Monday, 29 April 2013

Smells Like Teen Spirit

When I was four and a half months pregnant an employee of Subway accused me of trying to steal an ice tea from the shop.  In a fog of rage induced hunger*, caused by severe constant morning sickness, peppered with rare moments when I was actually able to eat: I surrendered to my hormones.  I threw my purse over the counter and asked the employee if he wanted to frisk a pregnant lady.  I huffed and I puffed and then I screamed some more.  He refused to acknowledge or search anything, mainly because he thought I was insane.  This was one of the first of many changes that I encountered as I morphed from thirty something pregnant woman into MOM.

Many moons ago I gave birth to my lovely minions.  Almost 21 months to be exact.  I was told that it could take up to two years for some of the changes pregnancy thrust upon my body to go back to "normal".  I don't know if I believe the experts any more because if this is true my body is going to experience something akin to Puberty Part 2 over the next 100ish days.  To any of you hopeful pregnant or post-pregnant folks, I'm sorry, some things haven't gone away, but maybe if we think of it as super powers it won't seem so horrifying.

These two idiots are blissfully unaware that they will become parents in exactly 9 months.

Your Hips Expand, But So Does Your Heart
I understand this is a natural way to help you labour your child(ren), however 21 months later only one of my hips has returned to it's semi normal position. The other one, about two and a half inches wider than the other.

You Smell Terrible, But Don't Worry No One Can Get Within Three Feet of You Anyway
Around month six of pregnancy I started to smell more, because it was summer, and I was carrying an extra 35lbs of baby junk in my trunk.  Fast forward two years.  I am running around after two forces of fury who spit up on me, get feces on me and make me sweat - a lot. 

Super Keen Pregnancy Smelling Sense
Remember when you're pregnant and you get that super smelling "Spidey sense"?  Yeah mine never went away, so now I'm very acutely aware that I smell like feces, vomit and sweat.  Thankfully I have an arsenal of defunkifying products in my purse that rival any drug store.

I'll let you know if I become a symmetrical, deodorized version of myself in the coming months, but I'm not holding my breath or my stomach in any more.  And if anyone wants to join me at Subway - the ice tea is on me.

*Also known as hanger (Anger induced by hunger).

Friday, 26 April 2013

Genie In A Bottle

I don't normally succumb to parenting peer pressure, but lately I feel like I've had the screws turned on me about a particular issue: the bottle.  When the minions moved from the infant room to the toddler room they had to  trade in their daycare bottles for a sippy cup. They had already been using a sippy cup for water and juice for over six months, so the adjustment wasn't a big deal.

 However, Molly and Jack are almost 21 months old and they still use a bottle quite regularly on our watches, about 3-5 a day (breakfast, second breakfast,  elevensies, afternoon tea and before bed).  They are both great eaters, perpetual grazers, who love asparagus, bananas, Greek yogurt, hummus and pita more than any health nut adult.  Their milk habits aren't ruining their appetites. At the same time we regularly get comments and looks as if we've put an amber teething ring filled with crack cocaine around their necks.

My mother assures me that all three of us used bottles regularly until we were three years old when she brought us out to purchase our very own novelty "big kid cups" to drink from.  Once we had our grown up cups she got rid of our bottles and even destroyed our last glass bottle with a hammer in front of us.*  We moved on and embraced our bottle free lives.

Soothing  Molly & Mom - right around the time the minions dropped their soothers for good
We've been going around town and researching recommendations on line for the ultimate sippy cups to replace our aging, leaking bottles.  At this point my issue is more about bottle break-down than social pressure, Jack when teething can chew the tip off a bottle nipple in seconds.

A friend of mine told her boys that the Fire Men needed their bottles and that's why they had to get rid of them.  Since her boys are obsessed with anything Fire Man they happily traded in their bottles for cups - and haven't looked back.

Chris thinks we should ignore the comments and looks and let them keep their bottles a little while longer.  I'm still on the hunt for some decent, non-leaking sippy cups that don't explode when they're dropped from a toddler's little hands and am hoping to gradually replace bottles for sippy cups over the next few months before the terrible twos kick into full force.

Any tips on some good sippy cups for babies who don't want to give up their bottles?  Neither child uses soothers, so I haven't had to face this yet and my kids are indifferent to Fire Men at this point.

