Wednesday, November 25, 2009

On To Christmas

First of all, can we get a BIG round of applause for sporadic blog posting? Without it, the internet would be full of senseless ramblings like mine (instead of just half-full).

*clap*... *clap*...

Anyway... in case you're wondering, not much has changed around here. I'm still trying to get better at housework, and still failing miserably. There have been minor improvements, but things ain't gonna git real good until we get a dishwasher. And a maid.

One month til Christmas! We put the tree up last night; just the tree, of course, so we could see how Hurricane Ike reacted to it. Last Christmas he was 10 months old and he easily breached my carefully erected defenses; this year I'm saying "to hell with defenses!" So far, so good. Ike didn't notice the tree for several minutes this morning (possibly because he was up before sunrise), and all he's done to it since then is drive toy cars on it and chase the cat under it. Next step: lights!

I shouldn't be surprised. We went to the "festival of trees" here in town last weekend and Ike actually behaved very well- especially foror a notorious rascal, demolition expert and general rabble-rouser drpooed without warning into a sea of artificial trees, bright lights and shiny ornaments. He gently poked at a few ornaments, ran off to visit his favourite tree several times, and only pulled one little green ball off of one tree. Good, right? Yeah, I'm still sticking with plastic ornaments at home this year.

Simon's Playschool class (20 4-year olds meeting two mornings a week) performed during the "musical entertainment" on Sunday afternoon. I don't know about the "musical" part, but they were definitely entertaining! They sang (hollered) Jingle Bells, Up on the Housetop and We Wish You a Merry Christmas; Simon kenw a few of the words and just danced along to the rest, looking like he was desperate for a potty break. It was great.

I guess this officially kicks off the Christmas season. Good luck, folks!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

What is with these CHILDREN?!

(Further evidence that I don't watch my children every moment of every day)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Banned Books Week

OK, I know it's an AMERICAN Library Association thing, but this Canadian is celebrating Banned Books Week. I mean, I'm not throwing a party or anything (though that could be a GREAT theme party!), but I DID order in a couple of books through the loverly libarary to read this week:

Foxfire (Joyce Carol Oates)- I wanted to read this one years ago after I saw a preview for the movie (which I still haven't watched) and found out we couldn't get the book at the school library. I just finished it yesterday... pretty good, though I found it hard to get into. Having a narrator who has issues with sentence structure makes for some awkward reading at times. I can see why some of THEM would consider this a dangerous book: it's about GIRLS. In a GANG. And REVENGE. With VIOLENCE.

The Satanic Verses (Salman Rushdie)- just started this one after I finished Foxfire- Holy Totally Different Books, Batman! All I can say so far is that this is NOT a book to attempt when you've got a migraine and the whole world seems like you're looking at it reflected in muddy water*. Bigger, longer, more challenging... I'll let you know how long it takes me to get through this one, compared to the 2 days Foxfire lasted.

(Is it wrong that every time I look at the cover of this book all I can hear in my mind is Bridget Jones saying, "Salmaaaaan... salmaaaan... Isn't it a shame about Chetch-NYAAA?" )

So that's my reading for the next little while. Looking over the list of banned classics, I see I've read a few already:
  • The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
  • The Lord of the Flies (William Golding)
  • 1984 (George Orwell)
  • Lolita (Vladimir Nabokov)
  • Charlotte's Web (E.B. White) - Huh?
  • Animal Farm (George Orwell)
  • Winnie the Pooh (A.A. Milne) -again I say: Huh?
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Ken Kesey)
  • Lady Chatterly's Lover (D.H. Lawrence)

So there you have it. I'd love to know why Charlotte's Web and Winnie the Pooh have been banned or challenged. Oh, and speaking of "children's" books, toss the Harry Potter series and 2/3 of Phillip Pullman's "Dark Materials" trilogy on my "already read" list.

I'd also love to know which banned books YOU'VE read- classic or otherwise. Recommendations?

*You may or may not know what I'm talking about... just take my word for it. It sucks.

Monday, September 28, 2009

It's a Good Thing He's Cute, I'll Tell You That...

Mister Isaac had a surprisingly early morning today, considering the fact that he got up after I went to bed last night and stayed up with his "Dad-Daaay!" until 11:30 last night. Crazy child. I get the feeling that he missed AJ just a little bit while he was away. Maybe.

This morning, however, has got NOTHING on that very secial morning last weekend when Ike turned himself into a Smurf. That must have been Saturday morning- AJ was home for a quick visit before heading back to P.E.I., and he was having a good sleep-in. Ike was up early, though, and in full hurricane mode. He must have been up all night planning the morning's shenanigans:


5:45- wake mommy up (remember to smile and hug her so she can't be mad. Laugh to self about her hair.)

6:10- breakfast. Throw cereal EVERYWHERE.

7:00- wake Simon up while he's sure to still be good and cranky.

7:05- stare at Simon. Grin madly when he starts screaming, "IKE'S LOOKIN' AT MEEEE! MAKE HIS STOP LOOKIN' AT MEEEEEEE!"

7:06- stand closer to Simon. Do not touch him. Just look. Be very happy.

(break time- look at some books and act all angelic-like)

7:45- start poking at the DVD player. Watch mom for reaction.

7:55- leave DVD player alone. Poke at VCR; get taken away from the whole shebang.

8:02- go back and start banging on Daddy's huge TV. Wonder what "Daddy's gonna kill you!" means. Follow with standard mess-making and un-tidying.

8:40- follow mom around as she sweeps the floor. Shuffle through dirt pile.

9:02- be good for at least 10 minutes to lower mom's defenses. VERY IMPORTANT.

9:12- bust into cupboard under sink and rummage through garbage. Locate old turquoise ink pad; keep this a secret until mouth, chin and hands have succesfully been dyed.

9:13- show mommy what I found. Aren't I a good boy for entertaining myself?!

9:17- bathtime! Submit to much scrubbing. Continue to look like suffering from serious hypothermia. Laugh.

9:25- play happily in tub. Poop when mom's not looking.

9:26- get yanked out of bath; run off while mom cleans up stinky poop; pee on living room floor.

9:30- protest being put to bed at this unreasonable hour. Bang crib into wall until allowed to get up.

9:36- still stinky- get second bath of the day. AWRIGHT!

9:40- out of tub. Run away; pee on living room floor.

9:45- wonder why mommy's pulling all of her hair out.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Time Flies When You're Having... uh... yeah...

Wow. How long has it been since my last post? Since I'm too lazy and busy (figure that one out!) to look it up, I'll just assume it's been a long time- that, or I've been posting in my sleep and keeping this thing up-to-date in brilliant, insightful and witty prose that... yeah. Or, in the words of the great Wayne Campbell, "Shyeah, and monkeys might fly out on my butt!"

Aaaaand once again my train of thought has derailed.

You can't blame me, really. We've just finished up 2 weeks of AJ being away on a continuing-education-type thingy for work, and my brain has turned to mush and is oozing out of my ears. The house is a mess, the cats have packed their little suitcases and are ready to move out, and my back is as stiff as Andie MacDowell's acting. (OK, so that last one might be a bit of an exaggeration...)

I shouldn't complain. My boys handled themselves remarkably well with their bestest-buddy-and-wrestling-partner gone*, and we got through. We're all alive and healthy, and Ike only dyed himself blue once, which I consider a victory. AJ doesn't have to leave town again until later in the fall. All this, and the respect I have for single parents and military wives multplied exactly 43x in the last fortnight, which is kind of great. It was rough, but that's life.

Now I need a vacation. A vaction and a visit from Molly Maid. And someone to come change this stinky little fellow who just deposited himself in my lap.

*Mostly gone, actually- that darling man surprised us by driving 6 hours back on the weekend to spend one day and two nights with us before driving back to do his homework. Have I mentioned that he's wonderful?

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Oh, Spam folder... you provide so much unintentional entertainment... Why don't I check you more often?

Since I seem to be incapable of writing anything amusing or thought-provoking these days, I'm going to let my gmail spam folder do my work for me. And so I present:

Highlights From My Spam Folder
(or: Who needs a newspaper when you've got Spam?)


Maniac cut Hefner's balls


Dude, your snake sucks!

no-woody causes breaks

your girl very likes to be engaged in love! And can you not do love long?


Your banana will raise!

Power drillo won't be flaccid!


Best manure for pork stalk

Get an omnipotent porksword!

Make your King-Kong twice larger!


Once, among the bong-trees walking

Wait, wait said the frog


Or crafty mermaids stole them away

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Guest Post: Charles de la Puss

(cross-posted from Charlie's catster page:

I have purr-suaded The Woman to help me type this entry- it's the LEAST she could do after so many months of blatant neglect. OK, TECHNICALLY the least she could do would be nothing, but she would pay dearly for that in the form on even more ignoring than she usually gets, and perhaps Gus' hairballs redirected into her shoes. Am also planning on forcing her to post this message to her own blob so that person who reads it (whoever that fool is!) will know that SHE IS NEGLECTING THE CREATIVE EXPRESSION OF A POOR, POOR PUSS.

