Friday, April 29, 2011

Queen of my Castle

This is a quick 'as I shovel in breakfast' post, on the reasons why it's okay that I have not married Prince William (even though that means I am left to clean my own kitchen).
  1. My own charming Prince made me a breakfast smoothie this morning.
  2. The glorious sun is shining and my lawn is calling my name. This time of year any outside chores seem delicious. Miss Claire and Master Max and I will be going outside imminently to put a new wheel on our broken wheelbarrow.
  3. Miss Claire has decided the potty is awesome. Which is awesome. She is so excited about her Diego seat and has been a potty superstar this week. Lots of high fives have been had by all.
  4. Master Max is 9 months old! He has been a sleeping superstar (leaving Mommy giddy happy), has had beautifully clear skin lately, mimics our sounds in the cutest way, now scoots and shuffles backwards, and has found his knees. There's been lots of practice rocking back and forth on his hands and knees. Mommy is in trouble with these slightly sticky floors very very soon!
  5. There are no holidays in sight for some time. Which pleases me to no end. This means routine and ease of schedule, regular bedtimes, and a lack of sugar induced emotionally fragile children for the next few months! (Easter was a little horrible. Really, the drama around here may have earned strict adherance to bedtimes and no sugar at the next holiday. Unless Easter has become a faded memory by then, my kids will be subject to strict mommy, for their own sakes!)
  6. The coming unclaimed weekend holds the strong promise of doing something big. Like a deck, or walling in the new bathroom, or marathon sewing. We'll see, we haven't decided yet what awesomeness is to come, but it's going to be great.
Onwards to the outdoors, sunshine, tricycles, and a wheelbarrow that needs us!

I bet Kate can't say that. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Boring Mommy.

My favorite facebook status of the week:
"Didn't you guys get the memo? Being overly cynical and jaded isn't cool anymore. It just makes you boring, and kind of an asshole."
I'm kind of an asshole lately.

I used to feel like a positive person, overly peppy even! Then I had kids, and so often the world seems wrong and bad, and I feel anti-everything. I grasp at the positive, but seem to gravitate to the negative. I'm serious Mommy, truely an adult who is no fun. No fun at all.

Today, Easter Monday, my kids earned no sugar and absolute adherence to bedtimes for their next holiday. The group emotional fragility following candy overload and late family visiting hours was too much to bear. The tears, oh the tears, today.

Thane and I had an argument resulting in him being sent to bed at 6:30, I knew his tiredness was dictating his actions and this was really what he needed. He of course, did not agree that the reason he tried to run over his brother with a tricycle was because his judgement and personality were impaired by lack of sleep. He told me he hated me all the way. I retorted I'm not supposed to be his friend, I'm his mother. Yep. Those words came out of my mouth.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

All in a day's work

Life as a stay-at-homer is pretty busy. I'm pretty convinced right now that going back to work will be a welcome break. (Remind me of this when I'm panicking in 3 months!)

An overwhelming thing me about staying home with my babies is that so often I have NO IDEA what I accomplished that day. At school there were projects finished, art was created, designs were perfected, at work there were clients presented with finished products, then events planned, advertising sent out, workshops arranged, lessons planned. Specific, tangible things achieved.

So today, I decided to log how I spent my time.

Mommy stumbles into the kitchen, where Daddy greets me with a coffee. This is my little bit of luxury, by the way. Mommy gets up through the night, so Daddy gets to hang out with Max in his early morning hours, anywhere from 5 to 7am (hours I prefer to pretend don't exist), returning him to Mommy in bed to nurse some more around 7 or 7:30. The coffee was a bonus this morning, in response to my complaint yesterday that I always get left with the bottom sludge.

While still wiping the sleep from my eyes, I help Seth fit his snowpants in his bookbag, kiss his head and send him off to meet the bus. Then I join in the hunt for Thane's things, scattered everywhere, hurrying him so he doesn't miss the bus.

Miss Claire wakes up and joins me and my coffee on the couch for a snuggle, watching Steven and Chris. We say bye to Daddy.

Max is scratching like mad, he's itchy today and needs a bath and his creams asap. Claire is bored of Steven and Chris, they're shorted for a switch to Dora. In the tub Max goes. I call Mom to hear her thoughts on the debate. Is Stephen Harper the robot I thought or simply an introvert who doesn't sensationalize the issues?

All clean and creamed, Max nurses himself to sleep.

Oh yeah, it's garbage day, oi. Nope, the garbage truck hasn't come yet, I can still make it! I load up my trusty wagon with the bags and head down the driveway in pyjama pants, rubber boots, and a painting sweatshirt laying near the door. Motherhood is so glamourous. At least the air is fresh and the birds are singing. 

I scrounge up a late breakfast for Claire and I. I try to avoid checking facebook. Nope, self-control loses, I wonder if anyone's commented anything else about the debate last night?

