Monday, December 31, 2012


Today is our anniversary. Nick and I have a good marriage: nothing dramatic, full of love. I don't have any tips to offer- I have no idea what "marriage" means for other couples. I'm sure they fight differently than us, show affection differently, have fun in other ways. For us, marriage means forever; it means forgiveness; it means love. I don't mean the I-cant-wait-to-jump-your-bones kind of love {although, that is what got us into bed with each other. Literally :) }

For Nick, love means drinking your coffee black at 5:30 am so that I can have the last bit of cream when I get up at 7:00 (who am I kidding? When I get up at 8:00)

Love means taking Noëlle to the dentist every four months because it makes me sad.

Love means taking Noëlle to speech therapy every week to give me a break.

Love means buying me a Christmas gift even though we agreed only to buy for the kids.

Love means spending a small fortune on a giant book shelf to house all my books that I refuse to part with.

Love means getting up with the kids on his morning off so I can sleep in.

Love means taking the dog to the vet, because that makes me sad too.

Love is watching the movie "Serenity" again, and not complaining because its my turn to pick the movie.

Love means its almost always my turn to pick the movie.

Love is clearing the snow off my car, saving the only Pepsi for me, and ordering Canadian pizza without mushrooms.

Love means cooking supper on the BBQ when I'm tired, cleaning the toy room while I'm in the sauna, washing all the floors after I go to bed, and taking over "Time Out" duty when he gets home from work.

I love the way he loves!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

T'was The Night After Christmas

T'was the night AFTER Christmas
And all through our home,
Not a toddler was stirring
I was finally alone.

The stockings that were hung by the fire
Were depleted
The fiasco of opening them
Hopefully never to be repeated.

The children were nestled, all snug in their beds
Wearing new Christmas jammies- white, green, and red.
With me in my slippers, and Nick trying not to make noise,
Were desperately trying to organize new toys.

When out in the kitchen Saku made such a clatter
I sprang to the doorway to see what was the matter.
Away to the kitchen I flew like a pup
Before the stupid dog woke all three kids up.

There sat the dog
As pathetic as a wino,
Cornered under the island
By Dryden's new remote control Dino.

With Little People taking over the hutch,
And a billion new Hot Wheels cars proving to be too much-
My husband was frowning and starting to pout,
Growling, and threatening to throw old toys out.

More puzzles! More tractors! More crayons and dump trucks!
More play food! More movies!
More babies and foam pucks!
Hide away in some baskets
In the toy room, in the hall
Now stash away! Stash away!
Stash away all!

I stepped down and I heard "crunch" on the floor
Noelle's new stuffed bear- it let out a roar!
I whispered a curse, decided my husband could win,
I then turned around to see Nick with a grin.

"Our kids are so lucky: our families go all out,
These toys will make them happy
Of that there is no doubt."
An armful of toys he stuffed onto a shelf,
And I had to agree, in spite of myself.

Their eyes how they twinkled
As they opened their toys,
And it was the family surrounding them-
All of our siblings girls and boys.

As they grow older, these gifts they'll forget,
It's the memories of family they'll remember I bet.
They'll look forward to holidays
Of making time out to gather,
It'll be family, not toys, that they'll eventually rather.

Until then, we're happy to pick up their toys
Put them away so they don't make too much noise.
Our family is blessed, and the world feels just right-
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Friday, December 21, 2012

December 21st, 2012

There was a lot of hype leading up to today. In case you are not "in the know", or just waking up from an extended coma (if you ARE just waking from a coma, thank you for reading my blog! Welcome to 2012) then you know that today was, allegedly, supposed to be the end of the world. Some ancient Mayan calendar had today's date as the last day (I tried watching a documentary on it last night, to inform myself better- but it was so frigging boring. I watched Bad Boys instead.) In all honesty, if I genuinely thought today was the Beginning Of The End, I would have spent our Christmas money of food, water, guns, and medicine; traded our car and truck in for a boat, and fortified our house. I didn't. I bought Christmas gifts for our kids. Like most sane people did.

On the other hand, I have been wrong before. I was 0.0061% sure today was IT. So I took pains to make today extra special...just in case. I served chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate milk for breakfast. I even went whole hog and put 10% cream in my coffee. I turned the bathroom into a beach party- music, snacks, unlimited bubbles, and no time limit. I served Kraft Dinner for lunch and made nap time optional (the baby doesn't know what "optional" means yet, so she foolishly chose to go to bed.) We put on our jammies and watched cartoons, played on the couch, cheered on Philip as he cleared our driveway with the tractor, ate cheesies, split a Pepsi, and did a craft. Everyone ate their favourite meal for supper and no one had to clean up their toys before bed.

So, as the Earth keeps spinning, and the Doom Mongers unknot their panties, I wonder if any of my little ones will remember today? Probably not. But when they're older and are facing their own generation's End Of The World, I can assure them that we already survived one together...and had a pretty great time.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


I don't know how other mothers manage their household and raise their kids while they themselves are sick. However they do it, I'm sure it's better than me.

How other sick moms make breakfast:
They make creamy, rich, steaming hot oatmeal so that everyone starts the day off warm.

How I make breakfast when sick:
I throw each kid a Nutrigrain bar, and add Neo Citran to my coffee.

How other sick moms entertain their kids:
They snuggle while watching cartoons, do puzzles quietly on the floor, read books.

How I entertain the kids when sick:
We compete to see who can snort the most Gravol, and then Google my various symptoms together.

How other sick moms make lunch:
Make a quick PB&J sandwich and goldfish crackers.

How I make the kids lunch when sick:
Give Dryden a box of KD and tell him not to turn the burner up past med-high (for safety reasons.)

How other sick moms spend the afternoon:
Eating homemade chicken noodle soup, reading a magazine, napping in between checking on the sleeping kids.

How I spend the afternoon when sick:
I jack up the fireplace, put on the longest Jim Carrey movie I can find, to occupy the non-nappers, and roll over on the couch. Try not to snore louder than JC's obnoxious voice.

How other sick moms complain to their partner:
"I'm not feeling my best today Hun."

How I complain to my husband when sick:
"I'm dying. I'm fucking dying! IM DYING!!!"

How other sick moms answer the phone:
"*sniff* hello?"

How I answer the phone when sick:
"HackCoughHorkCoughGagCoughCpughPitchooBlarg?" (they eventually hang up)

How other sick moms make supper when sick:
They take out a pre-made, home cooked meal from their freezer.

How I make supper when sick:
"Fend for yourselves. I suggest take out. Order me soup."

How other sick moms take care of themselves:
The make some herbal tea, take a hot, detoxing bath, smear honey and cinnamon from head to toe, and get 10-12 hours of sleep.

How I take care of myself when sick:
Chug NyQuil, smoke a pack of cigarillos, watch Netflix, smear Vicks capo rub on my feet, pass out in front of the fire.

{** Disclaimer** I am kidding- I have never given my kids Gravol ever, and they are not permitted near the stove. I do not make them watch Jim Carrey movies- that would be cruel. RMP**}

Friday, December 14, 2012

Hug 'Em Tight

A shift occurred in me the very instant I became a parent. I could no longer watch TV shows that I used to enjoy; I found it hard to be entertained by story lines of children being killed, or kidnapped, or abused. Any movie I watched that involved the black depravity of mankind being focused on a child made me sad. Just plain, deep-down-in-you-stomach sad. Images of starving, sick, or abandoned children squeezed my heart. Hard. I needed to purge my head, and my heart, of those dark scenarios if I had any hope of being a well-balanced mother.

Today's deadly shooting at the elementary school in Connecticut filled me with grief and despair. My Facebook newsfeed was flooded with condolences and outrage by family and friends who, like myself, feel a genuine, and overwhelming sense of grief, and loss.

I sometimes feel that as a society, we are poised at the edge of our seats, waiting for the world to hit rock bottom before we act, before we take action to actively swing the pendulum back the other way. Surely the mass murder of four year old children should be our breaking point- surely, I cannot be the only one saying, "This is it! We NEED to act!"

I do not have the answers; I am an answerless pit of questions and doubt. I know that I cannot change gun legislations. I know that I cannot be The World's Defender in time of great need. But here's what I do know: I've had enough. As my friend Gina said, simply and profoundly: "Something has to change." We have the power to change things, right now- tonight.

We need to invest in the mental health of those around us (mentally sane people do not see the logic in shooting up a little school.) We need to find the money to recognize, treat, and support those in our communities who are battling their own personal fights from within. We can no longer afford to turn a blind eye and fein ignorance. These people are not "throw aways"; we, society, need to do better.

We need to teach our children that they have immense value. They are not the sum of their popularity (or lack thereof) at school; they are not the sexual objects that media is hell bent on turning them into; they are not the first people to feel voiceless and misunderstood. There IS life after high school. We need to arm our kids and young people with confidence: in themselves, in their ability, in their talents, in their uniqueness. We need to instil in them forgiveness, compassion, and empathy...and in the right situation, outrage. We need to repeat, endlessly, that kindness is needed; that it is never ok to stand by while others are being hurt; to defend and speak loudly about what they believe in- whatever that may be.

