Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Monday, 29 September 2008
(The picture is of a young Rachel in Singapore.)
Next up is the sink area. The sink area comes complete with hanging ramekins, decorative plates, and blue-glass cat-shaped dish soap holder:
Ah, the Far Wall. A storage wall of sorts, with pegs for lunch kits and other kitchen-related paraphernalia. The little plaque on the end says "Ask about our free cup of coffee!" though I don't recommend doing so. The last guy who did is still in the hospital.
Rounding the corner for our return trip, we see the toaster oven! This was a gift from an ex-boyfriend, and outlasted the relationship by A LOT. It now supports various tea things, and supports my pastry/cutting boards. Fascinating. An interesting factoid is that the drawers below are the only drawers found in the entire kitchen. I mean, besides the ones we're wearing. Most of us, anyway. ;)
Moving on, we have come too the space between stove and fridge. This is where the microwave lives! (I know you've sensed a theme... All my appliances are on ONE SIDE. Food and cookers on one side, smaller machines and dishes on the other. Anal retentive, I told ya so.) Look, you can see the bread! The stuff that looks like poo!
Finally, we reach the refrigerator. This last stop on our virtual tour is dull, so I took the picture at an angle to spice things up. (Get it? Spice? Kitchen? LOL!)
Thank you for touring with us today! Coffee and refreshments will be served by you at your own house. If you've purchased the extended tour, please remain seated. We will be departing for the Dining Room as soon as the cheapskates who only paid for this leg of the trip get off.
Sunday, 28 September 2008
Combine dry with wet:
Put in cans for steaming, add water, cover:
Remove from pot, uncover:
Remove from cans. Please not that said removal was more than a little tricky because my can opener staunchly refused to open the wrong end of a can. It's all the can opener's fault!
See? I did it wrong. It's not bread. It's not pretty. It smells like bran muffins, which could be a good thing.
I'll make the kids eat it. Even if it does resemble poo. ;)
Saturday, 27 September 2008
Then, she started having really vivid dreams about her sister scattering food on her bed and that food turning into bugs which were then biting her. This caused her to FREAK. OUT. and took me a good half hour (at 3am) to calm her down and convince her Rachel was asleep, her bed was clean, and there were no bugs.
NOW, she rolled over, bashed her face off her bunk rail, and gave herself a nosebleed.
Sigh. Bad things come in three's - so this is it, right?
I have no money to move.
The thought of packing for a move by myself with three kids is making me want to go to bed for a very very long time.
I'm stuck. I don't know what to do. Somebody tell me what to do.
Friday, 26 September 2008
Let me start from the beginning.
I had a teacher once who wrote his Master's thesis on... Thesis writing. I shit you not. He won awards for it. It's genius. This was fascinating to me, the English geek. If I learned anything in school, it was how to write a killer thesis.
I apply my stellar thesis-writing skills to all of my structured writing.
Maybe I should teach you all how to write really good thesis..es? Thesii? Thesis'? Anyway...
Let's write a thesis on bumblebees. Your point is going to be that bees are important. With me so far?
Paragraph 1: State your point.
- Bees are important. (Stay away from using the terms "I think", "I feel", "I want to prove". Your point is not personal, it is universal. Full stop.
Paragraph 2: Clarify.
- Bees are important because they pollinate flowers, and to a lesser extent because they give us honey.
Paragraph 3, the body: Explain and support.
- In gathering nectar to make honey, bees come into contact with the pollen in flowers. This pollen rubs off onto the bees hairy legs and is transferred to other flowers the bee comes into contact with during his pursuit for above-mentioned nectar. This is important because it fertilizes the flowers and allows them to propagate and continue the species. Without this natural pollination, the flowers would die off, as there is not any viable alternatives to bee-pollination that would work on such a large, world-wide scale.
- Then they make honey which is actually for baby bees but we eat it anyway. It's an excellent and healthful replacement for sugars and high fructose corn syrup in the human diet.
Paragraph 4: Tie up loose ends.
- If bees die, flowers die. Fruit doesn't grow, vegetables don't grow, food resources die off, people die off.
Paragraph 5: Conclusion. This is the same as your original point, which if you've written a well thought-out and convincing thesis, your reader should now agree with.
- Bees are important. (Never use the phrase "In conclusion". It's not good. You should be writing so that people forget they are reading, and instead get involved in what you are saying.)
End teaching session. With me so far? Good.
Now as for how thesis writing applies to real life:
I cloth diaper. I use BumGenius diapers exclusively. I love them, but lately they have begun to to malfunction. The elastics in the leg holes have lost all their snap, causing them to leak out the sides and become, for all intents and purposes, unusable.
