Wednesday, March 31, 2010

28 weeks

Welcome to your seventh month! said the weekly update email I get from Today's Parent. Um? Holy shit. Seventh month sounds REALLY far along, doesn't it?

I guess I should stop telling people that I'm just over halfway done.

And I think my head exploded in little stress-bits all over the place thinking of all the project deadlines I have approaching at work, and all the things I wanted to get done at home before I got "too far along".

Shitty shit shit...

In other news - sprog is good. Apparently has "...practically doubled her weight in the last four weeks and her brain tissue has begun to increase and its signature folds and grooves are now taking shape." (Don't get excited - that's Today's Parent using the gender specific verbiage. They switch it up every week.)

He/she is also in breech position currently, according to the midwife appointment I had on Monday. Which isn't anything to worry about right now - plenty of movement will (should) happen before d-day. But does have the lovely benefit of feeling like someone is tap dancing on my bladder all day and all night long. Because if you haven't felt an alien inside of you kicking at your internal organs, then you really just haven't lived. LOVELY, I tell you.

I also got a bit of clarification on the iron supplement thing. Apparently I'm supposed to be taking 3 pills a day - not just the one. And should feel "marked improvement in my energy levels" within a week. I thought I was feeling better, but apparently admitting I go to bed around 9pm every night is not the energy levels she was hoping for. 

That's all I've got. Did this update sound whiny again? I had someone tell me recently that it didn't sound like I was "enjoying" pregnancy this time around a little while ago and it made me feel guilty. And then indignant. And of course, a wee bit defensive.

To set the record straight - it's not as easy as it was the first time. I'm more tired. I was sicker (and for longer) than the first time. But I'm also older and without the ability to just lay on the couch, unencumbered with responsibilities, for hours on end, all weekend long (omg doesn't that sound blissful?). So.... yeah. It's not horrible. But it is harder.

So, if I sound a little less than rosy-peaches-and-cream-sunshiny-goodness? Well, have you met me? I put the snuh in SNARK.

And that's on a good day.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010


The knobs for Maddie's "big girl" room furniture finally arrived. And it didn't cost me a cent in Custom's charges. Which is fabulous because I'm a big cheap-o! Each knob comes in it's own little plastic bag emblazoned with MADE IN TAIWAN on it. Way to make my antique "reproduction" knobs feel special. Thank you, eBay seller.

So this weekend is now officially the "big girl room transformation" weekend. When we're done I'll post the results, and you can comment about how beautiful and wonderful it is and any other comments will otherwise be lovingly deleted. ;-)


Sunday, March 28, 2010

The weekend - in a nutshell

Craft caterpillars made out of egg cartons were painted.
Cinderella was watched.
Tea parties were had.
Easter cookies were cut out and iced and eaten.
Playdoh spaghetti and other various "worms or snakes" were created.
Vacuums "chased" little girls.
Parents took naptime too.

The perfect at-home, wet weekend.


Friday, March 26, 2010

How to torture oneself in 7 easy steps

  1. Decide to have an early night, because it's been a long week and you're tired.
  2. Enjoy a nice cup of hot milk prior to bed (yes indeed, I do this often - it's cozy and warm and helps me sleep, so shut it).
  3. Fall asleep instantly and enjoy said sleep for 1.5 hours.
  4. Be awoken by a call over the monitor... "Mommy.... Maddie want milk".
  5. Realize as you awake that, shit, you drank the last of the milk before you went to bed.
  6. Try to explain this absence of milk to an increasingly demanding and irrational toddler.
  7. Deal with the fall out for a full THREE HOURS while you seriously consider just driving to the local 24 hr shop to buy the milk that will just.shut.her.up. (But don't actually do it - because that would be c.r.a.z.y.)
Yes, we still give Maddie a bottle when she asks for it when she wakes up in the middle of the night. Yes, we realize how ridiculous this is for a 2.5 year old.

But in fairness - we have been discussing (for about a year now) just how to stop this. And due to the fact that she is so against drinking milk during the day (remember? I've whined about this a few times I'm sure), it's always been easy to rationalize giving it to her before bed and at night time.

So last night - well, I guess that was just fate stepping in and forcing us to play the tough love card. Because there was no way in hell we were driving to the local convenience store to buy milk at midnight. Not that we wanted her to cry - but really? At some point you just have to say no - and I get it - and we've sucked as parents - and taken the easy road until now - especially as she only wakes up like 2 or 3 times a month for milk, it's not an every night thing. So it was always easy to just do it "one more time" every time.

