Thursday, April 30, 2009

Well, the flu crisis is over, but now we are in the midst of another one. Our family is preparing for a visit with mother. She is coming to town tomorrow, with the intention of situating herself here for a day or possibly more. I have been busily editing my cupboards and fridge, replacing my Percocet bottles with multivitamins, and removing anything that she would disprove of, which is leaving me with scarcely anything at all. I can hear her now. "Full fat milk? Dear, it's no wonder you're hips are as wide as a bus." "Cap'n Crunch? You can't possibly dream of feeding these to the children. Mrs. Gossen down the road feeds them to her kids and they all had to get TA's, and the oldest boy is on Ritalin now, and I'm not sure if it has anything to do with it or now, but he's also cross eyed."
Also, I am in the middle of painting Paytons room. The pink color it was has gone from sweet to garhish really quickly, so I am now painting it "Habitat" which is basically like green, I guess. Painting hasn't been bringing out the best in me. It's so nice when you have children there to keep you company. Payton likes to ask a lot of questiosn. "Why are you putting tape on that?" "Why did you move that stool over there?" "Why did you put my dresser like that?" And there I am, sweating and painting and entertaining the children. And then my dear, sweet husband saunters in, scratching his ample belly, and asks me "So, did you buy that self freezing ice cream? The kind that just puts itself back in the freezer?" I mean. I could have killed him. I put down the paint brush, and was like "Fine. I'll go put it away if it's such a big f***ing deal" and he's like "well, no it's not a big deal. I already put it away. I was just joking. Grab a sense of humor."

Can you believe that?? Can you believe the nerve??. Made me so mad. He takes the time to interrupt me to tell me something completely frivolous. I didn't put the ice cream away. OMG. I mean, could you imagine if I did that to him every time he forgot to do something around here. I'd phone him on the way to work. "Geoff, did you buy those self cleaning towells? The kind that put themselves in the laundry hamper after you discard them all over the bathroom floor? And then put themselves into the washing machine?? And then fold themselves back up and climb up into the shelf." I'd wake him up at six in the morning. "Did you buy that self replacing milk carton?? The kind that fills itself back up when you live it in the fridge with one sip left in the bottom?" I'd phone him when he's in the middle of a meeting. "Geoff, did you buy those self washing dishes? The kind that just wash themselves when you put them in the sink?" And where would his sense of humor be then?? Oh, I can just picture him laughing robustly on the other end of the phone. "Oh, that's a funny one!! Do another one!! Call me back." Like Frick. Grab a sense of humor??? How about you grab a fricking clue??? All right. Dude. I have a sense of humor, and I have it good, all right. In fact, if my sense of humor was even a little bit bigger or better- look out, because you would be in trouble. Trouble from laughing.
Speaking of laughing I just submitted another story to one Readers Digest magazine, featuring my Payton. This will be the third. They do not seem to be accepting my stories, but the good news is that I might be the winner of a really big sweepstakes, so...
Anyways. This latest story is so funny. If they don't publish it I'm going to go down there myself to talk to whoever is in charge. You tell me if you think this story is funny or not. And then I'll have proof for my pending lawsuit. Here it is. So I lost my watch and it was gone for a while. Payton found it and brought it to me. "But it's broken," she told me. I looked at it and said that it seemed fine. "No," she said. "Look at it! All it does is go around in circles!!" Oh, I had a good laugh. I was like "but that's what it's supposed to do." But she didn't really believe me. Cute. God I want that two hundred dollars for that story. I can feel it burning a hole into my pocket right now.
And speaking of which, I have a financial dilemna. I was in Calgary last week, where I was smitten with the soap dispenser in the guest bathroom. It dispenses foam!! You only have to put in a little bit of soap, and then you fill the rest with water!! Tap water!! Oh, the money you could save!! You would use so much less soap!! And not to mention the environmental you know... that whole green movement, what do you call it??
So I went online and found the soap dispensers and was shocked to discover that they are twenty dollars each. And I need three of them. And then there's the shipping and handling, we're looking at about a hundred dollars. So it's like should I spend a hundred dollars to save four or five dollars on soap??
Of course, the answer is YES. I mean, it would pay off. Eventually.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The jury is out

