place in strange parts of town with names like Orleans and involve highway driving and roundabouts to get there and d) did I mention I don't like strangers?

Well, after a bumpy start (we got lost getting to this "Orleans" place) the night quickly took turn a turn for the better when the hostess for the evening asked me "red or white" and upon hearing my answer promptly handed a glass of wine. Well played Supperworks. I then looked around the room where I would be spending the next 2.5 hours and saw 7 bright and clean stainless steel workstations with recipes, instructions and fresh ingredients posted above them. Ummm, Gwyneth Paltrow - is that you hiding in the corner????

My friend and I had picked 9 meals to make (which we split in 2, sharesies y'all) and off we went. My friend made me do the first one (to get over my fear of "new") and I did great. While she made the second meal I took time to reflect on the other clients in the room and promptly judged and categorized them in about 5 minutes flat. Here are a few that stood out:

1) The Unusually Diverse Couple. I am all for diversity and mixing up the cultures but this couple really stumped me. He in his mid-fifties I'd say, white, and ringing my gaydar loud and clear. She, East Indian I'd say, early forties and super attentive to her partner. I think they were romantically linked because the touched each other a lot. I tried to eavesdrop to determine the nature of their relationship and whether or not they had kids, but they didn't give ANY clues as to their status. Hmmmm. Very interesting.

2) The "We Don't Eat White Rice/Food Ever" mother daughter team. Well. These two crawled up my ass immediately. I was making a fish dish beside them and was asking my friend about what rice to compliment the meal, white or brown? Well, if Mother didn't pipe in with one of those country club jaw clenched voices and state that her and her daughter NEVER eat anything white and that brown EVERYTHING is soooo superior to anything white. And daughter looked at us kind of evil kind of snobby and reinforced the words NEVER and EVERYTHING after her mother spoke them. Really? Do you two really exist? And they marched around the place without ever smiling. What really frustrated me was the daughter was soooo pretty and had a lipstick on that I really wanted to ask her about, but she was just one of those people I didn't want to give the satisfaction of knowing that someone coveted something she owned. Yeah yeah yeah, don't worry, I know I have issues.

3) The CEO/CFO Of An Important Company Who Doesn't Have Time For Idle Chit Chat. This lady killed me. She obviously came from work as she was still in her power suit. She did trade her heels for birkenstocks, which I suspect she matched to her outfit (for all you readers, this isn't really necessary, same goes for Crocs and Uggs, in fact, I think matching them with your outfit might make it kinda worse). Anyhoooo, I attempted a little chit chat with her while casually making quesidillas beside her but I could I tell that I thoroughly disgusted her with my pointless conversation and wine drinking. What took me 2.5 hours to do she was done within 45 minutes and she had merged Apple and Microsoft in the process (I kid, I kid).

4) The Lost Guy. I'm not really sure what his story was. He seemed to be there by himself. Maybe he signed up to meet chicks? I'm not really sure. It's like he signed up, realized it was not at all what he expected, but couldn't just leave, but also didn't really want to put nine meals together by himself for the next couple of hours. He did drink his glass of wine (I was watching him in case he didn't, I would have asked if I could have his share) but I kind of lost track of him. I think he just left.

5) Lady Just Had a Baby and Just Had to Get Out of The House for Couple of Hours. I left this woman alone. I heard her talk to the hostess and my spidey senses told me not to make friendly with her. She just wanted to be alone, anonymous and drink wine for the next 2.5 hours. I'm pretty sure she was the last to leave.

There were more people there but these ones really stood out. The "We Don't Eat White Rice/Food Ever" mother daughter team gave us snark when we were settling up at the end of the evening so it gave me extra satisfaction to ask the hostess lots and lots and lots and lots of questions so I could hold them up even longer than necessary (which is kind of mean, maybe their brown rice was kicking in?) I really am a meanie sometimes.

So, long story short, I would totally do this again. I have nine meals in my freezer ready to go which I'm sure Jo and I will enjoy immensely (the girls will laugh in my face when I suggest they try them, of this I am sure as well).

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I have really really bad allergies. When I woke up this morning I looked in the mirror and my eyes did not look like my own. So I did what any normal woman would do and pretended that I FINALLY had the Elaine Erwin eyes (fyi favorite supermodel of the 80's/90's, and yes she was a supermodel) that I have always coveted. I spritzed on my Chanel no. 19, got dressed in a flowy feminine top and white jeans and catwalked to the kitchen channeling my inner goddess. There may or may not have been an internal soundtrack playing Salt'n'Pepa in my head.

Elaine Erwin alter ego was quickly crushed, no decimated, by a husband who snorted and said I looked like I got beat up in my sleep, and by the girls who kept asking me what was wrong me and why did I look so weird.

Huh. So now I am channeling Rocky Balboa in drag.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

And I thought I was bad....

So, when you decide to move, you quickly realize how much crap you have. How does this happen? My nature, my natural instinct is to hate and repel clutter and random bits and pieces that don't serve a purpose yet here I am cleaning out cupboards and drawers and baskets and shelves and clearing out the CRAP. Three-quarters of our worldly possessions are now at the Salvation Army. Many of these worldly possessions include the girls' precious items. And by precious items I mean CRAP. If I had tried to get rid of this stuff when they were home there would of have been Greek tragedy of sorts composed right there on the spot. Everything is special, nothing can be thrown out, yadda yadda yadda. Where do these little mini hoarder instincts come from? Even an old container of bubble gum bubble bath that proved to cause mysterious rashes on the girls after bathing in it was deemed too special to throw out (I know, I know, why didn't I throw it out myself after the mystery hives appeared? I have my own issues I suppose). A bottle of dried up nail polish could not be tossed - Edie claimed she could resuscitate it with some *magical fairy water*.

To make a long story short, after a visit to my parents house, the mystery of the girls tendency to amass and store their riches was at least partially solved. It's in their DNA . When looking for some Tums in my mom and dad's medicine cabinet, look what I found:

I'm pretty sure this can be tossed now.

Monday, August 15, 2011


As you may have read, we are moving. Packing up, picking up and leaving for Toronto. I really think people with children should reconsider ever moving anywhere until the kids are launched. A few reasons:

1) Children will dig up toys with 10,000+ pieces that they haven't played with in months once they get a whiff that tidy house is required. These toys are intricate enough that they require days upon days of setting up, and any hint of dismantling or putting them away will result in tears, devastation, and cries of "Why do we haaaaaaave to moooooove!" Grace currently has a structure composed of hundreds of bright, colourful straws and joints in the the works - and this is being engineered in the hallway of course because she doesn't want her own room cluttered. Edie is currently throwing down a story-line akin to Gone With the Wind, which is being re-enacted by a kajillion Polly Pockets (epic, absolutely epic stuff with multiple costume changes, and no, the discarded costumes do not get put away in the designated Polly Pocket box).

2) They will also detect freshly painted walls and washed windows and draaaaaaag their fingers along them,which is a crime in itself, but a travesty of justice after they have consumed freshly baked, warm and oozy peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies.

3) They will cry with zero abandon over the loss of friendships due to the move, and then after I work my ass off to arrange play dates they flippantly state that they would rather stay home with me, actually.

