Sunday, November 7, 2010

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

There's some quote regarding questions for which you really don't want to know the answer. It's something like "if you don't want to hear the answer, don't ask the question." OK, that's almost exactly what I wrote in the first sentence...obviously I'm exhausted and the one hour of gained time has now caught up with me - at the sadly early hour of 8:45 p.m. I'm attributing the exhaustion to my earlier cleaning frenzy, not the fact that I woke up at 5:30 a.m. I washed all the bakeware that doesn't fit in the dishwasher (cupcake tins, sheet cake pan, etc.) from my Thursday/Friday baking extravaganza (all in the spirit of fundraising for my kiddos' school's bake sale). I put away all the Halloween decorations. And that's a lot. To quote one of my cherub's friends who saw the pile of decor that I consolidated in the living room before boxing it all up in the 5 orange Rubbermaid totes: "Holy Halloween - that's a lot of stuff." Then I proceeded upstairs to finish cleaning up and re-organizing the boys' bedrooms. Last week-end I had the genius idea to switch Ryan's room with Alex & Owen's room. Ryan's old room is better suited for the bunkbeds Alex and Owen sleep in, plus the layout of the closet was better. And Alex and Owen's old room looks out into the backyard, which will hopefully be a bit quieter for Ryan, who sometimes hears noises that cause him to have bad dreams.
Anyway, it was during the cleaning and organizing frenzy that I came across a couple of things that caused me to pause and wonder. I wonder, but I don't really want to know the answer, because I'm afraid.
First of all, I wonder how on earth scrambled eggs ended up on the floor of Alex & Owen's bedroom. I just scrubbed the floor earlier this week, go figure! I walked in today to gather the dirty laundry and hand up a few more pictures when I noticed a tiny little bit of something. I knew it wasn't from the "I accidentally barfed in my bed, mom" incident from last week-end - because (a) we hadn't switched the rooms yet and (b) I did scrub the floor this week. I'm pretty sure the scrambled eggs were carried upstairs via a pajama shirt (or maybe socks - one of my darlings is a pretty messy and energetic eater - granted, he doesn't eat with his feet, but he's pretty wiggly so I could see how it would happen). But really? I don't want to know how scrambled eggs ended up on a bedroom floor. I just wiped it up with a Kleenex and will scrub the floor at a "later date."
I moved on to my eldest's room and was putting away a bit of laundry. Once again, I noticed his underwear drawer was empty. It seems I've been finding it like that alot lately. Yet he never tells me he has no underwear. Does that mean he finds it in the basket of clean-but-not-yet-put-away laundry? Does he wear a pair that is dirty? Does he go sans underwear? Do I really want to know? I think not.
So, here's my new philosophy: don't ask, don't tell.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

When Life Hands You a lululemon Warehouse Sale...'s time to get a job.

Last week I had my first experience going to a sample sale. Well, technically, it was a warehouse sale. With any luck, it will also be my last experience (although I'm told this was atypical and I would really, really like to buy some discounted North Face stuff when their sale comes to town). It was lululemon warehouse sale in Hamilton, Ontario. My friends and I drove nearly an hour to get there. It was set to open at 10, so we left after school drop-off at 9, getting us there just in time for the doors to open.

Not so fast, frantic shopper! When we arrived in town, the line to get in was around the block. There was security (yes, security for a warehouse sale of over-priced "yoga inspired" athletic wear). The public parking lots were full. We parked in a suspect parking spot, paid our parking fee and went to meet other friends who had left at 8 to get a place in line. The line was even longer. People driving down the street to ask what we were standing in line for...Obama? Nope. The Queen? Nope. The Pope? Nope. Yoga wear. It was hard for me to say that with a straight face. Seriously.

We arrived at 10, we stood in line, we advanced a few steps, we stood in line some more. The security guard came by and asked us to line up single file so people could actually walk on the sidewalk. We moved a bit more. We finally got to the sidewalk in front of the convention center (yes, Not a store, a convention center). Sweet! Almost there, right? Wrong. The line snaked around a snack stand, then down some stairs, up some stairs, another sidewalk and then the door. The woman in front of us found out the wait from where we were was another 2 1/2 hours. The time was now 11. The kids get out of school at 3:30, we had to drive nearly an hour to get back home. That's ok, there's still plenty of time. But really, all this for some yoga pants? We waited some more. Then, the lululemon cheerleaders came out to "perform". Seriously? This is what my life has become? We waited a bit longer. We chatted amongst ourselves. I said I couldn't believe I was going to stand in line at least another 2 hours. One of the women I was with said "What else do you have to do this morning? Might as well stand here." And that's when it hit me...what else do I have to do? Is this the best thing I can come up with? Standing in line for 3-4 hours to buy discounted yoga wear? The yoga pants I bought at Costco were $19. I stood in line for about 10 minutes, but I came home with yoga pants, milk, dog food and a couple of Christmas presents. I did have better things to do with my time. Even scrubbing the toilets at home was better use of my time than this. Yes, reality hit me across the face: it's time for me to get a job, because I really do have better things to do than stand in line.