So I wrote a very nice letter to the BumGenius (CottonBabies) corporation, in award-winning thesis form.
Paragraph 1: My point.
- I use BG diapers, and they are malfunctioning due to product defect.
Paragraph 2: Clarify.
- I use your product exclusively, follow all your enclosed directions to the letter, and my diapers are failing well before they should be. They have lost all elasticity, and as such are no longer usable.
Paragraph 3, the body: Explain and support
- My son is 15 months old, I bought diapers back on such-and-such date(s), from such-and-such company. It was my understanding that these diapers would last the entire length of time my son would be in diapers, and that fact was one of my deciding factors in choosing your product.
- Having followed all care instructions as listed on the enclosed pamphlets that came with the diapers, as listed on the diapers themselves, and as listed on your own website, I am disappointed that the diapers have not held up as well as I was led to believe by your company in paragraph blahblahblah of your website. (Cut and paste paragraph)
Paragraph 4: Tie up loose ends.
- I love your product, aside from this issue. I love x and xy and xyz about it, specifically.
- I do not want to have to go to a different company. *HINT*
- I do not want to have to re-purchase these diapers when there is a reasonable expectation that this would happen again, as it is a tremendous expense and one of the reasons I chose your product was that I would never have to purchase another diaper for this child. *HINT*
- I have recommended your product to many people and have converted numerous parents from disposable diapering to cloth diapering solely on the strength of your diaper. *HINT*
- I'm a member of several Internet forums where the discussion of your product would be a natural and recurrent theme. So far, I've had nothing disparaging to say. *HINT*
Paragraph 5: Conclusion.
- Your product FAILED.
Good, right? I sent it late last night. I woke up this morning to not only a letter from corporate head office in the States, but to a letter from the head of Canadian Distributing. They asked a few more questions, which I answered, and they both made reference to replacing my diapers.
I'm just. that. good.
My theory? Articulate people get what they want because they're harder to argue with. Be articulate. Get what you want.
I pretty much always get what I want. Now you can too!
Thursday, 25 September 2008
Lily: My head hurts. Do I have cancer?
Mommy: You don't have cancer. You have a headache because you have the flu.
Rachel: Mommy, I cut my finger. Am I gonna catch cancer?
M: Cancer is not contagious, Rachel. But clean it anyway.
L: Terry Fox had cancer and his leg fell off.
R: Yes, it fell right off.
M: His leg didn't fall off. It was removed. Because of the cancer.
R: Did he catch cancer from a cut? (still looking at her finger.)
M: Cancer is not contagious. So no.
L: But what if it was contagious?
R: Then would we get it from cuts?
L: My head still hurts.
M: Mine too.
L: Do you have cancer?
R: 'Cuz cancer would make your head hurt you know.
M: It's not cancer. And you're not a doctor.
L: But cancer hurts, right? Because my tummy hurts.
M: You don't have cancer. You have the flu.
R: I think I had cancer once.
M: You've never had cancer. Cancer is serious.
R: But I had a tummyache.
M: A tummyache could just mean you ate too much candy.
L: She did mama, I saw her.
R: No I didn't! When?
And thus it continued all day. All I could think about, the entire time, was that scene in Kindergarten cop where Shwartza-whatzizname said "It's not a tu-mah".
What I asked for: The carton of milk. What I got: His hockey stick.
What I asked for: The puzzle pieces. What I got: A secret cookie from under the couch.
What I asked for: Rachel's Home Reading book. What I got: One of it's pages.
What I asked for: Citrus reamer. What I got: Ice cream scoop.
What I asked for: Bag of baby carrots. What I got: A pre-chewed carrot he decided he didn't like after all.
Wednesday, 24 September 2008
She's got quite the system for coin collection, too. She spends her dollars and saves her small change. The girl needs a wallet and a purse, she's got envelopes everywhere full of nickles and dimes and pennies. She's got them all earmarked for things though. One envelope is for Nana and Granddads Christmas present, one is for the dollar store, one is for a chocolate bar...
Naturally, when Rachel finds the envelopes, they become Rachel's envelopes. Perhaps what Lily really needs is a Rachel-proof box. To put Rachel in. And then a safe for her money.
Rachel just spends every cent she has. She's got no concept of money. If something is $1.16 and she has a toonie, she'll just hand it over and leave. Lily capitalizes on this and accepts the change on her behalf. As in, Lily be "half"ing it.
Finn still just wants to eat his money.
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) wrote a letter to the ice cream guru's over at Ben & Jerry's asking them to substitute the cow's milk in their dairy products for human breast milk.
