Saturday, November 27, 2010

ABCs & 123s

J. asked me tonight "how do you spell penis? Dad wouldn't tell me." Am I supposed to be happy he's showing an interest in learning or resigned to the fact that all men are obsessed with what's between their legs?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Musings

Okay, this one really has nothing to do with boys, but I can only talk about how rambunctious my two monkeys are for so long before people start to get bored. So I’ve been mentally composing this for the past week and just now, while M. is sleeping snugly in his car seat on the kitchen table and J. is at preschool, I finally have time to get it out of my head and onto the blog. I have one hour before I have to go pick up J. at school so I’d better be quick.

Okay, so it’s the Christmas season and I’ve got the “Holiday Hits!” music station on our PVR playing almost 24 hours a day. What I’ve realized is that virtually everyone on this planet who has taken a piss near a recording studio has cut a Christmas album. Seriously. The first day, after hearing a parade of one-hit wonders, unknowns, and icons from decades past, I jokingly thought to myself “What next? A Glass Tiger Christmas song?” and lo and behold, a few hours later a bloody Glass Tiger song came on. I am now holding out for Honeymoon Suite, but nothing yet. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time. (An apology to my few American readers, Glass Tiger and Honeymoon Suite were Canadian hit-makers in the 80’s. You will have never heard of them, but they were big up here. Really.)

Honestly though, if you were any sort of child star, you have a Christmas album. If you were a contestant on American Idol, you have a Christmas album. If you had one hit in the past 60 years, you have a Christmas album. Remember Sixpence None The Richer, known for their one hit, “Kiss Me” – as in “kiss me, beneath the milky twilight, kiss me, here on the green, green grass”? They have a Christmas album. How about Jon Secada of “Just Another Day” (I, I don’t want to say it, I don’t want to find another way, to make it though the day without you)? He’s got a holiday album too. I think my favourite so far, though, other than Glass Tiger, has been Scott Grimes. As in that red-headed kid who is (was?) on “ER”, was on “Party of Five”, and also, cut a Christmas record. What next – Joey Lawrence sings “Oh Holy Night”?

The two biggest somewhat legitimate singers who are crucifying (sorry, bad analogy?) the holiday songs are Christina Aguliera (or Xtina to fit with the holiday theme) and Jessica Simpson. Both are students of the school of over-singing, but at least Xtina has talent. However, her version of “The Christmas Song”, the Mel Torme classic, has a dance beat to it and to me sounds suitable only for a gay holiday cruise. When I hear it, I have visions of buff, waxed, well-groomed young men in Speedos dancing in my head. Oh, and these men are dancing too. It’s really quite awful. Not my thoughts of the attractive gay men dancing, but the song. It really is unlistenable. For me, Christmas songs are like breakfast. You don’t mess with them. You perform, or serve them, they way they were meant to be. No pineapple salsa on my French Toast, a la Milestones Restaurant, and no disco Mel Torme. As for Jessica Simpson, what she does to songs is a travesty. Actually, it’s not the songs, it’s her voice. She over-sings, and trills and runs them all over the place until your ears want to bleed. She should stick to plopping her name on products that other people design, like her shoes and fake hair lines, and stay away from performing.

Now onto another holiday rant. What does sexy lingerie have to do with the birth of baby Jesus? Victoria’s Secret has their big fashion show on TV in November, just in time for the holidays. There’s ads everywhere promoting lingerie as a great holiday gift. Now, being a godless heathen, the holidays have always been about family, food, and helping those less-fortunate, and this even offends me. So I’m not quite sure how the lingerie lobby managed to get this past the god-fearing Christians. The two concepts do not seem to jibe. I don’t get it. “Merry Christmas, honey. I bought you some see-though panties, garters and thigh-highs, and a push-up bra. It’s what Jesus and the Virgin Mary would have wanted.” Someone explain it to me.

Now on to my holiday movie recommendation list. You’ve probably seen most of these, but these are the ones I need to watch each December. And yes, there are a lot.

Not For the Wee Kiddies
The Ref
- Denis Leary, Kevin Spacey, and Judy Davis showcasing family dysfunction at its best. My favourite line: “Tell you what mom. Next year for Christmas I’m going to get you a big wooden cross so any time you’re feeling under appreciated, you can just climb up on there and nail yourself to it.”

Bad Santa
- Not for the faint of heart. Raunchy, raunchy, raunchy.

Love Actually
- Touching, sad, funny, real. Plus Colin Firth!

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
- Who doesn’t love the Griswald’s? And Cousin Eddie, of course.

Then we get into the classics that the whole family can enjoy:

A Christmas Carol (Alistair Sims, black & white version)
Muppet Christmas Carol
It’s a Wonderful Life
Emmett Otter’s Jug Band Christmas
The Grinch (the classic cartoon version – but the Jim Carrey one is good too)
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Nestor the Long-Eared Donkey

Comment with your favourites if there's any I missed!

