Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Bedtime Ritual

If you have children, you are fully aware of how a good, solid bedtime ritual can really make a difference in terms of the kids falling asleep at night. After 6 years, I think we are finally getting there.

Basically, it isn't the kids that are resistant to a routine - it's me. And it isn't really that I'm resistant - it's more that by the time bed time finally rolls around, I'm exhausted and therefore less 'skilled' at being consistent. Well, I could consistently do one thing at least - I could lay on the couch and become comatose while the kids whined, complained, argued, and engaged in other behavior counterproductive to falling asleep.

Really, as a mother, I'm at my prime between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Yes, I am aware that this is generally the time my children are at school - but hey, you make it work, right? After that, all bets are off - and my kids know it.

This year has been different though - and I'm rather proud of myself for making this change. I have instituted a fairly strict bedtime routine, and I have to say it has been moderately successful.
via apartmenttherapy.com

We start by doing the standard wash up, brush teeth, read book stuff and then things get specialized. 

First, I tuck my daughter into her bed - give her a night time snug and kiss, and then whisper in her ear a secret that no one else knows . . . that I love her very, very much. She then proceeds to scowl and growl at me to "never say that to me again", huffs, rolls over, and generally falls asleep within minutes. I can't WAIT for the teen years!

Next up are the boys. They are a little more rough and tumble than their sister, and prefer to have their backs clawed raw by my nails versus a nice, gentle snug. Then comes my favorite part.

 While one is giving me a 'bone crusher hug', the other screams "Choke Her! Choke Her! Is She Dead?!?" until I feign death and lose all control of my limbs. They then proceed to lift and drop my head a few times before either poking me in the eye or punching me in the gut to see if I have actually died. It used to be that they would just tickle my feet - but apparently I didn't give up quickly enough so they resorted to more effective methods.

I then switch boys and repeat the process.  They expend so much energy wrapping their arms around my neck, cheering each other on as they squeeze the life out of me and laughing hysterically at how they've resurrected me from the dead that they fall asleep soon after.

Yes, it is unconventional - and let's face it, downright weird. It probably isn't a routine that you will find recommended in most books or by anyone really, but in our house, we are all about strange and creative.  And if the only way they fall asleep quickly is to choke me to death - twice - well, who am I to argue? 

Monday, 27 August 2012

Funeral Faux Pas

The other day my husband and I went to a funeral for a former colleague of his - he was a great man, but a bit of a loner, and consequently, it was mostly men that he used to work with before retirement who were in attendance.

Of course, by the time we arrived, I had already chugged down an extra large Timmy Ho's, so decided that it would be a good idea to 'use the facilities' before embarking on the Catholic (read: very long) Funeral Mass.

I made my way to the washroom and got myself settled in a stall.  Imagine my surprise when I walked out, and in the mirror saw a man facing the wall beside me. Oh.My.Word. He was . . . peeing! In a urinal. In the men's room. Where I shouldn't be!

I quickly darted out of the bathroom and across the hall into the sanctuary of the women's washroom - a look of horror mixed with amusement etched on my face. I waited until I heard the gentleman leave and allowed him sufficient time to get mixed in with the small group of people gathered in the lobby before gathering up my courage to go back to my husband. 

Not long after, we all gathered in the chapel for the service. My husband led me to a pew, and together we celebrated the life of a colleague and friend. Apparently the good Lord had a sense of humour about my mortification, as when it came time to offer handshakes to those around us, I discovered the man from the bathroom was seated directly behind me. As we shook hands, I could tell by the glint in his eye that he KNEW. I just hope he washed his hands.

But then something amazing happened.  Apparently, I was not to be alone in having an embarrassing moment that day.

First, someone's cell phone began to ring just as the Priest was about to speak the Gospel. It turned out it was the Altar Boy (I use that term loosely as the gentleman was probably in his 70's) - and he proceeded to pull out his phone and read whatever text message he had received while sitting in full view of the congregation. To his credit, he did not appear concerned at all; however the Altar Girl shot him some very stern looks, and I'm quite certain she was having some decidedly un-Christian-like thoughts while doing so.

Next, the Priest inadvertently (I assume) referred to the deceased by his very much alive brother's name not once, but twice during the service. I imagine it is somewhat rare that one would sit in the house of the Lord and publicly and specifically be called a man who has sinned often - even though let's face it, we all are. Thankfully the brother had a great sense of humour, and when the priest shared that he was now surrounded by God's light, he had a glimpse of what others will rarely have - a moment that will occur at his own funeral at some future date and time.