Most women don't even breastfeed their babies, let alone nursing the general public. Not to mention the fact that every ounce you put in ice cream is an ounce taken away from a child. I understand the cow's-milk-is-for-baby-cows arguments, but last I checked we humans were slightly higher on the food chain.
To even suggest this is ridiculous to the point of stupidity. Instead of lobbying for harsher regulations for the treatment of dairy cows, THIS is what PETA suggests?? This letter was designed not as a plausible solution (to something that the vast majority of people don't even see as a problem), but to create sensationalism in the media. What it actually achieved, however, is to make the PETA organization as a whole look like cow-hugging fools who more than likely rode the short bus to school.
Reality Check #1: Cow's don't understand the concept of freedom/slavery. That's why a cow who has no fences will remain the same distance from the barn as a cow with fences. Cows understand pain, and in fact will lead themselves to milking stations to relieve over-full udders. (As a former nursing mother, I "udder"stand.) PETA will argue that taking calves away from their mothers causes stress for mom and baby alike, but the reality is that all cows (nay, all mammals) wean eventually - the only difference being that after Bessie Jr. is weaned, mama cow is kept lactating through artificial - milk farming - means.
Reality Check #2: Cows are dumb. Really, really dumb. They've been bred for generations to be dumb. Dumb cows are easy to control. If cows are no longer required for dairy/meat, they WILL die off. Because PETA is not only against raising animals for food but also against keeping animals as pets, it's safe to deduce that the only place they want cows to be is in the wild. Cows are not smart enough to survive in the wild - because they are bred to be dumb - thus, they will become extinct. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals becomes People for Extinction Totalus of Animals. That seems better. Oh wait, no it doesn't.
Reality Check #3: Mammals cannot produce milk without first being pregnant, and even then only for a period of about 1 year afterwards (At which point milk from even the most prolific producer changes vastly in terms of nutritional/sugar/fat content). Daily volume of breast milk from a lactating woman equals approximately 600ml, or 58 gallons per year, providing they exclusively breastfeed and have no supply issues. Children born per year in the entire world = 140 million- therefore total human breast milk production of the entire world - assuming all mothers were to exclusively breastfeed all children born = 8120 million gallons/ year, or 31 million tonnes/year. Annual dairy milk production of some countries: Germany 28 million tonnes, Russia 33 million tonnes, US 67 million tonnes, India 96 million tonnes. So, if we force every mother in the world not to breastfeed their children, somehow collect all of this milk including all milk from all mothers in places with no refrigeration, we will have just enough milk for the Germans, and still have no milk for the rest of the world OR all the babies that induced their mother's lactation in the first place. Perhaps PETA would suggest keeping all women of childbearing age pregnant every year and farm them just like cows? It still wouldn't be enough to keep the US supplied with milk, but hey, we don't care about people - we care about cows!
Reality Check #4: Cows play an integral part in the world economy. No cows = millions of lost jobs = losses of BILLIONS of dollars. Not just in milk/meat sales, but in the farming and production, and harvesting, and transporting, and storage, and packaging, and selling... Plus all the people who make the equipment to harvest the milk, barn makers, cow-food makers, transport vehicle production, storage facility construction including materials producers, am I getting through to anyone yet? It's not just MILK, it's a whole INDUSTRY. An industry that employs millions of people all over the world, who's taxes pay for welfare, and schools, and health care.
Reality Check #5: There is NO all-around replacement for cow's milk. We can replace it in certain areas with certain things such as soy (which can rather drastically affect estrogen levels, and in high levels can actually lead to impotence in humans) or "juice" from various nuts and seeds. However, these all react differently in the presence of other chemical compounds found in other foods, or when heated as in cooking. Let me repeat: There is NO be-all-end-all replacement for cow's milk. Milk from other mammals would, in theory, however it is impossible to produce the sheer volume necessary for world demand. Unless of course we swap out another large land mammal for the cow, in which case we're right back where we started from. Never mind the amount of additional resources that would be required to farm enough of the alternatives to keep up with the demand for milk replacement. Just the amount of land required far surpasses the acreage required for the cows required to produce a comparable amount of milk.
Sheesh. PETA has gone from a respectable organization to a bunch of extremist Eco-terrorists alarmingly quickly
Note to PETA: People will not follow those we don't respect. We're not cows.
Decide for yourselves:
www.peta.org vs. www.petakillsanimals.com
Yeah. Gross. I've been cleaning ALL. DAY. I feel like it's on me. Is it on me?!? I've cleaned and sanitized everything that stands still (and some things that don't) and scrubbed my fingers to the bone. It's now 1:00am and I'm actually contemplating mopping the floors... *Shudder*
Perspective: I've lost it.
