Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ok, I lied. AP parenting stuff maybe tomorrow


It's nearly July. In Calgary, that means that it is nearly Stampede time. Now if you have never been in southern Alberta during this special time, you are really missing out on something. What I'm just not sure, but something. The Calgary Stampede is a weeklong party oh and of course a world class rodeo.

In my 22 years of being, I have never missed going. Not much really changes, yet every year I don my cowboy hat and drag as many people down to the fairgrounds with me as possible. I love everything about the Stampede. I love how all the city folk throw on blue jeans and cowboy boots, even if for the other 50 weeks of the year they wouldn't be seen dead in anything other than designer duds. At the grounds I love the swarms of people, the free concerts and of course the mini donuts (oh my goodness the donuts!). The rides are also a big highlight. There are no adult sized amusement parks within driving distance of here so having one show up on our doorstep once a year is a great thing.

This year I am going on as many rides as possible as for the past two years I've been pregnant and not allowed to go on even slow ones. Torture I tell you! I love rides, the ricketier the better, as the added fear that the car you're riding in is going to shoot off the track gives the ride an extra thrill. Luckily, although Hubby despises the idea of the Stampede, he likes rides. It's nice to have a built in ride buddy. One of the many perks of being married.

I have fond memories of sitting up late with my grandmother, mother and sister and placing penny bets on the chuck wagons. It's something we still do now, minus the pennies. You get to know the drivers over the years and get a fairly good idea of who is going to win, but that's not the point. The point is having family around and having fun.

That's the really great thing about the Stampede. There really is something for everyone. There are children's activities for kids the Sprogling's age up and of course for the drinking aged group of people there are nonstop parties for the entire Stampede. If it gets too warm there is the indoor market and art pavilion to visit. You get to watch real live cow boys competing and then you can go look at prize winning animals.

Then at the end of the night you can experience all the lights and sounds of the fair winding down (or winding up as the case can be) and watch fire works. Who doesn't like fireworks.


Monday, June 29, 2009

One of those days it is acceptable to dress all in white

Yesterday my daughter was baptized. She wore the same dress that my grandmother, my mother and I were baptized in. It isn't fancy but it is steeped in memories. I put it on her minutes before the service was to start and discovered that the one button had snapped off and we had no way to keep it on her squirming little body. Luckily the church has name tags with pins, so we stole one and broke it to keep her dress on her.

We had her baptized in the same church that the Sprogling was baptized in, even though we no longer attend that church. Her Grammy, who passed away when I was 20 weeks pregnant with her, was a teacher at the school/church and I know it would have meant so much to her that Little Bit was baptized there. We have a hard time going there because the memories hurt too much, but yesterday was a great day.

She didn't let out a peep when the pastor poured the water on her head. In fact she started giggling and it looked like she expected us to wash her hair. She loves baths. Her grandparents from my side came out and her great grandparents, Oma and Opa both came all the way from the next province over. She was surrounded by love and I couldn't have imagined a better day. The Sprogling got a little bored and jealous but that was solved by having him go play outside on the playground after the actual christening was over.

The pastor transcribed her name wrong, and left the last letter off, not realizing anything was wrong as she has a fairly unusual name (she's going to hate me for that one day), so he spent most of the service apologizing and correcting all the spellings.

After the service I threw her into an outfit that Grammy had bought last summer, way before we even knew what sex she would turn out to be. We had great faith that she would be a girl.


So that was my weekend. Entertaining grandparents, keeping the house clean and having my child brought into the church. A nice way to spend the weekend. Tomorrow's post will be talking about one of the principles of AP.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Parenting Style

In case you didn't guess, we practice a form of AP parenting here. That's Attachment Parenting. Before we had kids, Hubby and I had long talks about what we wanted to do and not do as parents. There was a very very long list involved. On the list were things that our mothers did which we loved and hated. Things that we wished our fathers did but were never there to do. After we had our list made I did a little internet research and stumbled upon the API website and then their blog. I sat down and read. I discovered things I would have never ever thought about doing.

Things really clicked for me the more I read. I loved their philosophies – the eight principles of parenting especially made sense to me. In fact, we had already planned on doing most of them and the ones we hadn't thought of, just made plain sense.

I'm going to be writing about each of the eight principles and saying how we follow them and what they mean to us and how we decided that they fit how we wanted to parent.

For us, being a parent is so much more than just having kids and making sure they keep on existing. It's a complex blend of needing to set good examples, to wanting to see them be their best (even at their tender ages!) and working on maturing and developing our own ideas to match with theirs.

Hubby and I still have clashes where what one thinks just doesn't mesh with the other. Even though we had long talks before hand, now that the kids are a reality we see some of our ideas were pipe dreams and we fight to change our thinking and make the correct choices.

