Figuring out what I wanna be when I grow up.
Oop..I AM grown up...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I Love You Coffee. Do You Love Me? You Do?! Hooray!

Oh coffee, you delicious drink!  You're so wonderful I think I'll compose a small poème in your honour:

OH coffee, my friend,

so warm and strong
I could drink you
all day long

But caffeine, alas,
so bad to me,
would cause  all night

So, just one cup
but DAMN, so great;
all chem'd up with coffee mate

You wait inside
my snowman mug
to give me one big
bad breath hug

And though this rhyme
may seem retarded
You and I shall
Ne'er be parted.

Sniff!  ...the happiest part of my day, aside from hitting the sack in my jammies with Jane Eyre. 

This morning, karen and Coffee sat down for their usual break, and talked about their long history together:

CoffeeWe've been together a long time haven't we?
karen:  Hoo boy!  You're going to make me feel old, ha ha!
Coffee:  do you remember one of the first times?
karen:  sure, we were on a family vacation, and I was just a kid--maybe 8 or 9?  We were camping, and my Mom let me have half a cup of instant coffee with sugar and coffee whitener. 
Coffee:  and what did you think?
karen:  FANTASTIC--and before you ask, no I don't think it's a tragedy for a kid to have half a styrofoam cup of coffee.  Bless you Mom, bless you. 
Coffee:  what are some of the worst experiences you've had with coffee?
karen:  well, one time my inlaws offered me a cup and I naively said "sure."
Coffee:  yeah?  So, what's the big deal there?
Coffee:  so?  Coffee's coffee, right?
karen:  that is NOT coffee.
Coffee:  but you drank it?
karen:  yes.  That was nearly instant gut-rot.  Oh, and don't forget nearly every diner, restaurant and wedding I've been to
Coffee:  ?
karen:  oh don't play dumb, you know what I'm talking about:  COFFEE-FLAVOURED WATER.  Weak, weak, weak.
Coffee:  oh yes, what's that saying you've invented about weak coffee?
karen:  'there is no greater sin than weak coffee'
Coffee:  ha ha ha!
karen:  ha ha ha!
Coffee: ah, it's funny because it's true.
karen:  oh well, at least there's a certain consistency out there--they make the same insipid brew in every public place it seems.
Coffee:  how about Tim Horton's coffee?
karen:  strong enough, but I prefer making my own
Coffee:  McDonald's?
karen:  decent!  Especially good with one of those egg sausage muffin thingies
Coffee:  Starbucks?
karen:  once I get past the mind-scrambling menu and just ask for the strongest coffee they have, I would have to say 'quite good.'
Coffee:  okay, so how about some other bad experiences with coffee?
karen:  oh, well, of course you recall that ridiculous job I had back before I got married?
Coffee:  the one where you had to clip ads out of newspapers and tape them onto promotional "you could have saved THIS MUCH if you'd placed your ad with us" flyers?
karen:  yeah, that's the one.
Coffee: the job with the husband and wife boss team, with the wife who just had to open her mouth and butter-headed gems would fly out?
karen:  yes, the woman who said that it's good when it's windy, "because the wind blows the clouds away." 
Coffee:  stop, you're killing me.  But let's get back to the topic
karen:  oh right, they weren't coffee drinkers, but they provided coffee for the employees. 
Coffee:  sounds decent
karen:  a GIANT can of Folgers???  I can STILL conjure up that disgusting taste
Coffee:  I'm going to have to agree with you there. 
karen: anyhow, I have to thank you because without you, I'd have no energy at all. 
Coffee:  no problem!  And hey, I'll see you tomorrow?
karen:  absolutely!

Some interesting facts about coffee from :

Coffee is...

The second most widely used product in the world after oil.

It was worth 6 million tonnes per year in the mid 90's.

It is worth €30 billion per year to the producing countries.

It is a living to more than 100 million people.

It is consumed at the rate of 1400 million cups per day.

The world's second most popular drink after water.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Saturday With the Kids

I don't know how far-reaching those horrid ads for MARINELAND go.  Maybe if you live further than a hundred mile radius from the place, you don't have to suffer through an entire season of assinine commercials with a woman belting out how magical the place is, and how "EVERYONE LOVES MARINELAND."  Well, I'd like to say that not EVERYONE does--my three year old daughter wasn't much of a fan yesterday. 

Yesterday.  Saturday.  It was a nice, cool, autumnal day; not too hot, not too cold, nice for walking around outdoors.  I opened my yap and said; "today is the perfect weather to go to Marineland."  And so I sealed my fate.  I guess it's not a bad thing to do stuff with your own family, right?  I guess it's what I should be doing right?  Well people, you forget that I am inherently SELFISH and LOVE, LOVE, LURV solitude.  Ah, even the word just rolls of the tongue and makes me feel calm:

sollllllllituuuuuuuuuude.....Aaaaaah...wasn't that like putting your ear up to a seashell for just a moment?  So, my ideal Saturday would have gone like this:  after having my coffee, I put on my grubby gardening gloves, head out to the front yard with my bag FULL of spring bulbs, dig random holes all over the front garden and plug bulbs into the ground.  Then, for even more excitement, I would take the precious bag of potting soil I just bought, and re-pot my bouganvillea, and that other house plant I made the man pick up for me at Wal of Evil recently, because it was SEVEN BUCKS and that is a FANTASTIC DEAL, and while I was sorry that he'd already cashed out with our purchases, and my kids were HAVING A RANG (read: PITCHING A FIT), I apologised to him and said; "I'm sorry, but this is too good a deal to pass up.  You're just going to have to go back into that [hellish] store, and buy this for me."  Oh, where was I...yeah, so after dropping bulbs like little Easter Egg treasures, I would then re-pot a couple of plants, all the while letting the calm and the fresh air and the SOLITUDE wash over me.  Oh man, doesn't that sound dope?  Or, does it sound like I'm tragically middle-aged in mentality?  Whatevs. 

So, instead, we packed up the kids and headed off to the local theme park.  Okay, so, two adults, one six year old, and one three year old.  Great, that'll be ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY TWO DOLLARS PLEASE.  Ha ha ha, that's funny--it sounded like the girl just said it'll be $132.00.  OMG, that IS the price.  The best part is that my daughter got in for free!  Mon dieu, what a rip.  Okay, so the park's not a bad place to take the kids:  the aquariums are neat.  I even like it there.  Ella almost jumped out of her skin when suddenly a seal zipped by her line of sight as we were taking in the first aquarium's underwater viewing area.  Hilarious. 

Then the kids nearly had a panic attack that we weren't going to make it to the first theatre in time to see the show, so, we had to sit there for 20 minutes until it started, in the windy, treacherous bleachers.  I say "treacherous," because they are steep, and my daughter is perhaps one of the clumsiest people on the planet.  All I could imagine was her tumbling down those bleachers like a sack of potatoes, and I was swooning with horror.  Then the show started, and I have to be a bit of a jerk for a minute.  Okay, it's great that the seals can do some tricks, but they need to cut the seal portion of the show WAY back, because while I can appreciate that it must take time to get a seal to wiggle his back end back and forth, it just doesn't translate way up there in the back row (nor in the front row).  Also, we have seen seals balance balls on their noses forever and ever, and that too, though cute, fails to be exciting.  On with the dolphins!  However, by the time the dolphins came out, Ella was so disinterested with the whole aquatic spectacle, she started to turn into SUPER ANGRY ELLA until we were forced to quit the show. 

