Patience is a virtue that preschoolers do not possess

Sashimi: MOMMY!  I want a microscope game on the computer!!

K-Man: MOMMY!  I want a mmmovie!!

iBean: WAAAHHHH!

Me: FUUUUUUUCCCKKK (to myself, not out loud).

I had not even showered, eaten breakfast or taken my morning pills when all 3 kids started bellowing their requests simultaneously.  I keep telling the boys that they need to be patient, learn how to be patient, be more independent, but my words totally fly over their heads. iBean is not even half a year old, so I cannot blame her for screeching when she wants to eat or sleep.  But finding a new virtual microscope game for my 4 year old on the computer while she screams?  Not a priority.  Putting her down and letting her cry while I wait for K-Man to select a movie (which takes him a good 10 minutes sometimes)?  Not happening.

So I get 2 boys who cry and whine at me while I take care of the baby.  Then when she is fed and in her crib for naptime,  I start on the easiest of the boys’ demands: movie insertion.  Sashimi is mad that I am helping his brother before him, because clearly, virtual microscopy is more important.  Although, in the grand scheme of child bran development, it probably is, it takes way more of my energy to set that up than to pop a DVD into the player.

There.  Two kids satisfied, now to find some sort of game or virtual science thing for Sacha to do online.  Ah…virtual electron microscope. Slide the petri dishes under and try to match them to their identifications.  That should appease him.  Oh wait, he cannot read.  So I start reading the information to him as he looks at the images and tries to guess what they are.  How the hell does he know what red blood cells look like??  Oh yeah, he’s Tony’s son.

Finally, 30 minutes and five virtual microscopes later, he wants to watch Scooby Doo.  K-Man still entertained with his choice of DVD.  iBean still sleeping.  Mommy can FINALLY make her coffee, pour her cereal and get in the shower (nearly two hours after initially flinging my legs over the side of the bed). I let my hair dry on its own – one of the obvious benefits of a pixie cut. I can style it later if I need to vacate the premise.

Now, can I get some of the house tidied before the dictator-club starts calling out their demands? Oh screw it.  I’m gonna sit and enjoy my coffee first.

 

 

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Smells like sweet pickles

Tony is upstairs making batches and batches of pickles, and while I enjoy the smell of brine as much as the next gal, I am retreating to my blog (hello?  Anyone still out there? No?  Aw, bad bloggy Sarah neglecting her blog for so long).

Things that are happening right now:

  1. I am nearly 14 weeks pregnant.  Yippee!  Hurrah!
  2. There is only one jelly-bean fetus in there, as confirmed by two separate ultrasounds.
  3. I have been having a pretty good pregnancy.  Not too much nausea, some fatigue, which seems to come in spurts.  My appetite is insane, and I am having a passionate love affair with 11:00 pm snacks, including, but not limited to, bologna and kraft singles sandwiches, two things I normally do not keep in the house.
  4. Kees has discovered that he is a 2-year old, and should act accordingly.  Most of the time, he is still a good little boy.  Other times, however, I just want to put him in his room, close the door, and wait for him to turn 18.
  5. Kees speaks in sentences now.  He is a truly bilingual child, and when he doesn’t quite know the right word, he just adds “ee-nay” (or for you francophones, “-iner” to the end of words he does know.  This is how we get sentences like: “Kees bonkiner pied again.”  What does this mean?  Kees bonked his foot again.  See, he does not know how to say bonk in French, but surely, since all French words end in -iner, adding that sound to the word bonk MUST be right!
  6. Sacha is freaking smart.  The other day, he came up to me and said “Mommy, I have a hypothesis.”  I asked him what his hypothesis was, and he replied “My shovel looks like a grader shovel, so it should pick up rocks.”  When I asked him what the word hypothesis means, he said “a hypothesis is a word that you can test out.”  Not bad for a 3-year old!
  7. Sacha still relies on Daddy to go to sleep and stay asleep at night.  Not too sure how we are going to get over this hump (again).  We had him broken of this habit, but then we were on holidays, and sharing beds in hotels, and now we are back to square one.  The only issue now is that we have to get him sleeping alone because Kees is getting ready to move out of his crib into a twin bed.  And where is this twin bed?  On the bottom of the bunk bed that Sacha currently sleeps on.  Kees sleeps all night.  Sacha does not.  Sacha needs to start sleeping all night so he can move to the top bunk and Kees on the bottom.  This must be accomplished well before the baby comes (I am due at the end of Feb) because baby will be taking over Kees’s room.  All part in parcel with having a 3 bedroom house and 3 kids.  I  have thought of putting baby with Kees, but that would involve buying another twin bed…LeSigh.
  8. Tony is learning the art of home preserving.  He is currently making pickles, sweet pickles, and has already made pickled beets.  I, on the other hand, have made about 50 jars (those little 1-cup jars) of various jams and jellies.  Oh, and I waded into pressure canning territory and canned 7 quarts of spaghetti sauce.  Now, I am taking a bit of a break from canning until the tomatoes are ready and Operation Salsa kicks into effect.  I made roughly 30 pints of salsa last august, and I only have 3 left.  Salsa is a vital condiment in our house.
  9. Sacha is turning 4 this week, and I have promised him a dinosaur party complete with dinosaur cake.  This will be a feat if I can pull it off…cake decor is NOT my forte.
  10. We are  T-17 days from our New Brunswick trip! Just Tony and I.  No kids.  For 6 whole days. I am really excited to go, nervous about leaving Sacha (Kees will be fine) and so pumped to see my friend Lynn! I searched online today to see if I can bring my knitting needles on the plane, and I totally can.  YES!! I cannot sleep on planes, so I may as well make socks!
  11. I am rewatching the entire LOST series.  In bed before I go to sleep.  I know, I am a nerd.  It really is better the second time around knowing how it all wraps up.  And yes, there WAS foreshadowing even in the first season.
  12. I am in need of a good read.  Suggestions in the comments are appreciated!