4) When asked to clean their rooms up, they will do a seemingly remarkable job, but when I go to do their laundry I go gray with the realization that they have stuffed their clean, neatly folded laundry (that I asked them to put away days ago) into their dirty laundry bags, and there is no way to way to distinguish the clean from the dirty. I outta just shove the kids in my frontloader at the end of the day.

5) They will prove over and over again, that at ages 6 and 9, they are indeed not too old for sippy cups (buy stock in paper towels yo). Milk, orange juice, apple juice, it all gets spilled. Except water. They are remarkably adept at not spilling water.

Actually, husbands get in the way of a move tremendously as well, for the following 2 reasons:

1) They (and by they I mean Jo) give no warning at all that they painted the floor of the utility room, and look put-off when you tell them you walked through their wet paint.

2) The beautiful marble counter tops that have been buffed and polished to a sheen that they have never had before are immaculate and void of any clutter, except for a lone, homeless baseball cap. If eyes could bleed.......

Someone should do a head count at the end of the day our our first Open House - I can't guarantee their safety after these episodes.
Guess what folks, I'm moving! The Meanie family is picking and moving to
Toronto at the end of the month/early September. It's been a long time
coming - we have been trying to leave Ottawa for the past, oh, 11 years or
so. The first move was to be to Bermuda. Jo and I couldn't get pregnant,
so we decided to take advantage of our childless status and a job
opportunity in Bermuda for Jonas beckoned us. Pretty much the day we
popped our visas in them mail, I found out Grace had taken up residence in
my uterus. Well, Ottawa is a nice place to start a family, right? The
next adventure came approximately 4 years later, with an opportunity in
Toronto. Yay! We thought. Bright lights, big city, here we come! We
sold our house really quickly in Ottawa, headed to Toronto in February to
look for a home and then realized a) Toronto is really, really expensive b)
I loved my job at the time and c) Jo wasn't crazy about the job that was
taking him to the big smoke. Retreat! Retreat! A new home in Ottawa was
purchased and the Meanies huddled together surrounded by familiarity. The
next attempt was Edmonton - now I don't want to knock Edmonton, but I'll
just say it was not our first choice to live there, and I wasn't terribly
disappointed when this opportunity was squished by personal matters at
home. Now, by this point in time, we were rocking our 'hood, mingling with
the 'A' listers in our neighbourhood every weekend, the girls had a solid
group of friends on rotation in and out of our home and I was reigning
Queen of Christmas Cookie Exchange (overseeing approx, 14 subjects I might
add) and this has been status quo for the past 5 years.

So, what changed? I don't know, change is just in the air. Jo has an
amazing opportunity career wise, and it happens to be in Toronto. My
career is at a bit of a lull at the moment, so I have no problem bidding it
adieu and seeing what opportunities might await me there. Grace and Edie
for the most part are pretty stoked for the move, looking forward to
hanging out with their cousins who they rarely get to see (ummmm, they
might also think that they will get to go to Toronto's Wonderland every

Most people have the same reaction when I tell them what we are doing, they
smile and say I will love it there. A few people have reacted with a
"Toronto sucks balls". I know Toronto is not for everyone - but I'm
optimistic that it is for us. I know we will never duplicate our life in
Ottawa where we have a generous sized home, enough parking for 4 cars, and
pool in the back yard, but that is what this adventure is all about -
shaking things up a bit.

I don't know too many people in Toronto, I'll have to work my way up to
Queen of Christmas Cookie Exchange again in a new city, but I'm really
looking forward to this adventure.

(I'm also looking for work in TO. Here is a link to my "other" blog with
my background and c.v., please take a look and share it if you think you
can help me out!)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Guest-blogger today folks! Allow me to introduce my brother Kevin. As my shoulders slowly reach my ears over the thought of spending a long period of time in the car with Grace and Edie, he thoughtfully compiled some amazing childhood memories of our own road trips with our parents. Read on.

Have a super-awesome 7 hour trip. Instead of trying to figure out how to keep Grace and Edie occupied why not just do what our progressive parents did:

-keep all of the windows closed at all times to avoid a stiff neck caused by the breeze coming in the window;

-provide them with one poster (the kind with the black "velvet" outlines) to colour. This should take up about an hour of their time. Oh, and make them car sick;

-let them listen to their Walkman. But only give them enough batteries to last 4 hours. And don't buy them more batteries. They're expensive you know.

-power through the 7 hours and don't stop at restaurants, roadside attractions, bathrooms, scenic lakes or anything else that might disrupt the schedule because we all know that getting there on time is more important THAN ANYTHING IN THE WHOLE WORLD;

-keep a barf bowl handy. Preferably a green plastic one that, no matter what you do, will always smell just a little bit like vomit;

- yell at them every once in a while and make sure that they know that there are lots of little children in the world who would LOVE to be going on vacation but they can't because they don't have parents who love them. This is especially good for their self-esteem later in life;

-play "eye spy with my little eye". Always good for hours of driving fun. This will be fun for Edie since she's so good at focusing on one task for an extended period of time;

-provide them with plenty of liquids. Half a can of pop each is more than enough for a 7 hour road trip;

-be sure to make them share a seat in the van. They're sisters and they love each other very much so they'll be happy as clams sitting right beside each other for 7 hours. Remember how much fun WE thought it was??

Good luck!

So thanks Kevin, I am feeling oh so much better about the road trip now, and whatever I do to my kids in those hours that we are confined to the mini-van cannot be worse than what we went through.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Oh my god I have the BEST post being tossed around and created in my grey matter but I don't have time to put it together (it is a multi-media installation). Let's just say it involves The Beach Boys, Kid Creole and the Coconuts and Billy Idol.

I'm going on holidays soon so it will just. have. to. wait.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Best follow-up story ever....

So, if you didn’t read my last post, take a moment to scroll down and read it, it’s okay, I’ll wait. Doobey doobey doo, doobey doo doo doobey doobey doo doobey doo doo (hum to Strangers in the Night)....see how easy it is for me to entertain myself while I wait? Okay, ready? Great.

So I pick up Edie from school yesterday and she told me that her friends’ mom told Edie that she saw a picture of Edie downtown on a wall. I probed Edie for more details, but that was all she had and she was ready to move on to a conversation with a butterfly – we know there is no stopping that dialogue. Well, this just drove me nuts. Where was the picture? Who took it? If it was a candid photo, was I in the background, with my gut hanging out, rib hanging from my mouth with one open one eye closed? To make matters worse, I have a bit of an imagination myself, particularly when Jo is out of town (which he had been all week) and I started going on a crazy tangent in my head of Edie and our family being stalked by some crazy person and photos of Edie were being posted downtown and someone was hunting us down and and and (note to self: Stop, just stop watching Criminal Minds).

The most rational thing I could do was call the Mom in question, leave a crazy ass message on her answering machine (during the dinner hour, nice timing Meanie) and chew my finger nails until she called back. She did call back, and this is what got lost in translation:

She had told her that she had seen picture of Edie/taken downtown/on my Facebook Wall.

Mystery solved. Stalkers kept at bay, for now........

Monday, June 27, 2011

Let me collect my thoughts....

This post will be a bit of a ramble, bear with me.

So Blog Out Loud Ottawa is coming up, July 7 to be precise, and reading about who will be, well, reading, makes me really want to go. Most of it is just plain old curiosity – what the hell do these people look like who I spend way too much of my time reading? I’m a very visual person and just so damn curious. I’m also in awe of them – I would love to have the cahones to get up and read something from my blog, but I fear my knocking knees would drown out my voice (oh and that I would look up to a sleeping audience). I think it is a fairly competitive process, to be chosen to read, and I don’t want to kid myself that I would be chosen, but it would be great to have that, confidence I guess? To get up there and out yourself on stage.