Onward to the rides...oh wait, there's an ice cream truck.  Make mandatory ice cream pit stop and wait for ten agonizing minutes as the children eat their rapidly melting soft serve. 


me:  "yeah, how much are two cones going to cost--fifty bucks???"

Onward to the rides!  First stop, the Viking Ship. Hooray!  This is starting to be fun!  Oh wait, 3 year olds don't get the concept of waiting in line.  Or, they get it, but they think it's totally stupid and completely intolerable, and they HATE IT.  3 year olds also hate getting off the ride when it's over, and they really, really don't give a crap that other people need a turn now.  Ella's rage-ometer rises further. 

On to the next ride--some typical, "scrambler" or "octopus" like thing, whereby you sit in a "bee" car and spin up, down, and around the central "hive" until you feel a little bit like hurling.  Fun enough, Ella is once again FURIOUS that she had to wait in line. 

Next stop, some horrid ride that hurtles you UP to the top of a pole, and then drops you down, then raises you back up a bit, then down a bit, then up, then downthenupthendownthenup and finally back to the ground, so you can put your prolapsed uterus back in place.  Ella is turning into the baby Hulk at this point, and starts trying to beat her father up.  Jack, in outrage, comes up behind her and gives her a shove.  I peripherally notice many heads turn and watch us exit the ride.  Good times. 

Two more rides, one of which sucks so completely it's not even worth talking about, except I refused to go on it, because karen does not and has never liked rides that only go in a circle, and that's it.  The other ride was a tiny roller coaster, and the only thrill for that ride was trying not to have your back broken on the upward thrust over the first "bump" in a car that's probably too small for an adult, since the top of the back of the seat neatly hits the lower back. 

Ella is now nearly apoplectic with rage at not having continous, unbroken fun, so we decide to abandon the family rides section, and head over to see the Beluga whales.

Interestingly enough, where the Belugas are located is charmingly titled "FRIENDSHIP cove."  In one tank are the friendly Belugas, with their weird, wobbly, kinda gross, jelly-like heads, and in the other tank is one solitary KILLER WHALE.  Friendship cove...killer whale...friendship...killer whale.  Hm, must ponder this.  I should also point out that it was at friendship cove, where Ella had enough of her brother bugging her and headbutted him in the chin.  Oh, and don't forget that as Jack and I were enjoying the smiley-looking Belugas at the top observation level, Ella was behind us shrieking:


So, after the headbutt incident we decided to go home.  We couldn't decide what the best part of our day at Marineland was:  Ella headbutting Jack in the chin, or Jack trying to hit Ella's leg, while Ella was on The Man's shoulders, and instead of hitting his sister's leg, accidentally squares his dad.  Kudos to the man for maintaining enough presence of mind to still be able to safely set Ella down on the ground. 

And now who thinks the idea of planting tulips sounds silly? 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Mornings With Jack and Ella

*Warning:  this teeny installment is filled with correct terminology presented somewhat crudely.

This morning's conversation, as the kids got ready for school:

Jack:  "Ella, you have a vagina and I have a penis."
Jack: "Mom, do girls have vaginas?"
Me:  "Yes, that's right."
Jack: "and I have a penis...a HAPpenis penis!  Yay!  A HAPPINESS PENIS!"
he then breaks into song:


And Ella joins in;


You have a happy day too. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Random Thoughts and Small Revelations This Week

* I now use scissors to cut the crusts off bread when making the much hated peanut butter and jam sandwich. The scissors pinch the crusts off, creating nice, "clean" edges on the sandwich. Sawing the crusts off with a knife tends to make the edges, well, crummier. And if edge crumbs get into the peanut butter, a very, very fussy little boy will rip off sections of bread, and question why his peanut butter "has bread in it." It is futile to point out (as I have done time and time again) that the sandwich consists of bread, jam and peanut butter, so it's hard to keep the bread separate from the peanut butter. If you are aware of how pathetic this whole situation is, then kudos to you. It's also easier to saw crusts off bread when the bread has been frozen. However, sometimes the freezer does funny things to bread, and by the time it thaws, one could find they have freezer burnt, or scratchy bread to deal with.

* I also use scissors to choppity chop spaghetti for kids. I do NOT have the patience to try to wield a fork and knife in one of those smaller kid-size bowls.

* Salt free food is disgusting. Sorry, but it is. Low salt food is okay (I suppose) but meat cooked without salt is repellent. I'm guessing the same goes for rice, and I know first hand that potatoes without salt suck. I give PROPS to anyone who finds the taste of salt free food to be "just fine."

* chicken, roasted with no salt, but LOADS of garlic as a flavour enhancer, is shudderingly gross in retrospect.

* eating one whole clove of roasted garlic is pretty tasty at the time, but gives some dandy all-night heart burnt as a little after-present.

* I still hate it when my daughter gets up at 6:15, but I REALLY hate it as we approach fall and it's still wicked dark outside.

* pursuing a cause can be both inspiring and anxiety-inducing

* hardwood floors means having BITS stuck to the bottom of your feet at all times, no matter how much you sweep or vacuum. "Vacuum" is a really stupidly spelled word.

* Florence & The Machine was a really good musical find, and the first song on their cd; "The Dog Days Are Over" made me cry, because really, I hope they are.
* this 'grief journal' business I'm engaging in makes me feel more sad when I utilize it. Is this good or bad?

* I check my Facebook page way more often than I'd like to. Lousy addictive Facebook.

* my ankle is still fat and hideous

* Swimming on a Monday night with The Man was utterly relaxing.

* That "Mr. Rochester" in Jane Eyre is still just as swoon-worthy

* raging flower addictions can still find succor at this time of year: soon I'm off to hunt for spring bulbs! Hooray! However, having a discussion based on bulbs, tubers and corms just seems to lose all meaning after while.

* a good afternoon nap is nearly always better than a good night's sleep

* I saw 3 small ants in the pantry this morning. The b*$t*rds! Does it never end?!? Oh, and I still haven't taken the barricade off the cold air return vent in our bed room. Yeah, when given the choice to check and see if anything as horrific as flying ants will either pour out or not pour out of my vent since the exterminator man came, I choose to NOT find out how good a job he did.
* If I don't hurry up and hem those 5 pairs of the kids' pants, I'll be screwed if cold weather descends and stays for good.

* sometimes I feel quite certain that if I have to do dishes just one more time I actually will vomit.

* my sister thinks she's heard somewhere that aspirin takes the yellow pit stains out of white shirts. She thinks it's aspirin at least, so I'd better google it and find out.

* it's truly amazing how an ugly, nearly dried out, neglected pathetic little perennial can spring back into a respectably attractive plant in mere weeks, and even begin to bloom. There is always potential!

