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Archive for November, 2011

It seems obvious enough right?  Well, I was never before a bed maker.  First thing in the morning I would roll out of bed and I was lucky enough if I could muster up a shower.  I figured I was just going to mess it up again later so why bother?  I decided to give it a try and see what all the fuss was about, and you know it’s amazing how much better your room feels when the bed is made!  I also tidy up my side table (and my husband’s…).  I put my book from the night before and anything else I was using inside the drawers.  This all takes me about 3 minutes and is well worth the effort.

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Getting Organized!

If you know anything about me, you know that I spend way too much time on the computer.  You likely also know that it drives my husband insane.  Mostly I just pop on and off throughout the day when my baby has me pinned down and only one hand is free.  I decided that the only way I could justify the vast amounts of time I seem to want to spend on here is to get the rest of my life under control.

Step one: my house.  I’m not neat by nature.  I had a messy room growing up and an irritated father as a result.  Now that my baby is getting to an age where she can play on her own for small pockets of time, it’s time for me to develop some new house friendly habits.  Hopefully by blogging about it I’ll feel enough guilt to keep it up!

So last week I signed up for daily emails from http://www.flylady.net.  Wow!  She warns you up front that you’re going to be bombarded, and she’s right!  I love it though.  She sends an email each day with a task for you to do, on top of the little tasks you need to do every day.  She also sends tons of inspirational letters that she receives from people.  I don’t always find time to read these but they are quite quick.

Right now I’m working on her daily habits.  They include a quick wipe of the bathroom and cleaning your kitchen.  She also wants you to get dressed every day, including putting on shoes.  I can’t quite get to the shoe part just yet but I’m tempted to try it at some point.

The other thing I’m practicing is doing little mini tidy ups throughout the day.  And I’m finding this REALLY helps.  I’ve got her book on order and when it comes and I’ve had a read through, I’ll let you know what other gems I’ve figured out!

So for anyone who wants to try and get their house organized… join me!  After that, it’s going to be my waistline.  And wardrobe.  And kids.  😉

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Okay, I can only really speak for myself and the girlfriends I’ve commiserated with but do men really have any idea what it takes to make us moms happy?  To all of you single mothers and fathers out there, I seriously applaud you.  I don’t know how you do it and I really hope I never have to find out first hand.  To all of you ladies with young children who find yourselves constantly frustrated and doing the “one up” dance with your partners, I think we need to have a chat.  And for the record, I’m one of you, but the more I think about it, the more it becomes clear to me where the problem lies.  Men are from mars… just kidding.  Seriously though, I think men truly believe we expect more out of them than we do.

Yes, it is very helpful if at the end of the day they pick up their socks and unload the dishwasher.  It’s nice if they sweep us off of our feet and arrange babysitters so we can go for romantic moonlit walks on the beach.  We know that they work all day or night just to keep food on the table and that can be just as thankless as being a mom.  We realize that when the baby wakes up six times a night, their sleep is disturbed too even if they don’t physically have to get out of bed each time.

So really, what more can they do?  Well, they can be understanding.  They can consider the fact that even if their day has been chaotic, ours has too.  For every fire they had to put out at work, we’ve had to put one out at home.  It’s not a competition, we’re not trying to take anything away from them.  We just want them to look at us and say “honey, you’re doing a wonderful job with our children and I know it’s not easy”.  Am I wrong ladies?

My husband is notorious for asking me what I did today and I immediately get on the defense, like that question is implying that I sat around eating bon bons all day.  In his mind I’m sure he’s just making conversation.  That’s when the fun begins.  Well, this morning he looked at me and made a statement about how he hopes I have a good day and can be strong for the kids.  He also mentioned how needy he expected our teething baby to be and how he would understand if our toddler ended up watching too much tv as a result.  I swear that was (to coin Oprah) my lightbulb moment!  That was all I wanted, to be sympathized with.  For him to recognize that a simple statement could make me feel validated.