Our family is in the throes of a major crisis right now.
The stomach flu.
Payton had it first. Poor girl. She was absolutely miserable. And then I had it, and I was absolutely miserable. And now Geoff has it. And we're all absolutely miserable. The way he tolerates being sick is making me sick right now. God. When I had my stomach flu I was awake practically all night long from either vomiting or nursing the baby. When babe woke up at 7, I tried to hand him over to Geoff so I could sleep for a little bit. But no can doozle. He had to get ready for work. Apparently that is a process that takes over an hour and requires total concentration. I mean, never mind the fact that I can and I do get ready every day in ten minutes flat, and true, I don't look that great most of the time- but still. Neither does he.

Okay, that was just plain mean. But I'm in a nasty mood. I mean, he stumbles out of bed this morning at quarter to ten, rubbing his eyes, moaning and groaning, listing off every symptom that he has, even though, HELLO, I had the same damn thing yesterday!! And I didn't get the luxury of sleeping in. I was up and at it at seven am, relying heavily on Gravol, soda crackers and Coke to get me through the day. I had to take Payton to dance lessons, which I didn't really want to, but I thought 'it won't be so bad once I get there' But once again, no can doozle. What I hadn't counted on was the enthusiastic proclamation of the bouncy dance instructor "PARENT PARTICIPATION DAY!!" and so there I was jumping and marching and pirouetting whilst carrying baby Alex on my left hip, sweating heavily from the flu- although, let's be honest, I probably would have been sweating regardless. Anyways, my point is , that as parents, we don't get sick days. At least, us woman parents don't.

Not to even mention the fact that when I woke up this morning the house was a balmy 26 degrees.
 If I had cranked the heat up like that- do you want to know what would have happened to me??

No, you probably don't. Because it's bad.

But apparently, he's the only one that can handle the thermostat. Me, being just a silly woman, can't understand big works like "thermometer" or "temperature". Anyways, I turned the heat down to twenty. And then down to nineteen, just to spite him. Although, I don't think he's really noticed yet. Me again with my passive agressive attacks that just don't work out. I just end up being cold.

The good news is that I won ten air miles at Safeway the other day. Yes, that is what constitutes good news in our house. Pitiful, really. So I figure that, at this rate, in the next five to ten years or so I may get the chance to do some travelling. And yes. I did say Safeway. As in, not Superstore. I am done with Superstore. Every time I go there I have to wait in line for like half an hour. I figure, it's not worth it to save a few dollars. Because, really, time is money, too. Or so they say. Although, I have actually never been paid for my time, but... that's not the point. The point is, it's annoying.

So... getting back to the travelling thing... I am going to Calgary tomorrow to visit my dear friend Nadine and bringing Payton and Alex with me. I think it will be fun. Payton's first flight so I'm excited for her. It will be nice to spend some time with Nadine. We are planning on going to the Zoo, maybe doing some shopping, should be fun, except for the whole kid thing. Kidding. Love kids. But really, I do hope that they sleep at some point. It will be nice to kick back with Nadine, have a little one on one girl talk- you know, talk about our flow, tampons, that kind of thing. I don't really get that with Geoff. He doesn't like talking about my flow for reasons I don't completely understand. And he could stand to talk about it more. There's a lot that he doesn't know. Like the time that Payton stuck pads all over the bathroom wall, and Geoff said "Randine- Payton stuck tampons all over the wall" and I was like "well, that's interesting, because tampons don't really stick, Geoff." Men. Like the time he said that the liquid fabric softener I've been buying doesn't work. I was like "are you sure you're using it properly, because it seems to work fine for me?" and he was like, all indignant like "Yah. Of course I'm using it properly. What do you take me for?" And I was like "You're pouring it into the little chamber in the agitator that says "Liquid Fabric Softener"?" And he was like "Agi- what?" And I was like "my point exactly."

Turns out he was just dumping it on top of the clothes before he turned the washer on. And then he wonders why it doesn't work.

