Friday, April 27, 2007

Before work

My morning before work:
  • Wake up at 6:15
  • Go downstairs and transfer the wet laundry to the dryer.
  • Creep upstairs quietly to get a shower in before the monsters wake up.
  • Have my shower, interrupted approximately half-way through by a sleepy-eyed, bed headed preschooler in dinosaur jammies proclaiming "I slept in my bed all night". (Lying bugger did not, seeing as I woke up with your knee in my back)
  • Wrestle my towel away from said preschooler, who thinks it's pretty funny to leave mommy dripping wet and cold
  • Throw on a robe and get preschooler dressed
  • Get baby out of her crib and get her dressed amidst great protest
  • Take little ones downstairs to start breakfast
  • Referee screaming match over Blue's Clues plastic figure
  • Go back upstairs to wake an overtired 6-year-old who was out late for a school event
  • Undo knot in 6-year-old's robe that she just got and JUST WANTS TO WEAR WHILE SHE EATS HER BREAKFAST. Please.
  • Return downstairs to Alphabits hell. Preschooler decided to get started without me.
  • Start toast, hot cereal and cold cereal for 6-year-old, preschooler and baby, respectively.
  • Make a bottle for baby so her fingers don't fall off milking that imaginary cow
  • Put jam on the toast. NOT the raspberry, the strawberry!
  • Transfer toast to Ariel plate. Who knew we were off Cinderella this week?
  • Start cold cereal and toast for 6-year-old and preschooler respectively
  • Run upstairs to wake the husband and turn on the news
  • Get dressed while I'm up there. Jacket's a little wrinkly. It will have to do.
  • Go back downstairs and butter the next batch of toast, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar
  • Run to the basement to retrieve the laundry. Deliver clean boxers to the husband.
  • Plead with the husband to get out of bed so he can help a little.
  • Brush my hair and put on some make-up while I'm up there. No time to dry my hair today; gel will have to do its magic
  • One more get up request to the husband. HE'S UP. Awake and up aren't the same, asshole
  • Back downstairs. Need to make 6-year-old's lunch. Sandwich - check. Vegetables - check. Dip - check. Fruit - check. Juice - check. Lunch made. Now recess: grapes - check. Apples, cut up with a touch of cinnamon sugar - check. All packed in Princess backpack - check.
  • Sorry guys, yep juice is on its way. Yes, you can have the Ariel cup and you can have the Finding Nemo cup.
  • Sub day at school? Shit. I'm taking your lunch to work.
  • Pizza money due today. For May and June? $9 exact change required. Double shit.
  • Back upstairs to scour the nightstands for $9 even. Found it.
  • Back downstairs. Put $9 and duly completed pizza form in a ziplock and into the backpack. All set.
  • Crap. 6-year-old can't go to school in a robe.
  • Back upstairs, pick out some clothes and bring them down.
  • I know you're still waiting for juice. I'll get that while you get dressed.
  • Who leaves the juice jug with only half a serving of juice left? I have my theories.
  • The green shirt is fine. It looks nice. Let's get your hair done. No, it's not done - you slept on it all night.
  • Sorry, baby, I can't let you out of chair yet. I know you'll make a beeline for the stairs.
  • Good morning, babysitter! Baby's got some guk in her eye, make sure you don't share washcloths today. 6-year-old has her play tonight, encourage rest after school. We're low on Homo milk for baby, will have to sub with Skim. Sorry the kitchen's a mess. Again.
  • Are you ready? Okay, I'll get in the car. Hurry!
  • Bye monsters! Have a great day!

His morning before work:

  • Shit
  • Shower
  • Bye monsters! Have a great day!

Converstation on the way to work:

Him: I need a day off soon. I'm exhausted.

Me: Bite me.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Baby Spacing

Okay, so Swistle started talking about baby spacing and, because it's a favourite topic of mine, and because I was going to write a book in the comments section, I'm doing my own post about the topic.

My kids are each 2-1/2 years apart. I'd like to say it was planned, but it wasn't. Not one single child was planned.

Lisa was born first and she was really all we needed. It was an utter surprise that we were pregnant, but I think it was just fate giving us a kick in the butt to get going. She was smart and funny and well-behaved. When she was about 18 months, we thought about trying for another. Then, I realized that our window of opportunity was fairly small because my sister was getting married just over a year from then and I was a bridesmaid. We were unsuccessful during our "window", so we decided to wait until after the wedding.

Four days after my sister's wedding, Bart was born. Obviously, we had been shocked once again because we had made a conscious decision to NOT be pregnant in that time. Lisa loved Bart instantly, but she wasn't one of those kids who had to be the "little mommy". She never once handed me a diaper or helped to burp him. She held him for a few photo ops, but her daily interaction with him was more about giving him kisses and saying hi than anything nurturing. As soon as he started to walk, though, they started to become friends. She would make up games for him to play, they would sit at the little picnic table and eat their meals together and she looked forward to playing in the sandbox together.

When Bart was about 19 months old, I decided it was time to wean him from the breast. When my period failed to return, I started to take note of other symptoms and took a pregnancy test. Three for three on the shock meter. Even more shocking was the fact that I was 16 weeks along! I was actually embarrassed to be pregnant again, as I had made a fairly big deal about telling people I was *done* with having kids. Maggie was born when Bart was 2-1/2 and Lisa was just shy of 5 years old.