Yes, in the whole scheme of things, I think I got lucky with my little foray into the world of mens restrooms - at least my blonde moment was only shared/witnessed by one other with  no unfortunate (or fortunate for that matter!) glimpsing of private body parts. And for that, I am grateful.

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Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Who Pee'd in Your Sandbox?

This weekend saw lots of time at the lake enjoying the amazing summer weather. The kids, as always, had a great time - and spent an afternoon building sand castles and other various structures in the playground.

My kids are super smart. They know that in order to build a good sand structure, you can't use dry sand. At the lake this is no problem - there is always lots of wet sand on hand. At the city playground - well, it might be time to improvise.

One day when the kids were visiting their grandma in town, they decided to take the sand toys over to the playground and have a bit of fun. They played and played and played, and from the sounds of their giggles, were having a grand time.

It wasn't until a lady with a sour look on her face popped over to ask if those were "your children" at the playground that we even had a hint that something might be amiss.  Apparently, "our children" had decided that they needed to have some wet sand - and as there was no water source in sight, decided to drop their drawers and pee in their sand buckets.

Now I get it - that's terribly gross, unhygienic, and inappropriate; however at the same time, we couldn't help but feel a little proud that they came up with a way to solve their problem on their own. I mean, they were only 3 at the time!

Needless to say, no peeing at the park - even to make a sand castle - has become a standard rule in our house.  And given their penchant for peeing outside, it looks like it will be rule that's around for a long time.

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Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Birthday Suits

I love that my kids are free spirits and are uninhibited. Most of the time. When they are running around the house naked, not so much.

What is it about being a kid and stripping? I'm sure I never did this, and I know my oldest daughter was a little more modest (she only ever stripped down her Barbie's when we had company) - so what's the deal?

They can be playing downstairs with lego - next thing I know they are laughing hysterically - I go down to check - yup, naked. 

It used to be that you knew it was summer when the kids were all stripped down and jumping on the trampoline. Fortunately, the trees have grown a lot the past two years so people driving down the highway aren't forced to view this phenomenon. I really hope they grow out of this. Soon.

One day I was mowing the lawn and I look over to see Elizabeth running full speed beside me - wearing a fluorescent pink toque and knee high red rubber boots. Quite a fashion statement indeed. Ben was not far behind her with just a pair of crocs on his feet. I'm not sure which was worse - the crocs or the little white butt streaking across the yard ...

I've been sick the past couple of days, so they have been able to play on the computer more. I log in today and there is a picture - correction a video - of Elizabeth's naked butt with her brothers grinning face right beside staring back at me. Sigh. It's one thing to run around naked - but to take a video? With your brother? Really? I won't even TELL you what I found on my phone one day ...

On the one hand, I'd really love it if they never lost this innocence - this freedom to be comfortable in their own skin . . . but honestly, if I have to look at one more naked butt I might lose my mind!

Time for the modesty lessons to start . . . STAT.

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Monday, 13 August 2012

Lessons Learned

Last week I bought a used bouncy water slide thingy for the kids to play on during our hot summer days. I could have bought a pool - but where's the fun in that? With a bouncy thing, the kids can roll off and maybe break an arm or crack their head open. It can be an adventure - and possibly hilarious to watch. Of course I'm kidding!

Through this process I've learned some important lessons:

Lesson #1: The minute you buy an outdoor toy like this because the weather has been scorching hot, it will cool off and barely be warm enough outside to use it. It was inflated twice, used once, and has been sitting in the same spot killing grass ever since. The upside? One less place to mow. And in my world, that's a good thing :)

Lesson #2: Check the product out before you pay for it. I made the assumption that the slide would be in good condition and stay inflated. This was based on the ad stating it was in excellent condition and freshly cleaned/ready to use. Now, I am not the greatest cleaner in the world and can put up with dirt on a lot of things, but this was something else. The kids and I inflated it the next day and got busy cleaning. This was when we discovered the leak in the seams. 

Lesson #3: When the package of seam sealer says "wear rubber gloves to ensure easier clean up", actually dig out some rubber gloves and wear them. I didn't. My hands were covered in glue. Washing in warm soapy water only seemed to make my hands stickier. Same with a variety of toxic cleaners. I would have tried gas, but the stuff is so expensive these days I didn't want to waste it. The upside? My hand got stuck to a bottle of tequila that afternoon. I don't remember much after that . . .

Lesson #4: Tequila is almost as good as Gin.