This brings me to my youngest daughter. Most of the members of my little family are pretty shy – until you get to know us. Jo, Grace and I all have pretty clear comfort zones of what we will do and won’t do in public, in front of strangers. And then there is Edie.

We went downtown for Ribfest on Saturday, with a strict agenda to get us some ribs and get out again, y’know, before the meat sweats kicked in. Well, after we polished off our meaty little treats, the sun came out, so we decided to walk around a bit and take in the glorious, glorious sun (which I’m sure caused the grease to reflect off my face and cause a car accident somewhere). Anyhoooo, we came upon a busker who was just setting up. He was pretty damn funny and engaging so we decided to stick around. Now, usually at these things I like to observe from afar and NEVER make eye contact to protect myself from being called from the audience to assist with something. (I’m a public service facilitator’s worst nightmare – I can’t stand those icebreaker activities and often find myself in the bathroom when they are going on). On this day though, we were front row centre. And he was looking for volunteers. The little hand I had been holding disengaged and shot into the air. Omg omg omg, Edie had violated the Meanie Family Code of Conduct and was voluntarily putting herself in a position to bring on attention! And of course she was chosen by the busker. And in front of a crowd that had swelled to about, oh, 50 or so, Edie assisted the busker with his performance. My heart was racing, scared she was going to burst out in tears at any moment, but she appeared to love every moment, confessing later that she was a little freaked out at one point, but wanted to see what was going to happen next. When it was over, she received a generous round of applause, skipped back over to us and couldn’t have looked more please with herself.

Way to go Edie, I wish I could be more like you.

Oh, and come check out Blog Out Loud Ottawa, it's a pretty cool night. I'll be the one lurking in the back of the room.

WHERE: The Prescott, 379 Preston Street, at Preston and Beech
WHEN: Thursday, July 7, 2011 from 7pm to 10pm
WHO: 20+ bloggers reading their favourite post from the past year; plus several photo bloggers displaying their art
WHO'S INVITED: Anyone who likes to hear good writing.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I Wanted a Kitty-Cat!

End of school year BBQ was this past Friday – it’s pretty much the social event of the year for the nine and under crowd. Grace and Edie quiver with excitement over this annual blow out, which in reality is just a dunk tank, a hotdog/hamburger stand, a face painting area and a dessert table. Oh, and approx 200kids (as if they stand still long enough to be counted) running around like banshees who have not tasted freedom in a hundred years. This year though there was an added attraction – a balloon shape shifting dude (or God in the eyes of Edie). Edie clamped her big ole blue eyes on this guy from the get go and decided that she was to be recipient of a balloon shape shifted into a.....kitty cat.

A little back ground story – I had a pep talk with the girls prior to the BBQ as I knew I would have to extrapolate them from the masses a little earlier than usual as we had another engagement to attend. They both nodded solemnly, convincing me of their earnest commitment to honour my request. Why oh why do I give them the benefit of the doubt?

So, Edie wanted a kitty cat. And she wanted to eat and run and play and get dunked and get a face painting (a shooting starrrrrrr) AND get a kitty cat. I noted that the line up for the balloon animals was moving as fast as me on a Monday morning so I strongly she suggested that she get in line if she wanted one. She ignored my reasonable, logical suggestion. When Edie finally got in line, she camped out for about ½ an hour before I had to pull her to leave. She wasn’t even remotely close to getting her kitty.

Well, I should have put on some camouflage because apparently I just started a full on war. Edie waged a battle against me so intense, so horrific, I almost waved the white flag. But I couldn’t and dammit, I had to prove that I was the commander, not her, and to be damned with her if she couldn’t handle the truth. It escalated. As if in slow motion, surrounded by all of her little 6 year old friends and their parents, Edie raised the hostilities to the next level and....and.....she hit me. In her sassy little paisley-with-a-ruffle-off-one-shoulder bathing suit, she actually hit me. In front of everyone. So what does one do when this happens? Well, first I give the biggest stink eye to one of the moms who was watching the scene unfold with a look of judgy horror on her face (she actually covered her daughters ears to shield her from Edie’s cries), then I organized my lone supporting soldier (Grace) to collect our things. I marched my prisoner Edie through the school grounds, while she screamed her little pony-tailed head off. The poor balloon guy sensed the issue was a deficit of balloon animals in Edie’s greedy little arms, so he whipped up an odd looking balloon bug? bird? Still not sure what it was – to which Edie screamed “I wanted a cat!” Oh you little ungrateful shit. I could have died.

In the car, the ultimate outcome was:

a) I was the worst mother in the world;
b) The insect? Bird? Balloon was stupid;
c) This was the worst day ever;
d) Edie no longer felt love in her heart for me and her heart was turning black and
e) I removed Max and Ruby from her life for a solid 7 days (this may not sound like much a punishment to you, but for Edie this is akin to taking water/air away from the rest of us.

And of course she woke up sick two days later. This always happens but I never clue in at the time. When they are at their most monster-like, they are usually incubating something evil in their little bodies.

Feel better about your life now? And just what the hell do you think that balloon is meant to be?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Addendum to my post of yesterday, I found a picture! It's fuzzy but you can see the omnipresent Ronald....doesn't he look corrupted?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Room of One's Own.

Or a place of one's own.

One bit of advice I am definitely going to dole out to Grace and Edie when the time comes is for them to live on their own for awhile.

Last night I spent a lovely evening with the divine Lexie, a "younger" friend who is all kinds of hip and cool, and she just moved into her own apartment. The apartment is everything I would want in my own - second-hand furniture re-finished with a personal funky touch; art work that speaks volumes of the dwellers' taste, personal travels and experiences (just hers, no one else's); favourite books here and there and everywhere just begging to be read during a free moment and a small-ish kitchen that may or may not get used all that often (which really strikes a cord with me because pretty much from the moment I get home from work and get the girls off the bus I am in my own, roomy kitchen preparing snacks, dinner, washing dishes and prepping for the next days meals). Her new apartment is downtown, and with the summer heat the windows are perpetually propped open, letting in the sounds of conversations from neighbouring balconies, people talking on the street, cars going by, bike bells dinging and ringing. And then there's the breeze from being on a higher floor, with the occasional waft of cigarette smoke sneaking in, which I just love. There are PEOPLE out there.

I have never lived on my own. When I went away to university, I lived in a dorm, which was great for a shy gal like me because I'm pretty sure if I had lived off-campus I would never had made any friends, learned how to tap a keg or follow the trend of wearing construction boots with jean shorts (gah, that actually would have been a good thing). Sure I decorated my little dorm room with lots of angst-y posters and posted quotes from some pretttty deep poetry I had latched onto (gawd I must have been so annoying) but it was a tiny space, and my door was always open with people coming and going and I never really liked being there all that much.

The following year I moved in with my bestie, and we didn't really have time for aesthetics - we were to busy partying yo! I do remember an attempt at ambiance with candles stuck in wine bottles and granny throws over couches, but that was before shabby chic was en vogue so I suspect we were just covering up a vomit/wine/beer/poutine stain with those blankets.