Scorching, searing, slick stick.
Sad and snotty sweaty stick
Lily's got the flu.
Rotten Ray-ro razzes her,
Rattles and re-rankles her.
Ribs and rubs and rags on her,
Rachel is a pest.
Finny-Finn's a fine Finn,
Funny, flirty, Finnigan,
Finn is feelin' fine.
*Waits for lightning bolt*
Rachel, however, managed to somehow glue her hair to her back at school. This, I can live with.
Monday, 22 September 2008
Bridget over at Mama Belly Blog has cured my case of the sadz. She likes me! She really likes me! *Sniff*
Now, the rules, that I copied at pasted pretty much ver batim from Bridget. ;)
* Pass it on to any bloggers that you feel are "Kick Ass Bloggers"* Let 'em know in your post or via email, twitter or blog comments that they've received an award* Share the love and link back to both the person who awarded you and back to Mammadawg, the inventor of this award.* Hop on back to the Kick Ass Blogger Club HQ to sign Mr. Linky then pass it on!
So many deserving peeps, so little time... I think I'll bestow this honor on Dawn, the reigning coupon-queen of the western world. How she gets some of the deals she does is beyond me. Check her out for budget inspiration, and drool over her beautiful baby girl! (Back off boys, she's Finn's.) Dawn, you're my shopping hero.
There are no words to express how I'm feeling.
No two homes, no two families, no school year here and summers there, no restrictions, no messy legalities, no more sharing the baby boy.
Praise the Lord, and thank dear sweet baby Jesus. I need to lay down.
(For those wondering, we have every intention of raising Finnigan to know he has a father AND a daddy. It would be stupid not to, both medically and psychologically. Finnigan will know of Kevin, but having Kevin in his life is not what he needs and would do more harm than good. Please respect this decision, as very few people know the whole story and those that do have all been involved in making this momentus, life-changing choice.)
- You need a new butter dish. Somehow you managed to crack yours.
- You also need a new potato masher. You broke that too.
- You need TOILET PAPER!!! Still!!! The tissues are clogging up the whole complex!
- Two girls + new bubble bath = Clean bathroom floor.
- Nothing gets green sharpie off a white fridge. Yet.
- Children will eat any orange vegetable, as long as you call it "carrots".
- The baby will not eat bananas when you first give them to him. He will instead mash them into all the crevices of his highchair and save them for later. Later he will eat them. When they're good and black.
- You really need to deal with that black spot on the beige carpet that the raw egg left. You may have to use enough chemicals to burn a hole clear through to China, but deal with it already. It's yucky.
- Lay off the snickerdoodles already. Even your fingers are getting fat.
Self, that is all.
Saturday, 20 September 2008
- There's sugar on the kitchen floor.
- There's spilled juice in the fridge.
- The girls somehow smashed their lightbulb in their room, so there's shards of that on the floor at the end of their beds.
- The baby has toys strewn all around his room, and piles of clothes that I'd had packed up because he grew out of them.
- The diapers are still dirty.
- The dishes aren't done.
They cleaned up their room, but only because I was standing there with a wooden spoon, barking orders like some demented drill sergeant. When that was finally done, THEN they smashed their lightbulb. I don't know how that happened.
It took them an hour to clean up their "art". There was a LOT of little bits of paper, a LOT of random marker lids, and a LOT of globby glue. I have yet to find any actual, completed art.
THEY WHINED. FROM SUN UP, TO 2300hrs. I seperated them. I made them work as a team. I pitted them against eachother. I tried to bribe them. I tried to pay them. I yelled. I screamed. I threatened spankings. I had a complete meltdown, and smashed a plate they were supposed to be cleaning, because they WOULD. NOT. STOP. with the she-did-she-said-but-her-fault-no-I-didn't-HER-fault-OH-MY-GOD-SHUT-UP. So I lost it. I smashed the plate I was holding as hard as I could and it SHATTERED. It was corelle ware, too. They shatter REALLY well. It shattered EVERYWHERE.
Then I looked at them, and said through clenched teeth, "Are. You. Finished?"
Two little bug-eyed bobble-heads nodded.
Mommy: "Good. Because the next thing I smash like that is going to be YOU."
They restored order to their disaster areas.
They went straight to bed.
Mama needs wine.
Symptoms: Sore head (duh), muscle weakness, sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, I see halos, my depth perception goes all wonky... Ugh.
I'm fairly heavily medicated. Tylenol, codeine (which I'm highly sensitive to, T3's knock me completely out cold), Sumatriptan, Alieve (I big-fat-puffy-heart you, Dawn!), the list goes on.
