Tag Archives: random

Blinded by the lights

8 Aug

With my kids being under the weather for the past week or three, I’m reminded of just how much I hate having to turn on lights in the middle of the night.

I don’t mind getting up in the middle of the night to soothe away bad dreams, re-insert a soother, remove a pudgy leg from where it’s wedged between crib bars, or wipe a small bottom.  All these things can be (and are) done by the soft glow of the hall nightlight.

When, as a parent, you have to turn on a light at night, you know there’s trouble.  If I have to also find my glasses, the trouble is epic. It means I am doing laundry (which means something aimed at my gag reflex is on sheets and/or children), or giving up entirely on the night’s sleep, or looking for a missing limb, or piggy, or blanket.

Or possibly I am just trying to annoy Carl/let him know I have been up for QUITE SOME TIME.

Recently this problem was made worse by the installation of “energy efficient” light bulbs.  They started out in the bathroom, but if you have ever tried to do your makeup in a Walmart and hoped you would look ok in any other lighting, you know how badly that worked out.

Not to mention, when the bathroom light was left on and I looked down the hall, a “Twilight Zone” pool of glow emerged from the bathroom door. I was spooked.

So the lightbulbs moved into our walk-in closet, because, Carl reasoned, it would be nice to be able to see our clothes clearly and there are no mirrors around.  Unfortunately, this is still the light I turn on if a certain little one needs to use the bathroom at night, which means I feel like I am being woken up to take her to the bathroom in Walmart.

Unlike a lot of people, I actually have nothing against Walmart.  I frequent their stores and take full advantage of their big-box prices.  I believe they have things figured out when it comes to mass selling, even it is does kick small businesses where they notice.

However, the lighting makes my eyelids squinch in on themselves, my lashes stand on end, and my cerebrum curl into a quivering ball of discomfort.  I do not loiter in Walmart.  You may have noticed similar lighting in dollar stores, or, as they are more commonly called these days, Dollar Plus stores.  AKA…stores like any other? Yes, I think so. Stop trying to be special, dollar stores where I need many dollars.

Anyway, this is obviously not the feeling I want to create in my home. Not in the daytime, and definitely not at night.

Energy efficiency be darned, if this is how it’s gonna be. Earth, your sun is lovely and I use it often for light. I won’t shower daily or drink bottled water.  I will bring reusable bags to the grocery store and I will use my glass bottles as vases. Please don’t ask more of me than that.

Don’t even talk to me about cloth diapers.

*Interesting note: I learned that Walmart is in fact actively committed to trying to get these more energy efficient fluorescent bulbs into all homes, and being lauded for their “green” efforts! I guess they practice what they preach and are using these bulbs in their stores as well. Little did I know my comparison to Walmart lighting was indeed so accurate.


Good for a chuckle

31 Jul

Best caption ever.

Pinterest, you are addicting – if you aren’t pinning, you should be.  Then you can see things like this anytime you choose…or just don’t get addicted and, instead, stop by here for regular doses 🙂


18 Jul

About a week ago K-fer reached what is, in my mind, a pretty big milestone.  I know crawling, walking and talking are some of the biggest, but I’d say this ranks in the top 5 along with those.  He mastered fork skills!  I’m a proud mama, and he’s a proud, adorable boy.

Now, I know the big trend these days is to let babies feed themselves, so they can experience texture and improve their motor skills and be more willing to eat different foods and blabbity blah blah.  And I also know I have many negative personality traits that could use some work, and one of those is saying “blabbity blah blah” about things people do that I don’t agree with – I’ve been told it’s a little bit less than nice.  I’m sorry.  That area clearly needs a bit more work, and I really will try.  And I truly don’t judge you if you do it, I am just secure in the fact that it is not for me.

One of my traits that may be seen as negative that may or may not be related to my baby-feeding methods is my slight (maybe more-than-slight) tendency to OCD.  I like piles straight, I like my kids’ toys put away exactly as they arrived from the store, lined up in their dishrack or stacked from biggest to smallest, I like symmetrical lamps, and yes, I like my kids’ meals to land up at least 90% in their mouths.

Really, I’m pretty sure this trait is the only thing that keeps me cleaning bathrooms and washing dishes, so I won’t be trying to improve that area anytime soon.

This is why it’s a good thing I’m married.

I tend to think a child probably shouldn’t be allowed to feed themselves until around age 2, when motor skills are reasonably developed and they also have the mental capacity to understand where food belongs and that trouble will ensure if food starts making appearances on the wall across the table.

