Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Not a good day

There are lots of things I could write about.
  • My new bike and our new bike seat - which Maddie and I used for poking around Brooklin all weekend long.
  • My veggie garden and Maddie's obsession with peas.
  • The "life list" that I've been slowly working on over the past month, inspired by Maggie Mason and her incredible life list that she's slowly crossing off one by one.
But it's just one of those days. One of those crusty, grumpy, raw days that come every once in a while and make you want to crawl under the covers and ignore the world for a bit.

Since I can't crawl under the covers, I will bury myself in work instead.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Gardening tips from a newbie

  1. Buy your perennials early in the season, when no one is planting (except clueless newbies like me!). You’ll get a deal like 2 for 1, or only pay $1.99 for the lil guys, so if a few die, you don’t really care.
  2. Sheep manure works. End of.
  3. Don’t be stupid and don’t hire a company to “do” your lawn (seeding, fertilizing, all that jazz). If you do, you’re essentially paying $100/hr for a high school kid to push a seeder around your lawn for 10 minutes, with the precision of a bull in a china shop. So if you don’t cover up your gardens, you’re going to be pulling up little grass seedlings for the rest of the summer. THE.REST.OF.THE.SUMMER.
  4. Veggie gardens are a lovely idea in context. A bit of a bitch to build. Fun to watch grow. And yummy to eat. And yes, you will plant too much. And things will rot. This is called the circle of gardening life.
  5. If you’re cheap (hi!) but want to landscape with some bushes and stuff, buy now – in the dead heat of the summer when everything is on crazy sale. I picked up a hydrangea this past weekend for $17. $17!!! That’s like 50% off. And it’s f-ing beautiful.
  6. Ants, while mean and bitey, don’t actually affect your garden growth. So you don’t have to spend lots and lots of time online and trying different things to kill them. Because none of those things will work and they don’t matter anyway.
  7. Grubs on the other hand are disgusting when you’re planting in the spring, and turn into scary gross beetles and need to die NOW. But “killing season” for grubs is spring and fall only. Wait until then to spring the nematodes on them. Then hope the bastards die. Because if they don’t they’ll ruin your lovely lawn that you invested a shiteload of $$ in earlier in the season.
  8. Vinegar works on dandelions but digging them up is better.
  9. As well as the yellow bastards, the clover and all that other shit that is all over my front lawn can go to hell. I don’t have any other solution yet except spending ridiculous amounts of time digging it up by hand. Now that I have realized I don’t need to wage war on the ants, I am now spending my time researching weed killer...

Friday, July 24, 2009


I thought after Maddie turned 1, that I had managed to get through most of the stuff that moms worry about. You know, those "developmental milestones" that everyone gets hung up on. And the sleep thing (O.M.G. the sleep issues) - no more worrying about whether I was doing it right, or who had what theory and how old vs. how new was this theory and OMG am I damaging her beyond all possible repair??!?!?

But after about a year, it got better. Maybe because when you go back to work full time you can't possible worry about every little thing because thenyourheadwillexplode... and breathe.

So we* have been taking a more lax approach** to parenting. Not losing our mind about whether she got enough veggies, or playtime, or fresh air, or whether she had too much junk food or tv that day.

But every once in a while you do that, don't question yourself a whole lot. Then through random accidental conversation, find out that in fact, you're pretty off mark.

I'm talking about bedtime. Maddie goes to bed around 8-ish. Usually not before. Often closer to 8:30.

In a totally innocent convo with some other moms I met recently, we started chatting about bedtimes. And my ears started to perk up. "6pm." "7pm." "7:30 is the latest we'll go."

I was like, wha? Oh shit...

You take your eye off the ball for one second and this is what happens. Bamm.

And I look at it - Maddie's totally tired and getting grumpy around 7pm. It's us that can't get our shit together. Trying to get dinner and all that stuff done, plus some quality playtime before bed? We have been selfishly keeping her up later because we want to spend time with her.

So we're making the change. Last night she was in bed by 7:45. It felt a bit rushed, but I think we should be able to scale it back to 7:30. I don't know how much earlier we can really go though - as we don't usually finish dinner until about 7pm - and it takes 1/2 hour to do bath and bedtime routine.

We'll see...


*Hahaha - I say "we" but don't "we" all know that I mean "I" of course. Because hubby is already such a relaxed parent that I often check for the heartbeat. Yup, still alive. Carry on.