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*A little dramatic, but this is also the woman who encouraged us to draw faces on our Humpty Dumpty (soft boiled eggs) when we were done eating them and smash them with a spoon to mimic Humpty's "big fall".

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Dry the Rain

As spring weather of intermittent cold peppered with rain continues to downpour I struggle to find indoor appropriate activities for two plucky (bored and fighty) toddlers.  I'll spend afternoon coffee breaks Googling indoor activities to keep the stir-crazy levels to a slow mix rather than the full blown pulverize we get once the kids have been held in weather related house arrest for more than a day or two.

I got this idea when I was talking to my husband about one of his favourite annual childhood rainy day activities, Stuffed Animal Hospital.  Essentially Chris and his sister would go around their house and gather all of the stuffed toys that needed a little TLC (buttons sewn on, a trip through the washing machine, torn appendages fixed and so on).  They would diagnose the issues to the chief surgeon (mum) while she fixed them up.  It would entertain them for a few hours and their toys would come out in better repair. Win Win.

The minions aren't quite old enough to have completely destroyed stuffed toys (minus the stuffed giraffe who Molly ripped the leg off of), and I don't want them within a 100 metre radius of sewing needles*, although some of their other toys are getting pretty gross.  With Chris still suffering mid-flu-consumption I figured it was time for a little disinfection fun for everyone.

The TOY Wash
I used three large bowls (one for dirty toy storage, one for soapy water & one for rinsing), baby wash soap, some towels, a scrub brush, a pitcher for drying clean toys and a little imagination.  For older kids you could do this in the bath tub or in a kitchen sink.  After doing some research I also found this as a great outdoor activity on line at parentingeveryday that can be performed on bikes, toy cars or other outdoor play equipment.**

 Molly washing up
 Enter the scrub brush
 Enter the force of destruction (boy child)

Some Tips For Toy Wash Success:
  • Depending on the age of your child(ren) you may want to be the one to distribute the toys to make sure that things don't get too crazy
  • Be prepared to be the official toy scrubber and dryer while the kids play in the water
  • Don't fill the bowls too full, or let your child (err Jack) pick up the bowls and dump them on the ground
  • Have a change of dry clothes on hand for after the event (or time right before bath time)
  • Choose your toys carefully (make sure they can be washed) and dry them well to prevent rotting or damage***
  • Have your children remove their shoes and socks before you begin the toy wash, otherwise you'll spend the next morning before daycare with little shoes and a hairdryer

Shiny Happy Toys

For another indoor toddler activity I tried recently click here

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*I can only imagine the carnage that would bring.
**My kitchen floor needed a good washing so I decided to brave the mess and embrace the chaos.
***Chris is still bitter about his ruined Lego from childhood Lego boat experiments.  Apparently it was never the same.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Little Bones

Saturday night at around 4AM Chris came down with the flu.  Bone shaking, high fever, bone aching flu.  This is not just a man cold, he was so sick that he didn't go to the Blue Jays Game on Sunday.*  So, I spent my Sunday watching after the kids so he could rest, disinfecting everything and then trying to take care of him once they'd gone off to bed.

I already know that despite my best efforts to keep everything sanitized that the three of us are going down with this illness, likely in the most drawn out and inconvenient way, but for now I'm in denial. Chris is at home resting with the furnace cranked up to 97 degrees, a heating pad, a gallon of water and a fist full of ibuprofen. 

Miss Molly says, "How You Doing?" -Winter last year

On my solo day the minions answered a lot of questions about the universe, many of which don't need answering, just the same I thought I'd share:

Where do all of the kid's socks go?
Daycare has been teaching the kids to tidy-up.  This is nice, in concept.  In practice this means that Molly's way of helping me tidy the kitchen is to rip the socks off of her and Jack's feet and throw them into the garbage.**

What is the new trend in children's art?
Yogurt finger painting: on the wall, mom's pants, the dishwasher, in your sister's hair.

What would Molly do if she had a younger sibling?
Molly spent about an hour kissing the baby boy on their new box of diapers that I have been too lazy to haul upstairs to the nursery.  She'd sweetly call out, "Baby" and then toddle over to give him a kiss.  I thought this was really adorable, until she grabbed a pen and stabbed him in the chest, several times.

What makes cleaning up shredded tissue paper more challenging?
When your son pours 1/3 of a giant bottle of cornstarch baby powder on top of it.