Anyways, back to my travelling. I want to get a gift for my friends kids, and I always over think these things. I was thinking of getting a Barbie or something like that for the little girl, and a truck or something for the boy. But then I could picture the conversation she would subsequently have with her husband "Honestly, Mark. She should have just got Marisa and ironing board an apron and Jared a big old fishing pole. She could really stand to take some of those gender sensitivity training classes we took at the community college." And I mean, she's totally not like that. My friend Nadine is, God bless her, one of the sweetest people I know, a close second to my dear SIL Lorrie. So now I am thinking maybe books? Those are pretty gender neutral, right? Well, unless I get a book on Sewing Applique for the girl and a Gun and Rifle Book for the boy, which I wouldn't, believe me, I wouldn't. I'm planning on steering clear of those. Believe me you, I don't need a class on gender sensitivity training at the community college to know to avoid those. God. That word 'sensitivity' is such a bitch to type. I type it wrong every time and have to go back and fix it. I just had to do it again. Argh. Anyways, ya, books, books are good, right? But you know what? They'll probably throw their books on the ground and then go off to play with their REAL toys. I'm always projecting my love of books onto other people. "You should read this book or that!" followed by thrusting said book into their arms. Buying their kids books for Christmas and their probably like "ENOUGH with the books already!! If we wanted a damn book we would go to the library!!" But oh well. If books aren't good enough for those kids, then, well, that's too darned bad. They can exchange them. I'll save the receipts.

There. I took a stand.

And speaking of books: the bad news. Another rejection letter. That's two of the four query letters I sent out in January. The other two I've practically given up on. I mean, if they were so intersted in my book you would think that they wouldn't take four months to get back to me, unless they're REALLY slow typers, which you would think, being in the book business, they probably wouldn't be, would they??. But honestly. Is my writing so shabby that they can't even dignify me with a response? A paragraph? A sentence? A rubber stamp on my original letter that says "REJECTED". I would take that right now. I really would. This business. It just sucks.

And speaking of sucking, I need to get back to my real life and tend to my ailing husband, who I can hear from down here, is snoring away up there so God only knows what my kids are doing.
Oh, thank God, he's finally resting. The poor soul. Pray for him.
Pray for ME.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The best of both worlds...

Well... first off all, sorry that my last post was kind of a drag. People think that us blog writers/administrators/editors/producers and CEO's have a fanciful, care free life, but that is just not so. That is a common misconception. I put my pants on one leg at a time, just like the rest of you common folk. I'm not living high off the hog here myself, either. We had stew for supper, OK, so that should tell you A LOT about the kind of life I lead.
Anyways, upon rereading said blog it has come to my attention that maybe in some ways I am sugar coating life at home with the kids. Yes it is true that we chased snowflakes and stomped through puddles, but it is also true that I've been puked on, peed on, and yes- even poohed on. I've had kids screaming and crying in time out. I've phoned my husband at work in tears, pleading with him that he HAS to come home because I don't know how much longer I can stick it out for, baby shrieking in the background, dog barking, cat meowing cuz she's in heat (again)- and for anyone who's ever heard a cat in heat- it can scarcely be called meowing. I've had "The best of both worlds" by Hannah Montana stuck in my head for so long now I can't hardly do anything with out starting the refrain "You get the limo out front...". I know all the words by heart and even have my own rendition of "You get the best of both boobs" to which I sing to Alex when I'm nursing him. I have the whole family singing it, and I'm bracing myself for the eventual call from the Public School Board System. Anyways.
I finally did it... I went to Superstore yesterday and I bought a container of baby formula for the Food Bank. I went to bed last night, feeling so excited. I wonder if that baby is drinking that bottle right now? I was wondering. I could almost picture it. It's a good feeling to give back- although I must admit that I bought the President's Choice Baby Formula on account of it being about half the price. Hopefully the baby doesn't mind that.

So my husband is reading this book "The Shack" which is apparently, about God, and now he says he wants to be a better person. So he asks me if he's been a better person. I was like "weelll, I'm not really seeing it. Maybe you need to read the book one more time." Although I will say that he has been taking Gage to Blades games, which has been good, and doing stuff with him for ball. And he bought me a bottle of wine and said that he loves me- although I secretly think that he's just hoping that I'll drink the bottle and pass out under the stairs for a few days so I'll be off his case.

You do that one time, and they never forget.

Just kidding. Well, truth be told-I've never passed out under the stairs. Not for more than a few hours. Anyways, this whole God thing makes me nervous, but if it ends up with more wine for me, then great. If it goes much further than that- well, I don't know.

So lately I've been wanting to lose some weight. I mean, having a pooch is kind of cute and sexy when you're four months pregnant, but when the baby's nine months old, it starts getting a bit old. The problem is, as it turns out, losing weight is not easy- short of a mouth infection. The other day I took a nice long walk down by the riverbank. I could practically feel the fat melting away. And then we were driving home, and we happened to drive past Diary Queen, and it was such a beautiful day- the perfect day for an ice cream treat. And then, as I was shoveling ice cream and brownie and fudge down my throat, I felt the fat coming back again. I was feeling disapointed. But then I read somewhere that with the right pair of control top (I know- ugh) under wear, you can shed ten pounds. And I thought, now that I can do! Yes, I know that they are a bit unsightly. But then again- the way things are going for me- I could probably wear them for three to six months before my husband would ever realize. The only way he could possibly know what kind of underwear I wear is vis-a-vis the laundry- which- Ha. No worries.
Anyways. I should be going right now.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April Already

April already. I try not to think about that. The days rolling forward. I have to go back to work in about three months time. All the things I thought I would get done. Write a book. Frick. Paint the upstairs bedrooms. Frick. Join a writing class. Frick.
Although I did paint Gage's bedroom and birth three kittens. Well, I didn't actually give birth to the kittens myself- but I was there. The kittens are now living under my stairs (temporarily relocated after a dog related kitten eating incident) and doing well. It amazes me that cats are innately born with such strong mothering skills. I mean...except for the fact th she let the dog eat one of her babies...that was a slight lapse in judgement on her part... but other than that that cat will leave her babies only for short periods to go eat and take a drink of water, and then she goes right back to them. Sometimes, she'll take a little break for them, but she'll go and stand at the bottom of the stairs, listen to see if they are meowing or not.
It's amazing. If only human mothering were so simple...
It takes a thousand things to run a household. It's not just cooking and cleaning, although there's that, too... but all these little things- like how right now I know that we're running low on laundry soap and cat litter, that Gage doesn't have any matching socks, that Payton needs a dental appointment and Gage is do for his eye exam, that they have a hot lunch next Thursday and I still have to send the permission slip in, that Alex is due for his nine month check in the next few weeks...
These are the things that my husband is blissfully unaware of. This behind the scenes micro management, all of the minutiae that makes this life work.
Anyways, despite all this, the thought of returning to work work does not excite me. Dragging my sleepy babies out of bed in the morning, out in the cold, to go to daycare where surely they won 't get their noses wiped as often as I would prefer, where I wont' be able to sing and dance with them to the Wiggles, where cuddles and kisses and outings to Petland will be a lot more scarce.
In the summer, we sat out in the sun, picnicked in the park, splashed in the splash parks. In the fall, we raked the leaves into a big pile and jumped into it, and the did etchings of leaves at the kitchen table and stuck them all over the walls. In the winter, we made snow angels and went tobogganing and drank hot chocolate. We decorated the tree and a ginger bread house and sang Christmas carols and make snow flakes out of paper and sparkles. In the spring, we splashed through the puddles, paying no attention to how dirty our clothes were getting. We walked the dog along the river bank, laughing as she dragged Payton along.
It's been a good year. I will miss doing this... but I do still have to work. Sometimes I try to think about ways that we could make Geoffs salary work, that if I played with the numbers enough... but still, there's a part of me that does want to go back to work. I think, we could scrimp and save but I that's not what I want. I want to travel with the kids. To move to a bigger house. To someday have a vehicle that wasn't owned by at least three other people, one of which who was (apparently) a really big supporter of CJWW...
Anyways, that's not what I was planning on writing about. But I guess, that's what's been on my mind. All that being said, I know that once I'm back at work for even a day, I'll be fine. Even when I go there to visit or whatever, I always feel so at home there. The smell of coffee lingering in the air. The smell of bleach that hangs in my office. And when I'm there I have something that I don't have here, which is something- maybe like authority?? When I'm here I could argue for half an hour about whether you should or should not wear a jacket outside, and if so- a heavy jacket versus a light jacket- but at work it's all different.
I should be going now.