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