Laundry. One load in and I decide the laundry room needs swamped out and cleaned, the mess leftover from tiling the entry has to go, since I can barely move and everything has tile dust on it. Claire bops in and out, chatting with me, rearranging, putting clean clothes in the dirty clothes piles. At one point I hear her upstairs beside Max's bedroom, putting on her second outfit of the day. There will be many more wardrobe changes to come I'm sure. I race up to scoop her up and bring her downstairs before she decides Max should really be up now and goes into his room. ("Up! It's mornin!") Really. It's two steps ahead and one back around here.

Coffee break! (Oh wait, a bag of blueberries has been dumped out. Who needs a bowl for a snack? Must intervene.)

Coffee break! (Oh wait, I'm presented with a cute little pointer finger with a scratch. Claire insists it needs cream. The baby brother with eczema remember? We add a bandaid to ensure it won't fall off. Dora bandaids were a bad idea, must remember to buy boring bandaids with no enticing qualities whatsoever.)

Now it's actually coffee break time! Claire colors beside me, I have coffee while simultaneously discussing the intricities of purple vs. yellow, via Claire's crayons. Claire's eyebrows raise in disagreement when I state the sun is yellow. And she argues that purple is not the color of a flower like Mommy says, it's something else, but something in Clairese that I can't decipher. And then there's much conversation that Seth's new birthday present toy, a Bumblebee transformer, must be a Daddy because he has big feet.

I meet the bottom of another coffee cup, I can hear Max stirring (him talking to himself up there is a new and funny thing), and the laundry needs switched. Time on my butt is officially over. Onwards and upwards Mama!

The laundry gets switched, I take Claire's folded laundry, a crib sheet, and round up Claire, and head up to rescue little mister. Claire climbs into his crib and bounces around Max and gives him hugs. He thinks she's hilarious. I change the crib sheet somehow with them in it. We all head towards Claire's closet to put clothes away, but I get distracted by the boys messy room. I think the boys think it's mandatory for lego to cover their floor at all times, in practice for walking on hot coals perhaps? I clear a spot for Max to sit, thankful again that he's not crawling yet as I hand him some bigger toys to play with. Claire and I work on putting together this truck building toy for awhile, then I get back to cleaning while she plays. Always back to the cleaning. I question out loud, mostly to myself but talking to the kids in the way you do when you're alone with pre-talkers all day, why the boys clothes drop directly from their bodies to the floor, wherever they happen to stand. As I begin to tackle Seth's closet, rehanging shirts that are piled on the floor (again, the reason is?), I notice Claire picking up the dirty clothes and putting them in the hamper. I guess she had heard my admonitions! Her willingness to clean never ceases to amaze me. Really? Does it really just come more naturally to females? Did I miss out on that gene?   

Soon, Max is fed up and I take him downstairs, change his bum, put cream on his raw cheeks, and settle him into his highchair to pick at rice puffs while I warm up leftover veggies for him. I can't find any of his clean bibs, so an apron of Claire's will have to do!

Lunch preparations are interrupted by a crash. Claire has dropped the bowl of cheerios and blueberries she's been toting around with her, down the stairs. It was a clean break into two pieces though (funny when that's the bright side!), leaving just the food on every stair for Claire and I to pick up. I have to convince her that the stairs really are very dirty and she can't eat these ones, I will get her new ones.

Back to Max, lunch for Claire, filling the dishwasher, and sweeping. I notice I never did get around to wiping up the puddle from the dishwasher leaking last night, and choose to ignore it again because a) Max is fussing and b) the dishwasher being a piece of crap annoys me to no end.

We're on our way outside for a walk. Oh wait, it's colder now, Max needs a blanket. On our way. Oh wait, Claire wants mittens. On our way. Really. We stroll, Claire sometimes in, sometimes out of the stroller. Max laying back, enjoying the ride. Singing while she's in, pocketing rocks while she's out. We can hear the ducks and the water and stop to appreciate the big hole a piliated woodpecker made.

We're back inside after a nice walk. Max settles in to nurse and falls asleep, while Claire plays with her toys.

Naptime for Max, lunchtime for Mommy, Claire falls asleep on the couch.

Not naptime for Max, he woke up when I laid him down and will not settle back to sleep. When I get him he is very happy to see mommy realized he wasn't REALLY sleeping. I was only fooling mom.

Diaper, cream, laundry re-set. Get Max set up on the kitchen floor with toys, since I remembered we have haircuts at 5:30 in Woodstock, so I should have an early supper ready.

On my way to reset laundry, I lay Claire down horizontal on the couch, unfolding her from the head upside down beside her lap position she had fallen asleep in.

I have hamburger that needs used, thawed from a bbq last night, so start it cooking with onions and garlic for Shepard's pie, then remember the tomato soup has wheat in it (not working for Max's gluten-free diet) and I had meant to look up an alternative sauce last time I made this. I guess I'll wing it without the soup. How about, ummm, worcheschire sauce? Wheat flour in there too eh? I guess we'll do a no sauce meat base. Hmm, I wonder if Thane will still eat it if it looks different? Better make two versions. 

Alright, the day gets pretty hectic here, as per usual, with food cooking and Claire making her own sandwich, and attempting to keep an increasingly cranky (and increasingly mobile) Max happy with toys on the kitchen floor, switching him to his seat with food he was not interested in, attempting to breastfeed him but he didn't feel like that either. More teething drama? Constipation from the sudden onslaught of 'real' food? When was the last time he pooped? A mother's brain is always full of brillant thoughts.

The boys came home off the bus, trudging up the driveway. I heard about their days, attempting to decode between the lines. From Seth, "I had a good day, but Conor scraped BOTH his knees! And blood splatters everywhere when you spray it with the stuff." Not sure what the stuff is? From Thane, "We had to review the new stuff on multiplication from yesterday, because some people didn't get it." With scrunched up eyes and a pinched finger and thumb, "Madame was just a LITTLE bit mad and a LITTLE bit sad that we had to do that instead of the stuff she had planned. She's behind now." What the? I trade the older three half an hour of screen time for enough peace to finish supper.

I shut down the screens admist much protest, sit down at the table with Max for the sooking he's so desperately demanding, and request school agendas to be given to me and homework to be brought out. I check the books for notes, checking Thane's homework list written against his greatly abbreviated verbal version. Seth's agenda reveals an empty pizza form, causing the revelation that his money for pizza Friday wasn't sent in. Tears follow. I convince Thane to stop working on his brothers new birthday lego set, that that is not fair, and to do up his homework. Claire joins the table, picking up her coloring again.

Troy arrives home early so we can head off for the grand family haircut appointment. He sets the record straight that pizza money was sent in Monday. Seth rejoices. Thane discloses that he didn't actually pass his in, that he lost his toonie. More tears flow.

I give Troy the low-down, "Feed the kids, shepard's pie is in the oven, the one with sauce is not gluten-free, Max wouldn't eat much today, I don't know what's up with him, get clothes on Claire, I need a shower before we leave, we need to be in the van in half an hour. Oh, find Seth some pants."

To which I hear as I jump in, "Why didn't you shower before now?"

Well, actually, today, today I can tell you.

See above list.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Because he needs his own book of quotes.

This week, Thane yells at Seth. (To be fair, the shit had just run downhill after Mommy had yelled at Thane, on his case about something. Another reason the following quote breaks my heart.) Seth says to Thane,

"Don't yell at me, it breaks my soul." 

I should put that on my wall as a reminder, from the mouth of my so wise little guy, so full of heart.

*     *     *     *     *
He was also discussing his future this week. His future with his blankie.

"I love my blankie. I am going to marry my blankie. We would have little blankie babies." 

I just had to write that down somewhere. To show him at some point, which I'm sure he'll probably hate, but it makes me laugh everytime I hear it again in my head.

*     *     *     *     *

And his career aspirations as well.
"When I grow up I want to help people. On Tuesdays, I will fix cars. On Fridays I will be a doctor. On the other days I will be with my family."
Good to hear he has his priorities in order! 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Reading I'm loving.

I am currently catching up with Lisa at Almost Famous, loving her Tough Love on spring cleaning. She's doing a whole series on how to Hate Cleaning Less. She's up to Part III now and full of great inspiration to not be such a housekeeping baby.

I read this post a few weeks ago and it's been on my mind ever since. Jordan and her family just moved to France and are loving the fresh, quality, seasonal food and the way of food shopping daily at the market that is available and normal to them now. I've been putting a lot of thought into the sources of our food lately and I'm feeling quite envious of this being the food norm there!

I picked up a random old book at the library, The Secret of Victorian Houses: Authentic and Inspiring Interiors and What They Reveal, which I thought might offer some insight into historical moulding styling. (Yes, we're to moulding now! I may actually have finished pictures of the kids rooms for you someday!) Instead, it is full of hilarious and semi-disturbing insight into what the Victorian era created. Listen. Er, read on.
"The Parlor: A New Role for Women -
To confirm their status as the new gentry, office workers' wives cultivated the interests and manners of the gentlewomen of earlier generations. These families [the new middle class] had just climbed the slippery slope of social class in one generation. If the woman of the house had to work, the family clearly had not arrived. Instead, the women of the family must cultivate a profound and pure ignorance of how to support themselves. They must learn "not to have a head for figures." They must never do anything that could be remotely interpreted as useful... What is the result of confining half of the population to their houses with all the necessities of life easily provided for by the new industrial America? The high Victorian parlor. Imagine a woman spending all of her productive years in her parlor and in other people's parlors. She is taught that her role is to bring beauty to the home through the nobility of such eighteenth-century crafts as hand needlework. She is forbidden to read serious books or write for fear of taxing her childlike mind. The result would be an explosion of decorative crafts cluttering up every room in the house, especially the parlor."
So interesting how everything, every social construct we so often live by, is more often than not purely invented to serve some random purpose. Manners, gender roles, skills, interests, whole genres of craft, invented to prove your class. Makes me feel a little better about not having much time to do the sewing and art that I would like. It's because I'm busy being useful!

Oh, and a This Old House Bathroom Upgrades book sits on my nightstand, waiting for me to crack it open, tantilizing with beautiful pictures making the most utilitarian room of the house gorgeous. We decided to go for the new big bathroom build instead of renovating the current small one! Let the bathroom planning begin!
Related Posts with Thumbnails