Monday Minutiae

I have nothing earth-shattering to say, so instead I will give you a round-up of several not-very-earth-shattering things.

  • Florence Nightengale I ain’t. — All weekend we have been nursing Stinkerbelle who is nursing a cold. She started complaining first thing Friday morning, so we kept her home from school, and by Friday evening she was pretty miserable. Also, when I say “nursing”, what I mean is “having her lie snuggled up under some blankets while watching endless episodes of mostly educational television.” Because she’s four and a half, there’s really not much else one can do. She’s too young for most meds, but we’ve found some homeopathic cough syrup that soothes her throat and cough, as well as using tylenol for fever and Vicks vap-o-rub for general stuffiness. And the added bonus this time around is that she’s now old enough to blow her own nose, mostly, but because she does the blowing and wiping almost constantly and quite vigorously, her nostrils and a bit of her upper lip and cheek and rubbed raw. Because of this, we’ve got some vaseline in play, too. So, I guess one could say “nursing” basically means we’re mostly getting her to sleep it off with the odd pharmaceutical to make it less miserable. And, for me, I am even less the nursing type as BDH has been having a “sleepover” in the attic with That Girl so that he can tend to her middle-of-the-night coughing and sneezing while I get a full night’s sleep. Yep, Mom FAIL.
  • Mellow but Still Pissy — On the cat front, we have purchased a diffuser of chemical cat hormone-y goodness to mellow out all our cats, but most specifically Cinnamon, who as I mentioned last week, has not been coping well with recent changes in our home. She has peed occasionally in her beds on the main floor since then, which has resulted in one bed being pitched out, the other two being relocated to the basement, and Cinnamon herself being exiled to the basement for longish periods of time. Today, she’s had a couple of hours on her honour, up without a bed to pee in, to see what will happen. Hopefully she is starting to get over herself, and everything will work out. But in case she does not, or something is actually physically wrong, or for other perspectives on the situation, we’ve got an appointment with our fantastic vet tomorrow. This will involve putting a cat in a carrier, transporting her to and from a vet office, and participating in a vet appointment. If we thought Cinnamon was pissed off NOW, just you wait until tomorrow at this time. Cat Mom FAIL (but hopefully soon to be followed by a Vet WIN).
  • Happy Knit Year — I’ve started amalgamating my probable projects for this year, to try to accomplish another knitting challenge — this year, it’s 13 projects in 2013. Last year I met all my challenges, which amounted to finishing something like 57 projects in all: 2 12-in-2012 challenges, a 12-hats-in-2012 challenge (MELISSA I HAVE HATS FOR YOU, SEND ME YOUR ADDRESS) and a few personal projects. So I was all set to get going this year. And then I realized I had left my knitting bag containing two in-progress projects on the pool deck at Stinkerbelle’s swimming lesson last week. OOPS. Not a promising way to start the knitting year. Fortunately, though, we live in a good place, and the bag was turned in almost immediately and with all the contents intact. Besides, who’s going to steal knitting? What are they going to do, fence a half-finished square? So this morning I was reunited with my knitting, and all’s well that ends well. Knitter FAIL, and City of Guelph WIN.

Yes, folks, my life really IS this full of excitement and spine-tingling adventure on a daily basis. Envy me.

Mindless Entertainment – A Total Cop Out Post

It has been a long day and I have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING OF ANY USE TO POST.

So instead I bring you… MINDLESS ENTERTAINMENT! Or not, if you are not as easily entertained as I am. And if you are not WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU THIS STUFF IS GREAT. For at least, what, AN HOUR. Until you can’t get it out of your brain.

Sorry.

And without further ado:

– Best Public Service Announcement in the History of PSAs Anytime Anywhere Ever: Dumb Ways To Die

– Best Earworm, Mashup Edition: Psy and Hammer

– Best Use of Car As Musical Accompaniment: OK Go’s latest, Needing/Getting

– Best Christmas Ad, Obscure 80s Music Edition: Tesco’s Ad with Prince Charming

There. Go dance around for awhile. I’ll see you tomorrow.

FAIL Friday

It’s Friday. My week is full of FAIL. What else is new.

  • Posting FAIL — I haven’t posted all week. This is unusual, since I generally try to post at least two or three times a week. It’s unusual enough that even my MIL emailed me in case I might be dead. But honestly? I’ve really had nothing much to say. It’s just… been a WEEK, really. A week full of everyday things.
  • Culture FAIL — I am currently boring my daughter to sleep with Shakespeare. Only the greatest filmed Shakespearean production ever, Branagh’s “Much Ado About Nothing” (Well, okay, the SECOND-BEST. Ain’t nobody ever going to convince me that Branagh’s “Henry V” isn’t the most brilliant film version of Shakespeare in history, but let’s be honest — it’s a little heavy for a four-year-old.) Anyway, “Much Ado” is gentle and sumptuous and friendly and I let Stinkerbelle be lulled to sleep by the gorgeous wordplay and Emma Thompson’s dulcet tones. So, she’s lying on the sofa, snoring and farting, while I get a little me time to post and work and faff about on the interwebs, not to mention some time to watch something I really love. Not exactly the appreciation of Shakespeare I was hoping to nurture in my kid, but… I needed the down time and she was tired (because of a disturbed sleep last night, as you shall soon see) and this way, we both get what we want.
  • Parental FAIL #1 — Stinkerbelle has been potty trained for about a year now. She went from diaper to panties in a week, and has had a very few accidents since then. She handles the whole pottying deal mostly by herself these days. So, it has been a busy and tiring couple of weeks  for all of us, and as you saw by Saturday’s photo, sometimes in a tired evening we just crash in front of an episode of gentle educational television (thank you, TVO and UK’s 4OD). And on one of those evenings last week, we put Stinkerbelle to bed and shortly thereafter crashed ourselves, only to be awakened by an upset little girl at 3 am. She was exhausted and complaining about her tummy being itchy. We put some cream on her belly and went back to bed, only to have her continued fussing rouse us half an hour later. She was crying and saying her belly hurt. So we tried to comfort her and settle her, as her crying and pain got more intense. Until around 4:15, when she said “PEE IS COMING!” At which point, she PEED ALL OVER ME. And then felt MUCH BETTER and once cleaned up, went happily back to bed. Such was her first time trying to make sense of the pain and discomfort of a REALLY FULL BLADDER. We realized, as I showered at 4:30 am to get all the pee off me, that we’d forgotten to get her to go pee before bed. WHOOPS.
  • Parental Fail #2 — So, fast forward to last night, when, at 3:15 am Daddy was awakened by a little voice letting him know that she’d had an accident in bed. And as we changed the bedding in the dead of night, we realized AGAIN that in our stumbling tired of yesterday evening, we’d neglected the Stinkerbelle pee-before-bed ritual AGAIN. Poor kid — her parents really have to step it up. She can’t be expected to remember EVERYTHING.
  • Foresight FAIL — For Mother’s Day, BDH asked me what I wanted. This was sometime during the week prior. Now, I really had no idea. Yarn is always the obvious choice, but since I either buy it at factory/tent sales or online, it’s not something readily shopped for and wrapped. And it takes a few weeks for delivery. So that wasn’t an option. The morning before he asked me this question, however, I had looked out our patio door to see a hummingbird checking out Stinkerbelle’s bright red bicycle on the patio. I had only ever seen one other hummingbird here in ten years. But he asked what I wanted and I said “a hummingbird feeder”. Easy, cheap-ish, and cheerful, right? It was an idea, anyway. So, off he and Stinkerbelle went one morning on their shopping trip, and they came home with not only a hummingbird feeder but a seed bird feeder too, and two clamps to hang them from our fence if I wanted. Which I did, because I like to look out the window and watch the wildlife. So come Mother’s Day, and BDH and I go out into the yard and hang the hummingbird feeder in front of the patio door where I had seen the hummingbird, and the seed feeder on the fence opposite. And over the next couple of days, while no hummingbirds appeared, I watched the birds come and eat seed. And this was when I realized we hung the feeder in an idea spot for the birds to drop and fling seed about — and likely landing directly in the pool we’ll be setting up this weekend.