Anyways, things are purrty good other than that. We live in something called a "Noova Skoosha" now. It was cold when we moved here, and then it was snowy for a long time, but at least we have nice, big windows to look out of. I was excited to learn that we were going to have a "back duck"- turns out a "deck" is not the same thing, but sometimes there are FRIKKIN' HUGE black birds out there, anyway. Also teeny brown ones on the feeder.

Gus and go outside now sometimes. At first I was scared to leave the "deck", but now I prowl through the grass and stalk birds. I have to say, there's a world of difference between mice and birds! I'm a champion mouser, but I haven't yet been able to present a dead birdie to The Man to gain his favour. The grass is getting long out there, though, and I often have to *boing-boing-boing* over it when it tickles my belly. Then The People all laugh at me.

The Man now wears funny clothes to Work and drives a strange car when he goes there. Also, he has a gun, so I tend to keep my mouth shut when he's going to Work. Otherwise, I'm pretty much still all over him, but he claims he does not love me, and that I am "dead to him". BUT there was this one time when I was being really "pathetic" (HIS word, not mine!) and rubbing on the coffee table, and he scooped me onto the couch and rubbed my belly. HEAVEN!

The Childrens are getting bigger. I don't see them a lot during the day, since I've pretty much claimed the basement as my terror-tory, but The Baby is now walking, and he chases Gus around sometimes to hug him and/or bite his tail. Litttle freak.

I have to go nap now- WHAT, Woman? She gives me the dirtiest looks when I'm napping... or contemplating napping... she also gets mad when I wake her up at 4 in the morning, when I say, "YOOOOOWLLLL?"People are SO weird.I am considering highjacking her blob on a weekly basis. This would approximately triple "her" frequency of posting. I'm a better writer than she is, anyway.


WOMN! ware are yoo goign!? git bak here and tipe fur me, dammit!1

o darn.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Poor Baby!

My poor little Ike's got a sick tummy. I don't think it's the flu- he's not acting sick otherwise. What he's doing is making other people sick when they have to change his diapers. Good LORD, that's some nasty stuff! If they could mass-produce it, it would be the ultimate biological weapon. I don't know what this child ate to bring the wrath of the gods of indigestion down upon our heads (not literally, thank God!), but I hope he never finds it again.

Along with this (and definitely related), he's got a wicked diaper rash. Actually, it's a butt-rash- his diapers seem perfectly comfortable and rash-free. Every time I change Ike's diaper, Simon's standing there* going, "Oooooh- Ike's got RED on hims bum!" What started out as very localized rashiness has spread to a butt-wide redness, like his little arse is horribly embarrassed about the hazardous wate it's producing on such a regular basis.

At least he's happy- this would be a lot harder to deal with if he had a fever, etc. to deal with at the same time. Poor li'l gaffer!

*Simon is our self-appointed diaper inspector.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Taking the Plunge

Have I ever mentioned that I hate making decisions? It's bad enough when I have to decide what to have for suppers next week and all the input I get is, "Doesn't matter- whatever" and "Kwaf' Dinner... an' CHOKWIT!"

Big decisions are worse.

I told AJ a while ago that when he got his raise (whick takes 6-8 weeks to process and is then paid retroactively, resulting in one pretty nice paycheque), he could get a new TV. A bigger TV. He's worked unbelievably hard this past year, and it's not often that we can afford a big "treat,"so there you have it. A co-worker of his is moving in a few months, and we've agreed to give his TV a good home. It's a good deal- perfect condition, a lot less money than he paid for it a few years ago, surround sound, nice TV stand, DVD player...

And a 61" screen.

I'm having trouble picturing that. All I know is that it's one big-ass TV, and that Simon's little head might explode the first time he watches "Cars" or "Superman" on that thing.

It's a lot of money- more than we've spent on a single item at one time before. There are other things we could use that money for... paying off debts, getting the car re-painted, the million-and-a-half little things we've been waiting on, putting off until we have the money... but this one time, I'm telling him to go ahead and spend the money on himself. That's the decision we've made.

God save my living room!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

New Blog

Not mine- this is a good one. If you're in the market for baby/kid gear and are looking for reviews from a mom (especially one who's not getting paid for said reviews), check out Opinionated, Baby. Oh, and Hayley's in Canada, so there won't be a lot of really great-looking stuff that you can only get in the States.

I suspect that there will be many entries about the amazing hand-made baby clothes, toys, bath products and diapers available at Etsy... just a hunch.

Baby stuff that's actually useful. Go figure.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Uuuuugh- I can't stop with the shuddering. I've got the willies. The heebie-jeebies, if you will.

There are june bugs biuncing off my living room window. For those of you who are blessedly unfamiliar with this creature from the depths of Hell, it's a large, brown beetle-type bug, approximately the size of your average Volkswagen (car, not SUV. That would be ridiculous). They usually come out at night... this would by why I'm IN at night these days. They fly through the air, though not with the greatest of ease- their big, non-aerodynamic bodies seem to bumble every which way, and the damn things WILL NOT STOP CRASHING INTO MY WINDOW.

Also, they crunch really loud when you step on them.

Here's the weird thing: I can handle most creepy-crawlies. Spiders? Don't mind 'em at all. Anything that eats mosquitos is fine by me*. Mice? Adorable, if possibly disease-ridden. Rats? Wouldn't want a sewer rat in my home, but I've had pet "fancy" rats before. Very sweet. Snakes aren't a problem- I usually try to catch them.
I don't know what it is about june bugs that is so horrible to me. Maybe the thought of them flying at me and getting caught in my hair... UGH! Regular beetles don't bug me (pun intended) at all.
My other arch-nemesis in the invertebrate world is, of course, the house centipede (or "gazillipede"). Freakishly disgusting. I freeze stiff if I see one.
Newfoundland has neither june bugs nor gazillipedes, as far as I can tell. I have a long list of reasons for wanting to move back there some day- this one's getting pretty high on the list.
*shudder again*
*Taquitos are good, too.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Benign Neglect

OK, let's finish this off- I've got other stuff to write about.

I was saying how it's hard not to be a "helicopter parent" these days. While in reality it's extremely unlikely that any one child is going to get abducted (and those who are will almost all be taken by someone known to the family, not "strangers"*), if you watch or read the news for any length of time, you'll become convinced that there are kidnappers around every corner and every babysitter's a child molester in disguise.

I don't want to live like that, and I don't want my kids to grow up being afraid of the world. I want them to know how to handle themselves in suspicious or scary situations, but I want them to enjoy this world that is overwhelmingly a good, safe place. I want them to know that it's never OK to go with someone without mommy or daddy's permission, but I want them to know that it's OK to respond to the young mother on the street who asks how old they are when we're out for a walk. I want them to be smart, not paranoid.

One of the difficulties of being a parent these days is facing the expectation that you'll spend every waking moment entertaining your child with "enriching" activities. That's not to say that I don't enjoy playing cars once in a while, or that I don't love a good story time; I just don't agree with the notion that my kids shouldn't be left to fend for themselves when it comes to play time.

Call it "benign neglect" or call it free-range parenting- what it comes down to is that I think kids today are missing out on a lot by not having the freedom that their parents and grandparents had. As much as I hated being bored as a kid, I now appreciate the fact that my mom didn't immediately jump in to intervene when it happened; being bored sparks creativity.

I love my children, and I want them to grow up to be confident and independent- something that a lot of "grown-ups" my generation and younger simply are not. I hope my boys will learn how to solve problems on their own, always knowing that their mom and dad will be there if they need us. Does that make sense?

Here's a website by "America's Worst Mom," Lenore Skenazy. Do you remember the outrage when she let her 9-year old son ride the subway alone and then wrote an article about it? No? Good story. Anyway, she's got a lot of information about what she calls "Free-Range Parenting"- giving kids freedom to be kids while still being a responsible parent (and taking care of kids while refusing to give in to the fear, uncertainty and doubt that plague our society). I'm definitely more cautious than she is; then again, my kids are a lot younger, too. Have a look, if you're interested:

*And they don't get much stranger than my family.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Most of the stupid e-mail forwards I get I can just dismiss, but I usually check them out on just to see what the facts really are (see: poisons in bottled water, toxic tampons, etc). Other times I'm just not sure; I know I won't be passing along any petitions, but I wonder if the cause or problem being petitioned is true (and current).

Then there are the ones I look up because I pray they're not true.