The next year my bestie and I moved into a new a house......with 10 other boys. Yup, we were two girls with ten boys. I had to take my showers on campus at the gym because our bathroom was disgusting (one fella took pride in spelling his name out in pubic hair in our shower) and by the end of the year the hallway was dubbed "Hall of Porn" with the boys' favourite graphic images taped to the wall - weep with me (they weren't even hung straight). So you can imagine how much say I had in the decor of this house. The point of pride of this happy, bustling home was a Ronald McDonald statue the boys had knocked down and stolen from the fast food restaurant. Poor Ronald was placed in the corner of our living room with a cigarette crammed in his grinning mouth and a king-can of 50 taped to his hand.

After university, I moved back home, into my old room, still decorated in my mom's taste, bearing no indication of the theatre major, expert on the Classics turned radical feminist who was now occupying the room (you know I'm talking about me, right?) I didn't last long. But by then I had met Jo, and we decided to move in together, and since then we have lived in 5 different places of varying shapes and sizes. And while I have a pretty strong voice in how we decorate, it is not only my voice that gets the say, I have to let Jo have an opinion.

All this to say that if I have any regrets in life it is that I never been able to call a space my own.

Lexie said I could borrow her place when she goes out of town.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Both kids had friends over yesterday. As soon as the sun came out they burst outside into the front yard and made the most of the one hour reprieve from the doom and gloom we experienced this past weekend. Buoyed by their good spirits I went to the freezer and dug out some freezies to pass around, which put even bigger smiles on their faces. Warm fuzzies all around! (Oh, by the way, you can pretty much blame the Ottawa dandelion infestation on Edie – she is obsessed with scattering the little fluffy dead dandelion heads around in any way possible – via blowing, twirling, throwing, kicking – my neighbours must haaaaaate us). Anyhooo, they were loud. Their voices carried. Simultaneous games of tag/bubble blowing/ball/chalk drawing/scooter riding/dandelion spawning/hide and go seek/freezie headache competitions (yeah, odd) were underway. I became mother bear and initiated a mass killing of mosquitoes so they wouldn’t bite my charges (Edie of course welts up at the mere sight of a mosquito. Grace, ever in control, has somehow negotiated with the Don Mosquio that she doesn’t get bitten at all).

There was a sudden hush to all the activity. I stopped my mosquito whacking to see why the kid-commotion had all but stopped. There, at the end of the driveway was a mother, two daughters and son. They are a new family down our street who have just arrived from Kenya. I have said hello to them before, but we haven’t had much chance to interact because our kids go to different schools. I smiled and said hello, and the Mom, in her killer-amazing-you-are-so-much-more-exotic-than-me accent said, point-blank: Your kids are having so much fun. My youngest daughter is terribly lonely since moving here and I would like her to play with your children – please, is this okay.

Oh my god, all at once I wanted to cry, I wanted to hug this lonely little girl and tell her everything was going to be okay, that she would make lots of friends and it’s so hard starting over and that she has a beautiful smile and and and and......

Instead I stay composed and smiled and said of course she could join the girls and play, and said “Right, girls?” in that way only Mom’s can do. The mom said thank you, we exchanged information, and she said she would be back in an hour to collect her. The girls asked her if she wanted a freezie and that was that. Games resumed. Unfortunately the rain resumed as well, so they tumbled back down to the basement, with the new girl fully integrated within minutes, actually seconds, into their little group.

I’m not sure why this made me so emotional. I think it has something to do with me having some profoundly lonely moments as a little girl, and it just breaks my heart to see any child feeling that way. I think I was also extremely touched that this woman sensed that our family would be approachable enough to make such a, well, let’s face it - such a bold request in this day and age and to trust us with her daughter. I was also feeling all mushy inside knowing that we have the kind of kids that we can count on to make this little gal feel completely comfortable and include her in all the nonsense they were getting up to that afternoon.

So awesome.

I still feel a little choked up.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Awesome trip memory.

I'm a pretty big Elvis fan - I sort of worked backwards to get here. When
I was younger I had a crush on a rockabilly boy; when I had a crush back in
the day, I would commit myself, rather pathetically, to learning everything about the
individuals' likes and dislikes (stalker, right? - shut up, it's endearing when you are 14) Anyhoooo, originally entrenched in punk music at the time, this rockabilly boy opened my world to the world of, well, rockabilly music. Starting with 80's rockabilly, I worked my way back, and after few years, long after the crush was over, I made my way to the King. He is one of the only singers who gives me goosebumps, makes me cry and tap my toes, and this is just after listening to one side of an album (oh yeah, we're talking vinyl here).

Anyhooooo, in 2001 Jo and I went on a trip to New Orleans, and thought it
would be fun to rent a car and take a little road trip to Memphis. I was
pregnant at the time, and the allure of flashing my boobies in the French
Quarter was non-existent. So, on an impulse, we packed up and hit the road (heh heh, Jo might have wanted to stick around with those boobs everywhere). It became obvious we were heading in the right direction as the closer we got, the more garish the ads for Elvis Everything became. We decided to hit Graceland at night and see what it looked like lit up in the late evening. What we did not know was that it was the 25th anniversary of his death. As we approached Graceland, we saw literally thousands of white, tinkly lights. As we got closer, we realized that there was a candlelight vigil going on in honour of him. There were thousands upon thousands of people, snaking their way to Graceland, to pay homage to the King. There were babies and toddlers with grease in their hair, slicked back into pompadours. There were impersonators gallore, whole families gathered together and many a fan had glistening, tear streaked cheeks. I remember at one point I laughed out loud, pretty much out of the shock of what I was witnessing. I wasn't laughing out of disrespect, but rather it was a reaction to something I just never, ever dreamed of bearing witness too. Close to me, a man was quite agitated by my laugh, and told me to have a little respect. He looked a combination of mad and sad. We spent the next couple of quiet hours there, lining up with everyone else in the dark, staring up at the former home of Elvis Presley, flooded with light.

I remember feeling very deeply, not one feeling in particular, but an overwhelming crush of emotions. I remember rubbing my fluttery belly, my first daughter trying out her legs in utero, thinking about the story I would tell her, what she was kind of present for. Of course that little gal's name is Grace, and yes, she knows the story, I have oft repeated it to her, and as the years go by, I feel like she is putting more and more importance to the story. She complains about a lot of my music, but never about Elvis, and for a recent school project she had to create an imaginary country, which she called Las Gracie. The national anthem of this little
town is Viva Las Gracie. If she doesn't get a good grade on this project I will kick her teacher's ass whilst blasting Hound Dog through the school speakers (note to self, that would be a great scene for the movie-script in my head. Yes, there is a movie about my life in my head, shut-up).

Just a neat little memory I thought I would share - you like?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ugh, I've been so delinquent as of late when it comes to blogging.

Sometimes I'll have moments of inspiration, writing a new post in my head, then never getting to the keyboard to pound it out. I could have written about the Royal Wedding, how I didn't tell Edie it was happening the night before for fear she wouldn't sleep because of the excitement of it all, and then my disappointment when I woke her to watch it she was more than unimpressed. Not sparkly enough, not enough colours, boring boring boring. Errrr, not everyone can get married under the sea with singing lobsters and grinning sea anenomes, Sunshine. So that was a little deflating. And on the topic of the Royal Wedding, I swear I have almost gotten into fistacuffs with people because, I'll say it, I liked Beatrice's fascinator. So the freak what? Leave me alone.