* if I could be anywhere right now, it wouldn't be Italy, France or even the Riviera Maya--it would be my own bed. Aaah...dreams CAN come true

* if you go to you can type in your address and see your own home, which is weird, because you never noticed some dude driving down the street with a camera in his/her car taking pictures of all the streets in your city. It's interesting, but sad, because there are certain clues that tell me the picture of my house was taken around the time my grandmother died, and the picture of my parents' house was taken when my Mom was still alive.

* according to my Dad, you can't just toss some apple seeds in dirt and grow a decent apple. Most apple trees are hybrids (two varieties of trees grafted together), otherwise the apple you've grown from seeds, would be unappealing and fairly inedible.

* blogging random garbage is, apparently, a great way to avoid housework.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hold The Salt

Who doesn't love salty food? Surely everyone gives themselves that treat from time to time of parking in front of the tv with a nice bag of chips, cheezies, or some other snack food of choice.

Or, maybe you like to go out for fish and chips...or chicken wings with a nice frosty bottle of beer, or something--ANYTHING--with cheese melted all over it. The saltier the better!

When I'd go for dinner at my inlaws house, all of them--my husband included--would reach for the salt and shake it over their dinners before they even tasted it first. I don't generally do this, as it used to drive my mother crazy if anyone salted their food before testing it out first. Still, if I go out for a rare steak, I can't seem to cram enough salt onto that thing. I also like to add a lot of salt to my homemade chicken soup. I figure this is okay, because I don't add a lot of salt to my other dinners. I also don't buy a lot of "convenience" food. I've also stopped buying the dehydrated, powdered, re-constitute with water soup mixes, because those things are loaded with salt.

When I was pregnant with my son, I couldn't get enough salt in me. Everything had to taste salty in order to be good, and it was a little embarrassing if I was out with other people, and I hoped they didn't noticed my four reaches for the salt shaker. Weird.

My family liked a lot of salt. Growing up, the food was already well seasoned, and all of us reached for that salt shaker anyway. Then, when I was pregnant with my daughter, I didn't really love the salt, so I didn't mind cutting way back on the stuff. Okay, good for me, right--I didn't buy a lot of processed foods, I try not to have too much junk food, I don't buy chips on a regular basis, and lately we'd been leaving the salt shaker off the table during dinner (and never even think of it at lunch). But oh, how naive to think that all the sodium we need to worry about is in the salt shaker!

So, now for the next two weeks, The Man is on a mandatory SODIUM FREE DIET. Oh wait, that's not entirely correct. That's just my emotional take on it. Actually, what he needs to be on is a LOW IODINE DIET. If you would like to read up on it, you can go HERE. You may recall me lamenting this several weeks earlier in A Needle In The Neck Is Not Good Times . Actually, time flies: it was back in July that we got the news that the nodule that was attached to The Man's thyroid was found to be cancerous. I went into panic mode, he stayed completely unphased. So, what happens in this instance is that to be on the safe side, he will be taking a dose of radiactive iodine. For two weeks prior though, he must starve his body of iodine with this strict diet. Then, he will be given an injection two days before to make him hypothyroid, and then he will be given a radioactive pill, which will ZAP any remaining thyroid cells, if any have been missed, thus killing any potential of residual thyroid cancer. Thyroid cells LURV iodine. He will also have to be quarantined at the hospital for three days, and he will then spend a week at his parent's where they must stay two metres away from him at all times, and not share a bathroom with him. Good times, no? Is The Man freaked though? No. Between you and I, I imagine he thinks it's kind of cool, like it'll turn him into a super-hero of sorts. The world doesn't need another Spider Man.

Okay, so let's get back to the low iodine diet. He must avoid all food with iodized salt, which is our basic table salt. So, to be on the safe side, as we read the labels of the food we buy and have in the house, we are avoiding anything that has any sodium listed.

So, how can you avoid foods with iodine? Well, according to this helpful pamphlet here from The Canadian Thyroid Cancer Support Group (Thry'vors) Inc.;

"Iodine comes from many food sources.
Iodine is found:

* in iodized salt and foods containing iodized salt

* naturally in many foods such as fish and other sea foods

* in dairy products, because iodine occurs naturally in milk and especially because the solutions used to clean cows and milking equipment contain iodine
* in foods coloured with red food dye (erythrosine/red dye #3)

So, if you're trying to avoid any food that has sodium listed in the Nutrition Facts label, what, pray tell, are you going to eat?

Well, no dairy. No store-bought bread, although there apparently is a salt-free rye bread out there made by Dimpflmeier. No butter--even the unsalted kind, because OOPS that's a dairy product. No egg yolks. Egg yolks contain iodine.

You can have fruit, and a variety of vegetables, but no frozen peas as they are soaked in brine during processing. Hmm.

You can have Kosher salt, but no sea salt, as that has iodine in it.

Okay, so, I attempted to make a dinner for The Man the other day with NO salt. We like curry dishes, so I made him a roasted curried dinner. I added potatoes, an onion, and a couple of chopped carrots, as well as 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I tossed them in olive oil, curry powder, turmeric, cumin, black pepper and a dash of fennel seeds. I was hoping that the onions, carrots, and chicken fat would add some flavour. Well, it smelled great, but I'm sorry, was PLAIN, PLAIN, PLAIN without the salt. And since I like cooking, I think food HAS TO HAVE FLAVOUR. He's so stubborn though and refuses to buy some Kosher salt. I was nearly begging him; "COME ON, pleeeeease! Just buy some Kosher salt...this nice roasted dish could be SO much tastier." Nope. He would not give in . I'd have bought it myself, were it not for my bum ankle. Sniff!

He's not even bothered by the diet. I'd be freaked! I practically have a PHOBIA of being hungry. I mean, what can he reach for quickly as a snack if he's hungry, and wants something a little more substantial (ie; with protein) than fruit?!? A handful of raw almonds, and a spoonful of salt-free almond butter, which has been languishing in the fridge for a while, because who knows what the hell to do with a whole jar of that stuff??? And so I leave him to his inner contest of strength and will power, but personally speaking, a roasted potato and piece of chicken with no salt on it makes me feel mildly revolted.

So, I got to pondering about salt. We eat a lot of it, apparently. If you're interested you can read this: Canadians Stuffing Too Much Salt In Diets, Stats Can Says . What's helpful in this article is that is provides a little chart with the recommended sodium intake vs age requirements. For instance, the max amount of sodium you and I should consume per day is 1500 milligrams (mg). Okay, so let's see here...according to the side of my salt package here, 1/4 teaspoon of salt = 550 mg. So, 1/2 tsp of salt = 1100, and 1 full teaspoon of salt = 2200 mg. Hrm... So, we shouldn't eat much more than a 1/2 tsp of salt. Okay, that doesn't sound like a problem, right? If you measure out a 1/2 teaspoon into the palm of your hand, hopefully you're not tossing that much onto your dinner every night.

And now, let's take a look at some of these nice little canned goods I have in my pantry here...

