Monday, March 29, 2010

I Am A Bag Lady - What?!

J calls me a 'Bag Lady'. I don't claim that title. If he meant it in a kind, loving manner because I like purses, then I would relish the title. I DO love purses. As it stands, I don't like the title. 'Bag Lady' conjures up visions of a down-on-her-luck woman (not lady) who lugs around bags that contain her life's possessions in a shopping cart. That IS NOT me!! I don't walk around with a shopping cart!

I am a fun, witty, self-depricating Canadian who likes to recycle. That's all. I like to recycle. I especially like to recycle cute shopping bags. Does THAT make me a 'Bag Lady' or a "Frugalista"? My money is on the latter.
Case in point. My dearly beloved purchased these lovely book-looking cases to carry our Mac laptops in.
I should have clued in that these were not bargain basement accessories when they came with this bag to cover the case while in transit.
Isn't that a great little bag? I could put my shoes in there, or my lunch, or my crochet project. Maybe a book or two, even. I could take it to the beach and not have to carry a purse! I could take it to the produce store and save a plastic bag from an eternity in a landfill (or something like that). Oh, wouldn't this be perfect on a road trip to carry my 'activities'. The uses for this durable and cute bag are endless.

So you tell me..."Bag Lady" or "Frugalista"?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

8 Days of Birthday Celebration

Our kids' birthdays are 3 days apart. That means they share a birthday party. And have for the last 3 years until this year. I had a fundraising banquet for Motor Mouth's school on the day that we would have had their birthday party. Lots of valid reasons why we couldn't do a party the week before or after. Also, if you have ever planned a fundraising event, you know not to book anything the night before or the day after.

Day 1
Family Friday Night
Mini Me's birthday was the day of the banquet so J got her a rose, a butterfly balloon, cupcakes, and the new Princess & the Frog movie that we watched together after our regular pizza night.

Day 2
Banquet Day / Mini Me's Birthday
Mini Me got to eat a cupcake for breakfast on her birthday. We were going to visit a cafe in town that has Mini Me's name in its title. However, when we pulled up, it was closed. Website said they opened at 9:30 am. It was 10:00 am. We went to Panera Bread instead. I was at work by 11:15 am to work on the banquet.

Day 3
Kids got the UP Wii game.
It's a hard game, apparently.
Day 4
Motor Mouth got an army looking balloon (it was the most masculine balloon after Elmo). Instead of a rose, Motor Mouth got a pack of play money and coins. Also a few cupcakes. Grandma and Grandpa Widney arrive long after bedtime.

Day 5
Motor Mouth's Birthday
Motor Mouth got to eat a cupcake for breakfast on his birthday. And wake up to Grandma and Grandpa!! Kids went to school. We brought cupcakes into Motor Mouth's class and passed them around to all the teachers and admin staff in the school. Then it was off to Mini Me's school for a cupcake repeat. Jazz picked Portillo's as where he wanted to eat dinner. Afterwards, we had ice cream at Margie's Candies. The kids got bikes for their birthdays.
Day 6
The kids got to go riding on their new bikes after school with Grandma and Grandpa. Mini Me had her first wipe out. A trip to Target resulted to get her new girly bandaids. Motor Mouth got to pick out his own boy bandaids just in case.
Day 7
We told the kids we got them a season pass to the Adler Planetarium and to the Museum of Science & Industry. They didn't have to go to school. They hung out with Grandma and Grandpa all day.
Day 8
Family Friday Night/Birthday Dinner
No school again. More hanging with the G-parents. Birthday dinner with 3 friends each. Super Mario theme.

After all of this celebration, we still have 2 Wii games we forgot to give them!

Next year, I'm picking 1 day and that is it!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Letter to our Neighbor

We have a downstairs neighbor. 2 actually. They are a gay couple. Sometimes, I think my children are a reminder as to why their lives are perfectly wonderful without children.

Here is a letter I posted on their door this morning:


The good news is our children are celebrating their birthdays.

The bad news is that our children are celebrating their birthdays with friends.