For the record? We are idiots. So all you experienced moms that are silently rolling your eyes at our weakness right now? We KNOW, okay? We totally should have stopped this habit ages ago. 

Because a tired, demanding, irrational 2.5 year old is a far cry different from a 1.5 year old. At least from what I can remember. 

Let's just say, there was a lot of crying last night. And yelling. And screaming. And hitting. And temper-tantruming. A good 3 hours worth, in fact.

But in the end, after a book (reading Cinderella TWO TIMES IN A ROW at 2am? a.w.e.s.o.m.e.) and a few sips of juice (don't judge don't judge don't judge - it was all part of the hostage negotiations - sweet, blessed sleep, being the hostage) - we got the little monster back to bed and content with going back to sleep.

She then continued to play with her dolls in her crib for another 1/2 hour or so. Reenacting essentially the entire milk drama-rama of the past few hours. With "Dora-baby" playing the roll of the milk-demanding child and Maddie playing the Mommy trying to reason with her that "there's just no milk right now - we're all out - it's allllllllll done!"". 

It was all a bit surreal. Until I turned the monitor off...


Thursday, March 25, 2010

27 weeks

Ever heard of PUPPP? Probably not. Because it's a crappy side-effect of pregnancy that actually isn't all that common (but not really uncommon - I don't know - what's a 1 in 200 chance? Personally, I'd play a lottery ticket on those odds).

Anyways, it's a rash. An itchy as all hell, bumpy, gross rash that goes from your belly up your chest, sometimes down your thighs and sometimes down your arms. And it's itchy. It shows up (usually) around the third trimester and goes away magically when the mother gives birth. And did I mention it's really effing itchy?

Oh, and it makes you look REALLY ATTRACTIVE. Like "my body is erupting in a pimply, itchy, gross rough rash" type of attractive. Now that's hawwwwt.

I'm holding out hope that it's actually not PUPPP but instead a random allergic reaction to the Palmer's Tummy Butter that I recently started using (and yes, I used it on more than my tummy a few times because I'm lazy and didn't feel like grabbing the regular moisturizer to finish the job - it's also exhausting for me to put on socks, and therefore I don't much anymore - wanna judge me?). In my frantic googling last night of pregnancy-itchy-rash-am-I-dying I found out that in fact lots of women get a rash from the Palmer's cream. Because it's so concentrated? Because pregnant women are weird? I dunno. I've never had a reaction to regular cocoa butter before, but I also know that a pregnant body is about as rational as me in a January shoe sale, so I wouldn't put it past hormones being at the root of this problem.

And in the meantime, while I'm in agony and hoping against hope that this stupid rash goes away, I'll leave you with one little tidbit. Certain studies show that 70% of PUPPP sufferers deliver boys.

Interesting, non?


Monday, March 22, 2010

The hard graft weekend

After spending a week in Kingston, away for the March break visiting Grandma & Grandpa V, our little Miss M was lovingly returned to us Friday afternoon.

We celebrated by zipping out to a Raptor's game and leaving her with the Grandparents for the evening, yet again.

Oh Maddie - we love you. But we also loved our platinum seats (although the game was less than loved - they took a bad beating).

That's okay - we had vowed to stick close to home for the rest of the weekend. And stick we did - in the garage. Cutting mitre joints out of the tiniest mouldings you ever did see. I shouldn't say "we" as I left the cutting and measuring up to the Hubs and his dad. I did join them at Home Depot to buy supplies. And I had done all the measuring for the room weeks ago. So I feel like I did my part. And Hubs got to play with his saw. And learn stuff. And hang out with his dad.

But I did help with the installation and the mudding and sanding. The result is looking fairly spectacular (if we do say so ourselves) even without the paint or any furniture.
For the record - wainscoting (or really "trick-the-eye-mouldings-in-the-shape-of-proper-wainscoting") is not impossible or even all that tough. But it IS time-consuming. Like several evenings of measuring and leveling and drawing out all those boxes on the walls. Then many hours measuring and cutting and measuring and cutting. And more hours spent gluing and mudding and sanding. But the results we are more than happy with.

Now our focus is back on Miss Maddie's room. Her "big girl" room. We have the bedding. We have the bed. We have (some of) the furniture painted. Now we just wait for the knobs to arrive through customs. And paint a few frames for some wall hangings. And then it's set up time.