*reduced sodium chicken broth (per 125 ml, 1/2 cup condensed) = 670 mg sodium

*heat and serve beef ravioli in tomato sauce (per 1 bowl, 212 g) = 1030 mg sodium!!!!!! Holy CRAP. I never looked at the sodium in this thing before. This is a popular brand of macaroni products that I will not name, but I believe we all ate it as kids, and it's a popular favourite with my daughter. If a child's maximum recommended amount of sodium per day is 1200 mg, one little lunch nearly maxes out that requirement for the whole day!

Okay, so I loves me a salmon sandwich for lunch. I figure it's a great source of Omega 3, and I don't care if I'm doing myself a disservice, I pick all the flukey bits out; all the skin and bones. Yuck. So, anyway, let's see...

Pink Wild Pacific Canned salmon: per 1/2 can (106 g) = 500 mg. Okay, so I would eat 1/4 of the can for lunch and that would give me 250 mg of sodium. I haven't factored in the bread, but I'm not too bad I think.
So it's fairly obvious that this sodium stuff can really add up, especially if we buy the fun-looking, colourful BUY ME, BUY ME BUY ME crappy food that is geared to our children, and I can't even imagine what kind of salt festival it is when we go to McSaltnfat's for a meal, but I figure if I just keep avoiding a lot of this stuff, and not reaching for the salt shaker, I'll be okay.

But Iodine's GOOD for us! it helps our thyroid glands function, amongst other benefits. Read HERE.

But sodium is bad for us! From About The Negative Effects of Sodium:

A diet that is high in sodium can result in considerable health risks, including an elevated risk of heart disease and high blood pressure, which can lead to further complications, including kidney damage. Because proper kidney function is required to eliminate salt from the body, a decrease in productivity can have dire consequences. When the body is unable to control the amount of sodium that is being released, swelling can occur in the face and appendages. Shortness of breath can occur, as well as weakening of the heart muscle. This vicious cycle of events can be avoided by monitoring sodium intake.

Salt, however, is an interesting commodity. From the same article:

Since the dawn of civilization, sodium has been a hot commodity, and its uses date back to the Stone Age. Prehistoric cave dwellers thrived on a diet consisting of strictly fruits and vegetables without the incorporation of sodium into their daily living. Strangely enough, even though their diet did not consist of sodium, their bodies still craved it, and intense treks were mounted in search of sodium sources to satisfy the need. Later
cultures began to investigate the possible uses for sodium, and found that in the form of salt, sodium could be used as a preservative and seasoning for the meats that were slowly introduced into the human diet. As a result, the human body began to acclimate itself to the introduction of sodium in higher volumes, a trend which continued to grow as centuries passed. Unfortunately, the overuse of sodium has resulted in the human body's growing intolerance, negatively affecting the systems of the body and endangering overall.

Oh salt, how yummy you are. Still, I can't help but think how not long after eating a plate of super salty friend food, I typically can't get enough water into my body.

What's your favourite salty dish?

Happy 8th Wedding Anniversary!

running off without my bouquet even...

Friday, September 17, 2010

TGIF or Something

I am not happy right now.

In fact, I'm in a fairly repugnant frame of mind. The week sucked, and it dumped an extra load of suckage on me right at the end. Oh wait, there's still Saturday to contend with.


So, the kids have now got their first school cold. I should have known Jack was coming down with something, because typically, a day or two before he's ridiculously nice and easy to get along with. Don't get me wrong, he's very charismatic, and we have lots of great moments. He also has lots of moments that inspire unbelievable rage in me; rage that I must crush down into a tiny ball, and store in my guts where it can ferment and turn into something much nastier.

So, Tuesday night he decided he wasn't going to eat dinner, and instead went up to his room where he shivered under his blanket, with his head buried under as well. Hmm...never a good sign. What's funny lately, is that he has all of these rules for boys that he has just arbitrarily invented. Well, he was feeling a little yucky, so he announced he wouldn't be eating. I told him he had to eat something. He then looked at me like I was NUTS:

"Sick boys don't eat!"

Sick boys, apparently, also don't get dressed while they stay home from school, and sick boys certainly are never made to go back to school while their noses are still stuffy. However, when sick boys drive their mothers bat-sh*t crazy the whole day they stay home from school, they sure do go back to school the next day. Jack was MORTIFIED:

Jack (first thing Thursday morning): "I'm sick."

Cold, cruel mother: "yes, but you're going to school."

Jack (horrified and dumbfounded): "DO SICK BOYS GO TO SCHOOL???"
horrid Dickenzian-villain mother: "they DO when they just have a cold and no fever."

cue *tears*

it's noteworthy to mention that Jack was sick on a WEDNESDAY which is the day whereby Ella is away at her little school, and Jack is at school, and so I get to sit, weeping with joy, in my kitchen reading a newspaper in near-perfect silence. Bummer. Oh man, if this were an interview for position of "stay at home mom," I don't think I'd get the job. Let's just imagine for a moment, shall we?

Employer: "okay, so here's a brief job description: typically you're 'on call' 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so you'll have to be able to function on little sleep. Your house will never stay tidy for longer than an hour, unless the children are out somewhere for a lengthy stretch of time (which, by the way, will only happen once a month, possibly twice). You'll be required to make two different meals for dinner, and sometimes three different meals, if you're making anything spicy, or any kind of curry, be it Thai or Indian. You'll need to take the boy to school in the morning, pick him up for lunch, drive him back after lunch, and return again at the end of the day to get him. You'll also be responsible for making sure the two siblings don't kill each other, as they are highly volatile, and while they clearly love each other, they are drawn together like two angry magnets.

Once a week you will need to purchase enough groceries to see you through till the next week. At that time you should be aware enough to plan your meals for that week, which will make life easier for you, and prevent you from having lots of those "thrown together crap" meals. You will need to take your 3 year old daughter along with you. She is a bright, sunny little individual, but you will need to tell her repeatedly to look out for other carts, and to keep her by your side, as she will alternately run away, engage in spontaneous dancing or decide to make sure she steps on every square of the tiled floor, with her foot landing in the square just so. Also, she will try to grab every other eye-catching product she finds, so be vigilant.

Your daughter will get very frequent bumps and scrapes, and will bite her tongue at least once a day. Your son will lose things constantly and flip out as a result.

When they are sick, you will be at risk for every "bug" they bring into the home, and you will be especially likely to catch gastroenteritis, or, the stomach flu.

You will occasionally get to watch PBS programs on Saturday morning, but your children will complain the entire time that your gardening show is "boring."

Okay, so that's a small overview. Let's see your resume...okay, it says here you can do laundry:

Me: "oh yes, I have no problem sorting clothes into the right piles, and throwing the wash in. I don't like folding it though, and I really, really have a hard time putting it away."

Employer: "do you iron?"


Employer: "hmm.... Okay, so how are you for doing dishes?"

Me: "hate it."

Employer: "are you okay with lack of sleep?"

Me: Good one.

Employer: "oh dear...Well, will you keep your house rigidly tidy?"

Me: How does one do that on little sleep?