Wait, I can bring this back to boys. For the most part, the above movies are touching and have messages of hope and goodwill. Guess what movie is my husband’s favourite holiday film … Die Hard. I’m not sure anyone else classifies that as a Christmas movie, but since it takes place at a Christmas party, according to D., it’s a Christmas movie. I’m going to be watching most of these films alone in the years to come, aren’t I. See how being a M.O.B. is going to shape my whole life going forward?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tears For Tuna & Does He Know It's Christmas?

No, Tears for Tuna is not the name of my eco-conscious 80's cover band, it's what I went through the other night trying to get J. to eat a very kid-friendly tuna casserole. Cooking does not come naturally to me so I am making a real effort (and it is an effort) to make healthy meals for the family, so I was trying out the Tuna Casserole from the great "Tin Fish Gourmet" cookbook. J. refused to eat it, said it wasn't the noodles he liked (which is pasta with pesto!) and when told that this was dinner and it was all he was getting, he burst into tears. You could tell he was kind of forcing it, but after a while, when he wasn't getting anywhere with it, he actually gave up and ate the darn stuff! Being lovingly firm and consistent with your child actually works! Who'd of thunk it?

And he actually never knew there was tuna in it. I've learned that less is more when it comes to toddler eating so J. is now on a need to know basis. He eats fish sticks but we've told him they are chicken. He hasn't noticed yet that they don't taste like chicken. It might be the mounds of ketchup he puts on everything he eats. I'm going to get away with lying to my kids for their own good as long as I can. I was in my 20's before I figured out, after being mocked and publicly shamed by other friends who weren't as gullible as me, that despite what my mother had told me repeatedly, there were not "flour worms" in uncooked baked goods, specifically cookie dough, that would make you sick if you ate it. She had just been trying to keep me from eating all the cookie dough.

As for the second part of my title, I believe my other child is going to be my eater. As I mentioned before, it turns out I have been starving the wee baby M. and the milk jugs have not been producing enough to meet his needs. He's one of those kids that watches you eat with frightening intensity. It's like a scene from "Empire of the Sun" when the POW detainees are watching their captors eat opulent meals while they are barely surviving on potatoes and weevils for protein. He just turned 5 months, so we started him on rice cereal and after one bite, he was trying to grab the spoon out of my hand and shove more in his mouth. He's had four bowls so far and cleans the plate every time. He's like a baby bird open it's mouth for worms. So tonight as I was feeding him, I was singing him the Band Aid "Do They Know It's Christmas?" song because he is my starving child. I suppose it might seem shallow and trite to be singing a song about African famine to a relatively well cared for baby who will hopefully never truly know hunger in his lifetime, but he really seemed to enjoy it. Perhaps tomorrow night I can regale him with the far inferior "We Are The World". Sorry, no Canadian content, even though the government does require 30%. I will not be doing "Tears Are Not Enough", although it was better than the narcissistic, god-complex ridden "We Are The World".

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ooops - Where Does The Time Go?

Has it really been a month? Yes, yes, yes, I know the point of a blog is to update it on a quasi-regular basis, but all aspects of life sort of went sideways so I had to focus on survival and drop any non-essentials and as much I enjoy the blog, it is a luxury item in my life.

Here's what went down:

1) We listed and sold our place and bought another within three weeks. Yes, in this market. The gods were smiling upon us and the perfect buyers fell in our lap. Had they not come along, I'm sure it would still be on the market, or we would have given up and taken it off because keeping it clean for open houses was just about killing me.

2) The adorable baby M. - still not sleeping through the night. Turns out, I didn't actually have a sleep problem, I had a food problem. I was starving him to death. After going out to see Madonna on October 30 (a day that just about saw me check myself into the pysch ward at Lions Gate Hospital due to lack of sleep and house-selling stress combined with lovely but needy children - a padded room and happy pills seemed like a wonderful idea), after having two bottles from Nana, M. slept from 11:00 until 5:45 without a peep. I woke up, looked at the clock, and though he was dead. So after that, I did a little time at the milking machine I figured out that my milk supply was low. Instead of the recommended 5 to 8 ounces he should have been taking in at each feed, he was probably only getting 2 to 4, or less. Which explains why he wanted to eat all the time, all hours of the day and night. We started topping him up with formula which helped a little, but not as much as I would have hoped. I accused Nana of putting a nip of vodka or scotch in his bottle, only because I wanted to do the same, but she denied it. We were just at the doctor today for his 5-month check-up and the poor kid is still in the 20th or 25th percentile for weight. He had his first bowl of rice cereal tonight and gobbled it down like someone who had been lost in the woods for a week with no food. He's been ready for food for a while. He's one of those kids who watches you eat with an almost uncomfortable intensity. Probably because he was wasting away from hunger. I had an Orange Julius today at the mall and he was desperately trying to get it from me. I thought that would probably not be the best food to start him on. Maybe in a couple more months.