Once she gets settled into her room and doesn't miss her crib anymore, then progress will begin again on the nursery.  Since she was already calling the nursery (while we were working in this weekend), "Maddie's big room", I'm pretty sure we should make sure she loves her room first to avoid any pre-emptive jealousy.

And what's not to love? As of this weekend her walk-in closet features a newly installed pink crystal chandelier (another project checked off with help from Grandpa). I would show you pictures, but let's wait until we actually have things set up for you to see it in all it's glory.

And last but not least, we are also proud owners of a functional doorbell once again.

As exhausting as "project" weekends are - don't you love that fulfilled feeling of accomplishment when you collapse onto the sofa on the Sunday night?


Friday, March 19, 2010

Is it a proper crime ring?

When we bought our house the previous owners had just had interlock put in up the front steps and landscaping done all up the walkway. It is lovely and was very much a bonus when we were making our decision on whether to put in an offer. Part of the landscaping includes some hard-wired patio lights - larger than the "moonray" style lights you see a lot - these are lantern-looking, hanging on a mini shepherd's hook.

Anyhoo, my point being, they look lovely and I lurve them. And the fact that they are hardwired into an outlet in the garage on a timer (so they actually give off good light vs. those mini moonray types) is a bonus.

Two years ago when I was in Ireland with Maddie and the Hubs was also away on business at the same time - he came home to find one of these lights missing from our flowerbed, all the wiring and whatnot ripped up and just hanging out on our lawn.

We pinned it down to stupid kids - hooligan teenagers - whatever. It was annoying and took a few months to find an identical replacement, but that was it - we didn't really think much more of it.

And then last night it happened again. We were out for dinner at a friend's house and got home around 11pm. The house was dark (as we hadn't thought ahead and left any lights on - either outside or inside). So yes, it was quite clear no one was at home, even with my car parked in the drive.

As we're walking up the steps to the house, I notice - hey! TWO of our lights are missing.

Now - I usually park in the garage, but since we've been doing some furniture refinishing this week, the garage has been taken over and I've been parking out on the driveway. Which means, if these lights were missing last evening - when I was out as well - I would have easily noticed.

The lights were definitely pilfered last night. Sometime between 6:15pm and 11pm.

Nothing else was missing. My car, left wide-open (because I thought we lived in happy lovely suburbia), was not ransacked - they easily could have taken the car seat or new hiking carrier that was sitting wide open in the back seat.

Absolutely nothing else was taken. Just two of these walkway lights.

Say it with me... W. T. F.???

Are there hard up landscapers out there that troll neighbourhoods for good, quality, hardwired patio lighting? Or are these jealous DIY-ers that wish they had better walkway lighting?

To chalk it up to hooligan kids again would be easy - but just doesn't make any sense. Since both neighbours, on either side of us, use those solar-powered, stick-in-the-ground type of lighting, you'd figure they would have effed with their lights as well. Why go to the trouble of pulling up wires and ripping off large lights when you could (also) easily pull up some staked-lighting next door?

It's a mystery to me. And the main reason I now don't really think it's kids. Even though it's also hard to wrap my head around an actual ADULT doing this.

So what to do? Clearly, we've learned our lesson - we're leaving our lights on when we go out and don't anticipate being back before dark. At least to give some type of semblance that someone is home. And I'm now also toying with getting a motion light (since we already have the electrical hardwired into our landscaping, it shouldn't be hard to set up) - but I find those spotlights so obnoxious.

Do we even bother replacing the lights? Or just buy some cheapy moonrays to line the walkway? Clearly they aren't in demand amongst the landscaping crime-ring of the Boonies. But I liiiiiiike my lights. They're pretty. And on a timer. And did I mention how pretty they are?

Sadly, I'm actually going to call the cops and report this properly. Because I feel like once is a random occurence - twice is just weird enough that it makes me feel weird and I want to make sure I'm at least doing my part in whatever channels should be followed in this type of situation.

Strange, non? And also? People suck.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

26 weeks

I was asked last night whether I was in my 3rd trimester yet. My answer? I don't think so.... I'm in my (pause), um, 26th week. Yeah - that's not 3rd trimester yet is it? For the record it's not - I looked it up when I got home - 3rd trimester starts at 28 weeks.