Employer: how about finding fun activities with your children?

Me: I LOVE LOVE LOVE being alone.

Employer: I don't think you're suited to this job.

Me: no sheet.

Okay, I'm in a bad mood. It could be colouring that whole little scenario. Nobody panic. I love my kids.

On Wednesday while Jack was home from school, I was hanging a few things out on the clothesline, turned to come in the house and got zinged by a wasp, on my right arm, much to my shock and horror. It hit me right in mid-air.

Thursday I got all fired up over the state of our regional health care system, which, by the way, is deplorable. I won't go into details just now, but it is at least partly responsible for my mother's suffering and rapid decline to death. So, I'm starting to formulate some ideas on all of this, and penned a diatribe-type pledge to my mother to begin somehow to make people in our area aware, and as passionate as I am. However, after writing said diatribe, I spent the next two hours crying, gave up and retreated to my bed at one point to have a monster nap.

Friday! Hooray? One would think, and yet, no; there is no 'hooray.' I took Ella to her little school this morning, and coaxed her for ten minutes not to howl and cry, and that it was only just a little while and we'd be back to get her, and blah, blah, blah. In the end, I pulled a trick out of the Bad Mommy Handbook, and bribed her with those crunchy chocolate mini eggs if she'd go bravely to her class. Oh don't look at me that way! She LOVES playing with toys, doing crafts, singing songs and reading stories. Shouldn't that place be a preschooler's dream come true?!?

I knew she'd be fine five minutes after I left, and besides, it had been raining all week, and I wasn't able to go for any morning walks with my girlfriend. So, I whizzed off in my car to the main road where I turned right into a virtual PARKING LOT. Traffic was backed up for ages. I later found out this was due to a train malfunction, and the train tracks cut this city in half So the backup of vehicles, once it was cleared, was ridiculous. Finally made it to the parking lot, all angsty, and my friend and I started motoring off to the hill we walk down. Then, right at the top of the hill as I was listening to her, my foot hit a pot hole on the wrong angle, and my ankle flopped over VICIOUSLY. Mon dieu, the pain. The sickening, sickening, burning, searing, pain. We turned back to our cars, me limping, and that was that for the morning walk. Went to the local bulk food store. No mini eggs. Typical.

And so, now here I sit, after a nearly 2 hour nap, feeling thoroughly ecch, with a sprained ankle.

There are days, my friends, whereby you shouldn't even get out of bed. Happy Friday to the rest of you.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday In karen-ville

"Silly Putty"picture and product info, From

Silly Putty, The Real Solid Liquid, has been the standard of excellent fun since
1950. This pack features classic Silly Putty in its original red plastic egg.
Silly Putty is a very unique substance. It stretches without breaking, yet it
can be "snapped off" cleanly. It bounces higher than a rubber ball. It floats if
you shape it in a certain way, yet sinks if shaped in other ways. It can pick up
pencil marks from pages and comics from some newspapers. If you slam it with a hammer, it keeps it shape, yet if you push with light, even pressure, it will
flatten with ease.
This product has a Small Parts Warning, not for children
under 3 years.

Hmm...that's VERY interesting. Oh, let's check that warning again...small parts, blah blah blah, not for children under 3. Alrighty then--sounds harmless, right?


So let's back up a few nights: Saturday night, I went to my homegirl's house and had many, many laughs, and probably too many drinks. Took a cab home, but rolled in after 1:00 AM just the same. Sunday is my SAD DAY, for thinking about my Mom, etc, so my system decided to go into panic attack mode in the evening, which lasted until about--oh, whattaya know, 1:00 AM. Panic, by the way, is a relatively new, fun thing for me. I was never a panicky person, nor the type of person who suffered from anxiety. What--with this low metabolism??? My brother used to make this (tiresome) joke that one needs to hold a mirror up in front of my face from time to time to see if I'm still breathing. Haw, haw, haw. This is actually grossly untrue, since I can be both manicly exciting, and a hyperbolic maniac. So, there. But, just the same, since the rapid, out-of-seemingly-nowhere death of my Mom, my stomach will twist itself into knots from time to time without warning. Good-o.

So, last night (Monday) was my night to sleep. Aw yeah, I was going to bed at a decent hour, I wasn't even going to read first--nope, I was just going to lie there in my cozy bed and twitch and jerk myself into a better place.

And then, at 1:00 AM (1 AM again...waaait a minute...something creepy is going on here, and I'm not even making this up) Ella woke up in the middle of the night in her Ella kind of way, ie; SCREAMING AND CRYING. So, since I was desperate for sleep at this point, I sent The Man stumbling off in the dark. Well, she'd had a bad dream. Fair enough. I don't know though--do kids even get the concept of talking in a night-time appropriate volume level? I could hear her yapping away upstairs to daddy. Then I heard Jack talking. Then I heard them all shuffling around upstairs. Then I heard crying and panicky coughing. Please, I begged nobody in particular, please let him not be up with some horrid stomach bug.

So, I come upstairs and find Jack panicking in the bathoom, and Jon working away with a washcloth trying to get SILLY PUTTY off the side of Jack's neck. Apparently Jack had decided to take his glow-in-the-dark silly putty to bed with him. For the record, I had already concluded that stuff had disappeared for good, to that secret place where Barbie's shoes and jewellery go, as well as all super balls. Well, Jack wakes up for some reason in the early morning, or very late night, depending on how you want to view 1:00 AM, and finds that his neck is "all sticky." Here's the best though; The Man can't get the stuff off the kids neck, and now has done the worst thing possible in a situation like this: he used a 'grave' tone of voice, and said; "I don't know HOW we're going to get it off!"

"I frantically waved this away with a hiss and a "geez! Ssssh! Zip! Don't say that in front of him, you'll make him panic even more!" So, first off I got the acetone-free nail polish remover. Hm...didn't make a dent. Jack begins to lose hope. So, I do what all good wives and mothers do--I bark an order at my husband:


He's perplexed: "the peanut butter?? What if we tried to use this other piece of silly putty to get it off his neck?"


Incidentally, the peanut butter was the shiznit.
Incidentally as well, you should see how it's crammed onto Jack's shirt.

So there I was, up in the middle of my night spreading cold peanut butter on the kid's neck. Ella sauntered in at one point, all happy now, thinking we were having some late night soirée, and eyed the peanut butter jar. "Mmm!" she said; "I can have some peeEEEanut butter!" I snapped; "IT'S NOT A PARTY, GO TO BED."

Still, the peanut butter got all the evil silly putty off Jack's neck. Remember this one, people, in case your child decides to go to bed with a ball of silly putty.
And THAT, my friends, is why I wear THE MOM SHIRT. BOO YAH!

In other news, how does one broach to some children, the delicate other meaning of some words? Jack, finally at the age of 6, is super affectionate now. He tells me he loves me all the time, and will even hug me once in a while. The other day, he looked at me adoringly and said; "Mom, you're just the best lover."
"erm, thanks honey."

"I love you mom."

"I love you too."

"You're such a good lover."