There will be sugared up, excited, running and stomping children invading our home from approximately 6:00 – 9:00 pm this evening. It is quite possible it may sound like a herd of wild elephants charging back and forth. While we will do what we can to tame the little beasts, we can’t make promises…

Pizza is a 6:00 pm and there will be cake. The adults coming are fun people. Feel free to join us!

J & Widney Woman

Motor Mouth (7) & Mini Me (4)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Worst Mom of the Year Award

This week, we celebrated Mini Me's birthday with her class. It's a Montessori school, so they do things a bit differently. The teacher asked me to talk about when Paris was born. I did great. I told them about how she was the most beautiful baby girl I had ever seen. And she was. At first.
Then the teacher asked about memories of Paris when she was 0-1 year old. This is where things went astray. Cue the crickets. 27 pairs of 3-6 yr old eyes were on me. Mini Me looked to me adoringly, waiting for some wonderful story.

"She cried a lot."
That was all I could come up with. I couldn't think of a single good, positive thing about Mini Me's 1st year of life. I was proud of myself for not telling them about taping her pacifier to her mouth. (Oh. Did you miss that one? Details at the end of this post).

The teacher tried to help me. She asked if Mini Me had walked or had teeth in her first year.

"Mini Me didn't walk or have teeth before her 1st birthday. In fact, she was a bald baby."

I was dying. Fast.
When we got to year 1 to 2, I excitedly exclaimed that Mini Me walked, got teeth and grew hair. I had to stop myself at that. I didn't want to mention the 'ugly phase' or how she was at the doctor's office with some ailment or the other.

Had I received the email from Mini Me's teacher explaining the process, I would have been prepared with lots of wonderful things to say about my precious 4 yr old daughter. As it was, I stumbled through and made myself come across as the most insensitive mother in the world.

I'm hoping Mini Me never remembers the things her bumbling idiot of a mother said this classroom birthday.

And now........
The Pacifier Story.

Mini Me cried.a.lot. Still does, actually. Well, what you don't know is that her pacifier would not stay in her mouth. And the girl WANTED her pacifier!!

If that pacifier fell out, Mini Me screamed. Not cried. Screamed like she had been hit. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't drive 5 minutes to church or the grocery store.

One particularly challenging night, around 3:00 am, I begged God to show me what to do. Medical tape came to mind. It was perfect. No pain when you remove it and it doesn't leave red marks/lines. I left enough room for her to spit up safely without choking. I did clear it with her pediatrician.

One morning, walking into church, I ran into an older couple from our Sunday School class. They were excited to see Mini Me. I removed the blanket covering her car seat. They gave odd looks. A few steps down the hall, I saw the wife of the Children's Ministry pastor. As she whizzed by, she said: "Hi WidneyWoman. Cute baby. You might want to remove the tape."
And that, is why we are not saving for our children's college. We are saving for their therapy.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I Got Nothing

I want to blog and I think of things to blog often. But they are just ideas and are not formulated entries with a logical start, middle and end with a fully thought out purpose.

These days, my brain is just fried. I can't talk about what is going on at work. I can't talk about what is on my mind most all of the time. And even if I could, I honestly don't have the time or the brain function to do so.

Last week, I worked longer hours than I had planned almost every day, in prep for this fundraising banquet that happened over the weekend. Then I came home and had to get some time-sensitive stuff done for my client. By Friday, there were times I could barely keep my eyes open during the day. In fact, on Friday evening, I downed a large Red Bull (hadn't had one in almost 3 weeks) but couldn't get through Princess and the Frog with the kids and J.

So, while I would like to share what is going on with me, I can't.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Knowing Me, Knowing You - Mar '10

knowing me, knowing you - march

Well it's that time again.... time for that little monthly interview project that The Fairy Blogmother started. Why not play along with us?

1. Do you play a musical instrument?
I wish I did. This is the only possible reason why I was never able to enter beauty pageants. (LOL!!!) Seriously though, I started learning piano 3x and I am still only able to play the 2 songs my sister taught me (I don't think she even remembers how to play them).

