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.