Bathtub Conversations

The kids have such magical moments when playing in the bathtub, last night as I was watching them play I felt compelled to capture it.

Julia:  “It’s a slobbery poop making the poop go aaaalllll over the towel because we’re bad dinosaurs.”

James:  “We washed all the poop off-”

Julia:  “-but you can’t wash it aaaalllll off-”

James:  “-because the water is purple, and if he goes into the purple stuff he gets covered in poop.”  Mom sniggers and runs to get a notebook and a pen with which to capture this moment.

Julia sings:

“I’m playing  in my poop.

I’m stepping in my poop.

I’m squishing in my poop.

It’s so much fun to play in poop.

I like to smell my poop.

I play in my poop every day-ay-ay.”

Mom pauses to lift an eyebrow and takes a deep breath.  Begins wondering about the sanity of children.

James (in a commanding voice):  “Ugh.  I need to start all over.  Good.  Good.  Just push it out, Sir.

Julia says sweetly:  “You don’t mind if I make more poop?  I have a poop collection.  I just keep making more!”

James:  “We’re, like, underwater and I poop and pretend I pooped in my bed and then we went for breakfast.  Now we’re on a submarine and it brought us to the center of danger.  And there’s lots of danger there…

(Mom:  Hmm… are we done with poop finally?) 

…I’m putting poop on this guy (makes squishy sound effects).”

Julia squeals:  “HEY!  That’s MY poop!”

The moral?  Poop is pretty amazing shit.  And, kids are nucking futs.

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Toddler conversations

Josie and her best bud, Leah-Rose, are both 2-and-a-half.

They speak the same language, and it’s hilarious to watch.  Their banter is especially fascinating when I have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.  Sometimes they’ll double team me and ask for something.  I play the part of the half-wit adult who can’t understand the simple dialogue.  They play the part of the know-it-all twins.

Josie:  “Mooooooommm, pease has some bumblejumpins??”

Leah-Rose:  “Attie Eh-win (Auntie Erin), pease we pease has some bumblejumpins??”

Erin (without a clue) says:  “Er… bumblejumpins?”

Josie & Leah-Rose together:  “Yessss!!!  Bumblejumpins!!”

Erin’s left eyebrow hits the ceiling:  “Um…”

The most innocuous conversations can end up with both the girls spurting flames from their eyeballs at each other. They’re like a hearing-impaired old married couple with slight dementia, but they usually make up just as quickly as they argue.

Josie:  “I be doc-toh and you be da… da… da…”

Leah-Rose:  “You be a doc-toh and I be a.. a… a mommy.”

Josie:  “Noooo, you be a mommy an’ I be da doc-tOHHH.” (Her last syllable breaks the sound barrier.)

Leah-Rose: “NOOOO!  YOU BE DA DOC-TOH!”

Toddler-style push-fight ensues.  Someone trips over an errant toy.  Both children start spurting tears instead of flames.

Mommy (that would be me), who has been standing by, slightly bewildered, finally intervenes.  Gives Josie the stethoscope.  Gives Leah-Rose the baby.  Gives both the stink-eye.

“Josie, you be the doctor.  Leah-Rose, you be the mommy.  Try to play nice.”

After a half hour of quiet and harmonious playing, chaos again erupts. Flames spurt out of eyeballs.  Within a few minutes, they make up.

Repeat… All. Day. Long.

Leah-Rose and Josie Kae

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Meme you, Biatch

As I’m certain you’ve noticed, I’m in a bit of a blogging slump lately.  It’s not that I don’t have a million things to write about, but I just can’t seem to find the time to do anything.

For the love of Peter, I cram in time to bathe only to scrub asphalt off my feet (and boob) because I’ve been up to my neck in a massive driveway rehab project.

My friend Kelly over at Southern Fried Children may have also noticed – she’s called myself and a few other bloggers out for a Meme.  I think I may actually get two blog posts out this week.  It’s all because of you, Kelly.

It’s pronounced “Meem”, by the way, Shannon.  I know because I googled the shit out of it.  I’m the google goddess, ask my friends.