I am also perilously distracted by Keeping Up with the Kardashians. This is my new crack. And they put back to back episodes on E!, so I'll be all like I'll turn it off at 10:00, for sure I'll turn it off at 10:00, and then they show a teaser of Bruce Jenner looking aghast (haha he actually always looks like that) at something that happened, something that could possibly have global implications, so I can't turn it off. I have to watch the next show, and throughout the night after watching episode upon episode I slowly convince myself that I only really need 4 hours sleep anyway. I mean look how busy Kim is and she remains gorgeous, so I can too, right? Ugh. Spoken and justified like a true addict. Other lesser drugs include It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Raising Hope, two very funny shows. The reason Jo and I need to get the girls to bed at a reasonable hour is because of Six Feet Under - this is Our show. We are watching the entire series on DVD and we are both addicted, co-dependents. So good.

I also stopped blogging because I really really really hurt my neck and arm/shoulder. I'm fixed now, but I went to see a chiro, physiotherapist and massage therapist simultaneously so I don't know what fixed me, which stresses me out to no end because next time it happens I'll have to do the whole three ring circus again because I don't know who was miracle worker! Stress!

I also bought two new pairs of shoes. One of which is beige-ish. Jo said "you have a pair just like that", and I said "no I don't, these have an almond toe. I don't have any beige shoes with an almond toe". I went to work the other day and lo and behold, under my desk, a pair of beige-ish shoes with an almond toe. See how distracted I've been as of late? Even my material desires are being compromised.
I could make up a bajillion excuses to my legions of readers, but I guess I'm just going through a dry spell. Well, dry at writing. My wine consumption has not taken a hit at all. Maybe I should blog tipsy.

Oh, but something positive, very very positive. I ran 15K this past weekend. But even better than that the girls are into it. The signed up for the 1K and will be doing the 2K in May. They are very sassy with their little visors on, sneaks little capri leggings, doing exagerrated stretches. All kinds of girl awesome.

Jesus, next time I get frustrated at Edie's inability to focus on anything, please direct me to this blog post.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Quickly, before my arm siezes:

1) Last night Jo and I were conversing at the dinner table, ignoring the girls to best of our ability until we heard Grace say to Edie: Hey, it's like soft porn! SCREEECH! What was that? Turns out she was eating a croissant like corn on the cob and actually said Hey, it's like soft cornas in corn on the cob. What a relief, I haven't gotten to that chapter in the parents manual yet.

2) I was called home on Thursday to pick up a teary Edie (they actually put her on the phone so I could hear how pathetic she sounded - emotional blackmail). Apparently she just wasn't herself and the school thought I should come an get her. The real story? She had punched herself by accident when trying to unjam a rogue zipper and this upset her terribly (the confession came bedtime when I coudn't figure out what the hell was wrong with her. It was only after she had been given jello, medicine, 1/2 a Tums and an extra book and extra snuggle to make her feel better that she enlightened me).

3) The girls' fighting reached a new low this weekend when they were stacking pudding containers into various shapes and fighting over who's turn it was/who did a better job etc etc. I looked at the Wii, the My Little Pony Crystal Castle and Lego sets and cried a little.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Can't post. Arm hurts. Typing is torture. Send help. I need a robot arm. My body has been compromised. Gaaaaaah.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Stretched a little thin but liking it.....

I picked up a contract a couple of weeks ago. And it looks like I am about to be engaged to do another one. Yes, I still work at my day job, and these contracts are done early weekend mornings when the kids tend to ignore me over SpongeBob’s incessant chatting anyways and Jo prefers Suduko and coffee over my company, so why not get paid to do something I love?

Something has to give though. It was going to be my bass lessons, but last night I learned I Wanna be Sedated by the Ramones, and the rush that gave me, well, I don’t think I can part with that. I would quit my day job, but I don’t like Kraft Dinner THAT much. I could get rid of a child, but that would leave the other one all anxious and weirded out that they could go next. I could get rid of both kids, but then the house would feel too big and decadent for just Jo and I. I could get rid of Jo, but he takes out the garbage and separates the raw chicken I buy in bulk to put in the freezer (ugh, can’t touch raw meat without gagging). I could give up my morning runs, but I really like them and fear the wrath of my ass if I gave them up (and who’s kidding who, that’s what goes first when I’m feeling tired). I could give up making dinner every night, but I draw great sadistic pleasure from sneaking cauliflower and tofu into the kids food and watching them eat it up. I could give up some of the girls’ activities, but to be honest, I like them because they come home physically exhausted and fall asleep more easily than usual. I could give up supervising and forcing homework time after school, but then they might fail academically and end up living at home forever because they can’t get a job adn they would be socially awkward and old enough to drink my wine. I could give up Facebook, but (oh shit, lightning just struck! How did Mark Zuckerberg do that?!)

Anyways, maybe I’ll give up my subscription to Us magazine. Yes, that’s what I’ll do.

How do you do it all?

Monday, March 28, 2011

I just left a comment on petitgourmand's blog and said she should keep blogging because think of how fun it will be to re-read when she turns 80.

Which got me to thinking.....

Have you seen The Notebook? Well, I'm totally imagining a movie called The Blog, where a handsome, older Jo (mmmm, played by Colin Firth with super- wrinkley make up on), reads to his ailing wife Meanie (duh, Charize Theron with just a little wrinkley make up on because Meanie is MUCH younger than Jo). Meanie is on an Anthropologie style chaise lounge, wrapped in the prerequisite upper middle class beige cashmere blanket and has perfectly styled still blonde hair.

Jo reads entries from Meanie's blog to her, with their loving daughters Grace (played by Jessica Biel, she's the most athletic looking actress I can think of) and Edie (Zooey Deschanel, google her, you'll get it) lovingly rubbing Meanie's shoulders, and they get all gooey and lovey with each other reminiscing about the stories from the blog.

And then after reading a few entries, they realize the bulk of the blog mocks them or is one big long complaint about them.

And then there is an awkward silence. Crickets if you will. Cue Celine Dion as Jo, Grace and Edie look at Meanie, with cocked heads and disgusted looks on their faces and file out the door. Grace re-enters, but only to grab the cashmere blanket off of Meanie.

And Meanie ponders the moment, then reaches for her social networking device (they will look really cool by then)and updates her Facebook status to read "WTF? you won't believe what they did now....."

Keep on blogging folks! It will give you something to talk about when you're old.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bon Kid Bad Kid

The dynamics in a house of two kids, two girls, three years apart has
provided lots of blogging fodder (wtf? spell check doesn't recognize the
word blogging? How can my raison d'etre not even been considered a word?)

The more sophisticated they get, the more interesting the arguments get. I
never had much patience for who had what toy first, who hit who, etc etc,
and therefore tried as much as possible to ignore the cacaphony (I got to
use that word AGAIN!) around me. Now, I'm getting drawn into the ring
because I simply find it fascinating to witness just how much brain power
and effort they are willing to exert in order to get in my good books and
have the other removed from my favour.


Edie: Mommy, who do you love more, me, or candy?
Me: Why you of course!
Edie: Haha "candy" is what I secretly call Gracie, that means you love me

Me: Well good morning gorgeous!
Grace: 'morning - Hey Edie, did Mommy say good morning gorgeous to you?
Edie: No
Grace: Haha, Mommy thinks you're ugly!

