Tuesday, 22 January 2013

When The 'Hider' is Better Than The 'Seeker'

Folks, we have a bit of a problem in our house these days ... Unbeknownst to us, B's glasses have decided to start a game of Hide and Seek. It isn't the first time this has happened - usually they only outsmart us for a couple of days and hide in the usual places (under the bed, in the drawer, etc.). Except for that one time when they hid under the neighbor's play centre and weren't found for 2 months. That was a good one.

Z's glasses decided to get in on the action one time as well. They weren't nearly as smart or creative as B's.
No, it didn't take long to find those.

At any rate, B's glasses are MIA at present. I've searched the house. I've called every place we have been in the last 4 days to see if they have been turned in to lost and found. I even crawled under my bed to have a look - and while I was disturbed by what I saw, there were no glasses there. Sigh.

The buggars have outsmarted me once again.

So if you see a pair of rogue black glasses running around town, desperate to stay hidden from their far sighted owner, please do my sanity (and my bank account!) a favor and give me a call. Until then, it's back to the trenches  . . .

Found them . . . in a puzzle box. Well played glasses, well played.

Monday, 21 January 2013

We Will Keep You Safe

As a parent, it isn't the call you want to get. But I got it today.

"There has been a bomb threat - all the children have been evacuated and are safe." I can honestly say that my heart stopped for a moment as I heard these words uttered by my child's teacher. I like to live in my little bubble - actually, I prefer to live in my bubble; however sometimes the world has other plans.

Today apparently, is one of those times.

Who knows whether the kid who scribbled the grafitti was serious or not? Whether it was done as a foolish prank, or if there was some sincerity behind it? Unless they catch the culprit, we will probably never know - and even if they do, that information may never come to light. But does it matter, really?

Because this is what I know after my experience this morning:

Our school takes things seriously.

The entire situation, including the evacuation and notification of families, was handled professionally and within appropriate time lines.

There was clear communication, with a strong emphasis on "all the children are safe".

Safety plans were implemented quickly and efficiently.  When I spoke with my son's teacher, and indeed, when I encountered other staff at the evacuation point, they were calm, clear, and concise. When I walked in the door, I felt safe - and it appeared that the children in the environment felt that way too.

And isn't that what is most important? Isn't this the message we want to send our children?

We will keep you safe. We will protect you. You are important to us. We will keep you safe.

Yes, we can focus on the fact that it's terrible that these things happen. That there are people in this world who wish to do harm. That there are selfish people out there who wish to create trouble, chaos, and a sense of fear and feelings of not being safe. There are people who will target the most vulnerable in our community.  All these things are true. And it is unfortunate. And yes, no one is immune (even if we do prefer to live in a bubble).

But today, my school proved to the community that it will do whatever needs to be done to make sure everyone is safe. I am thankful for the Administration, who put our children's safety ahead of education today. I am thankful for the Teachers and the Aides, who calmly assisted our children in leaving the school and moving to a safe location. I am thankful for the Support Staff who greeted us at the door and let us know where to find our children and made sure that all were accounted for. I am thankful for the Bus Drivers who rearranged their day to ensure our children made it home safely. I am thankful for the Parents who assisted with the phone fan out, who made sure that information was disseminated in a timely manner.

These are the things I will choose to emphasize to my children. And these are the things I will cherish about our school. Thank you for making leaving my bubble today just a little bit easier.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Best Morning EVER!

Best Morning EVER!

These were the words shouted at me not long after a very cranky, woken to early, grumblefest that occurred while I was making breakfast.

What can I say? I'm simply NOT a morning person. I probably never will be. My kids on the other hand are all about early mornings. And in many ways, this is a blessing, because I do not have to struggle with trying to get them out of bed and off to school - well, until they are teenagers of course. But at the present time, these early mornings are kicking me in the a$$ so hard I'm sure a shoe (or two!) must be lodged up there!

So what turned it around? What made my kids forget about their uber snarky mother and laugh hysterically, professing to never forget this day?


My mother always told me "you catch more flies with honey than vinegar", but apparently, you can colour the morning awesome by making almost empty honey container farts for 5 minutes straight. It seriously never gets old. My kids were practically falling off their chairs they were laughing so hard. One even exclaimed "You're the best Mom ever!" - wow! That felt good!

But kids are fickle . . . and not long after I reminded them that they had to brush their teeth and get ready for school, I quickly became the enemy once again. Oh well, at least for a brief moment in time, all was wonderful in the world.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

My Secret Day as a Glitter Girl

This Christmas my kids got the best present ever - Glitter Bubble Bath. It is awesome! It smells great, and is, as you can imagine, very sparkly.  They LOVE it and want to have baths all the time.