Carl, thankfully, gives kids a little more credit.  While I was happy to continue inserting food into K-fer’s compliant 10-month-old mouth, Carl quickly grew bored with this tedium and, while I wasn’t watching, showed the little guy how to use a fork!  What a good man.

In other news, over the past couple days both at home and in my sister’s kitchen with the help of my beautiful sister and mother, I’ve made 7 new recipes I can’t wait to share with you!  Once I emerge, hopefully unscathed, from the resulting pile of dishes and scribbled recipe notes, there’ll be a bunch of goodness coming your way 🙂

Happy Monday!

Which dwarf would you be?

11 Jul

Is it politically correct to think about what kind of small person you would be?

I saw a poster the other day for a dwarf who was new to me – “Gutsy”.  I have no idea what the ad was for, so it wasn’t too effective, unless the goal was to get me thinking about which dwarf I would be, should I morph into a small, bearded, hard-working cartoon man.

It’s easier to imagine than you might think.

I decided I would have to go with Dopey, as he seems to be a pretty balanced combination of Happy and Sleepy, which is a pretty apt description of me on almost any given day.

So which dwarf would you be?  Definitely something to spend some valuable time pondering 😉

Here are your options: Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful (he’s adorable – if you’re adorable, pick him), Sneezy (me during allergy season) and Dopey.  

If none of those are cutting it for you, feel free to make up your own, whether it’s Gutsy or something less glamorous, like Gassy, Creepy, Hungry, or Chubby…or something much more glamorous, like Beauty, Charmy, Smoothy, Chesty, Hottie…you get the picture!  A fun exercise for our Monday brains 🙂

The wisdom of Horton the elephant

6 Jul

We’ve been watching some classic Dr. Seuss shows around here lately thanks to the library, and one of our favourites is “Horton hatches an egg”, in which sweet Horton the elephant is roped in by an eyelash-batting mama bird to sitting on her egg so she can vacation and live it up.  I think, whether you have kids nearby as an excuse or not, all people should watch this short little video.

With break-ups and divorce as common as blowing your nose, we could learn something about character from that egg-sitting elephant.  His mantra throughout the show is “I meant what I said, and I said what I meant; an elephant’s faithful, 100 percent.”

Now, this is no meaningless elephant drivel – this elephant goes through some seriously tough times trying to keep the promise he made to keep that egg warm.  He survives a flood, doesn’t budge through a raging winter, withstands the scorn and laughter of all his friends, stands up to hunters with a gun, is carted off to the circus and made to sit in a sweltering room and be gawked at all day.  He utters his mantra through sneezes, anger, fear, and heart-rending tears.

I think all too often we are quick to blame someone else for our unhappiness or frustration, but Horton has it right – the selfish mama bird is not worth dwelling on.  What’s important is who he is, what his character is made of, and the comfort of those in his care.

This is the same Horton who “hears a Who” in classic Dr. Seuss lit and a remade movie from 2008.  His character holds true, as he battles mocking friends and threatening birds and kangaroos to protect a speck of dust where he is sure he hears people who are just too small to see.  In this story he repeats the mantra, “A person’s a person, no matter how small”.

Horton, you are a beautiful elephant, and all these years later, I still love Dr. Seuss.

It’s not even Thursday

2 Jul

Thursday is my go-to procrastination day.  I wake up on Thursday’s KNOWING nothing will get done, and even if I think of a million things to do that day, I just don’t do any of them.

Why not?

To me, house cleaning is one of those things that should be done thoroughly once a week, with a cursory cleaning every day to keep up appearances.  I’m not the type who can do one thing per day all week.  I like to pack everything into the smallest possible window to maximize my productivity and maximize my time.  


It works something like this:  Carl comes home and asks what I did, and this is pretty much what I say:

Monday: Laundry (maybe)

Tuesday: Groceries (maybe)

Wednesday: Meal plan and workout (unlikely)

Thursday: nothing

Friday: cleaned the bathroom, did 3 loads of laundry, vacuumed, dusted, washed floors, baked cookies, squares and muffins, made dinner for the freezer, grocery shopped, went to the library, called everyone I knew, and had a 2 hour nap.  

Carl: “Didn’t you visit someone this afternoon?”

Me: “Yes, and this morning.  But I was home from 12-2:30.  Hence the time for a 2 hour nap.”

You can see why I’m very unmotivated to do things some days, when I KNOW if I just apply myself I can do it all in no time.  The trouble comes when I leave everything to the last minute and then that last minute unexpectedly gets filled…but no ones ever died from a bathroom missing a week of scrubbing. (At least not that I know of.  Someone may actually have died this way. I’m sorry.)