See what I mean?

And they are like little detectives, sleuthing out things that the other
has done that may cause me offense. Ratting each other out if one has left
the lights on/not washed their hands/put their socks in the dirty laundry
etc etc. Proudly reporting to me all infractions, waiting for the
punishment to be handed down, and severely, SEVERELY disillusioned when I
don't sentence the criminal to life without parol. And they are soooo
offended when the tables are turned and they are the one being told on -
"Tattler!" they accuse, as if they have never once finked on their sister.

I honestly find it amusing, and love how it all gets shelved when there is
a mutual task at hand. They bury the hatchet because they know they need
each other to build the fort. They call an unspoken truce because a Wii
partner is required. Grace has even been known to help Edie go to sleep
when being baby sat and Edie has been known to be sure that Grace's iPod is
being recharged and that Grace gets a snack as well.

Sisters - so exhausting, but equally fascinating.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Mini Van Break In!

So last night I forgot to lock up my van and didn't put it in the garage, leaving it in the driveway instead. This morning when I was loading up the kids, I stepped back because something was amiss - the van had been turned upside down. Now, it did take a second for this to register because the van is usually something of a Petri dish at the best of times.

Once I realized what had happened, I didn't know whether to laugh or be really embarrassed. Here is a small inventory of what was strewn all over my beast on wheels:

1) Autobiography of Ozzy Osborne on CD;

2) Unauthorized biography of Angelina Jolie on CD;

3) Biography of Belinda Carlisle on CD (dramatically titled "My Lips - Unsealed);

4) David Sedaris' "Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim" (redeemed!);

5) Rejected Shamrock Shakes (I was convinced they would love them, but they are pretty disgusting);

6) Baggies of portioned out roasted soy beans (emergency snack);

7) Box of books on their way to the good will store, including "Bible Stories for Beginners" (pretty sure the spine wasn't even cracked on that one) and a series of very sparkly "Rainbow Magic Fairy" chapter books" (Grace might or might not have used these to wipe her boots with. Not much interest in all things that sparkle and shine with that girl);

8) Stock piled "art" and "treasures" that Edie made me promise I would bring to work and decorate my cubicle with (had to hide that from her pretty fast!);

9) Hard as rock bagel remains;

10) Ariel hair ties that are a pain to fasten so I hid them from Edie in one of the consoles. At least she is happy the petty thefts found them;

11) A DS, which I'm sure they didn't steal because it has been attacked numerous times by a bedazzler. No true tough guy/girl could be caught dead with this electronic device;

12) Various game cartridges for Edie's Leapster with names such as "Princess Party" and "Let's Get Puzzled!" (what, no demand for those at the local pawn shop?);

13) and finally pennies. Lots and lots of pennies. Like a jackpot of pennies. I hate pennies so much, I remove them from my wallet regularly and put them in my coffee cup holder until I get around to rolling them for the kids (I would love to throw them in garbage but Jo said that act is illegal);

I bet my van is the worst car that they ever broke in to. As far as I can tell, absolutely NOTHING was taken.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Things I do that MUST drive Jo crazy:

1) Cram justonemorething into the garbage under the sink instead of taking it out the garage and put a new bag in the can;

2) Cram the teeny tiny compost container when it can't even fit another fuzzy blueberry in it because a) I don't know how to make the origami newspaper liner that Jo is so good at doing and b) I'm a little too lazy to bring it outside to empty it (it's still kinda cold outside guys);

3) My loading of the dishwasher. Lets just say it is a less than mathematical process. I'm an artsy fartsy girl and it's sort of a free for all how I do it. From what I've been hearing, some people are very particular about how they load the dishwasher - like anal retentive about it. Jo is one of these people (accountant, need I say more?), but he re-organizes it quietly without making a fuss about my shit effort;

4) My rotation of "stuff". Whether I move furniture around (constantly), try out new places for our artwork (shut up, I'm over 35, I can call it artwork), add new throw rugs/pillows/blankets/vases/candle sticks to our mix (I have an in at Pier 1 Imports), add/remove children on a whim (kidding), Jo rarely comments at all. He's very accepting of the instability of our household accessories and does not grow terribly attached to anything (well, he's grown a little attached to the kids).

I did find his breaking point though. He very calmly the other day asked me to try and make more of an effort to close my drawers after using them. I didn't know this was a bad habit of mine (and I'm surprised it is because an open closet door will cause me to breathe fire, spew venom and scamper on all fours to close it), but apparently Jo kept turning the corner of our bedroom and nailing his thigh on the corner of the open drawer. He bruises easily, and his leg had been taking a beating.

I upped his complaint with a complaint of my own, and let him know that my breaking point was almost reached and I might cut him if he insisted on cutting bread/bagels/english muffins free-style(no cutting board), leaving crumbs EVERYWHERE.

Since then I have been a saint and closing my drawers all the time. And Jo has been using the cutting board.

Ummm, not sure what the point of this post is, I guess I just felt chatty. Do you have any breaking points?

Friday, March 11, 2011

The sounds in my head

Ah dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun

*that's the sound of me practising my bass guitar. I started my lessons on
Tuesday. I'm probably the most excited person to ever strum the same string over and over and over again.

Cwaaaaaaaa! Cwaaaaaaaaaaaa! Cwaaaaaaaaa! Cwaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Cwee?

*that's the sound of the annoying effing crow that greets me every morning.
I imagine he's saying "cwaaaaaaaaaa! It rained A LOT last night!!!!!!"
"cwaaaaaaaaa! It's still bite ass cold outside!!!!!!!!!!!"
"cwaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!! You are so effing lazy you didn't go for your run this
morning!" (The "cweeee!!!!!!!" sound is the noise it makes when it feels
the little imaginary bb gun bullets I pepper it with)


*that's the sound of the mile long whine that seems to accompany my name
these days by both girls. Followed by a complaint that in their minds qualifies for a call to 911 (Can you just imagine? "Yes, hello, 911? My younger daughter just grabbed my older daughters' Bendaroo WITHOUT EVEN ASKING!!!!!!!!! Yes? Okay, okay, I'll remain calm. Okay, I think I hear the sirens now. Thank you, thank you so much for sending help. God save us all").

Tappety tap tip tap tap tap tappety

*that's the sound of me online shopping after the girls go to bed. I tell
them not to call my name for water/to fix blankets/adjust global
temperatures because I am very busy working on a Very Important Document
for work and can't be distracted. Ha. Get it? Meanoldmommy.

Bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep BLEEP bleep

*that's the sound of Mario bros. Wii coming from the basement where I have
taken to locking the children. Ha ha, if you know this sound now it's
stuck in your head.


*that's the sound the cork out of my wine bottle is going to make tonight. Actually, I think it's a screwtop, but I don't know how to make that sounds. Craaaack? Twhiiiick? It's not working for me.

Have a great weekend!

Bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep BLEEP bleep..........

Monday, March 07, 2011

Random convo with Edie, lunch time:

Me to Edie: bleah bleah bleah bleah dee bleah and that is why boys have penises and girls have vaginas.

Edie: (looking super confused). But I've seen boys with vaginas before.

Me: huh?

Edie: Daddy has vaginas, lots of them!

Me: Whaaaa? (in my head - where the efffff is this going I don't think I want to go to there)

Edie: He wears them to bed!