We need to be kinder. When did that become uncool? When did being nice to people become cliche? This notion- to just be nicer- is ridiculously simple. Try it, in small amounts if need be. But just try it.

We need to stop being so angry, so judgemental, so full of hate. It poisons your soul, weighs down your heart, changes who you are fundamentally. The relief, and rejuvenation you feel when you let these things go is all encompassing.

We need to stand up for others. We need to be brave, confident, indignant, and strong when they themselves cannot. We need to foster a greater sense of camaraderie, of unity, of community. These can make all the difference to someone.

We need to tell our family and friends that they are important to us. Hold them close, and tight, and make sure they know that they are loved, appreciated, and valued. Forgive easier, apologize sooner, make an effort to stay connected. Tell your children that they are amazing, that you love them, that they are everything you have EVER wanted. Even your teenagers...after all, they'll eventually start acting like human beings hope.

It is the small things, the values that we we ingrained with growing up, that will start pushing the pendulum back. We need to change; we simply can't continue on this path and expect goodness to be waiting at the end. Hug your children tight tonight. If you don't have kids, just hug someone, anyone. We could all use it.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Nerd Turd

I hate my smile. Now, although my teeth aren't horrendous- they are imperfect enough to make me feel self-conscious. I rarely smile those open and spontaneous "toothy" smiles all the bitches in toothpaste commercials have perfected. My standard photo op smile is a cross between "Angry Duck Face" and "Shy Geisha Smirk." (Let that visual sink in.) Now understand why I am the Picture Taker and avoid being immortalized on film at all cost.

This Tuesday morning, at the ripe old age of 30, I got braces. I guess I romanticized the idea of braces, because I was a bit unprepared for how they would look and feel.

My whole mouth is throbbing. It feels like a mini dance party in there- minus the tequila shots...which might help the pain.

It hurts to eat soup.

They installed "bite guards" on my top incisors (pointy teeth) which are hard plastic nubs which prevent me from chewing properly. How am I supposed to eat with these suckin' things on?

How do you think they look? I have fucking braces and I'm 30. They look stupid.

I used a month's worth of wax covering every pointy part of these metal babies so they'd stop shredding the inside of my lips and cheeks to ribbons. So it kinda doesn't look like braces...more like I haven't brushed my teeth in...ever.

Those bite guards I mentioned on my top pointy teeth? Yeah, they make me look like a vampire. Throw some fucking glitter on me and I could be Edward Cullen's long last, fatter half-sister.

I'm only half serious. I'm happy I have them. I know the pain will go away. I know I will love my smile. And since I cannot chew- I'm bound to drop some pounds.



For those who have not read "Welcome To Holland", it compares having a special needs child (instead of a regular child) with ending up in Holland instead of your intended destination of Italy. It's a lovely poem. A bit too lovely actually...euphemisms and sandalwood scented smoke that softens the truth surrounding the endless struggles we face daily as we make it up as we go along. If I had been clever enough to pen this piece first, this is how it would read:

"Welcome To...Where The F%#k Are We?!"
By Rachel Pomainville

I am almost never asked to describe my experience of raising a developmentally challenged child- if I was, I would say it is like this...

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning your dream vacation- to Vegas. You buy some guide books, pack some naughty clothes, detox your liver. It's all very exciting.

After months if meticulous planning, you finally get to board the plane and take off. Sitting there next to your husband, you notice that everyone else on the plane is as nervous and as anxious as you are. Suddenly, the plane hits some turbulence and instantly, you start falling from the sky. Everyone is screaming and crying out in fear and panic. The pungent scent of wet shit hangs heavy in the air...and did someone just barf in your lap?! The dangling oxygen masks keep smacking you in the face and your heart is vibrating in your chest- threatening to explode at any moment. As quickly as it started- it is over; the plane is slowly descending and landing safely. You are dazed. You are also loudly demanding for a refund, or at least some more free stale peanuts, god damn it!

The haggard flight attendant opens the door. You look out, squinting into the sunlight and exclaim, "Where the fuck are we? This isn't Vegas!"
"I don't know where we are; I just know that this is your stop" the flight attendant says sympathetically.

So there you are- stranded in a strange place, with no idea where you are, how you got there, or what you should do next. You and your husband wander around blindly, looking for anyone who can help you navigate and find your way. Everyone you ask is giving you different directions, everyone is offering unsolicited advice, everyone is looking at you funny...some of them, with pity. You and your husband are no longer talking- apparently wandering aimlessly frays on one's nerves. Now you feel even more alone and lost and isolated.

With some luck, and a healthy dose of perseverance, you manage to find a hostel: a safe haven where like minded, tired soul have congregated to rest their weary heads. That night, as you look out your window at the city below, you realize that this- wherever the hell you are- is now home base. Sure, you'll get to visit and experience Vegas eventually (we cannot talk about it though. That shit stays in Vegas) but you'll always have to return here. You'll adapt and find your place here- you'll make a home and love it.

But there will be times, sometime when you least expect it, when you secretly yearn for the excitement and bright lights of Vegas now and then. And that's ok. Just don't let that yearning define you. You'll miss the beauty, joy, and fun right under your nose if your eyes are always focused on exotic places beyond.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Happy Birthday Noëlle

Five years ago this morning, I gave birth to my first child. Noëlle made her grand entrance amidst a fierce and furious snowstorm; appropriate foreshadowing of our future journey with her.

These last five years (or 1,821 days to be exact) have been the hardest of my life. I have been exhausted, and sleep deprived beyond what I thought was my physical limit; I found it tremendously difficult to transition from making a vey good living to relying on my husband to provide for us. Relinquishing financial control made me resentful. It took 10 long months before I started to honestly, and genuinely enjoy being a stay-at-home mom; I finally truly understood what "frustration" and "monotony" meant. I experienced heartache, and devastation like my soul was never meant to know. I discovered the necessity of fighting with every ounce for the tools my daughter needed; I had to finally break down and ask for help. I have known doubt, worry, uncertainty, anger, and disappointment that no one ever bothered to prepare me for. I have reached the end of my rope...and taught myself how to make that rope longer. These last five years have been hard.

These last five years (1,821 hard earned days) have been the most rewarding, and prosperous years I have ever had. I believe in how strong I am, as a person, as a mother. No one in the world will ever love me as unconditionally as Noëlle does. My marriage and relationship with Nick gets stronger every day, with every new hurdle we launch over. I finally truly understand what "selflessness" and "sacrifice" means. I realize how fortunate we are that I can stay at home with the kids- they are the funniest, most shockingly clever little humans I know. I appreciate the simple things that I used to overlook: a sunny afternoon spent in the sandbox, a new word uttered spontaneously, an unexpected hug, a soundly sleeping child. I find that patience, compassion, and empathy come easier to me now. I have known love, joy, excitement, gratitude, and satisfaction that only another parent can understand. I have changed and become a different person- the kind of person I had always wanted to be. These last five years, 1,821 blessed days, have been worth it.

Happy 5th birthday Noëlle...and thank you.
Love, Mommy

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Are You There God? It's Me, Rachel

This past Sunday we finally had our 10 month old daughter Raegan baptized. Why did we wait so long? Because we are horrible Catholics, that's why. Seriously. Christ sees us coming, and he turns and mutters to Gabriel under his breath, "Oh great, not these fucking assholes again." Without a doubt, we do not attend mass as often as we should, as often as we'd like. To be honest, we were quite embarrassed and anxious to ask our priest, who never sees us, to christen Raegan. Our options were few: bite the holy bullet and ask, or change religions.
(Would we get to meet Tom Cruise if we converted to Scientology?! That should be a selling feature on their pamphlet. I would also consider becoming a Jehovah's Witness. I would only visit the people I didn't like though. Gave my kid a dirty look in the grocery store? Gossiped about me at the Tupperware party did ya? Guess who's getting weekly visits and pamphlets for the next two years to try to save your lying, whoring ass...See you later during the most inconvenient time of your day!)

We don't go to Church because my husband works on the weekends and the thought of trying to wrangle three kids by myself during mass turns my bowels to burning liquid. I see other babies at church sleeping soundly, nestled at their parent's neck and toddlers sitting silent and serene playing with their homemade quiet books, and I think to myself, "HA! Fat fucking chance." Dryden would take that quiet book, turn around waving it and yell to whoever was sitting nearest to us, "LOOK! I GOTTA BOOK! WANNA PLAY? LET'S SING: wonder pets, wonder pets, Jesus loves you..." All the while I'd be swatting him and hissing "Shhhh!" in my most pissed off whisper. Meanwhile, the baby would have crapped herself (probably leaking out, ruining her dress that I had to hold her down and wrestle her into) and the toxic fumes being emitted from this Diaper From Satan Himself would gag and sicken everyone around us. I wouldn't be able to change her right away though, because she would inevitably be screaming for a bottle. A bottle that Noëlle would undoubtedly have wandered away with on her quest to be picked up and snuggled by everyone present in the building. That would be me, trailing after her from pew to pew whispering fiercely, "Get ov...Get back...come here...Jesus Christ get over here NOW!" At the end of the mass I would be exhausted, furious, embarrassed, and would have cursed every vile word known to mankind in my head. Now doesn't that sound like a renewing, spiritual weekly ritual to you? Me neither.