I top it all off with heavy doses of caffiene.
Then I sleep.
The next day brings the dreaded Headache Hangover. This is a lot like recovering from the flu. You feel like absolute shit. I'd rather recover from childbirth. When I have a migraine, I want to cut open my head and scoop out my own brain.
Anyway, that's where I've been.
I'd rather be blogging.
Eggs were my cross to bear.
Three dozen eggs smashed into the carpets of TWO ROOMS, with shells scattered clear from the kitchen to the OTHER END OF THE HOUSE.
All was quiet in The Mommy's household. Children were happily Barbie-ing in their room, baby was nestled snugly in mommy's womb, and I had to pee. So I did. When I got out, not three minutes later, I heard it. Crunch. I though I'd stepped on a beetle. I wish I'd stepped on a beetle. It was an eggshell. How odd for an eggshell to be at the door to the bathroom. And in front of the washing machine. And another in front of my bedroom door. And another, and another, and... OH. NO.
An open fridge door. Three egg cartons, open and empty on the floor in front of it. Eggshells. Everywhere.
Bedroom one: mine. Clear.
Bedroom two: Rachel's. Clear.
Bedroom three: Lillians.
MASS CHICKEN-EMBRYO MASSACRE.
There were raw eggs EVERYWHERE. On toys. On clothes. On beds. In drawers. In doll beds. On tables. On the curtains. On both children. Big, gelatinous globs from the doorway through to kingdom come. I couldn't talk. I couldn't scream. I couldn't think of ANYTHING except for the fact that it was a bright sunny day, and if I didn't get this cleaned up soon I would have three dozen SCRAMBLED EGGS mashed into my LIFE. I went numb.
Honestly, I don't remember what happened next. I've blacked it out. I remember very calmly, very quietly putting them in Rachel's room and closing the door. I remember very calmly calling a friend and asking him to come watch them, because if I had to see their faces I would slit my own throat.
Then I cleaned.
God bless Bissel. I used my Little Green Machine to suck up all the egg-snot. I threw out EVERYTHING. The girls lost easily $1k of stuff that day. Later, I found an egg smeared into the carpet behind Rachel's door. It left a black mark that remains to this day.
I still can't see a raw egg without feeling a little panicky.
I'm pretty sure they're still grounded.
(Special thanks to Jenny for help with the title!)
Thursday, 18 September 2008
Wednesday, 17 September 2008
Thursday, 11 September 2008
Tuesday, 9 September 2008
He's such a beast. :)
Monday, 8 September 2008
I went to get Finn up from his nap today.
The smell hit me first.
He'd taken off his socks, pants, and diaper.
He'd smeared it EVERYWHERE.
He dropped the remaining turds through the slats onto the floor, and then apparently PEEDLED on them.
He'd even covered his bottle with poo.
It was gross.
Luckily, I know how to handle this, because his sisters were MASTERS of the poo-portrait.
Baby wipes - not just for tushies.
It took two baths to return him to white again.
I'm calling BumGenius and suggesting a chastity diaper...
Be glad my camera is busted.
Sunday, 7 September 2008
Seriously, who has so many clothes that they have this many they can GET RID OF?!?
I'm just thinking about how many fewer loads of laundry I'll have to do, how much easier it will be to have it all neatly put away, and how much faster I'll be able to find something to wear in the morning...
I feel fantastic. :)
As punishment, they are now on hands and knees, scrubbing the hardwood floors.
I think that's fair.
Saturday, 6 September 2008
Friday, 5 September 2008
It was really, REALLY funny.
And more than a little bit gross.
(However, it reminded me of the time Andrew took a just-been-breastfed baby Lillian, and played "airplane". She puked right in his mouth. I was laughing so hard I couldn't even help the poor guy. That's a lesson you don't need to be taught twice.)
Mommy: Sure baby, it's in the fridge.
(For the record, we were eating tacos at the time, she doesn't just randomly ask for sourcream.)
L: You have to get it for me.
M: Why do I have to get it for YOU?
L: Because you're my slave.
Hrmph. Methinks a reality check is in her future...
Tuesday, 2 September 2008
This is what I've packed my girls for their first day back at school. These things happen only when my kitchen is clean.
Lunch, day one:
- Single-serving sized carton of white milk.
- Bottle of water (in reusable waterbottle, thankyouverymuch).
- Celery and carrot sticks.
- "Champagne" (caviar) grapes.
- Vanilla-yogurt dipped granola bar.
- Sandwich: Ham and cheese on rye. One with tomato, one without.
- Dessert: Baked apple with cinnamon and sugar.
Take THAT Martha.