How can your son teach YOU a lesson while in "time-out" for hitting his sister in the head with a corn popper?
By tearing off his pants, his diaper and peeing all over the place.

Yours - in health, if only temporary.

If you don't hear from me in a few days send soup, or wine...or just wine...I'm flexible.

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*And it was Bobble Head Day.
**Who knows how many socks have suffered this fate.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

There Goes My Gun

My fortnight of poor quality standards testing and sub par craftsmanship continues.  Last week I purchased a glue gun from Walmart for $2.62 for some crafts I've been working on.  The price of the product was so low that I laughed when I opened the packaging to discover that I could send away for a two year warranty.  It would cost $1.10 in postage to mail that warranty, that's almost half the cost of a new gun.  My 15 pack of miniature glue sticks are more expensive than the actual gun, so I should have known that something was up.  At this basement bargain price the glue gun was almost disposable.  Unfortunately for me it actually was.  It jammed and stopped working after only one use.

"Good, Bad, I'm the guy with the (glue) gun." -Ash, Army of Darkness
Picture via wikipedia

Chris then kindly implied that I have a history of glue gun related incidents* and that perhaps the broken product had something to do with my blatant disregard for gun maintenance.   Harumph!

I followed the instructions to plug in the glue gun, put in the glue stick and wait 3-5 minutes before I began my project and I unplugged it when I was done, but maybe I left the extension cord out overnight.   Maybe the next morning Jack thought that it would be a great idea to fashion a noose out of the cord and attempt to lasso his sister around her neck, but this carelessness wouldn't impact the performance of of my glue gun, but instead my performance as a parent.

I Googled the appropriate way to clean your glue gun and got a very specific and detailed answer that in no way represents how I ever will care for my glue gun (let it cool down with glue stick in chamber and then throw it into a craft drawer):

Remove the partially-used glue stick from the chamber so that it does not melt in the cabinet. Wrap the electrical cable in a figure eight pattern and hold it in place with a rubber band to prevent tangles and damage to the cable. Read more on Glue Gun Maintenance

Yesterday I went back into Walmart to buy a replacement.  As I stood in the craft section I debated whether or not I wanted to purchase the next level up glue gun at around $10.00.  Ten bucks will buy me three replacement glue guns.  So I returned home with brand new, shiny $2.92 glue gun** and read the instructions very carefully.  I confirmed that my usage of glue gun numero uno was up to code, unfortunately I also found the following warning:

WARNING: The power cord on this product contains lead, a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.  Wash hands after handling.

Thank goodness my birth control pills are working...wait a minute, no they aren't.  Thank goodness this warning only applies to people who only live in the State of California....

Not only is my cheap glue gun only available in feminine hygiene pink, it's also going to make me crazy, harm my unborn children and assault my lady bits.

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*I have two scars: C-section and glue gun.  I burned the top of my left wrist quite badly with a glue gun when I worked a summer job at a factory piecing together broken Best Wishes and Hummel figurines for discounted sale.  The burn scar was almost gone until two months ago when I was carrying a bag from the liquor store home and fell on some black ice on my neighbour's sidewalk.  Not a single bottle was broken, but the top of my wrist was cut up from taking the brunt of the fall.  Thankfully the liquor was okay.
**That's right, the price went up by 30 cents in the past week,  Roll back prices my a$$!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Dat's Mardi Gras (A Spring Cleaning Story)

Last night, after I conquered Mount Laundry, I decided that I'd begin the epic Spring clean that I've been planning since the minions were born over 20 months ago.  I've been feeling out of sorts lately and decided that a good de-clutter might clear my head as well as the epic pile of crap that seems to be invading our bedroom, the nursery and the garage. As I worked my way through all of my drawers (I still need to hit my closet and the coat closet in the basement) I discovered a few post pregnancy truths that I thought I'd share.

If it's in such poor condition that I won't donate it to Goodwill why is it still in my house?  Or on my back?

Maternity leggings are the new cashmere....I recommend them for anyone and am sad that mine got a run and had to be garbaged.

One morning two minutes before I left for work I discovered a giant bleach spot on my black shirt, my brilliant solution: fill in the bleach spot with magic marker.*  I probably should have thrown it into the garbage instead of back into the laundry.

Why do I save bras once the under-wire comes out?  Am I going to decide one morning that I'm mad at one boob and give the other more support and mock it's lack of perkiness?

Why do I continue to put my bras in the dryer when I know that DRYER = BRA MURDER?