Friday, September 24, 2010


So, a friend of mine told me last week that I could save quite a bit on my electric bill if I started doing laundry and running the dishwasher during off-peak hours. Here's how my experimental week went:

Sunday Night - towels in washer and washing during off-peak hours. Yeah Me! That was easy. Dishwasher set and ready to go with delayed start. Yeah Me again! At this rate, the electric company will be paying me to use their electricity.

Monday Morning - go to fold clothes in dryer and move clothes from washer to dryer. Then remember new plan, so decide to leave everything alone. I can fold the clothes tonight, right?

Monday Night - getting kids back into routine is hard, really hard. We have a little homework, a lot of paperwork...let's get the dishes into the dishwasher and get to bed - after we read our required 20 minutes.

Tuesday Morning - no laundry, it's peak time!

Tuesday Night - ewww!!! Wet towels need to be re-washed. Load dishwasher, set it for time delay right before going to bed.

Wednesday Morning - oh, thunderstorm during night caused brief power outage, resulting in dishwasher being turned off. Dishes are still dirty and must wash, even though peak time. Bummer.

Wednesday Night - meeting at school, but cannot leave towels until tomorrow. Throw clean but now wrinkled clothes that have been in the dryer onto the top of the washer and finally dry towels. It was a good tv night, so I would much rather watch my DVRed shows than go upstairs and get a load of laundry to wash. Besides, I just tucked the kids in and wouldn't want to disturb them.

Thursday Night - Don has a dinner meeting. We have spelling tests and French tests to study for. Who has time for laundry?

Friday Morning - youngest cannot find clean underwear...this new system isn't working. Peak consumption be damned! I've got laundry to do - all day! I'll just wash in cold water instead:)

PS Everyday I try to remember to thank God for creating people smarter than me to invent things like electricity, automatic washing machines and clothes dryers. Without these things, my children would wear even dirtier clothes...

Monday, September 13, 2010

A-Weigh I Go

I am on a diet. Well, maybe not really a diet. I'm on a quest to fit into all the clothes in my closet that are too snug right now. I'm trying to eat better and exercise more. And lose the flabby upper arms and avoid the old lady "extra wave" that occurs every time she waves her hand and her upper arm continues to wave for 30+ seconds.

I weigh myself nearly everyday. I wrote down my weight in a little notebook. One month per page, days 1-15 in one column (16 if there were 31 days in the month, 14 if it was February and not a leap year) and 16-30 in the other column (17-31..well, you get the picture). I still have the notebook. It dates back to 1991, I think. The bummer is, the point where I was at my lowest weight I didn't record it. I was a little over-stressed and weighing myself didn't even register as a "to do" item.

Well, I used to weigh myself everyday. Back when my scales worked. Then the battery died, I gain some weight and I didn't want to know how much I weighed. I bought a fancy scale that measures body fat and tracks your weight and three other people's weights (note to bookclub: that might have been handy one night when we drank more wine and discussed way more than books). It's so complicated that I have to get the owner's manual out just to figure out how much I weigh. I decided to go "old school". I've given up my older, digital scales that required a battery (because I keep buying the wrong size). I've also given up the fancy one that I've owned for 6 years and never figured out how to use. I'm going old school with a scales that only requires me to step on it. No tap to turn it on, no instant read weight. No BMI. No 30 day history of weight. Just a scales I step on and the dial swings ominously as my weight is determined. It's like the Wheel of Fortune wheel or the Price Is Right Showcase Showdown wheel. Where will the final number stop? Is the low number just a teaser? Is the high number that it jumps to before it settles on a slightly lower one just a reminder that "Hey girlfriend, that will be your weight if you don't step away from the chips?" Yep, old school scales are so much easier. Scales, paper, pencil. History of my weight. The high, the low, the acceptable.

And now, I'm off to bed because I did The Biggest Loser Body Sculpting DVD earlier today and I'm beat!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Today I did a little yoga video with a few friends. And now, I hurt. In places I didn't think I could hurt. Like my feet. Seriously. My feet. It's that downward dog thing. And the other one that requires me to lay on my stomach and the lift up my torso and thighs. That's a lot of pressure on the tops of my feet. I may or may not be able to get out of bed tomorrow morning.