And now I had better send him a note to thank him because we all know men thrive off of positive feedback.  😉

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What to look for in a man

When I was a young girl, the definition of the ideal man was tall, dark and handsome. A good job wouldn’t hurt. Well, times have changed. Having a couple of girls makes me look ahead and wonder who they will end up with. WHO will be the father of my grandbabies? (if my future girls are reading this… have no doubt that I expect grandbabies. Lots of them.) Well, I’ve decided that as their mother I get to come up with new criteria for picking a partner.

Of course, I do adore my husband (I swear honey, if you’re reading this, this list doesn’t apply to me) 😉

– Did he have colic as a baby? Don’t take any chances, make sure he was an easy going baby. Neither of you were so your odds are already low.

– Does he have a big head? Delivering a big headed baby = no fun.

– What is his family like? You will be stuck with them at every holiday. EVERY holiday. Beware.

– Does he pick up after himself? Try and find out if his place is clean when you’re not there… kind of like secret shopper, just pop on by on a Tuesday night.

– How much does he drink?  Seriously, you want to be able to have a glass of wine or two with him, but not a case…

– Do your friends like him?  Girls are stupidly blind when boys are involved, listen to your friends, it’s like a sixth sense.  Or your mother, I’m never wrong.

– Does he play video games?  Oh sure, it seems adorable right now when he spends all weekend playing vids and eating old pizza with his bff.  But just you wait until he’s 35 and you’re vacuuming a two foot diameter of crumbs around him while your children beg to go to the park.

– Most important: does he like your mother?  Because I am absolutely not prepared to ride the wave of your teenage years only to see you end up with a guy who is bothered by my daily phone calls.  🙂

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Selfish reasons to have kids

Whenever I talk to anyone who has chosen not to have children, I get the same types of comments.  The “oh, you’re just so selfless having kids” or the “I couldn’t imagine changing my life and not being able to travel and do all of the fun things people without kids can do”.  We all know that having children is a lot of work, that you make a lot of sacrifices.  But let’s be honest, there are a lot of selfish reasons to have kids… here are a few.  🙂

1 ) It’s really cool to see miniature versions of yourself running around.

2 ) You get to pick out their names (sort of a god like power in itself).

3 ) When they’re young they think the world revolves around you.

4 ) Suddenly your friends who already had kids want to hang out with you again.

5 ) One day (when you’re really old) you will be able to guilt them into taking care of you.

6 ) You get to see the world through their young naive eyes.

7 ) You can use the walker when you go skating and pretend it’s for them.

8 ) They think it’s really fun to bring you things, like food and beer.

9 ) They’re like little messengers when you don’t want to walk all the way downstairs to announce that dinner is ready.

10 ) They say the funniest things.  And they also say the sweetest things… like “I love you mom”.

The “I love you”s alone almost make up for the endless episodes of Dora…

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Cinderella’s yellow gloves

Of all of the things I’ve had to get used to with kids around, I have to admit that one of the hardest is their imaginations. I’m pretty sure I used to have one. I think my need for order trampled it into dust though and I’m having to fight reeeeaaaallly hard not to trample on my daughter’s desire to do things differently.

1) Play-doh. Oh play-doh, how I despise you. I get her a brand new box, full of little plastic tubs with colour coordinated lids. The little blobs of play-doh so bright and beautiful. I help her open the lids and separate the colours so that they can be used for their appropriate farm animals. What does she do? She smooshes ALL of them together in one big disgusting blob. I used to try to pick them apart and separate them back out but somewhere along the way decided that I had to let it go. Brown is a good colour anyways, you can never have too much brown right?!

2) Stickers.  They are EVERYWHERE.  I’ve given her not one, but two sticker books to put them in.  But no, sticker books are no match for my coffee table, or floor, or walls, or her arms.  And when we’re decorating a card for someone and I hand her a pack to use, she clumps them all in the same area.  I actually have to fight with myself not to unstick and rearrange them.  She also doesn’t seem to grasp the fact that they are not meant to be used over and over again, especially once they are fuzzy instead of sticky.

3) Colouring.  Possibly the hardest one for me to deal with.  I get that she’s too young to stay in the lines, I really do.  And I’m okay with that.  What I have a hard time dealing with is her colour selection!  Take tonight for instance, we were colouring a picture of Cinderella.  It was one of those black velvet ones with the while cutout sections that you’re supposed to colour.  It comes with 6 markers, the only colours you need.  I promptly reach for the blue marker to hunker down and start colouring that dress and what does she do?  She grabs the yellow and colours a glove.  Wait.  What?  A yellow glove on Cinderella?  I tell myself it’s ok… and quickly colour as much of the picture as I can before she colours anymore leaves red.

One day she’ll understand.  She’ll have her own children who clump their play-doh together and put stickers on her stove.  But a little part of me hopes she always colours Cinderella’s gloves yellow.

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The Second Pumpkin

It’s amazing the things we do for our kids. I am constantly trying to think of things to entertain her, to see that smile of delight on her face. I know, deep down in my cynical bones I KNOW that it’s going to end badly, but I just keep doing it again and again. For example: the pumpkin patch.

I could just picture it… a brisk blue skied October morning. My husband and I pack the kids into the car and drive out to the pumpkin patch. My oldest prances through the patch and marvels at the bright plump pumpkins. My baby nuzzles into my chest and dozes happily, or at least stares longingly imagining one day being able to pick her very own pumpkin. We would get lovely family photos, all smiling happily with a background of orange. Not too much to ask is it?

So after spending the morning bickering about whether or not we should actually be enjoying this family event or if it’s solely for the kids, my husband and I decide to shove the kids in the car and head to the patch. On the drive the mood lightens a bit so we decide to detour and pick up a snack at one of our favorite places while we’re out of town. Of course, the restaurant is closed, they’re off doing some fun family weekend. Fine, we move on to the patch. As we approach my oldest is fascinated by the sea of pumpkins. Great, I think, this is going to be great, just like I imagined.

We find a parking spot and lug the kids out of the car. We decide just to carry the baby in our arms for some reason I still can’t figure out. As soon as we’re in the patch my husband points out a flat squishy rotten pumpkin and states “how about that one?” to which my three year old laughs hysterically and proceeds to point out EVERY SINGLE rotten one and say “how about that one?!”. What she fails to understand is that the joke gets old fast and we’re on a serious mission here! We try to take some photos but fail miserably. Someone’s always looking away and the baby is now getting squirmy. It’s actually pretty cold.

I spend the next fifteen minutes hiking my crying baby back to the car to bundle her up in the carrier and pray she falls asleep. I make it back to the patch and my oldest is now putting every pumpkin she can lift in our wheelbarrow. I’m trying to secretly take them out while trying to bounce up and down in the mud and shush my crying baby.

We finally decide on four pumpkins of varying sizes. We take them to pay and the cashier hands us a rock hard caramel square. The type of square that my kid will either choke on or break a tooth on. I try to hide it but it’s too late, she’s seen it. And she wants it. I manage to bribe her with the crappy old fruit treats in my glove compartment, good thing she thrives on crappy old treats.

We get the pumpkins home and line them up on our front steps. The girl decides this isn’t good enough, she wants them inside the house. We’re all tired and cold and a bit cranky. We’ve managed to avoid the tantrum for the most part (if you don’t count the multiple whining sessions) and this is the moment that could make or break the day. By some miracle we manage to convince her that pumpkins live outside and they’ll die if we bring them indoors. hoorah!

And then she decides to name them. The smallest is her baby sister. The next one up is her. The next one is her dad. And the biggest one… is me. huh? I mean, I know that I haven’t exactly lost the baby weight from either of my pregnancies but I hardly think I’m the BIGGEST pumpkin! I try to correct her a few times but no, she’s insistent. And now, thanks to that day at the pumpkin patch, every time I reach for the sweets my husband gives me a raised eyebrow and says “you’re never going to be the second pumpkin if you eat that”. Great. Thanks kid.

So now I’m making myself the second pumpkin the only way I can, on the internet.

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