Some days it's very hard, other days it's so easy.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Go to Sleep!

My son is not what you would call a good sleeper. He never has been. This is mostly my fault I guess. We co-slept. Probably for far too long. He moved into his own bed when he was a little over a year and a half. He would sleep ok when we were in bed with him. I would take him up to bed and lay with him until he fell asleep. This worked until he was about a year old and realized that he could just climb out of bed when he woke up. When we were all in the bed he slept really well. We didn't after he got to a certain size. Then we were constantly woken up by elbows, knees and feet flying toward us.

We moved him out of our bed into a crib next to our bed for naps when he was a year old. I didn't want him crawling out of bed and possibly falling down stairs or something. He hated it. We ended up using the Sleep Lady method and it kinda worked. We also used crying it out which just about broke my heart. But there was just no other way. He wouldn't fall asleep by himself. My husband had to climb in with him on a couple of occasions just to get him to sleep.

He transitioned into a pack and play next to our bed for all sleep activities when he was a year and a half. I was 7 months pregnant and we really wanted him completely out of the bed before Little Bit came so that he wouldn't feel like we were replacing him or something like that and so that when she was sleeping in the bed, there would be less jealousy. We spent nearly a month having him scream for hours every time we put him to bed.

Then one day, he stopped. We would take him up to bed, give him a hug and a kiss, make sure that he had his teddy and blanket and put him down. He'd be asleep within two minutes. We had to play around with when we put him down for a couple days to make sure he slept all the way through the night, but we thought we had it sussed out.

We had a couple days when he didn't want to go down or when he woke up but it was great. We moved him into his own room at 20 months and it was fantastic. Not a whimper or a moan any time we put him down.

This past week has been... not fun. He has not wanted to sleep. Any time. Naps have completely gone out the window. He won't go down for love or money. I've tried moving nap time by a couple hours and having him expend lots of energy beforehand. No luck. He crashes at about 3 or 4pm so I know that he really needs his nap still. Night time has been worse. He cries, screams and climbs out of his crib. He also knows how to open his door so he just stands in the doorway screaming and crying while hanging over the gate in his doorway. We can't let him cry it out because he won't stay in bed and we end up spending hours sitting next to him so that he will get at least a little sleep.

He's also been waking up at 4 am every day. Even when we put him down really late.

I'm slowly losing my mind. This kid needs to start napping again and going down to sleep at night.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Home Cooking

In my kitchen stands a book case. It has five shelves and four of those shelves are dedicated just to cook books of various sorts. I have several homemade ones that chronicle the recipes of my grandparents and great grandparents, I have ones that feature mainly kids' meals and I am the proud owner of nearly every Company's Coming book. Not to mention the entire shelf dedicated to vegan and vegetarian meals. Some of my favourite books include the Pillsbury Kitchens' Cookbook and my Encyclopedia Cookbook.

I have an obscene number of books, but I generally use them all at least once a year. Maybe just the once, but some of the more popular ones get pulled out on a weekly basis. This is what happens when you marry a picky eater, raise another and then refuse to eat meat yourself. You end up scouring books for things you can all eat, or in a pinch, two or three meals with the same basic ingredients you can make at once.

This brings me to what I made last night. My new favourite book is one I picked up in Disneyland while we were there (it was my souvenir) and Oh. My. Goodness. This dessert! It's so easy, and so yummy and gosh darn, I can make it with two babies yelling for my attention.

Last night I made Twinkie Tiramisu. Yes, I know what you are thinking. Twinkies don't exactly scream decadence, but really, just try it. I've never made proper tiramisu, but I'm positive that it has to be easier and it tastes just the same if not better.

Now I'm not sure what the copy write issues might be but needless to say I won't be posting the recipe. I will say that it calls for several Twinkies layered with a pound of mascarpone cheese mixture and espresso liqueur mixture. Yummy. This is a picture of what was left after dinner tonight. Although it was made with a junk food staple, this was a grown up dessert so we have left over's. I foresee them not being there by tomorrow evening, so I'll have to figure something else out for dessert.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Go read this! (With Giveaway)

So I'm a long time member of this online forum. It is fun and I've been on it for almost a decade (god I feel old). I've made some really good friends on there.

One of them is Alex Clark and she has started a blog! It has some great links to photoshop tutorials and to amazing Etsy artists.

Oh, and did I mention that she has a giveaway on right now? She is an amazing artist in her own right and makes some beautiful jewellery and is giving away a pair of earrings.