Love and Hate Friday

For some people, the glass is half full. Others find it is half empty. Some people are just happy to be offered a glass.

Stinkerbelle is sick.
HATE: She was up all night coughing and feverish.
LOVE: Her little voice is all squeaky and froggy and it’s so cute when she talks.

Stinkerbelle is sick, Part Deux.
HATE: She’s feeling poorly and just wants to lay on the sofa and watch TV.
LOVE: More knitting time for me!!

There’s snow in the forecast.
HATE: It sucks for those of us who have to go out and commute to work in it, and those of us who worry about those who commute in it.
LOVE: It gives us an excuse to stay in. For some it is time to recuperate. For others, it is time to be lumps of knitting, period-drama-watching laziness.

I have a Kobo but it is temperamental.
LOVE: When it works, I want to READ ALL THE BOOKS.
HATE: WHY WON’T YOU WORK FOR ME???

Temperamental Kobo, Part the Second.
LOVE: It is seriously cutting back my online time, which is good because the Interwebs have been annoying me lately.
HATE: WHY MUST YOU DIE WHEN I AM WAITING ON EMAIL/SURFING IMDB/LOOKING FOR PATTERNS??

I am getting up early and exercising.
LOVE: It’s good for me!
HATE: OMG WAKING UP. NOT MY BEST THING.

I am a super online bargain shopper who got several pairs of slippers for myself and Stinkerbelle for around $6 apiece.
LOVE: I have warm feet during the day. Stinkerbelle has warm feet at night because she sleeps in hers, so that means fewer 3 AM wake up calls to cover her up.
HATE: Mine are slip ons and because one of my feet is about a size smaller than the other, I am forever blowing a shoe walking up or down the stairs. My slippers shall kill me. DEATH BY SLIPPER IT SHALL BE.

I have new glasses.
HATE: I am not getting used to them, and feel like I am drunk all the time, without the fun party beforehand.
LOVE: They cover up the embarrassing blemish on my nose and the raccoon-eyes caused by lack of sleep.

I got 4 tins of David’s Tea for Xmas.
LOVE: So delicious.
HATE: OMG DAVIDS TEA Y U NO CHEAPER.

Festive Season Recap

The holidays are over. It was not the fantastic Christmas we had hoped for when the whole getting-ready-for-the-Christmas-season thing began, what with being sick and exhausted for most of December and all. But it was good. It was a very good Christmas.

  • Silent Night, Indeed: One of the best things about this holiday season was the fact that the vast majority of our neighbours buggered off for the holidays, leaving our street virtually empty and quiet for four blissful days. It was awesome. Quiet and peaceful and traffic free — now, in future, if we could just have some snow, and maybe keep the stupid local Running Room from using the street for their running clinics, it would be perfect.
  • Preparation is Good: If we had not been totally about getting prepared starting six weeks before Christmas, we’d have had nothing at all done once we got sick and it would have been a blue Christmas indeed.
  • Preparation is Not So Good: If we had not been totally about getting prepared starting six weeks before Christmas, I would not now be completely homicidal at the mere mention of The Grinch, The Polar Express, and several Rankin-Bass holiday favourites.
  • Xmas 2011, Now With 50% Less Food: Normally we bake a metric crapton of cookies, and package them up to give to friends and people we love for the holidays. But this year, we just didn’t have it in us to do very much, and just a fraction of our usual baking got done. We got some to our friend Vicki, she who loves my gingerbread, and to the Cat Clinic, and to teachers and some colleagues, but that’s about it. It’s all I could handle. And once Christmas came around, with not being able to eat or taste much, we didn’t do much in terms of snacking or treats, and Christmas dinner itself was a much-pared-down affair rather than the BDH’s usual Traditional Dibley Christmas Dinner With 16 Veg. The problem is? Now that we’re on the mend, and can taste and eat… there are NO LEFTOVERS. I may have to cook turkey dinner for New Years just to make up the difference.
  • Parenting Fail of the Month #1: Unlike so many of our adoptive parent peers, who have forsworn the commercialism of the holiday season, and/or don’t do Santa, and/or take a socially responsible parenting line where Christmas is concerned… yeah, so, we totally didn’t do any of that. And, as you can tell by my love of Tim Minchin, I’m not big on the whole Judeo-Christian aspect of the holiday either. So it was FAIL on all fronts, really. Around here, it was all Santa, all the time prior to Christmas. We were the 24/7 Santa channel, live and in technicolor. That Girl LOVES her some Santa, and had a great time visiting him, and talked of nothing else for weeks until the appointed night came along. And then, come Christmas Eve, it was like an army of elves marched through here and they all got drunk and partied hard and then tipped over Santa’s sleigh and left a bunch of other kids’ stuff behind. So, that happened. And it was awesome.
  • Parenting Fail of the Month #2: We’ve been really sick. My kid has watched A LOT of TV. Like, her-eyeballs-are-getting-square lots. Like, she-knows-all-the-dialogue-to-about-six-movies lots.
  • Parenting Fail of the Month #3: One of the shows we’ve been watching is season 25 of Never Mind The Buzzcocks on the Tubes of You. I know it’s not EXACTLY children’s hour on PBS or anything, but it’s funny, and it’s about music, and… yeah, I have no excuse. ANYWAY… this season, apparently, they’re either not bleeping things out, or they’re just cussing a whole lot more. Whoops. Either way, our kid’s been watching with us, and it’s been… colourful. Yeah, that’s it! (And if you’re a #NMTB fan? I gotta say, this season’s been pretty uneven. So you’re not missing much. But OMG ALICE COOPER HOSTED SQUEE AND ELEVENTY!!!)
  • We’re Not Santa. We’re Just Fans of the Big Man.: One of the traditions we hope to carry on from this year was the donation to our local Salvation Army toy drive. The toy drive needed toys for the under-2s and for the 8-10 year old set, so BDH took some money to our local educational toy store and bought a bunch of toys for the toy drive. As he took off all the price tags the night before, BDH was overwhelmed by the thought that there could be so much need in our own community. We may not be able to save the world, but hopefully we were able to put some smiles on some kids’ faces that might otherwise have had none on Christmas.

Random Tuesday: Chaotic Edition

It’s been a chaotic couple of days. Just your regular everyday disorganization here at the House of Peevish.

  • Dumpster Diving: So, the time has come for me to renew my license plate stickers. In the past couple of years, it’s not been that big a deal, since we have a licensing office right around the corner (well, a couple of kms away, actually, so I’d pack Stinkerbelle up in the stroller and we’d walk down and take care of it. No fuss, no muss. Except last year, in their infinite wisdom, the ministry closed the office or relocated it or something. And I could not bear going back to the days of queuing up for half an hour with an unruly preschooler to get a sticker which takes about 15 seconds to dole out. So I was happy to find you can now renew your stickers online. INTERNETS FOREVER! So I did, and they came in the mail in, like, five days. And I opened them, praised the efficiency, and said “I should go put this on my plate NOW before I lose it.” And then I put it down… and promptly lost it. So, I spent an hour looking for it last night. And, after soccer, at midnight, BDH spent an hour looking for it last night. And another hour this morning. By then I was getting desperate. So, as That Girl watched Bob the Builder this morning, I dug through two bags of garbage. And there, out in the garage, at the bottom of the second bag of garbage… there it was, apparently tossed out with a bunch of junk mail. So I went out IMMEDIATELY and stuck it to my plate. I’m just glad we found it. Actually, since tomorrow is garbage day, I’m REALLY glad we looked for it today instead of putting it off to the weekend.
  • Just Like A Greek Wedding. But With Less Dancing.: BDH had two soccer games late last night, and when he plays late, he comes home hungry. So, taking a break from the endless search for license stickers, he decided to have a snack. He went downstairs to the kitchen, and opened the cupboard to get a bowl. The bowls are on the middle shelf of three in our cupboard, with our everyday plates on the bottom shelf, and the less used, miscellaneous, and dessert plates up top. As he was getting a bowl, three of the four braces holding up the shelf above spontaneously gave way, dropping the shelf with all our miscellaneous plates on it down onto the second shelf full of bowls, and sending bowls flying out onto the counter and smashing to the floor. To his great credit, BDH managed to grab and/or secure things well enough that we only lost four small soup bowls and one big soup bowl. It could have been SO much worse — and if it had happened to be me standing there, it would have. But the thing that amazes me most is that, despite the almighty crashing one floor below, Stinkerbelle and I slept right through the entire thing.
  • Hello, This Is Your 11 pm Wake Up Call: I was fretting last night, trying to find my license plate stickers. It was getting late, so I decided just to forget about it and go to bed. Only, I can’t sleep when I am fretting, so I got back up and ran down to the computer and emailed BDH at soccer, to ask him if he might know where the stickers were. And then I went back to bed. And I was tired, so I crashed. Well, 15 minutes later, BDH’s soccer game ended, and he got my email, so he decided to call me. Me, who was now asleep in my bed. Now, I don’t startle out of sleep very well. I get a little panicked. So when the ringtone of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy or whateverthefuckitis rang out in my darkened room, you basically had to peel me off the ceiling. But I got to the phone, and BDH was at first surprised to find me asleep, and then, knowing how I am not so good at the sudden waking up bits, infinitely apologetic. We reviewed the sticker situation, and he said he’d look for it when he got home after midnight or thereabouts. And then added, “You want me to come in and wake you up and tell you when I don’t find it? ‘Hi! You sleeping? WAKE UP! I didn’t find anything!'” Now, if the plates coming crashing down about an hour later were not a little bit of karma for being so saucy, then I don’t know what is.
  • Edited to add special bonus chaos: I’m getting SICK. Yes. AGAIN.

Random Tuesday: The Next Day Edition

I HAVE A CHOCOLATE HANGOVER. Is that possible? It must be possible. Because after the adventure that was Halloween 2011, I have a headache and could sleep for a couple more Halloweens, thankyouverymuch.

  • And You Wonder Where They Get It From: Last Wednesday, Stinkerbelle’s preschool teachers made sure to let us know that, as far as school was concerned, Halloween was just going to be a normal school day. They would not be observing the holiday in any way. Which is fine by me, and if it’s their policy then so be it. Most parents marked the day with orange and black clothes, Stinkerbelle included (wearing her “Mommy’s Little Monster” t-shirt.) So imagine my ABSOLUTE LACK OF SURPRISE to show up with Stinkerbelle at school yesterday morning and find AT LEAST THREE children decked out in full costume. We had the satan-child Ryna, OF COURSE dressed as a princess. We had Mr. And Mrs. “I  Drive A Chevy Subdivision So I Can Take Up As Many Parking Spots As I Like” Douchebag with their evil spawn dressed up in the other classroom. And we had a little Superhero and his oblivious Mama, who not only dressed up her child but sent him in with a box full of treats, which because of food allergies is expressly forbidden in the school handbook. I fear for the future, I really do.
  • Like Carnival, Only With Less Nudity and More Parkas: Our street was completely MENTAL last night. In a good way. People went all out to get ready and celebrate Halloween. As much as I complain about my neighbours and my little corner of Suburbiaville, we DO know how to mark a holiday. We had houses with light shows and sound effects, and yards made up like graveyards or covered in cobwebs. Decorations were everywhere. We had one house that made their porch and garage into a HAUNTED HOUSE. It was fantastic. And the street was thronging with parents and kids, having a fantastic time. Stinkerbelle went out trick or treating with Daddy, dressed as quite possibly the cutest monkey in existence, and they had a wonderful time. I think everyone did. We had 180 kids come through the door between 6:00 and about 7:45, when we shut the lights off, and the vast majority of them were happy and said “trick or treat” and remembered to say “thank you”. Well, except the awkward 10-13 year-old boys, but that’s pretty par for the course for that age. And a few douchebag teens who didn’t bother to dress up and just thrust a bag at you and expected freebies. But otherwise, it was great! Towards the end, BDH actually went back out with the camera to take pictures of some of the wonderful decorations.
  • We Are The Champions… My Friends… (11 Years Running): One of the things I love best about Halloween is how the university and college kids go out and do Trick or Eat, the fabulous collection for local food banks. I LOVE THIS IDEA. I think it is a GREAT way to share the holiday and gear up the food banks for winter. I spent all day yesterday online telling anyone and everyone who would listen about Trick or Eat. But it’s hard not to get excited about it — we have such great kids in town (yeah, I know I complain about them, too) that, for the ten years previously, we have been the national leaders in this food drive. And although the final numbers are not in yet, it looks like we rocked the cans AGAIN! We had three great kids come out last night, and they were SO grateful for whatever we could give them, I even gave them some candy for the road. And they were really chuffed to get that, too. So all in all, a good night.
  • What Goes Up Must Come Down: Stinkerbelle was SO SO SO SO excited about trick or treating, and had so much fun, that when it came time to come in from the adventure, she began to cry. So, since we still had things to do, and she was too wound up to sleep, I told her she could help me give out candy to the other kids. WELL NOW. You would NOT know which was more exciting, the receiving or the giving of candy, based on the SHRIEKS OF EXCITEMENT and rushing to the door each time the doorbell rang. She sat on a little stool and begged “MORE KIDS MOMMY PWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZE!” as we waited for the next kids to come, and then she would RUN to the door to hand out candy to the usually older, usually cooing and OMGSHEISSOOOOOOCUTE-ing trick or treaters. She didn’t always get the candy in the kids’ bags, necessarily, but she sure was awfully cute while doing so. But once we shut up shop for the night, she crashed into bed, HARD. And slept without moving until 1 am, when both Mom and Dad were awakened by That Girl’s nightmares. She had a hysterical crying jag for a couple of minutes, until we could fully wake her, but then she had a little drink and some yogurt and went happily back to sleep again.
  • Okay, BUT. The Creepiness Ended, Like, 12 Hours Ago: So, this morning, chocolate hangover and all, I got up early to ride the bike. And, around 20 to 7, I came upstairs and was in the foyer. And I noticed, in the still-mostly-dark, someone was IN OUR FRONT YARD. Close to the house. Like, almost-standing-in-my-garden close. And I watch him out there, hunched over like he’s lost a contact in the grass, for maybe 5 minutes. I realize, oh, he has a dog with him… probably what has happened is the dog has pooped in the yard and, in the dark, he’s trying to stoop and scoop. Well, it’s awfully close to the house, I think, but maybe the dog got loose or something. So, fine. After another five minutes or so he leaves. So, I happen to mention it in passing to BDH. And, as it transpires, this is NOT THE FIRST TIME THIS GUY’S BEEN IN OUR YARD. BDH has seen him, too, only late at night. So what it looks like now is that this guy is bringing his dog out for a walk to POOP IN OUR YARD. In the sense that, this is not your normal dog walk, with dog pooping on the boulevard and peeing on signposts and stuff. No, he has to make an EFFORT,  to COME UP TO THE HOUSE for his dog to poop there. It’s WEIRD. And now, if you will pardon the pun, I am PISSED. Now, I have to wait in the mornings to catch him in the act and confront him. Which is not My Best Thing, and certainly not in the morning before a bucket or two of coffee.
  • Not So Secret “Secret Chocolate”: So, the festivities have ended, but we still have a stash of chocolate. It is on a shelf in BDH’s Man Cave, and we have christened it “Secret Chocolate”, after the “Secret Toast” of Nanny McPhee. In that one always begs to have some, and it is not really as secret as the title would lead one to believe. Anyway, we still have some. And I can still hear its Siren Call. And this means, the chocolate hangover may persist for awhile yet. Oh well, since I’m feeling bad anyway… hair of the dog, and all that…

Random Tuesday: Meh… Edition

Ever have a “meh…” kind of day? Yeah. Me too.

  • It Takes a Special Kind of Talent…: So, you know our whole Meatless Mondays kick? So far, so good. I am combing the cookbooks and Teh Interwebs and trying new things. It’s good. But I have to say, it’s going to be hit or miss for awhile, and while we’re prepared for that, we were not prepared for the epic culinary FAIL of last night’s dinner. I found a recipe for quiche in one of the cookbooks here — it was a crustless quiche, but DUDE. WE LOVES OUR PIE HERE. So I decided to make the recipe, only with a pie crust. It had many of our very most favourite things in it: potatoes, onions, peppers, lots of cheddar cheese, eggs… I was SO excited. And I put these quiches together, and they came out BEAUTIFUL. A more gorgeous quiche I could not have imagined! Bubbly cheese, browned bits of vegetabley goodness… I was thrilled. So I dished it up, and we were all OMG SO EXCITED. And then? DISAPPOINTMENT. I tell you solemnly, it was THE BLANDEST THING I HAVE EVER EATEN. The textures were wonderful. It was perfectly cooked. All these gorgeous ingredients came together to make… a whole pie full of NOTHING. It was just… blah. We couldn’t understand it. We’ll try the recipe again, but maybe next time try something like… a zippier kind of cheese? Some of those “egg substitute” kinds of products with herbs and cheeses in them? I don’t know.
  • From the “Glass Is Half Full” Department: On the plus side of my Epic Culinary Fail of last night, we decided to try to offer Stinkerbelle some quiche. Yes, we offered the Kid With The Oral Motor Eating Issues a piece of quiche, full of mixed textures, knowing that she has rejected eggs out of hand any time we have offered it, and that she has never tried onions, or peppers… I don’t know WHAT we could have been thinking. Anyway. She likes pie, and she likes potatoes, so why not? So, even though it was bland, flavourless pie… we slathered it in ketchup, and SHE ATE A WHOLE SLICE. Or, 90 percent of a slice, anyway… as near enough as to count as a full serving in my books. I could have cried, I was so pleased. BUT. Now I’m a little worried that if I screw around with the bland pie she ate, I’ll come up with something she WON’T eat.
  • Catch-22: I wrote last week about how That Girl has decided that naps are NO GOOD NO. Okay, so, I thought, I’m okay with that. Developmentally on schedule and all that, we can cope, right? So we said, Right. Quiet time, if you won’t nap. And she was ALL OVER THAT IDEA LIKE A BAD SMELL. She had three days of quiet time. By the third day, she was getting increasingly frantic and bananas and sleep deprived was not a good look for her. And by day four, Monday — A SCHOOL DAY — she was OUTER LIMITS. She was crabby and, when I arrived early to pick her up from school, I heard her hollering FROM INSIDE THE CLASSROOM, over all the singing, talking kids, about “IS IT TIME TO GO HOME YET I WANT TO GO AND SEE MY MOMMY KTHXBAI!” And then, she had a mishap with a friend after class that involved a) falling down and 2) two heads bumped against the wall and/or floor. After which, she pitched an OMG DRAMA LLAMA CRYING FIT because we had to LEAVE MIBBY. So I said I AM SO OVER QUIET TIME AND YOU ARE NAPPING TODAY. And she was very happy with this OH YES SHE WAS. And woke up as happy as can be. So today, after a morning of swimming lessons and playing, I suggested a little nap might be in order. And, not surprisingly, we are back on the NO NAP NOOOOO train. And went back to a quiet time experiment again today. Now, I am thinking, maybe we’ll have to alternate days or something. But I tell you truly, we are less than a week in and I am SO OVER THIS PHASE ALREADY.
  • I’ll Have Three Novembers To Go, Please: So, it’s been cold and raining since approximately AUGUST, except for a lovely couple of weeks of actual fall-like weather earlier this month. It’s like NOVEMBER out there. And I am TOTALLY over it. My hair is doing this weird cowlick thingy in front, there’s mud everywhere, and we’re stuck inside because it’s too damp for much else. It’s cold and the wet means we’re chilled all the damn time. And, oh yeah, I HATE NOVEMBER. And we haven’t even officially HAD November yet. The only saving grace is that there hasn’t been any snow… YET. Although for the first time, I saw SNOWFLAKES on our little forecast icons for later in the week. It has since changed. Good thing too, because otherwise, I was going to WRITE SOMEONE A STRONGLY WORDED LETTER OH YES I WAS. Because that? Is how I roll. (Don’t tell anyone I secretly kind of enjoyed putting the fireplace on this week.)

 

Random Tuesday: Peevish Edition

Today’s randomness is brought to you by Kleenex,  Advil Cold & Sinus, and general lethargy and peevishness.

  • Yeah, but when MY kid does it, it’s CUTE: So, my kid is in swimming lessons. The class is small and the goal is to get them to start swimming independently so parents don’t have to go in with them anymore YAY NO MORE GOING OUT IN PUBLIC IN A BATHING SUIT FOR ME. Generally speaking, the moms and kids are really nice. But one of the kids is an older boy, and he’s FLAILY. He loves swimming, but he flails about and splashes everyone within a 15 foot radius of him. And that is usually ME. I’m getting a little tired of it, to be honest. The kid splashes me more than my own kid, and I’m working directly with her, and she’s jumping in and kicking and stuff. Am I being a bit of a petty speshul snowflayk?? Yes. Yes I am. But I’m giving this kid such a wide berth that I’m halfway across the pool as it is. If I get any farther away I’ll be in the dressing room.
  • Can I get fries with that? Or a steak?: We’re jumping on the whole Meatless Mondays bandwagon here at the House of Peevish. Yeah, it’s good for the environment blah blah blah, but really, we’re in it for the (albeit tiny) health benefits. Well, I am anyway. BDH is dubious about the whole endeavour, and Stinkerbelle’s all WHATEVER PEANUT BUTTER IS NOT MEAT. But both BDH and I could stand to lose a few pounds or 50, and he’s a diabetic and I’ve got high-ish blood pressure so, you know, we both need to change our lifestyles to benefit our health. So this is a good first step. I was, in various phases, an ovo-lacto/pesci-/vegetarian for most of my 20s, so I’m not so much caring about cutting out meat. However, I was a BAD vegetarian, sick all the time and eating really badly, so the challenge for me is to find good, tasty, balanced meals for us that won’t put BDH off entirely. And that aren’t just pasta or soup. (And not salad, because I am not a fan.) And then, if this goes well? Maybe two days a week. BUT LET’S NOT GET CRAZY HERE, PEOPLE.
  • I can only shout so much: My kid has language delays. Production, receptive, you name it, she’s behind in it — all part and parcel of her oral-motor issues. And for the most part, it’s fine. She’s doing well in school, she’s happy and healthy, and we’re not going to sweat it. EXCEPT. In our day-to-day life, we have to change our ways of communicating. We have to speak slowly, and simply, and deliberately, and allow for lots of processing time. We have to use gestures, and modeling, and repeat, repeat, repeat. But sometimes, on better days, you find yourself speaking like one of those stereotypical “tourists abroad” — if you’re in a foreign country and someone doesn’t understand you, you speak LOUDER AND MORE SLOWLY AND WITH RIDICULOUSLY EXAGGERATED E-NUN-CI-A-TION. On the not-so-good days? You find yourself shouting from the sheer frustration of saying the same thing over again for the 10th or 15th time. And you begin to get angry that YOU’RE NOT LISTENING TO ME, when it’s not that at all; rather, she just can’t process what you are saying in the way that you are saying it. Those? Are not our best parenting days ever. Those are the days when you end up crying in frustration and self-loathing because you have lost patience AGAIN and blamed your kid for something that is NOT HER FAULT.
  • Why not “Happy BirthWEEK”?: Today is BDH’s birthday. But, schedules being what they are — BUSY — he picked up his own present, an iSomethingorother, last week sometime. And then we went out for a birthday lunch on Saturday after dance class. Also, I had bought steak to cook a special dinner, which he ended up cooking on Sunday. And today, we’re just having a regular meal, but we have birthday cupcakes and a few other little treats as well. And, because Stinkerbelle loves nothing more than to sing “Happy Birthday” and blow out candles and eat birthday cupcakes, no doubt we’ll do the cupcake thing again tomorrow, too. If we plan well, we could make this birthday last until November.

Random Tuesday: Tryptophan Edition

Happy post-Thanksgiving hangover, Canuckistani peeps. If you’re anything like me, you’ve got turkey-induced haze, likely to last as long as the leftovers do.

  • You’re Soaking In It.: Our dishwasher is broken. AGAIN.  ::cries real tears::  And that means, we’ve been having to wash all our dishes BY HAND. Including — are you sitting down? — THE DISHES FROM THANKSGIVING DINNER. Now, I don’t know if getting older means we’re getting smarter, or we’re getting lazier, but we decided that because of the busted dishmasher, and to make getting dinner on the table easier, we would prepare a lot of dinner in advance. Veggies were chopped the night before. Mashed potatoes, dressing and sweet potatoes were cooked in advance and then heated up for dinner time. And we washed dishes AS WE WENT ALONG. So after dinner, there were far fewer dishes than normal. Our kitchen was clean within about a half-hour of finishing dinner. And honestly? That hasn’t happened to us since… well, EVER, really. Even when our dishwasher was WORKING.
  • Wait, There’s Still PIE?: We made turkey dinner yesterday, and for three people, one of whom has eating issues and won’t touch turkey yet, and two of whom only ever eat white meat, a 5 kilo turkey? Is A LOT OF BIRD. But we ate, and we ate, and we ate some more, and Stinkerbelle made good work of lots of vegetables, and we were stunned into silence by the sheer volume of food ingested. And we have enough of everything to eat leftovers for dinner again tonight. But as we were packing everything away, we realized OMG WE HAVEN’T EVEN TOUCHED THE PIE. There was a lovely pumpkin pie, warm in the oven. On the off chance we might have some pie in the evening, we didn’t pack it away. Instead, BDH took some of That Girl’s magnetic letters off the fridge, and put the word “P I E” on the front of the oven, so we would not forget it was in there. And although the pie eventually got packed up, the letters are still on the oven door. I think it looks decorative, sort of like that fancy decal wall art everyone puts on their walls nowadays. Except ours is done by Fisher Price.
  • I Dreamed I Was a Caveman and Col. Sanders Was There: So, to be thrifty, last night right after dinner, we chucked the turkey carcass in the crock pot. We thought we could make lots of stock, thus getting more meals out of one cheap old bird, AND by running the crock pot overnight we’d save money in our new time-of-use energy billing. Win/win, AMIRITE? Yes, we are very clever. EXCEPT. Food cooking in the crock pot overnight leads to food smells throughout the house. And this means, as the smell of cooking poultry (well, broth actually, but WHATEVER) permeates your home at, say, 4 AM, while you are lying in bed sleeping, do not be surprised if you have some VERY STRANGE DREAMS. Accompanied by waking and sitting up and somewhat dozily muttering “WAIT WTF IS THAT SMELL” before your conscious mind kicks in and it’s all OH YEAH and you go back to your tryptophan-induced coma. To be fair, this is better than the nachos-induced dream the night before in which a) I was at my inlaws’ dream-state house and I had to pee really badly but their bathrooms were all remodeled and I was concerned I could not fit my fat arse into the little cubby where the toilet was, and 2) I punched Howard Jones in the face. (Note: these two dream segments were unrelated. And also? I like Howard Jones.)

Also, reminder!! Tomorrow is Movie Night Discussion Day! And after the week of glorious fall weather we had, this movie was a PERFECT addition, so I am looking forward to the discussion!

Tree

There’s this tree which I love. It’s in a neighbour’s yard (which I hate). But I can look out my back window and see this tree. And it turns the most gorgeous colours in the fall. I can never resist taking a photo.

Last year it was almost pink:

This year, it’s red and gold (note the neighbour’s new Titanic deck, which almost obscured my view OH NO YOU DONT LADY I WILL COME OVER THERE IF YOU BLOCK MY TREE):

I long to have this tree in my yard. I covet this tree. Although, maybe it’s prettier over there, where the light hits it differently. And where I don’t have to rake the leaves.

Two Things

1. It’s hot. Like, I mean, HOT hot. So can ANYBODY explain to me WHY in the name of all that is good and holy that I am ROASTING A CHICKEN today? In the OVEN? WITH vegetables?

It’s a billion degrees in here.

And 2. Don’t forget, tomorrow is our discussion of the movie for June, Whip It. We really enjoyed it — I look forward to everyone’s comments! And don’t forget to come with suggestions for our movie for July.

Random Tuesday: Spending Money Edition

The place is crawling with workmen, who are re-shingling our roof. It is noisy and busy and chances are, when you are reading this, we are not actually here, but rather someplace quieter and where Stinkerbelle can play without fear of stuff falling off the roof and landing on her head.

  • Note to self: When planning for the big expense of having your roof redone, also remember that a giant, heavy truck full of roofing supplies with likely come the day before to drop off your shingles and whatnot. And, if you have an asphalt driveway, be prepared that the heavy giant truck is more than your little asphalt driveway was constructed to bear. And there will be ruts and heaves and a big crack or two in the driveway when they leave. So in your budget, plan to pencil in “driveway repair and/or resurfacing” for the next year or two.
  • Note to self, part 2: Be aware that your nutty naked neighbours will complain. To me, and the roofers, and probably anyone else that will listen. About the OMG MESS AND NAILS EVERYWHERE AND DID YOU KNOW THEY ARE THROWING SHINGLES OFF THE ROOF. Even though these are THE TIDIEST ROOFERS IN HISTORY. Because they are throwing shingles off the roof and it startled one of her dippy students who was coming up the walk and apparently MISSED THE CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS EVERYWHERE AND THE ROOFERS SIGN AND BY THE WAY THE GIANT REFUSE BIN IN THE DRIVEWAY. And because the wind may catch some of the shingles being tossed off the roof and they might miss the bin and lay on your lawn for the 10 minutes it takes a guy to come down off a 3-storey house and tidy up. And because in Nutty Naked Neighbour Land, roofing is done silently and individual parts are walked up and down ladders and placed in padded soundproof bins and roofing jobs are done with magic and fairy farts.
  • Note to self, part the third: A gift certificate from the local nursery is a good way to apologize to nutty neighbours for the imaginary trauma of your roof being completed, with the added bonus of making them feel bad for complaining. Even if it was only 20 bucks. Hee.
  • This morning, we decided after Gym class to take a trip out to Corn Parking. This has several benefits, the first being we replenish our fruit and veg supply. But it also provides a bit of amusement for That Girl which is away from the noise and hubbub. So off we went to buy some local produce. When we arrived, there was a tractor trailer on the southbound side of the highway near the store.  I would not have taken much notice of it, except for the fact that, as we were parking our car, the driver of said tractor trailer decided it would be a good idea to TRY TO DO A U-TURN ON A TWO LANE HIGHWAY. Which ended, as you might expect, with the cab of said tractor trailer in the ditch on the northbound side of the road, and the trailer across and completely blocking the entire road. So, we finished our shopping, and then stood outside Corn Parking to have a little snack. It was then, TEN MINUTES LATER, when the driver of the tractor trailer comes ambling up the road and stops in at Corn Parking, I think hoping someone there would be fixing to do something about this here predicament he done got himself into. Nice. And when we left, ten minutes later, he was still there. He may STILL be there, because the only people at Corn Parking were the two girls who were stocking the place and working the till, and I doubt either one of them can tow a semi out of a ditch. Although you never know — farm girls are known to be strong.
  • You know how I am Sleep Disorder Woman, and I sleep with a CPAP mask on? Oh you didn’t? Well, I am, and I do. Except sometimes, in my sleep, when I am completely dead asleep… I will take my mask off for some unknown reason. It happens from time to time, and when it does, it means I spend a period of time sleeping in full-on sleep disorder mode. And that means, bad sleep, combined with allergies, results in me waking at some ungodly hour with sinuses jam-packed full solid, and sneezing my brains out. And, were you here, this is how you would have found me at four a.m this morning. Now, here’s the thing: did you know that the sun is already starting to peek up over the horizon at four a.m.? Oh you didn’t? Well that is probably because OMG NOBODY SHOULD BE AWAKE AT FOUR AM IT IS JUST WRONG. But I am here to tell you that it is. And at four a.m. and change this morning, I was PISSED. I was all REALLY SUN? I AM STRUGGLING TO GET BACK TO SLEEP BECAUSE IT IS THE MIDDLE OF THE FRICKING NIGHT AND YOU ARE COMING UP NOW? I HATE YOU. So, yes. This could be another reason why I am somewhat cranky today.

Random Tuesday: It’s Not the Heat, It’s the Humidity Edition

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Help me. I’m melting. Once again, it’s humid like an armpit outside. But with a kid, you have to go outside, forsaking air-conditioned comfort so your kid can run and play. Thank goodness it’s only going up to 31 (near 40 humidex) today.

Mind you, when it gets worse, and the air quality warnings start, it’s a good excuse to stay indoors.

  • I have purchased good things for my garden. 3 varieties of tomatoes, a cucumber plant, some sweet onions, one pot of basil (still have last season’s pesto in the freezer). I also have seed for carrots and green onions, which are going to be a little late but I don’t care. And some dirt to top up the garden. BDH found a bag of eggshells in the basement to mix into the soil, too, hopefully to help fight off tomato blight and rot — but at the very least, it will keep the slugs at bay. Now I just need to find the time and cooler temperatures to put it all in.
  • We had to buy some flowers for our garden. Generally it’s fun for Stinkerbelle, who trots around under the shaded greenhouses and picks up stones and generally amuses herself while I buy plants. She’s all into being bossy and will randomly say THIS ONE or GO THAT WAY or ALL DONE WE GO HOME NOW. Occasionally I will look up to find her carting a coreopsis or some petunias my way, which I then have to take back from whence they came. But the most fun is to have conversations with her about what to buy. Because she likes to have conversations; she just doesn’t have the vocabulary or receptive language to do it terribly well yet. But we have a running commentary nonetheless as we browse. Yesterday she was helping an older fellow choose tomato varieties. He ended up taking her choice, “THE YELLOW ONE”. And I feel kind of bad about not telling him that her favourite descriptive adjective du jour is YELLOW. Oh well. Possibly he will discover a heretofore unknown love of yellow tomatoes. I also like to get her to say plant names because they can be HILARIOUS. Today I got her to say “portulaca”. Which came out, very loudly and with great enthusiasm, ‘PORCHUSMAGA!” Which caused most of a greenhouse full of patrons to laugh heartily. And maybe even buy some porchusmaga, who knows.
  • It was considerably cooler in the Gym today for Stinkerbelle’s class, which is good because OMG INVASION OF THE SMALL PEOPLE AND THEIR CAREGIVERS! Seriously, today the class size must have instantly DOUBLED. A whole bunch of parents were there with their kids doing make-up classes, or trying out a class to see if they wanted to join, and it was busy and crowded and chaotic. Stinkerbelle, who LOVES a crowd, was even a little put off by the sheer number of people. She’d go to participate in something and then get to the apparatus and pause, because there was just a crowd of people surrounding it. So she mostly spent her time on the opposite side of the gym to where all the action was, usually following her little friend Isla, and so they had a lovely time on their own, swinging and jumping and playing. And she was tired at the end and just wanted to come home, which is always good.
  • It cost me FIFTY DOLLARS to fill up my car today. FIFTY! And that’s just where I stopped voluntarily; I probably could have filled it more. FIFTY! For a CAR! Gas prices are insane. I am lucky that I only have to putt around town a little bit in the course of a tank of gas, so I usually only have to fill up twice a month. What BDH spends on his daily commute, with an SUV, is starting to get ridiculous. But fifty dollars — do you KNOW how much ICE CREAM that could buy me? And I’m not even talking the cheap stuff; I’m talking PREMIUM like Haagen Dazs or Ben & Jerry’s.Or a ridiculous amount of yarn! Or a half a pair of really really nice shoes! Makes me want to cry just thinking about it. Did I mention… FIFTY!
  • We had major thunderstorm action come through here in the wee hours of the morning. Not the torrential downpour, wind-and-hail-and-fury thunderstorm action we normally get, wherein we go out on the porch to watch and get soaked to the skin like some freaks in a stormchasing reality show. No, this was more of a traditional old thunderstorm. Rain and thunder and lightning. Which I normally LOVE. I can sleep so well in a thunderstorm. I hear the rumbles of thunder and I roll over and snuggle down in bed and sleep like the dead. But not this morning. OH NO. This morning, the storm PARKED OVER OUR HOUSE and would periodically do a massive clap of thunder, weather’s way of saying “WAKE THE FUCK UP!!” So I was getting progressively more awake and pissed off when, around 4:30 or so, there was this earth-shattering CRACK! BOOM! of really bright lightning instantly followed by a HUGE clap of thunder. And I was all OKAY OKAY I AM SORRY I CUSSED YOU OUT I AM AWAKE NOW YOU BASTARDS. At which point, the storm was apparently satisfied and went merrily on its way. So now, not only am I hot and sweaty, I am sleep deprived today. And to add insult to injury, it’s too damn hot to make tea. NO CAFFEINE FOR YOU. The weather, it hates me.

Random Tuesday: OMG IT’S HOT Edition

OMG IT’S HOT. Like, 32 degrees with a humidex in the 40s hot.

Even if it were NOT Tuesday, my brain has turned to mush in the heat, thus rendering me unable to formulate a post consisting of anything more than the occasional thought that survives the oppressive humidity and/or does not die of heatstroke.

  • We spent two weeks on vacation, of which we had 3 sunny warm days. And then we returned to the grind at home and suddenly OMG SUMMER IS HERE WHAT WHAT. It figures. I’m feeling a bit of meteorological mental whiplash here.
  • After Stinkerbelle spent a few glorious afternoons on the trampoline with her cousins during the holiday, I’ve been all thinking about buying a trampoline if ever one goes on sale. (She’s still too little, so it won’t be this year.) My kid, who loves to jump almost as much as her mama, had THE BESTEST TIME EVAR on the trampoline. And I have to admit, the thought ME + JUMPING + TRAMPOLINE = WIN has crossed my mind a number of times. HOWEVER. It is now a few days later — a few hot, humid days later — and I’m all SCREW THE TRAMPOLINE LETS GET A POOL. Or a cottage on a lake. I’m not choosy. Rest assured, I will get back to you when we have the lottery winnings with which to do all this.
  • I was determined to be strong this year. I was going to tough it out. I was going to be smart and cut down on our energy bill. I was going to resist the siren call of the air conditioner in the name of saving money! And yet? The first hot humid day and ON WENT THE A/C WITH A FLIP OF MY FINGER. I totally, 100% CAVED, man. I have had the A/C running since last evening, when I decided that I would be of no use to anyone if I dissolved into a puddle of sweat right there in the kitchen. And I am NOT SORRY.
  • Today was Little Gym day for Stinkerbelle. I thought, at least we’ll get out somewhere air conditioned and let the kid run off some energy, rather than being cooped up at home! Hurrah! As did the other moms, from what I gather. As we all ran around a hot sweaty gym, sweating like sweaty things that sweat a lot. Looks like we were not the only ones who were trying to keep the energy bills down. ::gives Gym owners the peevish glare:: The kids did not seem to mind, though, although even they were feeling it by the end. There were many tears of frustration and discomfort from more than the average number of kids today. NOT MY KID, though. OH NO. As she ran from apparatus to apparatus, oblivious to the heat, and DEMANDING MY ASSISTANCE at every opportunity. Who does she think she is, anyway? I’ll get my own back in about 10 years’ time, when she’s too embarrassed to have me around and tells me to just stay home (where the A/C DOES work, I’ll have you know).
  • Ever have one of those moments when you want to intervene, even though you KNOW you shouldn’t? There was a new little boy in class today, a very young little fellow, brought there by (who I am assuming is) his nanny (although she COULD have been an adoptive parent, although a very young one). Anyway, we will call her Nanny. Humour me. So, this little boy was a sweet little fellow, not much language yet, and the thing that struck me was how… ABRUPT… this Nanny was with him. How ROUGH. She would chastise him, and manhandle him. And most often, she left him to do his own thing, this little fellow who probably did not get a lot of what was going on. And so, he focused on me, a smiling face who would talk to him. And at one point, he and Stinkerbelle were playing together. Another very pushy little girl came along, a girl who had been mauling this little chap all class long with no intervention or help from Nanny, and something happened. I did not see. But the little fellow began to cry. And he had no one to comfort him. Nanny barked at him, and dismissed him, and he wandered off, sobbing and occasionally calling for his Mama. And at that point, it was all I could do to resist scooping the little fellow up and hugging him and making him feel like somebody cared for him. But in this day and age, you cannot intervene with someone else’s child. And it broke my heart a little bit. No child should have to feel alone and hurt and sad, especially in a place like this where he’s supposed to be having fun. (BDH says I cannot love them all. This is a struggle for me.)
  • The upside of the warm weather? OUR FAVOURITE FARM MARKET IS OPEN!! Several months of fresh local produce stretch tantalizingly ahead of me. Life is pretty good, actually. If you can find a way to stay cool.