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Tea%20Cup

Move over coffee, tea is in the house! It was about a year ago that one of my friends told me that tea was going to take over. I all but laughed in her face. I imagined the tea section of my grocery store bursting with people fighting over packets of Chai Spice Somethingorother. She might as well have said “mark my words young lady…” and called us whippersnappers or something. Well, she may have been right, sort of.

I don’t think coffee has gone anywhere, but I do think tea is throwing itself into the ring full force. And it’s no longer grocery store tea. They have whole stores devoted to it! You should see the stuff they have out there now! Beautiful tins and glossy bags filled with leaves and flowers, coconut and chocolate chips, almonds and blueberries. It truly is amazing. At first I resisted her tea pushing. She mocked me openly while I clung to my Orange Pekoe and then I figured that I couldn’t fight the good fight unless I gave her side a chance. Now my pantry is stocked full of different teas. Tins and tins of different varieties, caffeine or not, sweet or spicy. All of them putting my sad little packets of tea to shame.

So here I am, a year later and I’m writing this for the sole purpose of saying, Erin, I still love Orange Pekoe the best. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I’ll admit your frou-frou teas make a dull afternoon more interesting, but none of them take me back to a place where my mom sat with me at the kitchen table and poured a nice cup for us and a few fresh baked cookies. But how can you compete with that? No hard feelings friend, you tried. ;)

Oh, and if anyone wants to hop on the tea train, you can check out her fabulous blog at www.erinstea.com. If anyone can convert you, she can.

I’ve never been a full believer in the idea that owning pets is like preparing yourself for having children. When I had my first child it was a rollercoaster and I laughed at anyone who compared it to having a pet. Now that my second is nearly two, I’ve been noticing some strange things going on. Things that have made me wonder if having a pet may indeed prepare someone for children. Not all children, but at least one like mine.

And so I bring you the ways in which my toddler is like a puppy:

She pees on my floor. I try to be a caring mom, I take off her little diaper and let her roam around and get some fresh air, and what does she do to reward me? She pees. Every time. I swear there’s a little sensor built in that detects the worst possible moments to pee and then she goes for it. Like on the carpet, or the sofa, or my dry clean only duvet.

She licks my face. No lie, I was housebound with a sick toddler one day and the only thing that entertained her was trying to shove her sick fingers in my mouth and licking me. I couldn’t tell if it was hilarious or appalling but either way it was worth potentially getting sick just to keep her happy.

She bites. She can be the cutest little thing in the whole world but as soon as something rocks her world, you know, like I move an inch on the sofa or won’t give her froot loops, she lunges at me like a wild animal. She raises her little paw, errr hand, and whaps at me until she finally gets distracted by something shiny.

She eats with no hands. I will give her a lovely plate of food and what should be her favorite Dora cutlery and instead of using it she dumps it out on the mat, leans over and hoovers it up. Or she drops it on the floor and eats it later.

She goes through my garbage. My homemade mac and cheese is ghastly to her but she’s more than willing to take wrappers out of the garbage or an old banana peel out of the compost and go to town on them. At least it would be an easy and inexpensive meal for me to prepare…

She whines. Her verbal skills are still in the early development phase so to get what she wants she just points to it and whines. And whines. And whiiiiiiines.

But my favorite one of all is when I haven’t seen her for a while and as soon as I do her face lights up and she gallops towards me with her arms out and practically knocks me over. Who needs a puppy when you have that. :)

I admit it.  I’m guilty of a social media crime.  I’m one of those annoying moms who posts endlessly about her children.  I post pictures of them, my profile picture is often one of them, and my status updates often reflect them.  I may not be as saccharine sweet as some of the moms out there but if you are a friend of mine, it’s likely that you know more about my children than their own grandparents. 

However… in my defense, there are reasons.  They may not be the best reasons, but they’re certainly hard to argue with. 

For instance, the profile picture.  I have a million pictures stored on my hard drive but I’m sure I could count on one hand how many are of me.  My children will likely grow up thinking that daddy was there for everything and mommy was off napping or drunk somewhere.  Not true, mommy is the family photographer.  When I do have a picture of me, it’s taken by me and so close you can see every wrinkle on my face and it will not be shared with the masses.  If I do manage to get someone else to take my picture, I realize when I look at it that ever since my oldest was born I’ve aged in dog years.  Then I see a cute picture of one of my girls with the perfect skin and the perfect hair and decide that since they’re the ones who’ve contributed to the bags under my eyes, they can represent mama publicly. 

The photos of my kids.  Well, what can I say?  I haven’t much else to take pictures of these days.  My time is divided between doing kid stuff, housework, and my job.  If we go anywhere fun, it’s the park or the aquarium and you can bet my kids are going to shimmy into those pictures.  Other than that, I’m going to be posting pictures of my dirty dishes and coworkers.  You choose.  And remember, if you choose to look at pictures of dirty dishes over my kids, we maaaay not be friends anymore.  :) 

Status updates.  Pretty much the same thing.  These little goobers become your life!  I go to work and talk about the silly things they say while my coworkers feign interest and inch out of my office.  Not to mention that over half of my facebook friends are moms and dads as well so we all crave seeing that there are other people dealing with the same challenges day in, day out.

 So to all of my friends who are sick of my kids, I sincerely apologize.  I was once like you, I’m sure.  But if I can deal with non stop updates on the hockey strike and look longingly at your photos from you recent trip to Maui, you can pretend to think my kids are cute.  Or you can hide me.  :)

Dear Chocolate,

 I know you’ve been having a hard time accepting that I let you go.  I can’t blame you for that, it was pretty sudden.  One day I was hoarding you in my nightstand and shoving you into my mouth at all hours of the day, the next minute I practically threw you at my husband as if you meant nothing to me.