So everyone (anyone out there?) head on over to Not a Stupid Blog and enter. Right now there is a good chance of winning and aren't they pretty? And then if you feel like it head on over to her Etsy – Alex Clark

Early Early Morning

Yesterday my son didn't nap. Wouldn't go down, screamed and fussed and climbed out of the crib again and again. So we finally gave up and just went on with our day. He was a wretch. Absolutely terrible. We all have off days though so we blew it off. Then it was time for dinner. Hubby put the Sprogling into his chair, went to grab something from the fridge and found the Sprogling asleep. So we left him there, because you know, we are amazing parents.

This was about 6pm. At 7 we moved him from his chair into his bed and held our breath. He stayed asleep. We started having visions of him sleeping through the whole night. It was midnight and we were in bed and so was he. We fell asleep congratulating ourselves on a job well done. 4am then arrived accompanied by the screams of the Sprogling. He was awake and by everything that was holy he was staying awake.

We tried brining him into our bed. We tried laying with him in his Big Boy Bed. No luck. So we have been up since 4 now. I fully expect both the kids to crash by noon. Little Bit heard her brother at 4 and decided that it was a dandy time to be up as well. She has a cold and is fussy anyways. Do you know what children who have been up for 5 hours (and it's only 9) look like?

They look a little something like this. Little Bit fidgets and cries, and the Sprogling has decided that he is getting tired now. I would show you a picture of what mama looks like when she has been up since four, but I couldn't take a picture of myself that wouldn't scare small children. So it will be a battle to keep them both awake for another three hours to get them back on schedule.


Friday, June 19, 2009

How I Met my Husband

My hubby is British and I'm Canadian. It's always a pleasant five minutes or so when we meet someone new and explain how we met. It goes something like this.

When I graduated high school my dearest wish was to get as far away from home as possible. I only applied to overseas universities. I was accepted at a couple of places but I chose a smallish university in the South West of London.

Well after arriving, with my three four foot tall bags (enough stuff for three years) I soon discovered that my program was a joke. It was so simple that I could finish all my work in about two hours and that left me with an enormous amount of time to fill. So I spent most of my time looking up interesting places to go look at and take photos of.

One day I'm wandering around Hammersmith when I realize that I have absolutely no idea where I am or how to get where I want to go. After walking morosely back and forth along this one street a couple times, this lovely gentleman sitting in a cafe decides to take pity on me and ask me if I'm lost. "Yes" I mumble, while staring intently at my shoes. I glance up and give him, what I hope is an endearing smile. I tell him where I mean to be, and he gives me directions which I gratefully take with blind faith.

Nearly half an hour later I find myself not at the museum that I want to be, but at a pub. And who is there, but that very same gentleman. He introduces himself. He invites me in for a drink. I agree to a drink. One turns into a couple. I stupidly accept a ride from him and a mate (I mean he could have been an axe murderer!)

The next couple of weeks are spent talking to, writing to or being in his company. I went away for a week at Christmas to Scotland and when I came back he had a £400.00 cell phone bill.

Fast forward a little over a month and its New Years Eve. We are at a party at that very same pub watching one of his friends play in a band. It is a wonderful night surrounded by friends. At midnight I'm thrilling a little over the fact that I'll actually have someone to kiss and turn to lay one on him only to find him on his knees with a ring in his hand.

Fast forward again to five months on and we are married. Our ceremony is presided over by his aunt and our reception is held at that very same pub once again.


And that is the condensed version of my whirlwind romance and how I met my husband.

One day I'll write the longer version, including that how on our first date I actually fancied his friend more than him and other secrets.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I’m a Young Mum

So I'm going to come right out and say it. I'm only 22. Actually I'm one month shy of 23, but to the world at large it's the same difference. I had the Sprogling when I was 21 and Little Bit at 22. I plan to have one more in the next couple years. And then I'm done. All my procreation accomplished before the ripe old age of 30.

I'm really glad that we started early. It took us two years of trying to get the Sprogling. I was only 18 when I miscarried our first baby. I was poked and prodded and diagnosed with unexplained infertility issues and spontaneous miscarriages. It just about broke my heart and put a huge strain on our marriage (yes, I got married at 18). Having gone through high school petrified that I was going to get pregnant every time I even fooled around with a guy, it was a huge shock to not be able to get pregnant. To have doctors tell us that we are in what should be the prime of our childbearing years and we should get pregnant if my husband even sneezes on me. Two years was more than enough of infertility. It left scars that I'm still dealing with now after two babies. That brings us to how we got Little Bit though. Having taken so long to get the Sprogling, we started, well not exactly trying but definitely not trying to prevent pregnancy fairly soon after him.