I've retired most of my maternity wear, however there are two nursing dresses and tank tops that I am going to wear into the ground.**  Plus you never know when you're going to need easy access to the ladies:  Look who's all packed for Mardi Gras Suckas!  Note to self: clear room in minions dress-up box for excess of Mardi Gras beads.

File:Raining Beads.jpg
Mardi Gras Bead Tree courtesy of Wikipedia

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*Best part is that this is maternity wear, that I was sporting just three months ago, not because I couldn't fit into anything else, but because it was there and it was clean(ish).
**Or until I stain them with bleach and have to use a magic marker to "cover" the stain.

Monday, 15 April 2013


I've had it up to my eyeballs with shabby products lately.  First, I discovered that another 11 batches of the pill Alysena have been recalled including my batch 1901A.   Seriously?  What next, are reps from the drug company going to show up at my door to punch holes into my condoms with some pins?  My pharmacist called me to inform me that they'll do a free exchange to the brand name version Alesse, but will they pay to send a child to college or daycare?

I don't think I've ever been as excited to purchase a package of tampons as I was this weekend.  The cashier might have looked at me strangely had I said how I felt, "Guess what, I'm not pregnant despite your best efforts to turn the women in Canada into Offred from The Handmaid's Tale."  I imagine my specific Canadiana Margaret Atwood reference might be lost on the 15 year old cashier, but none-the-less I'd feel better about my proclamation that I'm onto them and their conspiracy.

  Tampax Logo

Images courtesy of Wikipedia
Then on Sunday morning, while we were trying to get the minions ready to attend their cousins baptism, I discovered that the new Nuby sippy cups that we had purchased to try to get the kids off the bottle were faulty.  When dropped from a toddlers height they crack and explode epically, which Molly and Jack found super funny as they continued to pick up and throw down milk bombs around the house in their Sunday best while I tried to ensure that they wouldn't show up at church smelling like old milk.

Next we wrestled the minions in the pew at the baptism before they could go down to the church's infant room.  I now know why gym class teaches wrestling: it's to help prepare you for dealing with toddlers.  "No Jack, that hymn book is not a weapon"*

This morning I was so tired I nearly put Bath and Body Works Vanilla scented hand soap in my hair instead of straightening serum, again.  This week will be better, right?**

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*And that's when you implement the sleeper hold.
**Until the recall of condoms comes out next month.

Friday, 12 April 2013

When I Paint My Masterpiece

Earlier this week Chris pulled an article for me from the daily commuter magazine Metro.*  The article mentions how mothers have a tough time throwing out their children's art work without hiding it, scrap booking it or feeling super guilty.  Let me say this loud and clear: I do not feel guilty throwing out my children's art work, but then again they can barely talk.
Growing up, my parents pretended to love everything we did that we tried at: from short stories I wrote, to bad art projects.  They'd feign admiration and secretly mock my sister and I behind our backs about how seriously we took our projects.  For years the staircase going to the basement displayed our various artistic endeavours including my sisters rug hook unicorn and a string painting I completed in kindergarten that looked like a toboggan crashing into a wall. 
My little brother was a different story.  He didn't care and put minimal efforts into any projects he'd been forced into at school.  My parents were also in their 40s with three children, so instead of following parenting books they were keeping it real.  They didn't hide their thoughts about what he produced, or made other children do for him after they had completed their assignments successfully.
In grade six my brother made a stuffed frog with one leg so giant that if real it would be incapable of doing anything beyond jumping in circles.  When other kids vandalised his year end project, the most hideous teddy bear that you've ever seen, the teacher actually told him that she thought it was an improvement.  I don't know if any of his art work ever made the basement wall of shame.**
Molly and Jack produce a glut of "art work" at daycare.  And we save some of it.  The other day, as they cleared out some important showcase space for new projects, we were presented with 21 new pieces to add to our collection.*** So last night Chris and I sat down, after the minions went to bed, and discussed the art at great lengths.  Below is the best of, what we thought we saw and our titles for each piece.  Enjoy.
What I saw: Angry Dust Mite
Chris's title for the piece: Don't Sleep with the Lights Off
What I saw: Girl Fight
Chris's Title: Banana Man Terrified
 Chris's Title: Sad Eggs with Jelly
 What I Saw: Dragon Kneeling Holding a Sword
Chris's Title:  Industrial Extinction
What Chris Saw: Slovenly Dragon
My Title: Help, I'm Trapped in a Finger Painting