I got a forward of that last type a few years ago. I chose to think that the petition was a sick hoax- I don't think my brain could even process the idea that the story I'd read was true. So I looked it up... and it would appear that every horrible detail of the abduction and torture of a small boy was true- the only part that wasn't was the petition itself, which is outdated by years.

Here's the article- I'm not copying it to this post. Don't read it if you have kids... or go to malls... or have any remaining thoughts that "no one is truly evil."

After reading this article, I was scared to let Simon out of my sight when we were out in public. Now, let's be clear on this: I knew that there wasn't a sociopath hiding around every corner for me to leave my innocent child unattended; I knew that the vast majority of people would never hurt him, and would be more willing to help a lost child than to hurt him. But it didn't matter. All I could feel, deep in some primitive part of my mommy-brain, was fear that this COULD happen. The chances might be one in millions, billions even- but it COULD happen. I just kept thinking about that poor little kid crying for his mommy... about the guilt that his poor mother shouldn't feel, but likely will until the day she dies... about how I wouldn't be able to live if the same thing happened to us... and about how suddenly the death penalty didn't seem so unreasonable in some cases.

I've actually had to train myself to not think about this story. I'm usually more of an optimistic type, but this story ripped into my heart to the point where the scars stood out for a long time. If I was lying in bed at night and I started to think about it, I had to say a quick prayer for the parents of this kid, and then pray for God to take the whole thing out of my mind. I had to teach myself to close those thoughts off in a concrete bunker in my mind, because I couldn't make them disappear.

It's funny- I have a terrible memory. Horrible. Can't remember my own cell phone number or new friends' names. But can I forget something when I want to? Nope.

This whole thing was obviously not good for me as a parent. Some people might think of this as a cautionary tale, one that will make parents think twice before letting their children out of their sight... I think that's a problem. I don't want to be a so-called "helicopter mom," hovering around my children day and night, protecting tham and solving all of their problems for them. There are too many people out there who want us to live in fear, either because it gets them ratings, it makes them money, or because they need everyone to be as scared as they are so they feel like they're right...

I'm not going to let them win.

More on that next time... for now, thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

Anyone else out there had a similar experience? Am I nuts?

Monday, May 4, 2009

The One I've Been Putting Off

I've been meaning to write this post for a long time. What I mean is, I had the idea to write it a long time ago, and I really meant to... but it's not something I like to think about.

Let's start with the smaller issue then, shall we? It's about chain letters. Chain letters and e-mail petitions (and bears! Oh, my!). I don't get a lot of the "Send this to EIGHTY people or you'll DIE! OMG!!!!!!" type of chain letter. Most of the time, these are forwarded by well-meaning people who are concerned about the contents of the letter- carjackers using flyers to get you in the parking lot, some movie about Jesus being gay, Bill Gates will pay you fifty gajillion dollars if you forward this... the problem is, the vast majority of them are either untrue or entirely outdated, and people don't tend to check on this minor detail before they hit "send". has a handy search tool- enter a few words from the topic of the forwarded message, and odds are, there'll be an article about poor old Himalayan goat boy (or something telling you that the Amber Alert you just received is 7 years old and the missing child is back home and enjoying high school, thanks very much). I don't get mad at people for sending me things they think are important, but it's a bit of a pain in me arse to get them, you know?

OK, the bigger issue... do I still have room here? Do I need to put this off until tomorrow? Yeah, let's make this a three-parter. I have enough issue for that. Yippee!

In the meantime, bookmark and do a quick search next time you receive a "factual" forwarded message. Heck, just head on over and browse through their huge collection of urban legends, just for fun- very entertaining.

Tomorrow we'll move on to the forward that was totally wrong in its intent (if not in all the facts) that has haunted me since the day I received it.

I gotta go hug my kids now.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sleep Deprivation Experiment: Day 1,346

Maybe it only seems like it's been that long since I had a full night's sleep. There must have been a few nights somewhere in between Simon learning to sleep through the night (usually) and me having another adorable parasite inside me messing up my sleep, but I don't remember them. It certainly feels like it's been too many years since I really felt well-rested... actually, I don't remember what that feels like. Is it good? Someone remind me, please!

Ike is now 1 year, 2 months and 12 days old, and I still can't fill in that annoying little space in his baby book that says, "I first slept through the night on ___________". Every parenting book I've read clearly states that a normal, healthy baby has no physical need to be up two or three (or hey, even one!) times a night for bottle or boobage, but here we are. I've tried going in and rocking him without feeding him- it just pisses him off, and buying new jammies after he's hulked himself right out of them was just getting too expensive. I've tried letting him cry; the problem is that he doesn't stop and go back to sleep like he's supposed to- not within the time I'm willing to let him cry, anyway. Also, here's always the problem of his crying waking his big brother up, too- and he's not a great sleeper himself. Between the two restless wonders over there, there have been recent nights when I was up 5 times between 10 (when Simon finally quits playing in his room and goes to sleep) and 6:15 a.m. (when Ike wakes up).

I'm convinced that the boys are actually secret agents of some evil researcher doing unethical feildwork in the field of sleep-deprivation.

So where does this leave us in the morning? On a fast train to Crankyland, that's where it leaves us. I don't want to get out of bed- in fact, I have trouble even waking up a lot of mornings, never mind rolling over until I land on the floor. Ike generally wakes up in a good mood, but then, he's probably been asleep for at least 11 hours- and he'll be having a nap soon. Simon will be up by then, though, a three-year old running on 9 hours' sleep who almost never naps anymore, ready to whine the morning away:

"Mommeeeee! I need appa-JOOOOS!"

"My Ta! Mommy, get me my Ta! ... Noooo, you get it! I'm too tiiiired!"

"I want Smannies for breffast!" (Smarties-and no, he didn't get them)

Case in point: at this moment, Simon is sitting on the couch. His juice is on the table, exactly 2 steps away from him. He wants me to get his juice for him, because "I can't weeeeech it! I can't get it- you getit, I'm so tired*!" I don't think so.

And me? I'm more than a little cranky, too. I have very little patience for whining any time, but even less when I haven't had more than 2 hours' uninterrupted sleep in a week.

But enough of my bitching. I have to go make some waffles for this kid before his head explodes.

*And no, I have no idea where he heard the phrase "I'm so tired"- certainly not from me... *ahem*

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I'm Not Dead!

OK I'm not dead- the computer's just broken. We'll get it into the shop tomorrow...

Friday, March 27, 2009


I can't have another night like Wednesday night. A regular "bad" night for me involves not only Simon having a night terror and ending up on the couch (plus Ike's normal wakings), but also some weird, WEIRD dreams- usually brought on by me forgetting to take my pills until almost bedtime. Those things mess with my head.

This wasn't a normal "bad" night. Even with Simon sleeping just fine, the dreams I had took that night way beyond bad. "Bad" became a smudge on the horizon.

I can't tell you what the dreams were about- it's not that I can't remember, I just can't talk about it. Nothing like normal nightmares, where something bad happens to you or the people you love- we weren't even in these ones. Lots of horrible things happening to people- and I couldn't wake up. The first time Ike woke up, I not only didn't hear him, I also didn't wake up (or move) when AJ came into the room. Or when he talked to me. Or when he kicked the bed... I think I scared him.

Sometimes getting up once is enough to get out of that weird, deep dream-state, but not that night. As soon as I was back in bed, it started again, and it didn't seem like I got a break until AJ came to bed at 2:00- I didn't get any rest, anyway. I was so relieved when he came to bed; I woke up coated in sweat, shaking, but at least I was awake. I went to the bathroom and flicked the light on to try to wake up even more, had a drink of water, and went back to bed. I was still pretty shaky, and I begged AJ to help me remember to take my pills earlier in the day.

I don't know why I forget. Part of it's lack of visual cues- I can't keep my pill box on the kitchen counter (where I would see it when I have my tea, the most logical time to get all medicated up) because Simon will see it there, and he seems to think that all pills are "buyamins" and will taste like the crunchy little Flintstones he gets every day (when he reminds me). Oten when I'm in my own bathroom and I see that little SMTWTFS box, I haven't eaten anything recently, which I need to do before I take the pills.

So my wonderful husband, as soon as I asked for help, set his watch for 2:00 every afternoon so he can call and make sure I've taken my medications. One of these days I'll get my own watch, but this is good for now.

I remembered yesterday... but I was still scared to fall asleep last night.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Oh, Deer...