(After that rant, I forget why I like going to Church at all...)

Our priest was cool- he understands how life can get. So on Sunday we had our family and close friends over to help celebrate Raegan's induction into the Church, and into our parish community. My Mom had to let out the seams and McGuiver'ed the dress to fit Raegan- that's how long we waited to get her baptized :s The Church echoed with the sounds of kids playing and laughing and having a great time, and Raegan's god parents Marc and Marie took their jobs very seriously. We are fortunate to have family and friends who always come to support and rejoice in our young family's special days; they shower us with gifts, and carve time out of their busy lives to show that they love us, and that we are important to them. God has bestowed upon us these blessings, and we will renew our efforts to repay him in kind.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Confessions Of A Terrible Mother

No parent is perfect. That being said, most parents start out with grandiose intentions; the first time we hold that tiny, wrinkled baby we vow that we will be amazing parents. Whether we promise to be better than, or as good as, our own parents- we all have a gauge to compare our parenting against. Somewhere along the way, reality sets in. It's impossible to be attentive 100% of the time, some meals you make just suck, there are days when your patience is shot to shit, and sometimes broken promises are unavoidable, regardless how much it pains, and shames, us to break them.

I am not "most" parents. The very first time I held our first born, I closed my eyes, snuggled her tight, and silently promised not to fuck up too badly. I had no delusions of grandeur, I refused to lie to her- this real, live human being that I was suddenly responsible for. I knew there was little chance that I would prove to be the first Perfect Parent ever created; I just had my fingers crossed that somewhere amidst the flailing, and fumbling, trial, and error, good intentions, and ambitious ideas, that in the end I would have helped raise a truly fabulous person.

Five years in: parenting is hard. Three babies in four years was/is exhausting. Figuring out how to raise a developmentally challenged child is a daily struggle. Sometimes parental shortcuts must be taken. I'm confident enough in my role as Mom to admit to doing these.

- Floss my three year old's teeth? Sure every night. And by every night, I obviously mean every third or fourth month.
- I have been known to put on an extra long cartoon so that I can catch a nap on the couch after a too early breakfast.
- You only want to eat yellow things today?! Sure, I don't care. Here's a can of corn.
- Endure 30 minutes of yelling, or let kid take milk to bed. Seriously? Homo or 2% my friend?
- We've donated an iPhone and an iPod touch to The Keep The Children Happy And Quiet Foundation. A worthy cause btw, look it up...
- You want to take 4 bubble baths today? Will it shut you up for at least 20 minutes each time? Cool. Lets get Bubblelicious!
- There was a good three week period recently where all the kids worn nothing but jammies. I may, or may not, have taken part in Jammie Fest 2012
- We taught Dryden to fetch Kleenex, pacifiers, milk bottles, remotes, beer, diapers. Some would say we are lazy. I say Dryden is earning his eight quarters/week.
- I am guilty of doing The Spot Clean. Wash all my floors? Fuck that- I'm just washing the spots that are dirty. Wash under the couch? Why- so lost toys have a clean hide out??
- "Saku! Come eat this off the floor please" is said daily at our house.
*Saku is our dog for those who don't know. We do not have a child named Saku who is only permitted to eat accidentally dropped food off the floor. Even I think that's horrible parenting...
- I pretend not to notice when Dryden sneaks a mini chocolate chip to Raegan. That's because I've already stolen a handful of them myself.
- When baby Raegan is in a rotten mood, she gets a handful of cheesies. No questions asked.
- Noëlle sometimes steals sips of my neglected, or misplaced, coffee/latte/cappuccino. I let her- she stopped drinking when she was 18 months old, so on the odd occasions that she drinks anything I'm impressed.
-I let Dryden plays with babies. Raegan loves playing with trucks. Will he turn out to be gay? Because of stuffed dolls? Grow up. Will she be a butch tomboy? No- but she just might fix your car on the side of the road after you overheated the engine and broke your fan belt.
- I let my kids sing their gibberish nonsense songs as loud as they want during the singing parts of mass. It's our trade off for them being (ever so slightly) quieter during the readings. Whatever, Jesus thinks their songs are awesome. I do too.
- I let Noëlle play with all of the cutlery on the floor in the kitchen, the pens in the cup holder from the office, my necklaces hanging in our bedroom, spin the toilet paper roll in the bathroom, and pull out the kleenex from the boxes in every room. I don't understand how her brain works- I just know that these things being her joy.
- I've lied about what time it is to hurry bedtime up a bit. Ok, ok, a lot.
I did it tonight as a matter of fact...

No Excuses!

What's this microphone for?
Can I just really speak what I want in my blog and you'll type it for me!!
This is fucking brilliant.

I'm gonna blog like crazy now

Yogurt pail rabbit on the TV.
(Ok, there are a few kinks to work out yet...)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Dryden & Jay-Z = Kindred Spirits

Today I was nagging our three year old to pick up his toys, to be nice to his sister, to remember his manners, and to listen to Mommy, when suddenly he threw his hands up over his head in exasperation, sighed loudly, and said, "it's tough being wittle Momma!" Really?! me thinking...

Toddler Problems:

#1 That awkward moment when you hug your father's leg for five minutes in a crowded room, only to look up and discover that this moustached imposter is not your Daddy.

#2 Relaxing after a long, tiring afternoon and enjoying the best poop of the day: Mom ruins it by pulling the bathtub plug...

#3 Sippy cup of milk rolls under the couch- arms too short to reach it. Meh, Mom will discover it next week.

#4 Conspire with Dog to steal Baby's cookie: treacherous Dog betrays me and eats the entire thing. Asshole...

#5 Mess up the words to ABCs in front of friend. Feel like an idiot.

#6 Why do they keep scheduling these play dates with the blond girl? OMG- I think I'm involved in an arranged marriage!!

#7 Potty training is a scam my fellow kids! Unite and stand as one: "Hell no! We won't go (on the potty)"

#8 That awkward moment when someone in the playgroup smells like piss, and you're the only one with a wet spot in the crotch of your jeans.

#9 Spend all morning rearranging the Tupperware, pots and pans, and cutlery. Ungrateful Parental Unit does not appreciate my efforts.

#10 Mom locked the bathroom door- how am I supposed to keep her company and ask her 78 questions in under 60 seconds now?!

#11 Dad farted, blamed it on me. Again.

#12 Dog farted. Everyone assumes it was me. WTF?

#13 Cannot pronounce my "R's", "L's" or "H's." Am mocked relentlessly at grown-up parties. Bullying: it's everywhere.

#14 Dad cancels Netflix. My life. Is over.

#15 Mom is on a health kick; my standard peanut butter and jelly with the crust cut off is replaced with a roasted veggie and quinoa salad. Yeah, that shit is getting fed to the Dog. Good thing I hid cheesies in the toy room.

#16 Bed time is announced suddenly- get that "deer-caught-in-the-headlights" look. No where to run and hide. Well played Parental Unit, well played.

#17 Poppa bought me a 10 pack of Timbits: 6 of them are the cherry flavoured ones. Fail.

#18 Took my Big Wheels truck out for a joy ride; got a flat near the mailbox..had to call the Dog for a tow. FML

#19 Dog buried 18 of my Hot Wheels cars in the sandbox- spent all morning excavating to retrieve them. Was too tired to fight off nap time...

#20 Yelled "SNACK" 67 times before the female parent got the hint.

#21 Dad is incompetent: I have to help him "fix" everything. I also have to hide his tools so he won't lose them.

#22 If Mom sings that effing "Clean Up" song once more I'm gonna lose it!

#23 Dad insists I play with Baby- really? She eats dirt off the floor and laughs at her own feet. God, this is slumming it- I hope none of my friends see me.

#24 Male parent thinks I'm his servant: taught me to fetch his beer. I'll secretly "fetch" it more often when I'm 16 ;)

#25 I got 99 problems, but a diaper ain't one.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Interview With A Vampire...Teacher, I Mean Teacher.

Last week I went to my very first parent/teacher interview at Noëlle's school. As I sat there, on an itty bitty chair- my knees scrunched up near my chin- I had to smile. Today would be exciting for many parents; hearing how all their hard work teaching and preparing their little ones for school had paid off. They would learn about their kid's social interaction with other kids; they would hear about their child's budding friendships. They would be told their kid has great manners, and silently pat themselves on the back for helping teach them their ABCs and 123s. Today, these parents would receive all their kid's art work- masterpieces that will adorn their walls for now, and their memories forever. They would tour the classroom and envision a moment of their little one's incredibly busy, and highly stimulated day. Parents will get instructions and encouragement on how to help their darlings continue to grow and nurture their sponge-like brains. The anxiety, nervousness, and doubt parents felt on the first day of school as they waved goodbye to the bright yellow school bus carrying their sweet child for the first time would dissipate forever with this interview. Their kid is fine- doing wonderfully actually.

As I sat there at the 12 inch high table waiting for the teacher, I knew that my experience would be slightly different. Noëlle started school in January of last year, so we weren't entirely new to her classroom and routine. We wouldn't be receiving a pile of Noëlle's art work to take home; the teaching staff is always so proud and excited when Noëlle makes something that they send it home right away so that we can revel in her cleverness and artistic ability immediately. There will be no life altering surprises about Noëlle's progress- her teacher and EA send a letter home every day telling us how her day was and what she did. We've already been told who our daughter's special friends are: a handful of boys and girls who go out of their way to include her, help her, and play with her. We've seen first hand how compassionate and accepting the kids in her class are on our numerous visits to her classroom.

"Why are you going today Hun? We kind of already have all this stuff covered," my husband correctly pointed out. I guess the truly honest answer would be that I was going for myself. I still wanted the experience that the other parents of four year olds get; I wanted to feel the same as them, like I have a place within their community. I really just wanted a small taste of what it would be like if Noëlle was "regular." At the end of my time with the teacher I hadn't heard anything that I didn't already know- and I was incredibly pleased. That told me that Noëlle's school was doing a fantastic job keeping us informed and involved. I left feeling confident in their ability to care for, and lead Noëlle. I was happy that she had kids around her who thought she was great. I left with many of the same feelings that parents of normal/typical kids have after their parent teacher interviews- and for that, I was eternally grateful.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cross Section Of A "Lazy" Sunday

Wake up (refreshed) to a silent house.

Sneak downstairs and indulge in a hot 20 minute shower- in complete privacy.

Enjoy coffee in the kitchen while reading the morning paper.

Realize that I am dreaming. Fak.

Wake up for real.

Release three ravenous monsters from their bedrooms.

Discover Monsters all have colds. Double Fak.

Drink a glass of water. I Hate it.

Discover Kleenex inventory is dangerously low. Toilet paper inventory: above adequate. Noses, meet Cottonelle...

Spend morning trying to force feed meds, wipe raw, snotty noses, and smear Vicks vapo rub on anything flesh tone.

Remind myself constantly:
They're sick, that's why they are whiney/annoying today.
They're sick, that's why they are whiney/annoying today.
They're children, that's why they are whiney/annoying every day.

Big milestone: Baby discovered how to remove diaper! While there was a huge shit in it.

Clean up shit. Obviously.

Duct tape diaper on.

Make strong coffee. Hide in the bathroom to drink it.

Emerge from bathroom. All three kids sitting outside the door waiting to be...entertained? Fed? Yelled at?

Make healthy lunch. Kids hate it.

Drink a glass of water. I Hate it.

Eat healthy lunch, agree with the kids: it sucks. Strike #1 Pintrest.

Feed the dog healthy lunch- he licks his bum instead.

Learn that our three year old has decided that nap time is purely optional. He exercised his option to scream "No!" over, and over again.

Cry briefly for the loss of my daily nap and/or afternoon "Me Time."

Break out the Christmas decorations and spend the afternoon being festive with Dryden.

Clean up eight dropped Xmas bulbs.

Put unbreakable bulbs on shopping list.

Drink water spiked with juice. Hate it a little less.

Fish mistletoe out of the baby's mouth; replace with cookie.

Fish half a pine cone out of baby's mouth; replace it with a bottle.

Fish bits of garland out of baby's mouth; replace it with a cheesie. Stop. Eating. Everything. You. Porker! Put Christmas stuff away for now.

Survive the rest of the afternoon and evening in a blur of soggy diapers, hot tempered tantrums, battles to the death over toys, stubbed toes, and dog puke.

Tuck in heavy eyed children.

Tuck in exhausted husband.

Spend hours doing laundry. Rejoice when it is complete...for all of 15 seconds until I discover more unwashed clothes. *Big Sigh*

Pour a glass of vodka...with a splash of water. Finally love water!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Out of the Mouth of Babes

This morning was sort of a no-frills day. I knew we were just staying at home; all I had planned on our itinerary was goofing around with the kids and continue my quest to deep clean the whole house this week. So, while getting dressed this morning, I just threw on one of Nick's old Montreal Canadiens T-shirts. (Some will say,
"Dress for the job you want." I say, "Dress for the Mess You're Cleaning.")

When I woke up our three year old son, he looked at me queerly and said, "Momma wearing Daddy's shirt!" "Yup," I said. "Do you like it on me?" "No", he replied (a little too honestly.) "It's too lumpy on Momma." Hmmm...if I was in total denial, I could attribute this to the fact that I have big boobs- hence the lumps. (My lumps, my lumps, my lovely lady lumps. Christ, I hate that song. Now it'll be in my head all night.) However, I did a brutally honest evaluation, and concluded that Dryden was correct: I was lumpy everywhere. And yes, "lumpy" is a euphemism for "FAT."

I have totally slacked on the weight loss front. As a matter if fact, I forgot all about it. Dryden's lumpy observation reminded me that I never wanted to be a Fat Mom. I suddenly remembered being at my cousin Donna's baby shower- I don't think I was even in high school yet. That afternoon, my mom told me never to let myself go after having children; it would be one of my greatest regrets. This is the only time I can remember getting this type of advice from her. And true to form, it was advice that I didn't heed. I decided tonight that it wasn't too late. Tomorrow morning will start (early and chilly) with a walk. My vitamins and supplements are coming out of the cupboard where I can see them and remember to take them. Nick picked up some pre-made salads- no excuses. I have a goal: to be less fat when we go down south in April. Less vague: I want to look, and feel good in a bathing suit. Everything starts tomorrow: new efforts, new energy, new habits. Tomorrow. Tonight I made the unhealthiest dessert I could find on Pintrest (I made Reese's Peanut butter squares. *Amazing!* Actually not the least healthy- all the sinfully unhealthy treats are insanely labour intensive. Slutty Brownies are like four different desserts in one! Too much effort for me.)

Here's to chocolate and peanut butter!!
...and to exercise...I guess.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Coffee STAT!

What is this mythical "extra hour of sleep" I've been hearing about all over my FB feed? If I am reading it correctly, it insinuates that these people actually get an EXTRA hour of sleep today. How is this possible, I asked myself; and then it occurred to me that these people belong to the category of Childless Humans. These "extra hour sleepers" are also the ones staying out partying until dawn, nursing a hangover in a tomb quiet house, watching TSN or the morning news without having to negotiate with toddlers for the TV, and wearing hoop earrings and platform shoes whenever they frigging feel like it.

There is also a sub-category to The Childless Human: Parents of Older Kids. These people have offspring that are either grown and moved out of their house, or they are sleepy teenagers who refuse to get up before noon. Either way, Parents of Older Kids have survived their kids' childhood, and as a reward, they are granted an annual 60 minutes of additional sleep. How I envy their benefits package...

In our house, I was not foolish enough to anticipate extra sleep- my kids' internal clocks will wake them up at their regular time. What I didn't foresee, however, was them waking up even earlier than usual. Ugh. I'm almost certain the moon was still out. Daylight savings time does not mean an extra hour of sleep- for us Parents of Small Children, it just means an extra long day trying to entertain, educate, and nurture these sleepless little bastards. (I'm joking! I love them. I just clearly need my fourth cup of coffee right now...excuse me.) { I have been up for five hours already...or does that "extra" hour count for two? Do I carry the 7 and multiply it by the power of 10?! Have I been up for 87 hours straight!!??!! Baaaaaaahhhhh! }

*slaps myself* Hold it together bitch! It's almost over. Stay strong Parents of Little Kids- we'll get them back some day. Until then, have another coffee and steal a nap on the couch when they aren't looking.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ice Cold

Supper Time. Dun dun DUN! (Thats supposed to be scary music- yeah, I'm not great with sound effects.) If you are organized, creative, or a chef by profession- this means nothing to you. Just a *blip* on your every day routine. Me, I frigging hate supper time with the intensity of a thousand Walmart-aisle temper tantrums thrown at once. Two types of scenarios occurs at our house:
(a) It is almost always 4:00 pm when I realize that I forgot to take some type of meat out if the freezer to defrost, or that I haven't done groceries in three weeks and all we have left is dog food. I start getting that feeling of anxiety- like a pair of horny, rabid gophers fighting in my stomach. I then usually panic and start throwing random things in a large sauce pot on the stove, and then keep my fingers crossed that it is edible.
(b) I actually planned something for supper, but after nap time the kids were acting like demons spit up from the fiery pits of Satan's bowels and my meal did not get made. 100% of my time is monopolized by a crying baby wanting to be held non-stop, a whiney three year old who is clearly mad at the world, a developmentally challenged four year old who is engaged in a full body wrap our my left leg, and a dog who suddenly has diarrhea and needs to go outside every 3.8 minutes. On these days, we're all lucky if a box of KD gets made, a can of Chef Boyardee gets opened, or take out is ordered.

This is obviously one area in my life that is desperately screaming out for an overhaul, and some type of system of organization. I spent every afternoon last week rectifying what has become the worst few hours of my day, every day. For five days straight- after putting the three kids down to nap for the afternoon- I hauled ass and did some major cooking. The goal was to stuff my freezer with as many pre-made crock pot meals, and as many frozen suppers as I could. I managed to make 3 Mexican casseroles, 2 chicken casseroles, 4 meat loafs, 4 shepherds pies, 2 batches of meatballs, 3 suppers of chicken chili, 4 suppers of spaghetti sauce, 2 suppers of potato bacon soup, 2 of chicken and wild rice soup, and 2 of beef barley soup. For the crock pot: cranberry chicken and veggies, marinated pork stew, chili, Moroccan lamb stew, and tomato basil soup.

Now, when I am struck with the "What The #%^* Is For Supper?" blues, I have a backup plan that doesn't involve me crying and/or chicken wings and Poutine.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

One Corner Down...Crossing Off The List

I finally started the enormous task of organizing our home, and therefore, my life. The scope of the project was incredibly overwhelming and left me wandering around in circles, muttering "I have so much to do, I have so much to do..." and then giving up and drinking wine. Right out of the bottle. After a few days, and a few hangovers, I decided to break it up into numerous little organizing projects. The smaller, the better.

*Side Note* organization at my house occurred between the hours of 1-3 pm and after 8 pm. I don't have to explain this to any parents of young kids. For those who have not had the pleasure of pushing an eight pound baby out of their V jay-jay, let me explain. Young children are allergic to organizing. They see adults putting things in order- thus making life run smoother- and it causes a sever reaction. They start hyperventalating, and flailing around, running in circles, and knocking things over, crying, and screaming in tongues. Epi pens do not work: the only known cure for such an all encompassing, and never ending, allergic reaction is to let the child ruin whatever it was that you were organizing and stand aside as they proceed to tear your house apart. I prefer a preventative approach: I don't organize while they are awake...or to be extra careful, while they are within a tidy 5 mile radius of our house.

I started by organizing our foyer and mud room. I did the best part first- shopping! I spent a morning solo buying shelves, and baskets, hooks, and labels, racks, and mirrors. When I got home, I saw that my husband had cleared out the rooms for me. They had both become dumping grounds for random stuff that we had no place for yet. I gave him "puppy dog eyes" and convinced him to help install everything. At the end of the day, we had organized three separate areas: our foyer, where mine and Nick's jackets will go. We used a coat rack that was generously left here when we moved in. We also created an art gallery to display the kids' master pieces on. The mud room, where the kids' stuff will go, consists of high shelves laden with baskets. One for my stuff, one for Nick's stuff, one for Saku's blankets, and one for out-of-season hats. The storage bench houses the kids' toques, mittens, and scarves. Two rows of low hung hooks will hold book bags, purses, leashes and coats. On impulse, we organized the kitchen entrance, where sweaters and slippers will go. This tiny row of hooks used to hold all our jackets, hats, purses, book bags, and over 29 pairs of shoes resided beneath it.

On completion of this project, I've decided to add a stipulation to my goal- each area on my list needs to cost me less than $50 to organize...I went a little crazy shopping and this first project cost considerably more. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. I'm even more pleased that it has made our lives a little more organized; I am no longer constantly picking coats up or looking for lost shoes. I know exactly where my effing purse is, and book bags now have a home. I forgot to take "before" pictures (I am, in fact, lying. I was too embarrassed by the utter mess that greeted guests at every entrance.)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Life is Finite

Early Friday morning my Uncle Maurice passed away after an all too brief, month long ravaging from esophagus cancer. He leaves behind his wife of 24 years and two sons.

When we were young, Maurice was a huge part of our family; visits from him were daily as he lived half a block away from us. I remember fighting to sit beside him on my grandparents' brown and yellow paisley couch to open my grey Barbie corvette at Christmas; I remember that he always knew who I was at Halloween because my shoes were on the wrong feet until I was almost a teenager; I remember that he sounded exactly like Dustin Hoffman- and to this day I cannot watch any movie that he is in without giggling at random and inappropriate parts; I remember him stringing my doll Chrissy to the ceiling fan to tease me and then chocking himself laughing at my horror; I remember being his flower girl when he wed my Aunt Louise and how pretty my red dress made me feel. Somewhere along the way, the adults had a falling out- I don't know what it was over: I was too young to understand. All I know is that we stopped seeing them, and our families grew up, and apart.

Thankfully my Dad and Maurice, Mom and Louise had a month to forgive and forget, sit and talk, share and reminisce. I can only hope that the bitter taste of regret on time wasted being angry was lessened by the time they were able to spend together at the end, by the opportunity to make amends.

Uncle Maurice's sickness and death has been a sharp and prickly reminder that life is not infinite, life will not wait for you to be ready to go, life is a gift that we all should live to the fullest every day that we are blessed to open our eyes (even those days that our eyes are forced open far too early on a Saturday morning by hungry toddlers who want to watch Sponge Bob.) I am taking advantage of this reminder; I for one do not wish to die with a soul weighed down with regret and longing. I made a list of regrets that I would have if tomorrow never comes (please read that last part singing like Garth Brooks) and over the next little while I'm going to cross them off. Carpe diem, grab the bull by the horns, YOLO- choose your cliche'd metaphor- I want to live happy. Better yet, I want to die happy.

I wish we had traveled more. Nick and I planned to take a trip every year, but things always came up. A new roof, strike at work; Noëlle's extensive hospital stays, new floors at the cottage, a car dying: we always found more important and pressing things to spend our trip money on. I wish I had seen more of the world.

I should have gotten that tattoo. It was important to me.

I regret spending so much time pinning things on Pintrest, and wish I had made/done more things that I found on there.

I wish I had made it back out East. I'd love to show Nick and the kids the places and people who helped shape who I am.

I regret not taking the kids to visit their relatives more. They are so lucky to have 75% of their great-grandparents still alive and well; they have tons of great aunts and uncles who love them and see them rarely. Yeah, it's hard taking three little kids out to visit anyone, but I should practice more.

I wish like hell that I had found a way to organize my life. So, so much time wasted looking for a lost item, cleaning and picking up, despairing at my messy house, missing appointments, losing important paperwork. An organized life would mean more free time.

I wasted too much time dieting. I should have worked harder to loose the extra pounds, or just liked my body how it was. Simple.

I have a fun, surprisingly (shockingly really) stable family. Why don't we hang out more? Because we're busy? What a shitty excuse...

I regret not being more involved in the special needs community. They are a huge resource and support network for us, and have provided relief, knowledge, advice, experience, and compassion when we need it the most.

I lost touch with too many friends. Yes, I'm busy- but am I busy with important things? Are these things more important than some of the most important PEOPLE in my life?!? Since when did doing laundry become more vital than connecting with some of the few humans who think that I am awesome??

I am way too much of a homebody. I regret not taking the kids out into the world more. They deserve to have a little adventure every day.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cross Section of a Random Thursday

Today was a long one. Actually, they've all been long ones since the baby started crawling. Too tired to write this post in full, coherent sentences.

Woke up to dog farting noxious fumes at the end of the bed. Or was it Nick? I don't remember...

Carried three squirmy kids downstairs for breakfast.

Good morning coffee maker, the children's lives depend on you- do not let me down.

Take too long goofing on my phone, now I have to hustle to get Noëlle ready for school.

Bribe Dryden to pee in the toilet. Hold new Hot Wheels truck for ransom pending poop.

Put up all baby gates, close all French doors before releasing baby from the clutches of the Evil High Chair (or so she must think it is by the way she screams while in it.)

Me: "what is Raegan chewing on?"
Nick: *fishes a giant, dead bug out of her mouth while she grins like a fool*
Me: throws up in my mouth a little

Microwave coffee

Break up the 18th fight of the morning between Dryden and the other three year old I'm watching.

Thankful Dryden doesn't have a twin.

Put supper in the crock pot.

Chug tepid coffee.

Round #1 of Time Outs.

Sprint across the house, diving to catch Raegan before she tumbles down the toy room stairs.
"Good catch Momma! You runned fast!"- Dryden

Make lunch that only the dog thinks is delicious.

Go pee. Dryden knocks on the door the moment it closes. "Can I please have 23 seconds of privacy?!" I yelled.
"okaaayyy Momma, but baby has Kuku's nummies in her mouff."
Translation: Raegan is eating dog food.

Pick up dog food/water. He now dines at nap time and after 8pm. He'll adjust.

Nap time. *Halleluia* (insert heavenly singing and harp music here.)

Noëlle comes into the living room carrying the largest meat cleaver I have ever seen. Why do we even have that? It's not like we butcher our own cattle...

Accidentally launch baby off my lap in my haste to get to Noëlle/weapon of death.

Dog catches baby. Earns himself a treat.

Note to self: we need a lock for the knife drawer...

Break up fight #whofuckingknows. Make popcorn and put on "Max And Ruby" to keep the peace.

Pour myself a giant glass of Pepsi.

Take out craft stuff that NO ONE wants to use.

Color by myself.

Pull something vital in my lower back bending to pick up a plastic hot dog. Waddle over to the couch.

Smell like A535 for the next ten hours.

Discover that I forgot to plug the crock pot in this morning.

Curse. Loudly. Shake fist in the air.

Order wings, onion rings, and poutin. Everyone loves supper...

Bath time (this is a "Daddy job". I don't know why I thought I was as capable...)

Bath time cut short by floating poop.

Wash tub. Re-wash kids. Light a really strong candle.

Tuck three sleepy, lavender smelling babes in bed.


Pour another glass of Pepsi.

Blog while Saku farts at my feet...

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite days of the year. As a kid it meant helping my mom bake an endless sea of pies, tarts, and cinnamon rolls. It meant the scent of savory turkey and homemade dressing perfuming the air all day, and the soft bubbling of potatoes boiling in the background. It meant dressing up in our best clothes and feeling oh-so-grown-up with the tiniest glass of white wine with our huge meal.

As a teenager, Thanksgiving took on a deeper meaning for me. It was an occasion for all of us to get together. My brothers were no longer living at home- they no longer had girlfriends, they had fiancées- and they were away living exotic lives at college and in the real world. My sister and I were both working at a restaurant while attending high school, so sit down family meals were no longer the daily norm for us. Thanksgiving punctuated our busy lives of school, work, dating, and friends to remind us that family was just as important. We goofed around, helped prep the meal, and afterwards, when the table was cleared, the dishes done, and fresh booze poured for all- out the deck of cards would come.

When I entered university, Thanksgiving became the epicenter of my world. If I could just last until Thanksgiving, I could probably survive the move across the country. If I could remain self-sufficient until Thanksgiving, I could consider myself truly independent. If I could bond with new friends before Thanksgiving, my world would broaden considerably. If I could just make it home to celebrate Thanksgiving, I'd appreciate the holiday for its true meaning. Thanksgiving became my pressure gauge. I came home from out East to decompress, to spend time with my family, and to reconnect with my friends. It was at this point in my life that Thanksgiving became a very important time for me; I started to be thankful. For friendships that kept me sane, for my part-time job that kept my pathetic bank account afloat, for morning phone calls from Mom, for funny emails from Dad/the dog, for lunch dates at ESM with Ashley, for the opportunity to live in Nova Scotia, for family back home that cared.

Now that I'm that much older, and a parent myself, I love making holidays a big deal for my kids- any and every holiday. I want them to remember their house smelling like turkey and cookies, the sound of their cousins running around laughing, the anticipation and feeling of festivities. I want them to remember that we put family first, that I set aside my stupid diet to make fabulous food, that I took pictures like a mad fiend to immortalize our holidays, that we went out of our way to make things special for them. And so, I spend hours decorating our house and yard with the kids, we do crafts, and bake treats for everyone we know. We read books, and watch holiday themed cartoons. We get together with our parents, brothers, and sisters, and all their kids and - dressed in our finest garb- raise a super tiny glass of white wine in gratitude for the important things and people in our lives.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Un-Stupid Yourself People

I've recently noticed a growing trend for using the terms "fucktard" and "dicktard" to describe someone who is being an idiot, or as an insult to someone's general lack of intelligence. It makes me wonder if the offenders are pleased with themselves for not using the offensive, and socially unacceptable term "retard." Would these same people call their mothers a "McCunt" and not expect a visceral reaction? Would anyone bat an eye if I greeted our priest with "Good morning Father Fuckface." (I can picture both my mother and mother-in-law's horror when reading this, but I'm trying to prove a point.) My point is this; this is not a new, or incredibly original slide of hand- when "fag" became universally socially unacceptable as a joking insult, it was replaced with the slightly less cringe-worthy "gay." When "nigger" became uncouth to say out loud it too was replaced with numerous and varied toned down versions of derogatory names.

Those of us within the special needs community are already battling the government for funding, the school systems for programming, our communities for respite, the medical community for research, various agencies for therapies, our friends and family for understanding and empathy, and our insurance companies for everything. Do we really need to scrape together more time and precious energy to fight against Fucktard and Dicktard too? Stop using them- they are equally hurtful...and you look like a BeJackass.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Back to Back

Ever since I gave birth to Noelle over four years ago, my back has been fantastic. No more drugs, no more massages, bye bye magic bag, 'eff you acupuncture, piss off A535. I've kinda taken it for granted that I can move without pain now.

Tonight I bent over to scoop up the baby from the bottom of the playpen (before her older, and much larger, siblings squashed her) and I felt a jolt of electricity bolt up from the small of my back and race up to my neck. I dropped to one knee but managed not to drop Raegan. More or less- the dog broke her fall (don't call PETA...I gave him a treat.) I managed an hour of half-assed parenting in which I begged Dryden to go get me diapers, I encouraged the dog to eat a dropped Kleenex off the floor so I didn't have to bend to pick it up, I let Noelle drink the rest of my vanilla lattee because she was out of reach to stop, and wiped up the baby's milk dribbles with my shirt as I couldn't get off my chair to get a bib. I even managed to put them to bed without having to pick them up; I lured Noelle into her room with my car keys (hell, I let her keep them. Maybe she can drive me to the ER if it gets bad), I bribed Dryden to get his own sippy cup of milk, walk up the stairs, and climb into bed by himself. A baggie filled with marshmallows is, apparently, worth it's weight in gold. I strapped the baby to the dog and he carried her to bed. Kidding. But I did put a size 6 diaper on her so I don't have to pick her up to change her bum halfway through the night. Kidding...I only thought of that just now. Shit.

I raided the medicine cabinet and found some oxy pills Nick was prescribed but never used. Hallefrigginluia. They are definitely starting to kick in. I'm feeerling a whittle but woozi bjigcxfh nvhj snarf

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Trojan Man

After a few weeks of thinking and talking it over, Nick and I decided that we are finished having children. For various reasons, we are happy with our little family of five. We've also decided to make the decision permanent, and final: Nick is going for The Big Snip. A vasectomy just makes sense- neither of us wants a surprise baby in a few years (or worse, when we're 40 and looking forward to the kids that we already have moving out and paying for their own food.) There is a bit of a waiting period for this procedure, so we are being extra careful.

Last night we enjoyed a date night. Nick's parents watched the kids while we went out for supper and hung out on a patio drinking and people watching. It was extremely warm out, but the patio was well shaded and the drinks were cold- the musical notes of ice cubes clinking in their glasses floated out beyond the sidewalk. At the embarrassingly early hour of 9:30 we were both ready to go home and go to bed. We were driving out of the city when Nick asked me to pull into Shoppers Drug Mart to get condoms. I pulled into the parking lot, turned off the van, and waited. Nick looked at me and said sheepishly, "aren't you coming in with me?!" I rolled my eyes and went in. Once inside I found the "planned parenting" aisle and grabbed a couple boxes, handing them to Nick to pay for. We walked up to the cash and was greeted by an extensive line-up filled with elderly grandparents, young attractive teenage girls, parents with their young children, and a whole bus load of Catholic nuns- or so it seemed to my husband who said, "Nope- let's keep shopping." We went up and down aisles killing time and looking for purchases that he could hide the condoms behind (we settled on two state of the art travel coffee mugs and a travel cup for my iced lattes.) We couldn't waste anymore time- they were closing the store- so we headed back to the cash. As soon as we turned the corner to get to the line-up at the registers, we run right into my sister's husband. Nick stashed the condoms behind his back and I burst out laughing, both at his embarrassment and the ridiculousness of our luck. "What are you doing here?!" Nick asked my brother-in-law. "Same thing as you," he replied, pulling out the condoms he was hiding under his arm. There was a tiny moment of *awkward* before we all busted a gut laughing. Between us we have five kids, and buying contraception is still embarrassing; it is a gleaming beacon, a neon sign that screams, "I AM GOING TO HAVE SEX. PLEASE TELL MY PARENTS AND SILENTLY JUDGE ME!" We said good night to Chris and put our purchases on the counter. To Nick's eternal credit, he did not blush when the pretty young girl scanned his condoms that he cleverly hid behind coffee mugs. "That will be $75.43 please," she said. "75 dollars!" Nick exclaimed. "Well, I suppose it's still way cheaper than having another baby," he said, smirking (and blushing fiercely) as he forked over the cash.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

So late last night I was marinating in a bubble bath, sipping on an iced latte, and reading a magazine- when I eyed an article that I had first skimmed over, which just might have altered my life. It was an article on Katie Spotz. Two years ago, at the age of 23, she became the youngest person to row solo across the Atlantic. That would be the Atlantic OCEAN. That 3,038 mile journey took her 70 days ( my first thought: "wow, I could really go for 70 days by myself. But not rowing the whole time. Maybe on a beach somewhere...") Since then, she swam across the Allegheny river (325 miles) and hand-biked across the country, from coast to coast. Seriously? I give myself a pat on the back when I manage to finish all the laundry on the same day. I think taking all three kids to Home Depot and then out to supper is ambitious. This silly 25 year old bitch just shamed me as I sat there in silence listening to my vanilla scented bubbles quietly pop all around me. Why am I not doing monumental stuff like that? (In my defense, I've never rowed before, and I didn't even know that hand-bikes existed. I could swim the river though- with a life jacket. And a sea-doo to catch a ride halfway across on.)

Today I figured out why I'm missing out on creating adventures and/or making a difference on a large scale; I get caught up on the small every day things. I bet our energetic Katie doesn't fret over spots on the floor, or weeds in her garden- she's too busy base jumping from the Eiffel tower and cooking organic meals from scratch for the Pope. Really, are clean baseboards, and an organized linen closet the most memorable and spontaneous things I can do?? I think not.

Today was "Get Shit Done Day." I cleaned the house like a mad fiend, in-between petting the dog and goofing around with the kids (Dryden watched silently as I dusted the furniture at a frenzied pace, then he scooted over to Noelle and whispered, "me finks Momma's mad.") I sent off FB msgs and emails that I had been too lazy to respond to immediately, did the dishes and some laundry, and washed the floors. (And the baseboards...I couldn't resist. I think there is something wrong with me.)

Tomorrow will be "Finally Finish Shit Day" where I plan to complete little projects that I have hanging around: some scrapbooking pages, some 600 pictures to organize and divide, a daily calendar board for Noelle to paint and hang, a pillow to sew, and finally finish weeding my garden and flower beds.

With all that stuff done and out of my head, I will finally be able to set myself up to be productive and effective and adventurous, creating something momentous in my life. Just what, I haven't figured out yet. I guess that will be for Wednesday's "Think Of Shit To Do Day."

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Once upon a time, I used to be a great cook. I made elaborate meals, tried new recipes, labored over ingredients, and enjoyed the art of presentation. Then Nick and I would sit down, sometimes to candle light, sometimes with friends, and enjoyed our meal. We only got up to get more wine (in hind sight it was probably cheap wine) or to remove dessert from the freezer or oven. I took sitting down to eat, and complete, a meal for granted. No one ever tried to eat off of my plate; no one ever spit something they didn't like onto my plate; no one spilled their milk on my lap, or yelled bloody murder in my ear. These were the "good 'ol days" and I didn't even realize it.

Fast forward four years and three kids later. I hate supper time. It is the most stressful part of my day. It's worse now that Nick booked evening shift this booking so he's gone for meal time for the next six months. My kids are most unruly after nap time, which also coincides with meal prep time. And I'm screwed beyond enjoyment if I've forgotten to take something out of the freezer to defrost. Noelle and I follow a gluten free diet and Dryden follows an "I-won't-eat-anything-that-looks-icky" diet and Nick just keeps his fingers crossed that his left overs for the next day are edible. My meals are no fuss, nothing fancy, not really brag worthy in the Mom Group circles. It has literally been years since I've sat to eat supper (except when we eat at Nick's parents'. His dad insists on feeding Noelle and his mom distracts Dryden with pickles- allowing Nick and I to eat.) I get up constantly to pick up Noelle's spoon, to get her next course, to beg/bribe Dryden to eat something off his plate, to feed the baby, to change the baby, to get someone some milk, to clean up the milk once they've knocked it over, and finally to pop some Tylenol for the massive headache I inevitably get. A lot of nights I actually don't get to eat until they go to bed and my meal is a congealed pile of vomit looking crap on my plate.

It gets better right? There is a light at the end of this "wolfing down my food as fast as I can while standing in front of the stove" tunnel? I just want to eat all of my god damn spaghetti while sitting down- is that too much to ask?!

At least some things stayed the same from our pre-children years: I still love me some cheap wine...which is calling my name right now. Cheers!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Rules to Live by

I broke an alarming amount of Mom Rules today. What are "Mom Rules" you may ask...they are rules I have put into place to ensure that my day goes smoothly. And by "smoothly" I mean so I don't snap and loose my shit.

Rachel's Mom Rules

1. Never, ever, EVER remove a dirty diaper unless you have a new one unfolded and ready to slip under the bare bum. Trust me, the moment you forget this rule will result in your child pissing on your best friend's goose-down filled duvet, or having a disgusting green baby crap on the in-laws' micro suede sofa.

2. Never let your container of wipes go lower that 1/3 full. Some of these baby craps are fantastic feats of nature and the last thing you want is to be half way through a change and run out. Then you either have to pick up a still poop covered child to go hunting for more wipes, or you risk strapping the babe in and returning to a shit smeared change table.

3. Pack your diaper bag as though you might get lost in the wilderness for a week. Things I've learned to include in our bag: plastic bags, Kleenex, Swiss army knife, bum cream, tempra, thermometer, compass, back-up pacifier, bear spray, chap stix, flare gun, spork, blanket, sippy cup, kneedle/thread/safety pins, lighter, water, formula, flint, snacks for kids, snack and emergency mini Pepsi for mommy.
How big is my diaper bag? Enormous.

4. Pack a change of clothes for everyone and leave it in your vehicle. This has saved us. I've had to resort to my back up outfit of yoga pants and bright red T-shirt to finish my errand once. Oddly enough, I was still a contender for best dressed shopper in Walmart that day.

5. Keep an incredibly well stocked pantry. Snacks will shut up almost any grumpy, tired, hungry, bored child.

6. Never underestimate the power of the Backyardigans. They just might save your life.

7. Yoga pants are for yoga. The day you wear them past 9am is the day unexpected company will drop in.

8. Don't tempt fate- or toddlers- keep breakables out of reach. Sure, my house will look kinda stupid for the next few years, but nothing will shatter and no trips to the ER for stitched will (hopefully) be made.

9. Coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee!

10. Choose your battles wisely: kid wants to play with the dog's toys- let her. Kid wants to wear two different shoes outside to play- let him. Kid wants to chew on the handle of my designer purse- let her.

11. Do not schedule anything between the hours of 1 and 3; this is prime nap time and it is non-negotiable. Death to anyone who interrupts this sacred period. I would rather snuff them out and serve a prison term than spend and afternoon with numerous kids who have not napped.

12. Yes, those platform wedges look amazing on the shelf, but remember that while you are wearing them you will be lugging around a 30 pound baby carrier, and more than likely, a 30 pound toddler as well. Flats are pretty too.

13. Have some wine chilling in the fridge at all times. Not a big drinker? You will be.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Some like it hot

Who doesn't love a heat wave during our short, much coveted summer? Right now, me- that's who. Our house has two central air units, one that cools the addition on one side of the house, and another that cools the kitchen/dining room/upstairs bedrooms. Last Thursday I was home alone with the kids doing stuff in the kitchen and I could hear this annoying grinding, whirling sound coming from somewhere I just couldn't locate. Sure enough, it was the sad sound of something or another dying on our ac. It would have been better if the ac that cools the addition had died- we could have just closed the French doors and avoided that hot box until the unit was fixed. The Universe, however, hates me and killed the ac that allows us to sleep in comfort. Apparently I seriously pissed off Karma too along the way, because our broken ac neatly corresponded with this latest acid-reflux-from-the-pits-of-hell weather. The furnace guy is coming tomorrow to fix it (a) yay! (b) what the hell do I do tonight? The last few nights the three kids went to bed in their diapers after a bath to cool them down. I bought each of their bedrooms little fans to circulate the 35 degree air in their rooms (their rooms have gorgeous, ornate, crystal fixtures...and now giant less ornate fans. Function over form right now lol.) We've also been lucky that it has either cooled down at night, or there has been an amazing breeze so I can open all the windows upstairs and offer everyone a measure of relief. We were careful to screw in the screens on the windows in the kids rooms- I had horrible visions of our new neighbours calling to informs us that Noelle was dancing on our tin roof. We weren't so careful with our windows. I was passed right out, thanks to the powerful breeze blowing through my room. The dog was snoring away, curled up under the window. Suddenly a big gust of wind popped the screen out of its frame and it landed right on the dog- who in turn thought someone was attacking him and he freaked right out, barking and howling, looking around half-asleep for his assailant. It was funny...until I realized that he woke the children.
It's frigging hot up there tonight. I can't wait to open the windows. I told Dryden earlier tonight that it was time to get ready for bed. He ran around collecting his trucks, his sippy cup of juice, and then pushed a chair up against the fridge and opened the freezer door. "Cold please", he said cryptically. After a lot of guessing I figured out that he wanted to take a bowl full of ice to bed. Smart kid. I let him. Hell, I might even copy him.
Stay frosty my friends

Thursday, May 31, 2012


     I have a small confession to make: I have no idea how much I currently weigh. The batteries in our digital scale are dying and it won't give me a readout. It's been well over a month since they craped out and I have yet to replace them. Part of the reason is because they are those flat circley ones (how's that for pitiful Girl Lingo?) and we don't really keep those in the house- what the hell else runs on those? Another part of the reason is maybe, perhapse just a little bit, I was enjoying the ignorant bliss of not having to acknowledge how little weight I was losing. Or not losing. At all.