(omg, she though pyjamas=vaginas. I need Geoffrey Rush to help me with my enunciation).

Friday, February 25, 2011

Last night’s lesson.

Dinner last night was horrendous. Not the meal itself, if was actually quite enjoyable (lemon butter chicken served on a bed of whole wheat couscous yum!) It was those damn children wreaking all kinds of havoc at the table. I had literally finished my meal, (and I’m a chew each mouthful a billion times before swallowing kind of gal) and they had not even put a dent in their meal due to goofing off, teasing each other, blowing bubbles in their milk and other nonsense that makes razors pop out of my knuckles, claws grow out of my toes and pop a new wrinkle out. This was not an isolated incident; in fact, it has become the norm lately with Jo and I getting angrier and angrier at the table (well, not AT the table, the table didn’t do anything wrong, just we feel angry whilst sitting at the table witnessing our offspring acting like feral beasts). So the scenario has become I slave away in the kitchen to make a nice meal, can’t enjoy it because the kids make me angry, then waste time sitting at the table in negotiations with them while I could be cleaning up and moving on with the evening. Funnnnnnn.

Last night, instead of losing my shit and freaking out, I quietly got up, cleared my dishes, went to my happy couch and picked up my magazine (new Rolling Stone with Justin Bieber on the front – interesting article on the Clash fyi). I also put on my headphones and completely tuned out the cacophony (haha I said caca) going on at the table.

Of course this action raised the eyebrows of the nine and under crowd. They HATE it when I ignore them. I simply stated that I had no desire to dine with them if they could not behave in an appropriate manner (I have to admit, I said it in the most condescending way possible) and when they could prove that they could meet my dining expectations, (I listed them again, even though they know perfectly well what they are) I would consider re-joining them. There were protests, tears (Edie, obviously) and “give us one more chance!” begging. Uh uh. Headphones back on, return to reading article. I didn’t put my music on as I wanted to hear the ensuing conversation. Grace eventually asked Edie about her bus ride that day, Edie replied. They conversed. They ate. They called me every two minutes asking if I would re-join them. I declined, as I had already finished my meal, and told them to focus on their own. When they were finished, they cleared their dishes without being asked. It worked.

I always forget that a bit of tough love works. It is a lot of work, you have to put up with a lot of shit, and if you are like me, made to feel soooo guilty about laying down the law (Edie has no problem accusing me of breaking her heart and screeching “you don’t even love me if you do dat!”). I am not going to lie, that shit works on me, she’s got me figured out. Grace pulls the old “all my friends are allowed to stay up late/watch this show/get Fruit by the Foot in their lunches” – again, sometimes this works. Pretty weak, right?

I was reading a great post by RudeCactus (Feb. 24 post) the other day and it really hit a nerve with me. I don’t want coddled, spoiled kids who don’t ever have consequences to their actions. I have been lazy lately in this department, and it is way too easy to become complacent and give them whatever they want, whenever they want, and let them win.

I’m putting on my suit of armour and putting an impenetrable cage around my heart. Meanoldmommy is back in town.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Letter to Grace on her 9th

My sweet, what a year. The year of electronics. The year we said good bye to toys and hello to iPods, DS’s and Wii’s. The year we finally let go and let you go on sleep-overs. The year we let you walk to your friends’ house all on your own. The year you stopped complaining and even started enjoying meals created for the family, and didn’t require a separate menu at dinner time. The year you became content to read to yourself at bedtime, proving yourself to be a voracious reader. The year I’m pretty sure I saw a boy flirting with you, not just playing with you – there was something more there, and your shy smile back at him makes me think you realize this as well. The year you didn’t necessarily want me volunteering every Friday at lunch time - the thrill of Mom popping in for a midday visit obviously disappearing.

With your impending move towards independence I have to make an effort to stay in the loop. Having a nine year old is easier in many ways – you are happy to go to the basement and play Mario Cart – but I have to get my butt down there more often and giggle with you and play Just Dance with you so you can see that I can have fun too. The other night you shyly asked me to read to you – I was taken aback but so happy you still wanted me. You are also slowly culling all of my skull accessories – my hats, socks, t-shirts – I love that you like this little part of me. You make me proud of the company you keep – so far oblivious to Girl Drama that can occur at this age.

I can’t help but compare myself to you at the this age – you are so much stronger than I was – unafraid to question things, more confident and more persevering. I could use negative words here – to question things could be misread as disrespectful; your confidence could be misconstrued as cocky and your perseverance mistaken as stubborn. It can be challenging at times to deal with these traits, but I honestly believe, for a girl, these are valuable traits that will get you far and I never want to discourage your voice from being heard.

I love you Gracie, happy birthday.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Not the singer. The food sillies.

Last night I made a meatloaf. When it was cooking it smelled oh-so-good. I was also roasting some sweet potatoes alongside. Really, the humble bungalow smelled like an honest to goodness leave it beaver 1960's home. There should have been a scratch and sniff sticker of my house - it smelled that good. I even had an apron on and playfully tousled the children's hair whilst they quietly did their homework at the kitchen table *ahem*.

Anyhooo, come dinner time you'd think I'd served up bowl of arsenic with a bit of ketchup when I presented the kiddies with their dinner. The barrage of complaints BEFORE THEY EVEN TASTED IT would have made Stephen Harper cry. I'm pretty tough and used of the abuse so I let them get it out of their ungrateful little systems before letting them know I didn't give a damn what their pathetically underdeveloped palates thought, this was what for dinner so deal with it and whipped off my apron to let them know crazy-mom was back. They ate it. Grudgingly. They cleared their dishes. Grudgingly. Then I tried it. Ummmm, not so good. It's not that it was bad, but it seriously lacked any, ummm, what's that word....oh yeah, flavour. And the oats in it did make it kind of ugly.

Now, I've had good meat loaf before. I've just never made a good one. I don't remember my Mom making meatloaf, so I can't go to her for a long loved family recipe.

This is where I need you. Please send me your tried and true, delicious, comforting, kid-friendly (well, in my house, I'll take kid-tolerated-won't-cause-them-to-dramatically-gag-and-pretend-to-die-which-leads-to-them-trying-to-outdo-each other-over-who-is-dying-the-most-agonizing-death meat loaf recipe. We are also a vegetarian friendly* household, so feel free to provide me with your best lentil loaf, quinoa-based, TVP recipe if it tastes good.

*well, they don't really know we are vegetarian friendly. I use so much meat substitute in my recipes, they have no frickin' idea. Ha.

Monday, February 07, 2011

After hours of analysing a stoopid boring spreadsheet for work the other day, I started to daydream about what it would be like to get paid for work I actually enjoy doing. Thus my official list of Things I Wish I Got Paid to Do:

1) I would like to get paid for the good two minutes I spend at night hovering over the girls' heads when they are sleeping Jedi-Mind trick like, in an attempt to wake them. I just like it when they open their eyes and sleepily smile or mutter something incoherent. I'm also a head smeller. It would be nice to get paid for that. Re-reading this I would like to get paid for writing run-on sentences.

2) Practising the "if I were famous this is the surprise face I would make" in the mirror (there are variations). I don't do this often, usually only after watching TMZ, and if Jo is out for the night (kind of embarrassing).

3) Building snow forts. I spent about three hours yesterday building one, kept on going long after the girls lost interest, revelling in comments from the folks walking by (I just realized their smiles may have been ones of pity, not admiration).