3) We all got sick. J. first, then D., then M. and then me. J. is now experiencing hearing loss again from blocked ears, but after a visit to the doctor, we're just keeping and eye on it to see if it goes away. I'm still fighting it after two weeks, but since I never get to rest, it will probably stick around until April!

4) J. turned 4 and I decided that this was the year that I needed to make his cake, despite having pawned it off on various other family members every year prior, when I had only one kid and was not going postal from sleep deprivation. I was trying to lower the bar on birthday parties and while I did in some ways, the Type A part of my brain still got its two cents in.

So I was really focusing on the bottom of the triangle of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and not really paying attention to that self-actualization bit at the top. But hopefully I can get back in the saddle and start doing this at least once a week. Okay, well my big kid who is even less patient than the 4-year old, is calling me upstairs because he wants to watch "Dragon's Den" now. Right now!

More about the new house later. It has a 24 by 17 basement room that is going to be the playroom! It has a lot of other things going for it, but truly that playroom is all I care about. I think about it all the time. It will change my life.

Better go before I have to deal with a temper trantrum!


Monday, October 27, 2008

Brownies Are Now Pinkies

Update on the soother situation - it's one step forward, two steps back. M. is putting up more of a fight than I thought he was capable of. I will break him and he will sleep again. He has his fourth-month shots today so it probably won't be tonight. I plan to dope him up with Tylenol and hope for the best.

As for the title of this one, when I was picking up J. at preschool today, I noticed all these little girls running around in all-pink ensembles, then I noticed the sash with badges and my heart sank. They were Brownies, no longer wearing brown. They looked like little Barbies and it just made me sad. Yet another great childhood memory destroyed. Well, I guess my great memories of my Brownie experiences weren't destroyed, but just knowing that the integrity of the organization and all that it stood for was gone was heartbreaking.

Yet another reason I'm glad to have boys. I'm sure the Boy Scouts aren't all decked out in Buzz Lightyear or Lightning McQueen gear to appeal to whatever trend is hot. I'm sure they are wearing what they have always been wearing, but some genuius at the Girl Guides organization, in a knee-jerk reaction to declining enrollment, probably came up with the hot pink idea. And how backwards, degrading, and insulting to female intelligence is that? Yes, I know little girls like pink, but would it kill them, for an hour or two a week, to be part of an organization that focuses on personal achievement, sisterhood, learning, and challenging oneself rather than fashion? I'm sure Agnes and Olvae Baden-Powell rolled over in their graves when this came into effect.

I will still buy and eat their cookies, but I am feeling a bit soured towards the organization. I don't know what happened to the whole female empowerment movement in recent years, but it seems to be in cahoots with Paris Hilton and her ilk. Serenity now!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Day The Soother Died

Well, we had an intervention and M. is going cold turkey off the soother and he is jonsing bad for it. He'll be four months old this week and I figured it was high time he learned that the world is in fact a cruel place and life is one crushing disappointment after another until you just wish Flanders was dead. (Sorry had to throw a "Simpsons" quote in for the one person who I know reads this for sure and will get it, R.H., aka "daboss".)

I had spent the past five? seven? ten? nights awake most of the night trying to convince the pint-sized terror that he wanted his soother and wanted to sleep to no avail. It was a vicious cycle, to say the least, and when I found myself wanting to punch him in his cute little baby head (but of course not acting on that impulse, although a few more nights without sleep and I'm not sure what I'd be capable of) I figured that if we were going to be up all night crying and screaming and awake, at least it would be on my terms.

It's been a rough 38 hours and while nighttime is hard, when I am truly at my weakest and want to take it all back is when we're in public and he's having a hissy fit. I know the soother will make it all better (and shut him up), but I'm willing to risk having people think I'm a terrible mother if it means we all eventually start sleeping. I'm sure they'll think I'm a much more terrible mother when I get arrested for trying to sell himn on Craigslist and they get to read about me in the paper.

Last night he got a bit of a respite as I feel asleep during our 1:44 AM feeding so he got to sleep with us, and did so with nary a fuss, for the rest of the night. But we won't be doing that again as it's just subsituting one crutch for another. After he gets over this hump and has a few days of happiness again, I'm going to stop the middle of the night feeding and rock his world all over again. Poor kid, not even four months old and the party's over. I think he's started teething too, so misery abounds.

In happy baby new, M. rolled over from back to front for the first time today and did it a few times so it really, really counts! He was very proud of himself, if not a little confused as to what had just happened. I'm sure crawling is just around the corner! Batten down the hatches!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Man's Opinion

So, while no one else wanted to touch my last post and comment, after reading it, D. came upstairs and said, "You forget that while those kids mom is Jenna Jameson, their dad is going to be Tito Ortiz. They will be the perfect mix of sex and agression."

I think that just about sums up the male mind in a nutshell. What am I in for? Really, I do think I'm going to need some sort support group come the teen years when it will be testosterone city around here. Maybe sooner.