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*I can't find the link to it on line, sorry.
**Don't feel bad for anyone here, no one in my family is lacking in self-esteem, especially my little brother. I think we all needed to be knocked down a peg or two.
***AKA the recycling bin.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Nine Million Bicycles - A Book Review

From the moment that baby bump is visible you become public property.  Public opinion of you, your choices and how you parent follows you.  No matter what you do people will disagree, sometimes very publicly.  This, paired with your own personal doubts and insecurities can be tough to handle, particularly if you follow a non-traditional path.  The internal voice inside your head as you try to do what's right for your family can be a terrible critic, even without the parentrazzi* on your tail.

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less travelled by, And that has made all the difference." Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken.
The Vogel family has definitely taken the road less travelled.  In Nancy Sathre-Vogel's newest book, Changing Gears, A Family Odyssey to the End of the World she chronicles her family's three year adventure as they travel from the top of Alaska to the tip of Argentina in pursuit of A Guinness World Record and an experiential education.
The Journey - Day 1
Her honest account of their passage through the Americas is an engrossing and inspiring read.  Vogel discusses everything from facing off against a bear at the side of the road, to critics who feel they are robbing their ten year old twins of their childhood.  I especially loved her take on a mother's guilt surrounding stuffing her boys with Oreos for breakfast.  
This book opened up a lot of discussion between my husband Chris and I about the things we want to teach our children and why.  It got us debating what age children have free will and decision making power and what type of non-traditional educational tools and experiences we want for our kids. 
These candid snippets of a mother's story will not disappoint.  The family's experience with helpful strangers, friendships developed over social media, fellow cyclists and bikers (AKA the road angels) help show that the world isn't such a big bad place, most of the time.  This book has inspired me to seek out more adventures for our twins to teach them about the world around them, but for now, at 20 months old, I'm thinking more camping and hiking.
People who are interested in/enjoy this book might also want to explore Vogel's other titles: Bicycle Touring With Children, A Guide to Getting Started or Twenty Miles Per Cookie, 9000 miles of Kid Powered Adventures
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*I wish I could claim credit for this, but when I Googled it, it already existed, but people generally are referring to proud parents taking photos, not the build em up and tear them down spin aspect that I mean.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Scary Monsters

Last night I received a bone chilling text message.  It may as well have been delivered by a clown on a tricycle or at the very least orated by Ghost Face through a telephone using a voice manipulator.  It read:

Check your birth control.  Alysena lot LFO1899a was recalled and doesn't work

In a recall notice distributed by Health Canada, Apotex Inc. said said its 28-day blister packs should include 21 active birth-control pills plus seven placebo tablets that contain no drug.
Image Courtesy of: Toronto Star Article

I asked if it was a late April Fool's joke.  It wasn't.  I was out at an appointment and wouldn't be able to get home for almost an hour.  I have an active imagination, so my mind immediately went to life with two sets of twins under two and a half, picturing something akin to the old woman who lived in a shoe (34 in human years) 105 in hours spent awake age.  We would no longer have one on one parenting, we would have to work in zones.  Is this what I got for opting for the store brand, less expensive cousin to Alesse, just because my insurance wouldn't cover the extra cost? 

I rushed home and found that I was batch 1901a.  My friend who sent me the text was one batch off.  We'd dodged a pill shaped bullet.  As I separated two fighting toddlers in the bath tub I sighed happily.  We are not ready to make the leap from brood to infant army.

I hope that I would notice an extra line of placebo pills in my package, but I have been pretty tired lately and the company just re branded the pills to new colours so who knows.  Perhaps it's time to explore some other birth control options like an IUD or maybe even a chastity belt.

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Monday, 8 April 2013

10:15 on a Saturday Night

Saturday night, Chris and I chatted quietly in the car on the way home from dinner at a friend's house.  I noted how I haven't gotten wistful or nostalgic for the early days of parenthood yet and that I haven't had the womb yearnings to have more children that people tell me about.  I lamented that I hadn't hit the point yet that I could handle adding more children to our brood because often it feels like we live with two miniature tornadoes.  Chris kindly took this opportunity to remind me that I will be celebrating my half century birthday when the minions graduate high school, ouch.  I sighed and turned up the radio. 

A few minutes later the car was filled with this sweet lotion scent.  "What is that?"  Chris asked.  I turned around to investigate.  Jack, who I wrongfully assumed was falling asleep, took it upon himself to find, open, consume and finger paint with nearly half a small tube of "calming touch" diaper cream. 

Sleeping Jack (the good old days when he stayed put)

We pulled over to a gas station so we could confiscate the body paint and clean Jack up.  As we scrubbed the inside of his mouth with baby wipes and tried to get the biggest chunks of butt cream off of his pyjamas, we debated whether or not his tongue would go numb from the cream and whether or not this should warrant a call to poison control.  Jack was furious with us.  For the rest of the trip he screamed while I attempted to ply him with pieces of Nutrigrain Bar.*

Once we got home we stripped him down, changed him, made sure he wasn't poisoned and put both of the kids to bed.**  We collapsed on the couch and Chris enjoyed a beer while I pounded grape in front of episodes of Cougar Town season 2 before heading to bed at 11:30 on a Saturday night, sigh.  The past three weeks have been rough on sleep and I feel that had I been more rested I may have been more on my A game and noticed that Jack was painting the roses red with diaper cream from the back seat of the car.

I've taken some notes on some of the things that we've let slide in an attempt to motivate us to put ourselves as priorities and feel better about our lives with toddlers.  Maybe we'll have things under control before my half centennial birthday.

Put Away Our Laundry
I'd say on average we run 12 loads of laundry a week.  For the most part only the towels and the minions clothes get put away on a semi-regular basis.  This means that our clothes get piled up onto the giant bowl chair in our bedroom, which the cat then uses as his second bed and we end up foraging for clean clothes (like hobo raccoons) almost every morning.

Buy More Foundation
I ran out of make-up foundation five days ago, but it hasn't mattered because I've been substituting with cover-up in order to tackle the rings under my eyes and the claw marks from Molly's talons I've already applied product to the majority of my face.

Get a Hair Cut
The last time I had a hair cut was in 2012.  Every day my hair resembles Elaine Benes' from a 1980's episode of Seinfeld a little bit more.***

Buy Myself Some More Clothes
Only one of my bras still has intact under wire and clasps that work.  Most of the underwear I currently own I purchased in the first year post babies, so it falls down - all the time.  I own one pair of jeans that fits me right now and that pair is usually covered in yogurt stains.

Maybe if we can tackle these things we can finally get enough energy to finally clean out the garage.  A box of Halloween decorations fell off one of the shelves onto the floor causing a creepy Chucky**** Doll to spill out onto the floor, where Chris found him sitting alone in the dark beside the beer empties.  This is traumatising for all of us.

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

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*Diaper Cream's less tasty cousin.
**The Internet informed us that we should keep an eye out for vomiting and the runs and that eating diaper cream is far worse for pets than it is for children.  Thankfully my cat isn't dumb enough to try to consume a tube of diaper cream.
***No one has ever requested an Elaine Benes cut at the hair dresser, not even in the 1980s, I assure you.
****Somehow saying "Creepy" Chucky Doll seems a little redundant.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Love Bites

We got our first warning at daycare the other day.  Apparently the boy child is biting.  I blame it on how hardcore we've been about stopping the slap fights between the minions the past few weeks.*   What choice did Jackie have? He is teething afterall.  Once we get the biting in check I'm certain we'll get news of his penchant for tackling other children or tickling them until they cry.  Molly will be more about mind games, emotional abuse** and mean girl spite.  She already has an army of two other giroddlers (girl toddlers) who do her bidding.

This is my son Jaws

Daycare isn't allowed to tell us who Jack bit, but we know it wasn't Molly.  That leaves eight other possibilities, and he bit the child in question on their face, so we've been keeping an eye out to see who has giant teeth marks on their cheek.  I tried asking Molly and Jack who Jack bit, but since either child can only pronounce one other kid's name in their class, added with the fact that Molly will say yes to almost any question you ask her*** our investigation has come to a standstill.

We asked our ECE worker what we could do to help curb our little Dracula and were told: redirection, explain why it's not appropriate to bite (as calmly as you can when Jack's fangs are embedded in your hand), take away the toy that your children are fighting over, time outs etc. etc....basically everything that we have been doing for the hitting repeated for this new other hella bad behaviour.  Jack loves a reaction and if you yell or cry he thinks it's funny.  I'm sure it's why Molly is generally his prime target.