My deer are back! OK, they're not MY deer in the sense that I own them... more like "my neighbours" than "my cat." They visited our yard a lot before the snow came, and then they were gone for a long time- not much point coming out here when there's no grass or clover available.
They came out again last week, after most of the snow had melted, and we've seen at least two of them (usually 3) together once or twice a day for the last 3 days. They're so pretty. Alert, too- if the boys or I go over to the big window, the deer have to stare at us for a few minutes to make sure we're not coming any closer before they can go back to their grazing. One of them doesn't even come far out of the trees- nervous disposition, I guess.
I got a few pictures this morning- not great ones (see above for the best one), but good enough. The deer in the picture there is hurt. I don't know what happened to her- I couldn't see any injuries, but she was limping and her leg (the one she's favouring in the picture) kept giving out on her. It was very sad. She was getting around, but it wasn't easy, and there's no way she can go fast if she needs to.
I don't need anyone to tell me that "these things happen" and "you shouldn't get attached to wild animals." I know that already, and I'm not attached- I haven't named them, they're not pets. But they're familiar, and the fact is that I hate to see anyone or anything suffering. I hope she's not in pain... and I hope she'll get better. I know her odds aren't good, though- there are cars, dogs and coyotes around here.
I try to remember that they live in a different world, where life is harder and nobody dies of old age. Sucks, though.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


In all my life, I have never wished o hard that I was in a city I've never even visited before.

This morning I read Whoopee's post "May Contain Squirrels"- and it made my day. I truly wish I was in London, and that I was finding random squirrel signs everywhere.

The world needs more of this. I think I'm in love.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I need to throw up. I WANT to throw up- it would probably make my stomach feel better, at least for a little while. But I can't. If I do that, I'll lose the Advil Liqui-Gels I just took for this facking migraine I've got, and where would that leave me? I'd also lose this giant cup of caffeine-y goodnedd I'm nursing, which is also an essential part of my migraine cocktail.

Also, tea and toast taste terrible on the way back up. I know this and many other things from my experiences in the magical land of morning sickness- I can provide a detailed list of exactly how bad many things taste on the way back up (hint: nothing tastes better coming up than it did going down).

Good Lord, it hurts! This sucker started yesterday, but didn't get really bad until this morning. I would be crying if I hadn't trained myself not to- that only makes it hurt more. Crying doesn't help one stay calm or hydrated, you know.

Ike's smelly butt isn't helping my head, and the sight of his runny nose is, quite frankly, not doing much for the nausea. I adore that child, but at this moment he's 2/3 of a migraine perfect storm- at least he's not screaming. I need to go take care of that.

I wish I could take Immitrex right now- it's a nasal spray, so I wouldn't have to worry about puking it up, and it works on migraines... then again, it would probably be too late; I think you have to take it at the beginning of these things. I don't have any, though- don't even have a prescription. That stuff knocks me right out- a blessing under normal circumstances, but not exactly safe when you're responsible for two active, curious little boys. Probably not good to have in breastmilk, either, though that's only an issue at night these days.

Oh, to be able to go to bed with a dark cloth over my eyes, an ice pack under my head, and earplugs in my head!

The things you don't appreciate before you have kids...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday Haiku- Doodlebops

The blue Doodlebop

seems a bit gay* -strange that the

RED one's name is "Moe"

*I'm not saying he is or isn't... just saying that people have mentioned he's "a bit flaming" is all...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Poop Patrol (Waaay TMI, especially during lunch)

Simon has decided on a career and we couldn't be prouder of our little man. He's showing some promise, and has great enthusiasm for his position as Poop Inspector.

It's a surprising career choice for him- Simon still isn't showing much interest in using the potty, except for when he remembers that he gets stickers and can earn presents from his efforts. Then he hops up on the toilet, grunts, strains and farts for a few minutes, saying "Go poo potty... get car! Go poo potty... get... CAR!" Then he gives up.

Poop in DIAPERS, though- now THAT interests him. He spends a few minutes in denial each time he goes ("Simon, did you poop?" "Noooooo!"), but once he's moved on to the acceptance stage of diaper changing, he's quite interested in the process. "I make-a da Big Poopie!" he announces proudly. "I see da Big Poopie?"

And so he sees da Big Poopie. If it's not too messy, he helps flush da Big Poopie down da big toilet, and says, "bye-bye, Big Poopie!" I WILL draw the line the day he asks to "touch-a da big poopie," though.

And it's not just his own Big Poopies that are in need of inspection. No, sir! Every time Ike gts his butt changed, Simon asks, "Ike make a Big Poopie?" If the answer is no, he goes back to whatever he was doing. If yes, he scurries over and hunkers down, waiting to see what wonders await within his brother's diaper. Comments follow: "Ooooh, it's YEWWOW!" or, "Oh, Ike, dat's a big MESSY poop!" or (slightly alarmed) "What's DAT?!"*

After sufficient inspection has occurred (and a quick glance IS NOT ENOUGH), Simon nods and goes back to his irregularly scheduled programming.

It's a tough job, and the pay sucks, but Simon seems to feel that someone's gotta do it, and if he's the only one willing to take an interest in da Big Poopies, so be it. He's a godsend, that one.

*"Dat" was chunks of carrot from the previous day's soup. Why do I bother?

Thursday, March 12, 2009


When I sign into Windows Live Messenger (as I do every day, hoping with all my heart that there will be SOMEONE I can talk to), the "Windows Live Today" box pops up. I usually glance at the titles of whatever they think is important at that moment and close the box- As pressing as such issues as "10 Nude Scenes We Didn't Need to See" are, I just don't have any patience for them.

BUT- here's one for ya: "10 Books That Caused A Commotion*" was actually fairly interesting. It's not an exhaustive list of controversial books by any means, but it's a sampling of what we've found shocking, disturbing, or just WRONG in the past and today. "To Kill A Mockingbird" tops the list- what was once controversial was part of my 10th grade English curriculum. I've been meaning to re-read that one... onto the list it goes!

Why did this list show up today? Well, there's this book coming out in English- it's already sold more than a million copies in German- called "Wetlands" by Charlotte Roche. You can, uh... you can read that article if you want to see why it's controversial, or if you're feeling REALLY brave, you can Browse Inside to read the first 15 pages or so. Definitely not for those with weak stomachs or those who are easily offended; the book's 18-year old narrator/protagonist is talking about anal sex on the first page. That and hemmheroids.

And yet... I might just read the rest of it. That, and some of the other books on the list. My mind's not getting any bigger if I'm only reading things that re-affirm what I already know and believe.

Tell me what you think: Why do you read? WHAT do you read, and where do you draw the line? Where's the line between mind-expanding and offensive? What book have you read that's been the most challenging to or different from your own way of thinking?

Seriously, comment on this one, OK? (Yes, this means you)

*This link will take you to the full article from HarperCollins, not the abridged Windows Live-linked version.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Zee camera, she eeez not workeeng. NOOOO!

To be fair, I guess this camera doesn't owe us much- it was a hand-me-down from a friend that we got after our first digital camera broke. I'm not hard on my cameras, I swear! The first one just stopped flashing (and then stopped everything else), and this one... well, I have no idea what's going on, but it's not happy, I can tell you that.

And when did I discover this? After Simon convinced me to put his old Superman Halloween costume on Ike. It looked ADORABLE- even more so after Simon put his Superman pajamas on. My little Supermen! My SuperBabies! And Simon wasn't even smacking Ike.

Oops- that last sentence jinxed everything. Simon just started screaming at Ike after a good 10 minutes of playing peacefully in the same room. I guess I should go...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Rules of "Mine"


All residents of and visitors to this residence (henceforth referred to as "the house") are encouraged to read the following and to retain this sheet for future reference. In the event that a resident of the house is too young to read, he will be yelled and/or screamed at without restraint or mercy until the Rules of Mine are understood and obeyed.

Simon wishes to make known to all (and especially Ike) the following information about various items contained in the house:

1. a) The living room couch, should Simon be occupying any place on or around it, belongs to him. Any attempt to approach, look at, or touch said couch will result in ear-piercing shrieks of "NOOOO, IKE! IS SIMON'S COOOOUUUUCH!"

b) While Simon is in possession of Simon's Couch, Ike shall not approach or touch the associated coffee table. Such attempts or actions are punishable by screams of "NOOOO, IKE! DON'T TOUCH SIMON'S TAAAAABLE!"

2. The house rules state that any toys kept in the living room are for sharing. Simon hereby reserves the right to override this rule at any time, but especially when he is tired and/or cranky. Notice shall be given in shriek form: "NOOOOOO, IKE! DAT'S SIMON'S TOOOOOY!"

3. a) In the event that the television is on, Simon assumes full control ("Mine-ness") of all audio and/or visual output. Should Simon be in a bad mood, Ike will be notified immediately. "IIIIIKE! NO, IKE! NO WATCHIN' SIMON'S MOOOOOVIEEEEE!"

b) No attempts shall be made by anyone to sing or dance along with any movie or television program. Doing so will result in dirty looks and/or requests such as "No, Mommy! No dancin', Mommy!" or, "IKE! You no dance! It's SIMON'S movie!"