Isn't it funny how different two pregnancies can be? First time around, I was obsessed - OBSESSED - with tracking the sprog's development. What size, what weight, what they were building at that very moment. That also translated into being obsessed with eating healthily, getting enough rest and pretty much living the decadent "I don't have other kids to worry about right now" pregnant lifestyle.

And then came the baby and my world came crashing down. I had spent a lot of time reading about and researching what to do while pregnant to incubate a healthy little sprog, but hadn't take any time to really prepare for actual baby-time. Like how to breastfeed. Learn a 'swaddle technique'. So we winged it and survived (barely) and life is good.

This time, I keep getting asked where the bump pictures are. I've been (a LOT) more lax with my diet. And maybe not as stringent at keeping up with all the sproggy developmental milestones. Which could make me feel guilty and like I'm not giving the same kind of attention to this pregnancy (oh - the beginnings of the fairness tightrope we all walk).

Except I realize it's not true. Sure, I can't tell you exactly what size they are this week (actually it's the size of an English cucumber) but I've already made a small little baby purchase. Something I didn't do with Maddie until well after she was born (superstition? or just ignorance about what to buy? I can't really say why I didn't - but I did make up for all that lack of shopping afterwards - just ask the Hubs).

I think your obsession just gets channeled differently each time. The nursery, gender-neutral clothes, and (for some reason) miniature-stuffies, are my obsession this time around. Just like eating fruit salad for breakfast and salad for dinner was my obsession last time around.

There you have it - the ramblings du jour of my hormone-addled brain.

In other news - my midwife confirmed there's a reason I'm so tired (beyond just being preggo with a 2.5 year old running around - because, hahahaha! that explanation hasn't gotten old...). Low iron. So I get to take supplements and that should help with the energy levels. Sweeeeet - constipation...


Monday, March 15, 2010

Transformation - part un

The sanding and re-painting of the furniture for Maddie's "big girl" room has begun. It sounds a lot more dramatic than it is - really it's just a dresser and bedside table. But since I haven't actually done any furniture restoration in about 10 years I was feeling a little nervous about these projects.

Because it's the smaller piece and I was a little unsure about my painting prowess (my past furniture restoration projects always involved me stripping the paint and sanding down to natural, not the other way around), I decided to start with the side table.

Here's the "before":
(not really a full before, as I forgot to take a picture before I started sanding - but you get the general idea)

(and while I'm happy to be owner of an electric sander - those legs needed to be done by hand - fun!)

After the 2nd coat - which I just finished: 
(I don't paint at night - natural light helps you see all the mistakes you're making so much better)

Sadly, it's going to need a 3rd coat for sure. And I need to go get a fine sanding block so I can fix some of my drips and other mistakes. In retrospect, I think this piece would have been much easier just to spray - the legs are killer and no matter how careful I am, they are not going to look "professional".

For those of you judging this preggo woman for painting :) you'll be happy to know I'm using Benjamin Moore's "Natura" line - it's zero VOC and apparently very washable (as I opted for satin finish vs. semi-gloss but still wanted the durability of a gloss). It's also the most expensive paint I've ever bloody bought in my life. $67 for a gallon. But we also have the wainscoting in the Sprog's room to paint, and I've been meaning to paint the rest of the trim in the house (as the brilliant homeowners previous to us decided to repaint all the doors + trim in a flat, stark white - which looks lovely but stains like hell).

So there you go, that's the progress report. The Hubs is going to sand down the dresser tonight (I've trusted him with this job after he complained I was having all the "fun". It's basically all straight, flat surfaces, so he can't screw that up, right?)

Oooooh - and because I'm no good at keeping secrets - check out the adorable knobs I found for them!
Adorable, non? I think they'll sweeten up the pieces considerably. Can't wait for Miss M to see the surprises we have in store for her when she gets home from Gramma V's.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Hell Week

Remember the first week of grade nine? Whether it was called "Hell Week" or "Hazing Week" or whatever?  And your popularity to the masses was reflected in direct correlation to how much perfume or shaving cream or permanent marker was forcibly layered onto your body by the older kids?

I was poignantly reminded of that week this past week, as we endured the parental version of Hell Week. Also known as salmonella poisoning. No regular stomach flu - this persistent little bugger likes to stick around for up to 7 days. And did you know you don't just get salmonella from unwashed chicken hands or eggs or bad mayo - but you can catch it from someone else? Betcha didn't realize that one. It's almost as nasty as the Norwalk in how long it can live on random surfaces.