I'm debating whether or not we should apologise to the parent if we manage to spot the victim.  What's the etiquette for baby cannibalism?  I don't think What to Expect - The Toddler Years will cover it.

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*It's been like watching that slap scene from Moonstruck on repeat but with significantly more crying.
**She makes me so proud (single tear rolls down cheek).
***Hopefully that stops by the time she reaches high school or Chris is going to have to follow her to school with a shot gun.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

For the Longest Time

It's hard to feel inspired as a parent when it's 3AM in the morning and your child just won't go to sleep.  It's especially frustrating when the reason why your child(ren)* is awake and screaming is because your cat pounced on your foot as if it was filled with cat nip, you screamed, thus causing the chain reaction of awake Molly, followed by awake Jack, followed by two hours of Chris and I tossing and turning and afraid to move our feet.

After a great chat with a friend of mine on the perils of parenthood,  I thought of some of the most wonderful quotes on parenthood I know.  I hope that you find these inspiring or at least to make you laugh or sigh when all you want to do is cry.

Molly & Jack 6 Weeks Old - Post Bath

On Tough Times

"The days are long, but the years are short." Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project.

On Doing the Right Thing

"When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer." Tina Fey, Bossypants.

On Early Days of Parenthood

“She was an alien, really - a sort of eating, pooping, tantrum machine - and he didn't understand anything about her species.”  Christopher Moore (one of my favourite authors)

“Being a parent is dirty and scary and beautiful and hard and miraculous and exhausting and thankless and joyful and frustrating all at once. It’s everything. (Confessions of a Scary Mommy, Gallery Books 2012).”

On Frustrations

“If John Lennon was right that life is what happens when you're making other plans, parenthood is what happens when everything is flipped over and spilling everywhere and you can't find a towel or a sponge or your "inside" voice.” Kelly Corrigan, Lift

“Mothers are all slightly insane.”  J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

"Somebody stomp on him before he spreads." My grandmother Alice (about my brother).

"Remember, the more horrifying the experience, the better the story." Fellow twin mom of grown twin boys.

On Twins

“No, no sleep. You’re just always tired. I don’t understand how people cheat once they have kids. I don’t have enough energy to fool around. I told my wife: You ever catch me in another woman’s bed, I’m just there to take a nap.” Wanda Sykes.

"Having twins gives you the permission to be the parent you want to be, not the one you think you should be." Someone to me in the early haze of babydom.

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*I often forget that babies don't come in pairs like shoes for most people.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Humpty (Dumpty) Dance

It was Easter this weekend and we all know what that means: Annual Easter Traditions, where my good friend, The Granken, enters an egg hunt death match competition against four children under seven to see who can collect the most eggs.*  This year's scores were as follows: Granken: 46 eggs, 6 year old: 37 eggs, 4 year old: 17 eggs, Molly with the help of her Aunt S.: 16 eggs.   As for Jack, he wasn't really into it.  He hid behind the living room curtains and tried to open the window instead.

Jack's version of an Easter Egg Hunt
Molly enjoying her 16 eggs.
In a new Easter tradition, Molly decided to pull a Humpty Dumpty this weekend.  During her nap on Saturday she felt that it was time to go AWOL from the confines of her crib.  She hoisted herself up and over the side of her crib using the arm of story time chair directly beside her to gain that extra two-three inches she needed to escape.  She landed on the floor with a thud, a scream and it took about half an hour for all the king's horses and all the king's men to calm her down again.  Sadly this meant nap time was over, for everyone, and a rearrangement of the nursery.  Jack's crib luckily is so far to the ground that he won't be able to climb out until he's four feet tall.**
Miss Molly was a bad egg this weekend.
I did some research and here's how we're attempting to keep Humpty safe in her crib for a little while longer.
Operation Prevent Humpty Dumpty from Cracking Part 1
- Move the story time chair away from all cribs
- Put a thick duvet down on the ground beside the crib
- Pray that Molly holds off on growing another 2-3 inches for a little while longer
And when that stops working....
-Switch Molly and Jack's Mattresses (his is thinner)
-Switch Molly and Jack's Cribs (although this could have the boy child on the loose)
-Cross our fingers
And then...
Accept our fate, double baby-proof everything and convert the cribs into toddler beds.

The Granken's Jack Layton Egg

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*To find out about the results of last year's competition click here
**Which by my calculations will make him eight.