4. In the event that Simon decides to share his stuff, the recipient of such offer is required to accept this offer. Should the recipient is not interested in the particular toy or object being offered, Simon shall continue to press it into the recipient's hands or, if that fails, shall whack him on the head with it.

5. Simon will acknowledge the fact that other people own things- for example, "Dat's Ike's tiger!" Please note that such statements do not imply in any way that Simon will not expect to have use or possession of such objects, should he see someone else playing with them.

These rules and guidelines are subject to change at any time and without notice. Adults are encouraged to help Ike remember the Rules of Mine, as this should help avoid screaming, yelling, grabbing and/or pushing.

Thank you.


Monday, March 9, 2009

Obama pictures McCain pictures
see more Political Pictures

Barack Obama
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A Wonderful Waste of Time

Don't you love it when you remember a great blog you haven't looked at for a long time and you get to look back through all the posts you've missed? Or when you discover a new one that's so great you just want to read through EVERYTHING?

It's happened to me a few times. Sadly, I'm not good at the whole "self-control" thing, and rather than reading a few entries a day until I'm caught up, I tend to park myself at the computer and just read until my eyes fall out of my head or the kids need me- whichever happens first.*

About a month ago it was finslippy- I'm not exaggerating when I say that I read every word of that blog over the span of about a week (I'm a fast reader- it's great for stuff like this, not so great when a $17.00 book only lasts 3 days). She made me laugh, she made me cry... it was wonderful. Now I just watch for updates on my blogroll over yonder ----->

Yesterday a dear friend and all-around wonderful person told me she's taking a cake decorating course. My first thought was, "Oooh, fun!" My second thought was, "I wonder if they get to eat their mistakes..." THEN I remembered to tell her about Cake Wrecks. I read through this one back in the summer and actually laughed out loud more times than I could count- it's pictures of and commentary on professionally decorated cakes gone horribly, horribly wrong. Oh, the HILARITY!

Seriously, go read Cake Wrecks right now if you haven't done so before.

*Please note, I don't neglect my kids so I can do this. I joke about it, but really, I just let them have some "independent play time"- it's good for them, and it keeps me sane(r).

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Some Pics From Last Week... Fairly Random

Ike takes advantage of Simon's sleepiness and plays with Simon's 'Snicklefritz' while he's not looking.

One on the only two people in the world I don't resent for sleeping for a long time and/or peacefully.

I didn't get a cake on my birthday because we were out all day, so AJ bought me one 9 days later. Sweet!

Not actually sure how to caption this one, except to say that Gus is, in fact, a loser.

The happiest sandwich I've ever made by accident. Two shakes of the mustard bottle, one swirly squirt, look down, and oh! Look who's a happy, happy sammich! Not for long, I'm afraid...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

This is all I got, folks.

I have a sweater. Actually, I have several sweaters, but we only need to discuss one today. The red one.

The red one's nice- I bought it to wear at AJ's graduation weekend in November. It's got this deep v-neck- ridiculously deep. As much as AJ would LOVE to see me wear it without something underneath, it needs a camisole or something. I HAD a camisole- it went missing when we moved. It's just not anywhere.

I was looking at them (camisoles) at the mall the other day- same chain as where I got the sweater, in fact. I found some- nice enough, plain, spagheiit straps, lace at the top. Twenty bucks.


I'm too used to buying my clothes at Value Village, I guess. Twenty bucks just seemed like a lot for a scrap of thin fabric and some lace. My theory is that it's the lace. It's probably hand-made out of unicorn hair, high in the Himalayas by two blind nuns whose home is only accessable by helicopter and then dogsled. They support an orphanage using only the proceeds from their lace-making. God bless them! *sniffle!*

You thought that story was going somewhere, didn't you? Sorry 'bout that.

* * * * * *

Is was standing in the grocery store last night, perusing the "feminine hygeine" section, and was completely baffled by the selection available- and this was a small store. It's no wonder guys hate being asked to buy this stuff- not only is it embarrassing for them, it's hard to remember whether she wanted the "36-pack regular unscented long pantiliner with wings decaf non-fat" or the "28-pack regular unscented long mini light pad without wings thong-shaped with an extra shot of espresso."

* * * * *

Congratulations are in order. Simon followed Andre to the bathroom a few nights ago, watched him pee, patted him on the leg and said, "Yay, Daddy! You a BIG boy!"

He later claimed that "Simon a big boy, too!" but refuses to prove it by using the potty.

The good news is that he walked in on me in the bathroom yesterday, and apparently I'm a big boy, too. At last!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Stay Tuned Next Week...


Very Serious Doctor: Mr. Embers, is your wife here? We have the result of the-

AJ: No, no. She... she couldn't be here. She didn't want the kids to be here for this...I'll tell her later.

VSD: I understand.

AJ: Give it to me straight, doc. Is he gonna make it?

VSD:I'm afrraid the patient's condition is terminal, Mr. Embers.

AJ: I see.

VSD: It appears to be a gas leak. We could try to fix it, but there are no guarantees, and quite frankly, it wouldn't be worth the cost to save an appliance that's as old as this one.

AJ: You bastard!

VSD: (looks uncomfortable)

AJ: Sorry, doc... it's just... well, we were hoping for better. Is there anything you can do for him?

VSD: I'm going to put more gas in him- the freezy kind that makes the air to be cold. But it will leak again...

AJ: Spare me your medical mumbo-jumbo! Just tell me how long we have!

VSD: Who can say? These cases aren't predictable. It could be 6 months... it could be 2 days... it could be a year. My recommendation is that you all try to enjoy each day as it comes, for as long as you can. And then, when her time comes... buy a new fridge.

AJ: (trying to hold back tears) Thank you, doctor.

VSD: That'll be $63.10

Monday, March 2, 2009

When I Said I Wanted Warmer Weather, I Didn't Mean In My Freezer

Remember when I said that there was something rotten in the state of Kenmore? That there was this weird smell in my kitchen, blah, blah, blah? I think it's gone, but I have bigger rottage to worry about now- rottage and/or thawage (if either of those are words, I'll be very surprised).

My freezer isn't freezing. My frozen yogurt isn't frozen, but it's definitely not yogurt at this point, either- I'm choosing not to think too much about that one. The chicken breasts and pork chops I put in there yesterday aren't frozen yet, and everything else is thawing. Not good.

I've had theories about what might be wrong. None of them correct, mind you, but they were theories. I thought maybe things were warming up because Simon keeps leaving the fridge door open, so I used duct tape and felt to tie the door shut (it's lovely)- things still aren't cooling down. Cat hair in the coils? Nope. Perhaps not enough air flow around back of the fridge? Nah- that sucker's been pulled away from the wall all day, and I'm gettin' nuthin'. Temperature dial's backwards? Nope, the setting makes no difference.

I think the fridge is OK, but I'm not sure. If we're losing cheese, milk, lunch meat and leftovers along with whatever's getting cozy in the freezer, We shall not be amused.

So what to do? I could see if I can store some stuff in a friend's freezer, but the only person I know here is away in Puerto Alpaca or something- somewhere warm and sunny, anyway. I could cook up the meat that's in the freezer and keep it in the fridge, and we could just eat a whole lotta meat over the next few days- AJ would be happy with that option, anyway.

Or we could, you know, call a repairman. But that, my friend, would cost money. And until pay day (next Wednesday) comes around or the cheque for AJ's recent overtime comes in, it ain't happening. Not with the car payment coming out tomorrow and insurance and student loan coming out shortly thereafter.

But here's me looking on the bright side: I checked the freezer tonight to see if my magical pulling-things-away-from-walls powers had had any effect on relative coldness, and I discovered that the frozen scallops I'd bought with groceries had thawed. Can't have thawing seafood lying around, can we? So I ate them.* I ate them with melted butter, and it was delicious.

Any thoughts?**

*Please note: I did cook them first.

**On the freezer, not the scallops. Thank you.


UPDATE: (next morning) Yeah, the fridge has definitely crapped out, too. NOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

My Shortest Post Ever

You wouldn't believe how much this looks like "Ike's dwink!" (bottle nipple) to some three-year olds- or how quickly their mommies can move to grab it before they try to use it as such:

WARNING: if you are a dude and/or squeamish and/or wary of TMI, maybe just move along without clicking...

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Need... More... Drugs...

Today was a bad day to be in my house. I tell you this so that even if you've had a bad day, you can say, "Well, at least I wasn't visiting THAT house today!" And then you can jump up, click your heels and whistle as you strut down the street.*

I'm not even sure where to begin... does 4:15 this morning when Simon was screeching and ended up on the couch count as last night or today? I'm guessing that an hour later, when Isaac woke up and wouldn't go back to sleep, even after a nice, warm bottle... that counts as today. In any case, we had an early start. I had the beginning of a headache lurking at the base of my skull, but only until something in my neck popped. After that, it was no longer the beginning of a headache, but a big, snarling, vicious migraine.