**Most of my good friends are rolling their eyes and shaking their heads at this. Because they are the epitome of relaxed. And I know, in our group, we are known as the "uptight" parents. But really, we have relaxed. REALLLY WE HAVE!!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

GNO - now with more coffee

In my quest to "make friends" that don't live 60km away from me (hi TO!), I went out to dinner last night with some local moms. It's always nerve-wracking meeting new people. Especially as I can be an awkward dork that makes awkward comments that are far too familar for people you've only met in the last 5 minutes (As in: "I would totally do Jeff on BB11, he's the hotness, wouldn't you?"). Or I drop an F-bomb within 10 minutes of our conversation (As in: "Sorry I'm so fucking late, guys").

I managed to avoid doing both yesterday (I think).

Although, yeah, I was late, because I'm a dumbass and thought it started at 8pm, not 7:30pm. It's awesome to show up to a dinner table halfway through. AWESOME, I tell you. Not awkward at all.

And yeah, I did talk about Jeff's hotness. But in a much more pg-rated way. He is sooooo dreamy...

It was fun. We chatted. Exchanged stories and jokes and harmless digs at the hubs. Exactly what you need from a girls night out. Yay me. Making friends all over the place...

Oh, and I drank 3 cups of coffee. And even though I had answered that no, coffee doesn't keep me up at night, it totally did and I slept like shit.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Where art thou?

Dudes. I've been busy. Busy with work. Busy with home stuff. Busy with all sorts of other, not-so-fun, but nothing horrible (don't worry grandparents - we're fine), just, you know, STUFF.

The weekend that I was oh-so-looking forward to was pretty awesome. Jays game on Friday in the Toronto Star box was awesome (as were the multiple Stellas I enjoyed - thanks BFF for being DD!). Visiting with the fam was lots of fun (as always). I love watching my nieces interacting with Maddie. They don't quite "get" each other yet ... but as Maddie gets older they play together much more.

On Sunday, while their parents went to the game, I got to spend some time with my nieces on my own. 3 kids? Makes everything 3 times harder. And 3 times longer. We did a playdate with some ol' Babyville moms at the local water park.

Are there waterslides at the waterpark Auntie S? Can I go swimming in the pool Auntie S? Do they have one of those rides that you go down and splash in water Auntie S?

Ummmmm, no. No. And no. It's a park just like any other park and in one corner of it there are some fountains and stuff. So please, don't get too excited kids.

They had fun anyway. And I had fun catching up with the ladies. It's hard now that are kids are all mobile and toddling and adventurous in different directions. You want to sit and chat, but you also want to make sure you kidlet doesn't break their noggin off the climber. Right?

After the playdate and lunch, it was time for Maddie's nap and so we did MAKE OVERS!

Yes, I just shouted that. Because that's how it was said. All.Weekend.Long. Whenever I was asked if it was MAKEOVER time yet. When could we get home so we could do MAKEOVERS? And when would Maddie just shut up and go to sleep already so we could do MAKEOVERS!!

Note to self: When planning for a multiple-hour distraction for two young girls. Don't promise to do anything ahead of time. Just spring the idea on them at the time. Otherwise they may combust from all the excitement.

I can, one hundred percent, tell you, without a doubt, that the MAKEOVER went over well. I had picked up some funky nailpolish colours. Gave each of them a pedi, a mani (they were all freaked out by the feeling of the nail file, which I kind of chuckled at) and we did each other's makeup and hair. Oh we were feeling quite fabulous by the end.

Yes. They did my makeup.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Shameless Plug

I know - totally shameless ... but if you really want to be a friend, dear reader, you'll go and vote for Maddie's pic on the latest Friday Photo Contest on one of my fave blogs, Durham Region Baby.
Seriously. Do it. Go. VOTE NOW! (I'll wait. Don't worry.)

In other news, we have guests all weekend. My step-brother and his brood are heading up tonight. They are doing a few touristy things over the weekend in the city, including hitting up a Jays game on Sunday, while I get to hang with my nieces. I have a playdate on Sunday morning at one of the local splash pad parks, so I figure they'll have fun doing that. And if not, I'll just buy them stuff. That usually works...

(I jest.)

(Not really.)

So yeah - it's shaping up to be a bit of quiet weekend. Last night I tilexed my shower in preparation. Because nothing says "Welcome!" to your guests than mildew-y tiles, right?

At some point this afternoon I need to buy some groceries. And beer. And wine and other assortments of alcholic drinks...

Yep. It's shaping up to be a goooooood weekend.

Hope you all have the same!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Is it a generational thing, or are we all just super classy?

I'm not sure - but it seems like the F-word is a tad (LOT) more prevalent.

I remember as a kid, hearing my mom say the F-word meant she was really pissed or hurt or frustrated. Nowadays, I hear it at work, in a meeting. When I chat with my neighbours. Um - in my own house (A LOT).

In my youth, I dissected society's more blasé usage of the word with friends over cocktails. How it has become an adverb, an adjective. A way to express oneself.