Out of the mouths of babes, right? So, I hadn't corrected him yet, because a) he'll get offended and p*ssed off at me, and b) how exactly do I explain "lover" to the kid? Oh wait, I'm formulating something even now. Perhaps I'll say that's something only grownups call each other, or perhaps I'll say that it's a word only boyfriends and girlfriends can use...must work on this, and soon. It kinda makes me cringe every time he says it.

Early the other morning, Ella climbed into bed with me and informed me that when she was little she had "chicken coops." Chicken coops eh, I said. And what, pray tell, do 'chicken coops' look like? "Well," she said; "they're like little circles on your arm." For the record, Ella neither had "chicken coops," nor "chicken pox," as the latter has been slightly eradicated by a vaccine (now I'm pondering if something can truly be SLIGHTLY eradicated. I seem to be proffering a contradiction in terms).

Ella says a ton of hilarious things, and I should really start writing them down. I got a kick out of it when The Man came downstairs after his morning scrub, and Ella, surprised, said; "oh, Dad--it's you! I thought it was that little maniac, Jack."

And so, I am ONCE AGAIN freaking tired. Big surprise. That's my number 1 broken-record single, isn't it: "I'm so tired." But I am!

So this has got me thinking about goofy things that happen to kids, and happened when I was a kid. I do have a memory of silly putty: I got a tantalizing egg of the glow-in-the-dark variety one time, and after spreading it flat over the colour comics several times, I decided to try it out in the dark closet with my brother. Well, we charged it up next to the light for a good few minutes, and then shut the light off. Oh how exciting to see that little green ball glowing before us. Then my brother did the kind of thing he did best and whipped it against the inner closet wall. BOING BOING BOING and the thing disappeared. We couldn't find it! It had DISAPPEARED. Oh the heartbreak! Anybody who's ever had Silly Putty remembers what a treasure it was. Well, mine was gone.

Fast-track several years later, as my mom is searching through this same closet looking for a maternity top she wants to lend to someone. She finds the top, and on it is stuck--no, WELDED this blob of...well, what the hell is that??? Yeah, you know it was the Silly Putty. Funny, no?

If anyone else has had any goofy Putty experiences, by all means, share! Or, if anyone has a freaky story of something being stuck to their kid, or a general misadventure, I want to hear from you!

I wonder if I have time to squeeze in a nap before dinner....

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Time For Some Art

Okay, who has been stressed lately? Raise your hand! Oops, couldn't type for a moment there with my hand up in the air.

Before I subject your good selves to more of my special kind of ... complaining...please take a look at this blog I stumbled across recently. I love hitting the "next blog" button on the top of the blog page here. You never know where you're going to end up. Why, the other day I cycled through a whole series of online rollplaying gamers' blogs. Hoo, that was surreal, but I shan't go into that.

I'm always pleased when an artist's blog comes up in the shuffle, and when I saw this blog, and this woman's art, my jaw dropped. There is something about her work that fills me with these intense feelings of awe and longing--though longing for what, I'm not sure. I should get back into painting. It may not grab you the same way, but damn, her page is soothing.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Tired Gourmet #2 - Mac & Cheese ~ Lazy Style

Okay, okay, so it's another noodle-based recipe. I can't help it; I like pasta. My mom used to make the best mac & cheese. She put a lot of effort into it though, which involved making a béchamel sauce first, using nearly an entire large block of cheese, having a wicked thick crust of melted cheese on top, and even adding the buttered bread crumbs. Wow, that was some good stuff. Well, I'm sorry, but I'm tired. You're tired. I'm lazy. You may well be lazy too. You want a mac & cheese that will be good like that, and yet, you are like me, and have no patience for standing there stirring up your white sauce, then adding the cheese to it. Fair enough. I also don't put any buttered bread crumbs on top. I can't be bothered--when I'm in the mood for mac & cheese I simply want pasta loaded up with cheese. However, if you're sad that I've omitted it, by all means go crazy. I also skip the thick layer of melted cheese on top, since I figured this thing's already loaded with fat and calories. If you NEED it though, just grate some more cheese. So, are you ready??? Let's get LAZY!

Mac & Cheese ~ Lazy Style
time: 15 minutes prep time (unless you're tired) +
1 hour for cooking
Serves: 4 (I should say 5, shouldn't I!)

1) 5 cups uncooked pasta (your choice--I'm a fan of rotini personally)
2) 1 can (284 ml, 10 fl oz) condensed cream of cheddar cheese soup
3) 1 1/3 (soup) cans milk
4) 1 1/2 small blocks sharp cheddar cheese, grated ( 300 g. Note: 1 block = 200 g, or you can use 2/3 of a large 500 g block)
5) 3 generous tablespoons mayonnaise
6) 1/2 tsp salt

! Note: the mayonnaise is important. It adds a little 'tang' to the dish. If you don't use it, your mac & cheese will taste like the processed soup. The mayo gives it a 'homemade' taste.

Grease a large casserole dish (3 qt/2.8 L) lightly with a little olive oil, or non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Fill a large pot with salted water on high heat to bring to a boil.
In the meantime, measure out dry pasta into a bowl and set aside. Grate cheese. Set aside.

Prepare Sauce:

mix condensed soup, milk, salt, mayonnaise and all but one scant cup of the grated cheese together in your casserole dish. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, if you're cooking immediately.

When water comes to a boil, add pasta and cook for TWO MINUTES LESS than minimum al denté time. For instance, if directions indicate to cook pasta for 12-14 minutes, add pasta to boiling water, and as soon as water comes back to the boil, set your timer for 10 minutes.

When time is up, drain pasta, dump into casserole dish and coat well with sauce. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover with foil, dull side out, and either bake immediately for one hour, or set aside till ready to bake, and then bake for one hour in a preheated 350 degree oven. Serve with a nice, green salad, and brag to everyone about how much you rock.

Sssh...the mayonnaise is the secret (especially because THE MAN hates ALL CONDIMENTS)

mmm...blob of soup...

making that sauce better with spoonful of -- HURRY UP AND MIX IT IN BEFORE YOU'RE CAUGHT!!!

stir, stir...

add your nice, al denté pasta

sprinkle, sprinkle!

Holy moly that looks good! (Incidentally, that's a refreshing and simple salad of crisp romaine, and carrot shavings tossed in a zippy balsamic dressing)

And now that you've saved all that time making this easy dish, look at all the fun stuff you can accomplish:

time for a little light reading...

(someone needs to stop walking around outside in her bare feet...)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Why Do We Do It, Girls?

See these shoes? Aren't they cute? Aren't they sexay? Aren't they strappy and flirty and fun?

Well, sure, they appear to be all these things, but do you know what they really are?


Why, why, why do we wear these shoes, girls? Why do we feel that we're not completely dressed up until we put on a pair of horrendously uncomfortable shoes? Why do we say, when people look doubtfully at the size of the heels; "no, they're not bad--they're actually kind of comfortable"??? In reality, does anyone really like walking around on their toes for a couple of hours? Does anyone really like putting ALL THEIR WEIGHT on their toes, and the balls of their feet?