These are the rules:

What this is about: To unite bloggers (from all sectors) in a joint endeavor to share lessons learned and create a bank of long but not forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again.
Rules:
1) Blogger is nominated to take part
2) Blogger publishes his/her 7 links on his/her blog – 1 link for each category.
– Your most beautiful post
– Your most popular post
– Your most controversial post
– Your most helpful post
– A post whose success surprised you
– A post you feel didn’t got the attention it deserved
– The post that you are most proud of
3) Blogger nominates up to 5 more bloggers to take part.
4) These bloggers publish their 7 links and nominate another 5 more bloggers
5) And so it goes on!
6) The site Trip Base be sharing the best posts from participating bloggers on their blog and everyday on Facebook and Twitter at #My7Links

Here we go!

Most beautiful post
Some of my favorite posts are the ones about each of my children.  They are all beautiful in their own ways and I could never choose between them.  If I had to pick just one of any of my other posts for this category, it would probably be How Do You Measure Love.

Most popular post
This particular post, by far the most popular, has been viewed almost a thousand times – by who, I have no idea.  At the time I’d written it, if you did a Facebook search for “Blue Skies”, the link came up as being shared by 50 or more people.  Only one of whom was my Mother.  The others sharers aren’t even on my Facebook page, I know because I checked every single one.  That’s real popularity. Shut up, I know I’m neurotic.

Most controversial post
There are a few contenders for this one, though never any serious controversy.  Or at least my readers are too polite to say so – there’s just an awkward silence in my comments area.  The post which I thought had the potential to have the most backlash because it’s a tongue-in-cheek narrative of the potentials of mental illness and motherhood is The Progress Toward Insanity

Most helpful post
One of the very first posts on my blog, Victorious!  Tales from the Potty Trenches.

A post whose success surprised you
People loved hearing about my daughter Julia and her best friend, Darius.  This is actually the second most popular post on my blog so far and only partially because Darius begged his mom to look at the pictures almost daily for a full month after my writing it.

A post you feel didn’t got the attention it deserved
I was surprised when it seemed like many people just didn’t care to read this post at all, let alone comment. It’s an uncomfortable topic, I understand, but it’s important to talk about uncomfortable topics, right? Let’s Talk about Childhood Obesity.

The post that you are most proud of
It’s a simple post, but it makes me the happiest out of all the other posts I’ve written.  The Things I’ll Miss

Tag – you’re it!  I nominate the following:

Sarah from My Little Dot

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Fess-Up Friday

Choice phrases of the week in my house:

“Please be gentle with the kitten.”

“Do. not. touch the kitten like that!”

“PUT THE (&@!$) KITTEN DOWN.”

“Stay inside – the deck is full of stain.”

“DON’T TOUCH THE-” … doh!

“EVERYONE INSIDE NOW!”

“Please keep your hands to yourself.”

“Pulling hair hurts people, be gentle please.”

“PULLING HAIR IS NOT NICE! TIME OUT!”

“Please don’t throw the sand, it could get in someone’s eyes and hurt them – we don’t want to hurt anyone, right guys?”

“No. That’s. not. nice.  We don’t throw sand.”

“DROP IT!  DROP THE SAND!  DON’T THROW THE-!” doh!… “TIME OUT!”

Breathe, Erin.  Breathe.

Sometimes I wonder what my neighbours think.  Then I realize, I don’t really care.

My conscience is clear.  It’s Friday and everyone is still alive and psychologically intact.

This past Monday, James had his first day of grade 1 and Julia had her first day of junior kindergarten on Wednesday.

James loves grade one and hasn’t complained even once about having to go every day.

Julia loves kindergarten, even though she says she’s too shy to talk to anyone.

I’m really missing my little helpers.  Who the hell is going to entertain the babies all day??

Huh?  ME?

Oh. Yeah.  How do you do that again?

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Our Little Friends

Look what we found on our tree outside this morning…

A huge female pileated woodpecker!  I’ve never seen one around here before, so I was excited and got a few pictures off before the dog noticed and scared her away.

In other news…

Yes.  A couple evenings ago I brought home a(nother) kitten.  (Because clearly I need more responsibilities.)