And now, I'm like, whoa potty-mouth. Haven't you noticed there's a kid present?

So we've taken the following actions. I poke or raise my eyebrows or simply correct Hubby's language when he makes a slip. And when I make a slip, he.... does nothing.

It's not that he doesn't agree that we should not be swearing around Miss M, but it's gotten to the point that I honestly don't think he even notices how often he uses the word, so there's no trigger, no way to self-edit.

It's lame and it's tacky and it's a bit embarrassing to admit.

It hasn't sunk in yet. But you know she's just waiting for that perfect time to drop the F-bomb. Because she's a smart cookie that one. Her vocab is definitely over 50 words. Dudes, remember - she's starting to articulate her feelings!!

The day is coming when she will start to pepper her burgeoning sentences with this oh-so-expressive term.

That will be the day that I shrink back into my MomShell with humiliation and die.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Maddie is super proud of this artwork. She frequently pulls it down off the fridge to walk around hugging it. Have I mentioned that she has learned how to pull a chair over to something and climb up on it? Fun.


Monday, July 13, 2009

It ended on a low note

The weekend that is.

Friday night was good - I did some late night grocery shopping (ever shopped at 9pm? It's a wasteland so it takes about 5 minutes), we watched the season premier of Big Brother together. It was a lazy, relaxing way to start the weekend.

Saturday morning Maddie and I made our "healthy freezes" - I used a maple leaf shaped cookie cutter, and I have to say, it's totally our next year's treat for Canada Day. I must get a pic to post here. The rest of the day was household errands and chores - not fun, but necessary. Saturday night we hosted a bbq dinner of ribs and baked potatoes and corn (because we're simple like that) - our BBF's came over and Maddie fawned all over Baby C.

Sunday morning we went berry picking - it was a blast (see below for a pic, or see Flickr for more). Maddie had so much fun in the strawberry patch, and (apparently) had a tonne of fun visiting the animals and the playground while I did the raspberry picking. Sidebar: Pingle's in Courtice is possible the coolest family fun farm in the whole wide world.

Sunday afternoon was spent outside in the sun, doing a bit of yardwork and playing around.

All of a sudden, Maddie wants to go inside.

Um - that's not my kid. She NEVER wants to go inside. But, in fairness, she had been outside since 9am (aside from her nap of course), so we figured maybe she just needed a rest and some tv - h'okay.

Fast-forward about 15 minutes, when I joined her in the living room, took one look at her and asked her if she wanted a cuddle with Mommy. She looked at me with Zombie Glass Eyes, and nodded, slowly.

I picked her up - she was burning up. Like so hot to the touch I yelled out for Seth to bring the thermometer "NOW"ish.

First reading = 105 (yes I'm a Fahrenheit person - I'm metric everywhere else except height, weight and temperatures, oh - and cooking, um - let's face it, I'm as metric as an American...)

Second reading (because our super-fancy-expensive ear thermometer is so reliable like that) = 103.5

Third reading = 102.9 (oooh - I think - it's dropping, maybe just a freakish random fever, those happen, right?)

Fourth reading = 104.6 (er, yeah...)

She started to complain that she was cold, so we got her a blanket. Which apparently was made of barbed wire, because as soon as we got her cuddled in it, she wanted it "OFF OFF OFF".

I handed her to Seth so I could get a cold washcloth. As I did it, I watched her go a marvelous shade of green. Her eyes glassed over even more (if that was possible). And in slow motion, I watched her heave herself backwards and then forwards with a "urgh".


A few more heaves. We stripped her in the dining room, leaving a pile of clothes, with the tea towel I caught the 2nd wave with, her blanket and Seth's shirt.

Into the tub I cradled her - she was a miserable, clingy little mess. And then she threw up all over us again.

It's amazing how motherhood can strip you of all your "squeamishness" when you have sick child in your arms. I had us both dressed and cleaned up before I could blink. And since all that throwing up was such hard work, she was fast asleep.

It was only 5pm. All that happened in under 45 minutes. Amazing how a child can go from running around with a popsicle in her hand, yelling, "Maddie Happy! Maddie Happy! Maddie Mommy Happy! Maddie Daddy Happy!" (yes you can smile at that - it was possibly more adorable than it sounds - and ps, how F'ing cool is it that she understands how to express an emotion using her words?), from that to a clinging miserable vomit-y little mess that is looking at me with desperation that I make the bad feelings go away. Under 45 minutes. Weirdness.

So, as you can imagine - what was a fantastic, relaxing, family weekend turned into a nightmarish night with wakeups and fevers and worrying and etc.

She didn't go to daycare today and still has a fever of 102. But no more vomit. Woo-to-the-hoo.

In search of the perfect berry.