I just went to a wedding over the weekend (many of you are familiar with my whining over trying to find a shirt that conceals a 3-years-post-baby-train-wreck midsection), and I thought my outfit was pretty good. I found a last minute funky top, and had a cute black skirt. Yes, the skirt was a little bum-hugging, giving me some slightly alarming, although not untoned boo-tay (har har), but whatevs--I'm not a teenager any longer, and don't really need to look like one. I wrestled with my great bristling hay stack hair for half an hour, and it was sleek, straight and even cute. Makeup looked pretty great, but what the heck; I've been putting that on since I was 13, so I've had too many years of practice. I had some funky silver jewellery, including some large silver hoop earrings. I had it going on, if you will. Little black hand bag was packed with the three things that could fit into it--I was good to go. Last but not least, put on the shoes!


Ow, ow, OW!

My second toe was NOT happy. The shoes did NOT feel good. No, they didn't feel good at all. However, they were the only shoes (besides pink flip flops, and beige sandals) that I'd brought. I was perplexed and mildly horrified. I'd worn them for the first time to a wedding last summer, and they were fine, weren't they? Didn't I have a memory of them feeling not great, but okay? Didn't I dance a fair bit? Oh wait...didn't I have a lot of red wine before I danced in those shoes? Hmm. That was kind of the running joke among women I knew--the shoes felt terrible until you had a couple of drinks.

Okay, so I hadn't even been in the shoes for five minutes and they felt bad, bad, bad. No problem. If I don't have to walk ANYWHERE, they'll be fine. And, if I don't have to STAND for more than, oh, five minutes, they'll be fine. Well, the wedding was at a golf course. We drove past the "chapel" site, where the bride and groom would be exchanging vows, and we kept on driving, much to my mounting horror, to the parking lot, over a GRAVEL road. Oh my god, I thought, do I have to walk all the way over there IN THESE SHOES??? Luckily, staff were on hand, ready to whisk guests over to the outdoor chapel area in golf carts. Phew, no walking.

Wedding was nice, blah, blah, blah, and while the bride and groom had pictures taken, we were all cordially invited to enjoy cocktails and hors d'oeuvres at the club house. Where there were no chairs. Where there was a stone patio. For an hour. For what was supposed to be an hour. FOR AN HOUR AND A HALF. I actually started to feel afraid. I couldn't stand there in those stupid shoes for five minutes. Five minutes?!? Who am I kidding--I couldn't stand there for TWO MINUTES. So, what I did was, I casually sidled to the back of the patio, and onto the grass, where I let my pointy heels sink into the ground, so essentially it was like I was wearing mildly uncomfortable "flats." And there I was forced to stay for over an hour.

"Go get something to eat," The Man coaxed, nodding toward the hors d'oeuvres table.
"I can't," I said. "I have my heels sunk into the the ground." My sister was chatting with me at one point, and I had to sheepishly ask her to move more into my line of vision, because as I was now a lawn fixture, I couldn't comfortably turn to look at her.
Speaking of my sister, she was unable to find a summery pair of heels for the wedding. So, I invited her to karen's house of shoes, to borrow another "cute" pair of my shoes. She lasted about half an hour in those shoes, and then went to the car to change into her black and tan wedgies. My brother's gal also lamented to me that she was dying to go to the car to get her sandals.

Finally, the torturous cocktail hour (and a half) ended. We all shuffled (mercifully) into the reception room. I (thankfully) sank into my chair. The wedding party entered, and, as is now the trendy new thing, the bride and groom immediately launched into their first dance. WHOA--we girls said--look at her awesome shoes! The bride had on these fantastic red shoes with TOWERING HEELS. How on earth is she able to stand them, we all wondered. Well, half way through dinner, she returned from the ladies room, with her friends, and as she lifted her skirts from the floor, she now had on a pair of gold, flat sandals. Yeah, that's how she could stand them.

So why do we do it? Sure, we all love shoes. Yes, high heels are so pretty, and they just seem to complete the look, right? Do they ever, ever feel good though? Somebody told me once that Sarah Jessica Parker, from Sex & The City Fame, insisted that some of those expensive sky-high heels she wore, were indeed comfortable. BEE-ESS, says I.

However, if you google the words "high heeled shoes," you will get 5,170,000 results, and the greater majority of the hits appear to be about how to obtain a pair for yourself, rather than how freaking torturous they are. And yet, there is so much love for, and mystique surrounding these horrid things. Have a little read over this National Geographic Article about Manolo Blahnik shoes. Anyone who loves Sex & The City knows this name, of course.

Blahnik insists that these fancy, pretty little things provide an "escape" for the woman who wears them. Okay, I can dig that--it's fun to get all dressed up and wear something that doesn't have a grease or chocolate milk syrup stain on it. It's fun to go out for glamorous dinners and dancing, and I really enjoyed wearing my engagement ring, which basically went back into its little white box the moment my baby son arrived, as I feared shredding his perfect little cheek open with the rock. However, I have to say that taking the shoes off at the end of the evening was AN ESCAPE for me! Oh the relief! Oh my poor injured-feeling, swollen feet! Oh the pleasure of walking across the pavement, and then gravel without those freaking shoes on!

My poor mother suffered terribly from rheumatoid arthritis. Her pitifully crippled feet reached a point whereby they could no longer bear to wear any kind of heel. Oh how my mother lamented not being able to complete her dressy look with a "nice" pair of shoes, and was instead forced to wear some slightly clunky, "old lady-ish" black, cushiony sandals. She so yearned to wear the pretty shoes instead.

I'm starting to think though that the pretty shoe is for suckers. Time to go out hunting, girls, for a shoe that keeps us as comfortable--ALL NIGHT LONG--as the gentlemen beside us.

Care for more reading? Click on Are You Aware of The Dangers of High Heeled Shoes?

I should have worn the pink flip flops.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Super Mom Needs A Nap--Not A Medal

Honestly, am I insane?

Today, as we all know, was the first day back to school (well, I do have a friend, and reader of this blog, yay!, who now lives "down south," and her kids have already been back to school for a couple of weeks). Yes, yes, we've all shared all the "high five," "break out the cocktails," "I'm weeping with joy" kind of parental jokes we can possibly make, so I will refrain from adding any related humour of my own.

I'm a little discombobulated this year, since my little guy is in grade ONE. My daughter is still too young for school. Anyhoo, after two years of a rock-solid kindergarten routine, I have to form a new routine as Jack is now in school for a full day. So, I thought; "yeah! Tomorrow may be the first day back to school, but it's the first day back to work for me." That's right, thought I. No more of this lazy apathy I'd been wallowing in for the last two weeks of summer vacation. No more lounging in bed till 9, fighting my hair and painting up my face till 10, doing some leisurely yoga and having A COFFEE. Nope, that was slovenly and shameful. I was ready to CRACK THE WHIP ON MYSELF.