2. Do you have a set of every day dishes and a set of "good" dishes?
Our 'everyday' dishes are our good dishes. My MIL gave all 3 of us girls a full set of really, really good dishes. That is what we use every day. My MIL taught me that the people you are with all the time and love are the ones that should eat off the "good" dishes every day.

3. Chocolate milk or white?
Chocolate milk.
I. can. not. stand. white. milk. Blech.

4. What time do you usually head up to bed?
Well, I live in a 1-storey loft so there is no going 'up' anywhere... But I try to be in bed by midnight. Lately, I've tried getting to bed by 10 pm. (haha! 10 is my uber lofty goal!)

5. Do you hang your toilet paper over or under?
Over!!! How else are you going to fold it into a triangle? I do think you have more control when you go over.

Now, for your chance to join in on the fun, be sure to head on over to The Fairy Blogmother's site to see her answers and to play along!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

End of an Era

One of my brothers made this little bench/foot stool in high school shop class. He was 4 grades ahead of me so that makes this stool almost 30 years old.
When I moved into my own apartment in Toronto, I stole it from our mom's house. It's not like she was using it. For almost 10 years, the bench had just sat in Mom's living room (that we weren't allowed to go in unless we had company). Like many women of her generation, our mom cherishes the things she loves by setting them aside and not using them.

I've kept this bench ever since and have loved and cherished it as well. Like many women of my generation, I use the things I love. This bench is used almost daily to reach things on the top shelf in our kitchen. I'm 5'9" but the stool makes it so I don't have to strain as hard. My kids, especially Mini Me, sit on this while they are watching me in the kitchen. There are flecks of paint from every one of the homes I painted.

If you look closely, you can see where the finish is darkened in spots where my feet rubbed.
This little stool has travelled to numerous apartments and homes with me in 7 cities and 2 countries. Just a little shop class project my brother has most likely long forgotten, but it has brought me so much joy. My brother has not visited any of my homes in the States, but having his stool helped to make that okay.
(He's a really busy guy.)
Then I found this last night.
Which led to this.
And now, I am heartbroken.
J says we can fix it with carpenter's glue. But I will be scared to use it after that. Sadly, my little bench might have to sit in a corner of my living room, unused.
But much loved.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Up & Down Sides to Parenting

There are downsides to parenting for sure. But then you experience one of the upsides and the madness seems not so bad after all....

Downside of Parenting #1
Mini Me has started wetting her bed all of a sudden. Motor Mouth proclaimed: "Mini Me pisses her bed. I piss my bed. We are pissing twins!" I don't ever recall our son using that language so it was pretty shocking.

Downside of Parenting #2
In his class at church, the teachers were explaining what it means to tithe (give 10% of your income to God/God's work/Church). Motor Mouth said, "I'm not gonna do that. I don't want to waste my money." Time to talk about savings, tithing, money.

Upside of Parenting #1
When talking with classmates, Motor Mouth and his friends were selecting who they were going to be on the Titanic. "I'm Jack!" claimed Motor Mouth. "I'm Rose!" claimed a girl. "I'm Jack Sparrow!!" yelled one boy. "Wrong movie, Dude" said Motor Mouth.

Upside of Parenting #2
Motor Mouth put $0.25 in a gum ball type machine and got out a ring. I decided he should try for something more masculine, so I gave him another quarter. Mini soccer ball. Score. When we got home, Motor Mouth packaged up the ring and packaged up a few toys Mini Me has not played with in awhile. When Mini Me came home, Motor Mouth surprised her with 4 wrapped presents! All his idea.

Upside of Parenting #3
Motor Mouth thinks I'm smarter than J. I fairly certain he is correct...

Upside of Parenting #4
J and I had a test of wills to see who would get out of the car to pick Mini Me up from after school care. Neither one of us wanted to do it. I dug my heals in and refused. J manipulated me with his words. When I left the car, Motor Mouth said, "I wasn't expecting that." (He was convinced I would win!)