     So this week I went for a walk up and down our driveway every day; either pushing Raegan in the stroller while the other two kids were napping, or pulling Dryden and Raegan in the wagon while Noelle was at school, or by myself at night, watching the fireflies blinking morse code in the feild across the road. Tonight I downloaded the "Couch to 5k" app and went for my first run in...2 years? Blarg. I miss the days when running was easy for me. I also miss the days when my bum didn't jiggle when I ran...

     My legs are sore, but I fel good. Top of my "To Do" list tomorrow is to get new flat circley batteries and face the music. I hope at the very least it's music I can jog to.

And yes, you can all be insanely jealous of my flip flop tan lines.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Play Doh: Uniting Mortal Enemies Since 1956

Dryden had a play date yesterday. My niece Olivia is five days older than him and was in dire need of a babysitter. My mother, who usually watches her, dropped her off on her way to Ottawa to visit my brother in the hospital. I got Noëlle prepped and ready for school, got Raegan up - fed and changed her- and dressed Dryden and Olivia for the day. Toys were out, ready to be fought over, a cartoon was on, ready to be watched periodically, brownies were cut, ready to be used as bribes, and a bottle of Pepsi was chilling in the fridge, ready for my potential meltdown.

Everything went well for the first 15 minutes until D & O realized that my mom was gone. Dryden was crying, saying, "Nanny no stay and play?!" And Olivia was crying, saying, "her just left me!?" Ummm, first round of brownies.

The next 30 minutes went smoothly, until Olivia's stuffed monkey tragically lost his arm in an epic game of "Swing The Monkey." I couldn't for the life of me find my sewing stuff and had to admit helplessness. Olivia was crying, saying, "if you was Nanny you could fix him" and Dryden was crying, saying, "hers monkey is dead!" Jesus, round two of brownies. I told Livy that Nanny would fix him tomorrow and put him on the counter next to the bananas. "There," I said, "he said that he's happy. What's your monkey's name Honey?" She looked at me square in the face and said, "him's name, Auntie Ray-Ray, is Monkey and hims can't talk." Her tone of voice and body language clearly said that I was an idiot for even asking. Dryden frowned and shook his head at me, confirming that my question was tactless. I shoved another brownie into my big mouth.

Saku was no help all day either; he was so excited to have another toddler to play with that he caused more trouble than they did. He stole Livy's cup of milk, he ate Dryden's neat pile of crackers, and sneezed on the baby- severely pissing her off. I kept hearing "Kuku sniffed me!", "Kuku licked me!", "Kuku farted!", "STOP IT KUKU!" Round three of brownies to keep the peace. I called the dog into the kitchen and had a heart to heart with him over a shared brownie...I should have baked a double batch.

Minutes late D & O were locked in a death grip over a toy. I knew by the look on their faces that violence would erupt soon so I used the ace up my sleeve: Play Doh. Thankfully we have an extensive cache of Play Doh and no sharing was necessary; each kid got one blob of each color, they each got one Fun Factory set, one knife, set of stamps, rolling pin, scissors, and one Play Doh bomb making set (patent pending.) The next 90 minutes were divine- they played nice, the baby was cute, and I locked the dog outside. Noëlley's van arrived and she was already snoring softly in her seat, and stayed asleep as I tucked her into bed. When I came downstairs, Raegan was zonked out, snoring in her swing. I ushered D & O into the living room and served lunch in there.

Nap time: hissy fits were thrown and I backed off. Instead, I pulled out the futon, lined it with thick blankets and pillows, closed all the blinds and lights, and put on a movie. The deal was that they didn't have to nap, but they had to sit quiet while I ate and tidied up. They snuggled in on either end of the couch and the dog plopped on the floor in front of them. Five minutes later I could hear a symphony of snores from all of them.

The day went really well; we didn't run out of brownies, no major fights, numerous Play Doh sculptures are air drying on our windowsill, and yes, I drank my Pepsi in blissful silence while everyone napped and re-energized.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


     Last Friday I went out to lunch in Barhaven with three friends from university; one of these lovely ladies is moving back to NFLD and this was our last get-together before her migration East. I took Raegan with me so everyone could meet her, and left Nick at home to entertain the two older kids. All said and done, I was gone for almost 6 hours. When I maneuvered our van down the driveway and parked in my spot, I was slightly startled to see Nick already standing at my door, waiting to help my unpack the baby. I walked into the kitchen and was greeted loudly by Dryden (wearing inside-out shorts, one sock, and Nick's toque) running by me yelling like a wild banshee- the dog was in hot pursuit. I turned to look at Nick, only to see that Noelle was engaged in a full body wrap around his left leg as he shuffled awkwardly across the room. She was yelling "Up! Up!" over and over again. I scanned the kitchen quickly: it was a hot mess. I knew instinctively that the rest of the house would match. Nick leaned in real close and whispered, "who's fucking kids are these?! They were horrible today. I don't know how I don't come home from work to a note on the door saying that you quit and have run away forever. How do you get anything done during the day with these three sucking the life out of you all day long? I'm happy you're home- please don't ever leave me."

     A few days later Nick bought me an iPhone. "Ooooo! Is this my Mother's Day Gift?" I asked (I was almost positive that he had planned on getting me something else.) "No," he said. "This is your reward for not running away. It is also a bribe for you to keep doing...everything. I'm serious, please don't ever leave me." It has been a few days since then and a huge abyss of guilt has formed in the pit of my stomach: I need to come clean to Nick, and hopefully after that, he'll still let me keep the iPhone.

1. It usually takes me 12 hours to unload the clean dishes from the dishwasher and reload it with the dirty stuff- longer if the kids help (and by "help" I mean break shit and scatter and/or hide dirty dishes all over the house.)

2. Peanut butter toast for supper? Every Wednesday night actually...

3. I hide dog treats all over the house, especially in the corners. Saku's fur acts like a giant swiffer cloth. When the treats are gone, and my floors are clean(ish) I let the dog outside to shake it all off.

4.Showering is always optional on hectic days. So is eating. Coffee, however, is mandatory.

5. Given the option to nap or be productive while the kids are sleeping, I always choose nap. There are other lives at stake here.

6.Beds do not get made in our house yet. Closing four bedroom doors takes 6.2 seconds.

7. Noelle and Dryden take a ton of baths. Why? Are they filthy? No- they like playing in water and they leave me alone for a good 30 minutes. I sit with the baby outside the bathroom and close my eyes, pretending that I'm somewhere else. Anywhere else really...

8. I almost never read the real words to any story books at bedtime; I insert my own story line for personal entertainment. The Cat in the Hat had a meth problem in our books and Horton Beats A Hoe. Whatever, I only have a few short years to mess with them like this before they can actually read.

9. They also can't tell time, so bedtime varies according to how bad they are. Death and bad karma to whoever teaches them to tell time.

10. I hide in the bathroom a lot. I'm hiding in there right now.

11. I allow myself one "postal" moment per day. I like to think that being perceived as slightly unstable keeps my kids honest and on their toes. "What do you mean you don't want to finish your goldfish crackers? ARE THEY NOT GOOD ENOUGH? I DON'T THINK SO MISTER! RRRRRAAAARRRR!!!"

12. I have mastered selective hearing. I can filter out 95% of their whining/gibberish. Being shit faced in the middle of the day also helps this skill.

13. There are many, many days where nothing gets done. Nothing. Everyone stays in their jammies, they get to eat whatever shuts them up the fastest, and the house is disgusting until they go to bed.

14. Whenever Noelle has therapies at home, I clean like a mad fiend and stuff as much as I can into the dining room and shut the doors- praying that they don't want to use that room.

15. I repeat quite a few mantras in my head to make it through the day. Examples:
9 more hours til bedtime
9 more hours til bedtime
9 more hours til bedtime...

Being a parent is awesome being a parent is fun
Being a parent is awesome being a parent is fun
Being a parent is awesome being a parent is fun...

It could be worse- you could be cleaning up shit
It could be worse- you could be cleaning up shit
It could be worse- you could be cleaning up shit...

I'm going to go drink some beer and play with my new phone now....

Friday, April 27, 2012

Pearls of Wisdom

{hahahaha!! I just found this post in my "Drafts" folder. I started it when we were moving to our last house in August. I didn't get very far apparently,but it made me laugh just now when I read it. Wow, Mommy needed a hug that day!}

     Here's some advice on how to pack and clean your house while entertaining two very bored, and eager-to-help-Mommy toddlers:

                                                  For the love of Jesus, DON'T.

     I'd like to end this post right here- but that's not overly interesting, is it?
My day started poorly- the kids were terrible last night and I think I had some lasting residue left over from being mad and frustrated before I went to bed. I was in a pissy mood. Plain and simple. I did not think that I could make it through another day with them and their neediness and for fuck sake where is all my Pepsi...