Over and out, bitches.

One named Jacob

A two-year old chatterbox coupled with potty training and an inquisitive mind (“Why? How? What that?”) leads to interesting conversations in our house.

When Sacha got out of the tub last night, his naked butt came storming into the living room where I was sitting with my parents and Memère (grandmother), and he started chanting that he had babies in his testicles.  I couldn’t quite understand what he meant, so Tony explained the conversation Sacha and him had in the bathroom:

Sacha (lifting his man-organ to see underneath it): What these under mine pennis?

Tony: Those are your testicles.

Sacha: What hard thing in mine tessicle?

Tony:  What do you think it is?

Sacha: Bubbles.

Tony: Bubbles?

Sacha (changing his mind): No, not bubbles.  Babies.  Babies in mine tessicle.

Tony: Babies? How many babies do you have in your testicles?

Sacha: Two babies. One named Jacob.

Tony: Jacob? Like your friend Jacob or like Jacob in the Bible?

Sacha (truly thinking about this one): Like mine friend Jacob.

Once Tony was finished telling the tale, Sacha, realizing that my Memère was there, asks me: Maman, what tessicle in Fwench?

I turned to Memère, who was red from laughing: C’est une TRÈS bonne question, Sacha.  Memère, connais-tu le mot testicle en français? (That is a GOOD question, Sacha.  Memère, do you know the French word for testicle?)

Memère: Non.  Je vais chercher dans le dictionnaire à la maison et te le dire. (No.  I’ll look it up in the dictionary when I get home and tell you.)

As it turns out, the answer is testicule.  And one of them is named Jacob.

Words we rarely say

My sisters and I are close. We don’t hide anything, we don’t spare each other’s feelings when we need to get something off our chest. But it seems as though we rarely take the time to utter the positive words brewing in our brains.

I am immensely proud of my youngest sister.

Angry tourist pose

If you recall, I posted this letter to my youngest sister about 18 months ago.

Now, she is a fully (mostly) self-sufficient adult*. She loves her work and is fantastic at her job. On top of that, she seems to be finally understanding the meaning of budget and financial planning. I never thought I would say those words about her!

She is a part of the social committee at said work (I think she heads up the committee) and organizes charity fund raisers and so on. She has a wonderful man in her life, who supports her in everything she does and who grounds her in reality and humour. And she supports him, even when things seem not so great (he was recently laid off – a sign of the times, in this case). Now I cannot wait for them to get married so that I can stop calling him my favourite brother-in-common-law.

Wanna piece of me?

I am also deeply proud of my other sister.

We're so sexy, I know

She took a bold leap, quit her job (which paid well, but she loathed) and decided to take the plunge and go back to school to get an animal biology degree. This involved uprooting her and her husband, moving 500 km away, taking upgrading courses just to get into university, and working part time to support her nasty schooling habit. All the while, she has aced every course she tackled. I think she got 97% on her Chemistry 101 final. That or 100%. I cannot keep her ridiculously high grades straight. She is definitely heading towards a scholarship. All the while, she still manages to keep the glimmer of hope alive that she will, someday, provide my children with cousins. I will keep all my baby gear just for you, my sweets.

I love you, Talia & Stef. I am so proud of both of you.

The little sisters

Now make babies, k?

* I say mostly because she still calls me every friggin time she makes scotch meatloaves, even though I have given her the recipe numerous times, and it is posted on my blog.

The Conspiracy

We are part of the conspiracy.

December is full of “Are you ready for Christmas?” which is a euphemism for “Did you buy all your presents yet? Are you sure you have enough presents? Did you remember great aunt whatshername? How much did you spend on your kids? What did you get for your parents? Your husband? Are you sure you’re totally done?”

To which I reply: Of course I am ready. Santa is very low-key in our house. He brings one gift to each person. No, this gift is not a Powerwheels quad or an iPhone 3G or a new car. No, Santa did not put gifts on my credit cards, and no, he did not buy people things on their “lists.”

In our house, Santa gives from the heart.

This year, Santa is bringing the boys each a bead-wire maze. You know, those bead-wire toys that you always see in doctors’ offices and you always wonder where you could get one. Mrs. Ho Ho Ho went on the internet and found a baby-sized one for Kees and a regular one for Sacha, and it took me an hour to wrap them since the man in red doesn’t do wrapping and I have been told by some that I should never seek employment at those booths in malls that wrap presents for you. I’m that bad.

I also bought each boy a nursing necklace with their names on them, as I thought it would make a great keepsake. These are going in their stockings.

As for the parents, I made them a custom calendar featuring about 80 photos from their kids and grandkids, as well as all the birthdays and anniversaries from the family. It took me about 4 hours of work per calendar (one for my family, one for the out-laws) but they really are worth it.

And I will not reveal what I bought Tony, as he reads this blog. (Hi Tony. I am not an idiot. You will have to wait until Christmas.) We also gave a couple gifts to godchildren (we have 2) and our niece and nephew, which Sacha helped pick out and wrap (that was an exercise in patience).

Sacha also made a special gift for his Grandma and his Baba (which they haven’t opened yet) with moderate adult intervention. Kees kissed their cards. Or tried to eat them. Either way, he left his mark.

Christmas cost us about $3oo this year.

So what did we do with all the extra money that could have been spent on novelty gifts and miscellaneous Christmas crap? Tony and I have made it a tradition to donate to charities as part of our Christmas giving. We donated about $200 above and beyond our habitual acts of charity. Do we benefit from this? Not directly (unless you consider a tax receipt). Someone else, however, will benefit from our gift more than we can possibly imagine.

And that thought is enough to keep me happily humming Jingle Bells all year long.

That, and Sacha is obsessed with the Barenaked Ladies version of Jingle Bells. There will be an uprising when I put that CD away after the holidays.

Kitty in a Spruce Tree
Our Kitty in a Tree, through Sacha’s Lens

Yo, she write good an’ everything

I often use very colloquial language on this blog. I write as I speak talk. So you may get the impression that I am not so skilled in the area of written verbosity. I present to you proof that I am not an idiot.

Let me set the scene:

My Baba recently sold her house and moved into a condo my aunt had bought for her. The government, in their infinite “wisdom” cut part of her pension because they claimed that she was now living with a relative rent-free, while previously she was a homeowner. In reality, however, her expenses have not changed, since she is running the condo as her own (maintenance and all). So, seeing that I am edumicated and all, she asked me to write a letter for her to the seniors’ benefits department and appeal their decision.

The following is what I wrote:

To Whom It May Concern:

In recent correspondence with the Seniors Services Division, it came to my attention that my application for ASB is under review due to a change in my residence status. My current benefit has been calculated based on the erroneous residence status as “other.” I am living in a property that is owned by my daughter, but I reside alone and maintain the property in her absence at her request. My daughter has not, at any time, resided in this property.

While it is true that I am not a homeowner, nor a renter, I reside in a property in which I am financially responsible for all utilities, maintenance of the property and other costs that may arise. My financial obligations mirror that of a homeowner. As such, for maximum benefit calculations, I believe that my residence status should be considered equivalent to that of a homeowner. My monthly expenses are virtually the same as they were at my previous residence as a homeowner, and I would expect that my ASB should reflect this, as it is my understanding that the ASB is to provide assistance to seniors for their monthly expenditures related to the cost of living.

Please make the appropriate adjustments to my application and inform me when the benefit calculations are complete.

Sincerely,

Baba

Ok, so I obviously signed her real name at the bottom.

Summation: I write good.