Being a young mom has repercussions though. When it was just the Sprogling, I had people come right up to me and chastise me for getting pregnant and dropping out of high school , which, uhm, I didn't. I'd get snotty looks and on that fantastic day at the playground I got asked if I was babysitting. I was in my second year of university when I got pregnant with him and walking the halls 5 months pregnant I'd get looks of pity from everyone that I passed. They treated me like pregnancy was a disease that they could catch from touching me and it was something they didn't want.

Now it's just really hard to make friends. Most of the people that I meet with kids are in their late 20's or in their 30's. They either think I'm too young and slap "unwed mother" on my forehead and don't bother getting to know me or they get squicked out because I've been married and had children longer than they have. I have one firm girl friend; she had her first baby three months ago and is the same age as I am. We have a lot in common and it's fantastic to have someone who really gets everything that I'm going through and I can be there for her when her baby starts doing something new and terrifying (not pooping for 14 days anyone?).


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Confession Time

Thunder and lightning scare me witless. Like hide under the covers and shake, kind of scared. Yes I know it's an irrational fear, that unless I'm out golfing or something the odds of lightning actually doing anything to me are slim to none. All the logical arguments fall on deaf ears, that's why it's called an irrational fear. It's hard playing the adult when all you want to do is hide but somehow I manage. Right now I am sitting in my darkened living room, typing on my unplugged computer. The television is turned off and unplugged, because it is huge and a million years old and if it ever goes to television heaven we won't be able to replace it with anything comparable.

My son is happily playing with a book with flaps and noisy buttons to push. My daughter is happily chewing on part of her exersaucer. I am showing great restraint by not bundling them up and hiding in the basement. They don't seem to care about the lighting that seems to be hitting right outside our window.

*FLASH* One one million, Two two... *BOOOOOOM*

I think the storms getting closer.

Our house actually shook a little with that one.

I think it all started when I was little. My childhood house sat atop a hill and when there were lightning storms they were severe. My parents loved watching them and used to make me and my sister come and sit in the living room, with floor to ceiling windows and watch with them. My sister used to tell me that it was giants making the noise and that the thunder was the sound their footsteps made as they smashed people. Thanks sis.


Yup, it's getting closer.

*FLASH BOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!* That last one actually burned my eyes as I looked out just as it hit. I think it must have hit our neighbours' house.

Nope, after peeking out my window it appears to have hit their tree in the front yard. I don't think they are going to be very happy about that.

Monday, June 15, 2009

From Rainbows, Butterflies and Smiles to the End of the World in 1.4 Seconds Flat.

So two days ago, Little Bit turned 6 months old. We celebrated with a trip to Denny's. Actually Mommy just didn't want to cook; it was just a pleasant coincidence that it was her half year birthday.

But what turning 6 months old really means is that it was time for her vaccinations. Now with the Sprogling, up until his 18 month ones it was like he didn't feel them. He'd just sit there with a slightly bemused expression on his face and then demand to be let down to play with the toys.

Little Bit seems to instinctively know that she is going to get pokes and starts to fuss from the moment she gets up. This morning instead of her regular toothy smile, I got greeted with a nice loud wail. Our appointment was for 8:30, so that if something does go wrong and she reacts, there will be emergency facilities open and less crowded than say at midnight. It's freaking amazing how busy an emergency room is in the wee hours of the morning. But getting back to the vaccinations; we arrived there just a few minutes late this morning (minor miracle). I had managed to forget all the forms that I needed but the nice check in lady decided that I was still allowed to go back and have them torture my child.

Got her undressed, weighed and measured. My teeny tiny Little Bit is getting big! Almost 15 lbs now. They tell me that I can dress her again and I wait to be called in. The Sprogling runs away a couple times, to go and flirt with the receptionists.

They finally call us in and I have the obligatory chat with the nurse. The Sprogling spends his time methodically mapping out the room and deciding how to best destroy it. Little Bit is smiling and giggling away. They have me position her so she's almost cradled and she immediately starts rooting and thinks it is time to nurse. As I don't immediately whip my baps out she starts to pout. Right about then the nurse gives her the first needle. Her eyes get wide. They start to water. Her face starts to scrunch up and looks like it is imploding on its self. A high whine that starts at her toes and comes blasting out of her mouth starts. I quickly pick her up and cuddle her. I managed to avert the worst of it and she settles down again. Then they have me turn her around and cradle her again.

Now Little Bit is thinking that it is definitely time to start nursing. She turns her face towards me just as the nurse jabs her leg. This time there is no build up. The flood gates open and she hollers. I quickly stuff a boob in her mouth and the Sprogling comes over and pats her back and gives her a kiss. She sits there nursing and giving little hiccup sobs. Her poor little legs both have a plaster on (which the Sprogling seemed determined to peel off of her) and she's spent the next fifteen minutes giving me the most evil looks.

Now she's bouncing back an forth between being my happy, smiling Little Bit and screaming her head off at me. Today will be fun.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Garage Sale-ing!

I woke up to the sun shining and the birds singing so I dragged the kids out of bed to do some Garage Sale-ing. I live smack dab in suburbia so the second the weather becomes agreeable the fluorescent signs start popping up and whole neighbourhoods become open air markets.

Now there is an art to shopping at garage sales. You must get up early. Many yard/garage sales start at 9 am. That means you should be out to your first garage sale by at least 9:30. You need to wait long enough that they should have gotten everything out, but not too late because the good stuff gets snatched up fast. Make sure you have some cash. But not too much. Remember, this is stuff that other people don't want so the majority of it is crap. There are some lovely gems buried in the crap though. First you find a couple in your area. Then you plan your route (or not. I just drive around and try spot as many signs as possible). Then you do a slow drive by. If you don't immediately see something of interest Do. Not. Stop! If you were to stop at every garage sale, you would waste your morning and end up with far too much junk because they suck you in. Now let's say you see something of interest, for us it is if they are predominately kids' stuff oriented garage sales. We do a slow drive by and then park as close as possible. Now here is the tricky part. I have two kids so I do a quick pop out and closer look-see. If there is something that I may really want to buy I go and grab the kids, because baking your children in a warm car is frowned upon.

I let the Sprogling try out the toys I'm considering buying for him and show Little Bit the clothing and soft toys that catch my eye. If the Sprogling seems to like the toy, it goes in the maybe pile. I walk up and down and look at everything and then I take a second look on the stuff that I want and grab the best item or two. Do not buy everything. Chances are you do not need it all. Then pack the kids back up and scoot before you reconsider and buy more.

Rinse and repeat!

Today was a good sale day. I grabbed a bundle of soft reading books that as soon as I wash them, Little Bit can chew on to her heart's content instead of ruining her brothers' board books. Patrick got two toys that closely resemble his favourites at the nursery at church, so I know he'll play with them and hopefully he won't be so possessive of the ones at church. And the steal of the day were some of those puzzle foam mats.

You know, like these, but multi coloured.

Those suckers usually cost nearly 30 bucks a pop normally for a pack of 4 and I got 4 packs for $40.00. It was more than I planned to spend but I've been eyeing these for a very long time. With a daredevil toddler in the residence, you begin to worry about cracked heads more than ever.

Great day for Garage Sale-ing and now we are home sipping on bright red drinks and developing juice mustaches.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Back to back pregnancies, and what it does to your midsection

So the Sprogling was 8 months old when I discovered I was pregnant with Little Bit. It had taken us a good two years of trying to achieve him and countless doctors prodding at us, so knowing we wanted a second one, we decided to start not using protection with the idea it might take us that long to get pregnant a second time. Ha ha ha ha. Now I've never been what you would call skinny. I had a fairly good figure when I was in high school and had a really great one in university due to being broke and not eating a lot. Then I met my husband. He is exactly what you would call skinny, with a metabolism to match. So when we were dating and eating out a lot, I started putting on a little weight. He'd take me to fancy restaurants and we would drink some wine and have pasta and dessert. After we got married, I started cooking for him more and started putting on more weight. Not a lot but I was about 15 pounds heavier than I was when he first met me.

Then I got pregnant. I was ill from the day I conceived to until 5 hours after giving birth, but I was still HUNGRY the entire time. So I got inventive in what I would eat that wouldn't upset my stomach but would satisfy my cravings. I worked really hard to not eat complete crap, but 4 weeks after giving birth I finally stepped on a scale and I was 40 pounds heavier than I was before I had gotten pregnant. Not to mention I had a lovely pattern of stretch marks over the entirety of my tummy. So I set to exercising, not my favourite thing in the world. I kept at it and managed to lose twenty of those pounds. Then I got pregnant again.

I had gained all that weight even when I had tried to eat well and kept up some kind of exercise routine so this time round I decided to say, screw it. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted. I still had exercise (you try not getting any when chasing after a fully mobile toddler) but I didn't care less about the weight I was putting on. I somehow lucked out though. Again, 4 weeks after giving birth to #2, I stepped on the scale and was exactly 2 pounds heavier than I was when I got pregnant. Apparently all the weight gain this time was baby and fluid.

So I tallied it up and plugged all the numbers into the BMI calculator and it tells me that I am way overweight. Thanks. Just the pick me up I needed. I need to lose 25 more pounds to be firmly in the healthy weight zone. I don't think I've ever been that skinny. I think I need to lose ten more pounds before I'm happier with myself. I'm taking it easy with the exercising, but I'm trying to be really good with the food. I know I need to eat healthier and it can't hurt my kids to eat healthier either. Some weeks I do better than others. Last week I lost 4 pounds because I managed to get in 45 minutes of exercise every night and I only cheated a little on the food. This week I've lost almost a pound. I haven't been able to exercise and we've eaten poorly every night. But I'm not beating myself up over it. I'll get there and eventually my stomach will look better. I'll still have my badges of honour, but they will be faded and I'll feel good about myself and that will show in more ways than the purely physical.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Why yes, I am a geek and my interests are varied

I believe I have already come out as a geek on this little blog. I read far more than is healthy for any human being and I enjoy every second of it. Add that to the fact that I mainly read science fiction/fantasy and ancient history text books and I creep ever closer to owning a pocket protector.

My other little obsession is video games. As a teen, I was a console snob. I owned every Nintendo console made (at the time the latest was the Gamecube) and played as much as possible. I was terribly popular with a certain subgroup of boys in my high school. We had epic battles playing Bond on an old N64. (Come on people, paint ball mode!) I eventually branched out and bought a PS2 because DDR was all the rage in our group and I rocked, or at least thought I did. I have a sneaking feeling that I may have won during our little competitions due to lack of proper breast support and a tendency to hop around and not through any skill what so ever.

Now a days between my husband and I we only average a couple hours a week playing on our consoles. We own a Wii (because it's just so cool.... and I felt I needed to continue the tradition) and an Xbox for the online capabilities. I generally get on the Wii for about a half hour a day, and that is me playing Wii Fit. The time spent is fun, but not really playing a video game. My true obsession these days, dare I say it, is WoW.

I admit it. Late at night, after I get my kids off to sleep, I creep into my living room, throw on a pair of headphones and pretend to be an Elf. And kill things. Lots and lots of things. Some days I play for the side of good, some days for the side of evil. I flip flop and have a gazillion toons because my attention span is akin to that of a goldfish. I get bored just hacking my way through levelling and I needed to find out all the story lines for every race so I have at least one of each and then I needed to try out all the different ways to kill things so I've tried every class. I definitely have favourites that I keep going back to, but for variety I like to have a couple toons in different classes and professions levelled about the same so that I don't get bored.

I have decided that this is a fantastic release. I spend all day trying not to get upset at something the Sprogling has done (hitting his sister in the face anyone?) because really? He's a nearly two year old, what do you expect. So I hold it in all day and in the evening I go and bash and cleave things to death. I figure I'm a much better balanced Mommy for doing this and the only things that are getting hurt are pretend creatures, most often some kind of undead or pig.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I love to read. I've had a voracious appetite for books ever since I first realized that words strung together told stories. I have a distinct memory of sitting in my desk at the tender age of six and having an "Ah Ha!" moment and finally figuring out how everything went.

My husband has put a cap on my book spending. I can't do libraries. I am just too freaking lazy to get the books back on time and then after a couple months I just plum forget to take them back at all. So no libraries. And I don't like e-books. There is something almost spiritual about opening a hard back book and hearing that first little crack as the binding bends. Then smelling the ink and flipping to the first page to read the deep black letters on the white page. Mmmmm. So I buy books. Lots of them. They litter my house in piles. They sit in my bathroom, in the living room and all over my side of the bedroom.

I use books as an escape. During my precious hour and a half where my kids naps over lap and that last hour of the day that I sneak in before sleep I dive into different worlds. I read purely fluff these days. No deep thinking. Not when I need the time to let my brain rest and recoup. So I read a lot of fantasy and science fiction and I just block out the rest of the world. I can have whole conversations and never recall what was said. My husband's favourite trick is to start a conversation with me about something

I've recently finished my last stash of books. I'm only allowed a ten author roster at a time so I go through the new books at a steady pace. In desperation I have dug deep into books that I've been carting around for the past couple years and found some classic bodice rippers left behind from when my sister was still living with us. I am appalled at the writing, disgusted by the plots but still I can't put the latest one down. There is something that just keeps me reading even though I can feel my i.q. dropping with every paragraph.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cleaning is the bane of my existence

I hate cleaning. I really enjoy the feeling I get when something is all shiny and clean and pretty, but the actual cleaning to get to that point bites. I once had a job as a maid at a motel. Yah, that lasted all of one week. I don't like cleaning up my own mess, cleaning up other peoples was just too much. It didn't help that the week I worked just happened to coincide with two major festivals in my home town, the annual Elvis festival and a huge Harley Bike show. Do you know how disgusting Elvii can be? *shudder*

When it was just me and the Hubs, I was actually pretty good at keeping our house clean. We had two dogs and two cat's so I ended up vacuuming and sweeping a whole heck of a lot, but it wasn't too bad. I did laundry once a week and put it right away.