So, basically what I've done is this: BURNT MYSELF OUT BEFORE 4:00 this afternoon. Yeah, in my haste to prove myself to, well, myself, I got up at 7, and tried to do some yoga, but then the fight twins ruined that. Took the boy to school, came home, decided hey, if I throw some sheets and towels in the wash NOW, I can have them out drying on the clothesline SUPER EARLY! Threw junk in the wash, had a banana, made some oatmeal for when I returned, grabbed my girlie and went and got groceries. Then I came back, put all the groceries away, had said oatmeal, and remembered oh crap, I was supposed to make homemade chicken soup for dinner. So, tossed cheap chicken pieces, celery, bay leaves, carrots, garlic and onion in a pot, covered with water and brought to a simmer--
* at this point I should interject and note that I was rebellious about my homemade soup and did NOT brown the chicken pieces first. Yeah, that's right, I didn't brown them, and I'm not sorry. I did decide to not tell my brother I'd made soup, because if he knew I'd made homemade chicken broth and didn't brown the chicken first, I'd never have heard the end of it. And you know what? It was fabulous. It was pale, granted, but it tasted just fine. So, I'd like to set a bowl down of my pale broth and his DARK, NEARLY MAHOGANY COLOURED broth down, and see if mine truly was less delicious.


So, after making the broth, I made lunch for my daughter, and prepared the much hated crustless peanut butter and jam sandwich for Jack, and got all his other lunch components ready. Then I looked at the clock and shed a quick tear knowing that I would have no time for a coffee, washed a butt load of dishes and raced off to the school to get the kid for lunch with my ipod plugged into my head.

Somewhere along the walk home, I opened my idiot yap, and proclaimed to my poor, beat little guy; "I'm going to bake muffins for you, so when you get home from school today, you can have a nice muffin. Doesn't that sound good?"


So, the kid went back to school, and I finally sat down and had a) sustenance, and b) COFFEE, merciful healer of all. And just as I was enjoying some heavenly sit-down time, the tape in my brain rewound, and I heard this:

"I'm going to bake muffins for you, so when you get home from school today, you can have a nice muffin. Doesn't that sound good?"

Oh brother! Made muffins, instead of having A NAP. When muffins were done, had a mental tug of war to get the girlie to go pee and put her sandals on, tossed her into the stroller and trudged back to the school to get my son.


Okay, I'd better stop ranting in 'all caps,' even if it felt GREAT. Let's just end by saying this is NOT how we ease our way back into the first week back to school. No, not at all. So, it's 8:50. I haven't "punched my card" yet; I still have to do dishes. Then I'm going to get a wash (yes, yes, I know you don't necessarily need to know all this), read Jane Eyre (again), hit the sack, and start again tomorrow.

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.

Friday, September 3, 2010

What Can You (and I) Do Today?

If you could pick just one, could you:

* Eat some carrots (beta carotene, yo!)

* take most of your chemical cleaning products/air fresheners and aerosol sprays and put them in a bin to go to your local hazardous waste recycler

*buy an earth-friendly alternative

* ask your grocery store manager why there is no LOCAL produce when you KNOW it's in season

* skip the wrinkle cream for a night, because you're fine, just fine.

* hug your child(ren) because you remember how YOU felt at back-to-school time

* cut yourself some slack

* throw a frozen lasagna in the oven for dinner, and serve it with a pre-washed bag salad

* have a meatless meal

* spend some quiet time at the library

* buy one frivolous item, like an expensive bar of really good soap

* step outside and appreciate the weather, no matter what it is

* hang your clothes or towels outside to dry

* think of one time you laughed so hard your stomach hurt

* dress for total comfort if only just today

* drink more water

* meditate for 10 minutes - breathe in, breathe out

* have a really good stretch

* find one good charity that touches your heart and give something, even if small

* let that guy in who's trying to get over from the other lane

* wear your fancy underpants

* paint your toenails a wicked colour

* give up fabric softener - oh wait, you already have :)

* never, ever eat/drink anything with artificial sweetener again (unless you have NO choice)

* find a photo of yourself where-damn-you look great.

* remember the worst day ends and you're still here.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Jack's Art

My six year old son draws NONSTOP. Two years ago he had such an aversion to drawing, he wouldn't even pick up a pencil. He would get furious if anyone even tried to encourage him to try to draw. I thought his "fine motor skills" would never catch up to other kids his age. Oh boy, does he make up for it now. He draws and draws and draws. We have stacks of drawings--huge piles all over the dining room. His main interests are orchestras and famous violinists (whom I'd never heard of until Jack discovered them on youtube), like Jascha Heifetz, Yehudi Menuhin, and Boris Goldstein. He also loves The Wiggles, and has an eerily diverse taste in music, with a special fondness for British Invasion bands, like The Hollies. So, I'm amazed by what Jack sees, and thought I might share some of his drawings with you. (click on pics for better detail)

The Wiggles ~ "Wake Up Jeff!"

Van Gogh by Jack
The Wiggles
The Hollies
The Hollies

Isn't it interesting the way some people see the world?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Final Word on The Quest For The Dress

Okay, I'm sick of this whole dress business.

I hit the mall yesterday and shopped and shopped. I tried on lots of different stuff, and while I never found a dress I actually liked, I did make a miraculous discovery yesterday: I fit into size 16 dresses--and not just once either. It wasn't a fluke! Could it be my morning yoga session is paying off? Could it? COULD IT???

Finally, in a funky new store (well, new to me--I hadn't been in Ricki's before, I don't think), I found some clothes that were funky not frumpy, and a skirt that fit. I thought it was super cute--black with a bit of fun detail in the front, no big deal. And the best part? When the girl rang it in, it was $16.99 (plus tax, of course--this isn't Fantasy Island). Woo hoo! What a pleasant surprise! I thought it was on sale for $29.99. So, even better. Thus, I floated home in my car on a nice shopping high, feeling oh-so-smart, and kinda sexay.

Well, ppppffft to that. I tried on MANY DIFFERENT TOPS today here at home. The top I intended to wear? Oh, that slinky, sexy, pale purple thing? Yeah, it only looks good FROM THE FRONT, and looks like "first trimester" from the side. My body that is, not the shirt. So, I will spare you the details of the fit I had, and most of the ranting. My body, post babies, is a TRAIN WRECK, and seriously--if ONE person were to come up to me at this wedding and happily ask if I am expecting, I would have to lop their head off. For realz.

And so...


Sigh. I'm going to wear last year's dress. Yeah, I shouldn't pout--it's incredibly sickening to pout over having to wear a dress I've only otherwise worn once. Oh well. If I ever find a geniously concealing dressy top, I'll enjoy wearing my $17 skirt another time I s'pose.

So, tonight, as I and the fam were heading out to go buy school supplies, I was still super bitter. Upon realizing I'd forgotten to put my lipstick on (lousy 1980's), I said to The Man; "oh gee, I'd better put my lipstick on, so the other shoppers can say; "look at that PREGNANT WOMAN, isn't she attractive?"

The Man replied: "maybe you should just carry a beer bottle around at all times." (get it? so it looks like I have a BEER gut instead?)

Isn't he precious.

I'm going to pop an antacid and go to bed.

image reference: " Regular Strength Tums" from


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