Anyway, that’s why Thursday is “nothing” day – things are dirty enough to be READY for their deep clean, but it’s not quite close enough to the weekend that I feel it will still be super clean by Sunday, which for some reason, in my mind, is when the house should be clean.  I like to start the week off sparkling.  And if Friday gets busy, there’s always Saturday!

But today is not Thursday, and I did nothing on Friday except think about being on Parliament Hill for Canada Day, play tennis for the first time in years (my forearm hurts), and visit my sweet new niece who I forgot to take pictures of but who is absolutely adorable, and named after me (!) which is the most special thing.  

This is what happens when you get home from holidays and have sweet new nieces and full suitcases awaiting you.  Nothing like full suitcases to give me a reason to find distractions, and I don’t really need excuses when there’s a baby to visit!  At least where we were staying had laundry, so they are suitcases full of CLEAN clothes…I plan to just wear them until the suitcases are empty.  

We just got back from 4 days in Mt. Washington, where Carl got to work with the National Fencing Team before their Pan American Games next week, and they kindly let his whole family come along and rented us a 3-bedroom condo to stay in! Wasn’t that nice?

The view from our balcony

Since Mt. Washington is on the island, we got to take the ferry, something I hadn’t done since our honeymoon 5 years ago. Now I know why we don’t do it more often – $77.90 EACH WAY!  Good thing someone else was footing the bill.

For some reason all that water near my kids made me nervous, but I didn’t say anything, thinking Carl would laugh at my paranoia.  Then, waiting in the ferry lineup, what does Carl say?

“I was thinking about what I would do if one of the kids fell in”.

I was happy not to be the only paranoid one, and then we could reasonably discuss the best strategies, including how far he would have to jump out from the boat to ensure he wasn’t sucked under, how quickly the kids would sink, whether he should kick off his shoes prior to jumping in…needless to say, no one fell in, and it would’ve been a challenge for them to do so.  Gemma did temporarily disappear in a row of seats to look out the window which resulted in slightly worried searching, but other than that it was uneventful.  The kids traveled great and Gemma loved having her own room with a big bed that was “just perfect” for her.   Kristopher was less thrilled about having his own room, and woke up in a panic at 1 am, as I had feared he would, but adapted quickly and we may even get to pull the pack ‘n’ play out more often now.

Carl with a good grip on Gemma

Me preventing her from slipping through the railings

Well, tomorrow is a day of rest, but Monday looks like it’s going to be filled with more than just laundry as we get back on track from the week off!  I do hope to at least bake some cookies today since my giant peanut butter needs to be used and I tried a great flourless peanut butter oatmeal cookie recipe yesterday but promptly gave them all away without remembering to take a picture so I’ll just have to make some more!

See you soon for that 🙂

The Wheaties Box Story

24 Jun

One time Carl was on a Wheaties box.

I think this is hilarious.  Look at that cereal box.  Breakfast of champions, that’s what I’m talkin’ about.

Good story, right?

It gets better. 

He didn’t KNOW he was on a Wheaties box.  You’d think they need permission for this type of thing, but nope.  If you’re handsome enough, and look like a champion, you just might wind up on a Wheaties box one day too.  If it doesn’t happen, chalk it up to mediocre looks and lack of champion potential.  Sorry, truth hurts.  You can’t all be handsome champions like my hubby.

Maybe if you eat more Wheaties?  It is, after all, the breakfast of champions.

Still wondering how all this came about? It’s a story with many twists and turns, but I will try to explain.

My aunt in Ontario, who works at a college, walked into a room where these boxes were in production and said, “Hey, I know that guy! What is he doing on that Wheaties box?”

To appease her they gave her one to take home. (They may have been doing it as part of an upcoming volleyball tournament his team was supposed to be attending, not as official General Mills employees.)

She brought it to my parents’ house (in Ontario) at Christmas to show them. She tucked it in a gift basket that somehow ended up forgotten in the bathroom. They throw rager parties apparently, those parents of mine, where random baskets of things wind up lost in the bathroom.

The next time my mom cleaned the bathroom (could’ve been the next day, could’ve been weeks, no telling :)), she found a mysterious Wheaties box with her son-in-law’s (very handsome) face on it.

You can imagine the confusion that ensued.

She called me, in B.C.

I had no idea what Carl’s face was doing on a Wheaties box in Ontario.  Neither did Carl. She took a picture of the box. I laughed hard.

She had to trace back what might have happened the night of that ca-razy Christmas party, and call her brothers and sisters to find out what shenanigans had caused this cereal box to turn up in her bathroom.  Turns out my aunt brought it, as mentioned, and forgot to show my mom, and somehow the box ended up in the bathroom.

Mystery solved. I think?

%d bloggers like this: