Thursday, June 26, 2014

T'was The Night Before Summer Vacation

T'was the night before summer vacation
And all through the villa,
Momma was sipping
A glass of straight teq'illa.

The book bags were flung
In the corner like trash,
Kids so hopped up on Freezies;
Ready to crash.

The children were passed out 
Laying half out of their beds,
With visions of non-school related
Fun in their heads.

Nick's looking weary
And I knew, in one of those ways,
That it was -undoubtedly- going to be
A fucking long 68 days.

When up on the staircase
There arose such a clatter,
I *drunken* stumbled out of my chair
To see what was the matter.

Away to the upstairs 
I wobbled like an ass,
Trying to maintain my composure,
My Mommy-like class.

The moon on the faces 
Of my two youngest tykes,
Gave the serious creepiness
Out of horror movies I like.

What to my terrified ears do I hear, 
(Oh my Lord)
"Mommy there's nothing to do;
We are bored!"

For a not-so-thin Mommy
I sure do move quick, 
I hustled down the stairs
To conspire with Nick.

More rapid than eagles
We worked on our phones, 
To organize activities
Before our Summer was blown.

Now splash pads! Now swimming lessons!
Now soccer and horse back riding!
In playgrounds! In museums!
On play dates and sliding.

To the top of that trail,
To hang out at the mall,
Now dash away! Dash away!
Dash away all!!

And then in a twinkling
I knew what to do, 
Pack lots of snacks
And memorize everywhere they can poo.

Our days would be packed-
With no time to sit,
Days of leisurely "Mom Stuff",
Had all gone to shit.

All Summer I plan 
To lug them around
To the fair, to the gym, 
Basically, all around town.

I'll take them home every evening,
Exhausted and dirty,
In time for supper and bath time
Then in bed by 7:30.

With a list of stuff to do
Our days will be long,
Filled with crayons, and scissors,
Disney, and songs.

Keeping them busy and happy
Will be a labour of love,
This is what Summer memories
Are surely made of.

Happy summer vacation to all, and to all a stiff drink!

<3 RP










Thursday, June 19, 2014

The End Is Coming

I have one full week to live.
Wow
Sorry
What I meant to type was: I have one full week until summer vacation starts. 

Ours is not a family that does well without consistent structure. Previous summers have taught me that I can no longer say, "we'll see how it goes" or "I don't know what we have planned yet. You guys?" Shit this summer needs to be meticulously planned and choreographed according to the moon cycles and bug feasting patterns. I have 68 days to fill with outside play dates, sensory activities, educational field trips, camp outs, cook outs, craft ideas, visiting random (mostly deaf) relatives, swimming, soccer, gardening, and playgrounds. 

Gone are the days of leisurely tanning in the backyard with a beer and a book; afternoons spent in the backyard now requires 1L of SPF 85, bug spray, wide brimmed hats, enough liquid to hydrate Wisconsin, band aides, iPod for music, a backpack full of snacks, and a slightly drunk Mommy is always favourable. 

I started planning for the summer holidays in May- that bitch isn't going to sneak up and ruin my life this year!! Oh no- with the help of caffeine and Pintrest, I got this. I have an entire virtual board filled with crafts, activities, and educational-homework-disguised as fun. These little bastards are going to go to bed each night exhausted, creative, and smarter- so help me God. 


Kids are always good in museums, right?!?






 
Anything else local to add to these lists? Help a Momma out...


Weekly rewards that I will make them learn how to read muahahaha

You're going down Summer!


My back-up plan


Friday, June 13, 2014

Father's Day

     Today, I'd like to acknowledge the men among us who are lucky enough to be called "Dad"

Today is for the modern man, the New Dad who learns how to change diapers, who takes his turn in the nightly feeding rotation, who gets spit up on, barfed on, and shit on...he is sleep deprived, malnourished and overwhelmed- but still remembers to tell baby's Mom that she's doing a great job.

Today is for the dads patiently teaching their kids to take a step, kick a ball, read a word, shoot a puck, cast a rod, tie their shoe, play a riff, change a tire, pump their own gas, do long division, tie a neck tie, hold the door open for an elder, and burp the alphabet.

Today is for the stay-at-home dads. God bless you. You gently flip society the bird while holding a crying toddler on your hip, helping Jr with his homework, and turning out a delicious supper all at the same time. 

Today is for the dads with daughters. Thank you for embracing pink and purple. Thank you for participating in tea parties, for knowing all the Disney princesses' names, for bringing beautiful flowers to her dance recital. Thank you for standing your ground and not letting her leave the house in that outfit, for giving her boyfriend a chance, for encouraging her to do anything- be everything, for barely holding it together walking her down the aisle. 

Today is for the dads with sons. Thank you for letting him decide what he's interested in. Thank you for letting him try every single sport, every single instrument, every single video game. Thank you for taking him outside, for teaching him how to treat women properly, for telling him that it's ok to make mistakes, for suggesting that he sees the world. Thank you for being the best example of what a "real man" should be. 

Today is a hurrah for the single dads. Are you even human?? Seriously, good for you; I think you're amazing. Your kids do too- trust me.

Today is for the dads of special needs children. These dads who navigate and overcome pained emotions, and loss of future dreams daily to find genuine contentment and joy in the kid they have been blessed with. We should exude gratitude and praise to these men, as the reality is that their kids may not be able to. 

Today is for the not-so-present dads. May today act as a reminder to them that they are not too late, that they can still be an active, instrumental part of their child's life. 

Today is for the Grandpas- it's definitely more fun the second time around, isn't it? :)

Today is for every man who has ever put his needs last to provide for his family, who spends a portion of every day trying to carve out a better place in this world for their child to exist happily in, who gives tirelessly of himself to his children- thank you. The happiest of Father's Days to you xo





Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Life is more entertaining in my head

I'm a pretty good parent- but if truth be told, that's only because I'm exceptional at censoring what's really going on in my head. 

Kid says: I drew this for you; do you know what it is?

What I say in my head: multicoloured spaghetti diarrhea? And that purple squiggle in the corner looks like a dick.

What I say out loud: Wow! Look at all those colors- can you name them all for me? It's beautiful.

Kid says: Can I play with the IPad in bed?

What I say in my head: I have a date with level 83 of Candy Crush in 10 minutes. You're going down chocolate mountain!

What I say out loud: the blue light from the iPad is bad for sleepy time.

Kid says: Oh yeah? Well I don't like you anymore!

What I say in my head: I haven't liked you in weeks- you're an asshole! As a matter of fact, we're through. Pack your crap and get out! I'm calling my mother.

What I say out loud: That hurt my feelings. You sit here alone and think about that.

Kid says: Guard the door while I go poop.

What I say in my head: We're the only two home!? Who in their right mind wants to barge in on your stinky self pooping??

What I say out loud: Sure thing Bud

Noëlle says (at 5:00 am): Do you want to eat?? 

What I say in my head: No. Sleeping. Go. Away. Now.

What I say out loud: Good communicating- you're so smart...and up early.

Kid says: Are those your boobies? 

What I say in my head: Nope. I went to the plastic surgeon and paid big bucks for these over-sized-had-three-kids-saggy tits. Aren't they awesome?

What I say out loud: Of course they're my boobies- they're part of my body and I love them (*gag, I know*)

Kid says: Let me play you a song on my drum.

What I say in my head: Holy fuck I wish you wouldn't. Seriously.

What I say out loud: I love your songs!!
{kill}
{me}

Kid says: Bubble Guppies. NOW!

What I say in my head: Wow- you're an asshole.

What I say out loud: I didn't hear any manners...

Kid says: I really want a cookie.

What I say in my head: Me too...and if you weren't standing here with me, I'd be eating one secretly.

What I say out loud: Supper is almost ready. You can have one after. 

Kid says: If Storm and Firestar had a fight, Firestar would win.

What I say in my head: No, Storm could just whip up a tornado and funnel Firestar's flame like a flamethrower...then She-Hulk would come and kick both those silly bitches asses. 

What I say out loud: Really? How come?

Kid says: Saku keeps sniffing me.

What I say in my head: That's because you smell like sweaty feet/peanut butter/ old farts/play doh

What I say out loud: That's because he loves you!

Kid says: YOU'RE NOT MY BEST FRIEND!!

What I say in my head: I've had whiney friends like you; they suck.

What I say out loud: No I'm not, I'm your Mother. 

Kid Says: Can I stay up late?

What I say in my head: HAHAHAHAHA
Fuck no. I've been excited for your bed time for seven hours.

What I say out loud: No.





*disclaimer*
My sensoring ability deteriorates with direct proportion to caffeine consumed/hours slept 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How To Have An "OKer" Marriage

     Have you seen any of these lists floating around Facebook and Pintrest: "25 Ways To Have A Happy Marriage" or "How to Keep Joy In Your Marriage" or "18,000,000 Tricks To Please Your Man" (That last one might have actually been a Cosmo title I saw at the cash at Walmart.) I skim through these lists, and I find them to be misogynistic, outdated, or just plain ridiculous:
"If someone has to win the argument, let it always be him."
"Have the house cleaned, and his favorite meal ready when he comes home."
"Do not burden him with your worries."
"Don't reject his advances in the bedroom"
"Occasionally slather yourself with chocolate and/or bacon grease."

I read these lists and I always think: "Is it just me, or is this not the fucking stupidest thing ever written!?" Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not above marriage advice, or even ideas on how to live our years so that they are the best; I am, however, above advice that debases the needs, thoughts, ambitions, and desires of one person in favour of another. I hate these lists because I feel like my marriage can never relate to them, I feel like they are almost always skewed to a particular sex, or religious belief, or impossible to achieve ideal.

So...
I made my own list that I will now force my husband, with penalties of a swift death, to adhere to.

Rachel's List To {maybe} Avoid Divorce:

1. The Marriage Hierarchy
Spouse
Children
Family 
Friends
Community
Segal/Star Wars/Lord of the Ring/007 Movies

This should be the order of importance. My husband and our relationship should always come first. My parents did this- they always sided with each other (even though they were usually dead wrong.) Sure, at the time we hated them for it, but hey, they're going on almost 40 years married...so turns out they were right. Yup, still hate admitting that...

2. Alone Time
"My husband is my best friend!"
No, he's not. He's your husband. You have an actual best friend- go hang out with her! HE has a best friend- he needs to go hang out with him...without you. Everyone needs personal time/space to enjoy and pursue interests and hobbies, to bond and relate with their friends. To deny this is selfish, immature, and stifling.

3. Go to bed angry.
Bitch please, we've had arguments that have lasted a week- you expect me to not go to bed until that's straightened out!? Nope. Go to bed. Get some sleep. Cool your jets. Wake up (hopefully) less angry/stubborn/irrational/venomous.
If need be, carry on fighting- after caffeine has been consumed...let's argue responsibly please.

4. Don't hate on their family/friends.
Yes, his Uncle's step-daughter's boyfriend is a complete douchebag...don't constantly point it out. Unless he does first...then by all means, make fun of that knob together. 

5. Praise him publicly.
Yes, yes- this one is annoying and cliché, but I actually agree with it. I try to always build Nick up, openly praising his work ethic, his ability to provide for us, his superior parenting skills, his excellent husbandtry (not even sure if that's an actual word...sounds like a class you take in high school, right after carpentry...) It would be hard for Nick to believe that I love and respect him if I did otherwise. 

6. Split the household work in a way that makes sense to your family.
I'm a stay-at-home mom so it makes sense that I do most of the household chores; however, that's not chiseled in stone, and I'm also not the maid. Don't be that jackass guy who leaves his underwear on the floor in front of the goddamn hamper. Don't be a slob. Women, don't be a martyr, or worse, a Facebook domestic victim constantly whining about how you're the only one who cleans. Unless you're bitching about the empty toilet paper roll...seriously, I will hunt you down like the lazy swine you are if pull that stunt with me >:/

7. Keep things spicy- learn a new trick in the bedroom.
Pretty self-explanatory. 
Not good at learning tricks? Amazon had great...er..."tricks" books.

8. Sex
Yes please! Intimacy and physical touch is pretty damn important in a marriage. It shouldn't be used as a bartering chip, or withheld as blackmail.

9. Stop pointing fingers
This isn't Yahtzee; stop keeping score. The need to constantly, without fail, point out who was wrong, how often they were wrong, and the severity of how god damn wrong they were is not only unbecoming, it's exhausting and syphons all positivity from a relationship. 

10. Don't be an Asshole
(A) When fighting, don't call names, swear, or bring up things that have already been forgiven/solved.

(B) If you realize that one of you are acting like an Asshole, you should be able to call an Asshole Timeout. It can go something like this:
"Wait, wait. Asshole Time Out. One of us is being a douche. Let's take some deep breaths, sit quiet for a minute and start over."  No offence should be taken during an Asshole Timeout.