 So let me explain…

 You see, we have what the experts like to call a “mutually destructive relationship”.  Okay, maybe not “experts” so much as “me” but you get the idea.  The way I see it, you harm me by making my blood sugar rise and my ass grow, and I get revenge by eating you.  Or maybe you’re the one getting revenge?  Either way, it’s a vicious cycle and I had to put an end to it.

 So in the spirit of being “just friends”, I would appreciate it if you would stop coming by my work and showing up at the restaurants I go to.  I find this type of harassment very off-putting and not endearing at all.  I would also appreciate it if you would stop sending your cousin “sugar” to talk to me, I have nothing to say to him either.

 I hope that over time we will learn to forget about each other, and that we’ll be able to pass each other on the street with no hard feelings.  Until then, I have to warn you that if you come near me, I’m sticking a fork in your arm.

 All the best, SP

My recent lack of posts can only mean one thing: I’m back at work.  Don’t get me wrong, being a stay at home parent is freaking hard.  Too hard for me, in fact.  But being a working mom is very… complicated.  An average work day goes like this:

5:30-6 – get up.  Reluctantly, as I would really like to sleep until 6:30 but my one year old is an early bird.  During this time I’m trying desperately to keep her as quiet as possible so she doesn’t wake up her big sister, who will be a total crab if she doesn’t get her sleep.

6:30-7:45 – get ready.  I try to do as much as I can the night before.  I wash my hair, makes some snacks, lay out clothes, yet it still seems like I’m running around throwing balls in the air during this time.  Trying to dress and feed myself and everyone else, pack lunches, make sure the girls’ bags are packed, and if I remember, brushing my hair.

And then it’s work time.  Oh heavenly work.  A land where there are pockets of silence and adults making conversation with me (even if I only have my kids to talk about).  A land where I can pour a cup of tea and forget to drink it for work related reasons rather than children. 

But then I look over at the pictures on my desk.  One family photo and one of my girls beaming up at me.  I miss them terribly.  They drive me absolutely bonkers but I have to actually try not to think of what they’re doing at any given time or I’ll become the office cryer. 

4:30 – I rush to go pick the girls up before the daycare closes. 

And then the fun really begins.

They’re tired, and whiney, and hungry, and thirsty.  The little one is so happy to see me she’s upset, and the oldest one doesn’t want to leave daycare so I have to drag her out or bribe her.  Either way I look like the mom of the year…

We get home and the countdown for dinner begins.  I’m frantically trying to get them some snacks and drinks so that they give me a *little bit* of peace and quiet while I sort out dinner.  Then I swear it’s like trying to feed the lions.  You put all that effort into it and they either tear it apart in two minutes flat, or throw it on the floor. 

Once the girls are sorted out and clean and tucked into bed there’s a short window of what I like to call mommy time.  I wrestle with this every night.  I should really spend that time cleaning and preparing things for the next day so that I’m not going out of my mind, but I’m so damn tired at this point that all I want to do is sink into a bath with a good book.  Or even a mediocre book.  Or a take out menu.

So tell me this, does it get any easier?  If the answer is no, please do me a favour and lie.

It turns out it’s May.  May 2012.  To  me, this means I’m going back to work soon.  I’m trying my hardest not to be stressed out, but let’s face it, there are a lot of things that are going to get a bit harder.  Mama needs to get organized!  #1 on the list – menu planning.  I’ve been perusing the internet for ideas for a while now and have hummed and hawed and finally decided on what I think will work for me.  Here it is.  :)

Basically, it’s two pockets, one has laminated cards that list different menu ideas.  One side of the card will have a complete meal on it (lunch or dinner – I’m thinking of colour coding them) and the other side of the card will list the ingredients that I need to have (not the staples I always have on hand like flour).  I plan on going through these cards for inspiration when I’m making my meal plan.  The other pocket has blank papers for my grocery list as well as a weekly menu list.  I will then stick the filled out weekly menu in the middle so that I can easily see what’s up and prepare for the next day.

Next step: finding ideas for make ahead meals since my family time is going to be limited once I go back to work.  Wish me luck!

Eleven Months

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My baby is eleven months old today.  I can’t believe this is the last *month* milestone.  How can eleven months go by so quickly and slowly at the same time?!  My littlest pumpkin has been a challenging baby.  She’s demanding and loud and a little over-emotional.  But you know what’s amazing about motherhood?  I love her regardless.  I could tell you stories about the days that my husband came home to find me in tears because she had been screaming all day.  The days where my friends told me that they didn’t know how I managed.  The days where I hid under the covers on the floor while she whined around her soother.  But you know what?  Instead I’m going to focus on the positive (which is very unlike me).  This hasn’t been the dreamy babyhood that expecting mother dream of, but it’s still been amazing.  For every hard moment there is an equally sweet moment.

To anyone who is planning on having a child and worries that their child will be difficult, I have this for advice… you’ll manage.  You’ll resent anyone who has a happy child but you’ll get over it.  I truly believe we’re only given what we can handle and you may not want what you can handle, but there’s a reason for it.

One good thing about colic is that it sure has taught my three year old to be patient.  She could have easily spent the last year losing it but instead she plays with the baby and even tries to give me suggestions on making her happy (and you know, sometimes she’s right!).  I’m very lucky to have my beautiful girls and I’m even luckier that we’ve all survived these months together… one more to go… and then a lifetime.

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