Tuesday, October 27, 2009

DO NOT pick your nose and eat it

I have observed the following grossness in every walk of life, despite race, religion, and socio-economic background every child will at some point pick his or her nose AND potentially- yes- EAT it. For some reason, despite the absolute grossness, picking of the nose knows no boundaries.

Now I know this is an uncomfortable topic, but some things need to be addressed. This subject came up one day in our household with one of our children.

I was yuckily-surprised to see one of my offspring participating in such a repulsive act, but like I said- the nose knows no boundaries.

I addressed it like this...

FIRM VOICE, "do NOT pick your nose- it is gross! AND NEVER eat it! That's DISGUSTING! If you've got a little-something up there- go to the bathroom and clear it out privately with a tissue, but DON'T pick it in public!" (repeated 3+ times)

My husband seeing the same problem arise AGAIN and hoping to rid us of the debacle with no further reminders addressed it like this...

Father to child, "Are you picking your nose and eating it? No we don't do that. Come here."

He opens our kitchen compost- chalk full of rotten, decomposing food and floor sweepings.

Then he says to our little one, "see this. This is the no good stuff left-over from the food. Would you eat this?"

Child, "No."

Father, "Your snot is like the no-good stuff left-over from your body. If you pick your nose and eat it, it is like eating the compost. If you pick your nose and eat it- you won't have any friends."

Child, "okay."

The End

Moral of the story: If you pick your nose and eat it you are a disgusting person and no will ever want to be associated with you.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween Babies

While talking one day, my sister-in-law told my brother-in-law (her husband) that they would be dressing my 8-month old niece as a chicken for Halloween.

Disgusted by the apparent "sissyness" of a chicken, my brother-in-law said:

"that isn't scarey!"

My sister-in-law reminded him that she didn't necessarily want their daughter to be frightening, to which my brother shared his idea of a great baby costume:

"I thought we could dress her up as a maggot".

Celebrity Status

My children all look very much alike as babies: round, chubby faces, huge eyes, little noses, and rosy mouths.

When my oldest daughter was a baby people (friends and strangers alike) frequently remarked about her resemblance to the Gerber baby. I heard the comment so often that I called Gerber to see if they had a baby contest. They informed me that at Gerber they believe ALL babies are beautiful and that they didn't distinguish between any of them. (Obviously ALOT of people thought they had a Gerber Baby and Gerber didn't wish to notify them otherwise).

When my daughter became a toddler the comments were more about the Copperrtone Kid and Cindy-Lou Who, and since her toddler years reference has been made to Tinkerbelle.

All this said, I wasn't particularly surprised when a friend told me that my second daughter resembled someone famous. My girls look very similar so I thought it was one of the above-mentioned "celebs". My friend told me it was not any of them but couldn't quite put his finger on it.

One day while at a church social, my friend was observing my daughter. A lightbulb clicked.

He approached me and with his finger in the air, he said, "I know who [she] looks like now!"

Waiting for a foreseeable response I asked, "who?"

His answer: "An Ewok!"

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Unwritten Childhood Rites of Passage

1. They will flush something down the toilet that they shouldn't (more than once)

2. They will write on things that are not paper- i.e. your walls, your table, your furniture, your floor

3. They will break valuable items

4. They will eat a non-food item and you will call Poison Control

5. They will fart or burp louder then a man (when they are the size of a mans arm), and they will occassionally do this in an inappropriate location.

6. They will put EVERYTHING in their mouth- for what seems like forever

7. They will copy what you say

8. They will fall out of bed

9. They will bleed or break

10. They will NO MATTER how ZEN you or they are: hit, kick, punch, scream, bite, and/or scratch their siblings.

11. They will slime something somewhere i.e. icecream on your kitchen floor, diaper cream all over their bodies, lotion on your carpet

If you have kids you just did the check-list and started remembering the crazy days of motherhood... feel free to share what your kid ate, slimed, wrote-on, or broke in your comments!

Tanya the "Vampire"

Since Halloween is fast approaching- I thought this story would be a fun one to share. It happened before I had kids- but all these things bring us experience!

I've known my friend Tanya for along time. Like- I don't know- I'm going to say 12 years- maybe more?- probably more. I don't know. Anyways- we'll just go with twelve... and in all that time not once have I looked at her and thought: "gee you look like a vampire maybe I should slay you." Nope not once.

One night somewhere just before or after Christmas of 2000, my boyfriend, my friend, and I went to "my house"- (this was the house my friend Kristiane so kindly let me co-habit while she house-sat and took care of a mentally-ill Dalmatian). There were a number of our mutual friends over as we were having some sort of low-energy output, big-calorie consumption shindig.

We go to the door expecting to hear the hustle and bustle of comrades in the full swing of fun, but instead we are greeted by a little note letting us know that Tanya is at emergency and everyone has gone. As you can well imagine we are concerned- I mean if everyone has gone AND the word "emergency" has been used it must be bad.

We step inside for a CSI moment. There on the dining room floor is a wooden chair: one leg broken and the end smeared with blood. No "spatter" or "pooling"... just the tip- gross none the less.

We figure this is serious enough for us to join the party at the hospital. When we arrive, the inner waiting area is packed with our little party of well-wishers- each and all crossing their fingers that Tanya will be "alright".

"What happened?" we ask- and I believe the following account can only be attributed to a vampire- slaying ghost from the netherworld.
Tiny-Tanya had sat upon a usually sturdy wooden chair when it suddenly collapsed from under her- the back leg breaking into dagger-like form and then somehow? (who knows how? I'm not sure a physics-major would know how?) forcefully lodged itself in her upper leg just below her butt- sending her and all her friends to the emergency room to see if she might need stitches.

She has steely eyes, and she's pretty fair complected; she does have dark hair... but her teeth are pretty normal, and she seems to go to bed at a reasonable hour so I don't know why anyone would associate her with the count... but I'm pretty sure a ghost name Buffy is out to get her.

The new Benefiber

My 5-year old daughter recently had breakfast at her great grandparents. On the menu was wheat-puffs. She gobbled up most of the contents of her bowl and then went off to play. Her great-grandfather (we call him "the great-grampa") threw the remainder into the toilet, but didn't get a chance to flush it before my daughter had to make a quick trip a la potty.

Apparently she DID NOT notice the wheat puffs before she did her business.

After flushing the toilet and noticing the wheat puffs going down, she emerged from the bathroom and exclaimed:

"boy those went right through me!"

Friday, October 16, 2009

Bucko Going Bananas

(I originally wrote this a few years ago)

Some times I yell. Some times I think my neighbours think I am crazy. Sometimes I wish they read my blog and know why my voice escalates decibels...

The following incident I truly believe all stems from our governments irresponsible advertising of gambling. More than a year ago my oldest daughter started recognizing "Bucko" on TV like other kids might recognize Mickey Mouse or Dora the Explorer. (For all of my non- local friends "Bucko" is the lame local lotto mascot- a loonie with a smiley face scrawled on it in black indelible marker, taped to the end of a tongue depressor. They use this thing in commercials to somehow entice you to gamble. I don't know any adult convinced that Bucko will bring them luck and smiles but I do know one toddler. With her deep-seeded belief that Bucko is good, there is no doubt the newest Lotto 649 commercial also yielded a strong impression on my little one and whetted her appetite of interest... I will continue with this after I paint the picture of this morning's calamities...

So my daughter ate some yogurt and a BANANA for breakfast. She and my baby proceeded to empty all the footwear from the front closet... fairly regular occurrence- really need some doors on that thing. So here I am cleaning it up, not teaching my kid any lessons about responsibility, because I'm trying to teach her a lesson about time-management and we have got to get to swimming lessons.

Tinkle, tinkle, tinkle. No, nooo, noooooooooooooooooooooo... I turn around... you think I'm going to say she broke some glass, or was peeing on the floor, or tapping on something... no none of the above is correct. In fact my little daughter was mimicking the latest and greatest escapades displayed in the ridiculous marketing schemes of the Lotto 649- she was swinging from the chandelier!

Today I yelled.

From this day forward we are cutting back on bananas.

Luxury Fabrics

I just went to put on my pjs. My selection is small- but ample enough that I am in no way actually forced to wear the following: pants cast-off from my mother-in-law approximately five or so years ago. They have ample room (three sizes too big), a drawstring/elastic waistband combo(for comfort and serious sizing), two generous side pockets(perfect for holding tissues, or too-tiny-toys that must be placed in pocket before placed in baby), slightly tapered legs (harder for heat to escape)... and completely made of the warmest, softest, mosty snugly... fleece.

I actually love them, but it's a very unhealthy relationship. It's like the guy you should never like because he'll bring out the worst in you, make you look bad, and somewhere along the way while he's using you- embarass you shamelessly in front of your friends and family. Only after tossed to the side do you realize how ridiculous it all is- but never in the moment can you see it- that is what these pants are like. I know that we shouldn't be together- in fact I've tried a number of times to break it off.

I've looked in the mirror and seen what these pants do to me- they give me serious hips that I don't actually have and make it impossible to tell I have anything at all to sit on. They look sloppy and unkept despite their brand name label. I've put the pants in the give-to-some-one-who-needs-it-more-and-hopefully-has-no-taste bags- but couldn't let them go and took them out. I've worn them in public, in private, and while pregnant. But recently I decided I needed to just face the facts- we're not good together. So I took the pants a' painting. And there I accidentally brushed up against some moss green kitchen paint and planted a stain on these otherwise pristine fleece creations. I thought then it was over- I thought then I could say my goodbyes. It should have been easy- these pants are not even just ugly they're now "soiled"... even when washed- to wear them would be shameful- embarassing not simply because they look unfashionable but because they now appear unfashionable AND homeless. Who wants to date someone like that? But they're warm and they wrap me up and hug me like a blanket everytime I put them on. And who wouldn't want to date someone like that?

So tonight I find myself looking deep into the recesses of my closet- for the warm hug - but it is not there. I'd like to tell you we've split up- the pants have gone to rags, or a painter in the artic is happy to see them round out his or her collection- but I must admit the truth... they are in the laundry- waiting for me, calling me by name- saying "I require no maintenance, I keep you warm, I've been loyal, you know you love me- I'm "Wash and Wear"- what more could a girl want? I'm a luxury fabric.

The Good Life: My Version

Fresh Flowers
Clean, organized, functional & pretty house
Happy children
Warm bread out of the oven
No debt
Quiet evenings
Crackling fire in a fireplace
Good books/ great reads
Lots of laughter
Warm hugs
Crisp autumn air
Yummy, smell-good, taste-good restaraunt
Hot showers

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I Believe This

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
Its our Light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented or fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of GOD!
Your playing small does not serve the world!
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of GOD that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; its in everyone.
As we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others."
- Not Ghandi

He's Got Talent

My husband is a really great guy. He's got a good sense of humour, a huge work-ethic, and he's pretty cute to boot. Another thing he's got is serious-talent. Here are two kitchens he designed and built from scratch.

The dark kitchen has a concrete countertop & handmade cabinets & island- all made from raw materials by my husband with the assistance of his brother.

The cream kitchen has a finished wood countertop & handmade cabinets - all made from raw materials. My father-in-law helped assemble the countertop.

Birthing is not for the Faint of Heart or Otherwise

Whenever a friend has their first child I almost get giddy with excitement to hear the play by play. As I have learned (others will argue differently) there is NOTHING that will ever FULLY prepare you for childbirth. No videos, no books, no helpful hints, tricks, or countless first-hand experiences: NOTHING. That is not to say you can't get an IDEA of what it will be like- but full understanding is almost impossible until you've done it.

My first child-birthing experience was rather dramatic and drugged (not the kind that helps with pain- just the kind that makes you loopy). Simply put: it hurt a lot and I thought I was going to die (I really did think I was dying- although it is embarassing you can confirm this with my doctor). Luckily for me my delivery time was very short- from hospital arrival to babe in arms was about 2 1/2 hours. Although my husband felt a bit queasy from the "smell" and visual of "all the blood", he was there for me and I appreciated that.

When baby number two was due to arrive I was nervous, but I knew what to expect, how to respond, and based on previous experience I felt I probably would not die. I waited for that kid for what seemed like forever, but finally (two-weeks less a day overdue) I was induced.

My husband (who has far too often belittled my pain-threshold) and I went to the hospital. The medical staff worked their magic and we waited for the pain to start and the baby to come on out.

As the pain peaked, I decided I would get the epidural. All of my friends swore by it, and as my labour intensified from mild to moderate to near nasty-nasty I thought I'd take their advice and try it.

The anesthesologist entered my room and began to prep my back. She gave me instructions as exactly how to sit and instructed me to stay perfectly still. They got my husband to stand in front of me to help me maintain the necessary position as I sat on the edge of the bed.

I was concentrating on breathing and getting through the pain when I heard the anathesiologist instruct statue-as-I-could-be-me to "stay still!"

What was she talking about? I was still- as still as I could be. And then I realized what was happening. Ker-plop my husband fainted on the floor. The call-button was pressed and a slew of medical staff came rushing in to help the mother in peril- which turned out to be the father in peril.

He puked while I had a massive needle stuck in my back. He slept while a nice nurse held my hand. My doctor finally woke him up as our daughters head was crowning. He sat sort of listless and watched her come out. I would have felt sorry for him- except I was busy giving birth. It was THE sweetest vindication for all the pain-threshold mockery I've endured over the years. And so I laugh. I laugh A LOT everytime I think of it. I'm chuckling as I type.

The BEST part of the whole thing was that the following Sunday we saw some friends who had gone to the same hospital to visit other new-parent friends of theirs. Their friends told them all about this poor guy who'd passed out the day previous while his wife was delivering- and low and behold- it was US!

Beautiful Irony

This child has sleeping issues. I got a book from the library about dealing with said issues. She curled up, like a cat on the arm of the chair, and fell asleep beside the book... about sleeping.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Manners, manners, where are my manners?

When my oldest daughter was just over two years old Halloween rolled around. Dressed up as Cindy-Lou Who she was as cute as could be. We took her trick-or-treating door-to-door. It went a little something like this:

Approach door.

Knock or ring bell.

Treat-giver opens door, smiles, says hello, and oogles a little.

We tell our little one to say "trick or treat".

She says "twick ooo tweet" in just-turned-two-English.

Thank-you is prompted for which she adds "'appy 'al-ween!" ...

Door after door after door.

Nearing the end of our short (for an adult, long for a toddler) door-to-door adventure we come upon a house where we begin the regular routine. This time the lady is elderly. She recognizes that my daughter is Cindy-Lou Who. She comments on her cuteness and striking resemblance to the actual character. She generously coos, oogles, and exclaims over this tiny-little-thing all dressed up- all through the screen door.

Now I would like to assure you that if my daughter had have been even- maybe 2 1/2, 3 or 4 I would have been shamefully embarassed over the following, but as she was just-barely-not-one and was able to articulate what is shortly to follow: I am still laughing 3 years later.

Obviously concerned about her treats, that barely-not-one year-old looked that nice old lady square in the eye and losing patience strongly directed her, "open the door lady!"

A Sticky End Note

When my oldest daughter was a baby my friend and I took her and my friends son to Toys R' Us. They were both probably about 18 months old or younger- so the trip was definitely more for us and less for them. My little girl started fussing a bit so I grabbed a toy off the shelf for her to look at whilst we strolled on to the next isle. In very few minutes I noticed my daughter full-out chewing on something and feared that she'd chomped off the end of the toy package- that would have been lucky. Instead when I pinched her cheeks...

out popped...

a wad of ABC gum!!! Apparently someone else had use for the toy before we did.

Never Leave A Child Unattended

We've been renovating our house since the day we moved in. My husband was mudding the basement. I was at the fabric store. The phone rang... the toddler and the "mud" were left in the same room and... well you can see what happened.

Good Friend, Bad Luck

A few months ago one of my pretty much official best-friend-forever-friends called to tell me a little story. With permission I now re-tell it- oh and I laugh as I do.

My friend and I have a notorious streak of bad-luck. I've come to realize that this "bad luck" might actually be my personal "good fortune" as, when combined with a good sense of humour, provides for A LOT of laughter. For the purposes of this story I will refer to my friend as "Katie"- (not to be confused with any friends I have who may or may not be named Katie).

"Katie" and I have a few things in common (outside of our "luck")- one of the minor majors is stuffing as much activity as we can in the least amount of time possible- including sleep. So one day, like most days, Katie decides to get up for work a little bit later than perhaps she should- and blow dry her hair. Hair finished, but now running late, she rushes out the door to discover it is POURING rain. Only meters to her car- she dashes, (hoodless) and arrives at it's door where she plans to quickly duck inside. In the moments of hand on handle- a nearby car zooms through an even nearer puddle and drenches her. Soaked, and disappointed to have dried her hair on such an occasion, Katie must still keep to schedule. An errand must be run prior to work and time is of the essence. She figures she can blast the heat in her car and dry out reasonably well on her lengthy commute- thereby negating the need to change. She makes it to her next stop. Opens the door. Her pant led catches on a latch and she falls. Splayed on the ground with one leg still hooked to the car a car zooms by, through a puddle, and finishes the job!

My Husband Has ADD or least He hopes

A few years ago my step-mother-in-law (long title- but you get the relationship) told me that- "hyper-focusing" and "perfectionism" can be signs of ADD. I was really surprised. I grew up with a cousin who had ADD, and classmates with ADHD who were flying off the walls. These kids could never sit still, and so my vision of ADD/ ADHD has always been ignorantly limited to my memories of these individuals behaviours.

In Grade 9 I had two ADHD kids who sat side-by-side. I can remember fists flying and wrestling moves in the classroom after one kid said something the other kid didn't fully process, jumped to conclusions and subsequently (as well as LITERALLY) onto the other kids back. Quite eventful.

Although my husband can NEVER sit still- he is not so quick to jump to conclusions, and he focuses incredibly well. Not until the SMIL comment did I even ponder the idea of adult-ADD, but since then- well I've thought of it quite a bit!

So the other day when a documentary came on TV about Adult ADD I was all over that thing. I was in the kitchen, pulled up a stool and thought: "by the end of this I will be able to diagnose yeah or nay on the ADD!" (say ADD in french and the whole thing rhymes. ***CHEESE***)

About 20 minutes into the program I was surprised at how ACTUALLY Adult-ADD my husband sounded: paces constantly while on phone, has difficulty completing tasks, incredibly creative, hyper-focuses on a topic of interest etc. Could it be true? Could he have ADD?

While completely intent on the program and searching for evidence of the presence of the disorder in our home, my husband (who is planning on going to University next semester after a 10+year hiatus) lands in the kitchen and asks what I am watching. I openly explain to him that I am learning about ADD and will be diagnosing him by the end of the show. He excitedly asks, "oh really?! How do I get diagnosed? Do you think I could get some scholarships with that?"

I Wanna Win a Webby

I am of the notion: "go big or go home". Currently my plan is to do both- well at least the "big" and the "home" part, (substituting the "go" with "stay"). So just like a slew of other women, I too wish to [remain] a stay-at-home-mother- and my blog is going to help me do it.

How you ask? Well I'm going to win a Webby, and I'm going to meet Oprah (as well as perhaps lesser-known David Bednar and Julie Beck), all the while earning an income and living my writing passion.

Tall order? YES... but some one's got to do it- and I always like to say (though I don't gamble) "SOMEBODY has to win the lottery- so why not me?"