4) Colour coding my closet, and debating with myself whether I should organize it by length of garment, colour of garment or type of garment (current status is by type AND colour. It's working quite well thank you!)

5) Organizing my record album. Same issues apply as above, should it be organized by genre or alphabetical order? I should also get paid for time spent thinking about it. Like professional planning fees. I should also like to get paid for time spend wondering why I bought a certain album (The O-Jays come to mind).

6) Lighting candles. It currently looks like a candle factory barfed in my house because candles make me feel warmer. But it takes a long time light all these damn candles (especially when Edie follows me around and blows them out as I light them - hysterical game).

7) Time spent setting up Wii games. Not my forte. Don't actually enjoy this job. Should demand overtime.

8) Facebooking. I'm pretty good at it.

9) Taking shit away. This weekend I confiscated gum, a DS, and an episode of Max and Ruby. I wish I could say I don't enjoy this job, but I feel so f*&^ing powerful when I take stuff away. They just look at me like I'm God.

10) Counting Canada Goose coats. Did everyone get one for Christmas this year?????

Friday, January 21, 2011


I love grapefruit. I do not love grapefruit and coffee. Which puts me in a pickle and forces me to redefine grapefruits as a breakfast-y thingy.

I am on day 21 of my no-sugar/no booze "lifestyle" change. (All the experts say not to call it a diet and I like experts to tell me what to do, so...) I feel REALLY good. I mean, when Edie is headlining, in marquis lights "The Shit Show" at dinner time, I still kinda shake for a glass of red, but other than that it is going really well. The sugar thing astounds me - I'm pretty sure I had more sugar than water in my body over xmas, and now I don't even crave it. The "experts" are right. Feb. 1 marks the end of the "lifestyle" change, I'm really curious how that will go. Will I revert to old habits or cruise along as I am now?

Oh! I should mention as a result of this "lifestyle" change I nearly called 911 the other morning when I looked in the mirror and saw a dent it my stomach, and then realized that I wasn't broken, but an ab muscle had revealed itself! Sweet!

And now I bring you to the literary portion of our program *putting smart glasses on*

'Twas my quest in the new year to be well read, and pursue literature like Lindsay Lohan pursues coke (see how I did that? That's called a simili, you should put your your smart glasses on too).

Turns out you need time to read, which I don't have a whole lot of. So, I discovered books on CD, which I listen to on my commute to and from work. So far this year I have enjoyed:

I'm Down a Memoir by Mishna Wolf (realllllly funny)

The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe by Randy Taraborrelli (kinda sad, but super interesting)

Symptoms of Withdrawal by Christopher Kennedy Lawford (v. interesting look at the Kennedy's - definitely does not shed positive light on them)

High on Arrival, by Mackenzie Philips (scandalous!)

Dispatches from the Edge by Anderson Cooper (hmmm, thought provoking)

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriott (awwww, tee hee, cleans my brain after listening to Mackenzie Philips)

Into the Wild by John Krakauer (turned it off, much better to read than listen to)

Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort (currently listening to this - I pray for traffic jams. Sooooo good)

If you have any recommendations, books you think would transfer well onto audio, please let me know *smart glasses coming off*. I do like smut, so I won't judge if you suggest Tommy Lee's autobiography or something.

There. Random.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I think I have figured out what Edie has been put on earth for. Now that William Shakespeare is dead (well, it has been a few years) it occurs to me that we don’t have a great writer of tragedy. I suspect Edie is Shakespeare incarnate, but with a modern vocabulary (and slight lisp due to missing teeth). Who else could spin the mundane into epic tales of being wronged? Some examples:

1) When informed it was Grace’s turn for her skating lesson and not hers, the tears flowed, the whining built up to a climax of “THIS IS MY WORST SKATING DAY EVER!”

2) When informed her DS had to be recharged and would not function until recharged, the tears again flowed, and the whining progressed to crying and finally peaked at “THIS IS MY WORST DS DAY EVER!”

3) When having her teeth brushed, with a parent holding her little jaw still (this is a jaw that never stops, yes, it is necessary to hold it still) the sessions ends with a brief soliloquy of “IT FEELS LIKE YOU BROKE MY BONES!!!”

4) When denied a pit stop for hot chocolate for some misdeed, I’m pretty sure there was a Greek chorus in the minivan supporting her cries of “MY HEART IS TURNING BLACK! NOW IT’S TURNING GRAY! NOW IT’S TURNING YELLOW! NOW IT’S TURNING RAINBOW!” (We made the mistake of saying that it was nice that her heart was turning rainbow, this amped up the tears tenfold).

So, Edie is just cutting her teeth at being a great playwright. Maybe it’s not too early to get her started. I can just picture an audience of dressed up 5 year olds tearing up at the great injustice of being denied hot chocolate/DS/skating lessons/Max and Ruby.

*Oh and hey! Thanks for de-lurking! Always fun to get comments.

Friday, January 14, 2011

So a certain loyal reader (Holla C.D.!) complained that my frequency in posting is on the decline. I complained in my best whiny voice (he loves that) that nobody leaves me comments, nobody likes me, and I might as well go eat worms (oh WHERE does Edie get her dramatics from?)

It happens to be International (or National? Local? I dunno) De-Lurking Day. So give me the warm and fuzzies, say hi to would make me feel so good. And it will stop me from whining (well about blogging, I will still whine about lots of over things. I have a very hard and difficult life you know).

I am also including a picture of myself with a laser eye that I will cut you with if you don't leave a comment. *shiver*

Friday, January 07, 2011

And we’re off!

2011 is going to be my bitch. Well, that is the intent. The Meanie household has declared the month of 2011 to be “Dry January” in which no booze is consumed and no sugar ingested. I said it. It’s out there. Now that the DT’s are gone and I don’t want to lick sugar off of Grace and Edie’s fingers after they eat a cookie, I feel pretty good. And I’ve de-puffed. I’m not sure if any actual weight has fallen off (not the goal, really) but I’m not as puffy and squidgy. So, I don’t imagine my social life will be killer this month (hey, a sober Meanie can be fun, please still invite me places! I might suck on your wine cork though).

Early to bed is also part of the agenda, which I’ve been following but it’s really hard. Santa bought me Room which I have a VERY hard time putting down at night in order to achieve 8 hours sleep, and we were also given the entire series of 6 Feet Under. It is so hard to stop at one episode when all those little boxes are crying out to be watched. Discipline Meanie!

We also got all growed up over the holidays and bought a dresser for the Master Bedroom (sounds very important when in capitals). Seriously, my clothes were in plastic storage containers before. We also bought a bed frame for our bed, in the Master Bedroom. And curtains! And one of those blankets that goes on top of your real blanket, but you don’t actually use it, it just looks pretty. Our Master Bedroom looks like the Master Bedroom of 30/40 somethings now – not so college. Dare me to buy some useless pillows for the bed – just dare me to! I got a HomeSense gift card for Christmas and I’m not afraid to use it.

So we are off to a nice, healthy start. Oh, just so you don’t think I’m all full of myself and stuff I’m still a bit of a f*&^-up because:

a) I brought my laptop home over the holidays to do some work and forgot it at home on my first day back and

b) Yesterday I was pulled over by the police at a major intersection and......actually, that’s another blog post. Still too traumatized to write about it :)