Anyhoo - Madds caught it and alerted us to this fact at 1:30am on Tuesday morning. Aaaaaand enter vomit-fest for the Vallier's for the next 3 days. I could go into details - like how much laundry I've done. Or how many times I caught a little bit of dried vomit just caked on my neck or in my ear or on my cheek. Or just how uncomfortable it is to sleep upright, with a heavy toddler on a pregnant tummy.

But we've all been there right? Instead I'd like to focus on the good stuff - like:

  • Maddie has learned how to throw up like a big girl - meaning into the toilet or in a bucket - instead of on me, her initial location of preference. She knows when it's coming, she alerts us and as long as you get her to the toilet, or a bucket in front of her, she's the tidiest little puker you ever did see! Can you hear the mom-pride in my voice?
  • I got to enjoy more cuddles from my little girl than I've had combined in the past 6 months. Nothing like a good case of "gastro" to get a toddler to want to actually lay on the couch (or anywhere for that matter) with you.
  • As much as Maddie loves and prefers Daddy - it's ALL ABOUT Mommy when she's sick. And that's just fine by me. I can function on barely any sleep a lot better than the Hubs can. (For the record - now that she's feeling better she's totally back to being her daddy's girl self and I could jump off a dock for all she cares - but I was totally her favourite for a few days, and you know that means I win! Ha.)
  • Cinderella (and I'm sure many of the older Disney movies) have soundtracks that soothe. It was like falling asleep listening to Morgan Freeman tell me a story. Must.Get.More. Older Disney movies like Peter Pan and Lady + the Tramp - guessing they would be similar in their waltzy, sleepy, lullaby scores.
So that's why it's been quiet over hear. Basically we were functioning in survival mode for the past week. But I'm happy to say she's been on the mend for a few days and has now been shipped off to Gramma V's to enjoy a relaxing March break vacay while we get a few things done around the house here. Like working and spring cleaning and painting her "big girl" dresser.

Enjoy your rainy Sunday peeps...


Monday, March 8, 2010


It's been a habit, for... well, ever... that Maddie calls for me over the monitor when she wakes up. As in, "Mommy! Maddie wake up now! Good morning Mommy!"

And yes, it sounds just as adorable as it reads. Although I'm still not a morning person, but that kind of wake up is better than an alarm clock any day of the week.

However, over the weekend she changed her call a bit. I now wake up to: "Mommy! Maddie wake up! Saaaaaawwwwwwwaaaaaaaa. Wake up Sawa. Where is Sawa?"

That's right. My 2.5 year old daughter is summoning me by my actual name. I mean her inability to properly pronounce the "R" in my name softens the blow a bit. But seriously? I work hard at the Mommy title - I'd like to keep it for a few more years please. Although any attempts to explain to her that my name, to her, is in fact,  "Mommy" and not, "Sawa" just makes her giggle and call me that even more. And so - I ignore it, for now.

Check with me in about 15 years when I'm sure it won't seem nearly as cute or adorable anymore.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Electricity 101

Remember the gorgeous chandelier light fixture I was bragging about finding at Homesense for a STEAL last week? I got it home and it was a swag light. But also came with a ceiling plate. Which makes about - zero - sense in my opinion. But again, this is likely why it was only $40.

Since I was determined to "make it work", I proceeded to spend Friday evening consulting the all-knowing Google, numerous DIY forums, and the always useful expertise opinion of Facebook. The results were fairly unanimous - you can totally hardwire a plug in fixture - especially one that makes it easy on you and comes with a ceiling plate - just snip and attach.

Sounds like a 20 minute job, right?

Don't worry - there's no electrocution story here. On Saturday afternoon (the time of day that actual sunlight pours into Miss M's room like crazy), we cut the power and got to working on the fixture. And anything that could be difficult was. But eventually we were ready to wire - and in trying to get all the wires attached and also holding up the fixture at the same time, something went wrong, and the grounding wire snapped.

Long story short (and yelling of profanities edited out), the light isn't up quite yet. And the Hubs is not allowed to play anymore. But I'm getting a taller stepladder today from a lovely friend, and if all goes as planned, the fixture will be in place by tonight (or you know, the end of the week - which is also a great goal to have).

I'll let you know - but am excited to show you the end result... eventually.


Friday, March 5, 2010

The votes are in!