Even though the spacing was the same between Bart and Maggie as it was between Lisa and Bart, Bart's reaction was completely different. He wanted to be around the baby all the time. He helped, he hugged and kissed, he brought her toys, he entertained her... he was amazing! Lisa at 5 years older completely dropped Bart as her little buddy and focused entirely on Maggie. I remember Maggie sitting in her little Bumbo chair with the crazy/drunk expression little babies have, facing the chalk board as Lisa played teacher.

Maggie is 17 months old now, Bart is 3-1/2 and Lisa is 6. I think the spacing has worked well for us and I wouldn't change a thing. In my own family, my brother and I are two years apart, then my sister is 7-1/2 years younger than me, 9-1/2 year younger than my brother. That was fun too, although my brother and I stopped getting along from the time he was about 6 until he went away to university. My sister and I, despite the age gap, are close now, but back when we were kids, she was definitely the "baby". My mom always says she wishes she had had one more child "for my sister".

Conversation heard over the weekend:

Bart: Lisa, where's you Dora ball?
Lisa: I'm not telling you, because you broke my balloon yesterday.
Bart: Lisa, I'm berry berry sorry for breaking your balloon.
Lisa: hmph
Bart: Do you want to know why I broke your big, yellow balloon?
Lisa: hmph
Bart: Because I wanted you to nebber nebber nebber be able to play with it again.


Monday, April 16, 2007

Who... me?

My mom used to describe me with a nursery rhyme:
There was a little girl
Who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead
When she was good, she was very very good
But when she was bad, she was horrid
My mom got her wish: I am blessed with a child that is the same as I was.

The good: she's fiercely independent, adorable, smart, feisty, sweet, kind, helpful, loving. She loves to read, loves her bath and loves to play outside. She likes cool things, like Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, Spiderman and banana candy. She sings and dances and does all the actions to her favourite songs. She laughs from her gut and always kisses her hand when she does the sign for "thank you". She does things just to make you laugh.

The bad: she's fast and sneaky; she hits and pulls hair; she screams if she doesn't get her way; she climbs; she tries to make you mad; she throws food; she yanks out her barrettes two seconds after you put them in; she puts things she shouldn't in her mouth, shows you, then runs away before you can get it from her. She is queen of the mess... whether it's food, make-up, art supplies, garbage, diaper contents or any other mess-making substance, give her 2-seconds out of your line of sight and she'll have done her damage.
She is without a doubt, the most exhausting of my three kids at this age. She never stops moving until she slumps into a deep sleep. Then, she's just my sweet little baby girl.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Gems of Wisdom

I’ve picked up a few gems of wisdom over the past week that I’m happy to share:

1. If your clothes dryer breaks and you decide to clean out the exhaust pipe before the repair guy comes (because, God forbid the repair guy thinks you don’t keep a clean exhaust pipe), wear gloves. There just may be a dead mouse in there and you may touch it. Gloves may prevent you from losing your lunch.

2. If you lose weight, monitor not just your shrinking dress size, but also your shrinking ring size. If you don’t, you may just lose your diamond engagement ring down the drain and have to get a quick Internet lesson on how to take the pipes apart.

3. If your daughter comes to you screaming and frantically swatting at her tongue, don’t panic and assume she has somehow come into contact with poison. It may just be that her tongue has come into contact with her own hair. It is also not wise in this situation to laugh at her hysterically. She won’t be at all happy.

4. If your preschool son tells you, out of the blue, “mom, I’m not evil”, don’t jump to the conclusion that someone (the nanny) has labeled him as such. It’s possible that your husband thought it was a good idea to watch a documentary about Jeffrey Dahmer with his little boy by his side.

5. If your husband keeps commenting on how much better you look with your new haircut, don’t automatically take it as flattery. It could be that all those times you thought you were having a bad hair day, you weren’t the only one who noticed.

6. If you live in Canada, don’t assume that April showers bring May flowers. Those April showers could also bring snow and hail and wind and a bunch of grumpy people who had to retrieve their winter coats, boots and shovels from their respective places of summer hibernation.

You’re welcome!

Monday, April 9, 2007

The Long Weekend

It's so nice to have a long weekend. So nice that I really want to change my work schedule so that every weekend is a long weekend. But wait! I don't have to... starting next month, we go on summer hours (remember university days when summer started in May?) That means that I'll leave work at 1:00 PM on Fridays. Unlike other years, I'm not going to feel like I need to rush home and relieve the babysitter of the kids. This year, I'm going to go for a run, do my grocery shopping and other errands and enjoy some "me" time so that the rest of the weekend is more relaxed for everyone. I can't wait.

The past weekend was fun. On Friday, we took the kids to an egg hunt and then to Niagara Falls for some good family fun. Despite the fact that it was FREEZING, we all had a blast. We did the kids arcade (70 tokens for $20), then Homer took the two bigger kids through a fun house, followed by a treat of their choice (Lisa: cotton candy, Bart: ice cream - ice cream!!!) while we took in the sites of the falls. When we got home, Lisa’s tooth fell out, which led her to declare that this was her "best day ever"!

Saturday was nice with the kids cooperatively helping to tidy up for the Easter Bunny. Then we had a Sunday morning egg hunt at home and then an afternoon hunt at my parents' with the cousins. It took Maggie (17 months) about 2 seconds to figure out the whole put-the-eggs-in-the-basket routine. We're all exhausted today, but it's that good kind of exhausted you get from a really great long weekend.