Now if it would warm up so we can inflate this bad boy again and have a blast watching the kids roll off the side and down the hill.

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Thursday, 9 August 2012


One of my biggest stress relievers is to sit in front of the computer and write a (sometimes) funny story to share. Lately, I've been distracted, hence a distinct lack of blog posts and creative writing time. This makes me grumpy. Very grumpy indeed.

The truth of the matter is, I've been taken over by mice. I've discovered they are pretty much everywhere in our house - and why wouldn't they be? They hit the mother load when they crashed my crib.

I can practically hear them squeaking to each other "Yeah man, this place is like totally awesome dude. There's candy on the floor, and they even serve up peanut butter on a platter  EVERY night!" Okay, nobody except me really talks like that anymore - they're probably saying something way cooler.

Those who know me know that when I was born, I was not blessed with a 'keep a clean house' gene. I've had to work very hard at this, and I will admit that my efforts have been lacking this past week for fear of encountering Speedy Gonzales. Even as I type I'm sitting on my knees - not because I have some fancy chair - but because who knows what could run up my leg at any moment.

My fears are legitimate.  The other day, I was sitting on the toilet when I noticed something odd in the garbage beside me. Let's just say it was a good thing I was on the toilet. I immediately started to scream, pulled up my pants, grabbed the garbage can and made a beeline for the back door. One of the kids had thoughtfully decided to lock it . . . so there I am, garbage can in one hand, trying desperately to unlock the door and screaming bloody hell all at the same time. The kids thought it was awesome.  It must have made quite the impression on Ben, because later that day he brought me a beer - already opened and half drank, but hey, it's the thought that counts. Just FYI - no, I don't normally allow my 5 year old to consume beer even though he loves it. Unfortunately that day I had forgotten to lock the door earlier and he helped himself. 

That night I saw one run into my closet. I haven't set foot in there yet. I moved in with Elizabeth upstairs and have been letting the kids pick my clothes each day. I can see they will be very helpful when I get old and am unable to care for myself - although I do hope their color coordination improves a tad.

Fortunately, this has been a great learning experience for the kids, and they aren't traumatized one bit by having to get rid of the dead ones on my behalf. They actually kind of get a kick out of pretending to be the mouse right before the trap snaps, and have even gotten the snapped neck look almost perfected.

Sigh. My knees are getting sore. Hopefully this little problem will be just a memory by the end of the weekend and I'll be back to writing again soon. If it's not, I can only hope the exterminator will be sexy ;)

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Wednesday, 8 August 2012

How Did You Find Me?

Earlier today, @CynicalMother posted that someone had been directed to her blog by entering "why women don't wear tube socks" in the search engine. (As an aside, if you are not following CynicalMother.com you are SERIOUSLY missing out on some great stuff!)

This got me to thinking about some of the interesting searches that have led people to my blog . . .

A couple interesting ones are:

*  wild eyed gopher

*  wee myself doing jumping jacks (whoever searched this, I totally feel for your wet leg)

but then there is my all time favourite:

*  my boobs just farted

Really? I've recently been introduced to back farts, but boob farts? Now THAT is talent. I have boob envy now - there's absolutely no way that my little nubs would ever get close enough together to make a noise. I guess it's just another curse of being small chested.

To all you boob farters out there, I salute you!

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Monday, 6 August 2012

A Smart Mouse

Well, the mouse hasn't taken over completely, but it is safe to say that she is way smarter than we are apparently.

After setting out a dozen traps on Thursday night, I was SURE that she would be caught in the morning.  Instead, she licked each trap clean of peanut butter and was probably sitting somewhere trying to pull her lips apart after her feast.  Sonofa . . .

I was informed by Mike that it was because I had used cheap no-name traps, and that he had some in the garage that were sure to do the trick.  We loaded them up before going out that night and were confident that by the time we came home, our house guest would be neutralized.

Not so . . . again, each trap was licked clean. That mouse is smart - and skillful apparently. The upside? It wasn't just my cheap traps the mouse could outwit.

Around 2:30 a.m. we once again heard our furry friend playing in our room. By the time Mike worked up enough courage to chase it out, she had practically built a catapult with some tinker toys that were laying around. I think she was planning an ambush.

Later that day I was grabbing some beer from the basement fridge when she darted across my toes and under the furnace. Thankfully I didn't drop the beer - that would have been a tragedy for sure.

At any rate, after eating her weight in peanut butter, we finally caught the thing and she was sent on her way to mousey heaven.  Guess you can only be smart for so long. 