No.  The Hubster wasn’t impressed.

Yes.  Julia convinced him to keep it.

Her name is Emma – there’s a small chance though, she could be a “Frank” or a “Bruce”.

Jury’s still out whether Emma loves Julia as much as Julia loves Emma.

And of course, our other furry friends, who you may already know, are doing fairly well.

Peter the Cat-Dog, whose neck is still healing from his rabbit-snare incident.

And our little baby Boomer, who isn’t so little anymore.  She’s nearly 40 lbs and just turned 5 months old.

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September 1st

This weekend – Labour-day long weekend for us Canucks – marks the end of another summer.  Next week, the kids start school.  My Julia, for the first time.  James is starting grade one.  They ain’t gettin’ any younger.

I’m in mourning right now.  The leaves on the trees are already starting to turn.  Most of the apples have fallen from the tree in our backyard.  The wasps are moving more slowly, becoming more adventurous looking for places to hibernate.  We find ourselves suddenly stricken with the urge to bake apple pies and make soup.  You never know what to wear or what to put on your kids because the temperatures can fluctuate by over thirty degrees Celsius between the night and day.

For us in the North, it’s a time of heavy transition.  A time for layers and time to weed out the summer clothes and start filtering in the winter clothes.  Our bodies, having just finally got used to the heat, now have to become reacquainted with the bitter cold.  It’s too early to put the heat on at night, and in the morning our toes feel like they’ve been flash frozen.  Eventually we will give up and frantically search for the fuzzy slippers that have been hiding under the bed all summer.

We say goodbye to our summertime amusements and begin to look forward to our preferred winter sports.  In the meantime, there’s a lot of yard work and home maintenance to finish before we’ll be ready for the snow to fall.  There’s also pumpkins to carve, apples to pick, Christmas presents to buy, Halloween candy to collect, and memories to make.

I think I’m feeling melancholy about the change of seasons even more than usual since it was such a good summer.  I’d be hard pressed to remember any past summer that has been so exhausting but also so fulfilling.  We spent a lot of time together as a family.  We stayed up late and spent time with our friends.  We laughed a lot.  We made progress on our house.  Jon and I spent time together as a couple and fell in love more than ever.

(Yes, that last sentence was designed to make you vomit.  It’s true, though.)

My brain has been fogged for the last few weeks, trying to get back into the routine.  Trying to absorb the last moments of summer with the kids.  Trying to ward off the several illnesses spreading throughout my household.  Trying to get organized for recent and upcoming painting and reno projects.  Trying to keep our dog training going so we don’t flunk Basic.  Trying to keep the kids entertained and centered.  Trying to finish reading the Harry Potter series (I am reading it with my son, James, but decided to skip ahead).

Trying to avoid thinking that I’m going to be sending James to school full-time this year.

Because I’m going to miss him.  A lot.

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One Less Lonely Girl

As you may or may not have guessed by the title of this post, the kids (and consequently, I) have been listening to Justin Bieber.  Rowen, my friend’s daughter, left her CD here and the kids have been listening to it ad nauseum for the last 2 hours.

They were blasting the CD loud enough that the CD player began to skip during the particularly loud drum machine beats.

Yes.  There has been some Ibuprofin involved.  Also, a couple glasses of wine.  Justin, however talented you may be, I just don’t get it.  I apologize.

Funny story about Mr. Bieber.

James says with a goofy smirk on his face,  “Mommy! Justin Bieber’s my girlfriend.”

My eyebrows disappear into my hairline and my eyes pop out of my head, “Ooookay… um… you know Justin Bieber’s a boy, right?”

“NO!  Justin Bieber’s a girl!  I love him!”

Confused and attempting to be tactful (not one of my strengths, in case you haven’t noticed), I show him a Justin Bieber music video on Youtube proving without a doubt, that Justin Bieber is in fact, male.

James scoffs, “Pfft.  That’s not even real.  That was made by a computer.”

He trots away, skillfully leaving me FUBAR’d.  Check Mate.

WTF??