Baseball for the boys resumes tomorrow after a summer break. Hat? Check. Pants? Check. Shirt? Hmm...I think that's a check. Baseball Glove? No where to be found. I've searched and searched and searched the house, the garage, and the yard. It hasn't been found yet. This is a problem. Why do they give the kids the summer off anyway? So they can lose their stuff. That's my theory.

And on the topic of baseball, I'm hoping that scientists soon confirm my theory that baseball caps are capable of reproduction. In my search for the baseball glove, I didn't find the glove, but I did find four baseball caps throughout the house. And that doesn't count the caps that are actually hanging where they belong.

You many wonder why my post is so discombobulated today. Well, for one thing, my blogging inspiration, The Pioneer Woman, wrote a list of ten tips for bloggers and aspiring bloggers. One tip was to keep writing, even if it was just something short. So, here you go. The second reason my post is discombobulated is because after the whole yoga thing, my brain feels a bit discombobulated too.

And now, I'm hobbling off to bed with dreams of being able to spring out of bed in the morning.

Monday, August 30, 2010

It's The Most Wonderful Time of The Year

I'm almost ready to turn the calendar page to September - my favorite time of year. I love back-to-school season. I loved school when I was a kid - perhaps it's because I grew up in the country and lived pretty far from most of the kids my age.

I loved going to school.
I loved learning.
I loved reading.
I still love learning and reading.
I love freshly sharpened pencils.
I love to open a brand new box of Crayola crayons.
I love the smell of paste (do they even make paste today? I never understood the kids who ate it, but I definitely loved the smell - just not in an appetite-stimulating sort of way).
I really love new tennis scuffs, no dirt...I take a picture of my kids' new school shoes every year.
I love that Halloween is right around the corner.
I love the incredible colors as the leaves change.
I love the crispness in the air.

I think the thing I love most about back-to-school is that it's an opportunity to start fresh again. I like it better than New Year's Day. New Year's Day is all post-holiday let down, post-overindulgence of food and beverage, post-too-much-family, -too-much-travel, -too-many-parties, -too-much-money-spent, etc., etc. When I flip the calendar from December to January, I'm still living too clearly in the past...all those "posts" are still fresh in my mind, my clothes are still too snug, the holiday spending bills are just being received, my lost luggage is just being returned by the airlines. January is a clean month, but there's all those leftovers to deal with.

But September...that's a different story. September follows a glorious summer of fun. Even when I was working full time and didn't have children, summer was fun. Week-ends away, a vacation to visit family. FUN! When I flip my calendar to September, it's really a chance to start fresh. There aren't as many leftovers in my life. I buy a new calendar. I set new goals. I start fresh. It's a new year in my mind.

So here's to Fall! Here's to the kids going back to school! Here's to me taking a writing class! Here's to a new plan for getting in shape, organizing some closets, finishing some scrapbooks and enjoying life! Happy Back-to-School!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pop Quiz

It's back to school time for some (not us, of course...we go back September 7th), so in the back-to-school spirit, I thought I would spring a pop quiz on my small readership. Good luck, and may the force be with you:)
1. There is supposed to be a photo here, but it didn't really turn out, so picture this in your mind: kitchen table with three cereal bowls and an opened box of Fruit Loops, floor littered with Fruit Loops - some whole, some crushed - at 8:30 Monday morning. What was the last date that I vacuumed this floor?

A. Sunday evening, after everyone had gone to bed.
B. The last day of school, June 28th.
C. 11:00 Friday morning...I vacuum the same day and time every week.

2. Who was eating breakfast at this table?

A. Pigs
B. People
C. Little People

3. At one time was the floor vacuumed again?

A. It hasn't been. It looks the same.
B. 8:35 a.m Monday
C. It hasn't been yet because I'll vacuum again at 11:00 on Friday morning, just like always.
D. It hasn't been vacuumed, but it looks like it since the dogs cleaned up the Fruit Loops for me.

4. The photo below (ok, again, picture is not that great, so visualize it, please) is a paper chain we made to count down the days until school starts. This is clearly an example of:

A. A mother who has way too much time on her hands.
B. Children who are ready to go back to school and ask on a daily basis how many days until school starts again.
C. A desperate cry for help.

5. The paper chain was made:

A. by the children, all by themselves.
B. me cutting the paper with my paper cutter so that all rings were the same width and length, then the kiddos stapling and labeling the rings.
C. solely by me because I'm such a control freak.
D. same as B, but the fact that the numbering is all wrong is making me completely crazy.