You know, one- and three-year olds are surprisingly indifferent toward other people's suffering, especially if it interferes with their little schedules. When Simon woke up (on the couch), he was crying. He spent the rest of the morning doing some more crying, some screeching at Ike, and some whining- just to keep things interesting. Every sound was like knives in my ears. A tired Simon is a cranky Simon, and Simon seems to be a firm believer that misery loves company. Ike just didn't understand why Mommy was sitting and/or lying around so much and not moving her head, and he couldn't figure out why she was mumbling about "caffeine IV" and "you people are killing me**" and other such nonsense.

I took the Advil liqui-gels, I drank the pot of tea (and consequently peed 5 times in an hour), I avoided moving when I could. I tried not to watch Simon eating bologna with ketchup, because that really made me want to barf. It wasn't a fun day for the kids- or for me.

AJ had been at work until 3 in the morning, so I couldn't wake him up to help me; in spite of what I said in my last post about how jealous I am of the fact that he's allowed to sleep for 8 hours at a time, I know he needs it. He got up at 1:20 this afternoon, and though the boys didn't settle down or get quieter, they were happier having their daddy around. In fact, Ike refused to have his nap and cried "Da! Da! Daaaa!" when I tried to put him in his crib. After he finally gave in and went to bed, and I left Simon and AJ watching home movies (not AJ's favourite activity) and went to have a nap. I jammed those blessed earplugs in my head, pulled up the covers, inhaled (my side of the bed smells like my sweet pea hand cream- so yummy) and passed out for an hour, until AJ had to get ready to go again.

I'm OK now. My head still hurts, but not as much as it did. I still have no energy, but I'll be able to do some quiet activities with Simon tonight, and I might even survive the Battle For Bedtime. It has taken me an embarrassingly long time to write this post because I keep forgetting words- words like "indifferent" and "crib"- but it's done. I suppose I should try to get some other things done, too, like the dishes, and maybe tidying up this mess that's been accumulating at my feet all day.


I'll do it tomorrow.

Simon, go to bed. Mommy loves you, but I need to sleep.

*Seriously, do it. And send video.

** The phrase Simon chose to pick up today was "Kill me!" As in, "Unnnngghhh, are you people trying to KILL ME?!"


It is not safe to sleep around me. The exception to this would be, of course, my children and their blessed snoozes- they can sleep all they want. Their sporadic slumber (or lack thereof) is, in fact, the reason the rest of you ARE NOT SAFE.

How can I put this nicely? When I see anyone sleeping peacefully and/or for extended periods ("extended" meaning more than 3 hours in a row), I want to wake them up. Sometimes violently.

Here's an example: Gus, a.k.a. "the Fat One." Gus is a champion sleeper, as all cats are. Here's the thing, though- while some other cat around here has the good sense to do it in the basement during the day where I can't see him, Gus drapes his ample self over the back of the couch, pools across the floor, or lounges on my bed:

Doesn't he just look so comfortable? So peaceful? So WELL-RESTED?!! This makes me hate him. It also makes me want to shove him off of whatever piece of furniture he's occupying or punch him in the furry noggin for being so mean and flaunting the fact that he can sleep whenever he wants to, thanks very much. You bastard.*
Cats the worst for this, because I need sleep so much more than they do. I try to be understanding of how Gus' busy eating/pooping/bathing schedule must exhaust him, but I have very little sympathy for him. Even people who need sleep are not completely safe, however. My poor husband might have worked until 3 in the morning, but when I go into the bedroom at noon and he's still there in bed, I might sometimes get just a little bit jealous. It's not his fault his schedule allows him to sleep more than I can- or that my sleep is interrupted every few hours. Still, after a really bad night... mumblemumblemumble
Please note that I have never actually punched any innocent sleepers in the head. Nor have I kicked them in the kidneys, pushed them out of bed, or made a very loud noise and then run away. I just thought I'd warn you all that it could happen.

* Jerk sleeps a lot AND makes me write run-on sentences.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Welcome to the Confess-O-Matic!

I'm going to tell you something now that's really embarrassing for me, but it's what's at the top of my mind this morning, so here we go.

I'm scared of the telephone.

There. I said it. I don't feel any better about it, but now you know.

Just to clarify: I don't cover the phones in our house with pillowcases when they're not in use, and I don't freak out and start trying to climb lampposts if I see a guy on the street talking on his cell. I do get nervous when the phone rings, though- not because I'm expecting bad news or some random jerk calling to yell at me... I just don't like it, and it makes me feel a bit anxious.

Calling someone, though- that's what I avoid as much as I possibly can. I will go into offices to make appointments if I happen to be in the area rather than phoning from home; I'll write to ask for forms from the government instead of calling. I have no problem being home when the oil truck comes, but AJ had better be the one who calls them. The thought of picking up the phone and dialing makes my chest feel tight and my mouth go dry. My skin gets tingly, and not in a good way.

There is NO good reason for this. I mean, I've had experiences that have made it worse, no doubt- having a job that required calling people about something they're probably not interested in (gym memberships), times when one payment or another was late and I worried that if the phone rang, it was going to be someone looking for money... but I'm not doing/worrying about those things now. The phone should be my friend, this miraculous contraption that allows me to talk directly to people (or switchboards) that are blocks- nay, TOWNS away! Huzzah!

I'm thinking about this today because the car insurance company called yesterday and left a message. They got the change of address notice I sent them (always by mail, never by phone), but "there's more to it than that" when you move to another province. I have to call in, and I don't know what they're going to want from me. We need to cancel our old coverage and start up an account with the new province's office, I know that. WHY IS THAT SCARY?!!

It's irrational. But no matter how often I realize that the worst that could happen isn't so bad at all, I still get shaky when I have to dial a number. This even applies to phoning friends and, to a slightly lesser extent, family. People I know and love.

I'm such a loser.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Something's Rotten in the state of Kenmore

Something in my kitchen smells really gross, and I can't figure out what it is.

This happened in my dorm during my first year at university. This horrible smell just kept getting worse for several days- it smelled a bit like gross old cat litter with rotten something mixed in, but we didn't have a litter box- or a cat. We eventually discovered several potatoes that were rotting in a cupboard- I never know that anything so comforting and delicious could degrade into something that smelled like slimy death.

It's not potatoes. I had a few that were sprouting, and I tossed them in the compost just to be safe. No good. I've been obsessively emptying the garbage and the greeen compost bucket from under the sink- still smelly. I've cleaned out the fridge. And the freezer. And the cupboards. I emptied the recycling boxes (actually old diaper boxes, which don't hold much- I want these), and while the bottoms are a little slick from The Great Vegetable Oil Spill of 2009 (you should've seen the poor ducks!), they're not stinky.

I've cleaned out the litter box several times, even though it a) is not in the kitchen, and b) smells nothing like the smell that's haunting the kitchen.

Next stop: sterilize the you-know-what out of the aforementioned garbage can and clean the drains.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Like Talking to a Wall (-E)

(Out for supper, waiting for AJ to cme back from the car with Simon's WALL-E toy)

Me: Simon, do you want chicken, spaghetti, or pizza?

Simon: WALL-E?

Me: Yes, Daddy's gone to get your WALL-E. Do you want to eat chicken with fries, or spaghetti?

Simon: I want WALL-E.

Me: I understand that, my love, but what to you want to EAT?

Simon: WALL-E?

Me: You want to eat WALL-E?

Simon: Pweeeeease!


Simon: I. Want. My. WALL-EEEEEE.

Me: I'm ordering you the chicken and fries.

Simon: WALL-E.

(20 minutes later, after the kids' food has been ordered and the conversation has moved on):

Simon: I have chinken? Chinken and fwies?

Me: Holy delayed reactions, Sime-man!

Queen For A Day

So... my birthday. It was great.

When I woke up on Monday morning, it was freezing cold and pouring rain- not great if you're planning on driving for an hour on bumpy, twisty-turny, up-and-down roads. I decided it would be OK if we just spent the day at home; AJ had Tuesday off, too, so shopping could wait.

Yes, my big birthday event was shopping. I had no idea what to ask for this year for my birthday. I don't want to get much in the way of clothing until I lose a few more pounds of this "baby weight" (ha, ha!), and everything else I really want is too expensive- digital SLR camera... sewing machine...good scanner/printer... laptop computer... yeah.

The weather cleared up by the time AJ was out of bed, and after everyone was dressed (in spite of Simon's protests), we headed out. Simon fell asleep in the car, but Ike stayed awake- and, amazingly, didn't cry. He also didn't poop that day- I guess that was my present from him. So thoughtful, my baby!