The other day I decided I was going to have a nice long soak in the tub. It had been rinsed the night before after the kids had their bath, so I didn't really think anything of it. I basked in the heat of the water and relaxed as steam covered the mirrors. After an hour or so, I hauled myself out, dried off, and inadvertantly glanced in the mirror.

Everywhere the water had touched now sparkled. And I mean everywhere. It didn't matter how much I rubbed my body with a towel, I still glistened in a variety of flashy colors. In fact, if someone had taken the time to shine a bright light on me, I'm quite certain I could have passed for a disco ball.
Photo Credit: Greetingskit.com

I accepted my fate. Being a 'glitter girl' was my destiny. For a day or so anyways. I worried that it might be kind of hard to be covered in glitter. My husband would probably wonder what I was up to . . . or more likely, hope I was up to something . . . perhaps both.

In reality - it wasn't soooo bad. Most of me was covered up with clothing, so my secret identity was pretty much safe. I had a close call in the washroom at the theatre later that evening. When I went to flush, I was distracted by an alarming rainbow of color covering the seat. Fortunately I was able to remove the evidence so as not to infect the next unsuspecting user.

My husband wondered why I got undressed in the dark that night, but I kept my secret. There was no reason for him to start being sparkly too - although I'm certain he wouldn't have complained . . . much.

But, like all good things, it had to come to an end. And end it did. When I pulled back the covers and got out of bed the next morning, what was left of my glitter days remained there, scattered all over the sheets. My husband looked at it and exclaimed "What the hell did you eat that made you sweat glitter?!"

B looked at it enviously and remarked how pretty it was. It must have made quite the impression because that morning he put on his very glittery sequinned jacket from his dance costume last year. And he wore it all day under his hoodie. And his pajama's that night.

What can I say, sometimes we all need just a little sparkle in our day :)

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

What's On Your Plate?

My kids are super picky eaters. This makes meal times a real challenge - especially for the cooking impaired. I always struggle with what to serve for dinner, and if I find something that they agree to eat, it is celebration time.

Tonight they were all tired. I could tell the moment they walked in the door. In an effort to get to bedtime faster, I suggested we have a backwards day and I would make pancakes and bacon for dinner.   (Who am I kidding? The only time we ever have pancakes and bacon is in the evening!) They were ecstatic. All of them got in on the action of food prep, and soon, they were seated at the table chowing down.

And that's when it got kinda weird interesting.

Z asked his brother and sister if they liked pigs. They eagerly said yes, and didn't even bat an eye when he exclaimed "can you believe we are eating one of them?!?!"

They continued to eat their bacon, and B stated:

"You know, pig actually tastes better than horse" (in what world did THIS kid come from?)

E exclaimed "People don't eat horses B!" and giggled nervously like she certainly hoped this was true.

And this is where I lost it . . .

Z pipes up "Relax E - only villagers eat horses. Don't worry - we don't have any villagers around here . . . right mom?"

"Uhhhhhhhh . . . no Z . . . no, we don't."

It's been 3 hours and I still can't figure out who the heck the 'villagers' are . . . and part of me hopes I never do!

Monday, 14 January 2013

A New Trend

Do you know what this is?

Obviously it's a calculator - but it's a special calculator. It's a clip on calculator. You know, for those occasions when you want to walk around with a calculator hanging off your shirt pocket. Or want to pretend you are carrying an obsolete pager. I suppose there are many uses for it - but it obviously didn't make a huge market splash because it was relegated to a being a gift in a Christmas Cracker. The one that B opened.

Apparently, he doesn't understand the real purpose of a calculator quite yet as I caught him wandering around the house like this earlier this week . . .

Who knew clip on calculators worked as earrings too? I hope this is just a phase . . .

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Problem Solved!

Success! Leave it to my husband to come up with the perfect solution for how to remember my kids birth date . . . not sure what I'm talking about? Click here to read my last post . . .

I Get This Wrong Every Time

So the other night we went to Family In Line Skate night at the kids school. It was great fun watching the kids try out their 'skate legs', and we all had a fantastic time. Afterwards, we decided to go out for dinner to a local restaurant. What can I say, it seemed like a good idea at the time . . .

Don't get me wrong - our kids and public places have improved their relationship dramatically. We have almost moved past the hiding under the table, countless trips to the bathroom, shrieking at their sibling because they touched your napkin phase . . . but not quite.

It is especially bad when they are overtired. And after in line skating for an hour, at the end of a long day, they were definitely that.

Don't worry - I will spare you the gory details - after all, it is a Sunday, and I don't want to ruin your last free moments before going back to work tomorrow morning. I only share this because in the midst of all this chaos and crankiness, my husband had a moment of brilliance.

"I know exactly how you can remember the kids date of birth" he cried out in excitement.

"If you're gonna say put a reminder in your phone, I'm on top of that already" I grumbled.

"No, no - think of it as a 2--6-- you know - sometimes, that's the amount of booze you need in order to survive the day with these kids!" he replied.

I KNEW there was a reason I married this man!

Friday, 11 January 2013

I Get This Wrong EVERY Time

Most days, I feel like I have it pretty together. I'm not perfect, but I'm OK with that. I may not accomplish everything I set out to do, but I put forth a great effort and am always willing to try. I remember things that are important, and I run a pretty tight ship.

And then I get asked the question. And I fail every time.

What is B or E's date of birth? (I can hear you gasping, btw)

Let's be clear - I can tell you the birth dates of my sisters, my mother, my father, my brothers & sister in law, my two older chidden, my mother and father in law. I can tell you the dates of birth of my 2 nieces and 3 nephews. So why the heck can't I remember the day that the twins were born?!?!

I can tell you all about that day - it was a cold morning, the power went out at the hospital and everything was being run by generators when I went down to the OR. My husband looked like a baker in his white outfit and hat, and I joked with the nurses that he put an extra bun in my oven. I could see the whole c-section by watching the stainless steel OR light reflect back what was happening. There were a ton of people in the delivery room. It would have been nice if someone had placed a calendar on the wall at the end of my bed - but sadly, there was just a notice about how the health region does not tolerate abusive behavior. I can probably quote it for you.

So go ahead, ask me what day they were born . . . and I will look at you and start to panic, as I frantically try to determine whether it was the 25th or 26th. I will search for my husband who will know the answer, and if he is not around, look for anything that might have their date of birth on it. And when all else fails, I take a guess. And not a word of a lie, I'm ALWAYS wrong.

That is why they have a Birthday certificate from Play School that has the wrong date on it. That's why all B's speech assessments and reports have an error on them. And why I had to resubmit their Health Care registrations. Because I always get it wrong.

And each time, I reprimand myself, repeat the date over and over in my head, and vow I will never get it wrong again. I promise that before I register them in something, I will check the date so as not to look like the worlds worst mother when I hum and haw about the date.

So today I registered them for Basketball, and was totally caught off guard when I was asked for their date of birth. I got flustered. I said the 26th. Then I backtracked and said no no - it was the 25th - I think. Yeah. Yeah. It's the 25th.

And I hung up the phone. And I pulled out their passports. And . . . . I guess they will be turning 6 a day early this year.

Son of a . . .

Thursday, 10 January 2013

The 'M' Stands for Mom, NOT Maid

There's something strange in the air at my house lately. At first I passed it off as everyone was just busy caught up in the excitement of their own things. Then I justified it by chastising myself for not putting forth a very good effort or ensuring the kids had something interesting to do. Finally, I came to a disappointing realization and allowed myself to wallow in self pity for a couple days while the world went on without me. (Well, that's not necessarily true . . . more like it took me a couple of days to recover from New Year's Eve . . .) And then, just as I suspected, I was greeted once again by a pig sty.

I'm not talking the typical pig sty that exists in a house occupied by two adults and three children (our oldest is on her own and takes care of her own mess now). You know what I mean - the endless dishes, laundry, and straightening up that comes along with actually living. I'm not even talking about messy bathrooms that need cleaning, floors that need washing, or dusting that needs to be done.

No, I'm talking about the toys that get taken out and are left lying on the floor when finished with. The contents of a closet that sit in a hallway as a result of some work needing to be done on the water filter. The scads of leftover lego pieces strewn all over the floor after the project has been completed.  The stack of papers looking like a leaning tower just waiting to tumble off the nightstand and under the bed. The box of wet outerwear sitting in the front entrance, starting to smell because the owners did not bother to hang them up when they got home. The remnants of a feather boa that met it's demise in a recent tug of war.

And I started to wonder. At what point exactly did I go from being 'the Mom' to being 'the Maid'? Don't get me wrong - I have no problem looking after my family by making sure they are fed and kept in clean clothing. This is part of my responsibility as a stay at home mother. I get that. But is my life's work really about cleaning up other people's sh!$ that they can't be bothered to put away?

Ok, I admit it. I'm really, really cranky about this. Mostly because I take the time to clean things up, only to be confronted with a new mess a mere hour later. And believe it or not, I do make my kids (and husband) help me. Whenever possible, I try to emphasize the importance of cleaning up before moving on to the next task/activity. That chores need to be done before we do things that are fun and interest us.  To no avail. Not even an inch of headway. I explain that if we all work together, and put away our stuff consistently, then there will be more time to do fun things as a family. I am greeted with whining and complaining rather than enthusiasm and willingness.

So I'm going to start implementing these rules:

  1. If you get it out, put it away when you are finished with it.
  2. If you need help putting it away, ask me nicely and say Thank You when we are done.
  3. Every night before bed, everything needs to be put away. If you choose not to, the garbage can is always hungry, and I love to feed it.
  4. I LOVE to hear the sound of Lego being sucked up by the vacuum. If you don't, make sure you put it away or I will make you listen to it :)
  5. Saturday mornings are for chores. Do them and I promise we will do something fun afterwards.
  6. If you leave your stuff out and I have to pick it up, I will bill your Dad $100/hour to do it for you.  And because I want some new Lululemon stuff, I will be sure to take my sweet time doing it.

Got any other suggestions? I would love to hear what works for you and your family because I know for a fact that this doesn't just happen in my house . . . 

I sure hope this works - if not, well, I guess I'll have some material for a few new blog posts, right? 

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

What's Your Mood?

It appears there is a new player in the Grocery Game.  Sobeys now has an app that will match your mood with their food. I'm not kidding. I got the flyer in my bag this afternoon. See?

So I checked it out. In my opinion, they are missing a few moods . . . such as:

Wanna Stick Someone with a Pin
Ripping My Hair Out
Ready to Give Away Children

or my personal favourite:
I Don't Give A Rats Ass

I've sent in my feedback. Hopefully my suggestions will be included in the future. Until then, it's just me and my list that got left on the counter at home.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

The Runaway

It was one of those days where I woke up thinking "I am going to get so much done today", and I was actually excited to get started. Cue grumpy kids. Seriously grumpy kids.

That's OK, I thought to myself, I'll just engage them by bribing offering a reward for their cooperation. Easy peasy, right? Wrong.

I told them that if they helped me to clean up the house today, then we would go to WalMart when their older brother got home so they could spend the gift cards they got for Christmas. They whooped with glee, high fived one another, and shouted, "what do you want us to do?". I helped them tidy their rooms and load up the laundry hampers, then left them to put away all the stuff we pulled from under the bed while I went to feed my washing machine.  By the time I had sorted and started the laundry, a mutiny was occurring. I winced as I heard the screams of laughter echoing down the stairwell, and knew that it wasn't going to be good. And it wasn't.

Let's just say that the day only went downhill from there. After several reprimands and a few time outs, they decided they 'hated this place' and were moving in with the neighbors'. We talked about this for a bit, and my son decided he'd rather just stay here. My daughter was adamant she was leaving. I suggested she might want to start thinking about what she was going to pack.

She asked for a suitcase. I suggested she use plastic bags. She agreed. An hour later she was in the front entrance with 8 bags of 'necessities'. I listened as her brother asked why she was taking her crocs. Her reply? Well, I need to have summer shoes of course. Hmmmmm . . . appeared she was thinking long term then.
Almost ready to go . . .

Finally she was finished, and asked when we could leave. I apologized for the misunderstanding, and stated that I was afraid she would have to walk. I encouraged her to rethink her packing, as carrying 8 large bags of clothing to the neighbors' house might not be all that easy.

In the end, she reorganized things, stood at the door, and stated, "well, guess I'll see you at Kindergarten Graduation". I reminded her to brush her teeth and call home every once and a while, gave her a hug, told her that I loved her, and wished her all the happiness in the world in her new home. And then she left.

She actually dragged her two big bags of clothes and heavy back pack full of shoes for every occasion all the way to the neighbors' house!

Shortly after she left, I went over to pick her up. I would have gotten there a lot faster except I had to keep stopping to pick up various items such as a bodysuit, fur vest, and sequinned gloves that had somehow fallen out of her bag during her trip.

After we had a cuddle and some dinner, I asked her if she thought she would ever run away again. She looked me in the eyes and said:

"sure, but I'm really going to need a suitcase next time".


Monday, 7 January 2013

You Call THAT Parking?

The other night we went to see The Hobbit.

The parking lot for the theatre was full, and as usual, people had parked like jackarses in the lot beside.

See those signs in the picture? They say - Staples Customer Parking Only. All Others Will Be Towed.

Apparently you can get around this little requirement by parking behind the invisible car full of people who are currently searching for office supplies. No word of a lie, there were 8 cars parked like this!

People really are sheep, aren't they?

Sunday, 6 January 2013

It's Stuck!

The other day my son started hollering in a panicked voice from the washroom. My husband went rushing to his side to see what in the heck was going on.

Turns out the poor kid had an accident . . . and there was pee everywhere.

"What happened?" my husband asked in disbelief.

"It was stuck!" sobbed my son.

"What do you mean, it was stuck?" my husband asked.

"My penis was stuck - you know - on the thing that holds it" wailed my son.

Darn nuts anways. Oh well, at least I got a free bathroom clean out of the deal.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Just Say NO To Crack (and Camel Toe too!)

I went shopping for new jeans yesterday. My husband couldn't understand why. He said "But you already have three pairs!". He fails to take into account that one pair is too small, one pair just fits, and the other pair has developed a massive hole in the crotch. While he may be ok with walking around airing his junk, I am not. So shopping I went.

This is what I don't understand about jeans.

WTH is with a Low rise?

Okay, I get that 'Mom Jeans' weren't really all that sexy, but honestly - can you tell me that a bulging muffin top from having four kids is? Seriously, even if the waistband isn't super snug, I got so much belly going on I practically knock myself out from the flapping up and down when I walk. I need something that will hold all that stuff in - not create a walking one woman 'wave'.

Not to mention the fact that when I bend over, a full moon rises. Does anyone really want to see that? I want to scrawl "Just Say NO to Crack" across my lower back and then head to the mall and pick up my kids a thousand times, just to see if anyone would notice. Who knows, one picture and my ass might just go viral! I could be famous!

In an effort to keep from blinding some poor stranger, I end up having to hike up my pants a thousand times just to keep my cheeks in check . As I was doing so one day, my husband asked just how big of a camel toe I was trying for. Needless to say, he didn't get lucky that night. I hope he's learned his lesson.

But yesterday I was lucky. I went to Upper Level Street Wear in Lacombe and the sales lady was super helpful. Even though there was a very limited selection in my size, she found a couple good pairs to choose from. When I checked myself out in the mirror, the fit was great, the muffin minimal, and I swear when I turned around, my ass winked at me. Sold.

Best of all, I was in and out in less than 30 minutes and I left feeling great about myself.

I may just have to go shopping for jeans again next week ;)


This morning I was talking to my youngest daughter about her upcoming day at Kindergarten. She has a phenomenal teacher who engages the kids like nobody's business, and is always coming up with creative ways to facilitate learning in a fun, playful way.

Today, they are taking a trip to China. They have been stoked for it from the moment they walked in the door last night. My daughter informed me at bedtime that in order to get the most out of her trip, she needed to 'wear something awesome'. She then told me I had better think long and hard about what that might be, because she didn't want to look silly. 

This morning I set out her very fancy dress and vest that she had received from her Grandma for Christmas. She was thrilled. We then set out to braid her hair. She could hardly contain her excitement as she exclaimed ...

"We are going to China today! It's sure a good thing I look stunning!"

I couldn't help but smile to myself. After all, not many 5 year olds care whether they look stunning or not. Then she shared this little gem . . .

"Sure do hope I don't drop a firebomb like this on the plane" at which point she let the longest, loudest, ripper fart go. 

So much for classy. Sigh.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Da*# Acronyms

When it comes to my intellect, there are three things I take pride in. First is my spelling, second is my memory, and third is my ability to remember what acronyms stand for.

Tonight I was challenged. Leave it to a 7 year old to get me all riled up and flustered. Ok, to be fair, this all went down after I was off the clock - so in reality, I probably wasn't as engaged in the conversation as I could be.

This is kind of how it went . . .

Z:  I know what LOL means - laugh out loud!
Me (reading Twitter): You got it! Now roll over and be quiet. It's bedtime.

Z: How about this one Mom? PMK
Me (thinking wtf?): I don't know. It's time for bed. Please go to sleep.

Z: It stands for Popular Mechanics for Kids.
Me (thinking how the heck was I supposed to know THAT?!?!): Z, you need to be quiet and go to sleep.

Z: Hey Mom! How about KFC?
Me (distracted): Kentucky Fried Children . . . Hand over mouth. blink. blink. (did I SERIOUSLY just say that?!)

Z (sounding very nervous): Uh . . . Mom?
Me (play it cool, play it cool): Yes?

Z: Does that mean we ate a KID at Grandma's house that one time?!

At which point I realized two things:

1. Sleep was not going to come quickly tonight.
2. My plan to serve Kentucky Fried Chicken for dinner tomorrow night has pretty much been shot to hell.

Sigh. It's great to know that even though it's a new year, I can still manage to freak the heck outta my kids.