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Will Work 4 Toys

My Goddaughter, Enola, asked me one day if she could earn some money by doing some chores at my house.  There was a particular toy she’d been wanting to buy and my son James and her were concocting all sorts of scary schemes to make the necessary dough.

You know – “bake” sales, “lemonade” stands and garage sales with broken toys – scary.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have any spare change that particular day.  As I was deeply pondering how I could get the kids motivated to slave clean for me, I was struck with a brilliant idea – I’d order the toy she wanted online and we’d make a deal that she had to do so many chores until she’d earned the toy.

Once the her sister and my son caught the barest whiff of our deal they, on the knife’s edge of total meltdowns, wanted a similar such deal.  I quickly agreed.

Picture a 6 year old and 5 year old doing laundry perfectly – without any sort of supervision and totally independently.  Imagine an 8 year old asking if she can scrub the floors on her hands and knees, scraping off all the stickers with a butter-knife.  Envision, if you can, a 6 year old boy matching up shoes and cleaning an embarrassingly messy foyer closet. Picture toy rooms being cleaned with gusto – on multiple occasions. Picture children doing dishes without the barest hint of whining or disgruntlement.

This all happened.  It’s all fact, my friends.  I know, I’m incredibly impressed, too.  This works so much better than money bribes or threats.

Do you think they’ll do toilets?

Rowen (5), Enola (8), James (6)

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Garlic Scapes Abound

The Garlic Scape fairy came to my house the other day and gave us this.

If you’ve never tried garlic scapes, you’ve never lived.  Their potential is endless.

White Bean and Garlic Scape Dip

Garlic Scape Vinaigrette

Sauteed Garlic Scapes

Garlic Scape Soup

And my personal favorite, Garlic Scape Pesto.

Half a big bowlful of garlic scapes, chopped up coarsely

2 cups grated parmesan

1.5 cups olive oil

Couple tbsp of lemon juice

1 cup walnuts

Using a food processor or immersion blender, grind and blend it all together until it’s a uniform chunkiness.

Then you’re done.  I know – whaaaat?  It’s really that easy.

Put it on pasta or crackers, use it in recipes (spaghetti or bruschetta anyone?), eat it by the spoonful.  Whatever.

Also, garlic scape recipes freeze unusually well.  Go to your local farmer’s market or garlic farm and get some.  Make a big batch, freeze it in portions and you’ll have yumminess all year ’round.

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9 years together; 3 years married.

Do you know what day it is today?

On 08-16-2008, my baby-daddy and I got hitched.  I was 8 weeks pregnant with our third.

There’s a joke in there somewhere but I’m too tired to find it.

Long story, short:

I met Jon on one evening of drunken buffoonery and skinny-dipping.  I’d just gotten out of 5 successive going-nowhere relationships and was going off to college and had just decided to swear off boyfriends for a while… but he had (has) a cute bum, so I thought what the hell?  Really though – when you know, you know.  And I knew.  And so did he, I think.

Next thing I knew we were in a long term relationship, traveling back and forth from Ottawa to Peterborough nearly every weekend to see each other. That got to be expensive, so I transferred schools the next year so we could live together.

Like whiplash, in the three seconds it took for the line to develop on the pregnancy test, we went from college party animals to “real” adults.  Within the first 5 years, Jon graduated and found a job.  We got knocked up.  Bought a car.  Had James.  Bought a house.  Jon changed jobs.  Got pregnant again.  Jon changed jobs.  Had Julia.  Planned the wedding of the century.  Got pregnant again.  Got married.  We sold and bought a new house.  Had Josie.  We survived and learned and matured (a bit).

We’ve had amazing times, and not so amazing times.  Sometimes we’re really boring and too exhausted to think.  Sometimes it’s like a fairy tale.

Jon is so brave and so smart.  He’s my best friend and the man of my dreams.  I know as long as we’re together, we can get through anything.  I know people say that all the time, but for us it’s true.

To celebrate, we’re going out for our ritual anniversary dinner at Dairy Queen with the kids.  ‘Cause we’re classy like that.

Love you, Hunny.  Happy Anniversary.

Now, if only your laundry could find the damned hamper.

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