We stopped at Value Village for a few minutes so I could pick up a few more 45's- I'm doing greeting card-related things with them. Shhh- don't tell!

Then on to the mall. I love just hanging out with all of my boys. We looked through the book store... um... ok, that's really the only store we did much in. It's not a great mall. Still, AJ managed to bash his head on one of the rides he was helping Simon into (he's got a nice lump now!), and he and I had a very mature discussion about why the heck the hair salon is called "The Head Shoppe." I mean, really, people! "I just need to sweep these hair clippings into this dustpan, but while I'm down here..."

Michael's was the big shopping stop. I could spend thousands of dollars on art/craft supplies in there any day- but I managed not to. Still between what AJ and the boys bought for me and what I got with birthday money from AJ's parents, I did quite well- paper, large square hole-punch, a book of quotations, double-sided tape, a 12x12" storage box... good stuff. Now I just need to find the time to use it all!

We headed to East Side Mario's at 5:30, and it was a wee bit crowded. Actually, a lot crowded- enough so that they opened up a little room in the back to seat us and a party of about 12 people. And so we waited. And waited... and waited. 20 minutes later, a waitress came in- for the other table. AJ spoke to the manager. It seems there was a "mix up"- basically, they had forgotten about us. The boys were very tired and hungry at this point, but they behaved themselves so nicely- Simon played with his stuffed Wall-E he'd brought along, and Ike chewed on the table (and the highchair... and my hairbrush...).

We got an apology, and the manager/owner put the kids' order in right away so that they'd get their food quickly. Our waiter came in a few minutes later and took our order. The kids' meals came (chicken buddies!), and we waited... and waited... and waited...

We ate our salad and bread. We ate what the kids didn't want of their meals- excellent fries, by the way. And then, at last...

We waited some more.

The kids were done eating. The waiter came back and told us it would just be a few more minutes. We asked for the cheque and to get our meals to go. So we got the cheque. And we waited. Etc.

We had our coats on and were ready to go when our food finally came. In case you're wondering, we didn't have to pay- not even for the extra kids' meal they'd accidentally sent to our table while we were waiting. We still left a tip for the waiter, of course- he was a good guy, really nice, and it wasn't his fault they FORGOT ABOUT ME ON MY BIRTHDAY! I may need therapy.

Quick stop at Wal-Mart = new book for me to read (My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picault- I'm almost done already), face wipes, and perogies, and then we headed home. The long drive can be kind of nice when the kids are asleep- it's really the only time when AJ and I have nothing to do but talk.

I didn't do any housework on my birthday. It was great- until Tuesday morning. Ugh. Sometimes these things come back to bite me in the ass.

Thanks, all my boys, for a great birthday!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy New Year

Yesterday was my birthday. While many people choose to reflect on the past year at New Year's, I prefer to do so on my birthday. At New Year's there are too many people doing it, and the air gets all clouded up with people's Very Deep And Meaningful Thoughts. Suffocating, really.

And so I reflected a bit. Life was certainly different a year ago! We were living in a smallish basement apartment that was loud when people were upstairs and had a leaky ceiling in our closet, which led to mold problems. AJ was working at a job he hated, and was deep in the process of applying for something better- but it was a long road. Simon was almost 2 1/2, an adorable little man, but not talking too much (not in english, anyway- he was fluent in Simonese)- and Ike was 9 days old. I was still recovering from a c-section and trying not to worry about getting ready to move, which would be happening in just a few months. We had no money, but we had each other, we had good friends, and we were lucky enough to have my mom in helping out with Simon and Ike.

In the last year: We spent 6 months apart, with the little guys and me staying with my parents while AJ was away at training- the hardest 6 months of my life, but not nearly as hard as it was for AJ. Now that we're all back together, we're living in a different province, in a town that's new to all of us. AJ likes his job, and he's making better money. Until we get some debts paid off there's still not a lot of extra money, but that's getting better. We live in a house- an actual house, with no one living above or below us. Simon is talking a lot more and more clearly, and he says the sweetest things, and Ike is a sturdy little bulldozer of a 1-year old, always ready with a smile for his family (or random ladies he wants to flirt with).

And what about the coming year? I don't make resolutions, but I like to think about what I'd like to accomplish. I'd like to read more books this year. I'd like to spend more time doing activities with the boys, and I definitely want to get outside when the weather improves! I want to be healthier; I want to exercise more, eat less (but better), and get off the damned Effexor and get my other antidepressand dose down to at least a normal level. I'd like to sleep through the night, but that really depends on a certain outside influence (not mentioning any names... *ahem* ike)

Sounds ambitious, doesn't it? Little by little, though, one or two things at a time, I'll do the best I can, and it will be good enough. I'm done with perfectionsm

Oh, and my birthday, the day itself, was great. More on that later!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Isaac's New Song

I'm a little stinker
short and stout!
The food goes in and
the poop goes out!
When my bottom's stinky, hear me yell,
but change my diaper and all is well.*

Young Master Ike is wobbling around with his hands full, having discovered not one, but TWO of my hair bands. He's all like, "Ohmigawd, these are, like, the bestest things EVER!" Life is indeed an adventure when you're one. As long as there's something around that's

1. new
2. going to make noise
3. able to be smacked against something else (bonus if this results in noise!)
4. likely to meow whan you bite it
5.comes apart when you pull on it
6. something that you're not supposed to have,

you've got yourself a party.

And on that note, I should go- the little stinker has the paper towel roll, which falls into categories 5 and 6. Score!!!

*Yes, I'm aware that I need a life. Thanks.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Riddle Me This:

How is it possible that Ike can go to bed (at 5:00, God help me!) and sleep through Simon running and playing and complaining about going to bed... but he manages to wake up at the sound of me slipping between the blankets in my bed?

It's uncanny. Much like the X-Men, but less cool, and with a disappointing lack of Hugh Jackman and/or James Marsden.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

What the DUCK?!

Further proof that there are people out there who share my sometimes-perverse sense of humour, yet are far funnier than I am:

You will never look at ducks the same way again.

A Comb and a Brush, and a Brain Made of Mush

I was going to write something nice for you today, I really was. I even put some thought into it, if you can believe that. But you, my friend, are out of luck.

We had another one of those nights that leaves what's left of my brain in a puddle of mush, sloshing around in the lower half of my cranium; the top half, incedentally, is left empty, and the thoughts I manage to produce are getting distracted by the echo, so even they're not working for me. Echo! Echo! Echo!

So yeah, long night. Simon decided to stay up to keep me company until 10, because goodness knows I can't be left ALONE if AJ's at work. He finally went to bed (with his new friend "Blue," who was to be the topic of a far more coherent and entertaining post), I tidied up a bit, got changed, climbed into bed, and- "WAAAAAHHHHH!!!"

...and spent the next 30 minutes trying to get Ike back to sleep. No, not back to sleep- he was perfectly happy to sleep with his dear little noggin resting on my chest while I sat in the rocking chair. The problem was getting him to stay asleep when I had the audacity, the sheer nerve, to put him down. I even tried taking him to bed with me, forgetting that he's a BIG boy now, being one and all, and he's not into that anymore.

So then I rocked him again and cried because he's growing up, and we won't have these cuddly times forever, you know! I desperately tried to press that moment into my brain while simultaneously losing my mind from exhaustion. Perverse? Perhaps.

So then I put him down, he cried, I left, and he settled down at last. I closed my eyes, and AJ came home. I muttered several things at him, none of which I can remember now (and which almost certainly didn't make sense, anyway), and fell asleep. Some time later, just before AJ came to bed, Ike started crying again. He had a bottle, and we all went to sleep. Until Simon woke up screaming for the third night in a row. He went back to sleep on the couch, and I went back to bed. Again.

After that, it was smooooooth sailing- Ike was only up one more time before he woke up for the day at 5-something, bright and cheerful. "Hi, Mommy! I had a FAN-STINKING-TASTIC night! What's wrong? Why are you crying? Silly Mommy!"

So yeah, me and my brain of mush are just going to have to save that good post for another day. You know, whatever it was that I was thinking about. I can't remember.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Difference Between One and Three

Why do one-year olds have to be so amazing?

There's just something about them- the inquisitiveness, the enthusiasm for everything from bath time to biting the cat's tail, the new discoveries they're still making every day... the fact they they're finally past the frustration of being STUCK, and can now get around on their own... the pure adoration on their little faces when they look at you, like you're just the greatest person in the world at this moment...

Yes, I'm generalizing. I know there are one-year olds out there who are miserable most of the time, but most one-year olds I've spent time with have been happy-go-lucky, curious little bundles of happy... most of the time.