When I got pregnant with the Sprogling I ended up spending nearly three months sitting on my ass doing pretty much nothing because I was no longer working or going to school and I felt like hell warmed over. During that time it was really easy to let the dishes slide or to just smell check clothes until there were none left that didn't have a pong.

Now that I have two kids, I totally use them as an excuse to not clean. See, no one else in my limited family/friends that are willing to babysit group can handle both of them. I actually had a friend babysit then for a day and after two years of begging her boyfriend to let them start a family she texted him saying that she no longer wanted kids. I got a heartfelt thank you from her boyfriend. But the fact remains that when everyone else has my kids they experience the full effect and they forgive me a multitude of things because they can't imagine having to cook and clean while juggling both the kids. The truth is that I can manage them. I have more practice.

I sometimes just don't wanna do the floors for the tenth time that day. Or wipe up yet more yogurt from the floor. It just gets tiring. They both make sooo much mess and it take all my time to just keep on par with them. So some days my husband comes home to a sparkly clean house, and others he comes home to a place that looks like I rented it out to the local junk yard. The days that my cleaning sucks, I totally blame it on the kids. "Oh, the Sprogling didn't nap today! There's no way I could have done the dishes when he didn't nap!" or "Little Bit was super clingy and I think another tooth is coming in. I just couldn't do the vacuuming when she wanted to nurse all day."

Yah. Not exactly a good thing to do, using your children as excuses. But something I plan on doing as long as I can possibly manage it.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Master of Messes

My son has a talent for making messes. If there is trouble to be found, he will find it. Usually running at full steam. If there happens to be several messes to be made he will usually find the one that causes the most grief or takes the longest to clean up. We affectionately call him Destructo Boy
and Doom Baby. Take yesterday for instance. Yesterday he decided that it would be a great idea to open up the pantry, take out his sister's baby cereal and methodically shake it all over the kitchen floor. I mean over the entire floor. Frustrating because I didn't even realize he was in the kitchen, but my own darn fault for not being more vigilant.

At Christmas I got a shiny new Iphone from Hubby and it quickly became a treasured and highly used part of my person. Except that I had just given birth to Little Bit two weeks before and was still a little absent minded and exhausted. My son got a hold of it and it disappeared. Gone. Poof. We searched high and low for it and we couldn't find it anywhere. We even opened up venting to make sure he hadn't dropped it down one of the floor vents. I finally went through garbage bags that we had already taken out back and there it was, coated in old macaroni and cheese. He had thrown out my phone for whatever reason that only makes sense in his little baby mind.

I adore my kid but on days like that I just don't understand what he could be thinks. Mostly it's probably just a "If I do x than what happens?" but some days it seems like he's doing it just to spite me. Like he know full well what's in the diaper bag but still feels the need to go through it and empty if of all its contents, even though it doesn't have anything that he actually likes to play with in it (we've taken out the Vaseline). The other times he makes messes, almost not on purpose is just that he runs everywhere. He once ran into a display at the grocery store with spectacular results. He was just going a mile a minute and didn't see it.

Crap. It's gone silent. This can only mean that he's found something to play with that he shouldn't. Gotta go.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

When you have em, but your friends don’t.

So through the wonder that is Facebook I've been slowly, sort of connecting with old friends from high school and beyond. It's been nice and in some cases surreal. Yes, you got it, I got "friended" by the person that tried their best to make my life in living hell. After consideration I decided I didn't want to be mature and sensible and possibly deal with more crap from them and ignored them.

But as I've been talking and reconnecting, it has become ever more apparent that I have little in common with these people any more. I mean they are all nice people, but I dread it when they ask me simple questions like "So what's been going on?" or "What did you do today?"

Because, you know what? They don't want to know. They don't want to know that my son had a diaper blow out and I had to hose him down for ten minutes before I could convince myself to get in there and scrub. They don't understand my joy at how my daughter is now sitting up by herself and starting to eat solid foods, or how that last fact means I have to change both of our clothing after every meal. One friend, a couple years older than me was chatting to me and asked if everything was good, and I said "Yeah! But it's kinda dull to talk about. It's mostly diapers and cleaning over here." He gave the cyber version of a shudder and said "That right there is why I am never having kids." I mean I do understand his point. I had just finished telling him how I spent most of my day changing bums and following behind my toddler cleaning up the messes he made, but it hurt a little. He didn't give me a chance to tell him how lovely it is to pick my son up and have him give me a big hug and a sloppy kiss. Or how my heart melts every time Little Bit smiles at me, showing off both of her teeth.

But really, just as my friends don't want to hear about the blood and gore that comes with parenting, they really couldn't care less about the happy moments either. That picture you have where your kid is making spit bubbles that just about brings a tear to your eye every time you see it? It really doesn't have the same impact on your childless friends. They miss the point.

So now I give a stock answer of "My kids keep me busy" and I move the conversation along. I've discovered that they really would rather talk about their job/clubbing/that person they met in the gym/etc and I would too. Because I know I have the better deal, and right at the moment one of them is dumping animal crackers on the couch which I will have to clean up, but after that, I'm sure to get kisses.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

TV Watchers

We watch TV in this household. Before I had kids I had visions of days spent playing on the floor with my kids, of having peaceful afternoons of snuggling and reading. Then I had The Sprogling and I realized how very lonely and, yes I’ll admit it, boring being at home, alone all day with someone who can’t talk. So I gave up and allowed the TV to be turned on during the day. I do try to keep it off as much as possible but we do have a television watching routine. I plug in a movie when The Sprogling is eating breakfast so that I have that precious half an hour of time to feed Little Bit and clean the kitchen. Not to mention that this is generally the only time during the day I get to go to the washroom all by myself.
I’ll generally try to keep it off until lunch time on good days. On bad days I turn on PlayhouseDisney and hope for the best.
During nap time is Mommy TV time. I put on a PVR’d episode of CSI or Trueblood and sit and enjoy a little gore.
And then the television is completely off until 5 o’clock rolls around. At this time we have a routine. Little Bit goes in her exersaucer for as long as we can get away with and The Sprog and I have a cuddle. We watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. I try to solve the puzzles before the contestants and The Sprog cheers them on. Every time a puzzle is guessed he stands up and claps his little hands wildly, I cheer and laugh at him.
I know there are people out there who would say that I am failing my kids in some way by having the boob tube on so much. And I totally admit, there are days where it is never off. Those are the bad days. But on the days that I have it on, I need every moment that I can glean in order to not pull my hair out or start crafting ebay ads offering up my kids for an extremely reasonable price.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Suck it up Sunshine.

So about a month ago, my family and I undertook a trip, which in retrospect, may have been a little ambitious. Hubby, myself, Grandmama, Auntie J and my two babies under two, decided to go to Disneyland. Yes you read that right. I took two tiny children to Disneyland, even though they will never remember the trip. The actual trip itself went rather smoothly. Hubby and I even got a night by ourselves! The first one in five months! (Why yes, that is the age of my youngest, why do you ask?)

The part that caused the most stress was the flight home. It was an afternoon flight, meaning that the Sprogling, my nearly two year old had missed his nap due to having to be at the airport much too early, because we were flying to another country, yo. So my kid was strung out and tired and frankly, there wasn’t enough chocolate and toys in the world to keep him completely quiet. Now please keep in mind, that we have two itty bitty kiddies at this moment. Do you know what that means on an airplane ride? It means that they can’t sit together in the same block of seats because there is only one extra air mask per row. What that means in the grand scheme of things is that Hubby and I couldn’t sit next to each other and we had to keep passing babies back and forth when one got too tired of trying to wrangle the Sprogling.

So yes, I admit, my kid was in a loud and twitchy mood. But you know what? You could see that as soon as you entered the plane. And yes, we got to enter first, because we had TWO strollers, FOUR carry-ons, and TWO babies to lug onto the plan, so you can just keep the hairy eyeball to yourself, thankyouverymuch. Hubby got the dubious pleasure of having the Sprogling on his lap for takeoff and as such was seated with the Sprogling on his lap long before the rest of the passengers got on the plane. This is when the passenger I am lovingly going to call “Douche” entered the plane. He saw Hubby and the Sprogling. He knew exactly where they were sitting and he came with his lady friend. They had the two seats in front of Hubby. He sat directly in front of Hubby. Then he proceeded to put his seat the entire way back.

In case you haven’t been on a plane in a while, this took the approximate 18 inches of lap space down to maybe an inch and a half. Guess what? When you take away all the space, kids can touch/kick/bump the seat all the easier! Yes, they can! And guess what? That’s exactly what they will do. “Douche” then proceeded to turn around every ten seconds to glare at Hubby and the Sprogling. Finally when it looked like “Douche” was about to punch my toddler in the head, I offered to trade seats with him and his lady friend. After telling us how awful parents we were, they switched. After telling us that “Douche” had just had foot surgery and he really couldn’t be jostled and we should do better to make sure that our kid didn’t kick seats.

Well bless my soul! You just had surgery! I am so sorry! It’s not like you couldn’t see my kid and perhaps ask your lady friend to sit in that seat instead of your poor broken self. And dude. It was your foot. There was actual fairly good leg room on this plan and there is no reason you had to shove your seat all the way back.


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