Those are my basics to *possibly* not get divorced. 
I'd love to hear any additions you'd like added.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Happy 32nd Bday To Me!!

A cross section of my birthday:

-Wake up to my alarm; decide I don't need a shower today- sleep for another 30 minutes.
-Wake up. For real this time.
-Get two older kids ready for school; son is whiney (secretly grateful it's not the weekend.)
-Put kid #2 on the bus.
-Put kid #1 on the van.
-Get locked out of the fucking house by kid #3 (thank god I had enough brains to put a coat on before going outside to put Noëlle on the bus. Our keypad lock's batteries are dying, so it took me a good ten minutes to unlock the door. Apparently toddlers think hypothermia is hilarious.)
-Take kid #3 to her first dentist appointment. Bribe her with Timbits. Don't give a shit how counter-productive this is.
-Get kicked in the shin by strange kid at the dentist's. Congratulate myself on not body slamming him à la 1989 Macho Man Randy Savage style.
-Lie about flossing my two year old's teeth daily :/
-Take toddler to Walmart: pass an older gentleman with a long white beard- my kid freaks out, yelling "Santa! Santa!" It was straight out of Will Ferrell's "Elf" I shit you not. Thankfully, he was too old to actually hear her.
-Come home, put sleepy kid to bed.
-Bake my own GF birthday cake.
-Snuggle in front of the fireplace with a Pepsi and new book.
-Promptly get a phone call from the school: "please come get your barfy kids."
-Wake up toddler, go get sickies.
-Spend afternoon with kiddos in the toyroom, watching cartoons.
-Super hubby saves the day by bringing home Chinese food.
-Gorge until I slightly hate myself. 
-No one eats the cake hahaha
-Monitor tubby time while hubby cleans up and does dishes.
-Bath time interrupted by floating poop.
-Wash tub. Re-wash kids.
-Bedtime! {insert music from choirs of heavenly angels}
-Bask in all the Facebook love <3
-Snuggle in front of the fire to blog...and watch a Steven Segal movie :)

A perfect day, imperfections and all xo


Thursday, December 12, 2013

West Jet's Annual Xmas Extravagance

If you've spent any time on Facebook this week, you've undoubtedly saw, or heard about, West Jet's YouTube video. If you haven't- here's the low down:
West Jet set up a virtual Santa Clause in the terminal that passengers boarding the plane got to tell what they wanted for Christmas. While the passengers were in the air, West Jet employees then went shopping for each item requested by unsuspecting passengers. After they landed, their gifts were delivered via the baggage carousel. Tears, surprise, and genuine gratitude was displayed by all. A feel good story that has been shared over one million times already. 

Here's a bit of "Bah Humbug" for ya...I hated it. I thought the money spent on this kerfuffle (Google it, it's totally a word) was wasted on affluent jet setters. Do not for one second believe that this was anything other than a brilliantly devised marketing ploy; a clever, and well executed maneuver to stand out, and utilize social media to advertise. For that I guess, well done. 

Let's say that entire production cost West Jet $100,000 (pennies compared to the airplay they've gotten from it)- if they really wanted to use their corporate name, money, and influence to make a real difference in lives during the holidays- or everyday for that matter- they could have spent that money differently. Given an hour, I bet you could come up with almost a hundred different ways. Don't have an hour? 

I do.

1. Give the money to a women's shelter to help pay for therapy, job training, and education.
2. Pick 30 elementary schools and sponsor their breakfast programs FOR A YEAR!
3. Buy an abandoned lot and build a playground.
4. Fund several before/after school programs.
5. Create a dozen community gardens in low income neighbourhoods so everyone can have access to fresh, organic produce.


6. Pick one of the MILLIONS of community centres around the country and help them expand/renovate/innovate their programming.
7. Fund programming at a library.
8. Give all the money to the Dup15q Alliance (www.dup15q.org) ;)


9. Give the money to absolutely any homeless shelter.
10. Fund a program where retired police/military work within the schools to help with the issue of bullying (enough of this Wear A Pink Shirt To School bullshit- we need concrete solutions, not fashion)
11. Fund Self-esteem/self-worth workshops for at risk youths. 
12. Donate 200 iPads to Autism Speaks (this isn't for entertainment- these help our kids communicate and interact!)
13. Pimp out a Snow Suit Fund.
14. Sponsor an ENTIRE VILLAGE in Ethiopia- bicycles, chickens, goats, oxens, feed, seeds, fencing, irrigation.