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Help! Mouse! Part II

For those of you just joining me on this adventure, please click on the link below to read Part 1:

Well, the mouse hasn't gotten the best of me quite yet . . .

Today started out very early as I had to get the kids to the dentist. I'm not sure what time I finally fell asleep last night - and two of the kidlets made their way down at some point because of the thunderstorm. Normally they sleep on the floor in our room, but given the rodent situation thought I would allow them the luxury of the bed.  This is what I woke up to (and probably why I didn't sleep much - aside from our furry guest) . . . 

We quickly got ready to go - no sign of mighty mouse anywhere, and vacated the premises. Once the dentist was taken care of, I dropped them off at the sitters and made a decision.

I was going to let the mouse have this round and go shopping instead of heading back home to clean. The only problem with this was after 3 1/2 hours I was a walking zombie and ended up having to go home for a nap.

The entire way home I repeated to myself over and over "mind over mouse, mind over mouse" and by the time I rolled into the driveway, I almost had myself convinced.

Finally, summoning up courage from somewhere, I went to the door, rang the bell three times to let Mr. Mouse know it was time to hide, then cautiously went inside. I quickly grabbed my phone charger off the counter, ran to my room, and crawled into bed, shoes and all. So far, so good.

I took my shoes and my jeans off, and satisfied there were no furry critters lurking under the covers, climbed in and drifted off to a nice light nap. About 20 minutes later the wooden surfboard resting beside my nightstand fell over. I'm not certain, but I think it might have been pushed.

My heart was racing and I decided it was time to get the heck outta dodge. I started to put my jeans back on, but discovered that, because I'm not a teenager anymore, I no longer had the ability to do this laying down. I got them to my knees then stood to pull them up the rest of the way. 

Thunk! It was about this time that I realized the kids had turned on my ceiling fan. Jeans at my knees and knocked on the head, I fell backwards, defeated. It was not one of my finer moments.

I decided that because my pants were still only halfway on, it might be a good time to use the washroom. I went in to our master bath, and proceeded to shut the door. Thankfully, one of the children had put a Zhu Zhu pet near the edge of the door - it started chirping and clucking and whirling around the floor. Oh.My.Lord! I might have peed just a little bit.


I just got finished setting 12 traps in various locations around the house. We better get that sucker tonight!

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Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Help! Mouse!

I've just made the startling discovery that I have what I can only assume to be a mouse in my house. Apparently it was hoping to cook something, but like me, couldn't quite find the right pan in the drawer beneath the oven.

Now all is quiet. I don't like quiet. It scares me. It's probably plotting as I type. It's saying to itself - this place is a gold mine - there's food/candy crumbs everywhere and lots of places to hide. I'm never gonna leave this gravy train. Fack.

Tomorrow I have to clean house & hopefully not be attacked by the mouse. I was going to put bags over my legs - but a suggestion was made to do it naked. There's merit to this - I won't have extra laundry to do when I pee myself from fear.

If you don't hear from me tomorrow, I've probably been overthrown & the mouse has taken over. They're sneaky like that.

Sonofa ...

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Dirty Faces

I don't know how he does it . . . every time I turn around, my oldest son (Z) has the messiest, dirtiest face I ever did see. He's been this way since birth, and while I was hoping that by the time he was 8 we might see some improvement, it appears I may have been overly optimistic.

It isn't as though he is never required to wash his face, or even use a napkin while he is eating. I provide him with a cloth, he will wipe his face during the meal, and five minutes after he has left the table, you'd swear he'd just stuck his head in a trough!

One evening when we were putting the kids to bed, I asked my husband to wash Z's face as it was as dirty as ever. I rolled my eyes as I heard Z complaining about the smell - until I walked around the corner and saw what was being used as a face cloth.

There was my poor little boy having his face scrubbed with the dirty cloth that had been used to clean the toilet a day earlier. No wonder he was complaining!!!

"OMG you are using the TOILET RAG to wash his face?!?!?" I said, rather incredulously to my husband.

"Well, yeah - I thought it was the face cloth" he replied nonchalantly.

I looked at him - and I looked at the cloth - an old ripped up, frayed and thread bare towel that was stained beyond belief - and I shook my head sadly. Men really ARE from a different planet.

In all fairness though, this did kind of make up for the time that one of the kids brushed my husbands hair with the really scuzzy toilet brush . . . it's never really been the same since.

Needless to say, I make extra certain there are only actual face cloths left in the bathroom now :)

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