Maddie eating possibly her 10324th strawberry that morning.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Healthy "Freeze"

A big huge thank you shout out to Vone (she of the inspired "How to do... Something" blog - where she gives you all these really cool ideas that you can make or do with your kids, or on your own - although be warned, she is far craftier than the average mortal, and therefore you may leave her site feeling more than a little inadequate...), for giving me the heads up on this site.

The site of my dreams. A site with some super-cool, and healthy, do-it-yourself "freeze" ideas.

I will be buying the biggest damn watermelon I can find this weekend and making these with Miss Maddie. I figure it might also be a fun "craft" she can help me with.


PS - we may have uncovered the real reason for the recent Freeze obsession (not that she doesn't have pure true love for popsicles - but perhaps why she needs 5, yes FIVE! a night lately) Miss M apparently is going through another teething stage. Finally getting her eye teeth. For reals this time ... I can feel the top ones starting to poke through.

PPS - hi name is Sara and my daughter is the *worst* teether in the world. And possibly the slowest.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


A little late - but here's Maddie, showing her patriotic spirit...


I want a dog

I've been a few places recently, where I got to see little kids interacting with big, happy, lovable dogs.

And dammit. I want one.

Way back when, in part of hubby's "sell strategy" to get me out of the city and up to the boondocks, he promised that I could get a dog once we finally had a yard.

He conveniently forgets this promise now. Citing our aging cats as the main reason he doesn't want another animal in the house ("mucking it up" as he says).

I'm now at the point that I don't care what the cats think (they, with the hair and the litter and the eating of the grass and puking it on our carpet and arghhhhhhhhhhhh!)... I want a lovable, cuddly, happy, friendly, playful dog. I work from home 3 days a week. I could walk it, love it and call it George.

Hmmmmm.... our weekend may have just turned into a quick trip to the nearest shelter.

I'll keep you updated...


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

It's all in the planning

I haven't been away for the weekend in a very long time. Oh we've been away - as a family - more times that I can count. That's what having all our family still living back on Kingston will do to you.

But me. ME. I haven't been away. Like, on my own. Without supervision (heh, that's what I used to call my weekends sans Seth - weekends without adult supervision - they were usually fun - now they just stress me out because I martyr out and start calling myself a single parent... and..... breathe... TANGENT!)...

So the plans have been set. A group of six (I think?) are going away for Labour Day weekend. And dudes? I am so flipping excited. I'm like, more-than-I-should-be-excited about it. Three of us are moms and three of us are not. The three that are not, are probably all like, Dude. Get over it. We're going away for the weekend. We won't be gone for a month, we're not going to Cabo or [somewhere else fancy and fun], it's just a weekend a few hours north of here, and Seriously. Lighten up...

I think it's a spa vacation. At some resort in Collingwood. And... sounds fancy right? I'm calling them today to "get a good deal". Because that's what I do and I'm good at that and... we'll see... Just how expensive are spas anyways? I'm 33 (GASP) years old and I've never been "away" to a spa. So yes. I'm not fancy and I'm cheap and I've been depriving myself.

I always felt like spa weekends were for "adults" and then one day I woke up and here I am. Supposedly a legitimate adult (note: when you are in your 20's you are not an adult yet - you may think you are. But really? You are having the time of your life, so just shut it. And enjoy your ass. Because it's gonna get bigger real soon.). So now that I'm an adult - I can do a spa weekend right? I deserve a spa weekend. As a legitimate grown up, I will enjoy a spa weekend, right?

Can you drink at a spa?


Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I've posted about Maddie's obsession with juice. I've been critiqued and judged and supportingly advised on how to cut out her juice habit...

And then I introduced popsicles.

Popsicles (or freezies, or even plain ol' crushed ice for that matter) apparently KICK juice's ass.

Juice is all like, "Wha? Wha happened? I'm delicious, I'm nutricious. And I'm chockful of sugar!"

Popsicles are all like, "Dude, we see your sugar, we raise you a colour dye #6, and we're frozen and delicious, so suck it."

And because I'm the smartest laziest coolest mom in the world, I decided to combine her two loves. Because nothings better to get you off your habit than an enabler right?

I bought these rubbermaid popsicle do-it-yourself dohickeys a while ago and finally put them to good use this past weekend.

I made: Apple. Juice. Popsicles.

I thought Maddie's head was going to pop off with excitement after the first taste. Her eyes kind of bugged out and looked at me with appreciation that made me feel all special and gooey inside. And I was like, Dude. I know. It's like when I tried a margarita for the first time.

And now she wakes up in the morning asking for "freeze? freeze?"


And so.... I get it. We make our own monsters in life, right?

Me all smiley for the camera.
Maddie's just like, "Leave me alone and let me enjoy my freeze."