15. Donate it to a struggling hospice.
16. Donate it to ANY children's hospice (Roger's House has my vote...and heart)
17. Use it to provide respite to 100 overwhelmed families who desperately need it.
18. Educate a community about alternative medicines.
19. Dig a well in Africa.
20. Start a scholarship for high school students going into the trades.
21. Create a grant for musicians.
22. Create a grant for artists.


23. Pick a crappy assisted living retirement home and renovate it.
24. Back an entrepreneur starting an organic fast food chain (for the love of a God, why aren't we funding this?!)
25. Donate it to a crisis centre.
26. Use it to upgrade a small community's fire truck/pumper.
27. Get a volunteer fire department new gear!

(Aren't they kinda awesome?!?)

28. Give it to one school board and have it dedicated towards more EAs and ECEs in the classrooms!
29. Buy $100,000 worth of toys, clothes, and books for kids in foster homes, and group homes.
30. Assist any number of single parent households struggling to make ends meet.
31. Hold a giant Health and Wellness Expo with free admission!


32. Give it to the United Way (do you have any idea how many different programs they distribute money to??)
33. Create 250 Cristmas baskets for families in need (toys for the kids, hats/mitts/scarves for everyone, Christmas supper)
34. Any soup kitchen in North America would faint over a $100,000 cheque.
35. Fund a program for teenage moms to subsidize their daycare needs while finishing high school, and while furthering their education and/or job training.
36. Create a grant for first time entrepreneurs. 
37. Create a grant to help subsidize rising hydro costs for the working poor.
38. Free yoga/boot camp in the park for an entire summer. For anyone.
39. Give it to four different animal shelters.
(Well hello there!)

40. Create a grant for a holistic veterinarian starting his/her practice.
41. Create a grant for a holistic dentist starting a new practice. 
42. Donate it to a hospital to forgive someone's medical debt.
43. Fund a program that teaches youths about debt, their credit scores, money management, creating a budget, savings/GICs/RSPs/RESP...you know, all the unimportant stuff they don't teach in school -,-
44. Make A Wish Foundation.
45. Pay for a service dog or eight...
46. Help fund a small community's Green Bin program.
47. 100 gym memberships 
48. 100 grocery gift cards earmarked for organic fruits and veggies.
49. Habitat for Humanity.
50. Free music lessons to an entire community.


51. Funnel it into an established program that pays for sports registration and equipment for kids who's parents cannot afford it. 
52. New books for an old library.
53. Donate it to a mental health facility. 
54. Wind turbines.
55. Solar panels.
56. Free swimming lessons at a facility. For a year.
57. A fully adapted van for a special needs family.
58. Autism research.
59. An electronics recycling program- pretty much anywhere really.
60. Pick any number of baby boomers who have lost their jobs due to plant closures and pay for their re-education and job training.
61. Create a mentoring program for teenagers after school.



62. Subsidize utility bills for seniors on a fixed income within a community.
63. Create a Mom & Tot play group/support group; pay for it's location and programming for a year. These are vital within the community!
64. Create 667 "Patio Garden Kits" and distribute them in an urban setting. 
65. Create a little subdivision of "Tiny Homes" (Google them- they're awesome) for the homeless to live in while they find jobs, and get back on their feet.

(Tumbleweed homes are my favorite) 

66. Literally ANY small community hospital could use 100 grand.
67. Bet that would buy a new MRI machine...
68. Work programs for the developmentally challenged.
69. Day programs for the developmentally challenged. (Beyond 21 is our local non-government funded post education program.)
70. Pay off $100,000 from someone's mortgage (recently unemployed perhapse?)
71. Start a youths/seniors group: seniors get visitors and learn technology maybe, youths get to learn about traditional skills and lifestyles.
72. Build an Independant gym/stage/study hall that homeschooling families can utilize, share, and socialize in.
73. Go to any job bank and hand out cheques for $5000- help them out while they're actively trying to provide for their families. 
74. Sexual abuse victims. 
75. Browse Gofundme or Kickstart- there are so many deserving causes!!
 

So, I just deleted an entire paragraph; instead of leaving you with my jaded grumblings on consumerism, media, and the art of distraction, I'd rather you think about my list. What would you add to your list? What would you like companies such as West Jet to spend $100,000 on?  How would your community benefit? How could the global community benefit? 
How can we make this happen...