Including the Facebook votes as well - here's how the tally breaks down:

Quilt #1 - 9 votes
Quilt #2 - 2 votes
Quilt #3 - 4 votes
Quilt #4 -
Quilt #5 - 3 votes
Quilt #6 - 2 votes

Seems like the most expensive quilt from Pottery Barn is the clear winner. That's my secret favourite right now too - although I was told to go check out Homesense and they have some adorable quilt sets there that were REALLY reasonably priced. (AND a sparkly pink + white chandelier that I couldn't resist because I'm a sucker!)

And I have a line on possibly commissioning one - although really, I'm starting to wonder if a 2 year old should have a quilt that has been commissioned for her? I mean really? My bedding is a plain white duvet. Let's grow some perspective.

Thanks everyone for the input - always appreciated!!


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Lobbying for Quilts

So in my imagination, I had imagined Maddie's new big girl bed with a lovingly found classic handmade quilt in beautiful shades of pink with a hint of chocolate brown here and there (to keep with her current room decor - because I'm lazy and don't want to have to find new drapes for her room as well). Except - browsing Etsy for a specific style of quilt is very much like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

It was suggested to me (more than once - which in itself is kind of laughable) that I should just find fabric that I like and make the quilt myself. Hahahahahahha. HA. I don't even know how to begin making drapes or throw pillows - I think a quilt may just be a bit out of my reach.

And so I (grudgingly) started to look more mainstream. The Pottery Barns, the Targets, and other mass-producers of quilts. So what if it wouldn't necessarily become an heirloom. Perhaps I would eventually find one at a craft show that I liked - and until then, this could (would) do...

So... in the spirit of getting opinions from my dear readers (which by the way - thank you to all those that weighed in on yesterday's dilemma - especially you Facebookers - wow - I've got a vocal group of friends - thank you!) I thought I'd put up a few options of ones we're looking at/considering and see what you think. I'm not going to let any preconceptions sway you - so I'm just going to post the pics by numbers - not by source. You tell me your top pick in the comments! Oh and please keep in mind - her current room is a pink on pink stripe (very soft, petal shade) with accents of chocolate brown here and there (like the drapes I don't necessarily want to replace and some name/letters I painted for her when she was a bebe).







Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What would you do?

I just had a fun chat with a friend on my 1+ hour drive into the office - we are both "ex" smokers and the conversation began with her comment "Smoking is so 1993, sitting around a table in Swiss Chalet." - and quickly wound itself to just how ridiculous it seems now.

As an ex-smoker of just over 3 years, I know I'll never go back - it holds no appeal and no allure to me now. I've been told I'm a little more nazi-anti-smoking than is necessary, because I'm very vocal and obnoxious as to the stink and grossness of it all.  (My response to that is simply, "I'm vocal and obnoxious about everything - how am I supposed to keep quiet as to how stinky you are?")

In my conversation this morning, I actually compared how our kids would view smoking is likely how we view our parents habits of driving around without seatbelts and with a beer between their legs. Such ridiculous behaviour that you just have to shake your head at the audacity that it was socially acceptable at one point.

But this post isn't a soapbox where I pontificate on the disgustingness of smoking. To each his own. I think any smoker realizes that it's an unhealthy habit. And I can understand and sympathize with the difficulty of quitting. Just don't do it in my house, that's all I'm sayin'.

And this, leads us to the point of this post - where I ask you, dear readers, to weigh in with an opinion...

We have a smoking neighbour - who clearly isn't allowed to smoke in or around his house, so he takes to his car. In the summer, in the winter - that's his "smoking" place. Sidebar: he has also scared the shit out of me numerous times, while I was walking from the backyard to the garage, and didn't notice he's just sitting there in his car, smoking away, until he says "hi" and then I jump a mile in the air and he looks at me like I'm perhaps wound a little tight, and all I want to say, is wtf dude, you're sitting in a car at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon smoking, I'm just doing my gardening - but instead I just respond "hi" with a friendly neighbour smile, as if to say, sure, randomly sitting in your car smoking is not in the least strange or weird or some other trait that I could easily do without in a neighbour....

So this is not a new thing. It's weird (in my opinion) yes, but not new. What is new, is that last week - during the early season thaw as I walked around the side of the house to take a look at the perennial beds, to check out if there was anything going on - I noticed a PILE of butts beside my side-garage-door. Which happens to be exactly where his car is always parked.