Oh, there are those moments, to be sure. Just before bedtime comes to mind- as does just before supper time, getting the winter coat on time, and "what do you MEAN I can't stick that in the electrical outlet?!!" time. AJ would add "making a mess with books/movies/toys/kitchen utensils/recycling" time, but I actually find Ike's destructive tendencies endearing- he's just so happy while he's doing it, and he has NO idea why we would be anything but proud of his accomplishments.

Then... there's three. People talk about the "terrible twos," but Simon was a lovely 2-year old, up until a few months before his third birthday. Now, don't get me wrong- he's still a lovely kid, sweet and affectionate and funny. But life is harder when you're three. It's a LOT more frustrating- you want to be doing all this stuff you see bigger people doing, but your mind or motor skills just aren't quite there yet. There's so much to figure out about the world and about the english language that it's rather overwhelming for a little guy. People don't always understand what you're saying, and you don't know how else to say it. All of this leads to a little guy being sweet and happy one minute, and then lying on the floor in a heap of tears and frustration the next.

Three is hard on a kid, and it's not easy for parents, either. Three is also an age for testing limits and rules, and for "NO NO NO!"

The rewards still outweigh the trials, as far as parenting goes. Even after a long, difficult day with Simon, I can tuck him into bed, sing "Yellow Submarine" with him (not just to him, but with him*), and have a laugh when he burps in the middle of the second verse. He's developing a sense of humour now, and it's great. He's also expressing his emotions more clearly now, and while it's not easy to hear him being frustrated, it's the greatest thing in the world when I kiss him goodnight and he says, "wuv you, Mommy!"

To be completely honest, there are many days when it's just easier to get along with Ike- his age just makes him very likable and entertaining, while Simon's outbursts and refusal to take the naps he so desperately needs can be frustrating, to say the least.

But I don't love either one more than the other. I might like or dislike the things that they do, I might find it easier to deal with one or the other at different times, and I appreciate different things about each of their personalities, but I love each of them like he was the only one. I can't treat them the same, because they're not the same, and they each need different things from me. But love? Each of my boys gets as much as I can squeeze into a day.

I just hope they know that.

* "Inna taaaaaaw... Iwa BORN!
Wivvda maaan... say-a see!
An' toooowd uvviz WIFE!
Inna waaand, summa-EEN!

We aww... yewwow summa-EEN!
yewwow summa-een!
yewwow summa-EEN!

Fweeeeends, awwa BORD!
Mammy mo dem, wivva DOOR!
An WIV! Needa WAYVE!
Inna yewwow summa-EEN!
Wiv! Wife-a EEEZ!
Wunna uzzawwe NEED!
Yewwow! Summa-EEN!"

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


One more note from yesterday:

We were at Value Village, and I found a Winnie the Pooh book called "When Pooh Got Stuck"


I'm sure we've all been there at one time or another... alright, let's just move on then, shall we?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Today was just weird. Not all bad, but definitely different. On the positive side of the balance sheet, the TV was off a lot more today than it usually is. I was happy about that- any time Simon isn't asking for the TV to be on feels like a victory for me. The kid loves the TV- singing along, dancing, acting out scenes from movies... it's pretty funny, actually, but I'd like for there to be less it- the TV, not the dancing, etc.

Instead, we sang a silly song. Actually, that's not entirely in the "positive" column... he made me sing it over and over and OVER. You know the song:

"Clean up, clean up
Everybody everywhere,
Clean up, clean up,
Everybody do your share" ?

Well, now you do. I was singing that when we cleaned up (yes, really) and Simon wanted it "Again? Again? Sing a song again?", so I started making up different verses. It started out with things like:

"Simon, Simon,
Simon has a chubby cat,*
Simon, Simon,
now, what do we think of that?"

Brilliant, I know.

By the time it was time to go to the grocery store (where we were NOT singing), I was on to:

"Simon, Simon,
you're my silly buddy boy!
Simon, Simon,
please go away, play with your toys"


"Simon, simon
I love you and you love me,
but please, dude, leave me
alone, 'cause Mommy needs to pee!"

He wanted more singing when we got home, of course, and was asking for verses like, "Sing 'bout Simon's foot. It's stuck."

"Simon, Simon,
let's stop now, no ifs ands or buts,
all this singing
is driving Mommy nucking futs!"

By the time AJ got home, the sweet potato fries were burning, I was sitting in a corner, rocking, and Simon was singing "Simon, Simon... make Mommy cwy..." **

The rest of the day was filled with occasional laughter, much crankiness from both children, and a three-year old in denial about the fact that he'd pooped at the grocery store. Definitely not ready for potty training, that one.

Now it's 9:15, and I'm almost certain that the boys are both asleep. My biggest boy is out playing basketball with some other big boys***, so I'm going directly to bed- not passing GO, not collecting $200. Goodnight.

* The chubby cat in this song was a stuffed toy, but it could just as easily be about our Gus- chubby bugger.
** It is entirely possible that only the part about Simon singing is literally true, but I was totally rocking and burning things in my mind.
***The last time he played basketball, it was in a different city with different guys, and all I know is that someone used farting as a defensive strategy. I don't ask questions about these things anymore.****
**** I enjoy footnotes.

Damn Portages...

Last night, driving home from the big(ger) city, and hour away from home:

(passing a sign that says "portage")

me: haha- porage.

AJ: por... age.


me: You know, I'm really glad they don't have car portages on the highway. Like where you had to carry your car over a hill or something. That would kind of suck, wouldn't it?

AJ: (after a moment or two) ... you took your pills, right?

me: yes... I should just keep those thoughts in my head, shouldn't I?

AJ: No, it's just that they're so completely random.

me: No, they're not. They only SEEM random because I don't express every thought that leads from one thing I say to the next. My train of thought's not jumping tracks- you're just not following it, and it's not going to the station you expect it to.

AJ: ...

me: ...

AJ: OK, then.

about 20 minutes later:

AJ: This road is so awful- it's no wonder people complain about it. Of course, if they actually DID fix it, people would complain about the slow traffic, too.

me: Maybe they'd have to portage around the section that's being repaired.

AJ: ...

me: Or... well, maybe if people knew that it was either slow traffic or the car-portage, they'd be thankful they can drive there at all.

AJ: You're a loser. But I love you.

me: I know.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

And just for the heck of it...

... a few pictures from one year ago.

Just a few minutes old

At home with mommy

It's so hard being a baby!

In the hospital, pondering the mysteries of life

Happy birth-day!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, Kid!

(This should've been posted yesterday, but I wasn't at the computer much. Pretend it's yesterday, OK? When you don't show up for work tomorrow, just tell your boss that tomorrow is today, and s/he should respect your beliefs regarding the today-ness of any given day.)

Yeah, yeah, it's Valentine's Day. It's never been my favourite "holiday" (and by holiday I mean entirely commercialized day for the card stores and candy makers to line their fat, fat pockets), either because of the exclusive nature of the whole thing- "No Valentine? I guess nobody loves you. SUCKER!!!"- or the way it takes love, something we should be expressing every day, and turns it into a syrupy, pink-and-red day to set high expectations for romance and general mushiness. I can't even walk through the card section at Wal-Mart without getting my shoes stuck in it, like the floor's covered in saccharine* bubble gum.

We don't really need a special day to celebrate love, or to say, "Put me on your honey-do list, Honey." Aj and I don't ignore it, though- hey, any excuse for chocolate and a hand-made card or love letter is great! I just don't think we NEED a special day when they're expected.

Last year changed February 14th for us forever. Isaac was born some time after 8:00 a.m.- I'm a little fuzzy on the details. There were a lot of drugs in my system, and I was kind of concentrating on the fact that I was completely unable to move my legs. It was a planned c-section, so we knew we'd be having a Valentine's day baby, which was fine by us. At least we know it'll be hard for people to forget his birthday.

We're not having a big party. We still don't know a lot of people around here and, honestly, it's not like he's going to treasure the memories of his first birthday for the rest of his life. He likes the new toys, is fairly indifferent to the clothes, and seems to think this is just like any other day. But with cupcakes. Cupcakes make any day 23x awesomer than other days- there have been studies on this.

I can't believe it was a year ago that the little man who is currently yelling at me from his crib because I'm "oppressing" him and, like, expecting him to nap and stuff was just this pink, sleepy little bundle of newness... it's been a good year, if a challenging one.

Love you, my Critter!

* and yes, by "saccharine" I mean fake sweetness that may cause cancer in lab rats. Thank you.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I wasn't going to post anything this morning, especially a video, since I did that just last night, but this was too special not to share. I'm sure there are people out there who will go, "EEEEEWWWW! How can she DO that?!"- probably the same people who have issues with breastfeeding in general.

Or, you know, Salma Hayek's breasts being used for anything but their oogling pleasure. Asshats.

This, my friends, is my new heroine: