Thursday, 3 April 2014

So THAT's why the snail was free

Alternate title:  Never Always Look a Gift-Snail in the... Mouth?

The damn snail just had babies.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Sunday Funday

(Alternate title:  Free snails!)

Quick update on a fun day today:  We woke up to see a TON more snow.  Boo, hiss, etc.

But, as I had really only made 5 snowmen this year, and all of them were about 12 inches high, I decided that maybe, just maybe, winter was waiting for me to make a nice, big snowman before it went away for, oh, 4 months or so.

Tamsin was still napping, so out we went.  I made the bottom, Vaughn rolled the middle, and Ailsa made the head.  We all gathered pinecones for the eyes and smile, and Ailsa had the honour of stabbing it in the face with a carrot poking the nose in.  Tadah!  Below, the kids pose, proudly, with their creation.

I went inside, brought Tamsin down for her snack, and made a tasty cilantro soup while the kids continued to frolic with their frosty new friend.  A while later, I called them in. 

"Where's the snowman?" I asked.  He wasn't standing where I had left him.

They pretended not to hear me.

(Did anyone else get cold chills?)

As for the aforementioned snail, Scuba Gooding, Jr. (the second) has been creating algae in his tank lately.  We went to St. Laurent to pick up something to help that this morning, and the woman at the pet store recommended a plectra.  "But we're out, so how about a snail?"

We picked out a snail, which the kids immediately christened "Snaily", and I reached for my wallet... uh oh.  She slid the water-filled bag towards me and said, "Pay me later.  I trust you."

DING DING DING - free snails at St. Laurent!

Just kidding.  We drove home, I got my wallet, and we went back.  She actually looked surprised when I showed up with the $3.50.

"What happens if he doesn't make it?" I asked.  "Is there a 7-day guarantee on snails?"

"No," she said.  "But if he doesn't live for a full week, your next one is 50% off."


So, Scuba now has an Odd-Couple-esque sidekick, who is a compulsive cleaner... now that he's come out of his shell, if you will.  He didn't move for a nervewracking 7 hours, and I was all set to go pick out a $1.75 replacement in the morning, but he's up and running like a Dyson.

I managed to talk the kids out of "Snaily", but at a cost:  I present to you "Divey" the snail.  Last name:  Jones, of course.  Ba-dum.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Fools and children

Well, it's my fault for being vain, I suppose.  My ego had a serious check yesterday when I was getting ready to go out for the day with Ailsa.

I put on my sunscreen first, and she ran over, asking for whiskers.  Whiskers are kind of a big deal in our house, and fairly often, one or all of the kids have them painted on their cheeks.  On extra-special days, they also have little red kitty noses.  (Perhaps this is why the littlest one meows so much.)  But I digress.

So, I'm pulling out the eyeshadow, and Ailsa asks me, "What is that for?"

"Well, Mommy is silly and vain, but I'll show you," I said, and decided to do one eye at a time, to show her the amazing and incredible transformation that makeup effects on me.

I started with a shimmery beige shadow, and closed one eye.

"Why does your eye go all scrinchy?"

"Um, I closed it, and it..."

"No, Mommy, it's still all scrinchy," which I sensed is a pre-schooler's word for wrinkled and/or crone-like.

Moving on.  I pulled out the accent colour for the crease, to increase definition and make my eyes look bigger.

"It still looks wrinkly."

Deep breath.  I grabbed a brown eyeliner.

"That makes your eye look dirty."

At this point, my fists are clenched.


"Can I have some?"

"No, it makes your eyelashes look all dark, and you already have lovely dark eyelashes."  I finished up the one eye and I looked at her.  "Can you see the difference between my two eyes?"

"No.  Can I have whiskers?"


Serves me right for thinking well of myself.  Sigh.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Oh, blarg.

Last night, I went out to spend my four years of accumulated wealth /gift cards at lululemon (thanks, Ryan!)… it would have been amazing, but I had a bit of an existential crisis (only partially kickstarted by the unflattering lighting in the dressing room) and only bought a pair of comfy (yet awesome) pants (which need hemming but have a drawstring at the bottom), a top (still at store, getting hemmed so that it’s not a dress) and a $12 hairband… and I still have $78 left! 

Note: hairbands don’t work on me, as they always squick-ptoing off the back of my head, but this one held up for 130 burpees/pushups/and situps. 

Starting at 9:20 pm, after the shopping spree. 


Let’s start with that: for no good reason, I’m participating in a challenge to do 10,000 burpees, pushups and situps by May 12.  At the beginning, the math showed me that I would have to do 112/day to make it. Not bad, I thought. But when you factor in the “every day” part, it gets a lot harder, fast. Some days I only do 30. Some days I do 130 – depends on how I feel, where I am, and what I have going on. The math currently has me needing 116/day. I do try to make time, however, for the daily “I hate you” email to Sean, who laid down the challenge in the first place.  Needless to say, my gym time has been substantially reduced, as I need to also be able to teach my class without getting injured. 

Early observations, aside from “Sean Sucks,”* are that boy, 100 situps a day sure do make my abs look good.  If I keep this up after May 12, I’ll have a six-pack for the rest of my life!** Also, the burpees, even spaced out in increments of 10, 15, or 20, sure have an impact on my metabolism!  Unfortunately, the lack of extra weight training means that I feel slimmer, but not really tighter. Anyway, the takehome is that I am obviously insane, as there is really no reason to be doing this, and that Sean sucks. 

The rest of my annual crisis (which, if you know me, is late – it usually hits in February) consists of trying not to think about everything else that I am juggling right now.  A soul sucking job that is beneath me but that is wonderfully flexible and considerate of my fragile state.  A house that is aggressively entropic managing to stay clean and neat with the help of my Very Serious Scheduling and wonderful nanny.  Three children, whom I love and... love and love, despite the fact that they drive me crazy 95% of the time, and whom I feel so guilty for not being with all the time and also for not wanting to be with them most some of the time.  Not enough sleep, ever.  No time for just me, ever.  And, against all better judgement, I dyed my hair to "brighten it up".  To (probably misquote) Cathy Guisewite, "May I assume that I don't look like the woman on the box?"  No, no I don't.  Also, I have to take the car in for service.  I have to paint the basement stairs.  I have to keep clearing out the garage.  I have to post our condo on kijiji.  I have to do my nails.  I have to prepare for my Attack class.  I have to make healthy meals and pack lunches and drink more water and do laundry and be a grownup, when all I want to do is to go to bed for two weeks, and wake up to spring!  Preferably on a beach somewhere.  Drunk.

Chris and I had a text conversation this morning, in which I told him that I needed either a time machine or a limitless bank account to make me feel ok about the morning I'd had. 

Limitless? he asked.  Well, I need a personal assistant, a maid, a cook, all new clothes, a live-in nanny, plastic surgery, a chauffeur, and spa treatments.  And a pool boy.

And a pool?  he asked.

What?  Why would I need a pool?  

* My only consolation is that he is also in pushup hell. 

** Expectation that I will still do 100/day after May 12: zero. Expectation that I will do 20/day after May 12: also zero.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Saturday Night!!!!

Original post title:  "A is for Anal" - I figured that it might bring too many unsavouries (or expectations) to the post.

Guess what I did last night????

Well, being a (still) young, red-blooded Canadian woman, I poured a glass of wine, did 125 burpees, pushups and situps,* and alphabetized our cd collection!

Ever since I bought my first two cds (George Michael's Faith and Madonna's Like a Prayer, which I still own, thank you very much), I have kept them in alphabetical order.**  They're easy to find, easy to store, and... um, what else do you need?  I also have my recipe box alphabetized, and my spice rack, which we were given after stalking it on a house hunting trip.  And for which we played an exciting game of Spice Rack Idol (see ya, turmeric!).  Anyhoo.  For this activity in compulsivity, the main challenge was deciding on the taxonomy, or how exactly to structure the organization.  Naturally, I settled on four sections:  Artists/Bands by Basic Alphabet, Various Artists, Soundtracks and Kids' Music), and alphabetized within each.  For example, is Elton John's last name REALLY "John"?  What about Harvey Danger?  Bif Naked?***

Go ahead and judge me for that, and for this:  the unalphabetized "chaos" that was our cd collection has been driving me insane for three and a half years.  I think I would make a fascinating study:  I mean, not only am I anal enough to want my cds organized into a structured taxonomy, but I'm also lazy enough that I hadn't done it again since we unpacked in October 2010...AND obsessive enough that I would think, almost every day, "I really need to take the time to alphabetize those."  My eyes would drift to the bookcase nightly, thinking, "Maybe tomorrow," followed by, "Where did I put Peter and the Wolf?  If they were alphabetized, I'd know."  Shirley, some university psych department somewhere would want to study me in depth:  Effects of Extreme Procrastination on Severe Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.  Maybe all the OCD people out there (kaff - Tracey****) just need to procrastinate more.  I could teach them how.

Suffice it to say that I now have a quiet humming sound of self-satisfaction, which ends in a nice little sigh, every time I look at the bookcase.  I haven't done it yet, but I could just walk up to it and grab some Tom Petty.  Or Right Said Fred, for that matter.  Or Joni Mitchell.  Or Sisquo.  Anyway, it was quite disturbing nice to review the diversity of our combined collections, and to remember that Chris and I had only 5 cds in common when we got married:  Sam Roberts, Alanis Morissette, Jewel, Nathalie Imbruglia, and Live.  Some might call this a "sign".  I choose to call it "complementary interests with low chance of duplication".  In anything.

Geez.  What am I going to do with myself next weekend?

* With a (stupid) goal of 10,000 of each by May 12, for No Good Reason, and being on track to fail miserably, just kill me.  Kill me now.

** To be fair, I didn't really need to alphabetize them when I only had two.  But I did anyway.

*** In case you're also an alphabet nerd, my solution was J, D, and B, respectively.  See you at the support group.

**** Tracey is sooooo OCD that she calls it "CDO", because then it's alphabetical.  See?  I am comparatively normal.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

The DG is overdoing it, but doesn't really have a choice right now

With the advent of my new life (single mom!*  part-time worker!), I now have the best situation possible in the worst situation ever this new challenging reality:  our nanny, who is wonderful, comes to my house at 7 am, and also manages to leave the house almost impeccable when she leaves at 4, despite caring for our two girls, an extra little one (nanny share!), and picking up Vaughn and the extra's big sister for a 15-minute spell at the end of the day.  I have no idea how she does this, but she does.

I have incorporated a new cleaning schedule for myself, as the old method of waiting till the entire house needed cleaning (and laundering) was causing too much procrastination and fleas stress.  So, if you've ever wondered how the Domestic Goddess spends her time "off" work (which I refer to as my vacation from home), with two little girls underfoot, and sometimes a schoolkid in the way too, I present you with:

The Domestic Goddess Gets Her Act in Gear
aka Scheduled Within an Inch of Her Life

Monday:  It's not just Monday Gum Day anymore, no!  It's Mopping Monday!  The entire house gets swept and mopped with the trusty bucket, and either Mr. Clean or my Vim Hardwood solution, on alternating weeks.  But yes, the kids are still allowed a stick of gum after their afterschool snack.

Tuesday:  Vacation.  Up at 6, out by 7, somehow washed and dressed and fed, also having made breakfast for the kidlets, at work by 7:30, home by 4.  Just in time to make dinner.  Yet still, it's a vacation.

Wednesday.  Why, it's Wacuuming Wednesday!  Or Vacuuming Vednesday!  Call it what you want!  Also includes dusting and sneezing.  Baseboards, tops of doors, corners, rugs, stairs, playmats in the basement, couches, behind the toilet, blinds, under beds... did I mention how many dustbunnies my tiny house can produce in a week?  A lot. Also, the kids have gymnastics at 4:30, and we eat at 6.  I am still amazed that this is (sometimes) possible, thanks to the magic of crockpottery and programmable ovens.  Or shawarma, whatever.

Thursday:  Vacation.  But at least it's Pizza Day at V's school, so my lunch-packing is less intensive,** and it's also tv night, so I get 30 minutes to myself in which to order (or "bake") pizza, as it's also Pizza Night.  And then I welcome the babysitter, as I have ball hockey in the evening.  Thursday is a Good Day.

Friday:  TGIBF!  Baffroom Friday, that is.  Bathrooms, mirrors, windows and surfaces, oh my.  But it also has the luck of being Overlap Day!  Our nanny arrives at 7:30, so I can take Vaughn to the bus stop.  I have an extra set of hands to watch the two littlest ones, which lets me take Ailsa to her dancing lady class (or out for some special one-on-one time), clean in peace, and I have even managed to take a few naps.  Heaven.

Saturday:  Fitness first:  I teach Attack at 9 am, which means getting the crew up and in the car, which is already running by 8:27 at the latest.  I drop them off at the gym daycare, be a superhero/rockstar for an hour, then shower, bundle them up (is it spring yet???), get back in the car and home for an early, quick lunch, then off to the rink for 11:45, enough time to tie skates on three of us (Tamsin stays home with a sitter, Grandma, or Daddy, when he's in town), do skating lessons for an hour, then home to naaaaap.  Saturday night, as always, is reserved for a movie, served with wine, cheeses, and grapes.

Sunday:  Nobody in the house may make a peep before 7:30 am.  One day, my kids are going to read this and either feel betrayed and furious or have their suspicions confirmed:  7:30 is whenever the hell I decide it is.  Chris and I sneak into their bedrooms on Saturday nights and set their clocks back accordingly.   But anyhoo, I digress.  Sundays are for raisin toast, smoothies, and groceries.  That is all I ever schedule for Sunday.  And, of course, it's the second tv night of the week.  Oh, blessed, blessed 30 minutes.  So quiet, so peaceful... oh god, I have to pack V's lunch tonight...

And there you have it.  It's not unmanageable, as long as I stay on top of things... it's been 5 weeks of this schedule, and so far, the house is clean and presentable(ish), I haven't died from exhaustion, and the children haven't come down with rickets or ... well, rickets, anyway.  Unfortunately, they want an extra (vacation) day out of me at work.  Which impacts Baffroom Friday.  And Ailsa Time.  And, ultimately, ME time.

I think the real reason I wrote this down was to just confirm to myself that I am doing the impossible, but making it long as I don't think about it too much.  It becomes overwhelming at least 3 days a week (guess which ones?), but if I just follow The Plan, one day at a time, it's doable....but maybe it won't be if I add an extra day at the office, so seeing this in black and white will give me the backbone to stand up and say, "I can't," something that I don't like to say, ever.  Or maybe, most likely, I wrote it down so that when Fis asks me if I've renewed the plates/hung our degrees up/called the garage, I can just send him this link and say, WHAT DO YOU THINK?

*  No, he's just in Toronto.  We're still in the pool.
** Despite Fis' assertions that I'm paranoid, they totally judge you by the lunch your kid brings to school.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Mommy's nut butter.... you wouldn't like it

My wise friend Ali sent me this recently:

Wow, I replied.  I look amazingly lifelike as a Barbie.

I had a good thing going for about 2 years.  The kids had their peanut butter, and I would sometimes get Nutella, about which I'd say, "It's Mommy's nut butter... you wouldn't like it."  And they actually bought it!  Until they actually tasted it, one cursed day.  Oh well.  The truth had to come out sometime!

Here I am in Costco heaven. 

Nice pipes!
(I owe it to the Nutella...skim milk, hazelnuts...and only a hint of cocoa!)

 Fis said, "No."  


Note:  there is no point or real anecdote to this post.  I just really like Nutella.