And the thing is - I get it. Smokers are bad at not thinking of what happens to the gross little butts they throw on the ground when they're done. I never used to use those "butt-out" containers when walking down the sidewalk in the city. Smokers are pretty self-absorbed about the garbage they are creating. Especially in the winter - when the butts magically disappear into the snowbanks.

But regardless of whether I get the "how" of it happening, I don't want it happening. So as I'm explaining the disgustingness that will need to be cleaned up come springtime to the Hubs, I asked him how I should bring it up to the neighbour.

He looked at me, a bit shell-shocked. "You don't." he replied.

Me: "What do you mean, I don't?"

Hubs: "There's no nice way of saying it. You're just going to make him feel bad."

Me: "If I started leaving Maddie's dirty diapers on their lawn, do you think they would choose not to say anything? They'd just clean them up without complaint?"

Hubs: "That's not the same thing."

Me: "'Eff off, smoker."

When I posed the same question to my friend this morning, she had a similar response. Not that she counseled to not say anything - but she recommended I make up some convoluted story about raccoons must have got into the garbage, found a pile of butts on our lawn - thinking they must have been yours - no worries, cleaned it up - but just wanted to let you know...

(It sounded a lot better when she explained how she'd handle it.)

(She also lives in the city where raccoons are evil little dirty beggars that can easily be blamed for a number of things. Doesn't really work that way in the suburbs - at least not ours - haven't seen a raccoon-attacked garbage bag yet, in the 2 years we've been here.)

But when I told her that I didn't think I was out of line in just confronting the neighbour (nicely) and asking him to (nicely) not throw his dirty-ass butts on my lawn - she had the same response. "It's just going to embarrass him and now you'll be living next to someone who hates you."

So - what would you do? Would you confront the neighbour (nicely) and ask him to eff off (nicely) with the throwing of the cig butts? Or would you ignore it and hope it stops when spring gets here? Or would you clean up the butts and leave them in a wrapped little gift box on the neighbour's step? (Which I think would be an adorable little Easter surprise - but maybe that's just me)...


PS - to those that know the Hubs - no, it wasn't him. I mean, I believed him when he said he wouldn't be that disgusting, and he doesn't smoke at the side-garage-door. I  trust him - he would admit it if it were him... And I checked the type of cigarettes - they're not his brand ;)

Monday, March 1, 2010


We went to Kingston for the weekend for some family stuff - Hubs got to ice fish on closing weekend, Maddie got spoiled by Gramma V and I spent some time with the fam. Before we headed back on Sunday, we watched my (almost) 8 year old niece play hockey. It was fairly adorable watching these little gals skating around on the ice. I think the Hubs was even more smitten than I, as afterwards, he couldn't resist handing a stick to Maddie to play with. Apparently she's a righty. And we need to buy her skates next fall..


On our trip down to Kingston we experienced our first mid-transit-vomit-fest. Both the Hubs and I had motion sickness as kids (hell, I still do on long trips) - and apparently we just had to wait for Maddie to "grow into" this lovely little life skill. We washed the carseat cover and scrubbed down the carseat as much as possible, but my pregnant nose can still smell it. Hoping for an early spring thaw this weekend so we can properly hose it down and leave it out for a sunbath. PS - cleaning vomit, on the side of the 401, with nothing more than a few kleenex's and Tim Horton's napkins?  AWESOME!


I made my first purchase for the baby`s room on Friday. Some gorg Amy Butler patterned fabric for the drapes. (Sidebar: I LURVE the site Pink Panda Fabrics - and bonus? They ship within Canada for free!) Now I just have to figure out my sewing machine. And how to sew...


Today after my midwife appointment, I stopped in at Chapters as I had convinced myself that I MUST buy the "Birth Partner" book (my current research obsession - aside from the nursery design is natural/non-drugged-up childbirth - yes, I'll wait until you stop laughing...) and while I was browsing through the "Parenting" section, I found myself picking up the first "official" purchase for Sproggy#2 ('cuz I don't really count the fabric for the drapes - that really falls into the home decor category, non?). It's a Peter Rabbit baby book and it's adorable and I swear it smells like baby powder. I fear this first purchase may snowball into a frenzy of adorabe gender-non-specific onesies and socks and little monkey hats before the week is over.


And on a related note - while at Chapters, I also picked up some lift-the-flaps-you're-a-total-sucker-if-you-buy-this-Dora-Easter-book for lil Madds. Because the guilt? Of buying something for Sproggy#2 and not bringing anything home for Maddie... yeah, this is going to be an expensive 4 months.